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Wanderer D


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E

Sometimes ruling a kingdom means that you have to get your hooves dirty. When Blueblood starts stirring the nobles to disrupt Celestia's reign, she has to take a step in.

Reading by Scribbler Productions: Deceit

Chapters (1)
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Comments ( 150 )
n

scarifying should be sacrificing

Wanderer D
Moderator

593845 Got it, thanks! (Where did scarifying come from?! :derpytongue2:)

who knows? Either way, awesome story man!

My my. That was quite devious. I almost believed it, too! Good job on this. :)

Clever.... It's a clever twist, but I do not like this story.

The part that really rubs me wrong is Celestia claiming to be (along with Luna), effectively, a goddess who has been around since the beginning of time and is responsible for, basically, everything. I've never liked that interpretation -- I find it depressing, really.

Also, we're left with a big question mark of how Hidden Tale came to be serving Celestia.

Wanderer D
Moderator

594024 That's what she claims but, after what happened, can you really trust her? :trollestia:

Duuude. :trollestia: <---- Nice. But Celestia totally earned that for this one. :scootangel:

Oh, and peaked should be piqued.

Scaaaaaaary. Still, in a situation like that, a ruler has to be harsh. Nice one. :eeyup:

This is the Celestia I can picture. A manipulator, a schemer and a ruthless but loving ruler.

Excellent one-shot Wanderer D! As others, curious about the backstory of that Changeling and how he ended up serving Celestia.

And queue Sweetie Belle...

Wow, you've working on a Celestia that is several magnitudes more ruthless than what we've seen in canon, on the other hoof, I suspect that this version is one that would be quite a bit closer to what a real ruler would need to be in order to keep her realm secure and unfractured. I was a bit surprised by Hidden Tale, but on reflection it not only makes sense, I shouldn't be surprised that there would be Changeling in her service. It's got to be a sweet deal for the changeling, protection, an ability to feed without serious fear of discovery, and no need to share its gathered food with the rest of it's swarm.:moustache:
\

Whoah. Layers and layers of deception, here!

Loved the story. :trollestia:

n

593887
Bad spellcheck probably. Word once told me that together wasn't a word.

I wonder if noone else caught the vague implication that perhaps Chrysalis == Celestia, by the same means that were demonstrated in this story; notably a) Hidden Tales' insistence on calling her 'Queen', and b) She's well liked enough that feeding on her subjects' love of her, taken collectively would have a negligible effect on them. ie. In her position, it's possible to be both a love parasite and benevolent in overall effect on Equestria.

594060

If she's lying about that, it's probably even more depressing than if it was true. :applecry:

595432 Took the words right outta my brain. Either that or it's a residual habit from its past loyalty to Chrysalis, just no way to know for sure! Plus it's pretty hard to pin down canon for characters about whom so little is known, so I don't find it too difficult to believe that Celestia might behave this way. Very awesome, well written, as usual, and a very interesting story. Perhaps there might be more? :pinkiehappy: In any case, thanks for writing this, I really enjoyed it! Please keep writing, I'll keep reading!

595432

Celestia as a changeling would really put a sinister twist on things.

> “I will do anything to protect Equestria and my ponies. Anything.”

...because they're my gravy train.

I think more Hidden Tale worships Celestia and 'feeds' off that adoration. I expect this Celestia is the genuine article though, Chrysallis cared for her people, which by nature would be adverse to ponies.

:rainbowhuh:
So wait...
This was an entire conspiracy to reassure loyalty to the Princess?
And BlueBlood was the sacrifice?
That requires some deep conspiracy.
:pinkiecrazy:
Very good work!

Excellent story. :rainbowdetermined2:

594060
Unless she lied to Luna it's not really a question.

Luna chuckled. “I still do not understand why you let them feel they have any choice in the matter. We both know, and surely they must as well, that without us, the world would be destroyed. There would be no seasons, or cooling nights. Surely, sister, they can see this.”

Not at all ambiguous.

Wanderer D
Moderator

596527 Spoilsport :rainbowwild:

Brutal... But necessary. A fascinating read, you got yourself a new follower.

Woah! I followed you for the delightfully funny blog posts you put out on the front page every now and again, but this story was awesome. Have some mustaches. :moustache::moustache::moustache::moustache::moustache:

Maybe it's the exhaustion talking but what the hell just happened? Ok, Hidden Tale was a changeling, but was Celestia one too? Was that why he couldn't stop saying Queen? But surely Luna would have seen some difference so does that make Luna a changeling too? Ugh my head hurts. :applecry:

Plenty of clues and clarity of writing here. I'm not sure why anyone is confused by this:

Celestia is the real deal. She'd strongly prefer a peaceful solution, but has judged Blueblood to be beyond redemption. Even with his plan foiled, he'd just try again.

Blueblood is the real deal. You know, a douche.

Hidden Tale is a Changeling whose loyalty has been to Celestia, rather than to Chrysalis, for many years now. Thus his self-recrimination about his failing to stop the invasion; he's not been a part of the Swarm for a good while. I'd imagine that receiving affection and appreciation from an immortal alicorn is probably pretty good stuff, and he doesn't even have to lie to her about who and what he is.

594024

Different stokes for different people.
I, personally, enjoy 'Celestia the Goddess' stories very much.

595432

I kind of like this interpretation. Celestia keeps Equestria as much of a utopia as possible, to absorb their love for her.

Here is another way to look at the story. If Celestia just blasts Blueblood into plasma then she
validates whatever line he has been spouting, true or not. If he is revealed as an outsider, invader,
changeling, or whatever, then the others see her as their protector, blame him for all their errors, beg
forgiveness. Which she grants, thus showing mercy. No martyr, no revolution, and only one death.

It was mainly for the benefit of one creature that Celestia did what she did- and that is herself.

If she needs to resort to murder and lies to keep her power she has passed the point where she should have it.

She's way to eager to do this, way to pleased, to convey much in the form of moral greatness. She's a corrupt murderer, nothing more, nothing less. What she did was not for the greater good, but merely her own. Will she not raise the sun if her ponies rebel against her rule and let them all die? She doesn't need to rule over them just to raise the sun every day. But she wants to rule, so anything threatening her reign will die, quietly and alone, hushed up and hidden, so that Celestia's reputation goes untarnished. She could raise the sun from anywhere in the world, instead she sits in the middle of the kingdom of Equestria and eats her own.

She's a murderous tyrant, and justice would demand her deeds be made public. If only to enable the ponies to make their own choice.

Please note though that I don't mean you need to change your story- it depicts unjust actions with no known consequences, and is all the more powerful for it.

this seriously needs a sequel

610951 :facehoof:

So, your assertion can be boiled down to a simple analogy. If a child is trying to light matches, and refuses to stop when told to, threatened with the withdrawal of support (not getting dessert), or potential for a repercussion of their action (time out), any parent that steps in and stops the behavior then applies a form of corporal punishment (for the sake of constancy a spanking) has no right to be a parent. :ajbemused:

It is a fundamental tenant of Behavioral Psychology that the best way to immediately stop a behavior is punishment, as it leads to the immediate cessation of the action and acts as an incentive to avoid the behavior in the future. If you treat a society as a single organism (A pattern of thinking that all governments, sciences, and philosophies throughout history have done) the public degradation of Blueblood makes perfect sense. It is merely the price of stopping a massive harm from befalling the being that is Equestria. :moustache:

Additionally, the events of the show itself, Season two in particular, demonstrate that there are things out there that ponies can't deal with. Without Celestia's royal guard, Canterlot would have been over-run by changelings with no resistance. Imagine if it was Appleloosa that they targeted instead. No magic shield, no Elements to protect it, and a heavily armed (all be it with baked goods) populous. Furthermore, ponies can't deal with dragons (Fluttershy included, as she would have just run in fear without the friends that Celestia assigned to the mission) and can't even deal with their own neurotic overpowered unicorns. :twilightoops:

Celestia is not only doing the right thing for society, as long as you acknowledge the validity of these arguments in some way, but she is a necessary force in the running of a nearly utopian society. :pinkiehappy:

720994

You do realise how much your analogy is riddled with holes?:facehoof:

Punishment, in this case, means murdering the child and hiding the body. You might be fine with that, but I'm not.

Celestia did not defeat the Changelings. Shining Armor and Cadence did. Celestia was too busy hanging in her slime cocoon after she got stomped. If anything, that shows Equestria should not rely on that princess. Nightmare Moon was defeated by mortals. Discord was defeated by mortals. Chrysalis was defeated by (at least one) mortal. The Princess has yet to actually do anything about dragons, or hydras, or timberwolves, or cockatrices, or what-have-you.

Lastly, if you think quietly, yet gleefully murdering any opposition while not letting your own people in on how far you're willing to go in order to preserve your political power is perfectly okay... Then I think you and I will not find common ground.

It wasn't an execution. It was cowardly murder, unjust, disgusting.

723071 :pinkiesick:

You seem to miss understand the analogy, or you just prefer to blow your phrasing out of proportion to make your point. To use another analogy, like a child screaming a mundane statement to get attention. In response, I am going to address your counterpoints one at a time.:twilightsmile:

In the analogy, the child represents all of pony society, not an individual. Killing the child would be killing all of Equestria, not a single pony, which I believe we can both agree did not happen in the story. :eeyup:

I never claimed Celestia defeated anyone, only that her forces, the royal guard, uncovered the existence of a foreign invasion force, took steps to prevent it, and were the only thing standing between the Changling swarm and a complete takeover of the city. The mortal that Celestia trained and prepared for the return of her corrupted sister was the unifying force behind the victor of the mane 6. Discord was defeated by his own hubris, and a dash of indirect support from Celestia. True, she was not the deciding factor in the fight against chrysalis, but then again deus ex machina played a huge roll in that one. Finally, Celestia has sent out the elements to deal with the major threats that have arisen, delegating the work to those she trusts and feels are qualified as opposed to attempting to do everything herself. These actions and policies point to her being a qualified, if not only average, ruler.:twistnerd:

Lastly, there is the issue of your attribution of malicious intent where there is not necessarily any. Any satisfaction she got out of her action regarding Blueblood could have been just a show for her audience, pleasure at not having to kill an entire garden party, or relief that a civil war was not on it's way. Additionally, the decision to stop the fledgling revolution was as much one too prevent a bloody war as it was a measure to retain her own power. Such a thing as a self-serving greater-good can exist.:raritywink:

As for a closing remark, I will pose a simple ethical question: You are trapped in a room with 300 strangers, and in three days you will need at least 200 people to open the way out and get back home. Everyone is assigned a color which divides them into three groups, Red, Yellow, and Blue. Two groups, red (to which you belong) and blue will fight each other to the death in one day unless you can kill one person on the other team before then. Yellow has the option of helping either side, or simply standing by and watching. To ensure that the most possible people leave the room, what is the most morally responsible decision to make? :fluttershysad:

It is a simple fact that every nation in history, even the "ideal" ones, had dissenters and those hungry for power, regardless of how prosperous the nation was as a whole. Time and again, each society, no matter how widespread the benefits are, will have one marginalized group try to seize power, which would inevitably cause widespread chaos, undoing years or possibly decades of work, and causing massive loss of life.

It is in this case that a government, for the good of its people, must remove those who are trying to destabilize it, whether by exile, or the admittedly harsher, but far easier and more permanent solution of having them quietly killed. You don't have to like it, you certainly don't have to choose that option. But, there are those who will always attempt to do harm over a perceived wrong, even if they are stopped the first time.

Celestia did what she had to do in order to maintain peace in her kingdom. I do not think she was happy about Blueblood's fate, but it was necessary to have him discredited and killed, simply because doing it outright would only inspire greater dissent, and simply having him exiled would undoubtedly have him attempting to gather allies and take Equestria again, rather like the Shah in the Iranian Revolution. However, unlike the Shah, he would come in with an outside force, fighting many ponies loyal to their Princess. Loss of life would have been massive, and the damage to infrastructure and the displacement of civilians would have the same effect as the previously mentioned revolution.

In summary, I conclude that Celestia was in the right, having exhibited remorse and regret, but admirable determination to save her people from a deluded so-called revolutionary. I cannot condone a murder, but I can commend her handling of the situation, and her well-executed (no pun intended) plan.

Also, I bucking hate Blueblood, and enjoy stories where he encounters misfortune of any kind. Having him killed gives me the warm fuzzies.

724520

Unfortunately for you, I neither believe in corporeal punishment for children (which this would be in your analogy- like beating, or cutting), nor in "end justifies the means" arguments.

And I fail to see how calling murder what it is-murder- is blowing things out of proportion.

I would not want to live in a "utopia" that is founded on deceit and murder. Do you get me?

724955

Your last sentence shows why this story is well regarded by some, I think. People hate the character and want to see him suffer, by any means.

“Friends, allow me to assuage your fears. We will not allow Celestia to do as she pleases. She might be an alicorn, but that sense of entitlement that she possesses cannot be allowed to go unchecked. We shall remove her from the throne. Relics should not be active part of the modern world, after all.”

Wow. The sheer hypocrisy of that entire paragraph was utterly amazing, considering who was speaking (or at least who was being impersonated). They were just talking about how Filthy Rich was unworthy because he was 'new-rich' and how as long-standing noble houses, they should be allowed to run Equestria as they see fit. How dare the ruling monarch be more noble and fit to rule than they are! By their own definition even!

Hidden Tale, which is a pretty cool name on several levels by the way, is an awesome secret agent character. Someone Celestia can rely on to do the things that honestly need doing to keep a nation like Equestria together without having to compromise her image to the rest of the populace. Every nation has skeletons in their closets after all, even those who have all the right reasons.

Here, have my first review as a member of FiMfiction and five Rarities.

:raritystarry::raritystarry::raritystarry::raritystarry::raritystarry:

Wow... I... Just wow. You weren't kidding with that 'Dark' tag where you? O.O

725569

Then should the means justify the ends then? Should we all accept a bad ending just so you can pretend that you did the right thing?

I can't agree with that. If Celestia had let Blueblood live, and Bluebood then led an insurrection that would have led to the deaths of at least a few ponies, would that really be better?

I for one don't hate Bluebood. I cheered him on in The Best Night Ever and The Platinum Crown. But for better or worse, Celestia is the ruler of a state, and she has to make some very tough decisions.

Besides, can you name even one state, nation, or country which was founded or liberated without bloodshed?

729940

I'd argue the one here is a "bad ending". Consider this: If there weren't enough ponies dissatisfied with the status quo, Celestia wouldn't have had to lie to her own people about Blueblood's murder. She could've executed him in broad daylight. She didn't though, because he'd become a martyr upon his death- meaning he's got enough of a following that that would become a serious problem.

The mechanisms that created this dissatisfaction haven't vanished with him, however. There could only be a Blueblood because enough ponies support him, and they're going to find a different leader to throw their weight behind once they remember why they were unhappy with how things are.

>Besides, can you name even one state, nation, or country which was founded or liberated without bloodshed?
You forgot "lies and deception". Which is precisely the point- it's not so much that Celestia is killing her own according to her own whim (which is also the case), but that she keeps her people ignorant about it. She's afraid of the consequences of her actions, so she hushes them up, and she wouldn't need to do so if all her ponies thought she was acting justly, would she?

730008

Celestia lied to ponies who were lying to her in the first place. The nobles were holding an illegal, secret gathering to plan her dethronement; had they been honest, they should have breached the matter openly in court. It was treachery, plain and simple, and every country in the world should have had them executed.

Instead Celestia only executed the ringleader and forgave the rest. She even made sure that Blueblood would not be remembered as a traitor, but as a tragic victim of a changeling plot.

You're also reaching; there are plenty of reasons Celestia may want to keep Blueblood's circumstances out of the public eye. She might have wanted to keep his reputation pure, she might not have wanted the barbarism and wanton violence of a public execution, to expose him to the judgement of a lynch mob, to keep the ponies innocent, or she simply did not want bad press. Instead you assume that Blueblood had a lot of supporters and that they would see him as a martyr instead of a deluded terrorist.

Speaking of supporters, you talked about "The mechanisms that created this dissatisfaction". Said mechanisms were clear enough. Celestia was trying to bridge the gap between nobles and commoners. A bunch of nobles who didn't even have the courage to publicly oppose her instead tried to secretly do away with her. Blueblood lead them, despite the fact that all of his titles and wealth likely came from Celestia anyway. He betrayed his family, and his country in order to restore the nobility and "save" it from a progressive ruler who wanted everypony to have something closer to equality.

I'm not saying that one shouldn't address dissatisfaction, but it's clear to me that the only ponies dissatisfied with Celestia in this instance are bigots and self-serving idiots.

For Heaven's sake, she refuses to call herself anything higher than a "Princess" and is willing to accept anyone, no matter what or who they are. She let Blueblood go on for sometime, hoping that common sense would be enough to make him realize the idiocy of his attempts. And still you complain because she's not a perfect Messianic figure of virtue, instead of a powerful but flawed immortal who tries to be good anyway?

730290

Yes, I contest that interpretation, for reasons explained above. I will not call a society where the truth is kept from the people just.

If her conduct is as righteous as you claim, why not give him a trial? Try him for treason. If everypony thinks like you there'll be no problem, even if you execute him instead of banishing him. Yet she did not.

To me, she does not deserve her station any longer.

730647

Buddy, your reasons have been refuted multiple times and your interpretation is no more valid than mine. At this point you're just plugging your ears.

As for a trial (by jury), why should she? Did you think Nightmare Moon had a trial before she was banished the first time? Was Discord given a trial before Luna and Celestia turned him to stone? Was Chrysalis given a jury of her peers to explain her actions to? There is no precedent for a trial in Equestria. It's an Absolute Monarchy, and monarchs in such a state traditionally don't, legally or otherwise, answer to anyone. Unless you can provide proof that Equestria has a Magna Carta of some kind (where the monarch has to answer in part to nobility, aka Blueblood and his peers), you're just fantasizing.

But okay, let's assume for a moment that you're right. Blueblood should have a trial. He has a trial by his peers (which means nobility and fellow unicorns only). Everypony has a bit of the Idiot Ball again (remember Zecora? Applebloom's cutie pox predicament? Rarity among the nobility?) and decide for whatever reason that Blueblood was right, that Celestia and Luna should step down. But since Celestia and Luna are integral to the very physics of Equestria, they have to raise the Sun and Moon and all that stuff anyway, or else everypony will die. Luna might turn Nightmare Moon-ish again, while Celestia's really too well-meaning to say no.

So, in the end Equestria is ruled by a bunch of unicorns patterned after Blueblood, Luna's has turned to villainy, Celestia is forced to keep up the celestial juggling act despite having no obligation to do so anymore, and it's just a matter of time until the pegasii and earth ponies rebel and a very violent war starts in Equestria.

But hey, you got your checks and balances and your corrupt tyrant was deposed, so all's well right? After all, the means justify the end, right?

And hey, you know the sad thing about all of that? If Celestia's policies actually break through, you might have had your checks and balances soon enough anyway, the dividing social classes might have been abolished, and Celestia might have convinced Luna that they should both step down eventually.

732276
I don't think you're even trying to understand me.

She had a political opponent who was completely at her mercy quietly murdered (Discord and Nightmare Moon were imminent threats. And she murdered neither of them by the way), in order to not to have to deal with the consequences.

If you think that's just, then alright. I don't, and I don't have too. That's all this boils down to: Was this just, to Blueblood and to her people? Should the ponies have a choice whether they want a murderer and a liar on the throne? If you honestly believe yes about the former, and no to the latter, we will not find common ground.

732276
Forgive me for the double post, and for bothering you once more;
There is something I'd like to ask of you, not to change your mind (because, let's be honest, that's very unlikely for either of us) but because I'm curious. If you would indulge me with this, I'd be very grateful.

Here goes:
Let's say, after using the Elements of Harmony to secretly gain control of the sun and the moon, Blueblood poisons Celestia in her sleep and has Luna killed by a "rogue dragon" he (Blueblood) paid to do so. After both his aunts have tragically passed away due to violence and "illness", he ascends the throne, and against all odds his reign is safer and more prosperous than ever before, and his son takes up kingship after his death... If he dies at all.

Would you be fine with this?

732432

I understand you just fine sir. I just don't agree.

Yes, I understood that she killed Blueblood (for now, let's ignore the quandary of whether it was legal for her to do so) in cold blood when he was at her mercy "in order to not to have to deal with the consequences". But have you asked yourself what those consequences could have been and whether they were worth dealing with?

Was it justice? No, not by the modern sense of the term. Was it fair? Yes, because this Blueblood didn't deserve any better. Was it in line with what a leader of a nation might have to decide? Again, yes.

Was this justice to the people of Equestria? No. Should ponies have a choice? Ideally yes, pragmatically no.

Why? Because when you're dealing with an immortal on Celestia's level, any "official" checks and balances are, realistically speaking, only enforceable if Celestia herself agrees to them. In the end, only Celestia can truly stop Celestia, at least in a way that doesn't cause the sun to stop being the sun. This is not Celestia's fault; she just happens to be an alicorn who can kill everypony on a whim. Unless you want to enslave or murder Celestia just for existing, it's something you have to understand. Even if she steps down, even if she stops being the de jure (official) leader of Equestria, she will still be the de facto voice of last resort, the final veto, the one who gets the final say whether it's official or not. This is not a matter of justice, this is a matter of reality.

732647

If you're asking me whether I would be happy with it, then no. If you're asking me whether I would accept it, then it's a conditional yes, the condition being whether we can find someone better than Blueblood. No matter what he did in the past, I'm not going to dethrone Blueblood just to have somepony/ies worse take his place.

Keep in mind though, all violent revolutions are inherently unjust and illegal, because they rely on violence and warfare instead of discourse (no, not Discord, "discourse"). If anypony decide to oppose Blueblood by any method except the proper channels of congress and negotiation, then it is murder as well. And all warfare is based on deceit anyway. If Twilight Sparkle decided to raise a rebel army and storm Canterlot to kill him, how is that any more "just" or any less "murder" than what Blueblood did?

All methods involving unlawful and immoral violence are unjust. All methods involving secrecy are undemocratic. Sometimes though, they're necessary anyway. That's life. That's reality.

Because I do not believe in an absolute moral code. Because I believe that the value of truth and deceit is dependent on how they'll affect people. Because I believe it is moral to sacrifice one's personal morality, to turn oneself into a minor villain, if it means everyone else is as safe, happy and free as circumstances can reasonably allow.

733568
We will simply have to disagree on this, then.

Incidentally, I am happy we could return to a more amicable tone overall.

733652

Tis fine.

I do agree that it would have been more in-character for Celestia to turn him to stone or send him to the moon or something.

I get and am okay with how Celestia acts in this story. She does what she must for her nation, rules harshly but secretly, yada yada. But... did she just leave Blueblood to die of thirst?! There was no reason for that. She could have just executed him. There was no lesson for him to learn, no example to be made of him for the other nobles' benefit. Torturing to death... for the memory of the colt he had been, make it quick.

735716

No, she cracked the ceiling and sent the waters rushing inwards before sealing off the chamber's only exit. Blueblood will either drown or be crushed by the rushing water.

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