Story: No Greater Power

[Grimdark][Sad] This one definitely uses that Grimdark tag! It’s not gory…just unsettling as hell. (According to the pre-readers at least!) 

Author: buxton

Description: A year after Luna’s return, Celestia revisits memories of their parents, and answers a burning question for one unlucky pony. If there is no greater power in Equestria, why does she call herself ‘Princess’?

No Greater Power

Additional Tags: Memories, conspiracy, evil is relative

This entry was posted in Author: buxton, Celestia, Complete, Grimdark, Luna, Sad, Star-4, Story. Bookmark the permalink.

54 Responses to Story: No Greater Power

  1. KShrike says:

    I don't get it.Celestia is the sun, not the moon.So why is she a silver moon (DFO reference)

  2. kwj says:


  3. Daetrin says:

    While not badly written, I don't find the particular revelation in this 'fic to be properly explained or given a sufficiency of background to make a great deal of sense. Though I don't want to spoil it, there really needs to be an elaboration on the entirety of events involving Nebulous/Galaxia/NMM for it to work properly. Also, talking about the parents just invokes the turtles problem – if they're not the ultimate gods of the universe, or at least a step up, who is? Where'd they come from?

  4. Anonymous says:

    I always asked the same question to myself…Why does Celestia refer to herself as Princess instead of Queen? I had just believed that the show's demographic was towards little girls so I guess Princess would be an accepted title…but still I support our Lord and Savior, Celestia! All Hail!

  5. Tarvoc says:

    And another Tyrant Celestia… not bad though.

  6. Joel Caserta says:

    Obviously, Equestria is a Principality and not a Kingdom, that's why Celestia isn't a queen!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Anonymous 9:27AM.Word of Faust says that Hasbro insisted on princess(es), since little girls do prefer princesses over queens. Most little girl stories involving royalty revolve around the princess — generally the queen is either a good queen who stays quietly in the background, or an evil antagonist.But it's the old complaint for this story — why does everyone feel the need to present Celestia as anything other than what she is: a perfect ruler/manipulator who makes Lord Vetinerri seem like an amateur? Any being that can get a pony to volunteer to save the world by writing a short missive that ridicules the very notion that the world is in danger in the first place is either lucky or something else.

  8. Rob Coale says:

    Not as 'unsettling as hell' as I might've hoped, but darn well written and a good read.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I always knew celestia was evil.But to go THAT far… And I though I was the most sick of all the bronies.(I actually say that with the though that Cupcakes was FUNNY.Find worse than that.)

  10. Joe England says:

    Spooky. Well done. Actually, though, I've always thought the whole "princess/queen" question had a pretty easy canonical explanation. Celestia sees Luna as an equal, sharing power. Right? But you can only have one queen. So, since they're co-rulers, they're both princesses.

  11. DerpyDoopy says:

    I dunno about anyone else, but I'm getting tired of 'Evil Celestia' fics. It's just too much of a stretch for me.Buut… It's very well written, which is the most important thing.

  12. I got about three quarters of the way through thinking "where's the grimdark", and then I found it. Wasn't as grimdark as the prereaders seem to have let on, but still pleasantly creepy.

  13. Anonymous says:

    "Unsettling as hell" is a serious understatement.Just goes to show that immortality is not always a good thing.

  14. frybrain says:

    Man, this whole Celestia being an evil tyrant fad needs to die off

  15. Anonymous says:

    A simple explanation would have sufficed O_O

  16. Evil Celestia. You make me sad. Way too much cognitive dissonance between this and the Celestia from the show.

  17. Anonymous says:

    @frybrainI agree. It was funny at first, but it's getting really old, really fast.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps she is not a evil tyrant but she is surely slightly manipulative for the greater good.But returning to the story we've just read, i wonder how the Elements of Harmony(not just their host we all love) fit. I think they are something else, more primordial than gods, and act as a form of Balance(Balance being, sometimes, a sinonimous of Harmony). Is it possible that the Elements are the reason Celestia can't kill her parents? This would lead the manipulation of Twilight Sparkle and possibly of the other girls, an attempt to get control over the Elements, that she cannot do directly.

  19. Reever says:

    I think Evil Celestia is a far more realistic representation of a ruler than the one on the show.

  20. DerpyDoopy says:

    @Reever: I like FiM because it's not realistic. It's a more idealistic take on life.Besides, your idea of 'realistic' could be more cynical than it really is. Or maybe it isn't. But I prefer to be idealistic anyway

  21. Anonymous says:

    I liked the story, even though Celestia is one of my favoret characters and I get kind of annoyed by all the fics of her as an evil tyrannt, this one mad her look more like a badass. A very entertaining read.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Another evil Celestia story? Why do people hate her so much? Read it, its not badly written, but it's too short and vague to really unnerve me.Evil Celestia is a cute take at first, but it has less merit the more I read it.

  23. Anonymous says:

    @DerpyDoopy Every one prefers to be idealistic,but if the world was ideal…Well…Humanity wouldn't exist.We are the paradigm of the Non-ideal.

  24. DerpyDoopy says:

    @Anon 10:27: Maybe we need a Paradigm shift? 🙂

  25. Anonymous says:

    @DerpyDoopyEyup, we really need it.

  26. Reever says:

    That's the word I was looking for.It's not so much Creepy, more disturbing.

  27. I dunno, I really didn't like the second half of this. I mean, hospital beds and breathing apparatuses? For gods? It's silly.Also, with the way Nebulous is injured, you would think that Celestia beat him in a fight. That strikes me as odd when he is supposed to be this "greater god" compared to Celly. I think the story would have been better served if you made it so they're trapped in some ancient artifacts or whatever. It would have made the "remember, you went WILLINGLY," line a lot more chilling if it applied to both the king and queen, knowing Celly can trick greater gods into trapping themselves. Lastly, what was the point of inviting Babbles over if Celestia is just going to erase her memory anyway? I would assume that she takes pleasure in torturing Babs, but the final lines suggest that Celly would rather forget what happened.

  28. Anonymous says:

    I have a hard time imagining Celestia being this cruel to her immortal parents. The only way it seemed to fit was Celest becoming Corona Blaze (a name I've become rather fond of btw). She is an "ideal" princess, but just like the show does, fics should be able to explore her character flaws without making her downright evil.Past Sins is actually a good example. [SPOILER} Celestia hides the whole NMM plot from her sister, even though Luna would probably be helpful. Celestia's love for her sister actually becomes her flaw.

  29. ShadowCell says:

    As I reached the part where she had her parents on ice, I was sort of expecting this to take the Nightmare Moon tack and she was pretty much telling the truth to Babble–which would have also explained how she found the wherewithal to do it to her sister–but her little monologue at the end kind of runs over that.A shame, too, because I rather like the idea of an essentially good Celestia having to do morally questionable things because that's what rulership requires, rather than just plain ol' evil Celestia who does it for the lulz.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Oh joy, more pointlessly grimdark bullshit.

  31. DerpyDoopy says:

    'I rather like the idea of an essentially good Celestia having to do morally questionable things because that's what rulership requires'@ShadowCell: I definitely agree.(Damnit, there needs to be an easier way to comment without having to keep typing the name out.)

  32. Taliesin says:

    ALL HAIL PRINCESS CELESTIA!!!awesome stuff, loved the read. It all came out… uncalled, but surely enjoyed.

  33. moocow1452 says:

    Pretty good read and I like the idea of celestia having some "I did what I had to" skeletons in her closet, but keeping her own parents hostage is a bit much. Kill them outright eons ago because they decided to genocide her ponies, sure. But to not ghost them from history, and keep them around in your chambers is asking for trouble, no matter how justified either party is and what ethics your throwing around. She's by no means perfect, but she's better than this.

  34. ShadowCell says:

    While we're on the subject, there's another fic around here (I can't remember the name) which explains Celestia's title by having her acting as regent for her deathly ill, rarely seen, but technically still living father, the King, and out of respect for him she keeps the title of Princess. When he passes away she gets crowned Queen.

  35. Anonymous says:

    @Stephen Cawking To your first point (the "greater god" issue), it's established that there is no greater power in Equestria than Celestia. Her parents may have created the world, but she ended up being the greatest power within it. The fic makes that very clear.On the subject of the second point (Babbles' invitation), it's likely a cathartic process for Celestia. For what little time Babbles is aware, she is terrified, and Celestia presents a cogent argument that completely shatters her worldview – therefore, Celestia can convince herself she's in the right, alleviate some of the guilt, and all that jazz.Otherwise, absolutely loved it. Puts an interesting spin on a canonical character's presentation while remaining ultimately faithful to the nature of that character. Further, it's well-written, and expounds on a part of the backstory that really doesn't get enough consideration. I'm a personal fan of Tyrant Celestia, when it's done properly, and this was one of those occasions. Thank you, author.

  36. @Anonymous"I cannot end the lives of greater gods than myself, only keep them subdued."herpaderp

  37. Miyajima says:

    I personally always assumed she was 'Princess' because she's not the sole ruler of Equestria, given that she rules with Luna. Although for the past millenia she was alone, she never took the title of 'Queen' because Luna was still alive as Nightmare Moon.I know the actual explanation is just because Hasbro said so, but that always seemed a better IC one to me.

  38. Anonymous says:

    Celestia was preaching in front of someone who's utterly stunned by a horrible sight and who, by the time she could get her mind over the first shock, is mind wiped.It doesn't strike me as an action of someone who's stable in any way. In fact, she seems truly delusional and power mad.If this was the first evil Celestia fic I'd read, I'd be unnerved. Now, it's just sad.

  39. Jason Canty says:

    I haven't read this yet but I agree with @ShadowCell. Celestia having to do morally questionable things to keep the world going. Infact the whole show has shown that Harmony is a hard worked thing. In this world full of magic and where your cutie mark lit' Marks your special talent (wether you make it your job as with most in the show, or just a side aspect of your Job like Rarity does) and your path in life, when that path is disrupted the ponies tend to freak out and go crazy. Our first example of this is Luna/Nightmare Moon her self. She felt unaprecated in her special talent and went Bonkers. Celestia had to shut that down for the good of all and had to spend 1000 years using not only her special ablity but tha tof her sisters. I suspect knowing how her sister went crazy not feeling aprecated, she had to direct Pony socity into a managed utopia. To keep ponykind busy and distracted and fufulled so that you don't have the whole population going Nightmare Moon on its self. So she sets up each sub-species to have a part managing the world. Each group has their own stringths and weaknesses in a socital form of Rock Paper Scissors. And again as the Series continued we all saw each of the girls have their own break down when they couldn't properly do their special ablity. So yeah I can see Celestia being far wiser and currently th emost mentialy stable pony in the show having to do some questionable things to keep all in her care safe from the world, each other, and themselves. That Celestia I admire, even if it means her only outward flaw is to prank Twilight (Feeling Pinkie Keen) and Her Friends (Best Night ever) to keep herself sane. Then I could live with such a deity. Because woe to all if Celestia just snapped under the Presure. She can control the Sun and hte moon after all.

  40. SomeGuy says:

    That was beautifully dark.

  41. Anonymous says:

    I really love Past Sins but I don't think that's a good story to look to in portraying a good Celestia doing morally questionable things for the greater good. It was a pretty clumsy attempt at doing that, that really just ends up being a kind of Tyrant Celestia anyways. So many options and murder was the best solution?

  42. Anonymous says:

    I started reading this with a shuffled playlist playing. As I got toward the end, the song "Livin' In Sin" by Godsmack started playing. Then as I read the end, it made me even more unsettled than I already am. Great read!

  43. Anonymous says:

    @Anonymous My question is why do so many people assume that just because someone creates a fanwork presenting Celestia as evil that must mean they hate her?

  44. Well, that was a delightful little mindfuck. I really do hate tyrant Celestia, but this was epically crafted and I can't hate it on those grounds.I do hope we get a HAPPY story from Celestia's perspective one day.

  45. Sebiale says:

    My problem with this fic, beyond the pointless grimdark, is that it's directly contradicted by canon. Fics that can work inside canon (no matter how much hoop-jumping may be required to pull it off) are much better than ones that have to break it completely to work.I'm not just talking about the parents. It's that whole "No grater power" thing. One, Elements of Harmony are directly referenced in the show as "The greatest power known to Ponydom." And even if we accepted that as somehow biased, the entire Nightmare Moon incident tosses this fic out. If Celestia was the greatest power, then she would have taken care of Nightmare Moon herself. Or at the very least Nightmare Moon shouldn't have been able to banish her.If this ever gets a continuation, it better be Luna using that *parents not knowing what she would become" trait to defeat Celestia somehow. Or brining in the Elements of Harmony.Barring that, at least free the parents somehow. I;d even accept death as freedom in this kind of scenario.

  46. Anonymous says:

    Brilliantly written. Tyrant Celestia is best Celesita.

  47. Anonymous says:

    @Sebiale Fics that can fit into canon aren't *always* better, there are some great AU fics for example.

  48. Timey Wimey says:

    @ Sebiale: As I read it I couldn't help but think, in place of Babbles, "How would Doctor Hooves react to this?" Like her, at first he's irreverent towards royalty and power.To the King and Queen: "I'm sorry…I'm so sorry."Righteous indignation and cold fury towards Celestia: "Your ethics are appalling, princess. Look at what you've become."This Celestia is uncharacteristically devoid of compassion towards her defeated parents, even deliberately cruel. Celestia would have to counter with some convincing reason of why things must be as they are here (something this tale desperately lacks), or The Doctor would surely feel compelled to free the elder gods from this fate. Alone, the Doctor might not have what it takes to undo Celestia's magic, but if Luna found out…

  49. Anonymous says:

    *Frantically searches for alt-ending*

  50. Anonymous says:

    The story had a lot of potential, but it degenerated really quickly. Celestia's build-up to the climax was very well done, but the "reveal" itself was very poorly executed.Additionally, Tyrant Celestia is getting really over-played.Oh, and, hospital beds? Really?

  51. Anonymous says:

    I hate Tyrant Celestia stories.

  52. PaxImbrium says:

    I think Daetrin said it first and best. This story is really, really well written, not a single complaint to be had about the grammar or the paragraphing, and your pacing is perfect. Beyond that though, the whole idea is kind of lackluster. You build up to this great reveal, and do it fairly competently too, but then you basically say "And then Celestia was a tryant! *end*"Tyrant Celestia can be good if competently done and well thought out, but the story has to go somewhere for it to be good, and yours kind of just peters out just as it picks up. And that's ignoring the minor plot holes that others have pointed out.Three stars. Your details are perfect, but you can't quite seem to grasp the big picture.

  53. StyxD says:

    Aside from what others said, I'd remark that this story feels disjointed. It almost contradicts itself, in addition to contradicting canon. You wanted to make a twist, so the Celestia in the beginning is gentle and weeps as she reminisces her parents, the Celestia at the end… is being eeevil. There's no justifications for what she did and how she feels about it. "Darkness in me"? Come on. The events just don't click together.You take the simple "Celestia is evil" paradigm and don't do anything interesting with it. A pity, since it's well written but goes nowhere plot-wise.Also, really? Ancients gods in hospital beds? Might've worked if it was a Silent Hill fic. What's the point of life support for them, anyway? If Celestia can't kill them, they're surely not going to die by themselves.

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