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Luminary


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(A collab by JaketheGinger and Luminary)
Equestria isn't what it should be.

Celestia is a figure of distant mythology. Progress has replaced harmony as society's watchword. Progress born of spell, steam and gears. A dark corruption eats away at Canterlot and stretches out its influence.

In the shadow of the dying capital are scattered points of light. The selfless pink toymaker, caring for nothing but a smile. A unicorn noblemare feeding the ghettos. An airship captain who gave up wealth and status to stamp out injustice. They, amongst others, are thrown together by danger and flight, and find themselves gambling on a desperate bid to restore Equestria.

(Welcome to EqD ponies! Thanks for the feature!)

Chapters (6)
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Comments ( 157 )

Steampunk and ponies? Yes PLEASE! I think I'll keep an eye on this one.

This story is hitting all the right buttons. Pinkie is fun and clever. Rarity is clearly like her show counterpart but living in a time where things are not so easy. I love Pinkie as a toy maker as that sounds like a Pinkie profession and it even has some connection to the show since we have seen Pinkie with contraptions that we at least think she made.

We are getting some info of the world and it looks interesting though most of it is just teasing right now. I also like the atmosphere you have. It fits for a story that is starring/co starring Pinkie as the world seems to be dark and sad but Pinkie (and Rarity in her own way) are doing their best to make a little light in the world.

Looking forward to seeing more.

3466224
Yeah, once steampunk/clockpunk was settled on, it was all but impossible not to see Pinkie as some kind of a tinker. And what's more purely fun and liable to earn smiles than toys? No matter how dark and foreboding a place might be, Pinkie will always find a way to be a bright spot in it. Glad to see that came through. It was a big theme.

We're going far lighter on the direct exposition than I usually do. So far, I'm digging it. Offering more through tone and sly mention. And we'll sure as heck be offering more and more of that as time goes on, in addition to the more overt stuff.

3465871
Thanks Kazie. We'll try to arrange at least one tragic death in your honor. :trollestia:

Whoa that was awesome i am glad Pinkie changed her mind about taking the job especially since she has no choice but to go on the run. not only will she get paid more her life will be more exciting.:pinkiehappy:

3466590
Oh, I think we can safely say there's no shortage of excitement in Pinkie's near future.

Well, I usually tend to skip (post-apocalyptic?) futuristic / crossovers with things I do not know (at least that's what I think it is o.o) No idea what steampunk is.

But, the best part of this has got to be Pinkie. She's like that glint of hope in desolation. Rarity, on the other hand, feels like an angel dying off.
So you've got hope, and you've got an angel. Sort of reminds me of The Hunger Games settings infused with The World Ends With You (It's a DS game). The contrast had me hooked, even though there's a certainty that:

1) They'll save the day
2) It's a ship
3) It's a ship, on a ship (lmao)
4) It's gonna be dramatic.

Also, RariPie? o.o Feels naturally written. I'm starting to like this more than TwiPie o.o

If I haven't said it yet, then I have been woefully neglectful of my duties.

This. Is. Awesome.

3467228

Steam Punk is not typically post apocalyptic (though it can be but they are separate entities).

Steam Punk are settings where the technology is similar around the time of the American Civial War or so. For instance horses are still used for transport but trains exist. They key difference between reality and steam punk is that there will exist mechanical creations (often powered by steam but not required to be) that we did not actually make at the time but at least seem plausible or thematic. Air ships are one common idea as they do not exist but the idea of making a steam powered flying ship (sometimes similar to a blimp) is a romantic idea and is popular as are clockwork based mechanical contraptions (such as Pinkie's toys but you will find things on a larger scale too). Jules Verne is very common author whos work inspired many of the concepts of steam punk so if you want to be shown the inspiration read some of his classic books. If you like Disney movies Atlantis fits the bill as well.

One variation of this is magi punk where it is steam punk but the contraptions are powered by magic rather than more mundane energies (such as steam). An excellent example of this is Ebberon in Dungeons and Dragons where you have magic powered trains and air ships in a magical sword and sorcery fantasy setting. In many ways I find MLP typicallly goe smore to this route considering the amount of magic inherent in the setting. That said that does not preclude the use of more mundane power sources especially for the Earth Ponies though Pinkie looks like she is able to harness magic in a non-traditional way already.

3467228
As 3467868 so succinctly explained, it isn't really a post-apocolyptic setting. Steampunk is basically the industrial revolution gone wrong. It's what happens if you take steam boilers, pistons, gearworks and all that to their absurd conclusion, instead of moving on elsewhere technologically.

Think of it as if Equestria didn't go the way of electricity, like it seems to be going now. But instead just kept moving along with making everything powered by a smoke-spewing mechanical engine. Then remove the level head that Celestia provides, to keep technology from overrunning everything.

As for RariPie, seriously, that all started because I told Jake that it's the Mane 6 ship I thought was most impossible. I guess he needed to prove me wrong!

3467899
Yes'm. Pinkie is a natural for the setting. She's already a schizo-tech tinker, with her party cannons, welcome-to-town contraptions, and flying machines.

As for her originally being a pegasus, we've got that covered. Surprise is incoming next chapter!

3467855
D'aww. Thanks Aburi.

The key to works like these is correctly engendering the setting itself as a character, but not letting it overpower the rest of the cast. So far, that balance is maintained very well.

You've piqued my interest. :eeyup:

Gaaah! Dark and AU? This is so out of my comfort zone! :raritydespair:

That said, this is actually really good and it certainly deserves more attention than this. It's well written and feels like a solid start of a good adventure story, and.I actually want to see where this is going now.

If I have to nitpic anything, it might be the pacing: This story has a lot of detail to it, and that is mostly a good thing because most of your descriptions are wonderful. However, sometimes it gets a bit too much - there were times it felt like the narrative was dragging just a bit. It's not a big problem, but you may want to keep that in mind in future chapters,

3469054
I shall indeed keep that in mind while editing the second chapter. There's only so thrifty I can be with words, while still being a happy author, however. I may have gotten better about pacing. But I'll never be someone with breakneck speed and a light touch with description, or character thought. It's what I personally enjoy writing.

Jake, however, is good with brevity. Perhaps he'll be kind enough to rip out bits and work his magic, as we finish getting the next chapter ready. :raritywink:

3468972
Thanks. And yeah, it's definitely important, and very much a consideration. Contrasting characters versus setting is a big thing when you're dealing with a dark world, and very bright, often bubbly characters.

3469109

That very contrast is the most compelling part. :pinkiesad2:

Swing honesty across the violence. :ajsmug:

This is where I usually nitpick minor and major plotholes, grammar, and other small things in stories I like.

I don't need to.

Please write more.

3471115
Yessir! :yay:
Proofing the second chapter now. Just need to let the pre-readers get at it after that.

...not that I won't use any excuse to poke and perfect while they're doing it.

The last step was the most important.

The mother and son flinched. “Why’d you just hit the thing?!” the parent asked.

Pinkie raised her goggles, revealing her bright blue eyes. In her hoof was a wrench, still vibrating from the impact. “Hitting machines is super important when they break down. It’s like a punishment for them misbehaving.”

looks like Pinkie Pie follows the Kerbal Space Program School of Thought when it comes to "Adjustments":

The DTS-M1 is a fully deployable communications and data transmission system. It has been designed to have a minimal form factor when stowed. Occasional antenna tweaking and swift kicks to the main assembly may be required for optimal performance.

3471687
*Disclaimer: Pinkie Logic may not correlate with reality as experienced by other people. Pinkie Logic is not for everyone. Consult your Doctor of Philosophy before using Pinkie Logic.

3471348
Well, in that case, I rather hope that you like jam.

...though your presence here reminds me that I should probably go read Flight of the Alicorn before we get to the airships battling.

I had started reading it, but an ebook-reader related failure made me stop, and I never picked it up again. :unsuresweetie:

3473003

Truthfully, I enjoyed everything I read here. In terms of ideas, if not exactly writing style, I felt like I was reading my own work! In just the first chapter we have airships, hooligans, intrigue, &c. &c. I am champing at the bit in excitement for the next chapter!

First off, one little nitpick.

Progress has replaced harmony as society's watchword. Progress born of spell, steam and gears.

That doesn't sound quite right to me
I think you should either replace the first period with a semicolon, or change the wording of the second sentence.


Anyway... One free review as promised.

Grammar mistakes I found--
Smaller mistakes: 8
Larger errors: 0
Overall very good grammar. Only a few mistakes that didn't really take away from the story much.
The errors mostly involved commas. I hate those things so much...

Pacing--
I thought that pacing was well done. The story seemed to move along at a decent pace while still providing plenty of detail.

Character Portrayment--
Pinkie:
Seemed like a very well thought out and executed character.

Rarity:
Seemed kind of... flawless, I guess would be the right word. She wasn't really in the chapter as much as Pinkie so I couldn't get the same accuracy of a reading. She just seemed almost too perfect to me. You hinted that things were not going great for her, though, so as long as you continue with that you'll be fine. That is my only problem with her.

Overall Score: 8.5 out of 10
Quite a nice job, if I do say so myself. I enjoyed it even though this type of story isn't to my preference.

Welp, I love it, so far. The setting is dark and depressing as the (Charles) dickens, but Pinkie is written just perfectly, looking for the good or the fun in even the saddest detail.

Honestly, my favorite element so far is how she frames that which has no upside. She basically just tries to find a playful way of thinking about something she is otherwise powerless to do anything about. I really liked her standing there in the street, considering the bread line. It was a profoundly sad moment, but it wasn't a drag to read through.

Looove how you added in Pinkie’s cartoon antics. Her hovering mid-bounce got a laugh out of me, as did the instant full-wardrobe change. I'm really liking that this is sort of treated like an unexplainable super power, rather than a gag nobody is aware of. Its a fun idea

I like the Rarity/Pinkie pairing, but I'll have to see how well you guys handle her as a character, going forward. I'd almost say she's the hardest of the mane 6 to get right.

Noticed one typo:

It took a few moment for any recognition to spark

Also: For some reason I really want robo-Gummi along for the ride. Fingers crossed on that one.

3479480
The semicolon in the description was my first thought too. But my editor, who is distinctly more qualified than moi said no. I shall ponder rewording.

Rarity:
Seemed kind of... flawless, I guess would be the right word.

I sure hope so! I'd question what I was doing if I failed to provide that idea.

I did go out of my way to compare her to the almost angelic, mythological figure of Celestia. Even had Pinkie outright go on and on about her perfection. And how sullying it was unthinkable.

Pinkie has her up on a hell of a pedestal, at this point.

Thanks for the feedback, NightWolf! Always fun to get a look from an objective source that might not otherwise read a particular type of fic.

Though dear god is that 'error count' just the biggest tease in the entire world. If you're going to count them, tell us what they are. That is going to be a psychological toothache that'll have me comma hunting for hours. ....again. :raritydespair:

3482117
Thanks Wade!

Glad you're digging Pinkie! It's definitely a fine balance with her. She's actually a pretty canny person. She's well aware that things are bad. But she's still Pinkie, which means her first instinct is to try to make people happier. What's good for Pinkie never enters into the equation.

On the other hand, we can't really make her too much the Woobie. A big part of the story is offsetting a really depressing setting with really upbeat, hopeful characters.

As for treating Pinkie's weirdness as some kind of superpower. Yeah. Always was more a fan of Pinkie being special, rather than Pinkie being a freak.

Rarity's a tough sell. People expect her to be pretty wretched. For the most part, that's undeserved. She whines(complains) plenty (Oh, and does she ever next chapter), but aside from when her social ambitions get the best of her in Sweet and Elite, she's positively stupidly selfless when it comes to trying to make her friends happy. Even if it ruins her career, or her dreams, or tears her up inside. We'll see how it plays out as we start to move away from such a Pinkie-centric viewpoint. Hopefully it'll become clear pretty quickly that the Rarity of this world has ambitions of her own, to tempt her to act poorly. And that they aren't the same ones as in FiM.

To (inaccurately) quote myself yesterday: "It seems like 10% of the text in the story is earmarked for Gummy blinking." Yes'm, he's definitely tagging along! He gets much more attention in the next chapter, in fact.

Thanks for spotting that missing 's'. Fix'd.

3482557
Alright, alright, I'll see if I can remember where they are.

3482565
I'm just teasing. :raritywink:
(Not that I'd turn down a PM with their location.)

Does me good to go over it again.

Is there a rough schedule for when chapters come out?

3486579
Wish I'd seen that before. Would have shouted out to it.

3485472
Absolutely!
They're released precisely a few hours after they're completed, proofed and pre-read. :raritywink:

3484630
Thanks!

Loved that scene with Pinkie’s eyes held closed. Great moment for Rarity.

Also BACK-TO-BACK GUMMY

Was quite happy about that.

3500439
Ponies had to die for that scene.
No, seriously. I had Rarity ice someone just to get it.

Of course, then Jake turned it into a huge running plot point of Pinkie-trauma-slash-division now. The best thing about collabs is certainly the way they take you off in strange directions you weren't expecting.

Really good chapter. Love this version of trixie and mac

So Rarity seems to be gay for Octavia, Lyra's hooked up with Surprise, Trixie's secretly a lesbian who looks like she's gonna be shipped with Big Mac, and Pinkie may be gay for Rarity.

All aboard the shipping boat! Full steam ahead!:pinkiehappy:

hmm, supyra? haven't thought of that ship before...

also i was in a catch 22 situation, my head was hurting and staring at a computer screen made it worse, but i really wanted to read the story, so which do you think i picked?:pinkiehappy:

Pinkie doubted he even owned one of those funny black masks.

Here, put on this bandit mask...
zuguide.com/images/22033/22033.0.219.138.jpg
... I'm sorry; I'm not really sure why my brain took that of all things from this chapter, :applejackconfused:

Really good stuff! Though with just what we have so far I find Pinkie's countenance at the end of this chapter a little unusual... can't wait to see how things play out between her and Rarity, :pinkiesmile::raritywink:

3517228
Ha! Not every pony is going to be shipped.

...probably.

Rarity, at least, is just a mare with a bit of a weakness for grace and beauty. And Trixie does well to have a really understated, solid presence around her .

Lyra and Surprise are most certainly an established couple, though. Though I have a feeling that readers maaaaay get the urge to hurt me, when it turns out how flirty Surprise will prove to be, even so.

3517469
Aww, thanks for inflicting all sorts of pain on yourself for us. :raritywink:

3518118
'Tis a pretty simple idea, really. Pinkie and murder (or killing of any kind) do not mix in any way, shape, or form. She had Rarity on a pretty towering pedestal. One that took one hell of a beating when Rarity killed those two gendarmes last chapter.

Pinkie's indecisiveness is really just more a matter of Pinks not really being the best at figuring herself out. She's no more introspective in this universe than in canon FiM. She just sort of... goes forward, full bore, following her feelings.

3516465
Thanks for the compliment!

OH SHIT! :pinkiegasp:

Didn't realize this got posted already! :twilightsheepish::facehoof:

3466268

We'll try to arrange at least one tragic death in your honor.

Pretty sure that already happened. :pinkiesad2::raritycry:

3519499
We're so sneaky that not even our pre-readers know we've published.

3519502
Pshaw! Not tragic enough. Even if Pinkie disagrees, those soldiers totally needed the old diamond-in-the-brain trick.

3519566
Clearly I've not been watching you closely enough. :trixieshiftleft:

And regardless of whether or not the soldiers deserved it (which I think unlikely), it's clearly hitting Pinkie rather impactfully. The fact that she still hasn't washed off the blood yet is kinda symbolic of that.

However, I'll give you the point that it's not quite up to snuff to be qualified as proper tribute to our High Gunnery-Captain of Feels. :derpytongue2:

3519141

I agree that it wasn't entirely clear why Pinkie reacted the way she did at the end of the latest chapter. In fact, it wasn't clear that Pinkie even realized that Rarity had killed anyone at the time. I also thought Rarity getting all hot and bothered was strange - this isn't exactly the time. Otherwise, this is steaming along quite nicely! Great stuff. :twilightsmile:

3520167
Hum. Really?

And I thought I was being all unreasonable demanding it be even as explicit as it was in the last two chapters. With Rarity wiping blood off her little stilettos after the horrible scrapy pained noises and sudden absence of the guards. To say nothing of Pinkie stepping in a pool of blood and getting all denial-y and pointedly not looking at her bloody hoof. Before suddenly starting to call into question Rarity's moral perfection, which Pinkie had been so certain of to that point.

Not sure how much further I could go, without losing a lot of the emotion in the scenes by letting Pinkie actually see the killing (Which I'm not willing to do. As Rarity trying to protect her is probably my favorite scene thusfar). Facing up to what happened completely. Or her outright telling Rarity that she's all angry and disillusioned by Rarity killing someone.

Could try to clarify Pinkie's thought process, narratively. Even with her not at all wanting to face up to what happened. And thus spell it out more clearly. Shall converse with Jake. Clearly we'll have to be a bit more direct in the future.

It's probably my bad, as an artifact of having a more detached narrative than I was used to in Crucible. Where I firmly lodged the POV directly in the headspace of the followed pony.

3520167>>3520476

Ya can probably blame me for this, with my headcanon on Pinkie.

With Pinkie, she loves life. Pretty much all life! Why wouldn't she? She does live for the moment, after all. As such, she takes death and killing very seriously. Taking another ponies life rubs her extremely the wrong way. I even go as far as to hold on her saying the word 'death' (instead she says 'passed').

In today's world, where in nearly all games and works of fiction, the death of a simple enemy isn't much to dwell on. For Pinkie, it is, especially from someone she trusted. This might be why you're a little confused; her viewpoint is extremely different from our own.

3520476

Your narrator follows multiple ponies, and there is no indication the narrator is meant to be unreliable. So when you say that "little spots of red" shown through the burlap, but then say that "Pinkie kept looking ahead," there isn't any indication that Pinkie actually saw the red spots. When you say that Pinkie stepped in a "far too warm" puddle but that she "ignored" the sensation, the reader has to believe that she actually ignored it (as in, did not register it, as to opposed to "refused to acknowledge" - the second would be "deliberately ignored" rather than just "ignored"). It's actually pretty vague as to whether Pinkie was being played as completely innocent and ignorant of what happened, or whether she was cognizant, and if she did know, the glimpse into her thoughts doesn't reveal much about what apparently was a critical thing. I consider myself fair with reading comprehension, and I was confused. :twilightsheepish:

3520513

I think we just needed more from Pinkie in the murder scene, to establish what exactly she was perceiving and thinking. Right now it plays so coy that it is confusing. Either Pinkie knows exactly what's up, or she suspects, or she is clueless, and either she is shocked, or upset, or she's putting on a brave face, or she's blissfully ignorant, but it's not entirely clear which. That's why I found the final bit of Chapter Three confusing, because I didn't feel it was a payoff for what came before, but more like a reaction straight out of left field.

3520524

I suppose it was just down to the choice of language we used then. Picking the right amount of subtly is a tricky business; what you might think is subtle may go completely over a reader's head. But then you can't be too obvious either. And then there's show, don't tell...

derpicdn.net/img/view/2013/7/30/386964__safe_solo_pinkie+pie_equestria+girls_spoiler-colon-equestria+girls_thinking.png

Writing be confusing, yo.

3520515
'Tis a distinct possibility. And if so, it's one that could be repaired with a few minor, precision changes in wording, as 3520549 said.

We'll laser in a few to clarify. Many thanks for the uber-useful feedback, Ponydora!

This story looks lovely! :pinkiehappy:

And Clockwork Gummy is brilliant :rainbowkiss:

I saw a few missing spaces:
> That sounds just fine.Thank you for the help.
Missing space between these sentences.
> precisely where the one in front left.“I have a proposition for you.
Missing space before the quote.

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