• Member Since 9th Dec, 2014
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Robo Bro

A Canadian brony who enjoys writing stories. On rare occasions I even post those stories here.

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Chrysalis: Saviour of Time Chapter 17 · 2:33am Dec 30th, 2020

edit: Changed to chapter 18
Also known as "Hearth Attack", an original chapter not based on any episode because season 1 had no winter episodes and I didn't want to skip an entire season. More discussion with some spoilers and such after the page break.

Merry late Christmas, happy Hearth's Warming Eve or any other holiday you hold dear to your hearts. This chapter's title isn't much of a reference or anything, just mixing up the "Hearth" of Hearth's Warming with "Heart Attack".

This was a chapter that I had a pretty decent idea of quite early on. Way back when Chrysalis first started living in Ponyville, she received a gift basket welcoming her. In that basket from Luna was a bottle of wine, and it was revealed that alcohol had a nasty side effect on changelings: once reaching a certain level of drunkenness, they can no longer maintain their disguises. I recall one reader leaving a comment wondering if that was just a fun little bit of world building, or if it was meant to be foreshadowing. Well, they were right to suspect foreshadowing, because it was meant to be a set up for what happened in this chapter.

Despite having a decent idea conceptually of what this chapter would be, it kind of fought me every step of the way. Even now I'm not entirely sure about the end result, but I really need to stop fiddling with it and move on. I did at least manage to iron out some of my misgivings, but I don't think this chapter is paced well at all. I couldn't really just cut it because of the previously mentioned lack of a winter episode as well as some stuff that'll come up later thanks to this chapter, and I am too tired of dwelling on it to even try a full rewrite and overhaul, so this is what we've got.

The red alcoholic punch vs green non alcoholic punch was based on Christmas parties that my family took me to as a child where that is exactly what the hosts would do with food dye added to them for matters of practicality and of festive aesthetic. Chrysalis not understanding what Pinkie meant when she alluded to the red punch being for adults, and being able to warm you up was perhaps a stretch, but then again, I had established earlier that alcohol wasn't a big thing in changeling culture and she personally swore off drinking it after a bad experience. Being drunk this time was certainly not great for her either. She mumbled potential hints at her identity, couldn't even lie to herself about the emotional pain she felt over them fearing her, forgot that she could fly away so left a perfect trail in the snow for them to follow, saved Rainbow Dash from getting hurt even though she was being attacked by her which could make them question why she would care to avoid hurting them, and fell asleep on one of the most unsafe and uncomfortable possible places. I was mildly amused by the idea of somebody getting drunk and waking up amongst a bunch of pigs. It sounds like the sort of thing that might happen after a night with too much alcohol.

Her lack of knowledge of Hearth's Warming Eve was intended as a consequence of her dislike of winter, she didn't exactly go out to mingle with ponies while it was snowing out if she could avoid it, so she hadn't come across the holiday before. Windigos from the Hearth's Warming Eve origin story work as a reasonable metaphor for changelings, even if it's not a perfect comparison. I think it's quite reasonable that the premise behind the holiday would make her uneasy.

That's enough rambling. I'm real tired and have a raid in World of Warcraft Classic to get to still. Hope you guys enjoyed the chapter, and happy holidays.

Comments ( 5 )

I was tempted by WoW Classic, but then I remembered the version of WoW I liked best was actually early Burning Crusade. Good luck on your raid, though.

It is weird that there was no WInter episode in Season 1, the closest we get is Winter Wrap Up, which is really more of a Spring episode. The storm in Look Before You Sleep could be early winter weather (or late Fall or early Spring), but there's nothing with snow on the ground except the episode where they remove the snow from the ground.

I'd say Chrysalis made a lot of bad decisions this chapter (she really needs to stop pretending to be the bad guy in her lies) but, like you said in your post, she was drunk and, unlike most drunks that wasn't directly her own fault, so I'll have to give her a pass on those. I wonder if part of the reason she does that is habit (in her future, "your friend is gone because I kidnapped them" would be a totally normal thing to say) or if she's started to think of herself as the bad guy, now that she's growing to like these ponies. She's also dropping all kinds of hints like "Do you even really know your friend?" that ponies are too emotional to think on in the moment but it's not like you just forget the time your friend vanished from a locked bathroom and a monster replaced them... A monster similar to the one that also ruined one of your groups' attempt at being in an airshow.

Forgot to mention this earlier, but I like that detail oriented Rarity noticed:

“What? But how—” Rarity’s voice was drowned out by shouts of panic as Chrysalis charged at them.

How did she get in there with Twilight? How did she get Twilight out? Normally, you'd say magic*, but if Chrysalis was able to do transportation magic she wouldn't be failing to crawl out the window.

*Chrysalis actually does know some kind of transportation magic, she uses it in A Canterlot Wedding, but she's clearly too drunk to use it.


I didn't see Rarity as being in there with Chrysalis. It was a small bathroom, so she, and most of the other bearers, were standing pretty much right outside the door looking in. Perhaps it wasn't clear enough, but it was indicated that Chrysalis could see all of them from inside the bathroom and so the reverse would make sense, I think.

"They were all so scared, she was well acquainted with such body language."

You can't read the body language of all of them if you can't see them, also when the door is broken there is a collective gasp, which was intended to be in response to seeing Chrysalis inside. However, if you misunderstood then I'm sure other people probably have, too. I'll make a slight edit to make it more obvious that they could all see each other, and perhaps change Dash from stepping inside to merely stepping forward since that might've implied that she needed to step inside to face her, and that the bathroom was bigger than I intended.

As to the teleportation part, I suspect you're referring to her sending Twilight through the floor at the end of part 1? Unless of course I've forgotten an instance of her actually teleporting herself somewhere, which is certainly possible. That was a really cool scene, but I don't think she ever does anything like that again in the show, does she? I haven't watched past the premier of season 9, so maybe I'm mistaken there too. It seemed like such an anomaly that I more or less chalked it up to being there purely for the cool imagery. Technically from a show canon point of view she would know some form of teleportation or at least have the ability to send things through solid objects to reach new areas, but I've been working pretty much the entire story under the premise that she is actually unable to teleport. It makes things harder (and as such more dramatic) for her, and helps differentiate herself a little from Twilight in the power set department since she was teleporting right from the Nightmare Moon confrontation in episode 2.

edit: there, the change has been made with an added sentence:

"Both sides stood in silence staring at each other, Chrysalis awkwardly sitting on the toilet and the bearers crowded around outside the shattered door."

Sorry, I was unclear, I was filling in questions Rarity was probably in the middle of asking when she said "How--" before she got interrupted. I didn't think Rarity was in there, I assumed her questions were about how Chrysalis got in the bathroom and got Twilight out, considering Chrysalis was stuck and couldn't crawl out the window but the door just led straight into the rest of the house. I mentioned magic because normally 'magic' is a reasonable explanation for the seemingly impossible in Equestria but again if that worked, Chrysalis wouldn't be desperately failing to crawl out the window when they opened the door. That Rarity, one of the more the detail-oriented members of the group noticed and commented on something not making sense with what she was seeing was something I liked. And it not making sense was natural as Chrysalis was lying about what happened and too drunk to lie well. I was not personally confused by what was going on.

Yeah, Chrysalis never uses that spell again for some reason. It doesn't seem to be instant teleportation but rather to turn everyone inside a circle of green fire incorporeal and glide them to a target location. I can see why ignoring it would make your story easier and it didn't come up enough in canon to be really important. Also, like I said, it's not a plot hole in this chapter, even if you included it because Chrysalis is too drunk for complex magic.

Ah, right, that makes more sense.

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