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  • 133 weeks
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  • 136 weeks
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At the End Commentary: Chapter 17 · 7:14pm Jan 7th, 2013

This entry contains spoilers for its corresponding chapter of At the End. Be warned...

<--Previous Chapter Commentary *-* Next Chapter Commentary -->

“Fear turns heroes into cowards when they are at the end.”

Title Drop!

First things first, I know some of my fans expected this to be over 15,000 words in length. Honestly, so did I, and it was at one point. I cut a scene at the last minute because I believed Brimstone was out of character.

Once I first started Brimstone’s character draft, I wanted an antagonist who did awful things, but was doing them for the right reason (At least, it claims it’s doing them for the right reason). In my youth, whenever I created a story or character, there were always good guys and bad guys. You could easily tell them apart, and the good guys always beat the bad guy. Brimstone is stepping out of my comfort zone, due to being an awful person, but still willing to fight the good fight. This is my first time writing and creating a morally ambiguous character and it’s even more complex due to its Lovecraftian overtones, something I only just started doing.

I’ve gotten to really like the character, so I’m a tad worried about what it does and whether or not it’s out of character. One scene near the end of chapter 17 had it doing something that, although was still in character, didn’t feel right. That was due to the character interaction between Brimstone and Barricade. The two don’t like each other, but Brimstone has – shall we say – a grudging respect for her. It did something in that chapter that I don’t think it would of done, given the circumstances, so I cut the scene and rewrote the ending.

This is also the first time where we get a little history and character development for Brimstone and Era’doth. We will get more in the future, but I will be looking through the comments and see if anypony knows what I am doing with the two, especially Era’doth. Heh heh; know his presence by the sound of rattling chains.

Now, let’s start from the beginning of the chapter.

I never planned for Barricade to die, but I did plan for her to dream. It was in this dream... within a dream... where Brimstone made its presence known to her with the metaphor of a vile contagion. Then we get to ‘Silent Hill’ as I’ve been calling it in my rough drafts. I took inspiration from Silent Hill for making the base utterly desolate and devoid of life. I wished to make an unnerving setting, and am not sure I succeeded. Even when I was finished, the scene didn’t quite feel right. I’ll be looking forward to comments to help me improve.

Then the scene I dreaded two fold. Fluttershy.

For Fluttershy fans out there, I AM SORRY. If it’s any consolation, she wasn’t real. The entire chapter sequence was a means of testing Barricade’s mettle. As Brimstone put it: “You are a soldier, a noble and proud individual and commander of many lives. You do not fear death or pain, so something a little closer to home was necessary to test your mettle.” What greater torment can I think of than having her own daughter turn on her?

It fit into the show quite well, in fact. Barricade is a soldier, through and through. We’ve only seen three set of parents after 3 seasons of the show, and one set is nearly confirmed to be dead. If Barricade worked so much as Captain of the Pegasus Corps, I would understand if that would induce a disgruntled relationship between mother and daughter. Fluttershy loves her mother dearly, and would never do what she did in the dream, however. Before you say that what happened was out of character, I know. That was the point. Fluttershy would never do that. Ever. She’s the most docile pony I know, so Brimstone had to change some things in order to make the illusionary test work. Because Brimstone was in her head, it saw the difference between her and Jetstream’s mental fortitude. Barricade had had over a decade of experience, while Jetstream had about five. It’s tough to face an entity like Brimstone, so Brimstone ate Jetstream alive and spat him out. Barricade had the courage and fortitude to face challenges she’d never experienced, and thus earned Brimstone’s respect.

The wounds were a little tough. I’ve never written gore (Me never doing something seems to be a running theme now), so making Fluttershy’s wounds convincing, yet not over the top, was a trick unto itself. It was near this point that Barricade started putting the pieces together.

I left a couple hints as to what was going on. The very first was near the end of Chapter 16. Do you remember the song Brimstone sang in chapter 9? He’s doing it again in 16 via Doctor Hemos. The next was the medical tent was empty of nurses that appeared in the same chapter, along with the patient Lightning Chaser. The storm was gone, the ponies were missing, and whenever Barricade came close to discovering it was all an illusion, something always detracted her attention away from it, like Fluttershy bleeding to death.

Then came the long, talky scene that lasted most of the fic. A LOT happens here. Woah, that’s a lot of text. The first important part was wishing for the death of Jetstream. Brimstone, as did I, did not expect the Crafter to join forces, or get captured, so soon, and that caused an escalation in Brimstone’s plans, starting with Jetstream.

But Abaddon, or Era’doth as Brimstone calls him, should be vaguely familiar to you lot. Brimstone tells how Era’doth will obliterate the ponies, but Barricade stands firm that they will fight, even if their defeat is certain. That was the important part: it showed Baricade’s strength of character and dedication to her ideals. Believe me, even if Brimstone hates a pony, it hates hypocrisy even more. Even if the pair disagreed on ideas and ideals, they achieved a common ground at that point.

And then I drop the bomb:

“That one is easy. Did you not discover that already?” Barricade shook her head, causing the Doppelganger to scoff. “Suppose you have a weapon or tool. What is the absolute first objective? What would be your first action?”

Barricade’s eyes widened in understanding. “...I would make sure it works...”

“Precisely. Era’doth sent the Crafter here for the sole reason of testing if his portal was in working order. The construct’s arrival was naught but a test; it is as simple as that.”

“Was the portal technology how he escaped his prison?” Barricade asked.

“Ask the Endermen; his kind released him.”

I’ve seen a lot of instances in fanfics where the characters “just appear” in Equestria after a fade to black. Granted, there are a ton of portal fanfics, but I wanted the entrance of the Crafter to be a sign of greater and more terrible things. He entered Equestria because Era’doth was using him as an experiment to see if the Nether Portal’s alterations could feasibly work across planes. It did, and so Era’doth came soon afterwards. As to the Endermen’s role... I’ll get to that. We’ll be seeing Endy shortly, anyway.

Then came the flashback scene, I didn’t want Brimstone to just have unlikable character traits and have him help the ponies. I wanted to have him written with unlikable character traits and a complete hate-boner for Celestia and still desire to help the ponies. One, it gives a greater character dynamic. Two: it helps assist in creating Era’doth as a credible threat. If Brimstone has so much knowledge and power, he still considers Era’doth a worthy foe and must be vanquished.

Then comes the vision sequence, and that was both easy and fun to do. I’ve always been curious as to why the Elements didn’t purge Luna the first time, so I incorporated that into Brimstone’s reasoning. It could be true, or it could be Brimstone lying to gain Barricade’s support. The truth doesn’t matter, only Barricade’s understanding of it does.

Then came the present vision. That was what would happen if Brimstone, the Shadow Pony, did not help Fluttershy when it did. So far, Brimstone has taken on the form of those it uses as a host. What color were the Shadow Pony’s eyes? Cyan, just like Fluttershy’s. That was the first hint. The creature following her, Era’doth, was going to kill her, but Fluttershy escaped, and something caught his eye. We’ll see what in chapter 17. I also like how I tricked everypony reading that it was an Endermen chasing her. One, Endermen are relentless and would chase her down and kill her no matter how far she escaped. Two, these are my exact words:

Eyes. Eyes attached to a bipedal creature twice her height. A pair of glowing eyes looking directly back at her.

Twice her height. This is a pony’s height we are talking about, which would make the creature following her about our height. I wonder who this is...

The future scene was cut for length reasons. I was going to show the Battle for Canterlot that Brimsotone said was going to occur. Whether it does later in the story or not... heh heh.

That’s all for now; I have to go to work.

Onwards and Upwards!

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Comments ( 7 )

I love the story but it doesnt really seem to include much minecraft. I love how the story is going but its not what i was expecting.

Oh, that's coming. That's coming indeed.

It will be coming hard.

My god, get your mind out of the gutter. That's not what I meant.

687765 Will any of the ponies we've been introduced to so far actually go to the world of Minecraft, or is that just plain overkill?
Yeoman, out

Do you remember this post? -->http://www.fimfiction.net/blog/90170/wheatley-you-moron-retribution

Or perhaps this teaser in particular?

The congested air was thick with fumes: sulfur, ash, and several other scents Applejack couldn't identify. Breathing itself was a challenge, as inhaling felt like it was sucking the life right back out of her. Applejack coughed and hacked, her lungs rejecting the sulfurous air in heaves.

689332 O__O
Yeoman, out

Eyes. Eyes attached to a bipedal creature twice her height. A pair of glowing eyes looking directly back at her.

Hello there Herobrine how are you today? (something tells me my guess is completly off there xD)

Maaaaaybe. I'm not telling.:pinkiehappy:

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