• Member Since 6th Dec, 2013
  • offline last seen Dec 16th, 2022

Doctor Ham

Resident Pork Surgeon

Comments ( 396 )

Nice take on the setting and character introduction :pinkiesmile:. I've read several dozen FoE spinoffs and, as far as this is written, it is one of the better pieces. I'm look forward to seeing more.

Also, have a spike. :moustache:

Thanks, I really appreciate your comment :twilightsmile: . Rather made my day for a few days actually, hehe.

Hard at work on chapter 2, hopefully you won't have to wait long.

Very interesting so far, and I already like our young blacksmith quite a bit. I'm very curious to see how this will turn out, with that kind of personality. The quality seems great, and different from many of the things I've read. I've not got a lot to say yet, but I am definitely following this from now on!
Thanks for suggesting it to me~

This is pretty interesting so far, and your writing style is easy to read. I am interested to see what happens in the future.

Huh. A Fallout: Equestria side story that seems to actually be primarily about the matters of being a merchant. Neat!

What I read thus far was interesting. I'll have to see where it goes.

I can already tell that she is going to get knocked out and captured, then she will kill the slavers. Also good so far :twilightsmile:

This is really good. Alloy reminds of the Sword Mare comic Littlepip found in one of the later chapters :pinkiesmile:

Alrighty, now that chapter 2 is up, I can finally reply to y'all without feeling guilty. Because I just want to say that every single time a comment popped up here, it made me grin like an idiot. I might be over-blowing things a bit, but hearing that people enjoy the story or are just curious to see where it's going fills me with all sorts of warm fuzziness, especially given there's not a lot going on in the first chapter. So thanks to all of y'all for reading, and I hope I can continue to fail at storytelling in interesting ways.

Now then!

I'm really glad you like Alloy, as she's what got inside my head and wouldn't leave me alone for months til I wrote this. Thank you!

I appreciate the feedback quite a bit, and I certainly hope you like where the story heads. I wish I could give out more information as a teaser, but I'm kinda intent on keeping a lid on spoilers. Anyway, thank you again.

Okay, remember what I just said above about keeping a lid on spoilers? I'm gonna toss that out the window for a second here. Chapter 2 doesn't have much merchantry going on, but I promise that it does come back, you won't have to wait very long for its return, and it will stick around. Okay, spoiler rule back in place.

Dammit, I just fixed the spoiler rule. Well, still thank you for the kind words, and...nope, not doing any spoilers. You'll just have to read chapter 2! Some people think they can outsmart me. Maybe...maybe. I've yet to meet one that can outsmart bullet.

Damn! You had to come along and post while I was typing these up. I'm glad you're enjoying it, though. I wonder what Alloy would think of herself if she found a copy of Sword Mare. Hmm....

Well if those Raiders want war I say give 'em war, also Alloy should have killed that Raider because she has to kill them all now. Anyways good one again :twilightsmile:

I was almost sure she was going to be captured, but, oh my, her fight was thrilling in how untrained and unsettled she was. Her debate with herself before being discovered, and her thoughts after the fight, all paint a really nice character that I feel I want to get to know. Her shock when she properly realize how close she got to dying, as well. She strikes me as a fairly normal working mare, who's getting pulled into something more.

Very curious to what's going to happen now, but I won't make any guesses! Take your time and have fun, your time between chapters so far is very reasonable~

Oh, almost forgot, that memory orb? I hope we get some more info like that, always fun to explore the world and see how our wasteland ponies react to what they learn.

Finally managed to clear enough time in my schedule to read Chapter 2. I enjoyed it yet again, but there was one moment which sort of jarred me immersion-wise. After she got injured and looked into the briefcase I didn't feel like she had a reason to go searching for the door to the key. Or, let me say it another way. It felt like she did it because the plot needed her to find it rather than because she had a reason to go searching this random ministry office for a secret trapdoor. If I was in her position (recently wounded and being waited on by some Zebras outside) I would go looking too, but only if I was actually playing fallout and knew that by the laws of good game design the zebras would wait for me and the key wasn't just to his house in another city or something.

That's my only real issue though, and could just be me being picky as hell. Otherwise it was enjoyable, and I look forward to the next one.

War?  Who said anything about war?  She's clearly just here to buy some smut magazines.

Thank you again for the comment, I'm glad you enjoyed it, and I like hearing what caught your interest. Not gonna give anything away, mind you, but I still like hearing the ups and downs.

Nah, you raise a valid point.  There's probably a few things I could have added or tweaked to make the scene make a little more sense.  I may go back and adjust it later (already thought of a couple ways to improve it), but for now I'll make sure I keep it in mind going forward.

Might be a bit of delay on Chapter 3 due to one of my editors having deadlines to meet that don't involve candy-colored horses.

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I felt her searching made sense, and enjoyed it a lot. I assumed she was trying to deal with her thoughts, letting herself get distracted, and thought it was pretty neat. The zebras waiting for her didn't go through my mind- hm

You're right, but I could have done a better job showing it, and I went back and fleshed out that section. But, it's nothing significant missed going forward, just made me happier with that section overall.

Thank you! I'm glad you're enjoying her character, and I really appreciate the comment. Bloodsprites are basically parasprites mutated into mosquitoes. When I was concocting the flora and fauna for the Bayou, one of the first things I thought a swamp needed was mosquitoes, so thus... bloodsprites!

On an unrelated note, I am sorry again for the delay on Chapter 3, but here it is! I hope y'all enjoy.

He's definitely got something bad, that's for sure.

I'm surprised they just didn't shoot all those raiders it would have been better

Another good chapter. Malice is interesting and this quest intrigues me. I was pretty invested the entire way through, and am excited to see who Alloy turns into as the story progresses. I think she has the makings of a pretty cold bastard in her (which I am totally for), but it's nice to see that she isn't anywhere near that point yet, even if she is more composed and rational than most would be in this situation. Good Job.

Ah, but with the guns and the shooting and the ponies getting hurt, it's likely there'd be a few losers in that.  This way, everybody wins!  Well, except Alloy.

In all seriousness though, with as many raiders as there were, maybe they win the shootout, maybe they don't, but lots of ponies die in the process on both sides.

I'm glad you liked it, actually gave me some confidence back to hear your feedback. I got nervous that I did something wrong when I got the two downvotes after posting the update. I know Malice's accent probably grates on the reader, so I'm glad her character came through. And any time I hear that Alloy has gotten someone's interest, it just gives me this stupid, giddy smile, so thank you kindly for that.

And thank y'all both for the comment and I hope I can at least continue to hold your interest!

I'm bad at remembering everything, so I'm going to do a running comment as I read.

It got old repeating the same spiel to every pony or otherwise that wandered up to my storefront as they were passing through.

I used to work as a cashier at K-mart. I know that feeling. Pretty sure anyone who's worked retail does, though.

“That is what a blacksmith does.”

Main character is a blacksmith? In FoE? Hrm. This should be interesting.

“No, we don’t have guards in Four Shoes.”

My own awning was made from corrugated metal and a pair of wooden posts, sitting below a hoof-painted sign proclaiming my store to be ‘ALLOY SHAPER’S SMITHY.’

The businessmare in me galled at the waste of resources [...]

I wish I could be this subtle about character and place introductions. Very nice.

Fucking window-shoppers…

Minor issue: you missed a line break after this sentence, so the next paragraph has no space between it and this one.

I couldn’t help but crack a small smile at how Grit knew my business model, something I appreciated in a repeat customer.


Though Luna knows why he was overpaying after haggling.

Oh, I think we know.

The only times of day we could tell beneath the constant cloud layer were night, dawn, day, and dusk.

Okay, so this is before the Day of Sunshine and Rainbows. For me, this makes a blacksmith a little more hard to believe, but I'll roll with it.

It paled in comparison to the forges in faded pictures from before the war -- mine was cobbled from the remains of a fireplace, [...]

Okay, I guess that helps. I had in my head the picture of an actual forge, but this... yeah. This I cna get behind.

having munched on some Sugar Apple Bombs and radigator meat

I know it's in FoE canon, but ponies eating meat always felt wrong to me. Just personal preference.

Overall, a really nice Slice of Life intro. You have my attention, good sir/madame.

I sighed and kept staring at him, forcing my composure as his companion started looking around nervously. "I don't sell to slavers."

Oh. I was thinking in the entirely opposite direction. This makes more sense.

Discarding my shaken nerves with a snort,

You should see a doctor about that.

“Oh! Uh… No, no, nothin’ in pa’ticulah. Jus’ makin’ sure them ponies didn’t rile you up none.”

And now for some reason I'm hearing the common Bill Cosby impression as his voice.

I quickly pressed myself as low to the ground as I could, squashing into the mud, painfully aware of how loud my heart was beating,

Look, Alloy, Allie, Al. You know you're the only one who can hear your heartbeat, right?

In a panic, I’d lost my magical grip on my blade after it left my sight.

Freaking natural 1's...

“Shipper’s Cargo Handling & Romance Novels.”

I wasn't going to say anything, but this is... yeah, you know what you're doing here, never mind.

“Nikale.” I answered, meeting his gaze.

Hey! A zebra with an exotic-sounding name that doesn't start with an X or Z! Whaddya know, it can be done!

Looking around, I spotted a zebra cooking up a meal for the rest of the villagers, and had just finished buying water to refill my canteen when Nikale walked up to me with another zebra next to him.

The short time lapse in this sentence is... odd. Not bad, but I feel there probably was a better way to word it.

This mare must have been the leader, or founder, of the Ministry of Wartime Technology.

Hmm... so not everyone knows the Mane Six. I suppose that makes sense; if you're not born in a Stable, you probably would have a hard time getting an education. But has Alloy not herd any tales of their escapades and/or accomplishments? This is an interesting choice, and I like it.

The simplistically-stylized apple was visually appealing, and it would be easy to replicate.

There might be some Rangers who would have an issue with that...

Hopefully while whoever was out there was still unaware of my presence.

Sentence fragment.

As an aside, did you know that BBcode doesn't have a way to create a table? I didn't.


Thank you, I really appreciate both of your comments. The reactions to individual lines is rather fun to see.

Some random stuff:
-I always saw ponies eating meat as a practicality. Either you scavenge for pre-war food or eat meat.
-Originally, the Prologue was named something else. I renamed it to business model close to the end of editing Chapter 1, so the title drop was, in reality, unintentional! Though I did knowingly keep that line in after the title was changed. So I guess, partially intentional?
-Chocking up that missing line break to GoogleDocs import. I have fixed it.

And random Chapter 1 stuff:
-Your Shipper comment made me grin.
-I was actually deliberately trying to dodge zebra names that start with X or Z, at least for Nikale.
-Hrm. I don't know how to feel about the pacing on that sentence either now that you bring it up. Not sure if it's worth correcting at this stage, but yea... I definitely could have done a better job there.
-Regarding Alloy's education, I would say it's more that she was focused on the material that interested her. She may well have heard the names of some of the Ministry Mares, she may not, but she also may or may not have cared about their names.

And like I said before, thank you for the comments, and I hope I can continue to write something worth your attention!

If I got lucky and even hit--let alone kill--one of them with the shot I had a chance to line up there were still two more, and odds were they were better with a gun than I was.

This sentence is rather awkward. I recommend replacing the double dashes with commas and adding a comma after "I had a chance to line up." It might not help all that much, but it's a start.

“Good,” he sneered at me, taking his leg off of mine.

You can't "sneer" a word. You can say something with a sneer on your face, though. /pedantoff

Chainlink’s fucking body had fallen out the window.

This expletive seems oddly-placed given Alloy's personality thus far.

My front legs had to take my weight for that half second to buck the cabinet. And I was paying for it.

Though it's not wrong, per se, the "and" starting the second sentence reads awkwardly.

Maybe it's just me.

I aimed Chainlink’s revolver back towards the stairwell entrance and fired twice blindly. Their shouting stopped, at least. My bullets were instead answered by a small, round object.

This is another awkward series of events, but I'm not sure how to fix it. Something about shooting -> the middle sentence -> having a grenade tossed seems off. Maybe remove the middle sentence?

“I’m going to check the building.” I was going to wander.

I think the second sentence is implied here; you don't really need it.

And what’s more, it was self-defense, so they got what was coming to them.

Another awkward "and," but I thin that's from all my years of being told that it's wrong.

A stylized trio of balloons, part of the emblem of the Ministry of Morale.

I smell a Pink...

As fascinating as the key was, I still needed to retrieve Xekan’s hunting rifle.

Xekan wasn't named in the last chapter.

Problem, continuity?

I planted my forelegs on the desk and pushed as hard as I could, shoving it a little further towards the door.

This seems like it should have cause at least some sort of discomfort for Alloy, seeing as she is recovering from being shot.

Next to a neat stack of papers and a sack that looked like it held pre-war gold bits, was a perfectly spherical glass orb in a protective case.

Yay orbs!

If I remembered correctly, the moment you made any magical contact with one of these, you were lost into it, reliving the memories of somepony else.

Didn't Littlepip trick an alicorn into trapping itself by floating one past its shield?

On second thought, that sentence contradicts its own logic. Carry on.

“That’s enough, give her room.”

I am now reading this in Javik's voice.

“Of course. I will bring your payment while you are with Maizan.

On first reading, I misread this as "Marzipan." That made a weird mental image.

Clenching a ladle in his teeth, he spooned out three generous bowls of the soup for us.

Now I want some lobster bisque. Jerk.

200, just like we had agreed.

Style suggestion: Write out numbers. I don't remember where I heard it (possibly in high school), but I remember being told to always write out numbers when writing prose.

“Alloy! You’re back! I was startin’ t’get worried.”

I love writing out accents.

The fire wrapped me and embraced me like a blanket

And then she burned to death. The End.

But it was no different to sleeping right?

Needs a comma after "sleeping."

As we walked and rounded a corner in a carpeted hallway, I tried to wrap my head around feeling a different body than I was used to-oh sweet Celestia I was a stallion! Goddesses that was not what I had expected!

Heheh. Awkward TG is awkward. Also, put a comma after "Goddesses."

...And raiders.

Well, shit.

And some kind of armor I’d never even heard of mounted to her tail, segmented and ending in a lethally-bladed tip.

And, of course, three pony skulls on the same shoulder.

Final thoughts:

Shit is accelerating. I don't know if it's going up or down, but it's picking up speed as it approaches the fan.

Author's Note:
I bet you she’s here to buy the porn.

Of course! It is a rather impressive collection after all. :trollestia:

But seriously, it's an interesting story thus far, with doing a good job of establishing the setting and Alloy's personality, like making the small bits of jewelry in some of her spare time, or her stance on slavers. Not to mention her realistic reaction to killing the slavers and nearly dying.

It's an amusing change of pace seeing a pony who isn't interested in gallivanting all over the Wasteland trying to right every wrong she sees, and is just interested in keeping her head down and trying to make a life for herself. But as you said, the Wasteland never lets anypony just lead simple lives. :twilightoops:

Well, that went differently than I expected. Here I was expecting Malice to be chomping at the bits for some revenge, but instead turns out to be a surprisingly friendly (but still cold-hearted and psychotic) businessmare looking to make a deal. Kudos for (mostly) subverted expectations there. :moustache:

That deal's a tough break for Alloy though, seeing as how she's a pretty decent mare. It's a little heartbreaking seeing her trying to rationalize the whole thing as just a business deal, watching her trying to push it out of her head that she's supposed to be capturing another pony. :fluttershysad:

On the positive side though, I like how you start each chapter with a business term and definition, with it summarizing the chapter, kinda like how Kkat did of having a single word at the start describing the entire chapter. :twilightsmile: I also like the addition of the accounting tables at the bottom, also like how Kkat had Littlepip's level-ups and new skills.

Good stuff so far, so have a like and a favorite. :pinkiehappy:

p.s. Minor typo near the end when Alloy is setting off with Grit where you forgot to capitalize Shipper.

Thank you so much for the comments!  And you're right, it seems nopony gets to live a simple life in the Wasteland.  I'm always pleased to hear someone is enjoying Alloy, as she is the reason the story exists in the first place.  Her personality got so stuck in my head that I couldn't get her out until I wrote her.

At the same time, Malice is just so much fun to write.  Even if she wasn't the prime motivator that made me turn this into a story, and even traumatizing poor Alloy, I was looking forward to writing Chapter 3 for a while.  Over on my blog post, you can see a picture of her (or I could just not be a lazy bastard and link it here).

I'm glad you like the business terms, too!  The quotes were a later addition, but I'm pleased with them.  Wordplay and puns make me a little giddy, so I like having fun with chapter names.  The accounting tables themselves are actually inaccurately done, and I know it, but they're simplified for the sake of being understandable without taking courses in accounting.  And I plan on having Alloy level up, too, she just has to do some more XP grinding.  I mean jeez, it's like she doesn't even know how to play Fallout.

I hope you continue to enjoy what comes next, the editing delays for chapter 4 shouldn't last too much longer.

(And the capitalization error has been fixed, thanks!)

I never responded to you?

--English is fun.  It's the only language I know that you can interpret grammatical rules.  Anyway, I did add a couple precision commas here and there, but I'd rather not make any huge changes to some of the others here, at least not at this time.  For example, the "shoot->shouting stops-> grenade" is partially done deliberately because Alloy is very much a non-combatant.  The slavers were baying for her blood, and when she fired, all she could register was that their shouting stopped.  And then a grenade flew up the stairs at her.

--I was actually always taught to write out numbers less than or equal to ten, and write 11 and up in numerals, so that's what's ingrained in me.  Also I feel like when multiple numbers appear back to back (as so often does when Alloy is haggling) it's a little more readable in numeric form, but that could just be me.

--Awkward TG memory orb is indeed awkward, but amusing to me nonetheless. :twilightsmile:

--Woo accelerating plot.  I went back and forth for a long time whether to essentially spoil the first couple chapters in the synopsis, but given that I personally like to go into stories, TV shows, video games, and movies as blind as possible to the story, I decided against it.

4497237 You're welcome! :twilightsmile:

And I could tell that you were having fun with Malice, since she isn't your typical Raider leader! :derpytongue2: Come to think of it, her personality makes me think of a slightly unhinged Red Eye, with the way that you combine friendliness, psychoticness, and intelligence with her. Heck, she's already a cut above other Raiders by being an intelligent Raider, making her that much more dangerous. Alloy is going to have trouble if she ever needs to match wits with her, even if guns aren't being pointed in her direction. :twilightoops: Here's hoping she stays around awhile though! :pinkiehappy:

As a side note, was Malice's scorpion tail thing inspired by Brass from Project Horizons?

Secondary side note: InLucidReverie did a disturbingly good job with Malice for the picture, since I get a vibe of smart, friendly, and dangerous (even without the bloody scorpion tail).

Keep up the good work, and looking forward to seeing more business and accounting adventures in the Wasteland! :yay:

It was not, actually. To be honest, I just was thinking of Enclave armor one day, and how goddamn evil that scorpion tail looked. And then I wondered how much that tail would contribute to making a raider look menacing. I was already designing her armor to include the Steel Ranger plate, inspired by the BoS plates of Legion Centurion armor in FONV, so I included the tail on Malice's cobbled barding.

4497906 Oh yeah, good point. I guess it's been too long since I reread Fo:E, since I had forgotten about the tails on the Enclave armor. :twilightsheepish:

I feel bad for her that he thinks her armor is overpriced and that her swords aren't real. Anyways good chapter again :twilightsmile:

That guy isn't much of a tactician. Guns are good for when you know where the threat is. But in a swamp land surprise attacks from poisonous animals can happen anywhere anytime, thats when you need some heavy protection to deflect the first attack and then neutralize the threat. Also, blades are great for when the guns jam in the muddy and humid swamp.

Changing up my comment format because reasons.

Malice's intro: Hopy shit. Incredibly well-done. I can see you had fun writing her. I love her character and the archetype she fills. I want to punch her in the face, but I'd probably get dead for trying.

After Malice leaves: Wow. Uh, yeah. I don't have much to say. Excelent part, more character development yay, uh... yeah. More please.

Pleasure doin’ business with y’all, an’ I look forward t’ seein you real soon, lil’ blue.

Heh. Alloy has a nickname. That's never a good sign.

Alloy's breakdown: Man, Poor Alloy. I wanna give her a hug in the scene after Malice leaves. Great emotional portrayal, though.

My forelegs suddenly itched,

I poured all of my focus into the next few swings of my hammer as I felt my neck itch.


The visit: Stop me if you've heard this one before: an author is consistently great at portraying emotions and writes a rather charged scene. The reader loves it.

And did you really think it would be that easy, Alloy? Welcome to the Wasteland, peopulation: you gon' die if you don't toughen up quick.

There was a 9 mm pistol with a holster, a spare clip and extra ammo,

a spare clip and extra ammo,



After a minute, my neck and forelegs started to itch and sting.


trying my hardest to ignore the jingling of the chains in my bags.

I got chains, they go jingle jangle jingle... (jingle jangle)

“Well, I figure I’d hold onto it. Since I’m comin’ with you, if you’ll have me.”

Aaand there we go. I was waiting for that.

Final thoughts: I like the slow start you have going, and I absolutely love your characters.

Sweet, a new chapter!

It's good to see Alloy and Grit teaming up to hit the road. Not only do we get to see a bit more character development through Alloy's dialogue and hesitation to leave her things in somepony else's care, but I mean come on... That chapter title... And the very first place these two go is Shipper. I think you know where I'm going with this. :rainbowlaugh:

Alloy continues to be a fun character with whom it is surprisingly easy to relate. Her desire to be near her forge and simply create, and her frustration when she is unable to do so, really strikes a chord with me. Grit, on the other hand, seems relatively simple. And now I find myself wondering if I've already got him completely figured out, or if something big is gonna happen to change my perspective of him.

The "Fisher" in the river is a wonderfully ominous threat that I'm dying to learn more of. Mutated angler fish? Reference to a Will O' The Wisp? Something crazier? Who knows, but I bet that reveal is gonna be a fun one.

And lastly, even though I'm probably in the minority here, I liked the longer chapter length on this one. More time to get into the character's head is always fun.

Keep up the good work, Doctor!

Thanks to every single one of you for your comments, all of them make me smile.

Yea, those Stable ponies are real jerks, aren't they?

Guy probably does go through more guns than he should. That said, he does have a PipBuck to deter those surprise attacks. Damn cheating magic computer.

I'm glad you're still enjoying the story! Malice was a ton of fun to write for. I have corrected that mistake on clip/magazine, and thanks for pointing it out.

Hey, I know you! You're that guy with the thing! Nah, but I have no idea what you could be implying about Alloy and Grit, going to Shipper togeth- ohhhhhh. And I've been looking forward to this part of the story since it began, promoting Grit from background character. I can promise that you'll see more of him, but whether he's as simple as you initially feel... I'll leave that to your judgement. I will also say I'm glad you liked the Fisher scene.

My only real thought on this chapter is how much I enjoyed Alloy's awkwardness when it came to interpersonal relationships. So, yeah. Good stuff.

Gotta love that awkward moment when you try to roll Barter for a Speech check, eh? Hehe. Glad you liked it.

Of all the Fallout crossovers and FoE fics I've read, they've all been about pretty big heroes, but never about a shopkeeper. This is a fresh take I'm glad I've found.

It's simple really, we kill the batman.

Thank you! I'm sorry again about the delay for chapter 5, but I'm really glad you're enjoying the story so far, or at least the perspective it offers.

Tis indeed. The life of a Wasteland shopkeep is always busy.


I really liked the story so far, my best moment being the bantering(s) and the "fisher" (this concept of river monster is quite appealing). It is well written and I do am interested in Alloy's future adventures.

My only remark would be your T chart system at the end of the concerned chapter. Being a grad student in a related field, I'd like to point out that if you really want to go by the book :moustache: you should have, at each accounting operation, debit and credit equal due to the rule of assets = liabilities + equity. Thus, if you want to respect the rules established by some Italian Jewish businessman from the XVth century, I would rather recommend to add a "cash in sack" or "capstack" entry to your T-chart each time you want to input an accounting operation. Otherwise, I'll make sure that some evil Tax and Business-versed Enclave Lawyers are going to prosecute your little Alloy for tax-avoiding in Sweetzerland, Lyrechtenstein or in the Neighmirates :trollestia:

It's well written and I'm hoping to see more of it :yay:

Thank you for the comment! I'm glad you're enjoying the story so far.

And dammit! I was hoping I wouldn't find a reader who understood T-charts and the accounting equation. To be honest, I know they are inaccurate. It was something I debated over before I started writing the story, and I settled for this bastardized T-chart. I didn't want to be confusing, and just wanted to keep a simplified record to track the flow of caps in each chapter. I probably should include a line to keep track of the total caps she has, and I worry about running into problems later, but for now I'm okay with the compromised view.


I understand.

:raritydespair: Moooooooom DoctorHam don't want to comply to the Jewish masters!!! :raritycry: Moooooooooooooooooooooooooom, he's mean with finance and stuff! :pinkiesad2:

:rainbowwild: I'm waiting for the next chapter.

Haha! Some adventure on the horizon?

My usual nitpicks:

He paused to look at Grit and I’s laden saddlebags.

Should be "my and Grit's."
(My saddlebag. Grit's saddlebag. My and Grit's saddlebags.)
Compound possessives are always awkward. Maybe just change it to "our?"

With that, Spark tapped a hoof on the door panel and left to other parts of the stable, leaving Grit and I alone.

Should be "Grit and me."
(He left Grit alone. He left me alone. He left Grit and me alone.)

We had some time to kill before meeting Spark’s father for lunch,

I thought Spark was Grit's father.

It was at this moment that I learned a pony cannot process food by inhalation.

Sides -> orbit

Just finished chapter two, figured I'd get my thoughts down. I really like this story so far. I like the setting, the town feels very natural, and I get the impression that just maybe, we'll get a fic with a character who actually has ties to a "home", and the forge cements that wonderfully, becoming in a sense, its own distinct character.

I've seen that art of Malice floating around, glad to be able to put a solid face to the character right away. Also, props for having raiders that definitely seem to present a threat to... well, everypony around them.

The chapter end gain/loss is a wonderful addition.

I do have to wonder how the story's being related - my initial impression is something along the lines of an oral story, told around a campfire or some such.

Made the appropriate corrections, thanks! And I'm glad you liked that joke, I was somewhat fond of it myself, hehe.

I'm glad you like the story so far! And it's a bit of a change of pace for me too, having a character tied down like that. It's rather interesting to write, and led to me getting asked one of the most amusing questions I've ever been asked, "What's life like for someone who isn't a murderous loot hobo?"

Though I admit, I'm deliberately ambiguous on the narration. It'd be fair to call it a cop-out, but I sorta decided I wanted to forgo a framing device for the narration. I didn't want to give away any clues about how the story might eventually end.

Ahh, thought I was getting some Spice and Wolf vibes before, now I definitely am. The call to adventure here is definitely a strong point, narrative-wise. I felt I could empathize rather well with Alloy's mental state throughout the chapter. Her... Anger at having her plans quashed felt like... Well, it was especially good.

It remains adorable how she doesn't see that Grit is really fond of her. Good work making that clear to the reader, but keeping the narrator oblivious.

Chapters are short (by FOE standards), but properly laid out. Makes for satisfying, but easily accessible chapters. Not sure if you intend to lengthen them or not, but regardless its an effective hook, even if its distressing at how fast one gets through them.

Comic books, yay! I love details like Alloy's reaction to her first comic book. Nice luck for the two at the end there, being saved by a Bigger Fish. There's totally nothing to worry about now.

Y'know. I watched Spice and Wolf when it was newly-dubbed, a few years ago, and absolutely loved it. Maybe there was a little unconscious inspiration there? I dunno, but either way given the quality of the show, I'll take it as a compliment, hehe. And I'm glad you're enjoying Grit and Alloy's interactions.

Regarding the chapter length, it's more a matter of personal preference. It's easier for me to stay on track with a chapter when I keep them to managable chunks, and I know if my chapters were longer, my already-dismal update schedule would get even worse.

Alloy's comic bookery was one of those fun character traits I always knew I'd have to insert somewhere, but I didn't think I'd be able to fit it in as early as I did. If not here, it probably would have been closer to chapter 14-15 or thereabouts. I'm glad you liked seeing her nerd out, hehe.

restore these spritebots back to working to working condition.”

You wrote "to working" twice.

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