• Member Since 3rd Jul, 2012
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Co-founder of the Price of Loyalty universe.


A filly's tumble on a skiing trip teaches an unexpected lesson to an unexpected savior.

A Price of Loyalty story (no additional reading required). Written for the Everfree Northwest 2014 Pre-Con Contest.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 18 )

Wow, that makes everything even more interesting.

:twilightoops: Wait... I'm guessing this is the same Mirror Image from the main story... Does he know what happened? Is that why his character is do different now? What role is Reflection going to play? So many questions... :derpyderp2:

Anyways, good job LL! :twilightsmile: Any word on the next chapter? :derpytongue2:

Not bad, sadly it was so short.

Great story, I wish there was more :I :D

Oh wow...

This was impressive...

~Skeeter The Lurker


Yes, for those of you following along on Ghosts of the Past, that's the same Mirror Image (and the same Lady Reflection).

Well now, isn't that interesting. So that's what ol' Cheeselegs has been up to.

Plus, it rather blatantly tells us that in the PoL'verse you can have both replaced ponies and converted ponies. Makes me wonder whether a converted pony ends up in the Summer Lands or somewhere else. Or nowhere else.

A brief intro to anyone who finds this fic reading the Everfree Northwest contest as has no idea what's going on in the comments: The Price of Loyalty is a shared universe project that I write with The 24th Pegasus, Ruirik, and perhaps a few others coming soon. You don't need to have read any of it to understand this, which was sort of my challenge to myself. If you have read any of those stories, however, you might recognize Reflection and Mirror Image. If you liked this story and want to read more about the setting, start with A Song of Storms or Where Loyalties Lie. The former is the story of Commander Hurricane's rise, and the founding of Equestria. The latter is the 'modern day' story of a plot against Equestria, and Rainbow Dash's part in stopping it.

This was actually covered by Twilight in Chapter V of Ghosts of the Past:

"Uh..." Twilight hesitated for just a moment, before clearing her throat. This was just a dissertation, really. A very high-stakes dissertation. In fact, lives were likely riding on her ability to convey her academic knowledge. Realizing where her mind was going, she forced herself to toss away the thoughts. "Yes, well, Dr. Graymane... " She hesitated. Correcting teachers was simply something you didn't do, and Dr. Graymane had been teaching the mare for half her lifetime. "Changeling drones... aren't that smart. They aren't hive-minded, really, but they are mostly instinctual. They can usually understand orders from their queen, and those are largely pheromone based. I doubt they would have lasted for her extended imprisonment. Also, didn't my brother set up anti-changeling spells?"

Celestia turned to the mare at her side, who stepped forward and spoke up. "Shining Armor and I did design an array of Changeling detection wards. One of these wards was tripped on the night of Princess Luna's attempted assassination, but we believe that may have been a deliberate action, used as a distraction." Twilight nodded, but the mare's words did not stop. "You're overlooking a possibility however. There is a caste of Changelings who are capable of their own thought. We took to calling them 'warriors' in keeping with the hierarchy of a termite colony."

"Excuse me, but who are you?" one of the ponies in the center of the table asked. "And, more importantly, what is the source of this information?"

The mare, clearly annoyed, glared at the pony who had interrupted her. "I am Captain Flag, and the source of the information is an extended series of military operations against the Changeling Hive on the Suidan border, two years ago."

The name perked Twilight's attention. "Wait, are you White Flag? From the Battle of Treasonfang–"

"Twilight, please." Celestia's interruption was far more gentle than the glare that White Flag shot in the direction of the youngest mare present in the room. "Again, now is not the time to discuss history. Captain Flag, are you suggesting that Masquerade might be one of these changeling warriors?"

"It is a possibility," the soldier muttered through gritted teeth. "She's proven smart enough to beat our other wards. Changeling warriors are what happens when a pony–or any other creature–is left in their cocoons after their love is drained away." Several of the ponies at the table recoiled at the revelation, and a gagging noise escaped from somepony's throat. White Flag was unfazed by her own statement. "Thankfully, they are rare. We freed most of the captives from the Canterlot invasion in time. Though they are forced to serve the hive, they retain their former sentience and intellect." Flag retained her scowl as she turned to address Celestia directly. "If that's the case, then Queen Chrysalis is behind the plot. Changelings don't act alone."

4011296 Yeah, figures. I need to start keeping notes or something, I keep forgetting details like that.


Lol ya no kidding. There's a ton of little details. And it seems like the world just keeps expanding!

Author Interviewer

Well, that wasn't anything I anticipated. Very well written. What's this group/series that this story fits into, then? Where would I start with it?


I usually go into storytelling mode when I talk about The Price of Loyalty, so let me start by answering your more practical question: start with one of Of Skies Long Forgotten, or Honor Guard.

The former, Of Skies Long Forgotten, is the first in a trilogy about Commander Hurricane, starting well before the events of Hearth's Warming Eve, set some eight thousand years before the show canon. It, and its sequels, were written by my good friend, The 24th Pegasus. You might have seen it on EqD, especially given your position.

The latter, Honor Guard, is my own work. I tend to think of it as an adventure/political thriller following Rainbow Dash and Shining Armor in their attempts to stop a plot against Princess Luna.

The Price of Loyalty started mostly by egregious self-advertisement. I had introduced a character in Honor Guard named 'Emperor Magnus', who ruled the griffons. 24 liked the name, and used it in Of Skies Long Forgotten for another griffon ruler. Then, in Honor Guard's comments, he linked it to me and asked me to read it. Most of the way through the fic, I asked myself what would have happened if they were the same griffon--just as immortal as Celestia and Luna. The result was a completely insane experiment that I deem a total success.

Since that first leap of faith, the setting has grown considerably. We picked up Ruirik (author of Fire & Rain and The Cellist of Saraneighvo from EqD), after he decided to do a few fanart sketches of some of my OC's. His DeviantArt is 95% Price of Loyalty drawings. He also writes the phenomenal Wind & Stone, set concurrently to Of Skies Long Forgotten. We're looking at one more author in the immediate future, but after that, only time will tell.

In addition to the above stories, I wrote one other short side-story for a competition which you might possibly have seen: I, Witness, which took 3rd in the EqD Batpony Writeoff for Halloween. Like Reflection, you don't have to have read any of the rest of the setting for the story to make sense.

The big draw of the setting, apart from the fun of actually reading the fics and drawing connections between them, is the world-building. We've put some pretty extensive work into topics like the governments of other races, the various ways that magic works for the different breeds of ponies, and especially the role of Celestia's guards.

I'll leave you with some of Ruirik's art in case it tickles anyone's fancy, and the hope that I'll hear from you (and anyone else who reads this comment) in some of the other Price of Loyalty stories.





-This one's from Ruirik's favorite story, the comedy spin-off From Stalliongrad With Love. It's about how an angry, violent guardspony OC from a dark and serious story fits into the 'quiet' peaceful existence depicted in the average episode of the show. It's set after Honor Guard, though I've been told you can read it stand-alone. That revelation surprised me, since I didn't go out of my way to make that the case.

Author Interviewer

Okay, I'm all set then. :) Eventually...

And yes, I remember I, Witness and I really liked it. That plus this story is why I'm now following you.

This was a nice, quick read. I never knew Mirror had a little sister. I'm kind of surprised he never talks about her. I'm a bit confused by the last sentence of the story though, and am curious about what she does with the baby changeling. I like these one-shots that are off on the side like this. They're not major pieces, but they actually help explain things and shed a new light on characters. I'll (im)patiently await your next update of GotP and whatever else that incredible mind of yours decides to write up next.


Truly and most interesting interpretation of chrysalis. But the question I wish to know the answer to is what happened to the original Lady Teatime? And also I wish to start reading books concerning this universe which is the first book that I should start on?

Wait what? Is that Cosy Glow in the image?!?!?

Nope. Just a coincidence; for it to be Cozy Glow, Ruirik (the artist) would have needed a time machine.

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