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Chapter 15 -10th. Day of the Third Month, Year 11 AE.

It has been a long time, O diary, since I have had so glorious a day.

I am like a pressed flower that has by some magic regained the vibrancy and fragrance of a bloom in the field upon being removed from betwixt the pages of the book that had been used to flatten it.

Morning arrived on dainty hooves and fluttering wings of snowy white, as darling Crimson and I found ourselves pounced and then pranced upon by my dearest Dawn Heart, to a merry refrain of "Wadybugs Awake!" and glad exhortations to "Wake up, Cwovuh! Wake up, Cwimson!"

Defending the sovereign territory of our bed from this winsome invader, I let out a battle cry like a diving pegasus warrior and with a mighty heave overturned the dear filly onto her back. Striking like a quaray eel, I threw off my covers and went in for the tickle, blowing a veritable bushel of raspberries into her tummy to much squealing and flailing of legs and wings. [1]

While the routed besieger of Castle Clover gasped and giggled in my grasp, I looked up to see Cookie standing in the doorway to our bedroom with a wry smile on her face. With a chuckle she said it was high time that Crimson and I had our turn being awakened in this fashion.

With the probing mien of a magistrate questioning a scofflaw brought before the bench I asked my dear friend if she had put Dawn up to this, calling for order in the court with another raspberry to the belly.  She merely laughed and beckoned me to come to the kitchen to help prepare breakfast.

I gave Dawn an earnest hug and bade her follow her co-conspirator to the kitchen while I performed my morning ablutions, telling the dear poppet I would be joining them shortly.

Arising, I gave my darling Crimson a peck on the cheek as he settled his head back upon the pillow for a few more leisurely moments abed, and then tarried a bit longer as he drew me into a less perfunctory kiss. Indeed, O diary, it had been far, far too long since I had had the time to be so wifely with my beloved. Far too long.

I threw open the shutters and gazed out the windows of our bedroom as I washed my face. Through the diamond shapes formed by the glazing I marked the long sought and finally realized blue diamond as it flickered dimly against the grey-white of a late winter sky. It seemed pale and ephemeral in the daylight, faded to near invisibility against a firmament lit by the stronger light of the sun.

Its true glory would always be at night, thought I, as I pondered it on this first day of its existence, but t'was meet, as the darkness by its very nature has more need for illumination. Those fearsome foes of pony kind who move against us in the shadows would see it and know we fear no longer.

Dawn once more intruded upon my woolgathering, having been sent by Cookie to hurry me along to the kitchen. I took the occasion to point out to her our newly wrought beacon in the sky above. Her rosy eyes lit up, as she stared up at it with a gasp of awe, her hooves upon the window sill.

Then she turned and hugged me. "I love her!" she said, before bounding from the room with a flutter of wings and rustle of little hooves on the dry reeds laying upon the floor. [2]

By the introspective light of a candle as I pen this days testament I must take a pause at this, O diary.

"I love her?"

"Her?"

Were I a simpleton I would pass that off as merely a giddy filly's careless misspeaking. Alas, the bliss of ignorance has always eluded me, and I do not rest easily in its comforting shadows.

Is this the inevitable result of this spell? Have we called forth a sister for our miracle child, who will alight among us in a decade's time? Or sooner? Or longer? There is much as yet unknown, that only time will tell in its fullness.

Welladay. Perhaps next time her excellency the Chancellor will be more easily dissuaded from demanding I hang a great purple horseshoe or something up among the lights of the heavens. Methinks I shan't press this issue for now with our nation's illustrious leaders. I shall take council with Cookie and Pansy, and otherwise we shall just have to wait and see.

Unconcerned by these possible omens from the mouths of babes, I hied myself to the kitchen and was soon swept up in the hustle and bustle of the household that I heretofore had been shut away from among my charts, tomes, and crystals.

I am an indifferent cook, having developed just enough skill to not starve or poison myself during my student years, but I had a marvelous time lending a hoof under Cookie's culinary command. Soon we all sat down to a hearty meal of wonderfully fluffy scrambled eggs, thick slices of rye toast spread with sweet honey-butter, and creamy porridge topped with more butter, spiced with nutmeg, and mixed in with raisins, crushed walnuts, and precious slices from our dwindling supply of the autumn's delectable harvest of apples.

While our breakfast was indeed celebratory, I also make note of it as the first time since breaking our all day fast on Hearth's Warming that I truly enjoyed a meal. Too often I had merely shoveled down a cold plateful of whatever Crimson or Cookie brought me in my cloistered study as I sat miserably poring thru my grimoires or rendering a parchment into a tangled, inky bird's nest of charts, glyphs, and equations.  

Excused from cleanup duty ("For today." said Cookie with a gimlet eye and a half smile), I went outside with the foals to play in the snow that had freshly fallen in the night sometime after we had all finally gone to bed. I don't think I have ever had so marvelous a time since I was a tiny filly in the snow covered courtyard of my family's house in the old lands. It was many years, O diary, before those of us who lived through the terrible, endless winter before the founding of our fair land could take any pleasure from the sight of snow falling.

We rolled up a snowpony of prodigious size with the help of Dawn's burgeoning magic. It truly was a sight to see when Powdermilk came outside to check on us. Oh how we laughed when we saw him gazing stolidly up at our hoofwork, looking like a miniature copy of it. Methinks I saw a smile and heard a chuckle from him as he escorted us back inside for mulled cider and a bite to eat for midday.

Pansy returned in time to join us, having gotten up before the dawn (And before dear Dawn as well.) to join Fletching for early cloud clearance duties over Fort Everfree and parts East.

As we made a meal of Cookie's incomparable rarebit (A dish we all have forgiven and learned to love again since the tribulations of moving to our new home. In Cookie's hooves it is a sublimely hearty and satisfying lunch.) talk fell to planning for Pansy's upcoming nuptials.

Pegasi, it seems, are rather informal in their wedding traditions, with the gathering and temporary hosting of a widely flung and extensive roster of friends and relations being the greatest logistical challenge to undertake. Apparently, blood feuds lasting for generations have resulted from a failure to invite every last conceivable acquaintance to bear witness and feast afterward.

Dear Pansy said something about not having to worry about her mother's side of the family in that regard, but didn't elaborate further. Here is another thing said in passing that strikes me oddly upon putting it down upon your pages, O diary. I shan't pry, but it does make me curious.

As I lent a hoof cleaning up that delectable meal, with minimal protest and much thinly veiled approval from Cookie regarding my day's granted respite from such chores, my inestimable earth pony friend and housemate asked a most flattering favor of me.

Since, said she, I was free of my burden of recreating the warming heart, and since, she hoped, I was not so thoroughly sick of books that I wanted to wall off my study and library and forget they even existed, perhaps I would see fit to undertake the instruction of her children in "unicorn book learning" as she half-jokingly put it.

Cookie went on to explain that while foals of her tribe are taught such basic letters and numbers as they need to function in the marketplace or go on to learn a trade, any further education must be painstakingly sought after on one's own time and at one's own expense. She hoped it wasn't too much to ask, since we were all living together out here on the frontier, that I might share some of the knowledge contained in my vast store of books and scrolls, and give her sons and daughters a "leg up" to use her phrase. [3]

Of course I told her I would be both honored and immensely pleased to do so. The look of genuine gratitude on her face when I agreed was all the reward I would need for such a labor of love.

Well I know what such a thing would mean for her daughters and sons, and for her. As I have often remarked in your pages, O diary, my dear friend has revealed to me much of the depth and breadth of her knowledge, but with the telling gaps and inconsistencies of the self-educated.

Again I marvel at how this remarkable mare has taught herself rhetoric, civil law, mathematics, philosophy, at least five languages, and has gained a passing familiarity with classical poetry and the history of all three tribes, all acquired by the sweat of her brow in the precious intervals when the steady cadence of earth pony life allowed.

To have a patient guide through these thickets of information, who can impart context and clarity, that is the value of being taught, and the sacred duty of the teacher. I shall endeavor to do my best, hopefully with more kindness than the old grump ever mustered in my time under his tutelage.

Thinking upon it, I see further benefits to this arrangement. Dawn Heart will be in need of education in "unicorn book learning", and will probably benefit greatly from learning alongside Cookie's children.

Thinking upon the old grump, I must consult with him when next he comes jingling among us regarding our wonder filly's magical instruction. I make no pretensions to being as qualified as he is when it comes to teaching so prodigious a pupil, but if there is any way I can be of assistance I would gladly stand ready to do so.

I spent the afternoon cleaning and organizing my study, carefully filing the notes from the crafting of the beacon spell in anticipation of their being bound into more suitable tomes. Books needed shelving, dust needed sweeping, puddles of wax needed to be scraped from my desk so that it might be recast into candles. It was a most productive and salutary endeavor, another step on my return to normalcy, rather like that first bath and brush down after spending long days abed recuperating from an illness.

Then back to the kitchen, where I was swept up into the hurly burly of preparing our supper along with Pansy, Powdermilk, Crimson, and Cookie's girls. As I have already noted, O diary, before I entered my lady Queen (then Princess) Platinum's service and became accustomed to the castle staff taking care of me, I found cooking a tedious chore at the best of times. How different it is when a kitchen full of happy, chatting ponies shares in the tasks together.

Tonight's repast was a fine pie of leeks, turnips, and carrots stewed in red wine and baked in a crust, served with fried oatwurst and pickled cabbage. I rather suspect that Cookie has studied alchemy as well, for how else but magic might she turn the shriveled, late winter contents of our root cellar and the dwindling stocks of our pantry into such culinary gold?

Afterward we saw the sun down with music and word games by candlelight, putting the children to bed in waves to ease their passage from wakefulness to sleep with minimal protest. First little Graham is laid in his cradle, then Dawn and Cookie's girls (the most chaotic of the bedtimes, especially if Ginger is in one of her moods, so Cookie informs me), then young Oatmeal, who by virtue of his age and general good behavior is allowed to stay up for an entire extra hour longer than his siblings.

I spoke more to the young lad tonight than I have since we all moved in, back when he assisted me most ably in setting up my study and library. He's a thoughtful young fellow, as I have noted before, prone to long pauses as he carefully chooses his words. We spoke of the prospect of my teaching him, and I asked him what subjects he was most interested in learning. He informed me, after the expected pause for thinking, that he was keenly interested in geography and natural philosophy. [4]

I do recall his fascination with my collection of atlases when we installed my books in their new repository. At his mother's prompting I brought out my folio of maps from the old lands, and taught him the names of countries we'd abandoned to the encroaching ice and snow in the great migration before it was time for him to go to bed.

And that brings me to the present moment, as I sit in the glow of the embers in the main hall with quill and journal, listening to Cookie and Pansy quietly chat while my beloved Crimson plays a calming air on his viol and Powdermilk sits quietly and bestirs himself to answer with a nod or a monosyllable to his wife's periodic entreaties to stir the fire. I find I am filled with a warm feeling of contentment, surrounded by dear friends and at peace.

Cookie has just declared it is time for us all to be retiring, informing me that my special dispensation to stay up as late as I wished had ended when the blue diamond ascended. With a wry smile she told me I would need the sleep if I was to be ready for the break of Dawn tomorrow.

Thus I shall close, O diary. I met my darling Crimson's eye shortly after Cookie's final rap of a hoof on the floor, and all I shall say is that while I may now be under orders to go to bed, I won't necessarily be going to sleep anytime soon.

Good night.  

Translator's Co-Sovereign & Mentor's Sister's Hoofnote:

[1] Indeed, 'tis quite true that Princess Celestia of Equestria, Sol Equus Invictus, Grand Protectress of the Realm and Regent of the Sun, is
exceedingly ticklish, especially in the general area of her abdomen. I must commend my most dignified royal sibling on her bravery in allowing this chink in the royal armor, as it were, to be revealed. Especially now that she is tall enough for one of our subjects to reach this spot without even having to bend one's neck very far. I would gladly bestow a peerage upon the pony brave enough to try it. -P.L. [5]

Translator's Mentor's Hoofnote:

[2] And I still do, despite a marked tendency for excessive sass I'm seeing expressed in these extraneous hoofnotes, Woona. Are you
trying to give poor Twilight another conniption? -P.C. [6]

Translator's Hoofnotes:

[3] Universal education for young ponies of all types was established roughly fifty years after the Royal Pony Sisters' defeat of Discord, initially established as a Ministry of the Crown under Princess Celestia's auspice, with schoolmasters and schoolmarms trained in Canterlot and installed in schoolhouses across Equestria under the supervision of a Minister of Education.

It was at this time that the early precursors of the Pegasi Flight Schools were also founded. Princess Celestia's School for Gifted Unicorns was established much later, shortly after the beginning of Princess Luna's exile. The public school system as we know it now was reformed and organized into its current state roughly eighty years ago as of this writing.

Princess Celestia informs me that these initial forays into teaching all the foals of Equestria their "three R's", regardless of their social class or background, were very strongly influenced by her memories of learning at Lady Clover's hooves alongside Smart Cookie's children. Curricula and class sizes have changed, but the emphasis on group learning and a positive atmosphere of sharing knowledge guided by a patient, dedicated teacher is a tradition we have maintained. I have only to look at the wonderful work my friend Cheerilee does as Ponyville's schoolteacher to see Lady Clover's legacy still carrying our fair land into the future.

Hello, Cheerilee. I hope you enjoy this text and can use it to enhance your history classes. (Certain obnoxious interjections that I am still ignoring notwithstanding.) I bet you didn't realize the flowers that make up your cutie mark were perennials.

[4] This chapter is quite full of foreshadowing, isn't it? Students of history should be well aware of the daring exploits of Captain Oatmeal Raisin-Cookie, one of the founders of the Equestrian Rangers and the determined leader of the explorers who mapped upper Equestria and parts north on hoof. One particular text I recommend is his memoir: "'Oatmeal, Are You Crazy?' Being an Account of My Adventures on the Northern Frontier and the New Lands I Discovered Despite the Neigh Sayers"

Translator's Mentor's Hoofnote:

[5] One would have to be a brave pony indeed, with a predilection for enclosed spaces in exotic locales. -P.C. [7]

Translator's Co-Sovereign & Mentor's Sister's Hoofnotes:

[6] I'm merely attempting to provide a bit more context to this account, O sister beloved. You and I are living relics, after all. Like you, I have come to prefer emphasizing the "living" rather than the "relic" part of that. -P.L.

[7] I assure the readers it would be
well worth it, for the sake of historical scholarship alone. I warrant the sound my sister makes when properly raspberried in her midsection has not been heard for untold centures. Surely your inquiring mind wants to know, Twilight Sparkle. Perhaps the next time we have you over to dedicate a stained glass window or something you might have an opportunity. -P.L. [8]

Translator's Hoofnotes:

[8] Such an inquiry would hardly be relevant, or particularly informative, especially in the medium of print. I would like to assure my esteemed mentor and immortal sovereign that I would never, ever succumb to such a ludicrous impulse. Cross my heart and hope to fly, stick a cupcake in my eye! [9]

[9] And just to be clear in case my prior hoofnote caused any undue confusion at an apparent contradiction of intent, I am still ignoring these intrusions into my hoofnotes. [10]

Translator's Mentor's Hoofnote:

[10] Not to worry, my dear student. Even if you attempted such an inquiry, I've learned some fairly effective blocking maneuvers with my wings over the years, and my reflexes are still pretty good for a multi-centinarian. Rest assured my royal undercarriage shall remain safely un-rasberried. -P.C. [11]

Translator's Co-Sovereign & Mentor's Sister's Hoofnote:

[11] I know a challenge when I read one. We'll just see about that. -P.L. [12]

Translator's Mentor's Hoofnote:

[12] Bring it on, Princess Squawks Like a Plucked Phoenix When Goosed in the Brisket. -P.C. [13]

Translator's Co-Sovereign & Mentor's Sister's Hoofnote:

[13] Verily, 'tis most assuredly ON! -P.L. [14]

Translator's Hoofnotes:

[14] Still ignoring them. Still ignoring them. Still ignoring them. Still ignoring them.

The characters depicted in this fiction are copyright and trademarks of Hasbro, Inc. This is a work of fan fiction, and the author makes no claim on Hasbro's copyright or trademarks.

deviantID

WarrenHutch
Warren Hutch
United States
Hey
My nom de plume is Warren Hutch, and I'm mostly a lurker around here. My main repository of artwork is on FurAffinity, since most of the stuff is pertinent to that particular slice of web country.

Still, I've got a couple things that might interest the folks around here that I'll post from time to time. I'm much obliged if you want to stop by and check 'em out.

Current Residence: Boston, MA
Favourite genre of music: Ska, Funk, Surf Rock, Electronica, Hip Hop, Chap Hop, Nerdcore
Personal Quote: "Good is relative, Better is Absolute"
Interests
The advent of the Sisters, Princess Cadance, and the Royal Family of the Unicorns.

After watching the recent Season 2 finale, I've been mulling over some ideas in terms of the nature the Princesses that we've seen in canon. This is a ramble based on my own headcanon, so take it with a grain of salt. I'm sure genuine canon will blow several holes in this eventually.

I'll start with my belief that Celestia and Luna as immortal demigoddesses were not born in the conventional sense of having two parents, but manifested rather like Aphrodite from the sea foam, or any number of other mythic deities who sprang fully formed from the elements.

In this case, I believe that both Sisters were born from the fiery heart that manifested in the sky when the three pony tribes came together to found Equestria. If I were to flesh out the story I'd posit that Celestia, the eldest, was born when the morning sun rose on the longest day, making the Summer Sun Celebration also her "birthday". After her arrival, I imagine the heart would be much reduced in size, softly glowing and only visible at night, until during a full moon on the longest night, Princess Luna, the younger sister, came into the world. Both Princesses, in addition to being granted power over the sun and moon, also represent aspects of all three pony types, as they were born from the harmony of the tribes.

(On a side note, the flaming heart seen over Canterlot at the end of "Hearths Warming Eve" in my mind is a traditional firework or illusion cast by unicorns to commemorate the original manifestation of friendship between the tribes.)

I imagine that shortly after the Sisters were born, they were adopted as honorary members of the hereditary royalty of the unicorns, making them the "daughters" of the unicorn monarch (perhaps of Queen Platinum, after she succeeded to her father's throne). This would make them adopted sisters to the monarch's children, and aunts in turn to their children, so on and so on through generations until everypony with any connection to the unicorn royalty would be considered the Princesses' nieces and nephews. Technically, Prince Blueblood or Princess Cadance would be great great great great(to the nth degree) nephew or niece, but since there's only so much space on a scroll or so much breath in a herald's lungs, they just say "niece" or "nephew".

This idea further explains why as rulers of Equestria the Sisters stayed with the title of Princess rather than assume the mantle of Queen, as they are adopted members of the royal family rather than blood relations. There may even be a nominal King or Queen of the unicorns still, but true power has been in the Princesses' hooves for a long time and it would at most be a ceremonial position like most modern day kings and queens on earth.

I'm not entirely certain how the Sisters' battle with Discord features into this. I might well imagine that the Sisters were alive before the villainous chaos spirit's arrival on the scene. Perhaps without the flaming heart to remind the ponies their divisions and quarrels would have given him more and more power until he took over, eventually forcing the Princesses' into a conflict with him, until such time as they used the Elements of Harmony to defeat him and took back control of the day and night.

Now regarding Princess Cadance, I believe that she isn't an alicorn so much as she is a winged unicorn. I imagine that shortly after the founding of Equestria, there was a fair bit of intermarrying to cement political and social ties between the three tribes of ponies, and thus pegasi nobility would marry into the unicorn royal family. Eventually, hybrid ponies with both wings and horns would arise, perhaps exclusively to Canterlot royalty. (Which is a damn sight better than Hemophilia as a sign of royal breeding.)

Crossbreeds with earth ponies would be a lot less easy to spot, as in the case of Pound and Pumpkin cake where having unicorns or pegasi in the bloodline could result in a typical looking specimen of any of the three types, even though technically they would be hybrids. I also imagine that perhaps cementing ties between ruling families wasn't as important with the earth ponies as they seemed to be operating in a more egalitarian mode, with an elected chancellor instead of a hereditary ruler.

Perhaps winged unicorns pop up among pegasi populations as well, but I see it as being much less common if not nonexistent due to the logistical difficulties of a ground bound pony marrying into a pegasi family. A lot depends on when the cloud walking spell Twilight cast in "Sonic Rainboom" was invented, but even if it dates back to pre-Equestrian times (which I doubt, due to the conflict between the tribes), it would also mean that the earth pony or unicorn bride or groom would be essentially a prisoner in their home in a pegasi community.

Further evidence, in my mind, that Cadance is a unicorn with wings rather than an alicorn is that she's mortal. She's seen to have aged from being a teenager when she was babysitting Twilight. I presume she's capable of bearing children to Shining Armor, and I also presume she will grow old and eventually pass on with him. (Of course, these are purely assumptions, but there is no canon support for the idea that Celestia or Luna ever married or produced offspring, so it's essentially a very open area to interpretation.)

An immortal would probably avoid marriage to not have to go through their beloved fading away before their eyes while they stay the same. Even if Cadance was a recently born immortal, I'd presume that as benevolent members of the royal family Celestia and Luna would gently nudge her away from bringing that sort of heartbreak onto herself.

Also, her magical ability to create love between ponies seems more on par with a typical unicorn's special magical talent, like Rarity's gem finding or Shining Armor's shield spell. (Whereas Twilight, as a magical prodigy capable of duplicating other unicorns' unique abilities, is a bit more a-typical.) This, and the fact that she has a normal mane rather than the flowing, etherial mane that marks the power of the royal Sisters, points to her more natural origins.

And so that's how I think Cadance fits in to the world of Equestria, as a mortal scion of the unicorn royal family, a descendent of pegasi nobles and unicorn kings and queens, honorary niece to the Sisters as are all the nobility of Canterlot, and future mother of Shining Armor's children and Twilight Sparkle's nieces and nephews.

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:iconwarrenhutch:
WarrenHutch Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2016
Thanks! :D
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:iconrichforce:
Richforce Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2016
Happy Birthday!
Reply
:iconstavner:
stavner Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2016  Student Writer
Happy early birthday!
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:iconccb-18:
CCB-18 Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Just noticed a few things due to your absence on your FA gallery, and your lack N.U.D.E adventure comics:

1) Did you have anything in mind for Valentine's Day?

2) 
Any plans for comics for Easter or St. Patrick's Day? 

And 3) 
Just noticed that you've not done your traditional "First-Day-of-Spring" comic as of yet?

So, what's the hold up? I always look forward to your latest strips...
Reply
:iconstavner:
stavner Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2015  Student Writer
Happy birthday!
Reply
:iconccb-18:
CCB-18 Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I've tried to view your FA gallery, but for some reason the website seems to be down. Got any ideas why?
Reply
:iconimascrabblefreak:
imascrabblefreak Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I'm so happy to find more of your pony art here, as I absolutely adore all of your covers on fimfiction. Do you perchance do commissions?

~Super Trampoline
Reply
:iconwarrenhutch:
WarrenHutch Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2014
Thanks! Glad you like it!

I'm afraid I'm not taking commissions at the moment, but I'm flattered that you'd ask. :)
Reply
:iconholycross9:
HolyCross9 Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2014
Greetings, WH.  Do you remember a TV show known as Sabrina, the Teenage Witch?  Well, the reason in asking is because I have a fictional character in a fanfiction I'm writing who sounds exactly like one of Sabrina's Aunts, Hilda (played by Caroline Rhea).  The only problem is, I don't know how precisely how to precise describe her voice verbally.  So, if you don't mind me asking, how would you generally describe Caroline Rhea's voice? 
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:iconwarrenhutch:
WarrenHutch Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2014
I'm sorry, I can't really help you. I've never watched a single episode of that particular show.
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