|Convocation of the Creatures!|
|Published:|| December 6, 2017 (#61)|
January 31, 2018 (#62)
| Gallery • Allusions • IDW Publishing|
IDW Limited • IDW Publishing Forums
Friendship is Magic #60
Friendship is Magic #63
Convocation of the Creatures! is the twentieth story arc of IDW Publishing's comic series, spanning issues #61-62. In this story, Twilight Sparkle makes a discovery during the largest assembly of creatures in history that threatens to redraw the map of Equestria.
The story begins with Twilight Sparkle, Princess Celestia, and Raven Inkwell traveling to Mount Metazoa via airship to take part in the Convocation of Creatures, an assembly of leaders from all across the world that has not been held for over seven hundred years. Twilight is especially excited to take part and share knowledge and friendship with other creatures from Equestria and beyond. At the convocation's reception, she meets Princess Cadance, Queen Novo, Ember, Prince Rutherford, Thorax, and various other leaders from other regions.
While exploring the convocation grounds and the Hall of Unity, Twilight finds an expansive library, where Raven is updating the archives with Equestria's new documents. With her are several other librarians and archivists: a well-spoken yak named Horwitz, an excitable changeling named Urtica, a pompous dragon named Blacktip, and a shy griffon named Glenda. Despite Raven's insistence that bureaucracy is unglamorous and boring work, Twilight happily offers to help with the paperwork.
The next morning, Twilight and Celestia partake in leader speeches, negotiations, and debates before the cultural arts showcase that evening. However, Raven once again resigns herself to staying in the archives. After several hours of speeches, Twilight approaches Raven and the other archivists and invites them out to the cultural arts showcase, where the convocation attendees enjoy dragon glass blowing, yak line dancing, pony singing, and cuisine from various parts of Equestria. Twilight tells Raven that there is more to diplomacy and politics than just paperwork, and she and the others enjoy themselves.
While on the subject of paperwork, Glenda shares with her new friends something she found in the ancient griffon records: a treaty between Equestria and Griffonstone. In ancient times, the ponies bought a section of land—including where Canterlot was built—from the griffons. According to the treaty, the land would be returned to the griffons unless the ponies paid a large sum of gold one hundred years later. However, upon further search of the archives, no record exists of the rulers of Equestria ever paying that gold. Twilight worryingly realizes that a large section of Equestria, including all of Canterlot, legally belongs to the griffons.
Following Twilight and her friends' treaty discovery in the previous issue, they bring it to the attention of Princess Celestia and the griffon lords of Griffonstone. Griffon lord Gestal suggests returning the land to the griffons, but Twilight protests, saying thousands of ponies would be forced out of their homes. Celestia suggests paying back the treaty's original sum of gold, but greedy griffon lord Goldstone says the payment should include several centuries' worth of interest, which would bankrupt Equestria.
The group ultimately decides to turn the land back over to Griffonstone, and Celestia asks Gestal to give her until that evening to make the official announcement. Glenda apologizes for the situation that her discovery has put Equestria in, but Twilight assures her it isn't her fault. Celestia tells Twilight, Raven, and Glenda to search the archives for anything that might fix this development before she has to make her statement.
On their way back to the archives, Raven mentions to Twilight and Glenda that she commonly works behind the scenes of Twilight's adventures, such as drafting the treaty between the Appleloosans and buffalo after the events of Over a Barrel. Because Raven's days are usually filled with paperwork rather than adventure, Twilight is happy to include her in this incident. Inside the archives, the three work with Horwitz, Urtica, and Blacktip to find a solution. However, after hours of searching, the group fails to find an addendum or loophole in the treaty that would prevent the massive transfer of land.
Urtica looks closely at the treaty and notices three signatures: one from the ponies, one from the griffons, and one from the yaks. During the treaty's initial signing, the yaks served as a third party between the ponies and griffons' agreement. After the yak prince Gruntwig signed the treaty, Prince Dromius would have signed a follow-up one hundred years later, but Horwitz didn't find anything in Dromius' records. However, Urtica notes that the yaks use a different calendar system from ponies, so the treaty follow-up would have been signed during the reign of Prince Crompus. Horwitz looks through Crompus' records and discovers an addendum to the treaty stating that the original price for the land was indeed paid, thus negating the transfer of land to the griffons.
Griffon lord Goldstone enters, and Twilight and her friends inform him of what they found. Realizing their discovery could cost Griffonstone new territory and vast riches, Goldstone asks for the addendum scroll, but Twilight says they need to deliver it to Celestia and the other griffon lords. Desperate, Goldstone summons his guards and orders them to seize Twilight and her friends and destroy the scroll. Twilight and the other archivists flee from Goldstone and dash across the convocation grounds toward Celestia and Gestal. After distracting Goldstone and his guards with various parts of the assembly's cultural arts showcase, Raven finally delivers the scroll to Celestia and Gestal.
With the addendum to the original treaty, the lands of Equestria are preserved, and Gestal is relieved not to have lost one of Griffonstone's best allies. Celestia and Gestal thank Raven and her friends for their efforts, and Goldstone is arrested for treason. When the convocation ends, Raven agrees to keep in touch with the new friends she made. On the airship ride home, she confides in Twilight that, although she enjoyed the adventure, she prefers paperwork and working behind the scenes.
- Twilight Sparkle: I've been looking forward to this for months!
- Princess Celestia: I can't even remember how long ago the last one was!
- Raven Inkwell: Seven hundred and fifty-three years, your Highness.
- Princess Celestia: Thank you, Raven.
- Twilight Sparkle: Queen Novo!
- Queen Novo: Why, Princess Twilight! How wonderful to see you again!
- Twilight Sparkle: I didn't know the seaponies had sent a delegation! Er—I mean, the Hippogriffs! Or—what is your race, now?
- Queen Novo: Ha ha! I'm not sure myself! We're lucky enough to be part of both worlds now. Our home is both in the air and in the sea!
- Ember: Dragons don't do diplomacy. We're not big on crowds or speeches or all that stuff, you know? I am way out of my element here.
- Twilight Sparkle: Don't worry, Ember—you've got this! I'm sure you'll do a great job of representing the dragons!
- Ember: Th-Thanks, Twilight.
- King Aspen: ...Do you ever feel as though you're simply not part of the story?
- Queen of Abyssinia: Constantly.
- Urtica: E-Excuse me... Did you say you're Princess Twilight Sparkle?
- Twilight Sparkle: Yep! That's me!
- Urtica: Eeee! Oh my gosh! I can't believe I'm meeting you! You're, like, famous in our hive!
- Blacktip: Blacktip's the name, history's my game. You wanna know anything about dragon culture, I'm your guy.
- Twilight Sparkle: I could... Or I could ask my assistant Spike, or my friend Dragon Lord Ember, instead.
- Blacktip: Hmph!
- Raven Inkwell: It's bureaucracy. It's not supposed to be fascinating. This is the boring part of diplomacy and politics. In the ballroom, the royalty get to make speeches and mingle... but we are here to make sure everything works.
- Twilight Sparkle: Diplomacy isn't just speeches or paperwork—sometimes it's about learning from one another! That's what brings us together!
- Twilight Sparkle: All that land? But that's a huge section of Equestria! Thousands of ponies live there! Including all of Canterlot! All of that would be given back to the griffons?!
- Raven Inkwell: As you said, princess: proper paperwork matters.
- Griffon Lord 1: The land belongs to us! It should be returned to the griffons immediately!
- Twilight Sparkle: But there are cities on that land—including Canterlot! There are thousands of ponies living there! What will happen to them?
- Griffon Lord 1: Well, they'll simply all have to move.
- Twilight Sparkle: That's impossible!
- Goldstone: I think we should accept the gold—with full interest from the original amount.
- Princess Celestia: With interest? But that's centuries of interest! The payment would surely bankrupt the Equestrian treasury!
- Raven Inkwell: Seven times over, in fact.
- Gestal: I couldn't help but notice, Lord Goldstone—if this land is added to Griffonstone, it will greatly increase your personal holdings.
- Goldstone: Why—you're right, Lord Gestal! I had no idea!
- Raven Inkwell: Remember the time you and your friends helped out the Appaloosan settlers and the buffalo? I wrote nine drafts of the treaty they eventually signed after that incident.
- Twilight Sparkle: I had no idea!
- Raven Inkwell: I work in the background. I assist the princess, I help arrange things... I make sure things go smoothly. I don't have adventures, like you do.
- Blacktip: Why should I bother helping a bunch of ponies? What has Equestria ever done for the dragons?
- Raven Inkwell: Equestria exports ninety percent of all the gems coming in to the Dragon Lands.
- Blacktip: Well, what are we waiting for?
- Goldstone: I don't suppose I could take a look at that scroll?
- Glenda: Why, of c—
- Twilight Sparkle: Actually, Lord Goldstone... we should probably get this document to Princess Celestia and the other griffon lords... as soon as possible.
- Goldstone: Why, Princess Twilight! Don't you trust me?
- Goldstone: Guards! I'm going to need you to prevent anyone from leaving this room.
- Griffon Guard 1: Sir?
- Goldstone: They're holding a document that must be destroyed—in order to secure Griffonstone's future!
- Griffon Guard 2: But sir—
- Goldstone: What? Are you going to refuse? Tell me that have diplomatic immunity and we shouldn't be interfering in a legitimate political process?
- Griffon Guard 2: Well, that, and they're already running away.
- Gestal: I must especially thank you, Miss Raven, for your efforts.
- Raven Inkwell: It was a group effort, Lord Gestal. My fellow archivists and bureaucrats deserve credit as well. I couldn't have done it without... my friends.
- Raven Inkwell: I think I'll leave future adventures to you, princess. I prefer working behind the scenes.
- Twilight Sparkle: I can't blame you, Raven. Paperwork has its charms, too!