• Member Since 14th Jul, 2012
  • offline last seen 4 hours ago


Nothing special here, move along, nothing to see, just ignore the lump under the sheet and the red stuff...


When their child's life is held in the balance, a father can find himself doing terrible things to save him. They will take dangerous risks, travel to places they have never been, and sometimes, even that is not enough.

The most difficult decision a parent can make is which of their children must die so the other may live.

Picture courtesy of Farm Yard Nurseries in Wales

This is not canon to Estee's works. It was influenced by the author, and if you enjoy it please feel free to read all the rest of their stories and contribute to the associated Patreon. They're worth it.

Chapters (2)
Comments ( 25 )

This is my second attempt to write a story that fits into Estee's Triptych Continuum

First was an attempt to make a sequel to the fabulous 100% Move - 50% Fire where the Legend of the Piano got started, so I had to write Cutting the Chord, Swinging the Hammer, and Dropping the Piano to deal with the return.

This is more of a "What would Green Grass from the Traveling Tutor series be like if he had been born into this world?" And the answer is not what you expect.

For those familiar with Triptych, please spoiler tag any comments that point out exactly where Dr. Gentle is lying.

Brilliant stuff thus far. I know you previewed this chapter in a blog, but the tense negotiations and dramatic irony still give me chills. Looking forward to more.

The Green Grass mention in Triptych:

There is an earth pony who understands workings. It's not the education of a dedicated scholar (although he's studied whatever he could): it's instinct, an understanding which comes from the core of him. He will never cast a single spell, and yet his comprehension is so complete as to make him capable of teaching them -- if only anypony would accept his tutelage, and that acceptance has never come, not when ponies can see what he is. So he left his home, went to where nopony knew him, and never takes off the hat. He sometimes claims disease keeps him from casting, the world's most persistent victim of Rhynorn's Flu, and has assembled a list of other excuses to be brought out at need. But it doesn't always work. He has been exposed, had to move on -- but his mark has told him what he is meant to do, and so he continues to travel, tutors whenever he can. And through all of the lessons given to the young, all of the little accidents so common to those trying out their fields and tricks for the first time, he has never been hurt, not by their magic, for he dispels every spark which comes too close, and doesn't know he's doing it at all.

So in this Continuum-related universe, Dr. Gentle's activities are a bit more widely known?

There we go. Hm... comments are a little thin.

We shall make these comments less thin!

If I ever have children of my own, I hope that I will be just as strident in their defense.

There were a lot of great Easter eggs for the Continuum here, but this one was fantastic in the emotional response it got from me.

In any case, fantastic look at Greenie's parents. One of the better parts of the Traveling Tutor series was how Martel went from obstacle to ally, and this showcases just how dedicated he is to his family. And why it took so much for him to see Green as anything more than the infant he had to coax into taking his medicine. Great work. Thank you for it.

Great story. Although given this is the Triptychverse I can't help but think that having a Earth Pony raised in a primarily unicorn family would be something to see given the nature of the secret.


Does Greenie know? That's the kind of thing a parent would be ashamed to tell and them not finding out until a deathbed confession in a "very special episode."

9826954 Adult Green Grass would not know, because this would not be something his parents would tell him. (Honestly, can you imagine Martel having that kind of heart-to-heart?)
9826873 I would presume an earth pony with that low level of earth pony magic *might* just barely be able to hear the Song if he holds still and listens. Remember, Pinkie Pie could not hear anything until nearly the end of Tryp.
9826172 The poor kid is doomed to be overwhelmed by his parents, under a lot of pressure.
9826153 I've come to the conclusion that my silly humorous pieces will get far more comments than something this serious. But it's nice that I *can* write this serious if I have to, without my usual approach. I *have* written heartbreaking sentences in various stories:
Scootaloo jumped. in Letters From a Little Princess Monster
“Yes, Mister Rich.” (as above)
Beet Salad held onto his brother and wept. in Buggy and the Beast

Some very rich character work here, and an interesting meeting of fictional worlds!

Given the comments in this story about how Green Grass would likely never master the Cornucopia Effect following the transfer of Unicorn essence, I’m guessing that he’s much like Pinky when it comes to Earth Pony abilities... that would make things much easier for an Earth Pony among unicorns when it comes to their secret.



That's true but I think at lest some Earth Ponies would be paranoid enough that they'd want to try and keep an eye on him just to make sure he doesn't give away the secret to his family

Looks like Green Grass is going to be a troublemaker in this shared universe as he is fully in yours.

Still trying to grips with the decision Martel made with the doctor, and I wonder how much he told Spring.

9825943 Well, it has to be a toss-up. He's a famous OBGYN, who has saved the lives of many, many troubled births. Then at the same time, he has been engaged in the Triptych project, which is kept a secret, and tries to make himself available for troubled births where lack of magical essence dooms the child. Headcanon-wise I would think essence flows from the mother to the child during -partum, which is probably something the various tribal supremacists don't want to think about in a mixed birth. Since the Cakes delivered a healthy set of non-earth pony twins, it must tie them up in knots. In this case, Spring Fresh does not have enough essence to keep two pre-partum foals 'fed' (having twins is brutal on the mother in the best of cases), which is why the reduction.
9824667 I would cavet that with the acknowledgement that Green Grass has been subject to the backlash of his students, but only when proper counterspells are available, or said backlash can keep him from attending the Grand Galloping Gala.

"I'm not sure, Twilight. I think he jumped in front of the spell. It all happened so fast. He does make a nice geranium, doesn't he?"

9827214 Yes, but. Remember, Pinkie would have died at birth without Doctor Gentle's procedure. Green Grass lived for over a year after delivery before his syndrome was catching up with him, therefore Greenie has more earth pony magic in him, and less unicorn magic.

9827514 We've had this discussion in the comments of the blog. I really don't believe the Secret can possibly be as secret-secret as optimistically proposed. I'm of the opinion that it is more like the Secret Rituals of the Masons or the Mormon Church, with pepper on it. So there may be a few books out there 'Earth Pony Magic For Dummies' and the like that tell about parts of the Secret and have chunks of made-up things too. I can picture Green Grass with one of the books and a potted fern, muttering as he tries to get something to go green "There's got to be something I'm missing here."

I'd say he has just enough earth pony magic to 'register' with other earth ponies but not enough to do anything, while his unicorn magic is nearly completely passive, and only acts when he's in danger from other magic. Since he wears unicorn shoes and has a number of educational unicorn devices and tools in his vest, any unicorn who knows he's an earth pony will put that faint 'unicorny' feeling off as feedback from something he's carrying, and any unicorn who *doesn't* know he's an earth pony will pick up the feedback and figure his natural magic is probably underneath it somewhere. So an earth pony who meets him knows he's a really weak earth pony, and a unicorn who meets him 'knows' he's a really weak unicorn, *unless* he's not wearing his hat, in which case they're going to wonder.

Hm, thanks.
Though I'm not sure I follow why the Cake twins' example would tie tribal supremacists up in knots for essence flow reasons particularly, if I'm reading you correctly?

9854993 Easy. EACH of the twins get their essence from their mother, an earth pony who the pegasus and unicorn supremacists treat with disdain. And yet each of the twins has proven to be at least as strong as a pureblood of their type, or more. Kinda puts the kibosh on all that "Need to breed true in order to keep the blood from being diluted" and such crap. Then again, Harry Potter had much the same cognitive dissonance with pureblood families.

It does bring up a point. If the foal gets their essence from their mother of a different race, how is it therefore *transformed* into the type the foal can use? Things that make you go hm....

There's always... DARK MAGIC!!!

I mean, sure, there's a 99.999% chance your kid turns into a demonic necromanticorn who dooms the world to an eternity of corruption and mayhem (how do you think New Jersey happened?), but hey! Better odds than the lottery! GO FOR IT!! :pinkiecrazy:

Or, you know... ask DIscord. Just... don't look too hard at the results. Your brain might melt.

9855009 After watching Tirek just generically suck up any magic of any kind, I'm kinda in the camp that it's just like electromagnetic radiation, and merely comes in different wavelengths... but that with the right tricks you can change it into whatever wavelength you need. A magical photophore, so to speak.

Tirek just has all the magical chlorophylls, and can even use the gamma-radiation that is Discord's Chaos Magic... so that means Tirek evolved in a melted-down magical nuclear reaction in Ukraine... where they mine for Ukrainium to make nuclear bombs! :applejackconfused::pinkiecrazy:

9972354 Season 9 also showed he can suck up changeling magic, so even the magic black rock out in the changeling hive won't stop him.

10225477 Season 9 just liked to randomly hand out new powers to everyone without explanation. :facehoof:

9824667 Greenie's in-continuum gift also makes him a little too willing to help young unicorns with magic issues. From an upcoming chapter in The Substitute Librarian.

Still, it caught him by surprise when Sparkler’s spell wavered like a candle in a hurricane, there was a blur of motion as his student hit the ground, and the gemstone exploded.

“Is everypony okay?” Derpy stuck her nose into the room and regarded both her adopted daughter flat against the floor and Emerald, who had been knocked onto his back in the process. “Oh, Mister Emerald. You lost your hat.”

The mailmare pulled the long red shard of gemstone out of the hat impaled against the wall and caught Emerald’s tattered fedora when it fell. After struggling to his hooves, Emerald accepted the hat and shook bits of red powder out of his mane before putting it back on. At least it had not been damaged too much. Their House maid back in Canterlot had threatened to drop the whole tattered thing into the rag pile and send him back out with a bare head if he made her patch it again.

“Thank you, Miss Doo. Now it’s a proper unicorn hat. My father would be so proud.” He arranged his punctured headwear with great care and turned back to Sparkler. “I see what you did, and the next time—”

Heyyyyy, it only took me two years to get around to reading this one! Anyway, good stuff as usual. Nice back story going on.

Login or register to comment