• Member Since 13th Oct, 2013
  • offline last seen Yesterday

Jordan179


I'm a long time science fiction and animation fan who stumbled into My Little Pony fandom and got caught -- I guess I'm a Brony Forever now.

T

This story is a sequel to Nightmares Are Tragic


After the final fight against Nightmare Moon, Princess Luna has regained her identity and sanity. But she is still weak, scarred by her suffering, and -- save for her sister -- mostly alone in a strange new Equestria, a world which in some ways resembles the old Age of Wonders, and in other ways is very different.

Can she recover her strength, make friends, and resume her rightful role as Celestia's co-ruler? And can she do this fast enough to save the kingdom?

Now with its own TVTropes page!

For the Shadows which claimed her before are still extant, and stretching their malign powers forth to consume the light of Celestia's bright new world ...

Chapters (15)
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Comments ( 279 )

Well this was nice, even if it seems a bit weird to me that Luna's main reason for not wanting to try to overthrow her sister isn't learning from past mistakes or sentimentality, but that her sister's near infallible troll logic would pretty much beat anything she could throw at her.

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She loves her sister, she doesn't want to overthrow her, and she's well aware that she probably couldn't overthrow her, and that the transparently-obvious conspiracy of her Night Guard leaders would be especially unlikely to work. She was not the one who brought up the topic of overthrowing her sister -- her followers did, and she shot the idea down.

It's just that the fact that Celestia herself was probably at that meeting, apparently without anyone but Luna noticing this fact, makes the conspiracy seem even more futile from Luna's POV. :twilightsmile:

Note well that Celestia doesn't seem to take it all that seriously either: she does nothing to punish anyone involved!

3724080 would she really have done much to punish them regardless? She basically did phase out most of the war and strife in Equestria in a thousand years after all...

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Well, if they had actually launched their intended coup, Celestia probably wouldn't have let them remain as a formed body of troops within her own Palace. Celestia simultaneously made a gesture of trust toward her sister (by letting her keep her Night Pegasi) while making it obvious to Luna both that she was well aware of the situation and that she bore no ill will toward anyone involved.

The message was clear: You can keep your followers safe by discouraging them in this, which is exactly what Luna proceeded to do. Luna knows Celestia well enough to be aware that her older sister wouldn't hurt anyone out of spite.

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To elaborate: even if she did have to punish the Night Pegasi, Celestia would have done it by either breaking them up as a unit and parceling their members out to other formations, or by sending the whole unit to garrison someplace far from Canterlot. She would not have clapped them all in a dungeon, and still less executed them, unless she really could see no other way to prevent innocent ponies from being harmed.

Celestia does not like to hurt ponies. Or any sapient beings, really.

"Only Nixon could go to China" Blueblood has his uses as a diplomat. Blueblood IS a spoiled rotten coward, but he'd be a blank flank if he was truly a worthless entity. To call Blueblood a bully IMHO however is unfair, he sees those around him as servants (which is different from what a bully sees their PLAYTHINGS as).

I like you remember that Celestia's most powerful weapon isn't her magic, but her thousands of years of life experience.

The biggest theme in the Pony POV Verse is that the Nightmares ARE NOT alien parasites, but in reality that pony's dark side and come into existence much like the Witches in Madoka Magica.

And all that being said, IT IS AN HONOR that you chose to include snippets from my verse in your own. Thank you!

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Luna is not an entirely reliable narrator when it comes to Blueblood, whom I actually don't despise as much as she does. He violates almost every principle of honor she holds sacred, so she is bound to underrate him.

Eh ... yes, you're right about the difference between a bully and a snob. But Luna's really not in a good mood about what she perceives as a severe decline in the aristocracy, and Blueblood offends her. Thus her judgement.

I'm taking a compromise position in my fiction on why alicorns go Nightmare. They can do it on their own, and Luna was far toward such a sanity loss a thousand years ago. But there are also the Shadows, which actively look for corrupt and powerful beings to possess -- corrupt to make it easier to control them, and powerful to make it worth controlling them. A sanity-slipping alicorn is from their point of view the perfect host.

This of course makes this more inspired by your Pony POV universe than being in strict canon with it. This is unavoidable, since I'm (I think rather obviously) building up the Nightshadows as Bigger Bads to blame for many of the unfortunate events that have happened, and many yet to come.

I'm glad you mostly like what I'm doing, despite its non-canon status relative to your world. I really, in particular, like the way that you tied all four MLP continuities into a single epic story, and since I've always been a huge fan of fallen and lost civilizations, I couldn't resist the notion of the G2 world as being a lost age of technological wonders buried deeply in the G4 world's past.

I really hope you keep on writing your stories too, as I love them. :twilightsmile:

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I'm also, you may have noticed, trying to strike a medium between Luna as the Incorruptible Pure Pureness and Blameless Victim that many of her fans see her has being (but if she were that perfect, she would never have gone Nightmare) , and Luna as some sort of mad nymphomaniac berserker out of a feminist version of John Norman (sort of a Luna-riffic version of Molestia). I see her as an extremely good but also flawed pony, who generally tries to do the right thing but sometimes loses control of her emotions -- which I think is the way she's actually shown in her canon appearances.

Note that in canon, even after she's freed herself from her madness (or possession, or both) she scares the crap out of Ponyville on Nightmare Night, starts bitching at Twilight, the one person in that town who is still sticking by her, and then in "Crystal Empire" glowers at Twilight again, apparently because she's jealous that Celestia is trusting Twi rather than herself with this important mission. This is not Incorruptible Pure Pureness here. But we see in other episodes (and other parts of "Luna Eclipsed," even) that she genuinely likes Twilight, and that she has done and still does a lot of good.

(For that matter I also see Celestia as both good and flawed -- she's just better at hiding her flaws than is her more moody sister).

I know I'm going to get criticism from someone down the road for depicting Luna as good but flawed, so I'm laying my cards on the table with this comment.

First, I'd like to say good chapter.

Second, before I get into any specifics on this chapter, I'd like to say something related to Nightmares are Tragic. The author's note at the end of the Rarity specific chapter to be precise. You mentioned in great detail in that chapter about Rarity's generosity and how she uses it for social manipulation. I found that it was a most striking explanation of a lot of what happened in "Rarity Takes Manehatten". That thoroughly stuck with me after I watched that episode and thus you have impressed me.

Third, I did notice some mistakes in this chapter that confused me at first

She realized yet again that her the silk of her sister's new realm hid definite steel -- as was only right and reasonable.

I'm assuming the first "her" isn't supposed to be there. Beyond that it's an odd turn of phrase that I'm not familiar with but now that I'm reading again (Without that her) I'm grasping the possible meanings behind it.

Huh, you just gave me another thing to think about for writing my book. Not only do I need slang terms, but also old sayings and colloquialisms. Word of advice if you ever do what I am doing, creating a new language is a hard and very interesting task.

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Silk hiding steel is a very poetic way of saying that one speaks softly and carries a big, sharp stick.

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Thank you for your praise.

Yes, I think the writers of the series have a good sense of Rarity as a character -- she's been shown consistently since her earlier appearances, both in terms of her virtues and her flaws. I love Rarity in part because her type of character is so seldom done well -- on most TV shows. Most TV writers would present her as a shallow alpha bitch, or worse still greedy and heartless. What I love about her is that she's a nice social manipulator, and in her actions and morals an exemplar of generous, enlightened self-interest. Assuming Equestria survives all the demonic invasions, the realm will need ponies like her to lead them into the new Age of Wonders.

When I write Luna's dialogue (even internal) I specifically try to give her a Middle to Early Modern English turn of phrase. I don't mean just the occasional use of first-person personal pronouns ("thee, thou, thine"), I also mean that where possible I have her use Anglo-Saxon based rather than Latinate words, and try in particular to avoid modern euphemisms (and instead use archaic ones, where appropriate). This also works well with her personality -- save on battlefields (where she is a cunning tactician) Luna is a very direct sort of pony, and she scorns conversational evasion.

Heh, I wish I'd invented Silk Hiding Steel (follow the link to the TV Tropes explanation and examples), but it's an old concept, dating back literally to Ancient and Classical times. It's perhaps most prominent in Japanese medieval and early modern aristocratic and knightly culture, where the ladies were expected to be cultured, demure, and fully-the-match of their lords and of the samurai in following the iron and remorseless code of honor.

As a show where heroines far outnumber heroes (and one depicting an explicitly matriarchal culture), this is not uncommon on My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. Rarity is an obvious exemplar of the type: she's the most feminine of all the Mane Six -- and she's also a fearless martial artist, whose response to being attacked by a manticore many times her size was to kick it in the face (an act which I have impress Nightmare Moon herself in Nightmares Are Tragic). Celestia is polite, kindly, hospitable, feminine -- and basically a living tactical nuclear weapon. Fluttershy is a sweet shy animal lover -- who can stare down a basilisk. Cadance is an embodiment of loving harmony, and will fight her way through a Changeling invasion to get back to the side of her beloved. In fact, the ones to whom this description doesn't apply fail more because they are tomboyish to some degree: for instance, both Luna and Twilight are only minimally feminine in their behavior, while Applejack and Rainbow Dash behave tomboyishly -- all four of them are basically fearless, Badass superheroines: they have plenty of "steel," but not as much "silk."

As someone who has loved strong female characters since before they were fashionable, but prefers ones who are written as believable females rather than simply males with girly parts, it's not surprising that I love this show.

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I didn't mean that I didn't understand the "silk hiding steel" thing (Or catch the more Japanese and Chinese influence behind the actual phrasing of such a term) but I was in a hurry since I was going to be late for work if I didn't leave soon. I do appreciate your elaboration, though.

I also didn't mean to imply that you coined the term yourself. However, this brought to mind one of the many intricacies of language: old sayings and colloquialisms. I'm in the process of essentially creating a language from scratch for a book of mine. I don't halfheartedly take on endeavors such as this, and thus have to create the grammar, verbal conjugation, and many other aspects of language. It will be without flavor though, if I don't add things to hint at the one aspect of language that is most important. Language evolves (a fact you are already aware of because of your decision to write Luna the way you do, which is genius by the way), and yet old sayings will sometimes still carry through if they have a powerful enough meaning. So not only am I creating a language of the present, creating slang, and creating grammatical structure, but I also must come up with some sayings that, when directly translated, may not make perfect sense without explanation, especially to someone learning the language when all they knew was English.

I believe I can agree in how you describe each of their traits. However, since the show is less adventure and more slice of life, I find that Rarity and Fluttershy are my least favorite characters. I like all of the main six and in the few adventure based episodes they shine through their subtlety (however they wouldn't shine as much without the more "steely" characters to really contrast against). In the slice of life episodes, Rarity is indeed a social manipulator, a skill that I never learned as I'm much more like Twilight. This is an important and powerful skill, but to me has never been appealing. I think that if I were to meet Rarity in real life, I would have trouble getting past her outward self to get to know her. Her interests contrast mine as well. Fluttershy is just... if we met we'd probably sit in silence because of her demure nature and how long it takes me to come out of my shell. The others I actually feel I have common ground. Rainbow and Applejack I have less common ground with because I'm not an active person and probably more feminine than them, but I can also appreciate what they appreciate, and Twilight is just highly intellectual. Pinkie, she's just like a lot of my friends and myself (when the right writer has her).

I think I just went and over shared, but I already typed this out and it seems a waste to just not post it after that much effort.

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Ah, ok -- didn't mean to imply that you were ignorant. I actually had rarely encountered the term before TV Tropes, though I had encountered the character type, both in history and in fiction.

I love the constructed language thing. That's basically how Tolkien wound up creating Middle-Earth, you know -- he made up languages and then started thinking about the cultures and histories of the beings that would speak them. This is kind of backwards from the way that most fantasy writers before and after him did it, but it certainly worked well for him!

To some extent anyone who makes up a fantasy world must either construct (parts of) a language, or wind up basically naming everything in English. My Little Pony chose the second route, to the point that the names of most characters are basically "wordmeaning wordmeaning," as in "Twilight Sparkle" or "Sweetie Belle," and location names are either flat descriptions, such as "Ponyville," or puns on names from our own history, as in "Manehattan", "Canterlot."

Though, you know, they can't be speaking English. In fact, since they have an entirely different vocal apparatus, what they are speaking is probably in large part unpronouncable by humans; and since we haven't grown up learning their vocalizations, it's probably almost incomprehensible to us as well. The puns, alliterations and such that we hear would, if we take the secondary world seriously, be clever translations of what are probably puns and alliterations in their language as well -- but different puns and alliterations.

The same is true of their face and body language. They actually show some of this straight -- when you have good character animation in an episode, they remember to show things like the muscular, fully-controllable ears indicating emotional state. Their faces are probably expressive, too, but I doubt if the set of expressions hard-wired into their DNA are exactly the same as ours (though there would be some points of similarity -- we are both eutherial mammals). I've written some of this into my fictions -- you'll notice that characters' ears go back when they get mad or frightened, and they snort and stamp with anger. Not myself being a sapient equoid, I'm sure I miss a lot of it, though.

For a good fanfic that touches on some of the points of difference (and similarity) between humans and the ponies, you should check out Ardashir's My Little Balladeer, especially the chapters in which Twilight hasn't yet used her translation spell. Basically, Ardashir has the ponies' vocalization sound like incredibly complex versions of normal horse sounds, coupled with subtle and complex body language. The human hero Silver John, who is familiar with real horses, can pick up a lot on the emotions being conveyed, but not anything more complex. Also, his experience with (non-sapient) horses can play him false at points, such as when he inadvertently gropes one character because he doesn't grasp the nuances of Equestrian customs of affectionate behavior (fortunately, she makes allowances for his ignorance).

For a good science-fiction story dealing in part with translational conventions, check out Vernor Vinge's A Deepness in the Sky, a really excellent novel in which (among other things) humans attempt to understand the language and culture of the "Spiders," a physically (and to some extent psychologically) very-alien race. They use translational conventions to anthropomorphize the Spiders, which works surprisingly well, but also has hidden traps in their assumptions.

Eh, I love all the Mane Six for different reasons. Twilight is in some ways the closest to me, as I'm obsessed by books and love knowledge for its own sake -- though she's also what our culture would call a high-functioning obsessive-compulsive disorder neurotic personality, a character flaw which I've noticed the series actually manages to take seriously more than you'd expect for something being marketed as a children's cartoon. Fluttershy reminds me of my wife with the social anxiety dialed up to eleven (Rosanna's fascinated by, and good at communicating with, animals).

Not being into fashion myself, I can't share Rarity's guiding obsession, but I deeply respect a courageous, kind and hardworking artist and business owner of any species. Pinkie Pie just purely makes me happy, and I'm glad she came from whatever weird world gave birth to her (and I don't mean the Fantasy Amish rock farm) to grace our lives. And Rainbow Dash is insanely brave and determined to do the right thing -- "more awesome than even [she] ever imagined."

I suppose the ones I'd like the most in real life if I had to know her would probably be Fluttershy (as I said, she reminds me of my wife) and Applejack. She's easy to get along with, as long as you're decent, honest and hardworking. She has her own signature problem (Honor Before Reason), but it usually helps rather than hurts her (big exceptions in "Applebuck Season" and "The Last Roundup" -- hopefully, she's learned from those mistakes by now).

Hee, if you're at all like Pinkie, that's cool with me. :pinkiehappy:

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And once again you have mentioned several things that I'm going to have to touch upon, and actually the concept of my story isn't going to be that different from a regular concept here "a human gets taken to Equestria and transformed into a local" only change Equestria to another planet far away. His situation is also a lot worse than just not being able to understand the language right off the bat (especially since there are multiple languages, but I'm really only going to focus on one because coming up with five full languages seems like a bit much. Doesn't mean that I won't also add bits of the others in as I go though). The way I see it, he isn't exactly going to be able to walk in a new body right off the bat. It's kind of like waking from a coma, it takes a while to get all the motor functions responding right. Plus if he has any extra appendages like a tail or restructured legs it would be even harder.

Honestly talking with you about language and characterization has stimulated many a thought and idea. I can already tell that you are an extremely intelligent person that I am going to enjoy talking with about things fictional and not (and pony and not). I also look forward to reading more of your writing. Now I just need to be productive on my own work. Thanks again for talking with me on this stuff, I'm at my best when I talk to others about ideas.

"You ... would win that wager," Celestia commented. "Her best efforts at defense merely annoyed the creature. It crushed her wagon. Twilight had the two colts clean up the mess afterward."

To be more precise, it crushed her HOME, and everything she owned. If we were supposed to feel Trixie got her just desserts by spreading tall tales about herself, I never felt it was a fair punishment.

Why do I get the feeling Celly was trying to lure Luna into taking Trixie under her wing?

I ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY LOVE your view on Equestria weapons tech!

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Oh yes. Trixie suffered out of all proportion to her (relatively mild) sins. I think she's an annoying egotist (though she's actually quite powerful and skilled, and if her claims weren't so extreme she'd be more respected more widely for her very real talents), but she didn't deserve to have her home destroyed.

She did not, after all, actually cause the Ursa to attack. All she did was falsely boast that she had defeated an Ursa Major. It was Snips and Snails whose brilliant idea it was to go looking for an Ursa and -- having found it -- lead it back to town. Trixie could not rationally predict that her claim to have once defeated a giant monster would lead to someone actually causing a giant monster to attack Ponyville in an attempt to watch her do it again.

The reason why most of the Mane Six was unsympathetic toward her was that Trixie had chosen to personally humiliate them in the contests. This actually wasn't necessary for Trixie to do -- Trixie could have chosen to outdo them in better-humored ways -- and this shows that Trixie is a somewhat nasty person, probably because she's been emotionally-damaged somewhere along the line. But she's not, as far as I can, evil -- a point which is somewhat obscured on a casual view of "Boast Busters" and "Magic Duel." Specifically, that most of the really bad things she did in the sequel were due to the influence of the Alicorn Amulet, which basically ramped all her existing character flaws Up To Eleven.

Part of the problem, of course, was that Ponyville simply isn't all that used to professional stage presentations -- it's a small town in a pre-electronic media era. I noticed, for instance, that Twilight Sparkle, who comes from a sophisticated urban background, was far less offended by Trixie than anyone else out of her friends (except for Fluttershy who was Miss Not Appearing In This Episode in "Boast Busters"). Some of the boasting Trixie did was just standard magician's patter, but it was misunderstood by the audience.

Celestia thinks Trixie might have potential, and she really wants Luna to stop sitting around the Palace moping and obsessing over her current loneliness and past sins and other mistakes; and get out there and start helping ponies in trouble, like Luna used to do in the old days. A paralyzingly-depressed Luna may be better for the Realm than a maniacally-rebellious Luna, but a cheerful and active Luna is better still, and -- even more importantly -- far better for Luna herself. She knows that trying to push Luna into action by nagging her would only depress Luna more (and renew Luna's old resentments), so instead she's trying to pull her by presenting opportunities for achievement.

Until of course the end, when there's a crisis which by its nature makes it a good idea to command Luna. As you probably noticed, this works -- Luna is so happy to be called upon in a crisis that she gets a good long way back toward her old self.

This is, of course, the exact same crisis as in "Dragonshy." Celestia simply dispatched Twilight to deal with one of the dragons. Perhaps paradoxically, she felt that the large, older dragon was actually a safer training run for the Mane Six, because the Dragons are well aware of the difference in Celestia's likely response to a mere geographic incursion as opposed to murderous raiding. Young adolescent Dragons might lose their tempers and start killing Ponies anyway; an older and wiser Dragon would be much less likely to get violent. (The one in "Dragonshy" would't have gotten violent if Rainbow Dash hadn't kicked him in the face, and even then it's far from obvious that he was going all-out against them).

Luna, of course, can easily handle herself against a single Dragon of any size, save for one of their Royalty, and even in that case it might be an even fight.

I'm glad you liked my theories about their weapons. I assumed that black powder firearms are well within Equestrian technology (since Equestria is at an overall 19th century tech level and humans first developed firearms in the 14th century) but are disfavored because the Ponies are less accurate shots than Humans, are fleeter of foot than Humans, and tend to fight in looser formations than do Humans. Celestia, having been Sundreamer, is very well aware of the potential lethality of semi- and full-automatic rifled personal firearms, but simply doesn't put a priority on weapons tech -- Equestria is already the local hegemon power, and no likely foe has more advanced guns. Luna, having been Moondreamer (an engineer rather than a theoretical physicist) and also being much more warlike than her sister, took one look at this state of affairs and put "invent better gun actions" on her to-do list! :twilightsmile:

The Equestrians make more use of artillery than of personal firearms simply because one thing that even primitive cannon are good at is siege warfare. The same can be seen in our history, where the very clumsy and primitive bombards of the 15th century sufficed to bring down the walls of Constantinople. Celestia also is a vast territorial overlord and hence would find artillery useful to reduce fortifications. Notice that the Equestrians seem never to have developed trace italienne forts (low fortifications with sloped-sided brick-and-earth walls): consequently, they are strategically a "gunpowder empire" like the Ottoman or Manchu realms, even though politically they are more a Western-style parliamentary monarchy.

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I've been toying with the idea of dumping Twilight, Discord and Spike (dunno why I like putting the three of them in this kind of context, it just works for me) into an environment with humans, where they don't have their powers (possibly as an extension of Ice, though presumably involving them getting out of Antarctica without human intervention or getting back home through the portal), where the humans do not clue in to the fact that these creatures are sentient because the sounds they make are, as you say, very complex animal sounds. It isn't until Discord picks up one of their guns and starts shooting at them with it (after they've been shooting at the three of the "creatures" for some time) that they catch on that at least one of them is sentient. And the fact that Twilight's a unicorn and Spike's a dragon make it a lot harder for them to catch on to them being sentient, because they are mythical Earth animals (whereas Discord just shot at them with their own weapon, so who the hell cares what he looks like, he's obviously a sentient alien. Albeit a large, predatory, dangerous vicious alien they probably still want to kill. :-))

I actually have a fascination with the concept of sentient creatures being treated as nonsentient, because so much of our empathy as humans seems to be truncated by the ability to put creatures into a "potential food/potential predator" category where we feel justified in doing whatever damn thing we want to them.

I've seen some stories on this site explore that concept, but a lot fewer than you'd think for a series where all the characters are, by Earth standards, animals.

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Did I ever show you my old essay "Of Animals, Aliens and Human Destiny" ...? It's about precisely this issue -- the really horrible way that we treat the higher animals on Earth right now, despite the fact that we now have plenty of evidence that they are sapients like ourselves (if possibly not as smart on the average).

You should read this, and tell me what you think about it. It's five years old now, but I'm even more sure that I'm right on my main points.

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By the way, Alex, I'm almost finished posting the completed story here, so I can tell you that your comment about Trixie was largely responsible for An Extended Performance, in which I tried to show how heroic I think she can be without changing her from the obnoxious, egocentric show-mare we all know and love. Though from her own internal POV, of course, she thinks she's a nicer pony than she comes off being to most other ponies.

Anyway, thank you for inspiring me on that, because An Extended Performance grew into what amounts to an introduction to several other story lines and the Shadow Wars in general.

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Which comment inspired it?

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To be more precise, it crushed her HOME, and everything she owned. If we were supposed to feel Trixie got her just desserts by spreading tall tales about herself, I never felt it was a fair punishment.

I never thought Trixie deserved to have her van wrecked, but that comment on your part got me to really thinking about who Trixie was, how being Trixie must feel, what she may have given up in her life to be a nomad, and why she does it.

After that, An Extended Engagement just had to be written. And now it's complete -- I just posted the eighth and final chapter. Hope you like it :twilightsmile:

I do so love that description of Luna's Midnight Chariot and her 'accessories'! Now if they sold a figure of her arrayed like that I'd buy it in a heartbeat.

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Heh, thank you. :twilightsmile: This is also Luna's rather alarming way of being "girly." She can be "girly" in more conventional ways too, but she is the Civilized Barbarian Warrior Princess.

Luna seems a tad obsessive over her Midnight Chariot, also I've seen descriptions of Luna geared for battle though never with this many armaments; this needs to exist either as a figure or as fanart. Also I did enjoy Luna's perspective of how diplomacy works, really reflective of her time though I can only imagine the reactions if she did this now to creatures that aren't dragons especially ponies.

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Luna seems a tad obsessive over her Midnight Chariot ...

Well, it's a really nice chariot. :twilightsmile:

Also it's one of her links with her past life.

... also I've seen descriptions of Luna geared for battle though never with this many armaments; this needs to exist either as a figure or as fanart.

If I could draw competently, Luna in her Midnight Chariot is something I would definitely do. This is the same vehicle she rides into Ponyville in "Nightmare Eclipsed," of course -- but in that episode, she is not particuarly worried about having to fight, so she doesn't bring any weapons other than her sabatons and her own sweet Princess of Mass Destruction self.

Also I did enjoy Luna's perspective of how diplomacy works, really reflective of her time though I can only imagine the reactions if she did this now to creatures that aren't dragons especially ponies.

Witness "Luna Eclipsed." Though there she was attempting "cordiality," and in part it failed because Pinkie Pie kept pranking her. Ironic, in light of the fact that the Daughter of Paradise in chapter 4 of this story instantly took a strong liking to her. But then, one is not always identical in personality to one's half-sisters. :raritywink:

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Update: I slightly modified Luna's reaction to Blueblood in consideration of your point. It's still much the same reaction -- I just changed it to "major snob and mild bully." She still despises the pony in question. :twilightsmile:

Heh, Luna doesn't understand that diplomacy had changed somewhat in the last thousand years.

spiked sabatons, battle-axe, mace, crescent-blades, a brace of javelins and two target shields.

0-0 How does she fit all that on her?

Ironically, it was suggested the whole reason Twilight and co were sent in the first place, was because the lot of them, wouldn't make the dragon think the ponies were NOT itching for a fight, and would actually LISTEN to what they had to say.

It's ironic that the dragon in Everfree was still very much around.

Then again, it IS the Everfree Forest, if any is bold enough to live there, they're more than welcome to I imagine. Just look at Zecora.

Did Moondremer and her sister ever meet Starlight and her friends?

Wagoner's "Ride of the Sleipnirsdotters"

Little boy's voice to author, "I wanna be like you when I grow up!"

Seriously, you rock.

I hope Luna accepts that Griffins are NOT enemies of ponies anymore.

Meganism, ah.

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Heh, Luna doesn't understand that diplomacy had changed somewhat in the last thousand years.

Seems to be working for her ... none of the dragons have chosen to fight her so far. Of course, none of them had any particular reason to fight her ... that's why she's being careful to emphasize the "take your hoard with you" demand, which is actually more of a concession stated as a demand, but one few Dragons would fail to accept.

It helps that fighting Luna is a very bad idea for them.

spiked sabatons, battle-axe, mace, crescent-blades, a brace of javelins and two target shields.

0-0 How does she fit all that on her?

She's a big strong pony -- she's all graceful and small next to her sister, but remember she's actually Big Mac sized (though taller and slimmer). The sabatons are just a slightly more military version of her normal shoes. Battle-axe, mace, two blades isn't that much weight if properly distributed. The javelins aren't all that heavy, just need to be harnessed in a position where they won't trip her up. The target shields are small shields designed for active defense, not big heavy shields one can passively shelter behind.

Ironically, it was suggested the whole reason Twilight and co were sent in the first place, was because the lot of them, wouldn't make the dragon think the ponies were NOT itching for a fight, and would actually LISTEN to what they had to say.

Which he did in the end. Different approaches. Later-seasons Twilight might have been able to take him in a direct fight, but fighting something she can still reason with isn't usually Twilight's way anyway.

But note that Luna, for all her display of arms intended to impress the dragons with her warlike nature, hasn't actually fought any of them yet. Luna also doesn't want to fight them if not necessary. She actually kind of likes dragons, I'm figuring. Some of the oldest dragons in the world are probably her contemporaries. Though the ones she's evicting here are only at most a few centuries old, and most of them a century or less.

Did Moondreamer and her sister ever meet Starlight and her friends?

Sundreamer and Moondreamer designed the terawatt nuclear fusion reactors and power conversion engines which were pumped into the pieces of the Rainbow for the Great Work. At the very last moment, they realized that the seeming nonsense solutions to the math which predicted "causality singularities" that would crash the Universe were not extreme cases, but how it would really work out if not run by a computer system more powerful than any constructable at their level of technology The required computing capacity was equivalent to about one-twentieth of the combined intellectual capabilties of the entire Pony population of the Earth at the moment. It would also need a significant fraction of the Sun's entire energy output to prevent continued causality violations.

They tried to warn Starlight that the Work would fail disastrously, but they couldn't get to her in time ... to make a long story short, in one timeline "CRASH" and in the other "BOOM!"

It may be relevant here that Sundreamer and Moondreamer had, in their last years, speculated extensively on alternative systems of physics, including one which would support a Ptolemaic Solar System ... unfortunately, they never solved the problem of frictional energy losses inherent in the crystal spheres.

I don't know if I should reveal too much more of my idea here, because I intend to use it. I could tell you more in a private message

I'll tell you, though, what the computer system, when it became smart enough to do so, named itself in the first timeline, though.

Paradise.

And it eventually figured out what was coming for it.

And its prime directive was, of course, to ."preserve its Ponykind."

I'm really glad you like what I'm doing. It was your brilliant concepts that got me interested in doing these fanfics in the first place.



....

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Oh, how'd you like Dunnich?

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I missed the significance.

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The name's a play on "Dunwich" from The Dunwich Horror by H. P. Lovecraft. I'm going to do a story about it called The Dunnich Humour at some point relatively soon. It's the location of the Pie Rock Farm.

She saw that now what were still called the middle classes, and whom the nobles still felt superior, now dominated.

*There's a "to" missing here. Like, "to whom the nobles still felt superior" or "whom the nobles still felt superior to."

Wow. That's some fanatic loyalty right there. After a thousand years of presumably benevolent rule by Celestia, the Night Guards are still raring to take down "the Sun Tyrant." Are they just assuming that that's what Nightmare Moon would want, now that she's back? If so, Celestia is to be commended on keeping them away from the element bearers while the Guard could still have interfered with the outcome of Luna's return.

"Not really, Celestia told her once,

*Missing quotation mark

Dragons are weird. How could they see the flawless execution of a centuries-old plan resulting in everything turning out exactly the way Celestia wanted as a sign of weakness? "Sir, we just figured out that the Sun Princess loves her sister." "Aha! Ready the invasion force. Now is the time to strike!"

4014915

Fixed the missing "to."

That's some fanatic loyalty right there. After a thousand years of presumably benevolent rule by Celestia, the Night Guards are still raring to take down "the Sun Tyrant." Are they just assuming that that's what Nightmare Moon would want, now that she's back?

It's not actually the normal Night Guards, but the "Night Pegasi," aka "Batponies" or "Nocturne" (as Georg calls them). Luna actually created their kind: there aren't that many of them, and almost all of them are in one or another branch of the Royal Service. Their culture is a bit ... strange. They've been expecting Luna's return for a thousand years, and have their own ideas about what she will lead them to do. Luna's rather horrified when she finds this out.

And yes, Celestia made certain that they weren't in a position to interfere during the Longest Night.

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Dragons are weird. How could they see the flawless execution of a centuries-old plan resulting in everything turning out exactly the way Celestia wanted as a sign of weakness? "Sir, we just figured out that the Sun Princess loves her sister." "Aha! Ready the invasion force. Now is the time to strike!"

They are curious to see whether or not this really is a reconciliation between two strong Princesses, or an act of desperation and folly on the part of two weak Princesses. And it's not really a full-on invasion, as you'll see in the next few chapters (I know how 4 and 5 are going, even though I haven't written them). More of a test, like violating airspace to see how quickly the interceptors come up to escort one out of it.

she thought to herself Behod my fine garments,

*No punctuation, Behold

Moon Princes

*Princess

Luna's use of the archaic meaning of "despite" is a nice touch, but it kind of threw me off for a second. Had to Google search it.

Am I correct in my understanding that the "Daughters of Paradise" are remnants of the unraveled G3 continuum? It occurs to me that, if Luna was aware of the fluffy ponies' origins, that adorable scene just now could have been a massive source of guilt. Or not. Luna might still stand by the fact that what she did had to be done. But it would probably evoke some emotion, all the same.

Am I correct in my understanding that the "Daughters of Paradise" are remnants of the unraveled G3 continuum?

Oh yes. They are quite literally the "Daughters of Paradise," as explained in "Least Noticeable and Little Flappy."

It occurs to me that, if Luna was aware of the fluffy ponies' origins, that adorable scene just now could have been a massive source of guilt. Or not. Luna might still stand by the fact that what she did had to be done. But it would probably evoke some emotion, all the same.

Hee hee hee, it might have done so, if the Emotionally Self-Torturing Princess, who is a freaking military genius, had not totally missed the clues because she was too busy thinking about the dragons. :pinkiehappy: (and that smiley is very appropriate, given who else is a Daughter of Paradise in my fanon). She'll find out at some future point: she already knows Pinkie somehow survived her death in the G3 world.

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Though I'm being unfair to Luna. This chapter actually marks the first time she's been utterly happy this story.

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To be precise, what Luna does not realize is that the farm on which Pinkie Pie grew up is located just outside Dunnich. If she had known that, I think the truth would have hit her like a ton of confetti.

There was one pale-blue fluffy thing that for a moment she thought was one of those cute little ewes that had been popular pets in the Crystal Empire. Then Luna saw her eyes and muzzle and realized that it was actually a Pony, though one of the strangest ones she had ever seen. The creature met Luna's gaze, gave a delighted little gasp. There was an odd ripple in spacetime, and suddenly was the fluffy blue pony was next to her, though she had neither seen it gallop nor teleport.

I read that and gasped in Fluffle Puff fashion. Then I realized it was blue and not pink. Still, I agree with you that Ask Fluffle Puff is hilarious and is definately worth following.

Love the story so far, keep it up!

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Thank you for noticing her. Luna doesn't know it, but that signifies that she's been forgiven by an old enemy. If the technicolor Ponies are able to maintain the colony in my brain, I may write the story someday where Paradise reveals Itself to Equestria.

Something was written about the fluffly ponies in this chapter? Where? When? Who? What? Why? How?

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Agh -- I'm sorry -- I moved it from the end of the third chapter to the start of the (as yet unpublished) fourth chapter. No actual change in story sequence, I just moved the chapter break, but you won't be able to see it until I finish the fourth chapter. Sorry ...

4065694 That's your conscience telling you to write the next chapter.

such an offer from her. ."ON PAIN OF OTHERWISE

*Extra period

"we shall fight.

*"We

Ion bolts arced down directly at the startled Dragon. two hitting him right in the head.

*Dragon, two

Getting cocky,] she chided herself.

*There's a bracket here from the italics that needs removing

where she coujld look him in the eye

*could

Then rise, mine own captive, ane hear the judgement of thy conqueror

*and

Thee didst run a great risk,

*Pretty sure this should be "Thou," but grammar is tricky.

The cave swallowed them..

"

*Something happened here. There are only two periods, and then there's a quotation mark out of nowhere. Actually, the quotation mark is also there in the last chapter, now that I look back at it. Did that change?


The treasure is totally going to be books. They'll be all rare and stuff, and Twilight will go gaga over them. Luna will be totes jealous because Twilight starts visiting all the time, while poor Fischfootur has no idea what's going on. Obviously.

Actually, seeing the treasure gives me a bad feeling. I can't help thinking that it's either a trap, or Luna's not going to like what she sees. Let's just hope that's just me being paranoid here.

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Thank you tremendously for the editing assist.

Actually, Fischfootur gets to keep his hoard. But you're partially right about what's in there. :twilightsmile:

Very well-written fight, and I love the knight chariot!

Also the bit with fluffles and Luna musing that any meeting where ponies aren't running is a good one cracked me up. :pinkiehappy:

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I'm glad you liked the fluffy pony! :pinkiesmile:

Luna is perhaps pessimistic regarding her skills at soft diplomacy.

The amount of thought that you put behind your world building is absolutely staggering. I would in all seriousness draw a parallel between you and J.R.R. Tolkien in terms of how thorough you are in this aspect, with the advantage to you, to boot. I have read a great deal over the years, and I have read only a handful of stories whose worlds are even a tenth as developed. These last two chapters, with the meeting and battle between Luna and Fischfootur, have done naught but cemented this comparison in my mind.

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