• Member Since 10th Jul, 2011
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Ebon Mane



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Luna has returned to Equestria, but she is as cold and distant as the moon that held her captive. Celestia broods on her throne, regretting mistakes made and prices paid. Twilight Sparkle contemplates betrayal, and as her faith drains away, bitterness takes its place. And in the darkness, a relic of an ancient tragedy watches, his life consumed by greivances that he can neither remember nor forget. Betrayed and betrayers all, four ponies in need of a redemption that only one seeks. Will Honesty be enough to save them? Can one hoof, extended in trust and forgiveness, mend four wounded hearts?

Includes Applejack X Luna and slight Twilight X Celestia shipping.

With thanks to my editors, peppermint-roo.deviantart.com and sosweetntasty.deviantart.com

Written prior to season 2, so severely jossed by canon.

Chapters (15)
Comments ( 157 )

Oh man, I love this. I can't wait to see more.

152
You and me both.

Confound you Applejack shippers. Between this and Always Sunny you're moving her up in my personal pony ranking.

She's closing in on Scoot. Of course, then she hits the Pink and Blue wall.

Luna the trickster, this chapter was pure gold. :pinkiehappy:

Ah ideology in my fanfic... The very last thing I need to read.

Nevertheless, it is a great chapter. Keep up the good work.

1701

Hey, it's not my ideology, it's Rarity's. I happen to disagree with it, personally, but it's necessary for the character development.

Thanks for reading!

Just read the entire story and I admit that I've been impressed with it. I do have a few comments about this chapter, though.

I'm all for intelligent discussions about meta-physics, creation myths,, and the benefits and consequences that come with having a monarchy (or principality, in this case), but that occupied a little bit much of the chapter imo. I would've liked to have seen a bit more dialogue on Luna's end when Rarity and her were in the spa. Also, do I detect an upcoming grimdark tag? Some stories try to hard to be taken seriously and it often derails the mood. I hope that doesn't happen here. :unsuresweetie:

1753

I am terribly sorry if I try to pin it as your ideology. Just saying that ideologies in general do not mix well in fanfic, unless said ideologies are clear from canon, which I highly doubt that Rarity has that clear of of an ideology to make her monologue like that. That or there is/ will be a character that conflicts with the ideology of the main character/ force (Which I also doubt that Rarity is the main in this fanfic.)

But then again, these are just my opinions and my opinions alone and should just stay that way. Overall, you are doing a great job with the story and make the characters to be believable, even with the monologue. I say keep up with the good work and do not let my opinion try to deter you away from your story.

1701

You want no ideology in your fanfics?
That would be like going to watch a Michael Bay movie, or maybe something by Uwe Boll. Characters need to have ideologies, how else do you give them personality? (Although of course, said ideologies don't need to be explicitly stated in the story, but I saw no problem with the execution of Rarity's dialog in this chapter.)

Of course, the point is rendered somewhat mute since no matter what or how someone writes a story, meanings and ideas can and will be explicated, not just from the story as a whole but the individual characters as well. Is Hamlet truly mad or just incredibly cunning? Is Romeo and Juliet a story about true love and how the circumstances of its titular characters ruined that, or is it a giant parody written by Shakespeare making fun of the idea of (true) love? You could even draw meanings from the Twilight series if you really wanted to . . .
A story is a means of generating interpretations, often through the display or conflict of ideologies.


Personally I don't agree all that much with Rarity's ideas either. Despite that, their heartfelt delivery and obvious effect on Luna make the display of her ideology her a very moving and (hopefully) notable point in the story and its plot.

One thing I did note in this chapter is that you seem to refer to Equestria as being the whole world (or at least that's the impression I got when Luna was talking about the division between her and Celestia when they were young) but in Dragonshy, TS clearly designates Equestria as a country.

2001

I am terribly sorry if I imply that I do not want any ideology in any fanfic.

In comment #1848, I stated that ideologies do not mix well unless said ideology is supported by canon. Rather that or there will be a character that will conflict the ideology of the main character/ force. I didn't say that I do not want it, but rather that it is the least thing one may want to put.

Of course, I am only talking about direct ideology, not things that can be interpreted one way or the other.

So once again, I apologize if I made it sound like that any ideology in any fic is bad.

Oh wow, that was amazing. I can't wait for the next chapter!

Wow. I've been meaning to read this for a while now, and I can see why it's a featured story. Well done, sir! :pinkiehappy:

I really liked the part with the star-apple-things. That was pretty creative.

Oh my Celestia, that's some powerful stuff you've got there. :pinkiegasp:

I just... wow.

Oh I'm so glad this is on FiMFiction now. Tracking it like crazy! This is shaping up to be my all-time favorite pony fiction. :twilightsmile:

Love this series.

Though funnily enough, I'm mostly interested in how Twilights going to handle her issues.

That was simply amazing.

Seriously, I've seen some great examples of writing on this site, but this chapter was just incredible.

Your characterization of a bitter and angst-filled Twilight was perfect, your writing style made it seem like I was reading an actual letter, and the ending helped make the whole situation feel even more real to me. Well done.

Okay, I normally wait until I get caught up with a story before posting comments, but I just couldn't pass this up.

"Precisely," Pinkie Pie proclaimed with perceptible pride. The price was pronounced, payment passed from patron to proprietor, and the pink pony presented the pastry to the princess.

This is the single greatest use of alliteration I have ever seen. I don't just mean on the internet, I mean that out of every single book, novel, story, legend, myth, or tale I have ever read, heard, or seen, this was the best use of alliteration I've ever come across.

You, my good sir, are an amazing writer.

Finally got all caught up. Huzzah!

I typically begin most of my comments by listing a few things I think could be improved. Sadly, I can't really do that here. Besides the rare grammatical error, I have yet to encounter anything unsatisfactory about this story. Heck, I can't even complain about the shipping since you're doing it in a way that makes sense! Dammit, give me something to gripe about!

As for the stuff I love about your story, well, that's pretty much everything.

Of the characters you've shown us so far, I think that Celestia, Fluttershy, Applejack, Pinkie, and Rainbow are perfectly adapted from the show, and the expansions you've made upon them have been wonderful. I can't help but feel like Twilight is much more bitter then she is in the show, but I'm actually starting to like your version better. As for Rarity, well, she was always my least favorite character, but you've actually made her seem interesting to me. Well done. Finally, I think that your Luna is the best I've yet encountered.

The plot you've set up has been quite enjoyable to follow, and you're obviously moving it towards a pretty interesting climax. I can't wait to see where you're going to take it.

Your writing style is close to flawless. With the exception of a few grammar errors I mentioned earlier, I find myself being drawn in by beautiful descriptions, engaging and imaginative dialogue, and subtle hints of things yet to come.

In summery, I love this story. Easily my third favorite on this site; possibly even second. I'll be tracking it, and eagerly await your next chapter. Keep it coming!

It's taken an oddly dark turn, should it have a Dark tag?

Argh why did it have to end there, I want more. Also, ugh Celestia, just ugh.

Not to ruin the metaphor (no wait, actually to totally ruin the metaphor), but should someone inform Twilight that Celestia/the Sun is a Star?

This is the best pony fiction of all time. This chapter seals it.

And the story is not even done yet! Argh!

I await more, as patiently as I can. :rainbowdetermined2:

This just gets better and better, an excellent story.

:fluttercry: aaaw thats sad, and it makes twilight sound suicidal :raritycry:

wow twilight is pissing me off already thats a first! i love it

my god, how do you write like this? It's unfathomably good.

2289
Woah, I didn't even notice that that was an alliteration until you brought it up. It just flowed that well. This story is just too damn good. Tell me Ebon, are you an immortal like the princesses? Have you been writing for millenia? That's really the only conclusion I can come up with so far to explain how you're possibly so damn good at this.

I loved this story SO MUCH..... I can't wait till more is released...

patience is not within my control
it is, as if you hold my soul
these twisted words that you write
bring me joy and enduring spite,
i wish there more
i wish it so
so until you write again
impatient i will be, you know
but do not make haste
for the tale will take ill taste
and those six starts will be a waste

This has to be one of the worst Fics I have read in my entire life.

It is so bad in fact that I am not going to Favourite, track or five-star it.

I am not even going to comment on how good this ship is.


PS: Please note that everything above that line is all a lie.:pinkiecrazy:

Just tell me that this fic is not finished yet :fluttershysad:

27715

I wrote 1600 words of the next interlude today. We've still got 4 parts to go.

Something that has been bothering me for a while... Considering that `Tia was the one who was encouraging Luna to be more empathic and connected to the world, why the BUCKING DISCORD is she completely ignoring the plight of her own personal aperentice? Especially considering how worried she was about what Twilight thought about here a few chapters back.

:applejackconfused:

Why Tia why so cruel it make no sense to stop:rainbowhuh:

Holy crap, I didn't catch that either. That's insane.

As bizarre as it sounds, I emphasize with Celestia absolutely.

Her age is a literally unfathomable thing. It's a number so large that it's utterly meaningless for what it describes. What do ten years feel like? I've had a couple months less than two sets of those, and I could barely describe even a few of the most salient points in less than a hundred thousand words, an epic that would take hours. What do a hundred years feel like? Is it just five of those?

What do ten thousand years feel like? A hundred, or thousand thousand? Four hundred thousand thousand thousand years? If I had been in Applejack or Rarity's place when Luna mentioned her true age, I would have begged her to live my presence, sobbing and shuddering. If I was there, it would be horrifying beyond comprehension to me. How can a being so incredible and ancient consider anything as lowly as me any more significant than the lowliest speck of dirt a billion light years away, floating through the cold void of space? It's a number so high as to boggle the mind, and everything else pales into utter insignificance in comparison.

The idea that a creature even one millionth as old as them might exist that isn't completely disconnected from reality is nearly enough to stupefy me. If I was as old as they are, even if I had whatever Alicorn gift it was that lets them cope with immortality so well, I'd probably just completely lose focus on the world around me. A reality in my memories that stretches out beyond the existence of life itself already contains enough interesting situations that just remembering them would be enough to satisfy me for an eternity beyond counting. If I was immortal and unstoppable and the sun and moon could fall from the sky and crash upon me and leave me unfazed, I would be lucky to notice the planet shattering under me while I sat in place thinking about everything that had happened in my life.

In short, if Celestia feels overwhelmed with her apathy, I am absolutely sympathetic. If this universe was real and I saw it, I could barely even fathom how she dredged up the effort involved in turning her head to look at the creatures scurrying about her, knowing that they would all be dead and gone by the next time she blinked.

All I can say is that Alicorns in this world you've written are a completely alien existence. I mean literal eldritch horrors. Trying to comprehend their motivations in doing anything when you think about it enough are sufficient to drive you mad. They must be immune to the effect that makes the years seem to pass quicker as a human ages. Or maybe they have the ability to just... discard huge portions of their memory. Or some way to selectively ignore all but a modest amount of all their experiences.

I do not know which story is better U-harmony or merely a mare but I can safely say one thing, You are a talented writer. May I know when the next chappie is comming out?

This is a wonderful, well written story, and I hope to the godesses you continue it, so I can give it a 5 star and fav it.

An update here? That was unexpected!

Spoilers:

Nice chapter, very well paced almost all the way. I do think the end of it felt a bit rushed though, could have done with a paragraph or three more to fully give the impact of surprise as Dash crashes in. It was pretty hard to read her mood at that time too, since there's almost no description of her aside from her crashing in, standing up and looking around.

Wow, an update.... awesome!

spoilers:

Unfortunately i must agree with Zanzibar. You rush the story into a new conflict far too quickly, add paragraph of Dash dazed from her crash. Describe the scene more.

LUNA;'S SOCKS IT UPDATED!!!:yay::yay::yay:
Now its time to read the awesomeness that is "Merely a Mare".

Oh my goddddddddd I've been awaiting forever for my favorite story to update. This chapter hit me big time, great emotion as Luna beared her soul, and of course AJ getting mad at her before it. Amazing stuff!

I disagree with two above commenters, however. The scene at the end was just fine, and didn't feel paced too fast to me at all. Sure it could be expanded a little, but it's not necessary. This is already the longest interlude so far, haha.

Well Luna seems to have taken the survival of an Alicorn remarkably well.

I'm glad to see it's updated, but I'm disappointed with the first part of the chapter; it's too contrived.
Apparently, neither the immortal, extremely powerful Alicorns, or the near-omnipotent Goddesses who can apparently rewrite/recreate entire species were able to solve a memory issue? Really? :ajbemused:
And then there's this: "They enchanted these grave markers to last forever. Even so, they forgot. Their loved ones would die, and in time, in a few short centuries, they would forget. Names, faces, events, personalities, all gone. But the scars never faded, and they felt the need, the primal urge practically etched onto their bones, to mourn. To mourn ponies that they could not remember ever having met. It weighed on them, and as scars built upon scars, one by one the alicorns went mad, and most did so violently."
So they forget everything . . . except sadness? Why? A primal urge etched into their bones? Why would only sadness be etched there?

It's still a pretty good story, I just think it's a disappointing chapter.

I am looking forward to reading more! I love the aspect of Celstia being outrageously emoquine and not saving Twilight, I don't think I've seen that done before. Please continue with this unique work.

I normally try to hold off rating a story with multiple chapters until I've read all the ones written, but this one sold me on it. You sir have earned 5 of my stars :twilightsmile:

2289 I'll second that opinion :rainbowlaugh: :rainbowlaugh: :rainbowlaugh:

things just got real, can't wait to see more! :twilightsmile:

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