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Upon Nightmare Moon's return, the leaders of other nations gather to discuss the situation.

They're not especially happy about it.

Cover art from the gallery of WingFlyte.

Spanish translation, by SPANIARD-KIWI. Russian translation, by Dark Room Collaboration.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 254 )

Well, that was an experience. Sarcastic wit of this quality is usually a rare treat, and you've filled the story to the brim with it. Your characters are unique, memorable, and highly entertaining. There's so much world-building that is tantalizingly offered, I don't even know where to begin to want more. Do I want a tale on the Equestrian griffons and their separation from their own tribe? Or would I rather hear about the civil war between princes? Or perhaps a story of how and why a nation follows the rule of a hat?

The answer is yes. Yes to all of it.

This is a story of politics done right, and I loved every word of it. I had to read it three times to find anything to offer as criticism, but find something I did! So just hold onto your self-esteem, because this is a blistering one. Are you ready for it? Here it goes!

I think I remember one of the comics saying the griffons have a kingdom. Diamond Dogs, too, if I recall correctly. Diamondia or something like that. Therein lies your heinous sin against literature. I don't know how you can live with yourself. No, but honestly, your multifaceted government approach works so much better in the narrative than clone royals. I can't think of any way this story could be better. Unless maybe it ended with Celestia introducing her sister to the council so they could eat crow. Ahhh, comeuppance...

I think I hit the thumbs-up button so hard I broke my mouse. I'll be sending you the bill.

Ah... Politics. Very relaxing, no?

Well, thank you! :twilightsmile: It's always a pleasure to get detailed and positive feedback on a piece like this. I'm glad you liked the worldbuilding ('tis a world I share with a couple of other fics published here, If you're keen for more of it) and the diverse politics on display. Any world where the sentient species include pastel-coloured ponies, dragons, and dog-like dwarf-pastiches has to have some amount of interesting variation in governance.

As for your blistering critique, to which I can respond with a hung head and a feeble admission of guilt - in my defence, I haven't read the comics. No plans to, for the sake of my all-too-fragile headcanon.

Exceedingly so, I agree. Can't imagine why more people don't go into it.

That was interesting. I could see a series of these types of things being made. Good luck. :twilightsmile:

No plans for a direct continuation of this, alas (though I'm sure the Discord incident alone could give them a field day). Glad you found it interesting!

This was very funny, and it made my day.
Good, laugh-out-loud humor is something I don't often run into in stories, but this story was very very good. Wonderfully written too!
Great Job!!!! :heart:

Oh, yes, I agree with Noble Valor!! Could you please do a continuation of other events that would've effected everyone?? Please Please Please??

Glad you liked it! No plans to write a continuation of this as of yet, like I said to NobleValor, but I can be persuaded otherwise if inspiration strikes and/or a pitchfork-wielding mob demands more.

Author Interviewer

Marvelous. I have to know: why is the leader of the sheep called "Tyrant"? It's horrendously charming, but I wonder if there's not something I'm missing.

Also, is Greenhorn a Minotaur? I thought he was a cow, but I'm not so sure.

Well, assuming the original Greek sense of the word, she's an absolute ruler who's taken power by securing the support of a majority of the sheep population, and has since retained power via the unconventional means of stabbing anyone who disagrees with her.

Legit title back in the day. No character judgement attached at all.

As for Greenhorn, I think I mention him being an aurochs in his initial description. Conventional cow-shape, with no bipedal elements.

Author Interviewer

Okay, that's kind of what I came up with. This is honestly the first time I've seen "Tyrant" used as an honorific rather than a descriptor. And oh, yes, aurochs, I knew that. :B Just got confused somewhere down the line.

Old honorifics are good fun to play around with. Just on the side, Greenhorn's 'Bullwalda' title is pinched and promptly amended from the old Anglo-Saxon Bretwalda.

I make puns based on Old English titles. I'm a cool person, honest.

Author Interviewer

No, that is definitely a cool thing to do. I believe you. :)

Kinda fun. Can't help but be left feeling it's a little too long-winded and slow to be a long-form joke, yet not quite detailed enough to hold up as more story-centred. The meat of the council session was good fun, though; you definitely got the feel of escalating sociopathic tendencies just right!

Not really how much this can be said to follow the prompt, though. Not weak enough to reject, but worth pointing out.

5/10 Prompt: Very Weak


Well, so long as I got the sociopathy right, I can rest content. Glad you enjoyed that aspect of it. :twilightsmile:

Would you mind elaborating on the prompt-adherence (or lack thereof)? I'll plead guilty to having fudged 'a non-pony' to 'damn-near all the non-ponies', but I wouldn't mind a second opinion as to what I might have neglected.

4904616 Of course!

Write a story about ponies... from a non-pony's point of view.

Techncially, the multiple PoV's (or perhaps lack of an explicit PoV) are pushing things, but I can't say it bothers me that much. Given that it was discussed before the deadline that any pony-PoV scene would disqualify a story entirely, the judges may see that a lot harsher than I do. At the end of that day, I found the intent clear enough, so that mostly works for me.

The first part of the prompt is more the issue, though. This isn't a story about ponies – not really. The connection to something that happened to ponies and the discussion about how to help/use/abuse ponies is tenuous at best.

To put that in context, though, I have found less than half the field (so far) have really used the prompt in an explicit way. I rated the stories by Obselescence and Cold in Gardez to be 'weak', and Dark Avenger went out his his way to lament the lack of prompt recognition in my leading two stories, Rise and Queen of Queens.

Aside from my entry, PRIDE, where I would like to think that the prompt was very much the focus of the story, I would also suggest stories like My Father Used To Say, Something Magical, and Au Naturalligator as stories that really ran with the ball in question.

Hope that helps.


Ah, that's reasonable enough. Thanks for elaborating!

I'd argue that the prompt could cover a very broad church of stories, both explicit and implicit. The conditions, as far I could tell, could be rendered down to:
1. Have a non-pony protagonist/protagonists.
2. Let ponies be the main driving force of the plot, whether on- or off-screen.
3. Some reflection on pony society and what makes the ponies and non-ponies fundamentally distinct would be a welcome bonus in the spirit of the competition.

I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of others writing for the competition rendered it down to those points. I'll have to start seriously reading the other entries to make that a certain judgement, though. Thanks for the recommendations!

A multi-species union of nations, what I wouldn't give for such a concept to end up canon.

"Fairy Floss," said Gellert. "We're missing a Celestia, and you seemed like the next-best substitute."


Burro didn't know how it was done, but he still somehow felt the Capricious Crown's attention settle across him, like a spider crawling onto his back. “Ah. And how is everyone?”


Huh, that's just a little creepy.

His lips parted, and glistening teeth were bared. Red light churned deeply and distantly behind them. His eyes opened, and they were pure fire.
Shall we begin?” rasped the Fire Queen, in a voice that was part screaming echo, part roaring volcano.


“Princess Luna? But she's merely a myth,” said Greenhorn.
“Gosh. It must have been a very substantial myth that negotiated the end of the Draconic Wars with me, then. I defer to Your Highness's obvious vast experience on the matter.”


Nice take on Equestria being used to buying Harmony with force of effort as opposed to just passively expecting it. So often you get the "the royal guard is worthless" fanon and that always just rubs me wrong.

I also like the idea of all the various races having magic users. But wow is the Crown either brave or stupid. Foolhardy?

Okay, not precisely a union of nations. Moderately hostile gathering?

“Princess Celestia of Equestria,” announced the guard.
Burro slowly pulled the lever. The others craned themselves to peer at the figure emerging through the door.
Long legs. A coat that gleamed like snowfall. Bands of gold on her hooves, neck, and brow. A mane that flowed behind her like a section of the dawn sky itself. Gentle, ancient, fathomless eyes.


That was fun and was a fantastic read.

Glad you approve! :twilightsmile: That 'Royal Guards can't tell one end of a spear from another' head canon, when it's not being used for comedic purposes, also rankles slightly

AMazing story and you gained a fan

Thanks! Glad to have you along for the ride. :twilightsmile:

4924270 Looks to be a grand ride at that

Congratulations in winning 3rd place in the contest!

Thank you! :twilightsmile:

This was awesome!

Glad you approve! :pinkiehappy:

“Princess Celestia of Equestria,” announced the guard.

This was the point that I went to the top of the story, hit Favorite, clicked on the author, hit Follow... and then fell on the floor and laughed myself silly. :pinkiehappy:

Good to know I can inspire that sort of reaction! :twilightsmile:

“Princess Celestia of Equestria,” announced the guard.

Twilight may be adorkable, and Luna bombastic, but it's moments like these that solidify Celestia as one of the more awesome characters around.

There's a reason she ends up getting tagged in nearly everything I write. :twilightsmile:

All too amusing. I had slightly hoped this was going to take the tack of Celestia appearing -before- the dawn dawned, but then I've always found the 'allowed herself to be banished to the sun' bit a little silly, which is the tack I imagine this took as its backstory.

Characters were well-fleshed out and each quirky in a fun way. Congrats on placing!

Glad you liked it! I took the view of a foreseen banishment to the sun on Celestia's part, like you mention, leaving her unable to meet the other leaders before the whole affair was resolved. I'd shake that up if I ever decided to write a sequel to this covering the reaction to Discord, or something like that.


Oh, yes, you should. Their bickering is all too fun, and an ongoing view into the leaders of this Equus variant would be all too amusing.

Why do I have this sneaking suspicion Celestia knew everything that had been suggested in that closed conference- and bu whom- and chose to keep her mouth shut for the fun of it? Also, I would have loved to see how everyone in that room reacted to the double bombshell of the Elements awakening and Luna's return. I imagine that the discomfiture of the crown was of amusement to Burro at least. I would love to see how the Crown would react to the restoration of the Crystal Empire... or the ascension of a new alicorn. Awesome story, liking and faving. Will be keeping an eye out for more of your work.

The glorious amount of sweaty sarcasm dripping off this story's luscious curves are giving me the vapours!

Uhh...I mean....solid job you did here boyo. Two thumbs up. Can't beat an original idea.

Heh. There's plenty of other events in the show that would certainly give the other leaders, especially the Crown, considerable pause. Discord's brief reign, the changeling invasion, the emergence of the Crystal Empire, Twilight's ascension, Tirek consuming all the world's magic, the eldritch monsters that pop up on a regular basis ...

Equestria! A mostly lovely place to live in. A unrelentingly terrifying place to exist next to.

Don't forget the bounteous, heaving worldbuilding, or the pleasantly-yielding political bastardry, and I have no idea what I'm doing with this comment and should probably stop. Um. Glad you liked it! :twilightblush:

Glad, as always, to have your good opinion! :twilightsmile: No worries about the time delay; we all have that boring real world thing to attend to from time to time. And here's hoping your capacity to project words at a page picks up - more The Tyranny of Discord would be an absolute joy.

I render you the full and appropriate apologies for inflicting The Devil's Details on you back in the day, and hope it continues to entertain once I pick it up again. Hopefully the CMC piece can do something for you as well.

My word. What an enjoyable read. Tension, Carabas. In amidst the wit and witticisms and snide insults there was tension underlying everything in that boardroom until Celestia neatly disarmed it. The ministers and rulers of the nations were all well realized and distinctly their own creatures without any interference or need to distinguish them.

This story sucked me in and held me fast from inciting incident to end. The characters were the most gripping I've read in some time and the topic...

'Scuse me while I fangasm a little.


Okay. Lore, history, other nations... this is my bread and butter for interesting reading. Thank you for writing it.

I'm very glad you enjoyed it! :twilightsmile: Sometimes, a entertaining story doesn't need much more than a pack of numpties bouncing off each other to their mutual disregard, and I'm happy you enjoyed them.

Most of the lore, history, and world-building around them's something I've been fermenting for a few years, as part of a larger project. Bits of it keep contriving to sneak into everything I write. I'd thought it'd be nice to air it out in the open for once.

Hmm, this was really good!

For some reason, I felt the first few paragraphs were a bit... I don't know, rougher than the rest? But dialogue seems easier than narrative, for the most part. Still, the discussions were interesting, the humor humorous, and the characterization very well done. Also, your framing element was well used, although I'm not sure if Damasque was actually necessary.

This is the sort of story i wish I could write. My ideas are either much, much to long, or completely devoid of anything interesting. I clearly need to practice more.

Good job, and congrats!

I'm glad you enjoyed it as much as you did! Opening stories well is one of my perennial bugbears, and it's likely that the opening section didn't receive the same proofreading attention as the rest of the story. I welcome any and all nitpicking if any particular rough segments jump out at you. :twilightsmile:

4966785 ] Looking back, I guess my complaint on flow boils down to one thing; in the block of narrative at the top of the story, when Alloy is reporting, your descriptions could be condensed. Things like:

He sought a secluded spot and found one in between a rain barrel and a garbage bin. Nestling himself in there,

Could be replaced with something like:

He nestled himself into a secluded spot between a rain barrel and a garbage bin

Which says almost the same thing, but cuts nearly a third of the words. Better word flow means better immersion, although the fact that my brain may have still been in 'edit' mode probably didn't help. If you'd like a blow-by-blow of that first block, or even a re-write, I'd be happy to do one, although I won't pretend I'm much of an author. Telling someone 'you're doing it wrong' is much easier than saying 'this is how to do it right'.

Taking a closer look, I also realized that you're using passive voice for several chunks of it. Your narrative would be strengthened by changing that: for example, 'was striding' to 'strode'. 'was' followed by an '-ing' word is a great indicator for this.

Flow and bloated descriptions are also perennial bugbears of mine; I have a collection thereof. I made that change, though, and I'd be pleased to take you up on that blow-by-blow for the first block. :pinkiesmile: Take it to PMs? Just so potential readers aren't privy to my natural ineptitude the comment threat isn't too cluttered.

4968555 Certainly; give me a few minutes to port it to a Gdoc, and I'll PM you a link.

Much obliged!

Was the Capricious Crown of Capra inspired by the Holy Crown of Hungary, by any chance?

Hadn't heard of the Holy Crown of Hungary before I penned this. But that's a very nice-looking crown indeed, and I assume it's a lot less blood-thirsty than the Capricious variety.

(Just for quick reference to other viewers, upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/80/SZENTK~1b.jpg/640px-SZENTK~1b.jpg )

Where to begin . . . well first off, I loved the tongue-in-cheek, over the top sarcasm that the characters all displayed towards each other. The little barbs they kept trading were just wonderful to experience.
My particular favorites were:

“Our thoughts exactly. When you were a student of politics back in your young day – Eohippic era, correct? - did you ever learn the correct response to one of the fundamental pillars sustaining life on the world being knocked away?” said Burro.
“Don't get cruel with an old lady who could assassinate you in seven different ways before the week was out, dear. And no, I think the most my political education ever touched on that topic amounted to 'Don't let it happen.'”


“Princess Luna? But she's merely a myth,” said Greenhorn.
“Gosh. It must have been a very substantial myth that negotiated the end of the Draconic Wars with me, then. I defer to Your Highness's obvious vast experience on the matter.”

Second, the rapid and completely unexpected deterioration of the conversation from "how do we solve this problem?" to "let's invade and/or enslave Equestria!" I never saw it coming and loved every second of it!

Third, The Crown. the fact that one of the world's leaders, is an inanimate object is not only fitting with the fantastic nature of the MLP world, but the fact that it's the Capricious Crown, and is indeed the most capricious of all the rulers present, is something that could have been taken out of a Terry Pratchett novel.

Fourth, and finally, the thing that most impressed me with this story, was that you had six different characters of six different species in a room together, and I never once didn't know who was what. Managing that without resorting to the usage of epithets is really something. But you managed it. Every character has a very memorable name or title that firmly anchors their identity. The Fire Queen is a dragon. Fairy Floss (which is without a doubt one of my favorite OC names of all time) is a lamb, Burro is a donkey, the Crown is a crown. . . etc. Each character's name/title is unique and memorable, painting a clear picture as to what they are.

I loved this story. I can understand why it only placed second, as the contest was for an outsiders' perspective on Equestria, and this was more a perspective on the outsiders themselves, but this is my favorite of all the contest entries, and I think one of my favorite stories on this site.

I'm exceedingly grateful you enjoyed it as much as you did! That sort of breakdown over what you felt the story did right is the best picker-upper an author could wish for. My especial thanks for the Pratchett comparison. :pinkiehappy:


Marvelous. I have to know: why is the leader of the sheep called "Tyrant"?


Well, assuming the original Greek sense of the word, she's an absolute ruler who's taken power by securing the support of a majority of the sheep population, and has since retained power via the unconventional means of stabbing anyone who disagrees with her.

I guess Fairy Floss uses the "One Ewe, One Vote" system: she is The Ewe, and she has The Vote.

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