• Member Since 30th Aug, 2015
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10 years a fan, but 56 years under my belt! BA in English, two + two kids/step kids, like to work cons, and sling 280-character pies on twitter. For more info, see: https://tinyurl.com/jumnbd5



This story is a sequel to Death Be Not Proud

In this sequel to Death Be Not Proud, Zecora must try to escape the Void as Luna and Reaper attempt to contact her, and Twilight digs through Grey Thorn's dark, violent past for clues.

Chapters (33)
Comments ( 57 )

Son of a gun! I was right about the colt!

Or I think I was... Will have to read on. Such a daunting task.:raritywink::rainbowlaugh:

Ok, that's what I thought happened.

"Were there. Six; Bramble is the last. The others were never bothered by the Sentinel, to the best of my knowledge, but even they eventually succumbed to the Vacuum’s drain.”

Interesting. There were six splinters of his soul. Is there a significance to the number?

7943602 Don't get horcrux-y on me! :twilightsmile:

Congratulations! You've made it to my "I'm going to calmly wait for updates" list.
(Calm my flank! He's going to be obsessed with this one!)
The writing was so smooth I was stunned when I reached the end of this chapter.
(That's actually his nice way of saying he actually said "What the buck!?!" out loud.)
I'm really enjoying how you're developing Grey Thorn's character.
(Pony feathers! He hates the guy and wants to buck his teeth down his throat.)
The exchange between Twilight and G.T. was rather interesting and enjoyable to read.
(In other words he got aroused when Twi said she had an orgasm. Oh, and he wants to wear spiked shoes when he bucks Grey's teeth down his throat for embarrassing her.)
Would you just shut up? I'm trying to leave a nice comment here!
Hah! Who you kidding? You've left more detailed comments on the other book.
True... Yet, I don't have any confusion here. The story is flowing along quite nicely, we're learning more about The Void. Also finding out just how much Twi has been affected by having Entropy's power and then having it taken from her...
You're concerned about her new drinking problem. Plus you're hoping her and Steel don't "get it on" as a way to deal with the stress. Because you're a pervert! You acted the same way with Kkat's Little Pip and Somber's Blackjack!
*ugh* Fine! Yes, I am. There! You happy?!
No, not really... You broke him, Reaper, now I got to deal with this mess.:raritywink:

7945518 I don't think anyone's ever left me a stream-of-consciousness note before! :pinkiehappy:

7945601 Heh, that was kinda fun to write, to be honest. (In retrospect I probably should have gradually increased the size of the stream-of-conscious speech to justify the "Will you just shut up?".)

Anyways, with Zecora being our main subject/antagonist I'm more concerned with how Twilight is going to handle her encounters with Thorn. I'm not entirely sure if it's hold over from book 2, or if it's because I like Twi over Zecora more. That there is a conundrum. In fact, I am more emotionally invested on seeing Twi come out of this more than I am with Zecora. Same thing happened with Morning Glory in Project Horizon. Blackjack was the main character, especially since it was first person, but I was more concerned with how Glory was holding up throughout the tale. I don't think it's your writing, definitely wasn't Somber's. I think it's more to do with Zecora is a strong character, and you're portraying this extremely well, and Twilight is brittle right now. I'm one of those "need to protect" people, and I want to enter the story and protect Twilight. (Maybe take Noble's place even?){Hush, you!}:pinkiecrazy:
I'm sensing that you're really getting into a groove, here. The chapter flow is very fluid. You seemed to write the end of the chapters in the first two books in such a way that one could feel that the chapter was coming to an end. Even your transitions are more fluid between characters and locations. And yes, I was surprised Hunting ended.:pinkiehappy:

I look forward to the next chapter with eager anticipation.:twilightsmile:

Getting closer to understanding... but still missing something.
Yeah, I know how Twi feels as far as frustration level with G.T. right now.:twilightangry2:

Twi's cockiness regarding GT is gonna bite her in the flank. Glad to see Luna and Noble have thought about maybe GT is stringing her along. Spirits may not be able to lie, but that doesn't mean he has to tell the whole truth. I should know, I've mastered that skill.

Feels like we're getting close to end game. Honestly I'm not sure how I feel about that.

Did I detect a bit of concern from Reaper? More so than usual?

Sorry I took so long getting to read this chapter. Been actually writing lately, non fim related.

You delight in torturing my poor mind, don't you?

That was twisted. Great chapter! But twisted... I'll need to reread that a couple of times to sort it..

Remember I unconsciously over think.:pinkiecrazy:

Any of you who've read this far likely have an opinion on the following question, and I'd be interested to know it: Which canon character have I portrayed most faithfully? (Or not, if you prefer to go that route :raritywink: )

OK Twilight annoyed me a bit here. She just witnessed her own death again, and still assumes that she will outlive her friends, when actually she predeceased them already. Secondly, after seeing how friendship is so interconnected, she might not even be ageless. Lastly Grey Thorn kinda assumes that whats behind the veil could even be understood by mortal minds.

Didn't this used to be anthro?

One of the arcs in the previous story (Death Be Not Proud) was set on another, human-like world, and involved Reaper and Luna in non-pony forms.

Whether I agree or not, your take on Twilight's fair: even *Reaper's* not entirely sure how long she'll live. As for Grey Thorn, well, let's just say he's made a career out of making faulty assumptions...

That's a technicality. Much like a person whose heart has stopped long enough to call time, but someone decides to try one more time. So, there's still the probability she would survive her friends and following generations.
G.T. is like the poster boy of "Assumption is the mother of all screw ups!" (I know that's not the actual line, just keeping it G.)
So, we learned just what Twi was doing... How is she even remotely stable? Not only has she revisited her death, she went beyond it. Did she pierce the Veil? Even in the dream realm that's mighty close to crossing over.
I think I finally understand the subtle nuance of the tension between Luna and Reaper. Here's a being older than she is, who's a loner as well. Albeit not by choice. Somepony who could understand her. Sadly, it was not meant to be... other than that one time on Kur... oh, wait, she got the crappy original.

Bramble has turned into an interesting character. Experience after the initial separation are remembered as if being told about them. Does he know what's happened now, or has he just been absorbing the memories as G.T. siphoned off more of himself? Yet another enigma! But, I love it! You certainly keep your readers on their toes.


Still it's only a mere possibility to outlive her friends, not a certainty. They and her are both alive, young and still healthy. To angst about their deaths before they die, and to know with certainty that she herself can be killed at the very least, it's irritating to me. At best, or worst in her own view she's merely ageless, not immortal. With by the by hasn't been proven cause it's only been a short time since the ascension, so there's no telling if she's even that. If she is ageless, and her friends don't share it or can't ascend themselves, then she could always go on a suicide mission for the good of the world or something. Heck even with time she might get the ability to disengage somewhat as well now that I think of it. After all Twilight just changed tribes and most long lived species have biological methods to live within their own lifespans.

Well, remember whom we are discussing. Twilight becomes freaked out when things don't go according to plan, even a self perceived one. Shinigami (dang it I keep wanting to use your real name here!) has done a great job keeping her in character. She's reacting typically to the lack of confirmation of how long she'll live by creating the worst possible outcome. Remember how she reacted in Lesson Zero, or more recently in Celestial Advice & A Royal Problem. The less she knew the more she freaked out and created an even worse scenario. And as she got a little more information, she added to the scenario she had already built and thus made it worse. Acting without knowing. It's a very bad habit of hers.

As for the suicide mission? That's not her. She'd never do something knowing the outcome would be her death. Now, if she was given the choice of self sacrificing to save someone? Yes, she would do that in a heartbeat. And that's a little different than a suicide mission. You go into a SM knowing your chances are surviving are nil, but you will fight hard to stay alive every step. Thinking everything is fine and then given the choice of, say a young filly or colt that just happens to be, oh let's say AJ's great x3 grand foal, life over her's. She'd give her life in exchange. As long as she knew for certain the grand foal of her best friend was going to be safe. If there was no guarantee, we're right back to "suicide mission" and she wouldn't just give up her life. She'd fight for both of them, giving her all knowing if she didn't everyone would suffer.

After all Twilight just changed tribes and most long lived species have biological methods to live within their own lifespans.

I'm going to have to counter argue on this one heavily. Yes, she just ascended to a god like status and power. But, she was born as a short lived race. Suddenly becoming a long lived being is not going to instil a biological response regarding dealing with a longer life span. That is something one will have to learn and grow into. I know canon wise they have not touched on that with Cadence in either the show or books, not the comics. So we don't have a base line to judge how Twilight, being the newest Ascension, is going to react.
Oh.. wait... I just realised that is kinda moot. Mitch did say that Twilight is not immortal, that only Celestia and Luna are ageless. So, here we are going to have to too with the fanfic's author's canon. So, with that said; we're going to have to wait and see what Shinigami does. If he expands on it... I swear he's getting to the point of writing these twists just to see how far he can push my sanity. I know he's not, but it feels like it sometimes.

G.T. you bloody [redacted]!

Good, very good chapter! I think I've an idea of what he's after now. Maybe...

Don't know if this helps, but the next chapter's called "The Table" :-)

Ah, yes! To the heart of the enigma! I'm not sure if I'm guessing how Twi is going to pull this off correctly. Because I've a sneaky feeling that the animated corpse isn't going to work right. After all, G.T. did set everything up to use life energy, including the table.
Yet, his fixation on Twi's *ahem* climaxes might be a key. Or he's just a huge freaking pervert. Yet life energy and sex energy, in a magical setting, are really close to the same thing. Only problem is sex is quick and burns out fast. Takes a huge orgy to equal the life force of one being.

Anyways! Like poking forward to the next chapter. Great writing and wanting to see if I'm close in my hypothesis got me all patiently impatient.

Ok... I've spent a day after reading to think about this.
1) Holy smokes! G.T. was a nasty piece of work. I know he was bad, but didn't realise just how bad until this.
2) WHAT IN TARTARUS WERE YOU THINKING TWILIGHT?!?!? Once again planning, yet not thinking all the way through. Now you get to go through some nasty shit to retrieve Death's Token... And how the fuck did it not bond to you again?! Or start draining you, for that matter?

Third observation: What the heck is with the gold aura? First dark magic now this... whatever gold is. I swear, she's going to either burn herself out, or they're gonna find out little princess is far more powerful than all three of the others combined.

Oh, and no, this didn't help.:derpytongue2: Just made the conundrum more complex!:pinkiecrazy:

Ah, Twilight: poster child for von Moltke's maxim that no battle plan survives contact with the enemy! :)

Ok... WOW! Good job, Twi! Condensing G.T.'s... spells... making them more efficient... and effective...

Son of a bitch! Is that his end game?! Starswirl wouldn't do it, but Twi’s nature means she's going to fix it on the fly. Constructs with other's essence to give them a life. That's his end game, isn't it? Immortality through clones with his essence and memory to be activated upon the last one's death. He couldn't perfect it, but Twilight will because she's trying to save Zecora. And I'll bet he's got one all ready to go, just needs Twi to fix the spells, trick her to cast it, and BOOM he's free from Tartarus.

Can Reaper reap him if that happens? After all, technically he's already died.

And I think I've come to the conclusion that G.T.'s obsession with Twi's climaxes is he's just a perv. Even in death he gets a rush hearing about it.

And I could be completely wrong about everything.:rainbowlaugh:
Looking forward to the next instalment!:twilightsmile:

No matter how old or strong, that is an experience that will haunt forever. Even after coming to terms with it.
Dang it, man!
Right in the feels, bringing that back up.

So, Twi is now getting to the breaking point, Luna is battling two fronts, and Tia is probably going to go super nova again(literally) once she discovers everything that has been going on.

Good chapter... read fast though. Might be me, wanting to keep up as much as possible.:pinkiehappy:

Why does this feel like Discord’s riddle? That the answer is right in front of me, yet like a Twilight I’m overthinking it.:twilightangry2:

Still watching you, Wazowski. Allllways watching. :rainbowwild:

I have read this... multiple times.
Thank you, Twi, for pointing out the time traveling. Missed that, since I just assumed he was dimension hopping. I know; assumption is the mother of all fuck ups. (Internet cookie if you know the movie)

Yet... Time hopping and dimension jumping... Did the fool actually capture a primitive Harbringer? It’s beginning to seem that way. Reaper thinks, and plans, because he was once mortal, and deals with mortals who are advanced. It would stand to reason that a primitive world with rudimentary beginnings of civility as we understand it, would have a reaper that matched.

And yet, the last ritual stripped a large chunk of self. Crap! Now I’m not sure if Bramble was there before Gil or after. Wait, now I can’t remember if Gil was there before completion. Argh!

G.T. asked Starswirl what happened to his dam... Is this some twisted plot to raise her from the dead? Or... Be reborn to a new mother? Is that why Bramble is still whole and not a shade? And if so... Has G.T. set his sights on Twi now that the most powerful mare is not what she was?
Ok, last one is my own theory; Twilight is actually stronger than all three of the other princesses. She’s the one who held all four of their powers at once. Time and time again she has been the focus of everything magical.. she found the sixth element of magic, which is not an emotion, but power. She was the last to be twisted by Discord, and he didn’t touch her, unlike the others. The Tree focused on her first, and the bloody castle was created with her crest; none of the others have their cutie marks on the castle. So, canonically, she is the most powerful force in Equestria. Now, if you’re thinking along the same lines as me, it stands to reason that G.T. would consider her a better replacement mother, in his twisted power madness, for a new beginning than Nightmare Moon.

Or you’re just really, really good at making me overthink this.

So... How’s Angel doing? Is she adjusting to her new life?:pinkiehappy:

Oh, sneaky Twilight! Warding it and setting an alarm.

And I knew Bramble was more than he seemed! Just not how much more. I'm still going to stick to my hypothesis that this is an elaborate scheme to bring Bramble back from the dead, with Twilight as a surrogate mother... Or giving how freaking twisted G.T. is an actual mother. At least until I see evidence to contradict it.

Side note: Great, between you and Dashie, I'm hooked on two stories... And I have to wait until Dashie has started Book III... You'd better take your time, darn it! Because now I don't want End Game to be coming up too soon. Even though I need to know how this ends!

sneaky Twilight indeed. Now I also think Reaper and the Princess are underestimating Twilight. Still its the endgame alright.

Oh, Tia is underestimating her former pupil as well. Perhaps more than Luna and Reaper. After all, Twi has hidden forbidden lore, snatched off with the Token not once, but twice, and is regularly drinking herself unconscious. (Or was, hadn’t noticed if she was still getting into her cups as much now as she had as Reaper 1.2.)

As for my whinging; just lamenting an age old truth: All good things must come to an end. :fluttercry:

They are not underestimating twilight.
Twilight is concentrates on her immediate goal while they are considering the future repercussions.
Even if Twilight frees Zecora the creature would just be bound to her.
She will then refuse to destroy it and instead study it.
By the way you all seem to be missing the point that the reason reaper wants twilight to stop is because she is trying to understand somehting that can not and should not be understood.

By the way I hate how you are all making twilight seem like such a morally unfallible person.
Her whole character requires something to moderate her.
She would nevr have gotten her wings if her friends weren't their to stop her before she went to far.
So in essence she is the exact same as Starswirl and bramble if her friends aren't there to manage her.

So it looks like grey thorn got what he wanted twilight joining him and starswirl on their insane quest. This can be characterized by them being extreme control freaks.

One last push...and Twilight surprise!
Interesting that she’s bathed in golden light, since her attack was violet...yet she’s warped her magic before. Doesn’t help that dark magic is twisted through it all.

I’m concerned...where’s Tia and Reaper?

Crud, this is exciting, and depressing. We’re almos5 to the end.

Holy sh...

Yeah, Dark of the Moon was a good choice.
Damn, that was a lot going on. I’m beginning to wonder just how sapient the Sentinel is. GT described it as bestial in nature, yet for it to hijack Twi’s conduit speaks otherwise.

And I hate to say this...found one error.

Twilight tucked her wings slightly as she passed inside the outer shell of the containment device and swirled her right hoof, manipulating the second and third sacrifice circles as the first peeled away a lodged inside the rim of the opening like a gasket. Dark bands continued to flow over the lip of the Void, down to Twilight’s hooves.

Should that not be away and lodged?

Ah, typos ftw! :twilightsheepish: I hadn't had a chance to do a thorough post-publish read-through, so I missed that one--thanks!

Good chapter...

What the actual fuck did you do Twilight!

Holy hell, I think you beat Her final battle in the most intense chapter!

Dude! I’m still in awe what I just read!


Overconfidence again, Twilight... yet again reduced as only the brightest and strongest can be... the reduction in confidence and self-worth.

Ok, I figured Reaper wouldn’t hold anything against him. He’s starting to act like his old self, really. Yet, I don’t think even he would remain unchanged. Experience does that, and he’s had a tonne of experience lately after how many millennia. That’s going to leave a mark, and I think it’ll be long after Luna and Celestia are both gone before he’ll forget and resume his trudging through time with indifference.

Also...dang Noble! That was a little much, dude. Then again, you’ve had a thing for the princess for awhile, haven’t you. Don’t lie to me! There was always more emotion in your concern for Twilight than just a mere guard would have.

So...one thread tied off. Now, will it be Zecora or Twilight next?
My vote is Zecora. Twilight will be the final climax.

Not sure I understand what she did that was so bad. I mean -- it *would* have been bad eventually but she was only in control of the void for a few minutes, wasn't she? :rainbowhuh:

It's what she did when she absorbed the Sentinel's life force two chapters back, taking along several ponies' traces with it, that was so bad. It was *literally* a foretaste of her future.

Good tie ups there...

*pokes Reaper*
Even though she’s a kid you like her. Reminds you of Starswirl, doesn’t she? Good thing she learned her lesson, eh? Now you just have to worry about some other crazy stunt that she swears won’t affect the here after and indirectly does. :pinkiehappy:

Really Noble...every hour?
Well, maybe a close friend, who may or may not have romantic inclinations, is what young Twi needs. After all, Luna and Celly are so...experienced that they’re going to be a little too detached. And Reaper is, well, Reaper. While showing some interest, and I think a little pride in her, he’s going to keep her at a distant friendship. Not to mention the last pony he got chummy with ended up hiding away for a bit. Reaper learned his lesson I do believe.

So...final chapter next, or is it an epilogue summing up a much later time showing how everypony has recovered?
👆If you answer this I swear I am going to be so cross with you!

I think Luna said "every few hours," but yeah--Noble's got a soft spot for Twi! :trollestia:
(And what pony did Reaper get chummy with? I'm wracking my brain!)

Eh, close enough.:rainbowlaugh:

Tucked Twi in. Not something he would have done in the past. Maybe for Luna after all they went through on Kurr, but not Twilight. At least not until now.


“Yeah, I figured as much. That’s okay. I’ll shed a tear for her, and all my friends in due course, and let time’s waves wash over me, secure in the knowledge that we’re meant to die--even we ‘immortals,’ and that it’ll all make sense then.”

Reaper grinned: “That’s my girl! If only I actually believed that…”

Twilight shook her head sadly: “I've been practicing that speech for a couple of years now. Not convincing?”

“Try it again in another century. Maybe by then you'll actually believe it yourself.”

This little conversation is indicative of much of this story. Nopony has come through this and remained the pony they were when this started.... some have become a better pony but many would say they feel like they lost something important and gained something they'd rather not have.

You just had to leave one last mystery didn’t you? But that’s alright, it’s the little things not said that keep the story alive in one’s heart.

This little conversation is indicative of much of this story. Nopony has come through this and remained the pony they were when this started.... some have become a better pony but many would say they feel like they lost something important and gained something they'd rather not have.

I couldn’t have said that better myself.

All in all, this trilogy has been one of the best I’ve had the pleasure of reading in a long, long time. I look forward to what you have planned next. Just, please, don’t keep us waiting. I’ve a feeling it’ll be as good as this. Nay, I think it’ll be even better, for it is a world that is completely your own.

Cheers, D’hurgmrei, or Shinigami if you prefer.

He didn’t notice Dawn’s final fading.

Now that's just mean

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