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At the End Commentary: Chapter 32 · 5:42pm Sep 9th, 2013

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



If there is one thing I wanted to do with Brimstone, it was to provide him with a motivation so extreme he would not stop until his goals were accomplished. I like the concept of potentially good men being reduced to evil through one reason or another, preferably those that are by some means self inflicted. When treated with overwhelming pain, this can have one of two effects on a man: galvanize his beliefs even further like a blacksmith would strengthen steel, or reduce him to the very same evil he condemns.

In 1971, scientists conducted something called the Stanford Prison Experiment. There were twelve guards and twelve prisoners, all civilians who responded to an ad, and were all set into a mock prison in order to test the effects of authority and subservience in a setting where authority played an important role. As you can probably tell from the mood of this chapter and the fact I tend to corrupt things I touch, this experiment promptly went to hell within a day. The guards soon brought out the fire hoses and forced the prisoners to sleep naked, among other terrible things I’m not going to mention.

In short, normal, unimpressive people have the capability of doing terrible things when in the wrong situation.

I wanted Brimstone to be a fallen angel archetype, the kind of person that has the capability of doing great deeds, but also the potential to become a Complete Monster. His behavior has been sociopathic, but he hasn’t directly hurt anyone, even if he did pin an attempted assault on Jetstream. Now he has passed the point of no return and killed someone. The question is can he still be saved? If yes, should he?

As stated in the last commentary, I was awfully tempted to not even publish the previous chapter. Just think about it. I would jump form Skylar coming in saying something was wrong in Jetstream’s tent, to cutting to this chapter. I find it a lot more ominous to not having the slightest clue what happened there. It’s a trait in horror to never explain what hides in the darkness. You might get impressions, but never a full picture. Something was gained with chapter 31, but something was also lost.

This also marks the return of Lightning Chaser and her skills. Realizing that she excels at catching criminals, I had her snoop around, feeling as if it were something she needed to do. While all the evidence she gathered is purely circumstantial, circumstantial evidence is still used in courts. One thing Brimstone consistently does wrong is underestimate ponies in their mental and moral capacities. The more time progresses, the more he is resembling Herobrine, the one he hates so much. Because of this failing in integrity and morals, he makes mistakes and provides Lightning what she needs to guess Jetstream was killed rather than a villain himself.

It also gave me a chance to work on her personality a little. If there is one thing I am awful at, it is developing characters. I suck at writing character development. It is and may forever be one of my failings. She is arrogant, hard-headed, and possesses a superiority complex. Hexxus is getting old and worn out. I really didn’t get as far as I’d like in this regard, but I got far enough for now. It’s an area I need some real work on and that’s not going to be fixed with one chapter.

Lastly, the end. I’ve hinted at for a long time something bad is going to happen. Deep within the Everfree, the Wither comes to him once again, and he grows the beginnings of an army with his dark powers. The exact plan will not yet be revealed, but it is coming. I know some expected him to storm in and tear the town a new one, but that was until he fought Luna. If he truly wishes to kill the Bearers, he needs an army of mooks to even the odds.

The battle is coming.

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Comments ( 7 )

And when the Crafter proceeds to hand out Diamond Swords that are preternaturally sharp, and seem to bear grudges against the undead monstrosities involved, then ponies might start surviving.

And as a Survivor/Meddler-archetype myself, I'd be arming everything that won't kill me and settling in to try taking care of the problem for me.
And Enchanting wouldn't be a problem if he could only find some water and some lava... Which would be fricken' hilarious to watch the ponies react to him just scooping a bucketful of lava and carrying it off to make some obsidian.

Either Diamond or he'll make something from the other types of gemstones he found and discover useful properties of them. I think the ponies finding him making them armor out of purest Ruby, or Agate, or even Rose Quartz or out of Basalt or something would be awesome. And funny to see, once more. And they'd probably have multiple armor smiths compliment him on his work, only to be confused when they see him 'hammer' the materials into place with his bare hands.

Trololololol, you both assume he will have time to mass produce armor and weapons. The coming battle is so very close, dangling on the edge of a knife.

As for experimenting with materials he did not have access to, yes, he will do so.

'Mass produce'? I was thinking, like, six sets of mismatched stuff.

I don't think the Doomsday Clock will allow that.

Oh, one of the ponies is about to do something so cool I want to tell you, but it would spoil the story. Like, Took a Level in Badass cool.

Ah, I look forward to Fluttershy suddenly gaining all of the Crafter's powers and using them to construct a massive warhammer out of the Elements of Harmony and smashing the shit out of Herobrine.

Because that's totally what's going to happen. [/sarcasm]

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