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I love getting feedback and constructive criticism. Please feel free to comment. If you take the time to comment, I will take the time to respond.

E

Twilight is asked to choose which branch of the Equestrian forces she would like her guards to come from. In response, she invites one representative from each of the three branches to stay in Ponyville so she and the Elements can choose her and Ponyville's protectors with the proper amount of knowledge. Nocturnal is picked by Luna as the representative for her forces. He does his best to meet Luna's expectations, educate ponies about what it means to be a bat pony, and stay out of trouble during his brief stay.

4th Place winner of Equestria Daily's Bat Pony Write Off event.

Chapters (1)
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Comments ( 99 )

A very believable and charming OC. Wouldn't mind seeing what sort of adventures he, Mirage and Quartz find themselves in. Which is also another way of saying I enjoyed the story's resolution. But no batpony fangs? What is this madness??

3428604 Thank you! Writing Nocturnal was a fun and interesting challenge. If I get enough good feedback, I may revisit this story and turn it into something much longer. I particularly hated I could not give Mirage and Quartz more story time. There was so much I wanted to do and delve into, but I was hamstrung by the word limitation of the contest.

No fangs for bat ponies here. I like the idea in one sense, but I can't see a 'pony' anything having fangs. If fangs are canon with the show I'll have to rewrite that part really quickly.

3429211
You could always make it a triptych with two other stories following Mirage and Quartz from their home bases through their "adventures" in Ponyville and back home. (Or if you're really ambitious, you could write what the Mane 6 + CMC + Spike thought about them all before Twilight sends off her recommendations.) I would be especially interested in what Twilight did with Mirage since she assuredly knows Royal Guard procedure and unicorn history/physiology (as opposed to being somewhat unfamiliar with batponies as depicted here or crystal ponies that Quartz would represent). Don't take that as a preference, mind you, more of a honest curiosity at what she'd do with him. (The world building you would get to do with Quartz is perhaps more enticing, however.)

3428604
As to fangs, perhaps one of the best explanation I've seen for their presence is that they are more like fruit bats than vampire bats and thus use their fangs to extract juice. Of course, I've also seen batponies as being pony/dragon hybrids, glamours, undead minions, etc. so I'm not terribly concerned about that minor physiological issue. That said, the scene with Rainbow Dash is both necessary to set this work's interpretation apart as well as enhance both characterizations.


And on one final note, glad to see Night Flight again. :heart:

3429447 That would be quite an undertaking, but it might be worth it. I started to write this as kind of lark. "Hey, why not enter a contest other than the Crack Ships Inc. write offs?" I thought to myself. The more I laid out how the story could unfold, the more I wanted to do.

Each of the three guards has so much that could delved into. Quartz being one that I am sorely tempted to explore with more detail. The Crystal Empire and its history, along with her own story, would be something that I would gladly sink my teeth into.

Mirage is another character I really wanted to work with. I envisioned him using his illusion magic (which unfortunately does not get treatment in this story) to allow Twilight and the others to better understand some of the more dangerous creatures in the area like the hydras, the eels from Ghastly Gorge, and even the tiberwolves. Of course, a camouflaged or invisible Pinike or Rainbow Dash pulling pranks would be great too.

Thank you for the comment and your encouragement. Comments like yours really give me a boost and tons of ideas to work with. Thanks too, for mentioning the fangs scene. I didn't know if I had goofed or not right there. I'm glad to see that you liked the way a approached the whole bat pony = vampire issue.

3429447 I just had to include Night Flight. This story may or may not be construed as taking place in the same world as "Luna's Nightmare Night Challenge," but I couldn't resist adding one of my favorite OC's when she fit what I needed so well. I'm glad you liked her enough to recognize that I had her as a sort of cameo in this story. She was fun to write both times. She has such a wonderful attitude, it's hard not to like writing for her.

3429593

At the risk of contaminating any headcanon you may have, here's the fruit bat example from The Golden Armor by Comet Burst:

Angel excitedly rattled off things that looked good. Interestingly enough, Comet noticed they all involved fruit. After they had gotten their drinks, water for Comet and cherry lemonade for Angel, Comet attempted to start a conversation.

"So, you really like fruits, huh?" he asked dumbly.

"Well of course I do!" Angel said, "It's a bat pony thing."

"Really?" said Comet, "So you're all like fruit bats instead of vampire bats?"

Angel rolled her eyes and said, "I don't know where anypony got that silly idea. Bat ponies don't drink blood anymore than normal ponies do."

"Maybe it's from those fangs of yours?" Comet suggested with a hint of a grin.

"My fangs are for biting fruit, not pony necks!" Angel almost shouted. She suddenly knew Comet was trying to rile her up, so she gave him a smug smile. Comet noticed and she said, "Unless, of course, a certain stallion is into that."

The half-dragon versions I mentioned can be found in TDR's Stories in Stone, Luna's Royal Guard (buried in chapter 43) and the undead ones from The Price of Loyalty 'verse.

3429641 I would not consider it 'contamination,' more like cross pollination. Having such wonderful and sketchy world ideas to work with is what really makes writing MLP stories fun. You can take them and work with them in any number of ways, and it would still fit. Thanks for sharing! I have "The Golden Armor" on my 'to read' list, but I have never seen the others. After I dig my way out of some real life issues, I intend to have a marathon reading day. I'll be sure and look those stories over when I do.

3429797

I recently re-read The Golden Armor since I wanted a lighter guard story to read that featured bat ponies. If memory serves, there is a sequel in progress (but which I haven't read yet).

Beyond that one, go with The Price of Loyalty stories next. To be quite honest, they are better written and contain quite a bit of world-building spread across modern Equestria (3 completed stories) and the era of the Hearth's Warming (another 2 completed stories). You may want to have a translation page ready for the Stalliongradi (Russian) dialogue; it's amusing to read what some characters threaten other ponies with.

As for Stories in Stone, it's a good piece in terms of world-building and characterization. The grammar however... well, it can be tough to get through. It says something about it, though, that I got through all 577k words since the plot was enticing enough. There is an in-progress sequel as well (but I have not read it).

Another great story. :yay:

I too would be interested in some kind of continuation of this.

Excellent, light-hearted, enjoyable and all-round nice. Dang good story and a entertaining read. Keep up the work mate.

“Princess Luna just asked you a question you should answer her.”
There should be a comma after question.
:trollestia:

3478041 Thank you! It's fixed now. I should have caught that, but after looking it over so many times I guess my eyes refused to see it.

3436720 Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it. It was a nice, light, and fun story to do. The Lunar Guards only show up in one scene, as far as I know, but their design and the mystery behind what they are exactly make them wonderful subjects for stories.

3433730 I just may tackle a sequel, if real life permits. Right now I'm working on another project that is not nearly so light-hearted and life has decided that it is going to play pinball with me as the ball. If I get a chance, I would love to revisit these characters and the storyline in general.

Good story. Liked the Nocturnal OC.

The story was great! I loved every part of it, and only wish I could read more. :heart: But, I know how the character limit was.

As an artist, I'd like to know more about the ocs involved so I can draw them. I'd love to know, in detail, about the photo with the CMC and him so that I could draw it. Perhaps recreate it, I suppose. But, it was hard to tell what the other guards were like. I'd love to know how they fared in their whole ordeal. Maybe write their sides of the story after the contest? Maybe as new chapters? :rainbowkiss:

Btw, I've also wrote a story for the contest called "A Lost Diamond in the Rough". It's shorter than I wanted it to be, but like you I had to rush it just right. I hope you read it and tell me what you think ^ ~^ I'll be writing a series after it, mainly to go into bat ponies more. I love how you put that the bat ponies joined with Luna to help her, and how the wings are for a bat pony. Once I write my series, I'll go more in depth on the different types of bat ponies. I mean, we see from the show that there are different types of bats.. so it makes sense for there to be different types of bat ponies too. I hope to illustrate more for my coming up stories, but I'm still new to the site and how it works xD

3492758 I'm still trying to decide on the details of a couple of the OCs myself. Nocturnal is gray like the Lunar Guards that were pulling Luna's chariot in the Luna Eclipsed episode. He has a dark blue mane and yellow/gold eyes. I am looking to expand this story. I might even go as crazy as making three stories out of it, one for each of the guards' perspectives, but I'm not sure if I'm up to the task right now. Life is keeping me pretty busy.

I've never had someone tell me they would like to draw one of my scenes before. I'm deeply flattered. For the photo, Nocturnal would be splayed out on Rarity's chaise lounge. His armor would be off, strewn across the floor with a good number of the items from his travel bag, like a toothbrush, brush and comb for his mane and tail, all sorts of little travel things. As for his mane and other details, I left those vague so that readers could form their own image of what happened. I often find readers are much more creative than I am with little details, so I let them fill in the blanks as much as possible.

I would be more than happy to read your story and tell you what I think. I'll PM as soon as I'm through. I'm with you, II think the most challenging thing about the contest was the word limit.

Your concept here is great. It's always interesting to see ponyville from an outsiders perspective. That being said I found your execution a little lacking.

It felt like things were moving really fast and there wasn't enough time to get a good idea of who these characters are, Even Nocturnal feels a little thin character wise. I think part of this can be attributed to the fact that nearly ninety percent of this fic is straight dialog. He speaks a lot but in the end I felt like I still didn't know very much about him as a character. I'm not saying that there wasn't any good lines or interesting situations, I just feel like they weren't given the time they needed to be as affecting as they could have been.

Edit:
I see in the previous comments that you are considering continuing this plot in other stories. I wholeheartedly encourage you to do so as while I did have my issues with the fic I still enjoyed it quite a bit.

3494369 Yeah, I get how Nocturnal looks. And it was funny how Rarity wanted him to be her model. And yeah, life does that.

Makes sense, I suppose I'll fill in the details. It'll take time for me to draw it, thanks to all of the other projects I have. I'll try to get it though.

Thanks, that'll be awesome. It's also my first mlp fanfic. I'm not new to writing xD The only complaint I've had is how I switch from present tense to past tense. But, that's how I write so nothing much to do there. =/ Btw, if you could please "Legends of the Everfree". It's on my profile, and it's a story that was written by me and MLPxMaestro. We also submitted it to the contest.

3497001 I would be more than happy to. the main way that I have improved as a writer is that I got help from more seasoned authors on this website. Karma is a wonderful thing, and I would be more than happy to help you.

I'm tickled that you want to draw the picture out, but please do not feel compelled to for any reason. This is all for fun. I don't want you doing something that would become a pain.

I'm looking forward to reading your other story. I've read A Lost Diamond in the Rough and I'm pulling my thoughts together on it. I'll sent you a PM about it soon.

3496136 Unfortunately, this story is rushed in a horrible way. The contest only allowed for 10,000 words, so I had to fit a ton of story into very little space.

I intend to come back and expand this story, but right now life is running me around and I have not had the chance to really sit down and figure out how I'm going to tackle it.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

Your characters are great, even the two guards who don't get a lot of screen time. I do wish you hadn't done the "new pony comes to Ponyville and meets the mane cast" routine, though. Drawing lots to work with each of them was actually a much better excuse to have that interaction (I particularly liked Dash's scene). I also thought the stuff with Cobbler was a little tacked-on. But otherwise a good read. :)

3497624 Thank you! Coming from a pre-reader, that means quite a lot. I know that the story framing was a little on the weak side, but I could not figure out how to write a story that explored who and what the bat ponies were without using a frame like that. I would have fleshed out quite a bit more of the story, but due to the word constraint I didn't have the opportunity.

Having looked back over the story a couple of times, I regret having put the Cobbler bit in. I could have used those words more effectively in other parts of the story.

I appreciate you taking the time to comment on my story. I know that as a pre-reader your time is at a premium.

PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

3497748
My time? Pfft, no. :V I'm reading 40 goddamn batpony stories, I have no premiums!

My advice would be to go a bit more from "Hey, you need to go to Ponyville" to "Hello, here are the other guards, now draw lots and let's do this". Of course it would necessitate removing Cobbler more or less entirely (or pushing her to the end of the story, when he helps out Applejack). A little more sense of competition between the three of them might be good too, and I'm not just saying that because I'd like to see more of them. You could ramp up the humor, especially by the end when Twilight decides the way she does.

Wonderful story, and fantastic ending. It'd be nice to see some more of this, maybe from the perspective of the other guards; if that's something you get inspiration to write, I would love to read it and maybe draw fanart <3

3483131 Thanks! Nocturnal was fun to write. I would have to think being a bat pony in a world of diurnal ponies would be quite the experience. I tried to hit that sweet spot where he could be a tough lunar guard without making him gruff and unlikeable. I'm glad you like my take on his character. I second guessed myself a little a couple of times that I was not making him 'guard' enough.

I apologize. I thought I had posted a reply to your comment earlier, but it seems to have disappeared. I hope you don't think ill of me.

3516733 I can't. You're too nice a guy for me to think bad of you like that.

I like it the ending was cute it made me laugh well done.

3542023 Thank you! I'll admit, I struggled with the ending. I was afraid the conclusion of the 'test' was a little abrupt and left a little too much open. I'm glad you liked it.

You could make this into a long fic but to make it a bit easier i would suggest makeing about all three guardes as they develop a freindship through funny,akword, and happy and also sad moments through there friendship.

3544531 I'm kicking that idea around right now. However, there are two projects that I really want to tackle first. One is a sequel to my story "A Rare Gem Embracing Shadows" and the other is a examination as to why Celestia and Luna know dark magic.

So many ideas, so little time.

3546540
Well it's only magic they probably just picked it up

Well... That was..
Pretty d*mn good.
Extremely well done.
I love all of the characters.
I need to make another account to give this another thumbs up.
Fimfic needs more stories of this quality.
Well done!

I like this story, well done.
Some critique:
I'd suggest adding more descriptors, adding who's actually speaking in some way, and giving more emotional reactions, like, here for example, this;

Luna held up a hoof, stopping him before he could start. “That was a trivial matter.” She presented him with a photo. “How did you allow yourself to be reduced to this state?”

“It was a sleepover and it was three on one.” He looked to the floor. “I lost.”

Luna smirked. “So it would seem.”

Could be changed to this;

Luna held up a hoof, stopping him before he could start. “T'was a trivial matter.” The Princess reassured. Sifting through the papers, she presented him with a photo. “How did you allow yourself to be reduced to this state?” She asked, sly grin forming on her muzzle.

Nocturnal's face went red in embarrassment as he stammered to explain,“I-it was a sleepover and it was three on one!” he exclaimed. The cadet looked to the ground, scuffing his hoof against the stone floor. "I lost." Nocturnal admitted quietly.

Luna's grin widened. “So it would seem.”

It's the little things, the in-betweens, that complete the story. Just something I wanted to point out.

3644437 Thank you! It means a lot to me to get a comment like yours.

I typically would add that those little extra bits, but i was under a tight word count limit of 10K words for the contest. I had trouble getting the word count down as it was without having to cut parts of the story.

I greatly appreciate you taking the time to give me such wonderful feedback. I will certainly put it to use in my future stories!

Loved this story! The CMC definitely aren't getting their cutie marks in makeovers, though.

Excellent work, it'd be interesting to see Twilight's mixed bag of guards.

I very much wouldn't mind a sequel to this. Charming little tale with great characters.

Love your story and I would absolutely love to see this continue on from here. Marveiles work none the less! :derpytongue2:

Very nice story. I thought it well written (although a little curt in a few places, but as you said you did have a work limit) and the story line made sense. I was also a fan of the ending. Overall good work, I hope to seem more stories from you.

First off, the story was quite good. I like the character Nocturnal and that is hard to accomplish in 10,000 words.

As for expanding the story, I would argue against that. It is good as it stands and expanding it would break it.

A sequel would be welcomed though.

3660017 Thank you! I can't wait till they do finally let the CMC get their marks. However, it is interesting to see the various takes on what their marks could be by artists and authors alike.

3660375 Thanks! I'm kicking around an idea for a sequel right now. I don't know when I'll be able to tackle it since life is rather hectic at the moment, but it will be a fun project.

3681504
3690048
3681504

Thank you for the wonderful feedback! I'm going to leave the story as it stands. I agree that trying to do more with it would ruin the flavor of it. Instead, I am planning a sequel that will give a lot more insight into Nocturnal and the other guards. I have no clue when I will be able to tackle it properly. Right now I have another story in the works and life is using me as a soccer ball, but I'm determined to revisit these characters. They are just too much fun to write about to not write about them.

3697731

Wonderful! When you've come that far as to publish your first chapter please let me know. Either you can send me a link or update this story with a link to the new one so every brony who wants to continue reading will have a chance to do so! Until then I wish you all the best of luck!

Have a nice one! Leon out!!! :derpytongue2:

Awesome story! I loved it!:twilightsmile:

3697731
A sequel would be quite a lot of fun, but I also think it'd be interesting to have a couple of side-quels featuring the adventures of Mirage and Quartz in parallel with this story.

Yeah, I'd like to see some kind of episodic type story that follows the three guards' adventures.

you should make a sequel and use all three of the guards and their would-be-adventures alongside each other... :pinkiehappy:

Also would like to see more Angel Hair Quarts since she looks like an interesting mare... :pinkiesmile:

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