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Ice Star


🖤 i eat children 🖤

T
Source

This story is a sequel to Ivory Tower


Cadance has the most wonderful surprise in the world to share with her beloved Auntie Celestia. In fact, it's the most spectacular, wonderful, and joyous news she has ever had to share in her life. Won't Celestia just love to hear it?

In fact, how could she not?


A stand-alone sequel. Written for the prompt 'From the beginning, you know the end' from Bean's Writing Group Discord server. Contribute to the TVTropes page! Thanks to Sledge115, Short-tale, and Lemonshrike Catworthy for their pre-reading and feedback.

Chapters (1)
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Comments ( 18 )
RDT
RDT #1 · Monday · · ·

Hmmm. I hadn't had the opportunity to read this one initially. That said, it's a pretty interesting idea

Celestia's characterization is not one I'm used to, but I think it's intriguing and well-executed.

I do think I'm missing something about the significance of the Faithful Students, and specifically the differences between that and Cadance.

I maybe would have liked Shining Armor to take a larger role, but since this story is about Cadance and Celestia, I suppose that would have been too unfocused.

Anyways, a good story worth reading.

Sledge115 #2 · Monday · · ·

As I've mentioned before, a fascinating insight into Celestia. Not how I'd write her but, it's certainly an interesting take that just sucks you right in.

Happy to see this up :twilightsmile:

Muggonny #3 · Monday · · ·

poggers

Wow damn I really like this and it has conjured up alot of unfinished thoughts I've had about Celestia in your stories.
Sunset firstly wanted to be equal/daughter to Celestia, and with the thoughts of Celestia in this story and the others, whereas Sunset wants to be praised by others, and wants the love of Celestia, Celestia wants sort of the opposite as she wants others to worship her and love her as their ruler, so a sort of vise versa thing, essentially she believes there must always be a hierarchy and no one should oppose it, the ruler stays above the subject, Lord over the serf, master over the slave.
However it does leave one thing of note in my mind: What was the difference between faithful students and Cadance/Niece/Nephews that she thought about?

Well, this is an unsettling take on Celestia! She’s set herself so far apart from ordinary ponies that she can’t even understand the most basic of feelings. She may claim to represent “harmony” and “Destiny”, but what she really wants is control. She has deluded herself into believing that she is furthering “destiny”, but she’s really just trying to trying to control how her subjects behave. As a result, she panics whenever ponies make their own decisions. She cannot fathom marriage, because marriage means ceding control, something that frightens Celestia.

This Celestia is arrogant, controlling, and manipulative; she’s almost sociopathic. The only difference between Chrysalis and herself is that Chrysalis dispensed with pretense. The sad part is, it doesn’t take much of a stretch to view the canon Celestia this way. One should always be careful of those who speak of fulfilling “destiny.”

Veylon #6 · Monday · · ·

Poor Tia here is a ticking time bomb of crazy. She's built a whole rickety scaffolding of justifications and assumptions that's never been tested or challenged because she has no acknowledged peers to discuss it with. In her head, I'm sure all this stuff sounds like genius, but what's going to happen when she trots it out in front of her fellow alicorns and they look at her like she's nuts and hack her cherished centuries-old rhetoric to bits?

duckmagee #7 · Monday · · ·

I kinda want a sequel dealing with this celestia and prince blueblood, that be a interesting read

duckmagee #8 · Monday · · ·

10690594
I say the difference between her and chrysalis is our bug queen embraced who she is and this celestia in denial

Though some might call it balance I knew that there was nothing but instability in a relationship where one could not master their other.

Your take on Celestia throughout the Iceverse (from what I've read and understand) is exemplified by this phrase. I was a bit surprised to find out that this takes place after Luna's return; it seems not even the recent return of her sister has softened Celly's obsessive need for reverence and control. Her fear of being known (in the non-carnal sense) is... Well, it's the fear of being loved at all, really. Truly, fully loved. This, along with many other things about your Celestia, makes her such a tragic character in my eyes.

One day, she will grow older, and hopefully, by then she will understand that the greatest love in the world is not what the Arcadian ponies and minotaurs called agápē, storage, philía, and it certainly wasn’t érōs.

The greatest love to ever be was that between ruler and subject,

The worldbuilding here for Pony Greece was such a great thematic touch. I like how this ties in to the titles/focus of many of your Cadance stories in the same 'verse. In fact, I would say that your Cadance and your Celestia are great foils of each other.

It is only pure folly that made the Arcadians think that their Great Bull idol Atlas carrying the world was a crushing, unwelcome burden.

The retelling of the Atlas myth is the cherry on top of this tragic sundae. Great work in both incorporating the mythos and using it to show the darker implications of Celestia's rule, what with the self-serving, "reimagined" fables, and other lies/half-truths.

Glad that the prompt led to such a great story. :twilightsmile:

Haradion #10 · Tuesday · · ·

A fascinating view of Celestia.
She is... Complicated here. I

Obviously benign. But also controlling. And that's by no means evil or malevolent. Merely unhealthy.

Perfectly kind, generous and decent people have commitment and intimacy issues, on account of an inability and unwillingness to be vulnerable. Celestial is the Sun Incarnate. Protector Goddess of a nation. She was ancient *before* Lunas banishment and the centuries weren't kind to her.
She is built, to *be* invulnerable. Unreachable. Unassailable. Fo r the good of the people she is protecting.

The notion of allowing oneself to be vulnernabke, she views as the unacceptable cost of romance. But she missed the point; because that's the whole purpose of romance. Marriage isn't the sharing of love: it's the formalization of the sharing you already do.

Its... Sad.

She has all this love for her people. And knows they have all this love in turn. But she isn't willing to let it... Flow...

It's ironic. That she sees Atlas and thinks the weight he carries the most beautiful thing, whilst everyone else sees it as a burden.
Yet, she herself sees the price of love to be a horrible unnecessary table vulnerability. Instead of an alloy, where both metals intermingled become the stronger for it.

It's sad, to live alone and never find love. But how much sadder to be dead and blind to it?

She has - perhaps out of necessity - elevated the Solar Throne so far above her people, and become so fixated on control, so terrified of powerlessness, that she is unwilling to experience the greatest form of powerlessness there is.

Ice Star #11 · Tuesday · · ·

Wow, y'all! This one really blew up when I was worried it would languish! But y'all tore into it with some wonderful comments! Thanks so much!

10690547
No u
10690528

I do think I'm missing something about the significance of the Faithful Students, and specifically the differences between that and Cadance.

Faithful Students are essentially youngish unicorns (usually around a teenager) who study under Celestia until mid-adulthood. They have no family-like connection to her, but she is formally their guardian and tried to find the right one to fulfill the 'Stars Shall Aid in Her Escape' prophecy. Cadance is some random kiddo who defeated a witch and became a demigod, so Celestia, a true goddess, was startled and decided to keep her around. She's trained Cadance more in manners and etiquette.

I maybe would have liked Shining Armor to take a larger role, but since this story is about Cadance and Celestia, I suppose that would have been too unfocused.

Yeah, when I was editing this one and looked over my critique sheet, I couldn't find much of a way to put him in any more than he already was.

10690541
I'll certainly be checking out your story when I can! And thank you! She's a character I don't get as many compliments on, and those who do comment on her usually only do so on certain stories. Autophobia, Enemy of Mine, and some of the ones with Sunset Shimmer come to mind.
10690571
I always adore comments like this!

Sunset firstly wanted to be equal/daughter to Celestia, and with the thoughts of Celestia in this story and the others, whereas Sunset wants to be praised by others, and wants the love of Celestia, Celestia wants sort of the opposite as she wants others to worship her and love her as their ruler, so a sort of vise versa thing, essentially she believes there must always be a hierarchy and no one should oppose it, the ruler stays above the subject, Lord over the serf, master over the slave.

She lives in a world of binaries, yes. It's only ever-complicated every relationship she's had, romantic or otherwise. I think the most focus I give on Celestia herself, especially in a way that might interest you, would be in Enemy of Mine. However, there are chapters of this story that could use some tweaking (despite it being among my highest quality work and generally up-to-date in most other respects) and little bits of scrubbing for print revisions. Aside from Sombra being more prominently contrasted against Celestia, Luna is a close second and Sunset Shimmer is mentioned infrequently. It's also incomplete because holy fuck, college be like that!

However it does leave one thing of note in my mind: What was the difference between faithful students and Cadance/Niece/Nephews that she thought about?

Basically: circumstances, species (Cady is an altered pegasus, all Faithful Students were/started out as unicorns), intentionality, curriculum, purpose, and relationship to Celestia. I covered some of this in a comment above yours. Distance Beyond Any Measure, Her Own Sky, and Enemy of Mine tackle this difference the most.

A Faithful Student is a rank used to describe unicorns from Celestia's school (she uses it as a sort of filter) that she sees promise in. She plucks out the one she sees as the most promising around the time they start puberty, and puts them through a custom program that lasts until they're about thirty. From there, they graduate and she is no longer their guardian and supervisor. Because none were ever Twilight Sparkle, they all ended up in careers that tended to be picked out/related to Celestia in some way, like being a professor at her school or a thaumaturge (a kind of priest/theologian) and the like. Their purpose was initially to give Tia company, but eventually, she realized that she needed one to fulfill the 'Stars Shall Aid in Her Escape' prophecy a few centuries before Luna returned, as covered in Pale Nights. Twilight is the only exception, having only been given classes at the School to supplement her social development that was stunted. She was never formally a student there, and Celestia took Twilight under her wing basically ASAP.

Cadance, as stated above, is a pegasus who did a magical fucky-wucky. Celestia knows that Cadance is useful and also would be in danger from foreign entities if she were to live out the life of a regular citizen. Because nothing like Cady ever happened as far as Celestia knew, she keeps that kiddo very close to her and mostly teaches her as a kind of spare/backup for the more political-etiquette side, since Cadance doesn't come close anywhere on the magical side as a 'spare' and nor does Twilight. Think of Cady as a kind of political understudy. If Celestia is a queen in all but name, Luna the second queen, then Cadance is a more traditional kind of princess/noble in what she does.


10690594

She’s set herself so far apart from ordinary ponies that she can’t even understand the most basic of feelings.

Well, she is stated/given here as being a different species than them, so that certainly helps!

She may claim to represent “harmony” and “Destiny”, but what she really wants is control. She has deluded herself into believing that she is furthering “destiny”, but she’s really just trying to trying to control how her subjects behave. As a result, she panics whenever ponies make their own decisions. She cannot fathom marriage, because marriage means ceding control, something that frightens Celestia.

Indeed, she wants a greater level of control, but puts herself in a position of modesty. How are you new to my stories? I think you'll fit in just fine.

The only difference between Chrysalis and herself is that Chrysalis dispensed with pretense.

I would disagree here. Chryssie was somepony (er, creature, you get the idea) who genuinely neglected her subjects and was brutal towards them. Celestia is a more traditional controlling monarch. She's not causing any physical harm, and her issues are rooted more in something that would cause a person/pony/creature in any other position but hers to need psychiatric care. Even though she doesn't support what is going on, she doesn't force it to stop happening. Instead, she wishes to find ways to lie and conceal her displeasure and clinginess, or to resort to a more passive-aggressive measure of dissuading someone from doing what she dislikes. Nopony is starving, hurt, or beaten because of her.

The sad part is, it doesn’t take much of a stretch to view the canon Celestia this way. One should always be careful of those who speak of fulfilling “destiny.”

Yeah, you're a commenter that I likey. :raritystarry:

10690773

Poor Tia here is a ticking time bomb of crazy.

...Eyyyy, surprised you're new to my stuff too!

She's built a whole rickety scaffolding of justifications and assumptions that's never been tested or challenged because she has no acknowledged peers to discuss it with.

images-wixmp-ed30a86b8c4ca887773594c2.wixmp.com/f/8cb658cb-e6f6-4a97-b162-f009eff8ec6c/ddr98bo-4443241e-e5da-4ab8-82cf-70be56becdb2.png/v1/fill/w_1024,h_1024,q_80,strp/luna_ii_by_yuntaoxd_ddr98bo-fullview.jpg?token=eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJzdWIiOiJ1cm46YXBwOiIsImlzcyI6InVybjphcHA6Iiwib2JqIjpbW3siaGVpZ2h0IjoiPD0xMDI0IiwicGF0aCI6IlwvZlwvOGNiNjU4Y2ItZTZmNi00YTk3LWIxNjItZjAwOWVmZjhlYzZjXC9kZHI5OGJvLTQ0NDMyNDFlLWU1ZGEtNGFiOC04MmNmLTcwYmU1NmJlY2RiMi5wbmciLCJ3aWR0aCI6Ijw9MTAyNCJ9XV0sImF1ZCI6WyJ1cm46c2VydmljZTppbWFnZS5vcGVyYXRpb25zIl19.g8R-SJXqQ8ApIKqELxZcjQza4R7xSZWBH8Q2U1syAiU
Her her her her her. It's really a matter of how the mind games go, considering her peer is clear.

10691526
...I have a couple of stories with Tia and Blueblood interactions planned! None of them are the kind of monologue-y stuff of drama here, but I like your way of thinking. While the others are in the pile of 'upcoming/outlined/in-progress but definitely happening projects' yours is a neat little thing to throw in the 'maybe' pile, which is something I try and deliver on from time to time.

I like to think that I have fans and that they might like it when I do the things
10691528
You're more familiar with my stuff but I'd still just read up with what I said to Shade regarding my polite disagreement on the Chrysalis comparison.
10692077

Your take on Celestia throughout the Iceverse (from what I've read and understand) is exemplified by this phrase. I was a bit surprised to find out that this takes place after Luna's return; it seems not even the recent return of her sister has softened Celly's obsessive need for reverence and control. Her fear of being known (in the non-carnal sense) is... Well, it's the fear of being loved at all, really. Truly, fully loved. This, along with many other things about your Celestia, makes her such a tragic character in my eyes.

Damn, it's Gadot out here trying to therapize the horses again.

You're going down a dangerous rabbit hole when it comes to the divine horses.

I would say that your Cadance and your Celestia are great foils of each other.

She's actually... everypony's foil in my stuff, now that I think about it. Celestia (in some dire ways), Twilight (in some endearing/concerning ones), and Luna & Sombra (in ways you'll have to find out).

10692352

The notion of allowing oneself to be vulnernabke, she views as the unacceptable cost of romance. But she missed the point; because that's the whole purpose of romance. Marriage isn't the sharing of love: it's the formalization of the sharing you already do.

Its... Sad.

She has the gigasad!

10692557
As an all AP stem major I know your pain comrade.

10692597
I am a double major in humanities bro
STEM majors are bewildered by me

10692600
Bro that sounds like absolute pain, may the gods have mercy on you

10692557
Thanks for the recommendation btw, I am reading it rn :)

Jesus. That's a Celestia perspective that I don't think I would have expected. I have to admit, though, I could understand her not supporting Cadance specifically in getting married. Cadance is immortal. Shining is not. When she says 'spend the rest of my life with,' what she unknowingly means is his life. She's going to go through the pain of losing a husband naturally (if he doesn't die in battle first, given his station), whereas Celestia did the 'smart' thing and didn't get too attached to any of her paramours since she knew she would have to deal with that pain if she did. When it comes to immortality, if I were to be looking at it from that perspective—and I hope I never would—lovers are disposable. You shouldn't get too attached, because they'll be gone in a relative eyeblink.
Yes, this is a very unhealthy way to think, but given this story's title, I could understand Celestia having that kind of thought process. And when she starts referring to the Captain of her Guard as:

this stallion, this second-coltfriend-next-door, a middle-class son of a spy-glass maker

you know she's going full-on mama hen.


If you don't mind me doing a few point-outs ('Tis the editor in me):

“SHINY PROPOSED!” squealed Cadance, every part of how she carried herself animated with pure, evanescent joy.

I'm guessing you meant 'effervescent,' right? Evanescent is the exact opposite of what's going on there.

Cadance took on a tradition of ‘saving herself’, as it is often called, of her own violation.

Unless I misread that, did you mean 'volition'?

Those were the only two that really jumped out at me.

10692612
Excuse me they’re pretty fun... most of the time

10692795

When she says 'spend the rest of my life with,' what she unknowingly means is his life.

TÉrōs
The Crystal Empress, Mi Amore Cadenza, and her aging husband Prince Shining Armor spend some time together as a happy couple. Nothing more.
Ice Star · 4.9k words  ·  50  6 · 985 views

You’d probably like this. It’d probably be a palate cleanser too given the lack of a sad/dark tag.

Okay, yeah, I don’t know how those errors got in there but my guess is grammarly. Thank you so much for spotting them!

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