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Sharaloth


T

Songbird and the Blademaster make a perilous journey through the harsh lands of the North. Their goal is an artifact of great power that has been lost to the fallen world for a long time. They will have to use every bit of skill and magic they possess to battle their way to the frozen temple that guards the artifact and escape with their lives. For this is the Madmare's domain, where vicious monsters and killing storms are the least of the dangers.


Set in the same world as The Archer and The Smith

Chapters (6)
Comments ( 73 )

If the Songbird's song is accurate and she didn't intentionally leave anything out, then... did Twilight never exist on this world? Is that why everything eventually went wrong?

An interesting note, given the time frame.

Of six they were, bright, golden, harmonious.
In time the shine was gelded, cut in the dark.
The memory of gold is always to shine,
Yet gold glitters, some false, some true.
And in memory does it seek to fight its hue.

So as the tempest, brash, bright, and dark.
Took from those whom carry the mark.
A feather in duty to weather the load.
To stone touched mountains,
where true madness holds.

The song it sings, so harshly stark,
to ware the tempest,
and her light so dark.
To pegasi of old, and new they fly,
Not in wingbeats, but with a lone kestrel's cry.

So as the belle's note rings clear.
They did crackle, for she, was here.
Her legend true of the power she held.
Hide now the tempest, her wrath made real.

Whoa, we're actually going to get backstory?

Fallen World! Worldbuilding! Madmare and Tempest! And god damn the new lore. There is so much more to be gained from this, suggesting at things that seem so obvious in hindsight.

For starters, we have the songbirds song:

That five friends came together
And fought back the night
For these were the days of the sun

These five made one in the days of the sun
Together they conquered the night

Five not six. Up until now, the question has been what happened to Twilight, and why she isn't one of the rulers, but now I'm wondering if that's even the right question to ask at all. From the sounds of it, nothing has happened to Twilight, because she was never a bearer of the Elements of Harmony in this world, if she even exists in it at all. Nothing has happened to her, because she was never there for anything to happen to her in the first place.

Then, there was this little note, right at the end of the chapter:

A ruby lightning bolt shone at her throat, echoed in crimson glow of her eyes.

Despite this also showing up in The Heart Thief and Diamond in the Darkness, this hadn't really clicked in my mind before, to the point where I actually had to check it was in those two as well - the rulers are wearing the Elements. This could explain the source of their power, and potentially their fall as well - without Twilight, or a substitute, given by the five, they may well have lacked an Element of Magic, and it's possible that without that factor the Elements turned the Bearers into the Rulers, as opposed to what we saw in the show.

We also start to get more of a look at both the realms of the Madmare and the Tempest, leaving only the Druid completely unexplored as of yet, and it's always interesting to see more of exactly how this world has fallen.

As always, looking forward to more of this. Can't wait to see how the knowledge of this world is expanded on, and how what ideas I have so far will be further altered, supported, or disproved completely.

Ah so the Tempest is Rainbow Dash.
I had my suspicions but "The Madmare" could easily be Rainbow Dash or Pinkie Pie.

Enter the final CMC...Sweetie Belle! Featured in a multi-chapter (hype?) Fallen World AU. Sharaloth's favourite CMC?

6191952 When you think about season 2's discord, twilight was in the process of leaving, before being reminded of all the good things done. If that never happened, you have a perfect reason why this world is in the nature of being For want of a Nail. There is no nightmare moon, at least as far as we have seen, nor a celestia or luna of note/spoken of. With belle and her relation to her family, it shoes about a 10-20 year gap from the prime timeline of show itself at a rough guess.

Or even after they returned the elements to each, if they never quite recovered, well, you could get what is here. Someone boosted by the element, though twisted as well.

6192745 I wonder if it was because twilight wasn't there, or that she was suppressed from history after the nature of things given how each rules or controls their demesne? Each of the five here in what we've seen, reminds me of the Ravenloft Dark Lords. The powers of the realm give them immense ability in their land of influence, and not a step off of it. It twists honest desire, and desperation into changing the beings in question to something monstrous.

That feather had better have been worth the mass murder, Songbird.:ajbemused: (I'll respect it if she doesn't want to go by her old name anymore, since she isn't such a sweetie now. Clever girl, though.)

And the Tempest was awesome. But really, how could we expect less?:rainbowdetermined2:

One other thing of note that intrigues me is that each of the "primary" stories apepars to be focused on one of each the Cutie Mark Crusaders - The Smith is strongly believed to be Apple Bloom, Scootalo was in The Heart Thief, and The Songbird is Sweetie Belle. (We've also seen Diamond Tiara and now Pipsqueak, and Lyra is the Archer.) It makes me wonder if the CMC have some kind of other connection to the Rulers beyond, y'know, sisters (and or/worshipful fangirl).

6194233 Except that the song suggests pretty strongly that they fought against Nightmare Moon.
"Together they conquered the night" certainly implies it. But the song's structure suggests that Twilight either never existed or never took up the Element of Magic and the Rulers dealt with Nightmare Moon themselves. It's Discord we don't have any indication of yet, but his influence could be what caused the world to become fallen.

6193608 The identities of the rulers have been known for a while. The Sorceress is Rarity, the Tyrant is Fluttershy, the Druid is Applejack, the Tempest is Rainbow Dash and the Madmare is Pinkie Pie.

6194247 That's definitely another possibility. But somehow I don't think Sweetie's memories of Twilight would be scrubbed. I could be wrong, but I'm leaning more strongly towards Twilight either not existing or just not taking up the Element of Magic.

6192745

the rulers are wearing the Elements

Yep. Given what we know or suspect so far, I'm starting to wonder if they were corrupted by Discord while wearing the Elements, instead. It would explain a lot (except, of course, where Discord himself is.)

6194486 Twilight was the keystone here to everything, without her, things did happen according to fate, harmony, and others, yet, what could turn such virtuous heroes into the vilest of villains? Spoken of in monikers, their own names something they hate with a burning passion?

Belle here offers alot of insight, and really such disgust to how things are. She has insights we dont fully see, such as why the feather is that vital. She's lived in as close to opulence as one can really get in such a world, and turned it away. Even with this action, she shows a jaded, if amazing insight to knowing how the ponies of the world are.

Still, im thinking we have a fiend of some kind to twist them, yet, everything speaks of it being a very subtle thing to my perceptions. Discord could be, i think, especially if he was freed and hid. Yet, for all the nature of things. The elements are still working on their bearers. That little puzzle means they may fully believe in their own little harmony, or nature, if at a part. Reading the tiara work, you can see it a little, they've got the elements almost chained in a bond, not quite there, not quite not.

Wow, this chapter was really intense. So far, the story has had a nice mix of content. The initial poem does a good job seeing the mood, and although the first chapter starts slowly with all the exposition, it does a great job introducing us to the characters. And now comes this chapter with the tantalizing bits of lore mixed with some the action scenes. Can't wait to see what's coming next.

6194486
It's only speculated, now it's confirmed.
We only seen in person Rarity and Fluttershy.
It's implied by Lyra and Applebloom (probably) that Applejack is the Druid.
I think the rest is guesswork or balance of probability given the names.

Just wanted to say, this AU is pretty amazing, cant wait to see more!

More greatness as usual! I love this AU!!!

Great chapter. I just love the dynamic the Blademaster and the Songbird have with each other.

It is interesting that perhaps for all things here, it is who she is that will be such a blow in the end. No way that the madmare wont have the insight to use it as a weapon against our choice of blademaster.

An interesting moment of time. To both the where and the when. But a fun pair of updates. All the good stories have updated. Sadly to have to pick and choose which to read first stinks.

So it's not just that this pair of adventurers happened to team up, there's another party involved. Twilight or one of the former Princesses?

Perhaps she could even understand what some of the Lost were saying, and he did not envy her that possibility.

I thought the Lost were more or less intelligible, from the opening of the chapter.:rainbowhuh:

6292920

I thought the Lost were more or less intelligible, from the opening of the chapter.

At that point there's too many of them talking at once to be understood unless you're intentionally standing next to one and listening for it.

Ooooh. That was fun - it's nifty getting sort of a prologue to The Archer and The Smith here. That explains a lot of how Lyra knew what sort of things would happen when she fought Ferriotrax in that story.

But now we get more of a bit of information about what's happened with the world, and Luna's missing, too? Celestia and Cadance are mentioned, but no Luna? That's disturbing. It makes me wonder if the Elements, without Twilight, did something else to Nightmare Moon instead of cleansing her... or if NMM ever returned at all...

Backstory for the Blademaster and the Archer? And more of a look into the events directly following the Fall? You're spoiling us, Sharaloth. :pinkiehappy: Although, I do now want to reread the Archer and the Smith to remind myself of how that story continues from this point.

Also, I can't help but wonder if there's actually more to this sword than what we've already seen, as impressive as a perfectly sharp sword that never dulls is, I have to wonder why it'd require special equipment to be used, or why that alone would necessitate it being kept in reserve for when it's really needed.

6293936

But now we get more of a bit of information about what's happened with the world, and Luna's missing, too? Celestia and Cadance are mentioned, but no Luna? That's disturbing. It makes me wonder if the Elements, without Twilight, did something else to Nightmare Moon instead of cleansing her... or if NMM ever returned at all...

Hmm, I think at this point we can be fairly certain that the reformation of NMM was the point of divergence between the show and this AU, and I'd say that understanding what happened back then will be key to understanding how this all ties together.

6293986 I think you are likely correct. With just Twilight missing, I thought it might be Discord's doing, but with Luna also missing, it's pretty clear things went wrong very early on. I'd give dearly to have the full story, that's for sure.

6294019
Hmm, the fact that Luna or NMM isn't mentioned at all that her return isn't general knowledge, assuming she did indeed return. Although, the question also rises, if Twilight and/or Luna/NMM doesn't exist in this AU, how did the remainder of the Mane 5 come across the elements in the first place? It may be possible that rather than Twilight or Luna not existing, it was the spark that revealed the element of magic that was lacking, meaning that Twilight never became a bearer, which would explain why she isn't mentioned, and the remaining bearers were forced to bond with the elements in a different way to defeat NMM, rather than reforming her as Princess Luna, as in the show. It may also be that because of this, Celestia was never released after the defeat of NMM, which would explain why nopony knows what happened to her, or the bearers went on to defeat her after taking down NMM. I'm trying to remember if a night/day cycle (or lack thereof) is ever actually mentioned...

All in all, not a perfect theory, still has some holes regarding the details that could use filling, and a lot of it lacks much real support beyond speculation, but at the very least it's a start.

6294171 That's pretty much the same lines as what my own thoughts were, but we definitely don't have enough detail to make any sure guesses. I'm fairly sure the day/night cycle is "normal" in the Fallen World, but with Celestia apparently gone, we have no idea exactly what would be keeping it running, anyway.

6294262
Alright. the day/night cycle isn't really much of an issue anyway, as the fact that Celestia and Luna are gone isn't really in question, and there would easily be ways to explain that continuing even without there presence. Still, it'll be interesting to see if further updates provide more evidence in support of this theory and close up some of the holes, or debunk it, as the case may be.

Great seeing the Archer again, and all of that backstory. Wondering about the Stormbreaker....

The stories you’ve heard about them, how they can’t be harmed by blade, hoof or spell, they’re all true. I saw good, strong ponies die in agony just from touching her in anger.

...just what happened there? What did they do to themselves?

She said she was being… ‘generous’.”

:raritywink: Huh. So she's the Sorceress? I wonder what Twi is then. Unless I've not been paying attention...

6300032
It's been a while since I read the others in this universe, but Twilight may not be present anymore. It was mention that Equestria was split into fifths, and we know of AJ (druid,) Fluttershy (the story with scootaloo,) RD (the Tempest,) and someone who remembers better than I should finish this thought for me.

FUCK YEAH!! GO IRON WILL!!
WHO ELSE PUNCHES A DRAGON IN THE FACE!!
Got dammit, that was awesome!

Well, this story so far has been a nice introduction to the two characters, and gave us a sweet prequel to the Apple Bloom and Lyra story. Now I just hope it won't be too long before we get to see more of Sweetie's and Pip's current journey. :pinkiehappy:

6300032
6306695
• Rarity => The Sorceress
• Applejack => The Druid
• Fluttershy => The Tyrant
• Rainbow Dash => The Tempest
• Pinkie Pie => The Madmare

So far, it looks like the point of divergence for this AU is either:
• Twilight Sparkle never existed, or was never sent to Ponyville, or
• The Spark never manifested, meaning Twilight 'fell out' of the story, and thus history and lore.

6294171
There is explicit mention of both the sun/sunset, and the moon/moon phases.

My personal theory is that Twilight existed and was sent to Ponyville, as she's necessary to get the five on the track to the Castle of the Two Sisters, but either NMM killed her when she separated the group, or The Spark didn't manifest for whatever reason, leaving the Five elements active but unconnected and unconstrained. The Five would have then re-imprisoned or (more likely) killed NMM, and possibly Twilight, then moved on to destroy Ponyville.

I have no idea what happened to Celestia, though it's likely Rarity killed her, and it seems the sky and weather are running on their own now.

Congrats on getting this featured on EQD. :twilightsmile:

So instead of the Elements of Harmony, these things are more like the Elements of Harm... in that they seem to turn their Bearers into insane mass-killing machines.

Discord, if he exists at all, doesn't have anything to do. There's more than enough chaos and disharmony going on all by itself.

(The world is too broken, Alondro... destroy it... it is imperfect... burn it to ash...)

Yes... yes, that's a lovely idea... :pinkiecrazy:

6325832 This also totally rewrites the EoH's... to such an extent they can't be called the Elements of 'Harmony'. The canon versions would simply have ceased to function, as in "Return of Harmony".

This means this world was broken from the beginning and NOTHING was ever the same. It would not surprise to me to learn that this world's Celestia was a tyrant driven insane by the use of the Elements of Majin Buu (better name, considering their effects) after banishing Luna, also driven insane by her Elements.

And Twilight tried to be good, so Celestia roasted her alive and ate her. Why not? This world's versions of the characters are so F'd up, nothing would shock me.

So then, after the 5 got powers and slaughtered NMM, they turned on their Caligula-esque Celestia and wiped her out too. Then they went nuts and tore the country into 5 portions, lording like crazy weirdo killers over the miserable lands.

Until Frieza blows it up... which wouldn't be such a bad thing, really, in this case.

6384764
If you haven't already, I recommend you read Harmony Theory (by the same author) for an excellent treatise on how the Elements may be more complex and multi-dimensional than they first appear.

6384949 Except... you know... they're not.

That's fanon, easily disproven by even early canon. It's not supported by a shred of evidence.

Not to mention, these worlds tend to be so dismal with all the 'hidden history' and whatnot that I would rather the entire FiM canon have either been left out or rewritten to take into account the drastic changes in all of history which would occur simply to the simple consequences of cause and effect.

To put it simply: in a world of lies and murder, truth and sympathy are hard to come by. They are infrequent rarities which only shine briefly in the mire and malaise.

Or, to note the story you mention: those Elements wouldn't have turned to stone after Celestia used them to banish Nightmare Moon. And we know Discord can't touch the magic of the Elements at all in canon. If he could have, he would have. He had the motive and opportunity, after all. And later, we see that he even knew about the Tree already a thousand years ago.

I simply cannot see how these altered Elements work in an Equestria which had the show's canon in its past. They're akin to magical relics people hide away in caves because of their dreadful side effects/dark sides and even evil wizards fear to use them freely.

Butterfly effect and all that. Timey whimy. Turn left instead of right. You know the deal.

6385045
I don't usually respond like this. Everyone is free to read, interpret and speculate on my stories as they wish. But I'm having a hard time understanding what you're trying to convey.

From your comments it seems like you disapprove of the darker nature and bleak tone of the Fallen World stories, and that's okay. They are clearly marked as Dark, so you should be ready for that when you start reading. You've also said some things about how the Elements of Harmony don't 'work that way', and how their portrayal is not 'canon'. Well, first of all the Elements have appeared in the Fallen World stories as objects only at this point. They haven't done anything yet, so there's no way for you to tell how they 'work' other than inferring from the behavior of their bearers, which could be caused by any number of things at this point. Second, the story is also clearly marked as Alternate Universe, so divergence from Canon is only to be expected. How divergent and where that divergence begins has yet to be fully revealed, though commenters have been making some wonderful speculation.

It's okay to not like my portrayal of the Elements in Harmony Theory, but I have no idea what you're trying to say when you start talking about Discord knowing about the Tree (of Harmony?), or that the Elements would never have turned to stone. The first is a non-sequitor that has, apparantly, nothing to do with either the Fallen World stories or Harmony Theory. The second is blatantly false, since it's stated explicitly in Harmony Theory that this is exactly what the Elements did, in accordance with show canon. Put simply: I don't know what point you're trying to make here.

Worse, when you mention the butterfly effect and then quote Dr. Who with no context, I'm afraid I do not 'know the deal'.

If you could clarify what you mean, I think that would be a great help to understanding your position.

6385146 The point I make is that these drastically different Elements would change Celestia, Luna, and Discord's reactions to and use of these Elements all the way back in the past. Assuming there is no Tree in this universe, which seems a given from the time this story was begun, then we must consider every single event in the timeline beginning at the first appearance of Discord in the distant past as fundamentally changed.

That said, this then becomes a radically different world by the time we get to the period of the pilot episode.

Yet we see the same names and faces, the same locations. Events still run in parallel to the canon up to a point. Precautions made obvious due to the nature of the powers in play are clearly ignored.

It doesn't feel REAL. It's been constructed for the sole purpose of failing, which is universal in an unhealthy majority of morose fanfics.. no matter what the source material. One cannot see daily life taking place in a world so twisted. It'd be like finding a tea shop in Mordor... which is a good idea for a crackfic, actually...

I know that, for some reason, people are drawn to deconstructing their favorite shows in all manner of gruesome ways... which to me is akin to taking to stomping all over a healthy flower bed which took months to nurture... but at the very least I would like people to consider how ALL the history is likely changed by these alterations to very core people and objects. I am very much a stickler for plausible causality in stories which wish me to take their subject matter seriously. I'm far more forgiving of lighter or outright comical fare, though even then overt continuity errors irritate me when they're easily remedied.

This extends to characters who are allowed to run blindly into disaster and ruin their entire world when they've run things fairly well up to that point. To make a simple metaphor of my issue with every story of this type which present the Elements as having an exploitable dark aspect: this is akin to someone holding a cherry bomb in their mouth. You only expect complete idiots to light the fuse and find it incredulous when the smart people do it instead.

These Elements would be akin to plutonium... useful in very limited circumstances and to be handled only by the experts, and even then with EXTREME caution. And whatever Discord is in this world, he too would certainly not have been left as a pigeon latrine in a garden maze. In a darker world, with characters not meant for a child's fairy tale, simple reason dictates he'd have been held in a secret location contained within every conceivable detection spell and/or device they could contrive of. I mention Discord in relation especially to other fics which have raised my ire with a much more extreme version of implausibility by suggesting the canon would remain the same even with a Discord who'd reveled in mass-murder so gruesome it'd make Jeffrey Dahmer vomit.

In any case, my basic point is: change something small in the distant past, and if it interacts with important points in history, EVERYTHING changes. The Elements are not a small thing. And they are clearly not the only differences in the past here.

There are few stories I've read which totally rewrite history when they make such changes, and even fewer which also take into consideration the difference in knowledge, environment, personality, and choices made by the Princesses in these stories (in the stories they still exist in, of course).

I suppose my knowledge of the incredibly complex interconnectedness of history biases me to this sort of thing, as I see the web branching out instantly from every place a strand is cut and moved. A better metaphor would be a nuclear chain reaction. No matter where the neutron strikes in a critical mass, the chain occurs and leads to a melt-down and so it appears identical to the outward observer. But the physicist knows that the pattern and progression of the chain are dramatically altered depending on where the neutron first strikes, and there is always the statistically small probability the neutron may pass through without impacting at all. It's the difference between observing a reaction and concluding it MUST always happen versus possessing the knowing of the actual process involved and that the reaction is merely LIKELY to happen.

I'm a research scientist. We tend to think this way. :twistnerd:

6385351
Okay, a lot of that is a perfectly valid opinion, except... well, it's got nothing to do with this story. You talk of drastically different Elements, but you have no idea how the Elements work in the Fallen World. There has been nothing whatsoever said of Discord or Luna (barring a song that might be talking about Nightmare Moon), and Celestia has barely been mentioned so far, so you can't know anything about what, if any, changes exist in their characters.

This is what you know of the history of the Fallen World thus far: It was essentially the Equestria from the show up until something happened and five of the main six went nuts and took over. Celestia disappeared, but to where and for what reason are complete unknowns.

That's pretty much it. You are free to speculate how much or whether at all Celestia et al have been changed, but the story so far does not support or deny anything. You are working without data.

It looks like you're making assumptions about history and characters having to be different, and you're basing those assumptions not on any grounding in the story itself, but on other assumptions you're making. It seems these other assumptions are perhaps based on an entirely different story, Harmony Theory.

About daily life not taking place in a world so twisted, well, I suppose it would be hard to imagine daily life under the worst depredations of Stalinist Russia, yet that doesn't mean such a life is impossible. It happened, after all. Most of the Fallen World is bleak and terrible in a thematic and wide-vision background sense, not in the personal day-to-day. Ponies still live, work, and, yes indeed, play.

The rest of your comment seems not to be directed at the Fallen World stories, but at Harmony Theory. Again, it's perfectly fine to not like my portrayal of the Elements there. One thing I will say: you seem to think that the Elements as portrayed in Harmony Theory would necessitate a complete change to everyone and everything else. This is not true. They're not a cherry bomb or plutonium. They're a ray-gun that shoots rainbows and fixes things, and nobody knows how or why. Of course Discord would still be a statue on display, nobody knew the petrification could ever wear off (as stated in the show itself). Of course the Elements wouldn't be treated as super-dangerous items of last resort, nobody knew they were more than nifty magical trinkets. It's only as Twilight begins to uncover the answers to the 'how' and 'why' questions that anybody realizes how badly they've misjudged their fix-it button.

Your butterfly-effect/chain-reaction analogy does not work here, because, as you say, the neutron isn't striking a different atom. No, the neutron is striking the same atom it always did, history hasn't changed, but you have no idea where that neutron came from or why (and whether or not) it was aimed at that particular atom. Worse, you have no idea where and how this mysterious force might choose to fire another neutron, and the more you learn the more you realize that you might not be as much an outside observer as you thought.

In short: even a research scientist needs data to come to a conclusion, and there just isn't any of it available in the Fallen World. There's more in Harmony Theory, but even there you seem to be labouring under some assumptions about how much, if anything, people knew at any point.

6385483

Of course Discord would still be a statue on display, nobody knew the petrification could ever wear off (as stated in the show itself). Of course the Elements wouldn't be treated as super-dangerous items of last resort, nobody knew they were more than nifty magical trinkets. It's only as Twilight begins to uncover the answers to the 'how' and 'why' questions that anybody realizes how badly they've misjudged their fix-it button.

I think you're not quite grasping what I'm saying.

I'll try to be very blunt and obvious: the choices the characters make in the show ONLY make sense BECAUSE IT'S A LITTLE KIDS' SHOW.

In a REAL and SERIOUS world, anyone finding and using such objects would do EVERY CONCEIVABLE THING to find out how such powerful objects worked. They would also NEVER make the assumption that their most dangerous god-like enemy was defeated permanently. Again, Discord left in the garden only makes sense in a kiddie show.

That's why I compare the Elements in all your stories to plutonium. It would be the same thing as in our world no one every thinking anything could be done with plutonium beyond using the thermal effects of radioactive decay to boil tea water.

When a sensible person finds something that accomplishes feats which defy all explanation, they tend to automatically find an explanation. And if they cannot, then they are all the more cautious with the mystery object(s). This is a basic, fundamental process of qualitative reasoning.

For instance, Gandalf was NEVER satisfied that the One Ring was gone forever. For the simple fact that there was no proof. Reasonable people require reasonable evidence, therefore pointing out unreasonable assumptions made in a non-serious children's cartoon as justification for the same decisions in a far different world in which we can freely assume the characters will be freer to think and reach conclusions in a more 'realistic' fashion simply isn't legitimate.

For these reasons, I cannot accept that in either of your stories' worlds that a more 'realistic' Celestia would not have exhausted every available avenue of research upon both Discord and the Elements long before Twilight was even born; and, were she to still find no reasonable method or mode for their power, keep them quite carefully hidden away and most assuredly never hoof them over to untrained young mares for any reason.

I would very much like to eventually learn the history of this befuddlingly grim Equestria; because, given the reasons I've stated, I have a very hard time finding it plausible outside of the very basic fairy tale setup: because it is that way because the plots needs it to be that way. The only rational explanation that stands out to me at this point would be some outside force corrupting the Elements or Bearers, which is a common alternate universe trope in clashing fantasty genres. Otherwise, the entire setup smacks of absolutely no one taking common sense precautions with objects and creatures of immense and poorly-understood power.

6389451
I got what you're saying here, fortunately. I do, however, think you are wrong. I think you have a strange preconceived notion of what 'realistic' is, and you are applying it to my stories and the whole of MLP fandom. Without, apparantly, acknowledging that because the initial premises were based on a children's show, that these stories would share at least some of the initial conditions or events of that show. Discord's statue was in the garden because that's where Discord's statue was. I don't have to justify it beyond what has already been stated in the show: they didn't think the petrification would wear off, so why not? Making characters less 'fairy tale' does not necessarily negate the decisions and actions that they took.

You also have this notion of how 'reasonable' characters would act, but you have no way of knowing if the characters in question are 100% logical reasoning machines, which they clearly are not. They'll make mistakes, they'll forget things, they'll be emotional, they'll put stuff off. In your example, Gandalf knew that the One Ring wasn't gone forever (that was never in question), but he also wasn't scouring Middle Earth for it with every waking second. No, he got on with life and practically forgot about it until this hobbit friend of his showed up with an invisibility ring, and even then it took him decades to figure out that, yes, this was the One Ring and everybody was in trouble, and by then it was almost too late. By your logic, a 'reasonable' Gandalf would have confiscated the damn thing immediately just on principle and marched a force of himself and his super-friends to Mt. Doom to get rid of it before Sauron had even come close to gathering his strength. And none of that has anything to do with this story.

And you're still conflating the Fallen World stories with Harmony Theory. They are not the same, they have different rules, different backgrounds. You have seen nothing of what the Elements are like here, and thus can only speculate on what role, if any, they've had to play. Even pertaining to Harmony Theory, you say Celestia would have exhausted all avenues of research, but why? What reason did she have to do so? She had a rainbow-shooting ray-gun, a bunch of enemies to fight and a country to run. Why would she devote time to figuring out the ray-gun that she only brought out when needed, and didn't seem to do anything bad. Even then, what makes you think she didn't do her research? Perhaps a thousand-plus years ago, they simply did not have the knowledge or techniques available to even begin to understand what they had. And then, well, they were turned to stone, their connection to Celestia severed, and their power was the literal only way Nightmare Moon could be defeated. She'd be a blind idiot not to hand them to a bunch of untrained young mares who were quite possibly destined to be their wielders from the get-go.

While I do see the point you're making now (thank you), I have to say your logic does not hold up to scrutiny, and does not have much to do with this particular story in any case. If you would like to discuss the workings and finer points of the Elements as portrayed in Harmony Theory, I'd be happy to see your comments there or in a private message.

6389579 Gandalf didn't go looking for the One Ring all over the place because he knew it would be virtually impossible to find. Once he saw Bilbo's ring (as he explicitly explains) he began to wonder how Gollum had found a Great Ring (for that it plainly was, as he says), and then went about seeking information on how to test the ring for its true identity, which (again, as the story itself plainly lays out) he only found the information deep in the archives of Minas Tirith after Frodo had inherited the Ring.

Therefore, HE DID EVERYTHING HE REASONABLY COULD at the time.

Celestia has Discord and the Elements RIGHT IN FRONT OF HER... and doesn't appear to have done much.

Rather a significantly different situation.

I reiterate, no reasonable person of even average intelligence would have let things lie that long. That is the difference between a fairy tale for children and a story we are ostensibly meant to take more seriously. It's a vastly different genre and legitimacy depends on an entirely different standard of criteria and expectations.

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And I will re-iterate: Take it to PM or Harmony Theory, where it belongs.

Tonight I have read through everything in the Fall universe except this story, and... i'm kinda excited for it. I'll be honest, Heart thief's end was a little dark for me, but even then it was Good. I'm super curious to see where you plan to take this longer story... And I kinda hope to see a gathering of heroes at some point in another part of the series. I just keep trying to imagine Sweetie, Applebloom, and Scoots finding out eachother have survived this long.

"But they call her the Shaper…”

This made me so many kinds of happy.

I really hope you keep the Fallen world stories going for a good while.

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