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Aragon


Quoth the raven: "CAW CAW CAW CAW CAW CAW CAW CAW CAW" (Patreon)

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Tonight, Celestia will talk to Shining Armor. With just one conversation, she needs to save Equestria.


Chinese translation by Dreams Set Free.


A homage to Pearple Prose, written in his style. Cover art by LoloPan. Proofread by Queuefka Palazzo, Lucky Roll, Selbi, Mr Numbers, Magello, and Pearple Prose himself.

As seen on EQD and the RCL interview.

Reading by Illya Leonov.
Reading by VocalNoctis

Chapters (1)
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Comments ( 179 )

Think of this story as a sarcastic counterargument.

...A sarcastic counterargument against what?

7060434 Against all sarcastic counter arguments.

The one sarcastic counter argument to rule them all.

Me gusta.

Umm...
What?

I would LOVE to have this explained to me. Overall I get the plot, but I don't get the sarcastic counterargument part.
Probably because I'm not mentally capable enough yet, but that's neither here nor there.
I'll leave my guestimates to myself until I'm given an answer or encouraged to guess.
Thanks and chao.

7060593

The argument against Celestia being a God, even though she seems to orchestrate things too perfectly. The possibility that her fuck-ups are actually intentional, to move other pieces along a vaster board.

I'm guessing.

7060434
7060469
7060593

Man, I wanted to leave the A/N as a mystery-ish till tomorrow or so, but the way I see it, if I do that nobody will think about the story itself. So here we go:

It's a long story, that will be explained in more detail later, but what I mean there is that this story was thought, planned, and written, as a counterargument to the whole "Celestia is literally a god" attitude some fans of the show have. This thought that Celestia should always be there solving every story's problems, because if she commits a single mistake then she's holding the idiot ball and the story has a plot hole.

So, me being an idiot, I wrote a god Celestia reacting to that. Then reacting to herself. Then trying her hardest to deny her reality, because it's a tragedy if we take the show's canon at heart.

But I did that by writing Celestia as a god.

Hence, sarcastic counterargument. Lil' joke that got out of hand, I guess.

7060608

BEAT YOU BY FIFTEEN SECONDS MOTHERFUCKER

ON YOUR OWN STORY

GET YOUR HEAD IN THE GAME YOU SPANISH BASTARD WITH LEUKEMIA FOR ARMS AND HIV FOR FINGERS. YES YOU HAVE HIV ATTACHED TO LEUKEMIA INSTEAD OF FUNCTIONAL LIMBS WE'RE ALL VERY WORRIED ABOUT YOU, I HOPE YOU GET WELL SOON.

Man, that simple change in concept makes this so much more bittersweet and compelling. Excellent job.

7060618 Da. Chu were 1st. But not the greatest. Don't get cocky, kid. :derpytongue2:

It's been three hours and this is already featured.

It absolutely deserves it.

And then Shining Armor went on to marry her niece and have a cute little foal, because he realized that alicorns are ponies too.

Poor Tia...

A nice little tale about the price of arrogance. Well done.

Who's lying to who again Celestia? *rhetorical question*

I'd argue though that, well, she isn't. Far different from other ponies, certainly, but still not a God. On a whole different level? Yes. Apart? Yes. Divorced from them all? Yes. And in denial about that? Yes.

But not a God, not here. Just...something close to one.

Huh. Seeing a thought-provoking piece like this coming from you is weird. Welcome, but weird.

I wonder. Celestia's official line for releasing Discord is because he can sense magical disturbances. But what if the real reason was to have somebeing to interact with that she couldn't read and couldn't predict? Someone who's very existence proved to Celestia that she wasn't omniscient.

Godlestia: A tragedy.

By the standards of mythology, yes, she is, in fact, a goddess.

What do I mean by that? Simple.

Here are the prerequisites to be a god/goddess in mythology:

1. Agelessness/immortality.
2. Being a personification of/having a connection to a fundamental element of the world or universe.
3. Considered to be the absolute master of a particular element of the world or universe.

Celestia is immortal, has a connection to the sun, and is considered to the absolute master of it. You might say, "Wait a second. Twilight was able to move the sun and moon at one point and Celestia controlled the moon for a time. So how is she specifically a sun goddess or any kind of goddess for that matter?"

If you did say that, then you would be forgetting the second criteria for being a god/goddess in mythology, having a connection to a fundamental element of the world or universe. Whether one is looking at the show, comic, or one of the books, Celestia is the only pony to have her health rejuvenated every time she moves the sun.

So is this why Celestia decided to be sillier when Luna returned?!

7061283
Which definition of tragedy are you using, in reference to the various literary ages?

7061242
You mean, to reinforce her non-godliness to ponykind, she released an actual god?

7061195
Not close to one at all.
Merely lacking a relatable frame of reference larger than herself.
Her mastery of Friendship, gained through experience rather than Twilight's Elemental Affinity, allowed her to be seen as an Ombudsman by most higher powers, an equal in standing in all but the most crude senses, and clever enough to neutralize those that threatened.

Her self image crisis comes entirely from her little ponies being shielded by her against the cosmic neighbors, producing an echo chamber of passively maddening whispers of ego boosting encouragement.

please sarcastically counterargue more.

this was the best sarcastic counterargument I've read in a long time.

Fucking beautiful.

7061406 Actually, if you compare her to the gods of other mythologies, she pretty much is one. Did you know that in some mythologies, gods can be killed?

The difference between a god and any other immortal creature (spirits/demons/angels/fairies) is largely perspective.

It's a sliding scale, where everything is relative.
To a mouse, we are ageless beings of immense power. We live 40 times longer than they do, and even the most determined mouse would find themselves unable to kill one of us. To them, we are best considered forces of nature.
To a dog, somewhat less so. We live 8 times longer, but a dog could reasonably kill one of us. To them we are powerful and wise, but still understanable as beings.

Is she a goddess? Well, probably, yes, but despite what she may think Luna would be as well.

Think of this story as a sarcastic counterargument.

To what?

7060608
And that's why I loved it.
You masterfully framed the problem of omniscience.
She is not, by definition, a god, of course.
None of us ever can or will be, but for all of us who claim vast intellect, we accept our mortality so to speak, the laws of the universe and time and the unknowable defines our existence.
Because this story is not about control.
It's about the limits OF control.
For all of the intelligence of Celestia, a demi-god in her own right, and none the less for our fallible minds, we must never try to control our attempts to control things.
This is great example of what can happen to you if you cannot learn that though you want to control yourself as with anything, lying to yourself cannot work.

You can lie to control others, it's not wrong to do.
But never attempt to lie to yourself, down that road lies madness.
Things left uncontrolled are dangerous. The mind especially so. But make no mistake, as Celestia here has
If she relates to Luna by purposefully not controlling her it is no less a manipulation than a lie of omission is a lie.

Which is fine.
It is NOT fine to pretend that isn't what is happening.
Control is not evil, living is making choices, decisions, controlling things.
Never hesitate to control.
Nor spare yourself the burden by wrapping it in a lie.

I really enjoyed this story as it goes almost full depth into the psychology of self-doubt.
Excellently done.

Please be sure to source your art, This piece is by my friend Lauren, generally she goes by the name Lolopan online: http://lolopan.deviantart.com/

7062025

Oh! I sourced it to derpibooru (shows up if you click on the picture!) but I didn't know she had a dA. I'll add that one too, just in case, I guess.

That is why immortals are scary: because they think in a different framework than the rest of us, because they can almost always beat you with their superior experience...
...and above all because eventually they will lose all ability to relate others or to care about a world which can no longer offers them new experiences. There is no limit about what they will do from that point out of boredom, madness or both. Just ask Discord.

When an immortal is reaching the point Celestia is now, maybe is time to think in retirement. And maybe that is why Celestia chose Twilight :twilightsmile::trollestia:

Huh. Interesting, and extremely well written. But she's wrong in one thing. Gods can have families too. Almost any mythology will tell you so. Unless you're thinking about Allah, Jehovah or "God". Which she's far from being. She isn't almighty, after all.

Still, stupendous! Can honestly say I'd like to see more on/like this.

7062052
There is no such thing as an almighty god. Only certain religions that claim their god is almighty, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, and a complete lack of evidence to support their claim.

Aragon #36 · Mar 25th, 2016 · · 1 ·

7062124

There is no such thing is an almighty god. Only talking magic cartoon ponies are realistic, after all.


Let's avoid drama, people. Do it for cute lil' Aragon.

7060608

This thought that Celestia should always be there solving every story's problems, because if she commits a single mistake then she's holding the idiot ball and the story has a plot hole.

I'm not aware of any religion in the world where god / goddess is portrayed to solve every single problem. More often than not, god / goddess works through his / her followers by asking them to solve problems for him or her, and then helping them along the way. In Homer's Odyssey, Athena didn't just show up and make everything right for Odysseus, but she certainly guided him and helped him along a lot. in the Hebrew / Christian bible, god didn't magically teleport the Israelites to Canaan, but he did help Moses and Aaron quite a bit along the way as far as guiding them there. And when they finally got there, god didn't magically strike down all the Canaanites. The Israelites actually had to go to war to claim the land.

So really, I just see Celestia following the same pattern that every other god and goddess follows. They rarely solve problems by direct intervention. But they often provide guidance and direction to help their followers solve their own problems.

I realize that this is meant to be sarcastic. However, I'd like to offer some rebuttal type thoughts.

The idea that you can simply learn everything there is to know about the world assumes that we are inherently rational beings, absorbing information like a machine and then sorting and processing it all.

We are not. We are emotional beings, and quite capable of ludicrous self-deception, biases, and skewed perspectives; and of course, we often learn the wrong lesson from our experiences.

Also, as you get older, it gets harder to learn and/or accept new things. It's also likely that someone that old will develop rigid habits that work for a several hundred years, and then need to be changed, with no warning, at the drop of a hat. It is also very possible to forget things, and/or to get rusty if you don't practice something enough.

In terms of morality, I believe that any given personality will have strengths and weakness. An ageless person would have time to develop strategies to counter such weaknesses, but their fundamental personality wouldn't change, so the problem would always be there, and would crop up, from time to time.

So I don't think boredom would be the problem. It would be more: "I can't believe I'm still making the same mistakes!" coupled with memories blurring together and constantly being bombarded with new things even though you haven't finished adjusting to the last new thing.

7062145
Yeah. I don't want to start any drama. I was just saying that to debunk the common misconception that being all powerful is a perquisite for being a god, and that any being who has ever been portrayed in a situation where they didn't appear to be all powerful is disqualified from being a god. Because again, based on that criteria, there is no religion in the entire world with a deity that qualifies as being a god. So either there are no gods. Or there are gods, but all of them have flaws. It does seem relevant to the story and the discussion after all.

7062203

Ooooh. Sorry! I misunderstood what you meant. My deepest apologies for being a doof.

7062175
Yes, but in many of those situations, the god didn't intervene directly because they didn't want to, not because they couldn't, unlike Celestia, where it is clear in many of the situations that she is just not up to the task of doing it herself. The Hebrew god in particular is specifically noted to be omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent, for example, but he still does very little directly.



According to the Oxford dictionary, the (relevant) definition for a god is:

(god)
(In certain other religions) a superhuman being or spirit worshiped as having power over nature or human fortunes; a deity

Now, Celestia is definitely superhuman (or superpony) by their universe's standards, but there is no implication that anyone worships her, nor does she have control over an aspect of nature that normal ponies cannot replicate (even if it takes multiple of them).

Also note that a lot of people who label Celestia and Luna as gods take that to imply that they should not be nearly as fallible as normal ponies. Thus, they list failures such as against Chrysalis and Tirek as problems with the plot, because "a goddess shouldn't fail like that" and such.

7062203
It's an important point to make, though. Power is not equal to divinity. Neither is omniscience. A god is something you worship. That's their defining quality. Unless a random space alien could show up, push around the sun a little, tell you everything there is to know about you and you'd fall on your knees in prayer and go "oh great and powerful Kstlzabbt, please bless my children while I raise a temple in your name," there's still a difference between these things.

Celestia is the Kwisatz Hadepone. How much of a "God Emperor" that makes her depends on your feelings about it more than on any actual facts.

7062124 the almighty part was exclusively for the monotheistic ones, the others don't make that claim. That plus being "perfect" makes them too boring to consider in a story.

I do believe Celly is quite the Greek goddess, though XD. Exceptionally equine, helluva lot powerful, but not invincible and not above making mistakes - and conscious of that. Shame she hasn't got religions to compare and know she doesn't have to put herself above her little ones because of that. She did learn with her mistakes at least a little, after all.

7062225

Yes, but in many of those situations, the god didn't intervene directly because they didn't want to, not because they couldn't

Yes, that's the claim. But it's the classic "I could have done something. But I chose not to," defense. Personally, I tend to believe the evidence suggests that they couldn't do something, rather than they simply didn't want to.

The Hebrew god in particular is specifically noted to be omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent, for example, but he still does very little directly.

True, but once again, the evidence strongly suggests he is not. Lots of religions have made the claim that their gods are omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. There are any number of reasons for making the claim, usually having to do with politics, or an attempt by the elite to control the masses by holding the threat of divine knowledge and divine punishment over their heads, or on the other hand, the promise of divine destiny. "god will ensure our victory because he wants us to do this. And our god is all powerful so we have nothing to fear." Only problem is that promise often rings hollow, as history has recorded hundreds of times for every religion that has ever existed.

a superhuman being or spirit worshiped as having power over nature or human fortunes; a deity

Personally, I think the concept of a deity so confident in their own godhood that they don't demand worship is very interesting. After all, if a god demands that people worship him or her, at least to me, that says something about how confident that god is in their own godhood.

7062208
No worries. I probably could have explained it better.

7062268
Yes, but said beings don't actually exist outside of the religions and stories that involve them, so if said stories say that they're capable of doing more, or that they're omnipotent, then they, in said contexts, are absolutely able to do more. You can't treat religious beings like Zeus as actual, living beings who couldn't have actually done something even if the story says they could, because they don't exist within the story.

The concept of a deity that is so confident in their godhood that they don't need to be worshiped is irrelevant, because if they're worshiped, they're a deity, and if they're not worshiped, they're not. Their own desires are irrelevant. In fact, in universes where said beings can be verified to exist (like Celestia in MLP), gods could lose their godhood, through no fault of their own, if people stopped worshiping them.

A god is something you worship. That's their defining quality.

Worship is a human invention, though. In every religion in the world, worship began because people were afraid of their gods. Worship was an attempt to appease the gods so that the gods wouldn't punish them or destroy them. Ponies, on the other hand, have no reason to fear Celestia and Luna. So what if the concept of worship never developed?

What if, in some other universe, there was a god who simply didn't care about being worshiped? What if they didn't require it or demand it? In my own headcanon, Celestia and Luna are goddesses, but they don't require or demand that their subjects worship them. Why? Maybe they are secure enough in their own godhood that they don't need people constantly telling them every day that they are gods. I don't know.

I think that if Celestia and Luna showed up on earth and moved the sun and moon around, that we humans probably would worship them. And part of the reason would be because we'd initially be terrified of them. All of our cultural baggage regarding "the wrath of god" and divine punishment if we don't constantly try to appease the gods and ask for forgiveness would demand that we worship them. And the ponies, including Celestia and Luna, wouldn't understand it at all. They would find it strange. They wouldn't understand why we are afraid of Celestia and Luna. After all, to them, seeing their rulers control the sun and the moon is so natural, that they probably don't even think twice about it.

7062231
Yeah. I agree. All powerful beings make for very boring stories. After all, the one universal thing that drives all stories is conflict. Without conflict, there is no story. And all powerful beings face no conflicts.

But yeah. I agree that Celestia and Luna are very much goddesses in the Greek and Roman sense of the word. After all, Luna even shares her name with the Roman Goddess of the Moon. It's also interesting that in some of the story books that came with the earlier toys, Luna was named Selene. Selene is the Greek Goddess of the Moon. Actually, the same Goddess the Greeks worshiped, but the Romans gave her the name Luna instead.

7062278
I don't agree with your definition, though. It's like saying that an orange ceases to be an orange if people start calling it an apple. No, it doesn't. It's still an orange. Once again, worship is a human invention. Nothing more. Human definition might say that something is only a god if it is worshiped. But that doesn't mean that all intelligent species everywhere in the universe would have the same definition of god.

In fact, there are many humans who believe in god, but don't worship god. Einstein, for example, believed that god existed, but that he / she / it was a universal, impersonal force that did not interfere in the affairs of humans. So although he believed in the existence of god, he did not worship god.

You can't treat religious beings like Zeus as actual, living beings who couldn't have actually done something even if the story says they could

The problem is that many people do exactly that. Many people believe that their god really is all powerful. Napoleon believed that god was all powerful, and that god would ensure his victory when he invaded Russia. Of course, we all know how well that worked out for him.

So yeah, that's the main reason I make an issue out of it. Because many people actually believe that their god is all powerful. And that's a very dangerous belief. It has been responsible for hundreds of wars, massacres, and other problems throughout history.

7062043

There is always more to learn, even for an immortal. Consider how rapidly technology advances. No one person can keep up with that. So even if you live forever technology alone will keep you busy learning new things forever. Not to mention that society is ever-changing, as is the world/universe around us. There's no limit to knowledge, therefore no point where all knowledge can be acquired.

An immortal who gets bored with existence is an immortal who has ceased to care about learning new things.

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