• Published 6th May 2013
  • 8,173 Views, 413 Comments

The Sword Coast - AdrianVesper



With a price on Twilight Sparkle’s head and the shadow of death on her heels, her only hope for salvation is the Magic of Friendship. (Baldur’s Gate Crossover)

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Author's Note

What a long strange trip it’s been.

After all, it’s a dangerous business, going out your door. My goal when I set out was to combine elements of two stories, Friendship is Magic, and Baldur's Gate, that I thought would go together into a whole that was more than the sum of its parts. I tried to paint a story through the eyes of a Twilight Sparkle tainted by a darker world, and show her journey down the line between hero and monster. I attempted to struggle with questions of life and death that the show itself could never address.

For journeying with me thus far, you have my thanks. It’s been an immense privilege to have you join me. I can only hope that it’s been as much fun for you as it’s been for me. When I began, I expected this first part to be about 85,000 words. But, to quote Tolkien, the tale grew in the telling.

I’d like extend some extra gratitude to a few people who have given me extraordinary help along the way.

Idle Prose: This guy has been amazing. The story would be half of what it is without him. The first proper editing I got of this story was on the Ponychan fic board, and Idle Prose was kind enough to review my story and stick with me as an editor. My first chapter was extremely rough until he got to it. Go read what he’s written, and he’s got a lot of big ideas in the pipes.

Extravagaunte: He helped me out a great deal, pointing out where I was unclear. It was especially awesome that he was largely unfamiliar with Baldur’s Gate and Forgotten Realms. It helped me identify areas that needed extra clarification. He’s a tabletop buddy of mine, and he just recently moved away for college. I wish him all the best.

Furutta: At first I was hesitant about sharing my story with people I knew in real life and preferred to hide in anonymity. Furutta helped me get over that difficulty. He’s my best friend, and it’s fantastic to have his interest and support.

The Music Man: He joined me late in this process, but so far, he’s found several errors that were overlooked in the past. The chapters that were already published are cleaner now that he’s been through them, and with his help, I’m confident that future chapters will be even better.

Additionally, I owe a debt to all the authors who have inspired me, fanfiction or otherwise. Kkat, author of Fallout Equestria, demonstrated to me what a crossover could be, and wrote my favorite story to date. Jetfire, author of It’s a Dangerous Buisness, Going Out Your Door was also a huge inspiration.

I’d also like to thank the Equestria Daily pre-reader volunteers for taking the time to look at my story, and Equestria Daily for featuring The Sword Coast. Without Equestria Daily’s help, my story would have a fraction of the views it has now, and as a writer, all I really want is for my work to be seen.

You all have my thanks for reading. Without you, I doubt I would have been able to finish this story. If you’d like to recommend my story to others, please rate and favorite if you haven’t already. Without updates to attract attention, it’s the only way it will be seen. If you don’t have an account, make one. If you have any advice on how to promote my story, please send me a message.

I look forward to seeing you all in the future. The Sequel: Shadows of the Crystal Empire, has begun. There are also a few side stories collected under the title Tales of the Sword Coast, focusing on the individuals and events surrounding Twilight Sparkle, but beyond her sight.

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Comments ( 59 )

Oh man, this whole thing has been a blast to read, reliving a lot of the original adventure sense and the classic feeling of: "Man, my character has a lot of shit he/she has to deal with". I'm greatly looking forward to the sequel and the continued adventures of some of our best little ponies :twilightsmile:

well done I am looking forward to more stories written by you

Was a great story overall. I feel that the ending was sort of anti-climactic, but I guess it's difficult to handle a protagonist growing so powerful. I think that the big explosion scene was the true climax, and it happened a chapter too early (or the story ran a chapter too long after it).

Looking forward to the sequel!

3365843

I'd say that it depends on what arc you're looking at. As far as tension of the overall story in terms of threat to the life of the character, your right, but I think the point where Twilight's arc reaches its apex, where the story had been building to, was the confrontation with the Black Knight. It was intended to be a foregone conclusion that Twilight would win in a fight (though, she does kind of lose because she's not willing to give up who she is to win), but the real conflict wasn't with the Black Knight, it was with a part of herself.

May your muse be grand in the days ahead, you created something really unique here.

It is indeed a dangerous thing stepping out you door. I myself am in the frame looking out, prepared and psyching myself up for it. You, who has already started, did a fantastic job thus far and i await your next work. To the long road, where ever it may take us. :twilightsmile:

3365892

I know what you mean, but it kind of felt that even the battle with herself was won back when she made the decision to survive the blast. There was no question that she wouldn't give in to the darkness during the fight with Shining Armor, in my mind, and the absorption of the thorn was pretty satisfying, but still felt like part of the falling action rather than the climax.

Well, it's been a hell of a ride. Good thing it's only just starting! :pinkiehappy:

You're doing something awesome here; keep up the good work, and here's to the next book!

3365983

Right, the climax was the explosion, but her confrontation with the Black Knight was the resolution, which is just as vital to the ending as the climax.

3365971

Cheers!

And thanks to you all for the positive feedback. I feel fantastic, seeing this first part concluded and seeing you all enjoying it.

3366074 I forget if it already is a part of it, but I would like to add this to my group if I haven't already. As someone who has never played BG, this is one of the better crossovers I've read. And as far as stepping out your front door goes, that is why I always sneak out the back. Less trolls waiting to ambush me, and a better chance for sneak attack crits. :raritywink:

Tales of the Sword Coast side stories?

Sir, I expect Noober.

3366223 Thank you very much, for a real compliment there. But so much of what often gets me to write in words so alluding, or poking in this case is really music. But look to your axis of approach in writing. No matter if it is a walk, nature, music, art, even other works of writing, finding that understanding of what drives you onward will help immensely when inspiration strikes, with a little guiding hand. That and lots of notepads if you are away, heh!

As for rhyming, music has a couple ways it can with the flow of the song. Standing with or against is just beginning. Even running slightly offbeat to the song itself to give it a stronger power in what it leaves you with. But I step away, and do hope, in leaving you with this.

Write on dear poet, for the muse will never leave.
Dream on oh writer, for this vision, it never fades.
Speak from the heart, as such shall set you free.
Live for the moment, the words flow at your choice.
And laugh in the moment after, to praise that is your own.

Have a grand night, you hear?

3366257

Pretty sure I put it in there shortly after I first published it. I think I only put it on one folder though, so feel free to put it anywhere else you think it should go.

Totaly can't wait for th sequal.

Didn't dare hope for a sequel. Will be waiting.
Surely it's all been said already, so only three words remain:
Fukken Saved.
Thanks.

So, would Sombra be Irenicus in the sequel?

*sighs* I wish I could write like you.

One word: excellence.

As far as BG crossovers are concerned, you nailed it. You took the base of the game's plot and reforged it into a different, but equally gripping tale. As a huge fan of Baldur's Gate, the story was even more pleasurable for me to read due to all those lovely bits and references. At moments I felt as if I was playing the game for one more time!

And now I hear there's going to be a sequel and sidestories. And I'm already sure it's going to be one hell of a ride. Again.

3372685

Thanks for the feedback, it really helps me know that I'm on the right track. So far, it seems like I've been able to make the story compelling both for people who have played Baldur's Gate and those that haven't.

3368263

In a good way, I hope. (Sorry, not familiar with the character)

3368137

Aim higher, bro.

3367768

Good guess, but you'll see.

3367767

TYVM

I just read the entire story this week and I absolutely loved it! :raritystarry:

As someone who never knew what Baldur's Gate is prior to reading this, I'd say you did an awesome job making me understand just what the heck is going on :twilightsheepish:

Excellent story with decent pacing and quality grammar. All I can say is have a :moustache:, actually make it three :moustache::moustache:.

I am totally looking forward to the sequel and the side stories :twilightsmile:

3411456

Aren't we all Luna fans?

There is a recent blog post from this site's moderators saying author's notes put as story chapters aren't authorized, just to let you know.

3414679

Meh. Perhaps I will give a crap if one of them gets on me about it. Thanks for letting me know.

As an aside, seriously? It's relatively standard to include an author's note at the end of things, and putting it separate from the rest of the story is nice.

3414698
I think you should still have a look at the reasons why they did this. The page is here :
http://www.fimfiction.net/blog/209448/psa-nonstory-chapter-updates

3429643

And that reasoning is why I added my author's note roughly the same time I added my last chapter. No extra bump to the recently updated page for me. And, also, reading that blog post, it looks like this is the sort of non-story-content and methodology that would be acceptable to the site's admins, though I could be wrong.

But, much thanks for bringing this to my attention. I did go hunting for the blog post when you first brought it up, but for some reason I couldn't find it. I guess I was expecting "author's note" to be in the title somewhere.

I have throughly enjoyed this story, and eagerly await the sequel. doitfaggot.jpg.

One chapter in, instant fave - you earned it :yay:

Also, it totally made me realize how changelings could work as DnD's drow (e.g. R.A. Salvatore's Drizzt series). Someone needs to make this happen (wink wink, nudge nudge :pinkiehappy:).

So this story had been sitting in my read later for 3 months and I regret every second that I let it sit there unread. Once my eyes struck the first chapter I was hooked, I had never played the Buldur's Gate games before, so I don't know how much of the story was borrowed from that, but I felt invested in the plight of each character from beginning to end, and even now I find myself wanting to know what happens next, and what awaits our protagonists in the future. The writing was superb, the action was well paced, the character interactions felt organic (if a bit sparse), the view into Twilight's emotional state throughout the story made me feel for her in ways that most stories fail to evoke, and the pacing was near perfect.

Now for the complaints (mostly nitpicks). Rarity seems to be the most flat and static of the characters here, and Fluttershy barely had any time in the spotlight as well, the other characters reacting to Twilight's confession about enjoying killing was one of the best scenes in the story, but the follow up was dropped and never mentioned again after they agreed to help her through it (really felt like that should have been brought up more), Pinkie being a Shadowspawn felt like it made some of her past actions make sense, but it seemed like it should have been a bigger deal then it was made out to be, and I cant help but feel that a number of things that were mentioned in passing sound incredibly interesting and I would like to learn more about them.(again, the quality of this story is such that these failed to be real issues, but if issues like this are absent from the next story then it may well be one of my favorite literary works of all time, not just on this site.)

Over all I greatly enjoyed this story, eagerly await the follow up, and will be placing this in my top ten stories on this site list.

Edit: One last thing, the characters get better at what they do throughout the story, but because they rarely get to face the same type of challenges they did at the start near the end we rarely realize just how must the quest had forced them to grow, Twilight massacring the bandits that were planing to attack their caravan was as close as we got to seeing how far they all had really come, and Rarity never got to demonstrate and kind of growth like this due to how she got overshadowed by every other member of the party, same with Pinkie to a lesser degree, although that became a plot point later in the story, whenever a fight came up Twilight, Rainbow Dash, and Applejack quickly took the spotlight, with Fluttershy getting her moments here and there and Pinkie having a reason to not have been grabbing the spotlight, but Rarity never once got a moment like Applejack finishing the dragon or Fluttershy calling down the rain to end the sandcats, or Rainbow's diving catch of Twilight after the battle of Candlekeep. I just began to felt like she was just "there" and not playing as large a role as the others, even in the trap finding Pinkie wound up stealing her thunder, being aware of traps that she was not thanks to her Pinkie sense. After taking time to think about the story after the warm feeling left by the final chapter had died down I realized that this was the greatest problem that had faced this story, as little as it subtracted from it.

3462463

Your feedback and praise is much appreciated. With the things you've mentioned, I've only scratched the surface, especially about Pinkie. Many of the things mentioned in passing you probably found interesting were setups for later events that just didn't tie into the plot at the moment. (So many irons in the fire :pinkiecrazy:) Unfortunately, some of the character arcs didn't have room to finish within the space provided by Twilight's first arc, which is the defining thing in the pacing of the story.

As far as character development, Fluttershy is an inherently quiet character, which makes her extremely challenging to write. What I tried to do with Fluttershy's development was show her becoming used to her situation and demonstrate her resolve to help her friends. I've done my best to deal with the six primary character arcs, and a seventh under the hood, and a lot of things require more time than I thought I had available without bogging down the plot.

Rarity is an enigma. I have to agree with you that she's the character that sees the spotlight the least. Her talents are less toward the action end of the spectrum, and more the intrigue. Her influence is more behind-the-scenes. But, while she doesn't have an Applejack vs the Dragon moment, I'd like to point out the moment in the diamond dog caves, that she made Applejack's armor, and her and Pinkie rescuing the rest of the cast from prison.

It's tough to show Rarity's character development because she's a bit of a mystery, and the story could definitely be improved in that area. She prefers to wear masks than come into the open, which might contribute to her coming off as static. If you aren't aware of it, the first part of Tales of the Sword Coast hopefully helps to remedy some of this lack-of-spotlight on Rarity's character.

Again, thanks for your feedback. Characterization is one of my many weaknesses, and I may have bitten off more than I could chew by trying to juggle a cast of five primary supporting characters, but the story I had in mind required it. I'm glad you enjoyed it, and I hope to make the sequel an even better story.

3463422

The point about Rarity being less of a combat oriented character is all well and good, but if her epic moment is intimidating a already terrified group of diamond dogs who pose little threat to the party at that point then we have different opinions of what defines an epic moment, at that point I felt as if the party was in no danger at all and there would be little consequence for failure. I have not read the side story yet, although I intend to do so shortly, but it really felt like every moment a conversation could have got them out of a fight that it was a side character that did the talking. For example if Rarity had been the one to talk down Lightning Dust on the bridge I feel that it may have given her a more suitable moment to really show what she dose better then anyone else with a real risk of failure and the task being hard enough to fit in well with the scope of what the others had accomplished, but again the story was incredible and all these things I am pointing out barely effected the quality, being merely nitpicks.

3538430

Well, I'm glad you liked it. I definitely agree that I improved as I progressed through the story. I got a lot of practice.

As for Rarity, I think I handled the call back in the side story to her introduction a little haphazardly. But, she was at a low point. I wouldn't say she was randomly picking pockets though. Pinkie had a good deal of cash and wasn't from around Ponyville, and Rarity happened to spot her bartering in the market. The way I picture it, Rarity decided to snatch the coin-purse on impulse when it was displayed in front of her, driven equally by necessity and curiosity. She wasn't at the market to pick pockets, but did so when the opportunity presented itself. (I don't think she was fully committed to involving herself until she found out they were trying to find a slave and Applejack was involved).

Still, definitely something I could have done better. Thanks for your feedback.

Not quite what I wanted, nor what I expected. But that's a good thing... I find that there are usually 2 types of character insertion fics, one where the events happen in the EXACT same way as the source material, which gets immediately boring since every plot point is already known and often feels painfully shoehorned , or one where the events are so radically different that it has almost no bearing on the source that the only thing that it does is save the author some time making an entirely new universe, which probably would be more interesting.

You however found a relatively happy middle ground. Leaning a bit more towards the latter but well within the forgivable range and certainly within my suspension of disbelief. I feel as though you left some threads unexplored or just plain cut them off, e.g. Rarity's connection to the thieves guild, Pinkie's book mentor (that could've spanned a whole chapter if you really ran with it), however that was also a problem for the source material as well. You were true enough to the source to make an old fan interested and explored different possibilities to keep this same fan interested to read the entire thing.

You've taken an already interesting and unique idea and ran with it in your own direction, that's far from the straight path,
All in all, I give it a like, fave and review.

And as a dedicated fan to BG as well as a now intrigued reader, PLEASE WRITE MORE!!111!!! :flutterrage::raritydespair:

This story was so well written and made for a fun ride from first page to the last. It was grim enough without the characters dwelling too far into either grim or bloody revelry.

My style is still under development and I'm shy at asking for editors (changed that, I assure you), but if I can do half the quality displayed in this story, then I can be satisfied with giving my readers a quality tale to follow.

3597401

Thanks, I'm flattered. I wish you the best of luck, but aim higher bro.

3541100

More is coming. Thank you very much for your feedback. The whole crossover thing has always been a tough balancing act.

3448365 I'm Pretty sure they already are, at least on this site: A whole species of Chaotic good Rebels yearning to throw off the reputation of their Evil kin.

I....I think I'm in love with you. Or your writing. Okay, one of the two.

Excellent, amazingly excellent! I love this piece of work, and I go now to read the sequel and the side stories. Honestly, I was rather worried Shining Armour was gonna croak by the end of it, but I'm glad to see I was wrong. I can't wait to read more of your fantastical work!

3795622

Thanks. It's great to see new readers after I posted the sequel.

I love Baldur's Gate. been so long since I played it though! I actually have custom soundsets for the Mane 6 xD.

hope this is as good as I think it'll be. (haven't started reading yet)

That was one hell of a great story. Great characterization, fantastic tone, and an incredible job of using all the bits and pieces of FiM in a Forgotten Realms style. I cannot wait to read the sequel!

Comment posted by Eldorado deleted May 20th, 2014
Eldorado
Moderator

Sorry to have to unpublish this, but this type of thing needs to be shared with your readers through a tagged blog post. Or, perhaps, added onto the last chapter as an author's note there.

A truley epic first book to a truley epic tale, going to the sequill now, awesome work

Absolutely fantastic, don't know much about Baldur's Gate. Still I understand the hole story with no problems, so good work there. Definitely one of the best story's on the site. Thanks for writing it. :twilightsmile:

The Sword Coast by AdrianVesper
8 out of 10 - Great
- Interesting Character Development
- Excellently Written Action Scenes and Visualization
- Choppy Dialogue
- Fascinating World Building but Not Without Some Huge Exposition Dumps
Reviewed by Amy Clockwork. Read the full review here.

5098637

Check them all off yet?

This story is seriously under-appreciated and I just spent the last three days powering through with barely any stop. I love your action scenes, I actually had to stand up and skip a few times because I was just that excited. I feel like Twilight discovering a new library from a long forgotten era or something like that! I blame you totally for my lack of sleep! D:

Thank you, thank you for writing this story!

Great story! I don't have a lot to say other than that. This has been sitting in my read it later list fow a while and I'm gald I finally got to it. I'll be heading off to the sequel now. See you there!

6427005

More on this in the sequel. I don't know if I directly state anything, but yeah, that connection is supposed to be made.

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