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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.)


Being somepony's friend can require accepting the... quirkier parts of their personality: something Rarity is all too aware of, especially when it comes to the work involved in accepting hers. So discovering that Fluttershy possesses -- shall we say, a 'special interest' -- simply means that the designer needs to accompany her to the convention. Just to make sure the pegasus isn't going to get hurt.

But a mare of dignity and taste does not casually wander into a 'special interest' gathering and emerge unaffected. And as it happens, neither does Rarity.

Rated C for Conifer Crackfic.

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

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 86 )

Start with Rainbow's inability to truly listen, paired with the truly disastrous tendency to act on whatever she thought Rarity had said. Then kick in Twilight's obsessive qualities, Applejack's ongoing refusal to recognize that biology had a number of downtime requirements, and you didn't want to forget the difficulty of keeping Pinkie operating within the same universe: switching that last out to 'sane universe' was usually a little too much to hope for. And Rarity had to deal with every last tenth-bit of it, often while smiling through tight-pressed lips because that was the best way to keep anypony from spotting the tooth-grinding.

Fortunately, Rarity was perfect and in a perfect position with which to cast judgement.

"...just thinking about some of the missions," Fluttershy eventually said. "You've put needles through... things. A lot of things."

"All of those fashion-murders were completely justified!"

"...they sell special badges at the door," Fluttershy assured her. "Some are for ponies who just decide to attend at the last minute. And they're not always ready to get dressed up, so not having an outfit doesn't stand out too much. But others are for -- I guess you'd call them guests. Or press." With a soft snort, "We try to keep the press out, because it's the same 'novelty' stories every year. Eventually, they started to run out of ways to say 'crazy'. But that's why the guest passes cost so much. More than the normal versions. It blocked a few of the newspapers, especially the ones which don't like to refund expense accounts. But I'll tell them you're not a reporter, Rarity. If anypony asks, we can just say you're with me. Or... curious." A thoughtful pause. "They might take 'curious' the wrong way, though -- oh, look! We're getting really close now! There's one of the tents!"

"Dear, under the right circumstances, you sound suspiciously like Pinkie Pie."
"Well, isn't that the kind of thing Pinkie Pie would say?"

This is such a wholesome view of Fluttershy!

"I might see somepony I know eventually," the holly called back. "So I might need a minute to talk. Or more. You're okay with that?"

To talk.


:raritystarry: Aw, this is great!

"They saw it when they were really young," Holly said. "And something in them was -- awakened."

...Oh, no...



But once you discounted the tiny hint of sap... the bits all tasted the same.


...You've left me speechless, Estee.


Well done. <3

I wonder how many firries were awakened after seeing/reading that part of Macbeth where "Birnam Wood come to great Dunsinane", i.e. an army of guys dressed as trees for camo marches up to Macbeth's castle.

"Because you didn't know any better. But I'm not going to have any knotholes, Rarity. I'm a social tree!"

Oh buck, you're going there. Was expecting something about root knots, but this works too. :rainbowderp:

The holly snorted. "Bushies."

Do not ask what the flower pots are for. :twilightoops:

"-- we don't talk about timber wolves."

Hey, at least Rarity didn't see any artwork of timber wolves sensuously swallowing plants. Small mercies.

But once you discounted the tiny hint of sap... the bits all tasted the same.

This is probably the best possible outcome, all things considered. :raritywink:

Was expecting Mudbriar to make an appearance, unless I missed it.

Fir real, though. That was a lot of fun.

Howdy, hi~!

I don't know what I expected going into this, but this was fantastic. Thanks for the read.

Posted to

Triptych Continuum Rebooted
Cracfic Folder

Did Rarity bear witness to the horrible splendor of the firpile?

Otherwise, a mare who had naught but animals for company might turn... strange.

In the Disc World novels (Pratchett) Esmerelda "Granny" Weatherwax associated with other witches & took Tiffany Aching as an apprentice for that very reason (she called it "cackling")

For any of the mane 6, that ship has sailed, hit a rock (reality) & sank (greatly mourned by all). No, we are going for "keep them from incarceration in a prison or asylum"


Give her a pony voice to hear, as opposed to the chorus of chirps and howls which resided at the cottage. Otherwise, a mare who had naught but animals for company might turn... strange.

Growling, snarling, chasing her tail... biting. Those things were just harmless venting after a frustrating week at the Carousel. Rarity shuddered to consider what a stressed and unvented Fluttershy might be capable of.

Oh, and you can't tell anypony what you do for a living."

Oh, of course. They'd want to commission her.

So florals weren't banned after The Bite Of '67.

And now I'm dead. Thanks Estee.

"...it's a little more... intense in there," Fluttershy tried. "I don't know if you're ready --"

Oh. Oh wait. The merch area. Where Rarity can encounter firry art, with all possible interpretations of tree, and every possible interpretation of art.

They seem to be migrating towards the back.
Towards that... curtain which blocks off the rear of the Arborbitsum.


I never know what to expect with your stories apart from quality, heart, and wonderful use of words and phrases.

This story reads like it was written with tongue-in-cheek and heart-in-hand.
I loved all of this, and I loved how you wrote Holly.

I'm going to second a previous commenter on the serious "Birnham Woods" feel at the start of the confirnence.

Also, my compliments for resisting the urge to make a "fun guys" joke when covering the factions.

I love this story so much. You have given us such a worldlet here!

I'm not sure I quite fully understand the business about the splinters though, like why it was shouted in quite that way.

:moustache: All done here I'll make us a late snack
:duck: It was genius of pre punching the bark chips with your fangs
:yay: Rarity ? No costume this year Discord's helping me...
:moustache: I can see it now a flame war at the Con
:raritywink: That's why you're invited too
:facehoof: Where's Smokey Bear when you need him?

This story got a good couple of laughs out of me for the sheer absurdity yet clear parallels evident here. Great stuff, will be sharing.

I'm guessing that the splinters rub Rarity the wrong way because they are especially great at ruining dresses.

A big part of this story for me was the creeping dread of wondering whether or not Fluttershy was one of the special fans that indulged in...'knotholes'. What an absolutely strange story. Great job converting convention conventions into the Equestrian world. 'Firry' is a pretty good pun on furry for a furred world. Meatname is a pretty funny word. Those knotholers! Getting pretty knotty! They're going knots over it! :rainbowlaugh:
Thank you? For this story? I think?

Truth is stranger than fiction, stories reflect histories, and there is always a bigger fish, but bits are bits, and for every demand, supply is waiting to be discovered.

Ha! This had me grinning throughout…. It definitely deserves a “comedy” tag. Hilarious and oddly heartwarming to see Holly in her element!

Although I’m going to be hearing the Brian Boitano song in my head for the rest of the night…

You know, if you don't succeed (edges toward doorway) tree, tree again.

(With the topic, I was afraid it might get a bit knotty, but at least Fluttershy is putting down roots in a kind fandom... and I better leaf it at that.)

This was ... this was ... :rainbowlaugh:

You know, I have to wonder, in the Fleur'verse (Cerea'verse? Continuum v2?) does Fluttershy still take her weekly spa? And does she take it with Rarity, Fleur or both?

I think what I love the most here is how you capture that *specific* feeling that fandom creates, whether it be Furries, Bronies, Weebs, Gun nuts, BDSM enthusiasts etc. That idea of 'community' that acknowledges it's odd and strange in the mainstream publics eyes, yet loving and accepting within. Not including interfandom conflicts however, depicted here with Bushies vs Knotholes vs Firries but easily witnessed with Scalies vs Furries, or 90s Anime fans vs modern CG anime. The knotholes being where the more...adult focused material and activities go is also a hilarious and in character touch, since despite the clutching of many pearls "If it has enough fans, someone will want porn of it" is a tale as old as time. Though the thought of irl wood being involved is... yeah that's a level of fandom I can't quite imagine.

Rarity becoming queen of the fir-suit was expected, yet still magnificent in its reveal.


It was really sweet seeing Holly be so confident and happy. I liked this a lot.

Fluttershy, please, I know you are being careful, and trying to ease Rarity into it, but at least give the poor mare a warning about the full spectrum of divisions.
Well, I guess Rarity is gonna be able to pay of her loan much sooner that expected.
Quite honestly, this fic is quite hilarious, and the small peeks of a Fluttershy with a social outlet is quite sweet, especially how Rarity notices. I also quite enjoy how she genuinely is willing to adapt to the world based on her talent. She may not understand the reasons why, but she understand the creative energy.

Ah, well, how to put this delicately.
I suspect that in this world Bad Dragon does not exist, Bad Tree however, very much do. (or would it be Bad Branch?)
Ugh, and now I'm getting flashbacks to the malachite stalactite debate.

This brings a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘Got Wood’.

Excellent stuff

As a an unashamed furry I have... mixed feeling about this one... . I think I'll just leave it at that.

I love and hate this, reminds me of my first time going to a con (Bronycon 2016) getting use to all the strange sights and sounds, learning new words..and also reminds me of trying to explain what a furry is to my family. (I did not do a good job)

As a furry for well over 20 years, I think it's hilarious and clearly written from love. With all of the hate furries get (especially these last two years now that right wing media has started targeting us again) it's nice to see an affectionate parody of it that gives off the same "weird but wholesome" vibe the actual fandom does.

It was barely a whisper. "...and if I tell you this... are we still going to be friends?"

"Would you still love me if I was a wormwood?"

"So 'Holly'."

Heh. Little nod to the Christmas Carol episode.

Deciduon! It's a pun!

Reminder that Fluttershy found Laughter hard to work with for a variety of reasons.

There were ginkgos and oaks, a bay laurel and a sycamore, it was easy to spot the oak and pine and... that was just about where Rarity's casual ability to identify species ran out.

From this she concluded that if any of Applejack's extended family were here, they didn't identify as what they worked with all day.

I'm not sure what hit me harder, the Bite Of '67 or Evergreen Northwest.

"How does anypony get through this line?"
Calmly, "We're trees. We stand in one place for a very long time."


And of course it was all inspired by a cartoon.

"Most of those went into animation, to make things which would move more." Sadly, "Some of them got stuck at Hawthorn-Banyan, so that didn't even work."

Ouch. Pretty clear where that shot was aimed.

I absolutely wasn't expecting Timber Spruce, yet knowing that he's here makes perfect sense. (Also, not sure how to feel about Timber being in my place at the incident that showed you the value of horsefame. :raritywink:)

What would Mister Botano do, if he was here right now'? I'm sure he'd write an ash or two --

When Mister Botano traveled through time to the year 3010...

"He writes Bob The Flower."

Oh no.

I do love the term "flesh stuff."

As it turned out, pirate trees were represented by junipers.

Funny. I'd expect them to be in the film industry, especially since Timber's here.

Most of Ponyville didn't know the Carousel Boutique had a basement. Rarity was still putting off the day when they also learned what was in it.

I usually just go with the forge.

As Rarity saw it, she was on the outskirts of the forest, and wasn't quite ready to publicly admit that she was feeding into any part of the root system.

That's the thing. Rarity isn't a tree. She connects trees. She provides vital components to them. She breaks down barriers to entry and makes the forest possible.
Rarity is the mycelial network. And she's even the right color for it. There's just the awkward question of where fungi fit in in the community...

Outstanding and heartfelt silliness, capturing the essence of subcultures, warts and all. (Bark nodules?)

My feelings exactly. And yeah, this story captures so much of the weird fannish energy and excitement. :yay:

Also, loved how expressive and open 'Holly' was, compared to 'Shy's normal anxieties.

This was very funny, but also very sensitive to all concerned. Writing talent. You’ve got Flutters as part of this absurd firry fandom firmly stuck in my headcannon now. She would totally “like to be a tree”, at least for a few days a year!

I hope this is canon for the rest of the Triptych continuum. Just makes it that much better.

I think you'll get a lot of stick for this

That's when the writer has to ask themselves 'What would Mister Botano do, if he was here right now'? I'm sure he'd write an ash or two --"

You madwoman, you. :rainbowlaugh:


"Would you still love me if I was a wormwood?"

You owe me 10 ounces of Mountain Dew to replace the portion I spilled on the floor just now.

I usually just go with the forge.

Why not both? Keeping all of one's more... outré... accouterment in one easily secured location is just good sense, is it not?

Now I can't get Tree Hugger out of my mind. It would be so perfect and make so much sense.

Holy splinters, Batman! There's a large group of firries having aggressive anonymous treesex right before my poor virgin eyes!!

Some of them got stuck at Hawthorn-Banyan, so that didn't even work.

I got that reference.

And as a fan of that reference, I can't help but feel attacked, even if it's all nothing but hot garbage.

Hot, entertaining garbage.:twistnerd:

I have no idea how knotholes are sexual or what splinters mean, but it was a very amusing story.

I died laughing at the Timber Spruce cameo. RIP Me.

Phenomenal. Outstanding work.

"Oh haha! Firries! Like furries but FIR like the plant!" Said the Fox, "I'll give this a read, after all it looks like it'll be a fun littl-"
10,000 words.
"WOW that's a lot of horse words"
(I'll get back to you guys once I finish reading this)

Edit: it was incredible thank you

mmmmm fnaf references

Yeah honestly I was really expecting her to show up

It's probably your fault that I created this group about ponies who want to be trees, and about very similar topics like ponies (or other creatures) who BECOME trees.

Note that there are five stories in this group already. :yay:

I kinda want to see Twilights reaction.

This was a fun read.
You captured the tautology of cringe vs endearment well.

I wonder if the Bushies to Firries are what Bronies are to Furries.
Not quite accepted as “true furry”, but welcome all the same.
Both have wholesome and fun communities and are “under the same canopy”, yes?

"Splinters" is where I lost it. A wonderful little story. :D

I loved Rarity's reaction to this.:rainbowlaugh:
I would probably act similarly, with less drama of course.:twilightsheepish:after all too many types of features in one fandom --> chaos.:trollestia:

Ah, Estee still scribes the old magic.

11513203 I'm more of an 'herby'... :trollestia:

11512670 That time you realize pollen is plant jizz... :pinkiesick:

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