• Member Since 31st May, 2012
  • offline last seen Nov 2nd, 2020

Snake Staff

A young man working his way through life and writing for fun.



Once, long ago, there lived three goddesses atop a mountain, ruling over ponykind in peace and harmony. Until one day, there came a spirit of chaos, bearing a certain gift...

Now featured on Equestria Daily!

Also enjoy a dramatic reading, by Goomba Brony.


Chapters (1)
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Comments ( 63 )

:facehoof: Fixed.

So, what'd you think of the actual story?

A nice take on an old Grecian tale. :moustache:

Eh.... I don't really like it but I can't say why, It just doesn't appeal to me. However it was well written in the grammatical and imagery sense so I'll give you a thumbs up.

All in all, a well made work of elevated prose. There were a few odd choices of words here and there, which almost seem to bastardize the style, seeing as this appeared to be broadly mirroring the Greeks' styles, though it contained elements of Hebrew as well as middle English origin. Because you haven't designated anything about the audience for which this myth was written, it is difficult to pass an opinion on it. Nonetheless, what surprises me is the particular spin you put on the Judgement of Paris. The localization of myths has always been common, and so non-fundamental inconsistencies usually appear between retellings in different cultures, but I am curious as to why you chose to alter this particular myth. The Judgement of Paris is a story that founds the identity of Greekness for the ancient Greeks. In the context of our fandom, though, it doesn't seem to make a lot of sense. The moral of the story seems to be that Love is the most highly desired acquisition at first glance; however, the text clearly points out that the stallion is young when he makes his decision. Furthermore, Discord's plan to spread chaos seems only tangential to the story, and his attack on the mortals could have been left out, much like Eris does in the original myth, when she simply wrote kallistei on the apple and immediately ran off after tossing it to the goddesses.

Honestly, you probably put more thought into it than I did. I write primarily for my own edification and/or amusement, as the inspiration strikes me. I simply decided this seemed like a decent story to write about when I got up yesterday and went ahead and did it. I cut out the war because that seemed too dark for the mood I wanted.

As to the style, I was simply going for a more old-timey feel, based more on my general recollections of mythologies that I've read than any one particular style. The Middle English is based on Luna's manner of speaking when she first returned.


Well, for starters, the Department of Redundancy Department called, and said they wanted you to chose either "Once upon a time" or "A long time ago." :pinkiecrazy:

Beyond that... damn. I really, really enjoyed this one. The Ye Olde English was a great touch. Someone above mentioned a Greek myth, but it honestly feels more like an Old Testament tale, very Job-ish in its moral and flowery prose.

Headcanon-wise, I dislike the idea of Cadance—and by extension, Twilight—being immortal goddess like Celestia and Luna, but the ending with Shining Armor made me hnngggghh a bit. Of course, you left the ending ambiguous enough that the reader can fill in the blanks on whether it's actually Shining and Cadance, which I liked. While I do dislike the mentioned headcanon, The concept of an undying, everlasting love is the kind of thing that makes me feel like a kid again, romantic and fantastic. Could it be? That Shining is a countless-times reborn spirit of that original stallion? That the strength of their love was so strong that even death holds no sway over him? And that every time he dies, Cadance has to seek him out again. And what if she doesn't find him? How many stallions have grown old and died with a strange feeling of emptiness, a gnawing hunger for something that no food can sate, no drink can quench, and no vice can fill? And what of her? Roaming the world for countless ages, seeking out the love she promised herself to? How low must she sink when centuries pass and she does not find her mate? And what joy and rapturous high must she feel when she wanders into a town and see that little glint in the eye of some young stallion, who upon seeing her, is enraptured by some undying force?

Heh, sorry. I'm a hopeless romantic. :twilightsheepish:

Also, when little Twily said, "Colts have cooties," I dieded a bit from beetus.

All told, this was a very nice little tale, and I wouldn't mind more. Take it away, Best Doctor!


Hehehehe hahahah! I love it!:heart:

Like I said earlier, the goal with the prose was to create the feel of the classic books of mythology that I've read, including the Bible. So, really, it could be taken for any of them in prosaic style. It's just meant to sound like something somepony would put into such an in-universe book, which Cadence reads to lil' Twily.

I assume "hnngggghh" means you thought that bit was cute? 'Twas intended to garner such a reaction.

So you'd like to see some more of that book of myths, perhaps containing some adventures of the stallion and goddess? :trixieshiftright:

And thanks for being so complimentary. :twilightblush:

Hah, I loved it! Especially the "future-day" part, where it's revealed Cadence is telling "her" story to filly Twilight.
Mayhaps a sequel where it is revealed Shining is a reincarnation or something of that clever mortal?

Here's an idea: Cut the apple in three pieces, give a piece to each goddess, and say they're equal, but different. Better yet, destroy the stupid thing, tell the goddesses to get off their fat flanks and help the poor people for crying out loud. Or give it to someone who is actually the fairest in the land, in terms of judgement, rather than fleeting beauty....

A satisfactory retelling of a classic tale in a pony light. I shall give you my upward thumb!

It also a nice change from the "And Shining Armor died and Cadance was sad forever" stories.

Thanks! :twilightblush: Don't mean to toot my own horn too much, but if you like Shining/Cadence stories where immortality comes up beyond the usual "Shining dies" plots, might I suggest my own Together Forever?

Ya know, when I first read the Illiad, I thought it seemed strange that, in response to Paris's attempt to cut the apple in thirds, that the goddesses simply answered "That won't do."

I mean, seriously. Do a 5012606 and cut the apple in thirds, Pony Paris.

I sincerely hope this unlucky stallion doesn't get his city crushed or anything... oh.. wait... he did. Chrysalis did it for him.



:trixieshiftright: Do you want to be the one to tell three extremely proud deities, on whose good will not only your existence but that of your entire family and people rest on, that you won't play their game? And do recall that by that point, the goddesses' reputation was such that their own divine brethren, including their parents, were too scared to arbitrate. That seems a very unwise move, considering there would be absolutely nothing you could do as a mortal stallion to stop any vengeance they might choose exact on you.


Then i guess this is a question of the lesser of three sins. What do you want, Power, Victory, or Love? Pick one, and the other two will curse thee forever.

Paris found Love (sort of), but he never came to power, and never found victory.

The stallion did make them promise not to hurt his family first (which seems to have been the impetus for his climbing the mountain at all), and judging by the ending the whole thing seems to have worked out pretty well for him.

5017904 Hopefully there's no Trojan War.

Fortunately, the goddess of love lacked a betrothed to tick off by stealing her away, so no war. :raritywink:

5018074 Thank goodness, i couldn't bother myself to read that epic poem.

There are no rules anywhere. The Goddess Prevails. Five tons of flax. A Discordian is prohibited from believing what he or she reads. Fnord.

Are they really that common.... I guess there's so many stories and I've just not paid attention to any Cadence ones.

That said the "burden of the immortal" plots are probably 7% of the fics on this site. :P

In the immortal words of Thadius0, author of Headless, Not Heartless,

What is the power of a god, to a non-believer?

Plus, I mean, for crying out loud, if they're so "Great And Powerful," (pardon, my Trixie, but it seems like this is the only way that this point can be made with enough lasting impact here,) they could literally make millions of those golden apples for themselves, and for goddesses who literally own everything, they're getting so riled up over one measly little apple, all for the sake of stroking their own egos? Plus, two out of three of them would still be ticked off enough to smite the guy, his family, his descendants and what have you, also swearing not to doesn't mean jack, as those have been broken before, and those gods are always going back on their words, for no other reason than their own selfishness and pride, and it's up to us mortals to have to deal with the consequences of their actions. I for one, would be a little sick of playing their little games.To quote Batman from "Brave and The Bold"

I'd rather just end things right here and now than forever serve as the plaything for some all-powerful brat.

Easy to say from behind a computer. Far harder to actually do. Most would seek the preservation of their own above total godless freedom, and those who didn't would find themselves on the losing end of natural selection. In any case, in this myth death doesn't release a pony from the gods, just sends them to the goddesses' brother, the god of death.

In the interests of fairness, it should be noted that the apple in question is definitely magic, and it is supposed to be implied to be casting a spell on all three goddesses, similar to how Rarity was made to fall for Tom. They may not entirely have been able to help themselves.

Judging by the ending, things work out far better for the stallion than they did for his counterpart in the original version. He went out looking for help for his sister, and came back having acquired not only that, but also a powerful and eternally beautiful marefriend with an endless stake in his preservation. Not bad, considering all the original got was his city sacked.

True, true, all valid points, however, not entirely infallible or without refute. But I'll leave it at that, I've got other things to do at the moment...

An excellent adaptation of the opening chapters of the Iliad. I bow before such un-formulaic excellence.

That was fantastic. I do believe that I'll be looking at more of your stories.

you got a fav and a like :raritywink: probably a follow too :p

5020311 The power of a god to a non-believer?

Well, that depends... are you talking about a mythical god, or REAL one.

You see, a REAL LIFE ACTUALLY EXISTING GOD who's a total dick would blast the non-believer into atoms.

So, yeah, that's the power of a god to a non-believer in a literal sense.

That is a quote stemming from the notion that there are no real gods, and thus an unbeliever is unaffected by the belief system. It has no bearing whatsoever on a story populated by being with actual god-like powers.

5017738 My family is dead... So I pick none of you. Yer all greedy vain skanks unworthy of your power. You threw all the world into chaos merely out of sheer vanity. In my eyes, you're all as hideous and odious as the foulest of demons. (Then he guts himself and stab himself through both eyes with icepicks).

*so dark...*

(Alondro's story gets 50 million likes in 10 seconds flat... because grimdark.)


4988121 Can't be the Bible.

The world didn't end in fire and brimstone!


That was very entertaining even knowing what was coming.
My only criticism is that maybe the different princesses should have had different dialects instead of all talking like Luna, although at least for this fic it's totally justified.

Also I was waiting for him to take Cadence's boon then choose Luna or Celestia :trollestia:

stepped into his little sister’s bedroom to tuck her in.

Crap, I read that as something else. Better go clean my brain for that offense.

Good work!

So how does the Troten War end? Seems a wooden horse would be off putting. Perhaps a wooden Diamond Dog. And of course at some point the famous heroic mare, Archlilly would fall due to her mortal hoof. Hmmm what would be pony versions of the other Greek heros be named?

Hehe, is this from The Trojan War story? :twilightsheepish:

Author Interviewer

So Shining is thousands of years old? Are you kidding me? That's amazing. :D Good job on this!

Yon stallion saith that the apple twas meant for the fairest

That should just be 'was', not 'twas'.

The ending is intentionally ambiguous, as is the exact correlation of the story and the actual events in the ancient past. But that is certainly one interpretation. :raritywink:

Author Interviewer

Good on you for even leaving it open to interpretation, though, seriously. :)

This is one of my favorite stories from mythology :pinkiehappy: :pinkiehappy: I especially liked the whole 'Apple of Discord' bit. No wars though...that's a pity...

Anyway! Everything else was good, I liked the 'modern english equuish' that the 'Mighty Three' used. I loved this entirely, and the end, too, was fantastic how you ended it as a story for Twilight.

Well, this is probably the most perfect story I've ever read. Can I buy you tea sometime? I'd love to talk to you at great length about where you draw inspiration from, what your writing process is, and how you view this whole world of ponies. Maybe a message would just be better, but that could very easily turn into an impenetrable wall of text. :derpyderp2:

Excellent job. I'm going to dissect the hell out of this story if I ever decide to do write some lore myself.

I have, from the day I first read and learned about Greek/Roman mythology, to this day and probably till my final hours, have adored the classic stories and tales of myth and legend. You captured this old tale and brought a wonderful shine to it. I especially love the open ending, with the idea that they have possibly been a couple over the ages.

Rewording the "Judgement of Paris," adding ponies, and finishing it off with a bit of Slice of Life at the end does not mean you've really done anything with the concept beyond what the original tale had already done.

I'll admit, the idea of Shining armor's role was interesting, but the appeal is ruined by the fact that the story is, as mentioned before, little more than a rewording of a tale from Greek mythology. There's a great difference between a story that is very clearly inspired and influenced by another, and a story that is just a carbon copy with a few minor edits. The former I can appreciate, because it uses the inspiration merely as a foundation to tell something new.

Writing is solid, but the content is void. It's neat gift wrapping worn by an empty box.

Feel free to message me if you want to talk.

Thank you! :twilightsheepish:

:trixieshiftright: I thought I brought a reasonably fresh twist on the situation, but I suppose it won't be everyone's cup of tea. I appreciate you taking the time to comment on why you didn't like it, at least.


There was this short story I read a long time ago (can't find it anywhere today), which I could best summarize as "the defenders Troy falling for the 'Trojan Horse' trick a second time." My memories of it are hazy, but here's a quick summary anyway:

Troy is under siege again, and an officer of the city is captured by the invaders. Under interrogation, he reveals himself to be rather bitter about his own city and comrades. The guy who is questioning him talks him into turning traitor (but not just by promising riches, if I remember correctly), and the two approach the city gate, the traitor hiding the other under his long mantle (again: it's hazy in my head) while he convinces the guards to let him back in, thus making the two of them the "horse." Once inside, the other guy opens the gates, the invaders get in, Troy falls, and so on...

Now that is what I would call a "new take on the same story." It is neither an (almost) verbatim copy of the events, nor does it deliver the same message. To be fair, the latter applies to your own fic as well, but to me, it's still just "Judgement of Paris with a different ending." Sure, the ending may be different, but you still get the same story beforehand instead of a different story altogether.

I apologize for being harsh. It's just a trend I'm seeing a lot lately, and it's making me lash out...

Fantastic! The story is amazingly well-written, and that ending! Wow! I'm sort of speechless, honestly. Thank you for this, it was magnificent.

I win! :pinkiehappy:

I always appreciate flattery. :twilightsheepish:

Twilight's Library brought me here. And this. Was. Awesome!


I could have sworn I already commented on this story.

To be honest I had no idea this was some kind of retelling of a Greek myth—not that knowing that takes away from the story. It was very much an appealing and in-character review of what the Princesses might actually have done back when they were immortal fairy tale creatures... curse the show for leaving us hanging on whether or not that's true! I don't usually cotton to the idea of them being goddesses, but wandering god-like figures for early ponies? I can certainly get behind that. Either way, it was subtle and fun world building.

It was cute, creative, and ended on a note that fits Shining and Cadance perfectly. Those two do need more love. The only thing I can say that I didn't like was that a couple times the writing veered into sounding a little too stilted, but it didn't do that nearly enough for me not to fave the story so I can hold it up to others as an example later!

Thank you very much for giving us the gift of this story.

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