• Published 1st Apr 2014
  • 14,117 Views, 1,418 Comments

Puppets of Tragedy - Iridescence T Wind



We all know the story, human from earth goes to Equestria from buying a mystical prop from a mysterious unnamed salesman to attend Comicon. But what you didn't expect was the prop to be a puppeteers crafting kit.

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To Lie With Ice

A battlefield had consumed the majority of Canterlot proper. War, as it was, seen on a scale not seen since over a thousand years ago, coincidentally when Celestia came properly into her power as the matriarch of Equestria. Changelings and ponies did battle, civilians running and hiding where they could, while the guards of the royal palace came down on force upon the foreign invaders. To say it had been chaos was an understatement that would of made even the most humorless pony chuckle, as part way into the battle it began to grow to a scale that had rivaled Discords previous release from his stone prison. Terror filled the hearts of Canterlot's citizens until they realized that unlike the spirit of chaos, these strange foreign monsters that had descended into the city had come to help them, rather than play pranks or harm them in any way.

Hope blossomed, that this unlikely scenario would leave their lives intact, up until all the strange creatures had frozen, a white light blasting from the distant central hall of the main castle, before vanishing enmasse. Had whoever had brought them there been knocked out? How many of these creatures, nay, puppets they saw as their forms shifted and vanished, had been truly sentient? They acted as if alive, holding conversations, and giving reassurances as they cleared the way. Devoid of their reinforcements, the Guard began to panic and had to double down, as Changelings once held and restrained became free again to fight, what hold outs had become emboldened for the span of a few minutes despair reigned again, as sheer numbers once again threatened to overwhelm the Royal Guard and their new, relatively untested regiment.

Then the top of the castle had exploded, and everyone froze. Changelings, ponies, and all the species who dwelt in the major city.

A giant blue octahedron, tilted in such a way that if it had been set on a similarly sized table it would be resting on a point with perfect balance. The sky reflected in its surface in a way that shouldn't be possible, as the underside reflected clouds and a sky not part of their natural world while simultaneously being seemingly somewhat transparent. Unicorns, what of them who were graduates of the famous schools of Canterlot, gasped, as they saw it. The magic required to create such a thing, or warp it in from elsewhere must of been enormous.

It was so over the top, that the fighting slowed to a crawl. But it didn't stop, at least, until the strange shape made its next move. It folded, bent, and changed at impossible angles that would of made a theoretical scientist giggle in worry, revealing a red core within its center previously thought empty, and energy began to gather, and for a split few seconds, even what was left of the most hard headed and tunnel visioned of the fighting forces within the city had to come to a complete stop as the flowering shape of the... Thing, as far as they knew it... Screamed.

And a large chunk of mountain, and the mountains behind it, vanished in a show of dominance that made more than one pony glad that they didn't normally wear pants as a culture.

Their minds processed it, it had fired a laser, pinkish in color, with such intensity that a line had been left across their vision, as if they had stared into the face of a lightning bolt passing by. Hysteria began to set in, as those at the edges of the city immediately deemed this a lost cause, and began to flee like rats from a sinking ship. Those in the deepest portions of the city, looked to each other. Ponies, Changelings, and more, and decided: This was more of an immediate issue than the continuation of hostilities. Indeed, one changeling and pony could even be seen hugging each other in sheer terror of what they had just witnessed where moments before they had been trying to bash each others brains in.

If to make it worse, as the twisted crystal flower refolded itself to its prior form, a figure appeared in thin air, holding in one hand...

"That's... Impossible..." a hushed voice, no one bothered to check who, murmured.

An alien looking being was holding the princess of their eternal peace, Celestia by the mane, holding her in a manner that most would call domestic abuse had it been any other backdrop. In another, a bubble at that, Queen chrysalis also sat, looking peeved and worried, which to the Changelings was more than cause for alarm as well.

"Are you getting this?" A unicorn asked another, holding a camera set up. Bloodied from the fighting, but having snapped tons of pictures to use in the next press.

But it didn't seem to matter in the end, as what the strange alien being did next was what brought the worlds attention now, fully to alert.

Across Equestria, in each city, even those long gone or destroyed by unrelated events, or never having existed in this particular reality, a giant screen appeared. Memories upon memories, being used, not just from one absorbed being, but all of them for coordinates. A dispassionate white face, impossibly widely mouthed, giving a look of mild disapproval as if each and every being in Equestria had been caught with their hands in the cookie jar flickered to life atop it. Great Ice mirrors floating in the air called for attention, as the previous minute of events poured out on screen, an echo of screaming crystal grabbing the entire nations attention.

"What is he doing?" Princess Luna asked quietly, her head was throbbing, thoughts crossing her mind she never thought she'd willingly would ever had again, as she leaned on one of the other two remaining concious allies she had.

"It would seem, giving a speech to the world like a proper villain of gotham would. Princess." Mr.Freeze state bluntly, supporting the Princess.

"How so?" The old voice of Starswirl asked, and for all the calm the wizard exerted, none of them missed the smoke that was coming off a wooden spade that he was using as a support. He had spent the moments immediatly after transfer attempting to heal the injured. All the while cursing up a storm that would make even the burliest sailor of earth blush like a maiden.

"Attention Citizens of Equestria. In the recent events that I, Alexander Herrington, Puppet Master and humble servant of the throne am about to announce to the nation, that a great tragedy and treachery has occured to all of you today." The figure said it with some sorrow in his voice, lying as naturally as it breathed about who it was while Celestias own eyes narrowed to pin pricks. Unseen from the cameras, but known only to the one who casted it, a muting spell had been placed on the Princess, to prevent her from speaking out of turn.

"Today, a terrible truth has been revealed. A cost, paid, and a debt owed to the Elements of Harmony, of which were destroyed by the treachery of the Princess of the Sun. Who attempted to have her slaves use them upon me like she used you all for her nation. Even as I fought the war side by side with the loyalist of guards to have ever been seen in the last thousand years." He allowed a pause, as gasps and screams, and questioning murmurs filled the streets.

With all the authority of a practiced king, he continued to mix lies and truth, aware that the only thing that could stop him would be the remaining Alicorns from making this speech. Luna began to move, but Freeze's hand on her shoulder kept her there, "Do not. He wants you to interfere. It would drive his point home." Freeze Intoned.

"But I... ahh..." Luna winced as her head throbbed again. Whatever Xander, the real Xander had done to her was giving her a headache... No, her heart ached as well, in heartbreak and sorrow, and the cold feeling of misery of the like she hadn't felt since... Her banishment to the moon? Luna staggered, but Freeze caught her, and gently moved her to where the rest of the refugees from the castle were resting. An old warehouse which Freeze recognized from the heist not so long ago. Risky, but also clever. Rainbow Dash had collapsed as well when they first appeared, which left Mr.Freeze to his devices, and luna to listen as the speech went on much as he thought it would.

"The Cost, I refer to is not the one the elements paid, but one countless generations of Equestrians, and all rulers in the world have had taken from them. Magic used on a scale as to command all to her whim." The Not-Xander intoned, faking sadness, "For she has controlled your minds with a magic most dark, and abused the trust of all those she had ever met in doing so."

Distant cries could now be heard on the camera, shouts of 'this can't be!' and 'liar!' from the ponies of Canterlot, and one shout in particular, 'Where's your proof?!' echoed on screen.

"The proof is in the chains she has hidden in all of you." And Celestia's pupils became needles in width for how small they had become. A fear, proper in the solar monarch as the creature said, "Allow me to show you all."

He reached forward, and grabbed at the space in front of the Alicorns heart, and all present, changeling and pony alike in Canterlot grasped at themselves as they felt it for the first time. A weight that was always there but unnoticed, a shape that that lead unmistakably in Canterlots direction, as the sky filled with an icy blue. Chains. Millions upon millions of chains. Leading every which way, but ending all in the heart of another, and with a great effort, the creature yanked, and they felt it. At their minds and souls. A great wrongness.

Outrage sparked in distant countries in an instant, cries of pain and terror redoubled, before quieting down in more basic questions.

"The How is simple." The molten blue cracked figure revealing the terrible truth to them stated, "Everyone who has ever witnessed a summer sun celebration, or interacted with Princess Celestia has had this spell cast upon them. It is one of compliance. To love and tolerate unconditionally. To put aside differences, or forgive wrongs done to you that you normally would cause a fuss over. To forget arguements for love, and forge friendships with complete strangers that share nothing in common with you. To this end, of course, obediance is required. Harmony is Mandatory." There was a slight tinge of vileness to the last three words that even someone as dense as a brick could catch.

"As for Why?" He continued, delighting in the most destructive way possible to abolish the diarchy of Equestria, "A thousand years of peace of course. Do you think nothing was paid for such a thing? No costs? No Fines? No Taxes?" He sighed, as if explaining this to complete idiots, "She took from you magic from your souls." The lies began again, but to the masses? He was the only one speaking the truth, "Took your minds, and molded you away from who you ever were supposed to be. Do you not think it strange? The spontanious musical numbers, the prelevance of dark magic left in ordinary library books for anyone to read? He pulled the chains again, forcing suppressed thoughts to course through the entirety of equestria, if only for the moment before releasing them with another sigh.

"With these chains as the witness to who they're connected to, and truth of her deeds found in both her actions in recent months, as well as evidence gathered from the Starswirl wing of the library, and not to mention books found within Celestia's own chambers, I, the Puppet Master place the Royal Family in its entirety under arrest. Those members who are not currently in custody are to surrender themselves immediately to local law enforcement or be deemed collaberators with the crimes laid before the suspended crown of Celestia. To the end of finding them, a warrant for the arrest of Princess Luna, Princess Mi Amore Cadenza, Prince Shining Armor, Prince Blueblood, Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash, Applejack, Pinkie Pie, Rarity, and Fluttershy, and Starswirl The Bearded have been issued, and the capture and turning in of these individuals will be met with a reward of two hundred thousand bits per equestrian citizen alive for questioning by order of me. In addition to this, for the time being, I am taking direct control of the Throne of Equis until such a time that a new government can be offically started in replacement."

In one fell swoop, the world would become their enemy. Luna was glad the others were not awake for this, but her heart dropped in her chest. The difficulties that now lay ahead was looking to become insurmountable now.

"To those victims of the plots of Princess Celestia, I will now also give upon you all a service as my first act as acting monarch of the throne." Cementing himself now, the creature said, "I first bestow this blessing that I shall visit each and every affected area that Celestia has ever held her summer celebration and remove the chains binding you myself. You will feel weaker afterwards, because of the parasitic nature of these chains, but it is in my hope that your future generations shall recover their lost magical strength in time should you agree to this." He said reasonably.

"He's lying about that." Starswirl noted, "The chains don't actually affect the magic flow to such a degree as to be hampering, Xander proved that. It was almost entirely mental, any actual tax on the user would of probably filled a thimble to a lake of magic in total for an unborn foal, let alone an adult."

"You knew about this?!" Luna said, surpise coloring her voice.

"We talked about it in private, Xander was working up the courage to tell you, for fear of hurting your friendship with him." Starswirl made a placating gesture, but looked peeved all the same, "Needless to say he was enraged to find you in similar chains, but with more atop of them as well from your second encounter with the Elements of Harmony."

That mollified her only slightly, but she was still mad, "You of all ponies should of told me then, if not him!"

"That would of been impossible in the state of you before." Mr.Freeze interrupted, "Xander knew of your self punishment with the Tantabus, and was worried that you could break if he removed the bindings applied to you by both your sister, and the Elements of Harmony. Seeing your current state, where you appear to be on the verge of a fever, I must assume his suspicions were correct."

"You have his memories?" Starswirl asked, surprised.

"Some. Most of them fractured, but my own story, as it were in its multiple incarnations is known to me most precisely. Everything else is in pieces." Mr.Freeze admitted, watching Luna's face as the Alicorn realized she was even more out of the loop than she thought.

Luna was left speechless and as she worked up the words to ask how on equestria they had found the gall to NOT inform her of any of this again, or to ask any of the other dozens of questions that she now had for the two of them, they were interrupted by the speech's continuance.

"The need for visiting directly rather than removing all the chains here and now is simple, for as you can see most likely the chains connecting you to the Princess herself, there are more chains webbed and applied to each of you individually. This monsterous spell doesn't end with just one collar to your mind, but many, forcibly connecting you to people you otherwise wouldn't like, and propogating amongst each other as you interact with other ponies. I would need to visit each of you directly in order to free you of all of their influences, for even if I shatter the bundle in my hand, you would still need to shatter the others that bind you and future generations. Else your sacrifices be for naught. I mourn you all, for that. For your true potentials are forever blemished by actions of an immortal being with no care for the worries of mortals that make up the majority of living creatures."

He lowered his head, a perfect image of something grieving a dead and departed close friend, before he says, "I take the name as acting King, my name now Falsches Versprechen. Which means Sorrowful Promise in the language it was from."

In a base far, far away, Yoko flipped off the screen, "Xander, what the Frak. That means 'False Promise' In German, you and I both know that!"

"Boss, pretty sure that isn't him, but a Daemon of some sort." Lions, remarked, studying the expression on the... Things face.

"That's not a Daemon... Deargon, or Xander..." a timid voice replied in mild horror, "Or a man..." Yoko's sole Mechanicum member elaborated, "Multiple species identifiers are on that form... That thing is a..." Bronze leaf, shuddered, "T-that thing is a..."

"But as of this moment, I do have good news and more bad news to pair with this tragic revelation. For I have captured the Queen of the changelings in this brief war." Falsches smiled on screen, "And she has agreed to surrender to me in face of judgement at a later time. In addition, I have also subdued the spirit of chaos." The revelation as Discord was dragged onto camera from a magic made portal of ice and snow, frozen up to his neck and similarly muted, was given a mixed response, some fear, some recognition from those who had suffered the immediate proximety of his chaos months prior, others who knew the legend but had been to far away to even know about the event beyond the sun and moon acting weird for a few hours.

"Needless to say, Military lockdown is in effect, for I fear the worst is yet to come. Any major threats being spotted is to be reported to me for taking care of directly. Because, due to the current, now former bearers of the Elements of Harmony, and Princess Celestia, I fear every sealed evil in the last thousand and five hundred years may soon be released upon the world."

The world erupted in chaos again, as the word Discord had tried to say whispered out of several mouths across the world, a tech priest, several rulers, a dragon lord, villains and scholars of magical species. Fewer still knew what it meant, for the tragedy behind the origin. Those that did, were either long dead from age, having witnessed the last one birthed into the world as a spirit of chaos, immortal, or...

A Zebra swore with rhyming dialect, "A Draconequus, formed from a Soul That Never Quit. What was the cause to you the Puppet Master, to end up with such a disaster?!" Zecora the Zebra palmed her face with her hoof, as one of her visitors looked to her, more than slightly startled by the Zebra's outburst from the cauldron that had watched the events unfold.

"Ma'am, I take it we are 'not' going to be meeting with the dastardly knave then?" A now frequent customer of hers, the rogue that had poisoned himself asked. Alongside him, an armored young dragon and their newest member, a drunken master of martial arts whom had joined them after a long series of unfortunate events.

"I think that's a no buddy." The young dragon knight confirmed as the Zebra presumably cursed, as neither of them knew Zebrican from context. Zecora was a hurricane now in her wares.

"Hmm, maybe later on? Do you think we should reserve a meeting, schedule something with him?" Their drunken master asked, Berry Punch missing some of the context, given she was at the moment still completely sloshed on hard juice.

"Hmm. Maybe?" The Rogue was thinking about it, which was the dragons turn to interject, he thought, until Zecora interrupted him, "Go, now!" Some of her elegance was lost in her hurry, "Return to your lands and warn your people, fools. For now something walks that would make the north pole seem like a pool! Disaster and tragedy walk hoof in hoof, and this sort will never be found in a book!"

The would be adventurers gulped, but before they could ask her to clarify why the heck not, she had shoved them out the door, "Run! Take Flight! Flee! Before the Everfree Consumes Thee!" Zecora for her part had already left them, and was now packing up all that she could before she booked it herself.

"What? Why would we in particular need to-"

The trees began to shake, not from their own motions or the winds, but because-

A lashing vine clobberred the dragon knight from standing and through several trees as the other members ducked.

"Oh my Cele-" The Rogue ducked a blow aimed to decapitate as the forest came alive all at once.

The Tree of harmony, drained of most of its power, no longer had the strength to contain the Plunder Seeds that Discord had sown oh so long ago.

Elsewhere in the snowy north, a city appeared, and Darkness began to rise around it, only to be struck with glacial magic and begin to do battle with an insane old man. Cackling and wheezing and screaming about someone named 'Gunther'. The few actual penguins that did live there before the city had appeared decided it would be in their best interest to leave rather than stay.

The Gates of Tartarus broke, a kingdom of shadow rising from its ashes, a Goat seeking to reclaim its bell, walking with an army of the dead. Composed entirely from the prisoners of the prison they had turned his capital into. His path for conquest, however, was stopped as the Goats head was grabbed, and the owners body of said head lifted off the ground. With four words being said, and a brand of angry red like fire, the figure responsible brandished an oversized mace to the start of their new army westward. For their new master would need tools to forge a ring to rule all of them once more.

A Centaur found the perfect moment, to begin harvesting magic with reckless abandon. Only to be drained in turn by an insect smaller than a thumb until it turned to dust. The owner of the insect continued on, barely registering the minor boost to power.

An Evil king heard continents away that someone had broken Equestria. To that he thought, it would be a prime time, even if it was years early, to send his new right hand pony. After all, he was the storm king, and what better way to become his title than to steal all the magic there! He giggled to himself about the merch he could sell with such branding, but a few days later an unexpected challenger appeared, and beat him with a single clawed punch for his throne. The storm king cursed the turtle-man as he was deposed. But the air-ships of war heading towards Equestria were already on their way and too late to stop.

Somewhere a manipulative pink foal with a valley hill level mean streak got kicked by a blond ape carrying a pony over their shoulder and told to 'stop being a bitch', she didn't entirely understand why she was kicked or told that when she was minding her own buisness, but she vowed revenge regardless. Or at least she would of, until she got kicked in the face for a snarky retort. What plans she possibly might of ever had was now gone with the pressing need of braces now to fix her teeth alonside her new tendancy of talking with a lisp. She also had a fear of boots and blond children to work out now.

Needless to say, a lot of people were going to have a bad time for the next few months.

Author's Note:

To those who dont' care for ramblings of author notes in regards to 2022 disasters, I would vouch skip this note.

I would apologize for the long haitus, Covid hit my job rather hard in the way that the workflow per day of customers that used our service multipled over five times the amount that it had, while I should of communicated this on a blog, to be honest, I've been too buried in family changes, lifestyle changes, losing what few RL friends I had due to my work leaving me no time to hang with them(and their own jobs stressing them out to the point of paranoia I guess, not sure what lead to them blocking me on all contacts), and more baggage than I want to leave on random readers. Just know that I might not update fairly regularly until things calm down and I can get used to them, I will try to pick up the pace again, but if a third wave of covid hits where I live(Which given the luck through 2020-2022 I am paranoid about it), I will likely resume being dead from work again. I do want to continue writing on this fic, as it is a great stress reliever when I have the mental energy for it.

I do regret if my writing is a bit rusty or bad again, since its been a long time, but if you're a long term fan, I want to thank you for hanging around still to read this fic, it means a lot to me. If anyone wants to post edits that need to be made to the chapter, feel free. I've honestly been debating writing a book that isn't MLP related after this fic is fully done and covid is for sure done with, but that is likely going to require a lot of framework set up beforehand, since I love the use of foreshadowing and intricate plotlines that someone can pick up on with a re-read. I do wish I could use it more often, but a lot of the time what foreshadowing I do use, seems to fly over peoples heads when its revealed much like puzzle clues to players in a TTRPG. Odd comments aside, I hope you are all doing very well, and thank you for reading both this chapter/series and this authors note! Hope to see you next chapter, or in the comments!

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Comments ( 8 )

Interesting times, indeed.

Well well well, its been long time mien fruend. To see you return in such a fashion, an explosive fashion at that. Fills this ol' dead heart with joy. Welcome back ol' fruend, the day of the Puppet Master's return has come and us long time watchers sit and watch, waiting with bated breathes for what he does next.

Ass-nipples, Not!Puppet seems to have alerted the horde

Welp, shit just hit the fan

Well this is almost the world version of the ballroom blitz 🤔

Well nice to see you writing again and I'll wait patiently for more when you can. I hope things get better at work and in general for you to continue writing at some point in time. I hope to read that non mlp book in the future and take care of yourself. Until then I'll stay a avid reader.

This is a return I didn’t expect but happy to receive, I wonder how much of a role Tanya will play considering she’s the least villain-esque compared to the other reveals?

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