• Member Since 12th Dec, 2011
  • offline last seen March 5th

Impossible Numbers

"Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, Old Time is still a-flying, And this same flower that smiles today, Tomorrow will be dying."


Two sisters were once the humblest of ponies. Both had potential for greatness. However, the youngest is the only one who ascends to the throne, and the eldest has to find her own way to follow her.

Cover Design courtesy of Novel-Idea.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 17 )

Some dang good writing here. Neat decision giving Celestia and Luna different pre-ascension names, that's something I've never seen before. Plus the main twist of the younger sister being the first to rise was handled believably, although I'm kinda curious how that came to be.

I liked the repeated phoenix appearances, too. Nice touch.

This was excellent, It really captures a sense of melancholy over relationships lost. I do have a question that you don't have to answer, Did Celestia really ascend in the end or was it all just a dream? The title and description seem to imply that she could but the short description and the AU tag implies that she won't?


Thank you very much for the nice compliments! :scootangel:

Plus the main twist of the younger sister being the first to rise was handled believably, although I'm kinda curious how that came to be.

I must admit I wondered how it would work, and I included some vague hints as to what happened, but in the end I decided that it wasn't the main focus of the fic. Celestia's reaction to it was always the backbone of the story.


:twilightsmile: Thank you for the compliment, though I like to think there is a flicker of hope near the end that softens the melancholy up to a point.

As to your question:

Sadly for Celestia, she doesn't really ascend in the final scene. That whole sequence is her dropping off to sleep and entering a dream, and I had hoped the line that says she knew she was dreaming would remove any ambiguity. The "potential for greatness" bit in the description is a nod to her alicornhood in the canon timeline, since this fic is basically Celestia in a "for want of a nail" situation. The "Rise" in the title was solely about her promotions from scene to scene as she goes from farmer to town delegate at a royal meeting.

Yeah, that makes sense. The change in scenery should have made it obvious but i'm the kind of dolt that needs everything explained to him. With That in mind, a few more questions if you are willing. It seems obvious (to me) that Solar wind is trying to climb the ranks so she could get the chance to see her sister again, but it does make me curious why she couldn't see her at all. I guess you could say she was busy with all her new responsibility's but after years you would think it would think that she would be able to find more than one night to be with her family . Did they exchange some form of correspondence (since it was clear that Solar was literate)? Where they outright forbidden from seeing her (which seems harsh since I doubt that Selena was an adult when she ascended)? In the second section it mentions that Solar's parents are somewhere and invited her along, Was it the Palace (I don't think so, she could have seen her sister then)? A lot I know, sorry for badgering you.


:ajsmug: No worries! If anything, I'm pleased that you were fascinated by the story enough to ask about a few details. I take it as a compliment.

it does make me curious why she couldn't see her at all.

In terms of physically meeting each other, part of the problem is the demanding nature of their respective jobs, yes. That said, keep in mind that this is a turbulent time in Equestria's history (there are at least three sources of conflict going on when Solar Wind finally gets to see Princess Luna, for example). And it's not that Solar Wind was forbidden from seeing her, but that her best means of doing so was by visiting as a high-ranking official on business. Casual family meetings are difficult under the war and, even if possible, would still feel awkward because of the status difference between the two. Their days of carefree sisterly bonding are probably over.

Metaphysically, on the other hand... well, Luna can visit dreams, and it's implied in the last line that they've been making some contact through dreams, which is why Solar Wind enjoyed sleep so much in the first scene. But vivid as they are, dreams just don't compare to the harsh reality of meeting someone face to face, which is why Solar Wind is so taken aback at how real Luna's eyes are when she sees them in person for the first time in years.

Did they exchange some form of correspondence (since it was clear that Solar was literate)?

Only in an official capacity. Again, the country's in a state of war on at least three fronts. I doubt Princess Luna has much time to devote to letters when the correspondence isn't hugely important.

In the second section it mentions that Solar's parents are somewhere and invited her along,

Oh, that was a generic social event (a hoedown, since her parents are farmers). The story I had in mind behind that detail was simply that Solar Wind's parents were worried about her throwing herself so much into her work, and were trying to get her to visit social events to loosen up. You can tell how successful they were by the fact that Solar Wind sleeps in the same building she works in. :fluttershysad:

Again, thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.

I've made a few minor edits to prepare it for an Equestria Daily submission. Nothing too serious; a few grammatical corrections and some rewritten scenes to make it clearer what's going on, based both on the reviewer's feedback and on my talk with KM The DM above. I'm putting this comment up in case anybody is wondering about, say, the increased word count.

Hmm... still had Canterlot somehow... Luna somehow stopped Discord on her own... how did she muster up enough harmonious traits to use all the EoH herself?

Then there's Tirek and Sombra...

I dunno if this is all that plausible unless none of those 3 villains happened either.


First things first, thanks for the comment! Much appreciated.

Now, I can't claim to be an impartial disputant, having committed to the story already. But I don't think those premises are hard to swallow. Quite apart from the canonical example of Celestia single-handedly wielding the elements against Nightmare Moon, a lone individual can embody more than one virtue, especially during and after an epic quest. I left implications that the journey to ascension was difficult, but as I said to NorrisThePony above, the focus was always on the "What If" scenario and its fallout, not in detailing how it came about beyond a "for want of a nail" set-up. Besides, the story only requires that Celestia never ascended. I left hints that she was clearly involved somehow, just not in the canonical manner.

As for Tirek and Sombra, I don't see why their presence renders the story's premise implausible. This story is set during an interim period between Discord's defeat and the backstories of both Tirek and Sombra; that's why I depict the war on their fronts as "pending". Given that it's only "whisperings" and "sightings" at this point, it should be obvious they are for their own reasons not ready to launch full-out assaults, and the canon already provided those reasons (Tirek was vulnerable enough that it would only need Scorpan's betrayal to set him back; Sombra has to conquer the Crystal Empire first).

I'm not sure what the problem is with using Canterlot, though. Since nothing in the show pinned down its origins*, it seemed acceptable to include it, and thus to locate Luna there. Unlike the ruined castle of the canonical timeline, it also has the added narrative advantage of having her be further from the Everfree, and hence from Celestia.

* At least, not back in January when I wrote the story; I haven't seen a season six episode yet.

Interesting non-immortal/long lived born-alicorn Tia and Luna story. I'm glad someone took the time to explore this AU. :twilightsmile:

6890458 Celestia and Luna, when written as normal ponies that were turned into alicorns are given names like this half the time. Other times like in the stories here, here, and here their names are kept but they are still written as earth/pegasus/unicorn before becoming alicorn princesses. Other times their names and alicornhood are kept (although the family background varies). Their origin varies as well, I think I've seen a few stories were they were born and others were they were created as primordial spirits from the birth of the universe as well as the innards of another entity entirely.

Heck, sometimes their past is only implied like in this story. Also, hi!


Thanks! Glad you enjoyed the story. :scootangel:

Right in front of her, and yet infinitely far away... :raritydespair:


So it goes. :pinkiesad2: I like to think there's hope for the future, though. Thanks for the comment too!

I'm still a bit confused on one bit here. I get Luna is the only alicorn (and since she now weilds all 6 Elements of Harmony, is probably the most powerful individual on Equus).

Did Celestia ever wield any of them, but only Luna got the upgrade? Unless I missed it of course.


I didn't go into much detail in the fic, so you're not missing anything really. However, the way I imagined it was that Celestia certainly helped on the quest, but Luna alone used the Elements and got the upgrade.

Makes me wonder then why the Elements only chose Luna. Alternate Universe rules aside. Maybe they somehow knew about what had happened in the Prime Timeline.

And this was a way to avoid that. Nothing against Celestia of course since she could probably still bond with them if it ever came to that.

Does make me wonder what Luna looks like here. Figured she hasn't changed that much physically from her look in the show.

But with a different cutie mark now that she is responsible for the sun and moon. I just imagine the Elements of Harmony are her regalia now. Just think it looks cool that way.

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