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“There are three things all wise men fear: the sea in storm, a night with no moon, and the anger of a gentle man.” - Patrick Rothfuss


After taking the throne, Twilight had a lot of things to do - a transition that had never happened before was bound to be fraught with a thousand unexpected complications.

As part of the transition, Twilight finds herself going through Princess Celestia's old personal papers, finding secret after clue after instruction long forgotten about. And among those papers, Twilight finds a letter.

A letter addressed to My Faithful Student, Twilight Sparkle.

A letter never sent.

Special thanks to RanOutOfIdeas and SymphonicSync for proofreading!

Featured 4/13/2021 to 4/18/2021!

Reviewed by Ghost Mike and rated as Really Good!

And by Loganberry in the blog Louder Yay!, earning a three out of five stars rating!

Now with an audio reading by StraightToThePointStudio!

And a second by Dear silent future me!

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 89 )

Lovely stuff. I have to wonder what other contingencies Celestia may have prepared, though it’s not like she had prophecies warning of the other great disasters. Still a great reminder of how Twilight exceeded all expectations.

This is lovely and completely plausible. :twilightsmile:

Seconding 10768277; this is perfectly in character for Twilight and Celestia both, and fits Equestria to a T.

I didn't want to banish Nightmare Moon; my intent had been to separate it from Luna and save her. I pray that when you gained their blessing they chose to release Luna from her undeserved penance rather than punishing her further. It may be vanity, but I like to think that sacrificing myself rather than continuing the strife will be enough to placate the Elements. Though the why matters less than the results in this case.

I wonder if this could in part speak to Celestia's hubris of those days. That she may have been so blind to Luna's situation as to dismiss the thought that Luna and Nightmare Moon were one entity.

Sad and sweet. Well done.

An excellent piece, heartfelt and with a strong voice from Celestia despite her not physically being present. Thanks for writing.


That she may have been so blind to Luna's situation as to dismiss the thought that Luna and Nightmare Moon were one entity.

My thought is yes, she exactly thought that.

And who could blame her? Which is easier to accept: that your only sister performed acts of great evil and malice, or that she was influenced to do so by an outside force?

Celestia, I've felt, has always loved her sister. Luna likely eventually got her side of the story through Celestia's thick head, but in that moment in the storyline? It's more comforting for Celestia to be sure that the monsterous Nightmare isn't really her sister. We take our cold comforts where we can find them.

Great story, and has given me an idea for a future story. It would be the second coming from you I think.

Besides that, I wonder if Celestia had a similar letter prepared for Sunset.

It'd be interesting to see how freshly redeemed Luna and a Celestia with a millennia of remorse and survivor's guilt made amends.

Another thing that would have been cool on the show, a later flashback to Celestia's reunion with Black Snooty on the night of the premier.

It really does figure that Celestia would have some contingency plan in case something went wrong and she was killed when Nightmare Moon returned.

If I had a daughter, I would pray she could be half the mare you have grown into.

The whole letter hit me in the feels, but that line in particular hit hard.

Twilight, don't show that letter to Sunset.....ever

Damn, that hit deep. Well done!

Makes me think of an episode of The West Wing, where Toby goes nuts after realizing Sam only wrote a victory speech and not a concession as well.

Welp, that's got the waterworks flowing.

Absolute fantastic writing, love how you conveyed Celestia's state of mind and emotions through her letter and that ending was solid

Short, sweet and good. Well done.

Damn. That was good.

:moustache: Anything about me?
:twilightsheepish: Nope
:moustache: I guess eating the silverware and burning diapers weren't on her happy list
:duck: You can always be on my list Spikey Wikey
:moustache: Your happy list?
:raritywink: My catalog list!
:moustache: With pictures?! Wow
:raritystarry: Have you see my center fold?
:moustache: The wedding section? Sure!
:twilightoops: Wut?

Pleasant. Have to love how Celestia doesn’t have an addendum about future threats that will inevitably befall Equestria and how she doesn’t think it vain to assume that her passing will destroy Raven.

Well, that was delightful. :)

I would actually be more worried if she didn't. (As it would indicate a large helping of hubris.) This makes her a lot more real, and believable, and good.

It also hits me in the feels, but that is less relevant right now. :raritywink:

Now I'm really curious about something else. With how much of a, self-admittedly poor, Puppet Master Celestia is... Does anyone think there's another Contingency Letter waiting somewhere for Sunset?

Excellent writing, and well within what we'd expect of both Celestia and Twilight.

Would love a sequel were twilight talks to celestie about the letter but still a lovely oneshot

In the manner of prophesies, 'when the stars align', as well as the saying of 'big things in small packages', Sparkle and company have indeed aligned with the stars and showed how big they could be when needed ... :trollestia:

Good work,, TCC! :twilightsmile:

One particular thing that stuck out to me is this:

Elements of Harmony are Equestria's greatest weapon.

I do not think that the Elements of Harmony would be described as a "weapon" by Celestia. A tool of defense or a shield, perhaps, but not a weapon, given how her last usage of it ended as she states in this very letter. Princess Celestia of all ponies would feel this most strongly for that.

That's it for me, though. Again, it was a nice read. Thanks for writing it. :twilightsmile:


I do not think that the Elements of Harmony would be described as a "weapon" by Celestia.

This was actually a purposeful choice of wording on my part.

Normally you'd be correct. Here, the word usage is a reflection of Celestia's mindset: she's thinking of her last time using the Elements when facing the Nightmare. And she's in the midst of recriminations against herself for her actions that night. I tried to reflect that by using harsher and more hostile word choice in the appropriate spots.

I would argue that the Elements of Harmony ARE a weapon; after all, they don’t shield a city or a nation, they are actively used against evil beings to weaken and imprison them.

Oooooooh. Celestia being harsh on herself sadly makes entirely too much sense. :ajsleepy:

Any other time she'd frown upon that description of the Elements, but not that day, when she's critical of herself – and that shows in how she indirectly says she used a weapon against her own sister, right?

Ehhhh, but they could have done so much more, and against so many more targets.

This is the most beautiful thing I've read in such a long while. Thank you for this wonderfully written and heartfelt story. :applecry::heart:

Reminds me Eisenhower's speech if D-Day had failed.

The emotion and the passion that happens in here is just breathtaking! Goodness gracious, this is superbly written in every way imaginable, like, the feels are so intense! I hope ya didn't mind, but I couldn't resist making a reading of this passionate fanfic of yours!

Audio Linky!: https://youtu.be/rH9LN0Ics68

(I don't mean to offend anyone with this comment in any way!)



There's probably a dozen contingency letters in that pile, somewhere... most of them being very strong on the encouragement but kind of short on helpful suggestions, mainly because if Celestia knew anything helpful she wanted to share she would have shared it before the mission... for most missions.

As always, it is a great honor. Thank you.

Then - with appropriate reverence - she set the letter in a new pile. One for treasures she would keep.

Relatable, as I'll be doing the same with this fic. This was a beautiful story. Simultaneously heartwarming and somber, and a great character voice for Celestia. Thank you for writing.

Simple and sweet~

A very interesting and well written concept. I could see a series being made out of this for any number of contingencies for other threats.

Nice. It reminded me of this.

I guessed correctly at what you would write, but fell far short guessing how you would write it. Well done.

I’m not crying, you’re crying.

Kinda too late, in a round about sort of way


Got the 400th upvote. Woo!

Have to give upvote not only for good writing, but for Raven Inkwell mention.

A home run, TCC. This was excellent.

I was queuing up a comment asking if it was an homage to the contingency speech when I saw the author's note. (It also reminds me of Eisenhower's un-delivered apology for the failure of D-day).

Give me a sec, sand in my eyes. God.

Seriously. Beautiful work you've done here. An easy fav.

It's just so Celestia to prepare something like this, always the master planner... yet, more than that, someone who cares. Someone who cares for her student, her assistant, and above all her sister.

Celestia at her finest, and we don't even see her in person.


I didn't want to banish Nightmare Moon; my intent had been to separate it from Luna and save her.

Yes, exactly. She never wanted to banish Nightmare Moon, she just wanted her sister back, aw...

Liked and Favorited without a second thought. This was beautiful.

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