• Published 16th Oct 2014
  • 2,385 Views, 1,747 Comments


The finale of the Pony POV Series is here. Discord and Nightmare Diamond Tiara's end game is here. The Mane Six. Trixie. The Cutie Mark Crusaders. All have roles to play. Can they bring back the truth? Or will lies rule? Can hope pierce despair?

  • ...

PreviousChapters Next
Sidestory optional-canon "Cardinal"

Optional Canon


"There you go detective!" The muscular pegasus stallion with the red cape hoofed Prof. Mole Arty to the police, three minutes after the crime was committed.

"Uh, thank you Super Stallion," Said Sure-Locked Homes. Logically he should have been overjoyed, this allowed him to focus on other cases... but he couldn't help but have an irrational feeling that something was amiss.


"And that makes seven," sighed the giant gray dragon. Having just incinerated the latest neophyte hero to face him who had stepped out of his humble elven village to find the giant dragon. Nothing of value on them except a few copper pieces and a short sword.

On the other side of the continent, a small band of kobolds screamed in terror and confusion as instead of a band of adventurers, they found a army of heavily armed knights led by a warrior wielding a sword bigger than himself.


King Sombra emerged from the wind and snow, an ominous black mass of smoke and shadow.

Only to be obliterated in two minutes by a small army of Alicorns wielding the Elements of Harmony. Never finding redemption, never finding Radiant Hope again, Spike never becoming the Empire's hero, giving him the inner comfort of one place that would always be loved and recognized. And never would Spike have the weight to vouch for one runaway changeling wanting to change sides. And a Twilight Sparkle that never learned to put the greater good ahead of her lessons. Nor the Crystal Ponies would accept Cadence as their new ruler. Sunburst remaining a faceless nobody with Cadence having no reason to assimilate into Crystal Empire culture and thus no reason to give her baby a Crystaling. So Sunburst and Starlight's friendship would remain an awkward corpse. There would be no Thorax in a position to flee to get help from Ponyville. And on and on and on.


Rota Fortuna, idea of Fate and Free Will, felt her insides bite at her. Things were not right. Such happenstances of unfairness were the way of life, but there was supposed to be an order to these things. There was supposed to be a balance. These were short term fulfillments of excess power, at the cost of long term growth.

All of these twisting of her body, all in the name of excess power. The scales bent totally to one side, falling over from the surplus weight. There would be no growth if failure or success were all a soul faced in the life of change that determined their shape and form in the eternal life that followed. Whether saints or monsters, growth was needed.

Rota Fortuna sighed. "This isn't like when Anarchy's revolutions fail, or when Strife's strongest destroy each other leaving the meek to rule. This is sickness. Possibility's raods should not be distorted all in the name of excess power... It's okay Rota Fortuna... it's for the greater good... you can do this... you can endure this... Discord isn't doing this to you this time... it's a good thing... he isn't here. Lay back and think of the universe. Just breathe, release, and let it happen."

Rota moved her mechanical wing and, with the tip of HER metal feathers, stabbed herself in the chest. Blood fell from the wound. The blood condensed and congealed, taking form, becoming an idea, a thought, a reason, a messenger, a piece of herself. A small shockwave went through the cosmos, backward and forwards.

Now sitting before Rota Fortuna was a pegasus foal, dressed in red with gold trim with a similar wool cap and poncho. Their fur was as pale as paper, their wings red like blood, their black mane in a long braid. Their cutie mark was a ringed castle.

Rota reached down and nuzzled the foal. The foal opened their pale blue eyes, and looked up at the idea of fate and free will itself. The calm the foal gave off was like winter snow. In their eyes, was knowing.

"Welcome to creation, my new one. Your name will be Cardinal."

"Yes Creator Fate," The new idea bowed their head.

"Do you understand yourself? What you are? What in creation you bring about?" Fate asked carefully.

"I serve the balance."

"What balance?"

"Not the balance of good and evil, nor the balance of order and chaos. I serve the balance of growth. I seek to bring balance to ordeals. So those who seek to overturn the world with excess power, will find instead find a mountain worth of them."

"Must everything be perfectly balanced? Must everything be perfectly set to an exact ratio of challenge and effort?"

"No. That would make growth itself meaningless. I will protect the key points of you, creator, from being trivialized, which minimizes growth, and stunts growth of future ordeals."

"Must balance be a frozen constant?"

"No. Ordeals rise and fall with the tides, but a flood or a desert is meaningless. Growth should encourage growth, not discourage it."

"... Do you consider me excess power, Cardinal?"

"No I don't, creator."

"Why not my Cardinal? Who has more power than me?" She whispered to her new one.

"... What you have isn't power, it's duty. What you have isn't might, it's responsibility. I see you are a not a ruler, except of yourself. You brute force nothing, Creator."

Rota Fortuna hugged their new messenger with her neck and her feathered wing. "You are my creation, my messenger, my Cardinal... "

From the blood, a part of Cardinal as much as their own wings, formed a book, within it diagrams that defied mortal logic, links connecting to events in infinitely complex maps from the pasts to the futures. "I present you a gift my dear, let this book help you keep record, to keep excess power from becoming a cancer, and preventing balance itself from strangling growth."

"I will do as you have made for Creator." Cardinal picked up the book with one wing.

"I know you'll make mommy proud. But first... let's introduce you to your family, and fellow angels. You have a lot of growing up to do."


Countless overpowered mortal Alicorns (and overpowered dark overlords) across creation cursed and snarled in bewilderment and shock, as the possibility they could actually lose opposed to simply having to work a little bit harder to crush their opposite numbers entered creation.

Suddenly everything and anything, from the random barmaid who winked at the chosen one up to having his physical body destroyed by the heroes, was not inherently part of the evil overlord's plan, the heroes' actions could actually affect things. And other heroes meanwhile, found their enemies could actually win.

And this uncertainty, inspired growth.

Author's Note:

Just a brief side story that popped into my head. Doesn't have to mean anything. Accept it as canon or not, completely your choice.

Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!
PreviousChapters Next
Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!