• Member Since 4th May, 2013
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On the Sliding Scale Of Cynicism Vs. Idealism, I like to think of myself as being idyllically cynical. (Patreon, Ko-Fi.)


The Empire is starting to see a little more tourist traffic. The tourists, however, are having trouble seeing anything. When every native surface in the nation offers a choice of 'reflective or refractive?' -- well, it's rather easy to spend their entire vacation stumbling into buildings, usually right next to the door.

Cadance is working on the problem. But she can only treat the walls. The crystal ponies aren't going to cover themselves... unless a certain designer can get them interested in the foreign concept of 'clothing'.

It's a challenge fit for an artist!
Or a madmare.
When you hire Rarity, you usually get both.

(Now with author Patreon and Ko-Fi pages.)

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 41 )

The sound of everypony heading for work in the morning was a orchestra of industry with a thousand instruments

With Equestria's penchant for spontaneous flash singing mobs, I cannot help but imagine every morning going to work sounding like the Anvil Chorus from Il trovatore

Alternate Title: In Which Rarity Declares War on the Crystal Empire

Hillbe #3 · May 19th · · 1 ·

:duck: Spikey nibble on my hoofs please Precious Scales
:moustache: Is that like a date?
:duck: No more like a medical procedure the Empire was rough on my visit...

:twilightsheepish: So Spike how was Raritys visit to the Empire?

:moustache: Don't know I only got a lot of moaning and I gained 2 pounds eating crystals
:raritywink: My hoovesies feel wonderful :pinkiehappy:

This reminds me of the trouble they had introducing lite beer back in the 1970s (Yeah, I am that old.)

I mean, it's basically watered down beer & it costs as much as real beer. Everyone was all "Diet beer! Ew!" :fluttercry:

Didn't catch on until they got sports stars to star in beer commercials. :twilightsheepish:

I added this to The Triptych Continuum Rebooted in the "Cadence, Shining Armor, And The Crystal Empire" folder.

It Is post Triptych, part of year 4. :raritywink:

If you drop Crystal Ponies from a height, do they bounce, or do they shatter? And if they shatter - given an adequate liquid medium-, can you grow new ones from the pieces?

I would imagine they splat, like most other living things.


If they were prone to shattering, Flurry Heart would likely have killed them all by now given what she did to the Crystal Heart.

Admittedly, she might still kill them but she'll have to actually work at it now.

Despite her name, I don't often see Cadance associated with music. Interesting.

She'd been happy about that until the next morning, which was when she'd found that the throne room was healing itself.

Going by the empathetic nature of the Empire, it's likely that the room was healing itself because she was happy about that.

Don't tell her.
Not yet.
I haven't even told Shining.

It shouldn't have been possible for a small bundle of cells to giggle with deniable malice. But then, Flurry did a lot of impossible things.

Ooh, conflation of Sombra and the Pony of Shadows. Certainly makes sense, especially if we're going by the local fate of Star Swirl. Still makes me wonder what may have happened to Stygian in this timeline, assuming he even existed.

Ceremonial wear exists, but you can't have ceremonies all the time." (And, half-lost in her semi-morbid review, she failed to see the unicorn miss that.)

Ah, the parentheses of impending doom. I'm sure they'll be harmless this time. :raritywink:

"We all know what Spike looks like. She's not Spike. Where's Spike?"

:rainbowlaugh: Oh, I do hope Rarity tells him about that when she gets back home.

"No. Water. They have water come out of their skin." (Several dozen ponies shuddered at the sheer weirdness of it.)

This and the following discussion are fascinating. Crystals have an almost draconic tolerance for heat, but are still capable of sweat.
Likewise the earlier comment about crystal expectations for dancing. What if a disco ball could do much more than just spin in place.

"-- we'll all be the same --"

On the other end of the world, Starlight felt her ears burning and decided to increase the village's security spells. For everypony's safety, of course.

A reasonable solution in the end, even if it was a rough journey to reach it. Delightful silliness, though I'm sure Cadance will hesitate before inviting Rainbow Dash to the Empire without supervision. (And given my experience with To Perytonia, it's very nice to see a Rarity who doesn't blame herself when confronted with a culture that doesn't comprehend fashion.) Thank you for a most entertaining read.

Tipper #10 · May 19th · · ·

I cackled all the way through this. I love the delightful, entirely optimistic insanity that is your Rarity. All of the little neurosis that the show hinted at, cranked up to eleven, and yet done in a way that makes her entirely endearing, if only from a distance. Your Cadance, as always, is an absolute treat.

Thoroughly enjoyable read, Estee. Thank you.

"I nearly died for her legs,"

That whole segment was delightfully hilariously dark.
And Rarity determinately trying to keep to the script heighted it even greater.

Georg #12 · May 19th · · ·

11246003 "Going by the empathetic nature of the Empire, it's likely that the room was healing itself because she was happy about that."

That fits far too well with the Empire. Sombra was a model of hatred, so everything he influenced was dark and hateful. Cadence over a few decades will turn the whole country pink and cheerful to the point where tourists will wonder just where Sombra's influence went.

Their resistance to both heat and cold, immunity to silicosis, and apparently to ground glass mud suggests some fundamental biological differences to regular ponies.

(Regular Ponies being made of rubber, of course.)

Do the lenses of the goggles give everything a slight green tint by any chance?

Oh. A different form of herd mentality.

I think I can understand why Twilight's stayed your friend.
Why she trusts you.
I'm still not sure why she hasn't killed you.
...she said Rainbow was the one they've all considered murdering.


I understood that reference.

Emil #17 · May 20th · · ·

...she said Rainbow was the one they've all considered murdering.

You mean, murdering first.:pinkiecrazy:

The Crystal ponies are annoying enough that I was beginning to think that Sombra had a point. In any event, I greatly sympathize with both Rarity and Cadance, and I love how Rarity solved the problem even in defeat…. as well as likely saving some lives with her observations. I’d hate for Cadance and Shining to have ended up like Cave Johnson.

Seriously, though, how great could that mare’s legs have really been?

Two thoughts directly related to the problem... First, there's what the Lustrous do, which amounts basically to makeup over everything [exposed] but the mane "hair" (ETA: supplemented with clothing). Second, Rarity didn't even try to sell Theiss Titillation Theory (or one of its cousins) to the populace.

As others have said, this was a fun ride.

"I doubt I would have had the idea to adjust the Border if it hadn't been for that mud bath. Consider the benefits it could provide for so many artists -- Cadance?"

This wasn't the best bit, exactly, nor where I truly guffawed, but this -- and the brick joke you made with it -- was unexpected gold!

RyRy #20 · May 20th · · ·

Can I just say that I love your writing style. It's this beautifully succinct flow of consciousness that manages describe more of the world with what is left out then with the words you put in. Everything is elegantly intentional, gracefully interjectional.

And I love it.

Can you explain for the curious yet oblivious?

Y'know, I feel like Rarity gave up a little too soon before resorting to meteorological terrorism. I'm thinking gauze. I'm thinking lace. I'm thinking veils. I'm thinking translucence. Something to moderate the outgoing glare while still letting the crystal ponies show off the goods. Scandalous for humans, but for a race that defaults to nudity, it could work.

I do think, though, that the project was kinda doomed from the start. You had two outsiders, Rarity and Cadance, trying to impose fashion on a society without at least taking a few of the crystals into their confidence and trying to figure out what might work best? You gotta do that market research.

They're referencing The Wizard of Oz. There's a place called the Emerald City, where everything is green and so bright you need special eyewear handed out at the gate....except it's a lie. The glasses just have a green tint.

It's so cool and interesting that the empire produces music notes as you walk on the ground there. It's one of those cool little magic touches Ester adds to the setting that I love so much. It's a brilliant (pun accidental) idea to have the crystal empire be so bright and what comes as a consequence of that. It seems like the kind of thing (getting them to wear clothes) that would entail a *cultural* solution, ie. creating a culture that catches on with the population so that ponies want to get in on the trend. And then it carries forward on momentum, which eventually becomes tradition if it lasts long enough.

>athletic outfits [developed]
...but why? I get why hooman beinks do it, but how would ponies get any improvement out of it? Interesting aside.

>"So I'm opening the resources of the Empire to you," Cadance happily Mistaked. "Within reasonable limits, but without question. Just tell my staff what you need."
She's gonna regret not giving her a firm number limit I bet lol

Well, this was a good little story. I like how it changed over time, though I wonder why WRAPs were capitalized like that throughout like Sun and Moon except even more extra somehow. Fits for Rarity though, lol. And how she was forgiven so fast for potentially damaging the barrier surprised me. Maybe they brought it back to form easily enough off-screen. I always enjoy Estee's version of characters, especially ones we didn't get real characterization from canon on. And Cadence has an interesting role in the Triptych universe, being the bridge between many things in many ways. Congrats to her and Shining it seems! Thanks Ester!


athletic outfits [developed]
...but why? I get why hooman beinks do it, but how would ponies get any improvement out of it? Interesting aside.

I know that they're called "athletic supporters" for a reason. Keep the jiggly bits from getting too jiggly, not just covering them.

Neece #26 · May 21st · · ·

[quote]I think I can understand why Twilight's stayed your friend. Why she trusts you. I'm still not sure why she hasn't killed you. ...she said Rainbow was the one they've all considered murdering.Because Rarity always comes with the best plans to do it. Even Rainbow agrees! :rainbowwild:

Nice insight on Rarity. She does try to help, even if it means giving up on her dream. Love it.

Wait, Rarity mentions the point where she did Cadances hair. And Cadance wore a dress in that episode and they were in what amounted to a Spa. So the Crystal Ponys do have an ide what a Spa and Clithing actually are...

There all just messing with Cadance and Rarity.

I loved how you made Rarity's eyes very slow to adjust to the relative dimness of Cadence's office. Ponies may comfortably see a better dynamic range than us humans, but their eyes are also much slower to adjust to sharp contrasts.

I wonder what other lies I've believed. Perhaps there has been gravity on the moon all along and those heavy boots were not necessary.

"Theiss Titilation Theory"...

I remember a statement about how he designed those amazing "There's nothing to that dress!! How in the world does that thing stay on her??" costumes he created in the original Star Trek series...

Small Bust: Easiest to design for

Large but Self-Supporting Bust: Very Rare, but very helpful

Everyone Else: (...)

This was pretty fun, and parts of it actually reminded me of a conversation I had about an mlp meme I've seen before. It's related to a planet that scientists say reasons diamonds nonstop, the implication being that Rarity would probably move there with her love of diamonds. The discussion concluded however that any level of scrutiny of the idea of raining diamonds would cause you to realize that such a place would be one of the most bleak hellscapes one could ever imagine. A world where even the air itself could probably cut you. And now I realize too, where you'd never be able to navigate to even try to escape. Dang.

This fic reminds me why in the Triptychverse the stresss of being an alicorn ruler is definitively not worth the perks.

You mean a planet that rains diamonds nonstop? You might be thinking of Uranus and Neptune. They're largely composed of hydrogen and helium, but they have a decent smattering of light hydrocarbons, especially methane, and under the intense pressures deep in their interiors, the carbon atoms get squished together and crystallize, much like how coal forms diamonds here on Earth. It's also worth noting that "rain" is a rather strong term for what is effectively a very slow downward drift of very tiny crystals. Nevertheless, that constant slow precipitation of diamond crystals is enough to generate significant heat, especially in the case of Neptune, which may help to power its vigorous weather.

I think it's a moon actually, probably one of Jupiter's. I've heard it in several contexts and I believe it with how scary space is. Even if it's l just small crystals though, I still think it would be a hellscape. I did think possibly that large chunks might be a thing, but the constant contact with other diamonds would probably mean they'd be constantly fragmenting. So probably ranging from small crystals to microscopic dust, and can probably still cut you. One breathe and your lungs start bleeding, as the larger bits shred you micro cut by micro cut.

As an astrophysicist, I can assure you that there are no moons that rain diamonds. There is no physical mechanism by which a moon can precipitate diamonds of any size in its atmosphere. The crystal structure of diamond is only energetically favorable under immense pressures, like those found deep in Earth's crust or Neptune's interior.

Now, there ARE exoplanets where it rains metal. For obvious reasons, you would not want to be there either.

That is awesome, and I'm glad you're an authority on it. I never knew if the info was true, like I said I just believe space is that scary. I just always loved it when people thought that would be amazing when any rational thought on the subject would make you cringe.

Now that you bring up metal though... dang I'm not sure which is worse. Is it molten and therefore will it make you a statue? Yeah, space is scary.

It's a planet really close to its host star, and yes, the metal is liquid. Don't worry about becoming a statue though, you'd be charcoal long before anything accumulated. And yeah, space is pretty scary for squishy critters like us.

Incidentally, I think I've found the planet you were probably thinking about: WASP-121b. It has a "water cycle" of sorts, just with metals rather than water. And based on Hubble observations, it may have precipitation on its night side composed partially of corundum (aluminum oxide), which with certain metal impurities we know as rubies and sapphires. All liquid, of course, so Rarity probably wouldn't recognize it as anything other than ultra-hot death, but at least she wouldn't get splinters.

At very least I feel like ones death would be amazing. Probably wouldn't have enough time to pull a Fry moment though.

"This is an awesome way to die!!!"

Thanks for the info, it's been fun to hear about.

I wonder if Crystal Empire ponies are Alumina frameworks filled with water and dopants, giving why Dragons can eat gems far easier than expected? As well as other material behaviours?

As for light manipulation?

Why Rainbow Dash is faster?

And then theres the optical quantum interference logic behaviour, within each pone, and within the enviroment?

The whole Crystal empire as one massive computational Volvox?

A computer so powerful Im not worthy to calculate its mere operational parameters. One where you will take on forms amongst its living matrix.
And it will be called.

This is the one designer Twilight trusts. As a friend. She saved Luna. Helped the Empire. We are at peace with Equestria. ...we'd probably still be at peace if I -- -- citizens would be fine with it -- -- but then Spike would find out, he'd be unhappy, they'd find out he was unhappy and then I'd have trouble.

I don’t know why, but throughout all the hilarity of this fic, this was the funniest bit to me.

You know, Estee, you definitely have another potential story on your hands with Cadance's pregnancy and the birth of Flurry Heart, if you want to make commentary on celebrity gossip and worship.

You had to walk on crystal. The natives instinctively moved in ways that not only avoided everyone else's inevitable slipping, skidding crash, but which brought forth music from the streets.

And don't get her started on the music they make with each other....

"There's certain problems with living in a world where just about everything native is made of crystal, Rarity. Just for starters, the buildings generate hot spots."

Loiterers May Catch Fire.

I'm half-expecting Canterlot nobles to try to replicate this to deter homeless people.
(EDIT: Also, the underscored text should not include the period at the end. It should be "Loiterers May Catch Fire.")

But trying to legislate pants feels like a really bad idea.

And Cadance mentally updates her "things I never thought I'd say" count.

"...and I am certain that at least a few of you might vaguely remember me!" the designer teasingly called out to several hundred waiting ponies: a snout twitch adjusted the sunglasses. "As one of your saviors --"
"-- she's not a dragon."
Focus, however, was somewhat harder.
"Why is that weird pony pretending to be a dragon?" asked a piping youthful voice from somewhere in the crowd. "We all know what Spike looks like. She's not Spike. Where's Spike?"

And Rarity learns how Spike usually gets treated.

"I reached the point where I was waiting for one of the crystals to announce that Sombra had forbidden pleats."
"Why would Sombra have --"
"-- weapons concealment."
The worst part was being able to picture it.

Rarity knows all about concealed weapons. And being jailed. She is from a hoofball family after all.

"-- and to maintain the consecration," Rarity cut her off, "one wears something from the closet."
"How often?" rose up on a cloud of understandable suspicion.
Rarity told her.

"Have you noticed," a shaking Rarity asked as her bandaged body failed to burrow all the way into the bench's padding, "that quite a few of the local mares are completely unreasonable?"

This is just like when she tried to reason with the dragon in Dragonshy.

"The physicians who examined the crystals," Rarity inquired. "Did they say anything regarding the natives having a rather unexpected range of temperature resistance?"
Don't talk.
There's some evidence that unborn foals can hear things spoken outside the womb.
My child may emerge as a pegasus. A unicorn. An earth pony. I won't believe 'alicorn' until I see it.
She may also come out and have her first words as every curse in two languages.
"Because," the unicorn made the error of going on, "they fail to notice the hot spots. And they live here. And possibly did so before the Border went up. I do keep hearing them discussing how nicely brisk it is today. I think they actually find it to be a pleasant change --"

And thus Rarity succeeds in introducing the Crystal Ponies to the land of variety. It'll be much less funny for the tourists when the natives demand those nice cool breezes back.

I think I can understand why Twilight's stayed your friend.
Why she trusts you.
I'm still not sure why she hasn't killed you.
...she said Rainbow was the one they've all considered murdering.
Maybe there was a line. Or, given Twilight, a checklist and strict order of operations.

Have you ever considered writing a horror story about this?

"Those bandages are fresh," Cadance observed.
"I had them changed," said the unicorn.
"And those are in new places."
The mare paused.
"...yes," she eventually said. "Well, I had to come up with the idea somehow..."

Rarity: Fashionista, hairstylist, spa addict.

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