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Glim Glam's Something Something Jam, Insert-Something-Witty Edition
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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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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.
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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?