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Sledge115


Lunar connoisseur serving up slices of life

T
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A gardener's life is a treasured one, and Princess Luna's is no different.

As like many others, she tends to her flowers, watching them grow, bloom, wither, and fall. Sometimes they help her grow, too, sharing in their stories, entwining them with hers. Such as it has always been, over time immemorial, whether it be friendship or love or the familial ties that bind.

Equestria is the largest garden of all, and their stories are hers to keep.


Chapter II, Orion, is an entry in the Imposing Sovereigns III contest, with the prompt Luna/Kindness. Yes, it's allowed.

Featured from 12/01/2021 to 14/01/2021.

Edited and proofread by VoxAdam, pre-read by SockPuppet, Kizuna Tallis, Doctor Fluffy,TheIdiot, Grace, and daOtterGuy. Thanks, everyone :twilightsmile:.

Cover by OGRE

Chapters (2)
Comments ( 24 )

Ayy, very good to see this in the light of day. Will be sure to prioritize the reading.

...Sledge you took my heart, gave it a ride, and smashed the roller coaster into the ground.

I was not expecting this, at all.

All in all, a very good job done, feelings are quite good. You show how annoying duties are :3

Also, if anyone else is wondering, the reason why Starswirl is spelt wrongly is because of an artistic reason. Sledge wants it like this, so don't keep asking :)

RDT

I liked almost everything about this first chapter, but specifically Mistmane's characterization. Also, I see those freckles :)

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:twilightsmile: glad you've enjoyed it! And happy to see Mistmane's character resonate with ya, heh. She needs more stories.

10625959

Aw. Thanks, heh :twilightsheepish: happy you've liked it :twilightsmile:

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I keep telling you to read Sledge's stuff. :rainbowlaugh:

You should have expected it.

breaks into giggles

Whoo-hoo-hoo! You did it again, Sledge! Hit it right out of the park right there! Good work, and can't wait for future chapters! Great work!

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Thanks! Glad you've enjoyed it :twilightsmile: Stay tuned.

I haven't read much yet, because I'm finding the incessant spelling "Starswhirl" very distracting. I don't know whether it's a misspelling or a major plot point.

Comment posted by Sledge115 deleted Jan 13th, 2021

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On second thought, changed the spelling.

This looks interesting and I've put in my read later list. Said list is rather long so I don't know when I will be able to provide proper comments.

Finally got around to reading this! What a strong start you have here, Sledge. Such beautiful description and characterization. I love how you developed Mistmane and Luna's relationship, and how both the garden and Luna's dreamwalking skills grew in tandem with that. Also made the emotional payoff even better.

I absolutely adore your Luna and all her little quirks. Like the freckles, they are very you, but they are done so well that it feels natural to accept them into my headcanon. :twilightsmile:

I'm not familiar with most of the backstory used here (the Reindeer especially) but you integrated it well, not overexplaining but not underutilizing it either.

Great work, my friend! :ajsmug:

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Always a treat to see your comments as well, Gadot :twilightsmile:

What a strong start you have here, Sledge. Such beautiful description and characterization. I love how you developed Mistmane and Luna's relationship, and how both the garden and Luna's dreamwalking skills grew in tandem with that. Also made the emotional payoff even better.

Huzzah! Glad I stuck the landing here -- the very idea of the story, a look into Luna's life and times through gardening and the flowers / people around her, came to be because of Mistmane's issue in Legends of Magic. Prime material to be written about, I tell ya, and I'm happy to see it work out :twilightsmile:. And yeah - admittedly I had a few constraints to work with (long story), but I wanted to ensure that Luna chooses to be the guardian of dreams, rather than have it assigned to her.

I was afraid that the emotional climax wouldn't land, given that, well, we know what happens centuries later. But hey, Luna doesn't.

I absolutely adore your Luna and all her little quirks. Like the freckles, they are very you, but they are done so well that it feels natural to accept them into my headcanon. :twilightsmile:

Glad you like her :twilightsmile: but I can't take all the credit for her freckles, heh -- you'll have to thank Amarynceus and their fantastic art of Luna for inspiration, because my God isn't she just beautiful;

images-wixmp-ed30a86b8c4ca887773594c2.wixmp.com/f/3f36ee47-d415-4253-ba64-c901b8ba6e21/dcpy2pk-3ecadf0a-3dc6-43ba-b484-5768e5670531.jpg?token=eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJzdWIiOiJ1cm46YXBwOiIsImlzcyI6InVybjphcHA6Iiwib2JqIjpbW3sicGF0aCI6IlwvZlwvM2YzNmVlNDctZDQxNS00MjUzLWJhNjQtYzkwMWI4YmE2ZTIxXC9kY3B5MnBrLTNlY2FkZjBhLTNkYzYtNDNiYS1iNDg0LTU3NjhlNTY3MDUzMS5qcGcifV1dLCJhdWQiOlsidXJuOnNlcnZpY2U6ZmlsZS5kb3dubG9hZCJdfQ.rTCCYF_NY9ohbDiCSkOGdnrPXtvuY0shd7HHzMiLvPU

I'm not familiar with most of the backstory used here (the Reindeer especially) but you integrated it well, not overexplaining but not underutilizing it either.

Great work, my friend! :ajsmug:

:twilightsheepish: I couldn't just, outright ignore the material in the backstory, but I didn't want it to take too much of the spotlight as an info dump, because the focus remains on Luna and Mistmane's growing mother-daughter relationship. But glad it worked out!

All in all, glad you've enjoyed it :twilightsmile: And stay tuned!

Heh, this is a nice change of pace. Black bowtie, astronomy-hating, class-skipping, rebel Luna? I can buy it. I will buy it.

And add to it a side of brutish, definitely-not-diplomatic Celestia. Hell yes. They have quite the road ahead of them.

The beginning of the piece feels incredibly like the beginning of a Disney movie. The calm ambience that allows for giggly teenagers to faff around, the magical palace and mysterious (well, not to us, heh) unicorns, flower imagery. It’s all very alluring.

Gadot speaks true. Some parts are more privy to those with insider knowledge (the headcanon to their origin and what happened for their coronation, the deer and their connection to the princesses, etc), but they stand perfectly fine on their own, no further context is really necessary to enjoy and understand the overall meaning of all external mentions.

The transitions between the moments added to this, I feel. You managed to export the nice transitions from Moonbug, by referencing the show, but adapted them to reference what a reader would naturally expect from the progression of the story, so props to that. (The “potatoes”, heh, are a good example. Instead of simply handwaving that they started cultivating, you expanded on it and added this quip which serves as a centering point for a short timeline. Very nice.)

Ah, the scene of the bloom. I knew what was gonna happen once Luna noted the flowers were ugly, but it was touching nonetheless. The turn into the discussion of the meaning behind the flowers was a nice surprise, as well.

All the ‘dream weaving’, from when Luna first comes into her role as a protector of dreams, to the subsequent telling of her delving into this realm, and finally when it had no stardust; those were all told wonderfully. The trademark Sledge fantastical tale style.

And, of course, Mistmane eventually leaving, as was our foregone conclusion. I don’t know if it was purposeful, but I felt that Celestia was quite more mature then than her first appearance in the story. Much more like the Celestia we know. That was a great bit of background development.

Overall, a great start for the anthology, and already feeling connected enough for you to rightfully call this your Luna trilogy.

Lovely poetic tone, and far more words than my patience would ever allow me to write for one chapter. Absolutely phenomenal, and a well-deserved follow.

10658027

Heh, this is a nice change of pace. Black bowtie, astronomy-hating, class-skipping, rebel Luna? I can buy it. I will buy it.

And add to it a side of brutish, definitely-not-diplomatic Celestia. Hell yes. They have quite the road ahead of them.

:derpytongue2: It's only their first decade or two, after all. And I will freely admit Luna's bow is very much pure fanservice (it's adorable), but no regrets!

The beginning of the piece feels incredibly like the beginning of a Disney movie. The calm ambience that allows for giggly teenagers to faff around, the magical palace and mysterious (well, not to us, heh) unicorns, flower imagery. It’s all very alluring.

:twilightsmile: I aim to please. Glad this segment hooked ya!

Gadot speaks true. Some parts are more privy to those with insider knowledge (the headcanon to their origin and what happened for their coronation, the deer and their connection to the princesses, etc), but they stand perfectly fine on their own, no further context is really necessary to enjoy and understand the overall meaning of all external mentions.

Once more, the constraints of writing in a shared universe shows itself, but I'm glad that it didn't stick out too much :twilightsheepish:

The transitions between the moments added to this, I feel. You managed to export the nice transitions from Moonbug, by referencing the show, but adapted them to reference what a reader would naturally expect from the progression of the story, so props to that. (The “potatoes”, heh, are a good example. Instead of simply handwaving that they started cultivating, you expanded on it and added this quip which serves as a centering point for a short timeline. Very nice.)

It's a delicate balance, you see, to do mine research into how long each flower blooms, to see if it all works out. Ultimately it did. I hope. I know I missed something...

Ah, the scene of the bloom. I knew what was gonna happen once Luna noted the flowers were ugly, but it was touching nonetheless. The turn into the discussion of the meaning behind the flowers was a nice surprise, as well.

I considered this, alongside the ruined garden, as the two centerpieces and emotional hearts of the stories. Happy to see it struck a chord!

All the ‘dream weaving’, from when Luna first comes into her role as a protector of dreams, to the subsequent telling of her delving into this realm, and finally when it had no stardust; those were all told wonderfully. The trademark Sledge fantastical tale style.

And, of course, Mistmane eventually leaving, as was our foregone conclusion. I don’t know if it was purposeful, but I felt that Celestia was quite more mature then than her first appearance in the story. Much more like the Celestia we know. That was a great bit of background development.

:raritywink: It's best princess at her bestest, after all. And as for Celestia, well, as with everyone, she's got her own story to tell, away from Luna's eyes. Because what is life if it isn't a collection of everyone's tales? I'm touched that you noticed this quiet development, heh.

Overall, a great start for the anthology, and already feeling connected enough for you to rightfully call this your Luna trilogy.

:twilightsmile: Stay tuned! I hope that, after this start, well, the rest of it won't be a disappointment.


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Thanks! Glad to see you've enjoyed it, too :twilightsmile:

Princess Luna hated astronomy.

What?! This cannot be borne! :pinkiegasp:

And fourteen was far too young an age to look at the world with eyes as old as Starswirl’s.

Oh. Work.

Ouch. :fluttershyouch:

She stifled a gasp as she settled into an awkward, head-over-hooves position.

An amusing situation to imagine. Ah, but to be young and carefree. :twilightsmile:

“Well, I am here now, aren’t I?” she said. “And often have I come here. A gardener must tend to their flora.”

So, Mistmane is where Luna got it from...

Where had it been all her life?

“Over here!” cried out Mistmane, a change from her previous soft-spoken tones.

:rainbowlaugh:

The little tricks writers come up with.

“A little piece of home,” said Mistmane. “My home, Princess. They are chrysanthema, the chrysanthemum flower of the Eastern Unicorns, Neighpon’s imperial symbol.”

Mhmm! It's on their passports, their Seal, even the bows of the ships of their Navy!

“A mouthful, yes,” Mistmane acknowledged. “Some call them ‘chrysanths‘, or ‘mums’. But to my people, they are ‘kiku’.”

菊 as they write it.

Personally I like wisteria, or fuji (藤). There's a traditional Japanese color named fuji after it, lovely shade of light purple. Lavender, you'd call it.

I suppose my reason for liking it is clear enough. :twilightsheepish: ‹—

She pranced, and pranced, bouncing happily in a circle, round and round and round, singing thank yous.

It's nice to see them so young, so open... :pinkiesad2:

They started their labours with, of all things, potatoes.

Ridiculous! Potatoes weren’t pretty. They were ugly, misshapen little things. Tia would laugh if she knew.

I like potatoes. They're delicious and have a nice roundness to them. :twilightsmile:

But through Starswirl’s winding lectures and Celestia’s teasings, Luna’s pressed on with a smile, now she dreamt of lavenders and chrysanthema that would one night grow lush and beautiful beneath the sea of stars.

And that's why having your very own life and the little things that come with it is important. :twilightsmile:

The bamboo had blossomed at last, Mistmane said, her calm voice masking the giddiness in her weathered eyes. Not at Spring, as she had earlier hoped, and she was resigned to seeing it blossom next year.

Huh? Don't they, you know, bloom centennially? :rainbowhuh:

“You were?” Luna blurted out. “Sorry… I… guess I kind of know it… Um. Tia doesn’t like my freckles either. I know it doesn’t compare, but… sorry. I don’t know what I’m saying.”

Ah, but Luna, I know of at least one person who likes your freckles, else they wouldn't be in this story~

Mistmane let out a melodious and melancholical laugh. “Young Luna,” she said, “there is nothing wrong with your freckles. They look marvellous, if you ask me, especially now, under the Autumn Moon!

:raritywink:

“That’s what the chrysanthema have, too. Love, Lady Mistmane. Starswirl told me Duke Polaris Blueblood, the White Prince, planted them in his garden, longing for the maiden who would never come home to him...”

How far the family has fallen!

Or not. This is the SPECTRUM world.

Speaking of SPECTRUM and Polaris Blueblood... hasn't he appeared before? Something to do with that reindeer? Not too sure. :applecry:

unspeakable fantasies

:rainbowlaugh: :raritywink:

Starswirl’s endless fields of spinning quasars and nebulae

Huh. Are they advanced enough to know what quasars are, let alone the fact that they spin? :rainbowhuh:

It had been difficult enough to uncover her sister’s dreams amidst the primordial chaos of the mind.

Is Luna calling Tia's mind unorganized and messy? :rainbowlaugh:

Siblings. :pinkiehappy:

There are times when dark forces from beyond or even from within our world will reach out to take you and your sister for their own purposes…

Not ominous...

shadows that stirred in the darkness, whispering temptation, deep within an enchanted forest.

... Not at all.

Foals that shy away from their parents

:twilightangry2: :ajsleepy:

One of the worst things in both our worlds.

Outside, the Winter snow continued to fall.

And so the Shadows take her.

then I’ll make sure our garden blooms, through all of Equestria, no matter how hard it will be.

Do your best, Luna, do your best, even if you fall with them... :ajsleepy:


I more or less knew what his story is about. I was a bit involved in its beginning.

And yet it didn't feel like a story about Luna becoming a gardener.

No, it felt like Luna becoming a gardener because of the story – the words developed her naturally, engrossing me in her growth.

Luna didn't become a gardener for the story. Luna became a gardener through the story, if that makes sense.

That, I think, is the hallmark of a good story, and a good writer. :twilightsmile:


And so I will end with a line.

"All the world's a garden, and all the mares and stallions its plants, and yet also its gardeners.

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What?! This cannot be borne! :pinkiegasp:

That's what happens when something you love is turned into a chore!

:rainbowlaugh:

The little tricks writers come up with.

:raritywink:

It's nice to see them so young, so open... :pinkiesad2:

You, and everyone, know what's coming. But for now, such is the joyous days of childhood...

Huh? Don't they, you know, bloom centennially? :rainbowhuh:

Ah, and here I decided to take some artistic license :twilightsheepish: But the bamboo have already been planted here, and close to their first blooming, hence why Mistmane came in the first place.

Ah, but Luna, I know of at least one person who likes your freckles, else they wouldn't be in this story~

Twilight Sparkle does, doesn't she? :twilightsmile:

Mistmane let out a melodious and melancholical laugh. “Young Luna,” she said, “there is nothing wrong with your freckles. They look marvellous, if you ask me, especially now, under the Autumn Moon!

“Okay, Luna,” answered Twilight, beaming. “Hmm, well… first… how’d you figure you had those?” She pointed at Luna’s nose. Luna’s smile grew wider still.

“Very young, you see. It was… it was Sint who’d first remarked on them… but it was Lady Mistmane who saw that they were most prominent under the autumn moon, when we went out to garden…”

So the talk went on, for hours and hours, but never did either of their smiles waver.

:raritywink: Call forwards are fun.

How far the family has fallen!

Or not. This is the SPECTRUM world.

Speaking of SPECTRUM and Polaris Blueblood... hasn't he appeared before? Something to do with that reindeer? Not too sure. :applecry:

“We do not blame sons for the sins of their father, Prince Blueblood,” said Elsa Erklass, “but don’t mistake our forgiveness for your ancestor’s mistakes as acceptance of yours. They are cut from the same cloth. I’ve remembered his and felt them well enough.”

Although the eyes of Elsa’s bearer were the warmest brown, they went as icily blue as the Snow Maiden’s truly were. She tugged at the glimmering shawl which held her spirit, and untold others that once bore her spirit as their burden.

The doe Lel was merely the latest. If Blueblood’s memory served, the first had been...

“Excuse me,” he said. “I’ve got a lot of people to meet.”

Blueblood didn’t wait for an answer before he turned away, ardently hoping the darkness of his mind wouldn’t show to the crowd. Of course a meeting with the Reindeer always led back to his family history.

His ancestor’s star-crossed romance with the Fire Maiden, and the fate which had ultimately bound her to her sister’s particular form of immortality.

All the fault of a Blueblood.

Good eye.

Is Luna calling Tia's mind unorganized and messy? :rainbowlaugh:

Siblings. :pinkiehappy:

Nothing's changed, in three thousand years :derpytongue2:

And so the Shadows take her.

So they did, and she won't know what became of her. Not for three thousand long years...

Do your best, Luna, do your best, even if you fall with them... :ajsleepy:

She will, for it is her duty, and her promise to all the land, no matter how much it costs her.

All in all, it's a lovely sight seeing your comment here, too :twilightsmile: Stay tuned, for there is still much more to come...

ayo it finally updated

Fascinating. I’m not sure what to make of this. It’s rare to see a tale of Luna still somewhat integrated into Equestria before her banishment. Given what transpires here, I have to wonder if she ever does go Nightmarish in this timeline… though maybe the Badalisc should’ve held out until she shared yer secret with her sister.

Also, what the actual crap is the Badalisc? :rainbowhuh:

In any case, lovely showcase of Luna at her best and, well, less than her best. Thank you for it and best of luck in the judging.

11036810

Just another day in the life was the intent, heh. Regarding the Badalisc... well, I like to think it came from whatever hell Discord tried to send Treehugger to;

Glad you liked it, and thank you for the opportunity :twilightsmile:

P.S.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Badalisc

It's so... goofy

RDT

Finally getting to my tracked stories.

The existence of the Summer Sun Celebration threw me off the timeline for a moment there. Good to know that the holiday predates banishment in this universe.

Luna never really said much to the child. To think that the Badalisc accepted the simple admission of her fear as "telling her secret to the child" shows how deeply Luna hid it away.

Another great story, as always.

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