Twilight Sparkle sat in her sanctuary, her study. With so many rooms in her castle she was able to have her own study, a fact that pleased her quite a bit. It was different from an office. Offices were places of business, studies were places of relaxation. Many, but not all, of the books and scrolls were rotated as Twilight saw fit. She kept a few items that were close to her here, but would rotate certain materials out based on her current interests. If she was suddenly interested in studying inter-dimensional it made more sense to keep books on that close, than for her to go back and forth from the library all the time.
Right now her interests were in her student, Starlight Glimmer, and she was not here. That, was entirely to be expected. She wanted to test something. Twilight looked up at the granfather clock by the wall as it sounded a heavy ticking. Twilight had asked Spike to tell Starlight she was wanted here at a specific time. By knowing just when Spike would tell Starlight, she could see how long it would take her to get to the study. Whenever Starlight would arrive she'd find Twilight sitting a a coffee table casually waiting for her.
There was going to be some friendship practice going on today. No lesson planned, but hopefully bonds would be strengthened, even if just a little.
Post by Starlight Glimmer on May 2, 2016 22:41:15 GMT -6
Starlight passed the kitchen for a third time and almost screamed.
When she heard Twilight was going to take her back to live in Ponyville, she'd been happy. Ponyville was a small town. She liked small towns. She knew small towns. They were easy to manage and get around, usually had some nice nature around them, and everybody knew everybody. Cities were too big and mazelike, and while she loved to make mazes, actually walking one herself was enough to drive her through the wall!
Not "up" the wall. Through.
She stopped to catch her breath and looked toward an empty crystalline spot in the corridor, her reflection hazy in the semiopaque surface. The thought repeated, and then she shut it down. Friends don't smash friends' interior structures.
Spike had come by Starlight while she was writing in her diary and said Twilight was waiting for her in her study. Simple enough. She was pretty sure it was just down the hall from the library... but then she realized, the library wasn't down the way she thought it was from her room. She only remembered the way to it from Twilight's room. So she had to go find Twilight's room—but when she jogged to where she thought Twilight's room was, she wound up in the map room!
So that's why, when she finally stumbled on the library by sheer stupid luck, having run down a hallway that she was sure had nothing just because she hadn't tried it yet, she finally broke into a run for the study. Twilight had been waiting—she couldn't keep her teacher cooling that long! What if she came too late and had to delay the lesson? What if this was an important one? What if the delay sets her one off from a situation she doesn't know what to do about and then she screws it up and Twilight gives up on her?!
Starlight flung open the door—to the sanitary closet. A mop fell out from it and landed on her head.
She was almost ready to toss out a word even more colorful than her therapy chapbook when she heard a ticking behind her. ...That ticking was familiar. It was the grandfather clock... The one in Twilight's study!
She whirled on her hooves, slamming the closet with her magic and drawing herself up before she knocked politely and peeked the door open, poking her head in. Oh, sweet unholy horseapples. Twilight was sitting at the coffee table. Did she have tea there that went cold?
"Hey~ sorry I kept you waiting! Still uh, hah, still getting my bearings, you know? ..." She levitated the mop off her head and grinned at her teacher sheepishly.
Last Edit: May 2, 2016 22:44:47 GMT -6 by Starlight Glimmer: I'm a truther, but my thing is insisting Liberace slept inside his piano like Dracula
Twilight looked at the time. She didn't know where Starlight would have been when she received the summons, but it had been long enough for her to gather that her student had gotten turned around. She wasn't in a rush. Things would happen when they happened. In fact, it only strengthened her resolve in what she had planned for today. She gently tapped her hooves together, applauding her sheer brilliance, and celebrating in her own excitement. This was going to be great.
"Come right in Starlight." she welcomed her student. Her horn lit up with magic as she lifted a pillow, fluffed it, and set it beside her. She wanted Starlight to sit next to her, not across. "I was looking through a few things, and I found something that I wanted to show you." The Princess's horn still aglow reached out with magic and levitated a few large scrolls to the table. "There's also something I wanted to give to you, but that will be for later."
Post by Starlight Glimmer on May 2, 2016 23:19:39 GMT -6
Twilight... didn't look miffed. Or bothered. She didn't even acknowledge Starlight's lateness at all. A breath of relief left her as she stepped in, closing the door behind her.
"Thanks," she said as she took the offered seat, curling her tail around herself and examining the layout before them. Scrolls? That kind of surprised her; she didn't figure Twilight would be trusting her with any magic practices any time soon, after... well. The last time she got her hooves on a scroll. "What is it you wanted to show me?"
"Something near and dear to me." Twilight answered as she began to unroll them one by one. The oldest was first and looked to be drawn with crayon. It was a series of lines with numbers, symbols, and a legend to go with it. It was a map, and by the title of it, a map of a portion of Celestia's School for Gifted Unicorns. There was another portion of the school. The next few were of a similar age, but in colored pencil, and sported ruler-straight lines. They were floors of the palace in Canterlot. Next was a map of Ponyville. The most recent, was a floor of The Castle of Friendship.
"I can look at a spell and figure it out easily. I can memorize passages in a book without trouble. Figuring out a three dimensional space that's quite a bit larger than myself has always been difficult. Going to a new school, studying and eventually living at the palace, moving to a new town, getting a new castle... The first few weeks can always be rough when I'm trying to learn where everything is by walking around. I can read a map, but you can't keep maps of everywhere you go with you all the time." Twilight looked at Starlight with a flat look, as if she may know what her student was thinking. "Yes, I know there are spells to increase a bag's holding capacity so it is larger on the inside, so you could carry a bunch of maps around, but that's no way to learn."
She waved her hoof across her maps and allowed Starlight a moment to look through them if she wanted. After the moment fresh parchment and a pencil hovered over, along with a weighty looking pouch. "I know this place can turn you around. It used to turn me around too. I was thinking maybe if you made your own maps, it might help you understand the layout of this place a bit better. This bag is an allowance of bits. You can use this to buy materials, but also to furnish your room, and your study how you like. You live here, so it makes sense you should be able to be comfortable in your own personal space." Twilight smiled, hoping Starlight would receive the information well. As far as the Unicorn knew, she only had a bedroom at the moment, or rather, until now.
Post by Starlight Glimmer on May 3, 2016 0:45:43 GMT -6
Starlight looked with no small awe at the three maps shown to her. She glanced over the map of Ponyville, though she'd picked one of those up at the station long ago, and looked over the map of the Castle, which she was amazed even existed... but her eyes kept drawing back to that first one. Done in crayon, but such a meticulous recreation of a place Starlight only pictured in her head, over and over and over. Sunburst probably drew one, too...
She shook her head to snap out of it and looked to Twilight, focusing back on her words. Right. She was frustrated, probably, with the constant tardiness. Understandable... though, she opened her mouth to point out that, actually, there is this one spell that can expand a bag's inside by—but, Twilight called her on that, and she just went back to a sheepish smile, letting her mentor continue.
The clank of the pouch made her eyebrows lift. She'd not seen a wallet with that much bulge in quite a while. A little thrill shot through her—she loved shopping! And she was getting an assignment to do it? She tucked a bit of her mane back, trying not to grin as much as she very obviously wanted to.
"Well... I-I mean, gosh, I don't even know what to say! This is... I guess it's pretty obvious, I really need to get used to this place. But... heh." She rubbed the back of her head with a hoof. "It... it means a lot to me that you want it to feel more like home. I'm honored and indebted to you, Twilight, just to be here, so if you want me to make it my own, I'll—"
She stopped. "...Hooold on, uh, rewind on that. Did you say my study?" Twilight couldn't have actually said that.
"MmHmm!" she sounded with a bright smile. "This place has a lot of empty rooms in it. While you're mapping the castle out, take not of rooms that aren't in use. When you're done, pick one. That will be your study. You can use the space to work on and keep your projects, relax, entertain guests... use it how you like. There's no time limit, so you can go at your own pace." Twilight reached out with a hoof and placed it on Starlight's shoulder.
"If you're going to live here, you're going to feel comfortable here. I know a bit of what you're going through. When you get stressed you need a place of your own to unwind. I want you to have that." Twilight remembered her long adjustment period to Ponyville. Gosh were there some hurdles she had to jump through. Winter Wrap-Up had been a nightmare... thinking of which, starlight would have to be clued in on the local customs. She'd do that later. "You're here to learn, but I'm here to help you. If you ever have any questions, or need something, you can come to me Starlight."
Post by Starlight Glimmer on May 3, 2016 1:30:56 GMT -6
She looked straight back to the map of the Palace. Hideous Haybales, if Twilight wasn't kidding about that, then... then she'd not just have quarters. Unless she intentionally took the smallest, there were good-sized rooms in this place, it could be like... like being in a house again.
A hoof touched her shoulder, and she jumped. But she looked to Twilight and just stared for a second. Some touch of guilt bore up. Maybe this was her way of saying that Starlight had been a bit too obvious about all the stress she had balling up, she needed to take it and put it into working harder, or something like that. But even if it was, she was being so nice about it, even though she didn't have to at all... it just...
Before Starlight could overthink it, she leaned straight over and gave Twilight a hug. It wasn't humble of her, it probably wasn't appropriate, but the urge took her and she knew she had to follow. "Thank you," she said. And held long enough for her teacher to get that she meant it.
And then, with a nervous little laugh, drew back and straightened up in her seat. "Sorry..." She didn't look so sorry, though. She looked at the table again and clapped her hooves together.
"Eee, I'm excited already! Okay, okay. First things first. I guess top of the list is to do that shopping, right? I'll get materials for the basic map, and..." a thought came to her mind, so she lit her horn, levitating the map of the castle up a little before them. "...And that'll just be the start. I'm assuming you've mapped out the other floors too, right? How did you go about it?"
Last Edit: May 3, 2016 1:32:50 GMT -6 by Starlight Glimmer: We should add an extra letter to the alphabet just to see how long it takes kids to notice it's not used in any words
Twilight was taken back by the hug. It was unexpected, but not unwelcome. She hugged her student back hard enough to let her know it was appreciated. "Don't be. You're pretty good at that by the way." she smirked and gave Starlight a friendly poke. The girl could hug. As soon as it was over though, she was back on track to the project.
"Figure out what you'll need first, and make a shopping list. That should be step one." Starlight was probably being rhetorical, but she wanted to encourage her when she was on the right track. "You are correct. I've mapped out the entirety of this place. I started at the front doors, then worked my way down, and then up. I want you to make your own maps, however you feel comfortable doing it, with one minor speed bump. I don't want you using any mapping spells. If you add a hallway, you make the penstroke yourself. No using spells to map the rooms and have the dimensions appear on parchment. I know it may be a little longer and more tedious, but you'll have an intimate knowledge of this place by the time you're done."
[b["When you're done you'll have a new study all to yourself. I will also let you read from an old journal. One from before the times of Nightmare Moon. Chapters of pages Celestia and Luna wrote, and that I have added in as well. One day, I hope some entries will have your signature at the end of it."[/b]
Post by Starlight Glimmer on May 6, 2016 15:47:22 GMT -6
"Right, a list," she said cheerily, as if that'd already been on her mind. She wasn't so great about itemizing things—when something needed doing, she just did that, and then followed onto the next thing, trusting her priorities. ... That hadn't worked out so great, though. So without looking, she floated over a piece of blank paper from Twilight's desk and one of her side quills, not the nice one.
The first things on her list weere about the ones Twilight might expect. Ink, parchment, ruler, paper blade, enchanted quill—wait. She stopped mid-stroke and looked back at Twilight like she'd just sprouted a second face.
"Wait wait wait," she said. "Back up again. No spells? But I'm not a cartographer, Twilight, what if I screw up the dimensions? Or if I get lost while I'm still mapping it? Or if I miss a room? Some of your doors look pretty samey..." It made no sense to her. How would it give her a more intimate knowledge of the place to get it wrong right from the start? She had perfect confidence that she would.
And yet... the sound of that journal. Some ancient tome with knowledge forgotten to all but three or four ponies in existence. It made her feel... well, after what happened with that Starswirl scroll she stole? It made her feel trusted. Maybe she should trust Twilight in kind. She smiled apologetically to the Princess.
"...S-sorry. Second thinking that, that was a bit out of line of me, huh?" She scratched out the enchanted quill and just wrote "quill" in. ...Followed by "adhesive" and "coloring markers." "No spells. No magic. Got it. But... if I'm doing it like that, is it okay if I make the map a bit more extensive? I think better translating three dimensions to, you know, three dimensions instead of some two-dimensional guesswork."
"Unforgivable." Twilight said. She wasn't going to get Starlight just be sorry for second guessing her. "You've done nothing wrong. You have every right to ask questions if you have them Starlight. You can still use magic to write, or use a tape measure, but you can't use spells that would map an area or just give you the dimensions dimensions. By touching, feeling, and doing the work yourself you get to do more than learn the layout of the castle, you get to know it. If you used a spell to do all the work for you, all you'll have is a map that you'll have to carry around."
"You can make a model if you like. Keep in mind, you don't need perfect results the first time around. Make as many rough drafts as you like. If you want you can take a piece of chalk, or small stickers and place them on doors you've mapped. That way if you get lost, or think you missed something, you can see where you have been before. I can let Spike know not to touch anything like that until you feel you're done."
Post by Starlight Glimmer on May 12, 2016 14:25:34 GMT -6
"Wh–" She was taken aback for a second, but then relaxed after she realized it wasn't actually unforgivable. ...That kind of social intricacy, she was still getting used to. She nodded with her teacher's instructions, though, her hind hoof thoughtfully tapping under the coffee table.
After a moment of deliberation, she noted down some other materials. "I'll do a model! It's what I'm most used to, and as long as I'm careful in my planning stages I should be able to get good fidelity from the first draft." It was already taking shape in her head. That little thrill settled in again, the notion of having a project with a goal galvanizing her.
"...But..." She put the note pad down, a thought having occurred to her. She'd never been in a castle before, but to hear the stories... maybe... "I, um... I do have to ask. Are there any of those 'magical room' things going on here? Like, one that's bigger on the inside or that moves around based on you needing it? Because that would ... that might be hard to replicate. And it would explain some of the turns I took this morning."
"A model sounds like so much fun! I can't wait to see you at work! That is, if it's okay if I check in on you. If you'd rather I see the final product I understand." The Princess was excited for her student because her student seemed excited. Starlight said she was most used to model making. Was it a hobby? She had to find out.
"There are no magical rooms in the castle yet. Nothing that appears when needed. Nothing that is bigger or smaller on the inside, or leads to an unconnected part of the castle. Some doors may be locked, and I may had hidden a door or two for my own secret sanctuaries, but nothing should impede your measurements."
"So, you like to build models. Is it a hobby? I'd like to know more about you."
Post by Starlight Glimmer on May 13, 2016 14:32:57 GMT -6
Starlight considered that. On one hoof, it would be nice to go the extra mile and really try to impress Twilight, show her that she can do some pretty impressive work... on the other hoof, it would probably be better for her to have some oversight. Especially during these crucial early stages.
"I think it's alright if you check in on it," she said. "Just, uh, just so I can be sure I'm not doing badly, I guess. I've always built models, though, so..."
Two memories surfaced to mind.
One in which she was a little filly again. Pigtails in her mane, a towel draped like a sash over her shoulders. She had built at least a dozen haphazard, multicolored buildings out of the Haygo blocks in her basket—a bank, some houses, three Town Halls, and "cop house." In which cops live. Sunburst laid across the town from her, moving the little Haygo figures around town in his magic, making them meet and talk and get breakfast. And she was the Supreme Mayor Forever! She was building more houses, nicer ones, for the ponies of Starburston to live in harmony forever!
Then she remembered building a much different model town. The one made of plaster and wood and fine mineral material. Things that made it all gleam so perfectly. There were no cop houses, no mayors. There was no Sunburst. Just her, a basement lit by lanterns, and a vision of something so much bigger than herself. It was probably still sitting in that basement, come to think of it, in the empty husk of what would have been Our Town.
She shook her head to clear the thought.
"S-so I guess you could call it a hobby, yeah," she said, smiling faintly. "It helps me think, being able to get my hooves on things, see how it all works together. I like building places more than objects, but I've made a few ships in bottles when I had the time to. I feel like... lines on paper can't get some ideas across, you know?"
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