|Published:|| July 4, 2018 (#67)|
July 25, 2018 (#68)
| Gallery • Allusions • IDW Publishing|
IDW Limited • IDW Publishing Forums
Friendship is Magic #66
Friendship is Magic #69
Tempest's Tale is the twenty-first story arc of IDW Publishing's comic series, spanning issues #67-68. In this story, Tempest Shadow travels across Equestria to learn more about friendship and comes face-to-face with her past.
Following the events of My Little Pony The Movie, Twilight Sparkle invites Tempest Shadow, the former lieutenant of the Storm King, to stay in Ponyville, but Tempest declines, not feeling like Ponyville is where she belongs. After bidding Twilight goodbye and promising to return one day, Tempest leaves to figure out where she fits in in the world. During her travels across Equestria, she makes a new reputation for herself helping anyone who needs it, including repairing damage caused by the Storm King's invasion. As Tempest feels unsure about how much good she's actually doing, two ponies that she helps suggest she go to the Crystal Empire, which seems to always be in some sort of crisis.
Upon arriving at the Empire, Tempest meets with Princess Cadance; although Cadance welcomes Tempest openly, Tempest feels uneasy around her. She explains to Cadance that she is uncomfortable with Equestria's ideals like love and friendship. Cadance argues that the kind of love she represents is not limited to just romantic love and that her capacity for love in all of its forms makes herself and those she cares about stronger. However, she acknowledges that love cannot solve everything, and she asks Tempest to investigate recent incidents on the outskirts of the Empire.
The next morning, Tempest goes to the arctic patrol office on the edge of the city to meet with the patrol pony she is assisting, and she discovers it to be Glitter Drops, one of her closest friends from childhood. Although Glitter Drops is overjoyed to see her old friend again, Tempest is still bitter over the way they separated when they were little and wants to focus on their assignment.
As Tempest ignores Glitter Drops' attempts to catch up on old times, Glitter explains that ponies living on the outer borders of the Empire have recently had issues with destroyed fences and stolen food. Realizing the mundanity of such a task, Tempest realizes Cadance gave her this mission in order to make friends. At the residence of a pony named Icy Shanks, and after a brief and bristly confrontation between him and Tempest Shadow, Icy Shanks explains that he was also a recent victim of property damage and food theft.
Frustrated by both Glitter Drops and Icy Shanks, Tempest goes off to investigate on her own, remembering how she lost her horn when she and her friends lost their ball in an ursa minor's cave. When Glitter Drops catches up with her, Tempest confronts her for supposedly abandoning her when they were little. But their dispute is interrupted when they discover a trail of fish, believing it to have been left by the culprit responsible for the recent incidents.
Once again, Tempest goes off on her own to track the culprit down, determined to prove she doesn't need Glitter Drops' help. However, when she follows the trail to its source, Tempest comes face-to-face with a ferocious ursa minor, and she becomes paralyzed with fear.
Tempest makes a desperate crawl to get away from the ursa minor, believing all the hardships she faced after losing her horn were for nothing. Just then, Glitter Drops appears and chases the ursa off by creating a blinding light with her horn. Unable to accept that the former friend she thought abandoned her is showing her such kindness and concern, Tempest explodes at Glitter Drops in anger and declares she doesn't need anyone to save her.
Backed into a corner, Glitter tearfully apologizes for what happened when they were little and says it should've been her who lost her horn. Glitter says since she lost the ball in the cave, she should have been the one to retrieve it, and because Tempest lost her horn instead of her, she has been consumed by guilt ever since. Shocked by Glitter's confession, Tempest realizes she was wrong to hold a grudge for all these years, and the two finally make amends.
As Tempest and Glitter search for the ursa minor, they catch up on old times, and Tempest asks her why she and Spring Rain abandoned her and never reached out to her after leaving for magic school. Glitter Drops remembers the circumstances of their separation slightly differently, but before she can explain why they lost touch with Tempest, they find the ursa minor making wistful sounds. Glitter says that the creature is not growling in aggression; it is lost and calling out to its mother, and Tempest feels some sympathy for it.
Using her magic, Glitter Drops creates a projection of an ursa major to pose as the ursa minor's mother and lead it back to its own territory. Tempest is impressed by Glitter Drops' incredible feat of magic and guides her through the snow as she concentrates. After walking some distance up the mountain, Glitter Drops releases her illusion spell, and the ursa minor reunites with its real mother.
As Tempest and Glitter walk back down the mountain, Tempest asks Glitter again why she and Spring Rain never communicated with her after leaving for magic school. Glitter confesses that she and Spring Rain couldn't keep up with the advanced lessons at Princess Celestia's School for Gifted Unicorns and that she eventually dropped out in shame. Tempest realizes she and Glitter Drops have more in common that she thought, and the sun starts to rise over the Crystal Empire.
Back at the palace, Tempest reports to Princess Cadance on the events of the previous night. Knowing full well that Cadance orchestrated everything so that Tempest could reunite and reconcile with Glitter Drops, Tempest thanks her.
- Tempest Shadow: I spent so much of my life being angry. Everything I did, I did because of what had happened to me. I'm still not sure who I am without that anger. I mean, I still don't feel comfortable with my actual name.
- Twilight Sparkle: You'll come back, won't you?
- Tempest Shadow: Of course, Twilight. I'll always remember that I have friends here.
- Princess Cadance: Tempest, can I ask you a question?
- Tempest Shadow: What is it?
- Princess Cadance: You don't like me very much, do you?
- Tempest Shadow: Equestria has four princesses, and two of them are friendship and love. Everything is pink and fluffy and sweet. It's why it was so easy for the Storm King to conquer this place. Where's the Princess of Hoof-to-Hoof Combat? Where's the Princess of Military Air Supremacy? Where's the Princess of Explosions?
- Princess Cadance: Princess of Explosions may be the perfect title for my daughter.
- Princess Cadance: Love is not restricted to romantic love between two ponies. It takes a number of forms: love of family, love of friends, love of country, love of self. It's not that my love is better, but that I have an extraordinary capacity for love that can be channeled into my magic. It makes me stronger, but beyond that, it makes those I love stronger.
- Glitter Drops: Fizzy? Fizzlepop Berrytwist? I haven't seen you in...
- Tempest Shadow: Years? Yeah. Hello, Glitter Drops.
- Tempest Shadow: This is not the time for chit chat. I'm here on a mission.
- Glitter Drops: Oh... I'm sorry. I just thought—
- Tempest Shadow: Well, there's your problem.
- Tempest Shadow: What's the issue here?
- Icy Shanks: What's your issue?! This here's my house!
- Tempest Shadow: You have a broken fence!
- Icy Shanks: Well, you got a broken horn and a bad attitude! What's it to you?!
- Tempest Shadow: What did you say about my horn?!
- Icy Shanks: What's wrong with her?
- Glitter Drops: Honestly, I'm not sure.
- Tempest Shadow: Did you turn your back on Spring Rain too? Or did he leave you behind?
- Glitter Drops: Spring Rain? What does he have to do with this?
- Tempest Shadow: Don't pretend like you don't know.
- Glitter Drops: I'm not pretending! I don't see you for years, and then you show up and won't even talk to me. What did I do?
- Tempest Shadow: What did you do? What did you do?!
- Tempest Shadow: You do not get to save me now!
- Glitter Drops: It should have been me. I should have lost my horn... or worse.
- Glitter Drops: I'm sorry, Tempest. I'm so sorry.
- Tempest Shadow: Stop that. It's not your fault.
- Glitter Drops: Thank you, Tempest.
- Tempest Shadow: No, that's not right.
- Glitter Drops: What?
- Tempest Shadow: You call me Fizzy.
- Tempest Shadow: You all get nearly conquered a lot, don't you?
- Glitter Drops: You don't know the half of it!
- Glitter Drops: Ponyville. What's their deal? There's always some big drama happening there. It's like the place is cursed.
- Tempest Shadow: Tell me about it.
- Tempest Shadow: That giant bear was amazing.
- Glitter Drops: It's just an illusion. You cast a pretty mean lightning spell. But neither of us are exactly princess material.
- Tempest Shadow: I've never had any use for love. I don't know what I'm supposed to do with it.
- Glitter Drops: Well, Fizzlepop Berrytwist, you don't have to do anything with it. But if you ever find yourself alone and angry again—remember that you have a friend here that loves you.
- Princess Cadance: Tempest, is there something you want to say to me?
- Tempest Shadow: Yes, there is.
- Princess Cadance: Well, go ahead. Don't hold back just because I'm a princess.
- Tempest Shadow: I just wanted to say... thank you.
- Princess Cadance: Remember this the next time you wish there was a Princess of Military Air Supremacy.