• Member Since 12th Nov, 2013
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Noble Thought

I sometimes pretend I have a posting schedule other than "sometime near the end of the week."

Comments ( 367 )

Hehehe yes! It begins :D

Me too! I'm working through my backlog of chapters, getting them their final shine. For a while, it's going to be daily updates, then slower as I get into less refined territory, and possibly slower as I get into crossover territory (with my writing partner, Cara, not crossover as in crossover-crossover).
So it does!

10273432 oh thank god, you nearly spoiled the Infinity War arc...

I do love how we're thrown in media res with this story. It's something not a lot of authors do, nor do well.

Dang, this is some interesting stuff. I actually like the dynamic of Rosewater and Collar. They sound like ponies who've been playing this game for a while.

Also question on if I have the current Roses family relationship correct: Rosewater is a main branch family member (the heir, if I'm reading right), Rosemary is her cousin (so a side branch; the Rosethorns?), and Cloudy is a farther off branch member?

You are correct on the relationships. Rosewater is the firstborn and heir apparent of Merrie, and Cloudy Rosewing is a mare from a smaller branch, and more of that will come out in future chapters. Rosemary is Rosewater's first cousin - her aunt's daughter.

And thank you! In Medias Res is... hard for me. I like to know what happened before, but I did it because it made more sense. This chapter and the one before it saw a lot of revisions as I figured out the past through future chapters, but the past is now pretty solid in my head and in future chapters.

So Rosemary isn’t aware that her lover is currently in bed with Collar, that’s going to be a rather awkward raid.

I do wonder how the Rosewater/Collar 'romance' started and will play out. It almost seems like the two have a rocky history together.

Also Glory seems (seems) to be not a bad sister from what it looks like, if she taught Rosewater invisibility, but who knows.

The plot thickens! Hmmm...what will be the ultimate goal these two heirs have up their sleeves for how to end the war? Everything seems fairly causal (being a stalemate of subterfuge right now), but it's possible things will break bad sooner rather than later.

That will come about in time. As will that. And that. Hee. Lotsa stuff coming up in the next 20-ish chapters that I'm looking forward to publishing. Just gotta give these early chapters their final polish!

Heeeee! *grin*

Hmm, I'm intrigued by this. Quite well-written.

“Ooh, good. Yes. It’s a fireball for the senses.”

:trollestia: I see what you did there.

Hmm...so something broke bad involving Carnation that sent Rosewater down the path she's on. And 'gift'? Wonder what that is...

Rosemary seems to have benefited from the crap that went down when her mom got exiled. Mostly in that she's still relatively normal to her cousins broken. And now two new names in the backstory of Rosewater: Budding Rose and Rose Seed.

Ah, so Cloudy isn't exactly as innocent in her defection/exile as her narration implies. She and Rosemary are going to have a probably not so sweet reunion when that happens.

It also seems like Glory isn't a bad sister, (she behaves more like Rosewater than the other sister whose name I can't remember) but two chapters does not fully show the mare.

There is a huge cast of names... I have an excel spreadsheet to help me keep it all straight. (And it's still hard)

And I must say, I really do like seeing your comments about the characters. It makes me think along different lines that I might not have considered while writing it. (I tend to be rather single-minded when it comes to interpretations of the characters). I really am looking forward to the next chapter. I've been poking at it for a while, and I'm still in the process of smoothing out some things.

It's really telling that when I went back for a second drafting that I almost all but skipped over these earlier chapters and didn't really start second-drafting until about chapter 15. groan Cleanup to do! Yay!

Edit: Also yas. Fireballs were my favorites as a little gorl.

10277926 The worst thing we can ask ourselves isn't even the names.

It's what color random side characters are.

“If you get caught, don’t fight, Rosemary. Don’t let them hurt you.” Tears shimmered in Rosewater’s eyes. “There’s so much that can go wrong in a chase. I can’t lose you. I won’t.”

Oh dear, that's ominous...

going anywhere near the Prison was an idea on par with running up to Cloudy and kissing her right there in the open.

Well according to Cloudy she'd be more than OK with this idea.

Glory had been one of the few of her cousins aside from Rosewater who wasn’t openly antagonistic towards her.

Ah, so my guess was right! Glory is on the not-asshole side of the Rosethorns! Or at least the nicer side.

But even with all the noise she made flapping it about above and both taking off and landing, Rosemary still didn’t look up. She looked side-to-side, yes, but not up except maybe once every few minutes, as if she’d had to remind herself to do so.

You'd think Rosewater would have drilled the thought of checking everything in a 180° sphere when sneaking, but alas not. Or Rosemary completely forgot.

Why don’t you use these all the time? They were so much more potent than the candies that she remembered, so much more useful.

Bet the hangover from them sucks Cloudy.

The reason why Rosewater didn’t use them became apparent not even five minutes after taking the candy, as all the energy started to leave her and the aches and pains of her earlier exertions piled back up again.


Ooooh, cliffhanger! Rosewater shows she's much more than the Rose Terror. I doubt Cloudy has much to worry about, but I bet we're gonna see more of Rosewater at work. Ah man, I'm having way too much fun with this story. :twilightsmile:


Bet the hangover from them sucks Cloudy.

Haha, yes! Yes, it does.

I have to admit, I love writing Rosewater when she's at her banteriest, and I'm so looking forward to when it reaches peak banter.

Primline Lace was one of the few ponies in either city that gave Rosewater pause, and the reason she’d worked on her range. Lace’s talents were best employed at short-range, but they were absolutely devastating to anything that used magic.

Oooh, so Lace is pretty powerful.

“My lord, she makes a paltry shield. Nay… next time, you’ll come willingly. I still haven’t given up hope, Lord Collar.”

Hmm...the juicy tidbits are hidden for still another day...

“No.” Lace closed her eyes for a moment and shook her head. “But… she is a Rosewing, Collar. You need to be certain of your devotion to her, because it will be tested. And not by me.”


Poor Cloudy, it seems like her decision to leave, her current affair with Collar, and her love for Rosemary is going to eat at her. And interesting, Collar is technically a Rose by blood...

Honestly, despite being a supporting main character, sometimes it feels like a huge part of the story revolves around Cloudy and what she did, chose to do, or chose not to do in the past.

Nope, just an In Medias Res start. The history gets explored in future chapters. This is the start.

Edit: Probably should have made that a bit clearer starting out. (Updated description)

So the stipulation was added, after a tense negotiation, that the heir who rose to power needed to have their own heir at the time power changed hands.

Ooooh. So no matter who is in charge, they need to have kids or risk another another civil war.

Rosemary, as Rosewater’s charge and legally recognized by the duel she’d fought with her mother, fell under that canopy. She had another card, but playing it would destroy assumptions, lay bare certain other of her plans, and give Roseate a further reason to find ways to corrupt Rosemary away.


Every day, she wanted Celestia to end it and just take over. Or Lace to get off her ass and stop pretending that Roseate could be reasoned with or worn down and attack .

So Lace is in fact powerful enough that she could end the war, but hasn't for whatever reason. Hmmm.

“Of course I rutting miss her. All of her friends miss her.” The brash tone faded, and Glass ran her hooves over her white mane. “Stars, Rosemary, I get it. She… got hurt. But that’s not a reason to just cut all ties with everyone to protect them.”


“Yes. If she’s going by Rosethorn tradition, she wants a thrall, not a mate,” Cloudy growled.

YIKESYIKESYIKES. Also I don't think Rosewater wants that exactly, judging by what we know of her.

“We were. Closer than mother would have approved of if she’d found out. She was the only sane one I could go to. But I properly glowered at her at every gala as mother instructed I should do, I shunned her elsewhere, and made sure that I was not seen anywhere near her precious home.”

Yay, Glory IS a non crazy one!

Rosemary being the key player between everything is going to be the tipping point. No way Rosewater and Cloudy don't try to move the Sun and Moon for her. I'm betting these four will be more chummy in the future to screw over Crazy Mom.

Oh dear me yes, this chapter started up a bunch of threads or advanced more. This was a really pivotal chapter and set up so much.

“She’ll be back, Rosemary,” Rosewater said gently. “This war ends with my generation.”

Yeah, go Rosewater!

“I love you, Collar. I love both of you.” But I can’t love both of you. Not in Damme. “Lets go home.”

Oh boy, Cloudy you gotta get this resolved quick or it's gonna eat at ya.

I love reading your comments :twilightsmile: Thank you for brightening my day a little more.

The very next day , her shop was visited by Rosejoy and her goons and warned her against seeing Rosewater again, to which Roseling had, of course, gone straight to Rosewater’s estate, knocked on the door, and kissed her right in front of the goon squad.


Collar grimaced and sighed. “My mother was devastated when she passed on. But that’s why I’m not uncomfortable. Because my mother pushed me to understand that not everypony was a Roseate or a Rosewater.”

Hmmm, so Grandma Rose was liked by Lace. And tried to do some good before Roseate screwed everything up.

“How can she bottle cookies? ” Collar demanded

PFFT :rainbowlaugh:

Aw yeah, time for a possible alliance meeting! I can't wait!

Hee... Funny story. I was late posting this chapter because I'd forgotten I hadn't hit "Publish"... I'll have to set a calendar reminder. Next chapter on Sunday.

Really looking forward to that one. It was fun to work on.

“Idiot,” Silver muttered as she walked away. “You’re taking yourself away from us, too, you know. It’s like you’re Carnation, but you’re doing it willingly.”


Silver Drop was one of the best at what she did in either Merrie or Damme, and the inscriptions were line-perfect to the schematic she’d provided, measurements and volumes all marked exactly. She’d understood as soon as Rosewater provided the inscribed and etched gems what the

Er, I think a sentence got cut off here.

Hmmm....so Rosewater is pretty sincere about courting Collar. And Collar is fighting with his own principals on being poly with the two/three mares that star in this story. For some reason I foresee that Rosewater and Collar are going to have a long honest talk at some point and it's going to be depressing as all hell.

I'm also assuming that we might get one of those balls that keeps being mentioned. I bet it's going to be a full on political battlefield the likes of which haven't been seen in a long time in either city.

Dangit. I thought I'd fixed that, but apparently did not. The end of the sentence was

etched gems what the brooch was for.

Silver Drop has known what's going on.

For the rest... stars I love your comments. And I'm fighting so hard not to say anything!


Okay, I'm not sure what Roseate's endgame plan is. She's pushing and alienating her best military asset and setting up a secession crisis just as her foes across the river are more united and ready. Has she gone mad?

Why must you tempt me to say things! :raritydespair:

Seriously, though, she has a pathos, and the story will explore that more as it progresses. She's not acting out of random spite, and she has a plan.

There's still a few chapters of rewriting to do yet before I get back to where I'd originally finished the third draft revisions for everything, but I do have her plan starting to unfold more fully as time goes on.

Ooo, Roseate is bitc-.....a bit of an asshole. She's definitely someone who only sees what she wants from the world and how to take it in the most soul crushing way possible. (Jeez, I already don't like her and we've only had one actual scene with her.)

“Primline was a passionate pony, Rosemary,” Rosewater said gently. “He mourned the loss of any young pony, and there were many in his age, with plagues and fighting following the Collapse after the Battle of Two Nights. He wrote the Tussen Twee in his latter years, filled with grief, and I fear that his teachings gained much popularity because of the state of affairs when he published it. Every young death ate at him, and you can see it in the other works he authored. The artists most of all.”

Ouch, yeah, I can see why it would get popular after a war took so many young kiddos.

“They would be ashamed of us, could they see us now.” Rosewater shook her head slowly, sighing. “They had been the best of friends.”

....oh. :(

Craaaaap, Evil Mom Rose is gonna try and get to Collar. There's no way she's just gonna be nice about meeting him. Cloudy and Rosewater gotta be at the forefront to stop her!

Things are getting juicy!

It took a while to get to when things really start heating up, but thank you for hanging in there!


That battle is some scary stuff. The amount of emotionally charged magic must have been a sight to behold. But it shows how much Roseate needs a kick to the face.

Collar seems to be coming around to Rosewater, at the very least, so something good came out of the impromptu duel. It's also kinda sad that Rosewater felt the need to lie even though it saved both him and Cloudy. Plus we see more of what fuels Rosewater.

Also an almost slipup from Rosemary. I'm starting to wonder if she really is Rosewater's daughter and not Carnations. Or if there's something else afoot that I haven't pieced together.

But things are super heating up!


Rosewater is a complex mare with a complicated set of hangups about being open. And I'm glad the battle hit you like that. It was meant to be a shocking moment of magical violence in an otherwise mostly political/romantic drama with some slice-of-life elements thrown in.

I'm also big on worldbuilding, and I love slipping little things in here and there to build up this world as the ponies here see it.The emotional magic connection to the Crystal Empire, five hundred years gone and practically a myth at this point, is a part of that.

I'm glad Nemo is all right.

“It was a thwarting of my mother’s plans. Thanks are not necessary.” But they were welcome. Her estimations of Cloudy Rose ticked up a few notches.

Someone's making friends! :D

Not for the first time, he felt the urge to curse the war that had pitted them against each other. More and more, he was getting the feeling that if the war hadn’t gotten in the way, he and Rosewater might find themselves less at odds and more allies, if not friends outright.

More friends! I'm so happy! :pinkiesad2: (...OK well at least Collar is seeing that Rosewater isn't as bad as he thought.)

It looks like the possible alliance is starting to make some good ground, and understanding starting to flow. I'm just so excited about all of this, I love it.

(Also I'm glad to know your kitter is alright. Cats are wonderful and they love their people a lot. I hope he has many more good years to be with you. ❤️)

Me too. He's doing better today. He's still at the vet.

This makes me so happy, and I hope he stays with me for a long time, too. I was so scared that he was going to leave yesterday.

I'm glad you're enjoying it so far!

The only thing he’d told her was, “She hurt herself deeply to help us. I think she does not realize how deeply.”

Yikes, if even Collar can see how badly Rosewater hurt herself, she did a bad to her own head.

The title promised mystery. She pursed her lips and almost shoved it aside. At least the last book had boldly stated that it would be useless. She did not like the new trend of catchy titles to draw the reader in.

PFFT. Cloudy doesn't like clickbait apparently.

Jeez, these poor kids...this war is hard on them. (Also Roseate was an asshole since she was a filly. :shocked Pikachu:)

I mean, who likes clickbait?

But sometimes clickbait hides interesting things. (And war is hell)

(Story starts In Medias Res)

Where can I read that story?

In Medias Res means "In the middle of". This is not a sequel or a continuation of another story. The story just started in the middle of an already established world and ongoing plot, and details get dropped in where they're needed to flesh out the history, world, and characters.

“Ah, yes, and sometimes I did. Most times, it was by letter with code words. Occasionally, by dead drop.” Rose Glory shrugged. “We had a system, she and I, of talking from when we were fillies growing up. Roseate, after it became clear she couldn’t fully corrupt Rosewater thanks to her sister’s influences, focused almost solely on Rosary. I was a disappointment, and she largely ignored me.”

At least Glory is still showing herself to be a good person. Also jeez, poor Rosary, having the full force of their Mom's crazy pushed on to her.

“She is only terrifying to those that endanger that which is most precious to her: family.” Glory slipped from the couch and tapped her chest. “She did what she could to ensure I would be safe. Having me captured? I’m safer here than I would be in Merrie.” She jabbed a hoof at Cloudy. “She cares more for Rosemary than her own life. She has, in fact, given it up for her sake.”

Dang, Glory going straight for the jugular.

“You must still capture her first, my lord.” Glory smiled sweetly. “She was trained by Rosewater.”

OK, Glory for third best Rose. She's great.

Man, Rosewater really hurt herself badly during that duel. She definitely can't be doing that again. Plus I'm back to square one on trying to figure out the family dynamic that her, Rosemary, and Carnation had. You win on confusing me there.

Also double chapter updates? UH YES.

To be honest, figuring out how to portray the family dynamic was hard throughout the story. For all of the characters, and even some more side-characters that are coming up in future chapters. But it's been fun playing with this or that idea, then settling in for another defined one. The final dynamic I settled on sort of defies definition for me, but I'll leave that to be discovered and interpreted.

Suffice to say I had a lot of fun playing around with family dynamics in a broken family. Well, stressing about how it would be viewed and trying to find the right words to portray it. I try, usually, not to be confusing or obtuse in my writing, and since this isn't really a mystery story...

Well. I really hope that once the dynamic gets explored, it will be more clear about what it was.

The family dynamics of the Rosethorn clan were more complicated than Glory had made it seem.

Ain't that the truth.

Use your connection with Rosemary to gain entry to Rosewater’s house. Do this, and you will be rewarded.

I knew it had to be something like this. Freaking Roseate.

Before they started raising Rosemary together. Before Rosewater even knew that Carnation had signed treaty work noting Rosewater as Rosemary’s second mother by adoption.

That explains it!

Man, Rosewater has lived a bittersweet life, hasn't she? Maybe having Collar as a mate would actually do her some good, rather than just as a plan. He seems pretty empathetic after seeing her. Just would be weird for him to be married to 3 cousins.

But yes, things are hearing up! What will Rosewater and Collar do next?


What will Rosewater and Collar do next?

I love to see this question!

Well, he's playing it smart so far with the cousins thing, letting Cloudy have her side snuggles on her own time. If it ever becomes official though, sheesh. Forget the Tussen and Principes, he's never gonna be the good guy in an argument ever again.

You got me hooked with this gem of a story that i happened upon by chance. It is really well written <3

I'm glad you found your way here. Always happy to have a new reader!

I love collar's mother xD, she is great.

She's been one of my favorite side-characters to write. I love her.

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