• Member Since 29th Mar, 2012
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Capn_Chryssalid


A groovy mystery, gang.

More Blog Posts13

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Jan
19th
2014

Fanfiction Musings: Twilight and Star Light talk about MAGIC · 4:13am Jan 19th, 2014

Twilight Sparkle waved towards the approaching class, first spotting the bobbing pink curls of Miss Cheerilee’s mane as she led her class up the wide stone steps. The colts and fillies followed a moment later, never straying far from her or ahead of her, but always in a rather disorganized band. It was more than just Cheerilee’s normal classroom with her; little ponies a year younger and a year older had also come along on the little field trip not far outside town. Twilight knew there to be about twenty four of the children, at least if everything followed the well-planned itinerary she had laid out. She had exactly twenty-four lunches for them, plus two for Miss Cheerilee and herself, and one for Spike, and one to spare.

The class soon started running around the construction site. It was a good thing anything dangerous had already been stored away. Mostly it seemed to be the colts who wanted to get their hooves on any unattended power tools, or to start playing with the cranes, but Twilight noticed Apple Bloom also studying the worksite with interest, especially the four monolithic pillars that surrounded where Twilight stood, waiting.

“Class! Come on!” Cheerilee said, after a quick exchange of greetings. She spent the new minute or so rounding up the three grades. “There’ll be time to look around after Miss Sparkle’s lecture.”

Twilight waited, smiling patiently. A flash of purple and green revealed that Spike had already found a nice spot near one of the big pillars where he sat down and leaned back to take a nap. She wouldn’t be saying anything here today that he didn’t already know, besides which he needed to save some energy for spending time with his dragon friends. While the class slowly took their spots, sitting down on the cool stone foundations according to their groups of friends, one filly felt the need to get in the first question of the day.

“Heya, Twilight!” Apple Bloom was one of the few she knew already, hence the use of her name rather than just Miss Sparkle. Which made her feel a little old, now that she thought about it.

“What is it, Apple Bloom?” Twilight asked, as things calmed down for her lecture.

“Ah’m guessin’ mosta this tower’s gonna be stone, right? It makes sense they’d need some tall supports, just like when we put up a barn, but what’re those things?” She pointed with a little yellow hoof towards the towering rectangular beam that struck straight out of the ground behind the librarian. It was one of four.

“While more mage towers look circular on the outside, usually the interior is an octagon – meaning it has eight sides – and every tower needs four iron grounding pillars to conduct stray magic back into the ground,” Twilight explained, and already a few of the fillies and colts were listening in, expecting this was the actual start of her talk rather than just a brief diversion. She pointed to the pillars, then to the ground. “Think of it as being like magical wiring. This one here is aligned towards magnetic north and the others are set at perpendicular angles to…”

“I guess that’s getting a little too complex,” Twilight admitted, grinning to cover her embarrassment. It was hard, sometimes, to remember the age and experience of her audience. “They’re magical supports, Apple Bloom, not structural supports.”

“Ah think ah get it,” Apple Bloom said, after a few seconds of thought. She didn’t sound too sure, though.

“Oh!” Sweetie Belle suddenly exclaimed, stamping a hoof for emphasis. “Like static electricity! Sometimes, when my sister uses lots of magic to make dresses, my mane gets all frizzy and if I touch something it goes zap!”

Twilight nodded. “That’s exactly what the iron pillars are there to prevent from happening, especially if a pony is way up near the top of the tower.”

“Why iron though?” Apple Bloom asked.

“Iron is the most… one of the most magically conductive elements known to ponykind. There are actually a few metals that are even better, like platinum or gold, but they’re obviously too scarce to build anything with.”

“Okay, class,” Miss Cheerilee said, taking her place next to twilight in front of the little ponies. “Everypony, your attention, please. For those who don’t know her, Twilight Sparkle here is not just the town librarian. She is also an apprentice of Princess Celestia and the Element of Magic. So let’s all listen and give her the attention she deserves. After she tells us a little about unicorn magic, we’ll have a quick lunch and then get a tour of the area to see what Ponyville’s new mage tower will look like when it’s finished.”

“Thank you, Miss Cherilee.” Twilight shifted a little, looking across the small crowd of faces. Her horn lit up, projecting images into the air, the very first being an otherwise blank slide with the words: INTRO to UNICORN MAGIC. “To begin with…”

The slide flipped around to reveal a picture with the silhouettes of the three pony races: an unassuming earth pony silhouette, a pegasus with her wings unfurled behind her, and a unicorn with her horn held high. To those who could recognize it, they looked rather suspiciously like Applejack, Rarity and Rainbow Dash.

“I’d like to start with an overview of the different pony tribes and their magic. Not included is the alicorn… which is simply an amalgam of the three pony types. Now, all pony magic is fundamentally the same, whether used by an earth pony, a pegasus pony, or a unicorn. All ponies possess a natural level of magic. What differs is the means by which that magic is used by their body.”

The slide flipped around again, and this time each of the silhouettes was enlarged and had highlights added to it. The earth pony’s hooves and skeleton were highlighted in yellow, the pegasus had her wings highlighted in blue and the unicorn had her horn highlighted in red.

“Earth ponies conduct magic along a very robust, de-centralized pathway all throughout their bodies, with four notable clusters or nodes in the hooves. Pegasus ponies have a more centralized magic system than earth ponies, concentrating magic primarily into two nodes instead of four: their wings. Unicorns have the most centralized magic system of all, where the body concentrates magic into a single node: their horn. These physiological differences mean that each tribe of ponies not only developed different types of magic, but that they have physical adaptations to magic as well. The best example of this may be the ability of pegasus ponies to interact with clouds. Anypony is capable of replicating this effect, but it comes naturally to pegasus ponies because their bodies have adapted the spell and made it intrinsic to their being. Similarly, telekinesis is something every unicorn is capable of.”

“Now that we're gone over the basic physiological basis for magic use, and as it is the focus of this lecture, we will go on to look at the unicorn horn itself.” Twilight flipped her illusionary slide and this time it displayed a textbook copy of the anatomy of a horn and part of the skull. “A unicorn’s horn is a uniquely well evolved instrument for the channeling of magical energy. More than ninety percent of the magic in a unicorn’s body flows into and through the horn. As you can see, the horn is not just a piece of the skull… it is actually a combination of keratin covering a core of live bone.”

Seeing more than a few confused looks among the fillies and colts, Twilight decided to add a little bit to her lecture to explain. She should’ve known that part of this would’ve gone over their heads without more details.

“What is keratin?” Twilight asked herself. “Think of it as the same stuff that makes up your mane or tail. Hair, basically. Except it is bundled together very, very tightly. As you can see…” The next slide showed a horn growing longer as a filly grew into a mare. “The horn continues to grow all throughout a pony’s lifetime, though most of that growth takes place as she matures and slows after about twenty to thirty years. The adult length is different for everypony and is believed to be affected by a number of genetic and environmental factors. Basically, it grows for a while, but the size doesn’t have a meaningful impact on how much magic a pony can use. A unicorn with a small horn can channel just as much magic as a unicorn with a large horn. Mostly, the difference is caused by diet and levels of calcium intake. Male unicorns have longer, more thickly built horns than mares, leading many to conclude that differences in horn size are related to competition among proto-unicorns as a result of physical combat.”

The slide flipped again, to ask the question WHAT IS MAGIC?

“What is magic?” Twilight asked, repeating the slide’s question. “This is actually a very difficult question to answer, and one ponies have debated about for thousands of years. The modern ‘unified field theory’ of magic that developed out of the works of Clover the Clever, and refined over the last thousand years, tells us that magic is simply the means by which we interact with the universe. In this way, simply picking something up with your hoof is magic, though a very mundane sort. Most of the magic we think of as magical is the non-corporal form of interaction. Meaning: the way we influence the world without touch.”

The slide flipped, changing to a globe. That globe was surrounded by stars, including a large one labeled the sun, and a small one labeled the moon. Arrows pointed outwards from the stars in random directions, but not the moon or the globe that was Equestria (to most ponies at least, Equestria was both the world and the nation).

“This is a very simplified model of where magic is believed to come from, though there is still much debate on exactly how it gets from one point to another. You may recall from history that ancient ponies, especially ancient unicorns, worshiped the sun and the stars. They were great astronomers, and in fact, the first mage towers were really observatories. This is true today as well, as every tower always has some means of observing the heavenly bodies. The study of the stars and the study of magic were long seen as the one and the same. While modern unicorns and modern Equestrians separate the religious aspects of star worship from the academic study of magic, we do know that there was a grain of truth to the old legends. As you can see, raw magic is created in stars, just like Celestia’s sun, through an unknown process. The magic is radiated out through space and into the aether, like ripples in a pool of water. It eventually ends up here, though some also bounces off the moon first.”

Twilight’s next slide altered the first, so there were only a few arrows. One went from the sun to the world, another from the sun, to the moon, and then off the moon to the world. Others came from smaller stars to Equus.

“The magic we all use comes from these stars, which saturate our world with their magic, just like a hot fire can make a room warm. In turn, the world fills us with magic as well.”

“Oh!” Sweetie Belle’s hoof shot up.

“Yes?” Twilight asked, pointing to her.

“Does this mean you can get magic just by sitting outside in the sun?” Sweetie asked, sounding hopeful.

“Sorry,” Twilight replied with a titter, “but no. Unless you’re a plant, it doesn’t work that way. But you do get magic by eating your vegetables and exercising right.”

“Then how come some ponies have more magic than others?” Sweetie asked, more insightful than she knew. “You’re really magical, right? You must east eat a lot!

Twilight’s pout was probably a little less than dignified.

“I do not eat a lot!” Twilight protested, stomping a hoof. She did notice one stout unicorn colt in Cheerilee’s class looking very hopeful, though. “Diet is a factor, there are others, too, most of them outside a pony’s control. My family for example. Mares with high magical potential tend to have foals with high magical potential as well. But a good diet is essential to developing your full potential. Now…!”

The next slide just said: RAW MAGIC – AETHER

“Let’s talk about what we know about raw magic. ‘Aether’ is the most raw or pure form of magic known to ponykind, since we have been unable to isolate magic in a vacuum. A very diffuse form of it exists in the space far above even the highest clouds. When we create it here in Equestria, it is in a much purer form. I have a very special treat for everypony! I actually brought a small amount of aether for you to see for yourselves.”

Twilight paused her presentation and reached into the bag by her hooves. She retrieved a thick glass sphere, within which a tiny black point of light swirled and churned. She held it up before giving it to Miss Cheerilee to then pass around to the class.

“This is a tiny amount of aether, donated to the Ponyville library by the Canterlot Academy of Magical Sciences. The glass is unbreakable, but you should still be careful when it comes around to you and show it the respect it deserves. Aether is very volatile and reacts violently when exposed to impure magic, of the sort that exists almost everywhere in Equestria. Even though aether has been known to ponykind for at least two thousand years, we still know very little about it, especially as it occurs in nature.”

“Are you sure this is safe?” Cheerilee asked, worriedly staring into the tiny black abyss that swirled in the glass. Staring into it, she could almost swear that something stared back…

“Perfectly safe! … As long as the glass doesn’t break,” Twilight assured her. “And even the cutie mark crusaders couldn’t break the seals on that container!” The librarian laughed for a second, only to quickly sober and turn towards the class, and three fillies in particular. “Which isn’t to say you should try and prove me wrong!”

“Aww.” “Nuts.” “Dang.”

“Now,” Twilight continued, projecting the next slide in her presentation. “From raw aether and raw magic, we get into more nebulous territory: the magical schools and the various attempts over the centuries to classify what magic belongs to what discipline. I could go on for hours about the many attempts over history to define the schools of magic, from Brayto’s study on the Essential Base Elements to Starswirl’s controversial treatises on Recomposition and Simplification of Disciplines to White Light’s Prism Theory of Magic to Boltaire’s philosophy and the later New System of magic that had over a hundred different sub-disciplines…”

She all but felt the collective shudder from her audience as they prepared for a particularly long and dry, ten-part seminar.

”But…!” Twilight mentally scrapped a few of her slides. “Let’s just keep it simple, shall we?”

The next slide had arrows branching from the RAW MAGIC and AETHER. The first was three branches. Then a second copy had five branches instead of three, and a third had seven branches.

“Typically, ponies observe either a base-three, base-five or base-seven magic system. Meaning that there are either three or five or seven different schools of magic. All agree that the lines between the types of magic are basically pretty blurred.”

A hoof went up, and Twilight paused in her lecture, not having expected a question.

“Yes, Silver Spoon?”

“Why are there so many?” she asked. “Haven’t ponies had a… a really super long time to figure this out?” She adjusted her glasses and sniffed, disdainfully. “What’s so confusing about it?”

“And what do you mean blurred?” Diamond Tiara also asked, without raising her hoof.

“It may be easier to give you an example than to explain it,” Twilight replied, and pointed to two of the colts in the front row. She remembered them from the mess with Trixie. More important for the demonstration, they were both unicorns. “Um. What are your names again?”

Seeing where she was pointing the two colts stood up.

“Snips!” the short one said. “And I’m Snails,” the tall one drawled.

“Would you please come up here?” Twilight asked, and once they stood in front of her, she reached down to cover their faces with her front hooves. “One, two, three!” her horn glowed, and she removed her hooves.

On the upper lips of both colts, they sported bristly handlebar mustaches.

“Now,” Twilight announced. “Who can tell me what is the difference between the two forms of magic I used just now?”

The classes muttered and murmured amongst themselves and Twilight waited, sitting behind the amused Snips and Snails. It wasn’t long before one of them figured to investigate the problem with more than just her eyes.

“Oh! Oh!” Sweetie Belle waved her hoof in the air. “Miss Twilight!”

“Yes?”

“Can I ask Snips and Snails to do something?” She didn’t wait for a reply. “Can you touch your mustaches?”

Both boys looked back at her, and Twilight nodded. At the same time, they reached up to their faces. Snips’ hoof passed right through his mustache. Snails’ hoof didn’t.

“One of ‘em is an illusion!” Scootaloo called out.

“That’s right,” Twilight agreed. “One is an illusion spell and one is an alteration spell. The differences seem obvious, but think about it: how is it you are seeing the illusionary mustache? Your eyes and your minds are being fooled into thinking something is there when it really isn’t. Is an illusion different than alteration, or is altering your perception also alteration?”

At this, the fillies and colts again began to mutter, not sure what sort of answer they were expected to give. It wasn’t a question with an answer, really. Not unless somepony here was actually a reincarnated Starswirl.

Twilight held up her hoof for silence. “I’m not asking for an answer. The study of magic is, in many ways, a search for the right question to ask. Ponies have been trying to figure it out for longer than even Princess Celestia has been around. If you ask some ponies, they will tell you there are one hundred and one schools of magic. Others will say thirty seven, or eleven, or seven, or five, or three. Some will insist that there is only one, and that there are no schools of magic at all. You can both sit down now, thank you, Snips, Snails.”

The colts quickly scurried back to where they had been sitting before, the mustaches dissolving off their faces.

“For simplicity’s sake, I will just explain the three most common systems,” Twilight told them, and brought up the respective slides. “The conventional seven-school system classifies magic as Illusion, Alteration, Conjuration, Evocation, Transmutation, Divination or Enchantment.” She pointed up to her illusionary projection. “Here, you can see a few example spells of each school, like creating fireworks as an illusion, creating barriers with evocation, or causing a mustache to grow with alteration. Miss Cheerilee had told me that Lady Antimony, one of my distant cousins, already gave you some examples of enchantment. Transmutation involves rearranging elements or magic, either releasing energy or drawing it in. Conjuration is mostly commonly different forms of summoning magic, but it also includes things like the creation of magical mirrors and gateways. Most aether, like in the glass, is either produced in a laboratory or summoned using conjuration.”

Next, she pointed to the slide with five-branches. “The five-school system is archaic, but some ponies still prefer it for one reason of another. I recently ran into a mare who used this system and it prompted me to re-examine it myself. In this system, there are five schools: sorcery, wizardry, alchemy, thaumaturgy and electricity. In a broad sense, it can be seen as a simplification of the seven school system, where magic is sorted not according to effect but by cause.”

“Sorcery includes the schools of illusion and evocation, because both schools use magic of a similar… let’s call it ‘wavelength.’ Or color,” she added, seeing that most of the little ponies here wouldn’t know what a wavelength was. “Wizardry includes magic like conjuration and alteration. Alchemy is mostly transmutation, Thaumaturgy is mostly enchantment and natural internal magic, and Electricity is weather and external magic. This system is… convoluted, as it isn’t strictly sorted by what the magic does, instead it is sorted by how the magic takes shape…”

She coughed into her hoof. “Imagine you have a big bowl of gumballs,” Twilight tried to explain in a way the little fillies and colts would understand. “The green gumballs are apple flavored, the orange ones are… well, orange… and the red ones are cherry. But not all of these candies are the same shape. Most of the green apple-flavored ones are round, but a few are triangles and a few are squares. Most of the cherry flavored ones are triangles, but a few are round and a few are squares. Most of the orange ones are squares. Most magic systems would sort them by their color and flavor. All the apple flavored ones go in the apple category, no matter what shape. The five-magic system sorts them by shape instead of flavor, so your ‘round’ category has a mix of candies, most of which are apple-flavored, but a few are also cherry and a few orange. This system is much more confusing for most ponies to understand, but it is also more versatile, as it includes magic that unicorns don’t normally cast, like earth pony magic – Thaumaturgy – and pegasus magic – Electricity.”

Twilight paused at the end of her explanation to see if the story and her allegory made any sense. A few of the little ponies seemed sort of lost, or just plain confused, but a few also seemed to be trying to piece it together. The story about the candies helped, she thought, even if it was a last minute thing she had added in. Explaining Lady Twinkling Star Light’s preference in magical systems wasn’t easy.

“Lastly, we have the three-magic system,” Twilight said, moving on to the last of the slides on this subject. “This divides magic into one of three types: earth, heaven or sky. ‘Earth’ includes transmutation, enchantment and earth pony magic, ‘Sky’ is weather magic, pegasus magic, and elemental magic, and ‘Heaven’ is unicorn magic… illusion, evocation, conjuration and alteration.”

Discussing the differences between the schools one last time, she decided to open the floor to some questions. It was way ahead of time compared to her planned outline for the lecture, but it looked like a lot of ponies had questions. The first few were easy. Then she got one covering a topic she had planned to touch on later anyway.

“Alliteration,” Twilight said, nodding sagely. “Most unicorn spells are alliterative. Why is this?”

She created a new slide that read:
Berkelium's Blinding Blistering Beam

“Berkelium's Beam is a fairly common unicorn spell. You might have seen it before. It basically looks like a blast of magical energy.” Twilight turned around to point at each one of the words. “Each alliteration in the spell indicates a level of complexity. A pony has to learn them iteratively… one after another. First, she learns the Beam, which is actually the last word in this case.”

Twilight turned around and lit up her horn, producing a conical magenta flashlight.

“This is a Beam,” she told the class. “Very basic. Most unicorns learn something like this, if not this exact same spell, even before their first apprenticeship. It is actually just the last word in an entire phrase of power. This phrase is an invocation: a verbal phrase or set of phrases that help to focus the magic. Using an invocation is usually only necessary when you first learn a spell or when you’re first trying to understand the principles behind it. After that, a pony usually doesn’t bother, because an invocation always creates the spell at full strength.”

“For example, the invocation for a basic Beam is simply: Light from Mind. Awareness! Form! Beam!”

As the last word left her mouth, her horn surged with power, and the flashlight turned into a lighthouse. Burning magenta crackled as Twilight turned her horn upwards to avoid blinding anypony. The searchlight projected directly up into the sky, visible almost until it hit the clouds overhead. Twilight exhaled slowly, and the light faded again.

“Magic in general is much easier to control when it comes entirely from your horn and not from a verbal component or chant,” she explained.

“Light from Mind. Awareness! Form! Beam!” a filly repeated, furrowing her brow. It was a little gray unicorn; Amethyst Star’s sister, if Twilight remembered correctly. Dinky-something. “Beam!” she yelled again, and gave a groan of disappointment. “It isn’t working!”

“The words themselves only unlock the power, they don’t give you power,” Twilight informed her, and the rest of the class, before they all started trying to repeat the phrases. “Think of it like math. You need to understand variables before the equation makes sense. Um… you… probably aren’t up to that kind of math yet, though…”

Twilight scratched her head, trying to think up a better way to explain it. “Oh! Think of it like a story! You need to know who the characters are for a scene with them to make sense! You need to understand ‘Light from Mind’ and ‘Awareness’ and ‘Form’ and only after you do can you use the ‘Beam.’ See? Now, back to Alliteration,” she continued. “Each alliteration has a set of power words that it represents. Berkelium is next, after beam, even though it comes out first when you use it. So Beam becomes ‘Berkelium's Beam.’”

“Is Berk-burr-berkkleum a pony’s name?” Sweetie Belle asked, calling out with her hoof in the air.

Twilight nodded and smiled at the question. “Berkelium was a pony from the migration period, and she invented this variant of the Beam spell and many others. Unlike most of the ancient ponies who invented or improved on spells, we actually know a great deal about her! She was a white mare with a golden mane who moved to Equestria with her family from the Old Kingdom when she was a little filly, just like you!”

“Cutie mark,” Apple Bloom demanded. “What was her cutie mark and how did she get it?”

Twilight fidgeted at the question and coughed into her hoof. “I don’t know if I… uhm… that is to say… Applejack isn’t going to like me telling you this, but, well, she sort of got her cutie mark by…” The studious unicorn shuffled uneasily on her hooves. “She blasted some things. With beams. Until they left her village alone.” Twilight laughed, suddenly. “Yes! That’s all! She definitely didn’t destroy anything!”

Too late. Apple Bloom, Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle were already huddled together writing something down on a piece of paper. Twilight made a mental note to stay away from Sweetie Apple Acres for a few days.

“Yes, umm,” she tried to resume where she had left off. “After Berkelium's Beam, the next level is Berkelium's Blinding Beam, and then finally Berkelium's Blinding Blistering Beam. Though there are other variants, like the Bouncing Beam and the Bounding Beam and the Binding Beam and the Blaster Beam. Each alliteration becomes progressively harder to cast and control. The highest most ponies can go is four alliterations of any given spell.”

“Why only four?” a unicorn colt in the back asked.

“Nopony really knows,” Twilight answered. “In the past, very high level unicorns and… others… could use five-alliteration spells. These were often called ‘megaspells’ because their effects could be wide ranging or destructive. It is believed, for example, that the spell the Princesses use to move the sun and moon is a five-alliteration spell, though nopony knows for sure.” She hesitated a moment, before saying just a little more on that subject. “According to some ponies, the limit is four-alliterations because after the fourth alliteration, the use of normal invocations breaks down,” Twilight said, and stopped herself then and there. “The limit is four alliterations. That’s just how it is for the time being.”

“But that isn’t all there is to spell theory,” she went on, and draw up a new magical slide. “In addition to alliterations, there are also subsidiary castings. Here’s an example.”

Berkelium's Beam: Blue

“This is a very simple adjustment to the normal beam, changing the color. Much like the even simpler Beam: Blue!” Twilight’s horn lit up, producing another flashlight-like cone, but this time the light was bright neon blue. “A subsidiary casting is much easier than adding a new alliteration. You aren’t dramatically changing the spell, but you are adding a layer of complexity to it. And, yes, subsidiary castings can also alliterate.”

Berkelium's Beam: Rainbow Rain

Twilight tilted her horn up and away from the fillies and colts, and powered up the spell, though keeping it on low. The cone of light she created was intense, more intense than the flashlight Beam, but more importantly it also coruscated with every color of the rainbow. The dazzling lightshow even attracted a few curious pegasus onlookers. One weatherpony in particular took offense.

“Ohhh! So it’s a Rainbow-Off you want, huh?” Dash yelled from on high, still wearing her weatherpony outfit. She pumped her hoof in challenge. “You think you can take me?!”

Twilight angled her horn, blasting the flyer with all the colors of the rainbow.

“Bw-ahagffh!” Dash sputtered, knocked off her cloud. “Hey!”

“Oops,” Twilight called out, clearly not meaning it, a smile on her face.

“Watch where you point that crazy thing!” Dash yelled back, also smiling. Then she blasted downwards, leaving a rainbow colored trail behind her as she circled the beam, and then the unicorn who produced it. A second later and she blasted off and back to work. Twilight chuckled and ended her spell, the cone of light turning to sparkles.

“Theoretically,” she told the class. “A pony can cast a four-alliteration spell with a four-alliteration subsidiary. I should say that that is the real limit. And that’s basic spell structure in a nutshell!”

“Miss Twilight,” Diamond Tiara imperiously spoke up, not feeling the need to raise her hoof before speaking. “Can only unicorns cast these spells? What about earth ponies? You said that all magic is basically the same thing, right? Just that earth ponies don’t have horns?”

Twilight licked her lips, thinking about how to respond.

The image came to her, unbidden, of a dark earth pony mare with a scarred face, inequine eyes smoldering like dying pits of fire, deep and monstrous as Tartarus itself. Eyes that burned with the same magic as a unicorn’s horn, wreathed in poison. No longer belonging to a pony any more than they belonged to the gorgon they had first been stolen from. There were ways, Twilight knew. Not that she had any intention of ever telling anypony here about that.

“An earth pony or pegasus pony can use unicorn magic by mastering the verbal components of a spell,” she explained, “and substituting their wings or hooves for a horn. But… doing so… is very difficult. I don’t think I can describe how difficult, since I can’t really imagine it myself. But no… pony in modern Equestria has more than a passing skill in it. It was most common in the pre-migration and pre-classical period, when unicorns were captured by other tribes and forced to teach them spellcraft. When the tribes learned to live together in peace and cooperate rather than fight… the need for it died out.”

“Alright, class,” Miss Cheerilee began to say, “why don’t we--”

“Twilight!” Apple Bloom called out. “Can a pony other than the Princess really learn to move the sun?”

Cheerilee paused, glancing over her way. It seemed she wanted the question answered, too. Twilight nodded. “Theoretically, yes.”

“Do they have to be an alicorn?” another filly asked.

Twilight shook her head, not entirely liking this line of questioning. “No. That has nothing to do with it…”

“So what’s the point’ah bein’ an alicorn, then?” Apple Bloom asked.

“From what I understand, being an alicorn is no different than being any other type of pony. You are what you make of yourself,” she said, putting her hoof down on the subject. “I know today’s lecture dealt almost entirely with unicorn magic, but unicorn magic is still pony magic. Don’t forget that it was an earth pony, the mythical Promaretheus, who stole the secrets of magic from the gods to save ponykind. Magic is a gift and a blessing for ALL ponykind.”

“What about the magic of friendship?” The question actually came from Spike, who still lounged by one of the iron pillars. “What kind of magic is that?” he asked. “Funny, I never even thought about it until now.”

“I… I, uh…” Twilight stammered and bit her lip as she same to realize she didn’t really have an answer for her assistant, or the rest of the class for that matter. “I – I don’t… I’m not sure…” Now chewing her lower lip in embarrassment, she had to admit, “I don’t really know.”

“Okay, class,” Cheerilee jumped in again, this time to rescue the poor librarian. “Why don’t we have lunch? You can ask Twilight Sparkle any more questions you have and relax for a while and then we’ll continue our tour of the area. And remember, if you’re interested in magic, don’t forget to sign up for an apprenticeship. Once the mage tower has been built, Lady Rarity has generously agreed to pay for the first twenty scholarships, but you won’t be eligible unless you enter your name.”

The ending could’ve gone better, but Twilight’s heart swelled to see many of the unicorn colts and fillies in Ponyville, despite being a rather stark minority, looking with interest at the prospect of an apprenticeship. Soon, thanks to Rarity, young unicorns in Ponyville wouldn’t have to move out of the town just to further their education. Friendship was Magic, she had learned that by coming here, but Learning was a Magic all its own, too. And who knew? Maybe the next Starswirl would grow up in Ponyville.

Or the next Arsenic.

Only time would tell. Still… Spike’s question continued to plague her, even as everypony focused on their packed lunches. Where did the Magic of Friendship fit in? It did look like a rainbow, but it wasn’t normal pegasus rainbow magic, or normal unicorn magic OR earth pony magic. Why did all the Elements of Harmony need to be active for it to function? Either it worked at full power or not at all. Who or what had first defined the Elements themselves? There was still so much they didn’t know, that they didn’t understand.

Which was frustrating, but not necessarily a bad thing: it meant there was always something more and something new to learn.

- - -

“Adjusting magical transmission!”

An upside down alabaster-white unicorn mare appears amid the static, half her face hidden behind a pair of blocky gold clockwork goggles. Despite being upside down, her red and pink mane seems undisturbed, and flows upwards in defiance of gravity. She reaches up, flicks one from red to blue, and crosses her forelegs, nodding to herself.

“Yes. Yes. Excellent. Transmission stable. Switching to third-pony present for real time interaction. Adjust the gain fuchsia!” The screen flickers for a second, before the picture turns clear. “Excellent. Greetings, otherworldly guests! I, Twinkling Star Light, have taken it upon myself to appear to answer those inquiries of yours that Twilight Sparkle herself would not be able to! She is a brilliant mare, but certain secrets have been kept from her, once that may be shared with you.”

“First, I received a transmission asking about the torcs! The Star Keys!” Star Light rubs her hooves together and chuckles. “Such fascinating artifices! I simply had to re-assemble them to continue certain avenues of my research! So, the question was asked: ‘I'm curious about the torcs and their connection to the constellations. There are only three torcs existing at this time (if I remember correctly), but theoretically is there a torc for every horoscope sign?’”

“Who says there are only three?” Star Light asked, laughing and flicking her head to the side to cause another lens to drop down in front of her face with a click. “My son managed to make off with three functional keys, but he only has those three because nopony save myself knows how to reconstruct them. As least I think I’m the only one… oh, but there are others. Here and there. More there than here. But as you may know, they are a means of communion with the entities that inhabit the Empyrean Vault.”

“Some of the connections are obvious to all: Chalice has been bound to Sagittarius, Miss Heartstrings to the Lyre, Miss Twinkleshine to the Triangle, I believe. It makes sense that you would think that each constellation has its own torc, but already there are not enough torcs to go around! If we assume that my son only has the three torcs, one of which was broken until Twilight Sparkle fixed it, that leaves two torcs for clearly more than two ponies and more than two constellations! How to reconcile this? The answer is this: individual star keys are not restricted to the one who uses them, or the entity they have been used to contact. After all, if I use a key to break into your home and steal something… a blood sample perhaps, because I really would like a human blood sample - I don’t need the key anymore, do I?” Twinkling Star Light chuckles darkly, adjusting her goggles with her hoof. “Though, it may be better to think of it as a skeleton key, rather than a house key. I also would not advise stealing blood or hair or anomalous matter samples from sleeping demi-gods. This one time, Cruccie got so upset with the constant pan-dimensional interruptions during our personal time that he…”

“We’re losing the signal!” Pinkie’s voice announces, as Star Light’s audio fades in and out. She continues anyway, gesturing wildly with her hooves.

“…so after the ‘sample’ escaped and tried to make a run for it, I had to…”

“Let’s just not hear that, shall we?”

Star Light glared madly at the screen as her audio returned. “…Thank the Princess that the bones were still intact! But the entire thirteenth floor was covered in…”

“Er, gross.” Pinkie’s voice cut in as the static returned.

“…and that was our third honeymoon in a nutshell,” Star Light finished, nodding to herself. “As a bonus, we also got the number for one of our alternate selves. Since Canterlot is being invaded in a few days, I’ve thought about hiring some enterprising individuals to steal – errr – purloin? No, that means steal, too. ‘Borrow indefinitely’ one of the mirrors in the castle. For safe-keeping. That’s it. We don't want it falling into changeling hooves, now do we? Anypony interested?”

“Yeah… I don’t think that’s wise,” Pinkie warns, shaking the camera a bit. “Oh! What about this question: ‘Does all that insanity out there have some connection with unicorn magic? Is normal unicorn magic filtered down from Out There by Equestria, into something more like what we see, or some such? And what does all that alien strangeness mean in relation to the Sisters?

“Twilight Sparkle already answered some of this, but I will endeavor to clarify,” Twinkling Star Light says, contemplatively tapping her chin. “Aether, as you may have heard about from various sources, is very volatile and dangerous. In the broader universal sense, it is the medium that stores and transmits magical energy from the stars to Equestria. So, yes, it is connected to unicorn magic and all forms of magic. If there was no aether, there would be no magic, but where there is aether, life as we know it is impossible. But Twilight Sparkle already said as much before.”

She exhales softly.

“All magic is, as you speculated, a filtered down form of what naturally bombards our planet. It collects in certain things more than others: plants and gems being the big two. Certain trees continue to soak magical… radiation… for their entire lifetimes. This magic can also grant near-immortality to these plants, meaning that they can accumulate magic for thousands or even millions of years. I believe Yggdrasil to be the best example of this. When I was younger, I visited the tree with my husbu - I needed somepony to distract the dragons and other guardians - and acquired a cutting from it and attempted to clone the tree. My efforts succeeded, in time, as a plant is still just a plant… though it did require draining the small amounts of magic from several hundred volunteers over the course of a year.”

“Uh, that sounds kind of ominous…”

“Pish-posh! There was no lasting harm. I contributed my magic as well to the experiment,” Star Light continues, otherwise ignoring the interruption from her unpaid intern and helper. “The sapling only grew to about three times the height of a pony, but it did give me enough to theorize that the current Yggdrasil is at least four million years old. Among other things, I also discovered that while the primary tree is consecutively monoecious, the sapling was not, which explains why there are not whole forests of giant world trees covering the planet from pole to pole. It also gave me enough evidence to prove that sufficient levels of raw magic cause progressive physiological mutations… which may be obvious to those of you who are genre savvy, but nonetheless, I enjoyed having proof to support my theory.”

“What’s with this tangent, you may be asking?” Star Light clops her hooves and conjures up a tiny black sphere, or at least the image of one. “Aether and raw magic in general is much more destructive… corrupting, is probably the word you are thinking of, though the term is also a value judgment I try to avoid in the interests of an unbiased experiment… than the filtered magics most forms of life use, including unicorn magic. Which brings us to the Princesses.”

The black light vanishes, and Star Light holds up her hooves, conjuring up a picture of Luna in one hoof and Celestia in the other.

“These two have been exposed to aether-magic for more than a thousand years due to their connection to the Sun and Moon… mostly the sun, as the moon itself has been proven not to generate magic as true stars do. Who knows what affects it has had on them? Is this the mechanism behind Princess Celestia’s size relative to her sister and normal ponies? Regrettably, the Princess continues to refuse my polite requests to take a few harmless samples of her, and the last time she caught me impersonating her physician, I ended up in a rather dark place for a few days. I don’t think it was the Moon, but…”

“It was probably the moon,” Pinkie noted.

“Nonsense! She can’t send things to the moon without the elements of harmony.” Star Light dismisses the possibility with a wave of her hoof. “I will conclude by saying that it is best to be wary of undue or unrestricted exposure to… those entities who exist outside our world. My daughters have learned this first-hoof, and ironically, they know more than I do the details of what transpires after the torc enables contact with an extra-Equestrian being. Our local sun… may be different, however. The constellations one gains power from all have different personalities, if you can call it that, and treat those bound to them differently. It is entirely possible that Celestia and Luna have found the one stellar object in the universe entirely amenable to being tethered to a mortal being.”

The Celestia and Luna images in Star Light’s hooves glow softly. “Call this the ‘gift’ scenario.”

“It is also possible that they exist in uneasy tug-of-war and the moment something disrupts that, they will be dragged into a fiery oblivion beyond mortal comprehension.” The Celestia and Luna in her hooves suddenly erupted in flame and disintegrated. “Call this the ‘burden’ scenario. I leave it to you to speculate as to which is most likely.”

“Well, that’s depressing.”

“It is?”

“Of course it is!”

“Then I should lighten the mood with a joke,” Lady Star Light decides, clapping her hooves together and extinguishing the fires. “After a long day of work, Helium floats into a bar. The bartender objects. ‘We don’t serve noble gasses in here, lady!’ Helium doesn’t react.”

“…”

“PFFFFFFHAHAHAHA!!” The noble Duchess breaks out into a peal of laughter.

“Ha ha ha?” Pinkie laughs. Truly. What a funny joke… ??

“Here’s another!” Star Light insists, despite muttered insistence from Pinkie that she really doesn’t have to. “I went to the bar with my lab assistant the other day. The bartender asks what I’d like, and I say, ‘I’ll have H2O.’ My assistant says, ‘I’ll have H2O too.’ And he DIES!! PFFFHAHAHAHA!!”

“Chemistry humor hurts my brain. Please stop.”

“That’s what you said about all those Far Side comics I keep around the lab. You’ll learn to love them.”

“Yeah… probably I won’t. So, do you have any PG-13 adventures you can describe instead?” Pinkie asks.

“Oh.” Star Light mulls over that for a second. “Truth be told, ‘adventure’ is just another word to describe when things go wrong. Contrary to what you might think, I try and take every safety precaution when doing any research off-Equestria. I even kept on-world for almost the entirety of my first pregnancy. It was horrible! Ughh!”

Star Light shakes her head violently.

“An irony is that I may have traveled more off-world than around our own world,” Star Light muses. “My last ‘adventure,’ if you had to call it that, brought me to the lab of a scientist in the griffin lands. I had been asked to consult, you see, and I was so lost it was embarrassing! I didn’t know anything about the local cuisine or customs! Oh, but Doctor Terrorwing had just the loveliest view from his mountain fortress. You could see all the way out to this frozen mountain lake where he was testing his freeze ray, and the ice crystals sparkled when they caught the morning light. In between work, he even taught me to skii. Such a gentle-griffin. I felt like a young mare again! Don’t tell my husband, but I think he had a little crush on me!”

She pauses, leans forward, and pauses again.

“Oh, you can’t see my eyes, can you? I’m winking. That was a wink. Wait. Here’s a wink. Did you see it? No. Just take my word for it. Hmm? What’s that? Why did I help him build a freeze ray? Surely you understand that there are many peaceful civilian applications for a weapons grade freeze ray!!”

“Not really,” Pinkie notes while holding the camera.

Star Light’s snout crunches up and she sticks out her tongue. “Anyway, it was a wonderful time once I got used to all the griffins. But, wouldn’t you know it: I’m just minding my own business throwing failed experiments into the lava pool outside my private quarters when suddenly there’s this tremendous explosion! All the nice griffins start to run and fly around like chickens with their heads cut off. It turns out some young troublemaker had been captured and, against all odds, managed to escape. He soon got his hooves on a prototype pony-and-griffin portable freeze ray and started going wild.”

Twinkling Star Light shook her head in dismay.

“Well, I was up on the second to the last floor, so I figured it would all die down after a while. After a quick snack, I was on my way down when I bumped into this pony. Why, I could barely believe what I was seeing. Not only had he stolen the prototype freeze ray, but the ice-armor and the crystal-adhesive boots that allow you to walk on the ice, too. He even had the blue passkey, which meant he must’ve beaten up poor Colonel Coldheart. Just a few days before her birthday, too!”

“I saw him and told him, ‘I hope you aren’t using that freeze ray to bypass any traps without filling out the proper laboratory testing forms. And you really must be careful when using the boots to scale walls you’ve frozen over to get around obstacles; you could break your neck. I then felt compelled to show him how to slide using the boots and armor.’ Next thing I know, he says he’s going to rescue me, and I end up being dragged behind him, opening panels and doors and the like.”

“Umm… it sounds like he had the adventure and you were an NPC…”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Star Light shrugged. “An hour or so later and poor Doctor Terrorwing ended up ironically freezing himself and shattering into a million pieces. I barely had time to steal… er… ‘borrow indefinitely’ his research before skiing down the side of the mountain as it collapsed. Such a shame. Cruccie would’ve loved the ice bar.”

A pink hoof points towards her. “That was a video game! You were in a video game!”

“I don’t know what you mean,” Star Light protested. “For me, it was a Tuesday.”

End Transmission

----
Haha, wow, this ended up pretty damn long! 8000 words? lol. This is longer than a lot of actual fanfics. Oh well. One night of binge writing can do that.
Consider it a TPC one-shot.

Sorry I couldn't fit in Twilight and Sand Dune bickering over who gets to teach Sweetie magic. Because clearly Blueblood gets to!
Blueblood: (sipping his drink)
Sweetie: "This is gonna be fun!"
Blueblood: (still drinking)
Rarity: "Give me that!" (takes away his liquor)
Blueblood: "My drink... why did you leave me? Was it something I said? Okay, fine, magic time. Lesson the first: distracting your sister." (projects an illusion of a half dozen stallions with various flowers, chocolates and gifts)
Rarity: "Ohhhh dear..." (fans herself)
Sweetie: "Yes, yes, I see..."
Blueblood: "And then, while she's distracted..." (carefully retrieves his drink) "And that's how it's done."
Sweetie: "And this can be applied to get candy and cookies?"
Blueblood (conjured illusionary Big Mac) "Eyup."
Sweetie: (evil laughter; so much evil laughter)

1 hour later edit:
If you guys want, feel free to ask any other magicy or random questions to either Twilight (who will give you straight answers) or Star Light (who ramble on) about whatever comes to mind. Twilight won't be able to give you potential spoilers, but Star Light may hint at a few inbetween her randomness.

Report Capn_Chryssalid · 2,510 views · Story: This Platinum Crown ·
Comments ( 44 )

Twinkling Star Light is a spark!:rainbowlaugh:

lol so Earth Ponies can cast magic but it is lost. I wonder if that is what Pinkie can do (without realizing it) or if she is truly unknown out there. Granted if alliteration helps spells few would be better than Pinkie Pie.

Makes me want to bring out my old 2e D&D wizard books. They had some nice fluff on magic schools.

This is why I love you. Because of Dat Worldbuilding.

Twilight made a mental note to stay away from Sweetie Apple Acres for a few days.

Sweetie Belle, what did you do?

Twinkling Star Light and Cruciger are based on Agatha Heterodyne and Gilgamesh Wulfenbach, aren't they?

Fluttershy:
“¡Yay!”
——
Fluttershy

¡Magical physics!

About physics, I imagine that teleportation obeys conservation-laws. You show that in linearly accelerating objects and teleporting them back over and over again. I imagine that if no difference exists in potential energy, the energy required to teleport someting depends directly on the mass and distance:

e=md

With conservation of energy, it would take more energy to teleport up than laterally. One must poor energy for compensating the difference in energy. Teleporting down could be dangerous:

Let us suppose that one is I gigameter from Earth and teleports to the surface of Earth. If one does not use energy to compensate the difference in potential energy, one would emerge moving at 11 kilometers per second. In other words, one must take into account potential energy, just like orbital mechanics, when teleporting between different planets.

Would it be possible to have the wrong "variables" in a magical equation, and still have the spell go off?

The magical equivalent of putting in the wrong constant in a formula: what happens?

Inquiring minds need to know.

Soooo, how does language interact with magic? Language is just a simple way of defining certain things as concepts - what we see as a physical 'apple' is no more the concept of 'apple' than what we would define as 'orange.' The word 'apple' is a concept-construct to help categorize and transmit the concept of the physical 'apple.'

Different languages have different alterations than, uhm ... whatever the language is of the ponies. Equestrian? Equish? Anyway, would a spell that is impossible in Equish be possible in, say, Neighponese? A spell that is easy in one hard or impossible in the other? How does alteration cause these concept-constructs to be easier or harder?

Take it another way - 'love.' Actually, 'hate.' 'Hate' is better. 'Hate' is a pure concept. There is no physical 'hate' object. There are physical effects of the concept of 'hate' inside the mind but there is not object called 'hate.' Anyway ... 'despise' is also 'hate' with different concepts associated with it - the connotations. 'Love' has a sibling in 'like.' These pure concepts express a multitiered series of interrelated and simpler concepts with minor differences. Does 'Dawnbreakers Despised Drop' have a different effect than, say, 'Halfmoon's Hated Hop-down?' That was poorly worded but I think you get the idea. How does the conceptually-based language cause the effect of magic ... or is it just a simple way for the unicorns to express conceptual ideas in a compact format? If a unicorn, anypony really, could break off from their mind the crutch of language and express in thought these concepts without relying on language, would that 'open' a different type of magic?

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Twilight: "I have no idea how Pinkie works. Do you?"
Star Light: "Not at all. And the biopsy samples I cultured turned looked like a game of Pac Mare under the microscope."
Pinkie: :pinkiecrazy:
Star Light: "A slight exaggeration, perhaps..."
Twilight: "I'd hope so."

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Twilight: "I can't seem to find my magnifying glass...make that glasses. Oh oh. I've got a bad feeling about this... Spike? What happened to my magnifying glasses?"
Spike: "Apple Bloom came by earlier and said she needed three of them. Why?"
Twilight (runs up to the upper floor of the library to look out towards Sweet Apple Acres, where a small pillar of smoke is rising up from behind a few trees)
"APPLE BLOOM!! What in tarnation are you girls doing?!"
Twilight (slowly backs away from the window and closes the drapes) "Let's just pretend nothing happened back there and move on with life..."

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Star Light: "Cruccie and I are a composite of various eccentric married couples and characters. Or so I've heard. Isn't that right?"
Cruciger: "Hrm."

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Twilight: "As you recall, and much like you've speculated, teleportation does conserve momentum. And mass. I demonstrated this to Rarity some time ago, and I noticed that Prince Blueblood also had a strong understanding of this principle in his duel with my brother. When a unicorn teleports, either using a personal spell or a teleportation circle as Alpha Brass and Eunomie do, they basically envelop themselves and/or nearby objects in their 'star field' which is a magical aura. The star field - which posses essentially zero mass - is then moved, and as long as it is intact, it takes what is inside it along for the ride. Like an invisible, intangible bubble. The limit is usually volume and distance, rather than mass. A unicorn also needs to know where to place the new star field. All this has to be set up before the spell itself is initiated. Finally, I should mention the 'reverse summoning' that Eunomie has used, which is not proper teleportation. In that case, Eunomie is actually using a summoning contract... with herself, to summon herself. Very strange stuff."

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Twilight: "Oh yes, that can definitely happen. When a pony first learns a spell, it can take time to get it right. Eunomie, for example, practices hundreds of times until her understanding of a spell equation is... flawless. That level of obsessive perfectionism is very rare. For most spells, there is a degree of leeway. Think of it as a curve along an X and Y axis. The curve starts at zero-zero, then hits five-ten, then twenty-thirty, then forty-sixty. These points are the three power word phrases in a spell. If a small mistake is made on one point, it may throw off the spell slightly, going from twenty-thirty to forty-five-fifty-five. For many spells, this means the spell itself will still fire, and behave properly. For others, it may cause a misfire. But too much of a deviation from any one point in the curve will always break the spell. This is especially true when you mix up the first part of a spell, and each step only compounds the error."

Star Light: "Sometimes an unexpected deviation or mistake can create a new version of a spell, but that's pretty rare. 'Crack magic' like that is entirely hit and miss. The best spell casters are the ones who take the time to plan their magic properly. An example would be some foalish mare trying to increase the power of her beam spell, so she flubs in a new replacement phrase, and instead of it backfiring, it works... but it 'works' by dumping all that energy back into her horn instead of projecting it forward at an opponent. Have you ever seen a horn explode from the inside? The outer layer actually swells a little before it cracks, and the thin subsurface jelly layer bubbles out like red paste."

Twilight: :twilightoops: "Thank you for that horrifying mental image."

Star Light: "Anytime, dear."

Twilight: "Almost all of the time, a mistake in a spell just causes a harmless fizzle. The magic dissipates formlessly away from the horn. This is also the effect caused when somepony strikes the horn mid-cast or interposes a star field equivalent onto the horn. Ritterkreuz did this to me by holding onto my horn, and I did the same when I grabbed hold of Twinkling Star Light's horn. It doesn't hurt, but it is really embarrassing and breaks your concentration. I thought about trying it with Lord Cruciger, too, but..."

(Twilight imagines a little version of herself grabbing into Cruciger's horn. After which he reaches up with a hoof and flicks her into the stratosphere)

Twilight: "Yeah. So it isn't always guaranteed to work, but disrupting spells is still a viable tactic, depending on how you try and go about it. And no, before anypony asks, I do NOT mess up spells... that often... my point is that it is rarely the catalyst for some new adventure or lesson in friendship. Very rarely." :twilightblush: "Maybe its happened a few times..."

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Twilight: "A very interesting question! The language itself is just a medium. This is why a pony doesn't really say the words unless they're doing an incantation. What is important is the meaning in the words and the order in which they occur. Spell books have to be translated into other languages for foreign-speaking unicorns to learn them and even braille. This can be very tricky, especially because the translation has to convey the meaning and intent as closely as possible! This is also why pony names, like Berkelium or Osmium, can be part of spells. They don't have power themselves, but they evoke our memories of the pony and their accomplishments. When I think of 'Iridium' for example, I imagine a very powerful and frightening mare, a pony trying to stop evil and avenge her family no matter the cost, and my magic attempts to imitate her. Berkelium is much the same, just less revenge-crazy, but when I imagine Osmium, I imagine a soft voice with great authority, like Princess Celestia's. The names are just a way to share the feelings, intentions and interpretations in a way others can understand and replicate with the right timing."

Twilight (pausing, to think about what she just said) "I hope that's at least semi-clear. A concept like love or hate would generally be used in a phrase if it needs to be specific, like 'love of a mother' or 'hatred of the spiteful.' Plus, if a pony can't grasp the concepts behind a spell, then they can't cast the spell. Not everypony is suited to cast every type of spell. In fact, most unicorns are only really talented in one specific field. High level illusion incantations are especially hard when they involve concepts like 'void within a circle' and 'shadow within shadow.' I don't get that one myself. How can there be a shadow in a shadow? Some ponies record their spells in very obscure ways, too, to purposefully confuse their students and make it hard to learn."

Star Light: "Almost all the ancient unicorns did that, actually. Most modern 'spells' are simplified translations of older originals to make them easier to teach. In the past, most unicorns believed that magic was meant to be a secret, often a personal one... the better to only pass it on to a select few. Unicorns of today have it much easier than our ancestors did."

Twilight: "But, back to your questions and observations... there are more complex... ways of doing things. Alpha Brass used some sort of vocalized spell during our duel. I still don't know what it is. Though I'd bet somepony here does..."

Star Light: "WAHAHAHA!" (suddenly serious face) "I... might. Think about it, Twilight Sparkle. As this nice human has said, different languages, different concepts, different creatures. Would you recognize a zebra spell if you heard one? Or a dragon's? Moreover, if I had a spell, and part of the incantation was 'eternity' or 'immortality' would you be able to understand the concept enough to cast it? One thing about illusion spells... you have to understand 'fear' before you can cast it. Such primal concepts are among the most difficult to master, for obvious reasons, but that is also the price one must pay to master magic. You see that there are concepts even in our own language that are hard to understand. How hard, then, to understand concepts alien to ponykind?"

Twilight: "Are you saying that's what it was?"

Star Light: "That is what it may be. I don't speak that language either, or know that spell. Whatever it is, my son never learned it from me. But... magic without language should be possible. Nature is full of flora and fauna that use magic and have no language, or even sentience. And the world is full of strange things, just waiting for us to discover their secrets."

PC

That was AWESOME! I crave for more knowledge. MOAR! :flutterrage:
Um... please?
fc08.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2012/131/5/f/hurricane_fluttershy_by_odarkdragon-d4zd4cq.png

So much learning :applejackconfused: is there more?:pinkiehappy::yay:

There's a lot of interesting stuff here; I note, with certain relief, that "necromancy" is not one of the thematic spell schools in Equestria! The candy analogue for the five-point classification of magic was a good one, too.

Am I wrong in assuming that Dinky will be trying out that invocation a lot from now on? (I further assume that Berkelium's cutie mark showed a magical beam exploding something. She sounds like she was a bit of a one-trick unicorn, but one that didn't let it slow her down!)

Finally, I'm having a hard time getting over Lady Star Light referring to Cruciger as her husbu. It totally fits, but... :derpytongue2:

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Well, obviously it can't be too alien, or else Alphie wouldn't have been able to cast it himself. Unless he's not actually a pony... :trixieshiftright:

Dear Twilight Sparkle,

You mentioned the nodal distribution in ponies affecting how magic was handled by their physiology, but this begs the question, what are the nodal distributions in Griffons and Changelings? Changelings seem to posses horns similar to unicorns, but the behavior of their disguises would seem to suggest a more distributed network as well. As for griffons, they've been demonstrated interacting with clouds, so they must have some latent magical ability, but how does it compare to pegasai? Do their more tacticle forelimbs or dualistic physiology have any effect relative to pegasai?

Oh! Zebras are also of great interest. How is their nodal network distributed?

Diamond Dogs would also be a point of interest, given their fascination with gems, and almost supernatural tunneling ability. Is this a form of magic similar to cloud manipulation?


Dear Twinkling Star Light,

If there were, theoretically, a mineralogically based variant of ponies, how might this affect their interaction with magic relative to a more standard type of pony, such as an earth pony? Would they have a different nodal distribution, or would the nature of their bodily substrate effect the majority of changes one might observe?

I way waaay underestimated the length of this when I started reading, but I had a good time going through it. I'm also amused at how inclusive this particular interpretation of the magic of Equestria is. Any kind of kooky, innovative, unintuitive, or just plain silly versions of magic can be thought of as one of many models for viewing, predicting, and understanding magic.

Anywho, I liked it. Almost wished it was a story post though. But. It also fits as a blog! Not sure where it best goes!

And this Star Light is a total goof. Not sure if I should hug or fear.

A very compelling set of canon to work with. Well said!
And I am totally oxygen-potassium with chemistry humor.

1734397

Thank you, Twilight, for answering my question. And thank you, Star Light, for that... interesting... anecdote.

Star Light, has your research into history and magic revealed any connection between the phrase "the stars will aid in her escape," and Nightmare Moon's return, and some sort of extra-equestrial being? Because, it seems to me that if magic is radiated down to Equestria from the stars, and those same stars make up constellations that can be harnessed/summoned/manipulated, it stands to reason that those mysterious powers of the void wanted Nightmare Moon to bring eternal night. Care to enlighten us?

To Star Light: Exactly where does Changeling magic fall on all the three major systems for classifying magic?

1734397

> “Twilight: ’As you recall, and much like you’ve speculated, teleportation does conserve momentum. And mass. I demonstrated this to Rarity some time ago, and I noticed that Prince Blueblood also had a strong understanding of this principle in his duel with my brother. When a unicorn teleports, either using a personal spell or a teleportation circle as Alpha Brass and Eunomie do, they basically envelop themselves and/or nearby objects in their ’star field’ which is a magical aura. The star field - which posses essentially zero mass - is then moved, and as long as it is intact, it takes what is inside it along for the ride. Like an invisible, intangible bubble. The limit is usually volume and distance, rather than mass. A unicorn also needs to know where to place the new star field. All this has to be set up before the spell itself is initiated. Finally, I should mention the ’reverse summoning’ that Eunomie has used, which is not proper teleportation. In that case, Eunomie is actually using a summoning contract... with herself, to summon herself. Very strange stuff.’”

I see. I forgot that teleportation displaces spacetime into spacetime. Therefore, if no difference exists in gravitational potential, then the equation is:

e=vmd (energy equals volume times mass times distance. Most of the energy goes into displacing the volume of spacetime. Mass would important if one tries to teleport several cubic meters of Osmium.

When teleporting multiple ponies, the energy requirements would increase faster than the number teleported:

If one unicorn teleports herself and the bubble has a radius of 1 meter, the area of ground is:

(τ/2)(r^2)=a (tau over 2 times radius squared equals area)
If r is equal to 1 meter, a=3.141592653589793m^2.

The volume displaced is:

(2τ/3)(r^3)=v (2/3rds of tau times radius cubed equals area)
a=4.18879020478639m^3

Let us suppose that she wants to teleport herself and 3 friends. They would need 4x the area of ground for standing, but 8x the volume for displacing. It would require twice as much energy per pony, unless ponies are stackable.

The Big-O of the equation is usually volume, except under unusual extreme conditions, because if one does not change gravitational potential, e=vdm and d and m vary only linearly, while v grows by the cube of the radius, so simply doubling the radius increases the energy 8x, while doubling either the mass or distance only increase the energy 2x.

This brings us into mathematics:

I figure that ponies use τ (tau) as the circle-constant because the radius defines the circle:

A circle is all points equidistant from point on a plane.

τ=c/r (tau equals circumference over radius)
τ≈6.28318530717959

¿Which base do you use? If I had to guess, I would suppose that you use either Quaternary (base 4) because ponies have 4 hooves or Sexagesimal (base 60) because it is the least common multiple of all positive integers 6 and less ( (2^2)(3^1)(5^1) ). It has 10 factors:

2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 12, 15, 20, 30

When writing out the result of a smallish integer over a smallish integer as a value with a radix-point, it is much more likely to terminate.

The next highly composite number in the series is 420 which is a quite a few digits to learn for writing and reading numbers.

¿Would I be correct in assuming that your magical computing machines use balanced ternary internally?

¿Could you tell us about the denominations of your money? In efficient whay to do the denominations assuming that you use Sexagesimal is:

1, 2, 4, 8, 15, 30, 60

That requires only 7 denominations, but efficiency is not everything. It could be useful to break high-value currency in multiple ways:

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 12, 15, 20, 30, 60

Certainly, that is many denominations, but one can divide all positive integers up to 6, and then 10, 12, 15, 20, 30, and 60 too.

¿Do you have fractional currency like thus, as an example?:

1/60, 2/60, 3/60, 4/60, 5/60, 6/60, 10/60, 12/60, 15/60, 20/60, 30/60, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 12, 15, 20, 30, 60

Human currency often do:

.01, .02, .05, .10, .25, .50, 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100

We replace your speech with dialogue from human voice-actors/actresses. ¿How do ponies really sound when you talk? ¿Could you tell us about your languages?

¿Could you please tell us about your universe? It seems to be like a planetarium. We humans have an hypothesis that your Discord is an entity known to us humans as Q. We hypothesis that Q/Discord created your universe for his amusement.

¿Could you tell us about time-keeping on Equus? I imagine that the Princesses hate the invention of clocks and calendars because now they have to be precise about when they move the astronomical bodies.

¡Thanks!

Could you turn this into a story, please? I know it isn't what's typical, but the fact that you wove this into a narrative is enough evidence for this to qualify this as 'fan fiction' in the traditional sense. Doing so would

A) Make it easier to for us to save and locate it under Favorites, and give us the option to download.

B) Chapters are really needed here, since this is a lot to take in. 8,000+ words may not seem like much, but since most of it is exposition for your unique theories, we need pauses to take it all in. And yes, this is troublesome to slog through, and chapters would be good stopping points and markers.

C) With the ability to update, you could add-on chapters just for addressing questions, and followers would be notified immediately.

1735669

Twilight: "I'm glad you asked!" :twilightsmile:
Twilight conjures up a basic silhouette of a griffin, alongside that of a pegasus and an earth pony. The blue highlights of the pegasus wings glow, and then so do the wings of the griffin. The hooves of the earth pony glow, and so do the claws of the griffin. The griffin is thus highlighted in both green and blue.
Twilight: "Griffin magical physiology is distributed very similarly to that in ponies, and it has been very well studied as griffins have been citizens of Equestria for hundreds of years. Likewise, ponies have been citizens of various griffin nations, most notably Crown Roc, for the same amount of time. More on the implications of that a little later. As you can see, griffins have magical nodes in both the claws and wings: six in all, but they are different from ponies in that not all their nodes share an equal magic-bearing load. The two front claws have a much higher concentration to them than the rear claws, and the wings also bear a higher load than the rear claws, but less than the front two. So what does this mean?"

(Twilight adjusts the illustration, and the glow on the griffin's wings and back legs diminishes)

Twilight: "Functionally, a griffin's weather magic is less potent than that of the average pegasus, likewise, their ability to use magic as an earth pony does - via the hooves - is also less than that of an ethnic pony. It may be easiest to think of griffins as a cross between earth ponies and pegasus ponies, more generalized than either, and thus, less specialized. Before you ask: yes, there are griffin farmers in Equestria - especially ones who specialize in agricultural fields ponies find distasteful, like leatherworking - occupying the niche earth ponies typically hold, and there are griffins who specialize in traditionally pegasus fields of work, like weather control."

(Twilight flips the illustration again, and this time a strange silhouette is next to the griffin.)

Twilight: "Hippogriffs have also been a part of Equestria virtually since first contact with the griffin tribes, at the start of the Migration Period. The territory of Crown Roc, for example, is estimated to have a population of several thousand. Interestingly, three different varieties of hippogriff exist, depending on the tribe of the equine parent. As you can imagine, unicorn-hippogriffs are the rarest of all - as the unicorn population as a whole is by far the smallest Equestria-wide - and the ability of a horned hippogriff to use all three forms of pony magic makes them valued as mages in a society where magic use is already rare. Griffin magic is, like zebra magic, primarily alchemical and based on transmutation principles."

Twilight: "Unfortunately, I'm not personally familiar with the details behind zebra magical physiology... Zecora is the first zebra I've ever seen or met. They do not have a diplomatic presence in Canterlot and they do not have nation-states to represent them overseas. The only pony I know to have had contact with them to a large degree is Alpha Brass, who visited several overseas zebra territories after becoming Marquis of the Frontier and the Reach. I would assume they are similar to earth ponies, despite being a distinct species, but that is entirely a cursory evaluation and not to be taken as an exhaustively researched conclusion. Diamond Dogs are rarer than griffins in Equestria... most civilized dogs are found in the south, and the same is true of Minotaurs, who come from an island off the coast of Bitaly. I've never seen or heard of either group using conventional magic, but I do know that both are skilled in enchantment and the construction of artifices... magical tools, materials, etectera. I'll have to look into it more, or maybe ask Lady Sand Dune what she knows."

--

Duchess Star Light: "Mineral based ponies? Do you mean Crystal Ponies? A Crystal Pony is not actually crystal... if you crack one open, for example, the skull will not yield a brilliant geode. It will just splatter brains and viscera everywhere. The crystal-appearance is entirely a product of the effect of a magical artifact on the epidermal layers of the skin, eyes, and so forth. Scratch the surface, and they are just earth ponies, like this one here."

Star Light holds up Pinkie Pie (:pinkiehappy:) stares at her for a second, and then tosses her away.

Star Light: "Not that one. Like this one."

Star Light holds up Applejack.

Applejack: (:ajbemused:) "Uhh... howdy... what am ah doin' here? Wasn't I just on the farm?"

Star Light: "Crystal BAM!" She knocks Applejack on the head, prompting a quick bout of colorful curses. Nonetheless, Applejack's appearance changes and she starts to sparkle. "Anypony exposed to the artifact that causes this - the Crystal Heart typically - takes on this appearance. Even pegasus ponies and unicorns. It can also be replicated cosmetically. I believe my son hosted a crystal themed party where this was done, entirely for amusement's sake."

Applejack vanishes in a puff of smoke.

Star Light: "Now that we've established that, I will say that crystal ponies and their descendants who survived in Equestria are noted to be exceptional jewelers and jewelcrafters. To give an example, sixty percent of all the diamonds in the world are believed to move through Fifth Avenue in Manehattan. A disproportionate number of those businesses are owned, operated, and staffed by crystal pony descendants. I believe this to be less due to magic and more due to deep seated cultural factors that influence a pony's choice in career."

Star Light (after thinking for a moment) "But, I should also cover the alternatives. There are 'stone ponies' as well, if you want to think of them as such. I mean those poor foals who have been petrified. Petrification is a very fascinating biological state! I've studied it before, especially as a means of hibernation or re-animation. It may also be useful in the area of long distance travel. A petrified pony is metabolically inert, but still maintains a very trace consciousness. I could go on, but for the purposes of your question, the magical network is unaltered by the transformation. One very interesting example was a pony whose right front leg had been petrified. The rest of her body was unaffected, and, as an earth pony, I noticed that over time her body compensated for the loss of the limb by redistributing the magic to the existing nodes."

Star Light: "Lastly... there is the matter of the entirely illegal creation and animation of 'artificial equines.' This practice has been outlawed for almost a millennium, and all the secrets locked away by the reigning Blueblood dynasty of Canterlot. This is probably the closest you will get to a 'mineralogical variant of ponies.' In this case, two possibilities present themselves: either the entire magical system would be engineered from the ground up, or it would be patterned off of an existing host system and then replicated into the artificial body. Like a photo-copy which could then be copied over and over... very useful if one were to create an army of lifeless, soulless killing machines patterned on one's own magical powers! ... hypothetically speaking... But I'm sure I'll get my hooves on that research, too, some day. I'll be able to tell you more, then."

Pinkie: "An army of me-s? What could go wrong?" :pinkiecrazy:

1737164

Star Light: "Ideally, I would have the opportunity to talk to - and by that I mean dissect and study - as diverse a range of changelings as possible to give you a proper answer. Dead ones, of course! I'm sure there will be quite the surplus of changeling corpses soon enough... but if I had to speculate based on the knowledge I have on hoof, I would guess that changeling magic covers the entire spectrum of equine magic. Why?"

Star light's horn glows, conjuring up an image of a changeling. Then, to the left of it, a small grub-like form.

Star Light: "My understanding of the basic changeling life cycle is that they go from egg, almost immediately after birth to larvae. The larvae is exposed to another species or an adult changeling for imprinting, which, after a brief molt, produces a nymph, in our case, a 'ponyform' nymph. This nymph then grows into an adult. The magic it is capable of using as an adult depends on two factors: the first is the initial imprint and the second is when a mature adult mimics a victim."

The adult changeling branches off, with one copy of it flying around, while the other turns into a unicorn.

Star Light: "The mimicry is, itself, a form of magic, as is the innate ability to shape-shift. Twilight Sparkle rather cleverly deduced that this was still a form of illusion magic, and that it could be disrupted by contradictory illusionary magic. So we have A: the magic that a changeling steals from a host, and B: innate changeling magic. The ability to generate A implies that B is of a related variety, just as a shark and a whale are unrelated, one being a fish and another a mammal, but in how they both use similar principles to move through the water. Convergent evolution. Perhaps. This is, bear in mind, still speculation. I would conclude with the assumption that innate changeling magic is likely most akin to unicorn magic, and that their internal system of magic is also most like that of a unicorn, with a single, powerful magic-projecting node. Except that the node is not their superficial horn, but instead their entire dermis as a whole."

1737061

Twilight: "The worst thing is the needles..."

Star Light: "Don't be such a flighty foal. You wouldn't have even noticed the needles at all if you'd kept your eyes closed like I asked you to."

Twilight: (shudders)

Star Light: "As for this question, well, it is one I hesitate to answer. Firstly, because fathoming the motivations of otherworldly beings is likely to drive one insane. Somewhat like adult dragons, they each have their own morality and code of behavior and they follow it strictly. The only commonality is an adherence to the concept of a contract. Secondly, I have been asked not to go into too much detail about this subject. However, I can express my own opinion, if nothing else, and it is simply my opinion that Luna's release... apologies, the release of Nightmare Moon... was predetermined along with her incarceration. Hence the prophecy. I believe she was sentenced to a given amount of time 'in the moon' or 'on the moon' and, when her sentence expired, she was duly released by her gaolers. Her wardens, so to speak. Of course, others believe the opposite, like you do, that her imprisonment would have been eternal, except that celestial forces conspired to release her. But, then, why the prophetic date? There are augers who can glean knowledge through divination, but with such accuracy after a thousand years? Why a thousand years at all, and not nine hundred and ninety nine?"

Star Light pauses, her expression serious.

Star Light: "After the event, I gathered what information I could before my family was called to Canterlot to swear fealty to the new, returned and reformed Princess. I do so under informal protest. My Princess is Princess Celestia and only Princess Celestia. I swore the oath then because my Princess asked it of me. This is not meant to be a slight against the Lady Luna, but all our lives we have bowed to One Princess on high and above all others. Luna is to be respected, but how are we to believe that she is truly Celestia's equal? But... I must also admit, I am biased in this, as I studied under Princess Celestia and admire her. My daughters have not had the difficulty I have coming to accept the new Princess. Maybe I'm showing my age?"

Star Light: "Regardless, through my investigation, I determined the four stars involved in the return of Nightmare Moon. They belong to four different constellations, two of which I have working knowledge of if not experience with. The four are Corona Borealis, the Northern Crown, Serpens Caput, the Head of the Serpent, Boötes, the Slave-driver, and... Libra, the Celestial Scales. Libra is... also the same constellation I bear on my cutie mark. Now, I cannot speak for the Serpent and the Crown, and the less said about Boötes the better, but Libra is an innately contradictory being. In her defense, I would optimistically speculate that any aid given to Nightmare Moon was with the foreknowledge that she would be defeated and returned to us as Luna."

Star Light: "One last word: I did once attempt to psychologically profile a number of otherworldly entities. As I am not a psychologist myself, I hired the best one I could from Canterbridge and facilitated her interactions with said beings. In retrospect, I probably should have hired a psychologist for the psychologist. After a month, she began to believe that she was actually a dog and attacked an intern, prompting an early termination of the study."

Twilight: :facehoof:

1738030

Keep those needles away from Twilight! I don't care if those experiments are within standard "acceptable risk" levels! A 0.01% chance is still a chance.

Ahem.

Thank you for sharing what you are able to, Lady Star Light, even if it was less than comforting. I don't relish the idea of malicious and/or uncaring powers playing jailer with princesses, so I think I'll lean towards the latter hypothesis. If it took four stars a millennia to undo the seal that Celestial and the Elements of Harmony, that puts each individual star far below the threshold of power necessary to extinguish all life on Equestria on a whim. I think.

I'm sure you'd warm up to Princess Luna given the opportunity, by the way. She, I think, would enjoy and appreciate even the most... Messy of experiments, given the resulting knowledge one can glean afterwards. After all, she's a tad out of date, and thus would still be quite adjacent, temporally, to a time when Princesses weren't afraid/legally bound to avoiding getting their hooves dirty.

1737843

Twilight (impressed) "So many questions! Not really about magic, but I don't mind! I just hope I can provide some answers! First, Equestria has a number of 'legacy' systems of measurement. Some were directly imported from the Old Kingdoms during the migration, and are commonly called Imperial Systems. Others were developed natively, such as in Neighpon. These days, almost everypony uses universal or metric systems, including use of base-ten numerics. Some holdovers from the Imperial System include the use of 'stone' weights, pounds, hooves for length, and so on. It also varies province by province, but base-ten is used by everypony and everybody we trade with if only because Equestria's currency, the 'bit,' is the default currency for global commerce."

Twilight holds up a single golden bit.

Twilight: "Which brings us to the next topic you asked about! This is the 'bit.' It looks like solid gold, but trust me, it isn't. Gold is still very rare, even rarer than gems! Your average 'gold' bit contains 10.8 grains of fine gold or seven-tenth of a gram. Meaning it is almost exactly 50% gold. Every single one is minted at the aptly named Royal Mint in Canterlot, though there are a large number of cosmetic changes to different bits of the same value. All bear the heraldry and smiling bust of Princess Celestia on one side."

Twilight angled the bit to show the front, where a picture of Celestia grinning impishly is easily seen.:trollestia:

Twilight: "Every time I see it, it makes me swell with pride in Equestria's many great accomplishments!" :twilightsmile: "The reverse side changes. Sometimes it has an image of Canterlot, or an engraving celebrating some great event, but somewhere on it - sometimes obviously displayed and sometimes tucked into a corner - is a "1" indicating that it is a single bit."

Twilight then floats out a few other coins.

Twilight: "Almost all ponies conduct their transactions in 'gold' bits. But there are brass bits as well, worth one tenth of a bit, and for larger transactions, silver bits. Again, this is a bit confusing. A 'silver' bit has a core of silver, and around it, a ring of pure gold, making it more valuable than a gold bit that is only half-gold. A silver bit is worth ten normal bits, and above that, a Celestial Gold Bit is worth one hundred normal bits. But you don't see those very often. There has been talk about using 'paper currency' for over a century, but it never amounted to anything. Everypony just uses bits. I guess it helps that ponies can carry around pretty large purses. We're used to it."

Twilight: "As for how we talk or what we sound like... I'm not entirely sure I understand..."

Star Light: "We don't communicate in neighs and whinnies, if that is what you are wondering. It may interest you to know that Twilight Sparkle here sounds almost exactly like one of our most famous and beloved actresses."

Twilight: "No I don't! I don't know why ponies keep saying that."

Star Light: "As for our universe as a whole... I assume you mean how is our solar system arranged? We have a single sun and a single moon, with no sister planets. Instead, we have a large number of comets in stable orbits around us. Which leads to the big question, well, one of the big questions: the heresy of heliocentrism. Back before the migration and the founding of Equestria, the great unicorn Gallopeao famously proposed that the Sun orbits Equestria and would continue to do so, even without unicorns to guide it. This directly contradicted the prevailing religious cosmology of the unicorn royal family, which stated that divine unicorns had always raised and lowered the sun and moon and that without them the world would be plunged into the 'end times.' Heliocentrism continued to be debated on and off until, post-migration, biologists and paleontologists proved that the sun and moon had natural orbits just like comets."

Star Light leans forward menacingly.

Star Light: "I can all but hear you asking: hey, pony, what do you have Celestia and Luna for, then? Why let them manage the sun and moon? The answer is the same as if you asked a pegasus: 'why do you manage the weather?' Left to its own devices, the sun and moon would have slightly different and rather more irregular orbital cycles than they do now. By taming the sun and moon, by taming weather, by taming nature itself, each pony tribe serves their role in the world and the community... we also benefit from it economically... there is also that. The fact is, unicorns have been managing the sun and moon for so long before the Princesses took up the mantle that it would have been catastrophically destructive for them to let things revert back to the way they had been before. It would be like you humans letting one of your cities built below sea level flood, because your dikes are 'unnatural.' Nature exists to be tamed... domesticated if you will..."

Twilight: "Lady Star Light, that sort of makes us sound like the bad guys... but what she says is sort of... how it is. It would be dangerous to us if everything was like the Everfree forest. Things are less dangerous this way, and... anyway, what's done is done. It probably isn't the answer you wanted, though, but I'd remind you that Celestia and Luna do more than just manage the sun and moon. They are valuable leaders and teachers and role models!"

Star Light: "As for the other stars around us...? Sadly, we lack telescopes powerful enough to view other star systems, if there even are other star systems. There is another strange thing that we do not yet understand... while our sun revolves around our world, other stars do not... most curious."

Twilight: "As for time keeping, that actual falls under the administration of a special department of the royal civil service. You may have noticed the many ponies with hourglass-themed cutie marks? Lady Sand Dune even has one, not a surprise, as her family's domain is time magic. You see, time keeping in Equestria is a sacred profession and every town has ponies dedicated to that task. This is because Equestria stretches over several time zones. The Princesses have to move the sun incrementally over each one at the proper interval, and sometimes there are slight deviations. Even the Princesses aren't perfect. Town time keepers determine the 'real time' of a given town, and they are the only ones who can manually adjust town clocks. They set the pace for the workday, and they do this every day."

Star Light: "We have seasons, days, months, years... just like you do, but our measurement of these intervals is not an absolute. The fifth day of the fifth month on a given year can be slightly shorter or longer than the fifth day of the fifth month of any other given year due to fluctuations and perturbations in the cycle of the sun and moon. Naturally, you can expect that any attempt to have our sun and moon revert to their natural state will also run afoul of the powerful Chronomancers Association, the royal representatives of the time keepers. All the more reason why I leave politics to my cute little husbu."

Twilight: "You do know that's not how most ponies would describe him? Then again, I think you've got the right idea. Let the guys handle that annoying stuff and we can focus on the real work."

Star Light: "Unless you become a Princess suddenly."

Twilight: "As if that could happen."

1737880

Yes, I can see what you mean. I'm a bit hesitant to add it as a formal story, though, since it isn't "really" a story. It is a blog somewhat and sometimes in story form. I'll have to think about it. I'm not even sure if my uploading this sort of thing as a story would actually follow the story submission rules. I suspect it would not. It might fly on Fanfiction.net, but probably not here. Which means there isn't really an ideal place to host it.

1738290

> “Twilight (impressed) ”So many questions! Not really about magic, but I don’t mind! I just hope I can provide some answers! First, Equestria has a number of ’legacy’ systems of measurement. Some were directly imported from the Old Kingdoms during the migration, and are commonly called Imperial Systems. Others were developed natively, such as in Neighpon. These days, almost everypony uses universal or metric systems, including use of base-ten numerics. Some holdovers from the Imperial System include the use of ’stone’ weights, pounds, hooves for length, and so on. It also varies province by province, but base-ten is used by everypony and everybody we trade with if only because Equestria’s currency, the ’bit,’ is the default currency for global commerce.“”

¿Does not it strike you as strange that you have only 4 digits on your whole body, but you use decimal (base 10)? I would expect you to use quaternary (base 4). If ponies decided consciously to use decimal, it is a bad choice. Decimal is not a particularly good base:

Decimal has only 2 and 5 as factors. If ponies chose decimal, then they failed to choose duodecimal (base 12). 12 is a much more composite number, with factors of 2, 3, and 4. it is the least common multiple of all positive integers 4 and less ( (2^2)(3^1) ). If one goes to the least common multiple of all positive integers 5 and less, one gets the highly composite 60, which has all of the factors of 10 and 8 more (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 12, 15, 20, 30). Decimal is a strange choice for ponies.

Lyra Heartstrings hypothesizes, that my people, the humans, might have seeded your culture. Frankly, that hypothesis makes much sense. ¿What is your opinion?

Twilight: "As for how we talk or what we sound like... I'm not entirely sure I understand..."

Star Light: "We don't communicate in neighs and whinnies, if that is what you are wondering. It may interest you to know that Twilight Sparkle here sounds almost exactly like one of our most famous and beloved actresses."

Twilight: "No I don't! I don't know why ponies keep saying that."

From you point of view, you sound the way you sound. ¿How do I sound to you? Do I grunt, bark, and yelp? ¿How do we humans sound to you ponies?

Please describe the grammar of your language.

¡Thanks!

I assume that Shining Armor must be adept in evocation magic, given how massive a shield he can make.

Could you go into a little more detail over evocation magic?

1738294

There are some stories on here that are faux history books. So i'm sure that at least your initial post qualifies.

1738405

Twilight: "As I've told Lyra many times, there is no concrete evidence that 'humans' have had an influence on pony history. That's pure conspiracy theory bunk. Not that she's the first to believe in that sort of thing, or the last. Most of these myths can probably be traced to a small population of sea-faring minotaurs that made the oceanic voyage from the new world - modern Equestria - to the old world. It is hypothesized that this is also the source of how earth ponies later discovered Equestria. They already had maps and knowledge of a landmass across the sea. Humans! Aliens! Ridiculous! Not that they don't exist at all... but I'd need real evidence before I believe that they've visited ponykind in the past. Next you'll be asking me to buy into that whole Dream Valley mythology! And that it all vanished in a day and a night due to a sudden flood. Hahaha! Silly, right?"

Star Light: "...even if prevailing theories were incorrect and our world was influenced by or created by humans or Discord or other beings, do our actions and free will become invalidated by this fact? Does our culture as a whole lose inherent value? As a scientist, I am curious, but as an Equestrian, I know what I would prefer to believe. Let's move on, shall we?"

Twilight: "I've never spoken to a human before, so..."

Star Light: "Among the many dimensional mirrors maintained in the royal palace, one provides access to a world populated by human-like entities. I am reasonably certain that it is not your world, however, as trans-dimensional scrying with my counterpart there indicates that the entire dimension is populated by 'high schools' ... including a 'flight high school' and an all-female 'tank high school' and a 'ninja' high school a vampire high school and several others of increasing absurdity."

Twilight: "So you know what they sound like?"

Star Light: "In the brief time we had contact, my counterpart spoke the same language I do. I actually have translation magics and was prepared to use them, but there was no need. It was most perplexing and, unfortunately, nopony has really had the opportunity to investigate this further. Our language, grammar, syntax, pronunciation... all seem to be identical to that of the language known as English. I cannot even begin to speculate on why this is so."

1739288

Twilight: "Oh yes, my brother is... just so amazingly talented! Have I ever mentioned how much I used to look up to him? Oh, I still do, but back when I was little and before I could use magic myself, he was even more amazing! Shining Armor was always top of his class... whenever we had a teacher over for dinner, they would have nothing but praise for him. He was smart, and handsome, and strong, and captain of the hoofball team and leader of the student union! Basically the best big brother ever! Heeey... what's with that look?"

Star Light: "...nothing, my dear. Nothing at all."

Twilight: "Anyway! He's really great, so it wasn't a surprise to me to hear that he became the youngest Captain of the Royal Guard in three hundred years. His specialty is barrier magic and shields, though he's really good at other magic, too. Almost everypony agrees that he's the strongest barrier user in Equestria. But I guess you want to know more about that and less about Shining, so... yes, shield magic is evocation..."

Twilight's horn glows, and she conjures a small round shield around herself. Then she dispels it and fires a blast of magenta energy into the air.

Twilight: "Evocation is related to Conjuration in that both schools of magic create 'something from nothing' meaning that neither require physical components. Enchantment, for example, needs to be cast on something, same for transmutation or alteration. Conjuration then transports matter from one place to another, meaning, you cast it at empty space, and replace that empty space with 'full' space. Evocation casts at empty space but creates massless magical effects. Evocation is then the true means of creating 'something from nothing' while conjuration mostly appears to create 'something from nothing.' For most ponies, evocation is what they first think of when they imagine unicorn magic: glowing barriers, glowing lights, glowing beams... basically a lot of glowing."

Twilight: (beaming) "Not to toot my own horn, but I'm pretty good at evocation, myself! Not as good as Shining, but still pretty darn good! I have a very large reserve of magical energy - probably larger than anypony except the Princesses and maybe Lord Cruciger - and evocation relies heavily on drawing from one's pool of magical energy, moreso than any other type of magic. My dad, Crescent Moon, earned the nickname 'Night Light' during his time as a royal guard because he was also very skilled with evocation magic."

1734939

Star Light: "We probably should have answered this earlier. Apologies. The art of necromancy would fall under either enchantment or alteration - it is certainly possible for some spells to defy easy categorization - but it is probably not the 'necromancy' that you imagine. The art of shadow-casting and shadow-manipulation is probably the closest thing we have in the modern era, as it imbues (or transfers) a degree of 'life' into something previously lifeless. What we lack are spells to... do like those moving pictures, with the 'walking dead.' I can't imagine why you would want to animate a corpse or a smattering of bones, anyway. Wouldn't you prefer to animate a golem of steel or granite? I suppose there is the horror factor, but is it really more terrifying to be chased by a skeleton or by a giant rock monster? Regardless, if spells of that sort exist, they have long since been sealed away by the Princess and the Bluebloods, never again to see the light of day."

Twilight: "I don't know Dinky very well... though I've talked to Amethyst Star a few times. A very nice mare. Dinky's around the age when young unicorns start to realize their magical specialization - just like Sweetie Belle - so her experimenting with different spell schools is perfectly natural. If she stops by the library, I have much more appropriate books to help young fillies learn to cast spells. I sometimes worry about the young unicorns in Ponyville... we really should have a magic kindergarten for them. I can't help but feel that they're at an educational disadvantage compared to all the other fillies and colts in Canterlot. At least I can help a little with that once the town's new mage tower comes up. I already have a few names for good teachers in Canterlot we can hire too help out..."

Star Light: "And who will be paying for them, I wonder? You?"

Twilight: "I'm sure Rarity will be happy to take care of it." (:raritydespair:)

Excuse me, Dr. Star Light, but is there a device that can measure how much magical power do powerhouses like Crucinger, Twilight, or the Princesses have? Also, to both you and Twilght, has anybody ever tried to create a spell that has more than five alliterations? Have you, Star Light, ever attempted to uncover the Princesses past? What was your most héctic date with Crucinger (a date so crazy that even you think it was weird)? Have you and Crucinger ever gotten into a lover's spat? Hey, Twilight how's your dating life with Brass and how do you feel about having Star Light as your future in-law? Finally, who makes stores that exclusively sells two things such as pancakes and portals (where do they transport people to and why would they use them) or quills/sofa:twilightoops:?

1734397 How do you come up with all of this? I can't imagine the amounts of planning your story must involve.

Oh, hey, I got two more comments here. Wow, one from six weeks ago...! :derpytongue2:
Odd that FIM never notified me of that one. But I did get an email about this one.

1874285
Star Light: "Doctor Light? Oh, you flatter me! Of course, I am a doctor of science, but so often it gets overshadowed by my noble titles, which I didn't even earn. Not really. I simply inherited them. But, as to your questions! You wished first to know if we had some sort of magical... scouting device, let's call it?"

Twilight: :facehoof:

Star Light: "We do in fact have magical spectrographs, though they are primarily meant to record and measure variations in the spectra of radiant magic. They can measure the amplitude of said spectra as well. All you'd have to do is add them together to get a rough 'level of power' for the magic in question. I also have the unique ability to analyze magic much like a spectrograph, unaided. And, no, none of my children inherited this mutation."

Twilight: "Let me answer the question about alliterations. According to myth, there may be spells of greater alliteration than just five, but none of them have survived into the modern era. Not even in the Blueblood archives. Effectively, the TRUE and secret 'hard limit' for ponykind is five alliterations and - it logically follows - five subsidiary incantations. Nopony to my knowledge has ever exceeded this. Five and Five would basically be the 'hardest spell possible' within the physical realm. I think Discord's magic, and the ability to basically warp reality, is probably on the level of a Five and Five spell."

Star Light: "Think of it as a bit like the speed of light. It can't be done with just brute force. You'd have to find a cheat or loophole somehow. You might also destroy the universe we reside in."

Twilight: "That would be bad. Let's not do that."

Star Light: "Agreed. Something to try when in a more disposable universe... like that high school universe! Nopony will miss that one if it blows up."

Twilight: "...as for why it can't be done, aside from just saying it can't be done: spells require thought, and the more complex the spell, the more thought you need to devote to it. Eventually you reach the point where a pony's mind cannot process or task enough thought to a problem to do it. I guess, following that analogy, if you somehow found a way to merge many pony minds together and run them in parallel you could improve processing enough to exceed the normal limits... but for now, let's just say nopony can do it."

Star Light: "As to the Princess... I've often tried to pry... er... inquire into her past. Don't look at me like that, Twilight. I was very discrete."

Twilight: "That word and you don't belong in the same sentence."

Star Light: "Regardless, much of Princess Celestia's history is recorded in detail. Most of it, in fact. The problem comes with the records of a thousand-plus years ago. Not only was much of it censored or confiscated due to the Nightmare Moon issue, but Equestria as a whole was not then a literate society. The only ones to keep detailed records were unicorn families, and many sequestered their knowledge away, hoarding it for themselves. Lastly, on top of everything else, vast stores of knowledge were lost when the Old Kingdoms fell and in the wars that followed. So, yes, I have many many attempts to uncover knowledge of Celestia's past. Some of the research was fruitful, most not. I've always been more scientist than historian, too... so from time to time, I lost interest. Admittedly, I've been told I do that a lot: lose interest in one field and jump to another on a whim."

Twilight: "Oh, I want to hear about this weird date question." :twilightsmile: "I'm curious, too!"

Star Light: "A weird date, hm? Well... there was this one date, before you were born Twilight. The Breezie migration was coming through Prance, and I had the idea that it might be fun to frolic among them. Something I always dreamed of doing as a little foal."

Twilight: "Oh no... you didn't?"

Star Light: "I did. WE did. My little hubby made for such an adorable Breezie!"

Twilight: :twilightoops:

Star Light: "Little did we know that Breezies, despite being loving and dedicated to their families, were also extremely loose, sexually, and they typically find their partners during migrations. This allows them to give birth when the migration ends. They would spark up like fireflies when they--"

Twilight: "Uhhhhh."

Fluttershy: "Isn't nature fascinating, Twilight?" :yay:

Star Light: "So, yes... the annual Breezie Mating Frenzy. I don't know if it was hectic, so much, but that was rather weird and not quite what I imagined as a young filly."

Twilight: "What about fights? Have you two ever had any?"

Star Light: "What couple hasn't? I hate to admit it, but I think I start most of them. Usually on my bad days. But Cruciger is really a gentle giant. He's never raised his voice to me, even when we argue."

Twilight: "He threw a castle at me."

Star Light: "The thing about fights like that is that they only get intense because you love the other pony. Just remember how much you love each other, and you'll always find a way to get back together and be happy again."

Twilight: "Have I mentioned the castle? He threw it at me."

Star Light: "And the make up sex is incredible."

Twilight: :twilightoops::twilightblush::pinkiehappy: "Get outta here, Pinkie. Gross! As for Brass and myself, we've been just getting to know one another as friends, first. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to see him after our double-duel. Anyway, unlike somepony, I don't feel that comfortable yet talking about... intimate things like that. Having Star Light here as a mother-in-law will take some getting used to... um, if anything really happens, you know... but I think it could neat. We always have a lot to talk about!"

Star Light: "I think Twilight will be a wonderful daughter-in-law. I've never gotten along with my son-in-law, the Duke of Whinnychester, and Lady Olive Branch always avoided me. Even after I gave her my only son..."

Twilight: "..."

Star Light: "So it will be very nice indeed to finally have an in-law I can converse with and test spells on!"

Twilight: "Thank you. Wait. Test spells on? Er, we'll talk about that later. Lastly, you wanted to know about stores like IHOPP and Quills and Sofas. I'm not entirely sure myself. I guess it comes from one pony who specializes in one thing marrying another pony who specializes in a second thing. They merge their businesses together. The business, if it is successful, then just continues in that fashion. On the other hoof, you have families like the Cakes, where both partners do closely related things. If Mr Cake was a blacksmith, then Sugarcube Corner would probably be 'Sugarsmith Corner' or something."

Star Light: "Thank you again for your questions, dear."

Twilight: "Yep!"

---
2005379

Most of this stuff I just write on the fly. The details that require planning or checking I often have readily available in a special document file, in case I don't remember things off hand. I'm not someone who believes in planning every last detail ahead of time, however. I like the joys of occasional spontaneous improvisation. It helps keep me interested in writing and I think it makes the story and the background less predictable!

2005683 thanks for answering. I have one final question to you Dr. Light. How often does Crucinger smile? I mean I've read the story and I've only seen him smile once. I dont think he smiled in any flashback I've seen in the story so I got to ask. Does he have some condition that prevents him from smiling too much? I forgot to ask you something Twilight. When you found out that Brass could give energy through kissing, were you disappointed that you he had to resort to a mental transfer of energy rather than give you a romantic kiss?

2005828

Star Light: "Oh, he smiles all the time! I call it the 'quantum smile effect'... the problem is that you want to observe the smile.Observing a quantum event is very troublesome."

Twilight: "I don't think he smiles on the outside very much. That's what she means."

Star Light: "Pish posh!"

Twilight: "Oh, oh yeah... the, uh... the..."

Dash: "It's called a kiss, Twilight." :rainbowwild: "On the mouth!" :rainbowkiss:

Twilight: :twilightblush: "Yes, that. I am assuming you mean the kiss during the duel, right? I still don't know exactly how Brass used it to transfer magic into me. I can only assume it was a process like the reverse of what Star Light did when she drained magic out of me and converted it into her own star field. Also, I wasn't exactly clear headed at the time. Umm. It does also seem like he'd been enhancing my own magic all throughout the fight, even before that. Again, I'm not sure if that was the same process or a different one..."

Star Light: "My son has the special talent of enhancing the special talents of others. I recognized this in him very early on, and cultivated it so that he would be an ideal match for any partner. We received very generous offers for his hoof in marriage from all across Equestria. Olive Branch was the one we accepted, as it gave the family power over the Equestrian frontier and colonies, but we also thought about engaging him to Sand Dune or Yumi, to give the Terre Rare access to Bitaly or Neighpon respectively. Olive Branch's dowry decided the issue in the end. It was equivalent to four years income across the entire Equestrian Reach, not including land and titles passed onto my son. Oh dear, Twilight, you're glaring at me again. What did I say?"

Twilight: "It isn't what you said, it was what you did. Anyway... so his talent is to enhance the talents of others?"

Star Light: "Yes. He can do this passively or actively. I don't actually know what that kiss was - there was another magical component there - but throughout the fight he was at least passively enhancing you. Even in my nebula, where we were both magically isolated from outside interference. I guess if I had left you there for a week it would've flushed out of your system, but you've been operating at... say... 120% normal magical capacity for some time now. This is the lowest level of enhancement. Call it the "idle" setting. When focusing on enhancing your talent, it should be possible for you to double your abilities and talents."

Twilight: "... I didn't even notice. Well, to answer the original question, as much as I enjoyed... that..." :rainbowkiss: "Rainbow, please. Stop making that face. I think I'd have died in embarrassment if we'd kissed a bunch of times throughout the duel. I think everything worked out for the best as it was. Umm... I also really need to talk to him about all this stuff. I wonder where he disappeared to after the duel?"

I have a question. Twilight in terms of raw power or dueling skills how do you think the duel with Crucinger would have gone in a one vs one scenario. Also, Dr. Light do you think that somepony like Crucinger could escape the Horse Nebula through raw power? Furthermore, have you ever use the Nebula on him either to experiment how powerful a pony must be to overcome it, or during an argument...or for bednight activities as apparently one of my married friends think that intimacy on a starry night is romantic and, no disrespect, you seem like the type of mare who would be intimate with her husband in Outer Space just for romanticism? You can ignore the last one if you wish.
I forgot to add something. Has there ever been a record of a unicorn winning a duel by using his/her horn to gore a rival. Also, given that unicorn foals are born with horns isn't it painful for a mare, particularly an Earth pony or a Pegasus, to give birth to a unicorn. BTW, Dr. Light can you and Crucinger explain how your first kiss felt when you were teenagers?

2020720

Star Light: "So many questions! I certainly don't mind answering them, though! There's few things more dull and unproductive than a student who doesn't inquire. I'll handle your second question first: it isn't possible to escape my Horsehead Nebula using any amount of magical power that I know of. Not to invoke a no-limits fallacy, as I'm sure there IS an upper limit somewhere, but it is effectively impossible, especially considering the ability of the Nebula to negate various frequencies of magic. One would have to either be emitting and controlling base-magic in the form of aether - which is all forms of magic condensed together, and would thus exist at about 1/5th intensity - or one would have to identify the form of magic, reflected in the Nebula's color, that isn't being negated. Both tasks are herculean for modern day magic users."

Twilight: "I managed it. Well, part of that."

Star Light: "As I said, it is a herculean effort. The fact that Twilight Sparkle here did it, in a roundabout way, outsmarting me, is entirely to her credit."

Twilight: "And the follow up question?" :twilightsheepish:

Star Light: "Naturally... of course I've experimented on my Cruciger, quite thoroughly! There's few things more romantic than a candlelight dinner in the lounge next to the lab, followed by a long night of experiments! Not to say I have all the fun. Being experimented on is lovely, too!"

Twilight: "..." :twilightoops: "If you say so..."

Star Light: "I don't use that particular Nebula for romantic evenings, however. The Horsehead is a very powerful summoning spell. My ability to enter 'space' is still limited. I have to bring it to me; I can't go to it. But...! I do have a number of very romantic starlight vistas that I can cast as illusions. Combining one with a zero gravity spell would approximate what you're describing, but intimacy in zero-g is rather... difficult. Hands would be exceptionally useful, as you'd been to maintain leverage with..."

Twilight: "I don't think we need those kinds of details. Now for my question. Fighting Cruciger alone, you mean? I researched just that, which is one of the reasons why I looked up and practiced the anti-gravity spell. Brass later gave me some tips, including the fact that Cruciger's gravity spell doesn't produce a uniform effect - it increases in power with proximity. I hate to admit it, but I probably would've lost if I dueled him myself without inside information. He doesn't know... or maybe 'use' is the better word... a tenth as many spells as Lady Star Light, here, but the ones he does cast, he uses to great effect and with a lot of power. Even with forewarning, I never really imagined how strong he would be until I saw it with my own eyes. Not to mention... he's still only using three good legs and one lung and one eye. I'm not even sure just how badly hurt he still is from fighting Blueblood's father."

Star Light: "It really is a shame that Lady Arsenic wasn't chosen to be the Bluebelle of her generation. Butterflies and chaos theories aside, my little husbu would've made a wonderful Prince."

Twilight: "Or, maybe, without a challenge, all of Arsenic's descendants would've ended up just like Bluebelle's foals? Canterlot seems to do that to ponies."

Star Light: "True..."

Twilight: "Last, the question about the horn as a weapon. If you'll recall, Blueblood actually engaged in a joust with another unicorn using his horn. They both used their horns... but that's ceremonial tournament stuff. A unicorn's horn is strong and not very sensitive, unless magic is being channeled, and most all of us file it to a point just for fashion and hygiene. You could easily put somepony's eye out with one, or make a very deep and maybe even lethal cut, but just because someponies can do this doesn't mean anypony tries to. Not since we were caveponies living up in the mountains. Besides which... you can disqualify yourself in most formal unicorn duels by purposefully touching the other pony."

Twilight: "Um.... as for the last part of that question..." :twilightsmile: "I think I'll pass it off to somepony who knows about it better."

Star Light: "All my foals have been unicorns, so I don't have anything to compare the experience to. As with your species, I assume, one's experience in labor can vary. Polished Jewel was very easy. I hardly had to take time off from work. I was literally back in the lab the same day (running tests on her). It got progressively more difficult as I gained a few years."

Twilight: "So... that doesn't really... how - how does it...?"

Star Light: "Twilight. Have you forgotten basic husbandry classes? The foal's horn - stumpy as it is - isn't much of an issue as almost all foals are born legs-first. The head comes last. There are cases when the foal gets turned around or twisted during delivery, and that can be very dangerous for both mother and child, especially so if the foal is a unicorn. Often a mother would die in foalbirth if that was the case, but these days a mother can just have a c-section."

Twilight: :twilightsheepish: "Oh yeah.... I'd forgotten about that."

Star Light: "As for my... our... first kiss? Well, we weren't even teenagers at the time. We'd gotten engaged as very young ponies as part of a political alliance between our mothers. After being introduced, we had a few... I guess you could call them 'play dates.' Mostly it was to show off our union to the small ponies so they got used to the idea of a dynastic merger... and so my erstwhile sister in exile knew she was being kicked out of the succession. Even as a little colt, Cruciger was always so nice to me... he was just so patient and understanding, despite my social awkwardness and... other issues. He was my first and best friend long before he became my husband. When he left to squire and train in Canterlot as part of the Royal Guard - as most young noblecolts do - I kissed him goodbye and gave him a token of my affection."

Twilight: "That's so cute and sweet...! It almost makes me forget that the sweet little colt you're talking about is basically a weapon of mass destruction."

Star Light: "We all promulgate harmony in our own ways, Twilight."

Twilight: "I guess... what was the token of your affection, by the way? A knitted scarf or handkerchief, like in the books?"

Star Light: "It was a small bomb."

Twilight: :facehoof::facehoof::facehoof::facehoof:

I got a question for Crucinger. Did you ever used the bomb or did you keep it out of love for your wife? Also, Dr. Light do you have any suggestion as to where your future daughter-in-law should spend her honeymoon?:raritywink: BTW, one of my siblings read a story about a magician using his magic to turn his mass into an explosive release of energy. Is it possible for a unicorn to turn into a living bomb? Also, is it true that the horn is an erogenous zone like the pegasi's wings or the Earth ponies...hooves?

2021356

Star Light: "My poor little huggy bear is still unconscious, but I can answer this. He still has the bomb I gave him. I actually hoped he'd have used it in an emergency - that's what it was for, after all - but I guess there just never was a need to use it. He still keeps it with him together with our wedding rings, both of which I've also rigged with hidden spells. Strictly for emergencies, you understand."

Pinkie: "Makes sense to me!" :pinkiecrazy:

Star Light: "As for honeymoon suggestions... I hear the crystal caves and grottoes under Canterlot are a sight to behold. There are supposed to be pools of mineral water down there that glow softly in the ambient light. Many wealthy couples - and let's be honest, we're ALL very wealthy ponies from wealthy families - go to Saddle Marabia or Bitaly for their honeymoon. Cruciger surprised me with a trip to Marabia for our tenth anniversary. We were treated like royalty, spent four days at a desert resort, presented with one exotic delight after another... there's few things that can compare to the clear view of the night sky in the desert."

Twilight: "That actually sounds really nice. I don't think either of us have given it much if any thought... well, anyway: I've never heard of anypony converting their mass into energy like that. Most of the time, if a talented pony needs to blow something up, they just blow it up. I've demonstrated a few spells like that and then there's what Ritterkreuz does..."

Star Light: "A unicorn's horn is not an erogenous zone. Neither are wings or hooves as far as I know, which is only natural I'd think, as these are the parts of the body most likely to be injured. Hooves have more sensitivity than wings and wings have more sensitivity than horns. The exception being when magic is being actively channeled into the horn... but then, contact with the horn has a disruptive effect that is far from titillating."

Twilight: "Those sorts of rumors are just that: rumors, cooked up by ponies without the body part in question. Earth ponies mostly. Extra body parts? I bet they're sexy and stuff! Sorry. Not really. Though... a large horn on a stallion is often perceived as a sign of virility, just like strong wings on a pegasus or wide hooves on an earth pony. But that's mostly a matter of perception, like being tall instead of short. There's no real difference between a tall stallion or a short one, but the tall one is usually seen as more attractive. That sort of thing."

Star Light: "The same is true of the reverse. I think in part because Princess Celestia's body type is enshrined as a sort of feminine ideal: long mane and tail, slender neck, more pronounced nose, very long legs and compact torso, great height, almond shaped rather than round eyes... the 'princess' look. There is also a pronounced preference for white coat colors for much the same reason."

Twilight: "Lady Star Light is a little closer to that body type than I am, and Antimony even moreso, with her long legs and neck. Rarity has the right eyes for it. But I never really bothered trying to conform to that stereotype anyway. Can anypony really imagine me looking like a big purple princess?" :twilightsmile: "It'd just be too weird!"

Star Light: "...Indeed."

I got a couple of questions. Have you and Crucinger ever performed spells on yourself to change species/gender (either for science or bedroom games) or travel to a dimension where both of you are either gender-swapped or a different species(to compare how similar/different your lives are due to the differing social roles inherent in different species or gender)? Also, how did Crucinger and yourself acted during your first interdimensional travel together? What happened to the octopus you dissected during the Gala with Crucinger? Lastly, have you ever befriended an otherworldly being that could destroy your plane of reality?

(I know this is four weeks old/late, but I didn't notice there had been an additional post until just yesterday when I contemplated the suggestion of compiling all of this blog Q&A into a side story... which I may do)

2046204

Star Light: "Do you mean a gender-swap illusion spell, like Twilight here uses, or an actual spell to physically change one's gender?"

Twilight: "The former, I'd think. Are there actual spells that can turn a stallion into a mare or a mare into a real stallion?"

Star Light: "It should be possible using magic, but it isn't a codified technique as far as I know. To answer your question... I did zap my little husbu to see what he would look like as a mare, and let me tell you he was just as pretty as a mare as he is handsome as a stallion!"

Twilight: "Actually, he's kind of scary looking as a stallion so--" :twilightblush:

Star Light: "And, yes, there is a mirror in the Royal Palace that contains a portal to a gender-inverted world. I twice attempted to sneak in and the Princess caught me both times! I couldn't believe the bad luck of it all!"

Twilight: "Most magic mirrors have only a small window of opportunity in which they are open. Maybe you just ran into one another because you were both planning on going through the portal?" (thinks) "But then, why would Princess Celestia want to visit a gender swapped Equestria? Wait, why did you want to visit it?"

Star Light: "... reasons."

Twilight: "Reasons."

Star Light: "For Science!! Just call it a 'journey of self discovery.' Ahem. Moving on! Our first inter-dimensional trip was when we were young ponies. I had just discovered the means to puncture the firmament into the inner planes - the elemental ones - and I made the decision to try and capture some elemental earth. My Professor was against it, but I was determined to make the trip and run some tests on elemental planes and the conservation of mass and energy. I started by sending my equipment, and when I was sure it was safe, I prepared to go. Cruciger then surprised me by asking to come along. We'd known one another for years before this, of course, but he said he wanted to make sure I wouldn't get hurt. As it turned out, the trip was entirely uneventful... but it was terribly sweet to have him watching my back. I know if anything had happened, he would've jumped in to help me. I think I knew then, if ever there was any doubt before, that he was my one and only soul mate."

Twilight: "That's... actually really nice. Romantic even! It almost made me forget how scary he is. Then again, you're both kind of scary, so maybe it is a match made in harmony."

Star Light: "Oh, and that creature you're referring to wasn't an octopus. It was an extra-dimensional monster composed of a strange tentacled mass of undifferentiated tissue that defied conventional classification. Mister Tentacles sadly didn't survive my initial attempts to subdue him and the transition into our plane of existence started breaking down his body."

Twilight: "Mister Tentacles?"

Star Light: "Mister Tentacles. Yes. Lastly, I've befriended quite a few non-equine entities over the years, but none are capable of destroying or unraveling reality like you describe. The closest would be the aethereal entities... but as I've gone into before, studying them is hazardous enough. Becoming friends with one...? Who is to say beings of that sort even have a concept like friendship? A 'friend' to them may simply be an extension of themself, so befriending one would be asking it to absorb you. Just as a hypothetical answer."

Twilight: "Who or what is the oddest thing you've befriended, then?"

Star Light: "The oddest? That would probably be the troll."

Twilight: "A troll? As in a cave troll? Those hulking monsters in the Macintosh Hills?"

Star Light: "Not all trolls are created equal, Twilight. There are some scholars who believe the trolls are just a remnant of a greater race, the Titans, and that slivers of greatness remain in them. I can't say if that's true, but trolls aren't so bad. As long as they aren't fed."

Dear Dr. Light: Can you tell us how it was to raise all of your children and how they all changed as they grew up like Brass or Antimony? Also, you revealed that you injected radioactive isotopes into your children and your husband so that you could track your family down. Does that mean that Twilight would also be injected with a radioactive isotope so that you could learn where she is? Would you teach Twilight that spell? One more question towards you and Twilight. According to tradition/rumor the Arsenic mares must swallow a certain amount of poison so that the descendants get poison immunity or Gorgon Eyes. I want to ask Dr. Light, given that she married into the family, if it's painful/disgusting to swallow the poison and ask Twilight if she would have to continue with the tradition now that she's the head of the family?

2140006

Star Light: "That's a very involved question! It also touches on certain things that I shouldn't bring up at this very moment. I will say that Cruciger handled a lot of the load raising our children, especially our three daughters. We also employed many tutors for them, including Joyeuse Tidings, who was my Governess when I was young, and other staff to help raise them into contributing members of the family. Polished Jewel was always very keen to study courtly life and Alpha was, by all accounts, an excellent student in all respects. Chalice had more trouble, due to her shyness, and Antimony excelled despite some initial difficulties."

Twilight: "I'm interested in an answer to the next question, myself. You don't plan to inject me with any radioactive magical isotopes... do you?"

Star Light: "...of course not, dear!"

Twilight: "You already did, didn't you."

Star Light: "Let's move on to the next question!"

Twilight: "OOOOHHH!"

Star Light: "The matter of our family's... poison tests... will actually be addressed shortly in the story, but I was able to make some arrangements given that I'm obviously not descended from Arsenic. I don't have any poison immunity, but I was able to find a way to properly activate it in my children. In fact, MY methods are actually quite superior to the crude ones used by Arsenic and granny Bismuth."

Twilight: "But Antimony, Brass, Chalice and Jewel all did this...drinking poison, thing?"

Star Light: "Of course, though it wasn't just that. The ritual is an essential part of being one with the family and of carrying on the traditions and ambitions of Arsenic herself. Now, Twilight, you are technically about to be the new head of the family. Have you activated your blood, yet? You're as much a daughter of Arsenic as anypony."

Twilight: :twilightsmile: "I can honestly say I haven't made up my mind yet about that. Besides, I have to keep some secrets, now don't I?"

 The highest most ponies can go is four alliterations of any given spell.”

Can most ponies do four? I thought four was rare and five was considered impossible.

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