• Member Since 12th Sep, 2012
  • offline last seen Monday

TinCan


E

Twilight Sparkle finds herself granted permanent possession of the Element of Magic under unusual circumstances. Following instructions from Princess Luna, Twilight and Pinkie Pie begin experimenting on it to test an ancient pony belief; that as Discord is a spirit of chaos, there are spirit beings that represent and embody harmony as well.

It works, but if Twilight and Pinkie expected them to be as friendly and helpful as Discord was cruel and destructive, they're about to be disappointed.

(This fic takes place sometime after the events of Wonderbolt Academy but before Keep Calm and Flutter On.)

Chapters (17)
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Comments ( 66 )

The spirits are trolls:rainbowlaugh:

It would be interesting if eris is the spirit of magic

Why isn't this more famous :twilightangry2:
The characters are good , the storyline is good , i'm not so keen on grammar but i think its good, and the dedication... Oh the dedication ,for five likes you continue to write for the enjoyment of five people
I applaud to you kind sir , i enjoyed this chapter and i hope you'll stay on track , have a nice dY mr. Auther

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Well, it probably doesn't help that the story description begins with a big, clunky run-on sentence. Lemme go fix that now. :facehoof:

But thank you for your kind words! It's not so much that I'm dedicated, it's that I'm having fun writing the story. If you have fun reading it too, hey, bonus!

And thus a dracoequus is born :trollestia:

The ending was kinda abrupt
I liked just desserts guilt trip
Needs more mane six

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You're right, it was abrupt. The next chapter will continue from pretty much exactly where this one ended. I was afraid this chapter would get too long if I carried it to the next stopping point, so I ended it on the reveal of what JD did to Pinkie.

And yeah, I probably should have put more characters in. Based on what I've got planned, the other four will have pretty small parts if anything. I was trying to aim low for my first fic.

I enjoyed reading this :twilightsmile:

Man, these spirits are idiots! I can't wait to see the moments Concord and Verity learn the truth of what they are really doing.

C&C:
[Note: There might be more errors in this, but I am feeling a bit tire and lazy, so I picked the biggest one right now.]
“What the heck is he talking about?” Spike wondered. “They didn’t even do anything, did they?”
> I'm not sure, but I think you meant to say Twilight, instead of Spike.

>>GMZ_Casper no spike is who wondered , the three of them came claiming to "fix" twilight ; Verse only said three poetic verses and fled laughing maniacally and concord following him demAnding he fix her and spike left comfused with frozen twilight .


Brilliant as always , proceed my good man :twilightsmile:

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Thanks for reading and looking over the story!

As for your comment, that really was supposed to be Spike speaking there. I apologize for any confusion; I'm doing some strange and unorthodox things with denoting dialogue for this story.

When Twilight wants to say something but can't on account of her current predicament, her words are given in italics with no quotation marks.

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I had picked up on the italicizing, but the comment just seems...off, I guess. That is why I had noted that I wasn't sure if it was an error or not. Thank for clearing it up for me, though. I appreciated it, you two.

It appears you can not roman numeral... would this help?
I--->1
II--->2
III--->3
IV--->4
V--->5
VI--->6
VII 7
VIII 8
IX 9
X 10
XI 11
XII 12
XIII 13
XIV 14
XV 15
XVI 16
XVII 17
XVIII 18
XIX 19
XX 20

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Thanks. I could've sworn I'd seen "IIX" used on an antique clock somewhere.

2446514 well then the person who made that clock derped to the nth degree.

Sounds interesting, I can't wait to see where this leads

Comment posted by TinCan deleted May 15th, 2013

Heh, this can't possibly go wrong. Nope nope nope. :eeyup:

FINALLY!!! Twilight actually managed to get somewhere with those spirits. Though, Twilight need to realized that they are not idiots, they just don't know any better. Well, maybe she'll figure it out and find a win-win situation for the spirits.

I feel a bit sorry for the poor poet, getting no respect like that...

C&Cs:
Then again, everypony had said the same about the sonic rainboom.
> Capitalize ‘sonic rainboom’.
“NO SPOLIERS!”
> Correction: ‘SPOILERS’.
She was in the middle of a bare but fancy-looking square room which lacked windows or furniture except a few light fixtures on the walls.
> Comma after ‘bare’ and ‘fancy-looking’.
“I don’t care if the princess herself did it, that’s all kinds of rude.”
> Capitalize ‘princess’.
Every time I’ve been here the guards and palace staff were impeccable.
> Comma after ‘here’.
Well, it looks like we’re not going anywhere, nopony’s showing up to answer our questions and I know I’m not getting back to sleep.
> Comma after ‘questions’.
The filly, who had appeared irritated and standoffish before now sounded more depressed than anything.
> Comma after ‘before’.
...all that was exposed was the princess’s letterhead.
> Capitalize ‘princess’.
...the princess turned out before she overwrote it.
> Capitalize ‘princess’.
She wanted to know what Twilight had in mind, but Verity found it harder to simply read Twilight’s unspoken thoughts and intentions from the ether now that the pony had been sundered.
> Comma after ‘ether’.
“If you could do that again but—”
> Comma after ‘again’.
They’re the ones who froze my body in place, then they stole my Element of Harmony and said they were going after the princesses!
> Add ‘and’ before ‘then’ and capitalize ‘princesses’.

I'm really having a blast reading this story but methinks it deserves a dark tag. All that mindbucking done by spirits is kinda grim and gets more scary the more you think about it (but that could be just me). :pinkiecrazy:
And that ending...:raritydespair: curse you cliffhangers! Cuuuurse youuuuuuuuu!. :raritycry:

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Thanks again for the editing and suggestions! I incorporated a bunch. However, the non-capitalization of titles like "princess" when they don't come before their owner's name is a rule I had drilled into me when learning AP style. So, even though this is fiction and not journalism, I'm just going to leave those parts as-is.

As for Verse, he does come in for a fair bit of abuse, but he doesn't seem to be the sort who cares whether he's even understood. Disrespect probably doesn't bother him so much.

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Going back over the story so far, it looks you might be right about the darkness. I think I'll make a blog post on this to solicit further reader opinions. Can you be more specific about which parts you found disturbing?

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Mainly their carefree attitude towards using mind warping magic. Its like watching Discord multiplied at work, but even worst since the spirits have both rhyme and reason behind their mind bending and don't seem to care about ponies unless it's for their personal gain.

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Ah, okay, I can understand that. And, you're welcome.

Welp, the blog post is up now here and has garnered one lonely (but helpful) comment so far. Even if you don't feel the need to weigh in on the topic, I explain a bit in the post about my intentions and inspiration for this story, so check it out if that interests you.

It's like watching Occam's Razor and the Sword of Damocles have a fencing match.

Lawl I have no idea what's goin on.

...Oooh, Twilight, you just made a mess out of an already messy situation. I believe a good facepalmed would suffice in this case. Well, things are going to get worse before it gets better if this keep up. And, it seems poor Pinkie getting the bad end of Luna's mess...

C&Cs:
“Concord, if you keep on acting like some laid-back bumpkin you’ll never pass for an alchemist.”
> Comma after ‘bumpkin’.
“I thought when you told me you were capable of lying without breaking space and time you’d actually be good at it!”
> Comma after ‘time’.
For all the chaos he’d indirectly caused, This spirit of peace had no idea how to act menacing or villainous.
> Lower the casing on ‘This’. If you’re trying to emphasis on the word, use bold and italic instead.

So concord is the spirit of peace
This explains a lot ...

2890688

That's a wonderful analogy.

2890984

Yeah, sorry for that. I completely rewrote this chapter twice, and I'm still unsatisfied with it. Too much stuff glossed over, too much 'off-screen' action that only gets alluded to and I think I cut out some exposition that I should have left in.

2893972

Thanks again for the C&C! Changes made.

And yes, as I'm writing this, I constantly want to have Twilight wordlessly express her frustration with the spirits, but it's hard to do when she's kind of a disembodied observer.

2915069

I really ought to have explained more than I have by now about what the heck spirits and alchemists are and do in this setting. Thank you and all the rest for following along this far!

Quite the good story you have here. You get +1 Moustache.
:moustache:

Huh, featured. Congrats!:pinkiehappy:

3098435>>3098522

Thank you both! I published the latest chapter this morning before heading out on an errand. Returning a bit over five hours later to find more new favorite-ers and upvoters and feature-box time than any of my previous updates is... mindblowing.

I bear the mustache with honor. :moustache:

Huh. So that's how Draconequui are born. Discord must have been a kinder spirit of Change or something originally until the negative end of his element did his sanity in after being summoned into the physical realm.

Interesting concept, and a bit weird. Might as well see where it goes.

This has been a great read.

I am merrily looking forward to more, good sir, madam, or both.

:pinkiesmile: I absolutely love this story! Please keep up the good work! It is EXCEPTIONAL! :pinkiehappy::

...I really don't like that spirit. Hmph, she is the biggest hypocrite I have ever read. She judged other and frown at their flaws, and yet, she has never bother to judge her own self and her own flaws. Everyone has flaws, we are all guilty of that, but that creep never thought for once that she too has flaws. Oooh, how I can't wait for karma to pay her a visit soon.

I hope poor Luna can handle whatever Celestia is about to tell her...

3611234

What's more, she's lying. She'd never accept reproach from the Elements because she'll never believe anypony is worthy of wielding them against her.

Can't wait for this bitch to get her own just desserts. :V Stay strong, Dawnmother.

I have a bit of a problem with the Justice spirit. All the others make sense - truth in the wrong place can hurt and you can be so peaceful you don't care to do anything, but Just Deserts isn't taking justice too far, she isn't being just at all. Being too just would mean that every crime would pay it's proper penalty, which I imagine would mean endless menial labor. That time you hit your cousin? Ten minutes of healing. That time you called someone a terrible name? an hour of compliments. Every little action adding up, so that ponies are compelled to do small, meaningless things and unable to get out of the loop.

Her motivations for taking the Elements away could easily be the same - the Bearers should embody their Elements. What about that time Applejack lied? What about the time Rainbow Dash abandoned a friend to hang out with the cool kids? What about the time Fluttershy yelled at her friends? When Rarity charmed Spike into giving her that gem? Her reasoning is logical, but taken to the extreme.

Just Deserts is the only one who has been completely opposite of her nature from the beginning, and it irks me a little.

Aside from that, the story is really good. I can't wait to see where it goes next! I hope you tell us what Discord used to be :twilightsmile:

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I think you are possibly misunderstanding what exactly justice can mean, like any other idea it can be mean anything you desire. Justice can mean; fairness or equality (everyone get the same amount of money no matter how hard or long long they work for instance), keeping to a moral code (Set of laws) or revenge for an act you have committed (punishment or Revenge of the state). We're talking about an idea given flesh here not a fully rounded character, that is what you have to remember when understanding the spirits of harmony if they are hypocrites it only because the idea they represent is so.

The justice portrayed fits each of it's main implications as stated above; it judges all to the same moral code without mitigating factors (fairness and equality, what does it matter if one killer did in as a state sanctioned soldier during battle and the other in a dark alley for money, they have committed the same crime). Judges all by the same moral code, one independent of other actions (Celestia's crimes appear contradictory but that doesn't make them less valid, after all they were committed at different times just with different methods leading to the same problem ineffective rule/abuse of power). Finally you are punished for your crimes by your crimes or the root cause as it were so to teach you the "error of your ways", giving everyone the same punishment would normalises crime, but different ways of correction changes it into a personal experience increasing it's effect.

But why does justice allow others to serve while punishing others? Punishing them by guilt I would imagine. Another reason is that justice is trying to recreate the ideas that are associated with it, it's trying to become justice in it's broadest and simplest meaning, which means it needs servants to create a hierarchy of justice, so it can be the judge or justice (the final meaning) at the top.

:heart: Hearts warmth

I think your representation of Justice makes sense, go for it!

3612313
justice also should consider the good not just the bad :twilightsmile:
that's what's wrong with this justice spirit she's corrupt by only seeing the bad not the good that ponies have done

3612657

I ain't saying what justice is doing is right (as blates she's being corrupted) I was simply trying to defend the authors portrayal which I think makes sense while others do not. I imagine I could have put it better.

Nice avatar by the way, very adorable.

3612313
No, I know about what you are implying and I get you. I also know that any intelligent person can twist an idea to his or her own desire. I know far too well about this concept, so you don't have to worry about me not understanding, and you don't need to go defending over something that isn't being attack in the first place (at least on my side, since I cannot speak for Hadithi or anyone else). I think the author is doing a great job with Just Deserts and I am just stating an opinion over the situation itself (again, I cannot speak for Hadithi or anyone else). So, relax.

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First, let me thank you all for commenting. I definitely didn't expect to log in today to find meditations on the nature of justice,* but it's a pleasant surprise!

As I'm writing about ponyfications of big ideas, it's inevitable that the characters will seem more or less accurate to different readers. People really don't agree on what justice looks like, or peace either, and imagining them existing as separate individuals is an exercise in very abstract thinking.

In addition to this, I have lots of room for improvement in my writing. Sometimes I write things into a story simply because I think they're entertaining or because they help move the plot along, even if they ultimately detract from the story being a narratively or philosophically coherent whole. I hope what I'm doing with JD's character won't be an instance of this, but it can happen.

I really wish I could say more to explain my intentions and thought process for why JD is acting the way she is right now, but it would definitely spoil what I'm planning to do. All I can ask is that you bear with me and my way-too-slow writing, and I will do my best to bring this fic to a conclusion that makes sense of things. Ultimately, the story's gotta speak for itself.

And if that doesn't help I'll write an afterword or postmortem or something.

* I actually expected someone would have already guessed what Celestia's penalty involves.

3612313

I'll say first off that I agree with you - Just Deserts is an awesome character, no doubt about that.

It's just that I genuinely can't imagine how her actions can be "justice". I don't know where you're getting your definition of just from, because justice is either a person (a judge), or just behavior or treatment. Just is behaving to what's morally right and fair. And fair is behaving according to a set of rules.

Now, this set of rules can be many things. It can be religious rules, rules of the state, or a internalized set of rules. JD clearly isn't' following religious or state rules, which can only mean she's following her own internalized rules.

This means that she literally CANNOT use justice incorrectly. She's following her rules. It shouldn't be able to turn her. If her moral code says, "Hey, if a pony breathes to loud they should be put to death", putting mouth-breather ponies to death is justice. She can't go too far with it, because she defines what's too far.

The fact that the spirits are changing indicates that there is a moral standard outside of them - there is a standard of these spirits that they are being judged by as well, which turns them into draconequii if they cross the line.

So, that's basically what it comes down too. Either JD is following an actual law - one agreed upon by numerous ponies - and breaking it with her punishments, or JD has her own internal law, in which nothing can be wrong.

And apparently there's some kind of magic law that turns them into draconequii. :derpytongue2:

I really do love this story, and I think the characters are awesome. From what it sounds like, I may have hit on something that's going to be important later with my comment, so I'm very excited about that. I never judge a story until I hit the end! These are just my thoughts, for now. Just fun speculation!

3614819
Gasp... you mean Celestia's an alchemist! Or more likely she summoned Discord.

Is this it?
discord - laughter
verity - honesty
conrade - kindness
Just Deserts – loyalty
verse – generosity
fortuna - Magic

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Sorry guys my language wasn't as well thought out as it should be and I treated your comments as a single one rather than as separate for some silly reason (en plus très impolite), it appears I was mainly responding to so Hadithi anyway, I'm going to have another go while taking what you've just said into account.

3614451

Hmph, she is the biggest hypocrite I have ever read. She judged other and frown at their flaws, and yet, she has never bother to judge her own self and her own flaws.

I was attempting to explain why I don't think she's a hypocrite, amazingly poorly I not sure I even tried to write a proper response sorry. A being commits a crime which causes her punishment. She is punishment embodied, her actions cause harm only to those who have forced her to hurt them or as she could see it chosen punishment by their actions. Without a reason she cannot punish, but punish she must because that is what she is Justice, she has no choice in the matter as she is a fundamental part of their world. Her only true flaw is that she lacks choice in that she must be "cruel" (i.e. punish and judge others), but that is inherent in her nature (i.e. Verity must witness) and it if that is the case she cannot be truly punished for it as it can't be overcome by her own decision, so that doesn't make her a hypocrite. Or perhaps turning herself into a draconequus is itself a punishment?

3614895

Just Deserts is the only one who has been completely opposite of her nature from the beginning, and it irks me a little.

They aren’t turning into draconequus because they are being opposite to their nature, as a spirit that would be impossible, rather it is because their actions are contrary to the idea of harmony. I.e. Just Deserts’ punishments do not cause the world to be harmonious, they actively cause chaos (I imagine that discord is in fact the missing sixth elemental spirit), which causes corruption/allergic reaction whatever you want to call it in their corporal bodies as they diverge from the ideal they as a whole uphold. Separated from each other the elemental spirits are unbalanced and cannot maintain harmony within them-selves (I imagine that’s the conclusion). What is justice without truth or love? It’s cold, efficient and unyielding.

(Second post)

The rules base she uses is probably from a being’s internal guilt/failings, a lack of personal harmony she enhances through punishment.

A word means more than just its definition (which I get from an English dictionary while in England), you also have to consider what it means in practice and the idea’s that have become associated with it. As justices’ root definition is adhering to a set of rules, if you break a set of rules that carry a punishment in reality you have revenge taken against you. Punishment is revenge occurring from following a set of rules to their conclusion when one has erred and defied those rules, so is a part of justice (When someone wants justice for being wronged what they mean in reality is revenge).

Fairness and equality are inherent in what people currently believe justice to represent so it becomes part of the definition.

Hopefully that’s everything in some kind of semblance of order, I believe I’ve responded to everything in a some manner or other and i respect you opinion whatever it is.

3611611
Justice is difficult even among humans. Almost everyone disagrees on some detail. Just Desert probably had the hardest task of all the spirits, so it makes sense that she turned bad most quickly.

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