• Member Since 8th Nov, 2011
  • offline last seen November 12th

Cast-Iron Caryatid


Twilight Sparkle is a bit underwhelmed with her ascension to alicornhood and, after a disastrous coronation ceremony, it becomes clear that something is missing.

It'd be a shame if somepony else got to it before she did.

Chapters (22)
Comments ( 297 )

"but it wasn’t likely that it would ever actually merit the title of ‘empire’ again."

...just give it a thousand years or so.

I like pyromaniac Sunset.

No that’s just tempting fate I bet she’s actually going to manage it now.

Also I just hope this actually ends with Sunset becoming and staying an Alicorn it’s rare that it’s done well.

”...I believed that I understood her, and placed her in a box.”

Princess Luna gasped in horror.

“A mental box, Luna,” Princess Celestia said, covering her face with one hoof.

Heh. Was putting ponies in boxes a thing that happened often in Luna’s time?

I mean, it's not like there are only a few dozen Pony forms endlessly repainted, is it?

Hehehe ow that’s just hilarious I love how you’re portraying Sunset here and I feel bad for how she had to live in the human world at least she wasn’t completely cut off from magic.

That’s actually a really good point. Did Celestia tell the guards to act incompetent or something? Or are they genuinely that bad at their jobs?

Also if ever free is how it is do to rogue alicorn magic what’s managing the plants, animals, and weather in non pony lands in this story?

Also wonder how the time difference (dilation?) between the pony and human world is gonna be handled here because Sunset is around Twilights age yet was Celestia’s student long enough before Twilight for Twilight to have never heard of her before.

Have you seen them? For instance, in Twilight's Seven? They're that incompetent.

It really was an honor and she really would do her best to live up to the mantle, but… she hadn’t earned it, had she?

Twilight Sparkle: I've only saved the world twice, the nation once, an allied nation once, and my home town an uncountable number of times. Nothing worth being promoted to nobility over! Preventing Eternal Night and the return of Old Chaos was no big deal, really.

This is, sadly, entirely in character for her.

“Do you ever get the impression that advancement in the ranks of our government might not be entirely based on merit?”

Pinkie, it's a monarchy. They're based on the idea you that people raised from an early age for roles and whose ancestors held those roles are by default the most meritorious for them, not on looking for outside talent. Twilight's promotion being based on accomplishment at all is above the norm. Actually, that's probably the joke, that ponies don't understand their own system of government.

She certainly wasn’t going to leave all her friends behind to go beyond Equestria’s borders and find or found one any time in the near future.
Twilight glanced around to see if anypony was paying attention to her and gently knocked twice on the wooden legrest of her seat.
You couldn’t be too careful with these things.

Very genre-savvy of her. After all, Cadance might have thought the same thing and look how that turned out!

Hopefully it ends with Starlight an alicorn as well.

Actually, Sunset was an adult when she escaped through the mirror, at a time Twilight was around 7 or 8.

Hmm maybe the mare who Twilight is the reincarnation of soul fragmented and though it healed over time those fragments merged or developed into two other souls namely Sunset and Starlight’s? Making them easily able to become Alicorns?

Actually who made Celestia and Luna Alicorns here Starswirl? Wonder if he destroyed his notes on how he did it.

Like entering the hyperbolic time chamber from dragon ball except in reverse

Chapter 8:
"a twitchy mare who had yelled ‘Crown!’"
When did she do that? I'm neither remembering it nor, looking back, finding it.

So, an enjoyable new story, this seems; thanks for writing! :)

Man, this chapter is brutal to Celestia but it's funny because she deserves it.

Have to agree with the other guy: I really like this Sunset Shimmer. :pinkiehappy:

“Compared to stowing away on a train, which ain’t exactly witchcraft,” Applejack said, finishing the thought.

I see what you did there :twilightsmile:

Sunset's connection with the Crystal Heart turned her into a crystal pony, and that's not what anyone's looking for. Twilight has only seen her once, briefly, in the middle of the night, and at the moment it's not entirely clear how much uneven aging has happened. From the sound of it, Cadence aged a lot more than Sunset did, and Shining was apparently looking for an older mare.

If she covers her cutie mark, it's plausible that Celestia and Cadance might be the only ponies able to recognize her.

Though I think it would be funnier if Luna were the one to recognize her immediately based on seeing her magic and putting two and two together, but then not say anything through all sorts of hijnks, out of a combination of feelings of cameraderie for the not-quite-villain, plus willingness to let her sister and her former student sort their own problems out without interference.

Except that we don't know of any of the Princesses actually being descended from previous rulers, or raised for the position. (Mostly because we know very little about their backstories in general.)

All i see is Shimmer going to the castle staff and them saying "you're hired"!!
Yes Sunset they ARE that incompetent.:facehoof:

Some very amusing alicorn stuff here - makes you wonder what Cadance's act-out was. (Mine ran off to wander Equestria for a decade, but she had her reasons. )

Neat Sunset POV - and explaining a fair bit about how informed she is. Wonder if her prime timeline counterpart kept up the scrying?

Oh, interesting new plan on Sunset's part. She's pretty adaptable, but then I guess she's had to learn to be, with the universe-hopping and all.

And there goes Equestria Girls. Good thing most of their troubles actually come through the portal, huh?

And once again I see echoes of my own ideas, or rather places where we've drawn the same conclusions - that both the unique nature of the Empire and it's recent brush with tyranny would affect it's approach to the rather topical matter of law and order. (Of course, mine has a bit of a dark side too...)

Twilight would likely use the technical mathematical definition of "uncountable" and, given that that's two to the power of (countable) infinity, she's probably not going to self-describe as the pony who saved Ponyville an uncountable number of times.

Stop making excuses for these people.

Being raised for the position is an ex post facto justification for monarchy by modern conservatives (and it's not even convincing - Felipe's venal and corrupt, as are the Windsors). The contemporary justification was that monarchy was divinely ordained. God may, of course, elect whomever he wishes, and need not justify his choices.

In point of fact she has done none of that, but was given the credit for what everyone who carried her through those events did. She is right to doubt her worthiness; she does nothing but fail upward, and is nothing but a sponge, utterly dependent upon the people around her and giving nothing in return.

Okay, that's enough. I welcome constructive criticism, but this has ceased to be about this story. The comment section of a story is not the place for you to air your hostile opinions on canon show events or real world monarchies.

Comment posted by zimmerwald1915 deleted Oct 3rd, 2020

I want Sunset to end up as an Alicorn in this story, but not at the expense of Twilight never becoming a full Alicorn and being reacquainted with all of herself.

If Sunset does steal Twilight's ancestral magic to ascend, then they have to fuse into a single pony that is 166% Alicorn.

"No, it can't be her. She has her mane tied back."

I can totally imagine Sunset getting a job in the castle and everyone just completely missing her. Then Luna all of a sudden goes 'Wait a minute-'


Or thinks it so obvious that she never bothers to mention it.

True lol. I can totally imagine the entire mane 6 going 'SHE WAS HERE THE WHOLE TIME?!' And Luna slowly blinking in confusion. 'Didn't everyone know that? I thought that was apart of the plan?"

The entire crowd winced at the audible crunch of her body hitting the ground directly below.


Shortest Reign on Record: Princess Twilight Sparkle

“You can have my library when you pull it from my cold, dead hooves,” Twilight darkly growled.

...Don't tell her about a certain centaur, okay?

I mean—news flash—if you have to consciously add it in, you’re probably not gonna do it justice anyway.

Exactly; all these bullshit "Affirmative Action" quotas do is add inherent anti-white and anti-male bias, and the need for universities and workplaces to accept applicants who don't actually meet the requirements, who won't fit as well as others. For example, because of the need to have a certain number of non-whites and women, it's likely they'll turn down a man who actually has the necessary skills and experience, or a white person, and be forced to hire someone less suited just because of their skin colour or sex.

That's just disgusting, and leads to worse business practices. Bigotry at its finest.

No. I do not believe she is entirely dependent on the people around her.
When she found the spark, it was her and only her who could find it to bear the sixth Element of Harmony. Twilight was the one who didn't give up and invited her new friends to defeat an endless night. Twilight was the one who clung onto hope when all the other Elements had lost it, and reignited said Elements into their respective bearers. Twilight was the one who remained loyal to her suspicions for the sake of the safety of Canterlot, her brother, and her friends when they were all threatened by insectoid shape-shifters.
Just for a further note, what I believe Twilight did that had Celestia and Luna recognize the potential of Alicorn-hood in her comes into play at the Crystal Empire. Twilight believed that she had to find the Crystal Heart, and she alone had to do it, for the sake of fulfilling the mission Celestia tasked her with. So, knowing that she would fail, Twilight gave up that mission so that Spike could take the Crystal Heart to Cadance. She didn't depend on others in that moment, she trusted in others. That's what I believe makes her worthy of Alicorn-hood.


Twilight was the one who didn't give up and invited her new friends to defeat an endless night.

Now now, in reality it was them who invited themselves to accompany her, without even so much as asking if she's okay with that.

In the silence that followed, Cadance snored.


Or Sharing the Night. There's actually quite a lot of "Okay, I've already written one Alicorn Twilight story, now let's do something COMPLETELY DIFFERENT" in this.


what’s managing the plants, animals, and weather in non pony lands in this story?

Non-ponies :twilightsmile:

Also wonder how the time difference (dilation?) between the pony and human world is gonna be handled here because Sunset is around Twilights age yet was Celestia’s student long enough before Twilight for Twilight to have never heard of her before.

It'll be mentioned, but basically, the mirror opens every thirty moons on both sides, but it has half a dozen or so different worlds it runs through on the pony side before it comes back to the one Sunset was in. This means it's been two and a half years for Sunset, but about fifteen years for Celestia and Cadance.

This is (somewhat) intentional. I made that mistake when writing and did catch it, but I decided rather than fix it, I'd leave it as Twilight projecting :scootangel:

am i wrong in hopeing that sunset gets the magic before twilight or accends herself before the end of this

Well, you certainly don't seem to be alone! Of course, it won't be that easy for anyone…

Login or register to comment