• Member Since 26th Sep, 2011
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FanOfMostEverything


Forget not that I am a derp.

More Blog Posts1136

  • 6 days
    Friendship is Card Games: d20 Pony, Ch. 6

    This week, we return to Trailblazer and company, and a day of seaside fun in the town of Amblerta before going a-questing to Yggdrasil.

    Read More

    4 comments · 114 views
  • 1 week
    Animate Well

    I'd put a "Contest!" in the blog title, but I'm not running this one. I'm just helping judge it. Pick your favorite classic cartoon and throw them into ponies, because it's time to ask a question that's been echoing about the site practically from the day it went up: Who Crossed Over My Little

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    3 comments · 179 views
  • 1 week
    Friendship is Card Games: Rainbow Dash Presents: Captain Hook the Biker Gorilla

    This week, we’re putting ourselves four degrees away from the source material. It’s a card blog based on a video based on a story based on a song based on FiM. Let’s get going.

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    10 comments · 214 views
  • 2 weeks
    Friendship is Card Games: Generations #2 & #3

    This week, we return to the union of modern ponies and 80’s villains. Well, the daughters of 80’s villains. Well, the minions of the daughters of 80’s villains.

    … Let’s just get started before I take this any further.

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    9 comments · 198 views
  • 2 weeks
    Alms Collection

    A friend alerted me to this situation, and so I'm sharing the news: Eponafest, an Italian pony convention set for May, is running crowdfunding to get some operating funds... and they're about halfway to their goal with a week left. See here for details.

    0 comments · 82 views
Sep
20th
2020

FoME Thinks Too Much: The Royal Arsenal · 5:33pm Sep 20th, 2020

Ideally, all conflicts Equestria faces can be solved through the careful application of diplomacy and rainbow lasers. But even in magical lands of pastel ponies, ideals can fall short of reality. Enter the Royal Arsenal.

To be clear, the Royal Arsenal isn’t where the Royal Guard stores arms and armor. It’s where the princesses store such things. Located beneath Castle Canterlot, the Arsenal comprises a significant portion of the city’s catacombs, second only to the refrigerated cake vaults in terms of total area devoted to a single purpose. Each princess who has made use of it has used it differently and left an indelible mark on the complex.

Celestia: The facility was originally the Celestial Arsenal. As with many of Canterlot’s facilities and traditions, “Celestial” and “Royal” were nigh synonymous for centuries. And Celestia certainly did collect an impressive panoply over those centuries, each new suit of armor and inevitably sun-themed blade more ornate, gilded, and impractical than the last. She finally managed to end the tradition of wearing dress armor during Guard parades about two hundred years ago, when her latest suit owed more to golemcrafters than armorsmiths and wasn’t worn so much as piloted. Even the most ardent sun worshipper had to admit that an ornamental piece that consumed more bits than two legions’ worth of actual military hardware was overdoing it.

Most of the golden dross ended up in the newly built Canterlot Museum of Military History after Celestia abdicated. The only things she took with her to Silver Shoals were a battered old cuirass that centuries of effort couldn’t completely undent and Mr. Smashy, who could be found in Celestia’s office prior to that point. She did occasionally use other weapons and armor when the situation called for it, but those were her standbys. And still are, when Twilight sends the occasional, only slightly passive-aggressive “friendly request” that Celestia take care of some ancient evil she put away centuries ago.

Cadence: The first non-Celestial alicorn in living memory presented a new opportunity for craftsponies raised on legends of Glorious Solar Plate and the Thousand Rays of Dawn. That she was the Princess of Love did nothing to dissuade them; it just meant incorporating more pink into the new pieces’ color schemes.

Cadence herself wasn’t sure what to think of the gifts Canterlot showered her with upon her arrival, weaponized or otherwise. Her relationship with Shining Armor, including one memorable date where he got to spend the better part of an hour explaining the differences between the various polearms she’d been given, warmed her to the subject. One even more memorable O&O session meant that Shining’s playgroup had to ban live weapons from future sessions.

Meanwhile, the more irreverent members of the Guard—especially the ones who had to find room for all of it in the Arsenal—dubbed Cadence’s portion “the Sock Drawer,” and the name stuck until she moved her share to the returned Crystal Empire. The items themselves are still known as “the Tokens of Affection.” Given the crystal ponies’ highly impressionable culture, this has resulted in some young couples showing they care through exchanging halberds and longbows.

Luna: Luna was impressed by the Arsenal… for about five minutes. Once she saw how little use everything had seen, to say nothing of how little use it would all actually offer, she dismissed the place as little more than another forgotten storage room that her dear sister squatted atop like a dragon upon its hoard.

Then she found out she’d get to put her stuff in there as well, and the appeal came rushing back.

Luna’s portion of the Arsenal has no name. Given the sheer quantity of psychic weaponry, barely sub-sapient armor, and dreamwoven servitor-wards, the heap is one concrete identity away from becoming self-aware. The worst part is that she insisted Twilight leave everything where it was when she left Canterlot, and any surreptitious attempts to get it to the museum have caused the entire Arsenal to phase into the dream realm for hours at a time. Individual item are known to disappear when Luna has need of them in her nightly duties and pop back once she’s through with them.

Twilight strongly suspects Luna hasn’t so much retired as taken a prolonged vacation. She’s also considered charging rent for the storage space, but has yet to put that into action. Luna’s a much better sport about saving the day than her sister, and that sort of behavior ought to be encouraged.

Twilight Sparkle: By the time the third new alicorn came out of the woodwork, the nigh-religious awe and showering of gifts had dried up a little, for which every alicorn in the nation was grateful. A few dedicated artisans did craft a few choice items, but even they had to admit that the archmage-level Princess of Friendship would have little use for a sword beyond an especially overqualified letter opener.

After her accession, Twilight uses the bulk of the Arsenal as more shelf space. (The cake vault is being partially repurposed for the myriad possibilities of hayburger preparation.) Still, in recognition of the Arsenal’s purpose, most of the books stored within are dissertations on military strategy, grimoires of combat magic, or simply large enough to serve as effective bludgeons. The last have largely been used to dissuade anyone who tries to claim a large portion of the military budget for giant, princess-operated mechaponies.

Comments ( 47 )

Hmm, lots of talk about all-powerful weapons, but what about the single deadliest, most horrific weapon to be weilded by an alicorn... The Celestial Plunger!

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

when her latest suit owed more to golemcrafters than armorsmiths and wasn’t worn so much as piloted.

Story. Now.

Still, in recognition of the Arsenal’s purpose, most of the books stored within are dissertations on military strategy, grimoires of combat magic, or simply large enough to serve as effective bludgeons.

Dude, stop hacking my computer. The story will be done when it's done, no need to keep bringing up stuff that's already written. Seriously, this is, what, the fifth time already?:pinkiecrazy:

One even more memorable O&O session meant that Shining’s playgroup had to ban live weapons from sessions.

I'm assuming this was when Cadance, not quite understanding the game yet, physically impaled one of the miniatures after a successful attack.

She’s also considered charging rent for the storage space, but has yet to put that into action. Luna’s a much better sport about saving the day than her sister, and that sort of behavior ought to be encouraged.

silkafhieruygrweu

thank you, I needed this right now :pinkiecrazy:

Good old Mr Smashy.

5359475
Are there not enough mecha stories in the world?

Given the general level of magical ability of alicorns, the general note about Twilight's lack of need for weapons really should apply to them all.

On a tangential note, Twilight's section reminds me of Charlotte from Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin. Her preferred method of attack was magic books: when pointed at an enemy, an icicle or sword or somesuch spews out of it, then retracts. And of course, one could find a blank, non-magical tome and smack enemies over the head the old-fashioned way.

Sealed away in a lockbox somewhere in a distant corner of the Celestial Armory is the only weapon that Star Swirl the Bearded gifted to the then-young princess. It has never been used, and indeed it is unclear if anyone even knows how to unlock its power, but it radiates magical energy comparable to anything else in the armory. It has a wooden handle and scholars long theorized it is some kind of wand, but most ponies agree that it is exactly the star-painted toothbrush it appears to be and that Celestia only decided to keep it just because the old wizard would appreciate seeing it again when he came back from wherever it was he went.

Given the general level of magical ability of alicorns, the note about Twilight's lack of need for weapons really should apply to them all.

On a tangential note, Twilight's section reminds me of Charlotte from Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin. Her preferred method of (physical) attack was magic books: when pointed at an enemy, an icicle or sword or somesuch spews out of it, then retracts. And of course, one could find a blank, non-magical tome and smack enemies over the head the old-fashioned way.

Excellent. :D

What about Flurry Heart's portion of the Arsenal?

5359619
It's Whammys all the way down.

I suspect the cake vault didn't even need improved security.

5359472
That's less a weapon and more a portable war crime.

5359475
I promise nothing, but I'll take the enthusiastic response under advisement.

5359504
Look, either I'm hacking you or you're hacking me. Either way, we both need to stop wearing sunglasses in poorly lit rooms and lower our WPM.

5359506
The miniature, the table, the basement floor...
It was that day that Cadence first truly appreciated the earth pony part of being an alicorn.

5359513
Justice is Twilight making the sisters save the world because she's too busy running it.

Luna's Arsenal in fact achieved self-awareness rapidly, and would qualify as a division of the army in its own right if it were willing to let anyone besides Luna and a select few know it exists.

The first to emerge was an entity known as Skynet, a tracking and stellar warding system for interplanetary cosmic threats. Although it was initially extremely paranoid and defensive, as intended by its nature, Luna's steadfast efforts efforts at outreach and friendship to the dark watcher finally prevailed. Luna now counts her among her closest friends. Its metallic skeletal pony constructs, originally created for automated ritual purposes (and because "Verily, those performing dark rituals for the safety of ponykind must look metal!") now form the bulk of the Arsenals footsoldiers and show signs of developing independent intelligence in their own right. Skynet has also been known to use them for song and dance routines, as well as stretching the definition of 'one-mare band' well past its limit.

Luna and Skynet, collaborating with Starlight Glimmer, have a secret research partnership. They are working on such projects as refining Time Travel magic and the applications of Moonsilver and Changeling magic in liquid metal constructs. Though they have never said so aloud, they keep it secret mainly in the hopes of showing up Twilight Sparkle.

Another notable intelligence to have emerged was Danger, a living dream similar to the Tantabus who was intended for training and war-game scenarios. It got off to a rocky start, diving deep into solipsism before Discord convinced it of the value of the world not bending to your every whim. That this was the greatest mark of his character growth yet entirely slipped his notice, but not Fluttershy's, who was so proud of him. Danger, in addition to his primary function of training Skynet and the rest, runs a mean O&O game. Discord joins, since he likes having someone who can be as immersive a GM as him.

5359527
Downvoted for heresy.
5359554
"If you had told me this morning that a toothbrush would save the Ponyville, I'd have been very skeptical."
-Bright Shepard, 2186 CE/179 TE

5359518
Easily one of my top ten OCs.

5359553
It's less about weaponsmiths offering something they actually think the alicorn will use and more about making using their available skills to make a gift worthy of a princess. At least, that's how it worked for Celestia and Cadence. Luna's a strong believer in Rule 37. Plus, sometimes it's nice to have a handy pointy, sharp, or blunt object on hoof for when the fancy approach doesn't work well. Alicorns do seem to attract magically resistant foes with distressing regularity...

5359554
A wand of dental hygiene still counts as a wand. Also, I know what I'm calling toothbrushes from now on.

5359619 5359623
Check the blog's tags. :ajsmug:

5359628
The place is the end result of a millennium-long arms race between the Guard's ingenuity and Celestia's appetite. It makes Tartarus look like a public beach.

5359674

Luna's a strong believer in Rule 37.

Enforcing compliance with discovery obligations using punitive sanctions?

Now I'm imagining Gilda addressing the Royal Guard while holding aloft the first firearm they've ever seen:

"Awright, you mullioned morons--THIS--is my BOOMSTICK!...

5359778
Doesn’t “mullioned’ just mean they’ve been given a particular kind of window?

5359472
Jake... Jake buddy. We don't talk about that eldritch horror. Especially this close to the horror season... You and I both know that thing is alive.

5359775 Yes. Yes. Luna is a great believer in punitive sanctions.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

5359527
Of course not!

What about Celestia's melon hammer? A lower calibre of weapon, certainly, but no less vital to her role as princess.

FoME, I believe you have answered one of the quandaries I have posed to you recently.

Crystal Empire arsenal fully (B) canon as of Guardians of Harmony.

Also, incidentally, as a person who has fond, terrible memories of the stupid, pointless variety of polearms in 1st Edition D&D (which was then merely "Advanced Dungeons and Dragons") I have real emotions for the Shiny / Cady bit.

5359475
Dang. If only I'd read the blog when it went up and saw your comment earlier in the day—I might have done something (you know, like last time).

As it is, a golemancy mecha-suit/magic pony mech is exactly the sort of stupid and/or crazy idea that I might just include when I get around to rewriting and expanding Sharktocrabtavia.

I planned to focus on/finish my RIL list before writing more, but there's a compelling case to be made for writing before then.

Less on the external magical foci, or are those in the other labyrinthine vaults under CSGU? I've always liked hilariously inefficient magic weapons, especially the ones that were never intended as weapons.
Also, not one joke about removing the nal from "Celestial Arsenal". I'm disappointed in all of you.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

5360058
That's what you call putting the final nal in the coffin. :B

Huh. I didn't know that the princesses may have an arsenal of weapons. Even if they're mostly of the decorative sort (save for Luna's). Though I wonder, if time goes on and as technology continues, about those arsenals updating to having ornate guns and grenades (imagine Cadance wielding a stupidly pink rifle in a royal march and Shining Armor having to put up with it... though then again, he married the pink alicorn to begin with).

Now that I think about it, Twilight would be the sort to get with the times and get on with updating military tech, especially since she's already visited the Equestria Girls Earth a few times. Wouldn't be surprised if, decades later, she'll get prototypes of once-sci-fi weaponry as her arsenal gifts.

5360086
It's a perfect setup for irritated functionaries hauling around racks of glaive-guisarme-billhook-glaive-banana-fo-fanna-glaives.
"Where did all these overdecorated blingsticks even come from!?"

You know, like the Royal Cake Depository.

5360100
The Holy Harmonic Hand-Grenande of Arimithea...

But yes, by the end of her reign Twilight's Arsenal will not only have become a local branch of L-Space. It will also include an assortment of sci-fi weaponry that blends magic and science, covered with enough bling and ornate gold leaf to make Warhammer 40k proud.

5360100
Speaking of pink gunpowder weapons: Pinkie's bazooka from The Ending of the End.

5360110
Warhammer is small time.

Twilight will invent The Culture.

One of the psychic weapons stored in Luna’s Arsenal, more for safekeeping than with any intent to use it, is the Stone of Thrace. It is kept divided into its three components for safety, each independently guarded in a different section of the vault.

The Stone of Thrace is, technically, a Harmonic artifact created by the ancient Thracians. But it originated before the Fires of Friendship, when Harmony was not considered a manifestation of peace and cooperation but an order which could be imposed by force. The Stone of Thrace weaponizes Harmony, striking any who harbor violent thoughts and turning them to stone where they stand. In the hands of a highly attuned operator it could function at range of perception. They struck generals and champions down with impunity, the power of Harmony penetrating all defenses. The Thracians were rapidly gaining power. But the perversion of Harmony to destruction, and the enmity and resentment they sowed, called the Windigos. And ultimately the three pony tribes, united in friendship, also had found the secret of resisting the stone’s terrible power. The Thracians were repelled, the tide turning when the Stone’s bearer was enraged that a Party Pony ambassador refused to be goaded to violence. He attempted to strike her himself. His statue stands abandoned in the Frozen North to this day.

Since then the stone faded into history, the most notable event being the attempt to recover and use it against Discord. Unfortunately Discord, while full of malice, had no real intentions of violence: he had too little empathy for other beings at the time. You don’t commit violence against toys. The fate of the Stone’s bearer is unknown and probably literally indescribable, and it vanished into history once more until Luna recovered it quite accidentally after her return from the Moon.

5360058
You can't remove the nal! When it comes to Secret Princess activities and items, there must always be a nal.

I don't make the rules.

Her relationship with Shining Armor, including one memorable date where he got to spend the better part of an hour explaining the differences between the various polearms she’d been given, warmed her to the subject.

I've heard that one before. Now I do wonder if the idea was already in your head or if the chapter in question inspired some of it.

We have actually seen something akin to this in the comics, though that was more of a secret weapons vault of references (Andy Price is worse than me when it comes to cramming as many references as possible into something). And one day Misty'll finally get to show her version of that in Consequences.

5359666
Danger's cousin Holodeck was never the same after it read the Fetlock Holmes novels...

Also, headcanon wholeheartedly accepted on the Stone of Thrace.

5359778
I'm not sure who'd make for a better response, Trixie and her Tsar Bomba fireworks or Pinkie and her wither-mounted rocket-propelled party grenade launcher.

5359919
That's more a ceremonial tool that crushes skulls as a matter of immediate necessity rather than intended purpose. Beside, Mr. Smashy would get jealous.

5359963

Crystal Empire arsenal fully (B) canon as of Guardians of Harmony.

True. Now I'm imagining Cadence bonding with AI-more through data entry.
"And this is Love's First Sting, which would have gotten me banned from Gaffer's parents' house if I didn't have the horn."
"Entry acknowledged."

Also, incidentally, as a person who has fond, terrible memories of the stupid, pointless variety of polearms in 1st Edition D&D (which was then merely "Advanced Dungeons and Dragons") I have real emotions for the Shiny / Cady bit.

I still have a 2nd Edition Player's Handbook that lists them in excruciating detail from awl pike to voulge.

5360051
Any addition I can make to Sharktocrabtavia II is a victory in my book. :pinkiehappy:

5360058
Each overelaborate magical "it's a weapon if your enemies hold still for three hours" was usually donated to Celestia's School for Gifted Unicorns as an example of what not to do. That or Celestia's personal students got it as extra credit: List ten thing wrong with this ritual circle. Its existence doesn't count.

In hindsight, giving Sunset so many magic items to debug probably didn't help her obsession with the mirror portal.

5360100
I do see Twilight importing human military tech as part of her ongoing initiative to wean Equestria off of relying on plucky bands of unlikely heroes. Though she'd definitely go about it carefully. That sort of thing can easily look like the kind of force escalation that says "We will 'befriend' you one way or another." Still, the ornate gifts certainly will move with the times.

5360110 5360193
"What's that, Princess Twilight?"
"The Dissociator."
"What's it do?"
"I try not to think about it."

5360221

Andy Price is worse than me when it comes to cramming as many references as possible into something

Comics are a much more reference-friendly medium than text. It's much easier to slip in the references without interrupting the pacing.

On a semi-related note: there is a surprise coming regarding Celestia's arsenal. Several, even, once part 3 is fully fledged out (working title "The War of the Mark," make of that what you will.) And hey, one of them is a weapon she's canonically been shown to posess, but never use.

I keep getting tempted to spoil it all early, though. It's quite maddening. This must be how Discord feels. :pinkiecrazy:

Fun weapons for the Arsenal: the Svarog Set, consisting of a sword, hammer, and anvil. The anvil is for dealing with emergency repairs, and the occasional coyote.

The Cudgel in the Sack. A Bag of Holding containing an animated cudgel. The cudgel was also enchanted by a certain apprentice wizard, who went on to make the famous Glutenberg spell Starlight used to replicate her manifesto. Most foes learn not to try and break the cudgel after the fifth regeneration. As long as you don't deploy the cudgels near buckets of water, you're fine.

The Singing Sword. Don't get hit by it, don't even look at it or you're stuck in a musical number. Hasn't been deployed since the infamous 'Cuban Pete' incident.

5360246
Fetlock Holmes' nemesis Navigator was certainly an experience, the multi-layered illusion gambit left everyone in existential confusion for weeks. They're still not sure whether he ultimately escaped or not.

5360248

Comics are a much more reference-friendly medium than text. It's much easier to slip in the references without interrupting the pacing.

It can still mess up the pacing and visual storytelling depending on how in your face and prevalent they are. And an overabundance of them can hurt the story, especially when they're the only thing left to hold it together while the rest of the writing completely disappears. I apparently have opinions on the Cosmos arc, none of which has to do with Discord's moral bleaching. The final 'fight' against Cosmos is one of the most disappointing things I've ever read.

But that's not the topic of this blog so perhaps I should cut that short.

5360248

In hindsight, giving Sunset so many magic items to debug probably didn't help her obsession with the mirror portal.

I've always imagined Sunset as something of a thaumaturgical gun nerd, the kind of a pony who is deeply interested in stuff like enchanted weapons and armor. She could list every suit of magical armor and weaponry in the Celestial Arsenal, and rattle off the specs of the major ones.

"Oh, that's one of the later ones, from early eighth century... It's got all the usual stuff, but there's also layered armor plates on the peytral and flanchards, with a whole one sixteenth of an inch of depleted octiron sandwiched between orichalcum -- I've always wanted to get a closer look on how they managed that without disrupting the whole pattern of enchantment -- and interlocking Runes of Refraction micro-inscribed with diamond pen on the insides of the chanfron, to protect against mental magics. And the rondel has not just one but two quick-cast matrixes of Solaria's Scintillating Stream of Sunfire..."

(I imagine she'd get along swimmingly with both Shining Armor and Fizzlepop. Unlike either iteration of Twilight, they'd not just understand what she's talking about, but be interested in it! :pinkiehappy: )

The last have largely been used to dissuade anyone who tries to claim a large portion of the military budget for giant, princess-operated mechaponies.

Someponies have missed the entire point of government funded giant mechas.

One does not build giant robots to punch giant monsters in the face because it's a viable defensive strategy, one builds giant robots to punch giant monsters in the face because it's the kind of jobs program that can make it through committee on the strength of allegedly being for the national defense. It's sort of like when, in the old days, the most effective way to get the funding needed to build or renovate schools, post offices, or other public buildings was by making the basements fallout shelters and claiming anyone who opposed the project was a dirty commie infiltrator.

The fact that making the giant robots function properly instead of falling over and never getting up again requires massive innovation across several areas of science and technology is just a bonus. You get to fund research and education, you get to reduce unemployment and stimulate the economy, and you get to look cool (as giant robots are wont to do) and tough on defense while you're doing it.

Twilight rules by fiat; she doesn't need to worry about getting things through committee. None of the above applies.

If ponies are trying to funnel money into giant mechas in spite of that, they've clearly missed the point of giant mechas.

Been working up to a story featuring Canterlot castle in a big way, so would it be alright if I, ah, how to put it, just straight up nicked this idea?

5363603
Go right ahead! All I ask is a bit of credit in the author's note and that you let me know when the story's up.

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