• Published 6th Dec 2014
  • 1,554 Views, 34 Comments

Voices in the Background - Visiden Visidane

Various correspondences in the background of Upheaval.

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Old Kingdom

Voices in the Background

Old Kingdom

Overseer Gold Maw,

Here's the list of our next finds.

Twelve stallions and five mares all fit for hard labor.

Six mares and five foals for lighter loads and kitchen work.

Six elderly. Too stringy for the pegasi. Might still be useful for sacrifices.

Three good-looking ponies (two stallions and a mare), for some of the unicorn nobles.

We also have a particularly fat foal that the Graywing Elite would pay premium for.

Sell them quick while they're worth bits. Clan Basalt's making Smart Cookie and Puddinghead angry. We can expect another massive wave of slaves before the year ends. That's going to drive prices down.

Slavemaker Saltpick

Incidents regarding the Coldsteel Construct for this month

1. Large portion of the shoulder plating came loose and fell on some workers. Three dead, two more alive but useless. Damages will take a week to repair.

2. Worker fell to his death while working on the head plating.

3. Vat of Dead Air Gas exploded. Five ponies dead.

4. Brawl among the workers. One pony died before the overseers could break it up.

5. Break failure in the rail cars for delivering the Dead Magic Crystals. Two ponies dead after the crash.

If I may be so bold to suggest such a thing, applying better safety measures would greatly lessen the number of casualties. The break-neck speed that the Chancellor insists on, as well as the cheaply done provisions for the workers are also adding to increasing number of deaths.

I understand fully that our clan lords wish for the tributary project to be completed in time for the great fete, but as I look at all these deaths, I must ask: would the Deep Father truly approve of a tribute that was built so hastily and at the waste of so many of his children? Do we not owe the Deep Father the best we can create in the best way we can create it?

Overseer Red Rust


Red Rust,

Clan Basalt's best should have arrived along with this message. That's thirty strong stallions and mares fit for labor, more than double of what you lost. Make good use of them. The rest will come later.

I've done you a favor by not passing on your report to Puddinghead or Smart Cookie. If our clan lords wanted your advice, they'd have you higher up the ladder. Do not be so presumptuous again, or the tributary project is going to get one more impudent slave to work on it, and that's if they leave your punishment to me. You do not want Smart Cookie's instruments "improving" you, and I hear Puddinghead has taken an interest in some of the Graywing Elite's recipes.

I expect better, humbler news by the next month.

High Overseer Stone Whip

Kettle Stew,

We have a problem. As it turns out, Chancellor Puddinghead is attending Platinum's banquet. We need to procure additional supplies in time to serve her. If Platinum ends up being embarrassed as a host, it's a quick trip to the sacrificial pools for us. I need the following in short order.

Four bushels of flour
Four bushels of sugar
A barrel of honey
A barrel of milk
Two baskets of apples
Two baskets of pears
A sack of raisins
Two barrels of red wine
One earth pony foal, preferably less than two years old, fatty, not lean

It's a difficult task without a doubt, but procure it as if our lives depend on it, because they do.

Head Chef Onion Tear

Overseer Scourge Hoof,

You have a worker in your mine: big, strong earth pony stallion, dark gray fur, curly mane of bronze, green eyes like verdigris, physique like chiseled stone. His name is Rock Maven. Have him shackled, cleaned up, and treated with scented oils. All overseers should know my favorite ones. After that, have him sent to the palace.




I intercepted your little message to your mine workers. My brother is many things: stupid, unenlightened, stubborn, arrogant, and inefficient. But he is not your toy, even if he works in your mine. He stays with the rocks of Unicornia until his oh-so-vaunted strength fails him. As for you, if you are unable to control your pathetic, organic needs, I have several rock drills to clean out that sewer under your tail.

Smart Cookie

Bell Strike, Great Shield of the Kingdom

Blade Gleam, the King's Mirror

Fume Rage, Wrath of the Throne

My dear, loyal retainers, it is time I lay down my last wishes for you. My health has declined sharply during these past few days, and I wish to write this down while I still have the strength and clarity of mind. Should this letter be opened, then I have finally died. I doubt that any great stretch of time would pass between the writing of these instructions and my demise.

The throne shall go to Platinum, such is the Unicorn Kingdom's tradition. The fate of the kingdom, however, I shall entrust to more than just her.

My daughter is young, but youth is the least of her faults as a monarch. Youth naturally gives way as I am all too aware. However, she is also impetuous, vain, and spoiled. She has had no mother to guide her, and her father has done a very poor job. Where my efforts have failed, yours must succeed. Guide Platinum, especially during the early years of her reign. Bell Strike, my soldiers have always heeded your word, and trusted your judgment, show her how to manage the might of the Unicorn Kingdom. Blade Gleam, nopony has your knowledge of our traditions and heritage, help her honor them while she forges her own path. Fume Rage, young as you are, she listens to you the most. Be the voice for the others so they might reach her.

May the Kingdom prosper long after my departure.

Sky Storm


Bell Strike, I cannot condone this anymore. Platinum has made a twisted mockery of the Arcane Knight Trials. When I used to test the mettle of aspirants, I now butcher sacrifices. She sends me fillies and colts barely able to lift their blades, barely a spell in their heads. They're fanatical, over-confident, and utterly unprepared. I try to spare them, but they charge on blindly and insist on fighting to the death. There is no honor in this. No glory. Not even utility. Each time Platinum invokes this befouled test, all I do is cut another unicorn's life short; a unicorn that could have been more useful as anything other than fodder for Platinum's amusement.

Forgive me for this seeming weakness. I know Sky Storm asked us to guide his daughter, but Platinum is beyond guidance. Fume Rage has lost his way. Instead of counselling her, he is content with her gifts and the nights he spends in her bedchambers. She only hears Clover's goading and the Deep Father's dark call. Painful as it may be to fail our king's final charge, I must cut ties with her, for the sake of what's left of my soul.

Join me, Bell Strike. Even from a distance, I see how the state of this realm pains you. You'll invoke duty, as I know you always do, but that which we have a duty to no longer exists. "The King's Mirror" they call me, but our last true monarch has long since died, and his petulant daughter does not even qualify to be his shadow. "Great Shield of the Kingdom" they call you, but the Unicorn Kingdom is no more. This "Everlasting Kingdom" that Clover tries so desperately to peddle is not deserving of a shield such as you. Let us depart from this wretched place. We cannot restore it from within as we have tried so hard so far. Let us fight to restore it from without. I shall await your reply. If you remain silent for two nights, I shall go on ahead.

Blade Gleam


Let it be known that Blade Gleam and Bell Strike, former royal retainers, are hereby branded traitors to our Everlasting Kingdom. These miscreants dared to turn their back on the sacred duty given to them by my departed father in pursuit of their selfish and worthless goals. They are bygone heroes of an unenlightened age now reduced to wandering the wilderness like common brigands.

We shall show no mercy for those who abandon the path of our Deep Father. These rebels shall be hunted down and slain. Any who harbor them shall meet with the same fate. Their great monuments in our old capital shall be torn down, their names shall be stricken from the list of our honored, and their deeds shall be forgotten. Let their wretched demise be a warning for all. The Everlasting Kingdom shall suffer no betrayers, no matter what their station and past greatness.

Platinum of the Six Companions

Lord General Fume Rage,

We cannot hold the Regal Spires any longer. Rock Maven's rebel clans batter our gates daily. It takes our strongest sustained enchantments to keep his unnatural magic from tearing them down. Bell Strike's forces have cut off our escape routes while Cross Guard's pegasi plunder our supplies. Lexarius itself has finished off the last of Dead Feather's troops, and is heading this way. We are in dire need of reinforcements to give us enough space to withdraw. Without any, not only will the Regal Spires fall, so will six hundred of the Deep Father's faithful soldiers.

Commander Cold Grasp


Cold Grasp,

There will be no thoughts of withdrawal, you cowardly scum. For a soldier of our Everlasting Kingdom to even think of going back home when he approaches battle is a shameful act. Hold the Regal Spires to the last pony and to the last breath. If even a single one of your defenders makes it out because of cowardice, that pony shall die in a manner so gruesome that he will wish for the mercy of an enemy blade to his throat.

Make no mistake, we have troops on the way, not to save cowards who can barely hold the line, but to punish the upstart Lexarius and his worthless lies. We are on the path of greatness, and he will not steer us away from it. Speak no more of retreats, Cold Grasp, and you may yet witness our final victory.

Lord General Fume Rage

Comments ( 12 )

I've worked in some absolutely hellish restaurants in my time, but even they didn't have sacrificial pools. :twilightoops:

Getting the chance to read more about Bell Strike and Blade Gleam was awesome, as I enjoyed their personalities in "Kin and Kind". However this glimpse into the past once again reaffirms my belief that out of all the Six Companions, Princess Platinum was definitely the worst of the lot. Must be that sickening combo of self entitlement and having psychopathic tendencies imo.

5352710 I think it's just that we haven't seen enough of the other companions. We've really seen the most of Princess Platinum, so it makes her seem the worst. I mean, Pudding Head's a cannibal and Smart Cookie sold her own brother into slavery, and who knows what the others are doing in detail?

Yeah don't get be wrong, they all have committed some messed up atrocities. I just find Princess Platinum's particular blend of crimes to be the most abhorrent. At least her father seemed legit, well that is if his letter is reflective of his true character.

Ooh, this was disturbing...

I can't wait for more! ... Okay I can, whatever... :raritywink:


Man, the world you built is so rich & Awesome even these random letters gave me goose bumps

Yikes. I see life in the Everlasting Kingdom was fun. Good thing it wasn't so everlasting in the end.

I had hoped for some more information about Blue Blood. I know you've set him up for something important, but I'm not sure what. :raritywink:

that sewer under your tail

I get that his was meant as an insult but, technically speaking, it's a completely accurate term for any mare, (Unless Smart Cookie and Private Pansy were doing some really weird stuff with their experiments.)

Just checking here, previously I'd though it was just the pegasi that ate earth ponies, but now it seems all three races eat them? Were unicorns and pegasi food as well, or is it just earth ponies that were universally considered delicacies?

5621690 I believe it's supposed to be read after Reckoning, same with the rest of the side stories.


High Scholar Crow Quill gave Applejack the chain of Apple Slice.

Now these were really entertaining, had good world building and I enjoyed learning more about the Old Kingdom and Equestria's true founders. Great work, have a like and a favorite.

Oh hi Fume Knight, how are you doing? Annoyed you only get this cameo while Pony Ornstein and Smough got epic fight scenes? :twilightsmile:

I had hoped Puddinghead’s ghost was an exaggeration, but clearly not. She reminds me of Pearl from the first Blade movie.

I think of the six I prefer Princess Platinum by far. She seems the most normal of them, though that doesn’t really say much. She isn’t a cannibal, isn’t tearing herself apart or experiments other ponies, though she does sacrifice them. She’s a religious tyrant slaver, and compared the rest of the companions that is very mundane.

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