Wrap yourself in today’s story for an unusual take on a princess’ tale.
In Amber Clad
[Drama] [Slice of Life] • 1,484 words
Forged in fires of magic and charcoal. Worn with pride, damaged in battle after battle in times when ponies were no strangers to war. Repaired again and again. A regal mare’s suit of armour tells a small but significant part of her story.
FROM THE CURATORS: We’re always on the lookout for exemplars of the wide range of stories that can be told through fanfiction — which put this unusual examination of Princess Luna’s rise, fall, and rehabilitation right in our sweet spot. “This is a nice historical piece, giving us a first-hand view of Equestria’s lengthy litany of conflicts, great and small, and it’s all told by Luna’s armor,” Present Perfect said. “An interesting concept, and probably the thing that really makes this shine, no pun intended.” He wasn’t the only one to note the piece’s ambitious scope. “This walks the reader admirably from a pre-Equestrian time all the way to show (and comic) canon,” Soge said.
Much of our debate on the story, oddly, centered on the story not feeling unusual enough. “This is less ‘what would a set of armour think/feel/believe’ and more ‘a well-known story told from a different angle’,” Chris said. “Still, this story does combine a ‘faithful servant’ theme with the general plot of Luna’s ascension/fall/redemption.” Soge was among the dissenters: “While the voicing of the armor isn’t particularly unique, I’d argue that the things it chooses to focus on are.” And Horizon found that compromise a strength: “It manages to make a potentially gimmicky story feel comfortable and plausible,” Horizon said. “And while it felt like a triumph of idea over execution, the prose didn’t get in the way of the idea.”
What tipped the story over the top were the little touches of worldbuilding that showed us MLP’s cast from a different angle. “I also like the characterization provided through little touches like Luna’s reasoning for the armor’s form — which economically tells us a lot both about the narrator and the princess,” Horizon said. Present Perfect agreed: “The armor even gets a little characterization when it encounters the armor Luna wears as Nightmare Moon,” he said. “If anything about this story sticks with me, it’s that scene.”
Read on for our author interview, in which Word Worthy discusses diplomatic rifts, inside-out hats, and X-Files research notes.