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Retrospective: Diamonds · 5:11pm Jun 15th, 2017


“So, my dear princess, mind telling me exactly how many shades of red you went within the first few days of our meeting?”

“Why do you think I would be counting?”

“Because I happen to know for a fact you counted the other thing. And yes, you need to include that shade of red as well.”

“You do realize I can’t see my face on a regular basis, so I can’t verify that the shades were identical.”

“Humor me?”


“I promise to give you five more shades by sunrise.”

“…three thousand, nine hundred and thirty-two.”

“That seems about right.”

“You’re enjoying this, aren’t you?”


Welcome to the Retrospective on Diamonds Amidst the Stars.


So, by now, you know that I had a bit of a hand in Monochromatic’s Interwoven Colours contest. In fact, I'm still dealing with it, because I'm a judge! I have extremely fond memories of us lobbing lines back and forth to one another, hammering out the details long after midnight. In fact, I will take credit for that opening sequence at the beginning of her blog post. We needed something truly purple (Only fitting due to Twi and Rares). And, as some of you may noticed in And a Sky Full of Stars, I can indeed write purple when I want to—and occasionally do it when I don’t want to. Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that the whole night was crazy amounts of fun.

Oh. I would also like to point out that Swan Song had apparently been bugging Mono to do something like this for a year and I convinced her to do it within 72 hours. :ajsmug:

I actually started writing my RariTwi story that night (though I think that was before we did the stuff for the contest, ironically. Maybe I was just doing it as a favor for Mono?). I needed a new story anyway, since I had finished The Fallen Tower shortly before leaving for BabsCon.

That story is not this story.

Originally, my story was going to be a Slice of Life fic about Rarity and Twilight in Manehattan. Rarity is helping Fluttershy with her new line of knit art (see her Mini Comic for details on her “crazy knowledge of sewing”) while Twilight is dealing with some asinine nobility from Trottingham, who are messing with trade routes to Griffonstone. 

One of the main themes was going to be confidence. Essentially, the nobles Twilight are dealing with are total jerks and won’t treat Twilight like a princess (the political role, not the entitlement role). I think it was born out of a suggestion of Mono of doing some sort of story where Rarity teaches Twilight how to act like a princess… and probably a few of my own issues. Heh.

But after I got home… I found I was bored with the story. It didn’t sound interesting. I knew it was going to take far longer than the 10,000 word limit (ironic since Diamonds ended up close to 30,000) and even if it was an unofficial entry, I wanted to at least respect it. 

So, I tossed the entire thing away. This is actually a first for me. I will often recreate, rewrite and retool, but I rarely completely abandon stories. But in this case, it was the right call.  Especially considering the crazy reaction Diamonds got. 

So, I hear you asking… how the heck did Rarity end up as a deer?

Well, before going to Babscon, I chose a story to read on the plane ride and during my free moments. Reading is one of the few ways I can truly center myself. And considering how much socialization I would have to do, I needed a story I could retreat to from time to time. 

After some debate, I ended up with It’s a Dangerous Business, Going Outside Your Door. It’s one of the first epics I read on entering the FimFic community (Fallout: Equestria doesn’t really count, since I did that as part of GoE). I loved that entire story from start to finish. It showed me what was possible in this fandom. And it also played on something I’ve been a fan of since we first saw the deer of the Everfree in the comics: deer in MLP are the equivalent of elves (Yeah, yeah. I know, we’ve seen non-sapient deer in the show, but I think that’s utterly absurd). It’s a cool concept! The other reason I read Dangerous Business was I wanted to get into Beyond the Will of Evil afterwards… but that ended up being too dark for me. :twilightoops:

After that, I wanted to play with the concept of deer in Equestria, but I still wanted to deal with Twi as a Princess struggling with her position in the world. That meant Twi needed to remain an alicorn. So, that left only one possibility.

Rare’s gonna lose the horn and go a bit more shapely in a few ways. 


Time for a bit of a biology lesson. Did you know that for almost every species of deer on earth, none of the females have antlers, save for a few specific biological situations? The only species of female deer with antlers is the reindeer. 

Now, in Dangerous Business, there’s a deus ex machina with having female deer having antlers for the casting of magic. (Spoilers: They pretty much asked God. And by pretty much, I mean they literally ask “God.”) While I could have gone that way (or since it was an AU, I could have just stated flat out that in this universe, both genders had antlers), I decided I didn’t want to. Part of that is because I don’t like just making those kinds of changes because it would be easier. After all, cool stuff occurs when you’re forced to limit yourself. The other part? I’d seen something else cool for them.

That led me back to one of my favorite “Altered Mane 6” artists of all time, Sizri

I decided to investigate this world he had created and instantly fell in love with the sheer amount of detail and thought gone into it. First of all, there are five races of deer instead of the four pony races (if one counts the alicorn as a race). 

Eikerren as the deer alicorns.

Fordeer as a forest-dwelling earth ponies with hyperactive senses. 

Peryton as the deer pegasi (I can’t handle how cute they are).

Nordeer as the mountain-dwelling earth ponies who use runic magic. 

And finally, the Virtrung, the magical race of deer with crystal hooves and flowing magical patterns on their legs. Seriously, how awesome is that? It had tons of potential. It was so freaking different and so freaking cool.

So, I went with that as the concept for the deerkin we would see in Rarity through her arrival in the Diamond City of Canterlot. However, I decided to twist one aspect of Sizri's deer. You see, all of Sizri's deer had something called spotmarks, which are the equivalent of cutie marks.

What if they didn’t?

What if… deerkin normally didn’t have cutie marks, spotmarks or soul marks?

Quick aside: I called them soul marks because cutie mark has always sounded ridiculous to me. I wanted something stronger and better reflective of what these things actually were.

So… that becomes the big twist we get in The Starbound Bond. Something that dear Sunset knew from the get-go… and Twilight happened to not know because she doesn’t study much of the other races of the world. That dialogue is still among my favorite in the story of Sunset getting to finally shout it out to the world.

Before we leave the development of the deerkin (yeah, I just think “deerkin” sounds cooler than deer), I want to give a special shoutout to Sizri. I did ask permission to use his world and he was kind enough to offer both the world and his art for my original version of the cover. Go check him out! Right now!


Now, let’s talk about the rest of this world!

The problem with being a discovery writer is often the ideas I get come from nowhere. I don’t know why I went with the Diamond Wall. I do know it was there before the name of this story changed from its original title of Beneath the Crystal Boughs, which was eventually shortened to Beneath Crystal Boughs

The original idea was that the Golden Boughs were going to play a much bigger role. You got a glimpse of that with the image of the arcane willows, but I ended up leaving that concept and going with something completely different. 

However, Sunset was there from the start. Anyone surprised? 


Didn’t think so.

In this world, I wanted Sunset to actually be Celestia’s daughter by blood. However, since I’m a shameless SunLight shipper, I couldn’t very well have them both just there, so I added the concept of the Royal Five. Celestia adopted Twilight (though her parents are alive and well) into the Royal Family, so now, Sunset is Twilight’s big sister. The idea of Sunset as Twilight’s sister also came from a Writeoff Story by Posh called "The Wheel Turns" based on the prompt “From the Ashes” back in March of 2017. Really cool idea (and absolutely nothing like this story), though I won’t go into that much because I can’t remember if that’s been published or not.

However, I will tell you that originally, Sunset was supposed to be fooling around with only Moon Dancer. I didn’t get the idea for having a Sci-Twi there until Rarity and Twilight were actually on the balcony. In fact, I got to a fifth draft before I realized that the wonderful reference to Witchcraft is Magic line wouldn’t work as well with Sci-Twi hanging out in Sunny’s chambers. So I needed to add Twilight’s line about “You do realize the pony in your chambers is a direct contradiction of that fact, right?”

To which Sunset replies with ‘meh.’

Yes, I pulled off both RariTwi and SunLight ships in the same story. ./micdrop

Can I just say that Sunny was a delight to write in this? She’s so damn snarky and irreverent. She loves Twilight and would do anything for her, but they’re still sisters, so Sunset does tease her rather mercilessly. This is still Sunset, but it felt like a Sunset free of her guilt and troubles. She’s confident. She has everything, but she still loves her family and her people. She’s everything Sunset has the potential to become.

She also seriously kicks flank.

Unlike Twilight.


We all do stupid things to show off for the ones we love. So, while Twilight’s had some combat training—despite there being a war on—Twilight isn’t very proficient at battle magic. And yes, I may have alluded to this a bit with Rarity’s tease about matching magical wits with her in The Dappled Doe.

However, those around Twilight don’t have nearly the same issue. Rarity’s a master starsilver shaper and someone who works with such weapons should have some idea how to use them. Now, her moves are quick, subtle and graceful, exactly as Rarity would be in combat. We don’t really see Starlight and Trixie’s combat styles, but I see Trixie as the deflector, able to dodge with incredible speed, while Starlight’s the heavyweight, just blasting away with pure force. But even more exciting we get to see Shining Armor going full-on Captain America/Protection Paladin flinging that shield around. I just love the idea of him chucking a magically enchanted shield at his enemies and watching them blow apart into smoke.

For the record, Shining Armor thinks that the deerkin betrayed Equestria by sending a single doe to their aid. That’s why he’s so ticked off at Rarity. Her presence a meaningless gesture to him… something he quickly realizes isn’t the case at all. We’ll come back to him in a bit, because I know some people had some issues with his attitude.

Now, taking a look at the battle as a whole. One of my editors had some serious issues with the entire combat scenario of The Fallen Gate. He wanted it to be a bigger scene with a bigger focus on tactics. Or to remove it altogether. He felt it didn’t fit. And while I could see where he was coming from, I didn’t agree. I ended up asking for a few second opinions (because sometimes I’m just being stubborn and I needed to know if this was one of those times). The issue was, that battle ended up not only establishing the world much better, but it also showed Rarity and Twilight in a high-stress environment, to show how they acted under that kind of pressure. 

In the end, I decided those moments in the battle help define their relationship. Twilight’s injury allows us to have the delicious dreaming scene. And the entire thing folds into Twilight’s confidence as a Princess. Plus, we get to see their motives for what they did. After all, they both admit they didn’t go charging out there just to be heroes. 

Nothing like a life-and-death battle to help make a diamond shine, right? 

Oh shut up. It was funny and you know it.

Now let’s talk about the fight atop the Diamond Wall, because before the second-to-last draft, that didn’t exist.

No matter what, my editor’s challenge about the combat scene turned out to be a good thing. Significant things were changed between the second draft (no one saw the first draft save for me) and the final version. And if my editor hadn’t fought this, the story would have been poorer for it. 

Originally, the Harmony Gate was actually a courtyard with one enormous gate on one side and three smaller gates on the other. The shadowkin had breached the main gate and were trying to push through into the smaller gates leading to the city proper. Sunset and Luna had two gates covered while Celestia was dealing with what became the siegebreaker in the courtyard. Shining Armor’s forces were defending the third gate, but Shining goes down in a very similar way, much to the horror of Twilight.

So, why’d I change things?

First of all, I hate stopping the action to describe scenes. I didn’t even like doing the accelerated perception spell originally (which is why Twi is constantly struggling to keep it up, to keep the story grounded in the action, even if it’s not technically happening). Originally, when they teleport out to the master waygate, I stop everything and describe what Equestria’s allies were doing. Another fun fact: I actually forgot about the griffons entirely until the last second, (despite having mention of Scoots—yes, that’s Scoots—as a griffon chick), which is why they’re not actually in the battle, but acting as rapid response teams across Equestria. 

Stop. Deer CMC time.


Anyway, that was one of the reasons. Simply to make it easier for Twi and company to see what was going on. But there ended up being a few other benefits to the wall.

It removed Twilight and Company from the direct action of the invasion itself. While the shadowkin are trying to take the wall from above and below, the main force is focused on the main gate. They don’t have the aerial forces to overwhelm the ballista of the Diamond Palace beyond the Wall. It also allowed our heroines the chance to get a better glimpse of the master waygate in a natural location and be at a unique place to strike at it. 

So, while it was a pain to rework The Fallen Gate, I’m pretty happy with the final result. And you have to admit, Rarity was pretty damn badass in there. But Twilight did indeed have her moment to shine. Literally. With a star and everything. 

It was cool. :twilightsmile:


I’ve said before how much I enjoyed creating the fantastic AU in And a Sky Full of Stars. I’ve also said this story was supposed to bring that type of worldbuilding into play, but combine it with the eternally fun banter of History

Now, looking back, I realize something about the reactions I got between And a Sky Full of Stars and Diamonds Amidst the Stars

First of all, I have a thing for stars.

Second of all, I got two very different (yet similar) reactions. Sky resulted in cries of “not enough” for the worldbuilding. Diamonds resulted in cries of “MOAR PLZ!”

So, what’s the difference? Well, for one thing, length. Sky was 15K. Diamonds was 30K. That’s because Sky was written to actually be around the 10K mark for FoME’s contest. But I didn’t have that limit on Diamonds

But the other thing is that Princess Sunset Shimmer spends a lot of time alone in Sky. She gets some good banter in the beginning with Princess Twi and some really good stuff with Philomena. But Sky was meant to be an action fic. Diamonds was meant to be a shipfic. 

So, because it’s a shipfic, I got to spent a lot more time with the characters. And through the characters, we got to see more of the world. 

And what characters they were.

Here’s the fun thing: Rarity just somehow clicked for me. And this is my first time writing her. At all. I’ve never penned her before in any story. But I go by a very simple rule when it comes to writing characters:

Can I hear the dialogue in the voice of the character themselves? 

It’s a solid rule, but it takes getting to know the show pretty well. Everypony has their own form of diction and their own unique vocabulary in the show. This is the most obvious in Applejack, of course, but there’s much more to it than that. Just putting a country accent on Applejack won’t make it Applejack. You need to get the personality right. How does AJ say what she says? What does she do while she says it?

Not to toot my own horn, but I think one of my strongest writing skills is banter (one of the reasons why Shining took several people by surprise, because he didn’t have the best banter). Rarity just delights in riffing off of Twi’s embarrassment and awkwardness. Every single blush is another tease. Rarity was glorious to write. Twilight was glorious to write. Sunset was glorious to write. All of them. They were freaking epic.

As I said, I realized it’s something I missed in Sky. Sky is “15,000 words of Sunset wrecking holy vengeance.” But she doesn’t get anypony to work off of until Philomena and Faenara come on stage. I had the action and the worldbuilding, I didn’t have any true character moments until the final chapter. 

I just like my characters, okay? And I love to hear them yammer back and forth.

Blame Albinocorn. He taught me how to play off of Twi’s embarrassment. Probably better than anyone (though he didn’t technically force me to read Long Road to Friendship four or five times…). 


In my first draft, I pretty much had set up that Twi and Rares were meant to be together because of Rares’s soul mark. However, I don’t like destiny as a plot device. As a final revelation of “this is what you were meant to be/do all along as you worked toward it without knowing it,” that’s fine. But compelling characters to be together because they’re destined feels like lazy writing. It’s one of the reasons why, all the way back in Applications, Celestia describes the mirror that Sunset sees herself in as something that shows “potential,” not destiny. 

Destiny means that it’s set in stone. Potential means free will has a much bigger role to play in it. And that’s one of the reasons why Twilight asks Rarity if she would accept just being friends. 

I don’t hide the fact that the two of them find one another attractive on a physical level. But relationships are more than that, as we all know. So, I worked in the idea that when they were reaching for the stars (Rarity for inspiration, Twilight for putting them up in the sky), they were actually touching one another’s souls in the process. This progressed their relationship substantially. In fact, they already know one another. They have for years. They just don’t know they know. That inspiration and those emotions were a mystery to them. It would be like being penpals with someone for a long time and then instantly being best friends with them (or even falling in love) when you meet. It’s because they’d already seen each other on a primal level.

This wasn’t destiny. Their connection had already happened. This was the natural development. Now, if you want to call that destiny, fine. But they aren’t together because of destiny. They’re together because of the bond they shared across the stars… and Rarity’s irrepressible flirting. :twilightsmile:

However, I expressly did not state that they were in love. They just met each other. While there is a thing called love at first sight, I’ve been around long enough to know that’s usually a crush at first sight. I can’t stand stories that start a romantic relationship and within a day or two, one of them is already confessing their love. In my experience, that’s simply not realistic. I didn’t love my wife when I first met her. I found her attractive and fun. I definitely liked her. But love is something that takes time. I wanted to make sure to respect that time in this relationship. And it may be something I explore in the future. Both between these two and in others you may be wondering about.

Finally, I wanted to move the focus away from destiny and to soulmates. Soulmates traditionally means a romantic relationship, but I stretched the definition a bit. It doesn’t have to be. I even went with Old Souls, another term cribbed from Babylon 5. They know each other, throughout time and space. 

Rarity and Twilight are a universal constant. Just like Twilight and Sunset in SunLight Sliders and And a Sky Full of Stars. But how that universal constant plays out is radically different from one vision to the next. In this universe, Twilight and Sunset are sisters. In Sky, they’ve been married for a few thousand years. In SunLight Sliders, they’re just developing that relationship. But they can also just be friends, too. The point is that they’re together. And it works for Rarity and Twilight just as well. 

After all, we see in “The Cutie Re-Mark” what happens when those bonds are broken. One might say that the entire Mane 7 (yes, I’m including Sunset) are soulmates with one another. 

In fact, I am saying it. Because I want to. And I love the idea!


Believe it or not, originally Twilight was going to be 76 in the first draft of this story. In fact, if the age conversation between Twi and Rares struck you as odd at all, it’s because I reworked it from that. The idea was that Twilight is indeed immortal in this universe after ascending. However, because of the magic that gave Rarity her soul-mark… well… she’s not aging like she should either. She doesn’t know why. It could be because of Twilight. It could be because of her connection to the stars. Or her work with starsilver. It could be a completely different reason.

We don’t know. Well, I know. But I’m not telling.

The original idea was that Twilight had been a princess for thirty years and still felt uncomfortable in her role. Unappreciated and unloved. A bit like we see her in “Twilight’s Kingdom.” However, I didn’t come up with the astronomer bit until one of the last drafts. 

We were supposed to get the idea that there’s something very unique about Rarity since she still looked to be around Twilight’s age (20-30) when she’s in her seventies.

However, someone pointed out a serious problem with this.

Namely, what about the mortals? Shining Armor, Twilight’s parents, etc. When I realized that, the story just made so much more sense with a shorter time frame from Twilight’s ascension. So, I shifted it to ten years. It made a lot more sense that way.


How many of you hated me for Radiant Hope’s interruption of that kiss? Yeah, okay. That’s enough hands. You can stop waving. Seriously. I get it. PUT THEM DOWN ALREADY!

You have to admit though, she warned them. And it was so fun to suddenly just have her haul the two out, plop them on their tails and tell Twilight to be more discrete than her bodyguards. 

Anyway, I wanted a more dramatic first kiss. And I’d say I got it—and then some—in The Jeweled Night. 

Seriously, that was some of the best romance I think I’ve ever written for that balcony. But not the best. Not yet. You haven’t seen that yet. 

What I have planned in Sparks will (hopefully) make you burst out in tears. I know it does for me. :twilightsmile:


In the first draft, the shadowkin didn’t have any names for their various forms. They were just ‘flying things,’ ‘snake things,’ ‘imp things,’ etc. However, this makes them a lot less threatening visually and doesn’t give the reader much to work with.

So, I pulled from several different sources, mostly from Blizzard games because I’ve played them so much. I cribbed a lot from Diablo 3, because Diablo 3 enemies had the aesthetic I was going for. 

The shadowfliers I saw as crosses between dragons and bats, sorta like the Demonic Hellflyers from Diablo 3.

 We had the massive siegebreaker which I sorta based off the Siegebreaker Assault Beast, also from Diablo 3.

We also have a brief mention of the blackbulls, which are—again—inspired by Diablo 3. This time, they are based on the Savage Beasts.

But my favorite one was the shadowlisk. For anyone who’s played Starcraft, you already know what this is. It’s the nightmare version of the classic hydralisk.

This thing was designed to be nasty as hell. And just look at that thing. Now imagine in coated in black tar or pitch. Phew. Intense stuff. 


The funny thing is, as popular as this alternate universe had proven to be, that was never meant to be the focus. The focus is purely on an alicorn and a doe experiencing this world firsthoof in the midst of an ongoing conflict against the forces of darkness encroaching upon their lands. 

It’s about an alicorn who can’t seem to find her place in her own government, knowing she’s not trusted by the people and not having nearly enough confidence to do anything about it herself. All the while, she wants nothing more than to go back to the life she once had, when things were so much simpler.

It’s about a doe who’s been all but exiled from her own people for something she had no control over, cast aside as a token gesture to honor a treaty the deerkin no longer care about. A doe looking for her purpose in life and trying to figure out why she’d been saddled with this strange pony mark… and terrified when she finally finds the alicorn who might be the source of it all. 

It’s about these two characters finding the other pieces of themselves in one another. Twilight finds reckless confidence and then true confidence in the adoration of Rarity, knowing that she is wanted, valued and appreciated. Not just as a princess, but as a mare. She’s validated for being who she is, imperfections and all. 

Rarity, on the other hoof, comes across so strong to be overwhelming because it’s a coping mechanism for that fear. She’s far from home, completely alone. While she’s a master at her craft—and has no doubt as to her skill—few appreciate it. In Twilight, she finds acceptance, appreciation and the source of her connection to the stars, the very thing that makes her own gifts so special. She’s no longer the outsider. 

In the end, I guess this story is about validation. We all need it. And it’s been a theme that’s come up again and again in recent months for me and certain friends of mine (you know who you are). However, the thing about validation—especially for the creative types—is that tends to be a leaky plug at best. It’s always going to leak out… and you’re going to crave more. 

I’ve been told that the only way to get that validation is finding it within yourself. If that’s true, I haven’t reached that point. I’ve spoken about the Global Contest I won an Honorable Mention in. And years later, that still helps fuel my validation, but I find I still need it here too. I want the confidence to go ahead. But I still push ahead even when there is no confidence. Because writing—and creating—comes down to perseverance and discipline. Just sitting down and doing the work.

You’ll never make everyone happy. Ever. At the end of the day, the first person you need to make happy is yourself. If you can enjoy your own story, then you’ve done a good job. Can it improve? Almost certainly. But you are the final arbiter of it. 

The catch is to learn how to use that validation you do get. And to trust in your friends when they offer validation. It’s too easy to pick apart the encouragement of others and find all the flaws in their logic (I’ve done this more times than I can count). Because of one error, an entire conversation of encouragement could get ignored because you’re focused on that one error. 

Validation comes from trust. Trusting in yourself. And when that’s not possible (and it’s often not), trusting in the validation of those who have proven themselves to be encouraging and kind people. Surround yourself with people who care about you as a person, but who aren’t afraid to stand up to you when you make a mistake. It’s a balance that’s going to get knocked out of whack all the time. Sometimes it’ll feel like they’re being “just nice,” and sometimes it’ll feel like they’re being total jerks who don’t appreciate anything you do.

But when the chips are down and you’re at your lowest… these people can pull you out of that pit. If you’ll let them. 

It’s a choice. So, if you can get validation internally, keep that close, because I think very few people have it. But if you’re like me and so many others… trust your friends. After all, it’s what Luna did in “Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep.” The only way to defeat the demon of the Tantubus, the accumulation of all of her guilt… was by accepting others declaration of trust, love and friendship. 

Don’t be stingy with those words. Those kinds of words kill demons. And every one of us has our own demons we fight day in and day out. 

So today, find a friend who’s hurting. One who needs encouragement. Force yourself out of your comfort zone… and reach out a helping hand to them. Tell them that they are an amazing author. A fantastic artist. A superb musician. That they can do what they want to do… if only fear and doubt weren’t clouding their minds.

And for the creatives? Believe your friends’ words. That’s going to be your biggest hurtle. Don’t let yourself dismiss them. Accept their words and let them fuel you into your next creative endeavor.

Because we’re best when we’re together, interwoven with one another, in thought, in emotion, in words and in life. 

That’s called harmony, folks. And that’s called friendship.

And what better symbol of that harmony—showing souls interwoven with one another—than magical rainbow lasers?

Oh yeah, and good stories about ponies finding the other piece of themselves in one another. That’s a pretty good example too. 

Until next time, this has been Novel Idea. Have fun out there! 

Comments ( 7 )

Your retrospectives always improve my mood. Thanks, Novel, this one is really great (especially the message).

:twilightsmile: Another great look behind the scenes. So that's the story behind the deer, eh? And the shadowkin? Interesting, interesting. And, of course, I really liked the talk about validation, both as a theme of Diamonds and in general. Very wise words, all around.

One might say that the entire Mane 7 (yes, I’m including Sunset) are soulmates with one another.

*side-eyes the Wavelengths Timeline* Though I suppose that's an example of that bond being broken, what with it being the result of The Cutie Re-Mark and all...

However, because of the magic that gave Rarity her soul-mark… well… she’s not aging like she should either. She doesn’t know why. It could be because of Twilight. It could be because of her connection to the stars. Or her work with starsilver. It could be a completely different reason.

We don’t know. Well, I know. But I’m not telling.

It's because a powerful demon from between the cracks in the walls came to inhabit her little sister, and there was enough love for Rarity in Sweetie Belle's mind that he now she...it? they? she felt the desire to make Rarity immortal, so they could live together forever. Unfortunately, Thrackerzod used some of the power of the stars and accidentally linked Rarity's soul to the stars themselves, ironically ensuring that the deerkin would force Rarity out of the forest and bring about Rarity and Sweetie's separation even sooner than it would normally have happened.

Hey look, it's that lesson about not messing with things you don't understand! It's a good thing I already got that lesson down.

We had the massive siegebreaker which I sorta based off the Siegebreaker Assault Beast, also from Diablo 3.

I actually pictured a giant, living, six-legged version of the battering ram from Lord of the Rings. Since I had first imagined it being the thing that was breaking down the gate.

And what better symbol of that harmony—showing souls interwoven with one another—than magical rainbow lasers?

Oh yeah, and good stories about ponies finding the other piece of themselves in one another. That’s a pretty good example too. 

Sure, but if I had to choose between being able to write good romance stories or the ability to manifest my friendship in the form of rainbow lasers, I know which one I'd pick.

And it definitely isn't the writing one.


pew pew pew


*side-eyes the Wavelengths Timeline* Though I suppose that's an example of that bond being broken, what with...

Hm. Interesting theory.


Hey look, it's that lesson about not messing with things you don't understand! It's a good thing I already got that lesson down.

Didn't you decide that you should definitely do that?

I decided that some people aren't True adventurers at heart, and have no idea what they are talking about! You should be aware of the risks and take them anyway! The pursuit of awesomeness requires a bit of risk!

Fly faster and train harder than everyone else/is strictly safe! (Or think about what is safe for yourself. personally tuned training regimens are better anyway.) Read the forbidden books! (After checking for spellwork on them. The guy who spelled it may have literally written the book on liquefying grey matter via eye-sockets. Not saying I would be reading books about that...) Absorb those energy fields bigger than your head! (I mean, there is still an upper limit on size, but it's significantly larger than head-size.)

Your blog posts are better than most stories in this site.

Seriously. Sometimes I am more excited to see them than most updates for the stories I track! :pinkiesmile:
It's like they are the very good story of a very good story.

Well, I'm delighted you enjoy these just as much as the stories. I like letting people take a peek behind the curtain... mainly to see just how insane my development process is! It's crazy! Total madness! And often... a lot of fun.

But most importantly, I always try to encourage, because you can never have enough encouragement. :twilightsmile:

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