• Member Since 5th Apr, 2012
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Cloud Wander


Be kind. For everyone you meet, life is a hard battle.


E

Princess Luna, only recently recovered from the events of "Friendship is Magic: Part Two," is struggling to adjust to life in present day Equestria. And Captain Bucephalus, Commander of the Lunar Guard, is having a little trouble adjusting to having a Princess to look after.

This was my submission to Equestria Daily's "Happy Luna" competition. After "Luna Eclipsed," it no longer conforms to the series' canon, but I'm fond of it anyway.

Chapters (9)
Comments ( 103 )

Captain Bucephalus is named after Alexander the Great's horse. This is in keeping with the Pegasus-Greek Mythology thread of the series.

"Bucephalus" means "bull-headed", which is a pretty clear description of the character. At least one source attributes the historical Bucephalus's name to a bull-shaped mark on the horse's shoulder. An early instance of a "cutie mark", I think. As far as I know, Bucephalus is the only horse that has a city named after him.

I still feel bad for Bucephalus if everything is as I remember that poor guy had a pretty rough night, but got a hell of a workout.

I would have thought Kindness would have been the one she lacked the most, did you see how much she laughed? something had to have been pretty funny. :trollestia:

"Moon rose. Mare in the Moon observed. Condition unchanged. Moon set." I just remembered every scene of this story.

"Her sock-clad hooves " I had forgotten that sock were the thing back then, we shall bring them back.

"It's more difficult than you might think to follow a midnight blue alicorn through a midnight blue sky."

It's like chasing Venom in Spiderman 1 you just don't do it.

"THE THREE NAMES! The Three Names were terrible things, always followed by an awful order"
dobrochan.ru/src/png/1102/t210768_i-know-that-feel.png

Rollercoasters, only for the princess.

Pinkie, Pinkie bo-binkie
Banana-fanna fo-finkie
Mi my mo-minkie
Pinkie!” sang Luna.

Sonofa I now remember what I was singing for about 3 months

"That’s quite a moustache," Simply fabulous

“Best knight ever!”

I assume you were using this to not only say best Knight but also Best night? If so that's quite clever.

"Princess Luna is returned to us, he wrote.

She is home.

She is happy."

This still puts a big smile on my face every time I read it.

I'd like to thank you again and also apologize for the extreme comment spam, these are all things I've wanted to say since the happy Luna contest but had no way of saying or sending them to you.

Can't wait for more stories

Ah! I remember this fic! And I also remember that I really liked it! Nice to see a copy here so I can keep track of it easier.

JAG

When I first joined The Herd last July, I had no intention of ever reading pony fanfiction. The show was sheer brilliance on its own, and I had no use for a bunch of poorly-written shipping and general fan garbage. And then I noticed Midnight Shadow's Happy Luna fanfic contest on EqD, and was unable to beat my curiosity back into its cage. I decided to try one of the other stories first, though I can't remember its title. Something about Luna attending a party in Ponyville. Not bad, but not enough to change my mind. So I figured I'd give the contest's winner a try. It got six stars and all, so maybe it would be worth a few minutes of my time.

And... well, here I am now, a hundred or so fics and entirely too many hours of fun later. You have my eternal gratitude, sir.

Hah, remember this one. Cute story.

I loved this when I read it on ED and I love it now.
Bucephalos is the the most Pratchettian character in a very Pratchettian fiction.

In a thousand years, I’m the one who hasn’t changed. I held myself, high and aloof in my beautiful sky, and waited for my admirers to approach me, to worship me. When did I ever reach down to them?

And here the funny story gets serious, and puts an entirely new spin and moral on that old story of the Princess of the Moon.

To put it this way: most of the writers on this site should be ashamed that we are not you. That's how good a story this is.

414112 The "Happy Luna" competition included a few "signposts" to ensure that stories written for the competition were just that, rather than old stories dusted off and handed in.

Some of the signposts included in my story were: "Best (K)Night Ever", "I hate socks", "Luna baking" and "Covered in treesap".

I didn't include "Bunny Stampede." Well, what's a pony to do? :duck:

418091

I now remember ever tree sap joke ever.

Pinkamena Diana Pie! Put down that Detonator!
Pinkie Pie: Awwww, I wanna set off the pentaglycerine!
AFTER Allard-Liao lures the clanners into the Great Gash!
Pinkie Pie: Oooohhhhhh. Then they all get crushed, right?
Right.
:pinkiehappy:

This is a great story. I remember reading it through the EQD archive system last year after I dropped the last resistance and went full fandom on ponies. It's definitely one of the better stories, and though canon has overtaken it a bit, it's still a wonderful and fun read.

Thanks for bringing it to this site, and thanks for writing it. This is one of those feel-good stories I needed to see 'bout now in my life. :eeyup:

All I could think about the three names was :pinkiecrazy:

Dawww Luna, great story, I couldn't complain about it if I tried.

Wow, this takes me back. I still wish I'd been the one to come up with Slydesdale. It fits the tone of the show so magnificently that I wish they'd incorporate it into an episode or something.

Her Uncle Josh, Eh? That explains SO much

Twas Midnight and the Bucephalus
did search for luna in places fun
For she was his Gaurding charge
She was also on the run

Beware the Sonic Flume, My Boy,
The Dropping Throat, the walk of shame,
and If luna You annoy,
She'll forgive you, all the same.

He seized his Princess Socks in hoof,
Long time the moustached one he sought
So went, did he, to Everfree
and stood a while in Though.

And whilst in Uffish thought he Stood,
A Manticore with Lion's Mane
Came a wandering through that Moonlit wood
Yowling as it came

One Two, One Two, And through, and through,
The Vorpal Steve did wash the cat.
He'd left his bed (or so he said)
and washed Bucephalus after that

"Which way now, a town to go?"
"That way to the town, Mon Capitan
If once more you come this way, Come Back (in the day)"
and he went back to his naprightthen (worst Rhyme D:)

Twas Midnight and the Bucephalus
did search for luna in places fun
For she was his Gaurding charge
She was also on the run

Just read this gem, again. And "Best knight ever!" still makes me smile. :pinkiehappy:

A truly excellent story. :pinkiesmile:

I'm surprised nobody else picked up on the octopus plush.

Well played, sir and/or madam, well played. :moustache:

Wow, I think this was one of the very first stories I read when I became a brony. So long ago...

And a classic begins again. :pinkiehappy:

We need more socks. The socks must come back. Where are you, Sock Swap?!

Ah, poor Carrot there... almost had it. :scootangel:

A wonderful tale, and a happy ending. Although in my own head-canon, Bucephalus kept up the journals. Proper documentation and all.

799551
I'm sure that, after ending the Chronicle, Captain Bucephalus started his personal journal of the doings of the Lunar Guard. But, key point, it's the actual activity of the Guard after Luna's return, not just the tedious observations of the Moon. And, based on what I'm writing now, he's going to have his work cut out for him, what with the Guard finally coming up to full strength and secrets of the Lunar Tower emerging from the mists of history.

869181 Thanks :D It's... Kinda a Habit of mine, whenever someone references the Jabberwocky in a Fic. It's one of My favourite poems and seeing someone else enjoying it makes me happy. So Spreading the joy!

Oh god, my ribs! SO FUNNY! Seriously I'm in tears. Dude your a bloody genius! :rainbowlaugh:

753423 Dude I see your comments everywhere! Sorry just thought I would mention that XP

Great story, it was very entartaining to read.

Wonder if you could make a tale of how he deals with the recruitment of bat ponies. :pinkiehappy: That would probably be fun as well.

941339
Well, here's the deal: I don't think he needs to recruit the bat-wings. I think Luna makes them. :pinkiegasp:

Think back to The Best Night Ever. Twilight pulls out the old Fairy Godmother charm and transmogrifies four mice into "horses." If Twi' can do that, it would be cake for Princess Luna to transform a pair of bats into her charioteers. (Her chariot is likely polymorphed zucchini. :rainbowlaugh:)

So think about Luna Eclipsed. The bat-wings never speak. After Luna lands, she dismisses her cloak, which flies away as a cloud of bats. And we never see the bat-wings again after that. (Also, consider their eyes and weirdly fluffy ears.)

So, in my personal canon, there is no mysterious race of bat-winged pegasus ponies that no one ever talks about. They're just bats, happily serving the Queen of Night and Mystery. (In the Community Fan Fic, over on RPG.net, which I'm participating in, I played on this idea by giving my bat-wings, Mothbiter and Velvet Wing, high-range vocalization and hearing.)

943503
I see good points, though the theory I have encountered more was that the Lunar Guard are normal Pegasi with armor that magically turns them (via illusions) into Bat Ponies.

Truth be told I personally operate under the assumption that Moonstuck fanon is real myself.:rainbowlaugh:
Gotta love Sunshine Smiles, Frolicksome Meadowlark, and specially Echo! :pinkiehappy:

The Zuchinni Mobile though ... I totally agree with your there. :derpyderp2:

“As for myself, there are many who know me as... Steve."

I can't help but be reminded of Tim the Enchanter when I read this line.

I feel late to the party for just now reading this, but, what the hay.

Excellent story. Enough :moustache:'s and puns to make me more than satisfied. I really like this style of humor in a fic, one that somehow manages to remain canonical while still funny.

I came here from a site in which this story was held up as an example of how to do OC characterization right.

Having finished it, I can see why. Bucephalus is just so likeable. His character development from uptight traditionalist to guardian who loosens up is quite believable, and fun to boot! I also like this incarnation of Luna, canon or not, because you give her some depth. Even if it was a little quick in the chapter where she realizes she's isolated herself and blamed it on Bucephalus, I found it very convincingly done.

Your style is a little choppy at times -- having a lot of one-sentence paragraphs seems to be overdoing it, and I'm sure there were some functional words missing in parts of Chapter Two -- but overall pretty decent. You get a fav from me and a like from me. :scootangel:

1273639
"I came here from a site in which this story was held up as an example of how to do OC characterization right."

I'd be interested to know what site this was. I was reading Wanderer D's discussion about Original Characters and was surprised about its focus on Mary Sues. Maybe I'm a little slow, but it's never occurred to me to create a "self-insert" character. Goodness knows, I'm not interesting. But I like Captain Bucephalus because he's a good guy trying to do his best under trying circumstances, even if he is a little clueless.

As for the the "quickness" of Luna's epiphany: mea culpa. The story was written over eight very intense days, in order to meet the deadline of the "Happy Luna" competition. (And believe me, I was fretting about whether the time given in the deadline was AM or PM. I was revising and proofreading until the last hour.) I wanted to spend more time with Luna interacting with Pinkie Pie, but I looked at the clock and just did the best I could in the time I had. (I still think my invocation of the Elements of Harmony to frame this scene was a Pretty Good Thing.)

1281483

"I'd be interested to know what site this was."

Sure thing. It was in this review on the One Man's Pony Ramblings blog. I was looking over his reviews at the time, after being directed to the blog by JohnPerry. More specifically, it was this bit:

This story is funny, its references are almost all subtle and plot-relevant enough to pass muster, and it contains one of the best OCs ever written in Captain Bucephalus.

That was just from the summary. The reviewer went into more depth in the main article:

Playing the foil to Luna is Bucephalus, Captain of the Lunar Guard. And although the author's Luna is a fine character in her own right, it's her co-protagonist who makes this story great. Combining an uptight and duty-bound sense of responsibility with a character arc and backstory that makes him easy to sympathize with is no easy task, especially in a work of humor. But the portrayal of Bucephalus finds the sweet spot between comical punching bag and genuine victim by playing up both his loyalty and sense of duty, and his responsibility (however shared) for his own difficulties: his tribulations never become uncomfortable to read about (and thus, the physical comedy elements of the story never curdle), but it's hard not to root for him, either.

Considering this was a 4-out-of-5-star rating, and that it was from among all the 6-star fics picked from EqD.com, I'd say that's pretty good going. :scootangel:

"I was reading Wanderer D's discussion about Original Characters was surprised about its focus on Mary Sues."

Good discussions, aren't they? He probably focused on it simply because it's one of the more common problems in an OC story, so it would have been surprising if he didn't. If anything, I'm surprised that you're surprised, as it struck me as an obvious starting place.

"Maybe I'm a little slow, but it's never occurred to me to create a "self-insert" character. Goodness knows, I'm not interesting."

Same here. It's more fun to create them from scratch and watch them set off on their own. Sure, a character would take perhaps one or two traits from an author, as the author has to be able to understand them on some level, but that's about it. Again, most of the fandom would probably take a different view, though.

"As for the the "quickness" of Luna's epiphany: mea culpa. The story was written over eight very intense days, in order to meet the deadline of the "Happy Luna" competition. (And believe me, I was fretting about whether the time given in the deadline was AM or PM. I was revising and proofreading until the last hour.) I wanted to spend more time with Luna interacting with Pinkie Pie, but I looked at the clock and just did the best I could in the time I had. (I still think my invocation of the Elements of Harmony to frame this scene was a Pretty Good Thing.)"

If it was on a deadline, then that's understandable. I'm guessing you didn't want to meddle with it after the contest ("if it's not broke" and all that).

It's not a major problem in any case, just a little distracting flaw in an otherwise polished work. The fact that your fic was written in eight days straight, won the competition, and can still impress somebody else irrespective, pretty much makes up for it.

:rainbowderp: I'm impressed by that sort of dedication. How did you focus for eight straight days?

1285371
How did you focus for eight straight days?

While this wasn't a speedfic contest, IIRC, the submission rules were announced on a Saturday with the deadline being the Sunday of the following weekend. Eight days, that's it.

I was very fortunate to hit on an idea for the story almost at once. Other writers have mentioned that they wanted to submit a story, but didn't get an idea for it until it was too late to write.

My usual writing method is somewhat "organic." I'll write what I hope is a catchy opening, then skip around in the story, writing the "good bits" that are clear in my head. I like this method because it helps me maintain my confidence in my writing. Even when writing a transitional scene, which is perhaps not all that engaging, I can still feel confident in my work, because I know a "good bit" is coming up.

In the case of "Tonight I Shall Be Laughter", the structure of the story is pretty straightforward: Princess Luna goes AWOL, her guard tries to find her. So I was able to write pieces of the story out of order and if I was stuck at one point, I could make progress somewhere else and come back to the difficult bit later. (A sort of "Choose Your Own Adventure" approach to writing.)

And I admit that there are things in the story that are just dumb luck. My take on Luna just happened to chime well with Luna as she finally appeared in "Luna Eclipsed." The bits of business with the lost armor, the Elements of Harmony and the end of the Chronicle were sheer inspiration. If you write enough, sooner or later you stumble upon a acorn, I guess.

And, yes, I've (mostly) resisted the temptation to go back and "fix" things. (In the version published here, I went back and changed a reference to Luna's "Voice of Command" to "Traditional Canterlot Voice", since I think readers these days would understand the latter term better. And I went back and added Apple Bloom to the scene in Sweet Apple Acres; I just felt bad for overlooking her in the original version.)

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