Being an alicorn is wonderful... except when it isn't. There are plenty of things that put a damper on limitless vistas of possibility afforded by such a long life: Court, mortal needs and expectations, the occasional decade of ennui.

And the dreams, of course. Agelessness comes with its own special kind of dreaming. Celestia finds that her own "Inner Court" is a bit too literal, and it--and she--are troubled at the prospect of a near-immortal Twilight Sparkle.

If only she could articulate exactly why that was.

art by spectralunicorn

Part of the Monophysite Quartet, which also includes Celestia Isn't Real, Have You Considered My Servant, Twilight?, and The Esoteric Rites of Darkness. All four stories have a common origin point in an old story idea I called "Monophysite" and touch on who or what Celestia really is in some way. They are otherwise unrelated.

Chapters (16)
Comments ( 411 )

Not bad. I hope in next chapters we will see Twilight*s inner court too.

That is what this court will decree to you, Our supplicant. Write to Cadance and bear your heart.

Should be "bare" as in "reveal," not "bear" as in "carry."

what we already know then to hope for an

Minor typo. 'Then'should be 'than'.

Those massive gaps between the external world and the 'Inner Court' scenes had me expect hidden text. It's a habit trained by a single story, but it's never gone away.

Other than that, this is quite an intriguing story.

I dunno I think the Sartre quotes are pretty spot on.

7140928 he's okay.

I cant' tell if I hate him and he's terrible or if I hate him and he's the best. It is rather problematic.


I think he would have approved of your confusion, though.

Not only does God play dice, the dice are loaded.


And when the hourglass has run out, the hourglass of temporality, when the noise of secular life has grown silent and its restless or ineffectual activism has come to an end, when everything around you is still, as it is in eternity, then eternity asks you and every individual in these millions and millions about only one thing: whether you have lived in despair or not.


And then they're back down, and then they go back up.

Will this have Twilestia in it? The synopsis makes it sound like it does. I know it doesn't have a romance tag, but you'd be surprised at how many authors accidentally leave out tags that apply to their stories.

7141583 yes. Maybe not how you expect, but yes

I'm' not feeling flashbacks so much as echos, I think. The cycle continues onward and upward. I look forward to what comes next ~

Most excellent. I rarely comment but I had the sudden urge to. Always been a sucker for dreams and ships. I dream of ships...

well this is dark, although to be fair this is you I should be more used to it by now.

This is fantastic! I love the presentation and characterization of Celestia and Luna here both. Appropriately old and deep, while still human pony. The conceit of the inner Court is great, and particularly interesting to me.
Keep it up!

7141862 I actually felt it was less dark then I usually get.

Great story! the Inner Courts, and the depth of character they allow, are amazing. Eagerly waiting for more. One minor error:

When I’ve tried to explain this to my little poies

...should probably be ponies.


Yeah, I wouldn't call this dark. This is just alicorns being people with their own issues.

7142399 of course after Redeem and Suns everything else I've done is like fluffy sunshine rainbows

Commence read.

Twilight, assisting in an experiment involving herself, reminds me of the 'Doctors make the worst patients' thing.

Commence read.

Husk, that's a rough one.

Interesting turn of events.

Commence read.

Waxing and Waning. Twin shenanigans.

Luna's inner council seemed a bit more diverse.

Commence read.

Cadence with the Greek.

7142938 ye, she is basically the embodiment of the Four Loves

So, exposing foibles in both personal and political venues?
Sounds like this is a script for a
(wait for it...) :pinkiehappy:
... Sartre.

Ok, not one of my better ones. :D

Celestia wondered if she was the only alicorn not to have at least one childlike aspect.

Also, I bet there IS a child aspect of Celestia. None of the members of the Day Court reflect her prankish, mischievous side - the one to set Philomena on Ponyville, to say 'Gotcha' after pretending to drink her tea, or to tell Luna that bat cloaks and the Royal Canterlot Voice are required usage when visiting towns on Nightmare Night (still my headcanon there, but no one else would have done that).
Celestia may have repressed this aspect of her nature for so long she forgot about it, but I bet it's there.

she will never, ever leave.

:trollestia: I am soooo bucked....
:eeyup: Eeyup.
:facehoof: I'm not that bad...
:ajsmug: Hate to tell ya this, Twi....

7143874 the aspects both reflect and do not reflect--they are exaggeration, or through a mirror darkly. Sometimes they reflect the psyche, and sometimes they more reflect the attributes of the thing they are attached to.

They also change!

I think you're right actually. Dusk can be playful but she's not quite mischievous enough

how are you writing so quickly and fluently and so well and so non-redundantly

this is amazing

7146951 Because class is so godawful boring, that's how. I've always composed swiftly and often messily.

I'm actually not happy with Luna's dialogue in this fic. It's been hard to switch for some reason between the sisters, and I'm really struggling with the moony one. If I weren't spending more time trying to work on the weirdness factor and basically purging this idea I probably would have really reread through ZOMG's The Shield's Protector because his Cadance is my favorite and is so much fun.

The depth is legit.
I'm not satisfied course.
Though I never am


“Yet let him keep the rest,
But keep them with repining restlessness;
Let him be rich and weary, that at least,
If goodness lead him not, yet weariness
May toss him to my breast.”

i love interaction between Celestia and Luna in this story.

Hmm... the fact that the members of Cadence's "court" are all benevolent aspects of love, with no manifestation of obsession or self-destructive aspects kind of implies that Cadence is the purest of the three so far...

7148187 perhaps, but she's had less time.

Beyond just the four loves and matron I had planned a Jealoysy but held off mostly because I had been reading Vanstone's lil phenomenology of love: Loves Endeavour, Love's Reward and had realized that his conception of love (which is mine) would not include jealousy in the way I had planned. However, I do think in a century or so Jealoysy will show up as an antagonist in the court of Love--a devils advocate of you will.

Are you quite sure there's no rejoicing? Because I'm not sure what else this feeling could be.

I'm starting to wonder if I've done you a disservice, expecting everything you write to have similarly bittersweet melancholy as what you had with The Night is Passing. That felt like something that took a toll to write, and in retrospect I expect it was as much a curse as it was a triumph. Not to belabour the point too much, but for all its wonderful moments, it lacked a certain intrinsic joy that I already feel in this.

This isn't to say the subject isn't given your usual gravity, but rather that this already feels hopeful, that the best days are yet to come rather than buried long in the past.

Maybe I'll change my mind as I go further, but these are the kinds of thoughts I'm having right now. I suppose you have a knack for bringing that side out of me?

Oh, how I cannot wait to see how dear Twilight Sparkle defies all expectation!

“I must thank you. The sun is riding me hard, and I was spared it’s quest for the night by your timely intervention.”

'It's' is a contraction of it is. The correct word in this case would be its - the possessive.
On a more positive note, this portrayal of Celestia's various...personas? Selves? Moods? Fascinating. I should really go back and read some of your older stuff. The characterisation is wonderful.

7151159 I end up using the word aspects because it's not quite any of those--the Court isn't just a straight reflection of the alicorn but a blending of them with the thing they are attuned to. It's like... an amalgam, I guess?

7151331 I totes stole that lead in from Blade Runner

Twilight Sparkle, my dearest and most beloved of students, I have seen things you would not believe.

As soon as I read that, I knew what was coming next. Love you for doing this.

7151828 It's beautiful.

It's one of the best cinematic moments in history.

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