• Member Since 25th Apr, 2012
  • offline last seen Jul 21st, 2018


Hope you laughed or learned something.


Inspired by devastating personal losses, Apple Bloom dons a mantle from her youth to counter Equestria's rising crime after a dramatic change in government sends Canterlot into disarray. As more heroes follow her lead and arise in other cities, she must face her own past and dark new evils on the path back to harmony.

Chapters (22)
Comments ( 410 )

Twilights evil, I'm guessing Pinkies dead, and the princesses are gone.
This stories getting interesting.:ajsmug:


I'm SO glad you think so. :pinkiehappy:

Did you make up that song, or is it based on a real one?


I made it up. I have music to it, too... maybe I'll post a YouTube video one of these days. Did you like it?

(As a side note, it is based on "Giggle at the Ghostie" content-wise, but the reasoning behind that should be obvious.)

Oh dear.
I was interested in this for the masked superhero potential, but given the tone so far, I don't think Harper and/or Sweetie are going to make it to the end of the story.

Hmmmm... Curiouser and Curiouser.:rainbowderp:
Can't wait for more.:pinkiehappy:


Lewis Carrol reference = new favorite reader.

wait did i miss something? what happened to pinkie?

660098 I'm still waiting for the pinkie pie explanation as well.

660098, 660485

I'm guessing from the way things read, she's died, though when and of what I'm waiting to hear myself.

I'm also still wondering how Twilight got the gumption to overthrow her mentor, much less the ability. Unless the fliers are lies -- which I honestly wouldn't be surprised to find they are -- she used the Elements of Harmony, but if that's the case, as long as they were bound to her friends, she shouldn't have managed it since it would need all of them and I don't see them all going along with it. Then there's the mess with the nobles and guard.... I've got a bad feeling that there's a lot more to this than meets the eye.

Wow.... sorta going with the batman beginning aren't you.


If you make yourself more than just a mare... if you devote yourself to an ideal... then you become something else entirely.

A legend, Ms. Bloom.

624850 freakin' called it.


Yeah, you did! A'riiiiiiiiight! Go death!

A heartwarming read that builds on a foundation of Future Ponyville seen through the eyes of an older Apple Bloom and gives us a good sense of foreboding and expectation with hints at a past tragedy between the Elements and the possibility of repairing the rift between a homely Future!Scootaloo and a famous(?) Future!Sweetie Belle. I enjoyed it and will read more, but I do have one nitpick. :twilightsheepish:

(1) Harper. His name reminds me of the unpleasant verb phrase "harp on", and his character falls flat (aside from a confirmation that he's related to Lyra). You focus on his similarities to Apple Bloom (presumably to show why they're friends), but they seem be one person talking to themselves rather than two people w/ disparate personalities. There is a bit of friction over how she refers to the Elements, but it seems to be rooted in societal norms rather than in his character. All it boils down to is, he could use a bit more oomph in his introductory scene (if he's not an extra, anyway; if he his, disregard the previous nitpick).


To your first paragraph, thank you. :pinkiehappy:

Toward your second, I feel less :pinkiehappy: but still :pinkiesmile:, because I realize you're right. Harper is a very important character and is meant to be quickly lovable. If he's too much like Apple Bloom, I'll definitely have to fiddle around with their dialogue. However, his real introductory oomph, as you say, comes in the next chapter. I look forward to your reaction.

An excellent chapter with quite a few surprises. Harper's characterization is much stronger here, and he fits right in w/ Apple Bloom & Sweetie Belle at the end. I do wonder what happened to Pinkie, and I'm pretty sure that it has something to do with Twilight's . . . change. Very well done, especially the song. I haven't even got a nitpick this time. Looking forward to the next chapter! +1 and Fav'd.
I hereby give Mantles and its author one [strike]IXA Knuckle[/strike] high-tech brohoof. :moustache:


Coming from the writer of WWW, that praise made my heart explode. Twice.

Can't wait for the next chapter of yours!!!


Interesting. With this chapter, I get the impression that Apple Bloom was somehow responsible for what happened to Pinkie, or at least that she feels that way. Jump ropes though? Please tell me that this isn't like that one "serious business" fic where Applejack's parents were killed in a pie fire. :applejackconfused: Excellent job overall, but as much as I love Harper's sudden confession, it raises one heck of a tragedy flag for it to happen this early in the plot. I've got a bad feeling about this . . . :fluttershysad:

One nitpick this time — what's up w/ Apple Bloom's meltdown at the end? It seems a bit too powerful for what just happened, and the connection to her dreams doesn't really make sense. It comes off as melodramatic. If the questions I have about it are answered in the next chapter, then go ahead and disregard my doubts. If not though, I'd tone down Apple Bloom's reaction to communicate her understandable sense of panic(?) w/o the KHAN!! screaming. Maybe she can't stop herself from crying or feels like she's going to have a heart attack and has to stop and rest?


Good suggestions. Thank you! I feel like Apple Bloom has always been a bit melodramatic in the show, so I found her outburst justified. Maybe I'll end up changing it. And yeah... maybe I should add Tragedy to the tags. This gets pretty dark pretty quick.

Hurry up and update WWW already, will ya!?! :flutterrage:

Good story. Good plot. And to heck with you for killing Harper! Why not kill Lilac or Blitz!? No! Nope! Does not compute! Does not compuuute! .... damn it...

There is something in your style of writing that I like, yet cannot pinpoint exactly. I enjoyed reading this, keep it up!

821553 Because Blitz is too cute, Lilac is too boring, and Harper is perfectly inspiring. Thank you ever so much for the accolade and anger. I must be doing something right.

826149 :pinkiehappy: Thank you! I hope future installments don't disappoint. If you ever figure out what that "something" is, please let me know!

827985 Thank you so much for pulling a Nostalgia Critic....

828009 Uh... Please don't hurt me mister Critic I said it with as much respect as I could muster!

828017 :rainbowlaugh: Thanks for the laughs. I needed that. Sorry about killing Harper. Does it help to know he'll still pop up now and then in flashbacks? I love him way too much to let him go away forever.

828032 Eh, gave me reason to mention the Critic. That's good enough for me.

a pegasus, hmm?
A few possibilities.

We seen him/her before. I'll have a few thoughts about that. My thoughts go only into one direction.

We never seen her/him. Could be, could be.

Ouch! And how come all Mare-Do-Well stories (I assume this is one do to the picture) take so long for the main character to get the costume? Because I really like the build up! But still clever with Charlie did not see that coming!


My apologies for not commenting sooner - I've been looking forward to this chapter, though I had no idea what to expect beyond mourning for Harper. Poor Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom... :applecry: But thank God - or Celestia or Luna or Whoever - that our heroine has managed to escape the danger of Canterlot for some much-needed rest and recovery back home in Ponyville. Nifty, really, to combine her harrowing escape with an original song from Charlie - I imagine that's what you took the most time, and it's clearly worth the effort.

I'm not exactly big on stories where one of the Mane Six has died, let alone stories where one of them has gone to the Dark Side - don't get me wrong, I enjoy them if they're done well and redemption is still possible, but that seems the exception to the rule. Thankfully, I'm enjoying this one so far - I get the feeling that the full story of Pinkie's death has yet to serve its purpose, and even if Twilight is beyond all help, we're not truly following her story but Apple Bloom's.

Oh, and speaking of which...like the poster above me said, why the wait for Mare-Do-Well to be reborn? :applecry: Heh - I'm kidding, kind of. I've been trying to find good MDW stories lately, and, like any fan of superheroes, I'm eager to see the action kick into high gear. Still, I understand the need to build up to it - heck, I imagine that Apple Bloom's little trip back home will give her the opportunity to realize what she wants to do about the crime and corruption in Canterlot. We all know she's too stubborn and has too strong a sense of justice to not fight it.

So, in conclusion, bravo and keep up the good work - I really hope Chapter Seven of Mantles proves easier for you so we can see it that much sooner. Just a thought, however - perhaps you'd like a longer, more dramatic title for it, like The Mantle of Mare-Do-Well? :pinkiehappy:

862575 I have been dying for this kind of comment. Thank you eternally.

I wish badly that I could expound on each of your wonderful questions and comments, but that would ruin all the fun! I can promise, however, that every single thing you mentioned will be thoroughly addressed before the story's through.

You say it's about time we kick it into high gear, eh? Well... you and 860921 will not be disappointed with the next chapter. :raritywink:

As for the title suggestion... you've definitely pricked my interest. Perhaps I should extend the title, although there is a reason Mantles is pluralized. When it's all said and done, before I ship it toward EqD, maybe we can come up with a more exciting title. :twilightsmile:

In the meantime, thank you so much for reading (and carefully, at that)! The next installment is scheduled for release on July 11, though if I finish it early I'll post it sooner!

862846 You're quite welcome. As a fellow fic-writer (though one who has yet to start writing for our little ponies), I recognize the value of detailed feedback, especially when it's positive. I'm not always good about leaving it, but when I do, I try to cover all the bases.

Don't worry, I understand the whole spoiler issue - Lord knows I've wrestled with not giving things away - but thank you for the reassurance. I never like it when threads are left dangling at the end (unless there's a sequel due to address them, in which case it's not truly the end). As for your promise about Chapter Seven...oooooh. Color me intrigued. :twilightsmile:

I'd be happy to help with the title later - actually, given how good the story's likely to turn out, it'd be an honor. And, again, you're quite welcome - I look forward to the 11th. This was definitely a nice Independence Day present. :pinkiehappy:

Sorry for all the mistakes. Please point them out for me to fix! :twilightsmile:

If you like this story, spread the word.

“Yes, Rarity,” she said in a low, even voice. She spun the hat around her hoof and slid it carefully over her ears. “I’m doing… very well.

900964 :rainbowlaugh: Oh, Apple Bloom, you and your bad one-liners!

Don't worry, there are a lot more old-Batman-esque puns to come... :unsuresweetie:

...um...wow. :derpyderp2:

You sure didn't wait terribly long to have Apple Bloom find - let alone don - the old Mare-Do-Well costume, did you? Not complaining, just a tad surprised. I kind of expected that Rarity would lead her to it, since she was the one to make those costumes in the first place - and how apropos for it to be Applejack's costume, not to mention for Rarity to deliver that speech about what it truly means to be a hero, basically about putting justice before pride. Add in the amazing karate skills, and it's clear this Mare-Do-Well will fully qualify as a Badass Normal. (Oh, and nice description there with the raindrops becoming drum beats, leading the army of one to battle...even with the pun at the end.)

I still wonder what Rainbow's truly up to, what's the whole story behind Pinkie's death, and anything else I may have missed - heck, what happened to Spike? But I suppose all of that can wait, because we've finally gotten a glimpse of the story's evident villain. What the heck is Alicorn-Twilight playing at, thinking she can wield power over the Sun and Moon as the Princesses did, speaking so coldly and emotionlessly, showing indifference at best and contempt at worst for her supposed subjects? It's even weirder to see because she still has her big brother as Captain of the Guards, and he's clearly been convinced that she did the right thing in banishing Celestia and Luna (:fluttercry:) and taking over. Though that does make me wonder about Cadence's state...

Welp, keep up the good work - I look forward to seeing what else Apple Bloom will do in Ponyville before she heads back to Canterlot, not to mention how she'll get back to the city without further arousing Twilight's suspicions. Mare-Do-Well is coming for you, Princess. :twilightoops:

Yes! So far this is amazing! And this somehow reminds me of 'Bat-Man begins' cause of the coming home and wondering through someplace and finding the costume by help of a guide though I doubt Rarity will become the over all guide, helper person(pony). Also: Didn't even see the pun til I read the comments. So I await the next chapter with overwhelming anticipation!

901739 Christopher Nolan's "Batman Begins" indeed has a huge influence on this story, more evident in some points than others. Good observation!

901970 THANKS

901134 Very observant (as usual). Your flattering dedication to thorough comments has earned you some well-deserved (non-spoiler) answers to your excellent questions. They've been whitened in case anypony doesn't want to read them, but for those who do, just highlight unspoil below.

"I still wonder what Rainbow's truly up to"
Rainbow lives in Las Pegasus as the Wonderbolts' trainer. We'll learn more of her story with time.
"what's the whole story behind Pinkie's death"
Pinkie's death = this whole story. I'll drop several hints along the way, but it shouldn't make perfect sense until the very end. I'm glad you are curious.
"what happened to Spike?"
You'll see.
"that does make me wonder about Cadence's state..."
(As it should. Cadance is still alive and well, happily married to Shining Armor, though she may look a bit different from when we saw her last...) <- not true. At one point Cadance was part of the story, now she's just shamelessly removed from this alternate universe.

Ta-ta for now!


I like this story, I really, really do. Why aren't more people reading this?

"That means you follow my orders on i]my schedule."
Assuming that you meant to italicize "my", you're missing an open bracket and a .

Also, having read your white text there, I think that there may be an error in Chapter Six:
"Rainbow Dash had moved back to Cloudsdale as the Wonderbolts’ trainer years ago."

I'll assume that Apple Bloom's amazing imitations will make up for the awful one-liners. I have to wonder if she'll spend the days hiding in the apartment or find a way to pull the mild-mannered art student without raising suspicion about the days she's missed.

Twilight Sparkle is about to meet a whole cartload of whoopass. Cannot wait.

Ponky said something about there being no thumbs down yet...


Just kidding, I love it... :pinkiesmile:

Oh hey Ponky. I figured I should your other stuff at some point. So here we go!

It's been awhile since I read an Apple Bloom fic. Probably too long, now that I start this story. Anywho, I like the way you characterized Apple Bloom. Nicely done.

But all this talk of the Elements frightens me...

surviving Elements of Harmony

Yep. Definitely a little worried here... :unsuresweetie:

1163078 Heh-hey, C²! I just read your comment on "What Went Wrong" (I'm still gonna call it that, no matter what Akiba renames it). I'm glad we're both fans of that amazing story!

And it's good to see you here! Thanks for giving "Mantles" a try. I hope to update it within the next 5 or 6 days, so... if you like it, you'll have that to look forward to. :twilightsheepish:

So I'mma guess Pinkie is dead... :fluttercry:

“The Princesses are gone, Harper,” she managed to say. “Twilight sent them to the Moon.”

I... Say what now? dl.dropbox.com/u/31471793/FiMFiction/emoticons/misc_TwilightWut.png

Dat professor. Seems like a pretty cool guy.

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