• Member Since 28th Aug, 2013
  • offline last seen Nov 18th, 2015

Moose Mage

Hello there, friends. I've long admired the artistic branch of the Brony community, so I decided, "You know what? I'm sure no one will mind if I contribute something myself." Let the adventure begin.


Long before Twilight Sparkle was taken under the wing of Princess Celestia, another pony was given a chance to prove himself. Your history books will tell you that he was a bitter, lonely, powerful old Unicorn who never really understood the magic of Friendship. But history, as we all know, only ever remembers one side of the story.
This is the life and the tutelage of Star Swirl, one of the greatest pony minds to ever walk Equestria.

Featured by Seattle's Angels on July 6th, 2014.
Featured on Equestria Daily on September 23rd, 2014.

Chapters (15)
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Comments ( 87 )

I have to say, your first chapter has me intrigued.
I think I'll have to stick around to read this fic. :)

I'm glad you're liking it, Fez Head! And thanks for the favorite!

Whither's Hollow is to the North, Discord has already fallen...and a new evil is stirring?
I hate to speculate so early on, but I'm already trying to piece things together...

Wow! This is fantastic! The second chapter really drew me in with the right amount of tension.

U has liekz and fave.

Thanks for the kind words, my friend! I'm thrilled you're enjoying it.

Sweet! Another Chapter!

An excellent read as always, Moose. It's great to see Starswirl building up his posse; looks like he's going to need them, and he doesn't have the benefits of the Mcguffins of Harmony.

Dis gon' be good. :eeyup:

Hehheh, looks like Star Swirl might have a little crush. ;)

I couldn't possibly confirm or deny... (sly wink)...


Omigosh! Another great chapter, Moose! Tendaji is best pony... Er, zebra!

That ending explains the beautiful scene at the end of the... What was it? Second chapter? Where the jackals are disbursed by moonlight.

Looking forward to the next one, bro! Also, you should join some groups and add this story to them, so it can get more views. It deserves 'em.

Talltale, you are simply amazing. I can never hold back a smile when I read your comments. Thanks a million for reading, friend, you always improve my day.
You know, I never thought about joining a group; I signed up for FIMfiction exclusively to write The Tutelage of Star Swirl, but I'm becoming increasingly enamored with the community. Perhaps a group isn't a bad idea...


I'm glad I could brighten your day, bro. :twilightsmile:

Yeah, that'll happen. There are a lot of nice, talented people here; I was endeared into becoming more active too.

Here, I'll add it to a few of the groups I'm in...

Wow... Just... Wow.

This chapter was fantastic, Moose-bro. The story of the Celestial Tether was well paced and interesting backstory, and the character development was engaging and heartfelt. Now I'm reminded of why I'm enjoying this story so much; the picture you paint of a fully developed world waiting to be explored is so vivid. I can't wait to see more! Their relationships are blooming, and at a pace that gives each character an individuality that really sucks the reader in.

In summation: MOAR. MOAR NAO.

I'd nominate the opening paragraph for an Edward Bulwer-Lytton award. :pinkiecrazy:

Seriously, though, good first chapter. There seems to be a little bit of this going on, but I like it overall.

This story is amazing! I'm honestly surprised Star Swirl hasn't been explored more within the fandom, but what you have presented so far is perfect! :twilightsmile:

Okay, this chapter has my interest. Fantastic read, and written quite well. :pinkiesmile:

Hey there, Psycho, thanks for the kind words! I totally get what you mean; it's bizarre that Star Swirl hasn't gotten that much fan attention (save for a few dozen Deviant Art pictures).The only other story I can think of that really makes a legitimate effort to explore Star Swirl's character is The Final Quest of Star Swirl the Bearded. And that story is more of a Lord of the Rings-style adventure, while the story I'm trying to tell here is more of a Wicked-esque, untold-story type of thing. Anyway, I'm just happy I can scratch a few Star-Swirl-Itches for fans who want to see more of him. Glad you're enjoying it!

I want you to know, Talltale, that I've started measuring the success of each chapter I write based on the level of enthusiasm in your comments. As always, I'm thrilled you're liking it, and there'll be more to come as soon as I finish the last part of Mr. Brannigan's Ghosts. Thanks for sticking around!

Ah, now that would be an award for melodramatic atmospherics that I'd be proud to receive! Thanks for the read, Hierophant.

With your permission, I would like to feature this on my blog.
I write an underrated fanfic spotlight post for the Las Pegasus Tribune fanpage.
This story has piped my interest: as a massive fan of the unexplored Equestrian backstories, almost anything involving the princesses, the founders of harmony, or Star Swirl will have a particular gravity to me.
Bear in mind though, that this page doesn't see too much traffic: as of now, we're working on setting up a massive network of multiple major brony sites, including Discord's Domain, Equestria Forever, Bronystate and Derpy Hooves News. Still, if you'd like it featured, hit me up. :twilightsmile:
I look forward to further installments.

The chills I felt running down my spine after reading this, have earned you my like and favourite. Carry them proudly, for you have a wonderful story going here. :scootangel:

Hi, Cerulean! I can't tell you how flattered I am by your comments - thanks for your interest! Of course, by all means, you may use this on your blog. I'm just over the moon that you think this story is something worth sharing! I'll send you a PM as well.

Wow. Your imagery and tension-building skills are right up there. :twilightoops:
I wonder what Celestia will command of Star Swirl.

Glad you're still enjoying it, friend! And while I'm thinking of it, I'm sorry that it's been so long since I've updated. Hopefully now I can get a bit more momentum going. (Oh, and it was very kind of you to mention my update in the Las Pegasus Tribune forum. Thanks a million!)

Sorry I'm late!

First: Woah, did you change your style up? Something about the prose in this chapter had life enough to make a motion picture jealous. Very much kudos!

That out of the way, this was full of win-to-the-max-5000. I'm a huge fan of the kind of awkward misunderstanding that happened between Star Swirl and Lily, so that hit home like a major leaguer! Your characterization is spot on.

And from that strong opening, you continued on to a steroids-injected fight sceen that kept my face pressed to my monitor... My eyes hurt. And you packed it with concise but vivid description. If I may quote my favorite line:

But the monster again danced his dance, as fluid as a red-black shadow, contorting in impossible ways, almost flying above the roots, tripping over them lightly, a giant acrobat, elegant and repulsive.

Yes. That is the kind of description that warms my guts and piques my writer's jealousy. I wonder is Star Swirl and Lily will keep their date now...

Then the ending. Oh jeez, the ending. I won't say too much about it in the comments to avoid spoilers, but that's the kinda foreshadowing that has and does rank this story with my all-time favorite fan fiction. It's vague, vague enough to make the reader wonder and fear for the characters we've come to care for, but doesn't make too bold a commitment and keeps us coming back.

Yes... Yes. I am pleased. It was worth the wait. Moar. Nao. Get on it.

Talltale! Fantastic to hear from you again! I should be the one apologizing for being late - what's it been, nine weeks since chapter six went up? Ugh, I disgust myself.
But I'm pleased to hear that this chapter worked well for you; this was a pretty "big" chapter (if this story were a two-act play, right after this chapter, I'd bring down the curtain for intermission), and most of the major new developments - Lily and Star Swirl, the fight, Agnes's discovery - revolved around storytelling tactics that I haven't really used too much in this story yet. I'm completely delighted that you like how it turned out! It's been so long since I've put up a chapter, I'd almost forgotten how effective your comments are as antidepressants. (Almost, but never completely.) If all goes well, the next chapter will be up this Friday, worst-case scenario, Saturday.

My heart aches. Oh man, this is too much. :fluttercry:
Why do I crave more?

How in the hay does this still have so few views? :flutterrage:

That aside, wow. The actions of a pony who has nothing more to lose. The king who wanted peace, but found and fostered only ruin. The depths to which you have taken Star Swirl are nothing short of Dagon-ish.
All things must end sooner or later. For that, I am sad in a sense, but I feel like adding further unnecessary suffering to Star would be overkill, so it's almost a relief to know it will be over soon.

I should tell you, Cerulean, that without your encouragement and faith in this story, I doubt it would have ever been finished. The feature you gave Tutelage on Las Pegasus Tribune gave me a confidence boost that I've been riding ever since. For that, you have my deepest gratitude.
It's a great relief to me that you feel Tutelage is winding down at an appropriate spot. From the start, I didn't want to drag out Star Swirl's tale for too long - I think it would be selfish of me to let the fun I have writing bloat my work, or get in the way of the story. So of course, I'm dancing a modest jig at the moment, now that you've assuaged some of my fears. Thank you again, my friend; hope not to disappoint with the last few installments!

I wish, I wish, how I wish I could favourite this story more than once. You have shocked me, Moose, and moved me to tears. Your execution of the story has been flawless and incredibly moving.

It's wonderful to hear from you again, Cerulean! As always, the kind words I read here in the comments are my main fuel source for writing this story; that you should still enjoy Tutelage after all this time means a lot. Thanks again, friend, and I'll see you at the end.

According to the Hearth's Warming Eve episode, or at least according to the play in that episode, the unicorns took it upon themselves to magically raise the sun and moon before Celestia and Luna came. In fact, the unicorns used this as leverage in demanding a share of the earth ponies' harvests, much like the pegasi demanded their own share of the harvest as payment for their weather services. I take it you're ignoring that in favor of the Celestial Tether legend for this story?

Yup, I'm opting for a variation (nice catch, by the way). It's not that I have anything against the backstory presented in the Hearth's Warming Eve episode; I think the historical dynamic between the three races is quite interesting. It's just that I feel the Celestial Tether better fits with the themes of personal responsibility present in this particular story, and will come into play again before all's said and done. I'm glad you noticed it - I figured that this variation would be well worth an Alternate Universe tag. Thanks for the read, Phazon!

I seem to recall this one horror story, another story that was featured by Seattle's Angels, like yours. That one had a bit of a romantic subplot in it, but since it wasn't a main focus of the story (although it was pretty significant), that story could get away with not using the Romance tag. I bring this up because I see what's going on between Star Swirl and Lily (which I imagine you'll choose to neither deny nor confirm), I see that this story clearly lacks the Romance tag, and I'm thinking to myself that this feels oh so familiar.

:ajbemused::applecry::raritycry::ajsleepy::facehoof: that aint even cool an, no matter how cliche it is to harm the romantic item.

Hmm, it's interesting you bring that up. In truth, I don't think I ever considered adding a Romance tag to this story - as you said, though the relationship you're talking about is an important aspect of Star Swirl, I don't think it's the be-all-end-all purpose of this story, or of his character. (And since you seem to be around the eighth chapter, I won't go too far into it, lest I spoil what becomes of Star Swirl and Lily.) Thanks for the link to Good Intentions, by the way! I'll give it a read, see if I can spot the parallel you brought up.

Damn. And... this, right here, is where I add my Like to your story. Very touching, very bittersweet moment.

If you're wondering, this is the track that was playing through my head while I was reading the scene with Lily and Star Swirl. I thought the music fit well. The title of the track... sort of fits, but to be fair, I know exactly where this track plays in its respective episode and the title of the track doesn't fit the scene in the episode that well either.

I think I've been watching too much Arrow.

Your like is tremendously appreciated, Phazon! Thanks for sticking around!
What a subtle and fitting piece of music. (I admit, I haven't seen anything of Arrow myself; I ought to remedy that shortly.) And the title of that track is equally fitting for the scene, I think - very poignant of you to share.

Two more chapters and an epilogue. It's hard to believe that it's already almost over. There seems like so much that still hasn't resolved yet. This story's history tells us that the leaderless Jackals will flee back to Tartarus with their tails between their legs, but part of me worries that the death of a king who sought to restrain his kind will only let loose a pack of mindless, bloodthirsty predators on Equestria. I imagine Celestia and Luna will be none too pleased about Star Swirl after he left Canterlot so abruptly, and after he suicidally stormed the Jackal lair alone. There's that big black seed thing in the Blue Rose, which almost screams Chekhov's Gun. And then there's that old zebra prophecy thing, the one about history not abiding the stallion who will die in Thirty-Three Blackwood Road. Though I can't help but think that that stallion has already died, in one way or another. Plus, Equestrian history knows him as Star Swirl the Bearded, and he doesn't have that Dumbledore beard (Gandalf beard?) yet.

FYI, if you reply to a comment without going into the same chapter the comment was made in, the reply appears in the latest chapter instead. And for some reason, it doesn't show up in the recipient's notifications as a result.

I've gotta tell you, Phazon, I'm absolutely loving your comments. They give me a chance to talk about the story in a self-reflective way that's refreshing, and plus, I can get some things off my chest.
Of course, I can't say too much, at the risk of spoiling things. But I can assure you that I always try my best to give every plot and subplot a dramatically satisfying resolution. If I needed any more time to tie up loose ends, I would not hesitate to add in another chapter or two. For the moment, though, with the way the remainder of Tutelage is planned, I think you'll be satisfied by the way events shape up. (Sorry if I sound a little vague and cryptic.)
Oh, and thanks for letting me know that thing about replying in the comments section! You've saved me from acting a fool for the rest of my days.

As a hero of war.

A hero of war. Is that what they see?
All medals and scars, so damn proud of me?
(Kudos if you get that reference. Extra kudos if you know just how heavy it is.)

I have thoroughly enjoyed this short-feeling story. In the end, SS's and Luna's pain is palpable
and that tells me that you have endeared me to these characters.

Ooo! Ooo!
*Raises hoof*
One of my favourite songs!

What do I win? :pinkiehappy:

I don't know. Maybe it would help if I could see embeds on this site. :facehoof:
Hint: they are called kudos.

But anyways, that song sums up my distrust for the current regime.
We could and should do so much better.


And now I'm faced with a dilemma: Do I Favorite this or not? Admittedly, I tend to be very stingy with Faves, even more so than Likes, so rather than using Fimfic's favorites feature to track stories (like it's apparently designed to do), I try to use it to mark stories I actually consider my favorite fics on the site (read: stories that I especially liked at the time I read them, but probably haven't gone back to reread since).

At any rate, it looks like this story's about to come to it's full resolution. A couple plot points seem to have resolved, but the rift between Celestia and Luna is growing, and I imagine the consequences of that won't fully play out until years after the events of this story. It's also a bit refreshing to see someone call Celestia out on her bullshit in a believable way.

Though I don't think insisting on non-lethal force against the remaining Jackals solves anything. It doesn't do anything to mitigate the risk of a third king rising. And while that decision doesn't reek of the manipulation or scheming that got Star Swirl angry at her, it's still another unilateral action that she neither informed nor consulted Luna about before taking.

Also, don't worry too much about the comment thing. I think it might be a problem with the site's coding, one that's existed for months now. I've been meaning to bring it to knighty's attention, but I haven't gotten around to it yet.

The very fact that you're considering Tutelage for a favorite is compliment enough, my friend (especially considering the top-quality stories I'm seeing in your list of favorites). Hopefully, you can decide on that after reading the last two installments, which, with any luck, will both be up before the month is out. I hope you enjoy the rest, sir, and I'll see you at the end.

This certainly answered a number of questions I still had about the story. Star Swirl appearing in the Hearth's Warming tale despite apparently being alive here (I can't believe it took so long for me to wonder about that even after asking you about the link between the story and the Celestial Tether), Star Swirl's feelings about the magic of friendship, and that Question he was trying to answer, or that Purpose rather. I'm actually surprised by what it turned out to be though. And I'm still not sure how it turned into an Ascension spell based off the Elements of Harmony. That one will remain a question for the ages...

It was also nice to see Star Swirl and Celestia reconcile after all that time. Though I can't imagine that Celestia's long overdue meeting with Luna will turn out well. Not well at all. If anything, I expect it to come a bit sooner than Celestia planned.

So next chapter's the epilogue, right?

Hi again, Phazon - I'm happy to hear that your questions are clearing up! Yeah, I tend to agree that Celestia's impending reunion with Luna probably won't be very pretty. (Let's just say I watched a certain section of the season three premiere very carefully before writing this chapter.) Yup, the next installment is the epilogue, which I'll try to have up within the next week or so. And then I'll finally be able to switch this story's status to "Complete." Thanks again for sticking around, my friend!
(Edit: Sorry, when I say season three, I mean season four. Why can't you people read my mind?!)

Yeah, I was going to say about that season 'three' thing. But since I'm not going to make a comment just to point out a typo on another comment, there is one thing that troubles me about this last chapter. While I can accept Star Swirl not accompanying Celestia on her journey to see Luna, it seems odd to me that he didn't try to meet his friend and former mentor one last time. They did have a very close relationship after all. Granted, Luna could have been keeping in touch with him over the years via dreamscape, but judging from the context of Star Swirl's conversation with Celestia (mostly what Celestia said to him about Luna), that doesn't appear to be the case, and it indicates that after decades or neither one reaching out to the other, Star Swirl didn't try to say goodbye to her.

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