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Princess Twilight Sparkle discovers a centuries-old mystery hidden in the Royal Archives. Her investigation leads through layer after layer of deception and misdirection, setting her hooves on a path that seems to be leading to a mysterious secret. Along the way, she learns that some friendships can be very, very strange.

AUDIOBOOK by VisualPony
On the summer solstice of 2014, The Celestia Code briefly hit the #3 spot on FiMFic's Top - All Time story list!
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100% Approved by Twilight's Library!

WARNING: Major spoilers in the comments. Takes place several months after the end of season four. (Not a Da Vinci Code crossover, BTW!)

Do you see a dark tag? No, you don't. Not dark. Well, okay, there are a couple of dark-ish bits, but that's all. Not enough to warrant a tag. Speaking of tags, there really ought to be "Badass Twilight" and "Friendshipping" ones.

The sequel is here: The Luna Cypher

My editor for the first edition of this story was Gogito, and I can't thank him enough for all the hard work he did. My editor for the book version was PresentPerfect, and he did a terrific job of getting the story into excellent shape to be printed. The FimFic version now conforms to the hardback edition.

Chapters (24)
Comments ( 1274 )

Twilight Sparkle, had a curious Mind,
Went on adventure, and what did she Find?
Something forgotten, a dark secret to Bare,
Now Twilight is broken, her heart ready to Tear.
Herself was to blame, for seeking Forbidden,
She wished she never discovered, what was better left Hidden.

How often do you do updates?

I will try and do updates every three or four days.

A few corrections:
I still felt a desperate need to devourer everything I touched.

I gave an inarticulate squeak of outrage just before I realized what was gong on.

Love the scene at the end of this chapter. Twilight is well educated, but a tad lacking in imagination.

Yes, I've arraigned with the college for you to work part-time for me as an advisor on matters archaeological

While 'arraigned' is a word, since criminal proceedings are not involved you probably want 'arranged'

Man, I'm really loving this Twilight. :rainbowkiss:

And this is the same Twilight that let the dragon have the emeralds anyway, in Chapter 1? :rainbowderp: I guess changelings are Serious Business or something.

Yep, same Twilight. You'll see.... :twilightsmile:

Evil, evil cliffhanger!:twilightangry2:

Also, be prepared for more readers soon, his got recced offsite.

Aaand you just broke the Princess. :facehoof::twilightangry2:
Great going, Jigsaw! :facehoof::facehoof::rainbowlaugh::trollestia:

So does Twi get a rundown on all the Tyrant!Celestia conspiracies in the next chapter?

I'll just say that the title of the next chapter is "Conspiracy Theories" and leave it at that. :twilightsmile:

She couldn't help but smile back, but she waved a hoof at the surrounding half-walls and rubble. "No ceilings," she remarked, dryly.

No, see, that's how they get you! False sense of security, and then bam! Ceiling alligators! :trixieshiftright:

I'm actually a little disappointed there's no romance tag. It would be fun. Anywho! I'm loving this story. Some absolute top notch dialogue that's had me laughing out loud more than once. Or groaning. Yknow.
Out of curiosity, how long are thinking this will be?

Please say we're only getting started.

On an impulse, I raised a shield around us, giving it about half a day of magical charge. It turned out that it was a very good thing I did so.

Oh, that's not ominous at all. Nope, not ominous at all.

3480311 Thanks for the kind words!

I bemoan the lack of a "sorta-romance-ish" tag, but it wouldn't be fair to include a label that isn't in line with the main genre of the story.

As for how long it's going to be... I'm not quite sure. I'm certainly not even half-way through yet, but if I keep over-writing my outline (as I have been doing up until now), it might go on even longer.

3480813 As I see you've noticed, I like to end my chapters with a "hook" into the next one. :twilightsheepish:
I promise not to commit too many egregious cliffhangers!


Of the things you just said, I like all.

Oh! Almost forgot! Have you submitted this to EQD? I can all but guarantee it'd get posted.

3481040 Yep, I've submitted it to EQD. Only 97 stories in the queue ahead of me. It might get looked at in a month or so!

On an impulse, I raised a shield around us, giving it about half a day of magical charge. It turned out that it was a very good thing I did so.

Why not end it half way through the sentence while you're at it?

3480844 And horay for long stories!

I also have to say that I really like Twilight's characterization in this. It's a little bit further advanced from what it is in the show, but advanced in all the right ways. Almost like this is happening a few years after her coronation and she's getting comfortable in the horseshoes of a princess, but still completely herself.

3482220 The final resting place of the Holy Grail is in the castle Aaaaaaaaaa.... :twilightoops:

Don't worry, the next chapter won't be long in coming!

Thanks for the comment about my characterization of Twilight. That's exactly what I was going for!

Good. You don't want me to execute my standard threat against cliffhanger-happy authors. :pinkiecrazy:

Hehehe. That romance sub-plot is heating up just a bit.
And I love it when Twilight thinks of new and inventive ways to use magic... Poor Chrysalis...

Excavation with Astronomy? And Chrysalis should not look at the mountain.... this is ganna be something impressive isn't it?

3491927 Starflank's gonna excavate with her space lasers.

ARRRRRGGGGGGHHHH!!! :twilightangry2: The suspense is killing me.


Twilight continues to be best pony. :rainbowkiss:

"Unicorn supremacists," Jigsaw sneered in disgust, " I hate unicorn supremacists."

- what you did there, I see it. :twilight smile:

Enjoying this story quite a bit so far, can't wait to read more.

Really enjoying the story. Can't wait for more.

3520507 Oh, I get it now! Thanks for mentioning it.

Ooh, this is getting awesome! And it already was awesome.

And yet you still have me left in the dark as to what happens next, congrats. :pinkiehappy:


Looks like Changelings will soon have a home in all the brothels and other sexy places ponies go to for... Stuff... Yeah, stuff. Lets go with that. And kissing!.... sometimes.... :facehoof:

3562831 As if they didn't already.

The colt got nothing. On several attempts. Then his grandmother advised him to think of how much he loved his mother and how beautiful she was, and to try again.

I'm starting to think that Cornucopia machine had a flaw......one that may have ultimately lead to the creation of the Changeling species.

"Unicorns do not make, my dear! The lesser races make and we take!"

Speculation: The Cornucopia doesn't conjure or transmute items to create it uses teleportation to steal things. Which is actually no less impressive, it can read a unicorn's mind search for what that unicorn wants and then bring it to the city from a Celestia only knows range, and given that it supplied a city of thousands its mass limit must be huge. If Celestia knows about it I wonder why she didn't try to copy it herself. There's plenty of potential for theft and corruption in conventional transportation anyway, the regulation and oversight wouldn't need to be that different from what already exists and the logistical benefits to Equestria as a whole would be staggering.

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Thanks, guys! I really appreciate thoughtful, clever comments like these!


Twilight walked back to the camp in a daze, merely going through the motions as she released the Changeling captain before entering the shield while her mind went over what she had seen in an attempt.......oh buck it, how was she supposed to plan her way out of this?!

'A talk, that's what's needed. I just have to have another talk with Jigsaw......and somehow convince her that making out with Changelings using my form is a bad idea. That'll work......right?!'

*Some weeks later*

Twilight sat and stared at the "Dusk's House" with a violently twitching eye as she spied dozens of disguised Changelings. But they weren't disguised as anypony, oh no, each and every one of them was disguised as her (Princess Twilight Sparkle)!

Then she turned to glare full force at Jigsaw who was dressed in odd flashy/furry clothing with lots of sparkling jewelery.

Jigsaw for her part looked frightened of the Princess. "Ummm........I....don't know....what....went right?" She said nervously with a heavy blush as she tried to slowly/subtly move away.

Back at the Castle the Royal Guards noticed the mushroom cloud rising from one end of Canterlot. Normally such an explosion would warrant several squads and backup, but given the explosions noticeable purple hue and the fact they knew what the changelings in that building had been up to gave the Royal Guards an excellent reason to stay away for an hour or so.

3567156 Pfft, that last sentance is a lie! They would be sad as now they can't play with 'princess twilight sparkle' too! :facehoof: I mean, why else did they become royal guards than to look at royalty!... After... I meant look after royalty... Yeah :trollestia:

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Oh, you guys! :facehoof:

Oh yeah-- and now I have an urge to draw "Pimp Jigsaw", which I am going to violently repress!

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