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Found 10 results

  1. This fan club is for the little foal we call Pipsqueak! Pip goes to school with the cutie mark crusaders and other foals. He also wants to be a pirate and I think he could the that awesome costume! Rules: -Don't spam -Only pictures of Pip or a pictures with Pip -Have spoiler tags please -Don't hate -All mlp fourm rule still apply
  2. Good evening, everypony, and welcome back to another edition of "Batbrony Reviews"! This week's episode, while not quite as surprisingly excellent as last week's, was still, nonetheless, quite exceptional for what it was. Our last Cutie Mark Crusader episode of the season, "Marks and Recreation" features the CMC starting a Cutie Mark day camp for blank flanks, mostly so that they can help more than one at a time. However, trouble arises when Rumble decides he'd rather remain a blank flank than get his cutie mark, and convinces the other campers to do the same. Without further ado, this is "Marks and Recreation." So one thing that particularly stood out to me about this episode to start off is simply how many fillies and colts it featured. Now make no mistake, we've seen plenty of ponies from the CMC's age group before, oftentimes in episodes featuring them in school. The difference between those episodes and this one, however, are that, normally, most of the ponies there are mostly background characters. They might have some jokes or bits here and there, but for the most part they're not exactly critical to the plot. Here, however, not only was Rumble one of the main characters, but at least 2-3 of the other fillies and colts, including Pipsqueak, Kettle Corn, and Skeedaddle, were all supporting characters actively involved in the main events of the episode. Hell, Kettle Corn got her bucking cutie mark, then disowned it, and then re-embraced it all in the same episode! All in all, it was just very pleasing seeing how much young ponies besides the CMC featured in this episode, and I certainly wouldn't mind seeing more episodes like this one in that regard. Where this episode suffered for that, however, might just have been with the CMC themselves. Don't get me wrong, for the most part the CMC were perfectly fine. Their day camp idea was great, they were doing an awesome job counseling their friends, and they moved the action of the episode along just fine. However, when you get down to it, most of this episode (including its resolution even) is driven by Rumble and Thunderlane. The CMC usually facilitate most of what's going on, but this didn't really seem like an episode where they learned anything at all, they simply helped a friend learn a valuable lesson, but really his big brother helped him learn that more than they did. I wouldn't mind that the CMC kind of took a backseat in certain respects (again, make no mistake, they were still main characters, just not as explicitly as they usually are), if it weren't for one thing. The writers for some reason felt the need to force the CMC to not realize that Rumble was phoning in every one of his "attempts" to do any camp activities. The only reason I can figure they may have felt the need to do this is because the CMC didn't realize what fears about cutie marks Rumble may have had until Thunderlane told them he was good at all of the things they thought he wasn't good at, which led them to realize he was deliberately failing at them because he didn't want to get a cutie mark at something other than flying. I can kind of understand their reasoning, but at the same time, with how smart the CMC as a whole are - not to mention how obvious some of Rumble's "failure" at the camp activities were, seriously, the guy couldn't have been more obvious that he simply wasn't trying if he, well, tried - it felt really forced that they honestly thought he just wasn't good at any of these things. It doesn't break the whole episode or anything, it just felt like unnecessarily forced writing. Overall, however, the CMC had a pretty solid episode, and Sweetie Belle in particular gets props for easily the funniest moment of the episode when she straight up broke out her own version of a "Rarity freakout." They really should start charging for their cutie mark services at some point if this really is what they're meant to do their whole lives... oh don't look at me like that, YOU WOULD TOO IF YOU HAD TO!!! Thankfully, even though the CMC weren't exactly the bright spots of this episode, the true bright spots more than made up for it. First we've got Rumble, who prior to this has only appeared in minor supporting or background roles before. Here, excellently voiced by Vincent Tong (deliciously feeding the rumors that DHX intentionally casts him in roles that are at least somewhat douchey), he serves for most of the episode as its main antagonist before finally learning an incredibly valuable lesson. His fear for most of the episode is that if he tries something other than honing his flying skills, then he may accidentally get his cutie mark in something else that'll keep him from becoming a Wonderbolt like his older brother, Thunderlane. This is great on a couple of levels. First, speaking as an older sibling myself, I can totally see where a fear like this would come from for a younger sibling like Rumble. Younger siblings often can feel like they're in their older siblings shadow in terms of personal achievements and life goals, and may even struggle with figuring out what they want to do even as a result, especially if they idolize their elder sibling to a point that they want to be just like them. This is obviously not the case with all siblings, but it very often can be, and here that's clearly the case (though Rumble does seem to have some insecurity issues as well considering he clearly doesn't just idolize Thunderlane, he makes it very clear at certain points that he wants to be as cool as him, but not just thought of as Thunderlane's little brother). In all honesty, as a big brother, I do have to say as well that I wouldn't have had any complaints if Thunderlane had smacked some sense into Rumble THIS way instead On another level, it was great seeing the show once again delve into the lore of cutie marks and what concerns ponies might have about them, especially growing up. They're so commonplace in pony society that it's actually quite believable that most ponies would take them for granted and simply assume that everypony will "get" cutie marks (not just physically get them, but understand what they're deal is and what they mean to them). But the show has made it quite clear at this point that they do not mean the same thing for everypony, and that many ponies in going about getting them don't even quite understand what it'll mean for them when they do get them. With young ponies like those mostly featured in this episode, that was clearly the case, so it wasn't that surprising that they could be convinced by a pony like Rumble that cutie marks would just put them into a "special box," forcing them to pursue one thing for the rest of their lives while foregoing all other activities. That's even a relatable fear for children in general. Growing up, I think most of us at some point like to think we could basically be anything we want to be, but in the back of our heads (especially as we get older) that creeping notion that at some point we're going to have to be one thing in particular is always there, and I think a fear for kids who dwell on that too much is that they're not going to be able to try other things once that happens. Thankfully, by the show's end all of the younger ponies, including Rumble, had realized that they can do all sorts of things no matter what their cutie mark ends up being. Just because they're cutie mark signifies what they have a special talent for doing doesn't mean that's the only thing they'll ever be able to do, or even be good at or enjoy doing. Likewise, with adults in the real world, just because our careers may be in one particular field doesn't mean we can't do plenty of other pursuits in our spare time, whether they be hobbies, ways of giving back to the community, or other activities. It's sometimes hard work fitting everything we want to do in (something briefly indicated by Apple Bloom realizing she hadn't made potions with Zecora in some time), but balancing time to fit a lot of different activities into our lives is part of being an adult, and a skill that is more than worth cultivating. Overall, I was very impressed with the moral revolving around Rumble in this episode, plus just pleased to see a character like him as the episode's focus. So just how did Rumble come to his realization by the end of the episode that cutie marks keep you from doing anything else? Well, partly with the help of the CMC, but mostly because of his older brother, Thunderlane, another long time minor supporting/background character (voiced quite excellently by Trevor Devall, who actually voiced him way back in Season 2 and Season 4 as well, with, impressively enough, pretty much the exact same voice). Earlier this season we got an excellent revelation that Thunderlane, like Rainbow Dash, had actually become a Wonderbolt as well, which in many ways helped normalize the group quite a bit as well as not make Rainbow Dash look SO unusual as a member. Having two members from Ponyville makes it clear that you don't just have to be a Rainbow Dash-tier flier to get in, as well as emphasizes nicely that Thunderlane ain't too shabby himself when it comes to flying. Well here, the fact that he was a Wonderbolt was also, as discussed earlier, critical to the plot and Rumble's own insecurities about getting a cutie mark. First he got Rumble involved in the day camp to begin with, hoping that it might help Rumble explore a variety of activities he might enjoy and broaden his horizons, not to mention have fun with other fillies and colts while he was at it. But when the CMC finally confronted Thunderlane about Rumble's fears, he realized just how bad some of Rumble's insecurities were and set out to make things right, for both him and the other campers he'd persuaded to ditch the CMC's day camp. This final scene was excellent, showcasing both a Wonderbolt doing some normal, community service as a role model for younger ponies on his own time (something I've always, desperately wanted to see considering it just seems natural that members of a group like that would give back to their communities in ways like that, not just go around engaging in photo ops or autograph signings), as well as Thunderlane just trying to be a good older brother, reassuring Rumble that he doesn't have to worry about his cutie mark sticking him into one corner only. This is especially highlighted when he tells his brother how much he discovered he loved cooking once his service with the Wonderbolts forced him to take it up at points, and they then proceed to have some sibling bonding as they help cook a meal together. While Thunderlane was able to help the other ponies at the camp as a Wonderbolt, he was able to help Rumble as his older brother, and the presentation of both was fantastic. I'd love to see more of Thunderlane and Rumble in the future after this, and it was a true treat getting to see both of them get such big roles here alone. Besides those two, the rest of the supporting cast was a delight. Little Pipsqueak was adorkable as ever in his tiny, cute British-y way, though it would have been nice to see him make some progress on the cutie mark front. Ah well, I'm sure he'll discover his true calling as a worshiper of all things Princess Luna and/or the Night in general at some point in time soon enough. Skeedaddle was pretty funny here as well, both in his helping Kettle Corn discover her cutie mark in his leading the others in their haiku writing activity, as well as with some funny lines like "What if I get my cutie mark in being bored?" BUT, I have to say that out of all the supporting characters in this episode, the one who stole the show for me was, without a doubt, Kettle Corn. Holy shit, this filly had it all. First, she develops an obsession with painting circles (and they were always, ALWAYS the exact same circle, slightly unfinished even if you looked at them closely). That, however, does not turn out to be her cutie mark. What does turn out to be her cutie mark? BUCKING HAIKU WRITING, THAT'S WHAT!!! In fact, once she discovers that's her special talent, she starts saying haikus naturally in her speech (even when she's trying to repress her special talent), and it is as bucking hilarious as it sounds. And yet, despite all of that, she still loves, you guessed it, PAINTING CIRCLES!!! Even when she disowns her cutie mark and joins Rumble's group, she still. Loves. Painting. CIRCLES!!!! I don't know why I'm so obsessed with everything this little filly got up to in this episode. I think it's a combination of the fact that (1) she is pretty bucking adorable, along with (2) just how bizarre and hilarious both her special talent as well as her interest in painting circles was. In any case, for a first time character, this filly left a wonderful first impression in both how cute and hilarious she was, and frankly I kinda want to see more of her, I won't lie. Kettle Corn: she SERIOUSLY needs some circles and haikus in her life ASAP OK, I have to admit that if this is really what the writers were doing in depicting how Kettle Corn painted her circles, then I have to say... bravo, BUCKING BRAVO, that's a scary awesome and subtle detail to include for a character whose special talent is coming up with haikus! I mean... wow, talk about mind blown, right? Just got a few other miscellaneous items to cover before we wrap things up. The return to Camp Friendship, the same day camp where Applejack and Coloratura became friends as young fillies, was a fun callback to Season 5 (though I wouldn't have minded seeing AJ here if that were at all possible, even more so Coloratura even). Rumble's song "Blank Flanks Forever," while hardly one of the show's best tunes, was pretty fun and upbeat (even if it was a minor antagonist's song), though I do have one bone to pick with it that's REALLY silly. At one point in the song some of the fillies and colts in the background are waving their hooves back and forth to emulate finger snapping, like you might encounter in an old, 1950's doo-wop number. I can see why, in concept, this idea might have sounded bucking hilarious to the storyboard artists who most likely came up with it, but in execution it looked bucking stupid. I know I shouldn't overthink it, but WHY THE BUCK WOULD THEY DO THAT??? They have no concept of digits, why would they emulate finger snapping if they don't know what the buck finger snapping is??? Am I totally overthinking this? Yes, yes I am, but I don't care, this was bucking stupid, even if it was meant as a gag. Other than that, however, I had no issue with the song itself; hardly Season 7's best tune, but pretty fun nonetheless. Other than that, I've got nothing else to add. This was just a fun CMC episode with a very good, well-written lesson at its heart, and a great note to send the CMC out on for Season 7. Until next time, everypony, this is Batbrony signing off. I'm off!!! *cue dramatic exit* If we're all being honest with ourselves, we've all probably shipped Rumble with Sweetie Belle or Scootaloo at SOME point in time, so don't even pretend you haven't
  3. I drew my oc and Pipsqueak because they look similar. they are also pirates I made it in a program called inkscape. i hope you like it.
  4. Good afternoon, everypony, and welcome back to another edition of "Batbrony Reviews"! Sorry I'm a bit later than usual, but I was just starving and had to get some lunch after the new episode. Well now... that seriously just happened. And, I'm not gonna lie, it was kinda perfect. This was something else, really, even by this show's standards. A day we've all been waiting for for a long, long, LONG time has finally come, and quite frankly, in true DHX fashion, they did it better than really I think any of us could've hoped for. Got a lot to cover with this one, so without further ado, this is "Crusaders of the Lost Mark." So given how much happened in this episode (and trust me, there was A LOT), I'm gonna change things up and review the three acts of this episode, before moving on to more miscellaneous items. I just feel it'll be easiest to organize it that way. Starting things off, we had the CMC resolving yet again, after a brief moment of doubt, to keep working to earn their cutie marks, until good ol' Pipsqueak (still best #1 fan of Princess Luna, I might add) showed up seeking their help for his campaign for student council president against Diamond Tiara. This of course leads into the election itself, which lasts about 5 minutes (most of that being a musical number), and results in Pipsqueak blowing out Diamond in a landslide, because it seems for once that all the other fillies and colts in Ponyville (and even Silver Spoon and Miss Cheerilee, GO CHEERILEE! ) are sick and tired of Diamond Tiara's usual bull crap and attitude and actually calling her out on it. Quite frankly, I can't blame them, as she was in rare form even by her standards in those first few minutes; she was basically a combination of Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and every corrupt politician in Chicago (which is all of them), and basically did everything you should never do to win an election (at least in ponies faces, I mean, subtlety thy name is not Diamond Tiara ). Anyways, this was probably the most standard section of the episode, nothing really spectacular happened here aside from nicely setting up the rest, but there were still some nice things about it. There were some nice nods to continuity in their mentioning both Tirek and Discord's attacks in Ponyville, the two opening songs were nice, Pipsqueak is adorable as ever (and I seriously did not remember him being that tiny, HE'S SO CUTE!!! ), Diamond Tiara got a really satisfying comeuppance, but perhaps most importantly of all, this was all that the episode description was about. This impressed me, in hindsight. The episode description made it sound like the entire episode was going to revolve around the election, and going in I kinda assumed that at some point Diamond Tiara would blackmail the CMC or something into helping her. So imagine my surprise when that was all done 5 minutes in. A vote for Pip is a vote for adorableness Um, why exactly is super strength that everypony knows about something to be self conscious about, again? GIRL, YOUR TALENT IS TO BE A SUPERHERO, THAT'S BUCKING AWESOME!!! Best... campaign poster... EVER!!! Well done Dinky, you're making your mom proud This leads us to the second act of this episode, where it quickly started becoming apparent that this was no ordinary episode. No, it seemed that the CMC finally mustered up the courage and resolve to try and help out their longtime archnemesis, Diamond Tiara. Turns out, well, her life kinda sucks (material wealth not withstanding). We'd met her father before, but aside from being a neglectful parent, he didn't really explain her behavior; Filthy Rich, from what we've seen, while again being a neglectful parent and a bit too preoccupied with his business affairs, is all around a cool guy. He's a local whose family has been in Ponyville for a long time, he seems to get along just fine with all his neighbors, and an important fixture in Ponyville's community overall. No, no, apparently, as this episode taught us, Diamond Tiara's special brand of awful comes from her mother, Spoiled Rich. Oh goodness, Spoiled Rich, where do I even begin? This is one of the nastier minor antagonists this show has ever had. We've seen some snobbish Canterlot nobility in the past, but nothing quite like this. She was literally talking the whole episode about looking down on their "social inferiors," and when she wasn't doing that, she was blatantly emotionally abusing Diamond Tiara. It was taken so far, in fact, that I can't help but have some minor issues with it. The biggest reason I don't necessarily buy her behavior is because frankly I don't know how Filthy would've gotten with her in the first place, unless it was an arranged marriage. He just doesn't seem like the kinda guy, from what we've seen, who'd put up with someone like that, especially if she treated their daughter that way too. Minor quibble, though, for the most part I bought her, even if she was just a tad over-the-top in her awfulness. The message still hit home that oftentimes kids are bad or mean and nasty because of the environment they grow up in and what their parents are like, and it definitely helped paint Diamond Tiara in a whole new light quickly. You felt for her just like the CMC did (though quite frankly I'm a bit surprised that in a town as small as Ponyville, they'd never seen her mom before this episode), and they quickly decided to try to aid her in any way they could after it turned out that she really doesn't know what she's really good at, and is very self-conscious about it. This is a HUGE point in the episode, vastly important. You see, at the start they were happy to help Pipsqueak, but they also thought it'd be a good chance to get their cutie marks too. Obviously that didn't work out. However, when they decided to help Diamond Tiara, their mortal nemesis, more or less, they didn't mention their cutie marks at all. They just wanted to try to be good fillies and maybe friends with her, reach out to her when no one else, including Silver Spoon, would. It was a selfless act, and one without any intent to get their cutie marks. It also illustrated nicely how much all three have grown since they first befriended each other; they still cared about getting their cutie marks, but this season especially they've cared more so about helping others for its own sake, especially those who, like them, didn't understand their special talents. Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwww, friendship!!! That moment they introduce a character worse than DT. Yeahhhhhhh, this b*tch was just the worst. How bad? She made me feel sorry for Diamond Tiara in 10 seconds flat after being introduced, I think that says everything you need to know. Bon Bon, honey, I know you apparently must have some money given how much we see you in Canterlot (and hey, I'm sure being a spy has all sorts of nice employment benefits), but you SERIOUSLY need to reconsider who you're hanging around with in your off time besides Lyra! Anyways, their attempts to befriend Diamond Tiara make some headway, ever so slowly, but things are almost all put to ruin when it turns out that Pipsqueak can't get the money to refurbish the elementary school's playground, and Diamond Tiara sees an opportunity to take back the student council presidency and go back to her old ways. Thankfully, however, the CMC talk her out of it through song (in a very impressively choreographed sequence, if I do say so myself, the music and the running chase scene went very nicely together and complemented each other well), and she chooses to try a different path. She chastises her mother and discovers that her special talent turns out to be getting ponies to do what she wants (which can manifest in a very nasty way, obviously), but in this case, when she was acting more positive, it turned into positive leadership. She was able to get the funds and labor to make their new playground a reality, and I thought that was a very cool spin on her talent and showing how talents can both be good and bad things depending on how we use them, because technically she still utilized it before, just in very, very nasty ways. In the process, she reconciled with Silver Spoon and her classmates, and ended up making some new friends and taking her first steps in the right direction. This is another minor point of complaint of mine, but her turn at the end was a bit abrupt for me. Not her doing the right thing, no, just how well she did it. It was like she was just a complete polar opposite self, and given the fast pace at times of the episode, that was just a tad bit jarring. However, for the most part it worked I thought, and like I said, I only have a minor, minor, minor complaint about it in that one scene. I won't lie, I didn't cry, but I wanted to SO BADLY!!! This, of course, leads us into the last act. Oh my, the last act. That was... wow, that was just wow. They got 'em. What else can I really say, Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, and Scootaloo, after 5 seasons of trying their hardest to get their cutie marks, finally got them. It was kinda perfect, like I said earlier. They weren't trying to go them, they weren't doing the most ludicrous thing they could think of, they were just being great friends and doing what they've truly become good at, helping another figure out what their special talent is. That is really kinda perfect for their special talent, and it was set up quite nicely this season especially (but also in seasons past in episodes like "One Bad Apple"). On top of that, it really was perfect too that they got their cutie marks all at once. I think there was a window in earlier seasons where it would've made sense if they got them one at a time, but at this point, when they have grown so close to each other, they really needed to get them all together at the same time. It just makes perfect sense and was really the best way to handle it. And finally, the payoff itself was perfect. The whole town celebrated alongside those three. First their classmates, including new friends Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon, along with their beloved teacher Miss Cheerilee, then the townsfolk (including my beloved Derpy, who I might add was one of the first ponies in town to happily spot their cutie marks ), and finally the Mane 6, including their sisters/sister figures. Rainbow Dash, Rarity, and Applejack all had lovely moments with the CMC, my personal favorite being Applejack's simply because she actually mentioned their dead parents and confirmed very explicitly that they're no long with them. Yes it'd been confirmed by the writers before, but never did I imagine they'd be so explicit about it, and it was done very tastefully and had a very emotional impact, if I do say so myself. Applejack's not just a sister or sister figure for Apple Bloom like Rarity and Rainbow Dash are, she's also a mother figure for Apple Bloom, so it was just too lovely getting to see her celebrate Apple Bloom's achievement. The moment was perfect, the closing scene was perfect, the music was perfect, the celebration was perfect, the call backs to previous episodes with them were perfect, the whole closing act of this episode was just perfect and exactly what Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, and Scootaloo deserved after getting their cutie marks. A whole new road is now open for them, and they can focus from now on on cultivating their special talents and helping other ponies who are struggling like they did for such a long time figure out what their special talents are. Well... that's basically all I got. A few minor notes before we close this review. I've only watched it once so far, so don't have any of the song titles memorized or anything, but I was very impressed by all the music here. It was lovely, nicely spaced, fit the younger characters starring in this episode very, very well, and probably the most music we've had in a single episode since "Magical Mystery Cure" back in Season 3. The whole pace of the episode for the most part worked well too, with again just a couple of minor nitpicks from me in certain spots. The animation as always was lovely, and I very much adore the Cutie Mark Crusaders' cutie marks, the color schemes and patterns just work perfectly and it's too lovely that they all resemble each other, just simply perfect for them. There wasn't a lot of humor by the show's normal standards, but that's very understandable here given how much was going on and how serious the issues at hand here were. All in all, this is probably... yeah, I'm gonna say it, this is the Cutie Mark Crusaders' best episode to date, and it was simply the perfect way for them to get their cutie marks and mark the actual 5th anniversary of the show (not to mention it was very nice that they let Amy Keating Rogers, who left the show after they'd wrapped up production this season, write this episode). It's weird to say you're proud of fictional characters, but quite frankly I can't help it, I'm proud of all three of them, and I tip my hat to DHX on a smashing job well done. Congratulations Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, and Scootaloo, you finally did it. You... did... it, and I can't wait to see what the future has in store for all three of you! Until next time, everypony, this is Batbrony signing off. I'm off! *cue dramatic exit*
  5. Fimfiction Link (A light story focusing on Culture and Characters) Breaking News Headline: COLT CATCHES LUCKY BREAK, GETS TO BREAK A LEG WITH PRINCESS LUNA The winner of the first 'Royalty for a Day' contest has just been selected, a young earth pony colt from Ponyville named Pipsqueak. This lucky colt was selected randomly from tens of thousands of entries across Equestria to spend an evening with Princess Luna, stay at Canterlot Castle, attend the first Royal Nightmare Night Festival as Princess Luna’s personal guest, and will be knighted as Equestria Royalty for the day. When asked, Pipsqueak had this to say. “Oh, I was just so excited when I got the letter telling me I’d won. Princess Luna‘s been my favorite Princess ever since she visited Ponyville during the last Nightmare Nights Festival three years ago. She’s ever so much fun! I must‘ave sent a thousand letters, I did.” There you have it folks. I can’t say I’m not jealous of the little tyke. He’s agreed to tell us all about his day as Royalty sometime next week. Have fun, little guy. -Head writer for the Canterlot Times, Inky Quill. Written for VGI based on his art provided here. Edited by Drgnwolf and enti0 who is also British and really helped with the accents. Dear Pipsqueak It is our pleasure to inform that you have been randomly selected as the winner of Our first Annual Royalty for a Day contest. Congratulations! We fondly remember when we first met you at Ponyville's Nightmare Nights Festival three years ago. Imagine Our surprise when you won. My sister even commented on Our smile as We read the winning letter. We will pick you up from your home on the 29th of October, promptly at 5pm. From there we will attend a private dinner in the castle and go over plans for the next day. Please dress casually for the 29th, but bring a nice business casual outfit for the 30th, and your Nightmare Nights outfit for the First Royal Nightmare Nights Festival. You will then stay one more night before We return you the morning after. We look forward to seeing you again, -Princess Luna Pipsqueak smiled and placed the frequently read letter back in it’s drawer in the nightstand next to his bed. He turned back to look around the room. The letter had distracted him from the search for his misplaced pirate sword. Three years. Thought Pipsqueak. After three years I finally get to see her again. “Mum! Mum!” yelled Pipsqueak as he rummaged through his closet. “Where’s my pirate sword? I can’t go as a pirate to the Royal Nightmare Nights Festival without my pirate sword.” Pipsqueak’s mom called back from down in the kitchen “"Already packed, Luv, you'll find it in there eas'ly enough. I've gone and wrapped it in a sheet to keep it safe!" “Oh, alright then.” Pipsqueak dug himself out from under a pile of dirty sheets that he hadn’t had time to wash. “Ave you got everything else?” “Um, I think so,” he called, yelling into his suitcase as he scrounged around. “Yes, I do.” “What a good lad. Come down 'ere and give yer mum a hug before you go. Quick now, can you hear it? That's the Princess, she just landed her chariot right outside!” Pipsqueak struggled to pick up his suitcase. While he tried to pack light he found that a costume including a hat, sword, and fake parrot took up more space than he was expecting. Add to that his nice outfit, four dress shoes, basic toiletries, and a picture of Princess Luna that he wanted to get signed, and the stiff suitcase could barely stay shut, despite being as large as he was. Eventually he managed to get the suitcase onto his back, and began awkwardly walking down the stairs, his head turned behind him to hold the suitcase. He was about halfway down the stairs when he heard a knocking from the front door at the bottom of the stairs. Pipsqueak was only able to turn his eyes to see his mother already opening the door. There bowing to his mother and calling his mother ‘Lady Cipher’ was Princess Luna. After his mother returned the bow, Luna then turned to him and bowed deeply. “Greetings, Prince Pipsqueak. Art thou ready for our royal dinner?” Pipsqueak turned his head and bowed. Suddenly the weight of his suitcase slipped from his back and he felt the bottom fall out of his stomach. He could only watch as the suitcase tumbled down the stairs, merrily bursting to toss his carefully packed belongings every which way. Pipsqueak covered his eyes with his hooves until the clatter of his life coming to an end settled. When he finally opened his eyes he was shocked that such carefully packed belongings could so easily wind up a giant mess. His pirate outfit had fallen across the stairs without too much damage. His nice clothes, however, had been strewn about and covered in toothpaste, which had somehow managed to become impaled by his costume pirate sword. He looked from the mess to his mom, and then to Princess Luna. He felt his cheeks redden as he noticed a pair of clean, white colts underwear resting upon her head, one leg opening having come to rest over her horn. Pipsqueak’s mother was close to exploding. “Pipsqueak Burgundy Leviathan! What, In, Equestria were y'thinking when you managed to throw yer knickers on our most exalted Princess Luna's horn!” “It’s quite all right, Lady Cipher,” said Princess Luna as she began to chuckle. “There is a reason royals do not normally carry their own luggage, things like this simply happen from time to time.” Ms. Cipher looked from her boy, to the mess, to Princess Luna before swiping the offending garment from Luna’s horn as she blushed. “Terr’bly sorry, Princess. Oh! You must think us rude beyond belief-” “As We said, Lady Cipher,” interrupted Luna. “Things simply happen from time to time. One would be remiss as a leader if one was not capable of taking friendly amusement from such circumstances.” “That’s very understanding of you, Princess. Would you like to come in while we get this cleaned up.” Luna smiled as a midnight blue aura surrounded the split items and sorted them into two piles. “No thank you. Everything is absolutely fine. The luggage was simply overstuffed. The castle will have ample toiletries, you need only bring your costume and your good clothes.” Luna stopped when she noticed the picture of her and smiled in a teasing fashion. “What is this, Prince Pipsqueak? A framed picture of me? That hardly seems appropriate. You haven’t even been a Prince yet and already you have a picture of me for your private collection.” Pipsqueaks cheeks flushed an even brighter red and he began to stammer. “N-no, Princess Luna, it’s not like that. You see, you’re my favorite Princess, my hero, and I just wanted to get your signature on my picture of you.” Luna chuckled. “Oh, you want a signed picture of me to put in your room. My, my, you are the little rogue, aren’t you? But We merely jest, perhaps a bit too aggressively given the undergarments of a teenager that I recently wore as a headdress. We would be more than happy to sign a picture for you. But perhaps it should be a picture of you and myself together at the festival tomorrow. I do believe that would be the most fitting.“ “Blimey! You mean it?” asked Pipsqueak beaming. “Oh, you’re the best Princess ever!” Luna smiled as she floated the clothes into the suitcase and zipped it up. “Come, my Prince, We must hurry if We are to raise the moon on time.” “Absolutely. Bye Mum,” said Pipsqueak quickly, as he hugged his mother before dashing out the door. “Be nice to the Princess, Pip,” reminded his mother. “‘And thank you, Princess.” “Think nothing of it,” said Luna. “I merely wish to show a bright-eyed child a good time.” Pipsqueak had never ridden in a chariot ride before and he couldn't get enough of it. He dashed from side to side, the front and back, constantly trying to look at everything at once. It took a full ten minutes before he settled down to stare at the approaching castle, lit in all it’s glory by the light of the soon to be setting sun. Princess Luna found the childlike wonder extremely refreshing. The work of a Princess was constant. With the exception of the few minutes she took to appreciate her night sky, just after and just before sunrise, she never seemed to find the time to appreciate anything. But with the little pinto colt dashing from side to side, yelling about how amazing everything looked from up high, she found herself looking from side as well and actually enjoying herself. Though, Luna didn’t need to run from side to side, she merely had to turn her head, but at least it gave her a good view of the young colt’s utter amazement at the world around him. “Princess?” asked Pipsqueak. “Might I ask you a question?” “Of course, my Prince.” “Why did you call my mother ‘Lady Cipher?’ Is my mum secretly a noble?” Luna chuckled. “No, my Prince. But, on the morrow I will name you a Prince for a day. That would make your mother a Lady, even if she was not of noble birth. I decided that I should address her appropriately. As you helped show me, Nightmare Night is a night of fun in many different forms. I decided that it might serve that interest, fun, by calling your mother by her soon to be proper title, seeing as I won’t be able to call her that tomorrow.” “Oh, I get it,” said Pipsqueak. They had just begun to pass over Canterlot proper. Pipsqueak stuck his head out the back of the carriage in order to get the best view of everything when he spoke again. “Princess?” “Yes, my Prince?” “Why is it that when you were around my mum you kept saying ‘We’ but around me you use ‘I?’ Luna hid her smile as she turned to find Pipsqueak still leaning out of the chariot while he turned his head to await her answer. “After many hundreds of years of using the royal ‘We’ I find it is a habit most difficult to change. But around those I am more comfortable with, I find ‘I’ much easier to use.” Pipsqueak beamed at the compliment before following up with another question. “But, why did you ever talk that way in the first place? I mean, why do you talk so formally? I’ve never heard anypony talk like that.” Luna tapped a hoof to her chin as she thought. “I suppose that has to deal with class differences from over a thousand years ago. It’s quite boring, actually, are you sure you wish to hear of it?” Pipsqueak nodded, having forgotten the view as they approached the castle in the sky chariot. “Oh,” said Luna. “Alright, but I’ll try to condense it as much as I can.” Luna politely cleared her throat as she collected her thoughts. “Both Royalty and the Aristocracy tend to value themselves much higher than the common pony and enjoy constant reminder about this fact. It is much like a star hoofball player might enjoy constant recognition within his school. One way ponies of elevated stations took to reminding themselves of their status was to create complex social rules and language that could only be truly mastered by those who didn’t have to waste time with manual labor. Eventually the language and customs began to differ so greatly that it was all but impossible for the common pony to effectively communicate with the aristocracy who began to look down on their countryponies who couldn’t comprehend the nuances of their culture. “This wasn’t always an issue, largely because any business deal required a certain level of mutual respect. But it was almost always an issue in the court system, which use to be dominated by aristocratic lawyers and judges. The difference in communication was highlighted by the fierce pride many earth ponies feel about their livelihoods and hard work. The result was that earth ponies often refused to hire someone to argue on their behalf even though they couldn’t understand the words and games their opposition used to gain the upper hoof. Eventually tensions between the two groups came to a head when one particularly creative aristocrat tricked a particularly proud earth pony into saying that his farm was owned by the aristocrat and, so, the court took the earth ponies farm away and gave it to the aristocrat. It was at this point that my sister and I intervened.” Luna stood and exited the chariot with Pipsqueak who looked around, having just realized that they’d landed without even the faintest bump. A unicorn guard levitated Pipsqueak’s bags to a waiting attendant and Luna asked that the garments be cleaned before being placed in his chambers. “Where was I,” muttered Luna as Pipsqueak waited. “Ah yes.” They began to make their way to into the castle, Pipsqueak too enthralled with Luna’s summary of social and legal changes to appreciate the castle. He was so distracted, in fact, that he didn’t even notice when Princess Celestia had fallen in step behind him, prompting the Princesses to share grins and stifle knowing, very un-princess like, giggles. It was only when the doors to the Princess’s private dining hall were opened that a multitude of mouth watering smells caught Pipsqueaks attention. “Oh, we’re in the dining hall. When did we get here?” Princess Celestia’s soft, warm, and very casual voice sounded from just above and behind Pipsqueak “Just now, my little pony.” Pipsqueak jumped, turning midair. “Oi! I mean, Princess.” He bowed deeply, both out of respect and in a failed attempt to hide his crimson blush. “Pipsqueak,” said Celestia bowing. “It is an honor to finally meet you. My sister has, very excitedly, told me about the meeting you two first had three years ago and how much she was looking forward to seeing you again.” “She did?” asked Pipsqueak excitedly. He turned to look at Luna and smiled as she nodded. “Of course I did,” said Luna. “Finding out that a holiday concerning the terrifying Nightmare Moon was giving so much joy was probably the happiest experience I’ve had since my return. Aside from being reunited, and forgiven, by my sister, of course.” Pipsqueak beamed. “Shall we?” gestured Celestia to the tables. “Let’s,” declared Pipsqueak as he felt his heart race. His mother had spent the last week imparting what she knew about proper manners and he didn’t want to embarrass himself in front of two princesses. He bowed to let the two Princesses pass him to choose their spots at the head of the table. The hours of lectures and practice came flooding back to him and he raced ahead to pull out the Princesses seats for them, starting with Princess Celestia as she had approached her chair first. “Oh,” said Celestia as she stood behind her seat at the head of the table. “Such a gentlecolt. Luna, I thought you said your contest was only for foals.” “It was supposed to be,” said Luna as she made her way to her seat. “But I had no idea that colts in this day and age were so well versed in proper etiquette.” “M’ladies,” said Pipsqueak with a smile as he pushed in Celestia’s chair as she sat. “Oh my,” said both sisters. Pipsqueak diligently moved over to push in Luna’s chair as she took her seat. Celestia turned to her sister. “I think it’s been centuries since somepony other than a servant did that for me.” Luna nodded. “It hasn’t happened to myself since I returned.” Pipsqueak looked at them in confusion. “Isn’t that what a gentlecolt is suppose to do to a proper lady?” “Mare or lady, yes,” stated Celestia. “It even used to be common for male guests to push in our chairs. But that was more than a thousand years ago. Since then Luna and myself decided to minimize the gap between the aristocracy and the common pony and we have discouraged it with ourselves. Most ponies likely think it improper now, though it is not.” Pipsqueak gulped. But before embarrassment could take hold, something his mother had drilled into him during those many hours of etiquette popped into his head. ‘All mares love a compliment. If you misspeak, try to make it a compliment.’ "Well I'd say that, once in a while, the bestest ponies in our lovely land ought to be treated good and proper now and then." “Oh,” said Celestia. “He is good.” Pipsqueak bowed, before taking his own seat on the side of the table, next to Luna, as was proper for her guest. Immediately after he was seated three servants appeared, seemingly out of nowhere to Pipsqueak, and placed one dish of the first course in front of each of them before removing the cover. Pipsqueak’s mouth immediately began to water at the site of a stunning dish of carrot tzimmes. The carrots were perfectly round, and were so soft they flopped over each other. They were practically sparkling with perfectly heated, slightly caramelized, honey and had a dash of cinnamon sprinkled over the top. It was also clear that the dish included a secret step to preparation that his mother used, a small amount of butter was mixed with the honey to help tie all the flavours together more neatly than if they had been added separately. “Carrot tzimmes! That’s my favorite,” declared Pipsqueak. He turned to Princess Luna. “How’d you know?” Princess Luna held in a chuckle at the explosive excitement of the little colt. “I didn’t. I actually don’t know of this dish,” Luna said, trailing off before turning to her sister, a playful glare in her eye. “Sister, do you know of this dish? The one that just so happens to be my guest’s favorite?” Celestia took a large and satisfying whiff of the dish before replying. “No, dearest sister. I must admit that I rarely ever heard of this dish. Though, I do believe it is more popular with some of the older, more traditional earth pony families. That said, the chef might have mentioned to me the desire to make this dinner perfect, and I might have offered the young Prince’s address so that he might contact his mother and inquire about his favorite dishes.” “Sister, you should not have done that,” whined Luna. “But you must admit, he is enjoying himself,” said Celestia, pointing to the colt. Luna turned back toward Pipsqueak to find that he had one of the happiest faces that she had ever witnessed on a colt. To his credit, Pipsqueak managed to control himself and settled for adding one moderate bite at a time rather than shoving it in his mouth as he would have prefered. The carrots were, for lack of a better term, perfect. They were soft and tender but still meaty. Honey had slightly caramelized with the thinnest layer of butter adhering to it. It was only after the third bite that Pipsqueak realized that brown sugar had been added to thicken the honey, and provide a little extra flavor. If Pipsqueak had been eating as fast as he wanted to he would have missed that subtlety which also served to provide a delightful contrast to the sweet and meaty carrot. The cinnamon, of course, had only been dusted on the top of the carrots after cooking, creating a small zip at the beginning which served to heighten the sensitivity of his tastebuds. Sadly, all good things come to an end. As Pipsqueak placed the final bite within his mouth he made sure to savor it slightly longer than all the rest. He turned to the Princesses with a most satisfactory grin. “That was the most beautiful thing I think I’ve ever eaten.” The Princesses had not touched their tzimmes, as they were too enthralled by the pure and innocent pleasure expressed by the young colt. But when he spoke, they turned to look down at their steaming pile of carrots. Celestia was the first to try a bite, and it most certainly was very delicious. Luna also found the meal to be one of the better ones since she had returned from her long banishment. She said so and they all agreed, it would be hard for the chef to top that appetizer. The prediction held true and the rest of the meal, while quite delicious and the best that Pipsqueak had ever had, never quite tasted as good as that first dish. Pipsqueak fought through his growing food coma and managed to hold in a most undignified belch. “That was the best meal’ve eaten. Bloody brilliant posh nosh.” “I must say,” said Luna. “That was quite the meal. Were all the recipes provided by Lady Cipher?” “I think so,” said Celestia. “Though, at this point, I don’t really care. Whatever the chef did to pick this meal, I’m making sure he does it again tomorrow.” “The day after tomorrow,” corrected Luna. “Tomorrow is the festival.” “Oh,” said Pipsqueak. “Tomorrow, tomorrow. Oh no! I still need to get my suit cleaned for tomorrow.” Celestia lazily waved a hoof in the air. “The servants will have seen to that, have no fear.” “Tonight,” muttered Luna. “Tonight. Oh, I still need to raise the moon. And you need to lower the sun sister.” “Oh, if I must. How long do we have?” Just then a servant appeared from somewhere far outside of Pipsqueak’s perception, and whispered in Luna’s ear. “Ah, it seems that we have five minutes sister.” “Five. That should be long enough to walk out to the balcony. Come sister, the sooner we are done the sooner we can pleasantly sleep off this meal.” “Sir,” said Luna. A small grey pegasus stallion with a black mane stepped out from somewhere Pipsqueak didn’t care to identify. “Please see Prince Pipsqueak to his chambers.” The servant nodded. “Come now master Pipsqueak. I will show you to your room.” “Mmmm. Okay. Hey, what’s your name?” “Sir.” Pipsqueak blinked. “I said what’s your name. No need to be shy, I’m not actually a Prince.” The stallion grinned with bemusement. “My name is Tuxedo Sir, sir.” “Haha, sir Sir. Sure Sirsir. Show me my room, Sir Sirsir. I’m sure you're the best servant in the castle, Sir Sirsir, sir.” “Most hilarious sir.” Pipsqueak grinned nearly the entire way as he was gently guided to his room. “I’m fourteen, but for one day. For one day I’ll be a Prince.” Pipsqueak didn’t know how he’d made it to a bed. He hadn’t even been aware of walking. “We’re all jealous of you sir. Now, sleep tight.” “Jealous? You shouldn’t be jealous. That mean’s you're not having fun. I’m only Prince fer a little while. You, you get to see Princess Luna every day. Princess Luna is the best Princess.” “True, sir. Can I get you anything else before I go.” “Anything… Oh! Make sure to tell the chef thank you. That was the best meal I’ve ever had. And thank you, Sir.” Pipsqueak was vaguely aware of a blanket being placed over him as he drifted off to sleep. A steady knocking woke Pipsqueak the next morning and his eyes immediately shot open. Today is the day, today is the day. Golly gee willikers, this is going to be the best day ever! A flash of memory came to Pipsqueak as the voice of Sir came, muffled, through the thick wooden door of his chambers. “Mr. Pipsqueak, are you presentable?” “Oh,” groaned Pipsqueak. “Y-yeah, sure.” The doors opened and a flood of light invaded the dark room. Pipsqueak, in abject terror of the sudden harsh brightness, squeaked and threw the covers over his head. “Oh, sorry about that,” said Tuxedo. He closed the door, walked several paces to the left, and turned on a less aggressive reading lamp. “There. That should be better, sir.” Pipsqueak slowly took a peek from under the covers. Finding the light only moderately objectionable he stretched and yawned. “Yeaaaaahh. Mhmmm. What time is it?” “Six in the morning, sir. Princess Luna had intended to have you present for last night’s Moonrise, but as you retired early she inclined to let you sleep and let you see the Moonset instead.” “Oh no. I missed the moonrise? Aww, I’m a dunce.” “Well, sir, you will still have time to see the moonrise tonight. In a way I prefer the Moonset anyways. The few times I have witnessed Princess Luna coax the moon to sleep have been nothing short of both beautiful and intimate.” “Mmmkay.” Mumbled before he turned over, away from the light. “How long until it sets?” “Thirty minutes, sir.” “Thirty,” whined Pipsqueak. “Why’d you get me up so early?” Sir smiled knowingly. “I assumed you at least wanted to shower and groom yourself. The better to appear for her highness.” Pipsqueak opened his eyes and managed to sit all the way up as he began wiping the sleep from his eyes. “Tha’sa good point, thanks. I’m a go take a shower.” Pipsqueak stood up and looked around groggily, though not for a lack of trying. “Um, where’s... Where’s the shower?” “Ah. The guest baths are through that door over there.” He gestured. “Thanks,” said Pipsqueak. Pipsqueak took his first groggy steps toward the bathroom when Sir asked him another question. “Would you like me to have a warmed croissant and some hot cocoa ready for you when you’re done? It should be rather chilly outside.” Pipsqueak had to stop and think for a moment before turning around with a smile. “That would be fab, sir, but might it be possible to make it a buttered crumpet instead?” The servant nodded. “I’m sure the kitchen can come up with something.” Pipsqueak smiled. “What did you say your name was?” “My name is Tuxedo Sir, sir. If you are inclined please call me Sir. Though, don’t feel you need to ask every servant their name. It might become, rather intrusive when you take a tour of the castle.” “I’ll keep that in mind, Sir. Actually, do you mind if I just called you Tux?” Tuxedo nodded with a smile. “As you wish, sir.” Bathing didn’t take Pipsqueak very long. He was still small and young colts weren’t known for being the most thorough. Still, as he would be spending the entire day with the Princess he decided to try to some of the scented shampoos that were provided. Dragon fruit sounded like it would smell awesome, cause dragons were, of course, awesome. Sadly it was a rather normal, sweet fragrance. Not strong or powerful like the beast it was named after. Still, Pipsqueak did like the smell so he kept it. As he stepped out of the bathroom he found Tuxedo leaving. Two freshly buttered crumpets and a slightly steaming mug of cocoa had been placed on a corner desk. “Oh, thanks Tux, that smells scrummy.” Tuxedo had turned to bow, but looked up at him oddly. “Pardon, sir, but am I to presume that scrummy means good?” Pipsqueak nodded aggressively as he consumed one of the crumpets in a single bite. “Mmmhmm,” he mumbled as he swallowed. “Positively crackin’.” Tuxedo smiled as he bowed again. “When you are done you will find Princess Luna to the right, just outside the end of the hall.” “Thanks, Tux.” Tuxedo bowed. “Good day, sir.” “Cheerio,” said Pipsqueak as he nodded back towards Tuxedo. Pipsqueak stuck his head out of the doorway and into a small private garden at the end of the hall, unwilling to completely expose his body to the morning cold until he was sure the Princess was here. Just before he finished scanning the garden from the balcony, a familiar pleasant voice drifted down from above him. “Good day, my Prince.” “Luna,” said Pipsqueak. He jumped outside and turned to look up at Princess Luna. Princess Luna sat atop the slanted roof covering the hallway Pipsqueak had stepped out of. Her legs were crossed and, though her hair was shimmering as if from some unseen breeze, it wasn’t as lively as it usually was. Pipsqueak bowed. “Good morning, Princess.” Luna smiled and nodded in return. He may have only just entered his teen years, but it was obvious how hard he was trying to impress her. He was actually doing quite well despite his age and lack of formal etiquette training. Perhaps it was his years spent in Trottingham. That region of the country generally placed a higher value and focus on royalty and more traditional customs. Whatever the reason, she found his innocence and skill an amusingly rare combination. “Would you like to join me?” asked Princess Luna. “I find that a balcony adds something special when witnessing the raising and setting of both the Sun and Moon respectively.” Pipsqueak nodded vigorously. “Oh yes, Princess. That sounds brill.” Princess Luna chuckled as she levitated the young colt up to sit next to her. She hadn’t talked to many ponies from Trottingham but she enjoyed the accent. It was far different from the rest of Equestria, incorporating slang and terms that, while she didn’t always understand, were very colorful and often filled with enough energy to indicate something close to their meaning. Sometimes she could even piece together the slang. ‘Brill,’ for instance, probably stood for brilliant, a term she had heard Pipsqueak use before. Princess Luna pondered Pipsqueaks colorful speech as she watched him settle down next to her, leaning against the roof. The slant of the roof wasn’t steep, but it definitely warranted being cautious. When he finally settled Luna sighed and reached for her alicorn magic, extending it through an invisible and immaterial plane to the Moon, her special friend. Pipsqueak was torn between watching Luna and watching the moon. He noticed how, at first, she had closed her eyes and leaned her head toward the celestial body. But as her eyes opened he noticed the magic that enveloped her horn. Pipsqueak rarely had a chance to study unicorn magic in Ponyville. He simply hadn’t seen that many unicorns do more than levitation, and skilled unicorn magic was often done very quickly. But it was different watching Luna. Instead of a pulsating glow enveloping her horn as if directing tidal energies toward the moon, the magic almost seemed to caress up her horn in the moon's direction. Each caress extended on it’s own only slightly farther than the last. It was very different from what Pipsqueak had remembered of her magic, possibly even a completely different type of magic, and he couldn't take his eyes off it. The energy continued to flick up Luna’s horn until the energy reached the tip. Once there the magic didn’t hold its shape around her horn as Pipsqueak had expected, but instead almost seemed to roll off of it in little wisps of swirling light that could barely be seen. Pipsqueak found himself blushing. The magic she was using seemed both very mature and very private. After a few seconds he noticed that Luna had opened her eyes and looked fondly upon the moon as it began to lower. Her face, from her lips to her eyes, adopted a loving smile as the moon kissed the horizon. Her smile continued to grow in small ways that Pipsqueak could barely make out as the moon dipped further. Sometimes the changes in her smile were minute adjustments from the raising of her cheeks to an extra curl where her mouth met her cheek, at other times he caught a small blush, and sometimes her eyes sparkled more. Still, at other times Luna let out an audible chuckle or even a nodded. Pipsqueak only realized he had been staring at the Princess after the moon had finished setting and Princess Luna took a deep breath. “Well,” said Luna, “it’s not as flashy as a sunrise but it’s still a sight worth seeing.” Pipsqueak looked away from the Princess as the the sky brightened. Obviously, Princess Celestia would be raising the sun on the other side of the castle, but he wasn’t thinking about that as he remembered the warm, loving glow of Luna as she had lowered the moon. They sat in silence for a few minutes, content in each others company and the brightening colors around them. Eventually Luna spoke up. “I find that I am now quite hungry. Perhaps we should see ourselves to breakfast, my Prince?” “Oh, Mr. Tux brought me a crumpet and some cocoa after he woke me up. But I might be convinced to ‘ave a bit of cereal.” “Cereal it is then,” said Princess Luna as she lowered Pipsqueak off the balcony. As they walked back inside Pipsqueak felt himself shiver, his body expelling the last traces of early morning chill. Luna, however, didn’t seemed phased in the slightest and they enjoyed a pleasantly lonely, uneventful walk to the dining hall. The faint smell of baked goods had begun to pleasantly permeate the halls with promises of great things for the day ahead. Pipsqueak enjoyed a few deep sniffs as they walked. “Pipsqueak,” said Luna as he began sniffing the air, “are we reconsidering the choice of cereal this morning?” Pipsqueak smiled. “Do you already know me that well, Princess? Or do all your guests go through this?” “It is hard to miss your eyes growing in size but many guests often reconsider their morning meal after a few wafts of the royal bakery.” “A real wicked wolf I am. I ‘aven’t had proper prench bread in ages. I might ‘ave to ‘ave a dinnerplates worth.” Luna smiled as they continued to walk. “Would that be a favorite of yours?” “Mum isn’t much of a fan of makin’ it, but me and pap use t’have it every Sunday while we read the comics. Pap always kept his recipe a secret though, kept saying I’ll get it when I move out. Drives me up the wall sometimes, but it’s the best prench bread ever so I’m not complaining too hard. Though I s’pose your chef might be a tad better. I’ll ‘ave to try it ta be sure.” Luna nodded. “Prench toast is an excellent choice, though I recommend going light on syrup and sugar until you try it. The bakers make all the castle’s bread fresh daily, so the toast will only spend a few minutes between the oven and the batter. The cook also adds in a little cinnamon, vanilla, and a touch of powdered almond. He doesn't know that I know about the almond. He still thinks it’s a secret.” “Almond, on prench bread?” “It’s more of a compliment to the vanilla and cinnamon which hide the almond surprisingly well. If prepared right almond can complement or even adopt all sorts of flavors in many different ways.” Pipsqueak’s mind drifted to what the prench bread would taste like. He hadn’t ever had it prepared like that before. But he supposed if Princess Luna liked it then it couldn’t be all that bad. It didn’t seem to take nearly as long to walk to the dining room as it had taken for Pipsqueak to walk to his room the night before, and this time he was coming from further away. He even passed his room. Fortunately the quick passage of time made the smell wafting from the hall less torturous. By the time they arrived Princess Celestia and Princess Cadence were both seated at the table. Pipsqueak paused to bow to the Princesses before taking his seat which now lay across the table from Cadence. “Good morning,” greeted Cadence. “You must be Pipsqueak.” “Yes, Princess. It’s a pleasure to meet you.” “Ah, I see what you mean, Celestia. Even most of my crystal Ponies aren’t as on-the-ball as him. They’d be too nervous sitting with three Princesses.” Celestia and Luna nodded while Pipsqueak grinned at the compliment. “Good day, sir. May I take your order.“ Pipsqueak turned to see Tuxedo standing next to him. Pipsqueak hadn’t even notice him before he spoke. “Yes. I’ll have three pieces of prench bread with cinnamon, vanilla, and powdered almond mixed into the batter.” “Very good sir. Anything to drink?” “Hmmm. Some apple juice would be brilliant, actually.” “And for you, Princess?” Princess Luna was looking at Pipsqueak with a mischievous grin. “Oh, almond. On prench toast. Are you sure?” Pipsqueak paused for a second before he caught on to the game and smiled. “Oh yes, Princess. But it’s more of a compliment to the vanilla and cinnamon.” Out of the corner of his eye, Pipsqueak noticed that Celestia and Cadence had placed hooves politely over their mouths and were, quite expertly, containing giggles. It was the same look his mother used to get when she realized he was playing a joke on his father. “I’ll have that then, five sleeves please,” said Luna. “And a cup of strong black tea.” Tuxedo bowed as he spoke “Very good, Princess.” “Oh,” interrupted Celestia before Tuxedo could retried to fill the order, “That prench toast sounds splendid. Do you think you could add a piece for myself?” “Could you add one for me too?” asked Cadence. “Yes, your Majesties,” said Tuxedo before bowing once more and departing. All the ponies inconspicuously observed Tuxedo leaving, Pipsqueak being more conspicuous than the Princesses, before all four of them broke into small bouts of giggles. “Oh, thank heavens,” said Celestia trying to keep the volume down. “Luna and I have been trying to get a guest to order prench toast like that for ages.” “Yes,” said Luna. “But alas all the diplomats, statesmen, and business ponies we’ve invited always just ask for it the way the Princesses like it. And of course, clueing them in too much would ruin the fun.” Cadence managed to take a sip of her tea as she finally calmed down. “They even got me in on it a few months ago, no luck.” Pipsqueak smiled, proud that his childhood mischief was reflected in the princesses, even if he wouldn’t have explained it that way himself. “What?” came a distant yell. “Okay,” said Luna quietly. She gestured for the others at the table to lean in as if they were part of a great conspiracy. “Pipsqueak, in about ten minutes the chef will come out to deliver the food himself. Simply, how do they put it now,” she turned to Celestia, “play it along.” Celestia sighed but smiled good naturedly at Luna, “Play along. Pipsqueak. He really is an excellent chef, very creative when he feels challenged, but he works best when he thinks we don’t know his secrets.” “So,” muttered Pipsqueak as he scratched the back of his head. “Then why were you trying to get people to say how he did it?” Luna and Celestia sighed heavily before Luna answered. “Honestly it’s just a bit of fun. We know most of his ‘secrets’ but we don’t want him to know that we know. He takes a great deal of pride in his work. But, by having others ‘know’ some of his secrets it pushes him to do better. His pride drives him, but if he thinks he is unmatched then he doesn’t innovate as much. At the same time if we brought it up it’s not fair because we, well my sister and myself, have been around for millenia. It’s just not fair to compare our tastes to even the most noble and refined ponies, after all, we’ve tasted secrets that have died without ever being passed on. “But by having a stranger bring it up it reminds him that there are millions of beings around the world, creating things that he may not ever even dream of. It’s important to remind a world renowned craftspony of that from time to time. They might be the best, but that doesn’t mean someone else can’t do something better.” Pipsqueak turned to find Celestia and Cadence nodding before Celestia adopted a small grin. “Besides, it’s fun.” “Yes,” said Luna and Cadence in unison. Pipsqueak nodded. It seemed way too complex for him, but he guessed that if it was what the Princesses thought was best then he would play along. “Now Pipsqueak,” said Princess Luna as they all leaned back in their seats. “There are some things to go over for today.” Pipsqueak started as Tuxedo walked passed him to give Luna a small notebook. She nodded and opened the book as he backed away. “Now,” said Luna as she opened the book to a pre-marked page. “After our meals I will personally provide for you a tour of the castle. Just before your ceremony two reporters would like to ask you a few questions, nothing too complex, simply asking why you like Nightmare Night and the like. It is, of course, entirely up to your discretion as to whether or not you do this. I can vouch that these particular reporters will be very friendly.” Luna turned to Pipsqueak and waited for a response. “Oh,” said Pipsqueak as he realized that she was seeking his approval. “I, well, I s’pose that’d be okey. I mean, I’ve only been interviewed by student reporters before.” Luna nodded. “It’s a small story about a child and they’ve been made aware that they will only be allowed to question you as you wish it. You simply need to declare the interview over if you become uncomfortable and they will acquiesce without question.” Pipsqueak nodded, more to reassure himself than to respond to Luna, as the Princess turned back toward her itinerary. “After the interview, you will have a few minutes before your official acceptance into the royal family at half past ten. As I understand it, several of your friends will be in the crowd.” Pipsqueak had grimaced at the mention of friends being in the ‘crowd,’ but quickly smiled as Luna looked toward him and his attempt to pass off his nervousness. “Uh, sounds brilliant.” Luna paused before nodding, seemingly satisfied, and turned toward Tuxedo. “Sir, shall we assume that the toothpaste was suitably removed from Prince Pipsqueak’s ensemble?” Pipsqueak blushed and felt his stomach tumble as he noticed Celestia and Cadance politely stifle their giggles with their hooves. He also wondered if they had seen his reaction to the mention of being in a crowd. Tuxedo nodded. “Yes, Princess Luna.” “Good,” said Luna. “It is traditional for a pony being given such an honor to wear something of their station, your dress shirt and pants will be fine for that. After the ceremony we will make an an official visit to canterlot and inspect the soldiers at some point. While out in Canterlot we will attend a light lunch at the Mareway Café at our discretion before continuing with Canterlot or retiring to the castle. After that, we will return and prepare for the evening festivities, which will begin two hours before moonrise. I will need to step away for that period to review the decisions of parliament and dress in my costume, but will join you just before I raise the moon.” Luna closed the notebook and magically levitated it to Tuxedo. “Normally I keep a much more precise schedule, but seeing as today is more about fun than work I thought we’d leave it a bit more up in the air.” Pipsqueak nodded. “It sounds like a full day to me, Princess. I mean, I could probably spend a few days in Canterlot without trying. But are we not going to parliament at all?” Luna shook her head as several servants appeared and began placing plates of food and drink on the tables. Pipsqueak looked down and began to scrutinize his food as Luna continued. “Parliament tends to be either extremely boring or somewhat offensive. Half the aristocracy doesn’t even make sense half the time. Quite frankly I am glad you’re here so that I don’t have to attend.” “Yes,” said Celestia as she finished powdering her prench toast. Pipsqueak noticed that she didn’t use syrup. “My dearest sister elected for me to preside today. Though in her defence she did elect to take tomorrow in exchange.” Pipsqueak began cutting his own peace of prench bread. “Princess Luna, do you think we could at least stop by parliament at some point? I mean, I can’t very well be Prince for a day without at least stopping by to check it out.” Pipsqueak finished his question by placing his freshly cut piece of prench bread up to his nose and sniffing it. His nostrils were immediately assaulted with a variety smells from cinnamon, to vanilla, to butter, and what even a hint of what may have been the almond; even the egg was mixing in with the other flavors in such a way that one couldn’t quite tell which flavor would be stronger than the others. “Oh blimey,” said Pipsqueak with realization. “This is just like my fathers.” He took another sniff and was again mesmerized by the kaleidoscope of smells, “better, even.” Pipsqueak quickly took a bite into his mouth and closed his eyes at the even balance of taste. It wasn’t just the flavor that was well balanced. The eggy mix hadn’t soaked the bread heavily all the way through, allowing for a nice springy bite with a hearty finish rather than a mush of flavors. “My word, this is tops. It’s way better than pap’s.” Luna smiled, but waved her hoof to shush him moments before a portly earth pony in a white chef’s uniform strode up to the table and bowed. He didn’t wait for permission before bringing his head up to look at the royal diners. Princess Celestia nodded toward him as she nibbled her own piece. “Princesses,” began the chef before he turned towards Pipsqueak. “Prince. I do hope you find your meals enjoyable.” Pipsqueak could tell he was nervous as he leaned back from them, almost fearfully, though he kept his face stoic. “Hmmm,” mused Celestia. “I do believe, Chef Crouton, that this young colt asked for almond in his prench bread, and I asked for a sample for myself. Yet my prench bread tastes just like the prench bread you normally make. Am I to assume, then, that almond would be your secret ingredient?” Crouton nodded, never letting his face change though Pipsqueak noticed his tail had moved to between his rear legs. “Yes, Princess. I powder it and only add a little.” “Hmmm,” mused Celestia. “Oh, don’t sulk. There are millions of ponies out there who take an interest in the culinary arts. One family’s recipe matching your secret recipe isn’t a reason to sulk. If anything, I should expect you to spend the day experimenting to improve the recipe even more.” Crouton’s ears perked up and he puffed out his chest. “Yes, Princess. By tomorrow, I will have created a prench bread far above this one.” Pipsqueak noticed the eye contact Luna and Celestia made with each other before Luna dismissed the chef. Then he remembered the delicious prench bread in front of him and started eating, adhering to the fastest possible speed that etiquette would allow. The rest of the meal followed in occupied silence. When they were done, Luna had Pipsqueak return to the room to change into his nicer outfit and had Tuxedo escort him to the royal audience chamber. Pipsqueak was very impressed by the glass murals and Luna shared some of the stories as to how they came to be. Pipsqueak took a particular interest in the mural describing her own fall and redemption at the hooves of the elements of harmony. For her part, Luna found herself telling the tale with less reservation that she normally would. She chose to think on that as Pipsqueak walked off to look at the mural showing the redemption of Discord. Her ultimate conclusion was that Pipsqueak trusted her, and accepted all her faults unconditionally. He didn’t try to take advantage of her kindness or openness and she generally felt more free around the colt than with anypony other than her sister. Sadly, they did have a semblance of a schedule to keep and after several hours of Luna telling various stories about the murals they were forced to put off the rest of the tour in lieu of going over the coronation. When Luna felt confident that he understood his cues, she had him ushered to a side chamber for waiting dignitaries while the guests were ushered in. The waiting room was exquisite, fit for royalty in both size and beauty with it’s spacious seating area and several trees that were flowering, even in late October. Pipsqueak admiration was drawn to a crystal chandelier that dangled without any seeming connection to the ceiling. Many small white crystals seemed to revolve around and under three colored crystals, one green, another blue, and one red They slowly rotated at various speeds under what appeared to be a pure gold circlet. He turned as Luna entered with several earth ponies in hats and trench coats. One carried a camera and the other a pen and pad of paper. “Pipsqueak, these two are the reporters we spoke about, Perfect Flash and Inky Quill. They’d like to take a picture of you, ask you a few questions for the papers, and then afterwards they’ll take a special picture of you and me, just for us to keep.” Luna stepped behind Pipsqueak and reminded him, quite audibly, that “You may end the interview at any time. They are here as our guests, after all.” The two ponies, Perfect Flash with a camera and a Inky Quill with a pen and paper, nodded at Luna’s reminder. Pipsqueak shook their hooves and asked them to sit down. “Um,” said Perfect Flash, “Perhaps, we should get a few photos before we ask questions, then a few after. It will give us the best chance at getting the best picture.” “Sure, I guess,” said Pipsqueak as he looked around. “Where do you want it?” The reporter gestured to Pipsqueak’s right. “Just step to the side so we can get the chandelier and that lovely flowering tree behind you.” Pipsqueak nodded and stepped to the side while Luna stepped away to observe. “Like this,” he said as he lifted a hoof and forced a smile on his face. “Um, no. Perhaps, uh, perhaps you could think of some happy thoughts. You know, help the smile appear more natural.” “Like this,” said Pipsqueak through gritted teeth as he smiled a little bigger. “Oh, dear no. Um-” “Perhaps,” said Luna, “We should take our picture first. It might help.” “Ah, if that’s okay with you Pipsqueak?” said Perfect Flash. Pipsqueak nodded and Luna stepped next to him and flared her wings. “You know the secret to taking a good picture Pipsqueak?” asked Luna as Perfect Flash stepped back and adjusted his camera. “No, what?” he said through gritted, exposed, teeth. “Much like the adage for public speaking, it’s to picture the camera clothed. I prefer a suit and tie myself.” Pipsqueak could help but break out in a laugh at the absurd comment. He noticed the flash through his closed eyes and stomped his hooves as he continued to giggle. “Oh no! I had me eyes closed.” “Don’t worry, don’t worry,” said Perfect Flash. “It’s a perfect picture. I’ll have this developed and a copy will be sent to both of you. Now, do you think you are up to one by yourself?” Pipsqueak nodded as he wiped a laugh induced tear from his eye. “Ya, we can take the picture now.” Pipsqueak turned slightly and smiled as he remembered Luna’s comment. “And… Perfect,” said Perfect Flash as he took the picture. “He’s all yours, Inky.” Inky nodded. Pipsqueak looked at the stallion and noticed that several notes had already been taken. “Alright,” came the nasally voice from Inky. “First off, it’s a pleasure to meet you, Pipsqueak. A real pleasure. Now, why don’t you tell us what got you so interested in writing in to our dearest Princess Luna for the contest.” “Oh, well, that one’s easy now innit it. I wanted to meet Princess Luna again. She-” “Again you say? So you met the Princess before have you? Why don’t you tell us about that encounter.” Inky Quill’s pen scribbled as he spoke through the side of his mouth. “Yes, well. I met her in Ponyville, during the Nightmare Night’s celebration three years ago. She-” “Wooow, and here you are meeting her again, special guest of the first royal Nightmare Night celebration three years later. Fabulous, fabulous. That really is a touching story. Hmm, let me see here let me see. Ah, yes, what was it like when you first met the Princess.” “Inky,” said Luna. “I don’t really think-” “No, Princess,” interrupted Pipsqueak. “I mean, it’s okay. You'er right wonderful, remember.” Pipsqueak turned towards Inky Quill and looked him directly in the eye as he answered. “To be honest, it was a big surprise for all of us. She soared out of the night sky, pulled by two o’the biggest bat pony guards you ever saw in this gnarly lookin' charriot. And when she landed she ‘ad the loudest voice ever. It really scared us, it did.” “Scared you?” mumbled Inky quill around his darting quill. “What do you mean she scared you, exactly?” “Oh, well, it was Nightmare Night, wasn’t it, and then the Princess that was Nightmare Moon arrived and was really loud, almost angry. It was wonderful.” “Wonderful?” The quill stopped its scribbling and was placed to rest at the side of Inky Quill’s mouth. “But, if you were scared then how was it wonderful?” Pipsqueak stared at Inky Quill a moment before answering the seemingly obvious question. “Well, being scared is the whole point of Nightmare Night now, innit. And Princess Luna is really good at it. Load a fun chasin’ us around and poppin’ up ta give us a good scare. I can’t wait t’see what she’s got planned fer tonight.” Pipsqueak watched Inky Quill look at Luna, look back to Pipsqueak, put his pen down, and asked. “Would you say that you are friends with Princess Luna. Pipsqueak nodded without hesitation. “That tells me a whole lot more about you and our beloved Princess than I was hoping to get. Perfect, just perfect. Normally I’d press a bit more for the full story but this will already make a splendid third page story. Real short and sweet. And, well, I wouldn’t want to harrass our new Prince on his first day. Enjoy it kid, the only days that will be better will be when you have kids of your own some day.” “And grandkids,” added Perfect Flash. “And grandkids,” echoed Inky Quill. “With your permission would it be okay for Perfect to take a few photos during the ceremony?” Pipsqueak nodded. “I think that’d be okay.” “Excellent, excellent,” said Inky Quill. “I look forward to seeing you as our new Prince, Pipsqueak.” “Me too,” added Perfect Flash. “I think we’re done here. We’ll be in the front, just to the side of the crowd. See you, Prince.” “See ya, chaps,” said Pipsqueak as they departed. Luna began to follow them out, stopping just before she left to remind Pipsqueak that she’d be back in about ten minutes when all the guests were settled. Pipsqueak felt a familiar dropping in his stomach at the mention of guests, but he managed to keep a smile on his face as he waved Luna goodbye. Pipsqueak paced in the side room while he waited. He wasn’t nervous, or so he told himself. He was just contemplating how he wasn't bothered by the noise of the gathering crowd, and instead how he must have been eating too much to cause his stomach to feel the way he did. He paced to work off the food in his stomach. He heard a knock on the door and turned as Luna opened it and stepped in. “We are just seating the last of the guests. Do you feel like you are ready or would you prefer to go over the steps one more time?” Pipsqueak swallowed. “No, please. I, uh, I think I’d rather get this over. I mean, with, Princess.” Luna stepped into the room and closed the door. Pipsqueak became acutely aware of Luna as she walked over and sat a large, plush, pillow, patting the spot next to her. “Come here, Pipsqueak.” It wasn’t a request. Pipsqueak gulped as he walked over and sitting where he felt was far too close to the Princess. “Pipsqueak,” said Luna, “What do you think of when you think of crowds?” “Huh? Oh, well. I guess I think of going to a do- um, a party that is, or maybe a concert or somethin’. You know, crowd… things.” “Ah,” said Luna, nodding. “And what do you think of when presented with the idea of being in front of a crowd?” “Oh, well. I guess if I think about, I’m pretty worried that it’d go all pear shaped. I’d probably botch it up and make a right ruddy mess of things.” “Do you feel this way when presenting in groups at your school?” asked Luna. Pipsqueak scratched the back of his head. “Well, no. Of course not. But they’re me mates. It’s really different t’present in front of ponies I know.” “Well,” said Luna. “Some of those in attendance will be your friends.” Pipsqueak nodded. “Yeah, but, well, there’s still gonna be a bunch of other folks. And if I muss it up, then I won’t ever hear the end of it!” “Ah,” said Luna nodding. “You fear embarrassment.” “Well, yeah.” “Do you know that I’ve been embarrassed countless times by my own mistakes and the carelessness of others.” “You?” asked Pipsqueak. “But what was that, like, a thousand years ago?” Luna chuckled. “Well, yes, a thousand years ago I embarrassed myself most thoroughly when I became Nightmare Moon.” “What? No,” said Pipsqueak as he recoiled. “That wasn’t what I meant at all, Princess Luna. That was the nightmare that did that to you, that was.” Luna shook her head. “Ah, to you that’s how it seems, but to me that is my greatest shame and it was a tremendous embarrassment. You see, we all judge things differently. Many ponies think like you do, that I was possessed by some external force. But to some, including myself, it is viewed very differently. In fact, there are many ponies that still fear me for what I once did. In the end, however, what matters most when others form an opinion about you is their character, not yours.” Pipsqueak scratched his head again as he tried to comprehend what was being said. “You see, even if you go out there today and mess up, your friends will still be your friends. They might tease you for a bit, but it won’t be meant to cause you pain. On the other hoof, if you learn from the experience and are able to laugh with them you will find that you and they will grow closer.” Pipsqueak shook his head. “But what about the bullies at school? Or strangers? They won’t be trying to have a laugh with me at all and I really don’t want to deal with people talkin’ rubbish ‘bout me.” Luna tapped her chin for a moment. “Well, let’s look at it this way. You’re still a kid so no one is really going to judge you all that harshly. If they do then they would be the ones at fault. Additionally, remember what I said about the judgment for others about your mistakes reflect more on them. There is more truth to those words than just the surface meaning. For instance, if a bully keeps bothering you about this issue, then they don’t really have anything better to do. It means their lives are empty, which is truly a tragedy in it’s own right. I mean, can you imagine what your life would have to be like for you to go around making fun of others for their mistakes from weeks or months ago?” Pipsqueak scrunched his head in thought for a few moments. “You know what? I can’t.” “Then don’t fear those ponies, don’t take their words to heart. If anything, pity their words because it means that they have lives that are lacking compared to yours.” Pipsqueak sat in silence for a few minutes before speaking. “I don’t think I’m worried anymore. I’m ready when you are, Princess Luna. And, well, thanks for the pick me up, Princess.” Luna smiled. “Any time, my little pony. Now, if you are ready we can start.” Pipsqueak nodded. Luna nodded back one last time before turning and walking out the door, holding it open so that Pipsqueak could join her. They walked out behind a hanging tapestry that blocked their site from the audience. Pipsqueak stopped just before the attendance would have become visible and watched as Luna stepped forward. Immediately Pipsqueak became aware of the chatter dying down, though he hadn’t noticed the general hum of the audience before. The quick silence was followed by Luna bowing slightly toward the audience, which he imagined would be bowing back. Trumpets began to play as Luna stood up from the bow. Tall and proud as befit a Princess of Equestria, thought Pip. Luna waited for the last notes of the wind instruments to die down before addressing the crowd in a full royal Canterlot Voice. “Ladies and Gentlecolts. It is my pleasure as Princess of the Night to introduce you to the most recent addition to the royal family. As you all know I was saved four years ago from the living nightmare that was Nightmare Moon by the six Elements of Harmony. In the thousand years since my banishment the legends of Nightmare Moon grew and morphed into the yearly Nightmare Night Festival which is held in nearly every settlement, town, and city across Equestria and many outside it’s borders. This festival grew to mock the very nature of Nightmare Moon, creating joy from terror. “The first year I returned after that long imprisonment I, unfortunately, did not see the joy in that festival, only the terror. I was mortified that even after a thousand years and her defeat, ponies were still trying to appease the horror of Nightmare Moon and so I sought to end the festival once and for all. But the Elements of Harmony again stepped in, as did the children of ponyville.” Pipsqueak heard a number of foals cheer at the mention of Ponyville and he thought that he recognized some of the voices from school. Luna smiled at them warmly. “Yes, children.” She looked up with pride at the rest of the crowd. “For those who do not know the children of Ponyville are in the audience and have joined us for this celebration. Truly I am glad that I was able to invite them.” Pipsqueak felt his chest tighten as another round of cheers erupted and sever fillies and colts shouted up toward the Princes, “We love you, Princess Luna.” He hadn’t expected his entire school to be present. Luna continued, slowly at first to let the excitement die down. “And I love you. For it was you, the children of Ponyville that shared with me the joy of that night, and, in doing so helped me beat the terror that I still felt toward my own actions a thousand years ago. “It was the children, as much as the Elements, that helped me realize the meaning and purpose of the Nightmare Night festival and tonight that festival has come again. Only this time I will be the proud and joyous host of the first Royal Nightmare Night Festival.” A generous applause of stomping hooves echoed around the chamber with the foals jumping up and down to add as much noise as possible. Pipsqueak found that he had joined in at the same time, stomping his own hooves with the rest of the attendance, his own anxiety forgotten. It occurred to him how Luna’s speech was having a universal effect on the ponies in attendance. Luna waited for the applause to die down before continuing. “To honor the children that taught me the joy of this night I held a write in contest. Over twelve thousand children wrote in for the chance to be randomly chosen as the honorary guest for first Royal Nightmare Nights Festival, and one was selected as royalty for this day.” Pipsqueak began walking forward at the cue ‘royalty’ without even realizing it. As he stepped out in front of the audience he felt hundred of eyes turning toward him and he let himself smile as Luna continued. “Much to my surprise, the randomly selected colt was not only from ponyville, but was the child whom was most influential in my newfound understanding of the Nightmare Night Festival. And so, it is my honor to welcome Pipsqueak Burgundy Leviathan as the first ever special guest for the first Royal Nightmare Nights Festival and to welcome him into the royal family for this joyous day.” Princess Luna turned to Pipsqueak who bowed deeply to Luna and held the pose. Princess Luna levitated a foal sized crown over to Pipsqueak that had been brought forward by a unicorn guard. “By the power invested in me as one of Equestria's Royal Alicorn Princesses, I grant thee the title of Prince, with all the trappings and honor that accompanies such a position, until the sun rises tomorrow.” Pipsqueak felt the weight of the crown as it was placed securely on his head. “Rise, Prince Pipsqueak,” commanded Luna as she increased the volume of her Canterlot Voice. “Rise and gaze upon your subjects and love them as your own.” Pipsqueak pushed himself to a standing position and turned to see the crowd cheering his name. He smiled as he saw the first few rows in the crowd. In the center sat Princess Celestia with Princess Twilight and Princess Cadence on either side, flanked by the remaining Elements of Harmony. The rest of the first two rows, however, were occupied entirely by his elementary school class including his teacher, Ms. Cheerilee. Pipsqueak felt a flutter of fear rise in his chest along with the question ‘What if I mess up?’ But just as his fear began to pick up he remembered Princess Luna’s words. Picture them clothed. It was an old adage, used to distract foals who were afraid of public speaking. But Pipsqueak, much to his own amazement, found the comment comforting along with that fact this the ceremony was basically over. Despite the cheering, he managed to pick out a few shouts from his classmates and he called out to them with a raised hoof. “Ponyville Elementary.” This caused the cheering of the crowd to nearly double and Perfect Flash took picture after picture, flash after flash blinding Pipsqueak. Suddenly the foals from his class burst forward and up several stairs to crowd around him. They lifted him upon their shoulders and began cheering his name as they bounced him up and down. “Pipsqueak, Pipsqueak, Pipsqueak!” He saw Princess Luna beaming at him and, when she noticed that he was looking at her, she winked and he knew that he had nailed it. Pipsqueak felt like he was on top of the world and it was, unquestionably, the best moment of his life. But suddenly, Pipsqueak felt himself slip off to one side and away from the hooves that had been bouncing him up and down and he felt himself falling, bright lights from the flash of Perfect Flash’s camera confusing him farther as he bounced off his classmates. He threw his hooves out in a wild attempt to catch himself as the stairs approached faster and larger than he thought possible.
  6. Hiya guys! So I'm working on a project with someone, and we came up with designs for future Equestria. This is something I drew of Applebloom and Pipsqueak's daughter: The original design was drawn on paper by @Snake but I drew it digitally. =3 Anyone like it? c:
  7. This is for the moment just a menu, but I want some feedback. Do you think it's good so far ?
  8. Hey all! I love to make minimal art, and I like to put some of those works onto shirts! As such, I've Also gone and entered these designs into the welovefine Season 4 T-Shirt Design contest (Click on images to vote! below, rating's based on a scale of 1-5): Pippy Shirtified Tirek: Get Horny Shirtified: Previous entries: Derpy Fountain Twilight Time Party Ponies Apples to the Core A Small Request Thank you guys so much for checking out my designs, and I hope that with your help, at least ONE of these will win!
  9. "Friendship Academy" It's been ten years since the events in FiM. The adventures of the Mane-6 have come to a close, and they can no longer wield Elements of Harmony. An elite school had been established in Counterlot, to teach the magic of friendship to the next generation! And yet, without those who can control the Elements, how much longer would it be before the plane of Equestria will once again plunge into darkness? ~~~~~ This is only a vaguely abstract idea. Afew of the things I wanna try and fit into the story would be:- * The new 6 Elements will be Applebloom, Scootaloo, Thrackerzod, Diamond Tiara, Silver Spoon, and Pipsqueak. * The rivalry between the CMCs vs Diamond Tiara & Silver Spoon has long since been resolved. * Four of the original Mane-6 will be professors at the Academy. Applejack is the gym coach. Rarity is the arts & crafts instructor. Pinkie is a (quite rather geeky) maths teacher. Fluttershed is a counselour. * Rainbow Dash has finally joined the Wunderbolts. ~~~~~ Much of the mythos is based on the speculation that FiM had ended with:- * Trollestia was the final boss, the true form of Princess Celestia. During the final battle, Candence, Shining Armour, and Luna were among the casualties. * Discord returned for the endboss fight, cos' he's just . * Trollestia was defeated and killed by Twilight Sparkle (alone.) Twilight then transcended to become an alicorn, and now has infinite mana. Fausticorn, the actual true goddess of Equestria, appears in their universe and inherits the throne instead. This way, Twilight wouldn't hafta perform the jobs of both the goddesses. * The way emblems* work is different now. The design LV-up's in 3 stages, as follows:- *LV1:- A pony finds their own specialty. *LV2:- A pony devotes their career to their specialty. *LV3:- A pony masters their specialty. ~~~~~ Does anypony find this intersting, or think it has potential? PM me if you think you might wanna help me write this, or something.... o.o"/ ~~~~~ EDiT:- I updated the description once again. I'm still gonna go somewhere with this. It's just one of my back-burner projects for now.
  10. There isn't enough Pipsqueak music out there. So I've filled the gap a bit. The result is this strange mix of genres, Dance, Pony and SeaShanty. Enjoy.