• Member Since 4th May, 2013
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On the Sliding Scale Of Cynicism Vs. Idealism, I like to think of myself as being idyllically cynical. (Patreon, Ko-Fi.)


As the centuries pass, cutie marks come and go. Some are common: the healing cross, the basic compass rose, the courier bag. Others are extinct: no more mercenary companies, no more mercenary marks. A few are incredibly scarce, coming along once a generation or less: the mark for luck falls into that category. A number only manifest when the call for them arrives: train tracks didn't appear until it was railroading time. But for the most part, ponies take their mark with its associated talent and magic as a blessing in their lives -- no matter what that mark turns out to be. And they accept it as they accept themselves.

Luna, in her first truly open palace session dealing with the public, is about to meet the exception: Joyous Release, a pony who wants nothing more than to be rid of her mark forever -- and every bit of the talent which comes with it.

But marks are permanent...

(This story takes place shortly after A Total Eclipse Of The Fun.)

Cover art by EquesTRON.

Part of the Triptych Continuum, which has its own TVTropes page and FIMFiction group. New members and trope edits welcome.

Now with author Patreon page.

Chapters (17)
Comments ( 885 )

A bit wordy at times. I'll admit I skipped some bits, but a good concept and the dialogue has me hooked.

Is this story going to take place now? Or are we heading into flashback sequences for the OC?

At first I was all: Yay! Another amazing Estee story! And a multi-parter it would seem! :pinkiehappy:

Then I was all: But.... but that might mean less Triptych in the near future :applecry:

And now I'm all: *pouts* is conflicted :fluttercry::pinkiehappy::applecry::moustache::facehoof:


Either there will be a new Triptych chapter tomorrow or my computer will have exploded.

*keeps wary eye on computer*

Nice but I pretty much knew what the talent was going to be as soon as I read the description. That is a delightfully punny but not subtle at all pony name, I would suggest you remove it from the description to keep the chapter more interesting.

I suspect that this story will contain worldbuilding which is relevant to Triptych. So it's like half a chapter of that, really. :trixieshiftright:

Well, since this is the Triptych verse and its been established that more ponies then just unicorns can learn a degree of extreme fine control of their innate magics to accomplish amazing feats. The obvious solution is giving Joyous lessons in mastering her talent so she can properly control it. Of course since this Talent is apparently super-rare finding a teacher could be an issue.

that clock does seem a little fast

If it's eight o' clock and the clock reads seven fifty-two (just for example's sake), the clock is slow, not fast.

Good read otherwise.

I find myself reading all your side stories, but it is so hard to jump into a 200k story. I like your wiring a lot, so I'm hoping I can take the plunge one night and see if I like it. I will say I like this story though.

If I was instantly objectified and hit on by everything that saw me within five seconds, I'd share the same opinion. It'd be nice for about two hours.


the Triptych verse


That is the scariest thing I've heard anyone say since I got here.

*hides in nearest closet*

*no, bathroom*

*closet doesn't lock*


Not an acceptable excuse. I have spare computers aplenty.

Never read Triptych or however it's spelled but this idea looks interesting enough that I'll check it out out despite not really knowing much about the universe it's connected to.

Hilarious chapter, but some good emotional bits as well.

An interesting premise, and one of those rare fics not only starring Celestia and Luna, but showing them really working together. I like it.

I'm proud. I don't even know who you are but I'm still extremely proud. You've taken a concept that would be so simple, so easy to turn into straight clop, and you've deconstructed it. You've actually shown the drawbacks to such a power, and made them terrifyingly logical, all while eliciting a genuine emotional response of sympathy and pity.

A++. If I could have any wish right now, I'd wish I could like this again.

They could try consulting Cadence. Love and Lust don't have to be related in a relationship but are often enough that she has to have experience with it and her own empathic manipulation abilities might give her some insight.

One thing pings my suspension of disbelief. MLP FIM has mind control magic in canon Want It Need It, the Mind Control spell Chrysalis used against Shining Armor, Sombra's memory spells and "Your Worst Fear Door," and neither Celestia or Luna have researched a mind shielding spell to protect against unnatural influence?

"Or is it simply -- what you told me was the single coldest lake in all of Equestria?"


That is how you don't attack, but rather completely and utterly annihilate someone's pride.

Excellent chapter.

Well two down... Maybe try Discord.

She could probably kill Chrysalis with a look. She would lose all her love and starve herself to death.

Wow....that's...one interesting talent....and honestly I can't think of any way to counter it 0.0

"...and that, daughter, is how we got our hot springs."

This is a marvelous story!
I love the angles you're taking on the marks, and it's not something I had serious considered before.
Granted, I've read stories where ponies got marks that were obviously evil, but the idea that they could
actually be hated by those that bare them, that's new.
I'm totally following you and watching out for more of your work.

I'd say try anything but Discord! Discord's magic never changed what cutie marks did, rather, he inverted their personalities. Being Discorded might easily make her embrace the mark, the consequences of which could be apocalyptic.

My solution would be to get the Elements of Harmony to snipe her from a nearby mountain top, and hope for the best.

This story is amazing, by the way.

I absolutely must agree. Faved and thumbs up. I'll be looking forward to updates to this one.

Quick, bottle her sweat and nether juices as a perfume! You'll make BAJILLIONS.

3197501 How about a talent for Celibacy?

"Or is it simply -- what you told me was the single coldest lake in all of Equestria?"

Visit scenic Trotter's Falls, near-future home of Equestria's largest fog bank!

That probably wouldn't work as it would imply that effect of a Pony's Special Talent was 'unnatural'.

I really like the Premise that this Story is working with though. I always thought that a Pony's Special Talent (whether Unicorn, Pegasus or Earth Pony) is a manifestation of their internal magic, & I've had some interesting ideas of the logical extremes that could be taken too.

Joyous appears to be experiencing the Dark Side of such an extreme. Not being able to even have a casual conversation with anyone without them succumbing to attraction would be a living Nightmare similar to the Gary Stu effect from the great Story 'Consequences of Unoriginality'.


The thing is the talent might work on discord as well as it did on the other ponies which would make for an interesting situation. Plus it could be enough to have him help as opposed to say discording her which would be strange.

I really want her to meet Gilda.

Dat would be the hotness.


Since marks appear when new advances in society emerge, it is quite clear that Joyous' mark means that it is time for ponies to invent brothels. :rainbowwild:

(On a more serious note, the fact that her magical ability can directly and autonomously control poinies' minds is disturbing. That is unlike any other cutie mark... and clearly indicates that she has been touched by Pony Satan (Sunset Satan?)!! BURN THE WITCH!!... ok, so I just can't be serious about this. :trollestia: )

Your Title for this story is one of those perfect clever titles.

It means at least two or three things that ALL fit snugly into the concept of the story.

The word craft in the title alone is reason for me to fav you but the story itself is also well written and funny.


However I think putting cadence anywhere near her might be very very bad.

Very interesting topic, nice work keeping it to a Teen rating. Not sure how you long you can keep going with it that way without a permanent resolution.

If the effect is of a magical nature, then one could assume that a magical limiter would be useful, though she'd probably be grounded then due to the Pegasi's ability to fly being in part due to magic.

It could be very bad, but on the other hand she would probably recognize it immediately. If she didn't fall head over heels, she might be able to nullify it, at least temporarily.

She'd have to go live that pony in a far away place...

Based on her story, any shy, super isolated pony might be in danger of developing a similar talent. It would be interesting if it was exclusive to metallic ponies.

It seem to me that the only way to get rid of a talent would be to execute said pony (hardly a choice to ask somepony to make, nor would any sane pony desire to force it on them), or perhaps to seal them in stone never to walk free again. If there was magic that could erase who they were (mind wipe, age-reversal), then living a different childhood/future might work.

A someone mentioned above, pretty good title :twilightsmile: even if it is a dead giveaway.


Regarding the ultimate solution to the mysteries of the Flash Fog?

I'm pretty sure that isn't it.

I am Scarheart, and I approve this story. :moustache:

I like the idea over all, but this feels like a disconnect with how talents and marks are showed to be related in the show. Rather than being a magical talent, they're a pictoral representation of a ponies talents/interests. Her talent and how it works felt too much like how Piers Anthony's Xanth series handles characters single magical talent.

It's been a heavy day. I needed that last bit.

So Joyous' special talent is the same as Millie's magical talent, but to an enhanced degree.

"Or is it simply -- what you told me was the single coldest lake in all of Equestria?"

Screw the lake. To the Arctic! Wait since they don't need to breath. TO SPACE!


Oh, and what about a cutie mark that makes you unnoticeable even to Celestia and Luna?

I have to admit, I've not ever read a story like this one. Really looking forward to seeing what comes next :twilightsmile:

Definitely more typical fair from you, Estee, and that's not by any means meant in a bad way.:twilightsmile:

One thing, though, and I've noticed it in your other stories, is using "scrapped"/"scrapping" where you mean "scraped"/"scraping" (the former is the past/future tense of "scrap", whereas the latter is of "scrape"). Not sure why, but this particular tyop really sticks out for me.:rainbowwild:

This is actually really good and I look forward to reading more of it.


*groan* That's one of those perpetual eye-slide mistakes which can get by me for a month. Fixed, thanks, and don't be reluctant to tell me about any other places it's managed to breed.

I have typical fare? I hope it's exact change. Nothing around here takes tokens any more.

Not sure if this was written with the intent of being funny, but I found it amusing nonetheless. :pinkiehappy:
Good work, overall. There were a few spots lacking clarity, but that was mostly me.


Actually unless they are allowing all of their bodily fluids to boil away (which would be quite bracing I admit) space is a rather good insulator.

I mean yeah you are slowly radiating heat out as RADIATION, but that is rather slow as such things go.

Now going to particular PLACES in space is another matter.

For example there is a crater on the moon of earth that has been in shadow as long as the crater has existed (thanks to the more or less none-existent axial tilt of the moon).

as such it has had billions of years of shade to chill.

Ok. For a non-HIE, I can really get into this.

One story away from being at the top of the Featured box, Estee! :pinkiehappy:

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