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If anyone would care to, or want to, write a reconcile post for today's episode for Ponies and Dragons, please don't hesitate.  
MLPFiMS6E17 spoilers commentary.



While Discord may have learned to value others beyond being his toys, and after being given a taste of his own medicine by Tirek, sees how hollow his sick fun and games were. We see in this moment in his heart of hearts that Discord may be manipulative and naturally cunning, he is also insensitive and thoughtless.

He uses his magic to invert the colors of everything, turning the entire universe opposite for a few seconds to illustrate how he consider Spike and Big Mac to be below him. "Oooh! I'm opposite Discord! And I love hanging out with what's their names!"

And we get "Well you listen here Mister! I'm Opposite Fluttershy! And I'm sick of being all 'sweet and nice' all the time!" Before Discord QUICKLY changes everything back, and Fluttershy looks shocked at herself and covers her mouth. I think Discord doesn't realize he just forced Fluttershy for a few moment to relive her freakin' worse nightmare! (Fluttercruel, Flutterrage, New Fluttershy, Fluttershy has kept her negative emotions bottled up for so long IMHO they've become an illness).  Except Fluttershy is too shocked from the experience, and has spent the most time with Discord to know he 'doesn't mean it' and doesn't have the heart to call him out on it when he doesn't do it intentionally, and she's already late for the good-will tour through the Yak nation. And I'm likely the ONLY GUY IN EXISTENCE that's going to think of this. :-(

(In retrospect, I'm wondering why the writers didn't waste 30 seconds of air time on a 'where am I?' moment with Opposite Fluttershy. After being kicked in the face so many times, NOT being kicked in the face is kinda... odd.)

And that Discord thinks of BIG MAC as a 'side kick' is... kinda cruel. While Big Mac envies AJ, he has his own life, he doesn't follow her around like a extra limb like Spike does Twilight in 75% of the episodes.

And Discord would rather sneak along with Fluttershy than hang out with Spike and Big Mac.

And Discord shows that just because he's no longer torturing ponies for his own amusement (let's not mince words here, he did), he's still willing to put an active volcano right on the train tracks to try and get Fluttershy to stay.

AJ, "I've got my fashionable but functional hiking boots." Did AJ just say fashionable? Did they mess up the dialogue or is Rarity finally rubbing off on her?

And Pinkie mentions the Pony eating Yeti on the way up.

Big whispering, "Nope, yep." -_-

Just one question, WHY do Spike and Big Mac WANT the god of chaos to hang out with them? Inviting a bear into your house is safer.

I seriously doubt Luna and Celly actually had a meeting with the god of chaos.

Spike and Big Mac play D&D with ONLY themselves?

I wonder when Big Mac and Spike got a chance to... ya know... BOND and actually socialize with each other. IN PARTICULAR when Big Mac is almost as socially withdrawn as Fluttershy, and Spike unless forced into such a situation, doesn't actively seek out making friends who aren't Twilight's friends.

And I'm reminded of the video where Bill Cipher is depicted as alone in his domain (before we met his minions), where he replicates and play acts with himself, but in the end, it's just him doing glorified hand puppetry.

There's TWO 'rowdy' places in Ponvyille? That one and a half more than I thought there'd be.

And given how many feminine traits Spike has picked up over the year due to Twilight the mane six being the main ponies he hangs out, I'm SURPRISED he not only knows what a guy's night is, or that he desires one or knows how to do one.

"Hmmmm, are you Matilda?"


"Those were the days." You just mentioned when you brainwashed Big Mac's sister after rubbing her beliefs in her face, and tortured Spike's surrogate mother though her best friends. And called it 'those were the days.' Someone needs to tell Discord that mentioning that stuff just because those particular people aren't around STILL isn't necessarily okay!

Do I want to know what the mane-cat thing was?

And personally? I DON'T THINK DISCORD HAS AN IMAGINATION! Why? Because whatever he wants, etc, he just snaps his fingers, and boom, there it is. He never NEEDED to imagine something, he just chaoses it into existence!

And Ogres and Oubliettes makes the jump from the quasi-canon of the comics, to be actual canon in the show. Cool.

I ran a Dungeons and Dragons campaign for YEARS... but I couldn't find anyone in real life to play with, so I ended up doing it online... it gave me a reason to actually clean my desk too. Sadly, I was kinda traumatized out of it when I ended up gravely insulting one of my players with something I thought was water under the bridge and what I apologized for they didn't even care about. And I bit off more than I could chew with my epicness. And I made the mistake of handing off the map of landmass to someone else which mangled how I imagined it.

Discord's reaction... doesn't he know it stopped being 'trendy' to think of Dungeon and Dragons as 'evil' or 'only for losers who can't find date' for ... well, at least ten years?

And they're using the cutie mark table to play O&O.

Spiketopia. So Spike's Oubliette Overseer, got it.

Smarity... you think Spike would at least make Rarity an Alicorn in his fantasy world.

This makes those fanfics where Spike would rather read comics than play D&D rather awkward, unless he was faking.

Discord, "Fear not, your romantic delusions are safe with me." Okay, now Discord is just being mean.  

Level 30? Did Spike create that characters right at level 30? Or are they play *GASPS IN HORROR* D&D-4E!!!! AAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!! *runs away screaming*

Better known as Munchkin Land, and I don't mean the ones from Oz!

I'm pretty sure the game didn't include stats for Draconequi!

I think we're not getting imaginary pictures of the adventure game, because Discord isn't into the game, so he can't appreciate the adventure.

Discord REALLY REALLY doesn't get the idea of 'pretend', it's actually kinda sad.

And yeah, I've had players like him before, sadly.

And Discord, being Discord, doesn't comprehend the 'just a game' justification when he's the one not using it.

I can't believe Spike and Big Mac are genre blind enough to take ANYTHING Discord says NOT literally. Then again he doesn't give them a chance.

If Big Mac's character is a unicorn, doesn't that mean he doesn't have near infinite stamina and super strength?

And Discord's interpretation of the game world is lousy. All the giant dice about? What does that have to do with the in-game world at all?

And.... instead of freakin' out, Spike and Big Mac love being zapped into their characters and being in the game world. I imagine this isn't the reaction Discord had in mind.

Big Mac gets the telekinesis down fast! Guess the practice in the dream world as Prince Mac paid off.

And like typical PCs in a game world, they spent a minute trashing the place for fun.

My only real regret for this episode?

We're at 14:45 and only have about six or less minuets left for them to actually do the adventure and rescue Princess Smarity from the Squidizard and save Spiketopia!

While Discord is obviously cheating, since he made the game world, shouldn't he then be trapped as his blondie archer character with them too?

You can tell Discord didn't give his all with this, then again, that's because he's MOCKING Big Mac and Spike's hobby rather than trying to create a true adaption of it.

Uh, I'm not sure if Discord rolling the dice is fair... then again, if it's an ATTACK role for the skeletons instead of a defense roll for Big Mac.

Sigh. A newbie-DM whose also a killer-DM, is there a worse combination for a player to face?

I'd say this is a artificial pocket world than an alt world.

And that's it?! The entire selling line of the entire episode? And it's just that?! Geeze! Feels kinda like a waste.

Discord, "I'm supposed to feel sorry for you, because I'm me, and you're you!" Discord, evil or not, he's still a jerk.

So RD is a rouge/assassin, and Pinkie Pie is a bard, so that is settled.

Rarity, AJ, and Twilight and Fluttershy don't join in though.

Though I do regret we never saw Princess Smarity.

Meh. At least it was fun in the end.

I guess this episode a pass, I'm a D&D nut, so I can't hate it.

Positive.
  • Listening to: Pony POV Series
  • Reading: Pony POV Series
  • Watching: Pony POV Series
  • Drinking: nothing
521 deviations
Session 32.0 Grogar-the-oneser

(Two humiliating hour later.)

"HAHAHAHAHA," Trixie shouted with a derange grin, "I defeated you this time, no more tricks, no more planning, just pure force."

"Trixie... you scare me," Applejack said.

"Also slightly inaccurate as you did use one trick," Fluttershy pointed out.

Trixie had used her character to purposely insult fictional yaks and telling them Villainous Vile purposely insulted their mothers by saying they were not perfect. As you can imagine it did not end well for Villainous Vile. (Twilight only prayed that the Yak Embassy didn't hear about this stereotyping).

"Still at least we finally defeated Twilight," Pinkie said.

"Uh, don't you mean Villainous Vile?" Fluttershy asked.

"Yep, you sure did," Twilight said with a grin.

"...Why are you smiling?" Trixie asked with a frown.

"Do you know what a pyrrhic victory is?"

"That's where victory inflicts such a devastating toll on the victor that it is tantamount to defeat." Rarity said with a frown.

"Yep, now think of how much your reputation has been tattered after trying to catch the guy," Twilight said. "Especially to the king in the capital, a capital by the way still hunting for the group that attacked that guard."

Trixie eye twitched as she turn to glare at Rainbow. "Err.... again sorry about that," Rainbow said with a weak chuckle. Trixie;s response was to tackle Rainbow.

+

"Hmm.... should we stop them?" Spike asked as he was sitting next to Starlight.

"Nah, let the others do it, besides Trixie need to vent some frustration out anyway," Starlight answered.

"True enough, by the way pass the popcorn."

Session 32.1 Alex Warlorn

Sugarcoat, Indigo Zap, and Sour Sweet were still keeping an eye on Lemon Zest, and Sunny Flare in case they tried to immigrate to Magic Pony Land again... even if that meant hanging out every night.

"Why isn't this wonderful!" Chirped Sour Sweet, then snarled. "Werecars, you just had to give her the idea for werecars!"

It was a generally accepted rule at Crystal Prep, never ever ask Sour Sweet if she'd taken her medication. While it was a sour and humiliating subject for her, which for CP students meant smelling blood in the water, it was like taunting a dragon, and it was a matter of debate if Sour Sweet actually took medication for her bipolar attitude or not, even the four other girls she'd begun hanging out with unconsciously, weren't sure of the truth.

"What are you complaining about?" Indigo Zap laughed. "We got onto a roof fine, and we've got enough ammunition to last all night!"

"You can say that again!" Lemon Zest said, playing 'Highway To the Danger zone' on her walkman. "Evil lycanthrope cars are still cars! We're raking in the kills!"

"Correct me if I am wrong, but don't we get more experience for curing them?" Sugarcoat asked. "All we need to do is pierce their front tires with silver darts, which I brought plenty of I might add. Or simply call them by their Christian names."

"You're making those up!" Lemon Zest insisted.

Sugarcoat pushed up on her glasses. "Not in the least. Those are accepted and in the rules ways of curing werewolves."

"And we're STUCK mindlessly rolling attack dice for however long this last! It's boring!" Sour Sweet complained.

Sunny Flare was like a zombie. Her beautiful comeback had been turned into a turkey shoot. But she was not beaten yet. She looked up a sound effect on her phone, and played it.

That sound, was all the Shadowbolts needed to hear, to know things had just turned nasty.

"Okay! Everyone be on the look out for a blue boom-box!" Lemon Zest said.

"How is that even a DISGUISE anymore? Who still USES boomboxes?!" Sour Sweet protested.

"Hey!"

"I wouldn't worry about that." Sunny Flare said.

= Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance OST - I'm My Own Master Now =

"Before your eyes, the cars transform, becoming robotic quadruped, with sharp claws, swinging tails, and sharp teeth. They all howl at the moon with a metallic echo! They begin to climb up the walls, leaping from window ledge to window ledge, determined to add you to their numbers, or end you."

"Exciting enough for you?" Sugarcoat asked.

"YES!" Sour Sweet snarled, a huge grin on her face. "Bring it on!"

Sugarcoat idly wondered how the Wonderbolt's star athlete was doing with her poor grades.

Session 32.2 Grogar-the-oneser

"Hey, since the front wheel option is out due to transformation not to mention we have no bloody idea what their real names were, was there a third cure," Indigo Zap said.

"Yes, A Sicilian belief of Arabic origin holds that a werewolf can be cured of its ailment by striking it on the forehead or scalp with a knife," Sugarcoat said in her usual tone of voice.

"Really? cool," Sour sweet said. "Dips on the scalping by the way!"

Session 32.3 Alex Warlorn (spoilers for this week's episode)

Cadence knew what was coming that weekend the moment Thorax officially became the first changeling subject of the Crystal Empire.

She wasn't that surprised when Chrysalis under guard (since they weren't stupid enough to leave her without one) stormed into Cadence's audience chamber.

"I WANT THE TRAITOR BROUGHT BEFORE ME IN CHAINS SO I CAN FEAST ON HIS BLOOD AND DISPLAY HIS EMPTY CARAPACE BEFORE THE HIVE AS A WARNING TO ALL WHO'D OPPOSE ME!" Chrysalis calmed herself. "Oh excuse me, thinking of our next RP session, it's my turn for Dungeon Master you know, what I meant to say is that I can't wait for Thorax to return to the swarm so we can give him a proper warm changeling welcome. Poor thing is obviously suffering from some genetic abnormality, my own fault really for not getting him the help he needed right after he hatched."

Session 32.4 Grogar-the-oneser

"No," Cadance said.

"I WILL BREAK YOUR WINGS IF YOU DON'T GIVE ME THAT PATHETIC- ahem. Come now I know you're still sore about the invasion thing, so why would you keep a changeling in your kingdom?"

"I realized that what you did to me shouldn't make me prejudice to all changelings who want to live peacefully," Cadence said.

Chrysalis' eye twitch.

"Very well, but know this. I will make your life miserable for this later on, you won't know how, you won't know when, but you will suffer," Chrysalis growled.

Session 32.5 Grogar-the-oneser

- Back in Ponyville -

"I don't understand the point of this RPG, why would you play this?" Thorax questioned.

"For fun," Spike said.

"I kinda get that, but pretending to be someling else? How is this different from being a normal Changeling?" Thorax questioned.

"For several reason, now if we were LARPing then I can say you definitely have a point but RPGs are different enough that I think you will enjoy it," Spike explained.

"Alright i'll give it a shot.... quick question though."

"What that?"

"What the heck LARPing?" Thorax questioned.

Session 32.6 Ardashir


"You know... LARPing!"

Thorax looked clueless. Spike scratched his head.

"That's when you roleplay, but instead of doing it around a table, with dice and pencils and paper, you do it like you were acting?"

"Oh." Thorax seemed to get it. "Like what Queen Chrysalis had some of us doing after we lost the Battle of Canterlot!" Thorax changed, turning into a dewy-eyed Shining Armor. He said in an awful imitation of the stallion's voice, "Oh, Queen Chrysalis, I should have stayed with you! You're so much better than that skanky old alicorn Cadence! She's just going to get fat and lose her looks one day!"

"Okay," Spike said with a shudder. "I think that was enough."

Session 32.7 Alex Warlorn

Spike The Dog sighed. It was late at night. Having been uplifted to sapience by random magic, he was still a dog. Which meant he according to paper work, was still a pet, and still had all the rights of one. He was split if him being able to speak would get him on talk shows, or get him vivisected. While humans weren't stupid enough to stand like target-dummies when a Nightmare was throwing fireballs around, they were likely to brush off a girl with wings as a cosplayer.

On the bright side, at least it meant he still had all the responsibilities that came with being a pet. IE, none. Which meant he could play World of Horsecraft while the others were saving Rainbow Dash from her own bad grades. He was still stuck with Purple Pup as a mare, since Twilight still refused to pay for the micro-transactions to make her a stallion, and Spike was NOT about to start from scratch!

His martial-artist earth pony mare trotted through Ponvyille where it was late at night in the game world too. Not as many players on as during the busy hours. Since the release of the Reigns of Chaos expansion, rumors were circulation that Discord was going to become a roving mob, but hopefully none of the game designers were that stupid. The next expansion... assuming it ever came out of course, no MMO stayed king forever, had not revealed anything besides the trailer for defeating Discord. Of course there were hacking who said they had 'free tickets' into the beta zone of the crystal empire zone where the majority of the expansion would take place.

Hopefully the Princesses wouldn't get kidnapped, brainwashed, or sealed away in this one.

He checked the list, none of the Guild or his online buddies were online.

Maybe he should log off? Or maybe just do some grinding or farming. One good thing about being a talking dog, he could grind a lot more than his human teammates. Sure he might have lied a little about being being the legal age to play the game, but in dog years...

With little better to do, Spike rode a train to where the Crystal Empire was 'prophesied' to appear, or at least, the edge of the Equestria map where the frozen wasteland would hopefully become available to explore. It was nice to visit once, but nothing to really keep anyone here yet.

That was he spotted a strange black and teal colored pony-like insect mob. This was new. Maybe this was something that got accidentally patched from beta-testing? What was that command for screen capture again!? Imagine the stir he'd cause on the forums!

When one teal colored flash of flame later... he was looking at a character that looked just like his? Was this a doppelganger fight? Then another flash and there was a blue earth pony looked to be made of glass.

Purple Pup looked up at the character's name above its head.

-CrystalHoof- Hadn't it said something different before?

Then CrystalHoof SPOKE "Uh, hi. I didn't expect anyone else to be out this late at night."

Was this an NPC?

"Uh, hey, I didn't either." PurplePup responded. "What are you doing here?"

"Uh, just, just seeing the sights."

"Hey! I know you! You're one of the crystal ponies aren't you?" Some hacker called Shadow5 had leaked some concept art.

"Huh?! Oh right right! That's what I am! Crystal Pony I am! I'm CrystalHoof, and you are?"

"Uh, I'm PurplePup."

"Well, uh, nice to meet you, PurplePup... Uh, would you like to go on a quest? There's a quick and easy fetch quest nearby that doesn't need a whole party to get done."

"Sure, sound like fun." Maybe he was an NPC, maybe he was a modder, but it wasn't like Spike was doing anything else. And this as a non-PK area anyway.

The fetch quest involved just collecting some gems from an underground cavern that was half frozen over, and dealing with some random mobs, nothing truly dangerous, and the reward was just gold bits.

As they had split up the reward, Crystalhoof gasped.

"I NEED TOGOBYE!" And Crystalhoof froze up like a statue, staring out at nothing. PurplePup did the emotica to wave a hoof in front of his face, and nothing. Then the character just vanished.

In the real world, Thorax looked up, hoping he'd force quit the program in time.

Vice Company President Chrysalis glared down at Thorax. "You're not taking that new experimental tribe for a joy ride are you?"

"N-no!"

"Good. Ugh! The changeling tribe is too overpowered to be in player's hands. Able to change into any other tribe and even into objects? Not to mention the enslavement hexes. It would be a game breaker if players got their hands on it. It was designed for play-testing the new areas AND for admins only."

"You know if you just lowered the combat stats, and gave a bigger cool down to their shape shifting, I think they'd actually be a playable-"

"Are you a game designer now Thorax?" Chrysalis asked with no smile on her face.

"No."

"Good. Then go to bed. Kevin is already asleep." Chrysalis didn't know Kevin had been able to keep the existence of his own changeling PC TealGoodBadBug secret from her.

"Yes mam."

In the real world, Spike was curious, he made a point to visit this area at the same time later to see if Crystalhoof would 'respawn.'

Session 32.8 Grogar-the-oneser

"Are you sure you want me to buy every last copyright of 'Alicorn Princesses' with your money Cadence?" Gaffer asked.

"Yes, I need somepony I trust to change all the Cadence cards to show the real me, plus this gives me a excuse to use my baby to BLAST THEIR COMPANY TO OBLIVION!" Cadence shouted.

"... You do realize I'm only buying the game's copyright, not the group that makes it."

"Oh... never-mind," Cadence said as she walked away slightly embarrassed.

"Yeesh, if that was just from a card game, I'd hate to see how she'd react to a video-game version of her," Gaffer muttered.

+

(In Another Reality)

"Hmm..."

"Something wrong boss, aside from that guy who let the crystal pony art-leak happen I mean?" Game Designer Discord asked.

"No... just feeling a strange sense of a massive future head-ache," Company President Sombra muttered.


Session 32.9 Mtangalion


A hoofball flew through the air. It landed on the roof of Sugarcube Corner, then rolled down and bounced off Gilda's head before landing in her outstretched talons.

Pipsqueak, Rumble, and Button Mash came galloping after the ball. They skidded to a stop and gaped up at the griffon looming over them. Gilda glowered at the colts, then patted Pipsqueak on the head, returned their ball, and went back to eating her ice cream.

At another outdoor table, Kevin the changeling shook his head. "Ponyville is getting stranger and stranger these days."

Alisa the Diamond Wolf wagged her floofy tail thoughtfully. "You said it."

Thorax, the other changeling, relaxed a little more and ate his peanut brittle. "I could get used to this."



Later, inside Twilight's crystal palace, Thorax was absolutely enthralled by one of the gaming machines, and not just because of the monitor's bright flickering light. "This World of Horsecraft is absolutely amazing!"

Spike grinned, nudging his new friend with an elbow. "I know, right? You can be whatever you want."

Thorax worked the keyboard and mouse with his magic, flying his new pegasus character to the next questing hub. "Technically, I'm still a changeling pretending to be a pony, but in the game world I'm a pony the same as any other pony!"

Alisa chuckled. "Good for you, but Alisa prefers to be wolf pretending to be wolf pretending to be pony!"

Thorax blinked at her. "There's Diamond Wolves in the game too?"

Spike shrugged. "Not right now, but a little birdie's been hinting that there might be a big surprise at the next CrystalCon."

Alisa growled, shaking her head. "Alisa's pony is secretly a wolf in game world. It's her RP backstory!" She pointed at her own computer screen. "I downloaded roleplaying mod and everything!"

Spike rolled his eyes. "Riiight, and Helping Claw is secretly a dragon in a griffon-suit."

Alisa beamed, putting a foreleg around him. "See? You're a good roleplayer already! Now you just need tragic backstory."

Session 32.10 Mtangalion


President Sombra had always wanted to start a meeting in his swivel chair, facing away from the table, before dramatically spinning to face his minions. He never could get it quite right, though. Like today, for instance, when his chair spun a quarter turn too far, and he had to awkwardly get it facing the right way while Discord glanced at his watch and Chrysalis expertly hid her smirk behind her smart phone.

"You may have noticed," Sombra began, "that the forums are completely jammed with posts demanding that we add talking yaks as a playable race. Talking. Yaks. Oh, and get this... If the imaginary yaks aren't perfect... these posters will 'destroy' our servers." He threw his arms wide, making a "Bwhoosh!" sound. "Does anyone want to explain how this happened?" he snarled. "Anybody at all?!"


-- one month ago --


Flam and Flam waved through a portal to... another Flim and Flam, who gave them matching thumbs-up gestures.

Flim turned back to Prince Rutherford with his million-bit smile. "You're all set! Thanks to the artificial mirror portal that you're leasing from us..."

Flam stepped forward. "The proud yaks of Yakyakistan now have access to the human Internet!"

"At a low monthly cost..."

"Conveniently payable in precious gems!"

"Plus a small overage if you exceed your monthly data cap."

"But honestly, how often would that ever happen?"


-- back in the present --


Princess Twilight Sparkle paced in front of two con-ponies, currently locked up in the basement of her castle, a place that she had tried and failed to prevent ponies from referring to as her 'Friendship Dungeon.'

"You *built* a portal to *another world*," she ranted. "The secrets of Starswirl's mirror have been lost for ages. Your invention might... just might be a scientific marvel *unequaled* in our century. And you used it to enable yaks to play a *video game*... so you could *scam* them. What! is! wrong with you two!!?"

Session 32.11 Grogar-the-oneser


"Technically we didn't make it so much as... contained it," Flim stated.

"Indeed, we saw a strange portal showing a world of weird bipeds so we decided to contain it."

"You contained it," Twilight deadpanned, but inwardly wonder if they were talking about Midnight Sparkle's portal rampage.

"Yes, after we contained the rogue magic, we remembered your friend Rainbow bragging that you royals had a magic mirror for a different world so we decided to do that."

"Are you telling me you used a spell created by an unknown source and forced it into a mirror to see if you could replicate what you heard from Rainbow Dash's bragging... I don't know whether to be impress or angry."

"Well whatever you are, I can tell you it was the best decision cause we met the greatest pair since us..."

"You met yourselves didn't you," Twilight said deadpanned (again).

"Yep, and we made a perfect plan."

+

In the human Flim and Flam's store there are plans of using the mirror, introducing it to suckers and finally a picture of them holding LOTS of money.

+

"Yes, those were good time," Flim stated.

"Indeed so, now that we got that settle, free us from this dungeon," Flam said.

"IT'S NOT A DUNGEON, IT'S MY BASEMENT!" Twilight snapped.

"Then why are we shackled?"

"To make sure you don't run as I explain the risk of opening portals all willy-nilly without realizing how dangerous that could be," Twilight said pulling out a huge book. "Chapter 1, 'So you made a portal.'"

"HELP!!" the Flim Flam brothers screamed.

"Do you hear something?" Starlight asked as she, Discord, Gilda and Trixie were playing poker upstairs.

"No," the other three said.

Session 32.12 Kendell2

"Patty cake, patty cake, baker's mare, back me a cake as fast as you can..." Cadence said, doing the motions with Flurry Heart. She then turned to Thorax and let him do the same.

The Changeling followed the same motions with the little filly who giggled as he did so. "This is fun..." he admitted, being glad Cadence TRUSTED him enough to be around her daughter...even if having someone watch. Baby steps.

Cadence nodded. Admittedly, Chrysalis wanting to publicly execute Thorax for being a traitor had made it much easier to accept him. "Flurry Heart seems to like you, and being around her might help you."

"It is, thank you..."

There was a knock on the door. "Oh, one second..." she said, looking to Sun Burst, who nodded.

Cadence headed over the door, Thorax proceeding to continue playing patty cake with the filly.

However, the filly then noticed something...

Opening the door, Cadence blinked, finding Sun Burst staring at her. "Sun Burst?"

"Hello, Princess. You called me to keep an extra eye on Flurry Heart and Thorax's visit?" the unicorn asked...then blinked. "What?"

Cadence pointed her horn, preparing to grab what she was certain was an impostor given the LAST time a Changeling infiltrator had tried this stunt...

Only to hear a scream.

She turned to see Flurry Heart grab Thorax and throw him a surprising distance...right out of the way of a concealed dagger being swung at him in 'Sun Burst's' telekinesis.

The fake Sun Burst blinked in confusion...before having his hoof grabbed by the filly. "...I knew this was going to end badly..."

Cadence cringed as Flurry Heart let out a tantrum and proceeded to slam the Changeling overhead into the ground behind her, repeatedly, before hurling him into the wall hard enough to make an imprint.

"...And that is why we haven't had you put those Earth Pony strength limiters on her yet..." Cadence admitted.

Flurry Heart went over to Thorax. "Thanks..." the startled Changeling replied, giving a smile. Flurry Heart booped his nose and giggled, then held out a hoof to prompt another game of patty cake.

"Ow..." moaned the infiltrator.

---

"What do you mean you're suspending my right to have an embassy in the Empire if you find one more infiltrator in your castle trying to harm your subjects?!" Chrysalis questioned. "I told you, random Changeling acting alone!"

"Once is a random event, twice is a coincidence, three times is a pattern," Cadence replied. "Be glad we're still having our game tonight..."

Chrysalis grumbled. "Fine, like I care one Changeling defected anyway...your move."

Session 32.13 Alex Warlorn

"Alright girls!" Twilight said. "I've been thinking. We've had way too many giant groups for our games lately. And too many 'wacky' adventures."

"Too many?" Rainbow Dash asked. "It's been over a month since we played Teenagers from Outspace!"

"Yes, and with such a large group, it's proven harder and harder to get everypony together to play."

"We have our teams split in two so you and Spike can both handle the work load!"

"Yes, but the fact remains that it seems like its gotten harder and harder to progress. So I thought we should go back to a small group of just me and the five of you."

"What about Spike?" AJ asked.

"He said he wanted to do some Ogres and Oubliettes Classic with ... a friend."

"Ah see..."

"So we are gonna be killing monsters and taking their stuff again?" Rainbow Dash eagerly for some straight vanilla dungeon crawling.

"I have a better idea!"

There were groans.

"Now now! This is another one my brother made! And I happen to like it! Legacy of the Cosmic Heroes!"

"Oh! Is this like Power Ponies?" Rainbow now grinned. She hated to admit it, but living the adventures had gotten her interested in the comics, which was likely the point.

"Nope! It's about cosmic space battles between the republic and the empire."

"So we get giant robots again?!" Pinkie Pie hopped in place.

"Nope. This is slightly more 'hard edge' science fiction. That means no aliens, no giant robots with silly attack names, and... I guess it does have faster than light travel. But the point is that the focus is on the ponies, not some giant robot."

"Well...I guess that can be interestin'." Applejack admitted.

Rainbow Dash snorted.

"Now now girls." Twilight smiled. "Me and BBBFF wrote the back story together. The Republic and the Empire are not as black and white as they first seem. And..." Twilight dropped a book on the table that make the entire room shake. The other ponies suddenly felt very worried. "There's a lot of back story and complexity to this world! Let me share some with you to get you up to speed."

'Some' of infinity is still infinity, as the ponies soon discovered as Twilight reading off about crumbling empires and corrupted from within republics and complex political situations just stretched, and stretched for eternity.

'Some' time later, Twilight said, "And that should about cover the basics. Uh, girls?"

Rainbow Dash was snoring with her head on the table.

Applejack looked like her brain had broken down.

Fluttershy was doing her best to smile, but kept fidgeting.

Rarity was grinning at the mere idea of such a massive space opera full of such charming and handsome characters and political intrigue.

Pinkie Pie stared in perfect understand and comprehension of everything Twilight Sparkle had said.

"Uh, Rainbow Dash, Applejack, Fluttershy, would you like to sit this one out?"

"YES!" They all said together.

"Oh, okay then."

Session 32.14 BrutalityInc

Looking back, Shining Armor and Twilight wasn’t overly surprised at Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash and Applejacks’ cold reception to their epic space opera campaign.

Fluttershy never liked anything military related (her derailing of Shining Armor and his gaming friends’ “Whoops! Apocalypse” game notwithstanding). Rainbow Dash never demonstrated any appreciation for works with higher complexity than ‘hot-blooded action and adventure!’. Applejack is more interested in tales of personal, down-to-earth struggles and tribulations… although something told Twilight Applejack was somehow also personally peeved by the whole premise, particularly some of the central themes.

For the record, Twilight doesn’t mind if some of her friends doesn’t share the same interests as she did. No-pony is perfect, after all, and she was not going to force anypony to enjoy the things she enjoyed, even if Starlight Glimmer had once, before her redemption, insisted that this sort of thing would had been a recipe for conflict, and she could make it all perfect by equalizing everypony and eliminating differences in opinions.

They reckoned that only very few ponies, most likely hardcore sci-fi fans, would even pay attention to such a work if word got out. To their surprise, however, many more ponies, both gamers or otherwise, actually liked it then they expected, and gave it high praises once Shining decided to publish a special edition issue on it in the gaming magazine ‘Yellow Dwarf’, and revealed plans to publish it as its own tabletop game.

Many of these ponies are players who are normally academicians of various fields, working professionals, university students, literary critics, and others with high standards who would otherwise never touch science fiction, had not for ‘Legacy of Cosmic Heroes’ drawing them into the genre and making them come around in their opinions, showing that it is possible for that genre to reach artistic levels of more 'respectable' genres.

They all cited the sheer depth of its themes, setting, characters and overall story-line as part of its main appeal, noting how well constructed the universe was compared to most of the mainstream products, with careful attention to detail that made every aspect of its composition – from the futuristic technologies and military organizations, down to the interstellar politics, the planetary cultures, and social attitudes of the denizens living there - relevant to the campaign story, rather than just gimmicks added on to make the setting more flavour.

It conveyed a sense of scale and history, able to make players believe that they are partaking in an epic struggle for the future of sentient-kind.

Others liked its storytelling audacity, with its willingness to explore themes and ideas through a futuristic context that ponies would normally be uncomfortable with – that of clash between incompatible beliefs, the corruption of ideals, moral ambiguity with no clear right or wrong, the horrors of war, all through a space opera story which chronicled military conflict on a galactic scale, intrigues in the highest levels of government, plots and conspiracies that could span centuries, and battle of wits and skills between great leaders wishing to control the course of history.

None were more enthusiastic than the Royal Guards and military fans. There had been letters which asked her and her big brother to expand it into a proper epic space opera novel series.

Shining Armor, for his part, is really considering it, and finishing a campaign with Twilight’s friends and his friends would go far in helping him writing it out.

“In hindsight, we should had expected Pinkie’s character would pull a hair-brained scheme like this to capture Isohorn.” Cherry Fizzy, playing as an imperial fleet admiral, commented as he read through the notes of the previous session.

“Well, Isohorn is a space fortress that sat in one of only two navigable star routes between the Free Worlds Republic and the Grand Galactic Empire, one of ten others in Imperial territory” Noteworthy murmured in agreement, “I mean, we’re talking about a spherical artificial planetoid 60 km in diameter, armed arcane beam cannon with several hundred million megawatts worth of power capable of wiping out whole fleets at nearly a million km range, and is protected by an impregnable ‘living’ armour of enchanted liquid hydro-metal animated by neo-golemantic magic to act like the Smooze. Add a garrison of a fleet over 20,000 strong and 2 million troops, it’s practically unassailable by the conventional assaults that the FWA had been attempting for the past few decades.”

“So, where brute strength fails, Pinkie’s guile and trickery prevails. Still, I don’t understand how she did it…” Rarity muttered, rubbing her forehead.

It did involve false-fleet movements, infiltrators disguised as imperial troops, a computer virus, and other implements and deeds that didn’t make a lot of sense until they were used. But it worked, and half the imperial fleet garrison got wiped out by their own super-weapon when they tried to retake the fortress, forcing the remainder to flee back to imperial territory.

“In any case, now that Isohorn fortress has fallen, I fully anticipate that the Republic would make good of this once in a century-and-a-half opportunity to invade the Empire’s territory, and perhaps even win the war. However, I have a plan to throw them back.”

“And what plan do you have in mind, milady ‘Edel von Minnesänger’, the ever radiant and victorious Fleet Admiral of the Imperial Armada?” Meadow Song Inquired Rarity, his tone playfully dramatic.

“Now, now, dear sir, let’s not get too flashy with undeserved praise. My character’s only newly appointed by the old kaiserin, after all. And only because my character’s noble brother is the old kaiserin’s partner and therefore in her favour.” Rarity said.

Then Rarity began, “Given the scale of imperial territory, it would take hundreds of thousands of ships and tens of millions of soldiers just to be able to hold onto even a fraction of it. Now, I admit I don’t know much about military tactics as a real-life seamstress, but I know such huge forces requires enormous amounts of support, and if they advanced too deep, too quickly, this would come in very long supply lines.”

“Very observant!” Shining Armor, the GM, was admittedly impressed that Rarity picked this up. “And given the maps, these supply lines would go into hundreds of light years.”

“I am a business mare; I understand logistics.” Rarity boasted, “In any case, to buy time for the Empire to ready a proper defence, slowing down the Republic invasion is a simple matter of attacking their supply lines with hit and run attacks, forcing them to divert needed fleets to guard their rear. And when their logistics and their already thinly stretched forces reaches a breaking point, that’s when we’ll make our counterattack.”

“But the Republic would simply procure resources from Imperial territory to support their war effort.” Meadow Song pointed out.

“I accounted for this; in response, I would also implement a scorch-earth policy during the imperial retreat.” Rarity explained.

“WHAT?!” Caramel exclaimed, horrified by the idea. The others held similarly queasy looks, even if they agree with the military logic behind it, “But what about the imperial citizens left behind - !”

“I know. Admittedly, it’s horrid to leave them behind with little to nothing, but it’s the only effective way to deny the Republic any infrastructure or materials of value.”

“Also… this might work to our advantage.” Cherry Fizzy interjected, “If the Republic are eventually forced to get their supplies from the populace, they might turn on their would-be ‘liberators’ and weaken their hold on occupied territories even further. Not to mention the propaganda coup it would be for the Imperials, ‘exposing the hypocrisy’ of the Republic, destroying their morale while boosting ours…”

In the end, it was agreed and implemented. Shining Armor the GM, or ‘Space Historian’ in this case, of the Imperial players did the necessary calculations, and came up with the results.

“For most part, the preparations goes smoothly. But the Imperial nobles denounced the strategy, calling it cowardly for not having the imperial navy to meet the ‘plunderers and barbarians’ of the Republic and pressured the throne for a decisive battle to be fought, or else have Fleet Admiral Edel removed from command for ‘incompetence’.”

Rarity seethed at this development. The imperial aristocracy had the gall to call her character incompetent, when they themselves is largely responsible for the Empire’s decline with their decadence and tyranny? She’ll have half a mind to have them purged, if the chance ever revealed itself later in the campaign.

Plus, it would work with her character Edel’s backstory, a Byronic heroine who found herself wronged by the Goldenbalm Dynasty that ruled the Empire, with the old kaiserin forcing her brother to become her favourite escort…

“Very well, a battle they shall have.” Rarity declared, “And I think I know the best place to do so. When the time comes, let’s lure one of the Republic’s fleets into the Nebula Wastes of the Charybdis Starzone…”

= = =

A dragonfire mail popped in mid-air before Twilight, the ‘Space Historian’ GM for the Republic players. She opened and read it, briefly turning her attention away from the scene Pinkie was making.

“I thought taking that big shiny ball-shaped space castle would get the Empire and the Republic to stop fighting.” Pinkie muttered sadly, slightly deflated upon hearing the latest developments. “I didn’t think they’ll put me and my fleet in charge of it, just so they could use it to go party-pooper on the rest of the Empire and make the war last longer!”

“There, there, it’s alright. What you did makes sense, all things considered.” Gizmo reassured her, patting her in the back, “With Isohorn taken, the Empire is wide-open to invasion, leaving its defenses wide open and its situation untenable. The long war had already stretched the Republic and Imperial societies to breaking point, so it would had been the perfect time to negotiate a ceasefire and peace treaty to finally end the 150 years long conflict.”

“But as always, politics gets in the way for sane military strategy.” Gaffer noted cynically. Indeed, the lore has the republican government being a bloated, dysfunctional mess by that point. It came to no surprise that the corrupted politicians leading it would want to press on with a military invasion of Imperial territory to drum up political support in the coming re-elections.

Pinkie sighed dismally. She had wanted to this campaign to end on a happy note, and perhaps turn it to a more lighthearted adventure. Instead, she had unwittingly made things worse, leading potentially to more bloodshed and fighting.

It seems reality doesn’t always conform to her or anypony’s expectations. And at the end of the day, her character is merely one pony in a serious future setting, swept up by the tides of history and circumstances far beyond her control like everypony else. She shouldn't had expected her actions would make as much difference, or will automatically make things better, as the heroic band of resistance fighters did in the Star Quest films with this more complex scenario.

Then again, even if she did derailed the campaign spectacularly, wouldn’t she be making a jest of all that effort Shining and Twilight put into making it? Or making a mockery of all the hardships and sacrifices the ponies who lived in that universe experienced, and those in real life who had it as bad?

She didn't know what to do.

But until she did, maybe she could still work to bring a better outcome than would had been possible, hopefully without breaking the setting in the process and making Twilight and Shining upset. That's the last thing she wanted to do right now...

“250,000 ships in 10 fleets, totaling 35 million enlisted troops, and they’ll rather leave it to some ambitious self-righteous commodore, with questionable cred and a stupid name, to do the planning?” 8-Bit asked incredulously.

“Well, he did have the leadership wrapped around his hoof with his over-enthusiastic support for the invasion.” Twilight explained, returning her attention to the table, “Corrupted politicians usually only listen to opinions that they want to hear. And as long as that happens, the invasion will happen, and on his terms.”

“It’s going to be a disaster from start to finish, mark my words. Not unless we do something about it.” 8-Bit rubbed his chin in thought, “The question is, what can we do? The Republic's military had to obey the edicts of the civilian government, even a foolish one. If we pull a coup or something, we’ll be no better than the founder of the Goldenbalm Dynasty centuries ago, who subverted the stagnant and crumbling Federation through military and politics from within and turned it into the Empire with himself as kaiser!”

“Well, we can’t stop the invasion, but that idiot is just a commodore. We can just have Fleet Admiral Mirth 'the Magician' here.” Gaffer said, referring to Pinkie's character s nickname, earned after taking Isohorn, “Or one of us normal admirals of higher rank to pull it on him when the time comes and make proper modifications to the plan.”

“Yes.” Gizmo began, “For one, we’ll need to advance a lot more slowly than originally planned, so we can consolidate our hold on occupied worlds without overstretching our supply lines and thinning our forces, while launching smaller scale raids up ahead to keep the Imperials too busy and distracted, responding to each attack as if it is the full brunt of the invasion. That way, it’ll make them too thin out and depleted in terms of ships and morale to make a proper defence when the real invasion comes…”

Pinkie’s expression brightened as a brainwave hit her, “Oh, oh! Also, we can also get those guys upstairs to send a lot of PR ponies – party-planners, iterators, propagandists and what not – to go with the fleets, to show the locals we’re not meanie invaders!”

“Oh yes, we’ll definitely need that!” 8-Bit noted. "Need to win hearts and minds, after all. Good thinking, Pinkie!"

Twilight could tell, even though this would happen only on tabletop space opera, that a clash of historical proportions is about to begin…
Ponies and Dragons XXXII (Just Have Fun)
This is a group-story/addventure/chain-story/round robin, fanfic 'story' of the Mane Six Plus Spike playing Dungeons and Dragons/Oubliettes and Ogres, with occasional guest players (like Trixie or Gilda), with Spike and Twilight rotating as Dungeon Master. It's intended to be an IN-CHARACTER comedy. 

Each post should be more self contained, if say (in game) Twilight is fire balled by a Mimic in one post in a desert pyramid, the next post can have them sailing a ship encountering seaponies siren expies, each one containing a short joke, or an extension of a previous scene if that's what the poster wants. Time skips, flash backs, the ponies rotating different characters and campaigns, are all allowed (and ENCOURAGED) as long as the ponies stay in character (such as Pinkie Pie NOT fireballing a cabbage sales stallion and saying she thought he was a demon, thank you very much).

Pinkie Pie, "And pretty please do not take anything personally! It's just a game!"

Rainbow Dash, "What did you say!?

What's you post in the comments, it's then copy and pasted into the fic above, have fun. 
IMPORTANT: WHEN MAKING A SUBMISSION POST IT AS A NEW COMMENT! 

Trope Page:
tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php…



Session 32.0 Grogar-the-oneser
Session 32.1 Alex Warlorn
Session 32.2  Grogar-the-oneser
Session 32.3  Alex Warlorn  (spoilers for this week's episode)
Session 32.4 Grogar-the-oneser
Session 32.5 Grogar-the-oneser
Session 32.6 Ardashir
Session 32.7 Alex Warlorn (Any MMO players want to continue this one?)
Session 32.8 Grogar-the-oneser
Session 32.9 Mtangalion
Session 32.10 Mtangalion
Session 32.11 Grogar-the-oneser
Session 32.12 Kendell2
Session 32.13 Alex Warlorn
Session 32.14 BrutalityInc


Cover image by Duskie-06 The Great and Powerful Jedi by Duskie-06 



MLPFiM Copyright Hasbro
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Manglion

Once again, Apple Bloom found herself floating through the aethereal void, then coming to rest on a path lined with floating images on both sides... the true Hall of Ascension. The velvet rope was there again, and her big sister, silver apple barding polished to perfection.

Apple Bloom grinned. "Weren't we just here?"

Princess Veritas smiled. "Maybe you were, in some other world. You do know, this is normally a one time deal?"

Apple Bloom nodded... and then she glanced right and left, and even turned around in a circle, seeming puzzled.

"Something the matter, sugarcube?" asked Veritas patiently.

"Ah kind of expected all the other me's to be here as well." Apple Bloom kept talking, waving her hooves in excitement. "It was amazing. Ah've been a nightfilly, and a mortal Alicorn, and everything in between! Wolf, Diamond Dog, griffon, dragon, human..." She grew thoughtful. "But all of those pieces are a part of me now... Ah'm all of them, together in one, and ever since that happened, Ah guess Ah've been toast in a toaster, just waiting to pop."

Veritas gathered her close, nuzzling. "Ah, know. Ah see them all in you, clear as day." She nodded firmly. "You're ready."

A spark of crimson magic formed into a cracked antique mirror, and a Nightmare Mirror stepped out of it. "There's no more time loop, young filly, and no more do-overs. You go in there, and you'll be shining your light of truth for this universe, and the one after it, and the one after that, forever and ever. All your Apple kin who died before you and die after, you don't *ever* get to rest with them in Pony Heaven."

A third Applejack stepped out of the shadows, really tall and lanky with small eyes. "But you can always visit," said Deconstruction, with a wink. "The Elders have to mind everything there ever is or was, but they ain't heartless. Ya might think that your ascension has been foreshadowed eight ways from Sunday and there's definitely no way out of that destiny now... but nothin's decided until it's decided! This is your choice and only yours, Apple Bloom."

A *fourth* Applejack appeared in a sparkling flash, with flutterpony wings and antenna and wearing a pretty dress. "Those three could give ya advice all the live long day, but no matter what ya think ya know about what being a Concept is like..." Princess Epiphany grinned. "Ah can guarantee, you're gonna be surprised!"

Apple Bloom raised an eyebrow. "Sis, how come all these different kinds of Truth are you? And what about Big Mac and Red Gala? Ah kinda remember their marks being on our Well of Truth too."

Veritas laughed warmly, then put a hoof to her lips. "Let them come to it in their own time, sis. They'll have their own adventures, their own Truths to discover." She glanced to one side. "And technically, the aspects aren't *all* Applejacks any more..."

A ghostly, barely visible pony approached. Apple Bloom, stared hard, then gasped, backing away. "F- Flummox?!

The shade sighed deeply. "I briefly was, and might again be, though I can still hope I will not be... Nightstallion Apocrypha, the Maddening Truth. I'm meant to speak words of encouragement or advice, I gather? Well, then..." He leaned closer. "Young one, it warms what remains of my heart that you aren't likely to repeat my mistakes. When ponies work and struggle and finally earn the truth for themselves, why, then they are already far more prepared to understand and accept that truth, and not be overwhelmed by it."

"Um, thanks. Ah guess. We'll try our best to save you in our world."

The shade smiled and faded away, a simple "Thank you" echoing in the aethereal void.

Apple Bloom looked at the Applejacks, then closed her eyes, weighting everything in her heart. Then she grinned from ear to ear. "How did you put it, sis? Ah'm as ready as Ah'm gonna be!"

Veritas grinned back, then unhooked the velvet rope and stepped aside, bowing and beckoning with a hoof.

Apple Bloom trotted on through, marveling at all the pictures of their Everfree adventures, many of which seemed to be video shot from their own video camera, wherever that had gotten to. The Alicorns and Nightmare followed, trotting on her left and right. "Hey, sis, do Ah get a song?"

Veritas chuckled. "If ya like. Why don't you start?"

Apple Bloom thought and thought, and suddenly knew just the one. "There's no place that I'd rather be!" she sang out. "Than travelin' with my family!"

Veritas fell into step with her, adding her voice. "Friends all around come to join and see as we shine our light eternally!"

Deconstruction and Epiphany joined in on the chorus, all of them trotting in sync. "We're Apples forever, Apples together! We're Family, but so much more! No matter what comes, we will stand together. We're Apples to the core!"

"Eeyup," added Nightmare Mirror. She slowed her walk and stayed behind, as the others went ahead into the warmest, most bright-shining Light there was...

MtangaLion

Apple Bloom found herself floating like in a dream, endlessly on and on, until her hooves came to rest on dusty stone. The filly opened her eyes and found herself standing on a barren grey rock, in a pitch-dark starry expanse. In the far distance, a light shone, so bright that the rock beneath her hooves seemed to boil, and her mane and shadow steamed behind her.

She opened her mouth to gasp and found nothing, not even air. She almost panicked, throwing out her... wings! ... to steady herself with. Her horn glowed orange, ready to cast a protective shield around her, but... "Oh my gosh!" she exclaimed, her voice making no sound, except in her head. "Alicorns don't need to breathe?"

"Welcome, Apple Bloom," spoke a second voice... how, she wasn't sure. It was a stallion's voice, deep and solid and kindly. "You Have Chosen To Take This Trial... But It Seems You Are Done Already? My, Wasn't That Easy?"

Apple Bloom blinked skeptically, lifting a forehoof, then nosing around in her head. "Ah don't really feel like a goddess."

"Do You Not Feel Calm and Clear-Headed, Beyond Anything You've Ever Known? Are You Not Supreme In Magic and Strength Of Body?"

Apple Bloom shook her head quickly. "This is like when Ah was a mortal Alicorn. Mah friends... Ah could feel it back then. They were on a whole other level from me."

"So You're Saying... That Being An Alicorn Is Not The Same As Being A Concept."

She hesitated, feeling like she was on the spot in front of her whole class at school. "Yes, sir."

"Correct." Colors flared, and the owner of the voice stepped into view... a tall, princely Alicorn stallion, with a black coat and a billowing mane that glowed every color of the rainbow.

Apple Bloom bowed without even thinking, horn pressed to the ground. "Are... are you the prince of Alicorns? No, you must be the king!"

The stallion chuckled. "I Could Be Considered Such, But I Prefer 'Father.' Come, Have A Closer Look."

The floating rock began to move, so far and fast that the stars shifted around them. The Light ahead filled all the sky, and Apple Bloom's eyes grew wide, trying to take it all in. It was... it looked like... all Creation. Countless galaxies and stars and nebula, with new souls constantly being born, steaming out to every world with life.

"Tell Me What You Think," said the Father of Alicorns.

She gulped. "It's beautiful! It's amazing, seeing how it all fits together! But..." She looked earnestly up at the stallion. "This isn't what Ah'm here for, is it? My special talent... my Truth... they're about making and building and discovering things, aren't they?"

"Very Good," said the Father. He lit his horn and wove a tapestry out of swirling rainbow threads of light, vast beyond even Bloom's new comprehension. "The Story Of Progress And Invention Is The Story Of Life. From The First Centaur To Sharpen A Stone Knife, The First Pony To Speak The Word 'Friend,' The First Seapony Who Ever Composed A Song, All The Way Unto The End Of Days."

The Father paced, keeping his eyes fixed on Apple Bloom. "For Long Ages In Your World, Progress Has Slept. Mortals Still Fear That Time, Even If They No Longer Remember It... The Time When The Ultimate Achievement Of Science And Magic Brought Together Wiped All Progress Away, Then Shattered Your World, Nearly Destroying It Altogether. But At Last, Change Is Coming. In Science." Floating images of Flim, Flam, Flummox, Twilight, and Dr. Moon Shadow appeared. "And Even To The Very Nature Of Ponykind." Thalia and Veritas appeared, and then more Alicorns, and more and more everywhere, crystal towers and cities springing up around them.

"You Can Guide This Transformation. Fate Opened This Door, and the Moon Lit Your Path. But... Do You WANT This, Young One? You Are Not Even A Mare Grown Yet, And This Not Some Toy Or Prize You Deserve Merely Because Your Sister Had It First." He stamped a hoof sternly... and the floating rock rung like a gong. "Even Unto To Very Moment When You Go Into My Wife To Be Unmade and Remade, There Is No Shame In Saying That You Are Not Ready, Or That You Did Not Want This After All."

Apple Bloom shivered, gazing at the tapestry. Even the red wolves that she created were in there, waiting for their goddess to be. "Ah... Ah'd be lying if Ah said Ah didn't have any doubts whatsoever. But to be the mind guiding all the hooves and claws and hands and fins working the greatest puzzle there ever was... Ah *do* want that!"

The Father leaned and nuzzled her. "We Had Better Start Studying For Your Exams, Then." The whole scene before Apple Bloom whirled away and became the Ponyville schoolyard, with the Father at the blackboard in the form of a ordinary school teacher, and her sitting in the sole desk. "Now then, Apple Bloom, I expect you to study hard and apply yourself! We have a lot to cover. There will be a pop quiz after the first decade!"

Alex Warlorn

Scootaloo did not look happy. She looking at the glowing white light of Apple Bloom ascending. She looked at the alien ponies. The time displaced pony. And countless other things that had come out of the woodwork from their endless nights. "Okay. Pinkie Pie and that surprisingly big brain of hers may not be confused but I am. I didn't think I'd ever have to think about all those alternate stuff we met on our journey ever again! But there's so much stuff here now to keep track of that I think I'm going to go bonkers! What about the shape shifting rock we met? Or freakin' Daring Do?! Whose a character in adventure books I might add! I think things would get LESS crazy now that... ugh. I don't think we slept AT ALL last night, and we had a bajillion nights, and I still have our homework to do I think! And agh! Will some pony please give me a recap of whose here and what's going on?! Do half the ponies here even have a reason to be here? It's like they're here just because it's cool! Normally I don't mind that sorta thing but this is too much!"

Alex Warlorn

Scootaloo sat in front of a mini-TV. She began chowing down on chips in a lawn chair. And began watching re-runs of Pinkie Pie's variety show.

"What are you doing Scootaloo?" Sweetie Belle asked.

"Until some pony freakin' makes a list of every pony here and everything they're doing and what sneaked after us from all those times we got zapped into stuff, I'm sitting my rear right here and not doing."

Mtangalion

On the mini-TV, Pinkie Pie stopped reading one of the viewer letters and peered straight at the camera.  "Silly filly!  Breaking the fourth wall is my job!"  She squeaked right out of the TV, still black and white, then blew up in a confetti explosion and became Princess Thalia in full color.  "Or at least, it used to be my job, but I'm feeling nostalgic and I *am* nostalgia so it's my job either way!"  She whipped a cane out from behind her back, then reached off-screen with it and pulled back a mortarboard, which flipped onto her head.  "Get ready for one heck of a song!"

Scootaloo had jumped back from the TV, spilling her chips.  "Um...  Is this really the best way?"

But Thalia was already flying high in the air, firing bursts of cotton-candy magic to summon parade floats staffed with Love Cats, and a brownish pony with a loud yellow shirt.  "Good morning, Ponyville!" shouted the new stallion, brandishing an accordion.  "I'm Cheese Sandwich, and I have no idea what I'm doing here!"

Thalia jumped into a spotlight, microphone in hoof.  "No time to explain!  Scootaloo needs those names, and fast!"  Cheese shrugged and started playing, while she danced and sang:


== To the tune of Yakko's World ==

There's... Miss Twilight Sparkle
and Spike and Moon Shadow
with Sweetie Belle and Rarity!

Maternity Love-Tap
and Button and Rainbow Dash
Big Mac and Miss Cheerilee!

Fluttershy, Zephyr Breeze
Thalia, hey that's me!
Nebula, Nova, Pink Star!

Star Hopper, Scootaloo
Blue Dwarf and Imp's here too
Comet the Canis Minor!



"But, I wanted more than just names!" shouted Scootaloo.  "Can't you at least slow down?  I'll never remember all that!"

But Thalia was huddled with Flim and Flam and Dr. Moon Shadow.  Flim threw the switch on a gadget they'd just built, and a statue garden in a shield bubble came flying out of a portal.  Carnival Cat and four plastic cherubs could be seen through the portal, waving bye, until the portal closed.

Twilight ran straight to the statue garden, and her jaw hit the ground, seeing her brother and Cadence, still wolves.

Thalia teleported back onto the stage and sucked in a deep breath.


Oh, there's Veritas, Flam and Flim,
Hey, look who's back again!
Cadence and Shining Armor!
Kifuko and Midnight
Cicada, yeah they're alright
Hercules Beetle, yes sir!



While Cheese raised the key and played another verse without singing, and a copy of Pinkie Pie had a little talk with Twilight about making Pinkie Promises for other ponies, Scootaloo banged her forehead against a fence post.  Button and Sweetie surrounded her, Sweetie hugging and Button patting her on the back.  "There, there..."

Thalia waved a baton, whipping the song into a frantic finale.


And let us not forget
These extra special guests
Luna, Celestia
What-If Machine-ia
Golden and Filthy Rich
Discord and Diamond and
Snow Bound and Blanky then
Daring Doo
Daydream Doo
And introducing too
For the first time to you



With little warning, Apple Bloom's cocoon glowed brilliantly and burst, letting a winged shape soar into the sky!  Thalia kept right on going without taking a breath.


Princess Praegressus
Machinas Eques-
tria if that's a
Mouthful well
just call her Progress
Or Apple Bloom is just fine
Anything that will rhyme.
And that's what
Yeah that's what
Yes, that's what we're going to do!



An older, seemingly teen-aged Apple Bloom touched down and struck a perfectly balanced pose, horn flashing in the sunlight and wings spread.  Instead of fancy regalia, she wore a tool apron with plenty of pouches.  She had goggles on her forehead, a smith's hammer at her side, and the Cutie Mark that only a few ponies present had yet seen.

There was a brief shocked silence, broken by a familiar voice.  "Bravo!" shouted Discord, clapping his paw and claw enthusiastically.  "Wonderful, simply marvelous!  Wait...  Did she say Discord?!"

Beside him, Diamond sighed.  "Oh, Uncle, you just can't help yourself, can you?"

Alex Warlorn

"AAAAH! DISCORD!" Somepony shouted. Followed by lots of magical lasers.

*One epic magic laser fight and awkward apology later*

Given Discord's... reputation... the results were predictable, and rainbow colored, preceded by a bunch of pain with Discord and Diamond Tiara on the receiving end.

However, this resulted the side effect of petrifying Sweetie Belle as well, due to the link the two shared. So they were now rather embarrassedly undoing the petrification on both at the same time.

Meanwhile, Scootaloo was speaking with the alien ponies.

"I'm just saying," Scootaloo said, "What PERSONALITY do you alien ponies have? I mean, BESIDES being aliens, which is super ultra-cool and everything, and so is your pet. But ... what really makes you, YOU? You're all the same kinda. I mean, you being aliens was really cool, and you were all mysterious and unknown, and exciting to meet... but now? It really feels like you're here, just to make things cooler by being here."

"Cadence, Shining Armor, you now have two foals who need your attention and protection, and a kingdom that relies on you to see them into the future. I don't think the two of you should risk yourselves, and thus those you care about." Princess Celestia said. "You two will have your own dark lord to face on your own, believe me, those who carry the light attracts the dark, so those who enjoy the light can continue to live their lives, that's the prince of such things. But this isn't your battle."

"And that is why it is prominent that you be sent back to the fiction universe beyond the golden gate that you so clearly came from." Princess Luna said to Daring Do and Day Dream.

"Please stop turning into me. I should be back nice and safe in the foal's bedroom, not out in the open like this." Said the What-If Machine to Imp as it kept copying it and just whistling.

"At least we're still invisible to every pony here except the goddesses and the truth holders." Said Snowbound to Blanky who yipped.

"I think I want to go back into magical stasis now." Moon Shadow said at the chaotic mess.

"I know how you feel about me and the egg." Spike said.

"Can I PLEASE go back inside?!" Zephyr Breeze, "And just wait for big sister to save the world from whatever this week?" Said the grown stallion that most didn't (at the moment yet) remember meeting before.

Maternity said to her son as he watched Sweetie be de-petrified along with Diamond Tiara. "Button Mash, you need to know, just because you have that cutie mark doesn't mean I'm going to let you play video games all day."

"Ah'm just not into having any high priests yet." Apple Bloom said to Flim and Flam.

Mtangalion


Princess Cadence smiled sheepishly at Celestia, nodding. "After all the time we spent cooped up in that statue garden..."

Shining Armor nuzzled Cadence warmly. "We really don't mind hopping on the next train home and taking a good long family-bonding break." The stallion twitched, the fur on his back getting ruffled. "Are you sure I'm going to be alright, though? It can't be normal, having twelve or thirteen of me running around in my head. I've been feeling all itchy, too... Like I'm just waiting for the last horseshoe to drop." He flashed into his griffon form and had an easier time scratching his back, sighing contentedly.

Twilight Sparkle didn't know if she'd ever get used to him doing that. His last words made her prick her ears up, though. "BBBFF? You've been having a feeling like that too?"

Princess Celestia beamed. "All misunderstandings aside... Twilight, that was very impressive, the way you wielded the Elements of Magic, Honesty, and Laughter simultaneously." She winked at Luna. "It hasn't often been done before."

Twilight bowed sheepishly to Celestia, and Veritas and Thalia too. "I'm really sorry I didn't listen... When Spike and I found the Elements of Harmony in my library this morning, I assumed you had some kind of plan... and then *Discord* actually appeared..."

Celestia looked to Luna again, then levitated a sealed box to Twilight. "There's a special project that I've been meaning to entrust you with, my faithful student. One that might be even more important to the future of Equestria than rescuing Flim and Flam's uncle." A golden glow from her horn unsealed the box and lifted the ancient tome inside. "This is a spell that was authored by Starswirl the Bearded himself, only, you see, he never completed it..."

There was a flash behind them. "Human!" shouted Lyra Heartstrings, dancing happily on two legs.

Cadence frowned. "We should probably move those statues somewhere else."

"And tell her that humans wear clothes," said Apple Bloom, blushing.

Daring Do was tugging on Luna's mane, trying to get her attention again. "Princess, we didn't want to panic anypony, but... we aren't the only ones who came through that gate. And as tempting as it is to forget all this and never have to deal with Ahuizotl in our world again..."

Luna's eyes widened. "I'll contact the Everfree Rangers and Misfit Squad at once."

Big Mac gnawed on his stalk of wheat thoughtfully. "Guess Ah missed mah chance to wear one of them fancy necklaces again." He turned to Snow Bound and Blanky, snorting. "Ah don't think we've been properly introduced."

Flim and Flam were grinning at Apple Bloom. "Like it or not, Princess Progress..." said Flim.

"You're an inspiration to all of us," said Flam. "This is huge! In that other world, you didn't take on that exalted and splendiferous form until after college."

Sweetie Belle, Scootaloo, and Button Mash approached, with Sweetie Belle still shaking her head, finding more pebbles in her ears. "Well," said Scootaloo, not quite meeting Bloom's eyes. "I guess the horseshoe's really on the other hoof now."

Apple Bloom sat down and used her magic to help gently gather them into a big hug. "Things are gonna be different now, and that's the truth... and there's no more marks to crusade for, but dangit, we're still Crusaders together! Whether you join me someday or you don't, please... don't ever think Ah'm gonna be too high an' mighty for *mah friends*."

"What, no hug for me?" said Diamond Tiara with a grin and a bit of her old snark. She was in her half-dragon form, since everypony had seen it anyway.

Sweetie Belle was the one who magically pulled her over to the hug-pile. "All in favor of making Diamond Tiara an honorary Crusader?"

"Aye!!!" shouted the rest of them.

Off to one side, Fluttershy and Fluttercruel were having a staring contest with Discord, still trying to get him to reveal "his real plan." Rarity was staring at the seapony statue, wondering why she felt so tempted to touch it, and pondering a new ocean-themed line of dresses. Silver Spoon was beside Discord, eyes wide as she read a "So You Want to be a Yokai" pamphlet.

"Why do I feel like I missed something really big?" mused Rainbow Dash to nopony in particular.

Discord flicked a claw, dressing up Dash and himself in matching cheesy bandit masks and capes. "You haven't missed the epic pranks that I'm going to play on Ponyville. Once they're used to me, of course!"

Dash grinned craftily. "Tell me more..."

Alex Warlorn

Cicada said in awe, "I'm not sure I can just leave the statues unattended, how in Queen Rose Dust's name did they all get here? They should be all tied directly to the leylines that they were built on, they shouldn't even WORK here."

Hercules said, "Where the Queen leads, all changelings follow. And sadly I have no answer other than this town is weird."

Mtangalion

A remarkable number of Alicorns put their heads together with Cicada, trying to figure out how to teleport the statue garden back where it came from, without severing those mysteriously intact arcane connections. Even little Kifuko and Half-Light Midnight helped. Or they were just doodling with their crayons. It was hard to be sure.

A slim hoof tapped Diamond Tiara on the shoulder. She turned her head, careful not to poke anypony with her horns, and saw... "Featherweight?" When had he gotten here? The odd little colt bowed apologetically and held out a photograph.

Diamond Tiara's eyes widened, and Sweetie Belle's too, looking over her shoulder. It was photo of three granite statues... Diamond and Sweetie rearing up with hoof and claws clasped like ballet dancers, and Discord raising his paw and claw to the sky behind them, all tragically misunderstood. "Wow. Those poses really did turn out pretty good."

"I just want you to know," said Featherweight in a scratchy voice that sounded like it didn't get much use, "I'm sorry about all those photos before, the ones that got you in trouble."

Scootaloo looked to Button Mash, then back at Featherweight. "Are you talking about Gabby Gums?"

Diamond Tiara clenched her claws. "You're lucky I had a nice long talk with Uncle Discord and Miss Thalia about learning to let go of things like... that?"

Featherweight had vanished into thin air.

Diamond looked quickly left and right, and spotted the colt on a distant second-floor balcony. He snapped a photo, then darted out of frame to the right.

"Hey!" shouted Diamond. "I see what you did there! ... Uncle Discord, is Featherweight..."

"Ah ah ah!" said Discord, waggling a claw. "Spoilers." He turned the page in the book he was reading: "Journey to Another World: A Daydream Doo Young Adventure."

Sweetie Belle mumbled, "Thanks for not saying 'Spoilers, Sweetie.'"

Diamond Tiara giggled.

Mtangalion

The new, older and somewhat wiser Flim Flam brothers made plans with the Crusaders. They repeated that they wanted a day or two to prepare and scout the mansion, but they promised that when they ventured inside again, all of the Crusaders would be involved, if they still wanted to be.

Twilight Sparkle literally could not be pried away from the ancient spellbook, and Spike had to walk her home.

Lyra Heartstrings refused to touch any of the other statues, or allow Cadence to attempt to change her back. Thalia produced a few sets of clothes, which she claimed to have stashed in case of naked human emergencies, and Rarity took Lyra's new measurements, saying that it promised to be an interesting challenge. Lyra eventually had to scoop up Bon Bon and jog on home, when ponies started arguing about who should get the next belly rub.

Somehow, the Alicorns managed to reduce the statue garden down to an enchanted amulet. Cicada took charge of this, pleased that he could accompany his queen and see more of the modern world without leaving his post unguarded.

Celestia introduced the star ponies to everypony who wanted to meet them, remembering everyone's names perfectly. Then the royal families of Equestria boarded a train to Canterlot, with the spaceship flying along behind.

And then, the Crusaders did something else that it felt like they hadn't done in forever. Each of them went home, with his or her own family, back to their own lives and their own beds... but promising to meet again soon.



Sweetie Belle made a pouting filly face at her homework, still on Rarity's kitchen table right where she'd left it, while Rarity herself whipped up a couple of homemade hayburgers, humming a familiar tune. The whole scene was so normal, Sweetie almost called for Blanky. She'd never convinced Rarity that the stray white puppy was real, anyway.

"Um, Rarity?" she said cautiously. "I'm not sure how much you heard already, or what you remember, but the other Crusaders and I... we kind of went on a great big adventure last night."

Rarity glanced back at her. "So, instead of sleeping peacefully in your sleeping bags during your sleepover, you went out Crusading instead? I'm really not that surprised, although it's good that you're being honest."

Sweetie hesitated. "Well, yes... and no! Princess Luna and Miss Fate made a deal to keep us safe, and we explored all over the Everfree Forest! I learned all kinds of things about my magic, and my friends and family..." She glanced at her cutie mark, and couldn't help but smile. "And even about my singing talent!"

Rarity lifted a spatula in her magic, turning the sizzling hayburger patties over. "I see. Are you quite sure you didn't have a great rollicking *dream* adventure with Princess Luna?"

Sweetie Belle smirked. "Pretty sure. Say, mind if I set the table?"

Rarity nearly fumbled the frying pan. "No! I mean, there's no need, Sweetie! Just wait a moment and I'll... oh my."

Many of the things that she'd done and known as Princess Euterpe were just a blur, but telekinesis wasn't one of them. Sweetie's pale green aura opened the kitchen cabinets and brought out two forks and two plates and two glasses, filling the glasses with ice from the fridge along the way... all at once.

Rarity barely had the presence of mind to not let the hayburgers burn. "My goodness!" she repeated. "Ah, your place setting is just a teensy bit... asymmetrical. Thank you, darling." She recovered her poise quickly... she was Rarity, after all, and she brought the food to the table.

Sweetie beamed. "So, what do you want to hear about first, sis?"

Rarity nibbled on her hayburger, smiling. "Why, I still want to hear all about your new beau, of course."

Sweetie blinked. "Really?" she deadpanned. "You don't want to hear about sea ponies? Or that time we beat Pony Satan? Or when we met Queen Majesty?"

The last one made Rarity's ears prick up. "Ooh, tempting. But I do want to know more about... who was it... ah, Button Mash. Who is this colt who's worthy of my dear little sister?" She paused, blotting her muzzle with a napkin. "Perhaps I'm living vicariously through you, and for that I should apologize. After all, if I weren't so wrapped up in my work and my business plans, then surely I would have found my own Prince Charming by now."

"Well," mused Sweetie. "Button is nice... and he's really smart and kind." She smiled. "He's sensitive too... he used to be kind of a crybaby, but he's brave and strong when he needs to be." A thought struck her. "You know, sis... Spike still remembers all of that about how to control his size. He's older than he looks, and he's as mature as he feels the need to be." She winked. "And as handsome as he wants to be, too."

Rarity leaned back in her chair. "That is... intriguing. I can almost picture it now." She frowned. "Sweetie Belle, why do I remember an orange and purple dragoness wrecking my home in search of gems?" She looked around, as if she needed convincing that it hadn't really happened.

Sweetie chuckled. "Yeah, about that... If you really want Spike, you might have to get him before Scootaloo does."

Alex Warlorn

'Beware little pony, nostalgia may be your friend. But she is also a liar.'

Mtangalion

Even after all those crazy Everfree adventures, Scootaloo still felt a measure of pride that she could fly her own self up to Rainbow Dash's house instead of getting carried like a foal.  She could even shout "Race ya!" and have her idol not be *obviously* just going slow to humor her.

Speaking of overgrown foals...

"Omigosh, omigosh!" squealed Dash.  "I can't believe I really got to meet..."  She slapped her cheeks with her forehooves.  "The real Daring Do!"

"Yeah, that was pretty cool," said Scootaloo, trying to mask her own grin.  "Exploring an ancient temple with them and all."

Dash zipped to her side fast enough to ruffle all her cloud furniture.  "*You* went on an adventure with Daring Do already?!"

"Um... technically it was with Daydream," said Scootaloo sheepishly.  "We got turned into... um, never mind that part!  But Daring did show up at the end!"  She blinked.  "And then Dr. Caballeron sang a song about how he was gonna get us next time.  And Shining Armor showed up out of nowhere and put him under arrest.  That was kind of weird, come to think of it."

"Pfft.  Well, I'm gonna get to help Daring Do stop Ahuizotl!  I was right there when Princess Luna said..."  Dash straightened up, putting on a super-serious face.  "'Miss Doo, please do not hesitate to call upon the Elements of Harmony as well.'"

"Daring Do kinda likes to do everything on her own," Scootaloo pointed out.

"But even Daring Do needs help sometimes!  Like that time in the Griffon's Goblet when she..."

Scootaloo groaned.  Daring Do was cool and all, but she didn't want to talk about her *all night*.  "Did I mention that I was a dragon, and a kirin and a Nightmare?"

Dash squinted at Scootaloo suspiciously, as if a horn might pop out of her mane.  "You were a Nightmare?"

"Um... I got better?"

"Oh, really, huh?  What was your Nightmare thing?  Flying crazy fast?  Doing stunts that were just too extreme?!"

Scootaloo looked down at her hooves, embarrassed.  "Well... I was your number one ultimate fan.  And I tried to make everypony in Equestria as awesome as you are, Dash."

Rainbow Dash blinked.  "Uh, you *do* know that Nightmares are supposed to be evil and crazy, right?  I mean, how could too much awesomeness possibly be a bad thing?"

Scootaloo closed her eyes, sighing.  "Because it's *wrong* to make other ponies into what you what them to be, whether they like it or not?  Ugh...  Nightmare Me even did that to *you*, the pony I admire the most!  And dragon me didn't even care how much of Ponyville she wrecked, so long as she got what she wanted.  Without my friends, I never could have pulled me back together again..."

"Aww..."  Rainbow Dash hugged her, ruffling her mane with a wing.  "When did my little filly start getting so grown up?"

"Dash..."  Scootaloo felt a little guilty, not saying anything about her birth parents... not yet, not until this adventure was really over.

Dash winked.  "Maybe even grown up enough to do her homework without me nagging, huh?"

"Ugh, Dash!"  Scootaloo giggled.  "Okay..."  She reached for her school saddlebag...

And for a moment, the filly saw her kirin paws instead of small orange hooves.  "Part of you still wants this," echoed that voice in her head from the Tunnel of Love.  Had she really started turning back into something dragonish there?  *Could* she still do that?  She imagined her dragon self busting through the walls of Rainbow's house and falling through the floor, and it was kinda funny... but no, that wouldn't be nice at all.

Scootaloo took a deep breath, then grasped a pencil in her mouth and got to work.



Beyond the boundaries of the world, an Alicorn in ancient Romane barding floated in the aether, a big grin on her face.  "Heh.  Was I really ever that innocent?"

Princess Fidelitas dismissed that scene and focused her attention on Flummox's mansion, leveling a hoof at it accusingly.  "Your number just came up, Lilith!  You've come crawling back from Oblivion for the last time."

Mtangalion

Button Mash tried to wave his game console away, but he was so tired that he missed it entirely.  It floated there like an unblinking eye, still displaying "Objective: Do your homework!  4/5 pages completed."  "Wish I could use my sword instead of a quill," murmured the colt.

He yawned blearily and pushed his chair back from his little writing desk, getting to his hooves.  He noticed that his saddlebags were hanging on a peg instead of lying on the floor... mom must have done that when she brought him milk and cookies.  She'd found his propeller beanie too, and laid both halves of it out on a shelf.  Button smiled sadly.  Mom could probably sew it back together, but the magic was gone, and he wasn't sure he wanted dad to make him another one.

His bed seemed to call to him... neatly made, with his old Ponio plush sitting on the corner.

[Would you like to rest here?  Y/N]

Yes!  Button Mash was snugly wrapped up in the bed covers before he knew it.  A short lullaby played with a hauntingly familiar tune.  

Button's eyes sprang open.  It was still pitch dark outside, with Luna's moonlight streaming through the window, and mom was rushing around the house talking to herself.

"I still need to write the letter to Eight-Bit and Sixteen-Bit!" exclaimed Maternity Love-Tap.  "And the other families will want to plan the party too!  What kind of party will it even be?  A cutie-mark celebration and two cute-ceaneras and whatever a goddess has, all in one?"

Button Mash trotted over and nuzzled her warmly.  "Mom, if we need a whole new kind of party invented, I'm sure Princess Thalia will be up for it."

Mom put a hoof to her muzzle.  "Oh!  Why, of course we could do that."  She smiled.  "Though 'Just leave everything to Pinkie Pie' is still a little scary when I say it out loud."  She assumed Stern Mom Pose #3.  "And what are you doing out of bed, mister?"

"Middle of the night cutscene."  Button blinked.  "I mean, I couldn't sleep!"

Maternity chuckled.  "Well, back to bed..."  She paused, suddenly thoughtful.  "Son... I had a dream the other night, a dream that I was an Alicorn who could nurture and support all the foals in the whole world, no matter how far away they were."  She looked at him uncertainly.  "Was that... more than just a dream?"

Button grinned and nodded eagerly, sniffling a bit.

She hugged her son close.  "I remember, you said you'd help... but I guess I can't hold you to that, since you're not an Alicorn like you were in the dream."

Button hugged her back.  "Somewhere out there, in some world, I still am.  We'll just have to learn about becoming Alicorns together."

Kendell2

"Response: what are you doing?" The What If Machine asked Applebloom.

"Given ya a little upgrade..." she said. "There!"

The What If Machine found itself on a single wheel allowing it to move around freely. "This unit likes this, thank you."

Applebloom rubbed her head. "Shucks, felt yah deserved a way tah move around more..."

"Applebloom, yah need tah get tah bed," Applejack/Veritas said, poking in. No one had told Applebloom Alicorns no longer PHYSICALLY needed sleep, and most likely no one would until she was older.

"Was just givin' the What If Machine a present," she replied. "...Sis..."

"Yeah?"

Applebloom got up and walked over and spread her wings. "...Will ya teach meh tah fly? Ah think any flyin' Ah've done before now was kinda instinct and it kinda wore off."

Veritas blushed. "Well...ya see, Ah'm in the same boat, sugar cube...Pinkie's got a pegasus as one of her previous selves so she got lucky...but one thin' Ah can teach ya?"

"What?" Applebloom asked.

The older Alicorn focused and her tail turned into that of a Sea Pony. She focused again and her wings gained a sheen and her head gained antenna. "The truth about Alicorns is: we've got more than just magic and wings tah learn about...and those Ah know enough tah teach ya a little bit."

Applebloom smiled. "Ah'd like that, sis."

"Good...now hit the hay! Yah might be an Alicorn but yer still a filly!"

Mtangalion

The big day finally came, and a much larger group of ponies made their way through the Everfree Forest, past the place where the carnival had stood.  In daylight, it resembled a deserted lot after the circus had left town.

Fluttershy led the way, with the Element of Kindness shining bright around her neck.  Any Everfree nasties that thought to ambush unprepared ponies turned right around when they saw her.  The Cutie Mark Crusaders came next, riding atop one of Flim and Flam's steam wagons, with the brothers themselves walking on either side.  Twilight's whole original group of Ponyville friends walked close behind them, with Twilight, Rarity, and Rainbow Dash also wearing their Elements... and they'd brought a couple of new friends along for the adventure.

Big Macintosh eyed the Element of Honesty, uncharacteristically nervous.  "Are ya sure, sis?  Miss Twilight worked it just fine."  Indeed, the Elements of Honesty and Laughter had turned into crystal spheres with Twilight's cutie mark when she used them, and they were still that way now.  "Heck, you could use it just fine.  Ah don't know what you'd even want me for."

Veritas smiled.  "They're the Elements of *Harmony*, big brother.  They work better with six different ponies.  Mortal ponies, not know-it-all Alicorns.  Here, try it on for size."  She floated the sphere in her magic and held it out to him.

Big Mac snorted, eyes darting to follow the sphere as it orbited around him.  "And just how do Ah do that?  Carry it in mah teeth?"  Then the Element of Honesty startled him by blazing orange and turning into an amulet on a golden chain, already bearing his half-apple cutie mark.

"A big round of applause for Big Mac!" whooped Cheese Sandwich.  He was doing tricks with the Element of Laughter, rolling it over his hooves, tossing it in the air then pulling it out of his sleeve.  The Element flickered, but didn't transform yet.  "Huh, tough crowd!"

Thalia nuzzled the skinny, curly-maned stallion.  "Aw, you'll get it, Cheesy!"

Twilight kept twitching and glancing over her shoulder as she walked along.  "Ah, I just thought of something!  This might be a major breakthrough!  I should go back and get Starswirl's book.  No, no, don't worry!"  Her mane twitched.  "I can teleport back and bring it here in a flash!"

"Twilight, darling..." said Rarity soothingly.  "This is most unlike you, wanting to take a precious, irreplaceable tome into the forest where its pages might get dirty... or even torn!"

The purple unicorn made a bleating goat noise somehow.  "Dirty!  Torn!?"  She took deep breaths.  "I can stay strong.  Research!  No!  I can do this..."

"That's the spirit!" said Rarity.  "Come, now, everypony...  If we're actually going to use these lovely trinkets, then we absolutely must get to know one another better.  Cheese Sandwich, dear, I dare you... to make Big Macintosh laugh!"



Flummox's mansion wasn't any less foreboding in daylight.  

Flim held some sort of half-tech, half-arcane gadget in his hoof, frowning as he poked at it.  "That's not good.  The house wards have been re-tuned and powered to full."

Rainbow Dash spread her wings and lifted off.  "I'll go check it out!"

Flim blinked.  "Weren't you listening?  Wait, no, get away from there!"  A magical sphere pulsed around the house, sending Dash flying clear over the horizon.  It took a good twenty seconds for Dash to fly back and settle on the ground, head still spinning.

Flam cleared his throat.  "Nopony attuned to an Element of Harmony is getting inside there.  Not unless we can shut the wards off from the inside."

All eyes slowly settled on the Crusaders and Flim and Flam.  Flim and Flam grinned and posed.  Button, Sweetie, Bloom, and Scootaloo blushed a bit.

"Figures," muttered Veritas.

"If that nasty Lilith is a disembodied spirit," mused Apple Bloom out loud, "then how'd she do that?"

Flam took off his hat and fanned his greying mane, deep in thought.  "A very good question, Praegressus."

Thalia trotted forward and started stiffing at the lawn and the hedges like a bloodhound, as close as she could get without setting off the shield.  "Aha!"  She held up a black hooded cloak.  "She had help!"

Scootaloo groaned.  "Those dumb cultists again?"

"More than just them," said Thalia, levitating a large purple hat covered with stars.

Twilight gasped, grabbing the hat in her own magic and bringing it closer.  "Trixie?!"

Flim shared a concerned glance with Flam.  "She was still following us?"

Twilight started shaking her head.  "No.  Trixie's used the Element of Magic.  She couldn't be in there."

"Unless..."  Sweetie Belle gulped.  "Lilith let her in..."
Cutie Mark Crusaders Journal of the unexplained 16
The rules are simple. Write something in the comments, and it's added to the story above! No 'script' format additions! Keep it My Little Ponies!

Set in the same universe as Pinkie Pie Forth Wall Breaking Variety Show! 

*Replay recording* 

Apple Bloom"We're exploring the Everfree all night! And the best part is when something, ah, 'bad' happens to us, Princess Luna makes it so we, uh, 'respawn?' "

Scootaloo, "Apple Bloom we knew that already."

Apple Bloom, "Yeah, but Ah figured we had to say it again fer some reason."

Sweetie Belle, "Have look at the, what did Pinkie Pie call this? 'Trope Page?'" tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php…

So yeah, the CMC are exploring the Everfree with a grainy video camera, but if they say, come to a Bad End, or the like, they'll respawn at the farm house. 



Parts added by:
MtangaLion
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Alex Warlorn
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Alex Warlorn
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Alex Warlorn
Mtangalion
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Alex Warlorn
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Kendell2
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Cover is a commission By Kendell2
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MLPFiMS6E17 spoilers commentary.



While Discord may have learned to value others beyond being his toys, and after being given a taste of his own medicine by Tirek, sees how hollow his sick fun and games were. We see in this moment in his heart of hearts that Discord may be manipulative and naturally cunning, he is also insensitive and thoughtless.

He uses his magic to invert the colors of everything, turning the entire universe opposite for a few seconds to illustrate how he consider Spike and Big Mac to be below him. "Oooh! I'm opposite Discord! And I love hanging out with what's their names!"

And we get "Well you listen here Mister! I'm Opposite Fluttershy! And I'm sick of being all 'sweet and nice' all the time!" Before Discord QUICKLY changes everything back, and Fluttershy looks shocked at herself and covers her mouth. I think Discord doesn't realize he just forced Fluttershy for a few moment to relive her freakin' worse nightmare! (Fluttercruel, Flutterrage, New Fluttershy, Fluttershy has kept her negative emotions bottled up for so long IMHO they've become an illness).  Except Fluttershy is too shocked from the experience, and has spent the most time with Discord to know he 'doesn't mean it' and doesn't have the heart to call him out on it when he doesn't do it intentionally, and she's already late for the good-will tour through the Yak nation. And I'm likely the ONLY GUY IN EXISTENCE that's going to think of this. :-(

(In retrospect, I'm wondering why the writers didn't waste 30 seconds of air time on a 'where am I?' moment with Opposite Fluttershy. After being kicked in the face so many times, NOT being kicked in the face is kinda... odd.)

And that Discord thinks of BIG MAC as a 'side kick' is... kinda cruel. While Big Mac envies AJ, he has his own life, he doesn't follow her around like a extra limb like Spike does Twilight in 75% of the episodes.

And Discord would rather sneak along with Fluttershy than hang out with Spike and Big Mac.

And Discord shows that just because he's no longer torturing ponies for his own amusement (let's not mince words here, he did), he's still willing to put an active volcano right on the train tracks to try and get Fluttershy to stay.

AJ, "I've got my fashionable but functional hiking boots." Did AJ just say fashionable? Did they mess up the dialogue or is Rarity finally rubbing off on her?

And Pinkie mentions the Pony eating Yeti on the way up.

Big whispering, "Nope, yep." -_-

Just one question, WHY do Spike and Big Mac WANT the god of chaos to hang out with them? Inviting a bear into your house is safer.

I seriously doubt Luna and Celly actually had a meeting with the god of chaos.

Spike and Big Mac play D&D with ONLY themselves?

I wonder when Big Mac and Spike got a chance to... ya know... BOND and actually socialize with each other. IN PARTICULAR when Big Mac is almost as socially withdrawn as Fluttershy, and Spike unless forced into such a situation, doesn't actively seek out making friends who aren't Twilight's friends.

And I'm reminded of the video where Bill Cipher is depicted as alone in his domain (before we met his minions), where he replicates and play acts with himself, but in the end, it's just him doing glorified hand puppetry.

There's TWO 'rowdy' places in Ponvyille? That one and a half more than I thought there'd be.

And given how many feminine traits Spike has picked up over the year due to Twilight the mane six being the main ponies he hangs out, I'm SURPRISED he not only knows what a guy's night is, or that he desires one or knows how to do one.

"Hmmmm, are you Matilda?"


"Those were the days." You just mentioned when you brainwashed Big Mac's sister after rubbing her beliefs in her face, and tortured Spike's surrogate mother though her best friends. And called it 'those were the days.' Someone needs to tell Discord that mentioning that stuff just because those particular people aren't around STILL isn't necessarily okay!

Do I want to know what the mane-cat thing was?

And personally? I DON'T THINK DISCORD HAS AN IMAGINATION! Why? Because whatever he wants, etc, he just snaps his fingers, and boom, there it is. He never NEEDED to imagine something, he just chaoses it into existence!

And Ogres and Oubliettes makes the jump from the quasi-canon of the comics, to be actual canon in the show. Cool.

I ran a Dungeons and Dragons campaign for YEARS... but I couldn't find anyone in real life to play with, so I ended up doing it online... it gave me a reason to actually clean my desk too. Sadly, I was kinda traumatized out of it when I ended up gravely insulting one of my players with something I thought was water under the bridge and what I apologized for they didn't even care about. And I bit off more than I could chew with my epicness. And I made the mistake of handing off the map of landmass to someone else which mangled how I imagined it.

Discord's reaction... doesn't he know it stopped being 'trendy' to think of Dungeon and Dragons as 'evil' or 'only for losers who can't find date' for ... well, at least ten years?

And they're using the cutie mark table to play O&O.

Spiketopia. So Spike's Oubliette Overseer, got it.

Smarity... you think Spike would at least make Rarity an Alicorn in his fantasy world.

This makes those fanfics where Spike would rather read comics than play D&D rather awkward, unless he was faking.

Discord, "Fear not, your romantic delusions are safe with me." Okay, now Discord is just being mean.  

Level 30? Did Spike create that characters right at level 30? Or are they play *GASPS IN HORROR* D&D-4E!!!! AAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!! *runs away screaming*

Better known as Munchkin Land, and I don't mean the ones from Oz!

I'm pretty sure the game didn't include stats for Draconequi!

I think we're not getting imaginary pictures of the adventure game, because Discord isn't into the game, so he can't appreciate the adventure.

Discord REALLY REALLY doesn't get the idea of 'pretend', it's actually kinda sad.

And yeah, I've had players like him before, sadly.

And Discord, being Discord, doesn't comprehend the 'just a game' justification when he's the one not using it.

I can't believe Spike and Big Mac are genre blind enough to take ANYTHING Discord says NOT literally. Then again he doesn't give them a chance.

If Big Mac's character is a unicorn, doesn't that mean he doesn't have near infinite stamina and super strength?

And Discord's interpretation of the game world is lousy. All the giant dice about? What does that have to do with the in-game world at all?

And.... instead of freakin' out, Spike and Big Mac love being zapped into their characters and being in the game world. I imagine this isn't the reaction Discord had in mind.

Big Mac gets the telekinesis down fast! Guess the practice in the dream world as Prince Mac paid off.

And like typical PCs in a game world, they spent a minute trashing the place for fun.

My only real regret for this episode?

We're at 14:45 and only have about six or less minuets left for them to actually do the adventure and rescue Princess Smarity from the Squidizard and save Spiketopia!

While Discord is obviously cheating, since he made the game world, shouldn't he then be trapped as his blondie archer character with them too?

You can tell Discord didn't give his all with this, then again, that's because he's MOCKING Big Mac and Spike's hobby rather than trying to create a true adaption of it.

Uh, I'm not sure if Discord rolling the dice is fair... then again, if it's an ATTACK role for the skeletons instead of a defense roll for Big Mac.

Sigh. A newbie-DM whose also a killer-DM, is there a worse combination for a player to face?

I'd say this is a artificial pocket world than an alt world.

And that's it?! The entire selling line of the entire episode? And it's just that?! Geeze! Feels kinda like a waste.

Discord, "I'm supposed to feel sorry for you, because I'm me, and you're you!" Discord, evil or not, he's still a jerk.

So RD is a rouge/assassin, and Pinkie Pie is a bard, so that is settled.

Rarity, AJ, and Twilight and Fluttershy don't join in though.

Though I do regret we never saw Princess Smarity.

Meh. At least it was fun in the end.

I guess this episode a pass, I'm a D&D nut, so I can't hate it.

Positive.
  • Listening to: Pony POV Series
  • Reading: Pony POV Series
  • Watching: Pony POV Series
  • Drinking: nothing

"Do you still like the idea of me doing origin stories for the Pony POV Series version of canon characters, like say Thorax?" 

95%
38 deviants said Yes
5%
2 deviants said No

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:iconmagicman001:
MagicMan001 Featured By Owner 1 hour ago
Hey man, I've got a few things I'd like to discuss about the changeling episode with you, if that's okay and you have the time.
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner 14 minutes ago
Hmm?
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:iconmorion87:
morion87 Featured By Owner 1 hour ago
Is there a condensed way of explaining how the Concept Killing Spear came to be? I'm thinking of having part of that story as a piece of history in one of my story's. Keeping the core parts, but changing just a bit for the story.
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner 13 minutes ago
Read the story The Day Love Cried. Nothing else to it. 
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:icongrogar-the-oneser:
Grogar-the-oneser Featured By Owner 1 hour ago
moron decides to create a weapon from a bunch of evil artifact to kill a immortal, used it in a surprise attack and killed one, rest of the patheon kicked her ass before she even got a chance to use it.
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:icongrogar-the-oneser:
Grogar-the-oneser Featured By Owner 2 hours ago
when are you leaving a review for the latest ep?
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner 2 hours ago
I'm watching it now. And I imagine I'm the only person whose gonna care about the fridge horror of the opening scene. 
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:icongrogar-the-oneser:
not true, even discord was shocked scare when his joke backfire like that (seriously though i get what you mean.) this is why you don't go to a opposite joke, it scar you for life.
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:iconpunishedtwilight7787:
PunishedTwilight7787 Featured By Owner 3 hours ago  New Deviant
Thanks for the watch, sempai.
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