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  • E Scootaling

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  • E Musicians and Dreamers

    Lunaverse. Octavia tries to recruit Lyra; Trixie doesn't trust her. Who will Lyra believe?
    20,745 words · 2,892 views  ·  225  ·  3
  • E A Present for Octavia

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  • E Symphony for Moon and Sun

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  • E Luna's Night Off

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  • E The Music of Ponyville

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Blog Posts172

  • 1w, 6d
    You Can Call Me...

    Dr. GrassAndClouds2.

    I.e., the PhD thesis defense went well. :-)

    18 comments · 66 views
  • 2w, 6d
    Rejected Video Game Titles

    Five Nights with Fluttershy

    Rainbow Dash Six

    The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Sparkle Princess

    Amnesia: A Machine for Pinkies

    Pacmare

    Luna: The Blue-ish Star

    Derpyronpa

    Dragon: The Bruce Cheerilee Story

    1 comments · 49 views
  • 12w, 3d
    Afterlife With Archie

    ...continues to be awesome.

    That is all.

    (Oh, and really looking forward to the forthcoming "Betty: RIP" arc!)

    0 comments · 105 views
  • 14w, 6d
    JULP Update

    After review by the Lunaverse Quorum, Just Us Little Ponies has been approved for Lunaverse-canon status! Woohoo!

    Thanks once again to everyone, including RDD, Emeral, and Fizzy for reviewing it, and Talon for being an incredibly helpful and supportive beta. :-)

    6 comments · 93 views
  • 18w, 1d
    I Don't Get It

    So, I listened to a couple episodes of Welcome to Night Vale. And... I'm not feeling it.

    I mean, I get that it's funny for maybe fifteen minutes to have a stereotypically deep voiced radio announcer talking about various horrible things as if it's mundane. "And, next Tuesday, the secret police will be executing citizens who failed to take out the garbage! Oh, those cads!" But after that fifteen minutes, I don't get what else there is of interest. That kind of story, to me, could use either a plotline about exploring the town and actually trying to solve its mysteries, or a plotline about fighting the various depravities of the town. As it is, there doesn't really seem to be a plotline, except for the recent 'vs Strex Corp' thing... which doesn't work for me, because they could have done a vs plotline with the Town Council or the Sheriff's Secret Police or any other of the fascist or monstrous things in town; it feels manipulative to suddenly say, "Wait, they really are heros! Look, here's some brand new bad guys whom Cecil and the others will oppose!" when they haven't really done anything heroic in the past.

    What's frustrating is they have Carlos, the scientist character, and I feel like a much better story could be told if Cecil were instead made a field reporter and permanently attached to the science team. Then you can have a consistent plot, exploring the mysteries one at a time, maybe even solving one now and then, and slowly filling out the world in spare moments. Instead, the episodes I saw were shotgun blasts full of random worldbuilding details, with no buildup to anything and no indicator that the story is progressing.

    But it's crazy popular. So I guess I'm asking, to any fans of the series... what am I not getting?

    7 comments · 137 views
  • ...
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Source

It's another night in the life of the Night Court, the body that governs Equestria. Duke Greengrass, a young and ambitious politician, embarks on his latest scheme to accrue power and influence in the court of Princess Luna. Lunaverse story.

First Published
13th Jul 2012
Last Modified
13th Jul 2012
#1 · 119w, 1d ago · · · Builder and Puissance ·

Behold Greengrass. For him, the grass is always greener at the next rank up!

I like Notary. I can so easily see her and Pokey getting into some kind of deadly serious, yet oddly comical, secretary fights.

In terms of episode order, I see this as a web-isode, maybe taking place shortly after Carrot Top Season.

#2 · 119w, 1d ago · · · Builder and Puissance ·

>>888191

Thus the name. And thus we meet Equestria's own version of Blackadder.

#3 · 119w, 1d ago · · · Builder and Puissance ·

So this is Greengrass... hmm, I like it!  :raritystarry:

The fact that because of the recent board discussions I'm reading him in Jonathan Frakes voice only makes him all the better.  Notary is also a wonderful character as well, and the banter between the two is simply perfect.

I can't speak for everyone, least of all RDD, but I'm liking your presentation of the Night Court as well.

#4 · 119w, 1d ago · · · Builder and Puissance ·

he seems nicer than I picured....

#5 · 119w, 1d ago · · · Builder and Puissance ·

>>888396

Negative reinforcement is a horrible way to ensure loyalty amongst your minions. Greengrass may use and abuse his "allies," but I'll bet that Ox, Bear, and Notary are quite comfortable and loyal to him. He gains nothing but an ego trip by abusing them, and potentially loses quite a bit if they decide to play for some other team because of him being an ass, and have any dirty secrets on him.

“Everypony knows how this vote will go,” muttered Greengrass to Notary. “Every single pony in these booths, and Builder Brick too. There’s no point in this speech. Puissance and Fisher have been trying to get that grant for months, and Fisher won last month. They should have just built it then and been done with it. ”

Ah, but Greengrass, then how would you get last-minute scheming in? That's why there's still votes!

I like him. I think the thing I like most is that he really does seem to view the Night Court as a game, rather than the Game just being a metaphor used by some other ponies. There's an air of, I dunno, almost playfulness to his actions.

#6 · 119w, 1d ago · · · Builder and Puissance ·

>>888450: Indeed. Most of his minions, like Octavia and F&F, are disposable (although he's still generally polite to them), but Notary in particular he finds to be invaluable, and wouldn't jeopardize her helpfulness by being cruel to her for no reason. Ox and Bear aren't quite as invaluable (there are other thugs if he needs them), but they've worked together for a long time and he still won't carelessly alienate them.

I do see Greengrass as being playful. He places substantial importance on enjoying himself, and doesn't want to be the kind of politician who spends so much time struggling to stay in office and advance that he doesn't accomplish any of the things for himself that he went into politics to do in the first place. This will come up more in the third chapter, when we get to see Greengrass's hobby. :-)>

>>888255: Glad you're enjoying it! I do like the Notary character. She's so much fun to write. She's like an evil Pokey. Or, well, that's a bit harsh. An unscrupulous Pokey. :-)

#7 · 119w, 1d ago · · · Builder and Puissance ·

And here's where the L!Bronies squee. Affable "evil" via Hanlon's Razor. What he winds up doing is evil not because of malice, but because of apathy about the consequences to anyone not in Court.

#8 · 119w, 1d ago · · · Builder and Puissance ·

>>888450 >>888853

Yes, I really loved the playfully attitude.  It's not just that he treats the Night Court as a game but as the grandest game of them all, an epic adventure, and the only pass time truly worthy of his talents.  Yes he'll have hobbies, but it's the politics and all the posturing, maneuvering, and deceptions that go into it which are his passion.

Also, loving the idea that for all his schemes, his greatest goal is to live a full and pleasurable life.  His ambition may be immeasurable, but unlike the megalomaniacal villain some of us might have been expecting, he checks that ego with realistic goals and expectations, even if only because losing control would risk losing his position in the court.  Not that it's the position itself that interests him nearly so much as the opportunities it affords him.  Money, power, fame: all of that he could find elsewhere if he had to, but how many other places could he enjoy himself so much as the intricate web of the Night Court.

To top it off he's not half the terrible boss that Trixie makes him out to be, or at least not to competent minions.  I simply adore the idea that he basically itemizes the value of his underling not just by how useful they are in any one given circumstance, but by how irreplaceable they are in a wider sense.  True that means that even those talented and lucky enough to get in his good graces are more like valued objects, or at best a beloved pet, but it still shows that he's not all about banishing ponies forever and crushing their dreams.  In fact, he probably derives little personal pleasure from doing any of that; it's all just the cost of doing business to him.  As he likely sees it the Night Court is the high stakes table, and those who aren't willing to lose big have no place playing in the first place.

...

I really am starting to find it amazing that G&C2 never watched Gargoyles, and it was only less than 2 days ago that he even had any of us bring up the idea.  I suppose that's enough time get in some quick research and tweak the character, but still Greengrass comes across as amazingly Xantos-like.  There are differences, as there should be, but it's much like how Discord isn't a perfect Q, yet still feels like a second coming of sorts anyway.

#9 · 119w, 1d ago · · · Builder and Puissance ·

I rather like how he's good at politics, but the details of just about anything else seem to fly right over his head. That's awesome.

#10 · 119w, 23h ago · · · Builder and Puissance ·

I like this guy already. :pinkiehappy:

#11 · 119w, 23h ago · · · Builder and Puissance ·

Wow he's a lot more likeable than I expected. I like this story for sure! Though I kinda don't want Blueblood to just be 'that idiot noble' like he is in canon. Gotta give him some bite, some angle, even if he remains a bit of an idiot who abuses he connections his family has created over the years.

#12 · 119w, 17h ago · · · Builder and Puissance ·

>>890646

I was seeing it as less a jab about Blueblood's intelligence and maybe more about his subtlety and tact, or rather lack there of.  Also, we're really only getting Greengrass's 'opinion' on the matter.

#13 · 119w, 17h ago · · · Builder and Puissance ·

>>892472 You could say I was thinking out loud. I'm just wondering how to make him stand out.

I should probably note here that Greengrass's opinions may or may not represent reality. I.e., I don't think Fleur really is a total idiot in the L-verse. Greengrass, though, has a different view.

Ah, Blueblood. Even in the L-verse, you suck.

>>893972

Of course she isn't. It's just that Greengrass is too blinded by whatever's blinding him to notice that she's way smarter than he is. It's like how RD thinks that Ditzy is mentally challenged: in both cases, a brash loudmouth with a skewed sense of reality can't look past the surface.

Also, I can see what it is that drove Fluttering Posey to hide in a cottage in the middle of nowhere.

>>894051: What, and miss the excitement and intrigue of the Court? :-)

I prefer to think of it as Fleur just putting on a really, really good act. It's not that Greengrass is dumb or blinded (he seems to have figured out at least part of Fancy Pants's gambit), but Fleur's just a great actress and faker.

>>894119

What Blackadder-on-hooves hasn't figured out is what Fancy Pants and Fleur De Lis are really up to. Of course, when he does, he'll be reunited with the Flim Flam Brothers.........

Given that she was original introduced as an undefined relation, I sort of preferred the idea that Fragrant Posey was a different relative, maybe Fluttershy's aunt on he father's side, making her Thunderous's sister rather than wife.  Regardless I think that in the context of this scene she should address FS by real name or possibly the doubly appropriate nickname of Flutters, which can refer to either name.

Otherwise this chapter was as good as the last.

Also, guess I better go finish up Carrot Top Season, I only just got through part one of the competition.

>>894251: Edited to use the real name. Thanks for finding that.

>>893972>>894051

Honestly during the chess scene, I was expecting Fleur to pull a victory, have Greengrass temporarily wonder if she's much smarter than she looks, and then have her make some comment or do something that makes Greengrass more-or-less certain that she's just an idiot who got lucky.

But the scene didn't get that far, which is probably for the best, as it wouldn't have necessarily added anything to the story.

>>894316: I thought of that, but I figured that Fleur wouldn't want to risk her cover as an airhead by pulling off an upset victory over Greengrass (especially when Greengrass should have the advantage, as Fancy Pants has been capturing more pieces of Posey's than Posey of his).

You know, this stiry makes me think of one horrifying, funny situation.

What would happen if Greengrass and Trixie got drunk together?

>>894251

Where did it give her relation to Fluttershy?

>>894458: I'd be amused if Notary and Pokey got drunk together.

"So what'd your boss do today?"

"Another crazy scheme that sends me running all over Canterlot to buy the props. Yours?"

"Broke her front window. Again. Swear she does it just to spite me."

"You think that's bad? His last scheme involved staging a bar brawl. Guess who had to go find a bartender willing to let that happen?"

"Oh yeah? Trixie's last scheme turned her best friend into this weird pink-skinned thing!"

>>894502

I'm not sure it does anymore, looks like G&C2 has been making extra edits that shift it back into the undefined relation category.  Course it could also just be that I need sleep.

Surely there’s some way to get through to her… use Fluttering Posey, maybe, or perhaps her husband’s business…
Pretty sure this part used to say "daughter" rather than name though.

>>894525: Yes; I edited after you pointed that out. One reason these stories are still 'unpublished' is because I'm using a lot of characters/concepts developed by other L-verse writers (like the Poseys), so I want to make sure they are right before showing them to the world at large.

>>894621 If this is a fraction of David Xanatos' usual, then I am excited indeed to start watching Gargoyles. Is it bad that I'm half rooting for Greengrass here?

>>895272: Not at all. Good villains make great heroes, at least in my opinion. If Greengrass is successful now, it'll be more satisfying when Trixie goes up against him later. :-)

Glad you're liking his characterization!

Nopony likes Blueblood :derpytongue2:

Greengrass is being a bit reckless with Mounty, unless the vote is secret then he'll probably learn from Posey that he's been swindled.

>>894135

Greengrass doesn't really seem to grasp the benefits of a two-person con. Sure, he has underlings who do work for him to help his schemes, but that's not the same thing.

>>897329

No, it isn't. Given that Fancy Pants is a good sport and all, he'll explain that to Greengrass before he gets demoted to Representative of whatever town is even less desirable than Ponyville.

>>897370

Greengrass's big failing is that he can't really see anyone else as 'equal', which is generally necessary for a two-person con.

Imagine if Greengrass and Trixie, boh for reasons of their own, went as eachothers dates for the Gala....heheheh....

>>898447: My, that would be a very awkward night.

>>897761: It depends, I suppose. Greengrass doesn't see others as equal to himself, but he can still appreciate their talents and use them in a smart way.

>>896577: Sure, but that's after the vote. Besides, Mounty is naive and a neophyte, so Greengrass figures he can convince Mounty that this is just how things are done. ("Hey, at least it wasn't something important, right?")

This is a large part of Greengrass's shtick, doing his schemes out in the open, so he wouldn't necessarily see this as a bad play anyway.

>>897370: Giving Greengrass fair warning? That would not be a smart move. :-)

#36 · 118w, 6d ago · · · Lightning and Fisher ·

Looks like Greengrass got what he wanted. Woohoo! For a certain value of 'woohoo.'

Gee, I wonder if it's a deliberate feature that trying to be 'corrupt' on the Court leads many of the ponies, like Greengrass's father, into working all the harder for the good of Equestria. Surely Luna wouldn't be that devious. :-)

I love the idea of Greengrass's garden, especially the bit indicating that he's finally able to grow one because he finally has the resources to control the whole thing (instead of an outdoor garden, which is subject to the vagaries of the weather and stuff). And of course he wants to turn all of Equestria into his garden, a perfectly controlled environment dictated by him... excepting the Everfree, which he can't control and therefore doesn't like (I don't think Fluttershy would like him very much).

#37 · 118w, 6d ago · · · Lightning and Fisher ·

Mmmm, yes this chapter was most delicious. :rainbowwild:

Being able to enjoy this so thoroughly was just what I need after the sour taste that the penultimate chapter of Carrot Top Season was leaving me with.  Should make it much easier to approach the final chapter with a fair and open mind.

I won't lie, the concept of Greengrass never interested me much when you first dropped his name back in Musicians and Dreamers, seeming nothing more than another generic corrupt courtier for the L6 to contend with, and bt the time he was mentioned again as the FlimFlam's patron I was starting to get a little bored of him, but seeing him in action has put him right near the top of my list of OCs.  Certainly I don't want to see his edge diluted through over exposure, but at the same time I can hardly wait to see more of him.  Heck, I might just have to figure out if I can work at least a briefer cameo somewhere in my own writings.

#38 · 118w, 6d ago · · · Lightning and Fisher ·

He miiiiiight have a bit of a problem getting Luna out of the way. She, after all, has had a thousand years or so more experience dealing with this sort of thing.

#39 · 118w, 6d ago · · · Lightning and Fisher ·

>>900045: Yes, just a bit. Hee hee.

(By the way, to head off any thoughts in a certain direction: he wouldn't ally with Corona. He's not crazy, and he's not chaotic evil enough to want Equestria to burn. From a pragmatic perspective, he'd also note that she's lost twice, the last time a few months ago, so she'd be unlikely to actually be a useful ally. She's also insane enough that she can't be dealt with rationally like Luna and the Courtiers can, meaning he couldn't control her. Besides, he wants power, and he knows that Corona is very unlikely to share.).

#40 · 118w, 6d ago · · · Lightning and Fisher ·

>>900139

Which would explain why he wants to control the Elements. In his lights, he could contain Corona far more effectively were he calling the shots.

#41 · 118w, 6d ago · · · Lightning and Fisher ·

He could see how to break the others, how to sink their careers and make room for his own. Hence his rapid rise… and his boundless ambition.

Ha! Joke's on him, Trixie doesn't have a career to sink and everypony hates her anyway!

...

#42 · 118w, 6d ago · · · Lightning and Fisher ·

>>900587: Heh. Poor Trixie. So alone and unloved by all. Maybe her sad state will persuade the Duke to forego his plans at the Gala and leave her be...

Nah. :-)

#43 · 118w, 6d ago · · · Lightning and Fisher ·

>>900602

Good thing for Octavia that Greengrass bought her con...

...though now I'm wondering if Trixie can turn her bottom-of-the-ladder position into an advantage somehow. After all, she doesn't have much to lose beyond Luna's respect at this point (at least as far as anypony knows), and she's pretty much demonstrated that she's willing to torpedo that to make a point anyway.

#44 · 118w, 6d ago · · · Lightning and Fisher ·

>>900627: Yes. Had he seen through it, or Trixie not bothered in the first place, Octavia would likely have also been sent to the Mild West, or somewhere equally inhospitable as punishment for her failure (she would fall into the 'knows too much' category, as she knows of Greengrass's scheme to seize the Elements, so he would want to make sure she couldn't talk to any other pony in the Court.)

Hmm. That's an interesting idea, of Trixie manipulating the Duke like that. Greengrass thinks of her as a reckless and jealous idiot. That could probably be exploited by her or her allies to trick him.

(Of course, Trixie can in fact be reckless and jealous, so he might be able to get in a few shots at her as well).

#45 · 118w, 6d ago · · · Lightning and Fisher ·

Three things I love about this chapter.

1) Greengrass's inability to recognize why his dad was awesome. It's one thing to not respect him for putting others ahead of himself, but the good Duke here doesn't even understand what his father was doing.  

2) The sheer arrogance of the stallion. I mean come on, he actually wants to take over Equestria? And purely for the sake of his own ego. What a dick.

3) The fact that he in no way suspects that Trixie conned him. Ties back in to that whole arrogance thing. All she really has to do is keep playing up her own arrogance to con him again and again. Sure he'll figure it out eventually, but it'll take a few encounters.

Great story. Keep up the good work.

Oh, and what's your next story going to be about?

#46 · 118w, 6d ago · · · Lightning and Fisher ·

>>900723: It's not exactly for the sake of his ego. He wants to build something. Some earth ponies build farms (well, most it seems), and he wants to build an empire. If he just wanted an ego trip, he could hire sycophants and go hang out in his own castle all day.

Also, Trixie did con him... but I would argue that she is legitimately arrogant and jealous. He underestimates her, but his understanding of her isn't entirely off, and he could probably anticipate some of her moves. Plus, he does have Notary around, who can serve as a check to his ego. "Okay, sir, but assuming she isn't a complete and total idiot, perhaps we should come up with plan B."

#47 · 118w, 6d ago · · · Lightning and Fisher ·

>>900750

Oh I know that she really is that arrogant. She didn't pretend to have those flaws, she just amped them up past what they would normally be. And that's why it's going to keep working for awhile. After all, the best lies are the ones that have a bit (or a lot) of truth in them.

#48 · 118w, 6d ago · · · Lightning and Fisher ·

>>900723: As for my next story...

I'm not really sure. I had a couple ideas:

1. (L-verse, noncanon) Riffing off of the 'Dinky's going to make lots of friends and become a powerful mage' idea in brainstorming, a series of vignettes showing Dinky befriending foals of various species. I have 'Dinky and the Lion' first draft almost done, and I've also got 'Dinky and the Ghost' plotted a bit. It would basically just be 10k words or so of Dinky and another foal/kitten/puppy cuteness.

2. (M-verse) I was thinking over a 'Trixie teaches Sweetie Belle magic' story, although most of the places I have that going wind up pretty dark (mostly relating to Trixie's history and her plans that brought her back to Ponyville in the first place). There's one scene in particular I really like that I might write up as a one-shot.

3. (L-verse, either noncanon or webisode) I was toying with the idea of doing some kind of Octavia story, but I'm not sure what to do it about. Octavia at this point (in my view, at least) is somewhat depressed and self-loathing after being forced to confront what she did to Lyra, so reading about her would likely be depressing. (I did have the thought that maybe Fleur de Lis or another pony might try to start her on her redemption arc, but at the same time I'd like to leave her kind of like she is so others can use her before she inevitably comes back to the good side).

#49 · 118w, 6d ago · · · Lightning and Fisher ·

I've been wondering for a bit if Greengrass was the kind of politician who the L!Fancy Pants I've been slapping together would directly oppose. This chapter answered that question with an unqualified 'YES' when you showed that his ultimate ambition was to supplant Luna as supreme ruler of Equestria.

I also love that his special talent is 'weeding' and that he's chosen to apply it on a grand and symbolic level. Extra creepiness points there.

#50 · 118w, 6d ago · · · Lightning and Fisher ·

>>901577: Sad thing is... Greengrass wants a great garden, but he has a poor track record of growing anything where he can't perfectly control the environment. So even if he wins the throne... well, to rule well he'd need to be able to get rid of anything he couldn't control. I don't think that's terribly likely. (This is why he already knows he'd have to 'do something' about the Everfree, should he win).

I think that Fancy Pants would definitely oppose him. He might respect how nakedly honest Greengrass is about his ambitions, instead of hiding behind platitudes like so many of the other ponies, but they would definitely be enemies (even if they wouldn't admit it to each other).

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