• Member Since 11th Jul, 2011
  • offline last seen Sep 6th, 2014

Eeveexpert


E

Reports of strange, almost sentient storms have been trickling into Canterlot from all over Equestria during the past month, and Princess Celestia has noticed an uncanny similarity between each of these reports. Every time one of these storms appears, it is clear that these storms are hunting for something.

Despite the obvious connections between each of these occurrences, it is unclear as to what it is that the storms in question are searching for. Unclear, that is, until tragedy befalls one of the Elements of Harmony. The remaining five ponies must hurry to uncover the answers to some very fundamental questions, all the while fighting to protect the remaining Elements.

However, in order to do so, they will have to dig down to the age-old fundamentals of good and evil, learning things about themselves that might have been better off left unlearned...

-Not every cloud has a silver lining, but everything good has something evil to go along with it.-

Chapters (17)
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Comments ( 122 )

Hmm....very interesting.

Well written and intriguing. We'll see where this goes in chapter two!:raritywink:

...Me Gusta:moustache:

FlutterMac=win

Really like this story so far can't wait for the next chapter!:pinkiehappy:

I knead moar.

"Then I've got the perfect spell to test out our new 'power source.' Get me a charged sinkstone and meet me outside. It's time I tried walking in an Element's hooves." You touch Fluttershy and I will effing kill you, random evil pegasus.

7958 It is worse than that. Rainbow Dash is accounted for, which means that their "Power Source" is most likely Twilight! :twilightoops: These bucking Nightmare worshipers have crossed a line, and `Tia is about to go all "The Sun is Tired" all over their flanks! :twilightangry2:

Is Twilight......Dead?!?!!? :applecry::pinkiesad2::fluttercry::raritycry::raritydespair::pinkiegasp::fluttershbad::fluttershyouch::ajsleepy:

8616

I'm going to stop you right there. There will be no death in this story. If there is, it will be implied, and it will only be a villain, not one of the Mane 6. You have my word on this.

8619

at first i was like :fluttercry:, then you said that and i was like :pinkiehappy:

8781
Do you actually LISTEN to Death Metal? You of ALL ponies should know that there are fates FAR WORSE than death. :trollestia:

Also, chapter 5 has been up for a while now. I should probbably read it. BRB.

And so the imposter was found out, and FlutterRAGE was unleashed! MUAHAHAHAHA! :flutterrage:

Oh snap! Luna is stuck in an Inception multi-level dream thing, and she's the only one who knows that the Elements can "Ping" one another. :fluttershbad:

This is Waffle. Another great chapter as always.

Can't wait for the next chapter

Well buck, this isn't looking good... Luna getting mind raped by the ghost of her former self, and Twilight is going to get some serious grass stains on her flank after her sole remaining capter finishs dragging her back to base.
:twilightoops:

92981
Well, when Rarity said that things were far worse than anything they've previously dealt with, she really meant it.

finnally updated? :derpytongue2: Besides how long it takes between chapters its a great story :pinkiehappy:

The Princesses should have learned War Magic during their reign, along with Mind Magic and Black Magic. If the number one most powerful weapons in existence were being threatened, and I had a prisoner, I would stop at nothing to get the information I need. Mind rape, physical rape, castration, sawing off of limbs, you name it I would have done it, especially if the life of a student I had practically raised from childhood was at stake. :flutterrage:

Whoever said good had to be nice? Ultimately being nice gets you nowhere and lets the enemy win. If the enemy were followers of Discord (which they may very well be) they would have no problem doing all sorts of unspeakable acts to those I cared for. By attacking the Elements and the Kingdom, they declared war on Equestria. Banishment to the Moon isn't enough. This time their souls are getting ripped out of their bodies and getting banished into the core of the Sun.

far worse? I would hardly say so. Discord, after all, was QUITE willing and capable of doing MUCH worse, not only to the inhabitants of Equestria but also to Equestria itself. Torture, forced mental intrusion and shattering of wills; death would be a welcome respite in the aftermath of his reign. I would suggest you see this http://youtu.be/c3HPDI9Odbc if you wish to see what true horrors the creature was on the brink of unleashing upon the world.

"Ah'll give ya somethin' far worse than a black eye... Ya hear me?"
I'd like to see that...

I'm surprised servants of darkness haven't raped or tortured any of the Elements they had in custody. A couple thousand years of peace must have dulled them quite a bit. I'd like to see the looks on their faces when they realize mercy isn't on the to-do list for the Goddess of the Day. Unless it is. In which case that would make her an incompetent ruler in my book; war never fails to reward mercy with tragedy, and to save the lives of millions the lives of a few must be eliminated.

236656

"...the lives of a few..."

Truer words have never been spoken. That said, nopony knows much of what is going on yet, Celestia included. Therefore, offing your captive, who is the one pony that may very well be your sole source of information would not be in Celestia's best interest here, regardless of whether or not it would be a merciful act. Celestia has been in charge of Equestria for a millennium; she knows how to handle delicate situations such as this. Besides, when our villains made off with Twilight, they single-hoofedly ensured Celestia's personal involvement. I'm pretty sure that any mercy she gives to her captive will end at keeping her alive.

As for the "rape and torture" of the captive Elements, the explanation of that is just as easy as the above, though much less eloquent. My answer boils down to "I just wouldn't be comfortable with writing the Mane 6 into such a scenario." Nothing more, nothing less. I wouldn't be comfortable writing any character into that kind of scene, to be brutally honest.

Regardless of whether or not this explanation was to your liking, let me thank you for taking the time to read this far. Your feedback and thoughts are also highly appreciated as well.

236421

You are 100% correct in saying that Celestia has a great level of personal involvement in this entire affair. However, I hardly think that that gives the currently acting ruler of Equestria license to storm into the enemy fortress and turn it into a bloodbath littered with death and severed limbs. If Celestia did such a thing, it would forever brand her as a tyrant, and ultimately guarantee one future; an uprising and eventual overthrowing. Human history has given us enough examples of that. Besides, Celestia knows that those behind this need Twilight and the remaining Elements alive and well, and she's right. She has no reason to resort to violence. Worry not though, action and recompense will be given out in due time.

Oh, and here's a tiny little spoiler for ya. Discord's not the one behind this. To be fair, you did only have two choices to pick from, though.

So close and yet to far. ...oh snap, it's been so long I can't remember where everypony is! Twi is the only one currently in enemy hooves, right? :twilightoops:

238310

that's a relief, of the two big ones the other one seems much less competent and quite a bit more merciful.

still, people in our continuity have no problem seeing marines go into a hideout guns ablaze if they know the enemy has nuclear weapons. And even most usually anti-torture professors I've spoken with agree that if there existed absolute certainty that the prisoner was privy to knowledge concerning the whereabouts of the most dangerous weapon known (in our case, a nuclear bomb), they would have no qualms in utilizing any means necessary in order to gain this information. There is a boundary between showing benevolence to one's misguided subjects and showing incompetence to enemies of life as Equestria knows it. At the moment, if I'm reading this correctly, the subjects in question are indeed threatening to end all life in Equestria as we know it (albeit probably unintentionally, but seriously if there's even a single earth pony among them they should know full well the consequences of eternal night. life would end pretty quickly).

238149
Oh no, I certainly don't think simply ending their lives would do any good at all. Every bit of information counts, and wasting that information an some petty desire for vengeance would be just as incompetent as showing any great deal of mercy. (:pinkiecrazy:<- not a solution) However, Discord and Twilight have shown that Mind Magic is QUITE canon, and if memories can be inserted, it should not be difficult to extract them as well. My suggestion is to extract the information from the captives through magic (and really if a thousand years haven't honed royal mental search filters then I really wonder how she's remained in power so long) and utilize said information in attaining the plan and possible whereabouts of Twilight.

I see. Well, I applaud your honesty and respect your choice. War and espionage is never an easy thing to write about, especially when trying to write realistically or trying to deconstruct the "innocence" (read: naivety) of the world in regards to such. Sweetie Belle certainly doesn't show understanding in regards to death and funerals, and Dash doesn't seem to consider being trapped under a rock "forever" to be of much concern to her health and sanity, aside from simple boredom.:rainbowhuh:

And I thank YOU for having written such a well thought out story. Your answers so far have been quite satisfactory, and I look forward to continuing this dialogue, as well as to any future chapters you have planned. :twilightsmile:

238653
Actually, I had been toying with the idea of magically-powered memory extraction. Truthfully, I was struggling with how to accomplish such a thing without making it seem like too much of a deus ex machina. I have given it some thought however, and I think I have it pegged, though only time will tell. Speaking of memory manipulation, when you mentioned Twilight's ability to do so, that got me thinking. As far as I remember, and I might be a little fuzzy on this, so don't hold me to it, but I didn't think Twilight actually planted those memories into the other Elements. I thought it was more of bringing those memories back to the surface after Discord buried them. Whether or not Twilight did as you claim holds no sway over what will actually happen later in the story, as I don't doubt that both Celestia and Discord are fully capable of such feats.

I hope I don't offend by saying this, but when I first read your comments, I wasn't able to divine a positive or negative connotation from them, though truthfully, it shouldn't matter. A writer should be willing to accept any and all opinions and criticisms. Nevertheless, it was a load off my shoulders to hear you're enjoying what I've produced. It's compliments like yours that keep me writing. :raritywink:

I'll do my best to not disappoint!

242343
It would be less a deus ex machina and more of a plot point or chekov's gun if both sides are capable of memory extraction (which would greatly depend on whether or not NMM has unicorns on her side). If all she did was bring them out the she has reallyy freaky knowledge of her friends' mind layout. I'm not sure if I'm supposed to be even more disturbed by that or not.

Well, I hope you receive many more such compliments in the future! :twilightsmile:

Oh sh*t! Celestia about to whup some ass! :rainbowdetermined2:

I think Celestia could have worded that better. It made for a great cliffhanger, but it's SOOOOO not the right thing to say to calm Luna down.

HARK!! WE DEMAND THAT THOU UPDATEST MORE FREQUENTLY THAN ONCE
EVERY LUNAR CYCLE!! THOU SHALT BEGIN WITH THINE SCRIBING OF THE NEXT CHAPTER AT ONCE!!!

236656

You'e been reading too much Terry Goodkind. Why should a "servant of darkness" be automatically portrayed as some sort of vile sadist? There are two sides to every conflict and both good and evil often are present on both. Right and wrong have little sway when one is fighting for something beyond themselves. A villain can be noble. In such times as easily as a hero can be petty and cruel. Besides, it's easy to make a darkfic compelling solely due to the content. Making a PG rated relatively close to canon adventure fic just as compelling is laudable in comparison. I, for one, am glade ther are no such themes as rape or torture in this fic. I get enough of that from all the other brutal grimdark things I love. I go to ponies to get away from that.

242666

I believe that what Twilight did had nothing to do with memory implantation or extraction. I believe it was memory prompt.
"Hey remember that time when...?"
"Yeah! I remeber that! That was great."
Except that you didn't remember that. It was filed away and unretrievable without a prompt to search for it. In other words the memory was burried until I reminded you. And what is the first response the memory? Emotion. It's as simple as that.

304060

Because of their master/mistress. I'll admit, my expectations had been based on the assumption the enemies were servants of Discord, and one can't be His servant without having at least a few of the elements of Discord- deceit, betrayal, greed, cruelty, despair and enmity. Being servants of the Nightmare, I'll tone it down to merely the threatening of life and perhaps some beating now and then. To the enemy, who value nothing besides the return of eternal night, such petty things as "morality" and "decency" are nothing. They have already been more than willing to kidnap, imprison, threaten and to a certain extent torture. I see no reason, aside from the author's choice which I respect, for the enemy to refrain from taking advantage of the situation as they see fit.

Tell me, what is the goodness and nobility of everlasting night and the death of the sun? Where is the kindness in starving and genociding ponykind as the world slowly freezes on one side and burns on another, the generosity of taking away the sunshine and rainbows of countless fillies and colts, the joy of crushing the hopes and dreams of the citizens of Equestrias, the loyalty in betraying a ruler who had benevolently and peacefully ruled over a near-utopian nation for thousands of years, the honesty in using a mare's trust in her friends to nearly kidnap and imprison her, and the friendship in casting away all ties to others in the hopes of serving a mistress who could care less about ponies?

304410

Extreme grimdark in MLP fiction is as credible as wars being fought with pies in a historical drama. If all you were suggesting was hyper realisim and gritty brutality I might be more sympathetic, but I have difficulty respecting your views and opinions because of how over the top unrealistic they are. You seem to want the dial turned up to 11 when It only goes to 10. There is a reason that gluefics and extreme content fics, dispite popularity, lack credibility.

All of your assumptions of the personalities, motivations, goals, and outcomes of the enemy are incredibly pessimistic and skewed toward the most grimdark aspect available. They are only viable if you stretch the bounds of logic even beyond hyper-reality. Discord ruled Equestria for likely centuries. But the ponies were unharmed dispite his "torment". In fact it seems like the Idea of harming another physically is distastefull to him with his "8 don't turn ponies into stone" line. Not that emotional damage isn't damage. Also I disagree on your assessment of the "elements of Discord" as those were mere situational based on the characters' personalities. His ONLY element is CHAOS.

As for Nightmare, if she's a part of Luna's personality then she would have the same motivations which while misguided are not destructive inherantly. There have been shown to be severalternatives to life within an "eternal night" (which came off more as a threat than an actual intention). If on the other hand it is the Nightmare as a separate entity then it's motivations would be power.

Either way all 3 possibilities keep the same theme of wanting the citizenry as a captive audience, not a dead one.

As for the expected cruelty of the villains in this storythey are not really all that villainous, they are pretty much just a rating above the shows antagonists in maturity. There is nothing wrong with a more gritty or realistic portrayal of Equestria, but within reason and the bounds of logic.

303816
The right thing to say? Probably not. Did Luna ask for the truth? Yeppers. Calming or not, that's what she got.

[Royal Canterlot Voice]
HEARKEN TO US, THOU UNGRATEFUL WHELP! WE FEEL THAT IT WOULD PLEASE THEE TO KNOW THAT THE SCRIBING OF THE NEXT INSTALLMENT OF OUR FICTIONAL WORK HAS INDEED BEGUN! WE PRAY THAT THOU KEEPS THINE PATIENCE ABOUT THEE, VILLAGER!
[/Royal Canterlot Voice]

*snrrrk* I really should speak in the Royal Canterlot Voice more often. It's quite liberating.

304689

It is in my humble opinion that Fallout:Equestria is quite credible, but obviously that is a subjective opinion and a matter of choice, so unless you wish to bring it up I will not argue that point. I will, however, address your other concerns as stated in the first paragraph in my responses to your following paragraphs.

If you recall in Celestia's monologue concerning Discord, as she describes him as having "ruled Equestria in an eternal state of unrest and unhappiness" the camera pans to an image of the creature dangling ponies by wires embedded in their limbs over greenish flames, and faint screaming can be heard in the background. If you call his antics "not harmful", it seems you and I have different definitions of the term. He shows little restraint in bringing actual torment; imagine the physical damage of being forced to dance upon a broken hip joint, or having your body made to scratch its way through hard-packed soil like a dog. If you would like more imagery of the probable psychological and physical damage of Discord's antics, amusing as they may be to him and less reality-minded individuals, I would invite you to skim the "Discorded Pony POV Series" by Alex Warlorn on either Equestria Daily or Deviantart.

According to the assessment of the Sisters thus far, it seems the Nightmare is a part of Luna.

Although the intent may be to utilize a captive and living audience, Lauren Faust has clearly stated in the past (link) that, I quote, "Nightmare Moon didnot just intend to make eternal night, but to usher in an era of evil. Celestia had a responsibility to her 'people' to protect them." Although she admits her plot may not have been accepted by the current producers of the show, the pilot was her story and so I take her opinion on it and her intents for it to be as close to canon as possible until stated otherwise by the current producers. Elsewhere (link) she has also stated in response to why characters were so upset about eternal night that it is, and I quote again, "Because their food can't grow without sunlight." This, then, would cause starvation, which would ultimately lead to genocide.

My conclusions, then, have been based off of what I have taken to be show and creator canon, with what I consider reasonable extrapolations based on known facts. I do not attempt to bring make anypony OOC, and have based my expectations of the antagonist OC's off of their existing actions, demeanor and allegiance, as well as the existin actions and demeanor of the mistress they serve and the master I had erroneously assumed they served. As it is, I continue to express surprise and some sense of incredulity at what I consider quite merciful and occasionally stupid actions on the part of the antagonists, even allowing for the author's choice of not having rape and torture. As I have stated previously, "I'll tone it down to merely the threatening of life and perhaps some beating now and then... They have already been more than willing to kidnap, imprison, threaten and to a certain extent torture. I see no reason, aside from the author's choice which I respect, for the enemy to refrain from taking advantage of the situation as they see fit."

Feel free, however, to submit rebuttals to my current qualified claims and support.

305886

If you recall in Celestia's monologue concerning Discord, as she describes him as having "ruled Equestria in an eternal state of unrest and unhappiness" the camera pans to an image of the creature dangling ponies by wires embedded in their limbs over greenish flames, and faint screaming can be heard in the background.

The image is one pony of each race in expressive emotional distress with the "wires" leading to auras surrounding the ponies, not to their bodies, and the flames are pink. It's a mural. Not literal. And all the ponies scream and panic all the time at the slightest provocation anyway.

If you call his antics "not harmful", it seems you and I have different definitions of the term. He shows little restraint in bringing actual torment; imagine the physical damage of being forced to dance upon a broken hip joint, or having your body made to scratch its way through hard-packed soil like a dog.

Good god, this is what I mean. It's like you see the world through blood tinted lenses. Discord uses reality warping magic, not psychological control. He inverts and subverts, he does not torment out of malice. He is CHAOS INCARNATE. Chaos is neither good nor evil. Without chaos there could be no life, no love, no fun, but without order there could be no stability, no peace, no rest. His problem is he creates chaos to the EXCLUSION of order, upsetting the BALANCE; not that he is truly evil. He just IS. That's why the Elements could cleanse Luna, but not Discord. There was nothing to cleanse. And if Discord is in fact the source of Chaos (novelty) in the FiM universe, completely extinguishing him would lead to a stagnant world of pure order (entropy).
Granny Smith's hip was not broken. Ever. It was worn. Discord used magic to heal it and have her dance because he thinks inversion is funny. (Have you noticed she no longer uses a walker after that episode?) Same with Big mac. He is the farmer, he was turned into the farmers pest, a gopher or "prairie dog" hence the doglike licking. It was a goddamn PUN for fuck's sake, not a forced torture. (Although making puns tangible is pretty evil.)

If you would like more imagery of the probable psychological and physical damage of Discord's antics, amusing as they may be to him and less reality-minded individuals, I would invite you to skim the "Discorded Pony POV Series" by Alex Warlorn on either Equestria Daily or Deviantart.

I know of it yes. It's well written and emotionally stirring, but in the end yet another dark fic that misses the point in it's self importance.

According to the assessment of the Sisters thus far, it seems the Nightmare is a part of Luna.

In the show it is word of god that it was Luna's darkside but with help from some forbidden magical force, yes, but not in all fanon. I'm only referring to the fanon of this fic right here.

Although the intent may be to utilize a captive and living audience, Lauren Faust has clearly stated in the past that, I quote, "Nightmare Moon didnot just intend to make eternal night, but to usher in an era of evil. Celestia had a responsibility to her 'people' to protect them." Although she admits her plot may not have been accepted by the current producers of the show, the pilot was her story and so I take her opinion on it and her intents for it to be as close to canon as possible until stated otherwise by the current producers.

Of course her rule would have been "evil", she was fueled entirely by envy and wrath and fear. But all she wanted was to get her way. Not burn the world. Again, your interpretation of what Nightmare Moon's "evil reign" would entail is just much more intense than what I consider realistic, apparently.

Elsewhere she has also stated in response to why characters were so upset about eternal night that it is, and I quote again, "Because their food can't grow without sunlight." This, then, would cause starvation, which would ultimately lead to genocide.

Yes, this was canonized in the Hearth's Warming Eve episode. I don't really have an argument against this. I'm not saying evil and death don't exist in the FiM world, I'm just saying that it is an extreme that should not be embraced as the norm. (I would like to believe that the threat of "eternal night" is only so, a threat. But I must admit that is only my optimist perspective on this current point and not entirely objective.. Can you admit your perspective is skewed on some things as well?)


My conclusions, then, have been based off of what I have taken to be show and creator canon, with what I consider reasonable extrapolations based on known facts.

I consider your extrapolations completely unreasonable.

I do not attempt to bring make anypony OOC, and have based my expectations of the antagonist OC's off of their existing actions, demeanor and allegiance, as well as the existin actions and demeanor of the mistress they serve and the master I had erroneously assumed they served.

Define what you mean.
If you mean OOC compared to the show canon then nearly every character in this fic is already OOC without your help. That's what you get when you make a scenario more mature than the source. It's unavoidable and I really don't mind.
If you mean OOC based in the fanon of this fic, then that is not for you or I to define. What the author says is IC for his characters is word of god. If he says they are callous and violent but not sadistic or depraved, you need to accept that. Not as an "author's choice of portrayal" as you currently are, but as set in stone literal canon (fanon) for these characters. Whether you agree with their action or not they are 100% logical due to who the characters are as defined by the author. It's not toned down, dumbed down nor skirting the issue. It's just the way they are, the only way, the REAL way, whether you agree with it or not.

As it is, I continue to express surprise and some sense of incredulity at what I consider quite merciful and occasionally stupid actions on the part of the antagonists, even allowing for the author's choice of not having rape and torture. As I have stated previously, "I'll tone it down to merely the threatening of life and perhaps some beating now and then... They have already been more than willing to kidnap, imprison, threaten and to a certain extent torture. I see no reason, aside from the author's choice which I respect, for the enemy to refrain from taking advantage of the situation as they see fit."

Well if you have a logic problem with the story as it's written I do not begrudge you that.
But if your logic problem is that the mane characters are not being brutalized nearly enough... Fuck that.

305988

If that is your interpretation then I will leave that as your choice, as the mural has not been further addressed as far as I could find.

If indeed Discord is Chaos incarnate the laws of physics would no longer apply. Simply that the characters are capable of existing in a material form, coherent thought and action would seem to imply more malice than mindless chaos. If he were indeed entirely neutral in his creation of chaos he would not take such pleasure in his orderly destruction of the psyche of each of the main characters. Another has said "even chaos would end one day. When the stars will burn out, when the particles would stop moving, it would end." Although Entropy is ever increasing, at the end of the day what is left is orderly and uniform. Additionally, Discord shows desire, emotion, anger, frustration, glee. He shows planning and motive, all aspects of ORDER, not pure, indifferent chaos. As an "avatar of chaos" he would be failing greatly.

And what would be the point, pray tell?

As you wish.

From an objective standpoint, her motive was to bring eternal night. This is the absence of sunlight. The weather patterns and the life of the planet is dependent upon the electromagnetic waves received from the Sun. Without said electromagnetic waves, the surface would rapidly lose energy in the form of heat to the void of space, lowering the temperature of the surface of the planet. This in turn would create a cycle by which the atmosphere is slowly frozen, causing more heat to be lost, and so on, until the planet becomes cold and barren. If the Sun itself is not extinguished, but the planet's rotation (or the rotation of the Celestial bodies around the planet, assuming a geocentric universe) is stopped, then one half of the planet would rapidly burn and the other side freeze in a similar manner to the way the poles freeze and the equator burns, but to an even more extreme extent. I do not see how this is unrealistic.

I will admit my perspective on personalities and individual choices may be skewed, but to be convinced of their error I would need rational and as objective as possible proof. Note that I am not accusing you of anything here, I am simply stating my preference, although I would request that this debate continue with minimal name-calling and swearing; I am sure we can be civil in our discussion if we so choose to be.

Very well, but I request specification as to which extrapolations and why you believe them to be unreasonable, taking into account this reply.

If that is your opinion, I will not argue it. In my own humble opinion, I prefer stories in which the characters initially act as close to their canon personalities as possible, and progress in a rational, realistic and reasonable manner to the characterization desired. For example, I would have no problem with, say, Twilight Sparkle becoming a fourth-wall-breaking Element of Laughter, but reasonable explanation must be given, in my opinion, for the story to be in any way shape or form believable, rather than simply "because the author chose so".

My objections thus far have been to the characterization, choices and actions of the individuals based on their shown qualities and personalities, as well as to the internal threat analysis and logic of the overarching story itself. If it seems I protest the pacifism of the story, it is because the characters given have acted in a manner which does not in my humble opinion inspire much faith in their pacifism. I will not object to the mane characters being treated civilly and even in a childishly sweet manner, if their captors were portrayed as in any way pacifist, troubled by their actions, sympathetic towards the characters, or questioning of their own motives. They have not been thus portrayed as far as I could tell, thus my objections. And as I have stated previously, I would request that this debate continue with minimal name-calling and swearing; I am sure we can be civil in our discussion if we so choose to be.

306217

Firstly, there was no name calling. I never used any derogatory term to describe you as a person.

Second, if the swearing offended you I do not apologize. I doubt expletives not directed at you and describing nothing could be found as offensive by you as I find the concept of the actions you conclude to be rational progression of the villains characterizations in this fic. However, I will restrain myself to an extent.

As for the characterization of Discord, I would love to discuss it further as I find him a fascinating character but that is not the point of all this talk in my opinion so I will move on.

As for the Nightmare Moon thing, I never said that was unrealistic. I agreed with this assessment in the 6th paragraph of plain text in the post above.

I will admit my perspective on personalities and individual choices may be skewed, but to be convinced of their error I would need rational and as objective as possible proof.

Very well, but I request specification as to which extrapolations and why you believe them to be unreasonable, taking into account this reply.

You are viewing things in absolutes. There are no absolutes.
It's hard to offer you proof or contradictory evidence when you have such a fundamental disconnect in your logic. Between your objective analysis of a character and situation and your extremely subjective assessment of that character's likely motivations and actions there is a step you are taking somewhere that bypasses rational thought and disregards human (pony) nature and sociological input from the equation.
You say "They work for an evil one, they have already done very bad things, why wouldn't they do even worse things?" That is not a logical, that is merely an extremist possibility. That someone who would do such things might have it in them to do MORE extreme things is a logical assumption but it is NOT from any rational perspective a sure thing, nor in all honesty a likelihood.
That only takes base characterization and limited evidence into consideration and extrapolates it to it's most extreme while bypassing all objective assessment from sociological, psychological, and situational factors.
You are forming your assessments in a bubble, using characterization extrapolation and reference gathering within the confines of a very limited scope.

For any individual to be as morally bankrupt and sadistic as you suggest the villains in this story should be they would require EXTREME stressors or conditioning to break down the inhibiting barriers. The characters do NOT act as trained soldiers so there's no conditioning, they also do not appear to be sociopathic enough to have suffered the stress necessary. That's not to say that such things are impossible, individuals with such mindsets crop up in all cultures and geographies, but such individuals would probably considered undesirable by a functional unit who are engaged in an objective based and very dangerous mission that cannot afford loose canons and sadists who often prove unreliable and slaves to their desires rather than the mission.

Torture: This is either to gather information (they don't need any), to break one's spirit (they don't need to) or for sadistic pleasure (this would be statistically impossible to be applied to the entire group and would be an undesirable trait on an objective based mission, they are trying to accomplish something, not running a dungeon).

Rape: This is either a form of torture or a form of sadistic pleasure, or to assert dominance. All unlikely, unnecessary or undesirable scenarios for the same reasons as torture above.

Execution: This has less defense against. Why would they take AJ hostage instead of kill her? True they could have. It wouldn't have really made a difference. Maybe they just didn't need to. Maybe they're just not killers. You would use the "Nightmare Moon would kill the whole world" reasoning here, but there are plenty of others against: If the villain is NMM then she would NOT want the Elements of Harmony fractured. That would cause Discord's release and she could not stand against him for instance.


As for your closing paragraph, I understand that you are not ADVOCATING horrible things being done to the ponies.
I understand you are merely bringing up your opinion that the enemies seem to be acting with significantly less malice than their characterizations would suggest. I simply disagree with that opinion and can logically assess many more reasons for them NOT to do so than there are for them TO do so.

Just because they roughed up a couple ponies does not mean they are capable of atrocities. Just because they might work for Nightmare Moon does not mean they they are necessarily advocates of nor aware of any intended global genocide.

You assume that because they are affiliated with evil and have done some bad things and act callously and cruelly that they HAVE to be blackened death mongering rapist meat grinder cannibals. There are shades of grey you know.

306424

I have not accused you of such, I merely request that we continue to refrain from doing so.

I do not ask for an apology; again, I simply request for restraint, and I am glad you are willing to oblige.

Very well.

Very well.

Actually, my reasoning is "They work for a creature that lacks empathy for ponykind in general, have shown themselves perfectly capable and willing to kidnap, imprison, threaten and to a so far light extent brutalize some of the most important ponies in Equestria, and know almost certainly that if caught they have absolutely nothing to lose by doing one more bad deed, so I would expect at least some form of moral degradation beyond what has been shown."

I concede this, although if there were even the slightest chance of escape from within breaking the prisoner would lower risks of losing her enough to warrant it, from an objective standpoint at least. If, and admittedly this is a large if, the captors were objective-minded enough, I would not be surprised for one of their first acts upon capturing a pegasus such as Rainbow Dash to be clipping her wings and perhaps sufficient abuse to ensure she wouldn't try any escape attempts ever. This is a moot point, however, as the author has stated there would be no such content in the story.

Would you REALLY put it past some of the male captors to not take advantage of a helpless and for all purposes compliant female prisoner given the opportunity? But again, this point is moot, for the same reason stated above.

The Elements are as much a threat to her as they are to Discord. "Anti-Dragon rifle in a dragon cave" indeed. Actually, for this act I was more thinking about the enemy agents' acts towards the soldiers sent against them, as well as the soldiers' acts against the agents. As it is a WAR, it surprises me that the enemy hasn't killed any soldiers, either to defend their secrets or to delay them, and the soldiers haven't killed any of the enemy agents, either to defend the Elements or to move against the enemy. Like marines going into an insurgent camp, aside from author choice (which I believe this is) I do not see taking an enemy base as very likely without at least SOME casualties on one side or the other. Not that I do not say it is impossible, as given the perfect combination of coincidences or supremely good tactics on one side (mostly the enemy's) it is possible, but unlikely.

I respect your opinion, and have made my reply to your logic above. It is, as of this message, on your last point which I believe we continue to have major disagreements on which have not yet been solved by author's choice.

CAPABLE they certainly are; see the Stanford prison experiments to prove anypony is CAPABLE, but if I am not mistaken I believe you meant by that WILLING, which I will concede, it is not necessarily so. It is, however, in my opinion to a certain extent a likelihood given increasing stress as the soldiers continue to dog them and they approach their deadline/objective. I would expect at least a few of them to begin losing their capacity for patience, mercy and kindness with captives and soldiers. As the soldiers have shown, THEY certainly have no objections to incapacitating and interrogating the agents, so in my humble opinion it should only be expected for the enemy to be increasingly merciless with prisoners and even more merciless with soldiers. There already has been blood spilled, albeit non-fatal, and I would be quite surprised if more were not spilled.

I have claimed no such thing, i have only claimed incredulity at the mercy and kindness of the captors so far. I am aware of shades of grey, thus I have not expressed surprise at lack of cannibalism.

307084

In the end the core disagreement between us is what we consider these characters capable of or willing to do based on their current actions and depiction.
Every single one of your examples serve to show what they are theoretically capable of. This is true.
It is your automatically leaping to extremes that I cannot come to terms with.
Mainly you seem to go straight to "it should be worse" merely from the concept "it could be worse".
I cannot make that leap of logic. It goes against everything I know and observe about human behavior and the characterizations in this fic.
There are factors that would make the behavior you suggest a greater likelihood, but none of those factors are present in this scenario as far as I can tell.

As you say, it is a moot point since no such content will be presented in this fic.

In all honesty the only reason I engaged you in discussion in the first place is because I wanted to understand your motivation behind the statements you had made. I was not sure if you were casually trolling by suggesting a more grimdark than likely scenario or if you were serious. And if you were serious, whether it was because you are a grimdark enthusiast or another reason.
I believe I've settled on "other": We just don't think the same way. You are being genuine as far as I can tell, and I respect that, but I will never ever see things the way you do.

307385

It is, perhaps, a combination of my belief in Murphy's Law and personal experience with seemingly nice individuals both online and in real life that drives my current opinion; I understand it is not by any means universally shared or even understood, and I do not expect it to be.

I would think increased stress as the Royal Guard being clamping down more tightly would be one such factor, and unless I am misinterpreting the situation I am under the impression that that is a genuine possibility in the near future for the characters within this story.

In any case, I am glad that we have been capable of a civil and polite discussion and have ended on a good-natured note, agreeing to disagree. As new chapters are added, possibly swaying the story towards one side or the other, I look forward to perhaps continuing our conversations, although perhaps on a different topic, in the future. It has been a joy and a privilege to be able to converse with you, and I thank you for your time.

@307385 and 307846
I'm glad that you two have reached the core issue of your disagreement. It was quite interesting seeing you two hold an actual civilized debate on the internet. Wonders never cease.

That said, I am... upset... at both of you over your arguement's defacement of the concept of Chaos. It is a sore point with me, so I'll make my point quick. Discord is refered to as the embodyment of Chaos AND Disharmony. As opposed to ORDER and Disharmony, which you refered to as Entropy.

Not making this distinction makes our resident embodyment of Chaos and Harmony VERY SAD: :pinkiesad2:

To 307385 and 307846

What 308271 said. Hooves up, my fellow herd members, a brohoof for each of you tonight. I've never seen such a thorough, yet calmly-worded discussion, in real life or otherwise. I'm flattered to have you as readers. I'll also make a deal with you. I'll do my best to produce quality work, if you (and this applies to everyone) continue to have healthy discussions about it.

A round of muffins, on me!

307846

Sounds good. Were all here to read and be entertained after all.:pinkiehappy:


308271

Order (entropy) and Chaos (novelty) can both be used for good or evil. it's not the chaos/order alignment that determines this, but the good/evil/neutral alignment.:scootangel:


308295

Glad it turned out this way myself. I would never want to clutter a fic thread with silly arguments. I've... started things, no malicious intent of course, just unthinkingly, on other fic's threads that were... unnecessary and I like to think I've learned my lesson.:facehoof:

Oh and HOLY CRAP. (Pardon my language).
This discussion between myself and wanderingmagus from the first comment I replied to to my reply in this post ... the word count (not counting quoted material) is: 4666 words.

308327

Indeed we are :twilightsmile: ...and that was a very long discussion. :twilightoops:

308295

And thank you for having written such a wonderful story for us to discuss! :pinkiehappy:

308271

Hmm... I'm sorely tempted to begin discussion #2 with three voices :pinkiecrazy: What do you say, DPV111 and Starcat5? Up for another round?

310265

I would be reluctant to do so as the topic of discussion would not be relevant to this locale.:derpyderp2:

Awesome chapter. Short but a great setup for more intrigue.

Have some editing and feedback:

"Cease you inane squabbling
you = your

Ponies have died![\i] Because of me!" Twilight was barely keeping her voice low and tears were collecting in her eyes. "I don't want that to happen anymore!"
You used the wrong slash in the italics end tag around "died" and italicized the whole chapter.

The sun rises behind Canterlot.
Needs a quotation mark

The guard nodded. "Very good. The flares you have are lit via a magical friction fuse. Just...drag it across a surface and point it skyward."
Why does a friction fuze need to me magical?

Even so, the slight temporal displacement was enough to surprise the oncoming pony and let him go crashing into the far wall.
"Temporal" refers to time... I think you mean spatial.

All at once, Luna saw one thousand long years of regret and loneliness come flooding back into her sister's violet eyes
Celestia's eyes are pink.

413071

Wordsmithing at 4 A.M. is bound to lead to a couple errors. Thanks, mate.

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