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Sequels5

  • T All The Way Back

    Princess Luna is no longer Nightmare Moon. But she is still very weak, and very alone. Can she come all the way back?  · Jordan179
    18,963 words · 1,133 views  ·  94  ·  2  · 
  • T An Extended Performance

    The Great and Powerful Trixie gives the performance of her life during the Longest Night in Eqeustrian history. Start of Season 1.  · Jordan179
    26,641 words · 1,042 views  ·  57  ·  2  · 
  • T Pinkie Sense and Sensibility

    When a young mare happens to be both her own pony and the Pink Daughter of Paradise, love and life can get complex and strange  · Jordan179
    15,879 words · 569 views  ·  25  ·  2  · 
  • T Dragonshyness

    Fluttershy endures one of the most frightening experiences of her life. (It is a testament to the utter terror that can be Fluttershy's life that confronting a full-grown Dragon counts as only "one" of the most terrifying days of her  · Jordan179
    38,857 words · 632 views  ·  42  ·  3  · 
  • T His Mark On History

    Across the Stormy Seas to the east of Equestria, on the continent of Taura, the ponies of the Running Water are oppressed by their Griffon overlords. Can young First Strong Messenger strike a blow for independence and change history?  · Jordan179
    4,405 words · 87 views  ·  11  ·  2 · gore  · 

Featured In52

More Stories25

  • T Fluttershy Is Free

    Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy go to see a butterfly migration. Mid-Season 1, immediately after "Call of the Cutie."
    10,460 words · 944 views  ·  82  ·  1
  • T Feeling Adrift

    After her emotional revelations to Twilight Sparkle, Princess Luna returns to Canterlot uncertain of her feelings, her place in the world, and even her identity. Her big sister tries to help her feel a bit less adrift.
    4,938 words · 934 views  ·  99  ·  2
  • T A Meeting by Moonlight

    Princess Luna tells Twilight Sparkle a tale of the world's ancient past, before the Alicorn pony Princess of the Night was even born.
    2,932 words · 1,456 views  ·  133  ·  4
  • T All The Way Back

    Princess Luna is no longer Nightmare Moon. But she is still very weak, and very alone. Can she come all the way back?
    18,963 words · 1,133 views  ·  94  ·  2
  • T An Extended Performance

    The Great and Powerful Trixie gives the performance of her life during the Longest Night in Eqeustrian history. Start of Season 1.
    26,641 words · 1,042 views  ·  57  ·  2
  • E Sun Atoms

    Foals Sundreamer and Moondreamer debate astrophysics, positional location, and the implications of hoof-sucking. Their mother, Dr. Sweetie Finemare, has to drive them.
    1,099 words · 345 views  ·  35  ·  1
  • E Royal Business

    When Spike is called away to Canterlot on Royal Business, he expects to have to do something for Princess Celestia. Instead, he winds up being interviewed by Princess Luna and fed a lot of gems. Life can be tough for a young Dragon!
    2,986 words · 572 views  ·  32  ·  1
  • T A Robust Solution

    Fluttershy comes to terms with a mistake from her past, and learns how to handle herself in the future, with the help of her good friend Rarity.
    11,859 words · 538 views  ·  54  ·  4 · sex

Blog Posts136

  • Saturday
    I Hate Anons

    Introduction

    I hate stories in which the main character is "anonymous" and has neither meaningful background or personality.  I have noticed that such tales are usually Humans in Equestria who are almost always male late-teens or early-twenties and have various canon characters inexplicably fall in love with them, usually for the purpose of having at least one highly-explicit love scene with these characters.

    I. A Failure of Imagination

    I hate this because they represent massive failures of imagination on the part of the author, and are transparent attempts to induce the audience to fantasize "Gee ... this "Anon" could be me."

    Why massive failures of imagination?  Because the "Anon" viewpoint (often done in second person) is essentially the writer failing to create a protagonist.  And this is, after all, supposedly someone from our world in Equestria, which creates all sorts of interesting possibilities in the hands of a gifted writer:  he's in a whole new world, a new society, meeting a new species who are in turn discovering us through him.

    And what the author usually writes is something to the effect of "Dur!  Cute colorful horsies!  My story is sexually-explicit so I can describe Anon having sex with them!  Sex, with cute colorful horsies!  Duh-huh-duh-huh-heh-heh!"

    The fact that the writer generally knows very little about anatomy, equine (or in some cases human), frequently making even the sexual mechanics absurd, is but the rotten cherry on the sundae of ineptitude.  This is often taken to the point that I wonder if not only whether or not the author has ever had sex (and there's nothing wrong with virginity IMO), but whether or not the author has ever had any form of sexual education (apply to Goldie Pie for The Talk, either Version One or Version Two).

    II. A Failure of Morality

    More importantly, the author usually can't depict character properly, meaning that there is generally no discernible motivation for these explosions of carnal lust.  Anon's motives often boil down to "I'd been in Equestria three weeks, so I was pretty horny, and she looked kinda cute despite the obvious obstacle of being from an entirely different Family of Mammalia and my having absolutely no concept of how her culture worked."  This makes me believe that the set of Anons who go to Equestria and the set of victims who report to hospitals with embarrassing masturbation-related self-inflicted injuries may be strongly intersecting ones.

    This part of it, of course, is sadly believable.  Just look at the trouble sailors get into when they put into port.  It's just that a desperately-horny sailor isn't usually my idea of a model romantic, or even erotic, protagonist.  Among other things, the stereotypical sailor in a liberty port is utterly-indiscriminate in his quest for pleasure.

    The real problem comes when the canon characters get warped to make them plausible partners in these sexual scenarios.  None of the main characters of the series impress me as even remotely promiscuous enough to just have sex with some random alien whose motivation toward them is "I'm horny -- you look vaguely like a female of my kind -- let's bang."  (The series does have two canon examples of xenophiliac emotional relationships; however both are very obviously and strongly sentimental ones -- I doubt that Anon can impress Rarity the way Spike does, or for that matter be as interesting as Discord is to Fluttershy).

    The usual assumption here is that the Equestrians, and specifically the Mane Six, have roughly the morals of especially-airheaded college girls on Spring Break who have consumed far too many psychoactive substances.  Now, I won't argue that one could not find Equestrians matching this description (there's a whole subculture of them in my fanon, the Fast Set, though most of them are classier than most of the mares Mr. Anon encounters).  I just doubt that the members of an elite order of mystical embodiments of the Elements of Harmony are likely to be this sexually-indiscriminate.

    Among other things, they're not desperate.  I cannot over-emphasize this point, even though I've said it before -- it bears repetition.  Every one of the Mane Six is beautiful and charismatic in her own way.  All of them know numerous Ponies of both sexes, some of whom are single and would probably be flattered to fall in love -- or just have sex -- with anypony matching the description of any of them.  This is true despite the fact that my Equestrians are fairly prudish -- the Mane Six are just that awesome, by their society's standards.

    They are not clearly in any romantic relationships, though there are at least 4-6 such relationships being teased more or less strongly in canon (Spike/Rarity, Fluttershy/Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy/Bulk Biceps, Fluttershy/Discord, Pinkie Pie/Cheese Sandwich, and Pony Twilight Sparkle / Human Flash Sentry).  The implication is that they are very choosy, and either have decided whom they love, or decided that nobody of their current acquaintance meets their standards.

    Which makes it very unlikely that they fall for Anon.  I have seen Humans in Equestria who might plausibly be loved by one (or several) of them, but such Humans are generally more admirable and interesting than the typical Anon.

    III. This Anon Is You

    This failure of plausible Anons comes from the very nature of what the author is trying to do by making his protagonist anonymous.  He's trying to say "this could be you" but, the problem is that any particular person -- you, me, your brother, that guy standing on the corner over there -- is a unique individual with his own special interests and personality.

    Seriously, you should read The Everyman trope I just linked.  The very second paragraph of the entry describes what's wrong with the blank Everyman very effectively, namely

    The Everyman has no distinct personality, except what is defined by others' interactions with them. One gets the distinct feeling that if people weren't trying to kill them / wacky circumstances didn't happen to them / the fate of the world didn't fall into their laps / their wacky neighbors weren't around, The Everyman would be the most boring person in the world.

    Does this sound like the sort of person with whom a heroine who represented one of the cardinal virtues of her civilization would fall in love?  Or find romantically or sexually attractive?  Could one describe any of the Mane Six as an "Everymare?"  

    No, each of them is an extreme outlier personality by the standards of her species, Kind and subculture.  Twilight's a brave and brilliant scientist-mage, Rarity an exceptionally-skilled social climber and fashion designer, Rainbow Dash a top athlete, Fluttershy a gifted naturalist, Pinkie Pie a hyperactive weirdo Bringer of Joy, and the most normal of them all, Applejack, a pillar of emotional and moral strength.

    Characters like this are not likely to fall for average, boring Love Interests, especially Satellite Love Interests.  That's one of the reasons the fandom hates Flash Sentry -- he doesn't have much discernible personality besides being generally nice and non-threatening, which makes him seem an absurdly under-whelming match for Twilight Sparkle, who's the main heroine of the whole series.  One might consider that what the authors of Anon self-inserts are really doing is writing new versions of Flash Sentry -- generally without the character traits that make him at all likeable.

    Consider the description of Satellite Love Interest from TV Tropes:

    A type of Satellite Character who exists primarily to serve as the love interest for a main character. It doesn't matter what their life was like beforehand; their focus in the story revolves around the sole fact that they dig said main character, and the main character digs them ... The test of course, is to ask "What does this person do when they're not being a love interest?" ...if it's hard to answer, you probably have this.

    Flash Sentry -- both Pony and Human versions, are actually better fleshed-out characters than this, because we can answer the test question with "Guarding Princess Cadance" and "Developing his musical skills" respectively.  It's just that the standard for being worthy of a Pony as unusual, admirable and well-developed as Twilight Sparkle is especially high -- if he were in love with (say) Golden Harvest, we wouldn't see him as a poorly-developed character.

    What the Anon usually comes off as, instead of The Everyman, is worse -- he comes off as This Loser Is You.  The TV Tropes article again deserves quoting:

    In many shows, particularly comedies and children's programs, a protagonist or another major character is an ugly, incompetent, lazy, and near illiterate ditz. This is supposedly to allow the audience (i.e., you) to identify with said character or protagonist. Ergo, the loser protagonist is you.

    The point of this is that the Anon is always someone to whom the reader feels superior.  The appeal to showing him scoring with Rarity or whomever is that the story is saying "See!  If this jerk can get the girl, you can too!"

    This is actually a decayed version of an older concept, which is that the protagonist would be someone humble, who has Hidden Depths and in the crisis discovers that he is better than he thought he was.  Having displayed his hidden heroism, the protagonist would then be accepted as a hero by others.

    The difference in the older idea is that the protagonist is in fact admirable, and always was:  he just looked like a loser because he'd not had the opportunity to display his true virtues.  Instead of implicitly arguing "You can be a total loser and you'll still inexplicably get everything you want without changing in any way" (a Degrading concept), this instead argues "You aren't really a loser and if you have the courage to change and become the hero you always really were inside, you can achieve your desires" (which is an Uplifting concept).

    This is, perhaps not incidentally, Fluttershy's character arc -- she starts the series as Ponyville's Crazy Animal Lady in training, horribly lonely (with only two friends, only one of them a really good friend), and terrified of most social situations.  By the end of the first two-parter, she's helped saved Equestria, and by the end of Season Four she's a recognized national heroine, the best friend of a Chaos God, has numerous friends, and is arguably being courted by 2-3 desirable mates.

    The Anon does not change in any fundamental or important way, save in that he may become happier from achieving his desires. A surprising number of them start the story whiny and keep on being whiny all the way through, even as they recline on velvet couches being aura-fed grapes by Celestia, Luna and Twilight, all of whom are hopelessly in love with them).  

    This gets into another problem with the Anon, namely that being a loser does NOT automatically make one likeable.  In fact, the attributes required to be a believable loser are often incompatible with likeability.  Anons are obnoxious, demanding, and generally lack the most fundamental respect for anyone else or social skills:  they compare poorly in these respects with paragons of kind cooperation, such as the Great and Powerful Trixie.

    One mark of the Anon is that, if he does have any previous personality attributes, they will be safely "generic" ones from the POV of the average teen to adult fan of the show.  He'll be into the Internet and video games (either leading to him whining into Celestia's glorious rainbow mane as she lies with him in post-coital bliss: "Waah! You don't have an Internet in Equestria!" or, frequently, to the whole land being ret-conned to early 21st-century level technology to better appeal to the audience).  He may have owned a car ("Waah, Luna, you don't have any cars in Equestria!  Pass me another bunch of grapes ...") or liked to drink or do drugs or have somet other "cool" vice.

    He is of course very, very, VERY entitled to near-continual sexual gratification in his own mind.  That's almost a given, since most of these stories are fundamentally about him having sex.  None of the other characters find anything wrong or objectionable with him or the other Pony having this relationship, no matter how abusively he behaves to her, and indeed are likely to envy Miss Lucky the pleasure of catering to his least little hedonistic whim, both sexual and otherwise.

    Many of these Anons are brutal, callous and sadistic.  Which never causes any genuine revulsion on the part of the Equestrians, who have a whole civilization based on Love, Friendship and Harmony -- instead, they'll be awed by his amazing Human courage and determination.  If he turns some of this brutality on Equestrians, they will submit to his mighty heroic wrath, rather than see him as a dangerous alien monster they can't trust.

    Hmm, I'm now describing the specific Anon from AlaraJRogers' Not the Hero, which is a great and serious satire of the whole concept, and offers an explanation for the improbable adventures of the specific Anon.  All of you should all read this story.

    A variant of this is where the Anon is described as being just an ordinary normal guy but displays absurdly-effective abilities which seem to have come out of nowhere.  The "average college dude" will turn out to be a skilled yachtsman, master of fencing and champion skin diver, just because the plot requires that he sail through a storm, win a sword-fight, or swim through a long underwater cave.  Or whatever.

    In some cases the Anon will defy "This Loser Is You" by coming from some sort of military or intelligence or sports background which would reasonably justify having unusual effective abilities.  When this is the case, he will often be both ridiculously effective at any and all plausible skills from that background, while totally-lacking in any maturity or insight that such a background might reasonably provide him.

    Well, anyway, this Anon (Alara's or any of the others) isn't me, I don't recognize myself in him, and to the extent that I did, it would make me want to change to be less like him.

    Conclusion

    The sad thing is that the Human In Equestria sub-genre doesn't have to be stupid.  There's no reason why good writers can't make up (or adapt to crossover) an interesting and specific human character with his own plausible motivations and personality, and show how he interacts with and adventures in the MLP-verse.

    After all, Lemuel Gulliver -- who encountered the Houyhnhnms,  wasn't a boring and flat This Loser Is You Everyman -- he was a medical doctor, merchant adventurer, and natural philosopher with a distinct and interesting personality.  Megan, from the G1 My Little Pony series, wasn't dull and indistinct:  she was brave, idealistic, combative and yet caring and feminine.  Both of them interacted interestingly with alien cultures -- Gulliver even got an early example of a xenophiliac Ship Tease romantic friendship with "the Sorrel Mare," while Megan has legendary friendships with Firefly and Wind Whistler.

    Have your Human characters interact with plausible depictions of the canon characters, and don't be afraid to introduce interesting OC's.  By "plausible," what I mean is ones who are motivated by aims and respond to events in ways recognizable extrapolations from canon, instead of being warped to conform to whatever demand the plot (or Anon) makes of them.  This is more difficult but more rewarding to the reader, as the story becomes one which seems plausible in a mostly-canon Equestria.

    This makes the story seem real -- and that is the point of fiction.

    32 comments · 157 views
  • Friday
    Dark Elements in Romance Fiction

    Introduction

    Dark elements are part, or at least potentially part, of any love story save the fluffiest (the Cakes have a contest to see which can call one another by the sappiest possible pet name!  D'aww ...).  What follows is a discussion of dark elements in romance fiction.

    I. Incompatibility:  This is generally more Sad than Dark (unless the "incompatibility" is something horrible to the beloved) but it's very common.  Take two admirable, honorable and likeable characters, have them fall in love, and then have the love fail simply because something about their personalities or situations prevents it from working out.  This is in some ways is worse than Betrayal because there's no clear villain of the piece -- no one who can be pointed to as having been despicable, false or nasty.  The former couple may well still care about one another as friends afterward.

    This happens between my Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash -- Fluttershy is a shy, cautious polyamorist with a strong sex drive, and Rainbow Dash a brash, impulsive monogamist with a weak sex drive, and while they love one another deathlessly, they can't make it work long-term -- and they fall in love not knowing this, because both of them are pretty innocent when it starts.  And their loyalty and love for one another never really fade -- either would still give her life for the other.  They just know that their marrying would be a terrible idea.

    Indeed, this probably happens in real life more often than deliberate Betrayal, though Betrayal is more dramatic for fictional purposes.  And it doesn't always wind up even as well as it does for Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy, because often one makes a villain out of the ex-beloved -- this makes oneself feel better about the whole situation, since one can then pretend that oneself was totally innocent in the matter.

    II. Betrayal:  A common concept in my writing of love is that it's not sex which ends innocence, but betrayal.  It is the awareness of the ability of others to claim to love one and act as if they loved one in one moment, and then treat one with hatred or indifference the next, which really kills one's trust in the goodness of others.  It could be said that all the other darknesses are variants on betrayal -- even death is the nature of life betraying one's own hopes and desires.

    Betrayal can take many forms.  The simplest in a romantic context is the false lover -- he or she who does not really love one, or loves one very shallowly and temporarily, departing as soon as difficulties ensue.  This is what happens in the backstory of my Fluttershy (courtesy of Bad Horse) with "Nosey," who has a one-night stand with her and never even likes her; and in the backstory of my Rarity with Rush Rocks, who has a teenage affair with her and reveals that he doesn't really love her when she gets pregnant and whose automatic response is simply to hand her money for an abortion, since he's of a good Mane Line Fillydelphia family and she's just lower middle-class.

    One can pile betrayal upon betrayal.  Ceymi betrays the interests of her Hive for love of Thermal Soar, and then Thermal Soar for her own interests combined with those of her Hive, and then is in turn betrayed by Chrysalis, who is aslo engaging in an infinitely-greater betrayal of the best interests of her whole species and planet and even multiverse in pursuit of her own ambitions.  (Ah, but Ceymi and Thermal, though both long-dead by that time, may get the last laugh on Chrysalis).

    One can even betray oneself, in that one may for foolish, impulsive or superficial reasons behave badly in ways that destroy one's own happiness.  My teenaged Cheerilee rejects Big Mac because he's two years younger than her, which seems like a great gulf of time when she's 15, and in consequence makes both of them unhappy for the next decade and a half, when -- sadder but wiser -- she realizes that she always loved him.  (This particular example is Sad rather than Dark, but it could be worse -- consider the plot of Looking For Mr. Goodbar, which has a terribly dark ending, leading to the Murder of the protagonist).

    III. Emotional Abuse:  Very common in real life, especially because at the lower ends it shades into mere quarreling.  Extreme emotional abuse counts as a form of Betrayal, while mild abuse is Incompatibility.  Extreme emotional abuse can be horrifying and can over time cumulatively destroy the sanity of the victim; mild abuse produces unhappiness.  Contrary to what some people will tell you, such abuse can be mutual.  It also has terrible effects on any children.

    Unhappy thought:  we know in canon that the Ponies are quite capable of being emotionally abusive to one another.  :fluttercry:  Trixie and Piercing have terrible arguments and near-breakups.  One could unkindly say that they deserve one another.  They almost never take it to direct physical violence, though.

    IV. Physical Abuse:  The next step up from emotional abuse, this happens for various reasons, which boil down to (1)  "You're mine so I can beat you," (2) "We're close so normal restraints don't apply," and (3) I love you so you can make me MAD!"  Physical abuse is not only criminal in most modern Western societies (and presumably also Equestria) but is dangerous because it can escalate to severe injury or even death.  Like emotional abuse, physical abuse can be mutual.  One problem in dealing with this through the criminal justice system is that the initiation of violence can be murky; another is that the couple will often close ranks against any outsiders, most ESPECIALLY including investigating police officers.

    Happy thought:  while this probably happens in Equestria a lot more than does rape or murder, it is probably less common than in our world because the Ponies are less violent.  On the other hand, we do know from canon that the Ponies are capable of violence -- they are just more restrained where the infliction of severe harm is concerned.

    V. Rape:  This is really more a "violence complication" than it is a Romantic Darkness, unless the rapist is the beloved (in which case this is a subset of Betrayal).  For an example of this, look at what happens to Rosalie Hale in the backstory of the Twilight series.  The reason why Rape gets used as a dark element in romance fiction is twofold:

    (1) - Rape often sours the victim on sexuality.  Sadly true, and what's even sadder is that it often leads to a rejection of the victim by an existing lover or spouse.  This seems to derive from very deep and unpleasant aspects of our sociobiology (as does rape itself) though it is by no means always the case.  In other words, not only is the victim likely to devalue herself (or himself, as men get raped as well), but this lowered self-estimate is likely to be reinforced by the lowered esteem of others.  This is a vicious circle that in reality often emotionally-destroys the life of the victim, and it's one of the reasons we treat rape as a much more severe crime than simple assault and battery.

    (2) - Rape may actually lead to a sexual relationship.  Even more sadly true and embedded deeply in human sociobiology, though this is thankfully far less common in modern societies than in ancient ones.  Consider that in pre-modern times, a woman might well be made captive by her enemies; she would normally be enslaved and raped, and if she did not emotionally-submit to this the chance of survival of herself and her offspring (often her children by rape) would be much reduced.  This happened often enough that there is a human tendency to become submissive when abused in this fashion; it probably long predates agriculture and even anatomically-modern humanity.

    Rape is real and I see no logical reason to exclude it from fiction.  I do have a problem with the trivialization of rape in fiction, but then I have a problem with the trivialization of a lot of cruelty in fiction -- the more so because this can lead the innocent and ignorant to trivialize real-life cruelty.

    If you want a happy thought, consider this:  because of both Pony sociobiology and Equestrian culture, rape is probably a lot less common among Ponies and specifically Equestrians than it is among Humans and in most Human cultures.  Humans are descended from hominoid ancestors who probably raped routinely; by comparison, rape is much more rare among equoids.  And Equestria is a mildly-matriarchal culture which seems to extoll self-restraint as a major virtue for males.  This doesn't mean that rapes never happen -- among other things, Ponies aren't perfect, or even all good, and miscommunications are certainly possible -- but they are much more rare than in our culture.

    VI. Death:  In real life all loves are parted by death in the end.  What's worse, the deeper the love, the more painful the parting.  My Equestria is maybe a little brighter than this because my version of it includes both afterlives and possible reincarnations.  But few Ponies are sure of any such thing, at least when they're still alive.

    This has been especially hard on immortals such as Celestia and Luna, who must face the reality of losing almost everypony they love to death in the end.  Indeed, it's part of the reason why my Luna went insane -- she's not as good at emotional detachment as is Celestia, and the steady loss of friends and lovers to death increasingly depressed her.  When one is as Loyal in friendship and love as Luna is, and as Honest with herself as she was, the awareness of loss can kill one's Laughter.

    This can also work between any two characters with mismatched life spans for any reason.  Note all the Sparity fics where Rarity dies in the end?  Unless Rarity becomes very long-lived, this is necessarily the case, because Dragons live longer than Ponies.  What's worse, their peaks of sexual maturity are also mismatched:  if Rarity wishes to marry Spike, she must accept that he's going to be terribly young by his race's standards -- by the time he's a full adult, she will be at least well into middle age.

    It can work this way if the lifespans are the same but the age cohorts differ.  Even if Trixie fails to Ascend, Piercing Gaze (who is 22 years her senior) will probably predecease her; she will face an expected two decades of widowhood, made worse by the fact that the demisexual and extremely obnoxious Trixie isn't really compatible with very many other Ponies (she's just barely compatible with Piercing).  If she Ascends, it's much, much worse from her from an emotonal POV.

    VII. Suicide:  Strong passions are aroused by love, and they can turn against the one who feels them.  Those in love may kill themselves -- this is especially likely if they are rejected.  This may be for various motives -- shame (for sexual dishonor), humiliation (for failure -- in A Robust Solution my Fluttershy has considered suicide because such extreme rejection is humiliating to an aristocratic Pegasus because it implies she's unworthy of being loved, and Rarity misunderstands her motive -- she, being a bourgeoisie Unicorn, assumes that Fluttershy felt dishonored by her loss of virginity); or guilt (if one feels one has irreperably harmed one's beloved).

    This happens in real life too.  Our current official ideology of interchangeable hookups sanctified by hygienic practices  obscures this, but human nature hasn't really changed over the last century or two, and rejection -- especially as part of the breakup of a pre-existing love affair -- is one of the more common motives for suicide.  So it probably also happens in Equestria.

    VIII. Murder:  One of the darkest possible elements in a love story is murder, especially murder motivated by love or jealousy.  There are many possible variants -- jealous lover kills rival, jealous lover kills rival and beloved, jealous love kills rival and beloved and then commits suicide, and any other one imaginable (because of the variety of killers and victims, it's actually more than the factorial of 3, and one can envision more complex love patterns than mere triangles).

    And this, too, happens in real life.  If you want a happy thought here, consider that since the Ponies are less violent than Humans, murder is in general a much rarer crime, and thus so are crimes of passion.

    Conclusion:  Tartarus, this was depressing to write.  But it should be kept in mind by writers of romantic fiction that love can, sadly, go sour.  Sometimes terribly sour.

    If you want a silver lining (or, if you are sexually-libertine, a really dark one), it's essentially because of complications like this that the Free Love Future is impossible.  Sexual relationships have terrible potential downsides, which is the reason for prudence.  And in a Free Love future, love stories are almost impossible to write -- there's no drama.

    6 comments · 90 views
  • Thursday
    Harmonia Pie, Pioneering Industrialist or Emmortal Enchantress?

    Harmonia Pie (?-1308)  was born either in South-Dunnich (in the Province of White Tail), North-Dunnich (in the Province of Morgan) or the city of Morgan proper.  There is some confusion about her origins, because there are two conflicting stories.

    The first and more believable story is that she was born in North-Dunnich (or somewhere along the Miskatrottic River) or Morgan in 1240, the matrilineal descendant of the Harmonia Pie who was born in 1140 in South-Dunnich, and in 1277 eventually decided to emigrate to her family's older home in South-Dunnich.  The second story, which seems improbable, is that she was really born in 1140 in South-Dunnich, left town to study at Morgan, dwelt some time in North-Dunnich, and at some point developed or learned magics that greatly retarded her aging.

    What is interesting is that the Harmonia Pie who was born in 1140 married a South-Dunnich stallion, Adventurine Miter (born 1133), and that the Harmonia Pie who came to South-Dunnich in 1277 was married to a stallion named Adventurine Miter.  There is also the odd point that Adventurine had a sister named Honesty Miter (born 1147), who was one of Harmonia's best friends -- and when Harmonia came to South-Dunnich, her most loyal follower outside of her husband was none another than an Honesty Miter.  Stranger coincidences have happened, but this is certainly an odd one.

    What seems unbelievable are the wild tales that Harmonia had learned to somehow make a magical Food of Life, which retarded her aging process, and presumably the aging process of those with whom she deigned to share this enchanted feast.  And what is even more unbelievable are the dark rumors that the Food required equine sacrifice to empower them.  Certainly nopony would do anything like that.

    It seems improbable, for there was never any hard evidence of any murders.  Though it was noticed that various bandits and other serious malefactors around South-Dunnich tended to have short careers, eventually disappearing from those parts -- but that was hardly treated by the provincial authorities as a problem.

    In any case, the Harmonia Pie who came to South-Dunnich in 1277 was a well-educated and highly-talented mare, as were her companions Adventurine and Honesty, and their brood of offspring, of whom the Pies included Proserpina, Crucible and Cupcake (born either 1182 or 1232; 1185 or 1235; or 1212 or 1239, depending on which version of the story one believes) and their own families .  Harmonia and Adventurine also had five sons, none of whom came to South-Dunnich with them.  She came with much-needed monies, for South-Dunnich was then in a decline, and many of the older families were in danger of dying out.  It was Harmonia herself who re-established the fortunes of the Pies in South-Dunnich, and Honesty the Miters.

    Surviving paintings show her to have been a compact, muscular mare with a slight tendency to flab, a pink coat, blood-red long straight mane, and red eyes.  Her facial features bear a remarkable resemblance to that of her many-times-great granddaughter, Pinkie Pie.  Despite the fact that she was in her late sixties (or, if one believes the more absurd tales, hundred sixties) when she died, she showed little sign of her years, looking rather as if she were merely in early middle age.

    She was known to be coldly intellectual and even rather callous toward most Ponies:  despite her skills and industry, she was unpopular, being more respected than loved.  The great exception to this was of course her own family:  in particular, her affection for her husband Adventurine was apparent to all who saw them together

    Among her many talents, Harmonia was a glassblower, alchemist, musician, and baker, and she was a natural leader who organized industries.  With the aid of her companions, in 1278 she built a bakery, in in 1280 a water-powered sawmill, and over the ensuing decades she and her daughter Proserpina constructed other industrial works, including a fulling mill in 1295 and a glassblowing shop in 1298, producing wealth and attracting trade and settlement.  South-Dunnich began to recover some of its former glory.

    In 1308, Harmonia and her husband died rather suddenly, perhaps of a respiratory disease.  She left the bulk of her estate to Proserpina, having become somewhat estranged from her second daughter Crucible.  Her third daughter, Cupcake, was happy to inherit the bakery.  As the disastrous feud between Prosperina and Crucible showed, Cupcake -- the ancestress of the Pie Sisters -- was the lucky one of Harmonia's three daughters.

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  • 6d, 5h
    A Pie Chronology (updated)

    Note:  Dates figured from the first defeat of Discord; years before that are BTH "Before the Harmony" and years after that YOH "Year of Harmony."  The Megan appears 4500 BTH, the Cataclysm happens 2476 BTH, Discord Awakens 1000 BTH, Luna is banished YOH 500, and Luna's Return takes place June YOH 1500.  Season Four ends in November YOH 1504.

    This chronology has been updated to include the information from "Have Some More Pie - Pinkie's Maternal Uncles and Aunts," regarding those personages, with some additional information about their spouses and offspring.

    ~4520 BTH –   Birth of the Pegasus, Surprise, in Dream Valley.

    ~4500 BTH –  Surprise and her herd are attuned to the Rainbow of Harmony and made emmortal.

    2476 BTH –  The Great Wish / The Cataclysm:  In the World That Was Lost, the Great Wish is cast and the Paradise Entity is born.  In the Main Worldlines, the Great Wish is attempted and leads to the Cataclysm, the death of about 99% of Ponykind, and the end of the Age of Wonders.

    1000 BTH –  The Rainbow of Harmony is broken; Surprise loses her emmortality, is banished by Discord to what will become South-Dunnich and ordered to "Go, farm rocks."  Which she does, eventually marrying an Earth Pony.

    ~950 BTH –  Death of Surprise.  The Pies will be her matrilineal descendants, and Discord will (usually) avoid harming them (too much), in memory of his childhood friend.

    YOH 437 –  Birth of the Princess Iolite Quartz, a Crystal Unicorn, in the Crystal Empire.

    YOH 439 –  Birth of Crimson Quartz, youngest brother of Princess Iolite Quartz.  Crimson is destined to become Emperor Sombros, known to Equestrians as "King Sombra."

    YOH 451 –  Princess Iolite (14) converts to the faith of Paradise.

    YOH 462 –  Princess Iolite's eldest brother Morion murders Emperor Valippos and ascends the Crystal Throne as Emperor Sthenarkos.  Princess Iolite flees to Equestria, becoming one of the founders of South-Dunnich near the Pie Rock Farm.

    YOH 463 –  Princess Iolite (26) falls in love with the Earth Pony stallion, Cloudy Deep.

    YOH 469 –  Princess Iolite (32) decides to remain in Equestria; she weds Cloudy Deep.  The whole lineage of the Quartzes, and the Cult of Paradise at South-Dunnich, descend from Princess Iolite.

    1322 – Birth of Pure Gold, from another town.  He will be the first cousin of the Golden Heart who marries Apple Bloom the Elder, and hence the family tie between the Pies of South-Dunnich and the Apples of Ponyville.

    1346 – Birth of Sweetie Pie in South-Dunnich.

    1364 – Paradise sires Florinda upon Sweetie Pie (18).

    1365 – Birth of Florinda (“Fluffy”) Pie, Daughter of Paradise by Sweetie Pie (19).

    1370 – Florinda (“Fluffy”) Pie (15) meets and falls in love with Pure Gold. (48).  There is a great love story implicit here.

    1371 – Florinda (“Fluffy”) Pie (16) marries Pure Gold (49).

    1375 – Birth of Reliable (“Relly”) Oaktree, who becomes a slow, steady and very reliable mathematician and stallion.

    1387 – Birth of Surprise Pie.  She is to become a great mathematician, though rather wild in her youth.  She will resent her parents for loving each other so much that they sometimes have no time for their children.

    1405 – Pure Gold (73) dies in an accident.  Florinda (“Fluffy”) Pie (40) puts her affairs in order, lies down, and wills herself to join her husband.  Surprise (18) resents her mother for leaving the family.

    1406 – Surprise (19) meets Reliable ("Relly") Oaktree (33) at Canterlot University.

    1409 – Surprise (22) marries Reliable (“Relly”) Oaktree (34).

    1419 – Birth of Golden Pie in South-Dunnich to Surprise the Nth Pie and Reliable Oak.

    Birth of Jasper Quartz in South-Dunnich.

    1440 – Birth of Igneous Rock in South-Dunnich.

    1447 – Start of the Gulf Rebellion (1447-1451).  The Gulf Provinces secede from Equestria.

    Golden Pie weds Jasper Quartz.

    1449 – Birth of Chert ("Pie Chart") to Golden Pie (30) and Jasper Quartz (30) of South Dunnich.

    1451 – End of the Gulf Rebellion (1447-1451).  The Gulf Provinces submit once again to Celestia.

    Birth of Trail Dancer, the future True Love of Pie Chart, to an Earth Pony trade caravan.

    1456 – Birth of Cloudy Quartz Pie to Golden Pie (37) and Jasper Quartz (37) in South-Dunnich.

    1459 – Birth of Foidolite Pie ("Pie Fighter") to Golden Pie (40) and Jasper Quartz (40) in South-Dunnich.

    1461 – Birth of Marc Trouver, future husband of Sugar Pie, in Neigh Orleans.

    1462 – Pie Fighter (3) beats up Rough Neck (3).  They become best friends.

    1463 – Pie Chart leaves South-Dunnich in the fall to enroll in Canterlot HS.

    1467 – Pie Chart graduates Canterlot HS.

    1471 – Death of Sweetie Pie (125), matriarch of the Pie Clan in South-Dunnich.

    1472 – Cloudy Quartz Pie (16) and Igneous Rock (32) fall in love.

    1473 – Cloudy Quartz Pie (17) and Igneous Rock (33) declare their Intention.

    1474 – Paradise chooses Cloudy Quartz Pie (18) to bear its Daughters.  Cloudy Quartz Pie and Igneous Rock (34) postpone their formal Betrothal.

    1475 – Paradise sires Maud on Cloudy Quartz Pie (19).

    Lemon Quartz Pie (10) meets Opal ("Oh") Shiny (9), a Unicorn filly who shares his interest in wilderness adventure.  They play a lot together, often wandering deep into the hills.

    1476 – Cloudy Quartz Pie (20) bears Maud Pie, the Guardian of Par adise.

    Pie Fighter (17) saves the life of her best friend Rough Neck (17) from a predator.  Pie Fighter and Rough Neck fall passionately in love.

    1479 –  Pie Fighter (20) and Rough Neck (20) are wed.

    Lemon Quartz Pie (14) and Opal ("Oh") Shiny (13) become special someponies to each other.

    1480 – Paradise sires Claire and Pinkie on Cloudy Quartz Pie (24).

    Birth of the first foal (a filly) to Pie Fighter (21) and Rough Neck (21).

    Lemon Quartz Pie (15) and Opal ("Oh") Shiny (14) become lovers.

    1481 – Cloudy Quartz Pie (25) bears Claire and Pinkie Pie, the Opener of Paradise and the Herald of Paradise.

    Lemon Quartz Pie (16) and Opal ("Oh") Shiny (15) are hastily married, due to Opal's pregnancy.  Opal loses the foal (a filly) to a premature stillbirth.  Lemon Quartz begins trading and selling camping equipment and geological treasures from a stand in Nickerlite, to support his wife Opal.

    1482 – Cloudy Quartz Pie (26) marries Igneous Rock (42).

    Birth of the second foal (a colt) to Pie Fighter (23) and Rough Neck (23).

    1483 – Cloudy Quartz Pie (27) bears Marble (“Inkie”) Pie to Igneous Rock (43).

    Lemon Quartz (18) and Opal Shiny (17) have their first living child, a colt.  They move to Nickerlite on a loan from Opal's family, opening "Shiny Gear," their camping-equipment and rock store.

    1484 – Caballeran War (1484):  Equestria quickly wins, gaining control of the former Caballeran colonies on the Gulf River.

    1485 – Cloudy Quartz Pie (29) bears Limestone (“Blinkie”) Pie to Igneous Rock (45).

    Birth of the third foal (a filly) to Pie Fighter (26) and Rough Neck (26).

    1487 – Lemon Quartz Pie (22) and Opal Shiny (21) have their second living foal, a filly.

    1488 – Reliable Oaktree (113) dies of old age.

    Birth of the fourth foal (a filly) to Pie Fighter (29) and Rough Neck (29).

    1489 – Surprise the Nth Pie (102) dies either of old age or by willing herself to death after she loses her husband of 79 years; it's not certain which.

    Lemon Quartz Pie (24) and Opal Shiny (23) have their third living foal, a colt.

    1490 – Pinkie Pie (9) gets her Cutie Mark after seeing the Sonic Rainboom.

    1491 – Pinkie Pie (10) departs to live in Ponyville.

    1492 – Pinkie Pie (11) inspires Cheese Sandwich to become a party pony.

    1493 – A Shadowdrake comes to South-Dunnich looking to kill Pinkie Pie.  First it attacks Pie Fighter (35) and Rough Neck (35) and their second (11) and third (8) oldest children.  Rough Neck and his son fight back; his son is slain by the Drake, which would also have killed Rough Neck had not Pie Fighter desperately diverted its attention to save her beloved husband; Pie Fighter is slain by the monster and Rough Neck severely wounded.  It then attacks the Pie Rock Farm, where Pinkie Pie (12) was visiting:  Jasper Quartz (74) is slain by the Shadowdrake and Igneous Rock (53) is lightly wounded by it, but obviously cannot hold it off much longer.  Maud Pie (17), racing to the rescue from Canterlot, slays the Shadowdrake, pounding it to death with her bare hooves.  Pinkie Pie realizes she must stay away from the Pie Rock Farm as much as possible, because she is putting her family in danger.

    1494 – Sugar Pie (25) moves to Nickerlite and uses a loan from Pie Chart to buy a house and open a small dessert shop.

    1497 – Pinkie Pie (16) with the aid of Paradise defeats Cloud Kicker and Winning-Through-Degradation, neutralizing the power of the Shadow Vice.  In doing so, Pinkie prevents Winning from spreading its Taint to other Ponies and saves Equestria.

    1498 – Sugar Pie (29) meets and is ardently courted by Marc Trouver (37), a Pegasus archaeologist.

    1499 – Sugar Pie (30) weds Marc Trouver (38).

    1500 – Pinkie Pie (19) Recognizes Twilight Sparkle as the reincarnation of Minty; she helps the Mane Six free Luna from the Nightmare; participates in the fight against Red Haze (and nearly dies in and after this battle) and is healed by Zecora.  

    1501 – Pinkie Pie (20) helps defeat Discord.

    1502 – Pinkie Pie (21) becomes effective aunt to the Cake Twins.

    1503 – Pinkie Pie (22) helps defeat Chrysalis (twice) and Sombra, and fights to free Rarity from the Nightmare.  Pinkie becomes aware of the fact that an alternate version of herself is very happily married to Big Mac; and of the existence of the Humanoid worldlines.

    Rough Neck (44) marries Gin ("Ginnie") Fizz (50).  That same year they have a daughter.  Rough Neck sells Pie Fighter's old farm back to the Pie Rock Farmers and moves permanently to Nickerlite to be with his second wife on a full-time basis.

    1504 – Pinkie Pie (23) participates in the fight against the Plunder Vines.  She retcons history to make it possible to be kin to the Apples, because she wants to get closer to them due to her new knowledge of them.  She once again meets and falls in love with Cheese Sandwich.  She introduces her sister Maud to the Mane Six..  Pinkie plays a key role in calming Discord when his jealousy flares.  Finally, she participates in the defeat of Tirek the Undying.

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  • 6d, 15h
    Have Some More Pie - Pinkie's Maternal Uncles and Aunts

    Introduction:

    Here are four more proposed relatives of Pinkie Pie:  the two brothers and two sisters of her mother Cloudy Quartz Pie,.  You will note that Goldie and Jasper's five children were spaced out over twenty years and were born when Goldie was between 30 and 50.  This pattern is not entirely uncommon for Earth Pony mares, who tend to be long-lived; and healthy and fertile for most of those long lives.  Goldie deliberately spaced out her children in this fashion, because she believed that having too many foals in quick succession was riskier than having a couple of them when she was middle-aged.  The topic is debatable:  though, as a midwife and a mother, Goldie would count as a double expert.  Jasper always mostly went along with whatever Goldie wanted.

    I. Chert ("Pie Chart") Pie (1449-):  The first child and eldest son of Golden ("Goldie") Pie (1419-) and Jasper Quartz (1419-1493), hence the elder uncle of Pinkie Pie.  Chert Pie is a big strong stallion, with a gray coat and straight golden hair, with pale yellow eyes.  His Cutie Mark is a colorful pie chart.  His face is quite handsome and his expression alert and intelligent.  He's 55 as of the end of Season Four.

    He came precisely on time, demonstrating his virtue of punctuality, and resulting in his being a hospital birth.  From an early age, he showed a mathematical aptitude obviously inherited from his maternal grandparents, Surprise the Nth Pie (1387-1489) and Reliable Oaktree (1375-1488), and was very close to both of them.  He was also very used to responsibility, as he was seven years older than the next-born, Cloudy Quartz Pie (1456-), and hence spent most of his youth (especially in summer) babysitting his four younger siblings.  He attended Canterlot High School 1463-1467 and Pranceton Universe 1467-1473, gaining a BA in Accounting at 21 and an MBA at 23.  He seemed set for a boring but lucrative career as a business accountant and ultimate executive in a large firm.  

    Instead, in 1473 he ran off to join a caravan of itinerant Earth Ponies.  He sought the adventure and excitement he had been denied during his highly-responsible colt-hood and studious young stallionhood.  The open road, a song in his heart and loyal companions on every side ...

    ... When the degree of his mathematical and accounting skills came to the attention of the caravan leaders, he wound up as their accountant.  He demonstrated a serious aptitude for practical business administration, and helped them figure out ideal routes through various solutions of the Traveling Salespony Problem that made the caravan very, very rich.  He also developed his ability to make friends.  

    When he finally departed the caravan in 1477 to take up a more normal career, he had made the caravan quite rich and set them up with business contacts all around the land so that they would continue to prosper.  He knew he always had a place with the caravan, if he wanted it.  Instead, he accepted an offer to work as an accountant for a large Manehattan-based drayage firm.  In 1481 he coordinated their expansion into steamships, and today is their Chief Financial Officer.

    Of course, he is rarely seen in South-Dunnich these days, since he is responsible for coordinating the finances of a major corporation.  However, he does stop by for family reunions.  His kinship becomes important later on, as he helps his nieces by Cloudy found The Pie Sisters Inc, the company which operates the interplanetary Gates Claire opens.  By the 1530's, Pie Chart's own share of The Pie Sisters Inc. has made him even wealthier than before.

    Pie Chart is a charismatic, polite and personable Pony who is good at making friends:  he has a dozen or so really good ones in all walks of life, and thousands of friendly acquaintances of all sorts.  This is a manifestation of the high social intelligence and ability to recognize numerous individuals which Pinkie Pie also displays; it's a family trait.  However, he does not seem to have much if any love life.

    However, Pie Chart has a great romantic secret.  The truth is that he's been in love since 1473 with Trail Dancer (1451-), a mare of the caravans, who returns his affections but is too attached to the itinerant life to be willing to settle down with Pie Chart.  They have been lovers, and mutually-faithful ones, for many decades.  She's now a leader of a caravan, and they have had five children together.  Dancer refuses to marry him unless he rejoins the caravans, but she also refuses to marry anypony else.  And so matters stand.  He takes regular short vacations to visit with her; sometimes he visits with the Pies.

    The exact nature of their love is kept secret from both worlds.  It would be considered scandalous if it was known that the responsible, sober Pie Chart is the lover of an itinerant caravan mistress, so he pretends to be amusing himself in more casual ways on his vacations.  And she would lose status in her own society if they knew that her only lover was a very conventional businesscolt; so she pretends that he is but one of her many lovers.  Amazingly, this has worked out fairly well for both of them:  he has more time for his large-scale work, while his rather different approach to management does not challenge her leadership of the caravan -- they might quarrel more if they were full-time spouses.

    The Pies at the Rock Farm know him only distantly.  His mother Goldie wishes he'd come by more often; she loves him but has come to realize that he is strange in many of the same ways as was her own mother Surprise the Nth.  Goldie and Jasper were two of the very few third parties to know about his love life; among other things, Chert felt that they deserved to be aware that they had five grand-children with him.  She has met her grand-children on more than one occasion.  Chert's  brothers and sisters don't know his secret.

    Cloudy likes her elder brother Chert and misses him sometimes.  He helped put Maud through school, an action for which both Cloudy and Maud are grateful.  Pie Chart knows of Claire's existence and some aspects of her nature, and has realized that some day she might be useful in the transportation business.

    Chert is 55 as of the end of Season Four; Dancer is 53, and their five children are 25, 19, 14, 8 and 6 respectively.

    II. Foidolite ("Pie Fighter") Pie (1459-1493):  The third child and second daughter of Goldie and Jasper, she had a dappled gray, white and black coat and straight grayish-purple mane, worn short or in a crest, and dark gray eyes.  She was compact but extremely muscular.  Her muzzle was slightly askew from an old injury, and she had claw marks on her left side.  Her Cutie Mark was of a brown-crusted pie with speed lines indicating that it was being thrown.  Her Talent is combat, and specifically accurate and rapid slinging and throwing.

    Foidolite came slightly premature and with little warning, resulting in Goldie being unable to make it to a hospital or bring in a midwife, in a rapid yet painful birth.  She was a fierce, tomboyish filly who stood up for herself and her kin on every occasion -- unlike most of the (brave but peaceful) Pies, she actually liked to fight.  Unlike most of the Pies, she had no interest whatsoever in becoming a Friend of Paradise, even though she knew that the Paradise Entity was real, because the Entity seemed too wussy for her to worship.

    Pie Fighter was adept in combat, being a brawler, an accurate thrower, and a mistress of the tail-sling -- she had very fine control over her tail, an ability shared by her niece Pinkie .  Fighter had a bad temper, but was also very loyal to those for whom she cared.  When Pinkie was a child she knew her aunt Fighter fairly well, and liked her despite her tendency toward explosive, violent rage.

    From the time Foidolite was three years old, in 1462, she was friends with Rough Neck (1459-), a colt her own age.  Foidolite and Rough Neck had a stormy friendship, often quarreling and even physically fighting.  When they were 17, in 1476, she saved Rough Neck's life, and the two realized that they were in love with one another.  They had frequent fights and occasional breakups, followed by passionate reconciliations.  

    At age 20, in 1479, they were wed.  They settled down somewhat in marriage, though they still fought.  Their four children were all conceived after particularly epic disagreements, being born in 1480 (eldest daughter), 1482 ( only son), 1485 (second daughter) and 1488 (third daughter).  They both loved their mother and found her occasionally frightening:  Rough Neck mellowed out a lot as an adult, but Pie Fighter never did.

    She was 34 years old in 1493, when the Shadowdrake attacked South-Dunnich.  At the time she was in the field with her husband and two middle children.  When the creature menaced her second daughter, Rough Neck and their son fought back.  Her son was killed, and Rough Neck badly wounded; Pie Fight gave her life diverting the Dragon's attention away from her husband and daughter.  The Shadowdrake then realized that it was attacking the wrong farm, and flew on to the main Pie Rock Farm in search of its quarry, Pinkie.

    Rough Neck was crippled, and his three surviving children -- the first cousins of the Pie Sisters -- were not very close with them thereafter, blaming Goldie and Cloudy's religion for the deaths of their mother and brother.  By 1496, Rough Neck had made a partial recovery from his injuries, but was still unable to do heavy physical labor, the only work he'd ever known.  Amazingly, the rather irascible, half-crippled  and unemployed stallion won the love of a mare who lived in nearby Nickerlite, Gin ("Ginnie") Fizz (1453-), a bartender who found that he was still strong (and aggressive) enough to work as a bouncer; he married her in 1503 and that same year had a daughter by her.  Gin Fizz also loved Rough Neck's three daughters, and the whole family moved to Nickerlite in 1503 and fell even further out of touch with the Pies of the Pie Rock Farm, though they nod at each other when the Rock Farm Pies come into Nickerlite to buy supplies.

    By the end of Season Four, Foidolite has been dead 11 years, her widower Rough Neck is 45 years old, his second wife Gin Fizz is 51,  Rough Neck's three surviving children by Foidolite are now 24. 19 and 16 respectively.

    III. Lemon Quartz (1465):  The fourth child and second son of Goldie and Jasper, Lemon Quartz is a small wiry lemon-coated Pony with dark green hair and eyes.  His cutie mark is a shard of lemon quartz shaped like a primitive knife.  He often wears a khaki hat and wears a brown-mottled tan camoflague jacket with harness and bags to carry camping equipment.

    After Fighter's birth, Goldie was careful to take a trip to nearby Ponyville, where Ponyville General Hospital had recently opened, to ensure that her next foal would not be born at home and without even a midwife in attendance.  (Goldie is a midwife, but it is unwise for a midwife to be the only Pony in attendance at her own chidlbeds).  Goldie went into labor on the train, but managed to make it to the hospital in time for the actual birth.

    Naturally adventurous, Lemon early showed an interest in the wilderness and was fascinated by survival gear.  At age 10, in 1475, he made friends with a similarly-inclined 9-year-old unicorn filly, Opal ("Oh") Shiny (1466-), who was fascinated by exploration and prospecting.  At 14 they fell in love and when he was 16 and she 15 (in early 1481) were married, rather young and by necessity.  They have had three surviving foals:  after a stillbirth in late 1481, they had a son in 1483, a daughter in 1487 and a son in 1492.  Lemon and Oh have an extremely happy marriage, and are still very much in love.

    Together they run Shiny Gear, a small trading post in Nickerlite which specializes in camping equipment.  They make periodic expeditions into the White Tail Hills, sometimes bringing back valuable objects which they sell through their various connections.  Sometimes they discover some very strange things, especially in places where the hills are oddly regular and peculiar lights are seen at certain times of the year.  Occasionally, they venture into more dangerous areas, such as the Everfree.  They enjoy their lives together, though one wonders how they've both lived so long.

    Lemon is 39 and Oh 38 as of the end of Season Four; their children are 21, 17 and 12 respectively.

    IV. Sugar Pie (1469-): She is the youngest child and daughter of Goldie and Jasper.  She was conveniently born at Ponyville General Hospital with no complications and relatively little pain.  This is characteristic of her:  Sugar Pie has always been a sweet and considerate Pony.

    Sugar has a pie-crust brown coat, and golden hair and eyes like her mother's.  Her cutie mark is an open bag of sugar.  Her talent is baking sweet goods.  She is plump, pretty, and very feminine:  she always wears green ribbons and bows, usually applies at least a little makeup and has a nice collection of fancy dresses for festivals.  Her voice is sweet, and she is generally cheerful and almost unfailingly polite.  She very much loves her family, both immediate and extended.

    Unfortunately for Sugar, she is emotionally-pliable and not very bright -- she is by far the least intelligent of Goldie's generally-brainy brood.  During most of her life she has been something of a sucker, tending to make excuses for false friends and lovers who have exploited her.  Hence, her social life has not always been entirely happy.  Over time, she learned to be more suspicious of mistreatment by others, and better at standing up for herself.

    Sugar Pie moved to Nickerlite at age 25, in 1494, and with a loan from her eldest brother Pie Chart bought a small house and went into business for herself baking cakes and making pies for the community.  The business barely survived, doing so only due to her skill, as Nickerlite is a small town which (unlike Ponyville) does not get a signficant festival trade from Canterlot, but instead must rely on custom from the surrounding villages, such as South-Dunnich.

    In 1498, aged 29 she met and was ardently courted by Marc Trouver (1461-), a Pegasus archaeologist from Neigh Orleans who was investigating some of the curious hills of the White Tails, and had hired her brother Lemon as a guide.  After less than a year's courtship, she married in 1499, now aged 30.  In 1502 they had her first foal, a son.  In late 1504, she is extremely pregnant and will soon have another foal.  The marriage is working out well -- despite their hasty courtship, they are very emotionally compatible, and mutually in love.

    As of the end of Season Four, Sugar Pie is 35; Marc is 43, and their son is 2 years old.

    Addendum

    Opinions regarding these characters are greatly welcome.

    4 comments · 71 views
  • ...
 176
 2,773

Nightmare Moon spends a thousand years banished to the Moon, fighting herself and the Shadows both within and without.  She watches civilization rise and spread, a quarter-million miles away.

Can she reclaim her power?  Can she overcome the six champions her sister has sent to defeat her?

Why do three of the champions look terribly familiar to the renegade Moon Princess?  Why does the sight of one, in particular, break her heart?

And why, as the battle continues, does she increasingly hope that she does not win?

This is an expanded version of the two-part Series Opener.  From Nightmare Moon's point of view.

Now with its own TVTropes page!

If you want to find out what the Great and Powerful Trixie was doing in Manehattan, and what happened in some other parts of Equestria during the Longest Night, read An Extended Performance. The direct sequel, however, is All the Way Back.

First Published
7th Dec 2013
Last Modified
30th Dec 2013

I really hate it when someone down-votes a story without giving a reason.  This first chapter is a good start to a story that has a lot of potential.  I will fave and watch this closely. :twilightsmile:

oh and, FIRST!!

yes I'm petty but I don't care.

I'm enjoying your work so far.  Your world and stories have great potential.  I rather enjoy your brand of mythology surrounding the Sisters and continue to look forwards towards its development.

Good work, keep it up.  :twilightsheepish:

>>3589989

Thank you for saying that.  I was a little surprised when I got three down-votes out of nowhere as soon as I posted the first chapter.  I think it was because some people like to see Nightmare Moon as a cool villainess -- which of course she is, or I wouldn't be writing this -- but miss the point that she was herself (as Princess Luna) a victim, whether of something From Beyond (as my story clearly states) or of her own growing madness.  And so, maybe, they don't like my portrayal of her as internally-conflicted -- torn between Princess Luna's saner feelings and the maelstrom of hatred and vengeance that is Nightmare Moon.

Or perhaps it's the science-fantasy aspects of the backstory?  The (highly-technological) lost Age of Wonders, Luna's prior mortal incarnation as Dr. Moondreamer Finemare, a literal "rocket scientist?"  But to me, even the canon My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has always seemed to be very much in the science-fantasy genre, as in the works of Lin Carter or Andre Norton (or for that matter, H. P. Lovecraft, though the tone is much lighter).  The steam trains (and in one case a steam road-engine / mechanical cider press), the balloons, the airships -- the weird machinery Twilight Sparkle works on in her basement -- it seems very much to me like Gaslight (Steampunk to you kids!) era science fiction.  There's also magic and goddesses and monsters and demons, so it's obviously also fantasy, but that didn't stop H. P. Lovecraft or Clark Ashton Smith from writing science fantasy, so why should it have stopped Lauren Faust or Meghan McCarthy?  Or me?

I can't imagine it's the TwiLuna shipping (subtle in this story, because Luna hasn't recognized who Twilight used to be so far, just that there's a strange affinity between them; more obvious in "A Meeting by Moonlight" and "Feeling Adrift.")  Is it because I'm characterizing them as straight mares who feel a growing passion from their past lives that overrides their normal orientation?  Is everyone supposed to be gay, or at least bi, even if there's no evidence of this in canon?

Or is it because I'm developing it slowly, instead of having them come together "in an insensate explosion of lust," as Celestia jokingly puts it in "Feeling Adrift"?  Sorry, I see Luna as very reserved until she comes to like you, and even then more innocently merry than blatantly sexual, until she comes to really like you.  And Twilight is, well, Twilight.  Shy in matters of the heart, and prefers to do everything by the book, preferably with checklists.  Not that she'd necessarily do that in such a fashion, but for her it's pretty unexplored territory.  

[I don't know how Nightmare Moon would approach sex.  Probably as a form of conquest, followed by raping the vanquished.  She's basically a combination of Things From Beyond Space and Time with Princess Luna's darkest desires, so I suspect it wouldn't be at all pretty.  I don't think that "love" in any sane sense of the word would even figure into the equation].

I don't know, because whoever disliked the story never gave any reasons why they disliked it.

So I appreciated your statement of support all the more :twilightsmile:

Honestly, I doubt the downvoters read the story, because this is really good.  You really thought this out, and it comes through as a fresh look at the situation.  Looking forward to more!  :pinkiehappy:

Seeing Nightmare Moon's perspective from this has been interesting but I find your explanation for how ponies can hold things even more so. I've enjoyed the insights and how Nightmare Moon/Luna sees the situations and it should interesting of seeing why she tried the other traps.

>>3617945

To narrate the action sequences in particular, I had to pay very close attention to the in-canon choreography.  There are things that are inobvious on a casual viewing which can be seen as important when one watches in detail, such as the fact that Twilight rolled onto her belly before reaching the edge of the cliff (something which saved her life, as it let her get a firm grasp on the cliff).  IIRC, she doesn't actually do this on-camera, but it's obvious she's done this from her position from one scene to the next.  Putting oneself in her place, it becomes obvious why she did it, too!

Watching the scene where Applejack saves Twilight impressed me greatly with (1) Applejack's utter awesomeness as an action heroine (remember, she can neither fly nor telekinese, and she's from a species not as used to climbing as humanity), (2) the fact that she can only apply a fraction of her strength to grasping, compared to the capabilities of a human in her place.  This cemented in my mind that Ponies have to be grasping by gecko-grip, rather than (non-animated) additional fingers (a real horse has only one functional digit on each limb).

Thus, my little essay.  I'm glad you liked it.:twilightsmile:

>>3617993

How ponies actually hold things in their hooves is not something I've given much thought about nor have I usually seen an explanation, it just is. So thanks for a reason of the how.

Seeing the other side of the first episode has been great so far, I've been enjoying how Nightmare considers each of her plans though I think I'm more interested in why she considered the next trap a good idea especially since it does not seem as life threateningly dangerous at least compared to the cliff and manticore.

[I don't know how Nightmare Moon would approach sex.  Probably as a form of conquest, followed by raping the vanquished.  She's basically a combination of Things From Beyond Space and Time with Princess Luna's darkest desires, so I suspect it wouldn't be at all pretty.  I don't think that "love" in any sane sense of the word would even figure into the equation].

I am imagining someone trying Byron's lines on her as a distraction (I.e., 'She walks in beauty, like the night/of cloudless climes and sunless skies...'), trying to sneak out, only for Nighty to drag them back with a smile and, "Tell me more about my eyes."

But yeah, I rather doubt that the original Nightmare Moon could love anyone or thing besides herself.

And I do like your own take on what NMM was thinking back in episode one. It's very well done; and I am amused to see her be so frightened of the harmless (?) Pinkie Pie, and wondering what kind of weapons or talents the ponies must have. Especially Fluttershy and Rarity. It'll be entertaining to see just how wrongheaded NMM gets before she realizes what's actually going on.

I love how you handled the thought processes of both NMM and the manticore, and Fluttershy's bravery and gentleness. And the bit with Rarity -- it's easy to forget, but she has displayed some fine hand to hand (hoof to hoof?) combat skills through the series. One does wonder where she got them, and why. Surely not to handle overly lecherous stallions? It seems her wits would be more than enough in those circumstances.

>>3639213

I was really happy when I watched the episode in detail and realized that the fact that Nightmare Moon was embedded in the manticore (and probably linked to it) during the whole of the fight meant that I could legitimately show the manticore's thoughts without abandoning third person limited POV.

While I've of course seen all the season openers and finales several times, I have to look at them much more closely -- motion by motion, word by word, expression by expression -- to redo it well as written narrative without changing what happened.  The transcripts alone aren't enough, since they don't show choreography and intonations.  So I wind up seeing a lot of details that I missed when merely watching it for pleasure.

Heh, well Nightmare Moon wouldn't be the first person to underestimate Fluttershy.  Of course, she is essentially a slightly-immature immortal warrior princess suffering demonic possession, and not in the world's most friendly mood for that reason.  Fluttershy's powers are subtle, until you become their target.  Nightmare Moon got to actually see them work while in telepathic contact with the target.  What's more, they actually hurt the Nightmare Shadow within her.

The great part about Rarity's part of the scene is that she actually in-canon does everything I wrote down -- I didn't have to make her an Adaptational Badass.  Complete with not fully paying attention to the dangerousness of her situation until she is shocked out of it by being sprayed by its spittle.

This isn't the only time Rarity does something like this, either.  For instance, she chews out Giant Greedy Spike -- before she realizes who he is -- while he's holding her most of the way up a mountainside.  Understand, she's just been kidnapped by a kaiju-sized dragon, as far as she knows he means to do something terrible to her -- and her reaction is to confront him.  It's scenes like that which make me love Rarity.

Hmm, lecherous stallions?  Somehow I don't think that the Pony stallions are that pushy.  Though between Rarity's concept of her own beauty and its reality, I could see her worrying enough about precisely that point to justify to herself spending a lot of time learning how to fight.

The best explanation I've heard is that Rarity's dad is really into sports and tried to raise her as the son he never had, which led to her becoming really good at a variety of athletic activities -- including the Pony equivalent of marital arts -- before she finally rebelled and desided to become uncompromisingly feminine.  Rarity's concept of "feminine" is a very strong-willed one anyway:  she's right up there with Applejack and Rainbow Dash in terms of being extroverted.

>>3639123

Well, Pinkie Pie's harmlessness is a matter of whether or not she's your enemy.  It's not Pinkie's way to flat-out kill you, or even directly harm you (*), but she is a Reality Warper and she can do things to foil your plans without having to do either.

Nightmare Moon is worried because Pinkie Pie can do something that is totally beyond NMM's own capabilities, and she's extrapolating Pinkie's possible actions from NMM's own malignity if it were married to Pinke Pie's own powers.  NMM with Pinkie's powers would be something like Freddie Krueger (remember, NMM can dreamwalk).  Pinkie can't actually do all that and isn't interested in killing anyone, but NMM doesn't know that.

Nightmare Moon would be more worried if she knew from whence Pinkamena's Pinkie-ness originated, since Pinkie Pie might have a particular grudge against Luna.  If she remembered and wouldn't take an apology, that is.

NMM is also worried about Fluttershy because Fluttershy has just demonstrated the ability not only to block the Nightmare's control of victims but -- in close enough contact -- to actually hurt the Nightmare Shadow within her.  Also, Fluttershy has just shown herself to be a serious badass, which is worrisome considering just how delicate she seemed.  Yamato Nadeshiko, anyone?  Or at least Silk Hiding Steel.

Well, NMM's main false assumption is that Celestia explicitly trained the Mane Six together as some sort of elite warrior team.  She's actually quite right that they are Celestia's elite champions; and that each of them has powerful capabilities -- they've spent the whole canon series demonstrating precisely this.  What she has wrong is how Celestia did this, since the irony about Celestia and Luna is that while Celestia has the showier powers and style, while Luna has illusion and dreamwalking; Luna is actually the more direct personality.  Celestia is enormously subtle.

If Luna (any version) wanted to recruit a force of elite champions, she'd outright tell them that this is what she was doing.  Celestia has accomplished the same end by throwing them all together in full understanding of how their personalities would mesh in a crisis.

Celly plays a long game.

Oh, and the funny thing?

Nightmare Moon still hasn't realized either of the deeper threats they pose to her.  One of which -- their link to the Elements -- she's starting to get.  The second one -- just who some of them are to her, she doesn't even yet consciously suspect, though she's getting feelings about it.

===

(*)  No, nor Pinkamena's.  That was a rock farm, not the home of Leatherface's clan from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

>>3639009

Hate to disappoint you, but while I'll mention it in the next chapter, Steven Magnet is pretty much just a delaying tactic -- short of stupidly leaping upon the gigantic but otherwise unaggressive creature, which NMM assumes that Twilight is too smart to do, all his presence means is that they can't cross the section of the river where he is located (which includes the ford directly on their road).  The enchanted wood and the cut bridge are much more serious obstacles (the more so because of the mechanics of crossing or fixing the cut bridge with NMM on the other side).

>>3639596

Is Steven Magnet next or were the trees next, I always get those two mixed up order wise.

>>3639601

Ooh, now I should check to make sure I didn't get it mixed up (*looks*)  Oh yes, you're right, I'm wrong.

I would have paced it the other way, though -- put Steven Magnet in for comedy relief before the buildup through the forest and then the gorge to the big climactic confrontation with Nightmare Moon.  That explains why my offhand memory got it wrong.

>>3639612

Ah, regardless I'm still interested in finding out why the trees are labelled as such a threat.

>>3639601

Well, the enchanted forest is at a minimum under the effects of an illusion and probably also fear spell.  Plus given the illusion part of it, one might easily get lost, even if the fear spell didn't lead to them all scattering like foals through the Forest.  Which is, mind you, the Everfree Forest, with plenty of other nasties if they stumble into the wrong part of it.

>>3639123

Nightmare Moon is in part Princess Luna driven by resentment at being slighted for her more charismatic sister, so wooing her might actually work for a time.  Of course if it works, you've just won the highly-selfish and destructive love of a Mad Goddess who is probably one of the worst Yanderes in that world.  And whose revenge will be terrible if she thinks you're just trying to manipulate her.  Oh, and did I mention that she's smart?

See, Luna has some tendencies that way, but the difference is that Luna really cares about ponies.  Nightmare Moon doesn't.

>>3639441 That explanation for why Rarity is both very athletic and so very ladylike works quite well. I may use it myself in a story sometime.

And heh, now I wonder what Rarity must think about Applejack and especially Rainbow Dash disdaining 'frou-frou girly stuff' so they can focus on athletic. Rarity may have something to say to them on that score.

>>3639555 RE: Pinkamena -- Agreed. Pinkamena is Pinkie's sadder and somewhat depressed side (as was shown so well in Alex Warlorn's long-ago chapter on Pinkie's healing of her fractured personalities), not a serial killer! And I very much doubt that her family were any of the usual horrid stereotypes shown in the meaner-spirited fanon.

>>3641077

In her flashback from "Cutie Mark Chronicles," Pinkie's family appears to be incredibly dour (but remember that this is from Pinkie's perspective) but otherwise decent -- they aren't actually abusing each other, unless one considers being boring a form of abuse.  From a mainstream MLP point of view Pinkie is a Blithe Spirit born into a clan of Fantasy Counterpart Culture "Amish," who left because of the obvious incompatibilities.  

From the PonyPOV fanon POV, Pinkie Pie is of course operating according to a wholly different logic:  her soul's from a destroyed timeline in which the very laws of physics were subtly different, and she's taken some of that otherness with her.  Pinkamena is depressed because the new timeline isn't as much fun and demands compromises with the way she'd really rather be; Pinkie's insanely cheerful in part to compensate and in part how her Reality Warping talent works:  namely by Rule of Funny.

It's not surprising that her family didn't understand her.  Who does?  The fact that so many ponies, who don't understand her all that much better, love her, demonstrates that she's a good pony, albeit a very strange one.

Did I spy both a Kingdom Hearts and Mythbusters reference? Or do I read too much into this?

Anyways! Really nice to see more about some of the Mane 6's past lives, except maybe not because the wording here makes me think Pinkie is more akin to a cosmic horror, like  Yog Shogoth or any other lovecraftian abberation.

That last part of her counterspell... I've never seen someone make Pinkie's normal, pleasant behavior feel so threatening, even if it was towards a villain. Really awesome, but also just as scary (if not more so) than the things Nightmare Moon has been doing.

Seeing Pinkie from Nightmare's prespective really makes her more awesome yet also something that is to be feared.

Also grammar error a doubled word, "There had been farms, and inns, shops and and noble villas, warmth and life and happiness.", the AND between shops and noble was doubled.

>>3649965

The Mythbusters part was intentional, as I realized that Adam's famous quote perfectly described Pinkie Pie's powers.  I've never actually played Kingdom Hearts, though it's the sort of game I'd like to play someday.

... Pinkie is more akin to a cosmic horror, like  Yog Shogoth or any other Lovecraftian abberation.

Well -- ever seen G3 My Little Ponies?  Which is by far the silliest and least logical version of My Little Pony ever done as a cartoon?

If you want to read an epic and tragic version of how that series should have ended, check out Alex Warlorn's Generation Transitions and Origins, and -- regarding the Pink One Herself, here is a good place to start.  Though I warn you, you'll wind up following this at least to the end of the Pinkie section.

Cosmic Horror?  Well, she would be if she were hostile.  She can -- when in the right mood (which is very important) warp reality itself to her will, including most particularly the demonstrated in-canon abilities to teleport (in a manner utterly different than any other being in the show save possibly for Discord), to disrupt hostile magics by an effort of will (despite the fact that she knows nothing of explicit magic use), have precognitive glimpses (which express themselves in body twitches) and sometimes startlingly-accurate "hunches" about the nature of events she hasn't personally witnessed (as in Equestria Girls, where both versions of Pinkie Pie know about the other Universe).

She was, in the PonyPOV fanon, created by a wish as someone's imaginary friend.  When her own timeline -- here called "The World Which Was Lost" -- had to be erased from reality lest it crash the continuum like a buggy application crashing an operating system, hers was one of the few souls to escape its destruction, and perhaps the only one to escape it intact and with at least some of her memories of the vanished timeline.  This seems to have been due to the fact that she was one of the only Ponies of her timeline with the willpower to resist.  And -- frighteningly from Nightmare Moon's point of view -- Pinkie seems to have brought some of the acausality of the Great Wish which created that timeline in the first place with her, as if she were somehow an Avatar of the World Which Was Lost.

It's not just that Pinkie Pie is Nightmare Moon's foe here.  It's that Cosmic Luna was one of the entities who destroyed Pinkie's original world.  It has occurred to the Moon Princess that, if Pinkie Pie remembers this, the fight may be VERY personal on Pinkie's side.

Pinkie has gone toe-to-toe with an avatar of Cosmic Luna about as strong as Nightmare Moon before.  And put up a good fight, despite the fact that Pinkie Pie came from the softest and sweetest imaginable world, a world by comparison of which Equestria might as well be Hell.

This time, it's a Pinkie Pie who grew up doing hard physical labor.  And apparently is more powerful than she ever was before -- has somehow become the Avatar and Avenger of her whole lost timeline.

If you're her enemy, this is a scary thought.




>>3650038

Well, we think of Pinkie Pie as harmless because she wouldn't hurt anypony without a very good reason.  And she's generally a very kind and forgiving pony, even by Equestrian standards, so usually the problem she poses to other ponies come from her dubious grasp on normal social realities.

But imagine being her enemy.  Imagine if your strongest magics were torn apart like tissue paper by a song (not even a proper spell).

Want to know what's worse?

Each of the Mane Six has, in canon, a talent roughly equal to each other's.  Nightmare Moon has sampled Applejack's strength and agility, Fluttershy's mind control, and Pinkie Pie's reality warping.  She's so far only seen hints of what Twilight (the only one whose name she hasn't yet heard spoken), Rarity and Rainbow Dash can do.  But she knows that these six were probably selected as a team specifically to defeat her, and she's starting to get quite rationally worried.

She doesn't fancy her prospects of beating all six of them, together, in an open fight.  And she's got a good point there.

Which is why she's been trying to pick them off one or two at a time.

And so far it hasn't worked.

And it's only going to get worse for her.

>>3650050

I'm glad I got across how terrifying Pinkie Pie is to an enemy.  She's such a sweet and loveable pony that it's easy to lose sight of this :pinkiehappy:

>>3650108 So was cosmic Celestia involved in the destruction too or not? Kinda doubtful since she's never implicitly mentioned as a entity of destruction; in fact given her and Luna's juxtaposition on most everything she's probably a creation entity right?

>>3650121

Celestia had incarnated herself in the G3 world -- she fought to defend it.  Which is one reason why Pinkie has absolutely nothing against Celestia.

BTW, Alex Warlorn's speculations make even more sense if you look at "Luna Eclipsed."  Tell me that Pinkie doesn't deliberately make things worse for Luna in that episode.  And remember, in "Luna Eclipsed" we're not talking about Nightmare Moon any more, but the Adorkable Fish Out of Temporal Water we all know and love.

Heck, Pinkie's being positively cruel to Luna in that episode.  It's almost as if that was payback for something.:pinkiecrazy:

If that "something" was the annihilation of Pinkie's whole world with all her friends, that was pretty mild revenge.  But then again, Pinkie is a very nice pony.:pinkiehappy:

>>3650118 I'm aware of all of that, but while the Mane 6 are pretty capable in a fight, they clearly aren't out to hurt anyone even if they are enemies. Here, Nightmare Moon makes it sound like Pinkie tried to destroy her soul. Even if she were upset by what Nightmare tried to do, that's pretty freaking malicious.

>>3650164>>3650164

Well now -- Pinkie Pie was certainly trying to destroy someone or something.  You maybe should be asking yourself just who or what was her true target. :pinkiesmile:

And Pinkie will cheerfully prank people she loves.  What makes you think she's particularly inhibited from scaring the crap out of someone she has absolutely no reason to like?  She's a very nice pony, but she's not perfectly good.  :pinkiehappy:

>>3650141 But wasn't it something Luna had to do? You implicitly said

[the world] had to be erased from reality lest it crash the continuum like a buggy application crashing an operating system

And I'm trying to decide how to best word this without sounding like Eichman or whoever is cited as originally saying this but, she was "doing her job", so Pinkie has no reason to be angered? I mean, yeah she can't know that there is (reportedly) a reason for it, but if she did I doubt she'd be as vindictive. Well, vindictive is the wrong word, she just goes out of her way to troll Luna but yannow.

Also why would Celestia side with the G3 ponies if she's a cosmic entity and probably knew the world was slated for termination? Do their incarnations selectively not have memory of their real forms? Or is she just totally opposed to the idea of destroying entire worlds?

>>3650120

A fun pony she might be but she is one of the two main characters who literally scare me in the if they ever go crazy and decide you are the enemy way, now there's more reason to fear her as if her in Pony POV in general is not enough.

>>3650177

But wasn't it something Luna had to do?

Yes, it was.

She could have been nicer about it, though, which is a point that Cosmic Cadence makes in the original Warlorn fanfics.  And just because it was something that Cosmic Luna had to do doesn't mean that Pinkie Pie was entirely happy about it, even later when she understood why it had to be done.

... she was "doing her job", so Pinkie has no reason to be angered?

She's actually far less angry about it all than you or I would be in her situation.  I said that Pinkie Pie's not perfectly good, but by human standards -- indeed by most pony standards -- she's more or less a saint.  A very SILLY saint, to be true, but saintly nevertheless.

I mean, yeah she can't know that there is (reportedly) a reason for it, but if she did I doubt she'd be as vindictive. Well, vindictive is the wrong word, she just goes out of her way to troll Luna but yannow.

Well see -- trolling Luna (in "Luna Eclipsed") is exactly what Pinkie does in canon.  With no justification given except that it was "more fun to play along" with everyone's misperceptions of Luna.  This is just taken in the episode as Pinkie being Pinkie.

Pinkie Pie is actually being nicer in PonyPOV fanon, since she actually has the kind of grudge against Luna that would lead many sapient beings to want to hunt Luna down in every future incarnation and make her life miserable in each one of them -- but all she does is prank her, and then in a later story actually forgives Luna to her face.  If most humans thought like Pinkie Pie in this regard, our history would be utterly bereft of wars.

Also why would Celestia side with the G3 ponies if she's a cosmic entity and probably knew the world was slated for termination? Do their incarnations selectively not have memory of their real forms? Or is she just totally opposed to the idea of destroying entire worlds?

In order:  because she was incarnate as Star-Catcher (one of the more powerful and mystical ponies of the G3 world); yes, a non-Cosmic Avatar does not always have complete access to its Cosmic self's memories (using my terminology, not Warlorn's); and yes, in general Celestia doesn't like destroying entire worlds -- though if she'd understood what was at stake here, she might have reluctantly stepped aside and let it happen anyway.

And, in case it isn't obvious, it is not Princess Luna who Pinkie Pie is trying to destroy.  Does that make it too obvious?


>>3650197

Oh, you want something scarier than that?  What if the author of "Cupcakes" had realized how powerful Pinkie Pie really is even in canon?

>>3650171 Well, it would certainly be a different matter if she was aiming at the Shadows possessing Luna and not Luna herself. Most of what freaked me out was the idea of Pinkie deliberately trying to cause real harm to someone else - making ponies happy is what she lives for, so seeing her try to make someone hurt or miserable feels wrong, even if she doesn't like them.

Also, while Pinkie is capable of getting extremely angry, such as when Applejack broke a Pinkie Promise, she also forgives easily. Although I can see her not forgiving Luna for what happened in the past, and deliberately scaring her here, actually holding a grudge still feels out of character for her, since all a grudge really accomplishes is making things difficult for someone else.

You mentioned earlier that how Pinkie acted in Luna Eclipsed seems cruel, and it certainly does from our perspective. We see how much trouble Luna has relating to Ponyville, but Pinkie is both caught up in her own excitement and only spends a few moments near Luna each meeting until Twilight holds her down. She may never have realized that Luna didn't quite "get" Nightmare Night, or even paid enough attention to gauge her mood. Of course, aside from when Discord first broke out that was the most selfish I'd seen her. "Time is candy" and all that.

Horay! I can't wait for memory lane!

>>3650251

Well, it would certainly be a different matter if she was aiming at the Shadows possessing Luna and not Luna herself.

That's exactly what she's doing.  Keep in mind that the counterspell she used was very precisely tuned (literally, as she was singing and dancing it) as we know that her five friends were right at Ground Zero and were utterly unharmed by it.  (I took some serious artistic license by depicting it in the terms one would normally use for a tactical nuclear weapon, but -- watch "Giggle With the Ghosties" sometime -- Pinkie's final strike dispels every single remaining illusion at ONCE -- I don't think I exaggerated too much!).

Pinkie -- because she is Pinkie and has strange knowledge from outside all sane space and time -- essentially attempted a one-Element area-effect version of the Rainbow of Harmony, which is very potent against illusions and minor transformations (*).  Basically, she's laughing them out of existence, which is possible for her because she's a Reality Warper.  And she did it in such a way as to also protect her friends.  And even worse, from Nightmare Moon's point of view, she did it IN FRONT OF TWILIGHT, which means that Twilight can now work a lesser version of such a dispellation herself (NMM suspects this from what she saw of Twilight's technique).

Why is Nightmare Moon terrified?  Because it might have dispelled or at least severely weakened Nightmare Moon's own control over Princess Luna.  Generally, when I write about Nightmare Moon / Princess Luna, note just to which I refer.  Sometimes, the Princess is having an internal mental conflict and she isn't even aware of it, because the parasitic Shadow works by using Luna's own skills and knowledge, while enhancing Luna's power with its own.  Luna is kept under control by a focus on domination, hatred and vindictiveness, which are the emotions the Nightshadows share with our kind of life, and through which they can communicate and understand us.

Notice the phrasing "The Moon Princess thought [positive affect about situation].  No, the Nightmare reminded herself, [negative affect about situation]."  That's very intentional on my part.  That's Luna's core personality emerging and the Nightmare seducing, and in some cases beating, it back into enthrallment.  Luna's not even aware of what's happening most of the time, because the Nightmare convinces her that the thoughts are her own.

In Champions, this would be bought as the Power "Mind Control" with the Adavantage "Invisible Power Effects."  It's a horrendously powerful combination.

Strong positive affect, such as love or friendship, actually hurts the Nightshadow.  That's why Luna could break free of it, temporarily, when she saw something on the Earth that made her happy.  Or, really, feel anything other than hatred and the desire for revenge on Celestia and all Ponykind.  The Nightshadows have infested this world's Moon, though, and so there it would not be long until they overpowered her and regained control.

Pinkie's grudge against Luna is far weaker than ours would be for far less serious offenses.  Or, really, even than most Ponies' would be.  And the revenge she takes is also rather trivial -- she embarrasses her socially.  As I maintain, by most standards, including Pony ones, Pinkie is essentially a very silly Saint.




Now, something which Nightmare Moon does not know is that Pinkie Pie can't do something this powerful very often, nor does Pinkie have complete conscious control over this kind of large-scale effect.  

===

(*)  Thank you, J. K. Rowling, for this concept.  And no, I didn't mean "A.K." Rowling.

>>3650251

Oh ... one more thing ...

Luna ... any incarnation of Luna save perhaps a fully-mortal one like Moondreamer (and even her to some extent) is very hard to actually kill (especially by magic).  This is true for all the Cosmic Alicorns.

Which is something of which Pinkie Pie is very much aware, since she fought Luna once before, in the lost timeline.

In the actual episode, Luna is purged of the Nightmare by, essentially, the same thing that blew Tirek to teeny weeny bits in the very first MLP movie:  the Rainbow of Harmony.  The same power imprisons Discord in stone.

I think it's safe to say that a normal mortal Pony wouldn't survive such an attack.

>>3650321 There's only one thing left to say here, and that is bravo. You've clearly put a lot of thought into all of this. Sorry if I annoyed you, but this is all really interesting. I'm definitely looking forward to the rest of it.

>>3650345

Annoy me?  Do you know how happy I am when something I write triggers a ton of comments, especially thoughtful ones?

It means someone intelligent is reading it! :twilightsmile:

I do love this view of Pinkie Pie from the Nightmare and Luna's viewpoint. Yeah, it never struck me just how scary she could be to someone she honestly disliked. Then again, poor Pinkie's 'giggle at the ghostly' idea sadly didn't work so well in my story 'My Little Balladeer'. Of course it could have helped that a part of Luna wants to be beaten, while the Sunny Towners didn't have that weakness.

I also really enjoyed the early section commenting on Luna's sense of the passage of time and the passing of that village she once knew. Celestia must feel it too, but it's so much the worse for Luna since she's been gone for 1000 years. To her, it's rather like she took a day trip and came back to find so many ponies she knew gone forever. It has a real 'Poul Anderson' feel to it if that makes any sense.

For that matter your treatment of the Nightmare spirit reminds me a lot of Anderson's treatment of Hell's demons in 'Operation Chaos'. How one cannot ever deal fairly with them, because they'll always betray you. Why? Because they can't comprehend not betraying someone as soon as they no longer need to deal fairly with them. In a way the Nightmare displays 'the stupidity of evil' here; with only a little false kindness or even just patience it probably could get whatever it wants using Luna's powers. But even that is beyond it.

I do wonder about this line though: so many proud towns had been abandoned during the Time of Discord, never to be reponied 'Reponied'? Wouldn't 'repopulated' have worked just as well?

I am looking forward to the chapters where the Nightmare tries her tricks with Rarity and Rainbow Dash. We're both big Rarity fans, and I DO want to see  what it thinks of the little fashionista after it sees her real personality in action.

>>3650351 so you see nightmare moon/luna as a parasitic/demonic possession relationship, right?

>>3651551

In part.  The start of the Nightmare was Princess Luna's growing resentment and madness, but this attracted the Nightshadows to her.  The Nightshadows can most easily parasitize damaged souls, and they are most drawn to powerful souls.  Princess Luna's pain was to them a beacon.

>>3651677 I see, the reason I ask is that I think that alex warlorn sees it as more of a super powered evil side to quote tv tropes. the reason I mentioned that is that most fan fictions based off of his work tend to follow that formula. of course its your story and your right. I was just confused. It is a great story none the less. :coolphoto:

>>3651094

Then again, poor Pinkie's 'giggle at the ghostly' idea sadly didn't work so well in my story 'My Little Balladeer'.

The only illusion about Sunny Town is the cheerful guise it can wrap around itself and its denizens, to lure ponies in.  The mad ponicidal revenants, alas, are all too real.  Pinkie can do all sorts of other things, of course, some of which would have worked (I can think of a couple off-hand), but she picked the wrong attack there.

"You use 'Giggle at the Ghosties' ...

"... it's not very effective."

Which is ok.  Pinkie's powers are not unlimited, nor is her tactical sense unerring.  I think she's more awesome than some fans give her credit for being, but she's not Pinkamena God Mode Mary Sue Pie, either.  Just Pinkie.

And Chapter 6 of my tale was her moment to shine.  :pinkiesmile:

Of course it could have helped that a part of Luna wants to be beaten, while the Sunny Towners didn't have that weakness.

There are all sorts of things the Moon Princess could be doing to win these fights, mostly consisting of striking directly to kill, and doing it while her enemies are otherwise-occupied with her indirect attacks.  She's not even thinking of this, because Princess Luna actually has nothing against these ponies and is in fact rather impressed with them as honorable and skilled opponents.  The Nightmare keeps urging her to kill, but Luna pleads strategic reasons to hold back, and the Nightmare is drawing on Luna's sense of tactics because it doesn't actually understand our kind of life very well.

The same thing happened a thousand years ago, when Nightmare Moon could have struck Celestia down by complete surprise, and didn't.  Nightmare Moon also could have finished off her sister when she had the chance, and instead refrained long enough for Celestia to get the Elements and deploy them against her.  That's the problem with its parasitizing a fundamentally-good and strong-willed pony:  it's harder for the Nightmare to stay in control.

Every pony Luna knew back then, save for Celestia, is gone.  What's worse, they're so long gone that most aren't even remembered in history books.  And most of the surviving entities who would remember her personally -- like Discord and Sombra -- are enemies.  And the culture she knew has also mutated, to the point where there are only some very old traditions (like Heart's Warming Eve) in common, and in many cases the context and associations even of those has changed.

I consider it a very high compliment that you are comparing me to Poul Anderson in such a fashion.  He was one of the greatest writers of science fiction and fantasy who ever lived.  

For that matter your treatment of the Nightmare spirit reminds me a lot of Anderson's treatment of Hell's demons in 'Operation Chaos'. How one cannot ever deal fairly with them, because they'll always betray you. Why? Because they can't comprehend not betraying someone as soon as they no longer need to deal fairly with them. In a way the Nightmare displays 'the stupidity of evil' here; with only a little false kindness or even just patience it probably could get whatever it wants using Luna's powers. But even that is beyond it.

They doesn't understand commensalist symbiosis.  The most they can grasp is temporary co-operation, and they are constantly tempted to betray since they consider any mutual relationship as being disguised domination, with the important question being who wins in the end.  From their point of view, any attempt to answer this with "both win" would mean that the sitaution remained unreseolved, and hence still in conflict.  Their mode of communication -- even among each other -- is mind control.

(*sigh*)  "Repopulated," "reponied," "repeopled" -- I don't know ... I'll have to think about it.  ::twilightsheepish:

I wish I was going to show Rarity's encounter with Steven Magnet in greater detail.  She actually is one of my favorite ponies, the more so because she represents virtues underappreciated by most of the mainstream media.  She's a hard-working, self-defining creative artist and businessmare who completely grasps the concept of generous and enlightened self-interest.  She's a skilled social manipulator who nevertheless has very real love and loyalty, honor and integrity (there are principles she won't sacrifice to get what she wants), and she instinctively understands what the Nightshadows totally miss -- namely, that life and success are about long-term mutually-beneficial relationships.

And she very much defeats the Nightmare's trap there by Choosing a Third Option.  She neither tries to fight Steven nor accepts that she must go around him.  She instead gives Steven a good reason to like her, whereupon Steven is converted from obstacle to bridge.  (Literally:  the Mane Six wind up crossing that river on Steven!).

Unfortunately, that's the one encounter at which I can't find any evidence that Nightmare Moon was directly present.  Based on what Steven himself said, the "tacky purple cloud" flew by, cut off one of his moustaches, and was gone.  I never understood why she didn't stick around, but now that I've analyzed the encounter with Pinkie Pie, I got it -- Nightmare Moon just wanted to delay them and give herself time to rethink her tactics before the final battle.  (The same reason why she cut the bridge, which was an even more passive form of defense than ticking-off a gigantic river monster).

So Nightmare Moon will be watching Rarity's actions from a distance.  Of course, she has incredibly-good distance vision, which means I still get to describe it.

On the other hand, her encounter with Rainbow Dash is going to be very up-close and personal.  So this won't be all remote description.

>>3652211

Can't it be both?

If the Nightmare Shadows are real, why can't they flock to those Alicorns in a Nightmare state, as their perfect hosts?

Flus are caused by viruses, but once you catch them, bacterial respiratory infections often ride in through the hole in your defenses the influenza viruses have torn.

>>3652211

Oh, and -- heh-heh -- who says that the Nightshadows' list of good hosts has to be limited to Nightmared Alicorns?  Or, for that matter, ponies ...?

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