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At the End Commentary: Chapter 30 · 2:52am Aug 20th, 2013

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



I have to remember to post a title before posting entries. Sorry about that...

Between chapters 30 and 31, 31 was was written first. Why? Because I didn’t know how this chapter was supposed to end. Why is that important? Because I am finicky as the Doctor in terms of getting things right. I didn’t have any idea how this chapter was supposed to progress, unless I got the chapters reversed. I’ll explain in full in the next commentary.

Thus begins the process of naming the Crafter. Now that I look at it, I may have jumped the gun. Jumped the shark? Jumped something. Yes, I know Rarity said that she and her friends were going to be naming the guy. What I see now was that I could have given the impression that he was going to be getting his name this chapter. Yeah, a little miscommunication on that part, but if you read the chapter in full, you realize that there were other, more pressing matters to attend to. Don’t worry, he will still get his name, the name you guys voted on.

To be honest, I kinda intended for him to get his name in this chapter, but as time went on and I stared at a word processor for longer and longer, the more I realized I wouldn’t be able to write such an important scene all at once. This was something that needed time and care, and I was neither capable nor emotionally able to do so. The first scene took the absolute longest to write out of both chapters 30 and 31. It was the last scene I wrote, mostly because it was so freaking annoying and impossible. It was then I realized that I was not capable of giving the scene the emotional gravity it needed and broke the full process into pieces. This just got the ball rolling.

The rest of the scene, aside from the naming parts, was a few attempts to develop my abilities concerning comedy and character development. I’m not good at either, but something needed to be taken care of first: reintroduction of Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash. I enforced that their fears weren’t too severe, so the token ‘let’s kiss and make up’ was in order.

Luna calling the Crafter back is the real meat of the chapter, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s the first real encounter with our lovable villain. Earlier in the story, Luna make a passing mention of a spell called the Mind Delve, a passive reference to JakeHeritagu’s epically amazing Silent Ponyville, the first My Little Pony fanfic I have ever read. I fully intended this scene to come. It just took a little longer than I anticipated.

The process itself was easy enough, but I am still unsatisfied. I don’t think my representation of the Crafter;s mind was as abstract as i wished. I don’t know. Something was just off. I suppose I had a couple preconceptions that I wanted to write that tainted what I wanted when I finally got to the scene itself. Nevertheless, it is what it is.

I was curious as to how many scenes in the Crafter;s apst would be considered appropriate for the length and reader interest. Normally I keep doing what I want until I feel otherwise. It’s why chapter 29 turned out to be so ridiculously long. Given the contrast between the slice-of-life feeling of the two memories and the eventual duel, two turned out to be best. Anymore felt like I would be boring people.

I wanted to enforce that these were just memories, abstracts. I know my fans have been begging me to go to the Minecraft worlds, but that time is not now. These are just glimpses, facets of a world that the princess of the night has no hopes of comprehending without first hand knowledge. His world is wonderful and fantastic, but still not “right.” What was important was how Luna thought of his world, not showing an awesome scene in the Overworld.

Nevertheless, it was fun writing them. I loved etching the little details like a painter. The grass, the ocean, the stone. Everything was made of cubes and the sheer consequences and implications of such a reality were amazing to Luna. Even more so when she came to the winter realm.

Most of the same applied here, with one addition, the appearance of the monsters. I imply the zombies, spiders, and creepers, but it was the Endermen that really pulled the scene together. Although only a memory, and made out of shadows due to the Crafter being asleep and not truly knowing where the monsters physically were, the Endermen was a dangerous creature because the Crafter was hard coded with their threat potential. This was also the first time I try to show the true scope of their capabilities, their awful scream, and how teleporting creatures can wreak so much damage. Luna outclasses the Endermen in every respect, but the fact that it was nothing but a memory, thus unkillable, and it teleported, she could do nothing to truly neutralize it. I wanted that scream cemented in your mind, that chill you get when hearing that scream for the first time. Luna agrees with gamers that Notch is crazy.

Throughout Luna’s trip, there was a draft and when she was done with the winter biome, I explain what it is: residual damage from Era’doth, now known as Herobrine after this chapter. In chapters 8 and 9, Brimstone created a link between their minds so that the Crafter could feed them information about Herobrine. In chapter 14, Herobrine severed this link, creating the damage Luna saw. Luna tries to discover where the other end of that thread went, and provided landing stripes for him to follow straight back to Luna.

I wanted this fight to be as scary, sudden, and brutal as possible. I don’t know if I got the scary right, but I believe I got the other two. I instantly cut to the attack where he starts choking the life out of her and only wild swipes could help. The dark, the loneliness, the quiet, the sudden and impossible repair of the damage was all there to show Luna was not prepared for a fight. Could she win? Maybe, but she didn’t want to risk hurting the Crafter’s delicate mind and the blitz attacks weren’t doing her confiance any favors.

It was god against god, only Luna had no hand and tried to bluff. In a proper fight, Luna might have done something notable, but while she got in some good shots, he wiped the floor with her. The chapter’s title comes true here: Herobrine draws the first blood and almost a killing blow. Yes, my story has had that creepy feel to it the whole time, but it was about time I put my cards on the table and showed what was coming. This is going to get a little ugly.

As a note, this is not that battle I was talking about before. That comes later.

Herobrine also states his name. You may have thought, “Why does Brimstone call him Era’doth?” THe answer was right in front of you.

The Doppelganger nodded at Barricade, impressed with her strength. “So you still have some bite left... good. He was renowned as a god of harvest and creation long ago, back when I knew him under the name Era’doth. Much has changed since our last encounter; madness and a lust for power clouded his mind and he took a new name and body to enforce his own deluded image of his greatness. As punishment for his sins, he was dismembered and imprisoned in a shadow for all time. He destroys now; he’s forgotten his past glory and purpose.

Era’doth was his name. That Smooze monstrosity was his body.

Panicked, wounded, and unprepared, Luna’s only option was to flee while Herobrine give a cryptic warning and a call for blood. This also marks another instance of the seal that binds him, which Luna takes notice of and tells Hawk when she awakes. After removing the Crafter, of course. She doesn’t know how that link formed, so it’s best to be safe than sorry.

Then the last scene. The side plot with Luna wanting to ask the Shadow Pony, Brimstone, for help comes to fruition. The purpose was, of course, to give help, and provide a little. Herobrine’s Void Fog acts like a second body that he can control. that’s because it is part of his body, little bits of him that leak through his mortal form. However vast his perception may be, if he is provided a significant enough distraction, such as a rampaging lunar goddess, might blind him enough that he may lose sight of a future target.

What target? The Bearers, of course. He tried to kill Fluttershy once and failed. Plan B was a direct attack on the Elements themselves, and that nearly succeeded. “The Shadow,” in actuality Brimstone, hints that Herobrine is attempting a future attack on them.

This little scene also highlights what kind of freak fanfiction and ponies turn me into. After finishing this chapter, I stepped back and said, what the hell is happening to me? I realized the research I was putting into details for things that bear absolutely no consequence whatsoever. What kind of alcohol is best drunk at room temperature on the rocks? Should feather wings get soap and shampooed?


Seriously, almost all readers will glaze over these details.

Lastly, I end on the note I hinted at for some time. Jetstream’s lot has been revealed. Brimstone’s cover is almost blown. So why is Skylar so nervous?

Stop in next time and see...

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Comments ( 7 )

I definitely think you nailed the creepy "nightmare-esque" encounter between Luna and Herobrine. What with the long endless corridors, hopeless running, entrapment, dark shadowy tendrils, not to mention glowing eyes and ominous threats.

Still I can't help but wonder if Luna had subconscious assistance in escaping, unless Herobrine was holding back for some reason *shudders*

Should feather wings get soap and shampooed?

I just assume that every equestrian citizen uses some other worldly variation of "Mane n' Tail" XD

Anyway awesome chapter, I can't wait to read what happens next.

I personally love all the detail you put, inconsequential or not. It shows how deep and involved you're getting in your story, which can only add to the immersion.

As for Jetstream's fate, I'm thinking either he was attacked by the Enderman (just because they know it teleports doesn't mean the normal countermeasures will work; they simply assumed it uses the same method that they were familiar with, and you know what happens when you assume...), or Brimstone got to him itself, and left the tool (read:pony) it used behind, holding the knife and absolutely sure she did it herself.:twilightoops:
But I will of course wait for the next chapter to find out for sure.:twilightblush:

If I can toss my two bits in on this, I loved the extra attention to details such as those you mentioned. It helped a lot with the immersion to the world in which Luna lives, and therefore the contrast to the desolate, unknown territory she ventures into and the bleakness and desperation of her own situation during the fight. It added to the tension, subtly, but importantly, to me at least. :twilightsheepish:

Pride comes before the fall, after all.

I was scared of horror most of my life. Now I can't get enough of it. We'll be getting more of that before we're through.

I'm trying a little something with the juicy bits. I hope you've loaded up your imagination.

What got me thinking wasn't the brandy, but about a squirrel. I mention a squirrel in a future chapter I kinda scared myself with the amount of research I was putting into its description and habitat.

Those damn squirrels...

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