• Published 17th Feb 2016
  • 2,422 Views, 227 Comments

I'm Not A Tribalist - TheGreatEater



Princess Celestia sees a news article that brings about a choice that will change her life forever.

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... And Shipping Out

“They are bucking morons!” Luna screamed after I had finished transferring the tossed files, and we had finished watching almost a millennia of insult and abuse towards non-unicorn applicants. The insults and jeers towards those who would enter.

“Now you see that the article wasn’t so far off. To think that my words, and offhooved treatment would grow to what you’ve seen,” I sniffled.

“Oh Tia … yes it was stupid, but all ponies have those they connect with the most. But you weren’t as malicious as that. You were just … acting ignorantly. We all make mistakes Tia. some more than others,” Luna said.

“Lulu, there’s a difference between ignorance and negligence little sister. My histories marked with that. Even with all of my plans and my foresight, there are massive errs in my actions. It doesn’t help that the nation hides their darker secrets under the rug, giving the illusion that everything is perfect. It makes things harder for helping the nation when everypony acts as if everything is fine until things fall apart around us.

“That’s not counting my own oversight to those close to me.”

“What do you mean?”

“I failed you, our parents, Sunset, even my own Cutie Mark I’ve failed.”

“No -”

“Yes Luna, I have. If I have you and Sunset wouldn’t have … left. And I would have been able to truly fulfil my Cutie Mark if I didn’t overlook the non-unicorns. Simply because I never was able to connect with them as I did unicorns.”

“Tia,” Luna whispered, “None of that -”

“Luna, I love you, but it was,” I interrupted.

Luna harumphed, “We’ll talk later.”

“Alright you need to get the girls together, we have a card game to start after all.”

***

Those eight ponies came in to see me buried quite literally in a mountain of paperwork. I had been sorting out applicants from the very first to the most recent decade when they fell over and weighed me down. I was just about to lift them myself when,

“Princess!” A muffled yell said as a purple glow lifted the colossal amount of work off my withers.

“Yes princess,” I snarked, shaking myself loose.

“Oh … right,” Twilight giggled nervously, “I meant Celestia.”

“Yes, I’m quite alright,” I replied to Twilight’s unasked paperwork.

“What is all of this?”

“Well. This is the sign of my neglect to the other tribes. At least where my school is concerned.”

“But … It’s Celestia’s School For Gifted Unicorns, it should be obvious that it's only for unicorns.”

“Yes Twilight, but think about it on a different perspective. What is taught at that school?”

“Magic of course. So what’s the problem?”

“Twilight. Is magic limited to only unicorns?” I asked.

I could see her mouth open to answer immediately, but then she closed it. Looking deep in thought. You can do it Twilight. You’ve lived with the other races for a while now. You’ve got to see them as I have never had the chance to. Put it together.

“I don’t know,” Twilight answered with a frown adorning her muzzle. It looked as if she had more to say, but for some reason didn’t.

“These here are ponies who claimed to have magical abilities, or Cutie Marks that were magic or magic knowledge related. Who wanted to learn how to use those gifts. But were cast aside by others, including myself, who thought only unicorns could do magic.

“I believe I may be in the wrong, and worse of all. Those who represent me have turned them not just aside but have done so cruelly. I want to at least see those who tried and to make amends.” I commented. I still felt as if I’d done a horrible wrong to the ponies under my wing. Yet, I knew I had to at least start on making progress to help them.

“Alright … I’ll try to help where I can,” Twilight replied. I gave a nod of thanks, and moved the mountain of files.

“When I was about to suggest this little get together before Luna showed up, but it’s still good to see you all here. I could use some help in becoming a better mare for my nation. Especially since it seems that I haven’t been fair to two of the tribes under my protection.”

“Um … princess, what do ya mean, be a better mare?” Applejack asked.

“It’s no secret that I connect more with unicorns, heck until recently I didn’t think that the Element of Magic, or magic could be done by anything other than a unicorn. Nor did I work on looking after pegasi or earth ponies as much as I could. Other than working on ensuring they weren’t crushed under the frogs of the nobility.

“I … I need to be their for my little ponies. All of them, and I need to work on that.”

“Well Ah guess Ah can get behind that, how’re we supposed to help?” AJ asked nervously shuffling her forehooves.

“I was hoping you all would be able to tell me. Maybe learn more thoroughly how unfairly the other races have been treated. After all, the nations of Equestria work on hiding things that make their communities look blemished, sweeping the imperfections under the rug. It seems I have to make quite a few changes. Although it won’t be easy.”

“Are you thinking of pulling a Twilight?” Pinkie asked, “Because that’d be rather cool. Then maybe Luna could join, and all the princesses could see what it’d be like a field trip, but for princesses! It’d be so awesome!”

I felt her eye twitch as confetti and streamers shot out of Pinkie’s mane. Remember the Pies aren’t descendants of Discord. Luna and I proved this .... sort of. At the very least we prevented prosecution of them after the Discordian Era. “That sounds like it would be good if it weren’t for how ponies act when we arrive in a nation.”

“Well duh! That’s why you’d go in disguise. Then nopony would know who you were. It’d be perfect!” Pinkie gushed.

“That … could work, but who’d rule the nation?” I asked.

“Well we could always do that double illusion we use when we don’t want to go somewhere but need to pretend like we’re making an appearance,” Luna mentioned offhoovedly.

“What!?” Twilight shouted right next to my ears. When she saw me cringe she offered an apologetic squeak.

“It’s alright, but yes. Occasionally we are needed to be at many places, so we simply send an illusionary double, linked to a portion of our mind. Then it goes about acting as us, and when it’s needed we simply undo the spell and have the stored memories within it go back into us. It was in the page of things you needed to learn to be a successful princess.”

“But … But that’s cheating,” Twilight said incredulously. I smiled at how adorable she looked being all flustered.

“No it’s efficient dearest Twilight,” Luna replied for me, “after all we can’t be everywhere, and scheduling errors do occur.”

“A-Alright I guess. So you cast the doubles, but going as yourselves would just draw attention, and should you really be doing this?”

“Well probably not, but it must be done. If we are to truly connect with our little ponies. That and I’ve worked non-stop for a thousand years, it's about time I get a vacation. As for being noticed, changelings aren't the only race that can use shapeshifting magics.”

“If we’re going to do this. We need a plan!”

***

So it was that my sister and I decided to go into Ponyville, my sister going as a pegasus, and I going as an earth pony. Since neither of us connected well with them. Hopefully I can connect with them properly this time, not as a ruler, but as a fellow pony. Although I don’t think Twilight appreciated the second part of our plan.

To go not as grown mares, but with a liberal application of age magic as fillies. After all, we gave up our childhood to a war and reality torn species, then further sacrificed ourselves to the crown. This would be a great chance to start anew, even if it was for a short time.

Then we’d approach my school, and fix things from within. Albeit with our two chosen fillies to join with us, if they were able to get in.

Author's Note:

And so this fic wraps up. I'll probably give myself a week or two to build up a buffer [for 7.5 chapters done], give some time for my editors to catch up to everything written so far, but I'll post a Link Chapter when the fic goes up ^_^. So no worries of missing the story.

I hope y'all liked the story. And I'll see you in the sequel. Which has multiple PoV's separated character dividers. Instead of just one character. I think that I'm doing it pretty well so far. And like this one it's partially satyrical, partially playing on fannon tropes [taken to awkward twists], and generally just having fun with the original prompt.

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Comments ( 35 )

I'm just waiting at the edge of my seat for how this next plan could possibly fall on its face.

Nitpicks I noticed:

When I was about to suggest this little get together before Luna showed up, but it’s still good to see you all here.

I feel like this sentence is missing something in it. What happened when she was going to suggest the get together?

It seems I to make quite a few changes.

I think you're missing a "have" in there.

Remember the Pie’s aren’t descendants of Discord

Apostrophes are only meant for contractions and possessives.

My sister going as a pegasus and I going as an earth pony. Since neither of us connected well with them.

Then we’d approach my school, and fix things from within. Albeit with our two chosen fillies to join with us. If they were able to get in.

Try using semicolons or commas. Makes the sentences flow better.

7030955

The first error fix I'll need to wait till both editors catch up to that area. So the fix turns out looking right.

Fixed all the others ^_^.

“But … But that’s cheating,” Twilight said incredulously. I smiled at how adorable she looked being all flustered.

:rainbowlaugh: Such a cute thing to get upset about. I know if I could be in two places at once, I'd do it all the time.

Interesting development in this chapter. I get the feeling that they will be surprised by what they find on how little tribalism there is and how suitable it is.

Changelings are or aren't the only race that can shapeshift
7030985

7031312

Changelings have natural shapeshifting [thus quick, easy, and drains almost no energy to pull off. With very little chance for Fridge Horror mistakes]. But the school of Alteration and Transformation can allow for shapeshifting to a degree. Although the more bigger the change the more taxing the spell for non-Lings.

Changing eye or coat / mane color. Not that hard of a transformation spell, Like Trixie did to Rarity in Boast Busters. Changing a horn to a wing, or vice versa. Quite a bit harder, since it requires both alteration and transformation to turn X into Y. But do able with a good deal of power. But still within the realm of plausibility.

A full body transformation though. Like Ling level shifting. That's something that takes a lot of magic, tonnes of tweaking / knowledge [Anatomy], and is not as quick or efficient as a Changeling whom can do those Alteration / Transformation spells as easily as a Pegasi can walk on clouds. [which is also something magic can replicate].

7031343

knowledge [Anatomy]

Or a scroll of Polymorph Self. :derpytongue2:

7031361

Well Starswirl did invent: Polymorph Hippy. Which adorable filly Twilight spammed on her parents :rainbowlaugh:. So a scroll of Polymorph Self is probably doable :twilightsheepish:.

7031524

So it was that my sister and I decided to go into Ponyville, my sister going as a pegasus, and I going as an earth pony. Since neither of us connected well with them.

This, is incorrect, and a plot hole. As you have already stated in the story that Luna connected well with the Pegasus race and had become more war like because of it.

Cant wait till the princess's meet Zecora.

7032017

Most definitely true. Although this is a PoV piece. In Celestia's PoV, since they became princesses.

1) Ponies venerated her and ostracized Luna.
2) Since almost nopony (including Pegasi) adored her night. Luna became NMM.
and
3) Since returning hasn't made much room connecting with ponies [at least as much as Celestia is aware], and is still catching up to the thousands of years of difference from now and when she was banished.

Which isn't 100% correct. At least for number 3. But yeah, Luna especially when we see her PoV loves her some pegasi.

7032070

OMC! Zecora's important in the fic, but do I ever hate the Tartarus out of writing her. Mostly just have her speaking Zebrican. But yeah she makes a rather huge appearance after the first day of school chapters ... which is a catastrophe for poor Cheerilee. You'll want to give her hugs and cookies.

7032300 And it is worded in such a way that it make it seem like she never connected well with them. And since you have put some context there it seem like she is just try to reconnect with the Pegasus's, and not trying to form any new connections with the other two races of pony's.

7032674

Well she does get along with the foals of the world, if only in dreams. But yeah, just as Celestia was comfortable with unicorns, and they were what she was complacent with. Luna is sort of the same way with pegasi, although she doesn't have the unicorn's views on "only those with a horn on their head can do magic" that Tia got wrapped up in.

For her it's more about the warrior culture, and how they are big on feats of valor and power (or at least were prior to her banishment, and slightly less so now). Which resonated with her more active lifestyle, and physically expressive personality. But yeah she does need to work on connecting with the other two as well. Just not as bad as Tia does.

7032708

Well she does get along with the foals of the world, if only in dreams.

Is that really a good thing? Here is quote from another character that gets along with children.

I watch you... While you sleep.

-Pedobear. Now tell me they aren't similar.

7032913

Well the main difference is that she helps them in cannon fight off nightmares, and helps them with problems they face in life.

That and here's three other famous characters who get along with children:

Santa Clause

Santa Christ

and

Mr. Rogers.

7032975 Ppfffft, Santa Claws is only semi famous at best.

7033348

Santa Christ is the better, and everyone knows Mr. Rogers, he's so awesome his Marine skills killed all the other worlds hero's and villains one time. There's even video evidence.

7047932

Well the editor found tons of mistakes and edited a huge swath of the fic [so in many ways it is edited]. If your interested I can link you to the GDocs folder and you can give a wack at it ^_^.

7048059 Toss that link my way and I'll see what I can do.

I was wondering how the next chapter has been progressing for you?

7461783

Technically this story is done. But the next chapter is the "sequel hook".

Although that story's hit a snag. Since with all my fics I'm on a writing hiatus, Since I've hit a massive writers block / lack of drive with pony fics atm. Technically it's temporary, but I don't know how long it'll be till I get back into writing.

7461828

That's cool. I hope you can beat that writers block!

7461881

If only I was as cool as Dan Shive. Then I'd just slap some wheels on it and it'd turn into this:

egscomics.com/comics/1465418799-np20160608-A16A-11.png

Right now my writer block keeps transforming into a Daikaiju whenever I try adding wheels to it XD.

7461993 How about some liberal aplication of explosives? Maybe get the CMC to help out? :scootangel:

7504280

Unfortunately my Writers Block comes equipped with Titan Armor. And it distracts the CMC with shiny objects XD.

7812951

Actually in terms of power. Starswirl never ran circles around the princesses in anyway shape or form. Powerwise. Prolific inventions of spells? Most undoubtedly. But the princesses say that there has been no "unicorn" as powerful as Twilight (pre-Season 6) since Starswirl the Bearded, and Celestia alone was able to undo Twilight's magical surges.

Of course Starlight Glimmer can tank and go hoof to hoof with an Alicorn (and invented new magic, and was able to do things with Starswirl's work that was unprecedented for that timeline). But Starswirl was at Twilight's level of power, and Celestia was stronger than that. As well as being able to lift the Sun and Moon on her own, rather than needing many other unicorns in tandem to help her.
__________

And it's less naturally inferior (we do have Fancypants, Globetrotter, Toe Tapper, and Spike (on occasions) after all). As much as with Equines mares run the show (IRL), and the males in the show (a majority of them) if not evil (99% of the villains), idiotic / incompotent (Snips and Snails),are simply are so far in the background that they rarely if ever have a chance to shine (Spike and Big Mac (after he stopped being antagonistic / incompetent (outside of farm work that is)).

That said. I see sexism being somewhat natural in Equestria. Not only since they naturally have a matriarchal leanings, but with just how aweful most of the males are (not all. But enough to count).
______________


As for ungrateful for "Those who helped run things". I could point out that even in the real world. Old Money, use their influence to extort and exploit those of lower classes, try getting away with grater crimes, and are prone to decadence (not all of them, but enough to be cliche'.). Add in magical power, a social set up pre-Equestria where they ruled and down trodded the other races however they could get away with, and a sense of entitlement a fiefdom large.

And you can see a problem with the "Nobility of Old" (never mentioned if they did the Japanese thing where Samurai (Who are minor nobility) would murder citizens to test their skills) that they had power and would be loathe to part with it in the slightest. And as that power was slowly placed into the hooves of commoners. Well add lots and lots of wealth, traditions, connections, and suddenly a whole lot of free time. That's never a good combination, and gives them an entitled feeling that they are owed whatever it is they want, since they were born lucky.

So it's less her being ungrateful, and more a common trope with the nobility. And one that can be very logically seen as something that can happen.

7812993
I disagree on your reading regarding what Celestia said. If you see a really powerful car but the last vehicle you saw before was a tank, you'd still technically be truthful in saying the car is the most powerful since the last thing you saw. Also, remember that at the time, the term 'Alicorn' wasn't used in the show. If you go by episode one and two, it says Celestia and Luna used their Unicorn magic to raise the sun and the moon.

Going by the sheer amount of spellwork Starswirl put out, it's much more logical to me that he was stronger than any of the Alicorns with the exception of what Twilight will ultimately become. Your story, of course, but to me, it sounds like a lot of mental gymnastics Celestia is doing in order to look good to herself when she's actually a rotten person. The powers levels are interpretation rather than irrefutable proof. Again, your story, your rules, but I'm not sure I buy the argument itself.

Addendum: Snails may be a bad example. He's dumb, but he's the most magically proficient kid we've seen in Ponyville, beating out Sweetie handily. Makes one wonder if part of why the males don't get to shine is because society expects them to be worthless and so they get no resources put into their education compared to the precious fillies... After all, Starswirl taught the princesses*, but Celestia, as far as we know, has mainly stuck with fillies as her own students.

*According to the comics, to be fair.

7813007

Actually she never said unicorn magic. That was a book written by a mortal (most likely). And again, powerwise. It took Starswirl, and a team of unicorns to raise the Celestial Bodies. Not going into the fannon that doing so shortened the life span of mortal ponies due to how taxing it was. Since I don't know if it was ever written to be so.

Even over looking that, it's cannon that Twilight is stronger than Starswirl. And Celestia is more powerful than her. Thus she's stronger than Starswirl. (And Starlight is more powerful than both of them). So it's not logical that he was more powerful. It's only logical that he was a genius who loved inventing (and his inventions of choice was magic / magical items).

And she's still more magically powerful than Twilight (even with her being an alicorn now). Of course that's probably due to the age gap. Idk.
_______

Now as for the mental gymnastics bit.

I was overly blunt on that. There was no subtlty on my part. Celestia get's shown that she's been a horrible pony. Now in her defense, it was unintentional, doesn't make her any less horrible. But on her part, she has put Equestria first to everything, and being a flesh and blood being is prone to the same mistakes and failings as any being capable of thinking and feeling.

And she is trying to better herself (in this fic and in the chapters of the sequel (that I need to get back on writing someday), she just needs others around her to tell her when she's bucking up / falling into old and bad habits. Which is something she hasn't really had (she does in the show have if not 100% approval rating, than pretty high; has made Equestria the most prosperous and well off nation on their planet; and has lots of adoration ... what she doesn't have or have often. Is ponies around her to tell her when she's being a twit, or doing something insanely tribalistic, sexist, or just plain wrong. At least not until it's too late.).

7813064

it's cannon that Twilight is stronger than Starswirl. And Celestia is more powerful than her. Thus she's stronger than Starswirl. (And Starlight is more powerful than both of them).

Not that I know of. We've not seen Celestia and/or Twilight compare to him, but we've heard several of these powerful folks explain how much of a genius and how powerful he was, as with simply banishing the Sirens into the human realm, for example. I don't remember an instance where it was directly claimed Twilight was more powerful than Starswirl, or Celestia was for that matter. There was the spell he didn't finish, true, but that didn't require power so much as wisdom and empathy. That he had been stronger than Celestia is my interpretation based on what's shown, but like I said above, it's only that—an interpretation. So, I guess I should apologise for bringing my headcanon into your story, which runs under your premises. That's usually annoying when someone does it; sorry about that.

And she is trying to better herself (in this fic and in the chapters of the sequel (that I need to get back on writing someday), she just needs others around her to tell her when she's bucking up / falling into old and bad habits. Which is something she hasn't really had (she does in the show have if not 100% approval rating, than pretty high; has made Equestria the most prosperous and well off nation on their planet; and has lots of adoration ... what she doesn't have or have often. Is ponies around her to tell her when she's being a twit, or doing something insanely tribalistic, sexist, or just plain wrong. At least not until it's too late.).

Heh. I had this idea a long while ago, where Celestia has spies in her most important nobles' courts. They're not there to report on subservise behaviour, they're there to report back to the princess what those nobles actually think about her laws and declarations; her nobleponies would never disagree with their beloved princess to her face, but in private, they'll grumble and criticise. So, spywork is the only way Celestia can really get an honest opinion out of them.

And maybe the nobles are even aware of it, playing ignorant while feeding the spies useful, honest advice. It'd be needlessly complicated and a little stupid, but I could totally see it happen. Everypony gets to save face this way! Plus, job opportunities for government spies! A win-win, right?

7813107

That he had been stronger than Celestia is my interpretation based on what's shown, but like I said above, it's only that—an interpretation. So, I guess I should apologise for bringing my headcanon into your story, which runs under your premises. That's usually annoying when someone does it; sorry about that.

Yeah, but I forgive you. As for my own interpretation from what was shown is that Celestia was more powerful that Starswirl for the simple fact that it took Starswirl and a team to safely raise the Celestial Bodies. While Tia can do both with no ill effect. Rather it wasn't that he is more powerful, but he's more smarter. Probably smarter that a hundred Twilights on Modafinil.

And maybe the nobles are even aware of it, playing ignorant while feeding the spies useful, honest advice. It'd be needlessly complicated and a little stupid, but I could totally see it happen. Everypony gets to save face this way! Plus, job opportunities for government spies! A win-win, right?

That would be win-win. Although I see them more like Foal of the Forests take on nobility. But that would be a nice take on things.

I have this entire fic written, and 6 buffer chapters of this stories sequel. Until I catch up to the buffer chapter, I'll be posting two chapters a week ^_^.

I have this entire fic written, and 6 buffer chapters of this stories sequel.

I have this entire fic written

:trollestia:

7928763

Ah yes. Haven't posted the rest. After I hit my writters block a while ago. The sequel kind of petered to a stand still about 8 chapters (and about 19k words in). I was going to post more when I had a good buffer to post ... but IRL kind of decided to kick me repeatedly in the cahones and I still haven't really recovered (my house was robbed 3 times in three months. Finally found out where the thief lives, but the cops basically told me to go scr3w myself. And they lost all the evidence I gave them (and can no longer find do to other problems), and I'm financially struggling to catch up to everything. Barely making do with my paycheck mo. to mo.

So yeah ... with all that stress. My writing has been in fits and bursts with a lot of my creative drive pretty much killed by me trying to get back into both financial stability, and the mental mindset I was in when I was majorly productive in my writing.).

I might as well finish this fic up, and start up the sequel after I wrap it up.

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