The gang all got back together on Saturday night for another round of brightly colored magical ponies.

It was quickly decided that we had three things on the agenda: one more check by the marchioness’ estate, a second visit to Midnight, and to check if a pony and a gryphon had taken ship out of Gallopston together. Also, since this was definitely going to take a little longer, Silver Tuppence sent out messages to the Coastal Patrol and the Postal Service explaining that Windshear and Marathon had been called to duty for the Marquess.

Once at the Marchioness’ estate we checked around with the guards, the head of the gryphon laborers and Abendstern’s room again. The main thing is we were trying to see if we could get a better idea of just how long she had been planning this little… ‘trip’. There wasn’t a lot to be found, though we did end up finding a well-loved stuffed toy that had been her companion when she was younger.

Next up was finding out just what Midnight knew. We now knew that she knew Abendstern far better than that it had seemed. There was some debate, but the party quickly headed over to her house for a confrontation. While most of the party gathered in front of her cottage, Tongs moved around to check the back door, and Marathon kept an eye out for any activity from above.

We had caught a glimpse of movement at one of the curtains, but she didn’t respond when we knocked and called out. As it turned out, the front door was unlocked, and Windshear went in to look for her.

He didn’t find her, but he did fall asleep. Trying to confront a unicorn who’s magic talent is putting ponies to sleep does have some problems. After a little bit, Astra went in after him. She didn’t fall asleep, but did start feeling quite tired, and started kicking over some furniture to try and find Abendstern.

Tongs heard the commotion and, finding the back door was locked, kicked it off its hinges and charged in. Around this time Astra’s magical talent finally homed in on Midnight, and found that she was hiding in an armoire. With some effort, Astra moved the armoire out to the front lawn, where Silver Tuppence continued to try to be the voice of reason, and offered Midnight (who was scared out of her wits by this time) some tea.

The terrified filly eventually talked to us. It seems that while she did know Abenstern better than she had first let on, she really was innocent of Abenstern’s intentions. Abendstern has been willful and rebellious, but Midnight did not realize that she truly meant to run away from home.

By the time we were done, we’d attracted the attention of the rest of the town, and had to quickly explain to a policepony that were working for the Marquess.

Having done our adventure party duty, we moved on to Gallopston. There we split up to pursue what sources of contacts we had, and, for the less adventurous ones, make sure we were equipped for what could be a long trip.

Astra Rose went down to the Harbormaster’s office and studied the boards that give the status of every ship in port. She eventually worked down to about three that might be willing to take a passenger or unskilled help, and make a short unscheduled run. Meanwhile, Tongs had gone to some of his less… savory friends to see if they knew of anything odd going on Nightmare Night.

One name came up in multiple lines of inquiry, Cloud Dancer. It was a small coastal lug, that sailed whenever it had a contract. And it had left late during Nightmare Night, and come back a few hours later. Wherever it had gone it wasn’t too far away. We managed to get an interview with the captain, who was not at all happy about getting involved with business of the Marquess. But it was a little late for that. We eventually convinced him to tell us what he’d been doing, which as it turned out was giving a ride to a paying passenger, and a few crates of cargo, who had herself dropped off a little ways down the coast at a small inlet.

After some consulting with each other, we decided to have the Cloud Dancer take us down to where Abendstern had been dropped off. This didn’t please the captain either, but we could pay…. And it was far easier than trying to find the exact same inlet on our own.

Once down there, we scouted around a little to try and make sure it seemed to be the right place, and let the Cloud Dancer go on its way.

We found a cloak that had tangled in the brush, which matched what we knew of the one Abenstern had swapped with Midnight. Some examination showed hoofprints leading away from the beach and up the shore of the stream of the inlet. Most of the party followed the trail up the stream while Marathon and Windshear kept an eye out above the tops of the trees lining the stream. While there, we spotted a gryphon flying further inland, past where the trees gave out, who then dropped suddenly down to where a small shack could be seen. We were worried that he might have seen us, but apparently he was just where he wanted to be.

A little while after, the group made it past the trees, and came up to the camp. And indeed there were Abenstern and Little Claw. And a small shack assembled from the planks of crates.

It’s the beginning of November, that rickety little thing was not going to survive the winter.

Abenstern and Little Claw were dismayed at being found so soon, but stubbornly determined to stick out their plan of making a go of it themselves.

Silver Tuppence took the lead for this part, as we tried to talk the two youngsters out of their rash and angst/romantic determination. Between the good points of how worried their parents were, how worried their friends were (and yes, we did have to remind them that they had friends that cared about them), and the upcoming winter, we slowly talked them down.

This had been a shorter trek than we had really expected. So, the next thing was getting back to civilization. Windshear managed to get get back to the Cloud Dancer before it got too far. The captain was really unhappy to see us again.

But we got them back safe and sound. They’re in trouble, but they’ll be fine. There is an actual romantic involvement between the two (which causes a chorus of ‘ew’ from most ponies), but there’s no knowing where it will go.

When things were looking more and more like we’d be heading south into the valley, I had visions of a long wilderness trek to find the pair. Nope, just an hour’s trek or so. Much more convenient.

So that was our first adventure. In about a month we’ll probably have a second one.