Silvern Gleam [Unicorn]

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Silvern Gleam [Unicorn]

Post by Syron on Wed Jan 01, 2014 10:26 am

Basic Information:
Name: Silvern Gleam, "Sil"
Species: Unicorn
Gender: Female
Age: 42 (Year 12)
Virtue: Diligence
Alignment: Rebels

Occupation: Specialist for artifacts and enchantments, magic teacher, member of Rebellion High Command

Appearance:
Height: 4'8
Coat Color: Yellow
Mane/Tail Color: Purple
Eye color: Silver
Usual Accessories: She always wears an amulet in the shape of a stylized eye, with a sapphire in the center. It's not often seen, in public she wears a white scarf to hide it. Apart from that, Silvern without the red hair band would also be a rather unusual sight.
Cutie Mark: To use her mentor's words: "Looks a bit like the amulet you’re wearing, but like a crude sketch with silver ink. Somehow alienated." ((She “sees” only the magical structure of objects, that’s what the cutie mark represents.))

Picture:


Special Talent - Magic Sight:
Sil is blind and uses her talent to “see”. In a world like Equestria everything has some magic inside it, and this she can sense; the more magic something contains, the clearer it appears to her.  This ability grants her a truly unique perception of the world, with advantages and drawbacks as well. Within close range she senses everything around her, though it lacks detail. To really get information about an object, she has to concentrate on it, but this way is able to increase her usual three meter range threefold. By reaching out like this she can also search for signatures she doesn't automatically sense, but unfortunately she has some troubles determining their exact location.

Magic sight isn't blocked by objects or walls, making it hard to hide from her once she's alarmed. It needs time for her to check the whole environment and she might miss something, but getting closer than three meters without her noticing is practically impossible at any time she's awake.

Active use of magic is a clear beacon for her. If anything is cast nearby, she'll know about it. While low powered spells like levitation are only visible to her within about 25 meters, this goes up to 100 meters for the most powerful ones. However, only getting within normal sight range allows her to reliably determine its function.

The biggest disadvantage Sil suffers, lies in the sensing of normal, mostly non-magical objects, especially small ones. When she doesn't watch out where she's going, it easily happens that she runs straight into the next wall, and she definitely isn't be able to sense a crossbow bolt in time to avoid it.

Her sense is strong enough to get incredibly detailed information about her magical environment, enabling her to determine what a spell does without even triggering it. Depending on complexity she could be busy for hours or days doing so, but everyday standard spells she recognizes instantly. Technically she also gets enough information about living beings to tell everything about them, if she understood it. In this case the complexity of the magical structures is way too high to make much sense of it, by now she has given up the attempt to figure it out.

Second (not really "minor") Talent - Spell Manipulation:
Her own magic is relatively weak, she isn't able to create powerful spells, but she knows perfectly well how to deploy the power she has. An already fully standing spell or enchantment doesn't need more power than it already has, Silvern Gleam then only changes its signature to fit her own needs, or to destroy it. Like with badly constructed buildings, sometimes it's enough to destroy one pillar and everything falls apart.

This is a skill that makes her a dangerous opponent against anybody using magic, being capable of turning their own spells against them (depending on her opponent's skills), but leaves her terribly on the weak side against everything else. Though of course, she can also improve the spells of her allies...

Ability examples and uses:
To give you a better idea on what she does and can do:

- Gems as books: She has no concept of color, making conventional books completely useless to her without somebody reading them to her, but she has found a way to make her own books. She imprints tiny, magical signatures in gems, each signature representing a normal letter, ready for her to read again when she needs the information. Nopony else (or only _very_ few) can read it, most unicorns don't have nearly as detailed magic perception to even notice the manipulations Sil does, much less decipher them, but unfortunately it's incredibly easy to destroy the information again: Simply by forcing a spell on the gem (levitation wouldn't work since it doesn't change the magical structure of the gem). She's trying to find a way to put a protection spell on it without destroying the information, but no success so far.

- Intensify magical signatures: Working with normal, non-magical objects can be quite bothersome for her, as their low energy levels are hard to get information from. In locations she is often in, she usually begins filling up every possibly important item around with magic, only so that she would have an easier time sensing it. Depending on how much there is to do, this may be something she takes several days for, since her own magic is quickly depleted, but it's a onetime work. She knows how to make sure that the energy doesn't sicker out.

- Magic Surge: The spell carried by her necklace. It sends out a wave of magic into every direction, temporarily intensifying all magical signatures around, allowing Sil to see better. It requires her to constantly send energy into the amulet, but not nearly as much as its output would suggest. It draws most of the power it needs from its environment, but it's still quickly exhausting.

- Assisted casting: Sil's biggest problem is, that she doesn't have the power to do most spells, while she knows perfectly well how to do them. As a result, the power for a spell has to come from somepony else, and Sil only takes and manipulates it. However, it's not as easy as it sounds and requires a lot of training together, for it is easy to destroy her efforts during spell construction by accidently doing some own manipulation instead of only sending out energy, or giving out too much or too little energy at once. Currently she has nopony to help her with it.

- Enchantment protection: Different measures to protect an enchantment from manipulations or foreign use. In the most complicated case of a trigger protection the spell only reacts to the signature of a certain pony (or zebra or whatever). Sil hasn't encountered this case yet, but it could be possible that there are personal signatures similar enough to let both trigger the enchantment. However, such advanced manipulations are straining and take much time to complete.

- Spell optimization: With her large knowledge about magical reactions, she can make out where in a spell energy is wasted and improve it's performance. She usually doesn't spend too much time on it, the largest kinks are usually found and fixed fast, but if she requires a top result, it's once again something that can take days in complicated cases.

- Spell canceling: Sil's primary defense against other unicorns. Conjuring force fields or constructing other defensive spells isn't within her capabilities (without support, at least), and so she concentrates on deconstructing the spells of her opponent. In battle there are only split seconds to do it, and it's not a given that she succeeds. There are those unicorns who manage to construct stable spells, and those who would wonder why their horn suddenly doesn't work anymore.

History:
When being blind, a pony has to rely on the other senses to discover their surroundings and so they naturally become more sensitive, but in Silvern Gleam's case it had been quite different. No, she didn't improve her other senses, she developed a new one entirely. One would expect a little blind filly to bump into other ponies regularly, but she somehow managed not to. Others gave the credit to better hearing, but truth is: She simply knew. She didn't even notice where this knowledge came from, and since it appeared completely normal to her she didn't question it for a long time. However, she didn't have the same luck with walls and objects; she never knew where those were...

With the help of her parents, Sil had a mostly normal and happy foalhood in the outskirts of Manehatten. Though, when the help got too much, she got easily angered. It wasn’t like she couldn’t do things on her own, and if she had problems she would ask. If somepony didn’t take her for full, he’d have quite a tirade coming.

Once strolling through a part of town she hadn’t been in before, Sil suddenly… “felt” something, a strange, yet pleasant sensation coming from ahead. She felt attracted to it, and in her curiosity managed to walk straight into a shop window, shattering it completely. She shop keeper noticed this of course, a kind, old unicorn who instantly took her inside and treated the luckily few cuts she had suffered. The filly didn’t mind them at all and just sat there in amazement. The sensation became stronger every second and was now coming from all around her.
Sir, is there anything… “special” in this room?
Special? I guess you can call it that. You’re surrounded by magical artifacts, kid. Why do you ask?
Silvern Gleam didn’t answer. She stood up and slowly walked into the direction the feeling was strongest from and reached out with her hoof. She felt a small, edgeless stone embedded in a curved metal frame on a necklace.
It… It’s beautiful, she finally said, obviously completely astonished. Raising an eyebrow in surprise the old pony walked besides her and smilingly hanged it around her neck.
And it suits you! But I didn’t expect you to have a real concept of beautiful.
In fact, she hadn’t. She only knew that it described something nice, something pleasurable, and this surely described how she felt about the small ornament, so she just used the term without giving much thought to it.
I never want to leave this place.
Oh, that’s not good, he said laughingly. You still have to show your parents your cutie mark, I’m sure they’re curious about it!
I don’t have a… WHAT IS IT???
Looks a bit like the amulet you’re wearing, but like a crude sketch with silver ink. Somehow alienated.
Then it’s a good one, she grinned happily. Having such a wonderful thing as cutie mark, she really had no reason to complain. By now, she was able to distinguish all the artifacts from each other, and every single one of them was different, though some were quite similar. Some appeared boring to Sil, they were too simple or weak to attract her attention, but most of them were just exciting to examine, to let herself sink into this sensation and explore its nature. Unfortunately, there were too many. After some minutes the shop keeper interrupted her.
I can’t imagine how you experience your environment, but I’m already jealous, you seem to enjoy it a lot. But maybe you should go home now so that I can clean up your little accident, I’m sure somepony is waiting for you.
She opened the mouth to complain, but then realized that she really was expected home soon. Obviously not wanting to go, she only reluctantly took off the necklace.
You know what? Keep it. You just got your cutie mark from it; I think it belongs to you.
Instantly returning to beaming with joy she jumped at him and threw her forelegs around his neck.
Thanks, thank you!
There she was hanging for a few seconds, then headed for the door. Before leaving, she turned around a last time and touched the amulet. It was a magical artifact, but one big question had been left open.
What does it do?
I haven’t found out yet.

Later she found out what the artifact did: It sent out a magic pulse that works like a sonar for Sil. It works only as long as she keeps it activated, which is exhausting after only a very short time, but it allows her to get a very accurate (by her standard) picture of her environment.

After this experience, Silvern Gleam found her ability to be strong enough to even sense normal objects, though only vague and unreliable for small ones.
As to be expected, she visited the shop often, and eventually began an apprenticeship there. She had a natural advantage when it came to analyzing enchantments, and after only two years she completely surpassed her mentor. After his death, she moved to Canterlot where she opened her own shop “The Magic Eye”, as near to the castle as possible. The reason for this location was simple: The Elements of Harmony. Ever since she had heard of those legendary artifacts, she longed for “getting a look at them”.

This desire was never fulfilled. Instead she had to run for her life as the griffons took over the city, through streets already filled with debris she could hardly sense fast enough without constantly powering her artifact. She doesn't know how she managed to escape, but at some point she had found herself breaking down from exhaustion somewhere below the fallen capital. She joined a small group of ponies fleeing towards the eastern coast, towards Manehatten where her parents lived.

She didn't flee again when Manehatten was attacked. If she had run, she would have had to do so again, until eventually there would have been no place left to run to. This time she decided to hide, and hope that somehow the occupation wouldn't last forever. Until then, the griffons didn't really have an enemy in her, she just wanted to survive and somehow live her life, but there's no joy in living when everything held dear is ripped apart. Her old friends she hadn't seen since Canterlot, and now her parents had been taken by fire, laid of course by the invaders. Somewhat scorched herself she hid in the underground until the battle was over, and had a run-in with a bunch of diamond dogs. Having once again taken her most important artifacts and books (read: "gems") with her, the initial animosity was dealt with quickly after she offered to find more gems for them, instead of giving them what she already had. With their tunnels and her magic sight (combined with a low powered gem finding spell), the yield was remarkable, eventually helping her to gain a lot of influence among the diamond dogs (for the fact that she's a pony, that is), which she used to set up and secure her shop in the developing Undercity. Hidden where hardly anybody passes by without intending to visit her, she calls a whole set of tunnels her own. Though widely known among diamond dogs, Silvern tried not to get too much attention otherwise and keep her circle of customers small. Despite this, she managed to save up enough money to quite possibly be the richest pony in the Undercity, but she also needs this capital: Artifacts can be expensive, and she wants to be able to buy whatever she's offered at all times.

However, not too long ago, the shop has gained much more attention. It began with a friend of hers leading three new "customers" to her shop. Normally nothing too unusual, those three ponies turned out to be much more than just customers. They came to ask her for artifacts alright, but the purpose was something new: they intended to start up a rebellion. A big surprise for Silvern, but after she had made up her mind, she had a surprise for the three rebels as well as she gave them much more than just artifacts. Using her influence among the diamond dogs, she convinced them to give the hardly existent rebellion a base in the Undercity and even secured further assistance from them.

Since then she had done what she would have never thought of herself. Coordinating a group of unicorns to hold back a griffon assault? She was merchant and magical scientist, not a military commander, but she still ended up in that position. When it came to magic, she simply knew best. During the founding strike of the rebellion she was there when battle broke loose, and was one of the last to leave. She had been under Prism's protection, but not being able to constantly see what was farther away than three meters, she had to constantly fear that suddenly a griffon would pop up near her. But... somehow she had made it, even though her nervousness must have been clear. She had made sure the griffons were reminded of how efficient magic was as a weapon, and she had made sure the last teleport reached its destination. Since then... she was leading member of the Rebellion, alongside Steel Prism, Dawn Star, and of course Silver Lining.

Personality:
Despite knowing quite well about her environment, Silvern Gleam used to act as if she had to rely on sound and touch, simply to hide her ability from others. Before the war this was mainly to make sure she wasn't creeping out her customers who could clearly see that she was blind, but knew more than eyes could ever tell. During and after the war, the reason was that she didn't want the griffons to know, for she (reasonably) feared that they wouldn't like her talents, combined with unwillingness to help them in any way. With the founding of the rebellion and her involvement in it, Silver acting "blind" is a habit rarely observable now, but while wandering the surface, it still shows up.

She usually is easy to deal with, as long as she doesn't get annoyed. Before the war she had learned to keep her composure even with difficult customers, but to a large part has given up on it again after the occupation of Manehatten. One easy way to get her annoyed is to give her unwanted help. Yes, she hides her full knowledge of her environment, but she makes sure not to appear to be in need of help, and as long as she doesn't ask for it, she prefers to do things on her own.

Despite everything that happened, Sil never lost her enthusiasm for artifacts and can talk about them for hours and hours, but that's something only her friends come to experience to full extend. While she's doing business, she sticks to what is important right now and at least tries to keep her answers short and simple, as far as this is possible considering the quite complicated topic.

From time to time it happens that she doesn't show herself for days, then it probably means she has some major work to do. It's rare that she gets her hooves on an artifact that really challenges her in understanding it, but she also loves tinkering around with what she already has in her collection, modifying everything until she doesn't have any more ideas what she could do.

She doesn't like to be rushed, she takes the time she needs to do a good job, and others should be thankful for that. But though she might need time, this time certainly will be well spent. If she knows that speed is of importance, the first thing that is cut is most likely her sleep. Only when even that isn't enough she allows herself to reduce the quality of the work. Reluctantly.

While Silvern is usually very confident, this changes very quickly once action breaks loose. Though she can see everything around her, this surround view is limited to a few meters, and for everything that lies beyond this threshold she needs time to take it in. If things are happening too fast and she's not able to use her necklace often, she gets nervous, frightened when there's obvious danger she can't keep track of. But despite this, when she is determined enough, she can overcome even this, as she has proven during the founding of the Rebellion.

Shop "The Magic Eye:
Originally founded in Canterlot, it's now located in a remote part of Manehatten's Undercity. It's not easy to find and more of an insider's tip, but a good one, especially for unicorns. There are always some artifacts to be sold, from such that are only useful in daily life, to highly efficient weapons. But if you want the interesting stuff, she first has to trust you that you won't misuse it. Those she doesn't know will never see the full assortment.

Those who have the luck to get an artifact into their hooves from somewhere else are also well advised to give Sil a visit. She can determine what it does and if there are any traps on it, as well as improve its function. And if the price is right, she'll buy it.

Recently, the tunnels housing her home and source of income have been extended a bit to also serve as small side base for the Rebellion for quick strikes in the industrial district directly above, or as point of retreat. The traps Silvern usually sets up make it a save haven for everybody owning an appropriate key stone: A small artifact identifying its carrier to the security measures in the Magic Eye.

Timeline:
Year 4, Nov 30 to Dec 1 - Founding of the Rebellion
The first strike against the griffons is a full success and the Rebellion comes to life.

Year 4, Dec 7 - A new arrival
Scintillance brings a new pony into the Undercity - and ends up facing an angry Sil because of it.

Year 4, Dec 8 - Changelings and Trainees
Starlight Charmer - half changeling, half unicorn, and cousin of Sil's assistant Scintillance - is brought into the shop to wake up from a hit on the head. Sil uses the chance to study some changeling magic.

Year 4, Dec 16 - Meeting of Teachers
Silvern and Prism discuss training for the Rebellion and Silvern herself

Year 4, Dec 25 - What lies within
After Scrapper commited mass murder, he shows up at Sil's and agrees to be put into custody. Scrapper's marefriend Shade isn't too happy about that, but has a surprise on her own to deal with.

Year 5, Jan 4 - Rebels in Greater Equestria
Sil is present as an expedition featuring several of her artifacts and a close friend is sent off.

_________________
I am: Silvern Gleam, Skry, Shadowstrike, Falling Star

Shadowstrike's theme: This Is Our Legacy - Zack Hemsey
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Syron
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