• Published 29th Mar 2016
  • 1,597 Views, 68 Comments

A New Age - SaddlesoapOpera



Long, long ago, the Royal Pony Sisters Celestia and Luna defeated Discord, and almost everypony was relieved. Almost everypony.

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Epilogue: 362,564 Days After Nightmare Night

Personal Correspondence, from Princess Celestia to Princess Luna

Undelivered

My Dear Sister,

Sunset Shimmer is no longer my student.

I had such high hopes for her, but her temperament and impatience just weren’t suited to the lessons I tried to teach her. She wasn’t ready. If only I’d realized that sooner. But I suppose blindness to the problems of the Ponies closest to me has always been my problem, hasn’t it?

I’m sorry. That wasn’t fair.

I’ve done my best over the years to give you good news to read. I know it hasn’t always worked out. I know I’ve been bitter and miserable sometimes. We’ve had so many ups and downs, so many crises and celebrations, and you’ve missed them all. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve told you I miss you in these letters. How many times I’ve let you know that I remember you. The real you. Of course, you haven’t seen any of them.

The astrologers tell me you’ve been adjusting the stars more and more lately — they say that soon the entire night sky will be one big spell matrix.

They say that soon you will escape.

Are you still angry, after all these years? Have you been nursing a grudge for nine centuries and more? I can’t stop you if you are, Luna. You were more than a match for me then, and now I can’t use the Elements of Harmony to even the odds. They won’t heed my call anymore. Not for this.

It’s funny, but I don’t think I’ve ever told you that. Maybe I worried you’ve been watching me from up there, and you’d hurry your plans if you knew. Maybe I was just ashamed. All of Equestria has worshipped me for a dozen generations, but as long as we’re apart, as long as I’ve failed to save you, I know I’m not worthy of being the keeper of Harmony.

But I can’t let you run rampant, either. I can’t let that be your legacy forever. I have to give you a chance to let go of this hatred, for yourself if not for me. You don’t deserve to be a monster, Sister. And before you finish turning the stars to aid your escape, I will find a new student who can be the Pony I couldn’t. Who can prove herself worthy and banish the sickness from you.

There are more exams tomorrow. I’ll find the one. I have to. There won’t be time to try again if I don’t.



Love always,


Celie

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Comments ( 23 )

7078125 Oh poo, they almost destroyed the world with their arguing. Their assistants saved the day against the windigoes!

And Discord... goodness, I'd LOVE for them to explain to anypony how they thought they could deal with a creature which for all intents and purposes is a GOD-LEVEL threat! Heck, even Saitama couldn't stop Discord with one punch! DISCORD IS THAT OP!!! :pinkiegasp:

Anyway, only Loony went nuts and Celly swept her under the rug right quick! That's some decisiveness there! :trollestia:

Well, the pony she's looking for is there....ready to bring her OWN problems to the table.

You were more than a match for me then,

Again, I question this, having seen for ourselves the very truncated battle between Celestia and NMM.

Celestia took a direct hit from NMM, WHO WAS INTENDING TO KILL... and it only stunned her for a minute.

Everyone seems to conveniently forget that Celestia NEVER used her own magic against her sister. SHE DIDN'T FIRE A SINGLE SHOT. Celestia, I believe, was unwilling to use her own power against her sister, not because she was weaker, but that a battle between them would have resulted in Luna being horribly injured or killed if Celestia won. Alicorn beams, as demonstrated by Twilight in her fight against Tirek, can be IMMENSELY destructive. They aren't happy purifying rainbows of love and friendship.

The Elements were the only thing that would contain and (hopefully) cleanse Luna without killing her.

Hot damn, what a fic. The depths of characterization you managed to extract from mere text fragments, the way that you pieced together a coherent narrative from so many distinct view points, the world building that just bursts forth from the page... I don't think I can say enough good things about this.

My only real issue here is that, at certain points, you have abused the epistolary format beyond what seems reasonable. I'm talking about the random bold emphasis, or the striked out passages, and particularly the way that characters will just stop writing, betraying a little bit of their inner thoughts, before continuing with whatever else . Those felt unnatural, and also unnecessary. I'd contrast them with, say, everything coming out from Lady Brome. Nonetheless, this doesn't really affect the story too much. It isn't like the story relies on those gimmicks, and everything else works well enough to minimize the negative effect of those things.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

This is glorious.

7741700
Egad! I blame spellcheck and a fondness for French soup bases. Fixed!

Also, thanks for all your kind words! :raritywink:

This was a great read. Magnificent worldbuilding.

That was an absolutely phenomenal read.

7781229 Actually, with the Map, it seems Harmony is a fully sentient force. It actively participates... when it feels like it... and sends ponies to do its bidding!

And it also built a big castle-tree-thing.

...

Ok, so it sucks as architectural design, but it's still consciously aware of what it's doing. :trollestia:

Anyway, you forget that we saw a bit of Discord in the past. He still wasn't murdering ponies. His rule merely looked like what we saw in Ponyville. We have absolutely no evidence whatsoever that he was EVER a killer. None. Zero. Zilch.

Total absence of evidence cannot possibly indicate proof positive!

Wow, this story was mind-blowingly awesome. I got chills, I felt invested in the characters, every last one of them, I almost desperately want this to continue... Yes, I know it can't be continued without ruining it--I just wish I could experience Luna and Celestia's reunion through the wonderful lens you've let us experience the past with. Amazingly done. Have a favorite, a thumbs up, and a follow.

An exquisitely presented piece of pony history. The different perspectives are effectively used, the characters visibly develop, abd we get to experience Star Swirl's sorrow as we watch powerlessly as fate unfolds.

Excellent work. Thank you for it.

For the math-disinclined, that's 992.7 years after…and so, 7.3 years before. (993.3 discounting leap days)

Great, but for the apparent Discord-killin's. Though I remind others that he might well just mindbend the memories of ponies to forget what their loved ones look like, and make the lost unable to remind them that she yet lives, and delight in the chaos as severed bonds fail…
but it doesn't terribly fit Disqord either. That, in my opinion, makes me shy from favoriting. But…the rest of it is great.

7883665
I appreciate your feedback! :twilightsmile:

With regards to the spelling of Celestia's nickname, it's taken as-is from the published diary they released -- as is much of the Alicorns' narrative style.

As for Discord, while there are certainly implied to be a great many casualties, Discord is only described as killing a single character, and that quickly, neatly, and efficiently. All the other mayhem was secondary effects, collateral damage, and madpony-on-madpony violence. He just turned the world upside down; the ponies tumbled down on their own. Think of it like if you scream "FIRE!" in a crowded theatre and everyone panics, and someone gets trampled to death. You didn't kill that person personally ... but it's certainly your doing.

Clover was a special case, since as an Arch-magus Star Swirl had vast willpower and immense magical power and, with the Sisters backing him, posed a reasonable threat. The way I figure it, Swirl put his hoof down and resolutely refused to play Discord's childish games. Perhaps he made some boast that no matter what Discord did to him, he wouldn't break. And the chaotic fiend grinned, stared him down, and replied with something like: "Alas, you're right. There's nothing I can do. To you..." And the rest you know. In one quick, surgical strike, Discord shatters a powerful adversary's resolve forever, and all for the modest price of breaking a single one of thousands of toys. Seems reasonably in keeping with his masterfully manipulative style, no?

7883859

With regards to the spelling of Celestia's nickname, it's taken as-is from the published diary they released -- as is much of the Alicorns' narrative style.

But it would make the first e a long vowel. The "companion works" have pretty bad canon-compliance.

Either way, Discord has mellowed out a lot, which I'd not expect from a millennium of sensory deprivation.

Well that was embarrassing. I completely missed the fact that this story exists. Following you now so that doesn't happen again.

Welp, Season 7's finale jossed my timeline pretty hard, while also keeping Star Swirl's manner almost exactly as I depicted. So... break even, I guess?

Holy heck this was beautiful! How did I let this sit on my 'to read' list for so long??

I hope you don't mind but I adored this fic so much I've adapted it into a full cast audio drama on YouTube:

8905054
Sweet Celestia! :pinkiegasp:

What a lovely production! I am extremely grateful! :rainbowkiss:

Bridle? Don't you mean bristle?

9221049
A bridle is that part of a horse’s reigns that goes over the head to control the horse. It’s used in the S1 episode “Bridle Gossip” where they introduce Zecora and racism to the show.

Fantastic. This was fantastic. The characters' voices really came through, the worldbuilding was excellent, and I loved the way you showed the events unfolding through these little glimpses into people's thoughts... and the way the terrible power of the battle seared its way into them. Who can stand in the light of the unearthly and find themselves unchanged? This story shows its age, I suppose, but I don't find that a bad thing. Whatever did happen to Star Swirl, I wonder?

This will be a good story to re-read some time in the future, I think.

10319138
Yes, sadly, the march of canon struck a blow here and there, but not EVERYwhere, and I feel the work remains strong despite the slight dissonance, not unlike an "AU" setting. It was, at the time of writing, researched to the utmost level possible. I hope readers can enjoy it regardless, the same way folks still enjoy the Princess of Mars / John Carter stories despite the invalidating insights we've picked up about Mars since they were published...

Either way, your props are appreciated! Glad you had fun! :twilightsmile:

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