Filly Cadence turns her first heart. Part of the "Cadance of Cloudsdale" cycle; familiarity with the previous work is not required. Thanks to G.M. Berrow for the inspiration.
Oh, it's up!
Wonderful, wonderful thing. I can recommend it to absolutely everyone. A joy to read. I'm especially fond of the odd yet compelling character of foal!Cadence.
Also, that cover image? Squee-tastic.
Darn it, I want to go read this now but I'm not really in a position to do so.
I'll be back later, but in the meantime have an upvote, because I've seen enough work to be pretty darn sure that that'll be coming in an hour or so anyway.
Sir, I am forced to remind you of our recent correspondence regarding this very eventuality. Thus, I am compelled by gentlemanly honor to issue a statement, in writing, of no small amount of vociferousness. I am fully cognizant of the possibility of such a missive to offend and inflame passions, but I am unable to deny the dictates of our previous agreement. And so, without further ado, my statement regarding your comment is this:
Get yer mitts off FimFiction, buster, and get some statistics work done, d'you hear?
Your obdt. srvnt. &c &c,
Here's to the Princess-Goddess. May she always hold a piece of that childhood within her heart, no matter how many years go by.
I see that the nuns trained Cadence in the Monkey Island school of problem solving. I eagerly await the story later in this Cycle you're building where she saves Cloudsdale with a rubber chicken that has a pulley in the middle.
Oh, and amazing work as always.
There exists no adequate measure for quantifying the felicity the appearance of this story occasions! I played a bit role in the textual engineering that brought Skywriter's latest to your screens, and I hold both the author and this work in the highest regard. I implore you to become engrossed in his genius, post-haste, and get to know the brave, daring, preciously precocious ancient child known as Cadence, the Princess-Goddess of Reduit.
This is definitely awesome. It's like a little whimsical sojourn into joy, and a worthy addition that makes me desire the next entries even more than before!
What a wonderful story!
Firstly, in general, it was great to see a new Cadence work from you -- I know it doesn't sound like much, but that alone made me giddy .
You said you were inspired by the Crystal Heart story -- a story that, in my opinion, I was back and forth about and went into your "Searching for Artists" blog: it actually made me briefly confused on how we were supposed to take your story, but you said you were merely inspired: it's not required reading, and is meant to fit into your Cadence stories though they aren't required reading either.
And boy does this story fit -- Honestly, the whole feeling of this story was very weird....weird, but in a good way: You have Cadence, a filly-goddess...so she has the body, and occasionally humorous and adorable behaviors of a child, but with the language and mentality of an adult (so it's sort of like the cartoon Rugrats or something )....you have a world that is very very much classical and ancient, with Changling-snakes that strangely remind me of the snake from the Adam and Eve story of the christian Holy BIble...but at the same time, it's modern enough that it's almost overtly playing and parodying it.
And that's how I honestly felt about this story - it felt very very satirical, like it was playing with itself...things like Cadence because treated like a Savior, and then things like "May you be with you"...I couldn't help but laugh, which at the same time, made me feel weird: It's not that I didn't like this story or tried not to take it seriously...I just didn't know if I was supposed to take it seriously -- there is no Comedy tag for this story, but reading it along, I honestly wondered a few times if their should be one, or the only clown was me.
You certainly reference and tie into your other Cadence stories, and on that, you certainly do have the same sort of tragic feeling to it....I remarked, when I left my review for the Unicorn Tooth story, that everyone in that story was dissatisfied and unhappy, and in a way I got that feeling here too: It certainly ends up a happier note then that story did, but I just don't know....that was the feeling I got reading, alongside everything else -- perhaps it was the tragedy of the wicked witch, or her warning that Celestia will bring her down (and indeed, much of the Unicorn Tooth story was about Cadence not being who Celestia wanted her to be....and that Cadence wasn't happy with her life in Canterlot), but this story certainly had the same vibe as that story, even if they are 'detached'. I will also say that, although Prismia was intended to be her own character, I couldn't help thinking throughout the entire story, of Queen Chrysalis, and the dichotomy of herself and Cadence: this woman, Prismia, on one hand reminding me of classic witches and female antagonists from fairy-tales (like the witch who's embittered at not being invited to the royal ball or some such), while also seemingly showing that negative side to love like Chrysalis (or Cadence would if she were warped, heart-broken, or some such as I hypothesize she would), being that this woman is actually heart-broken and is now actually feeding off of the love and happiness of others to fill that void. Perhaps the ending, where she is rejuvenated or redeemed or however you would describe it by the love Cadence provides her, could be meant to express coming to terms with your loss and moving on in life new strength and wisdom - a wisdom she gives to Cadence as she warns her not to overly-invest her hopes with Celestia.
Now obviously, all of this "symbolism" could all just be grasping at straws, but even if all of this was subjective and not what you intended, I still had fun thinking these things because it just feels right with the deceptive simplicity of the fairy-tale tone of your story -- Love is both simple, yet it is not, and you express that here. Exploring the dichotomy of Cadence, a plucky innocent "child" and Prismia, a world-weary adult, looking at love from different angles, the seemingly comedic dichotomy of the story itself (in that it seems partly a serious fairy-tale kind of story set in an ancient past, and a more modern comedy that uses the former to laugh at itself)....again, perhaps the "depth" is as much as an illusion as Prismia's view on love, but even if that was the case, It was still fun reading and thinking through this story, even if I went really off-the-wall with it.
Your vocabulary is certainly rich and immersive, and you definitely gave me the Adventure feeling the tag was going for: the story's ancient and religious/classical undertones made for....I was just back-and-forth if the light-heartedness at times was good or bad...as before, it made me question how seriously I was supposed to take this: again, the fic as a whole, felt very satirical onto itself.
But I enjoyed it, I really did....I'm happy you are doing stories around the mare we love-love-love, and indeed, like I went into in your "searching for artists" blog, one idea I loved about GM Berrow's story, was the idea that she was actually not a unicorn, which meant she had to get people to love eachother without the use of her magic which suddenly sounds really interesting....now, in your story, she is born an Alicorn and has just gotten her cutie-mark, but even so....I want to learn more about her -- what is the state of Equestria, how did we go from cosmic princesses to a paragon of love, how will she really go about spreading love et.al.....but that's where you come in, and I can't wait to read more from you
That picture is a health hazard
I mean look at it
Its diabeetez waiting to happen
Also nice origin story
"The knight is wearing a hat because he is also a cowpony,"
Yup, that makes perfect sense
As always, you have beautiful, magical headcanon.
I ALMOST got this read before I had to go into work, but I didn't have quite enough time.
Done now though. Argh, those two hours were torture!
Worth it! When is the next bit coming?
Calling all artists! Please render Shining Armour in a stetson! Calling all artists!
Best line of the story!
Excellent work, as per usual, Skywriter!
You really are one of the few people on this site whom I'm inclined to upvote first, then confirm later by reading. I know it's probably a bad thing for a writer to hear, but I have to say it.
This is a lovely little fairy-tale of a story. I'm intrigued by almost every named character, and double intrigued by Prismia.
I can't wait to read more.
Are the G.M. Berrow stories worth reading?
The lexicon of "...Crystal Heart Spell" is a little basic, and requires you to pass the same "why am I consuming children's media?" hurdle that you likely crossed when you started watching the cartoon, with added difficulty provided by the fact that the book seems to have a bit less depth and complexity than the show and is more classically suited to the original target demographic. And the author makes a few choices that diverge from canon events; you get the sense that Ms. Berrow and the writing staff aren't exactly coordinating their efforts or anything. That said, the characters are intact, recognizable, and well-drawn, and the author does manage to pull a couple really nice turns of phrase out of her hat.
Yeah, that was the good stuff.
"Mom!" I cry, galloping over to her and nuzzling up to her shoulder.The white mare stammers something in what I assume must be the Equuish tongue before switching to Pegasopolian. "No," she says, eventually. "No. Not your mother.""Aunty!" I try again, still nuzzling. Sloppy seconds, but I'll accept it.
The white mare stammers something in what I assume must be the Equuish tongue before switching to Pegasopolian. "No," she says, eventually. "No. Not your mother."
"Aunty!" I try again, still nuzzling. Sloppy seconds, but I'll accept it.
Cracked up at this line, got funny looks from the rest of the room. Well written, well edited, and both funny and touching at the same time. Really nice story here!
HAHA! I'm not the only one reading these books!
I shall read your's hopefully soon.
And the author makes a few choices that diverge from canon events; you get the sense that Ms. Berrow and the writing staff aren't exactly coordinating their efforts or anything. That said, the characters are intact, recognizable, and well-drawn, and the author does manage to pull a couple really nice turns of phrase out of her hat.
That's sort of how I felt as well - the whole concept of making a Post-Season 3 story is suspect....because are we supposed to even take this story as canon at all? What elements of it will be used in S4, if any? Hypothetically speaking, it could be the first episode(s) of S4 released months ahead of time .
But I doubt it goes that far, and this is probably just a nice little story on the side -- my biggest issue was that it does what Magical Mystery Cure tried to do, but even worse: cramming and glossing in too much undeveloped material as quickly as possible (with that episode, the issue was reconciling Cutie-Marks and how far they go in people's lives, alongside Twilight's entire change which was something else entirely, and all in 22 min glossed over with songs every five seconds)....nevermind that there isn't much development on Alicorns in general, Cadence as a whole doesn't have much of a history and trying to squeeze that in as well while reconciling what we know about her (she was always apparantly an Alicorn, but Twilight referred to her as a "Unicorn" even in the flashback...and in the book, she was born a Pegasus now? ), just makes for the same thing I felt when I watched the season finale: the less I think about it, the better...not at all the approach I would like (others can argue that I'm pedantic, but the depth of the writing is what attracted me - to *not* have to think about it, is like a repellant to what drew me to the show in the first place) but there is just too much conflicting things going on, nevermind wondering if this book was even canon in the first place.
As a whole, the decision to go with Twilicorn threw a wrench at everything, and with Cadence particularly, I get the feeling, moving forward, that we are meant to ret-con/ignore specific things like Twilight calling her a 'unicorn' for example. Again, Twilicorn changed everything mid-way and you get the feeling they are simultaneously trying to pick up the pieces at the same time....it, at least, makes me hope they will even things out as time goes on.
If nothing else, the book indeed had a few interesting ideas that other fanfic authors might play with, like Alicorn's de-powering which I liked.
Gah <3 !
I have a feeling that this cycle will never be updated fast enough for me >.< but I already loves it so.
"You must stay here with me. Running water and ringing bells are proof against the glamours of the enemy."
Ah, so that's what Star Swirl's hat is about, then!
"Brave child," she says. "May, er, may You bless you."I smile up at her. "Done," I say.
I smile up at her. "Done," I say.
D'awwww, and also *chuckle*
"There," I say, spitting the pencil out. "That is my knight in shining armor. Some day he will come to the Abbey and get the Sisters' permission to take me away from there and we will go to Canterlot and have a big wedding with cake and lots of happy friends and then we will have babies because we are married."
"The knight is wearing a hat because he is also a cowpony," I explain.
It's like a laser-guided cruise missile aimed straight at the centers of my brain.
And the hoardsmith says, "it doesn't matter what a thing looks like. All that matters is what I can do with it!"
And what a thing you've done.
It feels very... I hesitate to call it "old-school", but what it certainly is is perfect for Cadance. I look forward to more stories about her.
Cadence was not born as alicorn. She is former pegasus.
Once again, Skywriter produces a work of prose so magnificent I swear there's a little bit of magic hidden between the words.
> "You must stay here with me. Running water and ringing bells are proof against the glamours of the enemy."Ah, so that's what Star Swirl's hat is about, then!
Hey >>24868802486880, are you listening? Steal this for "You Can Fight Fate." Steal this like a motherbucker.
No... of course I'm not listening! And any resemblance You Can Fight Fate bears to this story is entirely coincidental!
Seriously though, Fate is already 6/7 planned out, and a random invasion from the spirit world ain't in the cards.
A story about a precocious pink child-goddess-princess saving her town by showing the wicked witch the true meaning of love, in the most literal possible fashion... and for all of its sweetness, it is neither saccharine nor cloying? Awesome.
Now I'm imagining the total, panicky chaos in Canterlot as Celestia, having just discovered a surprise alicorn after centuries of loneliness, suddenly shoves the business of ruling Equestria aside and focuses all of her attention towards finding Cadence and bringing her to Canterlot.
Quite a good point. Perhaps it's a fae-shield. Hadn't thought of that, but it makes sense.
I love your work, Skywriter - thanks for posting it.
Yeah, the "Cadance of Cloudsdale" cycle was in the works long before Ms. Berrow dropped that tidbit. I like to dance with canon as much or more as the next ficcer, but at this point, the concept of Cady being a birth-alicorn is so much a part of the foundation of the series that I can't really go back and change it now (recent events are in fact beginning to hint, the toy-only Princess Skyla notwithstanding, that there are no birth-alicorns). Additionally, I still don't quite understand how canonical the light novels are supposed to be. If Trixie is indeed constantly hanging around looking for mischief, as Berrow implies, it kind of clashes with her quasi-redemption at the end of "Magic Duel"; and while that character is all about backsliding, it seems odd that something intended to nail down canonicity across the board wouldn't at least mention those events. I suspect that Berrow was handed a few details of Season 3 from on high (Crystal Heart, Crystal Empire, Cady as Crystal Princess & Twilicorn) and let loose, and her work is going to perforce diverge from the show scripts.
Anyway, this story was an attempt to work "...Crystal Heart Spell" into my existing framework as best as I can without breaking either. Thanks for the comment!
Er, sorry, I mis-replied below. Yes, that's a great idea about Starswirl's hat. And, yes, I couldn't do my one filly Cady story without at least nodding at the fact that her wedding day is indeed "the kind of day of which (she) dreamed since (she) was small". Thanks for the comment!
Humm, another present tense story. I'm still getting used to it, but it bothered me less than the first time I read Unicorn Tooth. But that's probably me, not being used to it. The present tense in Unicorn Tooth really ended up growing on me. There, it really felt like and older Cadence reliving her distant, yet still vivid memories.
Which is odd, because the use of the present tense here sends my mind in a completely different direction. I could not picture that older Cadence at all, instead, it feels like she's telling me the story as it happens to her. Strange that I've had too different reactions to the same thing depending on the story.
Anyway, loved the story. Skywriter, you could easily be a children's author if you wanted. If I had to read bedtime stories to children I would probably use this one.
Looking on in horror, I see Lady Prismia raise a hoof in an occult gesture. Her horn flares a brilliant emerald, and out of the forest, the snakes come to her. One by one, they twitch and spasm and then vomit up their cargo of heart-light. The light dissipates into mist as soon as it is out of their mouths, and I can see Prismia desperately sucking in great gulps of breath, frantically eager to taste even a little bit of each bundle of light before it vanishes into the air and is gone. Even the small amount that she manages to breathe in never reaches her heart, which remains cold and black and lifeless; not fresh-wounded and empty, like the ponies of the fortress, but scarred so shrunken and tight that there is no room left in it for any light at all. Time and time again she repeats this, her frustration and rage growing with every attempt, until the present crowd of serpents is entirely exhausted. At last, snarling in rage, she sends them away again, to hunt more hearts.
I loved this paragraph. It takes a very abstract concept and makes it concrete and tangible. This is how to do magic that sits on the wondrous and unknowable end of Sanderson's First Law.
I approach Pony like that one Indigo Girls song recommends: The less I seek its source for some definitive, the closer I am to fine.
My Celestia... this work is honestly got to be one of my absolute favourites. Of all time. No exceptions.
I am determined to write something as good as this. I finally have something to aim for.
All I can say is, daaaaaaaawwwwwwwww!!!
Why hasn't any other pegasus thought to use their wings for inventory storage? It's ingenious!
As cool as a random spirit world invasion would be for YCCF, what I meant was: the explanation for Star Swirl's belled hat. We know from canon he's got one (Luna and Twilight discuss it in Luna Eclipsed) and the notion that it's some sort of magical protection is magnificent in a way that makes me wonder why I never thought of that.
In your context, perhaps it would be (say) to keep him from hearing others if he knows he's suffering from changeling venom? Though I don't know whether you even plan changelings in that particular part of the timeline.
I stopped by the thread at 5 AM, to seek solace in a comment, or possibly a friend …
Hard to see the light now...
...Just don't let it go.
Things will be all right now.
We can make it so!
Someone is on your side.
No one is alone.
I think I have a new Pony headcanon-resonance thing for this song. (Previously it was Fluttershy-based, with "Zebras can be right; Dragons can be good...")
I love love love the name thing.
Bit of non-clarity: is the amulet the Alicorn Amulet (or related), or is it the image of Cadance's cutie mark? (Or both, I suppose...) Google doesn't seem to turn up much about asterite, beyond a character from a game I've never played.
This version of filly Mi Amore is no less in sophistication compared to the likes of Alia and Leto II when they were kids, and her thinking and acting like a filly is portrayed very convincingly. I am thoroughly impressed
You have good taste, because that, dear friend, is one of the great English language musicals. When Twilight is in my head, it's one of her favorites. The Baker's lament "No More" is actually on my Twilight Sparkle playlist, and the line "All the wondering what even worse is still in store" gives her chills. She resonates with the battered hero who's had to save the world one too many times and is feeling quite burned out.
Sorry to take it on a tangent. I just go all fanboy over Sondheim, which is why I love it when Daniel I. riffs on it for his songs in the show.
The amulet is a unique magic item introduced by G.M. Berrow in "...Crystal Heart Spell" and is explicitly identified as Cady's "favorite necklace" in the text of that book. It is said to resemble the Crystal Heart but for the purposes of this story has to be distinct from it. "Asterite" is entirely made-up; the substance is exclusively referred to as "Cosmic Spectrum" in the book.
Thank you. I was trying for "child-like thought patterns with a nonetheless huge experiential vocabulary gained over hundreds of years" but was quite worried that people would just see "Sky tries to write a child and fails by making her too wordy". Glad I pulled it off in your eyes.
I giggle at the thought of the witch-mare cowering before me, which helps the dark shadows to either side of the path recede a bit...
"I can bring you some of my toys, if that would help," I say, suddenly desperate to fill the black void in Prismia's heart. "I have more than enough. Or, maybe, I can ask the Sisters to come up and to play games with you, if you like?"
"If you won't let me love you with presents or games, then I guess I'll just have to love you with myself."
"Give up, child," she sneers. "Spare yourself. Let go, and the hurt goes away.""You need this," I say, tears forming in my eyes, "more than I need to stop hurting."
"You need this," I say, tears forming in my eyes, "more than I need to stop hurting."
"You didn't want their love! You wanted to be alone! Alone with your thing! And you told them so, so sternly that they had no choice but to believe you!"
"Hey, do you think that when we're done talking to the Sisters and getting some lunch you can start showing me how to do that?""Do what, child?""How to lift things, like you do! How to use my horn to do magic!"
"Do what, child?"
"How to lift things, like you do! How to use my horn to do magic!"
Friendship leading to Magic?
This could be coincidental, but somehow I doubt it.
I'm a great admirer of your work, Skywriter - I humbly beseech thee to continue to bestow the wonders of your imagination upon us.
Thanks for the nice comment and nice analysis!
Gosh, this story is quite heartwarming.
"Is she... bad?" I ask, a bit nervous at the scary picture Prismia is paining with her words.
Eek. Thanks for catching.
Oh, that was just wonderful.
I tap at the stallion's head. "The knight is wearing a hat because he is also a cowpony," I explain.
Especially this bit right here. I can just picture the first time she runs into Shining Armor, "Welcome to Caaaaaaaaaaaanterlot!"
Now you've got me curious as what Andrew Francis's takes for Braeburn sounded like.