• Member Since 20th Jul, 2012
  • offline last seen 8 hours ago


Just a friendly dragon.

More Blog Posts21

  • 1 week
    Dramatic reading of Fragments!

    So here's something I never expected to happen. Kitsune Heart has just started up a dramatic reading of Fragments!

    Read More

    5 comments · 117 views
  • 2 weeks

    So one of the people who had bought a copy of Without a Hive had a printing issue where some of the words were randomly made italic. It was a problem that had cropped up before, but I had thought fixed. Apparently, this wasn't the case. It seems that the books weren't printing consistently, despite using the same PDF. Most seem to have printed just fine, but some (I'm only aware of one, though

    Read More

    8 comments · 257 views
  • 8 weeks
    Print project: Fragments is up!

    The final test printing arrived today, and it came back perfect. No more lingering font formatting issues. As of now, the whole trilogy is online! Thanks again for your patience, and to everyone who encouraged me to see this through.

    Read More

    16 comments · 477 views
  • 10 weeks
    Print project: get some books edition.

    Read More

    16 comments · 497 views
  • 14 weeks
    Print project: A New Way

    I had to complete the series, after all :twilightsmile:

    Read More

    14 comments · 510 views

Journey's End · 2:25am Oct 16th, 2018

The Chrysalis is, after all this time, at an end. It's been a long time coming, but we're finally there, and I feel like looking back on everything that's led to this three-year journey.

To start with, I want to give thanks to my partner Mekhazzio, for all his help with proofreading, editing, and bouncing ideas off of, to Backlash91, for some awesome fan-arts, and of course, to everyone who read my silly little horse stories.

I've previously discussed why I came to write the story. I've always had a fascination with changelings, so it wasn't at all surprising that one of my first thoughts after reading Fallout: Equestria was, "what if there were changelings?" The basic idea of a story formed then. Following on the tail of the original, I wanted a changeling protagonist that was a newcomer to the wasteland, so they discover it along with the reader. I settled on the idea of a pre-war changeling being preserved and waking up in the Wasteland, and that's about where it stood for the longest time; a neat idea, but one that I probably wasn't going to write.

That changed when Fallout 4 was announced, and it, too, featured a pre-war character waking up in the Wasteland. Coupled with a coincidental blog by Kkat pondering about changelings in the Wasteland, the idea that had been simmering in the background suddenly came to a boil. Within a couple months, I had a simple outline covering all the major events of the story, and got to writing. I posted the first two chapters shortly before Fallout 4 came out (And I'm amused that the posting of the last chapters similarly happens shortly before the next Fallout game).

When Fallout 4 did come out, and I started playing it, I was quite amused with any plot-points I found in common between the two. I wanted to point this out to clarify something: The Chrysalis was not conceived of as "Fallout 4 in Equestria". If anything, it was more New-Vegas in its inspiration, with the desert-like setting and basic plot. But that basic plot, that of a personal quest turning to allying local factions against a common threat, is also one of the ways Fallout 4 can go. The overall outline, detailing Whisper's progress from waking up in an abandoned research facility to the detonation of the Pale Sands megaspell, remained the same, but as I played through Fallout 4, there were little details I added or tweaked. So, while I didn't set out with the intent of writing Fallout 4 in Equestria in the same way that Fallout: Equestria was largely Fallout 3 in Equestria, it kind of fits the bill, and I'm rather pleased by that.

Many of the details are fairly minor, and didn't change much in the way of the story's plot. For example: they were always going to wipe out the raider gang that killed Emerald, but Boomer with her B.E.L. and crude power armor was inspired by the bastard of the same name in Fallout 4. Seriously, screw that guy. :twilightangry2:

Speaking of the outline, this is one of the areas that I learned from my previous stories. The Chrysalis was always going to be a fairly long and complex story, so I wanted to do it right. When I was writing A New Way, I had only a very sparse outline (About half the length of the shorter Without a Hive!), and that lack of detailing meant I had spent less time figuring out how things worked later in the story. The result was that I faced the awkward position of doing rather dramatic changes to the plot of an ongoing story essentially on the fly (To the point that the "good guy" and "bad guy" changeling leaders changed places!). I also know you can't plan too rigidly, because there will be developments that come up in the middle of the story that might not fit perfectly with my simplistic earlier planning.

I think I hit the sweet spot for this story. I got all the important "beats" of the plot in place, with notes on needed and possible details, and then used that as a flexible framework to build the story on. I had a clear idea of where I was, where I was going, and how to get there, while leaving myself plenty of room to tweak and adjust things as I went. It worked perfectly: I was never lost as to where we were going, I could make sure everything I wrote was in support of the overall story, and I could focus on simply writing the scenes as they should naturally develop rather than worrying about how I'm going to tie it all together.

...Which isn't to say everything went according to plan. Outlines are guidelines rather than rules, and while I followed the outline in general, there were places where things changed. Whisper's reveal is completely different (Mercs trying to silence them for Big Gun rather than being overwhelmed or captured by raiders). The Enclave Loyalists originally didn't exist, with the shootdown of the Cumulonimbus being merely a cool visual and a way to introduce information about the civil war going on above the clouds (And am I ever glad I realized their potential early enough to work them in!). Tracking down Banger was a bigger deal, though it still didn't produce anything useful for nailing Big Gun. The subject of the former partner who took Dusty's rifle was originally resolved when he found her in Trotsen, and they found Banger either there or in World's End. There was originally a plot point about incomplete Celestia Two and Three megaspell chambers, but they were cut, since they couldn't possibly contribute anything to the fight until well after a victor was decided, and the megaspell threat was already covered much more effectively by the Pale Sands balefire bomb. The original idea for Trotsen had more investigation and uncovering of changeling Infiltrators, which would have taken far longer and been much dryer, and a sub-plot about tracking down and potentially recovering a ambushed/stolen convoy got cut and summarized in a few comments by various ponies. Similarly, the original plan at Mareford was for Whisper to sway people to the alliance of factions through manipulation and subtlety, but it didn't fit well with the other changes I had made leading her to more openness. Fortunately, I realized I could show the threat Serenity posed with a coordinated mass-assassination, which not only had grave personal stakes for Whisper, but also set the scene or chaos at the negotiations that led to her revealing her own nature

There were two other changes I wanted to address in a little more detail.

The first is Pale Sands. Originally, I had another character who would be joining the cast: Smoke, the last survivor of the Pale Ponies. The Pale Ponies inhabited the test-shelters near the Ponytown test site, and had a nearly religious connection with death. The unusual zombie-ponies inhabiting Ponytown were from the radiation caused by the Celestia One tests (Which had been tested on a nearby patch of desert the Pale Ponies call the Glass Fields). Most of them are ancestors of the living Pale Ponies, brought to the Glass Fields near the end of their lives, so they could guard their descendants. Basically, my brain took a bit of death/pale-horse (Largely thanks to hearing a certain Johnny Cash song at the right moment) and a bit of Children of Atom, and mixed them together. It was a cool bit of lore that I really liked, but when I went to introduce Smoke, I realized that she contributed absolutely nothing to the plot, while adding probably another ten thousand words or more to the story. As much as I might like to show off the cool stuff I came up with, I had to recognize that keeping her in would be bad for the story. Sorry, Smoke. :fluttercry:

And the second and biggest change... well, let's just put it simply: in the original outline, Whisper did not survive. Events went much as they did in the final story, but she never planned on ending up in those vents. She went along with the raid into Serenity to free the ponies, but when Serenity launched a counter-attack, Echo was injured, and Whisper took to the vents to avoid being killed. This would have led to an eventual face-to-face meeting with Chrysalis, told as a real-time, raw recording. No narration, just dialogue. I even planned on naming the chapter Audio_File_049, instead of the existing chapter-name scheme. The epilogue would then be of a young Queen Ephema (The Second), having just finished listening to Whisper's recordings, and having a discussion with one of the other cast (I was originally planning a somewhat-mellowed and sober Sickle). The original thought was to cast it as an act of sacrifice for her hive, with some callback to Whisper's earlier comment about how only a "great queen" would give her own life for her hive. The recordings would serve as both a journal of her travels and recording the ways of Infiltrators and their hive (I'd planned on Sickle mentioning that she didn't care for the story, as "too little fighting, too much 'how to be a changeling'" to reinforce this to young Ephema).

While I had liked the plan at first, I grew increasingly dissatisfied with it. It kind of felt like I was going with that ending just because Fallout: Equestria ended with a theme of sacrifice. Yeah, it drove home Whisper's dedication, and her willingness to do the right thing by her hive even if it cost her, personally, but I just didn't find it satisfying. It left her new hive with only the sparse recordings she had left, and her former companions, for guidance, inevitably losing a lot of their history and skills. It killed off a character I've come to love, and who would have a great degree of influence over the future of the region. But most importantly... it didn't make sense. The series of events required to get there stretched credibility. Notably, Echo is over-protective of Whisper and her salvation-for-ponykind potential. If a Serenity counter-attack showed any signs of being a credible threat, Whisper would be the first one out, not the last.

So I'd like to thank Echo, for making the end a lot better than it could have been. I much prefer a living Whisper, and she gave the final bit of leverage needed to sway my mind. Writing the epilogue and the future-history of the setting convinced me that this was absolutely the right choice to make. :twilightsmile:

Incidentally, it's a bit daunting looking at the stuff I cut and realizing just how much longer the story could have been if I hadn't. As Whisper said, “Was it not long enough already?” :twilightoops:

Speaking of things that I changed my mind on, you might have noticed that I slipped some cryptograms into the author's notes of several of the early chapters, giving little teasers or extra bits of lore. You can probably blame Gravity Falls for planting that seed of an idea in my brain (In fact, the first one was an intentional reference to the show), and it seemed rather fitting with Whisper's interest in cryptography. Unfortunately, it didn't seem to go over very well, so I eventually stopped. I don't think people liked being left out of something, and I can understand that. I figured that, with the story complete, it might be a good time to show what you might have missed, so... here's the plaintext for all of them, spoilered just in case:

Chapter 7


Chapter 8
Ceasar cypher


Chapter 9

User "CoolBugz", last remote login: 73,750 days ago.

Chapter 10
ROT23 encoded in base64

Objective secured. Returning home.

Chapter 11

We're set for Sunlight Square. See you tomorrow.

Chapter 12

Report status.

Say again, report status.

To anypony on this net, report in.

Chapter 15

But who turned on the siren?

Chapter 16
Viginere cipher, key "patience" (This is the note Whisper found and summarized in the chapter)










Chapter 21
ROT23 encoded in base64

We may have a complication.

Chapter 23
ROT23 encoded in base64

Asset not responding. Presumed lost.

Incidentally, whenever one of the messages were from a in-setting faction, rather than my own comments, I made sure that faction used the same method each time. Just a little thing that amused me. :twilightsmile:

So, I think that wraps it up for The Chrysalis. If there's anything you'd like to know, please ask! I'll be happy to share.

The obvious question, one I have to ask myself, is "What next?"

Short answer: I enjoy writing. Of course I'm going to write more stories. :twilightsmile:

Before you get your hopes up too high, though, I'm afraid my imagination has taken a detour from the subject of my recent stories. I've got a new idea burning in my brain and insisting on being written, but I'm afraid it's not a pony story. It's set in the real-world, and is near-future sci-fi (With plenty of cyberpunk and transhuman elements). I've already started writing, in fact, having put out a good ten thousand words in the time the finale of The Chrysalis was in editing and revision. If it turns out good enough, I might even try getting it published! And I have to admit, it's not untouched by my changeling obsession and general arthropodal interest; the protagonist goes by the screen-name of "BTL" or "Beetle", which is a good deal more important than just a name. She also takes comfort in a colorful cartoon of woodland critters mostly aimed at younger children. :twilightsmile:

That said, there's a good possibility I'll return to ponywords in the future, and with the rate of progress I'm making on my current story, it might not even be that long. I've got a few ideas. There's the possibility of another story set after The Chrysalis, with one of the ideas being a joint expedition by the NCR and the newly allied territories around Mareford (Including the Whisper Hive), heading up north to investigate the Crystal Empire. I also still have an idea for a story called Crusader Aerospace, which I just need to work out a good story for instead of just a basic idea for a story (And yes, it's "Cutie Mark Crusaders space program yay!"). Heck, I might just come up with a short one-shot idea just for the heck of it. I mean, I'm less than three thousand shy of breaking a million horse-words. I practically have to.

Anyway, I think I've rambled on long enough. That's a might wall of text up there. If you have any questions, please ask away! And again, I hope you've enjoyed my story. I know I did. :twilightsmile:

Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!
Comments ( 39 )

I'm really glad you enjoyed writing this and look forward immensely to any future projects.
Will you be posting a link to this new cyberpunk thing or will that be a "once it's finished" thing?
I'd really like to read it, sounds pretty cool just from the concept.

On another question, could I possibly try and make a proper e-book out of this? I just love this story so much and it deserves that much (and maybe even print a copy of it).

This story really did have an impact on me and I love having authors explain the meaning behind their words, so thank you once again.

Hey, I just finished reading your story, and I wanted to say that I really enjoyed it!

I thought that the epilogue finished most of the character arcs nicely. However, I was curious about Starlight's ending. It seemed to me that she wanted to become a mother herself, did I miss interpret this or was she simply satisfied raising Whispers' children? Another reason I am asking this is that I remember Whisper stating that she purposely makes her forms sterile. This information did not seem relevant to the story unless it was supposed to be a future tie-in to a greater relationship between Whisper and Starlight.

The cyberpunk story will be a "once it's finished" thing; I'm at least entertaining the idea of having it published, but if that doesn't work, I'll find some way of sharing it. Assuming I think it's worth sharing, of course. :twilightsheepish:

Feel free to make an e-book out of this! If you do, I hope you'll send me a link. I'd love to have a copy of it, too!

That's a question even I've been wondering about!

She's certainly gotten some mothering in with Whisper's "kids", and it was very intentional that one of them referred to her as "momma Starlight". Whether she's had any children of her own... I haven't decided. As you noted, the comment about making her forms sterile was because there is the possibility of pregnancy otherwise.

...But, while I haven't made a hard "canon" decision there, I think Starlight would love to have a kid of her own some day, especially if it was with Whisper. :twilightsmile:

If I manage to you'll hear of it, and that's fine with the other story thing, I could wait years for this to finish and I can wait until your next amazing story is done!

Comment posted by Keystroke Cascade deleted Oct 16th, 2018

Absolutely staggering writing here mate! Enjoyed reading from the start to the explosive finish.

I am not sorry for that pun


The Chrysalis is, after all this time, at an end. It's been a long time coming, but we're finally there, and I feel like looking back on everything that's led to this three-year journey.

man, it really has been that long hasn't it, it always feels weird when long stories like this end.

I've always had a fascination with changelings ...

honestly, i think your responsible for my interest in them as well. Without a hive was really formative for my headcanon on changelings, and i've always liked your intelligence/counterintelligence stuff.

. She went along with the raid into Serenity to free the ponies, but when Serenity launched a counter-attack, Echo was injured, and Whisper took to the vents to avoid being killed. This would have led to an eventual face-to-face meeting with Chrysalis, told as a real-time, raw recording. No narration, just dialogue. I even planned on naming the chapter Audio_File_049, instead of the existing chapter-name scheme.

that'd be interesting to see sometime if you ever feel like exploring that a bit more.

... a story called Crusader Aerospace, which I just need to work out a good story for instead of just a basic idea for a story (And yes, it's "Cutie Mark Crusaders space program yay!").

That sounds interesting/disastrous.

as sad as i am to see this end... im glad it was made. not many changling stories out there after all. i might still be back a few (dosen) chapters, as i have been too busy to read latly... but i realy look forwards to finish reading this story!

I want to know how the pale pony stuff was going to go and what else we'd find about End of the World.

Both of those were plot stuff I'm sad to see cut, but unlike someone else I think you were willing to cut material rather than make the fic into something the ending always looks like it's just beyond the horizon.

It always sucks when a story ends, it feels like it is an end to that world. But no story can last forever. Though I do have to finish The Chrysalis and another FoE I was reading.

Every story is like looking through glass, into another's life.

There is a quote that works here.
"One who has never read has only lived one life while one who has read plenty has lived a thousand."

I’m certainly looking forward to reading this now that it is completed. If only I didn’t have so many fics to choose from! This is probably going in my top ten to read in the near future. Maybe top five as I’m biased with having my own changeling oc.

What ever happened to Bloodbeak and her zebra pals?

I did enjoy it, yes, and thank you for writing and sharing it, again. Good luck in your future endeavors! And just in case any of them make their way here, I've followed you. :)

I loved the ending instantly heard the fallout 1 narrator ehen reading it. Way to little bittersweet stuff but its ok for that setting. Gonna miss this story it was hell of good read

Waghablaargh? How did I miss six chapters? Agh!
Five! Just five! I had the review for ch45 written up and just never got around to posting it...
[edit again]
Oh, you posted three of those just yesterday? Welp, that explains a thing or two...

Man, what a trip this has been, and I only joined the journey in the last year.

The little epilogue snippets were great. Part way through them I started to get this sense of nostalgic accomplishment, an odd thing for a passive observer to feel. Then I made the connection with the endings of fallout games and a few others that I played in the past, and it made more sense. All that to say that the story was tied together wonderfully.

I envy you, getting to read it for the first time. It's been a treat, you will enjoy it.

YOUR STORY WAS EPIC! I am currently re-reading it, (currently at chapter 32) I appreciate all your hard work!

and I cannot wait to see if you do more in what I dub "the whisper verse"

I have a completed Fallout: Equestria story too! [/shamelessplug] :rainbowwild:

(And a changeling story too, I guess, heh.)

Yep I know! I followed you a while ago. Got some stories in my read later list.


That sounds interesting/disastrous.

The instigating event I had in mind was accidentally knocking the valve off a high-pressure helium tank (intended for party balloons) and sending it through a building, leading to, "Hey, this gives me an idea!" Among the events that follow include the investigation of potential propellants, including such fun things as magically-purified (98-100%) hydrogen peroxide, chlorine triflouride (:twilightoops:) and other exciting chemicals, as well as such interesting aerospace terms as pogo oscillations, CATO, and RUD. Things go well. :twilightsheepish:
The Pale Pony stuff, sadly, was basically just some lore. It would give a bit of a look into them and their history, but none of it contributed to the plot. Smoke would basically just be an exposition piece to let me babble on about some cool bit of background information that didn't affect what was going on. She'd be involved in some way in the battle of Rotwater Creek, but that was about the only way I could think for her to contribute to the story. About the only thing she did do was back in the infirmary of the Cumulonimbus, where she still appeared unconscious until she killed a Serenity soldier in power armor (But no face-mask) with a scalpel she'd stolen. It was a cool "badass" moment for her, but it basically turned the tense hold-out for Echo's return into a bit of a deus ex machina. As much as I like showing off the cool things I thought up, it really didn't work, and would have just padded out a part of the story where we really needed the momentum.

World's End had a little more, but most of it tied to the original thoughts I had for Banger. World's End was established as something of a sanctuary, by ponies who had lost their way of life through whatever means (Generally by being exiled from their homes for something they did), but instead of going bandit or raider, decided to band together and form a new settlement, under the idea of being a second chance for outcasts. They're remote enough from other settlements to not have many problems, though occasionally someone finds out that some wanted criminal is living there, trying to make a new life, and that leads to tension (Hence their poor reaction to Dusty saying he was looking for someone). When I had Banger as part of the story, he was probably going to be found there, leading to tension between the settlement and the crew. Whisper and company would want him to implicate Big Gun, while Banger wants to stay there, with the town backing him up. But in the end, I'd changed how the interactions at Mareford went, and after Big Gun had turned his mercs and corrupt Rangers on the crew, Banger just wasn't important any more. Plus, the whole sidetrack to deal with that meant a big interruption of Whisper's journey home, which really felt like a bad choice.
I suppose I was a little vague with that, huh?

Seroon's tribe wasn't involved with the force that raided Serenity, so the last we see of them is tending to the surrendered changelings, followed by the mention of Seroon in the epilogue. The position of him and his tribe is basically unchanged from what it was before the army; he's still looked to with respect, and his tribe is living happily in Mareford. They continue working with the changelings, and as suggested in the epilogue, help with easing tensions and improving relations. Possibly because they're also an example of outsiders welcomed by those ponies, and when Seroon points that out to those same ponies, they're inclined to listen to him. :twilightsmile:

As for Bloodbeak, she sees the tribe as something like her family, and probably sticks with them most of the time... but I imagine she's happy to hop in Starlight's motorwagon any time she comes by and go on a brief salvaging adventure with her. :rainbowdetermined2:
Multiple complete fics, even! Including one-shots that seem so rare among Fallout: Equestria stories. And even *gasp*:pinkiegasp: comedy!

Honestly you made good choices... But I can still wish.


And even *gasp*:pinkiegasp: comedy!

I found out I have problems keeping that out of my writings, actually. It just comes naturally :rainbowlaugh:


Wait, I even have a Fallout Equestria Changeling story... huh. :applejackunsure:

Absolute YES. Fell in love with this tale right from the start, and absolutely sad, but elated to see it finished. Haven't felt that feeling of a good story ending and wanting MORE in a long, long time. Thank you for this!


Do you have any plans to return to the world you built with your first three stories? I can definitely understand seeing that series as complete, but there's always room to write more if you want to even if it is just cute one-shots.

Incidentally, it seems to me like it would make sense to use that as the setting for the CMC story to help flesh it out a bit, although actual interaction would probably be limited for obvious reasons.

The CMC one would most likely be in the same setting, though it would probably only show in a few minor background details that generally wouldn't matter. There might be a sighting of Sky tagging along with Rainbow Dash,.

I've also had a few vague ideas for the setting, but nothing that's really coalesced into a good story concept.


Thanks, that's about what I was figuring for the first one. It makes sense to connect it to give yourself some fun tidbits to help flesh out scenes like that, but it won't really affect the story in any meaningful way.

As for the second, the beauty of one-shots is that you don't really need more than that vague idea. All you need to do is write up one good cute/funny scene to show off that idea, add a bit of setup, and you have a solid one-shot. If you're lucky it'll turn into something bigger or inspire you to come up with a better concept, but even if it doesn't go anywhere you've still have put out a story we'll all enjoy which is an unambiguous win.

Still working on the ebook, just have to ask the question of if you want any proofreading done or just have it left as-is?
I should be able to have a pre-release version soon too if you want to check that out!

I'd love to see it!

As for proofreading, I'll leave that up to you. If you do, I wouldn't mind getting feedback on what needed to be fixed so that I can fix it in the original, too. I'm kind of embarrassed at all the little typos and such that got past me. :twilightblush:

I had a brilliant idea. Shadowrun, but instead of all the high-fantasy races, people turn into the races in MLP.

I'm sorry, is this a story? If it is, is it on your profile, hidden, or somewhere else? I see that you have 4 stories, but I see only three.

You probably have "view mature" turned off in your settings. The story this blog post is about is rated mature because of violence and language, so it wouldn't show up if you have that turned off.

Oh, ok, thanks. I'll check out the story, then...

Oh man. I's been forever since I checked up on what you've been doing :rainbowderp:

While FoE stuff isn't my thing, your other stories have convinced me that you're a fantastic writer, so hearing that you're branching out further, even beyond ponies, is great! The Deus Ex series got me deep into the transhuman aspect of cyberpunk, so your non-pony idea is definitely something I'd pay to read! :twilightsmile:

You're someone I'll be checking on every once in a while even if you're interest in ponies fades away, and I'm sure others here feel the same. So if it ever does and you leave this site, don't forget to tell us where you're going so we can stalk follow you there :pinkiecrazy:

Glad to hear it! And while I doubt I'll be losing interest in ponies any time soon, I'll make sure to leave some news here if I'm up to anything you guys might want to know about. :twilightsmile:

Aaand now I can finally respond to this legitimately instead of just browsing the comments, since I finally finished The Chrysalis.

Yeah, I think you went a bit over the top with some of that encryption stuff, heh. but it was fun nonetheless :twilightsmile:

The interesting thing about the end was, to me, that you set it up in such a way that I actually felt like there was a chance that Whisper would not survive. The narrative structure before made that impossible, and then there's this change where she says that this recording may be the last, and it honestly made me feel uneasy. So, well done there, the added suspense certainly worked.

Yeah, the cryptograms were kinda fun, but in the end, I didn't really miss them when they were gone. :twilightsheepish:

And I'm really glad to hear that the suspense worked at the end. It was one of the things that I was the most worried about, especially with how the ending differed from the original concept. Given how good Whisper is at all the sneaky stuff and how thoroughly she prepared, I was really worried that the ending might lack any sense of danger.

Thanks again :twilightsmile:

Login or register to comment
Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!