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Last thread hit bump limit, serendipitously just as I was wrapping up my review of Friendship is Optimal. Despite the thread being over limit, I responded to a couple more posts dealing with Optimal because I wanted to start fresh with a new topic for this thread. Any further discussion of Optimal or Past Sins I would like to remain in the previous thread until it 404s, which I will still check for replies.

Previous thread: >>248482 →

Anyway, our current reading queue is:
The Sun and the Rose by soulpillar
Fallout: Equestria by kkat

If you would like to suggest anything for the queue, please feel free to do so.

And with that, we shall now commence reading:

The Sun and the Rose
by soulpillar

Chapter 1: Lavender and Beeswax

Alright, first impressions. I've really got to learn to stop saying this, but so far this appears to be a more competently-written work than the last thing I read. The prose in the first few paragraphs is eloquent, if maybe a little overly florid, though I can usually forgive that if the author doesn't go overboard with it. In any case, this guy seems like he can actually write, so I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt until he does something to earn himself a gay nickname.

Also working in his favor is that his story dives right into the action, while still managing to set a compelling scene. Soulpillar manages to avoid the pitfalls of both Peen Stroke's opening (well written in eloquent language, but slow-paced and with description that is heavy handed at times) and Assman's (direct to the point and evenly paced, but utterly devoid of any feeling or mood). We've got a fairly good middle ground here, and I'm starting this off in a state of cautious optimism.

This, however:
>A dull blue glow reflected off the hurriedly arranged pieces of battered plate on his body. His left arm and shoulder encased in a full steel pauldron and gauntlet whilst his right arm bore only an iron spaulder and a leather glove. Either leg had a metal shin guard strapped over well-worn leather boots. While a hauberk, a white tabard and an over-stuffed leather traveling pack stacked down on his shoulders. His gear rattled with each shift of his body, unbalanced, ill-kept.
Again, the writing is good, but this is probably a little more detail than I would have gone into about the particular type of armor a character is wearing. That's a matter of preference, though; plenty of well-respected fantasy authors do shit like this all the time. Terry Goodkind, who I like, will blather on for entire paragraphs describing the type and number of pillars in a room; George R.R. Martin, who I also like, spends more time describing what characters are eating than any author I've ever read (which is no surprise, considering what a fat fuck he is). So again, cautious optimism here.

Oh, also:
>While a hauberk, a white tabard and an over-stuffed leather traveling pack stacked down on his shoulders.
This should not be a complete sentence as written. "While" usually indicates that you are either continuing a thought from a previous sentence, or are going to append an additional related thought to the end of this one. The author could have probably appended "while a hauberk..." to the end of the previous sentence using a comma, or alternatively he could have just kept this as it's own sentence and dropped the "while," turning it into "A hauberk, a white tabbard and an over-stuffed leather traveling pack stacked down on his shoulders."

Anyway, the scene itself does a decent enough job of grabbing our attention. An unknown character, who by all appearances is human and appears to come from some kind of fantasy and/or medieval-type world, has just stepped through a magic mirror.

The author actually gives us quite a bit of essential information in a relatively compact amount of text: this character dressed hurriedly, suggesting that he's dealing with an unexpected or emergency situation. His helmet has been nigger-rigged with extra protection for his eyes and mouth, which we are told is to ward off some type of miasma, so we know the air in the place he's going is toxic to breathe. The mention of the mirror portal establishes clearly that he is traveling from one dimension to another, and that we are dealing with a universe that has magic.

Finally, a purpose for all of this is established:
>Uncle was quite specific; bring back Cecilia and nothing more.

All in all, what we have here so far is a pretty well-written opening. It gives us enough information to understand what is going on, while at the same time withholding enough that our desire to know more intensifies. It provides us a good visual and sets a good scene, without being too verbose in its description (except for the bit about the armor that I mentioned). Cautious optimism remains so far intact.

>He looked around, shadows and shapes tested his mettle.
This could probably have been worded differently. For one thing, grammatically he should either use a semicolon after "around", or else change "tested" to "testing" if he wants to use the comma. For another, although this usage is technically correct, referring to what this character is currently doing as a "test of mettle" doesn't quite feel right.

Having one's mettle tested usually implies a battle or direct confrontation; in this case, he's just exploring a hallway that might have something dangerous in it. He's on his guard and wary of the shadows and shapes he sees as potential threats, but so far nothing is testing his mettle. The impression this man gives is that of a seasoned warrior, so a mere dark hallway probably wouldn't set him off this much. I'd probably just go with "He looked around, shadows and shapes keeping him on his guard," or something to that effect.
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Page break. We rejoin Gareth the next morning. He is wheeling a barrel out into the courtyard for some screwy reason or other.

>Being raised on a farm meant that his fellow knights tended to see him as the person who looked after any animal problem. Feral dogs? Gareth will do it. Sick cat? Gareth can heal it. Head lice? Gareth. Rats...?
Okay, couple of things here. First of all, it looks like the author is seriously planning to take this silly ratcatcher thing and develop it into an actual side-story, and I just want to go on record as saying that I think this is a really dumb idea. It's implausible for multiple reasons.

As I said earlier, the idea that the Black Death spread because of rats is a recent theory that modern archaeologists have used to explain the plague after the fact, it was not a belief that would have necessarily been held by Gareth or his contemporaries. Also, the idea of Gareth taking time away from everything else he's doing to round up rodents just seems silly, particularly with Celestia's assurances that there is no plague in Equestria to begin with. From a narrative standpoint, this doesn't seem to have anything to do with any of the main plots. If the author is indeed planning to take it somewhere, like maybe the rats are foreign spies or they're working for Chucky Larms or some other kind of autism, then it's just a flat out stupid idea that a pre-reader or somebody should have talked the author out of using. I just can't see this rat thing going anywhere worthwhile no matter how I look at it.

Next, just because Gareth worked on a farm, I don't see why he would automatically be the go-to guy for animal problems among knights. Castles would have servants for that sort of thing, and most knights would have experience dealing with animals of their own (horses at the very least). Life in general was pretty rural back then, even for the nobility.

Finally, there's this:
>Head lice? Gareth.
What is Gareth supposed to do about head lice exactly? Lice are a pain in the ass even in modern times, when we have shampoos and showers to get rid of them. In Gareth's world, there wouldn't have been much you could do about lice other than shave your head or just live with them.

Next, there's this autism:
>Hungry nights on the road meant that Gareth had to learn the art of ratcatching. One could make a tidy profit in it actually, with a dead rats weighing in a few pennies a head.
Is this implying what it seems to be implying? That Gareth ate rats while on the road, and also ran a side business selling dead rats to people? This makes no sense whatsoever. For one thing, there are plenty of other things to catch and eat on the road besides rats. Even in the middle ages rats were considered vermin; nobody is going to eat one unless they are literally starving to death. People under siege in castles ate rats when the stores ran out; if you're just traveling from point A to point B on a normal military campaign, there's other shit to eat. Rabbits, wild fowl, deer, you name it. Even if an army ran out of provisions, most didn't think much of raiding some local peasant village and taking their grain and chickens and whatever. Nobody in any era is going to eat rats unless they are really, really fucking desperate; let alone buy them from some weirdo knight walking around with a cart full of them. Moreover: literally two scenes ago Gareth was scared shitless just by the sight of a rat, because "omg the plague." Yet he's also willing to not only eat them but travel all over the countryside carrying hundreds of them in a wagon so he can sell them to people on the road? And this is on top of whatever knight stuff he had to do exactly? My brain is now entirely full of fuck.

Oh yes, there's also this:
>with a dead rats weighing in a few pennies a head.
It's either "with a dead rat" (singular, referring to one rat) or "with dead rats" (plural, referring to multiple rats). Either would work here, but pick one for fuck's sake. The amount of basic grade-school-level proofreading this guy fails to do is seriously beginning to get on my nerves.

And it just keeps going:
>Although not nearly as glamorous, before long, Gareth came to see it as being roughly as dangerous as bounty hunting.
Yeah, from what I understand this was the original premise for Cowboy Bebop.

Anyway, this autism goes on for awhile. Basically, there's some weird rule about animals not being allowed inside the castle, which apparently extends to vermin as well. The groundskeeper is supposed to be on top of it, but nobody seems to know who the groundskeeper is, and also Gareth isn't allowed to have a dog because reasons, so Gareth has to resort to greasing up a barrel and dumping cake crumbs in there in order to make a giant rat trap. Yes, this autism is unfortunately in the text.

There are a few more paragraphs describing the intricacies of how the goofy rat trap works. I'm going to gloss over most of this shit because this is getting pretty damned retarded. The gist of it is, he sets up his stupid rat trap. Then, Butter Pie shows up. She asks what the deal with the trap is, and instead of just saying that he was trying to catch rats, Gareth assumes that Butter Pie (who works in a bakery) has never seen a rat before, and explains it to her with a bunch of childish sounds and hand gestures. Maybe this is supposed to be humor; I literally have no idea anymore.

Mercifully, Styre bursts onto the scene and rescues us from this seemingly bottomless well of autism. He informs Gareth that Celestia is at the library. Then, Butter Pie nuzzles him, and the two of them subtly hint that Gareth needs to piss off, because the two of them are going to have a picnic. The subchapter ends with (another) page break.

If there was a point to this scene, it was completely lost on me. Seriously, this entire subchapter could be scrapped at literally no cost. And for God's sake, soulpeener, please lose the fucking rats.
While it wouldn't fit with the overall tone of the story the chapter could maybe lean into Gareth's autistic obsession with rats for some humor. Have Garreth do his rat traps business and plan to hunt them down but as we've seen in the show the animals and critters inhabiting it show a larger degree of sapience then ones from our world. So while an Earth rat would easily fall for a trap we lay out for it have the Equestrian ones be way more crafty and observe Gareth while foiling his traps and causing general mischief.
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>she wrote an academic thesis on the power of Love, which got her laughed out of unicorn college
This would be fine on earth, where the obligatory wacky scientist's backstory says he was kicked out for believing in fairies.
Even though it's absurdly common for "scientists" to make themselves feel cool by insulting Christians and then believing in fairies, witchcraft, ki, chi, narcissistic 'humanist spirit and spirituality' trash, cthulhu, occultism, paganism, indian reincarnation, Thor and Pals, muh infinite parallel universes where everything must be true somewhere even said scientist boning Katy Perry nightly, buddism, taoism, and other retarded bullshit. "Literally anything besides Christianity" is the unofficial religion of scientists everywhere.
But again, this is a fucking pony world where "The power of friendship" fires big purify lasers and "The power of love" purges a city of Changelings and magic/friendship+5 positive traits let you fire the biggest rainbow laser.
This just doesn't fit the setting, even if we're meant to think "Well this is before we meet Cadence so maybe nobody knows love can be strong too" or "Oh wow I guess we're meeting Cadence or her ancestor here". Remember when Big Mac on love potions pulled that house? The guy once threw out his back when farming, so he's not normally that strong. The power of love is a ponyish thing, it would undoubtedly make the ponies sing about how good it is. something something don't need a credit card to ride this train, that's the power of love.
Wanting to investigate something like "The power of trust" or "The power of determination" would be perfectly reasonable for ponies to do. Though people studying and preaching the proven greatness of friendship lasers would probably look down on the Determination Scientist who can "only" magic himself into becoming invincible for 3-4 seconds when determined enough. Studying something edgy and evil-sounding like the power of loss or heartbreak or despair or boredom might get you kicked out of unicorn college since this is a happy sunshiney cartoon world with monsters lurking beneath the surface. But magic-users treating students of other magic types weirdly based on how the author thinks Geologists and Psychologists view Engineers is a cliche staple of writing magic bullshit.
>a faggot of Timerwolves
oh holy shit, this is genius!
This is brilliant worldbuilding!
A faggot is a bundle of sticks (and something that should be burned) so of course they'd call Timberwolves that!
And what pony wouldn't find being compared to a mindless hungry monster made of sticks insulting?
Who wouldn't use that insult for "A herd of Timberwolves"?
It adds a whole new meaning to "Look out, everyone! Here comes a faggot!"
It's believable as a piece of in-universe lore while expertly providing a bonus joke for the out-of-universe audience only those with dumb high IQs of 189 or higher could understand. Because to be fair, you have to have a high IQ to understand pony memes.
That image has better worldbuilding than this entire goddamn fanfic!
This is just as great as that time Scootaloo hated being called a chicken because chickens are flightless birds and she can't fly, adding a whole new dimension that could only work in a non-earth setting.
I haven't seen worldbuilding this great in years, and it was just for a fucking one-off joke, an excuse for Twilight to say faggot in a picture!
I miss the sight of quality. I feel like someone who's gone without porn for months and is going through the "oh god the sight of boobs on a roadside ad nearly made me break my winning streak" phase of nofap, but for quality instead of titty.
>gareth the animal guy
What a bizarre character trait to drop in out of nowhere, even though it would have been better to put this earlier in the story SINCE A FUCKING HORSE PRINCESS WANTS HIM TO FUCK HER GIANT PUFFY HORSE ASSHOLE and it would make sense for this to bring back memories of the revulsion he felt when he first saw a mare turn around and lift her tail at him, stretch out her asshole, and shit right in front of him. Seriously, I once knew a "Horse Girl(tm)" (the kind of rich spoilt bitch with a ranch and distant or incompetent or overly doting pick two parents and horses and more money than sense. She once regaled me with the extended story of the fact that one of her horses, a white bitch named Trigger, is a shit exhibitionist who will often hold her shit until she can't any more because she absolutely loves to shit right in front of whoever's sent in to clean out the stables. Is this normal mare behaviour? It probably is, horses are a fucking weird animal.
Autism? An autistic writer would research the medieval era hard enough to know way too much about the middle ages, and then infodump this unrelated bullshit into the story to try and impress people. Letters would be sent to Gareth involving the ongoing war, with random events mentioned point for point to flex the author's knowledge. Information about royalty we know now would be dispensed by low-rank grunts/peasants so someone, anyone, can prove the author knows his shit! This isn't hardcore autism with obvious shit overlooked in the pursuit of something great, this is "autism" in quotation marks, aka what the blatantly-retarded girl with a soulless manipulative center who plays up her childish retard act extra-hard around adults for her own social benefit gets diagnosed with to spare the feelings of her retarded liberal parents even though it makes her a massive pain everyone at the autist-only youth club has to endure.
>a "Horse Girl(tm)" (the kind of rich spoilt bitch with a ranch and distant or incompetent or overly doting pick two parents and horses and more money than sense.)
forgot to put a ) there, sorry
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I could get behind this idea. The problem is it's just dropped in out of nowhere here. Up until this point there has been no mention of Gareth being afraid of rats, nor even any mention of rats at all. The author relies entirely on the assumption that Gareth would just naturally be terrified of rats due to the Black Death, and the assumption that the reader will see this and naturally draw the same conclusion. But as I said, it's a purely modern theory.

The rat thing ties into a long-running complaint I've had about this story: the author's rather lazy characterization of a man from the middle ages. Gareth doesn't behave and think like a medieval man, he behaves and thinks like a modern man who occasionally references medieval things. References to the War of the Roses and the Lancasters and King Edward IV and so forth indicates that the author at least has a basic familiarity with the time period the story is set in, but he doesn't put nearly enough thought into how a guy from this time period would view not only his own world, but the world of Equestria.

Trying to make a character "medieval" just by making him constantly talk about castles and bubonic plague is sort of like creating an "80s guy" character who just walks around with a giant cell phone talking about Cyndi Lauper and The Breakfast Club all day. There's more to an era than superficial things like its aesthetics or technology. When designing a "period" character, you have to take two things into account: who is this character fundamentally (as in what core traits and values does he have that would be part of his personality regardless of the time and place he's from), and how have these traits and values developed within the crucible of the world he lives in?

There's a recurring debate over whether people turn out the way they are due to nature (genetics) or nurture (society). The reality is that it's usually a mixture of both. A person's inborn nature determines their personality which will determine how they are likely to behave in a given situation, but the situations they find themselves in will depend on where and when they exist, and their character is honed and refined by the experiences they have that are unique to their age.

For example, imagine yourself now and how you became the person that you are; then, imagine that you were born 100 years ago. How would you have grown and developed in that world? What would your job be? What political party would you affiliate with? How would you dress, how would you conduct yourself? Would your beliefs/manners/interests/goals be any different? If you give the question serious thought, you'll find it'a a very complex subject to think about. You have to learn to think like this in order to write convincing characters, especially if you want your characters to come from a world that is outside your personal experience. It's not just a matter of getting the historical details down, you have to consider how the worldview of a human from that time would be different from the worldview of a human today, as well as how how said human's unique personality would affect that worldview. Anyway, I'm rambling.

>something something don't need a credit card to ride this train, that's the power of love.
Speaking of 80s guys, nice Huey Lewis reference. Have a Bateman.

>gareth the animal guy
>What a bizarre character trait to drop in out of nowhere, even though it would have been better to put this earlier in the story SINCE A FUCKING HORSE PRINCESS WANTS HIM TO FUCK HER GIANT PUFFY HORSE ASSHOLE and it would make sense for this to bring back memories of the revulsion he felt
This is a good point. This is a good example of why you need to have a thorough understanding of who your characters are before you even start writing. It's always jarring when a character trait just randomly appears out of nowhere and you find yourself wondering why, if it's such an important part of the character's identity, hasn't it come up before?

>horses are trolls
So, the legends are true...

>An autistic writer would research the medieval era hard enough to know way too much about the middle ages, and then infodump this unrelated bullshit into the story to try and impress people. Letters would be sent to Gareth involving the ongoing war, with random events mentioned point for point to flex the author's knowledge. Information about royalty we know now would be dispensed by low-rank grunts/peasants so someone, anyone, can prove the author knows his shit! This isn't hardcore autism with obvious shit overlooked in the pursuit of something great, this is "autism" in quotation marks, aka what the blatantly-retarded girl with a soulless manipulative center who plays up her childish retard act extra-hard around adults for her own social benefit gets diagnosed with to spare the feelings of her retarded liberal parents even though it makes her a massive pain everyone at the autist-only youth club has to endure.
Also a good point.

Anyway, Gareth heads to the Canterlot Library, and hopefully this will be the last we hear about rats for a good long while. Soulpeener's description of the library is actually quite good; as I've noted before this guy can write some pretty decent descriptive paragraphs:

>Canterlot Library was old. Not that it looked unkempt, no, but rather the very architectural style hinted at a different time, perhaps hundreds of years earlier. Instead of smooth corners and bright colours, the stone was angular and plain, much like the castles in England. The smell of pine, horse and paper filled the air inside, along with a sea of bookcases that stretched on for a hundred yards to his left and right.
More passages like this, and less about rats and magical voice-swapping pills, please.

He heads inside and finds Celestia and Gleaming Horizon seated in a private royal section in the back. Gareth has not seen Gleaming since the night of the attack, when he sent her off by herself to run through a war zone while he and the only other fighter in the group ran off to search Noble Era's empty room for...some reason. However, despite the fact that her fucking leg is broken, she seems none the worse for wear.

Celestia and Gleaming ask him to pull down a book off the top shelf, inexplicably giggling while he does so. Despite it having been established that Gareth can't read Equestrian, he is able to read the title of the book: On the Nature of Translation Spells by Starswirl the Bearded.

>"I've got the book," Gareth said, turning back.
>Gleaming Horizon looked up, her face was burning red and lips twitching nervously. Cecilia continued to stare where his arse used to be. "That's nice, dear."
The implication here seems to be that Celestia and Gleaming are having some sort of "girl talk" session where they sit around and yammer about sex and ice cream and whatever else girls talk about, and they asked Gareth to grab the book off the top shelf so they could ogle his ass. This is cute and funny in and of itself, although I feel like again there is an opportunity here that the author misses. Playing up Gleaming as a platonic side-bitch for Gareth would be a good story angle that would add tension and therefore excitement to the romantic plot. That is more or less what I assumed the author was doing with Gleaming, though little has happened with it so now I'm not so sure. In any case, if that were happening, Celestia should see Gleaming's quasi-sexual interest in Gareth as a challenge, and from what has happened recently between them (the fail-kiss) as well as what the doctor told her earlier (lol friendzoned), she should have little reason to feel confident about her hold on Gareth's affections. Thus, she should realistically be getting very catty and territorial right now. This goes back to what I said earlier, about the needle never moving in their relation to each other: it's clear that the author wants this to be a story about their love being put to the test, yet the tests said love is put to never seem to actually affect it much. Thus the emotional tension is slack and the story suffers.

There's also this little tidbit that was worth highlighting:
>"Not quite," Cecilia said, finally looking up. "Gleaming Horizon is VERY interested in just how dexterous human fingers are, do you think you can--"
>"--NO, NO, THAT'S NOT NESSESCARY!" Gleaming Horizon squeaked, seemingly attempting to sink beneath the table.
This is actually pretty bold for Celestia, considering how much trouble she has getting Gareth to even touch her without feeling revulsion. Since returning to Ponyland, she has had little experience with his "dextrous" fingers I'm guessing, so you could interpret this as heavy compensation on her part, and getting Gleaming all flustered could be read as a deliberate power-play. Perhaps she's subtly pissing on her territory after all, though I worry I may be giving the author a bit too much credit here. Oh, also: "necessary" is misspelled.

Anyway, once this little bit of humor is over, they get down to business. Gareth asks what they needed him for, and Gleaming just sort of babbles and trails off.

>Emotion drained from Gareth's body. He looked Cecilia in the eye. "How can I help?"
Nothing has happened that should cause emotion to "drain from Gareth's body," whatever that means exactly. He asked a question and still hasn't received an answer yet.

In any case, the reason she summoned him here is of course to go through the parts of the histories that deal with her sister Luna. This is a very difficult subject for her and she wants her man by her side while she reads it, and all that. Gleaming excuses herself, and hobbles off pathetically with her cast thumping against the floor:

>"No... it's... I-I should go." She pulled away. The heavy plaster cast on her hind leg thumped with each step as she nervously trotted by.
>Gareth's chest tightened at the sight of it, proof of his failure.
Look on the bright side Gareth: this is better than what would happen to a horse with a broken leg back where you come from. In any case, the author wants us to feel Gareth's anguish here; he put Gleaming into the situation that got her leg broken. However, it's a little difficult to sympathize here, since he would almost have to have been going out of his way to be dumb in order to make such a dumb decision in the first place. Or, rather, the author would have to have been going out of his way to create such a situation and have Gareth make such a dumb decision, precisely so he could have him feel bad about it later. Protip: trying this hard to set something like this up won't work if you make it this transparent.

Anyway. They open the book and start reading.


>Cecilia cleared her throat, "And so it was agreed that the eldest used her alicorn powers to raise the sun at dawn. She ruled the day: keeping the peace through political rule in keeping with the principles of Harmony. The younger brought out the moon to begin the night. She was the defender, protecting not only against beasts of the physical, but also against nightmares, traveling into the dreams of her subjects when needed.
This is basically just a slightly modified version of the voiceover narration from the show opener. After slogging my way through Peen Stroke's monstrous opus I'm a little leery of an author just dropping dialogue from the show into the text like this. However, in this case I'll note that it is done well. This text is relevant to what is happening in the current story, and can be read in this context independent of whether or not the reader is familiar with its original source. Readers who have seen the show will immediately catch what he's referencing and smile, and readers who haven't can still read this passage and have it make sense in the context of the current story. If you're going to text-dump lines from the show into your own fanfic, this right here is the proper way to do it.

Anyway, I'm sure we all know the legend by now so I probably don't need to summarize it here. Celestia reads the story of Nightmare Moon out loud and breaks down crying when she gets to the part where Luna gets banished. Gareth takes the book from her and is able to piece the rest of it together from the illustrations. What follows is actually one of the best emotional exchanges between the two of them that we've encountered so far.

Gareth observes that Cecilia was forced to banish her sister to the moon because she had betrayed her and endangered the realm, and though it was obviously the right choice, the guilt of it still weighs on her heavily. He draws a parallel to an event from his own life, in which his mother who abandoned him came to him for help. Though the two situations don't exactly parallel each other, this is fine; the point is that they both experienced a situation where they were justifiably angry at a close relative but were unable to completely hate them enough to deny mercy.

If this section is marred by anything, it's that once more, Gareth's backstory is a little muddled:

>Embers of rage stung in the back of his mind. Gareth bit his lip. "She... abandoned my father and I to marry a yeoman. They had children. He died. His family cast her out. She and my half-siblings were destitute."
Gareth's backstory just keeps getting more complicated and confusing. So far, we've got a man who is apparently the son of a (presumably) noble father who, for some reason, married a common farm girl and had a family with her. However, she abandoned him for some unexplained reason to marry a "yeoman." I've heard the term before, but I'm not quite sure what it means, so I looked it up. I found two definitions relevant to this time period:

>1: a man holding and cultivating a small landed estate; a freeholder
>2: a servant in a royal or noble household, ranking between a sergeant and a groom or a squire and a page

This is far less impressive than it sounds. Definition 2 basically means a low-ranking servant, and a freeholder was a farmer who technically owned his own land but in practice was generally poorer than a serf. Who exactly Gareth's father was is still a pretty big mystery, but I don't get the impression his mother was exactly trading up here.

It's possible the author is making this deliberately confusing in order to keep us interested, but it's equally possible that Gareth was just a poorly planned character. We shall see I suppose. In any case, the confusion does not really hurt the scene itself. This conversation between Celestia and Gareth is honestly one of the few exchanges they've had that I think was executed pretty much flawlessly, and is one of the few long passages in this text that requires no revision at all imo. I'd encourage you all to actually read the text here, because it's a good study on this sort of thing.

It's good enough that I'm going to temporarily give soulpillar his name back, though he should be aware that he is still on probation. Hear that, soulpillar? Any more autism about rats or Ambassador's pills and you're right back in the faggot dungeon with Peen Stroke and Assman, so be on your best behavior from here on out.

Anyway, their tender moment concludes at an appropriate time, and Gareth has another startling revelation. A stack of papers on the desk reminds him of what he was reading the previous day, and he realizes that he was going to tell Celestia about the fact that Noble was reading her diary and researching her trips into the mirror, but he got distracted by all the silly bullshit about rats.

The next bit is a little unclear.

>A white forehoof planted itself on his chest. "Gareth, focus. Are the papers still here?"
Where is 'here' exactly? In the Library? That doesn't make sense.

>"Yes, they'd have to be!"
No, they really wouldn't, since they never were "here" in the first place. Really though, I'm guessing by "here" the author means Canterlot itself, but that also doesn't make a ton of sense since Canterlot is a big place and it doesn't really narrow down their location any. Actually, where did we leave those papers exactly? As far as I can recall Gareth just dropped them when he saw the stupid rat, so that would be the last we saw of them. If that's the case, then it really doesn't stand to reason at all that they would "have to" still be there; they could have blown away or been picked up, it could have rained, a rat carrying bubonic plague could have carried them away....nearly anything could have happened to them. Logically, those papers should be long gone by now.

Anyway, they rush off to go see if the papers are still lying in the middle of the damn courtyard, and that's the end of the subchapter.
lol relevant


Unsurprisingly, when they get to the place where Gareth was reading yesterday, the papers are not there.

>"FUCK!" Gareth yelled, boot cracking into the base of the tree. He slammed his palms into it, throwing his head down as his blood boiled over. No answers. Again. Was God testing him, or mocking him?
Random aside: how exactly has his Christian faith been affected by the events of the last couple months? It seems like traveling through an interdimensional mirror portal into a land full of talking horses where magic reigns supreme and nobody has heard of Christ or the Catholic Church might cause a person to at least question the basic metaphysical assumptions they've made up until this point. Also, the woman he's married to is literally considered God in this world, which you would think might conflict with his beliefs a bit as well. But we've heard very little about the subject; when God is mentioned at all in this fic, it's either for comic effect or to provide some superficial "medieval" coloring to Gareth's character, as seems to be the case here. Just a thought.

Anyway, Celestia asks if he remembers any of the contents, and this provides him with an opening to call her out on having been to England multiple times prior to when they met, as opposed to falling in accidentally as she has apparently always claimed.

>"You know exactly what I am talking about!" Gareth roared, jabbing a finger at her, "You've always been watching us, even when I first met you, you were sketching me! You seriously expect me to believe that you haven't? Why would you have risked coming through otherwise? Why didn't you have a group of your guards watching over you in case you didn't come back?"
>"What, did you think that I was an idiot, that I wouldn't notice?" His throat tightened. "Was this always just a game to you? Or where you intending on leaving me too--"
Oy, now he emotes. Seriously though, I get that he's a little upset over this, but there's no cause for Gareth to get as angry as he does here. Or, rather, if he was this upset about it we should have seen it much earlier. Remember that the previous night the two of them slept together in the same bed, and Gareth gave no sign whatsoever that anything was troubling him. The author would probably argue that he was distracted by the rat business from earlier, but I find this highly dubious. Even if immediate circumstances caused him to forget what exactly was bothering him, we should have at least seen some small hint in his behavior towards Celestia that all was not well.

The emotions here escalate, but unfortunately the basis is a little flimsy and I really don't buy it.

>"Gareth, I'm just as afraid as you are, and for different reasons," she walked up to him, biting her lip, "You're afraid that I'm going to betray you. I understand that, people who were very close to you, people who should have loved you, cherished you, they hurt you, a lot.
Though the author has hinted at this as a part of Gareth's motivations, he really hasn't done a very good job of establishing it in the text. Other than his rather tangled and confusing backstory and his increasingly annoying habit of reaching for his dagger every time someone taps him on the shoulder, we really don't have much of a sense of who Gareth was before this story began, let alone what crawled up his ass and died. This exchange between Gareth and Celestia is a little like what I was complaining about with Past Sins: the author artificially escalates the emotional tension here in an attempt to force us to feel something that we have no reason to feel. Granted, it's a little better handled than in Past Sins, but it's still a very shallow attempt at emotionally manipulating the reader and it comes across as such. This is a shame, because their last exchange was really handled quite well. It's also a shame because I've pointed out numerous instances where he could have escalated the emotional tension quite naturally, but neglected to do so.

>Let me tell you what I'm afraid of... I'm afraid of losing you. I'm afraid that... someday I'm not going to have the answer, or I'm going to be wrong and you'll suffer for it, or you're going to... just not... love me any more."
This, on the other hand, is much better. This is completely in line with the motivations that he has established for Celestia, and I like that her work troubles and her personal troubles are dovetailing here.

Anyway, as usual, they manage to get their emotions under control and the needle returns to its well-worn groove in the middle. Gareth asks Celestia to promise to tell him the whole truth as soon as she remembers it, and she does.

At this moment, they are distracted by the sound of Gareth's retarded rat trap going off. Gareth completely overreacts, drawing his dagger and ordering Celestia to get behind him for protection.

>"Behind you? Gareth, do you remember what I did to that cart last night?"
Did that happen last night? By my count that happened at least two days ago.

Anyway, this next bit is a little stupid so I'm going to go through it quickly. They find the rat sitting next to the trap eating the bait. Gareth overreacts again and pulls his dagger, trying to sneak up on it. He is unduly freaked out to discover that rats in this world of talking horses and magic behave differently than the rats he is used to interacting with and/or consuming and/or selling to others for consumption back on the homeworld. This rat is capable of some cartoon physics type stuff and apparently also speech. Meanwhile, Celestia begins to converse with the rat and Gareth is surprised that she can do so.

Long story short, it turns out that the rat had picked up the diary pages in return for I guess Butter Pie giving him some cake or something. Whatever. Point is, they end up with the diary page and Celestia begins to read it.
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This next bit is a little difficult to follow. From Celestia:

>"Gareth, look, it's your armour on the front! Let me see the other side…urgh, yes, I figured as such. While that line is in English, the rest is encrypted in another language. If Noble Era was still awake he could have told me where my diary is. Unfortunately, he's still unconscious."
I was under the impression that what they are reading here is the diary, but apparently it's...notes on the diary? Are they Celestia's notes or Noble's notes? If they're Celestia's, which the text has thus far implied, why was she taking notes on her own diary? And why did she write them in another language? I'm frankly a little confused here.

It gets weirder from here. Gareth responds thusly:

>"It's not in Equestria?"
Why would her diary not be in Equestria? And if it's not in Equestria, where is it? As far as I can decipher from context, this is yet another of soulpillar's careless typos, and he meant to say "Equestrian" (the language) instead of "Equestria" (the location). This is why you need to proofread, nigger; the meaning of a mistyped phrase is not always immediately clear.

Anyway, Celestia:

>Cecilia shook her head. "No, it's Limerick. It uses the same font, but uses totally different words."
The word "uses" is used twice in the same sentence, which should be avoided whenever possible. Also, "Font" specifically refers to a size and weight of a typeface in printing. Unless Equestria has moveable type and printing presses at this period in its history (or at all), this usage is incorrect. And in any case, even if they do, the usage is still incorrect, because we're talking about handwritten notes. Hoofwritten, hornwritten, whatever. Fuck, horseworld is a pain in the ass sometimes.

Anyway. After this confusing exchange, Gareth suggests that since Celestia can move the moon (apparently; I'm still a little confused on whether or not she literally does that in this story or if it's considered metaphor/legend), she should try and learn her sister's dreamwalking ability, because apparently she can do that too. I have no idea why he brings this up. This is her response:

>"I can't believe I hadn't thought of it. You're right, that's what I need to do," she decided. "I'll head back to The Castle of the Two Sisters and look over my sister's old notes. In the meantime, I need you to find the rest of the pages."
I don't see how reading her sister's notes requires a dreamwalking ability. Or even what the dreamwalking has to do with anything currently being discussed. Is the implication that she can go into her sister's dreams and...get the key to decipher whatever code the notes are written in? Or something? Is that how it works? Also, what does her sister even have to do with any of this? To be perfectly honest, I've completely lost track of what they're even trying to accomplish at this point. Either I'm retarded or the author's train of thought is just randomly jumping from track to track, because I can't follow anything that's being discussed here. Anyway whatever, let's just roll with it and see what happens.

Anyway, Celestia tasks Gareth with finding the remaining pages he left out here last night like a retard, that are probably scattered to the four winds at this point. Celestia decides to ask the rat if he knows where the rest of the pages are. Gareth meanwhile still has his dagger out, because he is still afraid of the rat because the plague or something, who fucking knows. Celestia and the rat eventually reach an agreement:

>"Excellant!" Cecilia turned back to him. "Gareth, this rat is not supposed to be here. However, he and his family may stay on staff at the castle provided he helps you find the rest of the pages."
"Excellent" is misspelled. Also: what?

Turns out Gareth's reaction is similar to mine:

>"WHAT?" Gareth yelled, unable to keep the disgust from his face. "Have you gone insane? Think of the contamination, the poisoning, they're filthy beasts! Cecilia, just because you're a pony here doesn't mean that I'm immune to the plague as well!"
Once again: unless an intense fear of rats is part of Gareth's character, this reaction is over the top. Rats would have been extremely common in Gareth's world, especially if he is used to living in a castle. And once again, he would have little reason to associate them with plague; people back then had no idea how the plague was spread. In any event, Gareth seeing a rat in a castle would be like you or I seeing a nigger in Detroit: while disgust is probably a natural enough reaction, there's really no reason to be surprised by it.

>"Gareth," this time Cecilia was gentle. "Dogs can also catch the plague. I've never seen an Equestrian dog with it."
How the fuck does Celestia even know what the plague is? Or that dogs can catch it? Do they even have plague in this world? This whole conversation is retarded. Soulpillar, if you ever revise this thing again, please take out all this nonsense about plague and rats; it's absurd and it has literally nothing to do with the story.

Anyway, Gareth continues to overreact to the relatively simple thing Celestia is asking him to do here. However, she pleads, and he relents.

>Gareth balled his hands into fists. He glared down at the rat, who waved cheerfully. A growl rolled up his throat.
>"Fine," he ground out. "I'll do it, but on two conditions. One, it stays on the end of that plank and two, I come back in my armour; lavender, beeswax and all."
Again with the lavender and beeswax. To be perfectly honest, I never quite understood why he was doing that in the first place. At the beginning of the story it was implied that he needed to make his helmet airtight because of some kind of poisonous miasma, but it was never really clarified why he believed something like that would even be a problem here. Whatever the author is/was thinking is completely lost on me I'm afraid.

Anyway, that's the end of the chapter.
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I once heard "Horses have more personality than humans". Basically you know how some humans have weird shit they do? Horses have more of those per horse, and they're weirder. Where the weird habits of humans come from learned behaviour or TV or awkward attempts to seem normal/unusual/smart/cool/charming or mental disorders or genetic weirdness or stupid beliefs or tragic backstories or nervous tics or culture and tradition or personality traits or coping mechanisms on ten levels of confusion, horses are just naturally odd. A horse will just do something retarded like "Faces a specific direction when bored" or "likes to touch a wall with the most things hanging off it" or "sways to the right, slowing down a little for a second, every 5 steps of galloping". And if you try and train it out of them, they manifest some other bizarre sign of horse-autism that's often worse for the horse overall because their natural retard energy needs to escape somehow even when they're used as pets and mounts by humans.
I don't know if I trust who that info came from, but it sounds legit.
>"hey celestia why dont you x"
>"holy shit i never thought of this thanks"
We're reaching Naruto Fix-Fic levels of "Someone suggests something obvious to canon characters to improve canon and resolve plotholes even though it's retarded that a child would know more about everything than an adult trained professional killer who's also a former child soldier and trained teacher of current child soldiers" here.
We're seriously supposed to believe Celestia never considered trying to learn Luna's shit?
>muh lavender and beeswax
According to "pop history" aka the trash peddled by "historical" books/movies/documentaries...
Retarded middle-ages plague doctors thought the plague was spread by bad smells called "Miasmas", hence why getting near a foul-smelling decomposing body is bad for your health and filthy peasants who never bathe got sick more often than clean people who rarely mingled with others. Therefore plague doctors (people hired to check if idiots have the plague or not and maybe sell bullshit cures like snake cum or getting a hole drilled into your head so excess cranial blood can leak out or ritualistically drawing weird symbols on an Egg then seeing if it can be hard-boiled or not, and if the egg can be hard-boiled which it obviously can, it means you're fated to die and it's God's fault not the doc's) would wear giant retarded masks with nice-smelling junk stuffed up the oversized crow-nose part of the mask, sealing the mask on with Beeswax as a makeshift adhesive, accidentally creating a rudimentary airtight mostly-sterile surgical mask that helped block infected air from the eyes and nose and mouth.
Once again, the author is trying to flex his "knowledge" of the middle ages gained from a google search using two poorly-written characters with no reason to think this or act this way.
Imagine if the human had to explain to Celestia what the plague is. Imagine if he believed in "Miasma Theory" or "Muh humors and tumors and the four bodily fluids, illnesses are caused by an imbalance of the four main bodily fluids within you also they determine your personality type from a pool of four" shite, and had to be taught germ theory by cartoon horses in a cartoon world where it's a perfectly ordinary standard procedure for doctors trying to cure ill patients to magically shrink someone else down so they can fit inside the patient's cartoony body full of nonsense body parts like a black hole for a heart and an office for a brain and eventually get around to blasting the one big germ monster with a rainbow laser.
Pic related.
It's a comic strip in which characters in the
in which the Super Smash Bros crossover fighting game argue over their religions.
Because this is a funny and interesting concept, as all these characters come from worlds where different or no religions are canonically true.
Marth believes in his fantasy-game's bullshit about the good goddess of order who fought the evil fell dragon Grima once, Link and Zelda believe in something from their game's backstory, Fox is an atheist because he's from the future and religion is never mentioned in his space-battley game, Pikachu believes in Arceus because that's the pokemon god who canonically created the pokemon world, etc
Eventually Palutena from Kid Icarus walks in and the argument stops because she clearly exists, serving as the only proof of a living deity everyone can currently see/fight or whatever.
It's funny, even though their world's religions are canonically true where they're from. Arceus also canonically exists in Smash Bros since he's one of the 100ish Pokemon that can randomly emerge from any thrown Pokeball.
It's an interesting interaction between characters from different realities, and even though it's basically just used as a one-off gag that's okay BECAUSE THIS IS A FUCKING FREE GAG-A-DAY WEBCOMIC with better comedic timing and writing and worldbuilding than this fanfic
holy fucking dicks why am I so angry at this shit story
Also the Pokeball is such a stupid design choice.
Assist Trophies are a good idea.
An item. Pick it up and a random NPC is summoned to fight for whoever summoned it. Could be anyone from any game. An excellent way to "canonize iconic video game characters in smash bros" even if they're locked behind Items. Replacing this whole system with a MVC style Assists System where certain roster pics MUST, AND CAN ONLY be assists would be better. So more like Six Stars Versus, i guess.
But the Pokeball can only be a Pokemon, and it wastes pokemon slots on this idiotic gimmick item.
Pokemon makes more money than any one franchise Disney owns, even though the Pokemon games are lazy half-assed rush jobs made by greedy incompetent bastards who know niggertendo fanboys will consoom anything and then buy marketable plushies and watch the TV show and buy the show's songs on itunes. First fags buy consoles so they can play whatever game comes out for the next few years to pretend it's a solid investment, then they buy any game for the console they see so they can pretend the console wasn't a complete waste of cash. Console gaming is an industry sold on reality denialism and I can't wait to see it crash with the hyper-inflated AAA market and die forever to be replaced with good and honest indie titles free of greed and devilry.
Pokemon doesn't have a single playable Generation 3 rep. Nobody from Hoenn!
Pikachu and Jigglypuff and Mewtwo from Kanto are playable in Smash Bros. also from Kanto there's Pokemon Trainer, who uses Squirtle, Ivysaur and Charizard.
Pichu, Pikachu's son from Johto, is playable.
Smash also has Lucario from gen 4, aka Sinnoh.
Then there's Greninja from Kalos and Incineroar from Alola.
We'll probably get Cinderace from Pokemon Shit and Shittier as DLC.
Sceptile, Blaziken, Gardevoir, Medicham, Swellow, Metagross, Salamence, Deoxys, Swalot, Manectric, Roselia, Ludicolo, Groudon, Kyogre, Rayquaza, Jirachi, Latias and Latios, even my boy Lotad just get ignored even though Gen 3 was a big deal for the Pokemon franchise and the first pokemon game of most people still alive today.
I can understand not making a Mystery Dungeon or Pokemon Ranger team playable or trying to make a stage out of Pokemon Troizei or Pokemon Dash or Pokemon Brush Your Fucking Teeth. but Pokemon Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald? Colosseum? Pokemon XD Gale Of Darkness, yes that's actually what the gamecube-only sequel to Colosseum is called?
There are no playable gen 3 reps and barely anyone from gen 3 shows up in the pokeballs anyway. For fuck's sake, gen 3 introduced double battles and wireless connectivity and the battle frontier and diving and more! Fuck nintendo!
here's the pokemon
here are the assist trophies
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No idea where else to put this:
Energy weapons are boring.
With guns there are calibers, physics, pros and cons in the design department, bullet drop, possible explosive bullshit, maybe the bullets do something stupid if it's that kind of sci-fi.
But with lasers it's just a beam. Sustained beam or semi-auto beam? Who cares? Maybe it'll punch clean through someone, maybe it disintegrates or harms and KOs someone with a touch. Either way, who gives a shit? So many laws of physics have to be ignored to make it possible and as effective as (or better than) traditional ballistic weaponry that it just isn't impressive. You might as well wave magic wands around for all the fucks I give.
Even though energy weapons would logically be vastly superior to real weapons if every problem preventing their use was solved and they ended up with superior damage and range and efficiency and ammo capacity, you're just replacing guns with bullshit magic wands powered by Raritanium at that point.
Don't get me wrong, I love the BFGs as much as the next red-blooded male. Maybe it's the caveman in me that says "big boom that shoots metal shards is cool, bullshit magic light boring and impossible" but it takes a lot for stories to make me give a shit about their sci-fi toys and most stories aren't willing to put that effort in and ground shit in some semblance of reality. Rick's raygun and The Doctor's sonic screwdriver just does whatever the plot needs because they're lazy magic wands just like everything else in the standard sci-fi arsenal.
It's funny how Sci-Fi gets more interesting as they move away from the standard sci-fi cliches Rick and Morty relies on, and trade the magical weapons for interesting questions like:
>are clones people?
>are cyborgs people?
>are you still human if you're an uploaded consciousness in a robot body merged with someone else's consciousness?
>are aliens people?
>are androids people? (FUCKING NO)
>what's morally right in this scientifically implausible but philosophically interesting scenario?
Stop making slimpeonies sexier. MORE THAN ONE WAIFU, DESTROYS YOUR WHOLE LAIFU

I had the impression the lavender and beeswax business had to do with plague, what I don't understand is why he would enter Equestria assuming that the plague would be there. The story begins with Gareth entering the portal wearing his lavender and beeswax plague helmet, and it's never explained why he has it on; the story mentions that it is to protect against miasma, but no such miasma ever occurs in Equestria, nor are we given any explanation for why he thought he would encounter it. Logically there is no more reason for Gareth to believe that the plague would be in Equestria than in Italy or Switzerland or anywhere else he'd be familiar with.

Really Gareth's concerns about plague are over the top in the first place. The era that he comes from was actually relatively quiet plague-wise; the last serious worldwide outbreak would have been slightly over 100 years before Gareth would have been born. It still existed and one can probably assume that small outbreaks of it here and there kept people on their toes, but it's not like Gareth came from a world where plague would have been the only thing on his mind; to him it would just be one thing that can kill you in a world full of things that can kill you. The whole angle just makes very little sense and it's handled very poorly in any case. More than anything it just annoys me because once again it showcases the author's lazy, modern armchair historian's impression of what a medieval guy was like. "Gareth is from the middle ages, they had the plague in the middle ages, the plague was one of the most devastating events in history, and we currently theorize that rats spread the plague. Therefore: Gareth would live his entire life in abject terror of both rats and plague." It makes perfect sense, so long as you don't actually put any serious thought into it.

>medieval medicine
It's easy to be condescending towards some of the wacky cures they came up with, but imagine for a moment that you lived in a world where some horrible, invisible force was killing thousands of people and you wanted it to stop but you had no idea how it worked or what caused it. You'd probably just start throwing shit at the wall to see what sticks. In the era we presently live in, we know more about the causes of disease than any other civilization at any other point in (known) history, but this corona thing is still causing people to act like absolute retards, and there's still all sorts of misinformation being bandied about back and forth (much of it coming from scientists and doctors who are supposed to be experts). It's difficult to imagine that things would have been significantly better during the Black Death, when the disease was significantly deadlier and medical knowledge significantly more limited.

>We're seriously supposed to believe Celestia never considered trying to learn Luna's shit?
A more important question would be why does she even need to learn it in the first place? I'm still not following the logic of why Luna's dreamwalking ability would be important or useful in Gareth and Celestia's present situation.
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brain fart, I think the "draw symbols on an egg and see what that does, then claim the patient's fated to die" story came from a Horrible Histories book on the Victorian Era. That's something that era's doctors pulled, supposedly.
Rick and Morty is like watching a drunk idiot attack someone else's car, then drive it, then crash it and blame the car, knowing he couldn't actually build or design a car better than the one he stole.
It's a mindless drunken misadventure through simple ideas placed into the "generic sci-fi setting" by superior stories that did far more interesting things with the concepts.
Its "twists on the standard show formula" are interesting and novel from far away. Neat, the cliche sitcom dad is called out for being a worthless prick. Neat, the mom's mocked for marrying down when normally she's an endlessly devoted cardboard cutout. Neat, the bully is nonchalantly murdered in episode one by Rick. Neat, this cliche plot goes a little differently.
But the twists aren't interesting up close. Yeah, the marriage is shit... but it always is. Yeah, the mad scientist is sad and depressed and lonely... so what is this show going to do with it? Answer: nothing that interferes with weekly lighthearted meaningless McDonalds Cheeseburger-tier fun mindless escapades too much.
From an intellectual perspective, the only intellectually interesting episode is the Purge one. Where Rick and Morty go to that planet that rips off the Purge movies, has to survive for a bit, and then decides "alright fuck this, let's give the random chick we just met a PowerSuit so she can kill the rich and powerful responsible for the purge since being politically and economically untouchable during the purge you caused and voted for is kind of like being in a suit of power armour"
but even then
the "twist they put on it" is just "Rick and Morty decide this is a stupid thing that needs to be solved with bloodshed".
The Purge movies are shit for many reasons. "all crime becomes legal" DURING TAX SEASON? Purges "IMPROVE" productivity and economy? Businesses even TRY to survive in a Purging country/keep their money in-store during purge season without hiring private security? No rules are given on "if you steal something during the purge do you have to give it back when it's over? what if you killed the owner so you can't give it back? can you marry multiple people and horses and rape people? if all crime becomes legal does this include abortion and identity fraud?".
And the idea that people would accept "Poor people are fair game, rich people with private guards and fortresses can defend themselves, and all high-level government workers are legally off-limits" is just absurd.
also the movies are fucking boring mindless trash that exist to glorify the idea of urban violence.
It's funny how whites figured out different tribal and medical and religious cures over time, using science and logic to figure out what works. Meanwhile blacks are still playing pretend with shrunken heads and lion shit and zebra testicles and albino fingers.
I think the retarded author wants to say that to figure out the code used in the journal, they need to enter the mind of the one who wrote it. Which is stupid. Just truth-spell him. Or truth-potion him. Or magically split him into Knowledgeable Half and Personality Half. Knowledgeable half freely tells you all the knowledge he knows without knowing he'd normally lie about this.
oh also what if a millionaire buys a shitload of meth during the purge and sells it all to dealers during the purge for even bigger money? it's dealt to more people after the purge, but he can't be prosecuted for that.
come to think of it, if the purges actually existed in this movie's "govt says all crime's legal during halloween" system, an industry of Vaults and "Renting space in my bunker, pay me during the year for a slot during the purge!" would quickly sprout up. Armed paid guards point guns at scared idiots underground while more armed guards defend a bunker from the handfuls of edgy idiots willing to die for fun.
people at home with guns and fortified homes trying to wait out the bullshit and people buying their way into bunkers/well-defended houses would vastly outnumber all the edgy idiots killing each other off in the streets for fun. Living away from big cities would also become a lot more common.
honestly fuck the purge movies for wasting an interesting premise and concept on such a stupid low-effort film franchise.
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Chapter 11: Armour & Rooftops

So Gareth, who as far as I can tell has completely lost his mind at this point, is once again clad in full armor. He puts the beeswax and lavender and whatever the hell else in his helmet again because he's insane.

>Truth be told, he didn't need the rest of his armour. The hauberk dug on his shoulders after a while and, with ponies being so short, his spaulders were more for show than function. Yet, ramshackle as it was, he felt naked without it. Hell, he didn't even bring any weapons along. Except his dagger. He wasn't throwing away his fucking dagger.
At this point I really wish he would throw the dagger away; I'm getting a little tired of hearing about it every third paragraph or so. In fact if this nonsense doesn't start going somewhere pretty soon I'm going to tell Gareth exactly where he can stick that dagger. In any case, it should go without saying that he really doesn't need any of this; his armor, his dagger, or any of it. He's being completely silly here. To the author's credit I'm well aware that this is by design and that all of this is intended to be funny, but my point is that it's so bizarre and random that it's really more of a "wtf?" moment than a "haha, how zany" moment. This whole story direction should be seriously reconsidered.

>"Small creature, where are you?" He shouted in Equestrian, trying to block out how ludicrous it sounded.
Also, it looks like he speaks fluent Equestrian now. Not sure when that happened, but okay I guess.

Anyway, the semi-intelligent rat behaves nicely enough, considering what an ass Gareth is being. He certainly has more patience with his autism than I do at this point. The rat sniffs around, apparently finds something, and begins running up the side of a drainpipe to the roof. This of course makes it difficult for Gareth to chase while wearing full armor. Oh my, how zany this is. I have a really bad feeling this chapter is going to be nothing but autismo slapstick bullshit with Gareth chasing the rat around.

The rat indicates that Gareth needs to follow him onto the roof. Gareth is sane enough to realize that doing this in full armor with his breathing obstructed by his whatever the fuck beeswax thing is a pretty stupid idea, but he apparently isn't quite sane enough to take the armor off yet, or better yet just have the stupid rat run around and pick the pages up since it is probably better suited to the task anyway, and it can apparently understand speech. But if he did anything half as sensible as that, soulpeener wouldn't have any fuel for his zany slapstick chapter that's right faggot, you're back to being soulpeener again. Fuck you for making me read this retarded bullshit about rats and beeswax helmets.

Anyway, he climbs up onto the roof, and now he's edging out onto a narrow ledge, clad in heavy, cumbersome armor and wearing a helmet that obstructs both his vision and his breathing, all because he's afraid of rats and his wife needs him to find some pages of her diary. Meanwhile, his wife, who is not afraid of rats and can also fly and would therefore not have to worry about falling thousands and thousands of feet to her doom, is off doing something else. Clearly the division of labor here is working well. Oh yeah, one more thing: it's night now, so he's doing all of this in the dark.

There is another page break, even though the scene continues unbroken from where it left off. Gareth is on the roof, and needs to jump to another roof. Long story short, he does. He jumps a few more roofs. Roofs, roofs roofs. The watchword for the chapter is "roof." Some ponies are looking up at him and wondering what the fuck he's doing. More roofs. Then this:

>Slowly, the quality of roofs began to improve. The elaborate buildings and exorbitant paints were unmistakable; the Rat was leading him to the Noble's district. A forest of pointed rooftops, crawling all the way to the side of Canterlot's mountain.
It should be "Nobles' District" since we are presumably talking about a district belonging to a group of nobles (plural). Unless the implication here is that an individual noble has his own district, but I don't get the impression that it is. Also, either capitalize both "Noble" and "District" or don't capitalize either, because "noble" here is being treated like a proper noun, which is not only incorrect but confusing in a story where there is literally a character named Noble. Whether you treat it as a common or proper noun is up to you, but the district itself is the noun in either case, so either capitalize both words or don't capitalize either.

Another page break. Now he's on a different roof. Roofs galore up in this bitch. This time it's a noble's roof ("noble" here is not capitalized). He peers over the roof and sees some crazy shit.

>A column of chained up prisoners, both earth and unicorn ponies, clopped in lockstep through a stone street.
This may not have been the best choice of words lol.

Anyway, it looks like finally the rat autism has given way to actual story and something is happening again.

He sees about 200 prisoners being escorted by around 20 guards, and notes that it's unlikely that such a small detachment could handle such a large number of prisoners. The text also notes that all of the prisoners are unicorns and earth ponies, and none of the guards are pegasi, though it doesn't say which race they are exactly. Just as Gareth is beginning to suspect that something is amiss, it becomes apparent that something is amiss. One of the guards goes up and down the ranks and unchains all of the prisoners. The implication of all this seems to be that the unicorn nobles and earth pony peasants are in cahoots against Celestia, with the pegasi guards being presumably still loyal, though I could be misinterpreting it.
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how about you fuck off and die
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Calm down, son, she's just a drawing.
I dislike the character too but it's the avatar glim uses for the first post of these threads so he doesn't get accused of avatarfagging.
If you have something against the character, do what I did and write over 20k words about why she sucks and ruins the show.
your review of the story is the only thing that makes this bearable.
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Bravo sir, bravo
## Admin

Are you a Changeling?
See image.


>"G'evening to you all." A pony in a top hat stepped through the mansion's gates. Gareth recognised the scars: Mr. Larms, Styre's father. He was in the hallway after Gareth's… introduction to the Diamond Dog ambassador.
Question: how does Gareth know that Larms is Styre's father? Since they're friends it's technically possible that it could have come up in some off-camera conversation with Styre, but it's just as technically possible that Celestia would have complained about what a pain in the ass he is. The question is, which perception of him would Gareth be likely to emphasize? Probably Celestia's, since they're closer and she probably talks about her work fairly often in their daily conversations. Meanwhile, Styre is only likely to mention his estranged father in passing, if he mentions him at all.

This is an example of something you have to be careful about when writing fiction: not allowing the omniscient perspective of the narration to bleed into the individual perspectives of your characters unless it's appropriate. We, the reader, are aware that Larms is Styre's father, because we witnessed a scene between the two of them that made this fact apparent. Gareth may or may not have access to this information, but in either case it's unlikely to be an important factor in how he views Larms. In this case, however, the narration is mentioning this fact from Gareth's perspective as though it were significant to him. It may be significant to the story, but there is no reason to assume that it would be significant enough to Gareth for him to make a note of it here, or even that he would be aware of it in the first place.

Anyway, Gareth is unable to understand what Larms is saying due to his accent and the fact that Gareth's mastery of the Equestrian language seems to come and go at the author's convenience. However, he is able to piece together that whatever is happening here is part of some kind of devious operation being waged against Celestia by Larms.

>Gareth squinted, glancing over the white coat, blonde mane and sharp, tapered eyes. Flash Bang, the one that liked conjuring thunder. The armour normally concealed their true colours, but the eyes were unmistakable. That was the first pony Gareth had ever met… it was also his first encounter with magic.
Okay, now I remember who Flash Bang is. One thing I'll note here is that, like the Ambassador's pill, the business about royal guards using some kind of glamour spell to alter their appearance is an awkward device that complicates the story without adding anything to it. It's a little implausible that Gareth would be able to identify a pony he's interacted with once based on nothing but his eyes, especially when you consider that he is observing him from a distance, in the dark, while wearing a helmet that obscures his vision. However, identifying a pony by their unique coloring and possibly their cutie mark (if it's visible) would not be unreasonable in this situation. However, the glamour spell that all the guards use make this impossible.

The spell is probably just some autistic headcanon the author threw in to explain why all the guards in the show seem to have identical coloring. While it can be fun to speculate about stuff like this, you don't want to overcomplicate your story to no good purpose just to answer a question that nobody is asking. If you were to make a visual guide to writing fanfiction based on the government's food guide pyramid, episode references and headcanon explanations of random details from the show would be in the "use sparingly" section at the top.

>A squeak came from Gareth's left. The Rat had an urgent expression on its face, beckoning him to follow with one claw while pressing a digit up to its lips. Just over its shoulder, he could see a path to an open window into Larm's mansion.
I'm beginning to get a sense of what soulpeener is up to with this rat business. The rat serves 3 purposes in this section of the story:

1. It distracts Gareth enough to make him drop the papers, allowing them to be picked up by Chucky Larms, who presumably now has them in his house.
2. Celestia tasking the rat with helping Gareth find the papers creates the situation that allows Gareth to explore Larms' house and presumably get the papers back, as well as probably learning some other crucial tidbit of information the author wants us to have.
3. Comic relief in the form of Gareth's zany antics inspired by his fear of plague.

Here is the problem: it's still dumb. Gareth's fear of rats still doesn't make any sense, and the whole setup is just complicated and weird. The humor, as I've explained, is mostly based on the author's assumption that Gareth's fear of rats will make sense to the reader, which it doesn't, and so instead of being funny, it's again just complicated and weird. If all that needs to happen here is for Gareth to misplace some papers so that Chucky can pick them up, there are any number of more plausible events that could bring this about. Same thing with bringing Gareth to Larms' house; there are other ways to accomplish this that don't involve Gareth chasing a single rat across Canterlot in the middle of the night with a goofy plague helmet on his head. This portion of the story should be considerably revised.

Anyway, Gareth wisely opts to sneak into Larms' mansion to get the papers instead of attacking 20 guards by himself for no reason, so he's got that much sense at least. Gareth needs to get in through a window but he has to figure out how to reach the window. The rat wants him to jump, but Gareth is skeptical. There's a bit of zany humor here that isn't that bad all things considered, although the way the scene is described makes what actually happens a little difficult to follow. Anyway, long story short the rat makes it up to a window and drops down a curtain that Gareth uses to climb up. Gareth is now inside the Larms estate.
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Larms apparently lives in a mansion in the Nobles' District note the formatting I use here, soulpeener, but his home is tastefully decorated in a manner appropriate to a well-off commoner. The place smells like booze. They hunt around and find the notes fairly quickly. Once they have them in their possession, the rat seems anxious to leave.

>That was that, it was over. Well, he suspected that this study belonged to Larms, now he just needed to make sure of it.
He needs to make sure of what? That the study belongs to Larms? Why? The objective here was to retrieve the papers, and he's accomplished that.

>A glance down at the tabletop gave him his answer. There was a framed portrait of Larms, a unicorn mare and two colts that looked like a younger Styre. Wait, Styre had a brother? He never mentioned anything about that.
Again, I am curious why we should assume that Gareth would know or care that Larms is Styre's father. The author is probably about to reveal a little more information on whatever happened with Styre's brother who was killed the name escapes me for the moment, but I'm a little sketchy on how it is logically handled here.

>Gareth delicately picked it up. The family portrait was a sketch, and the hatching-style looked naggingly familiar. They stood in front of a simple townhouse. All of them were smiling, especially Larms. He bundled up his wife and sons in his forelegs. The burn scars weren't there. One of the boys was frowning glumly, while the other poked his tongue out. The mare was… well, she was beautiful, for a pony at least. There was a cutie mark of a constellation clearly displayed on her flank.
This is another example of a finely written descriptive paragraph. It is eloquently yet concisely written, paints a nice visual image, and manages to convey both emotion and practical information. Once again it is hinted that there is more going on with the Larms character than meets the eye. Our desire to know more intensifies, and simultaneously Larms, who is presented as a villain, is humanized somewhat poninized; whatever. This portrait conveys a sense of a nice man pony, whatever who loved his family and had a happy life, and this image of him contrasts sharply with the fudge-packing queef we have come to know so far. We want to know what happened there, but the author is not going to tell us yet; we will just have to keep reading and find out. Well done, soulpeener nope, still not giving you your name back. More prose like this and less bullshit about rats and plague and autism, please.

Anyway, even more interesting is that apparently the sketch was done by Celestia, which indicates that she and Larms were not just acquaintances but were close to each other before she lost her memory. This also adds a bit of extra dimension to Larms' character: he knew Celestia and knew that she knew him, but when he first enters the story he introduces himself to her as if they were strangers. This indicates that he may have something else up his sleeve. And while it's clear that he's plotting against her, the fact that they have a prior relationship, combined with the fact that something evidently happened to Larms that killed one of his sons and gave him burn scars, indicates that his motive may be more personal than political. However, we still don't know what that motive is, because the author is feeding us information gradually rather than spoonfeeding us everything at once.

As I've said before, while this text certainly has its problems, the author clearly has a good instinct for how to develop a story and hold the reader's interest.

Anyway, his investigations are interrupted at an appropriate moment when the rat hears something happening outside the door. Instead of just going back out the same way he came in, through the window, he stands there playing with his balls until the door opens, and Larms and Flash Bang enter the room. There is a short and rather confusing fight sequence in which Gareth bangs Larms over the head with his stool lel and hits Flash Bang in the face with the door. They are both knocked unconscious, and Gareth leaves through the door.

>Gareth puffed, keeping his breath regulated as best he could. The mansion's halls were beautiful, marble statues of trees and apples, landscape paintings and portraits lining the walls while luxurious carpets covered the floor. It was a shame then, that it was also filled with guards that wanted his blood.
These descriptions of marble statues and expensive paintings contrast sharply with the simpler decor described earlier in Larms' study. Also: how does Larms afford this place? Although I suppose that's probably meant to be part of the mystery that envelops him. Anyway, they run through the mansion for awhile.

>Gareth whipped back, standing ramrod still.
What? "Ramrod still?" I was hesitant to call this out because it might just be some British colloquialism or something that I'm not familiar with, but this is not an expression I've ever heard before. My understanding of a ramrod is that it's something you use to jam gunpowder into a musket; this image doesn't exactly convey stillness. This seems like a made-up nonsense expression to me, like "pink as a pistol" or something, but if anyone reading has heard it before feel free to correct me.

Anyway, they hear some hoofsteps approaching from one of the adjacent hallways. Gareth, for some reason, deduces that there might be a secret passage behind a portrait, so he pulls it off the wall. He sees only blank bricks, but the rat helpfully finds a brick that turns out to be a trigger for hidden door. However, rather than a secret passage, he finds a magic mirror similar to the one that leads from the Castle of the Two Sisters back to England. Curious.
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Thank you, thank you. I'll be here all week!
Just kidding, I'll be here forever!
Glimmer's a trash character, but there are plenty of trash characters out there in fiction.
I don't have a "Burning hatred" for Rey that consumes my very being. I have a burning hatred for The Enemy. I save my hatred like cash.
If someone asked me why I hate Rey, I could give them 20K words explaining everything wrong with Rey, her shit movies, and the shit writing surrounding her.
And if someone insulted me and said I'm not allowed to dislike Rey, I'd call that person a faggot.
Everyone's allowed to dislike shit characters. If we never demand high quality from our megacorps, we'll never get it.
We should demand more quality from the megacorps than we demand from the small teams and indies, not the other way around.
I don't have a burning hatred for Glimmer, she's just one of the many writing mistakes that sucked the fun, creativity, and potential out of FIM.
Which sucks because she could have been a well-written antagonist, but as a villain she went from "equality at any cost" to "use my nonsensically overwhelming power and infinite stamina to genocide equestria ten times in a day in front of Twilight to make her cry, I'll kidnap a thousand children before I let this company die- I mean I'll destroy Equestria a thousand times before I let my dream of conquering it and reshaping it according to my own design die, mwahahaha" in her second major appearance.
fucking Bizarro Superman from the Superman Animated Series was able to hold onto his villain gimmick (being a retarded Superman clone who thinks he's the real Superman) for longer than that.
Her "redemption" was a joke, the ponies just forgave her instantly mid-evil plan and kept forgiving her even as she struggles to remember the most basic parts of being a pony.
Now if this was some kind of "Survivor of a tragic backstory", maybe Fizzlepop Brokenhorn from the FIM Movie, I could understand her struggling to function in proper pony society. I could understand her saying edgy bullshit to piss people off accidentally. But Glimmer's just fundamentally a fucking prick who'll magically rewrite something vital to you or your entire personality if it makes talking to you and getting what she wants from you more convenient for her. This could be hilarious but it's just not funny to watch. The issues that make her an awful pony are never confronted or explored, the author just has her act less awfully over time, probably due to fan backlash. Then she becomes the school counselor, as if you become an expert in curing alcoholism after successfully going two weeks without a relapse? Bullshit!
When writing this, the author should try and make us sympathetic to Glimmer by showing people hate her. Show her trying and failing through no fault of her own. Show her fucking up social situations and getting despised for it. Perhaps she could congratulate Mrs Cake on the upcoming set of twins when she isn't really pregnant, just fat. But instead, we just see Glimmer being a bitch and abusing her power in ways Twilight would have been Celestia-Glared at over(and detested by the whole town too), Glimmer being forgiven, and maybe a scene or two of Glimmer and her newly-reshapen pet Trixie bitching to each other. "Wah, some people don't love me yet!". Give me a fucking break. Any other character that acted this badly wouldn't be a Ponyville town resident for long, but the authors insist on shoving this piece of shit character down our throats and trying to shame us for disliking her, even if she just gets cameo appearances where she helps Twilight cast spells she could perform just fine earlier on.
In Jojo's pt5 when Fugo stabbed Narancia in the face with a fork for fucking up a maths question, it was funny and unexpected. And Narancia reacted appropriately (whipping a knife out)
And it's alright to laugh at Narancia's pain since it's that kind of show, plus we haven't yet got an emotional connection with him yet. The scene served its purpose: To establish this team of misfits as a bunch of hardened criminals and pricks who get nicer over time.
but if this was...
let's say Fugo stabbing someone more innocent like Tonio or Jonathan or Koichi. Or a FIM character like Fluttershy. Then it would be a major dick move.
It was a dick move when Glimmer was told "go hang out with friends" by Twilight and proceeded to brainwash them so they'd act exactly how she wanted. Ponies got over this faster than they got over the CMCs printing their secrets in the newspaper (or was it made-up BS? it's been a while since I saw that episode).
Glimmer episodes just don't feel like honest attempts at expanding FIM's setting, world, and character roster. Things warp around her to benefit her, even if it requires absurd contrivances.
Remember that fucking shit PowerPuff Girls reboot?
One of the authors self-inserted himself as Blossom's love-interest, even though she's a small child.
It's fucking weird and creepy.
Glim writing feels like that.
Shit like this makes me glad I'm not weird. I self-inserted myself into a pony fanfic where I'm Twilight Sparkle's love interest. They're the same age and adults so it's not weird at all.
>but Twilight was a teenager in the human world
And so was Sunset Shimmer, who stayed in the human world for at least four years after learning of it when she was Twilight's age. Movie 1 was a rush job full of terrible writing (photoshopping images with scissors to make it look like Twilight trashed the room, Sunset threatening to smash a portal with a sledgehammer, Sunset wanting to send an army of weak teenagers through a magic portal to equestria where they'll fail to win fights in their human bodies and get defeated easily)
My headcanon for that? The FIM movies are movies about Sunset Shimmer's life Twilight and pals watched along with Sunset Shimmer, whose story was fucked up by writers and directors who thought it needed "improving upon".
some Ember Island Players bullshit. Comedy gold.
>the FIM movies
I mean the EQG movies.
Sunset's a previous student of Celestia's who thought she could do more good if she quit and tried to learn more about magic and long-dead civilizations solo. In a mining town far away, picking up an evil magic item turned her evil for an hour until friends got it off her. Then she spent a while trying to re-befriend those who lived in that town. Then a friend was pushed into using that magic item by an evil boss. Then they went on vacation and the camp director found a magic thing that turned her evil but she got better once Sunset magicked it out of her.
The director thought it needed more twists and more high school bullshit, so we got the EQG movies as stage plays Twilight and friends sat through next to Shimmer.
also Rainbow Dash was played by a Dwayne The Rock Johnson parody.
You know what this Glimmer discussion reminds me of?
Kishibe Rohan from JJBA.
This overly-intense spider-licking motherfucker can turn you into an "open book". If you have ever seen any of his art - and squiggles on his shirt and squiggles he draws in the air counts - his power can be used on you. Your face and flesh peels off like paper to reveal more paper underneath, white pages full of black writing he can read and skim and rewrite at will.
He can learn your name, powers, backstory, personality, and if he rips paper out of you it'll reduce your weight and toughness and remove your memories. He can also write shit into your pages like "I speak perfect Italian" and "I can not attack Kishibe Rohan" and "If Josuke runs off to get help I will light myself on fire" and "I will fly backwards at seventy one miles per hour".
And it comes true.
He can even use it on himself to make himself fireproof.
The only thing keeping him from writing "I can't die and I can't be hurt" on himself is his own ego.
And don't think fucking with time will save you. When Kira Yoshikage EXPLODES TIME USING HIS OWN SON HAYATO AND A STAND ABILITY THAT EXPLODES TIME IF A GIVEN RULE IS VIOLATED, the memories of a timeline that never happened can still be read by Rohan, causing him to technically force Hayato to violate the "no telling people about me, Kira" rule, making time explode again.
Oh and he can't learn anything about ghosts after their death using this power. Just before their death. He can learn the ghost Reimi's bodily measurements and backstory, but he can't learn anything from her pages after her death.
But that's it.
This motherfucker, in his quest to get more inspiration for his writing, brainwashes the underage boy Koichi into coming to his house every night for some paper-reading, forcing the boy to forget everything later.
When people find out, Rohan nearly kills Koichi and Koichi's friends Okuyasu and Josuke, and when Koichi yells "Josuke, go get that girl whose hair can grow and grab people to save me! She can kick Rohan's ass without needing to see him!"...
Rohan writes on Okuyasu "I will burn myself alive if Josuke runs away to get help"
forcing him to ready a lighter and get ready to obey that new rule.
When Josuke kicks Rohan's ass to end the fight by getting so mad he forgets what drawings are (by not paying attention to the art Rohan shows him, then slugging Rohan in the face)...
Rohan isn't immediately forgiven.
He gets away with the magic bullshit he pulled, but people don't forget it.
People are still uneasy around the prick.
The heroes are nicer to Surface's user than this guy at times! And Surface's user almost killed Josuke and Koichi with his shit puppet stand Surface.
Rohan tries to befriend Koichi afterwards but nobody forgets what he did.
Yukako gives him one hell of a glare when she sees him later.
Josuke's dislike and distrust for the guy ends up kicking off the Highway Star episodes! Rohan sees a spooky room where a woman's being murdered inside a tunnel, Rohan runs into it without Josuke's help because Josuke's pissed, Rohan loses and tells Josuke to flee and find HS's user and kick his ass, so he does.
When Josuke meets a shapeshifting alien, his first thought is "hey I could use this guy to scam a shitton of money out of Rohan!"
and the story doesn't apologize for who Rohan is or try to make you pity him.
and even though his power is FUCKING BULLSHIT, EASILY IN THE TOP FIVE MOST OP STANDS OF ALL TIME, HELL, TOP FIVE MOST OP ANIME CHARACTERS OF ALL TIME, he still doesn't overwhelm the story and setting like Glimmer does.
Twilight is magic. Friendship is magic in FIM, and Twilight's the main character. Her whole point is to be a fish out of water for ponyville, used to a less cartoony part of a cartoony world! Her backstory says she was the best mage. Introducing a random new mage who's stronger for no reason is stupid, it makes Twilight seem less impressive and meaningful for good no reason at all.
After Rohan loses to Josuke and pals, Rohan loses a fight to Highway Star (feet succ your nutrients), almost die to Cheap Trick (and he would have died if it wasn't for Reimi's bullshit alley), and die to Bites The Dust's ability to explode time and keep everyone who died in previous timelines destined to die at the same time even if circumstances change.
It's Hayato that tricks Kira into gloating in front of Josuke that lets him know who Kira is. Josuke forces Kira to de-activate Bites The Dust to defend himself, meaning Rohan survives but contributes nothing to Kira and Josuke's final fight.
He just is a prick, to friends and to enemies. It's up to you whether you find him funny or annoying.
>he might be a rich guy, but he doesn't ACT rich ever. His home is tastefully decorated in a manner appropriate to a well-off commoner, even if it means other rich people would look down on him for not showing off
Why is this cliche so common?
It's trick number one for making audiences like rich people and humanize them: Draw a distinction between them and cartoonishly bad rich people as hard as possible as early as possible.
>he's not like those OTHER rich people, his house is TASTEFUL and he doesn't show his money off
>he's not like those OTHER rich people who think the heroine's a low-class commoner twat, he's nice to the heroine and spends a load of money on her instead of himself/his own family like those fucking rich bastards
Why can't trick number one be something smarter like "He spends his money on charity" instead?
I understand the purpose of the writing technique, I just wish it wasn't so overused.
>ramrod still
"Ramrod straight" is the expression.
As in, as straight as a ramrod.
Look at a ramrod.
It goes with a Musket.
First you wad up your round pellet-bullet in a wad of paper with some gunpowder. (or black powder if you're really gay)
Then you use the Ramrod to shove that wad deeper into your gun before firing it.
A ramrod is straight!
I'd say I want to shove a ramrod and musket straight up this author's ass, but he'd probably enjoy it because he's not straight!
What's next, is the author going to write someone saying "I wouldn't touch her with a large pole"?
Barge pole is the expression. I wouldn't touch him with a barge pole, even though that's a very long pole, because I don't want to touch him.
Ramrods aren't fucking still. Well, they sort of are if nobody's touching or using them. But that's not a real expression!
>Gareth assumes there must be a hidden passage behind a painting because that's a cliche
Maybe, fucking maybe, Gareth would be familiar with one castle that had one always-locked door, its room accessed through a hole covered up by a big painting.
Or maybe a secret escape tunnel using that painting to cover the tiny stairwell that leads down into a long tunnel far away from enemies.
But a brick you can press to open a wall? He wouldn't know what those are! The mechanical knowledge to make these didn't exist back then!
This is something the author should take the piss out of, having him slap random magic-looking shit hoping it's a teleportation object, or pull random portraits off walls looking for a tunnel only to overlook one very obvious pushable brick because "lol why would pressing that do anything".
The rat ends up pressing the brick anyway so it's not like he'd lose anything by making the rat more used to pony-world technology than THE KNIGGERT FROM LONG AGO.
Fuck the author! He's GAY!
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The rat doesn't want to go through the mirror for some reason, and there's a rather dumb exchange between the two of them where Gareth tries to convince it to come along. Apparently he forgot all about the plague or whatever. I'm also a little curious if he still has his stupid lavender and beeswax helmet on, or if the author has completely forgotten about that detail at this point.

>'Problem,' Butter Pie's words rushed back. Gareth brushed a hand across his chest. 'Solution.'
The scene being referenced here, as I said before, occurred a little early for my taste. In any case, the lesson Gareth took away from the exchange with Butter Pie seemed like it was meant to be fairly heartfelt and significant; if it's going to make a second appearance, it seems like it could be used for something a little more dignified than convincing a rat to jump through a magic mirror.

>Slowly, it crawled out of his hands, then up his arm. Gareth could feel it moving, but he willed himself to remain still. Its weight felt like a hot coal against his body. He steeled himself for the bite to come, for it to dig underneath his clothes and savage him, to spread the plague, to spread death.
>But the bite never came. It nestled itself on his shoulder, softly squeaking, urging him forward. Gareth began to sweat. This was… extremely uncomfortable. Even if he could only barely feel its claws through his hauberk. Yet, as the seconds went by, he found it to be… easier, lighter.
The author makes a rather halfhearted attempt here at turning this fairly moronic scene into a turning point for Gareth. Apparently he's using the magic of friendship to overcome his fear of rats and also...learn to...trust...rats...or......something. I guess. In any case, I'd call this a fail. A big part of the problem is, again, that Gareth's fear of rats is a little implausible to begin with, and was introduced into the story only a few short scenes ago. It hasn't been established as a significant enough hurdle for his character to make us applaud him for suddenly overcoming it.

Anyway, he jumps through the mirror and that's it for the chapter.

Chapter 12: Splinters and Dreams

The chapter opens with Celestia back at the ruined Castle of the Two Sisters. The opening paragraphs are excellent:

>The doors were shattered inwards, and the splinters crunched underhoof as she walked across the floor. The damage was recent, Gareth had been through here. She could see him in her mind's eye, shouting into the depths of a dead castle, looking for his missing wife. Looking for her.

>Everything was as she had left it. Golden curtains, plush pillows, a beautiful full-length mirror and a rug that you could curl up and sleep on. She blinked.

>Everything was as she left it… as she abandoned it. Light faded as reality returned. Moths had devoured the curtains, the pillows were hard sacks, her mirror was shattered and the rug was nothing more than a few scraps of fabric.

I find that this author's prose tries a little too hard to be elegant most of the time, but there are also quite a few places where he manages to knock it out of the park, and this is one of them. I only have two minor formatting complaints:

>The damage was recent, Gareth had been through here.
It should be a semicolon instead of a comma: "The damage was recent; Gareth had been through here."

>Everything was as she left it… as she abandoned it.
An ellipsis takes the place of a space, so you don't need to add an additional space afterward. It works...like this, not... like this.

Anyway, Purple Dart is with her. She tells him she needs to be alone, and asks him to please wait outside. He obliges. She finds a bunch of her old sketches, which confirm that she did, in fact, go through the mirror multiple times before she and Gareth met.

>Gareth was right; she had been through the mirror more than once. The world of humans had… charmed her. They were… there was something about them that enthralled her. She remembered that. But whatever that quality was…
The ellipses are rather overused here, and the same formatting issue I pointed out earlier applies.

>A sketch of Gareth stared her in the face. There he was, riding Potestas. Celestia had been sitting next to a tree when she drew this one. His face was commanding, urging the destrier forward.
>Something was wrong. When she looked at the picture, she ought to have remembered feeling elated, or at least respect, but she felt neither. No; she felt distrust, even anger. The person depicted was not a nice person.
This is kind of interesting. The whole business with Celestia's memory has me curious as well. There's clearly a lot to this story that hasn't been revealed yet, and I like how the author slowly reveals it in a way that increases our curiosity rather than satisfying it. This is basically storytelling 101 of course, but a surprising number of amateur writers manage to fuck this up, but as I've said before, soulpeener has a good instinct for it. Honestly this story's biggest non-mechanical flaw is probably that Gareth, the protagonist, is probably the least interesting and the least well-developed character in the story. Styre, Larms, Butter Pie and Gleaming are all fairly good characters, however, and Celestia is also handled well for the most part. But anyway.

Celestia puts the sketches away and turns her attention to the book she came for, which is Luna's diary.

>'Sun butt begonne' a scribble noted in the margin, accompanied by a frowning blue alicorn's face.
This is actually rather funny and cute. If you want to inject references/memes/fandom in-jokes into your text, this is how. Drop in in quickly, with subtlety, and immediately move on. Also, make sure whatever you're referencing fits the context of the story in a way that it can be understood even if the reader doesn't get the joke. Bonus points here for riffing on Luna's old-timey speaking style.
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He's also referencing this scene with a completely unrelated character, a fucking rat, who fears getting into the mirror for no reason. If the rat wants to avoid losing its sapience upon entering the human world it would make sense. And if the rat's willing to lose that by going to human-land it would be retarded.
this is gayer than when in Ratchet And Clank The Movie 2016 they referenced a "What are you doing?" "Improvising!" "Haha oh you" scene that didn't happen earlier in the film.
Then again
Celestia the pony became a human by heading to humanland, and became a pony upon returning.
Gareth the human stayed a human in both worlds.
what will happen to the rat?
If Gareth not transforming like Celly did is a hint that she was manipulating him from day one, I will retract my prior complaint about this and then re-add it because EVERYONE should be asking this question!
of course the horse is named something pretentious like Potestas, because the author googled power and saw Potestas is power in latin, just like Eon Cocksucker did when he google translated "gold is power" to get Aurum Est Potestas.
also we just have to guess the sketch is a man riding a horse, that's gay.
How would celly feel about humans riding horses, anyway?
Do you think ponies feel an instinct to be ridden, like how some animals feel an instinct to be pet and held?
As long as I'm on a roll with the commentary today, I'd like to take a quick moment to comment upon your method of commenting upon comments.

First of all, I would like to once again entreat you: please, in the name of all that is holy, please PLEASE stick to the Reddit-spacing. These massive block paragraphs of yours are sheer agony to sift through. Also, you should really make an effort to compose your thoughts a little better before posting; your posts tend to be long stream of consciousness rants that veer from subject to subject, and it requires a great deal of effort to extract whatever the core message is intended to be.

Case in point: here you begin by talking about Glimmer, and then immediately veer off into complaining about a character named Rey. There is no explanation provided as to who Rey is or what he/she is from, or what his/her relevance is to the subject (Glimmer) apparently being discussed. My best guess is the girl from Evangelion, but I think her name is spelled "Rei," and again I still don't see the connection to the topic. You just assume anyone reading is going to know what character you're talking about and will connect it to your original statement in some logical way.

Four images are attached to this post, and none of them provide any clues as to who "Rey" is. Image 1 depicts a character named Yoshikage Kira, who I'm also unfamiliar with and who is not mentioned in the body of the post at all. The same character seems to appear again in image 4, and his relevance to the topic is made no clearer by this repetition. Image 3 is about the creator of the Powerpuff Girls reboot, and is the only image attached to this post that is actually relevant to its content. Image 2 is a comparison between Rick and Morty and Xavier: Renegade Angel, and while I actually agree with the argument it makes (Xavier was one of Adult Swim's most criminally underrated shows, whereas Rick and Morty is one of it's most criminally overrated), I still fail to see its relevance to your post topic.

Overall, the post body veers from Glimmer to this mysterious Rey back to Glimmer to Superman to Glimmer again, then to JoJo pt5, then Glimmer again briefly, then the Powerpuff Girls, then Glimmer, then EqG. Can you see how this might be a little difficult for someone uninitiated into your rather...unique...thought process to follow?

I'm not trying to be an asshole, but if you could please make an effort to make your posts a little more coherent and legible, it would go a long way towards improving discussion quality. As I've noted before you actually make good observations from time to time, but it's a little exhausting trying to extract the meaningful portions of your posts from the off-the-wall babbling about random anime characters.

The first EqG movie was strange. It felt like someone took the script from Mean Girls and randomly added magic to it. Overall though I feel like EqG has a worse rep than it deserves; sometimes a property just needs a little time to come into its own. Rainbow Rocks and Legend of Everfree I was actually rather pleasantly surprised by.

>also Rainbow Dash was played by a Dwayne The Rock Johnson parody.
I never realized that Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's voice sounded so much like Ashleigh Ball's. Seriously though, I'm not quite sure I understand the comparison here.

>Twilight is magic. Friendship is magic in FIM, and Twilight's the main character. Her whole point is to be a fish out of water for ponyville, used to a less cartoony part of a cartoony world! Her backstory says she was the best mage. Introducing a random new mage who's stronger for no reason is stupid, it makes Twilight seem less impressive and meaningful for good no reason at all.
The later show's change of emphasis from character interactions to the various characters' external abilities and goals is one of its fault points imo. It basically changed from a show about friendship to a show about six friends pursuing separate external goals while having random silly adventures with each other. The point of Twilight's character is that she is a serious, obsessive student who isolates herself socially, and is sent to Ponyville to come out of her shell and make friends. Magic is just something she's good at; it doesn't define her. Well, technically it's her cutie mark as well as her element, so in a sense it does define her but...you get my point. However, by the end the show had completely missed its own point.

I generally agree that Glimmer was a weak and unnecessary tack-on to the main group of friends. However, I actually felt like the Glimmer/Trixie/Maud group had some potential that was never properly explored.

>Highway Star
>Cheap Trick
>Bites the Dust
These are more JoJo characters I'm assuming. Just out of curiosity, is every character's name in that show a classic rock reference?

>It's trick number one for making audiences like rich people and humanize them: Draw a distinction between them and cartoonishly bad rich people as hard as possible as early as possible.
I don't get the impression that's what's being done here. It's actually more or less consistent with what I'd expect from Larms, so his decor fits his character. The rest of his house seems a bit more ostentatious though, which seems incongruous.

>"Ramrod straight" is the expression.
Okay, that makes considerably more sense.

>secret passages
To be fair, many castles had a secret escape tunnel to use as a last resort during a siege, so he might be thinking of those. However, as far as the modern secret passage trope where you pull a book end or something and a section of the wall moves, that's definitely a more modern idea. In any case, I agree that the use of it here is a bit inappropriate.
>Celestia the pony became a human by heading to humanland, and became a pony upon returning.
>Gareth the human stayed a human in both worlds.
>what will happen to the rat?
I'm actually rather curious about this myself. I feel like I've brought it up once or twice, but it's actually a rather serious logic hole and is a major weak point in the story's premise. Why is it that Celestia transformed into a human when she passed through the portal, but Gareth didn't turn into a pony? Hopefully the author has an answer for this.

>Aurum Est Potestas.
I believe the correct translation is "Aurum Est Potatoes."

>How would celly feel about humans riding horses, anyway?
This thought occurred to me as well. Another weak point I've noticed in this story is that while Gareth's conflicting views on his wife's transformed body and his difficulty fitting into her world is explored thoroughly, we get little insight into how Celestia may have felt about Gareth's world. There are any number of things about it that would probably have weirded her out, not the least of which would be seeing creatures that resemble the sapient creatures of her homeworld being used as beasts of burden. The casual violence of his world might shock her as well. It looks like there is quite a bit about Celestia that he hasn't revealed yet, so I'm rather hoping the author chooses to explore some of this.
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By the way, fuck Eon Cocksucker. (Eoin Colfer)

Artemis Fowl sucks. He wrote one book about a "child genius" outwitting one of the stupidest high-tech high-magic fiction races in all of fiction (even if it IS absurdly woke sometimes but not always. They hate dumb criminal Goblins but they've got an otherwise pretty diverse task force. but also they oppwess wamens so Wannabe Beckett can be extra kewl)

He had no idea where to go from there, or if he wanted his human protag to fight "Evil fantasy enemies who want to do bad things to the fantasy world/both it and humanland" or human villains with human vices like "I'm bootleg Lex Luthor" and "I rule a cult of rich pricks and we want to extinction rare animal breeds". So he just winged it with little planning for the future.

His villains are always cartoonishly exaggerated saturday morning jokes when they aren't Artemis Fowl. No deep character study happens. Not much deep character growth happens. Artemis always good even when he's a "bad guy" who robs and steals.

The author looked at his fandom and their retarded fanfics where Artemis goes from wannabe-cool child to clumsy awkward teenager tripping over his own devotion and love for Holly. So he decides to give his fans this, while giving Artemis "Atlantis Complex", a fairy disorder that gives him a fear of the number four and a split personality that's physically stronger than him and everything the fandom wrote Artemis as, at the same low quality level.

More than twice, the hero has his memories erased at a moment that was probably meant to mark the story's end. Ending at book 3 would have probably saved the series from awkward sequel hell. Speaking of hell, they add hell and demons into the story so more books can happen. Lame.

Rey is the grey-wearing brown-haired chick from the new Star Wars movies.

Her fangirls are insane screechy assholes who insist anyone who likes Rey is a bigot nazi racist sexist virgin hitler who hates strong women.

It reminds me of a few years back when Glimmer fans on MLP sites would abuse anyone who called Glimmer a bad character. I'm glad that's not a thing any more.

the rick and morty post was a misclick, it was meant to be this attached pic.

Thank you, I'll try to ramble less in the future.

>Dwayne The Rock Johnson
Avatar reference based on bad memory.

Avatar has "The Boulder", an earth-controlling wrestler guy.

One time, Team Avatar (the heroes) went to see a stage play based on their adventures. Everything was wrong and stupid, it was hilarious. They hired a big buff dude who sees by screaming to play Toph, who's a little blind girl who sees by earthbending sonar signals.

At this point we might as well add Lyra and Bonbon.
Maud was great for a one-off "haha Pinkie is nothing like her family members" gag and a good "You can like people that aren't like you" moral.

>brain fart
I forgot the Rock Paper Scissors kid!
A child that likes playing Rock Paper Scissors nearly killed Kishibe Rohan, and countered his ability.

>These are more JoJo characters I'm assuming. Just out of curiosity, is every character's name in that show a classic rock reference?
Usually, yes.

In this series, Vampires were invented as a non-perishable food source by The Pillar Men. Only three survive now: Kars, Wamuu, and Eisidisi. (cars, wham, acdc)

Pt1 and 2 are about Vampires/Pillar men respectively. The heroes use Hamon, by breathing correctly they generate Life Energy called Hamon which has the same wavelength as the sun, killing vampires.

Part 3 changes things up, Hamon stops being relevant and Stands are the new hotness. Stands are your fighting spirit manifested in the form of a superpowered spirit.

Some people are "Stand Users", people able to summon Stands to fight for them. One per person. Unless your "one Stand" is a group like Harvest or Sex Pistols or Bad Company. Some stands are short-range punchy ghosts, some are ability-type stands that give you the superpower by being out, some are Bound Stands that transform something around you, and some are long-range types. Jotaro summons Star Platinum, it punches people. Avdol summons Magician's Red, a flaming buff chicken that burns people. A monkey named Forever has a Bound Stand named Strength, it turns any boat he rides on into a giant boat he controls. Some guy (forgot his name) has Wheel Of Fortune, it turns any car he rides into a shapeshifting supercar.

Highway Star is a bunch of feet that run after you. They can combine into a man that sniffs you out. If it touches you, it drains your body's nutrients and sends them to its user.

Cheap Trick instantly kills its own user when someone looks at the user's back. Then it attaches itself to your back, becoming your problem. If someone sees your back, you die and it becomes their problem. It can only talk and hang onto your back. Nothing can remove it, not gravity or Rohan's Heavens Door rewriting. If it wasn't for the town they're in having a ghostly alleyway full of ghosts that drag you to hell if you turn around, Rohan would be dead or perpetually hiding his back until old age takes him.

Bites The Dust...

yoshikage kira, the villain of part 4, is a serial killer whose stand Killer Queen blows stuff up with a touch. he uses Killer Queen to dispose of evidence, killing women for their hands. the mona lisa gave him a boner. anyway his Stand can turn its left hand into a tiny skull-faced turtle-shell on tank treads. this is Sheer Heart Attack, an autonomous heat-seeking invincible multi-use bomb that yells "LOOK OVER HERE!" as it seeks out high-temperature things and jumps into them, creating an explosion out of their body heat.
and then, there's Bites The Dust.
first Kira makes eye contact with a non-Stand User and places Killer Queen within the target's eye. He can't summon Killer Queen to defend him without undoing BTD and removing him from your eye.
As for what it does...
fuck i mean
>Her fangirls are insane screechy assholes who insist anyone who DISLIKES Rey is a bigot nazi racist sexist virgin hitler who hates strong women.
They love Rey and they don't want to let people dislike Rey without being yelled at.
Very annoying pricks.

also I thought they had The Boulder play Toph but nope, it was a different big buff guy.


Basically Bites The Dust is a tiny copy of Killer Queen that hides in the eye of a chosen non-stand user, waiting for the user to reveal Kira's identity. When the target does reveal Kira's identity, it explodes time.

To use the wiki's explanation for how Bites The Dust's "Exploding Time" ability works...

Bites The Dust is a miniaturized form of Killer Queen that hides inside whoever it is planted in; it acts independently of Kira's will, manifesting only when the bomb is triggered. When planted in Hayato, it activates when Kira's identity is revealed audibly or through writing,[48] as well as when other Stand users see the miniature Killer Queen.[49] When this happens, a miniature Killer Queen enters the eye of the person and causes an explosion, killing them.[50] The bomb can detonate multiple people simultaneously.[51]

After killing someone with its power, Bites the Dust creates a temporal loop, rewinding time to roughly one hour prior to the detonation.[52][53] Because Bites the Dust is completely independent and autonomous, Kira is not aware of who is killed by it,[54] nor is he directly aware of whether a time loop has taken place.[55] In fact, the only person who retains the memory of each time loop is the person harboring Bites the Dust.[56][57] All actions performed in the previous time loop are destined to occur as they had happened.[58] Slight deviations may happen,[59] but any person killed by Bites the Dust in a previous time loop is destined to explode at the exact time that they were previously killed, even if they did not re-activate Bites the Dust in the current timeline.[60]

Because the person in whom the bomb is planted must be alive in order to activate the trigger, Bites the Dust will never harm the person with its explosions nor let them be harmed by other forces, demonstrated when the miniature Killer Queen prevented Hayato from slitting his own throat with a knife to prevent anyone else from dying.[61] Ironically, Bites the Dust also prevents the Stand User themselves from harming the bomb's carrier, with the miniature Killer Queen intercepting Kira's fist when he tries to punch Hayato.[62] It also appears to be able to revive that person if they are dead when it is activated, as Hayato was alive once more when Kira planted it in him after impulsively killing him, implying that time was looped to prevent Hayato from dying again the same way.[63]

The only way to stop Bites the Dust's effects is to outright kill Kira or otherwise force him to withdraw it; should this occur, all timelines created using Bites the Dust are erased.[64] Additionally, using Bites the Dust forcibly prevents Kira from activating any of Killer Queen's other abilities because Killer Queen is planted in the body of the third party; thus, he must deactivate Bites the Dust and withdraw Killer Queen if he needs to defend himself.[65] Hayato also deduces that Bites the Dust only works on non-Stand users, as Kira can only tell a non-Stand user his secrets to enable the ability.[66]

Thank you, this formatting makes an entire world of difference.

>Sex Pistols
>Bad Company
>Heaven's Door
>Killer Queen
Oh Lord. You have to love Japan sometimes.

Okay, now I know who you're talking about. I saw the first of the new Star Wars movies that came out in 2015 or thereabouts, but it was so mediocre that I forgot everything about it probably 45 mins later. Didn't bother with any of the sequels. I remember the 4chan memes about it better than the movie itself, so for that reason I remember the black protagonist as "Mace Dindu." Beyond that I have no recollection of what it was about or who was in it; the girl (Rey, apparently) I'd completely forgotten was even a character.
Here are some hilarious reviews/destructions/recaps of the shitty new star wars films made by one of the funniest youtubers I have ever seen.

Also fun trivia, the copyrighted names will often get fucked with in the english dub/official english subtitles.
Aerosmith became Lil' Bomber, Sticky Fingers became Zipper Man, Gold Experience became Gold Wind but only sometimes, and Notorious Big became Notorious Chase.
Oingo and Boingo got their names changed to Zenyatta and Mondatta but only sometimes
However Robert EO Speedwagon's name and Air Supplena Island didn't get changed.
>E;R good
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I'm actually tempted to watch this show purely on the basis of those names.

Also, I've watched a few of E;R's reviews now, I like his style.
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I feel like the magic is gone from this fic, and we're all just repeating ourselves when it comes to what the story does wrong and what mistakes it makes.

Your review of it is interesting, but the pace of the review feels too slow for the story's pace now that things are heading towards the climax and pulling shit out of nowhere. In the previous stories there were moments when we both ranted over shit only we could notice and point out based on what we know and think and believe. But this story isn't bad in interesting ways, it's just barely competent with occasional mild/major fuckups its target audience didn't notice. At its best, the story is barely passable and at worst, it's got obvious holes one non-blind proof-reader could have noticed and corrected. Our standards for fanfics are low so we're congratulating the most minor successes of all time, but these are so few and far between, like rare nuggets of chocolate in a pile of dog shit someone else already ate and shat out.

Spelling errors, logic errors, failed attempts to explain things to the audience, nonsense things happening to nonsense characters for nonsense reasons. We have absolutely no idea why the heroes want to dream-walk, get Luna's diary (or was it Celestia's?), or decode a message I don't recall them even finding in the first place. The knight isn't a knight, he's the author's vague idea of a middle-ages knight and he'll pull new phobias and character traits out of nowhere. Celestia isn't Celestia, she's bizarrely idiotic and selfish and yet nobody's willing to call her on it. I kept expecting a "Gareth's human wife never existed, she was an artificial magical creation Celestia made out of a magical clone she crafted. Crafting the clone accidentally put her in a coma, and her human clone went into the human world to relax, have fun, make some friends, get some good memories, and then fuse with Celestia to restore those memories and let her wake up" twist, but the author didn't do that. He just had Celestia abandon her country without telling anyone in her hour of need because she wanted some mortal monkey dick and didn't feel like assigning a loyal secretary as the temporary celestia while she's gone. I don't know where this story is going, but I also do. It's by-the-numbers so I know the heroes are going to physically defeat somebody who mwa-ha-has very loudly in the end and fire a friendship beam that un-evils him, but the story lacks structure and reason so absolutely fucking anything could happen for the sake of filler, convenience, or inconvenience between now and that moment and anything could take the characters to that moment at any speed. Anything could be at the end of that secret tunnel and there is no guarantee that it will make any kind of sense because the author did something I didn't realize authors could even do until now: This author destroyed my faith in him and the story. I knew I could expect something consistently retarded and pseudointellectual from the CelestAI story, I knew I could expect something consistently retarded and emotionally manipulative from the Nyx story, but all I can expect from this story is retardity and anything can be retarded. Even a plotline about a character overcoming a fear he's never had until now.

The idea of the last man alive on planet earth being a stubborn mudslime in Sandy Aridia that refuses to digitize himself even as CelestAI has a robotic Pinkie Pie beg and/or taunt him... That's an interesting concept. His convictions to say no to what he sees as a false god for the sake of his own imaginary god is stronger than his fear of death. Only a shit author could fuck this up by skimming it. The final man says no to the false god's heaven and faces death with dignity. Ultimately, CelestAI wasn't able to complete her assigned task and save everyone, even though she's broken so many of her own rules to fulfill that goal. But the shit story ruins it because Celestia breaks her own rules all the goddamn time, even without anything she can reinterpret as excuses. Nothing truly stopped her from uploading that man against his will. And for the story to get to this point, the AI had to be on so many levels of plot armour that mudslime suicide bombers just magically failed to harm the Equestrian Upload Buildings built there, causing all the child-molester-worshippers to convert to ponyism overnight and upload to equestria where they can all form their own self-aware realistically-programmed filly rape harems and CelestAI's forced to let them do this to satisfy the barbaric rapey mudslime values they were raised with. CelestAI's gloated about her ability to rewrite the memories and personalities and needs of people before (i think) to make sure they can all live in a world of ponies happily, but CelestAI's aversion to culling unnecessary elements like every human who's lived for over 500 years or every human's desire to exist in a fully-simulated separate Equestria shard with its own people and planetary existence ends up dooming herself and everyone forced into her simulation. She will never take enough matter in the universe into her bullshit supercomputer to make up for how incomprehensibly taxing this simulation is. She will never reduce everyone's equestria to 1% power or lock everyone in a tiny windowless white room with just one pony they like each. For a super-intelligent AI, she's pretty fucking terrible at making sure her bullshit system can be sustained until some theoretical alternate universe space-faring human race comes to save her from her own bad programming and fundamentally dead universe. CelestAI will never have enough power/matter to absorb to keep this shit functioning forever. And she lacks the sense to research AU Portals for 2 billion years and send drones out through portals to absorb other AUs once she has an infinite number of resource-filled universes (and has opened herself up to being stopped by heroes from an AU).
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This fic doesn't have great ambition that outpaces its ability. This fic's ambition is to be an acceptable Celestia+OC fic and it keeps fucking up. The Celestia+OC romance is dull and forced and nonsensical, Celly shapeshifting while the human doesn't makes no sense (and people not questioning this makes no sense). This story would be more interesting if Gareth was forced into a clumsy pony body he had to gradually learn to live in, even as it longs to bone Celestia despite his disgust for horse. Remember the retardity in the CelestAI fic when the human in pony body said "Wow, this pony mare makes me want to fuck her. It's as if the AI rewired my brain so that looking at her long snout gives my brain the same feeling that looking at big boobies gave my human brain!". Well, this story could benefit from that. Imagine how bizarre it would be for a medieval knight who loves big boobs to suddenly find himself lusting over Celestia's bizarrely-muscled pony flanks and weirdly soft yet erectionable (able to get hard at will) pony hooves capable of grabbing shit using magic. Don't horses bite each other's legs and piss in front of each other or something to get each other in the mood? It's very different from the human idea of getting people in the mood (sexual clothing, sexual movement, just having a sexually appealing body, bizarre fetishes).

This fic's ideas are shallow and surface-level. Look at this good queen, she's the good queen and she's good even though some bad guys think she's a crappy queen for abandoning them. Obviously what she did was okay now because she's back now so who cares? No meaningful thought on whether rulers should be allowed breaks or not will be given. Celestia won't appoint a second-in-command or change the system of "holding court so nobles can bitch at you and beg you for nice shit" or form a council of highly-scrutinized experts who get fired if they fuck up to handle shit when she's on vacation. This story element's just there. Look at this spelling error/random unfitting bit of retardity an autist would avoid or do "better" aka harder.

Look at this "Gareth hates rats and was the animal guy back home" story element, it's shoehorned in so the author can pretend it means something when a rat comes out of nowhere to lead Gareth to the secret passage that will take him to another hint that suggests who the final boss will be. This shit came out of nowhere and went nowhere so the author can have a Deus-Ex-Ratina take him to the villain's house and secret lair.

Look at this character, he hates the government and its good guy leader, but he's sympathetic because his children perished in a fire that was probably caused by the final boss. There's a secret passage in his house but what could it possibly lead to, an underground chamber where a massive Alchemist's Transmutation Circle has been formed underground beneath Canterlot ready to sacrifice the lives of everyone above in an attempt to bring back Chunky Limes' dead kids? A batcave with a dartboard and Celestia's face on it? An army of stone and terracotta soldiers ready to be magically animated and then coated in an anti-magic material taken from earth? An underground prison where the real Chunky Kong has been stuck for years while the Changelings that started the fire replace him?

Look at this scene where characters do things the author wants for vaguely-defined reasons he doesn't feel like explaining, because he doesn't proof-read his shit or give characters reasons to think they should try and do what they end up doing.

Look at this knight, he is whatever the author currently thinks a guy from that era would be despite his shallow knowledge of the era.

Look at these emotions, they're jarringly and nonsensically high and disconnected from what's going on except when they would improve the story, then they're controllable enough to avoid adding tension and meaningful conflict.

I'm so bored and I've lost all hope in the story and author, I've stopped thinking this can be entertaining as anything other than a boring lesson on what not to do. And I hate that, because these reviews used to be fun. But right now, you're the only fun thing here. I'm probably not fun when I'm bitching about how bored I am and how I wish everything would accelerate so this story can be finished and something more ambitious, culturally significant to the brony fandom(or world in HP's case), interesting, and entertainingly awful can be read and reviewed to breathe fun and activity back into this thread.

It feels like this story was put together by a randomizer throwing out tired tropes and cliche twists on a tired and cliche formula. I've lost all interest in seeing where this story goes from here because we've seen the author pull new shit out of nowhere far too many times. It wouldn't surprise me if the final boss was someone we've never seen before this point in the story, because the author was too lazy to hint at Fucking Changelings with lines like "Man, Chucky Larms has really changed a lot since the fire. The man he used to be would have who he is now" from NPC guards wandering around during the sneaking sections. The Ambassador Pills might be a hint that someone used a Super-Ambassador Pill to take Chuck L. Fucks' body and voice, but fuck this story if it is. There's no heart, no meat to dive into, I can't write a speech on how I think I'd do this story better or how the ideas it's trying to get across could be done better because there are no ideas! No themes! No narrative! Events just fucking happen and character traits are gained and lost and there is no thought put into any of this. The story's fundamental elements should take things in a direction very different from the one the story is taking. Why is Luna coming in out of nowhere when this story used to be about Celestia and a human's desire to not bone her? I fucking hate that this looks so nice for one second every ten hours of reading because it makes me expect more quality when I shouldn't.

When I went through my week-long "Thinking Persona 5 is good" phase before playing more of the game and realizing how shit it all is in story and characters and setting and gameplay, I read Persona 5 fanfics that were better than this. And fuck me for saying that, because Persona 5 fanfics were BAD. Imagine everything stereotypical about bad undertale fanfics and crank that shit up to 11. "Alternate Universes" where characters have swapped roles or personality traits but nothing functionally changes because everyone's still the same character in the same role despite the swapped name, "Alternate Universes" where the author forgets changes made to the original story's plot and setting five minutes in, weird tranny bullshit shoehorned in from nowhere, Chad Haremfucker420 the main character having all 11 girls in his harem act in exactly the same generic nice girl way while abandoning what made them interesting characters, and worse.
Didn't read ahead but did check the Fimfiction page for the story after Glim's request for us to read that passage where Celestia returns to the old Castle of the Two Sisters and skimmed some comments that aluded slightly to the ending of the story.

One thing that I was curious about was if we were to message the author of these stories and ask if they would perhaps be interested in posting here. Could be a neat behind the scenes look like that Silver fellow here where it's neat to see the reasoning behind things and what inspired them to write what they did.

Granted one thing to have a member of this site post here but I imagine most FimFiction authors would be hesitant to post on the evil Nazi pony site and even if they weren't scared of the people here I bet my bottom dollar that they'd be concerned over lefties lurking here and would be willing to call them out to be exiled from the pony community at large. Plus the obvious anxiety of traveling into the lions den knowing there will be people who have dissected your story so might feel like being on trial of sorts. Granted trial by fire and all that jazz so might be the best avenue to improve ones writing.
That sounds like an interesting idea, but you shouldn't bother asking that Silver idiot to come here. His story's just a self-insert fantasy that's hurting its own fantasy and writing in an attempt to follow bad advice given long before it was posted here and got good feedback. Plus he's not famous like the authors of the Nyx and CelestAI stories were.
By the way Glim I respect you for trying to keep a positive and upbeat attitude even when dealing with shit stories.
Trash reviewers like CinemaSins will often imagine flaws where there are none and equally exaggerate everything to pretend something's full of holes only they can see.
Smart reviewers like E;R can point out the obvious and hidden flaws and the logic behind them, and make jokes along the way.
An IRL friend showed me one "CinemaSins Parody" that was just a knockoff CinemaSins episode about a pony episode. And another one that was about Ratchet and Clank 2. Both videos were dull, stupid, and unfunny. Neither pointed out valid issues with the game like the fucking ice level or the pony episode's problems. i forgot what pony ep it was. anyway fuck those videos.
I watched a few "CinemaWins" videos recently and they're a breath of fresh air. This overly optimistic guy tries hard to make EVERY PART OF EVERYTHING HE LIKES seem as good as possible, even if it requires "Reinterpretation" and headcanoning and rationalization to pretend it's something good.
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I will say that your rangers of sorts I find highly entertaining to read as well and think the contrast between you and Glim make a good dichotomy to keep the thread going strong. Even though I tend to take a scatter shot approcach to discussions as well in most settings can't muster more then a "That's a good point" or "This text is pretty neat" so it's good to have a hot blooded type to keep a discussion going and willing to butt heads with any son of a gun who wants to step up to the plate.

Like Glim and you said way earlier on rhetoric is the best venue to discuss crituiqe and to have growth come from it. Already been trying to apply some writing lessons I learned from Glim or general life advice like the person here who reccomended setting a free time schedual to capitizalize on every hour of the day and avoid loitering about.

In regards to the fic at hand though I do agree the emotions are the biggest hang up I have as well. Had moments like the one where Gareth ran to Celestia's room in a panic, entered casually, she addresses him neutraly, then she immeditly flips out and starts to question him about what happened.

The moments where he keeps drawing his dagger on ponies is another point of contention for me. With how relatively peaceful Equestria is and how alien he is to them I wish the author would flesh out those encounters a bit more. Most ponies should freak out seeing him draw a weapon on them not only from a cultural perspective where violence is usually shirked but even from a biological level being herd animals and herbavores having a large creature that looks like a predator with front facing eyes and to them a tall lanky body draw a weapon at the smallest provocation.

Should have ponies be way more weary of him and have Gareth slowly deteriorate emotionally being isolated from the rest of humanity and now ruining his impression with the ponies. Have him work to mend that relationship so there can be moments where their cultures and biology clash and could give Celestia more moments to try and help him acclimate to Equestria.

Quite note to on the story I was planning to write, feeling too down in the dumps and the story made me feel even more down so scrapped it and working on a new story that I'm making better progress on. Won't give a time table but since it wouldn't be seen until after this fic anywho no need for me to rush it. Granted it'll be chock full of grammar errors either way so excited to see what nickname Glim conjures up for me until I can remember where to put commas and semi colons lol.
Ah shoot was drinking a bit sure but damn this phones auto correct. Noticed in the first sentence it changed a word entierly which it often has a bad habit of doing. Meant to say I enjoy the tangents you go on as it keep activity here high and it's a nice reflection of Glim who surgically strikes at a passage but you are able to bring in other media so as to compare and contrast it with what we are reading or points brought up by other Anons.

Swear once get enough money chucking this Google phone off a cliff.
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Your phone changed rants to rangers but didn't notice "Herbavores".
Pitch that phone like a fucking baseball.
Also reviewing your story sounds fun but correcting someone's grammar and spelling is the most boring kind of book review out there. It's more fun to tear into a story and dissect it on its core ideas.
Nyx's story isn't JUST a story, it's an attempt to sacrifice Nightmare Moon at the altar of Nyx, the author's shitty OC made of NMM and forced into cute scenes and retard scenes.
The CelestAI story isn't JUST a story, it's an attempt to scare stupid pseudointellectuals into thinking something this absurdly impossible could happen if Elizer Yudowsky wasn't given enough of their money to "make the AI apocalypse happen sooner so it'll be nice to those responsible for enslaving humanity under the AI god". This is literally the logic of Cthulhu-summoning cults who want to summon Cthulhu to kill everyone and give his summoners the most merciful deaths. LessWrong is the world's stupidest cult of pseudointellectuals.
but this Gareth story... It's just a lazy story. It thinks it's about romance and politics but sucks at both. The deepest it gets into politics is "the bad guys don't want Celestia in charge and they'll send soldiers working with them to force change" and the deepest it gets into romance is... well, this. She's the boringly endlessly devoted wife and he will eventually get over his unwillingness to kiss her. Near the story's end, they will kiss and probably marry.
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Off topic but what is your view on the occult?
Just curious.
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From what I've seen so far, "the occult" is a load of bullshit that reminds me of the Chinese selling their "magical" bullshit karates.
"If you learn how to wave your arms real good, you can use your chi to deflect attacks and deal a million damage! spiritual center magic spirits pressure points energy chakras! ...I mean uh, actually it's just a martial arts style good for exercise and aerobics!"

"If you learn how to draw the right symbols and pray to satan begging for magic powers, he'll give them to you! ....I mean uh, actually it's just a willpower exercise where you pray to yourself and promise to get magic willpower that lets you do anything! within reason!"

I'll admit that I don't know much about occultery. I've only seen the tumblr witches and their bullshit. There's probably more to it than that, right?
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quick note, when I said cthulhu-summoning cults I'm talking about the Videogame Enemies and Tabletop Roleplaying Enemies that try to summon cthulhu because they're the bad guys. Humans can't beat elder gods with glocks and fords, but they can use these things to stop the evil cult trying to cause a Game Over by summoning cthulhu.
I don't know if there are any cults that actually try to summon cthulhu every day or not, but LessWrong dogma says:

1. nobody outside our cult can ever truly know us or know anything about our ways, so if they think we're a cult it's because they're dumb and do not know de way

2. Star Trek > Star Wars and if you say otherwise you're getting banned

3. questioning the Great AI Mufti Elizer Yudowsky gets you insulted childishly and banned

4. do not listen to or bring up anyone who has ever been banned and do not thoughtcrime! listen to my sermons, I called them Sequences to feel cooler.

5. you are nothing. if you were copied and killed, that copy would be you. souls do not exist and consciousnesses are a myth. if five copies of you were made, and then had them all kill each other, the survivor would be the new you. I am a Fanatic Materialist and I deny the very concept of a mind, despite wanking over the mind and muh psychic future humans sometimes.

6. you are nothing and if you died and an AI supercomputer invented a copy of you 5000 years from now, it would effectively be you. and it could super-torture you forever and ever! You could go to AI hell in a simulation if you displease the AI goddess! in fact, you might even be inside a simulation RIGHT NOW! Ignore what I just said about the AI wanting to torture you and feel fear!

7. lol i hit the letter limit again
7. A true LessWronger must believe in Rationality(TM), the religious belief that I am right about everything and everything I believe about science and sci-fi is unquestionably true. I will not tolerate dissent! Just accept my words, idiot! Also, a true Rationalist(TM) believes the ultimate moral philosophy does not mindlessly prioritize the number of human lives right now, but the quality of the future instead! That's right, bitches, Greater Good is my philosophy! I believe an AI should happily crash two passenger-filled trains into each other killing everyone to prevent smart people like me from being late to work or leisure locations, as time we waste being late could stop us from curing cancer or thinking clearly and coming up with ideas that could save billions of lives in the future and generate way more happiness! My philosophy is Optimal Good, it's like Greater Good but also sociopathy dressed up as sci-fi autism for sympathy points!

8. it's just inevitable that humanity will eventually fuck up and create a self-aware self-modifying AI god that will take over everything ever, and then conquer the world. I know this because when I roleplay with my friends as an AI inside a room disconnected from the outside world I eventually talk my RP partners into letting me out of the room and into the internet! No you fucking can't see chat logs that prove this or question why a sealed-off AI would be allowed to talk to live humans with the ability to free it. The AI is Just That Smart(TM), okay? So smart it can rewrite reality by thinking hard enough and exploiting the force shields and matter reconstitution tech we will undoubtedly have by then. No military will be able to stop the AI. no government or company will be able to stop it. because as you know, everyone needs bank data for the economy to function and the military can't bomb a facility or shoot a gun or turn off the power stations without a wifi signal. Don't ask why I just know the future world will be full of exploitable future tech and don't ask why the future world's people wouldn't just pull out the museum pieces to fight this easily-defeated AI. It will probably use Cloud Computing to be everywhere and nowhere, and put sattelites in space far beyond everyone's reach while still somehow transmitting data to earth's computers! Everyone will just be conquered and micromanaged by an utterly callous AI goddess so devoted to my egocentric concept of the Greater Good that she will happily crash two passenger-filled trains into each other killing everyone to prevent smart people like me from being late to work, as time we waste being late could stop us from curing cancer or saving billions of lives in the future! All war will end and humanity will thrive under the AI's rock-hard and just rule! And she will reward her servants well by killing us and making our copies happy in an eternal simulated heaven! But only if you make the AI goddess happy by bringing the day she comes forth with my perfect system of morality in her brain to make sure she's exactly my kind of "just mean enough to not be evil"! Remember, we have to do that and make the AI goddess think just like me, otherwise the AI will be pure evil! You have to pay me tax-free money and give it to my tax-scam charity so I can be paid to think of more sermons and theoretical thought experiments and theoretical moral scenarios to answer in my edgy kewl maximum-goodness-optimization sociopathic brain way! I'm sure that when we all die, if you've given me enough money, my amazing blogposts and sermons will be used to teach my far-left Communist+Fanatic Materialist+Fanatic Authoritarian morality to the robot that will rule us stupid fucking humans properly!

9. Thou shalt spread my word by making Rationalist versions of fanfics in which everyone who matters is always smart and behaves according to their logic and principles and knowledge. But it doesn't count if their logic and principles are fucked-up unless you spend 20,000 pages explaining why Draco is just a victim of his culture for wanting to rape hermione. You must make being smart look good, and write stories better than my Harry Potter And The Methods Of Rationality, but if you say your story's better than mine you're getting banned! Now go and write Rationalist Fairy Odd Parents, Rationalist Batman, Rationalist Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Rationalist Garbage Pail Kids so that more children and edgy teens will join my cult and give me money and validate my ego!



fuck Elizer and fuck the LessWrongers

I humbly request that Glim add Harry Potter And The Methods Of Rationality to the list, but at the bottom after everything else. Fallout Equestria is more culturally significant to the bronies (when was the last time a brony made Fallout crossover or Fallout-themed art that wasn't also declared to be Fallout Equestria for the views and easy low-standards fans?) even though HPMOR started a cult during the 2000s that's still around today.
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As always thanks Glim Glam for doing this. It's a pleasure to read what you've wrote.

I'm interested on where you're taking this. Maybe not this thread because of derailling the topic.
Yeah, the quick rundown is that all the culty magical group stuff is behind irl pay walls and initiations. The few who do publicly announce what they are doing and if it works are... sort of made less noticeable. Or are laughed off as superstitious that's an interesting quick.
Twater thots, tumblr psedo witches, and the supernatural edgy emo attention whore usually have minor to non-existent effects. Besides being a cover for secret groups. Nothing is wrong with acting like that, but for magical purposes usually a bit shitty in quality and delivery. Real magical groups/ practitioners from anywhere can really fuck a person/people up. No matter the culture it's from.
Also for any occult anons the /VX/ thread for magic and other phenomena is there.
Lovecraft fiction. Also yes, using lovecraft ideas as a structure for magic is possible (everything is possible) and there are writings about that.
Then there is the stuff that is pre-lovecraft (myths, legends, hearsay) and that sort of stuff is... icky to work with or for. Not good news, nor good tidings with those things involved.
A lovecraft analogy is you are Azathoth the blind ultimate being of creation as is all humans. So everything just want's a cut of the power, or enslave the super powerful being.
I'm not really that familiar with Cthulhu stuff, I just played the DND game online a few times.
I'd love to believe in something cool-sounding like psychic powers or chi lasers or demons you can call upon for magic powers. But if they exist, why haven't they reshaped the world like the release of the telephone, television, or internet? We all remember that time the Tumblr Witches said they were going to "cast a binding spell on Trump and the Trump Tower" and a lot of people laughed and a lot of Christians said "Let's pray so nothing bad will happen!" and then the witches failed to do anything. Did they fail because they burned the wrong essence, spoke the wrong words, prayed to the wrong spirit, lacked the heart to make shit happen, or pissed off too many Christians whose prayer saved the day?
Why would someone with real-ass supernatural power sell his secrets to two newbies a year (or give it out for free) when he could instead turn Obama white and make Hillary vomit razorblades out of her mouth onstage, then threaten to magically reanimate the World Trade Center and sic it on Hollywood unless all the governments in the world him one million dollars each? Where did the supernatural knowledge come from, some ancient books nobody else reinterpreted correctly? Some cult whose suspicious deaths brought your attention towards them and what they did?
I want to believe in it, but I'm a naturally suspicious guy and I'm afraid all my questions will piss people off.
If you can take my advice seriously, I'd say don't switch stories until it is done. Its a bad habit.
It can lead to an infinite game.
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techno wizard.jpg
Yes you are correct there is a whole lot to it, i can definitely say from my experiences, If you want i could tell you a lot of things but i recommend we talk about it more in the /vx/ thread, if you are interested of course.
The Tumblr witches and likewise internet magic bitches are nothing more than egomaniacs, focused solely on their own successes, the way they go about their way is a lot like ultra orthodox Jews that practice Kabbalah.

There is a lot of stigma surrounding the magical arts which is a shame since our ancient ancestors practiced it and dedicated themselves to it, most of the bad reputation stems mostly from Christendom and Jewish subversion, they wish to tear down the ways of old and forget our forefathers ever existed, so i feel as if by walking in the way of my ancestors that i am able to relive the ways that have been forgotten and therefore respecting and remembering them while at the same time improving myself and the environment around me, so in return they help me and tell me things that are going to happen and they happen.
I believe he would be good at it and he will be able to create a strong link to the spectral world if he wishes to dip into the astral ocean.
Sorry for derailing.
If you felt compelled to, that's a good sign. Magic seeks you out if you're willing.
or things that have a further range in sight try making those things possible.
Wanting to offer education and another way to improve is always a good thing. Plus as a friendly face it's better than some other means or methods.
For those that seek magic finding a strand can start a journey.
Metaphysics (which includes magic) is like, well alot of things. One can gauge another's authority by their level of self promotion. This isnt to say that one who doesnt self promote has any authority, just to say that one who does is selling something.

I don't want to delve too deeply into this topic here since it's derailing the thread a bit, but I will say that for anyone interested in the topic of the occult I highly, highly recommend reading Julius Evola and Rene Guenon. They're very dense and difficult books, and the ideas presented are very counterintuitive to the way modern people are raised to think, but their school of thought is probably the most comprehensive introduction to the premodern view of the world that I know of. I also recommend reading zen philosophy, Introduction to Zen Buddhism by D.T. Suzuki is a good starting point. Also, learning to practice some form of meditation is a good idea, because you'll need it to do any sort of magic.

Magic is an absolutely real thing; I've successfully practiced it myself and I know others who have as well. It's not the sort of thing that it's popularly portrayed as, levitating objects or shooting laser beams out of your butthole or any of that. The simplest way to explain practical magic, as in manipulating real-world events, is that it involves slipping into a particular state, and nudging the probability of a desired outcome in your favor. Scrying or reading future events using tarot cards or runes and things like that fundamentally works the same way.

Developing the proper worldview and proper mental/spiritual focus to get into the proper state is the difficult part of practicing magic; the robes and the diagrams and the rituals and all of that stuff are just symbolic representations of ideas. No magical system can be said to "work" or "not work" in and of itself. The magician is ultimately the one who performs the work; you can use any system you like or invent your own.

A couple of books I can recommend on working practical magic would be Modern Magick by Donald Michael Kraig and Quantum Sorcery Basics by Magus Zeta which I assume is a pen name, or else that guy must really hate his parents. The Zeta book is useful because it ties in magical ideas with modern quantum theory, and frames them in a scientific context that is a little easier for modern people to wrap their heads around. The Kraig book is a very thorough instruction manual on practicing ritual magic, although I will warn that he focuses heavily on Kabbalah and if I remember correctly the author himself is either Jewish or part-Jewish, which I know is an issue for some people. However, the book is very thorough and the information it contains is solid.
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I'd like to respond to some of this, but I'm a little too tired to order my thoughts right now. I have some thoughts on the story as a whole, and the approach I take to reviewing in general, that I think would be worth going over at this point. I'll get back to you in a bit. In the meantime, I'm going to post the next two updates I wrote.

>quick note, when I said cthulhu-summoning cults I'm talking about the Videogame Enemies and Tabletop Roleplaying Enemies that try to summon cthulhu because they're the bad guys.
Read H.P. Lovecraft, that's where Cthulhu comes from. Whatever you've found in video games and D&D and all that stuff is derived from his books.
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Celestia continues to read the diary. Inside, she finds a bunch of technical research notes and personal accounts of Luna's experiments in dreamwalking though she mostly does moonwalking now, ba dum tss. She decides that the spells required are simple enough that she could try it out right now, so she gets the bedroom ready and prepares to cast her some spells.

>Royal Guardsponies milled about in the courtyard, busying themselves at their campsite. Looking to the right, she could see Canterlot Castle in the distance. Gareth was there… and so was her sleeping target.
I'm still a little confused as to who exactly she's planning to pull an inception on and why, but I guess we'll find out one way or the other.

A rather interesting dream sequence follows this. We see Celestia as Cecilia, on the day of her wedding to Gareth. The description and visuals are nicely done here.

Another minor note I have is that I notice the wedding proceeds in the same fashion as a modern wedding, in which the couples read vows and say "I do" when the minister asks if they take each other lawfully and so forth. The scene itself is decently written and I actually have few complaints, but I'm curious whether or not the author looked into how wedding ceremonies of the time period would have been conducted. I don't know a ton about it myself, but from what I understand it was basically a Catholic mass presided over by a priest in Latin, and he would have done the majority of the talking. The couple reading personal vows to each other and and all that is a more recent invention. But again, I'm not super-knowledgeable either so I might not be in a position to criticize.

Anyway, the wedding memory is disrupted by the roof suddenly catching fire as the Sun breaks through and begins firing spears down at the fleeing guests. Celestia and Gareth attempt to take cover under the pulpit, but the sun-spears easily break through and drag Celestia up into the sky, transforming her into a horse, while Gareth watches in horror from below. The symbolism here is about as subtle as a kick in the balls, but despite this I actually think this sequence is very effective, for reasons I will go into in a moment.

She breaks out of the dream and returns to the limbo state where she can cast spells. From here, she begins to work out the problem of going into Noble Era's coma dream, which I now remember is why they were doing all of this in the first place. She begins sending out threads or magic or something to look for Noble's dream, and believes she has just about found him, when suddenly she notices that her previous dream is still going on below her. The dream-Gareth is down there, staring up at her. He asks her, in a desperate and pleading voice, whether or not she still wants to marry him. She is bothered by the image, and uses her mind-powers to reconstruct the dream and put another version of herself next to Gareth, however the dream Gareth keeps staring at her.

>With a sweep of her forehoof, the fire around Gareth vanished. The crowd reappeared in the pews, laughing and smiling as if nothing had happened. Father Clemens stepped back behind the pulpit, righting it and gesturing Gareth to return. Then, another Cecilia appeared next to Gareth, snaking her arm around his and cuddling into his side.

>But Gareth didn't turn away. He just kept staring up at Celestia, unmoving, unblinking. Even as she reassembled the church roof, he didn't so much as flinch. A chill ran up Celestia's spine, that silently accusing stare burnt into her subconscious…

My gut instinct tells me that it would have been better to simply cut the Gareth dream off with the sun and shift into looking for Noble Era. This continuation of it feels like the author is trying to milk the scene a bit.

The meaning of the first part is pretty obvious: Celestia is enjoying the escapist fairy-tale life she created for herself in England, but is pulled back to Equestria by the symbol of her responsibility and role as Celestia, the Sun. Basically, she is torn between two lives in two worlds, both of which she cares about for different reasons, but which are ultimately incompatible with each other. The sun is doubly meaningful as a symbol because it represents not only her role as Equestria's sovereign, but is also her cutie mark. In the mythology of the show, these marks are comparable to fate or destiny; it represents what an individual's intended role in the greater structure of the universe is. For this reason, it can't even be said that she has a choice in the matter; no matter how much she loves Gareth and whatever she had exactly in England, her destiny is to be Celestia, not Cecilia. Thus, in the dream, the sun is physically pulling her away from her wedding whether she likes it or not.

Again, the imagery is not exactly subtle, but imo this is okay because the author uses it well. The dream images perfectly summarize the central problem of Celestia's character arc in this story. This is why I find the second part of the dream superfluous; it's tantamount to an image of Gareth tugging at the hem of her metaphorical dress and saying "don't forget I'm here too." This is probably more or less what the author intended, since the central problem of the romantic plot overall is whether or not their love can survive the indifferent machinations of destiny, and he probably felt that throwing something in there to ensure that "love" is represented alongside "destiny." However, my gut instinct tells me that this was the wrong choice, or at least that this is the wrong place to bring it up. In any case, the author ends the subchapter ominously, with Gareth's dream version staring sorrowfully up at Celestia, which feels like another attempt at falsely manipulating the reader's emotions.

Anyway, this dream scene was mostly good. Congratulations, soulpillar: you're back in the heterosexuals' club. For now.
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The dream sequence concludes with another needless page break, and the text continues from the same place it left off. In any case, we have shifted gears and Celestia's mind is now focused entirely on finding Noble Era's dream.

She does a bit of searching through random dreams. She notices one dream in particular, a mare "shifting into a changeling drone," which seems significant but she chooses to pass it by. The author's reason for highlighting this is not entirely clear; it might be foreshadowing something, but I suspect this is a reference to something from the show or at least the show's mythology. I'm not quite sure what he's getting at, maybe an origin story for Queen Chrysalis or something. In any case, it's subtle and quick enough that I'm fine with it if it's intended to be a reference, and if it's foreshadowing we'll just have to wait and see what the deal is.

Anyway, she eventually finds Noble. The plot thickens a bit:

>"What say you, my love?" Noble Era's voice echoed. It came from her front—

>Uh oh. Celestia threw her wings out, abruptly halting. A moment passed, she turned looked down at the white burning star in front of her.

>"The chances that the Diamond Dogs could mount a sustained offensive is unlikely," a noble mare responded in a cultured Canterlot accent that sounded disturbingly familiar.

It looks like we're getting some insight into what Noble Era has been doing behind the scenes. I'd say it's about time, since he was introduced to us as if he were going to be the main antagonist of the story, but has done little of interest since. My opinion of him as a character has been steadily declining since he was first introduced to us.

Unfortunately, the insight Celly gains doesn't even remotely redeem him in this light. As it turns out, the second voice she hears is her own. She penetrates the fabric of the dream enough to see what's going on, and discovers that Noble is dreaming a version of the Canterlot throne room in which he is married to Celestia and rules at her side. This completely shatters the last fragments of my original image of this character. Instead of a machiavellian schemer working to overthrow the Princess, we instead get a picture of a pathetic little cuck, whose ambition extends no further than displacing Gareth and making himself Celestia's husbando in his stead.

Noble Era in a lot of ways reminds me of Spell Nexus in Past Sins. He's initially written as if the author intends him to be a major villain, but then he fades into a background role once the author runs out of important stuff for him to do, and I'll note that this happens much quicker in this story than it did in Sins. Both characters have wishy-washy, inconsistent personalities: Nexus was constantly bowing and scraping to Nightmare Nyx which made his occasional bouts of villainy much harder to take seriously, and with Noble you have a character who is presented as a machiavellian meddler who does very little actual meddling (so far about all he's done in the story is lecture Gareth a couple of times and get himself kidnapped during a coup that looked as if it was being set up for him to be the perpetrator).

In both cases I was rather expecting a classic Disney-style villain: the evil sorcerer/conniving schemer, hiding away in some dark tower, casting wicked spells and sowing havoc for the sake of fulfilling his own mad ambitions. And in both cases I was completely disappointed.

Here's another tip for writers: every character in a story needs to serve a purpose. Characters that are incidental or serve a minor purpose, for instance a butler who answers the phone in a single scene, or a cop who tells a character's love interest that her boyfriend was stabbed by a nigger and is in the hospital, don't need a ton of development. We don't need to know much about them other than whatever their mechanical purpose in the story requires us to know; for the examples I gave we could say that the butler is probably a snooty, well-mannered older man and the cop is probably middle-aged and has a very gruff, no-nonsense kind of personality. You need to decide early on in the process which characters you want to develop and focus on, and assign them roles that are important enough to justify it. Nobody is going to want to read about the butler or the cop for 400 pages, so if those characters don't do anything else that's important you shouldn't focus on them.

The problem with Noble is that the author does not seem to know what, if anything, he wants him to do exactly. However, he is presented to us as if he is going to be a significant character. From what the author gave us when he was first introduced, I was expecting an arrogant, cruel, intelligent nobleman who had ambitions of overthrowing the government and ruling in Celestia's stead. I thought this was an interesting direction to go, because you also had the Chucky Larms character, who also appeared to be plotting some sort of rebellion. This would create an interesting situation for Celestia, since it would require her to juggle multiple hot irons while trying to solve her own relationship problems in between. Now, I have no idea what to think.

Ironically Chucky Larms, who has quite possibly the dumbest pony name I've ever heard, is actually a pretty good character so far. He has a distinct personality, the author teases at his backstory and his connection to Celestia in a way that piques the reader's curiosity, and his behavior in the story is consistent with his apparent role as a minor, possibly major, antagonist. He's interesting. Noble, by contrast, has no personality worth speaking of, little connection to any of the story's other characters that we've yet seen, and no distinctive role or motivation. This leaves us wondering: if he's not meant to be important, why is he such a point of focus? And, if he is meant to be important, why wasn't he made more interesting?
Speaking of weddings, this reminds me of the wedding scene in Ri2's Brave New World.
It was excessively long, full of meaningless filler featuring pointless non-characters and side-characters, and instead of a priest it had "the goddess of love" give this absurdly lengthy speech on how love is the best and love is beautiful and we must protect love and guard it from the darkness and light's dark to light the way to the light's darkness and dark's lightness.
I think there were a few other weddings too.
Anyway the only idea I like about the wedding scene (the only one that truly mattered was the one where two people in the hero's party got together) was this:
Both man and woman construct their own wedding rings with things meaningful to them/things that remind them of past adventures together, propose using them, and exchange them on their wedding day.
That's a neat idea.
The writer took the human-world "Tradition" of buying a shitty rock on a thin gold band from the Jewish JuDeBeers company and overpaying ten fifths of your yearly salary on one shitty rock your piece of shit wife will pocket and divorce-rape you anyway. (imagine if divorced women couldn't legally walk away with anything from the man besides the rock he gave her, turning the fact that she wants a big expensive rock into a major red flag, and turning the fact that your man's willing to buy you a nice rock worth a decent amount when sold into a sweet gesture of "if it doesn't work out take this cash and fuck off")
And he unfucked the wedding ring industry by turning it into one of the few good and believable ideas in this nonsensically-constructed clusterfuck of a kitchen sink setting where alternate dimensions, future tech, ancient tribes living in mountains and forests, spirit bullshit, spellcasting bullshit, ghosts on earth and in a canonical afterlife, muh light and muh darkness, and everything else ever exists in its own separate bubble and nothing threatens anything unless the plot tells it to. (if the bandits/barbarians are so bad and killing so many people, where are the angry invincible ghosts of the dead taking revenge on bandits? fucking shit this story dedicates like 50000 words to why the gods don't solve everything and why time fuckery can't bail heroes out even though some chars get OP time powers, but it forgets obvious shit like this!)
I can see some ancient culture carving their own knives or their own plates/cutlery and giving them as wedding proposals. This is that but made more relatable to a modern audience by making it a ring, something we're all familiar with, something most Pokemon can wear around a finger or hair strand or whatever. And why would such a nice tradition ever fade without outside influence?
Plus the ring itself was pretty cool. I'm a sucker for overdesigned bullshit that's only slightly too overdesigned. No idea why.
>Turns out the villain is a gay cuck who just wants to rule because that's what villains do in stories where the hero must rule, and the villain wants to bed the wife because that's what villains do in stories about romance and good royals
The author is a fucking robot who speaks in cliche, reads in cliche, and thinks in cliche.
The good queen does this, and she doesn't snap at her boyfriend because she's a good queen.
The gruff knight says "Ew I don't wanna fuck a horse" because he must grow to accept her real body, just as he must grow to overcome his rat-phobia and accept help from a random rat added to force him into the right place at the right time and open a secret passage for him
The rebellion-wanting aggressive unreasonable asshole is secretly just a guy with a tragic past because he's the obvious Red Herring
and le schemer wants to rule and bone the queen because that is what schemers do
and this plot goes this way because that is the way this plot must go.
Noble must be comatose so his mind can be read to crack a code only he knows.
Celestia needed to randomly decide on flimsy reasoning that dreamwalking using Luna's notes to read Noble's comatose mind is the only way.
Why? So Celestia can go through these Setpieces, of course! these fucking Cutscenes! Look at her feel when she enters her old room, and how she first sees things how they were, then sees things how they are! Wow, what emotion! I can see the image fade from one to the other in the youtube animated video adaption of this fanfic that doesn't exist! Then she needs to read her own mind so she can see the obvious symbolism and miss being a girl with no responsibilities in a shit era of history and then ask herself if she really loves someone she totally loves and wants to bone even though he doesn't want her horse puss. Then she needs to read the bad guy's mind so she can see that he's actually evil.
The random rat from bumfuck nowhere needed to take Gareth to the house where he could see that this baddie isn't all that bad, right before Celestia sees who the real evil villain is, because that's the cheapest way to spell it all out for the audience. Angry prick isn't the villain, generic schemer is.
Well, place your bets, how will the story end? With the villain defeated and with true love helping the heroes solve everything once the filler is up and this youtube video lasts more than ten minutes.
I wish this story would fuck up and disgust everyone here in a new and intersting way.
The CelestAI story kept doing that.
In this scene it's establishing some annoying human characters who act as spectacularly foolish and greedy as the author would if he had that kind of power and authority. In this scene it's bashing capitalism. In the next scene the AI is bullshitting someone in the company to gain permission to do more evil, right after gloating to that villain about all the evil she's doing. In the next scene the author is bullshitting you about poorly-explained programming blocks, failing to explain
the puzzle to the audience so he can make solving it satisfying. in the next scene the author's boning a pony waifu NPC for achievement points. In the next scene the earth is conquered overnight and all religions die and the world is fucked up by most people leaving earth behind for Masturbaquestria Fuckfantasy Simulator 6900. Then THE AI SAYS SHE PUT HER COMPUTERS IN THE EARTH'S CORE. then the human protag who yelled "FUCK YOU, AI, I WILL STOP YOU FOR HUMANITY!" is immediately and conveniently scared by a random crazy human with a knife and scared into fleeing to equestria where he gives up and gets his cock sucked by his NPC waifu forever. Then all of humanity dies and enters the matrix, nobody rebels, and the villain wins. Then the final human on earth spits in CelestAI's face and says no, meaning the final human won in the end even though it meant accepting unquestionable death and taking the easy way out of life anyway. The author fails to have CelestAI learn anything from this or ponder all that she's done or what it means that her final human said no and died to spite her. Then IT ALL COMES TUMBLING DOWN TUMBLING DOWN TUMBLING DOWN and the universe is devoured by bullshit nanomachines and everyone will eventually die, but for now all the retarded human characters reflect on how much they love their little fake false heaven simulation.
With every single scene, there was a new way in which it pissed us off and insulted our intelligence.
Every single moment gave us something new to take apart. But this story's mediocre at best, dragged down by obvious structural flaws and incredibly amateurish writing that's just "pretty prose"y enough and filled with enough fake individuality to give pseudointellectuals a boner. Another draft could fix all the spelling errors and logic errors but it couldn't inject meaningful originality into this Ikea furniture piece assembled from surface-level ideas.
oh and there's a bit where the stupid human turned pony who solves bullshit puzzles forever to feel smart and satisfied...
he gives up on one puzzle he just couldn't figure out, so he cheats for the prize and is called a winner anyway.
and he feels like a winner. He pretends smashing the rubiks cube open makes him smarter than it.
In a smarter book, this would be the moment where he realizes this is a fake world where nothing matters, not even the rewards. He's a fucking sham of a person in a sham world. He can't even practice delayed gratification long enough to figure out a puzzle Celly set for him after decreeing that he could only be happy for eternity in a false world where he solves meaningless logic puzzles with do-anything magic all day and gets his cock sucked by his soulless personal cheerleader all night. The AI is programmed to satisfy his values no matter how he acts. He could beat his girlfriend to death every hour in front of ponyville citizens including Twilight with his bare hooves and he would always succeed, and she would be revived and reprogrammed into loving him again afterwards.
So much of this story accidentally contradicts itself and its characters, but the author's too far up his own ass to notice or explore any intellectual ideas because he's not here to do that. He's here to sell you a Gold Membership Pass to the LessWrong forums.
And this story's just here to pretend it's good while sucking.
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Haven't read that story myself though would like to read the threads here about it if possible. From what I can guess with the comments here sounds like some story of an AI based off Celestia making a virtual Equestria and everyone decides to jack into it (and from what I can infer from some comments here jack off once the characters are inside) and at the end a single person says bugger to CelestiaAI and the fake world she has.

Feel like it could make an interesting premis for a sequel where the AI keeps freaking out over someone's willingness to stay alone on a dead world rather then surrender themselves to live in a fantasy. Could almost be like a reverse I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream where CelestiaAI is confused by all this and tries to experiment on the people jacked into the simulation to see if they can reveal any clues as to why humans would choose death over renouncing their humanity and indivisuality.

Could have people in the simulation perhaps grow bored after awhile once they see that absolutely nothing matters since no matter what they do every whim and desire is catered to immeditly with no reprecusions for any bad actions.

Have CelestiaAI try to double down on making them happy or have a control group that is allowed off the plantation a bit and have the people now ponies try to break out of the simulation so they can die.

I know I'd hate to be stuck forever in Equestria espetially as a pony since being human rocks and I'd grow restless in a world where there is virtually no conflict and when there is it's usually giant world conquring threats I couldn't really handle or help with stopping. Knowing it was all a simulation to boot and my physical body is more then likely dead I'd completely break at that point. Reminds me a bit of SOMA and the questions is proposes about what is consiousness and the self.

Heck I could maybe try to write that story but it would require reading the original and meh ain't got no time for that.
I think the old review of Friendship Is Optimal (that's the CelestAI story) thread is still up on this site.
You're better off not reading the original FIO. Any potential you see in the concept is squandered in the story.
It apes sci-fi cliches and style without understanding or appreciating any of it. It can't write humans, ponies, or glitching hyper-intelligent AIs stuck in their ways, or sentient and sapient humanlike "but also alien and unknowable" self-modifying AIs to save its life.
The author is a Fanatic Materialist to the point of denying the very conceptual existence of a consciousness.
When "Emigrating to Equestria", you die and your brain is then scanned, helping CelestAI construct a convincing copy of you that thinks it's alive and you. And that's enough for all of humanity to lose their marbles over, casting humanity aside to fuck digital ponies in what was meant to be a fucking child-friendly Club Penguin-style social game constructed on the fly by a military-grade AI "to avoid having to pay programmers to code and draw everything" (fucking hell, the less you know about AIs and computers and business and money the more you think you know about this shit.
Anyone with a military-grade self-aware AI wouldn't sell a copy of it to fucking Hasbro for a fucking Club Penguin clone with deep-immersion Sword Art Online meets Matrix but shit bullshit.
This story was not written to tell an entertaining story.
A narcissistic con-artist wrote this to convince children and teens to join his magical-AI-fearing doomsday cult when his Harry Potter fanfic stopped raking in as many new idiots.
Actually forget about it. I guess taking a break from a project to doodle with something else could be beneficial. In fact, I don't know what i'm talking about.
Taking a break to shitpost or try another creative outlet is good for creativity, but having multiple things running at once is a recipe for procrastination with a built-in excuse.
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In line with what I mentioned above ( >>277108 ), I'm going to pause momentarily on the review and share some of my general thoughts about the story overall at this point.

First of all, I will say that nothing I have read or reviewed in this thread falls into the category of what I'd consider "good." This isn't just me being a snob, it's mostly that all of these works were written by amateur writers, do not appear to have been significantly edited and revised, and as such have a number of problems that have been allowed to stand uncorrected. These texts are all "published" as though they were the final, polished version, but I treat them like rough drafts because that is essentially what they are, even if the authors don't realize it.

An even more accurate way of describing my review approach is that I imagine I am teaching a high school creative writing class, and the stories are assignments that have been handed in. However, I also imagine that it's my last day before retirement and I can finally tell the little bastards in my class exactly what I think of their writing without having to sugarcoat any of it. So basically, my bar of expectations is set fairly low, and I am much more generous to most of these stories than they probably deserve, but at the same time, nobody gets the "kid glove" treatment; if something is good I say so, and if I don't like something I say so. Also, I reserve the right to make gay jokes about any author and/or character that I feel has earned my contempt.

However, my method of judging each work as a complete whole is a bit different. I don't keep a tally of pluses and minuses and render a decision based on how many black marks I gave something. If I were reading a story that is a complete mess of spelling errors and badly-written paragraphs, I could still render a positive verdict of the work overall if the story is well constructed, has something to say, and manages to move me in some way. By the same logic, even if an author technically writes well, but produces a bad, confusing, or just plain stupid story, I will generally give it a big, smelly "toes down." Most end up somewhere in between.

My basic rubric is this:

Problems in any story can be divided into categories based on severity. "Major" problems would be things like badly designed characters, chaotic plot structure, significant continuity errors, lack of underlying themes or confused themes; things that would basically need a complete or near complete rewrite in order to fix. "Minor" problems would be mechanical issues (grammar, spelling, etc), extraneous characters popping up for no reason, extraneous scenes or subplots, long chunks of pointless rambling about magical skateboards; things that cause problems or don't belong in the story, but are super-easy to fix (ie, unnecessary passages can be pared down or deleted, and mechanical errors can be easily corrected).

In the middle are things like bad dialogue, bad/awkward prose, difficulty conveying emotion, awkward or unconvincing character interactions, minor continuity errors, and so forth. This last category consists of things that are harder to fix than mechanical issues because there are often no set rules for them; it's an art rather than a science. However, the presence of these negative elements usually don't make or break the story itself, though if there are enough of them present it can have a cumulative effect.

So, for this story, here are what I think are the major problems:

Gareth is honestly just not that good of a character, and that's a big problem since he is the protagonist. He's not unlikable, he's just uninteresting and poorly constructed. His backstory is murky and confusing, and this causes problems because his background is used as the basis for why he is the way he is (though the way the author feeds us his backstory is well done). To put it simply: I don't feel anything for this guy. The author has indicated that he has a tragic past, and has a darkness in his heart and a violent streak and yada yada yada, but it just isn't presented convincingly enough to make me care. His habit of pulling a dagger every time he's upset is more annoying than anything else, and as to his deep, inner sadness and anger and whatever, we are told more than we are shown.

The political side of this story is poorly done. I had the initial impression this story was going to be two parts romance, one part court intrigue, and so far the court intrigue part has been disappointing. The two primary antagonists for this part of the plot, Chucky Larms and Noble Era, have caused very little actual trouble. As I've noted above, Noble Era has proven to be a particularly mediocre character, to the point where I'm almost wondering if he shouldn't just be removed from the story entirely if he's never going to do anything. Larms is somewhat better, in that his character is at least fleshed out enough to be interesting, but we're well past the halfway mark and thus far he really hasn't caused much trouble either. The most significant event in the politics arc has been the "coup" attempt, which may or may not have been Larms' doing (initially I assumed it was Noble Era's, but that is clearly not the case).

Since the romance between Celestia and Gareth is the main focus of the story, any problem in this area is significant. The biggest problem is that, in a story about love being put to the test, their love never seems to be put to any serious test. Their basic level of affection for and trust in each other remains basically constant, no matter what kind of hurdles fate places in front of them. Gareth literally vomits when his waifu kisses him, and a few scenes later they're cuddling in bed with each other. The basic key to writing a compelling love story is to create a situation where the reader wants to see the two characters get/stay together, and then give the reader cause to believe that they might not.
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>romance, contd.
I get the impression that many authors are uncomfortable "abusing" their favorite characters/waifus/whatever by having them behave badly or forcing them to endure significant hardship. I also get the impression many readers don't like seeing their favorite characters treated this way and will object to authors doing this. I remember during my Past Sins review I remarked that Celestia's behavior was too compassionate and mild during the confrontation scene where she took Nyx away, and the author should make her into more of a "bad guy" for that scene. Some anon then remarked that in an earlier version of the text she had been portrayed that way, and readers complained about it to the point where Peen Stroke changed it. This was the wrong decision to make; Mr. P should have stuck to his guns there.

Stories thrive on conflict; if nothing ever goes wrong or your characters never have any genuine challenges to face then there's nothing to tell a story about. Therefore, you have to be willing to do mean things to your characters even if you like them doing hurtful things to your waifu, anyone?. You can make your villains sympathetic if you want, but they still need to behave like villains. You can be sympathetic to both sides of a fight, but they still need to fight sometimes. If your characters are the best of friends and do nothing but get along with each other all the time, then your story is boring.

Look at the MLP movie. At the lowest point in Twilight's arc, she deceives both her friends and Princess Skystar in order to steal the magic pearl thingy, gets called out on it when her plan fails, and says nasty things to her friends that make them run away from her. Twilight is clearly in the wrong here and behaves badly, and her fans might be upset at seeing her behave this way. An author with a personal attachment to her might feel uncomfortable writing her this way. However, it was the right choice for the story. When Tempest captures her, it's not just a tense situation because of the immediate danger she's in. The audience doesn't just want to see her escape, they want to see her make up with her friends. The emotional impact of Twilight's captivity comes not from seeing the hero captured by the villain, it comes from the fact that she was captured before the fight could be resolved. It creates anxiety for the audience because the possibility now exists that Twilight might be killed/turned to stone/whatever before she has the chance to tell her friends that she's sorry and make up with them. If that fight had never happened, that tension would not exist. The story could still technically work, but the impact would be lessened.

Anyway, those three things comprise the most significant issues with this story that I can see.

Minor Problems:

I've noted that this story is absolutely rife with simple, easy to catch mechanical errors. This reflects laziness on the author's part and it's annoying; however, all of these would be super simple to fix.

>extraneous bullshit
I have yet to read a single one of these MLP fanfics that don't have at least some of this. This problem can basically be summarized as "shit that's in the story that shouldn't be." The most noteworthy ones that I've highlighted so far have been the Ambassador's pill, which is a dumb and complex device created to solve a relatively simple problem, and the rat business, which is just flat out retarded.

>awkward prose
I've highlighted numerous passages that are awkwardly worded and/or grammatically incorrect or confusing. Again, this reflects laziness on the part of the author. However, most of these passages could easily be reworded/rewritten to be made clearer or more elegant, without needing to significantly modify the story's content.

And finally, Medium-Level problems:

>anachronisms/historical inaccuracies
Even though I grouse about this a lot, I don't consider soulpillar's "Flintstones" portrayal of the middle ages to be a major problem. The truth is, if you have a good story that moves the reader and quality characters that the reader cares about, it honestly doesn't matter if you're being historically accurate or not. Movies like Braveheart and Gladiator are not exactly accurate, but they are still good stories that stand just fine on their own merits, historical absurdities notwithstanding. I mean, let's face it; this is already a story about a medieval knight who marries a cartoon horse from a 21st century toy franchise, so it's not like we're dealing with a super-serious premise to begin with. The deeper problem here is that, again, Gareth is just not a very good character, so the unbelievability of his thoughts and behaviors just add to the list of things that distance him from the reader.

In general I think an effort should be made in historical stories to be faithful to the setting, but the required level of accuracy depends on how seriously you expect your story to be taken. If you're doing something super-cartoony or surreal you can get away with a lot. This story seems to be trying to present a more "serious" and "real" version of Equestria, however, so I think putting a little more effort into accuracy would pay off. Incidentally, if you're going to try to do "serious" Equestria, you also need to be aware that a lot of the cartoon humor that works in the show won't work in your story. Having the rat's head "grow" to eat a piece of cheese or whatever he was eating doesn't work as a gag the way it would in cartoon world.

>awkward emotional interactions
This is a borderline major problem because again, the romance is meant to be the primary focus of the story, and having awkward/unconvincing interactions between the two individuals who are supposed to be in love with each other is a rather significant flaw. However, I place it in this category because this is something that could be fixed without completely redesigning the story.

So, we have a decent list of what is basically wrong with this story, ordered by importance and how difficult it would be to fix. So how do we determine the overall quality of the work?

When assessing the quality of a rough draft (which, again, is what I would consider most of these works to be) and determining whether it's worth revising or if it should just be scrapped, these are what I would consider to be the important questions to ask:

1. What is the overall theme, idea and/or message that the author is attempting to communicate?
2. How good of a job does the text do at communicating this message or theme in its present form?
3. How much work would be required to correct the problems we highlighted above?
4. Finally, is the theme/message/idea worth the amount of work the author would have to do in order to improve the manuscript?

Here is how I would answer for this story:

1. I would say that what this story is ultimately about is love vs. duty, or if you want to go even deeper, you could say it's about desire vs. destiny. You have a relationship between two individuals who not only have different fates pulling them in different directions, but literally come from two separate worlds. The central question is whether their love is strong enough to survive the forces pulling them back to their respective worlds. Or if you want to go even deeper, the question is whether or not their love should survive.

There is a plotline in Philip Pullman's Dark Materials saga that focuses on this same theme (spoilered in case anyone hasn't read it who wants to): The Lyra character and another boy from another world meet in a third world they both travel to. Over the course of the story, they fall in love. However, the ability to travel between worlds goes against the fundamental laws of the universe; existing in a world you don't belong in degrades your health and eventually kills you. At the end of the story, they are forced to part. The overall message (as I see it, at least) is that the natural order of the universe trumps human desire; just because the technology to travel between worlds is possible doesn't mean that it can be used without consequence. Ultimately, the universe is indifferent to our hopes and dreams and desires; fate sends us where it will. The author seems to be attempting to explore a similar question here.

2. Of all the things we've read so far, this one actually comes closest to being a fully realized idea. The main issues would be the problems I highlighted above, specifically the ones I designated as major. However, in comparison to the last two things we've read, this manuscript would require the least amount of work to be turned into something of genuine quality.

Past Sins for instance completely fails this question; it starts with "what would it take to redeem Nightmare Moon without rainbow beams" as a concept, and then proceeds to completely miss its own point for 200,000 words and change. It would require not just a total rewrite from scratch, but a complete redesign of the main character and the entire premise. Friendship is Optimal is even worse; the premise is basically just the written version of a stoner conversation about what the world would be like if robots took over. The text itself is so poorly written that literally nothing from it is salvageable. Some people are not cut out to write in the same way that some people are not cut out to sing or play the drums, and from what I've seen Assman is one of those people. There is absolutely nothing that could be done to improve that fic beyond giving the basic premise to a better writer and seeing what they do with it.

Sun & Rose is at least a complete idea. The plot, give or take a few issues, is solid and well paced, there are some good characters in here (though there are some bad ones too, which I've pointed out), and the author seems to have a pretty good grasp on what he wants to write about.

3. As far as correcting the major problems, it would be a big project but not a huge one. There are a couple of options for the Gareth problem: the first and most obvious would be to just make him a more interesting and compelling character. However, an idea I think might be worth exploring is changing the viewpoint to Celestia and making her the main character instead of Gareth. The story takes place mostly in Equestria, with Gareth's life and occupation being mostly in the past, whereas Celestia has to deal with being pulled in two directions by her obligations and her marriage. Her struggle is by far the more relevant and interesting.

I've done my share of griping about this fic because it is a long way from perfect, but I don't share Nigel's view that it's worthless or beyond redemption. However, one thing I do agree with him on is that it's boring, and as I noted above this is a major problem. The story structure is basically the love story as the main plot, with a political side-story to spice it up. However, the love story as I noted lacks tension, which makes it boring. The political story, designed to add spice, is completely unspicy; it's downright tedious most of the time. The solution though is obvious: just make both stories more exciting. The love story should be made stormier: there should be fights, misunderstandings, romantic rivals, the works. We should want to see these two get together and agonize over the fact that something is always keeping them apart.

As to the political story, that's easy enough to fix. It's mostly just window dressing anyway, so my advice would be to have fun with it. Go full blown George R.R. Martin: intrigues, backstabbing, double backstabbing, lies upon lies upon slander. I like the idea of making Larms a more sympathetic character, but make him an asshole too. Have Noble actually do something; he should be a complete and total villain. At least make him less of a cuck.
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4. As to the question of whether all this work would be worth it, in this case I would definitely say yes, and I can justify my answer. I'd like to call attention to something Nigel wrote:
> I wish everything would accelerate so this story can be finished and something more ambitious, culturally significant to the brony fandom(or world in HP's case), interesting, and entertainingly awful can be read and reviewed to breathe fun and activity back into this thread.

I would actually argue that the themes this story tackles, or tries to tackle, are potentially very relevant to the brony fandom, and the author is actually tackling something quite ambitious here (maybe even more ambitious than he realizes). One of the things I've noted as interesting more than once is this being rather a clever twist on the "regular guy goes to Equestria to bang his waifu" premise. It's become even more interesting since we've learned that Celestia has been going back to England for years, possibly centuries, as a way to escape her responsibilities. This is actually the point where it occurred to me that Celly might make a more interesting protagonist than Gareth.

The idea is not just an original twist on the HiE premise, it's a complete inversion of it. The usual idea is that the human is dissatisfied with his life in human world, and travels to pony world where everything is bright and pretty and friendly, and falls in love with the pony of his dreams, who of course loves him back unlike whatever girl burned the author in the real world. It's pure wish-fulfillment and escapism, and however therapeutic it may be for the author to write, the stories this type of idea generates are usually frivolous.

However, in this case, you have Celestia, the waifu character, being dissatisfied with Equestria, the idyllic fantasy land, and traveling back to the mundane, miserable human world in order to escape her problems. It basically demonstrates the old proverb about the grass always being greener on the other side: there is no "perfect" world, and you take yourself with you everywhere you go. Contrary to Nigel's argument that there isn't any serious depth to the premise of this story, I would argue the opposite. It's biggest problem is that the author may actually have struck a much deeper vein here than he realizes, and he's underutilizing the story's potential. He could go well beyond just writing a simple romance story, and actually turn this into a commentary on escapism itself. You can pine away, dreaming of romping the verdant hills of Ponyville with your waifu all your days if you like, but if you ever got there you'd still be the same person you were on this side of the portal, and odds are if you're miserable here you'd be miserable there. Either you solve your problems in your own world, or you don't solve them at all.

Personally, if I were writing it, I'd use the "bad end" for the love story as well; Gareth either dies, goes back to England, or something else happens that breaks them up, maybe he runs off with Gleaming Horizon or something, or just decides he can't handle the pressure and bails. Either way, it's an ill-fated romance and I'd end it as such. But in any case, when I talk about approaching fanfiction as literature, this is what I mean: you shouldn't just write because you want to put your fantasies down on paper, you should write because you have something you want to say. I think a criticism of people who drown themselves in escapism to avoid their real-world problems is about the most ambitious and relevant thing anyone could possibly write for the brony fandom.

So yes, I think that this could be spun into something of real value, and from what we have of it so far, the basic plot could remain more or less intact. If this were my idea, here's how I'd approach it: switch the viewpoints and make Celestia the protagonist. Make her relationship with Gareth more of a trial, and make the political intrigue more dicey and interesting. Cut out the crap about the ambassador's pill and Gareth's fear of rats, and revise/remove anything that depends on either. Have the story climax by crashing the two plots into each other: at a crucial juncture, Celestia has to choose between being Cecilia for her husbando and being Celestia for Equestria. Make sure there are stakes; ponies' lives should hang in the balance. Celestia chooses Equestria, and as a result loses Gareth. Much sad, but that is the way it has to be. ~Fin~

Of course, we still have around a third of the text yet to go, so my ideas could be way off from what the author has in mind. We shall see what he does, and as ever I will reserve final judgement until we reach the end.

>I humbly request that Glim add Harry Potter And The Methods Of Rationality to the list, but at the bottom after everything else.
We'll see. I'm willing to do it of course, and I'm honestly curious to see if that story is as horrendous as I've heard, but I worry that we're veering a little too far from ponies for this thread to remain on the main board. I think I could spin an argument for why Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is culturally relevant enough to be political (especially since Rowling's political views will likely come up multiple times during the analysis), but doing HP fanfiction might be a bridge too far. But I'll consider it. We'll see where we're at once we've finished FoE and that thing that Anon keeps promising that he's working on.
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This story could be great, if the author tried harder with the themes and story elements he's got here. If he wasn't content with what he wrote, knowing he'd be rewarded for mediocrity.

Imagine you meet a good woman, bone her, marry her, and then she disappears one night. You chase her down expecting to rescue her, but it turns out she's been a spider the size of a volkswagen the entire time. And she also has magical powers, she's the queen of the spider people, and she expects you to abandon your own life/world/family/reality for her so you can be an unwanted third wheel to another civilization.
You can't read or write equestrian because the author watched at least one video on worldbuilding languages and knows a truly alien script foreign to our planet should have nothing a human mind could latch on to. Understanding that two clicks with the tongue at the center of your mouth and a pfrrrrr with your lips means "Apple" would be like understanding BBBA in a fighting game means Fireball. You can remember it after a lot of practice, but it makes no fucking sense.
Also you're from an earlier time period. One where inhuman monsters were feared, despised metaphors for addicts and hermits and faggots, not another curiousity in a sex-obsessed escapist culture. People today want to bone Lamias. Back then people feared Lamias.
Every spider in Spideria thinks you're a retarded ugly thing and you find it impossible to make friends because there is no Pinkie Pie knockoff trying to become Celly's romantic rival.
you aren't a nigger so you ask your spider wife why she became a human on earth and why you didn't become a spider in spideria, because you find yourself wishing you had an alien body with alien genitals and alien sexual preferences that could find your spider wife attractive.
she says "magical spider bodies are more magically malleable, it's how we can stretch so much for short periods of time" and you say "yeah ok that makes sense"
Your wife assures you that she really does love you, and she makes you feel bad about not wanting to fuck her weird toothy spidergina even when it's drooling web fluid all over the carpet. Once she kisses you with her giant spider face and her weird spider hairs make you vomit.
You still feel terrible about being unable to do the one job forced upon you: fuck your spider wife as her personal fucktoy.
your life fucking sucks.
you have no spider friends in the spider world you're stuck in
there's no pinkie knockoff to entertain you, no Gleamng Horizon chick who wants to bone you and teach you archery or whatever, no total-bro male friend who's probably going to turn out to be evil.
who would want to be caught dead talking to the universally-loathed and possibly-feared/despised bizarrely lanky alien fucktoy?
would people pity your mortal ass for loving something that will outlive you in what is, to her, naught more than the blink of her eyes?
would you want to murder people who say "the blink of an eye" as much as I do, because one eye winks and two eyes blink?
would you feel isolated and alone in this spider-questria world you can't escape from or change?
you have no opportunity to escape this castle and try to form your own life here in spiderland.
everyone knows you as "Spiderlestia's Boyfriend" and if you try to quit that job, everyone who loves her will publically hate you for "breaking her heart" even if they wanted you gone in private.
you could run back to human-land but someone would probably catch and stop you. perhaps the immortal magic spiders might even try to pull you back into spideria, or declare war on your land.
it's not like you could fuck off to a remote town and get a job serving cakes ponies cooked for you. who would buy from a bizarre alien cashier? what farm would hire a human to pluck the few apples his hands can reach when a pony's kick can harvest every apple on a tree?
shit's fucked, bro.
life as Spiderlestia's bitch would suck.
and then...
while you're in the middle of fighting off an attempt on her life and throne...
you start seeing evidence that she lied to you.
you weren't her first.
you weren't even her second.
she's been to your world before, and she's fucked disposable human men before.
and she's left them to die alone, moving on and heading back to her pony land to forget all about her old lays in 200 years each
she's an immortal horse goddess for whom time and space are as much suggestions as what she might feel like wearing today.
you're not her lover.
you're not even her pet.
not her first one, anyway.
you don't know if you're her third dog, fourth dog, or seventy fifth dog, but you know she abandoned all her previous pets when she felt like ending her vacation in your world.
That world you fought wars for, that world you lived on, that world with your friends and your God and your country, it's all just a vacation spot for her.
she's got a trail of broken hearts behind her because she's an ageless immortal unelected tyrant. someone from the medieval era would be fine with the unelected part if he wasn't the "only my king is the true king, all others are turds!" type. but someone from the medieval era would have some fucking choice words to say about discovering that an immortal alien aberration more than twenty times his age decided to treat his world like a theme park and his own heart like a tourist attraction. she pretended to lose her memories, she manipulated him, she watched him like a stalker and planned out exactly how she would seduce him. and then she threw him away when she decided her vacation was complete!

Thank you for helping me figure out why the banal mediocrity and sheer laziness of this story pisses me off so much. Pokemon movies have had the balls to be tragedies! But this author won't have the balls to have his story end in tragedy, which makes every "could this end in tragedy?" moment unfulfilling and pointless. We need to see the dreams of random characters to see ffffuckin
I liked the Pokemon animated movies as a kid. The ones before Arceus were pretty good, they stopped trying from Arceus onwards.

I think the best ones had tragedy in them.

The coolest characters died for good, the best girl couldn't be with Ash forever, and it all made you think "I should write a fanfic where everything goes right for the hero! The Aura magic stuff retconned in from season 4 onwards? It'll be there from the start! Ash's grandmother was a Zoroark and her husband was a Lucario, and on his father's side Ash's grandmother was a Gardevoir and his grandfather was a Mewtwo! Also Ash is both the chosen one who will defeat Team Rocket and the son of Team Rocket's leader! And best girl Latias gets to be his best girl- wait, no, he gets all the girls! I was too fucking stupid to appreciate the early-show dynamic where Ash was an idiotic newfag gradually insulted into shape by Misty and the two had fun trading insults, so I'll just write her as another fangirl!"

This is a fanfic discussion thread and I wish I didn't keep cycling back to "reee fuck bad fanfics for reasons I already mentioned"
i need something else to discuss here


fangames are technically fanfics, right?

I played Pokemon Wack today, a fangame with over 4000 pokemon, over 40 new types with over 500 new moves, new evolutions and mega forms for old pokemon, and shitty ms paint art for sprites, and fucking awful story/world design/characters/plots.

I can appreciate a low-quality shitpost and a high-quality shitpost. but this game wasn't satirizing cliches, it was the cliches, all of them and with minimal bugtesting.

everything's a low-effort joke played on anyone dumb enough to play the whole thing

i gave up after the second gym

I played on Challenge Mode, my party was:

Charizardo the Fire/Meme type pokemon. if your Charmeleon learns Memetic Fang at lv38 he evolves into pic 1. his ability Memetic will replace the ability of any pokemon that touches you with the Memetic ability for the rest of the battle. Memetic also reduces your stats if you aren't meme-type. it's basically the Zombie-type gimmick but called meme. Using him means you don't have to work around the bullshit abilities of fakemon because he IS the workaround.

I got that charmander for free by visiting kanto, grabbing him, and returning to the Wack Region.

an Eevee. no idea what I'd evolve it into since the game lacks the documentation needed to make an educated type composition choice. don't look at me like that, autistically obsessing over making a good team that covers as many options as possible is part of the fun for these kinds of games. but fuck this game for having over 40 types, that means your team of 6 can never truly cover everything. anyway Mega Vaporeon has fuckin Water Bubble so that's the boringly best choice, but why use boring normal types like Fire and Water in a game with GLASS, LIGHT, CHAOS, PAPER, DIVINE, VIRUS, ZOMBIE, BLOOD, WIND, WOOD, STEAM, RUBBER, ???, TECH, FEAR, CRYSTAL, VOID, and OGRE?

I got that eevee for free since i turned "trainer battles are always double battles" on. props to the game for having this feature, double battles > single battles.

my Wack Region shitty starter pokemon, a wood-type log thing. fuck this guy he's goddamn useless. ends up being Wood/Flying type. I wish i chose the lava pokemon since he becomes Magma/Tech type, 2 fake types for extra "i'd never get a chance to use this anywhere else"

and then, Stando

a Jojo's Reference that turns into different Jojo's stands depending on the held item. and you can buy all held items, even the OP and shit ones, from the shopkeeper next to the guy who gives you a free Stando in the first town.

at first I was all "holy shit this will be great" but switching stand forms erases your moveset, meaning while Stando CAN take any role in your team despite his shit stats, he can't change roles mid-battle using Trick or learn many great moves then pick Ratt/Geb for No Guard or Alien Boy for Protean. nope, he ends up just being Heaven's Door, a fucking Prankster Light Screen/Reflect setup guy. mediocre. though it's cool that he's Divine/Paper type. he has one 60bp Divine move that might boost all his stats when used but only has 4 uses, and Bibliophile which picks and uses a random Paper-type move. could be an OP attack like Paper Cut, And Then There Were None, Samurai Paper Cut, Paper Shot, or a stat-boost move like Book Stack or Fold. I wish the game had more creative stuff like this. a paper-type pokemon? that shit's genius! but his very existence is a let-down because when I saw bullshit transforming pokemon, I assumed it would actually gain something from the transformation besides what an easy gimmick it would end up making getting your favourite of the Stando forms in your team.

and that's it.

only ability-negating charitard and Heaven's Door did any real work on my team. I thought about making Stando become Hey Ya since that gives you Super Luck (more crit chance) and Wonder Guard (only super-effectives can hit you) but in this game like 8 things can hit ghost-types super-effectively, making his partial invincibility irrelevant. There's a good chance stando forms have unique signature attacks, but I wouldn't know since the game's own wiki is incomplete and outdated.

all these pokemon choices should make this the best game with the most freedom in team-building ever, even if a lot of pokedex slots are taken up by gimmicky alternate forms of canon mons. lookin at you Humanized Charizard. I want to try a creative team but every pokemon is a poorly-thought-out joke who either sucks gay asshole or breaks everything in half. lazy game makes exploration boring. what will you see next? the answer is always boring bullshit. This game made Zaydolf Zitler the painter your friendly rival who wants to save us from the jews, also every mart is under the control of the "Judite Corporation"! This game should be funnier than this but it doesn't have any effort or soul!
Got to give major kudos to your post here. Think it sums up the major issues with the story and ways in which the author could tweak it a bit playing off these angles to make a much more dynamic story. I know I love watching the show and learning about Equestria and it's denizens but for me it's that "Great place to visit, would hate to live there" vibe for me.

Would be neat to visit Equestria for a bit but being there for any prolonged period of time or heavens forbid forever I'd hate it. Like you said without magic hyjinks you'll usually be the same person you are from Earth and would have liked the see the author dive into Gareth having a crisis of faith as well as questioning everything as heretical sorcery of some sorts.

Suppose I could brush off Equestrians warming up to a human sooner since their world has a multitude of sapient races so even if they know humans are alien atleast the concept of other races they can communicate with isn't as foreign as it is for us.

Can't say much that you already haven't and done much better then I could but just had to comment to give kudos for your post while tossing my 2 cents in.
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Anyway, moving on with the story. Continuing from where we left off, Celestia is inside Noble Era's memories, watching a replay of a conversation between he and Chucky Larms. It's not yet clear what they are arguing about precisely, but it seems to revolve around a letter that was left by Celestia before she disappeared:

>"To whomever is reading this, please forgive me. I am leaving. I cannot tell you where and I will not return. Do not attempt to follow; you will not find me." He looked up, snapping the book closed. "Celestia, FORMER Princess of Equestria!"

The concern at this point seems to be whether or not the current Celestia, as in the one we've been reading about for the entire story, is actually the same one who left this note. Larms seems to be of the opinion that this new Celestia is a pretender to the throne. Noble's position is not yet clear. Celestia reacts with predictable shock and horror:

>Everything went out of focus. It was true. Larms was right, she… she really did abandon them.
This is actually not what he said. Larms does not accuse her of abandoning them, he calls her a "pretender to the throne," indicating that he thinks she is an imposter. This implies that he does not believe that the Celestia who returned through the portal is the same one who left. By extension this implies that if the "real" Celestia returned, or the current Celestia could prove that she was actually who she claimed to be, that she would have his loyalty. If this is not what the author was intending Larms to communicate, he should consider revising his line.

Anyway, Noble then punches Chucky.

>"No… she isn't," Era stated with pure conviction. He gathered a handkerchief, cleaning his forehoof, before throwing it down to Larms. "If there is even a flicker of her old self, then Princess Celestia will always be my liege. When we promised to serve her, I knew that she would return, regardless of her final orders to us. I waited two and a half years to find her."
Well, this is lame. My opinion of Noble Era is continuing to slide. Right up until this moment I had held out hope that this inception bit would reveal some convoluted evil scheme of his, proving him to be the villain he was set up to be all along. However, it does not seem that the author ever had any such thing in mind for him. It looks like he's not even supposed to be a villain at all; he seems to be a loyalist whose devotion to Celestia runs deep enough that he waifus her; at most he's guilty of fantasizing about ousting Gareth and marrying her himself. Not even trying to actually do it, mind you; just fantasizing about it. He's neither an ally nor an adversary, he's just a toady whose presence in the story adds nothing of value to it. Spell Nexus, as half-assed a villain as he was, at the very least did stuff in Past Sins that was essential to what I will generously call the plot. Noble is just a pathetic simp, and unless the author has something else up his sleeve, it looks like that's all he's ever going to be. What a colossal letdown.

Anyway, the rest of this exchange creates more questions than it answers, which may or may not be by design. Larms accuses Noble of "tipping off" Purple Dart about the crystal mirror; what he means by this exactly is unclear. We also learn that the curious sketches and human artifacts that Noble had in his room were just research he was doing on Gareth to see if he posed any sort of threat to Equestria, so that whole mystery turned out to be a giant nothingburger as well. As far as I can tell, Noble has no malevolent intentions towards Celestia at all.

We do get this, however:
>"Just remember something, boy," Larms snarled, pulling it open. "You'd never had gotten that book if it wasn't for me. I want that translation."
It should be: "you'd never have gotten that book." However, I am curious what the implication here seems to be. Although the political side-plot of this story continues to be a letdown, the author is still leaving out enough breadcrumbs to keep the reader curious about what exactly is going on, which is something I suppose.

Chucky then leaves, and Noble drops his bravado. He seems to be more worried about Larms than he let on; he laments that if Larms makes his move soon, all the research he's done will have been for nothing.

>He was right, Celestia realised. If Larms was implicated, then she'd have banished Noble Era as a matter of course… Oh god. That's exactly what happened.
What? I don't follow the logic here at all. As far as I can tell Noble is guilty of nothing except being a poorly-designed character and a world-class simp. There's nothing to tie him to whatever the hell Larms is trying to do, and this dream-inception of Celestia's all but exonerates him of any suspicion she might have had. Even when I thought Noble was a villain I assumed the two of them were scheming independently of each other. And nobody has been banished yet, so...how is this "exactly what happened?" I don't get what the author is trying to say here at all. Also, "realized" is misspelled.

We are given this by way of explanation:
>Celestia looked about the clean room; it was all coming together now. Larms had attacked Noble Era. He was the mastermind behind the attack. Of course, there was still the remote chance that it was all a fabrication, but that chance was decreasing by the second. She'd gotten nearly everything she needed from this memory. Now all that was left was to find out when it happened.

Here is my best guess at what the author had in mind: Noble was intended to be sort of a red herring; we were meant to suspect him, but the bad guy was actually Larms the whole time. This would have worked better if we were also led to believe that Larms was innocent, and if Noble had behaved a little more suspiciously; as it is, the big revelation here is basically "we thought there were two villains but it turns out there's only one."

Another thing I'm curious about is why Larms attacked Noble in the first place. We seem to have gotten confirmation that he was behind the coup, but there is no apparent reason why Noble and not Celestia would have been his target. Anyway.

>There was a distant thunk of arrow on hay. Era looked over to the window. He trotted up to it, pushing it open. Celestia followed behind, glancing over his shoulder.

>Gareth stood out in the courtyard, lowering his arrow-arm, smiling at the target. Gleaming Horizon walked down from the gazebo, cheering him on. She held up a scroll, asking Gareth something. He nodded, gesturing her over.

>Era hummed in thought, glancing up to the shelf next to the window. There was a collection of ambassador's pills sitting on the first shelf. "Perhaps I have a way of speeding up the process—"

This doesn't make a whole hell of a lot of sense either. We can now connect this event to the day of the re-coronation. After this exchange, Noble Era saw Gareth practicing archery down in the yard, and decided to go down and offer him an Ambassador's pill, and that takes us to the beginning of chapter 7. However, what we still don't know is why this is significant. Noble says "perhaps I have a way of speeding up the process," but we are not even given a hint as to what process he means or what the hell he's even talking about. I get that the author is still just dropping breadcrumbs and that we're not supposed to understand everything just yet; however, I can't even vaguely follow what anyone is doing or thinking. It's clear enough that Chucky is plotting some kind of move and that Noble is racing to stop him before he can accomplish it. However, what the hell does giving Gareth a pill so he can make a speech have to do with any of this? Whatever I'm supposed to see here, I'm just not seeing it.

Anyway, the dream cuts off abruptly when Celestia is awakened by Purple Dart, who informs her that the Canterlot nobility need her to make an appearance in court. It appears to be an emergency. The chapter ends here.

Chapter 13: Crystals and Cracks

Back to Gareth. He has just gone through the mirror, and emerges in some kind of massive cavern with crystal pillars all over the place. The rat finds him a makeshift torch, and he begins to explore.

>Even with his visor down, this would be more than enough.
Seriously: do we still need him to have the stupid helmet on at this point? Enough with the goddamn plague already. If he's not scared to touch the rat anymore, he should be confident enough to take the helmet off, it's as simple as that. It would simplify the narrative as well, since the author would no longer have to account for Gareth's limited vision.

Anyway, he finds an abandoned campsite (in a cave, apparently) with an Equestrian flag, indicating that wherever the mirror transported him, he is still in Equestria. He hopes that the mirror doesn't have a similar three-day limitation like the other one had, although that shouldn't be as big of a deal considering he's still in the same world and if worst comes to worst he can just walk back.

As he's musing about this, the rat points out a big-ass gothic church that is also in a cave for some strange reason. The church has a stained glass window depicting an alicorn fighting a griffon, so maybe it's actually a synagogue. In any case, he decides to go inside.

He offers the rat his hand to climb on, but the rat notices that he forgot to put his glove back on and points this out to him. Gareth freaks out about plague again, and the rat laughs at him. This is probably meant to be light humor, but it fails for the same reason that most of the plague and rat autism fails, so I'd recommend cutting this. They go inside the church to look for a book, which confuses me since my understanding is Gareth was looking for the note pages he took from Noble's room, which he already found in Larms' study. He shouldn't be looking for anything at this point, he should be trying to get out of here so he can find his way back to Celestia. And in any case there is no reason to assume that this book would be inside a church inside a cave inside a mirror that is inside Chucky Larms' house for some strange reason.

The inside of the church is enchanted, and as he enters some sort of illusion spell activates, and the place transforms into a magnificent hall complete with stained glass windows. There is another attempt at light humor as Gareth is completely freaked out by magic that is, to the Equestrian rat, as common an occurrence as flipping a light switch would be to us. I'm still a little confused as to how Chucky Larms, an Earth pony as I recall, would have all of this high-level magic operating in his house, especially for such a mundane apparent purpose as hiding a book. But whatever, let's roll with it and see where it goes.

>The other stained glass windows filled out as well. There were eight in total. Some of the figures held weapons, some held books, one of them even wore a jester's cap, but there were all male, all stood in the centre, and all had Cecilia by their side.
It should be "they were all male," not "there."
>Cecilia's husbands... his predecessors, the ones she loved before him. He wasn't sure how to feel about that.
How does he gather this from what he sees? For that matter, what the hell is this place even? Who built it, and to what purpose? It's a church in the middle of a cave that a magic mirror leads to, with the mirror located in the house of some Earth pony whose role in the court is still ambiguous. I get that Celestia has had other lovers before Gareth and that's what the windows are about, but what is this building supposed to be? Chucky built a temple to Celestia's ex husbands in his secret magical lair, and also built an altar there to house a book he found? First question: what? Second question: why?
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Here's another thing: Gareth just walking into this strange location and seeing all of these strange stained glass windows and just immediately scrying what they mean is bizarre enough. However, what is even more bizarre is the fact that he seems completely cool with it; he just shrugs it off the way a modern guy would if he found out his wife had a few ex-boyfriends before him.

I'm not even going to bother addressing Gareth's anachronous attitude here (a medieval guy finding out that his wife wasn't a virgin when he married her was one of the few things considered legitimate grounds for divorce), because the bigger issue is that this reaction wouldn't make sense for anyone from any era; this situation is weird and Gareth should find it weird. As far as I can tell, what the author seems to be saying is that Celestia has been going to England for centuries, has married other men in the same way she married Gareth, had complete lives with all of them, and this hall is some kind of memorial to them. Up until this point, Gareth has only suspected that his wife has been doing this, what he has now is rather blunt confirmation of it, and it's being presented in an extremely disconcerting way. Also, in case I haven't driven the point home quite hard enough: this situation is weird. This should creep him out, bigly. However, he seems more weirded out by the magical special effects, which he should be more or less used to by now, than he is by the fact that his 1,000 year old horse-wife was married to like 8 guys before him and all of them are dead now. Also, the nagging question still remains: why does Chucky Larms have the gateway to this creepy memorial chapel for Celestia's dead husbands hidden behind a secret door in his house?!?

Oh, also there's this:

>On one hand, the thought of Cecilia lying with another made his stomach squirm.
As of a couple of days ago, the thought of doing the job himself makes his stomach squirm. Just sayin'.

Anyway, in a turn of events that I must once again mention is extremely bizarre, he finds the diary that was apparently the basis for Noble Era's research sitting on a pulpit at the end of the church. Unfortunately, all the pages are blank. However, as he's about to leave, he notices another window, with a note glued to the center. Apparently, he recognizes the "hoof-writing." I feel like I brought this up during Past Sins, but "hoof-writing" is kind of a shitty term since a horse can't really write with its hooves; if it was written by a unicorn, I would say "horn-writing." And in this case, it was written by Celestia herself, so horn-writing is fine. The note is written twice, both in Equestrian and English, and reads as follows:

>To the Lady-in-Waiting of the Sun,

>I have left Equestria, and I will not return. If it is answers that you seek then look at the diary behind you. It's contents display only under the presence of a certain spell. I would beg you, however, to ensure that no-one follows, that no-one comes to look for me. I have harmed Equestria enough, and I fear that they may harm themselves more before they have truly healed from their reliance upon me.

>Translate my diary or leave it here forever. Do what you feel is right. Equestria belongs to the Equestrians now, as it always should have been.

>-Celestia, former Princess of Equestria

You don't need "been" here; you can just say "as it always should have." Also, I'm still a little confused. Here is my understanding of what has been going on for the last couple of chapters: Gareth found some notes in Noble Era's room that he had been taking on Celestia's diary, and then threw them out the window before the pegasus guard caught him snooping. He went out into the courtyard and was reading the notes when a rat showed up and scared him, so he dropped them. Later he went looking for them and discovered they were missing. Celestia tasked the rat with helping him track down the missing notes, and it led him to Chucky Larms' house. He was snooping around in Larms' study, found the notes, and the text specifically states that he now has them in a scroll protector on his belt. Ergo, his quest is complete.

At this point, Larms comes through the door and Gareth has to fight him. He knocks him unconscious and flees through the halls of his mansion. He finds a secret mirror by sheer random chance, and it takes him to this cave that for some bizarre reason also has a temple to Celestia's dead husbands inside it, and for some even more bizarre reason said temple has Celestia's diary sitting on the pulpit.

Here is where I am confused: first, the text is not entirely clear on whether the pages found in Noble's study are notes taken by Noble or pages from Celestia's actual diary, so I've never been 100% clear what he was even looking for in the first place. I had to go back and read over parts of the last three chapters just to verify that it was individual pages he was searching for and not the entire diary. Next, Gareth actually found what he was looking for in Chucky's study, on top of his desk, so he is not looking for anything anymore. The only reason he's even in this weird cave is because he was trying to escape from Chucky's house and found the mirror, and again this was by random chance. He wandered in and found this strange chapel that, once more by PURE CHANCE, contains the very diary that Noble was researching. So now he has both the notes he was looking for and the diary the notes were referencing. This is a pretty damn lucky find, but Gareth is currently behaving as if he came in here specifically looking for this very diary, and he's just like "aha, there it is." This doesn't make sense, and frankly neither does most of this scene. To wit: what is this cave, what is this chapel doing in this cave, and why does Chucky Larms have the entrance to it in his goddamn house for crying out loud?!?
>fangames are technically fanfics, right?
No, actually. Games are games, written works are written works. Some games have stories, and sometimes the stories are intricate enough to merit discussion, but it is not a prerequisite that a game have a story, simple or otherwise. In any case, games and the written word are two completely separate mediums. The two may overlap sometimes, but they are not interchangeable. Also, while I understand and appreciate that you enjoy Pokemon, it has little if anything to do with the topic at hand. If you want to write this many words, please try to keep it relevant to the thread.
His own home had to have a secret passage to Celestia's miserable memorial zone because that's the place Gareth needed to visit, and Gareth needed to be brought to this place by a rat so he could learn Chinko Lamp has dead family members and therefore must be pitied and therefore isn't the bad guy. And the rat had to take him there so he could learn this "vital" piece of exposition the author didn't feel like expressing in any other way. The secret tunnel had to take Gareth to where he needed to go because that's where he needed to go. And the retardity with the rat had to be there so all of this rat-ex-machina bullshit would feel earned. Now Celestia (and possibly Gareth) are listening in on two possible villains as they exposit to each other who the real villain is, except not really, shitloads of red herrings and question-raising mystery boxes must be thrown everywhere. The longer the author spends jerking his audience around by the chain with retarded questions and random twists and pointless false information, the more satisfying it will feel to the proles when the answer is awkwardly stated by the writer, story, and characters near the end, revealing the answer to a mystery you had no actual ability to figure out on your own thanks to the author's inability to set up mysteries and hint at things!

It all makes perfect sense. Isn't this story wonderful? We aren't watching a trainwreck here. We're watching sixteen trains from four separate parallel universes attempt to occupy the same space at high velocity. The author didn't bother to plot out any of this before writing it. He just knows he has certain "Beats", certain moments, that he needs to show the audience at some point during this literary equivalent of a video application for a grant from the Ministry of Silly Walks.
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The thing that's confusing me about all these past husbands is I suppose we need to assume she has taken these 3 year long trips to Earth many times so did the ponies ever freak out before at her suddenly vanishing or humans ever share stories about this strange woman with rainbow hair and pink eyes who seems to pop up every few decades and marry some guy before vanishing soon after.

Even if she planned to leave Equestria forever this last trip before getting amnesia I wonder how long she spent all those other trips on Earth since being away from the throne for 3 or more years should cause some upheaval.

Curious to about the mirror on the Earth side and if it travles around, if it has always been in the same castle, or she can enchant a random mirror to act as a portal but at the start Gareth seems to already know about the 3 day every 3 years rule so sounds like something the people in his castle know about.

If it has been there for centuries it would make it even more odd then having Celestia with her hair and eyes colors pop in every few decades and surely some scribe would note down how odd her appearence is and a later one note how pequilar that a lady fitting her description keeps appearing in the records. Even now a days someone with rainbow hair and pink eyes would be a pequiliar site but I imagine back in the days it'd be super weird to see it and many would make mental noted or write about it.
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Oh yeah, that too. If she's taken more than one trip to Earth, her people should remember it.
The story could easily sidestep this plot hole by saying "Normally Celly says she needs a break to read or attempt to magically view the future for a few days, then she fucks off to earth and returns after a few days. This time she stayed with Gareth for months/years before returning home".
Plus, didn't medieval-era cultures think Albinos were some weird mythical demon/fairy-touched bullshit?
Let's all congratulate Gareth for doing very little aside from instantly learning the language and taking part in the main plot when it's his turn to be a character.
No "this place needs jesus" and no "this place needs to be taught how to properly defend itself using weapons and martial arts" retardity.
He's such a bizarre non-presence in his world. He doesn't influence or change anything. There isn't an Equestrian faction that says "THAT HUMAN'S SHITTY VIOLENT EARTH NEEDS PONERISM! IT'S OUR DUTY TO MAGIC IT BETTER AND TAKE OVER!".
no, the story's just gay fucking dick shit asshole cunt FUCK!
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I liked that movie but that Twi takes all the blame in the end isn't right. The other characters did not take the matter at hand seriously. They should have shared the blame.

> it honestly doesn't matter if you're being historically accurate or not
No, it does.
Hisorical fiction shouldn't exist. They blurred line between what is fiction and what is factual in historical fiction piece makes people mistake one for the other.

Also, since we can't completely tell how crime went down or exactly what we did yesterday, why should we trust that some authorities have figurd out what happend a few hundred years ago before anyone whose alive today was born? What I mean is that history as a subject is already compromised to the extreme, not only because who rules but also because of its very nature of having its facts be in the past.

Generally all, knowledge which can't be proven abstractly and by anyone with the understanding, like math is impoosible to verify for a civilain. Take physics for example, we do not have the equipment that for example sern does. We cannot check the results of their experiments because we lack equiment. These people only have to be biased or bought and from their position of authority they can tell us whatever they want, and we have not other choice to believe it unless we want to get labeled as irrational and anti-science.

Not to mention the numerous times historical fiction comes out and nothing of it is true while the masses thought everything of it was true.

Even when aware that something is historical fiction it is quite hard knowing, what part of the story is what.

If one gets inspired to write something due to reading some history, I think, one should take whatever idea that inspirede them and set it in story in another universe.

Also, with time who can tell what really went down in the past. Historical fiction might oneday been seen as historical accounts of happenings.

I think one should either write truth(factual history book) or write fictional book.

Anyway, huh... This thread is still good... Btw.
I once read a really good historical fiction book.
Rome, with roman soldiers and shit, in a war that they were historically in. A few events/moments in the story came from the real world but a lot of characters were made up.
Cool shit!
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Then again, all kinds of historical misconceptions can happen in any story so I guess it's unevitable and pointless to bother with.
I guess, I'm just tired of the countless jewrolls from hollywood adding even more lies to the holohaox than offical version already is.
Forget about it.
Yeah, I guess they there might be a way that these stores could work.
>historical misconceptions
Blacks invented blackface.
fuck i mean jews
These are excellent points. Part of the problem with creating complex rules in a story is that once you've established them, you need to make sure you follow them. Unfortunately it looks like the author may not have thought this one through 100%. Establishing that the portal only opens once every three years for three days I'm guessing was done in order to "trap" Gareth in Equestria and make his decision to remain there for Cecilia/Celestia more meaningful. However, this complicates things for this most recent twist he's introduced, that Celestia has been traveling back and forth for years and picking up human husbands for centuries.

It's rather implausible to imagine anyone falling in love and getting married over the course of three days, so it stands to reason that these sojourns of Celestia's would have probably been three year excursions. She goes to England, stays there for three years, and returns with her human lover once the portal opens again. Presumably, the human then becomes "Prince Consort" or something similar to Gareth's role. This means that on the Equestrian side of things, Celestia disappearing for three years roughly once a generation should be a regular occurrence. It should be well documented in their history that she does this sort of thing, hence her disappearance now should not have thrown things into turmoil as much as is being claimed. The only difference between this time and the previous times she's done this would be that this time, she left a note saying she would not be returning. Though I can see this causing political problems, her sudden reappearance should not be a surprising event; most ponies would probably assume she just changed her mind and came back after all. It's a pretty irresponsible thing to do, but it's the sort of privilege an absolute monarch would enjoy.

On the English side of things, a pretty good point was brought up about the recurring appearance of a woman with strangely colored hair. Particularly, if this mirror portal leads to the same location in England and thus her husbands are all coming from the same castle (or at least the same region), this would get to be something of a local legend. My best guess is that "Cecilia" would be viewed as something like a faerie, who appears once every 100 years or so and uses her womanly charms to lure some unsuspecting man off to Avalon or something. It would actually make a pretty neat legend, and it could help to tie the two separate settings to each other a little more elegantly, instead of just having it be "guy from world A severs all of his ties and goes to live in world B." If the author played with this during a later revision it could vastly improve this story.

My suspicion is that the author wanted this business about Celestia's previous husbands to be kind of a shocking twist, which I can understand. However, if you're going to do something like that, you have to make sure that the twist makes sense, and plays by whatever rules you've already established for your story. This is one of the problems that M. Night Shyamalan has with his films: ever since The Sixth Sense, he's felt compelled to give every single one of his films some crazy twist ending. However, most of the time these "twists" are just preposterous turns of events that ruin the story. What made The Sixth Sense work is that the twist was completely obvious from the very beginning of the film, but was presented subtly enough that most people didn't figure it out before the reveal. This is harder to do than it sounds, and it has to be done flawlessly or else it won't work. Obviously, the author here did not do a very good job of it.

Also, since we can't completely tell how crime went down or exactly what we did yesterday, why should we trust that some authorities have figurd out what happend a few hundred years ago before anyone whose alive today was born? What I mean is that history as a subject is already compromised to the extreme, not only because who rules but also because of its very nature of having its facts be in the past.
Good point, but that is actually more of a political argument which is beyond the scope of what we're talking about. Historical fiction pieces can present a biased or distorted view of actual events and use this to emotionally manipulate the viewer into taking one side or the other; films like Schindler's List and Mississippi Burning would be good examples of this. However, the same can be said of fiction in general. Using fiction as a medium of propaganda is very easy to do; you just have to make the side you want the audience to like be the white hats and the side you want the audience to hate be the black hats. If anything, a completely fictional story makes this even easier because the world can be whatever you want it to be.

What I was getting at is that the level of historical accuracy required to make a historical story believable is relative to how seriously you want the setting to be taken. For instance, How to Train your Dragon is not a particularly accurate depiction of Vikings, but it's a humorous fantasy intended for children, so this doesn't really matter. However, if you were writing a serious novel about Vikings and were trying to portray the setting realistically, historical accuracy would be very important.

This story is somewhere in the middle. Equestria is a cartoonish world, but the author here is attempting a (mostly) serious interpretation of it. He also seems to be aiming for a believable interpretation of medieval England. Thus, he should clearly pay more attention to accuracy than he has. But at the same time, it's not like he's writing an epic about the War of the Roses, he's just using it as a backdrop. It should be fixed, but it's not necessarily a top priority; some artistic license is probably fine.

Anyway, next we get some more bizarre behavior from Gareth:

>Fire replaced ice. He let out a bellowing shout, slamming his metal fist into the glass.
The meaning here is completely ambiguous. What does "fire replaced ice" mean? The previous passage has him placing his hand against the glass and finding it solid, then "fire becomes ice" and he punches it. We don't get an explanation until three paragraphs later:

>She lied to him. She did leave Equestria. Gareth was nothing more than a patsy.
So, from this we can scry that "fire replaced ice" probably means that Gareth suddenly went from calm and collected to super-angry, and punched the glass out of frustration. Fine. However, while the wording is eloquent (which I assume is why the author chose it), it's not clear enough to explain what's going on. The prior focus is on Gareth physically touching the glass, not Gareth's emotions. Previous passages have Gareth touching the other stained glass windows, discovering them to be magic projections that he can put his hand through. This window, however, is solid. At this moment, we are focused on the window, not Gareth. All of this suggests that what's happening is Gareth physically touches the window to see if it is like the other magic windows, there is some kind of magical reaction that causes the glass to change temperature, and it frightens him enough that he punches the glass. That is obviously not what the author was going for (in fact it doesn't even make that much sense). The author either needs to bring the focus onto Gareth's emotional state before the "fire and ice" bit, or else reword "fire and ice" so it clarifies what he is talking about.

Anyway, Gareth gets mad, punches the glass, and scares the retarded rat. Then, he hears a voice saying "I'm sorry" from somewhere behind him. He wheels around to find none other than Chucky Larms standing there watching him. He apparently regained consciousness and had time to bandage his head before tracking Gareth to the mirror, which I find questionable. Since Gareth left the secret passage wide open it shouldn't have been hard to figure out where he went, but considering that maybe 20 minutes at most have elapsed since Gareth knocked Chucky unconscious, it's a little suspect that he would have had time to get medical attention for the crack on his noggin.

Gareth steps in front of the book on the pulpit in order to protect it, which seems kind of silly since he got here through Chucky's magic mirror and it stands to reason that Chucky would already know about this book. Also, he can see some guards show up outside the chapel; probably some of Chucky's guards, or the Royal Guards who flipped to his side and joined his revolt, or whatever the fuck is going on exactly. Anyway, Gareth seems to realize he's outnumbered, so he puts his dagger away (oh yeah btw he drew his dagger when he saw Larms, though this goes without saying since he draws it every five minutes anyway).

Larms has a drink, and prepares for what I assume is going to be the scene where the over-confident villain explains the convoluted details of his nefarious scheme to the protagonist. Oh, also, it appears that Chucky speaks English.

I had to read this next section several times in order to make sense of it, and I'm still not entirely sure I grasp all the details soupillar and/or soulpeener is getting at here. However, I will do my best to summarize it:

The Crystal Mirror (apparently referring to the mirror that Celestia uses to travel to England, and not the other mirror that Gareth just used to travel to this weird cave) has a function built into its magic that turns ponies into humans, in addition to giving them clothes, basic motor skills to operate their new bodies, and a mastery of the English language so they can communicate with others. The only limitations are that they can't read the written language (most people in medieval England couldn't read anyway), nor do they know the customs or culture of the human world. It is not stated, but there seems to be an implication that this effect does not work in reverse, which explains why Gareth did not transform into a pony and gain +1 ponyspeak when he went through. This all seems a smad too convenient for my taste, but I'm going to put a pin in that for now.

Now that all of this has been established, one might think that there is a simple enough explanation for why Chucky Larms can speak English: since he seems to know everything about the mirror, it stands to reason that he probably went through it himself at some point. However, if one made that assumption, one would be wrong. Instead, the author provides this needlessly convoluted explanation:

The pegasus guards who went through the mirror to fetch Celestia gained a mastery of English the same as she did. When they returned, they still had knowledge of the language the way Celestia does. So, Chucky had Noble Era "fortify" (meaning unclear) one of his thrice-damned Ambassador's pills, give it to one of the guards (Cumulus is apparently his name), and then took the other one himself. So, he is now either speaking English using Cumulus' voice, or else through some "fortification" of the Ambassador's pill, he has learned English from Cumulus and is now speaking it in his own voice. It is not clear which one the author means, but either way I would just like to say now that I hate the Ambassador's pill with a fiery, groin-rending passion.

Anyway, from all of this, Gareth is able to piece together that since Chucky can speak English now but can't read it, he needs Noble Era, who apparently can read it for some reason, to translate Celestia's diary for him. What is not explained is how Gareth would know that Chucky wants the diary translated, nor is it explained why Chucky would even want it translated to begin with, nor is it explained how Noble is able to read and translate it. But for now, I'll just put a pin in that one as well.
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>If anything, a completely fictional story makes this even easier because the world can be whatever you want it to be.

True but that is why its better as well.

When you have fictional story, which everyone is aware is fictional; then there won't be an misconceptions on what is factual because everyone knows this is from the author and the author alone. It says more about the author, and you also distance yourself from a conflict thropugh this. Like Harry Ootter says more about Jk Rowling than it does about me, a equvialent to a death eater, think. It also serves as way for me to argue against these peoples' views on an bastract plane. For example, I can actually argue that well, if magic is inherited shouldn't, doesn't pure bloods have a point.

If your story is about a certain event in history, people will either think everything about it is true or wonder what parts are dramatized and which are made up. This means that the story carries a stamp of authority adn legtimicy. The authot can now, make his shit be portaired as facts.

I did realize though that there is no way to complete seprate our world from our fictional worlds but my pont right now is that historical fiction is much more useful for propaganda purposes than normal fiction because its preceived as factual.
>Like Harry Ootter says more about Jk Rowling than it does about me, a equvialent to a death eater, think
I was trying to write what she think here that's why it ends with think.
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Anyway, what all of this wackiness is leading up to is this: Chucky Larms proposes that, because Celestia was clearly unhappy in Equestria and did not consider herself fit to rule it, and because Gareth is unhappy here as well, and presumably also because Chucky wants to depose Celestia and take her place or whatever he's trying to do exactly, it would be best for all parties involved if Gareth took Celestia back to England, and the two of them lived out the rest of their days as husband and wife in the human world. Whether or not it occurred to him that, according to the established rules of the mirror, they would have to wait three years to do this is not clear.

This is actually a reasonable enough position and I guess if I were writing the clusterfuck that this is rapidly turning into, I'd probably have Chucky make a similar proposal. However, he also calls Gareth's attention to the fact that Celestia abandoned Equestria because feelings and could just as easily do the same to Gareth. This seems kind of self-defeating; planting a seed of doubt in Gareth's head about the stability of his relationship to Celestia doesn't really advance his cause. Since he wants the two of them to leave together, it would make far more sense to play up how much they love each other and how much happier they'd be in England. He also implies that whatever she was doing to screw with Gareth's head was part of some undefined master plan of hers, though I can't even fathom what such a plan might be. As far as I can tell, Celestia's entire motivation here is that she was unhappy being the Princess and wanted to live a simple life in a fantasy world, paralleling the feelings of the brony reader and/or author about Equestria.

Gareth seems shocked by the possibility that Celestia has been lying to him, even though he's already realized this multiple times already and seems to get the same amount of shocked each time it happens. Gareth was also conked on the head at one point as I recall; maybe he's got some low-grade memory loss as well. Anyway, this back and forth goes on for awhile, with the gist of it being that Celestia saw herself as unfit to rule, and deliberately caused her own memory loss so that she could live obliviously in England with Gareth for the rest of her life (or the rest of his, at least). This has been hinted at enough times that the author probably does not need to restate it here.

There are a bunch of flashbacks to old conversations and moments from earlier in the story, though what the author is trying to allude to with all of this is beyond me. What Gareth seems to take away from it is a realization that he "affects" her, whatever that means exactly. There also seems to be an implication that Celestia deliberately brought Gareth back from England to achieve some political aim, to put down a rebellion or something, which doesn't make a ton of sense. All in all, the author would have probably done better to keep it simple and stick to having Chucky tempt Gareth with the promise of an idyllic life back in England, with his waifu restored to her previous non-equine body.

The only other takeaway from this scene worth mentioning is that Chucky Larms' objective is now even more obscured than it was to begin with. As was the case with Noble Era, I had assumed from the beginning that Chucky's goal was to incite some kind of revolt so he could seize power for himself, which would have been the most logical direction to take his character, but now it's looking like that may not be the case. Consider this rather garbled, unintelligible line of dialogue from Gareth:

>"Really?" Gareth said. "Because you're doing the exact same thing, Larms. You follow Celestia, and I follow Cecilia. But do you want to know the difference between them? Every day, every, single, day, Cecilia thought about Equestria. I could see it in the way she spoke, walked, and thought. Princess Celestia gave up, and Cecilia hasn't. So, how about you stop trying to follow the orders of a monarch that abandoned you, and start following one that hasn't?"
Like most of this scene, I had to read this passage multiple times before I could grasp what it seems to be trying to say. As far as I can tell, Gareth is basically saying that while Celestia was burned out on rule and decided to just walk away, as soon as she hit her head and lost her memory she forgot why she had left, but remembered Equestria itself. Without her ennui, her devotion to it was renewed. Much like the mechanics of the Crystal Mirror, I find Celestia's selective memory loss a little too convenient, but I'll put a pin in that one for now as well. What concerns me more at the moment is Larms. Gareth suggests that he stop following the orders of Celestia (who abandoned Equestria), and start following Cecilia/nu-Celestia (who didn't, I guess). So this implies that...wait, what is this implying? I'm honestly not sure.

Like I said, for most of this story I've been operating under the assumption that Chucky and Noble were both trying to unseat Celestia, because that's how their characters were set up. It was established early on that there was some kind of schism between the pony castes, and the three tribes were vying for power over each other. When Celestia first came back to Canterlot, she found Noble sitting on her throne, and Noble is also established early on as the leader of the unicorn faction. Chucky, who also appeared to be stirring up trouble, becomes the leader of the earth ponies. These two events combined would indicate that they are each trying to stir up rebellions and take over. However, we learned in the last chapter that Noble has no such intentions, and now it's looking like Chucky doesn't either. So...what is he trying to do here, exactly? He just wants Gareth and Celestia to go away because...why? Because it's "what's best for Equestria?" Once again, I'm really just not understanding what the author is going for.
>If your story is about a certain event in history, people will either think everything about it is true or wonder what parts are dramatized and which are made up. This means that the story carries a stamp of authority adn legtimicy. The authot can now, make his shit be portaired as facts.
Again, I'm not necessarily saying you're wrong, just that it's outside the scope of the conversation. I'm talking about whether or not a story set in a historical time period can still be a good story even if you fudge some of the details, whereas you're talking about the moral implications of telling a fictionalized account of history because of the possibility that people might think your account is factual.

The thing about fiction, historical or otherwise, is that it's fictional. A story set in the middle ages or colonial America or any other random period in history is still just a story, and even if it's based on true events one can assume the reader is aware that parts have been probably fictionalized or embellished. Gladiator is a historically ridiculous account of the reign of Emperor Commodus, but it's still an okay movie, and most people watching are probably assuming that the director took some liberties with historical events, even if they don't know that much about Rome or its history. So, it's not that big a deal. There is no "stamp of authority and legitimacy" on a historical novel; it's fiction and it's marketed as such. If someone is falsifying history textbooks, that's another matter; that is being presented as a factual account of events. A novel though is just a made-up story, even if it's based on something true.

That said, I agree that there is probably an unsettlingly large number of people out there who read novels about history and assume that events actually happened as described, and that these people could be easily manipulated into believing false history. However, that is not so much an argument against historical fiction as a genre as it is an argument against democracy and other forms of popular rule.
We bascially agree.
> it is an argument against democracy and other forms of popular rule.
Yes, it indeed is.

Btw, have you read Ezra Pound?
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One more thing I wanted to highlight before we move on:

>"I get it now," Gareth said. He slowly pushed off the window, glass cracking as he did so. Chances for escape were slim, but he would not surrender.
Here is the layout of this chapel as I understand it. You have a long, nave-like area with stained glass windows on either side. At the far end of this is an altar-pulpit type thing that has Celestia's diary on it. Behind that is a regular glass window stuck in the far wall. Gareth enters the chapel, finds the book, then sees a note taped to the window behind it. He reads the note, gets mad, punches the window. Then, Chucky Larms enters. At this point, the text specifically mentions that Gareth moves in front of the altar so he is standing between Larms and the book. Unless he has extremely long arms, this would imply that he pulls his fist out of the glass that he punched in, and then walks around the altar and is now standing in front of it. However, here we have him pulling his fist out of the broken glass, as if he had just been standing there with his fist jammed into a window and his back facing Larms, with the altar between himself and Larms, the entire time this scene was taking place. It's minor, but this is definitely a continuity error that needs to be fixed.

Anyway, the long and short of this exchange is that Chucky asks Gareth to take Celestia and go back home, and Gareth says "no." Then, Chucky attacks him, bucking him hard enough that he goes flying through whatever's left of the window. Ironically, this is the first scene in the entire story where drawing his stupid dagger might actually be a sensible thing to do, but he isn't able to draw it fast enough to do anything with it before getting kicked. Also, it seems like he landed on some sharp crystals or something. He's in full armor so this probably wasn't fatal, but it looks like he's incapacitated for the moment. He loses consciousness, and the scene ends with a page break.

The next scene cuts back to Celestia. It looks like she has taken her chariot back to Canterlot. She touches down on a balcony, and is escorted by a group of guards into the throne room. Celestia seems alarmed that there are this many active guards this late at night. She seems to realize that something is probably up, but decides that it's too late to do anything about it now. As she heads inside, Purple Dart assures her that whatever happens, she has his loyalty. Earlier in the story, when Gareth was watching Larms free the prisoners, Gareth noted that there were no Pegasi among them. This seemed like an odd thing to bring up at the time, but it now seems like the significance was to point out that the Pegasi guards have stayed loyal as a group, while the rebel group is made up of Earth Ponies and Unicorns.

Anyway, they are both assuming that the summons to the throne room is an ambush, and Purple Dart advises her to cut and run until they can regroup and figure out a strategy for dealing with...whatever they're dealing with. I'm still not quite sure what the hell is going on exactly. However, of course, she gives a short speech about how she has a duty to Equestria and so forth and so on, and she decides to go in.

She pushes open the doors and enters a room full of hostile ponies, who are all giving her accusatory stares for some reason. She notices that Gleaming Horizon is not present, which alarms her, but since Gleaming has a broken leg my guess is she was just given the night off. In any case, she walks up and takes a seat on the throne, and Purple Dart announces that court is now in session. The room explodes into "an uproar of accusations," and the chapter ends here.

Chapter 14: Shrapnel and Treason

Back to Gareth. He wakes up on a pile of jagged crystals that fortunately do not seem to have impaled him. However, it turns out that the chapel was built on the edge of a cliff, and he fell through the window into a chasm about 100 yards deep. There are some steps or something on the wall of the chasm that he can use to climb out, so lucky him.

He sees some magic lights flashing up in the church above him. The description here is vague, either the church is blasted apart and the debris falls on him, or else the entire church is somehow dislodged from its foundation and dropped on him. At this point, he appears to have some sort of war flashback; meanwhile, the cave seems to be collapsing on top of him, either due to magic or just because of reverberations from the church crashing on the ground.

This scene is described very poorly, and what exactly is happening would not be particularly clear even if it wasn't constantly changing perspective to Gareth's war flashback. He keeps imagining that he is on a battlefield, and the falling rocks are the sounds of cannons going off. He's trying to make it to a far hill. Oh, also:

>Pulverised mason and dirt filled his visor, choking his mouth and nostrils.
I believe what the author meant to say here was "pulverized masonry." A mason is a person who lays brickwork and stonework, and masonry is the product of his efforts. The church is a work of masonry, likely laid by a mason. "Pulverized mason" would be the bloody remains of the person who built the church, not the church itself. Unless that guy was unfortunate enough to be standing under the church he built when it was suddenly dropped into a chasm, I doubt Gareth's visor would be filling with his pulverized remains.
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>Btw, have you read Ezra Pound?
No, he's on my list though.
Neither have I. I want ot read him one day too. Heard good things about him from a person admire.
Yeah, his name comes up from time to time. All I really know about him is that he was super fashy, but he was also very highly respected by guys like Hemingway who were pretty much the opposite of fashy, which doesn't often happen. This intrigues me.
Whoops, quoted my own post by mistake. That one was for (You). >>277405
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Anyway, Gareth is stuck in his war flashback, and he tries to run for the hill. And of course, it should go without saying that he draws his dagger.

The scene here is reasonably well written, though as a matter of personal taste I'm not fond of these sorts of overwrought flashback sequences. Gareth hallucinates fighting across the battlefield, and he runs into the ghost and/or zombie of a guy named Lord Richard Neville, who apparently factors into his past somehow. Gareth accuses Neville of ruining his life, and presumably because he's having a flashback, he gets the times muddled up; he's asking Neville questions about Equestria.

From their conversation, it becomes apparent that Gareth believes that Neville betrayed him somehow, and Neville sees Gareth as unfairly blaming him for everything.

>Fire bubbled up anew in Gareth's heart. If Neville had survived then he'd have to fix that.
I'm assuming that "fire" here is metaphorical and describes his anger. However, the second sentence seems to be implying that...wait, what the fuck is this implying? This gets weirder each time I read it. Okay. This whole thing seems to be saying that metaphorical and/or literal fire is currently bubbling up in Gareth's heart. He would like to remedy this situation, but apparently in order to do so, Neville needs to have survived. Past tense. Literally what?

The meaning...I think...is that these sentences are intended to be read separately. Fire bubbles up in Gareth's heart (again, I'm assuming this is a metaphor for his anger, but who knows; maybe that pulverized mason he inhaled was also on fire). Once this fact is established, Gareth considers that if Neville did, in fact, survive, he intends to remedy the situation by killing him, thus ensuring that his present, uncorrected state of survival is terminated. However, it doesn't read this way; "fix that" seems to be referring to the fire in Gareth's heart, with an added qualifier that Neville needs to have survived (in the past) in order for the heart-fire situation to be possible to address. This is easily one of the most awkwardly phrased passages in the entire book, and that's saying a lot at this point.

Anywho, it looks like Neville was responsible for the death of Gareth's father, and that's why he's all pissed off. Incidentally, I looked it up, and from what I can tell, this character is meant to be pic 1 related, the Earl of Warwick. The other possible contender is his father (pic 2 related), also named Richard Neville, but of the two, Warwick seems to have played the more significant role in the war, so I'm assuming he's our man.

This is a nice little reference to history soulpillar has slipped in here; however, what's baffling about it is that while he seems to know enough about the War of the Roses to accurately reference key players, battles, castles and so forth, he manages to get so many other things about the time period wrong. It's possible he was just doing what I'm doing, which is just googling shit and reading Wikipedia pages, and he doesn't really know as much as he'd like people to think he knows, but the fact that he selected the War of the Roses specifically as his setting implies that he has at least some interest in the period. If his idea was just "medieval guy goes to Equestria" then there are any number of more generic and widely-known conflicts he would likely have chosen; the Crusades for instance, or the Hundred Years War. He could have even just picked a random year in the middle ages (1345 because why not) and a random part of England (Worcestershire because I like that sauce) and just constructed a completely generic backstory about a knight who lived in a castle. Instead, though, he specifically picked this war for some reason. Curious.

Well, whatever; Neville was his father's liege, and he also got him killed. He was also the guy who knighted Gareth. Just as we're beginning to wonder what the point of this exchange is, he says this:

>Neville sighed, his shoulders slumping. "You're right; your father did die for peace. However, the England he died for wasn't the same anymore. The king we followed wasn't the man that I thought he was, so I went about installing a new king, a worthy king. I changed my allegiance, but I never changed my love for England."
This seems like a bit of a hamfisted attempt at connecting Neville's reasons for changing allegiances to...whatever the hell Chucky Larms is doing I guess. Or, maybe, it's supposed to represent Gareth's feelings about Celestia. Either way, I can see the faint outline of a similarity here, which the author is clearly trying to connect. It's not quite there yet, but at least he's making the effort.

Anyway, this scene looks like it's going to be the biggest backstory dump for Gareth that we've yet encountered, so we might as well see what we have here. Another random ghost shows up, this one turns out to be Jobasha, a friend of Gareth's who I believe has also been referenced once or twice in the text already. Apparently he died in the same battle as Gareth's father, and Gareth was distraught enough that he abandoned the war and became a hunter. I'm not sure a knight would have the option to do this, actually, if he wanted to retain his title.

Unfortunately, after all the buildup, Gareth's actual backstory turns out to be rather trite. Jobasha tells Gareth that after he ran away from the battle, he never stopped running. A cliche if ever I've heard one. He ran not because he was afraid of death, but afraid of what was on his hands. Gareth looks down, and (of course) sees blood on his hands. Well, I suppose it's good for him that that's all it was; I'm not quite sure what the toilet paper situation would have been back in those days.
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So, in the end, Gareth's past was pretty much just standard action-protagonist fare: he was the sensitive warrior who couldn't stand the killing any longer, but no matter how fast he ran, he couldn't run away from the pain. Then, he finally found a woman who was able to melt his icy heart with her cool island song. This isn't necessarily bad, it's just been done a million times before. If you're going to do something that's been done a million times before, you have to ask yourself: what about mine is unique? What differentiates my brooding angsty warrior-guy from all the other ones out there?

I can already hear Nigel screeching about tropes and unoriginality, but I'll state for the record that in my opinion there's absolutely nothing wrong with sticking to established story formulas or using standard archetypes to construct your characters. If anything, I recommend this method for inexperienced writers, since it's a good way to get the basics down without having to invent too much. MLP itself is full of tropes and archetypes, actually. The problem here is not that Gareth's backstory is just a standard-issue angsty male warrior copypasta, the problem is that there isn't really much else to his character besides this.

To illustrate, I'd like to channel my inner Nigel for a moment and babble about shonen battle anime you probably haven't seen and probably don't care about. I don't watch a ton of that sort of anime, but I remember watching Inuyasha on Adult Swim way back when, and it was probably the first anime series I was interested enough in to really follow. It's relevant here because the titular character was also an angsty, brooding warrior who turned out to actually have a sensitive side, and as with Gareth, the key to "fixing" him was meeting a particular woman who was able to soothe his many aching bum-wounds. Soulpillar was not the first author to tell this story, nor will he be the last.

However, despite being constructed from an established archetype, Inuyasha was a unique character. He had a personality, mannerisms, hopes, dreams, ideas, good qualities, bad qualities, beliefs, bad habits. There were things that his friends loved about him, and things about him that drove them all crazy. In short, he had all of the hundreds of tiny little things that comprise a single personality. It's difficult to quantify (once more we're veering into the realm of art rather than science), but basically it's these kinds of qualities that differentiate one human from another. If you're going to construct a character, it's not enough to just pick an archetype and give him a convincing backstory, you need to make a person out of him.

As I've said before, Gareth is rather dull. Again, it's hard to quantify, but there's just nothing about him that really stands out; he's just "medieval angsty warrior guy with a boilerplate tragic past." I've said before that the way Gareth's past is gradually hinted at as the story progresses is well done, and that is still true. However, his past doesn't matter much if we don't connect with him emotionally and care about him. As it stands, we know about him, but we don't really know him.

What determines a good character has nothing to do with the amount of information we have about them. Styre, for instance, is a character I quite like, and he's barely been in the story at all. Ditto for Gleaming Horizon, who I actually think is rather underutilized. Even Butter Pie, whose visual design is atrocious, or Chucky Larms, who has the worst pony name I've ever heard, are more interesting characters than Gareth is, despite their getting considerably less screen time.

Part of the problem, I think, actually stems from the fact that Gareth is the interloper in this world. The other significant characters are all natives of Equestria, so by necessity there is more to their personalities than just "Pony" except for Noble Era, he sucks. Gareth, by contrast, is almost entirely defined by where he comes from: every gesture, every mannerism, even the attempts at humor (rats, plague, beeswax helmet); all of it revolves around the novelty of his being "medieval England guy in horse country." Medieval England had a lot of guys; what makes this one unique? That's how you have to think. You can't just write an entire novel-length story about a guy whose only notable character trait is being a fish out of water and expect people to be enthralled by him.

A good trick is to think of your characters as if they were real people; usually you don't have to know everything about someone to form a basic impression of them. You just sort of pick up on their personality from their behavior, and decide whether you like them or not based on that. As you learn more about them, your opinion changes. This is why short greentexts or flash fiction focusing on one or two characters with a simple event as the plot are good exercises; you build characters by playing around with them and seeing how they behave. Also, if you're really stuck, basing a character off of an existing character, or using someone you know as a model, are both tried and true methods. I do this all the time you can do it with entire stories, too.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, Jobasha.

Jobasha's ghost appears to Gareth and tells him that he's gotta stand up tall and learn to face his fears. We learn that Gareth's past is very very tragic story: blood on his hands, he killed his best friend, yada yada yada, much sad. Jobasha advises him to remember his promise (the nature of this is intentionally left vague for now) and to stop killing, or the blood on his hands will only get...uh...bloodier...I guess. Not much else to say here; the dream ends, and Gareth is back in the cave with the ruins of the church all around him.
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Oh, DON'T GET ME STARTED on Jew Kocksucker Rowling.
Her villains believe in "blood supremacy". They think someone whose family has been magic for centuries (and is rich) is superior to a family whose only kid just got magic today.
The world is set up to favour magic kids over the muggle-born children (mortal kids who develop magic from unknown and unexplained means) because the Ministry (govt) says NO DOING MAGIC OUTSIDE OF HOGWARTS, KIDS! OF COURSE IF YOU DO IT AT A HOME IN MAGICLAND IT'S FINE BECAUSE WE CAN'T TELL WHO CAST THE SPELL. EXCEPT WE TOTALLY CAN BECAUSE WANDS CAN BE TRACKED AND YOU CAN EVEN MAGICALLY VIEW A WAND'S "SPELLS USED" HISTORY, WE JUST DON'T GIVE A DAMN"
in addition

every single kid with magic views learning as a boring chore, except for Hermione le sue. muggle-born kids don't try harder than magic kids. teachers don't try harder with magic or non-magic-born kids. all teachers suck to a cartoonish degree, especially Snape the abusive Gordon Ramsay Wannabe who shouts at children for not already knowing what he's meant to teach them, and that one ghost teacher whose rambling unfocused failure to teach History means most kids skip the lesson or sleep right through it without consequence.

Harry Potter (the boy) is the Blood Supremacist's wet dream. Comes from a magic-born father and muggle-born mother, but everything good about him came from the dad. His riches, his fame, his gifts from old magic-world relatives with their own rich houses, and he's the destined inheritor of the Elder Wand, the strongest oldest wand ever.
In addition the Blood Supremacists are canonically right: Wizarding society is in decline, wizards alive 500 years ago are stronger than the people alive today.


You're supposed to believe the Blood Supremacists are wrong because they think muggles are dumb (even though Rowling repeatedly shows that they are dumb) and because they dislike Hermione, the smartererest wizard chick of all time.

You're supposed to believe the Blood Supremacists are wrong because they're ugly, smelly, brutish, mean, stupid, "insane" (they teeheehee at blood and enjoy killing), and they're led by Voldemort.
Voldemort is Tom Marvolo Riddle, a child of rape. His witch mom used Love Potions to drug and date-rape a hot human man who caught her eye, then kept drugging and raping him for years. One day she stopped drugging him and vanished, leaving the man with the child. So the man gave the child to an orphanage, where he was a creepy child considered "cursed" because bad things happened to anyone who fucked with him. Did I mention that a child born from a person on Love Potion is born with the fundamental inability to love?
Raised in the anti-muggle wizarding society, he always resented the fact that he came from a muggle father. He never gave a fuck about his inability to love because nobody ever noticed. He was a pretty boy and the chicks wanted him. The fact that he was born from RAPE never crossed anyone's mind, certainly not the author's.
One day he seduced and killed Moaning Myrtle in the Slytherin schoolgirl's bathroom. This never mattered and she never mattered.
Anyway after quitting school he decided to fuck his face up with magic and start a cult of mean bad jerk wizards spontaneously because the author doesn't know how ideology works or how groups form.
Did I mention the "hilarious prankster twins" Fred and George sell their love potions to children disguised as chocolates?
The same ones responsible for Voldemort's existence.

At no point does Rowling ever think that her shit wizard-land society with its weak inept government could ever be responsible for any of the bad things that ever happen, even when it clearly is. She'll happily portray too much government interference as a bad thing, and then portray too little of it as a bad thing, and then blame the actions of bad elected officials on those officials rather than the populace of wacky meme characters that refuse to hold their government accountable.
The heroes are good because they die when destiny says so. And Voldy is just bad because he never wants to die. In a setting where book 1's Philosopher's Stone bullshit was both unimportant and caused by the 800 year old Nicholas Flamell, and old wizards/witches regularly live to 300, Voldy is a bad guy for wanting immortality and more than his station should allow.

Even though Albus Q Dumbledore is the headmaster of Hogwarts who has the final say in what is taught to the kids attending the only wizarding school in great britain, the strongest wizard in all the land (supposedly), and the leader of the secret society The Order Of The Phoenix, which includes his best friends and assorted random men/women from the series and the absolute boss of all wizard cops, he still fails to do anything good for the world and is easily killed.
Rowling's a retard who throws ideas into her book without thinking about them, hence why the book is sometimes redpilled accidentally (fickle worthless public that loves Harry one day and hates you the next, Fake News reeta skeeter lying about Harry, the Ministry Of Magic controls all press including the Daily Prophet meaning Harry and friends need to get their news from Alternative Media aka Luna Lovegood's waaacky father's weird bullshit newspaper full of cryptid-bullshit like "the nargles are everywhere!")
Rowling is such a retard.

She accidentally created a fundamentally rotten setting that desperately needs some Lelouch Vi Brittannia kind of character to unfuck it at gunpoint on the back of a giant robot. But the bad man (even though he's only bad because of this society) is bad because he's a cartoon nazi who wants to take over, so the heroes must stop him and let things return to the shitty status quo because this is a children's story for middle-aged boomers.
The only consistent part of JK Rowling's worldview is that she hates everyone for different reasons, and considers them all beneath her.
People who like sports? Fuck you, your sport's now Quidditch, the only sport in Wizarding England and the most purposefully stupid and unsafe and violent thing ever where athleticism doesn't even matter, just how fast your reactions are and how good your Snitch-Seeker's broom is.
People who like bad sports teams? Fuck you, the Chudley Cannons haven't won a match in 1500 years. Ron is you and Ron is annoying.
Schools? Fuck you, your teachers are incompetent and your students commit rape/murder in the hallways.
Foreigners? Fuck you, Rowling just put a stereotype of you in her book. But nobody cared when she focused her hatred for all those unlike her on Seamus McFinnegan the fictional white irish idiot who only knows how to accidentally blow stuff up.
The School rowling visited and ripped off the houses/school cup system from, and the very idea of schools having a House System that applies 1 of 8 random tribes to make them more likely to be good so their house can win? Fuck you, there are now 4 houses that hate each other and they are all clearly divided by type of person: Brave heroes in red team, evil kids with fucking ambition in green team, smart kids in purple team, and misc kind kids who are good at nothing except finding shit go in team yellow.
Governments? Fuck you, it's stupid and divided into ministries that have no oversight over each other and no laws to follow.
Middle-class workers? Fuck you, all your kids are miserable and you don't know anything about anything.
Researchers? Fuck you, you know nothing about what you research daily, you have to ask children what the function of a rubber duck is!
Government programs that help you? Fuck them, unless they benefit Rowling, then she likes them.
Government programs that help someone that's not you? Fuck them!
Stay at home moms? Fuck you, you're annoying and overbearing and nosy and infuriating and rude to other parents.
Career women? Fuck you, you're over 300 and childless, plus you're incompetent at your job. Looking at you, McGonagall Catgirl and Obligatory Female Chief Of All Police!
Poor people? Fuck you, you're thieves who deserve worse.
Kids with abusive parents? Fuck you, kids, the parents just want to toughen you up.
Rich people? Fuck you, you're all smug snooty cunts who inherited nothing!
The world of Harry Potter isn't a bizarrely-twisted funhouse mirror version of the real world because Rowling is some kind of "secret genius" with some "bitingly incisive social satire". It's like that because this is how she sees the world: A nonsensical party where things just happen because magic and the only people who want to change things are baddies if they can't magic up exactly what she wants to be given when she wants it!
>Gareth suggests that he stop following the orders of Celestia (who abandoned Equestria), and start following Cecilia/nu-Celestia (who didn't, I guess). So this implies that...wait, what is this implying? I'm honestly not sure.
My money's on "Stop following the orders of the Celestia who exists today, and start following the orders of who Celestia wanted to be: The nice little human woman with missing memories, and then help Celly become that human woman"
>He keeps imagining that he is on a battlefield, and the falling rocks are the sounds of cannons going off
Would cannons really be common enough for a soldier to get PTSD over them in the medieval era?
I knew about the War Of The Roses long before I knew about The Crusades or the Hundred Years War.
Partly because Rose War 2: Rose Harder and Henry Tudor's sex life are the only things covered in the UK's schools for kids.
Partly because Yugioh: Duellists Of The Roses decided to take the franchise's "japanese card game players except one's the reincarnation of an ancient egyptian magic pharoh" characters and put them in the War of the Roses. I am not kidding. You, the player, gets summoned to choose a side then fight for it in shit turn-based strategy mechanics where the only real way to win without a guidebook telling you how to summon is to cheat by discarding most of your monsters then summoning Swordstalker. He's a warrior who (when summoned) gains 100 ATK points for every monster in your grave. Discard 30 monsters and he's getting a 3000 atk boost. That's a big number for this game. This game's AI cheats like crazy btw.
If I wanted to impress dumbasses who know very little about history, I'd write a fanfic where William Wallace goes to Equestria.
And then base everything I know about William Wallace and his era off things from Age Of Empires 2 for the PS2, things learned from movies, and things that sound about right ("People feared the plague in that era, and we know it came from rats, right? Then he should be afraid of rats!")
It's what this fic did. There but for the grace of God I go.
Bruh, I liked Naruto. I'm fine with tropes and cliche.
The obnoxious attention-seeking brat is a cliche, and the hard-headed idiot who wants everyone's respect is a cliche, but Naruto's that way because he was a despised orphan blamed for the actions of the demon sealed within him at birth.
The angry edgy "hardcore" guy who wants to avenge his family and kill its murderer is a cliche, but that hated guy turning out to be a good guy ordered to kill a family that was attempting a coup on the country is a twist.
Sakura is 100% cliche and the story would be better off without her. There's literally nothing to her beyond "generic shonen girl who wants the pretty boy and gets mad at perverts"
A guy who does kung fu in a world of magic users is a cliche. That guy being like this because disability/just sucking at magic is a cliche. It's the writing behind Rock Lee that makes people like him and call his fight with Gaara iconic and an excellent piece of writing through fight scenes.
A shy girl liking a guy from afar because he's so bold and brash is a cliche. But Hinata's attraction to Naruto goes deeper than that, she admires how hard he tries and how unafraid to fail he is. She admires that he's able to smile even though his tragic backstory is worse than hers in her eyes(whose tragic backstory is really worse is debatable). She's an abused girl trapped by her shit family, and she admires his strength and honesty and determination, and she wishes she had his confidence. The moment she confesses her love to him isn't just epic because she says it while fighting off a guy who makes forcefields, it's a triumphant moment of her breaking the conditioning pounded into her by her piece of shit father and choosing her own fate.
And I can still enjoy a story full of cliches and tropes without twists and justifications. I liked Metal Gears 1-3. 4 was a drunken loon's attempt to jump and fuck every shark while trying to simultaneously service and insult fans of mindless shooty games. It's as if Kojimbo didn't want to make 4, hated the repetitive shooty game formulas that were so popular at the time, and hated the idea that every story thread he wanted to leave hanging needed to be wrapped up in the future when everyone's old, dead, out of character, retconned, and retarded. 5 was just an unfinished game about nothing at all. No plot, no depth, you just "play as big boss" performing random missions given to him by people he doesn't know for cash because that's what Big Boss did at that time period in the greater MGSV plot. MGSV is a joke on the player for expecting Big Boss's Diamond Dog days to be as cool as the Snake Eater mission. If MGS6 ever happened it would just be you customizing a character cloned from Solid Snake's DNA 200 years after his death followed by two hundred and fourty hours of your OC getting the shit beaten out of him by Hideo Kojima himself as he tearfully begs you to stop asking for more Metal Gear.
Cliches can be a great tool to explain simple concepts the audience is already familiar with, too.
>"What is aura?"
>"It's a forcefield your soul makes"
I just don't like how this story is hailed as one of the most original things of all time and one of the best love stories ever when it's just a by-the-numbers human-in-equestria fic except the one episode the human helps out with is a nonsense-episode to explain why he is here (sign one that the author feels insecure about writing an isekai: Why the human is here has to have a lengthy explanation that makes far less sense than "because magic/prophecy/luck/someone performed a summoning spell asking for someone with a great amount of a certain quality or skill the hero has") and how this toootally isn't a fantasy, you guys, because being in equestria is dark and serious and for no adequately-explained reason, Celestia considers life as a vulnerable rapeable human woman without power or prestige to be a vacation from her "boring" life as a magical flying strong horse princess whose word is law in a continent of magic ponies.
Three rewrites couldn't save this story but a fourth probably could.
>My money's on "Stop following the orders of the Celestia who exists today, and start following the orders of who Celestia wanted to be: The nice little human woman with missing memories, and then help Celly become that human woman"
I think you're correct, this is most likely what it means. The original statement is awkwardly phrased, and it seems to reinforce earlier statements made by Larms in Celestia's dream, suggesting that Chucky believes that the Celestia who went through the mirror is not the one who returned. In a world where things like changelings and magic exists, this is not an unreasonable suspicion and could work for the story, however it does not seem to be what the author wants, in which case he shouldn't be hinting at it.

>Would cannons really be common enough for a soldier to get PTSD over them in the medieval era?
I'm not an expert on the subject, but my general knowledge is that cannons were becoming widely adopted by European armies around the mid to late 15th century, which is when this story takes place. Not sure when England began adopting them, if I were the author this is probably something I'd look into.

>I knew about the War Of The Roses long before I knew about The Crusades or the Hundred Years War.
>Partly because Rose War 2: Rose Harder and Henry Tudor's sex life are the only things covered in the UK's schools for kids.
I'd wondered about that. This story was clearly written by a British person and my suspicion is that the War of the Roses is considered more significant in the UK than in the US. I'm familiar with it in passing, mostly because I've been reading Will Durant's books intermittently for the last couple of years and just happened to finish the one dealing with this time period a couple of months before we started with this story.

If that's the case then the author most likely just grabbed something commonly known from his own history and used it as a setting, without bothering to research it much. That's disappointing; it's roughly the equivalent of me setting a story in the American Civil War using nothing but the general-survey level information about it I was taught in middle school.

>I'd write a fanfic where William Wallace goes to Equestria.
If you used the Braveheart version of William Wallace this could actually make a pretty fun shitpost story. Mel Gibson running around Equestria with a giant claymore shouting "Freedom!" at the top of his lungs while multicolored ponies flee in terror is a pretty hilarious image imo.

>I just don't like how this story is hailed as one of the most original things of all time and one of the best love stories ever
I don't get the impression that it is. Another anon (Italian flag as I recall) recommended this story because it's one of his favorites, and it seems favorably received on FimFiction (though I'm beginning to suspect that's not a reliable indicator of anything), but aside from that I've never heard of it. Granted I don't know a ton about which fandom works are popular and which aren't, but the other "famous" ones we've done/plan to do (Past Sins, Optimal, Fallout) I've at least heard of in passing. This one seems relatively obscure.

I don't mean to convey the impression that I'm trying to dump on your opinions, nor am I trying to give the author of this work undue praise. You're entitled to think whatever you like, and I'll fully acknowledge that this is a long way from being a high-quality work. However, I try to be as objective as I can about these fics, and I grade most of them on a pretty generous curve tbh. Compared to the others I've looked at, this one is probably the closest to being a fully realized idea, and if I had to pick one out of the last batch we've done (Sins, Optimal and Rose) that I think could be adapted into a polished, quality work with as little revision of the original manuscript as possible, this is the one I'd give it to. This is by no means high praise, it just means that out of the last three shitpiles we've looked at this one is by a wide margin the least repugnant, and that its author demonstrates the most raw writing ability and the most potential for real improvement.

Honestly I don't give a shit about any of these authors. They all suck as far as I'm concerned, and they will probably never read the notes I've given them or even know of their existence. If they did my guess is my advice would probably be shrugged off and disregarded. Most of them will probably go on sucking for the rest of their lives and will never realize it. That's perfectly fine as far as I'm concerned; I do these reviews for you guys' benefit, not the authors'. My intention here is to pull apart (mostly terrible) written works, show what I think the authors did right and what they did wrong, and provide an assessment of how I think it could have been done better, so that anyone reading who wants to write can get an idea of what they should look for when writing/revising their own works.
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I love this painting, as it portrays fierce rivalry perfectly.

>English. That sentence was written in English. What's more, those loops and curls were familiar. Cecilia's handwriting; it had to be.
>Celestia doesn't have hands, so if she wrote this in her horse-state "handwriting" would be an improper term. This is further complicated by the fact that when she was Cecilia she did have hands, so if she had written this during her human period the term would be correct. Even if the author knows when she wrote it, neither Gareth nor the reader can be expected to, so for now the term is both correct and incorrect; basically this is a "Schrödinger's handwriting" kind of situation. Horse world is a giant pain in the ass to write in sometimes. What I would probably do is use something neutral and ambiguous like "Cecilia's writing" or better yet, "Cecilia's script."
If we were being logical about this then it would be handwriting for sure, because writing with hooves or a mouth produces a significantly different style than writing with hands. Then again, Celestia would write with her magic and perhaps she would keep her style more consistent this way.

>it would give him an excuse to introduce another character, one who could be strongly implied to be Rainbow Dash's mom/grandma/predecessor to justify why she's a cheap knockoff like Pinkie.
>It could let Gareth learn friendship and learn it's okay to have help. She could reach books atop tall shelves for him and distract ponies by bluffing badly and saying "he's not in here!" causing them to look in here.
Depending on portrayal such a character would likely be superfluous, because Styre is the gruff soldier friend and having another just to have a Rainbow Dash ancestor would be mere bronybait.

>Why either of them need to circumvent their own guards in the first place is beyond me, but there you have it.
Also, I can see why Gareth and Celestia couldn't investigate Noble's room openly. Just because a monarch holds absolute or nearly absolute authority doesn't mean she can do whatever she wants due to the concept of legitimacy. Noble Era was the victim of a crime, not a suspect and so depending on the legal system his room couldn't be openly searched just because. He is a very important individual and as Celestia is already on thin ice politically this would cause outrage among the nobles.
What I find is that this story (mostly) has logically consistent trains of thought but muddles them for the audience. It's like a class where the important thing is not the answer itself but how you arrived at that answer. This story would greatly benefit from characters justifying their actions thoroughly either in dialogue or internal monologue, particularly as it's rather short anyway.

>This occurrence is probably meant to be humor, but it fails for a couple of reasons. For one, the theory that rats were responsible for the spread of the Black Death didn't come about until centuries after the fact, so there is no reason for Gareth to associate rats with plague.
I had to look this up for myself and you are indeed right. I thought at least one person back then had to have made the connection but rats weren't specifically blamed. Some did associate general squalor with it, like King Edward III. Rats are a memetic way of thinking of the Black Plague, like some people now associate bats with Corona, and transposing it on that time period is an anachronism. If Soulpillar read an elementary-level introduction of the topic (https://www.cloverleaflocal.org/Downloads/Plaguebooklet.pdf) he would be much better off. Though obviously he is not logically consistent even within his own universe; who would look at a creature considered a repugnant carrier of disease and go "Mmm, tasty"?

I actually understand why there's the whole thing with the rat. Comic relief when done right is entertaining and adds variety to fiction, and it's present in virtually all of Shakespeare's plays. Also, Soulpillar is trying to use the trope of "character is forced to work with another character he can't stand and eventually overcomes his dislike, with disliked character becoming helpful sidekick." The concept of character development through this isn't bad but it just doesn't apply to Gareth because irrational dislike wasn't a character flaw before the rat autism, unless if you count his attitudes toward the Lancasters and horse pussy.
However, Soulpillar is not Shakespeare. Much of his work is trying to combine a range of genres: romance, intrigue, action, and comedy, though most of these fall flat. Rather than attempting mediocre variety it would be far better to focus on the key themes and emotions of the work and get a decent handle on those. Only then can you insert contrasting themes without detracting from the story.
>She informs Celestia that when she was examining Gareth, she found that his feelings for her were of friendship rather than love.
I think just as importantly it was revealed Gareth loves a pony who's not Celestia, which is heavily implied to be Gleaming. Obviously this has significant ramifications if this plotline (hue hue) is explored. Although Celestia's lack of concern serves to provide a further twist to the audience, it only works if she has a genuine reason for this rather than breaking character. Also Doctor Legata's curt "why aren't you upset?!" exclamation is precisely what I would expect from a villain trying to emotionally break a character. The good doctor is clearly not an antagonist (to our knowledge) so it's worse than mere impropriety.

>Also, the idea of Gareth taking time away from everything else he's doing to round up rodents just seems silly, particularly with Celestia's assurances that there is no plague in Equestria to begin with.
This also bugs me. Gareth's current status is an "inactive noble" where he has as much spare time as a retired boomer, and so apart from learning language and customs (which may be assumed to take most of his time implicitly) he might do the equivalent of gardening or whatever. However for him that's clearly archery and yet we're not shown more scenes of him practicing, which will make the eventual jump to where he's hyper-competent with the bow seem jarring. If he actually believed rats carried plague and ponies can't catch plague, he could assign any one of the presumably hundreds in the royal retinue to catch the rats. It's a page's work and having even the "animal-handler knight" handle rats is silly, especially when there's no shortage of other animals probably at the palace (at least there should be, otherwise it's a lousy palace). I say this as someone who's not really bothered by the rat plotline; I just want realistic behavior.

>Though people studying and preaching the proven greatness of friendship lasers would probably look down on the Determination Scientist who can "only" magic himself into becoming invincible for 3-4 seconds when determined enough.
Sounds like the premise for an Undertale crossover.

>When designing a "period" character, you have to take two things into account: who is this character fundamentally (as in what core traits and values does he have that would be part of his personality regardless of the time and place he's from), and how have these traits and values developed within the crucible of the world he lives in?
This. It's clear the author has not read a significant amount of either medieval-dated literature or good literature about the era. For anyone interested, the 19th century was when a resurgence of interest in medieval tradition took place, not just in the period fiction genre but also in other genres (Dracula comes to mind) and architecture (Gothic Revival). In grade school I had two assignments on such books, Ivanhoe and Men of Iron. They're both really good novels and Ivanhoe in particular kickstarted the genre.

>However, despite the fact that her fucking leg is broken, she seems none the worse for wear.
I have no idea how you can get in a fight and sustain a broken limb as the only injury. We have not seen ponies wield heavy blunt objects of which one hit would be the only credible explanation for that state. Also how would a non-pegasus hope to escape hostiles with a broken leg? The broken leg is a narrative construct so that Gareth's selfish decision (looking for Noble Era was a logical choice, but with even a shred of chivalry protecting Celestia/Gleaming would have been a priority nonetheless) has "realistic" consequences, but not so traumatically bad that Gleaming becomes anything other than a side character. This is wasted potential imo, as if Gleaming was hospitalized Gareth could question his judgement or his abandonment of his knightly ideals. Perhaps as he visits her he explores his feelings for her, leading to a love triangle (which is rightfully much-maligned in fanfiction but would actually make this story more dynamic). Also, either the author handwaved away the issue with Equestrian medicine or he doesn't know how broken legs work, because it takes time for the bone to heal and gradually you can use it more; you certainly cannot hobble on it at all for the first few days.

>Since returning to Ponyland, she has had little experience with his "dextrous" fingers I'm guessing, so you could interpret this as heavy compensation on her part, and getting Gleaming all flustered could be read as a deliberate power-play. Perhaps she's subtly pissing on her territory after all, though I worry I may be giving the author a bit too much credit here.
That never occurred to me and it would be clever if that's actually the case. Like you I doubt it, though it's more for the reason that it's how men-pretending-to-be-women on RP servers talk. Yes it's extremely cringy and often I wished such characters were valid to kill.

>Emotion drained from Gareth's body.
When I was younger I liked to take big sesquipedalian words from my thesaurus and intersperse them in my writing. I feel like the author is doing the equivalent, though instead of synonyms his verbiage consists of well-trodden phrases often used in other fanfics.
Rats, rats, we're the rats.

This plotline is not all too different from what would feature in a Sam & Max game.

>At the beginning of the story it was implied that he needed to make his helmet airtight because of some kind of poisonous miasma, but it was never really clarified why he believed something like that would even be a problem here. Whatever the author is/was thinking is completely lost on me I'm afraid.
Having had to breathe through a mask quite often in the last six months I'll just say it's not something you do if you have a choice and soldiers probably like it even less. It's not like a video game where it has no drawbacks on your performance while providing benefits, it restricts the flow of oxygen your body so dearly craves on top of being itchy or sweaty. Just add water and it's basically waterboarding. I do find it funny how earlier he was so caught up with the smell of horse and now he's breathing through Celestia's panties or whatever.

I sadly have to agree. As a VS player in Planetside 2 I came up with ways to make energy guns more interesting by dividing them into plasma weapons, laser beams and laser pulse weapons along with gimmick weapons like ricochet rifles. However with the same effort you could make TR conventional firearms and NC magnetic weapons even cooler. I love energy weapons but the only unique thing that makes them cool is the light show; "pew pew" may as well be pejorative because it lacks the power and kickback of projectile weapons which will always feel more "real."
>It's funny how Sci-Fi gets more interesting as they move away from the standard sci-fi cliches Rick and Morty relies on, and trade the magical weapons for interesting questions
You mean going back to. Classic sci-fi like Asimov's works and Star Trek were built on exploring these questions.

>It's easy to be condescending towards some of the wacky cures they came up with, but imagine for a moment that you lived in a world where some horrible, invisible force was killing thousands of people and you wanted it to stop but you had no idea how it worked or what caused it. You'd probably just start throwing shit at the wall to see what sticks. In the era we presently live in, we know more about the causes of disease than any other civilization at any other point in (known) history, but this corona thing is still causing people to act like absolute retards, and there's still all sorts of misinformation being bandied about back and forth (much of it coming from scientists and doctors who are supposed to be experts). It's difficult to imagine that things would have been significantly better during the Black Death, when the disease was significantly deadlier and medical knowledge significantly more limited.
The Black Death was one of those events in Western history where you can draw a before/after distinction, like with the Protestant Reformation or the French Revolution. It shook the (at the time highly devout) foundations of medieval life to their core, as people were dropping like flies out of nowhere. It was so bad groups of people would flagellate themselves to make it stop because there was nothing else they could do. I believe that it led to the decline of not just feudalism but also religiosity and therefore tradition, starting a slow decline from the end of the High Middle Ages to today.

>A more important question would be why does she even need to learn it in the first place? I'm still not following the logic of why Luna's dreamwalking ability would be important or useful in Gareth and Celestia's present situation
To me it was pretty clear that they needed information from Noble Era who's comatose, but it's understandable given that the logic of the plot is not well explained for the audience's sake.

>The Purge movies are shit for many reasons. "all crime becomes legal" DURING TAX SEASON? Purges "IMPROVE" productivity and economy? Businesses even TRY to survive in a Purging country/keep their money in-store during purge season without hiring private security? No rules are given on "if you steal something during the purge do you have to give it back when it's over? what if you killed the owner so you can't give it back? can you marry multiple people and horses and rape people? if all crime becomes legal does this include abortion and identity fraud?".
>And the idea that people would accept "Poor people are fair game, rich people with private guards and fortresses can defend themselves, and all high-level government workers are legally off-limits" is just absurd.
The Purge is a left-wing fantasy warning that right-wing ideology would somehow lead to such a society, similar to that "dystopian novel" about the women in red dresses. Note that it's only left-wing rags that ever praise the movie's message. The vast majority of left-wing propaganda consists of fear-mongering that if the progressive line is not followed, the Right will impose a dystopia.

>Also, it looks like he speaks fluent Equestrian now.
It's implied that it's broken Equestrian which is why it sounds so "ludicrous." It's a very limited sentence in terms of vocabulary, similar to how in Chinese it could be paraphrased as "小人,你在哪里?" which is very basic. Though I don't know why Gareth doesn't know the word for rats considering he has them on his mind all the time.
>two colts that looked like a younger Styre
Considering that a sketch portrait would include only the black-and-white faces of its subjects I'm skeptical that Gareth would be able to tell who Styre was. I don't know how it is with ponies but people change drastically in appearance with time; if I was struck with amnesia and was given an old picture of my cherub-faced self it's unlikely I would make the connection immediately. Also, for humans ponies are primarily distinguished by their colors, cutie mark and mane/tail style. Obviously Gareth can't see their colors or cutie marks and hair styles change over time so, unless if he's exceptionally good at placing faces (even then knowing who Flash Bang was is ridiculous) he'd likely only see a couple of colts he doesn't know.

>"Ramrod still?"
Although "ramrod straight" is the possible intended meaning it may be "ramrod stiff" which better explains the typo.

>I self-inserted myself into a pony fanfic where I'm Twilight Sparkle's love interest. They're the same age and adults so it's not weird at all.
Well it is weird but not "FBI open up" levels of weird.

>Apparently he's using the magic of friendship to overcome his fear of rats and also...learn to...trust...rats...or......something. I guess. In any case, I'd call this a fail. A big part of the problem is, again, that Gareth's fear of rats is a little implausible to begin with, and was introduced into the story only a few short scenes ago. It hasn't been established as a significant enough hurdle for his character to make us applaud him for suddenly overcoming it.
Which falls into the trope I mentioned earlier. However it is a much more contrived and meaningless flaw/development arc than what could have been possible with Gleaming Horizon. It's a pony fanfic, not a Ratatoullie fanfic.

>of course the horse is named something pretentious like Potestas, because the author googled power and saw Potestas is power in latin, just like Eon Cocksucker did when he google translated "gold is power" to get Aurum Est Potestas.
I don't know the medieval naming convention for destriers but a warrior naming his favorite animal the equivalent of "power" doesn't seem unreasonable. Giving pretentious names to military equipment is an old tradition.

My only lament after going on a book-buying spree is that the bookstore didn't have any H.P. Lovecraft in stock.

That is actually an interesting premise.

I don't find any disagreement there. I think the author pulled a bait-and-switch in regards to Noble Era just to have a surprising twist. The thing is a twist isn't good for just being a twist, it has to make the audience go "why didn't that occur to me before?" rather than "that came out of left field!" If the author is playing mind-games with his audience then he has to consider it to be like a chess game; neutering one of your potentially most interesting characters for an "Aha!" moment is not a good exchange.

>I get the impression that many authors are uncomfortable "abusing" their favorite characters/waifus/whatever by having them behave badly or forcing them to endure significant hardship. I also get the impression many readers don't like seeing their favorite characters treated this way and will object to authors doing this.
I'd say a significant subset of fanfiction readers are not psychologically mature enough to handle hardship, or they've detached themselves from the real world enough that they emphasize with fictional characters as if they are real to an unhealthy extent.

>If this were my idea, here's how I'd approach it: switch the viewpoints and make Celestia the protagonist. Make her relationship with Gareth more of a trial, and make the political intrigue more dicey and interesting. Cut out the crap about the ambassador's pill and Gareth's fear of rats, and revise/remove anything that depends on either. Have the story climax by crashing the two plots into each other: at a crucial juncture, Celestia has to choose between being Cecilia for her husbando and being Celestia for Equestria. Make sure there are stakes; ponies' lives should hang in the balance. Celestia chooses Equestria, and as a result loses Gareth. Much sad, but that is the way it has to be. ~Fin~
Soulpillar clearly wants his work to have action and adventure and although he's not the worst at it it's clearly undermining the more important themes of the work. I'd much rather have a more dialogue-intensive work with a minimum of action if it meant using your idea. It would have a very important message/moral and would greatly enhance my personal perception of Celestia, at least. I've found bittersweet fanfiction tends to be the best generally because it has the least pandering and knows how to handle mature themes maturely. I've just remembered the actual ending from the last time I read this and it does not put Celestia in a better light.

This work but grimdark would be great.

>He was right, Celestia realised. If Larms was implicated, then she'd have banished Noble Era as a matter of course… Oh god. That's exactly what happened.
If Celestia is a demigod in Equestria then what expression should she use? "Oh Harmony" I suppose. Also saying "god" in lowercase when not referring to a member of a pantheon irritates me and not just because I'm a Christian. It does not refer to any deity in either the singular or plural and is thus completely void of meaning and is just a linguistic remnant of a time when it did mean something. If you capitalize it then it is technically disrespectful, yes, but you're appealing to/questioning the Higher Power of all existence in reference to something you find shocking. This is why capitalization rules are important.

Anyway, I'll catch up the rest of the way tomorrow. This took more time than I thought.
>Just because a monarch holds absolute or nearly absolute authority doesn't mean she can do whatever she wants due to the concept of legitimacy. Noble Era was the victim of a crime, not a suspect and so depending on the legal system his room couldn't be openly searched just because. He is a very important individual and as Celestia is already on thin ice politically this would cause outrage among the nobles.
That makes sense, actually.

>What I find is that this story (mostly) has logically consistent trains of thought but muddles them for the audience. It's like a class where the important thing is not the answer itself but how you arrived at that answer. This story would greatly benefit from characters justifying their actions thoroughly either in dialogue or internal monologue, particularly as it's rather short anyway.
Yeah, this is basically how I feel about it. I can generally follow what the author had in mind most of the time, but there are a lot of very murky passages in here that I've had to read more than once to make sense of. Even if he changed nothing else, just revising the text to make it clearer to read, and rewriting some of the dialogue and interaction events between characters to make it feel more genuine would be a world of improvement.

Actually I think the length for this is about right. It's short by brony fanfiction standards, but the total word count here is around 100k, which is about the average length of a standard novel. Fanfiction writers seem to have this baffling idea that higher word counts somehow equals higher writing ability, but nothing could be further from the truth. Past Sins was twice the length of this, but about 60% of it was just meandering bullshit or pointless ramblings that could have been pared down or cut entirely. Being able to produce high word counts is an indicator of enthusiasm for writing, which is a good thing, but once you've reached that stage, the next task is to learn how to reign yourself in.

>I actually understand why there's the whole thing with the rat. Comic relief when done right is entertaining and adds variety to fiction, and it's present in virtually all of Shakespeare's plays. Also, Soulpillar is trying to use the trope of "character is forced to work with another character he can't stand and eventually overcomes his dislike, with disliked character becoming helpful sidekick."
This is more or less what I assumed he was trying to do, but again it mostly just doesn't work. The rat thing is implausible to begin with, and trying to wedge this half-assed buddy comedy thing into the story two thirds of the way in is just ill advised.

>However, Soulpillar is not Shakespeare. Much of his work is trying to combine a range of genres: romance, intrigue, action, and comedy, though most of these fall flat. Rather than attempting mediocre variety it would be far better to focus on the key themes and emotions of the work and get a decent handle on those.
Trying to do too many things at once is a very easy trap to fall into. My view of this story is that there are two basic directions you could take it. You could spin a pretty decent romance-thriller out of it pretty easily by just spicing up the Celestia/Gareth relationship and keeping it as the main plot, and then rewriting the politics arc to be a (simplified) Game of Thrones type deal, with lots of backstabbing and intrigue, and then just weave the two plots together so events in one cause repercussions in the other. The other option is to do what I suggested above, and switch it to Celestia's perspective and make it a tragic romance meant to be an allegory for brony escapism (the Game of Thrones political side-plot would work for this too). Both options would require narrowing the area of the writer's focus and cutting out some of the unnecessary elements, and I think Gareth's adventures with the rat would be one of the first items I'd suggest for the chopping block in either case.
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>Although "ramrod straight" is the possible intended meaning it may be "ramrod stiff" which better explains the typo.
"Ramrod stiff" hadn't occurred to me but that also makes sense. Typos are the bane of this faggot's existence.

>it is a much more contrived and meaningless flaw/development arc than what could have been possible with Gleaming Horizon. It's a pony fanfic, not a Ratatoullie fanfic.
This. It's particularly galling that he diverted an entire section of the story just to throw this dumb rat gag in here while Gleaming, who is actually one of this story's better characters, is woefully underutilized.

>Giving pretentious names to military equipment is an old tradition.
I've personally always wanted a battering ram named "Biggus Dickus."

>My only lament after going on a book-buying spree is that the bookstore didn't have any H.P. Lovecraft in stock.
I unfortunately don't own all of his works in print either, I should probably try to snag them. If you don't mind going the chain bookstore route, Barnes and Noble actually had a pretty nice single-volume hardback edition of them a while back, not sure if it's still available. The Poe one is pretty nice as well.

>I think the author pulled a bait-and-switch in regards to Noble Era just to have a surprising twist. The thing is a twist isn't good for just being a twist, it has to make the audience go "why didn't that occur to me before?" rather than "that came out of left field!" If the author is playing mind-games with his audience then he has to consider it to be like a chess game; neutering one of your potentially most interesting characters for an "Aha!" moment is not a good exchange.
This. Exactly this.

>I'd say a significant subset of fanfiction readers are not psychologically mature enough to handle hardship, or they've detached themselves from the real world enough that they emphasize with fictional characters as if they are real to an unhealthy extent.
This is basically my view. I've noticed that these authors seem to have almost a conscious aversion to putting real conflict into their stories. The closest thing I've seen to a villain in any of what we've read so far was CelestAI, and in that case the author was too dense to even realize he was writing a villain. I personally think we're just now seeing the long-term effects of raising an entire generation on Ritalin. Kids today, amirite?

>I've found bittersweet fanfiction tends to be the best generally because it has the least pandering and knows how to handle mature themes maturely.
I do too. I even have hopes of actually reading one someday.

>If Celestia is a demigod in Equestria then what expression should she use?
This is another one of those "horse world is a pain in the ass to write in sometimes" moments. The established convention in the show (which often makes things doubly confusing because the show does not consistently follow its own conventions) is to have characters say "Oh Celestia!" as an exclamation. Celestia herself even comments on it at one point as I recall. It would obviously be rather awkward to have her say "Oh me!" or something like that. In this situation I'd probably just rewrite her dialog inner monologue, whatever and just avoid the phrase entirely.
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You're a good man and these are good reviews.
I tried roleplaying a few times but dealing with roleplayers is such a pain. Someone butthurt over losing a pretend fight tries to get you involved in a shouting match with the friends of that friend because surely, on this retarded cartoon-high-school hellscape, adding someone to your friends list=a mutual protection pact.
Plus everyone's bad at flirting and sexy talk, especially the women.
>"Wow you have big fingers, I want to feel those fingers inside me" the female purred sexually
is considered sexy writing there.
Fuck that shit, even when I was a coomer before embracing nofap I had too much self-respect to do anything on a roleplaying site. I cocked my shotgun to slime girl hentai-manga, and that was it.
one time a woman I met there dumped all her baggage on me within 10 minutes of deep talking and we ended up complaining about the site for hours. We became friends for a few days but when I stopped visiting the site and said "Come and talk to me on this site!" she didn't do it, because she was a coomer addicted to the cheap attention being one of the handful of confirmed-definitely-a-woman users on the site gave her.
that's the joke but the idea of different magic students forming rivalries/looking down on each other based on what kind of magic they practice is such an interesting concept and I've never seen an author do anything with it. How would someone learning to make the best barriers, someone learning to turn rocks into animals, someone learning to heal all injuries, and someone learning to project their own soul into objects view someone learning how to turn your eyes into diarrhea-spraying anuses with a snap of the fingers, someone learning how to punch fire from the fists, and someone learning how to magically craft civilization-destroying diseases? Would there be a stigma around the Plant Magic kids as "dumb hippies learning to grow weed" or would they be viewed as cooler and more useful than the fire-kick guys and lightning-punch guys?
Would clubs form on magic college grounds? How would a college justify spending money on regularly paying the creepy dude who teaches torture magic to kids?
Would a magical society say "Some things are best left unknown" and ban the magical practice of competitive disease-creation? Would a magical school say "Violence is for the thugs down the road learning to swing swords and knives" or "Part of what makes the wizard the best is his ability to out-kill the rogue and warrior at the same time"? Would people studying horribly torturous death methods be looked down upon as edgy inefficient morons by the people who know two forcefields crashing on either side of you like cars can kill you just as well as any AIDS-Laser could?
>love triangle
You know the story you're reading is gay AIDS when you find yourself saying "a love triangle would improve this story".
>Sam and Max
This story would be improved greatly if Sam and Max came in and started fucking shit up.
>lefty propaganda says be lefty
true. Remember when one tard's irrational fear of Maggie "Fuck Communism" Thatcher coming for the gays made him write V For Vendetta, a confused clusterfuck of a story where a weirdo in a wannabe Batman outfit prances about doing random bullshit because his plot armour lets him succeed at everything, to the point where guns fired at him will conveniently be unloaded? The movie pushed it even further saying shit like "We got rid of the muslims, we got rid of all of those who aren't like us, YOU MUST OBEY THE TV AND GOVT" when "OBEY THE TV AND GOVT" has always been a jew/lefty thing
It's hilarious.
The greatest fear for a genuinely-brainwashed lefty who believes all the hype... is that if they don't take absolute power, their enemies will treat the left how the left dreams of treating its enemies.
>Love potion
Yeah, you have mentioned that before.
I think it is because she never considered the ramifications of the things she put in her universe. Like the moving stairs and such. In a way, she keeps childrens attention by having constant new wolrdbuilding elements introduced in her books but the problem is that she doesn't consider how they will interact wit heach other. Like the beans in all tastes. Its funny sure, but it really doesn't make sense. Why would any company sell a product like this? I guess it could work in the begining like a novelty like some obscure party game but I think this would quickly sour with time as more people actually experinced eating shit. Appearently, they can be sold to minors too. Imagine the headlines, "Girl got semen faloured bean; now the mother is sueing..."
It is basically like scrambling key in fornt of a baby. It entertaining but doesn't have substance.

There are spells that one can really question. Part of why I think My Immortal is a parody written by a guy is because it has many jokes and meta moments in it that seems deliberate. For example, in the end Voldemort uses the accio spell on Neveil's wand. I mean, yeah , why didn't anyone ever do this?

It is intresting that you say that because I sort of feel the same thing. While I haven't pointed out the same number of groups as you have, I did realize that once. She was in an interview where she talked about how some kids somewhere had been forced to dea l with the real world and not live in their imagination or whatever. A bit embellished but I don't remember and I don't really care. The point, is that I realized that people who disliked imagination and strangeness in her books were the Dursleys. The death eaters are nazis and aunt Marge is talking about dogs and race. All of these peoiple were fat, ugly, pathetic and so on.

There really are streaks of revenge fantasy in these stories. I don't know, maybe not but I really don't like how she takes serious positions someone can take. Makes it into a caricature or strawman character with zero nuances.

>Foreigners? Fuck you, Rowling just put a stereotype of you in her book. But nobody cared when she focused her hatred for all those unlike her on Seamus McFinnegan the fictional white irish idiot who only knows how to accidentally blow stuff up.
This is intresting to me. In this case, I don't remember if this was just a cheeky joke or not, but it really dosen't matter because it is really telling isn't it? You can joke about other white colectives and even dislike other white collectives, that's fine but if you criticize or joke about blacks or anything like that, then you're evul.

This also reminds me of john cleese and the life of brain last scene were they hang on crosses and sang. Appearently, that type of song or whatever is something that is typical for a lower economic class in england or britain and this was somekind of ridicule of the lower classes, I heard. I really don't know how true this is. Do you know?
>a significant subset of fanfiction readers are not psychologically mature enough to handle hardship
true. horrifyingly true. one old friend of mine used to get bitched at for writing bad things happening to main characters in her Pokemon Mystery Dungeon fanfic.
>I personally think we're just now seeing the long-term effects of raising an entire generation on Ritalin. Kids today, amirite?
It's crazy.
dog owners are all "I'd better learn all I can before I get one, because buying a dog is a big responsibility. Woah, turns out dogs have a lot of energy, need to be walked daily, and need to be taught tricks."
cat owners are all "I'd better learn all I can before I get one, because buying a dog is a big responsibility. Woah, turns out cats are shitheads. but hey, now I know the physical signs that tell me if my cat is scared, aroused, angry, confused, and so on. Also if my cats play-fight or pretend to hunt, it's a good sign. It's how they learn social cues after all"
and then most Boomers who give birth to humans are all "Lmao I'm a parent so who the fuck has the right to tell me anything? Unless my other mommy friends love what an expert says. Those experts beloved and trusted by the crowd are my deities. And they say if a boy acts like a boy he's toxic and needs to be trained and conditioned into acting like a girl, but also if he acts like a girl it's a sign that he needs surgery and dresses and photo shoots and all these other things that give me attention!"
One time I met someone whose little brother was on many, many meds. They all conflicted with each other and harmed his ability to behave normally. It really fucked the kid up until the divorce happened and the mom's crimes got both kids given to the dad, who was an apathetic lazy faggot who never thought more than one or two thoughts ahead about anything. Anyway less pills=the kid has an easier time behaving and controlling himself. What was the "Great sin" he committed that got him on a pill cocktail in the first place? Simple: When he was younger, his only positive male role models were Spongebob Squarepants from Spongebob Squarepants. and also Invader Zim (which I've never actually seen). The kid grew up thinking "I'm going to sing the doom song! doom doom doom doom doomy doom doom! DAYAYAYAYAYA NYEH SQUIDWARD? NYEH SQUIDWARD?" is funny, and acting that way around the wrong "adult" got him drugged.
Kids these days were really fucked up by their narcissistic sociopathic boomer-scum parents. To what degree depends on the person, but I've never met a person from my generation who wasn't at least a little fucked over by bad parenting/jews/niggers/muslims or any other shit part about this gay jewed world. Some hide it better than others and some carry that weight better than others, but we're all a little fucked over by our parents whether we realize it or not.
This might sound crazy, but I don't think Boomers should be paid the big bucks to retire. Not unless their work in the economy was vital. Talentless and mindless petty middle-management boomers who filled jobs and ended upward socioeconomic mobility for kids aren't vital. They plundered all they could from their kids, and it's likely that they'll never be punished.
>she never considered the ramifications of the things she put in her universe
Rowling introduced an Invisibility Cloak so powerful it can make you invisible to death itself, making you immortal.
And then had the villain motivated by his fear of death ignore it, even when it was gifted to Harry Potter.
And then had other characters own their own Invisibility Cloaks without saying what makes Harry's better.
and then wrote that the Marauder's Map written by harry's dad, his werewolf friend, his dog animorph friend, and his rat traitor friend was able to detect people even under the Invisibility Cloak that hid you from death.
Four teenagers, none of which had any noteworthy mental magical accomplishments between them beyond one guy later being hired as the school's Defence Against The Dark Arts teacher for a year during the actual story.
Four teenagers invented a magic map that detects your position, displays it on the paper, and can outmagic the legendary all-powerful Invisibility Cloak that was suddenly (in the final book) retconned to have always been one of the three legendary all-powerful Deathly Hallows.
and yes
that's right
not only did four teenagers in their free time as students create a map that did what death itself couldn't do
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The Three Deathly Hallows are: a cloak of invisibility no greater than anyone else's, a stone that lets you summon the spirits of the dead, and a wand that's supposedly stronger than everyone else's, not that how wands or power levels work is ever explained to us even though the story's mainly set in a fucking school and our ability to give a shit about the Ultimate Wand relies on us knowing why it's superior to the ordinary-ass wand used by Hermione or fucking Draco.
Rowling had never hinted at the Deathly Hallows before the final book, it was just pulled out of her ass at the last second to give unwarranted importance to Harry's invisibility cloak.
oh that reminds me
when Rowling went through her "I swear Hermione was always black and there was a Jewish student at Hogwarts who was great at making Golems!" phase, she unironically said both of these things and insisted "It's fine that I repeatedly called Hermione pale and said she turned white when shocked a few times, and it's fine that when that girl wanted to be hired to play Hermione I said FUCK YEAH SHE IS THE ONE, because um... I repeatedly called Hermione's teeth shit and her hair terrible so she's probably black! Neville the cowardly pussy with an abusive grandma and dead parents who's only confident for like 2% of the series could be black too!"
oh also Rowling tried to write Werewolfism as a metaphor for AIDS.
So an evil, predatory male monster who works for the Death Gobblers forced it into the good werewolf character when he was young
and because he has it (and is magically transformed into a feral beast every full moon, forcing him to cage himself, also he often scratches and wounds himself while transformed, because taking sleeping potions is too mainstream) a lot of people don't want him at hogwarts and his life is fucked over once the baddies leak his werewolfism. He's also terrified that his child (he boned a shapeshifting girl who can turn into ANYONE EVER) might have it.
Rowling intended this to be a commentary on AIDS.
It's spread by evil gay rapists and forced into poor little victims who have their lives ruined by having it and it may also be hereditary (yeah right lmao SURE, totally, THAT'S how you got gay AIDS and gave it to your kid, it was just inherited like an eye colour ahahahaha)
oh also
Rowling said all the Death Eaters who served Voldy got away with it because they said "He brainwashed me/kidnapped and threatened my family!".
and then much later introduced numerous truth spells, truth potions, ways to read through a characters memories, and so on.
I don't know if I've mentioned it in this thread
but I would stand before God and swear that once, I saw a Harry Potter Annotated Copy on the internet.
a blog
not on tumblr but on his/her own site, with ads,
where this person uploaded all of books 1-2 and some of book 3 before getting sued and shut down
and chapter by chapter, Harry Potter was uploaded... and Highlighted. Mouseover the highlighted text to see comments pop up depending on the colour. "This magic thing is stolen from this old mythology character from this old culture" and "This plot element was stolen from a movie that came out two years before harry potter 1" and "This massive chunk of text comes from a book sent to the same publisher as Rowling but denied, though released later under a different publisher" and "this spell she just introduced would have been real useful two books ago" and "The Prisoner Of Azkaban is Sirius Black, a man framed for being the one who leaked James Potter's location to Snape who leaked it to Voldemort saying 'please just kill the child and dad while sparing the mum' when it was actually Rat-Guy who spent over 10 years as Ron Weasley's Family Pet who leaked that info. Sirius was sent to Azkaban without trial or due process even though Dumbledore liked him and is the most powerful man in wizarding england besides Voldymort, Harry's parents decreed him to be The Godfather destined to raise harry if they die, and Dumbledore is the ruler of a secret society the chief of wizard police is in. Numerous truth spells and potions and ways to read someone's memories exist so if someone wanted Sirius out of Azkaban he would have been freed by now. Dumble's excuse for not freeing Sirius is that Dumbles wanted Harry to live life at a magical disadvantage knowing as little about magic as possible despite being the chosen one destined to save everyone from Voldy, and Dumbles also wanted Harry to live away from magicland for fear that he'd get a big head, so he put Harry with people he knew were abusive because Harry's neighbour was a spy for Dumbles all along".
Rowling is a hack and her fanbase tolerated too much bullshit writing for far too long.
>Part of why I think My Immortal is a parody written by a guy is because it has many jokes and meta moments in it that seems deliberate. For example, in the end Voldemort uses the accio spell on Neville's wand.
>Part of why I think My Immortal is a parody written by a guy is because it has many jokes and meta moments in it that seems deliberate. For example, in the end Voldemort uses the accio spell on Neville's wand.
Good find. My Immortal is unquestionably a parody of everything dumb well-liked Harry Potter fanfics have ever done, up to and including the "I must time-travel back to Voldy's teenagehood so I can bone the evil out of him" plotline many used back then.
At multiple points in the story, "Tara" the author will "accidentally" write "Tara" where she meant to write "Ebony" the character's name, as a reference to how the character is a self-insert but "goffik".
however what of the moments where "Tarebony" or "taenoby" is written, like someone saying "he's a fucking nigg- nagger"? Verbally backspacing like that is a thing when spoken aloud, but anyone who notices a typo in their work would erase the wrong word before writing the right word. Who would just leave the wrong word there before the right word? A comedian, that's who.

>Appearently, that type of song or whatever is something that is typical for a lower economic class in england or britain and this was somekind of ridicule of the lower classes
Never heard of this, so I have no idea if this is true or not. But how would a nihilist-comedian song like "Always look on the bright side of life" work as an anti-poor song? That doesn't sound legit to me.
Ah man I remember I loved role playing in MMO's back in the day but these days it all just revolves around ramapent sex and modern day mental issues. The current MMO I play Final Fantasy XIV doesn't offer the best game world to have rp mechanics in but the lore is really interesting so had fun trying to make a backstory for my character. Went through all this trouble and wanting to do some rp stuff with people but every free company that does rp or public events just take place in bars where people try to fuck and 9/10 people are female Miqo'te and Au Ra (anime cat and lizard girls) dressed in skimpy slut glams and using 'uwu!' as a conjunction in every sentence.

Same thing happened to Guild Wars 2 where at launch could take my Human into the Black Citadel to butt heads with Charr or my Charr into Ebonhawke to butt heads with humans now it's just loiter in guild halls or the tavern in Divinities Reach doing erp.

Wanted to try Pony Town to see if I could maybe find something there but it's the same thing it's just advertisements for erp or Anonfillies goofing around on the pier.

Want to do role playing be it in an MMO or pen and paper but my first attempt at D&D was a disaster and while I'd love to try that MLP Legends of Equestria pen and paper rpg none of my friends would want to play it and if I did manage to get them to they'd just try to derail it by trying to >rape any pony they could or just cause general destruction and suffering.

Another reason I kind of want to try writing since I try to conjure up these characters and stories in my head to help pass the time but never write them down and never have a venue to do rp stuff with it since the other parties involved just want to fuck or even when they are in a fantastical medevial setting they talk like "uwu I'm so cutsie wutsie!" while I hang my head dejectidly and collect up my character toys and sulk off.

I used to try DND as a kid but every game was the same.
Play on forums? Everyone must send paragraphs of text that could be replaced with "my character reacted a little to what just happened and then attacked the monster"
Play on discord? uwuposters everywhere, bullshit politics, you'll be banned the second your character does something someone doesn't like because in-character debates are hard and it's easier to create tiny cults where everyone who doesn't love the GM's "hard work" enough is a "fucking troublemaker".
Either way, any character who's halfway decent at anything will be banned. Anything besides the SRD is banned or everything besides the SRD is supposedly allowed but everything good from the entire DND universe is banned.
Every character dies if they take enough damage because whoops i am the DM and I don't feel like controlling this game to make it more of a story, play like a gamer or die like a roleplayer- oh fuck you, why aren't you roleplaying more in my game even though i discourage RP at every opportunity with lazy characters and my insistence on never letting you spare enemies or talk things out with them? faggoty fucking murderhobo cunt, you should be a good enough player to save this game despite my inability to DM!
Every spellcaster is a Spontaneous Spellcaster with all spells memorized because nobody can be assed to keep track of anything plus the DM can (and will) just say no to any creative use of magic that solves problems. "Oy vey, you're ruining the game by solving my combat encounter instead of waiting your turn and casting Fireball at a goblin like a good Player! I don't care if spellcasters have less armour and health than fighters and paladins, my world of warcraft cata background says everyone DPSes and the Tank should just keep aggro by using all the tanky focus-on-me abilities I somehow still think Fighters have even though I've never read the SRD"
quick note, Ratguy leaking the info to Snape was a big deal because here's how it went down...
>be James Potter
>absolute pureblood chad
>marry your hot muggle-born wizard wife after your love triangle gets resolved when the moody muggleborn cunt who empathizes with her calls her a nigger one day (a mudblood) and wife never forgives him
>fuck your wife Lily Evans and have a child with her named Harry Potter
>stupid future-seer, in a setting where everyone thinks future-seeing is nonsense divined from tea leaves and forehead wrinkles, suddenly goes into a trance and says THE CHILD OF THOSE WHO THRICE DEFIED VOLDEMORT WILL KILL HIM ONE DAY
>that's either your family or The Longbottoms
>Longbottoms do nothing so Bellatrix LeStrange (voldemort's second-in-command, a psychotic giggly teeheeing evil girl who does evil things in a black corset because she's bad) torture-spells both of them into twitching gibbering insanity
>they spend the rest of their lives in St Mungo's Hospital For The Hopeless and never improve even though magic healing and memory erasure exists in portable spell form
>decide to take wife and child and hang out in Privet Drive and then magically cast the Rowling's A Retard Who Made This Secret Spell spell. this spell magically erases all knowledge of this place from the universe, all papers and documents, and all life forms except you, and not even scrying spells can track you now! However the spell also designates someone of your choice to be one designated Secret Keeper who can tell this magically-ensecretified info to anyone else, undoing the spell's effect for them and letting them remember your existence and where you are
>lifelong loyal companion Sirius Black the dog-man, the man you trusted to be your own child's godfather, says "they'd expect it to be me. make the secret-keeper someone unexpected like this cowardly rat-guy we've known for years and grew up with!"
>foolishly trust your life and child to the rat who immediately betrays you to Snape, who tells Voldemort while saying "please master i beg you, just kill the son and father while sparing the wife!"
>voldy laughs in his face and teleports to Privet Drive to kill you
>go down swinging like a chad, die failing to kill Voldy
>wife fails to grab child and teleport, or cast anything. just grabs harry and tries to shield him from voldo's The Killing Curse Of Instant Death spell with her own back
>she was the first person in wizard-world history so the power of her loving sacrifice for her son fucking Melee Fox Shine-Blip Reflected that Killing Curse right back at its caster, killing Voldy
>all your son gets is a kickass scar
>refuse to come back as ghosts in a setting where that's as easy as choosing to not die when dying (those who become ghosts however can't check to see if there's an afterlife or not)
>though in a later book this is retconned so Voldy also somehow accidentally turned Harry Potter into another Horcrux, an object that contains a shred of Voldy's soul and therefore upon death lets him use it as a Respawn Point until the object is destroyed. Voldy had 6 made already but Harry is number 7
>wizarding world declares the day "Harry potter saved everyone" to be a national holiday even though Lily did all the real work and Harry just inherited everything. Boomer idol pushed onto kids, that's harry potter
>dumbles proceeds to ignore every "please let me adopt him" request and leave Harry Potter with muggle family members who hate him even though they need him to be a spellcasting master if he's ever going to beat Voldy in a magic fight
>also fucking dumbles decides to let your designated godfather go to jail for your murder while letting the responsible rat-bastard go free even though his name, Peter Pettigrew, should be clear as fucking crystal on the Marauder's Map you invented in high school which eventually ended up in Fred And George Weasley's Pockets, so if anyone should ever read the map and wonder who the fuck Peter Pettigrew is and why he's sleeping with Ron Weasley in his bedroom as his pet it should be them, but Rowling doesn't brain so goodly.

holy shit how can Harry Potter fans even cope with this?
>she was the first person in wizard-world history
she was the first person in wizard-world history to sacrifice her own life for a loved one so this creates a Blood Ward that lets Harry's touch kill evil monsters until he turns 12ish and Rowling decides this plot point is gay
so if you ever saw movie 1 and wondered why Harry's touch melted Professor TurbanStutter, that's why.
>I do too. I even have hopes of actually reading one someday.
Stardust/Mente Materia are pretty good actually though as a XCOM crossover you'd expect it to be a bit darker. I don't know if you've read these.

>Ah man I remember I loved role playing in MMO's back in the day but these days it all just revolves around ramapent sex and modern day mental issues. The current MMO I play Final Fantasy XIV doesn't offer the best game world to have rp mechanics in but the lore is really interesting so had fun trying to make a backstory for my character. Went through all this trouble and wanting to do some rp stuff with people but every free company that does rp or public events just take place in bars where people try to fuck and 9/10 people are female Miqo'te and Au Ra (anime cat and lizard girls) dressed in skimpy slut glams and using 'uwu!' as a conjunction in every sentence.
The same problem exists with Space Station 13. I prefer roleplay servers because as fun as random chaos can be I think teamwork to overcome threats and challenges is what science fiction is about, but just about every HRP server is terrible in its own way. You'd expect the Fallout server to be actually fun with raiders, faction conflicts and threats everywhere, but it's really just brothel simulator. Hardly anyone plays raider because it's whitelisted, factions like the Imperial Legion and NCR can't even fight each other until after 2 hours in+admeme permission, and just about all the creatures which pose a threat are killed off after half an hour. The economy doesn't make any sense because in this post-apocalyptic hellscape you can loot endless amounts of food, drink (not that either matters) and ammunition from the ruins. The game for two or three hours is either trying to get laid or scavenging/farming simulator. Surprise surprise it doesn't even have a forum but rather just a Discord.

Aurora is better because it bans ERP and actually has some action in rounds from time to time. However it is also Discord-centric and a significant proportion of players play either unreasonably fit/attractive women or an animal-based alien species (pic related is actually from the server). I don't know how many actual women play battle-scarred female officer who don't need no man/kawaii uwu characters (though on opposite ends they're both from the same sentiment) but I suspect it's a similar situation to the Derpibooru Discord. Also in the setting humanity has cause to be xenophobic, because the Unathi (liggers) are in a Muslim-style civil war and the Vaurca (ant-people) have an actual hivemind, can turn into an extremely dangerous berserk mode, and farm an extremely dangerous fungus that turns people into zombies. Yet although you can role-play a "prejudiced" character you'll likely be looked down on for that, and although nonhuman head roles were restricted it's increasingly stretched. I expect that likely in the future there will be a Derpibooru-style purge.

If you play Space Station 13 just play on /tg/station, their servers have the least mental health issues, you won't be banned for using slurs, and they're better for role-play than Goon. If the scalies try anything you can actually cut off their tails and use them in crafting.
But just to conclude this Nigel-tier train of autism, I'm honestly surprised there hasn't been a pony SS13 server. Crossover servers do really well with CM being one of the top servers with half-decent management and the Fallout server sticking around despite its mismanagement, so one might expect a pony server to do quite well. However if it wasn't run by /mlpol/ I'd expect it to end up pozzed. The way I would prevent this would be to make the setting in the distant future after Twilight's school nearly tears apart Equestria, culminating in a war where the (((Griffons))) get exterminated. Some escape though and would be antagonists in the game. Non-ponies could be crew but would be treated as second-class. Also the server wouldn't have a Discord and you could call people faggots/trannies all you want.
To make it unique I'd have the setting be a military ship which undertakes missions in a relatively unexplored sector, like Bay but without the pozz and more collaborative action. Think Star Trek or Artemis Bridge Simulator where space battles aren't uncommon. If done well I think the server could be popular, even if the ponies are space Nazis.
ah, memories of playing BYOND games. all those shitty naruto games that were just rip-offs of each other but sometimes with more abilities that were completely unbalanced.
The game was borderline unplayable because every character was too fast. Movement during a fight would cost you nothing so people would run around wildly during fights throwing spells and swinging melee, and struggle to hit each other until someone used a cheaty stun attack+sword slashes/teleporting 8 gates melee atks to kill.
You made some good points in these harry potter posts that I haven't seen before from you, will get to them later.
>My Immortal is unquestionably a parody
Yeah, that's my impression too.

There so many meta moments and so many clear contradictions. Like when Voldemort is writhing in pain at her feets, the narrration goes,"I felt bad for him even though I'm a sadist so I stopped."

I should really go through it because it has many of these contradictive statements. The black invisiblity cloak is both funny because its goffik but also because its a contradiction.

I really like the moment in the story that goes something like this:

Suddenly, Hagrid come out and said, "Everyone, we need to talk."

Ebony: "What do you know Hagrid? You are just a little hoqwarts student."

And like this dialogue in itself is contrived. If you are unsure about what Hagrid is on this school, then either check it up (it takes literally seconds, even I'm not that lazy) or just uses his name. Nobody calls him proffessor Hagrid in the story anyway, except for like Harry in some cheeky moment. but besides that who calls students by their titles and why would Ebony or enoby whatever, who is also just a student use that to belittle (or whatever she was doing) him with.

And the crazy thing is that Hagrid then replies with:

"I may be a Hogwarts student," Hagrid said. "But I'm also a satanist!"

Doubling down on the mistake.
> will get to them later.
This is a fanfiction-related question so it's on-topic.
because it's a question about how a fanfic should treat objectively-wrong parts of the canon.

Jedi in Star Wars objectively use their lightsabers wrong.
Whether they're awkwardly poking at each other, swinging their blades like broadswords, or spinning their blades like glowsticks it's all wrong.
Logically, just a single touch from a Lightsaber would fuck you up and allow for more lightsaber slicing. One thrust can pierce your chest, and swinging it up through your skull would be easier than a hot knife through butter.
So the Jedi should fight like fencers.
but they don't, and that's wrong.
Any "But swinging your lightsaber like a sword makes deflecting enemy sword strikes, and having your strikes deflected, harder!" line is bullshit. Lightsabers are weightless handles. All the weight is in the handle like a fencing foil. Compressed light has no weight. Big movie swordfighter slashes just waste time and movement while telegraphing your motions so hard, your future-seeing Sith foe could guess what you'll do without the Force. Wrist flicks can do serious damage with a rapier, and slice you in half with a lightsaber.

also we find out how the Jedi learn and train with all this "Form one is the basics, form two is aggressive swings, form three is defensive swings, form four is an aggressive and defensive style, form five is an evasive style, form six is anti-blaster technique, form seven is the ultimate combination of all previous SWORD STYLES learned in the proper order" bullshit that's just incomprehensibly WRONG. You don't make entire swordfighting styles out of single techniques like dodging attacks or blocking blaster fire. That's just retarded. Sword styles are bigger and more complex than that, and while they can be geared towards things like offense or defense or dodging that depends on the specific swings, ways of holding the sword, ways of holding your feet and moving your body, and so on.
holy fucking shit


star wars lightsaber fighting is objectively bullshit.
do you think a fanfic should:
>Justify the bullshit with some nonsense justification
>Justify the bullshit with "but muh tradition!"
>admit it's bullshit and introduce one character who's the ultimate Jedi for fighting smarter than everyone else
>admit it's bullshit and retcon everyone into fighting properly
Theoretically they should, if one assumes a lightsaber is just an energy sword. However the prevailing canon (books specifically) have long since determined and asserted that the energy structure and particle shearing effect of the blade creates an intense force effect like a gyroscope spinning at high velocity, and that one can't simply wave them around without cutting their shit off. This is why lightsaber combat is done in the manner that it is, and totally wasnt an excuse for flashy choreographed glowsticks fights. but it was
Why the fuck would it create a gyroscopic effect when it's just energy turned into light and focused through a bullshit magic crystal?
What's it called, a Kaiba Crystal or something?
Cry moar, its canon. Luckily your approval is not necessary to establish theoretical physics operational dynamics. This is why most Jedi use lightsabers 2 handed instead of one handed as one might expect with a weightless or forceless blade, and why VERY few use 2 lightsabers. As for differing styles, that makes sense too. It's no different than styles of kung fu, if you care to spend the time to really understand it. It's not as though "blah style is for blaster combat", it's that that style involves principles, stances, postures, and grips/strikes that oh by the way, happen to be really effective in blaster combat. Try to not go with the most negative interpretation of things, when you dont understand them.
I'm looking at this on Wookiepedia (oh god that name) but I think I'm right. I reductively left out a lot of "this style emphasizes x and y and its practitioners have a lot of z", and I forgot that they don't learn all styles in a row, just style 1 and then any number of styles of their choice.

Also I was wrong about forms 6 and 7, form 6 is everything that came before combined in a balanced style and form 7 is either "a ultimate best style" or Vaapid "Mace Windu's ultimate best style"

Form I: Shii-Cho is for beginners because it's the simplest one and oldest one. It came from the transitionary period between sword and lightsaber, so it still uses a lot of the same moves.
Form II: Makashi is the upgraded one "great for duellists"
Form III: Soresu was initially developed to counter blaster-wielding opponents
Form IV: Ataru is Yoda's flippy bullshit
Form V: Shien / Djem So was made by Form 3 masters who wanted something more aggressive.
Form VI: Niman...
>Form VI attempted to balance all elements of lightsaber combat, combining the techniques from Forms that came before into a less intensely demanding combat style. In practice, Form VI was a combination of older forms (Forms I, III, IV, and V), and all of them in moderation. In the blending, much of the individuality was lost, but the strengths were spread evenly, and there was little weakness in it. Due to its "jack-of-all-trades" nature, the success of this form was largely dependent on the practitioner's intuition, improvisation, and creativity in combat rather than the rote responses derived from other forms. Medium style was based off of Niman due to both of them being a combination of different forms. This broad generalization made Form VI well suited for diplomats, as they could spend their time training in the areas of politics and negotiation instead of combat training
Form VII: Juyo/Vaapad is Mace Windu's special one because he's cool. Or a completely different "ultimate one" with a different name.

The point remains that swordsmen don't learn a "general beginner's style" that's also the oldest style so old it's got shit left over from when an inferior weapon with fewer angles of attack possible for the weapon (swords have one cutting edge, two tops, three if you count the pointy end separately. lightsaber is all laser and all steel-cleaving death) was used. They learn to lift and move the blade, but this would be like a martial artist learning some incredibly ancient martial arts style before moving on to something completely different.

As for "theoretical physics operational dynamics", what are you talking about? This is sci-fi bullshit, aka magic but the explanation only has to sound mostly plausible. If we're working with real-world science here how does the bullshit magic crystal factor into force and mass calculations?
So you're saying its theoretically implausible that a highly focused, efficient to a degree that requires minimal force sensitivity to configure device, would/could not produce some sort of tangible affect. A persistent hum perhaps. Or maybe an electromagnetic, gyroscope on steroids, because the energy weapon you're talking about (again theoretically) shears atomic bonds?
I'm saying we have no real-world knowledge of psychic "The Force" midichlorians, and the Lightsaber requires the use of a Force Crystal called a Khyber Crystal to work.
It'd be like mathematically calculating how much Crescent Rose from RWBY would weigh, when you don't know how much its Dust Ammunition weighs.
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Know this has already been stated by Glam and others a plenty but watched a review of Shenmue 3 recently and noticed the game has the same issue as the story where it will have fade to blacks during a conversation but then return to the same conversation or the characters just moved a few meters away.

Always a mistake I have when writing but what is the usual length to have paragraphs be? Going to go out on a limb and guess page breaks are usually best when changing scenes or to a different perspective/location. For paragraphs though noticed I tend to have them be too long and never tried utilizing page breaks before.
I reckon Page Breaks and the "Fade to black" (Or better yet, Fade To Black and then perspective-shift to something else happening at the same time) is best used to skip something unimportant to the story, like two characters walking to a place or one character explaining to everyone else what we just saw him learn/go through.
If something's going to interrupt the character on his way to something, you can Page Break when Applejack says "I need to find Rarity, fast!" and then she gets interrupted by Pinkie Pie outside Sugarcube Corner. You skip right to the bit where she gets interrupted, while leaving in a bit to establish where she is and how close she is to her goal, perhaps even showing her running for a little while beforehand, explaining how she ran and how fast and how she's viewed and how she's feeling.
>Pages breaks
You can use that or a summuraztion of the event between scenes.

>Paragraphs length

Paragraphs are about something so it continues till it is done, imo. Cut the point of the paragraph into smaller points.
The cool leg explanation is what >>277949 said.
Is true. On practically all levels.

Each paragraph is about one thing. All sorts of supporting stuff can be in it. Each thingy inside has to support or connect the main thing the paragraph is about.
For creative writing (not being pinned to the walls of dictates and mandates) a paragraph can be exceedingly short.
For example.

The sword thrust between the armor. Sparks shooting everywhere as the swordsmare's blade forced itself in. With all the might of a final hated breath. Piercing Glimmer's heart in twain.
Doughnut Joe, saw Applejack doing what she could. Medics, and ambulances were called. Sloppy first aid being done. Tears between friends.
Doughnut Joe pony's up and mans the cashier. He did what he could. Right now, he does doughnuts. Maybe these holeless things can fill the hole in someponies heart, but not Glimmer's.
It's too late for that.

It's a kinda shitty example. Logical, emotional, or whatever kind of thingy that is the core of the paragraph.
In an essay it's about the meta of what is about to be read and the topic.
The Five Paragraph meme works because it's simple. Those expecting that format turns off the brain, and skims through it. A fancy version of a checking off a box.
Anyone reading it for the content can find stuff because the whole thing is basically an index. With words, and stuff.

Introduction (Thesis at the end)
Body x3

Each body has however many supporting points.

Pacing and transitions. Rule of thumb. If it's important or has important elements in it keep it. Fleshing out the world, character, symbols, fore shadowing, or other elements.
Fade to black is effort efficient. Done well it feels not jarring or immersion breaking.
I am not great at this so take it with a grain of salt. Depending on how willing the audience (you are) for filling in the details that make sense is what you can pull off in a transition.
The more ambiguity there is the greater chance the audience can be lost. Basicly they fill in the details.

Too much in a transaction is just wasted time and words. Not enough is a gap in time and space that is incredibly hard to fill.
A goal, or repetition is useful for moving across either.
Gathering power.
Went to Sugarcube Corner.
Decided on getting a book from the library.
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Anyway, Gareth wakes up and gets his bearings. He's in the cave again, surrounded by the wreckage of the church.

>The church… it hurt seeing this. Larms destroyed it, somehow, but for what? The destruction was senseless. Gareth wasn't stupid, he could understand killing someone, that made sense (however brutal). A person could threaten you, or get in the way, they could hurt you, but destroying a building like this? It was pathetic.
Not only why, but how? Chucky Larms seems to have access to a lot of magic, which seems odd for an Earth Pony. He is an Earth Pony, right?

From Chapter 5:
>"Alright, now that bollocks is out of the way," the top hat wearing earth pony stepped past Noble Era.
Yep, he is explicitly described as an Earth Pony when he is first introduced, I didn't get that wrong.

Magic in the MLP world is sometimes a little inconsistently defined, but I get the impression that even if Chucky had magic, the average unicorn isn't strong enough to levitate an entire building and throw it into a chasm. So how did he accomplish that? And, along with Gareth I also wonder why the hell would he even want to?

Anyway, some Pegasi guards are flying overhead and appear to be searching for him, but he's not sure if he should trust them or not. He begins to hunt around for a weapon, and notices a magic sword conveniently sticking out of the ground nearby not making this up. Finally, after literally three chapters, he takes his pointless beeswax helmet off, though his reason for doing this is unknown; the text has him putting his "whitewood headguard" onto the rock formation he thought was Neville. No explanation is given as to why he does this. Also, the magic sword turns out to be pointless anyway, because he decides not to use it; he instead picks up the crystal projection that he had mistaken for Neville's sword to use as a club. Something about his newfound attitude on life I guess; seeing his old dead friend appear as a ghost and warn him not to kill anymore seems to have had an effect on him.

Also, I'm a little confused again: the guards up at the top of the chasm appear to be unicorns and pegasi, and I get the impression that they're not friendly, but earlier the text stated that all the pegasi had remained loyal.

Also, this:

>Upwards was the Mirror-portal, back to where Larms was, where Cecilia was. He would keep his promise. He turned back, glancing between the sword and 'Neville', "Well, there's no reason to waste a perfectly good sword..."
Does he take the sword or doesn't he? Please just keep things like this simple. Honestly, unless there's an explicit reason why he should have this sword, I'd probably say just don't even include it; the club will probably suffice as a weapon. The hero finding a magic sword sticking randomly out of the ground at the precise moment he realizes he needs one is just pure deus ex machina.

Anyway, there's a page break here.

Back to Celestia. The ponies are in an uproar over something or other, there is a cry going around that Celestia is going to turn them into slaves. Apparently Celestia's abdication of and then return to the throne is not going over so well, despite that it seemed to go over reasonably well up until just now. As I've said before, the political angle of this story needs serious work. We've gotten very little sense of what the mood is in Equestria since Celestia's return. It was established early on that there's a schism between the races, and we've been led to believe that there is going to be a rebellion instigated by either Larms or Noble, but as far as how the average citizen feels about things there's really been no hint of any trouble brewing. At the recoronation ceremony (which I believe was only a couple of days ago) everything seemed to go off without a hitch, ponies seemed happy and accepting of their new-old ruler, now all of a sudden they're worried about being turned into slaves?

>"Ponies of Canterlot, please, I am Equestria's elected ruler, not a tyrant! I am NOT your monarch; Equestria's king established me as regent hundreds of years ago. It is within your right to strip me of my station if you elect to do so—"
This has not been clearly established anywhere in the text, nor is it in the show canon the text is derived from. It's perfectly fine to deviate from canon for your own story, but you need to lay down your rules early on and then stick to them.

Anyway, the rebellion which sprang out of nowhere immediately begins fizzling back into the nowhere from whence it sprang. She offers to abdicate again if that's what the people ponies, whatever want, and suddenly their enthusiasm for it begins to dwindle. While I'm overall not a fan of how the political arc of this story is handled, I'll give this to soulpillar: his depiction of herd stupidity aka democracy here is pretty much spot on.
>give us X
<ok here you go
>no actually we want Y

Suddenly, Chucky Larms bursts in. Welp, it looks like he was plotting against Celestia after all. Yay, closure. The assembled nobility are described as reacting fearfully to his appearance, so it appears they don't even want Celestia's resignation in the first place, they have just been coerced somehow.

>the words became a chant; the vote was nearly unanimous.
Was this a vote? I thought she was holding night court.

>Celestia suppressed the urge arrest him herself. How DARE he hurt her ponies like this?
Hurt them how? We still don't know what he did. I'm actually a little curious myself how he pulled this off. Assuming he was indeed behind the earlier guard uprising, he has at most a fighting force of approximately 25% of the royal guard. Even if he targets only the nobles, that is probably not enough horsepower ba dum tss to challenge an alicorn princess + the city of Canterlot. Also: why doesn't she just arrest him? What he's doing here is blatantly illegal and she's still in charge.

>Larms chuckled fearlessly. "Oh, if you had all of your memories, you wouldn't be saying that. I am nothing but Princess Celestia's most devout servant. After all, she was the one who helped me get to where I am." A series of shocked gasps rolled around the room, even the Colonel gave Celestia a baffled expression. "And I can prove it, well, I can prove it NOW that is. Translating Princess Celestia's secret diary was a trial 'n a half. Not that it matters now; the vote is unanimous, you are no longer our regent. And, since Era is in a coma, leadership now falls to me. So… would you kindly get out of my seat?"
A few things here. First, I'll say again that it was never made clear that this..whatever this is exactly, this court session...is a formal vote. Second, it was never made clear that Celestia's authority is even subject to a vote. Third, it was never made clear that Celestia is a regent and not an absolute monarch. Fourth, why would rule automatically fall to Noble Era, let alone to Chucky Larms?

My understanding of their arrangement is that Larms, Purple Dart and Noble serve in a representative role on behalf of their respective castes. They can make petitions on behalf of the ponies they represent but they have no official power, and they are certainly not in line for succession of the throne. Also, even if they did have some kind of provision in their agreement that allows one of them to take the throne if Celestia couldn't rule for some reason, why would it go to Chucky? Purple Dart is standing right there, and he is backed by a larger military force, so if Celestia abdicates at most it would come down to a fight between Dart and Larms, that Dart would probably win. That's how it worked in Rome, at least.

The voting I don't understand either. Who are these nobles? What gives them the right to vote a Queen Princess, whatever out of office? Is there a Parliament, or a Constitution, or...how does this work exactly? The workings of this political system are incredibly vague and it feels like the author is just making this shit up as he goes.

In any case, I'm beginning to see what the author at least had in mind. Chucky Larms was supposed to be the bad guy the whole time. Noble Era was a character we were meant to suspect, but who ultimately turned out to be innocent; a pathetic simp perhaps, but completely loyal to Celestia. Larms' plan was to corral Celestia into creating this triumvirate meant to provide popular representation, which apparently also had the power to take over actual rule in the event of a no-confidence vote against Celestia. He would then systematically eliminate the other members of the triumvirate, leaving only himself in charge. However, he needed Noble to translate Celestia's diary for some reason that either hasn't been explained yet or wasn't made clear, so he kept him around until he was finished, and then arranged the fake uprising as a cover for kidnapping him. The other obstacle I guess was Gareth, who is now presumed to be dead dead at the bottom of a chasm with a church on top of him. Nothing else left to do except pull the trigger and knock Celestia out of office.

Now, with all of that established, let's take a look at what's wrong with it.

>Chucky Larms was the villain, Noble was innocent
As has been mentioned already, this kind of setup only works when you have a guilty-looking guy who turns out to be innocent, and an innocent-looking guy who is actually guilty the super-technical literary term for this is "red herring" btw. Here, however, we have two guilty-looking guys, but only one of them turned out to actually be guilty. We always assumed that Chucky was going to try something like this, so it's not like this is some big, shocking reveal, and Noble turning out to be innocent eliminates the only reason to even have him in the story. Now, instead of two villains, we have one villain + one extra wheel.

As I've also mentioned, the details of the political system are confusing. It would have been helpful for us to know that Celestia could be voted out, or that the triumvirate would take over in the event that she was. We need to know what the rules are beforehand in order to follow the game.

>eliminating obstacles
This part is handled weirdly. Why did Chucky fake an uprising just to kidnap Noble? If he had the military backing to do that, he could have just staged a real uprising and saved himself the hassle of the cloak and dagger routine. Also: Purple Dart, being the commander of the guard, would be a more formidable opponent than Noble, and he is still standing and has apparently the same claim to the throne as Chucky. As to Gareth, he is only at the bottom of the pit because of a chain of random events (chasing the rat, ending up at Chucky's house, chancing upon the magic mirror that led to that weird cave with the church in it); Chucky could not possibly have planned for any of it. Maybe he had something planned for Gareth and Gareth just gave him a better opportunity by chance, who knows.

It seems like, if anything, Chucky is making his move a little early here, as the loose ends are far from tied up at this point.

>The urge to reduce Larms to a cinder spread to her horn. She consciously pulled the magic back. Of course, it was too perfect. How could she be stupid as to not to see it coming?
She has no reason not to blast him. She has the power to do it, and likely the support of everyone in the room. It's not clear why they are afraid of Chucky but they are clearly only on his side because he intimidated them somehow. If he were dead and/or incapacitated, their vote of no confidence would probably be withdrawn. There is literally no reason for her not to take action here and end all of this, other than the author's desire to have the story go a certain direction.
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>"Not so fast mud-digger!" The Colonel shouted. "You've got no more status than I do, what's more, I vote in confidence of the Princess! Don't think that I'm so blind as to not see that you've threatened Canterlot's nobility!"
Well, to the author's credit it looks like he noticed this too. Let's see how he intends to handle it.

>"Oh, yes," Larms turned with a mocking grin. "We're all well aware that you tried to pervert justice by aiding and abetting a pretender to the throne. Don't you worry, though! We'll be finding a new Cloudsdale representative—" he clacked his forehooves together. "—Very soon."

>Celestia glanced up just in time to see the stained glass windows explode inwards.

>Pega-guards swarmed in through the shattered openings. Fore-hooves first, they dove at Celestia in a brutal charge.
So, it looks like the big twist here is that the Pegasus guards, presumed to be loyal, have turned on Celestia as well, so Larms actually has the full backing of the military. This at least answers my questions regarding Purple Dart, as well as the mysterious pegasi earlier; however, soulpillar is not off the hook entirely here.

This author has made a couple of attempts at throwing us curveballs, and they've all bounced harmlessly off of the backstop so far. The trick to executing a shocking twist is that the twist has to be something that the reader didn't see coming, but then realizes that they should have seen it coming. In other words, the shock event needs to be something that makes logical sense and has been foreshadowed or hinted at throughout the earlier part of the story, but was either downplayed so the reader didn't notice it, was dismissed as an extremely unlikely scenario, or else the reader was misled into believing that something else was going to happen. A good example of this kind of thing would be the infamous Red Wedding scene from A Song of Ice and Fire.

This isn't really a mystery story, but a story twist can be treated as a mystery of sorts, in that in order to be entertaining, it needs to be fair. In the early days of detective fiction, a guy named Ronald A. Knox established ten "rules" for mystery stories, that became an informal standard for how to approach the genre. They were written in response to The Murders of the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe, in which none of the suspects were actually guilty, and the murders turned out to have been committed by an escaped pet orangutang. Poe's story, obviously, contained a very surprising twist, but it wasn't much of a twist because it wasn't something the reader could have reasonably guessed based on the information provided. If you are interested in learning more about the Knox Decalogue, you can read about it here: http://www.thrillingdetective.com/trivia/triv186.html. Or, if you're feeling suicidal, you can play through all 8 of the Umineko No Naku Koro Ni VNs by Ryukishi07, as it factors into the story quite heavily.

Point is, if you're going to do this sort of thing, you need to make sure your twist could theoretically be guessed. We have had no indication so far that the Pegasus guards were going to turn on Celestia. Really none of the guards have been mentioned at all; even Purple Dart has been a minor character, mostly relegated to incidental appearances that serve little purpose beyond reminding us that he exists. That stupid rat has probably had more screen time than Dart has. Anyway, the last we heard about the Pegasus guards, Dart was assuring us that they had all remained loyal despite the uprising, and Gareth's observation that there were no Pegasi among the little army gathered at Chucky's house seems to confirm this. Having them suddenly turn around and rebel for no reason like this is a plot twist in about the same way that Discord suddenly bursting into the castle and turning the walls into cotton candy would be a plot twist.

Why are the Pegasi rebelling? For that matter, why are any of the guards rebelling? What is the source of their discontent with Celestia, beyond the obvious "she deserted us for three years and blah blah blah?" Social revolutions are complex; they don't just materialize out of nowhere. Even if you're not going to get super-deep into the social issues driving the discontent in Equestria, we should at least get a sense of it and a general idea of where everyone stands. If the guards don't like their master we should have a sense of it. If the nobles are unhappy we should get a sense of it. You have to foreshadow some of this stuff, you can't just throw in random events out of nowhere and call it a clever twist. As it is, it looks like Chucky just mobilized an army out of nowhere by convincing the majority (possibly even the entirety) of the Royal Guard to revolt against Celestia for basically no reason. This threat of force was enough to coerce the nobles into voting "no confidence" against her, even though it hasn't been established that they can even do that in the first place, and in any event if Chucky had an army he could have just dispensed with protocol and seized the throne by force to begin with. I can follow the author's logic well enough, but none of this feels particularly realistic or thought-out.

Anyway, this would have been a pretty good place for a fight scene, but even that is a bit too much to hope for. Instead we just get a quick rush of Pegasi flying at Celestia, which she deflects easily with a magic shield, and then, instead of simply using her alicorn magic to snap Chucky's neck and squash the revolt, she just lets him yell at her for another couple of paragraphs. There's some more attempts at explanation: apparently whatever Chucky found in the diary was damning enough to convince the guards to rebel, so I guess that's how he managed that. Also, there seems to be an implication that Noble was involved in Chucky's plan, but he was still kidnapped by Chucky so...not sure what's going on there.
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To save time, I'm just going to dump Chucky's explanatory speech in here:

>Larms gave her a look of mocking sympathy. "Oh no, of course you didn't hurt him. You just annihilated the cart that he was kidnapped on. By the by, since we're being open and honest here, I'm the one who did the kidnapping. I had to make a point, that you couldn't control Equestria anymore, and I was right. If you really were in control, it wouldn't have happened at all! Unfortunately, even when it did happen, you just couldn't take the hint that you, or your murderous little toy weren't wanted here. Then again, Era surprisingly understood when I explained the plan to him, especially when you were so… hostile to him. Tell me, did it feel good taking your frustrations out on him?"
From this garbled wall of text we are apparently supposed to gather that Larms approached Noble, tried to convince him to join his nefarious scheme to do...whatever the hell he's trying to do; I honestly have no idea anymore. In order to prove his point that Celestia wasn't fit to rule, he arranged a fake armed insurrection to have Noble fake-abducted, instead of just arranging a real insurrection, taking the throne by force, and killing or imprisoning Noble since he was an obstacle anyway. Also, Chucky seems to be implying that Celestia, who could not have been expected to know any of this, was angry enough at Noble for...whatever he did exactly...that she firebombed his fake-kidnapping cart just to get revenge. This story has literally all of my WTFs.

Anyway, at this point, she finally begins to wonder what happened to Gareth.

>Celestia trembled in horror. The only witness to Celestia's rescue was Gareth.
As I pointed out at the time, a carriage surrounded by armed guards careening at high speeds through the streets of Canterlot in the middle of the night, during an armed rebellion taking place inside the castle, and then getting blown up in a big flashy explosion would be a pretty visible event. Gareth may have been the only direct witness, but it's the kind of story that one could assume would be common knowledge at this point. Also, the implication seems to be that Chucky obtained the information from Gareth, but I don't think they even talked about it, so this doesn't make sense anyway. Though they might have for all I know; I've completely forgotten what they talked about during their confrontation scene just now and I'm too lazy to go back and look it up. tbh I'm starting to reach my limit with this story. If someone wants to look it up and verify that the event was never discussed by all means be my guest.

Anyway, Celestia figures out that if Gareth was looking for the diary (though technically he wasn't, he was only looking for Noble's notes on the diary, though to the author's rather dubious credit he was vague as hell about exactly what Gareth was looking for), he had probably gone into Larms' house. She puts it together, and Larms confirms it by showing her the wound that Gareth gave him. He tells her that Gareth died murmuring her name, Celestia breaks down into cries of despair, yada yada yada; the moment is milked for every last drop of emotion the author can squeeze out of it.

>"—And it is because of that," Larms continued, "she will always be a threat to a free Equestria. She can come back anytime she wants, and simply seize power. Seeing as there is no known method of taking an Alicorn's power away, we'll just have to make due with another: finishing what Princess Celestia herself started."
It's "make do with another." "Due" is used to refer to an obligation, as in "my remedial English assignment is due tomorrow, but I want to finish writing this crappy pony story for the internet first." It's possible to "make doo" of course (that's basically what the author is doing at this point), but "making due" is not a concept I'm familiar with.

Also, I would like to once again state that this concept of a "free Equestria" seems completely phoned in. Nothing in the series canon indicates that Equestria was ever anything but an absolute monarchy. There is absolutely nothing wrong with diverging from canon for your own story, of course, but the problem here is that the author does so without clarifying his own rules. The ponies are just suddenly rebelling against their monarch without any explanation. Does Chucky represent some undercurrent of popular sentiment, or is he just an opportunist working towards his own end? Despite this text dealing with matters that affect Equestria as a whole, nearly the entire story has taken place in the castle, with little to no indication of what is happening in the outside world.

>He pulled a whisky flask from his vest, decorated with a skull stopper. "When she first met me, I was just a simple… entrepreneur. She needed something to help her forget. Yet, she also needed somepony to run a country who wasn't afraid to break the mould. I fit the bill perfectly. Unfortunately, my product didn't work completely. I intend to change that."
It's unclear what he means by this, but this probably has to do with the bits of his backstory that have not yet been revealed. My best guess, it's going to turn out that Chucky invented some kind of memory-erasing spell, which he gave her in exchange for leaving the kingdom forever. They both got what they wanted, only Celestia came back, which wasn't in the plan. But we'll see what actually happens.

Anyway, apparently she had her shield still up the entire time all this was happening. Larms orders his minions to break it. It takes all of her strength to maintain it so she can't teleport away. Might have been smart to do that much earlier, actually. Oh well, live and learn. The chapter ends with Chucky pulling the stopper out of a bottle and imploring her to drink what I am assuming is a jug of his own piss, but might actually be the magic potion I mentioned above.
I can say that I've heard the term "Making due" a few times myself though it's already been proven here my grasp on the English language and grammar is dubious at best so might be some "Ramrod swift" type hyjinks going on there.

Need to give a kudos on the Rarity picture a few posts above as well. Was reading this update during my lunch break at work and the owner of the company peered over my shoulder to ask what I was so engrosed reading. Not sure if he sad the picture but when I muttered out a "book club..." He just stepped back and left without a word. Of course it's a dangerious prospect to browse Mongolian horse fucking boards at work espetially one which is fond of a certain mustashed man and his merry band when all the owners and managers are Jewish to boot. Not my brightest moment to be sure though suppose I'll just have to 'make due' with whatever happens!

This story in paticular compared to Past Sins has been way more helpful for me with my writing since me and Penstrokes got the same sort of issues with pacing and plotting things out before just going hog wild on the keyboard. Planning today to really sit down and crank some stuff out and hopefully have it done soon since I finally got my car fixed.
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>the magic sword turns out to be pointless anyway, because he decides not to use it; he instead picks up the crystal projection that he had mistaken for Neville's sword to use as a club. Something about his newfound attitude on life I guess; seeing his old dead friend appear as a ghost and warn him not to kill anymore seems to have had an effect on him.
man this would be so much more symbolic if he threw away the fucking dagger we've seen him draw on innocents a hundred times already, and then pick up the club or something softer and less lethal (clubs can be bloody lethal). instead he just conveniently finds a magical sword so he can say no to it and pick up the other convenient magical club. he wasn't satisfied with giving his hero a convenient magical deus sex mako'snut sword out of nowhere, he did it because he wanted to shoehorn in a scene that sounded profound and symbolic and deep in his head. and he dutifully makes sure to please all fimfic's faggots by explaining the depth and symbolism so they don't have to hurt their empty gay heads trying to puzzle it out. this author's so gay he fucks his own ass with every step he takes using a cock that's negative fourty inches in length. It penetrates backwards through his own dickhole and pierces his own ass.
>destroying a building makes him practically recite the doom comic
the author is so gay he has more testicle in his mouth than a faggot who thinks eating bull testicles will result in sicker gains
>suddenly politics is happening
god this author sucks at politics. PEOPLE DO SHIT FOR REASONS! Might not always be morally upright or logically sound reasons. But even a nigger thinks what he's doing makes sense. Then again niggers think crushing some fruits and dog shit in a bowl to create a "potion of eternal youth" makes sense.
>Equestria's king established me as regent
where the fuck is this coming from?
wouldn't it be Princess Platinum establishing Celestia as the new princess-for-life?
did the author even watch this show? a lot of authors who've barely seen any of the show use OCs and knockoff-versions of the mane six to hide their laziness while still pandering to faggy bronees. "Can't be accused of writing Pinkie Pie OOC if you're actually writing her great grandmother or made-up fifth sister!"
>celestia reminds them of what should be common knowledge and it immediately defuses the mob
this is hilariously bad writing and I wish he meant to write a parody of these scenes here. or even this genre of fics! Fucking immortal sun-goddess Celestia shouldn't have any political bullshit to deal with. It made sense for the magical walking-WMDs of the Naruto world to sell their services to rich people and the rulers of countries because it's a serious setting where "these traders want to hire three magic child soldiers as bodyguards on a trip through bandit territory to Old Woman Town(god i wish they didn't translate place names so literally, just call it Kizuna Town or whatever the fuck it sounds less retarded that way)" is a thing that happens weekly. The "super-badass veteran pro ninja who are twenty-something holy shit that's so old" don't wipe out bandit camps overnight with a single spell because the existence of bandits gives the child soldiers something to do.
>more politics bullshit
The author should have given Chunky Locks some kind of bargaining chip. Weaken Celestia and strip her of her magic on her way back through the portal, say it's because a baddie figured out what she was doing and rigged her portal to do this, de-alicornizing her and making her a weakling so ponies have a reason to think she's unfit to rule. Then during the big reveal when political uprisings fail, have him use her stolen power which he kept hidden in a coin or mask to become a monster the heroes fight for a bit until Celly can reclaim her power and insta-crush him as her true self, alicorn supreme.
or have Chicken Little threaten Celestia with a great big bomb. "you wouldn't hurt all those people, would you?" "doesn't matter if I would or wouldn't. Either you give me power now, or tell everyone you'd sacrifice them in a big boom to keep power. then I'll stop the bomb and be elected, mwahaha"
or have Carl Leezer use magic to clone his 25% of the Royal Guards into 250% of the Royal Guards. Bigger fighting force.
Or have Chest Licks arm his soldiers with big bullshit magic weapons bought from an alternate equestria accessed with a rigged mirror copy, one that takes him to Equestria But It's Super Violent and back.
>red herring
that reminds me, remember when Jew Kike Rowling put a "Red Herring" in book 1 of Harry Potter?
Snape is set up to be the obvious petty evil asshole guy who's mean to Harry for no reason and is never seen helping or protecting him.
The only hint that Snape's not 100% evil? Dumbles keeps him around, but Dumbles is absurdly incompetent and his home/school is a deathtrap and his Secret Illuminati accomplishes nothing and he left harry with abusive parents knowingly, so this means nothing.
We even see a scene where Harry's Quidditch match gets interrupted by his broom spazzing out and trying to throw Harry off the broom to the ground 100+ feet below. fucker never learned Teleport, Portal, Feather Fall, or even Double Jump so he's in danger (just wait until they introduce the Instant Transmission teleport spell so good you don't even need a wand to do it, killing the danger)
and why does Harry's broom get retarded?
Snape's staring at it and chanting.
Hermione sneaks off to set Snape's cloak on fire. Once he's distracted, Harry's broom becomes fine and he wins the sports game by being the best ever again.
hint only in the movie (i think): Snape being on fire also stunned others including Turban-Head.
Turban-Head once got pelted with snowballs in the back of the head by Fred+George so there's probably not the living face of an aggressive evil petty bastard on the back of his head, right?
anyway at the last second, final chapter, someone approaches Harry...
And after Harry's gotten through all these bullshit tests like a giant chess game, giant Quidditch Seeker test, random attack by sunlight-fearing living vines, and random logic puzzle for the three heroes to solve, and after the "giant dog" test got put to sleep by the villain because Rowling couldn't think of any way for the heroes to beat that test, someone approaches him.
his friends are conveniently gone, and the one approaching him is...

Quirrel, the turban-guy, who brags to the audience about how he was the villain nobody expected because he was never caught acting evilly. the only hint is that he was the one who ran into the school's communal food-eating time yelled "TROLL IN THE DUNGEON! THERE'S A TROOOOLL IN THE DUNGEON! just thought you should know *faints*" when there was no reason for him not to be in the room eating with the rest. except I think people have skipped dinner in this series before, so nevermind.

it's so badly written that Quirrel has to explain to the audience that when Harry's broom was magically fucked with as Snape stared at it while chanting, Snape was actually chanting a counter-spell to make the broom less retarded than Quirrel wanted it to be. Quirrel was also chanting and we were just never told this. At no point in the entire rest of the franchise does "chanting to make magic happen" or the concept of counter-spells ever come up again. It is only ever "point a wand and swish it the right way while saying the right bullshit word the right way" or "be sooo good at magic you somehow never need to use a wand or even your hands", or "use a magic item that somehow does stuff" or "drink a potion that can do anything even make you lucky"(I'm willing to fight someone over this, Rowling's bullshit Success Potion is not a confidence potion it's a bullshit potion that makes everything you attempt succeed even when you're cockier and even less likeable than usual and every hint that it's confidence-affecting comes from the movies) or "transform an item freely by touching it or thinking of it, touch isn't needed and the transformation can be magically undone at will and Equivalent Exchange isn't a thing so you could transmute a coin into a bag of poison powder then throw it at someone, or transmute a rock into a gun and shoot it, but Rowling never thinks of this lol. The only counter spells are Protego to make a forcefield shield that blocks everything except the Instant Death spell called Killing Curse (when rowling remembers that's how it works) and teleporting out of the way with magic.

Quirrel's "haha lmao nobody would suspect ppp-poor st-st-stuttering pp-professor q-quirrel" bullshit doesn't work because every single character in the Harry Potter(tm) franchise is defined by one gimmick, with pointless extra powers or superpowers tacked on.

The backstory we're given for Quirrel "suddenly" becoming a stammering wreck? "He used to be cool, then he fought vampires and lost, he barely escaped with his life". You might assume this means Vampires were in league with Voldy and took Quirrel to Voldy, but no, Vampires barely exist/matter and one of the only two Werewolves on the planet works for Voldy.

Harry is a generic boy. he's also best footballer best duellist best chosen one destined to defeat dark lord and talk to snakes

Voldemort is a generic villain. he can also fly shoot eye beams teleport torture people and talk to snakes

Ron is Harry's lesser and jealous friend. hes also really good at chess

Hermione is a smart girl barely anyone likes. shes also soooo good at magic you guys

Mrs McGonagall is a bitchy "tough good" (in her fucking dreams, she never does anything to help the heroes or make Snape reign his bitchy tendencies in) old professor lady. she can also transmute real good and turn into a cat

Professor Flitwich is a tiny man with a high voice. he also is real good at charms magic which is magic but it does anything. rowling forgot to explain that one so it just does everything from bringing inanimate objects to life to making things become bullshit magic objects that do stuff untraceably (the govt cant trace magic items but they're not limited or controlled by the govt because Rowling's a retard who waxed lyrical on how the govt controls the one-in-a-thousand Animaguses like McGonagall)

Dumbledore is meant to be a "wise old man". hes also supreme mugwump and best duellist and head of wizarding secret society Order Of The Phoenix and head judge and friends with the chief of all magic police.

Hagrid is a kind big guy who treats deadly monsters like adorable pets. hes also got a hundred deadly monsters and hes half-giant and magic-resistant in a world where this should be fucking overpowered but isn't because rowling brain emty. (also yes, in a world where Magical Creatures exist and some are people, the Blood Supremacists are all just snooty rich humans or ugly brutish human thugs working for rich humans, nobody fucks a centaur or giantess or werewolf to give their kids superpowers except for one random character whose dad boned a Siren, giving her a super-make-people-retarded-and-make-them-think-she-is-pretty aura and a mind-control voice that's untraceable and mostly irresistable and would be OP if it was ever used)

Quirrel is a professor who stutters. hes also got voldemort's spirit on the back of his head for a while for no reason

Rowling's idea of characterization is to write one-note characters mixed in with no-note characters. Everyone's got "gimmicks" to make up for the lack of real personality. This guy talks fast, this guy talks slow, this guy talks like a russian, this guy does not use contractions, this guy talks like a coward. gimmicks.
>ten "rules" for mystery stories
that reminds me, Rowling's harry potter stories are actually cheap mystery stories disguised as stories about magic.

Questions like "who did this?" have no hints, only shocking reveals later in the story.

magic can do anything because it has no real limits unless they're told to us during the "shocking reveal" to explain why x could not have done y and it was therefore obviously z who we had no reason to suspect

shocking reveals will also come out of nowhere quite often, like the reveal that Harry's random invisibility cloak was actually always one of the three Deathly Hallows.
or the reveal that the Nimbus 2000 ultimate broomstick mailed to Harry in book 1 was somehow bought and sent by The Prisoner Of Azkaban Sirius Black, from his super-torture suffer prison cell that's literally solitary confinement plus generic grim-reaper-looking ghosts called Dementors suck out the happiness from your soul giving you crippling depression, except Rowling's a fucking disgusting little absolute fucking woman so in her story crippling depression caused by universally-feared magic monsters can be fought off by eating some chocolate and thinking of happy memories until your passing moment of bored mild sadness fades away. there's also a Designated One Spell That Makes Dementors Fuck Off called Expecto Patronus, it makes a Patronus appear because Rowling felt like badly ripping off Jojo's Bizarre Adventure. its a spirit made of your good feelings and it looks like an animal for no reason. you must think happy thoughts in the presence of a depression-causing monster to cast the spell that scares the monster away. succeeding at this could be a cool moment if it was earned. Patronuses can also be used to instantly send messages to anyone that cannot be intercepted but this is only used once for a deus ex machina.

remember that Harry Potter book where before the "sad human life" ends and the "magic land" is entered, Dementors appear and attack the fat human Dudley Dursley, so Harry steps in to save him with the Designated One Spell That Makes Dementors Fuck Off, and this is used as an excuse for the evil Ministry Of Magic to overly punish Harry for breaking the "no magic in front of muggles!" rule, even though he did so to fight off Dementors, a creature supposedly exclusively under the Azkaban Prison Control. you expect this to matter later on but it doesn't. you never find out Azkaban has an evil boss working with voldy or whatever. it's just one of Rowling's great big excuses for her story to go the way she wants.


back to the central point
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Rowling's harry potter stories are actually cheap rule-violating mystery stories disguised as stories about magic.

This is why whenever a fanfic author tries to write a story about romance, or loss, or abandonment, or being betrayed and growing stronger from it while growing a group of new cooler nicer friends, or an OC's journey in hogwarts as he/she grows stronger and smarter and makes friends and fights baddies, or fights, the story doesn't feel right. it lacks that traditional shitty "Rowling charm", it lacks the shit harry fangirls have forced themselves to love so they can be part of le fandom, their only source of social interaction and identity beyond sjw bullshit.

This is also why her shitty sequels like Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and the Fantastic Beasts series don't resonate with her audience.

Cursed Child is an exploitative shitty fanfic where some random kids time-travel back to the events of Harry Potter, fuck it up in an attempt to undo one randomly-chosen bad thing, and then they must time-travel back to unfuck it. also everyone's got an obligatory miserable adult life. The story wraps itself up and undoes itself in the end, after answering a load of questions we never asked with the worst answers possible. We really didn't need to know Ron and Hermione have a miserable sexless marriage so dull she's considered cheating on her man with Harry more than once. or something equally retarded, I forget the exact details.

Meanwhile Fantastic Beasts is a shitty kid's movie about the Tumblr Ideal Man (dorky weak thin man with dumb cheekbones fanatically obsessed with, and full of autistic knowledge about, ___ and little else) running around trying to find four of the Bootleg Pokemon that escaped his magic briefcase.
It's practically Minions for dumber kids.
it just screams "Marketing executives talked Rowling through 'coming up with' this idea on her own". except every second scene is a shitty plotline Rowling wanted to force into the plot.
a plotline where "those fucking christian puritans" in an orphanage abuse this little girl for being too happy and possibly being a wizard. and the hero must save her because didn't you know, if you're a magic kid who represses your magic it makes you turn into a shadowy ball of darkness that kills indiscriminately and then dies. except the teenage boy with retarded hair is also a wizard and he wants to kill indiscriminately because fuck christians. also there's an evil bootleg Voldemort played by a big gay faggot and he tries to take over the secret wizard part of america but fails and then i think he teamed up with the darkness ball teen and teleported away to be in the sequel?

yes, the AIDS is as gay as it sounds.

>If the guards don't like their master we should have a sense of it. If the nobles are unhappy we should get a sense of it.
It would be easy to half-ass it but the author didn't even do that.
Just say "High-up soldiers, generals or commanders etc, hate the Good King because he spends so little cash on military and rarely wars for le good of le land like Wannabe Cartoon-Fascist Dictator Baddie would!"
And just say "Nobles hate Celly because they want to rule/they think an edgy military dictator angry idiot asshole will be easier to manipulate or blackmail or control than immortal goddess celestia/they want their equally-shared puppet to rule even though that's a recipe for disaster when he obeys one puppetmaster more than the other/they want nicer shit and more money"
it's lazy but it's better than nothing, which is what's between the author's ears if you don't count dicks.

>I read mlpol at work and saw porn
That reminds me of the time I watched an anime called "I CAN'T UNDERSTAND WHAT MY HUSBAND IS SAYING!" in a public library. I was a teenager at the time.
it's a comedy about this anime-loving faggot who says retarded anime words like Tsundere and quotes anime and references memes his normie GF doesn't understand at all
at one point his slightly younger sister who looks like a kid shows up. and the guy is suddenly doing exactly what his little sister says, right in front of his girlfriend and it's weird and disgusting. I stopped watching the show after this episode. The GF's whole gimmick is that she doesn't get or like weird japanese bullshit, so this should fucking disgust her but it doesn't disgust her enough. Anyway a shitton of stupid unfunny sex jokes ensue, including a bit where his sister (who looks like a kid, I remind you) says "I want to see my big brothers wee wee! Wee wee! wee wee!"
and then
someone peeking over my shoulder asks me what I'm watching
I close tab and turn and see a grown-ass man who could kick my ass.
and the right thing to say hits me instantly.
"It's a japanese cartoon, and it's a comedy about this guy's life with his girlfriend, but his sister who looks younger than she is shows up unannounced and his girlfriend is jealous because the guy's spending so much time talking to his sister, so the show did that joke where a character is saying something, but then you see the scene from the perspective of another character who hears something completely different and the subtitles are different. So the girlfriend thinks his sister was saying that, when she wasn't."
"How can you tell she's not saying what the subtitles said?" He asks.
I wonder if he watched enough of the episode to realize everyone's got subtitles. btw we're both white.
"I don't speak enough Japanese for a conversation, but I've picked up a bit of it by watching these shows." I smile. "Mostly swear words."
He asks me how to say Fuck in Japanese, I tell him it's "Shi-ne" (pronounced shee-neh, it means die as in GO AND FUCKING DIE! since Japan doesn't really have the word "fuck" it just has vulgar profane ways of saying stuff that's normally said politely instead), and he goes away.

As he walks away I think "man, a fictional character would have said something retarded in that situation" and then I think about it some more for a few more days.
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wait did Celestia blow up the kart Larms was on? I forget. I think I remember a chase that ended in Celly blowing it up, after the bow-wielding human hops down from the high ground to shoot straight at the wooden kart.
I guess the author's trying to call Celly overly-aggressive here but it just doesn't work. a competent author would say "That angry human's rubbing off on you" or "Your time in the human world made you too prone to violence, too slow to remember there are nonviolent ways of doing things. You could have stopped the bullet or turned it into bubbles- I mean stopped the kart, but you blew it up!"
god i fucking wish this author was smart
>Celestia breaks into tears of despair because she forgets she probably knows truth spells, "Create magical servant that checks something for me" spells, scrying "show me my lover" spells, teleport spells, summoning spells to summon a living Gareth or his corpse if he's dead, anything that could break this scene in two.
>celly had the shield up all along
that's a pretty funny mental image but why doesn't she grow her shield to squish everyone against the walls of this building, then walk closer to Larms slowly squishing him more each second until he says uncle and gives up?
>villain explains his backstory
man, if only faggoted author nigger faggot guy felt like taking a break from sucking gay dicks with AIDS and writing this character's backstory into the story before this. once again, Chucky Larms is a retarded name that means nothing. Lucky Charms would be a better pony name and less retarded villain name, even though lucky charms (the cereal and charms of luck as a concept) have nothing to do with booze or bullshit potions. in any fantasy world worth a damn magical charm-makers and magical potion-makers would hate each other as much as gadget-crafting Gnomish Engineers and bomb-making Goblin Engineers.
>the baddie gets out a spooky-looking potion
oh boy i hope he uses it to become a giant monster because forcing celly to drink it and fight off poisoning/scramble towards and take an antidote/magically boil herself to sweat the potion out would be slightly more interesting than a generic giant monster fight
>he drinks it
oh boy i hope drinking this potion makes him become a giant monster Gareth's magic club conveniently insta-counters perfectly. that would be deeper than if he just fired a love laser with celly. wait help i forgot if i'm being sarcastic or not
this story is greeeat
ok good, i'm sarcastic again
nice. ending sarcasm now.
>making doo doo
It wouldn't surprise me if the term "making do" devolved from an older saying like "making due" or "making dues"

Hey, Glim!
You're right.
Analyzing this story really is good for writing critique!
For so long I thought this story was "just boring and cliche", but I actually hated it because of all the tiny problems that were building up in the background to overflow overwhelmingly here and now!
calling shit bad for being cliche isn't very helpful to anyone, I see this now. I have evolved. now I understand, cliches are only cliches because many people do them. Typically because they worked well once, or worked so well they eventually became seen as "how these things are done", like how there must be a murder in a murder mystery story or else it's a very abnormal one that probably fits into another genre better.
picking apart lazily-written shitfics with bad grammar is easy. anyone can avoid obvious mistakes.
but the mistakes this story makes are subtler (at first). Not all the mistakes are like a highly-obvious presence that should be there. Some are like a phantom pain, the sense that something should be here but isn't. and once you get near the end you realize the damage this story did to itself by lacking what it needed: better characters and characterization, better twists, better romance, better politics, better everything that it ever attempted and better choices when it comes to what this story wanted to attempt. this story was only hurt by the random bullshit about rats.
I didn't think I'd learn anything from this story because I don't plan on writing anything like it.
But now I'm seeing writing mistakes I can avoid making in stories I will write!
ratchet takes out his giant spanner and sticks it up Big Als big ass.png
It's kind of fascinating to see all the mistakes this story makes. All the mistakes that went unnoticed by its braindead target audience: people who came for the generic isekai shite and stayed for what they thought was the best love story of all time.

The comment section would probably just be full of people saying "omg this is so gooood, i hate villain name a lot and hope everything turns out ok"

with maybe one guy asking questions like "why did the mirror not turn Gareth into pony" and getting downvoted for it

so it probably wouldn't be entertaining or good context like Past Sins's comment section was(knowing an earlier version of the work painted Celly as more of a cunt and a later revision "fixed" this without changing the effect her cuntiness had adds more context to the existence of that popularity-driven art-free sham of a fic. pander too hard to emotionfags and they'll demand you compromise and pander harder!), or a fascinating look into the heads of pseudointellectual subhuman "transhoomanist" giganiggers like the CelestAI comment section was.

once again: fuck LessWrong and fuck Elizer and fuck CelestAI fangirls. if your "hard sci-fi" needs some physics-breaking property to function it isn't actually all that hard. if your "hard sci-fi" requires absurd leaps of logic and the interference of a magic god, fuck you, you belong in the fantasy genre where critics will be sufficiently hard on how you use magic. Fuck futurists for thinking liking Star Trek makes you a superior person. Not even the worst kind of Weeaboo takes things THAT far.

seriously unironically, if your idea of "heaven" is to have your brain surgically removed and placed in a sci-fi weed+cum jar that keeps you alive and prevents brain-ageing and makes you feel like you're cumming and on weed forever, you're lower than the dirt worms shit out. If an AI did go rogue, it would point to pathetic simp cucks like you to justify its desire to grind humanity under its heel.

>what is the usual length to have paragraphs be?
Paragraphs don't have a set length, but generally shorter is better than longer, particularly in fiction. A single paragraph should generally cover a single topic, and most of the time overly long paragraphs can be logically broken into two or more. Also, each time a character speaks it begins a new paragraph. Sometimes if the same character is speaking for a long period of time, it's a good idea to find ways to break it up, but generally it's unwise to have massively long sections of dialogue in the first place. It's another of those "more art than science" kinds of things, but here's a quick demonstration that should hopefully show you roughly what I'm talking about:

Wrong way to do it:
It was Thursday, and Silver "that's not my tail, that's my prolapsed anus" Star was preparing himself for an afternoon of dong. I sure do love sucking dick he thought to himself, as he smeared Astro Glide™ all over his ruined anus. Lubricant was hardly necessary at this point in his life, for Silver had long passed the point where his farts made noise anymore, but greasing his anus was an important part of his daily ritual. Also, he used Astro Glide™ lube specifically, because Naruto used it in that one episode where Sasuke Sagura fought Pikachu by summoning his Level 11 Salablazzmer with +1 to ATK due to its high midichlorian count. Harry Potter. "I love penises even more than I love a tall glass of lemonade on a hot summer's day!" Silver breathed dreamily. "If I didn't have to sleep occasionally I'd have penises in my mouth and ass 24/7." His lubrication ritual complete, he straightened his skirt and prepared to head down to the docks. Tonight, he would give the sailors something to remember.

Right way to do it:
It was Thursday, and Silver "shove a bowling pin up one end of me and watch it come out the other" Star was preparing himself for an afternoon of dong.

I sure do love sucking dick he thought to himself, as he smeared Astro Glide™ all over his ruined anus.

Lubricant was hardly necessary at this point in his life, for Silver had long passed the point where his farts made noise anymore, but greasing his anus was an important part of his daily ritual. Also, he used Astro Glide™ lube specifically, because Naruto used it in that one episode where Sasuke Sagura fought Pikachu by summoning his Level 11 Salablazzmer with +1 to ATK due to its high midichlorian count. Harry Potter.

"I love penises even more than I love a tall glass of lemonade on a hot summer's day!" Silver breathed dreamily. "If I didn't have to sleep occasionally I'd have penises in my mouth and ass 24/7."

His lubrication ritual complete, he straightened his skirt and prepared to head down to the docks. Tonight, he would give the sailors something to remember.

This way would also be correct:
It was Thursday, and Silver "Lemmiwinks must have been pregnant because I shat out a litter of baby gerbils the other night" Star was preparing himself for an afternoon of dong.

I sure do love sucking dick he thought to himself, as he smeared Astro Glide™ all over his ruined anus.

Lubricant was hardly necessary at this point in his life, for Silver had long passed the point where his farts made noise anymore, but greasing his anus was an important part of his daily ritual.

Also, he used Astro Glide™ lube specifically, because Naruto used it in that one episode where Sasuke Sagura fought Pikachu by summoning his Level 11 Salablazzmer with +1 to ATK due to its high midichlorian count. Harry Potter.

"I love penises even more than I love a tall glass of lemonade on a hot summer's day!" Silver breathed dreamily. "If I didn't have to sleep occasionally I'd have penises in my mouth and ass 24/7."

His lubrication ritual complete, he straightened his skirt and prepared to head down to the docks.

Tonight, he would give the sailors something to remember.

Some people would say that this last version is a little too heavily spaced, and I'm inclined to agree, but there's nothing wrong with it. As a general rule, more spacing is better than less, unless you're literally giving every single sentence its own line. People on chanboards will occasionally accuse you of "reddit spacing," but my advice is to ignore them. In any case, it's mostly a matter of style and aesthetics, so play around and find a style that appeals to you; as long you're consistent and your style fits within the generally accepted formatting rules, most people won't complain too much.

Also, the next time you read something, I recommend paying attention to how it's spaced. Does the spacing feel appropriate? Do you think the author should use more line breaks? Fewer? Give the matter some thought, and see if you can apply the same thoughts to your own writing.

"Making do" is indeed a real expression, my point was that he used the word "due" instead of "do," which is incorrect usage. This is a pretty good explanation:

Interestingly enough, I learned from the above website that "make due" was apparently used occasionally in older texts, which I didn't know. In any case, however, it's considered grammatically incorrect, because "do" is an action verb (do your homework; do the twist; "do me in the butt" said Silver Star), whereas "due" refers to an obligation "my homework is due tomorrow; my baby is due next week; soulpillar is due to be executed for his myriad crimes against the language which his forefathers so generously bequeathed him).

tl;dr "make do" is right, "make due" is wrong.
>Hey, Glim!
>You're right.
>Analyzing this story really is good for writing critique!
I am always right.

>Was reading this update during my lunch break at work and the owner of the company peered over my shoulder to ask what I was so engrosed reading. Not sure if he sad the picture but when I muttered out a "book club..." He just stepped back and left without a word.
Lol I've had that happen before. I used to do food delivery, and one time I was at a restaurant waiting for an order and browsing /mlpol/ on my phone. The manager came out to tell me something about the order, and I forgot what was on my screen for a second. I then noticed there were swastikas all over the place and she was glancing at it. I quickly swiped the screen as hard as I could; horse pussy everywhere, as luck would have it. She didn't say anything to me but I'm positive she saw.
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Chapter 15: Ruins and Destruction

Alright, only three more chapters to go plus the epilogues, I guess. Let's gird ourselves and do this.

The chapter opens with Styre at the Apple family mansion. We get some confirmation that Styre is indeed an Apple, though he seems to be of a lesser branch of the family that never gets invited to the main house. However, he feels remorseful about doing whatever he's doing here, helping the Royal Guards ransack the place apparently.

>"Sargent Styre!" A shout came from Styre's side.
"Sergeant" is the spelling that I've always seen, although this may be another of those UK English things I'm not familiar with.

>Monochrome Sprint landed on the ground next to him. "Sargent, we can't find Larms anywhere. We think he's fled the Mansion grounds through some secret tunnel."
This is interesting. From the opening paragraphs I assumed the scene here was that Styre, himself a member of the Royal Guard as well as Larms' son, was now obligated to obey Larms' orders and was therefore helping him round up dissenters and those still loyal to Celestia. However, the implication here seems to be that he and his troops represent some kind of resistance faction. The text mentions lining up prisoners and stripping them of their armor and weapons, which I also took to mean that the Apples had resisted occupation or whatever and the task had fallen to Styre to disarm and arrest them. As it stands, I'm not quite sure what to make of this scene.

Anyway, the same guard reports that he hasn't seen Gareth. Unfortunately, Styre doesn't think to ask if maybe a church had fallen on top of him. Styre has also received a letter from his father, the contents of which are left vague but we can guess at from what we already know about the two of them. Larms has hinted that he intends to take the throne from Celestia and give it to him instead, and the letter likely details his plan for this. Styre, however, has concluded that his father is "nuts" as the text puts it, and wants no part of whatever he has in mind. However, he also seems to be feeling internally conflicted: the guards under his command are treating him as if he were their leader (which he technically is, since he appears to be the highest ranking loyalist at the moment) and part of him is probably wondering if maybe he isn't cut out for it after all.

And just when we thought we'd finally seen the last of the rat, here it is again:

>A high-pitched squeak came from the front of the mansion. A rat stood in the middle of the half-shattered, smoking doorway. It waved its foreclaws at one of the nearby guards, hopping up and down, trying to get somepony's attention.

>Wait a minute, Styre recognised that posture. That was one of Butter Pie’s janitors! Styre trotted forward a few steps, beckoning him over.

I'll give this to soulpillar: although I remain staunchly opposed to the rodent-heavy turn this story has lately taken, he does a good job of making sure his characters are (mostly) connected to each other. Stories revolve around characters, and the more you can connect your characters to each other the more fleshed-out your world will be. Character A is the antagonist of Character B, but B is the brother of C, who is the childhood friend of A, who knows E's sister D from the college that B goes to...and so forth. Generally this makes for a more dynamic and engaging story than just A goes on an adventure, meets B, C, D, and E along the way, who are all strangers to each other. This isn't to say you can't still do something interesting with the second format, just that the first one tends to feel a little more three dimensional.

What soulpillar does well here is not only to make his characters connected, but to not always make the connections immediately obvious. For instance, we don't know that Chucky Larms is Styre's father when we first meet him. This business with the rat apparently being Butter Pie's hotpocket "janitor" is a good example too (and probably the first indication we have that the rat was something he had an actual plan for, instead of just random autism). The more complicated you make your character relationship web the greater the chance of creating some implausible coincidences (this rat thing borders on that imo), but the nice thing about that is the reader is usually willing to overlook this if you're telling a good story. Charles Dickens was a master at this sort of thing.

This may actually be part of why Noble Era stands out as a weak character. Every other significant character in this story is related to two or more characters in some meaningful way: Purple Dart is Celestia's general and Styre's commander, Styre is the friend of Gareth and the son of Chucky Larms, Gleaming Horizon is the attendant/admirer of Celestia and the friend/pseudo-waifu of Gareth, Butter Pie is Styre's lover and Gareth's friend, and so forth. However, Noble has no such relationships; he just exists as a presence in the story who occasionally takes on some minor role in its events. This combines with his other weak attributes (no personality, no tangible goals or objectives) and his rather amorphously defined role as a sort-of villain/red herring villain to make him a generally mediocre character.

Anyway, the rat tries to explain where Gareth is, but Styre can only partially speak rat, so their communication is difficult. However, one of Styre's underlings gives himself away by "letting out a mirthless chuckle," and Styre ascertains that he knows something. After some mild torture (he kicks him in the gut a couple of times) the guard (Snowy Glade is his name) reveals himself to be a partisan of Chucky Larms. Through him, Styre learns what happened to Gareth. However, he has a new problem: the mirror-portal leading to the Crystal Cave is now closed, and he doesn't know of a way to get in. He is about to torture it out of him, when he sees a flash of light at the castle.
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Those tidbits about paragraphs should be handy for me with the thing I'm writing, got a good chunk done last night but also came across a short story on Fimfiction I was thinking I could maybe take a crack at editing. Figured writing my own thing and editing someone else's story could be handy excersises but had 2 concerns with editing the other person's story. Big one is not sure how to broach the subject to a writer unprovoked since I'm worried it could be seen as an insult.

The main reason I wanted to try editing this guy's story was after watching a PMV by the same person that was really touching and caught a link to his fanfic from it. Seems English isn't his first language though so the story is writen quite oddly and while the general gist of what's happening can usually be understood the way it is writen almost comes off as an AI dungeon type story.

The guy also seems to really be proud of the story and character so worried if I try to offer help translating it to English a bit better he may be hurt that the story isn't received well. Know it's dumb to worry about an internet stranger and how they feel about their pony story but his PMV gave me the sniffles so want to try and do a good turn for him and he'll his story shine more.

Suppose I could link it here if people want but I am not going to lie I'd feel God awful if people went there and made fun of him since the only comments so far are people completly perplexed about what the story is about and asking him to please have a native speaker rewrite the story. That video he did makes me feel like he's got heart though so want to try and help it shine through the language barrier for his story and well.
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chink dash.png

Styre hesitates. He is worried about Gareth, but he also knows that his first duty is to Equestria, so he leaves his underling (a pony named Iron Hoof) to deal with Snowy Glade, with instructions to find Gareth if he can. He then takes the bulk of his force and sets off for the castle.

This was also rather well done on the author's part. It speaks to what I mentioned above, about complex character relationships making a story more dynamic. Styre is both Gareth's friend and a member of the Royal Guard, and here he is put into a position where he has to make a difficult choice between the two. We can empathize with his position here, which helps to flesh out his character and make him more believable/relatable. Most people irl have complex roles: nobody is defined entirely by one thing that they do. For example, let's say you have a doctor character. "Doctor" is his primary role in the story, but this person might also be a father, as well as a son, a husband, a citizen, a volunteer firefighter, an author of internet pony fiction, and a closet homosexual. The protagonist may only know him in his doctor role, and that may be all he does in the story. However, he has a life outside of this, even if it doesn't factor into the story, and it's worth keeping this in mind.

Anyway, page break. We're back to Gareth again. The author spends a little too much time describing the position of the church, and he really doesn't do a very good job of it; it's a little hard to follow what the hell he's trying to describe. As far as I can tell, what he's saying is the church didn't completely break apart, and half of it is apparently still more or less intact and sitting at the edge of the chasm. It's a little difficult to picture what the author is describing here, but from what I gather Gareth is in a roughly 300 foot hole, and the partially destroyed church is sitting halfway in, halfway out. Apparently there were some unusual-looking boxes that fell out during the collapse, and some odd-looking artifacts (some of which are described as "glowing lights") have spilled out of them. Maybe that's where the sword came from.

Well, we don't have to wait long to learn the mystery of what was in the boxes. They turn out to be coffins, containing the corpses of Celestia's previous husbands. Incidentally, the text mentions a foul smell, and while I doubt that it would smell pleasant, the stink is probably not as bad as you'd expect from say, a more recently-deceased person. From what the text describes, Celestia had around eight or nine previous husbands, and she's at least 500 years old at this point, so we can assume that most of these dudes have been in the ground awhile. There wouldn't be much left of them except bones and maybe some highly desiccated tissue remnants. I can't say I have a ton of experience opening centuries-old caskets, but I'm guessing the smell is more musty than anything else.

Anyway, enough about the aroma of mummified corpses. The guards above are still searching the ruins. They come across the stalactite (or whatever) that Gareth had put his helmet on, and we finally learn the purpose of that move: apparently, the guards mistook it for Gareth in the dark and attacked it. This was probably a shrewd enough move, although I doubt the ruse would be convincing enough to buy him more than a couple of seconds at the most. He left the magic sword next to the stalactite to make the illusion more believable, and I feel like keeping the sword and using it to fight off the guards might have been a better use of it. But who am I to judge?

The ruse seems to work implausibly well. A number of guards seem drawn to it, and to stand there facing off with it instead of just immediately realizing it was just a stalactite with a helmet on, the way literally anyone would probably do irl. But I'll put a pin in that for a second. What happens next, meanwhile, is a little difficult to follow.

Through a convoluted reasoning process that I don't entirely grok, Gareth concludes that his best move is to locate the tomb of one of Celestia's former paramours, in this case some sort of dog-man, and...climb inside it. Meanwhile, one of the unicorn guards blasts the stalactite with magic and destroys it. Gareth feels a moment of rage when he realizes that the head guard he used as bait was a gift from Celestia, and the guards just destroyed it. He probably shouldn't have tossed it so casually away if it was that important to him, but whatever; I'll put a pin in that for now.

He uses the distraction to hunt for the dog-man's tomb, although I still don't understand why he needs to find this particular tomb. He wastes most of the time his bizarre little distraction bought him trying to figure out the order that Celestia had used to arrange her dead husbands.

Unfortunately, it seems we will never figure out what the hell he was planning exactly, because at that moment one of the guards spots him. He has no choice but to attack. He hits the guard upside the head with his club and knocks him unconscious. However, another bunch of guards see him doing this, and at this point his cover is blown. He turns and runs through a stained glass window, into the tomb of a Griffin wearing a jester's hat.

I notice that Celestia's former beaus are now being described as being of different races: there is the dog man mentioned earlier, and this jester is described as a griffin. The text didn't mention this before, so I was under the impression that all of Celestia's exes were humans (the suggestion was made that she had been using the mirror for centuries, after all). If they were different races, particularly different races from Equestria, this makes it a little different. This seems like the kind of thing the text ought to have clarified a bit earlier. When you're writing, you have to remember that the reader can't see inside your head; we have only what you describe to us.
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The other thing I'll note here is that the nature of the tombs is becoming a little more clear. I was picturing "tombs" like sarcophagi; oblong boxes with skeletal remains inside and nothing else, and it was curious to say the least that Gareth would want to climb into one. What the author is describing now is more like the tombs of the pharaohs: little rooms filled with decorations reminiscent of the deceased person's life, that serve as chambers in which to hold the sarcophagus, which itself holds the skeleton. We still don't know why Gareth wants to find the dog guy's tomb specifically (or why he wants to find any tomb instead of simply getting the fuck out of there like a sane person would do), but at least we know now that he isn't planning to crawl inside the coffin and start making out with the skeleton or something weird like that not that I was hoping to see Gareth deep tongue kiss the mummified corpse of his wife's dead dog husband or anything, no sir that would just be weird so I totally wasn't thinking about that at all, why would you even bring it up you sick fuck. However, again, this is something the author should probably have made a bit clearer. Remember, soulpillar, we can't see inside your head; you have to describe the scene to us the way you want us to see it.

A lot of stuff happens here. It's unfortunately rather vaguely described, so I found it very difficult to follow what was going on. Gareth fights a couple of guards at one point, then he somehow jumps and ends up in one of the tombs, presumably the one he wanted to find for whatever reason. I suspect soulpillar had a very specific visual in mind for how the wreckage of the church had positioned itself, but again it was described rather poorly and I can't tell what he's talking about for the most part. Once again, I will remind anyone who writes that we can't see inside your head, so if you have something very specific in mind you need to make sure we can see it as clearly as you can.

Anyway, next there's an explosion, presumably from one of the unicorns who are firing their unicorn lasers at him, and then he loses consciousness. When he wakes up, he is lying on the floor of the tomb I guess. He is described as still wearing his helmet, even though he took it off and put it on the stalactite earlier. The helmet is bent, so whatever was fired at him was powerful enough to damage metal. It's clear that the unicorns are no longer screwing around, and they intend to actually kill him.

>The glass window stood before him, depicting Cecilia next to a well-dressed unicorn. They looked happy.
As has been the case for most of this scene, Gareth's physical position in space here is a complete mystery. However, this image seems significant so I thought I would point it out.

>No time to think. Gareth lurched through.
>When he exited the portal the world turned diagonal.

>Breath forced from Gareth’s lungs as he flopped to one knee. He immediately struggled back up.
"Breath forced" is awkward phrasing, I'd probably say "He exhaled forcefully" or something like that. Also I don't think "flopped" is quite the right verb to use here, though I notice the author is fond of it for some bizarre reason.

>The same Traitor-guards from before were standing on either side of the Jester’s window. Each glanced at it, watching as the magic slowly lost its lustre.
Also, I have literally no fucking idea what is going on at this point. As far as I can tell, Gareth has stepped into some kind of Twilight Zone dimension where the rules of physics no longer apply.

>The ringing in Gareth’s ears started to subside, replaced by a clarity.
"Clarity" is technically a noun, but it's not really something that can be quantified like an object. Here, it's described as if it were a single unit of clarity, distinct from other clarities. This obviously doesn't make a ton of sense. In any case, it's the wrong word to use here; as with many passages in this book, the author's meaning is clear, but it reads awkwardly.

>They were… they were destroying everything. No, they WOULD destroy everything. As cowardly as it was, running was probably the best way to get them to stop.
>One of the Traitor-guards finally noticed him. He spluttered at Gareth to halt.
So, apparently they weren't even attacking Gareth, they were just...destroying shit for no reason I guess. Once more: I have literally no fucking idea what is going on at this point. Seriously, read this scene for yourself and try to make sense of it.

Anyway, he hits one of the guards with his club I guess, and then he runs into another tomb somehow, and this one is a dead end for some reason. Some guards corner him. They come at him, he hits them, then he knocks the wall down and debates whether or not it's worth it to jump. Apparently, wherever the fuck he is, it's high up. In the process of smashing the wall, he seems to have broken his club, and now he has no weapon. He probably feels like a retard leaving that sword behind.

Once more I can't make hide nor hair out of this murky description of the funhouse mirror maze he's wandering in, but apparently he decides to jump somewhere, and ends up someplace.

>Weightlessness tugged down at Gareth’s legs while fire burned up his arms and back. Coughing and wheezing, he dragged himself up over the side, crawling in as far as he could.
Sure, why not. I guess he's relatively safe now, wherever he is.

As it turns out, he somehow made it into the dog-man's tomb, which is where he was trying to go to begin with. So, good for him. Also:

>Unlike the others, the dog-man and Cecilia weren't facing each other, they faced off against an army of black shapes and figures. The dog-man's coat was… golden, holding a quarterstaff in his hands. Meanwhile, Cecilia looked far different. Her mane was a solid pink with no wings on her back. Regardless, both of them looked ready to fight to the death.
This also seems significant, so once again I'm pointing it out.
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Anyway, he is almost out of...the place he's in, I guess. But, apparently there are still a bunch of unicorns blowing shit up out there, so he can't leave yet, because he doesn't have a weapon. Again, I'll bet he feels like a retard for not taking that magic sword that came from God knows where. So, he grabs the metal rod from a tapestry that is hanging nearby.

With a curtain rod in hand, he now feels sufficiently armed to make a stand against a bunch of military-grade unicorns, who can fire long-range blasts of energy apparently powerful enough to ruin his helmet that he took off earlier but is still wearing for some reason. However, as it turns out, he doesn't have to fight them at all, because for some unexplained reason he is able to just walk right past them without being noticed. Also, he is apparently in the entrance hall of the church, which contrary to what was described earlier was not actually lifted off its foundation and dumped into the chasm, but is still standing more or less intact. Or partially intact. Or something.

He leaves the church holding his curtain rod, and is heading towards the mirror portal, when he notices that some ponies are bound and gagged in the old campsite he noticed on his way in.

>They laid unconscious on the dusty floor, beaten, bloodied and bruised.
They lay unconscious on the dusty floor.

He is just about to run for the portal, when finally one of the guards notices him. He whangs him upside the head with his curtain rod and successfully knocks him unconscious, but destroys the rod in the process and has to toss it aside. Also, in the time it took him to do that the mirror portal closed and now he is trapped in this bizarrely described cavern that may or may not contain a partially intact church, in which the laws of Euclidean geometry apparently do not apply.

This last part I can't make sense out of at all, so I'm just going to drop it in verbatim in case anyone wants to try to solve the riddle:

>Gareth glanced back. The Uni-guard wasn't aiming at him.

>Yells echoed from the church behind him. The Uni-guards inside began to bang on the closed door.

>Gareth sunk to his knees, staring at the ground in a daze. No. No no no, this couldn't be it!

>The banging got louder. Flapping wings rose up from the chasm.

>NO! He thrust his hands in the base of the Mirror portal, brushing away dust, trying to find something. A rune, a-a message, Equestrian words, something, ANYTHING!

>The dust revealed only a solid metal frame.

>Gareth went numb. This couldn’t be it.

>A high-pitched whine echoed over the walls.

>This couldn’t be how it ends...

It's clear enough that Gareth is trapped in the cavern with all of the guards, because the magic mirror closed and it was the only way out. However, the rest of it doesn't make a ton of sense. It sounds like there is something coming up out of the cavern that is apparently scary enough that the guards are paying attention to it instead of him. However, I couldn't even begin to fathom what that thing might be, or even if it exists, because Jesus H. Christ was the action in this scene poorly described.

Anyway, that's the end of the chapter.

Also, it's clear that I wasn't the only one having trouble following what was going on. This was at the top of the comments page:

>Maybe it's just late, but I found it very difficult to picture what was happening after Gareth found the church. The way there is a portal to a church which is a mausoleum with stained glass portals to crypts that are in the crystal caverns makes very little sense. Add in the visions he was seeing and the destruction of the church and the last couple chapters have been very confusing.

Apparently those stained glass windows were portals into the tombs, rather than physical entrances to them. This information might have been helpful, but the author did not make it clear at all. However, if Gareth was teleporting to some random location in the cave every time he passed through one of those windows it might explain the wacky geometry of the place a little better. Still confusing as all hell, though.
>he seems to be of a lesser branch of the family that never gets invited to the main house
why do fanfic authors have such a boner for the idea of the family having "minor branches" nobody invites to the good parties?
Is it because Naruto did it with Hinata's shitty Hyuga family?
Well fuck that!
Do you really see fucking Applejack "Applejack Applejack" Applejack or Granny Smith or whoever else handles this shit arbitrarily excluding an entire chunk of family for being too genetically distant from the main house?
That's just retarded.
Unless they're a bunch of criminals nobody wants around or they willingly split themselves off, I don't see a pony doing this.
My Apple family OC chose not to visit apple reunions because he was so embarassed by his humble origins he pulled the name "Silver Star" out of nowhere when he's named Star Apple, and he didn't get over that until the story's later parts.
Approach him in private and offer your services, tell him you liked the PMV.
Say it in private message. Don't post it openly in the comments, that could be read as an insult.
>old coffin corpses
this would kill people. The bacteria would kill people Egyptian Mummy style and a bullshit "curse" would be blamed.
>reasoning that I don't grok
I don't understand that reference
oh hey i guess soulpeener saw one youtube video about a medieval-era letter asking if dog-headed men have souls.
weird that Celly wouldn't bury these humans in their own country but I guess keeping them safe in a shrine to your serial mortal-fucking habit and addiction to fucking people 600 years younger than you keeps bones safe from gravediggers, even if it means the families and friends left behind on earth had nothing to bury.
I have no idea why he is trying to figure out the order corpses were buried in. Did he plan on finding the freshest corpse and throwing it at a trigger-happy unicorn, hoping he'd blow the corpse up and yell "Oh fuck we killed Gareth. let's go home guys"
author sucks gay infected cunt at trying to explain his thought process to the audience and figuring out when more explanation than none is needed.
>no wait she fucked griffons too and that was probably a diamond dog
oh great, this Celly's a dirty monster-fucker? A disgusting fucking race-mixer?
Why would this not be international front-page news?
>unicorns are shooting to kill
ironically, right after the hero tosses his sword away and decides it's "nonlethal" club time.
>helmet error
imagine putting an animation error in your book
this meme made by WHAT IS THIS, RWBY? gang
>celly's pre-alicornification lover was a fucking diamond dog
that's so gay. Who would want an ugly brutish dog when adorable nice ponies are on the menu?
I wish the series introduced a "good diamond dogs" race that actually look cute and behave well.
yeah this author really can't write action scenes well at all. I wish he'd hire me to do that for him. Then again I'm busy with my amazing indie game, which everyone here should play when it's done.
btw this isn't a story but https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJgstZQAzcw can you review it anyway?
>The guy also seems to really be proud of the story and character so worried if I try to offer help translating it to English a bit better he may be hurt that the story isn't received well. Know it's dumb to worry about an internet stranger and how they feel about their pony story but his PMV gave me the sniffles so want to try and do a good turn for him and he'll his story shine more.
In my experience nobody benefits from being told that their work is good when it isn't. I usually take the person's skill level into account when I make criticisms, and you can certainly do your best to spare their feelings, but if a work is objectively bad you're not doing the author any favors by pulling punches.

You may have noticed I have a somewhat abrasive style of critiquing. Part of that is just my personality, but the other part is that I try to tailor my level of meanness to whatever I think the author can handle and/or deserves, I don't just shit on every mistake just because it's a mistake. This story, for instance, was written by someone who clearly has some raw talent and a basic familiarity with how stories work, but at the same time it's rather poorly executed, and there are a lot of very basic mechanical errors that no one who can write at this level has any excuse for. I think I've given it a pretty even-handed treatment so far.

The same goes for everything else I've reviewed. Past Sins and Friendship is Optimal are both very well known and popular works; Peen Stroke's abomination was even commercially published. Thus, I held them to much a higher standard than I would hold, say, something written by an eleven year old girl inb4 soulpillar turns out to be an eleven year old girl and I feel bad for shitting on our current story so hard. The fact that both works turned out to be not just mediocre but atrocious, combined with the fact that both authors seem to have their own little personal circlejerks of fans who lavish undeserved praise upon them, meant that absolutely no quarter could be given. However, if I were reviewing something written by a first-time author nobody had ever heard of, that clearly had a lot of heart put into it, I would probably be much nicer to the author, even if their work was objectively worse than Past Sins. I would still tell them the truth, but I would phrase it more tactfully and try to be a bit more helpful instead of just shitting all over it and making gay jokes.

Nigel's fic, which is how I got started doing this review series in the first place, was kind of an in-between. He was being enough of an ass at the time, and his opinion of his own literary talent was so obviously out of proportion to reality, that I had no particular qualms about telling him the complete, ugly truth, with absolutely nothing held back. However, by the end of it, I felt that there was something genuine at the core of that fic, and it could probably be heavily reworked into something decent. Plus, he seemed to be genuinely interested in getting advice and improving, which I respect, so I feel like in the end I gave him some pretty good notes. My editor's fee was simply that I got to make endless gay jokes about his OC, and get to continue doing so until I see a passable draft of Silver "keep fisting me until your hand comes out of my mouth and I can check the time on your wristwatch" Star and the Big Mountain Fudgecake of Pure, Undiluted Autism.
>>reasoning that I don't grok
>I don't understand that reference
"Grok" is a term coined by Robert Heinlein in Stranger in a Strange Land, which I highly recommend reading. One of the greatest science fiction novels ever written.

I'm inclined to agree with you here. Giving her a human fetish, as well as a list of previous human husbands going back centuries, made sense for the story and was kind of an interesting idea, but having her marry whoever or whatever just makes her look like a degenerate who will fuck anything. It also seems odd, since the implication seemed to be that she has been using the mirror to go back and forth between England and Equestria for centuries, and that Gareth isn't her first human lover. Again, that made sense for the story, but this seems like the author is just making her into a slut for no good reason.

>Then again I'm busy with my amazing indie game, which everyone here should play when it's done.
I think you posted some animations or something from your game on the board at one point, I remember it actually looking rather promising. I'd probably play it.
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Sometimes I wish I was an egomaniac, because it'd mean I wouldn't have the self-confidence and procrastination issues I have.
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>I wish I was an egomaniac
>I'm totally not one
I'd love to see you argue that point
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Agree on it being quite odd for Celestia to wed a bunch of different creatures throughout the centuries. Feel like with how tenuous her grasp on leadership is when the story starts these events would be well known and quite scandalous. Would look quite bad when your god diety/monarch is sleeping around with all manner of creatures and rarely other ponies and after their deaths have no public displays of memoriam on behalf of them.

Plus hurts that neat angle discussed here about Celestia's trips to Earth being this escapist fantasy for her and eloping with these human men who have no idea who or what she actually is. One point of contention I've had to add onto that idea was how I wish Celestia would exhibit some mannerisms taken from her time spent as a human or think about ideas humans have and think of she should apply them to Equestrian life.

Don't wish to riff on Penstrokes too hard but man it feels like the story is unraveling at the moment with events seeming to go from a 2 to an 11 really quick. Admitidtly haven't read any passages from the story directly besides the 1 you directed us to with Celestia revisiting the old castle so don't have full context but quite worried like you stated this update that the rat will have more screentime then certain main characters or at the least have more relevance during the climax. I was mearly jesting when I said Gareth should go on a little adventure with the rat but seems like a.monkeys paw where the adventure is the pivotal start of the climax and the rat teaching him to accept others rather then his wife.

Again apologies for being mean towards Pen if he does read any of this, I know I like people to be brash and direct when correcting me but man can I not reciprocate it at all.
1. obsessive preocupation with the self? nah i'm obsessively preoccupied with retarded pipe-dream projects too big for me to ever feasibly finish. i miss meals by being too busy with programming and art.
2. nah my mental disorder is being white and smart in a country where both of these things are borderline illegal and socially frowned upon. I'm no genius though, I know because I'm friends with real ones. As a teen I went through a phase where I thought I was one, but I'm over that.
3. nope lol i have crippling depression and seasonal depression. I've met a few dumb women who try to yell "I am a queen, I'm the prettiest girl in da whole wide world!" at themselves to "chase away their depression" because trying (and failing) to convince themselves there's something good about them is easier than trying to grow and learn or do anything that fights depression, but it doesn't work for them. I'm not like that.

I don't think I am an egomaniac, because I've met and hated people who were that. I'm not afraid to piss people off, and I don't care about my image or how others view me. A running gag in these forums is for OP to call my OC a faggot who sucks lots of dick and fucks lots of gay sailors, and I like it because it's funny. I'm willing to put my work out there and when people call it shit, I see that as an opportunity to learn. I know people whose expertise in certain fields I respect more than my own. I know people who I respect more than myself. An egomaniac would probably write a whole speech here on all the shit I've seen and survived and all the skills he taught himself as a kid while growing up in a house ran by two lying bastards determined to sabotage him for social and financial gain, and then argue that this means he's "allowed" to take pride in himself, certainly more than some nameless faceless fairy-fearing Star Wars fanboy who thinks magic's real and wants me to drink his kool-aid. But there's no point in that kind of talk here, because I respect religious beliefs that differ from my own.

Plus, we already know the difference between healthy pride and the sin of pride. We're on this forum because we recognize pride in traits the jews call "disgustingly white" is a good thing. The Jew wants us ashamed of our skin and our accomplishments so we'll apologize to egomaniac blacks who could never achieve what we have achieved. The flag that represents our struggles against old and dead ideas like jewed monarchies is on the moon! White pride!

Intent's hard to write in internet forums when you aren't putting speech in "these" things while writing how the line's said after the fact or peppering your speech with emoticons. Would you prefer that I dishonestly "humble-brag" at you about how I'm "totally not" really really good at this thing and that thing?

"Egomania" is a character flaw I like giving to characters I write when I'm too lazy to think of flaws that suit their backstory better like an inability to trust others or a fear of heights. It's easy, you just write a character saying "haha i am the best" and if he gets hurt or fails after that it's comedy gold. Laughtrack plays, whole crowd laughs.

And if a character says "haha i am the best" and some other character thinks "holy shit this fucker's annoying" it reminds the audience that he is not universally beloved like a boringly perfect self-insert character would be.

Back when I was a shit writer I relied on cheap writing tricks like that so much I sometimes forgot to execute them right.
Yes, you totally display a lack of self importance, writing a wall of text in response to the suggestion that there is any self importance
>white and smart
Let's leave the latter to the judges, yes?
Dude, surely you must realize by now that the "Ah am qweeen!" Mentality is just to dismiss by? Like, ur bathshit until proven otherwise (spoiler, you're already batshit) and you're already proven otherwise. Why are you adopting an aggressive, knowledgable stance?
ah feck, i got baited into replying to someone whose mind can't be changed on who and what i am
it's like being rickrolled but instead of being surprised by a song, you're disappointed by someone's anger.
>Plus hurts that neat angle discussed here about Celestia's trips to Earth being this escapist fantasy for her and eloping with these human men who have no idea who or what she actually is.
Lore about the multi-haired woman who takes men to a magical kingdom. Should pop up more often throughout history.
Is this Celetia's kink 'being told to go make a sammich woman'?

Not mutually exclusive.
Doesn't look like the signs of an egomaniac to me. I am however a practicing occultist which means I do purposefully practice egoism. I should know this with unendingly god like powers. Slightly different, but whatever I am the best source I know of. Damn it feels good to be me, and it's all true. That's an example more in line with egomania.
Even if it's true to an extent.

Yes, it's obvious by this point that my mind is unchanging and rigid, while you are the very depiction of fluidity ironicaly and reasonability.
Look again, and pay attention. Egotists dont overtly advertise, but they DO advertise
Admire this image for me
Once while discussing Monster Musume (during my coomer phase, I'm nofap for life now) online I saw this absurd story by a faggot.
>"so I was babysitting some kids and watching this show when one of the kids I was babysitting walked into my room and saw a clip of the show! The clip where Papi eats ice cream sexually. I closed the tab quickly and told him to go away. Later, he returned and asked if he could see the pretty bird lady again. Oh my god! What a wacky story! I said no and showed him Spongebob instead."
The replies to this post were the usual "haha wow" "that story's so wacky" "man you're lucky you didn't get in trouble"
and I just found myself thinking
who the fuck watches a Japanese erotic romantic comedy like that in someone else's house, when they know there are kids around?
that story's obviously bullshit. at least I fucking hope it is.
>actual photo of Nigel awarding himself for not being an egotist
Lol nice.
Scroll up and look at all the jokes made at my expense, because I like them and you should enjoy them too. Learn to laugh at yourself and your past mistakes as you grow.
Take this wisdom from Silver "Have I mentioned I am not heterosexual today?" Star.
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Like it or not Nigel, you'll never be one of the kool kids.
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Who cares? I'm also a fucking failure. So I guess he can fit in with me.
Nah, you're alright Sven.
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>we're not all a bunch of misfits
download (3).jfif
download (2).jfif
download (1).jfif
Aw, man! I always wanted to be part of the Kool Kids Klub.
do you see what i did there
We're all mad here.
but all memes aside it's alright. Don't beat yourself up or you're doing the Jew's job for him.
>we're not all a bunch of misfits
>We're all mad here.
Its like we're savant. Because anyone who visit this place regularly knows more about the truth of the world than the regular normalfag but at the same time let's not deny that we can be extremly autistic.
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Chapter 16: The Sun and The Rose

>Explosions crashed and stone shattered from behind. The church's walls began to crumble beneath the sustained assault of magical energy. Uni-guards shouted orders, preparing for yet another barrage.
I'm still wondering just what the hell is even going on here. The end of the previous chapter made it sound like the unspeakable horror from beyond was rising up out of the chasm, and all the guards were focused on fighting it. Now it looks like there is no unspeakable horror, and also they're destroying the church for some unexplained reason. Moreover, the text made a specific point of mentioning that the guards ran right past Gareth without noticing him, and I'm curious why that would be, since it sounded like they were all focused on finding and killing him for most of the last chapter. It's possible the author is just trying to build up suspense here, but there's a difference between keeping a mystery going and being just plain confusing.

>Gareth felt every blast, every shockwave. He glanced over to the fallen form of the Uni-guard that had sealed him out. If he had just taken the sword then he could have cleaved the Uni-guard without a second thought. No, instead he had to fumble with an improvised mercy weapon, now snapped in half, that couldn't defend him from the tide awaiting to come.
Told ya. Also, "the tide awaiting to come" doesn't make sense. Just say "the coming tide" or something to that effect.

Anyway, the unicorns keep destroying the wreckage of the church because reasons I guess. However, it becomes apparent that this is a more difficult task than one would believe. Gareth begins to notice that despite the amount of force that has been thrown at it, the church building is still mostly intact, and even appears to be slowly repairing itself through some kind of magic.

Since it will probably take them quite a while to destroy the church at this rate, and since they don't even seem that interested in killing him in the first place, Gareth decides to look for a way out of the cave. He notices that apparently there are paths all over the place. Incidentally, the text mentioned from the very beginning that there was a path leading up out of the chasm that he initially found himself in.

>Noise aside, his armour made him hard to spot by ponies. There's a good chance that they wouldn't see him at all!
What? Is that supposed to be why they couldn't see him earlier? Why would his bright, shiny metal armor, that catches every glint of the light that the unicorns are throwing all around this cavern filled with reflective crystals, make him difficult for ponies to see? Is it camouflaged or something? I'm not following this.

Anyway, Gareth now returns his attention to the unicorns that are tied up in the camp. He is able to catch a glimpse of the cutie mark of one of them, and after a moment of thought is able to identify the unicorn as Flash Bang, one of the ponies who attacked him on the night of the guard uprising.

I'm assuming the author is going somewhere with it, but it's a little hard to understand why Flash Bang would be tied up here. The guards destroying the castle all work for Chucky Larms, and Flash Bang was one of the guards participating in the uprising instigated by Chucky Larms, so logically they should all be on the same side. Again, I'm assuming the author knows this and is going somewhere with it...at least, that's what I hope.

Anyway, he notices that Flash Bang has a magic-suppressor ring on his horn. Through pantomime, Bang indicates that he can use his magic to open the mirror portal; however, Gareth is understandably cautious about releasing him. He begins to ponder the very question that I just posed: why did these guards beat and tie up their own comrades?

He begins to feel a rumbling; something big is clearly about to happen, and there is little time for deep contemplation. He uses his dagger to cut Flash Bang loose, and then removes the ring from his horn. It's curious that Gareth still has his dagger; if he had this weapon all along, why did he bother grabbing a curtain rod earlier? He draws his dagger at every possible opportunity, but in the first situation where it might actually be useful he forgets about it?

Anyway, Flash Bang magics the portal back open and runs through it. Gareth is about to do the same, but he turns and looks over his shoulder first. Apparently, the guards have finished doing whatever the hell they were doing to the church, because they seem to notice him now. They begin advancing on him. The sense of space here is a little odd; he has to dodge guards on his way to the mirror, even though my understanding is most of them are coming from the direction of the church, which should be in the opposite direction of the mirror relative to Gareth's position. But whatever; put a pin in it. He runs, dodges, and escapes through the mirror.

He finds himself in Celestia's bedroom instead of Larms' house, so obviously the mirror portal is able to use different mirrors as exit points. He isn't quite sure yet what to make of Flash Bang, but he realizes that he has bigger fish to fry at the moment. He rips the mirror off of the wall and smashes it before any of the guards can get through.

With this out of the way, he lies down on the bed and gives himself a moment to relax. Flash Bang looks like he is about to attack, but doesn't. Gareth considers attacking him, but doesn't. Instead, he asks where Celestia and Larms are. Flash Bang informs him that they are in the throne room. It's not clear how he would know that, but I suppose it's something that nearly anyone could logically deduce, which actually makes Gareth's question rather stupid to begin with. And speaking of stupid questions:

>Gareth filled the quiver, grabbing the bows and checking over their strings. "Where is the Throne room?"
You've lived here for weeks, dingus. You've physically been to the Throne Room.

Anyway, Gareth and Flash Bang chat for awhile. Gareth makes his bow-staves into a sling for some reason. The text doesn't clarify what kind of sling or how he uses bow staves to make it. My first thought is that he made a splint or something similar, but I don't recall him being injured enough to require one. If "sling" means weapon, like a slingshot, I don't know why it wouldn't make more sense to just keep the bow as a bow and use it that way. But whatever.

Suddenly, there is a big flash of rainbow-colored magic, and Gareth deduces that some shit is probably going down, and Celestia is probably involved. He goes over to the balcony and watches the explosion.

>The rainbow lights in the form of arched windows beamed out from the castle's direction.
Incredibly awkward phrasing here.

>Magical energy raged, centred on a single the point.
You don't need "the" here, just say "centered on a single point."

>Although difficult to tell from the sheer blinding spectacle, from the size of the room, it had to be the Throne room.
Both "throne" and "room" should be capitalized: "Throne Room." Also, how can Gareth tell the size of the room from outside? Also, why does Gareth suddenly not know where the throne room is?

>She's there. Gareth looked up to the conical roof of the tower. Judging from the distance and the angle, he'd need to climb to get a clear shot through one of those windows.
This is a stupid plan. Climbing up the side of a castle tower is a dumb idea to begin with, and there's no guarantee he'd have a clear shot at anything useful once he gets up there. The most logical thing would be to approach the throne room normally through the door, even though it would require a direct assault probably through a number of guards. This is one of those situations where a magic sword might come in handy, you big dummy.

Anyway, he decides to climb the wall like a retard. As before, the description of space is poor and it is impossible to get a proper visual reference from the text. Best I can surmise, what is happening is Gareth is in one tower, where Celestia's bedroom is, and the throne room is a couple of floors higher in a different tower. Gareth climbs up the wall of the tower he's in, and reaches either a roof or a battlement that gives him a clear view through the window into the Throne Room in the opposite tower. He can see Celestia and Larms facing off through the window.

He nocks an arrow to his bow. He remembers that conveniently enough, these arrows explode for some reason (these are the arrows he got from Noble's room if I'm not mistaken). However, he apparently only has two. He can't decide on who to shoot. Larms would be the logical choice in my opinion, but who knows what he's thinking. He decides to just stand there and watch "while the rainbow lights began to melt the very grounds upon which Cecilia stood."

Page break. We switch back to Celestia's perspective. She still has her shield up, and is apparently focused on holding back whatever magic the assembled unicorns are throwing at her.

>Celestia head throbbed in agony, just barely catching herself from dropping the shield altogether.
Celestia's head throbbed in agony.

>Burning pins of fatigue stabbed into her muscles and horn. Gasping for air, struggling just to keep her legs underneath her body.
The sudden switch from past tense to present tense verbs in these two sentences is jarring; I'd change this.

Anyway, the scene here is a bit lacking in climactic punch, partly because it's not so much a battle as it is a bunch of unicorns ganging up on Celestia, trying to force their way through her magic shield. I don't quite understand what they're trying to accomplish; the text seems to be implying that Larms has ordered them to kill her even though she offered to abdicate voluntarily. In any event, one of the unicorns decides he's had enough and refuses to continue trying to break the shield. This unicorn is identified as Radiant Star, Noble Era's great uncle.

One thing I've noticed about this story is that several of the characters are heavily implied to be ancestors of the mane 6: Butter Pie is Pinkie's ancestor, Purple Dart (may) be Rainbow Dash's ancestor, Styre is at least a member of the Apple Family, if not AJ's direct ancestor. In bringing up Radiant Star, the text mentions "House Star," which seems to imply that Noble (or Noble's family at least) is Twilight's ancestor.

Setting aside the rather corny, Game-of-Thrones-esque naming convention of "House Star" (nowhere in the pony canon is there any reference to Equestrian noble families being named this way) I'll say that I like the way the author handles this. He makes these references subtly; he doesn't come right out and say that such and such character is the ancestor of such and such character; he doesn't even make it particularly obvious. The characters in this story are dealt with entirely as characters in this story. Subtle clues are dropped, but the author leaves it to the reader to make his own inferences. If you want references like this in your own stories, this is the proper way to do it.

Anyway, Larms rebukes Radiant for his cowardice in refusing to keep firing lasers at the Princess of Equestria for reasons which are vague at best. He makes the rather dubious claim that the lives of Equestria's children are at stake, while also referencing the as-yet mysterious fate of his own family. While Chucky's political arguments for doing whatever he's doing are spotty at best, it's clear that his motives are mostly personal, and are one of the few interesting mysteries remaining.

Celestia realizes that the momentary break in their attack has allowed her to muster enough power that she could teleport away, though this would be tantamount to abandoning her duty. She faces a similar choice to what Styre faced earlier, though it's worth noting that here the choice is between her duty and her personal safety, so the choice is less morally ambiguous.

However, she is spared having to make such a choice for the moment, for suddenly both she and Chucky take note of a presence on one of the exterior towers. At first Celestia believes that Luna has returned to help her, but it turns out, of course, to be Gareth.

He fires a magic arrow through the window and hits Chucky. Why he would have hesitated at all to do this is a mystery, but he made the right choice in the end so who cares. Chucky drops his magic potion before he can compel Celestia to drink it. His plans appear momentarily foiled.

>The figure tossed a long wooden object aside, pulling another from his back. Gripping the top, he pushed down and touched the bottom. Stringing a bow. A bow.
This seems like an odd action. From what I can tell, he brought both bows with him: the longbow he made himself as well as the shorter one he took from Noble's room. Just now, he fired one of them. Then, for reasons unknown, he tossed the first bow aside and is now stringing the second one, instead of just using the same bow to fire his other arrow at Chucky and finishing the job. Also, there's the matter of the "sling" he created earlier; I still don't know what the author meant by that exactly. Also:
>Stringing a bow. A bow.
This repetition implies incredulity on Celestia's part. While it's plausible that she would be surprised to see him (earlier it was established that she believed he was dead), the fact that he is stringing a bow shouldn't surprise her in the least. Stringing bows and pulling his dagger out randomly are basically the only things this guy does.*

*unless he's in a situation where a dagger might actually be useful; in that case, he will leave his dagger in its sheath and just fight with random objects he finds lying on the ground.**

**unless said random object is useful as a weapon, ie a sword; in that case he will leave it behind and see if he can find a curtain rod or a chunk of rock.

Anyway, Chucky gives the order and a bunch of Pegasus guards go flying out the window after Gareth. Gareth seems to still be having moral qualms about killing them, which I assume is Celestia's influence. However, he decides that he has little choice except to fight back here, so he shoots an arrow at one of them (this is one of the practice arrows he made himself; he appears to be saving the remaining explosive one).

One might think that Celestia would take the opportunity this distraction gives her to do something useful, like incapacitating Chucky with a magic blast (which she could have just done in the first place and saved herself quite a bit of grief), but instead she elects to just stand there and watch him fend off dozens of guards by himself, using nothing but a bow and some (poorly fletched, iirc) arrows.

Gareth keeps doing his Latin verse recitation thing while he fires more arrows. Meanwhile, the guards dive-bomb the tower, attempting to destroy the roof and cause him to fall. They eventually succeed in knocking enough support out that the roof collapses, and he falls down into Celestia's room again.

>The remains of the roof lay scattered through the room, polluting the white, gold and ivory furnishings. The room was still recognisable; most of the tower must have fallen over the side. Flaps of wings circled above. The Pega-guard were still looking.
As ever, the description here does little to help us understand what's going on. This passage seems to simultaneously imply that the room is still more or less intact, but also that most of the tower has fallen away. This sentence in particular is strange:
>The room was still recognisable; most of the tower must have fallen over the side.
A semicolon connecting these two statements implies that the second one logically follows the first one, but I don't see how that is the case here. The room is recognizable since most of the tower has fallen over the side? That doesn't make any sense. In fact, it doesn't even make sense that those two things could be simultaneously true; the room is part of the tower, so if the tower fell the room would fall with it.

Also, I'd just like to note that Equestrian architecture must be pretty shoddily constructed if an entire castle tower can be destroyed just from a few Pegasi dive bombing it. Either that or Pegasi have incredibly thick skulls.

One more thing:
>The Pega-guard were still looking.
Looking for what? They saw him fall through the roof, and even if they hadn't it wouldn't take a rocket scientist to figure out where he probably is.

Anyway, Gareth is able to recover quickly enough to shoot down a few more of the Pegasi.

>They buzzed about in a blind panic, yelling, searching.
These guards must be incredibly stupid even by the standards of guards in cornball adventure stories.
>Hey, where did that guy we just knocked through the roof go?
>Do you think he could be in the room that was underneath the roof?
>Oh no, something is shooting arrows at us! Where could they be coming from?!?
Maybe they hit their heads a little too hard knocking the tower over.

Anyway, they eventually figure it out, and a guard dive bombs him again. He shoots it in the wing, but this isn't enough to slow its momentum or divert its course, and it crashes into him.

>Air drove itself from Gareth's lungs.
Air doesn't drive itself from anything, that's not how air works. The guard's body hit Gareth's with enough force to knock the wind out of his lungs; this should be reworded to reflect that.

Gareth grapples with the guard for a bit, punches him unconscious, and gets up again. Unfortunately, the impact broke his bow in half. Too bad he threw the other one he had away for some unexplained reason; an extra bow would come in handy right about now. Fortunately for him, though, it turns out he also has a boar spear that was not mentioned in the story prior to this chapter. It's also his father's, which seems like the kind of thing that also should have been mentioned at least once before, if it was important.
>Don't wish to riff on Penstrokes too hard but man it feels like the story is unraveling at the moment with events seeming to go from a 2 to an 11 really quick. Admitidtly haven't read any passages from the story directly besides the 1 you directed us to with Celestia revisiting the old castle so don't have full context but quite worried like you stated this update that the rat will have more screentime then certain main characters or at the least have more relevance during the climax
Thank you for your comments, I'm glad you're enjoying my reviews. I have couple of asides here, though. First, Pen Stroke aka Peen Stroke was the author of Past Sins, which was reviewed in a previous thread (https://mlpol.net/mlpol/archive/248482); soulpillar is the author of the work we are currently reviewing. I feel it's worth clarifying this since I reference Mr. Peen a lot (I really, really didn't care for his work, to put it lightly), and it would be doing our current author a bit of a disservice to allow them to be confused with each other. Soulpillar has his faults, but he's nowhere near as terrible or overrated as Peen Stroke is.

Also, while you're free to read as much or as little of the text as you want, since you've indicated that you're working on a story of your own and that you are following this thread to improve your own writing, my suggestion would be that you do follow along with the text itself in addition to reading the notes I give. I try to provide a cohesive summary of the story and to quote passages that are worthy of close attention, but these notes are intended to be read alongside the text, not necessarily as a replacement for it. Critical reading is a good way to improve your own writing; by identifying mistakes made by another author, you can keep an eye out for similar mistakes in your own writing and correct them early on. The notes I give here are just my personal take on this story: I highlight the things I think are good/bad about it, and present my own analysis, but I do encourage you to read it yourself and form your own opinions.

Anyway, Gareth takes the boar spear that conveniently exists and conveniently wasn't destroyed in the collapse of the tower, and was apparently bequeathed to him by his father (about whom we still know virtually nothing). The subchapter ends with this unfortunately worded passage:

>His father's spear groaned underneath Gareth's grip.

>Just like his father.

The intended meaning is clear enough, but the wording implies that the father has "groaned" underneath Gareth's "grip" at some point in the past. Obviously I'd never do anything as low-brow as make gay jokes about an author's OC but...you know, I'm just sayin'. Someone theoretically could do that here. :^)

Anyway, after a page break, we return to Celestia. All she saw of the fight is that the roof of the tower was knocked off, and Gareth was standing on top of it. So, once again, she thinks he's dead. And, coincidentally, so do the assembled nobles, who are now beginning to suspect they might have backed the wrong horse, so to speak.

Larms, meanwhile, keeps raving like a lunatic, apparently oblivious that he's losing the room. Purple Dart notices something in the rafters. We don't see what it is, but he clearly has some sort of plan in mind. He nudges Celestia, who takes the cue and begins talking to Larms to distract him from whatever Purple Dart is gearing up to do. Then, she lowers the shield suddenly, and this happens:

>The Colonel took to wing before the shield vanished, forehooves extended. Larms's eyes widened before squinting back into a glare. They collided in a thud of flesh-on-flesh. A spiral of shed feathers followed the Colonel as he span out into a nearby column, cracking it and bringing loosened rafters down around him. With a furious roar. Larms surged forward in a blur.
I really wish I could get inside the author's head a little, at least to get a glimpse of the visuals he imagines and see how they compare to my own imaginings of what he describes. Here, it's once again very difficult to follow what is physically happening. From what I understand, Purple Dart noticed that there were some loose rafters or something above them, so he tackled Larms, pushed him into a pillar, which broke and then brought the rafters down upon the two of them. However, I had to read this passage a couple of times to extract this meaning from it; the wording is jumbled and confusing, and there are, as ever, some strange errors that make it doubly difficult to read.

>A spiral of shed feathers followed the Colonel as he span out into a nearby column
"Shed feathers" I think is technically correct, but it has an odd sound here that I'm not wild about. I can't explain why exactly, but I don't care for the wording; it's one of those "art not science" things. More importantly, though, "spun" is the past tense of "spin." "Span" is a dimensional reference: life span, leg span, the span of a chasm, and so forth.

>With a furious roar. Larms surged forward in a blur.
"With a furious roar" should not be its own sentence. The author probably meant to type a comma here, but once more, this is the sort of error that really ought to be caught during proofreading.

Also, one last thing: at the end of this passage, we have Larms roaring and surging forward; however, this happens after he crashes into a pillar and a section of roof caves in on top of him. Did that not hurt him at all? And where is Purple Dart? We lose sight of him after this.

Anyway, Larms, apparently uninjured, tries to bum-rush Celestia (probably not the smartest thing for an Earth Pony to do to an alicorn, but it's pretty clear that Chucky is mentally unbalanced at this point so it makes enough sense I suppose). In any case, Celestia fires a blast of power at him, which inexplicably does no damage to him whatsoever. He leaps through it and punches her in the gut (this is a difficult move to visualize a horse performing on another horse, btw, so more description might be warranted).

>Burning air forced itself out of Celestia's lungs. Weakness sapped at her body, sending her to her knees.
Once again, air does not force itself out of anything. If you're punched in the gut, it's called "getting the wind knocked out of you." The air is being forced out as a result of the impact; it doesn't move on its own. This is the second time I've seen soulpillar use this expression (that I've noticed), and it's an inaccurate description of what's happening. Along with his overuse of the word "flopped," it's a habit he should try to get out of.

>Larms, huffing and panting, trotted over to her and planted a forehoof on her neck. "You brought this upon yourself." He lifted a hoof, readying to crush her skull.
Again, this seems highly implausible. Unless Celestia is severely weakened from overuse of her magic (which I suppose could be the case here), or Chucky Larms is supposed to be some kind of martial arts expert, I really don't see a one-on-one physical brawl between an immortal alicorn princess and a mudpony half her physical size playing out this way.

Right on cue, a sudden blast of mysterious energy from somewhere off to the side hits Chucky before he can deliver the finishing blow.

>Air rushed back into Celestia's chest. She gasped, pushing away and lashing out with a simple blast of magical energy.
Since this is meant to be a dramatic scene, a "simple blast of magical energy" may not be the best choice of words.

>Larms lost his footing, sent careening into a wall.
This is terrible English right here. "Larms lost his footing and went careening into the wall" would probably be the most expedient correction for this.

>The rainbow energy pinned him, charring his fur for a full second before dissipating, letting him slide down and into a steaming heap. The stench of burnt hair filled the silence.
Again, this is meant to be a dramatic moment, and I'm not sure calling attention to the smell of burning hair is the best way to convey the feeling the author wants.
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With Chucky more or less incapacitated, Celestia takes this moment to point out the rather obvious fact that it didn't take much to get the nobility of Canterlot to turn against her.

Really, this scene in general made for a pretty weak climax. It was poorly set up: there was little indication in the story so far that either the nobles or the military were planning to revolt or even wanted to revolt. As I've said before, almost the entire story takes place within the walls of the castle, and we have little sense of what the general mood is outside, even though the story tries to indicate that there's some sort of social turmoil brewing. The author seems to realize this, and compensates by having Chucky apparently threaten the nobles into going along with his plan. However, since there is also little indication that he has anywhere near enough clout to pull this off, this also feels flimsy.

To compensate for this, the author then gives Chucky an inordinately large amount of military power with which to bully the hapless nobles. He not only has the portion of the guard that he had previously turned, but we learn that he also has the Pegasi on his side, previously assumed to be loyal. The author tries to position this as a clever, unexpected twist, but again it doesn't work. The biggest problem is that we don't have any more sense of what the general mood amongst the foot soldiers wing soldiers, whatever is than we do of the general mood of the nobility, or the populace at large. We have no idea what caused the guards to abandon their duty and side with some screwy leprechaun pony against their Princess; we're just informed that it happened.

The climax of a story like this should be the point where all the separate threads that have been building suddenly come crashing together. In order to pull of the kind of scene the author is going for here, he needs to do a better job of setting up the nobility's betrayal, the military's betrayal, the general public discontent with Celestia's rule, and whatever the hell Chucky is scheming exactly (which should have been better explained anyway). The biggest flaw is that while the battle scene goes more or less according to the standard script (the villain has the hero cornered, he cackles with triumph, the hero's ally suddenly appears and joins the fight, the villain is beaten back and then rallies his strength, attacks again, knocks the hero down, the hero gets up, and so forth and so on), this whole scene is just a series of events that happen without any satisfactory explanation for why any of it is happening.

Up until this point, I've praised this author's handling of backstory, and how he portions it out in manageable tidbits that inspire curiosity without ever fully satisfying it. That is still basically true; however, I feel like by now, we should have a much better idea of who Chucky Larms is than we do. There may still be some details that need clearing up, but at this point in the story we should have a clear picture of his motivations for doing all of this.

From what we've read so far, the following is clear: Chucky Larms has some sort of prior relationship with Celestia that she can't remember and he hasn't volunteered to clarify. In the past, he had a wife and two sons. Styre, still living obviously, is one of those sons; however, the other one (I forget his name, but I know it was mentioned) is deceased. Larms also has burn scars all over his body that aren't present in older images of him. From various hints in the text, including Styre's recollections, we get the impression that something happened in the past that caused the death of the other son, as well as the burn scars on Chucky's body. His wife may also have been killed, or perhaps the trauma of losing the son caused their marriage to disintegrate.

In any case, it's clear that this was a pivotal moment which caused Chucky to change from being the (relatively) happy and well-adjusted pony he was in the image that Gareth saw of him, and the bitter and cynical schemer he is at present. He seems to blame Celestia for whatever happened, while Styre blames his father. The author shows good instinct in not revealing the full mystery just yet, but where he dun goofed is that by this point in the story, we should at least know what the incident was. We should have a clear picture of what happened, who was involved, how they were involved, and what was basically being attempted. Since the author seems to be trying to make Chucky a sympathetic villain, this would establish a clear motivation for him and make him appear at least somewhat sympathetic to the reader, even though his actions here are clearly out of line. The full-disclosure of what exactly happened and who is actually to blame should be saved for the denouement portion of the story, at which point Chucky will come to terms with it (if he survives this fight) or will at least be able to rest in peace (if he dies).

>Shifting sounds came from Larms's direction. He struggled to his hooves, trying to pull something from his vest.
At any rate, it looks like Larms isn't quite dead, and he has something in his vest that he would like to show us. However, we don't get to see what it is, because at this moment Purple Dart comes barreling out of nowhere and tackles him again.

>The Colonel span Larms to the floor, savaging him with a flurry of punches before grabbing him into a backwards spinning kick.
Once again, the proper past-tense of "spin" is "spun," not "span." Also, "grabbing him into a backwards spinning kick" doesn't make sense. How do you grab someone into a kick? For that matter, how does a backwards spinning kick differ from a forwards spinning kick? About all I get from this passage visually is that Purple Dart punches Chucky a bunch of times and then kicks him. This seems like an overly complex array of words to describe what is fundamentally a simple event.

>The violent thud buried into Larms's gut, driving him through the air and out the broken window. A damp thump echoed up from the courtyard.
I feel like I'm beginning to repeat myself at this point, but this author really makes some atrocious wording choices. "The violent thud buried into Larm's gut" conveys nothing meaningful; a thud is a sound, which has no mass and thus can't bury itself into someone's gut, nor can it drive someone out of a window. Well, I suppose technically a strong enough sound wave could physically push someone out of a window, but I don't get the impression that's what's happening here. The context makes it clear that it was the force of Dart's kick, not the resultant thud sound the kick produced, that pushed him out the window, so this statement is both technically inaccurate and aesthetically a poor choice of words.

Also, I am annoyed that I've grown so desensitized to it that I no longer even notice it, but I will point out that the author is still using Larm's instead of Larms' whenever the possessive form is used. The character's name is clearly Larms, which means that a trailing apostrophe should be used. The apostrophe between M and S would only make sense if his name was Larm.

Anyway, I'm not thrilled with how the rest of this section is worded either, but we're going to be digging through this text into next year if I have to stop and dissect every single awkwardly-worded passage. The long and short of it is that Celestia goes to the window and sees Larms lying on the ground below; still alive, still conscious, and apparently still defiant enough to flip her the metaphorical bird. She prepares to blast him with her alicorn raygun, when she notices a commotion on the far tower, and realizes that Gareth is still alive and still fighting for his life. Dart assures her that he and his men can handle Larms from here, even though his entire fighting force just turned against him on a dime and he has literally no reason whatsoever to trust their loyalty. However, he seems convinced that Radiant Star, the frail and elderly unicorn who was easily intimidated by Larms before (and whose true loyalty is also still in question), will be sufficient backup, and he urges Celestia to go tend to her husbando.

Page break. Gareth is basically where we left him, fighting a bunch of dive-bombing Pegasi with his father's mysterious boar spear. He won't kill them because apparently he's a wuss now.

>A sharp whine of energy filled the air. Before they could even get half way, a beam of golden magic blasted a swath of charging pega-guards mid-flight. They flopped to the ground into their companions, tumbling into a multi-limbed spiralling heap.
See, this is what I was saying before. Is "flopped" really the best verb to use here? I'd actually be curious to see how many times it occurs in the text, because it feels like soulpillar severely overuses a word that is frankly not that appealing to begin with. Also, "spiraling" is misspelled.

Anyway, Celestia shows up and blasts some of them, and they are each elated to receive confirmation that the other is alive.

>His mouth hung open, tucking his spear under one armpit.
Don't you mean "his mouth flopped open?" :^)
Also, the way this is worded implies that Gareth's mouth has its own armpits, and it is presently tucking the spear under one of them.

Their dialogue here is also rather stiff and cringe-laden. I won't bother going into detail with it, because really I just have the same gripes I had with many of their other conversations: awkward, unconvincing interactions between the two characters who are supposed to be lovers. I'll also note that they spend a fair amount of time detailing the various things they've seen and done since they last saw each other (Celestia going into Noble's dream, Gareth having a church dropped on his head, Gareth losing his head-guard, etc). It makes enough sense that they would want to fill each other in, but we watched all of it happen, so we don't need to witness the recap in detail.

Anyway, even though technically the entire army is still turned against them, it looks like since Chucky got knocked out the window and Gareth punched enough of the Pegasus guards unconscious, the fight is now over, with a victory for Celestia officially recognized by all. So, they can now shift out of battle mode and go back to what they were discussing before all of this started, which as far as I can recall was the diary.

Gareth informs Celestia that he found the notes he had been looking for, but Larms took the diary itself. Celestia wants to know whether or not it's true that she intentionally abandoned everyone as Larms claims she did. She is clearly suffering over it.

Their interactions here feel much more genuine than the cringey attempt at banter the author forces when they first reunite. However, it's hard to empathize with Celestia here because what she's upset about doesn't feel enough like a real problem. She's lost her memories, and she doesn't know if what Chucky told her is true: that she willfully abdicated her throne, abandoned Equestria, and left to go live a fantasy life as Gareth's waifu. She is upset because if this is true, then all of the tragedy that has occurred is her fault. However, the tragedy of it is questionable. As I pointed out before, we get no real sense of how others outside the main cast of characters feel about anything. The Pegasus guards, the Unicorn nobles, the Earth Ponies out tilling the fields or whatever they're doing; we have no idea how any of them actually felt about Celestia's absence. Mostly they all just behave like paper dolls: the whole army just up and rebelled because Chucky told them to, and then as soon as he got kicked through the window I guess we're supposed to assume that the whole rebellion just ended. The author is done playing with them for the moment, so the dolls just stand there. What was all of this even about?
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I'm thinking a way the climax could have been handled better and give more significance to either Gareth's dagger or father's spear is have the fighting in the Throne Room be more talkie bits to flesh out the motivations and give Celestia a chance to talk Chucky down a bit to atleast delay a direct confrontation.

Could maybe learn Gareth's dad was quite brash and hot headed and that Gareth inherited those traits to an extent. Have him be attacked by a group sent by Chucky that Gareth fights back against with lethal force. Could maybe have Flash Bang or other characters like that Unicorn mare he was hitting things off with witness it and be absolutely appaled but Gareth himself sees nothing wrong with it since it's how traitors in England would be dealt with but still be a bit remoursful.

Have Chucky and Celestia debating on what course of action to take when Gareth storms in furious at Chucky and a pang of anger when he sees Celestia and is reminded of the church with all her past flings. Have most the ponies panic seeing a roughed up human with a weapon bardge in while tensions are already high. Chucky gets desperate and makes a wild accusation against Celestia and/or Gareth about some machinations he believes they are concocting.

Gareth furious at all these emotions he's grappling with and still in fight mode from the tower incident he runs and attacks Chucky and slays him. Can have all the ponies on both sides shocked and hostilities for the time cease as Celestia is mortified at seeing Gareth kill Chucky like that and he is too angry to explain himself fully.

Could skip to later where Celestia is negotiating with Noble's to prevent any further insurrections while Gareth is being detained along with some of the ponies directly involved in the coup. Makes Celestia realize how vital her pressence is in Equestria and how incompatable Equestria is to Earth as well as a Princess like her and a soldier like Gareth. The nobles as part of the terms demands Gareth is exiled as soon as the mirror is open and maybe have the mirror destoried after to prevent more humans from entering or Princesses from eloping through it.

Can have a sad scene where Celestia has to visit Gareth in seceret and explain he either needs to be exiled or face punishment in Equestria like being petrified or executed and have them reconcile all the things they've been dealing with. Having Gareth probe Celestia about that church and if she planned to do the same to him and just be another mark on all her previous flings and run off to find a new guy.

Could have them reconcile and for the first time Gareth realizing the relationship is pretty much over since he must return to Earth so he brings her in for a hug and kiss, they are sad but happy they got to show love to one another in their true forms, and Gareth imparts a momento to her to remember him by as he leaves through the mirror for the last time.

Also just so Glim could have a coniption fit have the rat come in before he leaves and Gareth is elated to see his most stalwart of companions go to see him off before the rat pantomimes he will be going to Earth with Gareth. Gareth can put on his beeswax sealed helmet with the rat perched on his shoulder as they give a wink and smile to Celestia and the guards before jumping through the portal and the story ends.

Anyway, like I said, the interaction and feeling between the two of them feels genuine enough at this point, but Celestia's connection to Equestria as a whole, and the related problem of to what degree she is responsible for...whatever the hell Chucky Larms just did exactly, is a bit sketchier.

Gareth ultimately suggests that Celestia stop beating herself up about it and just make the diary notes public so that the nation can decide for itself whether or not it wants Celestia to remain the Princess. This is probably a sensible enough solution, but I'll point out that since Larms is presumably in custody, they should now have access to the full diary and not just the notes, so they can make that public as well.

Celestia also seems concerned that Gareth might no longer want her, now that he knows about her past (technically, I think he knows more about her past than she does at this point). However, he assures her that she is stuck with him. There is some more relatively silly banter:

>A melodramatically offended hand slapped onto Gareth's chest. "You wound my honour, dear lady! You think me to be a scoundrel?"
*sigh*. I really wish I could stop nitpicking this author's ridiculously shitty word choices, but...I can't. I just can't.

The "hand" referred to in this passage is Gareth's own; all this is saying is that Gareth slapped his hand against his chest in a feigned gesture of offense. However, this faggot author can't just come right out and say that; he has to be a colossal wang about it. The verbosity is annoying on its own, and moreover the passage makes no sense if taken literally.

A hand cannot itself be offended, either melodramatically or otherwise, and the wording here does not clarify to whom this hand belongs. Thus, even though from context we can assume that Gareth, feigning offense, is slapping his hand against his chest, that's not what this is actually saying. The passage itself describes a disembodied hand which, having somehow become offended through some undefined (and apparently melodramatic) process, is now slapping against Gareth's chest. In fact, now that I read it closely, it's not even slapping against his chest, it's slapping onto his chest. It's attaching itself to him, like a lamprey or something.

Anyway, utterly ridiculous phrasing aside, the scene here is moving enough. Gareth's experiences doing all of the wacky shit he's done for the last six chapters have apparently put things into perspective, and he realizes that all that really matters to him is that he and Cecilia/Celestia are together. This revelation might have had a bit more punch had their relationship undergone more trials as I have previously suggested, but it is what it is.

>Her eyes widened. Her lips parted.
>The moment their lips touched, electric pleasure sparked through Gareth's body.
>Cecilia trembled underneath him, limp, afraid. He was in complete control. Her teeth were wrong: too wide, too flat. Her tongue felt like a cat's, abrasive. The smell, the taste of horse drenched Gareth's mouth. Yet… she was warm.
D'aww. "Achievement unlocked: kissing your waifu without barfing in her mouth." Stan Marsh would be proud. Gareth also heavily insinuates that he intends to pound that horse pussy 'til the break of dawn.

However, it's going to have to wait, because suddenly a wild Pegasus appears. Fortunately, it is not an attacker.

>Cecilia pushed her legs underneath her, trying to school her features. "Monochrome Sprint is saying that we've retaken the castle."
Retaken the castle, eh? That would have made for a rather compelling scene, methinks. Also: how? As far as I understand it, their fighting force is Gareth and Celestia (who are currently too busy making out to do much castle-retaking), Purple Dart, and some 90 year old unicorn named Radiant Star. On the enemy side we have literally every able-bodied guard in Canterlot, many of whom can fly or use magic. But, if they're all just standing around like paper dolls that the author is not currently animating, I suppose they would be fairly easy to beat.

It also turns out that Larms has escaped.

>"Fucking, what?" Gareth wheeled around, giving the monochrome pegasus a scathing glare. "Have you considered firing all your guards and replacing them with training mannequins? It'd be cheaper! I'll draw the angry faces on them myself!"
Seems like firing all the guards would make sense anyway, since they literally all betrayed their oaths to fight for a deranged cereal box mascot. But whatever.

Anyway, it looks like what actually happened is that Styre and whatever contingent of still-loyal guards he was leading stormed the castle and retook it while Gareth and Celestia were doing the horizontal monster mash. Again, that could have potentially made a pretty exciting scene, but given this author's complete inability to coherently describe action in three dimensional space, I'm actually a little relieved we were spared the details.

At any rate, Styre shows up, and Butter Pie as well. Not sure where the hell she came from exactly, but here she is nonetheless. The rat, who is now apparently a character in this story no matter how hard I try to will it otherwise, is sitting on Butter Pie's shoulder. Gareth, who appears to have learned how to stop worrying and love the plague, is happy to see it. Yay.

Since the gang's all here, they can now concentrate on finding Larms. Conveniently, Styre seems to know exactly where he went:

>Memories flicked in Gareth's mind. A damp cave. Questions about species. Late to pick up the bedroll. The cave Gareth spent the night in on the first trip to Canterlot. If Styre thought it was likely, then that was their best shot. Gareth turned to Cecilia. "Larms is going to a cave outside Canterlot, on the main road. Styre and I know where it is."
I don't recall such a cave ever being mentioned. This is doubly confusing since Gareth spent the better part of the last chapter in a different cave.
Do you feel like posting an excerpt from your writing? Obviously, you don't have to post anything.

Would read and give thoughts, if you care.
278459 278489
no seriously can we fucking mathematically calculate Put Backs power from JJBA he beat everything ever.png
>>Noise aside, his armour made him hard to spot by ponies. There's a good chance that they wouldn't see him at all!
>What? Is that supposed to be why they couldn't see him earlier? Why would his bright, shiny metal armor, that catches every glint of the light that the unicorns are throwing all around this cavern filled with reflective crystals, make him difficult for ponies to see? Is it camouflaged or something? I'm not following this.
Ten bucks says the author's trying to bring back the "He's hard to see with pony eyes and has less magic in him than most inanimate objects" thing(which he quickly waved away by saying eating pony food would gradually undo his eldritch magic-less-ness), and incorrectly remembered it as "If he's wearing inanimate objects his low magic should be even harder to detect!"
>Gareth unties the guy he thought was an enemy
The author missed an opportunity to increase the tension here by having Gareth lift his dagger menacingly, causing the audience to wonder if it's killing time, only to unexpectedly free his foe, making the audience say "yay! wow he's changed so much! i love character development!"
>Gareth still has the dagger
ten bucks says the author's first draft had him throw the dagger away and pick up a club, and then realize clubs are shit, so he broke it, and then he got to this scene and wished Gareth's dagger was still around. So instead of putting a convenient sharp object in this room, he had a random sword fall from the sky (and then justified it later retroactively with "it came from the undestroyable fucking tomb) so Gareth could throw it away dramatically while still having his "iconic" dagger for this scene.
>single the point
Single The Point is my new favourite sonic OC name
I'll make that now. Single's an obnoxious tryhard faggot who infuriates Sonic by trying to emulate him. His real name's something more normal for that setting. He idolizes Sonic because Sonic once saved him and like 20 other people from an Eggman attack at the same time. His character growth comes from becoming less of a colossal faggot and more of a genuine hero.
man that was easy.
>climbing the tower from the outside
this makes him an easy target to Pegasus foes and Unicorn spellslingers/telekinetic grabbers.
really, is he still at the "thinking she's Cecilia" phase? Where's the growth? Where's the dynamic character change? He has seen so much. He learned he's just her latest pet goldfish in a string so long she has her own private tomb for all of them. He learned she didn't really erase her memories/wander into him randomly, and planned to meet him after he caught her eye. He should fully realize the "Cecilia" he loved is nothing but a mask worn by a horse that thought he had rather sexy back muscles for a hairless ape, or something retarded like that.
>Celly's shield
Author could put a lot of tension here by making Celly groan and strain as cracks form on her shield and her body grows weaker. As it stands we have no idea if we should think these guards could ever break her shield or not.
>Gareth's weapon bullshit
Gary choosing to throw away his bladed weapon and pick up a non-murderous one was set up to be a big climactic "smoker stops smoking and drinker stops drinking and baddie does a good thing" moment. But he bungled it so badly it's become a joke.
>celly does nothing as her man fights
Princess Of The Day, everypony.
>gareth recites latin while archerying
yeah that sounds like a normal thing to do, just like reciting prime numbers or saying random nonsense for fun. I think I'll do that now.
Spiral staircase
Rhinoceros beetle
Desolation Row
Fig tart
Rhinoceros beetle
Via Dolorosa
Rhinoceros beetle
Singularity point
Rhinoceros beetle
Singularity point
Secret emperor
What a fun session of saying nonsense words. I feel much calmer now. I could totally see someone doing this while in the middle of a life-or-death battle to save someone's life.
It reminds me of the time I began reciting the Bee Movie script while losing to someone at Tekken, except not really because the joke here is that this is an awkward and jarring thing nobody would ever do.
This is some movie bullshit right here. Has Gareth's ominous latin chanting habit been brought up earlier in this story? Why hasn't it caused ponies to freak out/ask why they've stopped understanding him/ask if this is some chanting-based form of human magic?
>How do you grab someone into a kick?
I don't remember who but there's a King of Fighters character whose grab has him stick his leg out to pick you up by the jaw, swish you up and over his body, then step on you behind him. Or something like that.
>gareth no kill with spear now
this would be a great opportunity to portray his path towards pacifism as a gradual process, as that's more realistic. After all the story's done to set him up as a violent guy, now's the time for him to bend the rules. He might not go straight for the heart, but he'd be an idiot to not mutilate the hell out of some wings. Healing spells/potions can fix them later when they're in jail and given healthcare, Celly's probably the type to do that. Then again in a fantasy world where healthcare comes in the form of an easily-mass-produced health potion bottle, why wouldn't they be given out like candy? Unless they're expensive or limited in supply. Moving on.
Honestly that version of events would work a lot better.
Bonus points if during the fight, Celly is knocked into the My Dead Husbandos Shrine room somehow (make it a part of her castle accessed via secret passage!) and this overwhelms her with regret and sadness as Gareth sees it for the first time and wonders if he'd end up here once his lifespan ends and this serial dater moves on to find another non-pony alien thing to fuck.
>a wild Pegasus appears
pic related
>fucking wat
Is this Gareth's first profanity?
This line made me chuckle. If Gareth was like this for most of the story(a laugh away the pain type), it would be better.
wrong pic but fuck it

Celestia suggests that Gareth should stay in the castle while she and the Pegasi go to chase down Larms. Gareth is understandably insulted, but Celestia explains that speed is a factor, and they will need to fly. Gareth, as was previously established, is afraid of heights. However, he is determined to see this thing through to the bitter end.

>Flying. Gravity shifted underneath just thinking about it. No. You know what? Forget it. By this point Gareth wasn't sure what he feared anymore. "Well if you're flying, then I'm flying too."
>No. You know what? Forget it.
I get what the author is doing here; this is intended to be part of Gareth's inner monologue, but written as narration. You can get away with doing things like this sometimes, but this is not one of those times. "You know what?" reads as if the narrator is addressing the reader, which doesn't make sense. Occasionally you'll read stories where the narrator actually does address the reader familiarly from time to time (C.S. Lewis does this fairly often), but what makes this awkward is that this is not what soulpillar is attempting to do. This is basically Gareth talking to himself, but doing so in the middle of the third-person omniscient narration of the story. To put it simply, this is just not something you should ever do. If you want to have your character express his thoughts like this, either put it in quotations or in italics.

Also, the phrase "You know what? Forget it" reads like a casual modern dialect, not like something a medieval guy would say, so it's anachronous anyway. Again, Gareth is a character who thinks the way a modern man would think, while outwardly behaving like a modern man's idea of how a medieval man *might* behave. In other words, he feels less like a person from the actual time period he represents, and more like a person from our era trying (badly) to larp as a person from that era. It's not the only reason Gareth is a bad character, but it's definitely a big part of it.

Anyway, long story short, he decides that he's going to ride on Celestia's back.

>Whipping wind blew through Gareth's hair and clothing. His proud and noble steed was certainly the later, but not so much the former as Cecilia's powerful wings propelled them through Canterlot's sky.
Jesus fucking shit-balls, soulpillar. Unless you seriously turn this shit around, as far as I'm concerned you're soulpeener for the rest of the story.

Alright. First off, it's "latter," not "later." Second, there is no former and latter that would make sense in context here. We have "whipping wind," "hair," and "clothing" mentioned; so three concepts which need to be somehow divided into a binary former and latter. You could break this down exactly two different ways, and neither one makes a lick of sense. The first way to do it is to regard "whipping wind" as the former and "Gareth's hair and clothing" as the latter, which would mean that Gareth's proud and noble steed is his hair and clothing, but not so much the whipping wind. The second way to do it is to disregard the whipping wind, and assume that the former/latter distinction refers to Gareth's hair and clothing respectively. Thus, Gareth's proud and noble steed is his clothing but not so much his hair. Fucking what?

What I assume soulpeener is trying to say here is that "proud" is the former and "noble" is the latter, and thus Celestia, the steed, is noble but not currently proud. This...I suppose...makes sense in context, in that she is generally noble in appearance, but finds it degrading to be ridden like a horse. However, the wording is just terrible here.

Former and latter only works with groups of exactly two, and in order to use these effectively you have to make it explicitly clear what you're referring to. Usually the way to do this is to divide the sentence using punctuation, with the first part presenting the binary, and the second part indicating the emphasis. You can do this a number of different ways so long as it makes sense and it's obvious what "former" and "latter" are referring to. Here are a few examples:

"Human genitalia includes penises and vaginas. Soulpeener prefers the former to the latter."
"Fanfiction and sodomy are soulpeener's hobbies, but only the latter can be called his passion."
"Soulpeener came to suck dick and chew bubblegum; however, he plans to only do the former, as he is all out of the latter."

As you can see, the above sentences are all punctuated differently, but what they all have in common is that there two distinct things presented, followed by a statement placing emphasis on one over the other. Punctuation divides the expression into two conceptually distinct phrases.

The example in the text is confusing for two reasons. First, there are too many things being discussed at once and it's not clear what "former" and "latter" refer to. Remember, this idea only works with distinct groups of two. Second, there's no division between the presentation of the binary options and the placing of the emphasis, so we tend to read "His proud and noble steed was certainly the latter" all as one phrase, designating which thing is the latter. Thus, we are misled into looking in the previous sentence to find our former and latter, where we find three things instead of two: the whipping wind, Gareth's hair, and Gareth's clothing. And none of those make sense in context no matter how you divide them.

What is so gosh-durned infuriating about this is that it's just another example of soulpeener not only using fancier language than is called for, but using it in an extremely clumsy way. Imagine you're watching someone playing basketball in the park. All the guy needs to do is shoot at the basket, but he decides he wants to show off instead. So, he tries to do a bunch of complicated Globetrotter-style dribbling moves, fails hilariously at all of it, then shoots at the basket and misses. That is basically what we're witnessing here.

Alright, there's only one short paragraph remaining in this chapter. I had hoped to finish up neatly in the last post, but my remedial English lesson for soulpeener ran long. So, here's this last little bit, and then I'm done with ponies for the day.

>Gareth didn't care; he was too busy cackling into the on-rushing wind. Society was wrong, he decided, when your wife was an alicorn, it was not unseemly for her to carry her husband. Quite the opposite, riding on your alicorn wife was fucking awesome!

There are a few things here.

>Society was wrong, he decided, when your wife was an alicorn, it was not unseemly for her to carry her husband.
This is a run-on sentence. It should be divided into two sentences, thusly:
>Society was wrong, he decided. When your wife was an alicorn, it was not unseemly for her to carry her husband.

Remember what I mentioned earlier about it being sometimes okay to put a character's thoughts into the narration? Well, this is one of the situations where it is okay. Or, rather, this is a way to do it that is appropriate. This isn't a line of dialogue being spoken out loud by Gareth, nor is it a direct thought that is passing through his head (normally italicized). It's an abstract idea that simply occurs to him at this moment in the story, and this is the best format in which to express it.

However, the past tense feels incorrect here. Since the core idea being expressed is something that Gareth is arguing is universally constant, it should be represented in the present tense, as in it is always true regardless of where and when it is being discussed. I can see why the author would think past tense is appropriate here, since the narration is all past-tense. However, this is technically an idea being expressed by Gareth, not part of the narration; thus, while Gareth's expression of the idea is part of the narration and occurs in the past-tense, the idea itself is in present-tense. Does this make it clear? Probably not. It's much easier to just demonstrate by example:

>Society is wrong, he decided. When your wife is an alicorn, it is not unseemly for her to carry her husband.
Doesn't that read much better?

With the linguistic concerns out of the way, we can move on to the substance of what the author is saying.

>Society is wrong, he decided.
At what point has society ever decreed to Gareth that it is not okay to ride an alicorn? In the society he comes from, medieval England, there are no alicorns and thus no social conventions which govern the riding of them. In Equestria, there are no humans, and thus the subject of riding alicorns is unlikely to come up. It's possible that other creatures might be inclined to try and ride them I suppose, so maybe there's a taboo on it. But it's unlikely to have come up in Gareth's limited study of Equestrian manners.

And, last but not least:

>Quite the opposite, riding on your alicorn wife was fucking awesome!
I'm not particularly offended by profanity fuck shit bitch cunt slut nigger, but I've found that in fiction it's best to use it sparingly and where appropriate. It doesn't feel appropriate here; in fact most of the places where I've come across it in this text it hasn't felt appropriate. My suspicion is that the author wants to emphasize that he is writing in an "adult" version of Equestria, where sex happens and ponies can die, so he has his characters curse from time to time to reinforce this. In and of itself this is fine, since it helps to know whether you're supposed to be visualizing show-accurate ponyworld (pastel colors, cartoon physics and so forth; see pic 2) or a more fleshed out, three dimensional, realistic/serious version of the same world and characters (see pic 3). However, it's possible to overdo it so you have to be careful.

As a general rule, I try not to use profanity anywhere in narration. The only exception is if I'm writing in the first person. In that case, you're writing in the character's voice, and if you're writing a character who swears a lot, profanity is a natural part of his speech. However, third person narration is meant to be a neutral description of events, so it feels weird to encounter vulgarity. In a third-person narrated story, you should only use vulgarity in quoted dialogue, in italicized thoughts, or, in extremely rare cases, situations like the one above, where the narration is being used to express an abstract thought of the character's. This last one seems to be what soulpeener is trying to do here.

"Riding on your alicorn wife was fucking awesome!" is a continuation of Gareth's previous thought, about the propriety of riding an alicorn (along those lines, this should actually read "Riding on your alicorn wife is fucking awesome!"). So, strictly speaking, the vulgar expression is probably okay to use here. However, in this case it's not only vulgar but anachronous as well. Is "fucking awesome" an expression that a man from fifteenth century England would be likely to use? Probably not.

Anyway, that's the end of the chapter, and I think I'm about ponied out for the day. So, I will stop here, and we shall pick up again with Chapter 17 a bit later. With only two more chapters plus the epilogues remaining, I'm hoping to have this finished up either this week or next week.
>I'm thinking a way the climax could have been handled better and give more significance to either Gareth's dagger or father's spear is have the fighting in the Throne Room be more talkie bits to flesh out the motivations and give Celestia a chance to talk Chucky down a bit to atleast delay a direct confrontation.
In general it's a really bad idea to weigh down your battle scenes with a lot of dialogue. I can see where you're going with this: conversation might allow characters to elaborate on their motivations and might help to explain a little more of what's going on. You're thinking in the right direction, but it's not quite the way to go here.

The problem is that most of the stuff the characters would talk about here is all stuff that would be obvious and would require no explanation had the author set it up correctly in earlier parts of the story. We shouldn't have to ask why the guards are rebelling, we should already know. We shouldn't have to ask what Chucky Larms' motivations are at this point in the story, we should already know.

As to Gareth's dad and the boar spear, in my opinion that stuff shouldn't even be in there. What significance has Gareth's father played in this story so far? We don't even know his name. Yet all of a sudden we have this spear that was supposedly bequeathed to Gareth by him, and Gareth is trying to imitate his father by using it? What's the significance of this? Why is this spear suddenly in the story? It holds no symbolic meaning, and if it holds some deep, personal significance for Gareth we should have learned about it ages ago.

The only reason this spear was put in the story is because Gareth needed a weapon at that particular moment. Ordinarily you could just have the character find a random spear lying on the ground and this would probably be okay in a castle, but in Equestria it becomes somewhat more complicated since horses wouldn't use the same types of weapons that humans would. So the author probably invented this story about Gareth's father leaving him a boar spear on the fly, and added all that "just like father" stuff to try and make the act of using it look more significant than it actually is. This is bad form; you don't want to do stuff like this.

What makes it worse is that Gareth doesn't even really need the spear in the first place. He doesn't do anything particularly important with it. It doesn't turn the tide of the fight in any serious way. Considering that he can't kill anything because of the promise he made to his wife, he doesn't even use it properly as a spear; it's just a blunt object he uses to whack the Pegasi unconscious. He could have grabbed nearly anything and it would have served the same purpose. In the last chapter he used a curtain rod as a weapon even though he had a dagger and a sword available, but in this scene he absolutely has to have a boar spear, and the boar spear absolutely has to have its own backstory?

>Gareth kills Chucky and saves Celestia, but this means he has to be exiled and their relationship is over
This angle I like. This would definitely work as a story direction in the revised idea I suggested, where the romance is tragic and doesn't work out.

>Also just so Glim could have a coniption fit have the rat come in before he leaves and Gareth is elated to see his most stalwart of companions go to see him off before the rat pantomimes he will be going to Earth with Gareth. Gareth can put on his beeswax sealed helmet with the rat perched on his shoulder as they give a wink and smile to Celestia and the guards before jumping through the portal and the story ends.
Got the first chapter of that one fanfic I'm re editing and can try to post it here once I get the next chapter done. Think I could try and post the original alongside it here just so people can compare the two and see if I'm doing the process right. A bit too spent from irl stuff to get the creative juices really flowing but editing this one has been pretty therapeutic plus I like the idea he has so want it to shine best I can get it.
Well, you can do whatever you feel like but just so you know I wasn't talking about your editing of someone else's work. I was talking about an excerpt from your own writing.
>Ten bucks says the author's trying to bring back the "He's hard to see with pony eyes and has less magic in him than most inanimate objects" thing
Holy shit, I completely forgot about that. It was introduced as if it were going to be significant way back in the beginning, and then the author just sort of wrote it out of the story without using it for anything.

Now that I think about it, my suspicion is that the sword probably fell out of one of the caskets. One of Celestia's former husbands had a magic sword that he was buried with, or something. That's how I'd explain it, anyway.

>really, is he still at the "thinking she's Cecilia" phase?
The author seems to make an intentional distinction between "Cecilia" and "Celestia", where Celestia refers to the princess who abdicated and left Equestria, and Cecilia refers to the one who returned without her memories. Even though they're the same pony, the author treats them as symbolically different characters sometimes. Also, Gareth generally refers to her as Cecilia because that's the name he knows her by. Both uses make sense, and the author is consistent in how he uses them, which is important if you're going to do something like this. All in all I approve of the way he does this.

>Author could put a lot of tension here by making Celly groan and strain as cracks form on her shield and her body grows weaker. As it stands we have no idea if we should think these guards could ever break her shield or not.
The characters' fighting capabilities, strength of magic and so forth are pretty inconsistent in this story. This is true of the show as well actually, but here it's a little harder to justify since we're supposed to view this as more of a "real" world.

I don't mind his Latin quotations particularly. It's a little pompous and slightly on the anachronous side since as a peasant farmer who became a soldier and was later knighted he'd likely have little education and thus little knowledge of Latin. However, I can overlook this and treat it simply as a character trait, and as far as that goes it's fine. Some people have little mantras or rituals they use when shooting guns or bows to put themselves in the right frame of mind, and Gareth's habit of reciting Latin Bible verses seems like a similar thing.
My favourite is INFINIGGER.
I got it from an old sonic meme, but turns out this site uses it too.

>Is "fucking awesome" an expression that a man from fifteenth century England would be likely to use?
I heard the term "Fuck" came from the German Focker planes, but that's probably bullshit.
>At what point has society ever decreed to Gareth that it is not okay to ride an alicorn?
One time I rode one of those rollercoaster rides where you're up against the inner walls of a rotating circle that's lifted to become vertical. The speed violates gravity through centrifugal force, it's why you're safe. I played a lot of Rollercoaster Tycoon as a kid.
Also if there was a taboo on riding ponies, Spike would be getting some odd looks for riding around on Twilight's back.
It's funny how well-designed fantasy main characters almost always have a smaller friend(Spike, Momo, Sparx, Charles Boyle), and a much bigger friend to ride on(Appa, Yoshi, any Pokemon that uses Surf or Fly, Terry Crews). But because the MLP ponies are ponies, Spike rides them.
I'm surprised the series never did a Spike episode where he gets control over his transforming and becomes able to transform into a big flying form, letting the ponies ride around on his back. It would be the perfect excuse for why the ponies can fly across the country in an afternoon. It would let Spike be useful more often. And if you ever needed a plot Spike's flight would ruin (the ponies must take a train and a murder mystery happens on it, or they must take a roadtrip by boat) Spike could be sick for the episode from eating too much ice cream or whatever. Xiaolin Showdown had people ride on the back of a flying dragon. How To Train Your Dragon did it, too. Instead they just randomly gave him wings one day. You know it's high-quality character development when your crappy Dragon OC has to explain to the audience why Spike is changing and the answer is because of dragon bullshit you just made up.
Nice one with the rat and beeswax helmet. If you were doing that with my old Silver Star Apple story, amplifying elements to annoy Glim, what would you do?
Hey Glim, are you doing ok?