Sugar Moon, in spring
Maplewing, Hollyhock, Berry Punch, Chalice Flame
By special order, the sugar bush is the only part of Ponyville that even still has snow, left to melt on its own accord with the warmer weather. This of course leaves it a bit cooler within the shade of the trees though around the sugar house the snow has been cleared and the grounds groomed from the dormant state of winter. In front of the sugar house, where the steam raises thickly from the building's chimney, is a bonfire, crackling and popping merrily with a large couldron-like pot hung above it, it too steaming as water evaporates from the sap within, it seems Maple has prepared some sap to boil into syrup the old fashioned way. By now the sap is about perfect and ready for spreading on tasty foods, which lay in abundance near the sugar house, kept warm in food warmers and ranging from pancakes, fresh frittrs, maple sugar and all sorts of other tasty treats. Most notably, the trough that stands about chest height that is densely packed with snow, specifically for hte making of maple taffy on request
Hollyhock follows a group of ponies out of town to the edge of the wood, and from there she follows her nose the rest of the ways. The warm, sweet scent is hard to miss. At once aluring, and totally alien - there might have been maple out where she grew up, but she never had any. Mesquite honey, or sometimes orange blossom honey from relatives out on the coast, but never maple. As her hooves crunch into the snow of the clearing and she can see the whole setup the stops, and stares for a long moment before she grins, and says to nopony in particular, "Looks like this here's serious business."
Berry_Punch is here! She's toting a rustic little cart full of red and purple things, round and sumptious. Sorry, no raspberries yet, or cherries! But she's got strawberries! Small ones, along with a couple varieties of winter berries, red and simple and tempting. There's jam and jelly in little jars, and juice in stoppered bottles. And then there's the syrup. That's right, Berry Punch has the audacity this year to bring syrup competing with the star of the show! She waves to those she knows, which is everyone, and walks until she finds a nice little spot near a picturesque little bank of mostly departed snow. "Hiya, Maple! Smells nice!"
Chalice_Flame arrives soon after Berry Punch. She seems to have left her usual messenger bag behind and is dressed in a festive short dress and apron. Maybe she assumed that the festive goers might be invited to help, who knows. She seems to be in a good mood and sniffs at the many tempting aromas from the maple products as soon as she arrives.
For the moment, Maple is tending to a griddle, flipping pancakes in preparation for the arrivals, right now he has a warmer quite full of them! they're all golden brown and fluffy to perfection. He also has waffle and other goodies that would go wonderfully well with maple syrup. Of course, he also has his own maple spice cider as well, which is kept just perfectly warm to stave off the chill in the air once under the canopy of branches of the suar maples. As he hears hoofsteps leading up the path, he pauses and waves, grinning broadly. "Hello!" he calls cheerfully to them all, wavin to Berry, especially upon seeing shes broought some things to join in the sweet and sugar making festivities. "Heya Berry, thats kind of the idea, thanks!" he chuckles. "What have you got there?" he asks curiously. Down the road through the maple trees, there has been posted some signs, pointin the way down the somewhat obscure path to the suaar bush, for htose who might not know or overlook the path.
Pinkie_Pie breathes in that sugar-laden spring air. Ahhhh!
Derpy breathes in right next to her, silently. She exhales at the same time too, her nostrils flaring, but instead of "Ahhhh" she says ".....!"
Pinkie_Pie o/~ happily at Derpy.
Hollyhock stands there in the middle of the snowy little clearing, looking this way, then that, her eyes getting a little bigger as she prances in place, trying to decide what to try first. Then she sees the pancakes. Pancakes!
Berry_Punch grins at Maplewing, setting things out deftly with one front leg and occasionally her teeth. "I've got a classic spring berry spread! Not as nice as the summer spread, but it'll do!" She sets out flasks of red syrup of different shads, marked by pictures of the berries they're made from. And there are little wafers for the jam, though Maple's pancakes will surely do, too. In front of her table she hangs a sign: "No charge today! Just do me a good one down the road." She grins at Hollyhock, too. "Pancakes are better with berries!" she chimes.
The part-time canine resident of Ponyville, Clara, has been seen a lot recently. She's even been spotted on the road to Canterlot. Today, she walks slowly with her trusty pickaxe blade-down, wearing a nice vest, the black one with filigree. She stays away from any nearby ponies and doesn't seem to bear any cheer, though neither is there gloom around her.
Chalice_Flame gets in line behind MapleWing looking over at the pancakes being prepared, "I do hope we can sample some of that tonight".
Maplewing grins to Berry and moves over once he flips the last few pancakes into the food server and returns the lid, making sure they keep warm. He moves over to where Berry begins spreading out her offerings. "Oooh those look fantastic!" he beams, taking a sniff or two of some of the syrups in appreciation. " Wow, those are fantastic. How long have you been making these?" he says eagerly, having thought he was the only real syrup producer in the area. "This is very generous of you, Nothing I'm offering is for charge either, its for the festivities!" he grins. As others arrive, he waves cheerfully. "Come, enjoy yourselves!" he calls invitingly. He blinks as Chalice steps up behind him, and he moves aside, ushering her forward. "Please, help yourself." he offers, not really in line himself.
"Yeah, I know," says Berry to Maplewing. "I'm the greedy one, 'cause I'm asking for favors. But you gotta make a living!" She sets out a big empty punchbowl. "I've been making syrup about five years now. Selling to restaurants, mostly, but I take clients out the shed and cellar now and then." She walks over and swipes a waffle from Maple's cart, bringing it back to pour choke cherry syrup on it.
Chalice_Flame eagerly accepts the offer stepping forward and scanning the tables for plates.
Derpy walks over to Maple's area and gentlysniffs at the most accessible treats. She's somewhat deerlike about it herself!
Maplewing's eyes widen a little and lets out a light "Oh! That's quite awhile indeed! How have I not haeard of this before?" he asks, almost in shocked surprise, eyes widening a bit ffurther at the production of the punch bowl. "Well, you're welcome to take your share out of what we have here, and Im always happy to help ponies... but I hope you didn't feel obliated!" he gasps. Smiling as Derpy steps over to the table, he tips his head to her.. "Hello Miss Derpy, how are you today? glad to see you out this year!" he says cheerfully.
Clara moves into the area near the great cauldron over the confire. She stands there a while, warming herself, and then drops her pickaxe and falls to all fours. She looks around at the slowly gathering assemblage of ponies, looking as if she's seeking someone to talk to.
Derpy bobs her head to Maplewing. "Is good to be here," she says. "How are you? I am sad but happy. What is crunchiest?"
Only a 'zip!' and a 'whoosh!' of air herald the arrival of a certain rainbow-maned pegasus, hot on the trail of some sweet-tasting treats. "Did I make it? Is there food left? I...uh..." She zips right up to Maple's stand and throws several bits down. "I'll have a full stack!"
Forge wanders in to see what all the hub-bub was about out here, he had not been around last year for any of the festivals this town had to offer, it was all so new to him.
"Nah," says Berry, "society is society. And a mixer's a mixer!" She starts mixing juices, spices and syrups in her punch bowl, making a fresh punch out in the early spring air. "Hey Maple, looks like you've got a real customer!" she joshes, gesturing to Rainbow Dash. "If you don't want those bits, I'll take 'em for a bottle of strawberry nectar!" She winks to Rainbow. "I heard you've got news worth toasting!"
Hollyhock bobs her head plesantly to Berry, giving the other mare a big grin as she trots over towards the piles of pancakes, "Reckon y'r right 'bout that. Berries an' cream." She smacks her lips greedily, eyes closing for a moment in quiet reverie before she exhales a content little sigh, and starts to hoof pancake after pancake onto her plate until she has a pretty impressive little stack of them. Then there's a pause and she askes, "Uh, this here's all free, right?"
Clara is lingering by the cauldron of refined sap. She looks a little uncomfortable, but tries catching ponies' eyes as they pass. Holly, then Forge, and anyone else who passes near the shack.
Forge does indeed take note of the Diamond Dog and her attempts to catch somepony's eye. He ambles over, "Hello."
Maplewing smiles to Derpy "Glad to hear it, Derpy, do enjoy yourself! Crunchiest? Probably the waffles for pastery... or maybe the maple-candy apples, if you want something with that kind of crunch." he says with a smile, motioning toward them on the table. He glances over his shoulder as more arives and notices Clara by the fire, prompting a slightly uneasy rub of his head. He's only heard of Diamond Dogs before, and not many of it was positive. Never the less, he offers a wave of a hoof to her, doing his best to greet all, at least until interrupted by Rainbow Dash's zipping up next to him. "Donations are definitely appreciated, but otherwise do help yourself!" he offers to Rainbow Dash "There's more than enough to go around, went all out for this special occasion!" he grins.
Derpy grins brightly at Maplewing! She locates a homemade ice cream cone, fills it up with berries from Berry Punch's station, and tops it off with a generous dollop of maple syrup. Mmm! The mailmare licks her lips.
Rainbow_Dash blinks. "By donation? Uhh..." She quickly scoops up the majority of the bits, leaving only about half a dozen coins. "Thanks and welcome!" she declares, helping herself to a noticeable tower of pancakes and grabbing some berries from Berry Punch's stand, too. Immedietey she takes a large bite. "Mmph gud!" she says, her cheeks full.
Chalice_Flame tries to move politely in and out of the way of the gathering crowd and is eagerly piling up her plate with random food samples. "It all looks and smells delicious".
Berry_Punch nods emphatically. "Whatever you just said, they sure are!" She leans forward, elbows on the table. "But how about *you*, huh? Miss *Wonderbolt Reserves?!* Tell me the grapevine hasn't failed me!" Berry has plenty of nourishment of the physical kind, but she needs the other kind to supplement her diet. The gossip kind.
Hollyhock creeps slowly away from Maple and Dash as she hears the word 'donation,' balancing her stack of pancakes on her back as she angles towards where she thinks Berry is with her jams and jellies. Thinks is the operative word here, and not really looking where she's going she almost runs into Forge's flank. There's a squeak, a surprised opening of wings, and she starts to murmur "Pardon" before she notices Clara. The sight of the diamond dog makes her gape, going pale under her coat as she flaps her mouth uselessly for a few seconds before she turns and starts away, more sure of her course this time. Though it would be a lie to say she didn't look back.
Clara is craning her neck, watching Rainbow, Derpy and Chalice help themselves to the treats. She sniffs discretely at a distance--then turns when she smells Forge approaching. She drops to all fours again and curls her hind legs under her. "HelLOo," she says. Then the farm mare bumps into the stallion, and Clara's ears perk. "I apoLlogiIze if I am doing wRRoOng by coOmmIng. Can you explAain the oCcAasion of this celebRAaation?" Her eyes shimmer redly.
Forge blinks as Miss Hollyhock nearly bumps face first into his cutiemark. "No harm no foul." He rumbles with a small smile, then he looks back at Clara, offering the Diamond Dog a smile. "Oh you aren't doing anything wrong, this festival is open to to the public so I understand. I think it's a celebration of the harvest of maple sap and all the products you can make from it. That is why there is so much food, mostly the things made from maple sap are sweets and other flavorings for treats. If your hungry you can go get something." He notices the way most ponies seem to be avoiding the Diamond Dog and he nods, "Or if you feel uncomfortable going over there I can bring something to you?"
Derpy passes by Chalice Flame, peering at her plate of goodies. "What is that?" she asks, pointing. A few berries topple from her carelessly held cone.
Maplewing watches Derpy curiously as she fills a nice waffle cone with the berries and tops it off with the maple cream hes used in a great many of his recipes. "Ooh now ThAT is using your head, Miss Derpy!" he laughs with amusement. Chucklin to himself as Rainbow scoops back the bits, he ives his head a tip. "Much appreciated, Miss Dash" he says, grinning as she she samples her tower, and is quite pleased that she enjoys his hard work. "That makes it all worth it right there!" he exclaims to her, quite pleasedto see ponies celebratin and enjoying with him. He tips his head to Chalice at her compliment. "Thanks! Glad you enjoy" he says cheerfully before quirkin a brow at the mention of Dash's achievements. "Really? reserves? Congratulations!" he exclaims. As Hollyhock creeps away, Maple seems to not mind those not donating, tits only once a year he gets to throw this celebration and hes more concerend about ponies having a good time than profit.
Chalice_Flame responds to Derpy after looking at her and then down at her plate again, Eh, what's what?, I'm got a lot on my plate here and I'm not sure which one you mean".
Rainbow_Dash is already on her third pancake by the time she deigns to answer the others. "Oh, that?" she says between bites. "It was no big, really, just a written test and stuff. The /real/ challenge is when they make you do flight trials and stuff." She seems very nonchalant about all this.
Derpy points to the stickiest, nuttiest thing on Chalice's plate. More syrupy berries topple from her cone and land on the dirt. "That one. What is call?"
Clara peers over at the refreshments and the ponies, and nods gratefully to Forge. "So toDay marRks the HarvesSt of the blOOd of the tReEes?" She gestures to the trees around them. "How PuzZlling. I woulD not waNnt to friIghten anyPoOoNy, but mAany of them are uUSed to me by NoOW." She stands upright and walks slowly toward the table and cart. "I had hEeard that the MOoOn would be dAarkEenNed toOnight, and I caAme to pay my reSpeEcts."
Chalice_Flame follows where Derpy is pointing, "I think that's some kind of pastry." SHe notices berries toppling off Derpy's ice cream cone, "Careful Derpy, you're losing your toppings".
Hollyhock keeps glancing back over her head towards Clara every few seconds as she makes her way back to Berry's stand. She gives Dash a pleasent bob of her head and a 'Howdy' before she leans in to whisper to Dash, Berry, and whoever else is close enough to hear, "Don't wanna cause no fuss, but there's a diamond dog o'er yonder." Having said this, she glances half over her shoulder once again.
Forge nods and the blacksmith walks along beside Clara as she heads for the food, "Yes, you might say that. Maplewing is the one who harvests their blood and I guess boils it down or something. He's the pony who knows how it all happens. I just have a very vague understanding of it all."
"Wouldn't've pegged you as much of a writer!" Berry Punch remarks to Rainbow Dash. "Aren't you more of a mare of action?" She leans further forward, stirring her punch with a wooden spoon held in her tail. She looks at Derpy and snickers. "That's how that girl stays so thin," she quips to Chalice Flame. "She spills half her food, what she doesn't forget about entirely!" Then she hears Hollyhock and glances at the approaching Diamond Dog. "Holy acai. You're right. You figure you and I can take her if she makes trouble?"
Chalice_Flame is making her towards the picnic table with a loaded plate of goodies. Then she notices the diamond dog as she speaks and her bright cheerful expression turns to a frown. "How'd that get here?".
Maplewing smiles to ash as she makes light of her accompllishments. "Still something to be proud of!" he says to her with a smile as Clara approaches offering her a little tip of his head "Welcome, I can't say I've ever had a Diamond dog out to appreciate Sugar Moon with us before." he says cheerfully "Moon darkened? No, that's a couple days from now, this is celebrating the first full moon!" he grins, chuckling as he hears his neame from forge. "Well, uess it could be called blood, but theyre really not using it this time of year." he assures.
Derpy's eyes snap back to her depleted ice cream cone, whereupon she frowns and her irises start drifting apart. She looks back at the trail of spilled berries, where birds are already landing to feast.
Hollyhock gives Berry a little grunt by way of answer, the nods, "Reckon I c'n rope j'st about anything what's movin'. Or standin' still f'r that matter." There's a pause, then a shamefaced addendum, "Providin' I got a rope, anyways."
"Not /that/ kind of writing!" Rainbow Dash retorts as she consumes a blueberry. "Though, if you really want to see my writing, there's this fanfic I wrote..." She peers up as their attention is directed at Clara. "Oh, her? Don't worry about her; I've seen her around here a bunch of times and she doesn't cause trouble or anything. Heck, the guards actually leave her alone, so there's that."
That said, Rainbow Dash gives a little wave as Clara draws closer. "Yo, Miss Dog! I, uh...I've seen you around...sometimes?" That's her extent of knowledge about the dog, really.
Clara overhears a few of the remarks about her. It's true, ponies are giving her berth and murmuring about her. The fur around her neck even rises when she hears one pony suggest roping her down. But when the rainbow pony supports her, she gathers enough bravery to stand before the table of comestibles. A paw is raised to Rainbow Dash. "GreEtingS, knIight of the ReaALm and tAamer of DisScoOrd. I hAve hEaRrd of yoOU." She gives Maplewing most of her attention, and her face falls. "ThEn I have been mIsleEd. HoWever, I will oBserrVe the full MoOn tonight with you poOonieS, if I am wellcome. I am cuUurious what it meeEans to yoU." She cautiously examines the hot cider. "MaaY I driIinK?"
Forge doesn't pay much mind to the muttering, he does stand beside Clara though, the smith lending his wordless support to her before responding to her question, "Well the full moon usually means I can work later and don't have to stumble home in the dark after closing my smithy. But ancient smiths used to believe that the phases of the moon lent different attributes to different metals, I don't know how true that is but some smiths would only forge certain types of tools and other things during certain times. Believing that the quality of the item differed depending on when and how it was made."
High above the Sugar Bush on a cloud, Virga spied the world beneath. Something festive was being partaken below by the commoners; would he join them? Perhaps. The pegasus rolled onto his back, finding the cloud to be awfully comfortable compared to the hard, unbending ground. It really was for them, not a pony like himself. Festive days were far behind him; without his long departed flyers parties were empty. He closed his eyes and breathed. Oh, whatever...Firefly would have join them, perhaps, why not? The pegasus lazily rolled off his cloud into a free fall before he quietly landed away from the ponies. He had to know why they gathered.
Hollyhock eyes Rainbow for a few seconds before she gives the other mare a little grunt, "Reckon if th' guard don't mind her 'round." Still, she doesn't look totally convinced as she watches Clara in silence, her stack of pancakes forgotten for now, balanced on her back.
Clara raises her bushy eyebrows. She accepts the mug of cider from Maplewing and brings it to her nose. First she sniffs, then she sips, then she rolls it around in her muzzle. Finally she drinks deeply and sets the cup down, exhausted. She idly refills the mug as she makes cautious conversation with Forge and Maple. "That intriIgueS mee," she remarks to the smith. "Do you reCalL which metAls are conSideRed stRongest in the U--in LuUna's Moon? And do you knOw how OolLd such practIces aRe?" She looks to Maple. "Do pOnies oBseRve the... eclLiPse? Will they stAand outdoOrs beside a BoOnfiIre like that one, and WAatch? And will they siInG?"
Berry_Punch grins lopsidedly. "You wrote a fanfic, Dash? Let me guess... Daring Do?" She laughs and pours herself a cup of her newly mixed punch. "Give me the Clef's Notes version," she suggests slyly. She looks up and spots someone flying up there, and waves. "Hey! You up there! Come on down, the punch is ready!!"
Derpy nibbles one of the berries off the ground, spilling three more from her cone as she does. She then sticks out her tongue in disgust.
Maplewing tips his head to Clara "IT seems so! Though I do kind of keep a tab on such things. Not often they come so close to eachother. This year the first full moon and the eclipse are right close!" he grins, nodding as she notices the cider. "By all means!" he says, reaching out to take a mug and pass it ot the diamond dog, allowing her to refill to her hearts content. "Based on teh apples cider, but I have a bit of a twist with mine." he mentions. "I hope you enjoy the festivities!" he exclaims.
"I don't have to write a fanfic for /that/ one!" Rainbow Dash says. She still remembers all the questions she had to answer when the last book came out. How did you get A.K. Yearling to play along, they asked. No, it was Ms. Yearling's idea, actually, she would answer. Well, that was the official story, anyway. Berry's call directs her attention upward. "Yo, Virga! Wanna have some pancakes?" She's already on her fifth.
Maplewing tilts his head as he listens in on the conversation with Forge and Clara, not quite following the details, at least until it comes back to hte moon. "Not all do, but some might! Thats a fantastic idea if you ask me... perhaps we should set something like that up, what do you think?" he offers.
The white pegasus heard Dash's familiar voice calling for him, along with another. He had expected to merely appear and not be so...welcomed. That's how things were in these social gatherings, him being the typical quiet one. His ears raised as he tightened his wings against his back. "Pancakes?" he asked. "What are...pancakes?"
Chalice_Flame giggles at the birds gathering behind Derpy, "Oh well, I guess it's not going to waste".
"Wait, so your fan story *isn't* Daring Do?" asks Berry Punch. "Then what's it about? Old time knights?" She grins to Rainbow before looking at the newcomer incredulously. "Are you *kidding* me?" she asks, rising tall behind her cart. "You never had *pancakes?!* Maple, get this guy some pancakes, stat!"
Rainbow_Dash gawks at Virga. "You're, uh, serious, huh?" Berry's beaten her to the, uh, punch however. "They'e these, uh, thing you eat, that are...Maplewing will give you some." She leans over to whisper to Berry. "He's, uh, from...really far away, let's say."
Forge smiles at Maplewing and Clara, nodding and lending his support for the idea, "I'm certain Princess Luna would love to have such a get together happen under her moon. But to answer your question Miss Clara, most smiths have always agreed that the moon has a special affinity for silver. Much as the sun has been compared to gold, and while each metal is thought to have purifying properties, it has always been thought that silver's ability to ward evil things is at it's peak during the full moon, more so if it is smelted and shaped in the same night. I have been researching myths and legends concerning my craft and that was one of the more interesting tidbits I discovered."
Hollyhock blinks a few times. Pancakes! She has pancakes! She forgets about Clara for now and turns back to Berry, "You got any cream a'tall t' go with some'a them berries?"
No. Virga never had pancakes. They were simply not a food he encountered until the modern age, like several other select foods that were everyday for other ponies. When Dash gawked at him he stared right back, almost as if questioning if he should know of these 'pancakes'. And when Berry asked her version of the same question he also looked at her as if he must have lived under a rock, an almost Maudian face. "I'm afraid so...I've never had pancakes. What are they made from?"
Maplewing's ears perk at the mention of pancakes, followed by ' what are' and his name. "Wait, what?" he says, almost in surprise. "Never had.. really?" he exclims and almost immediately makes his way over to where over and hefts a heapin stack of pancakes, slatheres them in syrup and looks for the 'offending' pony to push them into his hooves. "Please, enjoy!" he grins, watching carefully at this landmark moment.
Berry_Punch nods to Rainbow. "No *kidding!*" She looks back at Virga. "So what don't they have where you're from--pans, or cakes?" She jerks at Holly's request and ducks under her cart to look. "Mmm, nope, sorry! No cream. I've got some club soda, though! And I think Maple's got maple cream, whatever that is!"
Chalice_Flame makes her way back to Maplewing trying to avoid the diamond if possible. "Say...do you have any maple taffy available?, I heard that you might make it upon request".
Clara enjoys her second mug of cider and then turns to Forge. "SiLLveR is stRoOOng under the MOoOn?" she asks. Her ear flicks. "I diId not know that PooNies belIeved SiLLver to wArd EeeEviL." She considers this for a while. "I deNYy that the Moon is trUly LuUna's howevEr. She does ConTroL it nooW. But she StOole it." Having made this pronouncement, the Diamond Dog reaches out to try a maple cookie.
Hollyhock wrinkles her nose at the thought of berries and club soda, "I - uh - reckon I'll j'st stick t' berries. Some'a them strawberries and..." She lifts an eyebrow, "That chokecherry jam y'got there? Some'a that too." she prances, just a little, in place, grinning at the thought of eating. At least until she hears Clara's blasphemous statment. She clicks her teeth together, casting a sidelong glance towards the diamond dog. Holly might not be overly big on Nightmare Moon come back and 'reformed' but she's not overly thrilled to hear non-ponies casting dispersions.
Rainbow_Dash grins and watches as the others try to lead Virga into the wonderful world of flapjacks. As t is, though, she's just finished her whole stack, berries and all, and is right about to settle down on her full belly when her pastern-watch starts beeping. "Uhh...I'm kinda sorta actually supposed to be working right now," she says guiltily. "I...well, have fun everypony!" She smiles and heads off, hoping silently that it hasn't started raining in the Town Hall somehow.
Was this such a shock? Perhaps for them it was. Pancakes. The pegasus took a seat and eyed these things, these flat bread-like discs stacked atop each other like ewes in mating season. And then there was the syrup. He sniffed this concoction, finding it pleasant though still strange. "Club Soda? Maple cream? Syrup?" He didn't know what those things were either. And that answered Berry's question altogether.
Maplewing spoof with all thats going on, its hard for maple to stay focused on much of anything for long, as he's asked about the maple taffy, he's drawn from the introduction to pancakes to the odd little trough on legs a short distance away. "OOh sure!" he says, careafully picking up a ladle of milky and steaming hot what appears to be syrup, but somehow different. He ladles the substance into the snow packed tightly into the box and almost immedaitely it begins to cool and turn clear. He waits a few moments, glancing betwene his work and after a moment, begins rolling a flat stick through the now solifified and sticky taffy, rolling it into a lump at the end of the stick like a popsicle. "Here you go" He offers, holding it out to Chalice and returns to the pony with the pancakes.. nearly fainting at all the wonderful things hed not tried before!
Well, no, it doesn't really answer Berry's question, but she doesn't mind. "Yep. You eat 'em with fruit or syrup or peanut butter," she tells Virga. "They're made with flour and eggs and stuff. Go on and try one. Oh, so long, Rainbow! Remind me to ask about your fan fiction some other time!" She waves to the famous weatherpony.
Derpy shrugs and takes a huge bite out of the end of her ice cream cone. She comes away with a few berries and a very sticky mouth. A slow smile develops, and her stakes another large bite.
Forge listens to Clara and his head tilts at her pronouncement, "Well yes, these beliefs about certain metals have existed for hundreds of years, perhaps even going back to before the uniting of the three pony tribes. They are primarily Earth Pony in origin, but yes, Silver has been thought to not only ward off evil, but actually be able to cure hexes and malicious spells even after they have been cast and started afflicting the victim."
Chalice_Flame watches the process to make the taffy with excitement and fascination trying not to get in Maplewing's way as it's being prepared.
Clara nods to Forge. "InNtERresTing. Do you beLieEve that is truUe? I would imAagine that the UuNicorRn tribe would better know hOw to comBat HeExes and spEelLs." Her attention is pulled to the creation of a new confection through the use of snow. Dropping again to four paws, she peers over the edge curiously, her tail wagging.
Virga shifted his eyes, watching how other ponies ate these things. Perhaps a little taste to start with? Yeah, ease into it. This was strange to him, stranger than whipping bandits on a moonlit night, but that wasn't strange. This. THIS, was strange, these glistening flour and egg circular ribs. As he leaned to take a bite, he couldn't help but still think of them as a stack of ewes in mating season. One bite, no bleat, and Virga sat there, pondering this weird, new taste that was so unlike ewe grass. The taste was...good...but he felt the fat...oh yes, this food was delicious, but he already felt the poundage that could be had from eating too many with this vicious syrup and butter and...and butter.
Maplewing smiles to Chalice once he hoofs over the taffy to Chalice. "Hope you enjoy!" he says, tipping his head to her when Clara pokes her nose over the edge of the box. "Would you like one as well?" he asks curriously, giving the vessle the special syrup is in a stir with the ladle
Chalice_Flame pops a piece of the taffy into her mouth almost immediately after it's given to her. She holds the tasty morsel inside her check savoring it. "Yummy, thanks".
Hollyhock squeaks a few times, realizing she's missed Dash's departure. She frowns to herself, then at Clara, and sits down to eat her comically tall stack of flapjacks, and berries, and jam, watching the diamond dog sulkily, stuffing her face. Humph.
Clara is apprehensive. "I am noT suUre I can prOperly coNsuUme such a confEecCtion," she tells Maplewing. "Yet I am wilLing to tRryY, if you do not mind the poteNtial WaAste." She dips her paw into the snow and raises it with a few flakes. "It blends the SAp of the trEes with the FalLen snOoW??"
Derpy, having finished her cone, goes over and lies on the ground under Hollyhock, trying to catch whatever berries and chunks of jam she happens to drop while eating. She raises her legs and dangles her hooves cutely.
Berry_Punch watches Virga eating with fascination. "Oohhh, yeah. Looks like you like that. You like that, cloud cutter?"
Maplewing tilts his head to Clara, not entirely sure what she means. "Not able to properly consume it? How come?" he asks, not seeming to understand aas he ladles another strip into the snow, giving his head a little shake. "Nah, it rapidly cools it and causes it to kind of harden and turn into taffy. Its mostly just the cold of the snow rather than snowitself." he explains, moments later collecting Claras taffy up on a stick as well and offers it to her.
Hollyhock leaves off eating as Derpy lays out there, and stares down at the other mare, "You feelin' right? I..." She looks from Derpy to her stack of cakes, and back, "I - I don't really need all'a this. Reckon you c'n have what'cha want. Don't have t' settle f'r scraps a'tall."
Derpy rolls onto her belly, looking discomfited, her brows low. She shakes herself and goes off toward the pancake table again, flicking her tail. She doesn't need Hollyhock's charity! ...She just wants her clumsiness.
"Yes," Virga answered, though he wasn't keen on eating the entire stack. This was a particularly messy food, and the syrup was the sweetest thing he ever did taste. "I still prefer salads, but this is...unique."
Clara watches the process with care. "I seEeE," she says. "My teeEth may be poOrly suIIted to this tAsSk," she explains. "And my belLly may not emBrrAce the cAAndy in a way that is WORRRthY." She looks to Chalice Flame. "How doeS it fEEl? Do you chEw it until it MellTs aWay?"
Maplewing ahhs softly to Clara. "Well, you dont hve to bite it, you can always lick it like a popsicle or lollipop. Shouldnt be too sticky that way." he suggests, holding the stick with taffy on the end out to Clara.
Hollyhock pushes her hat back on her head, rubbing her forelock with a hoof as she watches Derpy go. She gives her wings a little flutter then snorts softly, grumbling something about all the ponies 'round here being "Plumb loco." before she goes back to eating.
Chalice_Flame wanders back to the picnic table and sits back down where she was before. She triess to ignore the diamond dog.
Clara frowns when the pegasus ignores her, her ears drooping. She sits down in the earth and takes the taffy stick. For a few moments, she peers at it, and then she bites the end, bending it and looking somewhat confused.
"Eh, it's pretty ordinary," Berry tells Virga. "Pancakes are everypony kinda fare. Lumberponies love 'em. They're popular in a lot of vineyards, too, though they like them thinner. So where you from, anyway?" She drinks punch contently as things progress.
Virga never quite knew how to answer the direct question of 'where' he was from. Technically, it was the Crystal Empire, but technically he wasn't born 'in' the Empire itself and instead later nationalized as an imperial citizen. He was truthfully a pony born without a country or city. "The frozen north," he answered. That was better than saying 'when' and the Crystal Empire didn't exactly fit the answer either. He was 'from' a lonely cave in the cold, quiet, desolate wastes.
Derpy arrives at the refreshment table again and this time helps herself to plenty of waffles! She builds a little waffle fort for herself. Meanwhile, the sun is finally disappearing and it's growing quite dark, but for the bonfire and a couple of firefly lanterns. "Who is wanting to play game?" she wonders to everyone in general.
With the taffy taken care of for now, even though Clara seems to have a hard time with it, he chuckles nad excuses himself to the suar house to tend to his evaporators, not wanting to let them go untended for too long. ""Excuse me folkss, have some business to take care of. Please, enjoy yourselves!" he offers before making his way to the sugar house and through the large double doors.
Hollyhock works down to the bottom of her stack of cakes, wincing just a little as she takes her last bite. She shifts slowly in place, looking mildly uncomfortable. She rubs a hoof over her tummy, and scrunches her mouth up, "Ogg. Ate too much."
Clara starts chewing on her taffy. Her face contorts oddly in response to the texture and flavor.
Chalice_Flame nods to Hollyhock, " I imagine that would be easy to do tonight with all of what we've been offered."
Berry_Punch finishes her drink and leans forward. "The frozen north, huh? What, like near the Crystal Empire? Should've guessed--you're white enough to blend in. So what do they eat that far north, anyway?" she asks Virga.
Hollyhock rocks just a little on her haunches, her face contorting for a moment before she opens her mouth and burps. This done she rubs her nose with a fetlock, sniffs, then glances to Chalice Flame, nodding, "Reckon so." She grins, "Reckon that's what parties're for though, yeah?" She winks at the other pegasus, stands up, and trots towards the refreshment table. She smells fritters.
Derpy is sitting on the ground between the table and the fire, playing with berries in her waffle fort. "Noo! Must not admit strawberry! Is vestibule of ancient horror! Have seed on ~outside!~" She sees Hollyhock passing and waves to her.
What do they---nopony ever asked him a question like that before. He never thought about what he ate in the wastes. "Tough, short growing grass--seaweed...roots..imported nuts and legumes in the less populated areas," Virga answered. "Some trees also have edible bark."
Berry_Punch wrinkles her face. "That... sounds like quite a smorgasboard," she offers. "I hope you're happy with what Central Equestria's got to offer! Wait--seaweed? They have seaweed in the frozen north?"
Hollyhock stops short as she sees Derpy playing in her waffle fort. She inclines her head to the side, then grins, slowly, and waves back, "You enjoyin' y'rself in there Mzz Hooves?"
"Arctic weed the locals called it," Virga answered. "A rarity in that climate and only found in the frozen north, said to have been created by a unicorn ages ago."
Derpy looks puzzled at first when Holly addresses her, but it resolves into a smile. It's too dark to clearly make out the state of her eyes. "Am enjoying some things. Maybe myself. Maybe not!" She pats the ground invitingly.
Clara finishes with her taffy for now. She leaves the snow box and returns to sit by the bonfire. After making herself comfortable, she leans back and watches the moon rising in the sky. Indeed... it's full tonight, and luminous.
Hollyhock laughs, then makes a move to join Derpy only to pause as she remembers something, "J'st a second. I'm gonna.. Uh.." She glances between the table and derpy, then again, "You wanna fritter? I was j'st gonna get one. I could get two'a them."
Derpy nods solemnly. "Is always good to reinforcement," she confirms.
Berry_Punch listens with fascination. "Huh! Well that's lucky, I guess. Wanna tell me why you came south, or should I guess?" She offers a cup of punch and a small bunch of winterberries to the strange white pegasus from the north.
Hollyhock gives Derpy a crooked little smile, "Reckon so." It's a good catch all answer for when you're not quite sure what else to say. She doesn't take more than a couple moments, coming back with a small pile of fritters balanced on a plate on her outstretched wing. Maybe four of them. Settling carefully down near Derpy she smiles, then inclines her head just so back towards the fried treats, "Help y'rself."
Chalice_Flame stares at Hollyhook, "I thought you were stuffed?"
Derpy leans in for a fritter, which she takes and holds up triumphantly in her mouth, eyes glinting in the moonlight. She raises her wings halfway.
Virga took the offered punch and berries, these being things he was more familiar with than the pancakes. Of the two options for food, it was clear he enjoyed the fruit and the punch more than the pancakes. "Complicated things brought me south," he said.
Hollyhock looks back over her shoulder to Chalice, her face bright in the light of the fire, "'s a party! Reckon I'm purdy full, but there's still food t' eat." She feels the plate on her wing jostle as Derpy takes the fritter, and looks back to her, then laughs, delighted, "Right fierce! Like them pegasi'a old!"
Berry_Punch tilts her head and crooks an ear. "Are you a complicated thing?" she asks. Her coat is looking purple, even slightly bluish, in the fading light.
Derpy chomps on her end of the fritter and lets the other half fall into the fort knocking down a wall. Her eyes cross. "Oh no," she says, her mouth half full. "Is invasion by sky! What will do, lieutenant?"
Virga's ear slowly inclined to the words spoken by Hollyhock, specifically those of 'pegasi'a old'. How right she was about them. "One might say..." he said, eyeing her fur and its odd color change. "The night comes. I must be off soon."
Hollyhock cants her wing, just so, letting the plate slide off of it, onto the ground before she blinks, then looks up. She squints at the sky, confused for half a moment, then she grins, "Wohl, reckon we c'n wrangle up a storm and call down th' thunder on'em." She nods, "Folk don't fight too good when they're crispy."
Berry_Punch straightens up and listens to Hollyhock as well. "All right. Well." She offers her hoof. "Nice meeting you, Mr..."
Derpy grins and keeps eating her fritter. Once she's done, she flies up above the fort scene and beats her wings fiercely. "Searing wind! Cold sport berries! Invaders will lightning!!"
Hollyhock pushes her hat down low over her face before drawing the cord under her chin up tight. She opens her wings, takes a couple false hops, then with a pretty noticeable wabble she gets into the air. She beats her wings industriously, trying to keep station near Derpy, but - well - she's just not that good at it. She doesn't seem to notice too much though, her self consiousness forgotten in the moment, calling to Derpy, "I'm y'rs t' command, jefa!"
The pegasus offered his crystalline hoof in return. "Virga," he answered. "And now I must be off."
Berry_Punch touches the hood, unsure what to do with it. She flips it up for him. "Berry Punch. Welcome to the Canterlot area!" She gives a sloppy little salute as the pegasus departs.
Derpy looks confused. "Jefa? Who is Jefa? My command is: find cloud! And theeeen? JUMP ON CLOUD." She flips around excitedly in the air and lands again, taking a large bite out of one of the waffles.
Hollyhock scrunches up her mouth. She keeps forgetting that folk here don't speak plain Equestrian. She grunts, then nods, "Reckon I c'n do that. Je - uh - boss!" She lands for just a moment, then, nosing into her saddle bags she pulls out a rope between her teeth. It's the work of a moment to tie a hondo into one end, and make a loop. Taking the loop and the spoke together between her teeth again she coils the standing end 'round a foreleg, gets a running start, then it's off into the air, wobbling unsteadily as she flaps, "Right back!" She calls to Derpy, around the rope in her bars.
Hollyhock, true to her word, is not long in coming back, towing a small, dark cloud behind her by her rope. She's looking pretty pleased with herself as she lands, heavily, beside Derpy, "You wanna do th' honors? Tromple on't?"
Derpy does! She flies up and bompletrompes it! Lightning sizzles out and singes waffles! Derpy cheers and hoots! Maple syrup lights on fire!
Hollyhock laughs aloud, a high happy sound, while she's bouncing up and down in place, her eyes shining as her face is lit by the lightning, "That'll show'em capitan! Zap'em good!"
Derpy flies down and starts gobbling down berries manically while the fire burns along little tracks over the ground. "No more berries! Will bury the berriiies!"
Hollyhock takes Derpy's place on the cloud, bouncing wontonly on it, lightning arcing here and there as she cackles aloud, the flashes illuminating the clearing as she dances on the cloud "Ain't no berries gonna live t' tell th' tale'a this this fight! Get'm all!"
Derpy dodges blasts of lightning, eating berries and syrupy waffles, until she gets singed by a nearby strike. Her coat is blackened in front. She backs away and rolls on the grass to get rid of the ash. Then she looks around and realizes everypony else has gone home. Bashfully, she looks up at Hollyhock. "Is time for go-home, lieutenant," she decides.
Hollyhock is giggling, just a little manic, static having floofed her mane and tail all out. She does stop bouncing though as she's spoken to, and nods, touching a hoof to the brim of her hat, "Reckon y'r right." She hops off the cloud, and gives it one last firm to disperse it. She heaves a little sigh, then comes to a clumsy landing near Derpy, "Were a right pleasure t' work with'ya, boss."
Derpy folds her wings up and goes to put the plates back on Maplewing's table. "Was honor and pleverage to have serviced with you," she says solemnly. She salutes Hollyhock. Then, after letting the moment linger, she returns her hoof to the ground and takes off.
Hollyhock salutes back, after her manner, running a the tip of a hoof against the edge of her hat brim, "Adios, jefa." She winks, then, with a running start, gets into the air, flying off, in her rough and ready manner, towards her own home.
Sunday, April 13, 2014