• Member Since 21st May, 2014
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princeps


I am a Computer Science Brony living in Des Moines. My best friend got me hooked on My Little Pony and now I am a bigger fan than he is.


T
Source
This story is a sequel to Sunset Shimmer: Student of Magick

While this story is officially a sequel to 'Student of Magick', it has been written to stand alone.


After the turbulent events of her Awakening and subsequent apprenticeship, Sunset Shimmer has enjoyed the quiet years of reprieve. Her friends are settling into their lives, Pixel Bit is growing to be just as rambunctious as her mother, and Sunset has earned some standing with her fellow Mages. Her life is stable and happy, something she hopes will last.

Even as they enjoy their quiet days, enemies of the Awakened are closing on the city, all of them coming for one reason: To burn the witches and those associated with them.

Sunset has always possessed a violent side, one that has struggled each day to be loosed. Now, with hostiles targeting the people she loves, she will find the resolve that keeps her demon leashed crumbling under violence and death. Releasing her darker self would enable her to protect her friends, but she fears that she may not be able to contain it again.

Regardless of her choices, Sunset Shimmer will change.


This story is heavily influenced by the game Mage: the Awakening (2nd Edition), but it is not a full crossover and has been written to be accessible to those with no knowledge of the game.

My Little Pony, Equestria Girls, and all other related properties are © of Hasbro
Pixel Bit is © of kilala97 and is used by permission
Button Mash and his family are © of Jan Animations (characterisation also influenced by the works of Justice3442)

Cover art:
Kamikaye

Prereaders/Editors:
diealein (Prologue - ongoing)

Chapters (28)
Comments ( 95 )

Before I read this, what is the Gore and Dark tag for ?
And how bad does it get ?

8063983
The 'Gore' tag is for depictions of violence kept to a PG-13 level. People do die, but I try not to be graphic. As a result, there will be references to blood and killing.

The 'Dark' tag covers the fact that the characters find themselves under attack, as well as for the general setting.

I can give a little more detail, but please PM me.

8069651
Not in this story, though I do have plans for them.

How nice that there is a sequel to a very pleasant, if dramatic, story. I notice a lot of name drops and am anticipating the history or explanation of how it all formed during the time skip. Looking forward to more chapters~

I am liking where this story is going, but I must say that I am left a bit confused at times. There seems to have been a good chunk of time between the first story and this one that is missing. And things like Button being a sleep walker was never properly revealed, they were just treated as an obvious thing, when in fact it is not, considering that in the first story nothing of the sort was mentioned. And who is Violet? I feel like some information is lacking there as well.

I know that in Student of Magick you had several plot points that you revealed in flashbacks of sorts, and I am assuming that these are things that you will reveal in a similar manner. But a key difference between what you did in Student of Magick and what you are doing here is that in Student of Magick those things left me wondering, wanting to find out what happened BEFORE the story started. In this story I am just left confused, not wanting to find out what happened out of curiosity, but out of necessity to understand WTF is going on at all.

On a side note, could you make a blogpost or something where you explain whose real name correlates with what awakened name? This is also something that has left me a bit confused due to me having a terrible memory.

I hope anything I just wrote made sense, I am running on way to few hours of sleep right now. And I want you to know that if I didn't love the story I wouldn't bother criticizing it.

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Thank you for the feedback and the questions! I will try to respond below, but I would first like to offer a note of explanation as to why I wrote this story the way I have: I write as I prefer to read. If there is a time skip, I hate finding a chapter that chronicles the events during the skip. I apologise if this is off-putting, but I cannot bring myself to write something that I do not like to read.

A little over seven years have passed since the end of the previous story. During that time, Sweetie Belle and Button Mash married. They are now 22 (almost 23) and 23 respectively, and have another daughter: Violet, nearly two. Pixel Bit is turning eight. The cabal grew from being just Sunset and Sweetie Belle to what is seen now. The details of that are shown later in the story during the interludes, as I did in the first story. Spike, of course, came with Twilight. Karen appears in 'Student of Magick', but she was better-introduced during 'A Day in the Life of Sweetie Belle'.

It may also help to read 'Song of Madness' if you have not. Those stories do not show what Sunset, Sweetie Belle, and Button Mash were doing, but they do explain their friends' Awakenings.

The characters' information follows here because I no longer bother with blogs. Using spoilers for those that prefer to be surprised:
True Name / Shadow Name / Path / Order
Sunset Shimmer / Sparky / Mastigos / Adamantine Arrow
Sweetie Belle / Orchid / Moros / Guardians of the Veil
Trixie Lulamoon / Star Dust / Acanthus / Silver Ladder
Twilight Sparkle / Dusk Shine / Obrimos / Mysterium
Lemon Zest / Wild Tart / Thyrsus / Free Council

I hope this helps. Please let me know if I did not explain enough or if you have any other thoughts or questions; they are always appreciated, even if I cannot respond to them without spoiling the story.

As always, I would be happy to discuss these stories, the various Chronicles of Darkness game lines and how I use them in my writing, or just about anything else by comment or PM.

:pinkiegasp:The Apples and Flutershy are dead!! WHY??!!:fluttercry:

8086427
That will be answered - more or less - in Chapter VI, slated for release next Monday (17 April). It might be earlier if diealein has the time to pre-read this week.

Will there be a flash back to sunsets training or is that planned to be its own thing like the day in the of sweetie belle? (Still need to read that)

Rip the flesh and salt the wounds I want my pound of flesh!

8086566
I lack the experience or the creativity to write about boot camp, so that is left to the reader's imagination. Really, all that happens is three weeks of learning to fight, including use of her magick, and being steeped in the Adamant Way. I referenced that latter part in a comment on 'Student of Magick'.

I would be happy to give more detail about those precepts upon request.

8086604
I am not sure what you mean. Could you please explain?

8086626 just venting y'all killed my waifu and I want to rip their flesh then salt the wounds aaand maybe take a bite or two

See that's how a flash back is done mister King (I doubt he reads fanfics but just in case)

Better then my idea to see if pinkie could make a deal with the trees of the apple clan to ask other trees to try and track I would think trees that have known a family for generations would have a link to the family spiritually if not magically

8126115
That is a very creative solution. It makes me happy to know that you were paying attention to Pinkie's explanation of her magick. Unfortunately, Fae magick does not quite allow for talking with spirits as the Werewolves (or Mages versed in the Spirit Arcanum) can. :fluttershysad:

If she had known of the attacks before they happened, she could have asked the trees to protect the farm, but they would have been very limited. Using roots to trip someone, throwing apples at them, and similar.

When the Witch Hunters attacked Pinkie Pie, they expected her to pony-up and fight them with music. Instead, she called on her storm contracts to zap them repeatedly with lightning. Add to that a surprisingly vicious family of raccoons combined with use of her own fox form. Just for good measure, she grew a few thorny vines to drag the smouldering wrecks that were their bodies to Arcadia.

Keep in mind that she is fairly weak when compared to her fellow Lost.

As for the spirits of the apple trees? Yes, they deeply loved the Apple family. If their spirits were mobile and possessed a way to leave the Shadow and knew where to find the Witch Hunters ... it would not be pretty. The Mages would not have to do anything except clean up.

8126263 huh good points to bad pearl never thought of that given she said granny was one of her best friend whens she was a young and her magick is connected to was it life based or plant based? but i see how her disting herself from her for multiple reasons from protecting her and to keep others from knowing her true name but that tends to be a problem with wizards and if Harry Dresden has tot me anything a wizards arrogance will always get a least one civi killed (just cuz you can shoot a fireball from your arse don't mean you know everything like you tend to think you do) that or i'm just far to paranoid and think far to deeply into this sort of thing

8126288
Pearl is a Shaman, so her superior Arcana are Life and Spirit. She is a Master of Life, which she uses to influence the nexus of ley lines across her property to encourage growth. Since Sweet Apple Acres neighbours her land, it receives a bit of that positive influence. That is the limit of what Pearl could do to help the Apple family without raising questions.

There is a great deal of arrogance amongst the Awakened. Give someone who is already unstable access to the power to change reality and see what happens. Altruism dies quickly for most. Many Awakened would try to save someone from being eaten by a monster, but they would then demand payment ("No money? No problem. I'm studying souls anyway, so I'll just 'borrow' yours. You won't even remember I was here ... or anything else, for that matter.").

Pearl, Ace, Midnight, and now Sunset and her cabal are the exceptions to that rule, but even their powers are limited. Those who do want to help have to accept those limits early in their Awakened lives. Pearl was close to Granny Smith and has a soft spot for Apple Bloom, but she (and all other Mages) would have had no reason to expect an attack like this. As Twilight discovered during 'It's About Time', one cannot be always on guard for everything.

None of this even takes into account the dangers of exposing Sleepers to magick. Sunset loves her friends; knowing that allowing them to see her magick would drive them insane, possibly even killing them, is more than enough to ensure that she would never take that risk.

My apologies for the long reply; I love getting to discuss the setting in meta form. If you would rather I stick to shorter replies, please let me know.

8126350 no this is good for us both your examples help me get a better feal for the in and outs of the world as I would have to take from other sources to help me understand (that's why I gave the Dresden drop) and you get well what ever it is I bring to the table mostly a outsider looking in I think. Also I view the idea of magick as neither good or evil simply power and a knowledge of how to use it although I fear ever getting a taste of said power I have a hard time keeping my mind balanced as is

8126366 That perspectives the same as should be taken with real world magic in wiccan traditions and such.

I also prefer when princeps gives long detailed responses, makes proofreading this story a lot easier. Only difference is his long detailed responses to me are moreso about grammar and english (since im an idiot in that regard.)

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That view on magic is mostly the same as seen in Mage. A very few categories of magick are restricted or forbidden to most because of their inherent risk, but those are the exceptions. Magick related to manipulating a soul, for example, tends to be restricted to avoid the emergence of Reapers (soul-stealers). The only magick noted in the book to be specifically banned is that related to the Abyss, though for good reason: There is no way to interact with the Annunaki without breaking our world.

The two are mutually exclusive. Worshipping the Abyss is inviting some antagonistic alien monstrosity into the world: Maybe you will have the privilege of dying last? At least the person/group you hate will die with you! Basically, it is the "If I can't win, I'll make sure you don't and that no one else ever will" approach.

8134847
Are you referring to the end of the chapter?

Do you have any idea how hard it was not to giggle at that last bit (wile at work?)not because it was silly but because that's what happens to me when the hero gets all you know what fuck being the good guy and go all anti hero like

OH COME ON THE BANISHERS ARE GOING TO GET AWAY?!

8173900
We will come back to Banishers two chapters from now.

That chapter should go up next week on 25 May, but I might be able to get it done by Monday if diealein's schedule allows.

That's a scary thought to me the idea of what shes doing is dangerous ya things could be fixed but at what real cost no real way to tell if the some of the parts will resemble the hole

Are the unters who killed Flash, and the Apples Fluttershy dead already? Or they captured? Want to see Sunset punish them.

8182105
To some extent, yes, but the use of the Mind and Spirit Arcana on herself is far easier to control. Sunset (mostly) knows how each of these pieces of herself interacts.

She is summoning Geotic Daemons, a system in Mage whereby the Awakened can grasp control of aspects of their personalities. A Mage summons the representative and somehow entreats or battles it. Upon victory, the Mage has subdued that part of herself. This can be used for numerous things: To quit smoking, to control anger, to be more assertive, the possibilities are nigh-limitless to someone with a creative mind and the right level of magickal knowledge.

Of course, losing the fight is a problem. That aspect becomes further embedded into the soul, setting roots that become increasingly difficult to pull.

Sunset called them all up at once. With all the rage and other negative emotions she has suppressed vying for control over her at once, she will be in for a tough fight.

8182326
That remains to be seen. None of them have had a chance to question their prisoners of war, what with everything else. The Consilium will deal with them later, provided anyone survives their time in the Shadow.

The story is drawing to its conclusion. If there any other lose ends you want to see covered, please let me know. I believe I got everything in the final four chapters, but I am not perfect and could easily have missed something.

For example, I never stated it, but the prisoners are now in the custody of the Kindred's daylight agents. The Awakened could not leave them sleeping in the trucks and vans for risk of the sleeping and obfuscation spells ending when there are no guards present.

8182470

Well i hope Sunset gets to punish them now she in control again, she can give them the proper punishments ones that would be worst then death, but fair still.

Even if they were gone, Sweetie Belle, Button Mash, Pixie, Twilight, Fluttershy, Applejack, Trixie, and Lemon Zest had left pieces of their souls with Sunset and were therefore never truly lost.

I guess Flash Sentry is just screwed, then.

8184625
I changed it. Thank you for pointing it out.

The list was not meant to be comprehensive. All of her friends are there with her, after all, including those who are living. I debated listing every single person, but that would have crossed into the ridiculous.

Hope that clarifies.

All that left is the hunters i really hpe they got the ones that murdered the Apples, Flash and Fluttershy.

Bob dos Dresden know you where out and where is that lazy ass when all this is happening hmm? Good chapter but soon as the name bob was used only two things ever come to mind one is a plant the other a perverted spirit of intellect the hides in a skull in a basement

8189413
That will be addressed soon. Our heroes need a moment to catch their breath, to gather with their fellow survivors and commiserate. I expect to show what they do with the Witch Hunters in two weeks. Before that, though, they have one final confrontation and some explaining to do.

8190058
See A Day in the Life of Sweetie Belle to learn more about Sweetie Belle's naming scheme for her friends. Bob is mentioned, as are Larry and Moe, though Mike, Karen, and Ted take the centre stage with her in that story.

At first I groaned at Button's shadow name, but it is appropriate. His princess is a magic user; it was either Link or Mario.

8199368
Button apparently never heard of the Mage who named himself Odin. I hear he is adapting quite well and looks rather dashing with his new eye-patch.

Pearl clapped a hand to his shoulder. "Ya realise yer basically sellin' yerself inta permanent servitude, right?"

"With all due respect, ma'am, that happened when Sweetie told me she was pregnant. I'm just adding to my list of mistresses."

Sunset stifled a snicker. "Phrasing, Button."

:twilightoops: Well. That's certainly one of my earlier comments addressed. This is much bigger than I thought.

Issue resolved: At first, I objected to Fluttershy dying offscreen without getting a single line in this story. I should've known better. Great moments for all of the victims, if for different reasons.

You appear to have gone straight from VII to IX.

In any case, Midnight does raise a valid point; this kind of havoc immediately after grabbing the Supernal Tarot looks awfully suspicious. And who knows who's looking through them...

As for Apple Bloom, she should be okay in the long run, provided nothing else happens in the meantime. Of course, the story's far from over, so that provision's not looking good. :unsuresweetie:

Huh. That makes a surprising amount of sense. A monster hunter in one world hints at the fate of the other.

Especially interesting is Bon Bon's vehement denial. Trying to look good in front of Lyra, or does she really beloeve Mages are to blame? She could be low-level—no suicide tooth, or at least not one she was willing to trigger—or there's more here than it seems. Most intriguing.

Also, I wouldn't be surprised if Lyra were a Sleepwalker. Wouldn't that make for an awkward relationship?

8199650
There are no words for this. You win.

8201699
To which earlier comment are you referring? One from the first story or from our PM's?

Vigilantes normally move in cells of three-six members with a few connections to other cells, usually through a Compact and/or a Conspiracy. Mentioning Hunters to most Awakened will bring to mind images of a small group akin to a cabal, which is why they were so surprised by the scale here.

8201724
Thank you. I am glad you approve of those scenes. They were difficult to write; I was unsure how to approach the deaths of beloved characters without cheapening them on top of demonstrating the inhumanity of the Witch Hunters. I am almost certain I spent more time on that chapter than any other of this story.

8201749
Fixed. I have no idea how that chapter was not posted. I know I copied it to the site, but somewhere between saving the text and clicking 'Publish', I must have lost my mind and deleted the chapter instead.

If anyone other than Midnight had been questioning her, Sunset would have been dead as soon as she confessed. The Diamond (officially) offers no quarter for suspected Seers of the Throne, especially after the debacle in New York.

8201781
After 'Slice of Life', I had to go with this interpretation of Bon Bon. Her relationship with these Vigilantes will be explained later in the story.

8201838

To which earlier comment are you referring? One from the first story or from our PM's?

The huge one from the previous story. Specifically the bit where I question why Hunters never looked into CHS.

8201920
I promise that will be further addressed later. This story represents Sunset's earliest opportunity to learn more about what was happening behind the scenes with the Vigilantes during that time period.

8199650 Im almost tempted to go back to this chapter and suggest fitting this in there its so good.

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Alternate ending added. I hope you are both pleased with yourselves. :rainbowlaugh:

My apologies to Button Mash, Spike, and Twilight. :twilightoops:

Man i hope it's over...i don't think anyone else can take anymore, sighs. :facehoof:
All ther eleft is the remaining hunters and Bon Bon exbosses, hope they smart enough to back off.

Even Fate is missing them. I can barely see anything about our possible futures right now.

Grown clouded, the Force has...

Very interesting to see Sunset cover her tracks with regards to the portal. I'm honestly amazed that she can; you'd think rifts that put planar integirty at risk would've merited more investigation. Of course, at the time, there were more explicable concerns at Canterlot High, what with the hatred spirits and a certain freshly Awakened Warlock. And it's possible the Awakened decided to leave well enough alone rather than risk breaking reality.

Okay, I suppose I can buy it, but I'm still surprised that no one in the magickal community looked into matters when CHS was a hotbed of uncatalogued supernatural activity.

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