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[AU] Inspire

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I drew this last year!!! Just today pulled it up today and finished it finally! Finally.
Motivation is evil. It comes and goes XD

Meet Shadow Star, a unicorn with a small nub of a horn and is Empress Celestia’s hidden champion, guard, assassin, and close friend. She is one of the few ponies that has no fear of the majestic alicorn and will speak her mind to the empress, not fawning or blankly agreeing with her majesty. At Celestia’s request, Shadow began to investigate rumors of a plot to overthrow the sun-marked ruler. The guardpony learned that the plot involved the young princesses in some capacity, so Shadow began to replace the twin’s teachers with those that could be trusted. The girls’ physical education instructor, a Pegasus named Iron Pike, was the first to be replaced by Shadow herself. Using her years of martial arts teaching experience, Shadow began to instruct Sunset and Twilight in the art of self defense without them even realizing it. She was the girls’ favorite instructor, until Atisuto took over teaching history, magic, and art… but that’s a story for another time.

Shadow Star belongs to DonTheBassMan! He's been contributing a lot to this AU's development and got some real awesome ideas. I can't wait to get 'em all out when the time comes!

Story below is written by the super talented DonTheBassMan

It had been a wonderful morning for the little princesses, running and flying through the various obstacles in the courtyard under the watchful gaze of their instructor, Shadow Star. To Sunset and Twilight, they were just playing games with the lavender unicorn, not realizing that they were training and learning while doing so.

“Okay girls,” Shadow called out. “Time for lunch!” 

The alicorns landed next to their mentor as she laid out a blanket and settled down. Shadow pulled over a nearby picnic basket and opened it, pulling out a plate.

“Sandwiches?” Sunset asked, peering into the open basket.

The unicorn mare smiled and shook her head, “Not really.” She replied, pulling a large loaf of knotted bread out of the basket and set it down on the plate. “My friend, Sweet Nibbles, owns The Bake Shoppe and she made us something special today.” 

Twilight sniffed, “Garlic and Cheese!”

Shadow nodded, “Correct, Twilight!” she smiled at the purple filly. “It’s pull apart bread, you pull it apart to eat it.” The mare demonstrated using her purple magic to pull a knot out, stretching some of the melted cheese, before eating it. “Dig in!”

Hungry from the morning’s activities, Sunset and Twilight quickly pulled parts of the delicious bread off, giggling as the stringy cheese refused to let go and just stretched. It didn’t take long for the foals to get the hang of dealing with the cheese and soon the knotted bread was nothing but crumbs. 
The amber alicorn, Sunset, trotted over to her little saddlebags and pulled out a card along with a quill and ink pot. With items held in her red magic, she trotted back to her sister and teacher.

“What’s that for, Sunset?” inquired Shadow, having placed the plate back in the basket and moved a cushion over. 

“A thank you card,” The filly replied, setting the card down and opening it. “It’s to say thank you for our treat!” Sunset started to write using the quill, “Dear Ms. Sweet Nibbles, thank you so much for the delicious bread! It was very tasty and was a wonderful lunch! Thank you again! Sincerely, Sunset Shimmer.” She said aloud as she wrote. Once she was finished, Sunset passed the quill to her sister and turned the card.

“Thanks, sis!” Twilight smiled, using her pink magic, she dipped the quill in the ink and began to write, speaking out loud as she did, “Dear Ms. Sweet Nibbles, The bread was delicious and I loved the stringy cheese! It was fun to eat! Thank you for sending it! Sincerely, Twilight Sparkle.” Once complete, the purple alicorn turned the card to Shadow and passed her the quill.
“My turn, I see,” stated Shadow with a chuckle, taking the quill. “Hi, Sweet Nibbles. The bread was wonderful! It was so good that there isn’t any left. Thank you! Your Friend, Shadow Star,” stated the lavender mare aloud, doing the same as the fillies did. 
Sunset took the card from Shadow when she had finished and slid it into an envelope. “Could you give this to Ms. Nibbles for us?” the amber alicorn asked.

“Of course,” replied the unicorn, taking the card and slipping into the basket. “That was very sweet of you both.”

“Momma always said to say thank you when somepony does something nice for you,” stated Twilight.

“And since she isn’t here, a card is the best way to do so!” Sunset followed up. “And thank you for taking it to her.”

“You’re very welcome,” Shadow shifted, attempting to get comfortable on the rough surface she chose to rest on.

“I’m glad you’re one of our teachers,” stated the purple alicorn, her older sister nodded in agreement. 

“Why’s that, Twilight?” the mare inquired; her eyebrow raised.

“You don’t yell or shout at us when we mess up,” the filly responded, her light purple eyes sparkling. “And your lessons are fun!”

“Yeah!” Sunset chimed in. “Not like our previous teacher, Iron Pike.” She puffed herself up a bit. “You got to run, run, run ‘til you can’t run no more and then run some more!” the filly called out, causing her younger sister to giggle and Shadow to chuckle.

“I really like the dancing!” Twilight clapped her hooves together. 

“Me too!” Sunset bounced a little.

“I’m very happy you do!” The unicorn gave the little ponies a warm smile. “Do you know why I don’t yell or shout?”

“Because you’re nice?” Twilight replied.

“Well, that’s part of it,” stated Shadow.

Sunset furrowed her brow for a moment in thought, her green eyes unfocused, then looked to the lavender mare. “You believe a true leader doesn’t need to shout or yell.”

Shadow’s smile grew, “Exactly, Sunset.”

“Oh! I remember that from a scroll in your school!” Twilight added. Closing her eyes, she recited, “A true leader leads through actions, inspiring others to follow through deeds, not threats.”

“Well done, Twilight!”

“I can’t recite any of the scrolls like she can,” Sunset looked down at her hooves.

Shadow lifted the amber filly’s chin, “That’s okay, you remember the meaning of them.” She smiled at the alicorn. “Everypony has their own way of learning and doing things.” Looking between the two foals she continued. “The only pony you should ever compare yourself to… is yourself.” 

Celestia stood in the shadows of the doorway to the courtyard, watching her children talking with the guardspony. She listened with a soft smile. 

“You don’t compare your magic to your mother’s, right?” Shadow asked the little alicorns. 

“No,” they both chimed back.

“And you don’t compare your dancing to mine?” 


“So, don’t compare yourselves to each other.” The unicorn shook her head. “Look to others as inspiration, and only compare yourself to yourself. Are you better now than you were before?”

The sisters looked at each other for a moment and grinned. Celestia watched with a raised eyebrow.

“NO!” They shouted as they pounced on their teacher.

Shadow Star (c) DonTheBassMan 
Sunset and Twilight (c) Hasbro/Lauren Faust
Art & Character Redesigns (c) CastASpellLiana 
Sweet Nibbles (mentioned) is an old oc of mine
Image size
2979x1568px 4.62 MB
anonymous's avatar
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vi333's avatar


CastASpellLiana's avatar
CastASpellLianaStudent General Artist
Thank you!!  >u<
Kylecope's avatar
KylecopeHobbyist Traditional Artist
That's adorable!
And I like the story idea, "some ponies think they'll get to your daughters, I can fix that." And then she comes to adore the twins too!
Compliments to DontheBassMan for that good writing too. A cute story
CastASpellLiana's avatar
CastASpellLianaStudent General Artist
Thank you!!
Heheh yeah it's a cute idea! I love that Celestia isn't alone in building them up right. Don's got some really great ideas up his sleeves 
DonTheBassMan's avatar
Thank you! I look forward to writing more!
Ch0c0butt's avatar
Ch0c0buttHobbyist General Artist
Hmmmm, why girls have one-full hooves and their teacher has cleaved ones?
CastASpellLiana's avatar
CastASpellLianaStudent General Artist
Shadow Star is a full unicorn :> I'm not sure if she's pure unicorn, but she does have a unicorn heritage

The girls have full hooves to represent earth-ponies, same case with the tail. It's like how fluff and wings are for pegasi. The only unicorn physical characteristic they inherited is the (curved) horn.

Celestia and Luna has the same characteristics, while Cadance is different in the way her hooves are cloven, and her tail is feathered. She doesn't have any obvious earth pony

It's to represent a similarity in the family and create a difference between the Alicorn families, as Cadance comes from a different alicorn bloodline
DonTheBassMan's avatar
Shadow Star is pure unicorn. Her birth family prides itself on it's bloodline and magical prowess, and since Shadow has only a nub of a horn, her magic doesn't live up to their expectations. So her early life wasn't really good, luckily she ended up with a different family and raised in a much better situation.
Ch0c0butt's avatar
Ch0c0buttHobbyist General Artist
Hmmm, I guessed this tbh, but it's nice to have a confirmation :3 Makes perfect sense that some alicorns would have traits of all three races
Also, I can't wait to see Cadance!
heathfiedler's avatar
Twilight looks a bit annoyed 
CastASpellLiana's avatar
CastASpellLianaStudent General Artist
Oh no 
Her eyebrows are a bit hidden with her bangs there. She's really just focused
heathfiedler's avatar
lol i see, well that don't make her any less cute n.n

" sigh" Honestly id love to have my oc meet these to n.n I know he would think they are adorable
despite him looking a bit scary.
AYArtzRamen's avatar
AYArtzRamenHobbyist Digital Artist
do twilight and sunset have true immortality (never age or die) or is it just normal immortal (still aging but slowly and stops at a certain point)?
CastASpellLiana's avatar
CastASpellLianaStudent General Artist
I would say normal immortal, in a way! They age normally, with the same pace as non-alicorns, but stops at a certain point. They won't die of old age, but they can die from fatal wounds.
Moruro's avatar
MoruroHobbyist Digital Artist
Cutie mark  with yin and yang hmmm 
CastASpellLiana's avatar
CastASpellLianaStudent General Artist
It's the sun and moon!
Moruro's avatar
MoruroHobbyist Digital Artist
(hidden meaning: helps to share the last cake between Celestia and Luna)
DonTheBassMan's avatar
Shadow Star is a fearless ninja.... She'll STEAL the cake, hide, and devour the delectable treat!
Moruro's avatar
MoruroHobbyist Digital Artist
this is treason to the motherland >:^00
DonTheBassMan's avatar
Only if she's caught before she can replace the cake!
Moruro's avatar
MoruroHobbyist Digital Artist

replace with a cardboard cake?

DonTheBassMan's avatar
She's brave but not crazy!

She'd replace it with a cake that looks like a log, like a buche de noel!
anonymous's avatar
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