• Member Since 11th Mar, 2013
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CinnamonSwirltheBreaded


Not sure if writing clop or giving biology lessons.

Comments ( 213 )

i still don't know if i Like it or loathe it, but still this was an awesome (non-canon for me at least) story and i'll be following how it develops even if it hit me Right in the feels.

This was an unexpected surprise, But it is an EXCELLENT edition to the xenoverse. I really look forward to reading more of this :twilightsmile: liked faved and tracked.

See. This is how you present an ambiguous issue. I'm very much liking that no one seems 100% certain about their perspective. And a good job with showing conflicted feelings in specific characters too.

It really helps prevent the narrative from feeling like one side is being arbitrarily portrayed as "right". Even if that's what you're actually doing, it's often not a good feeling for the reader.

Looking good so far.

Did you... did you paint that in MS Paint?!

Honestly, if I were Lero I'd be upset that I wasn't involved in this from the beginning. Very interesting start!

Hmmm.

First, this is extraordinarily well written. You did a fantastic job characterizing everyone involved, and did an excellent job building to and playing out a confrontation that seemed to have building in the original storyline, and did a wonderful job depicting Twilight's internal conflict.

That said, Twilight seemed to give up on her magical research too easily- not to mention, the whole issue of, "There's been no successful hybrids, ever, except between ponies tribes and donkeys" (since mules are canon) causes some odd implications regarding Celestia- she'd clearly be aware of what Twilight was working on, and having personal knowledge of mixed species herds, and a vast repertoire of magical knowledge herself, it seems odd that she'd neither mention her own knowledge of the situation- or conceivably if somehow wasn't aware of the impossibility, offer assistance herself. (In fact, in another story here, the princesses do offer, but it's Luna who provides the expertise since she's more skilled at the relevant magic.). At some point, Twilight is going to ask herself, "why didn't she tell me?"

On an unrelated note, what's going on with Spike? Him spending the entire night out with the CMC? Is there something going on there that's relevant, or is it a red herring?

Lastly, I find myself disagreeing with the premise. I always saw MLP being a D&Desqe world, where magical creatures interbreeding is commonplace, and magic can create hybrid beings with, while not with ease, but with capability.

I mean, Cereberus is there, and in the original mythology, he was born of Echidna (a serpent woman), and Typhon (a Titan covered with dragons), and if we want to stretch it further, the original Pegasus was born of Medusa and Poseidon! And if we want to stick with canon, there's Discord, who's implied to be a mixture of multiple species- which has odd implications if he has a mortal origin... And more directly relevant, thanks to Twilight, there seems to be a perfectly function hybrid orange/blue jay and orange/frog living in ponyville!

At best, I'd present it not that "hybridization is impossible on Equestria." Rather, "it's impossible/impossibly difficult for Lero to hybrid because he's so alien/has a different basis for his biology/lacks any innate magic which is crucial to the process."

That said, I agree with the earlier evaluation- Lero's probably going to be more upset about the fact they started discussing the idea of another stallion without him, not that they discussed it at all.

But, for all that, I am engrossed, and can't wait for the next chapter.

You've done an excellent job of exploring the conflict between their love for Lero and their desire to start a family. Reading this chapter was a bit of an emotional roller-coaster but in the end the mark of a good author is the ability to draw the reader in and let them experience the story. I'd say this chapter deserves an up-vote.

5302681

I'm... Not sure what you're referring to?

I'm confused: How does fit in with other stories where Twilight & Luna were able to work out a magical solution?

5302641

Oh, Jesus, that can end badly in so many ways.

5302691

It's an example of the princesses lending aid in the endeavor, which is something they'd logically do.

5301524

The picture was originally drawn by Archonix for his Guide 'story', I tried to colour it, with his permission, in GIMP, although I suspected I did a fairly bad job of it, especially compared to the original.


5302077

That said, Twilight seemed to give up on her magical research too easily- not to mention, the whole issue of, "There's been no successful hybrids, ever, except between ponies tribes and donkeys" (since mules are canon) causes some odd implications regarding Celestia- she'd clearly be aware of what Twilight was working on, and having personal knowledge of mixed species herds, and a vast repertoire of magical knowledge herself, it seems odd that she'd neither mention her own knowledge of the situation- or conceivably if somehow wasn't aware of the impossibility, offer assistance herself. (In fact, in another story here, the princesses do offer, but it's Luna who provides the expertise since she's more skilled at the relevant magic.). At some point, Twilight is going to ask herself, "why didn't she tell me?"

Your latter point was discussed in detail, and I suppose one could make a reasonable argument that Celestia or Cadance or whomever should have just told her, but at the same time I can't help but feel like it's not necessarily something that really fits with how the Princesses are presented in the show. More often than not, Celestia seems comfortable--and appears to prefer--Twilight work through the problems herself.

I realize Twilight appears to give up fairly easily within the story, but at this point in the Xenophilia timeline, she's been 'working' on the problem for a while. It might seem like she gave up too easily, but I'd like to think Twilight would recognize a dead end when she saw it.

On an unrelated note, what's going on with Spike? Him spending the entire night out with the CMC? Is there something going on there that's relevant, or is it a red herring?

It's not intended to be of any particular importance or imply there's something going on there, if that's what you're thinking.

Lastly, I find myself disagreeing with the premise. I always saw MLP being a D&Desqe world, where magical creatures interbreeding is commonplace, and magic can create hybrid beings with, while not with ease, but with capability.

But there's really no evidence of this, and, indeed, if there was, one would assume that mixed couples would not just be common, but the norm, since there'd be enough males to go around--even if they're not necessarily a unicorn/earth/pegasus pony. But, if hybridization is impossible or hard, it seems to me that the logical and practical solution--which is what I tried to stress here in Twilight's musings--would be to seek out a stallion that would work for you.

Look at it another way; Rarity (in this story) is part of Fleur and Fancy's herd, and I've implied that Fleur is essentially barren, which, in turn, is based off of Archonix's writings about Star Sparkle's herd and Crincile. There's two ways of solving this problem, the first of which would be to figure out some way of making a barren mare fertile again, or else seek out some other mare. I'd argue that infertile mares is probably a more common problem than ponies trying to bare children with non-pony partners, yet the solution is the latter, not the former.

I'll grant that this is sort of stacking the deck, argument wise, but I think it gets at what is supposed to be the underlying practical nature of ponies, at least as they've been described.

And, I'll admit, I'm not a fan of 'magic can/will solve everything' trope that sometimes comes up in fiction. I'd rather--and I think it makes for better storytelling--for magic to be limited in ways.

Is it just me, or dose Equestria really need a sperm bank? In all honesty though, this was a great read, but I can't help but feel that it might belong in the alt universe folder, since this premis has been explored in several other stories. Then again, I was never a hundred percent on what constituted alt universe and what didn't, so that's just my opinion.:twilightblush:

out of the 21 dislikes I guarantee that 19 of them haven't even read it.

5302863

I tried to colour it, with his permission, in GIMP

If I may, one way to colorize a sketch/pencil drawing is to:
* Add a layer mask, select 'Grayscale copy of layer' and select the 'Invert mask' option - this turns the blacks into opaque, and the whites into transparency.
* Reselect the layer so you're working on the layer itself (not the mask) and fill it completely with black.
* Add a new layer ('Layer Fill Type: White') and move it underneath the masked layer.
* Color away on this new layer!

Obviously this is still incredibly basic, but it avoids introducing ugly aliasing artefacts.

I like this story to this point I will be watching to see if it goes any ware from here.
I can see a hole bunch of possibility's.

I guess what really gets me is that Twilight is so hung up on having foals that she's considering having them with somepony she hasn't even met. If this was such an important issue for her, she wouldn't have joined Lero's herd to begin with. It seems to me her research on interspecies procreation was all about them having HIS children.

5303265

That does make the line work look a lot neater.

Perhaps later I'll try to make a second attempt at colouring.

5304019

I guess what really gets me is that Twilight is so hung up on having foals that she's considering having them with somepony she hasn't even met.

This is a strange way to look at this, especially given the background of the story/'verse. Twilight, Lyra, and even Rainbow want the herd to have foals. A desire to procreate is literally the most fundamental desire of any living creature--having foals is what herds do, a herd is a communal entity centered around having foals and the mutual support and protection of its members and their foals.

They had hoped that it would be with Lero, because of love, but now that Twilight has exhausted her research in that direction, one must keep in mind that this society is fundamentally polyamorous. Adding a new stallion is an obvious solution towards the goal of giving the herd foals, and it's only the fact that Lero is an outsider to their society that makes this such a big potential issue.

This is even shown in the initial conversation with Rarity: Fleur is infertile, and she and Fancy want foals. Rarity is a solution to that problem, but that doesn't mean she's loved any less or feels used, and Rarity's joining doesn't mean Fleur is loved any less either. The fact that the future foals will biologically be Rarity's (and possibly any other future mares') also doesn't mean Fleur will love them any less; heck, Twilight got basically zilch from her biological mother, but she still turned out okay because she was loved by the rest of her birthherd. In a well functioning herd, the addition of a new member should add to the love, as well as to the herd's ability to deal with problems.

As for 'haven't even met', they haven't discussed that at all. There may or may not be unattached stallions familiar to one of the herd members who could be courted, or there may not. Dash got upset and ran off before they could even venture near the edge of hypothetical.

If this was such an important issue for her, she wouldn't have joined Lero's herd to begin with.

That's absurd. She joined thinking she could solve the problem her way, but even beyond that, do you think people weigh every single possibility and angle before starting a relationship? Nobody would ever do anything if they turned away from opportunities and desires because of potential future issues and conflicts.

Twilight courted Dash and Lero because of interest, attraction, and friendship, and stayed because that grew into love. The foal issue is a complication, and is causing conflict now that Twilight has realized it may not have a magical solution, but that doesn't mean joining the herd was a mistake then, and it doesn't mean the herd is going to fall apart now.

5304549

This is a strange way to look at this, especially given the background of the story/'verse. Twilight, Lyra, and even Rainbow want the herd to have foals. A desire to procreate is literally the most fundamental desire of any living creature--having foals is what herds do, a herd is a communal entity centered around having foals and the mutual support and protection of its members and their foals.

Except Twilight didn't approach the herd with this, she only talked with Lyra and Rainbow Dash when Lero was still asleep. And before you say that Lyra put her on the spot, I'll quote this passage from the chapter:

“I wasn’t planning on talking about it,” Twilight said truthfully. “Not yet. But even if I had planned it, I would have wanted to introduce the idea to you first…”

This makes no sense to me. Lero is supposed to act as the mediator in the herd and he's the best equipped to handle Rainbow Dash's reaction if she does react negatively.

As for Rarity's situation, suggesting that she was invited specifically as a solution to a problem really cheapens the whole romantic aspect of it all. I'd like to think Fancy Pants isn't that cold and calculating and his reasons for inviting her into his herd had nothing to do with her ability to procreate. The possibility that she might eventually bear them a foal is just a bonus.

5305198 For all her apparent enlightenment, Twilight still lives in a society that views its males as passive rather than active, and her thinking is still informed and shaped by that social environment. She'll go to the other mares first because of the unconscious assumption that they're the primary decision-makers.

No "Lero is supposed to" anything either. The males will tend to play a mediatory role to compensate for a lack of direct control over events and outcomes.

And I don't feel it's a particularly fair reading to say that Rarity joined Fancy and Fleur out of some machiavellian plot to get a pile of babies, either. You're inferring motivations that simply aren't present in the text. Rarity quite clearly wants foals; the uncertainty was not about if that would happen, but when.

5305532

And I don't feel it's a particularly fair reading to say that Rarity joined Fancy and Fleur out of some machiavellian plot to get a pile of babies, either. You're inferring motivations that simply aren't present in the text. Rarity quite clearly wants foals; the uncertainty was not about if that would happen, but when.

I am not inferring anything, this was a direct reply to the following quote from alamais.

This is even shown in the initial conversation with Rarity: Fleur is infertile, and she and Fancy want foals. Rarity is a solution to that problem, but that doesn't mean she's loved any less or feels used, and Rarity's joining doesn't mean Fleur is loved any less either.

They seem to be forgetting more about Lero's background as a human than they realize, loving a pony and being in a polygamous relationship is something we're told to never, ever do, and now they want to ask Lero if they can get another male in. Again, something you'd never, ever do. This isn't a thing Twilight can just ask once they find a stallion they like, Lero needs to be the very first to hear this solution! Twillight does seem like the want for a foal is starting to outgrow the love for Lero.

But at what point was she willing to let his opinion, his vote, outweigh her own desire for foals? Lero wanted children, didn’t he? Surely he could see this would be the only way. Somehow, Twilight doubted it was that simple. Or even close to being that simple.

This kind of shows that her want seems to be more important than his opinion. I'm looking forward to the next part but I beg of you, don't have Lero just roll over or anything for this, letting his wife/girlfriend/mate introduce a guy into their relationship just to have children is something NO MAN WOULD EVER DO.

5305573
I didn't say Rarity was 'invited specifically' to have foals--in fact that's explicitly deflected during the conversation with Rarara. But there's no way that wouldn't have been a consideration in their minds. You're being inconsistent: Twilight should have considered all aspects and not courted the herd because of this issue, but Fancy and Fleur wouldn't/shouldn't have considered any issue but love?

Maybe Fancy and Fleur would have been monogamous if not for this issue, but now they're better off with Rares. Maybe Lero's herd would have eventually expanded to include another stallion anyway, and maybe they will be better off with a second stallion. Or maybe not, to any of the above. Either way, the desire for foals is there, whether in the foreground or background.

5305680
Uh, people did just that, at least temporarily, before the introduction of sperm banks and artificial insemination, and some people still go the 'natural route'. And some humans are, in fact, polyamorous. If we're talking about things "no man would ever do", Lero's already decided to adapt away from his upbringing by not being monogamous with Dash, but now you're saying it's "too much" to ask him to adapt more, so that they can have foals?

Twilight is being callous and chauvinistic, certainly--as Arch said, that's a function of her upbringing and how males are generally viewed/treated, even in this 'more enlightened' age. Though, perhaps she would have wised up on her own if she'd had more time to think things over before talking to the others about it. She is not, however, being terribly selfish, from the perspective of a herding society.

as da saying goes "ah, the plot thickens."

Yes, some good and proper interpersonal drama. It feels nice to read about something that should be more obvious.

Rainbow apparently had told him it was bigger and and insisted the rest of them maintain the lie.

I love little seeds of drama like this.

The slice of life bits and your take on a narrative "voice" for Twilight were also nice.

Great start of a new story in this setting, if you ask me. I can see people disliking it for doing away with a lot of the magical shenanigans on some of the other xenophilia stories but I rather welcome this development as it makes for a much more believable story.

The drama so far is great and doesn't feel forced or overbearing, and as always it's nice to see someone taking the herd setting beyond just romance and into what comes after.

Thanks again for your work Cinnamon, been missing you since you got done with Herd Life.

Way to set up one helluva conflict!

I haven't seen Twilight this worked up since the Xenophile's Guide, and that was a small incident compared to this. This is a rather exciting exploration of a more "typical" Equestrian mindset (Rainbow and Lero not being typical). I can certainly see this situation arising, as what we want out of relationships changes over time and we certainly don't enter into relationships with all the long term ramifications fully planned out. Rainbow just wants what she has - she's willing to share a bit but not willing to let anyone mess it up. Twilight isn't one to demand concessions because she has special status (Celestia's student, alicornhood), but she has enough self respect to demand she be treated as a full member of the family and not some sort of outsider or hanger-on who has to be content with whatever left-overs are thrown her way. However, she's not self confident enough to bring these issues to light until they reach a boil, so it's a beautiful recipe for a train wreck. I don't have a firm grasp on Lyra. She seems like someone who's going to put a lot of effort into keeping the family together, and someone who's more gounded than Twilight, but she's certainly not unaffected. She seems to help fill in for Lero as the stabilizer, but I don't know how she feels about holding that role.

Anyway, Keep it up. I'm excited to read more.

5303091

I bet its mostly people mad this story didn't just deus-ex-machina'd all interpersonal issues away like some of the sillier stories in the xenoverse do.

I like how at no point did any of them consider adoption

5306562 probably. Im loving this so far I bet if they gave it a chance they would as well.

Huh. I like the lack of magical solve-all.

I'm really hoping Lero doesn't just go belly up and allow everything without protest. People tend to write him as almost completely passive. It's been pointed out again and again how the herd is with a non-pony, and they really have no excuse in cutting him out like this.

I can easily see him being hurt more by this than any desire to add a male for practical purposes. As far as I've read, he's been more repulsed by sex with a male than by another 'competitor', so to speak. Though it obviously makes him uncomfortable.

ok you now have my full approval this story is defiantly going places.
defiantly a vary good slice of life going on.
harts fire

5307273
>defiantly
But who does it defy? :pinkiecrazy:

I have mixed feelings about the existence of this story, on the one hand I knew it would happen eventually, on the other hand I was kind of hoping it never did.

Some points I would like to get out of the way:

1. I have not read this story, I'm being a little chicken-shit and talking about my feelings instead.

2. This is a perfectly valid premise to a perfectly valid story that has every right to be told, despite my feelings on the subject.

3. I get really, really emotional about stories I like, and I have to admit, I like Xenophilia very, very much.

All that said, as a regular part of the "Xenophilia" community, if an infrequent one, I am not totally unfamiliar with this concept. The idea of Bellerophon's herd adding another stallion is far from new. My problem with this idea stems from my own feelings on the subject. I should state right now that I am not in any way against polyamory, heck, I will go to proverbial war to defend people's right to a happy and healthy consensual relationship, no matter what form it may take. Now, putting the soapbox aside for a second, I will admit the ugly, ugly truth; I am a hypocrite. I honestly don't know if I could stand, on an emotional level, to share a lover, one to whom I was deeply and thoroughly committed to, with another man.

It doesn't make me proud, saying that, as I've long been a proponent of multiple partner relationships; heck, I've even been in a few of them myself, but the very idea of introducing a rival male makes me want to beat my chest like a four-hundred pound gorilla that just found out someone shit in his cornflakes. My personal feelings on the subject matter aside, I like Lero, a lot. I empathize with him, I sympathize with him, he's a character very near and dear to my heart. The thought of him going through what, to me, would be pure, unadulterated torture makes me extremely uncomfortable. I keep imagining how I'd feel if someone I loved told me they wanted to be with another man and it just makes me want to hit something until it breaks; it makes me feel irrational, angry, scared, helpless, and just a little bit empty inside. This, I should note, is why I've always avoided talking about the subject whenever it comes up (and it's come up quite a bit on this site over the years).

Still, despite all of the above spleen venting, I am not entirely opposed to this idea. As someone who is both bisexual, and, it must be said, an absolutely hopeless romantic; I have to admit that there have been times when I've read about one stallion or another flirting with an adorably oblivious Lero and wondered "What if?" contrary to my usual unease for the subject. Maybe someday, when I feel more comfortable with that train of thought, I could try writing something along those lines myself.

Getting back to the story, I don't get the feeling that was what you were going for. I get the impression that this is yet another tried and true piece centered around the cultural differences between humans and ponies, as well as the inevitable culture clash that results between two peoples with vastly different values. I think my main fear, and one you'll probably touch on quite a bit, is the fear of inequality. Which, I suppose, is yet another smidgen of hypocrisy, considering that the original story was heavily biased in favor of Rainbow Dash and Bellerophon.

I'm not going to touch on those themes too deeply, both because there are a lot of them, and because they're fairly self-evident, I'm just going to say that I can only imagine how hard something like that would impact Lero. In pretty much every Xenoverse fic so far there's always been this feeling, this pervasive sense that for all his efforts Lero remains an underdog (an idea I've been working on for a while now actually plays with this theme quite a bit, speaking of which, I really need to get my ass in gear and update), a man of cardboard in a world of steel. The introduction of yet another party threatens to destroy the careful balance that Lero has worked so hard to craft and maintain after all his time spent in Equestria, and that's no idle fantasy.

Finally, I would like to apologize to everyone for my exceptionally long-winded, highly opinionated rant, and give my thanks to all of you who stuck with me this far. I would also like to wish you the best of luck in this endeavor CinnamonSwirltheBreaded. And I suppose it wouldn't hurt to cross my fingers and hope for a happy ending. :raritywink:

Intriguing. You seem to be going with an Original Character stallion, as opposed to one of the canon background stallions or something.

And I find myself liking him.

I also just like all the emotional drama you have playing out; showing what a tough choice it is for this herd. Bravo.

5305962

I didn't say Rarity was 'invited specifically' to have foals--in fact that's explicitly deflected during the conversation with Rarara. But there's no way that wouldn't have been a consideration in their minds. You're being inconsistent: Twilight should have considered all aspects and not courted the herd because of this issue, but Fancy and Fleur wouldn't/shouldn't have considered any issue but love?

I am not being inconsistent and I would appreciate if you didn't try to put words into my mouth.

I said that if the ability to have a foal was such an important factor to Twilight, she wouldn't have joined the herd. The author did specify that ponies are practical to a degree in his interpretation of the story after all.

And as for Rarity's situation, your own wording was that she was a solution to a problem. If that was the case then for both Fancy Pants and Fleur de Lys the ability to have a foal would be the motivating factor in the search for a new herd mate. If somehow Rarity ended up being barren, where would that leave her in this relationship?

A friend of mine wanted children of his own and it was something important enough to him that he broke off 2 relationships after finding out the girl was not interested in having more children (in both cases they already had children from previous partners). When you have expectations going into something, it affects the end result.

How can there even be 37 downvotes with so few negative comments? Some will be knee jerk human tag downvotes but I think at this point the story is just getting trolled.

5306053 That may how things were but that isn't how things are now, Lero wouldn't have been brought up in an environment where allowing another male to impregnate his wife just because he can't is an ok thing to do. I understand he's changed a lot to fit in with how Equestria works but I doubt that, if Twilight brought up allowing another male into the herd to help impregnate them, Lero would be ok with it. I also am aware that poly-amorous relationships exist as I'm in one, and I can tell you that I would not be ok if they tried to get pregnant through another male. If the mares tried to get pregnant through another stallion, that goes far beyond simply changing views on relationships.

5306339 If you're trying to insinuate that I think of a woman as an object, I'd like to point out I was speaking from a male perspective. If the genders were reversed and, let's say a female wanted a baby but she was unable to give one, I doubt she'd want her husband to impregnate another woman and then take the child so she can have one. I'm not trying to be sexist, I'm trying to make the point that "Well I can't get a baby from here, I'll try somewhere else instead, I doubt my loved one will mind." is the one of the worst thought patterns you can come up with, especially if you decide not to tell your loved one about it until you found someone else you'd like to have a baby with.

Comment posted by Purgamentum deleted Nov 24th, 2014

5306053 I think I want to change something in my reply, I understand your point and I retract a bit of what I said, but I think the part that annoys me is actually Twilight's attitude towards Lero regarding the subject. The point, and the annoyance, that my view is coming from is stemming from this one issue.

Twilight doesn't want to tell Lero about any of this until AFTER she finds a stallion that she'd like to introduce into the herd.

This is the one fact that I'm using my argument on, if they were to discuss this for a period of time beforehand then yes, it could perhaps be a possibility, but Twilight seems to have the attitude that Lero probably wouldn't care whereas he would if she just came home with a guy asking to allow him into the herd so they can get pregnant seeing as Lero can't do it himself.

5307425

1. I have not read this story, I'm being a little chicken-shit and talking about my feelings instead.

Well then you are in no position to cast judgement on it.

5309208 Ohh I see, sorry that I over reacted. And I do see your point but perhaps that's just how some part of human nature is. I won't deny I can be a jealous person so I'd rather go down the route of adoption (which ponies don't have? Or Twilight just really wants the kid herself) unless my partner was dead set on birthing the child herself. To me, it just feels like part of them could be betraying Lero by not saying to him that this is a possibility.

5309324
I considered explain or discuss adoption in the story, but it seemed like something of a distraction. The reason they probably wouldn't go for and adoption, in my mind, is that it's simply unlikely that there's any foals around waiting to be adopted.

The herd structure of relationships would make it relatively unlikely that any foal would ever find herself or himself without somepony to look and care after them. Nor does it seem likely that there would be too many mothers choosing to give up 'unwanted' foals since they don't necessarily have to look after them by themselves--and whether or not they get pregnant is very much in their control.

It just strikes me as being improbable that there's a large number of foals waiting around for adoption.

5309551
If she gave up the foal, I would assume the foal could just be 'adopted' into the birthherd. Indeed, in Rainbow's case, she was still welcome in the herd--at least in theory--and she intentionally cut herself out of their lives more because she didn't like them badmouthing her mother.

5302863

Your latter point was discussed in detail, and I suppose one could make a reasonable argument that Celestia or Cadance or whomever should have just told her, but at the same time I can't help but feel like it's not necessarily something that really fits with how the Princesses are presented in the show. More often than not, Celestia seems comfortable--and appears to prefer--Twilight work through the problems herself.

I would kinda agree... except that's in regards to challenges she's personal set before her. Would Celestia really stand aside, and let her futilelly struggle to a goal she knows will only end in failure and heartbreak? Much less, Cadance?

I realize Twilight appears to give up fairly easily within the story, but at this point in the Xenophilia timeline, she's been 'working' on the problem for a while. It might seem like she gave up too easily, but I'd like to think Twilight would recognize a dead end when she saw it.

Except it's not presented that way. "Whoops, it's most likely never been done before. Clearly, that means it's impossible." :derpytongue2: On top of that, all she did was research if a spell already existed- she made no seeming effort to research a spell for herself.

But there's really no evidence of this, and, indeed, if there was, one would assume that mixed couples would not just be common, but the norm, since there'd be enough males to go around--even if they're not necessarily a unicorn/earth/pegasus pony. But, if hybridization is impossible or hard, it seems to me that the logical and practical solution--which is what I tried to stress here in Twilight's musings--would be to seek out a stallion that would work for you.

A very logical point, and by logical extension, we can clearly see the entire population of Equestria is mules. :facehoof:

I'm sorry, I have to disagree on this point. There's lots of reasons why mixed-herds or hybrid children aren't common, even if hybridization is possible. The males simply might not be physically interested without emotional connection- Lero certainly wasn't, until he fell in love, and while there seems somple places where races mingle- Flight Academy, for one, most of the races tend to keep to themselves most of the time, so emotional connections are uncommon. Maybe the Polygamy and other cultural issues are difficult to overcome. Maybe equestrian women have a reputation as controling, man-hungry clingy mares, so males of other species think they're only after one thing and are on guard for it. Maybe fertility rates are really low, so it's not really a practical solution. Maybe, like mules, most of the children end up sterile. The fact that children are possible is not the same as it being practical, or even desirable to the species as a whole. it's something ponies do on the rare occasions the fall in love outside of their species and it's reciprocated.

Look at it another way; Rarity (in this story) is part of Fleur and Fancy's herd, and I've implied that Fleur is essentially barren, which, in turn, is based off of Archonix's writings about Star Sparkle's herd and Crincile. There's two ways of solving this problem, the first of which would be to figure out some way of making a barren mare fertile again, or else seek out some other mare. I'd argue that infertile mares is probably a more common problem than ponies trying to bare children with non-pony partners, yet the solution is the latter, not the former.

I don't think that's directly comparable. The barreness is generally something that comes as a surprise. The girls entered this knowing that odds were very high they could never have children without magical assistance, which makes Twilight's flipping her position really weird.

I'll grant that this is sort of stacking the deck, argument wise, but I think it gets at what is supposed to be the underlying practical nature of ponies, at least as they've been described.
And, I'll admit, I'm not a fan of 'magic can/will solve everything' trope that sometimes comes up in fiction. I'd rather--and I think it makes for better storytelling--for magic to be limited in ways.

Oh, I agree, absolutelly- for the best storytelling, magic's limits and functions are clearly defined- like physics, or science. Magic that can do anything is lazy storytelling, can easily lead to plot holes, and lack of any real stakes. However, it's just as lazy to decide, arbitrarily, that magic can't do something, without any adequate explaination as to why.

Honestly, though, I get it. MLP's writers haven't put much thought or effort into their own magical system, often resulting in spells that do bizzarrely specific or arbitrary things, with it's limits being equally arbitrary (Magically changing gender is stated to be impossible, but is never stated why such is so.), and Twilight is often depicted learning bizzarelly specific spells (Grow mustaches, turn things into oranges), That, plus the huge deal made about her finishing the spell in Magical Mystery Cure, as well as the discussion of how most Unicorns learn magic, and how they hold Starswirl the Bearded in high regard, I've come to some conclusions:

Magic in Equestria can do nearly anything, but there's two rather severe limitations- One, you need to know a spell that does what you want, and second, you need enough power to cast it. spells vary in difficulty of power used based roughly on their complexity, and how much natural forces normally oppose such things. Growing moustaches is easy, things grow moustaches all teh time- al teh spell does is make the target capable, adn speeds upt he process. Manipulating time...? Well, that's another story, generally only the strongest unicorns can manage.

So, then, where do spells come from? Well, the most common source is unicorns- whenever a Unicorn learns their special talent, they instinctively learn a magical spell that support it- like Rarity's ability to find gems. Studious unicorns, or ones that have magic as a talent, can study these spells and learn them. The other way? Painstaking research and experimentation- Starswirl the Bearded, for example, invented an entire new branch of magic- before him, magic than manipulated time didn't exist (and "Was impossible", to the opinions of unicorns of that time, most likely), However, even to a Unicorn as talented as him, his Magnum Opus eluded him for decades, and was left unfinished on his deathbed.

In my mind, knowing this, I'd re-write the scene of Twilight's realization like this, then:

Well, that was it, then. No easy answers: All existing mixed-couple children were either rare, natural, lucky flukes like Hippogryphs, or someone getting help from a Stallion on the side. There were no existing spells to solve her problem, and her transformation work seemed like a dead end. She sighed to herself. "So... I either have to do years of painstaking magical research that might herd might never live to see the fruitition... or hope I get lucky and find a Unicorn who's special talent is getting knocked up."

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Probablly social reasons- It's easy enough to find a stallion who will knock you up... but they want to have a one that sticks around.

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Firstly, how much original research and development are the ponies doing nowadays? I might be mistaken, but I always thought ponies are a traditionalist society that doesn't like change (and perhaps innovation) that much. If we remember the amount of old magic and knowledge that was forgotten, then, perhaps, from a ponys' point of view Twilight didn't give up too easily. It just wasn't enough.
As for why Celestia didn't say anything about it not being possible - perhaps she doesn't think it impossible, and is confident that Twilight is making some actual real progress. Twilight was pretty optimistic about it, and certainly she couldn't have made such a stupid mistake as to think interspecies hybridization is a solved problem....

See my above observations- IMO, New spells either come at random, or from the few talented enough at magic to original work. And even if Celestia had that level of faith in her, she'd probablly drop the line, "I've never seen that done before, in all my years.", because Twilight having foals isn't one of her tests.

I'm quite sure the origins of pegasi and Cerberus are different from Greek mythology.

Probablly, but I'm just pointing out the setting references beings/mythology where such a thing is commonplace.

Discord seems more like a tragic accident,

Maybe, but *drumroll* nobody knows!

and the bluejay could actually be something only Twilight has done.

Which implies she'd be unable to do it again... how?

It seems that while hybridization is possible, a practical method isn't known.

Which implies she can't find one.... why?

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This kind of shows that her want seems to be more important than his opinion. I'm looking forward to the next part but I beg of you, don't have Lero just roll over or anything for this, letting his wife/girlfriend/mate introduce a guy into their relationship just to have children is something NO MAN WOULD EVER DO.

I can't agree with the hyperbolic assertation of "NO MAN WOULD EVER DO", but I agree with the sentiment- Lero simply rolling over and accepting the concept with no drama, conflict, or soulsearching whatsoever, or, hell, even just los of time to think about it would disappoint me.

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That's... a really unchairitable thing to say.

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>> BackgroundNoise

1. I have not read this story, I'm being a little chicken-shit and talking about my feelings instead.

Well then you are in no position to cast judgement on it.

Which, if you had read his post, would see that he hadn't.

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Only Ms. Loyalty, a pegasus who isn't even sure who her father is (shame), really understands how deep this cuts.

Actually, I thought she did know him, he was just an asshole?

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It just strikes me as being improbable that there's a large number of foals waiting around for adoption.

Especially since All-female herds are a thing, and they probablly want kids, too.

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I would assume that even in the event of total loss of the parents, any foal would have a number of grand parent herds and chances are at least one of them would be eager to take the orphans in.

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Twilight doesn't want to tell Lero about any of this until AFTER she finds a stallion that she'd like to introduce into the herd.

You're misreading her intention: while it might be possible that, right out of the door they'd find a stallion they might want to court before they could get around to discussing the idea with Lero, Twilight's intent was to merely discuss the idea with her fellow mares, before necessarily introducing the idea to Lero.

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I would kinda agree... except that's in regards to challenges she's personal set before her. Would Celestia really stand aside, and let her futilelly struggle to a goal she knows will only end in failure and heartbreak? Much less, Cadance?

Considering the whole series' requires Twilight to make friends at the very last moment, and the best Celestia did was blow her concerns off, It's not out of the realm of possibility.

As for Cadance, perhaps not.

Except it's not presented that way. "Whoops, it's most likely never been done before. Clearly, that means it's impossible." :derpytongue2: On top of that, all she did was research if a spell already existed- she made no seeming effort to research a spell for herself.

It would have only taken a little bit of work for Twilight to realize that such a spell wasn't written down anywhere, but since she had evidence of fertile mixed-species herds, she did her research under the assumption that either the spell existed or there was some other method they were using, and she was combing the records for hints that might give her a better idea of what to look for or do. And she found it... it just wasn't the solution she was expecting, and, indeed, it was 'magic' at all.

I don't think it's ever been made clear in the show, but it's always been my impression, especially with Celestia's comments after Twilight completed Star Swirl's spell, that 'inventing' magic was relatively rare thing for ponies to do, even for a Unicorn of Twilight's power and skill.

A very logical point, and by logical extension, we can clearly see the entire population of Equestria is mules.

But as you say, they're not mules, and that's ultimately my concluding point. Your opening statement is that you see MLP as a D&D like universe, where everything magical and hybrid with any other magical being/etc, yet at the same time, there's no evidence to support that, beyond the reuse of various mythological creatures that have been used and reused over and over through fantasy fiction since almost it's very dawn.

The girls entered this knowing that odds were very high they could never have children without magical assistance, which makes Twilight's flipping her position really weird.

As she points out however, the idea of having foals is really only something that came into focus for her after she was part of the herd, simply because, much like having friends, it wasn't something that would be within the realm of possibility for her. But now that she is part of the herd, even with Lero, she finds herself dwelling on the idea of having children too.

Well, that was it, then. No easy answers: All existing mixed-couple children were either rare, natural, lucky flukes like Hippogryphs, or someone getting help from a Stallion on the side. There were no existing spells to solve her problem, and her transformation work seemed like a dead end. She sighed to herself. "So... I either have to do years of painstaking magical research that might herd might never live to see the fruitition... or hope I get lucky and find a Unicorn who's special talent is getting knocked up."

On the contrary, there is a very easy answer...:derpytongue2:

Actually, I thought she did know him, he was just an asshole?

If anyone was the asshole, it was probably Rainbow towards her father. Rainbow had, at this point, accepted the idea that her mother slept outside of the herd.
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I would assume that even in the event of total loss of the parents, any foal would have a number of grand parent herds and chances are at least one of them would be eager to take the orphans in.

Exactly so.

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