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Cadance receives a letter which no one delivered, written by two little fillies who never lived. It mentions a daughter Cadance didn't know she had, and a great wolf no one's ever heard of. Cadance decides to find the two and grant their wish, but why did she go alone, and what did Clover the Clever write on a rock in the middle of nowhere?

Update (March 12 2015) The story is complete, and the first six chapters have been updated a little. If you already read those chapters, it may be worth reading them again, or it may not. I've listed some of the most obvious changes below, but I can't say that's all.

I am not very happy with this story, to be honest. I think it suffered from some real mistakes, and I've come to realize that it should have been written from a different perspective entirely. Since I can't change that now, I leave it as it is and hope some of you still enjoy it.

Changes
- The village where Silica and Silene live now has a name: Glimmerville
- Silica and Silene's mother now has a name: White Rose.
- Since it seems I never established this, the two fillies and their mother are all crystal ponies.
- A few hints of Cadance's pregnancy have been added to the early chapters.
- The guards who follow Cadance in chapter 2 now include Flash Sentry in place of one of the previous OCs. The guards are now: Wing Commander Jade Eye, Flight Lieutenant Skyline, and Flying Officers Rimelick, Flash Sentry, and Greyhound.
- There are now implied to be additional groups of guards out patrolling and scouting under Jade Eye's command.
- I wanted to be more consistent about the structure of the pegasus air force units, though it's not exactly important. A flight is a group of 3-5 pegasi led by a Flight Lieutenant. A squadron is three flights, and a wing is three squadrons under the command of a Wing Commander.
- In chapter 2 there used to be a small mention of a sun-like symbol on the rock next to Clover's message. I decided to remove that detail.
- I wanted the timeline to be more consistent as well. The story begins not long after Twilight's coronation, six or seven years after Luna's return from the moon I imagine. Fenris first appears and is chained a few years after that. He escapes his bonds some 40 years later, a few years before Silica and Silene's mother is born.
- In chapter 6, after she wakes from the dead, Cadance's magic no longer shows traces of black magic.

Chapters (10)
Comments ( 64 )

Please do go on:moustache:

Cadence, I suspect, has no clue what she is getting into. I'm sure she will be shocked at how deep the rabbit hole goes.

Haha, glitter dust. This is brilliant. And that map just promises this is going be some adventure. Except there's no adventure tag. Hmm. I look forward to seeing where this goes.

3723397
I've never been good at those tags. There will be some adventure, and I suppose maybe the tag is appropriate.

It would get the Glitter tag if one existed.

I'm not entirely sure why, but I'm getting the feeling there is some form of time travel at work here. :applejackconfused:

3724016
Timey wimey wibbly wobbly ... we need a Dr Whooves smiley

3723707

glitter tag

i.imgur.com/TWcBXE0.gif
:pinkiehappy:

In all seriousness though, this looks interesting and I am looking forward to more.

The fog is full of boojums! :rainbowhuh:

The fog is necessary for dramatic effect :moustache:

And this is why fog is evil...EVIL I SAY!

Interesting story. It's mysterious, chilling, has depth and I bet my left hand that the letter is from future. Write more for sure

Awesome. This should have been updated more often. Let me guess: Cadance traveled into the future or an alternative reality somehow and she'll have to get back home and, of course, save the black-white land

3843843
Perhaps :raritywink: Updating has been a bit slower than planned, but hopefully won't continue that way

Sombra is the big bad wolf? :rainbowhuh:

The plot thickens...also many kudos for badass Cadence!

I really am loving this story, the plot is getting thicker and the history is getting darker... can't wait to find out what happens!

Time travelling. Time travelling everywhere. I love the story about Fenris. I wonder where are you going with this. :D

Holy goosebumps batmare. I thought I noticed something amiss earlier when the number of ponies was mentioned... Harroo, onwards!

Please keep writing, I'll keep reading.

Two things: This needs more views. Moar I say! Forget "line and sinker", I'm pulling the whole boat under. Definitely interested in seeing more of this, can not wait! :heart:

Please keep writing, I'll keep reading!

4090738
Glad to hear it :twilightsmile: Sadly, writing had been abysmally slow of late, but hopefully it'll pick up again soon

So like.... why is this not on the featured list exactly? I mean this story is nothing short of absolutely marvelous. It's a pity it's not gettin more attention.

4234044
It's a mystery, truly. But thanks :twilightsmile:

I'm absolutely loving this

4234044 I second the motion!

Seriously, this is fan-freaking-tastic! Definitely want more. So much blood more...

...

Please keep writing, I'll keep reading!

I'm very confused...and I kinda like it :)

OOOOOOH!!!!!! This is freaking AWESOME! :rainbowkiss: I got chills. Chills I tells ya. Discord you evil genius, what are you up to now? I must have to know! Loving it, keep em coming!

Please keep writing, I'll keep reading!

4576582

I'm very confused...and I kinda like it

I too am puzzled by the turn of events and Discord's Draconequus ex Machina in this chapter.
:rainbowhuh:

Her left side had been torn open, revealing a glimpse of bone and organs.
<...>
“She’s foaling,” their mother said.
<...>
“Push, princess,” their mother said somewhere far, far away.

Blimey!
I hope Cadance does not push too hard and squirt out the holes in her side like a tube of toothpaste!
:pinkiesick:

4578007
Eeeww :unsuresweetie: I do try to keep the graphic gore out, since it wasn't tagged for it

Ten bits says the baby's a draconequus

4578007

On the other hand, that may make the delivery much faster: just pluck out the baby and it's done!

An interesting start. Let's see where this goes.

*checks your blog posts*
Okay good, nothing in there. Now I can ask this without looking like an idiot. There any plans to continue/update this in the near future?

5364709
I was thinking of writing a blog post about it. The honest truth is, I don't know. I've been so caught up in other stuff, I just haven't been writing a lot of pony. I've also found that I don't like what I had planned for the next chapter, it wasn't working at all, which means I have to figure out what to do instead and options are kinda limited. The problem is I know how the story must end, but I've found that it's not as easy to get from here to there as I had thought. I've sort of dug myself into a corner with the last chapter.

In theory, it shouldn't take me long to write a new chapter. In practice, though ...

Early January at the latest, I hope.

Your storytelling is excellent, but you're overdoing the mystery.

Mysterious letter shows up relating events from a parallel universe? Good hook. Mysterious fog blocks off the view of the destination? Predictable, but not bad. Mysteriously, all the guards disappear in groups until none are left? Getting into horror tropes now, but still tolerable. Mysteriously everyone's memory of past events gets altered for no apparent reason until they don't remember who came with them or why? Now we're pushing the bounds of credibility. Cadence explores the new town, meets a wolf, rescues the kids and hides out - cool. The kids mother is hurt, and the cure that brings her back from the brink is (medicine? a spell?) going to sleep for a while. Okay... Kids play with toys, then suddenly the solution to everything involves making paper and glitter?? Setting out to get the wood for the non existent (mysterious?) paper factory, Cadence finds it guarded by wolves (they're guarding the wood?! They live in a forest!), and pulls a trick worthy of Scooby Doo to rescue the slave ponies. This works about as well as you might expect, and she finds herself in a battle, which she inexplicable fights on the ground and then loses?! She's dead now? WTF?! Oh, but its all okay, because discord exists in this dimension too, and he feeds her leprechaun coins, turning her into a zombie pony. But not just any zombie pony, a pregnant zombie pony!

Your story started strong, but by now its wandered off into the distance like an Alzheimer's patient walking onto a NASCAR track in his underpants during a race. You need to go back and add in or expand the details that explain what's happening; some mystery is a good thing, but when the author is the only person with any idea whats going on you've overdone it.

*Pokes with stick.*

5721989
After much delay, I promise you it's nearly here. I'm on the last editing run right now, which shouldn't take more than a couple of days.

5678671
I made some mistakes with this story, and it never really turned out as I had hoped. There's an update coming where I try to patch over some of it a bit, but unfortunately there's not much I can really do at this point.

Fantabulous! Great read. :raritywink:

Daaaaaaah. I don't understand why Cadence is undead but hey! It makes for a good story! And the last past was pretty touching. Nice job!

I don't know, I'm not particularly happy with this. The whole ending just seems too neatly constructed to leave nobody an out. in addition to being pretty sudden and rushed altogether. The whole thing could have been avoided at half a dozen points, especially with Discord being as clearly and inexplicably aware and involved as he is, so it just ends up being enforced needless tragedy for its own sake.

But then again, time travel stories involving closed loops always seem to end up that way. A feeling of arbitrariness is just what you get for using a plot device that relies on breaking causality and complete predestination as a central element.

5732242
Won't deny the 'sudden and rushed'. It sadly ended up that way.

But what you say, that it could have been prevented along the way, that's in fact the whole tragedy of it all and the point of the entire story. Cadance reflects at the end that she could in fact prevent it all from ever happening, with the knowledge that she now has of the future. This future only happens because she makes that mark upon the stone. But as she says, how can she know that another future would be any better? It could be infinitely worse. Or perhaps the entire fabric of time and space would fray and explode in total chaos, destroying all of reality.

Clover's message warns against the hubris of thinking you know what's best for the future. It's implied that she messed with the future herself, and it caused enough chaos that she realized she had to fix her mess and make sure the future unfolded as it should and not as she wanted it to.

Discord isn't all-powerful or all-knowing, but there are certainly many things he could have done along the way too, but it's the exact same problem. Will the future be any better if he did intervene? In fact, the story only ends as well as it does because Discord plays nice instead of messing around with the time line, like he was no doubt tempted to do. In fact, Discord seems to lose very little from this entire story, unlike everypony else. Perhaps that's why he plays nice and stays largely uninvolved, because he knows he'll come out of it with the winning hand that way.

5732448
The problem is that there are just so many holes in that answer. It's part of why I hate time travel stories, as a general thing; they always leave this impression of being just a little bit too scripted. If Cadence hadn't gotten that letter, she would never have gone to the future. If she hadn't gone to the future, she wouldn't have found out how to defeat Fenris. If she hadn't found out how to defeat Fenris, she wouldn't have left herself a message. If she hadn't left herself a message, the letter wouldn't have been written.

And there's the circle. No outside trigger. A whole lot of really contrived situations are needed, with the future being required to either have always existed, meaning she can't decide to change it even if she wants to, or being created that way out of whole cloth when Discord created a letter that otherwise would never have happened. Either way it ends up feeling futile and not really in tune with the ending to it that you wrote. If it can be changed, then there's no reason for it to happen at all except for cruelty on part of whoever triggered it. It's not like they couldn't keep trying.

5732513
I don't personally have a problem with that, and I don't think it feels any more scripted than any other story, since any story would end up different if you changed the events in it. But if you're not fond of time travel plots in general then it's understandable. A few things, though:

It's not actually revealed where the letter came from or how, but the two fillies definitely did write it and 'send' it (there's no indication otherwise). That it actually reached Cadance was most likely a consequence of whatever time magic Clover had worked, not anything to do with Discord.

Cadance's message wasn't to herself either, it was to establish the village and nothing more.

And it's not a loop, like you see in some other stories. Cadance only gets that one time through, no going back and doing it different. There's no indication otherwise in the story, that I'm aware of.

5745973
I suppose it's partly a matter of taste. All stories are "scripted," sure, but generally they are written in a way that preserves the illusion that the characters have free will and choices available to them. They only ever could have done one thing, but it shouldn't look like that, you know what I mean?

And I understand that my logic might be a bit hard to follow there, if you aren't used to that kind of plot or to thinking a lot about causality in the first place. I only noticed it as strongly as I did because I'm both into speculative fiction and had a lot more classes on quantum mechanics over the course of my chem degree than I really ever wanted to, but the loop is definitely there. The message might not have been for Cadence, but without it the village would not have been established, which means there would not have been two fillies, which means there would not have been a letter, which means no message would have been written...

It's hard to explain without using analogies. Think of it like this: You are sitting on your balcony playing with a rock when you are startled by a shout and drop it. Someone is walking below your balcony at that point and gets hit in the head by a rock. He cries out.

-> Rock -> Fumble -> Fall -> Headsmack -> Cry ->

Now shift the Cry to the left

-> Cry -> Rock -> Fumble -> Fall -> Headsmack ->

The order of events is still the same, except now it's more visible that the end leads back to the beginning. From the moment you heard the cry, the dropping of the rock was a fixed event that had to happen, or you couldn't have heard the cry to begin with. The whole thing springs into existence out of thin air.

The same thing happens in your story. Everything that happens is already predestined from the moment the letter arrives, because any sequence of events that doesn't lead to the letter being written can't happen, or it wouldn't have had anywhere to come from. She never had a choice to begin with and it makes the whole thing just... vaguely gratuitous and intensely hopeless to me.

So if anyone's having trouble keeping up with this, here's my little synopsis. Princess Cadance went investigating a misty village one day, that had a thing from the distant past, where Clover the Clever pulled Cadance into some apocalyptic scenario with unbeatable wolves. Just when all hope was lost, Discord turned them into clovers or something and made Cadance a mangled undead corpse, and then she had a baby, but it was premature. So now empowered by their plan to bring color back to the world until the wolves killed them all, then they invented gunpowder on accident, and that gave them the power to do nothing. The wolves killed them all after they shot off a bunch of glitter. Also Cadance had the crystal heart ground up into dust, for reasons, and made the evil final boss eat it, which made him upset. Then she died again, and then her baby died. Then she woke up, and she concluded that it was all for the best and everything happened as it should. Then she knew the wolves were going to come in the future and kill everypony because they already did or something. Also Discord won.

5749048
Whoops, forgot to reply.

Of course there's a loop of causality. That's the premise after all. But it's not the kind of loop that lets (or forces) Cadance go back and do the whole thing over again and again until she gets it a certain way (or forever and ever), like you seemed to suggest. She gets one chance at it, and whatever she does is then fixed.

But it could have turned out different. If everything was fixed from the beginning, Discord would never have needed to intervene because there would have been no way Cadance could have died or failed. Cadance could have acted differently, so could Discord, the wolves and anyone else, but they didn't. Nothing was fixed until the end when Cadance decided to make sure it was, by writing the message and sealing the deal.

5814268
No biggie, I had a few busy weeks and honestly didn't actually notice until now.

The problem with that is something that's called "infinite regression" in computer science. If she could have behaved differently, then the content of the loop would be able to change, which would make her behave differently, which would make the loop change, which would make her behave differently... The outcome of the loop is what causes it, so any changes feed back into themselves infinitely in a butterfly effect. Basically, the whole thing is a paradox unless everything is 100% deterministic and free will doesn't exist.

I'm getting really too far into stuff that's just my own opinion there. I really only wanted to explain what about the whole thing makes it appear somewhat forced and artificially bleak to me personally, so unless you're interested in chatting about that stuff more (I wouldn't mind) I'm fine with letting it rest at that. :pinkiesmile:

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