• Member Since 13th May, 2012
  • offline last seen Yesterday


A cartoon dog in a cartoon world


This story is a sequel to Secret Histories

To the precious peace-loving ponies of Equestria:

Has your life lost meaning in a world without Princesses?

Have law and order in your quaint little village collapsed under an endless onslaught of monsters and brigands?

Do you need a hero? Do you dare to be a hero in these dark and uncertain times?

Fear not, little ponies, for if you are brave enough, there is something you can do: Travel to Hoofington and spend a night at the Inn of the Prancing Pony.

I guarantee if you do, your life will change...forever.

This is a story set hundreds of years before "The Best of All Possible Worlds", yet it was written after and influenced by the events of "Parade Coverage" and "Secret Histories". It was co-written with Hope. The cover illustration is largely taken from part of the fan art "First Day", by Harwick.

The "Alternate Universe" tag is because this story explores a different way that the events following the banishment of Nightmare Moon could have unfolded. As for the "Human" tag...well, that will become clear later.

Chapters (51)
Comments ( 507 )

This is some meta kind of shit right here.

Yay, it begins! I'm looking forward to the blog posts, they were probably my favourite parts of "The Best of All Possible Worlds".
Some typos:

Celestia glided cautiously through the barrier. It’s magic seemed utterly foreign to her

You spell the dragon's name three different ways (Kamaneva, Kameneva and Kemeneva). If you still want to use Slavic names, then you probably want "Kameneva", from "kamen'" ("stone" in Russian); the other two names are still possible, but much less common (at least, in Russian).

Well, this is fascinating. It's like some deity or another has imposed the rules of Dungeons & Dragons on half the continent. And Celestia just failed a Will save big time.

Eagerly looking forward to more, especially given the author. I just hope this one doesn't cause a causal backlash that has you cowering in a monastery...

A deity like the Mighty Haas'broh, perhaps? :trollestia:

4217208 And you would know all about being meta, of course! :rainbowlaugh:

As for the story itself, it definitely looks very interesting and worth checking out, but it looks like I'd have one Hell of an archive binge. Just another thing to add to the "read later" list I suppose.

Having now read the first proper chapter, I'll say that I like the fic's concept and am interested by where this is going, but I'm not yet sure about the pacing. Seems like it's going a little fast, but that might just be in my head.


Indeed I would, but I deal in a very different kind of meta.

Oh heck yeah, more of this 'verse is something that I have been very much looking forward to.

4219107 Trust me, as someone who came late to this series of stories, archive binging on them is very worthwhile.

Insta-fav. I look forward to reading this (and those crazy blog posts) later. :pinkiehappy:

Your Discord is more impressive than the show's :derpytongue2:

This was fun and I can't wait to read more!


Yes, I freely acknowledge those mistakes, and I agree that the name of the dragon should be Kameneva.

...And thus, McPoodle's career as my editor gets a less than illustrious start.


Thank you, FanOfMostEverything, although your name seems to imply that I didn't have all that high of a hurdle to impress you. I do not expect temporal incursions related to this story, as I am making it up as I go along. "The Best of All Possible Worlds", by contrast, was a true story.


And so appears the first of what I expect will be a large collection of Tia's faces looking back at me as I write this.

I will take your opinion under advisement, Mr. J. If it makes you feel any better, I thought it best to give the reader a basic outline of the world that the story will then fill in.

Thank you for your interest.

The web series known as Friendship Is Magic has much to learn when it comes to the true character of Equestria, and that includes the inter-dimensional scourge known on my world as Discord. I hope with time, as more humans meet Equestrians and visit Equestria themselves, they will be able to move beyond the trite worldview of that series.

[Hey! Everybody on this site is here because they are a fan of that series, including me, so I would be careful what you say about it. Also, I'm pretty sure that when we sat down to watch "The Mysterious Mare Do Well" together, that that was the only episode of the show you ever watched. It doesn't do the series justice. And besides, I heard that the upcoming Third Season will blow the first two out of the water.]

I suppose I will have to withhold my judgement, then.

Great job!

Two questions: 1) Author, what inspired you to write this? And 2), why is Princess Celestia black?

Also, thanks to the editor, your previous story on Voltaire helped me choose him for a school project on enlightenment thinkers. :twilightsmile:

Isn't the Prancing Pony an inn from Lord of the Rings?? :rainbowlaugh:


And the Central Role Play hub on the LOTRO RP servers, pretty much. Oh, the fun I had there as an adventurous elf.

4224014 This was actually the title of the chapter from LoTR.

I'm not even sure why it was used given that this story has nothing to do with it.

4221089 Princess Celestia is black because racism, obviously!


I would like to go and crush that Discord's organs quite a number of times. Including his pipe organs which reside somewhere in his lower intestines, as I recall from various other evil Discords I've slaughtered.

He has the gall to accuse Celestia and Luna of anything? He, who invaded their world and stole it from its natural inhabitants? He, who tormented all living things in ways even the worst of human tyrants could have accomplished?

Oh, that sanctimonious monstrosity has REALLY earned my ire this time! His execution is going be very creative on my part. :flutterrage:


1) I believe I made my ambitions clear in the Preface--to explore the nature of an Equestria without central leadership.

2) Celestia is not wholly black in this story, just her hooves. And the reason for that will not be revealed for quite a long time. If I manage to end the story without mentioning it, please post another comment reminding me, and I'll tell you in a spoiler tag.


I have heard of that, yes. However, surely you realize that a name like that is bound to be common in a world of ponies? We are ponies, and we like to prance. The one in Hoofington dates back to shortly after the fall of Discord. Although it has burnt down and been rebuilt at least five times in the following centuries, the current owner claims that it is "spiritually" the same building as the one where the Kingdom of Equestria was officially re-established.

Before anyone accuses me of misusing a place of business in a work of fiction, know that I shared my plans for this story with Miss Tangerine Dream, and she was quite amused with what I had in mind. I am reminded of a tale of the human author Wells, who while he was planning out the details of his forthcoming novel The War of the Worlds would ride his bicycle through the little English town of Woking, plotting out in detail precisely how its homes and monuments would be destroyed by the alien invaders.


Ah, sorry. It wasn't that clear to me. :derpytongue2:

So, in other words, you want to be a modern day Voltaire and do what "The Frog Princess of Fomalhaut" did in the past? :trollestia:


And there's another Tia emote.

The humor about RPG tropes is kind of jarring, is this supposed to be a tragic setting or did I just get thw wrong idea at the beginning?


The difference between a comedy and a tragedy is that with a comedy, the horrible thing is happening to somepony who deserves it, while with a tragedy, it's happening to you. The "heroes" in my story think they are very funny. They also think that everything they do is an absolute good. Nopony dares to correct them.

oh god it's a DnD joke

it's all a DnD joke

run you idiots

run while you still can

(The problem is that they'd have to know about these tropes - and about them being tropes - for their words to be joking, so unless they had D&D and used the same terms back in the timeframe this is set, it comes off as straight-faced and sincere for both the heroes and those hearing their words, instead of insensitive. Hence jarring.)

i actually liked the DnD jokes....

Don't forget the Pokemon reference* Cant' forget that one with all the DnD jokes!

Her wings were gone. Celestia looked now like an earth pony

Her wings had already vanished at this point. Perhaps you were referring to her horn?


Yes, of course. Thank you for the correction.

“Did...did the Bees leave behind any children?” Celestia asked Loam, in hopes that they might have received any knowledge that would be useful to her.
“No,” Loam replied. “Did I forget to mention Zag Bee and the naga? That put the rest of them off of...that sort of relationship from then on.”

You know, I had a feeling about that "curse" when it was first mentioned...

:rainbowlaugh: So do Heroes tend to come into other people's home, ransack everything, break pots and get away with any sort of potions or valuable they find? :rainbowlaugh:


That is the general opinion of the dragons, yes.

4251736 Touché! :p

But I meant something like this:

I enjoy this story greatly and gleefully anticipate its continuance!

This is quite interesting. I'm curious where it's going.

I retract my complaint about the pacing. This is to my liking.

I'll also state for the record that I don't play Dungeons & Dragons, so if there was a reference to it in this chapter as the other commenters claim, it was lost on me.

...Oh my... Hope Spring might have graduated into an important NPC! she's on her way to being a proper player character...

Hope Springs Leveled up to Level 1!

875 more XP for the next level

Okay, now this is getting doubly interesting.

So, I'm guessing that cutie marks are granted by the gods now? And that they're granted for acts of bravery. Maybe the gods who moved in thought power should only be given to those who deserved it? But that wouldn't explain all the heroes who are complete jerks... I'm waiting for more answers as you write them.

I find it a little hard to believe that Celestia feels bad for contributing to the death of a timberwolf, though. "Spike at your Service" had Applejack, Spike, and the rest of the Mane 6 very much unbothered by thinking they'd killed the timberwolves.


The answers to the questions in your first paragraph will be answered in time.

As for your other point, Celestia is not bothered about killing a timberwolf. It was a menace, and had to be put down. No, it was that she was paid a bounty for killing it. It's the difference between killing in self-defense, and hunting for sport.

The chapter title is "Signs and Portents", and the story starts with a battle of order versus chaos. Babylon 5 reference?

Just a small spelling correction, but you've multiple times used "horde" or "horded" instead of "hoard" or "hoarded". Dragons can be said to hoard precious items in their hoards. A horde is a large group of individuals.

Well, am I embarrassed! I thought I understood this language at an at-least competent level. Ah, well--a new spelling rule has been committed to memory.

As for the title, I am aware of the series you reference, and of course that title was most prominently used in that series, but I was never able to get past the second season in my viewings for some reason or another, so I'm afraid I can't consider myself a fan.

[Author McPoodle: Speaking for myself, my problem with B5 was a case of "bait and switch": it started as a nice series about inter-species relationships, and devolved into a war slog, and I hate stories that start out light and cheery only to become relentlessly depressing. It's caused me to turn against any number of fics on this very site, as a matter of fact. Chalk it up to a personal eccentricity, and please, don't take it personally.]

That's fair enough, though if you had been making a reference, I'd probably have been expecting a chapter titled "Falling Towards Apotheosis" towards the end of this story...

Vaya and Swipe seem to be "charismatic" "characters". In the sense of being the types to use charisma rules to get their way, not in the sense of being actually charismatic.

This entire world seems disjointed. Poorly connected things are going on in a dozen locations. Wherever a hero goes, something is going on, even if that strains continuity. I feel very sorry for the heroes. The more self-aware individuals are probably miserable with it. It just doesn't stop. Everything is part of the campaign. Do they find it mysteriously hard to pay attention when there's downtime? Does it pass unremarked, or remarked only by the disasters that occur to which they don't respond? Does time seem to have no purpose other than to harry them between problems and punish them when they do the things they wish to do rather than the things they're forced to do?

Weirder and weirder, still we delve deeper into the rabbit hole.

I assume from the heroes' (and paricularly Swipe's) reactions that they aren't at all used to commoners being able to talk to them about anything that isn't directly relevant to the ongoing "campaign"?

Is that Twilight and Shining Armour, capturing/saving Celestia? If so, Shining Armour as Twilight's younger, more bookish brother is pretty amusing.

Celestia thought she had seen the heights of madness, first from the party of heroes met by firelight, and then in the crazed eyes of Swipe the unicorn a few hours later, but this was nothing next to Stride Eater.

Small mistake here, but Swipe was mentioned as a pegasus before this.

This ancient world seems to be a mix of a fantasy MMO and the chaotic DayZ...
I already can't wait for the moment when Celestia will regain her God mode status.


You are correct, and the problem has been resolved.

What was up with that chest? I'm not familiar with the reference.

In any case those heroes don't know how to properly stay in character it seems :p Is Celestia suddenly stumbling into a different campaign?? :derpyderp2:

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