1. Member Since 22nd May, 2012
  2. offline for 25w, 2d

I write terrible fan fiction and I'm generally a terrible person; you only think I'm joking...

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A pact between three prominent griffon clans and the Equestrian monarchy threatens to force a drastic change upon all of griffon society. Ancient beliefs are being stomped out and a war is on the horizon; only one clan still stands for the Old Ways, but will they be able to escape the fate of so many others?



This is just meant to be a little world-building exercise and a look into history. I've tried my best to avoid walls of exposition, though please alert me if you find yourself slamming face-first into an insurmountable cliff of text. Hope you enjoy it!

First Published
20th Oct 2013
Last Modified
20th Oct 2013
#1 · 187w, 4d ago · · ·

Great story. I felt a great pity and intrigued for the characters in this.:ajsmug:

#2 · 187w, 4d ago · · ·

>>3373390

I'm glad you liked it, it's always daunting when you first submit a story and don't know if it's any good. So, once again, cheers mate :pinkiehappy:

#3 · 187w, 4d ago · · ·

>>3373400 Also sent you a PM for changes, in case you haven't got that yet

#4 · 187w, 3d ago · · ·

wow.... just finished and this is amazing :twilightsmile: I really like your writing style it's so eloquent and the story is so exquisite lol have some awesomesauce! :derpytongue2:

#5 · 187w, 3d ago · · ·

>>3375182

Heh, thanks mate, now I must bid you adieu because it's just gone past one in the morning where I am. Stay awesome :pinkiehappy:

#6 · 187w, 3d ago · · ·

>>3375196

haha okay I bid thee a good night! :scootangel: you stay awesome too :ajsmug:

#7 · 187w, 2d ago · · ·

A very interesting look into Griffon culture and history. However, there are a few problems with sentence structure. For example:

"Veer’an was laid prostrate before a large iron throne decorated with swirling shapes and interlocking patterns, upon it sat a large, muscular griffin."

Maybe it's just me, but this sentence feels kinda awkward. It'd probably be better if it were split up into two sentences, like this:

Veer’an was laid prostrate before a large iron throne decorated with swirling shapes and interlocking patterns. Upon it sat a large, muscular griffin.

Just an opinion :twilightsmile:

#8 · 187w, 2d ago · · ·

>>3383308

Thanks mate, I'll take a look at that :pinkiehappy:

#9 · 187w, 2d ago · · ·

Oh, and here are your mustaches!

:moustache::moustache::moustache::moustache::moustache:

#10 · 187w, 2d ago · · ·

>>3383343

Heh, thanks, I take it that the mustaches mean you liked it? If so, I'm glad you enjoyed it. :twilightsmile:

#11 · 187w, 1d ago · · ·

It's an interesting insight in the Griffin culture. This would have deserved a longer story to develop the psychology of each character. Actually they embody, fairly well, well-know tropes.

I've only found a few mistakes like the common it's/its and a repetition of two "be" one after the another.

It is really good. Take a Moustache :moustache: and a like by the way.

#12 · 187w, 1d ago · · ·

>>3384058

Thanks for the review and the like, mate :pinkiehappy:

#13 · 187w, 1d ago · 1 · ·

I've already stated that even though you take the typical approach of spacing paragraphs which is a good idea that I encourage most writers to practice, you should still indent each paragraph when you begin anew.

I  enjoyed the beginning, I think that there are ways you could improve it, particularly in your descriptions of the griffin, I feel that you're just not quite there. You're descriptions of his character are there, but they can improve. For example, I understand it could be a stylistic choice, but I feel that there are better ways to than just saying "It was a griffon".

One of the most often pieces of advice someone who is trying to be bad at giving advice will say is "You need to work on show vs. tell" Most often when I see people say that, while it may be true, have no way to show how to improve. This here is a perfect example of show vs. tell. You're telling us he is a griffin. Remember, you may have a vivid image of what is going on, but we don't know the details unless you clue us in. This is an instance when you can show us he is a griffin through a unique perspective you have already presented: The guards. I would suggest why they are uncomfortable at the griffin, namely he is a predator, his qualities natuarally instill fear.

You're use of descriptions in the thought patterns in the griffin were very well, this stays true throughout the piece. That being said, it was a highlight.

A criticism I owuld have to say, would be the dialogue, in general, I think your use of punctuation when writing dialogue is iffy, there are many resources you can use to nail it down if you would like, one of which I will provide here,

I tend to avoid criticism's on story telling itself, as even though they are established character's there is still a bit of creative leeway (Which I myself take full advantage of) but I feel that Celestia's behavior was a little too unsettling, it just didn't feel like the character that has had plenty of screen time to define her personality. That being said, if you wanted her to be creepy, you succeeded.

Your character Veer is a saving grace for what I would feel is an unnappealing morality, I liked him as a character, but I didn't like the side he was on, this clan thing didn't really seem to have much in way of likeability. It's possible to be done well, but I didn't feel that this was the way. For all I knew (and had to infer from Celestia) their 'old ways' were tyrannical and barbaric in comparison, and as I read I didn't see much that changed my mind...they were warriors in a land without war.

For the most part combat was written well, but you fell into the lull of repitition, a lot of sentences started with 'he' and 'his'. Try practicing and experimenting with varying sentence structures to spice things up, and keep readers from falling asleep when you want them on the edge of your seat.

#14 · 187w, 1d ago · · ·

>>3387582

Thanks for the criticism, mate, I need all I can get :pinkiehappy:

I feel that Celestia's behavior was a little too unsettling

Yeah, I was kinda going for that; this is set only a short while after the Nightmare Moon incident and in my head-canon she didn't really... recover for a good while.

I didn't like the side he was on, this clan thing didn't really seem to have much in way of likeability

Meh, I was kind of going for the "grey morality" kind of thing, while their ways may be brutal they are fighting for what they believe is right. However, the supposedly "good" side that wants peace is enforcing it through unjust and often brutal campaigns. While their ideology may be harsh, the followers of the Old Ways didn't start the war: though they refused to integrate, but they were forced to make a decision.

#15 · 187w, 1d ago · · ·

>>3387733

I felt that it seemed to show how Equestria has their shit together and the griffins are just savages, that's what made the conflict unlikeable for me

In general, I felt that it seemed to be too much conflict, you have the conflict of the Griffin clan trying to get help, that seems to just fall off the map, and then there is the disparity as you jump to conflict between the different clans, in my opinion, there is a lot more than can be broken up, maybe into more chapters. Giving more time to focus on the ambassador viewpoint and then moving on the conflict/war gradually.

It seemed like you just had the griffins go "We need halp guise" then Celestia says "Lol no" then they start fighting.

#16 · 187w, 1d ago · · ·

>>3387761

The first scene doesn't portray the start of the conflict, it's pretty near the end; going to the Princess was the last resort before war. I don't really see them as savages, just a different culture; their origins as a predatory species gives them a different outlook on morality. Plus, I never said how barbaric their methods were, just that ponies found them disagreeable. I only ever really intended this as a brief look into griffin history.

#17 · 187w, 1d ago · · ·

>>3387789

Like I said, what you did was good, these are just my initial reactions, I'm telling you how what you are writing comes off to me. Barbaric or not, the griffins unfortunately are going to be compared to the ponies, who are much nicer and less kill-happy.

Showing their predatory history is a excellent way to justify it, but I feel you didn't really include anything about that. Talk about something like that and I guarantee it will shoot through the roof

#18 · 187w, 1d ago · · ·

>>3387796

Will do, I really appreciate you taking the time to review my little story :twilightblush:

#19 · 187w, 6h ago · · ·

This is really the first time I've reviewed anything with the formal style, so do forgive me if it sounds a bit... off.

This review is brought to you on behalf of the group: Authors Helping Authors

Name of Story: Over the Mountains and Through the Mist

Grammar score: 8

Pros:

-I felt that the characters, while archetypal, were excellently presented. They didn't need a whole lot of character development, and thus, a shorter story was just as enjoyable.

-I enjoyed the shift in perspective, and the new opinions that came with it. Not enough stories show the cold diplomacy that even the kindest species may have.

-The plot was strong and concise.

Cons:

-Even as balanced it is, a tiny bit more character development would be more than appreciated. As it is, it's good, but I wasn't able to really identify with most of the characters.

-The plot was simple. Again, not terrible, but perhaps a secondary subplot might have done the story better. What's the motivation behind this forming super-faction? Where did the griffon city relocate to? It's the little struggles that define us, and these characters are no different.

-Some sentences could have used a semicolon, but besides that, the sentence structure was pretty sound. I didn't see a whole lot of grammatical or punctuation errors, which was a pleasant change from some stories.

Enjoy your review!  

I like providing reviews, but it would be most pleasant if you would take some time and look over any of my pieces. I know the rules state to place a singular story, but it isn't a huge deal for me. Most of my pieces are crossovers, but can vaguely be understood without knowing the crossed works. Take your time, and pick any piece at your leisure. (But do please pick something. It would be most appreciated. :twilightsmile:)

Liked and faved, as it was an excellent piece.

#20 · 187w, 4h ago · · ·

>>3392508

Thanks mate, I'll give your stories a browse. Though I think you might have forgotten to like and fave it :twilightsheepish:

#21 · 186w, 6d ago · · ·

>>3392711

You're absolutely right!

I had closed my computer after sending that, and I forgot to do it.

Lets remedy this situation!

#22 · 186w, 6d ago · · ·

Hey man, don't be adding stories to groups that have nothing to do with it.

#23 · 186w, 6d ago · · ·

>>3398011

Ah, sorry, I was just adding my stories to groups I'm a part of; I didn't mean to add it to Christian Bronies. So, again, sorry.

#24 · 186w, 6d ago · · ·

>>3398011

Also, it's not very nice to down-vote my story when I've already removed it from the group.

#25 · 186w, 6d ago · · ·

>>3398035 Did it before you replied, no reason to down vote now.

#26 · 186w, 6d ago · · ·

>>3398084

It's okay, it's just that getting down-voted doesn't feel too good. Thanks for changing it :twilightsmile:

#27 · 186w, 6d ago · · ·

>>3398092 I'm sorry I did something drastic like that, it's just I've seen people use very desperate methods to get views they really don't deserve and it really boils my blood, liked the story either way.

#28 · 186w, 6d ago · · ·

>>3398125

As I said, it's no problem. :pinkiesmile:

#29 · 186w, 3d ago · · ·

Alrighty. Let us start, aight?

I liked this story. I love military orientated stories in general. I liked the descriptions, I liked the introduction to the world of gryphons, though even brief. Though, maybe it's just me, the enclosed bastard that I am, but I felt that we didn't spend too much time with the characters to sympathize with them. I, personally, need quite a lot of descritpions of a character to start to sympathize with him and to actually care. You managed to make me care about some mostly the main ones, but not all.

Now, I'll have to be a little bit of a joy killer - the tropes. Oh my, the epic battle tropes are plenty. First of all, I see that the army the followers of the old Ways were facing were bunch of morons.

Because

On a rocky plateau joining two mountains stood a veritable field of glistening golden armour, thousands upon thousands of griffins stretching from horizon to horizon.

golden armour

(Dunno if anyone already mentioned it, but I will still say it)

Golden armor? REALLY? Gold is the worst metal to make an armor out of. A real warrior should know that, and make his armor out of good old fashioned steel. Golden armor is a) - too expensive, b) not effective. It might be used as decoration, but that's about it.

Also, the speech of the Lord before the battle - my, my, great words, great leaders. Might hire a new speech writer - yours seems to be stuck in the age of Royal Speak along with Luna. And even then, that got old.

That's all the nitpicks I could find. But, overall, I enjoyed it a lot. Hoping to see more stories like this on this site! You are now cursed with my upvote.

#30 · 186w, 2d ago · · ·

>>3412074

I never specifically stated that the armour actually was gold, it's just that it's what the Royal Guard wear (I even said that it was Equestrian forged). About the speech thing, yeah, it's set just a bit after NMM was banished so it may be a bit archaic at times. Thanks for the review mate, I really appreciate it :pinkiehappy:

#31 · 186w, 1d ago · · ·

Are you serious? There is no way someone could dislike this epicness unless they don't know what imagination is in any form, and they could seriously use some treatment of 300. This was an epic read! I would like to know what time frame this has took place, cuz i would like to incorporate your awesomeness into my history! :pinkiehappy:

#32 · 186w, 1d ago · · ·

>>3420545

Thank you! Reviews like this make my day :pinkiehappy:

As for the time line, I'd say it's within a century of Nightmare Moon being banished, so about 900+ years before the current timeline.

#33 · 186w, 1d ago · · ·

>>3420663 Great, you wouldn't mind if i referenced your story in my History would you?

#34 · 186w, 1d ago · · ·

>>3420670

Go ahead, though I'd appreciate it if you gave me a little credit.

#35 · 186w, 1d ago · · ·

>>3420673 Of course.You most certainly deserve the credit.

#37 · 185w, 1h ago · · ·

Hello, I'm you're WRITE reviewer today. With my tea at my left hand and my mouse at the right, I'll be going through aspects of this story, Over The Mountains and Through The Mist. I'll be focusing on techique, characterization, and will probably use the word 'feel' quite a bit. That said, I strive to give you a fair, wholesome review, as always with regards both to the elements of storycrafting I found laudable, those that I found lacking, and those that I found to be interesting in their own way.

For a short story, OTMaTTM tries to move through quite a large number of characters and settings. We have Celestia and the amabassador, we have recruits at the training ground, we have Lords and Soliders on the battlefield, and I came across with the impression that there's a larger story here in your head than what you explored in the body of work.

The story itself does leave me wanting for a little something more. We are very strongly told that these Old Ways are at risk, but there's never a scene or a character who stands out to show us just what these Old Ways are, or why they're terminally incompataible with changing with the times. If it was case of the Old Way Followers being ponyvores for example, than we readers would have something that we could understandably see being rigidly fixed, the sort of point a war would genuinely be fought over. As it is, other than a thing for translating names versus not translating names, I simply didn't see what cultural identity there is that's so ingrained and different that it would have clans turn on clans. I know it wasn't intended as such, but for all we are shown, this war is being fought because these griffons say Toe-may-toe and those griffons say Toe-mat-Oh.

There is some suggestion that pony society is, if not the cause than at least the catalyst of this conflict. Specifically in how the Old Way and New Way associate with the species. Since the Old followers seem to disdain everything equine, it did come across as a bit odd that they'd then turn to Celestia for help. My impression was that you were trying to convey this being just how desperate they were: when your enemies press in and your allies faulter, you turn to your other enemies for help. Even so, there's not much substance to this scene, I'm afraid. Celestia is distant and politic, the ambassador is scornful and indignant, and I'm left wondering whether this scene merited itself a prescence in the story when a quick expression of disgust at all things pony would have said the same thing.

The Old Way followers do display an interesting fatalism edging towards suicidal. The ambassador throws away diplomacy without even a pretense of giving it a chance, the Lord would rather throw the population to the swords then compromise, even the annihlation of the city screams that the Old Way is rampantly intolerant to change, preferring self-termination to survival.

Again, it would have helped to know what the Old Ways actually were, and what beliefs of identity and tradition would lead them to this decision, and would lead half the world to drive the engine of war up the bloody mountain sides to get rid of it.

The action scene is brief, intense, and cliche in its vision. It doesn't feel like it's directly connected to the story, to this story in particular. Rather, it feels like an unspecified soldier in an unspecified battle. The image of a woefully undertrained and outnumbered grunt on the lines, standing with friends that are all wondering what the hell are they really doing there - I just didn't feel it. Wondering how worthwhile it is really to die for your way of life, when said death will make said way of life something of a moot point, for example... it didn't come through. The whole scene lacked a sense of story-identity, and for a young, unprepared tercel to go into a battle rage that didn't instantly get him cut down by more experienced soldiers lacked for something. Again, the word cliche floats around my thoughts indistinctly here. As an aside, the fact that the rigid adherence to the stratagems and paradigms of the Old Ways was used decisively against them was a thematic point that could have been used more prominently throughout the story, and ties in nicely with the inflexible and fatalistic natures of the culture I pointed out earlier.

The core of my criticism is the pervading sense of non-commital writing. We are given a series of scenes, but not the character beliefs and motivations that lead to these scenes, and when these scenes have passed there is a lack of consequences their subtle influence on what scenes follow. We are given a series of characters, and each roughly fit an archetype (Lord, Nervous Recruit, Seargent, Berzerker) without distinguishing themselves beyond this. There's not much of, as it were, a distinct personality, distinct idiosyncrasities to this story, this story, that set it apart and unique from any other one.

What I needed as a reader was an answer to why? Why are these Old Way griffons so intractable? How are they so different that their entire culture implodes rather than change? Who are the characters that come from this culture? Who are they really, what are their values and perspectives? Where are they the same and where are they different in how they see and interact with the world? What is it they're really fighting for?

As a reader, I didn't get these answers. It's left me with the image of a sketch not yet coloured in; shading and detailing and backdrop not yet adding their subtlties. A lot of this can be attributed to the shortness of the whole -  it's a short story in wordcount only, masquerading as a full length story, because a short story isn't just a wordcount, it's a snapshot, the story of a moment or a character or a place, and here you tried to fit lots of moments and lots of characters and lots of places into this and it doesn't quite work.

All that said, the writing isn't bad. There are very few errors (there's a case of 'wandering' where it should have been 'wondering') And yet it flies by too quickly, character to character, moment to moment, for me to really gauge it beyond that, as if you were rushed to capture as much of each scene you could in a few bare seconds, and the smaller things kept slipping away and were left behind.

Any singular scene could have made for this story - the ambassador's impossible and disdained diplomacy, the recruits caught up in a greater tide of events of their besieged existence, evacuating the city, each one of those is a self-contained story in its own right, with its own protagonists and conflicts and developments, and each is part of a larger world history you've made here. But, like I said before, you didn't commit to any of singular focus, and so lost out with all of them.

I am happy to discuss and expand upon any point of inquiry you have with my review.

#38 · 184w, 6d ago · · ·

>>3456164 Thanks for the review! As it says on the front page, this was mostly intended to be a worldbuilding exercise so I may not have fully committed to the story (and sorry for any mistakes, I'm writing this on my phone).

#39 · 182w, 1d ago · · ·

Great story. :twilightsmile:

#40 · 182w, 1d ago · 1 · ·

>>3542234

Thanks, not my best though :raritywink::pinkiehappy:

#41 · 182w, 1d ago · · ·

>>3542238 I'll be sure to read your other fics as well.:twilightsmile: I am positive they won't disappoint. :derpytongue2: :pinkiehappy:

#43 · 182w, 1d ago · · ·

>>3542268 You're welcome. :pinkiehappy: :twilightsmile:

#44 · 144w, 3d ago · · ·

Greetings! This story has been chosen for review. Please don't take anything personally this is simply an aid to help improve writing and grammar. This review is not affiliated with any group in particular, just me. :eeyup:

Ok, starting off already at the first sentence, and this is a direct line I'm quoting here. “within in light and banishing any shadows to be found within.” There seems to be so much light going on through this window that Galileo would say “Turn down the dang light!” Second sentence has a similar instance, using the word within yet again. So far this seems so within that a cliche of tightly knit feminist crocheters would be jealous. Second paragraph has a similar instance now involving doors, one mention of doors is just fine even if the two doors. You’re always welcome to describe the number of doors or whatever in one instance and then subsequently just refer to them as them; it or whatever floats your boat.

The description of the engraving is rather vague, too much so really. Its was already described as “ceremonial armour” that would imply that it had engravings of some sort on it. You’d be welcome to specify something in particular that makes it “ceremonial” but not “countless engravings of scenes from ancient myths and legends.” Mostly because countless implies there's infinite which even if he were wearing full plate armour wouldn't be true. Especially considering there's no real description of how much armour he has on just that it's there, but I'm at least thinking its a chest plate. Which makes me think of some kind of Van Gogh painting that he’s wearing for armour.

Ok, hold the phone, I'm going to another quote in here. “Good afternoon ambassador, may I inquire as to what I may address you as?” If I'm not mistaken she already addressed him as ambassador, and if the guy is anything of a gentleman he would formally introduce himself anyway. Is “the Old Ways” a formal title of something? Unless he’s quoting some book or something, which I don't believe is the case. Since most likely, he’s speaking of some older and grumpier version of his race. The word “people” was tossed in here, again I get what he was saying but I'm pretty sure they weren't a race of gryphon mounts for humans out of WoW.

Quoting again “from the the force” a minor slip up here, but still a noticeable one nonetheless. Again “How dare she presume that she knows what is best for us? And all with that infuriating smile!” Seems like a misplaced question mark, either he’s asking an angry question or is confused in reading it this way. Starting a sentence with and, could simply remove it and have the same message. I'm just going to skip repeating myself now and just quote “I'm an ambassador, not a knight in shining armour." Could have fooled me there because the was sure a lot of emphasis on his armour being some decorated piece of equipment.

“Princess Celestia:” Seems like a randomly placed colon here, I think you were going for semi-colon. Another thing I’ve noticed is the usage of griffin and griffon to describe gryphons. both are correct however I would pick one and stick to it or just use the good ole fashion spelling of gryphon throughout the story. Usage of the word Lord as a title is always capitalized, on the plus side only saw one mistake of that. Maybe I'm missing the point here but “Though we do have the advantage when it comes to the terrain” isn’t it gryphons vs. gryphons? I don’t see the terrain as much of an advantage when both sides can fly.

There are quite a few cliches so far, could have used different wording to describing what was going on instead of overused phrases. Still gets the point across though in a way that most readers will enjoy seeing though. “Veer'an felt more nervous than he ever had before, even more than when he was meeting Princess Celestia.” Again using words too many times, could have simply kept the first instance and then “including his previous meeting with Celestia.” I'm starting to wonder if the proper spelling of this word tiercel was that or tercel as it was used before. I guess it's being used to describe a young gryphon so again, pick one and stick with it.

Found an instance of double-spaced words, another minor issue. Overall was a pretty good story, the battle sequence seemed a little rushed though. Especially since it seemed like the whole story lead up to that only for one side to be just decimated quickly. Aside from the cliches and other issues I mentioned here this could have been a much better story, a variety of word usage was well done, and although there wasn't much background to the characters, there was some establishment to them. I'm rather curious what exactly was so different between “the Old Ways”  and what Celestia was trying to impose upon them, don't believe it was ever quite explained why they decided to all die for it sans one gryphon.

Gryphon stories do have a lot of freedom to them over pony stories though and Veer’an wasn’t a bad main character. Kind of wanted to know why he blindly follow the Old Ways instead of whatever Celestias way was which neither were mentioned. There seemed to also be a focus on one particular female gryphon Veer’an had a crush on but then suddenly there was no mention of her once things got heated up. Would have liked to see a longer battle scene overall out of all the build up and suspense that was portrayed throughout this story. All in all its not a bad read but could have done with some revisions and editing to make it even better.

#45 · 144w, 3d ago · · ·

>>4869479

Thanks for the review, mate.:twilightsmile:

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