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Technical Writer from the U.S.A.'s Deep South. Writes horsewords and reviews. New reviews posted every other Thursday! Writing Motto: "Go Big or Go Home!"


For a long time, Twilight could feel it; a sense of emptiness she couldn't explain. Now that she's a princess, that feeling is stronger than ever. She finally decides to bring the matter up with Celestia. In response, Celestia gives her an old book.

The contents of that book will change her perspective of the world... and her beloved mentor. Just accepting the truth is a challenge. And after that?

She has to make a decision.

If you’re not watching PaulAsaran, let this convince you to.PresentPerfect

An immeasurably well crafted, highly intense read.Ghost Mike

First place winner of Rage Reviews! seventh F*** THIS PROMPT contest! So awesome.

Pre-read by JawJoe.

Cover art by Famosity.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 150 )

I loved this! Really creative interpretation of the prompt, and it delivers a narrative both thoughtful and evocative. Kudos to you, and good luck in the competition!

Glad you liked it! And good luck to you as well.

7=sunset shimmer who ran from Celestia.:heart:
great story maybe in need of a sequel.

Raistlin #5 · Nov 7th, 2015 · · 9 ·

I forgive you, Celestia. I’m still a little upset, and it still hurts, but I forgive you.

Sorry, I know I´m the only one who feels this way, but Twilight´s forgiveness falls flat in my ears for a simple reason.
She is not the offended party.
After Luna´s banishement, Celestia threw a bloody temper tantrum over Equestria, tormenting, torturing and crushing the lives of thousands,. Shouldn´t be the victims, or their knowing descendants, the ones to choose giving or not that forgiveness?
As Twilight herself mentioned, Celestia didn´t recognized her crimes, neither searched for attonement. She rewrote History (food poisoning, really? :trixieshiftleft:) and gave herself a brand new image. In sum she did what so many others war criminals, torturers and ex-dictators in real life.
Her "forgiveness" comes from a mare whom she raised from childhood like a daughter, educated, loved and groomed her to princesshood. Of course she would forgive you, Celestia! And of course she will never make public the book´s content! You knew that from the beggining. Does her final letter feel you have finally payed for your crimes and earned your personal salvation?
You shouldn´t. True redemption requires more. Like public honesty.

You've misunderstood Twilight's forgiveness, as I knew some people would – even JawJoe pointed it out. Twilight is one of the offended, in that Celestia wronged her, and therefor Twilight does have the authority to forgive Celestia, specifically for the pain she herself just underwent. Twilight's not forgiving Celestia in Equestria's place, just her own.

This is probably going to be more of a pain in my ass than it should be. So, though I hate spoonfeeding the audience, I went ahead and added a line that ruins the intended emotion, but shoves the hint regarding this aside in favor of directness.

And no, Celestia didn't know Twilight would forgive her. Why do you think she was so nervous and afraid from the very beginning?

When you bring the feels, you sure do bring them in the form of a sledgehammer. :pinkiesad2:

Seriously, this was well done. The dialogue never lost its punchy feel, and I could almost feel the emotions jumping off the pages through the characters. It was easy to feel hurt and conflicted along with them, or cringe under the impact of Twilight's outbursts.

But, all of that just made the story more evocative and real. Good show, and best of luck in the contest!

Aaand while I have your attention, know that I am trying to get the next No Heroes chapter. It's been kinda tricky what with all the side projects and whatnot, but hopefully I'll have something for you to look at sooner rather than later.

Now was in the single most familiar room in the whole castle; the great entry hall.

I have no clue what this sentence is doing. Other than that, good job.

Wow, that's blatant. How did I miss that? Located and corrected.

Damn, why can't I hold all these feels? ;-;
While as soon as she started reading about these atrocities I kind of called that the element would be forgiveness, but I was pleasantly surprised at how you handled the story and its feels!

Wanderer D

And once again, a story proves that cliched, usually absurd concepts done to death by others can be done right. Well done, Paul, I really enjoyed this story!

Good to know! Taking it in a new direction was the plan, after all.

Always glad to hear it.

Now that she's a princess, that feeling is stronger than ever.

How did you convince JawJoe to read this with a Princess Twilight in it?

About halfway through, I was gaining the strong suspicion that the seventh hadn't been destroyed, but utterly retroactively unmade along with the bearer, perhaps during the fight with Sombra, erased from the timeline like some poor forgotten characters in John Dies at the End. Only tiny traces remaining. I thought that was what was being hinted at by the extra arm and the mention of time travel.

As for the twist being Tyrantlestia, it felt rather empty of her character beyond the idea of ruthlessly protecting her ponies. It's hard to see how she could flip back to wanting to be good after a whole 300 years, when there's still just as much danger in the world.

It started with not telling him there was a Princess Twilight in it. :raritywink:

You abused his trust. How terrible of you. I hope you feel ashamed of your actions; but, you get a tip of my hat at being nefarious.

I will upvote on the grounds of being well written, but will not fave. I despise the idea of a Seventh Element because canon simply does not support it, but this was well written.

Edit: What is with the downvote? I am giving credit that this is well written, and thus got an upvote, but I do not like the idea of a seventh Element.

In truth, I completely neglected the whole JawJoe + Twilight = Rage equation. It wasn't until after he brought it up that I remember and was like :fluttershyouch:. To his credit, he largely avoided the topic in his critique, which genuinely helped improve the story.

You make it sound like it was an instant reverse course rather than a slow and gradual improvement over several decades, which is patently ridiculous. But I will acknowledge that the misconception is my fault; I didn't clarify that the breaking of Forgiveness was the trigger of the reverse, but not an instant fix. I thought it so apparent as to not require mentioning.

Always the writer must try to remember that what is obvious to them is not obvious to the reader. Bad on me for forgetting.

Is it just when a story accepts the Friendship is Magic ascension or is it all ascension stories that now rapidly push his rage button?

His dominant issue is that ascended Twilight serves no purpose. Even in the show, what does she do? Season 5 has actively poked fun at the fact she has no real responsibilities as a princess other than to wait for the map to call upon her.

When he sees 'Princess Twilight,' his rage button is pushed regardless of the source. If a good context can be given in which Twilight is actually useful as a princess, though, I think his rage would be alleviated... though probably not by much. He's developed so much vitriol for the whole concept that even making it reasonable can only improve things so much in his mind.

:pinkiegasp: Emotional rollercoaster and the like. Epic read, enjoyed it and seconding the suspicion that it can be found in the form of one Sunset Shimmer.


A clliche of the done-to-death variety that is well written and well executed. Now I need to go find some pictures of fluffy animals to cheer up with :fluttershysad:

you good sir/mam have in one stroke earned this fanfic a place in my top favorites
to put it into perspective here is the order
top favorite
and here are the current stats

liked: 129 stories
favorite: 117 stories
top favorite: 48 stories(49 including yours)
so yeah PRETTY high rank

I am just thinking of other stories before Magical Mystery Cure that come up with their own reasons to make Twilight an alicorn. Does just the concept of Twilight with wings him off like Bugs Bunny sets off Elmer Fud or is it just the MMC version? I know he doesn't like alicorn Twilight art anymore even if it is pre-MMC.

I think Sunset is the 7th element of Harmony.

I love this story, to many feels! :fluttercry:

I honestly think MMC has ruined any enjoyment he might have of the concept of Twilicorn, regardless of when or how it came about.

Good to know you enjoyed it so much!

Let me help you with that.

That is a shame since I know I find the fan stories more entertaining than the show at this point.

That makes two of us. It's safe to say that my vision of the characters is built more on my headcanon and what I see in the fandom than what the show actually offers.


I don't normally like 'dark past Celestia' stories, but I have to admit when a story is really, really well done. That you chose forgiveness as the seventh element, and that you portrayed it so well, is just fantastic. I think forgiveness is a really underappreciated and valued virtue. As a Christian, I know it's very close to my heart. This was so genuine to how anyone might react in this situation: the sense of betrayel, Celestia's inability to forgive herself despite seeking redemption, Twilight's anger and nearly making the same mistake Celestia did by not forgiving her. And than that beautiful ending, that excellent point: it's not who we were, but who we are now, and forgiveness is a choice, not an emotion. Twilight chose to forgive Celestia, and honestly, I would not have been surprised if that had made the Element of Forgiveness reemerge right there. I would love to find out more about this story, if there is a seventh pony who is the Element of Forgiveness - what she would be like, how she (or he?) would interact with the group. This really feels like it fits well into the world, and while I may not adopt it into my personal headcanon (if only for the sheer violence of the 'Tyrantlestia' parts, which as I mentioned I don't usually care for), I feel like I got something valuable out of this read.

Really cool story, bro. Well written, with a fantastic moral that can be applied to real life. I hope you did well on that contest!

Good story and I'm looking forward to you adding to it. I can see how Celestia is afraid of losing Twilight due to her actions in the distant past. I can also understand how she can't forgive herself and fears to have her past made public. Twilight, after she gets over the shock, can forgive Celestia for her lying and to some extent realizes that what Celestia was is not what Celestia is.

To the reader, it changes the very perception of Celestia as the epitome of kindness and forgiveness. We don't really see what Celestia is capable of except for the face off with Chrysalis and the flashback of the battle with Luna/NMM. How much the reader is able to sympathize with Celestia's remorse and how much we can forgive her depends on the individual. From Celestia's POV, at the time at least some of her actions are understandable if still abhorrent. There are threats to Equestria: destroy them all. There are cultists who still favor Luna: root them out and destroy them. There are subversives: they must be silenced. The point where what is necessary becomes something evil is a bit grey and she slipped into it easily. Once she realized what she'd been doing she stopped though that did not help those who suffered under her tyranny. The fact that she does feel remorse and is unable to forgive herself after 700 years says something about her true nature which she ignored to everyponies detriment.

A human who did what Celestia did would be executed. As far as we know it would be difficult to kill an alicorn. Maybe Celestia's guilt and suffering for a very long time is all the punishment it is possible to place on her.

I admit I may be going a little easy on Celly but she did change and, in the end, did rule with wisdom and kindness for a long time so she did atone to some extent. I can't think of one person who ruled with absolute authority ever turning back to the light. If I'm honest with myself, I know that there is no way I should ever be given the kind of power Celestia wields. Sure, everyone might like me at first because I would try to do good but then the camps would open and ponies would start to disappear...

I basically stopped watching after Magical Mystery Cure. The first few seasons were fun but MMC just had something that changed every episode afterward and it didn't make sense to me. Most events in the episodes didn't much tie together and didn't need to be watched in sequence. MMC just seems to be the mark between good and "meh" in the show for me.

I enjoyed the Story very much. You have actually sparked a bit of imagination on my part about the possibility of seven elements. If you ever decide to write about her mission i would love to read it.

Very, very well executed!

I can't tell what I like most about it. Twilight's reaction just feels right, going from outrage, then denial, and to eventually acceptance. There's also something about the idea with the seventh element that just 'clicks.'

Thank you so much for publishing this. Reading it was a real treat.

Mercy is probably a better name for said 7th element than forgiveness. It fits better with the other 6 as a virtue.

I was thinking either 'Mercy' or 'Compassion'

Umm... Just wondering, could you write a sequel about Twilight's journey to find the seventh element?

6612256 I agree. Forgiveness is being able to forgive anyone, (to its extreme including the worst people/ponies in history) and mercy is the ability or want to spare others from the worst people/ponies in history.

Such an awesome storie, very well written

I did like this story, and it does have some basis, given the final scenes of Rainbow Rocks, where the Rainbow had seven colors.

Spoiler Alert! The Element of Forgiveness is in the human dimension with Sunset Shimmer.
Am I the only who thinks this deserves a sequel?

Damn. Forgiveness is hard. Revenge is easy. (Probably why I hold grudges and more anger than is probably healthy.) Although, the things Celestia did I not wholly unreasonable to me, especially if you look at the results. Nobody messes with Equestria unless they happen to be immortal or a god.

Personally, I feel the show has improved every season (barring season 3, which I put between seasons 1 and 2). So far, to me, Season 5 has only had two dud episodes, a couple more decent ones, and the rest are are all good to spectacular.

I think you should consider giving seasons 4 and 5 another try sometime, even if you still end up disliking them.

Actually, despite Twilight's complaining, she's been busier this season with stuff like that than ever. She's been in charge of the Grand Equestria Pony Summit, hosted the Yaks, led the expedition to drive Starlight from her town, helped organize the Grand Galloping Gala, and gave RD and PP advice for the Griffonstone mission. That's not even including a possible map mission in an upcoming episode (probably with Fluttershy to round out the pairs), and possibly something in the finale, too.

I must confess, I found myself skipping the parts detailing the Tyrantlestia period, kinda already guessing what would be written in them.

I really only wanted to find out if you'd actually try to play this straight.

I think the issue is that her real offense was a lack of forgiveness. In that sense it was primarily against the element thereof. Many suffered because of it, but we could infer that the changelings at least brought it on themselves. Any peace they could as for would be dependent on Celestia being merciful unless I grossly misunderstand.

Even if it's confusing, Twilight as admits to forgiving Celestia only for personal wrongs. I'm not even sure if that's a real wrong. Twilight didn't bring this issue up before so she didn't receive an unlooked for answer to an unasked question. Forgiveness isn't about whether someone deserves it though in any case.


The changelings brought into themselves?! Celestia executed their Queen and her son on a diplomatic meeting for surrendering conditions (dishonesty) , paraded their corpses in front of the hive before entombing all of them, civilians and children included, alive (unkindness) , and even condemned one of her own officers to die with them for suggesting mercy (disloyalty).
Even in real life those would have been considered war crimes.


It's a bit overblown in some places where the drama seems a bit cliche (Don't touch me!) but it was a really good read. Couldn't stop until I got to the end.

As much as I scoff at Tyrantlestia, I give you props for playing it in a way that's not just "BWAHAHA, I DID IT FOR TEH EVULZ! :trollestia:". I also give you props for including that on top of a seventh Element, both of which are tropes that more often than not makes eyebrows strike the ceiling. :derpytongue2:

I was honestly invested in this story. I've always been of the belief that the execution is often more important than the premise, and this proves that a fic can still be well-written and enjoyable even if it does use a risky or overdone concept. It kept me hanging on, and it made me feel feelings, I think it was a very worthwhile read. :twilightsmile:

If there is going to be a continuation of this concept (even if this is pretty cliche) I'd personally enjoy seeing some sort of corrupted Element of Forgiveness, since Celestia had pushed even its forgiveness a bit too much (taking that she, you know, slaughtered thousands).

That was actually pretty damn good. Kudos to you for taking a typically cliche and abjectly terrible premise and making it into something worth actually reading. Bonus points for painting one of the most realistic portrayals of Tyrantlestia I've had the pleasure of reading.

I have to admit, this premise of a broken seventh element is incredibly intriguing, and I find myself actually wanting more. Maybe a search for the Seventh Element? Maybe throw in a bit of corruption, maybe a touch of eldritch horror, and boom. Epic story.

Anyway, hope you win this competition. This is one of the better entries I've read for it so far.

HiddenMaster out.

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