• Member Since 25th Sep, 2011
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Exploring probability space for fun and the absence of profit


Apple Bloom has a plan for the Crusaders to test countless special talents at once. There's no way this can go wrong!

Never mind the fact that every adult pony in town just shuddered.

A much expanded version of an entry in the January 2015 Writeoff Competition. Prompt: All In

Chapters (1)
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Comments ( 41 )

“Well, that’s good. I hate killing things, especially interesting things.”

Mistress Death abhors torture, think about that.

So... did they get their cutie marks?

:facehoof: I knew I forgot something. Minor tweak applied. No cutie marks in wreaking havoc; they'd have earned those years ago.

"Well, I guess if they're safe separately, then they should be fine together."

This is one of the most quintessentially CMC things I've seen in a long while. No, Sweetie. Just... no.

The Cutie Mark Crusaders are quite familiar with Pandora.

Gods above and below, my sides have reached orbit! :rainbowlaugh:

Poor pinkie, forever scared by the memory of the worst cake on the history of baking...

CMC gonna crusade every day...

I'm surprised Rarity hasn't already put a no-Sweetie Belle sign in her kitchen considering what Sweetie cooks up on her own, much less with the other Crusaders present. Ah, this is what I love about the Crusaders, they can't just try to cook something, they almost destroy Equestria on a daily basis. :scootangel: Even better is how they all have their own different blind spots that worry the others, but then they just shrug and try it anyway. Surprised it wasn't some giant tree sap monster at the end instead of what sounds like a relative of the smooze. I would say having Discord as a Cutie Mark for them would have been appropriate... except that Discord isn't quite crazy enough for them. :unsuresweetie:

This characterization is so on point I'm surprised this isn't already an episode.

Unicorn magic would allow you to touch hot things. Why are earth ponies the bakers?

7039374 When was the last time you successfully set a rock on fire?

Much hilarity. Classic CMC.

7039374 Try making a Zap Apple pie with telekinesis and you'll find out.

(Either that or it's a coincidence that all three of the professional bakers we know - the Cake parents and Pinkie - are earth ponies. Three samples isn't nearly enough to draw any conclusions, especially considering two of them are a couple.)

An entire container of saffron.

I wept.

I cringed when I got to the bit about the Saffron.

Edit: Dang, Estee ninja'd me.


It may be a pretty common reaction. Eventually, you might be able to spot that section of the story by looking for the tear stains.

For those who don't cook: saffron is a spice which, depending on the grade, sells for anywhere from $2.50 to $8.00 per gram. A pound of saffron is at least $1100, which isn't even paying for the good stuff. $1500 is more typical. And since the flowers that produce it provide exactly three stands each, you need one acre of land to create one pound of saffron. Earth pony magic isn't going to help that yield.


Of course. How else would you make a hole in a donut?

Pinkie, of course, is focusing on the truly important thing here.

Still, a good little CMC piece.

What is saffron good for and bad for?

Saffron has an extremely distinct aroma and taste (variously described as "hay-like", or "metallic honey", for example), plus it gives food an awesome, rich golden yellow color. You use it in tiny, tiny amounts, because you only need to use tiny amounts to get the color and the flavor, because too much saffron would become unpleasantly bitter, and because it's the most expensive spice in the world.

What is the Crusade but hope springing eternal amidst all the evils that can befall ponykind?

Thanks! There are few compliments higher than that. :scootangel:

If you want my personal hypothesis, the bond between the earth pony and the earth's bounty doesn't end at the harvest. Every step from planting the seed to frosting the cake can be and is enhanced by the subtle magic of fundaments.

7039439 7039586
It's fun to slip in the occasional bit of subtle horror.

Earth pony magic isn't going to help that yield.

In the sequel, Twilight combines earth pony and unicorn magics in a feat of biomantic engineering meant to revolutionize saffron production. Then she sheepishly helps stop the delicious-smelling triffids.

7039374 Cause' all their food comes from plants, plants come from soil, soil is earth.

The saffron...


Pi = 5!


Lovebutt doesn't need to breath, huh? :trixieshiftleft:
You know, I sometimes I wonder why those kids don't have cutie marks in havoc-wreaking. :derpytongue2:

7043665 I know, but holding a hot pan would hurt a pony. it would be be nice to have a unicorn baker who could move hot things or even fix a piecrust by the force of their mind.

7044965 Simple... I don't know the answer.

7046164 Ohh. I forgot all about Donut Joe. Thanks for pointing him out.

Apple Bloom's eyes went wide. "She... she ain't really dyin', is she?"
Scootaloo gulped. "Um, I don't think we've gotten to that in biology."

Do they cover that in biology? I mean, it seems obvious, but now that I think back on my biology classes, I can't remember it being covered.

Mottled in a number of colors that shouldn’t have existed,

Random fun fact: I've read that people with color/number synesthesia can see colors that don't exist.

I did make pi equal five in the space it occupied for a split second.


That's irrational! Er, I mean it's not. But it is!

In addition to the unicorn bakers listed below, Pinkie and the Cakes have demonstrated that orally operated oven mitts work just fine.

Well, they hadn't gone over unicorn biology yet, but I don't think it would've told them much on an elementary school level.

And leave it to Discord to make no sense by being rational.

Poor Crusaders, I was thinking the cake was going to be the best of Equestria, even with the monster... I think I know the problem, they forgot to add a little of "Smooze"

One day they might make something edible. It's just...the universe will end when they do.

7039636 *points at applejack insta-growing some flowers during the disastrous redecoration of the castle*
Don't be so sure about earth pony magic being useless for boosting sapphron yield.

This was the predictable outcome of the Crusaders trying cooking. Of course Pinkie would taste it.

Oh, I didn't know Rarity still had some saffron.

Clearly it has been preserved from the days of the ancient unicorn kingdom atop Terra's Horn. Or maybe it's just an import from Pony India. :derpytongue2:

Then fire at will, or whatever it is we’re calling this mess.

I love lines like this.

Ah, yes, that makes sense.

Reminds me of the flavor text on this card. Before the glory of the CMC, even Discord appreciates sense.

And now to wait for Celestia to nom her way out of the cake...

Pretty sure the saffron was only imported from another country, not another time or universe. :raritywink:

As for the nommery, if Pinkie couldn't stomach the Crusaders' creation, I'm not sure anyone could. With the possible exception of Spike, but he knows better than to try to eat something the color out of space. He learned that lesson the last time Twilight tried to cook.

So there are reasons why Spike does most of Twilight's cooking. Too much mana spoils the broth, I suppose.

I giggled. Have an upvote.

We need moar!:flutterrage:


You know, I sometimes I wonder why those kids don't have cutie marks in havoc-wreaking.

Well... to quote a theory from Estee’s Continuum...

Applejack had come up with a dark theory, one she'd shared with Pinkie in strict confidence: that all three Crusaders actually had their cutie marks and had since the day they'd begun their collective quest. The marks were all for the talent of causing disasters. And they were invisible -- because that was the way to keep the talent expressed. If the Crusaders never believed they'd found their marks, they would keep searching for them in only those ways guaranteed to cause massive property damage or worse, none of which would produce visible marks, and that would make the trio keep searching, leading to still more disasters...

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