• Member Since 30th Apr, 2012
  • offline last seen November 14th


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They said mighty Saraneighvo would never fall.

They said proud Saraneighvo would never weep.

They said old Saraneighvo could never die.

In the darkest of days, we find solace in whatever we can.

Inspired by the story of Vedran Smailović, the real Cellist of Sarajevo.
Audiobook version read by Illya Leonov
Editing and Prereading by: LoyaLiar, JustAnotherTimelord, and Sojourner
Cover art by me.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 75 )

And he's back with another one!

And OH! What a start to it all!

~Skeeter The Lurker

I have no words for this.
But i'll say "perfect" for now.

Damn, this was released RIGHT when I went to bed.

Oh well, I am happy to see it up. This was a glorious fic to read.

The next addition to his list has arrived. Fantastic start to it as well. I can't wait to see more of this come out. Best of luck with it Ruirik!

Sounds like the seige of Leningrad or Stalingrad during World War II.

I do hope that, if this story continues, it ends with her defecting to Amareica or something. She should really leave.....

:ajsleepy::ajsleepy::ajsleepy: Vedran Smailović, you retell the story of Vedran Smailović. Have you heard of the song called Christmas Eve, Sarajevo 12/24 by Trans-Siberian orchestra? If you have then you get the idea of how I got this true story. This is truly a touching story.

He was the inspiration, yes, and I do quite like the TSO song. That said, the song I played while writing and that inspired the tone of the story was this one:

3155244 :eeyup: I must say that is a pretty good choice of music.

An... interesting story.

I will admit, I was half expecting you to bestow upon Octavia the same fate that Mozart got, albeit slightly different.
I am talking about how & when he died. Mozart died while composing the piece "Requiem" - Death Verse. I would not have been surprised had Octavia been hit by a cannon as she was playing it, or just the other piece.

Regardless, it's a pretty story that shows us the horrors of war and what it can do to people, but in a different way than usual. We usually see how soldiers gets mauled mentally, if you can phrase it like that. How their minds simply give up and they go almost insane. What you show is the fate of the civilians, what their fate is, how their lives are.

I don't really know what more to say. It's just... different, from what we usually see. Unique, I'd dare say.

While editing this, I actually compared this (and still do) to Slaughterhouse-Five.

Also, in case you didn't know, TSO's Sarajevo is a modified version of their original Sarajevo suite when they were known as Savatage:

As a matter of fact,:ajsmug: I did.
It's just common knowledge that the song is performed by TSO for those who don't dig into it's history.

So, apparently, you did know that.:twilightsheepish:

It would be nice if the description said anything. So, what's this about?

Honestly, anything more descriptive would spoil the story, and I prefer to keep it vague. Give it a read if you haven't, it's not long.

My friend, I've seen TSO perform live every year for more years than I care to admit :ajsmug:

Absolutely amazing! I've always enjoyed reading your more lighthearted works, but only now do I see how good of a writer you really are. :pinkiehappy: And yet this fic made me pretty sad. Whether a fictional story or not, It never ceases to amaze me how one can capture the sadness of our reality and transpose it to a world of their own.


Yay! :yay:My favorite author is putting out some new ideas for stories...words cannot begin to describe the unalienable actions that I would go through to ensure that my favorite author is satisfied with his works of art. :raritywink::heart:

Always a pleasure <<<Ruirik>>>:twilightsmile:

Amazingly well written, a very immersive style.

Good job.

This story actually makes me wonder if it should have been written. Not because it's bad (it isn't, at all), but because the subject matter it deals with might not be something you want to directly reference in an MLP fanfic. I've been to Bosnia, including Sarajevo, multiple times before, I have seen many of the grim reminders of the war, and talked to many people who have had to live through it. It was not a heartwarming experience, to say the least.

Anyway, good job! It's a phenomenal story, and it gets my thumbs up. Like I said, the only thing I think is "wrong" with it is that I am a bit uncomfortable with "paying tribute" to certain events using certain mediums.

Read Slaughterhouse-Five and All Quiet on the Western Front. Many said that those books shouldn't have been written, too.

An excellent tribute. Well written, without pulling punches on the subject matter.

I'm somewhat assuming you're basing this off of The Cellist of Sarajevo, by Steven Galloway; the narrative makes similar notes to his.

Apologies if this isn't the case, and you simply decided to bring a historical event that truly should be more well known (that is, the cellist of Sarajevo) to a wider audience.

Kudos, no matter which.

I never read the book actually. My knowledge of the Cellist of Sarajevo came from the Savatage song (now the staple of Trans-Siberian Orchestra) and reading an article online. The idea struck a chord with me (pun not intended) and has stuck with me for a long time now. What motivated this man, what did he see? What did he see? How did that effect him?

which leads me to...
I am not bosnian (greek is the closest thing I have to an ethnic background) nor have I ever been to Europe. That said I know this is a touchy subject, which is why I tried to be as respectful as possible when writing this. I can't argue that this needed to be written, the war certainly has nothing to do with pony, and Octavia's backstory certainly doesn't demand this. At the same time a lot of war stories tend to focus on the soldiers and their suffering. I've always found it much more interesting to study conflict through the eyes of the bystanders.


I have. As far as I could tell, neither are MLP fanfics.

Don't get me wrong. This story is good, but I'm not sure it is appropriate to directly base a fanfic on something like the siege of Sarajevo.

Well, maybe it's just me...


I'm not sure it is appropriate to directly base a fanfic on something like the siege of Sarajevo.

To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure how "direct" the story is. My knowledge of the Siege of Sarajevo is limited to "there was a siege of Sarajevo" and Vedran Smailović. The details for the story itself were more based from a combination of the siege of Berlin and Stalingrad. So I'm curious, is your discomfort because of your ties to Bosnia and the people of Sarajevo? Or would you have the same qualms with a fic based of the Massacre at Malmedy, the Rape of Nanking, or the Trail of Tears?

No disrespect, I'm simply curious. Thanks for thumbing it up and I'm very glad you read it!


To be honest, I praise, and have utmost respect for both the effort and your intentions. Indeed, very few people know about the horrors that the people in Sarajevo (not to mention the entire Balkan region) had to live through, so I applaud anyone who makes an attempt to pay tribute to them (or at the very least mentions them).

I have no direct ties with the people of Bosnia, but I have been there several times. You actually managed to get pretty close to the accounts given by the people who lived through it (I could tell you about the tank that would find itself a neat little vantage point on top of a hill, from where it could then start shooting at people who gathered at the market every day to get some food, but that's another story for another day).

It's not really this particular subject that I find a bit sensitive when it comes to adapting real-life stuff in an MLP fanfic, although the name of this fic did remind me of my experiences, which is why I've read it in the first place. I would say the exact same thing about those other examples you've mentioned: To me, certain subjects just "don't feel right" when adapted by certain mediums (unless, for example, they make an indirect reference). I guess it's the same reason why... I don't know... Teletubbies doesn't have an episode where they talk about the atrocities of Pol Pot, or why I won't do an MLP adaptation of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. I might write something inspired by it, but definitely would not create any obvious links between the two...

Bottom line: good story, and I praise the effort, it's just that this kind of subject matter is a bit sensitive for me (and I don't even know what someone who is actually from Bosnia would say...)


I see. Nonetheless, this is a very well written fic. Again, kudos. :twilightsmile:

3157758 oh don't downvote the man, people. He's not shitting on Ruirik. It's okay to raise concerns.

Sheesh. Internet.

Have a balancing upvote just cuz people are being silly.


Heh, no need, but thanks anyway! :raritywink:

I think I managed to voice my opinion in a way that comes across as me bashing this story, and people took offense to that, which was not my intention. If that is the case, then I apologize. :twilightsmile:

Speaking of people on ye olde internet machine, how'd you like it?

3160483 it was good but a little further along the serious spectrum than I was really in the mood for at the time I read it. I need my mood to take a sharper upswing before I can really enjoy it.

Kinda cranky lately. Shoves me more toward comedy and fluff, y'know?

Oh my God... This was beautiful and powerful. A work of art

Thanks very much :twilightsmile:

Wow. Emotional and chilling all rolled into one. And inspired by a real event as well. Tough to read if only due to the subject matter. Liked/faved/followed.

Finally found some time to read this..
and I have to say; This story reminds me of the times my grandfather told me about his youth. I was very young when he told me his stories and he was very graphic about it, and it shocked me back then. After all, I grew up in a safe world, and war was more or less a game, but nothing serious in my childish mind. And today, this reminded me of exactly that.
Even through one could argue about the medium (like 3157758 pointed out, and I totally understand his point), I think those kind of reminders and tributes to the victims are important.

The fic itself was very enjoyable written so well deserved fav and thumb up.

My thoughts on this story can be found here.

At first I was nervous as hell to click that link. Now all I can say is I'm thoroughly flattered. Thank you.

Before reading the comments wanted to ask if your Bosnian but guess your not.

Ill definetly read it coming from the same region (Ex Yugoslavia) just a neighboring country.

I was born just at the beginning of the war so i have no first had experience or anything, still i know enough of how bad it was from stories and reading about it.

The siege lasted for almost 4 years what is the longest siege of a capital in modern history. :fluttershyouch:

I certainly hope you...well, maybe "like" isn't the proper term. Given your history with the region though, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

words can not explain the greatness of this story thats all I can say

It's stories like these that remind me how important literature is in regards to reminding us everything isn't peaches and creme and gasoline. You captured in so few words an air of hopelessness I hope never to feel beyond the pages of books.

Emotional and powerful. Enough to make one think philosophically about it, it being the story or even life in general...

A very touching depiction of despair, indeed. Not as dark as it might have been, but powerful enough to touch. Could we get a plot to go with this, please?

We need a sacrifice. One Spitfire and one Rainbow Dash plushie will do.


Oh, you're wicked. I like it.

Wow... Randomly happened upon this story while surfing the web, and the title instantly caught my eye, though I really can't say way, other than maybe my recent studies of World War I, where Serbia was heavily involved. That being said, the story itself was absolutely phenomenal and did an amazing job, I feel, of capturing the sadness of war, as well as the completely emotionlessness (if that's even a word) of the civilians caught in the cross-fire.

It also led me to search for the novel by Steven Galloway (that someone mentioned up there in the comments) and I can't wait to start reading it.

tl;dr. absolutely amazing job writing this. It was incredible.

Beautiful, just beautiful :fluttershysad:
First time I don't want to comment, because words cannot describe this...
Let silence be the best commentary...

I don't really know what to make of this, but it was perfect.

You really captured a feeling of powerful, oppressing despair. It was gruesome without going overboard, and very touching in all elements. Not a happy read, but a great one anyway.

Wow. Just wow.

The story captures the hopelessness, the sadness, the reality of the situation. It shows how the lives of ponies change during times of war, the despair they feel. An emotional read, indeed. :raritycry:

Barely any words can express how I'm feeling right now. Let's just say that it feels like you've punched me right in the feels. :fluttershysad:

However, I did find punctuation mistakes, if they be could considered as such.

The skeletons of countless buildings all dusted with snow rose from the ruins eerie reminders of what had been, not so long ago.

Some commas have been missed.

The skeletons of countless buildings, all dusted with snow, rose from the ruins, eerie reminders of what had been not so long ago.

Other than these, this has been a wonderful story. You sir, are a terrific writer. :twilightsmile:

Time for me to read Wind and Stone.

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