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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.)


Pinkie knows that being a baker means taking a lot of responsibility for your product. The bread has to rise with Celestia. Nopony needs to go through Round Two on the Baked Bads. And if at all possible, you should absolutely avoid serving the kind of 'donuts' which summon an eldritch horror from beyond space and time to destroy the world.

The Cakes keep slipping up on that last part. Not deliberately, at least in that they don't know they're doing it -- but somepony still has to clean up the tentacled mess, and do it by the time Sun is raised. Which is going to be Pinkie. Again.

Break out the caffeine. It's going to be a long night.

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

Rated C for Cthulhu Crackfic.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 52 )

Author's Extremely Public Note: I briefly went to the supermarket yesterday. St. Patrick's Day in the States.

They'd just gotten in holiday-themed Krispy Kreme donuts. The cover art shows you what they look like.

Today, I wrote this story.

There is a small-but-nonzero chance that I've gone mad.

(Not crazy enough to actually eat those Diabetes Onsets In A Box, but mad.)

Posted in
Triptych Continuum Rebooted
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Congratulations! You have checked off

* Don't automatically put things in your mouth

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i wish i could write upon ideas as fast as you can haha

(She'd never seen one. Nopony living had seen one, and Pinkie suspected that total included the Princesses.)

Possibly Discord? & that doesn't even count those who've been drinking the Green Beer


Nice. A St. Patrick's day special and a Halloween special, in one. :twilightsmile:

Discord would probably believe her. The Mythos has a lot involving dreams in it so there's a good chance Luna would as well. Zecora is another good possibility, there are a lot of ways the Everfree is a cosmic horror in it's own right.

i think they are playing "Magic: the gathering".
"Banding" is a strange ability a few card monsters have, where having several of the same type on the field gives ALL of them a power bonus.

She challenged IT to Yu-Gi-Oh didn't she.:ajsmug:

That's not banding. That's tribal effects. Banding is an OG mechanic where you could group your banding creatures together to attack or block. When damage went out the bands' controller got to assign the damage how they wanted.

You might also be thinking of 'bands with others' which was only ever printed on like... one card. Ever.

5th generation from my Irish immigrant ancestors. We did the corned beef and cabbage. Dessert was these very donuts. They did not, to my knowledge, summon an Elder God.

Seriously there were like 40 people in line when the 'hot now' sign was on.

Edit: The inside is even more green than they appear in the cover image. Forgot to mention that.

As others have said Discord would believe her. He would probably just stay on the sidelines but he would believe. Now I hope if Discord were to be forced to participate he would cheat like crazy.

At first I thought it was a game of Yu-Gi-Ho but it was Magic in the end. And not the magic of Friendships either.

It's always the insane that saves us from the tentacles from beyond space and time, yet we all threat them like they are crazy. Truly unfair. :rainbowlaugh:

A nice St-Patrick Day to you all.

Silly Eldritch horror, you shouldn’t pick a game that’s undecidable.

Comment posted by Emil deleted Mar 19th, 2023

IT should have known not to challenge Pinkamena, the Aeons Torn.:pinkiecrazy:

Next year "IT" turns up with 40k, only to get schooled by the rules edition updating mid game. His death star wombo-combo (meticulously planned and poorly painted) shifting to trash as Pinkies medium tier force (Tau? She can appreciate everyone working together) is elevated to king of the hill. Even Cosmic Horrors curse the unstoppable fifth force of the universe, rampant capitalism.

See, THIS is what happens when you combine Infinite Power with Overpowering Smugness.

I do love the opening. Narrativium is a harsh mistress.

Truly calming him down meant prechewing most of the lot.

That must be an interesting flavor experience. Not a good one, but interesting.

And you also ate dried corn. It was months past being even a little fresh and you ate it anyway. Pinkie had a bit of a beef with that, and usually had to choke it down with cabbage.


She couldn't tell the Princesses. She didn't want them to think she was insane.

Given her track record and their early experiences, I'd think they'd give her the benefit of the doubt. How much stranger can this be than Discord's unrule? (He said with unfounded optimism.)
... Ah. This is at least as much for their sake as Pinkie's.

One rather small, blue-tinged tentacle twitched. The tip waved at her.

Aww, it's Bring Your Spawn to Work Day.


Heh. It's not often that our headcanons coincide, especially with Pinkie.

A full inspection of fractal strategies risked dropping her into obsession and, in all likelihood, would have been followed by trying to find a cross-dimensional card shop and dropping nearly all of her salary.

It can be like that, yes.

Because I was looking at the size of this one crab in the artwork, and I'm pretty sure we need to go outside. Far away, where nopony will get stepped on.

"Charix in Equestria" is less "X meets Y" and more "X realizes Y is what they've been standing on all week."

Banding is the special kind of eldritch knowledge. Some powers go right past the dark arts and out the other side.


Of course its favorite is 8-Rack.

Enough weak forces had to add up to an army. She imagined herself to be effectively sending the whole of the planet at that which only wished to destroy --

Basically the plot of several sets. Including the tentacles.

:rainbowlaugh: Oh, goodness knows I've been on both ends of mana screw. It never feels good, but given the stakes, you take what you can get.

Oh, it shouldn't have included that pack of Commander Legends. Kodama of the East Tree does silly, silly, silly things.

Truly delightful stuff. No notes, just a fun time seeing an unexpected intersection of some of my favorite things. And really, what more appropriate way is there to address a threat from beyond known reality? Thank you for it.

yes, i was thinking of a different game that used the term "banding": the "warlords" games.


Thanks for that explanation of Bluey! Cute!

And those card links! Very useful!


And to Estee for the story, great use of conventions and jokes and oooh so close victory for the antagonist!

And then the Tannin Devil. Well, hopefully Pinkie's right and she succeeds in Blackberry-ifiacation. Hopefully the festival is local to Ponyville...

We all know a real Eldrich Horror would prefer mechanics that break the rules instead of just bending them. Cascade or suspend me thinks.


You might also be thinking of 'bands with others' which was only ever printed on like... one card. Ever.

And only as a joke, since there were a single digit number of cards that interacted with it in some way before silver border gave us the only card that directly has it.

oh, i just remembered a scene in the online comic "el goonish shive" (by Dan Shive) where they were playing Magic: the gathering...
two players in a tournament were in a sort of stalemate situation.
both had cards with abilities that gave them a big combat bonus IF the OTHER player attacked, so neither dared to attack.
one player says something like, "i will still win because of the 40-card rule, you will run out of cards first since you went first."
"...actually, i have forty-TWO cards in my deck."
"HUH?! but the 40-card rule-"
"40 card MINIMUM."

Pinkie, the Hero we have and need.

The way you write Pinkie is downright incredible. She feels so genuine, like someone you could run into on the street. She still has her silly moments, yes, but those are subordinated to what you've made her defining feature, her care for others. You can feel how much she cares for the Cakes, for everypony, in this; she doesn't try to stop the Emerald Eldritch Monstrosity because It's What Heroes Do, she does it because she cares about the Cakes, about her family, and she doesn't want them to die. Most authors look at Pinkie and think that what she wants is for ponies to laugh; you look deeper and realize that what she wants is for them to be happy, even if they don't show it by laughing.

But this piece also shows the lengths she's willing to go to make ponies happy, the weight of her necklace. She takes the weight of the world on her withers so that others don't have to bear it, hollowing herself out to fill others up. She feeds her burning love for the Cakes, her parents in all but name; for the twins, her siblings not by blood; for everypony she knows and even those she doesn't, giving herself as fuel to feed its fire. The way she personalizes her creatures speaks to her abundant love, to her desire for others to know happiness, as does the sorrow she feels when they die. "Jerusalem, Jerusalem... how many times I yearned to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her young under her wings..." This more reflective, melancholy side of Pinkie, one that you depict masterfully almost every time you write her, is profound, showing just how deep her love for others - and thus her sympathetic suffering with them - goes. Pinkie bears everyone's stigmata, suffering as they suffer, desiring the best for them and weeping when they receive the worst.

Your Pinkie is no mere agent of chaos; she is a caring, empathetic, insightful mare, as well-rounded and alive as the likes of Catelyn Stark or Elizabeth Bennet. It's hard to say she's one of your best depictions of the Mane 6, simply because you depict all of them incredibly well, but the way you write Pinkie Pie, serious and thoughtful even when it's so easy to simply make her random acts against the laws of physics and a laugh track, is, in my opinion, most deserving of commendation. You have managed to walk a narrow path, and what awaits us at the end is a character richer and more intriguing than any of us could ever dream of. Well done.

Exactly. And fuck you, downvoters. Nobody cares what you think.

The Unspeakable one may possess knowledge far beyond human comprehension, but It still doesn't know how Pinkie won the time the game was Twister.

I would say make the Eldrich Abomination play Uno... but they're the ones who invented Uno in the first place.

Try Monopoly. They get FURIOUS when you put a hotel on Boardwalk!

If you want to truly be evil in Monopoly, you keep four houses on everything so nobody else can build anything. Upgrading to a hotel just frees up four more houses for the other players.

Green food coloring in everything is the late winter equivalent of pumpkin spice.

Firstly: Have I mentioned how much I love your stories, Estee? Even when they leave me snarling with rage, I still love them. :pinkiehappy:

Secondly: Don't get down, Pinkie, your just the latest in a long line of protectors of reality (the book came from an estate sale after all, and the world was still here for it to happen, so someone was keeping IT contained). You're a chosen one. :pinkiecrazy: (May all the gods and powers that be have mercy on you.)

Thirdly: You might want to reconsidered telling the truth to the Princesses and Discord, Pinkie. After all, one is a god of chaos and the other two lived through his reign, if anyone else is going to understand, it'll probably be them.

My only regret is that Pinkie didn't get to top-deck Craterhoof Behemoth at the final. I know that winning the game would have allowed Entity to return the next year, but... oh, there's a certain satisfaction to top-decking a bomb like that.

Truely the game of madness. I'm picturing some eldritch entity oozing into the Crystal Empire one evening and attacking, only to find out that Shining Armor (in comic canon) is an expert at Hocus Pocus the Get Together and winds up getting whomped bad.

I, an honest-to-god Krispy Kreme employee, hereby swear to read this and make a funny comment after reading.

Seriously, you think the O'Riginal glazed green doughnuts look bad, you should see what the strawberry ones look like!

Edit: Found a picture of one! This is from like a year or two ago:

That was a good story.

Now I want a donut 🍩.

100% eldrazi. The part where a mechanic called Annihilator was overtuned and never printed again should be enough of a summation.

Welp, as promised I read it! Now for the funny:

"Well, yes," Mr. Cake gently told her. "Because of the holiday. We've never gotten a normal volume of business today, Pinkie: you know that. Not after we sell out of -- The Special."

I can't help but think of that organ gag with the troll from Animaniacs now.

She concentrated on white and green. The Entity immediately focused into blue and black, which made perfect sense to Pinkie. It was clearly the single most evil combination available.

Princess Luna would like to know your location

So the fate of All That Is and All That Ever Will Be boils down to Magic: The Gathering? Seems legit.

And here I thought it was going to be a pączki fic.

Ah, nostalgia. I can remember 1995, when CCG's suffered a sudden overload and collapse from sheer amount of product instead of continuing to propagate like some kind of cardboard-printed cancer.

Probably stopped at least six stories like these. Trust me on that, I used to work for the Wizards back in the day, and like had been calling like. Thankfully, a little electric rat got the lead for a while and Team Cosmic Obscenity was blasting off into the multiverse again because they could NOT stand anything that didn't let them play themselves on the table.

(And it's OK. I know it sounds crazy. That's the point.)

she'd once tried to carry a Super Extra Emergency Crisis Level Three eyepatch near her dock

Sometimes I check to see if an author's tried to smuggle a joke, pun or reference in an acronym and after noticing the double E for whatver reason I was half-expecting that the acronym would work out to SEELE, which is strange since it's been ... at least a decade since I watched NG: Evangelion.

YOU WANT ME TO BOTH EXPLAIN AND USE BANDING came across as oddly -- offended.

It's been a long time since I played but I don't recall banding being that complicated a mechanic. You just bunch up the minions as a conglomerate attacker or defender and you got to decide how to distribute the damage they take.

Oh, I remember that. She couldn't decide on which cards to cut from the deck.

Every so often I see a comment which deserves every thumbs down it gets plus more, but this is one where I don't get the downvotes.
The facehoof doesn't strike me as complaining or negative but simply stating something along the lines of "Oh my gosh Estee. Of course you would write a story about an eldritch abomination being summoned by St. Patrick's Day donuts and fought through the medium of a collectible card game and make it as gosh-dang compelling and entertaining as this."

Close enough to what I meant. And Estee hasn't said anything to me about my reply. So... :pinkiehappy:.

"So when I tap a card, I turn it this way?"


Likely MTG, which in its background 100% matches the situation in story. Very meta.

It's more meta because trick Pinkie used was once legitimate in MtG. An infinite turn. Was fixed and then more near-infinite damage dealers eventually surfaced.

I met in a previous year.

I've never played it, but cultural osmosis allowed me to get the gist enough to enjoy the story.

Could be worse. MT:G been demonstrated to be Turing Complete, so in such an enviroment, the deck itself couldve fought back. :pinkiecrazy:




Does she like spirals?

YOU WANT ME TO BOTH EXPLAIN AND USE BANDING came across as oddly -- offended.

So, Estee, you like to say that you are one of the eight Wraith: the Oblivion players so I guess I should say I'm one of the ten people who actually understand Banding. It's sort of funny whenever it gets brought up and people say they just can't understand it and I'm sitting there wondering why it's not obvious. But like Pinky I've just come to accept that I'm "differently sane" and just get some things others don't.

The Entity immediately focused into blue and black, which made perfect sense to Pinkie. It was clearly the single most evil combination available.

As a Blue-Black Mill Mage, yeah. yeah it really is. But I draw the line at discard effects. I'll counter your spells and mill out your library but I'll at least allow you the chance to get things on the Battlefield.

That second game. Oof. We've all been there buddy.
Though that Spike mentality of being able to overcome random chance, yeah, you deserve that.

Ah, yes, the Technically-Not-an-Infinate-Combo-Because-I-Can-Stop-Whenever-I-Want-To loophole. You're not "slow playing" if you're actually progressing your board state after all!

Not going to lie, I only read this story because PaulAsaran's review explicitly said it had Magic: the Gathering in it. I was going to get around to it like all of your stories Estee but, well, me and FOME have this particular weakness in common.

Thanks for the story.

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