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The True Story of Shadow Kicker (and other Winningverse speculation)

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Re: The True Story of Shadow Kicker (and other Winningverse speculation)

Post by O. Hinds on Fri Feb 28, 2014 2:52 pm

Hm, why not? I mean, the worst that can happen is that they'll say "You're wrong" or the like and nothing else; anything else they say ought at least to give us something else to discuss. Since discussion here is currently stalled, awaiting input...

Though at this particularly moment, it's kind of good for me that discussion is stalled; I've got some homework I need to do. :)
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Re: The True Story of Shadow Kicker (and other Winningverse speculation)

Post by O. Hinds on Sat Mar 01, 2014 2:40 am

Having noticed that FIMFiction is back up, I was intending to draft and post for approval here an invitation to this thread to be posted on the Winningverse forum. However, I cannot seem to find the button to create a thread, and it strikes me as rude to post such an invitation in someone else's (particularly given the likely reception).
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Re: The True Story of Shadow Kicker (and other Winningverse speculation)

Post by swicked on Sat Mar 01, 2014 3:45 am

O. Hinds wrote:Having noticed that FIMFiction is back up, I was intending to draft and post for approval here an invitation to this thread to be posted on the Winningverse forum.  However, I cannot seem to find the button to create a thread, and it strikes me as rude to post such an invitation in someone else's (particularly given the likely reception).
You have to join the group first.

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Re: The True Story of Shadow Kicker (and other Winningverse speculation)

Post by O. Hinds on Sat Mar 01, 2014 4:37 am

Thank you for the information. This does make the matter rather trickier, unfortunately...
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Re: The True Story of Shadow Kicker (and other Winningverse speculation)

Post by O. Hinds on Sun Mar 02, 2014 6:42 pm

So I had a thought last night, and, since we don't seem to have much else to discuss here at the moment, I thought that I'd post it: what would the Lunarwinningverse be like?
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Re: The True Story of Shadow Kicker (and other Winningverse speculation)

Post by swicked on Sun Mar 02, 2014 7:27 pm

That depends, have you read any of the Lunaverse?

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Re: The True Story of Shadow Kicker (and other Winningverse speculation)

Post by O. Hinds on Sun Mar 02, 2014 7:36 pm

Aye, I have.
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Re: The True Story of Shadow Kicker (and other Winningverse speculation)

Post by swicked on Sun Mar 02, 2014 7:54 pm

I don't actually think such a war WOULD happen, to be honest. Not a big and bloody one like the Lunar Rebellion was.
Luna's style of governing is more... dynamic. She's more apt to disabling threats earlier. Even the Luna of the winningverse was more militarily, and violently, minded. It's what attracted her to the pegasi. The griffins would not have been given the leeway to raid pony villages, the pegasi having long-since been given the leeway to be proactive in their disputes so long as they were discrete. She might have even had night guard among them to help with attaining that level of stealth.
She's a bit more of a realist than an idealist. A bit less supplicating, too. I don't see her constantly overstepping herself and apologizing the way Celestia does. I mean, if you ever read the Symphony of the Moon and Sun, those that performed that song always met with misfortune. She would not miss a performance and those that performed it wrongly were shamed. She would not do anything to protect them. Celestia would never have knowingly allowed a pony to suffer for playing a song wrongly... but she doesn't take the arts as seriously as Luna does.
Celestia wants all ponies to be safe and protected, but Luna prefers to grant everyone as much independence and freedom as possible, including the freedom to fail.

Celestia was always one for a single large government, so I was a bit surprised she kept up the three nations one ruler thing for so long. Then, of course, the nations formed up under the unicorn one. Far, far from ideal.
Luna set up a cast system. Pegasi, unicorns, earth ponies... all were capable of being nobility, charged with guarding their realms. The night court was meant to represent them and was NEVER exclusively unicorn, so it actually did the job a fair amount better.
Sure, some of the many realms might have raised up in rebellion or, at least, entertained the idea... but rather than letting things build to a climax before addressing a conflict like Celestia does, Luna would have a general period of unrest that lasted much longer, I'd wager.

In the end, more ponies might have died under Luna's tumultuous rule (if it was tumultuous at all... Celestia's style of allowing conflicts to grow, again, is what directly lead to the rebellion), but nowhere near as much all at once as with Celestia's single grand war.

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Re: The True Story of Shadow Kicker (and other Winningverse speculation)

Post by O. Hinds on Mon Mar 03, 2014 12:36 am

Aye, one way or another, the war probably wouldn't have happened. I'm curious about the details, though, and what modern Equestria would be like. One thing that comes to mind is the map comparison in Crisis on Two Equestrias. As I recall, Twilight points works out that Celestia's Equestria is built with a manifest destiny mindset, wanting all ponies to be under her banner. Luna was quite happy to have separate pony nations if she thought that that would be better for Equestria. If she was unable to prevent tensions from rising, perhaps she would have just released separate nations for the ponies clamoring for independence.

I'm also wondering if her capital might not be in Cloudsdale, or Manehattan if Cloudsdale's limited access proves too much of a problem.

What do you think the Night Court analog would be? In the Winningverse, a system of nobility is, among the ponies, uniquely Unicornian, and Luna was much happier in Pegasopolis.

Basically, I'm just tossing ideas out because it's fun. We don't really have much to go on.
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Re: The True Story of Shadow Kicker (and other Winningverse speculation)

Post by swicked on Mon Mar 03, 2014 12:58 am

...no, I don't think she would necessarily be okay with them being entirely separate. She allowed self-governance, but I think even the crystal empire flies under the equestrian banner.
Luna was interested in diversity, but she unified through treaties and alliances and all pony nations still ended up under her throne.
Celestia just drew a line in the sand marking what she cared about and what she did not care about. While Luna gave power to ponies to self-govern and try to carve out their own way of living, Celestia (being a control freak) created an ever-expanding bureaucracy of control.

In the end, Luna's system gives ponies the leeway to rebel, but less cause to, so again... periods of great unrest, but nothing approaching a civil war in which everyone feels the need to take one side or the other in some massive conflict.

I'm not convinced Luna would seat herself exclusively with any pony nation. Certainly not the way Celestia did. Celestia lived her life hounded by the unicorn nobility. Luna wouldn't be able to take it.
The pegasi were stoic and shunned color and expression outside of battle. Luna would be bored.
The earth ponies were... actually, she might have ended up with the earth ponies more often than not. They're certainly colorful, if prone to the same kind of arrogant "nobility" and a general level of uneducated-ness. Craftsmares and bards... but I have a hard time imagining her nature to keep her stuck in any one nation when she was free to experience three.

Luna was happier with Pegasopolis because she understood war fairly well and she was incredibly angsty. Maybe Lunaverse Luna would be similar, but it's hard to imagine given how she is "now". Luna was thinking of war up until the moment of her rebellion... and I wouldn't be surprised if allying herself with the warriors wasn't a strategic move on some level.

I'm not sure what you mean by "Night Court analog". The Night Court is a very diverse system of self-governance where not even Luna has complete control of "her" nation. She can check them, but she doesn't dictate policy... both by choice and by power. I think it would work in darn near any reality.
That said, it was actually pretty similar to the earth pony setup. Rich ponies that own lands and protect, in theory, those that live and work on them through, again in theory, mutually profitable laws and general governance.

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Re: The True Story of Shadow Kicker (and other Winningverse speculation)

Post by O. Hinds on Mon Mar 03, 2014 1:05 am

Hm, more good points.

Sorry that I don't have more detailed feedback. I just agree with you too much here.
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Re: The True Story of Shadow Kicker (and other Winningverse speculation)

Post by swicked on Mon Mar 03, 2014 1:22 am

O. Hinds wrote:Hm, more good points.

Sorry that I don't have more detailed feedback.  I just agree with you too much here.
I personally think you should risk "wasting" your energy a bit and try to elaborate on how you think things would be, even if it seems similar to my own. Because it might not turn out to be once you start committing it to writing :P

If you'd rather I ask YOU questions, though... hmm.
Do YOU think Luna would entertain a pony like Sunbeam within her government? Do you think a pony like that could even rise to power? I don't, but I'll avoid elaborating exactly why.
Can you imagine a particular means via which she ended up dismantling the three governments into her current system of the night court without there being a great war and reformation? What steps do you think she took, and do you think it was even done intentionally?

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Re: The True Story of Shadow Kicker (and other Winningverse speculation)

Post by O. Hinds on Mon Mar 03, 2014 2:28 am

swicked wrote:I personally think you should risk "wasting" your energy a bit and try to elaborate on how you think things would be, even if it seems similar to my own. Because it might not turn out to be once you start committing it to writing :P
I'm not coming up with such ideas, though. Sorry.

swicked wrote:If you'd rather I ask YOU questions, though... hmm.
Well, it is usually easier to work on specific problems.

swicked wrote:Do YOU think Luna would entertain a pony like Sunbeam within her government? Do you think a pony like that could even rise to power? I don't, but I'll avoid elaborating exactly why.
Hm. Tricky. A lot of it depends on how Lunawinningverse Luna differs from Winningverse Luna; the latter allowed Greengrass and the such, after all.
…I think that it would depend on what Sunbeam was like when Luna met her and just how much Luna knew. I highly doubt that Luna would take her on with the intent to reform her. Sunbeam definitely has some features that Luna wouldn't like. However, Sunbeam is also dedicated to Equestria, even above her monarch. Her motivations may be somewhat unusual, but she's sure of them and they lead to some pretty good policies. There is, of course, the question of her methods…
I think that my answer is "Probably not, but there are certain sets of circumstances in which she would".

swicked wrote:Can you imagine a particular means via which she ended up dismantling the three governments into her current system of the night court without there being a great war and reformation? What steps do you think she took, and do you think it was even done intentionally?
Well, your question presupposes that that did in fact happen, which is one of the things I was wondering about. Assuming for the sake of this discussion that that did happen, however…
There'd have to be a trigger. If the system of three nearly-separate governments is working out fine, she wouldn't change it. Particularly not to further centralize it under herself, even if the Night Court (probably based more on democracy and less on nobility than in the Lunaverse but still very similar) was there to weaken her power. The exact form of the unification would depend on the nature of the trigger. The trigger must fall into one of two broad categories: internal and external.

In the Winningverse, we say an internal trigger, a combination of Sunbeam and Shadows plans and Celestia's policies of neglect causing relations to break down to the point of war. It's unlikely that such would happen in the Lunawinningverse, but still possible. If it were to happen that way, I'd imagine that the trouble would start in Unicornia and spread from there, resulting in conflict and reformation. Even then, though, the conflict probably wouldn't be as bad; the Night Court strikes me as potentially originally a compromise solution.

I can't really think of any other internal causes; Luna would prefer to keep her eyes on things and deal with small crises as they happen rather then letting them build.

An external cause would take the form of some threat to Equestria that the three groups were unable to meet separately and/or something that shattered the old system and required the creation of a new one. The only thing I can think of here is a war with the griffons going significantly less well than initially expected. Hm...
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Re: The True Story of Shadow Kicker (and other Winningverse speculation)

Post by swicked on Mon Mar 03, 2014 3:08 pm

I think I've come up with a solution to our agreeing-with-me-too-much dilemma. YOU answer each question first. I find it plenty easy to disagree with you :D

 

swicked wrote:

Do YOU think Luna would entertain a pony like Sunbeam within her government? Do you think a pony like that could even rise to power? I don't, but I'll avoid elaborating exactly why.

Hm. Tricky. A lot of it depends on how Lunawinningverse Luna differs from Winningverse Luna; the latter allowed Greengrass and the such, after all.

…I think that it would depend on what Sunbeam was like when Luna met her and just how much Luna knew. I highly doubt that Luna would take her on with the intent to reform her. Sunbeam definitely has some features that Luna wouldn't like. However, Sunbeam is also dedicated to Equestria, even above her monarch. Her motivations may be somewhat unusual, but she's sure of them and they lead to some pretty good policies. There is, of course, the question of her methods…

I think that my answer is "Probably not, but there are certain sets of circumstances in which she would".

Luna was legitimately never aware of the breadth of Greengrass's depravity. She wasn't of her entire night court. Remember the big tell-off after that character assassin was caught?

Greengrass was still always an up-and-comer. He wasn't a big name and wasn't someone Luna frequently talked to.

Overall, though... no. I don't think so. Celestia, as we've established, didn't want to know about this unpleasant stuff. She wanted to pretend it didn't exist, essentially. Luna would embrace it. There would be no pony that unofficially did all the bad stuff to rule the empire. If Luna accepted it at all, she would have taken it upon herself to institutionalize it. Enter the night guard.

Amusingly-enough, in the official comics, Luna and her night guard spend the nights assessing and neutralizing threats to the empire.

So no, Sunbeam would be full-on CIA, acting in the shadows rather than ever having to have a public front, and she would have a lot more honest communication with her princess regarding what threats there were to the empire and what needed to be done to ensure safety and security. I think Sunbeam might have even been reigned in a bit, Luna doing things like allowing the dark mage's child to be used as bait but either using a magically-created clone or some kind of protection spell to allow the child to survive. I'm certain the only reason such things weren't even considered was because Sunbeam didn't think it was practical (it would take a bit more time and the child's life had no particular value, anyway, compared to that of the mage's victims) and Celestia just closed her eyes and put her hooves over her ears so she wouldn't have to think about such dark things. Luna would have listened, considered, and proposed such an alternative plan.

Luna's ability to embrace what "needed to be done" at times would have earned her much more of Sunbeam's respect and potentially "reformed" the mare at least so much as to desire to follow Luna's example rather than intentionally act as Celestia's counterpoint.

 

swicked wrote:

Can you imagine a particular means via which she ended up dismantling the three governments into her current system of the night court without there being a great war and reformation? What steps do you think she took, and do you think it was even done intentionally?

Well, your question presupposes that that did in fact happen, which is one of the things I was wondering about. Assuming for the sake of this discussion that that did happen, however…

There'd have to be a trigger. If the system of three nearly-separate governments is working out fine, she wouldn't change it. Particularly not to further centralize it under herself, even if the Night Court (probably based more on democracy and less on nobility than in the Lunaverse but still very similar) was there to weaken her power. The exact form of the unification would depend on the nature of the trigger. The trigger must fall into one of two broad categories: internal and external.

 

In the Winningverse, we say an internal trigger, a combination of Sunbeam and Shadows plans and Celestia's policies of neglect causing relations to break down to the point of war. It's unlikely that such would happen in the Lunawinningverse, but still possible. If it were to happen that way, I'd imagine that the trouble would start in Unicornia and spread from there, resulting in conflict and reformation. Even then, though, the conflict probably wouldn't be as bad; the Night Court strikes me as potentially originally a compromise solution.

 

I can't really think of any other internal causes; Luna would prefer to keep her eyes on things and deal with small crises as they happen rather then letting them build.

 

An external cause would take the form of some threat to Equestria that the three groups were unable to meet separately and/or something that shattered the old system and required the creation of a new one. The only thing I can think of here is a war with the griffons going significantly less well than initially expected. Hm...

"your question presupposes that that did in fact happen"? Do you think the three nations could remain separate forever? I don't think so. Celestia was far more devoted to keeping everyone happy than Luna is. She was willing to try to keep three separate nations separate other than their leader. Given the structure of the night court I don't see Luna doing that. She'd create delegates, one for each nation, that would keep an eye on the latest laws and political climate. One big centralized cabinet. Then, whenever she made decisions about the nations, that would be processed through her cabinet into laws for each separate nation.

The process would be more gradual, but would start from that top, down. To pull a single example there would soon come to be a minister of education, responsible for standardizing the educational system throughout the three nations, since all public institutions should have the same grounding in math, science, etc... right?

Committies would form under him based at first with each nation. That would prove a bit inefficient in some cases, though, as the dispursion of materials and funds would be better performed on a regional basis. Other than the three main cities ponies lived all across the land, artisans and bards traveling between earth pony settlements with their own local pegasi weather patrols. So they would instead be supported by region rather than nationality, because that makes more sense when you'd dealing with resources.

Taxes would be the same way. Other than the three cities certain regions would be more wealthy or poor than others, not tribes. Pegasi military bases would fall under the envelope of the local earth pony settlements they co-rely on. A minister of finance, his committees, etc.

It would be a semi-gradual process in which local governments would give up their autocracy in order to join the centralized structure wherein they would represent their people on this "international" basis. There would be a bit of resistance at each step, like those arguing that unicorns don't need to learn agriculture or earth ponies don't have to learn history, but... education has benefits. I shouldn't need to lecture to you about how much it would enrich all three nations to have more perspective and understanding of their world, plus the benefits not just regarding what they learn but the fact that they learn. Earth ponies wouldn't have to be farmers. Pegasi might gain an appreciation for the non-martial arts. Everyone would be happier and feel more fulfilled as a result of a well-implemented program, and it would be accepted.

Time and again, there'd be resistance to the governments losing power, benefits from a unified system, and eventually a happy acceptance as ponies came together to try and benefit all three coexisting tribes rather than just those of their own despite so much intermixing throughout the empire.

 

It might take several generations, but the night court would form, and all because Luna would be too lazy to try and act as the head of three separate nations under three separate sets of laws and three separate governing processes. Celestia was the workaholic, not Luna. Never Luna ^_^

 

...though you may, to a degree, have a point. Luna abandoned the throne for something like a decade, IIRC, after Celestia was locked away. When she came back the ponies welcomed her entirely, it seems like. They wanted her to rule. The ponies in the Winningverse may not have that similar desire. It's really hard to tell exactly how Luna got roped into ruling other than as a result of Celestia asking her to help her protect "their ponies". If Luna was committed to her role as leader, though, and ponies wanted her to be leader... she would do the above.

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Re: The True Story of Shadow Kicker (and other Winningverse speculation)

Post by O. Hinds on Mon Mar 03, 2014 5:13 pm

swicked wrote:I think I've come up with a solution to our agreeing-with-me-too-much dilemma. YOU answer each question first. I find it plenty easy to disagree with you :D
:D

swicked wrote:Luna was legitimately never aware of the breadth of Greengrass's depravity. She wasn't of her entire night court. Remember the big tell-off after that character assassin was caught?
Ah, it's been a bit since I read that; I must have forgotten.

swicked wrote:Overall, though... no. I don't think so. Celestia, as we've established, didn't want to know about this unpleasant stuff. She wanted to pretend it didn't exist, essentially. Luna would embrace it. There would be no pony that unofficially did all the bad stuff to rule the empire. If Luna accepted it at all, she would have taken it upon herself to institutionalize it. Enter the night guard.

Amusingly-enough, in the official comics, Luna and her night guard spend the nights assessing and neutralizing threats to the empire.

So no, Sunbeam would be full-on CIA, acting in the shadows rather than ever having to have a public front, and she would have a lot more honest communication with her princess regarding what threats there were to the empire and what needed to be done to ensure safety and security. I think Sunbeam might have even been reigned in a bit, Luna doing things like allowing the dark mage's child to be used as bait but either using a magically-created clone or some kind of protection spell to allow the child to survive. I'm certain the only reason such things weren't even considered was because Sunbeam didn't think it was practical (it would take a bit more time and the child's life had no particular value, anyway, compared to that of the mage's victims) and Celestia just closed her eyes and put her hooves over her ears so she wouldn't have to think about such dark things. Luna would have listened, considered, and proposed such an alternative plan.

Luna's ability to embrace what "needed to be done" at times would have earned her much more of Sunbeam's respect and potentially "reformed" the mare at least so much as to desire to follow Luna's example rather than intentionally act as Celestia's counterpoint.
Unfortunately for you, that all makes sense to me. Still, that's not a pony like Sunbeam not being in Luna's government; did you change your mind, or am I misunderstanding something?

swicked wrote:"your question presupposes that that did in fact happen"? Do you think the three nations could remain separate forever? I don't think so. Celestia was far more devoted to keeping everyone happy than Luna is. She was willing to try to keep three separate nations separate other than their leader. Given the structure of the night court I don't see Luna doing that. She'd create delegates, one for each nation, that would keep an eye on the latest laws and political climate. One big centralized cabinet. Then, whenever she made decisions about the nations, that would be processed through her cabinet into laws for each separate nation.

The process would be more gradual, but would start from that top, down. To pull a single example there would soon come to be a minister of education, responsible for standardizing the educational system throughout the three nations, since all public institutions should have the same grounding in math, science, etc... right?

Committies would form under him based at first with each nation. That would prove a bit inefficient in some cases, though, as the dispursion of materials and funds would be better performed on a regional basis. Other than the three main cities ponies lived all across the land, artisans and bards traveling between earth pony settlements with their own local pegasi weather patrols. So they would instead be supported by region rather than nationality, because that makes more sense when you'd dealing with resources.

Taxes would be the same way. Other than the three cities certain regions would be more wealthy or poor than others, not tribes. Pegasi military bases would fall under the envelope of the local earth pony settlements they co-rely on. A minister of finance, his committees, etc.

It would be a semi-gradual process in which local governments would give up their autocracy in order to join the centralized structure wherein they would represent their people on this "international" basis. There would be a bit of resistance at each step, like those arguing that unicorns don't need to learn agriculture or earth ponies don't have to learn history, but... education has benefits. I shouldn't need to lecture to you about how much it would enrich all three nations to have more perspective and understanding of their world, plus the benefits not just regarding what they learn but the fact that they learn. Earth ponies wouldn't have to be farmers. Pegasi might gain an appreciation for the non-martial arts. Everyone would be happier and feel more fulfilled as a result of a well-implemented program, and it would be accepted.

Time and again, there'd be resistance to the governments losing power, benefits from a unified system, and eventually a happy acceptance as ponies came together to try and benefit all three coexisting tribes rather than just those of their own despite so much intermixing throughout the empire.
And that is again good. I was thinking only of rapid changes.

swicked wrote:It might take several generations, but the night court would form, and all because Luna would be too lazy to try and act as the head of three separate nations under three separate sets of laws and three separate governing processes. Celestia was the workaholic, not Luna. Never Luna ^_^
:)

swicked wrote:...though you may, to a degree, have a point. Luna abandoned the throne for something like a decade, IIRC, after Celestia was locked away. When she came back the ponies welcomed her entirely, it seems like. They wanted her to rule. The ponies in the Winningverse may not have that similar desire. It's really hard to tell exactly how Luna got roped into ruling other than as a result of Celestia asking her to help her protect "their ponies". If Luna was committed to her role as leader, though, and ponies wanted her to be leader... she would do the above.
Ah, yes, I'd forgotten that. Yes, if she did the same thing in the Lunawinningverse… In the Lunaverse, Equestria was already fully unified; it would have been radical to even suggest not taking Luna as ruler.

In the Lunawinningverse, with the alicorns as the only real unifying factor, one of them insane and banished and the other just wandering around the country getting drunk… That has some very interesting possibilities.

Would they take her back?
Pegasopolis would, I think, with their preexisting fondness for Luna and their tight-knit clans; sure, ten years is a long time, but I think that the Ephorate would understand that, relative to Luna's lifespan, it's actually pretty short.

The earth ponies (and why don't we have a proper name for their country?), I don't know. She'd definitely have to run for election again, and she might face some stiff opposition if the interim Chancellor has been going a good job. After all, sure, family's important, but the farm's not going to wait while you mope around and drink yourself into a stupor.

Unicornia… That seems to me to be the most difficult. The earth ponies are a democracy, and Pegasopolis at least has legal ways to remove and change Commanders. Unicornia is a hereditary apparently absolute monarchy that, for who knows how many decades now, hasn't even had to deal with succession due to the immortality of its rulers. Suddenly one of those rulers goes mad, and the other banishes her and then just runs away. What do they do? Do they install a regent? A regency council? Do some of the nobles try to become the new ruling dynasty? They don't know that Luna will ever recover or that Celestia will ever return, after all; besides those out for power, there will be people genuinely objecting to a regency. And, even if they do form a regency, there's the question of who will be in it, and the question of whether there'd be further conflict when Luna does return and the regent or regency council doesn't want to give up power. Or will we see the monarchy overthrown entirely? Perhaps the struggle for power will start, and the magi will take it as a sign of the failure of the monarchial system and decide to install a magocracy instead. This could get really ugly.

Speaking of which, I'm wondering if the thing that finally pushes Luna back might be an invasion. The griffins must be eyeing Equestria as pretty weak at the moment, and after Luna spends a decade apparently not caring too much… well.

Thoughts? I'm really glad that you reminded me of Luna's ten-year absence.
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Re: The True Story of Shadow Kicker (and other Winningverse speculation)

Post by swicked on Mon Mar 03, 2014 8:27 pm

O. Hinds wrote:Unfortunately for you, that all makes sense to me.  Still, that's not a pony like Sunbeam not being in Luna's government; did you change your mind, or am I misunderstanding something?
I meant a pony filling Sunbeam's role in Celestia's government. My point was that Luna wouldn't shy away from what was necessary for the empire, but would temper that to ensure things were still accomplished with as little collateral damage as possible. As I've said before, Sunbeam's problem is that she's oddly short-sighted at times, taking the most efficient course of action regardless of the potential fallout... though that might have just been because, as I've said again, she thought Celestia secretly wanted her to do that.
Luna being entirely forthright with her would have saved so many lives and so much trouble. Luna would not need a counterpoint or wetwork pony.

O. Hinds wrote:And that is again good.  I was thinking only of rapid changes.
?
But you said you thought she'd maintain the three empires. Have you just entirely changed your mind?

O. Hinds wrote:Thoughts?  I'm really glad that you reminded me of Luna's ten-year absence.
Sure, later. And you're welcome Rarity

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Re: The True Story of Shadow Kicker (and other Winningverse speculation)

Post by O. Hinds on Mon Mar 03, 2014 9:36 pm

swicked wrote:I meant a pony filling Sunbeam's role in Celestia's government. My point was that Luna wouldn't shy away from what was necessary for the empire, but would temper that to ensure things were still accomplished with as little collateral damage as possible. As I've said before, Sunbeam's problem is that she's oddly short-sighted at times, taking the most efficient course of action regardless of the potential fallout... though that might have just been because, as I've said again, she thought Celestia secretly wanted her to do that.
Luna being entirely forthright with her would have saved so many lives and so much trouble. Luna would not need a counterpoint or wetwork pony.
That makes sense.

swicked wrote:?
But you said you thought she'd maintain the three empires. Have you just entirely changed your mind?
There are two aspects to my answer to this. Firstly:
O. Hinds wrote:Assuming for the sake of this discussion that that did happen
I did not think it likely, but I was trying to think of how it would happen if it did happen; I only considered, however, rapid unification processes. Secondly, my appraisal of its likelihood was also based on an assumption of a rapid unification; your ideas for a more gradual process in my eyes quite substantially increase the likelihood of unification.

Of course, given the effects of Luna's absence, she might, one way or another, not have the chance for a gradual unification.
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Re: The True Story of Shadow Kicker (and other Winningverse speculation)

Post by swicked on Thu Mar 06, 2014 1:21 am

Ah, yes, I'd forgotten that. Yes, if she did the same thing in the Lunawinningverse… In the Lunaverse, Equestria was already fully unified; it would have been radical to even suggest not taking Luna as ruler.

In the Lunawinningverse, with the alicorns as the only real unifying factor, one of them insane and banished and the other just wandering around the country getting drunk… That has some very interesting possibilities.

Would they take her back?
Pegasopolis would, I think, with their preexisting fondness for Luna and their tight-knit clans; sure, ten years is a long time, but I think that the Ephorate would understand that, relative to Luna's lifespan, it's actually pretty short.

Not entirely sure why you think it'd be that easy for them to do so. Maybe they'd be the easiest clan to re-integrate with, but not the quickest. After the first few years I would expect a new commander to be elected and that pony would hold the position until retiring. Which isn't to say he or she might not do so after a fairly short time to get her back on the throne. I would more of expect her to be elevated to the position of a sort of advisor, an unofficial ephor or part of the gen-something (the old ponies). It would be relatively inevitable, though, if she was committed to leading again. Ten years isn't long-enough to lose their loyalty.

The earth ponies (and why don't we have a proper name for their country?), I don't know. She'd definitely have to run for election again, and she might face some stiff opposition if the interim Chancellor has been going a good job. After all, sure, family's important, but the farm's not going to wait while you mope around and drink yourself into a stupor.

Maybe. Depends. Just looking upon Celestia inspires them to respect and adore, no matter what. I think it's mimetic, all the moreso in those that have rarely or never seen her. Plus, things hadn't been going well. It's corrupted, at least to a degree. Same as ours. Lots of money changing hands while those of lesser means, if they aren't exploited, feel like they are exploited. Their whole world seems immersed in class warfare.
Luna wouldn't have to do much so long as she didn't talk down to them.
Depending on where they are in the election cycle, the earth ponies might accept her even faster than the pegasi would.
The thing you have to remember is that she also saved them from a psychotic solar alicorn. Family is important. Not just hers, but their own. She saved them and so long as it wasn't a quick skirmish and conclusion like on the show, but a period of suffering that drove Luna to finally drive back her sister to save her ponies (Symphony of the Moon and Sun), they would still look to their parents and/or children and thank her.
The earth ponies, for the most part, are straightforward and earnest. I really think they'd accept her, at the very least, at the next election.
...oh, and you have to remember that they seemed to be particularly weak against Celestia's memetic adoration effect. They looked on her with awe and were truly ashamed when she was hit with a stone. Luna coming back... I doubt she'd have to do more than make a few appearances and apologize for leaving before they would be bending over backwards to try to make her happy again.

Unicornia… That seems to me to be the most difficult. The earth ponies are a democracy, and Pegasopolis at least has legal ways to remove and change Commanders. Unicornia is a hereditary apparently absolute monarchy that, for who knows how many decades now, hasn't even had to deal with succession due to the immortality of its rulers. Suddenly one of those rulers goes mad, and the other banishes her and then just runs away. What do they do? Do they install a regent? A regency council? Do some of the nobles try to become the new ruling dynasty? They don't know that Luna will ever recover or that Celestia will ever return, after all; besides those out for power, there will be people genuinely objecting to a regency. And, even if they do form a regency, there's the question of who will be in it, and the question of whether there'd be further conflict when Luna does return and the regent or regency council doesn't want to give up power. Or will we see the monarchy overthrown entirely? Perhaps the struggle for power will start, and the magi will take it as a sign of the failure of the monarchial system and decide to install a magocracy instead. This could get really ugly.

Unicornia would fall into chaos. The head of the snake having been cut off, MANY of the nobility would claim to be second in line. It'd be one thing if they had a "nobility sector" like in Rites of Ascension wherein there were officially-designated family of the crown (like Blueblood, the nephew). I would expect some minor attempts at diplomacy and civility, attempting thing democratic but with EVERYONE cheating and refusing to perform a simple hoofcount since it'd be too much of a risk that any one of them wouldn't win. Really, though, none would ever be able to get anywhere near the majority of votes, so it wouldn't matter.
They depended on the princesses entirely. For every decision, if it can be believed from the way they hung on her in Rebellion (particularly when Shadow first saw Celestia). I think there would be a full-on civil war, nobility marshaling forces and "allies" as assassinations and backstabbing abounded.
...without their military even getting involved. After all, they are dedicated to the crown. With everyone claiming to have rights to it, the best case scenario is the senior leadership of the military taking over, the worst case (as is more likely given Shadow's realization that officer positions were more often given to family than dedicated soldiers), the military would fracture and take sides.
Oh, and the mages? They're something separate and even more backstab-y. They'd be more likely to just try to isolate themselves from the struggle, I think. I doubt even Sunbeam (who wouldn't even be around at the time) would try to take control until the dust settled. Anyone claiming right to the crown would simply become a target for the rest of the unicorns.
A regency would be in the best interest of everyone in terms of stability, even if the regent was corrupted and moved to banish or execute all his greatest opponents, but far more so for the one pony at the head, and EVERYONE would demand to be that pony. They are not the ephors, capable of civil discussion and electing someone for the interm with confidence in that pony to be a good leader.
By the time Luna came back (if she didn't come back far sooner to try and stop the war), martial law would be the name of the game, Canterlot falling to whoever managed to kill, and continue to kill, all of his/her rivals.
Luna would have no chance of taking control again without a fight... which she might given the amount of oppression that would likely be leveled against the non-noble, non-military populous.
Still, very difficult.

Speaking of which, I'm wondering if the thing that finally pushes Luna back might be an invasion. The griffins must be eyeing Equestria as pretty weak at the moment, and after Luna spends a decade apparently not caring too much… well.

I don't think we have enough information to determine that. The pegasi could absolutely massacre griffin raiders, but that isn't really any indication how they would stand up against a military force, let alone if the griffins even have a comparable number of fliers. Plus, without the princesses to reign them in, the pegasi would be more than happy to raze any griffin settlements they considered threats, so I'm not even sure the griffins would want to pick a fight at all. Diplomacy, the only thing previously keeping those warriors at bay, would no longer work anywhere near as well.

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Re: The True Story of Shadow Kicker (and other Winningverse speculation)

Post by O. Hinds on Thu Mar 06, 2014 1:49 am

swicked wrote:Not entirely sure why you think it'd be that easy for them to do so. Maybe they'd be the easiest clan to re-integrate with, but not the quickest. After the first few years I would expect a new commander to be elected and that pony would hold the position until retiring. Which isn't to say he or she might not do so after a fairly short time to get her back on the throne. I would more of expect her to be elevated to the position of a sort of advisor, an unofficial ephor or part of the gen-something (the old ponies). It would be relatively inevitable, though, if she was committed to leading again. Ten years isn't long-enough to lose their loyalty.
You've just elaborated on why I think it'd be that easy. :)
I didn't actually say that it would be quick, and, as you point out, it wouldn't necessarily be. It would just be a question of "when", though, with the answer of "probably less than the average lifespan of a pony"; for the other two, it's an "if".

swicked wrote:Maybe. Depends. Just looking upon Celestia inspires them to respect and adore, no matter what. I think it's mimetic, all the moreso in those that have rarely or never seen her. Plus, things hadn't been going well. It's corrupted, at least to a degree. Same as ours. Lots of money changing hands while those of lesser means, if they aren't exploited, feel like they are exploited. Their whole world seems immersed in class warfare.
Luna wouldn't have to do much so long as she didn't talk down to them.
Depending on where they are in the election cycle, the earth ponies might accept her even faster than the pegasi would.
Hm…

swicked wrote:The thing you have to remember is that she also saved them from a psychotic solar alicorn. Family is important. Not just hers, but their own. She saved them and so long as it wasn't a quick skirmish and conclusion like on the show, but a period of suffering that drove Luna to finally drive back her sister to save her ponies (Symphony of the Moon and Sun), they would still look to their parents and/or children and thank her.
Ah, of course! Not sure how I forgot that. On a related note, Symphony of the Moon and Sun is one of the stories I've not gotten around to reading yet; I keep meaning to, and things keep coming up.

swicked wrote:The earth ponies, for the most part, are straightforward and earnest. I really think they'd accept her, at the very least, at the next election.
...oh, and you have to remember that they seemed to be particularly weak against Celestia's memetic adoration effect. They looked on her with awe and were truly ashamed when she was hit with a stone. Luna coming back... I doubt she'd have to do more than make a few appearances and apologize for leaving before they would be bending over backwards to try to make her happy again.
Aye, aye; you make a good point.

swicked wrote:Unicornia would fall into chaos. The head of the snake having been cut off, MANY of the nobility would claim to be second in line. It'd be one thing if they had a "nobility sector" like in Rites of Ascension wherein there were officially-designated family of the crown (like Blueblood, the nephew). I would expect some minor attempts at diplomacy and civility, attempting thing democratic but with EVERYONE cheating and refusing to perform a simple hoofcount since it'd be too much of a risk that any one of them wouldn't win. Really, though, none would ever be able to get anywhere near the majority of votes, so it wouldn't matter.
They depended on the princesses entirely. For every decision, if it can be believed from the way they hung on her in Rebellion (particularly when Shadow first saw Celestia). I think there would be a full-on civil war, nobility marshaling forces and "allies" as assassinations and backstabbing abounded.
...without their military even getting involved. After all, they are dedicated to the crown. With everyone claiming to have rights to it, the best case scenario is the senior leadership of the military taking over, the worst case (as is more likely given Shadow's realization that officer positions were more often given to family than dedicated soldiers), the military would fracture and take sides.
:D

swicked wrote:Oh, and the mages? They're something separate and even more backstab-y. They'd be more likely to just try to isolate themselves from the struggle, I think. I doubt even Sunbeam (who wouldn't even be around at the time) would try to take control until the dust settled. Anyone claiming right to the crown would simply become a target for the rest of the unicorns.
Hm… That may be a point. The nobility would probably stop their squabbling long enough to unite against the in-large-part-non-noble magi. Though where I'm doubting you is whether that would do them any good. I mean, the Unicornian nobility in this time probably have some combat skills, but the magi, are, well, the magi. The masters of spellcasting, with a large section of that being battlemagic. Even if the nobility keeps most of the army… I'm not sure who would win there.

swicked wrote:A regency would be in the best interest of everyone in terms of stability, even if the regent was corrupted and moved to banish or execute all his greatest opponents, but far more so for the one pony at the head, and EVERYONE would demand to be that pony. They are not the ephors, capable of civil discussion and electing someone for the interm with confidence in that pony to be a good leader.
By the time Luna came back (if she didn't come back far sooner to try and stop the war), martial law would be the name of the game, Canterlot falling to whoever managed to kill, and continue to kill, all of his/her rivals.
Again, :D.

swicked wrote:Luna would have no chance of taking control again without a fight... which she might given the amount of oppression that would likely be leveled against the non-noble, non-military populous.
Still, very difficult.
Which could be the start of the proper unification, actually, if she brings in Pegasopolis, either as Commander or an advisor, to restore order.

swicked wrote:I don't think we have enough information to determine that. The pegasi could absolutely massacre griffin raiders, but that isn't really any indication how they would stand up against a military force, let alone if the griffins even have a comparable number of fliers. Plus, without the princesses to reign them in, the pegasi would be more than happy to raze any griffin settlements they considered threats, so I'm not even sure the griffins would want to pick a fight at all. Diplomacy, the only thing previously keeping those warriors at bay, would no longer work anywhere near as well.
Yes, you're probably right about there being insufficient data…


I think that there was something else that I wanted to say, but, annoyingly, I can't remember it at the moment.
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Re: The True Story of Shadow Kicker (and other Winningverse speculation)

Post by O. Hinds on Thu Mar 06, 2014 2:02 am

Whatever that was, though, I have finished the first chapter of Symphony for Moon and Sun. And hopefully I shall be able to stop after the second chapter, given when my alarm is set for... :)
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Re: The True Story of Shadow Kicker (and other Winningverse speculation)

Post by swicked on Thu Mar 06, 2014 2:10 am

O. Hinds wrote:Hm…  That may be a point.  The nobility would probably stop their squabbling long enough to unite against the in-large-part-non-noble magi.  Though where I'm doubting you is whether that would do them any good.  I mean, the Unicornian nobility in this time probably have some combat skills, but the magi, are, well, the magi.  The masters of spellcasting, with a large section of that being battlemagic.  Even if the nobility keeps most of the army… I'm not sure who would win there.
The nobility would have money.
Now that I think about it, it would all depend on who was at the society's head. With their intact power structure they could probably take on any noble family, but not all of the nobles. A particularly arrogant leader would try to take control of the city. A particularly intelligent one would bow out of it, not wanting to become a target. The head unicorn's status is as adviser, so they could simply claim their loyalty is to the throne, not under it, after all.
One like Sunbeam would, again, wait for the dust to settle (maybe helping that along by either eliminating the nobles as fast as possible or trying to simply get rid of the most warmongering so that the rest could sue for peace) and start trying to rebuild.
I'm not saying the nobles would consider the magi to NOT be an eventual threat in the latter two cases, but the nobles would be busy enough with each other to put off trying to take down the tower of powerful magi until they could be sure they wouldn't be backstabbed during the attempt.
And afterwards, looking over the rubble that the city will have become, I can't say if anyone but Sunbeam would even be interested in trying to take back the city. If I were them, I'd start considering other prospects. Their society was supported by the city and with the wealth gone they'd no longer have the quality of life they'd become accustomed to.
So yeah, it would all depend on whoever was the top mage at the time.

O. Hinds wrote:Which could be the start of the proper unification, actually, if she brings in Pegasopolis, either as Commander or an adviser, to restore order.
Yup.

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Re: The True Story of Shadow Kicker (and other Winningverse speculation)

Post by swicked on Thu Mar 06, 2014 2:11 am

O. Hinds wrote:Whatever that was, though, I have finished the first chapter of Symphony for Moon and Sun.  And hopefully I shall be able to stop after the second chapter, given when my alarm is set for... :)
Good, it's one of my very favorites.
Not the whole thing, but the finale is awesome. I've read just the last two chapters several times.

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Re: The True Story of Shadow Kicker (and other Winningverse speculation)

Post by O. Hinds on Thu Mar 06, 2014 2:23 am

swicked wrote:The nobility would have money.
They have money only as long as they can defend it, and past that it belongs to whoever takes it. Given how much the society is breaking down, it's only a matter of time before ponies start really realizing this. Money may work at first, but it will become a liability, if anything; the only thing that will keep the nobility above water in the long run is loyalty.

swicked wrote:So yeah, it would all depend on whoever was the top mage at the time.
Yes, good point.

swicked wrote:Good, it's one of my very favorites.
Not the whole thing, but the finale is awesome. I've read just the last two chapters several times.
Now starting Chapter 4 with no sign of slowing…
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Re: The True Story of Shadow Kicker (and other Winningverse speculation)

Post by swicked on Thu Mar 06, 2014 3:08 am

O. Hinds wrote:
swicked wrote:The nobility would have money.
They have money only as long as they can defend it, and past that it belongs to whoever takes it.  Given how much the society is breaking down, it's only a matter of time before ponies start really realizing this.  Money may work at first, but it will become a liability, if anything; the only thing that will keep the nobility above water in the long run is loyalty.
Kay, yeah.
It would matter that they had money for a very temporary period right at the beginning before anarchy set in. Afterwards? Not so much.

O. Hinds wrote:
swicked wrote:Good, it's one of my very favorites.
Not the whole thing, but the finale is awesome. I've read just the last two chapters several times.
Now starting Chapter 4 with no sign of slowing…
Rarity

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Re: The True Story of Shadow Kicker (and other Winningverse speculation)

Post by O. Hinds on Thu Mar 06, 2014 4:01 am

And done.  I am so terrible at getting to bed on time!  :D

Thank you for recommending it.  I've been reading other things for a while; perhaps it is time to turn my attention back to the Lunaverse for a bit.  We'll see.  I certainly had an enjoyable, if rather longer than planned, evening, though.

By the way, does "the cat burglar" show up in any other Lunaverse stories?  I don't recall encountering them before.

swicked wrote:Kay, yeah.
It would matter that they had money for a very temporary period right at the beginning before anarchy set in. Afterwards? Not so much.
Aye.  That's why I think the magi have a good shot.  Once everypony realizes that politics and wealth have now fallen to leave only loyalty and power, the magi will probably corner most of the market on the latter, and as for loyalty, well, once some of the smarter nobles start thinking that the wind is blowing due magocracy, they'll probably choose to take what they have and support the new order rather than lose everything.  Others won't, of course, either out of foolishness or hope that Luna will intervene and reinstate them or something, but...

Thinking about it, I highly doubt that the Lunarwinningverse Night Court will be called that, or have names of nobility.  I mean, look at it from Luna's point of view.  Pegasopolian collectivist militaristic oligarchy?  Doing fine and dandy.  It can't be practically expanded to all of Equestria, but on concentrated scales like this, no problem.  Earth pony democracy?  The debates got a bit more heated than usual, yes.  Maybe there's some grumbling.  But, while it's not running quite as smoothly as Pegasopolis, it would be much easier to expand without breaking the system or infringing on ponies' rights.  Unicornian aristocratic monarchy?  Almost immediate bloody civil war and anarchy that resulted either in a forced restructuring by the eventual victors or in Luna having to bail them out.  If you were Luna, just coming back to power, trying to put things back together, and hoping to bring ponies closer together under a more unified government, where would you look, or rather not look, for good ideas on exactly how to do that?
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Re: The True Story of Shadow Kicker (and other Winningverse speculation)

Post by swicked on Thu Mar 06, 2014 2:14 pm

...I don't understand what you are talking about.

The unicorn nobles, the pegasi house masters/matrons and the earth pony magnates (I think they were called that...) all own/control land/ponies and represent them within their constituent governments in order to raise issues.

...though, with the pegasi, it's only the heads of the major houses (5 at the time, IIRC) that make the decisions, the rest simply commanding their own estates ("land", family and wards) and following the commands of their ephors and commander. Oh, and those without houses aren't represented at all. I'm still not entirely sure what their role in this is, given the various military groups of pegasopolis are distinguished by house. Do those without houses just not fight?

Anyway, the result of all this would be that, whether or not these representatives are called nobles, they would serve the same role as nobles. Hereditary succession of property is how things are done with all three races, with all of them responsible for the welfare of those that live off their properties and having a role in their governments due to those responsibilities. A role held by one pony per land-owning family.

The only difference would be the fact that wealth doesn't make a noble, it seems. I'm not entirely sure what does, though. Luna can, but I would think her Night Court could, too. Status is still decided by how much one controls, though. In the three tribes that was true of both the unicorns (I would figure) and the pegasi (the biggest houses were headed by ephors). The earth ponies didn't seem to have any special names for those that controlled more or less land than the others, but having more economic power is still more power and status.

Lastly, in Luna's Night Court, she doesn't reign supreme per say. Everything is voted on. She mostly seems to act for deciding votes and presiding over the sessions. Her role is one of oversight, ensuring her Night Court stays... well, noble. Probably vetoing anything she feels is grossly unfair, if such a thing were to ever gain summary approval. If she left, they could continue on without her. They would just be prone to becoming more corrupt than they already are.

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Re: The True Story of Shadow Kicker (and other Winningverse speculation)

Post by O. Hinds on Thu Mar 06, 2014 3:28 pm

swicked wrote:...I don't understand what you are talking about.
It may indeed end up very similar in nature (even if Luna decides to set up a Night Congress, well, look at the income brackets of the people who tend to grab the votes in America), but it would not be similar in outward appearance. Titles of nobility and explicit hereditary succession (nevermind that maybe the supposedly equally senators or whatever are not so equal in practice and that the elections tend to follow wealth which tends to run in families) and the very name "court" call to mind the Unicornian system, which quite publicly and destructively failed. The unicorns aren't going to be in a position to force their nomenclature and explicit system design through, and neither the pegasi nor the earth ponies have any reason to adopt them.

swicked wrote:Do those without houses just not fight?
I assume that they make up a general infantry (ie, cannon fodder) and may be adopted if they sufficiently distinguish themselves.

swicked wrote:Lastly, in Luna's Night Court, she doesn't reign supreme per say. Everything is voted on. She mostly seems to act for deciding votes and presiding over the sessions. Her role is one of oversight, ensuring her Night Court stays... well, noble. Probably vetoing anything she feels is grossly unfair, if such a thing were to ever gain summary approval. If she left, they could continue on without her. They would just be prone to becoming more corrupt than they already are.
Right, which is two more reasons to try and distance the unified system from the Unicornian one. The Unicornian system proved that it couldn't survive the loss of its monarch; it's not robust. Its primary compensating advantage, with an immortal monarch, is that it gives the monarch more or less absolute power… which is something that Luna actively wants to not have, since one of her greatest fears is becoming a tyrant. The earth pony system and to only a slightly lesser extent the Pegasopolian system, by contrast, include legal checks on the power of the head.
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Re: The True Story of Shadow Kicker (and other Winningverse speculation)

Post by swicked on Thu Mar 06, 2014 3:34 pm

Luna doesn't have absolute power within the night court.

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Re: The True Story of Shadow Kicker (and other Winningverse speculation)

Post by O. Hinds on Thu Mar 06, 2014 3:52 pm

...Exactly? I'm confused. You seem to be agreeing with me in a manner that suggests you believe you are disagreeing with me.
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Re: The True Story of Shadow Kicker (and other Winningverse speculation)

Post by swicked on Thu Mar 06, 2014 4:19 pm

It sounded like you were saying she had absolute power. To me, at least.

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