• Member Since 7th Feb, 2014
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Stories about ponies are stories about people. Every challenge is an opportunity to change. My Patrons let me keep writing, at: https://www.patreon.com/RealStarscribe


Twilight Sparkle accomplished something incredible, something not even the great Starswirl could manage. But ascension into the ranks of Equestria's princesses is not without its difficulties. Before she can take her place as princess of Friendship, Twilight must travel to the underworld and make a ceremonial offering to Death in exchange for her immortality. Twilight is more than a little surprised to discover the identity of the pony under the hood.

After years living in Ponyville and getting to know her friends, Twilight always assumed they were exactly what they seemed: a group of friendly and ambitious ponies. But as it turns out, the sort of pony who saves Equestria and decodes the ancient mysteries of Starswirl is likely to attract ponies a tad more interesting.

Updates on the 3rd or 4th Friday of every month, then daily until that section is complete.

Editing by Two Bit and Sparktail. Cover by Zutcha.

Chapters (23)
Comments ( 662 )

Based on the description and cover art alone, imma guess Applejack.

why are there two summaries in the summary?

Extremely well-written, intriguing premise. Insta-fave.

It looks like it could be really interesting.

"It Started with the fire"

Applejack is a hollow confirmed !

Well... this is something.:rainbowderp:

So basically, all of the Princesses have Horcruxes?


Phylacteries. Alicorns are godamn liches.

Ooh. I love these sorts of stories. Eagerly looking forward to more.

There were no tool marks here, no mortar in the stars.

I think you mean stairs

Well you have my attention

Disliked because nobody had done it before

Well, this would be spooky enough, but the title and description pretty well imply that the rest of the group have major secrets too. I'm keeping an eye on this one.

Really interesting premise. Looking forward to see what you do with it!

Ooh, this is an intriguing start. Spooky, but not in a wholly terrifying way (yet), so it instead sparks the curiosity and makes one eager to learn more...just the way I like it.

Okay then...let's see where this goes next. :twilightsmile:

Well, at least we know you won't go jumping off any cliffs just because your friends did it, I suppose... :ajbemused:

The problem is what they'll do just because their friends didn't do it.

alrighty then. lets do this

suitable all hollows eve vibe? check
spookiness engaged? check
safety squints engaged?? check!
stuff to break right half in two? check.

The mention of Trollestia is distracting and unwarranted, honestly.


Death is part of life—ends give the middle parts meanin’, and all that.

This is madness. Misery doesn’t give happiness meaning. Happiness is meaning itself. If you tortured people to make them better appreciate the pleasures of life, you would be a monster.


Nevertheless, I’ll see where this goes.

Not in a bad way, but this reminds me a bit of The Monster Mash, except I expect this will be one story rather than a bunch of one-shots. Tracked.

Gotta watch out for the pitfall of mistaking a character's opinion for author opinion. What matters is that the character with their background authentically believes it.

I've loved CGP's videos and even listen to his Hello Internet podcast, but he's got a very different perspective on death than Applejack does here. CGP is an avowed Athiest with a distinct materialist and even transhumanist outlook in that video. Quite a sensible worldview for us out here in reality, I'd say.

On the other hand, Applejack knows truths about her world that are very much not true in ours. While her beliefs don't survive under the scrutiny of the facts we have about our world, they're sensible for her to hold given what she knows about death and the afterlife in her own.

Just don't get a character believing something silly to mean I think you should too. I'm just trying to write about these characters as authentically as I can.


Gotta watch out for the pitfall of mistaking a character's opinion for author opinion. What matters is that the character with their background authentically believes it.

Oh no, I don’t mean to imply that a character’s opinion is your own.

Well this is something. Something good. :D
I'm already curious what kinds of ridiculously op secrets the others are gonna have.
It feels like the only way to trump a beginning this grand would be to get something on the level of the Rainbow Factory involved. xD

Well if you're arguing with her then I suppose that's fine. That's just not what most commenters have typically meant to do when they say things on my stories like you did. My bad.

T’ain’t no harm done, Sweetums.

You now have my attention! Need to read more!


Amen. Down with death, up with life!

I'm guessing Fluttershy is death, if only because of the impact this story had on me.

(Pinkie is, of course, the devil)

No, she's obviously a vampire. Probably uses the Bram stoker ruleset. Those don't burn in sunlight. Or sparkle :shudders: :pinkiesick:

Good job not divulging anything Celestia told you, Twi. Good thing it turned out to be somepony who knew, not that you knew that at the time.

Nah, it would make her Applejack's boss. Not healthy for a friendship, and she did say none of her friends know about it, so she can't be.

Awaiting anxiously for more :pinkiehappy:


But they do lose most of their superhuman powers.


Oh yes, I forgot that. But if none of Applejack's friends know, and she's Twilight's guide through the underworld, presumably then they can't meet any of the other members of the Mane Six there. Which would seem to require this to be a multi-arc story, with this being the "immortality and Applejack" arc.

Well, color me interested.

This looks interesting! I will see where it goes.

What can the harvest hope for, if not the care of the reaper mare?

Fascinating to see the mechanics of this particular afterlife... though it does raise the question of where souls go when the psychopomps are there to escort them. I suspect we'll fond out soon.

So can I assume all the main 6 are hidng a big secret?

I could use the time while we walk to prepare my spells.

Silly wizard, you need more time than that to prepare spells.

Twilight dodged a bullet there.

I couldn't help but think of Our Town (the play, not Starlight's cult). At least those wraiths aren't stuck in chairs facing front indefinitely....

Does this mean if nopony take Applejack's place, she would be around a lot longer than normal ponies? Sounds like a good news for Twilight (if she manage to get hold of immortality).

 “Skagh! Thegh! Kavagh!”

Ha! i0.kym-cdn.com/entries/icons/original/000/017/204/CaptainAmerica1_zps8c295f96.JPG

Also, as a minor nitpick, the S in the beginning of that wasn't included in the italics. Figured you'd like to know.

New type of magic involving departed souls that couldn't be found... Necromancy? That'd be a pretty dark origin story for a species.

Joke's on you, I don't have Friends.

The way these reaper ponies work reminds me a lot of one of my favorite shows, Dead Like Me.

Of course, we couldn't have a Starscribe story without humans appearing somewhere! :trollestia:

“No.” He chuckled. “I’m just old. I’ve carried many on my boat. The age of gold and harmony, of silver and discord, of bronze and war. Fair Peleus sat where you now rest in the age of heroes.”

I love how you have integrated this character into the story.

“Not from her.” Charon’s navigation became a little more forceful as he pushed them along with his stick. “For her. The days of life are given to men to labor. Then cometh the night of darkness, wherein there can be no labor performed. Let’s just say between us that I keep my ear to these things. I know when a mortal’s schedule comes due. Like all those who serve, I cannot interfere, not even indirectly. I could not suggest to you, for instance, that I greatly admire an artist and I fear for her safety in her most recent endeavor. I could never tell you to take measures to change her course, lest she find herself riding my boat. I could never tell you those things, because doing so would be a great breach of professional courtesy. Yet, I think it would be a tremendous advantage for someone to say such things, in order to prevent a great tragedy from prematurely ending the career of one so talented.”

Pfffft.... Wow. Even the ferryman of the afterlife recognizes Rarity's talents. Nice subtlety there, Charon.:raritystarry::raritywink::facehoof:

So Charon is Rarity's secret admirer? Wonder how she would react to this news?

Ooh, so it's maybe just Applejack who's directly connected to the underworld (or at least this stage), and the story's going to continue after Twilight's return to delve into the rest, starting with saving Rarity's immaculate hide?:raritystarry:

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