The Rejuvenationverse 33 members · 20 stories
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Purple Patch
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Chancellor Puddinghead had gone from the ridiculed jester of Carbuncle’s court of fanatics to the young, radical and highly celebrated Chancellor of the Earth Pony Republic. Hers was a reign that encouraged liberalism, free-thinking and progressivism.
She was, however, an earth pony and their society remained one that solved things through force of arms.
Despite her show of power in Congress, the Senate still weren’t curbed and fled to their respective states among the Republic, each declaring themselves an independency.
This led to what was known as the Grand Hegemony.

Puddinghead’s domain bordered the recently discovered unicorn and pegasus lands which were already zones of hostility. The Earth Ponies maintained a terrible reputation among their neighbours, to the point where the pegasi and unicorns (Who regarded each other with suspicion at best) would work together against the Earth Ponies when they could.
Evidently, it seemed, the Hegemons were hoping Puddinghead would face the brunt of the invaders and leave them to their own devices. Intent on outrunning the winter, they moved south as south would go, the southernmost provinces even taking root in the Furbidden Jungle. The first settlements in the San Palomino Desert and the Badlands were founded (The latter instilling a harsh, survivalist philosophy in all those who dwelt within it that still persists in some places to this day) Some of the Hegemons used their gold to hire the local griffon flocks as mercenaries. The Arimaspi were driven from their hoofhills, near to extinction. Many sought to escape over the sea. Those who sailed west were set upon by dragons and leviathans and didn’t last long. Those who sailed east crossed over the South Luna Ocean but that is another story.
[Note: I don’t say that often.]

But in the centre of Equestria, Platinum and Hurricane forged an uneasy alliance to eliminate the threat of Earth Pony raids once and for all. Coming down on Mason’s Wall from both the land and the sea, led by Star-Swirl and Ironhead, they prepared to annihilate Puddinghead, take the wall and leave the Earth Ponies to raid only each other.
It was here that Smart Cookie enacted one of her most famous strategies.
The Empty Fort Strategy.
Measuring the full state of affairs, it was clear to her that they lacked the military power to counter-attack their foe.
So instead, Smart Cookie played them through deception.
Her method was a curious one.
She took a seat and banjo, placed herself in the centre of the gatehouse, facing the way out and ordered the gates opened.
Star-Swirl and Ironhead beheld the young Earth Pony Secretary idly waiting for them, strumming the banjo.
If they had attacked there and then, the Earth Pony Republic would have been shattered and to put it simply, things would be very different to how they are now.
But Star-Swirl stared at the young mare and ordered his forces to hold back.
For the simple reason that it looked too easy. If the smartest earth pony in the Republic was just sitting there waiting for them to attack, surely there would have to be a trap or ambush prepared.
Though it was said that Star-Swirl wasn’t completely fooled. He spent around an hour observing Smart Cookie and listening to her play her banjo.
It was rumoured that if she had played a single wrong note throughout that hour, Star-Swirl would have seen through the ruse.
[Note: Star-Swirl makes no mention of this in his memoirs however. He treats Smart Cookie with a certain amount of begrudging respect and appears to concede defeat.]
Ironhead’s scorn at Star-Swirl’s lack of action prompted hostilities to rise again among the unicorns and pegasi. Puddinghead then used this opportunity to declare a truce between the two forces.

Puddinghead and Smart Cookie took this opportunity to work on the development of what became the Code of Equinity, a set of tenants advocating the importance of the Republic’s liberty and honesty between its citizens.
However, by all accounts, liberal and honest were two things Smart Cookie’s government were very far from being.
Smart Cookie’s reforms were swift and effective. She outlawed the use of mercenaries in the Earth Pony Republic, establishing a professional militia with proper training and weaponry.
In times of war, she instituted a policy of mandatory centralisation of all economies to ensure all businesses put the safety of their own state before supremacy over their financial rivals.
A stern but fair system of merit or punishment was set up. Each citizen’s cutie mark was stencilled and chronicled as early identity records in order to catalogue any merit achieved or crime committed. The more merits one achieved, the more public privileges they were granted while the more crimes committed, the more severely they’d be monitored (The merit system was also in place if the citizen happened to be in prison but each merit achieved behind bars only counted for half in public).
Any attempt to remove or change the Cutie Mark without permission from the state was seen as proof of criminal behaviour and punished severely.
If a citizen cut down a tree, they would be required to replant it, or pay to have it replanted, somewhere else.
Smart Cookie also outlawed plundering of settlements and the ransoming of prisoners, believing it covetous, disorderly and encouraging materialism in war. Similar to Qiron Khan, all treasure in conquered settlements was seized, stocked and allotted in orderly conduct while if any officer or citizen held a pony for ransom, both they and the prisoner would be sentenced to death, no exceptions.
It was said that for a time a relative peace transpired, roughly four months and three weeks. Then Smart Cookie’s memoirs mention that Puddinghead suddenly leapt of bed (Which, it’s worth mentioning, also doubled as both her bath and her observation tower so jumping out of it would require her to be able to survive a fifteen foot drop down...in a bath-towel) and declared, literally out of the blue, she was going to conquer Equestria.
Such a feat would surely require the reconquest of the former Earth Pony Republic, restoring it to the single continental power of earth pony dominion. Puddinghead began with exactly that.
A very notable point in history but one very rarely looked into closely.

When ponies are looking to declare Puddinghead a tremendous military and political failure, they point out that her conquest, and the empire created from it, didn’t even last a full year.
What they neglect to mention is that in that year, she conquered twenty-six separate states in eight months and that it took an alliance of no fewer than fifty different states of unicorn, pegasi and earth pony to stop her.
It began with the conquest of what was known as the ‘Fruity Federation’, in the Central-Western Provinces which controlled almost all farming, agriculture produce and trade, ruled by a collection of petty sheriffs who were embroiled in family feuds to deal with an invasion (It's believed the Hatfields and McColts descend from these sheriffs). By liberating the convict labourers, she built up her army along the way.
After conquering around four-thousand acres of surrounding farmland, Smart Cookie put into action an agricultural reform called ‘Farfielding’ where after defeating or chasing off an army, slain enemies were summarily buried under the earth and the victorious army marched over the battlefield once and twice, planting seed and grain along the way, turning the war-torn into bountiful fields by the month’s end.
In the middle of the first month of Puddinghead’s conquest, her troops arrived at the Slimegrove, a staggering swampy impasse that separated her state, the Republic from the neighbouring state of Brassica. Few ever chose to cross through the Slimegrove. The place was a death-trap where thick reeds hid sinking mud and pitch that drowned any who made a wrong hoof upon it. Smart Cookie devised a plan to cross her troops safely. Heading to Puddinghead’s home where mining was prevalent, they carried carts of rock and stone, they built not so much a bridge as a pathway, laying wooden planks down in a long line of makeshift containers, filling them with gravel which mixed with the mud to create a hardened natural bridge. It was expanded further and further, splitting the immense Slimegrove in two, until the bridge was large enough to march an army in full mail and arms across it into Brassica.
When President Cruciferous of Brassica woke one morning to find the Republic Legions at his very gates, he fainted on the spot prompting his terrified administrators to surrender in his name without conflict.
Smart Cookie set about discussing terms of ceding when Puddinghead emerged, still dressed in armour with her legions behind her and declared that it was time to march again. Smart Cookie reminded her that the enemy had already surrendered.
Puddinghead gave a grin and answered “The next one hasn’t!”

Moving swiftly on, Smart Cookie left a skeleton force in the area and moved forward to the neighbouring state of Broccola.
Smart Cookie’s spies were sent into Broccola to spread word that Puddinghead was recklessly pushing her troops without rest across three states in a day and her foes would surely crush her.
Puddinghead, meanwhile, spoke to her legions before the conquest and pointed out towards Broccola, claiming that there in the city lay the best beds one could find in East Equestria with eager consorts in each one for war heroes.
President Sprott took his legion to face Puddinghead’s on the field of Greensheet but grossly underestimated the size and ferocity of Puddinghead’s army. Hence the western part of Greensheet where Sprott’s legion was situated and witnessed the charge of the Republic’s forces coming straight for them was thereafter renamed Brownsheet.
Sprott was caught fleeing before his troops in a wheeled carriage. For his cowardice, Puddinghead ordered him boiled alive in a bronze cauldron of water.
Smart Cookie was questioned on her opinions at this execution and only said...
“We probably ought to stir him or he’ll stick to the bottom.”
After a period of rest where Puddinghead granted honours, rank and titles to the most well-performing generals, Smart Cookie opened various schools crucial to military expertise. Medicine, transport, communications and experimental weaponry, utilising chemicals and varieties of metals to new purposes in warfare. Here, the Republic began to truly terrify any potential foe for they were the first ponies in Equestria to utilise steel weapons. Their monopoly over the mines Puddinghead had grown up in allowed them to forge steel swords and armour for at least all of their vanguard.
This led to the war for unification suddenly turning very one-sided.

Revitalised, the armies of Puddinghead advanced further west into Cucumba. Here, President Belchling ordered the fields leading to his city flooded to bar the Republic’s legions from entering. At this, Smart Cookie used similar methods to crossing the Slimegrove, far easier in the wet grass. She also ordered a slow, steady advance with small skirmishes to seize granaries and stockpiles. Soon enough, starvation broke out in Cucumba City for which Belchling was blamed, having flooded the fields. Not three weeks later, Belchling was assassinated, sliced into pieces, and his successor, Tausali, surrendered. With the month not yet over, they advanced into Melona and found an ally in a local resistance group, led by Honeydew LeMusk, a hardy and beautiful rebel leader who Puddinghead utilised the sources of, among other things. With the rebels spreading false orders, infiltrating the city, drugging the guard’s provisions and opening the gates, Melona fell quickly and the famously unpopular President Crenshaw (A stallion reviled for his corrupt practices and his openly sexual abuse of his daughters) was dragged out before the gates and executed in a very grisly way. Smart Cookie had him test a series of drugs that prevented fainting while the executioners (Believed to be his own daughters) opened him up and pulled out his organs and ample body fat with metal spoons.
The month ended with one last victory for Puddinghead as a vast army arrived to Melona, led by strange monks who had around them bouncing balls of blue gel that appeared sentient but under their command.
Slimemasters (Properly known as Gelomancers, leading an exodus from the neighbouring state of East Jelly, near the centre of the Earth Pony domains. They were fleeing their state and had come to offer their support to Puddinghead in protest against their own President.
President Aspic was known as ‘The Hooftaker’, a mad, hairless stallion who would, every week, pick out ten ponies at random, remove their hooves, boiled them into a gel and had it rubbed all over him as a means to preserve his youth.
None too popular, the ponies of East Jelly joined Chancellor Puddinghead and, upon their pleas, she led the reserves of her troops to storm the state. Through knowledge from the Slimemasters who’d joined her, Smart Cookie learned that water made East Jelly’s guard slimes torpid and motionless and any armour enhanced with the magical gel from the Slimes were weighed down.
Thereafter, the Storming of East Jelly became famous for being the only battle fought, and won, with water balloons.
The enemy soon surrendered and Aspic was brought out in chains before Puddinghead who, once again, prepared a unique punishment. Removed of his own hooves and rubbed in the jelly, he was then pushed across the stone floor of his palace where his guard had laid down their blades. Unable to stop himself sliding, he was cut to death on the floor, throat to groin. The new position of Lieutenant-Governor of East Jelly was held jointly by the twins, Jiggle and Wobble, who, like many, were concubines of Puddinghead as well as politicians and military officers.
Within two months, Puddinghead had conquered five states and almost all of the Eastern Earth Pony realms, her troops farfielding all the way to ensure a bountiful harvest, the envy of every foe.

Shortly afterward, she sent out proclamations to all rival states, declaring her mission to unite the Earth Ponies under one banner to equal their rivals and to build a land where ponies no longer lived in fear of destitution or tyranny.
To illustrate her point, she promised any foe the fear of both in abundance.
Two states had already, by this time, pledged their loyalty; Apple Acres, led by Pink Lady, and the Rock, led by Gristwheel.
Others, it seemed, required more convincing.
Shortly after this, Smart Cookie foiled a conspiracy to assassinate Chancellor Puddinghead. Three ex-politicians from Cucumba, two from Melona and an ambassador. Under the guise of a diplomatic visit, they sprung at Puddinghead who fought them off with a pair of rubber alligators until the guard came in.
As punishment, she ordered the six conspirators to have the namesake of their former state placed in an uncomfortable orifice, hammered in until it could no longer be seen. If any of them showed pain, they would have another placed in their mouth to choke to death.
If so, it was the Ambassador that suffered the most.
He was from Duriana.

The second month of Puddinghead’s conquest concluded, she realised she needed a means to keep order in her conquered state for steel vanguard were no defence against knives in the dark.
Thus was founded the Fools Guild. Taking ponies of peculiar talents into a house of learning, Earth Ponies were taught by Puddinghead herself how to be like her, how to entertain the masses and, most importantly, how to surprise ponies. While posing as jesters and jokers, they were in fact serving as Puddinghead’s Secret Police, Spies and Body-Doubles, observing the bodies of influence in the conquered states and luring out dissenters. Subtly, they would execute plotters and enemies of their Chancellor in broad daylight, all around them cheering and clapping, believing it was all part of the joke. They would then apparently skin the victims and pose as them to root out their contacts.
[Note: It is worth pointing out they did not actually wear the skin. They simply took it, used it as reference and disguised themselves using early prosthetics. Each face was painted on a hard-boiled egg and stored in what was probably the strangest form of an identikit known to ponykind.]
Stories of the Fools Guild were spread among the unicorn and pegasus kingdoms, spreading a great deal of fear as they realised that Earth Ponies were no longer the brutish, one-track minds they’d become used to. All stories however, did not survive the Founding, as their zero-accountability policy was that anything you heard about them was regarded as a joke.
Officially, the Fools Guild did not exist.
Puddinghead was quoted as saying ‘A Guild of Fools?! That’s silly! Fools can’t run guilds! That’s why they’re fools! It’s a guild or it’s a group of fools! It can’t be both! Hahaha! What a joke!”

With order set in to her Republic, Puddinghead pressed on. West Jelly was conquered after several skirmishes, the President Jim Jam pledging his allegiance. Grapevine soon followed, the largest producer of wine in the Earth Pony Republic and the President, Vitis Vinefera, the most infamous drunk who was certain that the invasion force he saw outside the city was simply the result of him drinking too much...or not enough. The state of Cran was more difficult but Smart Cookie was able to thwart them using diggers to cut off access to their submerged cranberry fields, waiting it out. Cran was the largest seat of medical research in the Earth Pony domains and at the time, there were fears of plague setting in around the area. President Sharpseed was convinced to surrender.
The invasion of Avocada was where Puddinghead met a snag. The ponies of this particular state were a great deal better-ordered than those they’d been dealing with thus far. The terrain was swampy but not submerged meaning boats wouldn’t work and crossing would be difficult, the steel armour hazardous in the sludge. The local president, Holly Guacomole, was well-versed in warfare and utilised both stealth attacks and conventional formations, often simultaneously, against Puddinghead’s onslaught. The Republic’s legions suffered hundreds of casualties, by far the costliest expedition thus far. Puddinghead and Smart Cookie convened and they agreed to put the invasion on hold. But to ensure the Avocadans didn’t think they’d won, Smart Cookie left them a parting gift. The Apothecaries of Cran and the Gelomancers of East and West Jelly worked together to create a powerful plague that would be carried by rabid tar slimes released into the Avocadan Swamps. The plague and the slimes that carried it were short-lived but it devastated the defenders, forcing them far from the swamps where Smart Cookie set up a bulwark, cutting their foes off from the eastern part of their own state. There, a stalemate took place.

To compensate their losses, Puddinghead and Smart Cookie set about conquering smaller but nonetheless important states in the south. Grenadine was the centre of gunpowder experimentation and explosive production in the Earth Pony Realms and prepared for Puddinghead’s invasion with a field of powerful land-mines. President Bombenade sent out a proclamation of defensive measures across his state, beckoning all citizens working in the fields or on the shores to head to the city with all haste through a secret passage that only the Grenadine knew. Puddinghead however, utilising the Fools Guild, prevented the proclamation being delivered. After a week, Bombenade was sat down with his family at dinner when they declared they’d eaten better in the Republic. Laughing together before the bewildered President, they removed their masks to show themselves as Fools who then fled into the city slums. Terrified, Bombenade was summoned to the walls where Puddinghead stood with the President’s family and her legions with every Grenadine citizen they’d seized from outside the city. From the walls, Bombenade yelled that keeping prisoners as ransom was against their creed. With a wicked grin, Puddinghead replied she wasn’t keeping them prisoner. In fact, she was there to return all of them straight to the city. When Bombenade screamed that there was a minefield before the city walls, Puddinghead simply asked him to speak up as she edged the citizens forward.
History may never tell if this was a bluff or if Puddinghead really was intent on clearing the minefield with Grenadine’s ponies for the city’s officers and ambassadors galloped out of the secret passageway, pleading Puddinghead to spare their subjects, bringing forth the white flag.
Grenadine had been conquered without a single drop of blood spilled.
And that was all Smart Cookie allowed to be told throughout the Republic.

Word soon reached them of events on the nearby archipelago of Juju Bay. Unicorn Witches had enslaved the local population, keeping them in check with a strange form of magic brought over from Zebrica.
Here, one of the most famous Fools, Chatterbox, infiltrated the island and smuggled in a toxin to be laced into the Witches’ wine the slaves made for them.
Typically for Puddinghead, it turned out to be a very powerful laxative that, to put it lightly, severely disrupted their magical focus that allowed the slaves to rise up and slay the witches. It is said that Puddinghead then stuck the witch’s heads on poles around the island beach and utilised mundane needle lobotomy to prompt them to cast an observation spell to sound from over the sea if invaders from the south ever encroached upon the Republic from the sea.

In the fifth month of Puddinghead’s conquests, she headed back east to continue her campaign against Avocada and all states beyond.

Bronycommander
Group Contributor

6971531
Another Good thought out Part. Her caring honors Cookie

Purple Patch
Group Admin

6971984
Well, caring in a sense but throughout her time, she was ruthless in her task to bring the Republic to order.
I've found some historical characters to base them on.
I'm basing Puddinghead off Napoleon and Smart Cookie off Machiavelli.

Bronycommander
Group Contributor

6972091
Good idea. I just meant it honors her how she accepts Surrender and such

Purple Patch
Group Admin

6972093
Well, it's only sensible.
If you don't accept surrenders, nopony's going to surrender are they. Avoids waste of time, resources and lives.
Smart Cookie earned her name because she worked her campaigns on logic and reason, revolutionising the way war was done among the Earth Ponies.
Where the Unicorns had their chivalry and the pegasus had their honour, the Earth Ponies only had their strength, a 'might-makes-right' culture. Basically fascism.
Smart Cookie and Puddinghead changed all that entirely for the better.
But they didn't do it cleanly.

Bronycommander
Group Contributor

6972098
Yes, sometimes, a Sacrifice needs to be Made.

Purple Patch
Group Admin

6972099
Actually, the way Smart Cookie ran the Earth Pony Republic, with its reforms of centralisation, merit systems, identity records and secret police is based off some of the reforms under the Peoples Republic of China.
Interesting seeing it from this point-of-view.

Bronycommander
Group Contributor

6973655
Indeed. It just Sounded like she's more fair/caring than puddle.

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