• Member Since 20th Oct, 2015
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For someone named "TheTimeSword", I sure don't manage my time very well.



The Society of Secret Sorcery. A domain of magic bent on helping Equestria in the shadows, or so its members believe. After causing terror in several cities, Twilight Sparkle takes charge in finding the culprits. The good news is Twilight doesn't have to deal with the society alone. Moondancer and Sunset Shimmer, one a former member, the other an infiltrator, are more than willing to help. Working together, they must find out the identity of the mysterious leader and put an end to the society.

Takes place at a random point after the Season 7 finale.

Crafted cover art by the wonderful Little Tigress!

Chapters (9)
Comments ( 48 )

This story idea is actually thanks to a user named PatchworkPoltergeist. I'll bet they'll never know they're the one who made this story possible! :rainbowlaugh:

Awww! Sad Minuette! :(

But interesting idea. ^.^

Points for initiative, and suspiciousness.

That Minuette apparently doesn't care about the ponies endangered speaks volumes about this secret unicorn society and its true intentions I suspect.

Well this fits right in with the previous shown no concern with the ponies they endanger or could have possibility killed...

In before teirek is actually the good guy

Your really good with writing

This has been SUCH a great reading! I am excited to see what happens next and I AM LOVING SUSNET SHIMMER IN THIS! Great job so far!:rainbowkiss:

Half expecting for Sunset to hijack the ritual.

And so... begins a new universe of chaos of which Discord would never had dream of achieving...

Alicornverse has been born :rainbowderp:

May all the residents of this world who isn’t a pony find peace with the new race... also rip Pony tribes

Well I do have to wonder how widespread the effect was. Really needs a epilogue though.

Or maybe a sequeeeeel? :) Just gotta know how the main six deal with it, after all.

Biggest issue would be political upheaval. What happens when the one thing that makes someone special, the Alpha leader, etc is now a common trait? When Donut Joe is a Alicorn is being a Alicorn now a leadership thing? Or even scarier, what if two of the new made Alicorns breed? Will Alicorns be born en masse? But the all important question will be, if everyone is now a Alicorn will that drive Rarity crazy as everyone is now 'special' or will she make a fortune selling princess dresses and gaudy jewelry to the new nobility?

I didn't really understand this story.

Ook.. it sounds like... Faith uses philosophical structure of Tree of Harmony known to us... but... Faith (Da'at, the Ultimate Knowledge) and Magic are... instances of same thing, interchangeable.

This is clearly an evil society that wants to take power for themselves. I think that Minuette was ver OoC though in her refusal to reveal anything.

Given that the society's actions don't fit at all with their claims I don't think their attraction is as strong as Sunset states once you know the truth.

An unreformed Sunset would hvae told the society to just put her in charge since she's obviously the most powerfull unicorn they will ever meet. Given that Sunset shows concern about being outmatched shows how she's matured.

Given that the masters are canon characters it's a bit weird to have the grandmaster be an OC. I still think Minuette is extremely OoC sine she seems to care more about the secret society than anything else.

I can't say I liked this story. Creating a false Element shouldn't be possible and Faith would be punished by the Tree since the Tree is sapient. The destruction of the tree and the Elements makes no sense nor does the power of the false Element that Faith made. Minuette is truly horribly OoC and comes across and very selfish in not caring about Twilight or Moondancer. I downvoted this because of all those problems.

Thanks for the input. I do have to point out that a new Element was not created, but is considered a false Element, as it holds a lot of magic pooled by the ponies of the society. Similar to the Elements being created by the Pillars but not an Element itself. On top of that, Faith was also punished for her actions by literally getting disappeared. The consequences of her actions led to the destruction of the tree—vis-à-vis the Elements' power being released. But my eyes consistently glaze over when someone claims a character like Minuette being out-of-character. What was OoC for a character that has only had one episode with barely any speaking lines? Should I have written her to stand in the background the entire time, as that would certainly be in character. Her entire personality in Amending Fences was that she liked to hang out with friends—even trying to bring Moondancer along before giving up. Bringing Moondancer into the society was on point. Crafting her desire to continuously hang out with her friends in the society was on point. Being annoyed that her social standing among her peers was destroyed by Moondancer revealing the society was on point. After continuously being kicked in the teeth, lashing out at your friend (Twilight) makes the most sense, even if it isn't a smart decision. We hurt the ones we love.

I usually don't respond negatively to criticism of my work—I believe all opinions can help a creator grow and are justified within reason—so take pride in the fact that you're a rarity.

The fact that Minuette keeps believing that the society is good despite all evidence to the contrary makes her OoC to me. Also she doesn't have the same realistion as Saffron Masala at the end which increases her uncharacteristic behavior since it seems very strange that she's willing to fight three of her friends (counting Pinkie) for a society which has done very questionable things and nothing good yet.

The society is proving their powers by all the experiments—the aftermath isn't observed as the unicorns are shown simply leaving once the experience finishes. Their stated goal is to be a society ready to engage should the princesses fall, which is a noble and good goal, even if it's a lie to their members. "She wondered what sort of things the Masters told other members. There needed to be a reason. Maybe a villain could fly, reach Cloudsdale, and they were testing if they could pull the city down. "

It doesn't help that Twilight showed up with Tirek, the ultimate rival to unicorns. It's the equivalent of Jesus showing up with Hitler and saying, "No, you're the bad guys, I swear!" And everybody in the cave is Jewish. It's not going to fly.

Saffron had the unique position to side with Sunset who knew the aftermaths—but even Sunset stated she found their false goal to be quite promising.

Yes... You did it. the last fic this was in it was considered a declaration of war.

Normally I would agree but... do we really know her? Beyond one episode we have little to nothing to go on.

Though he heartily laughed, the tension didn’t break. “Oh heavens no. Draining ponies of their magic would really put a damper on their friendship with me. But I’ve never been given a chance, either!”

They way you were introduced you never harmed a pony until after Celestia flew beyond any canon map and delivered vigilante justice. I am not sure you ever have a why beyond power and ponies happened to be a nearby source

The three took a step from the table to reform their plan of attack. “Okay, I really don’t want to sign their contract,” Twilight whispered. “And even if Tirek could contain himself for a minute to drain their magic, I don’t want Celestia to pay in the end. Even if these two are con-artists, they’d get a fair trial. Really debating on whether or not to join Tirek in Tartarus at this point. Moondancer, do you have any ideas?”

You could of done what i would do; show up with a warrant and a squad of guards.

I can imagine Saffron's introductions the next day taking a detour from her expectations.

"Hey guys, so you know how yesterday we were betrayed directly to Princess Twilight and had to switch all our secret hiding spots and are now hiding from the Equestrian, Crystal Empire, and changeling authorities? I found this super-strong and super-smart unicorn no one has ever heard of last night, she can make new spells and she even has a sun cutie mark!

"W-why are you guys pointing your horns at us?"

And then it struck Sunset. Not once did the Masters say they couldn’t ask for help!

They also didn't say the applicants couldn't damage the other pony's box, which seems more like the intended mantra of a group working together to protect Equestria. Neither could succeed alone, Minuette couldn't succeed using Sunset's method since her friend Moondancer wasn't there, and Sunset shouldn't have succeeded using a method that circumvented the Society's desire to keep initiates from identifying and recognizing each other. The end result was a spy moving up the ranks and an established member coming to resent the Society and its members, instead of two valuable members strengthening their ties of friendship and camaraderie by relying on each other. That really contrasts with

“In a way, you surpassed even our own mantra. Helping Equestria requires us all, and you proved that in asking for help.”

Asking for help, rather than offering it.

Honestly, Twilight is the most out-of-character character in this story. She starts the investigation of an existential threat to Equestria by taking Tirek and Moondancer with her, but no one else. No guards, no Royal Guards, no officials of the crown, not even local police. She strolls around with no escort and an unrestrained Tirek who is causing visible terror and driving away a lot of potential sources of information, making the pony they question at the print shop so frightened that all they get from it is who owns the building, but not who owns the print shop or who rents the office space.

Then she goes to Las Pegasus and Moondancer even comments on how many hours they are losing because of Tirek and Twilight signing every autograph and taking every photo-op because they are mobbed by tourists who won't go away until they get what they want, which is what an honor guard or police escort is used to prevent. They go into the bowling alley, don't ask the staff where the managers or bosses or owners are, and search blindly with Tirek still in the open. Once they find Flim and Flam, Twilight "bellows" they're under arrest even though she has no police with her, and the twins don't even bother to refuse; they flatly ignore it and proceed to nearly succeed at forcing a princess of the realm investigating an existential threat to sign a binding three-year contract in exchange for a tiny amount of information because she doesn't have a warrant or single law enforcement pony with her. Twilight's only option she can think of is publicly and loudly threatening to use Tirek to steal their magic, which the twins "outwit" by threatening to use the legal system to sue the crown if she does. Moondancer then manages to save the day by luckily remembering, and then threatening the twins with, all the by-the-book, standard operating procedures that are routinely conducted by police in the course of a criminal investigation.

Moondancer traipsed through the unkempt yard, fidgeting nervously with her hood.

I didn't realize that traipse had another meaning. I wonder why it means such opposite things?

If I didn't have the context around this chapter, the name, cover pictures, ect., I'd think this was setting up to involve a unicorn supremacist plot. It's not out of the question, but I suspect that you don’t have to have been born a unicorn.

If you’re going to have an identity crisis, please at least tell us if you caused the eclipse or not before you lose what remains of your wits,


Leaving the door ajar, Moondancer examined both mailings. She chose the simple envelope first—the beautiful scroll was clearly from the society.

Why would you assume? I foresaw that their's would be plain, so as to avoid drawing attention.

Well. They suck at keeping secrets. I expected them to last about twice that long before Moondancer broke cover. And I guess I was overestimating Minuette. She is not a clever pony.

So, Moondancer has some issues. Festering guilt, possibly in both directions. Jealousy towards Sunset. Let's see how these get resolved and/or pop up at the worst moments.
Also, don't trust Tirek. Be very careful if you try to use him.

The stone pathways led to many of the evil or malevolent creatures of Equestria. Some were unaware of their malicious nature.

Evil, malevolent, and malicious all involve intent. So unless we're talking about a werewolf or something like that, they have to be aware on some level. Otherwise they aren't anymore evil than a hurricane. Just dangerous.

And when the sun set on Sunset, her body aching from all the walking, she wondered if the trouble was worth it. Even her horn barely contained any spark left. Ponies thanked her and went about their business, but none sought her out. Nopony cared for a private chat. And no one invited her to their super-secret powerful unicorn club.

Well, what were you expecting? They'd want to check up on you before coming face-to-face. It takes time to infiltrate any decently suspicious group. If it were easy, anypony could do it.
That, and you did seem odd. Yes, you got attention, but you may also have aroused suspicion.

I'm enjoying the interactions with Tirek. Wonder where they'll go?

Their either meant it for reading or socializing.

I don't know what this was supposed to say, but I know it isn't right as it is now.

Teaching is a good way to convince the Society that you're trustworthy, but it could also make things harder down the line. Take care.

The inflection in her voice sounded more from Manehattan than Canterlot. Sunset could tell the difference now that she’d spent time with the slow, enunciating Canterlot stock.

Recently, I assume? Because she did used to live in Canterlot.

Hmm. So I was off. Interesting, both the information on the hierarchy and to see Suri here.

The little worm had planned everything.
The tale painted a picture in his mind, to which he unfolded the events. The intruding vines forced the bearers to return the Elements. This granted them a box, all caused by Discord. He then outlined passages in their special little journal, helping them figure it out. But even knowing about the box, he still betrayed them, joining Tirek. He was no fool! Discord knew joining Tirek would only end in a betrayal—and he wanted that! The necklace. Scorpan’s necklace! That led to the key and Discord knew it!

Discord's as hard as Celestia to try and figure out how much they planned things in advance. Don't assume you understand that twisted mind of his.

“Flim and Flam! They own the print shop!” Pointing to Moondancer and Tirek, she commanded them to rise. “Time to make an arrest!”

They own a place that we know a criminal frequents on the testimony of Tirek. Arresting time!
Dangerous times we live in, aren't they?

“Shoot. The glass,” Sunset commanded Saffron. She then shook her head. "I mean undo the latch." She would need to stop those late night movie binges with Dash when she returned beyond the mirror.

Took a web search, but is the movie in question Die Hard? (I remembered the scene, it just didn't pop to mind. I got stuck on Jurassic Park.)

Yes. It would work even better if instead of whoever finishes first they said that anypony who escapes in time would advance. As it stands they were pit against each other, which isn't necessarily a good thing.

Though she felt pride in accomplishing the feat, Sunset remained on the upset mare.

Sunset’s thoughts, perhaps? Or Sunset’s mind? As it stands Sunset sat on Minuette.

“Nonsense!” The two said in unison before a self-developing camera appeared in front of them.

Found them.

I wonder why Tirek hates it so much when a pony wants drained?

Ah yes, the debate of executive authority. A staple in any criminal investigation story. And related to my previous comment.

Does this take place before the movie? Twilight's harsh, though not unreasonable, actions remind me a lot of her behavior during the seige on Canterlot.

Svengallop, ehh? That's two cult higher-ups we've seen, and they're both manipulative jerks on the show. Not painting a pretty picture so far.

Sneaky Minuette. She's right, a lot of people who are willing to fight are not willing to fight the innocent. And anyone who uses that in such a manner is very dangerous and holds a rather low moral standard.
I consider myself a dirty fighter, but that’s a tactic I sorely avoid if possible.
And to top it off, she's betraying an ally! A right nasty piece a work, she is.

I’m going to help Twilight, even if that means I have to go against her.

Y'know, that actually does sound a lot like the Society's propaganda. I don't think Sunset plans on betraying Twilight, but she does grow unreliable.

There was no need to be surprised, in fact. She knew Sunset Shimmer would return. She never had a doubt. And Suri was right—now the ritual could begin.

Now I'm worried that the Grandmaster suspects her. Not certain, but the possibility is presented. It could just be confidence in Sunset’s power, but I don’t know.

She infused the room with a spell of her own creation. “Come in,” she once again called. The orange unicorn entered alone, just like she wanted, allowing them to speak informally. “There you are. Such a wonderful girl, so full of magic.” Coming close, the Grandmaster brought out her wide, cheery smile.

This worries me. The question I find myself asking is: Does she think she needs Sunset, or Sunset’s magic?

I am the Grandmaster. But you may call me Faith.

:pinkiegasp: could it be...? She makes use of mind altering plants to manipulate people, check. Cult higher-up, check. It's not her, but it could be a reference.

I’ve got faith, too,” she told Sunset. “I believe I can create a new Element. The Element of Faith. With it, I will take control of Twilight Sparkle’s Element. I will use my Element to control them all and ascend to a new state.

I'm not sure that's how they work.

“Stealing magic. It's like I was made for it,” he replied, though there was no feeling in the words. They were too vague for Moondancer to comprehend the meaning—maybe even Tirek did not understand what he meant.

If worst comes to worst, he might be able to stop them himself. Just drain a few key parts before the ball rolls too far. Maybe, I do not have sufficient data to produce a clear estimate.

Pinkie stomped her hoof. “You’re super-duper loco! You want to see how the Elements work? We’ll show you how it’s done!”
Twilight used her magic to open the six-pointed star.

Nonononononononono! Her ritual didn't do what she wanted, which I totally saw coming, but she did make an Element. The last thing you should do is turn your Elements on her, for all we know that could enable hers!

Her heart rate shot up as sweat coursed down her brow. Her nervousness returned. Why did sweat? What was happening?

Is that on purpose, as a sign of Sunset’s flustered mental state, or a typo?

it did not damage to Sunset's shield.

Either 'did not damage', or 'did no damage to'.

The guards, she saw, all few away. All of the ones in the courtyard. All at once, and some better than others.


Okay, now for story as a whole comments. As you said earlier, Minuette’s actually pretty spot on. Twilight does feel a little harsh at times, but she did in the movie too, so I can't really say that it is contrary to her canon personality. It is OoC for her, but more in the way that real people sometimes act contrary to their usual selves. She does appear to be rather stressed, and has been shown to be bad at handling that in the past.

Also, your wording got funky sometimes.

All in all, decent, but not exceptional.

Also, I love your Jesus and Hitler comment.

The beginning was a bit rough and took a while to get going, but once it did get going, my interest was thoroughly piqued.

Minuette sure is drinking the kool aid. Yikes.

I am deeply suspicious of Tirek. This feels like a doomed-from-the-start plan

I don't think Sunset's infiltration will go as well as she's thinking :unsuresweetie:

Their either meant it for reading or socializing.

I think their is supposed to be they?

That felt suspiciously easy for Sunset. There's no way the Masters are that trusting, right?

I continue to refuse to believe it's that easy for Sunset.

Lightning Dust, Suri, and Svengallop? What an altruistic collection of ponies... :unsuresweetie:

The conflict with Moondancer feels off. Something doesn't seem right.

Overall, I enjoyed this. While I may have been reading too much into Moondancer being possessive or whathaveyou, I am glad that Sunset's acceptance into the society wasn't simply that easy. On that same note, I thought Sunset was a bit more impulsive than I would have expected given that this is meant to be the same Sunset that just went through so many worst worlds. And as others have mentioned, Twilight felt a bit weird, but I quite enjoyed your use of Tirek and Discord here.

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