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Forget not that I am a derp.

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  • Sunday
    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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    3 comments · 119 views
  • 1 week
    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 · 174 views
  • 1 week
    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 · 75 views
  • 2 weeks
    Friendship is Card Games: The Journal of the Two Sisters

    This is the main reason why I decided to skip over the comics a few weeks ago. I like the idea of the first card blog of 2022 using one of the oldest in-universe documents we have for source material. Let’s see what the diarchs thought of their first days on the throne.

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    19 comments · 276 views
  • 3 weeks
    Friendship is Card Games: d20 Pony, Ch. 5

    Happy Boxing Day! Needless to say, this one was prepped in advance. I appreciate all of you, but I’m not spending Christmas Day writing a card blog. Besides, who wants last minute gifts?

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    5 comments · 149 views

Sovereign Pride: Imposing Sovereigns III Results · 9:46pm Nov 19th, 2021

Don’t worry, Flurry is volcano-safe. Mostly.

Hello, one and all. Imposing Sovereigns III has produced numerous entries worthy of its lineage; selecting the top picks was by no means a simple matter. That’s why I got help. Below, the other judges introduce themselves before we move to the results.

Hi to everyone. I'm busy with a lot of things right now (including trying to finish up an original novel) and didn't have either inspiration or energy for the third Imposing Sovereigns contest. I've enjoyed a lot of the past two, though, so I volunteered to judge. It's been an interesting experience, since there were quite a few very good stories in this year's batch.

Hello, everyone!  Some of you may know me from FoME’s contest last year, which I helped judge.  Considering that nobody took up a torch or pitchfork, I figure that went pretty well.  Fewer of you may also recognize me for my quirky-concepts-taken-seriously approach to writing.  This time around, I have taken on the infamous role of “The Delay”, else these results would have come in quite a bit earlier (even by my original plans when I volunteered to judge).  I am grateful to FoME for the opportunities he creates with these contests, which are made all the better by the contestants and their efforts.

Rest assured, I’m grateful for Sir NAitF’s efforts as well. And yours. Sadly, there are only three top prizes (though more on that later,) which is why the honorable mentions are here to highlight some of the stories we each enjoyed, but couldn’t come to a consensus on. Without further ado:

FoME’s Honorable Mention

EChained to the Plow
Big Mac becomes the patriarch of Sweet Apple Acres after his parents and Granny Smith pass away.
daOtterGuy · 15k words  ·  63  10 · 411 views

daOtterGuy doesn’t just present a compelling “what if” scenario of Granny Smith passing along with the Apple parents and the consequences for the three siblings. They don’t just shine a spotlight on Big Mac sacrificing his every hope and dream for the family and what it costs him. They manage to do something I’ve seen very few times in all my years of horsefiction: They make Applejack of all ponies into a compelling yet still (sometimes) sympathetic antagonist. Moreover, they make an emotional climax that hinges on people finally just talking to each other work. These are the Apples we’re dealing with, after all. Stubbornness is in their blood. I have to commend something that can combine new ground and a skilled execution of a plot development I normally can’t stand.

Kris’s Honorable Mention

EA King and Queen of Infinite Space
Fluttershy and Discord keep pushing forward with their relationship even when they have no idea what they're doing. Especially when they have no idea what they're doing...
AugieDog · 4.1k words  ·  82  4 · 748 views

A King and Queen of Infinite Space didn't make my personal top five because I didn't quite feel the DETERMINATION from the writing prompt. That said, if Love had been the prompt it would have been on the top of my list. This story shows Discord and Fluttershy at their most positive as a couple, while simultaneously focusing on their self-doubts in a way that makes my heart go out to the couple all the more so. This story demonstrates better even than the show did how these two, for all their surface-level differences, are so very much alike at the core. Kudos to AugieDog for their usual excellent characterization work.

(FoME) In addition to echoing Kris’s thoughts here—this one did crack my top five—I’d like to give a brief nod to Dafaddah’s A King of Infinite Space Not only because it broke my heart to disqualify it, but because I really wasn’t expecting two references to the same line from Hamlet in the contest entries.

Sir NAitF’s Honorable Mention

A Thousand Little Somewheres

This story may have fared better in the contest with a stronger tie to its sovereign, as it’s more about her… let’s call them friends.  Simply as a story outside of the contest, it’s amazing.  It’s touching.  It has space probes that have formed a wholesome friendship with each other in it.  What more do I need to say? The Red Parade has made excellent use of the chosen format, a potentially risky choice that requires the story to be hosted offsite; the story is honestly all the better for it.

(Kris) I also considered this one for my honorable mention (and the shoutout to Changeling Space Program was very flattering). It raised interesting philosophical questions and honored another inventively told story in the process, and I’m glad Sir picked it for their HM.

(FoME) Likewise. We all enjoyed this one. It was just a distant enough star that others shone more brightly.

Next… Well, remember how I said we’d get to something about the three winners? Well, that something is that we have four of them. See, we had ties for both third and first place. As such, let’s look at each medalist in turn.:

Third Place

EA Little Bittle Of Sunshine
Before Izzy, there was another pony who did his best to make the town a little bit brighter.
River Road · 7.3k words  ·  50  3 · 493 views

(FoME) G5 has raised many, many questions about how we got from the Golden Age of Twilight to three isolated communities  This story doesn’t set out to clarify that whole historical record, but it does a magnificent job in establishing both Bridlewood as a community and how Alphabittle came to be the closest thing it has to a leader, representative, or general pony-who-isn’t-terminally-depressed-or-Pinkiefied. He instead approaches positivity in a lower-key, more palatable way that makes him feel like so much more than just a narrative obstacle with a forestpunk DDR machine. River Road is blazing a trail in the new generation’s new frontier, and I welcome it.

(Kris) River Road demonstrates that perseverance isn’t about getting hammered in a fight and surviving, exactly; it’s about keeping on keeping on, in the long haul, even when the only enemy is the indifference of the people around you. By small, consistent effort Alphabittle makes a gradual change for the better in his little part of the world, eventually having a critical effect on restoring the magic to future Equestria. For my part this was the best demonstration of the Perseverance prompt in the contest, only falling short of the top rung because it focused a little too exclusively on the main character. Even so, it’s a very good, heartwarming story.

(Sir NAitF)  Until G5 gives us a background on Alphabittle, River Road has us covered with an impeccable explanation for the game-loving owner of a tea shop.  He may not be a sovereign in the sense of having direct authority over the unicorns of Bridlewood, but he does have an unusual perspective granted to him by his mother with the perfect name, Bittle Boop, and he uses that to provide what he can for his fellow townsfolk.  I likely can't explain just how well this fits the Alphabittle that we know but, if you weren't sold on the guy by the movie, this story should warm you up to him like a little bittle of sunshine.

And So Is…

ETwilight Sparkle's Majesty
Twilight Sparkle has just been crowned the Princess of Friendship; she seeks aid by travelling through time to observe other royals, including Majesty. But things go awry, and Twilight is forced to take up magic against another princess! And Sprout?!
Apple Bottoms · 12k words  ·  56  2 · 425 views

(FoME) I’m always a sucker for a good crossover, especially an in-house one between our familiar Princess of Friendship and the G1 queen of annihilating those who stand against equinity. Apple Bottoms does a great job of establishing Majesty for those unfamiliar with her reign, then throws an insecure purple alicorn at her in a way neither is really prepared for. Not at first. But both learn and teach in a way that demonstrates the strengths of their respective characters, the transcendental power of the magic of friendship… and the hazards of trying to solve your problems with time travel. It all makes for one heck of an adventure

(Kris) This one was my favorite story of the contest for various reasons. Of all the contest entries, it’s the one which feels most like an episode of the cartoon. Twilight and Majesty are both very well executed as separate and different voices with different personalities and world-views. But most important to me personally, the Aesop of the story is one I wish got expressed more often: moral courage is much more valuable and important than mere physical courage. This was the only entry under the prompt Bravery, but if there had been a hundred I suspect this one would still stand out. Thanks for the wonderful reading experience, Apple Bottoms.

(Sir NAitF)  Boo, time travel, amiright?  (I jest, but I am often wary of it myself.)  Refreshingly, we don't have to worry much about the space-time continuum knotting itself up this time, just Twilight getting some advice from a sovereign who lived countless generations (okay it's just three generations ago) in the past.  And then both of them straighten out a sovereign one generation (by Twilight's timeline) in the future.  That Twilight and Majesty both have so much to bring to the table here is not lost on Apple Bottoms, so we get some really good conversation between the two of them, ultimately ending with Twilight and Majesty being better for having met each other.  Whether the timeline survives this friendship in the long run is up in the air.

First Place

TAnd I Hope You Die
“I’m not making you do anything, Flurry," Cozy murmured. “I’m giving you a choice. Me or your empire. And we both know what the right call is.”
Aquaman · 13k words  ·  46  5 · 409 views

(FoME) Aquaman won a contest. Those familiar with his work can guess how and why. This story will punch you in the gut, kick you in the shins, take your lunch money, and make you thank it for the privilege. And you will. It’s not the first time I’ve seen someone looking at a Flurry/Cozy ship, but it’s definitely one of the most tragically believable. Take your gold and get out, you monster. And thank you again.

(Kris) There are stories which are a pleasure and a comfort to read, and then there are stories which you know are good because they drag you through hell and won’t let you stop reading. Aquaman wrote a very good example of one of the latter, with a compelling and disturbing story of how one insane character threatens to drag another character down into their insanity. Flurry Heart and Cozy Glow are portrayed so vividly, and with so much care, that it would have been simple injustice not to include this one among the winners.

(Sir NAitF)  Honestly, I hate this story.  And that's how I know it's good.  The writing is good, it hits the prompt squarely, and the cast is entirely appropriate.  And that is why I hate it.  Or, more accurately, I hate what the characters do, who they are, what they become.  This is an awful story in the best possible way, and that is the great feat that Aquaman has accomplished here.

And So Is…

EThe Tyrant Within
In the world of ponydom, they were at school together. Trained together. Fought together. And one day, they will fight again...
Impossible Numbers · 15k words  ·  19  2 · 172 views

(FoME) I have a weakness for exploring the analogues of people we only get to know on one side of the mirror. Heck, I’ve run multiple contests built around that concept. But simple bias wasn’t what made me rate this one so highly. Not only does this make sense for the history of pony Abacus Cinch, it draws a tragic dramatic arc that explores the limits of friendship, the cost of perfection, and the sacrifices the person on the throne must make, for a definition of “must” that they have to decide for themselves. I admit, prompt adherence wasn’t the main factor in my decision making, but this one nailed it dead-on.

(Kris) Out of Impossible Numbers’ three entries, this was the only one I felt hit the writing prompt, but it hit with a thermonuclear bomb. Most would-be tyrants who claim to believe that the strong should rule over the weak make excuses when faced with someone stronger, but the Founding-era pony Cinch does not. From beginning to end we see not just Cinch’s integrity, but also why we should care, building a deep friendship with Celestia from early foundations and then knocking it all down with a brutality that feels all too real and genuine. The core plot premise felt a little wobbly to me from a world-building point of view, but the characterization, particularly of Abacus Cinch, overcame that flaw and earned this story a place in my personal top three of the contest.

(Sir NAitF)  I find this a tough story to find the words for, even as much as I liked it.  Or perhaps because of how much I liked it.  I am pleasantly surprised by Abacus Cinch being cast as Celestia’s childhood friend yet following her ideals down a much different path – transforming her into a Cinch much more analogous with her EqG counterpart with exacting standards – in a most believable manner.  “Surprising”, I say, even though Cinch being involved in the founding of the Crystal Empire makes so much sense given her analogous role in Equestra Girls.  Here, Impossible Numbers shows us a compelling example of how the road to Hell can be paved with good intentions.

Congrats to the winners and thanks to all entrants. It’s always a joy to run these, and here’s to many more of them. :twilightsmile:

Comments ( 18 )

Glad this went well, and that I entered. Kudos to the winners; I now have more content to consume. Meanwhile, my prize is that the three judges likely doubled the number of people who read my story. *laughs sadly*

Comment posted by Boltstrike58 deleted Nov 19th, 2021


Thanks for the honorable mention! I'm in awe that all three judges liked it!

The story was unfortunately always going to be a gamble. My original plan to have Rarity be the sovereign were unfortunately not feasible after I realized that this by definition is not Rarity and is in fact an OC, thereby not qualifying as a canon character. However I'm still honored to have received the shoutout! Thank you for hosting! We all appreciate it (except apparently for whoever is downvoting the comments here :P)

Wow, how exciting is this!! :heart: Thank you so much for all of the kind words, and for third place! There were a lot of very heavy-hitters as my competition, so I am surprised and honored to win something! Thank you all so much for the kind words and for the fun contest! I wasn't sure how Majesty would be received since she's not exactly well-known, given that she never appears in the cartoons. I thought she would be a lot of fun to write, and I'm glad she was fun to read as well! :heart: Thank you so much for the fun contest!! :heart:

Wooo congrats to all the winners :twilightsmile:

TCC56 #6 · Nov 20th, 2021 · · 1 ·

A hearty congratulations to the winners - well deserved all around, and this was a great crop of contestants once more.

Congrats to all the winners! And thank you very much for the honourable mention!

I didn't win!?... Oh wait, that checks out.

Congrats to the winners and the mentions! And thanks to you, FoME, the judges, and every author who participated!

Now I've got some imposing horsewords to read... :twilightsheepish:

Congrats to the winners! I really wish I actually had the motivation to read things these days because they looks super interesting. (also I'm glad a Flurry Heart entry won because I'm biased sue me)

Congratulations to the winners!

Congratulations to the winners, and thanks to those who participated!

Hooray! Congrats to all the other winners and honorable mentions and congrats to all the other participants for putting their stories out there. And of course a big thanks to the judges.

Also, one step closer to making Bittle Boop fancanon. Yessssss...

Much congratulations and kudos to the winners and honourable mentions!

I don't envy the judges their work - despite a smaller number of entries (31) and writers (26) than either of the previous contests, the quality was sublime. Small wonder there was a tie for 1st and 3rd, necessitating seven winners instead of six! So many I enjoyed immensely, and I'm glad I entered just as much for giving me a reason to read the crop as for making me exercise my own writing craft. Probably even more - a great story sticks with you, and that easily applies to a lot of this batch.

See you all in two years time for Imposing Sovereigns IV! :raritywink: :rainbowwild:

I don't currently possess the courage, or the general mood, to read Chained to the Plow.

Thanks to Kris:

And the other judges, the winners, the other entrants, and the readers. I was torn between filing my story under "determination" or "perseverance," but either way, I'm glad it warmed a few hearts. :heart:



The best part isn't even the win. This was a damn close contest, and given this and that, I was barely expecting an honorable mention at best.

No, the best part is seeing - after all these years - that our pony fanfic community can still answer the call, get up, come together, and kick some serious ass.

Good work, troops! Keep fighting the good fight!

Aye, a good point you have there. :)

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