• Member Since 10th Aug, 2011
  • offline last seen Last Wednesday



This story is a sequel to Triptych

The war touched everypony, even those far from the fighting. Compass Rose was affected more than most when gryphons appeared far behind the front lines, and the aftermath left her unwillingly in the company of an enemy soldier.

Set in the same universe as Off The Edge Of The Map, Apotheosis, and Triptych.

Editing by Kaorin.
Spanish translation by SPANIARD KIWI available here.

Chapters (21)
Comments ( 281 )

Glad to see another masterpiece from you, but I thought you were going into novels now instead of staying with FiM Fiction.

Also, does this take place in the same universe as the trilogy?

Hawkeye: War isn't Hell. War is war, and Hell is Hell. And of the two, war is a lot worse.

Father Mulcahy: How do you figure, Hawkeye?

Hawkeye: Easy, Father. Tell me, who goes to Hell?

Father Mulcahy: Sinners, I believe.

Hawkeye: Exactly. There are no innocent bystanders in Hell. War is chock full of them - little kids, cripples, old ladies. In fact, except for some of the brass, almost everybody involved is an innocent bystander.

I don't know where you're going with this yet, but I hope for good things in the future.

Doing both.

And yes, but it's not connected.

I'd suggest to search an artist who makes an cover similar to the map of The Witcher 2. I think you don't know that game, or, for that matter, the whole franchise, but the general idea of its map is, well, a map, that is surrounded by several drawings (as it was often used in medieval writings) that portrayed (hopefully) foreshadowing the events, without being too literally. Gerard is just too similar to Geralt to not see this.

I don't think you ninja'd the cover arts for your previous stories. They just fit too well. And with that premise, you shouldn't have a too large problem in finding an artist doing this for you. Then again, I don't know how deeply you're still bound into this fandom. This work doesn't seem to be (heavily) edited (yet) to me, either. Then again, there seem to be more things we disagree with than economics, double spacing, for instance. (Derp, A/N's saying just that. Shouldn't type comments before finishing reading what's there.)

All in all, I'll keep track of this.

4006950 Yeah I commissioned my other covers.

That costs money. Money I don't have, I'm afraid.
The spacing issue is certainly a thing. I'll probably fix that since it shouldn't be...too difficult, right?

Edit: Basically, I'm not taking this story quite as seriously as my others. I have the novel I'm working on for that, this is mostly for fun.

Well... spacing after ellipsis is included in this problem, I guess. :derpytongue2:
And I don't think you have to take everything that seriously. Even Nietzsche said that, and that has to count for something, eh?

Another something-punk story? I quite liked the whole alchemy-punk setting. But that's no topic for this story to be discussed.

You still in need of an editor? I would be glad to help. Send me a message if you are interested.

Thanks, but basically I jumped the gun on posting it instead of waiting for my regular editor. :twilightoops:

Did you find a source that actually named the rivers of Equestria, or were those names your fanon? I ask because I've been looking for such a source.

They're derived from the map and how rivers and place names tend to interlock in real life, but I haven't found any actual source for river names.

It isn't possible to give this a thumbs up a second time, so I'll opt to simply say that I am already in love with this work.

Compass Rose

Exactly the same name as one of the main characters in "What Bound Them," though a gryphon and not a pony. Strange. :unsuresweetie:

There are only so many names.
Also, gryphons don't use descriptive names o.0

Ah! I misread, I thought you wrote "Compass Rose was affected more than most gryphons" :facehoof: No, Compass rose in What Bound Them is a unicorn :derpytongue2:

Am I detecting the beginnings of Stockholm Syndrome from Compass?
That could be interesting.
Keep this up, I do thoroughly love Gerard's mannerisms. :moustache:

Trying to avoid it the best I can, really. Shouldn't be too difficult unless people misunderstand Stockholm Syndrome itself.

“Not anymore.”

So, she's converting him to the pony way of thinking?


Hmm, I suppose it could read that way, but it was a years-back decision.
Edit: Clarified.

Still loving this one 4 chapters in, I can't wait for more!

The premise is really interesting, but I think you're going through some things too quickly. The emotional punch to the gut of losing five good friends all at once should be described more strongly and elaborately (especially since Rose is clearly not a frontline soldier in experience or outlook). The way it is now, Rose's mourning just feels... hollow.

Same for the idea of surrendering to the enemy. I'd suggest having her struggle with him for a bit, and even when she's accepted he's too strong for her, still having her act very cold and hostile towards him at this stage. Warming up to each other in a situation like this takes time.

Also, I read Im Westen nichts Neues last week, and I have to know. Did you name him Gérard after Gérard Duval, the dying French soldier in the crater?


Yeah it's less...involved...than perhaps it should be, but I have no interest in protracted angst either. I suppose if I were writing this more closely like I did Triptych I would do that but I just don't have the energy for it. So far as surrendering...she hasn't yet, just yielded to the situation. So far as her non-hostile attitude...well, I'm more using the xenofictional construct, so these aren't human reactions. She's a creature for whom in-group community building is written in at a deep level, so it's more confused social signalling.

And the name is just a name I'm afraid, one that fit really well but with no particular references nonetheless.

That was one hectic chapter, half the time I didn't know what was happening and the other half I was on the edge of my seat. Great job!

4193537 I don't have a problem with how it's progressing. I know little about the expected human psychology in a situation like this, but in addition to the "it's ponies" defense: she is on the opposite side of a war from him, true. But they are bound closely together by their trek, and cooperating to complete the journey, unless she manages to escape; and there's significant risk in escaping a gryphon who won't kill her when gryphons who will be only too eager to are in the vicinity. She knows that he neither led nor participated in the attack on her friends, and that in fact he himself was injured by the same party that did do it. Showing small kindnesses even to one's enemies is hardly unknown in war. And the gryphon's own attitude, I suspect, would make her feel petty being too antagonistic.

As far as her grief being insufficient ... couldn't she just be repressing a lot of it due to the situation?

Wow. That just might top the list of cultural misunderstandings. Of course, I can certainly imagine it being avoided by mention of prisoner exchanges at the end of hostilities, returning bodies to homelands, etc. Boring details to the rescue!

4748911 Boring details probably wouldn't help much! Not when the gryphon understanding of how people interact is so far different from the pony understanding. If someone is waving a loaded gun around, you don't trust them, no matter how much they reassure you...

4749782 But, if the problem is that gryphons would mistake "not asking for concessions" as "asking for unconditional surrender", then I don't understand why little things like "and we will give each other our dead to bury or whatever" wouldn't raise flags that such might not be the case.

4749963 Ah I see what you're saying now.

No, the issue is not that they're equating "asking for no concessions" as "asking for unconditional surrender." The issue is that "asking for no concessions" equates to "we'll just come in later and take it because we can."

huh, this chapter reminds me of Shards of Honor, by Lois McMaster Bujold

4777465 I certainly did have that book in mind when I started writing this, though only as a vague inspiration. Gerard is no Aral and Rose is no Cordelia - this is more about gryphons and ponies as nonhuman races.

Honestly I would have thought it was the earlier chapters that would be more similar, with greater departures coming later as the two races are explored via their proxies (and the specific plot unfolds).

I just read all the chapters up to this. Wonderful story, I can't wait for more.

However, what was The Nightmare Winter? Was it in one of the other stories? If so, it's been so long since I've read them I've forgotten.

4777908 It's an oblique reference to The Nightmare Moon Incident.

Well, she's carried him before, I guess, though both of them were in better condition and conditions at the time.

To cruel! you're to cruel.

All of the fantastical action I've come to expect from one of the fandom's finest.
This was great, and it keeps getting better.
Implications are sometimes more frightening than outright threats.

In five or eight or ten generations, with all this yours, we will exist only by your leave.”

“We don’t want to fight, or invade, or take over, or anything. You know that.”
“Tch.” The gryphon ran his talons over the wooden pole, pushing at the muddy river bottom. “You would not have to. That much strength would be enough.”

Why do I have sudden chills? How are you weaving this magic, Daetrin?

4791732 Adult fears, I suppose.

I would have expected the "you" to be italicized, but I suppose you know your character better than I do.

As for the chapter? As good as ever, which is very. I get that Gerard appears to be trying to make it back so he can take responsibility as commander of the mission for what transpired (and very possibly because of the box), but surely Kree would suffer some consequences for his actions despite that.

Hmm... Welsh.

An interesting choice for the Griffon language. Going for a bit of an arthurian flavor for the griffon culture?

4821657 Half bushido japan, half 1450s scotland, half xenofictional construct. And Welsh because it seemed to fit my description of his native tongue. If there's any thing Arthurian about this it won't be intentional, but it's such a huge myth I'd be surprised if nothing matched up.

4821617 Surely!

I've really been enjoying your story. The mystery behind Gerard has been a lot of fun. Reminds me of that 1985 flick 'Enemy Mine'. I look forward to reading the next chapters.

4822053 I had completely forgotten about that book series (and movie). Huh, yeah, I can see the resemblance.

Going to war against an enemy that you cannot defeat, not because they are attacking you, but because they can destroy you just by existing. I'm not sure how true that is, but that appears to have been Gerard's perspective, and it's an unhappy one.

Well, both characters just got a lot deeper.
Excellent development chapter. What seeds are you sowing, Daetrin? Friendship? Something more?

Wow. No sooner do I finish chapter 9 than chapter 10 goes up! :pinkiehappy:

Nerys. I am sure she'll come up again. In what context, I do not know.
Predicting lots of drama/action next chapter. You don't leave us with "the river was angry" for no reason.

I hope we will not have any more of these mixed blessings

Don't speak too soon...

4924906 It's a good question. :trollestia:
4924963 I'm really hoping that next chapter will be intense.

I know you will not disappoint.

By the way, have you read The Age of Wings and Steel, or its sequel Love, Sugar, and Sails? Your series is considered second only to that one in my mind. Cartography and Love are the two fics I most look forward to updating. If you haven't, I highly recommend them over everything else.

4925072 I have not. I'll have to look it up. Although I admit I'm a bit leery of delving too much into other gryphon stuff when I'm building mine from scratch...

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