• Member Since 23rd Dec, 2013
  • offline last seen Aug 25th, 2015

Silent Strider

Compulsive reader, novice writer.


Twilight Sparkle and Pinkie Pie discover smudges covering the family ties of the same pony in different genealogical records; taking a closer look, they discover what appears to be large scale tampering with the genealogical records.

Deciding to solve the mystery Pinkie Pie travels to Canterlot, where she pairs up with Princess Luna in an attempt to solve the "Smudge Conspiracy".

Created for the Equestria Daily Writer's Training Grounds #003: "Pinkie Apple Pie".

This is the very first piece of fiction I wrote outside school assignments, and it's rushed due to the deadline to boot. I plan to edit it in due time, adding back a couple scenes I simply didn't have the time to write, but that will likely happen only in Q3 2014.

Feel free to point any flaws; it's why I took part of the Writer's Training Grounds, after all.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 21 )

Interesting and innocent explanation.

Though I've seen it used for Dark stories where Celestia breeds ponies until she has perfect element holders.

Your story is quite refreshing from all that nonsense.

Thanks for your comment!
Yes, this kind of plot device tends to be bread and butter for a whole class of dark stories, and not only MLP fics; but it's the only one I could think of (and twist into something less dark) in time for the submission deadline. I'm glad you liked it :twilightsmile:


You know, it's neither all that difficult, nor necessarily sinister, for an immortal alicorn to "breed ponies" when she's a master social manipulator in a position of royal power. All she really needs to do is arrange the right introductions or assignments, then let Nature take its course.

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It's slow and far from certain, though, unless the immortal is quite overt in her efforts. She better start early and include spares in her plan if she tries to do this in a subtle way. More so if she has to have multiple ponies "ready" at the same time.

I guess if I was going to explore this I would look at the spares; I see more potential for conflict there. Maybe a story where the "background 6" discover they were Celestia's spares in case the mane 6 didn't turn out well... but no, not yet at least; I don't currently have the time, or skill, to do such a history justice.

On the other hoof, an immortal actually being overt in her efforts might make for an interesting bit of dark romantic comedy...:twilightoops:


That seems to me to be exactly what Celestia did. Under the heading of "Magic," we see Sunset Shimmer, Twilight Sparkle, and Trixie Lulamoon -- all in the same generation and all about the right age. Twilight was obviously Sunset's backup, to the point that Celestia had to rush Twilight's training. Trixie's status is less obvious, but she is a damned powerful illusionist who has suspiciously-ethereal-looking hair.

The fact that of the three named, one of them (Twilight) clearly suffers from OCD and the other two (Sunset and Trixie) are close to batshit-crazy megalomaniacs, to the point of playing very poorly with others, implies a deeper problem with raising ponies to match the Elements.

There also may be some significance to the fact that they are all female.

Celestia doesn't have to be overt. That's the point. She's that good at social manipulation.

I don't think she has to be overt to get two ponies together, but if we are talking about the elements of harmony I do think she would have to be somewhat overt to get them to produce a foal at the right time...

BTW, according to a post on Twitter by Lauren Faust, Trixie went to the same school as Twilight and Sunset Shimmer :pinkiegasp:

I don't subscribe to the idea Celestia "breed" the bearers of the elements, but she clearly knew far more than she let Twilight know. I truly doubt the fact four of the other five bearers-to-be were handling the Summer Sun Celebration - and, thus, ponies that Twilight would be forced to meet - and the only one that wasn't was the pony that always threw a party at every new face was a coincidence.

It's either that, or else Celestia has a passion for playing metaphorical Russian roulette...


BTW, according to a post on Twitter by Lauren Faust, Trixie went to the same school as Twilight and Sunset Shimmer

Wow, if that's the case, then my theory that Celestia was actively seeking and attempting to train a worthy bearer of Magic is probably true. Also my theory that something, either about the qualities of a prospective Element Bearer, or about the stress of the training, induces madness. Not one of those three mares is really all that sane, not even Twilight.

The other Bearers seem to suffer stress from the extremity of personality necessary to remain attuned. Applejack's Honor Before Reason leading to extreme reactions when she fails to live up to her promises even when it's not her fault , Rarity's obsessive ambition and frequent tantrums, Pinkie's manic-depressive behavior, Fluttershy's Social Anxiety Disorder, and Rainbow Dash's constant boasting -- none of them are what I'd call well-balanced, and since they're the chosen champions, it is probably the case that any other likely candidates would be even crazier.

It has occurred to me that they are being essentially pushed into the role of alicorns before they are ready, like bonobos being trained to operate nuclear-powered all-terrain vehicles. I've noticed that Twilight has calmed down a bit since she actually became an alicorn. I wonder -- if the others Ascend, will their personalities settle down as well?

Actually, it's a bit hard to tell how the mane 6 personalities are developing because any slice of life episode focused on one of them tends to handle said character the idiot ball. I do believe they are improving, having their main character flaws become less overt as their personality and relationships develop.

And, of course, they currently aren't the bearers of the elements, so if you consider that remaining attuned takes a toll on the mane 6, that process might have stopped in season 4.

Pinkie Pie learning how subtle disguises work. EQUESTRIA IS DOOMED.

And ooh, I like your idea that blood magic also causes dispersal of the harm. Makes sense, with the conservation effect; can't believe I've never seen it before.

Also: ALICORN PARTY! *puts on paper horn and cardboard wings*


Pinkie actually can be subtle when being subtle is fun; see her reaction to being observed in Feeling Pinkie Keen :pinkiehappy:

The dispersal idea is what happens when an engineer writes about magic; I try to create the rules for everything I write about in an effort to be consistent. Not the best idea when writing Pinkie fics, though :pinkiegasp:

Glad you liked the fic, BTW :twilightsheepish:

3902903 Hey, that whole engineer mentality is one of the things that made the Wheel of Time series awesome, and is still awesome in the Dresden Files series. I like it when magic has principles it needs to adhere to -- not because of any moral value, just because it's its nature.

I was thinking more about using the law of conservation of energy to explain a spell when I talked about being an engineer. But yeah, I love the concept of "Magic A Is Magic A" :twilightsmile:

(The first draft used a bit of optics to describe how the spell could be focused, BTW; I dropped that because it was getting confusing even for me :facehoof: )

And yet again, Pinkie proves she is best pony! :pinkiesmile:

Well, she is the one that can yank the plot out of my control and run away with it, not even Discord does that :pinkiehappy:

It's my personal headcanon that Celestia breeds her nobles the same way some people breed dogs. It's a hobby, and she's going for interesting-looking traits rather than any actual capacity for being good at anything useful.

Mostly because I disagree with the idea of a noble caste in a modern-day society ruled by immortal demi-gods. Trying to get ahead by involving the nobility is like trying to reach the stars by climbing a tree. Pinkie Pie has higher status than Prince Blueblood.

Well, given the almost utter lack of canon information on nobles and the government itself, that is surely fertile ground for a myriad of headcanons :twilightsheepish:

My guess - and headcanon - is that noble titles and families work more or less like in the few remaining European monarchies: little, if any, actual power conferred by the title, but the noble families often being old and very well connected they have other sources of political power.

Replacements / Backups / failed alternates ????

Twilight--------- Sunset Shimmer ------ Trixie Lulamoon

Rainbow Dash ---------- Lighting Dust ?

Pinkie Pie----------- ??

Rarity --------??

Applejack ------ ??

Fluttershy -----??

Any ideas from anyone?


Well, not taking into account undeveloped background ponies (for the most part), those are the ones I can think of.

Twilight--------- Sunset Shimmer ------ Trixie Lulamoon

Yep, this is canon even. All three went to Celestia's school, and Sunset Shimmer was even Celestia's student for a time. They are more failed alternatives, though Trixie could work as a replacement.
Zecora would also be an interesting option if non-ponies can be element bearers; while she isn't an unicorn she seems to understand quite a lot about magic.

Rainbow Dash ---------- Lighting Dust ?

Lightning Dust feels like a failed alternative, yes.
I would like seeing Derpy as an alternative here. while she is often a flying disaster, she seems to be quite friendly and legitimately trying to help. Sounds like loyalty to me, and she could fit as either a replacement or a failed alternative.
Soarin also seems like a good option.

Pinkie Pie----------- ??

Cheese Sandwich is a perfect replacement, down to the Cheese Sense and the ridiculous ability to pull parties.
Surprise is also a possibility, she appeared as a background pony in the show and is often portrayed as Pinkie Pie with wings on fan material.
For a pony that is not a carbon copy of Pinkie, DJ Pon-3 could work.
Ms. Harshwhinny could be a failed alternative. She works with entertainment (after a fashion), but seems to make laughter vanish whenever present.

Rarity --------??

Coco Pommel would actually work. She has a generous nature, which got suppressed for a time from working for Suri Polomare.
Fancy Pants also seems like an interesting fit.
Suri Polomare is, of course, the perfect failed alternative.

Applejack ------ ??

It might seem ridiculous, but I think Photo Finish is a good fit. She seems honest to the point of being curt.
Filthy Rich also seems like a good candidate. He seems honest and decent enough, if boring, and the relationship with his daughter might create interesting situations.
Obvious failed alternatives? Flim and Flam.

Fluttershy -----??

Cheerilee would fit quite well.
Also, Bulk Biceps might actually work, and create an interesting, and comical, contrast between appearance and element. He can work as a failed alternative, too.
For a perfect failed alternative, if they can be from other species, Gilda.

This makes no sense to me at all now.

Without ponies knowing who they are related to any...

You run the risk of too close relatives marrying, recessive genes, and birth defects too.

A real mess.

Tia, you idiot.

That's actually how breeding animals and plants for their best traits works in real time.

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