The Gem Verse
CENTURIES LATER ...
Pipsqueak took the gem from his shirt-pocket, where it was clasped to a bracelet that hung from a chain around his neck. He unfastened it and handed it slowly to the wizard. It felt suddenly very heavy, as if either he or it was in some way reluctant for the elderly unicorn to touch it. It looked to be made of pure sapphire. 'Can you see any markings on the band?' 'No,' said Pip. 'There are none. It is quite plain, and it never shows a scratch or sign of wear.' 'Well then, look!' To Pip's astonishment and distress, the wizard threw it suddenly into a glowing corner of the fire. Pipsqueak cried out and groped for the tongs, for the gem had become precious to him; but Starswirl the Bearded held him back. The fireplace belched green flame.
'Wait!' he said in a commanding voice, giving Pip a quick look from under his bristling mane. The expression on his face was that of an aged veteran of the pony wars, stern and sorrowful; his singed brows cascaded along the edge of his eyepatch. For a moment the wizard stood looking at the fire; then he stooped and removed the bracelet with his hooves, taking care as if not to levitate, and at once picked it up. Pip gasped. 'It is quite cool,' said Starswirl. 'Take it!' The gemstone seemed to have become brighter and heavier than ever. 'Hold it up! And look closely!'
As Pipsqueak did so, he now saw fine lines, finer than the finest cutie mark, running along the facets of the gem, outside and inside: lines of white fire that seemed to form the letters of a flowing script. They shone piercingly bright, and yet remote, as if out of a great depth.
' I cannot read the sparkly letters, ' said Pipsqueak, in a quavering voice.
'No,' said Starswirl, 'there are few who can. The letters are Lite-brite, of an ancient mode; ...but the language is that of Hasbro, which I shall not utter here. In the normal pony tongue, it reads, close enough...
Two Elements for the pegasus up in the sky.
One for the unicorn in her halls of stone.
Two for the earth ponies, doomed to die.
One for the Princess, on her newly-made throne.
In the Land of Equestria, where the sunbeams lie.
One Element to rule them all, One Friend to find them,
One Element to bring them all, and Twilight Sparkle bind them.
He paused, and then said slowly in a deep voice: 'This is the Element of Magic, the One Gem to rule them all. This is the Friendship Bracelet that Princess Platinum lost many ages ago, to the great weakening of her power. Twilight Sparkle greatly desires it, Pipsqueak. She has placed a "want it, need it" spell on it. She is seeking it - seeking it - all her thought is bent upon it... but she must not get it. '
Pipsqueak sat silent and motionless. Fear seemed to stretch out a vast hoof, like a dark mare rising up from the surface of the Moon and looming up to devour him.
'It's a pity that Rarity didn't kill Spike when she had the chance,' he thought to himself.
'Pity?' came a voice, as if in response. 'It was pity that stayed her horn. Pity; generosity, and a love of fine jewelry...'