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Sunset Shimmer (Ready)

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Name: Sunset Shimmer
Sex: Female
Age: Young mare
Species: Unicorn
Eye Color: Cyan
Coat: Ember
Mane/Tail: Long flowing red hair, with curvy yellow highlights
Physique: Typical of a mare her age
Occupation: Guest speaker & substitute teacher at the Ponyville School of Friendship
Residence: Whenever visiting Ponyville on business, she always stays at Twilight’s Castle
Cutie Mark: Sunset’s cutie mark is a sun with curvy rays. The rays on one side are pale yellow colored, while those to the other are dark red. In the center of the sun are shapes reminiscent of a yin-yang symbol, also featuring the contrasting yellow-red color scheme.


Unique Traits:


Although technically a drop-out alumnus of the School for Gifted Unicorns, the accelerated rate at which Sunset Shimmer blazed through her classes (and various other “extracurricular studies”) long ago gives her a spellcasting repertoire equivalent to that of a typical summa cum laude graduate. Alongside Sunset’s relatively well-rounded magical skill set is a natural aptitude for fire spells...  as one might expect of a unicorn with a fiery appearance and a sunny cutie mark.


Back in her earlier troubled years, Sunset Shimmer discovered for herself how emotions could be drawn upon to further enhance a unicorn’s power. Filled with overwhelming feelings of pride and resentment, Celestia’s then-pupil readily channeled her anger and will to dominate to give herself power that exceeded those of nearly all her contemporaries. Not helping matters was Sunset’s brief flirtation with the learning of forbidden black magic. Although the unicorn didn’t get too far in her illicit studies before getting caught by her mentor, she learned enough to gain a rudimentary knowledge of the dark arts. Yet given Sunset’s desire to atone for her past mistakes, she vows never again to willfully wield negative emotions as weapons. How her resolve holds in the face of great emotional distress, however, remains to be seriously tested.....


A curious recent development for Sunset Shimmer is the acquisition of advanced empathic abilities. These powers actually first manifested as a result of her adventures in the so-called “Mirror World”, after having come across rogue elemental magic that escaped from Equestria. If she wills it, Sunset can “touch” another creature with her magic in order to perceive their thoughts and memories. While using her empathy magic, the unicorn’s eyes glow with an unearthly white light.


Foalhood


The tale of Sunset Shimmer is a tale of Villainy versus Redemption; of bondage to the past and the power to rise from one’s own ashes. It all began in the quaint town of Hope Hollow, a once idyllic community located “at the end of the rainbow.” But by the time Sunset was born, what had once been a popular weekend getaway for city ponies was beginning to fade into obscurity, and in the process falling into economic — and quite literal — depression. As ponies grew more hopeless, bonds between neighbors and families started withering away like flowers deprived of nurturing sunlight.


So thus it was that in her first years of life, Sunset Shimmer knew nothing of love or friendship. Whenever her parents weren’t busy sniping at one another, they were taking out all their frustrations at their daughter. As for cordial playmates... well, such a concept was simply unheard of that day and age! Few foals ever congregated in Hope Hollow without getting into bickering matches or bullying one another.


Little Miss Shimmer escaped all that by spending as much free time as she could in the local library; by then, nearly all townsponies avoided communal spaces like the plague. While piles upon piles of books were absolutely no substitute for the instinctive equine need to be loved and part of a herd, they did provide Sunset with the gateway she believed would lead her to the acceptance she desperately craved.


In particular, the library’s unusually large Magic section (even divided into Arcane, Elemental, and Theory Of subsections!).....


Reading about amazing spells and great conjurers of old filled Sunset Shimmer with inspiration, igniting the fires of passion and ambition within her heart. Refusing to succumb to the scourge of despair, the young unicorn naively dreamed of a future where she’d shake the dust of her crummy old hometown off her hooves. First she would go to school in Canterlot to see what they knew, and then it would be off the see the world! She’d tour the castles of Kastrot and explore the arctic wastelands in search of the mythical Crystal Empire, fight magical beasts in the Everfree Forest, and write spells a volume long and forge a dozen- no, a HUNDRED enchanted relics!!! Sunset was going to be the greatest unicorn spellcaster since Starswirl the Bearded, and be praised and beloved by every single pony in Equestria!!!!! <3


Naturally, Sunset Shimmer’s parents derided these lofty dreams as nothing more than foalish nonsense, but the filly had long since stopped giving a hoot about what they thought (at least, that’s what she told herself anyway). With the educational resources at her disposal, Sunset plunged head-first into the world of magic, starting first by learning how to conjure fire. Obviously, self-learning was no substitute for a proper education at an EEA-accredited institution, but Sunset couldn’t care less! So what if a few things accidentally caught on fire while taking the first steps on her journey? The fiery filly was making her dreams come true!!! <3<3<3


It may not have been much of a surprise then that Sunset Shimmer’s first public debut of her talents to a crowd of jeering schoolkids ended rather controversially. Lacking the know-how to properly control her powers... and by subconsciously channeling her will to succeed at all costs, little Sunset’s clumsy attempt to magically create a fake sun out of flames left the manes of many a foal burned that day. But hey, that hovering sphere of fire actually turned out wondrously when all was said and done... and those neighsaying kids were jerks to her anyway. In that moment, Sunset Shimmer demonstrated the internal strife fueling her determination... and that in spite of everything she went through, an inextinguishable light burned brightly deep inside her heart. And so, Sunset was awarded with her cutie mark.


Almost immediately afterward, the unicorn filly left Hope Hollow behind and never looked back. Judging by how she never heard or read of any news from that place since, Sunset simply assumed that crummy old town was finally abandoned and left to rot. Not once did she ever bother inquiring about the state of her former home or her family; those were all in the unicorn’s past... and her past was no longer today.....


Under Princess Celestia’s Tutelage:


If Sunset Shimmer’s first performance as a spellcaster could be described as a rocky rehearsal, then her entrance exam into Celestia’s School for Gifted Unicorns was an epically disastrous opening night. Reflexively channeling her feelings of extreme frustration, Sunset resorted to blasting the dragon egg she had been encouraged to try hatching. It might have actually worked too if the filly could have better controlled her powers. Instead, all Miss Shimmer accomplished was exhausting all her magical strength... and trapping herself in an inferno in the process!


Had it not been for the timely intervention of Princess Celestia, things could have ended up a lot worse. Recognizing that Sunset Shimmer possessed powerful magic that she didn’t know how to handle, Celestia offered to take the filly on as a personal student so that she could learn to safely harness her abilities and use them to help her fellow Equestrians. Having believed just moments before that her dreams had forever shattered into pieces, this was understandably quite the turn of events for little Sunset. Needless to say, the young unicorn wasted hardly any time in hugging her new mentor out of gratitude. <3


Sunset Shimmer turned out to be quite the fast learner of Magic… maybe too fast. Still embittered from her early foalhood experiences, the new royal apprentice continued to focus on studying to the exclusion of nearly everything else, Friendship most of all. That turned into a grave concern for Princess Celestia, who had come to believe that Sunset was destined to play an important role in forestalling the inevitable return of Nightmare Moon. Celestia knew full well that only those with Friendship in their hearts could wield the Elements of Harmony. Accordingly, the alicorn expected — perhaps unfairly in retrospect — that Sunset spend more of her time bonding with her fellow schoolponies.


But Miss Shimmer failed to grasp the vital importance of making friends... nor did she even know how to make friends to begin with! All Sunset heard was a nagging mentor being a nag for its own sake. While Celestia may have been the most knowledgeable magic practitioner known to ponykind... her attempts at guiding Sunset towards Friendship proved woefully inadequate. This would bite Celestia in the flank a few years down the line, after Sunset started suspecting that she was being held back in her studies due to her mentor’s apparently nonsensical whims.


Everything came to a head on one fateful night, when Princess Celestia caught her disgruntled student illicitly reading a forbidden tome on dark magic. During the insuring confrontation, Sunset Shimmer tearfully accused Celestia of having no faith in her student; the faithful student who only ever wanted to make her mentor proud. But when Celestia responded that declaring Sunset would have to be put on probation for her actions, the fiery pupil finally snapped. Cruelly mocking Celestia as a worthless hypocrite with no real friends of her own, Sunset betrayed and abandoned the mentor she had once loved as a daughter. Employing an enchanted mirror she stumbled upon earlier during her extracurricular studies, the unicorn fled Equestria altogether.


Rising From the Ashes:


As if living in self-imposed exile in the bizarre Mirror World wasn’t traumatic enough for Sunset Shimmer, the fact that she was now incapable of using Magic at all was nothing less than the ultimate insult. Magic meant everything to Sunset; without it, she was nothing. With her lifelong dreams utterly crushed, Sunset’s heart blackened and became filled with hate and rage. If she could not prove herself a girl worthy of praise, then she would prove herself a villain and hate the idle pleasures of those days.


Plots did Sunset lay in her adoptive community, setting friend and clique alike against each other. Through manipulation and intimidation, the Unfaithful Student rose to a position of unquestioned prominence amongst her peers... though of course, petty social standing was absolutely no substitute for the Power of Magic. Swiftly consumed by megalomania, Sunset covertly returned to Equestria in order to steal the Element of Magic and exploit it in the Mirror World. However, as irony would have it, her diabolical plans were thwarted by the girl who took Sunset’s place as Celestia’s Faithful Student: Twilight Sparkle.


Yet again in her life, Sunset Shimmer hit rock bottom... only for Twilight to unexpectedly offer the very foe she opposed mere moments before the opportunity to not only accept her Friendship, but to study it under her tutelage. Sunset was overwhelmed; all her life, she was led to believe that only by mastering Magic would anypony ever provide her with the acceptance she’d desperately craved since birth. But to be offered Friendship unconditionally, with no ill will and complete acceptance of who she was?


...........................


.....Frankly, it was all that Sunset Shimmer ever really wanted in the first place. <3


To this day, Sunset Shimmer deeply cherishes the pony who currently reigns as Princess of Friendship. With the additional help of a band of special companions from the Mirror World, the former villain has managed not just to turn her life around, but to transform into a genuine inspirational figure in her own right. While Sunset considers it her primary responsibility to keep tabs on Equestrian magic and exiles which escape into the Mirror World, more and more she finds herself returning to her homeland for both business reasons and for fun.


And if the Headmare of the Ponyville School of Friendship gets her way, those trips of Sunset’s may become even more frequent.....


Character Personality:


The Sunset Shimmer of today barely resembles her past self. Kindled by the fire of friendship instead of personal ambition, Sunset is an outgoing individual, community-minded and always happy to lend support when needed. Additionally, Sunset nowadays appreciates the joys of recreational hobbies, art being chiefest among them. Although she presents herself as a cool laid-back girl, Miss Shimmer in reality possess a sharp analytical mind that many wouldn’t suppose at first glance; a lasting legacy of her time as an aspiring sorceress and Celestia’s prized pupil.


Whilst undoubtedly Sunset Summer’s demonstrated her reformed nature many times over, other lingering elements of her prior life remain under the surface. For one thing, she hates losing; absolutely HATES IT! If placed under enormous stress, Sunset is also prone to lashing out in anger at others around her, although her temper usually subsides rather quickly. Oh, and if someone ever dares threaten one of Sunset’s friends, it will take a herculean effort on her part to avoid giving into the temptation to end them right there and then.


Sunset Summer’s greatest fear is that one day, she’ll end up failing her dearest companions when they need her the most. Likewise, the Redeemed Student hopes that in the far future when all is said and done, she would have lived a good life, becoming someone earnestly worthy of love.....


Character Summary:


Sunset Shimmer understands that within her — along with the potential to cause great harm to others — is the power to lift them up with the light of friendship. But rather than dwell on her past mistakes, Sunset recognizes that everyone on some level can face the internal battles she once suffered through. If anybody is capable of both great evil and great good, then shouldn’t they be treated like they’re worth giving a chance?

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