The change was sudden. One moment I was (grudgingly) accepting a particularly delightful scone from a Pixie, the next moment a wave of what could only have been magical energy washed over the glade. I recall being a bit sick to my stomach, watching the world move and distort around me. Then, with a snap! everything was righted again. But where were the others? The Pixies told me that this was happening with distressing regularity as the Tree weakened. I was alarmed as Typhoon, Lemonburst and Sunny Scales disappeared. The Pixies were of little help as they shrugged their diminutive shoulders and said, “We’ll look for them.”
There was nothing to do but eat more scones.
Some time later, Typhoon came back, with none other than Trooper Glow in tow! We compared notes and found that Glow, the Professor and Fuschia Puff were in the Nixie camp. To punctuate this, a group of Nixies accompanied Glow, and caused more than a little stir as the Pixies confronted them. Fortunately, we were able de-escalate the situation by sending the Nixies back to collect the other ponies.
Things were looking up!
We all met in the standing stones in the River. On a disturbing note, Sunny and Lemonburst will still missing. Still, we worked out a solution that involved bribing the Nixie Queen and the Pixie King into the glade so that we could figure out how to help them, and by extension, ourselves.
It wasn’t that simple, of course, as the two Feys began magically duelling. The left a train of annoying destruction behind them, and when they turned Fuschia’s mane to an unfortunate shade of avocado, I knew I had to do something.
It took all my magic, and a lot of my luck, to summon force spheres to contain the two Feyfolk. But I was able to keep them quiet long enough for the others to reason with them.
We found out that the Elder Tree was being weakened, and it was the main source of power in the forest. It also protected the forest and strengthened — as they described — the walls between the worlds. Once the King and Queen regained their senses, they quite sensibly asked for our help.
In exchange, we asked for their help to refit the Spear of the Six! They agreed, and after another day of peacemaking, discussion, and scones, the newly reforged weapon was delivered to us.
What a sight it was! No longer a rusty relic, it surpassed the finest spears in the Canterlot armouries. The shaft was made of a reddish wood which, we were told, was from a limb of the Elder Tree itself.
With some consideration, I asked Trooper Glow to wield the spear. I think that she was the safest choice, and truly the coolest head in the group. I surpressed a twinge of pride as she took the weapon.
But the hard part was next! How to save the tree?
Professor Poole cast a particularly illuminating spell and found tendrils of — what I remember being called — ectoplasm winding throughout the forest. The tendrils seemed to converge at the Elder Tree. The Professor tried to use the spear to influence them, but no luck. But Trooper Glow managed to erase several of the streams!
We resolved to go to the tree. While Typhoon looked around, Professor Poole erased more ectoplasm. Tyhpoon found a cave, or tunnel, entrance, and we went down below, once again. I maintained rear guard.
The tunnels were very narrow, hardly larger than a set of pony shoulders and hindquarters, and there was no way to turn around. The only retreat would be backing up! The group wound through the tunnels, and I could only hear muffled voices.
There was the weeping, though, and that sent chills up my spine.
The others reached a small chamber and discussed what sounded like the ghost of a Princess, and the appearance of a Weaver (oh lovely). I watched the tunnels with deepening concern. Surely I was imagining the low vibrations in the ground. And… and the loosening of sand in the tunnel wall was just… was just the result of us walking through the tunnel.
But then I heard the eerily familiar scratching, scuttling sounds of a Tunneler. “Give me the spear!” I cried. “Just give me the spear!”
Glow handed it to me, and I pointed it down the narrow tunnel. The increasing vibrations shook my hooves, and the spear vibrated, too. I confess it could have been my own nerves shaking, but regardless of my fear, I held my ground. I was the only thing between the others and the Tunneler (or worse) approaching.
It burst out of the tunnel wall some feet ahead of me. It’s ugly head swivelled immediately at me, and it charged. I shouted, felt the spear energize with magic I’ve never felt before, and I braced it for what was coming.
The Tunneler never reached the speartip, though. About a foot before it would have hit the point, the spear vibrated forcefully, sending shocks of magic all through my body. And then, the magic was directed out the tip, and into the Tunneler.
And the Tunneler just… poof. It seemingly melted into the air. I’ll never know if it was destroyed or sent back to the place where it came, but the important thing was that it was no longer threatening us.
Slack with relief, I continued to guard the tunnel as the others discussed options. Finally, Trooper Glow engaged the Weaver in (probably inane) discussion, while Typhoon took the spear and tried to outflank the evil spider. I gave the spear to the pegasus and hissed, “Don’t lose it!”
Which of course, meant, that she would lose it. The pegasus tripped and sent the spear down a rabbit hole, and it was only the Professor’s skilled use of telekinesis that retrieved our only defense.
This time the Professor went to outflank the Weaver while Glow continued to distract it. When the Weaver saw what was coming, it screeched and ran back towards us!
Glow expertly ducked the things grasping arms, and I endeavored to cast a protection bubble to trap it. But no luck! This time I failed miserably and the entire cave ceiling collapsed on us! Glow was trapped between an angry Weaver and a solid wall.
Frantically, Typhoon, Fuscia and I tried to break through. A protection bubble wasn’t enough, so I summoned a sconed one and we all pushed it through the rockfall. Our combined strength pushed it through!
We were almost too strong, though, because as we pushed through, we pushed the Weaver directly into the spear that Professor Poole was holding. The Weaver gave an unworldly scream and went the way of the Tunneler before it.
To my mind, this was the best possible solution, but the others pointed out that now they needed to figure out how to summon the ghost, since it was the ghost that was inadvertently damaging the tree while the Weaver was harvesting said ghost.
We tried Fuschia’s ukelele, but that didn’t work. We even offered chocolate, but to no avail. Finally, while putting our heads together, we used the spear to fashion an ectoplasmic fairy circle and called for the Princess.
She appeared! After a profound and tear-inducing talk, Fuschia persuaded the Princess to follow her Prince and leave this world.
The tree was saved! The Nixies and Pixies were no longer at one another’s throats!
But we were still missing three of our number, and we needed 5 more relics. Lt. Darkstar