• Member Since 25th Jun, 2013
  • offline last seen September 20th

Lord-Commander


Amateur writer and artist, Commander of the 31st Imperial Legions, and devotee of the Princess of the Night.

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This story is a sequel to Empress Rarity's 250th Birthday


“We are friends, are we not?”

The Empress’ two hundred and fifty-first birthday is just a few days away, yet there is little cause for celebration as Rarity’s Empire is crumbling before her eyes. Bad luck somehow meets her at every turn, and there’s a grim shadow looming over any hope for her nation and her crystal ponies. With a powerful darkness locked within her own mind, will the voices in her nightmares tear her apart? Or can she learn to rely on those she once called friends before it's too late?


Welcome to the sequel to Empress Rarity’s 250th Birthday.

This story was designed with new and old readers in mind. I have made sure to carefully place information to touch on the important facts to remind those that had read the first book of what happened, and to let new readers know what is going on in this one. Not everything is going to be explained from the last book at once, but it will be eventually covered.

So it is not necessarily a requirement to read Empress Rarity’s 250th Birthday, but it is highly recommended.

The group for the story: Birthdayverse.
Credit goes to Autumnschild for the editing.
Cover art is done by, and belongs to ifthemainecoon.

Chapters (7)
Comments ( 91 )

Incentive for me to finish the first one, I should think.

~Skeeter The Lurker

Holy shit, that prologue was epic!

Ah, more! I can't wait! I loved 250. :)

Awesome. But question:

and slump her head down to the floor

Shouldn't that say "slump her head down onto the floor?

Also, you doubled up on puncuation here:

here?,”

6858994
I'm not totally sure if it is okay the way it is or if it needs to be adjusted to that. I'll check with someone. Thank you for noticing that and the double punctuation.

Alright, let's hope this birthday goes a little less disastrously than the last one.

That really isn't a very diplomatic way of interacting with a dragon.

"You have the worst birthdays."

No kidding.

Definitely a very action filled start to this. In my headcanon this is Luna forcing Twilight and Rarity to relive their friendship through dreams. One per night since the last story ought to make the point.

I'm curious to find out when this little adventure happens in relation to the rest of the story. Is Discord actually working to bring them together? Did we flash back to simpler times? I'm looking forward to Chapter 1 to find out.

So... Twilight denotated her spell in the dragon's eyesocket...? I wasn't quite sure.

6859151
Hmm. No, it acted more like a flashbang, and it went off at the opening of the gorge. I just looked at it, and adjusted it to be more clear on which hole she was shooting stuff at.

Thanks, and sorry for the confusion.

And yay! Another Commander!

6859171

Right. Yeah, it was a touch unclear. (The fact I'm running on barely minimumal mental fucntion today doesn't really help, mind...!)

That was an exciting way to begin a new story! :rainbowdetermined2:

I'm happy to see you're continuing this series, thank you!

Awesome chapter :pinkiehappy:

Thank you for continuing this wonderful AU. Looking forward to the rest of it.

What I want to know is....how does this chapter fit in with the rest of the Story? It seems like it's a Prequel to your previous story.

I am just kind of confused to how this fits in, and what exactly is going on.

Though I DID rather fancy this chapter, and it's great to see more writing coming from you!

:twilightangry2: Why did you wake up a sleeping dragon?!
:duck: Well we both have woken dearest Spikey and never had such a violent reaction Twilight
:twilightsmile: I remember that one time
:raritywink: Well yes I'd be cranky too if I had Pinkie duct tape us on separate walls on our honeymoon.
:twilightoops: She did that?!
:pinkiehappy: yepper fire proof too!
:moustache: that was cold real cold

pre12.deviantart.net/5c2b/th/pre/i/2015/325/8/5/bed_time_story_by_hillbe-d9hkh8m.jpg

nice adventure,,,:rainbowlaugh:

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I do have chapter one coming out today, and I hope it will put to rest some of your questions. I'm sorry, I am not sure on how much I can say without spoiling everything. It is an important part of the story, but I don't dare say anything until a couple of chapters come out explaining some things.

Sorry.

“We are friends, are we not?”

And our interests are the same.
We collaborate,
And trust in fate
To parcel out the blame~

wow.....:derpytongue2: this is going to be good

:moustache: I Spike the Great Honorable Brave and Glorious have returned, I shall rule !
:raritycry: But I'm the one!
:moustache: Are you going to eat that crystal?:raritystarry:

6862713
I was about to post that, lol

“Suffering builds character,” offered Luna. “Every step to something good requires suffering and sacrifice.”

That's what I tell the kids in the coals mines when I whip them and tell them to work faster. :pinkiecrazy:

But honestly, geez Luna. Hyperbole much? That lines was used as a gag in "Calvin and Hobbes" for a reason.

*Mr. Plinkett of Redlettermedia appears inexplicably* I liked how Discord handled things in this movie. When womens gets crazy, sometimes you just have to abduct them... for their own good of course.

At least that's what you tell the jury.

:trollestia:

And that was before last year’s debacle between Twilight and Rarity.

The two haven’t spoken since.

It up to you to give them both a hoof upside the head for it, Cadance, you're the only alicorn available for the job!

Flint Pie, instantly suspicious. I can't help but imagine Pinkie having her line of descendants spying for her even from the grave.

“Have an excuse ready to leave the Bird Watchers early. Looking Glass is a dear, but I can only take so many bird facts before I feel like flying off myself.”

Heh.

Oh my god, Twilight, are you still letting your emotions effect relations with the Crystal Empire that strongly? Talk about "things that should make you ineligible to be a head of state". Millions of lives impacted by this, and she's being all personally offended still after even a year.

“We’ve talked about this before, Twilight, a lot. You two need to sit down and talk.”

“I know,” said Twilight, resting her head down on her hooves. “It’s just, I don’t know how. Or when.”

Okay, much better.

Twilight scrunched up her face at her sister-in-law. “Just for that, I’m happy I used all of your conditioner.”

“You used all of it?! Rude.”

Very rude!

You never expect to be thankful for Discord's intervention, but here we are.

A split personality for Luna? Historically, that hasn't gone well. Same for the emotional stress that Rarity is under to a bit of a lesser degree.

A "temporary suspension of powers" does sound an awful lot like a coup.

She stopped and looked down at the plate, and at Discord’s severed head smiling back at her. Rarity only had enough time to yelp in alarm before the world went dark.

Even more thankful for Discord, twice in the same chapter. Well, assuming he is attempting to help as it appears that he is.

Im so happy you continued this story, kudos :raritystarry:

"Could be worse,” said the omelet on her plate with a squishy shrug. “You could be taking care of an orthos with a grass allergy.”

I feel like there needs to be a Greatest Hits collection of Discord's best entrances/exits.

But really, what was Rarity expecting when she ordered the non-Euclidean omelette?

Sorry for not reading this sooner :facehoof: I sense a conspiracy against Empress Rarity from the Crystal Council.

Just have to say that I'm loving this story - perhaps more than the original PTS500 arcs... Is that blasphemy or something?
Probably because you have lots of good things - Fallible Twilight, Rarity in any aspect and intrigue in spades.

Few grammar and spelling errors throughout the prologue and Chapter 1 but nothing large to detract from the reading.
I'm sure Lizardman will pick them up. "Leapt" rather than "leaped", for example.

Cute. I guess it'll be a while before we figure out what they're doing on that island.

Hmm, not much to comment on yet but I like this added insight into Luna and her now almost mental roommate Sapphire. Hope to see more soon.

The conditioner bit was really cute by the way.

Hype!

Haven't had a chance to read it yet, but I've been dying to see an update, thanks!

New chapter, finally! <3

I'll dive into this soon as I'm done with this Wasp and Spider story's chapter. But so looking forward to diving into this next!

UPDATE: Oh dear. That was cute. Yet it all amounted to a big tease in the end as we now wait for the game to start.

Twilight's O face at the thought of rediscovering potential secrets and bring back Golemancy, cutes.

Not much I can say without spoiling what little is left but I feel tortured this story doesn't dish out deliscios 12k+ chapters. I'd imagine that'd plain kill you two trying to get such size out at a reasonable time given how much I know life has a way of kicking you in the proverbial and sometimes literal nads. Suffice to say I'm now in love with the direction this has taken even more, normally I grown at a certain toothy dude's usage but this story fits them well. And no I didn't mean Grumpy. ;3

JMP

Discord is great as always.

Hmm, odds are the trial is related to the dragon incident in "Dragonshy"...

prefervid romance novels

prefervid

BAHAHA! This is either best typo or a rather ingenious punning.

… the rest of the chapter is also much amuse. And Twilight being innocently admiring and sincerely curious is quite difficult to resist, certainly.

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tipped on it’s side

its

7280020
Sorry, it's neither. Basically, if I was to use the meaning of prefervid, Rarity would be reading "very passionate" books.

I'm happy to hear that you enjoyed the chapter. Thank you.

The long awaited update is here. At least one of them is trying to make up

For a moment (and I'm still not ruling the idea out) I wondered if Discord had brought them to the future to see the results of their current actions, because of the ruins. Then I remembered this was 250-less-Rarity's-show-age years in the future, and rebar and concrete had probably been pretty widespread for a good 250-odd years - which is a long time to lose civilisation or even merely a (perhaps temportary) city in and have it degrade back into ruins.

Well, at least this seems like a really nice vacation spot.

With an annoyed sigh, she kicked out a crystal forehoof and knocked over the flimsy wooden backdrop upon which all this vacationy splendor was painted upon. The backdrop fell onto a player, dragging the needle raggedly against the record it was playing, and the sound of surf, seagulls, and slide guitars slammed to a screechy halt. Rarity stomped an hoof in pouty frustration.

Er, never mind.

Well, forest valley isn't too bad an alternative. Still could be pretty scenic at least.

Discord, who she saw lunge at her from the corner of her vision, had dropped to one knee and plunged his taloned hand into her ear, up to his scaly elbow. She let out a startled, cross-eyed yelp, almost a half laugh, as his rummaging around tickled something in her brain. With all of her willpower, she tried to focus her thoughts to cast a spell, but just as she had one in mind, out his hand went with an audible pop.

And there, struggling in his grasp, was a cursing Sombra.

Ooo. Can't keep any secrets like this when Discord is around, apparently.

“Mhmm, you don’t say?” Discord brought a paw up to his face and rubbed his chin in thought. “I remember it like it was tomorrow. You, going away on your anvil with those adorable little hammers. You made such fine trinkets, Blacksmith. Do you still take custom orders?”

Well now, that's interesting. Sombra the blacksmith?

Poor little dissolving Sombra. How karmic, or something.

Her helmet snapped into place with the rest of her armor the moment the ground rushed by, cutting off her scream. Further screaming was cut off by ‘oofs’ and ‘urhks’ as she bounced her way down from one rock to another and so on before smashing through the tree canopy with some finality, and skidding through a series of bushes before stopping face first in the valley.

That's our birthday girl, so graceful, so light on her feet face.

Empress? Rarity felt the Crystal Heart brush up against her mind, as if it was trying to scoot closer to her. Empress, I believe we are being watched.

Rarity brushed at her dirty muzzle with an armored hoof. It was just one frustration after another around here, and no closer to getting home.

“I know, darling,” replied Rarity. She had not come out of the forest alone. Something was following her.

INB4 it's Twilight.

“Fascinating,” whispered Twilight as she backed into the bushes she had been hiding in. Or as she called them, ‘Sparkle Base Gamma’. She picked up her quill pen and notebook, titled An Unexpected Journey of Twilight Sparkle, and quickly documented the results of her observation. “Subject continues on possible patrol pattern. Unknown if subject is capable of communication or friendship. Observation continues.”

Hahaha, and it's Twilight.

You know, as much as I've been criticizing Twilight's approach to certain things, I thoroughly approve of her approach to this surprise trip. Boom, free vacation.

Interesting that she doesn't know enough to recognize Rarity's armor.

A ruined city, advanced enough to be built out of rebar reinforced concrete? And one that neither Twilight or Rarity recognize? Very interesting.

“Another pedestal,” observed Rarity. This one was much more grand than the other ones spread around the courtyard. She placed an armored hoof into one of the six impressions carved into the table, all of them arranged in a circle, another arcane circle which no doubt matched the giant one scribed on the courtyard floor with exactness. “Are these for keys?”

A pedestal, with six impressions for mystery objects? That's just a little telling.

Reunion time!

“Dressed like a-a what?” Rarity looked down at herself and then glared back at Twilight. “It’s armor, darling, surely you can figure that out!”

Twilight bristled at the jab. “And you just walk around in armor?”

“When I’m whisked away by a petty god and sent to some long dead island for reasons unknown, I do,” snapped Rarity. ”Apologies, I didn’t know that cavorting around in some Daring Do getup and stalking mares in the forest was the style this season!”

Really, the armor makes a lot of sense.

Rarity readied herself for a feisty return, but was met with Twilight’s head buried in her notebook instead. “How do you make the crystal move so freely? How do you control it? That’s amazing!”

Rarity blinked a few times, caught off guard by the sudden compliment and change in attitude. “It is amazing, isn’t it?” she carefully asked, raising and lowering her armor on mental command. She made it a two piece. Rarity turned it into a gown. An apron. A smartly bedazzled pant suit. Twilight clapped her hooves appreciably as her pen wrote at the speed of thought in the notebook floating next to her.

You can always depend on Twilight's love of learning.

Twilight gasped.

“What?” demanded Rarity. “What is it?”

“The Elements…” said Twilight in a whisper.

Yeah, figured that they were involved.

Discord cleared his throat and read from the teleprompter. “The games are meant for two friends who are falling apart. Who would rather break each other down, than build each other up. I am not the architect of these games, but the facilitator; the game master. The games themselves were devised by four very special ponies. Each game is a trial of sorts, based on their lives and the elements that brought you all together. You might have heard of them; Loyalty, Honesty, Kindness, and Laughter.”

Oooo, so the other girls were involved in designing this? Even more interesting. So either they knew waaaay back when that it would be needed someday, or they're out there somewhere (or somewhen?) and know it's needed now.

"Kindness," said Twilight flatly.

"Yes, gods yes. Absolutely,” said Rarity, nodding in agreement. “Kindness first."

INB4 the Kindness trial is terrifying.

And where does Sweetie Belle fit in on all of this?

Awesome! Love this 'verse, keep it up!

Luna and Celestia especially deserve all the grief they can get for their little hiding games. At least Luna seemed to has a flash of guilt about it, although maybe that's her disguise's emotions more than her own. Losing themselves in their alter egos is an interesting little detail, regardless.

7691476
Well, she is dead in this. She, along with the other original Crusaders, and remaining Mane 6 (Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash, Applejack, and Pinkie Pie) have all passed on by this point. Sweetie Belle, like the others, did leave a legacy, and has a descendant that has a active role in this time period, called Graham Belle.

A few of the Mane 6 (with the exception of Twilight, and Rarity) have decedents that are actively participating in this story line. Some are extremely obvious, some aren't.

Concerning Sweetie Belle's "legacy" I think some of it is in Empress Rarity's 250th Birthday (ER250), maybe something in Princess Twilihgt's 505th Birthday (PTS505). I can't remember off the top of my head what was implied and what was published in the final version of the story. I'm not sure if you have read them, and I would hate to spoil anything about them, except Sweetie Belle does sort of make an "appearance" in ER250.

7691917
Ohh, they totally deserve it. But it's going to wreck Luna the worst because of... implied reasons. Guilt will be getting worse, right now it's more of a numbness, that 'surreal' felling of it all is inhibiting a lot. Celestia will get more worked up about it as things unfold, but more because her attention gets split as a certain chess player wanders back onto the field.

I'm glad you enjoy the bits with the alter egos. I might expound more on them later, depending on what happens with Sapphire.

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has just lost it’s Empress

its*

I am rather amused at how much Spike is still so much like his young self, despite being so much older.

I see that the lost in the woods adventures are going, well, let's say survivably. So far.

I'm deeply amused at the sisters being the ones getting to react to a pair of missing rulers. Turnabout is fair play, after all.

Though speaking of which...

“WE NEED LOST, WE HELP THE PRINCESS!” shouted Spike. “Wait, I mean, Sun Star, I mean Solerstia, I mean whatever your name is, we need your help!”

Solerstia seems an awful lot like accidentally slipping and saying Celestia. Does Spike know Shining Star's real identity?

7695878
Spike doesn't know. Autumnschild thought it would be funny if he kept screwing her name up and getting really close to the truth, but never actually knowing the truth and thus putting her on edge about it. I agreed and found it funny too.

7697144 Ahh, gotcha. I didn't think it was likely he knew at this point in the timeline given what I remember of him in 505th, but I was uncertain.

So when can we expect a story about how spike became the chosen one for the dragons?

7709321
Hmm... I can't recall if Autumnschild touched on that in PTS505 or not. I can't remember if the two of us ever discussed that.

Actively, I have no such plans to create such an epic. I'm getting a few ideas just thinking about it, and may include a brief scene about it with this story, or do a interlude chapter and show the climax of such an event.

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