You can count on today’s story for a rich exploration of Equestrian history.
[Adventure] [Comedy] • 6,896 words
Once upon a time, ponies did not know how to count very far. Clover the Clever tells her two young fillies the story of how her mentor, Starswirl the Bearded, learned the secret of counting from the dragons.
FROM THE CURATORS: It seems wholly appropriate that what turned our heads about a story so steeped in mathematics is how much work it put into the little details. “The worldbuilding is continuous, effortless, and endlessly surprising,” Horizon said. “Every time the story turns a corner I stumble across a new, cool tidbit: Clover indirectly earning her nickname due to Discord; pegasus attitudes on how to win battles; Starswirl’s random encounter with the ascetic monkeys.” Chris appreciated the finer details as well: “I really like the explanation for why ponies count in base ten.” That wasn’t the only thing Present Perfect marveled at: “It definitely has something to say about the scientific process, at the end of the day, and it’s quite a charming piece.”
And while the luxurious detail attracted us, it was the story’s charm and tone which sealed the deal. “The legend is a quite pleasant read — told in the manner of a just-so tale, with a much-appreciated vein of humor running through it,” Chris said. AugieDog also commented on that whimsy. “I love the goofy sweetness here,” he said. “I mean, even though we’re smack-dab in the middle of Discord’s reign, the biggest worry ponies seem to have is how to keep reading when day has a tendency to switch over to night without notice. … This story is pony through and through.”
The ponies, too, were memorable. “Star Swirl the legend is contrasted to Star Swirl the pony, as Clover remembers him, and it’s a lot of fun seeing how the various parties he approaches defy his wish to count higher than eight with simple practicality,” Present Perfect said, and Horizon went further: “Everyone we meet, down to the bit parts, is memorable and fun. In particular, Filly Luna is super adorbs and the dragon steals her scene.” Overall, Horizon added, this was an all-around standout work: “Oh my, yes. Very yes. I don’t think even the abrupt ending can keep me from following the author immediately.”
Read on for our author interview, in which ph00tbag discusses epiglottal frication, rollercoaster pee, and titular eggcorns.