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Coyote de La Mancha

YouTuber, with a tip jar and a Patreon!


This story follows After Moonfall, but it can also stand alone nicely.

The Crimson Queen. The Knight of Mirrors. Two ancient and powerful creatures, feasting in turn upon the love and hope of others. Imprisoned in stone aeons ago, now they are free... to hunt, to feast, and to plan their revenge.

Princess Mi Amore Anastasia Cadenza. Last survivor of the Crystal Royal Family, heir to the Amethyst Throne. Displaced in time a thousand years ago, she has materialized at last... with a power possessed by no one else in the world.

Between them, haunted by her failures, stands Princess Celestia. And she is determined she will not fail again.

Artwork by Sixes_and_Sevens. Please check out their excellent artwork and stories.

(Content note: Horror tag for (among other things) one of the main villains being a giant bloody spider. However, this is not a grimdark tale or a splatterpunk saga. I promise.)

(Chronology note: this story takes place years before the series begins, shortly after young Twilight became Celestia’s apprentice.)

(Chronology note: from here, the timelines split, differentiated by (among other things) which mirror Sunset fled through, and the nature of Princess Luna’s child.

The Sunset Rising continuity continues from here with ’Moon Childe.’ In that chronology, Luna creates a child from her own mystical essence, and Sunset flees through the mirror which leads to the world of EG humans.

The Elsequestria continuity continues from here with ’Bridges and Guides.’ In that chronology, Luna gains a child through a mystical pact, and the mirror through which Sunset flees leads somewhere very different from any human world.)

Part of the Elsequestria Continuity and the Sunset Rising Continuity.

Chapters (8)
Comments ( 53 )
Comment posted by Coyote de La Mancha deleted Feb 14th, 2019

Tiny Twilight is the sweetest, most adorable character ever.

Royal Court was no place for a nine-year-old filly with more energy and magic than sense.

Maybe the Gala, but only if Twilight had been misbehaving and Celestia couldn't think of another way to liven it up a little.

So, we have a weary alicorn, an excitable prodigy, a kind heart slowly being strangled by thorns he can't see, and a Grimm-grade wicked stepmother (or at least a mare who's had a very hard life.) Very interesting actors you've put together. Looking forward to the play.

I wholeheartedly agree. But then, I based her somewhat off my youngest daughter at that age, so I might be a teensy bit biased. :raritywink:


Maybe the Gala, but only if Twilight had been misbehaving and Celestia couldn't think of another way to liven it up a little.

It would have to have been some serious misbehavior. :twilightsmile:
As for livening up the Gala: well, yes, as you mention it,.,, it just took a few years for (and Luna’s return) Celestia to indulge that particular mischievous streak. I think getting her sister back seriously unfroze Celestia’s shimmy switch. :trollestia:

I’ve been pondering on this tale for a while. It’s taking a bit to get it into the shape I desire, but I think it’ll be worthwhile.
*typity, typity, typity...* :twilightsheepish:

Sorry, Celestia-- your princess is in another castle.

Sounds like somepony just had an epiphany. Now to see what comes of it.

Also, very nice incidental origin for Raven.

The answer found, the stakes established. This is going to be one heck of a ride. And Twilight might save the world years before she's scheduled to.

Comment posted by Coyote de La Mancha deleted Mar 7th, 2019

Well, now you've made me feel guilty for waiting this long to comment. But, really, the delay was because this story is another great one, equaling your previous efforts in creativity and execution. The drama is there, your interpretation of Celestia continues to impress, and I can't wait for more.

All around her chambers, scrolls and papers circled rapidly through the air, held aloft by magic of a variety of different colors. Five Celestias, each a different color of the rainbow, were reading with blurring speed. There was also the blue, who was speaking to Abacus Plinth; and the red, who was writing frantically.

I don't think anyone's taken the time to praise how creative your approach to magic is, which is a shame. There's a lot of really good stuff here.

My sincere thanks to you both. Your words mean a great deal to me. :twilightsmile:

RL events have been interfering with my writing of late, but I am hopeful that when I am able to post the rest of this tale it will be worth the wait. :twilightsheepish:

One never knows. It can be amazing just how much difference one person can make.

Pisaurina mira and Bluebottle. The spider and the fly.

You know, just in case her encasing him in silk hadn't made that clear. :raritywink:

I have my suspicions here, but nothing's certain quite yet. Definitely looking forward to more.

Either the sections in the village are flashbacks containing our villains origins, or possibly the town is suffering from the effects of the Spiders feeding.

I think I see where this is going. Maybe. It's been a long time since I read any Baum, but I can see some familiar aspects hovering on the edges...

Ah, so you suspect an Ozma/Tip scenario too?

I will reveal that they are not flashbacks. The villains date back to the Age of Chaos, and in this continuity the world was very different then. :twilightsmile:

I can't put to words how much I've needed a proper Celestia adventure.

Magnificent. Especially the Knight's last gambit; truly sinister in its design. But now Celestia has to deal with a mother in mourning... though she may have some unexpected assistance. You really shouldn't leave leftovers out for that long. Who knows what could happen to them in the meantime?

His mother was right the Glass Knight was a fool. He had Celestia who he admitted was the most dangerous foe he had ever faced dead to rights. But instead of going for certain victory, he just had to try and feed. Undone by his own gluttony.

But now Celestia has to face the far smarter and more pragmatic Crimson Queen while wounded and having expended a great deal of her magic.

I wasn't expecting Chrysalis to turn up in all this, but it does make a good deal of sense.

I wasn't expecting to feel remorse over the death of the Crimson Queen, either, but here we are. Cadence's pleas with her to change are really quite beautifully heartbreaking. Excellently done.

Thank you. I hadn’t started out intentionally folding in so many characters’ origins and backgrounds into this, it just seemed a natural progression. I’m glad it worked.

I’m certain that the Crimson Queen’s passing will have some mixed reactions; I think most everyone has at least known someone like her, if not been influenced or raised by someone like her. And the scars left by such a person will tend to run very deep. But if I was able to make you mourn her even just a little, well, mission accomplished.

Also, I almost literally sat on my hands to not say so before, but special thank you to you, Spamotron, and everyone else who saw some of the Baum inspirations for this fic. :twilightsmile:

Magnificent stuff, from the duel to the mystic self-creation of Cadence's Becoming to the unexpected formation of her twisted sister to Twilight being adorability incarnate. Luna being Cadence's crystaller was a brilliant touch, and your efforts to reconcile the sisters' history and the Pillars looks brilliant even in what few details I can glean. A great read from start to finish. Thank you for it.

You seem to have hit the perfect amount of grimdark I can accept in pony fic with this one. Nicely done!

I love it that Twilight is both believable a foal and Celestia's ultimate fail-safe plan. Great comedy moment at the end there with the passwords!

Every time I read about or watch a villain that tries this stuff, it makes me shiver. Doubting one's own mind is a terrible, terrible thing that I would not wish on anyone. I think the first time I encountered it was in an episode of Buffy, and it's haunted me ever since. At least we can be certain that the Mirror Knight's fabrication was just a trick.


Doubting one's own mind is a terrible, terrible thing that I would not wish on anyone

Oh, agreed. Brr.

And, yes. I would certainly not have left things ambiguous about whether his ploy was a deception, even if the timeline structure had allowed for it.
In part because again: brr.

And thank goodness for that! Or, more accurately, thank *you.*

I did like Celestia acknowledging the multiverse theory, though, and giving partial validation to Cindy's universe, because despite its bleakness(especially (or maybe even is a better word, given how things are) compared to Celestia's actual situation), it's an interesting idea to explore.


...it's an interesting idea to explore.

Oh, emphatically agreed.

And the idea of the List sisters being real people out there somewhere, and especially Bluebottle and his mom living their own lives out there somewhere... dude. There is so much potential there that I will probably never get to. I have so many timelines already... :moustache:

For my part, I confess one off my quiet hopes is that someday, someone feels inspired and writes stories about the “real” Bluebottle and Mira. I would read the living crap out of them. :trollestia:

You know, I might do that? However, I had a bit of a.... queerer reading of Bluebottle than I think was originally intended, given that Bluebottle was quite LITERALLY a fabrication of a colt wrapped around a filly. My thoughts were initially that Bluebottle was trans, and any adaptation or spiritual successors/companion fics to this one would likely include those thoughts.

My thoughts towards Mira aren't so kind, though, given that I have personal experience with people like her, so perhaps I would not be the best person to create such a companion piece.

Well, should you ever decide to write / post it, I ask only that you shoot me a PM so that I know to read it (and link to it if you decide that’s okay).

And yeah, Mira is hard to be empathetic towards. As I mentioned to someone else earlier, I think just about everyone has known someone like her, and bear the marks as their proof. Mira having her own scars (see the “it harvests you!” speech) doesn’t make that any easier.

My thought would be to not worry about making her empathetic, so much as human. But if you do write this - and no obligation either way - by all means please write the characters however you envision them.

Including a trans Bluebottle, which I think could work really well. :twilightsmile:

Oh, of course I would link and PM you! I would do no less for anyone whose works I am inspired by.

It just.... struck a chord in me when Bluebottle internally commented on how if being a colt was like this, being a stallion must be terrible(or something to that effect). There were other things, little things, that led me towards the same idea, but that moment really Got Me.

(As an aside, after an hour or so of reading various horror fics I stumbled upon, your reply made me very, very happy.)

Author Interviewer

On the List of Thing I Need Coyote to Write Forever and Nothing Else:

- Filly Twilight being excited about things

Author Interviewer

Nothing like a good majordomo for Celestia to play off of. :) And great origin story for Raven, too.

Author Interviewer

Epic, and we're only two chapters in! When your contingency plan is "go wake up Discord"...

Author Interviewer

I have never been so harrowed in Googling a character's name.

And she named him after a fly. D:

Author Interviewer

Yep. The Crimson Queen and her son are not true spiders, though they are spider-like in various ways. They spawned during the Age of Chaos. And back then, “One of the few things a pony could rely on in life was that the less symmetrical a thing might seem, the more dangerous it likely was.”

Author Interviewer


Author Interviewer

“Yet, when didst thou become so much older than we?” Celestia added sadly.

Star Swirl’s voice was soft as he said, “One mistake at a time, my dears.”

O-oh. D:

Luna was not her baby sister. She hadn’t been, in fact, for a very long time. Luna was a grown mare, and had made her own choices.

Wowie wow wow c.c

I am immensely pleased with myself for figuring out that the Crimson Queen might in fact be the predecessor of something more familiar. :3


I am immensely pleased with myself for figuring out that the Crimson Queen might in fact be the predecessor of something more familiar. :3

:yay: Yay!

Yes! I love it when that happens! :twilightsmile:

Author Interviewer

The Crimson Queen ultimately died, not because of some spell you cast, or some overload of magical power, but because she thought she couldn’t change.

Oh shit, and in light of what succeeded her...

Not gonna lie.

When I realised her back up plan was to unleash Discord, as a dead mans switch? Discord from *Exiles* who would swiftly unmake the world? Time War category Chaos. That legitimately frightened me. I don't read a lot of horror. But my God. You created such a sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach with that. What is she dealing with, when effectively breaking time and space becomes preferable? Where putting a nine year old filly Twilight and New Father Abbacus in front of Discord is the right call?!

Damn. That was good.

“…and so,” the unicorn before her concluded, “it is as clear as the summer sun.” There were some polite chuckles throughout the court before he went on, “Any such attempt as my esteemed colleague suggests to impose greater taxes upon profits above one million bits, much less his idealized ‘maximum wage’ limitation upon the most successful among us, would not only destroy all social drive towards greatness by eliminating the promise of gaining wealth through merit, but also…”


But Mother had said that books were for fillies and mares, so that was out. Which was too bad, he’d liked talking to the librarian. Likewise, mares were caretakers of children and knowledge, not stallions. Stallions were meant for fighting, for providing for their families. Books, songs, rocking little weanlings… such things were not for him.

you really wanna include human social bs in a world where the ruler of the land has rainbow sparkly hair?
also, was any of this REALLY necessary?

so because the mom was miserable, everyone else had to be as well, got it.

Reminds me of a Twitter discussion regarding a person who worked at a county fair doing face paints. A little boy age 4 asks for a butterfly, his mom is "absolutely not!" and then says to her husband that his son getting such a girly thing might threaten his masculinity.

I won't try to pretend that I might not instinctively give a hypothetical future child a gendered gift, but if they asked me to teach them how to cook, or draw, or if they wanted to do professional sports, I would like to think I would support them without issue. The days when such concerns were even close to important are long since dust. I speak of ancient times when everyone had to pitch in if you wanted to see the next spring.

As to lil bookhorse so much adorbs. :rainbowkiss:

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