• Member Since 15th Sep, 2011
  • offline last seen October 4th

Bookish Delight


I've moved on from Fimfiction. New works on AO3!

T

This story is a sequel to Matters of Principle


For as far back as she can remember, Vice Principal Luna has had no choice but to stand by and watch her well-meaning sister get in all sorts of trouble. Now, with supernatural threats appearing from another world, Luna finds herself losing faith in her ability to make any real difference in her students' lives, or Celestia's.

Perhaps a visit to that other world will provide some perspective.

Edits: nanashi_jones

Chapters (5)
Comments ( 71 )

"Ah, Sunset Shimmer. Wait for a moment, please." Vice-Principal Luna approached with a brisk stride, most probably a habit she had gained from attempting to keep up with her longer-legged sister. She withdrew a dark fountain pen from her pocket and uncapped it while favoring Sunset with a most curious expression. "Your book, please."

"My book?" said Sunset, momentarily at a loss for words until reality crashed in on her. "Oh! That book! Just a second." She scrambled to pull the magical diary out of her backpack while listening with half her attention for the wail of police sirens or explosions from whatever horrible monster was attacking Canterlot High now.

At least it's not me this time.

"Here you go, Princ-- I mean, Vice-Principal." She handed over the book, watched as Luna wrote a few words, then handed the book back.

"Thank you, Sunset Shimmer. That will be all. Please hurry so you are not late to class because of my... whim."

Sunset watched as Luna strode away, then once she was out of eyesight, flipped open the book to see what message of world-shattering importance she had sent to Princess Twilight Sparkle. "Huh," said Sunset after a few moments. "I guess it must mean something in context."

Dear Princess Twilight Sparkle,
Please tell Princess Luna that I still have not received the recipe she promised. Don't make me travel there and pick it up in person.
Sincerely,
Vice-Principal Luna

Omg that was so sweet loved it

Well, we're back to Northstar rearing its insidious head.

Majin Syeekoh
Moderator

You’re the second person today to Gray Bar into the feature box.

I hope you’re proud of yourself.:pinkiehappy:

8133748

Only the Pure Box, though.

Full pride will be attained once my warm fuzzies infiltrate the Box of Filth.

Majin Syeekoh
Moderator

8133805 …I’d say the Pure Box is pretty filthy right now imo.:trollestia:

But I understand the difference. The Box of Filth is where all the people too “adult” to turn on their filters hang out.

8133812

>> Bookish Delight …I’d say the Pure Box is pretty filthy right now imo.:trollestia:

I had honestly considered putting scare quotes around "Pure Box" in my original reply, but I thought you'd get the joke regardless laziness prevailed. :3

Majin Syeekoh
Moderator

8133821 I can get behind a show of laziness. :yay:

"And that one such person has already surfaced."

....hm. For the life of me, I can't remember who this would be...

Oh my goodness, a northstar story! Yes! <3

I can't help but be utterly captivated by this setting. And I cannot wait to hear more about Sparklebutt.

8133887 8133711

Yup.
I can only apologize for being so late with this. This was supposed to go up Christmas 2015. :twilightsheepish:

Good story, but I felt that it is part of some continuity. If so, what were the earlier stories?

8133921

You surmise correctly.

I left a link at the end of the fic, but here, go nuts.

8133918 hmm, you are forgiven.
if you write that eqg AppleDash we talked about in a blog :trixieshiftright:

Always happy to see more of this setting. This was an especially nice addition to it. I get the feeling that Princess Luna might be needed to console her other other sister as well. That or drag Sunbutt through the mirror so she and her analogue can have a face-to-face heart-to-heart.

But yeah, some great Luna moments from ape and horse alike, along with some greater clarity on the inciting incident that brought the sisters to Canterlot High. Thank you for this.

8133707 Thank you. I love me too. :pinkiehappy:

8133867
Same. I am drawing a total blank here.

I really enjoyed this fic! I especially enjoyed both Lunas characterizations. Also the overarching Northstar plot continues and I'm still very intrigued.

There's a bookshelf's worth of stories that could be written about the principal sisters and how they differ from and react to their immortal counterparts. This helps fill the void a little bit. <3

You know, this is probably the story I wanted you to write. I've always preferred your Principal Celestia and her connection with Princess Celestia to the EG version, and my Luna owed a lot to your Celestia. But I did want to see more of your Celestia and your take on Luna. Thank you!

Ah, good timing--I needed a feel-good story right about now. Welcome back, Bookish. :pinkiehappy:

Oooo. I don't know what the Northstar continuity is (yet :rainbowdetermined2:) but I am always down for some good EQG from Bookish. :pinkiehappy:

8133867
8134466

If it weren't for time discrepancies, I would say Tirek, Discord, or Sombra. But they were all around 1,000 years ago so that's unlikely. And Human-Sombra seems the most likely to lead Northstar, since, well, you know, Crystal Empire, Frozen North, seemingly evil megacorp (Unless we're dealing with a Dark Twilight).

And given this is presumably, timeline-wise, pre-Starlight-Glimmer (Though not conclusively, since EQG3 clearly occurs during the S5 finale), there's one big villain left.

And a human who can shapeshift and who can spawn her own horde of minions, well - that would be quite the threat.

Speculation, of course, but it's the one remaining thread in-canon.

8134347 Narcissist! :rainbowwild:

This was a fun story and ahhh. Stop intriguing me with this universe darnit! Too many horse words alreeeeady!

8134797
8134466
8133867
I'm nearly certain that Northstar is being run/controlled by Twilight Sparkle .

8134956 I do believe the Logo for the corp is Twilight's cutie mark, so yeah, that's pretty obvious.

8134960
*shrug* I thought so too, but the other two seemed legitimately confused and your post was ambiguous.

8134985
Well, this is actually the first I can remember hearing about a Northstar Continuity. That is what threw me. Though I would presume that when I read the Celestia story this is a sequel to, I would have seen it then and I have simply forgotten for some reason. :applejackconfused:

EDIT: So apparently I have read all the main stories but one, and never picked up on the whole overarching continuity. Or forgot each time.
I'M SO SMRT :facehoof:

Guess that means it is time for a re-read. :twilightsheepish:

Good story, the only awkward thing is the quote from Rainbow Dash. I use a dark background and it doesn't change like the other text. Is there a reason its changed by something that isn't bold or italics.

Things could have gone very badly and did in so many worlds. Dreams, and their ability to show 'what if...?' are, of course, the realm of Princess Luna Stardancer

Feeling helpless and useless is the greatest injustice someone who cares can experience.

No being can bear their burdens alone; that's the thing that Luna can do for her sister.

8134956 Well, of course, the icon implies such, and I did note that as a possibility! The timeline just seems a bit odd then but since it's AU from what I can tell that's entirely plausible!

I shall be reading this, after being drawn by the very neat image of EQG Luna. She just looks neat.

I am now becoming intrigued with this universe.

8134333 As of refreshing my FimFiction homepage five seconds ago, this story is now at the top of the featured box. Don't know how long it's been sitting there though.

Just goes to show that while the "Smut may Sell", Quality trumps Quantity every time. Keep up the good work. (and by the Moon Please don't make us wait another two years for the next Northstar story...?):fluttershysad:

8135895

Well, the solution now is to just make Quality Smut.

(srsly this was planned as a 2015 fic stuff happened tho ;_;)

I'm still waiting for the boss battle, you know.

Yay, the Lunas have been doubled!

Yay, sequel! I remember reading the original some time ago and liking it a lot. Its nice to see fics do something with the Principals. Look on the bright side, Vice Principal Luna, at least your own family arguments never escalated into a thousand year banishment.

Another great story of human and pony, though I really hope someday you get to the sort of "main plot" both fics have been hinting at. The flashbacks here have changed my theories a bit. So Sunset will eventually have to take on human Twilight, but sounds like there was some sort of accident, and that's what broke Principal Celestia and Twilight apart, and leaving Twilight in a possible coma? Or whatever went wrong drastically altered her personality too. Hope to see this continued someday.

There are a lot of running themes in your work, all of which I love and several of which show up in this very story. But I think the one that resonates the most for me here, especially for how it reflects back on the show, is about consequences. The way the effects of events can echo out onward well past their point of origin. This might seem hard to believe, but there is a very real level on which that sort of thing is part of what drew me into FiM to begin with. It seriously blew my mind that “My Little Pony”, a franchise that has never had an especially coherent sense of continuity, was producing episodes that showed a genuine sense of progression for its characters, a feeling that these experiences actually didn’t just up and vanish just because the episode ended. Even if the events weren’t explicitly referenced, their impact was still felt. And so too here do we get to explore the full impact, the depth of meaning, behind the experiences of both our Lunas.

This IS a Bookish ‘fic, though, so that means the primary mode of expression for that idea comes by way of warm, well-written character interplay. And, as is always the case when you play with EqG’s interdimensional relationship to FiM, the way in which you compare and contrast the two characters through their interactions and respective voices is impeccable (even at the level of prose; I appreciate the simplicity of “Princess Luna”/”Luna” for how the narration refers to the two characters, a clean, easily-readable distinction that also ever-so-slightly reminds the reader who the viewpoint character ultimately is here). There is overlap, to be sure, but even when one removes the layer of Princess Luna’s more regal speaking patterns and word-choice (another well-played technical touch to help keep the character visually distinct in the text), the compare-and-contrast is fascinating for how much it shows us about both character and how they view both themselves and each other. The unifying threads of guilt and introspection, mixed with the distinctive approaches to introspection and approach they both take, the differences in perspective and how that influences them (I really do appreciate how much their opinions come off, to me at least, like the ground view VS. the aerial view of the same basic ideas) to say nothing of the actual gulf of power between them (though you play with THAT notion beautifully too, but we’ll get to that)…these two are kindred; siblings, as the story itself posits. But they are also distinct individuals, and that dynamic provides the story not only a rich, character-based core, but it also just flat-out proves immensely satisfying to absorb, experience, and grow to understand.

It is also, as it always is with your stories, the ideal way to really dig into those core themes, in particular that sense of consequence, of measuring the full impact one’s actions have or do not have on oneself and others. I especially appreciate how many different layers you lay that theme out on, too; especially given my own feelings about it, the choice to use Luna’s lingering frustration at having been manipulated by the Dazzlings* as the springboard to launch into her broader feelings in relation to the school and to her sister is very effective, especially because it keys us into exactly the right mode of thinking right from the start: to those of us who watched “Rainbow Rocks”, we might never have stopped to consider what was, in that movie, a plot point designed more to move the story along than to progress any of the characters having had any lasting, lingering effects. But by showing us it very much did, you make it clear to the reader upfront that, in fact, these events, ALL events, have genuine meaning to the people involved with them that extends beyond just what we see in the moment. And that clever layering, the way in which we keep poking at the varying facets of Luna’s feelings about her power, or lack thereof, continues to expand as the story continues; the way we gradually move from the sirens, to the school, to Celestia, to, ultimately, Luna herself, is superbly paced, and perfectly structured; each element feeds into the other, allowing them all to feel important but also making clear that the true core of all this lies in Luna’s feelings. Of guilt, of inadequacy, of powerlessness. It’s really, REALLY powerful, all the more so because you then bring it right back to that connection, that distinction of perspective, shared between Luna and Princess Luna. Indeed, I really appreciate the subtle way you allow Luna’s own problems to reflect back on Princess Luna, who in turn recognizes so much of her own struggle in them even as those exact situations (save, naturally, for one) are not the ones she’s known. That bond, that ability for Princess Luna to offer a perspective Luna has not yet considered because she knows Luna but has had experiences of her own that allow her a unique insight into how Luna can help herself, is so well expressed, from the way you build the dynamic smoothly but naturally to how you allow it to finally manifest in a truly great moment that combines it with that great “oh, of COURSE!” moment you’re so great at (seriously, why HAVEN’T the Principals gotten a chance to Pony Up? It’d be great!) for maximum impact. And just to tie it all up, you show again the consequences of Luna and Rainbow’s meeting back in “You’ve Got To Fight” as the final spark that helps Luna to fully understand.

And that’s on top of the world-building and plot development you oh-so-cleverly sneak in and/or integrate into the mix. This “Northstar” business has my interest in the extreme by now, as it’s been a recurring presence in almost ALL of your big EqG ‘fics and each time we grow to understand its exact role in the EqG world a little bit more. Plus, given the fairly naked connection between it and a certain Science-focused student, I’m very intrigued to see how or if you’ll attempt to connect it to EqG canon, especially because I can’t help but wonder if there’s one big swerve still to come on that front. Even more than that, though, is what you do with Principal Celestia. As I’ve said before, yours is far and away my favorite Celestia to read on this whole site, and the image you present of her here is truly fascinating for its many facets; not just a tragic backstory, but a larger history, a greater sense of a fuller person who has grown and changed, not just into the Celestia we know now but into the Celestia we see in Luna’s flashbacks. It’s a portrait all too fitting for this story, built as it is upon layers and layers of consequences all building up to that one, final, breaking moment…and then unfolding even further into where Celestia now stands.

I do admit, there are some technical things that didn’t quite click for me. In particular, I felt the choice to play coy about how much of Luna’s experience was a dream or else genuinely being teleported into Equestria, or some combination of both, didn’t really add much to the story; it just sort of left me confused on what exact perspective we were supposed to have on where the two Lunas were and how they’d gotten there. Likewise, I think some of the finagling of exposition as to how Princess Luna chose to intervene felt a bit inorganic; it made sense enough, but I don’t quite know that it ever came off as anything but info-dumping, and, coming as it did in the midst of such an emotional journey, it threw me a little bit to have to work through it.

Nevertheless, “Matters of Vice” touches on all the things I love most about your work. The keen characterization, the believable, earned emotion, the strong, thematic and emotional throughlines, and most of all, a potent reminder of what about this whole FiM biz I loved so much in the first place.

* Which does raise a question I found myself with; Luna references having had her mind controlled by magic twice. I have to assume the other incident is Sunset Shimmer using the Element of Magic, but I can’t for the life of me recall the Principals getting hit with that whammy; am I missing/forgetting something?

Okay, now I am VERY curious as to where all of this will go next!!

Just to check, are there other stories in this series besides the direct prequel?

8134797 I've clearly missed the beginning of a series here, in which other stories have we seen Northstar?

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