Chapter One: Twilight Sparkle

Reclining on her favorite armchair in the castle library, Twilight Sparkle was absorbedly rereading The Elements of Harmony. It was the first book every parent read to their children, introducing them to the world’s history, the universally-dreaded God of Chaos Discord, and the Elements of Harmony, the traditional teachings of Princess Celestia for achieving inner peace.

When Twilight was a child, her parents had read the book to her and her older brother Shining Armor every Summer Sun Celebration. Twilight loved the tradition so much that she continued to read the book at the beginning of every summer, even now that she was an independent teenager. The young Elf girl was especially excited for this year’s Summer Sun Celebration; it would be the thousandth one held since Celestia’s defeat of Nightmare Moon, and the millennial festival to come in a week promised to be the most spectacular Celebration the world had ever seen.

It was a bright, sunny day outside, with warm late-spring sunlight pouring in through the enormous windows in the library’s outer walls. The chamber was circular and tall, as it was the interior of a high tower, with many floors and lustrous crystal stairs winding up between them. Ancient scrolls and thick tomes filled the fine oaken shelves that lined the walls behind smooth, polished marble pillars.

Twilight, the library’s sole occupant, was curled up on a plush leather armchair, resting the open picture book on the chair’s right arm. She was of average height and build, with dark brown skin that betrayed her father’s Shangri-Lan heritage. She was wearing purple sneakers, loose blue jeans, a short pleated skirt, and a lavender t-shirt bearing an intricate, delicate tree design. Her violet, pink-streaked hair was tucked behind her pointed ears too keep it from obstructing her purple eyes, which were set on the illustrations of the ancient tapestries of the master weaver Tale Spin and the words of her distant ancestor and hero, the Royal Court Magician Star Swirl the Bearded. On the back of her hands was her Mark of a purple, six-pointed star superimposed over and surrounded by smaller, white stars.

As Twilight turned to the last page of the book, she heard someone pantingly run into the library. She looked up to see who it was. It was Spike, her apprentice.

Spike was a head shorter than Twilight, with light skin and electric-green hair and eyes. His hair was rather long for a boy and was tousled into a small faux hawk, which along with a pair of fangs gave him an endearingly youthful appearance. Like Twilight, he was dressed in sneakers, loose jeans, and a t-shirt. On his shirt was a dragon, and over it was an unzipped purple hoodie. He too was an Elf, and therefore like Twilight had pointed ears and his Mark on the back of his hands: a green flame.

“Hey, Twilight,” Spike said breathlessly.

Twilight smiled. “Hi, Spike.”

After taking a few moments to catch his breath, Spike pointed out of the door and said, “Celestia wants to see you.”

Twilight immediately jumped to her feet. “She does? What for?”

Spike shrugged. “No idea. She said it was important, though.”

Twilight nodded. “Alright. Thanks, Spike,” she said, then she ran past him and out the door into the courtyard.

As Twilight rushed through the castle’s fragrant gardens of fruit trees and flowers, she felt the crisp, cold wind of the mountaintop bite at her face. The view from Camelot was spectacular; from the peak of Mount Olympus, the highest point of the Olympian range, the sky was always clear and so you could freely see for kilometers in every direction. Gazing down the mountainside gave you a perfect sight of the city of Olympus and its streets, lamps, and buildings of crystal, stone, and glass situated on the mountain’s face. Floating just over these precarious structures were great, vast clouds, upon which were founded magnificent buildings of sky marble that drifted slowly through the air like hovering glaciers. Beyond the mountain’s base were the vistas of the vast Everfree Forest and the rushing rivers that cut through its trees and the plains beside it. In the westward distance, you could see situated just next to the edge of the forest was the small farm town of Avalon, connected to the city of Olympus by a long steel train track that winded through the plains and zigzagged up the mountain.

Olympus was abuzz with activity; Twilight saw Elves telekinetically stringing colored paper lanterns between the street lamps and Humans carrying crates of food and other supplies through the streets as Angels darted over their heads between the clouds, all decorating and preparing for the festival.

Twilight had to dodge the castle’s servants as she approached the throne room, as they were preparing the shining marble castle of Camelot for the coming Celebration, as well. However, she was stopped by three of the teenaged servant girls. “Hey, Twilight!” one of the girls, whose name was Molly, said. She was Human, as evidenced by her rounded ears and the cocktail glass Marks on her thighs. She continued, “We’re gonna be having a dance at the Plasma Orb tonight. You wanna come?”

Twilight smiled apologetically. “Sorry, not now,” she said. “I have to see Princess Celestia.”

Twilight pushed past them and continued running. She heard one of them huff indignantly behind her. “My gosh, Twilight, can’t you learn to have a little fun?” she shouted, though Twilight ignored her.

Twilight approached the castle’s central structure’s entrance, which was flanked by two guards. They would have stopped her if she were nearly anyone else, but they barely glanced at Twilight as she sprinted past them, up the stairs, and into the great front doors.

Twilight had only to ascend the stairs of the grand hall to reach the doors to the throne room. Pushing past them, she was greeted by the sight of a long, columned hall lined at both side walls by tall, colorful stained glass windows depicting the most critical events of the world’s history. A red carpet stretched between the doors and the golden throne, behind which was a massive, round, clear window that overlooked the east horizon. Princess Celestia was standing before it, gazing out into the blue sky.

Twilight walked past several guards stationed at the columns and came to a stop a few meters away from Celestia. She then fell to her knee, bowing to Celestia with her right hand over her heart. “You summoned me, Your Highness?” she said deferentially.

Celestia turned to her student, smiling cheerfully. “Hello, Twilight.”

The Gods were agreed by all to be the most beautiful Beings in the world, and Celestia was widely considered to be the most beautiful of the Goddesses, rivaled even remotely only by her niece the young Goddess Cadance. She was tall, even for a Goddess, with a perfectly-sculpted figure and a flawless, fair complexion. Her large eyes were a soft violet, and were as hypnotic as her smile was enchanting. Her white, feathered wings were so enormous she could envelop her whole body within them. Her hair was so long it nearly reached the ground and flowed through the air like a liquid, seeming to hold a starry night sky of blue, green, and pink nebulae. Her green bangs obscured her left eye, and the rest of her hair was kept out of her other eye behind her pointed right ear. Her Mark consisted of a golden sun on her thighs, shoulders, and the backs of her hands, between which were intricate weaves of auroras the same colors as her hair. She was dressed casually in a white tank top, denim short shorts, and leather sandals that wrapped up around her calves. Twilight found herself blushing slightly, as Celestia’s outfit showed off the intoxicating shape of her body quite nicely.

“Is there something you require, Your Highness?” Twilight asked, still bowing.

“Rise, my faithful student,” Celestia said. Twilight stood, then Celestia commanded the guards, “Leave us, please.”

The guards all bowed. “As you wish, Your Highness,” they chorused in unison, then they marched out of the throne room, telekinetically closing the doors behind them.

“We must speak in privacy,” Celestia explained, stepping before Twilight.

“Is something wrong, Your Highness?” Twilight asked worriedly.

“No, dear Twilight. At least, not yet,” Celestia replied.

“What do you mean?”

“Twilight,” Celestia said, turning her head to gaze at a window depicting Star Swirl the Bearded. “Do you remember how a Ritual is performed?”

Twilight grinned confidently. “Of course! A Ritual Circle is laid down, then the Sorceress uses its designs to aid her channel and fashion her Chi into a specific substance or energy.”

“Very good,” Celestia said proudly. “And where can the Circle be placed, and with what can it be drawn?”

Twilight recited, “A Ritual Circle can be placed anywhere, so long as it is stable. It can be drawn on a floor, wall, or ceiling, and it is even possible to suspend a Circle in midair. A Ritual Circle can be drawn with anything, so long as it is visible and stable for the duration of the desired spell.”

Celestia nodded. “That’s right, Twilight. A Ritual Circle can be drawn with anything.”
Celestia walked to her throne, then sat. “A Ritual can even be performed if the Circle wasn’t drawn, but appeared naturally, so long as the Circle’s shapes fit the desired design.”

Celestia gazed somberly at her apprentice. “That is the reason I called you here, Twilight. On the eve before the Summer Sun Celebration, the stars will be in a unique position to act as a Circle to aid in the performance of a specific Ritual. If a God or a powerful Elf were to use the stars’ alignment that night to perform this Ritual, it would grant them access to an enormous pool of Mana- enough to power the release of one of the Sealed Gods.”

Twilight flinched, and felt her body fill with dread. “Release… one of the Sealed Gods? Which one?”

“Nightmare Moon,” Celestia replied gravely.

Twilight began to feel panic overcome her. Of the Sealed Gods, Nightmare Moon was by far the most powerful, second only to Discord. Her release would be a sign of catastrophe; that the world would soon feel the wrath of the moon’s power wrought upon it. “Do… do you think it might happen?” Twilight asked worriedly. “That someone would try to unseal her?”

Celestia smiled comfortingly. “I doubt it, and even if someone tried there would be little chance that they would succeed. The Seal upon my sister is strong, and even with the Mana this Ritual would provide only a God or an exceptionally powerful Elf could succeed in breaking it. In addition, few know of even the existence of the Ritual, or of the other Rituals necessary to channel the energy to release her, so it is quite unlikely that such an attempt would be successful.”

Celestia’s expression became serious again. “Nonetheless, we cannot allow anyone to even attempt it. For that reason, the other Gods and I have stationed a trusted servant in each of our kingdoms’ settlements to oversee the festival and ensure the Ritual is not attempted or succeeded. Twilight, your diligence is unequaled and I trust you completely. Will you take up this task, as well?”

Twilight nodded determinedly. “Yes, Your Highness.”

“Only your apprentice Spike may know of and aid you in your mission, and you might face danger while performing it. You must be prepared for the possibility of great peril, and to defend your own life and especially the life of your student should it occur. Do you still accept this mission?”

Twilight nodded again. “I do, Princess.”

Celestia nodded, smiling. “Very well. You will oversee the festival in the town of Avalon, and I will dispatch you there tomorrow morning. Your task is to oversee the townspeople, their preparations, and the Celebration, and report to me any suspicious activity and ensure any attempts at releasing Nightmare Moon are stopped before they can be completed. Tell Spike and your family of your mission, then prepare for your journey. I will arrange for your accommodations and for the town to send someone to collect and guide you.”

Twilight bowed to Celestia once more. “As you wish, Your Highness,” she said.

As Twilight stood, Celestia said, “Farewell, my faithful student.”

Twilight began to walk away, but stopped when Celestia called, “Oh, and Twilight?”

Twilight turned back to Celestia. “Yes, Princess?” she asked.

“Try to make some friends while you’re there,” Celestia said with a concerned smile. “It will do you good.”

Twilight groaned internally, resisting the urge to roll her eyes at Celestia, but instead she replied, “I will, Your Highness,” and walked out of the throne room.

Twilight returned to Camelot’s library, where she found Spike sitting in one of the chairs reading a Steam manga volume. “Hi, Spike,” Twilight said.

Spike looked up. “What did Celestia want?” he asked.

“She asked us to go to Avalon to oversee their Summer Sun Celebration,” Twilight replied. “We’re leaving tomorrow. Come on, we need to pack.”

Spike stood, gaping indignantly at Twilight. “What?! But my birthday’s then!”

“I’m sorry, Spike,” Twilight said with genuine sympathy. She smiled reassuringly as she added, “We’ll celebrate your birthday when you get back.”

Spike closed his book, sighing with great disappointment. “Damn it. We were gonna have a Steam party night with my friends.”

“We can play with them when we get back,” Twilight replied. “Let’s go.”

“Alright…” Spike said, then he shelved the book and he went with Twilight to pack for their trip.

Twilight and Spike’s bedrooms were next door to each other in the servants’ hall, connected by a bathroom that the two of them shared. The rooms’ layouts perfectly mirrored each other, with a desk, chair, and a bed, as well as several bookshelves and a wardrobe lining each of their walls. Each also had a tall stained glass window that could be unlatched and swung open to reveal the east skyline, which were the only permanent contrasts of the room; Twilight’s window depicted a colorful field of flowers while Spike’s held the likeness of a bowl of fruit.

However, the occupants themselves could not have kept their rooms in more different conditions; Spike’s was chaotic, with a bed that looked like a nest of blankets, and all around it were piles of carelessly-stacked books and discarded clothing. Twilight’s room, on the other hand, was tidy and organized, with her bed always made and her floor always clear.

As Twilight was taking a pair of folded pajama bottoms from her wardrobe and laying them in a trunk, she heard knuckles sharply rap on the door. “So, Celestia asked you too, huh?” she heard a young man’s voice say behind her.

Twilight grinned, then turned to face her older brother. “Hi, Shining!” she said.

Shining Armor was leaning against the doorframe, his arm draped around his girlfriend, Princess Cadance. He was the stunningly handsome Elvish Captain of the Olympian Royal Guard, with brown skin the same shade as Twilight’s and stylishly messy hair that was several shades of blue, matching his eyes. He was wearing his military uniform: white trousers tucked into high, brown boots; a white jacket with a standing collar fastened with golden frogs; a blue sash; dress gloves; and a white beret decorated by an embroidered Royal Shield bearing a phoenix. The beauty of Shining, however, paled next to the surpassing loveliness of the bare-footed Goddess of Love Cadance, who looked like a younger version of Celestia. The only differences between Celestia and Twilight’s former mentor were that Cadance was more youthful and small (but still larger than most mortal girls); her skin was caramel; her wings were a violet-tinged pink; and her hair was still, didn’t obscure her eyes, and had three stripes of purple, pink, and cream that curled at the end. Her Mark was a sapphire heart flanked by gold flourishes, and like Celestia she had auroras up her sides and down her arms. She was wearing a peach sundress, leaving the Marks on her hands, arms, and shoulders uncovered.

Shining and Cadance were almost inseparable; they were together any moment Shining was off-duty and Cadance wasn’t studying under Celestia. It was to the point that Camelot’s servants wondered why Shining still had his own bedroom, since he slept with Cadance in her chambers every night. Beings all over the world envied him, though they resentfully admitted that only a God would look better with her.

“My aunt asked you to watch over a festival, as well?” Cadance asked, stepping into Twilight’s room.

“Mm-hmm,” Twilight replied. “She asked me to go to Avalon.”

“Avalon, huh?” said Shining. “Doesn’t sound too dangerous. Mom and dad are going to help me and the Guard keep an eye on Olympus. Is Spike going with you?”

“Yep!” said Spike, who was standing behind them. He entered Twilight’s room as well.

“But isn’t your birthday on the same day as the Celebration?” Cadance asked.

Spike leaned against a wall. “Yeah. We can celebrate it when I get back, though.”

“I’m sorry, Spike,” Shining said sympathetically.

Spike shrugged. “Eh, it’s alright.”

“Is there any way we can make it up to you?” asked Cadance.

“Now that you mention it,” said Spike, grinning at her, “I’d really love to have a nighttime pool party when I get back.”

Cadance laughed. “Alright, Spike.”

Shining interjected, “We should probably let you two finish packing. Hey, Twily, do you want us to bring mom and dad to the station to see you off tomorrow?”

Twilight smiled gratefully. “Yes, thank you, Shining.”

“Alright. See you, Twily,” Shining said, waving once at her.

Shining took Cadance’s hand, and Cadance said, “Bye!” as she left with Shining back down the hall.

Spike turned to Twilight. “So, you finished packing yet?”

“Just about,” Twilight replied, walking to one of her bookshelves. She took down some of her favorite light reads, placed them in one of her suitcases, then zipped it shut. “There.”

“Well, I’m not quite done yet,” Spike said, turning and walking out of the room. Twilight followed him to his significantly-less-clean room, and found that his clothes were stacked carelessly in haphazard piles in his suitcases. She groaned, “Spike, you need to fold them and stack them neatly.”

Spike sighed, pulling his clothes back out and morosely beginning to fold them. Twilight stood next to him. “Here, I’ll help you,” she said, picking up one of his shirts.
Spike smiled at her and said, “Thanks, Twilight.”

As they were folding, Twilight asked, “Did you pack your soroban and textbooks?”

Spike groaned with great irritation through his teeth. “Come on, Twilight! It’s summer!”

“Spike,” Twilight said patiently, “if you don’t review what you’ve learned, you’re going to forget it and have to re-learn it next year. You don’t have to do very much; you just have to go over the material once in a while and keep it fresh in your mind. I promise, you’ll have less work than if you don’t.”

Spike sighed wearily. “Well…”

Twilight draped her arms around his shoulders. “Please,” she said, pouting. “For me?”

Spike blushed, looking away. “Um… o-okay. I will.”

Twilight beamed. “Thanks, Spike,” she said, giving him a kiss on the cheek. As they returned to packing his supplies, Spike continued to blush with a small smile. He was glad he chose Twilight to be his mentor; there was nothing that was was more motivating to him than pleasing such a brilliant, cute girl.

After they had completed packing Spike’s things, Twilight said to him, “Come on, let’s get some donuts and eat out tonight.” She winked. “My treat.”

Spike grinned. “Alright! Thanks, Twilight!”

Twilight and Spike exited Camelot together into the streets of Olympus. Unlike other cities, the magnificent Olympian streets consisted not only of shining stone roads, but also wide, long staircases that connected these roads as streets in and of themselves. It was necessitated by the steep upward incline of the mountain, and so carriages and trains were forced to gradually move upward by weaving back and forth across the roads on Mount Olympus’s face. While some complained of the strenuous labor of scaling the steps, new Olympian residents quickly found that the effort soon granted them great endurance as well as some of the longest lifespans in the world.

Twilight and Spike, having climbed Olympus’s millions of stairs their entire lives, expertly and swiftly scaled them and crossed the roads and bridges over the rivers until they came to Donut Joe’s shop on an upper platform in the market district. Joe, being a good friend of Twilight’s parents, gave them a heavy discount for six cream cheese donuts sprinkled with crushed rock candy (Spike’s favorite kind). Spike and Twilight then went to a nearby soup kitchen where they bought two bowls of spiced potato soup. For beverages, Spike got iced peach tea and Twilight got a daiquiri, then they sat on stone benches at a small marble table in a nearby plaza to eat.

As they were dipping bread sticks sprinkled with parmesan into their soup, Spike asked Twilight, “So, why are we monitoring the festival in Avalon?”

Twilight lowered her voice to a whisper as she gazed with deep gravity at Spike. “Celestia wants us to ensure that a potential Ritual to release Nightmare Moon from Tartarus is not performed the night before.”

Spike’s eyes widened with fear. He stammered, “T-Twilight, I know that you don’t make jokes very often, but that’s really not funny.”

“I’m not kidding,” Twilight said. “The stars will align to make the Ritual possible the night before the festival. Celestia and the other Gods are sending their servants throughout their kingdoms to make sure it doesn’t happen.”

Spike trembled. “So… Nightmare Moon could really be released?”

Twilight nodded. “Yes. But you can’t tell anyone else.”

Spike leaned back in his chair, folding his arms. “Are Shining and your parents watching the Celebration here, then?”

“Yes.”

“Does Celestia think that anyone’s really going to try to unseal Nightmare Moon?”

“No. She doesn’t even think that anyone but the Gods knows how to do it, let alone has the power to. But we still need to be prepared in case someone does.”

Spike sighed relievedly. “Alright. So that’s all we have to do? Go to Avalon and make sure no one tries to unseal Nightmare Moon the night before the festival?”

“Yes.”

Spike smiled. “Doesn’t sound too bad. This might be fun.”

Twilight frowned. “Spike, this is serious. We can’t take this mission lightly. We have to make sure we do a good job.”

Spike shrugged. “Alright. Sounds like we don’t need to worry too much, though.”

A nearby clock tower began chiming, and Twilight and Spike turned to it. It was nine o’clock.

“We’d better go home,” Twilight said. “We need to get a good night’s sleep for tomorrow.”
“Alright,” Spike said, and they finished their soup and walked back to the castle. They both brushed, took turns bathing and putting on their pajamas, then retired to their beds for the night.

* * *

Twilight was awakened the next morning by a knock on her door. As she yawned and sat up, her family’s butler Frederic opened her door. “Good morning, Miss Twilight,” he said. He was carrying a tray bearing Twilight’s covered breakfast, a sealed envelope, and two train tickets. “Princess Celestia regrets to inform you that she will be unable to accompany you to the train station this morning, as she is busy overseeing preparations for the festival. However, she bids you a safe journey and has sent you your tickets and a letter to be read when you’re settled in at the inn.”

“Thanks, Frederic,” Twilight said, taking the tray from him.

Frederic continued, “I will be here in half an hour to assist you in bringing your bags to the carriage. The train is scheduled to leave at eight o’clock,” and with a bow he exited her room.

Twilight ate her breakfast (which today was a cheese sandwich with tomato soup) and got dressed. After combing her hair and brushing her teeth, she went to Spike’s room to see how he was doing. He was ready, as well, and so in a few minutes Frederic came back with a couple more servants to help them carry their luggage to the black horse-drawn coach that was waiting outside.

When Twilight opened the door, she saw that Shining, Cadance, and her parents Twilight Velvet and Night Light were sitting inside. She smiled. “Hi, mom! Hi, dad!” she cried, running forward to embrace them.

Like his son, Night Light had blue hair and dark brown skin. His wife, however, had the fair complexion of an Athenian, with purple-and-white-striped hair, but was aside from that a spitting image of their daughter. They were both dressed in fine formal suits, as Velvet was Camelot’s head librarian and Night Light was the Royal Astronomist, leaving Twilight the only member of her family not yet in Celestia’s court.

Twilight stood back and sat next to Cadance while Spike sat next to Night Light. Once the door was closed, the driver urged the horse on and the carriage began driving to the station.

“Our daughter,” Night Light said, “to Avalon on a mission from Princess Celestia herself. We’re so proud of you.”

“Not as proud as I am,” Shining said, reaching across Cadance’s shoulders and rubbing Twilight’s head.

“Cut it out!” Twilight laughed, swatting his hand away.

“Be careful, though, Twilight,” Velvet said. “It could get very dangerous out there.”

“I’ll be fine, mom,” Twilight insisted.

“Besides,” Spike interjected, pointing at himself, “she’ll have me!”

Shining laughed. “Yeah. I’d hate to be the one who messed with Twilight with you around.”

“Oh! I almost forgot-” Velvet said, reaching under her seat. She produced a colorfully-wrapped parcel, which she presented to Spike. “Here is your present from Night Light and me. Just don’t open it until your birthday!”

Shining slapped his forehead. “Shit! Cadance and I forgot our present!”

“Watch your mouth, Shining!” his father chided.

Cadance took Shining’s hand in hers. “Don’t worry; we’ll mail it to Twilight when we get back home,” she said.

Twilight blushed and chuckled nervously. “Um… do you think you could send my present too, Shining?”

Spike scoffed, rolling his eyes. “My gosh, did everyone forget my presents?”

We didn’t,” Velvet said, sniffing indignantly.

“Oh,” Spike said. “Right. Sorry. Thanks, Mrs. Velvet.”

In about fifteen minutes they arrived at the Olympian train station. Shining and his parents helped Twilight and Spike pull their luggage off of the carriage and roll it to platform nine, the number listed on Twilight’s tickets. They came to a black luxury steam train that Beings were filing into as its conductors cried over the clamor, “All aboard for Avalon! All aboard for Avalon!”

Twilight turned to her parents. “Well, see you all in a week.”

She embraced them again.

“We love you, Twilight,” her father said.

“Love you too,” Twilight said, giving her parents each a kiss on the cheek.

Twilight gave Shining a hug, as well, before she turned smilingly to Cadance. They both danced in place, covered their eyes, then peeked through their fingers, singing, “Sunshine, sunshine, ladybugs awake.” They then played patty cake and than turned and shook their hips at each other, concluding, “Clap your hands and do a little shake!

They laughed and embraced, and Twilight said, “I’ll see you next week.”

“Bye, Twilight,” Cadance replied, releasing her.

Spike rolled his eyes, then accompanied Twilight onto the train. As the whistle blew and the engine lurched forward, Twilight stood on the stairs and enthusiastically waved at her family. “Goodbye!” she called.

Twilight’s family waved and called farewells back to her as they moved further and further away until they disappeared into the distance.

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Prologue

There were four races of Beings:

Angels, a dauntless, militant race of winged Beings who could walk upon clouds and take to the skies in flight;

Humans, a hardy, stubborn race of Beings gifted with great strength and a deep bond with nature;

Elves, a scholarly, mystical race of Beings who could practice Sorcery through the manipulation of their Chi;

And Gods, the immortal personifications of primal forces who ruled over the mortal Beings as paragons of wisdom, strength, beauty, and power.

The oldest and most powerful of the Gods was Discord, the God of Chaos. The age of his rule over the world was one of tyranny, mayhem, and despair.

However, one Goddess saw the suffering of the mortals and took pity on them: Celestia, the Goddess of the Sun. She united the other Gods and led them into battle against Discord, the cruel Lord of the Gods. Their battle was great, hard, and devastating, and though Discord vastly outmatched the other Gods they were able to narrowly escape the jaws of defeat and claim victory against him. The Gods prepared for him Tartarus, the great prison of Hells, and sealed him in stone in its deepest Hell.

Following Discord’s downfall, the Gods waged another great war amongst themselves for his now-empty throne. Celestia emerged victorious, and sealed five more dark Gods in five more Hells of Tartarus: in the second Hell she sealed Tirek, the God of War; in the third Hell she sealed Chrysalis, the Goddess of Lust; in the fourth Hell she sealed Sombra, the God of Darkness; in the fifth Hell she sealed Sonata, the Goddess of Music; and in the sixth Hell she sealed Scorpan, the God of Storms.

Celestia then divided the world’s lands amongst the remaining Gods, ruling over them as High Princess. What followed was a more civilized and peaceful age, though the mortal races were still divided in resentment and hatred.

Celestia ruled in the city of Olympus over the land of Equestria along with her younger sister Luna, the Goddess of the Moon. However, Luna began to grow envious of her sister, for their subjects adored and honored Celestia as they did the day while they feared and shunned Luna as they did the night. Though Celestia cautioned her sister against denying the mortals their freedom, Luna demanded their adoration and honor on pain of divine retribution. When Celestia stood against her, Luna renamed herself High Princess Nightmare Moon and declared war against her sister for the throne.

The Gods all took sides between the sisters, and so there was a third great and catastrophic war of the Gods. Celestia rallied the mortal races to unite against Nightmare Moon, and together they were able to defeat her. Though it caused her unspeakable sorrow, Celestia sealed her sister in the seventh Hell of Tartarus.

The Gods all returned to ruling over their lands, and the mortals all celebrated Nightmare Moon’s defeat. Thus began an age of unification, when all of the mortal races coexisted in harmony. From that day forward, the festival of the Summer Sun Celebration was celebrated on the first day of each summer to commemorate Celestia’s victory against Nightmare Moon and the beginning of the friendship between the mortal races.

Next Chapter >

The Sexualities of MLP: FiM’s Characters

I have just completed Break Your Heart, my first My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic fanfic. As I will do with all of my works, I will do a review of it so that I can discuss discuss it, my writing process for it, and its meaning in depth. Before I can do that, however, I have to discuss my personal theories on the show’s protagonists’ sexualities, as it’ll take long enough that it warrants an article of its own.

One of the characteristics of the body of my MLP:FiM fan works is that they have an ENORMOUS amount of thought put into them. They aren’t merely things that I think would be interesting to see; they are based almost entirely upon my actual, sincere theories on the show and its characters. For instance, in Break Your Heart, I interpret the characters thusly: Twilight and Pinkie are bisexual, Rarity and Applejack are heterosexual, and Rainbow and Fluttershy are homosexual. I didn’t designate them as such haphazardly; those are the sexualities I actually think they are. Without any further ado, here’s my explanation for why:

Let’s start with Twilight, Rarity, and Applejack, as I think they’re the easiest ones to categorize. Of the Mane Six, Rarity is easily the most boy-crazy. She spends a significant amount of time in Season One fantasizing over her encounter with Prince Blueblood, and in Simple Ways she is similarly obsessive over Trenderhoof, another famously handsome Stallion. She’s quite the drama queen, and yet hasn’t shown such an over-the-top obsession with a Mare. Of course, there is the possibility that she’s simply very closeted about it, so I leave open the possibility of bisexuality but at the moment err towards the simpler explanation and assume she’s heterosexual.

I believe that Twilight is attracted to Stallions for the same reason: she has demonstrated canonical attraction to one: Flash Sentry (oh, hush). However, I would argue there is a very good reason to believe that she’s attracted to Mares, as well: her relationship with the Princesses.

If you watch the show, you might notice that Twilight has an enormous, sometimes extreme obsession with Princess Celestia. Celestia was the very reason Twilight began studying magic (her special talent) in the first place; she admired and was awed by Celestia so greatly that she decided to imitate her amazing magical ability. As I’ve mentioned in a previous article, in the episode Lesson Zero Twilight is so terrified at the prospect of being late on an assignment and disappointing Celestia that she descends into madness and attempts to create a problem to solve. She literally tells her friends that it’s the “most horrific trouble [she’s] ever been in,” and this is the same girl who’s encountered a genocidally insane Goddess of the night and an omnipotent, sadistic Eldritch Abomination.

Furthermore, at the end of the first half of A Canterlot Wedding, Twilight’s friends all abandon her for her (perceived) false accusation of evil against (the fake) Cadence. It’s not her friends leaving her, nor her brother leaving her and also telling her to not come to his wedding that she was formerly going to be his Best Mare for, but Celestia’s abandonment that finally drives Twilight to tears.

Along with Twilight’s enormous devotion to Celestia, she also seems to have a crush on Cadence. Of course, she might not have meant anything by it, but I find it interesting that Twilight specifically listed “beautiful” among her descriptions of her former foal sitter. So with Twilight, I think it would be a rather safe wager that her affections extend to both genders.

Applejack is a little trickier, since she never really shows attraction towards anyone in the show. However, I would argue that this is due to deep repression; notice that in Tanks for the Memories, Pinkie says that Applejack only cries “on the inside.” For this reason, I think it’s certainly possible that she’s attracted to Mares or no one at all. On the other hand, she’s the Element of Honesty, so I imagine it’d be rather hard for her to hide an alternate sexuality. Therefore, I assume that she’s heterosexual.

With regards to Pinkie, Fluttershy, and Rainbow, I shall discuss the three of them together, as my theories regarding them are all interconnected; the key to it all is Rainbow.

For those familiar with Break Your Heart, you’ll notice that I raise several questions about Rainbow; why did she move out of Cloudsdale, despite the fact that she’s deeply loyal to it? Why was she bullied, despite the fact that she’s an athletic, attractive, outgoing girl? Her bullies berate her for getting kicked out of Flight Camp, yet she denies that she was, suggesting that she voluntarily left. Why would she, despite loving flying above all things? But above all: why did she become friends with the wildly different Fluttershy, and why did she move to the same Earth pony town Fluttershy did?

Of course, I theorize that she’s gay, Fluttershy is too, and that they were pushed together and out of Cloudsdale by their fellow Pegasi, who due to their competitive and hierarchical nature are extremely homophobic. Rainbow has (in my opinion) displayed attraction to her female friends, as well; in Over a Barrel, her wings extend (a sign of excitement) at the sight of Pinkie in a showgirl outfit. This wasn’t an animation error; a subsequent shot from a different angle shows that her wings are still extended. In Super Cider Squeezy 6000, Rainbow tears Fluttershy’s blanket away from her then stares at her exposed underside for a few moments, causing Fluttershy to cover herself and blush.

As I said before, I think Fluttershy is gay because of her close friendship with Rainbow. Think about it: no two ponies could be more different, and by all accounts Rainbow shouldn’t have become friends with Fluttershy. Fluttershy is deathly afraid of heights, which Rainbow has scarcely any tolerance for. Rainbow is tremendously demanding, but is preferentially gentle with Fluttershy. She was fiercely defensive of Fluttershy when she was being bullied, despite being about as far from “coolness” as someone can possibly be. There must be something they have in common that gives them such a strong bond, and such commonality being shunned homosexuality makes a great deal of sense.

And finally, Pinkie. I am absolutely, utterly convinced that Pinkie is completely in love with Rainbow. To begin, Pinkie is every bit as obsessed with Rainbow as Twilight is with Celestia. In Griffon the Brush-Off, Pinkie follows Rainbow around relentlessly and is determined to spend as much time with her as she can. When Pinkie throws Rainbow a birthday party, she goes tremendous distances to make it amazing that she doesn’t go with their other friends. Another thing I’ve noticed is that when it comes to Pinkie, Rainbow is shown with hearts rather frequently; her face framed by a heart-shaped hole in a wood in Party of One, or the hearts on Rainbow’s birthday banner (which other birthday banners don’t have). Pinkie loves Rainbow Dash; therefore she likes girls (or at least that particular girl).

I actually have rather little evidence for an attraction to males in Pinkie, but I consider it to still be substantial; Pinkie flirtatiously calls a statue of a Griffon king a “charmer.” I also would think that it… well, fits her personality. It’s a close call, but I lay my bets on “bi.”

Oddly enough, Rainbow doesn’t seem to only have caught the interest in Pinkie; Gilda behaves jealously toward Pinkie when she vies for Dash’s attention, and Scootaloo (another Pegasus living in Ponyville rather than a Pegasus city) has an obsession with Rainbow very reminiscent of Twilight’s obsession with her mentor Celestia.

A final note: the only characters whose sexualities I assigned arbitrarily in Break Your Heart are the two other Cutie Mark Crusaders, Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom, who are straight and bi, respectively. I ultimately decided on assigning them their sexualities for two reasons: number one, I wanted the Crusaders to be “balanced” the same way the Mane Six were (a completely even ratio of all three sexualities). Secondly, I ultimately decided which would be straight and which would be bi because I thought that it would be more interesting for Apple Bloom to be bi, since her family seems to be extremely traditionalist (see the complete lack of Pegasi or Unicorns in the Apple family?).

Here’s to My Little Pony; I cannot commend you enough for being the pioneers of progress in your industry.

Almanac: My Ambitions

Since this blog is essentially my personal diary, I thought I’d establish my ambitions for the future here so that I can both keep my eyes on them and always be able to look back at them and see how far I’ve come.

I wish to create nothing but masterpieces. To elaborate, my ideal is to be so great an artist that every work I produce is equal or greater to another master’s most magnificent piece. I wish for my works to be grand, epic, overwhelmingly beautiful, and unspeakably inspiring. I desire to be a master Midas of every medium; for everything I touch, be it a game, film, show, play, manga, or novel, to turn into gold. I want everything I create to make our world a better place.

I wish to be well-learned, so that my works might give others great knowledge. I wish to be virtuous and idealistic, so that my works might be beacons of compassion and morality.

I wish to become wise. My philosophy is “Learn as though you were to live forever,” and I wish to fully live up to that. I wish to become a sage so that my wisdom might resonate through my works and be passed on to those who hear my words so that their lives might be bettered.

But above all, my greatest ambition is to create the very pinnacle of all human achievement: the Grand Masterpiece of All Literature. I wish to create a story that will shine across every medium and be nothing less than the greatest example of each one. My ultimate hope is that, if it is indeed possible, that this work at last inspires all of mankind to unite in brotherhood, peace, and understanding. If such a universal peace is not possible, or if it is not possible for me to initiate it, I will be satisfied with it at least inspiring happiness and peace in some of my brothers and sisters on this Earth.

Here’s to my ideals; may they be my eternal guides.

Why MLP: FiM is Secretly EXTREMELY Dark

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is an excellent show. I love it to the point that I am writing fan works for it, and one of those works is going to be one of my major projects. One of the things I most love about it is its multilayered nature; the vigilant viewer can analyze it and uncover a much deeper world and cast than would first be apparent.

I think that MLP: FiM is perhaps the best base for fan fiction ever made because of this enormous hidden depth. I’m a very well-read individual, and it has some of the best characters I’ve ever seen. There are almost no limits to the possibilities of its vibrant world. It’s episodic, so you can make a lot of stories that have few limitations but still don’t conflict with the show’s cannon. It’s a storyteller’s dream.

However, it is generally understood within the MLP fanfic community that there are some limits as to what a writer can say without breaking the established rules of the show. Most notably, that at a certain level of darkness a fic is no longer plausible within the show’s world. After all, this world is very much a Sugar Bowl; the most powerful magic is friendship, and evil will always ultimately fall to it. And sure, there are evil things in this show- but never too evil. After all, it’s a kid’s show- they’d never have anything truly horrific in it. Works like Story of the Blanks, Fallout: Equestriaand Cupcakes would of course never happen or even be implied to happen in the show… right?

A warning to fellow fans of the show: as you can probably tell, I’m planning on using those three darkfics as reference during this article. If you don’t want to hear about things like that or fear that the show will be “Ruined Forever” for you because of me, I suggest you leave now.

With that said, here we go.

I would argue that My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is, in fact, one of the darkest shows you’ll ever see. I think the likes of Story of the Blanks and Cupcakes in fact wouldn’t be at all out of place within the world of show (not taking into account Out-of-Character behavior, of course). Will we ever see anything like those fics air on the show itself? No. However, once again, this show rewards the observant. I believe one of the things you’ll find if you pay attention is the truly bleak underbelly this show bears. Though this show superficially appears to be nothing more than a literal cheery, colorful world of rainbows and unicorns, the subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) hints and implications steadily reveal the setting to be a tremendously disturbing crapsaccharine world whose damaged characters and vile villains could give Madoka Magica a run for its money.

To begin our plunge into the darkness, let’s begin with the protagonists themselves. Each of the Mane Six is deeply screwed up in their own unique ways. Here they are:

Twilight Sparkle herself is a stress-drinker. In the first episode of the show, she immediately attempts to pour herself a drink from a bottle bearing the image of a bubbling cocktail. She  does this because Pinkie and the others have been bothering her ever since she arrived.

Twilight also has an obsession with pleasing Princess Celestia that borders on madness. In the third episode of the second season (which occurs immediately after her encounter with Discord, suggesting psychological trauma) she is literally so disturbed by the complete lack of problems in Ponyville that in a panic she creates one by enchanting her old doll so that it becomes an “apple of discord,” causing all who see it to fight over it. She does all of this so that she won’t be late in her “friendship lessons” assignment.

Rainbow Dash is obsessed with apple cider to the point that she seems to have an addiction to it. She’s also dangerously cocky to the point that her risk-taking has almost costed her her life a few times.

There’s also the fact that she lives in Ponyville, despite having a deep love for Cloudsdale, and is not a Wonderbolt, despite the fact that she desperately wants to be and is the fastest Pegasus in the world. I believe that the reason for both of these things is because Rainbow Dash is a lesbian (I’ll explain my reasoning for this in another article) and she’s actively eschewed both her hometown and her dream job because other Pegasi are extremely intolerant of homosexuals, which would seem to be consistent with their highly competitive and hierarchical nature.

I think it’s interesting that Fluttershy, who is Rainbow Dash’s friend, has also moved to Ponyville from Cloudsdale. I also find it interesting that while they were in Cloudsdale they were friends at all, considering the enormous dissonance between their personalities and interests. I’ve also noticed that Fluttershy seems to be the most cynical of the group; despite her shy and passive nature, when she’s really pushed she demonstrates a rather abrasive and bitter side. This is particularly noticeable in Putting Your Hoof Down, where she viciously verbally attacks Pinkie and Rarity with such effectiveness that they’re driven to tears, and the insults’ poignancy heavily suggests that both they and Fluttershy at least partially believe the insults she’s hurling at them.

I believe that there is a reason for both Fluttershy’s strange friendship with Rainbow as well as her deep cynicism: she’s gay too, and due to the resulting shunning by her fellow Pegasi she naturally bonded with Rainbow since Rainbow was one of the only ones who would accept her. I also think she grew more cynical than Rainbow because while Rainbow was able to win some respect from their peers through her athletic prowess, Fluttershy had no such asset at her disposal, and therefore she ended up getting it worse than Rainbow did.

Applejack is deeply repressed and emotionally dysfunctional. She sees it as a world-shattering descent into eternal shame to fail at any task, be it wining rodeos or bucking all the apples from her orchard by herself. For a specific example, when she fails at winning money for the town in a rodeo, she runs away from home and vows never to come back until she has the money she promised. My sureness of her emotional dysfunction is further solidified by Tanks for the Memories, where she is said to cry “on the inside” but implied not to do so openly. As any psychologist can tell you, this isn’t very healthy, since we need to cry sometimes.

I suggest that the reason for her repression is her family; I think that the Apples are very, very traditionally orthodox and as a result are dysfunctional and repressed as a general rule. One way I think this manifests is a family taboo on miscegenation with non-Earth ponies. Consider the Flim Flam brothers. All signs point to them being Apples; they have green eyes, red and white manes, apples for cutie marks, and are in the apple agricultural business, all of which are characteristic of the Apple family. Furthermore, when they are first introduced in Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000 and are first shown to meet Granny Smith, they don’t have to ask her name; they know her already.

The one thing that sets them apart from other Apples is that they’re Unicorns, which leads me to believe that they were estranged by their family (as Unicorns are incapable of bucking apple trees properly, which is what all Apples are expected to do) and have subsequently set out to prove their family wrong (and get poetic revenge on them) by beating them out of the apple business in spite of and because of their Unicorn powers. This would also explain why they came to Ponyville specifically twice, despite the fact that they were run out by Ponyville’s citizens the first time they came.

Rarity is overly concerned with her standing in society’s favor and is very emotionally manipulative. She literally excused herself from Twilight’s birthday party for the sole purpose of remaining in the Canterlot elite’s good graces (and when it’s in danger she starts stress-drinking, as well). She also has a tendency to use her tremendously good looks to get what she wants from others. Not only does she without hesitation charm stranger Stallions out of anything of theirs she might desire, but I strongly suspect she does so to her friends as well; assuming Fluttershy is in fact gay, I think it’s not too great a leap to suppose that Rarity utilized Fluttershy’s attraction to her to pressure Fluttershy into modeling for her (which, by the way, she knows fully well Fluttershy wants absolutely no part of).

But the most worrisome target of Rarity’s manipulations is Spike. First of all, I find it morally grey at best that Rarity would use Spike’s affections for her to manipulate him the way she does in the show. She more or less uses him as a personal serf (which Twilight arguably does as well, but at least in that case Twilight is feeding and housing him) without ever making clear that he has no real chance with her.

Except that perhaps Spike doesn’t have a practically nonexistent chance with Rarity after all. She does seem to lead him on a lot, but there are a few times when Rarity behaves in such a way that I suspect that there is some sincerity in her feigned interest in him after all. Most of these times, of course, occur in Secret of My Excess;

First, after Spike gives up a rare gem for her, she gives him a kiss on the cheek. Alright, innocent enough…

Second, Rarity proceeds to defend the gem with her life from an enormous dragon (who, though she doesn’t know at the time, is Spike, who at the time is unable to control himself) who will potentially eat her alive. Okay, that’s… a little much…

Third, when Spike transforms back into his baby dragon self and they fall through the sky, Spike attempts to make a Dying Declaration of Love. Rarity stops him halfway through and starts smilingly crying.

Spike is a child, by the way.

Doctor Who What

What the hell was THAT?! 

(This was how I really reacted when I first saw that scene, by the way.)

Fellow MLP fans, was I the only one who was really weirded out and more than a little creeped out when Rarity started crying? Did I mention that Rarity is a teenager and Spike is a child?

Finally, when they’re safely on the ground again, Rarity kisses Spike on the cheek again. Please oh please tell me I’m not the only one who finds this kind of really creepy.

At last, we arrive at Pinkie Pie.

First of all, I want to make one thing abundantly clear: I absolutely do not think that Pinkie would ever do anything like she does in Cupcakes. I think that she’s a very good pony who would be absolutely horrified at the very idea of doing anything like that. However, I think it’s useful as a reference because of a few specific facts about it: first, that it was published within a short time of Party of One, and second, that both Cupcakes and Party of One are based around the idea of Pinkie being psychologically disturbed.

The reason I find these two parallel facts so significant is because they indicate that the writers of both stories had a same basic interpretation of Pinkie’s character: that she is, on some level, mentally unwell. Not remotely to the level of Cupcakes, mind you, but unwell nonetheless. I argue that she has some form of depression, since she demonstrates some of the symptoms (swinging extremes in emotion, emotional immaturity, etc. [if you’re a qualified psychologist, feel free to point out any holes in my theory]). This would also be consistent with Pinkie being raised in what seems to be a rather repressed household (it is for this reason that I also argue that Maud is even more depressed than Pinkie; notice how she and Pinkie have extremely similar personalities when Pinkie loses her Cutie Mark in the first two episodes of Season Five). When Pinkie believes that she’s lost her friends in Party of One, she experiences an extremely disturbing lapse in sanity where she attempts to have a party in which her friends’ roles are filled by inanimate objects. And yes, I do mean extremely disturbing:

Pinkie Snapping 1 Pinkie Snapping 2 Pinkie Snapping 3

A TV-Y children’s show about rainbows and unicorns, ladies and gentlemen.

Let’s discuss the rest of the world and the side characters now.

First of all, the world is insanely dangerous. It has, among other things: malevolent, fire-breathing dragons; manticores; Cerberus; hydras; gargantuan bears; and ice-demon-horses that can freeze things alive. And yes, these things do attempt to kill other things. It never happens on-screen, of course, but still: a group of teenage dragons explicitly desire to smash some unhatched phoenix eggs. They explicitly want to kill them.

With regards to the rest of the characters, they’re explicitly shown to be realistically racist, classist, and otherwise bigoted towards groups of characters different from themselves. There’s also implied infidelity in the show; when Mr. and Mrs. Cake (both Earth ponies) have a pair of twins (a Unicorn and a Pegasus), the protagonists ask how the babies’ races differ from their parents. Mr. Cake replies that he had a great-grandfather who was a Unicorn and that Mrs. Cake had a great aunt’s second cousin twice removed who was a Pegasus, before desperately requesting assurance that that makes sense (for any not familiar with genetics or genealogy, his explanation is rubbish).

Of course, a show is only as bleak as it’s most wicked villains, so I’ve saved them for last. Precisely how horrible are My Little Pony’s villains? I actually doubt you could find villains more utterly evil and shockingly vile than these; they are collectively dishonest, manipulative, unpleasant, abusive, hypocritical, tyrannical, sadistic, sexually perverted, murderous, and torturous. Here is, in detail, what some of them have done:

Perhaps the least evil of the show’s major villains is Starlight Glimmer. However, she remains one of the most disturbing; she rules a cult town that claims all of its citizens to be “equal” through removing their cutie marks. It bears strong resemblances to concentration camps and real-life cults; whenever someone shows signs of possible dissent, Starlight locks them in a room with her propaganda blaring nonstop until they succumb back to submission. For added creepiness, the townsfolk all wear unnaturally large smiles at all times, and Starlight is simultaneously utterly hypocritical and seems disturbingly sincere about her belief that cutie marks cause disharmony; she secretly still has hers, though she seems to have convinced herself that without it her “perfect society” couldn’t exist (this is a real-life practice for cult leaders; the best way to get your followers to believe your lies is to make yourself believe them, too).

Next up is Sombra, who is a tyrannical overlord who the show’s creators have stated to be based on Sauron. He fully lives up to it; he enslaved the Crystal ponies and lives off of their pain and misery (and seems to gleefully enjoy it, too). He’s also killed onscreen by the main characters, by the way.

Next up is Tirek. First of all, he was imprisoned in the Equestrian Hell-equivelant prison Tartarus for many years. Rightfully so; once he escapes, he immediately begins draining ponies’ magical energies to increase his own power. He’s generally power-hungry and unpleasant, but the true extent of his vileness is Fridge Horror: whenever he takes ponies’ magic away, they immediately loose their abilities; Earth ponies loose their strength, Unicorns lose their spell casting, and Pegasi loose their flight. This of course logically means that some Pegasi fell helplessly from the sky to their deaths. We have no reason to believe Tirek would have saved them; he is shown to be a complete sociopath with no regard for others through his remorseless betrayal and mocking of Discord when he no longer served Tirek’s ends.

Next is Chrysalis. Aside from the fact that she attempted a hostile takeover of Canterlot to farm its citizens and feed on their love, she also imprisoned Cadence, attempted to goad Twilight into murdering her, and is heavily implied to have raped Shining Armor and be planning to do so again.

Rape. In My Little Pony. I’m dead serious. I know some of you might contest this, but honestly, they’re not even very subtle about it; first of all, why doesn’t Chrysalis just kill Shining? That would immediately solve her problem of the barrier he places around Canterlot, and then victory would quickly be hers. And it’s not like she’s not willing to kill ponies; once again, she attempted to get Twilight to kill Cadence. Chrysalis also tells Twilight that she can’t have her interfering with her plans for Shining. What other plans could she be referring to? Once again, if it was about her conquest, she could just kill him. There’s pretty much no doubt left by her song; (emphasis added) “No, I do not love the groom / In my heart there is no room / But I still want him to be all mine.”

Finally, we have Discord. He is, in my opinion, the most utterly evil character in the entire show (at his introduction, at least). First of all, he’s a complete jerk. Even after his first “reformation,” he’s still a complete jerk. Between being an all-powerful Eldritch Abomination and being a pure hedonist, everything and everyone else is nothing more than a plaything to him. Despite his chaotic reality-warping causing tremendous distress to everyone around him, he continues to inflict misery on them anyway. He’s also very petty; any slight against him, no matter how minor, is swiftly repaid by him several times over (his response to Fluttershy’s bunny attempting to kick him off a couch, for instance, is to hit and deliberately horrify it).

He’s also a very, very Dirty Old Man. He behaves very creepily around the main characters;  special mention goes to the creepy way he strokes Twilight and Fluttershy’s faces. He seems to have a stalkerish infatuation with Fluttershy to the point that he jealously attempts to throw Fluttershy’s guest to the Grand Galloping Galla into another dimension for being chosen over him. In the same episode, he also appears in Spike’s bed and stares at the Cutie Mark Crusaders while they’re in a dressing room (back-to-back, no less). To drive the point home, all of the kids in question are really freaked out when he does.

Lastly, Discord is a genocidal torturer. He cheerfully breaks the main characters’ minds when they first meet him and is shown in one of the stained glass windows to be burning ponies alive with the same sadistic glee. Here it is:

Discord Window

And why wouldn’t he? He’s easily bored, has no empathy whatsoever until Keep Calm and Flutter On, and doesn’t care at all about the well-being of others. It isn’t hard for me to imagine Discord going to any depth of depravity, including this one.

So, I hope that I have satisfactorily demonstrated My Little Pony to be pretty much as dark as you can possibly get. You all might be wondering, why did I do this? Well, simply put, I did this because I want everyone to know how brilliant this show is.

I am honestly quite sick of people dismissing MLP: FiM as shoddy children’s drivel without even watching it. I did this partially as a response to those naysayers; “I’m watching a really excellent show with amazing characters. It’s really dark; there’s cults, rape, murder, and torture in it. You know what show it is? My Little Pony. Yeah, not so stupid and sissy anymore, huh?”

But I also did this to inspire deeper appreciation of the show from my fellow fans. I didn’t write my observations to depress any of you; I wrote them so you could better appreciate how optimistic and hopeful this show is. Think of Avatar: the Last Airbender or Harry Potter as well as My Little Pony; they are all children’s works that adults love, they all have amazing yet flawed characters, they are all audaciously extremely dark (they all have cults, rape, murder, and torture), and they all ultimately deliver messages of peace, friendship, and hope.

As I said in a previous article, I believe that the best works are the darkest yet most hopeful ones. They teach perhaps life’s most valuable lesson: that while no, life’s not fair, and yes, it’s dark and bleak and terrifying, you can still overcome all the odds and find peace and happiness.

Despite the protagonists’ flaws and shortcomings, they are all still good people; they all love and support one another through every trial the world throws at them, no matter how great and horrible it might be. In the world of My Little Pony, the Moral Event Horizon does not exist; despite how utterly despicable Discord is, they still manage after much trial and error to reform him.

That is why My Little Pony is so brilliant; because it’s so overwhelmingly dark, where there is light it is blindingly beautiful.

Here’s to My Little Pony, a show that shows in every way that friendship truly is magic.

My Storytelling Style

Now that I’ve started to make my work available to all of you, I thought it would be appropriate to introduce you all to how I craft my projects.

First of all, I am a storyteller by extension of being a lover of stories. Put another way, I write because I love reading. Aside from writing, I probably spend more time reading than I do doing anything else; I will literally forget to eat and lose sleep while reading. I don’t even listen to music or watch movies or shows as much as I read. I’m the sort of bookworm other bookworms would call too obsessed with books (although I’m nearly every bit as obsessed with all other media, as well).

When I read (or watch a movie, or play a game, etc.), I always expect a few things: I expect to be entertained, I expect to learn, but most of all I expect to lose myself in a stunning fictional world.

This is the main reason I read: the escapism. I don’t much care for reality; my childhood was extremely difficult and unhappy due to a number of things, including being witness to a pretty nasty divorce, having a thoroughly screwed up extended family, and being viciously bullied by other kids.

The bullying was absolutely the very worst part; I’ve always been extremely weird and socially inept (I have Asperger’s Syndrome and ADHD, among other things) and completely nonconformist. As a result, I was abused physically and emotionally by other kids throughout my entire elementary school career. Since I live in Utah, a lovely little hamlet of repression and unenlightenment of the honorary Deep South, the adults did nothing, thinking it wasn’t a real problem.

The bullying deeply damaged me. Between my abuse at the hands of my peers and my authority figures’ complete lack of interference, I developed a deep hatred and mistrust of my fellow human beings that I continue to bear to this day. I completely lost any empathy for those who’d done me harm, and began desiring to inflict the same pain upon them that they’d inflicted upon me. I’m so very grateful for my mother, who understood and cared for me and was largely responsible for me not becoming something truly horrific like a serial killer or a school shooter or something like that. As a brief aside: to all those who read this, monsters are made, not born. Trust me, as someone who was well on the path to becoming one, I know.

I’m convinced now that sociopaths are perhaps the most empathetic people around; my mother (who is a brilliant psychology student) told me that everyone has empathy, but most sociopaths are so sensitive and have had such terrible experiences that they can’t bear their own emotions and simply switch them off. I can personally attest that that is probably true; I’m extremely sensitive and compassionate (especially towards animals), but after my suffering at the hands of my abusers I no longer have any of that compassion whatsoever for those I deem to be evil. I think at this point you could accurately say that I’m partially sociopathic. You know how I compare myself to Sherlock Holmes, Leleouch Lamperouge, and Light Yagami? Yeah, I’m not kidding.

I’m eternally grateful for my mother. She’s every bit as intelligent and sensitive as I am, and she was able to understand me and was instrumental in my survival in a frankly dark and rather hopeless world. She nurtured my empathy and helped steer me off the course of exacting vengeance upon those who’d wronged me. Another of the best things she did for me is she pulled me out of school and homeschooled me during my middle school years.

I’m also very grateful for my dad. It was his side of my family that is especially screwed up, and he and my mother’s divorce was because of things he’d done, so I’m not saying he’s a saint by any means. But he’s a much better person than he used to be, and I owe him eternally for one thing: if my mother saved me from my despair, my father was the gatekeeper to all that brings me joy.

The word “nostalgia” is meaningless to me. I had a horrible childhood, and I never want to have it back. However, there is one source of happy memories within that bleak time: reading, watching movies, playing games, and otherwise consuming media. The only happy times I can remember are when I watched Disney movies, played games on my Gameboy and PC, was read books to at bedtime, and all the other times I sat and listened to stories. I can only recall joy in those moments watching The Secret of NIMH, or playing Klonoa: Empire of Dreams, or when my dad read me Ender’s Game or told me epic fantasy stories he made up as he went along.

There’s nothing I love my parents for more than this. Through stories, they gave me my only moments of happiness and my only escapes from my relentless sorrow. Though both of my parents gave me both of these things, my mother provided me more of the latter while my father provided me more of the former. Of course, I can trace my love of many of my favorite works to my mother; because of her I love The Wizard of OzPride and Prejudice, and Hitch. However, though my mother introduced me to these and saved me from becoming a monster, it is my father who made me who I am.

My father was a nerd in the ’80s when geekdom was still a tiny subculture. He’s one of Star Wars’ biggest and oldest fans, he was one of the first in line to see The Fellowship of the Ring when it was first released in 2001, and he was a hardcore gamer in the golden age of arcades. He passed the flame of highest-caliber nerdiness down to me by watching Batman Begins with me, reading Harry Potter to me, and playing Medal of Honor with me. It is he who gave me my tastes and my passionate, burning love for media. Matilda is one of my favorite books because I can relate so deeply to Matilda Wormwood; like her, I was a brilliant, miserable little kid whose only escape from his dark, cynical world was the bright, optimistic world of fiction.

I cannot describe how much I love reading. It continues to be what makes me happy and what makes my life worth living. I found that I could not be satisfied with what I had, however; there were books that I wanted to read that did not exist. So naturally, the duty fell to me to make it so I could read them. This is actually why I am an author: I write the books that I want to read but currently cannot. I am simply a storyteller as an extension of being an audience.

I’ve been writing and drawing my whole life. Most of what I made at first was fan works of my favorite stories. From the moment I could hold a crayon, I drew Spider-Man over and over and over again, getting steadily better each time. I wrote very poorly-spelled stories about Batman and Pokémon and Klonoa and everything else I loved. I read my first novel (The Incredibles) in one sitting, and proceeded to do the same with every installment of the Harry Potter books. As I grew older, I began writing (somewhat) original stories by asking myself questions such as: “What would happen if a boy fell in love with an alien girl?”, “What would happen if a serial killer turned up in Idaville, and Encyclopedia was the only one who could stop him?”, and “Shouldn’t there be an amazing Santa Claus novel?” These questions have led me to write novels called UFOPact, and Santa Claus respectively, which I will at some point finish and release for all of you to read.

But my most defining experience was when I conceived my magnum opus. While I was playing on the swing-set in my front yard, I formulated the idea of a story with a few basic concepts: a girl who could transform into a mouse, a witch, an inky, warped, black figure with red eyes, a hotel room, and psychedelic rainbow-ness everywhere. The idea really intrigued me, and I thought it was really cool.

Then I completely forgot about it.

A few years later, in the summer of my eleventh year, I was reading a series of books on the paranormal called Mysteries of the Unknown in my town’s public library. My father had brought them from the library a few years earlier, and I’d adored and been fascinated by them since. This is actually perhaps my most vivid memory; I can tell you exactly where I was and which book it was. I was cross-legged in one of the corners and the book in question was Utopian Visions.

Upon finishing one of the pages I closed the book and thumped it against my knee. “Wow,” I thought. “This stuff is amazing. How the heck has someone not written a novel about it?”

I think the thing I loved most about those books (and the weird, supernatural subjects they covered) was the pure, unadulterated sense of wonder I felt reading them. It’s a bit difficult to describe what I mean, but I’ll try: play Bejeweled 3, or read A Wrinkle in Time, or listen to The Real World by Owl City. Hell, just read The Mysteries of the Unknown. You feel that? That’s the mood, the feeling, the wonder I’m talking about.

“Why hasn’t someone made a novel about this stuff?” I thought. Of course, stories about aliens, or ghosts, or vampires, or Bigfoot, or telekinesis, or fortunetelling, or bending reality had all existed already. However, most everything I’d yet seen of the subject matter (such as GhostbustersAtlantis: The Lost Empire, or the aforementioned A Wrinkle in Time) covered only a few of these things, mentioning the rest only in passing. But I had yet to see a story cover all of it at once, let alone on as grand and epic a scale as, say, Lord of the Rings.

“If someone would write a book like that,” I thought, “that would be the best book ever.”

And at that moment, the inspiration struck me. I suddenly remembered that beginning of an idea I’d had years before, and with this newfound realization the story rapidly grew. would write that book, and it would indeed be the best book ever.

At that moment I immediately ran home, pulled open a binder full of filler paper, and began writing a book I knew should be titled Rainbow. My reasoning was simple: it was the only name that suited it. Only rainbows were comparable to the wonder and beauty this book would contain. Only rainbows were as magical.

Ever since I began this project seven years ago, it has been my greatest obsession. It has remained almost entirely unchanged from those ideas I formulated on the library floor when I was eleven years old. I have dedicated my life to it; I fully intend to make it truly the Grand Masterpiece of All Literature. In my mind, all other things are subordinate to and serve it; I eat, drink, and sleep so that I can write it. I read, play games, and watch movies and shows to increase its quality. Finally, I create other works simply to support and expand upon it. Indeed, this website itself is ultimately here only for the sake of Rainbow.

About a year later, I sat down and watched an anime with my father and brother. Though I’d seen Pokémon and Digimon and Yu-Gi-Oh and Naruto, I hadn’t yet seen what anime was truly capable of.

The anime my father, brother, and I watched was Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. It was the most thoroughly mind-blowing experience I’ve ever had.

I was absolutely staggered at how overwhelmingly epic and enormous this show was. It was bright, it was colorful, it was emotional, it was existential, it was thrilling, it was exciting, it was awesome, and it was so, so damn beautiful. Ever since then, I’ve been every bit as obsessed with anime as I was with Rainbow, and very shortly thereafter I realized that I must make Rainbow an anime; believe me, when you all read it, you’ll see that anime really is the perfect medium for it. Shortly after that I decided I’d move to Japan to make it fully realized; I would make the Grand Masterpiece of All Literature shine across every medium; prose, animation, graphic literature, live performance, and simulation. Japan is the perfect place to accomplish all that.

With all that in mind, I can now explain my style of storytelling.

Firstly, I write for myself. As I said before, I write the books I want to read. I have dedicated my life to writing Rainbow because I have dedicated my life to reading Rainbow, which I will be unsatisfied with unless it’s the greatest novel of all time.

Because of this, I am determined to make every one of my works a timeless masterpiece. Once again, because those are the sorts of things I want to read.

My writing is passionate, direct, and blunt. I do not write to shock, but I also do not care if what I say shocks my audience. I aim to tell the truth, no matter how shocking it is nor how much people don’t want to hear it. Because of this I have no doubt I’ll be controversial, but I say: so be it. Nearly every great work (and man) shakes the world, and as Gandhi said: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

People say that True Art is Angsty. I disagree; I think that true art is angsty, but hopeful. My favorite works are those that plunge the audience into deep darkness, but show that there is still enormous beauty and light in the world. If you want great examples of this, watch It’s a Wonderful Life or The Wizard of Oz or Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. All of these movies are stereotypically “happy,” but if you watch them they are actually quite dark; none of them shy away from the depths of horror and despair that humans can experience. However, they don’t conclude with the message “the world sucks and we’re all screwed;” rather, they reassure us that despite the great horror and misery in the world, it’s still unbelievably beautiful and you can still be happy. I create my works with this philosophy; I attempt to make every one of my works speak a message of hope and compassion after its characters undergo great trial and tribulation to demonstrate the truth of it.

By the same token, all of my works are deconstructions/reconstructions of themselves. I believe all the best works are; for instance, Harry Potter is an unbuilt story, since it’s about a kid who goes to a magic school. However, even though it was the first story to popularize this concept, it deconstructed its own ideas before anyone else could; though the world of magic is shown to be wondrous and awesome, it’s also demonstrated to be dark and horrific. Once again, I don’t believe in darkness for darkness’ sake, but rather to make the victory of light all the more triumphant, which I believe is what will naturally happen when a story is truly great. This is one of my philosophies: a story should be self-aware and intelligent.

I am primarily a world builder. This makes sense, I think, since the primary motivation behind my love of reading is to escape to a better world. I’ve never had much tolerance for works that attempt to show the “gritty and ugly” side of life; if I wanted to experience that, I’d just go out and walk down an impoverished street. My philosophy is: there is no reason to not make everything about your work beautiful. If sewers can look gorgeous *cough* *cough* Eternal Sonata *cough* *cough*, anything can. This is actually why my art falls in a spectrum between anime-style art and fantastic realism; I find that they are the most aesthetically pleasing art styles. This is also why my favorite works are very slick and/or colorful, and I aim to make all of my own exactly the same.

Because of my love for intricate and detailed worlds, I have an especial love for doorstoppers. You are all free to call me “tree-killer;” I love doorstoppers and most of my works will probably be doorstoppers themselves.

With regards to themes, my subject is always human nature. Of course, my magnum opus tackles the biggest ones: the meaning of life and the secret of happiness, but all of my others tackle some or other aspect of the human condition. I expect to learn when I read, and by the same token I aim to teach when I write.

I believe in never talking down to my audience. As far as I’m concerned, Viewers are Geniuses. That’s not even an exaggeration; if you go to the TV Tropes page on it and read the description of a stereotypical example, it reads,

“…you go and write a series loaded with difficult quantum mechanics, quoting obscure 17th-century philosophers, with characters who are philosophical Magnificent Bastards who speak a dozen languages while conversing to each other by sending Shakespearean Zen koans hidden into chess move patterns, and packed with allusions to ancient Sumerian religion. You make sure all your Techno Babble is scientifically plausible and go to great lengths to make sure all your ancient Roman soldiers are wearing exact replicas of period equipment.

This is almost word-for-word exactly what my works are like. Seriously, when you read Dragons or Rainbow and read that quote again, I think you’ll find that they fit pretty well within that hypothetical, satirical, exaggeratedly ridiculous description. One of my greatest challenges has actually been attempting to categorize my works; I could accurately call Rainbow Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Dystopian, and Romance all at once. As for what age group it’s for, I’ll probably end up marketing it as a YA novel; after all, its protagonists are thirteen-to-sixteen-year-olds. On the other hand, it’s very violent and sexual, with torture, human trafficking, genocide, rape, war, and incest all coming into play. It also has a very healthy dose of existential cosmic horror. But on the other hand, I would have absolutely adored it when I was a kid. Then again, when I was a kid I was reading Dracula and Les Misérablesso perhaps I never represented the child demographic very well…

Nonetheless, I know children like it when a work is high quality and respects them; after all, children aren’t stupid, and they’re humans just like everyone else. Therefore I refuse to talk down to them.

Finally, concerning the sort of characters I write: I diligently attempt to represent every kind of human in my works, but when it comes to my main characters (that is, my main protagonists and main villains) you’ll probably see a disproportionate amount of Author Avatars of varying degrees of blatantness within them. If you want to know precisely how pure of Author Avatars any of my characters are, look for characters who resemble Sherlock Holmes, Sheldon Cooper, or Leleouch Lamperouge. Especially Leleouch; I would say that he’s probably closer to what I’m like than any other character in fiction. Pay special attention to magnificent bastards and tortured well-intentioned extremists; more often than not those are probably supposed to be me. It’s almost certain they are if they are albino (I have vitiligo, which basically means that someday I will be an albino) and/or bisexual (I’m not, but wish I was, since I feel I’m denied the ability to detect all human beauty, which I as an artist desperately desire. This one’s more wish fulfillment than anything). You can bet the house on it if the character in question is flamboyantly campy (again, just like Leleouch. People think I’m gay all the time because I’m really like this; I think masculinity is an idiotic ideal to aspire to). Yeah, you guys can probably see why I love Emperor Kusco and Lord Shen so much. I’m insanely vain and egotistical on every level it’s possible to be.

Here’s to my works; I hope you’ll all enjoy them as much as I am.

My Little Pony Fanfictions

As part of my writing career, I’m going to be writing fan fictions.

The first I’m publishing are fan fictions for My Little Pony: Friendship is MagicI’m going to publish all new chapters for them on my blog, which are all going to be indexed under the “Projects” tab under the “Fan Works” page. If you want to be informed of new chapters of these fics as soon as I write them, I recommend you go to fimfiction.net, get an account, and follow me so that you’ll be informed of any updates I make to my MLP fics.

I also plan to review other people’s fics; if enough of you request it, I’ll put those reviews on this blog, but until then they’ll just be on my fimfiction page. I’ll also give news updates on my fics on my fimfiction blog, but not this one. All you’re going to hear about those fics on this blog is when I write new fics, in which case I’ll just announce them.

The only fic I have written so far is Break Your Heart, of which I have two chapters written. You can read it on fimfiction or in my “Projects” page. If you want to read any of my My Little Pony fics, you need to read this one before you read any others; this fic is going to be canonical backstory for all the other ones I will write (unless I note otherwise).

Most importantly, I’m writing these fics in preparation for a huge, ambitious MLP fan fiction project I’m planning to do in the near future. Unlike my other fics, I consider this secret endeavor to be a full-fledged project in its own right, so I’ll provide news for it on this blog the same way I will for all my original projects. Even if you don’t like My Little Pony, please watch for it; I think you’re going to like it anyway. Trust me.

Almanac: The ’80s

In the novel Ready Player One (which I plan to review relatively soon) there is a character named James Halliday who compiles a collection of writings known as Anorak’s Almanac. In his almanac he rambles his thoughts on the world in general and pop culture specifically.

I relate very deeply to Halliday and share many of his eccentricities and interests, most notably our shared obsession with the 1980s. Reading about Halliday and the Almanac immediately made me want to undertake such an endeavor, and so I’ve decided to begin this subproject henceforth known as Akira’s Almanac where I can place my general musings on perhaps my two favorite subjects: philosophy and media, often intermingling the two. Without further ado, here are my thoughts on perhaps the best place to start: the ’80s.

I am incredibly, deeply obsessed with the ’80s. Despite the fact that I haven’t lived during that decade, it is my favorite historical decade, followed closely by the ’60s and the 2000s.   My reasoning is pretty simple: in my mind, the 1980s was the decade when modern media was born. Although things such as popular music, video games, speculative fiction, and anime had existed before this era, this was the time they began to be refined to excellence; though the ’70s gave us the first arcade games and home consoles, the ’80s gave us the Golden Age of Arcades and the standard-setting, trailblazing home titles such as Super Mario Bros. 3 and The Legend of Zelda. Though it’s the ’60s that gave us Star Trek and The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars and Dungeons and Dragons began in the ’70s and forever entrenched speculative fiction in our culture by the ’80s. The ’80s gave us perhaps the first “true” pop music with entertainers such as Michael Jackson and Madonna, and the global smash hit anime Dragon Ball was gathering steam in Japan.

I feel I as an enormous nerd owe unfathomably much to the ’80s, and not just because it’s when the foundation of modern geekdom was established; this was also the decade that established my favorite aesthetics.

To explain what I mean, think of what the ’80s was. Of course, the people I asked about it might have been donning nostalgia goggles, but from what I hear the ’80s was a huge, colorful party much like the ’20s- and had all the problems that come with huge, wild parties. At that point relations between the West and the Soviet Union were at a peak of tension not seen since the Cuban Missile Crisis, and people had very good reason to fear that the entire world would go up in a mushroom cloud. Naturally, when people are very, very frightened, they become very hedonistic, and thus we got the party today known as the ’80s. Oh sure, we had lots of fun- we had lots of loud, new music, new toys, lots of colored lights, and lots of wild hair, but along with that came a new STD, an influx of disturbingly predatory media, and a repeat of Prohibition in the form of cocaine.

I’ll discuss all that another time; right now I’ll focus on what I like about the ’80s. Again, it was the era of bright light and vibrant color. To give you an idea of precisely how important that is to me, my favorite anime is Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann and my favorite electronic game is Kingdom Hearts II. You’ll notice that both of those works are absolutely brimming with vibrantly colorful lights and feature climaxes that involve the opponents throwing pure energy at each other, culminating in the antagonist barraging the protagonists with enormous amounts of it. That’s one of the biggest observations I’ve made about my aesthetic taste: the more bright and vibrantly colorful a work is, the more likely I am to like it. Of course, this sort of aesthetic principle very much took ahold in the ’80s, with works such as the Star Wars films and Tron utilizing ridiculous amounts of colored energy. I cannot thank the ’80s enough for providing me this, as you’ll see most or all of my works being this bright and colorful.

The ’80s also gave us some of our first great ventures into fantasy; we got WillowConan the Barbarian, The Dark Crystal, The Princess Bride, and Labyrinth during this decade. Though these films couldn’t quite reach the scope and grandiosity of high fantasy (my favorite sub genre), which would finally happen in the 2000s with the Lord of the Rings films, we got excelent experiences with the restrictions we had nonetheless. We were also setting the stage for such huge high fantasy works to happen; this was the time Dungeons and Dragons at last developed a huge cult following, paving the way for the best Final Fantasy games, other fantasy tabletop games such as Magic: the Gathering, and of course huge cinematic fantasy endeavors such as Game of Thrones and the aforementioned Lord of the Rings.

But there is one thing in particular that stands out about the ’80s to me. It’s the one thing that makes me think that perhaps I was born in the wrong time and should have come into my prime then rather than now. To understand why, I must discuss my magnum opus.

In my “About” page, you’ll see near the end that I mention a desire to pen the “Grand Masterpiece of All Literature.” This isn’t just a general, vague dream; I’m speaking of a specific project when I speak these words. This project I refer to is my flagship work; my magnum opus. I have fully dedicated my life to the creation and sustenance of this work; even all of my other projects are simply extensions of the ideas in it. It is literally my ultimate ambition for this work to become renowned as the pinnacle of artistic achievement and for it to fully live up to that title.

This work is titled Rainbow. In its first incarnation it is to be a science fiction/fantasy/horror/romance/dystopian/adventure novel, and I plan to eventually adapt it into a manga, anime, film, and ultimately a video game. I won’t reveal much about it for now, but what you currently need to know for the purposes of this discussion is that it’s all about the paranormal (and is therefore comparable to works such as Gravity FallsThe X-Files, and Ghostbusters) and was inspired by a series of books on the paranormal called The Mysteries of the Unknown. This series of books was released in the ’80s, and without those books I likely wouldn’t have conceived Rainbow.

And so this is why I love the ’80s so much; it has shaped and inspired my works, and it has laid the foundation for my favorite works as well as my own to shine.

Here’s to the ’80s; I owe everything to you!