• Member Since 19th Feb, 2012
  • offline last seen 1 hour ago


Aspiring writer, self-proclaimed hardcore gamer, adept of human psychology. Does not consider excessive pride for a vice.


After several years spent amongst the dragons, Spike returns to Canterlot to take an entry exam at Princess Celestia's School for Gifted Individuals. His old friend is there to witness it, and she is not too happy with what she sees.

Chapters (5)
Comments ( 501 )

Hello and welcome to Arcane Realms!

First and foremost, this story exist only because I liked the wonderful art by Equestria-Prevails (I borrowed the title - check the source linked in the cover art to find the original on deviantART), and I thought that there may be a tale behind it just waiting to be uncovered. Read it if you're interested in finding out who's Twilight loyal bodyguard and field assistant in the future (hint: she's listed in the tags!), if you want to see how much has Spike changed over the years, and how's our favorite cute nerd doing as a distinguished Princess of Equestria. Oh, I'm also digging into how exactly does magic work, and why pony magic is different from the dragon one.

As you can see it's currently marked as incomplete. It started as a one-shot, but there may be more to it, so please read the author's notes and let me know what you think. As a side note, this story isn't canon with Fading Away, my other story about Spike several years into the future, but it references Cheersalis and Stage Revival (reading them is not required to understand this one of course).

Enjoy! :twilightsmile:

Sounds like an exciting read, I'll get to it asap!

Very enjoyable, particularly the dragon worldbuilding and Silver Spoon's redemption. However, Silver Spoon is not a unicorn, so she couldn't get rid of the paper. I also liked your discourse on the fundamentals of magic.

I think that this is the start of something great and I would love to see more of it.

Dragon magic is a rarely touched subject in mlp fabrics you did a great job of describing it so far.
And I like the way the bond between twilight and spike is still there after multiple years.


Whoops! I guess I made the story too magical and Silver Spoon really became a unicorn for a moment. :twilightsheepish: It's fixed now, and shredding the note has replaced burning it. Thanks for noticing!

I am yet to crack their magic system, but so far I've been thinking runes. Without the equivalent of horns to directly affect the arcane field they can't cast spells like ponies, but perhaps some of them possess mystical knowledge on how to infuse written symbols with magic from their surroundings. I guess the effect could be immediate (like a rune of mending used to fix a tablecloth) or delayed (like an explosive rune of warding to guard your chest).

Twilight and Spike will remain friends no matter what, but I like to make their future relation difficult. After all, Spike is growing up, so he will eventually have strong opinions which may differ from Twilight's, and that will lead to discord between them more than once. But their friendship prevails!


Horns are overrated. Other races like centaurs or draconequus can perform magic without them.


But runes are cool anyway :pinkiehappy:

Runes seem to be popular for griffons to use. That's what I write, at least!

I'm not up to date with the current trends within fanfiction, but I guess I had to get the idea somewhere. Do you have any short story you could recommend about griffons and rune magic? I'd love to see how's the concept working out.

Unfortunately, I do not, and my own stories don't really go much into detail with how they work. I mean, you can check them out and try to get a feel for it.

Or, I could do the sensible thing and just share my notes with you, because I'm a pal like that.


Not sure if I would call it "short", but in the Freeport Venture chapter 1 there is a good intro to rune magic for races without natural spellcasting, and its pros and cons in comparation with unicorn's.

And it has Sunset Shimmer! :heart: Unfortunately the best I can do now is to put it on the Read Later list, but thanks for sharing anyway!

That's what I was asking for. I just don't know which of your stories have runes in it and I'm too lazy to check them all!

Should you continue?

I would say yes, absolutely, and definitely. The story is unique and promising, and your writing is excellent.

So please, do continue :twilightsmile:

I don't know if I can trust you on that. You're saying you're a batpony, but your blue and purple form doesn't resemble one. Are you a changeling spy? :rainbowhuh:

But seriously, thank you for your kind words. I will definitely take them into consideration when/if I'll be thinking about this story.


As I said, just Read the first chapter, the one with the caribou runecaster. While short, it is inspiring .

Now, as the head of the examination committee I would like to welcome you, one of our most distinguished graduates

This would imply there's a graduate at least arguably more distinguished than Twilight. Given that Twilight is an alicorn, who would this be?

In response to the authors note, I think this would be best with the whole 'investigating the howling queen' thing. That might just be own personal preference to action though. :twilightsmile:

Also, if you were wanting to look at other authors ideas on magical worldbuilding, The Moonstone Cup is excellent.

To properly address your question, let's go a couple hundred years into the past.

I think that Celestia opened her School for Gifted Unicorns when she realized she's no longer connected to the Elements of Harmony (after Luna's banishment), and needed a reliable way to search the Equestrian populace for a promising pony who would activate and wield the Element of Magic later on. She knew that her students won't live long enough to participate in that fateful Summer Sun Celebration, but since she was new to being someone's teacher she was trying different methods over the years anyway. If not for the ponies, than she was doing it for herself, to make sure that the pony she chooses within the last decade before Nightmare Moon's return will be ready. Sunset Shimmer was meant to be her ultimate choice, but I like to think she never technically graduated. Then a miracle happened, and Twilight Sparkle was there to make things right.

In the meantime, the ponies throughout Equestria strove to get in the school. That alone sufficed to produce at least several distinguished graduates since it had opened, especially if a student's worth is measured not only by his or her magical skills. :twilightsmile:

I've read The Moonstone Cup and I remember enjoying it greatly. Nothing like an overpowered Twilight to save the day!

Perhaps Twilight requested modesty?

Good to hear that. Let me know what you think of the story once you've read it! :twilightsmile:

I was talking about your apt contradiction of Twilight being one of the top students.

Thank you for your words of encouragement. Perhaps there's more to Spike's story in this setting! :raritywink:

Would you be interested in reading about Spike and a group of Gifted Individuals (like a certain changeling, or a famous blue mare's daughter), and their adventures in Canterlot as they learn about magic, each in their own way? I'm thinking anything ranging from mundane research at the library to complete a school assignment, through socializing at one of the many cafes, up to investigating a legend about a Howling Queen in the crystal caves underneath Canterlot...

That sounds brilliant! I already love where this story is going, can't wait for more!

I would love to read about Spike learn more about magic. Who knows maybe he will discover things about dragon magic no one ever knew or discovered. Maybe even how to use magic without his breath. with enough time Spike probably has the potential to become better at magic then Twilght, or at the very least become better at some aspects of magic then Twlight. Looks like Spike might be the first Dragon magic master (I'm not counting those others you mentioned because they kill themselves with their own magic.).

But I also think this story has potential with Spike making new friends. Especially the new non pony friends which I always felt is that was not done enough in the show or the fanfics. I would love to see him make friends with the changeling, but personally I always loved Griffins. I would love to see you develop Griffin magic more, and if possible I would also love to read about Spike making a Griffin friend at this school.

And I like the sound of your story ideas. I would very much be interested in reading about Spike and a group of gifted individuals do all those things. It sounds kind of like the first six Harry Potter books.

Wrapping this up love this story keep, I hope you continue it and great work.

Honestly... as far as going forward: I usually prefer a more "single" filled out story to a group of short stories... even if the single forward story is told as a series of somewhat-interconnected events and resembles serial work or a group of short stories anyway. It sounds like you have a much more well-developed plan in a set of stories that jump around a bit more, and I'd encourage you to write what you've got inspiration for, though.

Quite nice! I assume "houndrel" is your name for the Diamond Dogs' species?

This story is super lovely and I'm very curious to see where it will go! I love the idea of Spike befriending or at least getting to know Razzle and that changeling. I'd imagine that since Spike and the changeling are the odd fish in the sea they'd probably be at least relatively drawn to one another.

One thing I'd really like to see though are some things dedicated to Twilight. It sounds like she's really grown and developed into a fine mare and I'd love to see how she continues to handle Spike's growth as a student. I wouldn't be surprised if she shows up shortly after classes begin demanding some more letters from Spike ::ajsmug:

Whatever you wind up doing you can be sure I'll be on the lookout :D

honestly I just want to see where this goes because so far I love it

-Claps- Bravo my man. Bravo. I WANT MORE!!!!!

Man, this is anime as fuck.
I don't mean any specific anime, I mean, this whole premise just screams Japanese Cartoon at me.

“Because I want you to be happy,” she said. “What kind of friend would I be if I stood between you and your dreams?”

She says right after chewing him out about earning/using magic and and makes it clear she wants him to stop/never wanted him to start. :|

All instances of the examination committee needs to needs to be capped.
Cap. [Group].

All instances of the lecture hall needs to be capped.
Cap [name of place. [similar to West Wing [in the White House], or the Hoover Dam are caped.]

Decent starting chapter. We never really get into Dragon Magic, but you'd have thought that Celestia would have tought Spike enough so that he could use his message sending spell. Which is pretty intermediary stuff (Even more so with the ammount of things he's had to carry / send from time to time in the show.).

She may not want him to continue but she didn't force him to stop.

This stuff.
It's hot.
I like hot stuff!

Also; It got quite some interesting ideas respecting the magic in Equestria, as well as a few characters. Silver Spoon as a Guard Captain? Trixie's daugther within the school?
I like that.

Continue. I yearn to know which secrets Spike will learn.

such places in the school grounds knocked the spot off libraries full of dusty tomes

Your choice of wording here is just outside the norm, not saying that is bad but for me is just a bit strange. I'm use to seeing "socks" instead of "spot" in this phrase, it still gets the point across but it just rolls strangely on the tongue

learn what does it mean to be a dragon

This is just another instance of what I thought was weird wording. In the context of the sentence you didn't have to use "does" here.

These personal problems aside, I look forward to witnessing how this story will progress. Also, something you could use with griffon magic is chanting as a way of enforcement for the spell, could have the runes be treated like batteries. Just a thought.

Looks like you have you have your feedback. Get writing!

5990826 She requested modesty so she wouldn't be called the best student they had, just around the top ten? That seems a little silly to me.

Characters aren't just 'one-way'. We all can have conflicting emotions and thoughts inside us.

It just seems kinda odd for her to be saying 'I just want you to be happy' after basically telling him 'I want you to not do the thing that makes you happy'

That's not what she said. She wants to make sure that Spike knows exactly what the consequences of Dragon Magic are.

I, for one, would be amused with Spike's antics with the new students.

Huh, I was wondering what Twilight's concerns were going to be, and they turned out to be pretty valid. Spike has some careful work ahead of him.

I for one would love to see more of this setting, both about Spike and his studies at the school and while on his trip, and about the other mentioned characters. Speaking of whom, would one them be the "pony" mentioned as being embedded in the changeling hive?

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