New arrival, young trouble makers, The creepy and the kookie!

When: 

An casual afternoon

Where: 

Apple Bloom

What: 

Ponyville Square
#=#=#=#=#=#  PONYVILLE SQUARE  #=#=#=#=#=#
At the heart of Ponyville stands a proud and massive pavillion known as Town Hall.  Around it lies the town square, a well-kept ring decorated with tall banners and the occasional picturesque bush.  A fountain sits before the entrance to the hall with a joyous, reared-up earth pony statue as its ornament.  Various municipal officials have pitched colorful, conical tents in the square from which they run their operations.  The town square is lined along one side by a stream crossed by a broad stone bridge, while on its other sides it's surrounded by a combination of commercial establishments and some of the oldest houses in Ponyville.  The mood here is generally cheerful but officious.
Shadow_Mane [Male Unicorn]
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A unicorn stallion stands before you, he is a fairly dark shade of grey. His mane and tail are flat black, and //at times// in a slight state of a mess, sometimes with a few knots and tangles in it. Normally he wears a number of rustic outfits that are fairly practical with lots of pockets, often with saddle bags. His outfits often cover not only his chest and withers, but at times his flank and hindquarters. Covering his cutie mark, should it be seen, it would be a shield with a sword behind it pointing down with the blade buried with the shield resting against the sword. it would also have a number of old scratched and minor scars.  Another aspect is he actually has a sword with him at times, and a coil of rope.
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A new comer has entered Ponyville, The grey unicorn Stallion perhaps looking a little worse for wear has effectively strolled out of Everfree forest. He's got camping gear on his backpack, and overloaded saddlebags. His mane and tail are a bit on the dirty side, his outfit covers his withers and flank, is a dark green with shades of brown and some splotches of dried mud. Despite his appearance he seems rather upbeat as if he has just come in from a very long camping trip.
Apple Bloom is sitting at the fountain, with a big box of crispy hay fries in front of her. It's by no means small. She loves hay fries, though, and is pushing more than a few into her mouth as we speak. The aspiring adventurer has not noticed the newcomer, a little absorbed in her reading as well.
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Apple Bloom is a small, school-aged filly, with a rich curly red mane and tail and a coat the color of freshly-churned cream. She has huge bright eyes colored the rich orange of a country sunrise, and is usually seen with her favorite huge strawberry-pink bow flapping behind her head. And flap it does - the energetic young mare is a founding member of the Cutie Mark Crusaders, and can usually be found running around town with the other Crusaders causing messes, problems, and the occasional abject disaster all in the name of finally earning her cutie mark! She is also the youngest member of the Apple family, being Applejack and Big McIntosh's little sister, and as such speaks with the same mountain country drawl.
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Looking around the place Shadow Mane hasn't been to Ponyville at all in the past. Having come from Manehatten where his roots are he had heard of Ponyville from some of the construction workers he had been talking to. And being so close to home base felt it was a good place to drop off the maps he has made of the various areas in Everfree forest. Looking around the scent of Hay fries is what attracts him to the fountain, of course noticing the young filly, he also notes she lacks her cutie mark. Recalling himself and... oddball at that point in his life, he starts to approach the young Filly, "Hello there. I'm new in town and was wondering if you could point me to a place were I could rent for a few nights?"
Apple Bloom can be a bit of an oddball herself. One could say the entire concept of the Cutie Mark Crusaders is "oddball." When the stallion approaches her, asking if she knows a place where he could rent a room, she looks up, a hay fry dangling from her mouth, looking a little like a fish at that moment. "Uhhhhhh..." Well... she knows one thing Applejack has been known to say. "How're y'all at farm work?"
The image is not lost on him as to what the young girl looks like as he says, "Might wanna eat that Hay Fry, you look like a fish on a hook." he tells her with a friendly chuckle. "Well... haven't exactly dun farm work before, but I am very used to carrying a fairly heavy pack." He tells the little Filly. "Name is Shadow Mane, and what is yours?"
"Ah'm Apple Bloom. Y'all look lawk y'all could handle yerself at th'farm. Mah sister'r mah brother will have t'desawd if y'all kin stay fer a few days." Apple Bloom finally pushes the hay fry into her moutgh. "Where ya been? Y'all look lawk ah did after a trek from Manehattan."
"Well and who would be your big brother and sister so I know who to talk to?" He asks politely "That's... not too far from the truth. I do come from Manehatten, I just been spending the last few years in Everfree forest exploring and making maps. I've also been working with the Construction crews out near the old castle. So I am a little bit outta touch with current events."
"Mah big sister is Applejack, and mah big brother is Big Macintosh. He kawnda lives up t'the name, too, jus' so y'all are aware." Apple Bloom says, then gaaaasps. "Yer an explorer?" Her eyes go a'twinkling. The only thing that could make this stallion PERFECT is if he were a pegasus. Apple Bloom loves wings.
Shadow_Mane thinking on the names as he says, "Ah yes, From the Apple farm, I think I know exactly where that is." Of course the stallion doesn't have wings, he's a unicorn. It is then he notices the the look in her eyes, "Yep, Even when I was a little younger then you, I was always out exploring and discovering new places, I also earned my Cutie Mark that way." Perhaps he shouldn't have told here that in afterthought. "I also got far more then my fair share of bumps, bruises, and cuts in the process." He tries to warn her.
Too late, Apple Bloom has been committed to becoming an explorer-adventure for some time now. "That's so awesome! Ah jus' got a commission from th'princesses as a Royal Explorer, an' ah'm buildin' an airship ah desawned mahself!" Yes, the filly has already made a BFF, he doesn't realize it yet.
Not being dense Shadow Mane already realizes that he has a new friend and then thinks to himself, //Her big brother and sister are gonna kill me//. Still he will humor her as she makes her claim, "Well then surely you realize all the hardships involved. The long cold dark nights, seeing movement at the edge of your camp fire that stays just out side of the light. The rain when it comes having to trek through the mud. Not to mentions other things as well, like the wild animals." He is at least attempting to convince her to not just run off on her own. "And an Airship? I would like to see the blue prints, see how well she's designed. I might be able to help fine tune it."
He'd be surprised how well it's gone so far. The engine is already in testing and working pretty well. Apple Bloom hasn't begun construction on the hangar or vessel proper, though. "Sure, th'engine's already doin' pretty well. An' ah ain't scared'a nothin'!"
Thinking as he says, "I would love to see it, but perhaps you could take me to the Apple family farm. I really should get cleaned up before I take a look at the Engine and such." He doesn't tell her she should have built the ship first, then placed the engine." Not to mention let her family know the little one is planning some chaos, again with no doubt.
Family already knows all this stuff, largely because she's been making a point of them knowing it's not just another Cutie Mark quest. Still, Apple Bloom looks so enchanted as she stands, puts her hay fries and book in her saddlebags, and begins trotting for hom, talking about this adventure or that adventure...
Following the young filly he listens to her tales of adventures. He does ask questions on the adventures, such as if they were just for fun, or for exploration. And by listening to them he can tell she is something of a wild pony. Hopefully as time goes on she will settle down. Not that he ever did.
Sweet Apple Acres
O` O` O` O` O` O` ===  SWEET APPLE ACRES  === O` O` O` O` O` O`
Welcome to Sweet Apple Acres!  Located just outside of Ponyville, this prosperous farm features an expansive apple orchard, a field for wheat and other secondary crops, and an assortment of buildings including an impressive red farmhouse, a barn, a hog house, and a recently refurbished clubhouse.  It's a relaxing environment with plenty of rolling green hills, country breezes, and open sky.  Depending on the season, you may encounter workers (typically Applejack and her brother Big Mac) tilling the land, planting seeds, setting out baskets, bucking apples, tending to damaged trees, or any number of other farm related tasks.  If you wander through the trees, you may stumble upon an apple cart or garden arch, hear the yapping of the farmdog or the creak of old Granny Smith's rocker, or even find yourself on a path up into the curvaceous tree-studded hills.
This is where the countryside begins.  We hope you like it here.
"And here it is!" Apple Bloom says, walking into the vastly empty east field! There's... nothing here except grass and some debris.
The Unicorn check the place out, one of his talents is orientation. So he knows roughly where he is in rough location to Ponyville and the Everfree forest. Looking around he says, "It's a wonderful farm. Very healthy." In hailing the scent into his lungs he exhales. "You are lucky to live on a farm like this." he tells Apple Bloom.
"This is just th'east field. Nothin' here. Gonna build mah hangar in this spot." Apple Bloom says, then gestures to the west. "Farmhouse is off that way, but ah wanted t'show y'all this!" Empty... clearing! Very exciting!
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The Stallion doesn't mind being drug around the place and then sees the various derbies. "Well how large is the air ship you have designed?" Moving around he starts to move things out of the way. He stamps the ground a few times to test it, Too loose he will her the supports will have to be dug deep. If the ground is hard and dense he will tell her the supports will be hard to plant. "Well if you are building a hanger, it will need to be fairly large, that way you can shelter it not only from the weather when it gets bad, but also make repairs when it gets damaged." he says.
"It's not gonna be too big. Basically somethin' with a few necessities. Somethin' ah kin live in, even." Apple Bloom explains, watching the adventurer tamp around in the field.
"Ah all the comforts of home. I prefer sleeping on the ground close to the earth. Not that I haven't made a makeshift tree stand." He tells her. Looking over at the farm house. "looks like this could be a very good place to build such an airship. I can hardly wait to see the ship its self built. I am sure she will be beautiful."
The weathervane atop the barn skreeks and spins.  One of the scarecrows in the back acre lurches off its post and begins shambling across the field towards the two ponies, and it's only as it comes within closer view does it become apparent that it's not a scarecrow at all, but a pony gaunt enough to pass for one.  Who seems to have some straw spilling out of her ears.  Perhaps it's too soon to pass judgment on that scarecrow thing, yet.
Nettleglum [Female Earth Pony]
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Nettleglum is about a head taller than the average filly, gaunt, cadaverous and sharply angled, somewhat grave, with a lurching carriage of innocent foreboding.  Her hide is a shade of purple so dark that light itself cannot escape the surface, except when it feels like it, with a long and lank mane of the same mixed shades of sable, ebon, and jet that make for cheerful decor, tightly pulled back and parted down the center of her forehead, a ropelike braid dangling on either side of rather pointed ears.  Her tail shows much the same sense of style, though the braid is thicker and longer, lacking only a hangmare's noose on the end.  Add a doleful, waxworks expression sure to liven any occasion, and unblinking, glassy violet eyes, slightly pointed up at the corners, and a cutie mark on her flank showing a tangled knot of sharp-thorned brambles in dark greens and blues.  She's wearing a stiffly starched white Victorian collar above a silvery vest the color of a thunderstorm.
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(Picture at: <a href="http://i.imgur.com/GWkvs.png">http://i.imgur.com/GWkvs.png</a> )
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"Mah engine's in a smaller vessel rawt now, bein' tested. Ah came up with a little innovation fer it, so that if an airship has t'crash, it kin crash a lot safer." Apple Bloom says. She spots a scarecrow and flails at first... but flailing turns to waving as she realizes who this could be.
As he listens to Apple Bloom, he's making sure that he won't be blind sided by one of the apple family just rushing out here. So he notices the Scarecrow when it lunges off the the post. Normally one doesn't hide in the open. Well his brother would, so who is he to judge. As the unknown pony approaches Shadow Mane actually turns to face the new comer holding his ground as Apple Bloom at first seems scared, only when the filly relaxes does he as well. "Afternoon Ma'am." He greets the newcomer.
One of the crows is still iffy on the whole thing and lands atop the ersatz scarecrow's head.  It pecks.  There's not even a twitch from the taxidermy movements of the mare.  "Miss Bloom, dear, how lovely to see you out and about."  The voice is as stiff as the motion, and sounds like you'd expect to hear it inside one of your drains, and possibly will tonight.  Nettie lurches as far as the fence separating the field from the path and looms politely on the other side of it, her shadow like a sickle.  "Good evening, dear.  I don't believe I've had the pleasure."
( Apple Bloom trots happily to Nettleglum, standing up against the fence to greet her. "How're things in th'Everfree? Still gloomy?" Apple Blossom hasn't been by for a visit with Nettie in a while. )
Moving up to the fence he will join Apple Bloom and the purple earth mare as he still is carrying that pack of his. "Shadow Mane." He says politely. "Apple Bloom was Kind enough to suggest that her big brother and sister might be willing to allow me to rent accommodations here for my stay in PonyVille." he says politely. "She was also sharing with me all her tales and adventures. Not to mention her airship."
"Delightful as ever, dear-- the timberwolves have been restless of late, and they howl so at night.  Such a relaxing sound."  Children of the night.  What muzak they make in elevators.  Nettie listens with waxworks's stillness to the unicorn's explanation, before she creaks a ratchety nod.  "Mister Mane, of course.  I have heard one of the foremares at the castle mention you, dear.  Your maps were most helpful.  I am her majesty's steward for the castle, do please call me Nettie, dear."  The crow pecks, and pecks, and may have found a worm.  Nettie's mane is very well-conditioned.  "Indeed.  Miss Bloom has a royal warrant, and her majesty hopes to hear good things from her eventual travels."
"Y'all'll fawnd quawt a lotta ponies have taws t'the princesses here. Heck, mah grandmother was one of th'founders of Ponyville under th'direction of Celestia'erself." Uh wuh? Wouldn't that make granny centuries old?
When he listens to Nettie, "Ah yes one of them did mention you as well. It's a pity our paths have not crossed until now. But I did take the commission serious. I might have had something to do with the Timberwolves being riled. Ended up having a Manticore start stalking me. In the hunt I ran into and through a couple groups of them. Not the most pleasant of experiences. But I still have my tail." When Nettie talks of it being real that Apple Bloom does indeed have a commission, he also gives Nettie a questioning look of are you serious? But shaking his head, "I came into town at their suggestion of dropping my Maps off at the Local Library and getting a resupply. That and the thought of a warm bed, hot shower, and hot meal also appealed to me."
Who's granny isn't centuries old?  The Grimdarks take that sort of thing as 'normal', though in their case there may be embalming fluid and pentagrams involved.  She listens to his tale of a playful manticore with some delight-- this is what she adores about the forest, of course, it's simply full of charming wildlife and lovely plants.  "I understand, dear, it's all very relaxing to sleep beneath the stars, but nothing beats your own bed of nails and a cauldron of pitch at home."
Watching Apple Bloom as she wanders off talking about having forgotten something in Ponyville, he laughs and watches her. "She's got to be a hooffull for those around her." Shaking his mane he exhales and says, "Bed of nails, mildly more comfortable then the thorn bushes I have slept in at times." As he leans against the fence he will asks, "And how are the renovations on the old castle progressing?"
Nettleglum creaks her head up and the crow finally decides this is /not/ a good place to stay.  It flaps off, crowing raucously.  "Splendid, dear-- of course, one does not renovate an estate of that size overnight, certainly, but her majesty has been pleased with the progress to date, and I have been quite satisfied with the landscaping in particular, the crawling catchroot and Asphyxia Blossoms are doing splendidly.  You must stop in as a guest sometime, rather than simply passing though."
"I may just do that at some point, what little I have seen. It will most assuredly suit our Princess of the Night. Might want to try adding some Poison Joke blossoms around castle windows. Might deter intruders from trying to enter. That and they are lovely." He's heard of their effect first hand. Natural defenses, it would be like adding rose bushes around Canterlot's windows.
Nettleglum perks, which is to say, she lurches in a ghastly spasm that will replay itself endlessly in nightmares for months to come.  "Poison Joak is really more of a border plant, dear.  It does pair well with Asphyxia Blossoms-- they both have that cheerful cyanotic colour that adds a just the right note of ~Joie de vivre~ to a garden."  Nettie's cutie mark seems to show an affinity for these kinds of plants; you've struck a chord.
"Well if you say so. Not exactly a landscaper, mom used a thorn tree and rose bushes under my windows to keep me in the house at night when I wanted to go out exploring. Didn't always work." He almost fondly recalls coming in through the front door in the morning, Getting over them out the window was one thing, getting in the window was another matter. Indeed he has figured out her love and care for those dangerous plants.
Nettleglum understands what his mother had in mind.  She was trying to make the surroundings as cheery as possible to encourage him to stay home.  Nettie's own Mother used to arrange the cairns around their catacomb in festive patterns to do the same thing.  "If, dear, you have delved deeply into the Everfree, you doubtless know what charming plants can be found off the beaten path.  However, even so, I daresay you may be interested in some of the plants from her majesty's Cave of Night, which are on display for all ponykind in the lunar greenhouse now attached to the castle grounds.  I hope you will come and visit, sometime."
He likes her, she is creepy, and kooky. But not in a way he doesn't like. "Very charming, but if not handled carefully, one heck of a pain in the flank, I discovered the hard way. You would like my brother, he's into all sorts of myths and legends. Where as I focus on historical fact in my archeology, he is more into uncovering the source of myth and legends in history." As she invites him to the garden. "I think I will see the Cave of Night."
Nettleglum gently corrects.  "Not the cave itself, dear, though certainly a guided tour might be arranged with her majesty's permission.  The Lunarium was built to allow ponies to view the plants without disturbing the cave's delicate flora and fauna."  Nettie is very concerned that the inhabitants of the cave not eat anything they're not used to.  Could cause them tummyaches.  "But the Lunarium itself is open to all visitors, and if my duties to her majesty allow, I would be delighted to show you some of the more interesting specimens..."
"Ah yes. Forgive me. I guess I am a bit more tired then I realized. Entertaining the young does that, I would certainly enjoy the tour. But for the moment, I should seek some accommodations that can allow me to get cleaned up and rested. If I see my brother, I will definitely make note of you to him. Although... he does have an interest in the darker arts of magic and not a healthy scholarly study."
The darker arts of magic?  Nettie would look puzzled if she ever looked anything but glassy-eyed.  Oh, of course, he must mean one of those magicians who likes to pull bunnies out of a hat.  ._.  Terrible, dark magics, indeed, brr.  She makes a note to try and avoid this brother if possible.  "I understand, dear-- we cannot be too careful.  I will let you settle in and relax after your travels.  Do stop in if you wish to enjoy a bit of hospitalization.  Tea is served anytime."  Nettleglum lurches back from the fence, and turns with a sickening twitch that bends her joints all wrong, and begins shambling back towards the scarecrow post.  She clambers up and goes still, eyes unwinking.  ._.
Watching Nettle resume her standing pose he will smile. He's got concern for his brother, he's always been something of a problem pony for his family. Heading to the main farm house he says. "I think... I am going to like staying in Ponyville."

Log date: 

Friday, July 12, 2013