“Even now as you read these wet, dripping pages your body is being consumed. That which you call time isn’t merely an event caused by the rotation of the sun and the moon, objects controlled by your beloved princesses. No, it is a beast that even the immortals fear.
“If you could feel its teeth, the pain would be so excruciating that your blood would seek to pull itself free from your body, leaving you a dry husk. Then the crimson fluid would be consumed by the great wurm.”
A vague translation of a passage from; The Book of Salacious Tongues.
Roseate opened her eyes to find herself back in the dream realm. Picking herself off the slithering floor, Roseate looked around to see a giant stone face sticking out of the ground, it's face pointing skyward. The face was that of a Bicorn with two horns, positioned vertically on its forehead.
As Roseate examined the sculpture a long shape emerged from one of its eye sockets.
'There you are.'
Roseate had barely enough time to dodge out of the way as HE charged toward her.
Jumping to the side, Roseate narrowly dodged HIS attack, dust and slime splattering from HIS impact with the viney floor.
'Where do you think you’re going?'
Roseate barely heard HIS protest, her heart beating loudly in her ears as she ran. The sound of viney pillars shattering resonated as HE pursued her.
As Roseate ran, the world around her began to change. Now large tentacles sprouted out of the ground, their suction cups forming into doorways and windows; the vacant, fleshy homes of an unseen race. Here the tendriled homes spiraled upwards around the pillars.
Reaching one of these homes, Roseate plunged through one of the doorways, the entryway coated in slime. She barely managed to move out of the way as HIS body slammed into the entrance. Roseate took in a deep breath as it seemed HE was unable to enter.
'Oh, you think you're so smart, don't you?' HE growled, 'Think again!'
HIS pincers began to gnaw away at the entrance of the tentacle building, thick slime leaking through the cuts in the flesh.
Looking around, Roseate began looking for any sign of escape. If it weren't for HIM chasing her, she might have been able to enjoy the craftsmanship of the furniture or even how aside from its living, spongy nature it was almost like what you would see in a regular pony's house.
Across the room there was a stairway that led upwards. With no other option, Roseate made her way to the stairs. The texture of the steps was like that of a pony's tongue.
Running up the stairs, Roseate found herself in another room. Here three mummified slugs rested around a spongy table, their bloated bodies somehow preserved by the slime their home produced.
The sound of ripping flesh could be heard as HE forced HIMSELF through the makeshift entrance he had made.
Panicking, Roseate looked around the room for any means of escape. It was then that she noticed a tear in the tendriled home’s flesh, revealing a hole in the pillar it had latched onto so long ago. Running over to the hole, Roseate began to push her way inside. It was a tight squeeze, but she didn't have a choice. It was either go through this way or be at HIS mercy.
Roseate grunted as she forced her way inside, only to discover herself falling downwards. Even as she slowly fell into a deep chasm, Roseate could see a small light below. It was dim but growing with every second.
Hopefully it would be a soft landing.
With a splash, Roseate found herself in a sticky lake, the scent of sugar filling her nostrils and the taste of maple syrup filling her mouth.
It was difficult, but Roseate managed to peel open her eyelids to see that she was in a cavern on the edge of a beach made up of pancakes. Mountains of decaying sweets stood in the distance like ancient obelisks.
After pulling herself from the sticky lake, Roseate rubbed herself against an upturned pancake in attempt to clean herself of the sticky substance.
"This is just disgusting!" Roseate growled as she dried her coat against the dough only to pull away and find green mold added to the disgusting mess.
'Who could dream of something like this?'
As she pondered the matter, Roseate noticed a set of small syrup puddles, the indents of a foal's hooves moving further inland from the molding pancake beach. The hoofsteps lead toward a spore-covered forest. With a deep sigh, Roseate followed the tracks.
"It smells like if a candy shop and a compost heap had a foal!" Roseate coughed as she entered the disgusting forest. The vegetation of the landscape appeared to be a combination of pastries and sweets that had grown old and moldy. The fungi became more and more intrusive the further she went and it was now at the point that whatever tasty treats the environment had once been made of was now unrecognizable.
Covering her mouth with a sticky hoof, Roseate followed the trail left behind by whatever foal had been here.
Occasionally on the trail, there would be a strange vine covered with red and white stripes like a candy cane.
Following the trail, Roseate found herself in a glade with a large statue in the center. A monolith of candy, shaped into the form of a thin mare with two curved horns. In front of the statue was a large pit with a small foal standing in front of it.
"Hello?" Roseate called out to the foal. As she entered the clearing a buzzing sound became more apparent.
The foal turned around to face Roseate, revealing the little foal to be her student, Maple Sugar. There was a surprised look on her face as she spotted her teacher.
Drawing closer to her student, Roseate became aware of the buzzing sound growing louder. Looking up, Roseate saw a massive shape descending from the moldy cotton candy clouds floating above.
The creature slammed into the ground between Roseate and Maple Sugar. Roseate coughed from the powdery dust that flew up from the impact. When the dust settled, Roseate was able to make out the creature's form.
At first, Roseate thought it was a Bugbear, however after a closer look, Roseate recognized some pony anatomy as well.
Equwolf ponies were rare, with Equbears being much rarer. So a Equ-bugbear was a rather magnificent find. However it would seem that he wasn't alone.
Attached over the Equ-bugbear's mouth was a black leather muzzle, a blindfold of a similar material rested over his eyes and leather cuffs were latched onto its wrists.
Sitting on the beast's shoulder was a succubus pony wearing a white, latex bodysuit that clung tightly to her yellow form, with fishnet stockings covering her hind legs. Her horns were large with tiny holes along the ridges.
With a sultry chuckle the succubus jumped from her companion's shoulder and landed on the moldy floor. Flipping her pink mane, she gave Roseate a seductive smile.
"I thought I felt somepony else enter this dream," the succubus spoke, "however, I am surprised that it would be a witch."
"Who are you?" Roseate growled, “And what do you want with my student?"
"Your student you say..." The succubus's expression became very playful as she turned her attention to Maple. "I don't sense any magical potential in this one, though I am very sure her emotions will taste delicious."
Reaching out with a hoof, the succubus lifted the foal's head upward, before she gave Maple a hard shove. Maple Sugar let out a frightened scream as she fell backwards into the pit.
"No!" Roseate yelled, running past the succubus and her pet to the pit. Looking down, Roseate could see white and red striped tendrils pulling the screaming foal deeper into the decaying ground.
Suddenly, a massive claw grabbed a hold of the back of Roseate's head and pushed her to the ground.
"Allow me to introduce myself," the succubus said, looking down at Roseate, "I'm Sultry Fritter and I intend to feed on the dream energy that little foal possesses. Who knows, she might even be corruptible."
"Not,” Roseate coughed, “if I have anything to say about it!"
Sultry Fritter leaned down to better examine Roseate. Looking up, Roseate could see a few bees moving in and out of the holes in the succubus's horns. Sultry sniffed the air and a cruel grin stretched across her muzzle.
"Oh, I can smell a Tantabus's taint on you," Sultry chuckled, "I'm sure you know that one simply doesn't become cursed with a Tantabus. Knowingly or not, it is always self inflicted."
Roseate tried to struggle against her captor, but the Equ-bugbear merely put more of its weight on her skull. The succubus giggled at Roseate's fruitless attempts at escape.
"At this rate your mind will crumble under the strain of the Tantabus's will. You are such a pathetic little witch."
Angry, Roseate muttered a few words.
"Alenag farth yj haly ethemiav!"
Materializing, Roseate's sacred instrument slashed forward near the succubus's throat. Sultry pulled back, barely dodging the attack while laughing.
"You have spirit," Sultry giggled, "but, while I would love to continue playing this game, I have a meal to tend to. Brutus, finish her off quickly please."
Stepping backwards, Sultry Fritter fell into the pit she had pushed Maple into, the red and white tendrils gently lowering her into the deep.
With his mistress gone, Brutus began to lift Roseate off the ground, the back of her head still within the Equ-bugbear's clutches. Not able to see the beast that was holding her, Roseate began to swing her Athame frantically, trying cut him by any means possible.
While a few of her blows did seem to make contact, all they did was anger the monster. In a flash, Brutus brought Roseate's head down to the ground, once, twice, three times. Roseate's vision became blurry from the impact and before she knew it she found herself hurtling toward the statue.
Roseate awoke with a sharp pain ringing through her skull. Annoyance pumping through her brain due to being evicted from the dream.
Having woken up, Roseate examined the room around her. In the corner was the teddy bear outfit and parts of Roseate's witch costume stained with fluids both pony and alien in origin. Nothing a good cleaning spell couldn't remove, but enough to make a Lunar Nun faint.
Laying next to her in bed was the pony vessel her husband used, with a much improved smile on his face.
"Good morning, dear," Roseate said as she pulled herself out of bed. Even if there was no class today, it would be nice to clean herself of last night's activities.
Pulling the damp stockings off her legs and throwing them into a hamper, Roseate left the bedroom and made her was to the shower.
After turning on the faucet and waiting for the water to reach a decent temperature, Roseate stepped inside and pulled the sheets closed. The feeling of warm droplets on her body was revitalizing, as the heated water cascaded over her.
Using her magic, Roseate went to work using soap and shampoo to help rid her body of sweat and grime. Once she had finished cleaning and rinsed the suds off, Roseate was about to turn off the shower, when Arsthotua's voice entered her mind.
'I should probably clean my vessel as well.'
Leaving the shower on, Roseate stepped out and began to dry herself as her husband came in.
"I have a present for you."
It was then that Roseate noticed the vessel holding a small box with one of its hooves. After setting down the box on the bathroom counter, Arsthotua went into the shower.
Even while Roseate was tending to her mane, she examined the box. It was more like a small, wooden chest with a metal latch on the front. Undoing the latch, Roseate opened the box to reveal its contents. The gift inside was something that resembled the combination of a sunflower and a sea anemone. Its yellow petals surrounding the pink luminescent interior. The tendrils inside moving like grass swaying in the breeze, their tips glowing a fluorescent blue.
"Oh, it's very lovely." Roseate said breathing in the fragrant scent that the flower gave off. "Why did you get it?"
"I saw that you were upset at the party the other night," Arsthotua answered, "I thought it might cheer you up."
Roseate smiled. It had taken Arsthotua a long time to learn how to fully process pony emotions and while he still had a difficult time showing them when placed inside a pony vessel, he had learned how to empathize with her. It was possible that even with this small thing could understand the pain she felt and had attempted with this kind gesture to aid her.
Closing the box, Roseate finished drying and styling her mane. Now feeling nice and clean, Roseate took the gift with her into the mirror room.
Opening the hidden panel, Roseate placed the flower next to her things. It was then that she noticed that something was missing.
"Where is my Scryiasphere?"
The Scryiasphere was an item linked to Roseate's Scryial, that would allow her to communicate with those beyond, even if she didn't have access to the enchanted mirror.
"Where did I put it?"
Roseate was about to search for the magical item, when she heard a knock at the front door. Returning the panel to its original position, Roseate left the mirror room and descended the steps.
There was another knock at the door.
Roseate walked over and looked through the peephole to see a Detective Frost Brook standing outside. The detective raised a hoof and knocked once more at the door.
As tempting as it was to just pretend to not be home, Roseate knew that wasn't a good option. Not only would it look suspicious but the detective might attempt to contact her later or more inconvenient time. It would be better to just let him in, answer his questions and politely show him out.
Taking a deep breath, Roseate opened the door. As Roseate opened the door, a wide smile stretched across Brook's face.
"Good morning Miss Roseate," Frost Brook greeted her.
"Yes, it certainly is." Roseate smiled, concealing any deceit or disdain she had for the Solar Guard.
"I hope you don't mind if I come in. There are a few questions I need to ask you for my investigation."
"Please come in."
Roseate held the door open and escorted Frost Brook toward the living room. The detective took a seat on the couch while Roseate sat in her chair. Watching the detective, Roseate noticed him looking around the room.
"You have a lovely home," Frost said, a smile plastered on his face.
"Thank you," Roseate replied, "however I'm sure this meeting wasn't so you could examine my home."
"No, it wasn't."
The detective pulled a tape recorder from his suit along with a notepad. After examining his notes, Frost Brook began his line of questioning.
"So you're fairly new here to Muleport, correct?" Frost asked.
"Yes," Roseate answered, "my husband and I moved here fairly recently.”
Frost jotted down some notes.
"Before you moved here, were you friends of a Miss Ginger Frizzle?"
"No, I actually didn't know about her until after I moved here."
"What was your place of residence and occupation before you moved here?"
"I was living in Canterlot," Roseate answered, "I was working in one of the archives for a time."
"Isn't that a bit of a leap?" Frost Brook asked, "Changing from an archivist to a teacher?"
"Not really. I moved from a place where I helped store knowledge to an occupation where I helped share knowledge."
The detective gave a nod. "Why did you leave?"
"My husband just felt like we needed a change of scenery."
"Was there a conflict at work?"
"More or less. Personally, I would rather not talk about."
As the detective continued to jot down notes, Roseate tried to examine his person for further details. He seemed to be a young stallion, both eager and yet very patient.
"Thank you," the detective spoke up, "this information you have provided me with has been very helpful."
"I am glad I can be of service."
"One final question." Detective Frost Brook looked up from his notes, his expression changing into one of determination. "What did you do with Miss Fizzle's diary?"
Roseate's heart nearly froze in response to the detective's inquiry. Giving the Solar Guard another look, Roseate could see that Frost Brook was certain that she had the book. Unfortunately, for her, he was right. While she could try to lie about it and say that she had no idea what he was talking about, Roseate suspected that he had some piece of evidence that proved that she had it, otherwise he wouldn't have come here to ask her specifically.
Once more, it would be best to tell him the truth or at least part of it.
Roseate let out a deep sigh. "How did you know I had it?"
The detective let out a cheerful chuckle, "As I was searching the house, I found the hoofprints matching an adult leading to the house. After following the path I was able to trace it back to the vicinity of the school. That meant it had to be either a parent, the principal or the teacher."
"That doesn't explain how you knew it was me."
"It was kind of a hunch," Frost Brook answered, "The principal is too cowardly to do it and Miss Ginger Fizzle wasn't very social when it came to her student's parents, so it was unlikely that it was one of them. Therefore, that left her replacement."
Well, that was annoying. If she had known that was all the detective had to work with, Roseate probably could have lied to him after all.
"So, may I have the journal?" Frost asked, "I believe it might be important in discerning the former teacher's location or her potential killer."
"Yes, I can do that."
Sitting up from her chair, Roseate made her way up the stairs to her room, where she had left the book.
'Keep an eye on him.' Roseate told her husband.
'Indeed.' Roseate could feel Arsthotua's agitation at the detective's intrusion.
After picking the book off of her nightstand, Roseate made her way back down the stairs and gave the detective the teacher's diary.
"Here you go."
Frost Brook scrunched his eyes as he pondered something.
"Personally, I think it would be wise if I take you down to the station," Frost said, "for further questioning. After all, there has to be a reason for you breaking into your predecessor's house and I really need to know."
The detective reached out and grabbed Roseate's hoof as he reached into his jacket to grab some handcuffs. A feeling of revulsion rose in the pit of Roseate's stomach, however she couldn't focus on that now. If she didn't act fast she could be in grave trouble.
Tapping into her glamour, Roseate began to chant.
"Psajelu eri undir yj spill, jelu gahluyng heug neflthong yog fob’thesh!"
Frost Brook's grasp loosened as the stallion began to blink in confusion, a green glow pulsating from his eyes. The detective gave Roseate a confused look.
"You won't be taking me in for questioning," Roseate instructed, "after our discussion, you were convinced that I had taken the journal merely due to my fear of suffering a fate similar to the previous teacher and trying to learn more about what happened to her."
"Of course." Frost nodded in agreement.
Roseate could feel bile in her throat but she had to keep going.
"You will take your things and you will leave," Roseate continued, "however, along the way you will drop Miss Ginger's diary in the river. You will not remember that you did so, nor will you remember that I gave you these instructions. You will believe that you have lost the journal."
With the glamour used, Roseate began the chant to resolve the orders she had given. As the incantation came to an end, Frost Brook blinked a few times as his eyes returned to normal. Looking down the detective noticed the diary in his hooves.
"Well, thank you for your time, Miss Roseate," Frost said as he began to pick his items up off the table, "I hope you have a pleasant day."
Roseate's head pounded and her stomach ached, yet she didn't budge until the detective had left the house. Once the door closed, Roseate made a beeline to the bathroom. Reaching the toilet, Roseate bent over as she regurgitated the contents of her stomach into the ivory bowl. The stallion's touch and the repeated use of her glamour so shortly after using it on Scroll Keeper was doing a number on Roseate.
Even with her stomach completely empty, Roseate felt nauseous and her head continued to pound. Picking herself up off the floor, Roseate left the bathroom and made her way to the kitchen. Opening the freezer portion of the refrigerator, Roseate grabbed a cold pack and placed it against the side of her head.
With a groan, Roseate dragged herself back to the coach to lay down.
"Are you okay?"
Roseate was able to peel her eyes open to see Mittenz sitting in front of her. The feline familiar actually looked kind of cute when he was concerned for her.
"No," Roseate answered, "but I will be."
"Is there anything you need me to do?"
"Yes... I need you to go spy on detective Frost Brook and his residence. I need to know what he is up to."
"As you wish."
Having accepted his orders, Mittenz left the room. Looking up at the ceiling, Roseate saw one of Arsthotua's eyes looking down at her.
'I know what happened.' Arsthotua growled, his voice dark and menacing inside of Roseate's head.
'It's fine, dear.' Roseate insisted.
'I will make sure he pays for this,' Arsthotua continued, 'I shall deliver upon him a fate so terrible not even the Gruglix will have enough ink to record it. Just say the word and I will send my tendrils forth to flay the skin from his bones!'
Roseate could feel her husband's anger building and while she was pleased by how protective he was of her, she knew she couldn't allow it. Any brash action could jeopardize them both.
'No, it isn't safe for that,' Roseate answered, 'at least not for the time being.'
Gradually, Arsthotua's mood softened from anger to concern.
'I don't like seeing you like this.'
'Well, I don't enjoy feeling like this either.'
A delightful little chuckle echoed through Roseate's mind and she could help but join in a little.
'I will be fine,' Roseate insisted, 'I just need to rest a little to recover my strength.'
A tendril materialized and gently caressed Roseate's cheek, 'If he lays a hoof on you again, I will kill him.'
Roseate reached out and held the tentacle in her arms, like a squishy, slender pillow. The heat from the appendage seeped into Roseate’s body as it pressed into her coat.
‘Only if I can’t endure it.’
There was something reminiscent of a sigh that echoed softly through Roseate’s mind. Arsthotua had been with her for a long time, like any true husband he knew her limits and wished to solve her problems for her. However, in the land of Equestria such solutions usually had terrifying consequences.
‘Very well.’ Arsthotua relented.
Slowly, both the eye and tendril faded away. Aching and tired from her ailment, Roseate closed her eyes and drifted off to sleep.
The sound of the doorbell ringing awoke Roseate from her slumber. Opening her eyes, Roseate tried to consider who it might be. It was unlikely that Frost Brook would have returned so quickly, so it must have been somepony else.
Pulling herself up from the couch, Roseate walked over to the door, her body still sore from earlier. Looking through the peephole, Roseate saw Scroll Keeper standing on the other side.
'Yeah, she did say she wanted to talk to me about her missing friend.'
Pooling together her strength, Roseate answered the door.
"Scroll Keeper, please do come in."
"Thank you," Scroll Keeper said as she walked inside. Slowly, Roseate lead her guest to the kitchen.
"Please sit down," Roseate motioned to a chair.
"Thank you," Scroll said as she sat down.
Looking the librarian over, Roseate could tell that she was nervous. It would be wise to try to calm those nerves before starting.
"Would you like some tea?" Roseate asked.
Roseate poured some water into a kettle before placing it on to the stove. As the heat for the kettle's contents grew, Roseate walked over to the cabinet and examined her selections of tea. Perhaps some green tea would be good.
"Would you like some honey with your tea?" Roseate asked.
Pulling the tea bags from their container, Roseate fetched two teacups and a jar of honey. Roseate placed the two bags inside the teacups in preparation for the hot water.
Soon the kettle was whistling as steam shot forth from its nozzle. Taking the kettle off the stove, Roseate poured the hot water into the teacups. After stirring in some honey, Roseate brought the tea over to the table and sat down.
Scroll Keeper tried to sip the tea only to hiss as it burnt her tongue.
"Careful, it's still hot."
Scroll Keeper nodded.
'Her friends disappearance must be really affecting her.' Roseate thought.
Roseate waited a moment for her tea to cool, blowing on the vapors that arose from the warm brew.
"So, tell me about your missing friend," Roseate said, taking a sip of her tea.
"His name is Star Watcher," Scroll Keeper said, "on occasion he and I would go out stargazing with his telescope. Recently he started obsessing over star patterns."
"Well, he said that they were moving out of alignment. That a few stars were forming into new constellations."
A celestial migration. Strange.
"The last night I saw him," Scroll continued, "he was going out with his telescope to document more of the changes."
"Did he have a favorite spot for his star gazing?" Roseate asked.
"There is a hill in the middle of the forest he always like going to," Scroll answered, "Treasurer's Peak I believe it's called."
"I see. Well, I will see what I can do," Roseate said, "for now you should drink your tea. It's going to be cold soon."
Following Roseate's advice, Scroll Keeper sipped the tea. A pleased smile appeared on her face.
"It's really good."
Even as she contently drank her tea, Roseate could feel that there was something else on Scroll Keeper's mind.
"Well, I guess I should take my leave."
Scroll Keeper began to stand up from her seat.
"Before you go," Roseate replied, "is there something else you would like to talk to me about?"
A bead of sweat ran down the side of Scroll's face. After a brief moment she let out a brief sigh and sat back down.
"Actually there is," Scroll said nervously, "while my supervisors don't want me mentioning this, there are some books that have gone missing from our library."
"There not ordinary books are they?"
"Not exactly," Scroll answered, "apparently some of them date back to before this town was founded. To make matters worse, these books weren't exactly available to the public."
"So who has access to these books?"
"Practically anypony whose family has lived in the town for three or more generations has access to them."
"Meaning that if they were stolen," Roseate concluded, "that it would have to be somepony in town."
"I am afraid that's true."
What sort of knowledge would be so important that it would require you to be a member of this small community from your ancestry in order to gain access to it?
"I suppose I can keep an eye out if that will help," Roseate said.
"Okay. If you do find the books, do you think you could keep it on the down low?" Scroll Keeper asked.
"Sure, why not."
After Scroll Keeper left the house, Roseate finished her tea and went back to the couch to rest.
As she lay there, a portal opened as another being entered the room. It was a blue amorphous blob with violet eyes and rainbow-colored tendrils shifting in and out of its body.
"Hey, is this Roseate's residence?" the being asked.
"Who’s asking?" Roseate inquired in an annoyed tone as she lifted herself into a sitting position with one hoof still holding the cold pack.
"My name is Hsed Wabnoer," the creature answered, "I am from the Interdimensional Mail Service."
"What happened to Yprid?"
The Hsed let out something resembling an annoyed humph, "Yprid is so clumsy! She made such a big mess that I had to deliver her packages for today! So tell me, are you Roseate Grimsbane?!"
"Yes, I am."
"Then sign this!" Hsed said as a jelly-like, rainbow-colored tendril passed over a clipboard with a form and a pen. The board itself appeared to be made of obsidian despite feeling nearly weightless and the pen's ink resembled something like strawberry jam. With some difficulty, Roseate managed to sign the papers.
Once the paperwork was signed, numerous packages began to emerge from Hsed's body and landed on the floor.
"There you go. Have a nice day," Hsed said as another portal opened and the creature floated up into the swirling vortex.
"Thank you all for coming," Roseate said as she sat in front of the mirror, her body still sore from earlier.
The yellow eyes on the other side of the glass appeared to be watching with anticipation.
"Now, I must apologize," Roseate spoke to those beyond the Scryial, "I don't really have any decisions that I need your input on at the moment. However, if I think of anything I will let you know. For now, let's answer some questions and open some packages."
Viper Pit asks: "That's awfully sweet of you to banish the colt's nightmares. Maybe he will start doing better. Or he makes a deal he doesn't understand and ends up trying to bring about the end of the world. In which case I'm sure you would stop that. Right?"
"Usually beings of that nature don't bring the world to an end overnight," Roseate answered, "but yes, I would do my best to halt its progress."
Lunar Flarion asks: "Hm... It was very kind of you to banish the colt’s nightmares, they say good things return in kind. As for the question, are there monsters in your world, or your husband’s, that are known to affect and manipulate dreams?"
"Well, there are succubus ponies, which I think I've mentioned before who can influence the dreams of others. There are also other beings in the dreamscape that will affect the dreams of others for their nefarious plans."
NicLove asks: "What does Spike think of Rarity's eye?"
"Well, I haven't met this Spike before, though I have heard a few things from Rarity," Roseate answered, "however, I think Rarity's Monoculosis is something she prefers to keep secret. So I doubt he knows of it."
Salreix Von Otsuu asks: "Can Mittenz defy you? How much power does he really have?"
"He certainly could defy me if he chose to," Roseate answered, "however, in doing so—as a part of the summoning conditions—I could... Dispel his presence here on this plane. We all have cages we choose to run from. I am sure he doesn't want to return to his."
Quillian Inkheart asks: "Do you use any artifacts, aside from your Athame, to augment your magical powers? If so, what is it?"
"There are items called sigils that I have crafted from time to time. They have multiple uses depending upon the sigil that is made but one of their main features is that, if designed properly, they can cause harm to any being of eldritch origin."
Roseate pulled out her Isidria and turned a few pages to reveal a series of etchings. One depicted a blue claw, another a great shadow with a green eye, a blue horn among a storming vortex of various body parts and another consisting of three red snakes. Even as Roseate closed the book, other sigils could be seen on the pages before being concealed.
Genesis asks: "My, my, my.
It has been far too long on my end since I have last contacted you. Quillian if anyone is deserving to eventually know who you may be, its him. Of course it's all by your own discretion. It would be disastrous for him to fall into contact and influenced in a way that's detrimental to him and you.
Omission of the truth may be construed as lying to him in his eyes keep that in mind Roseate dear.
Who knows you both may be more alike than either of you realize.
That's my simple opinion...."
"I worry for Quillian just as any teacher should for her students."
Roseate seemed to pause as she considered what she would say next.
"To an extent, I feel that in some small way they are the closest thing I will ever have to children. Needless to say, I will protect them to the best of my ability. Whether I reveal to them who I truly am or not doesn't matter."
dr film asks: "Thank you for the information, but i was wondering what is the most powerful spell you can do and are there any other non-ponies in Ponyville pretending to be ponies? We’ve seen Missus cake and now Rarity."
"Whether there are or are not, I can't say," Roseate answered, "my ventures to Ponyville have been scarce. It would also be unwise for my to give up another's secrets when I like to keep my own."
NicLove asks: "What does Rarity know about you?"
"She knows what she needs to know," Roseate answered, "she knows that I'm a witch, she knows that I have the means of keeping her secret safe and that it would endanger her career to reveal my occupation to others."
Borimor Wathal asks: "Hey Roseate, when did you learn of Rarity's Monoculosis? Also, I'll be sending my lucky coin to you, I have a strange feeling you may need it."
"Her father found me actually," Roseate explained, "like any good parent he did what he could to protect her and it broke his heart that her Monoculosis, would undoubtedly ruin any attempts she had as a clothing designer. Apparently he heard a rumor of a witch and diligently sought me out. We made a deal and I have been helping Rarity ever since."
Quillian Inkheart asks: "How do monster-ponies know to find you for remedies if your position as a witch is kept secret? Are you able to sense them and offer assistance, or is there another way for these meetings to take place?"
"Well, my services are generally discovered by ponies who have heard rumors of me and have been desperate enough to seek me out. Or somepony who is already a customer shares word of me with a trusted friend. There are also the rare occasions where I find one of these ponies and offer to aid them."
NicLove ask: "Do you mind telling us who gave you the gift?"
"It was my husband, though at the time we were merely... Acquaintances."
NicLove ask: "Did he know any other mare before you?"
"I don't know," Roseate answered, "I don't know too much about what my husband did prior to our meeting."
Thinking back on it, Arsthotua did seem to dodge the question whenever Roseate had inquired about it. It wasn't like she was even mad about it, her husband and shown himself to be quite loyal to her on more than one occasion, so if there was someone prior in his life, why would he be so determined to avoid discussing it?
Viper Pit asks: "Waffles, pancakes, or flapjacks? Which do you prefer?"
"Pancakes... No, waffles... Actually I can't say for sure. Both taste great when covered with butter and maple syrup."
Roseate's mouth began to drool at the thought.
"Well, now that we are done with the questions, I have some boxes to open."
The first package was a box wrapped in red paper. On the gift was a label marking it as from Azathothfhtagn. Opening the gift, Roseate revealed a book, The King of Scarlet and Ash.
"Looks like this could be an intriguing novel," Roseate said, "thank you, Azathothfhtagn for sending it to me."
Setting the gift aside, Roseate turned her focus on another package. A box wrapped in black paper and gray ribbon. Removing the outer covering, Roseate opened the box to discover inside a box of chocolates and a book. Tied to the book was a note.
Twice blinded, he can now fully see;
Heinous nightmares, condemned to the sea.
A child gifted with trust so true,
Now looks up and sees the world anew.
Keeping his heart in harrowed box.
You shattered all the gilded locks.
Out of hope, he may find in time,
Under every untruth, is a time to shine.
I hope this serves you well.
Having finished the note, Roseate examined the book. It possessed a midnight blue, leather cover with the word, Sylathus, engraved with silver letters. Opening the book, Roseate observed the light blue pages as fluorescent yellow ink moved along the first page to form words.
'The Dark Codex of Nightmares and Entities of Dreams.'
"Thank you for the Sylathus," Roseate said, "I'm sure I will be able to make some use of it."
Setting the book aside, Roseate examined the box of chocolates. It was a brown box with the image of a golden crown, encompassing a piece of chocolate, the words, Canterlot's Best Chocolates, inscribed on the front in gold lettering. Roseate's eyes became saucers when she realized that it was a variety pack.
"Oh, you need to careful, Quillian," Roseate giggled, "you may be a child in this world, but if you continue to spoil me, Arsthotua might become jealous."
Smiling, Roseate took out a piece of chocolate and stuffed it in her mouth. It had a wonderful caramel center. Roseate set the box of chocolates aside, but not so far that it was out of reach.
Pulling out another box, Roseate opened it to reveal dr film's gift. It resembled the skull of a deer only with carnivorous teeth. Even in death, Roseate could feel a small portion of the child's essence flowing through the clean marrow.
"Thank you for this precious gift. I will take good care of it."
With some difficulty, Roseate managed to pull forth a heavy wooden crate from the pile.
"I think these are the Nikora artifacts that Lunar Flarion promised." Roseate grunted, "now if only I had a crowbar."
"Perhaps I can help."
A few of Arsthotua's tentacles appeared from the shadows, wrapping around the box and very carefully pulling the wooden panels apart, so that the lid was able to come off. With the top of the crate removed, Roseate was able to see the items inside. Surrounded by straw stuffing was a sculpture made of gold and bleached bone, emitting a hum like an eternal scream.
"I am sure my husband and I will enjoy studying these relics, some time in the future."
Pushing the crate to the side, Roseate picked up a small present wrapped with purple paper and pink ribbon. Opening the package, Roseate pulled forth a delicate item from inside.
To anypony else, it would seem to just be the damaged wing of a butterfly, however, Roseate recognized what the item really was. It was a Lunar Wing, a crescent moon shaped wing with shapes like that of falling stars against the dark blue background. A rare magical component that could be very useful in potions that work at night.
"Thank you so much Viper Pit. I'm impressed you were able to find one of these."
A wing from a Lunar Butterfly was a coveted reagent by most spell casters, especially considering how endangered the species was in the world. Roseate knew it would probably be wise not to have the wing lying out in the open.
After putting the wing among her secret components, Roseate sat down and grabbed another piece of chocolate. This one had a cherry center with an actual cherry inside.
"So... good." Roseate moaned as she savored the piece of sugary bliss.
Next there was a cardboard box held together by some string. Untying it and opening the gift, Roseate presented a gas mask.
"Well, this could be useful," Roseate said, "if ever I create a brew with some noxious fumes or the Solar Guard decide to raid my house with tear gas, this could be beneficial to have."
Then again, it could also be great for a future Nightmare Night costume.
"Perhaps a post-apocalyptic priestess," Roseate pondered, "that might be an interesting outfit."
Another piece of chocolate and another box.
Opening the box, Roseate found a bottle inside filled with a swirling liquid. There was a note, hanging from a string tied around the neck of the bottle.
‘This is inter-dimensional material mix. It’s a free gift and a sample of my stock. Please follow the instructions! This can be used to quickly open a limited time portal to another world, but only once, so use it carefully. Also, it does not provide a way back, so I’ll give you a fair warning. I wanted to send this using plain Equestrian mail from the Manehattan suburbs since I can, but I decided it might not be safe.
P.S.: I’ll restock next time I get yanked. Please, will everyone stop doing so much inter-dimensional travelling? One time in ten I get pulled along. It’s annoying.’
"While I don't think I'll need it," Roseate said, "I will hang onto this."
Setting the vial of inter-dimensional material aside, Roseate pulled forth a blue package from BestinDworld. Opening the container, Roseate produced three books called, Fifty Shades of Neigh. After taking a quick look at the summary, Roseate gave a slight blush.
"I must say my recreational reading is currently full with Thirteen Hues of Midnight. However, when I'm done, I'll give this series a look."
So many books to read and so little time.
"It looks like we have one more box to open. I wonder who it's from?"
The package was itself a red box tied closed with a black string. A white label hung from the string. Roseate examined the tag, reading the name, Rehtaf. Strange, Roseate couldn't recall seeing that name before.
Untying the string, Roseate opened the container to reveal within another smaller red with a note resting on top.
Curious, Roseate lifted up the piece of paper to examine what it said. A chill running down her spine as she read the words.
He is going to die because of your instructions.
Tossing the note aside, Roseate took out the smaller box and opened it. The scent of iron and rust wafted from the inside as the top came off. The inside was covered in a red substance that Roseate was pretty sure she could identify.
At the bottom of the box was a single green eyeball, looking back up at her. From what Roseate could see of the discarded organ it once had belonged to a pony.
As she touched the eye with her magic, Roseate's vision shifted. The world around her turned black before returning to the view of a forest.
It was night and yet Roseate could see perfectly. The sound of heavy breathing could be heard as if belonging to the lungs of a large beast.
The creature looked through the branches of a tree to see a stallion standing on a bridge. A stallion Roseate recognized as detective Frost Brook. He stood on the bridge, his eyes glowing green as he took Ginger Fizzle's diary and dropped it into the water below.
As the book hit the surface of the river, the creature whose eyes Roseate was looking through charged through the forest toward the detective. A terrifying roar erupting from its throat.
Roseate saw the look in Frost's eyes changing from a distant pondering to sudden terror, before Roseate found herself back in the mirror room.
Roseate didn't even bother to throw a blanket onto the Scryial, before rushing out of the room and down the steps. Using her magic, Roseate fetched a jacket from the coat hanger and put it on as she rushed out the door.
Running through the forest, Roseate made her way to the bridge, her mind stretching outward to feel for Frost's essence. After a few steps, Roseate could feel it, the detective's life force was weak, barely throbbing but still present, nearly overshadowed by the alien energy nearby.
Reaching the bridge, Roseate saw a massive red stain in the wood.
"Where is he?"
Looking around, Roseate spotted the detective on the side of the river a ways from the bridge. From what she could see Frost Brook was unconscious.
Jumping from the bridge into the rocky sand on the side of the river, Roseate could still feel the presence of the detective's attacker. It was close and it was eager to end her.
The sound of bushes to Roseate's right rustled as a shape stepped forward, a massive roar filling the air as it charged.
As the creature lunged at her, Roseate sent out a bolt of green eldritch energy toward it. The glowing magical projectile illuminating the monsters form. It was almost like a giant bunny, twice the size of a pony with gorilla like arms, large buck teeth and a pair of massive horns.
The scent of burnt flesh and fur filled the air as Roseate's attack hit the creature's shoulder. A whimper escaped the beast's maw as it ran back into the forest. Roseate sent another blast after the creature for good measure.
Once she was certain that she was safe, at least for the moment, Roseate walked over to the detective. His front, left leg was missing from the knee joint down. There was a massive opening in the detective's side, presumably caused by one of the monster's horns.
Even as Frost Brook was laying there, Roseate wasn't sure whether she should save him or leave him to die.
On one hoof, if she helped him survive, Frost might continue to cause trouble for her. However, if Roseate let him die, another Solar Guard might take his place.
Pondering what to do, Roseate felt something in her coat pocket. Pulling the item forth, Roseate saw that it was the item she had been searching for this whole time. The Scryiasphere.
The Scryiasphere was a sphere the size of a ball bearing, it's surface covered in a silvery mirror like substance.
As Roseate focused on the orb, it shifted becoming completely black as Roseate relayed her question to the entities beyond.
"What should I do?"