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More Stories22

  • E Martial Bliss

    Shining Armor learns the most important tactical lesson of his life.
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  • E Sun Princess

    In the final days of her life, an exceptionally faithful student muses on the subject of her perfect and immortal mentor Applejack.
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  • E Princess Celestia Hates Tea

    Seriously, a lot.
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  • E How to Remove a Unicorn Tooth

    Three missing pieces, two loving alicorns, and a single stupid decision that will set young Princess Cadence on a fresh new course.
    11,618 words · 13,392 views  ·  1,093  ·  12
  • E Derplicity

    Derpy Hooves is secretly a changeling. Nopony particularly notices, or cares.
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  • T Shipping Sickness

    Twilight Sparkle and her bedside table: like two 'ships that pass in the night.
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  • E Infernal Machines

    The touching tale of a pony and her pet mechanical salamander.
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  • E In the Bleak Midwinter

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Blog Posts109

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

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

    5 comments · 171 views
  • 1w, 18h
    Daring Do and the Siren's Curse

    Rainbow Dash hovered anxiously over the crowd.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    "All right," said Twilight Sparkle.

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

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

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

    "Loyalty," muttered Twilight.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Princess Twilight Sparkle's eyes grew flinty.

    * * *

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

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

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

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

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

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

    "I think they go great together."

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

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

    "More than you!"

    "Do not!"

    "Do too!"

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

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

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

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

    44 comments · 462 views
  • 1w, 5d
    "The First Time You See Her," complete!

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

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

    27 comments · 412 views
  • 3w, 4d
    Feeling Bad About Feeling Good

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

    So.  Just watched "Rainbow Rocks" again.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    I wonder what Lauren Faust thinks of me.

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

    It's the best I can do.

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

    81 comments · 808 views
  • 8w, 8h
    "Rainbow Rocks" (flagrant, persistent spoilers throughout, obvs.)

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

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

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

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

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

    Category B:  Things Actually Worse Than Last Film

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

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

    Category C:  Things Better Than Last Film

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

    That is all.  Thoughts?

    56 comments · 739 views
  • ...

Filly Cadence turns her first heart.  Part of the "Cadance of Cloudsdale" cycle; familiarity with the previous work is not required.  Thanks to G.M. Berrow for the inspiration.

First Published
26th Apr 2013
Last Modified
26th Apr 2013
#1 · 82w, 2d ago · 2 · ·

Oh, it's up! :yay:

Wonderful, wonderful thing. I can recommend it to absolutely everyone. A joy to read. I'm especially fond of the odd yet compelling character of foal!Cadence.

Also, that cover image? Squee-tastic. :twilightsmile:

#2 · 82w, 2d ago · · ·

Darn it, I want to go read this now but I'm not really in a position to do so.

I'll be back later, but in the meantime have an upvote, because I've seen enough work to be pretty darn sure that that'll be coming in an hour or so anyway.

#3 · 82w, 2d ago · 5 · ·


Sir, I am forced to remind you of our recent correspondence regarding this very eventuality. Thus, I am compelled by gentlemanly honor to issue a statement, in writing, of no small amount of vociferousness. I am fully cognizant of the possibility of such a missive to offend and inflame passions, but I am unable to deny the dictates of our previous agreement. And so, without further ado, my statement regarding your comment is this:

Get yer mitts off FimFiction, buster, and get some statistics work done, d'you hear?


Your obdt. srvnt. &c &c,



#4 · 82w, 2d ago · · ·

Here's to the Princess-Goddess.  May she always hold a piece of that childhood within her heart, no matter how many years go by.  :moustache:

#5 · 82w, 2d ago · 17 · ·

I see that the nuns trained Cadence in the Monkey Island school of problem solving. I eagerly await the story later in this Cycle you're building where she saves Cloudsdale with a rubber chicken that has a pulley in the middle.

Oh, and amazing work as always.

#6 · 82w, 2d ago · · ·

Great story :twilightsmile:

#7 · 82w, 2d ago · 1 · ·

There exists no adequate measure for quantifying the felicity the appearance of this story occasions! I played a bit role in the textual engineering that brought Skywriter's latest to your screens, and I hold both the author and this work in the highest regard. I implore you to become engrossed in his genius, post-haste, and get to know the brave, daring, preciously precocious ancient child known as Cadence, the Princess-Goddess of Reduit. :twilightsmile:

#8 · 82w, 2d ago · · ·

This is definitely awesome. It's like a little whimsical sojourn into joy, and a worthy addition that makes me desire the next entries even more than before!

#9 · 82w, 2d ago · 7 · ·

What a wonderful story!

Firstly, in general, it was great to see a new Cadence work from you -- I know it doesn't sound like much, but that alone made me giddy :heart:.

You said you were inspired by the Crystal Heart story -- a story that, in my opinion, I was back and forth about and went into your "Searching for Artists" blog: it actually made me briefly confused on how we were supposed to take your story, but you said you were merely inspired: it's not required reading, and is meant to fit into your Cadence stories though they aren't required reading either.

And boy does this story fit -- Honestly, the whole feeling of this story was very weird....weird, but in a good way: You have Cadence, a she has the body, and occasionally humorous and adorable behaviors of a child, but with the language and mentality of an adult (so it's sort of like the cartoon Rugrats or something :twilightsheepish:) have a world that is very very much classical and ancient, with Changling-snakes that strangely remind me of the snake from the Adam and Eve story of the christian Holy BIble...but at the same time, it's modern enough that it's almost overtly playing and parodying it.

And that's how I honestly felt about this story - it felt very very satirical, like it was playing with itself...things like Cadence because treated like a Savior, and then things like "May you be with you"...I couldn't help but laugh, which at the same time, made me feel weird: It's not that I didn't like this story or tried not to take it seriously...I just didn't know if I was supposed to take it seriously -- there is no Comedy tag for this story, but reading it along, I honestly wondered a few times if their should be one, or the only clown was me.

You certainly reference and tie into your other Cadence stories, and on that, you certainly do have the same sort of tragic feeling to it....I remarked, when I left my review for the Unicorn Tooth story, that everyone in that story was dissatisfied and unhappy, and in a way I got that feeling here too: It certainly ends up a happier note then that story did, but I just don't know....that was the feeling I got reading, alongside everything else -- perhaps it was the tragedy of the wicked witch, or her warning that Celestia will bring her down (and indeed, much of the Unicorn Tooth story was about Cadence not being who Celestia wanted her to be....and that Cadence wasn't happy with her life in Canterlot), but this story certainly had the same vibe as that story, even if they are 'detached'. I will also say that, although Prismia was intended to be her own character, I couldn't help thinking throughout the entire story, of Queen Chrysalis, and the dichotomy of herself and Cadence: this woman, Prismia, on one hand reminding me of classic witches and female antagonists from fairy-tales (like the witch who's embittered at not being invited to the royal ball or some such), while also seemingly showing that negative side to love like Chrysalis (or Cadence would if she were warped, heart-broken, or some such as I hypothesize she would), being that this woman is actually heart-broken and is now actually feeding off of the love and happiness of others to fill that void. Perhaps the ending, where she is rejuvenated or redeemed or however you would describe it by the love Cadence provides her, could be meant to express coming to terms with your loss and moving on in life new strength and wisdom - a wisdom she gives to Cadence as she warns her not to overly-invest her hopes with Celestia.

Now obviously, all of this "symbolism" could all just be grasping at straws, but even if all of this was subjective and not what you intended, I still had fun thinking these things because it just feels right with the deceptive simplicity of the fairy-tale tone of your story -- Love is both simple, yet it is not, and you express that here. Exploring the dichotomy of Cadence, a plucky innocent "child" and Prismia, a world-weary adult, looking at love from different angles, the seemingly comedic dichotomy of the story itself (in that it seems partly a serious fairy-tale kind of story set in an ancient past, and a more modern comedy that uses the former to laugh at itself)....again, perhaps the "depth" is as much as an illusion as Prismia's view on love, but even if that was the case, It was still fun reading and thinking through this story, even if I went really off-the-wall with it.

Your vocabulary is certainly rich and immersive, and you definitely gave me the Adventure feeling the tag was going for: the story's ancient and religious/classical undertones made for....I was just back-and-forth if the light-heartedness at times was good or before, it made me question how seriously I was supposed to take this: again, the fic as a whole, felt very satirical onto itself.

But I enjoyed it, I really did....I'm happy you are doing stories around the mare we love-love-love, and indeed, like I went into in your "searching for artists" blog, one idea I loved about GM Berrow's story, was the idea that she was actually not a unicorn, which meant she had to get people to love eachother without the use of her magic which suddenly sounds really, in your story, she is born an Alicorn and has just gotten her cutie-mark, but even so....I want to learn more about her -- what is the state of Equestria, how did we go from cosmic princesses to a paragon of love, how will she really go about spreading love that's where you come in, and I can't wait to read more from you :twilightsmile::heart:

#10 · 82w, 2d ago · 3 · ·

That picture is a health hazard

I mean look at it

Its diabeetez waiting to happen

Also nice origin story

#11 · 82w, 2d ago · 5 · ·

"The knight is wearing a hat because he is also a cowpony,"

Yup, that makes perfect sense:ajsmug:

#12 · 82w, 2d ago · 5 · ·

As always, you have beautiful, magical headcanon.

#13 · 82w, 2d ago · · ·

I ALMOST got this read before I had to go into work, but I didn't have quite enough time. :pinkiesad2:

Done now though. Argh, those two hours were torture!

Worth it! When is the next bit coming? :ajsmug:

#14 · 82w, 2d ago · 1 · ·


Calling all artists! Please render Shining Armour in a stetson! Calling all artists!

#15 · 82w, 2d ago · · ·


Best line of the story!

Excellent work, as per usual, Skywriter!

#16 · 82w, 2d ago · 4 · ·

You really are one of the few people on this site whom I'm inclined to upvote first, then confirm later by reading. I know it's probably a bad thing for a writer to hear, but I have to say it.

This is a lovely little fairy-tale of a story. I'm intrigued by almost every named character, and double intrigued by Prismia.

I can't wait to read more.

#17 · 82w, 2d ago · · ·

Are the G.M. Berrow stories worth reading?

#18 · 82w, 2d ago · 3 · ·


The lexicon of "...Crystal Heart Spell" is a little basic, and requires you to pass the same "why am I consuming children's media?" hurdle that you likely crossed when you started watching the cartoon, with added difficulty provided by the fact that the book seems to have a bit less depth and complexity than the show and is more classically suited to the original target demographic.  And the author makes a few choices that diverge from canon events; you get the sense that Ms. Berrow and the writing staff aren't exactly coordinating their efforts or anything.  That said, the characters are intact, recognizable, and well-drawn, and the author does manage to pull a couple really nice turns of phrase out of her hat.

#19 · 82w, 2d ago · · ·

Yeah, that was the good stuff.

#20 · 82w, 2d ago · · ·

"Mom!" I cry, galloping over to her and nuzzling up to her shoulder.

The white mare stammers something in what I assume must be the Equuish tongue before switching to Pegasopolian.  "No," she says, eventually.  "No.  Not your mother."

"Aunty!" I try again, still nuzzling.  Sloppy seconds, but I'll accept it.


Cracked up at this line, got funny looks from the rest of the room.  Well written, well edited, and both funny and touching at the same time.  Really nice story here!


#21 · 82w, 2d ago · · ·

HAHA! I'm not the only one reading these books!

I shall read your's hopefully soon.

#22 · 82w, 2d ago · · ·


And the author makes a few choices that diverge from canon events; you get the sense that Ms. Berrow and the writing staff aren't exactly coordinating their efforts or anything.  That said, the characters are intact, recognizable, and well-drawn, and the author does manage to pull a couple really nice turns of phrase out of her hat.

That's sort of how I felt as well - the whole concept of making a Post-Season 3 story is suspect....because are we supposed to even take this story as canon at all? What elements of it will be used in S4, if any? Hypothetically speaking, it could be the first episode(s) of S4 released months ahead of time :twilightoops:.

But I doubt it goes that far, and this is probably just a nice little story on the side -- my biggest issue was that it does what Magical Mystery Cure tried to do, but even worse: cramming and glossing in too much undeveloped material as quickly as possible (with that episode, the issue was reconciling Cutie-Marks and how far they go in people's lives, alongside Twilight's entire change which was something else entirely, and all in 22 min glossed over with songs every five seconds)....nevermind that there isn't much development on Alicorns in general, Cadence as a whole doesn't have much of a history and trying to squeeze that in as well while reconciling what we know about her (she was always apparantly an Alicorn, but Twilight referred to her as a "Unicorn" even in the flashback...and in the book, she was born a Pegasus now? :rainbowderp:), just makes for the same thing I felt when I watched the season finale: the less I think about it, the better...not at all the approach I would like (others can argue that I'm pedantic, but the depth of the writing is what attracted me - to *not* have to think about it, is like a repellant to what drew me to the show in the first place) but there is just too much conflicting things going on, nevermind wondering if this book was even canon in the first place.

As a whole, the decision to go with Twilicorn threw a wrench at everything, and with Cadence particularly, I get the feeling, moving forward, that we are meant to ret-con/ignore specific things like Twilight calling her a 'unicorn' for example. Again, Twilicorn changed everything mid-way and you get the feeling they are simultaneously trying to pick up the pieces at the same, at least, makes me hope they will even things out as time goes on.

If nothing else, the book indeed had a few interesting ideas that other fanfic authors might play with, like Alicorn's de-powering which I liked.

#23 · 82w, 2d ago · · ·

Gah <3 !

I have a feeling that this cycle will never be updated fast enough for me >.< but I already loves it so.

#24 · 82w, 2d ago · 1 · ·

"You must stay here with me.  Running water and ringing bells are proof against the glamours of the enemy."

Ah, so that's what Star Swirl's hat is about, then!

"Brave child," she says.  "May, er, may You bless you."

I smile up at her.  "Done," I say.

D'awwww, and also *chuckle*

"There," I say, spitting the pencil out.  "That is my knight in shining armor.  Some day he will come to the Abbey and get the Sisters' permission to take me away from there and we will go to Canterlot and have a big wedding with cake and lots of happy friends and then we will have babies because we are married."
Foreshadowing! :pinkiegasp:

"The knight is wearing a hat because he is also a cowpony," I explain.
Whoops, never mind, false alarm. :facehoof:


It's like a laser-guided cruise missile aimed straight at the :rainbowkiss: centers of my brain.

#25 · 82w, 2d ago · · ·

And the hoardsmith says, "it doesn't matter what a thing looks like. All that matters is what I can do with it!"

And what a thing you've done.

It feels very... I hesitate to call it "old-school", but what it certainly is is perfect for Cadance. I look forward to more stories about her.

#26 · 82w, 2d ago · · 3 ·


Cadence was not born as alicorn. She is former pegasus.

#27 · 82w, 2d ago · · ·

Once again, Skywriter produces a work of prose so magnificent I swear there's a little bit of magic hidden between the words. :twilightsmile:

#28 · 82w, 2d ago · 6 · ·


> "You must stay here with me.  Running water and ringing bells are proof against the glamours of the enemy."

Ah, so that's what Star Swirl's hat is about, then!

Hey >>2486880, are you listening?  Steal this for "You Can Fight Fate."  Steal this like a motherbucker.

#29 · 82w, 2d ago · · ·


No... of course I'm not listening! And any resemblance You Can Fight Fate bears to this story is entirely coincidental!

Seriously though, Fate is already 6/7 planned out, and a random invasion from the spirit world ain't in the cards.

#30 · 82w, 2d ago · 1 · ·

A story about a precocious pink child-goddess-princess saving her town by showing the wicked witch the true meaning of love, in the most literal possible fashion... and for all of its sweetness, it is neither saccharine nor cloying? Awesome. :rainbowkiss:

Now I'm imagining the total, panicky chaos in Canterlot as Celestia, having just discovered a surprise alicorn after centuries of loneliness, suddenly shoves the business of ruling Equestria aside and focuses all of her attention towards finding Cadence and bringing her to Canterlot. :trollestia:

#31 · 82w, 1d ago · · ·


Quite a good point. Perhaps it's a fae-shield. Hadn't thought of that, but it makes sense.

#32 · 82w, 1d ago · · ·

I love your work, Skywriter - thanks for posting it.

#33 · 82w, 1d ago · · ·


Yeah, the "Cadance of Cloudsdale" cycle was in the works long before Ms. Berrow dropped that tidbit.  I like to dance with canon as much or more as the next ficcer, but at this point, the concept of Cady being a birth-alicorn is so much a part of the foundation of the series that I can't really go back and change it now (recent events are in fact beginning to hint, the toy-only Princess Skyla notwithstanding, that there are no birth-alicorns).  Additionally, I still don't quite understand how canonical the light novels are supposed to be.  If Trixie is indeed constantly hanging around looking for mischief, as Berrow implies, it kind of clashes with her quasi-redemption at the end of "Magic Duel"; and while that character is all about backsliding, it seems odd that something intended to nail down canonicity across the board wouldn't at least mention those events.  I suspect that Berrow was handed a few details of Season 3 from on high (Crystal Heart, Crystal Empire, Cady as Crystal Princess & Twilicorn) and let loose, and her work is going to perforce diverge from the show scripts.

Anyway, this story was an attempt to work "...Crystal Heart Spell" into my existing framework as best as I can without breaking either.  Thanks for the comment!

#34 · 82w, 1d ago · · ·


Er, sorry, I mis-replied below.  Yes, that's a great idea about Starswirl's hat.  And, yes, I couldn't do my one filly Cady story without at least nodding at the fact that her wedding day is indeed "the kind of day of which (she) dreamed since (she) was small".  Thanks for the comment!

#35 · 82w, 1d ago · · ·

Humm, another present tense story. I'm still getting used to it, but it bothered me less than the first time I read Unicorn Tooth. But that's probably me, not being used to it. The present tense in Unicorn Tooth really ended up growing on me. There, it really felt like and older Cadence reliving her distant, yet still vivid memories.

Which is odd, because the use of the present tense here sends my mind in a completely different direction. I could not picture that older Cadence at all, instead, it feels like she's telling me the story as it happens to her. Strange that I've had too different reactions to the same thing depending on the story.

Anyway, loved the story. Skywriter, you could easily be a children's author if you wanted. If I had to read bedtime stories to children I would probably use this one.

Looking on in horror, I see Lady Prismia raise a hoof in an occult gesture.  Her horn flares a brilliant emerald, and out of the forest, the snakes come to her.  One by one, they twitch and spasm and then vomit up their cargo of heart-light.  The light dissipates into mist as soon as it is out of their mouths, and I can see Prismia desperately sucking in great gulps of breath, frantically eager to taste even a little bit of each bundle of light before it vanishes into the air and is gone.  Even the small amount that she manages to breathe in never reaches her heart, which remains cold and black and lifeless; not fresh-wounded and empty, like the ponies of the fortress, but scarred so shrunken and tight that there is no room left in it for any light at all.  Time and time again she repeats this, her frustration and rage growing with every attempt, until the present crowd of serpents is entirely exhausted.  At last, snarling in rage, she sends them away again, to hunt more hearts.

I loved this paragraph. It takes a very abstract concept and makes it concrete and tangible. This is how to do magic that sits on the wondrous and unknowable end of Sanderson's First Law.

#36 · 82w, 1d ago · 1 · ·


I approach Pony like that one Indigo Girls song recommends:  The less I seek its source for some definitive, the closer I am to fine.

#37 · 82w, 1d ago · · ·

My Celestia... this work is honestly got to be one of my absolute favourites. Of all time. No exceptions.

:raritystarry: I am determined to write something as good as this. I finally have something to aim for. :rainbowdetermined2:

#38 · 82w, 1d ago · · ·

All I can say is, daaaaaaaawwwwwwwww!!!:pinkiesad2:

Why hasn't any other pegasus thought to use their wings for inventory storage?:duck: It's ingenious!

#39 · 82w, 1d ago · · ·


As cool as a random spirit world invasion would be for YCCF, what I meant was: the explanation for Star Swirl's belled hat.  We know from canon he's got one (Luna and Twilight discuss it in Luna Eclipsed) and the notion that it's some sort of magical protection is magnificent in a way that makes me wonder why I never thought of that.

In your context, perhaps it would be (say) to keep him from hearing others if he knows he's suffering from changeling venom?  Though I don't know whether you even plan changelings in that particular part of the timeline.


I stopped by the thread at 5 AM, to seek solace in a comment, or possibly a friend …

#40 · 82w, 1d ago · · ·

Hard to see the light now...

...Just don't let it go.

Things will be all right now.

We can make it so!

Someone is on your side.

No one is alone.

I think I have a new Pony headcanon-resonance thing for this song. (Previously it was Fluttershy-based, with "Zebras can be right; Dragons can be good...")

I love love love the name thing.

Bit of non-clarity: is the amulet the Alicorn Amulet (or related), or is it the image of Cadance's cutie mark? (Or both, I suppose...) Google doesn't seem to turn up much about asterite, beyond a character from a game I've never played.

#41 · 82w, 1d ago · · ·

This version of filly Mi Amore is no less in sophistication compared to the likes of Alia and Leto II when they were kids, and her thinking and acting like a filly is portrayed very convincingly. I am thoroughly impressed :raritywink:

#42 · 82w, 1d ago · 1 · ·


You have good taste, because that, dear friend, is one of the great English language musicals.  When Twilight is in my head, it's one of her favorites.  The Baker's lament "No More" is actually on my Twilight Sparkle playlist, and the line "All the wondering what even worse is still in store" gives her chills.  She resonates with the battered hero who's had to save the world one too many times and is feeling quite burned out.

Sorry to take it on a tangent.  I just go all fanboy over Sondheim, which is why I love it when Daniel I. riffs on it for his songs in the show.

The amulet is a unique magic item introduced by G.M. Berrow in "...Crystal Heart Spell" and is explicitly identified as Cady's "favorite necklace" in the text of that book.  It is said to resemble the Crystal Heart but for the purposes of this story has to be distinct from it.  "Asterite" is entirely made-up; the substance is exclusively referred to as "Cosmic Spectrum" in the book.

#43 · 82w, 1d ago · · ·


Thank you.  I was trying for "child-like thought patterns with a nonetheless huge experiential vocabulary gained over hundreds of years" but was quite worried that people would just see "Sky tries to write a child and fails by making her too wordy".  Glad I pulled it off in your eyes.

#44 · 82w, 1d ago · 3 · ·

I giggle at the thought of the witch-mare cowering before me, which helps the dark shadows to either side of the path recede a bit...

Laughter. :pinkiesmile:

"I can bring you some of my toys, if that would help," I say, suddenly desperate to fill the black void in Prismia's heart.  "I have more than enough.  Or, maybe, I can ask the Sisters to come up and to play games with you, if you like?"

Generosity. :raritywink:

"If you won't let me love you with presents or games, then I guess I'll just have to love you with myself."

Kindness. :yay:

"Give up, child," she sneers.  "Spare yourself.  Let go, and the hurt goes away."

"You need this," I say, tears forming in my eyes, "more than I need to stop hurting."

Loyalty. :rainbowdetermined2:

"You didn't want their love!  You wanted to be alone!  Alone with your thing!  And you told them so, so sternly that they had no choice but to believe you!"

Honesty. :ajsmug:

"Hey, do you think that when we're done talking to the Sisters and getting some lunch you can start showing me how to do that?"

"Do what, child?"

"How to lift things, like you do!  How to use my horn to do magic!"

Friendship leading to Magic? :twilightsmile:

This could be coincidental, but somehow I doubt it. :trollestia:

I'm a great admirer of your work, Skywriter - I humbly beseech thee to continue to bestow the wonders of your imagination upon us.


The Ponytrician.

#45 · 82w, 22h ago · · ·


Thanks for the nice comment and nice analysis!  :pinkiehappy:

#46 · 82w, 21h ago · · ·

Gosh, this story is quite heartwarming.

"Is she... bad?" I ask, a bit nervous at the scary picture Prismia is paining with her words.
You might have meant painting.

#47 · 82w, 17h ago · · ·


Eek. Thanks for catching.

#48 · 82w, 14h ago · · ·

Oh, that was just wonderful.

I tap at the stallion's head.  "The knight is wearing a hat because he is also a cowpony," I explain.

Especially this bit right here. I can just picture the first time she runs into Shining Armor, "Welcome to Caaaaaaaaaaaanterlot!"

#49 · 82w, 12h ago · 1 · ·


Now you've got me curious as what Andrew Francis's takes for Braeburn sounded like.

Comment posted by Joural deleted at 2:33am on the 29th of April, 2013
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