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private Another Cultural Exchange (1x1 with Skylight Scintillate)


Illiad Easle

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@Illiad Easle 

On 2024-02-27 at 9:57 PM, Illiad Easle said:

Nova looked intimidated by the proposal, "I... um... I don't really know what there is to see. I mean, I heard that Princess Luna comes to the market? I was hoping to see her. Um... the castle sounds cool, and the show. " He looked thoughtful before he shrugged again, "I guess I am good with anything. Maybe I could sleep for a bit now, and we could figure out the rest once I'm not so tired?"

Hearing how tired Nova felt caused Speckle to yawn before abruptly realizing what she had just done. Perhaps she woke up a little too early to go to the train station this afternoon.

"Heheh, sounds like someone here is more tired than she would like to admit..." Radiant joked. However, he would offer Nova any bedding if he needed any. 

"Ok, maybe I could nap for a little bit as well. But let me plan out our schedule..." Speckle replied. She would look over all the activities that she would want to do, and then arrange them to fit the time they have while also ensuring they got enough sleep every day. Before taking a nap with Nova, Speckle would discuss her plan with her parents. After confirming that the pair would get enough sleep every day, Speckle's parents approved the plan. Given that Nova was already asleep, Speckle decided to ask him about it after he woke up. 

Despite her excitement to show Nova everything Canterlot had to offer, Speckle quickly found herself asleep. 

Several hours later, with a few hours before sunrise, Speckle found herself awake before Nova. Finding herself awake before Nova, she would wait for him to wake up as well before asking. "Hey," she said, climbing out from under her lunar-themed blankets in her Wonderbolt pajamas while snuggling her Princess Luna plushie, "What if we tour Thestral Market before dawn. Then, after the sun rises, we do a tour of Canterlot and the castle. Then, in the evening, we meet Princess Twilight and Princess Luna at the fancy seafood restaurant here in Thestral Market. What do you think?"

If Nova agreed, she would get herself ready to go. She would take off her pajamas and then grab some snacks, drinks, bits, and anything else they would need to tour the city, making any changes as requested by Nova.

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@Skylight Scintillate

12 minutes ago, Skylight Scintillate said:

Radiant joked. However, he would offer Nova any bedding if he needed any

Nova didn't ask for any, he seemed content with trying the sleeping bag he had already been given, and was quick to climb inside it once it seemed clear that he was allowed to do so.

13 minutes ago, Skylight Scintillate said:

she would wait for him to wake up as well before asking.

He stretched as he climbed out of the bag, "Maybe I could bring a cloud in for next time? Is that allowed?"

Regardless he turned his attention towards Speckle.

15 minutes ago, Skylight Scintillate said:

climbing out from under her lunar-themed blankets in her Wonderbolt pajamas while snuggling her Princess Luna plushie, "What if we tour Thestral Market before dawn. Then, after the sun rises, we do a tour of Canterlot and the castle. Then, in the evening, we meet Princess Twilight and Princess Luna at the fancy seafood restaurant here in Thestral Market. What do you think?"

He looked surprised to see her dressed, "Woah, you have clothes for sleeping in? Should I have brought clothes? I think I only brought a scarf and my glasses."

e shook himself out of his worries, "You, um, you asked a question... um," he looked thoughtful, before nodding, "Yeah, that sounds like fun!"

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@Illiad Easle 

On 2024-03-01 at 12:19 AM, Illiad Easle said:

He stretched as he climbed out of the bag, "Maybe I could bring a cloud in for next time? Is that allowed?"

Regardless he turned his attention towards Speckle.

He looked surprised to see her dressed, "Woah, you have clothes for sleeping in? Should I have brought clothes? I think I only brought a scarf and my glasses."

"I mean, probably?" Speckle replied, not quite sure herself. "I mean, I know some bat ponies copy pegasi by sleeping on clouds. It sounds pretty cool that Thestrals also sleep on clouds. What's it like? I never tried it before. I guess my family just prefers sleeping on beds or something like that. Hey, maybe I can try when I visit your place! I mean, if you have clouds for sleeping on there... Oh, and these are my pajamas. They are like clothes that make sleeping more comfortable, I suppose? I don't really know. However, what I love about them is that they look just like the uniforms that the Wonderbolts wear! Isn't that soo cool?"

On 2024-03-01 at 12:19 AM, Illiad Easle said:

e shook himself out of his worries, "You, um, you asked a question... um," he looked thoughtful, before nodding, "Yeah, that sounds like fun!"

"Ok then, let's go!" Once Speckle was sure the pair were ready to go, she would let her parents know that they would go to tour of the neighborhood. As soon as the pair were out the front door, Speckle would immediately start darting around the neighborhood, pointing out various notable features as they went by. "So this is the my family's business. It's Scotia Credit Union, which I heard is like a bank, but it's not a bank. I don't really get it."

"Over here is where all the coolest parties happen here in Thestral Market. I'm not really sure what this place is called, but it's like they play really cool music and everypony dances! In fact, I heard that DJ Echo and Pinkie Pie are going to throw a totally crazy party here in a few nights! Isn't that so cool? If you're interested, we should totally check it out!"

"So as you know, Canterlot is built onto the side of a mountain. Because of this, there are some really nice cliffs and edges to go sky diving from! This one here is my favorite! It's right close by here in Thestral Market! Also, I know a lot of other bat ponies quite like this spot too!"

"This is where Power Pony Palooza is going to happen in a few nights! It's on the edge of the neighborhood between Thestral Market and the rest of Canterlot. I think the Power Ponies are so cool. Like, they are kind of like a mix between Luna and the Wonderbolts, fighting baddies with their super powers in the middle of the night! And I love how they usually fight crime at night too, because usuallyu the other ponies do all the cool things during the day, but the power ponies do cool stuff at night, and we do cool stuff at night! Isn't it so cool?"

"Right next to the main market place is the super fancy Japonese seafood restaurant where we're going to meet Princess Twilight and Princess Luna! I heard Princess Twilight loves this place, and I totally agree! This place makes the best fried seafood! Isn't that so cool? Plus, I know you like seafood, so meeting the two princesses there is going to be so amazing! I can't wait!"

"And right next to the restaurant I just mentioned is the main marketplace! Apparently, this is where Thestral Market gets its name from. Here, they sell everything from fish on a stick to a carrot on a stick. Like, a single carrot! Why would you put a single carrot on a stick? I don't get it."

By the time the pair finished their tour of Thestral Market, they had circled back to where they had started. By the main marketplace in the plaza, the pair could see the takeout restaurant from earlier, in addition to Scotia's home and the fancy seafood restaurant. There were various other businesses occupying the buildings surrounding the plaza, and there were many more in the stalls in the plaza. Interestingly, there was a makeshift stage being built in the middle of the plaza. 

"...magic show by the Great and Powerful Trixie? Huh, that sounds interesting..." Speckle pondered as she read the poster in the plaza. "Oh, uh, any questions Nova? Anything interesting that stands out to you?" Speckle suddenly turned to Nova to ask.

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@Skylight Scintillate

On 2024-03-05 at 11:07 AM, Skylight Scintillate said:

"I mean, I know some bat ponies copy pegasi by sleeping on clouds. It sounds pretty cool that Thestrals also sleep on clouds. What's it like? I never tried it before. I guess my family just prefers sleeping on beds or something like that. Hey, maybe I can try when I visit your place! I mean, if you have clouds for sleeping on there...

Nova looked a bit embarrassed, "Well, um, I haven't done it before, I've only ever sat on a cloud before, I just thought it might be more comfortable than the bag being on the floor. Back home we sleep in hammocks, which is different."

On 2024-03-05 at 11:07 AM, Skylight Scintillate said:

Oh, and these are my pajamas. They are like clothes that make sleeping more comfortable, I suppose? I don't really know. However, what I love about them is that they look just like the uniforms that the Wonderbolts wear! Isn't that soo cool?"

He looked confused at how wearing something could be more comfortable than wearing nothing. He had never really been one to wear clothes though, so maybe this was just a Canterlot thing?

He did nod at her question, "Yeah, that is cool. Are there any thestrals or bat ponies in the Wonderbolts?"

 

On 2024-03-05 at 11:07 AM, Skylight Scintillate said:

Speckle would immediately start darting around the neighborhood, pointing out various notable features as they went by. "So this is the my family's business. It's Scotia Credit Union, which I heard is like a bank, but it's not a bank. I don't really get it."

Nova was surprised by her sudden burst of speed, but found it east to keep up with her once he got going, not even shaken off by her sudden turns as her attention jumped from subject to subject on the tour.

Nova also didn't know what a bank was, but appreciated that it was some sort of job that Speckle's family did for the group.

On 2024-03-05 at 11:07 AM, Skylight Scintillate said:

"Over here is where all the coolest parties happen here in Thestral Market. I'm not really sure what this place is called, but it's like they play really cool music and everypony dances! In fact, I heard that DJ Echo and Pinkie Pie are going to throw a totally crazy party here in a few nights! Isn't that so cool? If you're interested, we should totally check it out!"

Nova looked curious, "Pinkie Pie? The Element of Laughter? What does Laughter have to do with music? But, um, if we're allowed, I'd like to go."

On 2024-03-05 at 11:07 AM, Skylight Scintillate said:

"So as you know, Canterlot is built onto the side of a mountain. Because of this, there are some really nice cliffs and edges to go sky diving from! This one here is my favorite! It's right close by here in Thestral Market! Also, I know a lot of other bat ponies quite like this spot too!"

Nova looked more comfortable here, "Wow! you can really see a long way away from here! Actually..." He squinted towards the southwest, "Over there, I think that mountain is Archback. It looks so small from over here... I guess Canterlot is on a taller mountain."

On 2024-03-05 at 11:07 AM, Skylight Scintillate said:

"This is where Power Pony Palooza is going to happen in a few nights! It's on the edge of the neighborhood between Thestral Market and the rest of Canterlot. I think the Power Ponies are so cool. Like, they are kind of like a mix between Luna and the Wonderbolts, fighting baddies with their super powers in the middle of the night! And I love how they usually fight crime at night too, because usuallyu the other ponies do all the cool things during the day, but the power ponies do cool stuff at night, and we do cool stuff at night! Isn't it so cool?"

Nova looked especially confused there, "Power Ponies? I've never heard of them, are they like the Elements of Harmony? Or... um... could you tell me more?"

On 2024-03-05 at 11:07 AM, Skylight Scintillate said:

"Right next to the main market place is the super fancy Japonese seafood restaurant where we're going to meet Princess Twilight and Princess Luna! I heard Princess Twilight loves this place, and I totally agree! This place makes the best fried seafood! Isn't that so cool? Plus, I know you like seafood, so meeting the two princesses there is going to be so amazing! I can't wait!"

Nova nodded at that, "I hope I get to see Princess Luna up close. I've heard so much about her, everyone in my clan look up to her."

On 2024-03-05 at 11:07 AM, Skylight Scintillate said:

"And right next to the restaurant I just mentioned is the main marketplace! Apparently, this is where Thestral Market gets its name from. Here, they sell everything from fish on a stick to a carrot on a stick. Like, a single carrot! Why would you put a single carrot on a stick? I don't get it."

Nova was curious, "On a stick? Why not on a plate? Wouldn't putting the fish on a stick make it harder to cook and eat? Or do you eat the stick too?"

On 2024-03-05 at 11:07 AM, Skylight Scintillate said:

"...magic show by the Great and Powerful Trixie? Huh, that sounds interesting..." Speckle pondered as she read the poster in the plaza. "Oh, uh, any questions Nova? Anything interesting that stands out to you?" Speckle suddenly turned to Nova to ask.

Outside of the questions he had asked along the way, he nodded, "Well, maybe not so much a question, but... it's so busy here, so many ponies all over all the time. I think there's more ponies here than in all of Archback, Mohotma, and the colonies combined. It's just... a lot to take in, how are you so used to it?"

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@Illiad Easle 

On 2024-03-09 at 3:07 AM, Illiad Easle said:

Nova looked a bit embarrassed, "Well, um, I haven't done it before, I've only ever sat on a cloud before, I just thought it might be more comfortable than the bag being on the floor. Back home we sleep in hammocks, which is different."

"Hmm," Speckle thought out loud. "Maybe if just putting the sleeping bag on the floor is too hard, then we could put a bunch of blankets between the sleeping bag and the floor! Or maybe we could hang the sleeping bag like a hammock! Though I'm sure we could also find a cloud bed here in Thestral Market given how many bat ponies or pegasi prefer them. I know I'm also interested in trying a cloud bed now that you mentioned it," Speckle explained. 

On 2024-03-09 at 3:07 AM, Illiad Easle said:

He did nod at her question, "Yeah, that is cool. Are there any thestrals or bat ponies in the Wonderbolts?"

"No, unfortunately not. There are only pegasi. However, I hope I can be the first bat pony to join the Wonderbolts! I mean, I don't think being a pegasus is a requirement to joining, just being able to fly really well and cooperate with others, right? I feel like I'm really good at both of those!" Speckle explained. "Hey! If you're also really good at both of those, maybe you can be the first Thestral to join then! We can be like Nova and Scotia, the first thestral and bat pony to join the Wonderbolts! Wouldn't that be so cool?"

On 2024-03-09 at 3:07 AM, Illiad Easle said:

Nova looked curious, "Pinkie Pie? The Element of Laughter? What does Laughter have to do with music? But, um, if we're allowed, I'd like to go."

"So Pinkie loves planning parties and it's going to be like a music party! I heard she loves partying with DJ Echo, and I feel like it's gonna be so much fun! There's going to be so much cool music and Pinkie is going to do all her usual party stuff and I heard her say it isn't one of those grown up parties, so that means we can go! Pinkie Pie is such a fun pony!"

On 2024-03-09 at 3:07 AM, Illiad Easle said:

Nova looked more comfortable here, "Wow! you can really see a long way away from here! Actually..." He squinted towards the southwest, "Over there, I think that mountain is Archback. It looks so small from over here... I guess Canterlot is on a taller mountain."

Speckle looked off into the distance, trying to see what Nova saw. "Oh wow, you can see Archback from here? But that sounds so far away! That's crazy! How is that possible?" Speckle asked. After glancing very carefully, she saw some mountains in the direction that Nova gestured, but given that she had no idea what the Arcchback mountain looked like, she couldn't be sure. "Is Archback less tall than Canterlot mountain?" Speckle asked. 

On 2024-03-09 at 3:07 AM, Illiad Easle said:

 

Nova looked especially confused there, "Power Ponies? I've never heard of them, are they like the Elements of Harmony? Or... um... could you tell me more?"

"Oh, they are like fictional characters in comic books and movies. Like, imagine good ponies that are super powerful with crazy abilities and they fight evil ponies that are also super powerful with crazy abilities. Like one of them is super fast and another one controls the weather and another one can create things out of thin air to use and another one has a super powerful lasso and horseshoes and finally the leader of the group blasts pure energy with her horn. Actually, now that you mention it, they actually do sound kind of similar to the Elements of Harmony... Oh well, too bad they aren't real. I'd love to see what it would be like for them to meet the Elements of Harmony... Anyways Power Pony Palooza is where all the fans gather to talk about the Power Ponies! Isn't that so cool?"

On 2024-03-09 at 3:07 AM, Illiad Easle said:

 

Nova nodded at that, "I hope I get to see Princess Luna up close. I've heard so much about her, everyone in my clan look up to her."

"I know everypony around here looks up to her too! She's so cool! All the things she does during the night is so cool too! Apparently it's going to be a small group so yeah, you'll get to see Princess Luna up close!"

On 2024-03-09 at 3:07 AM, Illiad Easle said:

 

Nova was curious, "On a stick? Why not on a plate? Wouldn't putting the fish on a stick make it harder to cook and eat? Or do you eat the stick too?"

Speckle would pause briefly so the pair could watch the vendor of a food cart roast some fish on a stick over a fire before handing it over to a bat pony costumer. The costumer would eat the fish while holding onto the stick before tossing the stick. "I mean, for some foods, putting it on a stick makes more sense than others. I suppose it's easier to eat a fish on a stick compared to a plate when you aren't sitting down at a table?"

On 2024-03-09 at 3:07 AM, Illiad Easle said:

 

Outside of the questions he had asked along the way, he nodded, "Well, maybe not so much a question, but... it's so busy here, so many ponies all over all the time. I think there's more ponies here than in all of Archback, Mohotma, and the colonies combined. It's just... a lot to take in, how are you so used to it?"

"Huh, I don't know. I guess since I lived here the entire time I'm just used to it," Speckle replied with a shrug. "Plus, when everypony is close together like this, there's so much stuff to do and see. If you don't like large crowds, we can go somewhere quieter. Oh, there's a cloud bed store! That'll be nice and quiet and we can try cloud beds to see what they are like!" Speckle pointed to a store on the edge of the plaza. If Nova didn't have anything else he wanted to take a look at in the plaza, Speckle would lead him toward that store.

As soon as they entered the store, it was like entering another dimension. While the market outside was loud busy and chaotic with lots of activities going on, inside the store, it was quiet, calm, and relaxing. There were several cloud beds floating just the slightest bit off the floor for ponies to try. Staffing the counter at the front was a light blue bat pony who, other than their bat pony ears, practically looked identical to a pegasus. 

"Hi there, are you looking for something in particular?" the employee asked Nova.

Speckle immediately went to try one of the beds. It was about as soft as she expected, but not as flat as she preferred. However, there still was something different about it that she didn't know how to describe. 

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@Skylight Scintillate

On 2024-03-11 at 3:01 PM, Skylight Scintillate said:

"Hmm," Speckle thought out loud. "Maybe if just putting the sleeping bag on the floor is too hard, then we could put a bunch of blankets between the sleeping bag and the floor! Or maybe we could hang the sleeping bag like a hammock! Though I'm sure we could also find a cloud bed here in Thestral Market given how many bat ponies or pegasi prefer them. I know I'm also interested in trying a cloud bed now that you mentioned it," Speckle explained. 

Nova looked a bit uncomfortable at the thought of causing work for his hosts, "Maybe the blankets would work? I don't want to be a bother."

On 2024-03-11 at 3:01 PM, Skylight Scintillate said:

We can be like Nova and Scotia, the first thestral and bat pony to join the Wonderbolts! Wouldn't that be so cool?"

He did seem excited by that idea, "That would be cool!"

On 2024-03-11 at 3:01 PM, Skylight Scintillate said:

"So Pinkie loves planning parties and it's going to be like a music party! I heard she loves partying with DJ Echo, and I feel like it's gonna be so much fun! There's going to be so much cool music and Pinkie is going to do all her usual party stuff and I heard her say it isn't one of those grown up parties, so that means we can go! Pinkie Pie is such a fun pony!"

Nova seemed surprised, "You've met both Princess Luna AND one of the Elements of Harmony?!" He looked down, "I wish cool ponies like that would come out to where I live."

On 2024-03-11 at 3:01 PM, Skylight Scintillate said:

but given that she had no idea what the Arcchback mountain looked like, she couldn't be sure. "Is Archback less tall than Canterlot mountain?" Speckle asked. 

Nova shrugged, "I guess? I mean, ponies regularly walk up and down Archback Mountain, but I had to take a train to get up here, so maybe?"

On 2024-03-11 at 3:01 PM, Skylight Scintillate said:

I'd love to see what it would be like for them to meet the Elements of Harmony... Anyways Power Pony Palooza is where all the fans gather to talk about the Power Ponies! Isn't that so cool?"

Nova looked disappointed to hear that they weren't real, "Oh, then they're like story characters? I've hard about things like that from the ponies at Archback, but in Mohotma and in the colony it's all mostly historical accounts, nothing cool like that."

On 2024-03-11 at 3:01 PM, Skylight Scintillate said:

so yeah, you'll get to see Princess Luna up close!"

He seemed reinvigorated by that thought.

On 2024-03-11 at 3:01 PM, Skylight Scintillate said:

"I mean, for some foods, putting it on a stick makes more sense than others. I suppose it's easier to eat a fish on a stick compared to a plate when you aren't sitting down at a table?"

"Huh," Seeing the example helped him understand that it was more of a snack, and a convenient way to move the food, rather than a formal method, "I guess that makes sense, with so many ponies here it's be hard to have them all sit to eat together like we do in the colony."

On 2024-03-11 at 3:01 PM, Skylight Scintillate said:

"Hi there, are you looking for something in particular?" the employee asked Nova.

Nova looked very nervous at being talked to by an adult, "Um... no... I don't think so.... I'm just visiting..."

He wanted to go join Speckle, but he was taught to never leave if an adult was talking to him, so he stayed put until the adult told him to do something or left him alone.

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@Illiad Easle 

20 hours ago, Illiad Easle said:

Nova seemed surprised, "You've met both Princess Luna AND one of the Elements of Harmony?!" He looked down, "I wish cool ponies like that would come out to where I live."

"Oh no, I haven't actually met Pinkie Pie. This is just what I heard about her. Like, the Elements of Harmony are always sharing stories of what they did or what they plan on doing, and that is where I heard that Pinkie Pie is going to throw a party here in Thestral Market!" Speckle explained. "Plus, the Mane Six go to all of these interesting and unusual places all the time! Maybe someday, they'll go to where you live!"

20 hours ago, Illiad Easle said:

Nova shrugged, "I guess? I mean, ponies regularly walk up and down Archback Mountain, but I had to take a train to get up here, so maybe?"

"Maybe? Hmm, I mean, Canterlot is pretty high up... Although Canterlot has also been around for longer than trains have been around... I don't know, this is confusing," Speckle replied, not quite sure what to make of the whole thing. 

20 hours ago, Illiad Easle said:

Nova looked disappointed to hear that they weren't real, "Oh, then they're like story characters? I've hard about things like that from the ponies at Archback, but in Mohotma and in the colony it's all mostly historical accounts, nothing cool like that."

"You don't have stories? Or are they like a different kind of story? If so, what are they like? What do you mean by historical accounts?" Speckle seemed curious about what Nova meant by that. 

20 hours ago, Illiad Easle said:

"I guess that makes sense, with so many ponies here it's be hard to have them all sit to eat together like we do in the colony."

"Yeah there's no way we could have everyone here sit together. The table would have to be huge!" Speckle gestured her forelegs to emphasize the size. 

20 hours ago, Illiad Easle said:

Nova looked very nervous at being talked to by an adult, "Um... no... I don't think so.... I'm just visiting..."

He wanted to go join Speckle, but he was taught to never leave if an adult was talking to him, so he stayed put until the adult told him to do something or left him alone.

"Please, feel free to try our beds," the employee offered before turning their attention back to the papers in front of them.

"Yeah, try this bed with me. It's so different than the beds I normally sleep on!" Speckle exclaimed as quietly as she could. By now, she had gone to try another bed, and she gestured Nova to try the bed with her. "Hey, do you think this is what hammocks are like?"

Once the pair had a few minutes to try the various beds in the store, Speckle would ask Nova, "Hey, it's almost sunrise. Is there anything you want to do here in Thestral Market before we head out towards the rest of Canterlot?"

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@Skylight Scintillate

On 2024-03-17 at 12:30 PM, Skylight Scintillate said:

"Plus, the Mane Six go to all of these interesting and unusual places all the time! Maybe someday, they'll go to where you live!"

Nova looked a bit placated at that thought, "Maybe, I think that would be nice."

On 2024-03-17 at 12:30 PM, Skylight Scintillate said:

"You don't have stories? Or are they like a different kind of story? If so, what are they like? What do you mean by historical accounts?" Speckle seemed curious about what Nova meant by that. 

Nova looked unsure, "Well, I mean, most of the stories we are told are just like, those stories with lessons from my parents, and every so often a chronicler will come to our colony from the central village to tell us all stories from our past, like, things that our ancestors did that we can learn from. I think they will be coming one of the days that you'll be there actually."

On 2024-03-17 at 12:30 PM, Skylight Scintillate said:

and she gestured Nova to try the bed with her. "Hey, do you think this is what hammocks are like?"

Nova felt the beds, but shook his head, "No, it's... different. This is nicer than the floor though, but a hammock is more... touchy? I don't know how to explain it other than that a hammock, at least for me, is like being hugged all over. It's comforting in a way. This is nice in a different way, I like how it feel cool and soft, without being cold."

On 2024-03-17 at 12:30 PM, Skylight Scintillate said:

"Hey, it's almost sunrise. Is there anything you want to do here in Thestral Market before we head out towards the rest of Canterlot?"

Nova looked in the direction of the brightening sky, squinting a bit, "We'll have to go get my sunglasses, but unless there's something you forgot to show me I think we can come back later? I think I'd like to see a bunch of different stuff today, then we can go back to the coolest stuff afterwards?"

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@Illiad Easle 

21 hours ago, Illiad Easle said:

Nova looked unsure, "Well, I mean, most of the stories we are told are just like, those stories with lessons from my parents, and every so often a chronicler will come to our colony from the central village to tell us all stories from our past, like, things that our ancestors did that we can learn from. I think they will be coming one of the days that you'll be there actually."

"Ooh, that sounds interesting! But what do you mean by central village?" Speckle asked. "I'm confused by all these colonies and villages and everything... Like, what's the difference? How do they work?"

22 hours ago, Illiad Easle said:

Nova felt the beds, but shook his head, "No, it's... different. This is nicer than the floor though, but a hammock is more... touchy? I don't know how to explain it other than that a hammock, at least for me, is like being hugged all over. It's comforting in a way. This is nice in a different way, I like how it feel cool and soft, without being cold."

"Yeah, these cloud beds are interesting. I can see why some bat ponies would like them. And I guess that's why there are signs about different temperature cloud beds. I didn't even know they made cloud beds with different temperatures! Anyways, let's get going," Speckle remarked as she got up from the bed and headed out of the store.

"See ya," the employee said as the pair left the store.

22 hours ago, Illiad Easle said:

Nova looked in the direction of the brightening sky, squinting a bit, "We'll have to go get my sunglasses, but unless there's something you forgot to show me I think we can come back later? I think I'd like to see a bunch of different stuff today, then we can go back to the coolest stuff afterwards?"

"Oh, right, sunglasses!" Speckle remarked. She would make a sudden turn back towards her apartment.

Once the pair got their sunglasses, Speckle would lead the way out of the local neighborhood and towards the rest of Canterlot. Soon enough, the pair would find themselves back at the large plaza in front of the train station.

"So I don't really know the rest of Canterlot well enough to explain it on a tour, so my parents suggested we join a tour of Canterlot, and maybe I can learn a bit more about the parts of it outside of the Thestral Market!" Speckle exclaimed. By now, there was a sufficient bustle of activity in the streets, but Speckle had no trouble finding the tour guide she was looking for.

"Oh hey there, are you here for the... ...uhh the tour of Canterlot?" The pink pegasus mare tour guide hesitated as she glanced at the young pair that approached her. The pony seemed to realize their mistake by hesitating "I'm Sugar Drop, and I'm the tour guide!" she blurted out, trying to fix her mistake. She adjusted her blonde mane nervously. 

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@Skylight Scintillate

2 hours ago, Skylight Scintillate said:

"Ooh, that sounds interesting! But what do you mean by central village?" Speckle asked. "I'm confused by all these colonies and villages and everything... Like, what's the difference? How do they work?"

Nova looked a bit more confident in this question, "Oh, yeah. So, most clans are only big enough to have one village or group. The Fastar clan is big enough that we have a central village deep in the Shimmerwood forest, where the original Fastar raised Starlight, and where Fastar's Monument stands. Then we have a few colonies closer to the edges of the forest to interact with the outside world. I live in the colony bordering with Archback and Mohotma City. I hope that makes sense? If you want, I can ask if we can go to the central village while you're visiting?"

2 hours ago, Skylight Scintillate said:

"Oh hey there, are you here for the... ...uhh the tour of Canterlot?" The pink pegasus mare tour guide hesitated as she glanced at the young pair that approached her. The pony seemed to realize their mistake by hesitating "I'm Sugar Drop, and I'm the tour guide!" she blurted out, trying to fix her mistake. She adjusted her blonde mane nervously. 

Nova didn't pick up on the tour guide's nervousness, just figuring that the Canterlot tour was a bit less formal than the Archback tours he had gone on previously.

He would nod, "I think so," looking to Speckle for confirmation, "Right?" He would look back to the tour guide, "What sort of things are we going to see? Are we going to get to see inside the castle?"

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(edited)

@Illiad Easle 

On 2024-03-25 at 2:38 AM, Illiad Easle said:

Nova looked a bit more confident in this question, "Oh, yeah. So, most clans are only big enough to have one village or group. The Fastar clan is big enough that we have a central village deep in the Shimmerwood forest, where the original Fastar raised Starlight, and where Fastar's Monument stands. Then we have a few colonies closer to the edges of the forest to interact with the outside world. I live in the colony bordering with Archback and Mohotma City. I hope that makes sense? If you want, I can ask if we can go to the central village while you're visiting?"

"Huh..." Speckle pondered. She tried to visualize what Nova was describing, but she couldn't seem to figure out how it should work. She supposed that she would have to wait until they visited Nova's place before she would be able to understand. For now, they had a tour to go on. 

On 2024-03-25 at 2:38 AM, Illiad Easle said:

He would nod, "I think so," looking to Speckle for confirmation, "Right?" He would look back to the tour guide, "What sort of things are we going to see? Are we going to get to see inside the castle?"

"Oh this is supposed to be a tour of Canterlot, the city. The tour of the castle is later. But don't worry, we'll see it."

On 2024-03-25 at 2:38 AM, Illiad Easle said:

Nova didn't pick up on the tour guide's nervousness, just figuring that the Canterlot tour was a bit less formal than the Archback tours he had gone on previously.

Speckle seemed to notice it a little, though. That and the sideways glances from the other ponies joining the tour gave Speckle the slightest impression that the pair stood out a little. Once a throuple, a small group of friends and three couples joined, the tour guide set off. 

"Hello everpony! My name is Sugar Drop and I'm going to be your tour guide. This is going to be a comprehensive tour of Canterlot. We're going to start the day by getting an aerial view of Canterlot from CN tower. Once we return to ground level, we'll head through Museum Mall. That'll lead us right towards University Posendale, where Celestia's School for Gifted Unicorns is. After that, we'll stop at Restaurant Row for lunch. After that, we'll take a look at Pone Dupone Square and pass through Bel-Mare before ending our tour at the Royal Castle. There, you can finish off your afternoon with a tour of the castle."

The tour guide gestured to the plaza that the crowd was standing in. "The plaza we're in is EUP Plaza. This can basically be considered the center of Canterlot, with it being surrounded by Unity Train Station, Canter One Arena, and CN Tower. Most neighborhoods are an easy walk from here. Many major events take place here in EUP Plaza and in the Canter One Arena, most notably, the Wonderbolts will be performing at the Arena tomorrow..."

"...Canterlot Network Tower, though more commonly known as CN Tower, is a communications and observation tower built by Canterlot Network Railway. Built as an engineering demonstration by the railway, it is the tallest structure in Canterlot, providing breath-taking views of the whole city. Due to this, you can always orient yourself in Canterlot simply by finding CN Tower. Most recently, the tower added a place to bungee jump, which has proven to be quite popular with a certain crowd..." The tour guide would lead the group up CN Tower, talking extensively about EUP Plaza, Canter One Arena, Unity Train Station, and CN Tower the entire time. Once the group arrived at he observation deck, they would have a chance to take a look around, and the tour guide would offer to answer any questions after the information dump she just did. 

"Oh wow the views are great here! It's almost like flying above Canterlot! Also, the tour guide knows so much about everything!" Speckle would remark as the group spread out among the observation deck.

Edited by Skylight Scintillate
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@Skylight Scintillate

On 2024-03-30 at 12:14 PM, Skylight Scintillate said:

She tried to visualize what Nova was describing, but she couldn't seem to figure out how it should work.

(It's the same as having multiple cities in a nation, like the central village would be like Canterlot, and Nova's colony would be like Ponyville)

On 2024-03-30 at 12:14 PM, Skylight Scintillate said:

"Oh wow the views are great here! It's almost like flying above Canterlot! Also, the tour guide knows so much about everything!" Speckle would remark as the group spread out among the observation deck.

Nova would pay rapt attention to everything the tour guide said, similar to how he had followed Speckle's tour, though he got the feeling that interrupting the tour guide was frowned upon here as no one else seemed to ask questions. He figured there would either be a designated part of the tour for questions, or he could ask Speckle later.

On the observation deck Nova was once again trying to pick out Archback mountain, but he still wasn't sure if he had the right one or not. He looked over when Speckle spoke up, nodding, "I don't think I've ever been up this high before, even when flying. Do you think they'll let us fly down rather than taking all those stairs again?"

Per her comment on the tour guide he would respond, "I figured you had to be smart to be a tour guide, the ones at Archback, Mohotma, and the Central Village all seemed to be."

He turned his attention towards the castle, "I wish we could go inside today, it's so much bigger than the castle at Archback, I'm sure it's full of super cool stuff!"

Nova had never been taught to hide his fangs, so whenever he smiled they were on full display.

He turned his attention back to Speckle, "Have you done this tour before? What are you excited to see?"

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  • 2 weeks later...

@Illiad Easle 

On 2024-04-02 at 12:12 AM, Illiad Easle said:

"I don't think I've ever been up this high before, even when flying. Do you think they'll let us fly down rather than taking all those stairs again?"

Speckle looked around before replying, "Uuh, probably not. I think it's something like they don't want to get in trouble if something goes wrong or something..." Speckle replied. 

On 2024-04-02 at 12:12 AM, Illiad Easle said:

He turned his attention towards the castle, "I wish we could go inside today, it's so much bigger than the castle at Archback, I'm sure it's full of super cool stuff!"

"Well we're going there later today. It's just part of a separate tour," Speckle elaborated. 

On 2024-04-02 at 12:12 AM, Illiad Easle said:

He turned his attention back to Speckle, "Have you done this tour before? What are you excited to see?"

"No I haven't done this tour before. I mean, I know some stuff about Canterlot from living here, but there's so much I don't know as well, so I'm learning this along with you! Isn't that so cool?" Speckle exclaimed. 

On 2024-04-02 at 12:12 AM, Illiad Easle said:

Nova had never been taught to hide his fangs, so whenever he smiled they were on full display.

Some of the ponies that weren't part of the tour group would give the young pair some second glances before trying to avoid the pair. Speckle was feeling a little less self-conscious, but given how she tended to show her fangs around bat ponies and hide them around other pony species, she kept switching between the two.

After spending plenty of time examining the views around the whole tower, the tour guide would go around and gather the group back up, asking if they had any questions before leading the way back down to the base of the tower. 

Once at the base of the tower, the tour guide would start leading the group from EUP Plaza towards Museum Mall. The tour went through Museum Mall and the University District before stopping at The Tasty Treat at Restaurant Row for lunch. The entire time the tour guide went into extensive detail about every location. This included the past, present, and future functions of each location, prominent ponies involved with each neighborhood, the importance of each neighborhood, and many more details that Speckle could barely keep track of. However, she would pause several times to ask the group if they had any questions. She would happily answer the group's questions, going into further detail about the specifics they were interested in. 

"...Museum Mall is known for the extensive collection of Smithponian Museums. Feel free to visit these museums after the tour because they're literally free to visit! Some of the most notable museums here are the Museum of Natural History, the Smithponian Gallery of Art, the Museum of Magic, and a Smithponian museum for each of the pony species. Behind me here is the Museum of Sciences. It is most notable for its constellation of night stars, which was an installation built after the return of Princess Luna. It is significant for several reasons..."

"So, there's a museum for unicorns, pegasi, and earth ponies... Wait, there's no museum for bat ponies or thestrals?" Speckle pointed out as she glanced around but failed to find the museum for her species. She had said this relatively quietly so only Nova would have heard her.

"...Celestia's School for Gifted Unicorns has a very prominent role here in the University District. Founded by Celestia to help shape the minds of the brightest unicorns in Equestria, it is currently run by Moonlight Magic. Some of the most prominent magical findings published by this school recently include..."

Speckle listened to the tour guide's explanation about the school of magic, but she was surprised when the tour guide finished her explanation and didn't mention anything about how Princess Twilight used to study there.

"Hey, didn't Princess Twilight used to study there?" Speckle would ask the tour guide.

"Ah yes, this school was the most prestigious school of magic here in Equestria. However, after one of their alumni, Twilight Sparkle, became the Princess of Magic and Friendship, the school's prominence has only increased. Most recently, Princess Twilight has gotten involved in the school with their research, opening up new fields of magic never seen before..."

"Restaurant Row is well known for having some of the best restaurants in Canterlot. This place is most well known for being the place where Zesty Gormond developed her three-hoof rating, in addition to having the highest concentration of three-hoof rated restaurants anywhere in Equestria. We'll be eating at the Tasty Treat, which is well known for..."

After a lot of walking, the group was able to get a break when they sat down at the Tasty Treat for lunch. "Oh my gosh, that has been so much walking and talking," Speckle would say to Nova. "What did you think of the whole thing? I thought it was really cool, especially the part where she went into detail about Princess Twilight's relationship with Celestia's School for Gifted Unicorns. Isn't Princess Twilight so cool? What do you think of her? And this tour as a whole?" Speckle would ask Nova as she ordered some food.

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@Skylight Scintillate

On 2024-04-10 at 1:22 PM, Skylight Scintillate said:

Speckle looked around before replying, "Uuh, probably not. I think it's something like they don't want to get in trouble if something goes wrong or something..." Speckle replied. 

Nova looked disappointed at that, but shook it off.

On 2024-04-10 at 1:22 PM, Skylight Scintillate said:

"Well we're going there later today. It's just part of a separate tour," Speckle elaborated. 

He perked up at that, "Really? Awesome!"

 

On 2024-04-10 at 1:22 PM, Skylight Scintillate said:

"So, there's a museum for unicorns, pegasi, and earth ponies... Wait, there's no museum for bat ponies or thestrals?" Speckle pointed out as she glanced around but failed to find the museum for her species. She had said this relatively quietly so only Nova would have heard her.

That was something that disappointed Nova too, but he didn't speak much louder about it, "Well, they don't seem to have a crystal pony one either, maybe they just meant the three most common ponies? Or maybe they put it in the pegasus museum? It wouldn't surprise me if they bundled thestrals in with them despite being a separate type."

On 2024-04-10 at 1:22 PM, Skylight Scintillate said:

"What did you think of the whole thing? I thought it was really cool, especially the part where she went into detail about Princess Twilight's relationship with Celestia's School for Gifted Unicorns. Isn't Princess Twilight so cool? What do you think of her? And this tour as a whole?" Speckle would ask Nova as she ordered some food.

Nova shrugged, "I can't say I know much about her, other than that she's an Element of Harmony and saved Equestria a few times. She seems cool though, like Moondancer, from what I've heard." (He's referring to a different Moondancer than Twilight's friend.) "The tour was interesting, they must really like learning here to have so much space dedicated to it. Back home we would just be taught by our parents or in small groups, then learn from a professional for a skill. But I know Archback and Mohotma have classrooms and schools. I guess this is just a really big school then? And to have all those museums, I guess Equestria really has a lot of history. We only have a few monuments and chroniclers for our history, but our clan is only a few hundred years old. Very new compared to other clans or Equestria."

As they were eating, where Nova would likely be disappointed to see a lack of carnivorous options, Nova asked, "Could we see the pegasus museum sometime? I want to see if maybe they mention thestrals in there. Or maybe we could see the constellation exhibit? That sounded cool."

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@Illiad Easle 

On 2024-04-14 at 5:04 PM, Illiad Easle said:

That was something that disappointed Nova too, but he didn't speak much louder about it, "Well, they don't seem to have a crystal pony one either, maybe they just meant the three most common ponies? Or maybe they put it in the pegasus museum? It wouldn't surprise me if they bundled thestrals in with them despite being a separate type."

"Yeah, that is strange. But I think the crystal ponies are quite interesting, too. Isn't it so cool that there are so many different species with so many different cultures here in Equestria? But why do you think that they would put the thestrals in the pegasus museum?" Speckle asked. 

On 2024-04-14 at 5:04 PM, Illiad Easle said:

Nova shrugged, "I can't say I know much about her, other than that she's an Element of Harmony and saved Equestria a few times. She seems cool though, like Moondancer, from what I've heard." (He's referring to a different Moondancer than Twilight's friend.) "The tour was interesting, they must really like learning here to have so much space dedicated to it. Back home we would just be taught by our parents or in small groups, then learn from a professional for a skill. But I know Archback and Mohotma have classrooms and schools. I guess this is just a really big school then? And to have all those museums, I guess Equestria really has a lot of history. We only have a few monuments and chroniclers for our history, but our clan is only a few hundred years old. Very new compared to other clans or Equestria."

"Ooh, who's Moondancer? I mean, I think I have heard of a Moondancer here in Canterlot, but I don't think that's the Moondancer you're talking about. And yeah, a university is kind of like a really big school. But I heard they also create new magic there, which is like totally crazy! Like, unicorns can create magic!? They must be like crazy powerful in order to do so. Your place sounds really cozy," Speckle remarked. 

"And as for museums, I heard rich ponies really like them for some reason? I don't know. But I think it's cool how they build these places where ponies and other species can learn about so many different things that are important to Canterlot and such, you know? I guess I'm just a little disappointed that we haven't seen anything for bat ponies and thestrals yet."

On 2024-04-14 at 5:04 PM, Illiad Easle said:

As they were eating, where Nova would likely be disappointed to see a lack of carnivorous options, Nova asked, "Could we see the pegasus museum sometime? I want to see if maybe they mention thestrals in there. Or maybe we could see the constellation exhibit? That sounded cool."

"Ooh, that would be cool! I'll add that to the list of things we should do here," Speckle noted. It wasn't long before the group finished their lunch and left the Tasty Treat, continuing on their tour of Canterlot. The tour would pass through Pone Dupone Square, a major retail and shopping area, and Bel-Mare, one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Canterlot, before ending our tour at the Royal Castle. During the entire time, the tour guide would go into extensive detail about everything, while Speckle would remark about how fancy and extravagant the shops and homes were in these neighborhoods.

"Woah, these shops and homes here are crazy! They're so fancy! Like, I know the ponies here in Canterlot are rich, but I didn't know they are that rich! What do you think makes them so rich?" Speckle would ponder out loud. 

Soon enough, the tour would end at the castle, where the pair would find a royal guard waiting to lead a tour of the place. Unlike the tour guide of the city, the royal guard didn't act surprised to see a thestral and a bat pony walk up to her. "Hello there, I'm Guard Clipper. I assume you're here for the tour of the Royal Castle? I know you all have a lot of questions, so why don't I ask, what are you most interested in seeing here at the Royal Castle? And what questions do you have for me?"

"Oh my gosh, I didn't know royal guards could be so friendly and casual..." Speckle whispered to Nova.

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@Skylight Scintillate

On 2024-04-15 at 4:48 PM, Skylight Scintillate said:

But why do you think that they would put the thestrals in the pegasus museum?"

Nova stretched out a wing, "Because we both have wings? That makes us at least more similar to them than the other pony races, so while it's not right to lump us together, it at least makes more sense for us to be there than in any of the other ones."

On 2024-04-15 at 4:48 PM, Skylight Scintillate said:

Ooh, who's Moondancer?

Nova nodded, "She's one of the ponies at Archback, one of the important ones. She's in charge of the archives there, so she spoke to us when we went there on a tour. She seemed nice."

On 2024-04-15 at 4:48 PM, Skylight Scintillate said:

"Woah, these shops and homes here are crazy! They're so fancy! Like, I know the ponies here in Canterlot are rich, but I didn't know they are that rich! What do you think makes them so rich?" Speckle would ponder out loud. 

Nova looked a bit less impressed, more uncomfortable at the clear disparity of wealth present in the town. He also wondered what the ponies here did to deserve having so much more than the other ponies in the rest of the city. He understood why the princesses had a nice place, so he figured those here must also do something important. Still, it seemed like an excessive difference, but he wasn't about to comment on that.

 

On 2024-04-15 at 4:48 PM, Skylight Scintillate said:

"Oh my gosh, I didn't know royal guards could be so friendly and casual..." Speckle whispered to Nova.

Nova wasn't surprised at all, as the guards in his colony were always kind to him, often letting him go along while they patrolled and teaching him how to do things. "Are they not usually?" He whispered back.

He did want to ask a question though, "Will we get to see the princesses? Maybe, um, Princess Luna?"

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@Illiad Easle 

17 hours ago, Illiad Easle said:

Nova stretched out a wing, "Because we both have wings? That makes us at least more similar to them than the other pony races, so while it's not right to lump us together, it at least makes more sense for us to be there than in any of the other ones."

"Uuh, I mean, I suppose that makes sense..." Speckle pondered. She always got the feeling that pony species were more complicated than she was being told, but this cultural exchange, while answering some questions, did raise more questions about how pony species worked. However, it wasn't that she was ungrateful; she loved learning things about Nova. 

17 hours ago, Illiad Easle said:

Nova nodded, "She's one of the ponies at Archback, one of the important ones. She's in charge of the archives there, so she spoke to us when we went there on a tour. She seemed nice."

"Oh, well that's an interesting coincidence. I'm pretty sure the tour guide of the city mentioned a Moondancer somewhere when we passed by Celestia's school. I wonder if Moondancer is a common name for those that do archiving or something... Would we get to meet your Moondancer when we visit your place?" Speckle asked.

17 hours ago, Illiad Easle said:

Nova wasn't surprised at all, as the guards in his colony were always kind to him, often letting him go along while they patrolled and teaching him how to do things. "Are they not usually?" He whispered back.

"Oh, um, I didn't mean to say it like that. I mean like, I know that my mom trains them and such, but I didn't know they did all these different things as well. I suppose I was just a little surprised at first. But I mean like, if a guard was also a tour guide, it would make sense that they would be friendly," Speckle explained, blushing at what she said earlier.

It appeared that Clipper overheard part of this because she replied, "Oh yeah, I suppose some ponies here might have some questions about your tour guide being a royal guard. While some ponies assume that the royal guards here at this castle just stand around silently to guard the princesses, there's a lot more we do. For example, we also escort emissary visitors around, lead tours, and help manage crowds at the events that are held here. These are the most notable examples, but there are other things we do too," Guard Clipper explained. 

Speckle blushed, which caused Clipper to lean over and whisper to her "It's ok, I know a lot of ponies assume this. I'm not offended. It might seem like we're quite cold, but I promise most of us are actually quite friendly," Clipper winked.

Speckle blushed even more.

17 hours ago, Illiad Easle said:

He did want to ask a question though, "Will we get to see the princesses? Maybe, um, Princess Luna?"

"I'm sorry young one, Princess Luna isn't available at this time. However, Princess Celestia is currently running day court in the throne room. Let us head there first," Clipper explained.

She would then lean in to whisper to Nova. "However, I heard that you will be able to meet her at her favorite seafood restaurant in Thestral Market later this evening," Clipper winked.

Guard Clipper would go on to explain how the rule of the two princesses worked, with Princess Celestia being active during the day, and Princess Luna being active at night. She would also mention some of the roles that are specific to each princess, such as Luna's ability to dream walk, before moving on to how day court worked. 

"As you can see, this room adjacent to the throne room is a place for ponies to observe the court when it is in session. Day court is a time when ponies can go to Princess Celestia and ask questions or suggest proposals. And then Princess Luna runs night court later in the evening. It appears that currently, everypony is debating about the tax system again," Clipper explained as she pointed towards the crowd by Princess Celestia in the throne room. 

"Does anypony have any questions about day court or anything else I've said so far?" Clipper asked. She would give some time for the tour group to observe day court in session and ask any questions.

Speckle quite liked this tour guide more than the tour guide of the city. However, she wanted to see what questions Nova would ask before asking her own, so she looked over to the debate that was currently going on. It seemed quite interesting and kind of chaotic, and Princess Celestia was in the middle of it all, standing as regal as ever.

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  • 2 weeks later...

@Skylight Scintillate

On 2024-04-21 at 3:50 PM, Skylight Scintillate said:

Would we get to meet your Moondancer when we visit your place?" Speckle asked.

Nova looked unsure, "I don't think so, Archback only does tours very rarely, I've only gone once, and from what I remember the important ponies there rarely leave the castle." He shrugged, "But maybe?"

On 2024-04-21 at 3:50 PM, Skylight Scintillate said:

She would then lean in to whisper to Nova. "However, I heard that you will be able to meet her at her favorite seafood restaurant in Thestral Market later this evening," Clipper winked.

Nova nodded at that with a smile.

On 2024-04-21 at 3:50 PM, Skylight Scintillate said:

"Does anypony have any questions about day court or anything else I've said so far?" Clipper asked. She would give some time for the tour group to observe day court in session and ask any questions.

Speckle quite liked this tour guide more than the tour guide of the city. However, she wanted to see what questions Nova would ask before asking her own, so she looked over to the debate that was currently going on. It seemed quite interesting and kind of chaotic, and Princess Celestia was in the middle of it all, standing as regal as ever.

Nova didn't really have questions, but would comment over to Speckle, "Hmm, so it's more like how the Elder works than how the Order works."

Presuming she would ask what he meant, Nova continued, "In my Clan, we have an Elder, usually the oldest descendent of Starlight Fastar, who anyone in the clan can go to for guidance and who makes the decisions for the clan, like what Princess Celestia is doing now. In Mohotma and Archback they have an Order who make the decisions, a group of zebra or ponies, and they're more... detached? You can't just talk to them. With the zebra no one even knows who the members of the Order are." He looked back at Celestia and the debate, "I don't know, I thought, with how much bigger Equestria is, that it would be more like Archback than my clan."

He smiled, "It's nice that you can still have such access to your leader despite the size of everything."

 

He turned to the guide, "What's Princess Celestia like? I've never met her before..." 

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@Illiad Easle 

On 2024-04-30 at 4:13 PM, Illiad Easle said:

Nova looked unsure, "I don't think so, Archback only does tours very rarely, I've only gone once, and from what I remember the important ponies there rarely leave the castle." He shrugged, "But maybe?"

"Oh I see," Speckle replied. She wasn't sure if she could keep track of everything accurately, and she hoped that maybe when she visited Nova's town, it would make more sense how everything worked.

On 2024-04-30 at 4:13 PM, Illiad Easle said:

"I don't know, I thought, with how much bigger Equestria is, that it would be more like Archback than my clan."

"Yeah that is strange... I mean, I know the two princesses are powerful, but I don't think they would be able to run everything in Equestria, right?" Speckle pondered.

"How do the princesses run everything?" Speckle asked the guide.

"That's a great question. The princesses don't run everything. While they are both extrordinarily powerful, they can't keep track of everything going on in Equestria all the time. Due to that, there is a counsel of ponies who each control a different part of the government that the Princesses work closely with. And with Princess Luna and Princess Celestia being the public-facing part of the government, this council of ponies doesn't interact with the public. I'll point out their section of the castle when we pass by it, but we can't enter for obvious reasons. Both the council and the princesses have important roles to play to make sure all of Equestria runs smoothly," Guard Clipper explained.

"Huh, so it sounds like it's a mix of an Elder and an Order for a government?" Speckle asked Nova.

On 2024-04-30 at 4:13 PM, Illiad Easle said:

He turned to the guide, "What's Princess Celestia like? I've never met her before..." 

"Princess Celestia is a very kind and caring leader. She wants all of her subjects to have happy and fulfilling lives and that any concerns they have feel heard. Some of the most important roles she does as Princess, in addition to running day court are raising and lowering the sun, setting goals for the Equestrian government, and establishing relationships with other nations. As for what she's like personally, while being in the presence of her can be quite intimidating, she's very friendly and is very open to talk about anything," the tour guide explained.

"You talk all these positives about the princess, but as a royal guard tour guide, are you allowed to say anything negative about her?" one of the tour members asked.

"Princess Celestia values protecting fair criticism, but talking about her like this here and now would be extraordinarily unprofessional of me," Guard Clipper replied. By then, the group was finished with observing the day court, so Guard Clipper lead the group to the ball room, passing by and pointing out the wing of the castle where the councel worked along the way.

"This is the ball room where many formal events are hosted. One of the most notable events that happens here is the Grand Galloping Gala," Clipper explained.

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@Skylight Scintillate

On 2024-05-01 at 9:46 PM, Skylight Scintillate said:

"Huh, so it sounds like it's a mix of an Elder and an Order for a government?" Speckle asked Nova.

Nova nodded, "Yeah! I guess that makes sense, considering just how big Equestria is."

On 2024-05-01 at 9:46 PM, Skylight Scintillate said:

"Princess Celestia values protecting fair criticism, but talking about her like this here and now would be extraordinarily unprofessional of me," Guard Clipper replied. By then, the group was finished with observing the day court, so Guard Clipper lead the group to the ball room, passing by and pointing out the wing of the castle where the councel worked along the way.

Nova looked worried at that. He had heard that at least the zebra council hated public criticism, but he also knew that the current elder of his clan welcomed it, not that he'd done anything to warrant it, as far as he knew.

He was relieved to hear that Celestia was at least not openly hostile to criticism, even if the guard couldn't speak to it now.

 

On 2024-05-01 at 9:46 PM, Skylight Scintillate said:

"This is the ball room where many formal events are hosted. One of the most notable events that happens here is the Grand Galloping Gala," Clipper explained.

Nova was astonished by the shear size of the room, "Woah, you could fit my whole clan in here, with room to spare!  This is bigger than the clearing my colony sits in." He looked over at Speckle, considering something, but turned his question to the guide, "What is the Grand Galloping Gala? What sort of event is it?"

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(edited)

@Illiad Easle 

On 2024-05-03 at 12:08 AM, Illiad Easle said:

Nova nodded, "Yeah! I guess that makes sense, considering just how big Equestria is."

"Yeah, Equestria is huge! Like, Canterlot is huge, but there are, like, so many more cities that are just as large as Canterlot in Equestria! Say, how many ponies are there in Equestria?" Speckle asked the tour guide.

"Fifteen million," Guard Clipper replied. 

"Is that including bat ponies and thestrals?"

"Including."

"Oh wow, that's a lot of ponies..."

On 2024-05-03 at 12:08 AM, Illiad Easle said:

Nova was astonished by the shear size of the room, "Woah, you could fit my whole clan in here, with room to spare!  This is bigger than the clearing my colony sits in." He looked over at Speckle, considering something, but turned his question to the guide, "What is the Grand Galloping Gala? What sort of event is it?"

"Hmm, I heard it's like this really big fancy party, but other than that, I'm not really sure..." Speckle explained. She turned to the guide to elaborate.

"Sure, the Grand Galloping Gala is an annual royal ball held to celebrate the construction of Canterlot after Equestria was founded. It's known as a major and very formal event, however, it is quite exclusive, requiring a golden ticket to attend. The princesses make a presence there, in addition to all the major high-class ponies throughout Equestria. However, most of these ponies already preside in Canterlot. And sometimes, individual council members also attend this event. In addition, while it is supposed to be a very formal event, it seems that in recent years, something the event turns into a major disaster each time somehow..."

If there weren't any other questions about the gala or the ballroom, the guide would then lead the group towards the royal guard station, pointing out various meeting rooms and other rooms the princesses use when interacting with the public.

"Here are the guard barracks. This is where the royal guards live and train," Guard Clipper explained, gesturing to a field by the castle where some of Clipper's colleagues could be seen training. Guard Clipper would spot her presiding officer and salute them.

Edited by Skylight Scintillate
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@Skylight Scintillate

21 hours ago, Skylight Scintillate said:

If there weren't any other questions about the gala or the ballroom, the guide would then lead the group towards the royal guard station, pointing out various meeting rooms and other rooms the princesses use when interacting with the public.

"Here are the guard barracks. This is where the royal guards live and train," Guard Clipper explained, gesturing to a field by the castle where some of Clipper's colleagues could be seen training. Guard Clipper would spot her presiding officer and salute them.

Nova looked a bit more at home here, the sounds of training an exercise seeming to excite him as they approached, and he looked every which way with fascination to watch the guards training.

He asked, "Do the city guards get to train here too? My dad is part of the city night guard."

This gave him a thought, and he looked to see if he could see any thestrals training, since he knew there were at least a few members of his clan in the royal night guard, even if he didn't know them personally. If they were here, they would have a badge with a four pointed white star on it, the symbol of his clan.

He wouldn't be too disappointed if he didn't see any though, given the hour, they could be sleeping.

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@Illiad Easle 

On 2024-05-07 at 9:35 PM, Illiad Easle said:

Nova looked a bit more at home here, the sounds of training an exercise seeming to excite him as they approached, and he looked every which way with fascination to watch the guards training.

Among the guards training, a pair could be seen trying to identify the contents of a bag without opening it, another pair was poking at a cloud in the sky with their spears, and a third pair appeared to be talking to a straw pony. However, upon closer listening to the third pair, it would become clear they were practicing defusing a conflict.

On 2024-05-07 at 9:35 PM, Illiad Easle said:

He asked, "Do the city guards get to train here too? My dad is part of the city night guard."

"As I'm sure you know, Equestria is quite a large country. Due to this, many of the government's departments have their own buildings from where they operate from. It really depends on which department it is, its size, and how much they need to coordinate with the princesses or the council. Equestria's military has its own building adjacent to the castle. However, even after the military moved to its own building, the castle guards and the city guards have continued to train in these fields adjacent to the castle. According to the captain of the royal guard, it's because royal guards require specialized skillsets that make it separate from the military, and because they need to coordinate very closely with the princesses."

"So it sounds like there's a reason for the royal guards to train here, but why do the city guards train here as well?" a tour group member asked.

The guard pondered for a moment to comprehend the question before replying, "Ah, that was part of a rule pushed by the aristocrats of Canterlot that insisted that the city guards be as talented as the royal guards in the castle. However, that was several hundred moons ago. I'm not sure if the aristocrats nowadays still care about this kind of stuff, but it's become a tradition for the city guards to train with the royal guards," the tour guide explained.

On 2024-05-07 at 9:35 PM, Illiad Easle said:

This gave him a thought, and he looked to see if he could see any thestrals training, since he knew there were at least a few members of his clan in the royal night guard, even if he didn't know them personally. If they were here, they would have a badge with a four pointed white star on it, the symbol of his clan.

It was at that moment a bat pony led a small group of thestral guards out onto the field. 

"Alright every thestral, up and at 'em!" the bat pony remarked. She explained the exercises the group of new recruits would be practicing that evening before turning to face the tour group observing her.

"Mom!?" Speckle exclaimed.

"Nightsky!?"

"Oh hello Speckle! Hello Clipper!" Nightsky replied cheerfully.

One of the thestrals had a badge with a white star on it, and when they turned to see what the commotion was and made eye contact with Nova, their eyebrows shot up, seemingly recognizing him.

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@Skylight Scintillate

Nova was happy to see a familiar face in the form of Speckle's mom, and further to see a thestral from his clan here, though he didn't know why they seemed to recognize him, since Nova was from a small colony. But who knew? Maybe this was a friend of his dad's and his dad had told them about him?

Nova would simply wave, both to Speckle's mom and the thestral from his clan, not wanting to get in the way of their training.

He was content to watch the training exercises as long as the tour would allow, and would reluctantly follow when it was time for the tour to move on.

 

If the tour stayed long enough Nova would do what he could to emulate the combat training exercises, making sure not to disturb the others on the tour of course.

 

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@Illiad Easle 

7 hours ago, Illiad Easle said:

If the tour stayed long enough Nova would do what he could to emulate the combat training exercises, making sure not to disturb the others on the tour of course.

"So you want to be a royal guard or city guard when you grow up? What part are you most interested in?" Speckle asked Nova as she watched him emulate.

"...And that is the end of the tour! In a few minutes, we'll see Princess Celestia lower the sun while Princess Luna raises the moon from that balcony over there. In the mean time, I'll answer any final questions you might have. Afterwards, we'll head out through the exit over there," The tour guide explained.

"Ooh, we get to see the Princesses move the sun and moon? That's so cool!" Speckle exclaimed before realizing that after that was the end of the tour. "Wait, is that it? I thought there would be more to the tour. Like, special rooms that the Princesses use to do their jobs?" Speckle asked.

"Uuh, what do you mean?" Clipper asked.

"Like, don't the Princesses do a lot of things with their powerful magic? If so, where do they do it?" Speckle clarified. 

"Hmm," Guard Clipper thought for a moment. "Well we're about to observe them switch the day to night. They do it from that balcony over there. Princess Luna goes through the dream realm from her bedroom... Most of the other magic they use, such as for the Summer Sun Celebration, the castle is set up for a special event for the public to attend. Other than that, the castle is mostly just private residences for the princesses. And their magical abilities are quite well known." Guard Clipper pondered.

"Huh," Speckle thought out loud. She thought about what she heard from others about the princesses magical abilities. She turned to face the balcony where the princesses would appear.

"Oh oh oh it's starting!" a tour group member exclaimed, pointing to the balcony.

Speckle gasped, her face smiling as she saw the two princesses walk out onto the balcony. Princess Celestia turned to face the west while Princess Luna faced the east. Then, Speckle watched as the sun was pulled below the horizon an the moon rose opposite to it. Moments after that, the lights of Canterlot turned on as the day quickly transitioned to night and the air temperature cooled significantly. Turning her attention back to the balcony, the two princesses were now facing each other. It seemed that they were discussing something before Princess Celestia returned inside. Meanwhile, Princess Luna leapt off of the balcony, spreading her wings as she took flight. It took Speckle a moment to realize that she was flying towards the Thestral Market neighborhood.

"Hey, Nova! Are you ready to meet Princess Luna at the restaurant?" Speckle exclaimed. Speckle would wait for Nova to be ready, before following the group towards the exit.

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