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Fanfic / A Diplomatic Visit

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A Diplomatic Visit by Evilhumour and his beta-reader/co-author Anon e Mouse Jr. (with early contributions by Vinylshadow) is a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic, the first in the planned Diplomacy-verse and a part of the greater The Powers That Be multiverse. The first chapter was posted October 20, 2017.

It centers around a diplomatic visit to Equestria by Swift-Pad, a representative of the civilized wolf packs from the distant Packlands, and his interactions with Twilight Sparkle, her friends and the citizens of Ponyville, in the process opening Twilight's eyes to the wider world around her and just how much she still needs to know about the lands outside Equestria.

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A Diplomatic Visit contains examples of:

  • Berserk Button:
    • Swift-Pad, and wolves in general, have one - once an apology's been made, that's it, no further ones needed on that subject. Bringing it up again is considered incredibly insulting since it implies that the other person forgave them too easily or that they didn't know what they were forgiving. Twilight accidentally triggers this for Swift-Pad, but once he explains about it, she promises to do better when it comes to learning such things so she won't accidentally offend others like she did him.
    • Don't harm children in Swift-Pad's presence. Wolves in general value them, and they won't hesitate to protect a child who's endangered, even when it's the child's own parents who are doing so, be it mentally or physically.
    • Harming endangered animals such as phoenixes is also a major berserk button for Swift-Pad, and when he finds out some teenage dragons were trying to smash defenseless phoenix eggs (and tried to bully Spike into doing so as well), he promises to pass it on to his counterparts in the Dragon Lands so they can tell the Dragon Lord, who will punish the ones responsible.
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  • Everyone Has Standards: Pinkie Pie shocks Twilight by revealing there’s a group she won’t throw a party for. The group in question is a pony-supremacist one - racists who hate all non-ponies.
  • Fantastic Racism: The Pony Vegan Environmentalists is a group of ponies who dislike anyone who isn't a pony and whom Swift-Pad views as "a radical species and lifestyle supremacist movement", due to their repeated efforts to get themselves in trouble near the borders between Equestria and the Packlands, and then make themselves out to be the victims.
  • Foreshadowing: In chapter 9, Cheerilee mentions that one of her students has a tendency to be rude and may be a problem during their class, and that one of her parents is even worse. While the student in question turns out to be too scared of Swift-Pad (what with him being a wolf) to speak out in class, her mother shows up later and is instantly rude and nasty to him, being unaware of who he is.
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  • Full-Name Ultimatum: Spoiled Rich lets loose with an angry "Diamond Dazzle Tiara!" when she sees her daughter trying to speak to Swift-Pad.
  • Geometric Magic: Swift-Pad is a Rune Caster, able to channel his inner magic through the proper runes (which have to be carefully carved and the magic infused into them while doing so), and it's a relatively common skill in the Packlands. He begins teaching Twilight the ability later on.
  • Hidden Depths: Who knew Rainbow Dash was secretly a good cook?
  • Innocently Insensitive: Equestria in general, as it and a great deal of its people tend to steamroll over those of other nations without considering their feelings. Averted by certain hate-groups who are deliberately opposed to any non-ponies.
  • Mama Bear: Even though it's not her filly, when Spoiled Rich starts yelling at Diamond Tiara, Twilight sees the fear on the younger pony's face and immediately steps in to give Spoiled a verbal smackdown.
  • Noble Wolf: The wolves of the Packlands, including their ambassador Swift-Pad.
  • Papa Wolf: Literally with Swift-Pad - the instant he hears somepony yelling angrily at the young filly he's talking to and sees her eyes widen in fear at their voice, he immediately steps between them to keep the filly safe. Even when said filly is Diamond Tiara and the one yelling is her own mother, it's the way of his people to protect children.
  • Oh, Crap!: Spoiled Rich's reaction when she realizes she just insulted someone in the presence of one of the Princesses of Equestria.
  • Read the Fine Print:
    • During trade negotiations between Equestria and the Packlands, the wolves keep sneaking in extradition orders for Prince Blueblood (and before him, his ancestors), but Princess Celestia always finds and removes them.
    • In chapter 12, Princess Celestia mentions having had to deal with contracts that had hidden clauses, including ones that were so microscopic they were barely visible, and deliberate fraud that involved tricking people into signing multiple, non-identical copies of a contract.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Swift-Pad, who is generally patient and understanding. Even when he does get angered, he does his best to explain why he was angered, and to teach the one responsible how to ensure they don't make him angry over the same issue again.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: A big part of the story is that Twilight’s learning more about her duties and being given a chance to practice them (as opposed to the original cartoon’s season 4, where she spent most of her time doing comparatively little with her authority as a princess), including about Equestria’s diplomatic ties with other nations. Also unlike canon, she’s actually being told about some of what she’ll be doing in the future, once she’s had proper training (such as in legal matters).
  • Scare 'em Straight: Completely unintentional, but it happens - Diamond Tiara is normally rude and condescending to most others who don't have wealth and status, but when Swift-Pad enters the classroom, she just sees "big predatory creature" and is too scared of him, despite his being very friendly to everypony there, to cause trouble during class.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In chapter 8, Swift-Pad explains to Twilight at one point that she cannot let fear rule her life, because if she does, she won't think clearly; he also repeats the advice of a teacher of his, who "tried to always act out of love, not of fear. And that it was a good piece of advice, because every time he forgot it, he managed to get himself into trouble.” Both pieces of advice are derived from scenes in Rod Allbright Alien Adventures, in which Rod receives the same advice from Tar Gibbons and Snout, respectively.
    • In chapter 9, Swift-Pad meets Dinky Hooves. Her introduction of herself and Swift-Pad's response is inspired by a similar scene in RealityCheck's The Audience.
  • Sins of Our Fathers: The wolf packs believe in this in the case of honor crimes, demanding to punish a descendant (by forcing them to fight in what’s essentially a battle to the death, without magic) if they cannot punish the original person - the only way to really end the feud is for the family line of the guilty to end, by wolf justice or the line simply dying out. Celestia, however, has refused to turn over the stallion who offended them and continues to refuse to let his descendants be taken, which has placed a strain on Equestrian-Packland relations, but the wolves won't give in, continually sneaking an extradition order for Nobleblood's latest descendant into their trade agreements (which Celestia always vetoes). Twilight, for her part, is hoping to come up with a solution that they'll accept in lieu of blood.
  • Unfortunate Names: Wolves of the Packlands are named after a trait the elders observe in them. One of Swift-Pad's litter-mates is Giggle-Snort, who would love to forget that he was named for the noise he made when he was first being groomed as a pup.
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