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Thus passes threadly glory

By Fillyanon
Created: 3rd December 2021 11:56:46 PM
4th December 2021 12:02:12 AM

  1. In the middle of a busy square in Canterlot stood a great building. It was an ornate courthouse, previously used to sentence criminals, whose crimes were not worthy of the princesses' attention. With the steep decline of such misdemeanors, the city of Canterlot reorganized its judicial system and the building was left abandoned. That is, until a wealthy patron of the Four Clover Club decided to rent the place in an attempt to give its members a dignified place to hold their discussions. One of the newest members of the Club, a little green filly, stood in front of the massive building.
  2.  
  3. The filly took a deep breath and pushed the heavy doors of the court inwards. The moment a tiny gap formed between the two doors, the noise of incessant chattering immediately began to spill out from the inadequately-lit insides of the building.
  4.  
  5. "Busy as usual," thought the filly.
  6.  
  7. Indeed, the rows of what used to be the seats of the trials' audience were filled to the brim with mares and stallions of all ages, sizes and origins. Not that the filly could really discern any individual faces. Most members wore heavy, enchanted robes that obscured their features, including their faces. The Four Clover Club had many traditions, that an outside observer might consider unusual. These include secret codes and terminology only the members understood, a reliance on expressing oneself in a manner that could only be described as theatrical and, of course, an insistence on keeping one's identity as a complete secret.
  8.  
  9. That is, until a recent decision, made by the club's current owner, cast the last tradition into complete jeopardy. The owner argued, that by revealing themselves to each other, the members could find more ways of expressing themselves. The decision was met with a wild mix of emotions, some celebrating their newfound liberty, others denouncing the change as a complete betrayal of the club's principles. However, as months passed, the novelty of this unexpected paradigm shift faded and it seemed like things were heading back to normal.
  10.  
  11. The filly, who was still fairly new to the club and thus perhaps lacked a sense of conviction that her older compatriots held, strengthened the former party's ranks. Not that she had any problems with the robes, of course, nor the ponies wearing them. Hell, she even sometimes wore them for other events. However, when it came to this meeting, she could never bring herself to hide her face.
  12.  
  13. She attempted to find an empty place in the gallery, but almost all of them seemed to be filled and the few seats that didn't have ponies sitting on them contained massive piles of books. The patrons regarded these as their "To-Read" lists. As the filly quickly learned, building unreasonably large mounds of these stories wasn't only considered normal, but rather outright fashionable.
  14.  
  15. "Hey Filly, over here," rang out a shout from the indistinct chattering around the young pony.
  16.  
  17. Amidst the ocean of faceless equines, an azure unicorn waved enthusiastically at her. She beckoned the green pony, before patting on an empty seat next to herself. The filly quickly trotted over and after some difficulty with fighting through the crowds, she plopped down on the bench. As she began to unpack her own much more humble stack of books, she glanced at her neighbor. As far as the filly knew, she was a showpony of sorts, characterized by over the top acting and, more alarmingly, some weird rumors of travelling through time. However, what was perhaps most unusual about her was her penchant for writing massive stories which depicted the curious family lives of several ponies from Equestria's most famous ranks.
  18.  
  19. "So, what are they discussing anyways?" the filly asked.
  20.  
  21. The mare in return merely shrugged.
  22.  
  23. "Well, you know, the usual" she said with a mix of irritation and amusement in her voice.
  24.  
  25. On paper the goal of this meeting was to discuss stories of all manners. In truth, however, the club was extremely lenient about whether members remained on topic and due to this, discussions often diverged from their intended paths. The filly hummed and then looked over the crowd again, this time paying far more attention to the individuals. She saw several usual suspects. Denizens from all across Equestria sat in small groups, vigorously gesturing and cutting into each others' words about a myriad of topics that served as the staple of this meeting. The filly craned her neck and tried her hardest to focus on some of their conversations.
  26.  
  27. "...and then Rainbow Dash went even further east," explained an orange pony in a stetson, with enthusiasm in her voice, to a small crowd of ponies. "And then," she added with a wide motion of her hoof, "she flew even further!"
  28.  
  29. This elicited several oohs and aahs from the audience.
  30.  
  31. While the filly couldn't see their faces, she was still sure they were enthralled about her recollection. Not that she found this one bit surprising though. While she hasn't read the story in question, she understood its monumentality well.
  32.  
  33. Not far from them, another group vehemently discussed a mythical breed of ponies.
  34.  
  35. "I'm telling you, they're simply called batponies," one of them slammed her hoof on the desk, causing several books to tumble onto the head of a less fortunate pony.
  36.  
  37. "Vesperquines. What's so difficult about this?" retorted another.
  38.  
  39. "Thestrals," said a third with a sly grin.
  40.  
  41. The other two fell silent for a moment.
  42.  
  43. "That's a horrible name. What are you, retarded?" they echoed, in unison.
  44.  
  45. Yet even as the insults kept raining on him, he still seemed all too pleased with himself. Then, like nothing had happened, the argument continued. Neither of the three ponies seemed to mind that the very existence of these creatures was based on merely hearsay and the myriad of conflicting "facts" they cited at each other was largely the invention of a few creative authors. Seeing that the debate was far from over, the filly's gaze left the group behind and was caught by a third one.
  46.  
  47. They, unlike everybody else, didn't seem to be in any terms of disagreement. No, if anything they looked extremely content. The filly leaned closer.
  48.  
  49. "Marecocks," said the first pony slowly, with a self-satisfied grin.
  50.  
  51. "Big, fat, marecocks," replied his friend.
  52.  
  53. "Sweet Celestia, you two don't know, how much I want to fuck a Changeling," another pony erupted.
  54.  
  55. After a series of agreeing hums, a fourth one, who's been silent until this point, finally spoke up.
  56.  
  57. "You know, I really wish Twilight would feed me chicken," he blurted out.
  58.  
  59. The others looked at each other with confused expressions, then at him. Then, as if they all decided at the same time, the curious wish was met with enthusiastic nods and the party returned to discussing the ideal girth.
  60.  
  61. The filly quickly looked away. Not that she judged these ponies, but their topics were really not her cup of tea.
  62.  
  63. In the meantime a pony stepped up to the podium in the middle of the room.
  64.  
  65. "This week, Adam decided to take a stroll in the Everfree, without telling anyone. As you can expect, we still hardly know anything about his weird language," she began.
  66.  
  67. The filly immediately focused on the narration. This was one of the favorite parts of the meeting for her. Several ponies would recount stories they read in short, humorous bursts, commenting on the great and the not-so-great aspects of the plot. This allowed even those who didn't want to bother to read the whole thing to experience the exceptionally good and parts of the wild world of fiction.
  68.  
  69. "...In summary, that's how during this week the author's house was raided by an angry mob, intending to force him to release the key to this mysterious language this coatless biped uses," she continued to explain. "It was to no avail, however, as sadly the author wasn't home at the time."
  70.  
  71. With that the mare bowed lightly. The audience, which has somewhat quieted since, measured her with impassive eyes. Then an accusatory hoof shot up, pointing towards her.
  72.  
  73. "You," the pony simply said. The crowd went silent.
  74.  
  75. Another hoof shot up. Then another. And another.
  76.  
  77. "You. You. You."
  78.  
  79. More and more ponies joined in. The the storyteller softly blushed. Recognition like this was the most cherished thing a member of the club could hope for and her valiant summary of the strange space-creature's newest shenanigans was met with universal adoration. The filly held out her hoof as well. After all, how could she not?
  80.  
  81. Soon, as the jubilation died down, another pony took the stand and began to mechanically recount a bunch of seemingly unrelated events.
  82.  
  83. "This week, Twilight had sex with the metaphysical concept of marmalade. A changeling found a whoopie-cushion. The princess sorrowfully reminisced about her past," the list kept going on and on. The filly, having not read this story, never understood how all of these seemingly incongruent topics could end up in a single, coherent narrative. Yet everyone she talked to praised the story.
  84.  
  85. "Maybe I should read it sometimes as well," the filly mused. Before she could get lost in her thoughts, however, the performer finished his recap and the room once again shook with "You"-s.
  86.  
  87. As he vacated the area, the filly wondered who'd be next. Seeing that no one took the opportunity, she began to wiggle down from her chair, hoping to deliver one of her staple story reviews, which a part of the audience seemed to enjoy. Not that she did it for the "You"-s, she was happy with merely contributing to the discussion, though she would be lying, if she said she didn't appreciate them.
  88.  
  89. Before she could get far though, the room suddenly became even darker than before, and malicious-looking, pale blue wisps descended on the podium.
  90.  
  91. Soon the wisps coalesced and a tall figure emerged from the mist. Her slender, black body was scantly covered in armor, which was adorned with the embossed image of a waning moon. The being eyed the crowd with a piercing gaze, before she opened her mouth, revealing her sharp teeth.
  92.  
  93. "Ponies of Equestria," the dark mirror of Princess Luna boomed, "I have come today to announce that airships fucking suck."
  94.  
  95. The crowd was motionless. It was as if the very air had frozen. Several of the uncloaked ponies stared at her with wide eyes, their mouths contorted into a scowl. The nightmare looked around, satisfied with her intro.
  96.  
  97. Finally a single voice cut through the silence.
  98.  
  99. "Holy shit, you faggot, we get it. Get a life."
  100.  
  101. Suddenly, as if a tap was opened, others began joining in.
  102.  
  103. "Yeah, we don't give a fuck."
  104.  
  105. "Go and show your face elsewhere."
  106.  
  107. The filly looked at the bizarre scene in front of her indifferently. She didn't hate this supposed creature of darkness in front of her, she didn't even dislike her. However, she had to agree that some of her opinions were downright ridiculous at times.
  108.  
  109. Suddenly another pony leapt onto the podium. It was the princess herself, just without the corrupting influence affecting her. The two incarnations of the same being soon engaged in a heated debate, which only got exacerbated as a third mare, the princess' younger self, entered the ring. The audience didn't look particularly impressed. Such oddities weren't nearly the weirdest things one could see in these meetings. Especially when the trio has been doing this every single day for the past three weeks.
  110.  
  111. Soon a few members of the audience stepped in and ushered them down from the podium. Seeing this, the filly sprang into action, but she once again, didn't get too far. One of the cloaked ponies took the stand and the rest of his peers stared at him with some curiosity.
  112.  
  113. "What could this mysterious pony have for us?" their faces seemed to say.
  114.  
  115. The patron in question merely smirked under their hood.
  116.  
  117. "Have you ever considered," they asked, carefully enunciating every single word, "how erotic mind-control is?"
  118.  
  119. Several beatings later some of the patrons could swear they heard the pony whispering, their voice weak, but just as smug as before:
  120.  
  121. "Totally worth it."

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