Page 1065 - Know Your Pest

17th May 2018, 6:00 AM in The Return of Harmony, Part 1
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Know Your Pest
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 17th May 2018, 6:00 AM edit delete
Equestria as a potential plane upon the astral sea of the Dungeons and Dragons universe is something I technically have to think about, but I try not to think about too hard lest I feel like a different take might be useful later. Nevertheless, a little bit of that thinking has bled through here.

Equestria, despite having several D&D-like things within it (I'm still holding out for a beholder to show up in an episode, just once), has a curious absence of any true deities. Immortals, sure, but the show's taken lengths to show their mortality as well. No other gods showed up to challenge Discord's claim to the realm. Ain't no champions of Bahamut gonna come storming up to his throne to challenge him in the name of Lawful Good.

So what does that mean for an Equestria that could potentially fit into the D&D multiverse? Well, I have to think about it a little bit, but I try not to overthink it for now.

Notice: Guest comic submissions are open! Guidelines here. Deadline: January 27th, 2023.



Discord 17th May 2018, 6:11 AM edit delete reply
The pink seems to like me.
I'll have fun popping her balloons.
And to you Miss Train destroyer.
There is no train here to get rid of.
Digo Dragon 17th May 2018, 6:18 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
"Popping her balloons" sounds like the best accidental innuendo I've heard all month.
Needling Haystacks 18th May 2018, 11:28 AM edit delete reply
Now I need to find an excuse to use that. :P
andreas002 17th May 2018, 6:14 AM edit delete reply
"You are Powerless, Discord."
No, I'm the opposite of that.
"Your ultimate goal is a universe of pure Entropy, a realm without Order!"
"I submit to you that such a universe would be statistically uniform in composition and therefore it would be ordered! ... Also, boring."
Carry the infinity...
Aww, man.
Guest 17th May 2018, 7:58 AM edit delete reply
Alas, While I appreciate the reference, I'm pretty sure that Discord is less concerned with pure Entropy than whatever happens to be amusing to him.
Discord 17th May 2018, 11:49 AM edit delete reply
Now whoever said I don't have control over Order...
Was mostly right.
I can't control it, but I can decide when to let it back in.
Before it gets boring, I let off, allowed some order come in.
Then after a bit, force it right back out again.
And timing is completely up to me.
Flutterbondage 17th May 2018, 4:43 PM edit delete reply
Now, Now, Discord, we talked about it... Don't gloat in front of others... Do you need some more lessons about Kindness?
Discord 17th May 2018, 6:43 PM edit delete reply
You're talking to the wrong Discord.
That one is where you left him.
Besides, I'm just showing him why that form of Order can never happen.
Dusty the Royal Janitor 18th May 2018, 4:17 AM edit delete reply
I understood that reference!

8-Bit Theater was the best.
Dragonflight 18th May 2018, 7:52 AM edit delete reply
The moment someone mentioned a statistically uniform universe, I recalled an old story I heard once about a university-level question on an exam somewhere, which instructs the student to "first assume a spherical chicken of uniform density."
Needling Haystacks 18th May 2018, 8:03 AM edit delete reply
I'm actually working on a project where I assume a spherical mouse of uniform density. The principle is the same.
Aeshdan 18th May 2018, 9:41 AM edit delete reply
I remember one FanFic where the idea was that draconequii fed off order and produced chaos, in kind of the same way that a tree feeds off of CO2 and produces oxygen. A lot of Equestria's more... bizzare worldbuilding is attributed to the fact that ever since the Princesses imprisoned Discord, Equestria has been running on barely enough Chaos to get by. The sun has to be manually raised and lowered, the seasons manually altered, and so forth because there's not enough chaos in the system for those things to happen on their own.
SilverShadow4 18th May 2018, 12:39 PM edit delete reply
Oooooh! I LIKE that! It fits well with the Fallout: Equestria story, too!
Digo Dragon 17th May 2018, 6:15 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
I believe that there are no godly challengers because Celestia imprisoned most of them. Any powerful being outside that plane probably keeps a healthy distance. Equestria is kind of like what you get if a benevolent goddess wins against all comers who dare mess with her world. Even powerful mortals like Starswirl and Clover the Clever have decent resumes including banishing creatures and artifacts to other realms.

In a way, it's kinda like the plane of Ravenloft, but for gods.
you know that guy 17th May 2018, 7:46 AM edit delete reply
So, the plane of Sigil?
Digo Dragon 17th May 2018, 8:32 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Does Sigil trap gods? I've only played the setting in a one-shot adventure way back in 2nd Ed. days of D&D (Around the year 1997?). I don't remember much of the setting specifics.
Evilbob 17th May 2018, 9:45 AM edit delete reply
That, or the reverse, that is, Celestia (or some other powerful immortal) imprisoned themselves, that is, separated their plane from the rest of the universe with an impenetrable barrier.
Winged Cat 17th May 2018, 12:09 PM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
I am more and more thinking Thousand Year Sunrise's guest page got it exactly right. With exceptions such as Discord (which she merely tamed for a while), Celestia - having seen how the extant gods not only tolerated but promoted evil - rid Equestria of all (other) dieties. No gods, no masters - at least, none stronger than her, and her mastery is far from perfect. (Even season 8 - the most recent one as of this posting, specifically Horse Play - shows she's still mortal, with mundane things she has never yet done.)

And as Digo says, Celestia was not the first.

Thing is, good and evil are relative. What happens when someone (pony or otherwise), having grown up in this world, sees all the evil (by their higher standards) still present, especially if any of it is something Celestia never thought of (since she spent herself fighting worse horrors) or even made use of?

Or is that exactly what she is hoping Twilight Sparkle will ascend to, and is looking forward to giving her throne to her student? If so, is she hoping that Twilight will (in a thousand years or so) end her own reign in similar fashion?
FanOfMostEverything 17th May 2018, 6:16 AM edit delete reply
An owlbear showed up in the comics once, though Luna expressed some intellectual property concerns when she saw it. Still, if a beholder can show up in Futurama, surely they can put one in another Hasbro property.

Of course, by that logic, I'm still hoping for something Magic: the Gathering related (which has its own interesting wrinkles when trying to integrate Equestria into that Multiverse.)
Draxynnic 17th May 2018, 6:38 AM edit delete reply
For all WOTC has a reputation for being protective of beholders, what they have trademarked actually seems to be fairly specific. You can't use the term 'beholder', you might be in trouble if it specifically has ten smaller eyes, and I think you can't use the concept of each eye firing a beam with a different effect. Floating balls with a big central eye, a mouth, lots of little eyes on stalks and being able to shoot generic beams of energy from one or more eyes, though, are dime a dozen.

Futurama probably got away with it because, IIRC, it was never named and we never saw what the rays did (apart from being generically destructive, I think).
Winged Cat 17th May 2018, 12:11 PM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
Or lose the little eyes on stalks (and their beams), don't call it "beholder", but use the rest of it. Even thus simplified, it would still be recognizable.
Platonix 18th May 2018, 10:29 AM edit delete reply a Cacodemon from the Doom games.
albedoequals1 17th May 2018, 6:33 AM edit delete reply
Don't forget the tree of harmony. They've essentially treated it as a deity in the show. One of those impersonal and non-reactive ones.
Greenhornet 17th May 2018, 7:11 AM edit delete reply
In the Pony Game alignment guide, "True Neutral" is represented by a tree (Nature). Co-incidence? I don't think so.
AchtungNIght 17th May 2018, 6:42 AM edit delete reply
Speaking of trains, I hope the Apple-loosa train battle where Rainbow Dash faces off against the Native American Bison Princess (you know what I'm talking about, I hope) is in this strip's future. Gilda too. And Lightning Dust. Heck, all things Rainbow Dash are awesome.
Winged Cat 17th May 2018, 12:16 PM edit delete reply
Winged Cat
Gilda is in this strip's past, for a whole arc. (I linked to the first appearance as Gilda, but the arc starts a few pages earlier.)
Anvildude 17th May 2018, 5:53 PM edit delete reply
I actually really like Austraeoh's take on the cosmology of Equestria- and it could easily fit within the DnD-verse, with as self-contained as it is.
usps tracking 17th May 2018, 7:31 PM edit delete reply
very nice. thank you the post.
usps tracking
Guest 18th May 2018, 6:19 AM edit delete reply
Did... did you just get spam from the mail itself?

That is an entirely new level of meta.
DeS_Tructive 19th May 2018, 3:39 AM edit delete reply
If I was to place Equestria within the D&D multiverse, I'd start with a pocket realm/universe that was abandoned by its creators, from there, there's multiple ways it could be spun:
- an afterlife created by a deity that's responsible for children
- a realm created by a powerful wizard to act as a "babysitter" during adventuring
- some Narnia/Fillory-esque realm created or formed by "special" children

Either way, I'd assume the realm was abandoned by those who should have maintained it (ie.: the equivalent of deities). Left to its own devices, it created its own mechanisms to maintain itself (too many examples to pick from) and also began forming itself after the wishes of its denizens, allowing the world to mature, while still maintaining a semblance to the childs fantasy it originally was.

A lot of things from FiD (prolly even FiM) would fit in to this frame. (Can't speak for Equestria Girls, though) It's also pretty meta, if you consider the MLP franchise in general.