• Member Since 2nd Aug, 2013
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Tarbtano


I came, I saw, I got turned into a Brony. Tumblr link http://xeno-the-sharp-tongue.tumblr.com/

T

Canon with The Bridge: A Godzilla-MLP Crossover, taking place 1,000 years prior to a largely unknown chapter in Princess Celestia's life. Namely, the worst time of her life. She was young, alone for the first time and yet surrounded; and the nation that will one day adore her wasn't so warm...

Chapters (3)
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Comments ( 77 )

Wow, this chapter was heavy. It seems Celestia is dealing with PTSD and having a guilt complex about how her PTSD condition affected her subjects and made Startswirl face unnecessary risks like facing the Sirens by himself. It was nice to meet Ardent Sentry as she seems to be a friendly gal despite her legendary status, thought it might be possible that she hasn't become legendary yet. Celestia's scene with Luna's subjects was heartbreaking as she seems to feel isolated by their paranoia and Knight Shroud's accusations accidentally pushed her unstable magic, which won't make her popular with her subjects or alleviate her guilt. The fact that the story will cover Chrysalis' exploits on Timbucktu and Trot hint that Celestia will overcome her problems during the latter incident. Overall, this story is great and is a good way to wait for chapter 35. Hope the next chapter for both this story and chapter 35 come soon. Also, you get a fav.

I haven't read it yet but don't you already have that other short story project(shimmer in the dark) that could use an update?

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Ah, excellent first comment and a good sign my binge writing doesn't result in crap :trollestia:

This was a piece of backstory I felt worked great as a 2 or 3 parter, Princess Celestia is a character very much needing backstory and the implications we got from canon are amazing stuff to work with.

Poor Tia is having the lowest time of her life right now. She's very young (she might look fully grown, but she's less than 12 at absolute most here), but her world had been turned upside down. Both from the trauma and guilt about Luna and the fact she's away from her sister for the first time in her life. Without Luna around and lacking the experience modern day Celestia has, our little Tia has out of control magic, is scared, traumatized, and extremely confused. And it's just one bad thing after another taking advantage of the situation right now. All great heroes and heroines have their low point, often when they are young and confused. This is Tia's.

Also, yep that's Flash and Stalwart Sentry's ancestor, Ardent. This is before she's proven herself though as she actually pre-dates the modern Canterlot Royal Guard. As a pegasus she's part of Commander Hurricane's forces.

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I'm still writing the chapter, I post stuff when it's done :ajbemused:
Besides this will only be a two, MAYBE three parter. Shimmer in the Dark's next part is the finale or pre-finale. It's gonna be much longer.

Excellent! I really love how you expand on canon elements that are only lightly touched upon in the series itself. As someone who tries to find all of the points of interest among the series lore (be it from the show, comics, or chapter books), I really appreciate that kind of attention to detail. ^_^

7907418 I've finished and while there's nothing wrong with it(i actually like it), it doesn't fully sate my hunger for chapter 35.

7907480
Which is why this is the appetizer/canon booster. 35 extremely close to release (waiting on one last picture)

7907451
Here here my friend! Always did love the small snippets of lore we get in the canon where the characters in-series might know what it is, but we're left to fill in the voids.

7907482 hmm I'm curious, how would history change if DesGhidorah was still alive and kicking?

Awesome chapter man :pinkiehappy:

Pre-reading:

A new side-story? Ok, Interesting... Just got home form watching the Royal Rumble, hopefully this read can lift my spirits.

Comment posted by Temnizziv deleted Jan 30th, 2017

Question now that King Caesar has been brought to Equestria's Past by Harmony, will he by chance be involved somehow

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I too am curious about that. It seems like Caesar should be involved during this

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7907717

Sorry to get any hopes up, but no. This is a Tia focused story based entirely in Equestria. Caesar won't be appearing, as indicated by lack of crossover tags. I do plan to get to Caesar's story this year, now that the backstory of 1,000 years back is fleshed out and we'll find out more about him in the main story soon enough. This is the aftermath of the events Caesar was involved in. The theme in this story though is loneliness since Tia is by herself in some of these issues, needing to figure things out herself.

Besides, he's kinda stuck at the moment holding something very important. He didn't get out of range in time and he's got to stay still to protect it.

Celestia's plight makes me sad, so very sad. But it will be worth it to see her rise into the ruler she was meant to be.

Knight Shroud kinda reminds me of the superhero critics from both the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the DC Extended universe.

Again, I love how you use nearly everything in canon and manage to make it fit.

Reading between the lines, it seems to me that Celestia has Chrysalis to thank for giving her the push needed to cope with her depression over Luna's banishment.

I do wonder, though... when did the prophesy of The Mare in the Moon come to be known? That is to say, does Celestia believe she will never see her sister again at this point, or does the knowledge of how long it will be merely add to her pain at this point?

7907722 Shit, oh well hope it will be very soon he'll appear

Tarb, my dear friend, you've done it again. You've captured all the emotions here perfectly and really illustrated the effect that this banishment had on Celestia's psyche. I myself am planning on doing a story about the Shimmerverse's take and I hope to be as good as this story. Still, I hope that blast won't get her down too much. It wasn't her fault, intentionally of course.


7907815 Now this is just me spitballing here, but given what we've seen in the show, it's very much possible that Celestia can have visions of the future, something similar to the Eldar of Warhammer 40k. They can see the future but it can still change down the line. {Which is funny since Celestia's voice actress was an Eldar Farseer.}

7907722

Oh, okay. Just curious :twilightsheepish:

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So, has she seen the return, or will she see it? That was my question.

*Looks at story* it was the best of times, it was the blurst of times :fluttercry:

As a long time fan of the MLP series, and of Celestia herself, this was a chapter that I've been so longing to see and read, and Tarb, you've certainly done it justice! Celestia is a character that even after 4 movies and 6 freakin' SEASONS, no writer on the staff has had the gusto to talk about Celestia's past or her struggles to become the Alicorn Sister we know, love, respect, and would gladly want to be ruled under. I get that the writer's want to portray Celestia as infallible, creating an image and ideal of perfection personified by a Princess, but that only seems to distance us from a character we want to know and love.

Many religious figures of our own world that have had the greatest influences were portrayed not as supernatural entities, but rather ordinary humans who struggled and persevered under stress (such as Buddha and the big J himself), and their humanity doesn't diminish their accomplishments, but draws us closer to them, because WE also struggle, and as an audience, we need to see that to grow closer to Celestia. :fluttercry:

The phrase, "True strength is not by the measure of never failing, but rising every time we fall" has never been more relevant to Celestia and establishing her as a character. By making her more flawed, it allows us to connect with her on a personal level, and I for one am looking forward to Celestia's accomplishments in these chapters ahead. Thank you so much for including this in The Bridge Tarb. You make me want to reach out and hug Celestia for all she's suffered. :twilightsmile:

7907722

I do plan to get to Caesar's story this year

we'll find out more about him in the main story soon enough.

*Squeee!*

OK!

So I started to read this last night, but I got real tired and bleary eyed, so I was like: "Yeah.... This ain't happening."

Picking it up again in the morning now, I find myself a nice little read.

Tarb has shown us before, the night when Celestia banished Nightmare Moon to the ...moon, so this takes place shortly after those events. I really like seeing Celestia taken out of her element as the calm, wise, benevolent ruler, and put into a position to see her humanity(you know what I mean). And that's not because I dislike her, or think she's OP, it's precisely because I like her and want to see more of her.
It strikes me that I had a very different opinion about Rarity in the last Bridge chapter. I think it's because we know how things turn out for Celestia. I may have to think on this more, why I enjoy seeing Celestia at a low, and not Rarity. Hmm, maybe it's the particular incitement?

Any way, it begins with Celestia moving through a decimated city street, and at first we might have the impression that this was caused by some kind of conflict. We are notified before hand that Chrysalis is a part of this side-story, since her button is listed, so my first thought was that this was the ravages of a changeling attack.

Chrysalis is a superb foil for Celestia, they being both heads of their respective states, and somewhat inversions of the other. the Queen of the Hive is a much better opposite for Celestia I think, than for Cadence. I would actually put a worthy opposite for Cadence down as pre-reform Sunset Shimmah.

However, we are thrown sideways when the princess blames herself for the destruction. Why that is, we'll just have to find out as we skip back to an earlier time.

Devastated by the loss of her sister, strained by the effects of wielding all six Elements of Harmony against the other bearer, and suffering from the general stress of being who she is, we find Celestia distraught in a room at Canterlot that she has ruined. Apparently, this has become a pattern of behavior with her, and the good graces of Princess Platinum and the other founders of Equestria keep her afloat.

We are treated to appearances by the legendary Unicorn herself, and certain members of the other founder's staff. The pegasus Ardent Sentry is on loan from Commander Hurricane, and some treats from the notable Earth Pony, Smart Cookie are offered.

Almost accidentally (Or perhaps not) Celestia spies the headline about her mentor Star-Swirl defeating a trio of troublesome Sirens recently, and this prompts an immediate reaction from her. She teleports to see him, and instead of being wroth at him keeping the news from her, she's just glad that he's unharmed. For more plain reasons, she views him as something of a father figure, at this stage, a kindly, wise old pony who guides her through tumultuous and prosperous times.

The loss of Luna has effected them both, but with Celestia being much less emotionally mature than her body lets on, it takes a particular toll on her. And the wisdom and presence of Starswirl seemingly helps to soothe her somewhat. The arrival of the pegasus guardsmare Ardent Sentry interrupts this tender moment, when she pulls aside the Bearded to inform him of some goings-on in the town. This upsets the mage, and he tasks her to keep Celestia company, and more importantly occupied, while he deals with it.

We get a brief experience of Ardent being a friendly, likeable character, an early ancestor of the more renown Stalwart Sentry, and the contentiously considered, Flash Sentry.

WE next find our narrative in the public square, where a bat pony has climbed onto his soap-box to speak to his fellow denizens about his concerns regarding the recently reticent princess of Equestria. His speech gives us some exposition to tell us how things have gone around there, giving us some context for events.

The fight with Nightmare Moon has happened shortly ago, as we know already, so there's still a lot of hot debate about what the Tartarus is going on in the high seats of power.

Now, I don't know about you, but as far as I'm concerned, Knight Shroud (cool name) had valid points of argument. A major falling out between the two most powerful being in Equestria, and now one of them has been deposed and banished to a lunar prison. Celestia has done so without ant explanation or public statement, and ponies are rightfully concerned as to 1) What happened, 2) What do they need to be concerned about. This situation is technically Celestia's fault, to an extent those around her, for not calming the public nerves about the major events.

I mean, we the readers know why Celestia's reclusive, and that she deposed Luna with good cause, and that the exile to the moon was the act of the Elements, not her. But, they don't know that, and they're acting to the best of their ability with the information at hoof. I'm sure there are ponies who are more "wait-and-see" about things, in fact that's probably most ponies. But, that doesn't mean that Knight Shroud's concerns are overblown, or that he's simply being a demagogue. This was a lot of the better premise of Batman v. Superman.

I applaud Tarb for not reducing Shroud to a simple antagonist. He was portrayed very much as the voice of reasonable concern. He was afraid of Celestia, but was brave enough to stand up to her in a face-to-face. He has the qualities that most poor villains lack, conviction, and courage.

Imma tell you right now, I like Knight Shroud. He gets instant "you da man" points in my book.

He was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt, he was willing to get back on the same page with her, if she would only give him something to work with.

The pressure however, the confrontation with the questions that burned her, was enough to push her the the snapping point. And snap she did.

In a burst of energy, a retaliation for the compacting stress of the public inquisition, she lashes out blindly and demolishes the square, along with whatever ponies are unlucky enough to be caught-up in the mess. We get no indication that anypony is fatally wounded in the event, if many are injured, so there's nothing that can't theoretically be forgiven. So there's that for a bright side. Which leaves us where we were introduced to the chapter, with Celestia striding among the ruins of her own making.

With a quick jump, we find the narration shifts to the splendorous Pegasus metropolis of Timbucktu. Which we first learned about n the IDW comics. I like this, glad to see older cities recognized. Some of you may know I've made ancient cities a particular device of mine. I don;t remember everything off the top of my head about what we learned of the city in the comic, but it's one of a number of city-states that fell to the onslaught of the Changeling swarm.

Tarb does a great job of giving us a brief exposition of the city, basically one the the ancient wonders of the world, with the noble King Orion at the helm. They have a thriving and expanding economy, the Griffinstone Kingdom is making headway into the trading loop, and much prosperity is on the horizon for the jewel of the skies.

"But not for long..." The Changeling queen chuckles to herself.

Some quick conclusion thoughts:
I was a little surprised by Tarb's timeline placement. What he does here, is establish that the events of the Alicorn's rise to power happens within the lifetime of the founders of Equestria. I suspect that this is because the founding ~somehow~ incites the manifestation of the Alicorns, as we know how surprised everypony was when they were discovered, and bore a stunning resemblance to the icons of the Equestria banner.
My own HC puts at least a few hundred years, between the founding, and the arrival of the Alicorns. So, coming from that perspective, it was quite unanticipated when I realized what Tarb had done here. I suspect he's set this condition for particular reasons, and I'm curious as to how things will now play out.

As a fellow amateur writer, I know the feeling I get when I'm crafting a scene, or putting ideas together, and everything just hits on all cylinders, and comes out like I'm writing the next Silmarilion. That I think, Tarb might have felt composing this chapter.
When Tarb writes great, it's great. To mean, I'll rank this up there as one of the best written chapters in Tarb's collection. Everything in here just clicked for me like a fine-tuned machine. The emotion, the rationale of characters, the precedent, the pacing, the characterization. Even the dialog, which Tarb has admitted before to being one of his weaker dimensions, was absolutely on point.
The cliffhanger end, with the siege of Timbucktu, is a great pagus for us to leave off, and pick up in the next installment.

You see this Tarb? You see what happens when you give me the juice for a review?

The Magnificent Machine, (now fully restored to operational status :yay:), is exceedingly pleased with this chapter. You will not be destroyed with finger missiles and belly lasers. Today.

Comment posted by Temnizziv deleted Feb 7th, 2017

7908975

Full response coming, love the review, but just a quick memo, the ruins Tia was walking through was of Timbucktu, not where she confronted Knight Shroud. Her reason to blame herself for the latter is because her emotional state (and being away from Luna in addition to Element blowback) has her magic and physical health on the fritz so she wasn't around to try and help. This is evident in the uncontrollable magic bursts she's been having that tore up her room and tossed Knight Shroud through a stand. Confusion is understandable and I'll throw in a setting label so we know where we are :raritywink:

7909042 OOooooooooooooooooooooooooooo. Derp, wasn't paying attention. :derpyderp1:

7908658 Most likely when her magic comes under her control as she was able to know where and when to send Twilight in order to get the other element bearers.

7908975

I almost had the feeling when I first read him, Knight Shroud was kind of a Jab at the "Lunar Republic" idea in the Brony community, portraying Celestia as the tyrant for banishing her sister, when people don't know the truth of the matter.

But you raise a good point in that they have a justifiable reason to be afraid of Celestia. As I said in a post long ago, it harkens back to the comparison between the Cadmus arc in Justice League, where Earth created a contingency plan against the JU in case they would ever go rogue. It almost makes me wonder if Equestria as a whole has such a plan in case the Alicorns DO, considering how in the comics it was so EASY for the mane six to do a complete 180 of their morals in issues 43-44. :fluttercry:

7909162 Yeah, I got a bit of the "Night's Rebellion" sorta vibe too, and I thought that's where it was going for a bit. And maybe it still will, given how things in the square ended.

Well, we know that in proper canon, we have little to fear of things getting that bad, without somepony in place to save the day. But I'm sure there are any number of fics on this site that deal with exactly that.

If the show were a bit more mature, I think a concept like a Lunar Republic, or some kind of breakaway Luna loyalty faction would have some real legs, and go very far.

7909106
So, in other words, as far as she knows at this point, Celestia will never see her sister again...

No wonder she's depressed. While Chrysalis will, most likely help her overcome this depression, I suspect she needs hope to truly begin to recover.

7909291

And unlike many victims of depression, Celestia has one thing to remind her what is worth fighting for, and what will always help her back on to her feet in the end: Friends and the people who love her. :)

Was following anyway because it's The Bridge, but holy fuck, I'm hooked.

Nice to see you expanding on Bridge! Equestria's past. Looking forward to reading more.

Comment posted by Mysterypony47 deleted Jan 31st, 2017

Question; if this story is the past… Will King Caesar be in this story?

7913876 Tarb already said the events of this story take place after Caesar's arrival and departure. The prequel starring Caesar will air at a later date.

And this chapter begins with Celestia wondering the ruins of a proud pegasus city...

And I like how vulnerable she feels here. She's been through a Trauma Conga Line and it really shows, but without one ounce of made up detail.

Really good work.

We see next she's currently staying with Princess Platinum (glad the founders are still alive here despite Discord's usurpation, I remember one story had him murder them all, which doesn't fit Discord AT ALL, though this also shows Discord's reign was relatively short. I've seen fanfics have it's length range from days to a thousand years) ...destroyed another room of hers.

This is apparently becoming frequent and due to out of control magic resulting from the backlash of the Elements being used by her against Luna...and likely emotional trauma. I like this, because it shows the Elements CAN be used potentially by one, but they SHOULDN'T be, as that is not their nature.

Also like the Platinum is totally chill about that.

What doesn't go well is Celestia learning of the Siren's arrival, rampage, and defeat by Starswirl...keyword LEARNING. As in never knew it happened. She naturally doesn't take this well.

Starswirl tries to downplay it, but Celestia is hard on herself. I like Starswirl's reasons: Celestia was in no condition to fight the Sirens. Her emotional state was compromised and in that condition, she'd probably just make them STRONGER with her current negative emotions. But Celestia isn't thinking rationally, she only sees her own failure. Which fits the state of mind she's in.

This is interrupted by Ardent Sentry, a member of the Hurricane Guard and likely an ancestor of another familiar Sentry we're all aware of.

Starswirl decides to once more leave Celestia out of this matter, given she's in no condition for ANOTHER threat.

This doesn't work, despite Ardent's best efforts and Starswirl's desire to keep it from her.

And then we see a pony named Knight Shroud trying to start a rebellion against her for banishing Luna...and despite her attempts, Celestia's magical issues and pain get the better of her and make things worse by sending him flying. That's...not going to go over well... I also like that Knight Shroud has reasonable reasons for believing what he does. He's not a straw pony. That's good writing.

And we then cut away to Timbucktu, which in this reality is the greatest Pegasi city in the world, and soon to be an economic center...or would have, except for Chrysalis deciding to take aim at it.

This gives Chrysalis choosing to attack it more meaning than 'it was there'. It's a beacon, an economic center, and cultural center. It's not only an important kingdom onto itself, it's a step towards destroying Equestria. I like that because it shows the stand out thing about Chrysalis: at her base power, she's the weakest of Grogar's disciples. She isn't a Lightning Bruiser like Tirek, she isn't a reality warper like Discord, she's not capable of fighting both Princesses and throwing a kingdom into the distant future like Sombra.

But she's SMART. Probably the smartest out of all of them. Which is why I love her.

Holy Throne.... how did I not see this story in my feed?!

TARB!!! IT GOT FEATURED!!!!! XD

8094772

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAH


8056991
Well now you get it in your replies. Part 2's up!

I'm surprised on How Celestia's thoughts went dark with Rage and Grief, progressing to confusion about her role.

Somehow her thoughts in the last part of the chapter had me thinking further of the similarities/differences between her and Ghidorah(yes I'll admit, i have a bias for Ghidorahs, sue me) and how she contemplates that maybe she's supposed to stand above others with fear and absolute control, just like Ghidorah who's aptly named King of Terror.

I am seeing so many similarities between Celestia and the Clark Kent from Man of Steel, with Starswirl as Jor-El.

I'm liking Commander Hurricane. Kinda reminds me of a nicer version of Quatritch from Avatar for some reason.

Pre-read:

Alright... When your name is "Commander Hurricane" you don't have any choice but to be a badass. This is one figure I think deserves a bit more time in the spotlight in official material.

A flock of small birds chirped as they rested in a shrub to her right, tilting there heads at the sitting alicorn curiously,

jonathanjanz.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/sutherland.jpg

The chapter begins with Commander Hurricane being rather upset about Celestia going missing after the events of last episode, which naturally poses some worrying possibilities. And also involves what seems like Flash Sentry's ancient ancestor, who has the misfortune of failing to catch Celestia when she fled.

Thankfully for her, the former Private, now Corporal Pansy, who's last name implies she's Fluttershy's ancestor. Fitting.

Glad Hurricane is willing to accept that he may have jumped the gun a bit, and does show his now advancing age. Given the large number of cataclysms that have happened, hard to blame him in all honesty, that much stress might cause premature aging even if he wasn't dealing with actual again. After all, unlike Celestia he's not immortal.

However, today is decidedly not a good day, as news of Chrysalis's attack reaches them. I do wonder if anyone is aware of the fact all Grogar's students were in fact part of the same group or just think they're separate threats.

And Hurricane, given the importance of Timbucktu in multiple ways, reacts naturally to its complete destruction by the Changelings.

Hurricane is not the only one having a bad day, as Celestia is possibly having a worse one. On top of the previous situations, she's now dealing with her magic being even MORE out of control than her emotional state already made it. Poor Celestia...

She's in such a depressed state, she can't think of what she IS (namely basically Pony Superman: the ideal to be strived for and inspired by) and only what she's not (a pony). In her mind at least, she's like Bagan, Harmony, and Grogar (though only the last of those names may be known to her in any way, if any of them): an entity that simply looks like one. Which is both logical for her to believe in her current mindset...and decidedly heartrending.

However, someone pays a visit, someone who can't remain long but wants to provide some comfort she can in the situation. Most likely Harmony. Who heals her and comforts her.

This event not only gives her some much needed rest and clarity, but reminds her of something Luna'd told her: that before they'd been found she'd heard a voice that sounded very similar to this one. One that may have belonged to their mother, which is the first word she says in a very long time.

Unfortunately, before she can see her potential mother, she falls asleep again. That is if Harmony is still hanging around, given her restrictions.

Meanwhile, Hurricane finds the ruins of Timbucktu, and its decidedly not pretty. At all. Also, interesting is 'troubling times' mentioned where the Changelings became known, wonder if that was when Grogar was still on the war path.

This whole scene has a disturbing quality to it. The devastation Chrysalis is capable of shows that kaiju she may not be, she and her horde are quite capable of similar loss of life if they're not stopped.

Hurricane and Sentry elaborate on the situations that happened in the past: the Changelings launched fringe attacks during the attacks of Grogar's other students, even if she mostly remained uninvolved. Again, this shows Chrysalis' intelligence: while unwilling to expose herself, she still distracted and indirectly aided her fellow students in their attacks.

And he soon confirms that Grogar's student of Lust headed this herself, and reveals Chrysalis, similar to Legion, has a powerful link and control over her hive, to the point she doesn't even need to speak to coordinate them. Frightening, given her MO.

Hurricane finds Orion's spear and takes it up, swearing to stop what befell his friend from befalling any one else, and decides they must be prepared for the next fight.

Showing he's not commander for nothing, Hurricane pieces together where Chrysalis will strike next: Trot.

Unfortunately, while Celestia is physically better to a degree, but that doesn't deal with weeks of psychological trauma and she begins to wonder if she should say Then Let Me Be Evil, like her sister had. Starswirl told her she was above others, but only now does she question what that meant.

Overall, continues to be shocking and painful, but it's SUPPOSED to be. Chrysalis killed real ponies, slaughtered an entire city. And it's not sugarcoated, it happened, and all they can do is maybe one day stop it. And Celestia's been through heck, and recovering is going to take time.

Good work.

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