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bookplayer


Twilight floated a second fritter up to her mouth when she realized the first was gone. “What is in these things?” “Mostly love. Love ‘n about three sticks of butter.”


T

There are many things Clover would like to be doing today: Studying the unexplained magic that saved the world last night, discussing the new nation she and her friends are founding, even spending time with those friends, enjoying having ponies around who actually like her for once.

Attending a party is not among those things. Interacting with the unicorn nobles who hate her is definitely not among those things. And giving up the ratty mage's robes she's worn for years as she suffered their judgement is absolutely not on the list.

But Princess Platinum is throwing a party, and Clover will be there and presentable, whether she likes it or not.

This is a stand alone story in the same setting as Sun and Hearth. It was written for FanOfMostEverything's Imposing Sovereigns contest, and I'd like to thank Themaskedferret, bats, Bradel, and Merc the Jerk for prereading.

Chapters (3)
Comments ( 45 )

Just so you know, I'd watch a My Little Pony: Founders of Equestria show with your versions of the founders. Probably more consistently than the actual show.

8035205
If you were actually watching it, it would have to be more consistently than you watch the actual show, now wouldn't it? :twilightsmile:

But I appreciate the thought! Might have to aim for Cartoon Network, with Puddinghead and all.

8035223
Hey now, I'm still watching the show. The timeframe is just a little bit closer to geologic time than most viewers.

Big surprise that I loved this. Now I really need to go read the tentpole story you keep telling me is so good.

(Anyway, good job with this!)

Wow, a Platinum that isn't all vapor!

In a flash of purple magic, Clover had Lady Radiant dangling upside down in her magic. Teleportation and levitation made a damnably useful combination. “Say that again and I’ll—”

Remember, Clover, violence is not the answer. It's the question.

The answer is 'yes,' in case you were wondering.

welp platinum is still easy to hate.

honestly at this rate it's amazing Platnium's father let her have any sort of power, (cannonly her father is still alive at this point) she is horrible at resource management, has no sense of priority and honestly would have brought any nation down within ten years of gaining the crown. honestly i'm thankful her family lost almost all there power in equestrian.

8036259
I should mention that I only use show canon.

I really love your founder ponies. I haven't read all the Imposing Sovereigns entries (by a longshot) but this is my favorite so far.

8036278 still leaves the fact clover would have more respect at least out of fear for her mentor who is likewise still alive in show cannon at this time.

8036282
Thank you so much!

And honestly, I have no idea how the judges are going to read all of the fics entered. :applejackconfused:

8036302
He is, but he left the court without much in the way of instructions with regards to her, and without much explanation to Clover at least:

“Of course study of magic is important to this court, we are unicorns. We’ve always had a royal mage, and dedicated resources and support to their studies.” Platinum looked around the room, then back at Clover. “But magic is not our only concern, and you can work just as well in the lower quarters.”

“Right.” Clover nodded, frowning. “Of course, Star Swirl couldn’t. You never moved the laboratory when he was here.”

Platinum raised an eyebrow. “Well he isn’t here now, is he?”

From somewhere behind Clover a mare’s voice muttered, “Now there was a royal mage. He was always so amusing.”

Another voice answered the first, “Can’t imagine why he might have left such pleasant company.”

Clover bit her tongue to keep her face from cringing, and ignored the stab in her chest. She couldn’t even glare at whoever said it for fear of giving herself away.

It's easy enough to sympathize with Clover, a put-up, under-appreciated nerd having to deal with a bunch of airheaded jerks. Yet, though she explains herself poorly if at all, I get a strong feeling that Platinum is considerably smarter than Clover realizes or appreciates.

And for all that she's being treated badly, Clover is making a classic nerd mistake that so many of us have made: "These jerks care more about my looks than my smarts, so screw them, I'm going to give up on my looks entirely!" Which is both understandable, and terribly self-defeating. The thing is, appearances matter, and first impressions matter even more. We can grumble and complain and keep kicking against it, like poor Clover, or we can admit this, accept it, and adapt. Looking good, or at least neat and presentable, is not selling out or anything, whether that means giving up the ratty T-shirt, faded and stained jeans, and the beat-up sneakers, or (as in Clover's case) the faded, frayed and worn mage robes.

Platinum may not be a mage, but she's one heck of an illusionist. Perception is nine tenths of reality, and she controls it with an artist's hoof.

Exquisite work, especially how you toy with the reader's perceptions in sympathizing with Clover throughout, only to reveal just what was going through Platinum's apparently empty head. (Or maybe that was just one nerd empathizing with another. :derpytongue2:) As always, you present the founders so that they resemble their respective Mane Six actresses without feeling like direct copies of them.

Great job all around. I hope you do something from Pansy's perspective to complete the trinity. For now, thank you for this, and best of luck in the judging.

8036210
Really? I found Clover to be much more unpleasant. The whole thing is written from her perspective and she still comes across as a jerk.

8038929 there are a few hundred ponies relying on them, she and three others have to still take orders from idiots after they saved everyone. two of said idiots want to expend needed resources for a frivolous party they can't afford to throw instead of considering the future of the country they supposedly just formed. the country that they are called founders of and yet the three idiiots act as though there opinions don't matter.

ontop of all those she, the personal student of the greatest mage in generations, who holds a title that in pretty much any royal structure would be answerable only to the king/queen themselves has to take orders from a mare who has the intelligence of a particularly slow minded rock and no forsight. now this mare is demanding her last semblance of self control from her because she dislikes the way her robes look.

quite frankly you'd be hard pressed to find someone who wouldn't be pissed off given the conditions, and frankly had it been starswirl there platinum may very well have ended up hopping back to the unicorn kingdom as a frog.

at least hurricane seems to vaguely understand if things continue this way his title well be empty at the best outcome.

I'm honestly left wondering if Clover and the other two advisors were really the ones to overcome the Windigos, or if that's just something they tell themselves to have an excuse to finally lash out. Well, at least Cookie and Pansy seem alright...

8038964
This chapter does show how little Clover understood about social conventions. And it's those that, in the end, helped save them all—not her magical reasearch, which ended up being totally useless. Clover is an idiot in her own way. Platinum is way smarter than Clover thinks because Clover believes anything outside her mage lab is worthless, partly from her wounded pride.

Furthermore, this party is needed to set Equestria on the right path. If they simply dictate it from above, it won't work. What kind of message would it send? That this new sense of togetherness shouldn't be celebrated? Considering that it worked, this party is anything but frivolous. Equestria still celebrates it thousands of years later.

Also, it was established that there are potential resources to be tapped later. They're taking a risk, but not a completely foolish one.

8038990
As a matter of trivia, in Sun and Hearth it's noted that it was Clover who both opened up first and made the leap to friendship that formed the spell in this version of the setting:

From Chapter 5:
When Pansy had, in her gentle way, called Clover by the honorific “lady,” the bitter scoff rang through the cave. Clover’s correction unleashed a torrent through chattering teeth: how, despite being an apprentice of Star Swirl and the finest magician of her generation, she had fallen hopelessly at court; how she’d been regulated to a basement workshop, barely better than a dungeon, called upon like a magic wand to fix problems then expected to disappear back to her hole so as not to embarrass the courtiers. Even the maids and guards at the castle were treated with more respect, and more likely to rise in position.

That was what prompted Pansy to observe that they weren’t so different after all.

[...]

Their bodies were shaking as the magical ice crept up their hooves, so he didn’t notice Clover chuckling until it turned to a laugh. He and Pansy looked at her oddly.

Clover just shook her head, still grinning, and said, “Well, the world may be better off without us, but I can’t help feeling that I’m better off spending my last with the two of you, tribes be damned.”

Not that that invalidates your opinion of her. Just thought it was interesting you brought it up.

8039046 no hurricane said they'd spotted some plants, not giving the number or the variety of this, given his objections earlier in the same conversations this states he didn't believe it was enough to feed them for long. still a stupid move.

8039060
You know, this applies to the episode as well, but there really is something a tad ironic about overcoming hatred by bonding over how much you all dislike someone else. Fortunately, the situation didn't stay that way.

Not that that invalidates your opinion of her. Just thought it was interesting you brought it up.

Well, I also think the Clover in the flashback was projecting pretty hard. :raritywink: "I know you don't like me, and you think what I do is stupid, and you don't respect what I'm telling you, and you're too pig-headed to listen at all..."

Poor Clover. Getting the short end of the stick even though she save d the whole lot of them fron getting frozen to death.

That was great, I really do need to read the accompanying story. I bookshelved it on release but haven't gotten around to starting it yet. The number of great stories being written for FOME's contest is making that a little difficult, too, so many interesting stories to read.

8036210
8039213
You'll note that as 8038929 said, Clover is coming across as a massive tool. In contrast, Platinum seems to actually be applying the point that you'd expect them all to have taken to heart after being friends literally kept them from dying in a very immediate way. Sure seems better than "let's be needlessly antagonistic to everyone I meet, or push to hammer out details with people who haven't even been brought on board with the broad strokes yet."

Lovely story, and great work on the protagonist/pov split and reinforcement.

But goddamn if that didn't entail putting me in the head of an insufferable, dense jackass. :facehoof:

Oh dear. You've got a Twilight serving a Rarity. In a world with no Elements of Harmony and no Princess Celestia to set things straight.

They're each talking past the other, and since they're each dealing from their greatest strength (intelligence, social skill), they have no impetus to change their approach.

Grown-ups talking now. Clover, do be a dear and be.... somewhere else.

8035553 I was just disappointed that Clover didn't drop her point-first. That's what the horn is for, right? If they remain upright after sticking in the grass, that's worth extra points.

Your choice of Clover as the POV character was inspired. It allowed you to structure her development like a murder mystery.

Yes, a murder mystery: the central question is "whodunit"--who killed Clover's career at court? And like all good whodunits:

1) The one who seems most guilty is really innocent
2) The one who seems most innocent is really guilty
3) The evidence was right there all along

Explaining everything from Clover's POV half-obscures what's really going on in court, and audience sympathy covers up the rest.

Because the audience is nerds. And us nerds know that all you really need to be is smart, right? And if somebody else refuses to acknowledge OBVIOUS FACTS, why a little sarcasm will help them see the light.

And if a little won't work, a lot definitely will.

Now, there's a nice bit of symmetry in that Platinum's acting exactly the same way. Except her monomania isn't academic intelligence, but social intelligence. She is just as unwilling to pause and try to understand Clover's point of view as Clover is hers, because that would involve acknowledging that other forms of intelligence are as important as her own--she barely recognizes that they even exist as such.

So of course she comes across as just being mean to someone who's only trying to help her. Just as Clover comes across to her.

That says, "See, nerds? See what it's like when someone thinks you just need to be good at one thing and lords it over you because they are?"

Because you do it. I do it too.

Remember the fool
Frustrating the good
And that you did it
Whenever you could...

Or if James Stephens isn't your style, there's always Devo...

Clover is a sassy little lady and I love her.:heart:

Drinking game for this story: take a sip every time they say 'blessed' and two each time 'blasted' is said. Take three each time Clover is a cutie pie.

8082996

Dude. Is your userpic Frank N. Sombra? :pinkiehappy:

8083153 Genderbent Sombra, actually.

8038964 Why do you keep saying Platinum is unintelligent? She's basically the exact opposite of that. Basically every action she took in the entire story, flashback present tense, was to the benefit of herself, her nation (Equestria and Monoceros alike), and Clover. She was constantly trying to manipulate situations in Clover's favor, whether by giving her access to the funds and connections she needs, or by distracting the nobles from Clover's failure, or by generally trying to defuse tensions to grant Clover a social edge. The winter ball was an event that Platinum apparently used as a crazy nexus of diplomacy, likely extending her political reach and general power by a ton.

The party that serves as the centerpiece of this work was far more valuable than whatever resources they were using. With only five hours of preparation, she managed to make the idea of combining three tribes that hated each other so much that they brought down supernatural entities to destroy them seem palatable to those tribes. Cookie or Clover would have stood up on a podium and made proclamations about the nature of this new government they were starting, something none of these ponies had ever heard of, and there would have been a frigging riot. Cookie, Clover, and Pansy may have granted Equestria its intellectual and philosophical foundation, but Platinum is a far more capable leader, able to do the things necessary to make a brand new country happen,

So what, precisely, did Platinum do to make you think her stupid? There are only two things I could possibly fault her for, which is a pretty small number given that this story is a conflict of two sides. First, shipping Clover away to the dungeon. We never get a precise explanation for why it occurred as far as I can tell, which makes it harder to defend. But we can guess. Clover is incredibly bad at politics. Things could have easily happened in the background to make this necessary.

The rosiest possible reading is that there were demands for Clover's removal, ones that got too loud to ignore, so Platinum had to hide her away to keep her safer from the situation at hand. It's actually a pretty reasonable interpretation. Sticking Clover in the dungeon allows her to keep up her magical research while giving her a lower profile. Even the ridicule she faced served to diminish the idea that she should be forced to leave, because she's being "punished" already. There's not really a reading without political pressure involved, but they don't necessarily have to be primarily driven by Clover's benefit. I'd hesitate to call those priorities stupid though. What is Platinum losing in this exchange? She maintains access to the same kind of magical research she always had, she appeases the noble folk, and Clover causes less problems in the court. Only downside is that it sucks for Clover, but, and let's keep this in mind, keeping Clover really happy is not and really should not be the primary goal of the Princess of Monoceros. Screwing her over may be jerkish (though I'm not convinced of that, in this case), but it's far from stupid.

The second thing is that Platinum didn't really explain all this stuff well enough. She kept providing Clover with opportunities, small and large, but she didn't really outright say, "You should use the winter ball to get access to a patron so you can continue your teleportation research." And she probably should have. My inclination is to think that Platinum lives in a world of innuendo and half hidden connotations, and she doesn't get that not everyone speaks that language. Which, yeah, it's a fault, but I wouldn't call that stupid. And I hesitate to ascribe too much badness to Platinum for not mapping out exactly what all the great things she's doing for Clover are.

8084118

The second thing is that Platinum didn't really explain all this stuff well enough.

This is probably something that's underserved by the scene order. In the first flashback scene, Platinum offers to explain things to Clover when she's not having tea with the Duke of Maretonia, but Clover is having none of it. In the case of the Winter Ball, Clover carelessly insults Platinum's work before Platinum gets a chance, and, well, Platinum isn't a saint. By the time the windigos have shown up, Platinum knows that Clover isn't going to listen to her, which is why she's frustrated when Clover tried to empathize.

On the day of the party, Platinum really could have explained better, but she was short on time, and Clover kept making assumptions about her anyway.

Neither of them are perfect, and they both do plenty of offending each other without meaning it, but where as Clover reacts with snark and complaining, Platinum bites her tongue and brushes Clover off.

Edit: Now I will say, as far as Platinum being stupid, that she is a bit of a ditz when it comes to magic. She understands it's important as a general thing, but isn't really interested in trying to learn any details herself. People can blame her for that if they want, Clover certainly does, but she also doesn't know how to bake a pie or build a wagon or... you get the picture.

8084226 doesn't really know how to run a country either
8084118 keep in min that platinum's style of doing things happened to have happened in history before, why don't you go ask the French royalty how that turned out, oh wait you really can't because they all ended up in the guillotine.

“I made friends so well it saved your blasted tails.”

That line is a keeper.

“It is a lovely party.” Pansy smiled. “I’m nearly convinced we’re worthy of it.”

That's adorable!

A good show, all around!

8084226 Yeah, Clover was being a pretty big jerk. I'm honestly a bit surprised that people were surprised by the ending, Where Platinum was revealed as having all these other purposes to her actions. I didn't assume that the winter ball thing was for the purpose of patronage, but I did figure that it was at least intended to push Clover into a closer political circle, showing favor to her even if not in the form of money.

8084470 I don't really care all that much about styles, as it were. There are many ways to rule, and those ways can be executed well or poorly. For whatever historical parallels can be drawn, Platinum undoubtedly executed this manner of rule incredibly well, both shown early and said late to be a skilled diplomat. What we saw in this chapter was a festival based plan that was very effective, not just because the story said it worked but because it would have more than likely worked in reality if done well.

8084937
Agreed. Also, pretty much everyone ended up under the guillotine, nobles, intellectuals, rabble... On the other hand, we do have an example of a kingdom based on individual magical power in Equestria too: The Crystal Empire under a fine fellow called Sombra.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

Fiendishly clever. But I wasn't fooled for an instant! >:V

Had the John Adams HBO series theme on repeat the whole time. So much fun!

Excellent fic. Looking forward to updates on the other one!

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