• Member Since 21st Jul, 2012
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Confound these wretched equines! For every one I fling away, a dozen more vex me!


If there's one pony worthy of becoming a princess, Diamond Tiara is sure that she is the one. Unfortunately, fate seem to have chosen the town librarian instead. And so the filly around whom the universe revolves decides to rectify the problem by making a wish upon an ancient relic: The Hand of Phoe, rumored to have the power to change a pony's destiny.

Destiny, though, is not instant, but the result of a multitude of moments combining to form a particular result. For Diamond Tiara to become a princess, she'll first have to become Twilight Sparkle's faithful student.

A story written using the prompts from EQD's Newbie Artist Training Grounds III.

Chapters (10)
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Comments ( 45 )

This is an idea I've had laying around for quite a while. I've always liked the Newbie Artist Training Grounds idea, but I've chosen writing as my means of pony expression. That though doesn't mean I can't join in in my own way.

The goals:
1. Use the prompts from EQD's NATG III to drive the story.
2. A chapter a day.
3. A minimum of a picture's worth of words per chapter.
4. To use this as practice to improve my writing speed.

The title comes from two things. First, Phoe is the EQD mod that usually handles the NATG event, and so for that reason, the artefact controlling DT's destiny is named after her. And second, from the Monkey's Paw short story, which is one of the classic "be careful what you wish for" stories.

Will it work? Don't know, but it should be fun to try.

Tags will most likely be adjusted as the prompts pull my strings.

You've piqued my interest. Tracking this.

This night though the very ground shook with the sounds of explosions

This night, though,? you seem to forget or misplace commas a couple times.

We just have to use it and we'll be princess too, just like we should be."

Princesses, right?

"Doesn't really matter what it is called though, long as it makes us into princesses." I can't really see DT saying "it is" very often, unless it was in a "duh" context, like so.

"I can't open the door!"

"Well, it is probably locked."

"I was cat-sitting for my sister and thought she would look cute with ribbons in her hair, and she... See, there was a window open and she clawed at me and then..." Sweetie Belle glanced down at her hooves, before looking up, her desperation evident within her eyes. "Well, she sorta ran off. I've just got to find her before my sister finds out."

Sweetie's speech seems more sullen than urgent to me. Maybe just have her panic in the second half of the quote once she gets over the apparent embarrassment at the situation. Just a thought.

and Big Mac was being held up in the forelegs of a Mayor Mare who staggered beneath the weight of the stallion.

Anyway, interesting story idea. Sorry if my nitpicks offend, I just do that when i see things in stories I like because I want to help.:facehoof:

Incidentally, in that pic, are their traces of Silverwing I see? :trixieshiftright:


Sorry if my nitpicks offend, I just do that when i see things in stories I like because I want to help.

They don't offend. Actually tends to annoy me when I find an obvious mistake that nobody pointed out. Mostly because I should have caught it myself back when I first wrote it, of course. :pinkiehappy: Given how I'm trying to write this story (the whole chapter a day thing), there's definitely going to be errors, so feel free to keep pointing 'em out.

Sweetie's speech seems more sullen than urgent to me. Maybe just have her panic in the second half of the quote once she gets over the apparent embarrassment at the situation. Just a thought.

Yeah, wasn't too happy with that particular bit of speech, though it is better than it started out. Still doesn't have quite the right Sweetie vibe for me. Maybe I'll tweak it more later, but for now, need to work on chapter 2.

You'd have to ask the artist. The picture itself is Citizen Kane inspired though, from the scene in which he's running for office.

So, day 2 prompt: Draw a pony walking OR! Draw a pony on a journey.

I considered sending Diamond off on a long trip. She could have to go to far to the north, to the Crystal Kingdom. Maybe something closer, like Canterlot. Or perhaps head south toward the ancient land of the Llamtecs, where a kingdom of her own might await. Ultimately though, while leaving town would open up some world building possibilities, I decided it was better to keep her in Ponyville. I've already got future plans for a traveling adventure story, so don't want to steal ideas from that (assuming the prompts would allow for it), but more importantly, leaving town would cost me access to Ponyville's residents.

Unlike the previous chapter, in which the prompt (staring into space) wasn't really that much of a focus, this chapter makes more use of its prompt. In part that's because I'm trying to set up the situation like in the first chapter. My original plan for this idea had been to write an unprompted chapter first, then go with prompts from that point on, but since the event sort of sneaked up on me, I loosely used the first prompt in that set up.

I've got some idea in which way the story might go now, but who knows if the next prompt might throw a sabot into the machine.

Her foot twitched

??? You do this a few times in that scene.

A nice relaxed pace, not at all like the trot she was doing right.

Right now.

"Ah really gots tah learn to stick to the truth."

I don't think I've ever seen AJ say "gots to"

"Hey! You're not Apple Bloom."

Maybe add an exclamation point? The tone feels like it shifts too much.

I'm just pointing out what I see so you can fix it when you can. Keep going!

Twitch repetition is intentional, but added an "again" to the second instance so it reads better. And tweaked the rest as well.

3067016 I meant your use of the word "foot

Ah, that's deliberate. I used foot because I wanted it to be from the "ankle"/"wrist" down, which is more than the hoof, without using terms like pastern that most people wouldn't get ;)

Prompt 3: Draw a pony in costume/Draw a suited pony.

The prompt worked nicely with what I set up for chapter two. Overall, like this chapter, as I think it gives the story a good direction, one with lots of potential. Time to add Twi as a tag. Not sure if I like the <> for the Hand's lines. Don't really want to use quotes or italics though, to differentiate it from normal conversation or thoughts.

Now to see what the next prompt brings. The first weekday prompt, which means less time to work on it, but that should hopefully be offset by the story being on a bit firmer footing now.

Prompt: Draw a pony using a tool/Draw a handy pony!

Between a non-weekend day and Monday being family dinner (with my brothers, sisters, parents, nieces and nephew), just barely got this finished after the deadline. As such, pretty much no time to polish things. Also not the most useful prompt for the story.

Prompt: Draw a pony on a hilltop/Draw a pony on the rise.

Relatively light use of the prompt, though in a way it does apply to each scene. Twi rises in the balloon, DT goes to meet her friends on the hill, and DT manages to hang onto her Twi's student status for another day, something necessary for her to reach her lofty goal. Got to say I miss the time to improve things, or for that matter, to write more. Meeting up with Spoon and Alula should have been covered. Guess DT got their help somehow without having to reveal much.

The article on the Llamtec exhibit.
Yeah, but the Azma civilization didn't last too long.

It says one piece, the the Hand of Phoe,
only the REALLY impressive things get to have TWO "the"s.

By the way this story is awesome. The "Sweetie Belle is going to be in so much trouble" scene sealed it.

She racked her brain
I was all set to say this should be "wrack" but I had the good sense to double check myself first. Behold the fruits of my labor!
"Probably the most sensible attitude would be to ignore the etymologies of rack and wrack (which, of course, is exactly what most people do) and regard them simply as spelling variants of one word. If you choose to toe the line drawn by the commentators, however, you will want to write nerve-racking, rack one's brains, storm-wracked, and for good measure wrack and ruin. Then you will have nothing to worry about being criticized for--except, of course, for using too many clichés. (Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of English Usage, Merriam-Webster, 1994)

Indeed. The pollen from the jungle flowers was just too much for them to handle.

And fixed. Thanks :)

She would be sitting there in one of them jackets,
Shouldn't it be "those"? This isn't Applejack's internal monologue, after all.

As for a way to designate Hand-speech other than <text>, I've seen people use *text*, -text- or --text--, and even /text/. Or you could just underline it or something.

I guess the hand only gives so much help, eh? :derpytongue2:

The way I figure it, between free will and the number of things it has to keep track of and manipulate to turn the possible into the probable, it has its hand full. Plus it might be a bit rusty from having been out of the game for a while. Hopefully I'll be able to dive into it more later.

Isn't it Twilight Sparkle's balloon, and Pinkie has the gyrocopter thing? I mean, title sequence, Discord-Rainbow-Dash chase sequence, etc.

She'd just have to make due
make do

Ownership isn't really established. Pinkie uses it in Fall Weather Friends, while it also gets used by most of the gang in other episodes like Return to Harmony Pt2 and Wonderbolt Academy. And then there's Cherry Berry, who has it in the Mare Do Well episode, as well as Spike At Your Service, where she's giving people rides in it (so potentially her livelihood), and MMC.

The toyline does call it Twilight's (which makes sense from a marketing standpoint), but my head canon says that it is Cherry Berry's, and the gang borrows it from her. Twi having a hot air balloon doesn't really make sense with what we know about her.

But no matter who owns it, if Pinkie asked to borrow it to announce a race, it still would be bad manners to just invite yourself along. :twilightsmile:

3083644 Fair enough.
Although, as far as the plausibility of having a hot air balloon goes, who knows what kinds of doodads a princess's protege is liable to accumulate? It is also in line with her being a "science nerd" given the technology of the series.

:facehoof: Yeah, DT is going to have to work real hard to make up for this...

Diamond Decimal System. That's actually pretty brilliant!

Prompt: Draw a tiny pony/Draw a giant pony!

Gee, size change. So that means the likes of a magic effect, a dream sequence, or else taking it metaphorically. The latter I ruled out first, as I didn't really want DT making somepony, probably one or more of the CMC, feel tiny. To fit the prompt, it'd have to be more than she usually does, and she's a bit too busy to be bored enough to invest the time in that. Magic effect was a possibility. Was thinking maybe something with a magic potion DT finds and quaffs. But with her just messing up the library, well, didn't want to go the "Twi has her clean the basement route." So dream sequence it was. Not really what I'd have wanted at this point, but the Hand of Phoe weaves as it will.

Overall, would have preferred more cuteness, more funny, but instead get something a bit more action orientated. Good practice, I guess, and definitely shows I need more practice at that sort of writing. Useful to know, since I've got plans for an adventure story in the future.

On the bright side, I did manage to work in two giant ponies and one tiny one, so pretty good use of the prompt.

Prompt: Draw a pony laying down/Draw a pony lying.

A pony lying... it seems like an easy sort of prompt for DT (although not as easy as with AB, that little liar :applecry: ). And hey, it could be easily tied in with the previous chapter. I knew pretty much instantly how I wanted the chapter to go. The only problem, coming up with the right lie. That was a pain, and a solution I was happy with didn't come until about 9:30 PM.

I sense that DT is going to want to have a serious talk with the Hand at some point. To quote Lando, "This deal is getting worse all the time!"

One of the best chapters yet.

No new chapter tonight. Felt the need to shoot some stuff in Borderlands 2, so only got it half done. Will finish it off tomorrow (as well as chapter 9, hopefully). Hey, it's the weekend. I can slack a little :scootangel: Long as I'm all caught up at the end of the day on Sunday, anyway.

So yeah, you're going along nicely, then you decide to take a very little break. Which turns slightly longer, thanks to not being able to access Google Docs for some reason while housesitting. And then you're behind, at which point it becomes sort of pointless, so you let it slide more. And here we are ;)

But here's chapter 8, finished at last. Next up, going to finish off chapter 9, which I'd also started (using wordpad, wee!). But the story goes on hiatus for now. I really owe the people following P&P&S some chapters, so need to focus on that. Over time, I'll probably add chapters to this story. Don't like leaving things unfinished. I've avoided looking at the NATG event for that reason, so as to be ignorant of the prompts, and be able to stay true to the 1 day per chapter, who knows what strings may be pulled nature of the story.

Well, that is sad, but also heartening, since I can have confidence that it will at least continue at some point and probably be finished.

And chapter 9. This one sort of headed where it wanted to go, rather than quite where I had expected it would. It was supposed to have just a slight undertone of that, with how the ponies in the salon behaved, while Twi and Rarity's discussion would shift to Diamond Tiara at that point. Instead, it wound up being about Twi feeling isolated. Overall, each pony in this chapter has a slightly different focus. Rarity's focus is on what it means to others, due to her experiences of living vicariously through similar events. Diamond imagines the glory of being above others, without the loneliness and isolation that can potentially come with it. And Twi comes closer to understanding Celestia, to reaching a point she would need to truly be an equal to the sun princess, but alas the pedestal upon which she places Celestia is too high.

Overall, happy with it though. It provides Twi with a reason to keep Diamond around which means more freedom to do things to annoy Twi :pinkiecrazy: I'm actually really liking the dynamic between just princessed Twi and DT. There's good potential there.

The end sorta made me wonder if the endgame is alicornhood being transferable and the culmination of DT's wish being "tag, you're it!" :twilightblush:

This is a nice spot for a pause—as nice a spot as there can be for a hiatus.

If you're still updating this story, why is it marked as being On Hiatus?

Because I'm not updating the story again until some unspecified point in the future. Just finished off the two chapters I'd started already. Both of those (chapters 8 and 9) were published on the same day I set to being on hiatus. With that done, I've shifted my focus to other things.

I'm really fascinated with the direction this story is taking, and I would be thrilled to see it continue.

This was a fun chapter, for that matter it's a fun story. And it's interesting to see the ways in which Twilight and Diamond bond, despite being so different (and Diamond being so abrasive). I hope you one day continue this.

I definitely intend to continue it someday. I find the interaction between DT and Twi interesting as well, and it is something that is pretty much unexplored.

It has been a bit since I've published anything, or written much for that matter. So I figured the best way to get something written was just to start writing, and for that, I decided another chapter of this story would do the trick. Was planning to have Twi tell a story about the Solar Sister's rise to power in Equestria, but didn't have enough time for that thanks to the 24-hour limit I've imposed on myself for each chapter. So instead, you get ponies talking about stories. Despite this new chapter, the story will still be hiatus, as I'm not sure when I'll write more for it. Couple of other things I want to work on first.

So anyway, new chapter. Enjoy.

"See tomorrow, my student,"

See you tomorrow?

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