• Member Since 12th Aug, 2020
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Avid writer, watcher of anime, player of games, and chef in my spare time. Fanfiction profile: https://www.fanfiction.net/~jmaster49


Pale Vestige is an ordinary detective, out to find the truth. To him, there's lots of hidden secrets among the ways of Equestria that deserve to be uncovered. No, nothing magical or ancient. Secrets regarding the actions of those who ran the place. That's right, the princesses themselves. Whether ponykind realizes it or not, they aren't perfect and the public has the right to know that. Whether it be uncovering the secrets of the Crystal Empire, Celestia's hidden desires, or the origins of the Bat Ponies, Pale Vestige is out to find the truth. His main goal however, is correcting the injustice dealt to a child: Cozy Glow.

Chapters (205)
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Comments ( 1511 )

This is certainly a unique way to approach the Cozy Glow situation. I believe that she was treated unfairly and many others do so as well and it would make sense that some of the average citizens of Equestria would as well. Most Cozy fics ignore this aspect and focus solely on the ones reforming her or directly talking about or interacting with her. I'm very interested to see how this will play out.

Yup! That's my intent here. Everyone usually skips straight to her being freed, but we never see how that judgement is reached. The idea is that Pale Vestige is going to be the one gathering a consensus and stepping up to the plate for himself to make a case for the filly. No matter how hard it is. Thanks for checking it out!

Very unique interpretation of Spoiled. Its nice to see her getting her own reformation after Diamond spoke out against her. Surprising to see her disagreeing with Cozy's imprisonment.

It comes down to the fact that she's realized where she went wrong when raising DT. Which stems from Filthy Rich not being around enough for her. Which its own little problem. So as a result, she thinks Cozy has lashed out due to bad parenting and blames whoever those parents are.

And because of her husband not being around enough, she's also generally starving for attention. She would've gotten Pale to stay with her for...much longer if she had her way with him. 😅

Yeah... Nope. People really need to get over Cozy Glow. She was a genoicidal maniac who sided with known others who were no better. Why do people think she should get off with nothing?

Her age is not a valid excuse for lenience on punishment. None of them showed an ounce of remorese or that they cared what happened to the world as long as they won.

That doesn't scream reedmable in any way. Tirek and Chrysalis are habitual genocidal maniacs, and yet you don't see people saying they should get off.

I don't intend to have her walk away from this completely free. But I'm writing this story with a different interpretation of the character that isn't how she was portrayed in the canon.

Because I think her canon self was a complete rush job given that she was introduced literally one season before the finale and we don't get any motivation for her actions nor do we see her parents. I'm essentially rewriting this character. It's annoying when you consider that Chrysalis has been around for way longer and was even offered a chance to redeem herself (she turned it down but still) but not Cozy Glow--a child. I'm fixing that.

But if you don't like it, that's fine. I respect your opinion. 😁

Like Discord, Starlight, Tempest and Luna?

It was indeed quite wierd that we never got even a mention of Cozy's parents. My guess is that she's an orphan.

“It confuses me how Discord gets a second chance and not her. It really is rather confusing if you ask me. But I’m not the princess, so maybe my feelings are invalid.”

Considering how so many ponies treated Celestia I think they might actually have a problem with putting too much faith in their rulers.

Yup. That's the exact problem that Pale wants to expose. Everyone puts too much faith in the actions of the rulers and never questions anything for themselves. As a result, the society is led by blind faith, which is something he wants to be known and potentially correct.

Cozy Glow did attempt to KILL THE WHOLE PLANET by removing all magic from Equestria, which would have ruined the very functions of global life.
She was sentenced to prison in Tartarus.
Cozy Glow then attempted to take over, and got stoned.

I'm aware of that. But given that she's a child with a complete lack of motivation (thanks to how her character was rushed by the writers), this is a morally gray situation that has no definite yes or no answer. That's what Pale is trying to figure out so he can potentially correct it.

Don't go back PV! It's a trap!! :pinkiegasp:

Also, was it just my imagination, or did Spoiled 'accidentally' pour herself a mug of alcoholic cider there? Hic :applejackconfused:

Maybe, maybe not! It might not be so bad, right?

And what makes you think it wàs alcohol? :ajsmug:

I mean, she sort of was offered a chance, what with Twilight telling her she went about friendship in the wrong way and apologizing that she failed to teach Cozy, but Cozy just blew her off just like Chrysalis did and ran for it, proclaiming she would just re-start her plans somewhere else. Except Cozy got caught.

Granted, it's not as blunt an in-your-face "I am clearly stating I am giving you a second chance" that Starlight and Chrysalis got, but it was close enough I think that Cozy's rejection counts as her wasting that chance.

Twice, even, what with her going straight back to destroying the world when Discord pulled her out of Tartarus.

That's completely fair, but the main problem I have with it is that she was a child and doesn't have as much understanding that an adult such as Chrysalis would have. It's harder for her to pick up on social cues due to being so young. Couple that with the fact that we don't know who her parents are makes it difficult for Pale to write her off as a lost cause.

Not to mention the Tartarus thing. One could argue that if she wasn't sent directly to Tartarus immediately after stealing magic, and instead given a second chance right then, then she would've never become so strong and nearly destroyed the world. They sort of unintentionally created their own monster, which is another aspect that Pale will find out about eventually.

Looks like Cadence might be on his side, although I think the eventual conversation with Twilight will still be quite awkward. Hopefully that Cozy Glow tag will actually be used in the story and not just in mentions and flashbacks.

Looking foreward to the next chapter!

Trust me, I wouldn't deceive people like that. :scootangel: She's going to appear eventually, don't worry!

That is an argument that kinda falls flat when we remember that Cozy Glow's special talent is manipulation, though. A skill she is so proficient at, she rivals if not surpasses Chrysalis and Tirek, both of them highly skilled manipulators themselves. One cannot be a highly skilled manipulator without being able to pick up and understand social cues.

Which is also the biggest problem with reforming Cozy Glow that I rarely see addressed: How would you know if she actually reformed? Chrysalis, at least, would have had the entire changeling hive watching her every step. A hive that is well familiar with her tricks and ticks. But Cozy would be watched over by the very ponies she is so good at manipulating, and she has already displayed a honed skill in deflecting blame several times. What is to stop her from using this opportunity to fake being reformed, and then bailing at the first opportunity?

It's also worth remembering that, while not all of them, most villains that were forgiven did suffer punishment first. Luna was imprisoned in the moon for a thousand years, Discord over a thousand in stone, Sombra got sealed in the frozen North, Tirek imprisoned in Tartarus. Heck, even Sunset was functionally exiled for at least 30 moons initially.

Those are both fair arguments. And they'll be addressed in the story once the time comes. Pale plans to watch over her himself, actually with the help of his Detective crew. That is, assuming he gets permission to do so. But like I said, it's not going to happen overnight. Which is the entire purpose of the story. Most other Cozy redemption fics start off with her being freed, but I intend to build up to it and showcase just how the decision will come to pass. It's going to be hard for Pale, but that's his job, after all.

Well, you've certainly got my interest. Though I do hope it won't turn into a "bash the Princesses for imprisoning a poor, innocent filly" kind of deal. Child she may be, but Cozy was not some wide-eyed naive kid lured into doing a bad thing by evil creatures without realizing it.

Absolutely not. Pale Vestige's job is to be fair and unbiased. While he may disagree with their decision, he isn't going to publicly shame anyone for a mistake. He's going to call them out for it and explain how he thinks they could've handled it better, and also deal with Cozy and help her see where she went wrong. Nobody's perfect. He's no fool, either. He knows that Cozy was evil and crazy. But what he aims to find out is why she was that way. Once he gathers enough support for his case from average citizens, and finds out just why she acted the way she did (something the show never addresses :twilightangry2: ) then he can move forward.

Anyhow, thanks for a more nuanced take that isn't just "Cozy sux!" I hope you'll stick through the whole journey and see how Pale's case turns out!

We launched bottle rockets and caused hundreds of dollars in property damage to the nearby retirement home.

Maybe replace that with bits?

Yikes! Can't believe I let that one slip. Thanks! XD

funny enough, I imagine Pale Vestige being voiced by Leslie Odem Jr. aka Aaron Burr from Hamilton! and I love this fic!

Thanks! I don't know who that is, though lol. Mind giving me a link?

And what do you like most so far? :raritystarry:


i like the idea that Pale Vestige questions the status quo and isn't afraid to speak truth to power.

Woah that was an awesome song! I love rap. The best songs have intelligent lyrics that you may need to listen to multiple times to understand. I wish people would see that rap isn't about "gangs" and stuff all the time lol. I especially like the part where he says, "Talk less. Smile more. Don't let them know what you're against or what you're for." That fits Pale to a T!

And yes indeed. He doesn't want everyone to hate each other. But rather, he wants everyone to come together and understand why doing certain things may not be the best solution. Whether it be Cozy Glow or the treatment of other races. He'll put forth a solution.

Thanks for checking it out and I hope you'll continue to with him on his case! :derpytongue2:

I hope he speaks to Twilight and her friends, though her friends maybe a little bias.

Yeah that's not gonna go well unless he has a full-fledged case trial going. For now, he intends to speak with Twilight once he has enough info. XD


This makes Pale vestige seem like either an investigative reporter or a lawyer rather than a detective.

I mean he and his team are sort of all of those things to be honest. You can see that Corkscrew has some connections to the newspaper. Pale is the one out in the front lines gathering info, while Quick Draw is the traditional "officer" type who tackles people. :rainbowlaugh:

They're all qualified to make "arrests" and whatnot. They just have different ways of preferring to do their jobs.

Yup! Lol. What did you think of this chapter, though?

I loved it! And the cycle of debate continues! Ill see if i cant find some good quotes to use. Like knowledge will forever govern ignorance.

Yup, Trixie and Starlight hear his case. But they have to be realistic and weigh the possibility of rioting and conflicts. Henceforth, Pale needs to ensure his cards are in place before he makes a play. 😏

Interesting that it was Starlight that contacted Pale instead of the other way around. Funny how she showed more resistence to potentially reforming her then the others so far. Trixie was also a bit more obnoxious then usual here, although not neccesarely OOC. One must wonder how counciling settions go with her.

“A message?” Curious. I wondered what it could be. I hoped that I didn’t cause any collateral damage to anyone. But if necessary, I would face whatever the problem was. “What is it?”

"Well, it's a communication of information from one party to another, but that isn't important right now."

And yeah Starlight doesn't necessarily agree or disagree. She's just trying to play it safe with something so dangerous.

Yeah I kinda miss Trixie's GREAT AND POWERFUL self so I decided to go for a mix of that and how she currently acts. Hope it worked well. :trixieshiftright:

I like this, it's always interesting when writers make stories based on the premise of Cozy Glow's past and about the fairness of her imprisonment.

Yeah! Not to put anyone down, but every Cozy Glow redemption fic I've come across has always started off with her being freed by somepony or out of nowhere at random. Of course, each author has their own take on it, but the base premise is usually the same: Cozy gets free and apologizes.

But here, I wanted to take a step back. I want to explore just how the decision to free her will come to pass in the first place. I'm almost certain that not everyone would be willing to do so, even with the timeskip that occurs during The Last Problem. Not everyone is gonna just say "oh yeah free her now!" and be cool with it. There has to be a reason. A reason for everyone to agree to it, come to that decision, and see just how they'll go about keeping tabs on her until they can trust her. Because there's no way she would be allowed to roam free without supervision either.

So yeah, that's what Pale is doing by getting support from the average citizens, gathering a case, and presenting his evidence to Twilight. If she refuses, then he has an Ace up his sleeve that nopony is prepared for. He's essentially a Lawful Neutral. Hope you come to enjoy the rest of it! Got any favorite parts so far? :raritystarry:

I think my favorite bit was the interview with Cadance.

Thanks! I was hoping that I nailed her character. She really got shafted in the later seasons when Sombra wasn't around.

I nodded. “I see. And in case you’re wondering, I don’t intend to cause a ruckus. I’m just an average Earth Pony doing my job. No magic, no crazy tricks. Just searching for clarity."

Heh, yes you are. It's not your first plan, but causing a ruckus if Twilight says no by throwing the public at her is definitely your backup plan.

Well, not technically. He's just stacking his cards so they'll fall into place. The idea is that once he gets the opinion of the public, he'll know where they stand regarding Cozy Glow's banishment. If Twilight denies him, then the public will find out and cause a ruckus entirely of their own accord. Twilight Sparkle refusing what the majority of the public wants? That won't go over well! :twilightsheepish:

Pale can't control what the citizens do. He's just thinking three steps ahead. 😉

This is interesting- a fic focusing on the public opinion of Cozy Glow's punishment. Yeah, given how controversial it is in this world, I can imagine how much conflict it generates in their world.

Pale's had good luck so far, finding voices that disagree with Cozy's sentence, but they can't all be yeses, can they? Are there going to be some people Pale meets that actually think Cozy's sentence is fair?

Thanks! I was hoping to approach this from a unique angle and make it entertaining since most other Cozy fics start off with her immediate freedom. The purpose of this one is to explore just how that decision will come to pass.

And yes he will, don't worry. There will be some...hostility he encounters very soon. For now, though, he's riding relatively smoothly. But Even then, he has some minor blowback from individuals like Cadence and Starlight who want to see more evidence to support her case, while Trixie is simply undecided because she doesn't deem herself fit to judge other's recompense for a crime. It's a very complex thing to answer. Not to mention his partner Quick Draw who wants to just stomp on Pale every time he mentions it. XD

Here's hoping you stick through with his case! Got a favorite part so far? :raritystarry:

I guess my favorite part would be the interview with Spoiled. She's right that Diamond could very well have been a Cozy Glow 1.0, and right to bring up the question everyone was wondering - does Cozy Glow even have parents?

I'm not really into the idea of Cozy Glow reforming, per se. I just think there are some villains in Equestria that need to remain villains to keep the world of Equestria believable. I believe Cozy Glow should be free from stone with her cohorts and remain a villain. To me, it feels like attempts to reform Cozy would only cause any friendships she makes to be conditional. It would either be 'only say nice things' or 'stone statue'. She seemed to only really need Tirek and Chrysalis, with them she could still be a brat and have good bonds with them.

Yeah, Spoiled Rich and Diamond Tiara both kinda fell out of relevance after the episode in which she learned her errors. Spoiled Rich was an awful parent, but given that this takes place during the timeskip of The Last Problem, I would like to think that Spoiled has learned how to better treat her child as she got older. Granted, Filthy Rich is still absent most of the time, so it's not entirely sunshine and Rainbows, but she does feel sympathetic towards Cozy in that regard. Still, if she had her way, Pale would've been stuck there for a while if you catch my drift. 😅

And yeah, I respect that opinion. Sometimes evil has to be evil. But for Cozy? I personally don't think so. Her parents is going to be another aspect that Pale will explore. Though, if that's the case, then this fic may not be for you. Just a heads up since Cozy is going to get redeemed by the end of the story...hopefully. :twilightsheepish:


Yeah, Spoiled Rich and Diamond Tiara both kinda fell out of relevance after the episode in which she learned her errors.

Yeah, blame company execs for that. The showrunners wanted to post-DT redemption stories, but the execs decided DT's story was finished.

I'll stay on the ride for the public opinion aspect. If the Cozy redemption bothers me that much later, I'll just finish reading the story in the chapter before that. Sound good? :unsuresweetie:

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