• Member Since 8th Apr, 2013
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Reeve


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More Blog Posts26

  • 231 weeks
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    3 comments · 560 views
  • 237 weeks
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  • 241 weeks
    Bullet Point review

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  • 243 weeks
    The Element of Inspiration

    Also known as, reflective rambling on my recently completed story.

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    0 comments · 399 views
  • 250 weeks
    Season 5 Finale

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    2 comments · 238 views
Jan
23rd
2016

The Element of Inspiration · 9:09pm Jan 23rd, 2016

Also known as, reflective rambling on my recently completed story.

I did threaten to write this briefly in my last blog post, basically I just wanted a chance to explain a few things and outline what the plans for the series (a term that now seems laughable in retrospect) was supposed to have been. I banged on enough in the past about how Mortal coil was based on an RPG I did with some friends using the Roleplaying is Magic: season 3 rules, although really by the time I finally finished writing the story it was obvious it had grown wild and out of control, I look at it and barely recognise the old RPG that once inspired it.
First, the land the story was set in, the super fictional country of Panchea (super because it's a fictional place inside an already fictional universe). I've used that name for a few things in the past, I think it was in some way linked to Pangea, the theoretical super-continent. So in this story Panchea was once an oversea colony in the Equestrian Empire, and the war that kick started the whole story was due to the local Pancheans wishing to separate from Equestria and govern themselves (all pretty clear from the story). The similarities to America fighting for independence from the British Empire was entirely accidental, if anything I'm pretty sure I was more inspired by Ireland seeking independence, if so it wasn't intentional, just assume that was the case as I would be much more familiar with that. As for what the country looks like, I mentioned before that it was based on a random map I found on Google images called Eredane, and here it is:

So that's a bit painful on the eyes, I have a better one but we'll work with this one for the moment. So the green lines mark the borders between the different areas: Grand Pastures, Lesser Pastures, Ash Lands, etc. The orange lines represent the official roads, not necessarily the paths Rarity walked during her adventure. Blue dots represent where important events took place outside of towns, while small red dots represent the towns, and the larger red circles represent the five main cities. With that said, here's a nicer looking map:

Ahh, much nicer (I really hate the colour orange). Anyway, this map has a few additional areas, locations, roads and purple lines, anything that doesn't appear in the first map would have been exclusive to the non-existent sequel. So that's Rarity's new kingdom, which brings me onto the main cities themselves. The first and probably the most major city is that of Pivot, so called because it's in the centre of the country, if the country was a wheel everywhere else would pivot around Pivot. I sort of imagined this like colonial American towns, of which my knowledge is based on nothing more than the prologue of Assassin's Creed 3 (which is incidentally all I could get through of that game), it's easily the simplest of the five cities and therefore the most boring. Port Mule is easily the next most important, simply because it's so personal to Rarity during the story, in fact it's probably where most of the first half takes place. It was named as such purely for the sake of the Fort Mule joke. I was thinking something a little more Italian Renaissance here, guess what inspired that... in all seriosuness I did have some ideas that weren't inspired by Assassin's Creed (although now would seem like a good idea to mention that Pinkie Pie's get up was based on the harlequin character from AC Brotherhood's multiplayer mode). But yes, no more ripping off Assassin's Creed... not when I could be ripping of Skyrim instead, as Cragsburg is pretty much Windhelm right down to the racism. Of course it's ash instead of snow, but that's just Windhelm making loving eyes at Solstheim. Olympus is a little harder to describe since it wasn't really inspired by anything in particular, really the only thing it was based off is given away by its name (maybe I'll end up getting accused of ripping off God of War, but since I've never played that I really have no idea how similar/dissimilar they could be). Arclight on the other hand is far more interesting, it started out in my head looking like Rivendell from Lord of the Rings, but that was completely changed after I saw this picture:

Sometimes I wish I could have just stuck that picture in the text rather that fumbling about with words trying to describe it. It was also originally going to be called Unicornia while Olympus was going to be called Pegasopolis, but that would have been a whole new height of unoriginality for me. Interestingly Arclight during the RPG this all spawned from, was the scene of one of the only major events that didn't get adapted into the story in some way (everything else made it in from blowing up Fort Mule to fluffy monsters that devoured ponies), and that was a bit where one of my friend's characters was persuaded by Discord worshippers to pour drugs into the sewers so the fumes would drive the city insane (which my friend did without question because he didn't have a mind of his own). Other areas of importance that were inspired by other things: the Demon Shaft was based off a similarly named area in an old game called Dark Cloud, although in that case the shaft went up rather than down; Brine, the Bask and the Covenant Cathedral were all inspired by these three pictures respectively:



Although Brine was also partly inspired by a zombie infested town in Onimusha 4, and the chapel there was also inspired by Resident Evil 4. Another thing that happened in the RPG that ended up heavily altered in the story, was related to the Bask, where Harbinger/King Crow was supposed to be the messenger of the Sisterhood. During the game, the party rescued a group of mares and fillies who had been sold as slaves (which should obviously sound familiar) and this won them favour with the Sisterhood who sent the crow to deliver a message of good faith to them... at which point my friend, the same one who went along with the plan to poison Arclight, captured the crow and got the whole party vilified by the Sisterhood.
The monsters ended up playing quite an important role, and I ended up having to think up quite a lot of them, particularly because I didn't want to use the same one twice (with the exception of the walkers, which you may not have noticed, but were never actually called zombies once). The very first monster that started it all was based off one of my other friends characters in the RPG, it was a blatant rip off of Fluffle Puff which he imaginatively named Puffle Fluff (and yes, I know after all this I shouldn't be giving off about blatant ripping off), my friend broke the game by maxing out Puffle Fluff's attacks and defence related skills so he could never be injured and would always one hit kill anything, and he killed other ponies... a lot... and then he ate them, this friend was the troll of the group (on an unrelated note, in another game where he was the GM and I was a player, I spent all my starting perks on getting a personal home and stuff which he immediately set fire to in the first minute of the game and left me with nothing). The rest of the monsters were inspired by various sources like the Consuming Shadow, Onimusha, Dark Souls and many others. The final villain himself had a touch of the final boss from Onimusha 4 to him, before he took on his final form which I'm not exaggerating when I say is based on a nightmare I had as a kid after fighting World of Chaos in Kingdom Hearts, while not overly scary itself, my dreams can turn anything fucked up.
The main characters were heavily inspired by the show My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, surprising I know, but you really ought to check it out. And obviously that's me taking the piss, I'd like to think I got the main characters pretty close to their show counterparts, with the exception of Rarity who I'm not even going to pretend was so out of character I might as well have replaced her with an OC. It seems to be a theme in my stories that I can write side characters all right, but the main character always ends up being so unrecognisable. I already said what inspired Pinkie's look, the others are less easily defined, for all but Twilight it was just a case of what kind of fantasy RPG style I thought they suited. Twilight's outfit was actually heavily inspired by this guy's fantasy Scarlet Witch (which I will not put the picture in as it's the only one so far that I found somewhere other than Google images), Twilight's sceptre was similarly unoriginal, based on the sceptre weapon wielded by Xun Yu in Dynasty Warriors 8 Empires, only with the orb replaced by a pink, shrunk down version of the Eye of Magnus from Skyrim. I was discussing recently with my proofreader about fighting styles of the main six in this story, as in what they bring to the party, essentially I concluded that Applejack has strength (she has experience and can tank pretty much anything), Rainbow has technique (she has far more training in combat than any of the others), Twilight has magic (all of the magic), Pinkie has stealth (quick and subtle, not to mention chaos magic helps), Fluttershy has power (very slapdash approach to fighting since she lacks strength and training, but because of her enchantments when she does hit it packs a huge punch), and Rarity has finesse (her whole thing is observing and being able to adapt to the situation at hand). I think they ended up meshing quite well during the story, the entire last chapter was intended to emphasis what an unstoppable force they were when they combined their strengths.
I suppose I should give a mention to the OCs that played important roles, mainly Sufferthorn and Stranglethorn... there we go, I mentioned them, let's move on (in all seriousness, I don't know what to say about them that the story didn't cover explicitly). I guess I could say that I quite liked them, hence why they ended up playing far bigger roles than I'd ever intended to begin with, and even though they're now going by their original names, they will always be Sufferthorn and Stranglethorn to me. Crane was one I quite liked, inspired by Karras from thief 2, although when it came to his 'boss battle' I was going more for Brio from Crash Bandicoot. I guess the last character who warrants a mention would be Clover herself, not technically an OC but then she was hardly a princess or Element of Harmony in the show, funny enough this wasn't the first story I wrote in which Clover the clever became a princess and alicorn (but the story of which I speak has been purged from existence because I wrote it back when I was new to the fan fiction scene and didn't yet know how much people hated alicorn OCs). There was a lot about Clover and the rest of the Six left unanswered, of course this was going to be the main focus of the sequel as was apparent if you found the secret chapter in the second epilogue, which brings me neatly on to my next and final topic...
So Mortal Coil has ended, but it did so with dozens of unresolved plot threads and mysteries left to be explored, and when I started writing Mortal Coil I had every intention of doing so, now however... The short description for the story labels it as Rarity's Odyssey, because that was the full title of the story (Rarity's Odyssey: Mortal Coil) and it was going to be the title of the whole series. My intentions had been to have two main stories, Mortal Coil and its sequel Immortal Coil, so called because of its focus on more divine beings like the Six rather than the lives of everyday ponies. Immortal coil was going to be broken up into 5 major arcs in the same way Mortal Coil was split into 10 parts, with each arc focusing on a different villain. I was also going to write a number of short stories building on what I started with Mortal Coil and fleshing out the world, and when I say short stories I really do mean short, I would estimate each one to be around 20,000 words long, just fun little adventure stories. There was going to be four taking place in the time between Mortal Coil and Immortal Coil: the first looking at the pirate stuff hinted at in Mortal Coil, the second exploring the southern continent that was mentioned a few times; the third looking into Applejack's back story a little deeper; and the fourth following up on the fate of one of Mortal Coil's villains. There was also a fifth that was going to be set before Mortal Coil, being a series of short (and hopefully funny) stories detailing the shared history of Twilight and Pinkie and how they came to be frienemies. Following Immortal Coil there was going to be two more, one set further back than the rest, looking at the lives of everyone's two favourite royal sisters, and one set further ahead than all the rest which would be the end of the series completely (unless I found some convoluted way of dragging it out even further). It might sound like I was getting ahead of myself, but I'm being completely serious when I say I had planned most of those stories out enough that I could begin writing them if I had the time, even from the very beginning Mortal Coil was written with all these other stories in mind. That might only make it worse to hear I don't plan on continuing (assuming you actually cared about finding out what happened after Mortal Coil), but I've outlined my reasons for not wanting to continue on previous blogs which I'll briefly reiterate: I've become somewhat disillusioned to this site following an outbreak of a certain type of story (and yes I describe it like it's a plague intentionally), the fact that Mortal Coil was incredibly unsuccessful for how much work I put into it which was incredibly disheartening, the fact that I don't have the time to do lots of writing during semester time (summer is ideal, but the next problem relates to that), and lastly I just don't want to write MLP stuff for the rest of my life, I do enjoy it and I like what I've produced but I do want to write something that I could one day get published (we can't all be Pen Stroke).
So that's that, the life and times of Rarity's Odyssey: Mortal Coil, maybe I'll see it though to the end, maybe I won't (there's a good chance I might as I hate leaving things unfinished... just ask my partner :raritywink:). Either way, if you have read Mortal Coil and there's something you're burning to find out and you don't want to wait for a sequel that might never be written, you can just PM me any questions and I'll tell you whatever you want to know (so long as you don't go commenting it on the story and spoiling it for others). And with that I have nothing else to say, thank you again for reading the story and congratulations if you made it to the end of this.

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