Featured In14

More Stories7

  • E Minuette's Lesson

    Alive, or a machine? Does it really matter?
    4,367 words · 11,316 views  ·  1,702  ·  23
  • T Lines and Webs

    In a world of peace, there must be order. No matter what the cost.
    161,563 words · 8,031 views  ·  916  ·  23
  • T Stormsinger

    After four hundred and fifty years of uneasy peace, the balance of power in Equestria has shifted.
    174,631 words · 2,404 views  ·  348  ·  8
  • T Tales of the Traveling Station

    Any Thing under the Sun, Available At Cost! No Refunds, no Returns, And no Complaints.
    1,638 words · 625 views  ·  83  ·  1
  • T An Oath

    We all have something to fight for.
    1,033 words · 888 views  ·  82  ·  2
  • T A Taste of Lotus

    In the distant future, there is only peace. This is the story of that path, and the sacrifices made to walk it.
    3,882 words · 1,505 views  ·  148  ·  14
  • T A Hearth's Warming Wassailing

    When the winter is at its coldest, all you really need is the fire of friends, new and old.
    23,018 words · 779 views  ·  73  ·  6

Blog Posts238

  • 2w, 2d
    No but seriously

    15 comments · 207 views
  • 5w, 2d
    Updates and scheduling and chapters, oh my!

    6 comments · 92 views
  • 12w, 3d
    On scavenger hunts and schedules

    Sorry about the late update, all. I've signed up to be a part of the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen, or GISHWHES for short. It's a week-long adventure requiring cunning, skill, photography, a familiarity with the Queen of England and tea ceremonies, and numerous other skills. It promises to be quite fun, and also the only thing I'll have approaching a summer vacation, so I'm quite looking forward to it.

    Unfortunately, GISHWHES has the habit of monopolizing all of your time, seeing as the list of items numbers in the hundreds, and there is only one week in which to score as many points as possible. As a result, I wasn't going to be doing much writing next week, and I wanted to push two chapters for you at the same time so you could have something to chew on while I was gone.

    I could only get the one chapter done, though, which is disappointing. So expect that either tonight or tomorrow, and the next one a day or two after the ninth.

    In the meantime, have some quality entertainment!

    1 comments · 147 views
  • 15w, 6d
    Holiday

    Hey, all!

    Wanted to apologize about the lack of chapter this week, I took some time off for the holiday. Regular update next week, same bat-time, same bat-place!

    In other news, I finally finished Hearth's Warming Wassailing, the last update having been July 4th. Christmas in July, y'know? So if you were waiting on that, check it out! If you weren't, check it out anyway! There's no such thing as an inappropriate time for Christmas, amirite?

    I'm so totally right.

    Also, I'm putting the word out for people who are interested in joining a Skype group I've got set up. My handle there is "Airstream" if you're interested. There are a few on already, we talk about the show and other things besides. If you're looking for conversation, it's the place to be!

    Ciao!

    3 comments · 121 views
  • 23w, 3d
    A story about the story.

    The chapter writhed on the keyboard, trilling as Airstream’s fingers danced across it, knitting it together and stretching meat and skin over the bare bones of the story, heart laboring harshly as the wretched thing gasped for breath.

    The author’s fingers halted. A scowl spread across his face. The chapter was there, alright, it just seemed…wrong. Like it would surely collapse under its own weight the minute it tried to stand on its own.

    “Another weak one…” Ryeblok hissed, staring over his shoulder. “You’ve been making a lot of those recently.”

    Airstream waved a hand, and the barely-born chapter disappeared in a rush of flame, squealing once before it was completely gone, nothing more than a smudge of ashy, wasted potential. His fingers, nimble still, began to spin again. The bones of what he was trying to create appeared once more, and with a flourish and a rush of description, the heart of the chapter began to take shape once more, the beat slightly different, the tone perhaps a bit gentler.

    “You know,” Airstream said, his voice tired and amused all at once, “I do believe this is the most trouble you’ve given me with one of these, Blok. You and I have worked together more than once, but I can’t recall you hanging around for this long before.” His voice grew colder, more stern. “One might say that you are overstaying your welcome.”

    The demon’s claws sunk into his shoulder. “Perhaps,” it breathed menacingly, “But you are the only one who can banish me. And you choose instead to spend your days worrying over this wretched thing.”

    Ryeblok had a point, Airstream mused to himself. It was early yet, but he could already tell that this chapter was going to end poorly as well. And a poor chapter weakened the story as a whole.

    He looked to the pen where this most recent story was being kept. Stormsinger lay content, perhaps a bit concerned that it had not been asked to perform in some time, but keeping a wary eye open and the other drooping shut. It was one of his better creations, the author mused. Some new and interesting techniques had been applied, and he was quite pleased with the result. His gaze fell on the chapter, his contented expression twisting into frustration as he dispelled this latest abomination.

    “A pity,” Ryeblok said. “I liked that one.”

    “If I didn’t know you better,” Airstream said absently, resting his hands, “I’d believe you.”

    “Perhaps what the author needs is a bit of a break?” Ryeblok suggested. “Perhaps he should visit other things? Some of your other children are awaiting your tender care.”

    Airstream cast a wary eye at a shadowy corner of his workspace, wherein was contained a wilted lotus flower and a dilapidated cart with faded paint.

    “Or perhaps he would care to start something new? The last time that happened, you were quite successful, as I recall.”

    Airstream shuddered, reminded of the…thing…he had put away in another room. It was deceptively cute, with its little beeps and squeals, and its cries of “Set phasers to hug!” and “The fun levels shall be at maximum efficiency!”, but beneath that lay a cold, dead heart, and not just because it was about a robot. The fact that it was one of his most beloved creations frightened even him.

    “Thank you for your input, Ryeblok,” he said, “But I really do think the best thing here would be to soldier on with my work.”

    Ryeblok shrugged sinuously. “Then I shall remain,” it said, “And your work shall suffer for my presence, unless you gather the nerve to banish me on your own.”

    “Annoyance,” Airstream mumbled, but it was unclear whether he spoke of the demon itself, the process of removing it, or the chapter which moved anew under his hands.

    He noticed the magic flowed less smoothly, now. Perhaps it was time he did something about that. Ryeblok was a pernicious creature at the best of times, but it occasionally provided good advice, if you could see it. Perhaps it was time he did something different, but not in the same way as his usual differences.

    A trip might be in order, he mused. There was the wedding, he had been invited to attend and it had been a long while since he’d seen his native lands without needing to observe any religious rituals. The journey back home might be just the thing he needed. Most of his tools would need to stay behind, his keyboard and such. But he could take his scribing tablet, at least.

    Then there was the fact that he had not visited the source of his power in a long while. Its new flow had stopped only last week, but he had not visited in nearly six weeks. The Harmonious Six were forgiving souls, but he needed to draw his power from them regularly, and it showed that he had not. Maybe both a trip home and a supplication to the Six were needed.

    Flame flashed from his desk as the author banished the next chapter with extreme prejudice.

    “Ryeblok,” he announced, “Remain here. I’m going out.”

    The thing blinked, coiling in the air as if unsure of how to support itself. “And when will you be back?” it burbled.

    “Eventually,” Airstream said. “No more than a week. And I’d advise you to be gone when I get back, else I’m kicking your arse up between your ears.” He grabbed his traveling hat and staff from near the door.

    “And Ryblok?” he asked, pausing at the door.

    “Yes?”

    The author smiled. “Thank you.”

    The wooden portal shut with a thud, leaving the tower in silence. Ryeblok stood there for a brief while, staring at it, before a slow smile curled upon its face, and it settled in to wait for its bitterest rival and oldest friend to return.


    Ryeblok and I go way back, back to my first ever story about airships and other terrible things. Nosy bastard ate that one, too.

    Sorry for the delay, my unwelcome houseguest has been monopolizing my time and preventing me from writing effectively. I'm working on getting him gone, but he's always been the persistent sort.

    I'm headed home for a wedding (joy) and will be returning back here on Sunday, at which point I intend to catch up on the show in the hopes that it will restore my inspiration and allow me to finally give old Ryeblok the boot.

    Expect the new chapter a week from now if everything goes well. If not...well, expect it a week from now, and then we'll see what happens.

    4 comments · 255 views
  • ...
 2,244
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Source

This story is a sequel to Lines and Webs

For four long years, Celestia's apprentice Twilight Sparkle, once a model pony and a hero among heroes, has waged a bitter and secret struggle with her onetime mentor. Though she works from the shadows, directing her forces from the Old Capitol in the Everfree Forest, Twilight Sparkle is unable to gain any advantage,

Likewise, Princess Celestia finds her once-faithful student far more cunning and elusive than she had anticipated, and even now searches for a way to bring Twilight Sparkle's rebellion to its knees.

It is a game of greys, of knives in the dark and of poisoned wine, where pawns are moved and traded and exchanged for greater advantage, all the while drawing both sides nearer to the conflict which shall tear Equestria in two.

At the center of this conflict is a new pawn, one who only wished to see the truth for herself. Drawn into a deadly game whose rules she does not understand, Sweetie Belle must learn to survive in a world where all is darkened, and nopony can be completely trusted.

Because when gods play chess, all pieces are expendable.

A nation will crumble, old enemies shall return in the most unexpected ways, and regardless of who is victorious, only one thing can be certain.

Nothing shall ever be the same.


Sequel to Lines and Webs.

First Published
7th Oct 2012
Last Modified
19th Aug 2013
#1 · 106w, 6d ago · 5 · · Opening Move ·

As I believe it is the most appropriate one I have, I must post it for this. Sadly ponies only have radio rather than TV, but the message carries all the same.

#2 · 106w, 6d ago · · · Opening Move ·

good opening.

so besides twilight, celestia, luna and a couple of OCs; we're gonna see sweetie bell as a major character this time? (mostly rhetorical, but you can answer if you like:twilightsheepish:)

#3 · 106w, 6d ago · 1 · · Opening Move ·

I am intrigued.  Awaiting further updates.

As an aside, I noticed a lack of obvious grammatical errors. :pinkiehappy:

#4 · 106w, 6d ago · 2 · · Opening Move ·

But you did not answer the most important question of the chapter: did Twilight keep her promise and get to bed or will she be in deep trouble? :twilightoops:

#5 · 106w, 6d ago · · · Opening Move ·

So the changelings have allied themselves with the rebels? Just what has happened these past four years?

Sweetie, hope you tucked yourself in tightly. Because this ride isn't gonna stop for anything.

#6 · 106w, 6d ago · · · Opening Move ·

Have the changelings changed, or is Twilight going down the dark side?!  :pinkiegasp:

#7 · 106w, 6d ago · 13 · · Opening Move ·
#8 · 106w, 6d ago · · · Opening Move ·

Exactly how long is this after the last story? sounds like a few years.

#9 · 106w, 6d ago · · · Opening Move ·

>>1397700

Four years since Celestia's speech, I believe.

#10 · 106w, 6d ago · · · Opening Move ·

>>1397700

From the story summary, it is four years.

And this beginning was pretty damn awesome! Twilight going gray at such a young age... It is pretty clear how stressful this war has been on her.

Curious how Celestia has been holding up. And if Luna is still sane... :unsuresweetie:

Looking forward to more!

#11 · 106w, 5d ago · · · Opening Move ·

Heh noticed that this story has now officially been posted can't wait for the next chapters to come out and the part with the changelings is intriguing to say the least I can just imagine the other species that have joined twilight's cause and what Celestia is doing to get her back under her control and the fate of poor Luna.

#13 · 106w, 5d ago · · · Opening Move ·

I'll put the first on my read later list and come back to this. Also, true story, I was listening to Les Miserables when I found this. 25th Anniversary, to be exact, and I think Nick Jonas is less musical poison and more of a mild cold. It's somewhat unpleasant, but not too bad once you get used to it, and it'll go away soon enough.

#14 · 106w, 5d ago · · · Opening Move ·

Changelings! I totally called! :rainbowkiss: Cause I am so awesome :rainbowwild:

#15 · 106w, 4d ago · · · Black and White ·

Curiosity killed the cat.

Or more likely, in this case. Curiosity will kill Sweetie's innocence. :yay:

I am curious how the Ever Free movement will pitch themselves. How much truth, how much lies and how much will be held back...

#16 · 106w, 4d ago · · · Black and White ·

so want the everfree movement to win.

don't like this celestia and cadence.

#17 · 106w, 4d ago · · · Black and White ·

>>1407732 - The game of chess is hell on pawns. Sweetie is most definitely a pawn at the moment. Curiosity might just well kill Sweetie!

Can't say Rarity would much appreciate that though. It would all but doom Twilight's chance of converting any of the elements, granted that doesn't really look like an option.

>>1407839 - I thought Luna smacked Cadence down hard. But I agree... Celestia needs to die. Cadence, maybe not so much, but she definitely needs to be awoken to the reality of her birth and life. Though, more and more it seems like she supports the process.

#19 · 106w, 4d ago · · · Black and White ·

Go Luna!!! Bitch slap Cadence with the cold hard truth!

#20 · 106w, 4d ago · · · Black and White ·

>>1407910

Out of all of them, I would say Rainbow would be the most likely to at least consider what Twilight has to say. She was the only one who protested how Celestia was handling Twilight.

The others are being too obvious. Probably a ploy. And Applejack... well, if she can't see the truth of the situation, who else could?

And I have to agree about Sweetie being a pawn. For the moment anyway...

#21 · 106w, 4d ago · · · Black and White ·

>>1407923 - They are being controlled by their elements. Plus, both sides are telling the truth. Celestia came out and admitted what will happen to Twilight.

My problem is... her friends don't seem to care. Either that or again... they are being dominated, at least in part, by their elements. Obviously they don't seem to be in full super-powered element form at the moment, which strikes me as a bit odd, they'd be a potent offensive force that way.

#22 · 106w, 4d ago · · · Black and White ·

Sounds like Sweetie has already taken the bait, hook, line, and sinker.

#23 · 106w, 4d ago · · · Black and White ·

I had hoped that at least one of the Bearers of the Elements of Harmony had sided with Twilight, but it would seem that the Elements are a tighter leash than I had expected. Guess I shouldn't be surprised. The Elements do reek of Celestia's influence, after all.

I wonder how Twilight feels about using others since she despised being a tool herself.

#24 · 106w, 4d ago · · · Black and White ·

>>1408407 Hmm, wasn't paying attention to the last line in the first chapter were you?

and Twilight Sparkle's final gambit would pay for all. "That's all well and good," she mused, "But gambits rarely go well for the pawns."

Oh, also >>1407993 Both are indeed telling the truth, but you are forgetting 1 tiny small little detail... Celestia is mind controlling everypony in Canterlot, and anypony around the Elements. But also, if you agree with Twilight, you are a traitor and killed on the spot, and since everyone is being controlled by Celestia, they don't care how unfair and cruel it is. They are little sheeps in a world full of wolves. They do as their told and are too stupid to care if they don't have freewill to make choices. After all, who cares about a little useless thing like freewill when the alternative is the slight chance of getting hurt in a brawl maybe once in their lifetime.

#25 · 106w, 4d ago · · · Black and White ·

>>1409355 - It's a very subtle form of indoctrination, but it's not foolproof, and nothing as extravagant as outright control, save for those she 'harmonizes' herself it seems. I'm not even sure if that really works... The rest of the Mane 6 went after Twilight, but they thought she had been corrupted at the time, now they aren't under any allusions as to what's going on. Well, at least I hope not. As for the rest, some seem to have thrown off the shackles, and some it wasn't very strong to begin with. I expect proximity to be a strong part of the process.

For all Celestia has ponies in general running like clockwork, and she doesn't seem to care to bring the same level of control to most of the other races, there hasn't been much mentioned about them. Gryphons got a little bit, but the Dragons and Minotaurs, Buffalo and such...

#26 · 106w, 4d ago · · · Black and White ·

>>1410982 It is indeed proximity, they couldn't get any spies into canterlot cause it was too close to Celestia and they all fell under control. As for the elements. Her controlling is cause she controls the elements, so the elements are her forever eternal slaves, until they get severed from her control like Magic was. Also, I just remembered that actually Celestia lies about one thing. She says Twilight stole Luna's powers and that Luna is 'sick and recovering' Which we all know is a lie. Also she flat out told everyone she was going to mind rape the entire planet and bring 'peace and harmony' to the world, the other races not having a choice but to submit or die like Twilight. Oh, and of course she lies about controlling harmony too. Harmony is spose to be balance, good AND evil, harmony AND chaos, but her vision of 'utopia' won't bring balance at all, it will put everything on one side of the scale and tip the entire world over and ruin everything. Not to mention she is already controlling nature itself already.

She is just basically evil in every way possible, how can ponies NOT see it, unless stupid or controlled. Mostly the former I think.

#27 · 106w, 4d ago · · · Black and White ·

>>1411067 - I think your overestimating them. Plus, I don't think Celestia has lost complete control of the elements. Magic, yes, but the rest? Not so much. Just without magic, her control is limited. That's why the Elements seems to be split as to what to do.

As for society at large, they've been breed and raised to enjoy harmony, peace and prosperity. Celestia admits that all it would take to bring eternal peace is the sacrifice of one. I honestly can't say most would reject such a gift, especially if they aren't the one to pay the price.

#28 · 106w, 4d ago · 1 · · Black and White ·

Don't mind me, I'm just building a time machine so I can read the rest of the story.

Seriously though, I can't stop thinking about this story. And it's given me a book hangover.

Well done.

#29 · 106w, 3d ago · · · Black and White ·

You know, the bit during the news cast about the Gale Dancers and the volunteer group to fight the Windigos makes it sound like new information rather than a repeat story.

>>1411943

THANK YOU! I've been wondering what to call this. Can't really focus on other fics like I used to because Lines and Webs was too good.

When Golden Radiance mentioned that the talks provide good information, did she consider that Twilight might give away information about there side? :twilightoops:

>>1415480

War is calculated risk, my friend. Twilight has a good deal less to lose.

>>1415492

But Golden Radiance does not know what Twilight says in those meetings as far as the reader knows.

i had a strict bed time set for myself today (i would love to stay awake all night, but then i would have to sleep through most of the day...)...you ruined that with your damn wonderful story!

>>1415499

Absolutely true. There's a certain amount of trust there. But that's difficult to maintain.

Go Twily! Take your happyness where ever you can. :heart:

>>1415864

I must confess, I care for my characters far more than I should. I try and make them happy, when I can. :ajsleepy:

Has Twilight broken Celestia's spell over her (the one that guaranteed a conception on her first mating)?

Also, has she sterilized herself completely by now?

Twilight... Oh Twilight. I feel for her so much. Her entire life ripped away. Not bad enough that the promise of being able to take it back is right there all the time.

Down that road is nothing but submission and death though. Doesn't mean Twilight isn't tempted...

Excellent chapter! I liked seeing how Twilight was spending her time. Also, the tea time was very interesting. I probably spent more time trying to read into every line then I should have. But that is the nature of political intrigue...

#41 · 106w, 14h ago · · · Gambit's Beginning ·

Calm before a storm? Or is it too early for that?

#42 · 106w, 14h ago · · · Gambit's Beginning ·

EF uses bait against Sweetie. It is super effective!

:moustache:


You say there are six ponies in the picture, but only name five.

#43 · 106w, 14h ago · · · Gambit's Beginning ·

I love all of the espionage, counter-espionage, and counter-counter-espionage; it feels like a Tom Clancy book. Shadow wars are awesome.:twilightsmile:

#44 · 106w, 14h ago · · · Gambit's Beginning ·

>>1429014

Twilight counts as one.

#45 · 106w, 14h ago · · · Gambit's Beginning ·

>>1429111

Indeed, but only four besides her are named.

#46 · 106w, 14h ago · · · Gambit's Beginning ·

>>1429125

There we are. I think I was counting Spike for some reason.

#47 · 106w, 13h ago · · · Gambit's Beginning ·

>>1429140

Or maybe Silent Shield?

#48 · 106w, 13h ago · · · Gambit's Beginning ·

>>1429303

There's a reason he is called Silent Shield.

#49 · 106w, 12h ago · · · Gambit's Beginning ·

>>1429484 Is it cause he bashes ponies heads in with a shield? :unsuresweetie:

#50 · 106w, 11h ago · · · Gambit's Beginning ·

Loving it so far :D, cant get enough of your story, and Im impressed at how often you update, most authors its a week or more between chapters .-.. but kudos to you :D and keep on writing awesome stuff.

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