• Published 15th Mar 2017
  • 12,112 Views, 183 Comments

An Orderly Transfer of Power - Kris Overstreet

A history of the time Princess Twilight Sparkle got fed up and decided to overthrow Princess Celestia. Only Twilight would make an appointment to stage a coup.

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Collected Records from the Canterlot Archives

An Orderly Transfer of Power
by Kris Overstreet

Primary Sources for the Enlightened Despotism of Princess Twilight Sparkle

The following documents are reproductions of select records from the Canterlot Royal Archives pertaining to the second reign of Princess Twilight Sparkle as supreme ruler of Equestria (the first reign being, officially, the very brief period of Princess Celestia and Princess Luna’s imprisonment by plunder vines, c. 1005 ARC).We have it on the highest authority that these documents are genuine and, if not complete, at least accurate for the material they cover.

That is, assuming Discord hasn’t monkeyed around with them again. Seriously, adding -ay to the end of every word in every document in the Archives (a) does not make them written in ancient Equestrian, and (b) isn’t funny. Not even the seventeenth time it happens. So cut it out.

Anyway, presuming Discord hasn’t been playing pranks again, what follows is the truth, no matter how embarrassing it might be to some.

Former Copyist to the Crown
Official Historian of the Second Reign of the Princess Twilight Sparkle

To: Twilight Sparkle, Castle of Friendship, Ponyville
From: Celestia, Royal Palace, Canterlot

My dearest Twilight,

A grave threat has arisen that puts the lives of everypony in Equestria and beyond in danger. I ask you to journey across the Sparkling Sea to the island of Epona and deal with it at once. I regret that circumstances prevent me from telling you any details, except that it is vitally important that you not bring your friends. You must accomplish this task alone.

My best wishes for success in your task. We are all counting on you.

Your loving teacher,

(P. S. You are allowed to bring with you three pomegranates and a lawn chair, if you think they will be helpful. – C.)

To: Celestia, Royal Palace, Canterlot
From: Twilight Sparkle, Island of Epona, Microneighsia

Dear Princess Celestia,

My friends and I have successfully appeased the demigod Mauwhinni for another thousand years. We split the third pomegranate. Enclosed find expenses invoice for one lawn chair destroyed by lava flow.

I could not have accomplished this task without the staunch support of my friends Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie, all of whom followed me by various means to Epona despite my explicit orders not to follow. I’m very glad they disobeyed, but I’m also rather cross with you for not trusting them- and for not trusting Mauwhinni to be accepting of strangers. Once we got past the initial tension, we all found him very jolly and friendly, in a boisterous sort of way.

I’m even more cross with you for saying nothing about the dangers here. How, exactly, could telling us about the land sharks have harmed us in any way? Also, would it have been too much trouble to warn us about the lavacado grove? And was it really necessary to send us halfway around the world to deliver a snack?

Rainbow Dash asks me to express her disgust with your cryptic and misleading orders. I won’t share her exact words with you, because they are very strong and somepony else might read this, but I sympathize with her strongly. This is the third mysterious threat to ponykind we’ve dealt with this year, all with little or no help from the most powerful pony in all Equestria (except Flurry Heart, who’s still in diapers).

Please learn to trust us just a little bit.

Your faithful former student,
Twilight Sparkle.

P. S. The demigoddess Pele asks me to say you never visit, you never write, what happened to Super Heated Best Friends Forever? I don’t appreciate having to be the channel for this sort of thing. Straighten it out, please. – TS

P. P. S. I agree 100% with what Rainbow Dash said. Twilight won’t let me write it here, because I’m not supposed to be old enough yet to know those words. – Spike

To: Twilight Sparkle, Castle of Friendship, Ponyville
From: Celestia, Royal Palace, Canterlot

My dearest Twilight,

I have been invited to give a speech at the Fillydelphia Draft Ponies’ Hall this Friday evening. Unfortunately matters of state preclude my attending, so I ask you to speak to the members of the Loyal Sorority of Draft Ponies, Carters and Cordwainers in my place. You are expected at 5 PM Friday to allow time for the assembly to be seated and to prepare a proper princessly appearance prior to your 7 PM speech.

I know I can rely upon you to represent Equestria as only you can.

Your loving teacher,

To: Celestia, Royal Palace, Canterlot
From: Twilight Sparkle, Our Dam of Mercy Hospital, Fillydelphia


Why didn’t you tell me about the LSDPCC strike?? I thought I was just going to give a speech about the importance of ponies working together for a better Equestria! When I got to the part about how all ponies share in the greater prosperity of a strong kingdom they stormed the dais! And now they’re blaming me for the fire that burned the Draft Ponies’ Hall to the ground!

If it hadn’t been for Applejack and Fluttershy, who between them managed to negotiate an end to the riot and the strike at the same time, I don’t know what would have happened! As it is the doctors say the cast can come off in a week, but my left wing needs to remain in a sling for the rest of the moon. I’m not looking forward to the train ride home.

How could you do this to me?

Your heart-broken student,
Twilight Sparkle

To: Twilight Sparkle, Castle of Friendship, Ponyville
From: Celestia, Royal Palace, Canterlot

My dearest Twilight,

I am called away to Prance on urgent diplomatic business. I require a pony to rule over the court in Canterlot while I am gone. Could you please go to the Crystal Empire and babysit our niece Flurry Heart so that Cadance can take my place?

As ever, I rely on you unquestioningly.

Your loving teacher,


To: Celestia, Royal Palace, Canterlot
From: Twilight Sparkle, Castle of Friendship, Ponyville

I’m sorry, what? No, really, what?

No. Just no. I’m done with this. Enough is enough.


To: Working Week, appointments minister, Royal Palace, Canterlot
From: Twilight Sparkle, Castle of Friendship, Ponyville

Dear Mr. Week;

I wish to request an appointment to overthrow the established government of the Kingdom of Equestria, Please send via reply dragonflame spell the proper forms for such a request and a list of available dates and times for scheduling said overthrow.

Sincerely yours,
Twilight Sparkle
Princess of Friendship

To: Twilight Sparkle, Castle of Friendship, Ponyville
From: Working Week, appointments minister, Royal Palace, Canterlot

Your Royal Highness;

With the deepest regret and humiliation I regret to inform you that, at the present time, no legal or bureaucratic provision exists for scheduling a coup d’etat.

The Department of Ancient History reports that popular revolts, coups, and rebellions of that stripe are things that “just happen” and are neither regulated by law, nor scheduled for the convenience of all parties. In fact, Cracked Amphora asks me to point out that inconveniencing one party or the other is the whole point of a revolution.

I am most apologetic that I cannot be of help to our noble Princess of Friendship in this matter.

Your obedient and humble servant,
Working Week, esq.
Keeper of the Calendar
Appointments Secretary

To: Working Week, appointments minister, Royal Palace, Canterlot
From: Robert Rules, parliamentarian, Equestrian House of Lords, Canterlot

Hey, Double-Double,

I just got about three reams of paper from Twilight Sparkle dumped on my desk to be introduced in the next session of Parliament. It’s some nonsense about laws and regulations concerning the orderly conduct of revolution against the Crown. The cover note says you’d know something about this.

What’s going on? And is The Keeper of the Royal Cake Repository involved?


(returned to sender with annotation:)

I told Twilight Sparkle that you can’t schedule a revolution. Apparently she wants things changed so that you can. I think our noble Bearer of the Sun has jerked her chain one too many times. Do you remember the Quesadilla Incident from about ten years ago? Looks like we’re having another one of those.


(returned to original recipient with annotation in much smaller hoofwriting due to lack of remaining space on the paper)

Is Celestia doing this on purpose? Does she WANT another Sunset Shimmer? Because this is how you get Sunset Shimmers. – RR

(returned to sender again, annotation barely legible in the bottom right corner)

No idea. Duck and cover. – WW

that the 1007 Orderly Transfer of Power Act
ratified by both Houses of the Ponies of Equestria Assembled in Parliament
and all regulations appertaining thereunto
are hereby APPROVED by the dual crown
and shall be enacted as law immediately.

Written by my hoof,
Bearer of the Sun
Keeper of the Peace
Princess of the United Tribes of Equestria
Protector of the Griffon Kingdoms
Regent of Prance
Elector of Germaney
Sovereign of All the Ocean Seas

Witnessed by my hoof,
Bearer of the Moon
Defender of Dreams
Princess of the United Tribes of Equestria
Guardian of Tartarus
Mayor Pro Tem of Hollow Shades
Honorary Cutie Mark Crusader
Not at All Jealous of the Number of Titles Celestia Has, Honest


Name of Rebel Commander: Twilight Sparkle
Name of Government to be Overthrown: Dual Monarchy of Equestria
Proposed Replacement Government: Enlightened Despotism
Proposed Means of Overthrow: Single Combat
Reasons for Overthrow (100 words or less): Callous disregard for the lives and mental well-being of those charged with protecting the nation; failure to properly support said ponies; abuse of power to evade princessly duties by substituting others; demonstrated failure to maintain harmony among the ponies and other speaking creatures of Equestria
List of companies raised in support of your revolution (Note: company captains must file FORM #1007-13-4048 “Roster of Rebel Forces, by Company” in order to be eligible for post-rebellion amnesty as covered under Section 38, Paragraph 3, Line 2 of the Orderly Transfer of Power Act of 1007.) - N/A

Please note any potential scheduling conflicts you wish taken under consideration here:
Thursdays are Twilight Time with certain young fillies of Ponyville, and my friend Fluttershy takes tea with Discord Wednesday afternoons. My friend Rainbow Dash is a member of the Wonderbolts, and therefore cannot attend if there is a show or a deployment on the date of the rebellion.

SignatureTwilight Sparkle

From: Working Week, appointments minister, Royal Palace, Canterlot
To: Princess Twilight Sparkle, Castle of Friendship, Ponyville

Your Royal Highness,

I have the pleasure of informing you that Princess Celestia has accepted your application with only one change. As she declines your challenge to single combat, she has instructed that the application be accepted under the category “Popular Uprising.” As she is aware that you had not planned to field a peasant army when you submitted your application, she has graciously scheduled the rebellion for five weeks from yesterday to allow for recruitment time and training.

Please have the various captains file FORM #1007-13-4048 “Roster of Rebel Forces, by Company”, and also please file yourself FORM #1007-13-4001 Schedule C “Amendment to FORM #1007-13-4001EZ- List of Companies”. Also be sure to warn your supporters that ponies caught on the battlefield not listed in any of your companies’ rolls shall be exempt from the general amnesty and, therefore, subject to such condign punishment as the victor shall see fit to exact.

I am most grateful to have been of service in this matter.

Your obedient and humble servant,
Working Week, esq.
Keeper of the Calendar
Appointments Secretary


The office of Princess of Equestria is a solemn responsibility weighted down with centuries of tradition. Yet our beloved princess, Celestia, has made a mockery of that tradition by shirking her duties and failing to protect the ponies of the realm!

I, Twilight Sparkle, her student and protégé, have witnessed firsthoof how she shuffles off defense of the realm, peacekeeping among the tribes, and even the most trivial duties of her office in favor of cake and tea. In her absence, ponies have fought grave battles for the defense of the nation, risking life and limb to defend the innocent, with little to no support from our ruling princess.

Being Princess of Equestria is about more than raising the sun and moon! My fellow ponies, we MUST demand more of our rulers!

I therefore call on you, my friends, the ponies I am privileged to live among, to rise up and take up the arms of war to oust our irresponsible Princess and replace her with someone who has experience in defending the nation, the intelligence and knowledge to foresee threats, and the friends to support her in times of trial!

To Princess Luna we say: you have fulfilled your duties admirably and are welcome to retain your station, provided you don’t side with the soon-to-be-ex-Princess Celestia. If you do choose to support your sister against our righteous cause, however, we shall have no choice other than to remove you as well.

Recruiting officers in your town:

CANTERLOT – Minuette
CLOUDSDALE – Rainbow Dash
PONYVILLE – Pinkie Pie
OURLITTLETOWN – Starlight Glimmer


(Archivist's note: the original form says the following page is page 1 of 3. Unfortunately the other two pages have been lost. - Moondancer)

FORM #1007-13-4001 Schedule C - Amendment to FORM #1007-13-4001EZ- List of Companies

COMPANY A – “Apple Family Muster”
Captain: Applejack
# of ponies: 127

COMPANY B – “CSGU Alumni Brigade”
Captain: Minuette
# of ponies: 28

COMPANY C – “Stable of Liberty Regiment”
Captain: Rarity
# of ponies: 928

COMPANY D – “Friendship Airborne Division”
Captain: Rainbow Dash
# of ponies: 89 plus one griffon

COMPANY E – “Our Little Army”
Captain: Starlight Glimmer
# of ponies: 11

COMPANY F – “The Brave and Glorious Spike’s Own”
Captain: Spike the Brave and Glorious
# of ponies: 382

COMPANY G – “Twilight Sparkle’s Ponyville Friends”
Captain: Mayor Mare
# of ponies: 1,526

COMPANY H – “Rock Farmers United Against Party-Pooping”
Captain: Igneous Rock Pie
# of ponies: 6

COMPANY I – “Heavy Partillery”
Captain: Pinkie Pie
# of ponies: 3

COMPANY J – “Everfree Ever-Free”
Captain: Fluttershy
# of ponies: 1 (plus 124 animals, including three manticores, a cockatrice, and a sea serpent)

COMPANY K – “Cutie Mark Crusaders Crusaders, YAY!”
Captain: Apple Bloom
# of ponies: 89 plus one griffon

FORM #1007-13-4002 Schedule C - Amendment to FORM #1007-13-4002EZ- List of Defending Companies

Captain: Hard Knocks
# of ponies: 40

Captain: Fruit Batty
# of ponies: 24

Captain: Flash Sentry
# of ponies: 24

Captain: Spitfire
# of ponies: 16 (addendum: 2nd Lt. Rainbow Dash is expected to be AWOL on the day of the revolution, but this offense shall be included under the general amnesty)

Captain: Fancy Pants
# of ponies: 5

Captain: Prince Blueblood
# of ponies: 1

Captain: Palomino LaGuardia
# of ponies: 78

Captain: Lord Hornwallis
# of ponies: 15

Captain: Count Snoot von Snoot
# of ponies: 9

Captain: Spoiled Rich
# of ponies: 4

Captain: Discord
# of ponies: 3

“Traders to the Solar Crown”
Market Street, Canterlot

1 Deluxe Battle Chariot – B14,998
1 Princess Celestia Cardboard Display (Life Size) – B14

TOTAL – B15,012

The following is an excerpt from the recollections of a Canterlot citizen who witnessed the Battle of Rockfall Field. The full manuscript is available upon request from the Archives; it currently resides in the Writings of Self-Importance Princess Platinum Wing. - Moondancer

It was done by arrangement. The only open area large enough to admit the entire Sparkle Army into a single place would have been the palace gardens, and everyone agreed that holding a battle there would destroy it, denying ponies the pleasure of its beauty for years to come. As it was, the hotels of Canterlot were full to bursting, and it seemed like every train in the kingdom gathered overnight to ferry both armies and a horde of spectators down Mount Canter to the hay farm chosen for the battle.

The air was filled with the smell of fresh hay fries and funnel cakes as we watched Celestia’s small force of loyalists take up positions at the foot of the mountain. Twilight Sparkle’s companies assembled beyond the crest of a low ridge about a mile away, out of our sight. Hundreds, maybe thousands of Canterlot ponies sat on blankets or lawn chairs on either side of the designated battlefield, preventing any flanking attack or unconventional strategy. By mutual agreement, the battle would be a straightforward head-on attack, giving the defender every possible advantage.

The royal guard had only just begun building a breastwork out of fallen boulders when we heard the sound of stomping hooves. The beat came steady, clear, every one of Twilight Sparkle’s volunteers keeping perfect pace with their neighbors. And then, as the front line of marching ponies came over the crest, we heard their marching song:

All government is made up of the people

Of every pony be they great or small

But when our chosen leaders fail to govern

We want a princess who will serve us all

Our rulers, mayors, ministers and nobles

They hold positions by ponies’ goodwill

But when our leaders fail to meet their mandate

We have the right to change our leaders, still

For the people!

(for the people)

For the ponies!

(for the ponies)

We’ve come today to show you all the door

For our freedom!

(for our freedom)

For the ponies!

(for the ponies)

We’ve had enough and won’t take any more

Our princesses once ruled wise and fairly

And their past service we will not forget

But Equestria is tired of sweet Celestia

Loafing on the job while ponies sweat

So we’ve come today to march with Twilight Sparkle

We’re not a gang, not a riot, not a mob

We’re the ponies of this country who are tired

Of princesses who slack off on the job

For the people!

(for the people)

For the ponies!

(for the ponies)

We’ve come to tell Celestia “go away”


For our freedom!

(for our freedom)

For the ponies!

(for the ponies)

For the rule of Twilight Sparkle starts today!

Despite what any Canterlot pony like myself would consider banal lyrics, the effect of several thousand ponies singing them, including a marching band and artillery flourishes, could not help to stir the hearts of all the onlookers, myself included.

Twilight Sparkle’s ponies hadn’t yet come within a quarter mile of the pitifully tiny loyalist forces when the volunteers broke and ran. The Rich family of Ponyville, at least, had the good graces to lower their standard and walk in shame to the sidelines. The Canterlot ponies, except for Fancy Pants, bolted and ran out of sheer terror. The Manehattanites actually tossed aside their standards and raised a new purple flag, dashing across the field to join the marching horde advancing on the professional guard and the Wonderbolts, the only remaining defenders of the crown.

At a distance of a hundred paces Twilight Sparkle ordered her force to halt- a mass of ponies two hundred wide and at least twelve deep, probably more, facing off against scarce more than a hundred huddled in a rockpile, their backs to the great mountain. The field went silent as Twilight walked to the middle of no mare’s land and called for Princess Celestia’s surrender.

For several seconds all we heard was the wind.

And then we all saw the wind tip over the cardboard which we had thought was our princess, revealing a placard on a stick that said, “I QUIT. – C.”

The following document was found by Twilight Sparkle lying in the great throne, left by Celestia for her succession after her desertion from the Battle of Rockfall Field. - Moondancer

My dearest Twilight Sparkle,

Enclosed find detailed instructions for the raising and lowering of the sun and moon, complete with seasonal schedule. You’ve done it before, so I know you can do it again.

A few issues that have come up in the past few days which you may have to deal with:

San Flankcisco is complaining that Las Pegasus keeps their town in shadow during the daytime, while the lights of the Strip casinos keep ponies awake at night. Las Pegasus denies that there’s any problem.

Ponies are disappearing in the dale below Rainbow Falls. Nopony knows why.

Tall Tale has had nonstop rain for the past thirty-seven days. The pegasi we send up there haven’t been able to break up the clouds. The area is experiencing floods and mudslides, and it’s all the ponies there can do to make sure no one gets hurt.

A great dragon has taken up residence in Detrot, claiming everything there as his own. So far he hasn’t hurt anypony, but on the other hoof he’s taking anything he likes and nopony can stop him.

I would have taken care of these things myself, but preparation for the battle forced me to put them off. I’m sure you’re more than capable of handling these things, plus the parliamentary budget discussions next week and the Summer Sun Celebration next month.

Be a good ruler to my little ponies. If you want advice, a letter can reach my sister or myself at the ducal palace of Maneaco.

I am always
Your loving teacher

Headlines clipped from various newspapers dated the week following the Battle of Rockfall Field:

Rainbow Dash and Rarity Undo Las Pegasus Shadow Plot

Twilight Sparkle and Fluttershy Restore Thunderbird to Health

Starlight Glimmer and Applejack Discover Misunderstood Rescuer of Rainbow Falls Ponies

Spike and Pinkie Pie: “More Honest Than Previous 5 Mayors”

To: Robert Rules, parliamentarian, Equestrian House of Lords, Canterlot
From: Working Week, appointments minister, Royal Palace, Canterlot

Hey RR,

I just found a Form #1007-13-4001EZ on my desk. It’s filled out in Celestia’s hoofwriting. The date has been left blank. There’s a sticky-note on it with the words, “You’ll know when,” on it. Do you know anything about this?

(Returned to sender with annotation)


I know we’re about to start budget talks. The House of Lords always wants to cut taxes and cut services and to give themselves new titles, and the House of Commons wants to cut taxes and expand services. It’s two weeks of shouting without listening, and Celestia found a way to get out of it. Sly old… well. - RR

(Returned to addressee with annotation)

But should I put this in process? - WW

(Returned to sender with annotation)

I’d say if you have to ask, the answer is ‘not yet.’ – RR

The following letters are mixed correspondence between Starlight Glimmer and various of the Bearers of the Elements of Harmony, from during the third and fourth week of the second reign of Twilight Sparkle. - Moondancer

Dear Applejack, Rarity, Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, and Pinkie Pie,

I know Twilight said she didn’t need your help and that she could handle everything after the first crises, but I’m getting worried. There’s a monster attack or magical crisis every other day, and there’s friendship problems that require royal intervention two or three times a day. Twilight’s running herself ragged keeping up with all that, and when she’s not doing that she’s working on the next year’s budget. And despite that she insists on two hours a day of friendship lessons for me, and at night she researches ancient tomes and works on revisions to the Equestrian legal code. I don’t think she’s slept since she took the throne!

As a result I think Twilight’s behavior has become a little bit peculiar, but I haven’t known her as long as you all have. Could one of you come to visit Canterlot and check?

Spike is worried too, but he says this is still normal for Twilight. I’m not reassured. I really would like another opinion, and the sooner the better.

Your friend,
Starlight Glimmer

To all back home in Ponyville,

I spent a delightful day in Canterlot with Twilight Sparkle’s old friend Moondancer. Twilight Sparkle has appointed her Assistant Archivist and Copyist to the Crown, and I managed to drag the poor thing away from duplicating centuries-old scrolls to get her some clothing more appropriate to her new high station.

I had this time free because our dear Twilight was out of the palace again. Something about an orphan being ill and requiring a rare flower that only grows in the Badlands for the cure. You’ll be glad to hear that all is well and the little colt is doing splendidly.

I wish I could say the same for Twilight.

I doubt any of you would recognize our dear friend and ruler except for her distinctive purple coat. Her mane is a fright. Her eyes are so bloodshot one filly ran screaming from her shouting “VAMPIRE!” She has lucid moments, but her mind wanders, usually back into either the budget or the law books, or heavens help us both mixed together. I tried to persuade her to rest, but she insisted that she couldn’t stop until she’d fulfilled all of the princessly duties.

I’m about to depart for Manehattan to check on my boutique there. I may be some time. Perhaps one of you girls can come check Twilight in a couple of days?


(P. S. I think it might be a good idea if whoever comes gives some reason for Starlight to return to Ponyville. I believe she’s about to have an anxiety attack over Twilight’s overworking. I offered to take Spike with me to Manehattan, but as he said, “Somebody needs to watch over her.” – Rarity)


I hadn’t been in the throne room two minutes when a guard pony ran up telling Twilight about a monster attack in Hollow Shades! Well, she teleported out instantly, and about ten minutes later she was back, picking up the conversation as if nothing had happened! And it happened TWO MORE TIMES after that! After the third monster thing I’d had enough, and told her she needed to stick to princessing and let heroes like me kick the monster butt! I thought I was getting through to her, but she blipped out a FOURTH time- and THIS time when she came back she brought the monster with her! “Here, Rainbow Dash,” she said, “I made it easy for you!” I don’t really think she understood what she was doing!

Well, I took Basil (he’s a basilisk, so I named him Basil) out to buy some sunglasses, and everything’s cool now, but really! Twilight is not cool in the head! We gotta do something! Any ideas?

I’m off to Wonderbolts training. I’ll talk with Captain Spitfire and see what she thinks.

Canterlot is full of party-poopers who don’t respect a good “Quiet Dreamy-Time Super Slumber Party for Actual Slumbering” party! Every time I had Twilight tucked into bed and the quiet party music going, some stuck-up noble pony barged in demanding something or other about reduction in tariffs or abolition of inheritance taxes or the like! They bothered Twilight so much that she couldn’t sleep OR party!

I’m coming home on the train tomorrow. Girls, we gotta do something!

Pinkie Pie


The intervention didn’t work. I’m afraid I said some things I’m gonna have to apologize for later.

To be fair, she only lost track of the conversation twice, not counting the interruption to go fix a breach in a dam up in the Smoky Mountains. And I’ve seen her with the coffee shakes a lot worse than this. So maybe she can hold it together.

Anyway, she’s our new ruler, and she’s smarter than all of us, so I think maybe we should trust her a while longer. If nothing else, it’ll give us time to think of something new.

Tell Granny, Mac and Apple Bloom I’ll be home on the morning train tomorrow.


The Fiscal Year 1008 ACR Budget is Hereby Decreed Adopted
and shall be enacted as Law, except should both Houses of Parliament vote to deny approval within the next thirty days.

Signed by my hoof,
Princess of Friendship
Enlightened Despot

Be It Hereby Known
that the Open Court of the Reigning Princess Twilight Sparkle
is hereby SUSPENDED
pending completion of the new CODEX JUDICIA CREPUSCULIA

Open Court shall resume following adoption of the reforms.
Princess Twilight Sparkle apologizes for the inconvenience
and asks that petitioners consult Ms. Starlight Glimmer
for speedy processing of their requests.

Working Week, esq.
Keeper of the Calendar
Appointments Secretary

To: Robert Rules, parliamentarian, Equestrian House of Lords, Canterlot
From: Working Week, appointments minister, Royal Palace, Canterlot

The grand throne room is full of books. Rows of books. Piles of books. Towers of books. And, of course, one princess and her two assistants.

I don’t think Twilight Sparkle has gone farther than the garderobe in the past week. Her bedroom is untouched. The little dragon brings food in, the unicorn brings paper, ink and fresh quills, and the new archivist brings in more and more books.

I managed to get a glimpse of her- not long enough to tell her I’d carried out her wishes. The bags under her eyes are truly appalling. The little dragon was brushing her coat, and I don’t think she knew he was there. Without him she’d probably be a total mess.

Remember that form? Should I process it now?

(Returned to sender with annotation added)


Wait. X-Checker took a look at the budget she made from scratch, pronounced it a thing of beauty, and wept tears of joy for an hour. Nopony else can tell if it’s good or bad, but so far nopony’s actually complained. After seeing that, we’re all terribly curious to see what she’s going to do with the laws. – RR

"Oops, My Mistake" Says Twilight Sparkle
Confused Owlbear Rumored Transferred to Witness Protection Program
Citizens of Trottingham Petition Parliament For Disaster Aid

To: Robert Rules, parliamentarian, Equestrian House of Lords, Canterlot
From: Working Week, appointments minister, Royal Palace, Canterlot

I have been banished from the throne room.

The books are now in the form of a fort, and not just a childish book fort either. There are actual battlements, parapets, and towers. There is even a moat, and don’t ask me how that works on a solid marble floor without destroying the paper.

Spike the dragon has informed me that Twilight has appointed him Moat Monster to the Crown, and that nopony enters Fort Libris except when summoned. The princess only leaves when word comes of some emergency threatening the kingdom, which is to say two or three times a day.

It is really a marvel to see. Several times I saw a whole section of the fort rise into the air in a magic field. One book would be extracted, another book would take its place, and the whole would settle back where it had been without so much as a wobble or a scuffed cover. I would bring in architects to analyze the structure, but Spike won’t let me.

I’ve sent along a copy of what the princess calls her first draft. It’s in seventeen volumes, and the writing is very tiny. Is this good enough? – WW

(Returned to sender with annotation added)

WW – The parliament is taking turns trying to read it. The record for staying awake thus far is seven minutes and forty-one seconds. We’re calling in lawyers and judges for advice. So far the reaction is fifty-fifty between “total train wreck” and “the most brilliant reform effort since the Founding.” Give it a little more time. – RR

(Returned to recipient with annotation added)

RR - Did I mention the fort has now expanded to fill all but the outer perimeter of the throne room? And that includes the high ceiling? - WW

Clipping from the Canterlot Herald newspaper, classified ads section:

Recruits for Twilight Sparkle’s Special Guard
Immediate Posting to Defend Fort Libris
Must have 2 yrs. Guard Experience and a Degree in Library Sciences
Apply with S. Glimmer, Royal Palace, Canterlot

For the return of the book “STRAWBERRIES” by Captain Quail E. Egg
Last seen fourth from the top, seventeenth column, blockhouse, Fort Libris
Recognizable by dog-ears on pages 71-72 and 93-94 and by a pizza stain on page 109
Return to S. Glimmer, Royal Palace, Canterlot
No Questions Asked – No Reprisal

To: Robert Rules, parliamentarian, Equestrian House of Lords, Canterlot
From: Working Week, appointments minister, Royal Palace, Canterlot

Now? – WW

(returned to sender with annotation)

Now. – RR

From: Working Week, appointments minister, Royal Palace, Canterlot
To: Celestia, Duchal Palace, Duchy of Maneaco

Ms. Celestia;

I have the greatest pleasure of informing you that Enlightened Despot Twilight Sparkle has accepted your application. She has accepted your terms of Single Combat and, as the challenged party, has chosen Debate as the terms of combat, with the outcome to be decided by vote of an open assembly of ponies from across the realm.

As the terms are for single combat, no further forms need be filed. The debate will be held immediately after the Summer Sun Celebration, a week from tomorrow.

I am most profoundly grateful and relieved to have been of service in this matter.

Your obedient and humble servant,
Working Week, esq.
Keeper of the Calendar
Appointments Secretary

The following is the last page of the transcript of the Crown Debate, Summer Sun’s Day 1008, Twilight Sparkle v. Celestia. Speaking order was decided by coin flip, and the winner, Celestia, chose to speak second. The full transcript may be found in the Insomnia Cures Wing of the Canterlot archives. - Moondancer


TS (continued from page 67)

and the sun has only risen in the west four times since I took office, a good record I think for a pony whose special talent is not related to sun-raising. Furthermore, I am told that the times I forgot to raise the moon were a special boon to the astronomers, and the night I raised the moon in the south was hailed by the Canterlot arts council as “a challenge to hackneyed traditions and a sign of royal support for the avant-garde.” So even in those rare occasions where my performance has been less than perfect, it has been turned to the good of the nation.

In conclusion, I remind you of my predecessor’s laissez-faire approach to her own solemn duties, and offer my unstinting dedication to the work at hand in comparison. The restoration of Princess Celestia would be a step backwards, but with my rule Equestria is driving forwards towards a new, greater tomorrow where book thieves will meet the justice they so rightly deserve! Thank you!

MODERATOR: Princess Twilight Sparkle. Princess Celestia, in the interests of equal time, you have one hour and nineteen minutes to speak.

CELESTIA: Don’t you think she looks tired?


CELESTIA: That’s all.

MODERATOR: Er. Um. Well, thank you both for your, er, your speeches, and with that the assembly shall divide. All those in favor of retaining Princess Twilight Sparkle as enlightened despot of Equestria, move to the north side of the processional. All those in favor of restoring the dual monarchy of Princess Celestia and Princess Luna, move to the south side of the processional.

TWILIGHT SPARKLE: What? What’s happening? Why? Haven’t I done a good job?

MODERATOR: Let the record show that, there being insufficient room south of the processional to hold all the ponies seeking to vote for Celestia and Luna, Princess Celestia is hereby declared the winner of the debate.

CELESTIA: Thank you, my little ponies. And please join me in thanking Princess Twilight Sparkle for her exceptional work during her reign…

MODERATOR: Let the record show that ex-Enlightened Despot Twilight Sparkle has passed out and is now snoring loudly.

CELESTIA: … once she’s had some time to rest. Thank you all.


My dearest Twilight,

Thank you for allowing my sister and myself to take a long vacation from what you now know from experience is a difficult labor.

Please understand that, if I rely heavily upon you, it is because I also rely heavily upon many other ponies. No one pony can rule Equestria properly and fairly. You tried, and you did as well as could be expected, but you just couldn’t keep it up. Every princess needs to rely on those she can trust to help her protect the kingdom.

If I seem lazy or lackadaisical, it is because our little ponies need to see a calm, collected ruler. If we seem tired, worn out, afraid, or confused, they will fear for their safety and lose trust in us. But so long as we look like nothing’s out of the ordinary, they will be calm and confident in our ability to see things through. So if it looks like I'm yanking your chain, it's only for the good of all Equestria.

Consider the swan swimming on the pond. On the surface it seems calm and motionless, but out of sight it feet are furiously thrashing just to move a little bit in any direction. It’s much the same with being a princess. We have much work to do while, at the same time, maintaining the illusion that we’re doing no work at all.

I hope you will remember this lesson the next time you take the throne.

I look forward to seeing you very soon.

Your loving teacher,

Dear Princess Celestia,

Twilight Sparkle is still sound asleep and we can’t wake her. I just wanted to tell you that swans’ legs really don’t work like that. If a swan is in a hurry to get somewhere it’ll just take off. I thought you should know. Sorry for my presumption.

Your faithful subject,

My dearest Fluttershy,
I stand corrected.

Yours sincerely,

The following is a copy of a very fragile piece of parchment, scorched around the edges, with a lingering pineapple smell to the paper. - Moondancer

Dear Celestia,

Hope everything went well back home! It was great to have you back for two uninterrupted weeks of SHBFF fun! I had a real blast!

And let me say, your sister rocks a mean wave, but she's nothing on the master, is she?

Do you think that student of yours will ever figure out you played her to get the time off for the visit? Looking back on it, that was a little cold, sister. Still, if everything went well, no reason to worry, right?

Stay in touch! And let me know when you can get this Sparkle pony to stage another rebellion! We'll go to Japony and really shake things up!


From a photo of graffiti painted on an alley wall behind the Royal Law School of Canterlot:


Author's Note:

I had intended this to be the end, but I forgot to mark the story completed. And there were complaints about how Celestia never got her comeuppance.

And then, in the shower, the idea for the appendix came to me all at one go. Read on, intrepid student of the stupid...