• Published 11th May 2013
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Denuo Fortuna - Firecaller



She was a unicorn on the run. She needed somewhere to hide, somewhere quiet and boring. The tourist pamphlet was out of date but the place sounded ideal... Ponyville

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Chapter 18 - Found It

Chapter 18 - Found It

Both Twilight and Rainbow stood away the campsite, watching as Thunderlane flew back to town.

"Com'on Twi, let's get back before they eat our breakfast as well."

The others sat around the smouldering campfire, eating their breakfasts while eagerly awaiting the return of the two and the news from Ponyville.

Apart from Sunbeam that is, she was just trying to stay awake and was holding onto her coffee mug with grim determination. Her expression left no doubt to a pony's fate if anypony tried to take it from her. Twice now she'd almost ended up going face-first into her breakfast, asleep, and had given up on the idea.

Noticing this, Greywing got up, and while still chewing his last mouthful, walked over to the sleepy unicorn with narrowed eyes. Giving Sunbeam's shoulder a nudge with his hoof he gave her an exasperated look before swallowing the last of his breakfast. “I said you should have woken me earlier. You were supposed to be on watch only for a couple of hours, not half the night! And how long did it take you to get to sleep after that?”

Lifting her head and fixing him with a plaintive look she replied. “Not sleepy then, sleepy now. Want more coffee”

Greywing shook his head before looking up at Twilight and Rainbow came back to camp.

“So, any news about Blueblood?”

Rainbow spoke up first. “Only he left Ponyville last night on the train. He had the flower with him all the time while searching for Twilight. Made himself a real pain apparently.” Rainbow gave Twilight a playful shove with her wing. “Sounds like he’s got the real hots for you princess.”

“Not helping Rainbow. Argh, I’m a princess but I’ve got to go hide in the woods whenever he comes around like a, like a, like a....”

“Common criminal?” Greywing casually inserted, before slapping a hoof over his mouth and blushing.

The glare from Twilight was the one he was expecting, as was the snigger from Rainbow.

Twisting her neck from side to side to try and relieve a cramp Twilight carried on, purposely ignoring Greywing.

“At least we can all head back now. We don’t need to go 'ahem hide' in the woods.”

Greywing nodded as a still sniggering Rainbow stretched her wings. “As I was saying earlier, there’s that nice little clearing I know, only little way into the woods from here. It makes a great campsite. If there is a next time of course.”

Leaning towards Twilight he lowered is voice. “Although I think we might have had a problem with Sunbeam if we had needed to do go into the woods. She seemed" He paused looking for the word. "Afraid, is that the right word? For us to go into the woods, especially when I mentioned that clearing."

Twilight nodded, making a careful mental note of that. “Yes, she did seem to become quite agitated at that proposal.”

Both of them turned to look at Sunbeam as she began reaching for the coffee jug. Applejack beat her to it, unaware Sunbeams half outstretched foreleg and look of horror.

Pouring the last of the coffee into her cup, Applejack swirled it before pointing the mug at Twilight. All the while being totally oblivious to the faces Sunbeam was now pulling at her. “So what now Twi? Head back on into town and continue on as normal until he tries again?”

Twilight nodded. “Hopefully, Celestia can get that law revoked before he tries again.”

“As much as I adore a romantic gesture, that buffoon Blueblood has ruined another one. The sooner that Princess Celestia is able to get it off the law books the better.” Rarity said, staring into her mug of coffee with disdain.

Pinky pulled a muffin out of her saddlebags. “Aw cheer up, I have a blueberry muffin here for you if you turn that frown upside-down.” Pinky waved it around close to Rarity’s face. “Hummm, muffin.”

Narrowing her eyes at Pinky, Rarity’s face became stone as the muffin passed in front of her. Opening her mouth to make her views known, she was interrupted by a small giggle from next to her.

“Fluttershy?”

“Oh sorry, you look so stern there, with Pinky waving that muffin in front of you.”

Closing her eyes, Rarity rubbed her temple. “Okay Pinky, maybe I was being a little too despondent there, I would love to have the muff..mmmmpf.”

With a snap of her wings, and ignoring Rarity’s muffled cries, Twilight tried to get everyone’s attention.

“Let's start packing up soon, I’m sure we all got things to be doing when we get back.”

Fluttershy lifted herself off the ground. “Oh yes, I need to make sure all my little house guests are fed. And on the way back Sunbeam can tell me some of the amusing stories she has, I’ve heard they quite unforgettable.”

Six sets of eyes turned on Sunbeam, who was currently staring morosely at the empty coffee jug she held in her hooves.

After a few seconds, Sunbeam became aware of the silence. Looking up she hugged the empty coffee jug to her chest and blinked rapidly.

“What?”

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Flying over the group as they walked back, Greywing’s head lifted as he remembered a question he wanted to ask. Flying down, he gently landed by Sunbeam as they walked back. “So, how does it work.”

“How does what work?” Was the curt reply. She didn’t bother to turn her head to look at him, she was just concentrating on putting one hoof in front of the other. This also meant that Sunbeam hadn’t noticed that she was being guided to the front of the group, while Fluttershy was being careful herded to the back.

“Last night, whenever you went off into the night, you knew exactly where to go, like you could see everything. So, how can you see at night, a spell?”

Stopping, Sunbeam rubbed her eyes with a hoof. ‘Ugh, too tired.’

“Yes and no. Yes, it is a spell. No, it’s not true ‘seeing at night’. I'm seeing magic.”

Greywing tilted his head, saying nothing, he did, however, raise a hoof and made a circular backwards motion with it, indicating she say more.

Starting to talk again, Sunbeam found herself a bit more awake as she talked.

“It’s part of a spell I’ve been taught. When it’s active I can see magic and because all living things have a bit of magic in them, I can see them irrespective of light levels. So trees, plants, animals all show up as outlines, the more magic in them the brighter, more filled in they appear.”

Pausing she pointed at Applejack in front of her. “They, the Bearers that is, they all show up like lighthouses in comparison to everything else. Suppose it’s the residual magic leftover from channeling magic through the Elements.” Chuckling she continued. “Of course you’d want to channel magic through the Elements and not through your own body. Not unless you’re an alicorn... or have a death wish.”

Greywing could see her eyes widen in horror in realization. “Oh, please don’t tell Twilight that, the seeing magic thing I mean. I had enough tests when she found out about the whole ‘Ice Affinity’, no more thankyouverymuch.”

Greywing playfully rubbed his chin with a hoof. “Wellllll, maybe, if you’re good.”

Sunbeam took a half-hearted swing at him, which he dodged easily by flying up backwards into the air.

“Ha, missed. Seriously though, this seeing magic thing, you can walk around at night and see everything?”

“No, things need to have magic in them to be able to see them, so rocks and buildings don’t show up. It’s not perfect, but better than being totally blind, just gotta watch out for the boulders.” Bringing a hoof up she pantomimed adjusting her nose.

Sunbeam lifted her head in thought. ”And buildings, trying to use it in a built-up area would result in Miss Sunbeam walking into a wall very quickly. Plus there’s the whole privacy thing.”

Greywing raised an eyebrow before asking. “Privacy?”

“Yeah, with it on I can see what ponies get up to behind closed doors. Not pretty.” She shuddered just before Greywing caught on and shuddered himself.

“Ewwww. So, moving swiftly on to another topic, whatcha up to when you get back?”

“Sleep, shower, pizza, beer.”

“Ah, the important staples of life.”

“You said it brother.”

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The hastily assembled council of war sat round the table in the library. This consisted of all the bearers, Greywing, and Spike.

“It’s been delayed… again!” Twilight muttered as she rose and began stomping around the table while the offending letter was held up in her magic field.

“How long can they keep doing that sugar?”

“They could delay it indefinitely if they really tried. Won’t go that far though. They’ll stop before the Princesses get really upset at them.”

Greywing rubbed his chin. “They will keep it up for as long as possible though. So I have an ‘alternative’ option." He paused to make sure he had everponys attention. "It all comes down to Blueblood having that darn flower. If something ‘unfortunate’ was to happen to that flower however…”

Twilight swung her head round to face Greywing. “What are you suggesting?”

“That I go to Canterlot and ‘ahem’ gain entry to the Prince's chambers and remove the flower.”

Rainbow flew up to the ceiling with a punch to the air. “Woohoo, now that sounds like a plan.”

“No, no, no. I will not condone breaking and entering plus theft of property.”

“Is that the marriage march I hear?”

Twilight’s expression didn’t change. “You will need to take a unicorn with you, Blueblood is one and therefore will have most certainly placed a magical seal on it. But none of the Elements can be involved, if this goes wrong and you get caught…”

“It’s okay, I have the perfect unicorn in mind for this mission.”

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Greywing knocked politely on the door.

The door opened just enough for a head to poke around it.

“Yes, can I help you?”

“Hello there. Princess Twilight needs your help. May I come in... Miss Heartstrings?”

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Sunbeam hadn’t reached the shower, technically she hadn’t fully reached the bed. Her head and shoulders were resting on the bed, with her forelegs stretched wide. While the rest of her was collapsed down by the side of the bed, blissfully asleep.

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Willow Bark looked at the broken door to her shop as the guards searched for clues.

"And that's how I found it this morning."

Leaning in one of the guards inspected the door. “Looking at the impact points, I’d say this door was bucked by a small mare or an adolescent stallion, earth pony most probably. Any idea what was taken?”

“Certain herbs, whatever pony did this knew exactly what they wanted." The guard noted that Willow looked more distraught at this than at the break in itself.

“Any idea what the herbs taken could be used for?”

“Yes, although I haven't looked properly. The selection taken could be used for a few things in parts, but viewed as a total... It's a sleep powder, fast acting. Enough for three doses.” Willow shuffled uncomfortably.

The other guard walked over to him. "Looks like we got a crime wave going here, first Time Turner's tarpaulin goes missing, then Berry Punch's Wagon last night. Something is going on."

Nodding the guard turned to other next to him. “Better get a call out to all the clubs and bars, they need to be on the look out for any suspicious activity.” Looking down at his notes he underlined ‘Adolescent stallion’.

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“Yes, yes, yes.”

Both Twilight and Spike watched with open mouths and Sunbeam literally danced around the table in the Library.

“I found it, I found it, I found it.” She singsonged.

Spike was able to recover first and dryly commented. “Do I take it you found something?”

Noticing them, Sunbeam made no attempt to calm down. Pointing at the shelf she let out a whoop before making a gesture that left Twilight scrambling to cover Spike's eyes.

“Finally found something on Resoulten Gems. And it's only the second to last book on the shelf which I haven’t read.”

“You mean you’re not going to read the entire shelf on the subject?” Spike asked with a grin pushing Twilight's hooves away.

“Buc… I mean nope. No more unnecessary reading.”

Twilight threw her hooves in the air at that. “Unnecessary! Argh, I’m going out. Spike, you’re in charge.”

Both watched silently as Twilight stormed out before Sunbeam gave a little shimmy with her flanks.

“Woohoo.”

“Seriously though Sunbeam, last book. You never know what’s inside it.”

“Already looked in it.”

“Huh?.”

“Oh come on! A big, black, ominous-looking book, completely out of place with all the rest on the shelf. Don’t you think it wasn’t the first one I tried when things got hard?”

“So what’s in it then?”

“No idea, don’t care now.” Seeing Spikes puzzled expression she explained further. “Its all written in Ancient Equestrian or something. I can’t make head nor tail out of it, so I gave up on that idea pretty quickly.”

Sunbeam continued to dance around the table, while spike just shook his head at her antics.

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As Spike went into the kitchen to make lunch for Twilight and himself, Sunbeam calmed herself down enough to begin to take notes in earnest. Her levitated quill frantically scratched as she read.

Resoulten Gem, Literally Re-Souling Gem.

It has been my honour to be allowed to study this rare gem by the Royal Family of Zebriaca, the only flawless one in their impressive collection I might add. The more common flawed gems, while still rare, lack the lustre and truly magic properties of the flawless gems. However, these are still sought after by the fashionably rich for their appearance, if not their magic potential.

First off, the basics. It is a crystalline stone belonging to the same group as a diamonds. However, in the process of forming, it is speculated that it has been exposed to a large quantity of ‘Life Elemental’ magic, resulting in its unique colouration - when charged, magical properties and it's rarity. This gem falls squarely under the school of ‘Life Magic’.

Sunbeam tapped her hoof on the words ‘Life Magic’ before looking down at her amulet. "I think I have a suspicion on why the spell they tried to put on you never worked Mr Sable. Trying to enchant an already magical charged item." She shook her head. "Plus I very much doubt it was a spell from the 'Life Magic' school...and we all know how well mixing schools of magic goes." Looking up at the book, she continued reading the entry.

In general looks, 'uncharged' it appears as a common diamond, but when ‘charged’, a black flickering flame appears inside the gem. The larger the charge, the larger the flicker, to a point it is theorized it could give the appearance of being entirely black.

The gem, when worn, absorbs the life energy given off by the wearer to give it a ‘charge’. In every documented case, and in my limited testing, this process appears to be non-hazardous to the wearer.

The first, and in my opinion minor, magical quality of the gem is what makes it so currently popular with the fashionista. The black flickering flame. This is merely an effect of the charge being stored. This is the only property a flawed gem is capable of.

The second quality, and only available to flawless gems, is where it’s true potential lies. The stored life energy can be channeled back into the wearer upon severe injury to keep the wearer alive and assist in the healing of injuries.

Note: Some caveats on that last sentence.
First, the wearer must be wearing it upon the injury.
Second, the injury must be severe enough to disrupt the life flow from the wearer. The cessation of flow into the gem will trigger the life energy stored to flow back into the wearer.
Third, any stored energy must have come from the wearer themselves. See footnote.
Fourth, any injury is not instantly fatal.

In relation to my third point, If the wearer of a ‘charged’ gem were to pass it over to another individual, any stored charge would dissipate almost instantaneously to allow a 'new' charge from the 'new' wearer to start accumulating. Given that it can take years to charge a gem for it to have a medically viable charge, plus its non-transferable nature, the medical applications are somewhat limited at this point.

“Odd!” Sunbeam gave the gem around her neck a puzzled look. “This has always had a flicker, even when I first... received... it....” She focused intensely back into the book trying to suppress those memories.

Popular mythology: With it being called a re-souling gem, ponies assume that it can bring back the dead, this is, of course, inaccurate. The gem, while huge in storage capacity, does not have the means to draw a soul into it. No, the gem itself stores ‘life energy’ which it channels back into the wearer if needed, which may indeed give the appearance of bringing a terminally wounded individual back to life.

Footnote. It is possible to transfer a gem and retain its charge, provided two specific conditions are met. Both of these tie into properties given to it by it’s ‘Life Magic’ nature.

‘Ahh, here we go.’ Sunbeam grinned and the levitated quill continued writing.

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Spike came back to the library to find the front door open and library empty.

‘Where’s Sunbeam?’

Walking over to close the door he glanced at the notes scattered over the table with one sheet laying on the floor. Leaning over to pick up that sheet he couldn’t help but notice the last sentence on the half finished page.

‘Huh! Must have been in hurry to leave, she didn’t even finish the last word.’








Footnote. It is possible to transfer a gem and retain its charge, provided two specific conditions are met. Both of these tie into properties given to it by it’s ‘Life Magic’ nature.

First: The ‘donor’ must have died without the gem triggering. A ‘living’ transfer is not possible due to the ties the gem generates to its owner.

Second: The ‘recipient’ needs to feel a deep emotional bond with the ‘donor’ at the time of transfer. For example: Something akin to a father-daughter relationsh

Author's Note:

That took a little longer than planned. You can all blame the friend that bought me 'The Secret World' for that. So any comments, suggestions or threats of physical violence regarding the delay this should be directed towards him. ;)

That last sentence was a total [Female Dog] to do, still not entirely happy with it.

Spot any mistakes let me know and I'll correct them.

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