• Published 27th Apr 2012
  • 1,147 Views, 25 Comments

Tales - geopol

In an alternate "FiM" universe, the retired royal librarian of Equestria looks back on her life.

  • ...




George Pollock, Jr.

XVI. The Winner's Circle: The Retired Royal Librarian of Equestria

So that's it. As far as I can remember. My memory isn't as good as it used to be. I might have left out a few details. Sorry about that.

Anyway, I'm retired, like I said. And a grandmare. The grandkids keep Promise and Purpose busy. Promise became a paralegal and married a town attorney in western Equestria. And when the kids give her any free time, she helps out in his office.

Purpose joined the warponies, like his father, and then was picked for the royal guard. He's not the captain, like his father was – just a member of the corps for now. But he's still young. I think Rex would have been proud. I know he would have been.

When Purpose applied for the guard, Celestia knew he was my and Rex's son but insisted that the guard choose him on his merits alone. If he couldn't make it, he couldn't join. She told me her suggestion was that procedure be followed strictly. And it was. And I'm glad.

Purpose did make it on his own. It makes being a guard that much more meaningful to him.

And get this: He married the personal assistant to the noblemare who married Celestia's nephew, the prince. True story. And like his father, he had to ask Celestia's permission to step out with the pony.

I was with him in the throne room when he met Celestia. She was queen by then, and when Purpose asked her permission, she smiled a little and glanced at me. Then she looked back at him and said yes, he may step out with the assistant.

Then her eyes narrowed, and she leaned closer to him. And I thought, "Oh, here it comes."

She told Purpose she didn't grant such permission lightly. She didn't give it for a pony's whim of a new fling. She expected him to show the assistant love and respect and commitment, like his father had been expected to show me. And did, I might add.

Then she leaned back and smiled. And told him that if he and the mare were even half as happy as his parents were, they'd be blessed more than he could imagine.

And at that, she glanced at me again. And smiled. Again.

I smiled back, but I was blushing. I'm still capable of that. I was so embarrassed. I know it was a compliment, but in a way, it was so corny, I almost started giggling. But I didn't. Would have ruined the moment.

Of course, because of his position, he lives in Canterlot with his family, so I see them more than Promise and her family. But I love them all.

By the way, Rarity did my ensembles for both weddings, and the bridal tacks for Promise and for Purpose's wife. I was told their friends were very jealous. And I teased Rarity – I know it was naughty – about how my son now had a connection to the prince she once dreamed about.

She chuckled like she was bemused and said, "Oh, darling, we've been over this! I've already told you: I've enchanted a king." Then she looked at me – again – the way an old friend looks at you when they understand an unspoken joke between you two. An old, good friend.

Oh, and speaking of that king: Spike's older now, of course, and he's married. I've been told his queen is considered quite a looker. For a dragon. Hey, I really wouldn't know a beautiful lady dragon if she stepped on me.

Well, I mean … Well, there I go again. It's not for me to say what's a beautiful lady dragon. If Spike thinks she's beautiful, she's beautiful. And that goes beyond her physical appearance, even if I can't gauge it. The Steed knows I struggled to learn that for myself.

And they're nesting their first clutch of eggs. I've been told they're excited, and so is Pyra. I learned that the first dragon to hatch in the first clutch is heir to the throne. Boy or girl, it doesn't matter. But the next First Fire of Pyra is on the way.

But I don't think the current First Fire is going to go out anytime soon. He's still young. I don't think I'll even be alive when he dies. And honestly, I don't want to be. I've already cried for a young father who died before his time. I never want to do that again. Not for Spike.

And even more so, never for Purpose.

And never for a young mother like Promise, for that matter. I cried when I lost her sister, Wishful. I don't want to ever cry for Promise.

You know, when I got older, I learned why you don't want to get too close to the pale horse on War's team. By the way, the team is still around. Hasn't aged a day. It's like those four ponies will always be with us. Anyway, I found out that the pale pony will just show himself to you one day. He just does. You can't, like, schedule it. Nothing you can do about it. It just happens.

I just hope it happens to me before it happens to the young ones – more or less – in my life. I've cursed The Steed in my life, but now, that's what I ask him for the most.

So …

Like I said, I'm still in Canterlot, working on the old king's records. There are, um, quite a few. More than I expected, really. Seems he had quite a life of his own. But the project keeps me busy in retirement. And I made the promise to the king, so I want to do it.

But when that's over, I'm thinking about moving back to Ponyville. Lot of good memories there. Lot of interesting times, like Spike said. It's where my life opened up beyond books. Kind of ironic for a lifetime librarian, right?

Oh, about "interesting times": That reminds me of one last thing about Zecora the zebra.

Remember when I said I told her I wished I knew what my life was going to be like? And that she told me about a king's tears striking my face? That?

Well, before I left her that night, I said thank you to her at her door. She nuzzled me and said one more thing: "Child, I never wish evil in my rhymes, but you shall live in interesting times. Good night."

I've wondered about that all my life. And I think about Rex and Wishful and Promise and Purpose. And about being royal librarian. And about Celestia and the old king. And Spike.

And all my friends from Ponyville: Rarity and Fluttershy and A.J. and Pinkie Pie.

And Rainbow Dash. Especially her.

And I remember Zecora saying I'd live in "interesting times."

Well … I guess I did.

You know, it's been generations now since she went away, but every once in a while, I still wonder whatever happened to her.


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Comments ( 19 )

I will never read this.

I didn't read it when it was on Equestria Daily and I won't read it now.


I will not succumb to your manly tear inducing words!

Not bad. It was really well written and the perspective was nicely done. I have always enjoyed reading stuff from the view of the mind. I must say though, I didn't really get attached to the story. Maybe it was how un-Twilight she sounded in the story :applejackunsure: Still a great piece of writing, just not really my style.

this is THAT one isnt it?

Shadow Star:

Um ... yes ...? :rainbowderp:

Oh, wondrous day! I had no idea this had been posted here.
I just wanted to tell you that from the day this was posted on Equestria Daily, it has been my absolute favorite fan-fiction. Thank you for writing this.


You're welcome. And thank you for thinking so highly of it. I know it had to become alternate-universe after a while, but I had fun writing it. Thanks again! :raritywink:

This was very well written, and at times sad; the grammar is, for the most part, quite decent as well. But! You make me sad. Not only within the story, but also because of how interesting the world you created is. It just feels like so much more could be done and fleshed out. I want to know more. In addition, I also feel like the chapters should have been longer, but hey, what's done is done... Besides, your story has a certain character about it which I genuinely like, not in small part due to the length of individual chapters.

1430731 Thanks! I'm glad you liked the story. I admit I kept most of the chapters short to keep with the off-the-top-of-her-head nature of Twilight's anecdotes. And I'm flattered that you wanted to know more about the universe I created. :twilightsmile:

I favorited this story a long time ago, but I never really commented about it.
I think I've read this story at least four or five times now. It's one of the first fics that I've read, and probably the first one that I ever did truly like. And each time, I notice a little detail that I had forgotten or didn't realize. It mixes sadness and hope such that reading it gives a surreal feeling. I wish this story got more attention here, but I digress. Thank you for writing it.

1441079 You're welcome, and thank YOU for reading and enjoying it. :pinkiehappy: I will say this: I've noticed that the reception here hasn't been as unqualifiedly enthusiastic as it was on fanfiction.net. :applecry: But the story was a new experience on fanfiction.net in early 2011. It's old news now, after more than a year and a half, and readers have moved on. But occasionally, a fan like you comes along and makes me glad again that I wrote it. Thanks again! :raritywink:


Oh woah, this is on here. I'm glad I can finally fave it. This story really is worth the doublethink needed to appreciate it after it's been so thoroughly bulldozed by canon.

I enjoyed this. The Rarity bits made me sad about her loneliness. Apart of me thinks she did have some sort of romantic feelings for Spike, but never acted upon it because she thought he was a child and a dragon. But not acting upon those feelings caused her to be forever alone with only her fame, fortune, and her occasional visits to Twilight. :fluttercry:

Alright, so perhaps this story is unreasonably good. I mean, I've never cried from reading (still haven't) but I came as close as I'm going to. I mean, for heaven's sake, Rainbow Dash's chapter was condensed bloody misery you bastard. Still, everything that wasn't sad as all fuck was pretty freakin' fine. So yeah, hats off to you. Like, all the hats.

4237095 Glad you got to Chapter 6, in any event. :pinkiehappy: She's not exactly the Celestia we know from the series. This is an "alternate universe" story, and in this AU, I've imagined that Celestia is a bit more of an autocrat: "We'll do what I say. This discussion is over." :trollestia:

4236961 This was written is early 2011, about when the first season ended. There were quite a few things that hadn't been established yet. I think I said AJ, Pinkie and Big Mac lived for decades, and that's true of a real pony/horse/donkey/mule. At the time, I thought that unicorns and pegasi, being "mystical," were likely to have different, "mystical" aging patterns from those of earth ponies. That they'd thus live longer than "mundane" (literal sense) earth ponies that had no "mystical" qualities. The question has been raised before. If I were inclined to rewrite "Tale," I might address the issue. But think of this: You've seen old earth ponies. We've not been shown a truly OLD unicorn or pegasus. The princesses -- who are part pegasus and part unicorn (AND part earth pony, I like to believe) -- are at least a thousand years old. They don't look it. :trollestia:

4236961 Re: Big Mac sounding "slow." Again, an early impression after the first season. Not that I ever thought he was stupid, just taciturn. And in the story, AJ makes it clear to Twilight that, frankly, she (Twi) is wrong about Big Mac. :eeyup:

Not bad. It was a tad bleak at times but there were some interesting ideas. I'm glad in the end that this was listed as "alternate universe" as several things seemed out of character for many characters but it was still fascinating on your concepts of how that world works and all so I was fine with it, really.

4242515 Well, I've learned from readers that "Tales" is an acquired taste. :yay: In any event, I'm glad you like it overall. Thanks for reading! :twilightsmile:

4243981 An acquired taste? Yeah it can be I suppose. I still do really appreciate your world building more than anything. Some of the things that happened to the main characters were a bit...dark and a tad depressing sometimes. Can't say I liked Earth ponies dying so fast and the idea of Rainbow Dash dying like that and the almost brainwashing of Fluttershy and Celestia's cool attitude towards Twilight was odd to say the least. No mention of the Elements of Harmony either so...were they heroes? I dunno, in certain ways I like the ideas in that recent story with Spike and Rarity. That one and Tales seems to have some similar ideas but I think I like that a tad better. It's a bit brighter in a way and more optimistic.

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