• Member Since 11th Jul, 2011
  • offline last seen Yesterday

SaddlesoapOpera


Saddlesoap Opera is a Canadian Brony who loves to write and read fiction of nearly all kinds.

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In the closing days of the Pre-Classical Era, at the dawn of the rule of the Royal Pony Sisters, the devastation of Discord’s cruelty hits hard and leaves an open wound. As the young and inexperienced Princesses Celestia and Luna struggle to keep the peace, powerful figures in all three Pony tribes bridle at the upstart Alicorns who so quickly and easily claimed power...

Fic reading with soundtrack can be found here!

Chapters (10)
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Comments ( 63 )

Yeah, Kindred Spirit. Right. Bringer of Chaos, more likely.

Let's see how the dissent breaks down through the tribes:

1) We have a unicorn obsessed with rank and privilege to the detriment of all,

2) a Pegasus who confuses guile and diplomacy with weakness,

and

3) an Earth pony fixated on old traditions that no longer mean anything.

This is sort of like a fic about the advent of Crystal Tokyo that has people complain that a bunch of meddling kids have set themselves up as God.

"Pointless" as a slur for non-unicorns. Inspired.

7076957
Ah, yes, you can thank some discussions with my fellow writers for some lovely advances in the field of Pony Racial Slurs. That one in particular merits a nod to the inventive Autumn Wind. :pinkiehappy:


7073811
Indeed -- no matter how great Pony society might eventually become, before the millennium of prosperity under Celestia's solo rule the populace had little reason to trust a pair of weird teenagers to run everything. And of course, considering what troubles are still to come in this era, perhaps they were right to hesitate...

My, oh, my. I almost don't WANT to know what Freakshow did. Alluding to it is bad enough without actually seeing the results of his rampage.

Great. Celestia's in denial, Luna's about to go full warlock and the Big Three are about to do something very, very stupid for almost understandable reasons. That's the thing about well-intentioned extremists.....they're almost right but there's something that they refuse to know.

Epistolary POV has gone out of fashion, but I've always really enjoyed it, and I enjoyed this.

I love Brome's method of writing in specific -- you've got a lot of lovely worldbuilding details in that. It's unfortunate this doesn't have a higher view count.

Great job.

All right. The hall has been rented, the actors are about to take the stage and next.....the curtain goes up. Let's hope they put on a better show than "Caped Bullshit Artist versus Princess Paranoid McBringdown."

This story is SO GOOD. So much is being delivered subtly between the lines. I love it man.

Shit. Recidivism has set in while Celestia has been distracted by her personal issues and enormous blind spot.

Old mares running the world.

A new age!

The non-alicorn classes are beginning to get Desperate.

Your turn.

The old ways spent a long time dying, didn't they? It took a while before common sense percolated down to the masses.

The past isn't dead. It's not even the past.

He has help being a Failure Knight.....he's surrounded by idiots hanging onto the old ways. They need a thousand-year long wake-up call.

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:

It would be interesting to see what Celestia thinks of the converted.....if only to learn what ponies used to sound like when they cursed stupid people.

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

7073801 Meh. Personally, I do prefer Luna. If my OC lived during then, he would have shown up.

Also, on a side note, the land devolper for the garden found the original draft. It was near the same, but the ending read "A Kindred Spirit of Chaos".

I liked how you managed to portray action in a story comprised of written documents. Very inventive.

I have a hunch that this video will fill in the gaps.

So, ALL the second-tier members of the 3 tribes equally hated and envied the Sisters.

...

The windigoes would be back in force with sentiments like those. :raritywink:

Mother, why does he hate me?

Glory

Because you're not just a bitch, you're a self-centered egotistical bitch... like Barbara Streisand.

images.amcnetworks.com/blogs.amctv.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/south-park-streisand-560.jpg

:trollestia:

My problem: Discord doesn't kill.

Death is a form of ORDER. It's PREDICTABLE. It's UNCHANGEABLE. Nothing interesting can happen once something is dead. It cannot feel, it cannot know, it cannot partake in any of his games. It would be the ultimate in disinterest to a creature of unpredictability and disharmony.

There is also the practical line of thinking that if Discord DID have no problem killing, then when Fluttershy resisted his trick, instead of forcefully warping her mind, he would have taken off her head.

Discord doesn't even turn ponies to stone, by his own words. He certainly would not kill.

And the method... just snapping his talons and she drops? That's... utterly uncreative. It doesn't even have any sense of irony or cruel humor... nothing. That's the method of an overpowered tyrant like Freeza or a cold-blooded schemer like Aizen Souske. I would expect instant killing from Tirek, not from Discord. If Discord ever did become psychopathic enough decide to kill someone... they would wish they were dead by the time he got around to it. He would toy with their bodies in a manner that I suspect would nauseate even the likes of Hannibal Lecter, a dude who ate a guy's brain while he was alive and conscious. And if the goal was to break Starswirl, why then the method would be that much slower and more horrible, to torment Starswirl with the knowledge of his student being tortured slowly to death and his being utterly impotent to do anything about it. Why, if I were Discord and a complete raging psycho (assuming I'm not... :pinkiecrazy:), I'd also play with her mind, perhaps warp her so she cried with ecstasy with every part I cut from her body, keeping her mobile and animated even as her flesh fermented. I'd have her living corpse praised my name, calling me the Lord of Decay and Mayhem and all manner of titles as she kissed my body with rotting lips... all while Starswirl watched, until his mind shattered to pieces and he tore his own ears off and gouged out his eyes to hide from the sights and sounds of the glorious madness I created, especially for him!

*muffled voice* And then, only then, would Clover have my permission to die.

i.imgur.com/hLm1W.jpg

I would be a TERRIFYING Discord, eh?

But as I said, such a Discord would never be defeated by the Mane 6 all those years later. If a Psycho Discord ever escaped, there would be no hope. Such a Discord would never permit any chance of victory. He'd kill one of the Bearers immediately, or better yet, warp one of them to kill the rest. Then Harmony would truly and inexorably be broken.

This is why Psycho Discords are terrible characters. They're too powerful and deadly NOT to win instantly. Then there's no realistic conflict possible because the God Demon can curb-stomp everything flat with no effort, and thus no plausible drama, because the outcome is inevitable and Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy quickly sets in.

So Sombra came and seduced Luna to the Dark Side through romance.

Eh... that was an idea I had... and abandoned as being too far-fetched. Somblarg is anything but suave and sophisticated. Any characterization of him as that is PURE fannon, and contradicts everything we've seen of him from his time as king. Even in the comics, once he goes nuts and takes over the Crystal Empire, he's just flat-out EVIL, and about as charming Ronin the Accuser. I'm still keeping the Dark Side notion... but her temptation would purely be for power of Dark Magic, with G1 Tirek being the Tempter (in my mind, G1 Tirek would also be the one to teach Sombra Dark Magic... no stupid Umbra pony nonsense.... that was a terrible comic..)

If the idea of Luna's character is to make her appear absolutely as vapid and naïve as any millennial of today... congrats! You've succeeded! I want to chop her head off for achieving Too Stupid Too Live status! :trollestia:

Oh yes, final problems with Psycho Discord notions.

Would Celestia have just thrown the Mane 6 at a God-Level Being she already knew had no problem killing at will? Especially once he'd already stolen the EoH?

Would she have kept the statue of a murderous mad god in the garden, rather than in a room surrounded with as many wards and defensive spells as could possibly be conceived of for all time?

Heck, once Discord knew that 6 easily-slaughterable mares were the ONLY things that could stop him... yeah.

Basically, Psycho Discord means "Return of Harmony" would never take place. It changes far too much, introducing a full-blooded demonic entity rather than just a somewhat cruel playful trickster who tormented, but notably never killed. Discord is much closer to Mr. Myxzptlk than he is to Darkseid. He was meant to be the Equestrian version of Q, which is the main reason John de Lancie was cast for the part.

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
PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

a sleepness-nights curse

This is too good, I can't.

(Though it's worth noting King Bullion's name is misspelled in the first chapter. :V)

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

Celestia IS the Thrice-Blessed Mare!

Oh shit.

I've got chills.

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.

You're very good at writing a Celestia that could believably have completely missed the warning signs.

That was an absolutely phenomenal read.

7622592 How I like to see it is that Harmony is 'infectious'. You can somewhat see this with Discords reformation, and with how the whole Cutie-Map thing is going- the Mane 6 spreading Harmony where they go. Even perhaps with Scorpan.

If that were the case, then putting Discord in the middle of their garden was the best thing Celestia could do- surround him with ponies being happy, appreciating natural beauty and flowers and stuff, all that sort of thing. One thousand years of that may have done enough to pull him from psychopathic killer to selfish prankster.

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.

Right. A secret admirer. Riiiiiiiight.
Well, at least we see how their relationship is falling apart.

:pinkiegasp:OOOOOH!!! STARBEAM!!! YOU-YOU-GRRAAAH!! He wanted you to honor Clover, but instead you just pretended she didn't exist! You insufferable, self-centered...:flutterrage::flutterrage::yay::twilightangry2::yay::yay::twilightangry2::flutterrage:


Please excuse that rather unladylike outburst. :duck: It's just, it's like having a memorial that was meant to be dedicated to fallen soldiers, that was instead changed to commemorate a general. Against said general's orders. It's self-serving and well...heartless.

Luna...if you only knew.:facehoof:
Seems like Glory is having a nice dose of introspection and survivor's guilt.

Until there is some concrete sign of incapacity from Celestia and Luna, We cannot condone the reformation of the Councils of Dawn and Dusk, and the hazard they present to the best and brightest of Unicorns.

So raising the Sun and Moon was dangerous for Unicorns. Figures, that can't be cheap in terms of magic cost.

I expect he just forced her to transgress some Old Way or other, tipped. holy cow or three.

You know, one of those things that "only death can cleanse".

(ed: thought yinz meant Sweetgrass, not Clover.)

So how long (if time may even be considered measurable therein) did your Discord reign?

Celie

Cellie

saving up for when Clover a rainy day

Ouh.
:fluttercry:

7174014
I agree. All three have interesting bits. "spear-sage", "pointless" as viles epithet…

storm-cauter

More yummy worldbuilding.
Waiting for a sign…and certain ponies were "up North" and will not return.

I’m only getting my hair done three times a week

:raritydespair:
Aha, maiden, mother, and crone triad.

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