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  • E Parade Coverage

    Twilight's accidentally landed her friends on Earth, and it's up to Princess Luna to save them. But do they really need saving?  · McPoodle
    15,030 words · 1,830 views  ·  236  ·  6  · 
  • T Secret Histories

    Twilight and her friends discover that the link between them extends back in time, not just to Rainbow Dash's first Sonic Rainboom, but hundreds of years earlier.  · McPoodle
    17,490 words · 2,415 views  ·  276  ·  6  · 

Featured In16

More Stories19

  • T Secret Histories

    Twilight and her friends discover that the link between them extends back in time, not just to Rainbow Dash's first Sonic Rainboom, but hundreds of years earlier.
    17,490 words · 2,415 views  ·  276  ·  6
  • E The Perfect Little Village of Ponyville

    Vinyl Scratch is forced to take Twilight's place facing off against Nightmare Moon
    35,747 words · 7,033 views  ·  605  ·  21
  • E Parade Coverage

    Twilight's accidentally landed her friends on Earth, and it's up to Princess Luna to save them. But do they really need saving?
    15,030 words · 1,830 views  ·  236  ·  6
  • E Trixie's Clear and Simple Secret to Ultimate Power

    Trixie returns to Ponyville, hat in hooves, to beg Twilight for the secret of her incredible power. She is more than a little surprised by what she learns.
    4,170 words · 1,172 views  ·  126  ·  2
  • E Accelerando

    Rainbow Dash's dream transforms Vinyl Dash into a superhero...with a mortal enemy
    27,200 words · 666 views  ·  89  ·  1
  • E Masquerade

    Twilight Sparkle and Vinyl Scratch get more than they bargained for in Pinkie Pie's dreamworld
    14,094 words · 1,170 views  ·  109  ·  2
  • T [Redacted]

    Vinyl Scratch tries desperately to prevent the future that Twilight Sparkle is living through.
    20,617 words · 815 views  ·  49  ·  0
  • E Javelin

    Vinyl Scratch gets re-acquainted with the rather-odd ponies of Ponyville.
    12,283 words · 1,078 views  ·  72  ·  1

Blog Posts107

  • 4w, 17h
    The Personal Journal of the Human Twilight Sparkle, Part Two

    The Personal Journal of the Human Twilight Sparkle

    Part Two: Sustained Magical Manipulation

    A month ago my mentor, Sunspot Storm, sent me to the remote wildlife refuge of Horseshoe Falls. It was the early fall, and the start of the school year, although the significance of that last point would not reach me for some time yet.

    My research told me that thirty-two years ago, the falls at this location had been selected as a place where drinking water could be profitably bottled. You see, the area was known for some of the freshest and most delicious water in the whole country. But the company attempting this venture ultimately failed, because they completely failed to grasp the nature of Horseshoe Falls. It wasn’t that the water from here was fresh, it was that any water brought here became fresh. Horseshoe Falls...was magical. And the water turned back into swill within a kilometer of the falls.

    The magic was extremely localized, and extremely weak. But it was more than enough for my purposes. My first magic wand fell apart into its component parts when I focused my will upon it, as if I had never glued them together. I tried making more wands, going through a half dozen in total. I soon realized that it wasn’t my method that was lacking, but my attitude. Magic, as I said has a mind of its own, and responds best not to actions, but to intent. Only when I made it clear that my intentions were peaceful was I allowed to proceed. Once I had established a rapport, I was quickly able to devise instruments for detecting and pinpointing sources of magic, much better than the crude devices I had ringing my house. With these new instruments, I would be able to go far beyond what even my mentor had done in the field of magical studies.

    It is, perhaps, the entirely wrong approach to attempt to classify and systematize magic—an approach that my mentor shunned—but I have no other choice, for that is my basic approach to life itself. It is for this reason that I worked out a hierarchy of effects achievable via magic, what could be called “spells”, except that they are thought systems rather than anything that can be written down in words. Each spell was rated according to how much magic it pulled out of the environment. Level 1, the easiest, was the Heat spell. Level 2 was Light, and Level 3 was Levitation. Standing behind Horseshoe Falls, at the spot where I felt the magic was the strongest, Heat was easy. Light could be accomplished with a little concentration. Levitation was impossible. And Spike...was still Spike.

    Does...does he suffer? I worry about that, far more than I do about whatever might happen to me. Does he remember what he once was, what he once was capable of? Does he mourn for his lost intellect? I know I would. I walk among those of far lesser intelligence than I, and they appear to be happy, but perhaps that is just because they don’t know any better. But to be a genius, if only for an hour, and then to have that cruelly stripped from can he stand it?

    One day I received a letter from Sunspot. It had taken more than a week to reach me, having been initially sent to my home address in Hoofington—despite her knowing where I was. It was short, and incomprehensible, at least on first perusal: “What are you doing here?” it asked. “Did you not promise to never break my cover? I respectfully demand to know what you are up to, and what the Fall Formal could possibly have to do with our mutual research. Yours, Sunspot.

    I wrote a short reply protesting my innocence and asking for clarification. I then packed up and drove for most of the next day before returning to my little rented house in Canterlot. There I found a second letter waiting for me:

    Dear Twilight Sparkle,

    Come one! Come all! To the event of the century!

    Here at the Canterlot Amphitheater! The one, the only...


    See the best and the brightest duke it out on the big stage! Many will enter, but only one group will emerge triumphant, to drink in the fruits of their labor. And YOU can be part of it!

    Do not miss it, or you will regret it for the rest of your days!


    It was signed by Sunspot’s true identity. There was a date and time on this glorified flier, informing me of when this so-called “battle” was to occur. It had in fact already begun.

    I had absolutely no idea what to make of this absurd letter. Never had I expressed to Sunspot the slightest interest in music, or the performing arts. (I have such interests, Journal. It’s just that I never expressed them.) So I did the only thing I could do—I searched it for secret messages.

    And there, in the large blank area at the bottom of the page, I discovered indentations, left from writing words with a heavy hand on a piece of paper that must have been on top of the one I was reading. I rubbed it with the side of a pencil lead, to discover the words “HELP ME”. Combine this with the readings being recorded by my crude instruments at that very moment, what was being picked up by the the seismograph...

    And so my path was unalterably directed towards my fate.

    All this writing is making me hungry! I’ll reveal what I found at Canterlot High School after breakfast...well, after I go out to eat breakfast. I still haven’t had time to restock my supplies.

    Yours in loyalty and solidarity,

    — Twilight Sparkle, Human

    “Just hurry up and pick something! I feel unhealthy just standin’ around this place. I mean, all the apple juice here is ‘apple flavored’. Who would do that?”

    “Hold your horses! I’ll still looking.”

    “Hee-hee! You said ‘horses’. Hey! Look what I found!”

    “It looks like some sort of journal. You should put that back, Pinkie.”

    “No, but look at the title! I told you there was another Twilight Sparkle!”

    “Gimme a look at that! you think that was the ‘strange girl’ that Fluttershy saw?”

    “I think we should give this to Twilight. Well, Pony Twilight. Well, more like Pony-Twilight-Who’s-Human, as opposed to Human-Twilight-Who’s-Always-Been-Human.”

    “I would think that a tremendous invasion of privacy!”


    “That’s ‘privacy’ in Rarity. Oh, right. No talking.”

    “And I think we leave it right here in the Lost And Found, wait to see who picks it up, and follow them home!”

    12 comments · 124 views
  • 4w, 2d
    The Personal Journal of the Human Twilight Sparkle, Part One

    Well, I went and saw Rainbow Rocks on TV and, hearing that there was a bit after the credits that wasn't included in the broadcast version, went and sought it out (look here for a print review with screencaps, which is less likely to mysteriously disappear than this clip, starting at 8:00). And then I was struck by the writing bug.

    Now this is not going up as a regular story for two reasons: First of all, because I have no intention of finishing it, and I don't like putting my casual readers through permanently incomplete stories, especially considering how annoyed I get when it's done to me. And second, because this is one of my "introverted" stories where next to nothing actually happens, and I don't think those are as good as my other stories. With that big disclaimer out of the way, let's begin.

    The Personal Journal of the Human Twilight Sparkle

    Part One: Myself, and My Interests

    Let me start by saying, in no uncertain terms, that I am not comfortable writing about myself. I have long considered the subject irrelevant in my researches, and one would search in vain through my eight other journals to find any information about myself that I would consider the slightest bit personal.

    Nevertheless, affairs have most decidedly become personal, and so my response must be as well.

    My name is Twilight Sparkle. I came from an unremarkable family, and underwent an unremarkable childhood, noted only among my peers for my insatiable curiosity in all things scientific.

    It was assumed by all around me that I would be a great scientist someday, and so I believed myself. This belief got me through the standard trials of adolescence, and into college.

    There, in a freak accident during an off-hours experiment, I discovered the truth about the universe, the fundamental gap that existed between what the majority of humanity thought reality was, and what it truly entailed.

    I discovered magic.

    I was never able to reproduce the circumstances of that experiment, but even in my failure I learned something vital about the mysterious force I was seeking: magic does not respond to reason, to laws or to strictures. Magic is a force unto itself, a force with a mind of its own.

    I knew then, knew even more than I did in the immediate wake of the accident, that magic would be my calling. In retrospect, I should have realized that science was too easy for me. Everything I attempted in that field I accomplished without any appreciable effort, and no scientific theory was too obtuse for my understanding. I suppose if I wished I could have been a scientific juggernaut, bestriding the academic world like a colossus. Instead, I was banned from the University of Trottingham, scorned by those I once admired as a madwoman, and avoided by those who had days earlier had claimed to be my friends, my colleagues, and my family.

    I had never been so happy in my entire life.

    And I was not entirely friendless. I had Spike, the dog I had met during the accident. Sure, he would forevermore be an ordinary dog, but even so, he was my dog now, and he loved me. Perhaps he had some sort of murky memory of what happened? But I am wandering a bit off topic.

    In my former life, I was an expert researcher, and I turned those powers to bear against the issue of what magic truly was, and how it operated. If I could not summon it for my own study, this would have to be my pale alternative. I found...well, I found a whole lot of hokum, is what I found. But eventually, by sifting the wheat from the chaff, I finally identified one authority that I could trust: Sunspot Storm.

    Sunspot Storm had had her own run-in with magic, at an earlier age even than I, but had had the good fortune to be able to follow up on it, and to have an understanding minor publisher willing to print her findings and theories. Unfortunately, in less than five years, that publisher went out of business, and Sunspot Storm never published again.

    I studied her works eagerly, reading them over and over again and trying to derive workable methods from her works. I quickly realized that magic was a potentially very hazardous substance to handle, and therefore constructed my first magic wand out of birch wood and gypsum. Of course, without a source, I had no idea if it would work or not.

    Sunspot Storm’s descriptions of how magic might be found and channeled were frustratingly vague, so vague that they were completely useless to me, although they did serve to explain several mysterious occurrences that happened around the world in the years immediately surrounding my birth. That was apparently the last major outbreak of magic before that point, with the exception of my experiment.

    To get anywhere further, I needed to contact Sunspot Storm. Yet, that name was an alias, and hadn’t been used in a decade. Once again, I turned to my research skills, and after several months, I managed to uncover her true identity.

    It occurs to me that others may end up reading this journal without my permission, if...matters tomorrow do not go as I would like. So forgive me for being vague. The woman who used the name of Sunspot Storm went on to become a scientist for a handful of years. Nobody of prominence, but an assistant in a few minor experiments. After that, she may have lost leave of her senses, because she moved into the field of education...teenage education.

    I was very circumspect in the manner of my approach. I used my full name and address on the envelope, and addressed it to her true name, in case any should intercept it before her. I used shielded packaging, and I put in big bold words “Important! For your eyes only!” on it in black marker pen. I agonized for days over exactly how to word the letter inside that envelope, so much so that I can recall the opening words even two years later:

    To the esteemed researcher of the paranormal, Miss Sunspot Storm:

    If this is not your name, or if you have no wish to be associated with it anymore, feel free to burn this note, and I will not bother you ever again.

    But, if you do wish to reply, you should know that I am probably your biggest fan, and would gladly welcome the chance to open up a line of correspondence with you.

    Yes, I suppose the line about “burning this note” was a bit old-fashioned, what with the widespread use of paper shredders in academic circles, but I had impregnated the paper with a yellow phosphorus compound, and was keeping a 24/7 telescopic vigil upon her house’s smokestack, so I felt somewhat justified.

    Well, I did get a reply, and it did lead to a very fruitful line of correspondence. Sunspot (she insisted that I call her by that name instead of the full “Sunspot Storm”) taught me much after she had come to trust in my pure intentions as to what I would do with a large quantity of magic once given access to it. She also shared some of her other theories, theories that I will not share with this journal. These revelations give rise to speculation that prolonged exposure to magic may have detrimental effects upon one’s sanity, because those theories were nuts!

    The hour is getting late. Tomorrow morning, before it’s too late, I will recount my next experience with magic, and my first inkling about the existence of the other Twilight Sparkle.

    Yours in truth and honesty,

    — Twilight Sparkle, Human

    5 comments · 185 views
  • 4w, 5d
    Reader's Guide to the Inn of the Prancing Pony

    (As of Chapter 21.)

    McPoodle here, one of the two editors for At the Inn of the Prancing Pony. It occurs to me that, with the growing complexity of this story, coupled by the lack of an ability to easily search through a story on this site, that it might be useful to have an indexed guide to characters and concepts presented in this story. I know that if I were reading this for the first time, that I would have already started losing track of some of this stuff. So, I present the following. In black text for readability, not because Luna is writing it.

    Synopsis: Celestia travels to the Inn of the Prancing Pony, in an attempt to overthrow the cabal that has converted Equestria into its own private game board.

    Setting: In terms of time, this story begins with a flashback to the defeat of Discord and the fall of Luna. Chapter 1 takes place 15 years after Nightmare Moon’s banishment. With these exceptions, the majority of the story takes place an even century after Nightmare Moon’s banishment.

    In terms of place, the story begins under present-day Canterlot (Kameneva’s cave and Redfern), travels northeast a few kilostrides to the town of Horn’s Reach (the border of Unicornia), southeast of there to Brightbrick and Bee Villa, straight west to the border crossing, present day Ponyville, and the Everfree Forest. The Everfree includes stops at the castle of the Two Pony Sisters and the encampment of Everhold. Finally, we travel to Hoofington on the far side of the Everfree, where the eponymous Inn is located.

    The “Curse of Equestria” is Celestia’s name for the transformation that has overcome Equestria, from Chapter 1. It causes dragons and most other non-pony races to become unintelligent monsters, and for ponies to turn against harmony and towards using violence and hatred to solve their problems.

    The Gods are the individuals responsible for the Curse. Saying one of their names out loud will instantly draw their attention, unless you are an adventurer. They number Foaltus, Kelogto, Cutbelt, Calorus...and Howard (Chapter 5). Celestia knows of some older gods, and Midnight Sparkle depends on their power to protect her with her cloak: Phyletus, god of cutie marks (Chapter 7), and the Nameless Gods. Discord was quite deliberately not invoked. Celestia herself is seen as a goddess by the populace, one that the other gods hate. Speaking her name as well has consequences...

    Similarities to The Best of All Possible Worlds [because I know somebody will ask] are pretty slim: They are both set in the past, with Celestia as the main character. The author of Inn, Luna, was inspired to write the work after reading Worlds.

    Major Characters (by order of appearance):

    Luna, Princess of Equestria: OK, not a character—the author. First “appearance”: Preface. Showed up as herself in Celestia’s dream in Chapter 1, as Nightmare Moon’s voice in another dream in Chapter 2. Other references include the “Battle of Northern Winter in Chapter 4, the game of “Bandit” in Chapter 8, and her care of the orphans in Chapter 9—this same chapter also contained theories by Midnight Sparkle and Firebelle as to who Luna truly was.

    Celestia, “The Forsaken One” or “The Lonely Goddess”: The main character. First appearance: Chapter 1. In the alternate reality depicted in this story, Celestia became so despondent after being forced to banish Nightmare Moon that she relinquished her title and responsibilities, tried to end her life and, when that failed, put herself into a slumber that was never supposed to end (Chapter 1 again). On discovering the nature of the Curse (see above) and her inability to escape from it as Celestia, she took on the guise of Hope Springs, one of Princess Luna’s pages from a century before her corruption. Hope Springs is a light tan earth pony with a pale pink mane. She has Celestia’s magenta eyes. She doesn’t have a cutie mark yet. As Hope, Celestia left the cave of the dragon Kameneva (located in the western face of the Canterhorn), and spent some time in the village of Redfern. After briefly traveling with Soul Cleaver’s party, she ended up in Horn’s Reach and was interviewed by Duke Comet Sparkle. The Duke referred Hope to the service of his daughter Midnight Sparkle, and together they traveled to Bee Villa, where Rigged Bee lived. Midnight’s servant Muddy Pie betrayed them to Prince Blueblood. They were rescued from the prince by Firebelle, who took them to her ancestral home of Lampyra to buy supplies. They spent a night in the location that would one day be Ponyville, and then entered the Everfree Forest. After a couple unfortunate encounters, Hope and Midnight were forced to leave Firebelle behind at the camp city of Everhold. Midnight discovered Hope’s true nature, they ran into Soul Clever’s party once again, and they finally made it to Hoofington, and the Inn of the Prancing Pony. Hope Springs was stuck in the stable while Midnight did most of the hoofwork, discovering details of the mysterious beings taking over pony bodies for their amusement. But now the Convention has begun, and Celestia has a new role to play...

    Kameneva (nickname “Kammy”): A red dragon who had been overcome by the Curse, seeing the sleeping Celestia as her treasure. First (and only appearance): Chapter 1. After Celestia broke her of the Curse, she fled to New Odessa (once Baltimare), the capital of New Draconia. From there, she vowed to find a safe way to return to Equestria to help Celestia.

    The Valiant Bees: A famed family of adventurers from fifteen years after Nightmare Moon’s banishment. The most prominent member is Rigged Bee, the lone survivor to the present day of the story, one hundred years since Nightmare Moon’s banishment. Rigged is a unicorn mare, with a periwinkle blue coat, peach orange mane, and a cutie mark of a bumblebee pulling a tiny chariot (a “rigged bee”). Her native eye color is orange, but while she was controlled by the player Ellen, her eyes were brown. She was the healer of the party. First appearance: (possessed) Chapter 1, (as herself) Chapter 7.

    Big Bee was the leader of the group, a fighter. He was a pegasus stallion with a pale blue coat, peach orange mane, and a cutie mark of a bumblebee-shaped cloud. He ended up being turned to stone for spying on the gods. First appearance: Chapter 1. Fate revealed: Chapter 2.

    Hug Bee was the team’s wizard, an earth pony stallion, prematurely aged, with a long white beard, and a cloak to cover up his embarrassing cutie mark. His fate was “too terrible to contemplate”. First appearance: (unnamed) Chapter 1. Name and fate revealed: Chapter 2.

    Zig and Zag Bee were twin fighter/thieves, both pegasi stallions. Their cutie marks, in the form of horizontal lightning bolts, were mirror images of each other. Zig was sucked into the desert sands by an efreet. Zag survived long enough to be retired to Bee Villa beside Rigged, but died soon afterwards of a naga-inflicted curse. First appearance: (unnamed) Chapter 1. Names and fates revealed: Chapter 2.

    Other Famous Adventurers: Celestia learned of many of these by studying the graffiti surrounding the Bee’s monument commemorating their encounter with Kameneva. Moldy Cane (cutie mark of a walking cane speckled with mold), Swirly the Magnificent (cutie mark of a blue and yellow circular disk, the two colors combined in a swirl pattern), Nestoria the Valliant (a delicate unicorn from fifty years before the present day of the story), and Felnor the Brave (a barbarian earth pony from a decade ago). Nestoria and Felnor were both played by Ellen, while Moldy and Swirly were apparently played by her rivals. First mention: (Moldy and Swirly) Chapter 2, (Nestoria and Felnor) Chapter 4, (link established between Rigged Bee, Nestoria, Felnor and Ellen) Chapter 7.

    The Inhabitants of Redfern (all from Chapters 2 and 3) included Loam Planter, Truth, Flower and Golddust Sifter.

    Soul Cleaver’s Party of Adventurers consisted of Soul Cleaver (earth pony stallion fighter, rust furred with a silver mane, with a cutie mark of a cleaver separating a pony from his soul), Vaya Con Dios (unicorn stallion cleric, red with yellow mane, with a cutie mark of a cartoon heart with wings), Swipe (pegasus stallion thief, dark blue with white mane, with a pile of coins for a cutie mark), and Torchlit (earth pony wizard, yellow with an orange mane). One has brown eyes, the others the same shade of blue eyes—signs that they are possessed. Soul Cleaver led the team to besiege Horn’s Reach beside the Earth Pony Army, which was merely a diversion to obtain a magic item. They then left to loot Ivan the Dracolich’s tomb. They were later seen carrying the dead body of Soul Cleaver. Almost immediately afterwards, Soul Cleaver’s former player possessed Firebelle, and transformed her into a dragon. In their encounters with Hope Springs, they were unnerved by her free will, something that Midnight Sparkle was unable to display in their presence. First appearance: Chapter 4. Minus Soul Cleaver: Chapter 15. With the possessed Firebelle: Chapter 17.

    Stride Eater and the Earth Pony Army: Stride Eater is a charismatic earth pony supremacist who seeks to use his army to take over the world. Soul Cleaver uses the group to advance his own ends, and the army ends up defeated outside Horn’s Reach, thanks to Captain Sparkle (see under Duke Sparkle, below). Major appearance: Chapter 4.

    Platinum IX: Queen of Unicornia, is a unicorn mare with white fur and a mostly-gray mane that was once blonde. Her cutie mark is a yellow and blue compass rose. Her son is Prince Blueblood. Mentioned: Chapter 5.

    Duke Comet Sparkle commands Horn’s Reach, the far western border of the Kingdom of Unicornia. He’s a dark gray unicorn stallion. His biggest political rival is his brother-in-law, Prince Blueblood. Comet’s wife is Diamond, and their children are Captain Moonlight, Sunlight, Midnight and Sparkling Helm. Moonlight commands the army of Horn’s Reach. Sunlight helps raises the sun and moon in Unicornia City. And Sparkling Helm is a colt who idolizes Moonlight. All introduced in Chapter 5 (although only Comet was named).

    Midnight Sparkle, aka “Midnight the Arcane”, is Duke Comet’s daughter, devoted to scientific studies. Dark blue coat, white mane, lavender eyes, magic color violet blue. She is reluctantly assigned to escort Hope Springs to the home of Rigged Bee. On her unexpectedly extended journey, she discovers much about Hope, and the wider world, that she did not expect. Now she’s at the Inn of the Prancing Pony, due to be possessed, and hoping desperately that the magic cloak she has created will protect her. Significant chapters: 6, 14, 17, 19 and 21.

    Muddy Pie: Servant of Midnight Sparkle, and darling of every city he visits. He appears to be a unicorn to everypony but Hope Springs. In the end, he betrays Midnight and Hope to his true master, Prince Blueblood. First appearance: Chapter 6. Last significant appearance: Chapter 7.

    Prince Blueblood: Son of Queen Platinum IX, and uncle to Midnight Sparkle. Looks identical to the Prince Blueblood in Friendship Is Magic. Captures Midnight and Hope Springs in order to force them to go to the Inn of the Prancing Pony. Main appearance: Chapter 8. (Blueblood’s wanted poster for Midnight is described in Chapter 11, and shows up again in Chapter 15.)

    Firebelle: A small pink pegasus mare with a striped mane and tail of alternating light blue and pale red. Distant relative of the Valiant Bees. Was born with a stunted wing, which she hides from public view. Schemes to become an adventurer, and recruits Midnight Sparkle and Hope Springs after rescuing them from Prince Blueblood. Takes the newly formed group to Lampyra, where she gets into a fight with her controlling mother, Firefly Jr. Afterwards, gets gravely injured during her first encounter in the Everfree against a band of lizard men, and is then deliberately petrified to keep her from dying. Hope and Midnight then leave her with the healers at Everhold, who then hoof her over to Soul Cleaver’s Party of Adventurers, minus Soul Cleaver. The player spirit of the ex-Soul Cleaver then possesses her and manages to get her transformed into a dragon outside the orc village. Present whereabouts unknown. Significant chapters: 8, 10, 12 and (possessed) 17.

    Rogbog the Overpowering: Chapter 9. (What? There’s a small chance that somebody might want to look Him up.)

    Lampyra is a self-proclaimed pegasus utopia, existing upon a floating cloud that drifts all over Equestria. It is ruled with an iron hoof by Firefly Jr., daughter of Firefly I, who micromanages the lives of everypony in her kingdom. Firebelle is her second daughter, who she’d prefer spend the rest of her life isolated from society, so that the truth of her disability wouldn’t get out to shame the family name. Other inhabitants of Lampyra include Cousin Cumulous. Major appearance: Chapter 10.

    The Everfree Forest consists of the former capital of Winnychester, converted by the wild magicks of Celestia and Nightmare Moon’s duel. It is now used as a testing ground for would-be adventurers, and a training ground for newly-minted ones. Midnight Sparkle, Hope Springs and Firebelle enter the Everfree in Chapter 12, where they fight a band of lizard men with disastrous consequences for Firebelle. In Chapter 13, they face a cockatrice, and Hope decides to expose the rapidly worsening Firebelle to petrification in order to save her life. They pass through the Castle of the Two Sisters and enter the tent city of Everhold, where Firebelle is left with a group of healers. In Chapter 15, Midnight and Hope take a tour as a way to sneak back into the Castle, so Midnight can do some research. In Chapter 16, they encounter a village of orcs, and in Chapter 17, they confront Soul Cleaver’s Party of Adventurers, and finally leave the forest.

    Water Cooler: The comic relief for this story after Muddy turned bad. His chapter is Chapter 15.

    Staff of the Inn of the Prancing Pony in Hoofington include Mr. Silver, the old gray unicorn who apparently runs the place, and Mrs. Cabinet, the earth pony mare acting as caretaker of the neighboring stable, where friends and relatives of would-be adventurers are allowed to stay. The Inn was first mentioned in Chapter 2, but Hope Springs and Midnight Sparkle did not reach the place until Chapter 18 (when Mr. Silver and Mrs. Cabinet are introduced). Midnight Sparkle is staying in Room 236 of the Inn, and Hope is staying in Room 236 of the stable. Midnight’s neighbor in Room 238 is Chestnut, and Hope’s neighbor in the same room number is Sorrel.

    Sorrel and Chestnut are brother and sister, the latter of whom is planning to become an adventurer. Sorrel is a small red earth pony stallion, and Chestnut is a large light orange earth pony mare with a speech impediment. Both are high-ranking members of the Thieves’ Guild in the earth pony city of Maneport. Chestnut agrees to wear one of Midnight Sparkle’s possession-proof capes, modified into a hat. Introduced in Chapters 18 (Sorrel) and 19 (Chestnut), although Chapter 20 is where they really get the chance to shine.

    Burnished Lore (aka Uncle Bernie): A permanent resident at the Inn of the Prancing Pony. An old gray pegasus stallion, grand-uncle to Firebelle, and her source for information about adventuring. Midnight Sparkle sought him out in Booth #9 to inform him of the fate of his niece. She attempted to approach him regarding her magic-proof cloaks, but he rebuffed her. Major appearance: Chapter 19.

    Winter Harvest and Copper Plate are two sisters who have come to the Inn of the Prancing Pony to become adventurers. Winter Harvest, the elder, is a snow-white pegasus with a light tan mane and bright yellow eyes, and Copper Plate, the younger, is a copper-colored unicorn with a small horn, silver-white mane and tail, and dark orange eyes. Winter is the more practical one, while Copper is the dreamer, and may go down in history as the inventor of the pony comic book. Midnight Sparkle meets them at the Inn and gets them to agree to try out some of her possession-proof cloaks for when it becomes time for them to become adventurers. They are both inducted into the Thieves’ Guild by Chestnut. Major appearances: Chapters 19 and 21.

    Torn Deck is a would-be adventurer, the upper-class son of the Chief of Police in Maneport. A white-coated earth pony stallion with a blonde mane and tail, “like a muscular version of Prince Blueblood”. He attempts to bond with fellow aristocrat Midnight Sparkle, which only serves to emphasize how far her attitudes have changed since meeting Hope Springs. Major appearance: Chapter 21.

    Inhabitants of the Other World control everything that happens in Equestria, but think that they are merely playing a game. The company in control of everything is Horsewords, Inc., run by Mary Jo Powell. The only name of a player known thus far is Ellen, who played Rigged Bee, Nestoria the Valiant and Felnor the Brave in three separate generations. She has brown eyes, which are exhibited by her adventurer ponies when she possesses them, and has exhibited a fascination with Celestia. Most of this information is discussed in Chapters 19, 20, and 21. Ellen’s lone “appearance” was in Chapter 1, although she was discussed in Chapter 7.

    3 comments · 128 views
  • 6w, 4d
    A Writer’s Guide to Addressing Pony Princesses, by Luna (A Pony Princess)

    I don’t mind, mostly-American fanfiction writers, really I don’t. I mean, nopony gets it right at home, either. Too little of the honorifics for me, far far too much for her. Thankfully, we are no longer in an era where failing to use the correct term was a whipping offense (one very selectively enforced). But it does make you look the teeniest bit foolish in front of your brethren who do live in aristocracies when you continue to get it wrong.

    Let us begin with Exhibit A, the standard invitation to the Grand Galloping Gala. The things are so common, preserved as they tend to be by the “lucky” invitees long after the events in question, that I have no doubt that a significant number of you humans have actually seen one, or a copy of one, for yourselves:

    Hear ye, hear ye! Her Grand Royal Highness, Princess Celestia of Equestria, is pleased to announce The Grand Galloping Gala, to be held in the magnificent capital city of Canterlot, on...

    ...And there’s no reason to rehearse the rest.

    Let’s break this down, shall we?

    Her Highness. A princess is “Her Highness”. A prince is “His Highness”. That’s in the third person. If addressing one face to face, she is “Your Highness”. She is not Her Majesty. That is for kings and queens. It doesn’t matter that Celestia and I rule Equestria, it’s still “Highness”, not “Majesty”, got it?

    Her Royal Highness. This word, “Royal”, is what distinguishes a ruling princess from a princess in waiting. The proper form of address is to use “Royal” before “Highness” the first time you are introduced to or speak to a reigning princess. It is not necessary to use the term afterwards. By the way, this means that you should not use “Royal” with Blueblood—that pony has more than enough airs as it is, so please don’t inflate his head any bigger than it already is. We have to live with the stallion, after all. Cadance is an interesting case: she currently doesn’t have a kingdom, making her just a “Her Highness”, but there is a very small probability that her kingdom could just rematerialize from the ice and arctic tundra one day, in which case she would become a “Her Royal Highness”, or even a “Her Imperial Majesty” (see below).

    Her Grand Royal Highness. Don’t do this. “Grand”, “Magnificent”, “Chooser-of-Who-Lives-and-Who-Dies”? These are all suck-up terms. We will find creative ways to snub you if you insist on employing one. And now you know something about the pony who writes up the Grand Galloping Gala invitations that you did not know before.

    Now, with that out of the way, let’s lay down a few additional rules:

    First, if a reigning diarch tells you to call her by her first name and not by her title, you do what she says. It amazes me to no end when a loyal subject will do anything asked by her diarch, except treat her like a fellow pony.

    Second, I’ve observed that your fiction frequently has cause to invent individuals with other titles, so let’s quickly cover the correct forms of address for them:

    Queen: Her Majesty. This one I’ve never seen anybody mess up, even regarding the one that the Diarchy is not getting along with well right now. So kudos to you authors for that.

    Emperor: His Imperial Majesty. Emperors tend to be rather touchy individuals in Equestrian history, considering that most of them pulled their titles out of thin air, and are then prone to lose them even more quickly, so it’s probably best for your health’s sake to never forget the “Imperial” part.

    Duke: Your Grace. Equestria does not currently have any dukes, but they have had some in the past.

    Countess, Earl, Baroness or Baron: My Lady or My Lord. All of those titles fell out of favor in the Thirty-Fifth Century, thanks to the Rubber Robber Baby Baroness Conspiracy. [Don’t ask. I would have come up with a much better title if I wasn’t...indisposed, at the time.]

    God: Whatever He wants you to call Him today. We’ve only had the One so far. Nowadays, I call Him “The Eminently Imperial Collector of Pigeon Offerings”. I’ll correct the title whenever He asks me politely to do otherwise.

    Finally, there is one last rule to observe: Unlike human nobles and monarchs/diarchs, Equestrian titles only apply within the borders of Equestria. While I reside here on Earth, I am “Luna”—no “Princess” or “Highness” required or suggested (or wanted, for that matter). During Celestia’s visits here, she is also merely “Celestia”. Of course, it goes without saying that an alicorn’s memory is very long, so just because one is not required to use a level of courtesy doesn’t mean that acting like a buffoon is a very wise move on one’s part.

    10 comments · 210 views
  • 9w, 1d
    At the Inn of the Prancing Pony: About the Editors


    It occurs to me that I never formally introduced the two humans who are helping me with this story.

    First of all, we have McPoodle, who wrote his own self-introduction here for “The Best of All Possible Worlds”. On top of his translation duties, McPoodle is also a bit of an author, and I have been informed that most of the stories published using his account were actually written by him. I may have also heard something about a pony-initiated lawsuit, although the details elude me.

    Hope (no relation to the alias I came up with for the disguised Celestia, either in fact or in metaphor) is also an author, and a bit of an organizer. Not being much of a reader of fiction based on myself or the ponies I care about, I wouldn’t really know too much about that. I do know that she’s done a great job at motivating me in recent weeks to get this story “into gear”, as it were.

    I’ve asked her to submit an essay to put alongside McPoodle’s, and here it is. I’ll leave it uncolored, but in future, you can expect McPoodle’s contributions to my posts to be in orange, and Hope’s in purple.

    Hello everyone! My name is Hope Dawn. Legally changed after the portal opened, it used to be much more mundane. I am Her Royal Majesty’s editor and sounding board for this story that she has been kind enough to make public.

    For some personal history, I am the author of a few short pieces of work myself, all published before the portal opened. The most famous of these is The history of the unicorn, Mythology or Sociology?

    Surprisingly this is not why I was hired on to work with the Princess. Rather a hobby of mine overtook me, after posting a small ad in a Las Vegas newspaper. This ad was looking for adventurous and creative persons who would be willing to meet up with me and collaborate on a project, however the only response I received was a scroll.

    This scroll being delivered in person and by a thestral took me by surprise, surpassed only by my surprise when I was greeted by the royal seal of the moon upon opening it. She advised me that she had been searching for an expert on popular culture, and was willing to hire me or collaborate with me remotely on a few things.

    This resulted in a two day cowering session during which Narcie (My recently official girlfriend, a unicorn by the name of Narcissus Blossom) was able to convince me that the Princess of the night was not in fact trying to capture me for loving a unicorn, and in addition that the Princess would not want to “suck my blood.”

    Of course, by then a second thestral had arrived, and she stayed a few hours to explain the deal. I would be allowed to travel with the Princess or remain here. Both options would involve employment and collaboration. The deliberation took another day, and then Narcie and I began to pack.

    Now on the road with a winged unicorn in addition to my girlfriend, most days I alternate hours of panic and fascination at my situation. I have also come to know Her Royal Majesty’s proofreader, an odd fellow who goes by the name McPoodle. He makes a good conversationalist when he isn’t making the Princess angry.

    As I have been asking recently to collaborate on the blog posts being made, I was told that the readers likely have no idea who I am, leading to this into.

    Let’s see, I’ve covered the checklist; personal info, situation, past work... Narcie says that I should also talk about my hobbies.

    Before becoming an author I was a field engineer for an IT company in Nevada, in the United States. I build computers in my spare time and play more video games than are likely good for me. I wonder if the Princess has ever played any?

    Regardless, thank you for reading the story and this blog post, I hope that I can help the Princess to complete her current and future creative endeavors.


    Hello everyone! My name is Hope, I am a fairly low key author who has probably written more poetry than stories, but upon gaining a working friendship with McPoodle through the Pony Earth Verse series of stories, I decided to abuse that friendship by becoming a co-author in one of his stories!

    Fun times.

    A bit of trivia involving our current work, I am not writing Hope in the story! Nope, I’m writing a few others but not that one. I had to decide if I was flattered or if I should be concerned, and in the end I decided that any association with Celestia is a good one, and moved on with my life.

    0 comments · 128 views
  • ...

The royal court of Canterlot welcomes its newest member with open forelegs: the human philosopher Voltaire, from Earth.

On Earth, Voltaire is known as the greatest enemy of tyranny in the history of literature, and a legend in his own mind.

On Equestria, the court betting pool is giving him a week before the Princess banishes him to the Moon.

Note: This story doesn't have sequels per se, but there are a couple of short follow-ups set in the present day ("Parade Coverage" and "Secret Histories"), and a prequel of sorts in "At the Inn of the Prancing Pony".

TV Tropes page.

First Published
19th Jul 2012
Last Modified
15th Apr 2013
#1 · 123w, 16h ago · 15 · · Chapter 3 ·

I don't review good stories. I usually stick with the bad ones and rail on the authors in an effort to help them understand the folly of their ways by slamming a proverbial baseball bat on their heads.

That said, this is a good story.

#2 · 123w, 15h ago · · · Chapter 3 ·

Oh my god... a Candide crossover... I have to read this... *puts on read later list*

#3 · 123w, 15h ago · · · Chapter 3 ·

Why is it that the good stories, more often than not, are the ones with the strangest premise?

#4 · 123w, 15h ago · 4 · 5 · Chapter 3 ·

"Open forelegs" sounds obscene.  Just thought I'd warn ya.  :raritywink:

#5 · 123w, 11h ago · · · Chapter 3 ·

I'm no expert on the grammatical side of things, so I really can't give you feedback on that front. However, as a layman, I like the style you write in. Feels very fresh for some reason. The setting is also interresting in its own way. I'll be definitely following this story and hope it continues.

Off topic: The properties of that pen intrigue me.  

#6 · 123w, 9h ago · · · Chapter 3 ·

MY WORDS!:pinkiegasp: This is... this is fantastic! Is that Voltaire before he wrote Candide? Is a pony going to be his inspiration? :pinkiecrazy:

I'll be following because I know it's gonna be a hoot.

#7 · 123w, 8h ago · · · Chapter 3 ·

Goodness, but this is looking fascinating.  I never thought I'd read a Human in Equestria story.  I have quite stubbornly avoided them up until now.  But Voltaire?  Remarkable idea.  I just had to try, and I was duly rewarded.

#8 · 122w, 6d ago · · · Chapter 3 ·

Ok, now i am really intrigued as to what will happen next, there just isn't enough human in Equestria fics that only center around Celestia and said human, and i do so hope this will be one of those.

#9 · 122w, 6d ago · · · Chapter 3 ·

With all the messy attempts of throwing humans threw portals into Equestria in the name of science it's still rare that any of them actually work out. I finally have a HiE to put above that Rorschach one in my list of favorites. Here's something actually worthy of that sort of position. This is just fantastic so far.

#10 · 122w, 4d ago · · · Chapter 3 ·

I'm very pleased with what I've read so far. Do go on.

#11 · 122w, 4d ago · 8 · · Chapter 4 ·

That last line is hilarious :rainbowlaugh: hopefully this ends well for the little donkey :fluttershysad:

Eveningstar...could that be the author's ancestor?

#12 · 122w, 4d ago · 2 · 1 · Chapter 4 ·

:rainbowlaugh: but he already was an ass:trollestia:

#13 · 122w, 4d ago · 4 · · Chapter 4 ·

“Ivan’s turned the philosopher into an ass!”

Don't know if author is stark raving bonkers, or bonafide genius.

Upvoted and tracking.

#14 · 122w, 4d ago · · · Chapter 4 ·

There is a fine line between a genius and a madman.

Keep this up!

#15 · 122w, 3d ago · · · Chapter 4 ·

Hillarious! Can't wait to see how the relationship between Celestia and Voltaire will turn out.

#17 · 122w, 3d ago · · · Chapter 4 ·


We'll soon find out. The difference between genius and madness is success, after all.

#18 · 122w, 1d ago · · · Chapter 5 ·

This is awesome. That is all.

#19 · 122w, 1d ago · · · Chapter 5 ·

I agree with Clamps, it's awsome, that's all that need to be said.

#21 · 122w, 1d ago · · · Chapter 5 ·

celestia: givin commands LIKE A BOSS:trollestia:

#22 · 122w, 1d ago · · · Chapter 5 ·

I am French, a great amateur of Voltaire's work, and I must say this is charmingly well-written.

Keep up the good work, l'artiste.

#23 · 122w, 1d ago · · · Chapter 5 ·

:trollestia: she mostly keeps the guards around because they're all good looking stallions :trollestia:

Hahaha this is great! We need MOAR! :yay:

#24 · 122w, 1d ago · · · Chapter 5 ·

My love for this story just grows and grows!

Though I'm always hesitant to place Celestia on any power level beyond "more powerful than all three races and either long lived to immortal". God-like powers beyond what a large number of Twilight level unicorns are capable of always seems foolish and well beyond canon. The changeling queen could beat her and without the elements she can't begin to battle a true god-being like discord with real power of reality itself. It may suite your purpose to make her a true goddess of her world given where I think this is going, but unless necessary I'm always just a little bothered by stories that write her that way. There are some who portray her as an all-powerful being who could destroy and recreate the world on a whim, which is a little more than the least of what discord is shown capable of.

My own personal canon has her as simply long-lived or the pony equivalent of Tolkien's elves with the power of many unicorns combined (based only on the knowledge that it took multiple unicorns of an unspecified number to raise the sun and moon pre-alicorn rule). Even when viewed as a goddess she doesn't need to be God with a capital "G". Neither Zeus or Cronus, Thor or Odin had that sort of power. Some people just can't see the distinction it seems. Then they cry foul when their head-canon is ruined by Season 2.

You're still far from portraying her in that way so I'm just rambling by this point. Its been some time since I last read anything by or about Voltaire and now you're making me want to know his work better with how you've portrayed his character and assuming you have him down well.

So much studying to do now! :twilightsheepish:

So much... :facehoof:

#25 · 122w, 1d ago · · · Chapter 5 ·


The last bit in Chapter 6 is more psychological than physical. The point is that everypony is treating Celestia like a true goddess, and she can't find a way to convince them to think otherwise. As for Voltaire, he has a sort of love-hate relationship with royalty as a concept.


OK, now I'm nervous. I don't know a word of French, and I bet you know Voltaire a lot better than I do.

(Everybody else)

Thank you, thank you, thank you for the comments!

#26 · 122w, 1d ago · · · Chapter 5 ·


Don't worry. I honestly don't mind if Voltaire is in-character or not for the rest of the story - being send in a land of talking ponies can change anyone :p

Plus, you've pretty much nailed him so far.

#27 · 121w, 5d ago · · · Chapter 6 ·

Ah, a royal alicorn and a human writer in a duel of wits, i can't wait to see more of that.

#28 · 121w, 5d ago · · · Chapter 6 ·

"Eveningstar watched with amusement as the Princess explained to Voltaire what a cutie mark was, and how it was acquired. At one point the human muttered the phrase “idiot savant” to himself in one of the languages which the white cap could not automatically translate."

Possible anachronism. This story cannot be set any later than 1778 (Either the year of Voltaire's death or the year that Voltaire decided not to come back to Earth, depending on where this story goes), but the term 'idiot savant' wasn't used in the manner I think you're trying to use it (as in referring to savant syndrome) until 1887 by Dr Down. 'Possible' because I'm aware it was an actual French phrase before then, but can't find any context for what it was referring to.

Otherwise good work! I'm enjoying this.

#29 · 121w, 5d ago · · · Chapter 6 ·

lol this story just keeps getting better:twilightsmile:

#30 · 121w, 5d ago · · · Chapter 6 ·


Well what did the the other jealous musicians call young Mozart, then? :pinkiecrazy:

#31 · 121w, 5d ago · · · Chapter 6 ·

Oh wow...I cant wait until it begins. The moral debates that will most likely shape future equestria! This will be just perfect......:pinkiecrazy::pinkiecrazy::pinkiecrazy:

#32 · 121w, 5d ago · · · Chapter 6 ·


I can't find any record of that happening, but maybe I'm missing it. Could you point me towards where you heard it? But anyway, I am certain that if Voltaire was using medical terminology to describe him thinking of people like the rain man, then he's using medical terms not invented until the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They would probably have just been called lunatics back then and chained up in the madhouses.

#33 · 121w, 4d ago · · · Chapter 6 ·


Alright, you've got me--on this particular topic, I don't know what I'm talking about. I promise I won't use that phrase again in this story.

...I'm also not pulling it out of Chapter 7, tho. Otherwise, that would make this conversation just look silly. :pinkiehappy:

#34 · 121w, 3d ago · · · Chapter 6 ·


Nonsense! Why, I insist that you replace the words "idiot savant" with the first line of lyrics from the theme song of My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic.

#35 · 121w, 3d ago · 3 · · Chapter 8 ·

Now if you must comment on the cruder aspects of this chapter, could you at least show a minimum of decorum? It seems you can't read any delicate discussion of the topic without being immediately inundated with the most obvious innuendo.

I shall be taking my place over here, behind this lightly-perfumed lace handkerchief. :moustache: (Or mustache. ...same thing, really.)

#36 · 121w, 3d ago · · · Chapter 7 ·

Ah unicorns... heads full of thoughts and magic to the point where they never really stop to consider if they are being mean to the other races.

Voltaire is going to be mighty surprised by the Mare in the Moon. Also, maybe Celestia could move it so he gets a good look at it :p

That was a weird spot to end the chapter though...not sure what to make of it o.o

#38 · 121w, 3d ago · · · Chapter 8 ·

"Ya could be clever as Voltaire, but it won't get ya nowhere if ya wanna sell dissskksssss.

Clever never made no one rich. It doesn't appeal to the teenage market. THE TEENAGE MAAARRKKKKKEEEEEETT!!1!"

#39 · 121w, 3d ago · · · Chapter 8 ·


"Teenage market"? More like teenage wasteland...

#40 · 121w, 3d ago · · · Chapter 8 ·

Update? Another one? Sir, you spoil us.

Also, I shall endeavour to keep any further comments free of double-entendre. I shall, however, remain silent on whether or not I shall use single-entendre. For now.

#41 · 121w, 3d ago · · · Chapter 8 ·

I love that line about the Holy Roman Empire. That's just so classic!

#42 · 121w, 3d ago · · · Chapter 3 ·

Alle Hagel Friedrich des Große...

Pffff...:rainbowlaugh: HAhahah

#43 · 121w, 3d ago · · · Chapter 8 ·

Hmm interesting. At the end of the last chapter I thought Celestia was just pranking Voltaire for referring to his god as male. But I guess making someone violently ill is a little harsh to be considered a prank.

This is an interesting story and is probably the best HiE I've read. The first 10 or so chapters of The God Particle were excellent but it fell apart after that. So yeah, this is currently my favorite HiE.

#44 · 121w, 3d ago · 1 · · Chapter 8 ·

How can those poor creatures survive without that second thing! :pinkiegasp:

#45 · 121w, 3d ago · · · Chapter 8 ·

Ice cream... Have those two words now forever gotten a second meaning that I will remember for years? Only time will tell...

Not bad, his first day in Equestria and he already discovered things unknown to anypony else, except Celestia of course. At this rate Voltaire will soon be on par with Celestia whereafter the only conclusion would be that Voltaire will surpass her. Voltaire will not be sent away due to the fact that Celestia feels pity for him for being stuck in Equestria, but because he becomes a genuine threat to her, an annoying inquiring one at that.

With luck, perhaps Voltaire will discover one or two absolute truths while at it.


I'd attribute it to willpower or that their minds work in a different way, but that is just me.

#46 · 121w, 2d ago · 2 · · Chapter 8 ·

I love this fic...i truley do.

#47 · 121w, 2d ago · · · Chapter 8 ·


I was quoting "Darkside", by Tim Michin.

I am intrigued...

#49 · 121w, 2d ago · · · Chapter 1 ·

Yes...yes...very intrigued:moustache:

#50 · 121w, 2d ago · · · Chapter 8 ·

I approve. Please continue with the utmost haste:moustache:

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