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"For fun" is the best reason to do anything. "The best" is the best way to do everything.

T

Discord has been sick for a long time. It's getting worse by the day. Equestrian medicine can't help him. He can't heal himself.

There is one hope: The fruit of a tree from his birthplace, the Garden of Elysium. Fluttershy takes it upon herself to make the journey with him, dangerous though it may be. On top of that, two young stowaways have joined the party. Pumpkin Cake is prepared to do anything to help Discord, and Pound Cake is frantically scrambling to keep his twin sister safe.

Monstrosities await them as they find that not everybody in Equestria wants to see the Spirit of Chaos well. Fairies, immortals, and ponies converge on Elysium, each with their own plans.

In the end, it will take courage to find the cure. But holding it together becomes more difficult as Discord continues to fall apart.


Rated Teen for

Scary Imagery
and
Perilous Adventure


Chapters (16)
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Comments ( 104 )

Can this be a fluttercord? It seems like someone... taking someone else... to save their lives...

Hey, I've been waiting for-EV-er for a new story from you! And lo and behold, what are we dealing with? The Good People--the Unsealy Court. I actually started a "Good Ponies" fic years ago; never did much with it though.

The concept of the Good People is fascinating. Here is a phenomenon that doesn't fit in with any orthodox worldview, whether religious, scientific, or spiritual. A college professor friend of mind once told me that in the Middle Ages everything was neatly categorized by philosophers so that nothing was left unexplained. He theorized that the human mind reacts against all this order, all this explanation, and the Good People are the result. He also told me "the Good People are nothing you or I ever want anything to do with!" MWA-HA-HA!!!

To deviate somewhat, back in high school in the 70s I found a copy of Irish Fairy and Folk Tales edited by William Butler Yeats. One of the stories towards the end of the book (dealing with pre-Xian Celtic mythology) was a druidic tale that introduced me to a term that is now omnipresent on the Internet thanks to a Japanese anime/manga: geis. It seems to be some sort of binding obligation, but I don't understand it completely. I think of that book (of which I now have a paperback copy) every time I see that word online!

“Oh. Oh, I haven’t met her yet.” Jeuk shrugged. “Her name is Fluttershy.”

And... what exactly do you think will motivate her to drain magic and end Equestria?

So... Patty Cake and baby Rice Cake, huh? Alright.

“Yeah.” Pound rubbed the back of his neck. “Sorry to bug you, Miss…” He read her nametag. “Ribbon Wishes. Have a good night.”

:rainbowderp:

So... starting to get a good sense of what Pumpkin and Pound are like, Pumpkin the red oni, Pound the blue oni.

It's nice how you take a circumstance that seems obvious: "Fluttershy and Discord go to the ends of the earth to heal Discord" and put a completely unexpected supporting character set into it (Pound and Pumpkin). It reminds me of how it never feels like you have just... discarded a character. Characters aren't always the focus point, and you can't have a million characters with equal screen time, but it never feels like one of them is just having nothing happening to them, just that whatever's important about their life isn't being told.

Hey! I'm the tenth vote! A full green bar appears before me.

Hey, sorry for taking so long to comment on this, especially since I've been looking forward to it for so long.

I have to ask, why is this Smooze green? The original Smooze was purple, and the green Smooze of G4 is too friendly to end up in Tartarus. Unless something happened to it that made it more dangerous and it had to be locked away.

As for Jeuk's scene, I have to ask, is he supposed to look like slendermane with eyes or something? Because that would be pretty cool. However, I'm a little concerned about how the Unseelie seem to be behind so many villains. Between Sombra, being old foes of the changelings before they took over, Silver Spoon, and the sirens, We're starting to run out of villains who aren't influenced by them. Also, why do I get the feeling that they intend to offer her the Rainbow in exchange for healing Discord? One more thing before I move on: will he still be immortal without the source of his power?

Can I say how much I enjoy Pumpkin's interactions with Discord? I'll certainly try. I ENJOYED PUMPKIN'S INTERACTIONS WITH DISCORD THIIIIIIIIIIISSS MUCH!!! It says volumes about how much time has passed that a child who has grown up never knowing evil Discord treats him like a crazy grandpa rather than a dangerous chaos spirit. She breaks the laws of physics into his home, questions the originality of his gags, and tells him

“You can take over Ponyville with an army of your own rubber chickens.”

I can see why she recommended him to Scootaloo.

I also like your inclusion of Pinkie as practically part of the family. I mean, she's like that in the show, but it's still really sweet.

Ribbon Wishes. Calling it now, she's a fairy. I have to wonder if she and her kin all take jobs cleaning fountains like that just so they can find wishes to help out with. Hey, it beats tooth duty.

This is off to a great start. So much so that I've already thumbed it up, which I usually don't do for incomplete stories. Keep it up!

Quite an opening chapter, with those divergent scenes and all.

Tirek rolled as they swarmed. They bit, they sparked, they crawled. The itch turned into fiery pain. Jeuk smiled and faded into the shadows, his ears poised to listen to Tirek’s screams, leaving no trace of his passing.
Silence filled the cavern, broken only by the whimpers of a defeated, singed, mangy centaur. All at once, agony piled atop Tirek’s pain.

Well, that was fairly dark. I hope that is the end of Tirek, a quiet death is probably what he deserves. I really hope his immortality was removed, otherwise those fire ants are just going to give him a really bad time. That line about the "Demon King" was hilarious though.

Soon enough, he found himself before the desk, looking up at his teacher.
Cinnamon, Cheerilee’s little daughter, peered down at him. “Round! Zeb’a mask!”

Kind of a scene whiplash, but I'm definitely glad to be here. I love imagining a chubby-cheeked foal squirming around in a bassinet on Cheerilee's desk as she teaches the class. :rainbowkiss: There's an old tradition that if you want to get in good with the teacher, you bring her an apple. I think the new tradition in Mrs. Cheerilee's class is bring her anything other than an apple.

She turned her nose up and mimicked her mother’s accent. “Oh when I turned ten I was already workin’ in the local bakery; it’s a yokel bakery, don’cha know.”

I wonder if Mrs. Cake and Rarity's parents are from the same city, they have the same accent. Either way, I like Pumpkin's talent. Did you ever read the Ask Blog Slice of Life, about the aged-up cake twins? It reminds me a little of Pumpkin.

“You promised you would help me.” She wiggled the rubber chicken’s head in Discord’s face. “Aren’t you supposed to keep your promises, Mr. Reformed?”

Interesting. I wonder how this relationship got started. I suspect we will find out.

Pound shuffled in his seat. Mom was playing peek-a-boo with Rice. Pinkie and Dad were talking about family politics—only slightly less boring than real politics. Patty was digging through Pumpkin’s presents to play with them while her older sister wasn’t looking.

I really love the depiction of the members of the Cake family, all 7 of them. Pinkie is a sister/aunt hybrid, like how I imagine Shining Armor is to Spike.

6868215

And... what exactly do you think will motivate her to drain magic and end Equestria?

What if it's the only way to save her dangerously sick friend Discord?

6869590 I think you've got it dead on with Ribbon Wishes.

A nice start. This one definitely has more of the lighthearted slice-of-lifey feel that drew me to this series in the first place (not that i didn't enjoy the immense drama of Daybreak of course), but I don't expect that to last once the adventure gets under way. Love the Pumpkin/Discord friendship and the general Pie family dynamic. Looking forward to seeing this play out!

6866094

Can this be a fluttercord? It seems like someone... taking someone else... to save their lives...

This is not FlutterCord. Discord has very strong friendships, but he does not take part in any romances as far as this story goes.


6866506

Hey, I've been waiting for-EV-er for a new story from you!

Wow. It really has been forever, hasn't it? I had no idea. I mean, I never stopped writing, but it's been almost a year since I posted a new story. I had no idea.

A college professor friend of mind once told me that in the Middle Ages everything was neatly categorized by philosophers so that nothing was left unexplained. He theorized that the human mind reacts against all this order, all this explanation, and the Good People are the result.

Huh. I kinda thought that fairies were the explanation for everything, and science came later. Makes me wonder what he thinks about all the neat categorization we have now.

He also told me "the Good People are nothing you or I ever want anything to do with!" MWA-HA-HA!!!

Truer words have not been spoken. :trollestia:

One of the stories towards the end of the book (dealing with pre-Xian Celtic mythology) was a druidic tale that introduced me to a term that is now omnipresent on the Internet thanks to a Japanese anime/manga: geis. It seems to be some sort of binding obligation, but I don't understand it completely.

Now, see, this is one of the words I thought I knew, until I went and actually looked it up. I thought it was a compulsory promise, and you were forced to fulfill it. I guess it's more of a deadly Pinkie Promise. :pinkiecrazy:


6868215

So... starting to get a good sense of what Pumpkin and Pound are like, Pumpkin the red oni, Pound the blue oni.

They're the first characters I've ever written to be exactly opposite onis of each other. Although Redheart and Blueblood worked pretty well that way (haha!). Polar opposites are a theme through the whole story, I think, and I look forward to playing with them.

It reminds me of how it never feels like you have just... discarded a character.

Bingo! A living world must by definition be living. Keeping track of everybody is a bit of a challenge, but it's worth it.

It also gives me a deep pool of characters to pick from that I've already developed. Need somepony for this scene? Gotcha!


6869590

I have to ask, why is this Smooze green?

Unless something happened to it that made it more dangerous and it had to be locked away.

It's a melding of the two. In Lord Mayor Applejack, a footnote said that three witches summoned a glob of ooze that almost destroyed Ponyville. Then, a few months later, the Smooze itself appeared in the show. I figured that since the lovable ooze did go on a sort of rampage, it wasn't much of a stretch that it could work for my story.

I'm a little concerned about how the Unseelie seem to be behind so many villains.

I think the spooky thing about the unseelie is that they've always been there. They haven't always had a heavy hand, but they're felt. It's a little fanfic-y, but I've never shied away from that. :twilightblush:

In my defense, Sombra only got an apple from them, and the changelings were actively against them.

In my offense, Nightmare Moon was approached by Nightmares, who are members of the court.

At this point, the villains untainted by them are Sunset Shimmer, Starlight Glimmer, Trixie Lulamoon, and the diamond dogs.

will he still be immortal without the source of his power?

That's for me to know... :scootangel:

Can I say how much I enjoy Pumpkin's interactions with Discord? I'll certainly try. I ENJOYED PUMPKIN'S INTERACTIONS WITH DISCORD THIIIIIIIIIIISSS MUCH!!!

It was my absolute favorite part of the chapter. And it's really the main reason this story is getting written. I want to see the new Discord in his natural environment, and I love Pumpkin Cake's sassyness.


6870107

Kind of a scene whiplash, but I'm definitely glad to be here.

Mood whiplash, yes, but I feel like I used it in the proper way, here. It's a shock to the viewers, it sets up the tone of the story at both ends of the spectrum, and it begins the plot with a bang.

It may be mishandled, maybe, and if so I apologize, but I want to see if it works.

I think the new tradition in Mrs. Cheerilee's class is bring her anything other than an apple.

"Oh, aren't you just the sweetest? I'll be sure to share this and the other ninety apples with my beloved husband!"

Did you ever read the Ask Blog Slice of Life, about the aged-up cake twins? It reminds me a little of Pumpkin.

I love that blog--it's one of my favorite pony things ever. I'm sad that it's no longer online. It can be found on Derpiiboru, though, so there is a silver lining.

It's my main inspiration as to family life at the Cake household. Expect a mention of Uncle Gateau.

Interesting. I wonder how this relationship got started. I suspect we will find out.

It started out very much like the friendship between Doc Brown and Marty McFly.

:twistnerd:


6883669

A nice start. This one definitely has more of the lighthearted slice-of-lifey feel that drew me to this series in the first place (not that i didn't enjoy the immense drama of Daybreak of course), but I don't expect that to last once the adventure gets under way. Love the Pumpkin/Discord friendship and the general Pie family dynamic. Looking forward to seeing this play out!

After the drama of Absence and DayBreak, I've been wanting to get back to more slice of lifey stuff, even if just for a little bit. Life isn't all big battles and vast mysteries.

But it is sometimes, and that's pretty awesome. :raritywink: I hope you enjoy it!

Thanks for another chapter.

I wonder how much candy he will end up getting, or how much more he would have gotten by identifying the target. Speaking of which, when did he get a taste for candy? Did they have the same kind a thousand years ago? Or did he discover it while he was still weak from his escape. That last one seems the most likely to me.

That whole scene was pretty good. Given that we, the audience, already know the truth, it creates a different sort of tension than we would have gotten from learning only what the princesses did. I think this works better, since I would have thought the target was a villain, whereas now I am concerned for the heroes.

I bet there's a story behind Methuselah.

I wonder what the legal and political implications are for Ponyville becoming a city? The mayor already could send represent them, what more can they get?

Hold on a moment . . .

“And I think I can convince Bulk Biceps to come, if you’re lucky.”

You couldn't possibly be --

Bulk Biceps puffed his chest out. “I’ll walk you home to make sure you get there s—”

Oh my goodness, you are shipping these two in this story! That pairing . . . makes perfect and no sense all at the same time. Ah well, it's as good as any, and it helps make things perfectly clear that Fluttercord won't be happening. I'm pretty sure that was intentional, but it's a very nice, subtle way of handling it. I do have to wonder though, it seems like they aren't officially a couple at the moment, and given they're both attracted to each other and seem to know the feelings are mutual, why aren't they together?

Does Merry really feel sorry? I have to wonder about that.

Finally, I thought it was Scootatloo he had told the details about his illness to, while being a bit more vague about it too Rainbow. I suppose they could have always compared notes afterwards.

Thanks again for the new chapter!

Shalom

I… believe it is called a morlock. A distant relative of the yahoos.

Yahoos? As in...as in THOSE Yahoos??? (And Wells' morlocks, I assume?)

You know, if I weren't so lazy and untalented, I'd try to write a fic about Gulliver in Equestria. I've actually thought of the idea several times, but I haven't written a fic in years! I'm not even sure I can any more. But that would be something, wouldn't it? And who would the Yahoos be? Bronies perhaps?

Girrafrica

Now there's an appropriately punned name! I wonder why no one's thought of it before? It's certainly better than "Zebrica."

Oh, and your version of Cloudchaser is Scottish? Where did that come from? If that's the case I'm sure she knows all about the Unseely Court and what to do about them! (BTW, do the Scots say "Da" as well? I thought that was an Irish thing.)

I truly look forward to continuing to read this story!

This chapter, past and future holders of the Rainbow of Darkness are miserable. Luna has some fun with Tirek, but it does look like he is still immortal. I suppose he'll be another Munchy someday.

It's my main inspiration as to family life at the Cake household. Expect a mention of Uncle Gateau.

I'm sure they get letters from the Hayseed Swamps from time to time. Heck, somebody out there has to have contacts in Ponyville, otherwise how would they order all those pies?

It started out very much like the friendship between Doc Brown and Marty McFly.

Turns out Discord's time machine is powered by unstable magic crystals he conned out of Yakyakistani terrorists.

A hoof landed on Fluttershy’s shoulder. She craned her neck to get a glimpse of the pony, and let out a sigh when she saw a layered, colorful mane. The sensation of touch turned from horrifying to comforting

I feel like you really nailed Fluttershy's social anxiety at the meeting, as well as her conflicted feelings towards Merry and everyone else.

The vote for Ponyville to become a city was cast and passed, nearly unanimously.

Called it last story, Ponyville is on its way to becoming the new capital of Equestria!

Applejack cleared her throat. “All rise for the Pledge to the Equestrian Flag.”

This was cool. As someone who has attended his fare share, it made the whole thing feel more like an actual local government meeting.

Aside from yet another reconfiguration of the town’s road budget, there wasn’t much to report.

I just figured out why Applejack was so eager to take in the Cloudsdale refugees. Pegasi still have to pay taxes, but they put way less wear and tear into roads than anyone else. I bet Gaston never even had a road budget! :applejackconfused: Where's Gaston anyways?

Applejack wiped a bead of sweat from her forehead. “I’ll let Miss Wishes handle this question—if you would?”
Ribbon Wishes sent Lyra a wide smile. “Don’t worry, Miss Heartstrings! I’ve found the issue and should have the pipes cleaned out by the end of the week.”

Wait a minute.... Ribbon Wishes isn't just a phantom that appears, she's actually a real pony that holds an ordinary job? That's certainly unexpected. I bet she spouts off fountain-related metaphors and aphorisms that serve as fantastic advice to any young ponies that happen to walk by her.

“Truth be told,” Merry said, “I respect Lord Mayor Applejack a great deal for how she has handled these trying times. How she opened up Ponyville as a place of refuge for our Cloudsdale brothers and sisters. How she works day and night to make Ponyville a better city. How she stands tall, proud, and steadfast through it all.”

As Sir Humphrey Appleby of Yes Minister once said, "It is necessary to get behind someone before you can stab them in the back."

Merry spoke each word with venom, her voice shaking. “I just ask that Discord steps forward and takes responsibility. For once in his life. And moves to make things better.”

......Why is she asking Applejack this? What do Merry's supporters expect LM:ajbemused: to do to Discord if he doesn't act? Fire him as the Lord of Chaos?

Fluttershy turned the sink on and splashed water on her face. She dried with a paper towel. “I hate it when my friends fight. Can’t you choose something else to be the cornerstone of your reelection?”
Merry pressed her hooves together. Her tight muscles relaxed. Her chest expanded with a calming breath. “Yes. But... I can’t promise that it’ll be something you’ll like.”

Wait, Merry is saying if she picks some other issue to run on, it will be something Fluttershy likes less? Something more upsetting to her dearest friend than attacking an ill Discord? Oh Geez, Merry is going to advocate DDT spraying of White Tail Woods or something to reduce the pest population. :fluttercry:

“For the first time in recorded history, pony and griffon armed forces are collaborating in the defense of the Saddle Arabian border—”

Ooh, classic News of the World. Go get 'em, boys!

Clouckicker snickered as she watched Bulk’s face deflate. “Come along, Casanova. Mayhaps ye’ll be in luck an’ me husband will save ye some of the buffet.”

Flutterbulk? YEAAAAAAAAHHHHH!

Rainbow Dash leaned over to rest her forehead against Fluttershy’s. She spoke with a hissing voice. “I think… I think Discord is losing his memory.”

And the truth comes out. Expect an epic confrontation next chapter, Discord is going to get guilt-tripped so hard.

6905160

I wonder how much candy he will end up getting, or how much more he would have gotten by identifying the target. Speaking of which, when did he get a taste for candy? Did they have the same kind a thousand years ago? Or did he discover it while he was still weak from his escape. That last one seems the most likely to me.

Back in his day, "candy" basically amounted to dried honey and candied fruit. Once he was able to escape, his sweet tooth expanded considerably!

That whole scene was pretty good. Given that we, the audience, already know the truth, it creates a different sort of tension than we would have gotten from learning only what the princesses did. I think this works better, since I would have thought the target was a villain, whereas now I am concerned for the heroes.

Super-secret author trick incoming: If the reader only knows one side of the story, it's called a mystery. If the reader knows both sides, it's called intrigue. Mystery and intrigue, when used in conjunction, can make for a highly satisfying plot.

I wonder what the legal and political implications are for Ponyville becoming a city? The mayor already could send represent them, what more can they get?

Boring political stuff, I assume. Differences in taxation, what sorts of buildings can be constructed in the city limits, prominence on maps, connection to major roadways, and population. They're getting a barrack pretty soon, too. It's a whole bunch of little things, I think.

Oh my goodness, you are shipping these two in this story! That pairing . . . makes perfect and no sense all at the same time.

I have fully embraced my shipping goggles and see Fluttershy riding his barbells as open flirting. Not to mention, him flexing his muscles for her and her giggling.

But even before Equestria Games aired, back when everybody called him Snowflake, I had an idea for a story called Barbells and Butterflies. The subject should be clear. :yay:

I do have to wonder though, it seems like they aren't officially a couple at the moment, and given they're both attracted to each other and seem to know the feelings are mutual, why aren't they together?

Because he's a single dad who's still unsure of himself, and she's Fluttershy. I'll probably get into it at a later date, but that's the story for now.

Finally, I thought it was Scootatloo he had told the details about his illness to, while being a bit more vague about it too Rainbow. I suppose they could have always compared notes afterwards.

Rainbow Dash, as depicted in my stories, is actually pretty clever when she applies herself. She figured out Discord's other secret, so it isn't much of a stretch that she figured out this one. And, yeah, open communication with Scootaloo helped. A little.

:twilightblush:


6905613

Yahoos? As in...as in THOSE Yahoos??? (And Wells' morlocks, I assume?)

I imagine that to a human's ears, the word "Equestrian" sounds like "Houyhnhnm.":rainbowlaugh:

They look a little like orangutans. Wearing top hats and tuxedos. Very prim and proper folks.

I've actually thought of the idea several times, but I haven't written a fic in years! I'm not even sure I can any more.

I think it's less of a matter of if you can, as much as it's if you really want to. I know there is a lot of stress and effort that goes into a good story, but if you find an idea that you really love, it's worth the suffering.

Then again, there's also something to be said for knowing when it isn't worth it. It's up to each of us.

Now there's an appropriately punned name! I wonder why no one's thought of it before? It's certainly better than "Zebrica."

I've been using this particular pun since my first story! I like to think that Zebrabwe is a country in Giraffrica.

Oh, and your version of Cloudchaser is Scottish? Where did that come from?

From the depths of my silly, obnoxious mind. :twistnerd: I really wanted to write a Scot-like character, and Cloudkicker happened to be available at the time. I wanted to put distance between her and the more famous version, too.

(BTW, do the Scots say "Da" as well? I thought that was an Irish thing.)

It sounded right for her. Everything I know about European dialects, I know from reading Redwall.

With a little more research, it seems that some Scots do indeed call their fathers Da, or Pa, or Faither, or any number of other things. I guess Cloudkicker had her pick of the litter.


6908246

I suppose he'll be another Munchy someday.

And wouldn't that be something? "Tirek wanna wanna sweetie!" :flutterrage:

Turns out Discord's time machine is powered by unstable magic crystals he conned out of Yakyakistani terrorists.

And they trampled it because it wasn't authentic to the movie's version.

I feel like you really nailed Fluttershy's social anxiety at the meeting, as well as her conflicted feelings towards Merry and everyone else.

I was quite the timid thing at one point (Not so much anymore. Baby steps work.). I'm pulling from a lot of personal experience for this story, and I think it's all the better for it. I've always liked writing Fluttershy, I just haven't had much opportunity recently.

Called it last story, Ponyville is on its way to becoming the new capital of Equestria!

I feel no reason to dispel this assumption. One way or the other. :trollestia:

This was cool. As someone who has attended his fare share, it made the whole thing feel more like an actual local government meeting.

:twilightsmile: I thought it was a nice touch. I went on a Twilight-style research binge while I was writing it, studying the history of the USA's pledge and other countries' equivalents.

I was going to write the Equestrian National Anthem into another story, before Coloratura ended up singing the official version on screen. I think she said it far better than I could.

Where's Gaston anyways?

Prepping for his starring role in Rhythm and Rhyme. We'll get to see what kind of mettle the Mayor of Cloudsdale is made of in that story.

But at this point, he's busy trying to rebuild. Somehow. Cloudsdale's been seriously reduced, but it still exists. Barely.

Wait a minute.... Ribbon Wishes isn't just a phantom that appears, she's actually a real pony that holds an ordinary job? That's certainly unexpected.

I wonder why you might have thought her a phantom instead of a flesh-and-blood pony like everyone else. She hasn't done anything in this story outside of her role as local plumber.

I bet she spouts off fountain-related metaphors and aphorisms that serve as fantastic advice to any young ponies that happen to walk by her.

Oh, she excels at that. She's overflowing with advice.

As Sir Humphrey Appleby of Yes Minister once said, "It is necessary to get behind someone before you can stab them in the back."

That's why Lady Applejack of Ponyville keeps Bucky and Kicks in tip-top shape. Hard to get stabbed in the back when you've knocked the wind out of somepony.

......Why is she asking Applejack this? What do Merry's supporters expect LM:ajbemused: to do to Discord if he doesn't act? Fire him as the Lord of Chaos?

Merry knows the power of the Elements, and what they can do to him. The question is directed at Applejack, but it's aimed at the general populace. If she's right, and Discord's slacking, then she has a chance to kick him into high gear. Even if she doesn't get Discord working double-time, she gets the People of Ponyville rowdy... and sympathetic to her cause.

Question is: does she know that Fluttershy refuses to use the Elements on Discord? Maybe, maybe not.

Wait, Merry is saying if she picks some other issue to run on, it will be something Fluttershy likes less?

It's more neutral than that. She's just saying "Okay, I'll pick something else. I can't promise it'll be something better, but it'll be different."

Oh Geez, Merry is going to advocate DDT spraying of White Tail Woods or something to reduce the pest population. :fluttercry:

The camera pans over the library, where Blankety Blank lays twitching on the ground, his tongue lolling out.

Flutterbulk? YEAAAAAAAAHHHHH!

I couldn't help myself. The shipping is strong with this one.

And the truth comes out. Expect an epic confrontation next chapter, Discord is going to get guilt-tripped so hard.

If all goes according to plan. :eeyup:

Wait, Tirek is going to stick around in this story? Awesome! :pinkiehappy: I really didn't expect him to still be a threat, and apparently neither did the guards. You also provided a nice explanation for how Tirek escaped the first time, although I would have thought the locks would have been a little sturdier.

I really like your Pumpkin Cake here. She's smart, yet still clearly a child (who can phase through walls), something that can be hard to pull off. I found her reaction to Discord's accidentally hurtful comments believable.

So, if he loses his mind and his chaos, how is that not dying?

Also, I like how Jeuk left that book there. She would assume it was from the library and he was returning it, thus thinking nothing of him leaving it behind.

Thanks for the chapter!

I anticipated the first half of this chapter, but definitely not the second half.

Fluttershy was shouting, downright screeching.

Disssccccorrddd's in trouble!

“The chaos is building up inside of me, a little at a time.” The flower’s petals fell off. They drifted to the floor, where they melted like ice cream in the sun. “I’m trying to hold myself together, but it’s not working. I’m falling apart from the inside out.”

Oh dear. Even if Fluttershy gets Discord a magic apple that cures everything wrong with him, that's just going to restart the process and buy them another decade or so. A permanent cure would basically have to turn Discord into something else. Either he gives up being a draconequus, or he becomes the Spirit of Something Else.

“Oh really?” Discord’s voice became bouncy. Mocking. “You must need something. You only come here when you need something.”

Ouch, treatind Discord like a genie is Not Cool, even if he's mellowed out over the years.

He sighed and set the book on a small wooden table between them. His ear turned at the sound of Spike carrying a tea tray. “But I suppose it’s all nothing more than a fairy tale as far as the present day is concerned. A shame he’s ill; there’s so much we could learn from the Spirit of Chaos.”

Called it! Looks like Jeuk has found his in.

Spike lowered himself into the couch. He poured himself a small bit of tea and took a sip. “Sorry about that. I didn’t expect him to stay so long. He must’ve walked away with every book on fairies we own.”

Now Jeuk has earned my respect for the first time. Sneaking into prisons and harassing prisoners shows his power, but pre-emptively stripping the Mane 6 of their research material before they know they're even in a fight? My hat is off to Mr. Jeuk Esquire. :moustache:

“She’s got the whole next week free, actually. She was mostly planning on researching a project she’s been working on.”

Can't wait to see Twilight Rocking a red gem.

The space between Tirek’s horns glowed a brilliant orange. A ball of pure, violent power conjured itself from thin air.

What? Ol' timer still has a few in the tank!

‘It worked once before…’ Tirek swiveled his head. The orb of magic between his horns fired bolts at as many cages as he could see. Five, six, seven cells were unlocked before the dog knew what was happening. Mad laughter surrounded them on all sides as the greatest villains and darkest creatures in all of history were set free.

Nice, the classic "start a massive prison break to cover your own escape" maneuver!

“Munchy will be your servant!” the morlock groveled. Its fur—sparse as it was—clung to its body in grimy clumps. Its tiny nose wrinkled with each simper. “Munchy do whatever you ask! Munchy good minion!”

Awww, did you bring along Munchy 'cause I mentioned him earlier, or were you planning that the whole time?

He ventured a smile. “I, um, do cuteceañeras.”

Hahahahaha :rainbowlaugh: Now Tirek knows how Ahuizotl feels all the time!

“The pony most to blame for my problems, of course.” Tirek chuckled as he took a ramp to a lower portion of the city. “I will retrieve my Rainbow of Darkness from Fluttershy.”

So Tirek and Munchy are Leaving Las Pegasus? I will imagine Munchy with the face and voice of Nicholas Cage, but then this story would require a Dark tag.

I thought you were just using Tirek as a plot device for Yeuk and the Regal Sisters to exposition, but he's now a player in the game! What an interesting :twistnerd: .

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Wait, Tirek is going to stick around in this story? Awesome! :pinkiehappy: I really didn't expect him to still be a threat, and apparently neither did the guards. You also provided a nice explanation for how Tirek escaped the first time, although I would have thought the locks would have been a little sturdier.

Ooh yes, he is here to stay. I suppose I should have added his tag the moment I activated the story, but I guess I forgot he even had a tag. Go figure.

As for the locks, there's only so much iron can do against concentrated beams of pure malice.

I really like your Pumpkin Cake here. She's smart, yet still clearly a child (who can phase through walls), something that can be hard to pull off. I found her reaction to Discord's accidentally hurtful comments believable.

Thanks. It's always been a wish of mine to write children, and always a fear that I might not write them well. Here's hoping it continues.

So, if he loses his mind and his chaos, how is that not dying?

It kinda is dying, innit? :trixieshiftright:

Also, I like how Jeuk left that book there. She would assume it was from the library and he was returning it, thus thinking nothing of him leaving it behind.

He's the crafty sort, well adapted to playing the long game. Even if he doesn't like the long game. :trollestia:


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I anticipated the first half of this chapter, but definitely not the second half.

Suddenly jailbreak outta nowhere!

Oh dear. Even if Fluttershy gets Discord a magic apple that cures everything wrong with him, that's just going to restart the process and buy them another decade or so. A permanent cure would basically have to turn Discord into something else. Either he gives up being a draconequus, or he becomes the Spirit of Something Else.

I hear they're looking for somebody to be the new Spirit of Hearth's Warming. I imagine the D-man himself dressed up as an elf, giving out toys to all the good little foals and turning the bad ones into slugs.

Ouch, treatind Discord like a genie is Not Cool, even if he's mellowed out over the years.

But... but... she ain't never had a friend like him!

He was even blue once.

Now Jeuk has earned my respect for the first time. Sneaking into prisons and harassing prisoners shows his power, but pre-emptively stripping the Mane 6 of their research material before they know they're even in a fight? My hat is off to Mr. Jeuk Esquire. :moustache:

Fairies of the Unseelie Court are not to be underestimated, even by the readers. Let thyself be warned, lest ye also be taken in by his schemes and plot-twists. :trollestia:

What? Ol' timer still has a few in the tank!

Never assume a centaur is disarmed until you actually remove his arms--Ancient Yakyakistani saying.

Awww, did you bring along Munchy 'cause I mentioned him earlier, or were you planning that the whole time?

I originally crated Munchy for one scene, plus a cameo in the breakout, but your comment got me thinking more about him. Every once in a while, you find a character that is just so fun that you wanna see more of him. It's the same situation as Natter was in. I just kept bringing him back for more.

And now, not only had Munchy wormed his way into my heart, he's also wormed his way into the plot. Go figure. :twilightsmile:

Hahahahaha :rainbowlaugh: Now Tirek knows how Ahuizotl feels all the time!

:raritydespair: No respect, I gets no respect in this dang town!

So Tirek and Munchy are Leaving Las Pegasus? I will imagine Munchy with the face and voice of Nicholas Cage, but then this story would require a Dark tag.

is that the one where Cypress the Virus takes over the prison airship and sets all the inmates free? And they all have to pay the Coin Fair? (that last pun might have been going too far :applejackunsure:)

I thought you were just using Tirek as a plot device for Yeuk and the Regal Sisters to exposition, but he's now a player in the game! What an interesting :twistnerd: .

Nay, seems Luna was the reason for Tirek to exposition. Now the horseshoe is on the other foot, verily!

It kinda breaks my heart to see Pound like this... miserable and even blaming himself for his sister being mean to him... and I think Cheerilee''s advice is kind of bad. If you're a doormat, being more of a doormat isn't going to stop people from walking over you.

Pumpkin not sparing thoughts for him in her funk just sorta makes it seem worse.

Welp, it sounds like the story has almost reached the end of the first act (assuming the traditional three act structure). This was a nice chapter, although I think the title gives a bit away. I don't know how someone without prior knowledge regarding "you know who" would react, but the title certainly makes it way more obvious, which may or may not be a bad thing, depending on what you were going for.

One more thing, Fluttershy's decision process was golden. I also now know where you got the title.

The last light of the sunset shimmered through the back window.

sunset shimmered

Not sure if coincidence or foreshadowing...

Things really move forward in this chapter, albeit without everyone's favorite centaur.

I hear they're looking for somebody to be the new Spirit of Hearth's Warming.

Discord is probably barred from that ever since that time during his bad old days when he stole Hearth's Warming Eve. Rite of passage among villains.

And now, not only had Munchy wormed his way into my heart, he's also wormed his way into the plot.

Mine too, look at this face! cdn.obsidianportal.com/assets/198016/Morlock.jpg Let's all boogie out to the Morlock Rock!

And they all have to pay the Coin Fair? (that last pun might have been going too far :applejackunsure:)

I would have gone with Con Fairy, but close.

Cheerilee shuffled back, making room behind the stall. She held the caramel apple towards him. “Would you like to tell me about your day while you eat?”

It's Cheers-ilee!

Where Everypony knows your naaaaaaame
And they're always glad you caaaaaame....

She grinned wide at her latest customer. “Hello, Scuttlebutt!

Unless they are Munchy-style apples (which are basically just the Apples), I doubt ol' Scuts is interested.

She walked away, looking over her shoulder. Her eyes met Pumpkin’s. “Sometimes, wishes don’t come true unless we do something about them.”

Ribbon Wishes, you sly old so-and-so. I wonder how she gets along with Merry and Scuttlebutt?

Pumpkin almost snorted, but managed to stay in character. “Please, Mr. Coldstone?”

Oh man, he had to leave the Crystal Empire because he family wanted him to go into the Ice Cream business instead of the guard, right? Eh, this guy is lucky Pumpkin took the time to trick him, instead of just sneaking in through the back with her intangibility spell.

Princess Twilight said,

Uhhhhhhhhhh...... I think we are missing a vital piece of information here. Is Princess Twilight wearing a cool magic choker? Does she have a text-to-voice spell active on her notepad?

Pumpkin flipped through the pages of Elysium. She stuck a hoof out at the begging pony. “It says here that golden apples are, like, super-awesome at healing and stuff. It can stop a pony from dying, even. Maybe Fluttershy needs to go to Elysium to get a golden apple for Discord?”

Boom goes the dynamite, Pumpkin!

Angel Bunny sat in the middle of her back, massaging her slowly, as though he was kneading dough.

Rabbits live 8-12 years. He is either in exceptionally good shape to still give out massages, or that is Angel Bunny 2.

Fluttershy set her table with a single bowl, a single spoon, and a single napkin. Stew was ladled into her dish. She pulled a book off the shelf and held it open with one hoof while the other hoof held her spoon. She read as she ate, the same as she did most every night.
She rolled her eyes. ‘Come on, Kabuki, you know he loves you. Just kiss him already. You’ve been going through this same story for five volumes now. You literally have nothing to worry about…’

Hehehehe, I love that Otaku-shy is a thing!

She kicked up a slice of carrot and mashed it between her teeth. ‘What Would Rainbow Dash Do? She’d do what’s right, even if she was scared out of her wits.

Ahh, the pony equivalent of asking What Would Brian Boitano Do?

Night fell over Ponyville. Its citizens went to sleep, or headed for the Keen Bean,

“Dooby do zoot dee da wah… Dippidy dot zara doo dun doo… Wah wah haha doradda dee…”

Great, one coffee house and Ponyville is developing beatniks! :ajbemused: This should have been brought up in the town council as a warning on the dangers of becoming a larger city.

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It kinda breaks my heart to see Pound like this... miserable and even blaming himself for his sister being mean to him... and I think Cheerilee''s advice is kind of bad. If you're a doormat, being more of a doormat isn't going to stop people from walking over you.

Her advice wasn't supposed to be anti-doormat advice, though. He asked what to do about the situation, and she said resolve it, with love of course. When he said Pumpkin wasn't receptive to that, Cheerilee said that he should give her time to cool down.

Pumpkin not sparing thoughts for him in her funk just sorta makes it seem worse.

She did, kinda, last chapter. She knew what she was doing would hurt Pound, and then did it anyway. Knowing that is part of why she's in this funk.

Not saying she's in the right at all, but she's not necessarily supposed to be.


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Welp, it sounds like the story has almost reached the end of the first act (assuming the traditional three act structure).

It is near the end of the first act, though we're gonna have four acts at the least. It lets me add a mid-story plot twist more easily; the one where everything in the story changes in some significant way. I usually write in four acts these days, while sometimes slipping into five if the story's long enough. By that I mean there's basically four major turning points.

This was a nice chapter, although I think the title gives a bit away. I don't know how someone without prior knowledge regarding "you know who" would react, but the title certainly makes it way more obvious, which may or may not be a bad thing, depending on what you were going for.

I have two thoughts about this.

One: You can tread as deeply into the chapter titles as you wish, and I cannot stop you. :derpytongue2:

Two: If you want your readers to see something coming, you've got to make it obvious. Not every plot twist has to be sneaky.

One more thing, Fluttershy's decision process was golden. I also now know where you got the title.

Part of it. I intend to use the full quote at a later date. :twilightsmile:


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Not sure if coincidence or foreshadowing...

It's a sickness, at this point. I can't go two sunsets without something shimmering, or even go through a twilight without noting a sparkle. To say nothing for the glimmer of starlight or the dancing of the moon!

I love apples, Jack! I do!


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Things really move forward in this chapter, albeit without everyone's favorite centaur.

Tirek is a seasoning, not a marinade. :raritywink:

Discord is probably barred from that ever since that time during his bad old days when he stole Hearth's Warming Eve. Rite of passage among villains.

:rainbowlaugh:

He is still kicking himself for missing Rainbow Dash's Cloudsdale adventure.

Let's all boogie out to the Morlock Rock!

He's so adorable in an existentially-terrifying way!

I would have gone with Con Fairy, but close.

I they crossed a river, and Jeuk was asking for a toll, they'd have the pay the Con Fairy Ferry Fare!

Yuk yuk yuk yuk yuk

Unless they are Munchy-style apples (which are basically just the Apples), I doubt ol' Scuts is interested.

Even the slimiest of monsters need to keep up appearances!

Ribbon Wishes, you sly old so-and-so. I wonder how she gets along with Merry and Scuttlebutt?

I believe the phrase is: She gets on with them like a house on fire.

Oh man, he had to leave the Crystal Empire because he family wanted him to go into the Ice Cream business instead of the guard, right? Eh, this guy is lucky Pumpkin took the time to trick him, instead of just sneaking in through the back with her intangibility spell.

She's tried that, but the magic in the castle-tree-thingy won't let her through. Either the castle is blocking her, or the made the wards stronger after the Hurricane incident.

Also, I have it on good authority that Crystal Empire ice cream is divine. You gotta try the Sombra-fudge ripple.

Uhhhhhhhhhh...... I think we are missing a vital piece of information here. Is Princess Twilight wearing a cool magic choker? Does she have a text-to-voice spell active on her notepad?

And I quote:

“I’ve long suspected there was more to Discord’s disease,” Princess Twilight said, “but never had the evidence to support my supposition.” The purple gemstone hanging from her neck glimmered as she spoke.

And also:

“Pumpkin Cake.” Twilight brought a hoof to her necklace.

Any explanation for Twilight's condition would grind the story to a halt. This isn't about her. I have decided to hold off on it until, like, the epilogue. Until then, the siren is in the details.

:ajsmug:

Rabbits live 8-12 years. He is either in exceptionally good shape to still give out massages, or that is Angel Bunny 2.

Exceptionally good shape. He's an equestrian rabbit, which comes with some level of sapience and an extended life span.

Angel is too mean to die. He's too awesome to die.

Hehehehe, I love that Otaku-shy is a thing!

:rainbowkiss: It's too good to miss.

Ahh, the pony equivalent of asking What Would Brian Boitano Do?

Oho my, exactly like that.

What would Rainbow Dashie do
If she could see us now?
She'd punch a minotaur or two
That's what Rainbow Dash would do

When Cadence had a wedding
She was a cool bridesmaid
She ripped Queen Chrysalis in two
The changelings were dismayed

When Rainbow Dash received the crown
For being a princess
She gave Tirek a world-wide wedgie
Just to relieve the stress

And when Rainbow Dash taught Star Swirl
Everything he knew
She refused to give him the rainboom
That's what Rainbow Dash would do!

So let's all sing together
The praises of best pone
Let liquid pride get the best of you
Cause that's what Rainbow Dash would do!

I got the reference!

Also, it's nice to see more G1 characters showing up. I believe there are groups for those guys you could submit this to. I thought Lacer was going to be a Cheshire Cat at first, had to look up what a displacer beast was. I have to ask though, is Catrina a displacer beast as well, and if not, how is she family?

It's been a while since you've done a song in one of your stories. Wasn't the last one Pinkie introducing Sci-Twi to Ponyville?

Well, we got more of our favorite seasoning this chapter, and more callbacks to G1!

I they crossed a river, and Jeuk was asking for a toll, they'd have the pay the Con Fairy Ferry Fare!

It's fairly obvious this affair with puns needs to end.

I believe the phrase is: She gets on with them like a house on fire.

Ever been in a burning house?
I just realized something: Merry Mare cut the funding to public works back in the day, that's what cost her the job. And we've only seen 1 public works employee so far... I wonder if that mutual animosity affected Merry's budgeting decisions?

Also, I have it on good authority that Crystal Empire ice cream is divine. You gotta try the Sombra-fudge ripple.

It tastes like pure hatred, which they capture by adding in black licorice. I thought the new favorite flavor was neopolitan? I hear they'll introduce a McFlurry soon as well.

Until then, the siren is in the details.

Hey, I didn't say "it isn't here," I said "we are missing," and clearly I missed it. So still correct! :yay:

Angel is too mean to die. He's too awesome to die.

Every time Death comes for Angel, he challenges Death to a game of poker for another year, and Angel always wins because he cheats like crazy.

What would Rainbow Dashie do
If she could see us now?
She'd punch a minotaur or two
That's what Rainbow Dash would do

:rainbowkiss: :heart: :scootangel:

Tirek slowly lifted his hand to rest it against his forehead. He drew his fingers down his face, leaving white scratches in his red skin. “You are an imbecile.”

Tirek really does need Munchy, though, doesn't he? Tirek is a megalomaniac who needs someone to monologue to. I guess Munchy's just a good listener.

“Grogar’s dead. Dragon ate him. Left his will to whoever could find it.” The female cat-person reached into the bosom of her dress and pulled out a dirty scroll, scrawled in haphazard writing. “This here’s my bar now. Name’s Catrina, former witch and currently the chick mixing your drink, so tip well.”

Great to see the ol' sleazeballs aren't all locked up in Tartarus!

He took a step back and shrugged with his four front legs. “Now I hear along the grapevine

Tirek made that offer like 2 minutes ago, clearly Lacer was just hiding out and eavesdropping, and now he wants to look cool. Not fooling me! Also, displacer beasts! I love seeing more D&D monsters showing up.

Wide, white smiles leered at Tirek from every corner of the room. “If you don’t got family, you don’t got nothin’.”

Two thoughts: This is the bar where Ahuiziotl hires his own army of cat minions, right? And does Lacer have a cousin living in the Flame Geyser Swamp?

“Then come on.” Fluttershy reached down and took his hand. “Come with me. Help me find Elysium and the apples. It can’t hurt.” She blinked up at him with the biggest, wettest eyes she was capable of conjuring. “Please? Pretty please with a cherry on top.”
Discord recoiled. “Oh, dear, no. Please, not the cherry on top. I can’t handle the cherry on top!”
Fluttershy pouted. “So you’ll do it? Please say you’ll do it.”
“Ugh! Of course I will!” Discord flung his hands into the air.

Celestia really should have tried this on him back in the day, she might never have needed the EoH in the first place.

That was when Discord signaled the other trombones, drums, and heavy bass to start. It wasn’t jazz, Fluttershy thought. Not quite. Still, it was bouncy and bumpy and as zany as Discord himself. He shook his hips and hopped around the stage, the hippopotamuses jiggling in time.

So it wasn't beatniks teaching Fluttershy to scat! I don't think you specified shades, but I imagine Discord had them on the whole time for this. Great musical duo. I wonder why this site doesn't have a musical tag yet?

Does this story take place in the same continuity as your others? You know, where Twilight has been attacked and can't speak?

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Yes. Except it's also set after Lightning Struck Home and In the Absence of Sunset Shimmer.

If something seems to contradict the situation the characters were left in at the end of DayBreak, it's probably handled in one of those (In the Absence..., for Twilight's voice.)

Excited to see what's in store for Fluttershy and Discord!

Great chapter, Pinkie’s list, and the dialog around it, reads well.

Pinkie pulls off the Glass of Water song with her own flair, and Munchie is a master tactician. Great chapter MH.

Trixie was right about Applejack, some ponies say they'll give you a second chance, but they don't really mean it. Pinkie channeling Dr. Seuss was adorable.
Nice to see Ribbon Wishes countering Jeuk, I hope to see them confront each other some day.
Glad to see Pound will be there to keep an eye on Pumpkin.
Munchy is as creepadorable as always.

And they're off!

45.media.tumblr.com/3f2b3a193e191fd8a9ea54618d91ff20/tumblr_mw3bi67O2K1qdfs7xo3_250.gif

Intrigued by the dynamic between some of the villains. Seems like there's a bit of rivalry between Jeuk and Merry. And I'm not sure exactly what she's playing at with that warning. Keep the good chapters rolling!

Pfft, that Pinky and the Brain reference.

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Great chapter, Pinkie’s list, and the dialog around it, reads well.

Thank you! I've been having a lot of fun with lyrically-enhanced storytelling lately. Maybe too much fun! :pinkiehappy:


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I got the reference!

Bantha Poodoo! :trollestia:

Also, it's nice to see more G1 characters showing up. I believe there are groups for those guys you could submit this to.

There's the old "Credit where it's due" group, yeah, but it doesn't look especially active. Plus, the two G1 only characters I've added are either dead or cameos. I worry that it will be seen as false advertising...

I thought Lacer was going to be a Cheshire Cat at first, had to look up what a displacer beast was. I have to ask though, is Catrina a displacer beast as well, and if not, how is she family?

You know how ant queens have wings, while the basic rank and file do not? It's a little bit like that. She's a lot like her appearance in the G1 cartoon, except a great deal more baggy in the bosom, if you get my meaning. :twilightblush:

It's been a while since you've done a song in one of your stories. Wasn't the last one Pinkie introducing Sci-Twi to Ponyville?

That was the last show-stopper, but there've been little ones interspersed throughout. There was the hearth's warming carol at the end of ItAoSS, and another with Care's family in DayBreak.

Pinkie pulls off the Glass of Water song with her own flair, and Munchie is a master tactician. Great chapter MH.

Munchy is the Napoleon Bonaparte of Equestria. That or the Napoleon Dynamite.


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It's fairly obvious this affair with puns needs to end.

I beg your pardon! This fair affair has no compare! But that is neither here nor there.

Ever been in a burning house?

No, but Smokey the Bear insists that only I am capable of preventing forest fires. The rest of y'all are outta luck.

I just realized something: Merry Mare cut the funding to public works back in the day, that's what cost her the job. And we've only seen 1 public works employee so far... I wonder if that mutual animosity affected Merry's budgeting decisions?

Doesn't the weather patrol count as public works? Seems Cloudkicker has some reason for being cranky.

It tastes like pure hatred, which they capture by adding in black licorice. I thought the new favorite flavor was neopolitan?

Nah. Scoopermare, patterned after Rainbow Dash.

I hear they'll introduce a McFlurry soon as well.

Yes, but you guys will have to wait for the next story. :raritywink:

Hey, I didn't say "it isn't here," I said "we are missing," and clearly I missed it. So still correct! :yay:

Curses! Foiled by lawyers yet again!

Every time Death comes for Angel, he challenges Death to a game of poker for another year, and Angel always wins because he cheats like crazy.

It's those ears, man. You could hide a turnip truck in those oversized lobes.

Tirek really does need Munchy, though, doesn't he? Tirek is a megalomaniac who needs someone to monologue to. I guess Munchy's just a good listener.

They're stinky and he's lame, they're stinky and he's lame
One is a centaur, the other's plebeian...

Tirek made that offer like 2 minutes ago, clearly Lacer was just hiding out and eavesdropping, and now he wants to look cool. Not fooling me! Also, displacer beasts! I love seeing more D&D monsters showing up.

The grapevine has astonishingly short branches, I'm afraid. :twistnerd:

Displacer beasts freaked me out, so of course I had to write about them. Their tentacles have teeth.

Two thoughts: This is the bar where Ahuiziotl hires his own army of cat minions, right? And does Lacer have a cousin living in the Flame Geyser Swamp?

Ahuizotl did in fact outsource his minions from Grogar's bar, right up until the moment Grogar got on a dragon's bad side. Now that Catrina runs things, she puts a premium on feline cohorts. He's had to look for help in other areas...

Lacer has no familiar relations with the Chimera, and in fact he had a rather sordid affair with her. All three of her. The Displacer family does, however, have a longstanding feud with the Rous family from the same swamp.

Celestia really should have tried this on him back in the day, she might never have needed the EoH in the first place.

The last time Celestia tried to do the cutsie face, she started a war. It was against the breezies and it lasted the three seconds it took for them to realize they were totally outmatched, but still...

I don't think you specified shades, but I imagine Discord had them on the whole time for this.

Discord explicitly said he borrowed a pair from Vinyl Scratch. :scootangel:

I wonder why this site doesn't have a musical tag yet?

Because it's routinely frowned upon by the community at large? Because most people don't bother to make their own lyrics? Because if you dare suggest somebody listen to specific music, you are overstepping your bounds as an author and breaking immersion?

One day I'll make a group or something to collect musicals. That would be neat to see! I don't think it'd see much use, but it'd be nice to have around.

Trixie was right about Applejack, some ponies say they'll give you a second chance, but they don't really mean it.

The heart wants to forgive, but the head thinks the heart is out of its mind.

Nice to see Ribbon Wishes countering Jeuk, I hope to see them confront each other some day.

Count on it.

Munchy is as creepadorable as always.

Only the best creepadorablness for Munchy. What meals shall he devour next? What crafty plans shall he concoct? What vileness shall he display with a happy smile and a giggle?


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And they're off!

Munchy rounds the corner followed closely by Tirek! Ooh, but it looks like Pumpkin Cake is pulling ahead! It's anybody's race, folk! Anybody's race!

Intrigued by the dynamic between some of the villains. Seems like there's a bit of rivalry between Jeuk and Merry. And I'm not sure exactly what she's playing at with that warning.

Intrigue is the name of the game, you know. Plots within plots. Schemes upon schemes.

Keep the good chapters rolling!

I intend to!


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Pfft, that Pinky and the Brain reference.

Gee, Tirek, what're we gonna do tomorrow night? :rainbowlaugh:

I loved the Displacer Beasts in action. The descriptions were wonderful.

I’ll have you know that butts are like opinions. The differences get a little hairy

This is probably my favorite line on fimfiction!

What a fantastic action sequence at the end! Also, I love how you maneuvered things. Pound can't carry Pumpkin, Discord can't really be left on his own in the wilderness, and sending the kids back on their own risks them running into Tirek. The only way out is forward, once they reach the Garden and cure Discord he can teleport everyone back home safely.
That is some masterful story design, to create a set of circumstances forcing Fluttershy to accept taking minors on a dangerous quest, and do it without anything seeming forced or out of character.

I beg your pardon! This fair affair has no compare! But that is neither here nor there.

Stop or I shall sic the Mayor, she is quite snarky when forced to leave her lair, and you don't want to anger such a formidable mare.

Doesn't the weather patrol count as public works? Seems Cloudkicker has some reason for being cranky.

Well she's heavily pregnant, and as a highlands mare who normally eats veggie haggis, her weird pregnancy cravings are probably impossible to fulfill, so she's going to be extra cranky.

The Displacer family does, however, have a longstanding feud with the Rous family from the same swamp.

Not everyone really cares about the feud between the cats and the R.O.U.Ss. It's just two hotheads, Thomas and Gerald, who are always going at it.

The last time Celestia tried to do the cutsie face, she started a war. It was against the breezies and it lasted the three seconds it took for them to realize they were totally outmatched, but still...

In the breezies' defense, the Pariah's entire family was eaten by a duck, so of course he took that duck face as a mortal insult.

Count on it.

Have you ever heard of The Investors from the Venture Brothers? I imagine Jeuk looks like a pony version of one of them.

Only the best creepadorablness for Munchy.

Why did Munchy get sick after attending the Ponyville Debating Society?

Pumpkin sat up and raised an eyebrow. ‘Fluttershy’s getting sassy,’ she thought. ‘That can’t be a good sign.’

If Fluttershy could snap her fingers she would.

He looked Pumpkin’s way and saw that she was totally absorbed in her book. ‘I’m dumb.’

He's like ten! I never thought I would say this, but Fluttershy should be a little nicer.

“That does sound very much like me.” Discord picked up the book and squinted.

Discord helped create the first Siren, didn't he? Fascinating! Now I wonder though: Here it looks like the fae lost their rulership of the planet because of the draconequi. But we learned earlier that it was the heroic changlings who dethroned them. Was it a tag-team effort?

The displacer beasts swarmed out of the tree line and into the light of the moon. They bit and snarled, their six legs moving at a frenzy, the tentacles on their backs grasping. Discord pounded them with boxing gloves, but they continued to come.

I love this action sequence. Discord is weakened enough that he can't curb stomp them, but he's still an awesome fighter. And the fighting retreat of the heroes sets a great tempo to the battle.

“My little pony, my little pony, what flavors will Munchy taste?”
It reached for them, its grimy fingers tipped with dirty claws. “My little pony, my little pony, feasting is ma—”

I see Munchy is a G1 fan, or as he calls them "Original Flavor."

Tears burst into Munchy’s eyes. He rose to his feet and ran at her, his arms outstretched. “Mommy Munchy was lovely!”

How dare you sir? Dorothy MantoothMunchy was a Saint! Now I wish for flashbacks of Mom-chy teaching her little Morlock to crack the bones and suck out the marrow.

Tirek rubbed his chin and scowled. He no longer had an edge, but the battle was not over yet.

Hmmm. On the one hand, Tirek is evil, not stupid. He's got to realize that they don't have the Rainbow of Darkness on them. On the other hand, everyone knows fairies can't lie, so maybe that's why he's so certain.

“You can call me Jeuk.” The pony took a step back as the other displacer beasts got to their feet and wandered closer. “I’ll be your business partner for the foreseeable future. And trust me when I say the future is bright.”

Good to know that Lacer and family have found long-term employment! And I hear the health benefits are fantastic.

Well, that was a good explanation of why they can't send the foals home.

Pumpkin is still a bit of a brat, but that's fine, it makes her interesting.

I bet that is Discord's origin story, with maybe a few mistakes gathered over the years.

Nice to know that Tirek is still powerful enough to even cause complications for Discord.

. . . and Tirek now has the guide to Elysium. Nuts.

Looking forward to the next chapter!

Really, Fluttershy? You'll tell Pound what a bad guy he is, but not how bad it was that Pumpkin also followed you?

This whole chapter, at least until the fight, seems to be about self-esteem destruction for Pound. Tricked and insulted by his sister (which has the added bonus of making it feel like it's true that he's the dumb sibling). Criticized one-sidedly by Fluttershy.

... I really feel for Pound, and his self-esteem problems, and I'm kind of worried for him, because so far it's reinforcing that he needs to be the responsible one but this earns him no respect or success while Pumpkin has basically gotten away with being selfish, mean, and irresponsible the whole story.

But I trust that this isn't happening for no reason, and am looking forward to see where it's going.

If Pumpkin Cake and Pound Cake were voiced, what would they sound like?

Fluttershy seems just a bit pessimistic in this chapter, but we do get a little more of her backstory.

It seems someone gave Pumpkin a dream that will help her towards Elesium, but for good or ill? Given the stakes (Discord forgetting to be good) it looks like they'll have to risk it.

Also, an interesting interpretation of Discord. He knew the world would end eventually, so why not hasten things? Until he found something worth keeping around.

This is my favorite kind of chapter: The kind where we learn more backstory!

“Discord.” Fluttershy’s words came like the snap of a whip. “Shut. Up.”

Man, why is Fluttershy so mad? She's practically p@@ved! :flutterrage:

“Don’t run off into the woods!” The words escaped before Fluttershy could blot them out.

Ohhhhh. That's why she's so upset. She's not talking to Pound, she's talking to Happy.

Happy memories played behind her eyes, overlapping with the peace she found in the valley. “We had so much fun just discovering the world. Me, Happy, Merry and her husband.” She wrinkled her snout. “Since her name was Missus Mare, I always called him Mister Pony.”

:pinkiehappy: Oh I love this description. I feel like I'm listening to Bryan Adams singing "Summer of 69." And I wonder if Fluttershy would ever think to describe that old Pony fellow to her good friend Rainbow Dash, especially his suave accent that is all over the place?

Tears trailed through her coat, feeling warm against her skin. “But it was the night the Everfree earned its status as an evil place. The day the legend became harsh reality.”

I feel like I'm that guy, but an 8 year old foal could just as easily fall into a creek and drown in the Whitetail Woods as the Everfree. Ponyville ponies are being rather unfair in blaming it on the Everfree.

I must have been bitten by a bug, because a terrible, terrible burning itch spread across my wing

That was no bug, that was a fairy, I'd stake my gaskin on it.

“But I learned from my mistake. I learned how to move through life with careful caution.

That does describe Flutters rather well, unfortunately.

Pumpkin Cake arose in the deepest of night, her ears filled with a small buzzing. She scratched an itch at the back of her head, beneath her impossibly tangled mane. As she scratched, it niggled all the more, soon adding a slight burning sensation atop it.

Yup! Once you've seen the influence of the fae you can't unseelie it.

‘Convenient,’ she thought. ‘Way too convenient. It’s a trick. It’s a trick and this is some weird forest spirit that wants you to wander forever.’

You should be so lucky.....

these virgin sacrifices are getting younger every year.”

She saw familiar faces, every one, from Princess Twilight Sparkle

How sweet she's holding out for Featherweight!

“Follow the riches of the earth, Pumpkin Cake!” A breeze blew through her tangled mane. The itch reached a fever pitch. “They will guide you to your heart’s desire!”

If you listen to that voice, then the Jeuk's on you.

So, not much happens in this chapter, but we learn a lot about the past (that I have been clamoring for), and see an ominous hint of the future.

Two thoughts: I wonder if Silver Spoon is going to be fired, and they've found her replacement?

Last time we visited the Garden of Elysium, Hurricane got to witness the ghost of Platinum. If Hurricane is worthy of such a gift, surely there is another spirit Fluttershy would be happy to see?

Pumpkin knew better and so did you!

More lecturing of Pound for being insufficiently responsible, while Pumpkin is basically comforted and reassured for feeling bad about being irresponsible.

But it is the still somewhat optimistic, even in the face of his own demise, Discord that is the one that "lectures" Pumpkin (technically it was to both of them but it was really reassurance directed at Pumpkin and not Pound) and the very pessimistic and terse Fluttershy that lectures Pound, because of her past tragedies, but...

Still seems like basically they're being held to different standards...

And Discord and Fluttershy are reinforcing this, because she is encouraged to continue to fight for her friends and stay idealistic (which will lead her to be more reckless), and he is told that things won't end well and that he's not being the right kind of responsible... but nothing about how he should actually handle his reckless sister.

I feel like a broken record and unreasonable for seeing it in this way. I sorta feel like I'm twisting the various lectures, which are all true enough and fine in a vacuum into something that is very bad and applied unequally across the siblings.

I wonder if this could be seen as almost a conflict between Fluttershy and Discord that is being played out with how they talk to each of the siblings. One that might really be bad for their friendship and for the siblingship, too.

hope for another chapter

Welp, that escalated quickly. What was causing that Fluttershy's itch?

I liked the part where Discord starts praying. You did a good job of showing his despair.

Is there something in the garden that Jeuk wants Fluttershy to accidentally destroy? Or did he simply want them all away from anyone who could stop them?

Thanks for the chapter, I look forward to seeing if and how things get better again.

Oh!

Well that definitely put to rest my "Because Pound is chastised and not Pumpkin" bitching. :twilightsheepish: A-and it is rather an important plot moment, and something that if Pumpkin was chastised before might not have the impact it has now... :ajsleepy:

That being said, Jeuk definitely finished some quality manipulation, here. I'm just not sure how it's going to progress from here... Maybe he's counting on Fluttershy going off the deep end, or there is more to come.

And... Discord praying (basically) really adds an interesting element to how things might progress...

I always figured the fruit in the garden was a real thing but they would just not get there before Jeuk enacted his plan, so it's a pretty big surprise for it to be totally ruined like this.

Wow, I thought it would be another month of travel/ten chapters before they actually reached the garden.

The gold seemed to all but shimmer in the shadows.
Pumpkin gritted her teeth. “I can go alone and get eaten, or you can come along and protect me.”

Pumpkin is so badass here.

“It’s a garden,” Pumpkin whispered. “It’s a garden and there was nobody to take care of it.”

You brought Pegasi and a unicorn, but not the one tribe that could be really useful right now to revive a dead garden.

He punted the pebble across the garden. He sent a final glare blazing through the heavens. “Do something!”

Be careful what you wish for....

“Oh, Fluttershy. I’m sorry.” Jeuk hovered above the stream, moving without taking a step. He let forth a sorrowful sigh, pinching his eyebrows together. “I, too, wish to see Discord well. But the solution I have… I was afraid you wouldn’t take it until you saw that it was the only way.”

That, and you wanted Fluttershy to be so emotionally off-balance that she would agree to your deal, which she normally would see right through.

He sucked in his lips. “Essentially, to save Discord, one must take his burden on as their own.”
He laid the suitcase out before her. He took a step back, holding his hat over his heart. “Fluttershy, will you do whatever it takes to save Discord?” He leaned his head forward, looking her right in the eyes. “Will you give your life to save Discord’s?”

Ooooh, making it a big noble sacrifice? This guy's good.

Magic blasted its way from Fluttershy’s body, straight towards Discord and Pumpkin. Pound didn’t have time to think. He shot forward like a round from a volleygun, forelegs held outward. He hit Pumpkin with all the force he could muster and sent her flying. She rolled and bounced to land at the foot of the hill.

Pound's been hanging around Spike again, hasn't he?

The Garden of Elysium turned inside out.

Things have certainly been shaken up. There are probably 50 different ways this could go badly for Discord if Jeuk was sneaky, so I'll decline to speculate on that front. But I do wonder if we will see Fluttershy Lord of Chaos
orig05.deviantart.net/36a5/f/2012/198/9/7/fluttershy_as_a_draconequus_by_zimvader42-d57mfp2.png , Jeuk get his hands on the chaos magic, or what will happen when Tirek arrives. As awful as Tirek is, he feels much less threatening than Jeuk. Tirek is to Jeuk as Munchie is to Tirek.

And is the Garden itself revitalized? What kind of implications will that have for the rest of the world?

Okay, so even the light fae aren't angels, and can be hurt by unseelie. So she's not the cavalry we were hoping for I guess. Nuts.

Jeuk certainly isn't the prince of lies, in spite of a few similarities, since he avoids outright lying. Still not someone you want to make deals with, and the only loophole I can think of for Pound is for him to become something undead (or neverdead) but that would just put Pumpkin in danger again. On the upside, Pound could have a future as the pony version of Ghost Rider.

So, where's Fluttershy? Hopefully not destroying Equestria out of grief thinking that she killed Discord.

I thought Pumpkin's talent was for phasing, it's actually toy repair? Or am I misinterpreting that.

Thanks for the chapter, I'm looking forward to the next one.

Well, we finally meet the real Jeuk, and he's as terrifying as I feared. Instead of ol' Scratch we've got ol' Itch! Glad to see Ribbon Wishes too, sounds like she's based on a Dumah.

Sounds like Softly was the first siren, I wonder if Pumpkin will ever learn there are still some apples out there...

All of Pound's most important things he's done have been some variety of sacrificing himself, so far. He got hurt when he save Pumpkin from the monster in near the crevase, which he didn't even ultimately beat. The end result was just that he was hurt for Pumpkin, for her to be the hero. He pushed her out of the way and got shot by Fluttershy's magic (which was hardly that bad, just teleported, but it was something.)

And now he pledged himself to an unseelie to save her from harm.

... I can't say I'm all that surprised, though.

She was even chosen for protection from the fae, and he was not.

I know I've been down on Pound's role pretty consistently so far (and please tell me if it's getting overbearing or unreasonable), but I've got the major fear which I'm gonna be upfront about:

I'm afraid that Pound's cosmic role is going to be the same as what he did near the canyon. That he's there to get hurt in place of Pumpkin, and for her to be the real hero. That Pumpkin is one that is going to be the hero, the one who makes the important decisions and defeats the villains, and Pound is just there to take wounds instead of her and to be the inspiration for his sister to be more genuinely heroic.

I am hoping something will change, especially since this seems like the absolute maximum of what Pound could to do sacrifice himself for Pumpkin, so if there's an actual turn of events going on then now would be the time to do it...

But I know not everyone has the same ideas about heroism and independence and whether the sacrificial role is a heroic one (and a good thing for someone to be) or not. My values do not seem to be in line with everyone's, regarding that.

Starting to get TOO dark, Hobby.

I didn't know you were a fan of Simon Furman MyHobby.

Of course, I can’t remember what color the silly dress was. Was it white and g—?

Discord bringing back old memes.

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