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  • Sunday
    Upheavology: Arcanotropolis

    Arcanotropolis got a mere throwaway mention in Reckoning. Again, this is background information for those interested in such things.


    Arcanotropolis

    History

    After fleeing the influence of the Blasphemous Rift, the early unicorns settled along the northwestern mountain ranges still referred to as the Crystalline Heights, named after their pristine, icy caps. The icy mountains were selected not just for their heights, which mirrored the mountaintops the unicorns emerged from, but also because dragons were less inclined to settle in the more northern mountains thus avoiding frequent encounters. What would later become Arcanotropolis started as a fortified stone structure for their leaders surrounded by the homes of servants and protectors. This grew into a palace as the unicorns estsblished a monarchy and, thus, the Unicorn Kingdom, followed by growth into a large city also called the Unicorn Kingdom or simply the Capital.

    The Unicorn Kingdom suffered the most and the earliest during the coming of Oceanus's rogue enforcers. The "windigos" as the unicorns called them, were attracted by the concentration of magical power and thus battered the unprepared city with abyssal power. Half the unicorn population died while the rest fled to the earth pony burrows.

    The Unicorn Kingdom remained as ruins throughout the founding of the Everlasting Kingdom as Princess Platinum declared her new city atop Mount Unicornia as the new unicorn homeland. Only a small group of pilgrims led by Blade Gleam made some meager attempt to rebuild the ruins. When the rebellions against the Everlasting Kingdom broke out, the unicorn rebels dug into the ruins, using them as headquarters until Lexarius led them to victory.

    Proper restorations and additions began during the Golden Age of Equestria, creating Arcanotropolis and taking back its place as the center of unicorn culture in the Barrier Lands at least.

    Demographics

    70% unicorn

    20% pegasus

    10% earth pony

    Architecture

    As is common for large unicorn settlements, Arcanotropolis's tall, tapering, white stone spires dominate its cityscape. Though delicate in appearance, most are magically insulated. These are the older buildings, though. Newer structures have taken on a more practical approach with wood and physical insulation. The cobblestone streets are wide, clearly designed with carriages in mind, and many date back to pre-Golden Age times. Restored statues of Unicorn Kingdom monarchs are also a frequent sight along with public fountains and large, stained glass windows.

    Resources

    While water is available as ice melt and underground streams, Arcanotropolis relies heavily on the various earth pony settlements amidst the valleys beneath the Crystalline Heights for food, lumber, and skilled laborers, exchanging various ores and gems from their many gem mines as well as spellcasting services. Arcanotropolis also exports Dragonspine Grass, mountain flowers, spell books/scrolls, explosives, and other arcane products. It is also the only stable source of mana batteries thanks to the Mana Crystal Refinery.

    Security

    The Restored Arcane Knights, led by the Arcane Mirror, serve as the local guard, boasting an all-unicorn garrison with a balanced focus on physical combat and spellcasting prowess. Recruits are drawn primarily from the Arcanis Atheneum. To preserve order, unauthorized spellcasting beyond simple telekinesis in public is illegal, punishable by strict and heavy fines. The knights are particularly wary of Enchantment spells, utilizing special sensors to detect and trace the presence of charms, compulsions, and the very rare mind control. Those guilty of using such spells are subjected to horn removal and exile from the city.  The Equestrian Legion also maintains an outpost to serve as a recruiting and training station, although legionnaires avoid involving themselves in domestic matters.

    Government

    As with all cities, Arcanotropolis is governed by an elected mayor and various lower officials. Where it differs with other cities is the great deal of influence of the heads of the Arcanis Atheneum. Though the great academy officially maintains a separation from the local government, the reality is that the mayor does not get to do anything without the approval of Atheneum's Mage Council, and the Council does not act on any situation without a majority vote among its members.

    Places of Interest

    The Arcanis Atheneum - where the Unicorn Kingdom's royal palace once stood is now the sprawling academy of the Arcanis Atheneum, the largest and most powerful institution for unicorn mage learning. It was originally founded by Lexarius during the early years of the Golden Age as a repository of unicorn spellcasting knowledge and has grown since then. Unicorns from all over the Barrier Lands constantly vie for a spot in the prestigious school. It provides unicorn magi to all the fronts of the Barrier Lands. Though highly effective, these magi are often snooty and look down on non-Atheneum trained unicorns.

    The Atheneum is divided into seven official schools of magic. The heads of each school, simply referred to as Horns, comprise the Mage Council. Each student enrolled must pick one school to major in, henceforth becoming a member of that school, and a minimum of one minor in another school. These schools are:

    Abjuration School - this school has a very small number of core members, though nearly every student minors in it. Those that don't, as its Horn often boasts, die very early in their career as Abjuration involves most protective spells such as magical barriers against hostile spells and armoring spells to weaken physical blows. Abjurations also deal with dispelling and anti-magic; crucial spells in dealing with enemy spellcasters such as cobrahns, wolven shamans, and enemy unicorns.

    Conjuration School - Conjuration is such a broad school that it is further divided into subschools, though membership is average at best. Summoning conjurations deal with transporting objects from one place to another. Most students minor in Conjuration purely for the benefit of teleporting, which is an application of summoning conjurations. Creation conjurations craft temporary objects of varying degrees of usefulness from stone walls to briefly block off the enemy to a supply of weapons for emergency uses. Healing is also a subschool of Conjuration, but most lore on the subject has been lost over time.

    Divination School - Diviners, as members of this school are called, are seldom recruited as front-line fighters in any of the legions. Instead, their services are valued as reconnaissance agents, detectives, spies, and other sensitive work where information is highly important thanks to their detection spells, remote viewing, and negation of illusions. They are particularly valued in the south, where stealth is a common tactic as such the school enjoys a good number of members, especially those uncomfortable in groups. For all its focus on discovering the truth, however, Divination School is notorious for the highest incidences of cheating during written exams.

    Enchantment School - most known for having the least number of members and the intense scrutiny upon it, Enchantment School nevertheless commands a great deal of respect. Its Horn often says that the initiation into the school involves losing, at least, three quarters of one's friends. As Enchantment deals with powerful, mind-affecting spells in the form of charms and compulsions, spells that serve as grounds for losing one's horn if cast in public, its members are often restricted to theories, with ocassional volunteers or prisoners.

    Evocation School - easily the most popular and populated school, Evocation boasts the most well-known spells in the Barrier Lands. While many struggle to identify a Dimensional Anchor or a Teleportation Circle, even the dullest pony knows a Fireball or Lightning Bolt on sight, and every unicorn knows one evocation in the form of telekinesis. Thanks to the school's size, the Evocation Horn holds tremendous influence. Students often joke that the Evocation Horn's vote during Mage Councils counts for two.

    Illusion School - while Illusion is often scrutinized as heavily as Enchantment, the school enjoys a high number of members, largely due to the natural flair for showponyship demonstrated by most illusionists. Illusionists are highly sought after in the west as the innate magic resistance of the ursans count for little when it comes to deception whether it's glamers to camouflage allied troops or figments to create decoys or inflate the number of ponies seemingly prepared to fight. Less popular spells in Illusion school involves phantasms as these cross into Enchantment territory. Few illusionists admit to knowing these spells, though lying is a popular sport in the school.

    Transmutation School - a favored school by unicorns seeking to balance physical prowess with magical augmentation. Transmutation school is the only school with a gym built into its facilities. Part of its popularity is also due to the Prince's frequent use of transmutation spells, whether to crush foes with his suddenly giant hooves, transforming one's foothold into a morass of magma, or becoming a cloud of iron sand to blast the enemy's hide off. While Enchantment poses severe penalties, the Arcane Knights are more frequently found investigating in Transmutation school as there is no shortage of transmuters trying to turn pebbles into bits.

    Necromancy School - there is no official Necromancy School, though, rumors have persisted that it exists somewhere in the Atheneum as a shadowy cabal led by its Horn, Sass Thyme. While old archeological records show that a unicorn named Sass Thyme existed during the age of the Unicorn Kingdom, most of the Atheneum considers such stories as rubbish. Very few necromancies exist within the Atheneum, mostly in the form of lesser life tap spells used by by unicorns for emergencies and the spells used to refine mana crystals into mana batteries

    The Magic Arena - across the Atheneum stands the restored arena once used by the Unicorn Kingdom to test would-be Arcane Knights in single combat with the King's Mirror as well as for staging public executions. This massive, circular arena is capable of holding Arcanotropolis's population and now hosts a variety of events; from Illusionist Chess, to Telekinetic Wrestling. Its most popular event, however, is the annual Mage Battle Tournament; a no-spells-barred single combat tournament attended by unicorns all over the Barrier Lands.

    The Mana Crystal Refinery - better known by its informal name as "The Bloody Circle", the refinery is a large, circular patch of mineral-rich earth and crushed rock, a hundred feet in diameter, found beneath the Arcanis Atheneum. Here, mana crystals are harvested and refined into valuable mana batteries. As mana crystals form when the blood of magically gifted creatures soak into the soil, the Atheneum frequently soaks the refinery with unicorn blood; all provided by volunteers, of course. Harvests are annual, and provide a modest amount of mana batteries. It is common tradition among the unicorns to make, at least, one pilgrimage to Arcanotropolis, and donate no less than a pint of blood to the Bloody Circle. Indeed, this tradition even reaches the north and south of Equestria. Rumors tell of captive cobrahns and wolven shamans being taken to the Bloody Circle to be bled dry, but actual cases have not been observed.

    Access

    As it is nestled on a massive plateau on the Crystalline Heights, access to Arcanotropolis is difficult. Narrow, winding roads provide means for ground bound travel. Pegasus flight is an option, but blizzards often hit the city in unpredictable times, and many pegasus bones do indeed litter the slopes of the mountain range. A few Summoning Conjuration arrays exist at the base of the mountains, but its unicorn operators charge exorbitant amounts of bits and can only transport a few ponies at a time with minimal baggage. The city does have a couple of war balloon ports for air access.

    3 comments · 112 views
  • 1w, 1d
    Upheavology

    I've received a few requests for information on the world of Upheaval as a setting rather than narrative. I've tried once with World Notes, but I think it's a difficult to use rambling chunk of info. I'll be posting a series of blog posts over time to try to worldbuild something useful for those who are interested.

    For the first entry, specific numbers of years are omitted so I can be flexible with changing details as I please as I keep developing the world. Placing specific dates locks me down and I'd rather not have that with what I've put out so far.

    If you're not interested in a chunk of exposition as opposed to seeing all of this unfold in the actual narrative, then best you skip everything past the line.


    Upheavology I: A Brief Overview of Pony History

    I. The Fall of Oceanus and the First Ponies

    At the height of the First Rebellion within the Eternal Herd, King Sanctus Dominus struck down his firstborn son, Oceanus, with a great, Throne-empowered blast of sunlight. As the broken prince crashed through Empyrea, he opened the once-void rift and plunged into the new world within. He and his alicorn followers crashed into the central plains of the continent, creating a great rift that swiftly pooled with the power of the abyss.

    As he fell, Oceanus's blood spilled from his many wounds, spattering across mountaintops he passed, spraying as fine mist among the clouds, trickling across a river and into the ocean, and covering the earth where he crashed. This blood still coursed with the Throne-empowered sunlight he was struck with as well as the raging power of the abyss he possessed. Where it landed, strange things occured. From the mountain tops sprang the first unicorns. Out of the clouds came the first pegasi. Out of the soil emerged the first earth ponies.

    The first ponies were vile and savage creatures, omnivorous and possessed of instinctive cruelty. Drunk with the physical presence of their abyssal "father", they preyed upon the denizens of their new home and swiftly spread across the land around the rift.

    After a while, Solis Coruscaria, First of the Handmaidens of Oceanus, observed the first ponies out of curiosity. She followed one earth pony closely, and watched as the stallion hunted down a ram and tore its neck open with only his teeth. She continued to watch as the stallion dug among the innards until he produced two of the longest and thickest bones. In a display of ingenuity, he snapped one to produce a sharpened point and lashed it to the other with fresh sinew to fashion a makeshift weapon. At once, the stallion grabbed hold of the weapon and attempted to murder her. Disgusted, Coruscaria destroyed the stallion and reported to Oceanus that the strange creatures were nothing more than lowly vermin to be ignored. The bearer of the Abyssal Throne, Regia Carnifex, objected, stating that these creatures were Oceanus's children and should be treated with some concern as to be made useful.

    Without a word, Oceanus roused himself to movement despite his injuries, and made his way to the vast ocean to the east. When Regia Carnifex protested, he was sealed into a nearby mountain. As such, the fallen alicorns disappeared into the ocean to recover and begin their rebellion anew when the time came.

    II. The Outward Migration and the Three Nations

    Though he left behind his Throne within the depths of the Blasphemous Rift, the loss of Oceanus's physical presence tempered the wild, dark instincts that flooded the early ponies. They shifted from frenzied and monstrous to still savage, but reasonable creatures. As importantly, they became instinctively aware of the dark influence emanating from the Blasphemous Rift and came to the understanding that they should move away. The result was a general move to the outer areas around the rift by all ponies.

    Though more reasonable, these ponies still distrusted each other and were highly xenophobic. Fights frequently and sporadically erupted among the unicorns, pegasi, and earth ponies for resources, territory, and even sport. With the move, each race spread to different areas to avoid the persistent conflicts that defined their earliest encounters.

    The unicorns settled along the cold mountains to the northwest, along the edges of the frozen north and the mountainous west. There, their fledgling monarchy eventually built into the Unicorn Kingdom. The earth ponies settled all across the western hills and mountains, breaking into multiple clans that either burrowed into mining communities, cultivated farms, and formed logging settlements. The pegasi settled southwest and south, preferring to nest among the massive trees common to the area when they discovered their inability to settle among clouds as they could close to the rift. These arboreal settlements eventually centralized into the Pegasus Nation.

    III. The Return and the Everlasting Kingdom

    For several hundred years, this arrangement among the ponies allowed for a relatively peaceful existence. Occasional encounters with dragons and territorial disputes with neighboring wolven, ursans, and ophidites did little to mar this peace. Time spent away from the rift continued to soften the harsh nature of ponies eventually allowing the three separate nations to begin peaceful negotiations with each other.

    This status quo ruptured with the arrival of Oceanus's rogue enforcers. Led by Lok'Horus, this band of maddened, supernatural entities engulfed pony lands in a whirlwind of abyssal power, killing thousands in a merciless hail of unnatural cold and blackened fire.

    With all three pony nations huddled together and on the verge of extinction, the Six Companions, led by Clover the Clever and guided by Starswirl the Bearded, made a desperate gamble by reaching for an old power they knew lay dormant within all ponies. Using their own power of the abyss, they fought back and eventually destroyed the enforcers. The rediscovery of this power led to a new move towards the rift, once the ponies realized that their abyssal power grew the closer they were to the land of their original birth. As the strongest wielders of the power of the abyss, the Six Companions ruthlessly took over their respective nations and initiated the move to the Blasphemous Rift, where they founded a single, united nation of ponies: The Everlasting Kingdom.

    Their time spent away from the rift had made the ponies partly resistant to the abyss's influence such that the change in them was not so dramatic. The power of Oceanus's Throne had also become more dormant in his absence. The Six Companions, however, aggressively pursued unity with the power of the abyss. Through frequent communion within the Blasphemous Rift, they learned more of Oceanus, whom they called "Deep Father". They took inspiration from visions granted by the abyss's emanations and developed rituals of all sorts to awaken and strenghten ponykind's natural connection to Oceanus.

    The Everlasting Kingdom emerged as a great nexus of depravity and oppression, where slavery, living sacrifices, and magical experimentation on ponies were commonplace. Ponies grew to believe that committing vile deeds raised them in their Deep Father's esteem and strove to outdo one another. Neighboring nations grew to fear ponies and their raiding parties of slavers and sacrifice hunters.

    IV. Lexarius and the Golden Age of Equestria

    The Everlasting Kingdom had not even lasted half a century before its horrors grew so great that it attracted the concern of the Eternal Herd. Previously, all contact with the world within the once-void rift had been forbidden by the King. Unable to stay aloof any longer upon observing what had been happening to the ponies,  Lexarius, then a member of the Council of Elders, renewed his call for an intervention.  A great many opposed him in the Council, but the King overruled their vote to remain aloof, and sent him to aid the beleagured citizens of the Everlasting Kingdom, naming him the steward of Oceanus's children.

    Lexarius moved among the fringes of the Everlasting Kingdom, uniting its victims and defectors into a powerful fighting force. He then waged a prolonged campaign against the Everlasting Kingdom, hoping to preserve as much of ponykind as possible. The campaign ended in the destruction of the Everlasting Kingdom, with its capital swallowed whole by a titanic flood unleashed by its own rulers.

    With the abyss in check, Lexarius placed protective seals in the Blasphemous Rift to block its influence, fearing that attempting to destroy it would scatter the abyss among ponykind. He also sealed several more places that the Everlasting Kingdom had defiled such as the mines of Mount Unicornia.

    Ponykind thus entered a golden age, renaming its new, unified whole as Equestria. With Lexarius's guidance and a renewed sense of harmony and purpose, ponykind prospered for hundreds of years, enjoying great wealth and repairing its damaged reputation. The nation expanded outward again, resettling old capitals that had been largely abandoned for the Blasphemous Rift.

    V. The Madness and the Troubled Times

    Though he remained the de facto ruler of Equestria, Lexarius the Steward concentrated on cultivating the virtues of harmony, as he called them, within ponies. He strove to completely eliminate the taint of the abyss within ponies, as such bypassing their stay in Vestibulum and allow them instant passage to the Eternal Herd upon death. This would have convinced the rest of the Eternal Herd that the children of Oceanus were indeed kin to the alicorns. The administration of the kingdom fell to appointed leaders.

    Yet, the taint of the abyss found within all of Oceanus's children could not to destroyed despite Lexarius's greatest efforts. He delved into every method he could think of, observed his subjects, and gleaned as much knowledge as he could from the Eternal Herd's books. Over the course of centuries, his obssession grew. When "safe methods" proved ineffective, he began increasingly dangerous techniques and reckless spells. He experimented on ponies, testing for the virtues of harmony he so desperately wished to perfect, forcing ponies to display ever greater acts of harmony until they broke. First, he endangered the criminals within Equestria then moved on to citizenry who questioned him. This worsening period of Equestria's history became known as the Troubled Times, when ponies lived in fear of their once-beloved ruler.

    VI. The Time of the Three and the Great Invasions

    News of Lexarius's madness eventually reached the Eternal Herd. Another call for intervention was made. This time, it was by Celestia, Princess of Sunlight and the King's eldest daughter. After recieving permission to enter the once-void rift and acquiring the Elements of Harmony from the Queen, Celestia and her two siblings set forth to stop Lexarius.

    They found him as raving, maddened creature calling himself Discord. Having completely failed to "perfect" ponies, Discord had taken to tormenting his subjects out of amusement, believing that if no ordered method existed to eradicate the abyss, then persistent, random chance would, at least, produce a few passable results.

    Enraged by the fall of such a respected alicorn, Celestia led her siblings in sealing Discord into stone, trapping his soul in Vestibulum until his petrified form was destroyed.

    With Equestria freed from its mad ruler, Celestia disobeyed a royal order to return to the Eternal Herd so that a new steward might watch over Equestria. She volunteered to take on the role and her siblings elected to stay with her. This period of renewed prosperity lasted a few centuries known as the Time of the Three.

    During this period, the infighting races of ophidites finally united under Sesyth as the Empire of Ophidus. To the north, the wolven experienced a similar strengthening under Fenrir while Arugek finally brought the rebellious ursans to heel in the west. These nations became aggressively expansive, pushing into each other's territory as well as Equestria's. Thus began the time of the Great Invasions, plunging Equestria into centuries of a cycle of war, tense ceasefires, and more wars as ponies were forced to protect their homes from invaders coming from all sides.

    VII. The Division

    With Equestria embroiled in a seemingly endless cycle of violence, Princess Celestia feared that the power of the abyss would only grow stronger within all ponies. She proposed the division to her siblings, a plan to separate Equestria into the Barrier Lands, the home for those who had to fight, that would protect the Heartland, where ponies who knew no endless war would reside. Her siblings agreed and the plan was put into effect. Her brother, Terrato, would govern the Barrier Lands and command the Equestrian Legion, while her sister, Luna, would govern by her side within the Heartland.

    A perpetual stalemate with its hostile neighbors and a steadily worsening resentment within the Legion characterized Equestria's period of division along with a splintering of relations among its three rulers. Border territories frequently changed occupants as advantages ebbed and flowed. The Legion witnessed the rise and fall of many heroes from Ash Frost, First Hero of the Legion, to Apple Slice the Bear Wrangler, to the legendary Black Rose. All of whom carried the Legion to great heights before falling.

    Falls were not restricted to the ponies of Equestria as well. It was during the Division that Princess Luna agreed to merge with Lunalux Umbra, becoming Nightmare Moon and attacking her sister. Prince Terrato, languishing in what was all but an exile, delved into darker means to ease his loneliness and discover a means to end this seemingly endless duty that his eldest sister had imposed upon herself and him.

    VIII. The Reunification

    The end of the Division resulted from a crossroads of various events: the return of Black Rose, the reemergence of Lunalux Umbra, a massive wolven invasion, and the discovery of the division by Twilight Sparkle. At the conclusion of a long chain of events, Equestria was whole once more, in time to face the looming rise of Oceanus.

    12 comments · 196 views
  • 1w, 5d
    Visiden Tries It: No Place Like Home

    Right, it's audio play time again. Let's do this.

    Watch here

    Preliminary Thoughts: I generally dislike LyraBon. To me, the ship is MLP's manifestation of shipping goggles. "Oh, look, they sat next to each other! Totally fucking. Totally." That and I've never forgiven Bonbon for that "Never heard of you" line at Rarity. Die alone, you bitch. Still, I don't mind it if it involves an interesting enough story.

    The description's giving me a Tsubasa Chronicles vibe. Maybe we'll find out that Lyra and Bonbon are actually the children of their clones from the future or something.

    I should note that with "The Death of Sunset Shimmer" and  "Heroic Tales", that makes a total of three audio plays in the works. I've never done an audio play, but I suspect that it's harder than merely typing words on your computer. If Scribbler played in an MMO, I'd diagnose her with a severe case of Altitis. It's difficult to invest in a story when you have a suspicion that the next update is half a year away or might never come at all if things change IRL.

    Anyway, on to the story proper. Spoilers ahoy.

    The opening sequence is pretty awesome. I've come to expect that level from Reverb's music. It's like watching an anime intro.

    We start off with the Chrono Trigger opening of Lyra waking up. I've noticed that Lost Narrator is voicing Bonbon using her normal voice; an odd choice. I suppose it's for the best. There's no way I'm going to be able to take this epic love story seriously if Bonbon sounds like she does in the show.

    It turns out Lyra's forgotten their anniversary, as is wont to happen to fictional couples. Given the Lost Narrator's voicing Bonbon, let's hope no one is killed with curses or transformed into a mass murdering lunatic. So she's off to get a Turboman doll. I mean a gift for Bonbon. Doesn't help that Scribbler's published this so close to Christmas. She manages to get her boss involved somehow, and establishes her character as a quirky idiot. This will be a curious development. In my stories, I find Pinkie to be the most difficult to write because she's a quirky idiot and her character does not mesh well with any serious or epic situation. I don't know how well Lyra will cope with the coming troubles.

    We shift to a  scene with Spike fussing over Twilight. I always like these scenes. Too often, Spike the snarky assistant is forgotten for Spike the buffoon.

    Twilight, you've been at this for twenty four hours!

    That's an odd rather awkward turn of phrase for Spike. You've been at this for a whole day seems a better fit.

    Twilight then goes on a long lecture on ley lines.

    At school, the teachers always called it the magic of existence, remember?

    Oh God, it's Shakugan no Shana all over again. Is Twilight a flame haze?

    At Spike's accidental prompting, Twilight lists down several silly incidents involving him as a hatchling. This is something that I've noticed in the first episode of heroic tales as well. The list goes on too long, the joke asphyxiates in the process and I go from "haha, that's silly" to "get on with it". In heroic tales I chalked it down to Honey Buzz being unfunny and pedantic. This might also be true for Twilight, but I'm starting to harbor suspicions.

    As Twilight keeps hyping up ley lines (which I still think should be the province of earth ponies) Spike brings up some good points which she naturally ignores. There's some good characterization here which gives Twilight a volatile mixture of hubris and insecurity. It's a nice bit and, if Lyra died because of it, this would still be a great tragedy story.

    That wasn't a princess duty, that was correcting a terrible mistake.

    Funny you brought that up, Twilight. You were turned into a princess because you corrected a terrible mistake. You're not the Princess of Friendship, you're the Princess of Un-Fucking Up.

    Twilight wants to use a network of ley lines to travel instantly. You should compare notes with the Emperor of Man, Twilight. He tried something similar and it worked very well for him.

    We return to Lyra who's been pissing Rarity off. That's a black mark against you, Lyra. Good to see Minuette not being a dentist.

    Then the scene switches to Derpy and her daughter. I don't like the sequence. Not so much because it's badly executed, more because I can't stand cutesy-wootsy child voices. So Dinky falls off her idiot mom and Lyra almost saves the day. Very anime-ish there with the brash character whose heart is in the right place. Not too keen on the Rainbow Dash voice, to be honest.

    Ditzy doesn't forget Lyra's botched rescue after Dash flies off with Dinky.

    I don't have enough thank you's for that, but I have plenty of hugs!

    :pinkiesick: Blech.

    Lyra proceeds to somehow work in some of her tragic backstory while talking to Noteworthy about teleportation and does her first somber scene. It's pretty solid so far.

    We switch to Bonbon and Golden Harvest. Harvest basically goes "Hello, let me remind you of your personality quirks for our invisible audience". I'm not used to hearing Bonbon being so mellow. I keep expecting her to be a bitch. I think it's nice as it steps out of your typical anime belligerent couple and fiery romance to a more mature sense of affection.

    Bonbon talks about Lyra running around like a headless chicken. Now, we humans have that phrase because we butcher our chickens for food. I don't think ponies would have a similar enough experience with poultry to develop that expression.

    Did you just wink at me?

    Weaknesses should be concealed at all times. You can't describe this action as narrative as there is no narrator. The visuals don't show it too. Having this rather awkward phrase doesn't so much as make up for it as it does highlight it.

    And we're back with Lyra. After dropping another hint about her tragic backstory, she runs into Applejack, who proceeds to speechify about how it's okay to miss an aniversary or two. From her and Lyra's perspective, it's understandable, but the audience just heard a similar speech from Bonbon in the previous scene and the message is getting a little ham-fisted. I appreciate the restraint, though, for lack of a better word. If this was a Captain Unstoppable fic, Applejack would have worked in the fact that she was fucking Soarin halfway through her speechifying. Given Scribbler's shipping preferences, it's nice not to hear a mention of a certain pegasus. I'm not ruling out the ship, just glad it didn't show up for this conversation.

    Finally we get to the aniversary picnic thing. It's all lovey dovey until mad scientist Twilight shows up. Again, Spike says sensible things only for the hubristic Twilight to ignore them. This really is the best sort of Twilight and Spike interaction for me. To my complete and utter shock, Twilight fucks up her spell. And she was so prepared too. I guess, the ley line jumped her. I'm reminded of the Descendant's "Zenith" in a way, though I suspect that Princess Celestia made those ley lines to turn Equestria into a philosopher's stone, which is why nopony besides some obscure researcher who mysteriously stopped and Twilight bothered to learn about ley lines.

    The ley magic making tiger-like growls is just silly.

    Surprise surprise the wild magic zaps Lyra. The fancy flashback effects are pretty neat at first, but they go on a little too long. Almost hit the fast forward there. Lyra ends up in a world where Mayor Mare is evil. So business as usual then. Aloe and Lotus are there too and they've turned into Bond movie-like Russian twins. They do the evil interrogation scene. I was hoping for the rack, but truth serums work too. As expected, Lyra spouts gibberish and pisses them off. We get acclimated to the whole earth ponies vs unicorns vs pegasi thing. Some fancy titles are thrown around. Episode ends with Shining Armor to the rescue. Good to see he isn't useless so far. The illustrations are hilarious though with the silly ninja outfits. The mustachioed pony cracks me up. His ninja mask apparently comes with special openings for his bushy eyebrows and his killer moustache.

    The ending sequence is also pretty awesome. Well, here's to hoping it doesn't take a couple of years for episode two.

    4 comments · 188 views
  • 2w, 1d
    Thanksgiving

    Have a happy Thanksgiving, you Americans.

    I may not celebrate the holiday, but I'm thankful for the show. Hope things look up for you before Christmas rolls in.

    4 comments · 78 views
  • 4w, 1d
    Americans

    Congratulations on your new president.

    He seems like a nice guy.

    14 comments · 379 views
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We went in expecting vicious graverobbers, desperate bandits, even crazed grievers who had trapped themselves down there.

If only we were so lucky.


(For Halloween. Part of the Upheaval world)

First Published
11th Oct 2016
Last Modified
11th Oct 2016
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 7
 278

(Part of the Upheaval World) What makes one thing a blessing or a curse? The source, the circumstances, or just the will of the one it's placed upon? In an Old Kingdom ruin, some ponies will find out the hard way.

First Published
29th Jul 2016
Last Modified
29th Jul 2016
  • ...
 7
 582

The King of the Eternal Herd has many duties, but, sometimes, the father of a filly indulges himself.

First Published
11th Jun 2016
Last Modified
11th Jun 2016
  • ...
 13
 352

(Part of the Upheaval world)

Sharp Mark has been training his charge for a long time, knowing that, one day, this quiet pegasus colt must bear a tremendous responsibility upon his shoulders. But there are still a few more lessons to teach, and a few more wrinkles to iron out.

First Published
11th Apr 2016
Last Modified
11th Apr 2016
  • ...
 48
 378

The Void Rift Crisis, the ill-fated bridge between one era to another. A time of great falls and rises within the Eternal Herd. An alicorn colt, curious about the events involving this time, speaks to some prominent figures involved in it.

First Published
1st Dec 2015
Last Modified
1st Dec 2015
  • ...
 56
 649

A beastly plague has descended upon Ponyville, filling its streets with blood and madness. Its denizens desperately wait for reprieve, and a stranger steps into the nightmarish haze. A cure must be found, questions must be answered.

The Hunt is on.

First Published
16th Sep 2015
Last Modified
17th May 2016
  • ...
 299
 3,026

This story is a sequel to Upheaval: Reckoning

Equestria's fragments have reunited, and the power of sunlight shines once more within Celestia. With the remnants of the Old Kingdom destroyed, the Abyssal Throne sent away, the threat of Gravitas defeated, and Black Rose no more, Equestria now faces the encroaching darkness of Oceanus and his rebels.

But the stage is not yet fully set. Twilight Sparkle and her friends must gather what means they may before the battle is joined.

Cover art provided by Obsidian Rose

First Published
6th Mar 2015
Last Modified
22nd Nov 2016
  • ...
 107
 1,381

After the siege of Bastion City and the theft of the power of sunlight, Spike takes on Prince Terrato's offer to train under the kirin, Seethe Scale. He must travel to the Western Barrier Land to gain the strength to help his friends.

Once there, however, Spike soon realizes that there is more for him to contend with in this harsh environment than developing his abilities.

First Published
8th Jan 2015
Last Modified
3rd Jun 2015
  • ...
 26
 748

A great many things occur all throughout Equestria as the reunification proceeds and the days count down to a great upheaval. Every grand picture holds many small details, easily forgotten or unnoticed. These are brief records of such things.

First Published
6th Dec 2014
Last Modified
6th Dec 2014
  • ...
 17
 761

Black Rose's elite agents serve her in various ways. To accomplish her tasks, their talents must be both great and diverse, requiring individuals from the far-flung corners of Equestria. To gather them is a difficult task in and of itself, a task that two siblings must deal with if Black Rose's plans could even have a chance to succeed.

First Published
4th Jul 2014
Last Modified
4th Jul 2014