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This story is a sequel to My Empire of Dirt

Principal Celestia has had her hands full since taking a magically mute Sunset Shimmer. It hasn't been that long since the Fall Formal, and she's still trying to figure out basic communication with her student, let alone how to get her anything remotely like a Hearth's Warming present.
A hastily dashed off letter to her pony counterpart suddenly launches her on a night of adventure that will force her to question everything she thought she knew about Sunset Shimmer and how she can help the pony-turned-girl.

You're kinda going to have to read at least the first few chapters of My Empire of Dirt for this to make much sense. This story is considered canon to Empire.

I was originally going to write this as a one-shot, but once I hit 10,000 words, I figured I'd better break it up into chapters.

Cover art by Princeling

Chapters (6)
Comments ( 83 )

Well, that was pretty good. Can't wait for the next chapter!


She can't even choose CLOTHES without this curse kicking in? That's...ridiculously nasty. What the hell, Harmony?


Damn. That was really depressing.

Jesus, Princess, you really fucked up.

using hearths warming instead of christmas is a mistake IMO

holliday unwrapped made it clear they celebrate the human hollidays (halloween is mentioned by name) it makes no sense to use pony hollidays as all the lore behind them is gone in the human world


using hearths warming instead of Christmas is a mistake IMO

holiday unwrapped made it clear they celebrate the human holiday (Halloween is mentioned by name) it makes no sense to use pony holidays as all the lore behind them is gone in the human world

I'm scouring the videos as we speak, but I'm mostly basing my use of the pony-named holidays for two reasons:

  1. In the great Spectrum of the Multiverse, EQG is much closer to MLP:FiM than it is to us, for all that they're humans. (It's like how the part of the color spectrum we call "purple" is actually mostly blue with a little red. Sure, it's got enough red in it to not be blue, but it's sure as heck not pink)
  2. In the comics "holiday" special (the one featuring Anon-a-Miss), they go out of their way to avoid ANY mention of the specific winter holiday they're supposed to be celebrating. For all we know, it could be a weird, mirror-portal version of Krampusnacht.

Also, in the chapter I'm working on now, I'm making it clear that they're in a multiverse and the name for whatever the winter holiday they're using, it's basically going to be for the same celebration.

holliday unwrapped was the final EG special its on youtube

and i just think exploring the idea of different hollidays is more interesting as sunset would learn what the human ones are and could share her culture with her new family in return

but thats just my 2 cents

*grabs Bori* You are a very naughty reindeer. You KNOW exactly what that Principal Celestia needs to do, but nooooooooooooooooo, you have to be all mysterious about it. Someone should call Belldandy and have her give you lessons on being a proper 'protector of the present'.

If this part makes you feel like Celestia was just kicked in the shin and had her wallet stolen...good, that was the goal

More like a punch to the gut and a kick in the face :raritycry: I can't wait to see what Celestia will see in Sunset's future. Great work!


That's a lot of Anon-a-miss.

...I kind of want to know more about the undersea and space variants, though.

Right in the feels. Keep it up! Loving this story and Empire and hope to see more.

Wanderer D

Very nice! I recognized a few fics here, mine obviously, but also Sunset Shimmer Hunts the Undead... were the vamp and elf segments also fics? (and good ol' Sam from QL)

I did hope I wasn't being too circumspect with that one. :twilightsmile:

Those questions and others answered in the official Author's Notes blog post for this chapter

You're not wrong, I'm expecting the final bits of Music Box Blues to be done within the next couple of days.

Hehe, Twi calling her mother on her clone in PCHtUD was cruel. I loved it.

And Quantum Leap?!? Yeah, Al would get a kick out of an Alice doing it with someone else wouldn't he? Goddamn, I need to hunt down that show, good memories of my childhood there.

One typo I noticed happened a few times - "Hoard" instead of "Horde".

Nice to see an update on this again!

In addition to the hoard vs horde mentioned above, in the D&D section, when Luna sprouts her wings, you forgot to include the actual sprouting action.

Other than that, this was very holiday wholesome, and seems to have pushed Celestia past her hang-ups and blind spot. Thank you.

I now eagerly await Empire's catching up to this point, and am very interested to see where you take it from there.

Because Celestia was REALLY stubborn about not admitting the truth to herself, and overly cautious about overstepping her bounds, and needed a really significant kick in the pants. :rainbowlaugh:


Because Celestia was REALLY stubborn about not admitting the truth to herself, and overly cautious about overstepping her bounds, and needed a really significant kick in the pants.

Magnificently said!

So I'll preface this by saying I like this story and the one it's part of (though I think the other should have been finished first as I feel this is taking all the emotional impact that should have been reserved for the original). I'm a sucker for Sunset stories so I had read most of the ones used in this chapter so I understood the references and enjoyed the sojourns into those worlds. What I'm going to say is entirely my opinion and not said out of ill intent. It is only said as why the story, in my opinion, is not as good as it could have been.

I think this chapter was the overly large straw that broke the story's back. There are several reasons on why I believe it fails to achieve what it should have set out to achieve and as a result brings the rest of the story down and even has implications for the other in the series.

First is the length. I think this is more a symptom of the issue rather than a cause, but it should be what programmers call "code smells". Just the sheer size should have been an indication that the story was losing track of it's purpose and was carrying unnecessary elements. In the description its says,

I was originally going to write this as a one-shot, but once I hit 10,000 words, I figured I'd better break it up into chapters.

But as can been seen, this chapter is well past 10k words and even longer than the rest of the chapters combined. The next chapter would have to be 7,578 words long, making it the second longest chapter, just to make this one half the story's length. And I think the problem lies in unnecessary elements.

In the original Christmas Carol, which this is loosely based on, the final ghost has the shortest time. This is because it is the emotional turning point of the story. This is when all the other elements come together and Scrooge realizes he has to change. If you consider the first two ghosts as heating the iron, then the last ghost is the emotional hammer that hits it into shape. On the other hand, this one seems to repeat some lessons from the previous "ghosts" and does what I can only describe as meander. By having them in pre-existing universes, it takes thousands of words explaining the setting and history that serve no useful purpose towards the central theme. I know it's a bit of fan-service and am not against the author paying tribute or incorporating stories they enjoy, but just know it comes at the cost of the story itself. If you really boil them down they all say the same message, "Sunset is lonely and Celestia should do something about that". Not only is that repeating what we learned from the previous "ghosts", but it also blunts the emotional impact of the finale. Celestia has the big emotional adoption scene in an entirely different universe that we will likely never see again (stealing other Celestia's joy from having done it herself) and now we have to go through it again next chapter when she does it with her Sunset. She has effectively stolen her own thunder in her own story.

Another aspect that drags the story down a bit is how large it has become, not in length but in the universe sense. Before this, it was a story set in a suburb about the relationship between an emotional stunted teenager with a curse caused by her own avarice and pride and an emotional stunted adult keeping people at arms length while striving for their happiness and never seeking her own. Now it's got multiverses (outside the obvious equestria one) and magic/science belts with swords and guns and memories on how to fight. She has a card to a bar run by a different version of her soon to be daughter and all indications of more multiverse hopping shenanigans. All this adds up to this story taking a turn towards expanding it's scope while having never really settled it's initial premise. What started out as us looking through a magnifying glass at their relationship and both of their individual emotional growths, has backed out and grown the world so large that those elements seem small now. Either that is the case and we've lost the original premise, or that is not the case and in which case we have been introduced to elements the serve no purpose.

When I initially read it, I think I had another point about Celestia seeming to repeatedly learn/forget the obvious messages which seems like an indicator of her carrying an idiot ball, but I think that is also a symptom of simply trying to include so many elements in a story that were unnecessary and thereby having to force them in. I should reiterate that I still enjoy the story and will likely read the remaining chapter and same for the first story. But what I describe above may be why I only read it once and not over and over like other more streamlined Sunset stories.

Alice grumbled at her and lifted her tablet up so she could see it without having to move her head in Celestia’s grasp. She taped a few buttons,

Needs to be 'tapped'.

I would love for you to do the story about the vampire/monster universe version. It sounds so interesting and I enjoyed the short story of it. Can you make it after you finish your current one?

I feel it’s safe to say that when you ‘get’ all the references to other fanfics in a fanfic that’s a spinoff of another fanfic, you can admit you’ve entered deep-fandom, where shame and objectivity fear to tread.

This epilogue was very necessary, and I thank you for its inclusion.

Both these two last chapters were so sweet! Can't wait to see Empire of Dirt continued :heart:

As always, 2 lovely and powerful chapters, can't wait for the continuation of Empires
Thank you

Once again ecstatically glad she had listened to that little voice in the back of her head, she reached out to grasp the woman’s hand. “Show me the way.”

Follow da principle she knows da wae.

At least it wasn't the VaporWare port. "Twist control 12 upwards to ____" indeed. I actually bought a controller just to try to play that, gave up after two days trying to get through the first three stages, and eventually cheered the GmW reboot just for being a game with completely smooth and intuitive keyboard+mouse control, even before realizing most of the negative publicity had been a bit misaimed.

Heyo, sorry I didn't comment earlier! Things got crazy for me for a bit! Lovely story, thanks for including my fanfiction as a part of it! Defiantly making Solstice cannon as you described it ! Wonderful work and very heart felt!

sorry for the super late reply i put this fic down and just now got back to reading it i should have just repliced back months ago thoe

when i said holiday special i ment the cartoon one not the god awful comic

in the cartoon they directly mention halloween by name


142 right in this video and the entire special makes it clear they celibate earth hollidays

if you want to know why they have the skin tones they do its easy they did not want to assign race to the characters as that could lead to all kinds of issues

but they always ment it to be our world

The human woman lost her cool at that point, she whipped around and took the three steps that separated her from her counterpart and shouted, “PAY ATTENTION TO HER, YOU FAT COW!” in the princess’ face. To her frustration, the other Celestia didn’t react.

isn't that basically like calling yourself a "fat cow"?

Oh... well hello here, Isekai. Nice to see you make a random appearance. Hope the bar is doing well.

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