• Member Since 9th Dec, 2014
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Robo Bro

A Canadian brony who enjoys writing stories. On rare occasions I even post those stories here.

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Chrysalis: Saviour of Time Chapter 14 · 11:18pm Sep 14th, 2019

AKA: Sticks and Stones. Actual discussion with spoilers and all after the page break.

Hello, all. It's been awhile hasn't it? Well, I've finally gotten around to getting the next chapter finished, and with luck I won't be more than a few weeks before the one after this is up, too. Fingers crossed.

The title is obviously meant to reference the old adage that everybody knows, or at least everybody who grew up speaking English I suspect. It's also in reference to Chrysalis being turned to stone and the "sticks" of the Everfree Forest.

It's a shorter chapter this time, not even a full 5k words. You have to go back a dozen chapters to find one shorter. I hadn't realized this one was going to be this short, but in hindsight it doesn't really surprise me. Chrysalis is mostly sidelined in this episode and her presence barely changes anything when it comes to the overall story. Therein lies my greatest concern with this chapter, Chrysalis doesn't actually do much and is essentially a bystander. I also supposed the exposition dump at the start where Chrysalis is going over her thoughts on how to properly change her past may not be the most advisable thing. At least it's shorter and more coherent than the initial draft...nearly half the length of the original version of her musings.

When I was first writing this, I couldn't remember for the life of me how Twilight got involved and then petrified by the cockatrice, and discovered upon looking it up that she really wasn't involved at all. She just randomly shows up petrified on her way to or from Zecora's place. I had to wonder how to get Chrysalis involved at all, and settled on abusing her platonic tsundere relationship with foals to drag her into the mess.

This chapter was one I had ideas for pretty early on. Specifically, the opening where Chrysalis is petrified and saying she's going to kill that chicken. That one short scene is the entire reason I wanted to do this chapter when I planned out what episodes to include for season 1. It became one of the major episodes for getting Chrysalis to respect Fluttershy, and I think it went fairly well to more or less cap off that progression which was started earlier with Fluttershy's assistance in saving Pinkie Pie from the mysterious changeling. Fluttershy comforting a distressed Chrysalis after being traumatized from petrification just feels right.

I did not quite expect Chrysalis to react so poorly to being petrified before I actually started writing that part of the chapter. While doing so, I stopped and had to acknowledge that it went a lot darker than I imagined. It was a big mess the first time through, and desperately needed to be cleaned up and reorganized, but I like the end result. A creature that normally has incredibly fluidity when it comes to movement and transformations and such being trapped in stone like that could likely drive them insane. Additionally, it gives her perhaps some insight into Discord's plight, which I may be able to play with a bit later.

Initially, Chrysalis was only supposed to respect Fluttershy because she was able to something that Chrysalis failed to do: keep the CMC safe, and overcoming the cockatrice. While that is still a major part of it, the kindness she shows to Chrysalis works wonderfully I think.

Anyway, enough rambling. Hope you enjoyed the chapter. Next up is something that is very much out of order from the episodes.

Comments ( 9 )

Ironically, if you think about it, Discord does present an opportunity for Chrysalis to get her wish, though her playing her cards right will definitely be tricky

s02 Discord will just use temptations like that to make her discorded. s04 Discord mostly cares only about Fluttershy (though he did do trickster mentor stuff for Mane 6 even before he was re-reformed again). s05+ Discord can help, but only in roundabout way and Chrysalis is guaranteed to be pissed in the process. Well, it will be too late for wedding help by that time, so help can be only for changeling near-extinction problem.

reminds me of that bit from Anthology 3


I'm still rooting for a shipping totally throwing canon out the window there. All it takes is Chrysalis picking up love between Celestia and Discord in the initial confrontation, and suddenly it's a romantic comedy as the girls try to hook them up instead of turn him back to stone.

Therein lies my greatest concern with this chapter, Chrysalis doesn't actually do much and is essentially a bystander.

That was definitely a weakness of this chapter. However, I think it managed to work anyway, on the strength of the horror and comedy parts of it invoked, the character development it fostered, and the fact it was short. The length actually helped since we didn't have to put up with Chrysalis being a bystander for long (similarly, it would probably be best if this is about the only chapter like that). It's like a change of pace episode that mostly works as a one-off but which you don't want a whole season of.

I also supposed the exposition dump at the start where Chrysalis is going over her thoughts on how to properly change her past may not be the most advisable thing.

No, that was okay, since at least it was something new brought to the episode. Again, you wouldn't want to do it too often and possibly not ever again, but it wasn't too bad here. Although whatever cleanup you did probably helped.

Actually, on further thought the exposition dump might have been better trimmed down a bit more and with the space saved devoted to Chrysalis doing something else, though.

EDIT: Still, explicitly addressing why Chrysalis wasn't attempting to team up with her past self was a good idea.

Yeah, I don't intend on having her be so uninvolved in any future chapters.

That's good. Then, as I said, as a short chapter surrounded by chapters where she's more involved, it's fine. It's a weakness but it's a relatively minor one as is and you got some other good stuff in.

For comparison, I think that Chrysalis occasionally doing something better than Twilight did, while also something you want to avoid having happen too often, is not a weakness but a strength (in moderation). Twilight's not flawless and Chrysalis has her own strengths, even if she's generally worse at interacting nicely in pony society.

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