• Member Since 11th Oct, 2013
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alarajrogers


Okay, I admit it, I'm probably not your mom. But odds are I'm old enough to be. Now with Patreon account (under alarajrogers) and short stories on Amazon (under Alara Rogers).

T

This story is a sequel to Traitor


Chaos is inconsistent by nature... even when it would prefer to be consistent.

Discord is afraid that his nature ensures he'll inevitably betray those he cares about again, someday, and he can't figure out how to stop himself. (Spoilers season 4 finale.)

Cover art is from the comics, edited and with background color changed by me. Progress Bar at my writing journal.

Chapters (7)
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Comments ( 180 )

OH GOD THE FEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEELS

I wonder how any of the Mane Six would react if ever read/heard this monologue.

You are one of the best writers of Discord that I've ever met. Seriously.

I hate you for making me cry, :fluttercry:. But I love how this really gets into Discord's character :pinkiehappy:. Keep up the good work

4369075

I think the next thing to do is to show this from the outside -- how does his behavior look to them? Being that he's Discord he's undoubtedly hiding as much of this as he can, but you can tell they know something is up -- among other things I'm fairly sure that Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie know he had no good, healthy reasons for being over by the Tree by himself. But I don't know if anyone has any idea exactly what's going on, and in fact they may be misinterpreting the lack of chaos as a *good* sign.

4369096 Ah, I see...

Problem is Fluttershy or Pinkie Pie pressing him on the matter would make him worse (no wonder they did not). Asking advice from one of the Princesses (Twilight included) could go bad. That is a interesting situation you got there and very in-character of them, while taking a dark twist on the MLP-verse.

And after reading some of your ST fics, all I have to say is that you're pretty good with characterization while applying your own twist. You could be a writer yourself! :pinkiesmile:

You really get his motivations -- and his limits.

Because the fact that I despise myself now and I think I'm horrible and I wish I was dead won't change the fact that at some point, that will change and I'll resent having friends and caring about ponies, because when I'm evil I don't have a conscience and therefore my conscience can't hurt me, and when I'm evil I don't have friends and therefore I don't miss having friends or wish I had some, and it's empty and it's hollow and there's no real joy in it but there's no pain either. It feels good the way scarfing down twenty-seven cupcakes or having a foursome with three hot ponies whose names you don't know feels good. It satisfies your needs right now, and if it can't satisfy anything deeper or more meaningful, well who needed deep meaning anyway? Live in the now, and you'll never have to care that your life is totally meaningless! Besides, why does Chaos incarnate want meaning in his life anyway?

That is a deeply sad paragraph. He is describing, not joy but hedonic addiction. As if his normal state is utter apathy and he has to shock himself into emotion with extreme sensation.

4369494

I am a firm believer that the opposite of love is not hate, but indifference.

In one of my stories here, I explore this theme a bit, but love and hate both require passion to express.

Apathy and indifference just require you passively go along for the ride.

The worst part is, I have actually been inside of that mindset that is found within that bit of quoted text, having reached that point when deep within the throes of heroin addiction.

Real bad place to be mang.

4369494

Epic way to look at it.

Maybe he needs to trade some of his chaos with a being of absolute order, and balance each other out.

4370029

But who?

-Luna has fallen once already, and an infusion of Chaos magic might make her fall again.
-Cadance could become paranoid and hateful if corrupted- after all, hate and love are two sides to the same coin, and both hold immense power, possibly beyond that of friendship. It's a fearsome thought.
-Celestia bears many burdens, and if she were to become corrupted, well, she is a nuke without any safeguards- no switches, levers, or removal parts to ensure that nothing blows up. One bad day + Daymare Sun = nuclear wasteland, aka Ruins of Equestria.
-The Chaos magic could be divided among the Mane Six- their connection to the Elements could potentially lessen the effects, and with six of them they might not be too effected. However, with someone like Twilight carrying that much darkness, even only a fraction of it, could sway the rest of the Mane Six to inflict vast amounts of destruction for their own gains. Not to mention that these are the ponies Discord is trying to protect in the first place.

I dunno how this is going to be solved, but you have my follow.

4369494

This is a thing with a lot of humans who are novelty seekers or thrill seekers. They need the next big thing, the rush of adrenaline, the thing that's new and unexperienced to trigger the endorphin rush. Nothing old excites them, and in the case of the thrill seekers, nothing can excite them unless they're close to the edge of death. They need the new, or they need the thrill, or they need the pain; some kind of extreme sensation in order to feel alive. Those are the people who drive human experience forward, those who make the new discoveries, who explore new lands; they're also the people who succumb to drug addiction, sex addiction, gambling addiction... or who sometimes just get themselves killed doing daredevil stunts.

It was always obvious to me that Q was one of those beings, and if Discord isn't Q, he's probably moreso like this, because it's his entire raison d'etre. Discord is change, it's his purpose in existence, he lives for novelty and remix and break all the old rules and make something different. He always seems quite manic, except for the moments of sadness, like at the end of Keep Calm and a good portion of the ending sequence of Twilight's Kingdom. He needs constant change and excitement and attention and things that are different because everything else bores him.

So yes, I can totally see Discord being an addict. More like food addiction or sex addiction than drug addiction, because he's addicted to something he literally cannot go without, meaning cold turkey is not a safe option. He does, in fact, need his chaos. He can't be happy without any chaos, it's his nature. But too much chaos is a drug to cover up the fact that he feels that his life is meaningless (and he's a sentient being; as much as he loves chaos, part of him wants his life to have meaning) and that there's no joy in it. His friendship with Fluttershy was probably the first thing in millennia that made him feel happy enough to be able to slow down and be calm even for a little while.

The thing he's going through now is anhedonia, the inability to feel or explicit desire to not feel pleasure, the self-loathing he feels manifesting in part in an attempt to control his chaos that his friends probably think is a good sign that he's maturing and getting his chaos addiction under control... but it's totally not. He's doing entirely the wrong thing here -- he knows it's his own misery that's going to make him snap, but he hasn't taken it the next step and realized that he needs to take care of himself and his own mental health. The self-hatred he feels over how easy it was for him to decide to betray his friends and how little control he feels he has over his own future actions and how likely he feels it is that he'll do it again, all that's going to do is make him less able to resist temptation the next time it comes along. He can't cure himself by punishing himself; he needs happiness if he's going to resist, but he can't imagine where he could get it, and he's too proud and too unused to having friends to ask for help.

A post finale fic! Finale!

*cough* *cough* Sorry for the pun.

Damn, that fic is depressing, and like most sad stories, you made us feel empty afterwards.

Urg. THANKS!

Anyone noticed that in the finale, the beam of Discords magic is some sort of cosmos stream of power (reality warping magic omg), but Tirek only grew a few centimeters from it, and apart from that, he didn't seem to have changed in the slightest?

Hum-pf. Under-powered Discord, much?

Fluttershy already forgave him, but he hasn't forgiven himself. That feeling of not deserving anything... it makes sense, but its stopping him from escaping the cycle.
He'll have to demand to be given a real chance by the ponies, to have any hope of them to stop fearing and disliking him - to escape the status quo. Can't do that if he feels he doesn't deserve to make demands.
Rarity would be a good start, with her generosity.

4370926

It makes perfect sense with my headcanon.

Raw magic is Chaos. Discord can manipulate magic in its raw, unfiltered form. He has an enormous amount of magic and he can make full use of it, because he doesn't need to filter it down with control structures. Unicorn magic is harmonic -- chaos controlled, working in partnership with the mind of the unicorn using the magic -- so it is weaker than chaos magic, but easier to control. Tirek is an Evil Overlord type -- he seeks total control, absolute mastery. Harnessing magic that tightly, controlling it so much, weakens it drastically. Tirek's orientation is Order, not Harmony, and Order is opposed to Magic entirely. So when Tirek consumes harmonic magic, it is weaker than it would be if the unicorn who owned it had it, because Tirek masters magic, he doesn't partner with it. And when Tirek consumes chaos magic, his need to control it completely filters it down so far, it's hardly more than he'd get from a few powerful unicorns.

Actual unicorns (or alicorns) who turn into Evil Overlord types don't lose magical power; even though their psychological orientation is toward Order, they learned their magic when they were Harmonic. But Tirek has very little magic of his own, only the magic of being able to steal the magic of others. So his control over his magic is based on his mindset as an adult Evil Overlord. Thus he doesn't get much from stealing power from Discord, because attempting to "order" chaos magic doesn't get you very far.

ooooh :D that should be a letter that fluttershy reads in the next chapter O_O

aaaand :D i want to ask when the next chapter of elements of opposition will be out ;)
and when the next love, friendship and chaos will be there :DDD
that are my favorite storys

you make a good point. None of his friends liked him (except flutter) and he was routinely disliked and not trusted. No wonder he turned evil again..it's his nature for chaos to be expressed. It's like telling cady not to be full of love, or applejack dishonest. It's not him..

4372207
Nice headcannon. Okay
smile/

I can't split off my dark side so I can be good. That trick never works. It'd inevitably result in me, or my friends, fighting my evil avatar, who'd be more ruthless and more chaotic and therefore more powerful, so we'd lose.

I'm not so sure about that, Discord. It worked out for Kami in the long run, and his "evil" avatar ended up turning to good as well.

4391587

He's got a point, though, that he doesn't really have a good and evil side per se; he loves chaos, and ponies don't. To remove the temptation to do "evil", he'd have to remove the temptation to do chaos, and without his chaos, what's he got left?

What he really needs is stronger emotional bonds, but hating himself and thinking he's unworthy of friendship is totally not the way to go about getting them.

The problem with omnipotence is that there's no challenge in anything. When every problem is a literal snap, boredom is quick to follow. And when one can do anything, one will be willing to do everything just so something interesting can happen.

And then one day, there's a problem that isn't so easily solved. When all one has is the ultimate hammer, it's a dirty window. And then the omnipotent finds himself impotent, for he has long forgotten how to solve problems any other way.

A fantastic analysis of Discord's motivations and his thoughts about them. Eagerly looking forward to more. I just hope he tells someone how he feels. This is a job for communication, for understanding, for friends, but Discord clearly doesn't recognize that. I just hope he stumbles on the answer.

wow.
this here is a stellar look inside of discord's head. masterfully done dear author
and going by your little author box i mest say i am very happy to not be the only person round theses parts who is, compared to the larger number here, old enough to have parented most of them.

Im sure that you mentioned this before, but how will the mane 6 find this letter? I think you already commented on this question but I cant find the answer

4639378

Because Pinkie actually thought "3,001 Jokes In Ancient Griffonian" sounded like a good thing to read... and because she was using Discord as a pillow and went through his stuff while he was asleep. (This isn't a DiscoPie ship, Pinkie is just really really really affectionate with friends who she senses are having serious emotional problems and need hugs. She doesn't really know what's wrong with Discord before she reads his journal, but she knows something's wrong. She wasn't going through his stuff to spy on him; it was late, she was bored, he was asleep, she didn't want to wake him up by leaving the room to go find a book even though there are a bazillion books in the castle, and he doesn't have a lot of stuff, so she went through it figuring Discord must have something vaguely entertaining in his possession, given how few possessions he bothers to keep.)

But I think that before we go into what happens after that, I'm going to backtrack and describe what's been happening, because Discord is an unreliable narrator.

4640106
So is the joke book really Discord's journal/diary or did he just stick his monologue somewhere in the book.
If the joke book really is a cover for his journal, then why the hell did he choose 3,001 Jokes In Ancient Griffonian

I want to know, how much of this is true, and how much of it is Discord exaggerating or misunderstanding?

4722024

Pretty much everything he thinks about what's going on with the Mane 6 is either entirely wrong or only partially right. His thoughts about what he can safely do with his powers are correct.

4722071 What exactly is his situation like in Equestria as of now, like what is the public opinion of him or is there any who think he should be killed.
You could write a story on that, where he is killed somehow, and the fallout resulting from it.

4725486

Seems unlikely. From a meta perspective, I don't wanna kill Discord; I killed Q once and didn't write anything else for the next six months. From an in-story perspective, Discord is damn near impossible to kill when he has his powers, and I think very few ponies would be obsessed enough with revenge for a few days without their power to go hunt down one of the very few kinds of weapons that would work against Discord. So I think it's very unlikely that he would be killed.

That being said, a murder *attempt* might be interesting... particularly if it actually comes close to succeeding. His powers are greatly weakened inside the palace; someone who sees him in the palace and becomes overwhelmed with rage could actually hurt him, though they couldn't kill him, most likely.

There are in fact ponies who want revenge on Discord, but they know better than to think they can hunt him down and kill him; mostly they're agitating to have him punished more harshly by Celestia. And kind of pissy that she won't do it.

4727560 You say there's hardly any thing that can kill Discord when he has is powers. So what exactly can work on him. Besides the Elements of Harmony, you mentioned in Elements of Opposition a magic sledgehammer that Discord sent to another dimension. What else is there that can effect him.

4731352

Yes. The item that became the Hammer of Celestia in the other universe, which seems to have possibly become Excalibur in this one (Discord says he turned it into a sword and chucked it into a lake, where a naiad took custody of it... sounds like Excalibur :-)), has the ability to sever an immortal's connection to their body, so they do not have the ability to return to it, or to any body. That could have killed Discord (and did, in another universe), which is why he got rid of it.

Any part of the Tree of Harmony is inimical to him (as he is to it; he actually made the plunder vine seeds from his own blood. He wasn't completely joking when he called them his babies.) Making an arrow from the Tree and shooting him in the head or heart with it could theoretically kill him, or at least petrify him. However, it's really hard to shoot Discord with anything because he is amazingly good at dodging (including splitting his body in half, as he did with Tirek.) Poisoning him with an extract of the Tree, ground up, could turn him to stone but Discord is generally in the habit of transforming what he eats, so he'd likely sense the presence of the harmonics in the food.

Parts of Matrisse, the Avatar of Order, can be dangerous or fatal to Discord. Matrisse was a crystalline mountain; Discord smashed it, which rendered it ineffective (he kind of had to, it was trying to rewrite reality so that magic would no longer exist), but breathing the dust from smashing the mountain left him sick and powerless for some time, and the ponies (who had no idea he'd just saved them from a terrible fate, and he certainly wasn't going to tell them) found him and put rings with crystals of Matrisse around his horns. The idea was to bind his magic as one would with a unicorn, but Discord doesn't use his horns for magic; what it did instead was fry his brain, leaving him as if he was on very heavy drugs, until he managed to talk Celestia into removing them. (Watching a very intelligent being who might be your enemy now, but who was once your lover, behaving as if he's just had a stroke because of something you did to him was more than she could handle. She would have preferred killing him to rendering him into a drooling, half-catatonic creature who could barely move or talk.) So binding any part of Matrisse against his body will make that part of his body function very erratically, and poisoning him with part of Matrisse would shut down his powers and make him extremely sick. Stabbing or shooting him with a weapon made from Matrisse might kill him. He might not stay dead, but he'd probably die at least for a while.

Tatzlwurm mucus suppresses magic. We've actually seen that work on Discord. (What we saw was him getting sick, but in Love Friendship and Chaos I'm eventually going to explain *how*, and part of it was that Tatzlwurm goo can suppress magic.) If you suppress Discord's magic, then pretty much anything can kill him because he's rendered mortal. That being said, an ordinary Tatzlwurm is the size of a human hand; it's Discord's fault they were large enough to generate enough goo to affect him.

There are other means, some of which I just haven't bothered to think of, others I can't tell you about because spoilers.

4733260 Wait, if he could come back to life, and is immortal, how did the previous spirits of chaos that you mentioned in Elements of Opposition die? Is there some difference between them and Discord? And that unicorn that was mentioned in the story that tried to summon those elder gods, when and how did that happen.

4734598

Chaos avatars are emotionally unstable. A lot of them took themselves out, either by doing something stupid or because they were actively self destructive. I don't know all of them and I don't know what happened to all of them, but a few of the ones I do know about, I know how they ended.

Set, a creature so transformed by being the chaos avatar that no one knows what his original species was, was tasked with protecting the creature who had Celestia's job -- the being who raised the sun -- from a force of darkness, destruction and entropy called Apep. Set was a jerk who had at one point separated his brother's body into seven pieces (without actually killing him, rather like Discord can detach his own body parts any time he wants to), but he wasn't evil and he took his responsibilities seriously... kind of like Discord himself in that regard. However, eventually he lost his daily fight with Apep, and became consumed, turning into a force of darkness and evil himself. It is unknown whether he was then banished to another dimension or killed.

Ar, a female dragon raised in a deeply patriarchal society (dragons can be either matriarchal or patriarchal), went overboard with her resentment of and anger toward males when she became the chaos avatar, and set about specifically attacking male creatures. As a result, the most misogynist, patriarchal society on the entire planet came into existence and used Ar's existence as an excuse to oppress females even further, declaring that the very act of a female giving orders to a male serves chaos. Ar, who had seriously believed she could use chaos to make a positive change, became deeply depressed and put herself into dragon sleep, which can potentially last millennia, and in this case has. At some point she had slept long enough that someone else just took the avatar role from her. She might actually still be alive, but sleeping; however, she's not the avatar anymore. (Ten points to anyone who knows what I'm ripping off here)

Pan, a goat who'd been turned bipedal by chaos, went worldwalking one day and never came back. No one actually knows what happened to him.

Mayhem, Discord's immediate predecessor, was a draconequus like Discord, who stirred up interracial tensions between ponies for the lulz. This ended up bringing the windigos, who as collateral damage killed off 90% of the draconequus race. Mayhem was killed by the Fires of Friendship in a battle with Queen Imbrium, Celestia and Luna's mother, but it was kind of suicide by pony because he was responsible for the annihilation of his own species and was in despair about it; he was ostensibly trying to kill off all the ponies, but he was doing it in a really stupid way given his capabilities, and was probably either consciously or subconsciously trying to destroy himself. He died when Discord was about 2 and when Luna was maybe a few months old. It's theoretically possible that he could have brought himself back -- the Fires of Friendship dispersed the windigos, but chaos avatars are a bit tougher than windigos -- but he had no desire to.

Brightest Star was a unicorn mage who was taken on by Celestia and Luna as a personal student during Discord's rule, because she was a chaos mage, and they thought she could counter Discord. She was incredibly powerful, on a level with Twilight. Discord saw her as *his* personal student, that his attacks on her, and hers on him, were intended as teaching experiences that would hone her talent for chaos and bond her with chaos more closely so she would change sides; he kept trying to convince her that sooner or later the ponies would reject her because they hate chaos. She fell in love with a stallion and married young, and had a child... and then lost control of her power and almost harmed her child. Her husband turned on her, rejected her and fled with the foal, and her friends rejected her, and even her teachers were harsh with her over it. Brightest Star snapped, and attempted to take the chaos avatar role, first by killing Discord, then when that didn't work she tried to sacrifice him in a ritual to summon the elder gods, then when he escaped that, she managed to open a portal to the elder gods anyway and tried to fuel it by killing Celestia and Luna. Discord ended up fighting alongside them to stop her. She is Twilight's ancestor; she's also Screwball. She'd ascended herself into an alicorn, renamed Maelstrom; when they defeated her they removed her wings and horn, so she's effectively an immortal earth pony, who's lost her mind entirely and thinks of herself as a child.

Um... Can't he simply go somewhere far away that is not the moon and turn himself to stone? Or was that kinda what he was trying to do with the tree? By the way, great story! :)

4809361

Discord can't turn himself to stone... I mean, he can but it won't stick. In my universe, it takes a great deal of effort for him to perform magic that's permanent, and even magic that's intended to be permanent would likely be wiped out by him dying or turning to stone unless it had had time to settle. If he turns himself to stone, he negates his own power, which means he turns back from stone almost immediately. So yes, he was trying to get the Tree to do it.

Oh geez, that dark tag...I'm a little nervous about favoriting this story, especially if we end up taking a dark turn. I really hope everything turns out well for everyone in the end.

4863150
The darkness we're talking about here is not of the "Mwahahaha, I have gone insane and now I will plunge the world into fire!" variety. It's more the existential horror of knowing that you are something you have come to hate, and what that does to a mind.

4863178
That I can handle.:pinkiehappy:

...you know, there's something equally disturbing when I can apply pinkiehappy emote in regards to existential crisis.

Including Financial Security, the insurance salesman who'd been using his presence to drum up business and had always been friendly with him as a result ...

:rainbowlaugh:

Though, seriously, it means that Discord damages the Equestrian economy just by existing, which is a depressing thought.

4863374

Well, natural disasters do tend to damage an economy, but a predictable natural disaster could actually promote growth. Construction zones are often fairly disastrous for a city while they're going on, after all. Discord's existence probably supports the growth of the insurance industry and may result in booming business for construction, tree service, or other industries based around fixing what is broken. So he's certainly likely to cause a shift in the economy, but possibly not damage per se.

DANG. This is awesome. I have read a quite a few stories on Discord's internal thoughts and how he deals with being chaotic, from being a passenger in his own body, to being a relatively normal Draconequus thing, but this is one of my favorites.

Comment posted by Spiritofchaos227 deleted Aug 17th, 2014

Wow, this is great!:rainbowkiss: But, when does the prologue happen? I mean, you can't go to the moon if you can't leave Ponyvill.

I love the way to portray Discord. :moustache: continue.

4863391

Well yes, but an insurance industry that grows because of the threat of Discord is an example of Bastiat's "Parable of the Broken Window" -- absent Discord, the bits being spent on insurance would be better spent on other goods and services. Mind you, if Discord actually allies with the Realm and helps defend it, this economic damage would be trivial compared to the damage avoided from Equestria's enemies.

I really liked a lot about that chapter, that was just my reaction to one of the first little things in it.

I enjoyed this very much, Please keep up the good work

OH MY GOOD O_______O
That was soooooooo sweeeeet
im soooo excited for how Twilight will thank Discord O_O
:pinkiehappy::pinkiehappy::pinkiehappy:

me encanto este capitulo , porfavor continue

4865076
The kind of damage I have Discord protecting Equestria from in my fics tends to be apocalyptic, and the thing about an apocalypse that doesn't happen is that it didn't happen, so it's hard to put a dollar value on what stopping it is worth. I mean it does do a lot of damage to the economy when many-angled Cthulhoid horrors from another dimension break open the barriers between Equestria and their world and start devouring souls, or when Entropy incarnate comes through and starts throwing reality in a blender, or when the avatar of Order decides that magic makes no sense and shouldn't exist, and starts rewriting the laws of physics to remove it. :-) But Discord doesn't generally tell anypony about his actions to protect Equestria because he assumes nopony actually cares, so generally only Celestia and Luna know.

Against traditional foes, Discord is usually more likely to break out the popcorn than help, unless he thinks the threat is serious; Discord's much more a proponent of the "throw them in the water and see if they swim" philosophy than Celestia (who indulges in it a bit herself, witness sending the girls to deal with a dragon); nopony grows strong without conflict. He'd have sat out the Changeling invasion even if he hadn't been in stone at the time. He did, in fact, do his best to avoid anyone knowing that he was taking any actions at all against his vines, because all he was doing was protecting Twilight from them noticing and trying to eat her, and making sure she got the right information from Zecora's potion. Discord will do things like refuse to help and then secretly ride along in Fluttershy's mane at a very small size, ready to step in if it looks like the Bearers will lose or Fluttershy will get hurt. So they don't believe they have him to rely on as backup. It doesn't win him a lot of friends; he doesn't get credit for what he does do.

Overall he is probably more an engine of creativity and innovation than destruction; his destructive effects are localized and he can usually be persuaded to undo them, eventually, but the remixing he does on reality has the potential to inspire ponies to have genuinely different ideas. (For example, after exposure to Discord, the Cutie Mark Crusaders would probably all get 'the enemy's gate is down' pretty much immediately.) However, ponies are afraid of him and what he might do, hence the insurance. (Financial Security figured that the Bearers and Celestia had him under control, and being friendly to him was more likely to make him not do terrible things that would involve making an insurance payout, while still keeping him around as a graphic reminder to ponies of the randomness of life and why you should buy insurance. It wasn't a terrible idea, all things considered, though it was pretty transparently self-serving and Discord saw through it right away.)

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