• Member Since 17th Mar, 2013
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In the chaos after Luna's banishment, four warlords meet.

Spanish translation, by SPANIARD-KIWI.

Chapters (2)
Comments ( 141 )

Well then. I have no idea what to make of this just yet, but please do go on.

I'll endeavour to. Who knows, maybe I'll get an idea of what to make of it as well. :twilightsheepish:


Concept sounds interesting. I'll watch this.

Glad to have you along! It likely won't be too long a watch - one more chapter should see this finished.

Ohohohoho, yes. I am going to like this one. :pinkiehappy:

A most interesting story-concept, this. As with the others here, I shall be following this one, too.

Keep up the rad work, and I can't wait for the next chapter!

Glad you think so! :pinkiehappy:

Glad to have you along for this as well. :twilightsmile:

5325921 Glad to be along! This should be a wild ride!:ajsmug:




Good dang? Bad dang? Indifferent dang? Confused arousal dang?

Work with me on the danging, bro.

"In awe" dang.

Confused arousal dang?

A close second :trollestia:

Only second? Bollocks, hold on, rewriting from scratch.

It was close, though! No need for a rewrite!

If I haven't compelled a thousand bewildering erections to the utmost of my ability, then I have failed.


Okay. Fair enough.

Oh, damn. I'm completely with Csquared08 on that ending. The whole story, really.

More like this.

First things first: Short as it is, this really should have been published all at once. I'm neutral on whether it works better as one chapter or two, but as it is, you've got a chapter of prep followed by a chapter with all the action, and that meant none of the juicy stuff was up when the story went live. I hope it didn't cost you too many readers, but I suspect it did.


“Correct.” Conquest glanced at each of the others. “With the bulk of the Lunar Rebellion finally subdued, our princess shall be looking to crush whatever small targets present themselves. Pooling our efforts will let each of us withstand that assault and carry the fight past it.”

Oops! :rainbowwild:

Even before seeing that I was definitely seeing the patterns, but that's the only place in the story where they're name-dropped as such, so it looks like an editing error. (And it did get me doing some research, and realizing that Conquest was the original Pestilence, which makes your mapping make much more sense, so there's that.)

You've done a good thing here, which is to make it hold together as a story pretty well even if the allusion doesn't come through, but the extra layer is pretty delicious as well. Celestia's choice of appearances makes some interesting statements (above and beyond the Fluttershy-like characterization of Mercy).

I do wish — especially given Sombra's appearance — that you'd had more canon to work with. The combination of OCs and canon characters to fill your four roles was a bit jarring. I can buy Iridium's backstory, but Corn Rose (while fitting her thematic role) felt dramatically un-pony; a more familiar name (Tirek?) might have fixed that, or perhaps making her a different race entirely.

I also can't shake the feeling the title should have been The Pale Horse, maybe? Thematically tighter.

Regardless, enjoyable. Thank you! :twilightsmile:

5342421 5342919
Invocations of 'damn'? I'm clearly doing something right. :twilightsmile:


Regardless, enjoyable. Thank you!

Glad you approve! Secondly:

“Correct.” Conquest glanced at each of the others.

Aaargh, I am a moron. Well-spotted. I was aiming for the pattern (which you correctly identify) to be relatively subtle; making it that overt merits an 'oops' response. Fixed, though I'm glad it got the research flowing.

I'll cop guilty to the liklihood that this would have flowed better as one piece - 'prep' followed by 'action' was only part of my reasoning, a lot of it came down to wanting to get this written and published as soon as possible. Corn Rose's relative 'unponyness' compared to the other four's also fair enough. My own mental timeline of the show's backstory wouldn't allow for Tirek's appearance, and I wanted to keep them all of the same equine species, due to the pattern you recognised. I'd argue she's not inherently more dissonant than the larger world I allude to going down around them - but then that could be fairly turned into its own critique, so it's a fair point. Thematic concerns overrode setting congruity on that front.

As for opting for the White Horse over the Pale Horse, I did have some motive behind my madness, as much as the latter would make sense. Opening it with the former seemed to allow for some misdirection when the story immediately opened on a white unicorn, as well as alluding to Celestia's future appearance.

5343898 You my friend, are doing something incredible. Never doubt that.

> Thematic concerns overrode setting congruity on that front
Amusingly, Bad Horse was talking about that yesterday, too.

I'll concede that The White Horse as a title does what you wanted it to do; just wanted to plant the Pale seed, but if it doesn't fit your goals, that's a reasonable response. Anyway, hope I was able to offer some food for thought in response to yours, and keep up the good work!

That's a good blog piece, and I'm sure I've read a story or two by the same author. Following him seems like it might be very worthwhile.

Aye, the title as it stands is largely not-awfully-smart smartalec misdirection on my part. The reader in an ideal world reads it, starts, thinks "Gosh, that must refer to this white unicorn here," and ends thinking, "Golly, it was that other white horse that it referred to all along. Maybe there's parallels being drawn as well. What a clever and handsome author, I must send him baked goods and money to show appreciation." Results vary, ideal world may not match reality. Oddly enough, it's perhaps one of the easiest titles I've generated - the story nearly emerged from it, rather than the usual procedure where I sweat blood in front of a keyboard until something appropriate-sounding surfaces.

Cheers again for the food for thought and link. They're much appreciated. :twilightsmile:

And so ends the Equestrian Warlord Era. Long live the Princess!

Ooh, good name for it. And long may she reign, indeed!

Now that was something different.
Though I agree that the two-chapter-split may have cost you readers, that certainly doesn't hold true for me. I very much enjoyed the prep chapter and was eagerly awaiting the continuation.
I like these slow starts, especially when they prepare the ground for the action in such a nice way.

Wasn't entirely convinced by Corn Rose though... seemed stange to have no goal whatsoever except more bloodshed. That might be good enough for her but almost certainly not for the whole of her forces. They'd become weary and fall apart sooner or later without a goal to achieve. Then again, her character could make sense if she's simply a madpony... but that perspective is unsatisfying considering how well you portrayed Iridium and also her strong and atmospheric entry.

Can't say much about Mercy other than I again don't see how her army would follow that scorched earth policy forever. Maybe if they were all complete fanatics (for what? certainly not religion), but then it is difficult to imagine whole armies with such a mindset.

So, don't get me wrong. I very much enjoyed this, especially since it shed light on the period immediately after Luna's banishment; a period that very often simply is described as 'wartime' but never specified why that was so. An empire falling apart due to overly ambitious factions is a very realistic take. Celestia offering mercy even after all the atrocities she has witnessed is also very much in character for her, just as well as her steely resolve and necessary brutality. A very good portrayal.

So, all in all a very good story with a few narrative shortcomings, at least for me.
Have a green thumb and keep up the good work!

Glad you approved, on the whole. I'm always keen on delving into these parts of the background lore and wondering what might have gone down. I'm glad you also think I handled Celestia well - I anticipated her actions attracting some amount of critique, and so far, nobody seems to have called me out on them.

Onto your other points. It's fair to be unconvinced by Corn Rose and Mercy - as horizon observed (5342956) there was a layer of allusion I wanted to play with, and moulding each of the characters to each respective archetype means that some of their essential dimensions might have been lost and their congruity with the setting lost. By way of realism, in my defence, psychotic leaders and armies bent on mass pillage and slaughter are regrettably common for us - and even apocalyptic nutjobs spring up more than they should. The extent to which they could acquire and sustain support from troops in a relatively nice setting like Equestria is probably minimal, though, so that's a fair point. Thematic concerns, like I noted to horizon, probably overrode more than they should.

A very intriguing setup. Though there is a continuity issue, though.

Sombra and the Crystal empire are banished and disappear respectively before Nightmare Moon's own banishment. Might want to toss up an AU tag in that case.

Also, the Palace of the Two Sisters has REALLY gone to pot in the year since Nightmare Moon trashed the place at the time of her banishment. It's almost as decrepit as it appears 1000 years later.

by right of blood royal alone

by right of royal blood alone

out of Equestria out the war

out of Equestria after the war

Corn Rose's army almost had a Mongolian Horde feel to it, though they were much more about empire expansion and just used absolutely brutal methods to achieve it.

As for the rest of the piece, barring the issues of established canon-continuity mentioned in my comments on chapter 1, this was indeed very cool. The reveal on Mercy worked well I felt, and looking back, you could see the hints dropped. Nicely done.

Second error corrected, and much obliged to you for spotting it. Though 'blood royal' isn't an error so much as an archaic way of phrasing 'royal blood.' As far as I believe, anyway, it's possible A Song of Ice and Fire's gotten my terminology muddled.

Glad you approve for the most part. Luna's banishment preceding Sombra's was a mistake on my part. I think it makes sense to leave it as a simple muck-up, rather than something that merits the story an intended AU tag, though I could be wrong.

The comparison between Corn Rose's army and the Mongolian Horde is quite good, I agree.
I'm just fairly certain though that the Horde didn't do it just for the pleasure of bloodshed and the joy of destruction. So, tweaking Corn Rose just a tiny bit towards having some kind of ultimate megalomaniac goal in the light of your comparison would have been nice.
Anyway, the author intentionally molded her after a pure archetype villain and I can be happy with that explanation.

I really like this. Freaking shame it has low views

Glad you like it. :twilightsmile:

Wow...I really don't know what to say. The story, it just...wow! This was a very interesting read.

Glad to have impressed you! :twilightsmile:

Hot damn. :rainbowderp:
You know, out of all of them, I honestly think the one I detested the most was Corn. Mercy seemed a tragic figure, Sombra was Sombra (so pretty darn horrible), and Iridium, while a racist and hugely amoral, seemed to at least have some sort of goal of a strong Equestria. Corn though...

That final line from her. Eeesh.

Edit: Quick question: What were you going for with the meaning of the title? Obviously Celestia fits, but so does (sort of) Death of the Four Horsemen, as does (rather more fittingly) Conquest. Just curious as to whether there were other potential meanings that I missed.

They're all uniquely and varyingly contemptible, but I agree she takes the cake amongst them - probably natural when you match up that petty and base a motive with those sort of deeds. It's probably why other commenters here found her massively off-kilter for the setting. Glad she appalled, at least. :twilightsmile:

Yeah I noticed some people didn't seem to like her much - I actually thought it made her a fascinating (and terrifying) character.

So, uh, any thoughts on my earlier question? :pinkiehappy:

Floops, didn't clock the question. You've touched upon all the meanings I intended there. Theoretically, the reader begins the story and thinks, "Gosh, it must be about Iridium, this white unicorn here." And that's fair enough, since it's all from his perspective and, in a sense, about his own end of days. However, you've also got the revelation of Celestia near the end, and she's undeniably a white horse who's the most influential figure in both the background and eventual actual events of the story. And the title and theme and everything riff off the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, whose introduction is kickstarted by a white horse bearing Conquest. Death of the Author kicks in at this point if there's any other interpretations I may have missed.

Thanks - I personally didn't get anything beyond what you just said, but I loved how you used the title in that way.

“Too many burnt farms and empty fields,” said Mercy softly. “Too many dead. Too many orphaned and broken foals. Too many hurting. Drums beating under storm after storm and over red field after field, again and again. Nopony can stop it. Or stop it happening again. It all has to end. All of it.”

“All of it?” Iridium frowned.

“Sow salt,” said Mercy. “Lest more weeds grow.”

Legitimately gave me goosebumps.

Happy to grant them! Much obliged for the Follow, as well. :twilightsmile:

“The Empire, long divided, must unite: long united, must divide." Or not, if Celestia has anything to say about it. :trollestia:

I have to admit I didn't pick up on the Four Horses of Apocalypse thing until after I had finished, but in retrospect it's obvious. Giving Iridium the bow and the crown was a nice touch.

They also match up nicely with different villain archetypes: Iridium is the arrogant noblepony conquering a kingdom for himself. Sombra is the evil wizard doing unspeakable experiments with his unlucky subjects. Corn Rose is a rampaging barbarian warlord, who loots and pillages almost as an afterthought to sustain her campaigns. And Mercy is the leader of an apocalyptic death cult who has looked at the life's ills and taken it to the ultimate, absurd conclusion that the only way to end suffering is to make it so there is nopony left to suffer. (And does this all make Celestia the Hard Mare Making Hard Decisions?)

I'd personally peg her as the Benevolent Mare Making Oh God Why The Hell Would These Decisions Even Exist What Kind Of Horrible World Is This Decisions. But the rest of the archetypes ring pretty true. :twilightsmile:

This story reminds me of when I read Moonlight Palaver. Great story. :pinkiesmile:

I noticed the Four Horsemen symbolism early on (what true metalhead wouldn't?) and guessed the ending, but that didn't do much to lessen the impact when the ending arrived.

When a lost of people go to write world-building stories such as these, they often abandon storytelling and meaningful themes--and often, established canon--in favor of propagandizing their own vision of things. Good on you for not losing sight of what's important!

Thank you! :pinkiehappy: I'm glad the themes and worldbuilding seemed appropriate.

I think I like this. A dark mirror of Moonlight Palaver, set in ages past and with a more serious tone? For what you were going for, I think you certaintly hit your mark, even if the Four Horsemen imagery was kind of lost on me until I read the comments (I'm still not sure which pony is meant to be which Horseman exactly).

Where I find fault, though, is in the most obvious and glaring discrepency, which I'm extremely surprised more people haven't commented on already - How is Sombra here? This is never addressed in the story itself, nor in any of your comments, and I'd really like an answer. We see in the show that Celestia and Luna defeated him together, and then the Empire vanished while he was imprisoned in ice. If this is indeed after Luna's banishment, as the description claims and some dialogue in the story itself suggests, then how is Sombra communicating with them, ghostly projection or no? He should be as out of the game as Luna herself. It would've made far more sense if Sombra's defeat had been explained as being relatively recent and he was Celestia's disguise.

That discrepancy's pure muddle-headedness on my part, I'm afraid. I'd gotten it into my head when I was writing this that it was Celestia alone who vanquished Sombra after Luna's banishment.

Infallibility is a terrible thing to discover you don't possess. :raritydespair:


In which case, I'm afraid that this sin is unforgivable. We must never speak again, for you have shattered my faith in your godlike perfection, and I must now become a recluse.

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