• Member Since 6th Nov, 2012
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I've never seen a place that's quite like this. Everything is turned around; this crazy world is upside down.


In its earliest years, the Crystal Empire was no stranger to threats. Chief among these was the umbrum, a race of ancient shadow-beasts that stalked the arctic wastes. Seemingly born of pure malice, they took great pleasure in tormenting the crystal ponies—destroying their homes and breaking their spirits for fun. And as the Empire grew in both size and prominence, these attacks only became more abundant.

Princess Amore did everything in her power to keep the umbrum at bay. And by using her magic in combination with the Crystal Heart, she was largely successful. But against such overwhelming and unrelenting darkness, even she was pushed to her limits. And the umbrum were growing more cunning by the day. Eventually, something had to give.

Now faced with the darkest days the Crystal Empire has yet seen, Princess Amore will be put to the ultimate test. Against a hatred as old as the wind, can the love of a single pony really make a difference?

Written for FanOfMostEverything's contest: Imposing Sovereigns II. My chosen prompt was "Princess Amore/War."

Chapters (6)
Comments ( 34 )

Tentatively, yes. Without going into too much detail, the past few years have been pretty rough on me, but I've started getting the help I need, allowing me to enjoy my hobbies a bit more again—writing included. I don't want to commit to anything too big just yet, but the contest I've written this for inspired me to get back in the saddle.

Well, this is certainly intriguing. Though those tags bode very ill indeed. Looking forward to seeing where you go with this.

That’s excellent to hear! I’ve missed your work, and it’s good to know you’re alright. C:

I should’ve more strongly enforced the notion not to trust any outsiders.

Which is why Celestia and Luna aren't involved yet. Of course, how would the Empire contact them? It's not like the umbrum would let couriers through.

How could I call myself a leader if I abandoned one of my ponies—one of my friends—when they needed me most?

And how many do you abandon for that one?

... Oh. Always awkward when the manifest entity of hatred and darkness uses my counterargument. :twilightsheepish: Still, this cost Amore dearly. We'll have to see what the final bill is.


Always awkward when the manifest entity of hatred and darkness uses my counterargument.

Hey, that doesn't necessarily make the argument any less valid! Sometimes the lack of a moral compass can be useful, especially in such emotionally charged decisions.

Hopefully she'll learn from this. Not terribly likely, but there's always hope.

Brilliant work, especially in tying together both the lessons learned too late and the comic continuity...

But that ending is so terribly bittersweet when we know what happens next. Still, fantastic stuff, and congratulations on pushing it to exactly the word limit. I can only imagine what the editing process was like. Thank you for this, and best of luck in the judging.

Thank you! Yeah, that word limit definitely snuck up on me. There was more that I wanted to do in certain parts, and I didn't hit every beat that I would've liked to, but hey, "murder your darlings" and all that. I'm fairly satisfied with how it turned out regardless. Tying it back into the comic continuity was easy enough, at least. I'd planned on it from the beginning and I'm glad I was able to justify it.

I'm a little surprised that there isn't a Sombra tag.

That's because this story takes place before Sombra was around. It does involve his ancestors—the umbrum—but not Sombra himself.

Wow. I am thoroughly impressed with how much this managed to pack into its word count. It showed enough character to get me invested in several characters, and still had space for several riveting action scenes.

This was really good. Thanks for writing!

Thank you for reading! I'm glad to hear that you got invested in the story. It was a really fun one to write.

Yup, those are umbrum alright. Nasty business that, creatures that subsist off of despair always are.

No doubt. At least windigoes have the decency to feed off of hatred passively instead of actively creating it.

I'm loving Amore's hooves-on approach to ruling.

Very exciting. Really feeling for Amore and her love for her people.

Interesting near confession Citrine.

Wonderful. (Is Cadence Amore's daughter/descendant?)

Thank you for reading, and thanks as well for all of the lovely comments! I'm glad you enjoyed it. :twilightsmile:

As for Cadance's relation to Amore, they're canonically stated to be "very distant relatives." My headcanon makes it a bit more complex, but I'll refrain from going into it here since it's a subject I'll be touching upon in other stories, including one I'm currently working on, so I'll save the details for that.

I wrote a critique/review of this story. It can be found right over here.

I also found some minor typos, which did not warrant mentioning in said review;

Soon after, the door swung open to a middle-aged mare with her mane tied back in a loose bun.

Missing word.

It rang through the abyss, suffocating all other under a blissful choir.

Missing word.

Everypony is to remain no less than a hundred hooves from the Crystal Heart

Should be 'more'.

Thank you very much for the critique! I'll reply with my more in-depth thoughts on the blog itself, but I'm glad you enjoyed the story overall! I'm pretty happy with how it turned out, considering the word & time limits.

And thanks for those typos, too. Some things always manage to sneak through no matter how thoroughly I edit.

A few times, Citrine went to say something. Yet each time, their mouth worked in silence. A long sigh passed their lips. “You’re our leader because we trust you. To keep us safe. And to make the hard decisions.” They approached and touched a hoof to Amore’s shoulder. “Not every question has a right answer.

Missing end quotes.

Thanks for bringing it to my attention, but the lack of a closing quotation mark there is actually correct. Citrine's dialogue continues in the paragraph following this one, which means that this falls under the multi-paragraph quotation rule: If a character's dialogue is spread out across multiple paragraphs, the closing quotation mark should only be placed at the end of the final paragraph. A bit of an obscure rule, but a rule all the same.

Well then this story is clean of errors. Congrats. :twilightsmile:

I’ve heard of that rule, I read a lot too. Guess I just didn’t notice it here.

This was an interesting story, it’s been in my Read Later shelf since I saw it on EQD. Made me look up more info on Princess Amore; she’s an interesting but obscure character. I think she’s Cadence’s mother, even though the comics say they’re “distantly related.”

After this I ended up rereading the origin comic for Sombra, after like 2 years since I read it the first time.

I'm glad you found the story interesting! I think Princess Amore has a lot of potential for great stories, as well as the history of the Crystal Empire at large. I find it unlikely that she's Cadance's mother, but I could see it being true with enough mental gymnastics. I think it's more likely that Amore had a child or some other descendant that didn't get banished with the Empire, and that descendant went on to have a family of their own that eventually culminated in Cadance. To each their own, though.

Author Interviewer

I'm excited by the name "Rabia". :D

Author Interviewer

Well, that's pretty rad. :D

Glad to know you've enjoyed it!

Strongly written and nicely done darkness. I really enjoy your Cadance continuity and how you manage to make it appeal to fans of her that don't particularly like the comic material. Comic-exclusive characters like the umbrum, Radiant Hope, and Amore really suffered from underdevelopment, gulfs between canon/core material, and breakneck pacing that are rampant in the comics. It is stories like this that really do a good job at making up for not just the lack of material with them, but doing the best to make them stand out. I'm sad that this didn't get more attention.

Thank you for the praise! I've definitely always felt that some of the characters in the comics have a lot of unmined potential, and Princess Amore in particular always jumped out at me as being a character who needs more love. She's a fairly important figure lore-wise, so the fact that a lot of people don't even realize she exists is saddening for sure.

I'm glad you enjoyed my little interpretation of her and the umbrum here, though! If I ever get the time to hammer out the other ideas I have for this continuity, I hope you'll enjoy those just as much. :twilightsmile:


She's a fairly important figure lore-wise, so the fact that a lot of people don't even realize she exists is saddening for sure.

I've always gone with canon divergent lore myself, especially when the comics are involved, but you made really nice use of it here.

And of course, your Cadance stories are always worth keeping an eye on!

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