• Member Since 16th Jun, 2014
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Hey all, I'm billymorph, a semi-professional writer, self-published author and full-time pony fan. If you enjoy my work, please support me on Patreon!


There are few things that Twilight Sparkle is sure about but she knows for certain that Princess Celestia does not, and never will, play pool.

With thanks to Luna-tic Scientist, Lord of Dorkness, docontra, and JCatt for their help pre-reading. Cover image by Skyline19.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 83 )

This was a good read. Not to mention, it was one of the better stories about Celestia I've read in a while. You deserve a like and one of these: :moustache:

Fucking kek it was so obvious that Celestia was gonna hustle Applejack. Nicely done, was a good read.

Can we get a sequel where Luna has invented snooker because she always does everything differently than her sister?

Really sweet and funny. Always a treat seeing Celestia simply hanging out with the Mane 6 as friends.

I'd like to see Celestia teach Luna the pool ropes.

It is an interesting take on the dicotomy between how Celestia is seen by the populace (and by Twilight, that is increased by being her mentor and a mother-figure) - a perfect untouchable goddess-liek being - and how she wished to be seen - a pony like any other.

Not bad.

Describing the shots and atmosphere of the match felt very natural. Hard thing to do, I should think.

~Skeeter The Lurker

Well folks, ya got trouble right here in Ponyville. With a capital T, and that rhymes with P...

She took her drink from the tray, a tiny glass of something she insisted was made from apples—well mostly apples—

I see what you did there.

At least I’d managed to expunge the memory of her suggesting she order a Screaming–

I took a deep gulp of my cider as I stamped down on that thought. There were some words you never wanted to hear from your Princess’ lips.

I see what else you did there.

Also, she told me to ‘Carpe jugulum’!”

Laying 'em on a bit thick, aren't we? :raritywink:

Two Pratchett references in 5,000 words is a fine density.

I like stories about Twilight learning to treat Celestia is an actual pony, and this is a good one.

Yeah, saw the hustle coming.

Also considering Celestia is over a thousand years old and Twilight has been alive for a tiny fraction of that, it's pretty presumptuous to think she knows what Celestia would never do. But I guess she always put the princess on a pedestal.

Still, I had fun with the story. Good going!

Now I want to see Celestia against Pinkie.

Using Mustrum Ridcully rules. :pinkiecrazy:

Should we make absolutely sure that Twilight is nowhere near that game at all, given Pinkie will be breaking the magical cheats as well?

7034766 Came here for this comment.

“Oh, Luna, you startled me.” Celestia let out a deep breath. “Were you reading in the dark again? I’ve told you before, it will ruin your eyes.”

Aaww but reading in the dark is fun! :applecry:
Anyway, this was a nice little story. Wish I could see that rematch though...

Hmmm. I find myself conflicted. On the one hand your repeated references to the Supreme Author and Wordsmith have pleased me greatly, on the other hand they're a touch thick and fast. I'm going to go with pleased. An excellent story, and I've always been in favour of Applejack knowing about drinks made from apples (well, mostly apples).
My avatar has decided that you deserve a favourite.

“But you don’t gamble,” I pressed, my grip tightening around her fetlock. “You’ve never done anything like this as long as I’ve known you.”

This shows how often the ones closest to us understand us the least. It's been established since the first episode that Celestia does gamble, with the highest of stakes, and with ponies instead of pool balls. Now, she's not a reckless gambler, and she takes great care to stack the deck in her favor and prepare everything in advance, but in the end, she will roll the dice and trust that they come up all suns for Equestria.


I read that and thought - who could you -

(well, mostly apples)

Ahh, yes.

As for the story...

I came for the delightful little references, but stayed for the surprisingly well written characters. Twilight manages to be a totally believiable villian-protgaonist of sorts, to the point of being frustrating and annoying, but in a way that does so nicely to bring us to the conclusion.

I'm really glad I stopped by this one - it's well worth the read.

Y'know, Celestia could've just said that she was playing billiards and Luna probably would have gotten it.

Just saying.

7033110 Thanks, glad you had fun.

7033271 Heh, got to love the old cons. Snooker I don't know, Luna strikes me as the bowling type for some reason.

7033675 "And why is the black ball so maligned sister?"

"Urgh, not this again."

7033935 Thanks. I thought it would be a fun take on immortality as seen from the outside.

7034597 God yes, extra thanks go to docontra for making sure all the numbers added up in this one.

7034766 Huh, that second one was unintentional. No appologies for the other two :pinkiehappy:

7034971 Glad you had fun.

7035259 Yeah, it's easy done though. Twilight has seen just one Celestia for her whole life, it's easy to assume that that Celestia is the only one that has ever existed, even if it is like assuming teachers live in the school.

7035380 "Pinkie, it's traditional not to move the holes midgame." :facehoof:

7035395 They put Pinkie and Celestia on the same team, it didn't end well for spacetime.

7035450 Awesome, thanks a lot.

7036182 Very true. Its funny but from Twilight's perspective the risks Celestia takes must seem very minor as it all works out for the best, even though in reality she's dicing with the fate of the kingdom.

7036184 And I'm very glad you stopped by. Twilight's always my favorite when she's working against herself too.

7036219 I imagine Luna as being from wa~ay further back in history than that, though that's just me.

Anyone else think of The Prince of Tennis upon reading the title?

I suspect Pinkie's been holding back all this time so she can hustle a princess in the rematch.

So, does Tia have a niece in Bel-Mare? Because Celestia is best Uncle Phil.


Yes - it was very well handled! Doubley frustrating (in the good , must-keep-reading way is that she completely acknowledges the exact same predilection at the very start of the story. Twilight knows 2+2, surely, if only she'd think to add them!

Likewise, Celestia really comes across as, well - comfortable in her own skin. You play off her age as a legitimate, "been there, done that, got the crown" circumstance without spiralling into "woe is immortality" territory. She's lived long enough to get here, which also means she's lived long enough - presumeably - to figure stuff out and establish some kind of inner peace.

Applejack, too, deserves a mention of love - not sure if it was intended in the writing or not, but she really came across to me as being in the know - she's fully aware what's going on with Celestia's reasoning and decision making, and is giving her a good evening. Personally, I almost think she knowingly got herself shark'd just so Celestia could have the oppurtunity of doing it. Applejack's kinda great like that.

Imagine this, but with them :



Believe it or not, the very best authors on this site tend to be massive fans of the Wordsmith. Georg, The Descendant, Ghost Of Heraclitus, Pen Mightier, all are fans of the great Sir Terry Pratchett. The reason that no one dares try to truly emulate him is that they don't think they'd live up to the standard of a man who in his prime could make words stand up and dance to his tune. Or so they've told me anyway. I myself tried to write a story where Celestia and Vetinari simply stare at each other for half an hour. And another where Mister Vimes sneers at the royal guard in general (in their shiny, golden, undented armour) and Shining Armour in particular for not being a Suspicious Bastard. And another about Granny Weatherwax teaching Fluttershy how to stare (it's one thing to have animals obey you, it's another to have local geography optimise itself for your convienience). But I'm too whimsical to stick with a plot for more than a week, and I can't live up to what I feel is the standard of the greatest author of our generation either.


I've...actually had people describe my writing as reminiscent of STP on two seperate occasions, when they had no way of knowing I was a so-massive-as-to-be-approaching-critical-mass fan of Discworld (and Nation. And Bromeliad. And the Johnny series . And...). Very special moments for me.

And that was before I met people who appeared in the books. :pinkiegasp: I've met people for long hours' discussions who were personal friends of Terry's (the sort of people who thought of him as just that - when the rest of us think of him as The Creator, The Man In The Hat, or STP) so...sufficed to say... I don't worship the man, as I respect him too much for that.

I think in your case - in many cases: because we're all really just the same monkeys at our typerwriters - attempting to reproduce Shakespeare for eternity, or at least until the bananas run out and the keys get jammed up with poo...the important thing isn't to try to be great through your writing, no, it is to just try and have great fun with your writing.

It is, after all, the most fun thing a person can do by themselves.


I wasn't expecting the strike to my feels, and this pleases me! Everyone needs to let their mane down sometime, especially Princesses. :twilightsmile:


Luna strikes me as the bowling type for some reason.

BOWLING NIGHT! Please! Please make that a sequel to this story! :pinkiehappy:

I liked this. It was touching, especially towards the end. It was also funny too with Twilight freaking out like that about Celestia. It makes it hard to classify in my library.

I think what I enjoyed the most about this story is that it's simple. There is no grand plot, no dastardly villain, no untold magical power putting the world at risk. It was a simple, masterly crafted story about four mares, a pool table, and hustling. I guess if you wanted to get a little deep on it, then there is a lesson there about judging books by their covers. But it was a simple, utterly fun story that I think everyone needs every once and a while, to just calm things down.

Thank you so much for writing and sharing this story. It was a pleasure to read.

7037971 I actually have Luna pinned as a card shark. Slight of hand - slight of dreams kinda thing.

Man... Twilight has got some serious PTSD... Like, seriously... She needs to see someone about the obvious mental trauma she has from her idolization of her mentor...

7037997 Agreed! I could not in any way have said it better!

Cute and fun, bravo.

Dammit, billy, you promised me a wacky story about Celestia being terrible at pool! Now give me my heart back before you break it or something.

They’re something the Princess Celestia I know would never do.

See Twilight, that's the problem, you only know one or two sides of her... there's a lot more there then you know or will let yourself believe.

7036582 :pinkiegasp: You figured out her plan!

Seriously though, I could totally see that.

7036681 It's an old trick, but a good one for deflating a few egos. :trollestia:


Twilight knows 2+2, surely, if only she'd think to add them!

Great to hear you liked the feather alusion. It was one of those bits that was tricky to make work but I really liked how it highlighted Twilight's cognative disonance.

Likewise, Celestia really comes across as, well - comfortable in her own skin.

Well she's had a lot of time to get used to it. Actually, one of the things I didn't dwell on, as this was Twilight's story, but want to use for another story is the sense of how much Celestia has changed since the days where she was 'Princess of Pool' and how much room there is to change in an imortal being. Celestia gets up as immutable in a lot of stories but I find it far more interesting to imagine a chracter who's been everything in her life, from Knight to drunk, from Princess to peasent.

Personally, I almost think she knowingly got herself shark'd just so Celestia could have the oppurtunity of doing it.

Well, she might not have seen the bait and switch coming. Still, she was far more aware that Celestia just wanted to relax than Twilight ever was.

7037147 Okay, some of those ideas are just brilliant. I wonder if Celestia and Granny Weatherwax know each other?

7037637 Aww, thanks a lot. :twilightblush:

7037971 No promises on a sequel, but it would be a fun oneshot.

7037997 Thanks Lord-Commander. This was actually a bit of a jump for me as slice of life is not my usual genre, I end up writing the stories about the dastardly villain all too often, but I had a lot of fun with it. Sometimes the little dramas are the most entertaining.

BTW, great work on the Empress Rarity series. I'm looking forward to the next chapter.

7038238 I could see her cheating well, but maybe not playing so well. Card games might be a little contemporary for Luna. :twilightsheepish:

7038708 We have have our blinkers.

7038894 Thanks!

7039389 No, it's mine and I'm keeping it with all the others :scootangel:

7039447 Over a thousand years worth. Its a terrifying amout of life when you think about it.

“Now hold your horses Pinkie,” Applejack interjected, pushing Pinkie back a step and fixing the crown with a glare. “My granny always warned me about taking deals that look too good to be true.”

“And my granny always said, ‘Don’t look a pony giving you gifts in the mouth, Pinkie, because that’s just rude’. Also, she told me to ‘Carpe jugulum’!” She grabbed Applejack by the shoulders and dragged her forward until their faces were a mere centimeter apart. “You know what that means? Seize the day, Applejack! Seize the day!”

That, i believe would be Carpe Diem, Pinkie. :ajbemused:

7039606 I have no idea what that means...

We have have our blinkers.


If you want to have a go with any of them you're welcome to try, I look forward to seeing what you'll do with them.
Other ones that I've considered but haven't attempted include Ponder Stibbons and Twilight Sparkle getting excited at each other about thaums, Nanny Ogg teaching Applejack how to make a drink made from apples (well, mostly apples) and then teaching Pinkie Pie a song about Hedgehogs, then Co-rewriting another song about Wizards Staffs and how rounded they are, to detail how sharp a Unicorn's Horn is. Also a Wizzard and his travelling truck being chased by everything and its auntie, Sybil and Cadence meeting for tea to discuss the problem with husbands who work in homeland security, and finally a man in a gold suit showing a dragon how to play the people game and how to be attractive to ladies who wear tight black dresses and who smoke like a chimney (my favourite, hence the avatar).

I don't think they would you know. Granny Weatherwax doesn't do "nice", she'd see Equestria and get even worse tempered than normal. Although they both have sister troubles, admittedly from opposite sides of the coin. Celestia wanted to redeem her little sister after she went bad, Granny resented her older sister for going bad because then she had to be the good one by the rules of narrativitum, and she could have been so much worse than her sister if she'd just had the chance.

this was a satisfying read. :raritywink:
it had a good pace, the humor was subtle, but spot-on, it showed a little of Celestia's fun side (which i absolutely love, btw) and had a satisfying ending.
10/10 on the :yay:itude meter. I wonder what will happen next?

well that was fun. i always enjoy a good story that shows Celestia's other side.

Nice, but I think it beneath Celestia to fleece ponies at eight-ball.
She's more of a 14-1 or snooker type of gal, in my reckoning.

7035259 not to mention that Celestia is more responsible than to do that stuff in front of a filly. Now that Twilight is grown Celestia is treating her like a mare.

I loved this! Appealed to my pony love and my love of pool. It was a great realization for twilight to see celestia in a new light.

Ah - the great "what casual game does Luna partake of" debate -

Ok, it's not actually a great debate... but only because it hasn't become one, yet!

So far I see Bowling Luna,
Card Shark* Luna,
and - if I may weigh in - I've always rather fancied the idea of Croquet Luna. More contributions to this, please!

*trivia time! Sharp, not shark, was the original term, and shark came about as a mutation on that. It's now just as / even more prominent then the original terminology and, in any case, is just as / even more appropriate a term for the concept anyway.

That's exactly the thing! It's easy to jump on the immortal angst trope - many do - but it only stands to reason that, if you have enough time to be a mope, then, you also have just as much time to come to terms with that.

And - with Luna and Twilight and Cadence all around - Celestia likely has more time than ever to relax the reigns a bit and do her own thing, whatever that may be.

This story had barely started and I figured that Celestia was going to be a pool shark. Well done.

7039911 Blinkers is something you put on a horse to restrict there vision, but in this case it's say that there's always a few things people struggle to see, even when it's right in front of their nose.

7039926 Heh, I quite like the dragon idea. As for Weatherwax and Celestia I can see them shooting sparks, but they both have their patch of reality they look over and though they definitely wont agree on how the other run's it I can see them trading war stories.

Acutally, as a side note I was just thinking how well the alicorns map to the witches. You've got Twilight the maiden, Cadence now the mother, Luna is the evil sister and that leaves Celestia as the, um, other one. :twilightoops:

7039976 Glad you had fun. I'm imagining somthing like: "Sister let me make that clear. You lost Canterlot in a pool game to Pinkie Pie?"

7040088 Thanks, I always try and bring a different perspective to things.

7040617 Ah, but then they see it coming. Suggesting you play snooker makes you look competent.

7040978 Awesome, great to hear you enjoyed it.

7042189 Drinking games, lots and lots of drinking games. Actually I imagine quite a lot of martial games for Luna, things like jousting, axe throwing and all sorts of other things that terify the guard. :trollestia:

7042620 Heh, I hoped a few people would pick up on it early. Celestia wasn't exactly subtle, but you have to know what signs to look for.

Wait..... how come Applejack or Twilight fully seemed to come to grips that Pinkie Pie was the huge team liability that Twilight thought Celestia was. Plus can't really see how Celestia should have been disappointed at Twilight thinking that there was some hidden test in the whole thing. My mean really; Celestia has put Twilight through dozens of hidden test in canon. So it really shouldn't have disappointed her that much.

Also Celestia is best shark.:trollestia:

7039570 I think Pinkie can actually make just about any shot she wants. The problem she found was that if she did, nobody would play her anymore and those that did play her would always end up unhappy. So instead, she plays some crazy variety of snooker that only she knows the rules to, so that a close look at the crazy break will reveal that the 1, 2, 3, and 4 balls all ended up as the nearest balls to the four corner pockets after each bouncing off a single wall. All her other shots follow similarly strange rules, ensuring that she only wins enough to break even on drinks and snacks. Unless, of course, someone who could actually present a challenge comes along...

Of course, I also like to think that her father bought his rock farm after a mysterious youth spent in griffon and minotaur lands- a pony version of Shawn Kelvin from the short story "The Quiet Man".

"Caprpe jugulum?" Twilight's wrong, this only makes me want to know more about Pinkie's grandmother.

seize the jugular?
also very well written

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