• Member Since 14th Jul, 2013
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Piccolo Sky


I really should put something down here someday...

T

An AU Equestria Girls fanfic.

In an alternate world of steam and gunpowder, the mysterious ruler known as Celestia is dead and the dark god Nightmare Moon has already sentenced half of Greater Everfree to the apocalypse. The future now depends on six strangers uniting before the world either falls into darkness or self-destructs.

Yet there are far greater forces at work than anyone realizes, and secrets far more terrible and destructive than any monster lie deep in the realms of eternal night. As the same power that brought the world to its knees becomes the means to fulfill the dreams of human ambition, what sort of future these six strangers will bring is called into question: a harmony of peace or a far greater cataclysm than the one currently facing the world.

Chapters (56)
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Comments ( 103 )

Well now. A stark but fascinating image you've painted. Eagerly looking forward to more, especially since Twilight implies the existence of other magical girls out there. Looking forward to more.

Hmm. Bloom may not be dead yet. She may be even worse off. You've made it clear that humans can be Nighttouched. :twilightoops:

Still, excellent introduction to this world's Applejack. I especially loved the historical background. Now there's just the matter of putting this loophole into practice, and that's going to be a lot more complicated than it sounds...

Hmm, you've got my interest, a very different world.

You probably should've identified Berry earlier. There are a lot of ambiguous "she"s early on. Aside from that, excellent introduction for Dash, along with more intriguing history. It's a sad but all too believable statement about this world that people are robbing each other when there's a much greater threat in the heart of the continent... but between cowardice and hopelessness, I have trouble blamig them.

This was a terrific introduction to the rules of this world, and using Starlight's POV helps us see the scale of these things. An excellent introduction.

Overall, this is an aggressively well-designed story. Your initial introduction slams us into a new world, and each chapter does an excellant job in multiple areas: Expanding your worldbuilding, letting us see and feel the encroaching threat, without letting excellent characterization fall to the wayside. This is how AU's are designed.

That said, your actual writing can be a little clunky. The initial panic after the Lighteater breaks into the city is effective, but maybe to direct? Ramping up the panic, perhaps moving some of the descriptions of people just smashing through shop windows (really good inversion of typical mob panic imagery) and the death by trample descriptions later? And definitely, use the word 'trample' less.

Twilight's introductions, likewise, needs to be a bit more subtle. It works, but Starlight thinks "oh, she's helpless," and is then proven wrong a few too many times and it telegraphs the move to the audience. We need to be with Starlight being impressed, but it's clear too early that Twilight is going to curb stomp that thing.

The dog backed up until it could growl again, but that returned to a whine when it rounded the corner and began to approach. As it neared, however, Starlight heard the young lady again.

“Phew, it’s just a lesser one… Maybe I can pull this off.”

And here

Starlight had to blink at what she saw a few times. Although her brain told her it was totally impossible, she swore she saw the Light Eater actually pause in mid-step for just a moment. However, it kept walking soon after. Of course, it did. Why wouldn’t it? It was completely invincible and unkillable. She smirked at herself hopelessly, realizing she was grasping at straws so much she was hallucinating.

It's imminently clear where we're going. It's especially disappointing when this genre doesn't have a lot of superheroes or superhero tropes, and you could have really surprised your audience. (Also, no one has ever smirked to themselves after thinking they were hallucinating while a giant unkillable monster tries to kill them. Not just because giant monsters aren't a thing.)

Clunky descriptions also keep popping up.

The image, on completion, broke and melded into a curtain which fell over the young woman. When it did her clothing changed. The robe that was just for street magic thickened and lengthened into a magician’s cloak worthy of legend. The severed wand she held grew, enlarged, and reshaped into a proper oak stave with a jewel fitted inside. A large, wide-brimmed hat landed on her head, and her cloak collar grew so large that her face vanished between it and the hat brim. Only her eyes still stood out. They were glowing too now.

"When it did her clothing changed" is a sentence fragment and needs to be absorbed into a different sentence.
"Grew, Enlarged, and reshaped" is a good attempt, but they all mean the exact same thing. They should be describing the different actions the wand is undertaking, like: The severed end of the wand she held grew, twisting around and thickening into a proper oak stave...
"Only her eyes stood out. They were glowing too." Using sentence fragments in this spot is better because it places more emphasis on the descriptors and how cool they should be, but "they were glowing too" is not a cool line. At the very least they need to glow with determination, or righteous fury, or something.

There are lots of places like this where your prose could be streamlined, and there's a lot you could probably cut. Heck, your title is basically two titles, and both are pretty vague as to what this story is actually about. My story Mystery of the Arcane Train is still vague, but it tells people that there's a train, a mystery, and a focus on not just magic, but scary magic. Also, I should have called Mystery on the Arcane Express, I just now thought of that and it's way too late to change it. Anyway, I read somewhere that a good technique is to cut every third line and see where that leaves you, and it sounds like a good general location to start.

As I said, the plotting is airtight. Solid. A class could be taught using this as an example. This is the exact approach that is called for, with the exactly correct amount of focus on the exact right things. You just need to do some pruning and this could be one of the greats.

EDIT: Just to be clear, I really, really like this story.

Comment posted by Piccolo Sky deleted Jan 20th, 2019

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Thank you for the feedback. I will try to be mindful of it in the future, although I'm not sure how effective I can be. An ongoing complaint about my work (not necessarily on this site but elsewhere) is that I'm far too wordy. Part of the reason I decided to move forward with this story was to see if I could write a less-verbose version of longer fare I do on other sites and experiment with more minimal descriptions (Normally, for example, I would have gone into a multi-page description of how Starlight Glimmer ended up in that town, how the town got into its current state, and generally sum up the entire world history over the past eight years...this time I'm wanting to see if I can get it to come out gradually without any exposition dumps.)

Unfortunately, based on this feedback, not only does it sound like the story is still too wordy but my attempts to be shorter on descriptions only made them worse than before. I'll try to do better in future chapters.

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Unfortunately, based on this feedback, not only does it sound like the story is still too wordy but my attempts to be shorter on descriptions only made them worse than before.

I wouldn't be discouraged. It's all about finding the right things to spend time on. Cutting the town's backstory and such was a good call, for instance. There's still a lot to like here.

After what happened last year, this business is now the only thing I have left...

Oh dear...

“What’s the worst thing that could possibly happen?”

Oh dear...

Well, this promises to be all kinds of disastrous. The question is how many Nighttouched are going to end up with needles through both eyes. And how much Rarity's business rivals will regret crossing her once she's through with this monor "saving the world" affair.

:twilightoops: Hell of a cliffhanger. Fluttershy's powers are definitely impressive... which would make her loss all the more devastating. I suppose we'll cut back to her in time, but the mystery of her fate is going hang heavy over the next few chapters.

I'm honestly shocked that anyone in that town would be willing to call out Pinkie. There's nationalism, and then there's deliberately killing hope. Heck, if it weren't for the inevitable follow-up of more men from the capital, most of the town would help the Cakes hide the body.

Mind you, this is a state of affairs that denies people chocolate. I suppose I shouldn't be too surprised by destructively boneheaded jingoism in other areas.

Also, Pinkie is apparently terrifying. :twilightoops:

As for Sunset... Oh, this should be very interesting indeed...

Your world-building continues to impress. The last chapter showed us the NightTouched better and now we get to see how refugees are treated. Characterization might be a little cliche, but that's not a real complaint, that's a personal taste issue. Love how you cut away from Pinkie disposing of the rabid dog, that was perfectly executed.

Can't wait to see what Sunset has to add!

I'd also add that there weren't any paragraphs that took me out of the story, and the last few chapters have been shorter than the first few. I know you said "An ongoing complaint about my work (not necessarily on this site but elsewhere) is that I'm far too wordy," so it's worth noting that you are getting better.

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Well, Twilight's chapter was kind of important because it had a lot more world-building to introduce as well as concepts, so it took a bit longer. Applejack's ran a bit longer than I intended. Fluttershy's was supposed to be the shortest because there was supposed to be minimal to no dialogue.

I will say I'm intentionally trying to stay "out of their heads". As I hinted at in my story introduction, there's a lot more to all six of these girls than what you see. Pinkie isn't exclusive in that regard.

Just FYI, Sunset's is going to do a lot more "stage setting" than any of the other introductory chapters so far, so I anticipate it will be the longest.

Now we're cooking with gasoline! I love how the normally optimistic phrase 'rising sun' is a scary thing here.

The stakes for this universe have been very effectively established: Not only are monsters overrunning the world, but the government is willing to do whatever it takes to stave off the inevitable. The opening doesn't immediately force Cinch to burn down a puppy orphanage for the 'greater good' or something; the desperation of the situation has been building since the first chapter, so Cinch's attitude is easier to understand than if this story had came first. That said, she's despicably greedy and short sighted. As a larger scale villain she'd be frustrating, but making her the Dragon to Sunset means we get to see her get put down, making it easier to watch her move around on-screen.

Sunset's giving off strong Azula vibes here, which is probably for the best. Leaning on her need for control makes her a more effective antagonist over time and plays into what the movies said Sunset was when she was evil, even if she was more of a thug in practice.

And honestly, reading through these one at a time, it really feels like your prose has improved a lot from that first chapter. It can still be a little blunt and there are plenty of run-on sentences, but it overall works pretty well. If you're serious about wanting to be a writer, I'd suggest buying The Elements of Eloquence or Dreyer's English. They're both incredibly helpful.

Anyway, the build up is terrific and this is great.

In hindsight, I should have suspected Sunset would be at least partially behind people divided and at each others' throats when they'd be much stronger by standing together. And now she's hunting Twilight... this will get very tricky indeed. Though that armored Guard may surprise her.

The stage is set, the cast's all here. Now to see where we go next.

9452030
Well, I wish I could say I've got the first real chapter this weekend, but unfortunately I don't. Working full time plus going to grad school part time has left me very little time for sleep, let alone anything else. All I was really able to do this week was write up the detailed outline for the first segment of the story. Hopefully today I can start writing more.

Some nice, classic zombie troubles. Theres' still some nice comitment to looking at these fantastical things from the perspective of the mundane, though it's a little weird for it to keep going after we've already seen Twilight in action. I guess she still has some secrets to carry.

Hmm. I can't help but think Twilight misunderstood the "the more people know about this, the more it can happen" issue. That or I just don't understand the mechanism at work.

In any case, good to see that the continent did try a coordinated assault. It just, you know, didn't actually do anything. A shame they couldn't maintain that kind of solidarity. The more Equestria expands, the more they all lose.

In any case, Twilight's definitely on shaky ground right now. AJ will lokely get the truth out of her one way or another. I just hope it doesn't involve literally hammering it out of her.

I got a few Kid Eternity vibes from Rainbow summoning Spitfire, though obviously, the result is different. I also love the numerous mystery boxes we've been getting!

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Hmm, you think it needs one? I have to admit, now that I think on it there's a lot of bad stuff happening in the background...

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I mean, it had Gore, violence, and death tagged.

Oh, it's called Sigil of Souls because there are actaul Sigils that effect people's souls!

Man, up until Griffith showed up, that was exactly how a game of Diplomacy goes.

Excellent work, Bilbelle Baggins.

I know there's exactly a 0% chance of it lasting longer than thirty seconds once she sniffs out the lack of mark (Hex Mark? Is there a proper term and I missed it?) but I kind of want to see Sunset have to deal with the endless stream of GREAT AND POWERFUL EGO.

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Twilight named it a Promethian Sigil, although even she doesn't know exactly what that means at this point in the story.

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Interesting. I suppose we'll see if it's for "foresight", "fire stolen from the gods", or "terrifying world of darkness unpeople".
Definitely excited to see where this goes.

Dang,. this is a brilliantly written version of Sunset!

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Thank you. I hope it wasn't too confusing in this chapter, but the flashback in this one was set earlier than the one in Sunset's previous appearance. You might notice a trend starting...

It's always a disturbing dissonance when Pinkie is Pinkieing about something horrible.

This is why memetic hazard signs need to exist.
The obvious guess is the Nightmare, it's just a question of whether it's insane Luna or evil in a Luna-can.

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But if that's true, then who was this from the last flashback?

The figure who emerged immediately caught Sunset’s eye. She had never seen anyone like her at the school, or at the palace for that matter. She was older and taller than any student, but her attire, she realized, was the same as that of any Canterlot official. Grander, even. Most of all was her hair. It was a dark blue unlike anything any other. So dark it was almost like a picturesque night sky. As she descended the stairs, she could have sworn she saw a sparkle from it now and then; like a twinkling star.

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So far, I love it. Took me a couple days to get here, but this story is fantastic.

Luna and Celestia were not on good terms. However, Luna doesn't seem like the main cause here. Several things have translated to this world strangely, but it is EQG, not base MLP, so Luna never went crazy anyway...
The only villain I can think of off the top of my head who gets power through "belief" is Discord. It is different, but he does get his power from the thoughts and actions of others, much like the crazy sigils and the think in the basement. Those were some pretty non-Discord lines though...
It is a good question. Perhaps it is Tirek, who got Luna's power, and created night themed monsters? I am honestly at a loss.

I can't wait for future chapters though.

Great story! I love your world building, plotting, and characterization. Your grammar and spelling is generally pretty good too, but you keep using one wrong word - a hoard is a big pile of money, or more generally a large collection of valuable things. When you're talking about a large group of creatures, the right word is "horde".

And now, a random mix of questions, predictions, and theorizing:

Why is everyone calling it the Lunar Fall? There's the obvious connection to Luna/Nightmare Moon's name, of course, but if anyone knew about her I'd expect rumors of it to be as widespread as the event name derived from it, and we haven't seen even a hint of that. In fact, I think it's mentioned somewhere that no one knows what caused the Lunar Fall. She did introduce herself by name in the prologue, but everyone who witnessed that died moments later.

Sunset now knows of four different people that each have an Anima Viri, but she's still focused on getting Twilight's specifically. What's so special about that particular one? Is it just that it's the one Sunset thinks she deserves to have because Celestia was supposed to give it to her, and she's letting her pride get in the way of getting the power she wants, or is there more to it? Maybe there are six types and she needs one of each, but if that's true why was Twilight being a Caster news to her?

Getting six Anima Viri apparently grants godlike power, and I'm guessing that's a special bonus for filling out the entire Sigil, not a natural extension of the increases for two through five. If each additional one were another multiplier over the previous one, like the first is over the base, Twilight and Applejack together would be like ants to Sunset, not a challenge that might make her break a sweat. Further, I'm guessing that the number of Roles matches the number of sides in the Sigil, each Anima Viri has its own Role, and one person can't have more than one Anima Viri of each Role. This would go a long way toward explaining how few people ever got all six, while getting just one is popping up all over the place.

The number of Anima Viris seen so far seems strongly at odds with how rare Twilight said they are. There's always the "it's the plot and they're main characters" excuse, but that doesn't explain Gilda and tends to go with poor writing. Let's see, of the 12 we know about (assuming Pinkie has hers already and used it to deal with the rabid Nighttouched dog):

  • 6 came from ancient times through Celestia, so we don't know their origins.
  • 2 (Pinkie and Gilda) have not had their origins revealed.
  • 1 (Applejack) came by way of an object connected to its source.
  • 3 (Rainbow, Rarity, and Fluttershy) came from people who died physically in the presence of those who received them, or at least nearby, and were doing something strongly connected to them at the time.

My guess is that getting an Anima Viri the way Twilight described it - coming across one that's imprinted on an object, location, etc. - really is that rare, but if there's an active and close connection at the time of death then it's much more common for an Anima Viri to arise and go directly to the person with the Sigil.

Of all the canon events in Equestria Girls, the single thing most core to Sunset's character is her defeat by Twilight and subsequent redemption. I'm expecting some version of that to play out here too, it's a highly impactful story element and I'd enjoy seeing it. A bit more speculatively, my guess for how it goes is that Sunset successfully captures Twilight and takes Starswirl from her, maybe takes out the Tantabus just to prove that she can, and then tries to kill Twilight and is shocked when her stolen Anima Viris turn on her. Starswirl goes back to Twilight, and maybe even the other five go with him. So far, that's a pretty straight reflection of canon.

What I'm guessing will follow, and eventually lead to her gradual redemption, is that Sunset gets obsessed with finding out how and why that happened (so that next time she can prevent it, of course). Celestia kept saying that Sunset was missing the point of her later lessons, maybe she'd been trying to teach something - Sunset has no idea what - that would have prevented it. Celestia's not available to ask, but Twilight apparently learned whatever it was, so Sunset just has to get the information from her instead. Sunset's first instinct is to capture and interrogate her, but the sudden dramatic shift in relative magical power makes that infeasible. So, Sunset sets out to manipulate Twilight into teaching her, pretending to go along with all this bs about "friendship" and "ethics" as part of trying to convince her to tell the real secret, until one day Sunset realizes she's started to genuinely care about them.

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Thanks for the feedback, and the note about "horde". :pinkiehappy: In general, I'm purposely not going into detail about a lot of background because I don't want to degenerate into exposition dumps. Suffice to say part of this story is a writing exercise for me in my ability to tell a story that's heavy on lore without just simply spoon-feeding the audience everything. But to answer a few questions...

The Lunar Fall is something of a nickname that eventually stuck rather than was anything proclaimed on high or officially, but it got its name from the fact that the Light Eaters first appeared on the night of a full moon and that the moon seems to be unaffected by their power (i.e. The moon is clearly visible when it comes out even when the Light Eaters are influencing the area. This led many people into thinking the moon somehow had something to do with their appearance and/or nature.).

I don't want to get into too much detail about the specifics about an Anima Viri until the details come out later in the plot, but there is a great deal involved and the usage of one to its maximum capability is far more complex than what I've shown so far. I will say, at minimum, that what both Sunset and Twilight think of as Anima Viris at this point is more simplistic than either of them realize, but Sunset knows something very important about them that she hasn't revealed yet.

It's a fair point about the "ease" of getting Anima Viris, and I won't lie that part of this is for the sake of getting the main characters their own. That being said, there's a very good reason why there are suddenly so many more Anima Viris available and part of it has to do with the same reason why so many individuals with Promethian Sigils are showing up.

Nah dude, make them as long as you want. I will read this 'till it's done, you can't stop me!

Meanwhile, on a Trottingham airship:
Sunset: "Where the hell are all these people with fully grasped Anima Viris coming from??"

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Oh, she's not quite as far away as you might think.

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I'm guessing she's going to show up, maybe attempt to steal Starswirl, realize there's no time for such things at the moment, and help fight the Tantabus. It just wouldn't do to let her inheritance die before she can steal it, after all.

That, or she'll succeed in stealing Starswirl, kill the Tantabus as a demonstration of power, and then try to kill Twilight.

The ay Rarity casts spells reminds me of Asgardian from Young Avengers.

>Smashed a deer into ground beef
That's serious speed right there, when it starts warping reality.

9782802
Whoops...should have said "ground venison". Not quite as catchy, but accurate. :ajsleepy:

Jesus Christ! Well I know what I am gonna be reading today.

Any thought's so far? Absolutely.

A personality comes from two things. Nature, and nurture. A Twilight who was born with two parents and a brother, who was raised normally, who grew up in a city and was tutored by a princess is going to have a very different personality to one who grew up an orphan on the road after a seriously traumatic event, irregardless of the fact that they were both born "Twilight." Going ooc is perfectly acceptable.

I am loving every moment of this story, and it's updates take precedent over anything else. Keep it up!

First, great job! That was a very enjoyable read, and I'm looking forward to seeing where this goes.

At first, I was wondering if they'd have a hard time convincing people that any of this actually happened, with everyone evacuating and all the smog blocking sight. Then part 2 happened. With thirty close range eyewitnesses from the city's military, plus the scream and shockwave? That is not going to be an issue. If anything, they'll have the opposite problem - too much recognition and attention.

Rumors are going to run rampant, and the story will spread like wildfire across the entire continent in a matter of days. Wherever in Fillydelphia Starlight is taking them, the news might well outrace them and get there first, and it will utterly dominate all conversation topics for days or even weeks. This is the biggest news since the Lunar Fall, and on top of that it's hopeful news - the first real hope that people have had in eight years.

Everywhere they go, people will have heard of the six magical women who killed a giant Light Eater, possibly even with descriptions accurate enough to recognize them. Some people will be skeptical, whether of the entire story or of details like the actual size of the Tantabus, but they will at least have heard about it, and the identity and number of the story's sources will convince many to at least take it seriously.

Many people, even high government officials, will treat them as legendary heroes, giving all the supplies and support they could reasonably ask for free of charge. At the same time, people will have extremely high expectations for them. They will be bombarded with questions about how they did it, how they got their magic, whether they can teach it to others, when and where they'll be killing Light Eaters next, and most importantly whether they can push the Light Eaters back and actually start retaking some of the land that has been lost.

Applejack really won't need to send any letters to let her family know what she's been doing.:ajsmug:

Starlight's trackless engine just might be the last miracle Rarity needs to save her business - a mode of transportation headed in the right direction and fast enough to get her to a telegraph in time.:raritystarry:

Side note, I like what you came up with for Cheerilee's title. There was really nothing obvious for it, my guesses would probably have been similar to the ones Rarity tried, and Inspiration's Guide works well.


For where to go from here, I see three major issues for the plot to focus on right now: the formation and stabilization of the Main 6 as a cohesive group, the threat of Sunset Shimmer, and how their new fame will affect them and how they'll handle it.

For the Main 6 as a group, the primary issue is Rarity. She's the only one with a strong reason to want to leave. Pinkie might have some objection about it not being what her family said she's supposed to be doing, but I don't think it should be difficult to convince her to stay anyway, and the other four all already want to stop the Nighttouched and Light Eaters together, though for different reasons.

I think it's likely to end up with the whole group helping Rarity save her business while trying to convince her, until she finally gets back home only to have her senior employees practically shove her out the door. "Wait, you're one of those six??? ... What are you talking about, saying you need to save the business? What you can do out there is far more important than any business will ever be. You've already done enough, we'll manage, now go!"

For Sunset, I don't have many ideas for what might happen with her. I doubt she's going to send any minions, even Flash, to do anything more than track them now, though - Twilight is now in a group of six people who all have fully grasped Anima Viris, and nothing Sunset has short of herself in person can hope to face that and win. She might have to leave her airships behind and pursue Twilight on foot, possibly even incognito, because of the Fillydelphian airship blockade. That, or walk up to said blockade, destroy all the airships in sight, and find that the situation is rapidly turning into her vs the entire Fillydelphia military.

I do have an idea for one tactic Twilight could use to fight her while playing by established rules (so no Anima Viris rebelling against Sunset for using them for bad deeds). It is clearly possible to willingly transfer an Anima Viri to another person. As Twilight has been the recipient of such a transfer, she likely knows how to do it. If she can convince the others to trust her for it, she could have them all lend her their Anima Viris the next time they know Sunset is close. Sunset walks up to "challenge" Twilight to another (grossly unfair) fight, and gets surprised when Twilight recites a litany of a full six Anima Viri activations.

As for the fame, the main thing that comes to mind is that Fluttershy will hide from the attention behind Rainbow and Rainbow will be all too happy to let her do it.


On to lore, my theory of 6 Roles is confirmed as long as you add "base" to it, and we now have the full list:
:twilightsmile:: Caster
:ajbemused:: Warrior
:yay:: Healer
:rainbowdetermined2:: Disciple
:pinkiesmile:: Rogue
:raritywink:: Magician

So, what exactly is the difference between Caster and Magician? In most contexts I can think of those are synonyms.

I notice that the titles of Celestia's/Sunset's Anima Viris match the titles for each main character's introductory chapter. This suggests I'm also right about there being 6 types of Anima Viris, that they correspond to the base Roles, and that you can't have more than one of each. Celestia having her six all be different by chance would be very unlikely. This doesn't quite match with Sunset's Role using Mistmane being the same as Twilight's using Starswirl, but Twilight said earlier that the user's nature factors into that too and Mistmane would be the Magician one, very similar to Caster.

I'd been wondering for a while if it's possible to use two Anima Viris at once, and what happens if you try to activate a second one when you already have one active. Now that that's been answered, I'm wondering how many second-level Roles there are and how which one you get is determined. Is there one for each combination of base Roles? Does the order of activations matter? If your normal base Role is different from the Anima Viri you started with, how does that affect the combination?

I'd guess there are 15, one for each combination of two base Roles independent of order. Archer would be the combination of Disciple and either Caster or Magician. Following the same principles, there'd be 20 third-level Roles, 15 fourth-level, 6 fifth-level, and finally just one for combining all six.

Hmm, along the lines of my idea for Twilight's tactics, maybe it's possible for people with different Roles to work together to produce effects from their combination Role without actually transferring an Anima Viri. This could allow the Main 6, who are established as all having different Roles, to produce an ultimate sixth-level Role effect when all together, making this story's version of an Elements of Harmony rainbow blast. That would be one way to justify them winning against Sunset at some point.

For some far future storyline, I'm guessing at some point the Main 6 will make an expedition to Canterlot, seeking to find Celestia's library and learn at least some of the things Celestia didn't get to teach Twilight before she died. They'll need to know a lot more than they already do about how to make full use of their abilities before they'll have any real chance of liberating Equestria.

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It should come out clearer in later chapters, but Casters are wielders of chaotic magic while Healers are wielders of harmonious magic. Magicians can wield both kinds to a smaller extent and have some enhanced combat abilities; i.e. Jacks-of-All-Trades.

Note that Twilight may use destructive spells but has never healed anyone and Fluttershy has healed people but can't cast destructive spells, but Rarity has had inklings of both--using destructive magic on the Tantabus but also helping Rainbow Dash with accelerated healing.

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