• Member Since 12th May, 2013
  • offline last seen 9 hours ago

Kris Overstreet


Convention vendor, compulsive writer. I have a Patreon for monthly bills and a KoFi for tips.

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She is the One who Mourns, She Who Raises the Sun and Moon, the Reclusive Princess.

Years have passed since the appearance of the Mare in the Moon, years during which Celestia has left the day-to-day running of the still-young kingdom of Equestria in the hooves of Platinum's grandson Prince Pyrite. Each day she raises and lowers the sun and moon, makes brief appearances at diplomatic meetings and special events, and then returns to her chambers, too lost in her melancholy to even count the years as they pass.

But what will she do when she discovers that her trusted prime minister has not been the faithful servant of the people she expected? Will she lose herself to her grief... or to the same madness that took her sister from her?

Written for Fan of Most Everything's Imposing Sovereigns II contest.

Chapters (1)
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Comments ( 33 )

Well Pyrite was at least smart enough to very quickly get it into his head to NOT go against his Aunt, maybe eventually she'll forgive him and just be disappointed he was such a money grubber?

Interesting story. I felt a little disappointed in the time scale though. At once it felt too short and then in another too long. Since ponies remember grandparents before immortal alicorns came along they can't be more a hundred or so? With that in mind Celestia's depression in her bedroom of what would be about a quarter of her lifespan feels far too long. On the other hand if shes hundreds upon hundreds of years old with Luna her sole immortal companion as all around her wither and die 25 years is too short a period. Its a real sticking point to what is otherwise a really interesting story.

Think you'd have been better served to have her out and around more consistently but uninterested in things and alienating ponies more with being pleasant more for Pyrites manipulations. Overall though neat story.

9934082 My mother's grandfather was born in the 1890s. Make of that what you will, re: time frames.

9933954
Reminds me of Igors from Discworld. (with an ess because there's more than one)

They knew that their Master laughing like an insane person is all well and fine but once the villagers and peasants start coming with flaming torches and pitchforks it's time to get the bug-out-bag and be out of the castle lickety split.

Rules of the Igor: Know when it's over.

Wonderful job. You really nailed a scenario that I can easily see happening in canon. Always enjoy reading your work!

Such a terrific story. My favorite Celestia has always skewed more in favor of the haunted, guilt-ridden monarch of the fandom, much more so than the cheerful princess of the show. It’s so complex, the depths of the grief and depression one can imagine her experiencing in the aftermath of Nightmare Moon’s exile. Unfortunately, I don’t think the cartoon ever made the most of the character’s dimensionality — but at least we have little trinkets of fanon to lay bare the desolation of Celestia’s tortured heart; music and animation like Lullaby for a Princess, and masterpieces of fanfiction like this.

I want to applaud you for how thoughtful and well-researched this story was. This kind of King John-esque tax scheme was only too common in feudal times. The logical through-line of Prince Pyrite’s scheme and how he was collecting on both ends is all too true to life, and so are so many of the other instances of graft and corruption described herein, the inventing of titles and distribution of payments through feudal levies and such. Even today, kickbacks of a similar sort aren’t rare. The office of seneschal, also, to which Pigeonhole is appointed and from which the story takes its name, is a clever nod to the real life office of seneschal which recurred in feudal Europe.

There are too many other clever things to name, right down to the names of the actors themselves — Princess Platinum’s reign giving way to Prince Pyrite, aka Fool’s Gold. The old-timey dialogue at formal court was welcome and appreciated, and I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed reading Celestia’s speech when at last she returned to take the throne. If there’s one thing I find delightful, it’s when characters are having conversations that take place on multiple levels, and there’s a lot to be read between the lines.

I am curious about the four stars mentioned in this fanfic. It’s something I’ve seen mentioned in other fanfics as well, but I can’t recall ever hearing it mentioned in the show. Is there a source on it, or is it pure fan lore?

If I have one piece of constructive criticism, I did find the opening paragraphs to be a little clunky, jumping back and forth in a somewhat confusing manner between the main body narrative and Celestia’s own internal monologue. There are also several places where hyphens are misused in place of em dashes, which further detracts from readability. Once I read past the first several pages, I went on to discover what a brilliant and well-written piece of fiction this was — but I’d be lying if I said those initial paragraphs didn’t give me a false first impression of this story’s quality. It’s nothing that couldn’t be fixed with a few minor edits.

Thank you for writing this. Good stories that capture Celestia’s complexity are difficult to find. I wish you the best of luck on the contest!

9935248 In the very first MLP episode, we see four stars close in on the moon with the Mare in the Moon face in it. When they hit/pass behind the moon, there's a flash of light, and the face disappears, i. e. Nightmare Moon is released. And there's a line in the prophecy Twilight quotes that "the stars shall aid in her escape".

9935248 Also: the kind of corrupt tax policies in this story were actually COMMON PRACTICE in Roman times. It's called "tax farming": the Empire would auction off districts to rich people, who would be given power to collect taxes as they saw fit within those districts, even to the extent of being able to use Roman troops to enforce their wishes. In the Bible, when Matthew and Zacchaeus are mentioned as tax collectors, they weren't civil bureaucrats; they were rich people squeezing ordinary people strictly for their own profit, despised by everyone (even the actual Roman authorities). When both men destroyed their tax rolls and forgave their debtors, they were essentially condemning themselves to lives of poverty.

Rome wasn't the first or the last to use the system.

Would have liked her to do a bit more to twist the knife, but a very good read regardless.

Reform, something the world urgently needs. Bring us our Princess Celestia!

9936028 As a general rule, Celestia doesn't twist the knife even on her worst enemies. She gets the job done. And with Pyrite in particular she has extra reasons not to make it any more painful than it absolutely needs to be. She feels responsible (by her inattention) for his degeneration, and she doesn't trust her temper completely.

9936150 While our world does need reform, the kind of reform Celestia implements at the end only works out if you have an incorruptible enlightened princess like Celestia. Human experience with absolute monarchy has been that it almost always ends poorly.

It says something that this fandom is very good at portraying depression. Still, a good portrayal is a good portrayal. Brilliant work in Celestia nearly daybreaking before finding her balance again and stepping up like a true leader. I hope Pigeonhole wasn't lost to history; she helped save Equestria.

Thank you for this, and best of luck in the judging.

Very good story.

But I’m not sure if it’s a shame it will fly over the heads of most readers or if that’s a good thing.

9936800 I designed Pigeonhole to be the direct ancestress of Raven Inkwell.

Truly and utterly magnificent. Thank you for this absolute masterpiece.

This was a good piece that hits pretty hard, and I'd say it's more hollowing than melancholy. That's not a bad thing, but the different examination of this gradual decline in Celestia still has a lot to offer and is a heavy piece. This particular comment captures the impact and characterization pretty well 9935248. I'm also struck by how well this story complements a SS&E piece that came out lately.

9933954 Presumably that happened, since Pyrite's Great Grandson to the 52nd degree still seems wealthy and is on good terms with Celestia.

9938994
It could be Pyrite's decendants managed to get back in Celestia's graces, just cause he was a douche doesn't mean his kids or grandkids are.

9939291 (I mean, that one is also kind of a douche, Celestia is just a very forgiving pony).

9939365
Different stories show Blueblood differently, he is at the very least a fop and I'm sure not all his family is like him. I mean there are 50 generations between Pryrite and Blueblood.

9936850
I'd like SaintChoc's take on Raven to be canon. You've read it, I assume?

9939433 Quite true. I was just seeing some interesting parallels between Pyrite and Blueblood, to the point where I wonder how often that dynasty has alternated between screwing up and being just cautious and clever enough to earn their way back into Celestia's good graces.

9939453
Probably like human royals. Full of nobles of every stripe from useless fops, brave heros , shifty conmen, absolute lunatics, geniuses and imbeciles.

No horn, no wings- just an ordinary earth pony.

That's racist D:< !

ps. darn good read. Love the mix of those 3 stories... the royals, the past and Celestia's struggles. It makes her very relatable!

Good luck with the bad days, and thank you for writing. :)

I know that's not what the story is about, but, sadly, the Pony Nobles Are All Corrupt And Evil tope overshadowed the rest of the story for me. It just feels like so much wasted potential, when at least SOME of those expenses could've been for things Pyrite and his peers thought were needed. Like castles for actual protection, not vanity; mercenaries hired because Celestia herself is too mopy to do battle, who then create problems; maybe bribes to shady individuals and hostile foreign nations to stave off worse. Something to tie it in with Celestia's neglect. Anything.

Sorry, sorry, it's just... a pet peeve of mine. Almost no story on this site makes even token effort to show any nobles serving their nation. A vast, vast majority of writers only use them as easy and disposable Hate Sinks. Which tends to make the princesses look like idiots for even having nobles...

Anyhow. Still giving this an upvote. It's well written, and you didn't make Celestia super-vengeful either, or so I assume since Blueblood's line is still around in present-day Equestria. And Celestia even admitted Pyrite wasn't a complete disaster, unlike herself; a ruler who neglects their duties for twenty-four years has a lot to answer for, and she only really doesn't because nobody can force her to. I just would've wished it had been less black and white, even if it's not the worst I've seen.

Cheers.

damn, you are a good writer. thank you for your excellent work

Being immortal doesnt mean it wont hurt. And like all wounds it takes time to heal. Time, and with Celestia pure, unadulterated rage because someone took advantage of her.

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

I also found some typos/minor things, which did not warrant mention in said critique;

the little pony- barely more than a filly- said

All the hyphens in the story should be em dashes. You can make them (on Windows) by holding down Alt, typing "0151", then releasing Alt. Additionally, em dashes should have spaces on both sides, or no spaces at all. Choose one and remain consistent throughout.

her,the exhausting

“The Prime Minister didn’t send me, princess

Should be "Princess", since it is a direct address.

Celestia shook her head, dismissing the imaginary voice of her sister.

This second clause is telling: it is bluntly stating something that the readers can easily infer.

pony,brushing

"Yes. ma'am." That Pigeonhole could answer to.

Should be a comma after the "Yes".

left innocence behind and even longer time before

10135190 If I have to use an ASCII code call for a straight line which looks identical to the other straight line to me, I'm not going to bother. I regard the difference between hyphens and em-dashes as being as obsolete as thee, thou and whom.

"...dismissing the imaginary voice of her sister." That's there because if I just have her shaking her head, the vast majority of readers will wonder why she's shaking her head (and in what manner), and a large minority will wonder whose voice she's hearing just before then.

Fixing the others, thanks.

PresentPerfect
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As the British say, phwaw! That was amazing. :D

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