• Published 1st Oct 2014
  • 3,108 Views, 414 Comments

Story Shuffle - FanOfMostEverything


Thirty-one one-shots inspired by thirty-one random Magic cards.

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7
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In Amazing Technicolor

The Winter Moon Celebration was no more. With no princess to revere, ponies had seen little reason to continue the tradition. In the wake of the Nightmare, the longest night of the year no longer seemed like something to celebrate. Over time, the festivities were shifted a few days down the calendar, and thus what had been a quiet time of togetherness for friends and family grew into Hearth's Warming as it was now.

In these modern times, the only special occasions on the winter solstice were the Fall Finale and the first snow of the season. At least the falling flakes offered a distraction for Luna on that day, for they brought to mind her dear friend Snowdrop, and how folklore had so horribly misrepresented her. Really, the very thought of that proud warrior as a mewling little waif. Luna didn't know whether she wanted more to laugh or to thrash whoever was responsible for that travesty. Perhaps both at the same time...

Ah, but now was not the time for Luna to think fondly of icy blades that froze the blood they drew into yet more blades. Now, a turning of her moon after her sister's White Sabbath, when the night took the majority from the day, it was the night her ponies had chosen to fill the gap left by the Winter Moon Celebration, though they knew it not. Truth be told, neither had Luna at first, and her fragile pride had nearly spelled its end. But once again, the Bearers of Harmony helped her see through her resentment. The festival, like its participants, had been disguised, but the Bearers had removed its mask, revealing what she had thought a grave insult to be a strange sort of tribute.

Yes, it was Nightmare Night, and Luna strode through Ponyville, adoring and adored. Dear Pipsqueak cleared her way and announced her presence, marching in front of her in mock armor styled after her Night Guard. Frolicsome Meadowlark had even made a show of assigning the colt to her side, and so Pipsqueak rightly strutted, proud as any two nobles Luna cared to name and far more worthy of her time.

Many ponies braved Luna's young guardian to bid her greetings on this night, costumed as all manner of things real and imagined. Ponies danced and played in her beautiful night, and where once she had brought screams and uncertainty, now laughter and joy trailed in her wake.

And there was candy. Such candy. Luna admired much of the progress ponies had made during her banishment, but little was as close to her heart as the advances made in the confectioner's art. Still, if Celestia did not allow herself to knight the Cakes, then Luna supposed she would have to leave Madame Dulcinea unelevated.

At one point, as Luna was laying siege to targets with pumpkins, Twilight Sparkle approached her. Twilight's guise was Hockrates; she was clad in a toga and bore a wooden cup, though one blessedly clean of hemlock. "I'm always happy to see you, Luna," she said, "but don't you ever get tired of Ponyville? This is the third year in a row you've come to see us."

Luna smiled and released her catapult. A direct hit, the gourd sundering itself against the wooden battlements. "I will always love this village, Twilight. Here is where my ponies first welcomed me back to sanity. Here is where I learned the art of fun and its applications in terror. How could I not come here on this most wondrous of nights?"

"Don't get me wrong, we're always happy to have you, but..." Twilight looked down and ground a hoof into the grass. "Well, you remember how everypony reacted that first time."

"Not everypony," answered Luna. "You did not, nor did good Applejack." She smiled down at Pipsqueak. "And soon enough, the rest of the town followed suit."

"And now you're the best part of Nightmare Night!" Pipsqueak cheered.

Twilight frowned. "But if that was how ponies reacted in a town where they'd already met you before, imagine what they must think elsewhere in Equestria."

Luna chuckled. "Tell me, Twilight, do you recall how I tried to sway Rainbow Dash from her cause in the Everfree?"

"The Shadowbolts, magical projections of some kind," Twilight said immediately. "I never got a chance to examine them closely, so I don't know whether they were illusions or constructs. I could see them, so I know they weren't just phantasms, but beyond that—"

Luna raised a hoof, silencing her. "Ah, but Twilight, who ever said they were mere projections?"

Twilight frowned a bit as she considered this. Her gaze grew steadily more distant as her thoughts deepened, until in one moment she went from neutral to utterly aghast.

Luna grinned. There were many ways to deliver a good scare. She was experiencing several of them right now.

In Manehattan, she stood at the head of a tremendous herd of foals, not so much chaperoning their fright-or-biting as she was leading their raid on the city's sugar supplies.

In Baltimare, she bestowed a dark blessing upon the crabs of the harbor, changing them into sinister but harmless creatures that chased ponies about the beach amidst shrieks of delight.

In Los Pegasus, she shaped the clouds into the stage and actors for grand pantomimes, tales of terror and triumph punctuated by thunderclaps of her own making.

All across Equestria, Luna was there. Her bodies were scattered as the stars in the sky, spreading frightening fun among her ponies. She would pay for such a grandiose display; deep exhaustion awaited her on the morrow and days to come. But it was Nightmare Night, her night, and on this night she would rather pluck her wings bare than not be everywhere she could.

And there was one place she always needed to be, a place found on no map. As always, since scant days after her return, Luna walked among her subjects' dreams. But the spirit of the night was not forgotten, even here. While Luna banished nightmares as she always had, tonight she stirred up more peaceful dreams as well. She wrought no new nightmares, but she did craft shocks and thrills, little tokens of the holiday for all to enjoy. These were the treats she gave back, spicy reveries and sour fantasies, each with something sweet at the core.

At that moment, in Ponyville, Appleoosa, Tallahorsey, and Seaddle, ponies wished her a happy Nightmare Night.

Luna smiled in all those places and more besides. Who was she to deny such a request? She tore apart the nightmares she'd expunged thus far and wrapped herself in the raw dreamstuff. Then she trotted through the collective unconscious, that she might tenderly terrify every pony she missed in the waking world.

Author's Note:

And so we come to a close. That was certainly an experience. Thank you for being there with me.

The existence of a Winter Moon Celebration would logically follow from the Summer Sun Celebration. If anything, it would be easier to celebrate, since the main event would happen at sunset. But, as noted above, it's pretty clear why we don't see evidence of it in the show.
Meanwhile, I've never liked [Season] Wrap-Up as a catch-all for the seasonal transitions. Hence Spring Suspension, Summer Shutdown, and yes, Fall Finale. They all have the same rhythm as Winter Wrap-Up, so the songs can even have the same tune! (And you know there are songs.)

The interpretation of Snowdrop as a horrific innovator in the field of cryomantic combat comes courtesy of archonix, a hoopy frood. (At least, I think it does.) Frolicsome Meadlowlark and his compatriot Sunshine Smiles were named by Egophiliac, likewise hoopy.

Comments ( 44 )

Congrats on getting through the month, and thanks for all the stories :twilightsmile: And happy Nightmare Night :pinkiehappy:

I like to imagine that the foals of Manehatten are all dressed as either Imperial Guardsponies, Mongol warriors or Red Army conscripts. Most adorable "OOORAH!" ever.

The imminence of the end of this story didn't even strike me until I saw the two new chapters posted at once.
And now my most interesting daily dose of ponewords for October is finished, and I'm kinda sad.

In reading the first lines of this chapter, I was hoping you had been stuck with Pale Moon, worst card in Magic.

..So many Lunas.

I must admit, the idea of that many little spin-off stories is quite good...

.....More, please? I'm not asking for daily updates or anything, but just...Sporatic updates? For when you just wanna write a quick one-shot of fun/adorable/sad/whateveroaijrsdauiojhasfuo.

At last! Someone who understands the use of simulacra and multilocating! Not just a way to be in two places at once, but an incredible combat tactic.

5209340
Well, worst except for Moonlace, Delif's Cone, Wintermoon Mesa, Standing Stones...

(No, I don't know why so many bad cards are moon-related either. Sorry, Luna! :twilightblush:)

5209804 Pale Moon was rated #1 worst card in Ben Bleiweiss' article from 2004, and I'm inclined to agree with him. It is rare that the card does anything. It might stop someone from casting something at sorcery speed, if that person has only nonbasic lands and no artifact mana, and it affects you, too. Silence would be much more effective.

Wintermoon Mesa is #27. The Laces are #98 (Moonlace wasn't printed then).

And there are some good Moon cards. Blood Moon. Magus of the Moon. And both are better at doing what Pale Moon could do!

5210108 Raise hoof, apply face. :facehoof:

Huh. Didn't even think of that. Guess that's why you are the local Magic guru, while I am a lowly acolyte

5209789 Hmm..Well, i would put Equestria at somewhere in the U.S's level in...

Frack, i have no idea of the level of Tech they have....

Let's assume at the U.S in 1981, which is roughly 3.1 trillion GDP.

I just can't imagine a country of Equestria's size, age, and prosperity throughout those ages having only a 1 trillion domestic product...But what really rubs me the wrong way is that Luna's funds have (presumably) steadily grown throughout the millennium..Not to mention possible additions, profits from investments, etc.. I can imagine her owning at least 15% of the GDP i pointed out a bit above.. Perhaps even more than that...and when one accounts for inflation of U.S money (Which i have no idea if that happens in Equestria.)..Luna would be the single richest being in the world if the money was put into 2014 U.S Dollars, becoming the world's first trillionaire, and if we go by 1980's U.S standard (No inflation, just straight up 15% GDS of that year)..Luna would be DOUBLE the net-worth of the richest billionaire in 1985. If we use the GDS of 1981 America.

Although if you aim for an earlier time and keep your 1 trillion domestic and 10% GDP..Yeah, it would work perfectly. Although Luna would probably hit the top 20 richest by any point of time earlier than 1970s.

And if we put it at the 1950s or earlier, i can imagine her topping the list.

5209762 ...Now i want to see what would happen if Luna met this underwater civilization.

5209060 Great, now I have to more than a oneshot now, because that is a damn good idea...I just have him going to tell the Lithomancer about Ugin's death right now, though right now, I just have him and Rarity walk into to each other while they're both spacing out.

May make it a follow-up story...or maybe....dammit, now I have too many ideas for this setup.

Once I can figure out just HOW to write for Pinkie Pie...

And no, I will not tell you who I have as the Lithomancer, but I will tell you that (a) it is NOT Derpy, and (B) if you think about what lithomancy is, it's rather obvious.

Firstly, thank you to everyone. I'm glad to see this experiment panned out.

5209084
I imagine it's a mix of the three, and several other armies besides. "Irregulars" was never so accurate a term.

5209804 5210104
Other good moon spells include Kami of the Crescent Moon, Moonlit Bargain, and Moonsilver Spear. And then there are Moonfolk, including Erayo, Soratami Ascendant, Meloku the Clouded Mirror, and, of course, Tamiyo, the Moon Sage, Wizards' one admission that Kamigawa block happened.

5209385
Huzzah! The Lunas have been multiplied beyond counting!

And you and 5209159 will be happy to know that while I can't guarantee any kind of schedule, I'm definitely going to use this method of prompt generation in the future. It's quite a lot of fun. I highly recommend it as an inspiration device.

5210138
Eh, it just means I think in puns. :pinkiesmile:

5211600
Well, lesson learned. Don't try to quantify Equestria's economy. :raritywink:

5212478
Er, bad news. As a part of Commander 2014 previews, they've said who the Lithomancer is.

5213229 But, after tonight, she shall just be a sleepy, normal-maned Luna that will be doted upon by her Sister, whom will lovingly feed her some of the candy she got (Alongside some warm soup, of course).

Why would that happen?

Because Rule of Cute and because Celestia will take any chance to dote on her sister since she returned.

5213286
Precisely. I'd put the Celestia emoticon here, but it's entirely the wrong expression.

5213305 ..I now want to see that as a fic....


...........

Pleeease?:pinkiesad2:

5213229 Took 'em long enough, really...

So my story's going to take place pre-commander reveal...oh bleeping well. It isn't like half the stories here weren't obliterated by future canon changes. I already have it half-written as it is.

Honestly, this last one has been my favorite out of your scintillating smorgasbord of stellar stories. Always enjoy a good Luna story, and yours just paints an image that so fits into canon I can't help but wish to see it in the cartoon. It's starts with hints of thoughtful melancholy before erupting into laughter and merriment before ending with a heart-warming piece that strikes me as the opus to your month-striding endeavor.

Great work, and I hope your Eve was at least half as hallowed as this story offered.

Twilight's guise was Hockrates; she was clad in a toga and bore a wooden cup, though one blessedly clean of hemlock.

Another great pun, if I may say so myself.

And I have finally got around to finishing these stories. And I must say, I enjoyed them all greatly!

5256727
Thank you! I'm glad to hear of your enjoyment of both the stories and the puns.

Ha, these were great. It's too bad you've sworn off doing this again anytime soon (at least at such a blistering pace), because you did a pretty great job of it in this month. Lots of plot hooks with just the right level of promise to suggest a bigger story/world without demanding continuation.

Favorite chapter was Roundabout Route, aka Circle Of Protection:White. Which ironically goes against everything I just said since it doesn't suggest any larger narrative at all save for the show's canon.

This certainly was a lovely collection of stories. And you did one per day.

FoME, you're a man after my own heart. Especially the part of my heart dedicated to puns.

Speaking of which, I totally see what you did with the chapter title.

P.S. As hypocritical as this may be, I am still eagerly awaiting the announcement that you're fixing up Phthisis is Magic so I can start reading it. No rush, though.

You want an even more amusing concept of Snowdrop?

There is absolutely no logical reason why both the Silly Filly video and your concept couldn't both be true.

Snowdrop was, after all, a Pegasus, and in a time when the Pegasi were far closer to their cultural roots as fierce warriors of the sky. And she may well have grown to marehood and had a long and famous career, both before and after Luna's madness and banishment.

Who is to say that she didn't develop her preternatural hearing into a 360-degree sonar blind-fighting ability, rather like my version of G1 Wind Whistler (and remember, my Wind Whistler is a common ancestor of pretty much all Ponykind, and most especially the Pegasi)? Likewise, who is say that she didn't develop the cryokinesis (shown in the original video) into a terribly destructive combat power?

None of this is at all inconsistent with her being a very nice Pony indeed -- to her friends. Nor is it inconsistent with her practicing her art of snowflake sculpture. Consider the 16th-17th century Japanese samurai, who in their ideals were very fond of art and culture -- and were also deadly, fearless masters of the armed and unarmed martial arts.

Indeed, Snowdrop as a sweet, beautiful, kind -- and incredibly deadly Pegasus warrior with a combination of the powers of Daredevil and Iceman, one of Luna's best friends in that era, both due to her sweetness and her deadliness -- is a rather riveting character concept, isn't she?

In fact, I'll go you one better. Make her Snowdrop Wind. One of those Winds. A direct matrilineal descendant of Hurricane -- and ancestor of ...

... Fluttershy.

6543000
I have to admit, that is fantastic on multiple levels. :rainbowdetermined2:

6543067

In my version of the Fall of Princess Luna (tentatively titled All the Way Gone) the blame belongs to a combination of the machinations of Crimson Quartz / King Sombra, his ambiguously-moral though admirable assistant/mistress The Loyal Lady Tourmaline; a major Equestrian crisis of plagues and bad weather; and some serious bad luck suffered by Luna in her usual strategy of Friend/Lover Husbandry (where she tries to befriend Ponies when young so that she'll have them with her for more than half a century before losing them to death).

Crimson Quartz was somepony she wanted as a friend and possible lover, and he turned viciously against her (mostly because he blamed her for Celestia's unwillingness to intervene in the Crystal-Imperial civil war between the evil Morion and his less-evil younger brothers, of whom Crimson Quartz was one, and then because he figured out that Celestia and Luna were actually alien Cosmic beings who had incarnated as Alicorn Ponies, and decided not to trust either of the Sisters). Snowdrop was one of her best friends. And one of her new good friends was Ruby Gift, whose murder by Gray Hoof triggered Luna to snap, summon the power of the Nightmare, level Sunny Town, slaughter the population and bind the souls of its former inhabitants to the site as wraiths. After that dark deed, Luna's descent into complete madness became inevitable.

I haven't yet worked out the details of all the other requisite characters, but your concept of Snowdrop has given me new fuel for my imagination in that regard.

I have lost count of how many times I will read this in the future, for the sheer fountain of brilliant concepts contained therein.

For this final chapter, thank you for introducing me to the General Snowdrop concept.

6543000 Tell me you haven't written this yet.

6803422

I have lost count of how many times I will read this in the future, for the sheer fountain of brilliant concepts contained therein.

:rainbowhuh: The causality of that statement seems very confused. Still, thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed this. I expand on the ideas introduced in the Equestria Girls segments in the quasisequel, Oversaturation.

6803431 It's in my RIL.

And what's so confusing about being able to accurately predict my own future actions?

6803422

No, but it certainly occurred to me. Yes, when they first meet, Snowdrop is a harmless little filly around 10 or so years old. But in my timeline, she's a mare full-grown by the time of Luna's Banishment.

Her abilties, as demonstrated in the original video, make it obvious that she could learn blind-fighting -- her hearing is so good that she can detect and work with snowflakes, and she even claims to be able to hear stars (I'm not entirely sure how that works, but in Equestria a lot of things are possible -- maybe she's hearing the disturbance of air molecules caused by collisions with the photons emitted by the starlight, which would put her hearing at truly awesome levels). Point is, she can hear at or beyond Daredevil or Toph "radar sense" levels, which means she has a constant 360 degree spherical map of her surroundings -- you couldn't sneak up on her!

My Luna grew up under the tutelage of a brilliant blind-fighter -- Wind Whistler of Paradise Estate (not visually blind, but used sonar return from whistles generated by her flight fields to supplement her vision and avoid being blind-sided in battle). It would instantly occur to Luna that she could train Snowdrop to use her exceptional hearing to enable her to defend herself -- something which, if she hung around Luna a lot, Snowdrop might find very important.

The rest followed naturally. Snowdrop, as an adult mare, is still a sweet and loveable Pony. She's just also quite deadly when she wants to be.

I encourage people to use "General Snowdrop!" I haven't yet written a story about her, though I may have mentioned her in some of Luna's internal dialogue.

6968044
I'm fairly confident that the time he was trapped by the Black Mercy was the only time Batman ever smiled out of joy during the entire run of that show. Batman never gets to be happy for very long.

Yes. Such a brilliant, beautiful thing for Luna to do. I'm definitely headcannoning this.

7115690 Ah, father figure rather than actual father. Oh well.

What are all the names of the diffrent cards? I can see if I have them.

7263955
An image of each card is posted at the end of the story it inspired. Listing some of them ahead of time would spoil their respective stories. If you want, I could PM you a list, but you could just read the stories instead. :raritywink:

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

7332532
IT'S ALL I WANTED FROM FRIENDSHIP GAMES

7408865 I was scrolling down to view the "also liked" stories and I see your comment at the very top.
thanks for the spoiler.

7405948
7405926

If using windows, there is something called "Character Map" which allows you to search unicode characters to use, in this case searching for thorn allows you to copy-paste without wikipedia.

This allows names such as:
Þrúðr
to be put in without having the keyboard keys or the ALT-(number here) mappings. Bonus points to programs which actually allow more than just alphanumeric usernames.

In the case of the above, on my particular version of windows (7 64-bit) the ALT mappings would be
0222,114,0250,0240,114

Leading zeros required

There would also be things such as on-screen keyboards for different character sets or online keyboards for some character subsets such as IPA or whatnot, but many options exist, google is your friend on that front.

Although IPA doesn't actually have Thorn as a letter, it can be useful for making things look weird without actually being impossible such as say foʊnətɪʃən (phonetician). Giving a means of writing something that looks as alien as it probably sounds to whoever hears it in story. Especially if used on words which are not English if readers are English. Separation into individual words not really necessary to make an utterance just seem that much more unknown. ʒəsuiɔnpampləmouskipæɹl̩ (Terrible IPA transcription of Je suis un pamplemousse qui parle, french for "I am a talking grapefruit" literally I am a grapefruit who speaks). In this manner, it becomes possible even to have little differences in accent or whatnot in the "unknown" language with slight variations, say foʊnətɪks and fənɜtɪks for the word phonetics. Both would be understandable when spoken, even with the clear difference in the sounds which could capture regional or personal differences in language use. Also useful for throwing in random snippets of unknown/untranslated words when characters are speaking, to give a more alien or unknown sound to words when the character speaks the same language but the listener just has no idea what it means. Say zinouθɑmætɚdʒɪkl̩ instead of xenothaumaturgical as a greater way of showing the word is utter nonsense to whoever hears it.

Example of online IPA board (very convenient for say Linguistics students): http://westonruter.github.io/ipa-chart/keyboard/

These things said, I may have gotten distracted from starting to read from these comments. If the above is useful, huzzah I guess?

If ignored, so be it. 'tis not too big a matter.

Started a TVTropes Page for this... Unless it should be attached to ElementalsOfHarmony or something... http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Fanfic/StoryShuffle

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

7786973
Far, far worse. :V

days of deep exhaustion awaited her on the morrow.

I'd argue only one day can await one on the morrow.
From the morrow, perhaps.


The Winter Moon Celebration

How have I not seen any other fics do this? *appropriates*

Dear Pipsqueak cleared her way and announced her presence, marching in front of her in mock armor styled after her Night Guard.

This would make for such cuteness. Found an adult mature grown instance, though. http://haretrinity.deviantart.com/art/Night-Guard-Pip-476971516
5209385
the Fun! Fun! Fun! FunfunFUNFunfFUnFUN! has been…carry the thirteen…-upled!

8055755
Thank you for all the corrections without malice. I didn't apply all of them—a few missing diacritics won't make me lose any sleep—but I do appreciate your effort. I swear, typos breed in old stories when no one's looking...

Also, glad to see you like the Winter Moon Celebration. I too am amazed that no one else ever seemed to consider its existence.

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