• Member Since 7th Oct, 2012
  • offline last seen 42 minutes ago

Raleigh


I have no idea what I'm doing.

T
Source

"Between the time when the oceans drank Marelantis and the rise of the Elements of Harmony there was an age undreamed of.  And unto this Celestia!  Destined to bear the jewelled crown of Equestria upon a troubled brow.  It is I, her chronicler, who alone can tell thee of her saga. Let me tell you of the days of high adventure!"

Celestia is many things to her little ponies: princess, leader, and teacher, to name a few.  Yet her past is unknown to her subjects, lost to the depths of time.  After she passes her crown to her student she descends into a place unvisited for over a thousand years, and there remembers a time before the Magic of Friendship, before Equestria, and before the Elements of Harmony -- the Hyponian Age.

It was an era of cruelty, violence, and hope.  Into this harsh world, Celestia the Cimmareian ventured out alone in search of gold, glory, and adventure.  The Tower of the Fallen Star and the horrors within await.


Cover art by EZTP, commissioned by Yours Truly.


Pre-read by SockPuppet, Steel Quill, and Sledge115. Thank you to all in the site's Discord who helped bring this idea to life.


We have many tales of Celestia the Princess, Celestia the Ruler, Celestia the Lover. This is a Celestia who can keep the pages turning all day long.

-Steel Quill

Chapters (6)
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Comments ( 49 )

Ooh. You done goofed on one thing. That's not the proper quote you ponified.

Will take a look at this later.

It was my pleasure and privilege to be a pre-reader.

This is one of the top five pony stories I have ever read.

media1.tenor.com/images/8c8f18bec7ba6a1b7ddc2ef76664e9ae/tenor.gif?itemid=10584134

This story comes with my personal seal of approval. You can't go wrong in finding entertainment of all kinds in a story like this. Read it, favorite it, show it to your friends; then read it again. It's worth the time.

Well done, Raleigh!

Was an honour to pre-read this :twilightsmile:

After she passes her crown to her student she descends into a place unvisited for over a thousand years, and there remembers a time before the Magic of Friendship, before Equestria, and before the Elements of Harmony -- the Hyponian Age.

I know it references the Hyborian Age, but I started hearing the Ogre Battle & Tactics Ogre music when I read this, specially with that quote at the beggining. Will not lie, got kinda disappointed it isn't the case. Shame the Ogre Battle Saga will never be completed, I love it :fluttershbad:

Still, this sounds awesome and I've got to give it a read.

Okay yeah, this was a really good short adventure. But I feel like it's missing something important: novelty. The prose is phenomenal and all of the characters (except the Vizier, lol) have depth, but the plot and setting just came off as generic to me. Whenever any new development happened, rather than going 'Wow, I didn't expect that, that's so cool!' it was more like 'Yeah, alright, that makes sense narratively,' every time. To use an analogy, it's like the fried rice at this one family-owned restaurant I frequent; the rice and vegetables are all cut and cooked perfectly, but I always have to ask for extra soy sauce because they serve it so under-seasoned.

Though I do kind of want somebody to mod Celestia into Slay the Spire now.

RDT

Oooh. Very interesting world. Onwards!

RDT

Not familiar with the source material/inspiration, but the epic fantasy feel is really nice.

RDT

Damn, it's over? I want, like, 100k more words of this. Overall, interesting weaving of canon concepts and fantasy worldbuilding. But it feels like it could have more time/word count to develop concepts.
10703392

Though I do kind of want somebody to mod Celestia into Slay the Spire now.

Starter relic: Alicorn
Start each combat with 3 Vigor, 3 Plated Armor, and Scry 1 at the start of each turn.
Unique Boss relic: Princess
Lose your starter relic.
Start each combat with 3 Strength, 3 Metalicize, and draw 1 at the start of each turn.
Have Earth Pony cards which are high value, high cost cards (like Impervious or Dash), pegasus cards which are low-cost/card draw (like Dropkick or Just Lucky), and unicorn cards which scale. And some sort of mechanic which makes them synergize.
Eh, this is starting to sound like Watcher.

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Thank you for pre-reading and your advice too!

10703392
That's fair assessment, and I'll admit to trying only for a 'really good short adventure' in the style of old pulp fantasy. But hopefully this'll set up for more daring stories in future.

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True, there is always space for developing world-building, though I wanted to keep the focus rather tight on Celestia herself.

Stumbled across this one while listening to the Conan The Barbarian soundtrack :rainbowlaugh: From that opening text alone I can't wait to catch up and read more

This was pulpy as hell - and I mean that in all the best of ways. At the end here, I am struck by a feeling I haven't felt in a long time, that craving for more, but not just that - I can see where it goes and enjoy that journey without it being written.

Oh, yes, I don't know the exact ancient temples they would ultimately plunder and foul sorcerers they would throw down and in what order you would choose for them to do so, though I fervently hope you'll continue in this world; you've basically written the short story that begs to lead into - well, you know, a series of short or long stories or novels because any form can work.

This easily goes into favorites, because I can tell I'll be able to reread it and just let 'What comes next' bubble up, and float happily in that for a while.

Kudos, and would love to see the next obvious story in the cycle, which I currently imagine begins about 5 minutes into their first rainstorm. About, oh, when Luna begins to realize that adventuring may involve a lot more mud, cold, and ickiness then she had expected, and Celestia realizes her new charge can be very vocal in complaining about trivial things a mare just has to learn to live with, and ends with some newly discovered wrong righted and some new knowledge/skills/respect gained

Found this story in a blog post from one SockPuppet, and while my only experience with Conan is one of the cheesy old Arnold Schwarzenegger movies, I think you have a good thing going here, and as a fan of world building and historical fiction I hope you continue writing in this world.

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I'm glad you enjoyed it! I'm definitely going to have to write more of their adventures now, as soon as I think of them. Temples, lost cities, monsters, horrors from beyond the veil, and Celestia and Luna's growing bond.

This is probably my favorite Celestia. Excellently written.

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The pre-Elements, three tribes pre-history of Equestria is potentially fascinating. I was thinking of how the world before the Elements and before the Magic of Friendship might look first, then realised it started to resemble old pulpy swords-and-sorcery. The Conan pastische was a natural evolution of that.

Luna: Sister, what is best in life?

Celestia: To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their mares.

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Over the Christmas holiday I made some artwork for a story by another really good historical fiction writer here on fimfiction. I tried really hard to capture the harshness of the era described in the story.

Also, several years ago I found an amazing thing on YouTube called Historical Equestria, the person who made it narrated it in the guise of one of Canterlot Library's Chief Archivists and gave summarized accounts of Equestria's history from paleo-ponies to the modern era. Sadly, the artist in question suffered a massive burnt-out and hasn't uploaded anything since 2018.

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Not familiar with the source material/inspiration

This is a rather lovely and delicious ponified adaptation based off Robert Howard's Tower of the Elephant Conan the Barbarian story

Huh... Luna as Yag-kosha?

I want… MORE. Great work! Really enjoyed it!

Awesome stuff throughout. Not the first time I've seen a barbaric Celestia, but a fantastically executed one. I do hope you explore this era further. (Also, nice tie-in with your other stories thanks to the House of Blood.)

A MLP Tower of the Elephant homage! You did a really good job! REH as source material yielded a wonderful dividend with this and I say this as a REH fan from my youth. You wrote the visuals vividly without the distraction, a true S&S fic. I do hope you continue.
I imagine if you continue you may have to change some things since Conan was usually solitary Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser might make a good splice for these two continuing... if you do, and I sincerely hope you do! I like the setting of pre-Equestria in the days of yore. I can hear Mako's voice as the Chronicler narrating this story.

I can just picture Princess Twilight Sparkle finding a particular scroll and reading the words:

"Know, O Princess, that between the years when the oceans drank Marelantis and the gleaming cities, and the years of the rise of the Stallions of Areanas, there was an Age undreamed of, when shining Princessdoms lay spread across the world like blue mantles beneath the stars---Nivernais, Onager, Byerley, Hipparchikos, Zecora with its black and white striped mares and towers of spider haunted mystery, Zarpa with its chivalry, Konik that bodered on the pasture lands of Shagya, Steinkraus with its shadow-guarded tombs, Holsteiner whose warriors wore steel and silk and gold. But the proudest kingdom of the world was Andalucia reigning supreme in the dreaming west. Hither came Celestia the Cimmareian, pink-maned, lavender-eyed, sword in hoof, a thief, a reaver, a slayer, with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth to trot the jewled thrones of Equus under her iron shod hooves."

Wonderful imagery. I’m enjoying your style of writing immensely. Definitely feels consistent with the Cimmerian Age setting.

The quotation in the story description now makes me believe Twilight Sparkle was voice acted by Mako. :rainbowlaugh:

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Thanks! I like to imagine that the two take place in the same continuity, albeit two thousand years apart

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I'd heard of Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser but never read it, so I'll definitely have to check that out for any subsequent tales I might tell. Thanks!

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Oh yes, I think this sort of setting is where my slightly purple prose is actually an asset.

Is it weird that getting to the end of the chapter, somehow my greatest concern was "Wait, is she going to remember to pay him?"

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In his Aku voice or Uncle Iroh?

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*Hot water, good dentishtry and shoft lavatory paper!

Holly Conan that was great fun! I am a fan of barbarian Celestia. :trollestia:

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Akiro's voice was closer to Aku than Iroh, I think. :rainbowlaugh:

Hmm. What an odd approach.

This might need a crossover tag. Since it is effectively MLP and Conan the Barbarian fused together.

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Not really, it’s a pastiche, not a straight forward crossover.

this was quite good, i am glad i read it

For those playing at home, Conan did in fact eventually become a king.

Hmm. How's that for a twist?

Mind, thinking back on it this does tie in neatly with the mentions of a fallen star. Now the question is -- is Luna the wizard or the star?

Hmm. This isn't quite the first barbarian hero Celestia I've seen, but I liked this portrayal! The contrast between the modern, refined Celestia and the rowdy, blunt and quarrelsome one of the past was fun. My only complaint is that the ending seems a bit... abrupt, I suppose? I assume that this is a carryover from the story this is based on? I've never read a Conan story, so I assume this would seem more obvious to someone more familiar with them.

In any case, if you ever feel like using this setting again I'll be very interested in seeing the results.

Before I read this, I must know: How does she lose so much and make such horrible choices and command such a pathetic army and constantly rely on Twilight and her friends if she's the way she is in this story?

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Thanks for reading it! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

I do think you're right about the ending, but many of the original Conan stories did have that tendency to end abruptly, so it's something for me to consider for later stories.

Muscle-bound mares kicking holes in doors and making stallions out of colts in the very best of pulpy style. What's not to like? An easy updoot.

This was an excellent story. I hope it is continued!

What a blast! I love myself some good warrior-barbarian Celestia, and setting it in a Conan-spoof was even more fun.

I am a little disappointed that it seemed to leave a few things hanging--I was hoping Redblood would have more narrative importance, especially given that he seems to be pretty clearly a Blueblood reference. I was also hoping for either some closure about Celestia's nature, or a breadcrumb to lead her forward. I was also hoping we'd get return to the present, maybe get a little scene with Luna, or maybe drunken Celestia scandalizing Twilight. Though it looks like this is meant to be a somewhat-faithful adaption to a Conan book and its structure, so fair enough!

...more?

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Glad you enjoyed it! I'll admit to rushing the ending a bit - perhaps I should have had a little epilogue, but I'd mainly wanted to write this as a start to a series. Hopefully, I'll get to writing more soon.

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