• Member Since 26th Sep, 2011
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Forget not that I am a derp.


Most ponies see Princess Celestia as a pillar of wisdom and certainty, mistress of her own mind and confident in all actions.

Luna knows better and just wishes Tia would get to the point already.

Honorable Mention in the Everfree Northwest 2021 Iron Author contest, using the prompts “threshold,” “puzzle,” and “garden.”

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 37 )

Celestia delivered the exact same eyebrow raise as Twilight's figment. “You mean the incident where the two of us had both been petrified, and Twilight was acting on my last desperate gambit rather than her own initiative?”

Here's my question. What was Celestia hoping would happen? That Novo would agree to help, or at the most hoof over the Pearl? Putting her people at risk and risk losing the Pearl altogether? Knowing what it does and what evil could do with it?

Yeah. I'm not seeing whatever horseapple excuse Celestia is trying to spew here. I blame the Movie more than anything else though.

Good work, and thanks for entering the Iron Author contest this year.

It's as good a justification as any, I guess. And Celestia does deserve her rest after all this time.

Personally, I see Celestia's reason for retiring as more, "I am old, Luna. I feel sort of... thin and stretched, like too little frosting spread over too much cake." But this makes sense, too.

I have to say, though, this characterization of Luna's retirement is fantastic. The effects of her thousand-year disappearance didn't just vanish after Luna Eclipsed; she's still the warrior princess she was before Nightmare Moon, but Equestria doesn't need a warrior princess anymore. She's still displaced in time, even after her return.

My main complaint with this (and with Season 9, tbh) is that it misses one of the most important facts about Twilight's coronation; she's an Equestrian princess. Every source that I can remember describes Celestia and Luna as something from outside of Equestria, almost a deus ex machina that delivered them from Discord. Twilight doesn't just represent the next princess, she represents Equestria's coming of age, its growth beyond the trellis the Two Sisters provided it. Celestia and Luna kept Equestria alive; Twilight will help it flourish. She is the evolution of Equestria, the herald of a new age, not simply somepony who can take over from a retiring ruler. She is a qualitative change from Celestia, not simply a quantitative changing of the guard.

(Also, I'm more partial to Celestia and Luna going to alicorn Valinor after retiring, but to each their own.)

“I was planning on a charming little manor in a Bittish Columbia kelping village. It’s hardly the untamed wilderness.”

IIRC Celestia and Luna end up in Silver Shoals which is apparently a beach resort town roughly the Equestrian equivalent of Miami or Honolulu.

An odd decision if you think about it. I don’t think either of them would enjoy the possibility of becoming de facto attractions in a place that is already regularly flooded with tourists.

Although maybe that’s the point. Anywhere they go is suddenly going to get a lot of visitors and gawkers. Might as well be somewhere the locals are already used to that sort of thing and won’t be inconvenienced any more than they already are.

“I am better suited to forging a nation from chaos-scarred savagery, for I am not far removed from my days as a chaos-scarred savage. I have not had your time to mellow into herding bureaucrats and smiling for cameras, nor do I wish to.

After almost twenty years since I first saw it, I'm finally playing Tactics Ogre to it's completion. This quote, together with Raleigh's The Tower Of The Fallen Star, inspire me to write a story about a chaos-scarred savage forging a nation.

Sing of a time long past, a time when ponies answered to power alone. Ruled by steel, steeped in darkness. Sing of an age called Xytegenia~ :rainbowdetermined2:

If this ever happens I blame you and I dearly hope I can measure up to it :twilightsmile:

Ah, okay, *this* was the one that I honorable mention’d! Should have known it was you.

I’m a sucker for best princess sisters, so it was very nearly my favorite of the round even if other judges disagreed. But there was also some really sharp dialogue here and solid characters, and the idea of threshold as retirement was one of the few really creative angles I saw to the prompts, even if the others were played more straight.

Awesome as expected :raritywink:

Ponies rarely questioned her when she buried her true intentions, much as bees did not suspect why flowers lured them in with nectar.

Snrk. Lewd.

lovely little story here


who knows, the Pearl may have just been to unpetrify them. Maybe the magic used to turn them to stone was tricky or something. More complicated than Cockatrice stares at least

The common thought is that the costal fishing village looking place we saw in "PPOV" (Pony Point of View) is Silver Shoals...which is so low-key, I consider it true. It certainly fits the "Bittish Columbia kelping village" design...

YMMV, of course...

I'm glad you put words and actions to that huge glaring plot hole the series writers created in S9...

This story makes it believable...


Still wished they actually discussed this with Twilight in advance instead of just dropping Equestria on her like handing over a bag of chips. That was probably the biggest gripe the pro-abdication side had with this whole affair when S9 premiered.

My take on the opening to Season 9 was:

"Oh, hey, Twilight! After ruling a society built on a bedrock of stability for millennia, my sister and I have decided to retire. In like three days. So you'll be ruling Equestria before all of it even hears the news, and months or years before you could be prepared to. But it's cool; don't sweat all the bureaucracy and stuff, besting villains and challenges totally qualifies you to run a kingdom!

"And you'll have your friends by your side! You all can suspend your own lives to help with no notice too, right? I know that any rational pony would see how unreasonable, illogical, and pointless this whole execution is, but as immortals we're in a real hurry to go play golf or whatever our unstated motivation is. Remind us to leave you the keys to the sun and moon before we leave. Kthx!"

That setup was so bizarre and illogical even within the context of the world that the whole episode, if not the season, got off on the wrong foot with me even before the opening credits. :applejackunsure:

Still think the whole retirement thing was dumb [1] (and the show made the Princesses dumb), but at least this story gives it a vague veneer of plausibility while showing some respect for Best Sisters.

[1] I don't mind the notion of Twilight becoming Celestia's successor - in another century or two!

Hence the desperate part of "desperate gambit." If we have seen one thing about her, it's that Celestia is not the best at improvising. It really isn't clear what she was thinking at the time beyond panicked screaming and scrambling for possibilities.

(But yeah, it's one of the movie's more glaring contrivances.)

"I told you to leave that horn ring in the cave, but did you listen?"

Definitely an interesting view of the deeper ramifications of the transfer of power. It's not clear where Discord fits into the narrative of "Founders light the Fire of Friendship, Star Swirl trains the sisters, Celestia raises the sun when the unicorns are all burnt out, Luna quietly simmers," and he wouldn't have it any other way. (Heck, it's not clear where the Pillars going into Limbo fits in there either.) Still, your point about them being miraculous saviors definitely holds, whether it's from chaos or heavenly stasis. Twilight definitely has new and innovative solutions for both.

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After double-checking, the village I was thinking of from "P.P.O.V." was Seaward Shoals. Meanwhile, the retirement community in "The Point of No Return" was Silver Stable. Silver Shoals was only mentioned as a potential vacation option by Luna in "The Beginning of the End" without further context. It's actually not at all clear where Maretime Manor is meant to be, though it's presumably coastal (and possibly the future site of Maretime Bay come G5.)

I'm sticking with my headcanon even if I've contradicted it, because I've yet to hear a better answer. :derpytongue2:

And in time, she became a princess by her own hoof. But that is a story for another day...

Wait, sorry, wrong franchise. Here's hoping the crossover goes well.

I figured interpreting "threshold" as "seven or more cards in your graveyard" would be a bit of a giveaway regarding the author's identity. :raritywink: Glad you liked it enough to give it your HM!

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I work with what I'm given, and the show didn't give me much here. Call it further proof that Celestia was right about needing to retire, even if she was jumping the gun a bit.

(Luna, meanwhile, has much more faith in Twilight than Twilight herself would ever be comfortable with. Between the Nightmare and the Tantabus, who can blame her?)

I love little looks like this at things you know happened but took place off-screen. This was a conversation that had to happen between the sisters, and this take feels.. right? Natural? It suits their minds well.


“With you at my side, Sister, I would charge into the mouth of banality itself.”

That is such a wonderful line.

I apologize if I came across as blaming you, that wasn't my intent at all. You did a great job creating a motive for Celestia and Luna's decision! As opposed to the show's explanation of [null]. My gripe was purely with how the show handled it.

I can go with this Maretime Manor idea...it has Andy Price's illustration on it...

I'm assuming this is an IDW comic story? Which issue?

I didn't much like it, either. Deliberative Celestia just throwing it on Twilight's back and walking off?


Amd poor Luna playing tagalong to Celestia? Let's just reinforce the "Little Sister" trope even more...

I would have appreciated a Luna/Twilight diarchy for a time...

I think the season nine retirement arc was badly written enough that no single fic could ever make total sense of it, but I'll give you this, FOME; you certainly made a valiant effort of it.

TYVM. I'll hunt it down...

Totally thought I commented...apparently I didn't so heres a comment instead.

Ps. Liked it. The only thing I wished for more stuff would be more description writing. Like just the whole maze deal could of aided that wee bit of mystery...but...I understand if that was not your intention. Though from summary it was what I was hoping for a touch.


It's probably the best that can be done in keeping with canon. I have to say I really love your "off-stage" personalities for Celestia and Luna. The beige snort was a gem!

This was great. Definitely the kind of off-screen conversation I could see between the sisters before they came to their retirement decision. It did seem really spur-of-the-moment. And nice use of those prompts.

By the way, I'm curious—

She has grown so much since she left Ponyville, but has she grown enough?”

Did you mean 'left for Ponyville,' or am I forgetting something? Because I could very possibly be having a major brain fart.

You'll want to go here. :twilightsmile:

Aha, twas curious what you wrote, and now I know~

I thought Celestia assumed Novo would turn a bunch of ponies and/or hippogryphs into dragons and send them north to wipe out the Storm King's forces.

Aren't they the least bit concerned about how long Twilight has to actually live? If she's not around thousands of moons from now, the tribes could well drift apart and the magic go away.

And so the wind whispered through the leaves, "G5"

People are always talking about how Twilight messed up as if she's still around by then. She's mythology to Sunny for a reason: she didn't live forever.

Or she disappeared into seclusion, disillusioned by ponies ignoring or twisting her teachings...

Either way, I was agreeing with you.

I'd figured. Hmmm. My guess is that towards the time they get ready to crank out Gen 6, Twilight and the others will wind up being living relics like Starswirl's group is.

You know, as good as this story is, it does bring what I feel is one of the final season's biggest problems into sharp focus. Because, while I do feel Celestia's decision to be questionable, to say the very least, I honestly think that what happened and what the characters did was far less of a problem than how those events and actions were framed.

They were framed, for the most part, as a full-on, unabashed happy ending, even with the bumps in the road getting there. And... I'm sorry, but they just aren't. I'm not saying it's a tragedy or anything, but the fact that the show seemed so eager to gloss over the more melancholy aspects of it only served to make them glare out all the more and cause the narrative to seem forced and in-denial. Maybe that's just me, it's possible that feeling seemed way more prominent to me than it really was, but it's how I saw it.

Regardless of that, though... yeah, it is pretty sad. Regardless of the reasoning - whether because Celestia thinks she has to abdicate, because she feels Twilight is simply better or because she's hated ruling for a long time and is finally casting it off - she's still stepping away from the role she's filled for over a millennium. If there is a way to portray that without some sorrow somewhere, I can't see it. And that's not even getting into how Twilight feels, whether she even wanted the job and how much the appointment was a gift or an imposition. And the main reason I'm not considering that is because it barely feels like the show did.

But, again, that's just how it seems to me and I'm not going to pretend my view of things is even credible, never mind absolute. Regardless, it's a really good story. Just one that makes me feel... extremely ambivalent. Which, to be fair, in this case seems like a sign it's doing something very right.

This was a cute little story. I always did feel that the premise of Season 9 felt a tad rushed, and this did a good job of exploring how Celestia would have gotten to the point where she would be willing to let it happen.

Neat little headcanon, and one that matches my own. For Celestia to abruptly retire because she is feeling left behind and unable to meet the challenges of the day (all for the good of the Realm) is probably one of the most sensible explanations out there.

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