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And all your friends will be there with smiles on their faces.


A forgotten manuscript reveals an odd journey purportedly undertaken by Lord Dunsany, a Promethean explorer of the Lands of Dream. While the manuscript has yet to be authenticated, its contents are interesting enough to merit my posting them here.

Thanks to Estee and Humanoid for their assistance in preparing this transcription, and their invaluable advice.

[5/25/2015] Now reviewed by Seattle's Angels, and featured at Royal Canterlot Library.

[5/26/2015] And now, by grace of Illya Leonov, there is an audiobook! Youtube / MP3.

Chapters (4)
Comments ( 112 )

So maybe there was some truth in the Story. ""The King of Elf Lands Daughter"...

A work of true beauty. Thank you for it. And remember, wonder and knowledge are not mutually exclusive.

Ow, you've made my heart ache in a most pleasant manner. That I inspired even a small part of this is something special. If it's not featured, then I can truly say there is no justice.


And remember, wonder and knowledge are not mutually exclusive.

bitter mumblings to that effect

I can't help being sciencey. I didn't wanna kill anyone's magic dreams.

Can anyone capable of translating the Greek tell the rest of us what the puns are?

For even the whisper of a butterfly makes an echo, and like unto a single word of kindness spoken in sincerity, its influence may spread and multiply in ways unseen.

This is a truly wonderful story you have created - in all respects. I will treasure it, I think.

What a wonderful, special thing you have created for us. It will be a very long time before I read something written as well.


Don't you want to figure it all out yourself? Just keep in mind that hippopotamus means horse of the river, and you'll be most of the way there...

Okay, fine.

Glossary [Now added to the story as a chapter.]

I am no student of Greek, or Swahili; I used online resources to research and assemble these names. Note that some names in the story are made up or have no translation, and thus are not listed here.

Eocharis - Dawn's Grace

Hespericles - Evening's Glory

Ippoli - Horse town

Pterippi - The winged horses

Monokeri - The one-horns

Khthonoi - The folk of the land

Hephaesta - Feminisation of Hephaestus, Smith of the Gods.

Mageía - Magic

Punda-Miliamji - Zebra town

Tarassoi - Those who flutter

Nephelia - Cloud, with a feminine ending. In mythology, Nephelia was the name of a cloud nymph.

Acrokastra - High castle

And Hippocratic stems from the name Hippocrates, literally horsepower.

Truthfully a criminally underviewed story, and definitely appreciate the care you put into this yarn :pinkiehappy:

A splendid story.

Really nicely done, and very Dunsanian, so congratulations. (I'm not sure if I'm projecting, but I even thought there was a bit of My Talks with Dean Spanley in there, what with using alcohol to coax characters into saying things they'd rather pretend ignorance of.)

I confess, the bit toward the beginning with Celestia's story was my favorite part.

It was with no trepidation that I so undertook the reading of this tale once it was made clear to me its nature.
I, like Writer before me, shall keep this story a valued treasure, and go further in saying that this story to be shared with those I know as well.

I am glad of its writing and can only hope the author, at some later date, expounded upon his voyage in greater detail, or perhaps the telling of an additional journey he took to return to the place he had described from the words told to us in this tale.

But in either case, I must extend to the Author of this manuscripts salvation that you have done a valuable service to those readers finding this publication.

Kudos! Well Done!

Truly? A Story like this, and not a single moustache in the comments? A travesty, I say! :moustache:

A Dunsany-themed pony fic? This calls for mustaches, indeed! :moustache:

discovered a stone circle, tended by small brown creatures that chittered at him in fluttering tones in a language he could not understand, but which somehow conveyed to him that he should take his leave and not return.

Okay... I got the Midnight Run reference... I assume this is the reference to the other fic? :rainbowwild:

It slew him and overwhelmed the village of Punda-Miliamji and would have covered the world in a foul wine-colored ooze if it had not been stopped by means of fell magics borne by a mysterious race named the Tarassoi, who had never been seen afterwards.

Those who know some Greek probably have a huge advantage in deciphering all this, but I feel this is a Smooze reference, somehow :trixieshiftright:

And since that time, the village of Punda-Miliamji lies abandoned and the few Zebras that remain occupy squalid huts in the forest, and the folk of Ippoli will have nothing to do with them.

Oooh. Justification for the Shunning of Zecora. Nice!

It was an oxbow lake, of the sort that a river makes when its changing course abandons a loop of itself, and I asked Eocharis to fly over it. And as she did, I saw that this was too symmetrical and neat a lake to have been formed by a wildly wriggling river, and in fact it greatly resembled the imprint of a colossal horse’s hoof. I recalled my earlier dream of the celestial mare shaping the world from a clot of earth, and I shivered and turned my eyes away to pleasanter things.

Ahh. Beautiful imagery! :twilightsmile:

Kinda hoping he'll meet her, now :pinkiehappy:

She said that the Khthonoi were once also well known for producing gems from these rock-farms of theirs, gems of particular luster and puissance, but that such production was now done in secret lest the gems draw the attention of hungry dragons.

Not to mention, those bloody diamond dogs.

And once the ponies were fully in their cups, I steered Hespericles towards earlier topics he had not seen fit to discuss, and at last he mentioned that gems found in the ground were in reality crystallized mageía that would form over many years around any object meant to channel the same, such as the horn of a Monokeros, and that often the finding of rich clusters of gems in the earth meant that one had discovered an ancient graveyard of the Monokeri

Well, that's properly morbid :rainbowlaugh:

Does that mean Hespericles was trying to grow gems with the book? :trixieshiftright:

and that she had attempted a revolt through alliance with a sort of winged horse serpent who had laid waste to the land.

Hee. Mixing Discord into it, too? :moustache:

I gently wakened my little relative of Pegasus, and she yawned, belched and stretched in an artless manner.

She's one of Rainbow Dash's ancestors, no doubt about that :rainbowlaugh:

for to them it was only the everyday miracle.

Makes one wonder how many miracles we ignore every single day :fluttershysad:

And then I realized that the Celestial Mare had not left her balcony, and was quite still, and I could just mark by the shape of her head and glints that I took to be her piercing eyes that she was staring in my direction.

Oh. Right. She kinda wanted a world without humans, and their God-Dethroning urge to bind everything to Laws of the Universe :facehoof:

The river turned and changed even as I drifted, and I knew that even should I dare to return this way, the journey could never be repeated. For a river wriggles over the land as the years pass, even as the Fates scribe the curves of a brief human life. But it effaces with its newer script the traces of the old, and shall never, never write thus again.

Ahh, the transience of all things.

Very nice! I wonder what she gave him to help him in his writings...

This is a magnificent work of art.

It's kind of funny / odd / interesting that it implies that we ourselves shape the rules of the universe, and that we have chosen to put more faith in a system of universal rules of physics over gods, and by the power of that faith, have removed the gods, and have replaced them with endless space, too far to ever truly reach out to :applejackconfused:

Eocharis - Dawn’s Grace
Hespericles - Evening’s Glory

Dawn & Evening, huh?

...I ship them already! :pinkiecrazy:

Y'know... SOMETHING tells me there's an unpublished chapter called "Notes" :trollestia:

Very, very well done!

You've captured Dunsany's authorial voice very well, and joined it with Equestria to produce a lovely story that does honor to both of its sources. Thank you for writing this. :twilightsmile:

Wonderful story! I think you've captured Dunsanay's voice very well, indeed. The back-story that gives Celestia's attention an ominous aspect was really well done and very much in the tone of Dunsanay's tales.

...until Hespericles gave me what I suppose might be called his Hippocratic oath...

Ouch! :rainbowlaugh:

Please write more when you have the time!

Just FYI, Dean Spanley was made into a movie a while ago and is available on Netfilix. Very enjoyable!

5748503 I just wanted to write this comment to blame you, quite a lot later, for the dust that mysteriously appeared in my eyes upon reading your story. You bastard.

Wow. Just, wow.

Thanks to everyone for the many positive comments! It'll take me a while to respond to them all.

I would take this time to heap praise upon you, but I'm afraid my gifts of words are not well-disposed to saying "you're amazing " more than a few ways. Just sort of assume I said it a thousand times.

Argh. I did something silly, and thereby my authorial first comment, in which I put certain notes that would have interfered with story immersion, got deleted. Here's what it was:

So here's my Dunsanian pastiche. It was either this or "The Distressing Tale of Rarity the Jeweller."

I have been so bold as to refer to the following admirable stories by the following admirable authors:

The Midnight Run, by Midnightshadow.

Lost Cities, by Cold in Gardez.

The background of the cover image is from CosmicUnicorn's Sunrise in Equestria.

Actually, that's one of the few books by Dunsany that I haven't read yet (or if I did, it's been so long that its memory has been effaced). Can you tell me to what you were referring?

Thank you for your praise! And, while wonder and knowledge may not be exclusive, they are often uncomfortable bedfellows.

Thank you for your kind words, your blessing for the Midnight Run reference, and your signal boost. Thanks to people like you, there is justice even outside the feature box. :twilightsmile:

High praise indeed! Thank you very much!


I can't help being sciencey. I didn't wanna kill anyone's magic dreams.

When you're tearing apart the very stars in the heavens, please reserve one for the poets. It can be an M class if that's all you can spare; we can work with a red sun. Oh, and please don't taunt the Oobleck.

I had wondered whether to hang a Sad tag on this story. I think I was right to leave it off, but only just.

I suppose I'd better get started, then. :twilightsmile: Seriously, thank you!

And thanks to each of you!

Dunsany used the plying-reluctant-raconteur-with-alcohol motif in more than one story, IIRC. Of course, Jorkens used the reverse side of it to his advantage.
The origin of Celestia is the oldest section of this story and was written over two years ago. It's been polished a fair bit since then. Thank you!

See above comment; any possible sequel to this story would lie very far in the future. But thank you very much for your praise!

[strokes beard meditatively]


small brown creatures that chittered at him...

Okay... I got the Midnight Run reference... I assume this is the reference to the other fic?

Other authors have written of the Lands of Dream after Dunsany; H.P. Lovecraft was one. This paragraph contains extra-Dunsanian references, but not to FIMFiction.
The Pegasus city of Derecho was a reference to Lost Cities.

a foul wine-colored ooze

I feel this is a Smooze reference, somehow...

It definitely isn't Homer's wine-dark sea. :twilightsmile:

Does that mean Hespericles was trying to grow gems with the book?

No. There are many parts of this story that are meant to be poetry and not puzzles, but you should be able to figure out what Hespericles was really doing with that book. The Glossary may help a bit but it's not necessary.

I gently wakened my little relative of Pegasus, and she yawned, belched and stretched in an artless manner.

She's one of Rainbow Dash's ancestors, no doubt about that.

Is that your final answer?

I wonder what she gave him to help him in his writings...

This is answered in the Afterword, but you probably hadn't read it yet when you posted that comment.

5750887 I'm always the guy who says we need to pass environmental laws so nobody pulls anything funny with the stars. The universe is the universe, not just our raw material.


Thank you for your praise!

There was a time when humans, confronted with the night, could do little more than try to find the shapes of familiar objects in the scattered stars, and create stories about these objects. As we learn more about the night and our place in it, these concepts and fantasies get discarded or reduced to tags shorn of their prior meaning, but there is still a pang involved in letting them go. Yet we cannot see very far without looking beyond them.

"A man is a small thing and the night very large and full of wonders."
--Lord Dunsany, The Laughter of the Gods

You're very welcome. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

And I'm glad you got that joke. :twilightsmile:

The other stories I have going now are very unlike this one in tone, and I don't think that I could make a sequel to this story. Perhaps I could send Shandon Silverlock to Equestria instead...?

I shall supply the verbiage that you lack. Thank you, thank you. :twilightblush:

I am much afraid that life is its own raw material. It's certainly true of literature.

And likewise, please assume a thousand thanks.

Reading this story, was like Reading a 50-60 year old book that you can find in the deepest part of a library, the way you wrote it gave me this massive nostalgic feeling.

Thank you so much for Writing this fic.

As we reached the town, which Eocharis called Ippoli

Ugggh :twilightangry2:

Holy carp! A Silverlock for MLP Fanfic? That would be a real challenge, but insanely wonderful. (I was quite tickled by the Lost Cities reference.)

Thank you for your kind words! They are all much appreciated.

Take heart; it could have been Mississippoli.

Sadly, I can't commit to any such thing; it was just a suggestion. If you think you could take the idea anywhere, feel free. (I'm still trying to discover if the Commonwealth is on this map. Equestria just might be #236.)

Truly a delightful read. Thanks!

If what I think grew from that book being planted is correct, I wonder if Tirek's destruction of Twilight's tree may lead to a whole library grove springing up in Ponyville?

An amusing thought! One can imagine the citizens of Ponyville laboring to extract logographical saplings from inconvenient places around town, or Twilight asking for Applejack's assistance with bookbucking. But perhaps it's best to say that only a magic book that has been prepared in a special way can take root and grow in that manner. Congrats on being the first to figure it out (or at least to state it here)!

Thoroughly enjoyed.

Small but important hint for you: when replying to comments in your story, always go into the chapter the comment was made in, and reply to it there. Otherwise, your reply ends up on the last chapter, and not on the chapter the comment was made on.

See, one notable effect of posting your reply in a different chapter than the comment you reply on, is that the user you reply to doesn't get a reply notification. It's a bug in fimfiction :trixieshiftright:

And yes, this means that half of the people you replied to in these comments never saw your replies :unsuresweetie:


No. There are many parts of this story that are meant to be poetry and not puzzles, but you should be able to figure out what Hespericles was really doing with that book. The Glossary may help a bit but it's not necessary.


Thorno wrote:
If what I think grew from that book being planted is correct, I wonder if Tirek's destruction of Twilight's tree may lead to a whole library grove springing up in Ponyville?

Ohh. I get it now. Heh. You just meant the "Ippoli" thing with the "Glossary may help a bit"? I got that part right away, actually. I only needed the barest of skimmed Greek knowledge to figure that one out :rainbowlaugh:

I love this story.
I can't rightfully say why, I can't pinpoint a single moment that particularly stood out to me, but as a whole this resonated with me, and engaged me all the way through.

I encourage you, reader, however vainly you do so: make noise, make noise while you can.

You can bet I will.
Thanks for such a great story.

You had me sold at Lord Dunsany and did not disappoint in the slightest.

Author Interviewer

Those who flutter

Oh snap.

The others I could more or less figure out, but that one puzzled me and now I feel...

Well, it doesn't matter. This is a jewel among stories on this site.


The Greek is still slightly recognizable; there's a bit of "hippo" and a bit of "polis" in there.

I don't recognize any character that could translate to "Eocharis", though. "charis" would be "grace" or something, I guess.

Eocharis told me afterwards that, in strict politeness, I should have eaten one of the flowers then and there instead of saving them all for later.


Miss Hephaesta of light green coat

Huh, I wonder who---

oh wow.

Smith. :facehoof:

I guess this makes it at least two generations before Twilight's arrival.


This one stumped me until I looked it up in the MLP wiki. "Flutter" apparently translates to "tarasso" :D


Oh, nice one. :trollestia:


Congrats on being the first to mention the Hephaesta reference. And thank you for your compliments!

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