• Published 1st Mar 2019
  • 2,297 Views, 233 Comments

Magisight: Thaumaturgical Ocularity - PsychicKid

A series of strange dreams and a new, burgeoning power sends Twilight on an adventure that will change her life forever.

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Chapter 1: With Three Words




Twilight Sparkle let out a sharp gasp, eyes snapping open in alarm as the blurry visions of the dream realm gave way to reality. Nestled among her blankets, the princess sat up in her bed, still delirious as the mysterious words replayed in her mind. The befuddled haze in the wake of the bizarre dream left her vision blurry and unfocused. Her body felt heavy, her mind clouded, her very being gripped by a sense of dread and unease. It was still the dead of night, a night barely half-concluded based on the dim moonlight peeking out from the cloud cover. She squirmed about like a sleepless foal, eventually kicking the covers off and stumbled out of bed.

She nearly tripped over the scattered books and parchment on her floor as she meandered towards her desk. Ordinarily, Twilight would have been much more organized and never would have gone to bed with her studies in such disarray, but the last several nights had been plagued by those disembodied words, replaying in her mind.

Seek... Learn... Know...”

Her horn shone with magenta light, dimly illuminating the room and casting shadows on the wall behind her. Distorted images of the stacked books and papers danced all around her. She lifted a quill, levitating it to a blank parchment that rested next to the object of her latest studies: a set of aged tomes bearing varying and ancient accounts of magic and its origins in Equestria. The only things of importance were fragments and misdirections scattered in centuries-old pages. Next to those books were her own notes. The first several pages were neat, proper, and coherent, but as her studies went on and her sleepless nights continued, the writing became more erratic and chaotic. Upon the blank parchment, she finally wrote:

Seek. Learn. Know.

Twilight let out a tired groan as her tempestuous thoughts and the stress of the words plaguing her mind swirled and transitioned to crankiness. She was exhausted and unable to form any more coherent thoughts as she stared at the message with heavy eyes.

It wasn't uncommon for a pony to dream of things related to their daily life or major events, be they silly and mundane or epic and life-changing. She would frequently dream of mountains of books or ancient sigils of magic or Spike belching out letters of praise from Celestia, especially after a day of intense studying and research. Sometimes even the best ideas could come from the myriad of emotions that only a dream may bestow. However, three consecutive nights of the same message with the same foreboding feeling could not be a coincidence.

She yawned loudly and stretched, stumbling as she sent a stack of books clattering to the ground with a loud crash. She yelped and sprang upright, fluttering her wings to maintain balance in an attempt to avoid joining the mess on the floor. With a tired wobble and her eyelids drooping with the night's sleepiness, she dropped back down on all fours. Twilight folded her wings in as as she shuffled slowly across the room, through the mess, and back to her bed. She collapsed with a soft thud, knocking half of her covers off into a lump, and almost immediately fell back asleep.

As the hours passed, Twilight tossed and turned in her bed, never fully returning to tranquility. She mumbled in her sleep and snored softly—behavior unbecoming of a princess—as she felt a hoof slowly pushing her from side to side in an attempt to rouse her from her slumber.

“Twilight...?” A soft, concerned voice cut through the darkness, as the gentle touch slowly brought Twilight back to the waking world.

Twilight let out a groan, raising a hoof over her face as the sunlight streaming in from the window made her head pound even with her eyes shut. Her mane was messy and ragged from several days' worth of ignoring personal grooming thanks to these strange visions. After some time, she cracked her eyes open.

“Starlight...? Is that you?” she mumbled, letting a yawn wash over her as she rolled over to face the voice. Twilight blinked slowly, groggy from the poor slumber and sunlight streaming in through the window as the hazy form of Starlight Glimmer came into view.

“Hey, Twi. You okay? I noticed you've been acting kinda funny the last couple of days, and I was a little worried I didn't see you this morning since... Well...” she said, squinting playfully as she finished her thought with a wry smile. “It's noon.”

Twilight sat upright in her bed, eyes cracked half-open as she attempted to force herself awake with a yawn, a stretch, and another cranky moan. She looked over at Starlight, who was busying herself by scanning the room slowly and taking note of the various scholarly effects scattered across the floor. Her gaze alighted on the mountain at Twilight's desk and she shook her head, unable to believe the mess before her.

Starlight trotted about and glanced at the the various book titles and open notes. It was as if Twilight had lifted an entire wing of her library and dumped half of it on the floor, then the other half on her desk. As she took in the sight, a handful of titles caught her attention. “Reflections on Magic: Misconceptions Regarding Earth Ponies and Pegasi... The Unity of the Alicorn... La Magio de Harmonio… Buried in your magic research again, huh?” Starlight asked.

As she surveyed the scholarly landscape spread out before her, one parchment in particular caught her eye—not because of what was on it, but because of what wasn’t on it. Starlight cocked her brow. It wasn’t like Twilight to leave any free space in her notes, much less only writing down three words.

“I guess you could say that...” Twilight replied with another yawn as she rolled out of bed, finally dragging the rest of her sheets onto the floor. Starlight turned back to her friend with a sigh, rolling her eyes at the mess before her. Even Twilight during one of her breakdowns would always be neat enough to make the bed. She stumbled towards Starlight, tripping over a stack of books with a cry. Her eyes snapped open as she took a sudden and very un-princess-like tumble into an even larger pile. The mountain of books came crashing down upon Twilight, burying her under their withered pages.

As the dust settled, Starlight sighed to herself at her friend's clumsiness, using her magic to start clearing the books away until she could see Twilight's dazed expression, her jaw slack and her eyes going in two directions at once.

“Here. Let me help you,” Starlight said, taking hold of Twilight’s hoof and pulling her out of the books and back onto all fours. “Are you okay? You've been acting kind of distant the last few days, and, well... I mean, just look at your room! It looks like Rainbow Dash was practicing in here!” Starlight frowned, looking around quickly as if to make sure Rainbow Dash wasn’t magically listening in. "She wasn't practicing in here, right?"

“No, I haven’t seen… Well, it's complicated,” Twilight mumbled as she clumsily sat down, her head drooping as she fought to keep her eyes open. She levitated the nearly-bare parchment towards Starlight, who caught it in her own magic as Twilight drifted out once again. With a nicker, Twilight shook herself awake. “I've been having these strange dreams for the last three days. Visually, I can't recall anything, but I can hear a voice...”

“A voice?” Starlight asked as she looked over the parchment. Taking a closer look, the three scrawled words slowly became clear.




“Yes, the voice almost sounds like a mare, but...” She tapped her hoof against her chin, her eyes drifting upwards as she tried to gather her thoughts. “It's as if the voice comes from everywhere around me, rather than from a specific source. All she says is 'Seek, learn, know,' and then I wake up in a cold sweat, feeling like I’ve been smothered by some kind of overwhelming presence. I'm so exhausted from this I can barely see straight!”

Starlight grumbled to herself, puzzled by the strange message. “Do you remember anything specific that might have happened three days ago that could have caused this?”

Twilight sprang to her hooves with excitement, mentally clicking into scholar mode at Starlight’s curiosity. “Well, I've started this big research project on the origins of magic that I’ve been wanting to do ever since I became an alicorn!” Twilight beamed, a renewed vigor rushing through her at the opportunity to share her findings with somepony else.

Twilight's magic seized one of the many open books piled on her desk, drawing it towards them. The leather-bound book sent a wave of musty air through the room, making Starlight wrinkle her nose. Its cover was practically falling to pieces. The book was opened to a diagram depicting each of the three pony tribes arranged in a circle, with an alicorn in the center. Linking each of the ponies together was a series of lines and arrows, signifying that each tribe was connected to the other two, with the alicorn connected to all three.

“Now, note the poses of the three pony tribes! The earth pony is rearing back, showing physical strength and a connection to the land and animals. The pegasus is mid-flight, which makes sense given their dominion over the sky. And of course, unicorns, focusing on the introspective and esoteric. See how she's in deep concentration with a magic aura surrounding her horn? As you can see, this diagram illustrates that each tribe is linked, shown by these arrows pointing from each tribe to the other two. What we have here is a harmonic balance: a representation of the idea that each tribe is essential to the others for survival, while simultaneously showing that there is no real hierarchy.”

Twilight's excitement continued to grow as she explained. It seemed that for a moment she was back to her old self—maybe Starlight had simply imagined the princess being utterly exhausted. She rolled her eyes, unable to help but smile with relief seeing her friend going nuts about her studies.

“Now, we can turn towards the alicorn shown here in the center. Alicorns demonstrate magic of the other three tribes, essentially the sum of three parts, while also granting protection, wisdom, and guidance to them. Based on this, I hypothesize some sort of deeper meaning exists within these bonds, and I’m sure that more evidence is out there beyond the old Windigo tales.

“Of course, normally when ponies speak of 'magic' they tend to think of unicorns, levitating, transmutation, and things of that nature. What they don't think of is the subtle, innate magic of earth ponies and pegasi. For example, if an earth pony and a unicorn were to plant the same type of seed in the same type of soil, using the same temperature and amount of water, the earth pony's seed would grow faster and larger, just by the latent link that they have to plants. This is also why pegasi can walk on and manipulate clouds, whereas unicorn magic is pretty inefficient at it, and earth ponies can't manage it at all.”

When Twilight stopped for a moment to breathe—it was a wonder she hadn't fainted in her excitement. Starlight simply nodded and grunted a muffled "Mmm-hmm," in response. Her interest in the topic was only passing as she was far more concerned about Twilight's well-being than her rambling about magic. At the very least, she seemed well enough since one of her her trademark lectures sprang from her so readily.

“Wow, Twilight, this is all so very...” Starlight paused. “...Fascinating. But do you have any idea why this is making you have these weird dreams?”

Twilight sighed with annoyance. “That's just it, I don’t have the faintest idea. While I've certainly dreamt about magic, and even had epiphanies in my dreams, I've never had anything like this before. For Luna's sake, I've even had nightmares about being eaten by a giant book that left me less spooked than last night!” Twilight replied, clapping her hooves together to simulate a book eating her as she spoke.

Starlight perked up, her voice rising in pitch as she instantly honed in on the answer. “Hey, now there's an idea! Why not go see Luna? Maybe she could offer some insight on what all this means!"

“Ooh, that's a wonderful idea!” Twilight said, eyes widening and—did Starlight see a twinkle in there? “She knows all about the world of dreams, so maybe she can help me recall them and we can finally get to the bottom of this!”

Twilight hurriedly levitated a saddle bag over from a rack on the wall, accidentally knocking over some more books in the process. Books and papers flew about, caught in the flurry of her magic before being stuffed into her bag; already so full of notes and relevant titles that she thought might be helpful.

“Starlight, do you think you could watch over the castle for me while I'm gone? And make sure Spike doesn't get into any trouble either!” Twilight said, running over to a bookshelf, looking for anything else that might help her.

“What, you're leaving right this minute?” Starlight asked, her gaze following Twilight as she zipped across the room.

"I know, I know it's short notice," Twilight said, suppressing a yawn, "But I need answers!" The light around her horn flickering out as her bags settled into place, causing her shoulders to sag a bit. “And I know I won’t find them here. Trust me, I’ve looked! I’m sure Luna will be able to help me find what I’m looking for… whatever it is I’m looking for…”

Starlight fidgeted nervously. She didn’t want her friend to realize she’d tuned out most of the rant and didn’t fully understand what was going on. “Uh… Well, try not to overdo it! I know how wrapped up you can get sometimes… just don't accidentally open a portal to Tartarus or something while half asleep!” She said sheepishly.

“Thank you, Starlight. I really appreciate your concern, but trust me, I’ll be fine!” Twilight said with a wink. “I shouldn't be gone too long, a day or two at the most!”

A checklist and an accompanying quill materialized out of thin air, levitating in front of Twilight as she quickly marked the various boxes. “Okay, that’s all of my notes taken on this project, four of my most referenced books, my notes about the dreams, and extra paper for extra notes!” Twilight said excitedly, the checklist poofing into smoke as quickly as it arrived.

“Okay! That’s everything!” Twilight said, turning to Starlight. “The castle is in your hooves!”

“Have a safe trip!” Starlight said, waving her friend off.

At that, Twilight dashed out of her room and down the hallway, nearly stumbling over herself as she vanished from Starlight's sight. She turned and looked back into Twilight's bedroom, letting out a heavy sigh.

“What a terrible mess… Bet I can make Spike clean it up,” she said to herself with a playful sneer.

A tapping on her large, indigo bedroom doors brought Luna to attention as she sat at her table, drinking a cup of warm tea. “You may enter,” she said, turning to face the door.

A purple aura surrounded the two doors as Twilight slowly swung them open. She had never been inside Luna's private chambers before, and she was entranced by the divine blues and blacks that decorated it. The ceiling was pitch black with flecks of light scattered all throughout. Twilight's face lit up as she recognized it as the constellations that dotted the sky each night. Golden astrolabes and other measuring devices were lined up on a desk, hinting at a mutual obsession with organization.

“Twilight Sparkle. To what do we owe this unexpected pleasure?” Luna asked as she set her cup of tea down, steam still drifting from the cup.

“Princess Lunaaahhh!” Twilight began, the last syllable drawing out into a long yawn. Luna held her tongue and stared at the alicorn inquisitively. “I came here because I need your help with something. I've been having a series of bizarre dreams lately, and I think they might be related to my recent studies. The dreams have been so invasive that I haven't had a decent night's sleep in three days!”

“Hmm… I see,” Luna said, furrowing her brow. “Please, come in. Have a seat, and perhaps we can assist.” Luna invited her in, pouring a second cup of tea and setting it down on a dark blue saucer at another seat at the table. Twilight’s hooves were practically silent against the soft carpet as she trotted in. Placing her saddle bag down as she took her seat, she drew in a deep breath, taking in the heavenly and relaxing aroma of the tea in front of her.

“It's chamomile,” Luna said. “We find that it helps calm our nerves and lets us focus before venturing into the Dreamscape, the realm of dreams of which we hold dominion. Pray tell us, what exactly is happening in these dreams of yours?”

“Well, that's what’s been bothering me... I don’t remember very much at all.. All I really remember is a strange message,” Twilight replied, opening the saddlebag with her magic and pulling out a sheet of rolled parchment. She unfurled it out on the table, revealing its cryptic message.

“That’s it,” Twilight said flatly. “That message is the only thing I hear, and it startles me awake feeling like a fish out of water. I think it's related to my studies, since the dreams started right after I started taking serious notes and research on the origin of magic, and how it links the three pony tribes.”

Luna took another sip of her tea, her stoic gaze unwavering from Twilight. “Are you sure it's not just stress? Thoughts related to one's daily struggles and long term goals tend to be among the most common of intrusive thoughts to one's own dream world.”

“Maybe so, but three nights in a row of the exact same dream makes me suspicious. I feel awful every time I wake up, too, like I can barely breathe!” Twilight said, her voice trailing a bit as she let off another huge, deep yawn, fighting sleep with all of her might. She caught herself, unwilling to seem rude in front of the princess.

Luna gently set her cup down with a soft clink, quirking an eyebrow at Twilight. “Most curious. Most curious indeed. Ordinarily, when a pony is troubled by nightmares, we can sense their terror, and if it's powerful enough, we can choose to step in and take action to ensure nothing has invaded their sanctuary. Yet if these nightmares are as menacing as you are describing, then we are rather concerned.”

“What do you think it means? Could they be magically-induced nightmares?” Twilight asked, worrying that such a thing could very well be the answer—particularly if she had accidentally exposed herself to some strange spell while combing through her books.

“What concerns us the most is we have never sensed any nightmares from you these past few nights. Nothing goes unnoticed in the Dreamscape by us, and were you indeed in such distress, we would have surely noticed it straight away,” Luna said, putting a hoof to her chin as she closed her eyes to consider the possibilities. She mumbled to herself, her poise dropping in her contemplation.

“You never sensed my dreams? Are you absolutely certain?” Twilight asked, hoping Luna would recall otherwise. If this were the case, even Luna might not be able to help.

"Prepare yourself, Twilight Sparkle!" Luna's voice suddenly boomed, her eyes snapping open with a blaze. Her horn lit up with the brilliance of the full moon as she lifted from her chair, her magic carrying her up into the air. The brightness caught Twilight off guard, throwing her from her seat and onto the floor. The magic emanating from Luna caused the whole room to shake violently. The tea cups vibrated off the table, crashing to the ground and spilling onto the carpet with a soft clatter. The astrolabes spun wildly, reflecting the light from Luna in dizzying patterns as the lights etched on the ceiling grew brighter, lines forming between them and drawing out the designs of the constellations.

Magic raced through Luna’s mind, centuries of experience helping her draw and calculate the spells necessary to access old dreams of nights gone by. Nodes of deep and aethereal alicorn magic lit up inside her: dots and lines connected into eclectic and archaic grids, which fed into circles and a myriad of indecipherable shapes that pulsated and glowed with ancient magic and caused her body to vibrate.

As Twilight looked on with awe, she saw motes of these magical machinations flicker in and out of existence, seemingly both surrounding Luna and feeding into and throughout her body. She saw approximations of the moon and the stars dancing and twinkling all about as the magic took shape before her eyes. It was not uncommon for complex or unique magic to bleed into the outside world before the spell was finished, but Twilight had never seen anything like this before!

Luna fired off a series of complicated and powerful spells, giving her unrestricted access to the deepest parts of the Dreamscape. Hazy, visions floated past Luna, one by one passing her unblinking gaze as her horn glowed and surged with arcane circles and star patterns. Twilight could barely make out the details in the shapes drifting by. If she looked closely, she could swear that many of them contained images of ponies—but further details escaped her. The visions danced past Luna, seemingly dozens at a time as she dove deeper into the Dreamscape, hoping to dredge up an answer or clue.

The spell ceased as suddenly as it began. The dizzying colors and lights vanished, the constellations on the ceiling returned to normal, and Luna floated down, gracefully returning to all fours. Her face was contorted with concern, her eyes shut hard as she shook her head. A moment passed, and Twilight shifted uncomfortably in her seat.

“Princess Luna…?” Twilight finally asked. “Were you able to find something? Anything at all?”

Luna’s eyes snapped open, still utterly consumed by a brilliant white light. They quickly returned to their usual blue and green radiance with the spell’s end. “I… We don't understand… This doesn't make any sense,” she said with a waver in her voice Twilight had never heard before.

“What doesn't? What doesn't make any sense?”

“We can't find these dreams of yours in the Dreamscape at all.”