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Ask Merriweather
000newmerriicon
Ask Merriweather tumblr
Owner AskMerriweather
Blog type Ask/Story
Status Active
Date Created November 2012
Main Character(s) Merriweather
Supporting Character(s) Meadow Lark, China Saucer, Loose Leaf
Connected With http://stupidsexyloolea.tumblr.com/

http://asktechnowizard.tumblr.com/ http://askrustynail.tumblr.com/

Ask Merriweather is a Drawn Ask/Story blog following the life of a single mother and cafe owner in Ponyville. The blog is rated as Safe For Work and holds to the "Slice of Life" style of storytelling where the main focus is placed on simple daily events.

The blog itself was inspired by a currently-running Play By Post RP community "Daily Life in Ponyville", where the cast originated from initially. As such, many characters from the RP game also appear as canon characters within the blog's story.

Ask MerriAuthor is the Mod Blog for "Ask Merriweather".

The Ask Merriweather Blog's first post was made on November 9th, 2012.

SettingEdit

The blog primarily takes place within The Summer Song Cafe, which serves as the home and place of business to the cast. This is located in Ponyville proper and, while several other tumblr Ponies have appeared as cameos in the cafe, it has not been established as existing in any other more prominent tumblr-verse.

Merriweather and other characters speak to the audience directly under the pretense that they are being willfully interviewed during their daily lives as a way of advertising the cafe to gain more patronage. Using tumblr as a marketing device was the idea of Merriweather's more tech-savvy son, Meadow Lark, as she can barely figure out how to make her laptop function. She mistakenly refers to tumblr as "Tumbly-thing".

CharactersEdit

MerriweatherEdit

Merriwikiicon
Merriweather is a mint green Unicorn mare with a gray heater shield as a Cutie Mark. Her special talent is self-described as "Caring For Others", and she is extremely skilled with Force Field magic. She is the lead protagonist of the blog and its primary narrator.

While calm and affable, Merriweather is also very stoic. She has been described as having a "rough and tumble charm" and carries herself with confidence. Despite her sometimes intimidating attitude she is actually very sentimental; she genuinely considers her employees as "family" and tends to show great empathy to strangers. Merriweather is a grown woman (essentially in her mid-30s by human standards), mother, and businesswoman. While fluent with magic, she is technologically impaired and relies on others for that sort of thing.  According to others, it is rare that Merriweather ever loses her temper, though history has shown that some parts of her personal life are sore spots for her that raise her ire when discussed.

Hailing from Canterlot, Merriweather was previously a soldier in the Equestrian Royal Army. She held the rank of Lieutenant in the Gallop Guard, a special forces division in the same vein as The Wonderbolts. As a result of her previous career, Merriweather sports a number of obvious scars all over her body due to injuries she received while on duty. The most prominent scars she has are a curved cut across her forehead, a long scar running from her snout along the left side of her face, and a large bite mark on her croup.  Her left ear is deafened and crippled, bearing notable scarring and tattering. Merriweather retired from the military shortly after becoming pregnant and moved to Ponyville in order to offer her child a more stable life.  Merriweather has a particular hatred of Changelings and is also extremely frightened of them due to the threat they represent to Equestria.

Merriweather has family back in Canterlot: her father Fir Bolg, mother Red Tape, and elder sister Greenwood.  Her parents are both Earth Ponies while she and her sister are Unicorns.  Her father is a Shirish Pony and her mother is native to Canterlot, making Merriweather and her sister each half-Shirish.  It has been stated that Merriweather speaks with a slight accent.  Merriweather also appears to suffer mild hyperopia as she has been seen having difficulty reading order slips and cookbooks at the cafe, requiring reading glasses in order to focus.

As far as magic is concerned, Merriweather has all the basic tricks common among Unicorns such as Telekinesis and Conjuration.  She has also stated that she is a master of Force Field spells and is capable of generating a large number of complex magical constructs to furnish her cafe with, though the upper limit of her magical strength has not yet been revealed.  Given her history in the Special Forces, which specifically recruited exemplary individuals from the ranks of the Equestrian Military, it is safe to assume that Merriweather is substantially more powerful than the average Unicorn.

Meadow LarkEdit

MeadowLark
Meadow Lark is an orange Pegasus colt. He has yet to gain his Cutie Mark or learn how to fly. He is a supporting character in the story and a secondary narrator whenever his mother isn't around for the camera.

Meadow Lark is a ten-year old colt with a lot of energy and not a lot of capacity for sitting still. While too young to work as a full employee in the cafe, he helps out his mother wherever he can and is responsible for the existence of the in-universe tumblr blog. While good with computers and rather clever for his age, Meadow Lark's charisma is hindered by a lack of intelligence.  While not dumb by any means, he's satisfied with mediocrity in his studies and likes to focus more on creative efforts instead.  Many Ponies feel he behaves maturely for his age given how well-spoken and quick-witted he is, but he's still very much a child.

Meadow Lark was born in Ponyville and attends school regularly.  His favorite subject is History.  He has been shown to have a love of music and sometimes composes his own scores, as well as sings.  He has a crush on his teacher, Miss Cheerilee, and is friends with Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon.

It is not yet clear if Meadow Lark knows the identity of his father or the reasoning behind his absence, as he has expressed that Merriweather has not fully explained their familial situation to him.

China SaucerEdit

Chinawikiicon
China Saucer is a cream colored Unicorn mare with a cup and saucer for a Cutie Mark. Her special talent involves cooking. She is a supporting character in the story and tends to hijack the narrative, snagging questions meant for Merriweather to answer herself instead.

China Saucer is a playful and flirtatious Pony (she would be in her early 20s by human standards), often making passes at customers much to Merriweather's disapproval. However, she is also a very dedicated worker and has dreams of opening her own restaurant in the future. She is close friends with her co-worker, Loose Leaf, and is by far the more responsible of the two.

Loose LeafEdit

LooLea
Loose Leaf is a peach colored Pegasus mare with a slip of lined paper and a pencil for a Cutie Mark. Her special talent is art. She is a supporting character in the story and so far only a narrator when the audience specifically asks for her input.

Loose Leaf is an extremely energetic and easily distracted Pony, often getting lost in her own thoughts. She is somewhat clumsy as a result and tends to break things around the cafe. While she does a good enough job around her workplace, Merriweather is well-aware that she is only there to make ends meet. Regardless, Loose Leaf is a very friendly and imaginative person who often throws herself headlong into whatever she's doing. She is good friends with her co-worker, China Saucer. Everyone affectionately calls her "LooLea" for short.

Despite being a character for the story, Loose Leaf is actually an original character from the game PBPRP "Daily Life in Ponyville" and was not created by the author of the blog. She appears in the "Ask Merriweather" blog with permission of her creator, though Loose Leaf also has her own art blog: StupidSexyLooLea  While Merriweather will sometimes appear in Loose Leaf's personal blog, the events of that blog do not necessarily reflect canon events in the Ask Merriweather continuity.

StoryEdit

The story thus far follows the "Slice of Life" genre of simply observing the day-to-day lives of the characters. Within the context of the story, Merriweather has recently opened a tumblr blog as a means of advertising the cafe to increase sales. So far, the plan has worked swimmingly and the cafe has been flooded with guests from other tumblr blogs looking for something tasty to drink and eat.

Another noteworthy part of the story is the world building aspect. The author of the blog has based the story and setting off the PBPRP "Daily Life in Ponyville" game, which has an extensive lore for the setting, races, and overall world. This lore was inspired by the My Little Pony universe and greatly expands upon the overall setting. As such, Merriweather often explains larger parts of the world to the audience when necessary, such as summarizing how the Equestrian Military operates.  Her son, Meadow Lark, also helped to expand the setting by describing more mundane aspects of day-to-day life, Pony grammar, and a few concepts unique to Ponyville such as a civilian's POV to all the various disastrous events that have befallen the town over the course of the cartoon.


Chapter 1: Welcome to The Summer Song CafeEdit

The story opens with Merriweather, having just set up her Tumblr account and being taught how to use it.  As she is quick to explain, the entire situation is a result of her son, Meadow Lark, urging her to use the internet to help promote the cafe.  Though reluctant at first, Merriweather grows to accept the advertising medium throughout the day as she introduces her staff, explains her business, and delves a little into her own personal affairs.  However, when user questions inevitably address the fact that she is a single mother and prod at her history surrounding Meadow Lark's unnamed father, her mood swiftly sours.  After being badgered on the matter for longer than her patience allows, Merriweather (technologically impaired as she is) resorts to zapping her laptop with magic as a means of silencing the questions.


Chapter 2: Meadow LarkEdit

The story resumes featuring Meadow Lark as the current focus.  Hours have passed since Merriweather zapped the computer and Meadow Lark has squirreled it away in his room for repairs.  It is night by this point and Meadow Lark explains that he's home alone while his mother, China Saucer, and Loose Leaf have all gone out together for the evening.  He needs to ask the audience about why his mother was so upset and reveals that he doesn't know the full story behind his own origins either.  Meadow Lark explains that he's not as bothered about the topic as Merriweather is, and that she's promised to explain things to him "when they're both ready".  From there, Meadow Lark takes center stage and answers questions for the viewing audience, addressing various personal matters and explaining a bit about life in Ponyville from a child's perspective.  It's revealed that he hasn't yet learned how to fly (though he can hover and glide) and that his mother is struggling to save up enough money to send him to Flight Camp in Fillydelphia come springtime.  It's also revealed that Meadow Lark has a crush on the local school teacher, Cheerilee.  The chapter ends with Meadow Lark heading off to bed while continuing to be firmly dismissive of some of the audience's concerns about him being on his own for the evening without a foal sitter.


Chapter 3: The Pony KegEdit

Meanwhile, the three ladies of the story have accepted a standing invitation from Rusty Nail, the owner of a local tavern called "The Pony Keg".  Merriweather is still upset over the whole situation regarding the Tumblr audience prying into her personal life and further displays how little she understands the internet as she thought that frying the computer would destroy her blog.  Loose Leaf corrects her and Merriweather is left even more upset when she realizes that Meadow Lark has been managing the blog while she's been out, and that a number of viewers have left her harsh criticism for her behavior.  Despite everything, China Saucer and Loose Leaf both remain positive and hopeful that Merriweather will continue to maintain the blog, encouraging her to keep at it.  A bit of blunt honesty reveals that they're worried about their boss, as Merriweather is fairly antisocial, doing nothing but work and care for her son each day without taking any time for herself.  They're concerned that she's ruining her ability to have a social life and urge her to use the blog as a means of acclimating herself to social interactions.  Though reluctant, Merriweather eventually agrees to keep the blog open.

Throughout the evening, Merriweather answers more personal questions from the audience, revealing more of her own personal history, family, philosophies, and experiences as a soldier.  She also delves into a rather lengthy discussion about Changelings, revealing her own hatred and fear of the insectoid specie along with speculation about their nature.  The evening ends with Merriweather heading out on her own earlier than the other girls, intent on getting some sleep for an early start the next morning.  However, when leaving the bar, Rusty Nail joins her for a walk and, much to her surprise, asks her out on a date.  As is later revealed, the blog's video feed cuts out before Merriweather answers, ending the chapter abruptly.


Chapter 4: The Cutie Mark SwapEdit

As a result of the author participating in the 2013 Tumblrpon Cutie Mark Swap event, this chapter is unusual compared to the others as it takes place entirely within a dream sequence.  The nature of the scene is not revealed until the very end of the chapter.

During this brief arc, Merriweather is sporting a Cutie Mark featuring two gears and allegedly a Special Talent for inventing machines.  The blog, meanwhile, is explained to be her own personal web series where she teaches the viewers engineering.  Given the nature of the Cutie Mark Swap, however, it quickly becomes obvious that Merriweather is lousy at her job to the point of endangering herself and others.  While seeming far more chipper than her previously stoic self, it is soon apparent that Merriweather is deeply depressed over having been a complete failure for over 30 years.  At her lowest emotional point, the nightmare falls apart when Princess Luna steps in and puts a stop to it.  Luna's remarks allude that she and Merriweather somehow know each other, though it is not explained how.

The chapter continues with a little bit of lighthearted silliness to contrast the heavy mood the nightmare left behind.  Merriweather instead has pleasant dreams, as well as a brief run-in with a dream-jumping Evil Genius Twilight who has very much underestimated her would-be victim.

Despite being a dream sequence, the Cutie Mark Swap itself is a canon event, in that Merriweather had a nightmare about not being able to live up to her special talent.  As a result, the chapter is symbolic, addressing old wounds that had been opened up by the Tumblr audience pressing her for information about her previous life.  The chapter also addresses the question of how Merriweather's personality would be had she never become a soldier, yielding a far more outgoing and cheerful personality, at least on the surface.


Chapter 5: The Breakfast RushEdit

The story resumes early the following morning as Merriweather awakens from her dreams, preparing herself for the day and getting the cafe running.  She reveals that she uses magical force fields to create all the furniture, flatware, and dishes for the cafe's daily use, which is an extremely impressive display of magical skill thanks to her years of study and practice.  This chapter briefly swings into a different art style as Merriweather tells the story behind where her cafe got its name from, covering an old "Flutter Tale" involving her ancestor, Summer Song.  She also explains that there has been at least one soldier in service of the nation from each generation of her family line for over 800 years, and that she is responsible for breaking that tradition.  She does not believe Meadow Lark would be the sort to enlist, nor does she feel her sister would ever have children at all.  Ending such a long running tradition weighs very heavily on her.

As the chapter progresses, China Saucer returns in great haste, eager to grill Merriweather for information about her response to Rusty Nail's invitation.  It is revealed that Merriweather had cast a shield spell to try and block the Tumblr broadcast (the same sort used to block Clairvoyance magic), though she wasn't sure it would actually work at the time.  The two mares continue to discuss the potential of Merriweather starting to date again after so many years of being single, though it comes to light that Rusty Nail has actually been trying to get Merriweather's attention for quite a long time and she simply didn't realize she was being flirted with.  Despite China making a few solid points about Merriweather needing to loosen up and stop taking her life so seriously, Merriweather's pride keeps her from conceding.

As the morning routine continues, more light is shed upon various relationships in town. It is revealed that the Mane 6 and Discord alike all frequent the cafe to varying degrees, and that Pinkie Pie is particularly close with Merriweather, fondly referring to her as "Aunt Merri" due to their shared past with The Cakes after Merri moved to Ponyville ten years prior. Meadow Lark takes more time with the Tumblr community explaining some of his relationships with his peers: particularly the Cutie Mark Crusaders. While it has been mentioned in the past that he hangs out with Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon, it isn't until now that the two make their first appearance. Their friendship is explored and discussed while the trio head off to school.

Non-Specific Canon EventsEdit

Due to various crossovers and interactions with other Tumblr users, AskMerriweather has side-stories that are canon to the Merri-verse, though are not set in a precise point in the story like the normal updates are.  They could presumably have taken place prior to Merriweather opening her blog, or at any vague period after.

Merriweather and Tootie FrootieEdit

Originally developing from a bit of gift art, it has been established that Merriweather is friends with Tootie Frootie, a young Pegasus mare who runs a local ice cream shoppe.  It was planned for Meadow Lark to later develop a crush on Tootie once he realized that he had no chance with Cheerilee, but due to the mod of Tootie Frootie shutting down the blog, that future storyline has been scrapped. Past gift art depicting Meadow Lark crushing on Tootie, however, are all still canon.

Merriweather and What's Her FaceEdit

During the events of What's Her Face's blog, it's revealed that she does not have a reliable means of getting food and supplies out in the forest.  As a result, Merriweather began performing regular deliveries to her each evening to make sure WHF remains well-fed.  True to nature, Merriweather dotes and frets over WHF, acting as a parental figure for the amnesiac mare.  WHF's gray cloak was a gift from Merriweather to make sure she can keep warm.

Merriweather and AltonEdit

Originally the result of OOC chatter about various ships, a brief origin story was developed for Merriweather and Alton's relationship.  While "making deliveries to others in the forest" (presumably WHF), Merriweather took time to visit Alton's home to introduce herself and bring him some free samples.  Alton, accustomed to visitors being huge bothers and annoyances, ended up being fairly taken with Merriweather since she respected his personal space, made absolutely no effort to befriend him, and brought him sweets.

As further plot development in Alton's own story goes, Merriweather semi-regularly visits Alton to bring him complimentary food.  Despite her giving him plenty of space, she does worry about him and his health.  During a bad event where Alton began suffering hallucinations, Merriweather tried to calm him to bring him back to his senses, but eventually had to physically subdue him when he attacked another Pony in a blind panic.

Following a hiatus period from Alton's mod, the blog and story has since undergone a reboot and this past story is no longer canon. However, MerriAuthor fully intends on officially reintroducing Merriweather to Alton and reestablishing their friendship at the first opportunity.

Merriweather and Rainbow DashEdit

The in-universe incarnation of Rainbow Dash is presented from the PBPRPG that Merriweather originated from.  This version of Rainbow Dash has expressed feelings of admiration and romantic interest in Merriweather, though she has been gently let down by the Unicorn.  Despite that, the two are still very close friends.  Merriweather escorted Rainbow Dash to the 2013 Tumblrpon Prom event, both in full formal military dress: Merriweather in Special Forces dress uniform and Rainbow Dash in Wonderbolts Air Force dress uniform.

Merriweather and Britannia Edit

While it is canon that Merriweather and Britannia served in the Equestrian military at the same time in their shared history, the specifics have yet to be divulged in the blog prime itself but has been explored in "Ask Britannia"'s own posts. Britannia undergoes a newspaper interview with Wiggles' Coffee Talk via "Ask King Sombra" canon, taking place at the Summer Song cafe in the years prior to the events of Season 1 and Nightmare Moon's return. Merriweather serves the two refreshments and adds her own two bits to the interview, revealing more about Britannia's nature and their history as soldiers. The two enjoy a playful sort of friendship and readily jab one another, often referencing their time in the service together fondly. Despite their attitude as peers, Merriweather was Britannia's commanding officer and carries a doting, motherly attitude toward her in the modern day.

Meadow Lark and SpudEdit

Once again as the result of a piece of fan art for a side-character from the mod of Tootie Frootie, it has become canon that Meadow Lark is very close friends with Spud, a young farmer colt.  The two get into all sorts of mischief together, mostly at Meadow Lark's urging.

Meadow Lark and CalcEdit

Following an art trade between the artists for AskMerriweather and StupidSexyLooLea, the canon came about that Meadow Lark is friends with Loose Leaf's younger brother, Calc.  While the two don't seem like they'd have much in common, they actually get along very well together, though Meadow Lark bears a slight rivalry with his far more intelligent friend.

There is a running gag that Meadow Lark needs to befriend a Unicorn colt so the four of them could become the male equivalent of the Cutie Mark Crusaders, ignoring the fact that Calc already has his Cutie Mark.

Merriweather and Professor Techno Wizard Edit

Thanks to the utterly silly friendship that developed between the mods of Ask Merriweather and Ask Techno Wizard, the good professor himself was officially integrated into the canon Merri-verse. Merriweather and Techno Wizard's lives cross paths several times over the years. Greenwood, Merriweather's older sister, was one of Techno Wizard's many students while he taught at Canterlot - Merri would often tag along into the lectures but get too bored to stay awake. Later in life, Techno Wizard would accompany Merri's Gallop Guard patrol on a dangerous assignment that led to her taking a serious wound, losing her left ear and hearing permanently as a result. In the present day, Techno Wizard "lives" with Merri after stumbling upon her cafe following his unexpected and unexplained arrival in Ponyville during an otherwise unusual personal quest. He comes and goes as he pleases, but often lingers for open mic night at the cafe where he performs lectures and debate on magical theory. Rusty Nail is his most common companion/adversary on such evenings. Despite him being old enough to be her father, Merriweather dotes on Techno Wizard whenever she feels he's not taking care of himself (practically always), but otherwise the two enjoy a congenial friendship as kindred spirits.

Art StyleEdit

Despite being a young blog, "Ask Merriweather" has already undergone a significant shift in its art style within the first few posts of activity. The new art style is much closer to the show, having done away with solid black outlines and using cleaner, more precise linework and coloration than before.  Certain characters, like Meadow Lark and China Saucer, have undergone palette changes over time.  A running gag from the artist is that any visual changes are the result of one of Twilight Sparkle's magical experiments screwing with perception (ie, a wizard did it).

Every now and again the art style will take a drastic shift for a few posts, often used to portray a flashback or story being told within the context of the blog itself. While Merriweather told the audience a legend surrounding one of her ancestors the art style took on a rough papyrus-and-ink quality. Flashbacks often feature a grey, unfocused haze over background features - as in, anything that is not the exact focus of the memory of the person doing the flashback, or otherwise not clearly remembered. When Merriweather explained a past event focused on herself, Duke Bluebood, and her then-C.O., the background gradually faded darker and darker to black as Merriweather's focus narrowed entirely on just the three of them in that experience. Whenever Merriweather or other characters go into technical detail about a facet of their world, it is often accompanied by a blueprint-like illustration as a visual aid.

The art for the blog is created entirely within Photoshop CS2 using a mouse.

Interblog Links and GuestsEdit

The Summer Song Cafe and its hosts offer hospitality to any who come in for a drink. As such, many characters from other tumblr blogs make guest appearances as customers, though the generally do not have any impact on the overall story.

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