• Member Since 4th May, 2013
  • offline last seen 1 hour ago

Estee


On the Sliding Scale Of Idealism Vs. Cynicism, I like to think of myself as being idyllically cynical. (Patreon page.)

E

It's the oldest chocolate shop in Equestria, the very first -- and on this night, it's also out of business. The final treats have been sold, the vultures have already begun to circle the equipment, and the proprietor polishes the remains out of pure habit while wondering what to do with her life. But that question will have to wait, as she has one more customer to take care of.

The very first.

(A stand-alone, no-prior-reading necessary part of the Triptych Continuum, which has its own TVTropes page and FIMFiction group. New members and trope edits welcome.)

Now with author Patreon and Ko-Fi pages.
Cover art by Pikamander2.

Chapters (1)
Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!
Comments ( 165 )

Very glad to see you writing again!

Given that it's not showing yet I'm very pleased to imagine that I have given you your first like for this story! It's thoroughly satisfying in the way that good chocolate should be. Also: Worthy's/Hershey's?

Except for payday loan places and their ilk, I'm always sad whenever I see a business close. This was a very moving story, and I'm glad you wrote it.

:twilightoops: How old is Horaceland if Worthy's could try opening a competitor at their height?

In any case, a melancholy tale of the end results of coasting on hubris and reputation, and of the generation who has to collect the bill. But history repeating isn't necessarily a bad thing, especially if they remember it well enough to not repeat it exactly. (Now, whether that will happen to, say, Barneigh's...)

All told, wonderful stuff; you always do great work with Luna's unique perspective, and this is no different. The blend of callbacks, new world building, and hints at what one day may be make for a wonderful filling in the bittersweet shell. Thank you as always.

Valrhona. Perugina, Neuhaus.

You have good taste.

A bittersweet story just in time for halloween, with chocolate being my favorite treat. Your story made my cry and smile, thank you.

Luna eating chocolate truffles is a fun image to think about :pinkiehappy:

Good luck Perugina.

I really like that. Difficult but hopeful. And also a good exploration on both business cycles and reputation and hubris and how Talents play into that.

Moon will raise itself someday? What? That's...forboding.

I have no idea how you're still writing, but I'm glad you are.

"Perhaps one day," she said, "Moon will raise itself."

Oh fuck, it's happening sooner than they thought.

COCKLES WARMED!:raritywink:

The tears quietly flow here.

I'ts a beautiful story. a very simple, but complex one, and I loved it.

Bravo, just bravo. There is nothing to say more about this story then I have already said.

I couldnt realise at the time, when I finally managed to get a place on a coach trip for one of the public tours of the Cadbury Chocolate factory at Bournville, watching the ancient chocolate crumb mixers repurposed from the explosive armament production lines during WW2, the capped and gowned workers just the other side of the low dividing barrier demonstrating the last of the manual production, that only a couple years later, the tours would be stopped, the old machines ripped out, the workers replaced by automation.

The UK Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate recipie was unique, because due to rules and regulations, it couldnt be sold as such anywhere else in the world. I seem to remember that according to US regulations, the fat content meant it had to be labled as margerine or something similar.

Dont know how far back the dairy farmers farm buildings locally go, but Pepys came through the village in the 1600s, and their family name definitely comes from the local area and traces back at least to mid 1200s, the same as the date of the side door arch of the main church. Possibly back as far as 800 AD or so.


As for effect by mere presence...

Wonderful twist at the end! I truly enjoyed this story. Now I want some chocolate....

You and your bittersweet chocolate... and not the sort that might come out of ancient vending machines, either. Well done.

I feel bad for Perugina (though she's off to a fresh new start) but not for the store itself. It simply reaped the consequences of centuries of incompetent mismanagement and short-sighted greed.

There's no shame in being the last Worthy. Especially if it means being the first Neuhaus.

Whoa. What a ride. Very glad I read this. :eeyup:

Wow... simply wow. This story did a very good job of convaying the feeling of seeing something you work so hard for, fail. I could visualize Valrhona's facial expression as she looks around her shop in dispair. She felt it was her fault and her's alone that caused the shop to fail.

I loved the ending, though i am going to have too look up what her new name actually means.

9262702
Reminds me of a business that used to be in my hometown. Brandt's made coin-counting machines and for a long time they were the go-to brand for banks around the world. Unfortunately successive generations cut corners, pared back R+D to put more money in their own pockets, and generally ran the company into the ground until in the last couple of years of operation they were more joke than compeditor.

Was that Luna at the end?

I love it.

i....*runs to wherever the writers for MLP live grabs the current head writer and shoves there face against the screeen* "you see this, this is how you write a slice of life story!!!"

this is absolutely perfect, there are just no other words.
my compliments to the author!

I know how it can be, myself.

I worked for a toy store. A very special toy store, at the time. It had just barely passed the point of no return at the time, but people would flock to Fifth Avenue just to say they'd shopped there. A few movies got made there, at FAO Schwarz. I was lucky enough to work for one of the branches, here near Washington DC.

I served royalty. I walked along next to a surprisingly childlike infamous boxer, who was very much a six year old in an ear-biter's body as he did as much playing as he did buying for the nieces and nephews (I was, in my place, a keeper of action figures, RC cars and various electronic and novelty delights.). I made friends with the now-owner of a Stanley Cup team when we saved his kid's boat from an unfortunate battery incident. A member of the starship Enterprise's original crew developed a fondness for foam boomerangs at my hands. I may have clipped him with one. Oh myyyyy.

And I watched while working, as the the store's owners literally cost-cut themselves to death by destroying their reputation. Toys were no longer to be played with save for a very few cheap ones to demonstrate and delight the clientele. Collectors and Clients with Capital C's were gradually left without a steady method of finding their dearest rarities, mint in box or otherwise. The products on the wall went from being oft-unique and/or exquisite quality to the same things you'd find in a Toys R Us, before it too succumbed in turn to it's own profit-stripping ownership. I left, because the magic had gone and it was just another toy shop. Worse, it had hollowed itself out in the name of maximizing profit and minimizing actual quality.

It, too depended on the Name. And without the quality that made the Name, the Name ended up being Nothing, and shortly afterwards, the entire chain shrank down again to two stores, and then one. And then none. Because it'd become synonymous with overpriced stuff you could find at the local Wal-Mart for a third of the price. A few bits, ironically ended up sold at Toys R Us under the FAO name, but again- it wasn't really. And of course, TRU drowned under the weight of debt.

I am pleased to see, like a certain Worthy that someone realized the exact same thing and decided there was some magic to put back into the Name:

https://nerdist.com/fao-schwarz-toy-store-reopens/

Although I don't think they'll have any immortal clientele showing up, they do seem to have the right idea.

9263023
Perugina is the name of an Italian confectionary, currently part of Nestle. Neuhaus is a Belgian chocolatier.

Concerning expansion, business cycles, and the price of greed...

I'm reminded of what happened to Telltale Games. Back when it started it was a smaller studio with the goal of bringing magic back into the adventure game genre. And they did it.

But then they tried to expand. They over-extended themselves working on licensed games. Relying on the power of their brand and the names of their licenses as their own engine and gameplay grew stale. Working their employees to exhaustion in the process, burning out the talent they already had while scaring off new talent.

And by the time they tried to course-correct, to recapture the magic they once had...it was too little too late.

An amazing and wonderful journey through history. The tragic past of the sisters has always been my favorite background thread to track in every story they have a big role in. And I love that somehow modern business practices found their way into antiquity in Equestria. Even if you recognize it, it's sold really well.

There's just this way of taking things that are very familiar to us and showing them back through a mirror just distorted enough.
Anyway, thanks for the treat! Rest up tomorrow and enjoy yourself after doing all this good writing.

9263040
Yep. The speech pattern, the dark-energy corona, buying exactly the same thing she'd bought at the opening of the original shop, and paying with the exact same coin. Plus the reaction of the crowd to a Princess buying something from a place which had just opened. Luna's deliberately bookending the story of the Worthy name/brand.

Comment posted by Ripple deleted Oct 31st, 2018

The line about the government office actually got me. Having worked for a number of them, it wouldn't be wrong to say that among the manifold duties of public servants are some not many people dwell on: those of endings. For so many intangible concepts and legal constructions, a government office is where they find their final resting place. We are the Angel of Death, the morticians, the pallbearers, the gravediggers, the priests who pronounce the words of the final service, the Stygian ferryman, and for an uncountable time afterwards the cemetery maintenance staff. We provide... a formality, as it were, to the proceedings. Witnesses, where otherwise there might be none. Acceptance, in the face of melancholy and (sometimes) a degree of denial. And, hopefully, closure for those who need it.

Our deep archives are vaults; mausoleums; entire silent necropolises. The countless concepts and entities entombed there can make visits there seem like walking through the back stages of haunted houses - nothing there will ever move without someone doing the moving. It's less the kind of horror-movie set where something is always about to leap out, and more the eternal retirement of fields of aircraft abandoned in the desert. Theoretically, some of them might be able to fly again, but in practice none ever will.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, it's the same feeling associated with the final minute of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

This was sweet

9263196

9263118
im curious though did she advise the worthy mare to change her name and start anew or is this a completely new mare

9263098
you've lived an eventful life havent you

This was a perfectly designed and written story, with just the right mixture of bitter and sweet; a perfect fit for a story about chocolate. I was about to comment on Luna speaking openly of attending Worthy the First's shiva, but then I remembered that non-earth ponies attend the shiva without being aware of the deeper magical aspects of the ritual, so this isn't actually a sign of Luna breaching The Secret.

Much like Princess Luna, apparently, I'm not big on chocolate (or other sweets), but this story made me desire some really good chocolate.

9263274
Why would you assume this is a new pony?

Still, after a few moons of hearing it, she was finally starting to turn around on instinct when somepony called out to her. Reaching the point where that could happen had been hard, although nowhere near as difficult as completing the official name change forms at the government office.

It's pretty obvious that this is Worthy after a name change.

9263286
Um, Worthy is an Earth pony too. She would presumably be in on the Secret.

A brown earth pony, one shaded in exceptionally rich and deep hues, whose coat had an almost liquid quality to it.

9263321
Worthy would be in on the Secret, yes. But does the modern Earth Pony know that the Princesses are in on the Secret? That's something I don't recall the Continuum establishing, so it's possible, especially given how little modern ponies know of Luna, that many Earth Ponies may be unaware that the Alicorns have access to Earth Pony magic - they may think of the Alicorns as just jumbo-sized Pegasus/Unicorn hybrids.

9263339
I think whether the Princesses are aware of the Earth Ponys' true potential is something most Earth Ponies just don't think about if they can help it. It helps that the Princesses, for whatever reason, also see fit to keep the Secret. Assuming they are even aware it's supposed to be a Secret in the first place.

I'd probably have to re-read the entire Triptych Continuum (all the fics) to confirm this, though.

I thought this was brilliant. There's really nothing more I can say that others haven't said for me, so I'll just leave my comment and an upvote. Cheers!

I like how the story makes it clear that the moment the Worthy family started down the road to ruin was the moment they bought into their own hype. The moment they forgot the zebras. That was the moment they started thinking the name was more important than the chocolate.

And as the centuries passed, they stopped caring about making chocolate and cared more for making bits. Their marks even reflected that, being marks better suited for bankers or accountants. And then they couldn't even make bits anymore since the chocolatey foundation of their wealth had become unpalatable chalk.

The last Worthy / first Neuhaus earned her chocolatier mark because she was the only one in centuries who didn't really care about the bits or the name or even the store, really. She just wanted to make a tasty piece of chocolate. It's fitting that her new life begins when Luna helps her realize she can just ditch the name.

Beautiful.
The ending was indeed, bitter sweet.

A better ending than I expected.

It took me a moment to take in the brevity of what happened in your closing lines.

The last becomes the first.
The Line starts again. Complete with ancient coin.

Bravo.
A true author of stories.

9263196
Yes.
A brilliant ending (or new beginning).

Nothing lasts forever, but in it’s death something may rise from the ashes.

9263098

They might not be able to get an immortal, but they couldve reopened with Mel Brooks. :trollestia:

Awww. That ending actually made me tear up a bit. Bravo. A lovely little story there.

9263118
That is a very good connection. I just learned of telltale games just yesterday and its sad to hear how it ended.

9263411

There will, if luck is kind, be a few nostalgic types at the new shop. I'd hope.

And yeah, FAO was my time spent peeking into the world of the rich and famous. Mundane most of the time, with sprinkles of awesome.

Aaand now i want some chocolate.

TDR

This was awesome.

9263318
i didnt see that part actually my bad

Login or register to comment
Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!