• Member Since 17th May, 2013
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Daedalus Aegle


As a Norwegian, I think our mythological beasts deserve better than to be compared to assholes on the Internet.

E

Diamond Tiara always knew that someday she'd be invited to dine with the Princess at the Royal Palace. She didn't think it would happen like this.

But she's going to sit there and be polite and smile and not be bothered by all the ways this is all wrong. Because that's what good fillies do, and Diamond Tiara is a good filly now.

Right?



Cover art by iisaw.
Preread by SIGAWESOME.

Featured on Equestria Daily.
Featured on the Royal Canterlot Library.

Fanart!

Chapters (3)
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Comments ( 185 )

This... This is one of the best things I've ever read regarding Diamond and Luna charicter-wise. Congrats sir, I take my hat off to you.

Okay, one chapter down.

I gotta say, so far I'm loving the interaction between Luna and DT. It feels natural and both seem to be in character IMO.

So far so good. Gonna jump on the next chapter as soon as I'm finished with my business at hand. Looking forward to the rest of it.

Nice story, but Luna had NO RIGHT to tell DT her parents were getting divorced the next day. That's for her mother or father to do, if a seedy lawyer isn't available.

And although your writing is hugely persuasive, I still agree mostly with DT's philosophy about the world (in the first two chapters, that is). After all, this is an extremely corrupt Earth we live in, not utopian Equestria.

Oh well. Cynicism has got me this far, lets see how much farther It can take me... :moustache:

People are just that: people. They aren't buttons to push, dolls to mold, or even damsels to rescue. People are complicated, bizarre, wonderful individuals, and they need to be treated with the respect they are due. And you did. You indisputably did.

Magnificent work with two characters I've rarely ever considered in the same thought. Thank you for it.

Aquaman #6 · May 21st, 2016 · · 2 · Fear ·

The next time I feel the need to explain Diamond Tiara's character arc, Machiavellian philosophy, or how a child reacts to and interacts with divorce to anyone around here, I'm not going to bother. I'm just going to send them the link to this story, and then wait for them to come back once the spell it leaves them under breaks.

Probably my favorite fic I've read so far in the last year, and possibly longer than that. Thanks for sharing it.

EDIT: For real, though.

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This is damned high praise. Thank you both.

You... Really are not a cynic, are you? This is your 2nd story about the fundamentally optimistic trying to "cure" the truly cynical and hardened (The Education Of Clover The Clever being the 1st of course). I remember that I read The Prince and The Anti-Machiavel in quick succession. This had a balancing effect. One argued something well, the other refuted it equally well. Reading one without the other could really make you philosophically unstable if you were to take them to heart at a young age.

I find that the only truly safe philosophy is that of the late great Sir Terry Pratchett, and is quoted thusly: “His philosophy was a mixture of three famous schools -- the Cynics, the Stoics and the Epicureans -- and summed up all three of them in his famous phrase, 'You can't trust any bugger further than you can throw him, and there's nothing you can do about it, so let's have a drink.”

You continue to be a marvellous writer, the Wordsmith would be proud of you.

BenRG #9 · May 21st, 2016 · · 2 · Fear ·

A diamond from a broken home, doing what any child would do to 'fix' the problem - anything in her power, no matter how much it hurts her. Who would have thought that such similar stories would have echoed each other, long millennia apart?

This was an excellent insight into the possible nature of Diamond Tiara but it was also an excellent Luna story. I loved every minute of this. The raw emotions and the 100%-valid characterisation.

Thank you.

this is another story, that for all rights and purposes, feels like it should be published.

it was an honor to read your poni words.

This will be going into my kindle library to be read and re-read for many, many years.

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There are definitely certain... recurring themes and devices that tend to crop up in multiple stories. I always thought of myself as a cynic, but... I do want to believe we can learn from the past if we try, and well, if we don't look for hope, we're definitely not going to find it, are we?

Good old Sir Terry... He is sorely missed :pinkiesad2:

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Those two have broken my heart many times between them, and when I brought them together they turned out to be greater than the sum of their parts.

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Thank you all for reading and sharing your thoughts :twilightsmile: The response to this story has been amazing, and it's only been a few hours.

(Yes, you too deadpansnarker, and I am mildly befuddled that someone downvoted that comment.)

I... I don't even know what to say.

I've just read this through in one sitting, and, though I would have liked to see it broken up into smaller, more digestible chunks, this was still a friggin' gut punch.

Like, I pride myself on my self-recriminating protagonists, but you hit Diamond Tiara out of the goshdarn park, good sir.

I think part of it might be as you said--as someone else wrote in a different context, Diamond Tiara sounds like she's been "dug painfully out of your own guts." I wish that, someday, I can mature enough to dare to dig into my own past as you have. And, I hope that writing this has helped, at least a little.

Thank you for this.

I'll be submitting it to the RCL as soon as I can find the links. This is the first story I've ever read that I think is truly worthy of the honor.

EDIT: Done recommended. If you agree, thumb it maybe?

... This was amazing. If the story is ever continued in a sequel, or additional chapters, etc, I will look forward to them eagerly, though it has ended well enough.

What a brilliant exploration of Diamond's character, a mere slave to the game we call high society. She's known nothing else all her life, and it informs every action and reaction.

I hope in the coming chapters she can draw some kind of catharsis from Luna's frankness.

You mean faux pas.

Trying always counts.”

Depends who you ask.

You, good sir, are my hero for today.
From the beginning to the ending there was no dull moment, a lot of character analysis and development, some important lesson about life that are always good to be taught and reminded, some good philosophical and psychological talk and at the top of everything, a great message of hope.

It was incredible, thank you so much for sharing this!

7235568 Actually, I'm more surprised that you think I'd be unnerved by the sight of you thanking me for reading the story. I even gave it an upvote, and added it to my little 'Tiara is reformed' group, so I did. :rainbowhuh:

I really like it, in case I didn't comminicate that enough in my original post. It's beautifully written, has tons of great interaction between two characters who you'd never suspect had that much in common and is even very poignant in parts. :pinkiesad2:

I'm just pointing out a) I thought Luna was totally out of line in delivering such life-changing news to DT in such a brutal way, when it should have been left to her parent(s) to tell her in their own fashion (I can relate to this because I found out my parents were splitting up from my mother's best friend over a game of Mouse Trap... To say I was pissed at all parties concerned is a gigantic understatement) :twilightangry2:

b) Because DT's newfound belief in 'the goodness of ponykind' doesn't chime in with my own outlook, I can't necessarily get on board with her change of heart at the end. Of course, it doesn't help that I live in a 'scum-sucking, bleed 'em dry' society, and they reside in a fictional universe where friendship is almost universally preached. If that sound like I'd leave for Equestria tomorrow, you'd be dead wrong, Where would I be without my precious Internet?! :twilightoops:

So, in short... Me love da story, but not so much ol' Luna's irresponsible behaviour during parts of it, and the unsubtle 'kindness to all, always' mantra it preaches to the rafters. If this way of thinking is applied to real life, it would be naive at best, monumentally foolish at worst. Perhaps you didn't mean it that way, but I couldn't help but add my little commentary on the subject. :twilightsmile:

Oh, and don't worry about those two duffers who downmarked my comment (and the many more that I'm sure will do the same to it in the future, with this one soon to follow.) They probably can't see the difference between legitimate hate for a story, and someone expressing a view inspired by it, poor things. Such people are best ignored for the most part, and only acknowledged during a thesis into why public education doesn't always work... :rainbowkiss:

7235636 It may not count high enough, but it counts.

Or would they have done as Macavallo predicted, and pledged their loyalty to me in exchange for their survival and safety?”

We saw they would. Twilight didn't tell her about the Nightmare Moon timeline?


“Kindness? My sister holds kindness above all the other virtues. It was kindness that set me free from my prison,”

I guess we know who held that Element, (I imagine Luna held Honesty and Loyalty, and Celly held Kindness and Laughter, not sure who held the Generosity and Magic. )

But it was five other virtues that freed Luna from herself.

“I think the nature of kindness is courage.”

Ironic given Fluttershy.

“She does not let that stop her.”

Is she joking? The stings she's gotten from ponies has left her afraid and hesitant around them to a great degree.

Luna sighed sadly. “These are treacherous thoughts, miss Rich.

There's a difference between kindness and common sense. The scorpion stung because it was its nature... if you're going to pick up a scorpion, wear gloves.


Her mother had a board hung up on her bedroom wall listing benchmarks she had to meet, things like 'make a foal cry without touching them', or 'make two friends stop talking to each other'.


0-0 I can't comprehend anyone doing that to their child.

“I think it is the only way the world can run.”

"Life is more complex than a bumper sticker." - Zootopia.

The world isn't about one virtue. It's about many virtues.

Starlight Glimmer held to a virtue, but ONLY one virtue, and see how that turned out.

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Depends who you ask.

Good thing DT is having tea with Luna and not Yoda then.
:trollestia:

Luna seems to be forgetting that the cruel fate of a single follower does not a bad philosophy make, which we have seen time and time again in reality (Soviet Union, Rome, etc.). And nobody and nothing sees fit to call her out on that. This is the leak through which all my emotional investment in the story flows back into the ocean of apathy.

In other words, the Tantabus only did as Luna taught it, and did as it did, as only she made it to do. It was likely confused why its own creator was trying to stop it from doing what she ordered it to do.

I'm not sure if including a divorce in Diamond's family was really NEEDED, but this is is a solid story.

Diamond Tiara actually makes a really good point around the middle of the story. Luna keeps telling her to stop forcing other to be the way she wants, but is trying to force her to be her definition of 'good'. And then Luna acts as if the pony who wrote that one book's fate somehow embodies the entire philosophy he wrote about. And then Luna just ignores the entire rest of Diamond Tiara's former society, and acts as if she is the only pony to have ever thought this way. And then you throw in the idea that this is all a metaphor for growing up, despite it not being accurate at all. And then you introduce 'her' and promptly ignore this 'her'.

I'm sorry, but this is just bad.

7235849 Hmm... Can't disagree with much of that. I still really liked it, though. I guess some aspects of a short story bother certain people than others. :moustache:

This certainly was an enjoyable ride. There is bitter cynicism all throughout, but ultimately there is hope and optimism that things can will be better in the end, regardless of how long, and arduous the journey may be.
:twilightsmile:

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Nice story, but Luna had NO RIGHT to tell DT her parents were getting divorced the next day. That's for her mother or father to do, if a seedy lawyer isn't available.

Perhaps.

Although when you are one of the nation's demi-goddess tetrarchs...

“You can try,” Luna replied. “That counts. Trying always counts.”

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All of the praise I was going to heap on you has already been said by other commenters. Well, except for that fact that your hyper-articulate portrayal of DT, while perhaps a tad OOC, makes both her and this story seem superior.

Oh, and this is now my favorite slice-of-life fic on the site. Period.

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but that's only in matters of mind over matter where there is no trying. this is a matter of emotions, and working through them, that which Jedi know nothing of.

You pull no punches.

I expected a deconstruction of the pressures of high society. I expected a girl forced to confront the prospect of a looming adulthood. I expected an ironic dichotomy of values between two players occupying the highest echelons of the Equestrian socioeconomic ladder.

What I did not expect was probably the finest character study of Diamond Tiara that I have ever seen on this entire site. This takes her arguably lazy/rushed redemption arc from the show and gives it incomparable depth.

There is no magic cure-all to the bitter struggles of life, or the insurmountable damage inflicted upon a child raised wrong. That your story acknowledges these realities of our world and even indulges in the resulting maelstrom of those emotions for just a moment, while still maintaining an enduring sense of hope despite it all, makes it a lesson worthy of any person whose life circumstances have led them astray.

A powerful bit of writing, and fan-fiction at its finest. You've earned my highest praise and a spot on a bookshelf that I reserve for the most timeless experiences I've discovered on this site (though my own personal pedigree does not make this amount to much).

Someday I hope I can achieve even a fraction of your capacity for storytelling. If I may be so bold to say: you walk among giants.

P.S. If I have one critique, it'd be directed at the cover art, particularly your font choice. The whimsical goofiness of Equestria Medium/Celestia Redux/Generation B does not do the tone or themes of your piece any favors. It's like using Comic Sans to announce a funeral. I would aim for something serious but bold, such as Didot, News Gothic, or Bourgeois. Or perhaps a handwritten script or decorative to match the high society themes of your story, like Coneria Script or Parisian. I'd maybe even seek to emulate a popular cover of The Prince, considering its import to your story. A strong Roman typeface, like Trajan Pro or Pacioli, would go a long way in this regard. Perhaps even some combination of the above.

You made me like Diamond Tiara. You bastard! :pinkiehappy:

Beautiful work!

So far, this is an excellent beginning. Well crafted.

This is a cut above what I was expecting. I think I might just sit down and read the rest now.

First off, well done. I'd picked up on 'This is probably a dream' a while earlier; there was just a vibe going on, somehow. It was interesting to see it validated at the end. This is an overall fantastic piece. There is a small stumble here and there - though not so major I can point to any off the top of my head - but it is only the faintest of ephemeral shadows amidst the light that is the tale.

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I don't agree here, and I don't think you do either, based on your bit about 'seedy lawyers' in your first comment. When it comes to children, what is right and wrong? Typically yes, we value parental autonomy - but I would wager that's less out of respect for parental autonomy and more out of a shared acceptance none of us truly know what is best for children and so we are all experimenting en masse to try and find out.

But sometimes? Sometimes, someone else can do something better for the child. And in those circumstances, they probably should. This is one of them, here, as portrayed; Luna, I would say, is fully in the right, because bringing it up here allows Tiara to begin healing whereas if her parents had delivered the news it is almost certain she'd have fractured further.

For somepony supposedly feeling sorry for Diamond Tiara, Silver Spoon's behaviour at the election was decidedly cruel.

Plus, let's not forget, Diamond was stung in the past when they opened up their circle to new friends.

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So why shouldn't she believe the world is out to betray her? It actually seems to be upon a closer look.

It's not just her mistakes, and not just her kindness that's needed.

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Luna keeps telling her to stop forcing other to be the way she wants, but is trying to force her to be her definition of 'good'.

Okay, I just need to say I hate the shit out of this any time someone thinks this is a good counterpoint. Sure, there are things that are off by social or personal definition. You shouldn't follow the crowd, after all. But if someone's doing legit wrong, it's not being hypocritical to push them to do right. Someone willingly doing wrong will continue without some earth-shattering revelation or force of some nature. Since the former is something that happens more or less naturally, if at all, usually as a consequence of hurting too many other people, then the only option an outside party has is force.

"I'm just using and abusing people, making them do what I want. If you try to make me do good, then how are you better than me?" Is a washed-out argument I've seen from many a pseudo-intellectual who thought too highly of themselves and thought it'd get them out of whatever jam the situation happened to present. What are the other options? Force them out of the society in question, or allow them to continue hurting people unchecked. Entire argument is thus pointless and falls apart. People who choose to do these things are not some lost and wayward creature waiting for a patient hand to grant them redemption... that's left for the people who simply never knew better, the ignorant and blind, usually by the manner they were raised in. Artificial sociopathic views on people and the world in general, cultivated by others in a sheltered environment.

But the people who know there's a better way and make the choice to do it the way that hurts people for their own pleasure? They're usually the type I see make this argument, so I cannot consider it any sort of 'good point', because the entire thought behind it is a farce, a trap for people who think shallowly. Can't agree.

Easily the most powerful of the chapters.

These are the raw, bloody wounds in Diamond Tiara's and Luna's psyches. There is no quick fix. Mere power can't help you. You can't just talk it away. And the worst thing is having your pain dismissed.

That's why, whenever one of my friends comes to me with their pain, I never ever tell them 'there there' or 'cheer up' or 'it could be worse'. That's not helping. They want, they need to be listened to, to be taken seriously. To not have the weight on their shoulders be made light of.

By the way, a very clever use of Filthy Rich's sequences in Luna's dreamscape. Kudos.

Quite the amazing story. It's great to see this atop the feature box.

7235686 I'm inclined to think that her parents had already told her in the waking world and Diamond Tiara was having an anxiety dream because of that that attracted Luna's notice. When Luna describes the consequences of divorce, she is merely describing what she saw in DT's dream and those of her parents. In her role as vigilante psychotherapist, Luna isn't telling Tiara something she doesn't know. She's just bringing up the subject that Diamond Tiara is trying to avoid thinking about (as well of course as telling the reader what this is really all about.)

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Or maybe Silver Spoon was taking a leaf out of Fluttershy's book, about stern kindness. Exiling a group of frail little breezies from your house can be seen as cruel, too, even if it's necessary.

“It may be answered that one should wish to be both,” Diamond Tiara recited, “but because it is difficult to unite them in one pony, it is much safer to be feared than loved.”

It is better to be loved and it is safer to be feared - but above all, a good prince should endeavour to never be hated.

Diamond Tiara did not learn her lesson well.

Give me a magical necklace that says I'm an embodiment of a supreme force of nature and I'll stop acting like a real pony too!

I really liked this line.

There is a balance, I believe, between the two warring perspectives of cynicism and idealism. Such a balance is hard to come by, for this scale that we live and breathe and exist in does not carry equal weight for both sides.

The cynic looks at the world through a narrowed lens. They can see the most minute of details and correlate them to a greater conclusion. They are the analyzers of raw nature data, able to conclude with great accuracy the effects and course of actions. Yet the cynic suffers from inherent fear, the inherent dread of the unknown and known. The coldness spreads, and they become blind to the little things that matter the most.

The idealist has a broader lens. They see everything and everyone, and they want everything and everyone to be everything and everyone. They hold onto hope beyond hope and act when they think they need to; or when the world needs the push. More often are they the shakers of the world. But they suffer from blindness that comes from being too optimistic. A false sense of security and reality is theirs to bear. They are both intelligent and ignorant; a terrible combination.

To be both of these is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing, because it allows one to act on both's biased methods, and ultimately reach the best conclusion. Yet it is a curse because one encounters both's problems.

But the blessing and the curse cancel; they balance out. And this balance is what truly makes life a harmony, in that sense.

This is brilliant. I'd never have thought those two teach each other anything.

Man, Diamond's home's abusive, if you ask me. Even if the only abuse her mother does is teaching her a crooked way to go through life, it's still terrible.

A royal palace designed and built by two little fillies, limited only by our imaginations! Full of secret passages and traps...” Luna shook her head and sighed happily at the memory. “I read a lot of vampire stories back then. It kind of showed, in hindsight.”

That explains so much, it almost isn't even funny anymore.

Well, that was an interesting one. Aside from the admittedly somewhat superficial discussion of Macchiavelli, I thought this was a nice, if dramatized, discussion of the life of a child in a divorce situation. I admit, it doesn't reflect mine very much, but from what I know, it's a very good effort.

Dan
Dan #48 · May 22nd, 2016 · · · Fear ·

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Did you read Discourses on Livy?

Even if you subscribe to the belief that The Prince was written as satire (which is bullshit), the Discourses give a much wider and balanced idea of Niccolo's true personality and beliefs.

7236724 But neither of these philosophies are objectively good or evil. Sure, you might like to think so just because you want to see the 'good' one win, but this is a debate over worldviews, not whether to be good or evil.

Man, commentators seem determined to be negative and cynical. The funny thing is that cynicism and optimism both feed on themselves. If everyone thinks the world is terrible and that you need to be selfish, then they will be right. And the opposite.

I really like this story. It's nice to see a rebuttal, even if some of the commentators are right that Diamond became hated. Then again, that philosophy is not meant for micro-interactions, but ruling and there is a huge difference between personal interaction and politics. Some things just don't scale well.

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