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Featured In7

More Stories22

  • E Martial Bliss

    Shining Armor learns the most important tactical lesson of his life.
    1,514 words · 16,744 views  ·  2,057  ·  27
  • E Sun Princess

    In the final days of her life, an exceptionally faithful student muses on the subject of her perfect and immortal mentor Applejack.
    1,709 words · 14,490 views  ·  2,178  ·  29
  • E Princess Celestia Hates Tea

    Seriously, a lot.
    8,536 words · 39,892 views  ·  3,677  ·  54
  • E How to Remove a Unicorn Tooth

    Three missing pieces, two loving alicorns, and a single stupid decision that will set young Princess Cadence on a fresh new course.
    11,618 words · 13,369 views  ·  1,091  ·  12
  • E Derplicity

    Derpy Hooves is secretly a changeling. Nopony particularly notices, or cares.
    7,984 words · 21,544 views  ·  2,453  ·  35
  • T Shipping Sickness

    Twilight Sparkle and her bedside table: like two 'ships that pass in the night.
    2,286 words · 18,068 views  ·  1,911  ·  26
  • E Infernal Machines

    The touching tale of a pony and her pet mechanical salamander.
    8,113 words · 7,186 views  ·  565  ·  5
  • E Lady Prismia and the Princess-Goddess

    Filly Cadence turns her first heart.
    10,724 words · 4,779 views  ·  484  ·  4

Blog Posts109

  • Today
    "Cheerilee's Thousand," guest chapter!

    For those of you who, for whatever reason (masochism?) can't get enough Skywriter, please be advised that I wrote a short guest chapter for xjuggernaughtx's Cheerabuse magnum opus "Cheerilee's Thousand."  It is a crossover with my "Ask the Equestria Games Inspector," if you're into that sort of thing.  Anyway, you can find the relevant chapter here!

    5 comments · 126 views
  • Sunday
    Daring Do and the Siren's Curse

    Rainbow Dash hovered anxiously over the crowd.

    It was true that Dash's default position in any given crowd was "hovering over it."  The weatherpony always existed in an uneasy peace with the earth; on the one hoof, the earth supported all her friends, and all her friends' stuff, and they would probably be really ticked if it were to suddenly go away.  On the other, the ground had done Rainbow Dash a lot of damage over the years by being generally unyielding in response to failed corkscrew turns, for instance.  Dash and the ground admittedly maintained a wary and respectful distance as a matter of course.

    On this particular day, though, being on the ground—in that crowd—was utterly out of the question.

    "This is ridiculous!" shouted Twilight Sparkle, Princess of All Friendship Everywhere, waving around a copy of Daring Do and the Siren's Curse.  "She spends the entire book as a monkey, for crying out loud!"

    "You're just letting your irrational hatred of monkeys pollute this discussion," shot back Lyra, Duchess d'Heartstrings, a mint-colored unicorn so far from her family's throne (and thus the public's attention) that she could afford to engage in public cosplay and live-action role-playing without risking scandal.

    "What?" Twilight cried.  "I don't hate monkeys!  Sure, they smell funny and have a weird relationship with their own fecal matter, but that doesn't mean I hate them.  I just don't particularly enjoy reading about them for like three hundred pages!  It's the sort of lazy authorial trick we never would have seen back when my mom was writing this series!"  Cheers from Twilight's half of the convention hall.

    "If you were actually a fan of this series, you'd give this book a chance, Princess!"  Cheers from the Duchess's half of the convention hall.

    "I've given it a chance!  I still think it stinks!  If you were actually a fan of this series, you'd see this travesty as a cuff in the face to everything that used to be good about these books!"

    "A.K. Yearling is putting a lot of love and care into these books, for ponies just like us.  You know what this is?  It's ingratitude.  Plain and simple."

    "It's not ingratitude to demand high standards!  You're just sucking up whatever weird monkey-related swill she puts out because she hasn't actually put out a decent book in years!  But by all means, go ahead!  Just hoof over your bits to the publishers, like a good little fan!"

    "What's with all this anger and bitterness, Sparkle?" Lyra snarled, her horn beginning to gleam sympathetically.  The "I am now so upset I am foregoing honorifics" line had clearly been crossed.  "Coming to DoCon used to be fun.  We laughed, played, sang songs.  It was great!  Now it's just full of horrible complainy whiny jerks who make everyone feel rotten.  Why do you even come to these things if you're just going to grouse?"

    "I grouse because I care.  I have standards, Lyra!  And I 'come to these things' because I still love adventure just as much as I used to!  I like to celebrate what this series used to be!  I can't help it if all everypony talks about is this monkey book!  Am I not supposed to express my opinion?  Is that what you're saying?"  The rumble of the crowd became a low roar.

    "What I'm saying is that you're being a complete and total hater, Sparkle," said Lyra, poking her with one forehoof.  "Hater.  That's you."  The low roar turned quickly to a medium roar.

    "Why, you—!" Twilight sputtered.  "You're just... some kind of drone!  Like a changeling!  Blindly loyal to the queen, never questioning, never thinking."  Twilight's horn lit, then, as well, crackling with a sinister magenta aura.  "I value thinking, Lyra!  Very highly!  And if there's one thing I can't stand, it's a pony who doesn't think!"

    Dash let out a nervous snort.  Yeah, there was about a fifty percent chance now that somepony was going to end up as a cactus.  Time to put a stop.  Working with great professional economy, Dash gathered the water vapor from the ceiling of the convention hall (one of the unpleasant side effects of crowding this many steamy unshowered egghead ponies together in a small space: all the flippin' moisture) and formed it into a tiny black thundercloud.  Then she gritted her teeth and gave it a good solid buck.

    A thunderclap echoed across the hall.  Shocked into momentary silence, all the fanponies looked ceilingward to see Rainbow Dash floating gently down, perched on her little black cloud.

    "'Sup," she said, nodding to Lyra.  "Twi."

    "Rainbow Dash," said Twilight.  "Daring Do's self-described hugest fangirl.  Here to weigh in?"

    "Eh, kinda," she said, keeping it easy.  It was important to keep it easy, sometimes.  You learn this sort of thing when you are a weatherpony dealing with mood-responsive stormclouds.  You also learn this when you are totally completely awesomazingly chill, which Rainbow Dash was.

    "Okay, look," said Dash.  "I'm not gonna insult any of you by telling you to not take this series of young adult novels so seriously.  Because saying that they're not worth caring about would imply that they aren't completely radical, and they completely are.  A'ight?"

    "All right," said Twilight Sparkle.

    "Excuse me?"  Rainbow Dash held a hoof behind one ear.

    Twilight sighed.  "A'ight," she said, fuming a little.

    "Better," said Dash.  "Okay, sorry about this, Twi.  I know we're besties, but as the previous Bearer of the Element of Honesty—"

    "Loyalty," muttered Twilight.

    "Whatever.  I gotta call a spade a spade here.  You know that thing you say about how anypony that actually dares to like A.K. Yearling's version of Daring Do must be a brainless supporter of Ms. Yearling's publisher who's got no standards and doesn't actually care about the series?  That's really insulting and wrong.  There's a lot to like about the recent books.  Even if Daring Do is a monkey for like the entire book.  And I'm pretty sure that some the ponies who were writing Daring-Do-as-Monkey fanfic before ...Siren's Curse came out like the book because of this new development, not in spite of it."

    "Woohoo!" shouted a lone gray pegasus with a bubble Mark, somewhere over on Lyra's half of the hall.

    "See?  Like her.  Believe it or not, it really is okay for ponies to like the monkey-books!"

    "But they're ruining the franchise!  The more money they spend on monkey-books, the more monkey-books the publisher will put out!  I don't want this franchise to turn into one hundred percent monkeys all the time!"

    "Yeah, I dunno," said Dash.  "I mean, maybe spending bits on monkey-books will make the publisher produce more books about monkeys instead of original-flavor Daring Do books.  It's possible.  I'm not a publisher, so I can't tell you that.  I prefer to think that publishers who see the money rolling in from anywhere in a franchise are going to wanna bankroll more of both kinds.  Rising tide lifts all boats and all."

    "Thanks, Dash," said the Duchess D'Heartstrings.  "I knew you'd come down on the right side."

    "I ain't done yet," said Dash, putting on her emergency sunglasses for an extra layer of chill.  "Lyra, it's also really insulting and wrong for you to say that Twilight hasn't given the monkey-books a 'chance.'  We're all a bunch of grown mares attending a convention for a young adult novel series, so, yeah.  Pretty sure we've all given the topic of every single official release enough thought.  Ponies have the right to like what they like, and dislike what they dislike, and they also have a right to be in this community even if they grouse about the direction the books are taking.  Your happiness is your own responsibility.  It is downright selfish for you to insist that someone else be happy even when they're not just because they're bringing your mood down.  Crystal?"

    Lyra stood there for a moment, mouth agape, and then looked away and muttered something that sounded vaguely like assent.  Good enough for Dash.  Giving her powerful wings a few strong beats, she hoisted her thundercloud a cubit or two more off the ground.  "And here's the last thing I gotta say to the both of you.  Daring Do conquers problems through the power of her extremely awesome adventure skills.  But she also conquers problems through friendship.  And when either—"  She raised her head, addressing the entire convention hall now.  "—when any of you say to yourselves, 'I value these books and this fandom so highly that I am going to be all surly and rude and namecall-y to my fellow ponies just to prove how much I value these books and this fandom,' for Celestia's sake, you had better friggin' check yourself.  Because by being surly and rude and namecall-y to your fellow ponies, you are proving, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you don't actually value what you're claiming to.  Because being surly and rude and namecall-y is the exact opposite of what this whole entire series is about."

    Rainbow Dash gave a sharp nod.  "That's my thing," she said.

    "It... really has gotten kind of hostile," said Twilight.

    "Yeah," said Lyra.  "Maybe we should just... y'know, be happy with each other.  Happy that there are other ponies who are just as passionate about the same silly thing we're passionate about.  Happy we've got company on this crazy head-trip we're all on."

    "Agreed."  A smile.  Then, hesitantly, the two ponies shared a hoofbump; sighs of relief, of tension relaxing, echoed throughout the convention hall.

    "I know what," Twilight continued.  "Let's make this fandom what it used to be, back in the early days, back when we were all peaceful and happy.  We should all sit down together and share our thoughts on one of our favorite books."

    "That's a great plan, Princess," said Lyra.  "I've got an idea:  why don't we talk about one of my very favorite installments in the series: Daring Do and the Extended Metaphor of Faith Versus Scientific Understanding!"

    Princess Twilight Sparkle's eyes grew flinty.

    * * *

    In Equestria, they were long and sinewy things; elegant, slippery and snakelike.  For literally thousands of years, they had been trapped in the awkward, gangling bodies of the native inhabitants of their prison-dimension.  Now, they were back, and their old serpentine forms welcomed them back like a pair of comfortable slippers.

    Comfortable slippers like they used to wear back in the prison-dimension, of course.  They didn't currently have feet that would accept comfortable slippers.  This was a point of chagrin for Sonata, who constantly lamented the loss of her two fuzzy bunny friends.  This was to be expected from Sonata, because she was a moron.

    Sonata's relative stupidity was actually not bothering Adagio all that much today.  She stretched decadently, then relaxed, her body falling in easy curves all across the surprisingly-roomy maintenance area beneath the floor of the convention center.  The portal between the prison-dimension and Equestria opened so frequently now; little bits of correspondence, gifts and souvenirs exchanged across the interdimensional divide.  All it had taken was one little misdirection, one moment of inattention, for the three of them to slip through...

    "Mmm," purred Aria, glancing up at the muffled noise of Daring Do fans really going at it now.  "This is the best petty bickering I've had.  In, like, a thousand years."

    "I brought popcorn!" shouted Sonata, gleefully, displaying a striped paper carton caught up in the coils of her tail.

    "You eat hatred and dissent, Sonata," groaned Aria.  "Not popcorn."

    "I think they go great together."

    "You know what else goes great together?  My cloaca and your face."

    "What do you know about pairing food and anger?"

    "More than you!"

    "Do not!"

    "Do too!"

    "Please," said Adagio.  "Idiots, please.  You're interrupting my digestion.  Let's just sit back and enjoy this delicious feast, shall we?  I, for one, am perfectly content right now."

    "Yeah," said Sonata.  "I kinda miss my chaos amulet, though."

    Adagio raised her long, horsey head and gave her underling a sweet little smile.

    "Who needs chaos amulets," she said, "when you've got fandom?"

    43 comments · 433 views
  • 1w, 1d
    "The First Time You See Her," complete!

    ...Finally!  The story that was only ever supposed to be a one-shot and turned into a huge campaign exploration of Cadance's history is finally over.

    So, serious question:  this is a bridge story.  It's all it ever was, really; just a glorified way for me to shift the story cycle from here to there.  It obviously holds up best as part of a greater whole, with its precursors supporting it, but just to get a consensus, do you folks feel like it's a strong and worthwhile enough story on its own merits to make it worth the time to submit to EQD as a stand-alone piece?  Still pondering the idea and looking for input.  Thanks in advance!

    26 comments · 399 views
  • 3w, 1d
    Feeling Bad About Feeling Good

    (Sorry about the doublepost.  Accidentally published too early, and I didn't want comments coming in on the incomplete version before I had a chance to explain myself...)

    So.  Just watched "Rainbow Rocks" again.

    I actually really like this movie, and it makes me sad, because I keep on imagining what Ms. Faust must think of it, and what she would think of me, by proxy.

    This is nothing new to me, of course, speaking as a Cadance fan.  It's well-known public record by now that the show's original developer never wanted more than two alicorns, and yet, here I am, devoting most of my creative energies in this fandom to the once-controversial third alicorn.  (Is Cadance drama even a thing anymore?)  When pressed on this topic, I will always fall back on the following conclusion:  Cadance is a Bad Thing, and we are making the most of it.

    If I am being brutally honest with myself, however, I realize that I am saying this because I have the specter of a disapproving Lauren Faust watching me over my shoulder.  I like alicorns.  I like to have a selection of alicorns.  I like that there's a younger alicorn.  I like that I do not have to choose between "godlike, regal, and canon-perfect" and "struggles with inner darkness."  I like everything about the fact of Cadance...

    ...except for the fact that I feel like I'm stepping on someone's childhood imaginings by doing so.  Pity the professional artist, who frequently has to sell control of her childhood friends to a corporation who never knew them, and who will take them places you never wanted them to go.  Craig McCracken, Ms. Faust's husband, as much as confirmed that "Equestria Girls" was contrary to her original vision.  And I can see why, of course.

    The original Equestria Girls was very much an honest "making the most of a Bad Thing" period for me.  That movie was a bit of a mess; I enjoyed bits of it and did not criticize it too harshly.  The fans and creators were both dealt a bad hand by management, and I liked the idea of us all sort of enduring it together.  But now we have a sequel, and while rough edges still exist, on the whole, it's a much more satisfying film experience.

    Nothing about it being a satisfying film experience changes the fact that it's never going to be the direction this show, this franchise, was intended to go.

    My entirely non-scientific surveys of the Ponynet suggest that people are generally pleased with "Rainbow Rocks."  I am... disheartened by the people who are unquenchably angry about the whole thing, the ones that point and say, functionally, Skywriter, you are the problem.  That you continue to consume this media spits on the thing Lauren Faust was trying to do with this show.  You, Skywriter, have participated in muddying this from something great into something merely okay.  One in particular has exhorted the general public as follows:  "Don't you dare forget what could have been!"

    I wonder what this hypothetical show looks like in that fan's imaginings.

    I wonder if I would like it as much as I like the show I'm currently watching.

    I wonder if I am a worse person for liking what "could have been" greater.

    I wonder if it's even true that it "could have been" greater at all.

    I wonder what Lauren Faust thinks of me.

    Ms. Faust, there is no chance that you are reading this, so I say this purely for myself:  I actually like what they did with the characters you thought of first this time, and I'm sorry if anything has been diminished because of what I do or don't like.

    It's the best I can do.

    Final non sequitur:  Why haven't I seen any crackfic stories where Cadance is actually the fourth siren of the coven, the only one redeemable by Star Swirl?  Get on it, fandom!

    81 comments · 791 views
  • 7w, 3d
    "Rainbow Rocks" (flagrant, persistent spoilers throughout, obvs.)

    Welcome to another edition of "Because You All Perforce Must Care What I Think."  Let's make this short and sweet, shall we, getting the unpleasant bits out of the way first.

    Category A:  Things That There Was Never Any Hope For Improvement On

    1.  Human character designs still not doing it for me.  No amount of time and effort will make our girls not look like somewhat sexualized and rainbow-hued versions of Mr. ZIP what with the huge heads and stick bodies and all.

    2.  Still no substitute for actual pony film.  Actual pony screen-time even lower than last time around.

    3.  All protagonists are suddenly skilled musicians, when canonically only Pinkie, Fluttershy (maybe?) and A.J. have even been shown handling an instrument.  And Twilight is appropriately lampshaded in the narrative, so I guess I'm only questioning Dash and Rarity?  I dunno.  Let's move on.

    Category B:  Things Actually Worse Than Last Film

    1.  Vinyl Scratch.  I am absolutely great with fandom nods.  No allergy whatsoever to seeing Octavia, Snowflake Bulk Biceps, and lots and lots of Trixie.  Welcomed.  But basic storytelling dictates that you cannot have a functionally nameless character pull not one but two eleventh-hour saves without seeding the plot properly first.  Story structure demands that the protective qualities of her omnipresent headphones be hinted at before they are used to save our heroes' bacon (something so simple as including a version of the the disapproving Celestia / Vinyl interaction we saw in the "Music to My Ears" short would have been absolutely sufficient) and the Bass Cannon Sedan needs to have been at least established (if not fully revealed) prior to its use as a problem-solver.  When you count on an audience's in-joke knowledge and delight over a character to fill in the cracks of a story, that is when your fandom nod has crossed the line.  Furthermore, I can't tell if the creators are putting her forward as a strong-silent master of her craft or actually envision her as the same loudmouthed Bohemian that the fans see and are merely having her stay mute to appease the "Nowacking or Nothing" crowd.  I wish they would just pick one, because the more the plot actually hinges on her the more distracting her silence becomes.  Thank goodness they actually had Octavia speak a line.

    2.  No Candybutt, not even in cameo.  This is not a fault in the story as such, I'm just (predictably) disappointed and furthermore holistically trepid that my functional OC will continue to fade into the background as Twilight becomes more and more Cadanceified.  She's got wings now, is a princess, and lives in a crystal castle.  All she needs is a coat of pink paint and to get married, and the narrative will have no use for dear sweet Candybutt whatsoever.

    Category C:  Things Better Than Last Film

    1-n.  Virtually everything else.  The scene compositions were more visually adventurous and intriguing, the villains had a plot which made some damn sense this time, the songs are marginally superior, plot points are followed through on and not just mentioned and dropped, and the whole thing seems to have been stitched together with a lot of love and affection for the property.  And Sunset Shimmer is handled exactly the way I wanted her to be handled.  The scene where she once again attempts bad-girl intimidation in the darkened hallway only to have it fizzle this time is just splendid, and I for one gratefully welcome Sunny as the unexplained sixth peripheral star in "Magical Mystery Cure."

    That is all.  Thoughts?

    56 comments · 731 views
  • ...

Princess Cadence tries to legally change her name to "Princess Cadance."  Footnotes ensue.  Part of the "Cadance of Cloudsdale" cycle, and a crossover with Ghost of Heraclitus's Civil Service stories.  Familiarity with neither is required.

First Published
2nd May 2013
Last Modified
4th May 2013

Featured. I'm calling it right now.

>>2518498 Is any other outcome really to be expected?


it might just skip the Featured box. in other news, hell has just frozen over.

Oh, something new to fave. :ajsmug:

Isn't Cadance a nickname, while Cadence is the official name?

It's not like if a single letter don't let you figured out who is it, even if it's in a weeding invitation of somepony you haven't talked about for 2 seassons, specially if it's a dearing childhood friend, who probably wasn't a princess back then, and never dated for as long as you know...

Bah, scratch the whole thing. :ajbemused:

Yet another thing I need to read (and hope to read shortly).

Also, you are seeming like an increasingly good target for unilateral nemesising, because seriously. Another story, which I'm sure will once again prove distressingly wonderful and make me disappointed in myself for not taking more time to write.



Other way around, I'm afraid. Cadance is official.

Yes, this means her full name is Princess Mi Amore Cadenza and her nickname is Cadance.

I believe the culprit is US trademark law, though I am by no means a lawyer.

I thoroughly enjoy Dotted Line's adventures, no matter the writer. :heart:

They really ought to do something about that baby book. At the very least, transcribe the contents to paper, and keep the original locked up, so they don't have to haul out the possessed thing whenever something comes up.


Well, you said

Isn't Cadance a nickname, while Cadence is the official name?

So while you are right about Cadance being the nickname (which is my bad :twilightblush:), Cadence isn't her official name. Cadence =/= Cadenza.

So let's call it a draw and drop the whole thing. =P

Another story from Skywriter!  Aww yeah!

(Usually, I don't judge how good or bad a story is solely based on the author, but after I nearly bust a gut laughing after reading  "Shipping Sickness" and "Princess Celestia Hates Tea", and had a nice warm fuzzy feeling reading "Derplicity", I'll have to make an exception here)

The addition of footnotes is annoying, and not at all clever or funny.


Required, though, for the purposes of the mock-up.  I admit to not doing them as well as the source material does.

Dotty is my favorite OC.

In government, the reward for a job well done is a more impossible job.  This continues until you screw something up so badly that you are relegated to your present position until retirement.  Dotted Line, having made the mistake of not making a mistake of sufficient magnitude to arrest his ascent, is doomed to find himself wedged into the the highest office possible.

On the plus side, there is tea.

On the minus side, there is almost never enough time to drink it properly, or enough of it to be drank.

Perhaps the worst thing Celestia could do to Dotted Line would be to force him to take a vacation.  Dottie has the most happiness in his life when things get done, and things just will not get done while he is at the beach, and he knows that.  Plus they just don't know how to make a proper cup of tea there.

My gosh....:trollestia:

That was my thoughts after reading this -- firstly, to be perfectly honest, reading the synopsis, I was about to question that you already made a story about this....until I realized I had you mixed up with another story :rainbowlaugh:.

I love how this story plays and builds off your previous stories, which I definitely enjoyed -- the vocabulary in this story is just insane and unbelievably technical...."Bureaucratic" is definitely the term I'm looking for, and my eyes almost glossed over a few times reading all of these big words that were clearly thrown in for the sake of it's ridiculous just how technical and punctual this story got :twilightsheepish:.

It had his serious moments sure...happily, I'm glad, with the comedy tag, that you generally made it more obvious that this story was just for laughs. It almost comes off as a direct sequel to the "Unicorn Tooth" story, and Cadance is already (petulantly) quick to make some changes around here. I would argue that Celestia, indeed, was acting as troll-like as Cadance said she was....and yet, when you think about it, the idea of trying to create this new image by legally changing your name with a single word difference....I'm on Cadance's side, but there was definitely some tiny laughter coming out of her expense.

I like Dotted Line, I really do....I wasn't crazy for him at first, I'll admit, but as the story went just really really get the impression of an Average Joe kind of guy like, well, most of us really -- yes he used to be a chemist, he's kind of pedantic and fundamentalist, stringent and so on ("Conservative" I think ultimately sums him up)....but as the story went on, I almost started to feel sorry for him: It wasn't that he was trying to pull Cadance through legal hell, so much as "rules are rules", even for young demigods....the overwhelming impression I got, was that he was sort of like us: just an everyman or layperson leading an uninteresting life, and this was without a doubt the most chaotic day he's ever experienced....which isn't necessarily a good thing.

Celestia is, well, what can I say -- she's a joker as ever, but as I said, this time around, as much as she pretty much deliberately put Cadence through some tiny misery for the sake of teaching her another lesson (and to get some laughs at her expense), you almost have to wonder if it's justified in Cadance changing one.single.letter in an attempt to create a new glamorous image. As before though, as much as Cadance may be the petulant child wanting to leave the nest and Celestia is the overbearing Solar Nag who keeps chiding that she's not ready, I still definitely side with the former...even if she may have sort of deserved to be teased :trollestia:.

And of course, she's right...."only a idiot signs something before reading it" is very true, as intimating (and boring) as those long legal "Read here before clicking yes" can be.

Overall, a great comedy and another side-story for your Cadance stories -- one would think you'll eventually get to the next story in the Cloudsdale arc after all these tie-ins, right? :unsuresweetie:

Poor Princess Cadence. Her destiny in life seems to be to suffer Celestia's good intentions.

Technically, her name is Cadence, but since people are too stupid to spell (and many people ARE too stupid to spell correctly, dont deny it, its true :ajbemused:), they spell it as Cadance. Her name is Princess Mi Amore Cadenza. If it were an "a" instead of an "e", wouldnt it be spelled "Cadanza"? Also, when her name first came out, it was Cadence.

Look it up :facehoof:


There is no consensus, unfortunately.  It's not so simple as misspelling when Hasbro's marketing department steadfastly insists that they have the right of it with the "a" spelling, and simultaneously the show credits list the character with the "e" spelling.  Headcanon resolves this by suggesting she was born with a "normal" name and tried to change it to something flashy in a fit of pique, as you see here.

Cadence gazed at him thoughtfully for a moment.

"Dotted Line," she asked, "what is love?"

I have to wonder how many times Cadance had to hear "baby don't hurt me" before meeting Shining Armor... :applejackunsure:

"A popular misconception,"


This whole spiel reminds of something I read once in a discworld novel. "Pyramids" I believe.

This story now has a Pratchett comparison. So your attempt to mimic Ghost's style was reasonably successful. :pinkiehappy:

So. Many. Footnotes. :rainbowkiss:

Dotted, I freaking love you. Best OC poni. (Sorry Quiz!)

Even more obscure, Form CV-452 is the Official Petition for Legal Recognition of Change of Tribe for a Princess Alicorn (Ascendant) of Equestria. In contrast to 451, it's an inexplicably simple form with very few conditions precedent, and a signature line that appears abruptly in the middle of the third page.

Glorious, and a lesson for all of us: Read the fine print. All of it.

Poor Cadænce. The more of this series I read, the more amazed I am that Chrysalis had to kidnap her. You'd think she'd be willing to team up with anyone against her aunt.

Wow, another story out so soon. Sure, I might have skipped out studying for the super big test just to read this, but I was totally worth it.

Boy, the TVTropes page is in for a long day tomorrow afternoon.

You're on some kind of roll here! Two stories in the space of a week! :pinkiegasp: Can we expect this to continue? Anyway, this was an excellent little break from the rampaging darkness of "The Immortal Game". Having read "Whom the Princesses Would Destroy", I have to say you did an impeccable job of capturing the atmosphere of Dotted's life. It really should be tea time constantly. I'm convinced he deserves it.

The thing that academia in this branch of the Equestrian multiverse reminds me of most is the SCP foundation. It seems that the primary use of esteemed professors is battling eldritch horrors, or at the very least, cataloguing them. It's a wonder the tone of the civil service series isn't darker than it is. I do wonder how long it will be before someone awakes a real terror of shadow and flame in the depths of the mountain. :coolphoto:

It also occurs to me, and probably should have occurred to me in the last story, that at some point you're going to have to write Shining Armor's answer to "what is love". baby don't hurt me Do you really have the perfect answer? One that will satisfy the Princess of Love? If you just have it happen in another whisper that isn't overheard by the audience, I'mma have to find you and slap you. :duck:

Now, I have to say I appreciated having the footnotes in a separate document in "Whom". It gave them a reason to be linkified and let me look them up without having to find my place again. (Yeah, I suppose I could just duplicate the tab, but I don't know how to do that in android chrome. :trixieshiftleft:)

Gosh though, Celestia really is such a troll in these stories. It's beautiful. :trollestia: She always manages to go about it with such good humor that I can't be mad about it. I'm also impressed by the way this works into Ghost's universe, complete with back story for Dotted, the most memorable OC I've seen in this place.

So, is she going to meet Big M(a)cIntosh? :trollestia:

Seriously, great story!


The Question was going to be "What is the nature of love" just to avoid people bringing up that song (which has happened twice already), and it still is probably going back to that in future stories, but I couldn't make Cady say a clunker of a line like that in the middle of the short tea-time passage (which has to be informal for it to work; note that it's the only time that Cady is referred to by her name only, without title or tribe, an intentional style choice.)

The Question does have an answer.  God willing that I reach the final story, you'll see it.


One could almost say that the pacing of that particular form is a bit rushed.

Ah - bureaucracy. An endless wellspring of amusing anecdates. Unless you have the grave misfortune to actually _experience_ it, in which case it rapidly transforms into a hellish nightmare.

An entertaining story here - if I were to find any criticism, it would be that your footnotes could have been better placed. Putting them at the bottom of the page works well enough in a book, where you can see the bottom of the page despite still reading the very top of it; in web format, it isn't quite so convenient.

Still, very nice story. I look forward to seeing more from you.

Laughed a lot. Very close to the Ghost of Heraclitus writing style. Good work.:pinkiehappy:

Oh my god.  Celestia is the worst pony.  Ever.  "500 pages!  by two days ago!"


how so?

"The interconnectedness of all things failed to provide him with a decent oolong" Dirk Gently FTW! That said, the magic -- and footnotes [1] -- are positively Prachettian and many of the great puns are wonderfully Adamsian. One can only assume that is exactly what you were trying for, and I must say you've hit it nicely. Civil Service at it's finest! My only complaint is technical... that with the whole thing on one digital page, the footnotes are a long scroll down and back.

[1] Or magical footnotes, as they're sometimes called

Oh, very well done! You've captured Ghost's tone, and Dotted's character, really well; this goes past pastiche right into the glorious lands of homage.

And the thing about Celestia and Cadence is that while the former has good reasons for doing the things she does, and the best of intentions, you end up feeling for the latter. It's not easy being a nine-hundred year old teenager having to live with an "aunt" who's actually lived through a thousand years of adult life!


The internet has killed sarcasm, apparently. Again.

"an extended fact-finding mission to "determine how many miles there were".  The apparent interminability of this mission suggested that the answer was "quite a lot of them".

THIS.  This one segment shows a mastery of Adamsian Bristish humor I did laugh out loud.  Absolute brilliance.

I believe that I was grinning the entire way through. Another very entertaining story, and excellent use of Dotted Line.

Brilliant!  So good to see more Dotted Line!  I'm destroying my image with exclamation marks and vapid praise!

"The troll," whispered Cadence.  "The horrible, horrible troll."

That pretty sums my feeling about Celestia now

And yet, I must still say: well played  :rainbowlaugh:


Oh, dear, did I miss a sockpuppet?  I'm sorry!

Delicious.  Absolutely delicious.

Not much more I can say, I'm afraid.  It's just amazing.


It's my second-favorite joke in this piece.  My first-favorite joke is not actually in the text, but is conjured by Footnote 6; I love the implied image of Little Woona schemingly trying to enact revenge on her big sister using official paperwork.  "This will show that big mean sister of mine!" says Little Woona, rubbing her hooves together.  "I'll follow proper bureaucratic channels at her!"  And now I have to stop, at risk of diabetes.

Once again Skywriter, you have excelled yourself! I especially love this sort of humour[1], and you do it very well. You are one of the few authors that I get an immediate "huzzah, Skywriter has written something![2]" as as far as I am concerned, everything you write is pretty much gold.

[1] And as my local ponythread well tell you, I am very fond of using footnotes myself - I use 'em in my posts, story and have been known, occasionally, even to use them for their intended dpurpose when writing game rules! On the forums I can make them superscript, though apparently this site doesn't support that and I struggled a bit doing them in my own story. I am going to remember to use square brackets next time (if there is one, given my rate of faiction writing!) because that's an elegant compromise I simply hadn't thought of. So thanks for that.

[2]Though even fewer authors get "huzzah, Skywriter has written something!" when they aren't actually called Skywriter[3].

[3] No, I couldn't resist another footnote pun[4].

[4] I told you I loved footnotes. I'll stop now.


Just for the record, my very favorite joke is all but the last line in the story:

The phrase "interesting times" featured prominently on his personal list of top ten things you never want to hear spoken by your head of state, ever.[12]  

[12] Nestled snugly in between "Austerity Measures" and "Preemptive National Defense".


I enjoyed this.  Enough so that a fav and upvote weren't enough for me, so you get a comment as well.

So thanks for that.

This was really rather a thing of beauty. Bravo!

"A popular misconception," replied Doctor Abacus, leaping at a familiar screed not unlike a catamount leaping at a rotund, and possibly disabled, hyrax.  "'Knowing' implies a sense of absoluteness, and the higher one rises into the echelons of academia, the more one realizes that 'absoluteness' is a convenient and comfortable fiction thrown on by the world so that it can function on a daily basis while remaining ignorant of true truth."  She waggled her eyebrows conspiratorially at Dotted.  "My thesis adviser," she said, "doesn't know anything at all.  Tremendous scholar."

I understand this is meant for comic effect, but that is actually almost the way it works. The more you know, the more you know of that you don't know. Once you know enough, you realise that everything you do know is nearly nothing. Oh, and shouldn't it be "didn't" because Abacus is now a Doctor?

"She may not even know of its existence yet," said Doctor Abacus.  "On a quantum level, all events are happening at once, the past and the future are simultaneous, and each and every moment has an effective duration of 'forever'.  She may currently own the actual spirit-trap, she may come across it tomorrow, and she may have glimpsed it in a museum fifty years ago.  When you start getting quantum, the possibilities are literally endless."

Okay, I see that in the special case of Abacus, that speech was entirely accurate. I don't think Abacus knows anything about QM at all.:pinkiehappy:

Anyway, um, I actually think I prefer Unicorn Tooth and Goddess Princess, just because they're more the style of story, but I certainly ended up laughing out loud (as in actually laughing and thus worrying certain people I co-habit with) reading this, so good job. It was kind of odd seeing your Celestia with Ghost's Dotted, because your Sun-Nag take on Celestia is so very unique. I guess I can imagine this is an AU Dotted.


A fantastic little fic of Pratchett-esque hilarity!

Way to go. You're awesome!

Two years ago, he had been brought in to the Bureau of Names and Standards on a routine chemistry consultation, to make certain that the platinum-iridium cylinder intended to exemplify the kilogram was as pure as conceivably possible and would not degrade over time, thus throwing off the standard.

I'm not sure if I'm disturbed or amused by the fact I was just reading about this specific item and how they were worrying about the rate that it's been shedding electrons.

Amazing fic, I hope you get a chance to write Dotted again. He is truly my favourite pony of all time. (As Heraclitus well knows.:twilightsheepish:

Footnotes! :flutterrage: What kind of author would put footnotes, without links to top it off, in fiction?! I'm not reading them. It's not worth my time, and being footnotes they can't possibly be relevant enough to the story that I can't go without them.


I'd love to hyperlink the footnotes!  Do you know how, in the UBB code the site runs on?

The answer to your rhetorical question is "the guy whose work I'm parodying". :pinkiehappy:

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