• Published 24th Jan 2024
  • 365 Views, 16 Comments

The Birth of a Magical Unicorn - SweetSunnyBuns

Sister Souls even universes apart…Two souls separated by tragedy but forever bound by destiny. Even universes apart the bonds of love and friendship can overcome any adversity.

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Chapter 5 - Father Dearest

Raven looked over the troubling dispatch. A scroll had arrived from her source, placed within the staff of the Canterlot Blog, revealing a hot new story they were breaking. Unsurprisingly, a noble was in the process of coming out, announcing himself as the father of Celestia’s foal. More the fool he, the troubling aspect was he claimed substantial proof to back his claim. Knowing as she did the claim was a complete fabrication, the nature of the proof was potentially troubling.

Raven wouldn’t call her carefully crafted and cultivated network of informants a spy ring, but as the right hoof mare of the Princess Solaris there was a long and storied custom of doing whatever it took to keep her informed of potential events. Raven, upon assuming her current mantle as the Princess’s Right Hoof, had done her part to keep the tradition alive and strong.

She had selected some of the best and brightest from Celestia’s Battle Mage Corps, working with them to craft believable covers. She inserted them into places and positions within Canterlot and beyond. They kept her abreast of all troubles brewing both at home and abroad. Her charges were zealous, and excelled at their craft, thus earning Raven’s unspoken praise and respect.

Unspoken because secrecy above all else was the tool that opened gates and hidden truths to their critical eyes. The ability to pass for a true believer of any cause was critical to their success.

Returning to her office she reviewed the scroll critically. Her source, Misty Glenns, a junior copy setter at the Canterlot Blog, included a copy of the story into the scroll. Sorting through the usual sensational claims and rhetorical bluster, the facts were simple. A minor noble of the house of Platinum, Prince Beastly Tool the third (okay, Black Tea Pool - but she couldn’t help editorializing the name with revulsion), a minor lord of a third string offshoot of the House Platinum, who barely qualified for the honorary title, somehow decided to come out of the woodwork and lay claim to Celestia’s virtue.

His proof was publicly available records showing he was a guest at the Palace at the time formally invited by the Princess herself. Thinking back, Raven did recall the event, a celebration of the house Platinum and its eminence in Equestrian History. An annual event insisted on by the Unicorn Lords, it was tolerated by the Princess in the interests of keeping peace. The invitations had been sent out to all of the Lords of House Platinum, including the twit Beastly Tool. He was but one of thirty or so that actually showed, so she had given him little notice or mind. Each in turn had been invited to a private session with the Princess, his evidence considered in that reasonable light entirely unremarkable.

Unassailable. But to any reasonable review, unremarkable.

Too bad the readership of the Canterlot Blog was entirely devoid of reason. Raven sighed.

She resolved to pay the little twit an informal visit before this newest twist exploded into public view. Slipping on her shawl, she exited her office headed for the castle gates.

After a brief trot from the castle to the tier of the city favored by the Aristocracy, her shawl clutched tightly around her thus hiding her features and cutie mark, Raven examined the castle of House Platinum. The guards seemed more alert than usual, lending credence to her agent's report. Slipping behind a row of shrubs she found the hidden gate in the castle wall, one she had used on several other occasions. She slipped into the wall, trotting quietly through its narrow corridors then into the castle itself. Coming out into a locked interior room, she closed the secret entrance behind her. She crossed the room and quickly picked the door’s lock with her magic. She then poked her head out to see if the halls were clear.

They were. She stealthily made her way to the prince’s living quarters. There she found more guards and to her mild surprise the chief editor of the Canterlot Blog, a unicorn mare with the unfortunate name of Enquiring Mind. The name was a bit too spot on for Raven’s taste, reinforcing her belief that some ponies were just destined for trouble. This particular mare was always in the thick of trouble, along with her also unfortunately misnamed rag.

Hiding around the corner, she listened as Enquiring Mind briefed Prince Black Tea Pool.

“We have to be smart about this,” she reminded the prince. “The evidence is irrefutable, but irrelevant if we let them examine it closely. Reference it but keep your muzzle shut about details. Let them make their own conclusions and we’ll be fine.”

Black Tea nodded. “We were only in her office for fifteen minutes or so. She asked how things were going at home, about my studies, and then she dismissed me,” he replied. “That isn’t enough time, is it?” he asked.

“You don’t need to bring that up. Again, let others make their own conclusions. If you weren’t such a sheltered bore you’d know that fifteen minutes is more than enough time to plant your flag if a mare is interested,” replied Enquiring.

Really?” asked Black Tea in sudden interest.

Enquiring looked askance then shook her head. “Stay focused. We need you to seem believable. Saying things like that will get you and this story bounced faster than a stallion on mares’ night. Don’t even think about it.

With that she led him into his chambers and shut the door.

‘Well, about what I thought. Yet another half baked, half truth from that journal. Probably safest to just ignore it,’ Raven thought to herself heading back to the room to leave.

Reaching the door to the room she was surprised to hear two voices in discussion. Placing her ear to the door she listened closely.

“Are you sure you weren’t followed?” asked the first voice. She sounded vaguely familiar.

“Yeah. No one saw me. I did see a mare skulking around, but she disappeared. I entered the castle through the secret tunnel you showed me then waited here for you”, replied a second voice.

“Good. I don’t like waiting. So were the artifacts collected as I asked?” the first voice continued.

“Yes, though I don’t see what use you could possibly have for them. They were barely even magical and hard to smuggle out of the Princess’s archive. I had to bribe several guards just to get access,” complained the second voice.

“As long as they can’t tie any of this to me, I don’t care who you had to bribe or how many. And your opinion on what I ask concerns me even less. Did you send the notice out to gather the cabal?” asked the first voice.

“Yes, though I don’t see how any of this is worth a special meeting. Why not wait until the scheduled meeting at the end of the month?” continued the second voice.

“Timing is everything! We need to strike now while we have the upper hoof. By the end of the month we will have won the assistance we need to complete our grand plan, or we will have once again lost the initiative. I will not lose, Reynard! Don’t question what I request. Just see that it happens! Any more insipid questions?” railed the first voice.

“No! Sorry! I didn’t mean to offend you!” the second voice blurted in panic.

“You haven’t offended me yet, Reynard! And I highly recommend that you don’t!” growled the first voice.

Raven heard somepony heading for the door. She dove behind a nearby sofa, ducking behind the armrest hoping they didn’t come this way.

The door opened, then out stepped Princess Blaisant Platinum, regent princess in pretense of the defunct Unicorn Monarchy and head of House Platinum. She looked both ways then exited the room, shutting the door behind her in her magic as she trotted down the hall towards Prince Black Tea and away from where Raven was hiding.

Waiting until she had cleared the corridor, Raven sprang back to the door, listening for the other occupant. Hearing nothing, she risked discovery as she magically worked the lock and entered the apparently empty room. Shutting and securing the door behind her, she rushed over to the secret entrance to the tunnel, working the opening in her magic then entering the tunnel and closing the entrance behind her.

She could hear faint hoof clops from further down the tunnel which confirmed her suspicion that the second occupant had left before her and was now exiting the castle. Hastening silently after, Raven tracked the occupant back to the tunnel entrance, She hastened up to the closing door as he passed through it. She could see from the light of the opening he was a unicorn stallion in unremarkable attire.

Racing through the door before it completely closed, she peered out from the hedge, tracking the stallion.

In the brighter light of the midday sun she started, realizing she recognized the stallion. He was none other than Lord Reynard Imperious Urge, prefect of the house of Clover and a well known Unicorn Supremacist. She trotted out from the bushes following the minor Lord from a distance as he wandered through the crowded Canterlot streets, constantly looking around and behind him as if he were fearful he were being followed.

Raven smirked following from the shadows.

Celestia sat at her desk in her study, going over proposed new legislation. She was mildly annoyed at the news that the Canterlot Blog was following up with yet another story, but knew Raven was investigating, so she resigned herself to her work until Raven could brief her later.

She sighed in frustration, picking up the next pointless new law proposed by the nobles.

Raven examined Reynard’s destination from behind a stall down the street from her query. It was a nondescript building, the windows all boarded up with a single door that opened to the street. Reynard knocked twice then waited. The door opened and after a few brief words he was let inside.

Determined to find what was going on, Raven scanned the building's facade. Nothing accessible, but she could see a furnished patio on the roof. She entered the building adjacent heading for the stairwell.

Emerging onto its roof she quickly moved to the edge, examining the space between the building and the patio on the adjacent roof. She saw nopony around so she quickly paced back then sprinted to the edge, clearing the distance and landing softly on the rooftop patio. She grinned.

“Still got it,” she smirked, trotting over to the roof access then entering the building.

Moving stealthily down the stairs she listened for anypony. Several floors down she heard voices through the closed door, so she backtracked to the floor above then exited. Quickly checking the rooms of the floor she stopped when she heard voices softly in one of the rooms. Moving quickly into the room and shutting the door, she pushed a plush chair over to the room's vent, her ear pressed up against the grating.

She could hear the voice clearly. Reynard was addressing somepony.

“Blaisant was pleased but she wants a convocation of the cabal tonight. Get runners out and get the message out. Everyone is to gather tonight for a special meeting,” he instructed.

Several voices called out in acknowledgement, the door opening and slamming shut beneath her. She listened intently.

“Go make the chamber ready for the gathering. Make all the usual preparations and take the usual precautions. We want everything ready for Blaisant when she gets here,” instructed Raynard.

“As you command, my lord,” a pony replied. Raven raced down from her perch and to the door. Exiting the room quickly, she quietly entered the stairwell. Just as she suspected, the door of the floor below her opened, and a pony entered. Shutting the door behind him, he descended the staircase, Raven quietly and surreptitiously following him down.

They stopped in the second sub-basement where he took out a set of keys and unlocked the basement door. Passing through it closed behind him. Raven raced over to the door trying the handle.

Her luck held, he had not locked it behind him. She opened the door cautiously to find him crossing a large room headed for a podium at the head of rows of seats. It appeared to be a makeshift auditorium.

She quickly entered shutting the door quietly, then darted over to hide behind a large table at the back of the room. From there she watched as the pony worked, preparing the room.

He cast a spell increasing the illumination in the room, then went to the podium and lifted an artifact placed within it.

He began chanting, suffusing the room in a green glow and stilling any noises drifting into the basement from the street outside. Once the glow subsided a dim green tint was noticeable from the floor, ceiling and surrounding walls.

‘Well, I did intend to stay for the meeting,’ mused Raven to herself. ‘Just glad I got here early enough to enjoy the view.’ She ducked down under the table, peering out through the semi-opaque cloth as she watched the stallion continue his preparations. He seemed to be taking his sweet time, so she settled down into a ponyloaf to get comfortable while she watched.

Finished with her paperwork, Celestia moved on to her first meeting of the afternoon, sans her usual faithful seneschal. A brief flurry of worry passed over her. ‘I’m sure she’s fine. She probably just got a lead on more information and had to look into it,’ she rationalized as she headed into her meeting. Game face on, she smiled and greeted her first guest.

Raven was bored. The stallion had finished up with whatever other dallying he’d been doing and left, leaving the wards up in his absence. Raven briefly considered sneaking up to the podium to get a better look, then dismissed it realizing there was nowhere to hide between it and the tables if someone entered while she was out. Resigned to her boredom, she waited for anypony to return.

Her appointment over, Celestia returned to her office hoping for her friend or at least a message. Finding neither she whickered in disappointment, continuing on to the rest of her afternoon.

After what felt like at least an hour later, a pony entered the room pushing a cart full of refreshments. He rolled over to the table she was under, proceeding to place the refreshments out on the table, then left. As he left Raven pushed out from under the table and flitched a danish from one of the trays, then resumed her watch.

Three more danishes and a muffin later, ponies started to filter into the room. Gathering around the table she was under, they chatted together and enjoyed the refreshments then took seats in the auditorium. More ponies came in repeating the procedure as they too partook of the offered snacks and found seats themselves. Eventually the hall was filled, almost every seat taken as Reynard himself entered wearing the ridiculous getup she recognized as the unofficial uniform of the Knights of the Magic Ascendancy, the pretentious name self-given to the Unicorn Supremacist group Reynard was reputed to be (and clearly was given what she saw) a member of.

Raven noted as Reynard trotted to the podium that many of these ponies were familiar to her, all minor lords and ladies of Unicorn Houses.

Brothers and Sisters, my fellow Knights of the Magic Ascendancy,” Reynard began. Raven quietly snickered. “Thank you for gathering on such short notice.

“Know that our plans have begun in earnest, and that our initial efforts have borne fruit. We have gathered several secret artifacts including one very powerful one, that will aid us greatly in our quest to overthrow the unlawful and unjust diarchy that has been imposed upon us, returning us once again to the rightful order of law, our beloved Monarchy under the House Platinum.”

Cheering erupted from the gathered ponies. Smiling and nodding in encouragement, Reynard continued. “Princess Blaisant herself is with us this evening, to encourage and inform us of our next steps forward. Please join me in honoring our beloved Princess, Princess Blaisant Platinum!” He stepped back from the podium as the cheering resumed.

Princess Blaisant stepped forward, stepping out from under the cowled shawl that had been hiding her among the cheering crowd. She stepped up to the podium as the cheering intensified, nodding and smiling to the crowd.

Once the cheering had died down, she smiled again out to her faithful and addressed them.

“My dear long suffering companions and subjects! Rejoice, for finally the hour of our deliverance draws near! Our suffering and subjection under alicorn hooves is nearly over!

“Under our guidance, our faithful and esteemed subject Reynard Imperious has gathered several artifacts that will ensure our success, including one that will summon for us a champion capable of overcoming the power of the Alilcorn herself. Tonight we will activate the artifact and summon that champion spirit, welcoming her power and guidance in achieving our goals.

“With that, let us begin the summoning ceremony. Those of you notified to be among the elect, please come forward and line up before the podium. The rest of you, watch and be amazed in wonder,” she commanded.

From among the gathered twenty mares and stallions came forward, lining up to the left and right of the podium proudly and attentively watching their Princess.

From the podium, Princess Blaisant raised a large orb covered in ancient runes. Raising it up in her magic she began chanting, the orb glowing feebily in her power.

As she chanted the first of both lines of unicorns stepped forward, both taking a ceremonial dagger also covered in glowing runes in their magic. Stepping to either side of the orb, they both cut into their forehooves, blood running down onto the orb further powering its sickly amber glow. Finished, they passed the dagger back to the next in their respective lines who repeated the process.

Raven watched from her hidden spot both fascinated and sickened at the display of ancient and forbidden blood magic.

The lines continued to diminish as each pair of unicorns poured out their blood sacrifice over the orb, its luminance and power clearly growing as each pair completed the ritual and resumed their seats.

As the last pair completed their sacrifice and returned the daggers to the podium, Princess Blaisant resumed her part in the ritual, pouring her magic into the orb as she raised it high over their heads chanting in the ancient tongue in earnest.

The orb flashed and blazed glowing brilliantly, then settled into a strong steady amber glow. Reynard stepped forward as Princess Blaisant lowered the orb into his outstretched hooves.

Princess Blaisant standing behind him, Reynard held the glowing orb channeling his magic into it as it glowed in bright amber waves of energy. It rose from his hooves, drifting into the air in front of the podium, then wirh a lightning bright crack of amber a projection of a pony appeared before the gathering, cackling madly as she surveyed the gathering.

Greetings, my loyal subjects!” she crowed loudly, cackling once again.

Nightmare Bucking Moon!’ panicked Raven with a gasp.

One of the unicorns, a mare unknown to Raven, turned at her gasp looking closely at the table where Raven was hiding. She could faintly see Raven’s silhouette as she lay under the table.

“Intruder! Intruder under the table!” the mare shouted out jumping up from her seat to race towards the table.

Buck me!” swore Raven, rolling acrobatically out from under the table and sprinting for the door. She threw it open in her magic then raced through it, several unicorns hot on her heels.

Reaching the stairwell she raced towards the roof confusing her pursuers who expected her to head to the front door. Reaching the roof she immediately raced towards the edge, leaping the gap and landing on the adjoining roof.

Several of her pursuers did likewise clearing the gap and racing after her. Raven raced to the other side of the building then leapt from the roof.

She landed safely on a fire escape on the adjoining building then leaping from platform to platform reached the alley below. Springing off into the street she faded from the view of her would be pursuers.

Author's Note:

The plot's a hoof! Er... the... er...
And there we have it, the Monarchists' schemes are revealed, with an unexpected ally in their efforts! :pinkiegasp: