• Member Since 26th Feb, 2014
  • offline last seen January 5th


She's looking at you. Yes you. And she is judging you with her eyes. There is no escape.


Twilight Sparkle, Princess Celestia's precocious student, wants to know why it can't be teatime all the time. Princess Celestia's response comes in the form of a story, The Tale of the Dark Empress of Teatime.

In this tale, Sunny Sunshine goes to pay the Dark Empress of Teatime a visit, and comes home a different pony.

Technically an entry in the Weedverse, but stands alone and takes place in pre-history.

Chapters (9)
Comments ( 93 )

Backstory on Sunset in her time as Celestia's student is always welcome, especially if it's not the immediate lead up to her mirror dive.

Agreed, Sunset has barely been mentioned in the 'verse so it's interesting to not only learn about her, but to do so from Celestia's perspective.

Bacon horse flash backs :pinkiehappy:
Sone good lessons will be learned from this story, I’m sure.

Sending pre-reform Sunset, a pony with a lack of morality and an obsession with power, on a mission that requires empathy and virtue.

Celly, you are optimistic, but stupid, sometimes.

Are we going to bounce back to celly and twi, a la princess bride?

Yes. Yes we are. And Twilight, being the helpful sort, will continue to point out what Celestia did wrong.

“No!” Too late, Celestia realised that she had raised her voice. Calming herself, she tried again, this time with a lower, more civil tone. “No, Sunset. No ambushes. No guile. No treachery. No sneak-thievery. Be gentle, be kind, be generous. Laughter is also good.”

And no disintegrations.

“No!” Too late, Celestia realised that she had raised her voice. Calming herself, she tried again, this time with a lower, more civil tone. “No, Sunset. No ambushes. No guile. No treachery. No sneak-thievery. Be gentle, be kind, be generous. Laughter is also good.”

Does cackling madly, as everything burns count as laughter?

While I admit it IS a little frustrating reading a character who is so obviously selfish to the bone and needs a solid slap in the kisser, I don't think she's out of character. As you said, this is leading up to her fall, and I personally think it's a sensible portrayal of what led to her fall: a deep sense of pride and entitlement that Celestia couldn't curb despite her best efforts. That's the Sunset we first meet, before she finally gets what she thinks she wants and realizes what a disaster that is and FINALLY comes to her senses. My only sadness is that we won't get to see her improve much in THIS story because she's destined to run off in full angry brattitude. It was my same reason for not being able to enjoy Star Wars Episode 3 because we knew Anakin was going to fall no matter what. (Well.... ONE of the MANY reasons, anyway XD; )

Well, if she encountered a tarrasque she'd be pretty much SOL, but a ravenous bugblatter beast would a different thing entirely. While it does have a never-ending hunger, it is also mind-bogglingly stupid. It assumes if you can't see it, it can't see you.

Edit: She also should have brought a towel.

In spite of his words, Sunset found herself offended.

Definitely how saying "no offence" goes every time

Perhaps, if she’d been a bit more diplomatic, she might have learned a bit more.

Moral of the entire story, but I doubt she'll remember how it could have helped.

She didn’t particularly like thinking of puns,

Blasphemy! Of the highest order!

“Yes, Twilight. Sometimes, I fail to think about the feelings of others…”

The actual moral of the story, probably. For both Celly and Sunny.

She’d never seen the point in struggling to overcome her seeming aversion to water-magics.

How ironic; the overachiever, not overcoming her faults.

Quite an insight into pre-reform Sunset, and one I find myself enjoying, despite her blatant unlikeableness.

I think she is very in-character for pre-fall Sunset. Well done.

You know, if she had been nice to the station manager, she might have be able to lend a cart, and make it drive her there. Or maybe even find somebody to pull it for her.

“This is Willow Creek. Mind the willows, Miss. You can’t go to Sleepy Creek because somepony tore up the tracks. The town’s been cut off. Some unicorn up that way went nutters. I wouldn’t go there if I were you. Nutter unicorns are dangerous. No offense.”

In spite of his words, Sunset found herself offended.

There's a shock.

This… this was worrisome. Was she dealing with unicorn supremacists?

That would be worrisome.

Just let it go, Twilight, that tea cup is lost.

While Twilight wrestled with her thoughts, Celestia, never one to suffer boredom, thought of puns. She didn’t particularly like thinking of puns, but they happened from time to time, and as old she was, she could be quite clever when it came to doling out punishment. With Twilight cogitating, Celestia thought of a clever pun, a student that did nothing but sat on a sofa and thought about great big thinkity-thunks all day.

It's good to be prepared to bother your students and subjects.

Sunset feels perfectly in character here to me. It's generally known that pre-reformation she was a bit of a little shit.

If I remember correctly, time moves quite a bit slower in the EQG world as compared to the dimensions containing this version of Equestria. Judging by how Sunset was talking about Cadence and Shining and the fact that Cadence is still foal-sitting Twilight now, it can't have been more than a few years since Sunset left through the mirror. But by the time Twilight grows up and goes through the mirror herself only two years have passed for Sunset. That or Sunset is older during the events of EQG1 than she was letting on. That's a pretty significant time dilation, especially when she and Twilight still communicate via the journal. If Sunset were to come back for a visit she would find an awful lot had changed in what was for her just a few short years.


I am actually going off of this as my foundation.

Edit: never mind the fact that Moondancer and all of Twilight's Canterlot friends are adults. :twilightoops:

Yeah, I expected that. The Fall of Sunset Shimmer is pretty commonly used as a basis for her backstory. It's just interesting to me how the 3ish years she was in the EQG world was clearly a much longer amount time in the Equestrian world, since Twilight is an adult by the time she comes back. There are a lot of interesting implications for that. A person or object that needs to be alive/not deteriorated in 100+ years Equestrian time could theoretically be stored in a secure location in the EQG world as a means of preservation, and without risking navigating the Fortress of Egress.

That... really puts into perspective how poor a decision it was to store dangerous monsters there.

It's better to keep them in slow time than in fast time? They have less time to plot than you do to prepare defenses.

Alternatively, they have increased longevity and are essentially a time-bomb waiting to go off for future generations, who may not be prepared for such a reappearance. It's not a great solution either way really. This is why we have Tartarus.

How can one drake be so adorable? :raritystarry:

Twilight, you adorable thing, you're going to cause me heart issues. 💙

Wowmygosh what an about-turn! A Dark with an overly-bright coat... And a 'spot' of lunacy, to put it nicely.

Those who desire to live by fear and lies are oft found hoist by their own petards.

Wow. That story really deserves the "dark" tag :rainbowdetermined2:
Would upvote again :twilightsmile:

Symptoms of a disgusting primitive:
1: Disrespect for the mentally absent.
2: Not checking your food for poison.

For a moment, she thought about burning everything around her, just to destroy something beautiful.

Calm down, Fight Club.

“If I did, would you go?” Celestia had trouble with just how easily these words slipped out of her mouth, without thought, without hesitation.


“I’d ride Spike into battle.”


“Spike is a dragon.” Twilight raised her right foreleg, as if she was a director cueing up an action sequence. “Spike, roar!”



I feel like Celestia is underselling the virtue of a polite dragon steed.

Oh crap, the crazed tea unicorn is a Dark. That's probably bad news for Sunset.

Nadir smiled while placing a pink-frosted cupcake on Sunset’s plate. “Full bellies. Happy ponies. Napping. Is there nothing more glorious after a spot of tea than a nap? That’s what we do here. This is my splendiferous utopia.”

I feel like eventually someone is going to have to go do some work.

Sunset felt herself sway and when the dizziness struck her, she attributed it to spending two days in the boonies.

Uh oh.

I think the lesson here is 'don't eat food given to you by people you know in advance are crazy'.

Side effects of having a raging superiority complex may include, but are not limited to:
• Underestimating your opponent.
• Overestimating your own ability to deal with any situation.
• Focussing on your own immediate needs in any given situation.
• Being angry at everything all of the time.
• Eating poisoned cupcakes given to you by the very pony you were sent to deal with.

Dark, indeed! Loving this story so far.

Well that took a turn. Just like Sunset’s stomach :trollestia:

The balance must be restored.

Yeah okay, Thanos.

She just wants her turn. Fair is fair. Nyah!

“The only thing you can offer me,” Sunset began, “is whatever I might imagine for myself. You offer nothing substantial or real. Only betrayal. Begone.”

A wise choice, but ultimately not one that will change her path. But it does acknowledge that even now, Sunset wishes for the downfall of ol' Celly.

Story almost finished?
Too bad, I really like it.
It's a good story you're writing here, so keep going :)

Blushing furiously, Sunset said nothing—denied nothing.

It seems Celestia is 2 for 3 on her most recent past students having the hots for her, though with Cadence that really shouldn't have been unexpected.

She also has the hots for Shining Armor... but it has nothing to do with sexual attraction. :raritywink:

Yeah, that one would be pretty awkward for Twilight to find out about. I'm assuming that Celestia isn't aware of everything that was going on in Sunset's headspace during the story, and that Twilight is actually hearing a somewhat abridged version of what we as the audience are receiving in full.

Little did Sunset know that she would one day be a part of the Sparkle family, just not via a relationship with Shining or in the dimension she expected. Well, I'm not sure if things ever progress to that but she's at least dating EQG Twilight.

Worst tea party ever.

“It is fortunate that you came along. I awaited your coming, which was foretold by my Master. The Mare in the Moon said you would come. You’re just what I needed. The other unicorns, I consumed their essence, which did not give me the power that my Master promised. It stands to reason that they were too weak to do much for me. But you… I suspect that I shall see my power grow by a magnitude, and when it does, the Darks will be forced to recognise me as one of their own.”

Oh that's not good.

What sort of clueless idiot embarks upon a journey through the wilderness with no supplies?

That kind of reasonable criticism stings extra hard when it comes from someone who is otherwise an absolute nutcase.

Dang, those unicorns really have been quite thoroughly drained.

“My coming was foretold. The stars shall aid in my escape. Precious Nadir, the twilight hour approaches. Nothing can stop my return, but your efforts hasten it.”

Turns out they were really wrong about what the "twilight hour" referred to. Prophecies can be tricky like that.

“The only thing you can offer me,” Sunset began, “is whatever I might imagine for myself. You offer nothing substantial or real. Only betrayal. Begone.”

Then, before the statue could respond, Sunset kicked the delicate alchemical apparatus at the base of the statue. A spiderweb of cracks appeared, there was a burbling sound, like bubbling porridge, and the stench of ozone filled the passageway. With a hissy fizzle, like a just-opened bottle of soda pop, the illusion died and ceased to be.

Decent response.

Well I guess that’s where the demon comes from.

That O brother where art thou/classic folk song reference was on point!. Perfect eerie song to fit the scene. I love your song references in the weed stories

Yeah, I’m going to have to downvote this one. Needlessly dark, depraved and sadistic. it just doesn’t fit in the friendship is magic continuum at all. This is Warhammer level depravity. Interesting story, but totally in the wrong place.

Why? The type of damage being done to ponies here are not only sadistic, but irreversible and non-consensual. This is completely against everything that makes up the Friendship is magic universe. The closest that comes to anything like this in the friendship is magic universe is the actions of Sombra, but those were reversible and recoverable.

This piece crosses the line and then turns around and pees on it while giving it the middle finger. My advice:
Cancel the series before you dig yourself any deeper and write something else.

Sorry. Story was properly tagged and fits in with the Weedverse as a whole. I am writing with continuity in mind. If you failed to notice the dark tag up there, that's not my fault, but yours. You got what was listed on the tin. A rated E story with dark elements.

My advice? Never tell a writer this:

Cancel the series before you dig yourself any deeper and write something else.

This is rude and uncalled-for. Unnecessary.

I'll refrain from saying more.

This story is NOT appropriate for an E rating at all. Mind control and non-con evil are NEVER E rated subjects. They are M rated subjects by definition. You need to change the rating or you WILL be reported. I have read you entire series of works here on FIMfiction.net. You have often skirted the line an/or briefly crossed it, but considering your overall setting, they were never beyond what was acceptable. You are a favored author of mine, but this new story is going in a direction that will destroy everything you have done to this point. As a fellow author, I would not have urged you to abandon this work unless I seriously thought that you were doing irreparable damage to yourself and your works in the long run. I'm not some teenaged troll trying to get a rise out of you, but a middle aged peer warning you of a pitfall ahead that you are rushing towards. Take my advice or spurn it, the decision and the consequences are entirely yours.


Someone thinks highly of themselves. You really think that this of all stories will be the one that does irreparable damage to his reputation? Got news for you, Kudzu Haiku already has a reputation for better or for worse. I can see new readers being turned off by this story, sure. But to people who already know who he is, this is just another drop in a very large bucket. Which can be positive or negative bucket, depending on who you ask. It's just another story he's writing, and he's attempting to write a story that frankly wouldn't be out of place in Aesop's Fables.

Take my advice or spurn it, the decision and the consequences are entirely yours.

The passive-aggression here is so thick I could make soup out of it.

So reported


But the future refused to change.

Well that was terrifying. I wasn't expecting Sunset in later years to not actually be in true control of her actions, but this would help explain why the Elements of Harmony worked on her.

As for the discussion over the story, the series and it's rating, here are my thoughts:
This story is entirely within expectations for the Weedverse. The Weedverse is NOT the show's Equestria, despite using its setting. This is a universe with serious cosmic level horror going on. If you have read Eigengrau 1 and 2, Skyreach, and parts of Venenum Iocus you should be aware that things can get pretty fronking dark in this series at times. Bad things happen to good creatures in this world, frequently. This was nasty for sure, but not an anomaly. The Dark tag is appropriate. As far as fitting the Friendship is Magic continuum, WHAT continuum? This is fan-fiction, there are no rules stating that the feel of the original has to be maintained. This series has taken elements of the show and written it into a truly fantastic adult-fantasy/sci-fi world, and I think that is wonderful.

However, every story I just mentioned DOES have a Mature rating, and I do agree that, while the story didn't start out that way, it has quite thoroughly earned that rating now. I do not think on-screen deaths are at all a good way to judge the rating here, as many of the circumstances the characters are in could very well be described as worse than dead. This is pretty nightmarish, pun intended, and definitely beyond the level of what most kids are ready for. This requires a mature reader, and I think the rating would be appropriate.

Edit: Or at least teen. Mask Makes the Pony managed a teen rating, perhaps just barely, so it's a toss up. I know ratings on the site are in fact really arbitrary, but to me personally E means true children level, with Teen getting a LOT more leeway and Mature being debatable up until things start becoming really descriptively violent or sexual. Obviously it's between you and the mods, just wanted to leave my two cents.


TPrincess Twilight Sparkle's School for Fantastic Foals
Princess Twilight Sparkle's School for Fantastic Foals is the place to go for friendship studies.
kudzuhaiku · 323k words  ·  724  42 · 7.3k views

Rated E.

And there is nothing in this story that isn't in that story.

The issue here is, the application of the rules are inconsistent. Currently in a discussion about that very thing. There are multiple instances of show violence that is worse than anything to be found here. Twilight vs. Tirek. Celestia and Luna having it out. SPIKE BURNING PEOPLE TO DEATH. (Admittedly, that happened in the movie., but the movie is targeted at the same audience and age group)


Also shown on TV. Rated E, for everyone.

People come, people go. the only constant to look forward to is the next sunrise and meal.

i felt this chapter and recalled friends and good times, but distance and time have made it difficult to reach out and start again. do you rehash the good times and live in the past? update on the interim? or just look to new friends and the experiences on the next river bend?

i still dont have an answer that feels satisfactory.

The application of rules is where I can agree. I may think the rating should be higher, but I can agree that inconsistent application of the rating system is a problem.

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