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The Seer and the Storm (attng Skycoaster)


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Twinkle Dawn yawned as she put her eye to the telescope. Three of the Galloplean moons of Jupiter were visible tonight, an impressive number. Europa, her favorite, was unfortunately nowhere to be seen. She had a feeling that was a bad omen. And her feelings were usually correct. 

 

She jotted some notes down in her journal, even deciding to make a quick sketch, though she had to reposition the telescope several times for that to be possible. All the while, she checked her watch. Her horoscope had said to "Expect a strange visitor today," which is why she had been up all day instead of sleeping like she usually did. When the stars called, she wanted to be ready, and if that meant welcoming a strange visitor into her home, then she would be awake and ready to have them as soon as they knocked.

 

But they hadn't knocked. She considered not coming in tonight, but had a feeling she should. Clients didn't usually seek her at the observatory, but then maybe that was what would make this visitor strange. Perhaps she -- or he -- would come to the observatory at this uncelestial hour seeking the guidance of the stars.

 

She yawned again. Whoever it was, they'd better hurry up. It was almost midnight, meaning the day was almost over. She couldn't be wrong about this. The horoscope had been so clear. There was no way she was wrong. She wasn't normally wrong. Especially with horoscopes. She always checked and rechecked horoscopes because that's what most of her clients asked for, and the thought of their disappointment was too much for her. Ever since being dismissed from her position as royal astrologer, she had suffered a degree of anxiety over her predictions. Luna and Celestia had dreamed Tirek's coming and she hadn't. That was a huge fail. She couldn't allow herself to make another mistake like that again. 

She took some deep breaths to calm herself and flipped to the table at the back of her journal to look at her orders. Several ponies requesting horoscopes, nothing out of the ordinary there. One pony wanted to know how compatible he was with a mare he had his eye on. The stars usually didn't have much to say on that regard. The two pony's signs would tell her everything she needed to know. But she liked to consult the sky as an added measure anyway. 

 

Her train of thought was interrupted when she heard the observatory door open. That was weird. She could have sworn she locked it... Visitors weren't permitted at an hour like this. She descended the steps from the main telescope, stopping once she could see the entryway, where the silhouette of a tall unicorn stood. "Can... I help you?" she asked as she lit her horn to try to reveal more of the pony. Was this the strange visitor she was supposed to expect?

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Blizzard looked up to the star filled sky as he wondered the streets of Canterlot. With a heavy sigh he would continue to walk. Why in the name of Celesta was he still in the city? Was it this nagging feeling? Was it the train schedule? Well, actually it was in a way. His visit with the Princess had run over and set him back on his travel. 

The unicorns hotel was near the old observatory, a place where he had spent some of his free time as a colt. It brought back memories as he passed it, some good, some bad. 
 

Blizzard had an odd feeling, one as if he was being called towards the old building. Soon he was at the door having an inner debate; to enter or not. His rational mind told him no but his conscience told him to enter. Rolling his eyes and adjusting his cloak he would open the door and step in.

 

He heard the voice of a mare and could see a light illuminating the area in front of him. He’d step into the light to reveal himself. “I don’t know yet...perhaps you can tell me? It’s almost as if I was guided here...”

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Twinkle Dawn's heart nearly burst with joy! "Then I was right! You are the visitor I've been expecting!" She teleported the rest of the way down the stairs and moved hastily towards the entryway fireplace. "I've been waiting all day for you! Here, let me put some tea on! I don't know why I didn't have any ready when you arrived! It's almost midnight! I should have known to be prepared!" The logs in the fireplace glowed momentarily with her green aura before bursting into flames. She dashed out of the room to fill a teapot and came back moments later, hanging it above the fire. She then turned to her new guest, taking him in fully for the first time.

 

Now that she had a good look at him, he was... off-putting. His mane was long and unkempt, and she couldn't tell if his beard was a fashion statement or just a result of bad shaving habits. Oh well! "Strange" was what her horoscope had said, and this pony was indeed strange! "Let me guess! The stars guided you here! You felt drawn by the planets!" She knew she wasn't behaving very professionally, but she was tired from not sleeping and overjoyed that her prediction had been accurate. "You must tell me everything!" She levitated two stools to where they stood and positioned them directly behind each of them, then sat down, eagerly awaiting the pony's tale of how he had been "guided" to her.

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Blizzard backed away from the mare whom had teleported mere feet from him. He wasn't used to this sort of attention. What in particular did this mare want with him, and why was he expected? It took a few moments before he recognized the symbol of her cutie mark. She was an astrologer. Everything was beginning to make sense in his head now as he watched her prepare the room for company. "So I was expected?" as he'd look up to the roof for a slight moment. What was going on, he hadn't the slightest idea, but strangely he felt like he was where he needed to be.

 

As she lit the fire, he would remove his cloak and levitate it near the door with his gray aura before taking a seat on the nearby stool. "Who am I to say no to free tea. Perhaps I may even interest you enough to do a horoscope," he's say with a dry laugh. "Define what you mean by everything," he'd say in a half joking tone. "To begin, I am in Canterlot on a rather personal errand. Normally I would make this trips from the Frozen North with a combination of magic and hoof, however this time I decided to take the train for once on the recommendation of a friend. The journey is a day shorter this way, not having to sneak through Equestria at night, though the days of waiting between trains is enough to drive one mad in this city."

 

"I spent a few days of my foal hood here. Field trips from the School for Gifted Unicorns and all that fun. Passing this old building sparked my memories. I guess seeing Capricornus tonight in the sky is what drove me to come in. It is my sign after all, though I'm sure somepony as talented as you could probably pick that up as soon as I walked in." Blizzard chuckled a moment. "Who would have thought Astronomy would have been a useful class in magic school."

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Dawn was delighted! This visitor was stranger than she could have ever imagined! He was from the Frozen North?? Why did he "sneak through Equestria at night"? He had been a student at the School for Gifted Unicorns, too? So many more questions were swirling through her mind!

 

Then he threw an insult.  "Who would have thought Astronomy would have been a useful class in magic school." What did he mean by that?? Study of astronomy was important in magic school regardless of your primary discipline! Of course it was a useful class in magic school! Nevertheless, she put aside her clear differences in interest, and focused on the matter at hand. He had requested a horoscope, and even given his sign. That was certainly helpful. But she also found it helpful to find out as much as possible about her clients before doing readings, and she certainly wanted to find out as much as possible about this pony!

 

"Oh but of course! The stars can tell me everything I could want to know! Well, perhaps not everything." She had flashbacks to her dismissal as royal astrologer, but brushed them off without missing a beat. "For instance, the stars cannot tell me why you live in the Frozen North, or why you have to travel at night. I'm not endangering myself legally by talking to you, am I? Normal ponies don't live in a harsh area such as that... That's the land of shadow ponies and yaks." She gave a look that conveyed playful suspicion. She was sure he wasn't a criminal, and even if he was, who was she to judge him? Perhaps he was misunderstood, in which case the least she could do was provide him with a hot cup of tea and some information about his future. Perhaps she could even work towards clearing his name. If it was so that he was a victimized criminal, then when she took power, she would be certain that he was pardoned for whatever imagined crime he had committed. The stars had told her he would be strange, not dangerous. And she intended to treat him as such.

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The icy unicorn laughed. “I live in the Frozen North out of choice. A self exhale into magical research and power testing. I am an ice mage after all. You can’t exactly practice winter spells without Cloudsdale and Canterlot getting after you.” A small smirk would appear on his face. “I don’t know if your old enough to remember this, but that freak summer snowstorm over the School for Gifted Unicorns and surrounding area 15 years ago...that was me..on finals day...” 

 

"As for why I prefer to travel at night...I don't know if you are aware, but the more power an Ice Mage has, the lower their core body temperature. I prefer avoiding the summer heat, though their is another reason. I disappeared for a reason all those years ago and only a hoofful of ponies even know I make these trips to Canterlot," he said rather bluntly. "The Princess of Friendship being one of them." He'd sigh deeply. "The last thing I need is a bunch of ponies ether trying to make friends or run off in fear of ol' Blizzard."

 

He put his hoof up to his head. "I'm sorry for my little rant, It's just that I've been under a lot of stress lately what with my latest project."

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Dawn recalled the day vividly. It had been quite frightening. 

 

His explanations all seemed to make sense. At the mention of the Princess of Friendship, a hint of malice, unnoticed to the untrained eye, flashed across Dawn's face. She surpassed the thought, however, and continued the conversation. "Why would anypony run off in fear of you? You seem charming enough! I'm certainly not afraid of you! I doubt you would hurt anyone on purpose unless you had a very good reason." She smiled reassuringly to show him that she did indeed trust him. After all, if he were dangerous, the stars would have warned her. "But I digress. You're stressed about a project? What project might that be? I'm sure it's something fantastical! Perhaps the reason you were guided here is so that I might assist you in some way, either by relieving your stress or providing some component necessary for its completion?" 

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He chuckled. “Well, this year isn’t exactly how I’ve looked all the years I’ve been away from pony civilization. Even with a lower temperature, the bitter cold is enough to even give me a taste of my own medicine. I’m not sure if you remember the cold weather adaptation spell? Let’s just say I didn’t factor in my own ‘unique’ talent. The spell worked wonderfully, though had a rather ‘cool’ side effect.”

 

“As for my project, I am in the process of forging my own amulet.” He’d say bluntly, though not disclosing his own intentions to make a weather specific one for himself. One to boost his already advanced magical power. “Just something small that I could make in mass and sell to those venturing into extreme temperatures.” The white unicorn was telling the truth though as he figured it could be an easy way to make some bits on the side. 
 

“Now then,” he said looking over at the tea, "The stars told you about me, but alas, I know nothing of you.”
 

 

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Dawn's eyes perked up at the mention of the word amulet. It brought her thoughts to the amulet she was currently seeking, and she wondered if perhaps this stallion would know anything of its location... Best not ask that just yet. She didn't want to create unnecessary suspicion. Bringing up magical artifacts that had once been used for evil often did that, even though her intentions were nothing of the sort. 

 

"Well that sounds like quite the project! Please let me know when you've completed it! I'd be very interested in one. I have something of a love for magical artifacts myself.

 

"As for me, I'm just a humble astrologer. Once upon a time, I was in the same class as Twilight Sparkle at the School for Gifted Unicorns. I was even named royal astrologer after graduating. Unfortunately, I was stripped of that title after a certain minotaur escaped from Tartarus and I was unable to provide the princesses with a warning before they received their own. I still remember the dream I had of an entity escaping the prison, more than a year before Tirek attacked. But I was told I was crazy then, and that I was wrong. If anything, I was told that I probably saw Cerberus leaving his post and just mistook it for a prison break. Princess Celestia assured me that agents had checked the prison and that all inmates were accounted for. 

 

"But I'm not bitter about it. I'm much happier here, honestly. There's a lot less at stake in the event that I'm wrong. And I know my discharge was probably just the result of two panicked princesses grappling with the idea that the fate of Equestria was hanging in the balance, and they probably just needed somepony to blame. I'm sure if I had gone back and asked for my old job, they would have apologized and forgiven me. But I didn't want it back, and I still don't. I have my sights set on much higher aspirations."

 

As she finished her monologue, the tea kettle began to whistle. She hopped to her hooves and levitated it to the counter, simultaneously walking to a cupboard and removing two teacups. "Are you partial to any kind of tea? I keep a variety here so that I can drink whatever I'm in the mood for on a given night."

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Blizzard would frown at the mention of the School for Gifted Unicorns. "I see," he'd say with a rather obvious sigh. "Perhaps it was our lot in life to burn brightest in the beginning and fizzle out as he get older." He said as his eyes went to the clasp on his cloak. "At one point I thought I was distend to be the pony to change the 1000 year balance of how winter is done in Canterlot..." He frowned. "All those years of busting my flank for the highest grades in the class and not even one notice from Celestia. Not even one class taught by her. I felt like a....a second class student." He'd take a few deep breaths to calm himself.

 

"I take it you have green tea, honey, lemon?" He'd say looking at the tea pot. "How do you take yours?" he'd ask with a raised eyebrow.

 

"It is a shame about your dismissal from your Royal post, but if you are truly happier, then so be it. At least you where never told your talent was 'antiquated.'" he'd say with a bit of bitterness. "Did you ever have my mother as an Instructor? Spring Thaw?" as he tried to change the subject.

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Dawn nearly dropped the kettle at Blizzard's remark about fizzling out. She had not fizzled out. If anything, she was only ascending to greater brightness. Perhaps this old unicorn had given up on his dreams, but Dawn had not. She was going to rule Equestria one day. It was her true destiny. The Princess of Prophecy, Princess of Premonition, Princess of the Future. Nonetheless, she kept her offense hidden.

 

"Sounds like we both suffer from a bad case of under appreciation by the sun princess," she said, a hint of contempt in her voice. "And we both have ambitions to change an outdated system that's being run by ponies no longer qualified to handle the modern needs of Equestria," she proceeded.

 

She removed two green, honey-lemon tea bags from the cupboard and placed them in the cups, then filled them each with hot water and stirred. "It depends on my mood. Some days I ice it, others I wait until it's just below scalding. Some days I add extra sugar, like so, and others I take it straight." Blizzards cup moved across the room towards him, and once his aura had taken hold of it, Dawn released it. She walked back to her seat and plopped down. "Perhaps I was never told my talent was antiquated directly, but it was certainly implied when the princesses expressed the fact that they had seen a vital vision that I had not. No need for a pony who reads the stars and predicts the future if you can just see it for yourself." By now, Dawn's irritation with the Celestial/Lunar administration was showing through. Her tone was rather from the time she began accusing the system of being outdated. By the time she got around to answering Blizzard's question, it was clear her mind was not moving off the topic of the former princesses' mistakes and wrongdoings, even if the conversation was. "No, I'm afraid I've never heard of her." She said offhandedly, taking a sip of her tea. 

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As the unicorn received his cup of tea, he would chuckle as frost appeared on the edge. “I almost always cool my tea. Can’t be too careful, I might melt otherwise.”

 

With a heavy sigh he would look to Twinkle. “Perhaps I was just born too early. Perhaps if it was Princess Luna’s school for Gifted Unicorns, things might have played out differently.” As the icy unicorn took his first sip, a lightbulb would go off in his head. “On the subject of the more moody alicorn, I remember from a book from my foalhood about the stars adding in her escape. With somepony like you, that must have been amazing  to see in the night sky.” 
 

“I guess now thinking back maybe I haven’t fizzled out yet. Two meetings in the advance, off limits section of the school’s library with the current ruler of Equestria, that must mean something, right?”

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Twinkle Dawn gave a bit of a chuckle at the idea of Princess Luna running a school for gifted unicorns. She couldn't see such a moody pony being patient enough to teach a bunch of foals how to properly channel their aura. Of the princesses, Luna had been her favorite. That is, until the day of her discharge. That was they day she became her least favorite, next to Twilight, of course. Luna's divination power had rendered Twinkle's apparently useless. Eclipses were bad omens, and Luna had eclipsed her. It hurt her more than anything for her favorite princess, the one she looked up to the most for her beautiful night, to turn her flanks on her so quickly. So much for the element of loyalty...

 

When Blizzard mentioned the book about Luna's escape from the moon, Dawn's ears perked up. "Are you referring to Predictions and Prophecies? That is one of my favorites! Though, most of the premonitions in it are now outdated, having come true or missed the projected date. I have to admit, though, it truly was magical to see. Instead of going to the Summer Sun Celebration in the Gardens, I stayed here in the observatory to watch for the great escape. I had already informed Celestia of the impending breakout, and she assured me there was nothing to fear, that Nightmare Moon would be put back where she belonged in the event that she ever escaped. I assumed at the time that meant Celestia intended to renew her sentence to the moon, but clearly I was wrong. Even so, you should have seen the signs leading up to the night it happened! I've never seen the stars and planets so active and excited! So many predictions and whisperings, more visions than I've ever had! It was like as the solstice neared, my power to interpret the heavens increased tenfold. 

 

"Then, I happened to be looking down my telescope when it happened. It was unreal. The moon glowed extremely brightly for less than half a second, and then when I put my eye back to see what had happened, most of the craters on its surface had literally vanished without a trace. It was like nothing I've ever seen! I was awestruck for weeks over it! Where were you when it happened?"

 

She took a sip of tea excitedly as she finished.

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Blizzard would give Twinkle a small smirk. "I was in the Frozen North when it happened. Sitting by a small fire, looking into the sky. I too saw the bright flash and the Mare in the Moon, the famous crater formation vanish. I honestly thought I was dreaming had it not been stray ember getting in my eye. You don't feel pain in dreams," he said as he took a drink of his yea. "Most of my adult years have been spent in the frozen solitude of the north. Plenty of time to work on my spells. Plenty of time to read." he said with a deep sigh. "I'd make the occasional trip to Canterlot to 'check out' a new book or two. You know," he said as he took another sip, "The Aurora is even more spellbinding from the snow covered plains. No light pollution. I'd recommend seeing it, but most can't withstand the cold in the warmer time of the year let alone the dead of winter."

 

"Now then," he'd say with a small smirk. "You said the stars told you I was coming, what kind of things did they say about me? About my future? About my past? I know I was drawn here for a reason; Be it the stars or sentiment."

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Twinkle Dawn sipped as she listened to his tale. He mentioned the aurora, another of her favorite sky phenomena, and also the subject of light pollution, which she was actually quite passionate about. Light pollution could interrupt her connection with the stars, which infuriated her. "I bet it's beautiful! And I bet you can see the Northern Stars, as well! I've only seen them once, when I took a zeppelin trip. It was magnificent!"

 

He then brought up the fact that she had foreseen his coming, and she sat up a bit straighter, the subject of her profession now entering the conversation formally. "The stars didn't say much about you in particular. My horoscope read that I should expect a strange visitor, and no offense to you, but I do believe you fit their description! You are a most interesting unicorn! But if it is a premonition you seek, a premonition I can provide. I have numerous ways of reading futures, be it through tarot cards, tea leaves, observation of the sky, or dream interpretations. Would you like to know what the heavens believe about your future?" She ended in a slightly mysterious voice, looking at him with a mischievous smirk as she took another sip of her tea. 

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Blizzard sighed heavily. "I've been having this feeling. The same feeling that drew me here. A feeling that somepony or something has it in for me." Sighing once more, he'd take a sip of his now cooler tea. "It's part of the reason I went to visit the School for Gifted Unicorn's library once more. I was seeking knowledge on enchantments, spells to create an amulet as I said earlier. There was one spell in particular I was after, but alas. It, as well as the amulet that it was used to forge it no longer exist in this realm." The unicorn would look to his saddle bags. "Now I need to figure out how to use these modern safe spells to forge an amulet of my own, and hopefully I have enough time to prepare." Blizzard gave an annoyed sigh. "The Princess and her concerns for safety..."

 

The snowy unicorn would look to Twinkle with a raised eyebrow. "I guess what I'd like to know is if I am just paranoid, or is my feeling correct? Perhaps it will let me know how much time I have to prepare." He'd take another drink of tea looking around. "These are some nice artifacts you have acquired around here. Are you a collector as well?"

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Twinkle looked at him intently as he expressed his fears over something or somepony having it in for him. A feeling like that was not to be taken lightly.  "That sounds pretty serious... I do hope you're just paranoid. But I think we should do a reading or two just to be sure. I have a variety of methods I use in instances like these. I think we should start with either tarot cards or tea leaves. Just a matter of which... How thirsty are you?" she asked. She closed her eyes and concentrated for a moment, and her tarot deck and a tin of tea teleported into the air around her head. When she opened her eyes, a brief look of elation flashed across her face, and she set both items down on the table between the two. 

 

It was unclear whether or not she had heard his last question about artifacts. If she did, she had either forgotten about it or chosen to ignore it, though it was possible she simply hadn't heard him.

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"I think...perhaps...the tarot first?" as his doubt could be heard in his voice. "It is the one I am most familiar with, though even by that sense I hardly know anything about... and then lastly, perhaps if we have time...you could tell me what the stars are saying. Lately it seems they have quite the sense of humor, what with all this excitement lately." He'd lean back in his char and sigh deeply. "I believe you need my birthday for one of them. First month, 15th day," he'd say bluntly. "Coldest day in years from what my mother had told me... -15 before factoring in wind chill." he'd chuckle for a moment. "I know that last little tidbit is useless, but it's fun to tell ponies my birthday was a record setter. Better then saying I was born on the Summer Sun Celebration," he'd laugh.

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