• Member Since 14th Feb, 2012
  • offline last seen 5 hours ago


Author, former Royal Canterlot Library curator, and the (retired) reviewer at One Man's Pony Ramblings.


Five days ago, the Friendship Map called Rarity to a task. It called her alone. It called her to the middle of an uninhabited swamp.

Today, she's returned to Ponyville, and she's asked her friends to meet her right away.

The Friendship Map never calls without a purpose.


Originally written for the "Ot" writeoff event. Thank you to the other participants for their advice and encouragement.

Cover art by the excellent StarBlaze25.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 36 )

Fun if a little shallow. But your own blog shows that you’re fully aware of the story’s weaknesses and if only perfect stories were fit to publish no one would publish anything.

HUH simple story with a good twist that was nice.

I have similar thoughts to Vren's: a good, simple story with a nice twist. I know you have some qualms with the story you've written—don't all writers?—but as for me personally? 'Twas a fun read, and that alone shall suffice.

TL:DR, Kudos!

This is a great little story, Chris. Just enough revealed to carry the story forward but not enough to spoil the mystery.

I love the reveal of Rarity's true origins and that there is still more to discover.

And to leave us with a cliffhanger at the end! Ahhhhh!


“Well, have you ever heard of Daring Do?”

With a knowing grin, I allowed that I had.

“Right. Well, I don’t do that.”


Now I kind of want to know what that last flash of light meant.

"One angle. One arrow. One triangle.

And with them, a circle and a cross."

It means there's one unicorn, one earth pony, one pegasus in the mane 6. Since we account for Rarity, that means Twilight is unambiguously the unicorn.
Which of the two Earth Ponies is likely to be a mysterious creature? Applejack, who looks as traditional as Earth Ponies gets, and manifests abilities shared by all Earth Ponies? Or Pinkie Pie, who manifests abilities mainly shared by Discord?
Which of the two Pegasus is likely to be a mysterious creature? Rainbow Dash, who embodies everything about being a pegasus, or Fluttershy, who prefers the ground and has the unique ability to speak with animals?

As to WHAT those creatures actually are, you're guess is as good as mine. Although now that I'm thinking about it, I always wondered why Celestia auto-assumed Fluttershy was the best pony to befriend Discord...

Don't forget, there's an unknown third symbol we don't know anything about:

"...And there’s one more symbol that we couldn’t find the piece for at all. Perhaps it’s another angle, arrow, or triangle, but something tells me that it’s not."

The circle is likely Pinkie. By my reckoning, it represents an amorphous slime. If lines are limbs or horns, a slime would have none. She's certainly stretchy enough, and unlike Lamia we know they exist in the lore thanks to the Smooze. As for a mythical creature that fits Fluttershy, a nymph or dryad makes the most sense, due to their connection to nature. None of this helps solve all the issues with parentage, though, for Rarity too, and I'm fairly sure Chris left all this ambiguous to avoid an aneurism.

This is a perfectly fine little story, and it's impressive in how expansive it feels in 5 or so thousand words. Easy upvote.

Wonderful story, I love stories where Rarity isn't a simple pony, it truly adds a uniqueness to characters. I hope there will be a sequel.

Lots of little things that make sense at the end - really enjoyable. Ends just at the right time too.

Cute story. although I'm going to have to call it alternate history: Rarity gets bitten just as badly as anyone else by the Flyders in that camping episode.

Pinkie Pie is the circle, but she's not a slime: it indicates her radial symmetry. (She's a Starfish Alien. :pinkiecrazy: )

"Perfect is the enemy of good," they say. Well, I don't think I've written anything perfect yet, but I hope I've gotten at least a little bit of good out there.

If there is a right more fundamental than the right to be grumpy about fictional(?) depictions of our chosen professions, I don't know what it is.

While I never say never, I can't think of anything I can add that wouldn't weaken this story. That ambiguous ending is one I'd be loath to give up, you know? But thank you for saying you want more; it means a lot when you serve something up, and someone asks for a second helping!


Love to see the the thoughts! I have my own suspicions, but no answers; with this kind of thing, I've often found that the reader's ideas are better than the author's were, anyway.

(though I will pass along one suggestion a pre-reader brought up that hadn't occurred to me: what if the final symbol is an alicorn symbol, denoting Twilight as she will become rather than as she is at that moment? Of course, since there's a triangle symbol in the prophecy, that would mean that one of the other ponies is secretly a unicorn pretending to be another race...)


And to all of you (think I got everyone!): thank you for the kind words, and for taking the time to comment. It's made a lovely morning, reading through these and seeing people enjoy what I wrote. I really do appreciate it!

This was fun ( admittedly after a long and frustrating day). I can't remember why I first started following your work, but this certianly reminds me why I still am.

The flash of light was Celestia's S.M.I.L.E SWAT team throwing a flash bang through the window!

Anyway, Rarity could have easily side-stepped the accusation by mentioning how Spike and Steven (the Sea Serpent) were involved with the whole Nightmare Moon story.

...Also, it sounds like the flash of light was Rarity's Cutie Mark mission completion thing... or you just forgot/dropped that storyline.

Edit: Also, also, with that title and those symbols, I kept thinking of "On A Cross and Arrow" and thought this would be about gender identity.... Sorry but I didn't think this was a horror story at all, though I did like the descriptive scenery.

10574079 Well, there was that time a slime died and was reincarnated as a Pinkie.


Lovely to see this make it here from the Writeoff. Thank you for bringing it over.

(Also, as a counterpoint to the prevailing circle theory, what if it represents eternity? There has always been an Applejack. There shall always be an Applejack. :ajsmug:)

That was simply lovely. :raritywink:

Eh, it’s possible that the bites were mimicked.

Damnit, I have so many questions that will most likely never get answered! Now, I'm sitting here thinking how I would go about answering all those questions and I can't quite get all the pieces to fit. :raritycry: I hate it when good authors do this to me! :twilightangry2:

Sigh. Where's that like button?

But if she's some sort of Eternally Reborn hero, would she even know it?

Other possibilities:
The circle is a bubble (One of them is secretly a Derp.)
The circle is an eye (One of them is Sauron. Or perhaps a giant kitchen eyeball).
The circle is the sun (One of them is the _real_ Celestia. Or Ra.)
The circle is a halo (One of them is an Angel.)
The circle is the Earth (One of them is Gaea.)
The circle is a pie, so it's Pinkie!

Isn’t it obvious? There were certainly enough clues.

Fine. Mandatory spoiler warning.

It’s Spike. He’s secretly a member of the nigh-mythical race known as “Meadow Muffins.” :moustache:

“I believe this was the High Prophetess’s chamber. Or at least, a High Prophetess’s chamber. And I believe there is prophecy inscribed here.”

There seems to be some extra spacing in this line. Weird, it doesn't seem to come into effect in the comments.

Anyone know any group dedicated to ponies not being ponies but other species like this story? I liked the idea of one of the Main 6 not being a pony

Mmm, a very cool simple mystery. Really liked it, thought Rarity was gunna go full psycho on that guy near the end there but happy to see she’s still the Rarity we know, all be it with some extra scales

Um. Just to check. I read Saltmyre and need to check: Is this a Saltmarsh thing? I want to play in this campaign at some point, but haven't yet :x

That'd be extra hilarious if the unicorn was Applejack.

It's very simple: A crossed circle is the astrological symbol for Earth. That is to say, the planet earth. The ball of rock hurtling around the sun where we all sit at this moment.

Ergo, one of the mane Six is, or at least, was originally from Earth, and as such is likely human.

In the sequel, everyone is shocked when Twilight reveals she is in fact the Thestral, and there is much confusion until everyone realizes Fluttershy was a unicorn all along and nobody noticed, and she was just to polite to say anything

Wallflower Blush is an alicorn, but nobody's noticed.

I knew it. Spike's not actually a dragon. He's been Celestia all along.

I enjoyed this read, favorite.

Are you kidding me. You're just gonna leave it like that? WHO IS THE CIRCLE? :flutterrage:

I definitely picked up on the face of the lamia statue looking like rarity's cutie mark before Mr Troves set it all out for us, (how many things have three diamonds?) but the idea that she was actually one herself... jeez.

Very nice suspense building. I definitely felt the atmosphere. I also like how the symbols are described well enough for us to start drawing or own conclusions before Forbes makes them for us. Good mystery writing gives us enough rope. I feel like this would be an interesting world to set some more stuff in.

Damn, this is amazing, great use of a cliffhanger ending by the way :yay:

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