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Found 28 results

  1. It had been several years since Ice Storm had returned to the Crystal Empire. The last time she was here... was a time that she would remember for the rest of her life. It was a day of fun and friends that quickly turned into a nightmare for many, and awoke the fire inside of her that now drives her to protect Equestria, and the ponies that live inside her borders. The memorial that was in front of her... Was a reminder of just how much was lost that day. The ponies that had no way of knowing what was going on until everything was on them, and by then, everything was too late. This was the spot where the spire fell. She could still remember rushing to the airship, and getting on it just in time before it broke. She could remember the days in the hospital that she spent with doctors swarming her trying to make sure the large gash she had suffered while protecting the princess was taken care of. She could still remember how much that salve stung every single time they had to reapply it to the wound. Still though, she considered herself lucky. Many ponies that day did not recover from there wounds and many never made it out. This memorial had the names of those such ponies. Even if it meant that she still wouldn't have been able to cast magic... she wished that she could have gotten everypony out. As she looked over the list she could feel the rage building inside of her. This list right here, justified everything she was doing. If STAR could prevent this, prevent these kinds of things by taking the invasion to them, and eliminating the threat before it becomes one, then it was worth it. She looked around to many of the other ponies that had came to the memorial... She saw what she could only presume to be a mother and her filly sobbing in front of a section of the names. She could only presume that somewhere on that list of names was the father. She approached the couple and she spoke. "I will never be able to understand the pain of your loss... but I am sorry that I couldn't do more to prevent it. I did all I could... but..." she said trying to hold back her own emotions looking to the wall of names. "It just wasn't enough... I can make you this promise though... The days of whomever did this are numbered, and I can also promise that something like this will never happen again. I will personally make sure of that," she told them resting a bouquet that she had brought in front of them before turning to the wall. "I am sorry for your loss."
  2. Despite Empress Mi Amore Cadenza (Princess Cadence to all Equestrians) having the higher title, Prince Shining Armor had equal power and responsibility over the governance and management of Crystal Empire affairs. This tended to be downplayed, given that most of the populace's experience with a male ruler was... well, downright traumatic. He and Cady had both agreed that for the time being, it was best to let old wounds heal under more a familiarly beneficent ruling visage. Which meant that most of the Crystal Prince's duties were restricted to the guardroom and the letterbox, preparing guards up to standards necessary to protect the Crystal Empire and its citizens. A taller than expected order, given their performance previously; it honestly made Shining Armor wonder if he was the problem, given that both the guard divisions under his command in two nations were proving similarly ineffective. Answering Royal correspondence was one way to put away those doubts, and this letter seemed innocuous enough. Research projects from curious Equestrians, plus promises of investment weren't uncommon, and were always welcome. Thus, with a smile, he penned a reply: To Lady Shadowfire, Greetings from the Crystal Empire! We are always glad to host researchers, and answer any questions regarding our Empire and its namesakes. Civil donation funds are always welcome, of course, and we can discuss those when you arrive. Feel free to show up at your convenience; the Royal Calendar is not too full these days. On a more personal note, I'd like to say that I'm looking forward to meeting you. Your parents were an inspiration to me while I was beginning my ROTC training, and they spoke very proudly of you on the one occasion I was able to meet with them in person. Sincerely, Prince Shining Armor. Signed, sealed, and sent on its way, the letter would fetch portents that Shining Armor knew not to his adopted home...
  3. After only a four month hiatus the show we love returns for the sixth season! The mane six return to the Crystal Empire to celebrate a momentous occasion first talked about last season, except they are not going alone, this time they have a seventh, and I don't mean Spike. This the season Twilight becomes the teacher, just as Celestia was to her? Tune in to find out! The episode airs Saturday 11:00 AM EST om March 26th! (They will play the season 5 finale in the hour before). This thread is dedicated to discussing the episode before, during, and afterwards. As the thread is now open it may indeed contain spoilers. I ask that potential spoilers talked about or shown before the episode airs stay within the spoiler tags please, after the episode you no longer have to use the spoiler tags, but warning, if you haven't seen the episode yet after it airs, this thread no doubt will have all sorts of spoilers in reviews, images, etc. So tread at your own risk. Also will see about adding links to videos of the episode when they are available.
  4. The main hall of the Trillion Theatre has been separated into two main areas: the dance floor and the banquet area. The Theatre managed to make it through Sombra’s second invasion unscatched beyond the unfortunate bending of a rather lovely weathervane in the shape of a swan, and as such Lilac Briolette chose this location to host a party to salve the spirits of those who were in the Crystal Empire during the attack. Here in the gold-and-red halls of the ballet theatre it is easy to escape the pained memories of the invasion, for the low lighting and sparse decoration coupled with the soothing music coming from the band set up by the dance floor creates a feeling of comfort. The dance floor itself is fairly empty for the time being, with only a few of the Trillion performers swaying rhythmically in pairs to the mellow tunes drifting through the main hall and up to the balcony. There is an uplifting note to the melodies being played currently, but the tempo for the time being remains very calm - ideal for an intimate dance that leaves plenty of room for conversation!
  5. "Nothing was the same again after what happened in the Crystal Empire....." With only hours remaining until the end of the Crystal Faire, now comes time to figure out what happens afterwards. When an entire city is laid to ruins by a rogue caribou army and agents of WRAITH, that brings about consequences. How do the crystal ponies rebuild their homes? What is to be done to counter future caribou threats? Who will bring an end to that dastardly Red Jarl? Let's discuss... THE AFTERMATH! If you got any aftermath thread ideas that you'd like to bring to life, don't hesitate to mention it. You just might find someone who'll want to join your RP. In the meantime, I'll keep a master list of all proposed thread ideas as a reference for users. AFTERMATH RP IDEAS: Crystal Empire Rebuilding (thread in progress) Lilac's rejuvenation party (threads in progress: Banquet Space, Dance Floor, Balcony) Meeting between the Equestrian Princesses and Whitescar emissaries The Red Jarl drumming up support among renegade caribou clans Formation of EPIC (OOC) Wedding of Pathfinder and Snowfall (thread in progress: Invitations so Inviting!) Flash Sentry Trial (thread in progress) (OOC) Cyprianus gets interrogated by the Princesses IMAGINE sign-ups (thread in progress) (OOC)
  6. The main hall of the Trillion Theatre has been separated into two main areas: the dance floor and the banquet area. The Theatre managed to make it through Sombra’s second invasion unscathed beyond the unfortunate bending of a rather lovely weathervane in the shape of a swan, and as such Lilac Briolette chose this location to host a party to salve the spirits of those who were in the Crystal Empire during the attack. Here in the gold-and-red halls of the ballet theatre it is easy to escape the pained memories of the invasion, for the low lighting and sparse decoration coupled with the soothing music coming from the band set up by the dance floor creates a feeling of comfort. On the opposite side of the main hall from the dance floor there are long tables full of food and fountains. The food is far from gourmet or artistic on the strict orders of Trillion’s prima ballerina. This is a night for comfort and rejuvenation, and as such the spread of food includes comfort foods from Equestra, Aquellia, and The Crystal Empire. The chefs who volunteered for this event researched and practiced as best they could in their limited time, and their hard work as paid off. The aroma drifting from the tables is mouthwatering and irresistible. The Aquellian food gets its own table, of course, to keep the fish dishes separate from the herbivore dishes! The drink fountains are made of ice to keep the liquids cool, though curiously the ice shows no signs of melting and holds an almost aetheric quality. Water, milk, wine, spirits, milkshakes, ale - there’s a fountain for everything a pony, gryphon, or create of any sort could think of! The early arrivals for the party have gathered here for the most part, munching away and chatting comfortably. Ylva struggled with the sights and smells laid before her. For a daughter of the Whitescar, the sheer amount of food that was spread out here tonight was overwhelming. Her entire life had been spent struggling, battling, and warring for survival. Food was precious and far from plentiful, and few caribou had ever seen such an excess of it, let alone had the opportunity to eat so much. Even the Askr Clan, which was blessed with a wealth of precious askr trees, never saw such bountiful food as this. The caribou’s steely expression revealed none of her discomfort, but the hostess of this party noticed the cow lingering away from the food wearing a sombre expression. Lilac Briolette seemed to wish to approach the Askr shaman, but Ylva merely waved her away. The crystal pony was very visibly harried, speaking with a hoof-ful of band members and then hurrying over to the table to rearrange plates and displays. The last thing she needed was to worry about one of her guests as well.With a sigh, Ylva tugged on the collar of her dragonscale overcoat. She felt remarkably out of place in this lavish environment, especially with the suspicious glances being cast her way. Still, she felt compelled to be here. She and her sister, the Jarl Sigrun of Askr, had come to the Crystal Empire when they had gotten wind of what Clan Olin planned on doing. It infuriated them and on Ylva’s part, broke her heart. Such needless violence, and for what? The spectre of an old evil still desperately clutching for life and for power? The least that Clan Askr could do was help rebuild, and for Ylva’s part, help soothe. When she had heard of the ponies discussing a party here, she track down the hostess Lilac. There were ways the cow could contribute to the night’s plans for soothing, and she hoped that her offering would help those who had been wounded physically, mentally, and emotionally to begin to heal. Lilac had graciously accepted the offer, and though she was very way around the silver-eyed cow initially, she quickly warmed to her. For this, Ylva was very grateful, for the hostess was allowing her to make a rather bold move later on in the party. All there was left to do now was wait - wait for her twin sister Sigrun to join her and wait for the quiet festivities to begin. ​ Lilac Briolette was feeling rather harried. In fact, she was downright frazzled. She wanted so badly for this night to help those who had suffered and sacrificed so much throughout the invasion, and as such everything had to be perfect. Was the food okay? Were the fish tables too close to the herbivore meals? Were the enchanted fountains a little too much, or would the practicality be appreciated? She didn’t want this to be showy or to feel high-brow at all, for it was a place where all were welcome to come and be at peace - zero demands or expectations were made of partygoers. Come and leave when you please, eat your fill, wear what you want. Even the prima ballerina had elected to do nothing with her hair aside from brush it and let it fall naturally, wearing a simple dress made of white jersey fabric. Though she was still quite lovely, with sophisticated “no-makeup” makeup, she was very rarely this dressed-down in public. She wanted pony, gryphon, caribou - all partygoers to feel welcome!From the corner of her eye, she noticed her foreign guest lurking as far away from the dance floor and the food without actually hiding as she could. The caribou cow, Ylva, was wearing her usual steely expression, no emotion betrayed as she peered around Trillion’s main hall. Should Lilac approach? A wave of the hoof said no, she shouldn’t, but the crystal mare still felt like she should go and see what was wrong. Still, though, there was so much still to worry about. Did the band know the plan, understand the way she wanted the music handled tonight? Did they and the chefs feel jilted that they were working as opposed to relaxing? Well, they had volunteered, but still…And then there was Ylva’s contribution to come later...how would her guests react to that? She did not want to upset them, and yet the cow’s plea had been so sincere and heartfelt that the dancer had to allow the shaman an opportunity to present her gift to the Crystal Empire. Lilac was worrying. About many things. She was so desperately afraid that something would go wrong and nopony would find comfort or rejuvenation here. There a lantern went out, here there were not enough sweets from Roam laid out...there was so much still to do, but the party had already started! ​
  7. The balcony of the Trillion Ballet Company Theatre are famous throughout the Crystal Empire. They are wide and spacious and wrap around the entirety of the second floor of the building, making them ideal for getting a breath of fresh air and escaping the stuffiness of a gathering of this multitude. Crawling vines of crystal flowers have swallowed the rails while lanterns and benches dot the otherwise empty outdoor space. Very rarely does one have to worry about braving the elements out here, thanks to the magic of the Crystal Heart, so year-round the balcony is full of crystal ponies enjoy the balmy weather of their homeland. Tonight the view from the balcony is breathtaking. The night sky is clear and full of stars, with the northern lights dancing among them as though lost in their own revelry. The glow of the fire trapped within crystalline lanterns casts an ethereal glow of warm, multicoloured lights across the scene while the muffled sound of soothing music and chatter from below can be heard. This is the ideal place to go to catch a breath from the party and enjoy a drink. On the horizon, signs of the speedy reconstruction of the glittering metropolis are already visible, adding a note of hope to the tranquil atmosphere outside the party.
  8. Valen was getting really familiar with the Equestrian Railroad system. They crisscrossed the nation, bisecting and disecting the metropolis and joing them with the most humble hamlets. It wasn't his favored method travelling across the nation in any case. Airships were slower but more comfortable and usually had a greater variety of entertainment options to satisfy a bored colt. It was a far greater expense but it was worthwhile. Trains were better than carriage rides, which were incredibly slow and bare to the worst of the elements. Trains- well, they were better than that. From one end of the nation to another trains were louder than they should be, more rickety than they should be, and too cramped for his tastes. he could afford a private cart but even then when it was a long train ride more often than not the line would demand he share his room. He loved socializing, hated being forced to do it, and was uncomfortable about the arrangement. But in the end it got him where he was going safe and sound, and where he was going, such a thing was of great importance. He was going to the Crystal Empire as the guest and patron of Rarity, a good friend of his that he made in Ponyville. This far off land was recently rediscovered and made part of Equestria. It was still somewhat difficult to get to even with all the time passing as only a single rail line, a single airship station, and a few safe carriage routes existed. Travel was expensive and the trip was often cramped. Not often, all the time! Valen felt like he was a refugee fleeing a terrible regime whenever he went out into the halls, ponies all across the nation stuffed into one little train. But in the end it was worth it, less for the destination and more for the pony he was going to help. Rarity was as beautiful as she was generous, and as good a friend as she was a designer and that was not dull praise. He also believed that she had a keen sense of perception that maybe others missed, her voluptious blue eyes hiding a cutting will and intensity. Maybe he saw it only because they both had similar passions, but she was as intelligent as she was grandiose and when she asked for his help, he didn't give it a second thought. It was time for the Crystal Faire, but it was more than that. By tradition the Faire was only on one day, but the festivities as well as the magic of the heart lasted for several weeks before and a short time afterward. The Crystal Empire litrally sparkled from end to end under the caring hooves of the Crystal Ponies, whose coats and manes owned the legends told of them. As the Empire opened up to Equestria, the amount of activities that occupied the time tripled overnight and quadrupled in the class and standing that went with them. One of the many activites to spring up was the Crystal Fashion Extravaganza, a rather putrid title for a well-thought of venture. The night before the Faire itself, the Great Hall of the North was leased to the Equestrian Organization of Fashion, who put on one of the most impressive fashion shows and open houses ever seen. From across Equestria, models and designers gathered and were given individual spaces to showcase their designs. It was a harsh venture for some, as while the modeling work itself was less intense than any single walk down the aisle, it was a full-day event and changes in wardrobe and setting were common. In the end though it was both a great reputation boost as well as financial boon- not only could you showcase your newest designs, but you could sell whatever you brought with you. So it didn't surprise Valen that Rarity had jumped at the opportunity, but it did surprise him that she had asked him to be her model! It wasn't without some precedence. He had done the same job for her in Manehattan in a pinch and, again, Valen would never turn her down. It was just a bit odd and he would be gone for at least a month, so it was a serious commitment. But in the end his parents knew better than to deny his passion and he knew better than to deny Rarity her success, as he did not know of a pony who deserved it more. She had sent some instructions along with the EOF's ticket, telling him to pack light. That made him giddy- few ponies in Equestria knew fashion as well as she and she knew his personality style better than anypony else. She also sent him a large cylinder of albino gooey substance which she warned him not to open until he arrived in the Empire. Another odd little event, but he could only assume it was some sort of protection against some sort of Crystal disease. He wasn't one to question generosity. So he was packed and sent on his way after confirming the schedule, and spent the rest of the trip preparing himself. He was going to see a good friend in a new land for a decent time period and what was more important is he would repay her kindness with interest. A single suitcase was all he brought with a few required changes of clothes for the bus ride and all required legal documentation, and that mysterious container placed in a secure location. It took four days an three hours, but the train eventually arrived in the Empire. Ponies got off one by one and two by two, pushing past one another onto the packed passenger platform. Most held firm to their coats and jackets as a gentle wind carried with all the small icey swords of the Crystal Empire's weather. A few others just gallopped off into the city and slowed their trot once in. True to form, the train station was just outside of the city gates and buttressed much more viciously than the city itself which was kept warm despite the land surrounding it. It was onto this platform that Valen stepped off of the train, his eyes heavy with baggage as he trudged off. The trip had been utterly draining and he was tired, the sun long ago having been beaten down beneath the stunning mountains around the city. Here he would be picked up by Rarity, which was another sign of her generosity- who else would dare stay up to a little past midnight simply to pick Valen up? Very kind of her. What wasn't so kind was when Valen failed to move from the position directly outside the train, upsetting multiple ponies behind him. "Hey! Get a move on!" They yelled, and Valen obeyed with a small jump into the air due to fright and a mad trot several feet in front of him tripping over a loose nail and nearly falling over. Only a mad dance known only to the clumsy kept him up, sending the saddlebag-slash-suitcase off of his back and around his neck. Top heavy Valen was forced to rebalance himself and only with the great poise and grace of a model was he able to keep upright, hoisting the suitcase directly into his face. This had the effect of funneling the cold weather directly into his nostrils and Valen could swear all the hairs were freezing. He tried to swing the saddlebag back around but didit with too much force and instead of going on his back it did a ful rotation, smacking him in the face again. Frustrated, Valen took the saddlebag-suitcase off and grabbed the handle by his teeth, trotting deeper into the passenger station to find Rarity.
  9. Light began to fill the chasm as another day dawned in the snowy wasteland. Ironhoof awoke with a start. He'd had another nightmare about the day Sombra took over. Sighing as he got up, he walked over to the edge of the cave to get a bit of fresh air. When he looked up the chasm walls at the sky, all he saw were gray clouds. That's all the sky ever was these days. Taking a deep breath, Ironhoof looked around at the others in the cave. All of them had luckily escaped Sombra's grasp, and had managed to meet up here. How many others like them were out there, he didn't know. As quietly as he could, Ironhoof walked over to his forge and sparked some fire crystals together, lighting the crystal forge. The red glow of the forge made the cave sparkle, giving it an enchanting feeling. Ironhoof silently waited for his compatriots to awaken before they began to strategize again.
  10. Tilly Tome Sitting behind her desk, faithfully watching over the Crystal Empire Library is an elderly Crystal Pony mare wearing glasses. It's Tilly Tome, long time Head Librarian, who is carefully sorting through the record cards of the library, inspecting them for any overdue books. "My stars! Seems that everypony has been returning their books on time! This library's sure been much busier with all those new books that have been shipped here from Equestria. Since we've all been gone for a thousand years, there's been millions of books and scrolls written! Oh my! Look at the time! Got to unlock the doors!" Tilly Tome walked over and unlocked the huge front doors of the library and then stepped aside. Today was the start of another busy day at the largest library north of Equestria!
  11. It is that time of the week again when we all huddle around our computers and televisions and watch adorable ponies do adorable pony things. In this week's episode, we finally see the long awaited Equestria Games, talked about since the third season. How will team Ponyville do? Will Derpy come home with the gold? How much griffin fan art will be inspired by the episode? Fine out in a few hours! Please discuss the episode, but remember to keep the spoilers in the spoilers bracket. Episode airs Saturday 10:30 AM EST on May 3rd. It is just like that fanfic Spike wrote with the character that totally was not him!
  12. Lilac Briolette took in the electric afterglow of a long, successful day of fashion and artistic triumph. All around her models and designers had gathered to discuss the major stories of the day and congratulate each other on work well done (and well presented!). This was an energy the prima ballerina was well-acquainted with, though in a slightly different flavour. She found it infectious, too, causing her crystalline body to shiver with excitement at the plans she was hatching! And so, inspired and flooded with second-hand glee the graceful pony swept through the buzzing crowds and made her way towards the more exclusive areas set aside for top-name designers and their models. Luckily this event was being held in the Crystal Empire, which meant that Lilac Briolette, the prima ballerina of the Trillion Ballet Company, would have little to no trouble getting access to the VIP crowds. After all, in her sparkling metropolis home, the dancer was a Very Important Pony. The shimmering mare’s target for the night was the model for the fabulous and elegant unicorn Rarity. Something about Garnet Galore’s performance had snagged the crystal pony’s attentions and demanded she introduce herself to the mare. Though a fellow crystal pony, the model had an air about her that betrayed a presence of…modernity that was truly rare amongst her resplendent kin. It fascinated the ballerina as nothing else had in years! Lilac was hungry for a taste and understanding of modern Equestria. She had seen small samples of where their art had been pushed over the thousand years that the crystal ponies had been in their strange sleep and she liked it. She liked it terribly. Though her love of classical crystal ballet could not be swayed, the creative force within her that demanded to be constantly learning and evolving sensed the potential of blending old and new, and that same force wanted Lilac to go and experience the new world for herself. If she did, if she could capture that uninhibited creative spirit of modern Equestria which focused on true expressions of one’s own self rather than mathematically and tightly crafted traditional practices…she could bring the beauties of both art forms together in a new style of ballet! It was her newly acquired dream, and just as years of practice and patience took her from a clumsy filly to an accomplished prima ballerina…Lilac was ready to start from the ground up once more – hopefully with the help of a modern, talented crystal pony like Garnet! More determined than ever just thinking of her plans, the confident mare with the icy-cool exterior moved through the throngs of ponies with motions that hinted at her ballet background. When she neared Garnet, a flicker of nerves passed through her, but she simply brushed them aside. Lilac Briolette was no victim to nerves. “Excuse me? Ms. Garnet Galore?” she said politely, trying desperately to summon a smile that didn’t look like it was delivered by the frosty wrath of the north wind (an unfortunate affliction for the crystal pony was her undefeatable and utterly unintentional icy exterior). Well, even if her introduction might come across as off-putting, the ballerina was at least dressed to impress. Abandoning her usual fondness for softer colours, the ballerina had swathed herself in flowing, rich reds. Braided, dark red silks clung tightly to her lithe form were topped with breezy chiffon of the same tone, draped like a toga that was knotted at her shoulder with a warm gold brooch shaped like a thrush poised for flight. Golden ribbons were woven into her mane and tail with elaborate plaiting, and her shoes were golded-hued as well, with modestly-sized rubies set in the front. Her ensemble, of course, was put together by the best of the Crystal Empire. Lilac held a great love and pride for her home, and at an event that brought the modern world to her beloved crystalline metropolis, well, of course she was going to showcase the best the crystal ponies had to offer! Lilac offered a polite curtsy as she greeted the lovely model, then continued, “My name is Lilac Briolette, prima ballerina of the Trillion Ballet Company here in the Crystal Empire. Sorry for intruding on you, but I wished to extend my congratulations on your excellent walks and the success of the line you modelled.”
  13. Hesitating, anticipating the moment, Blue Moon put her hoof down on the train station platform. Her first step in the Crystal Empire! Camera swinging around her neck, she followed the small crowd out of the train and into the beautiful crystalline city. Blue Moon just couldn't get enough of the Crystal Ponies' glimmering pelts and manes, their glamorous style, their elegant charm. She had encountered a few on the train, but stepping out of the train station, she was overwhelmed with the beauty of the Empire's ponies. Mixed in were a few tourists like herself, taking pictures of their first view of the Empire. "Wow..." She gawked at the castle, a building bigger and more gorgeous than she had ever seen, towering above the city. There was nothing even close to that grandeur in the Whitetail Woods, her home, or even in Canterlot, which she often visited. It looked like the Two Royal Sister's castle had competition. 'This is it,' Blue thought, smiling. Now that the Crystal Empire was rediscovered, she could teach her class back at Solstice Heights firsthand accounts and lessons. Maybe even bring them on a field trip! As she was lost in her thoughts, she bumped straight into another pony. "Oof!" She jumped back, startled. "Oh my Celestia, I'm so sorry!"
  14. Tigrus Gemshoe made preparations for his party. He even managed to gain permission from Prince Shining Armour and Princess Cadence to use the Crystal Palace in it's entirety. It was a rare and fantastic opportunity. His idea was to create a mystery, where no one would know who anyone was. It was a fantastic idea, at least he thought so. He loved a good mystery and the idea that everyone is equal because everyone is anonymous? That is even better! He was going to let loose for this party, allow his theatrical side to take hold and even take over. Once allowed he went into the Crystal Palace and began preparing. He set up the bar, and requested the chefs of the Palace to begin preparations for food. After all, what would a party be without something to drink and eat? He was the only one working on the actual party preparations, he couldn't let any staff know the mystery. Only he and one other person knew, and hopefully that would be all until late into the night. He moved the tables in the main hall, so people could rest, eat and do what they will. He even hired a band to play music in the main hall. This was going to be a night to remember. After he finished his preparations of the hall, he returned home to prepare himself. Though he loved theatrics, he decided to be a bit understated and mimic as closely a costume of one of his most favorite opera. The main character was called "The Phantom" who wore a simple white mask that covered up half of his face, but for the purposes of this party Tigrus put on a mask that covered the other half as well, leaving only the lower half of his muzzle exposed. He donned a tuxedo with a deep red vest and a dark coloured cravat. He ensured Once his masquerade was set he returned to the palace to await the arrival of the guests. He left one of the palace guards to stand for entry to make sure everyone was on the RSVP and allow them in accordingly.
  15. It had been one month since King Sombra had taken over. Hammer, a gray Earth pony with a messy brown mane, had been a blacksmith before Sombra came. Now, he forged and repaired equipment for the resistance, a group of Crystal ponies that escaped Sombra's initial attack. It was too dangerous to have any camps in the city itself, so they were forced to take shelter in the Crystal Chasm. How far down it went, nopony knew, but hopefully Sombra wouldn't be able to find them here. Hammer walked over the the edge and stared up through the opening of the chasm at the black sky. There hadn't been a blue sky for too long. He walked over to his forge and lit it up, looking around at the other ponies in the cave.
  16. Luna stared out the window of the train, watching as fierce winds laden with heavy snowflakes whirled around outside. It seemed as though the weather outdoors was reflecting her mood, although that might be hyperbole. The princess sighed and pulled her gaze away from the storm, looking idly around her personal train car for some sort of distraction. It shouldn’t be long before the train arrived in the Crystal Empire and she could see Cadence, but she was feeling quite restless all the same. The Princess of Love had been having troubling nightmares lately, and her aunt, the Guardian of Dreams, felt that she should approach her about it. She could have spoken to the new ruler of the Crystal Empire within the dreamscape, but Luna felt as though this was an opportunity not just to help Cadence, but also to spend some quality time with her as well. The Princess couldn’t settle on what to distract herself with. Her restlessness was tempting her to leap from the car and fly the rest of the way to the Crystal Empire, but she knew better than to hop right into to wailing blizzards of the north – that would be dangerous even for a princess who lived with two hooves in the æther. Unable to decide on what to do, Luna turned back to the window and was met with quite a shock! Just as the scenery turned from violent wintry storms to a balmy summer paradise, a strange jolt of arcane energy seemed to rustle her heart. She had just passed through the magical barrier that protected the Crystal Empire, and what impressive magic it was! It had been some time since Luna had felt such an unfamiliar and powerful surge of energy. Before long, the train slowed to a stop and Luna stepped out of her car, nodding to the two members of the Lunar Guard who had accompanied her. Already, she found herself smiling at the radiant beauty of the crystal ponies and crystal structures surrounding her, and this was merely the train station! With eagerness in her stride, the lunar Princess began to trot forward through the gate, aiming to reach the castle as quickly as possible. That goal was proving to be a difficult one to meet without temptation. As soon as Luna reached the sprawling crystal metropolis, she felt sorely tempted to move leisurely and take in the sights. Everything here twinkled and sparkled! The atmosphere was unlike anything she had ever seen, and the ponies whose gazes she was drawing with her presence (and the presence of her rather eye-catching guards) were equally as stunning as their city. Nonetheless, despite temptation, Luna kept her teal eyes trained on road signs and swiftly made way to the castle. Once there, she resisted the urge to gape and gawk at the massive, glittering spires. Such remarkable beauty! And surely the craftsmanship that had gone into it was even more remarkable than the structure itself. Luna cast a glance backwards, then, and smiled as she noticed the slack-jawed expressions on the faces of her guards. It was so unusual to see such normally stern faces so swept up in the beauty of the Crystal Empire, but their expressions were reflecting their Princess’s own reaction perfectly. Soon enough, she was upon the castle entrance, which was flanked by guards. She dipped her head respectfully and then approached one of them, making sure to show manners and graciousness as opposed to simply charging in and throwing around her obvious authority (which was announced by her regalia, her size, her combination of horn and wings, and the ethereal quality of her undulating mane and tail). [colour=#6699ff]“Good afternoon, sir,”[/colour] she said politely, dipping her head to the blue crystalline stallion, [colour=#6699ff]“I am Princess Luna, the aunt of your Princess Cadence. She was not expecting me, but could you please inform her of my arrival? If you don’t mind, I shall wait here in the foyer.”[/colour] The guard nodded, and after allowing the Princess and her guard to step into the foyer he followed after and went off in the direction Cadence was to be found, no doubt. Luna’s spirits, which were much higher than they were back in the blizzard, were still steadily rising as she took in the outstanding beauty of the crystal castle. Colour and light came to life here in a way that Luna had never seen anywhere else in Equestria. The light that came from the sun bounced off of every surface and painted every inch of the world inside the castle that wasn’t made of crystal with the pale, reflected hues of the tall walls and decorations. What a wondrous kingdom Cadence lives in!
  17. [colour=#9966cc] [/colour]Lilac Briolette stared down over the crowd and felt tears welling in her light pink eyes. There were so many ponies, and not just crystal ponies! Earth ponies, pegasi, and unicorns all milled about the crowd that filled the Trillion Ballet Company’s main hall, and Lilac could not be happier. It felt as though it had been an eternity since her last dance, and in many ways it truly was – seeing the energy and warmth of these ponies filled her with a joy she could hardly describe, especially knowing they had all attended the evening’s event due to love and appreciation for the art of ballet. Her art. She was even willing to bet that the number of ponies who were attending the after party was very close to the number of those who had seen the evening’s performance. It was overwhelming. The prima ballerina had experienced her first emotional fit when the performance had ended: with her chest heaving and muscles burning, she felt the tears gather, only to begin streaming the moment the audience rose from their seats and roared with a standing ovation. This was the very moment she lived for – the moment when all of her years of pushing herself and pushing, spending every day rehearsing ballet, came to life on stage to be met with applause tantamount to the fierce roaring she felt in her heart with every plié and passé, every sissone and pas de poisson! It only made her heart swell that much more that this was her company’s first performance since the Crystal Heart returned and the crystal ponies had awoken; she just knew the future would be bright!The prima ballerina did not think that her emotions would swarm her heart and threaten to spill down her checks (ruining her lovely powder job for the evening) again, but seeing all of these ponies gathered together in celebration of the Trillion Company, especially the ponies from outside the Crystal Empire – it was encouraging. Finally, one of the suited servers for the evening’s caterer let out a little ‘Ahem’ nearby and brought Lilac Briolette back to reality. Oh my! It seemed as though she was frozen at the top of the stairs that lead into the foyer, and she was beginning to gather some looks. She handled the minor awkward moment with great aplomb; without missing a beat, the slender mare lifted her head and beamed widely, blinking a few times to clear the tears from her eyes. Then, with the impeccable grace and fluidity that only a ballerina of her esteem could produce, she stepped down the stairs, the sheer golds and white of her long train flowing behind her like a stream. She wore a streamlined gown tonight, one that accentuated her dancer’s figure. The accessories were rather scarce – her usual pink gold necklace with matching shoes, plus a few pink gold and pearl pins that held her hair in an elaborate up-do, leaving a curled lock to hang behind her left ear. When she made it to the bottom of the stairs, she did a quick scan of her surroundings. The other dancers were already mingling, as were the director of Trillion and the conductor. Everypony else was a stranger! Lilac was just deciding who she should approach first when, all of a sudden, there was a blue-grey and terribly fetching presence already at her side. Hoity Toity! She had met him earlier in the week while the company was still preparing for their opening. The earth pony, though his eye for fashion was critical, was friendly in his own unique way, and he was appreciative of beauty to boot! The two had hit it off instantly when she had run into him, and he seemed very grateful for her tour around the Crystal Empire. “Hoity Toity,” she said smoothly, dipping her head in greeting, “How did you enjoy the night’s performance?”[colour=#9966cc] ​[/colour][colour=#6666CC] [/colour]How marvelous. How stunning. How absolutely enchanting! Hoity Toity was one of the first to rise to his hooves when the ballet had come to a close. La Bayamare! Who would have thought that one of his absolute favourite ballets (despite being very old, La Bayamare had a timeless, elegant story - not to mention choreography!) would be opening in the Crystal Empire the very week he decided to visit? The Fashion Authority Hoity Toity finally managed to take time away from Bouclé Boutique in order to visit the dazzling crystalline metropolis in the frigid reaches of the north. After all, it was his duty as one of Equestria’s top fashion minds to know anything and everything there was to know about pony fashion, and with the Crystal Empire now just a train ride away, he was obligated to visit the glittering paradise and learn everything he could about their fashions. So far, he was not disappointed. Crystal ponies had a keen eye for finery – elaborate hairstyles, intricate embroidery, sheer materials that reflected the translucent qualities of the ponies themselves – what impeccable taste! Hoity Toity – the Hoity Toity – was dazzled.He had met Lilac Briolette by chance and immediately approached her. A beautiful crystal mare with excellent style and poise – he knew that befriending her would only further his education in crystal fashions! And what a clever move that had been! He didn’t just learn about fashion, he learned all about the art of the Crystal Empire to finally learn of the Trillion Company’s opening night for their performance of La Bayamare. Hoity Toity was not disappointed by the performance. The costumes sparkled, the dancers were flawless, and Lilac Briolette herself was a sparkling gem. The sheer emotion she conveyed was supported brilliantly by her technique – truly a prima ballerina! She danced her role so well – the heartache, the tragedy, the drama of it all was brought to life by the crystal mare. Ah, La Bayamare! The story of two lovers separated by status, ultimately doomed to be separated forever. Such an intense story, such a spectacle! When he watched her make her graceful entrance (albeit a rather delayed one, which he suspected had something to do with those watery eyes of hers), Hoity Toity made sure he was the first to approach her. “Lilac my darling you were fabulous,” he replied, extending a hoof for her to shake. Hoity Toity, in celebration of his love for the Crystal Empire, was sporting his usual attire, though made from shimmering sheer fabrics tailored by a local artisan earlier in the week. “What an enchanting display of pure artistry. You should all be proud of the night’s performance. It was not a perfect show mind you – perfection is nigh impossible. But it was spectacular – I have no doubt it will bring nothing but success to your company.”[colour=#6666CC] ​[/colour][colour=#9966cc] [/colour]Lilac found herself a little overwhelmed once more. It stung a bit, hearing the performance had not been perfect (Lilac Briolette always aimed for perfection), but perhaps the fashionable Hoity Toity was correct and perfection was a little more difficult than she imagined it to be. Nonetheless, his compliments filled her with yet another wave of emotions, and with watering eyes she reached a shoed hoof towards his to shake. With a little smile, he stood back, though he didn’t look as though he was about to leave. Instead, it seemed as though he was clearing the way for the Prima Ballerina in case there were other ponies who wished to approach her and speak to her about the ballet!Anticipation began to mount once more for Lilac. Would she get to speak to more ponies from outside the Empire? Were the ballets very different there? What would she learn? Lilac looked about the massive, gilded foyer of the Trillion Company’s ballet house. Glittering Trillion, the stallion who inherited the ballet company, spared no expense for finery. The amethyst and lazuli building was bedecked in golden trimmings, with marble statues of dancing ponies and birds in flight tucked into every nook and cranny. Coloured lanterns made of crystal lit the interior and covered in with rainbow lights, creating a breathtaking and ethereal atmosphere that made a perfect partner for the fanciful nature of the ballet. Suited crystal mares and stallions darted about the place, balancing trays of Crystal Empire delicacies and sparkling wines made from crystal berries, and Lilac had to wonder which ponies lost in the grandeur of this celebration she would get to speak with next! There was no doubt: this was going to be the best night ever.[colour=#9966cc] ​[/colour]
  18. Ruby awoke and stirred herself out of her bed. She had had a wonderful nights sleep and realized she needed to get ready for the day. So, Ruby started to get herself ready and she did her daily morning routine. As she finished getting ready she brushed her mane and then stopped and looked at herself in the mirror. She looked at herself and couldn't help but feel...that something was...off. She looked over her face from many different angels..but she just couldn't seem to pinpoint what was wrong. "[colour=#800000]Aha!"[/colour] Then it hit her. She wasn't wearing her bow! How could she forget her bow! So, Ruby found the pink bow of her's and put it in her mane. So with her morning preparations done, Ruby decided it was time to head down to her shop and open it up and start her day. Ruby then trotted out of her room and made her way past her sister's room. "Emmy! I'm going to the shop!" She then waited to see if she would hear a response...but she didn't She almost went in and checked on her but she decided not to. She figured her sister was still sleeping. Ruby took off and hit the streets of the Crystal Empire. Oh how she loved it here. The brightness and the colours. Everything was amazing. As she made her way down the road she gave a few friendly waves to passing ponies and kept on moving. Ruby then reached her shop. Her own little corner of paradise. She hadn't been working a long time so she was, and is, still getting used to the fact that she has her own store. A store that is devoted to what she loves none the less. Fashion! She gets to make and tailor clothes for anypony and everypony! So Ruby looked around her shop and made sure everything was ready to go. She had a few items on display and then went and propped open her door. She then moved over to one of the windows and flipped over the sign which now read, "Open!" She sighed a happy and nervous sigh. She was sure today would be great. She wondered if anypony would come in..
  19. [colour=#330066]Greetings everypony and welcome! I, Princess Cadance, hereby cordially invite you, the members of the Canterlot.com World of Equestria Roleplay to come and experience the beauty and wonder of the Crystal Empire! After one thousand years lost to the terrible curse of the evil King Sombra, the Crystal Empire and its inhabitants, the crystal ponies, are finally able to rejoin our world and be at peace. Trains have started to run to the empire and the potential for new bonds of friendship to be formed is no longer obstructed. However, there are a few things all who plan to visit the empire should take the time to learn first! [/colour] [colour=#330066] Whether you plan to just visit or plan to call the Crystal Empire your home, I would recommend that you brush up on your Crystal Empire history and geography. Please review the following documents:[/colour][colour=#330066]Overview of the Crystal Empire - consulting this one is key as it contains important details about geography, climate and history of the Empire.[/colour] [colour=#330066]The Crystal Gates[/colour][colour=#330066] - This article describes the gates into the Crystal Empire, one of the empire's most unique and important features.[/colour] [colour=#330066]The Crystal Plaza[/colour][colour=#330066] - Here we have a description of the central Crystal Plaza and the podium at its heart where the precious Crystal Heart is kept.[/colour] [colour=#330066]The Crystal Markets[/colour][colour=#330066] - The Crystal Empire's Market District is one of the busiest and most important places to know. Read this to find out more.[/colour] [colour=#330066]The Crystal Palace [/colour][colour=#330066]- Read this one to find out more about the palace, presently the home my husband, Shining Armor, and I.[/colour] [colour=#330066]The Crystal Empire Farm District[/colour][colour=#330066] - Curious about the cute little ewes you see around the city? Read about the fertile Crystal Empire farmlands here![/colour] [colour=#330066]The Crystal Empire Arts District[/colour][colour=#330066] - Crystal ponies have a great affinity for the arts, so naturally we have an entire district dedicated to them. Learn about it here![/colour] [colour=#330066]The Crystal Empire Residential District - Then of course there's the residential district where all the crystal ponies make their homes. Read to find out more about it and the gem wards that comprise it.[/colour] ​ [colour=#330066] You should also take this time to understand the crystal ponies themselves. Crystal ponies are a unique pony species unto themselves, and with the Empire now open, you are all free to assume the role of these unique ponies as you please! Just make sure that you carefully follow the following steps if you intend to do so:[/colour][colour=#330066]The Canterlot Research Journal has provided us all with a [/colour][colour=#330066]concise article explaining the Crystal Ponies and what makes them special[/colour][colour=#330066]. Please take the time to read it and familiarize yourself with everything that the Crystal Ponies are about.[/colour] [colour=#330066] [/colour] [colour=#330066]Make sure you have read [/colour][colour=#330066]my dear friend Rarity's Guide to Writing a Canterlot.com Character Application[/colour][colour=#330066] and understand the contents fully. [/colour] [colour=#330066] [/colour] [colour=#330066]When you create your application for a crystal pony, make sure you select the "Crystal Pony" tag from the drop down menu for the character's species and list "Crystal Pony" for the "Species" field in the text of the application. [/colour] [colour=#330066]When writing your application, take extra care to insure that all of your crystal pony's character details fall in line with the above lore articles regarding the Crystal Empire and the crystal ponies themselves. Keep in mind that while all crystal ponies should come from the Empire, your crystal pony is free to live anywhere in Equestria. Also be aware that it is not necessary that you reference Sombra or his wicked curse in your application. [/colour] [colour=#330066]Wait patiently for the RP Helper team to assist you with your application. [/colour] [colour=#330066]Once your application has been approved, you're free to have fun exploring the Crystal Empire or visiting other parts of the World of Equestria as your new crystal pony![/colour] ​[colour=#330066]Please keep all of this in mind and enjoy your time here in the Crystal Empire![/colour] [colour=#330066]~Princess Mi Amore Cadenza, Acting Regent of the Crystal Empire[/colour]
  20. Young Crystal Pony fillies and colts run and play along crystalline streets of the Crystal Empire, the warm glow of the Palace an ever-present sentinel in the distance. The Residential District is arguably the most important part of the Crystal Empire, as that is where the residents live, play, and gather during brisk evenings to discuss the events of the day. The Residential area of the Crystal Empire is the largest district, which is actually broken up into several Wards. Each Ward is separated by two main roads, spreading from the central palace district, and made up of several smaller streets cutting through the area. Obviously, these areas are where the Crystal ponies keep their respective residences. The closer to the palace a home is, the higher its property value. As such, you will likely see more 'elite' ponies living close to the palace, and extending into the more working class ponies the further out in the ward they are. There are a total of 12 wards in the residential districts: Amethyst Ward, Diamond Ward, Emerald Ward, Garnet Ward, Moonstone Ward, Obsidian Ward, Opal Ward, Pearl Ward, Ruby Ward, Sapphire Ward, Sunstone Ward, Topaz Ward A mailing address for a Crystal Empire residence would appear as such: Crystalname Pony 123 Luminescence Road Moonstone Ward, Crystal Empire ##### Crystal Ponies have shortened this to make for easier speech. Rather than state 'I live on the Topaz Ward' they say instead 'I live in Topaz'. Note, this does not mean they literally live in a home of topaz... though the composition and luster of their houses does make one take pause for thought. A typical Crystal Pony home is usually two-stories and in a spire-like shape. Property characteristics differ greatly, with some plots of land having a rather extensive yard, to others being practically against the curb and sandwiched between another home. It is, however, more typical for a home to have a yard. The residential district is maintained by the Imperial Housing Authority, which handles maintenance of the roads and homes, as well as handling property disputes and modifications. What kind of home shall your character live in?
  21. The capital city of the Crystal Empire is known for its many diverse and specialized districts. One of the most frequently busy of these districts is the market district. The commercial center of the Empire, the market is home to a wide variety of shops and businesses catering to the needs of both the Crystal ponies and the now burgeoning tourist trade alike. A hotbed of activity, the market enjoys more hoof traffic each day than any of the other districts. The businesses that can be found in the district are as varied as the Crystal Ponies themselves. Tourist shops have popped up closer to the train station selling crystal-themed trinkets while produce markets and general stores cater to the locals. A wealth of restaurants, workshops and specialized boutiques find themselves frequented by all visitors to the district. The Crystal Spa deep within the district with its unique and rejuvenating crystal mud baths is a particularly notable local landmark. It is said to be a favorite spot even for those within the palace. Though usually bustling, during Crystal Faire times the Market District slows down almost entirely. Most shops are closed during the event, the merchants and artisans who own them flocking en masse to the Crystal Plaza to set up shop there at the heart of the festivities to better attend the droves of fairgoers. As lively as the fairgrounds are, some specialty shops can do more business during the Faire than they do the entire rest of the year. ~Canterlot Research Journal
  22. One of the key features of the Crystal Empire is the central Crystal Plaza, and the Crystal Podium that is located at its heart. The Crystal Podium is the display location for the Crystal Heart, the ever important magic artifact which channels the magic of the Crystal Ponies to the Empire. A unique example of Crystal Pony Architecture, the Podium is located in a sail dome at the very center of the city which is built directly into the base of the Crystal Palace. A magic force keeps the heart in place between the podium and a long architectural spike extending down from the ceiling of the dome. The open, public display dome for the Crystal Heart at the base of the castle reflects the Crystal Ponies' ideals regarding the Heart and how it is something belonging to and to be nurtured by all of them collectively. The Heart stands proud at the center of the city, practically unguarded, allowing anypony who pleases to walk right up to it. Standing there for all to see at the base of the palace, it has become one of the most enduring symbols of the Empire. The Crystal Plaza itself encompasses the podium and dome and the open areas immediately around it. During the Crystal Faire, these areas are said to buzz with excitement as many tents and other temporary structures are put up by vendors of all kinds to accommodate eager fairgoers. It is said that during Faire times nearly the entire population of the city crowds into the Plaza fairgrounds to enjoy the festivities and celebrate their rich traditions and history. ~Canterlot Research Journal
  23. Dominating the skyline of the Crystal City, the Crystal Palace represents the strength of the collective hopes and dreams of the Crystal Ponies. Its spires appear to be carved from one enormous slab of crystalline stone, blessed with both beauty and magically-reinforced stability. The Palace straddles the intersection of all major roads running into the Crystal City and serves as the centerpiece of the entire empire. The structure is large enough to accommodate all of the amenities of a royal dwelling. Luxurious guest rooms, expansive ballrooms and commons, and well-stocked kitchens provide all that a Princess and her entourage could possibly need. The pedestal of the Crystal Heart resides directly below the palace at the confluence of all roads. The palace itself acts as a focus for the power of the Crystal heart (and by proxy the Crystal Ponies), projecting the shield dome that keeps out the harsh cold of the north. Though the palace grounds are accessible to all ponies, facilities are generally kept guarded unless a formal function opens them to the public.
  24. Juxtaposed with the harsh and barren Arctic terrain surrounding it, the Crystal Empire abounds with lush, green land perfectly suited to farming. This is of course possible due to the powerful magic of the Crystal Heart which creates a protective field to shield the empire and its fertile soils from the cold. Upon these bountiful farmlands the crystal ponies have built a proud and distinct agricultural tradition. The empire farmlands are situated in the wide open areas areas between the city and the outer perimeter set by the gates. The land itself is quite hilly, but exceedingly fecund and easy to tend, even for crystal ponies who lack the connection to the land that earth ponies possess. Numerous farms populate the region, producing for the Empire more than enough food to feed its populace each year. Crystal Empire farms grow a wide variety of produce, including the region's most popular staple crops: crystal corn and crystal berries. Much of the what is produced on Empire farms is region specific and often having a somewhat crystalline appearance. This is generally thought to be a result of the crystal pony magic in the air having seeped into the land. Farmland not used to produce food for the crystal ponies is often utilized instead as grazing ground for the distinct breed of small, vibrantly colored sheep prevalent in the region. These sheep are prized in the Empire, as their wool is vital in providing warmth to ponies who venture outside of the Empire and must face the harsh elements outside the Crystal Heart's protection. As a result of their value and charming appearance they have become a cherished symbol of the Empire. ~Canterlot Research Journal
  25. The Crystal Empire Gates are sure to be the first thing to draw the attention of any visitor to the Empire. Four identical gates exist around the Crystal Capital, marking the cardinal directions along the outer perimeter and looming over the major highways leaving the city. Each gate is comprised of two angular, crystalline towers each standing many ponies high. Between these towers three diamond shape crystals are suspended in the air by the gates magic, adding to the distinctive appearance and mystique of the structures. While striking, the Empire Gates' purpose is not a purely aesthetic one. The exact mechanics remain unclear, evidence suggests the gates play a critical role in extending the magic channeled into the Crystal Heart to the land and keeping out the harsh winter elements. Additionally, entry into the magic field protecting the Empire is only possible by passing through the gates. Despite the magic they hold, the gates mark approximately the point away from the center of the empire at which the crystal coat effect for non-crystal ponies during Crystal Faire times will cease. The gates play an important role in Crystal Pony culture. Accounts from Empire residents suggest that more gates might have existed at one point, marking a greater territory once held by the Empire in the distant past. While only the four main gates are currently thought to exist, they stand proudly and remain a nonetheless important symbol of the empire, its solidarity, ingenuity and defenses. Further inside the crystalline gates resides a recently constructed train station, which connects via long train tracks to Canterlot, Ponyville, and beyond. Since it was built after the Crystal Empire came to find peace, it is made with wooden materials imported from Ponyville, with accents in compliment to the surrounding structures of the Crystal Empire. Here, ponies from all over come and go; many sit at shiny crystalline benches quietly reading papers as they wait for the next train to come. A blow of heat steam and a long whistle indicate the approach or departure of a train. ~Canterlot Research Journal
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