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When in Roam, do... A heist? [Closed, ask to join]


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Amber Shadow

Roam, a beautiful city on the far eastern shore of Equestria. Being so far from Canterlot, not many ponies from the Heartland bring it up in day-to-day conversations, but you wouldn’t guess that from the number of ponies in the bustling streets. Amber only just arrived the day before, but she was already sick of it. Not of the city itself, no, there was more than enough history to keep her interested. The thing that bothered her were the ponies themselves, couples acting all lovey-dovey as far as the eye could see. Roam may have once been the trade capital of Equestria, but now it was no more than a tourist destination for lovers.

 

It wasn’t all bad, she supposed. The constant stream of tourists guaranteed that the city was well kept. Libraries and museums full of ancient trinkets and tomes were dotted throughout the city, something that wouldn’t be possible without the constant influx of visitors. And even better, nopony seemed to stare at her much, considering her slightly unusual appearance. They were much too focused on staring lovingly at their partner to even watch where they were walking, occasionally bumping into another couple from time to time.

 

She let out a quiet groan of distaste, none of this was appealing in the slightest. Pushing her way past the swarms of lovestruck couples, she made her way to the largest museum in the city. Inside were hundreds of various artifacts, jewels, books, and other significant pieces of Roam’s history all on display for anypony to see. After many weeks of searching, she was certain the book she was looking for was on display at this very moment. 

 

Amber made her way into the museum, nodding politely to the guard as she walked through the entrance checkpoint. The museum was run by the city itself, and with her funds running worryingly low, the free entry was a blessing. She trotted past dozens of art exhibits; Statues, paintings, sculptures, there was just so much art here. Too much art if you asked her. Finally, she found herself in a relatively unoccupied wing of the museum, “Ancient Tomes and Artifacts.” Seems the ponies of the city weren’t as interested in magic and history as they were in the art that was ever prevalent. 

 

She walked up to each item on display; they were, of course, protected by a magic-nullifying glass case. Not powerful enough to stop magic entirely, but enough to prevent any curious onlookers from accidentally activating an artifact. Finally, she stopped in front of a display with an old, worn out book. The book was closed, and the title on the front was faded with time, but the plaque was very clear on exactly what this tome was.

 

Star Striker’s Journal.” She whispered to herself, nearly pressing her face against the glass to get a closer look at it. ‘Ugh, why couldn’t it have just been in the library?’ She thought to herself, there wasn’t even a reproduction copy in circulation, so the only way to read the contents inside was to actually read this book. She knew they wouldn’t just give up an important piece of the city’s history to anypony who asked, so that was out of the question. She took a step back, looking around the display room. There were plenty of other artifacts that held some actual power in here, assuming they weren’t replicas, any attempt to take something from the museum would surely be met with more force than she could handle on her own.

 

Just her luck, she finally got a proper lead on the spell she was looking for and she wouldn’t even be able to see it through. Letting out a deep sigh, she turned around and walked the winding journey back outside the museum. Moving past the various ponies trying to sell her trinket and baubles on the streets, she eventually found herself in a quieter part of the city. She needed to think, and the heart of Roam was no place to do so. Finding a bench, she sat down and pulled a small notebook from her saddlebag.

 

If she was going to get her hooves on that book, there was only one way to do it. She would have to steal it. Though, she had very little experience as an actual thief, and certainly didn’t know the museum well enough to get away with it. As much as she hated to admit it, she would need help. Relying on others wasn’t really her thing, but she knew her own limits, and this was certainly well beyond her. She jotted down a few notes about the museum, and checked her funds again. She grimaced when she saw how pathetically little money she had at the moment, she was hoping to get through Roam without taking on any jobs.

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Twinkle Dawn stared longingly at the Ancient Roaman amulet behind the glass of the museum's enclosure. It didn't have much power in it, of course (she had yet to come across an artifact that did), but still, it would be nice to have... Self-levitation required extreme mental effort, but having an amulet that would allow her to do it at will without even using her horn would make the task much simpler. 

 

She concentrated for a moment, and a slip of paper appeared in front of her. She knew what it said, but read over it again just to be sure. "New friends are in your future. A twisted path may lead the way straight. Some things that at first appear evil may be good. Some things that look broken may be the key to new opportunities." It was a very strange horoscope, especially for Twinkle. She didn't like the sound of it. However, if "the way straight" was pointing straight towards her goal, then it would be worth the risk. This was for the good of Equestria, after all. In the mean time, however, she continued wandering the hall looking for broken or damaged magical artifacts.

 

As she was examining a scepter, an odd pony walked into the room. Unlike most of the ponies she had seen in the museum so far, this one looked like she had a purpose in mind. She knew exactly what she was looking for, and it soon appeared that she found it. As Twinkle watched, fairly certain the pony hadn't noticed her (or if she had, just didn't care), she noticed that the unicorn's horn was... bent. That was odd. The words of her horoscope ran through her mind once more. "New friends are in your future... Some things that look broken may be the key to new opportunities." Perhaps she wasn't supposed to be looking for an artifact, but rather a pony that would appear in some way "broken"!

 

She came to this epiphany and began to trot towards the mare, when all of a sudden the unicorn turned on her heels and strode out of the museum entirely. Twinkle followed carefully, deciding to take this opportunity to watch the mare before formally introducing herself. After nearly losing her in the crowd twice, Twinkle finally watched her sit on a bench for a moment, and decided to take that opportunity to introduce herself. She trotted over, sat down next to her, and offered her hoof.

 

"Hi! I'm Twinkle Dawn! And you are?"

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Amber Shadow

Startled by the sudden appearance of another pony while she was deep in thought, Amber quickly flipped her notebook closed. She turned to the voice and nearly jumped out of the bench when she found herself face to face with the peach colored unicorn. She scooted back some, putting at least a little more distance between the two of them. When did she sit down here?

 

She looked down at Twinkle's extended hoof, then back up to the unicorn. Hesitating, she slowly reached her own hoof out to shake. "Amber." Thinking about it, there wasn't much reason for anypony to approach her in this city other than to sell her useless trinkets, and she certainly didn't recognize Twinkle Dawn's name. If all she wanted was to sell her something, she was out of luck, "I'm sorry, I don't have the bits to buy any souvenirs."

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Magnus wasn’t entirely sure what these two mares were doing, but he had been following them since the museum and neither seemed to notice. It seemed his stealth skills were still sharp enough even without his invisibility. At least against two ponies not paying attention. For now, the stallion found himself sitting in the shadows of the alley, watching the two introduce themselves. It seemed neither of them knew each other, which was interesting. He decided to get closer, his horn lighting up briefly before he faded from view and he walked closer to the two to hear them better. 

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  • AmberShadow changed the title to When in Roam, do... A heist? [Closed, ask to join]

Unbeknownst to the 'stealthy' stallion, a pair of eyes had been following him as well, keen eyes expertly picking out the faint traces of invisibility through decades of experience with such tricks. She'd caught him filching from a local stand and decided to tail him. See if he was worth her while, or if he was just another two-bit theif hiding under the guise of a noble.

 

It turns out her intuition, as usual, was spot on: it would appear he had lead her to yet another potential case. Her shifty demeanor and withdrawn behaviour spoke to her on a personal level. She'd need to get closer to investigate if this was real criminal activity or simply coincadence.

 

To those ends, she chose to bide her time for the perfect moment to introduce herself, blending into the background as she kept her ears trained towards the two (to three) ponies, pretending to peruse some wares. 

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Twinkle giggled a little at the unicorn's response. "Oh don't worry, I'm not here to sell anything, though I do readings, if you're ever interested. No, the truth is that I saw you in the museum and felt compelled to meet you. Call it fate, if you will." And by fate, Twinkle of course meant the will of the heavens. "I noticed you were one of the few other ponies interested in the artifacts and magical history of Roam. Is magic a special talent of yours?" She made a subtle gesture towards Amber's horn, quietly hoping that the other unicorn's answer would explain the strange feature. 

 

Just then she heard a sound, and turned her head quickly to see if somepony was approaching. But no one was there. She must have heard a street cat or something. She turned her attention back to the other unicorn.

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Amber Shadow

Readings? Amber glanced around and looked at Twinkle’s cutie mark. Ah, that made a lot of sense, actually. She knew it was only a matter of time before she started attracting ponies like this with a destiny as catastrophic as hers. Whether she was here to stop or assist her with whatever it was fate told her, it couldn’t hurt to find out. Perhaps she could even get a reading later to help her with her own goals.

 

The mention of the artifacts, and subsequently her special talent, caught her off guard though. “I- Uh..” Not good, if Twinkle knew what Amber was planning, there was a chance the guards were already on their way and she was merely stalling. She might already know about her mark, turning in a pony with a curse like hers would surely- Calm down Amber, not everypony is out to get you. She reassured herself.

 

When Twinkle gestured to her horn, and not her cutie mark, Amber could feel her nerves calming slightly. She wasn’t questioning her about fate or destiny, setting her up, or anything else ridiculous. She was just curious about her horn, something that seemed to catch the attention of a lot of ponies, even if the topic made her uncomfortable.

 

I do enjoy reading about ancient magic,” Amber replied, sidestepping the true nature of the question. “The way the spells were formed in the old days has always fascinated me.” She let out a sigh, turning away from Twinkle, “I heard they had Star Striker’s journal here, and I was hoping to take a look at some of the spells inside but…” There was no harm in telling her that much, she hadn’t even noticed Twinkle was watching her in the museum so dodging the subject would probably be suspicious.

 

She noticed Twinkle’s ear twitch, and saw her quickly turn to look down the alleyway. Amber didn’t hear, or see, anypony down that way and paid it no mind.

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Magnus listened to the two mares conversing as he surveyed the area. He could feel eyes on him, but they could just as easily be on the two mares nearby. Of course, there had been eyes on him for a while, but he had no reason to call them out. For now, he remained wary, his eyes drifting towards a mare that seemed to be pretending to browse at a stand. And it seemed like this Amber was interested in some ancient magic book in the museum. Well, perhaps that could be useful to his own ends, either directly or as a bargaining chip. 

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Subtly, the disguised bat's ears twitched towards the conversation happening just across from her. A book? She still couldn't be sure if this was the makings of an elicit event, or if this was like the coffee case. Or the janitor case. Or the waitress case. Or the pizza case. No, that pizza delivery cold had definitely snuck something onto her pizza. She needs to track him down one of these days...

 

She could drop it- it could be nothing, and just the musings of an overactive mind, but Orange Cream never left things to chance! They could be plotting something nefarious! ... Or they could be normal tourists.

 

Wandering from the stand with a brochure in-hoof, she circled around to get a little closer, nose stuck in the admittedly enticing images. Ooh, was that a bathhouse? How would that work...?

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If anyone could understand wanting access to magic she couldn't achieve, it was Twinkle. Her search for Grogar's bell and the Alicorn Amulet had been going on for years now, and she was still no closer to finding either of them. "I know what that's like. A lot of those artifacts seemed really interesting. I wish I could have tried even one of them out! Magic isn't something that should be put on a shelf. It needs to be used! That's why the artifacts were made in the first place!" 

 

Her thoughts were once again drawn to the artifacts she sought herself. Then a thought popped into her head. Perhaps this unicorn would know a thing or two about Grogar's bell! She mentally pinned it as a conversation topic to bring up later, when she could do so without arousing suspicion. "So what kinds of ancient spells interest you the most? And what do you think you would find in Star Striker's journal?"

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Amber’s neutral expression gave way to a slight smile hearing Twinkle express such interest in the ancient magic on display, it was nice not being the only pony around who could appreciate this type of thing. She felt a little bad immediately being suspicious of her when she first approached, it seems she was just looking for somepony to talk to about the display. It’s not like there were many other ponies checking out the room of artifacts, it was no wonder she stood out to Twinkle.  

 

Spells?” She thought about it, her favorite spells were hard to pin down. She usually enjoyed deconstructing the spells more than actually casting them, mostly because she wasn’t nearly powerful enough to cast half of them. The ancient magic she enjoyed required… Quite a bit more than an average unicorn could muster on her own. If she had to choose, it would be the specialty of the pony she looked up to, Star Striker. “I really like the way transmutation was used. I’ve read that they used to be able to alter so much more than just simple objects and creatures, there are tales of Star Striker changing the very fate of those around him. To be able to alter not only what you look like, but who you are!


Amber let out a deep sigh, “I was actually hoping to find something more about that in the journal, I’ve been tracking a particular fate transmutation spell down for months now and all the remaining signs point to here. It would be so much easier if I could just go in there and take it, it’s not like anypony would miss it. You and I were practically the only ones who even gave those things the time of day! I bet nopony in this city even cares about the history behind it! I- I uh..” She realized she was standing on the bench, waving her hooves around wildly. Taking a moment to calm down she slowly took her seat again. She closed her eyes and her expression returned to it's normal, emotionless state, “... Sorry about that.

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Magnus sat nearby the two mares, listening to their conversation while scanning the crowd for any other eavesdroppers or watchers. He wasn’t entirely convinced that there was nothing else watching them, so he was going to stay vigilant for now. As far as the conversation was going though, it seemed they were both interested in ancient magic, which might be a good thing for him to use as well. Perhaps there were better ways to use his magic that he could discover in there, he wanted every advantage to completely crush those that crossed him. 

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What a passionate young mare! It reminded her of herself when she was still on the Force. Naïve, but so full of energy. None of them understood her brilliance, though. None of them could see the logic behind her actions, and preferred to keep the wool over their eyes.

 

But not her. 

 

This conversation has the potential to evolve into something much greater. All it would take is one push, one inkling of an idea, and she just knew it would happen. Probably. She'd been wrong before, but those occasions were few and far between 

 

"I actually happen to be a fan of history."

 

With her mind made, she pulled aside the curtains and took stage, equipping a somewhat nervous smile as she approached the mares as if overhearing them in passing, folding up the brochure to give them her full attention.

 

"Um... Books, and stuff. I may not have a horn, but magic is just so fascinating!" 

 

Then she paused, eyes widening.

 

"Oh! Excuse me! Sorry, I just... I'm easily excited..."

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Twinkle Dawn listened as the other unicorn's excitement grew. She could hardly blame her; after all, she had gone into many a rant about astrology. "That's so interesting!" she said as Amber detailed the transmutation spell. 

 

Amber then proceeded to allude to a specific spell, but before Twinkle could ask for more information on it, a passerby suddenly injected herself to the conversation. It was clear she'd been eavesdropping, though how much she had heard was not so obvious. "That's alright..." she said, a little caught off guard by the pony's sudden entrance. "Magic is indeed fascinating! Amber and I were discussing ancient forms of transmutation. Magic isn't my talent, per say, but I have been honing my abilities, trying to get the most out of my horn. However, I must agree with Amber that learning about magic, even if I'm unable to channel it personally, is quite captivating."

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