• Member Since 29th Jan, 2012
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RainbowDoubleDash


I keep staring at that "Block RainbowDoubleDash" button, and I can't help but wonder what would happen if I clicked it...


T

The ancient kingdom of Zaldia, the Platinum Kingdom, has stood apart from Equestria for centuries, its culture and its ponies fiercely independent and cultivating a culture of propriety, etiquette - and secrets. Trixie and Lyra, Elements of Magic and Loyalty respectively, find themselves in this land for reasons that appear simple enough on the surface. They soon find themselves embroiled a game of conspiracy and treachery - one that threatens not just their lives, but the whole of Equestria...

Short version: Tom Clancy Writes Pony. A Lunaverse story, set during the second season.

Chapters (8)
Comments ( 119 )

Also, because it's nice to have visual references,

i59.tinypic.com/24zah49.png

Kristal Zati - "Crystal Shard"
Ohar Garai - "High Note"
Ispelu Magikoa - "Magic Mirror"

“Fine, then. I’ll keep it. I regret your offense at the offer.”

I agree with Trixie in this case... I've met plenty of people where an apology of this nature was more of a "I'm sorry that you're offended" instead of "I'm sorry that I offended you."

It's also one of my sister-in-laws' preferred methods of apology, with #2 being the infamous "I'm sorry, but..." (the Anti-apology) They can even be combined:

"I'm sorry that you feel that way, but you're just going to have to get over it."

So many language problems, someone needs to come up with a good translation spell, or hire a TARDIS.

Personally I prefer my canon to be a bit more... active.

Okay, intriguing beginning. Nice mystery and worldbuilding already. But Zati is too over-the-top for me. And yes, I know there are people like him in RL and fiction. He's still too over-the-top for me. I'm hoping there's either some hidden depths or he gets kicked in the face.

Trixie flexing her Diplomacy muscle! :D

This was some nice world building, Zaldia already has a pretty strong flavor, nicely done!

I really liked the complex diplomacy scene, Trixie has definitely gotten a lot better about self-control. Interesting that in this universe a Knighthood outranks a Lordship in protocol. On earth I believe it is the opposite. Is that because a Lordship is usually hereditary, while a Knighthood is awarded for deeds? Either way, I love how Trixie makes Krystal realize he is going to piss off his boss if he doesn't work with her.

5733843
No, on Earth it's the same. It goes:

Gentry: These ranks are not hereditary.
Lord/Lady
Knight/Dame

Nobility: These ranks are hereditary
Baronet/Baronetess
Baron/Baroness
Viscount/Viscountess
Count/Countess
Marquess/Marchioness
Duke/Duchess
Viceroy/Vicereine

Royalty: These ranks are hereditary, and represent sovereign rulers of their own nations
Prince/Princess
Grand Duke/Grand Duchess
Archduke/Archduchess
King/Queen
Emperor/Empress

The only change for the Lunaverse is that Prince/Princess is ranked above Grand Duke/Grand Duchess, and that in Equestria Archduke/Archduchess is rank of nobility just below Viceroy/Vicereine rather than a rank of royalty (and Equestria does not itself have any Grand Dukes/Grand Duchesses, but they might exist in other lands and still occupy the same position)

5735215 Oh, that is awesome. I thought when you said "Lordship" you were referring to the category of Nobility in general. Thanks for the info!

Dang, <unnamed dude> is wheeling and dealing with Corona, and thinks he's going to betray her and come out ahead in the bargain? There really should be a rule #1 Never Screw with a Mad God posted somewhere.

Neat sounding city.

I really hope this Ohar guy is trustworthy, and that if he is it doesn't result in something unfortunate happening to him.

I think I'm going to enjoy this one. Intrigue and politics, plus Trixie, equals fun in my book. Zaldia sounds like an awesome place, once you get over the secret police thing. At least visually it sounds pretty stunning. Its the kind of place I'd expect to see airships flying around, if the tech was common enough for it.

5735298
When do you think can update the story?

6216038
Soon, I think. I made some progress in chapter 2 today, though with regards to the Lunaverse my current project is The Great Dragon Coronation, as well as Treasure Hunt.

JMP

Wow...it's been 8 months since this last updated, and not only is this story still great, you somehow managed to write a chapter with the exact amount of words as the previous one. How did you manage that....?

In any case, will this story update a bit more frequently than twice a year? I really like the Lunaverse and it was such a pleasant surprise to see that this updated.

6641545
Wow, I didn't even notice on the word count thing...I will try to update things more often. I've sort of been in a...let's call it a cool-down from my previous job, which I despised. But I'm in a new one now, getting paid a little more but also getting much-better-positioned hours. So hopefully things will start proceeding again.

6641587 6641545

Actually, the count is 6,301 to 6,031.

Same numbers used, but not the same number.

JMP

6641666 Really? Damn, would have been amazing if what I thought was actually the case. Still neat though

Another enjoyable chapter. Well done.:pinkiehappy::derpytongue2::moustache:

Is it just coincidence that the music sounds like it's very much like this?

the many unicorns using their magical talents to set off small firework spells

The equivalent of holding up lighters at a concert?

Ah, good to see this continuing, and happy to hear your new job is treating you better than the old one.

Always pleasant when the authorities are actually represented by sensible individuals so Trixie doesn't have to keep trying to explain why a simple gift isn't a bribe, especially when no conditions are given to its offering.

I enjoyed the details put into the concert section, and it was easy to imagine the music interlacing with the scenes of Kindle stealing the artifacts. I hope we get some detail on what this artifacts are. They sound interesting enough if the combination of these twelve items in the right (or wrong) hooves can be considered a counter to the event of an alicorn participating physically in a war.

All ponies are equal, but some ponies are more equal than others.

Well that could have went better... those guys are pretty creepy. And of course there's some other type of creepy tomfoolery going on with that green glow...

I wonder if Equestria has any spies it could trade with Zaldia.

Some interesting Real Politick with the relationship between the two countries there.

Although I can't help think they were fooled a little to easily by the invisibility spell it being Trixie's known speciality and all given how well informed they seem to be. Interesting to think what courtiers, or even Ponyville citizens might be in the pay of Zaldia.

I'm also happy to see Raindrops being a lightweight becoming canon :pinkiehappy:

Great. The Obsidian Order just showed up. Loverly.

The Zaldians sailed to Shouma a century back and managed to negotiate with the Emperor at the time. They leased a small town called Ti Zhen from the Empire, and they’ve had nearly exclusive access to goods from Shouma ever since then. That gave them the idea to get real big into the trade business.

Allegory for Hong Kong?

6804259 I think more like a reference to how the Portuguese and Dutch were the only ones to trade with Japan.

6804982 6804259
A little of both, actually.

6803907
Still haven't watched all that much of DS9...I just find it hard to get through since I watched Babylon 5 first. I have a theory that your enjoyment of one or the other depends on which you've seen first - the two are similar enough, at least in broad strokes, that the second will just feel like a retread of the first.

I just don't really find any of the main characters that interesting, either. Except Garak and Quark. I did like Jadzia, until the one where she gets to play Klingon with all of the benefits and none of the drawbacks. After that I was just disappointed.

6803796

Although I can't help think they were fooled a little to easily by the invisibility spell it being Trixie's known speciality and all given how well informed they seem to be.

Well, that's probably why Trixie built up the idea that she could teleport through their barrier so much. Plus she has practice with immediately replacing a dispelled spell, back in Tambelon.

6803441
I get the feeling that the Zaldians would be utterly convinced that any traded-back spies would have been flipped by Equestria and are just an Equestrian attempt to plant a mole.

6805021 I bet Zaldia is a terrible place to be a goat... you'd be picked at the scapegoat everytime something went wrong...

Also I get the feeling the officer who saw Trixie isn't in on the vast conspiracy... I hope he'll show up later in good health. He was a nice guy and I'd hate for him to have gotten dissapear'd by Zati.

You know for a bunch of paranoids know-it-all who think they got it all figured out they didn't really think it through that much... I mean why the heck would Equestri risque two of their Elements of Harmony on a HEIST?! And I doubt Luna would actually accept that Lyra and Trixie just vanished from the face of the planet while in Zaldia...and considering they lost their precious Platinum Armory it's not a good time to piss her off. If Luna was truly about to invade you'd think she'd do it as soon as the armory was gone...

Also why did they arrest Trixie and Lyra right away?! Wouldn't it have been more prudent to observe them from afar to see if they could lead to co-conspirator or even the loot? (Are Handy Haversac and Bags of Holding even a thing? How would one get the whole Armory out of the country with just two pairs of hooves?).

Heck, wait until they split, grab one of them and let the other panic so they make mistakes! That's how you should play this if your a smart counter-intelligence agency.

Zaldia really seems to be playing with fire here. Do they really expect Princess Luna to not do something when the pair don't show back up in Equestria when they're supposed to?

6805269

She'll do nothing if she doesn't want Zaldia going to war against Equestria.

They made it clear they give absolutely no fucks about the War Of Sun And Moon, so Luna would be fucked if that happened.

6805293

But they'd be just as screwed against Corona without the Elements of Harmony.

If Zaldia really did try to hang onto Trixie and Lyra long term, they'd be in a situation where they'd effectively have Luna in a no win situation. She would have to directly intervene to get them back, or face not having her main weapon against Corona.

I feel that it's a loosing move to effectively back an alicorn into a corner.

6805325

My boy, all of Equos, not just Cissanthema, would be fucked if either one decided to disregard politics.

6805334

Zaldia already did that. Seriously. The guy admitted to Trixie that he arrested her and Lyra "in clear violation of whatever treaty you're about to cite" and that they took them to a place where Luna apparently can't find them. They know full well that they violated a treaty with Equestria and are disregarding politics.

They just don't care.

6805408
Well, those two Guarsai don't care. Undoubtedly there are other Guarsai who are dealing with the broader situation.

6805408 And they're going to pay the price for it after Celestia comes to her senses. Just having someone who can be a walking H-bomb on staff is great for diplomacy. Just ask the Crystal Empire.

¡Changelings!

6805465 I agree. It's gotta be changelings.

6805436

I gotta ask then. How concerned are they about the broader situation?

6806466

And all of a sudden, that conversation just became hilarious in my own mind.

"....They did WHAT?!"

And so the plot thickens. Also, damn feed not updating properly and making me miss that a new chapter was up until now. Now for some more specific commentary.

“I can’t wait to tell Princess Luna about it. I know that she knew what Zati would be like. Probably thought of this as a kind of test. And I passed!”

Heheh... Whether it's Trixie or Twilight, I guess there are just some things that are universal about being the apprentice to an alicorn princess.

“Tastes good, but it couldn’t give a buzz to Raindrops.”

I forget, had we previously established Raindrops was a lightweight? Either way I like it. Makes for yet another good contrast with her otherwise tough girl exterior.

The Guarsai’s eyes narrowed. “On the authority of the King, I am placing you both under arrest for acts of espionage against the Kingdom of Zaldia.”

I'm not surprised the story would take this turn. I do, however, wonder how deep this conspiracy runs and if this guy is in on it or just another unfortunate patsy? For that matter I wonder if Corona's sol objective in robing the armory was just to acquire weapons to use against her sister. Certainly it's also convent to be able to neutralize two of the Elements of Harmony, and by extension render the remaining four useless. I'm not sure if she'd also be malicious enough to be intentionally inciting the Zaldians to war (to much risk of innocent ponies getting hurt in the crossfire), however, Kindle might just be devious enough to have planed for things to work out that way.

On a side note, if I were Luna and was sending two of my most important resources into a place like Zalida, I'd have done more than just coach Trixie on what treaties to site if/when someone tried to arrest them on trumped up charges. I'd also have sent Shadowbolts to keep an eye on them, just in case worse comes to worse. Now whether or not those agent would be equipped to affect a covert rescue, maybe or maybe not, but at the very least I'd think they could get word back to Luna. Although, if they're sufficiently resourceful and lucky protangist, Trixie and Lyra might just be able to wrap everything up her before Luna has time to intervene -- AKA, carry on in whatever direction you already had planed or think best.

And that Luna was using it as justification to attack another nation? How paranoid were the Zaldians? “That’s insane,”

Pretty much. Maybe they don't much care Luna, but better the devil you know, and Without the Elements of Harmony to keep her in check Corona is nearly unstoppable. Of course without being able to take her sister by surprise, Corona probably can't just curb-stomp Luna again either. Maybe the Zaldians are just hoping that with the stalemate broken the alicorns will be forced into open war against each other, and that maybe Zaldia can some how take the advantage before either can reestablish a consolidated power base.

You know that thing that Sparkle’s really really good at but I’m terrible at?”

When I first read this, I mistakenly read that as "Sparkler". Left me rather confused at what Trixie could possibly have been driving at before the Guarsai officer clarified it was actually Twilight rather than Dinky's half-sister. Tangentially, after just now typing it out , I also realize I've been mistakenly reading the name of the Zaldian security as "Gurasai".

Oh, and you should usually put a comma between repeated words like, "really, really"

Lyra couldn’t see through Trixie’s invisibility spell, so she instead simply had a few stray hairs of Trixie’s tale in her mouth to guide her.

You know, as much as this inconvenience comes up, I almost feel like maybe Trixie should start working on a variant spell so that when she makes a group invisible that the whole group can still see each other. Unless of course you want to keep that impossible for the sake of the inconvenience being a balancing limitation.


6805144

And I doubt Luna would actually accept that Lyra and Trixie just vanished from the face of the planet while in Zaldia...and considering they lost their precious Platinum Armory it's not a good time to piss her off. If Luna was truly about to invade you'd think she'd do it as soon as the armory was gone...

I wonder if their claims that Luna would never find out was more just for intimidation purposes. Under the presumption that Trixie is the thief, they might likewise be presuming the relics are likewise somewhere in the city. They don't need to lie about having captured Luna's "spies" just bluff that they managed to retrieve the stolen armory in the process. It's not a long term solution, but right now the Zaldian's are probably scared out of there minds that an invasion is eminent and so are just buying time to try and get their defenses back in place.

6811733 Yeah I would have hoped there'd be some Shadowbolts keeping an eye on my Elements. Heck, I bet the Zaldian spies in Equestria are also watched by Shadowbolts, but only so they can be fed convenient information, since Equestri isn't actually planning to invade Zaldia they can just keep them busy with useless trivia.

I also wonder if Guarsai officers we saw are all in on it, if they have any other clues or if they just picked up the Equestrians out of reflex? Are they arresting the entire Embassy too? Maybe ransacing the building because it's probably the only place big enough to hold the Armory... and really how do they figure Trixie and Lyra were supposed to get a couple cubic metres of magical artifact (can't those thing be traced if they're that powerful?!) pass the border? Though I suppose realistically you justn eed to keep it out of the hooves of the military while you invade, not actually give it to your side...


I really like this idea. I've always had a taste for spy thrillers and politics drama.

One thing I'm a little skeptical about is the Zaldian's threat of torture. I would expect someone as experienced with espionage as the Zaldians to know that using torture is notoriously chancy without some way to tell if your victim is lying. (And if they had that, they'd certainly be using it, and they'd already know that Trixie is innocent.)

Unless, of course, the Guarsai holding them are actually part of the rogue faction that stole the Armory in the first place, and the whole point of this was to be an act of war against Equestria, to get Luna into a fight while Corona gets ready for her sucker punch.

And so the plot, or conspiracy thickens.

Another very enjoyable chapter. Great job.:pinkiehappy::derpytongue2::moustache:

:trixieshiftright: "Lyra!"
"What?"
:trixieshiftleft: "Lyra!"
"What?"
:trixieshiftright: "Lyra!"
"What!?"
:trixieshiftleft: "Head for the fireplace!"

The plot thickens. If you know what I mean... :trollestia:

But anyway this is interesting... seems like not everybody is aware of the theft... of course they probably don't want it to be known by anyone.

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