Dear Princess Celestia,
As you are aware, when I united my Element with the Diadem of Order, I developed a certain affinity for detecting fluctuations in the ambient entropic gradient. I had previously discussed with you my concern regarding the sudden and unexpected increase in the rate of entropy after Spike performed his misguided act. One would expect that the destruction of Discord would have resulted in a drop in the rate of entropy, but this was not the case. My speculation at the time was that Discord housed within his body a sufficient quantity of Chaotic energy that its sudden release upon his death was sufficient to be noticeable. According to my projections, this effect may have shortened the lifespan of everypony in Equestria by approximately 2.375804 hours, which I consider quite unacceptable.
The entropic gradient began to fluctuate with the reappearance of Discord. At the time I believed this indicated that he had survived Spike's destruction of his statue. The fluctuations represent currents of Chaotic energy, indicating to me that the existing supply of Chaos magic was being redirected, but when I performed multiple measurements and conducted statistical analysis, I have concluded that the entropic gradient has, in the main, dropped somewhat. Ironically, the presence of Discord, a sentient being who superconcentrates the Chaos of the natural universe, appears to reduce the incidence of ambient Chaos. In addition, Discord's large, localized spikes of Chaotic energy do not actually affect entropy; while undirected, diffuse Chaos is fundamentally indistinguishable from entropy, Discord's existence appears to generate a different effect. While obviously any great concentration of Chaos will result in destruction, the actual rate of entropy does not increase in response to Discord's actions; cold items warm and hot items cool at rates commeasurate with those found outside Discord's direct influence, unless Discord is directly impacting them. In fact, Discord has been known to invert entropy, causing objects that should grow warmer and enter equilibrium with the environment to become colder instead, and vice versa.
Of course, all magic has the potential to generate such effects, given that at its fundamental magic is chaos, harnessed to order. But Discord's activities appear to actually increase the ambient energy gradient of the magical field, in direct contradiction to the usual result of chaos. That being said, Discord's reappearance did not completely undo the general increase of the entropic gradient, which I would have expected given that his apparent death released so much entropy.
I have developed a theory to account for this discrepancy. My belief is that this entity is not the same Discord who died at Spike's paws; nor is he a reborn or reconstituted Discord. I believe he originates from a parallel timeline.
Evidence I have for this theory is presented below:
1. As mentioned. If Discord's discorporation released sufficient Chaos energy into the environment as to affect the entropic gradient, his re-corporation should have taken up the excess and restored the gradient to baseline levels. This has not happened to the expected extent. Entropy fluctuates in response to Discord's activities but the averages remain higher than prior to Spike's action.
2. Discord did not, during the days he was free, express any interest in attacking Spike. This would seem to be out of character, given that Spike, by his own recollection, spent an hour explaining his motivations and intentions to Discord's statue before smashing it with the Hammer of Celestia. Surely Discord would want to take vengeance on the dragon who killed him, and yet he showed no interest in Spike of any nature whatsoever.
a. At some point in the future I would like to discuss with you the origins of the hammer and why your name is associated with it. If my theory is correct the multiverse is a wider and more accessible place than we had previously speculated and the fact that you successfully destroyed various malevolent gods in the past does not necessarily indicate that they will remain "dead" any more than Discord has. It may be in our interests to replicate the hammer, or transform it to a shape more useful in combat and less well suited to smashing statues.
3. When he took the Elements from us and placed them behind a force barrier at the heart of a perpetually shifting labyrinth, he appeared to believe that he could not physically touch them, although he demonstrated that he was, of course, as capable of taking them with his magic as he was the first time we fought him. Unless the destruction of his statue brought significant memory loss, Discord must remember that after he discorded the Elements themselves, he gained the ability to touch them safely without being damaged by a superconcentration of Harmony magic.
4. Most significantly, he mentioned "princesses", and at one point specifically referred to Luna as if she were still alive. Discord should certainly remember that you were forced to kill Luna after he discorded her into returning to Nightmare Moon.
5. He does not appear to remember the transformation we underwent. Given what a fundamental part of his original plan his discording the Elements into containing their elemental opposites was, I find this deeply implausible.
He is currently contained now with my Sweet Dreams spell. The spell is directly powered by Chaos, and it is unlikely Discord would have any more motivation for trying to break it than any of the other miscreants I've used it to control. It will, however, not last indefinitely, so some other means of containment is necessary. We would be capable of turning him to stone again, but I believe a different strategy is warranted.
If the loss of our native Chaos avatar caused an increase in the entropic gradient, it may be that a controllable avatar of Chaos could be made to re-uptake the remainder of the increased entropy, perhaps even to absorb sufficient entropy as to extend the potential lifespan of ponies and other living creatures. In addition, the year we spent fighting our Discord fruitlessly while also fending off Nightmare Moon has had significant deleterious side effects on Equestria's military readiness and civilian infrastructure. Without Princess Luna, you are once again forced to manage all of the duties of the sun and moon on your own; you are in a weakened condition, my Princess, and through no fault of your own you are no longer capable of protecting Equestria with the vigor you might have otherwise. Stirrings from the gryphons, dragons and buffalo suggest that we may be potentially faced with war, or at the least aggressive sorties for territory. Having an unstoppable weapon in our control would provide a strong deterrent effect which would save the lives of both ponies and the misguided creatures who might attack us if they perceive us to be weak.
These are three potential uses for Discord if he can be brought under our control. I believe I have a strategy for doing so.
According to the information you provided me, Discord is a biological entity who had a connection to Chaos in the way that we do to our Elements before something occurred that connected him to the fundamental force of Chaos itself; he is not that fundamental force incarnate, but merely wields and controls it. This comports with my theory that Discord's existence may cause large increases in local Chaos but overall actually reduces the ambient chaos in the world. A sentient being who filters Chaos through his mind cannot help but reduce the available Chaos in the universe because it is the function of sentience to produce order out of chaos; the fact that Discord can think at all makes him a paradox, a contradiction who can be better understood as more similar to an alicorn than a force of nature. His bond with that force is powerful and innate but he is not, in himself, Chaos, any more than you are, in yourself, the Sun, or I am, in myself, Magic incarnate.
If Discord is a biological entity, with a sentient mind, he can be controlled. The proof has been demonstrated by the effect my Sweet Dreams spell has had on him; he must be by nature a creature capable of dreaming and experiencing emotions such as happiness and pleasure for the spell to be capable of restraining him.
I propose to combine a cocktail of spells to ensure that we can control him, and infuse them through the Elements so they will create an absolute seal on him as powerful as turning him to stone was. By connecting a physical artifact, such as a collar, to the spells, we can restrain Discord's magic such that he may not use it except by our leave.
Of course, in the end, we will require the use of Discord's magic, in levels sufficient that his loyalty must be absolute by that time or he will have the opportunity to break the binding spells. To this end, I recommend the use of Fluttershy. This would serve a dual purpose. Fluttershy has the most experience in taming dangerous animals, and while I have been able to channel Pinkie's negative urges by providing to her criminals, dissidents and others who are a drain on society, thus keeping her from harming innocent, productive citizens, ethical constraints make it difficult to supply Fluttershy with her needs in a way that is just. Non-ponies are in the main not fully sentient and cannot be evildoers in the same sense as ponies can, and while it is certainly within possibility to acquire gryphon or dragon criminals, the effort in doing so is considerable. However, Discord is quite evil enough to make it acceptable for Fluttershy to satisfy her negative urges on him, thus sparing any innocent low-sentients she might otherwise be compelled to utilize, and Fluttershy's xenophilic requirements should be more than fulfilled by Discord's extremely unusual nature.
The rest of us may participate in his obedience training as well to lesser extents; if his survival is a priority allowing Pinkie to participate might be contraindicated, and I do not expect Rainbow Dash to be of any use whatsoever, as usual. However, I am quite certain that Applejack and Rarity would be willing to help with the project, if not with the enthusiasm that Fluttershy is likely to bring to her work.
I believe that, if we bind him with spells that ensure his unwilling obedience and deliver him to Fluttershy, her training methods should ensure willing obedience within the year, or less, at which point we would be able to use him to contain disasters, support you in the transition of sun and moon, and potentially threaten aggressor nations if needed. We may even be able to utilize him to extend the borders that Equestria controls, to bring our peace and harmony to the rest of the world.
I await your approval of my proposal, Your Majesty.
Your student, Twilight Sparkle, Element of Magic and Order
The concept of the Hammer of Celestia comes from the story Variables by TheDescendant, which is also where the notion of Spike killing Discord with a hammer that destroys gods came from; however, Spike's motivations would have been very, very different in this universe and, this being that kind of universe, he actually went through with it, unlike in Variables.
For those who think Twilight seems out of character, read the first paragraph and Twilight's title for herself in her signature line again. Also, I need to point out, evil goateed universe. This is an AU.
For those who won't read a mature filtered story or who read the synopsis of the other one and decided it was totally not for them, but read this one: the backstory here is that canon-timeline-compliant Discord decided he wanted to make mischief without getting in trouble with Fluttershy sometime post reformation, and decided to travel to an alternate timeline where the existing version of him is dead in order to be able to have some chaotic fun without frightening or upsetting any of the ponies he actually cares about. It ended up being a really, really, really bad mistake. In the universe he traveled to, his alternate self had done something to the Elements that had permanently changed the Element Bearers so that they contain their opposites; rather than being gray and just running around acting like literal opposites of their elements, they now have their opposites integrated into their personalities, in some very twisted ways. He did not do this to the Element of Magic because it has no direct and obvious opposite; this threw it out of sync with the others and thus they could not harmonize. Twilight eventually figured out what the opposite of Magic was, united her Element with it, and was thus able to harmonize with the others again, and they successfully put the alternate Discord back in stone, after which at some point Spike killed him. Later, "our" Discord showed up, pretending to be the Discord native to this AU, and made it rain fish in Canterlot and other silliness before he was captured in the way Twilight describes here. That's probably all you need to know to understand this one.
For those who have read the other story: yes, Twilight has known the whole time that this is the wrong Discord, so his attempts to keep it a secret from her have been pointless, but he doesn't know that.
This story is in the same continuity as "The Last Draconequus", "Princess Twilight Sparkle Endcaps" and "Elements of Opposition." The fic sequence for this particular continuity goes like this:
Last Draconequus and related fics: Discord's childhood and history
Awkward Conversations: Post "Keep Calm and Flutter On", pre-Alicorn Twilight. Discord has conversations with several other characters. Most of them do not go well.
Princess Twilight Sparkle Endcaps:
- Vines: Pre-"Princess Twilight Sparkle". Discord decides to help with the vines. Mostly.
- Detente: Post-"Princess Twilight Sparkle". Zecora comes to Discord with an offer from the Tree of Harmony, and some advice.
Light Rain: Discord has something to show Fluttershy. Bridge between "Princess Twilight Sparkle Endcaps" and "Elements of Opposition".
Elements of Opposition (series):
- Discord in Hell (Not Literally): Discord travels to an alternate universe to wreak entertaining havoc, and picks the wrong one. After being enslaved with twisted versions of the Elements of Harmony that his now-dead counterpart had corrupted, thus corrupting their Bearers, Discord writes a desperate plea for help.
- Twilight Sparkle's Report On The Entropic Gradient: Technically happens before "Discord in Hell". The corrupted Twilight Sparkle outlines her plan for Discord to her version of Princess Celestia.
- Dragonfire and Sympathy: The alternate Spike is trying not to have any sympathy for Discord.
- World Without Harmony: Stories of the alternate universe.
- Elements of Opposition: The Mane 6 from the regular universe go on a mission to rescue Discord from the alternate universe.
These are not hyperlinked because fanfiction dot net strips hyperlinks, but all of them either are or soon will be available on my author page.
For updates and notes about my work, visit my Livejournal at alara-r dot livejournal dot com. (Fanfiction dot net strips links, so I have to write it out like that.)
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