• Member Since 17th Mar, 2013
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Celestia pays a social call.

Written for The Most Dangerous Group - Contest. Cover art from the gallery of Crystal-Ice9201.

Has a French translation, courtesy of the in-all-ways excellent monokeras.

Has a reading, courtesy of Scribbler Productions.

Spanish translation, by SPANIARD-KIWI.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 88 )

Hm. Standard-ish take, but still good. Good luck!

(This story makes me feel a bit awkward about my own story. :derpytongue2:)

Thanks! Best of luck with your own entry as well. I'm sure it'll turn out grand, and we'll both receive the accolades and imperishable glory that are our rightful due.

Or something like that, anyway.

Whoa. Very well done. You went with a rather straightforward plot, but you did it very well. Thank you for this, and good luck in the contest.

Thank you very much! :twilightsmile: Best of luck to you as well.

Thank you as always! Might have been inspired by a certain line in a certain book series regarding Targaryens and suchlike for that particular section.

...it's the sincerest form of flattery, honest. :twilightsheepish:

Thanks for the read, liked the good old dark vs light conundrum of the soul. Often over used but awesome when done right, anyhow I ramble, good story and good luck in the comp :twilightsmile:

Thank you very much! A poke or two around Celestia's psyche was fun to play with and write about, as well the prospect of an alicorn picking up a metaphorical red lightsaber. The best of luck with your own entry.

I'll see your story-appropriate orchestral piece and raise you a not-story-appropriate but MLP-related operetta remix.


I call your bet and raise you both an semi-appropriate-and-definitly-mlp-related piece (and the part I mean to show is up to 1:08)

and a random but somewhat funny video I found while finding the previous one (Wilhelm's screams always crack me up no matter what ):

In the words of the partiot John paul JOnes, " I have not yet begun to fight" (one might of thought he would do so before his ship in pieces , but that's unrelated)

Prepare to be raised to the tune of a vaguely story-related and MLP-related piece.

I'll also see your random video full of Wilhelmy goodness and raise you a not even slightly story-related or MLP-related specimen of a genre known as 'acid croft.'

In the words of my own country's patriot, William Wallace, "I hae brocht ye to the ring, now see gif ye can dance." (Which was slightly undermined by him losing the following battle, but oh well.)

Comment posted by 593322 deleted Jun 20th, 2014

I see. I have greatly underestimated you, my frienemy! It is time to bring out the guns. The feels guns, to be specific:

And I shall meet your Celtic goodness with A Frenchmen singing a wonderful, traditional Irish parting song. In Barbershop. :

And it is no dishonor to lose, if you have given your best in the battle. The opponent's own skill and advantages make only your own more outstanding and applaud-worthy. (Unless you just are steamrolled. And then you have already failed the 1st tenet already stated)

Two can play at this gunfight, sir. In this case, my guns are joyful triumphalism guns rather than feels guns, but the same general principle applies, I think.

And whilst I heartily commend your acapella Frenchman and the song he's singing, I think two men doing wonderful things to a fiddle and accordion suffice as an answer.

Fear not, I am prepared to be magnanimous in victory and to respect you as the worthy opponent you were. Breaches of the Geneva Convention will be as minimal as possible.



But sir, I have one last gambit, and I intend to make my play.

To meet your wonderful Fiddle and the surprising rare accordion, I present one of the hardest songs I have ever sung (unfortunately, I have no video of my doing it, and these gents probably do it better anyway) :

And to meet the wonder you have allowed me to revel in, and laugh at, I present... an entire symphonic metal opera :

While I expect you to beat me, though I cannot at this time see how, I believe that losing to such a foe as you, would be more glorious than some of my victories.

and in my final words, I must acknowledge the fun I've had in this competition, and my surprise at how unrelated we've gone from this story. Since I haven't, I must speak a few words to bring it back to the start. Your story is well done. Greatly measured and paced, a refreshing look at Celestia, and the proof that an alicorn oc can be done, and done well (something that even I, a hie lover, thought would always be a bad trope). You sir, I am sure, are a guaranteed finalist if not the winner of the contest.

As it appears I sent a copy of the parting glass thought the mail, I decided to post the Christmas song here after reading your reply.:

Oh, you don't even fight slightly fair. That's not a second piece it's easy to compete with at all. This is the most I can venture as a direct riposte.

That by itself probably isn't nearly enough to help me win.

Luckily, I have this dude playing a guitar.

Thank you for the contest. And thank you further still for your comments on the story. May we cross musical swords again in some other unsuspecting comments section.

You know, it'd be pretty awesome to see a sequel to this where he does escape, takes back the stars... but has become so apathetic and drained about everything that he just doesn't care anymore.

They welcome him back "into the fold", so to speak, but his empty nonchalance turns out to be worse than any anger or negative feelings he had for them -- at least he recognized them on an emotional level when he hated them.

Finally, he gives up his immortality and "descends" as a mortal -- when he dies of age a few years later, far from Equestria, it's then that Celestia realizes his recent actions --and death-- hurt her more than any overt plot or attack he could have tried.

And that was his plan, his revenge.

Thank you for commenting! And that would be quite a good route to take things down if I ever decided to give this a follow-up. Something similarly low-key and pitched towards exploring the emotional turmoil they've wreaked upon one another, rather than any grand alicorn-on-alicorn battles. And if anything could batter him down to empty nonchalance, it's the situation he ends up in by the story's end.

Thank you! It's good to hear what I could have done to improve a story (the introduction might be a little large in comparison to what follows it, now I look upon it), and good to hear what people read into it. The notion of a pent-up dark side for Celestia herself was one I did want to explore, with Astralus serving as a means to bring it out.

I'll also plead guilty to a different take on Tartarus than the original Greek legends gave us, though I did take some inspiration from the show. Where the original Tartarus was essentially the deepest level of hell in the afterlife, the Tartarus presented in the show seems to be within walking distance of Ponyville and a place where it's vital Cerberus remains as a guardian to prevent assorted nastiness from spilling out. The interpretation of it being essentially a maximim-security supernatural prison followed on from there.

I like it. The events are simple, but they are powerful.

His is the classic case of a God-complex. Yet, the fact that it is stated the magic that ascended him broke him makes him a lot more tragic. I can say I felt contempt for him when he was ranting about his divine rights and all that, but...

"No," said Astralus, and then, "No!" again at her back. "You came here to offer me freedom, so let me go! I'll take the shackles! Come back, Celestia! Celestia! Sister, don't leave me again, you offered me freedom, I'll take it, I'll take the shackles, don't leave me, PLEASE - !"

It's strange. This alone was enough to make me truly pity him. It was that second I wanted her to offer him some kind of hope.

And Celestia's response made me fear her.

Thank you for commenting! And I'm glad that I was able to get that particular set of emotional responses from a reader - particularly the part where Celestia was briefly feared. Part of the idea I wanted to get across in the story was that she's seperated from Astralus by a knife's edge. The Nightmare in her own mind's never going to give her a moment's peace, and appeasing it can often look no different than becoming it.

This was alright, but I think it would have been better to have the Nightmare battering at Celestia more from the start, a sort of sinister companion to her that it wasn't entirely clear wasn't really there until the end.

It was an alright idea for a story, but it could have been better.

I get where you're coming from. Part of what I wanted to do with the story was explore Celestia's own potential Nightmare and the conflict between it and her ideal of her self. Looking back on the story, it could have benefitted from more of that being set up in the earlier sections, which could have been pulling more weight beyond 'Look at all the pretty Tartarus!'

Anything else you feel could have been improved upon?


It never really grabbed me in the end; I kind of hovered on the edge of half-engagement, but I never really felt all that much tension.

The story is really ultimately about Celestia dealing with him, rather than him as a person, and as such her battling with her nightmare would have been more interesting because we're already invested in her and he is a lost cause, but she isn't giving up on him, even though she wants to free him on one hoof, and wants to utterly destroy him on the other. It didn't really engage me enough and the reveal of the nightmare later on didn't really work to maximize its impact; had it been something of a companion for her through her journey through Tartarus, it would have had more impact when we found out what exactly it was (or alternatively, knowing all along and then coming to realize how close she really is to the edge).

It's not often I get thoughtful and well-considered critique that really makes me think 'Huh, that would have improved matters much more.' Much obliged to you for it. :twilightsmile: Probably too late to tweak things before a judge looks at it, assuming 4639101 isn't the drive-by comment type. Good things to consider for the next competition, though.

(I must be in the lead for some sort of videos-per-comment ratio or something like that for this story by now. There has to be some sort of medal in here somewhere.)

Normally, I strongly dislike stories that contain stereotypical bad o-c's... usually personified by the typical black and red male alicorn..... BUT
THIS STORY WAS GREAT!!!!!!!! :pinkiehappy:
It was well written, and even though the OC was an alicorn he wasn't unbelievable or ridiculous. Also I really liked how you incorporated/showed/revealed the Nightmare/madness that haunts EVERY alicorn. I really liked that idea. :)
AND, I think you did really well with Celestia's view point.... and at the end, I almost felt bad for Astralus. :raritydespair:

I think you did a pretty good job over all. :pinkiesmile:

Glad you liked it! :pinkiehappy: I had a blast writing it, and with playing around with the concepts you mention - an OC alicorn that isn't too terrible, the idea of each alicorn having their own Nightmare to bear.

Alicorn OC that doesn't ruin the story. Not bad. Not bad at all. There was some great Celestia perspective in there, and the ending made me wince.

Glad you approve!

Wow, I really liked this story. I loved the world building, and the idea that Celestia has her own Nightmare she has to deal with. And the last few lines? Not putting him back to sleep and his desperation? Oh, I got chills :rainbowkiss: Well done!

I'm glad you approve! :pinkiehappy:

I'll echo Titanium Dragon's comments and agree that the story would have benefited from better utilizing the Nightmare within Celestia.

That said, I still enjoyed the story. It was a good read, and I thought you did a great job with the alicorn OC.

Glad you approve, by and large.

Yeah, this was a good learning experience as a story. Celestia's own Nightmare was a plot element that deserved more attention and more bringing-to-the-fore than it got. If I was the rewriting sort (though I'm not) I'd definitely give it more attention.

A very good take on the origins of the 'Nightmare'.
A very good Celestia and a nice take on Cerberus.
Very few technical issues and no narrative ones as far as I'm concerned.
Good job.

Thank you very much! :twilightsmile:

To me, a fic is good when you can see it. When you can hear it. Reading the last lines of Astralus was the point when I knew this was a grand fic. His screaming and him begging for mercy rang in my ears. The doors shutting behind Celestia echoed in my head. The sight of a broken alicorn bound and helpless is fresh in my mind. Bravo! I enjoyed it.

Also, highlighting how much Nightmare exists in Celestia sent chills down me. We are all capable to be demons as well as angels.

Glad to have conjured that sort of reaction towards Astralus and Celestia both. :twilightsmile:

Oh that's horrible, truly horrible. He at least had sleep to spend the years. Now he will remain awake through eternity. That way lies madness.
Its also opportunity for him though. In sleep he couldn't even attempt escape, being awake let's him plan and act.

He's awake to plan and act, that's at least some manner of silver lining. Though in his helpless, bound state ... it may be a pretty thin one.

Whoa nelly, that ending really deserved the dark tag. Left all alone, in darkness, bound..... *shivers* Oy. Creepy as all get out. Really well written, but definitely gave me some chills ><

It's somewhat twisted to take pride in inciting chills in another human being ... but at least it achieved the chilling effect I was hoping for. Thank you for reading it! :twilightsmile:

6013297 He must be destroyed. They all possess Nightmares. They are all dangerous. That which is dangerous must be destroyed. This is The Law. I am The Law made manifest. The Law is The Command. The Command must be obeyed. I shall obey the Command of the Law which is myself.

I will destroy them. :pinkiecrazy:


5582623 I think once you start hearing voices in your head, you seriously need to take yer damned meds!

*gives Celestia a heavy dose of olanzapine pamoate* That should take care of it! *side effects: may cause murder* Well shit.. :twilightoops:

6426048 so you took mah meds?!

6426091 You'll be fine! Just remember, they are all against you...

Have a nice day! :pinkiecrazy:

Very good story about one of the many monsters locked away in Tartarus.
Celestia's comment about the number of ponies and foals reminded me of The Doctor having counted the number of children on Gallifrey on the day he used The Moment.

Glad you approve! Alcohol may be playing its part, but I can't remember whether or not this came out before the relevant episode. Either way, I'm a respectful homager or a shameless plagiarizer.

This seems to tie in with The End of the Day in a very loose sense which I enjoy. Does this character ever come up in any of your other stories? Noting that this was written earlier than Day I would like to know if he fits into that story in any way and how.

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