• Member Since 22nd Mar, 2013
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So list' bonnie laddie, and come awa' wit' me.

Comments ( 196 )

Aww shit, this is happening. Welcome to the published world of Fimfiction.

I've got a ton of stories about Sunset to read, but I'll be sure to get to this when that schedule has freed up.

Good luck, and congratulations!

Really awesome to see a "1" underneath Stories. Scarletpone is a delight.

!!! literally giggling with excitement and happiness right now

This is amazing, Scarlet! Your characters are amusing and relatable, and your writing style reminds me of a fusion of Lemony Snicket and Douglas Adams, with brilliance that's all your own. Can't wait for Chapter 2... your writing is fantastic!

Really strong start. The prose is beautiful and the characters are captivating.

But more than that, I love how this story seems to be a celebration and a deconstruction of all that Clocktower is. Seeing small references to other parts of the society from other fics adds a nice little continuity, continuity that I feel is necessary to really understand the gravity of the crime committed.

I think that's the most interesting part of this - the nature of the crime. It's one that, had I no information about Clocktower, would have thought of as "not good but seems like a bigger deal than it is."

Having read the other Clocktower fics and gotten into the lore, however, I found my blood chilling just like that of the other members'. And I think it's incredible that you've managed to construct a crime that seems mundane on the surface but deeply horrifying to those with context. Definitely looking forward to more.


But more than that, I love how this story seems to be a celebration and a deconstruction of all that Clocktower is. Seeing small references to other parts of the society from other fics adds a nice little continuity, continuity that I feel is necessary to really understand the gravity of the crime committed.

I never thought about it that way, but I guess you could say that on some level this is a deconstruction of CTS. Not in the traditional this-is-a-dumb-idea sense, though. More... it's a story about the blind spots it has, and the strangeness of it.

There is a certain outsider's perspective on it that I appreciate and feel like I haven't seen before, which is odd since a few of the CTS stories are actually about someone's first time in the Society. But I guess this is different since it's from the perspective of someone who's inside the Society yet outside of its mindset, as it were. So they can properly point out the strangeness of it.


Not for what happened of course, but so glad to see this up!

Wonder if this will connect to BB's little problem at any point?

Also, the accountant in me is gnawing at the comment about mortgage backed securities, but I suspect NO BODY wants to hear that rant! :pinkiecrazy:

Kids ask your parents about the 2008 recession and the housing bubble.

That's definitely part of it. Scarlet Letter is strange enough herself to love and appreciate the Society, but prickly and nitpicky enough to play a straight man to it.

That said, this story's really not just about CTS. It's about... a lot of things. But mostly it's a howdunnit.

Yeah, short version is that it was a LOT of fraud behind most of it, and nobody gets a proper jail cell.

This is why fictional mysteries are usually more satisfying!


or in the case of the metafiction of this story, Short Stock has written the Equestrian equivalents of both Liar's Poker and The Big Short, but they're speculative fiction rather than gonzo journalism.

If you ever want to get frothing mad, try The Spider Network.


Gonna be that guy and point out it looks highly like there are boobs on them there mares. That don't look a bit like any anthro I've ever seen.

That said, it sounds, uh, interesting, with some solid names of writers who've written things I enjoy. See,s a solid enough reason to give it a try when I've got a bit more time available to read, and mysteries are always nice reads.

*squeals in glee*

I'm so hyped to read this... once the next chapter is posted, at the soonest. Hopefully this'll be finished before too long and I can binge read it and it'll affect my writing style like so many other of its ilk!


Probably because it's not an anthro drawing ^^;

Thanks for the vote of confidence though!

Well, this has been an enjoyable start to my real introduction to The Clockwork Society. The underlying mystery has been set up as interesting and should be a good way of exploring the place as well as those who frequent it. I'm enjoying the characters so far, and it's felt like the distinctions between when they're in and out of scene have accelerated the process of coloring in some lines.

Congrats on getting your first story out; I'll look forward to the updates!

*clicks the favorite button*

"were puzzles too intricate puzzles , personalized"
"were puzzles too; intricate puzzles, personalized"?

"Perique.. Perique oh my"
"." or "..."?

Well, this is interesting. Definitely upvoting and planning to check the next chapter, though I'm not sure yet if it's enough to my taste to read the whole thing.


No no, I mean it looks like it's meant to be an anthro drawing, cause the artwork has boobs on their chests. Not quite anatomically correct, if you get what I'm saying.

And you're welcome, I'll have to leave a comment once I get around to reading it here in the next few days.

It probably would be labeled one on Derpibooru. Anthro, I mean.

Those are often the most interesting. You can do "Ha-Ha point and laugh" pics and stories about anything, and churn them out quickly, because you don't need to understand much of what you're working with to do that. That's why we had a flood of Movie-movies, cheap and dumb and stupid, when the first Scary Movie was relatively clever and (more importantly) knew what it was talking about.

Is it anthro or not? I have to know before I start reading.

Conjure the Meeting club—no that wasn't until Friday


You definitely have me intrigued. I'm passingly familiar with Clocktower Society. I look forward to see what you do with it.

Look at the tags AND the cover art and you'll get your answer.

I'd go so far to suggest that, because the characters are slouched on a chair, what you perceive to be breasts are likely bunched up chest muscles and/or floof.

It is not Anthro. Nor are those designs particularly anthro, imo. Unless 'anthro' means 'deliberately humanizing minor elements of a character design to be more expressive'.


okay probably not that.


I'd go so far to suggest that, because the characters are slouched on a chair, what you perceive to be breasts are likely bunched up chest muscles and/or floof.

Are you alright? Those are definitely breasts. But there’s no anthro tag. The Author should clarify in the description whether it’s anthro or just an inaccurate image.

Chest boobs are enough usually. However, I was wrong, this is not tagged Anthro in DP. However however, the first comment already is about how it should be! :rainbowlaugh:

I literally just clarified for you that it is not.

Considering this is a pony fic an not anthro, they're not breasts. Pony teats are located much lower, and I know that for a fact, so calling them breasts when they're not on the chest in the first place is inaccurate. There's a reason people often call them 'crotchboobs'.

I posted it before I reloaded the page :twilightoops:

I see your point, but for me it’s not a horse if she has chest breasts.

I'm not familiar with The Clocktower Society universe, but your introduction was good enough that I didn't feel lost. Just that the number of patrons seemed a bit... excessive? Could have guessed that your first story would be a kinky one.

The writing was good, but I'd be wary of purple prose. For instance.

She dragged herself out of bed with protestations and set about the task of making ready for the day.

I must say i am honestly excited for this story and personally love Scarlet.

What if Blueblood blackmail case and Clocktower Crime are somehow connected? That would be an interesting twist, I think.

Where did you get that image from ?

The image was created for this story by Manifest Harmony.

This is the one chapter I've finished so far that I haven't had Mr. Numbers hit.

He murdered the rest of that with fire.

I'm sorry this didn't work for you, but I've had mixed reactions to the overall format of the first chapter. I'd say things pick up from here, but honestly, I'll let you be the judge of that. We're into the actual investigation of crimes by next chapter.

What Silent said! Manifest Harmony's awesome and she was kind enough to do a custom cover for my story after I let her know what my plans were.

If there's a page, I'm not sure. This is an image that was created for the story. Mani just sent me the image over Discord.

I did link to Manifest Harmony's user page already in the story's long description. You can absolutely ask her, if you're interested.


Your story most definitely is not anthro, but that cover art sure as damn well is. Your friend needs to learn a bit more about anatomy and ponies if they intended to draw actual ponies, and then you'd have to make certain not to run afoul of the nsfw rules we have here. But, as it stands, the artwork does say there is some measure of anthro present.

For the story itself, it's an okay introduction. You do wane on the purple prose a few times, and it's a pinch slow, but it does hold promise. I just hope you follow this mystery as the focus moreso than letting yourself get dredged down in mature content that doesn't add to the plot of the story. Time will tell how you balance things, but again, promising.

I mean, apparently y'all's understanding of "anthro" and mine are very different degrees. I did not get that read from Mani's art at all ^^

We'll see indeed.


A single piece of human anatomy on a pony = no long pony Scarlet, even if it's just a minute amount. By the technical view, it's an anthro piece, although admittedly mostly 'animal' in this case. Equines have their breasts/teats on the lower belly / groin area, not the upper chest.

Eh. I read what you're seeing as breasts as stylization/very minor embellishments. Either way it's not reflective of the content of my story, so I'd appreciate it if we'd drop this.

Alright, new CTS fic, and new chance to fles the commentary muscles and see what we've got, so far it seems to be doing really, really well and getting a lot of praise (nope not leajous at all at how fast and how much you are getting nope not at all. :applejackconfused::derpytongue2:) So, let's see what we got!

Chapter 1: In Which a Crime is Announced

Ohhh I wonder what's going to happen in this chapter? :derpytongue2:

perpetually unkempt, the enemy of every groomer and stylist in the land as well as many brushes.

Hey now, maybe AN enemy, but it can't be worse then THE enemy of all attempts at grooming, logic, sanity, and brushing that is Pinkie Pie's Methinks this client is a bit of an uptight prick more concerned with 'appearance' then fact or ability.

Her cutie mark is apparently unrelated to her profession, and appears to be a bright gold butterfly alighted on the edge of an open novel with a rose growing from the page.

"Appears" Given you have no idea what it means, and just how symbolic Cutie Marks can be, yup not liking this guy and definitely seeming way to uptight and unthinking. Just get creative. Now, technically the story hasn't told us what her actual profession is within the text, but that genre and the intro on the title page are enough to know that and so connect things. So, detective of some flavor or another. Open novel, you mean, an 'open book' potentially related to her about to read ponies/situations like one, the flower, there are any number of things a growing flower could symbolize, growth, life, beauty, with roses carrying any number of added symbology to them. Could be her ability to grow her ideas and to take what she finds in the open books she can read and from that grow her ideas. Then the butterfly, again, a huge symbol, change, growth, peace, or might be more a 'Butterfly Effect' reference and how she's that tiny little butterfly wing flap that comes in and changes everything planned through finding the truth and investigating etc...

There are any number of ways that mark might be able to be applied to her profession. Or... it's not at all, and she's just doing this because she likes it and is good at it, with her mark being for something only tangentially related, like Pinkie Pie being a baker when her Cutie Mark is for throwing parties.

. Her voice is a bit deeper than expected for such a small mare.

Scarlet, Manifest harmony, Songbird, one of the less advertised kinks prevalent in the Society works, everyone loves them some tiny mares.

Winces in bright light.

Hmmm, Hinting at Bat-Pony ancestry, or just, general light sensitivity for one reason or another? Secondly, going to be a major point in the story, or just a fun little quirk for her?

In short: not a favorable first impression.

What a coincidence, that's my first impression of this client as well. Yeah, stuffed up, to concerned with appearance idiot.

Scarlet Letter's opinion of her client's description: "This is why I prefer to work by correspondence."

Can't blame her with that one.

Okay, conflicted about this opening, it's does a good job of giving us a look at Scarlet, but in a very very 'Tell don't show' method that simply lays out her looks and personality quirks directly, telling us what they are, while also not really being part of the story, it's an insert that simply tells the info, and could be seemingly excised without really messing with anything, it stands out and is to clearly there just to tell the readers information as directly as possible. What it's telling is fine, but having it here like this... it works for what it's meant for, and being at the front doesn't really interfere with the pacing or flow much since it's getting right into things. But, it also feels like these should be things that are worked into the story itself. It's a way to get this information out, but, one I'd recommend avoiding and that feels to artificial for a story, but that's is a preference thing. Really this could be replaced by a picture of her and work much better, then just work those few action quirks into things.

That said, for what it is, it does it really well, gives us a good look, and does what is there for well. But what makes me not really mind it and more a "ehhhh I wouldn't but it works" and liking this more is this last line, because that is doing it better, showing us her thoughts her personality. Giving us a natural look at her through her she reacts and respond to things. Just that line tells a lot more about her as a pony then the base physical descriptors given. And just from the line, I like her, snarky, exasperated, fed up and not wanting to deal with this, definitely giving off a good vibe to me and making me want to see more just from that. So yeah it does a good job overall, but still feels a bit tacked on for the sake of exposition and standing out of the story. Telling stuff that should have just been worked into the story proper more naturally. But it's entertaining enough to not really mind much.

was a series of challenges to overcome and puzzles to solve when you reduced it down to its base elements.

Not an inaccurate statement, but also one that instantly says so much about her and her mindset. Now, how does this tie into her Cutie mark... Still, this, in one line, does an amazing job at conveying a ton about what to expect, her mindset, what type of pony she is. Intelligent, focused on that intellect, seeking out problems just for the thrill of solving them, trying to pare down things to the simplest level and solve them. It instantly sets up her overall archetype well.

the ones you encountered so often that solving them no longer resulted in a sense of satisfaction.

And further emphasized here. Making clear this is a case of doing this for the thrill of the challenge, and wanting to be tested, wanting to struggle, to have to figure it out. Doing this for the thrill of winning and solving the puzzle. But also easily bored by those things that don't challenge her. Kind of a mid point between Twilight and RD.

At this point the act of convincing herself was so time-consuming a task it nearly drove her further under the covers.

I so feel you there.. morning's suck. This also shows a break from the general archetype in that she might like puzzles, but she isn't a regimented, stuck in a schedule, everything must be precise type either. But also keeping with that whole theme of simply, living for challenge. A very common issue at times among certain types, that simple things that really do need to be done simply don't feel challenging or rewarding enough and so, personal care can slip. BUT she also knows this and is at least pushing herself to keep it up, isn't just being self destructively 'Rick' about it. So yeah, just from this one paragraph, I'm already loving the character and relating to her so well. Seeing how she plays into things , and eager to see how her need for a challenge will play out here. Just, yeah, this is damn good.

Still, it was Tuesday,

I am so going to end up making a 'but for me? it was Tuesday" joke at some point, aren't I?

Tuesdays were always a little bit easier to wake up for.

Well, obviously something special happens on Tuesdays, given the base idea of the story, and where it's set, guessing that's her usual CTS day. Time to go get fucked! Or in this case, do something even more fun!

kicking her nice, warm blanket halfway across the room.

Yeah.. that is effective. Still, again, nice to see the internal debate going and showed so well. between wanting a challenge and only really being excited by that thrill, and knowing she has to take care of the normal stuff as well.

expedient solution:

Mmmm, nice repetition, and.. yeah I'm going to start repeating myself about this showing what she's like. But, showing her thoughts this way, seeing things in that light, it's good showing to back up what we were told. It feels natural for her and works very well to get the story into the right tone for a mindset of seeing things as puzzles, and her always striving for the best solution.

She could do, and had done, this relatively elaborate task in her sleep.

Sleep coffee making? There is.. something just, kind of both perverse, and also ironically perfect about performing an action in your sleep, that's main purpose is to wake you up.

Move the box of expired cereal she had forgotten to throw out.

Ewwww. But at the same point another nice little detail. Yes she TRIES to keep things going, knows she needs to do the little things that aren't a challenge, but doesn't mean she'll be perfect at it, and this shows just how out of it she can be. So, yeah forming a very nice balance there and doing so much to give us a good feel for her. And yes, I am loving her more and more from all this.

Find the tea chest.

Wait, you said 'morning brew' I mean yes, you do 'brew' tea as well but, that is an odd phrasing, almsot never hear 'brew' used as a noun for anything except coffee, and sometime beer. It does work equally well for both, just, never really heard it for Tea, usually see 'Morning Cup" or something, or just Tea. Yes it doesn't matter, but this what you get for wanting stream of consciousness replies and commentary. Now take your Comment bukkake. :derpytongue2:

Lift teacup to lips and—

Burn lips and tongue because you went right to drinking without the checking the temperature stage first? Or blowing on it?

Though, given her, I could buy that she has it timed JUST right so that the leaves steep just long enough for the water to cool to the right temp.

Granted, that would depend on a steady ambient temperature in the house as that would be what determined how fast the tea was able to deposit excess thermal energy into the air.

If the morning 'fwoomph' was going to be so inconsiderate as to be early, it would simply have to wait until her timetable found it convenient. It said on her flier that she kept her own hours, and she had meant that, damn it.

Hmmm first thought was 'morning paper being thrown at her door' but doesn't fit with this, and that nose, kind of setting off a 'fire' vibe, but she'd be so used to this that she has a way to receive dragonfire mail? She did say she prefers to work her cases by correspondence, and having that would make it easier, but just brings up the question of how. Maybe some other thing related to it? Still, it's clearly something routine enough she can ignore it, expect it but not care enough to really look. Then add in this last bit, so not something really regular, but rather someone looking to hire her? Given the keeps her own hours, it again shows a good bit of her personality well. She is doing this because she enjoys it, because of the reward of solving the challenge, but as such, isn't really that professional about things. Which I love that type, get shit done because they are just that good, screw having to keep up 'appearances'. Just again, this scene is doing so much to set her up and convey her personality so well and I am loving both it and her.

all right need to not go THIS far into every single thing if I ever want this done..... still, stop being so awesome! :derpytongue2:

To think though—publically traded companies selling financial products backed by mortgages? What utter insanity! No regulatory agency in Equestria would have ever allowed the scheme to get started.

Ehhh, can't say I like this at all. It's funny, and a great little nod to Ponies just being smarter, and love making clear it's fiction and no, Equestria isn't that fucked up.

However, at the same time, even as fiction it's... it just doesn't make much sense, it's pushing IRL stuff into the setting for the reference alone, and not really making it make sense in context. We've never seen anything like a stock market, no mention of anything like that sort of financial system, let alone a massive mortgage industry. Granted we don't see much of Equestria's economy at all, but that sort of stuff, on the scale it would be needed, is something even in the bizarre schizo tech of Equestria, isn't anywhere near the level needed to exist. Minor gripe yes, but still, doesn't work for me.

"Miss L., last night during our weekly bridge game, someone slipped poison joke into my aunt's tea"

:rainbowlaugh: So, a very put upon Private Eye, stuck doing so many menial tasks that are needed to pay the bills, but so boring and simple, what's the point?

She needs to go have some drinks with Harry Dresden so they can swap stories about that. Granted, Dresden would likely win on the topic of "Case that ended up with the widest reaching effects on the entire world" game. But those only show up about once a year... usually around his birthday. (helps it's on All Hallow's Eve.)

And that meant writing letter after letter patiently explaining that you were an official consultant specializing in fraud but willing to dabble outside it, not a private investigator willing to stalk someone's spouse.

Oh... not a private eye. Same idea, but looking JUST at fraud cases.. guess there is likely more chance of things being interesting there, and taking more effort to find. Plus being bored enough to take other things. Still, gotta like having great word of mouth. And bet you are great at some of those cases as well. Still, interesting idea and direction to take things, CLOSE, but just different enough to have a few new twists, though wonder if they will matter much or she'll just be playing regular private eye?

Also still want an explanation for how the 'fwoosh' works.....

Scarlet's living room was a wreck, as usual.

Seriously, she needs to meet Dresden!

and the bronze statue of a dragon in the corner badly needed polishing.

Okay, so this is the 'fwoosh' thing, but, how? Where do they get the dragonfire for it? how does it work? Why aren't these more prevalent?

She recognized this one as being House Blueblood's which was something of a relief.

Add this to the 'phrases i never thought would ever appear in a pony fic.' list.

She'd used the proceeds from the last one to buy the very magic-mail statute this letter arrived via.

Okay, so.. is this a new thing? Do they have direct access? It's it a new postal service? Do they just, send it out normal and the post office sends it to them? Does it only receive? Seriously, I really want to know how this thing works!

A simple case of blackmail

For or against? Can't really be sure with him, though I'm guessing against since she doesn't seem the type to deal in 'for'.

photos would be leaked to the press of him in a rather compromising position, which Scarlet assumed meant that photos had been taken with the escort on top this time.

Hehehehehehehehehe, given he's taking remedial classes when Twi is there, how bad has he fucked up at times to need to do this stuff outside the Society?

but that was because for all his good points he was never any good at understanding how ponies thought.

:rainbowhuh: Ummm..... rich and pays his bills on time? That's about... all I can think of, maybe add 'rarely wastes her time' to her own personal list of those? Yeah he's a self absorbed moron that can't give a buck about anypony but himself, that part I can agree with.

At their core, ponies were puzzles too intricate puzzles , personalized to each mare and stallion, but puzzles nonetheless.

And of course she would think this way, but does make sense for her. Though question how this ties into the story, or just for set up of how she thinks this stuff through?

Also, some odd comma-ing here.

it was easy to build a model for how they would act—or react.

In general, maybe, but they can always surprise you, thinking beings are always the ultimate variable you can never truly fully solve for. Also at least she keeps the 'personalized' bit that is a nice touch and keeps her from sliding into being to detached and just treating everyone like they were the same mindless sheep or something. Keeping them as ponies as well, not JUST puzzles.

There was a sudden 'fwoomph' as it sent out a small jet of green flame from its jaws which consumed the paper completely.

Okay, so it goes both ways.. does it need a recharge of dragon fire now and then? What tells it where to go?

Seriously, I am so hung up over wanting to know how this works! That is the big mystery for me right now.

Was it her day to take the afternoon shift at Quills and Sofas—no, she had been let go the week before after arguing with the owner about prices.

So, not so good if she has to take part time jobs to help pay the bills on top of her work... either she does not get paid much, or she realy needs to be less picky about her cases... but she just said she has three either active, or recently finished, and just got another she said would be easy.... how bad is her business then if she needs the extra cash?

Also, we are just a Zombie T-Rex ride through downtown Chicoltgo from her being pony-Dresden. Oh, and a few destroyed buildings.

Also saying they were to high, or to low? And, she worked out a formula the 'solved' what the exact perfect price was to generate the highest profits based on number of sales and price per sale, didn't she?

Conjure the Meeting club—no that wasn't until Friday.

Not sure if she is conjuring a special club... or more likely, it's a take on "Mage the Awakening" and other WoD type things.

What was special about today?

Good question, if it was major enough for it to make it easier to get out of bed, her suddenly not remembering, after making such a big deal about it is, very odd. I get it's pointing to her being a bit unfocused when not dealing with a puzzle but, it feels really really off to ply it like this.

and rebuilt her Conjure deck a few dozen times before sleeving it up for the end of the week.

Wait, so it's more like..... :facehoof: Magic the Gathering..... yeah I get it now. Though the two terms don't map well, or as well as they could. 'Conjure' is a verb only so, the phrase is saying they are conjuring the meeting. Magic, is an actual thing. So it makes more sense. Maybe, "Cunjuration the Meeting"? Or, to keep the two syllable "Arcana the Meeting"?

She had even found time to let Blueblood know how to deal with his little extortion problem.

"Stop having people over when you do shit you don't want them to know about"?

She could do charming sometimes, but it was hard and it always felt forced and strange and never lasted.

Very much not a sociable Pony it seems. And yeah, dealing with them IRl can be rough. Granted being a shut-in isn't all that good either.

No. This was not good. She had one job.

Well, plus her consulting business, and whatever part time job she had on the side, she seems to have many jobs.

Perique meant making everything perfect. If it was not perfect Perique might not be happy and unhappy Perique would be the worst thing in history.

And suddenly the rational, stable, in control pony goes full melodrama!

Sweeping? She had swept the—no, that was last Tuesday she had done that. Cleaning up the books—

Okay, for a pony like her and everything built up already, this feels.... really really off. If she knows this, and it freaks her out THIS much, wouldn't it have been something she'd at least have been telling herself more often? Is she meant to be THAT Scatterbrained? Just, the level of despair and fear and worry and stress this is causing, seems out of proportion to how out of nowhere this comes and her lack of even remembering this was happening until she shows up at the door. Worry over it sure, but this level of near full on panic attack seems very excessive for how little it seemed to matter at all until this moment.

Why was she such a bad pony? She had one job, one simple job. How could she make up for this? She couldn't. She'd apologize. Or something. No that would be no good.

More of the above, it's just beating in this point, and yet, making me ask, why didn't this come up with all the other stuff she was thinking about over the day? Is this an order from her Mistress that she does it? Why was this her job? Is it really something Perique wants, or just Scarlet freaking out over nothing? Just, instantly get into full on confusion here by how over the top she's acting.

There were no solutions left, only screaming panic and crisis. Maybe honorable suicide—but then Perique would be sad so that would also be a terrible solution. It was over life was over she was going to be so disappointed and oh no hoofsteps were getting closer and—

See above, been there, said that, feels to extreme a shift. However, other point, you already made clear her 'office/living room' was a mess, so, why be worried about Perique coming into the bedroom and seeing a mess, when the living room she just passed through was one already and so she'd already see the mess to be disappointed by?

Some notes on Perique Blend the batpony, as made by Scarlet Letter:

Okay, so this is going to be a thing then? It does feel kind of out of place. Like a movie that freeze frames every time a new character shows up to give their name and bio, it can work in the right genre and with the right tone of movie. But, like this is just, feels odd and stops the action of the scene.

and if asked to choose between her and Luna as princess of the night I'd indict myself for treason.

Poetic, and telling us pretty much nothing except how utterly, totally, and fully devoted to her Scarlett is, which we could gather from her already over the top reaction to the thought of the slightest hint of disappointing her. Scarlet's insert at least gave details on Scarlet that it's good to know, here all we get is she's a batpony, and that Scarlet will exaggerate the hell out of how great every little detail is. When we can see how she feels already. It's just, a bit much to stop the story, just to wax poetic about things that are clear already. Also, guessing she's definitely Scarlett's Dom.

"Shhhh. Sshhhh. Calm thyself, little one,"

Oooookay... Can certainly tell she's a Cynewulf character. I mean, I know I tend to slip Luna into old high Equish more then she really should, but just casually coming from a regular pony like this as their main form of speech feels really weird.

And called her little one. Perique was calling her little one. With a sigh of relief she pressed herself against the batpony. "T-thank you. M'sorry. I'll be okay."

Definitely a mistress, and, not really able to say I'm liking their dynamic much right off the bat. i LOVED everything that was built up about Scarlett so far, the nuance, the intelligence, the drives, the.. everything, it was amazing and made her really work and wanted to see more of her.

This is a wholly different character with none of those traits, just, a pure blob of submission with nothing of herself there. And yes I get putting aside aspects of yourself, in letting go, in being a different pony in Society play type situations, that it can be the appeal. But this is just such a huge, sudden shift it feels really jarring, and, even then it would work and could be fine but so far.... I just don't really like this version of her. She's not engaging or entertaining, just a fully passive, barely articulating, overly nervous wreck. There is, nothing to her except mindless service. And yes, again I get that is a point and is something many in the Society go for, but it's just how fast she went there, simply being near her, and how over the top it is, when they aren't even doing anything like that.

She's smart, she solves puzzles, she looks for the solutions to things, why not keep that? But devote it to solving the puzzle of 'how to please Perique'. Or have her gradually slip into this mindset as the night goes on. It's not, in and of itself, the idea of it that is wrong, it's how fast it changed, how drastic she changed, and how, over done it feels. It's like you just slammed the character from fourth gear, right into reverse, it's really grinding more then a few gears and making things really shaky.

Going to maybe skip line by line for a bit to avoid just repeating the same things for now, will just pop up overall thoughts after these scenes.

with the clouds needed for the great storm over in south Canterlot."

Or not given this but.... wait isn't she IN Canterlot? How huge are we claiming this city is given it's all on the side of a mountain, that there could be a 'great storm' over one portion, but the rest be totally clear skies? Why would you do the in the first place?

"My judgment is sometimes correct in these cases," Scarlet interrupted, pressing herself close to her marefriend and nuzzling her.

Okay, see this... THIS is good, this is showing a nice, clear relationship that keeps Scarlett feeling like the same character and interesting. This was more how things needed to be, the above, there is showing rather then telling, that was using a laser to sear the image onto your retina.

it's just that I feel like the undercover policemen thing is going to get really confusing and it's probably not worth including just to reference The Mare who was Thursday

:rainbowlaugh: I have no idea what they are talking about but I LOVE IT! Just, so many stories fall into this trap, going to far out of the way to make a reference....... and when I started writing this sentence I was not even thinking about the above stock market thing but it does kind of fit for me, though minor..... but end up just breaking the story trying to do so.

Scarlet felt her cheeks flush as Perique leaned over to nibble the tip of one of her ears. It was all she could do to remain upright instead of falling to the ground and asking her marefriend to please take care of her right then and there, on a dirt lane by the edge of Whitetail Woods.

Ehhh this just feels, to quick, no build up to her feeling like this, no real, getting into her head, feeling what she is, just, telling it. Can't say I'm a huge fan. The nibble is cute, and I get how that would work, and the actions make sense, it's just all coming out of seemingly nowhere. So, shorter version, needs more buildup and more sowing us how Scarlet is feeling to have this flow better.

Second, okay so, she doesn't live i Canterlot but in Ponyville then? Though, why specify 'South Canterlot' then for the storm? Above the question of why would there be a storm over only one area of the city like that.

"Thou'rt thinking of asking me to take thee right here, on the edge of the woods, little one," Perique whispered into Scarlet's ear with a low growl.

Sudden Starsong/Luna images spring to mind. Starsong is just as good at reading Luna. :twilightsmile:

Scarlet grinned sheepishly. "Um... guess who completely forgot her collar in the aftercare room last time we were at the Society?"

That came fully out of nowhere, when was she ever trying to remember something that would bring that up? It just, comes off as a massive non sequitur.

"Y-yesmama," Scarlet mumbled, just a bit louder.

"There's a good girl. Now stay close and don't wander off. Tonight, thou and I shall enjoy all the pleasures."


okay, the mama bit is cute.

But still just, not really getting the dynamic between these two, I don't feel any chemistry, emotion, connection. Beyond Scarlett being almsot obsessively devoted, I don't really see anything here as far as a relationship goes. The stuff about talking over her story ideas, that was nice, that showed two ponies bonding, talking, relating. That was good, and really started to show a connection, mutual respect, understanding, Scarlet using her intellect and feeling like the pony we saw at first. The story could use more of that to build things up, rather then just, slightly over the top 'mindless submissive' mode unless it's time to bring that out, and you've already established their bond.

Big. Almost too big. It's a miracle the club is still even remotely secret.

Can't deny that one at all. Pretty much had to go with "it's mostly just because everypony finds it being secret such a thrill' more then anything else.

I think half of Ponyville is secretly a member.

WAY more then that, though this one Mani does mostly justify with it being a place a LOT of Members move to, just to be close to the Tower, so tends to have a much higher amount then other places. But that just makes it staying a secret i the town all the odder given how many there are and how many more chances from something to seem odd or things to slip.

:facehoof: I just realized the story already pretty much said she lived in Ponyville during the opening, talking about working in Ponyville stores.....

. Actually, I'm pretty sure half the population of Canterlot are members. At least, all the rich ponies with time on their hooves are.

This is less easy to justify, doubly so because, just by being 'rich' what does that get them and why would that matter?

I can't decide whether this is too much of a good thing or the best thing I've ever encountered.


This place was built by the kind of ponies who don't understand what "overkill" means,

No, they are just firm believers in Maxim 37

MAXIM 37: There is no "overkill." There is only "open fire" and "reload."

Allllso in Maxim 14.........

MAXIM 14: "Mad science" means never stopping to ask "what's the worst thing that could happen?"

And since I've been here, not one pony has told me I'm an annoyance, or a mess, or disgusting. When I can't look somepony in the eye, the worst they've done is turn it into an excuse to play out the scene a bit more. I'm not the strange pony here. I'm... normal.

I.. I just.... this is......this.. Scarlett... writer Scarlett, story, whatever this is just.....:pinkiesad2: Liquid Pride, yeah legit liquid pride here, this is just... just so beautiful, and perfect, and amazing and just such a simple, clear, moving, and perfect explanation and example of just why CTS is so wonderful, and important, and what it means to so many, WHY it means so much. Yes the kinky, kinky sex is big, and fun, and certainly a major reason, but it's more then that. This.. this right here, THIS is the heart of the Society, what it is TRULY about. Acceptance, welcoming, allowing ponies to be themselves with no fear of judgement, scorn, ridicule. Not just for their kinks, not just for being into odd things but, just for, being who you are.

I'm going to need a few minutes.. this is just.. beyond an 'all the feels' this was just so.. so amazingly beautifully worded, not just for the Society, but also for Scarlett, for her feeling that acceptance, the welcome and having a place that, that she can fit in, just how much it clearly means to her, to many like her... okay, need to go ummm.. ummmm... yeah just need to go..get in a better mindset to do more of this, damn just.. just, right out of nowhere and... thank you, thank you for this bit.

In retrospect, I'm not sure if that says more about the ponies who built this place, or me.

It says much about both, and all of it amazing.

Okay, stopping here for that and just.. just.. wow.. will finish tomorrow..... that was amazing.

So far, I am loving Scarlett, when she's Scarlett, the story did so well setting her up, not a huge fan of the interactions between her and Perique and how she acted there because, well all the above, it felt to over the top, and also to different to quick with little really getting in her head and making this feel natural, with to huge a shift, but see how that goes once they are in the society and in full master/pet mode.

Then that ending bit above and just.. just... wow!

So yeah, really looking froward to finishing this tomorrow.


So far, I am loving Scarlett, when she's Scarlett, the story did so well setting her up, not a huge fan of the interactions between her and Perique and how she acted there because, well all the above, it felt to over the top, and also to different to quick with little really getting in her head and making this feel natural, with to huge a shift, but see how that goes once they are in the society and in full master/pet mode.

So I'm just gonna break this one little bit down here: this is how character writing is. This is what happens when people behave differently under different contexts while still following the same general underlying motivation. Around Perique, Scarlet plays the role of submissive; in that mindset, the character is the same except for their usual aggression and their thoughts slow down, they become more introspective. The character has layers and depth; they're not changing, you're just seeing another angle of them.

Second this kind of summarises the legibility of the rest of your comment; I'd advise writing less words with more thought put into them, and some basic proofreading. For instance, that quote is a single run-on sentence.

While the sentiments at the end are appreciated, it's actually really selfish to fill a comment section with this much... White noise stream of thought, because it takes up screen real estate from everyone else, it makes this section harder to navigate, and it discourages future commenters because of it. Saying a lot less, with a lot more thought put into it, would count a lot more to the author, and myself as the editor so I know what I'm missing when I look over this in future.

Perique whirled, aghast. "LIttle one, if you do not slow down and wait for me I am going to punish you when we get home—" she called as she took flight, winging her way after Scarlet..

You say that like she would consider getting punished by you a bad thing :moustache:

Scarlet and the Nurse was a good scene.

Ok, this is super interesting. Added it to "Tracking", though it might be added to more of my bookshelves later.

Hmm. The plot thickens. I'm tempted to suspect mind magic of some kind, both to impair Floral in the Borderlands and to convince her to blame herself. Though if that's the case, it's shoddily done stuff, easily falling apart under logical assault. The lack of care in establishing a plausible self-blame scenario didn't either.

I still have many open questions, including Lily the Veiled's tribe. Also, I love the contrast between Scarlet's competence and confidence. Eagerly looking forward to more.

Alright, second half time! let's see how this handles getting into the Society itself.

And Numbers, again, Scarlett has specifically asked for this, and as to the idea of the commentary in general, yes some don't like it, others do. Both authors and readers and this can be quite useful. For proof of that, just read through iisaw's latest fic, The Skyla Pseudonym and look through the comments.

for those truly committed to their kayfabe.

This really is such a great way of explaining Society 'play' in general and keeping the distinctions between what's real and what's play, just.. such a perfect term for it.

Down another and you would reach the Storytellers guild, willing to temporarily implant new memories or personalities for a nominal fee,

1. YAY! Great to see them mentioned officially! Really need to find a way to work this guild into one of the Luna fics.
2. Though that's hardly all they do, or even the core idea of it. It's, from my understanding, more about helping ponies better get into kayfabe, as well as setting up more elaborate role-plays. The above stuff is for the highest level play and mostly downplayed in the wake of the whole Mind Control guild drama that spawned this guild. Would comment on the 'fee' part, but let's not get into the murky, uncertain, no one really understands it issues of internal Society economics.:derpytongue2:

play the frightened prey in the City, running from particularly predatory dominants until they tracked you down and used you to their satisfaction.

Mmmmmmmmmmm, though, not The Boderlands:derpytongue2: But yeah, City works well and is good for showing things off, since it's a lighter type of play then The Ruins etc... Good place to start before working up. (And somewhere, Cadance is glaring at Luna thinking 'you don't say...")

In Scarlet's opinion, all of these were wonderful additions with their own charm but ultimately window dressing.

Oh? So, which kink is she going for? Pet Town? Heading down to the Dragon Dens? Cum Dumps? Or just into being dragged into the middle of some public streets and used?

The best place in the Society was beneath the feet of your mistress, wherever she happened to be at the time.

:raritystarry: Ohhhhh, VERY nice... okay should have seen this one coming and, yeah that is very well done and instantly enjoying Scarlett in full on, in play sub mode. This works so well, fits, and does far more to me to sell Scarlett the Sub then the above stuff did. Just one line the sums it all up perfectly, beautifully, gives us everything we need to know about her mindset, how, why, and to get us into her head quickly. Seriously, these two lines were just BRILLIANT!

It served as a bit of an intermediary ground between a full play area and an aftercare room,

Hmmm, get the idea, not sure if 'aftercare room' would be the best way to put it with what's after, since those have a very specific purpose that these areas aren't really doing at all. Maybe halfway between a full-play and a Green Zone would work better.

In the case of a good little sub like herself, it was also an occasion to show how grateful one could be to her top.

D'awwwwwwwww, again, this I love, it does a great job of setting up the sub mentality, and just what sort of sub she is quickly and efficiently, while being fully presented and clear. Now.. what form will this 'gratitude' be taking?

Scarlet leaned her neck forward and began lapping at Perique's hooves, trying her best not to visibly gag in case her mistress looked down.

Ah hoof worship, that was in the top three for guesses. Not really a big fetish for me, I get some of the appeal, and not a turn off, just, something that's never really done much for me. Doesn't mean I can't find it hot if done right though, it's happened before.

In short: they tasted terrible, and a regular pony would never in a million years take pleasure in cleaning them by tongue.

Well, this is new, and not often something that I see actually brought up when dealing with hoof worship, just how bad it tastes,the issues of what might have been stepped in, all of the more disgusting bits that it really would entail and just seem to be ignored. Definitely an interesting way of taking this, and one that really works, since in doing so, it further emphasis Scarlett's place, makes it an even stronger act of devotion and servitude to do this by emphasizing the more disgusting aspect of it. Really amazing on the kink front. On the personal front.... :pinkiesick: heh.

Perique lifted her left hoof and Scarlet slipped her entire mouth around it.

Hmmmm... *Checks some quick pics* Okay, that's something ponies can fairly easily do.

and Perique being happy was wonderful, and magical, and perfect.

And yes, here, this works for me very well. Maybe the above issues are in part my own preference for keeping a rather firm 'play/not play' division in place.

As if reading her sub's mind,

Did she take lessons from Starsong? Or... you know I bet there is Dom's Only class just for learning how to do this. 20 lashes says Twilight Velvet teaches it.

What's more, despite the voice coming from near her table, it hadn't been Perique's. Something must be wrong.

Ehhh, can see it being rare, but not unheard of. Wanting to just pause things to say something out of character, to make sure both parties are paying attention, suddenly needing to do something OOC, can see plenty of reasons for using it even here, if not for the usual "I need a break" one. Though yes, rarer. But just hearing it alone being odd.. maybe have it be loudly shouted, or at least very forcefully said to make sure it's being directed at everypony, not just a sub calling it for their Dom?

It was about at this moment of coming down suddenly from her obedience high that she realized Perique's hoof was still deep in her mouth, and didn't taste any better than when she had started. She spat it out hastily and gagged, trying to remove the aftertaste from her mouth.

Ohh... OHHHHHHHHHHHHHH I like this, I really REALLY like this, showing that good a change between in play, and out of play Scarlett, having the mindset change that much, but making clear how and why and seeing it happen. Plus her response was pure gold. This was awesome! Just an amazing way to contrast behaviors well.

A den mother interrupting play to make inquiries wasn't just a bit unusual, it was worrying.

Yeah.... very, very worrying, especially in public like this. I mean we all knew something was going to go wrong but still, having it revealed this way... damn. And I like it!


PipSub. Yeah it's odd, but it's patterned after PipBuck after all.

Try as she might, she couldn't remember seeing anypony matching that description.

Once again, I love this. It shows how her mind works, gets us into her head, how she processes information. Showing her breaking it down, correlating, comparing, being highly methodical and direct about it. This is REALLY good headsapce and characterization showing. As well as just being plain interesting to watch. Can almsot see the mental rewind of her playing back the last however long it was, mentally removing ponies that didn't match, the few that were close being highlighted then eliminated one by one.

She fumbled with her society-issue hoofcuffs, easily unclipping them

Hmm, my question would be why? Not sure I get why she'd be focused on that. I get to try and slip out of 'play' mode, but that's more about the collar. The hoofcuffs are mostly just a safety feature to give a secure and safe place to attach restraints. So yeah can see wanting to get out of them before working, but would have though the collar would be the big aspect.

in the Borderlands area


Ohh wait, this means going to be investigating in that region? OHHHH Yes, can't wait to see what you do with it!

She was gagged

Nothing unusual there.

her Pipsub appeared to be malfunctioning.

That's not good....

one of the Torch Legion members found cotton wadding stuffed into her safety bell.

:pinkiegasp: Wait wait that's not big enough...

Ohhhhhhh shit. Yeah that, that is bad and just... holy fuck! I mean figured something like that but still. And yeah it's the sort of thing that only one IN CTS would really understand, that is, like the ultimate violation of EVERYTHING the society stands for, not just the rules, but the very core meaning of everything they are about in the most heinous, fucked up way possible! Well if you want to do major, get that motherbucker mystery with high stakes, but not go full on murder plot.... yeah this is about as big and wrong, and screwed up as you can get.

Is it to late for Luna to call dibs on dealing with this piece of trash when they find him? She would rather like a few... let's say words with him.

Just damn that is one hell of an awesome plot already and can't WAIT to see where this goes!

Scarlet looked at Perique, who had removed her dominant's mask and now looked stricken with terror and far too tense, as if worried about an unseen attacker.

Yeah, just the idea something like THAT could be around them.. ohhh this is going to be not good, and going to be a full on pony-hunt for this bastard. Hopefully before massive panic sets in.

All sexual activity, regardless of the level of intricacy involved, must be safe, sane, and consensual.

And a quick note to explain this.

They are kind of growing on me, felt odd at first but, mostly just that odd. They are working more and more and find myself getting into the idea, it's basically just footnotes, but presented differently then normal. As a fan of Sit Pterry, how can I say no to entertaining footnotes? So yeah liking the idea, just felt odd at first till got in far enough to see how they fit. Plus workout what they essentially really are.

Sane and Safe, however, were a bit more difficult in implementation for such a large organization.

Very true, just look at the above talked of issues with the Mind Control Guild becoming the Storytellers, the impetus for that was a lot of members (*cough* Cadnace *cough*) not feeling MC play was this. Even here, there will be some areas that ponies just don't agree on what is 'too far'.

This was what had led to the development of the society's intricate color-coded collar and mask system,

Ehhhh, the color coding stuff is more about consent then safe or sane, as it's a clear signal of what you are agreeable to and in some cases serves as explicit consent. Now yes, the collar does have a ton of safety features built in. But the coding always felt more Consent based, or just general communication.

but also to the safety bell and pipsub, both of which could be used to communicate when a submissive was unable to speak.

Which yes, safety feature, and the PipSub has a lot of those as well, but never really saw anyway it can help communicate, beyond the health monitor that it can share with the Dom to communicate the subs physical and slight bit of mental state. Very much a safety feature.

Three rings on a tail bell could end a scene as easily as a safeword,

No... Four rings yes, but three wouldn't stop anything, it's the bell code for 'staircase'.

A gagged submissive with a silenced bell was worrying enough in its implications.

That is an understatement.

A gagged submissive with a silenced bell in the Borderlands, where consent was implied unless safewords were invoked, was the stuff of nightmares.

Very, very, VERY much so. Doubly so given I've already established there are a few real fucking assholes that like to hang out there. Not all by any means, and one could hope that in this case, it would be Gregor, one of his Talons, or some other doms like them that would find her and be quick enough to check and make sure things were alright. But some that wouldn't care, and others that, simply might not think to check, or might not read things well, figuring safety bell being silent meant she was fine. So yeah, not in anyway shape or form something good, and pretty much worst case scenario all around.

Scarlet felt the blood begin to drain from her face.

Ummm, this is out of place. Not the action. That is fully and wholly and 100% right but, shouldn't this be after the line break rather then part of the 'footnote'?

"The first dominant who found her was quite observant and one of our more experienced members.

PHEW, also Gregor? Please be Gregor!! :derpytongue2: but still.. small favors, still, this is very, very very bad.

He wasn't able to do a full scan but according to him, he saw no signs that the enchantments had been tampered with in any way

Given that it was psychically muffled with cotton, this makes it unlikely to be a unicorn who did this, as they could have messed with the enchantment directly. Or at least it's not a very skilled unicorn. Still seeing the hint is likely trying to lead in the "Not that type of horny pony" direction.

or find more information which could be related to this incident,

Well look at that, it's almost like they are outright inviting Scarlet to take a look and try to find something. :pinkiehappy:

And tonight, somepony had almost managed to find a way to flout all of them—and maliciously, at that.

And ohhhhh boy are they going to regret it once Luna gets her hooves on him. Assuming Starsong and the other Den Mothers leaves anything for to get a hold of.

despite the scene technically still being in progress again, was shivering.

Well, if you want to be technical, the scene doesn't restart till all parties 'clockface' to officially resume play. Granted this was an unusual circumstance. But yeah, doubt many are going to be getting back in character and playing anytime too soon.

when she wasn't playing mistress

Ohh a switch. And which parts? But yeah, having that hit lie that a "It could have been me' fear, wow this is.. not only bad for the mare, but just for how bad this can hit all the ponies that need this to be a safe place..... it's beyond insidious and wrong.

Scarlet gritted her teeth, then moved to her marefriend's side and nuzzled her. "Perique, I'm going to find her. And I'm going to make her sorry she ever messed with this place."

Though, get in line for the 'making her pay' aspect. But still I really like this and it's great showing of how much she cares, without going overboard about it. I can really feel their relationship and bond here.

the time for being submissive was not the present, apparently.


She winced. That was too far, wasn't it?

Juuuuust a bit.

Oh wait Perique was hugging her really tight which was probably a good sign.

Hmmm and again here, after the build up and seeing their relationship better, this works better for me and feels like it fits. Not sure if I 100% love this way of putting things here, but it's just on the 'personal preference' axis, it's still good here.

"This is a delightful idea and I am glad someone else thought of it,"


the big Flim-Flam Bridge to Manehattan scam thing,

Can we get this story next!?

Scarlet frowned. "But I want to do this."


Because she saw this hurt Perique personally, because she CAN, because the Society clearly means a lot to her, because it's the right thing to do, many many reasons, but the personal one is likely on top.


Called it!

“But I shouldn't have spoken up like I did,"

Very true there. At least you realized it.

then I'm going to need to go knocking on doors and doing interviews

Personal interaction!? Wow really going out of her comfort zone, this IS serious. But yes, this is great and I can related first hand how much easier it is to talk to people and go outside your comfort zone when it's to help someone you care about rather then for your own sake.

"Gilda?" Scarlet blushed. "Yeah, this is normally something I'd ask for her help with,

Wait.. what!?

Okay i want this story! This is, unexpected but I can very much see Gilds being muscle like that, but damn how'd they hook up?

Though guessing that wasn't who she was talking about.

that I'm like, eighty percent certain is mostly legal.

:rainbowlaugh: Love this line.

"I received mandatory militia training,

Mandatory? So, very much not Equestria.... is this based on Cynewulf's stuff?

Still, very nice and this is going to be fun. And yeah Batponies can be very, very intimidating just fine on their own.

The two didn't sleep until much later that night.


Okay, yeah, LOVED IT! This is an amazing opening the sets up one hell of mystery, I LOVE Scarlet, and aside from not really liking that one scenes' way of doing things, everything else was simply FANTASTIC and just.. all of LOVE IT! It's so so SO well captures the best aspects of the Society, while also exploring aspects that, do need to be admitted would exist at some point. Just, this really is so so SO damn amazing!

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