Grimm Goose the Bard's Tales

by TheGreatEater

Chapter 1: The Three Mages

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The Three Tribes Mages

Once upon a time long ago, before the great frost claimed the land, there were three mages who met while traveling a grassy plain. Seeing that they were magic users, they decided to set up camp as the sunset regaling each other with tales of their adventures and boasts of their skills. Eventually as was wont to happen in those days the stories grew more exaggerated and aggressive as at the time the three tribes had yet to learn the importance of harmony.

Their strife drew a Draconequus who was as white as a winter’s snow, with golden horns, and eyes of gentle blue. He saw these travelers and appeared before them, “My, my, my what seems to be the problem here?” Ask the gentle spirit.

The Unicorn mare was the first to speak, “Hark, mighty spirit, we mages were telling tales of who was the better mage. Although it is clear that I, Archeon the Wise am the better. Who, and might I ask what are you?”

“Now wait here!” The Pegasus stallion said, “It is surely I, Arcane Thunder, who is the better, and our tales prove that I have had the most adventures out of all of us.”

“Pray tell how do you two figure yourselves the better,” The Earth Pony mare asked, “When it is I, Crystal Hooves, who is truly the best for I can bring life to lifeless lands. But I too am interested in to who you might be?”

The draconequus looked upon them and gave a serene smile, “I am a draconequus and my name is Volumus, and surely you all have great skill. This I can tell by the auras you have. But rather than strife and violence may I make a friendly wager?”

The three mages looked at one another measuring each other up. Each thinking themselves the greatest gave a nod to one another and turned to Volumus. It was Crystal Hooves who talked first, “What is this wager you ask? And what is the cost if we lose?”

With a flick of his left claw which was the shape of a griffon’s limb showed a Royal bounty in gold fit for a dragon’s horde before another flick made it disappear, “The wager is four tests of skill. The winner will receive wealth and renown beyond compare, as well as the granting of one rule free wish. As for the losers they will have to acknowledge without malice the skill of the winner. How does that sound?”

They all agreed to the wager. Archeon, for the chance of gaining infinite knowledge to help her untangle the mysteries of the universe, Arcane Thunder, for the chance of being one of the few to have utter mastery of Munin, the magical society of Pegasi. As for Crystal Hooves, she wished for a place to store all the magic of the races so that the knowledge of the three races wouldn’t be destroyed, or lost to time.

“This first test is to show me your strength, a spell and the others must undo or outdo it.” Volumus said cheerfully.

So it fell to Archeon the Wise to start. Feeling out the aethers, she grabbed and twisted the firmaments and formed an orb that held within a beautiful oasis. She grinned, doubting anypony would be able to undo such a spell.

Grinning mischievously, Arcane Thunder sat on his haunches as he lifted his forehooves. At first only a small trickle of lightning flicked between his hooves that quickly grew in intensity, twisting and shifting the mass of sparks before drawing the moisture around the group of ponies into a giant sphere of water that surrounded the plane. Then the glow grew even brighter before being released. As it did the water formed a giant sea serpent made out of snow and ice. The construct slammed into the portal, flooding the bubble in permafrost before spilling over filling the plane in a layer of snow. As the technique ended, the bubble was gone and Archeon was on the ground whimpering as the ice had transferred from the bubble to her horn.

Feeling he owed a fellow mage a common courtesy, he released a small technique to warm her horn melting the ice and warming her body. They gave one another a small bow before turning to the earth pony. She grinned softly and clapped her hooves together, forming a blue aura around them and placing them on the ground. As she did so, a transformation circle Pushing her magic into the ground causing it to shake and quake as a large forest sprung from the ground around them. Panting lightly she grinned at her companions daring them to top that.

Archeon laughed uproariously at the unspoken challenge of the earth pony. As she reached out to the trees her purple aura wrapping around the trees. Her horn grew brighter and brighter as she concentrated her magic. At the height of her spell, her body shook, sweat poured down her face and her breathing was heavy. Just as she reached her limit the trees turned into a forest of crystals. Crystal Hooves impressed by the display gave her a hearty pat on the back while laughing at the display.

So it came that it was Arcane Thunder’s turn. Closing his eyes and concentrating with all of his might, his body glowed and sparked with raw energy as he built up a powerful technique. The forest was alive with lightning and fire that heated the crystals until they grew white hot. Suddenly, they began to writhe like snakes, and began to shift and wiggle together. Forming the dark shape of a giant pony as it cooled, it turned out to be a giant statue in Arcane Thunder’s image with a plaque at the base that said Arcane Thunder is Best Pony!. Arcane Thunder fell on his haunches, his body drenched in sweat. “Try beating that!” He said between pants while grinning like a loon.

“Will do then we’ll see who the best pony is.” Crystal Hooves said the playful and stimulating manner of the competition making it a fun game of oneupponiesship. She pumped her magic into the ground, transmuting raw earth into ten metal pillars that rose up and then rolled them around the now barren landscape to encircle the statue at seemingly odd intervals. She placed her hooves on the ground which soaked up her magic forming an intricate and majestic transmutation circle using the pillars as focal points. Walking up to the statue, she nipped her heel and rubbed a bit of her blood onto her hooves. Placing it upon the base. The circle glowed blue and wisps of red growing in intensity until it reached into the sky in a blinding pillar of light. When the light dissipated, a tired and overexerted Crystal Hooves stumbled over to the others while a mountain made out of gold stood behind her.

“And beaten!” She mumbled hoping that nopony would best that.

She looked and saw them staring at her with their jaws dropped and a look of stunned wonder across their faces. Volumus laughed and with a wave of his paw the mountain vanished and the planes returned to its original state. Giving a chuckle he looked at the three ponies before him in a state of exhaustion each one of them having given their all in the first test.

“Congratulations my little ponies. That was a spectacular test of skills. The winner of this match goes to Crystal Hooves, with the second place going to Arcane Thunder. Now I will make a pond over to your left, all you need to do is rest within it and you will be restored to full health and power. Afterwards come to me and ask me for five things if you wish. These will be used to create a spell or magical object of great power to impress me. The one with the most impressive thing will win that round, and you have a week to complete it. To prevent cheating each of you will be blind to what the other is doing until they are ready to showcase it, although I will be watching all of you.”

The following day the three mages decided to take opposite sides of the plane so that they could have more room for their creations. Crystal Hooves asked for a garden of rare alchemy ingredients, a laboratory, and several rare liquids. Archeon asked for a mirror made from mithral, liquid silver, and an eldunari with the reflective surface forged from Star Diamonds ripped from the heart of a star. Arcane Thunder decided to use his own strength to build something that would last through the ages.

The seven days came and went, thus ending the allotted time in which to finish their creations. Crystal Hooves gave Volumus a Dream Walking potion that would with a single drop allow a pony to physically enter through the dreams of others experiencing worlds and adventures far beyond the ability of normal mages. Archeon brought forth her mirror that later tales would call The Mirror of Truth, that allowed the pony standing before it to witness their true selves stripped of all self deceptions and masks while Arcane Thunder made an interesting creation before them. While they wasted their time with mundane items he created something of beauty with his own strength like a proper pegasus. Building a massive ball of lightning, he tapped into the full fury of the skies and released a blast of power to chisel earth like a sculptor chisels stone.

Ripping through the land like a hot knife through butter he shaped it into the form of a giant canyon. Etching a path for the pool to flow down to a lake within the canyon’s floor as he stopped he utilized the technique used to make the statue he created earlier to form one of himself and the two others beside him drawing gems, and metals to form them while enchanting them to perpetually generate lightning, as well as draw water from the pool to form a rainbow mist within the canyon. He glided to the lake and rested while the others wasted the days away with their projects.

Volumus danced and laughed at the sight. “How splendid! To see the truth, and gain insight into who you truly are is a most interesting artifact. I can see this becoming a tale of legends someday. As for you, Arcane Thunder, you required no help, no assistance and with your own strength built this canyon. Wonderful craftsmanship and I like what you’ve done with the pool. I think I shall leave it where it is so that others may enjoy it as well. That means you, dear Crystal, lose this challenge. The next one determines the two who enter the final challenge. The test starts tomorrow.”

The next day the three mages had time to rest and talk. An interesting change had overcome them. They no longer talked as trying to prove they were the betters, but rather as friends. Having witnessed each others skills and mastery of the arts. They had started to talk about the impressive feats each had accomplished. Volumus appeared before them and, with a grin, sat between the three mages, “This next test will test your ability to adapt, to teach, and to follow. But if any of you wishes to back out, you can do so after I tell you what the test is.”

Clapping his hands together he said with smile that split his face in two, “Each of you will become a different pony type. You will then teach the pony that was your race how to do your branch of magic. I will create a space that will allow you a month of training in but a blink of an eye, but only those who are willing to do it.”

Archeon the Wise looked at her now friends, and asked Volumus, “Can you give us a moment to talk amongst ourselves?”

“But of course.” He said as he felt the strife within them melting away.

As he left the three mages sat and faced one another. Archeon the Wise turned to the others, “We are about equal in wins. No matter who wins two of us lose. Let’s talk about what’s at stake and see if we can’t figure out a way that we can all win.”

So they talked about their wishes. In the end they decided that Crystal’s wish carefully worded would allow all of them to have what they wanted. Calling over the Draconequus, Crystal Hooves stepped forward and spoke, “We have all talked to each other and my wish is the one we are going with.”

“Are you sure? You get only one rule free wish.” He asked.

“Yes, the vote was unanimous.”

“Well then by all means go ahead.” He said, sitting on a magically summoned throne.

“I wish for a place outside of normal time that one can enter without experiencing the flow of time. That stores all magical knowledge ever created to be protected and saved from the ravages of time, elements, or any form of destruction that is open to all who wish to enter it.” She recited

“Very well”, He said with a flick of his wrist a door appeared, “There are doors hidden throughout the planet. Those who seek knowledge and know where to look can find the entrances. As long as you are in there time will not affect anything in there. No age, no destruction, no death. But if you leave you will age like normal for as long as you are gone. Now may I ask why you wished as you did?”

“I made that wish because we all had good wishes, and it was wrong for one of us to win, but the others suffer. It was thanks to Archeon that all of our wishes were possible through the making of one.”

He gave a clap of his hands and said, “You all have done well, now make sure that the lesson you’ve learned here is shared to others.”

From that day on the three mages shared their story with all who would hear. Their actions would shape history and legend, and it was how the magical arts were saved. So if you have the thirst for knowledge and know where to look, one can to this day learn the lessons of our elders so that their wisdom will never be lost.

Author's Notes:

This story was edited by, kingtiger666 for the latest chapter of Golden Wings

Next Story: The Wishing Apple

Exposition for those who are interested.

Explanation on other pony magic can be seen here. Basics. Earth Ponies use Natural Energy, and Full Metal Alchemist style Alchemy, as well as nature magic. I love the fanon that has Pegasi using lightning for sewing, metal work, ect. And Lightning is the purest form of energy imo. So they shape it into patterns to do "Techniques" similar to Naruto ninjas. And unicorns are unicorns.

Liquid Silver is Mercury. I was looking for old terms for it [since the story is an old timey one.] and hydrogyros [water silver] sounded to retarded. And anyone whose read Eragon knows what an Eldunari is. Which the Heart of Hearts for a dragon is canon for me. Although in my head canon it doesn't dissolve, but acts as the core of a dragons memories and power. They can choose to live on it or not.

Next Chapter: The Wishing Apple Estimated time remaining: 7 Minutes
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