• Published 10th Jun 2020
  • 1,090 Views, 40 Comments

Splintershard - TheMajorTechie

Once upon a time, Equestria flourished. That time is now long-gone.

  • ...

1 ◈ A Spell

Through flame and ash, they would persist.

A tyrant would fall; a sister returned.

An era would begin, yet unstable it would remain.

And the embers still glow.

Emily's backpack thudded against a stump. The girl stood beside it, shading her eyes.

"You said this is the place? Looks pretty empty to me."

"Mhm," Starlight's voice hummed. "I'd chalk it up to Canterlot nobles just being Canterlot nobles. I doubt they ever put much use into these training grounds."

"Er... yes. Anyway--" Emily set a hand on the wand sticking from her pocket. "--You said that you were going to show off some more magic tricks and stuff?"

"Ye-What?" Starlight sputtered, "No! I said that I'd see if I could teach you some beginner spells!"

Emily made a face, rolling her eyes. "Fine, whatever. So, where do we start then? Fire? Water?" she pulled Splinter from her pocket, a wide grin on her face as she gripped the wand. "Wind?"



"Now," Starlight's voice continued, "I'm not entirely sure if the same process will work for you as it did for me, but levitation is typically seen as a 'beginner' spell. My main concern is that ponies have an innate pool of mana that they're able to draw from, but... yeah. I just don't know if you can do magic."

So what? She might not have any magic juice sloshing around inside her, but Starlight definitely did still, given the whole predicament they were currently in. She could just tap into that instead!

"I don't think that's how things wor--"

"No no, lemme try--" Emily clenched her eyes shut, tightening her fingers around Splinter to the point of trembling. Her backpack would be an easy target for levitation, so she'd start with that. Think! The backpack by itself was already easy enough to visualize, so it was a matter of imagining how it'd move, right? All she'd need to do was gather the energy to make it move, and instead of using an external force, it'd be something inside her. That's how things seemed to work when Starlight was levitating things!

Now, to summon the magic to do it. What did magic even feel like? It'd be kinda like an electrical charge, wouldn't it? Or was it something a little more mental? Keep digging, keep digging... a spark?

That did it. She could feel the rough wood in her hand beginning to burn against her skin. Tentatively, Emily opened an eye, peeking at the faintly glowing crystal tied to the end of Splinter with a shoelace. She could feel the wand beginning to lighten as the light within the crystal pulsed.

"I..." she gasped at the sight. "I think I did it, Starlight! I was able to use your mana for my own spe--"

A jolt ran through her arm and up her spine. The crystal pulsed again, the light it emitted growing a little brighter.

"Emi, I don't think tha--"

A burst of mana exploded from the crystal, nearly sending the girl stumbling. The magic surged forward, wrapping itself around the rest of the wand and her hand before dissipating. All that remained of it was a faint, off-orange aura surrounding the crystal. Wide-eyed, Emily couldn't help but stare at the aura as it too began to fade.

"Emily?" Starlight's voice whispered, "Emi!"

She shook herself from her stupor, blinking. "W-huh?"

"What in the everloving name of Celestia was that?"

"'Dunno," Emily shrugged. She glanced at her now-overturned backpack. "Hey, I levitated a thing!"

"I--" A sigh came from the mare's voice. "You know what? Forget about it. Let's head back now."

One more time, first. She did it once, she could do it again! Just go through the same actions as before, gather some energy off Starlight's stash...

Emily grit her teeth, bracing for another explosion. She could feel the wooden surface of Splinter under her fingers, the still-lighter-than-before weight of the wand itself in her hand, the... lack of anything happening?

She lowered the wand, turning it slowly in her hands. Why didn't it work this time? Did she not concentrate hard enough?

"I'd say it's just you still being inexperienced. I still have absolutely no idea what it was that you did back there, but I know two things: one, you did not, in fact, draw any mana out of me, or else I would've felt it."

Emily raised a brow, pocketing Splinter. "And? You said you knew two--"

"--Secondly," Starlight cut her off, smugness radiating from her voice. "I think you might've just kick-started your magical career."

"Huh. Neat."

Frantic hoofsteps approached from behind. Panting, a guardspony stopped before Emily, staring first at the girl, then at her surroundings. "There--" the stallion gasped, "there's no damage?"

Emily shrugged.

"...Might I ask what it was that you were doing? I am aware that you are an incarnation of Arch-Magus Starlight Glimmer, but you cannot simply throw around your spells in such a reckless fashion!"

Wait, so the spell was powerful enough that he immediately thought that Starlight did it? A grin spread across Emily's face. "Okay then!" she chirped, "I'll try and tone things down a little the next time 'round."

The stallion nodded, walking away. He stopped at the entrance, apparently taking a post to monitor her.

"So then--" Emily whispered through her grin, "--Starlight, mind teaching me how to control my magic a little better?"

"No, not with a guard watching. The difference in proficiency between us would be evidence that you could just be an imposter. You do not want to see how these ponies treat creatures they see as criminals."

"Fine," Emily huffed, taking a step towards the stallion. "I'll tell him to leave."

"No no no bad idea--BAD IDEA!" Starlight's voice shouted in Emily's head. "All that would do is raise suspicion! Just step back from magic for now, and we can pick things up again another time. Just to follow through with what you said, I'll perform some basic spells that the guard would likely be familiar with himself."

Starlight's turquoise aura enveloped the girl's hand. "'Kay," she continued, "Unless you're going to pull out the spoon or the wand again, I'm gonna need you to raise your hand a little higher so it's easier for my mana to be channeled."

Emily nodded, following Starlight's instructions and lifting a hand. The aura around it strengthened, growing a little brighter before shooting out in a narrow beam.

"You can do lasers?!" she gasped. "Cool!"

"Shh! Don't let the guard hear you talking to me!"

"Fine," the girl whispered, "But still-- you can shoot lasers? Does that mean that the war you fought in was filled with lasers and big explosions and stuff?"

"No. It's incredibly draining on mana to constantly use this spell, so at most, it is only used in close-range, head-on battles. I..." Starlight's voice grew even quieter than it'd already been. "I know from personal experience."

"Do you wanna talk about it then? Lasers are still pretty cool anyway."

"I'd rather not."

All right then, she could keep her secrets. Was there anything else Starlight was willing to show off in the meantime? A bit more self-levitation like before would be pretty neat. Of course, lasers were still better, but--

"I'll just be performing some basic accuracy practice then. You'll get your lasers, and I'll get some much-needed work on targeting."

Wait, target practice? This was just an empty courtyard! Where the heck were they going to get ta--

"Borrowing your body now," Starlight butt in, forcing the girl's consciousness aside. "By the way, are you any good at throwing things?"