• Member Since 1st Jan, 2013
  • offline last seen 22 minutes ago

Metool Bard

A weaver of tales who enjoys a good story. What more is there to say, really?


This story is a sequel to Trial by Kinship

Every year, Princess Celestia hosts a special Inter-Species Conference to recognize the creatures who aren't strictly equine. And with the political climate of many nations seeing a massive paradigm shift, this year will be most important. Not only will new alliances with Yakyakistan and the Neko Shogunate be recognized, but the reemergence of Griffonstone has given rise to a new ambassador from the Griffon Kingdom in the form of the town's savior, Gilda. But no one is more nervous than the newly-appointed Dragon Lord, Ember. After all, never in the entire history of Equestria has a dragon ever attended the Inter-Species Conference. She has to make the best impression possible, even though diplomacy is not a dragon thing.

However, that turns out to be rather difficult when a dark dragon wielding mysterious magic crashes the party and outright defies Ember's rule. But how could this be? The Bloodstone Scepter should grant a dragon absolute authority over all dragonkind. The only dragons who are able to resist its power are the elusive Dragon Magi clan, and they aren't violent at all. Well, one is, but she's still learning the ropes. Luckily, she's attending the conference as well, and she's got Ember's back.

Not allowing this insult to stand, Ember vows to get to the bottom of this mystery along with a group of noble vigilantes from the Mild West. Meanwhile, Celestia, Gilda, and Little Strongheart band together to protect the posse from a pair of dragon poachers who haven't quite learned their lesson. This will either be the dawn of a new era for dragons, or the shortest reign of a Dragon Lord ever recorded. Hopefully, the hidden secrets of the Dragon Magi will prevent the latter.

Part III of the Ballad of Needles.

Chapters (15)
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Comments ( 67 )

The title alone sends me into giggles, consarnit.

And we know just the dragon for the task.

That would mean somepony will have to keep the ambassadors occupied until then.

7232195 Well, good thing Celestia's not the only princess then. :ajsmug:

7232265 If Celestia's a pranking then bring the phoenix.

Don't dogs' sense of smell is extremely sensitive that it's tortuous?

7249415 I know dogs are notorious for their sense of smell, but I never heard it described as "torturous." :unsuresweetie:

7250254 Imagine your nose has a higher sense of smell just like a dog but 100 times sensitive and you smelling garbage.

I like seeing the Dragoons again the 2 preceding stories to this one were good and I think this one will be as well.

In the end this will end very badly for Seth when he's learned not to abuse his power in the very painfull way.

Pepito is going to tell Isabel that he warned many times when this is over. Gilda plans some awesome pranking to stop the poachers and makes some friends as well.

This is going to be great. I would not be surpised if the bounty hunters start to fight each other when they meet.
I do wonder how the results are going to affect the conference though.

The brown one's name is Clump
The purple one's name is Fume

Not surprising that Garble's plan failed he's an idiot. Also according to Spike's command Garble should have hugged Needles. It seems that there is much Needsles can learn form Ember which is ironic since Ember summoned Needles to ask for advice.

7253544 Really? I was unaware the two were given names to begin with, so I just gave them my own. Do you have a source for this information? :rainbowhuh:

7253782 Garble had already fulfilled Spike's command by this time: hug every dragon on your way home and don't tell them why. He made it back home, but he was summoned by Seth (for reasons undisclosed) to attack Lord Ember. :twistnerd:

7254194 Yeah, I'm not seeing the specific article for that. Could you provide a link, please?

7254258 Ah. I see. Thanks for the update. :raritywink:

Pepito is a lot smarter than those Diamond Dogs and Celestia is the only person that recognized his intelligence.
Gilda's plan was cool and effective. Isabelle probably hasn't spoken with Sykes Silvervest himself because he has no reason to disrupt the conference he will be attending himself.

This will probably end in either humiliation or death for Seth. Hopefully it's the former.

Zin's reaction wasn't smart he could have realized that Needles would get angry after such a dismissal.
Next chapter will probably be about Seth and I'm interested to see what his story is.

Hang on a second...


...Why, you clever bastard!

The duel that Seth wants might not even happen if it becomes public that he hired ohers to steal the price for him before the fight would start. He doesn't even follow his own rules.
The way Celestia handled the situation was brilliant.

It's clear that the pacifism of the Dragon Magi is not without drawbacks. A threat like Seth needs to be dealt with in a permanent manner or else he will just come back. Seth probably intends to become a dragon version of Sombra and enslave the entire world.

What the Dragon Magi don't understand is that there's more than one way to fight back. They just aren't thinking creatively enough.

If you had someone you didn't want to hurt but you wanted to get back at somehow, what would you do?:raritywink:

He's desperate and afraid.
Ember is the one who earn the Bloodstone Scepter but Spike is the one who won the Gauntlet of Fire.

So, I'm guessing Cortez is a reference to the Taco Bell Chihuahua? I say this because, during the 90s when there was this sort of Godzilla-craze thing going around, I remember this one commercial in which said Chihuahua was hunting for it, calling out, "Here, lizard, lizard..." and, after finally finding it, ending the spot with, "I think I need a bigger box."

7335719 You're quite correct (although I forgot that it was Taco Bell that did that promotion). I figured since I made Diamond Dogs in the Mild West speak Spanish, it was only fitting. :derpytongue2:

If they don't make amends Equestria forfeits its life along with every single living thing regardless of ageless and immortal.

Bot Needles and Ember have problems with their emotions and they don't know what they are supposed to do.
The Dragon Magi are a bunch of idiots that don't use their power to stop a conflict in their own home. I get the impression that they will need to change because being more pacifistic than Fluttershy doesn't help anyone.

Okay, I think i see where you're going with this...
Fake scepter made of redstone explosives. Big bada boom to the face!

I liked this chapter and I realized that there were similarities between Gilda and Ember which Gilda saw too.
Ember and Needles have finally dealt with dear conflicting emotions and it was necessary.

Seth will be so humiliated.

If victory is sweet then I'm now diabetic. :raritydespair:

Why is this story series called Ballad of Needles?

Thanks, Ember, for...being there. Seriously, she was just sort of standing around while a family dispute took place when they needed to do something more important. She didn't even yell or anything, she just stuck around.

7367260 I think Needles was saying everything Ember wanted to say, even if it was part of a family dispute. She didn't have much to add there. :applejackunsure:

7367204 Because even though each story has different characters and contexts, they all involve the journey of Needles from being an outlaw to becoming a true Dragon Mage. :twistnerd:


All I'm saying is that she didn't need to be mentioned past the beginning of the chapter. We knew she was there, the characters knew she was there, and it kinda just broke the flow with her just popping every now and then.

This was a great chapter with a good battle. I wondered how Seth got his elemental since he was never a Dragon Mage and I'm glad you explained it. I'm looking forward to Garble's punishment at the conference because he really needs to learn that his methods don't work.

This chapter is delicious~

I could eat it for breakfast~ :pinkiesmile:

Ember's more of the title Dragon Lady.

This is a great story I liked it very much. Garble's punishment was fitting and the ending with Asterius was funny too.
Asterius is not going to be happy when he learns that he got arrested again for trying to get a bounty that has already been withdrawn.
The council was nicely done too just as the part where Ember offers Needles to become her advisor which is something that had crossed my mind.

7375181 Oh, I've got some ideas knocking about. I know there's a sequel to one particular story people have been clamoring for, and depending on how negotiations for cover art goes, that might be next. We'll have to wait and see. :raritywink:

u know? its funny, but i read this before reading the other two stories and i found that i didnt need to understand everything to enjoy it. in fact, the backstory wasnt even required,

7251098 to us perhaps, that scent is foul...to a dog, that scent is 'food'...lotta easy eats in the right green bag...

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