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Knife Ears (RGRE)

By Uh-hmmm
Created: 20th December 2020 06:49:48 PM

  1. > Be Princess Ellowynelle, stranded on a lesser plane after a crazy night of flexing on some human mages.
  2. > The barbarians didn't even know how to summon a wine elemental
  3. > Things get a little hazy after that demonstration
  4. > You would think that you would have picked a nice, civilized plane to portal to, even when affected by strong spirits
  5. > But no, drunk you decided to go so far down from the Prime Material that there are no elves, or even portal shunting areas
  6. > So you ended up flying like a servant out of an enchanted or perhaps cursed forest
  7. > Spying the only place worthy of your dignity, you teleport to what you find out is the local princess's balcony
  8. > Say what you will about these uplifted unicorn creatures, but they have a perfectly regal and accommodating royal
  9. > Princess Celestia herself shows you to an adequately decorated room, and has a servant prepare an unfamiliar, yet fragrant tea
  10. > You had worried that she would have difficulty understanding your situation, but that was not the case, exactly
  11. > "Ah, another traveler from another world. Are you human as well?"
  12. > You blink
  13. > Your instincts from courtly intrigue tell you that she means no insult, despite her words
  14. > This really is a backwater plane
  15. "No, I am an elf. We live much longer, are more magically potent, and generally superior to humans."
  16. > Princess Celestia looks surprised
  17. > "How much longer, would you say?"
  18. > What an odd question
  19. "They wither away in a century, maybe two if they are lucky and magically inclined. I will most likely see two millennia pass by before I go to the Shining Isles."
  20. > Princess Celestia brightens at that
  21. > Literally, her fur coat begins emitting a faint glow
  22. > "It will be good to have some new company for the centuries, then. Assuming, of course, that you don't find your way home by then."
  23. > In that moment, she reminds you uncomfortably of your mother when you returned to the palace after a 50 year apprenticeship under your uncle Archmage Mord Ih'Kai
  24. > Desperately eager for your company, yet resigned to how fleeting your time together may be
  25. > You attempt a sincere smile
  26. "I'm sure once I find a way back, I'll visit from time to time. We princesses have to stick together."
  27. > Princess Celestia relaxes the tiniest bit, and you feel a little guilty about probably lying just now
  28. > Ugh, maybe you will make it a truth eventually
  29. > Regardless, there are more important things to worry about
  30. "Speaking of royalty, will I have to worry about meeting the King or Queen? Or regent, perhaps?"
  31. > Princess Celestia sighs, and you sense this is a question she has answered far too many times
  32. > "I'd like to say that you are already meeting with the regent, but it's unlikely that my sister or I shall have the opportunity to step aside for another. I took the title "princess" in hopes that my little ponies would choose their own ruler, or perhaps as a signal that they are collectively the Queen over me. Instead they just praised my humility and gave me more power than I ever wanted."
  33. > You are somewhat unfamiliar with the concept of "more power than you wanted", but you put on a sympathetic expression
  34. "At least they can't argue as much when you choose to delegate?"
  35. > Princess Celestia huffs
  36. > "To my face, they don't."
  37. > Ah
  38. > She shakes her head to banish her growing foul mood
  39. > "I'm afraid we've gotten off track. I'll have my top magic researchers assist you in any way they can, of course, but given how little progress they've had with getting Anon to his home world, I suspect their coordination will be more valuable than their expertise."
  40. > You tilt your head forward slightly to acknowledge the point
  41. "That may be, but magic practitioners can vary greatly among the myriad planes. I may yet learn something from them."
  42. > She takes a sip from her tea cup, eyeing you speculatively
  43. > "Could I ask a favor of you?"
  44. > You raise an eyebrow
  45. "You may ask."
  46. > Celestia sets the cup down without a sound, a small frown forming on her mouth
  47. > "Anon has isolated himself, ever since he arrived. Not going to slumber parties, throwing away the monthly spa pass, just working at his forge all the time. While you are here, could you check on him from time to time, maybe see what is wrong with him? Since you have more experience with humans, perhaps you'll have more success than me or my little ponies."
  48. > And now the resemblance is uncanny
  49. ~
  50. >”El, could you talk to your brother? He's been reading Drow philosophy books again, and the servants report the smell of sulfur coming from his room. It's only a phase, but he's going to be utterly unmanageable for the next decade if you don't talk some sense into him.”
  51. ~
  52. > You repress a sigh at the memory and bow your head slightly
  53. "I'll see what I can do."
  54. > It's not like you have to actually do anything, according to this oral agreement
  55. --
  56. > As it happened, the researchers are worse than useless
  57. > They think the multiverse is arrayed like a sea of bubbles, rather than the infinite strata of segmented membranes radiating from the Prime
  58. > And they completely lose focus when a stallion servant walked in with a tray of snacks
  59. > At least the pastries are good here; they are seasoned with a nice, subtle flavoring
  60. > After an entirely wasted hour of trying to teach the basics of interdimensional physics, you pretend to be exhausted from your ordeal and excuse yourself
  61. > Rather, you are more restless than anything
  62. > You wander the streets of Canterlot, taking in the rustic charm of the city
  63. > All these little three-story mansionettes, winged servant ponies flitting about with packages and ornamental armor
  64. > Everyone around you trying to be discreet about gazing in wonder at your perfect figure
  65. > And nothing fun to do anywhere
  66. > After patronizing the third barely acceptable tea shop, you are quite done with this plane
  67. > You fly up to a handy rooftop and meditate, casting lines of magic through the local membrane, sending a spark of awareness along each one
  68. > You aren't surprised to find that you don't recognize any of the neighboring planes, but what is surprising is that so many above and around are nearly empty voids
  69. > The few that have significant thaumic readings also are riddled large dead areas
  70. > It's as if something very large had grazed on the thaumic field
  71. > That complicates things
  72. > You won't be able to merely face due Prime and jump, you'll have to map out the voids and thread your way through this tattered patch of the multiverse until you get out of the damaged area
  73. > It's going to be like navigating a three dimensional maze while only being able to see a foot in front of you
  74. > ...
  75. > This sounds like a problem for future El
  76. > Besides, you have to pee
  77. --
  78. > You cast the sanitizing spell a second time on your room's bathoom, and cancel the silencing spell from when you were relieving yourself
  79. > You may have to apologize to Mother when you get back, you did end up using spells from the Standardized Maid Spellbook
  80. > To be fair to your past self, there is no way you could have known you would end up in such a humble, backwards plane
  81. > You flop onto the bed and stare at the gilded ceiling
  82. > A decade or three of this
  83. > You allow yourself one sigh, then you stand with a firmness of purpose
  84. > You are going to do what you always do when you are bored and restless
  85. --
  86. > You find Anon readily enough, the ponies are all too happy to direct you to the unusual smith
  87. > On the outskirts of the city, the shop is built with rough slabs of granite and a lighter grey mortar
  88. > Smoke drifts in a lazy column from the back of the shop
  89. > The door is closed and presumably locked, considering the "closed" sign
  90. > Not that it will stop you
  91. > You teleport inside and look around
  92. > Swords, spears, and hammers hang from the wall, with little paper price tags on loops of twine
  93. > It's all terribly rough and primitive, a perfect reflection of their maker
  94. > You smirk at the imagined slight
  95. > "Looking to protect yourself or deal some damage?"
  96. > You turn your head sharply to find the human leaning against the wall, his arms crossed and a smirk on his face
  97. > You sniff
  98. "I can do that just fine on my own. I am Princess Ellowynelle, highest mage of the Silver Willow Order of Magi, mistress of all disciplines. And you are?"
  99. > You wonder how badly he will mangle his etiquette
  100. > "Anonymous. I don't claim to be the best blacksmith in Canterlot—, Yore Land's got that honor. The mare's steel is legendary. All I ask is a fair chance."
  101. > You narrow your eyes at him
  102. > Every instinct is telling you he's making fun of you, but you don't know in what way
  103. "For the last time, I'm not interested in whatever passes for blacksmithing around here-"
  104. > "Got some good pieces out here, if you're looking to buy. More inside."
  105. > You scowl at him
  106. "You done?"
  107. > He grins
  108. > "Need something?"
  109. > The only thing keeping you from burning this place to the ground is your desire to stay on good terms with Princess Celestia
  110. > And the only thing keeping you from teleporting or otherwise storming out is the knowledge that it’s exactly what he wants
  111. > Thankfully, magic has a solution, like it always does
  112. > You cast a simple truth-compelling spell on him, the bolt of silvery light getting a satisfyingly alarmed reaction out of him
  113. > It will wear off within the hour, less if he has any sort of magical training
  114. > "Wha-"
  115. "Are you alright, Anonymous?"
  116. > He scowls
  117. > "I'm pretty worried about whatever spell you threw at me, but otherwise I feel fine."
  118. > The human blinks, obviously unpleasantly surprised at being compelled into honesty
  119. > You smirk
  120. "It seems your friends are worried that you aren't taking enough time off for yourself. Why is that?"
  121. > He clenches his jaw, and you can feel the spell strain under his willpower
  122. > Admirable, for one of such a lowly race
  123. "Should they be worried, yes or no?"
  124. > He nearly spits his answer out
  125. > "No."
  126. > You wave your hand, dismissing the tattered remnants of the spell
  127. "Good enough. Maybe talk to your friends more, and we won't have to do this again. Goodbye, human."
  128. > And then you teleport back to your room to giggle endlessly
  129. > Oh, how you miss being able to toy with people like that
  130. > No thaumic oversight to abide by for your public image, the freedom is nearly worth being on such a backwater plane
  131. > Nearly
  132. ------
  133. > Six months later, and you are getting severely irritated
  134. > Finding a path back to the Prime is proving to be far more difficult than you expected
  135. > It seems a chaos spirit ran wild here a few times, and that is playing havoc with the membrane boundaries
  136. > Any given membrane has at least six different planes it borders instead of the usual one, with irregular cycles that you have yet to find the pattern to
  137. > So you are taking a break, hanging out with Celestia's sister
  138. > Who also reminds you of family, but uncle Mord Ih'Kai this time
  139. > Luna takes a swig of milk, waving a half-eaten chocolate donut in her forehoof
  140. > "Those legs, it's enough to turn a mare to sin!"
  141. > You nod along, feeling nostalgic as you half-listen to the lustful ranting
  142. "Begging for it, practically."
  143. > Luna snorts
  144. > "World's too soft, practically rotten. Used to be, I could pay his guardians his groom's price, and ride a stallion until sunrise. Now..."
  145. > You swallow the bite of your bovarian cream
  146. > Say what you will about the rest of the plane, but the food here is pretty good, provided you don't eat the stuff with hay in it
  147. "Now you can't even slap an ass without getting reprimanded."
  148. > Luna nods gloomily
  149. > You aren't much happier, Celestia lectured you for hours on being respectful to stallions, though you still don't understand why that would be
  150. > It doesn't help that you aren't getting the looks you used to
  151. > There are still some ponies that haven't seen anything like you before, but they are getting rarer and more obviously curious, rather than awed
  152. > You aren't used to being ignored like this
  153. > Oh, hold on, Luna is ranting again
  154. > "I looked, he doesn't even have ball bras!"
  155. > That is kind of odd
  156. "The slut!"
  157. > Ball bra enchantments are actually pretty intricate, you often find yourself trying to figure out the specific variation of the array, to the disgust of the stallion
  158. > Luna growls
  159. > "Stars have mercy on him..."
  160. > She stills, memories of her exile haunting her eyes
  161. > She whispers,
  162. > "Stars have mercy on me..."
  163. > The chocolate donut crumbles in the grasp of her hoof
  164. > "But Anon will be mine, or he will burn!"
  165. > Hold on
  166. "Anon? As in, Anonymous?"
  167. > Luna comes down from her throes of passion
  168. > "Yes, him! Haven't you been listening?"
  169. > She actually looks a little hurt, and you feel that weird para-familial guilt again
  170. "Sorry, I just didn't catch when you first mentioned his name. But it makes sense that he doesn't wear a ball bra, that's a piece of clothing local to this plane."
  171. > Luna accepts your apology easily enough, wiping the crumbs from her hoof on a napkin
  172. > "Then you will help me woo the tempter, won't you?"
  173. > You resist the urge to groan
  174. > How does Luna even have that same terrible taste in romantic prospects?
  175. "A mare like you has much better options than some sooty, sweaty ape."
  176. > She bites her lip
  177. > "Mmm, sweaty, dirty Anon..."
  178. > You don't know why you even try
  179. "Let's get this over with."
  180. ----
  181. > Anon pours the iron into the cast, then sets his tools aside
  182. > "What can I do for you, your honors?"
  183. > You snarl
  184. "Your majesties."
  185. > He shakes his head
  186. > "I'm just a humble blacksmith, not a royal."
  187. > Luna's tuft is fluffing in a way that tells you her brain is running from the secondary control room in her ovaries
  188. > She licks her lips
  189. > "I could make you a royal, if we had foals, because consorts are honorary-"
  190. > Anon raises his eyebrows at her
  191. > "Are you seriously proposing to me?"
  192. > Luna tries to smile confidently, but she is too busy being worried and glancing at the crotch of his pants
  193. > You roll your eyes
  194. "She's mostly in it for your body."
  195. > Luna blushes, but nods
  196. > "I like long legs, I cannot deny."
  197. > Anon rubs his chin
  198. "How about friends with benefits? I am rather curious what it's like to fuck a princess."
  199. > Luna's wings extend instantly, smacking into your face
  200. > You rub the impact site and scowl at her
  201. > Credit to Luna, Mord never got this far with a woman, though humans are notoriously promiscuous, so it's not as surprising
  202. > Your best friend on the plane gives you an apologetic smile
  203. > "Sorry about that, Lowyn. But now we are sexfriends with a hot stallion!"
  204. > You tilt your head
  205. "We are?"
  206. > Luna looks at your face, then Anon's
  207. > "He just offered, not a minute ago."
  208. > Anon opens is mouth in realization
  209. > "You were asking for the two of you? I just thought... well. Do I have to include the knife-ears in this?"
  210. > You bristle
  211. "Have to? You ought to be in rapture of the idea of earning my slightest affection. Fortunately for you, you don't have to worry about proving yourself worthy of me, since I refuse to so much as touch you!"
  212. > He scoffs
  213. > "Who'd want to touch a skinny, flat-chested bitch with more bile than blood?"
  214. > The air around you crackles with your arcane fury
  215. "Just because your pitiful human eyes can't see-"
  216. > "ENOUGH!"
  217. > Luna's roar reverberates in the smithy, tools and weapons rattling on their hooks and in their drawers
  218. > And there's the archmage side of your uncle, reflected in Luna
  219. > She is projecting mana into the air at a nearly suffocating density
  220. > You reflexively abandon all spellshaping you were doing
  221. > Anon merely pales
  222. > Luna glares at you, Anon, and back at you
  223. > "So it's fine. Neither of you is interested in the other. Lowyn, how about you go back, and Anon and I will talk."
  224. > You press your lips together in a flat line
  225. "Fine."
  226. > Luna eases off the pressure, and you teleport back to your room in a huff
  227. > Fucking humans
  228. ----
  229. > It's been year now since you landed in this bland little plane, and the lack of anything worth doing is getting to you
  230. > No hot guys to flirt with, no good books to read, magical research facilities so primitive you would have to single handedly make an entire laboratory from the ground up in order to make any sort of progress on your projects
  231. > And it's not like you know how to make the instruments you need, not to mention a lot of the magical ores are absent from this plane
  232. > On the plus side, you've made some summoning contracts with some of the milder horrors prowling the edges of nearby void planes
  233. > When you do get back home, they'll make good presents to smooth over this latest unannounced leave of absence
  234. > The worst part, if any part can be said to be worst, is the upcoming wedding
  235. > Luna and Anon have been getting increasingly unbearable to be around, and now they alternate between getting stressed about the wedding and mind-numbingly lovey-dovey with each other
  236. > Celestia isn't much better company
  237. > She has retreated into formality, offering sincere, if shallow congratulations, and drowning herself in paperwork
  238. > You suspect that may be part of why she doesn't delegate as much as you have been taught a ruler should
  239. > Working through the loneliness is probably such an ingrained habit that she doesn't notice it anymore
  240. > Once again, you are unpleasantly reminded of your mother
  241. > As for yourself, you practice your spatial magic in one of the mostly desolate planes, and tame your voidborne summons
  242. > Does that make you a screwy summon sorceress?
  243. > You chew on your lip
  244. > You hope not, but you've heard stories of elves driven mad on the edge of civilization by the lack of access to the Great Web of Gossip
  245. > At least one benefit of being cut off from the mobius rumor mill is that you can wear whatever you want without worrying about how it will impact your reputation
  246. > This goes double for the ponies, they merely comment on how glad they are that you are no longer risking overheating
  247. > You roll your eyes at the idea that you could be bested by mere heat, but most ponies are genuinely relieved, so you let it pass
  248. > Part of you wishes someone, anyone, would actually react to you walking around in lingerie, but so far only Anon glares at you
  249. > Like he is right now, at the quarterly princess meeting
  250. > You smirk, jutting your elegant chest out for his "benefit"
  251. > Luna notices something amiss, and pauses in her report on the state of Dreaming
  252. > "Dearest, is something wrong?"
  253. > He hisses an answer
  254. > "She's being slutty again!"
  255. > Cadance and Luna exchange a glance and roll their eyes
  256. > Celestia smirks a little, turning her head slightly so that Anon cannot see her expression
  257. > Twilight looks up from her notes
  258. > "Really? She seems sensibly dressed to me."
  259. > Anon huffs and resolutely turns away from you
  260. > "Not to me, and not even for where she's from."
  261. > Luna frowns
  262. > "She's adapting to Equestrian culture, dearest. Perhaps you could consider following her example a little? I don't like how mares look at your clothes, even if I know it's just your culture."
  263. > Anon crosses his arms, not willing to argue against his fiancée, but too stubborn to make such a concession
  264. > You nod, your face a perfect mask of concern
  265. "Your face is quite red, perhaps you should take off your shirt to cool down?"
  266. > There is a general murmur of agreement, and Anon actually scrunches
  267. > You hadn't thought humans had the necessary anatomy to pull off that expression, but somehow he manages it
  268. > Luna nuzzles his cheek
  269. > "For me?"
  270. > At last, he sighs and shucks off his shirt
  271. > "Only because it's you asking."
  272. > You leer at him
  273. "Much better."
  274. > He glares at you again, and Cadence gives you a flat look
  275. > "El, you've had your fun, stop teasing him."
  276. > You adopt a more neutral posture and expression
  277. "Very well. I believe Luna was reporting on the dream realm?"
  278. > Celestial gives you an approving smile, and Luna shrugs
  279. > "Not much more to say, just a slight uptick in nightmares due to a new horror book becoming popular."
  280. > Twilight makes a note of that, then straightens in her chair
  281. > "My turn then. With the help of Princess Ellowynelle's expertise,"
  282. > You nod graciously
  283. > "I believe I have found the next crucial step towards finding his home dimension. If we are very careful, we can make a series of time travel loops around the time of Anon's arrival, and get enough readings for a thaumic signature, and maybe even what general direction his home is in."
  284. > The human looks interested, but not particularly eager
  285. > You can hardly blame him, if you had found a significantly wealthy, powerful, and loving partner here, going home would have a lesser appeal than what otherwise might be
  286. > Celestia frowns
  287. > "What happens if something goes wrong?"
  288. > Twilight shrugs
  289. > "If we get the sequence wrong, the pressure of a paradox will block any further time travel spells in the vicinity of that event. Worst case scenario is that we only get three readings instead of the scores the plan would allow for."
  290. > Celestia looks at you
  291. > "Any other risks you are aware of?"
  292. > You shrug
  293. "I may be biased, having contributed to the plan, but it seems perfectly safe. We'll just be looking through portals, not actually going through. No interference, no anachronisms, should be good."
  294. > The princess of the sun nods decisively
  295. > "Then you have my go ahead. Luna?"
  296. > She smiles a bit at being included
  297. > "Mine as well. It would be nice to meet the in-laws before hitching to Anon's plow."
  298. -----
  299. > All of you stare at the man that shot through the portal, rupturing the spell
  300. > He reminds you of a dwarf: burly and short, with calloused hands from his craft
  301. > He also swears like a dwarf, so it takes some time for Anon to calm him down and explain things
  302. > Seems this Incognito is a sculptor or something and came from a different plane than Anon, but they seem to get along alright
  303. > Regardless, he doesn't have much magical potential, so you mentally slot him into the "to be toyed with" category
  304. > More interestingly, Cadance detects traces of love magic on him, even if they are rapidly dissipating
  305. > Not really useful to you, but interesting nonetheless
  306. ---
  307. > It isn't long before you get bored enough to pay a visit to the newest interplanar castaway
  308. > He's in his workshop, chipping away at a block of marble
  309. > You lean against the doorframe, arching your back and lifting one leg
  310. "Would you like some help with that? I have a spell that will turn it into whatever you like."
  311. > Incognito doesn't even look up from chiselling
  312. > "I'm not going to have sex with you."
  313. > You blink
  314. "What?"
  315. > He grunts
  316. > "Anonymous told me about you. Said you were a huge slut."
  317. > You growl
  318. > You were looking forward to making a man blush again, but now it's all ruined
  319. "Of course he did. But you don't really believe him, do you?"
  320. > The sculptor snorts
  321. > "I don't need to believe him, I've seen your type before. You care nothing for anyone other than yourself, always taking, never giving. And I want none of that. So once again, I'm not going to have sex with you."
  322. > You grit your teeth
  323. > He's wrong about you, of course, but the blunt suggestion that he is somehow not interested in you gets under your skin more than you would like to admit
  324. "Like you would be so lucky. I'm a princess and we have standards, which quite frankly, you don't meet."
  325. > With that, you teleport to Twilight's personal library in Canterlot
  326. > You select a book at random from her secret stash and settle in for some trashy romance
  327. > Your irritation gradually fades as you lose yourself in a world where a stallion surrenders himself to the powerful mare who deigns to love him
  328. > At least the literature on this plane is sensible, even if some of its recent inhabitants are not
  329. -----
  330. > A few weeks later, you are eating breakfast in your favorite armored bikini
  331. > You look up at the sense of people approaching you
  332. > Anon and Incognito stand before you, shirtless and solemn
  333. > You quirk an eyebrow
  334. "Good morning?"
  335. > Synchronized, they raise their right arms to the side, their left arms bent, concealing their faces
  336. > "We're not going to have sex with you!"
  337. > They say in chorus
  338. > Your face is a rictus of rage
  339. "Shut up! And stop that!"
  340. > "Not going to have sex with you!"
  341. > Luna, the traitor, is giggling
  342. > Celestia strolls in, her mane mussed
  343. > She takes one look, and shakes her head in amusement
  344. > "It's merely coltish whimsy, Lowyn. Pay them no mind and they'll stop soon enough."
  345. > Your eye twitches
  346. "I'd rather banish them to the void and let them choke on nothingness."
  347. > Celestia tuts
  348. > "Now now, I know banishing your problems seems like a good idea, but they have a nasty habit of coming back when it's most inconvenient."
  349. > She sits down and thanks a waiter for the pancakes he sets before her
  350. > At least her arrival distracts the nuisances; Anon nudges Incognito
  351. > The sculptor takes a deep breath and walks to Celestia
  352. > She pauses at his approach, fork floating in midair
  353. > Incognito licks his lips
  354. > "I am furious."
  355. > Celestia's brows draw together in concern
  356. > "I'm sorry, what are you-"
  357. > He continues on
  358. > "I am furious about how perfect a horse you are."
  359. > She blinks
  360. > "Thank... you?"
  361. > He clenches his fists
  362. > "Your fur looks so soft and silky, yet no one is petting it."
  363. > Celestia is beginning to blush
  364. > "Yes?"
  365. > Incognito glares at her
  366. > "You've dedicated so much of your life to everyone else's happiness, thinking nothing of your own."
  367. > She smiles sheepishly
  368. > "Well, I do have cake from time to time..."
  369. > He shakes his head
  370. > "That's not good enough. You need someone to pet you, and tell you how good you are, and give you smooches, and warm your bed at night."
  371. > Celestia's face gets redder and redder as he goes on
  372. > "Are you... volunteering?"
  373. > Incognito nods
  374. > "If you'll have me."
  375. > Celestia's wings slowly extend, her tail lashing
  376. > "Let us discuss this further... in private."
  377. > And then they both vanish in a flash of golden light
  378. > Meanwhile, Anon has made his way over to Luna's side, and they are nuzzling again
  379. > You banish your breakfast with a thought, your appetite ruined
  380. > You teleport once more to Twilight's library, and bury yourself in soothing stories
  381. ----
  382. > It's been two years since you got stranded on this elf-forsaken plane
  383. > Both Celestia and Luna are married now, and utterly insufferable to be around
  384. > Luna even has a child on the way
  385. > Luckily, that has distracted both humans rather thoroughly
  386. > Anon is fawning all over Luna, giving her massages and long, loving gazes
  387. > Meanwhile, Incognito and Celestia show up late to breakfast every morning, worn out but also glowing in a way that is painful to watch
  388. > For you and Twilight, at least
  389. > Speaking of, she has become something of a friend or perhaps an apprentice
  390. > Her mind is sharp, and she has a natural intuition about magic that is second only to your own
  391. > Because of general...conditions in the palace, you have been spending more and more time in her library
  392. > It turns out, she has a second, more secret stash, cunningly hidden in a dimensional pocket, keyed only to her magic signature
  393. > You were rather moved they day she keyed your magic signature into the access permissions
  394. > Now you can read neighponies yowie dough gin sheets
  395. > If you are completely honest, the lack of bulky, muscular stallions is something of a disappointment, but you powered through for the sake of your schlick
  396. > The more you read, the more you grow to appreciate these lithe, tender males
  397. > Then you find a comic where a mare ruts the gay stallions straight, and you are hooked
  398. > You spend days, locked in your room, filling the air with your personal scent
  399. > It's not like you actually have to do anything, so it's fine, right?
  400. > Right
  401. > And this way, you don't have to see the other princesses grossly incandescent with marital bliss
  402. > There comes a knocking at the door, Twilight, going by the thaumic signature
  403. > With a wave of your hand, you clear the air and the mess from the room
  404. "Come in, Twilight."
  405. > She complies, tail between her legs and her ears folded back
  406. > You frown as she closes the door behind her and starts casting privacy spells
  407. "What's wrong?"
  408. > As the last spell resolves, Twilight licks her lips
  409. > "Do you remember the spell that brought Incognito to Equestria?"
  410. > You grimace
  411. "Of course. What about it?"
  412. > Your young friend nervously paws at the floor
  413. > "Cadance determined that the rift is a natural resonance point in time and space for the currents of love in Equestria and a potentially infinite number of other planes."
  414. > You raise an eyebrow
  415. "So?"
  416. > Twilight rustles her wings
  417. > "According to Cadance's theory, using time travel spells near it allows for the transfer of highly compatible beings from other planes. Like Anon for Luna and Incognito for Celestia."
  418. > You cross your arms
  419. "That's nice, but it doesn't explain why you are so stressed."
  420. > She sighs
  421. > "We tried it again. A woman came out this time."
  422. "Another human?"
  423. > The purple princess nods
  424. "Well, that would do it. Now they can have pure-strain humans instead of halfbreeds. So, do you need my help banishing her or something?"
  425. > Twilight looks at you, eyes wide in shock
  426. > "That's not it at all! I'm just worried that I might be a lesbian and not know about it!"
  427. > You blink
  428. "Is that all?"
  429. > She frowns
  430. > "I mean, if I ever get into a herd, I'm going to lend a helping hoof if needed, right? That's just being herdsisters. But only having a herdsister? I'm not sure I could do that."
  431. > You find your willingness to listen to her woes waning rapidly
  432. "So, you want to know if you can be a lesbian?"
  433. > Twilight chews her lip
  434. > "Essentially."
  435. > You shrug
  436. "Easy enough. I'll summon a succubus for you and an incubus for me."
  437. > She leans back in alarm
  438. > "Are you sure that's a good idea? Summoning demons..."
  439. > You scoff
  440. "I have done it for hundreds of years. Trust me, I know what I'm doing."
  441. > You gesture to the floor and two magic circles appear
  442. > A snap of your fingers grabs twelve eggs from the kitchen and sets them at points on each circle
  443. > Twilight has thankfully settled down as she watches you perform magic
  444. > It's kinda cute
  445. "Hear me, Adoraleth, Adonadek. By the life of the neverborn I give you asylum."
  446. > The eggs crack, their insides smouldering and smoking, condensing into your favorite infernals
  447. > Adoraleth raises her eyebrows at your current room, her gaze lingering on some discarded dough gin sheets laying on the floor
  448. > Adonadek smirks at you, hands on his hips
  449. > "Hey Lowyn. Did you gain some weight since last time?"
  450. > You are equal parts mortified and furious
  451. "Shut up, Nads! My figure is perfect as always!"
  452. > You suck in your gut a little
  453. "Any ways, Dora, go help my friend Twilight here figure out if she's a lesbian or not. Nads, the usual."
  454. > Twilight is staring at Dora with wide eyes and a light blush
  455. > She'll be fine, probably
  456. > Nads clears his throat
  457. > "About that. I'm afraid Twilight will have to cover the charge for both of our services. You're out of eggs, Lowyn."
  458. > Your blood runs cold
  459. "That can't be, I should still have around one hundred!"
  460. > Adonadek shrugs
  461. > "You summon a lot while drunk."
  462. > You sit down heavily on your bed
  463. > You still have millennia to go before you die, and now you won't get your bicentennial demonic pick-me-up ever again
  464. > Twilight makes that creaky noise she makes when she is trying to not freak out
  465. > "Eggs, as in..."
  466. > Dora nods
  467. > "Ovum. Baby batter receptacles. The besieged fortress of fertility. Spunk bucke-"
  468. > The mare is getting more and more flustered the more euphemisms are listed
  469. > "I got it! I got it, you take eggs in payment. I'm going to decline your offer, the price is too steep for what I want."
  470. > Adoraleth pouts
  471. > "Are you sure? I know all sorts of ways we could have fun together~"
  472. > Twilight nods.
  473. > "If I'm going to find out about how I feel about Femanon, then I should be talking to her, not summoning demons."
  474. > Dora and Nads give you an apologetic smile, then vanish in a puff of sulfur
  475. > You try to muster some passion, but your heart is not in it
  476. "In case you were wondering, demon dick feels amazing."
  477. > Twilight looks at you with a measure of pity you rather resent
  478. > She used to look at you in awe and with vast respect for your magical knowledge and prowess
  479. > Now, she sees a woman worn out and used up by her vices
  480. > Unlike many you have met, she sees the real you, with all of your flaws and virtues
  481. > You hate it
  482. > You teleport away, back to your room
  483. > You have a new purpose, a new project, and it will be amazing
  484. > It has to be
  485. ------
  486. > The resource gathering phase was simple enough, if somewhat time consuming
  487. > Lumber, mushrooms, clay, and a frog are easily acquired in the wilderness outside of Canterlot
  488. > Finding a gem with the right length was a little more difficult, but the third mineral wholesaler had what you needed
  489. > You are whittling down the emerald when Twilight drops by again
  490. > She sighs
  491. > You adjust the gem, rotating it slightly
  492. > Not looking up from your work, you attempt a consoling tone
  493. "I take it she didn't fall madly in love with you?"
  494. > "Not me, no. Turns out, Femanon has a passion for childcare and miniature wargames, so she's joining my brother's herd."
  495. > You will an absolute edge of mana to carve another facet
  496. "Huh."
  497. > You hear a sniffle
  498. > You pause in your work to see Twilight trying not to cry
  499. > You smile at her
  500. "Now you know how I feel. A little relieved, because who actualy wants to fuck a human? But also really frustrated because of how long it's been since you've had something between your nethers that isn't composed of mana."
  501. > She looks shocked at your incredibly accurate read of her emotional state
  502. > "No, I- she could have been my true- I'm a virgin!"
  503. > Oh
  504. > This poor girl
  505. "That just makes it worse, doesn't it? I tell you what, once I'm done making this, I'll make one for you too."
  506. > Twilight seems to snap out of it, and properly looks at the emerald you are whittling
  507. > "What are you working on?"
  508. > You grin, glad to distract her from her virginity and glad to show off
  509. "This is going to be the core of a boletulus, something like a more elfoid version of a timberwolf."
  510. > She frowns
  511. > "Are you making an uncontrollable, intelligent monster that reproduces by gathering debris?"
  512. > You roll your eyes
  513. "I'll be its creator, it will have to listen to me. Not to mention, it doesn't need to be particularly intelligent, I just want something that will ravage me whenever I want and survive in a pocket dimension when I don't need a good, hard dicking."
  514. > Twilight blushes at your choice of language, no doubt imagining the possibility of having her own on-demand dicking dispenser golem
  515. > "I think I will stick to inanimate objects for now, cucumbers generally don't go on rampages."
  516. > You shrug
  517. "Suit yourself."
  518. > She'll come around sooner or later
  519. > You finish cutting the last facet and smooth the surfaces of the emerald
  520. > A gesture banishes the shards and gem dust to a random plane nearby
  521. > Twilight ends up sitting across your work table from you
  522. > "Is there a purpose behind the shape?"
  523. > You smirk
  524. > Gottem
  525. > You turn the nearly cylindrical rod of emerald in your fingers
  526. "Each surface has a corresponding surface on the other side. The are 42 pairs, meaning that only 16% of the mana that enters escapes. And when you add mana like so,"
  527. > You flick a mote into the rod and it immediately starts vibrating
  528. "You get a good, scalable vibrational frequency."
  529. > Twilight furrows her brows
  530. > "For a time keeping function?"
  531. > You shake your head at her relative innocence
  532. > How could a mare who reads that much porn be so clueless?
  533. "This will go in the dick."
  534. > She blinks
  535. > Then you see the dawn of comprehension in her eyes, complemented nicely by the reddening of her cheeks
  536. > "That's...a good idea? I got to go, you know, update some lists. See you later!"
  537. > You wonder if she will try to innovate on what little you've shown her, or strike out for virgin territory on her quest for penetrational aids
  538. > You can't wait to see what she comes up with
  539. --
  540. > You take a moment to admire your creation
  541. > Pleasant green skin, the color of moss, of life
  542. > A bald head, perfect for stroking and occasionally using for a divinatory focus
  543. > A bulky, working man's build, strong enough to hold you down even with your best strength enhancements
  544. > A long, girthy member to fill you up completely
  545. > Now to start it up
  546. > You breathe out, infusing your breath with mana
  547. > It washes over your boletulus, seeping into its skin, then sucked into its nose with a snort
  548. > Your creation opens its red eyes and furrows its brow in confusion
  549. > "Wutz all dis?"
  550. > You grin
  551. "I am your master, Princess Ellowynelle, highest mage of the Silver Willow Order of Magi, mistress of all disciplines. I have created you for a great and noble purpose, to pleasure me with your body."
  552. > It blinks
  553. > "Nah, you ain't za boss. Too tiny."
  554. > It grabs your waist with one large hand and lifts you in the air effortlessly
  555. > You are so wet right now
  556. "That's right! Ram me onto your dick! Assert your dominance!"
  557. > It scowls, then presses your face against the door
  558. > You can hardly wait
  559. > "Wutz dis?"
  560. > ...
  561. > No
  562. "I'm your creator! You must do as I say!"
  563. > It pulls you back, then bonks your head on the door
  564. > "I said, wot iz dis?"
  565. > You slump, horribly blue beaned
  566. "It's a door. If you go through it, it goes to another place."
  567. > Your creation takes a moment to comprehend your revelation
  568. > Then it charges right through the door, splintering it
  569. > It's trivially easy for your personal protection spells to tank the damage
  570. > You consider cutting up your creation and starting over, but you still kind of like being manhandled like this
  571. > Your boletulus shoves your face into a vase, dashing it to the ground and shattering the thing
  572. > "Heh heh, good smash."
  573. > Perhaps you should have made it a little more intelligent
  574. > Or much less
  575. -
  576. > After spooking a lot of servants, smashing 14 vases and crashing through 3 walls, your creation meanders into the throne room
  577. > Celestia is holding court, Incognito seated in a much less ornate chair by her throne, absently petting her back
  578. > Day court comes to a halt as the boletulus stomps up to Celestia and shoves you in her general direction
  579. > You speak without prompting
  580. "Apologies, Princess. This is my boletulus, though I'm afraid it has escaped my control. Boletulus, this is Princess Celestia, the ruler of this land."
  581. > Celestia raises her eyebrows at you, while Incognito rolls his eyes
  582. > "I...see. is he your friend, then?"
  583. > You glance at the mushroom lifeform and sense its neural hyphea catch up with your introductions
  584. > It glares at Celestia and takes a deep breath
  585. > Oh shining isles, it's going to yell
  586. > "I'Z DA BIGGEST SO I'Z DA BOSS."
  587. > Celestia's mild smile disappears
  588. > She slowly stands up from her throne, her fur poofing out, her wings extending completely
  589. > The colors of her mane shift to oranges and red and her horn shines with a baleful light
  590. > You can feel the heat through all of your environmental enchantments
  591. > The Celestia starts bobbing her head in a circular motion like a weirdo
  592. > She speaks in her Royal Canterlot Voice
  593. > "I AM BIGGER THAN YOU, STRONGER THAN YOU, AND CAN BURN YOU TO A CINDER WITH A THOUGHT. I AM THE BOSS OF ALL BOSSES."
  594. > The boletulus salutes with the hand holding you, accidentally flinging you against a pillar
  595. > "Youz da boss! Good fires, boss!"
  596. > Celestia nods firmly
  597. > "That's right. Now, what is your name?"
  598. > It blinks
  599. > "Uh, dunno, boss."
  600. > Celestia sighs
  601. > "Go sit in a corner and try to think of one."
  602. > The boletulus salutes again and lumbers over to a corner and scowls at nothing
  603. > A servant trots over to whisper to Celestia, who frowns
  604. > As you stand up, the sun princess makes her way over to you
  605. > Her disapproving look weighs more heavily on your heart than you would care to admit
  606. > "Lowyn, you've been a decent guest, but I cannot allow this. Do not create artificial life while you are on this plane."
  607. > You nod contritely
  608. "You have my word."
  609. > She doesn't smile, but her frown eases a bit
  610. > "It has also come to my attention that your experiment has caused some damage to the palace. You will be repairing all of it by yourself."
  611. > You nod again
  612. "I'll have everything fixed within the hour."
  613. > Celestia gives you a measuring look
  614. > "By hand. No magic."
  615. > You pale
  616. "But that will take forev-"
  617. > Celestia glares at you
  618. > "It will give you time to reflect in your actions and their consequences."
  619. > You hold in a sigh
  620. > There's no talking back to mo-Celestia when she is like this
  621. "I understand."
  622. > She doesn't look convinced, but lets it go
  623. ---
  624. > You don't find out the worst part of your punishment until months later, as you finish painting over the last of the repaired walls
  625. > A servant gives you a letter from some pony named Fluttershy
  626. > She writes about how useful Krork is with helping wrestle large animals for treatment, gushes about how gentle he is when brushing her mane, and thanks you profusely for installing a vibrating function in his dick.
  627. > She also promises to take responsibility and will be marrying him by the end of the year
  628. > She also includes an invitation to the wedding
  629. > Your crumple the letter and set it on fire
  630. > It's your first time being on this end of things, and now you understand why so many mothers don't like you
  631. > You spent hours designing, crafting, and breathing life into a perfect body and a perfect cock, and then some other woman who had no hand in its creation gets to enjoy getting every hole used and vibrated
  632. > It is the ultimate cuckoldry, as a wizard and as a woman
  633. > You resolve to dedicate more time to leaving this terrible place
  634. > You're bound to find a way back to civilization sooner or later
  635. > You hope
  636. ---
  637. > Three years into your exile, and you think you are finally making progress
  638. > You moved your workshop to Manehattan, to distance yourself from all the sickeningly sweet matrimony in Canterlot
  639. > You have a small army of mares scrying through the dimensions, yielding some interesting finds
  640. > A plane of elemental water, which you have opened up a portal to behind a valve
  641. > Now you can drink pure, slightly magically charged water whenever you want
  642. >  You even found a promisingly open stretch of planes in the direction of the Prime
  643. > One even has elves!
  644. > Primitive, inbred, and spouting some nonsense about destroying the world to wake the dreamer, but elves!
  645. > You make a note to come back to them in 50 years or so and reign over them as a wrathful queen goddess
  646. > Hopefully they will have figured out cleaning spells by then
  647. > No respectable queen goddess cleans her pleasure slaves herself, after all
  648. > You are roused from your idle fantasy by your ward pinging with a familiar thaumic signature
  649. > You warp to the door and open it
  650. "Princess Twilight, it's good to see you again."
  651. > Your...friend, maybe best friend shifts nervously
  652. > She clears her throat
  653. > "It's good to see you too, Lowyn. Could I come in? I have some news for you."
  654. > You raise your eyebrows, but nod
  655. > You lead her into one of your favorite sitting rooms where a servant has prepared fresh tea
  656. > You sit down and take a cup, and Twilight does the same
  657. > For some reason she is looking downward more often than usual
  658. > You gesture with your cup to her
  659. "So what is this news that has you so nervous?"
  660. > She sips her tea to wet her mouth
  661. > "You remember when we summoned Femanon?"
  662. > You nod, suppressing a grimace at the memories of that time
  663. > Twilight continues, "We've refined the spell some, and well. I believe I summoned my soulmate."
  664. > You feel a faint pang in your heart, but you smile at her
  665. "Congratulations! I must confess, I am rather curious what they are like. Will I be meeting them soon?"
  666. > Your friend ruffles her wings
  667. > "There's more. He's, well, an elf."
  668. > You feel like you are struck by lightning without wards
  669. > You surge to your feet, your tea spilling
  670. "Is he from the Prime? Does he have a way back?"
  671. > Twilight leans back in surprise, then laughs weakly
  672. > "He is from the Prime, but he's as stuck as you are."
  673. > You drift back to your seat, heart light with relief
  674. > An actual civilized elf!
  675. > Then a thought occurs to you
  676. > Twilight wouldn't be this nervous if she was just letting you know she got a boyfriend
  677. > You swallow
  678. > You look into her eyes
  679. "Are you here to invite me to herd with you?"
  680. > If he is good enough to be her soulmate, he can't be too bad
  681. > Twilight looks a little sick at the thought
  682. > "No! That's, I mean you and he..."
  683. > Some of the hurt you are feeling must have shown on your face, because she climbs into the chair with you and wraps a wing around your back
  684. > "I would never ask you to herd with your brother. It wouldn't be right."
  685. > You blink
  686. "My what?"
  687. > A figure erupts from Twilight's shadow
  688. > Despite that nostalgic signature, you throw a firebolt at it
  689. > Lellmaeo snuffs it out with his hand and grins
  690. > "It's good to see you too, sister!"
  691. > You try to scowl at him, the idiot is still wearing his skimpy drow costume, but it's no use
  692. > You practically tackle him and cling to him with all your strength as sobs escape your throat
  693. > You can feel him tense
  694. > "Woah, there there. Um."
  695. > You sniffle, the cosmetic enchantment banishing your tears and snot as you hold onto an achingly familiar piece of home
  696. > Your brother hesitantly wraps you in a loose embrace and rubs your back
  697. > You breath deep, inhaling the scent of mushrooms and artfully musky male elf scent
  698. > Then you feel yourself melt down there, and you hurriedly push yourself away from him
  699. > You stare at his bewildered expression and blush at losing your dignity to such a degree
  700. "It is good to see you, Maeo."
  701. > He smooths down his husbandbeaten top awkwardly
  702. > "I take it you've had a hard time out here? I haven't seen too much of the plane, but it seems... minimalistic."
  703. > You glance at Twilight, who is rolling her eyes at your brother
  704. "Let's just say I've had more than a few setbacks. At least I've been able to make a friend."
  705. > Lellmaeo sits down in a spare chair
  706. > "You too, huh? I guess the curse did affect the whole family."
  707. > You blink.
  708. "We've been cursed?"
  709. > Maeo shrugs
  710. > "Remember four or five years ago, when Father made an eclipse because he was hungover? Turns out Lumena, Goddess of Light, took offense to that."
  711. > You facepalm
  712. "Dad..."
  713. > Your brother chuckles
  714. > "Yeah, so our family was cursed with bad luck. Then she sent some human archmage as her champion, who promptly seduced Father's advisors and deposed him. Last I heard, he is living in exile with an orc mistress."
  715. > You can't help but laugh
  716. "Dad, of all people, race mixing?"
  717. > Lellmaeo shrugs
  718. > "He didn't have much of a choice, at least at first. By the time the binding on his magic wore off, he didn't want to leave what's her name."
  719. > Twilight pales
  720. > "That's horrible! I am so sorry for your family!"
  721. > You exchange a glance with your brother
  722. "It's not so bad, Twilight. If dad really didn't want to be an orc's sex slave, he'd just kill her. At least it's easier on the royal funds than a drow mistress."
  723. > Lellmaeo blushes
  724. > Twilight stares at him
  725. > "...do I want to know?"
  726. > He smiles sheepishly
  727. > "We never did anything, since she was there for Father, but she showed me some training exercises and gave me a few books."
  728. > Twilight glances at you
  729. > You smirk
  730. "It was rather cute, like a duckling following a dragon. Glamour your fur black and your mane white and he'll be putty in your hooves."
  731. > Twilight looks at Lellmaeo thoughtfully
  732. > "I'll have to try that."
  733. > His blush deepens
  734. > You blink
  735. "What about mom?"
  736. > Maeo takes a deep breath
  737. > "Well, when the Champion of Lumena deposed Father, he sorta...took her as his chief concubine."
  738. > He visibly braces for your reaction
  739. > You frown
  740. "Is she...happy?"
  741. > Lellmaeo looks at you in surprise
  742. > "Uh, yes, actually."
  743. > You stare at him
  744. "She actually said that?"
  745. > He shrugs.
  746. > "Apparently, every night is like a sleepover with the other concubines, the human cuddles after...and uh, he has a big d-"
  747. > You clap your hands over your ears
  748. "Enough! I really don't need to know about that. At least she is happy."
  749. > Maeo laughs, and Twilight is smiling
  750. > You let out a weary chuckle
  751. "So when are you two getting married or whatever?"
  752. > Your brother looks at Twilight
  753. > She puffs up her tuft and looks you straight in the eyes
  754. > "As the oldest mare in his family, I am asking you for his hand in marriage."
  755. > Oh, right
  756. > You straighten up and assume a stern expression
  757. "Do you promise to take care of him when he is being an idiot, and to cherish him despite his weird fetishes and obsession with drow culture?"
  758. > Maeo squawks in protest, but Twilight nods gravely
  759. > "I swear by my horn and heart, I will rein him in when needed and I always wanted a big testes goth coltfriend."
  760. > You lay a firm hand on her withers
  761. "Then I grant you my blessing to marry him, just don't come running to me about your sex life."
  762. > Twilight hugs you, nuzzling against your cheek
  763. > "Thank you, this means a lot to me."
  764. > You give her a quick hug, then let her go
  765. "You're welcome."
  766. > Lellmaeo smiles fondly at you
  767. > "The rural life agrees with you, sister. You are far more relaxed than I have ever seen you."
  768. > You shrug
  769. "It's not all bad out here. Once I find a way back, I think I will live here semi-permanently, just to escape the public eye if nothing else."
  770. -----
  771. > In the following month, you met with Cadance a few times, memorizing the spell matrix for summoning a soulmate from across the planes
  772. > You find it fascinating, the way it slips in and out of the four dimensions, incorporating familiar and utterly alien components
  773. > At long last, you are ready
  774. > You prepare an isolated room with cushions, snacks, alcohol of various types, and three different flavors of ice cream in a cold enchanted box
  775. > You open up a portal to the patch of forest, and cast the spell
  776. > At once, a roiling rift of pink plasma opens up in the air, and you see shadows of countless figures flicker around it
  777. > You stare anxiously for something, anything, to appear
  778. > Nothing
  779. > Not for the next five minutes, or the ten after that
  780. > You retreat to a luxurious chair and start sipping a wine that is half as old as you are
  781. > An hour later, you have started in on the snacks, only keeping the rift in the corner of your eye
  782. > Three hours after that, the sun is beginning to set, and nothing has come out of the rift for you
  783. > You refuse to name the fear in your heart
  784. > When the moon rises, you haven't fully given up, but you are eating ice cream and reading neighponese comics by the pink light of the rift
  785.  
  786. > You wake up the next morning, not remembering when you fell asleep
  787. > You look around to find yourself completely alone, the rift and portal having closed when you lost consciousness
  788. > Your heart sinks
  789. > Across a nearly infinite number of planes, there is not one soul to complement yours?
  790. > Are you still cursed, even though everyone else in your family has found happiness?
  791. > Are you completely unlovable?
  792. > Something inside you breaks
  793. > You fall back on a cushion and tremble as tears are banished by your cosmetic enchantment
  794. > In a fit of pique, you dispel the enchantment
  795. > The warm, wet feeling of tears streaming down your face is oddly satisfying
  796. > You conjure a mirror and stare at it
  797. > You turn your head to the right and the left, admiring the glistening trails on your face
  798. > You are objectively beautiful, of that you are absolutely sure
  799. "I am beautiful. I have friends and family that care for me. I am powerful. I am brilliant. I am sexy."
  800. > Even as you say the words, they are as hollow as they are true
  801. > You dismiss the mirror, suddenly sick of seeing your face
  802. > You lay back on the cushion and close your eyes
  803.  
  804. > That is how Lellmaeo and Twilight find you an hour later
  805. > Your brother zaps you with a sobering spell, which does almost nothing except make you sigh
  806. > Twilight looks at you in concern
  807. > "I know you don't really deal well with seeing other ponies happy, but we still would love to see you at our wedding. You mean a lot to us, Lowyn."
  808. > Maeo nods seriously
  809. > "We really need someone to spike the punch and harass the waitstaff, and you're the best woman for the job. Come on, put those years of apprenticeship under uncle Mordy to use."
  810. > You chuckle at that and slowly get up
  811. > You banish whatever residue accumulated in your skin overnight and summon your bridesmaid dress directly onto your body
  812. "What are we waiting for? Let's go."
  813. > You put on a smile that has a smidgeon of sincere emotion behind it
  814. > Twilight and Maeo exchange a glance, then give you a big hug
  815. > You sigh again, but with less ennui
  816. > When they let go, you give them a genuine smile, then teleport the three of you to the venue
  817. > The sooner you are done with this, the better
  818. ---
  819. > After walking your brother down the aisle, the ceremony was pleasant, if boring
  820. > At the reception, you make sure to avoid the humans and your sto- liberated creation
  821. > For their part, they are happy to do the same, starting an arm and/or hoof wrestling tournament off to the side
  822. > Celestia is the first to come your way, her face a careful mask in front of all the nobility mingling around
  823. > "I do believe this is the first Equestrian wedding you have attended. What do you think so far?"
  824. > Is that a hint of censure?
  825. > It's impossible to tell, Celestia has too much practice in statecraft
  826. > You smile faintly
  827. "Every bit as tedious as elven ceremonies, though less ornate."
  828. > Celestia nods
  829. > "...It's good to see you being social again. I had worried...well, perhaps we can meet for tea sometime and catch up."
  830. > You smile fondly at the old mare
  831. > She is far too much like your mother for her own good
  832. > You put a hand on her withers
  833. "I would like that. Maybe sometime next week? I'll have my secretary meet with yours."
  834. > Celestia looks at you in surprise, then with a subtle undercurrent of joy
  835. > "I'm looking forward to it."
  836. > At that moment, you hear the sound of splintering wood, and Celestia sighs
  837. > "I should go and tend to my husband's bruised hand and ego. See you next week."
  838. > You give her a pat on the neck
  839. "Until then. Good luck."
  840.  
  841. > Moving on, you find Luna watching Krork suspiciously as Anon steps to the newly repaired table
  842. > You sidle up to her
  843. "There's no shame in losing to a golem in a test of strength."
  844. > Luna snorts
  845. > "I am aware. But I suspect Krork is taunting them."
  846. > You nod
  847. "I have noticed humans can be... easily provoked."
  848. > She sighs
  849. > "I suppose that is the price I pay for a husband so eager in the bedroom."
  850. > You'd rather she not expand on that sentiment, so you subtly lead her to the refreshments, which just so happens to have a punch bowl
  851. > You look at Luna with a gleam in your eye
  852. "Shall we see how refreshing the offerings truly are?"
  853. > You subtly flash a vial of 150 proof rum in the palm of your hand
  854. > Luna smirks, producing a hip flask from the pit of her wing
  855. > You cast an illusion to obscure your movements and pour your contribution into the bowl while Luna does the same with her booze
  856. > You take the ladle and stir the punch
  857. > Luna coughs
  858. > "Sister is coming this way, act natural."
  859. > You drop the illusion and banish the vial
  860. > You idly wonder if the debris you scatter to random planes will seed them with life
  861. > Maybe you should do so more deliberately, so that future generations will benefit from more interesting wildlife to harvest
  862. > By the time you decide it would be too much trouble, Celestia is eyeing you and Luna with suspicion from across the table
  863. > "Having fun?"
  864. > You are so glad your cosmetic enchantment banishes your nervous sweat
  865. "So far. Have you tried the cake?"
  866. > Luna snorts
  867. > Celestia shoots her a look
  868. > "Yes, as a matter of fact, I have. I would definitely recommend it."
  869. > Then Celestia picks up the ladle with her magic and pours the punch into her cup
  870. > Luna's legs are tensed to run, and you can practically taste the charge running under the surface of her horn
  871. > You aren't much better, you have your teleportation spell primed and ready
  872. > Celestia takes a sip and her eyebrows rise
  873. > "This is quite good."
  874. > Then she winks at you and strolls away
  875. > You let out a long, slow breath as the adrenaline drains from your body
  876. > Luna chuckles ruefully
  877. > "I'll get her next time."
  878. > You pat her neck
  879. "I'll be rooting for you."
  880.  
  881. > The reception is markedly more enjoyable with most of the guests stumbling around drunkenly
  882. > Twilight and Maeo give you a grateful wave as they slip out in the confusion
  883. > You decide to follow their lead and head out
  884. > Canterlot at night is fairly pleasant, and you take a moment or two to admire Luna's work
  885. > If you are being quite honest with yourself, that wasn't as bad as you thought it would be
  886. > But when you lower your eyes from the night sky, you still feel that emptiness in your heart
  887. > Your eyes fall on a bar called "Rolls and Barrels" and you go inside to check it out
  888. > True to the name, the scent of alcohol and baked goods suffuses the barroom
  889. > As you walk inside, you vaguely recognize an earthpony stallion at the bar
  890. > You think you remember him from one of the families of Twilght's friends
  891. > Compared to the rest of the bar, this island of familiarity felt a little more comfortable, so you sit by him and order a scotch whiskey
  892. > He glances at you as the bartender places the glass in front of you
  893. > You make a small gesture and reach into a rift to drop two ice cubes of elemental water into your drink
  894. > Gratifyingly, the stallion is visibly impressed
  895. > You smirk at him
  896. "I am Princess Ellowynelle, highest mage of the Silver Willow Order of Magi, mistress of all disciplines. Who might you be?"
  897. > He blushes and looks down at his martini
  898. > "I am Caramel, your royal highness. I make confections in Ponyville."
  899. > Looking at him, he's not that bad
  900. > Lithe around the barrel, with a candy-makers thick thighs
  901. > Stars, all those dough gin sheets have warped your tastes in males
  902. > Fuck it
  903. > You don't have a soulmate, so there's nothing wrong with playing around a little
  904. "A sweet name for a sweet stallion. Do you like seeing magic?"
  905. > He looks at you sidelong, trying to be coy
  906. > "I may be an earthpony, but I live close enough to Canterlot that ordinary spells won't impress me."
  907. > You grin and spin a spell circle in the air and blow into it
  908. > Your breath is converted into a swarm of multicolored glowing butterflies, swirling around him and settling on his face before dissolving into motes of light
  909. > When the last fades, he stares at you in wonder
  910. > "That was beautiful, I've never seen magic like that before!"
  911. > You preen a little at the compliment
  912. "Thank you, I composed the spell myself."
  913. > Caramel shifts a little on his stool
  914. > "I'd love to see more, if you have the time."
  915. > You knock back your whiskey and stand up
  916. "Come on, I can't show you my best spells indoors."
  917.  
  918. > As you lay on the grass beside Caramel, you set the sparks to gently rain down on the two of you
  919. > It's a nice break from the gouts of fire and shards of ice you were throwing around artfully, not to mention your other flashier spells
  920. > Caramel sighs happily
  921. > "I don't think I'll ever forget this night. "
  922. > You wonder if you're good to squeeze his butt
  923. > He licks his lips
  924. > "I don't think I told you why I like seeing spells like this, did I?"
  925. > You blink, and try to pay attention
  926. "No, you haven't."
  927. > "Mom left when I was born, and Dad had to hire a babysitter for me while he worked. He was a unicorn, and he would practice spells while he babysat me. Little things like making my teddy bear dance, or writing my name in glowing lines."
  928. > Caramel smiles fondly, staring into the night sky
  929. > "He once spent an entire month working on a spell to make shadow puppets perform my bedtime story."
  930. > Then Caramel sighs
  931. > "And when I turned ten, his family moved back to Canterlot. Dad said I was old enough to take care of myself, and I was. But that didn't make home any less lonely."
  932. > You reach over and hold his forehoof
  933. > You say, "I know a little of what that was like. My parents were too busy ruling the kingdom to take care of me when I was young, so I was raised by the servants until Uncle Mordy took me on as his apprentice. Maybe that's why..."
  934. > Why you are too broken to have a soulmate
  935. > Caramel turns to you and squeezes your hand with his hoof-grabby-field
  936. > "I think we turned out alright. I'm a successful business stallion,"
  937. "And I'm stranded far from home because I got drunk while showing off."
  938. > He reaches over and boops your nose
  939. > "And you're the personal friend of the princesses, not to mention your thriving divination business. You should be proud of yourself."
  940. > You blink
  941. "I should be proud of myself, shouldn't I."
  942. > Caramel nods firmly
  943. > You smile at him and rub your thumb over the soft flesh of his hoof
  944. > He shivers, and not from the cold of night
  945. > You turn over and put your hands on either side of his head
  946. > He stares up at you, blushing demurely
  947. > You lean down and kiss his lips, long buried hopes and emotions rising like a tide within you
  948. > He tastes sweet, his clever tongue brazenly meeting yours for a passionate dance
  949. > You place a hand on his firm barrel, feeling his warmth and his racing heartbeat as he loses himself in the kiss
  950. > Eventually, your break the kiss and lean down to whisper in his ear
  951. "Shall I teleport you to my place? I have all sorts of spells I just know you want to...experience."
  952. > Something bumps against your elbow
  953. > You glance down to see he is out of his sheath
  954. > Caramel whimpers longingly
  955. > "Take me."
  956. > You grin and teleport the two of you directly to your bed
  957. > You're going to have [i]fun[/i]
  958. --------
  959. > You wake up the next morning sticky all over, sore in a pleasant sort of way that you have missed these three long years
  960. > You glance over at your bedmate and give him a kiss on the nose
  961. > He scrunches in his sleep, but doesn't stir
  962. > Adorable
  963. > You really wore him out, didn't you?
  964. > You gracefully shuffle out of bed and clean the worst of it off your body with a simple spell
  965. > Then you conjure hot, lavender scented water into the wide tub and ease yourself in
  966. > You feel at one with the heat, utterly relaxed, practically melting
  967. > Then a ward pings, and you wave to let the auditory projection through
  968. "Good Morning, Cadence. I trust the wedding wrapped up well?"
  969. > "No thanks to you."
  970. > You can hear the amusement in her voice
  971. > She continues
  972. > "Speaking of which, I had wanted to talk to you. I noticed you cast the Amore Infinitum spell last night, but you came to the wedding without a date. Why didn't you bring your destined mate?"
  973. > You groan and sink a little deeper in the water
  974. "Didn't work."
  975. > "...The spell fizzled?"
  976. > You sigh
  977. "No, it did everything it was supposed to do, except fetch me someone to love from across the multiverse. Apparently, I don't have a soulmate."
  978. > "Lowyn, what are you talking about? If no one came through the rift, that just means your mate is on this plane. Besides, I can feel your bond from here, you already consummated with your destiny."
  979. > What-
  980. > That-
  981. > You actually-
  982. > You start trembling, your mind whirling at the revelation
  983. > "Lowyn? Are you alright?"
  984. > You laugh shakily
  985. "I met him in a bar. My soulmate."
  986. > "Well, that's how about half of ponies do it nowadays, yes. You should bring him over to the palace, I'm sure the girls and I would love to see you two together."
  987. > You rub your face
  988. "Sure, sure, I'll see you later. And thanks, Cadance. I...had sort of lost hope."
  989. > "You are more than welcome. There's nothing better than helping my friends and family find love."
  990. > The projection dissipates, and you lay your head back
  991. > A few minutes later, you hear the clopping of hooves on tiles
  992. > "Mind if I join you?"
  993. > You wave absently, and feel the waters rise as Caramel slides into the bath
  994. > You raise your head to look at him, memorizing his contented face
  995. > You won't have as much time to spend looking for a way back home, but that's alright
  996. > You have a perfectly good home right here, with all you have ever truly wanted
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