• Member Since 27th Apr, 2012
  • offline last seen Mar 22nd, 2018


Very occasionally, I post pony stories. Twilight Sparkle is the best pony. I drink my tea with milk, no sugar. Those would be the important bits.


The Summer Solstice approaches and Equestria prepares for the welcome break, but in Canterlot Celestia plans in secret for the return of Nightmare Moon. Her duty is clear: take the five known Elements of Harmony and cast her own sister from the world forever. So what if her heart shatters into a million pieces? A fair price for the safety of all.

Yet as the hour approaches, Celestia’s resolve weakens as she is haunted by memories of happier times. She starts to entertain an insane, maybe treasonous, plan, but a plan that might just return her sister to her.

But no plan, however well thought out, ever survives execution and as matters spiral out of control strengths sequestered deep within others will surprise even the celestial princess herself. As you well know, this story has a happy ending but it is the journey that matters.

Many thanks to GhostOfHeraclitus and Bradel for prereading above and beyond the call of duty. Seriously it would not exist without their patience.

Vectors used in cover: 1 2

Chapters (7)
Comments ( 41 )

The latter half of this chapter seems to have a lot of messages between brackets at the beginning of chapters. They're clearly not meant to be there, so you might want to remove them. :twilightsmile:

four faceless pegasi soldiers

Four faceless pegasus soldiers. You wouldn't say "four unicorns soldiers", would you?

Her duty is clear: take the five known Elements of Harmony and cast her own sister from the world forever.

Celestia knew there were 6 Elements. And she knew what was required to awaken the 6th.

That's how she came up with the plan in the first place.

This is riveting. I can't wait to see how this plays out.


Celestia has made interesting choices. Too bad most of them are wrong.

Oh gosh, a new Powered by Tea story?

Count me excited!

Solid beginning. I am hooked.

I was thinking the same thing. It has long been established that Celestia used all six elements to banish Nightmare Moon. I thought this story was intended to fill in the gaps of how Celestia made the decision on how to deal with her return, but it's starting to feel a little more alternate universe.

But no plan, however well thought out, ever survives execution


*15 minutes later*



Er, dude, you left your notes in.

Also might wanna have your editor give it another once over. Story’s solid, but there’s a fair amount of awkward language here and there, and misused words.

Yeah, this seems to have been a chapter still under editing.

Still, overall the story's catchy!

Has this story been posted some time in the past? I swear I have seen it before. This bit with the hourglass keeper in the beginning, the bit with Whiskey, and the visit with the dragon all seem really familiar.

:derpyderp2: Whew, those are some curious ideas. :trollestia: Less than a troll.. very curious indeed :moustache:

Okay well TD and Ghost are both hyping this story and you as an author, so on to the list this goes :twilightsmile:

Unrelated, but I love your username

You left a lot of stage directions and notes in the final story. Might want to edit.

Hmm interesting plotline, and I'm sure you've heard enough from the other commenters, but if you're manually doing BBcode, I would advise not. Also if you insist on doing it, please use the US English version of words, as centre should be center in order to properly center [centre]Part 3 – Every Last Thing[/centre] should be [center]Part 3 – Every Last Thing[/center] -- Also I'm not sure if brackets denote comments in BBcode if not properly formatted, but those seem to have stuck in as well.

Other than that, this is a highly interesting read, with a curious take on Celestia and eventsI haven't seen before. :moustache:

I understand that this is a somewhat-AU story, but I don't see the need for making it so. You didn't need to have Celestia be unaware of the Element of Magic. You wanted the tension of uncertainty? She simply could have grave doubts about Twilight adequately fulfilling that role, introverted as that young mare is.

I'm also a bit miffed about not addressing Sunset Shimmer in a story perfectly suited for it. It's obvious that Sunset was Bearer of Magic candidate alpha. Her failure was why the plan in canon was so rushed and flying-by-pants.

Regardless, this is a nice portrayal of an enigmatic character. Nothing brings out candid earthly emotions in Celestia like her sister.

As has been noted, you left some notes in there that you'll want to take out.

In any case, definitely some interesting choices on display. Making the Element of Magic unknown is a curious angle to take, especially without the AU tag. That aside, I really like what you're doing with Celestia. Not only are you doing an excellent job of capturing her internal turmoil, you're also taking a route I've rarely seen with this sort of story. Stories set during the series premiere usually paint Celestia as either an all-knowing chessmistress or the luckiest daughter of a gun in the world. You're splitting the difference and doing it well, epsecially in Celly's hit-and-miss track record when predicting Bearers. And the hints of her deep past are especially intriguing.

Definitely looking forward to more of this.


Cool story so far.
Good work with a new take on just how skilled Celestia might actually be in the so-called "Long Game" that everyone, in and out of the story, assumes she plays. :trollestia:

I frgging love this!!!!! I love it so much!!!!

Let me explain why I love it. Because this is the Celestia I know, and Love. She was forced into making this shady decision, and in the end chose empathy for her family over her ponies.

She decided to be selfish once so she could finally have her family back. And honestly I couldn't be happier. Inanna is the very definition of a Magnificent B*^#^ t. And I love that.

And honestly kudos, really kudos!

Omg, more! Several chapters more! :pinkiegasp: All at once!

Having recently re-read the first couple chapters and then the third for the first time, I have to say it has not been diminished by age. I also love Whiskey. His outburst in support of Celestia's recklessness was just.. incredibly endearing.

It's a really interesting take on the opening MLP story. Very different than any alternative I've come across before. I'm not sure it fits my own viewpoints, but it is, as always by PoweredByTea, well written and thought-provoking.

I'd love to see some more stories from the side characters.

I have cried at this line before, but never so well.

I'm amused to see Celestia scrambling to catch up with the events.

Also, your italics have gone rogue! See "Celestia glanced about," and so on.

Some typos here and there, and that Early Modern English could definitely use some work, but they are trifles compared to the culmination of Celestia's journey in this story. How she learns to stop worrying and be spontaneous takes the reader on a voyage through miles and millennia in a fantastic and refreshingly novel take on the series premiere. Great stuff all around. Thank you for it.

And remember: Never underestimate that little purple unicorn.

Incredible work this, I really like the world building you did here.

Chessmaster Celestia has been done a number of times, but not as well nuanced as you did here. The master of the game, the one that's always at least two steps ahead of her opponent for once finds herself unarmed. Celestia is all too human here, which makes the story so very enjoyable.


Okay, let's see if I remember correctly. Celestia wanted Stonewall to be Loyalty, Big Mac Honesty, Cheerilee Kindness, Pinkie Laughter, aaaand...who was supposed to be Generosity?

I put this one on the back burner back when Ghost's blog post about it came out and finally got to it today.

I really loved the "Take the insane risk vs the well-wrought plan" backdrop and how it influenced Celestia's decision making.

Probably my favorite thing was how the mysticism of the story was woven so elegantly with the "modern" bureaucracy backdrop and everything that came with. Celestia's memories of the past contributing to her decision-making and angst both in the present.

I also really like the little nudges and mystic influence you wove in the story. Memories that came to characters at convenient times, bad feelings coming with contemplating certain actions, etc. It was present in the story without being grating or heavy-handed and I really like what it added.

It was nice that Celestia tried to stack the deck in addition to that: salvaging as much of her plan as possible while putting her primary hope in the Elements and the Magic of Friendship.

Masterpiece. I suspect I shall have more to say, but words can wait another day. At the very least, an amazing story that does chessmaster Celestia (honestly, not even sure it can even be called that in the context of the full story) perfectly. No other fic I've read has done it right.

I found it amusing while I was reading through this chapter how hilariously wrong Celestia was with her theories for Bearers

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