• Member Since 17th Dec, 2011
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I'm just here to write.


Discord's newfound desire for friendship has forced him to give up a lot, including his freedom to wreak havoc as he pleases. That's fine, but as the Spirit of Chaos, he has to balance the books. Order must also be made to pay a price, and that price is the Loom.

Part of the Borderworld.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 40 )

A neat approach to put him as that. But yeah, I can see why the nuance of those three is so hated. It's part of the why SMT is so despised with Law. It's an abolishment of self at its core. Still, enjoyable read. And love how the nature of chaos is more truthful than any order.

Curious that you used the Fates rather than the Norns, given all of the other Norse elements. Still, a very interesting way to balance the scales. The Season 4 finale makes it all the more poignant. Thank you for this.


Ah, I can have my fun with Norse analogues all I like, but at some point, I have to face the fact that canon uses mostly Greek inspiration. But I blend the mythologies where I can, of course.

Man, that was a great story, I really felt for Discord, having to make a hard decision like that.

How Discord must be feeling right now.


Man, this was a great read. Put Discords character into light when ya think of him like this. :twilightsmile:

Well, shit, Discord. You done screwed up again.

I kind of understand why he did it though.

How epic would it be if an episode of MLP started with this.

Damn, and here I find another great Discord story. While I'm a bit unsure with some of the elements (only just got started on the Borderworld), the world building and emotion you got with Discord here was awesome. I can really understand why he'd do this if the Loom really did all this, and I can even understand why he killed them, but still that must have been one hell of a hard decision even for detestable opponents like that, and the entire ending of this fic was particularly poignant in the face of the rest of the story.

I like the Discord = Loki thing.
Mostly because at first I just rolled my eyes at yet another 'this trickster is just like this other trickster' - we've had plenty of Loki = the devil = Coyote, and so on, over the years.
But then I considered it.
Loki is often treated, at least by those who don't think too hard about the stories, as if he's 'storybook evil', meaning he is Evil without much of a goal, merely seeking suffering so that the Heroes have someone they can fight.
But, in truth, he merely plays cruel pranks.
Even his biggest crime, the murder of Baldr, seemed to be an accident coming from one of his crueler jokes; It was an arrow of Mistletoe shot by a blind archer.
He had every reason to expect the end result to be Baldr with an arrow in his leg, or some such.
It'd be very cruel indeed, to shoot someone for a joke, but it'd teach Baldr some humility.
Discord, by the show and by any fanon where him being evil isn't part of the 'point' of the story, likewise was merely playing jokes with no care for who he hurt.
Some other tricksters are the same, but they are not generally viewed as Evil.
Coyote is not a villain, except in some specific stories, he is a god/spirit/animal like all the others and you're supposed to show at least some respect.
Merlin, who sometimes played the trickster, is generally viewed as Good (if sometimes not entirely clear in where his alliance lies)
And so on, from 'lesser fey' playing the roles of tricksters on smaller scales (but ultimately being either no more evil than humans, or being outright helpful (just easily offended if you don't seem to appreciate their help))

Also, Loki is not an Aesir (well, 'Æsir', but I won't flaunt my superior Scandinavian keyboard)
By some tellings, he is half Aesir and half Jotun, by others he is fully a Jotun - the nature of his mother is unknown, but his father is definitively a Jotun.
I think that matches decently with the Draconiquis Discord living among the three pony races (Alicorns don't count yet; There are so few, not counting the not-quite-canon Alicorn Tribe the royal sisters come from, that extinction would have been inevitable if you couldn't transform other races)
In many ways, the Elements of Harmony could become the new Aesir, once they fade into myth and the storytellers weave their lives in lies and exagerations - they even already have realms attributed to them.
I think plenty of others have said that the Norse gods seem like high-level DnD Characters - and while I'd disagree about the system, I agree with the general idea.

And now I'm tired of writing, and tired in general, but my ramble-y point was that Discord truly is Loki in Equestria, much more so than Q was in Star Trek (Q had too many other details wrong)

Biggest case of mind control magic in the the Universe finally put to an end and well Considering what Sombra got as punishment i would say the fates untimely end was correct. Never did like them in mythology even considering such a thing as them existing every crime ever committed could be placed at there feet(hooves in this case).


Indeed, Discord and Loki have a lot of parallels in the backstory here. That "not quite canon" alicorn tribe is a part of that backstory. They're our aesir in this world. Asgard was the realm of alicorns, while Jotunheim is the land not just of frost giants (AKA windigoes), but of many chaotic races, including draconequui. Young Loki was not a frost giant, but he was a Jotun, and he was taken in by Odin, the King of Asgard. This whole world exists post-Ragnarok, which was basically kicked off because of an accidental death of somepony important, which Discord was responsible for. And that led directly into the Reign of Chaos. I've got a whole other story planned around that particular mess.

Now the alicorn tribe are long gone, Greek analogues like the Fates have taken over where these Norse analogues used to thrive, and the realm of Asgard is owned by Celestia in much the same way as Tartarus, now going by the name Elysium. And now Discord is one of the few beings around who's old enough to still habitually call the Nine Realms by their original names.

Your work is as wonderfully mind-boggling as ever, DannyJ. Just tell one thing; is it wrong that I sided with Discord from the start?


I did write the story to be morally ambiguous for both sides, but the whole point of ambiguity is to let readers come to their own conclusions. What conclusion it is that you draw is up to you. You have to answer your own questions of morality.

Either way, by the looks of the other comments, if you are wrong, you aren't alone in it.

Good stuff!! btw will you be making mention of the Smooze? since the Smooze (or at least the g1) is often compared to a Shoggoth from Lovecraftian lore, though it is unlikely the creators intended it to be this (considering the age group the movie was for) it does share some striking similarities. so i wonder how you have this discord meet this incarnation of the Smooze?


I've always imagined Smooze and Discord as knowing each other from "back in the day," as it were, so they've already met by the time this story is taking place. I might write stories involving Smooze in future, but I've got no specific plans right now. Sorry.

Yes, Q was never Loki. I never understood that headcanon. Q was more a cross between Coyote and Prometheus -- though his sticking his neck out for humanity's sake hasn't resulted in him getting eaten by vultures yet, but you just know that if the civil war hadn't happened, that would have. He's an ancient wise and crafty trickster god who is also a total idiot getting himself into trouble frequently -- that's basically Coyote.

(I actually have an original novel planned in which characters based on John de Lancie and Sarah Palin team up to rescue the city of Los Angeles from the Fey, helped by Coyote, which in the novel is the character the de Lancie analogue played. It was a Star Trek-like series going back to the original idea where all of humanity's gods were aliens -- also kinda a la Stargate, I guess -- and Coyote is very pleased with the popularity he gained from the de Lancie character's portrayal of him, so he's going to go against the rest of the world's gods, demons, spirits and faeries to help humanity get Los Angeles back, mostly because the de Lancie character's wife and kids are in there. Obviously the characters based on real people are fictionalized versions -- I don't do Real People Fic. As for why Sarah Palin, it's because when you have a character whose strength is in sarcasm and wit, you want to pair him with a partner he'll insult a lot. Also, just once I want to see a supernatural menace that's not immune to guns, and making a hated politician and pundit into the fighter-class of the partnership while the actor is kind of the wizard-class is sort of hilarious.)

I give you all the upvotes. Maybe I can use inspect element to pretend to give this story the amount of upvotes it deserves.

Allllllll the upvotes.


Something Cosmic. Due whenever.

7157033 I'm gonna count on you.


A very good read like always. I do wonder how things would've gone differently had the Elwmwnts of Harmony were with Discord. While they probably wouldn't had let him do what he did, they would be far more upset at what the Fates did and the truth of the Loom.

Though for some reason, I can see them try and use the Elements of Harmony on the Loom to try and create some balance and restore free will


I'm not too sure about that. When you look at the show, there's a lot of indicators that Equestrian society is much more tolerant of mind control than we are. Mind-altering magic actually comes up pretty often, but even when it has explicitly negative effects, nobody really reacts with horror to it. Even Starlight's disturbing antics weren't treated as that big a deal. And they're even more tolerant of mind-altering magic for what they consider noble ends (e.g. Twilight's reforming spells, Cadance's love spell, etc.) which nobody even calls out.

So this is an issue that Discord and the main six would probably clash over. Discord is not innocent of mind-alteration himself, of course, but he draws the line at outright mind control like the Loom uses, because he equates it with slavery. Mind control is antithetical to his ideals of chaotic freedom, and harmful to his magical wellbeing, and this coincidentally aligns Discord more with our own social mores about the sanctity of the mind. The main six, however, come from a different culture from both ourselves and Discord; they would disapprove of the Loom as well, but not with Discord's level of conviction, and they would be easier to convince of its necessity. But I think they'd be pretty strongly against the murder.

Most readers seem to think that Discord's actions in this story were morally grey, but ultimately justified, given what the Loom is and what it does. But for my mind, I think that ponies would disagree. I think that from the main six's point of view, it would be the Loom that is morally grey, and Discord's murder of the Fates which is beyond the pale. Or in other words, it's probably a good thing that Discord didn't bring them along.

At least, that's how I see it.


8051663 Well, we have no idea how Twilight's reformation spells work nor do I know anything about Cadance's love spell. At the same time though, Discord could also call out the Mane 6 through simple reasoning. They did not like it when they were tricked to not acting like themselves...

The Loom is doing just that if not worse. Especailly if they see its affect up close. Though with mind-altering magic, it seems more like they're either very naive or very insane for using it. I think the pony folk don't really grasp the true horror against these things until it happens to them.

After all, we can justify extreme actions until we become the victims of it. Furthermore, the Loom could be even worse than Starlight's actions. For the most part, the Mane 6 haven't really faced a true villain of Order. Even Starlight was pretty selfish with it and unhinged and the closest one could call for would be Accord (from the latest MLP arc). So a more experienced Mane 6 would react differently to an inexperienced one. Should they witness it, it would probably unnerve them alot. After all, who's the sya Loom wouldn't target Fluttershy for being able to care for animals despite being a pegasi or after Pinkie Pie for her capabilities?

Experiencing something first-hand changes your thoughts and the Mane 6 could realize the Loom performs actions similar to Discord's discording or Starlight's spell, but to a more frightening degreee.

Then we have the interactions themselves. Discord would not murder the Fates if the Mane 6 were there, ebcause of their influence. Though none of the girls would be happy to see the Fates' attempted manipulation of Discord.


The Loom is undoubtedly worse than Starlight, both in the scale and in the specifics, but Starlight is actually not far off from what a depiction of an Order-based villain would look like (in fact, before season five aired, and all we knew was that there was a village of markless ponies who all seem brainwashed, one of my incorrect predictions was that we were actually about to meet Discord's opposite number). Accord is also a pretty good representation of the kind of order that the Loom brings.

But looking at all the main six's encounters with mind control, they consistently let an awful lot slide, even when they are the victims. When Starlight brainwashes her friends in season 6, Dash shouts at her essentially for using magic on her friends without asking, not for using mind control on them, and they all forgive her in an afternoon. In Starlight's village, the main six were disturbed by the equalisation, but it was Starlight's hypocrisy and lies that made them try to take her down. When Cassie brainwashed the entire town including the main six in the pets oneshot comic, with intent to breach a dam and flood the town, Twilight forgave her pretty much instantly. Even Celestia during the Accord incident somehow got it in her head that Accord was right to turn all of Equestria into a hivemind.

It seems to me that ponies don't like mind control, but they don't really view it the same way we do. To us it might seem naive and insane, but mind control to us is mostly just a fictional concept, and we imagine it as a violation on the same level as rape or murder. But to ponies, for whom mind control is an actual reality, they don't seem to view it as such. Maybe mind control victims don't remember much if anything of what they did, and so are able to feel more detached about it? Either way, it's more treated as a shitty thing to do than a horrific crime, and it gets forgiven just as easily as ponies forgive everything.

Which is why the complication with the Loom. I think from an Equestrian perspective, the Loom is a definitely a capital-letters Bad Thing, but with them not sharing our or Discord's view of mind control, I'm not sure whether it's something they'd fight extremely hard to destroy. If they could forgive Starlight and Cassie, they'd probably forgive Order and the Fates as well.

So maybe if the main six were there, they might've attempted to negotiate more with the Fates. That much is probably true. But I don't think they would've succeeded. The Fates take a very hard stance on this, and Order even moreso. So after they fail on the diplomatic route, would the main six be willing to escalate to violence to destroy the Loom, like Discord was? I'm honestly not sure, because of all the ambiguities introduced by ponies' general tolerance of mind control. But I can tell you this for sure: if the Fates aren't willing to bend, then Discord would've broken them with or without the main six's approval. The encounter in this story was one that was always destined to end in violence. It's just a question of whether the Fates would die, or get friendship-lasered.



Starlight is somewhat Order-based, minus her secretly selfish motives and being questionably sane and somewhat unhinged to begin with.

Then again, if it was just being bothered with mind-control, they wouldn't be that bothered with Discord. Granted, he could be a nuisance during his release on Equestria, but it's not anything that out of the ordinary.

Then again, a large part of it on one key thing. Reformation.

Starlight was willing to reform and change her ways and presumably so was Cassie. Both admitted were at fault and wanted to change. Discord himself kinda got around to this, but is still rough around the edges, presumably due to being older and inherently more chaotic. The girls were going to give them a chance because they were going to change and reform.

However, Order and the Fates seem to be the dismissive or at elast patronizing types. They would not take them seriously and would probably brush them off for being naive or something. It wouldn't be difficult to imagine those Order types like this. They fully think they're in the right and it wouldn't take lng for the girls to realse they wouldn't change. Heck, from an idealogical standpoint, they probably wouldn't consider it at all.

Everyone has their limits and it seems like the Loom, enslaving entire worlds and such, would be something too hard for the Mane 6 to accept, especially when it starts looking like Discord is being the reasonable one. They wouldn't off them, but the ELement sof Harmony could be used, especially in self-defense. I have no idea what would happen, but part of me would guess the Fates would become mortals, with all the same mortal limitations and so on. Force them into radical freedom.


Oh yeah, ponies are willing to forgive an almost unreasonable amount so long as apologies are made. Even Sombra got a redemption in the comics, and he basically killed a pony. Plus that whole enslaving and traumatising an entire empire thing.

When it comes to Order and the Fates, it's actually not that different. Order as I characterise him in background material and stories I haven't published yet is a lot like pre-reformation Discord. He's a bad guy who does bad things and likes it, but the potential to be better is within him. He could be redeemed, as Discord was, and in the same way, too. If he were offered the friendship and connection with others that he doesn't yet know he desires, maybe he could reform. The trouble is, Order doesn't have a Fluttershy like Discord does, and he actively pushes away anyone who could potentially fill that role for him. And yes, arrogance of the kind you describe is a partial factor in that.

The Fates, on the other hand, aren't really like that. They do think that they're actually doing a good thing, and they are very misguided, but ideology is not their primary motivator, so convincing them that they're wrong doesn't achieve much. Everything that they do is done out of loyalty to Order and to each other, and they'd still obey him even if they agreed that the Loom was terrible. And if Order told them to, they'd shut down the Loom, and suddenly they wouldn't be antagonists anymore. They're not like most FiM villains, because they don't lack for friendship, and so can't be reformed by offering friendship to them. Harmony has nothing to offer them because they're already content with their lot in life. Instead, it is their friendships that make them villains, so reformation would be tricky.

Ironically, the best way to go about reforming the Fates would be through the mind-altering spells of the Elements.


Discord being befriended was due to a good deal of factors though loneliness and not wanting to lose what he gained was the biggest part. Furthermore, his arrogance was used against him since he figured that nothing could hurt him or get to him. If Order was the same way, then someone could also influence Order in the same way, if only because Order would assume that he could try and sway a follower of Harmony. Pinkie Pie may work though he might push her off. It's hard to tell though it could still work.

As for the Fates, the ponies could still point out that what the Fates are doing is wrong. And if they refuse to shut it down, it'd be difficult to figure out what to do. Would teach our cast the dangers of blind obedience and such, and may gain a bit more appreciation for Discord. The Elements of Harmony could do something, especially if used in tandem with Discord's powers. Turning the Fates mortal would be one radical way to achieve the goals.


Yeah, but making the Fates mortal wouldn't solve any of the immediate problems. It just means they'll die at some vague future point.


I just saw it that they would have to do live like normal ponies rather than be disattached like Order and Chaos seem to do.

I'm now curious what would happen if the Elements of Harmony were used on the Loom itself


They'd annihilate it, without a doubt. Probably with less collateral damage than what Discord did, but it'd be just as non-functional.

A good read. I love me some morally ambiguous chaos. cdn-img.fimfiction.net/story/biud-1432584485-217143-full

Yipe.:twilightoops: When Discord is genuinely, seriously ticked off, you know you've crossed a line.

The situation as a whole is perhaps too big for me to judge, but I'm sure we haven't seen the last of its consequences.


It may interest you to note that Something Cosmic is set chronologically after this story.

Hmm. An interesting story. Discord killing the Fates was... a lot... and he seems to recognize it, but how does it compare to what the Fates were doing? The story doesn't say a whole lot about the Loom actually works or what it does, and Discord probably isn't the most unbiased source on its nature -- how does it interact with free will, exactly? It works like Discord's implying and actually turns entire worlds of people into mindless automatons, then... well, then I'd have to agree that while the murder of the Fates was an evil act, they themselves were doing something much, much worse -- but did it work that way?


Asking the right questions.

I'd say its control wasn't as perfect as Discord implied, but what he said was more or less its purpose. If we're comparing it to, for example, what Sombra was doing in season nine, it wasn't as all-encompassing as that. Citizens of the Eternal Empire still make choices and think and go about their daily lives. But it's kind of a hollow existence; their purpose is rigidly defined for them, life is joyless and sterile, and all emotions except for fear are suppressed (specifically fear of authority). The Loom is a complex machine with a lot of functions, but among other things, it's responsible for that emotional suppression, it ingrains feelings of obedience and deference to stifle rebellion, and it's used to provide directions and coordinate large numbers of people, especially for military purposes. It's almost like the nexus point of a hivemind. There are still individuals in that hivemind, but they can't truly be free so long as the Loom (or anything like it) is affecting them. In that respect, it's quite similiar to the changelings in this setting.

Huh. In that case I'd have to agree that the world is better off without the Loom in it -- although in an ideal situation there might have been other ways to do that.

... say, what would have happened if the Elements had been fired at it, anyway?

And also, what's going to happen to this Eternal Empire now? If it relied entirely on the Loom for providing all social stability, communication, and authority, and then it just... vanished one day, I can't imagine it just kept plugging along or even adjusted smoothly, to put it mildly.


... say, what would have happened if the Elements had been fired at it, anyway?

Well, the Loom isn't a sentient being; it can't make a choice between redemption or punishment. So the Elements would just follow the mane six's intent. I would presume that in any scenario where they're firing them at the Loom, their goal would probably be to destroy it, but I dunno. I guess they could also reprogram it to do something else? But someone would have to come up with the idea and suggest it first.

And also, what's going to happen to this Eternal Empire now? If it relied entirely on the Loom for providing all social stability, communication, and authority, and then it just... vanished one day, I can't imagine it just kept plugging along or even adjusted smoothly, to put it mildly.

Well, to be clear, the Loom isn't the only device of its kind. The Eternal Empire has holdings all across the universe. The Loom only controls the planets in the Milky Way. So the Empire as a whole is in no danger of collapsing any time soon.

But as for the planets in this galaxy? Yeah, there's definitely gonna be some major upheaval. The imperial governors and military can theoretically communicate with each other and suppress dissent the old-fashioned way, but the point is that without the Loom, there will be dissent. Open rebellions and revolutions are the usual outcome whenever something happens to one of these devices (as you can imagine, they're popular strategic targets for the Empire's enemies). Such rebellions are usually put down unless someone directly intervenes to help the rebels, but in this particular case, the Empire's grasp on the galaxy was fairly weak to begin with; the Tree of Harmony holds too much influence here, and they're also at war with a local galactic organisation called the Starguard. My guess is that unless Order devotes significant resources to reestablishing control here, Discord, the Tree, and the Starguard will probably push the Eternal Empire out of the galaxy within a few hundred years.

That explanation honestly raises even more questions than it answers, but I think I'll hold off on those for a bit until I get around to reading your worlbuilding essays.


Yeah, this rabbit hole has magma at the bottom of it.

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