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Dsarker


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Imagine being one of the most powerful and most acclaimed martial organisations in the known world. Imagine knowing that five hundred people like you turned an army of twenty six thousand, taking only a few losses and destroying the enemy utterly.

Imagine going each day to the God who gave you such a privilege, and swearing to serve Him anew each day. Imagine knowing that each day, you are living the life you have been called to.

Imagine knowing that by fell treachery, torture, and lies, your order was now under threat by those whom it had aided in the past, and that now you were hunted for that help.

This is the tale of Johann von Saxony, and the struggle that this places on his life.


UPDATE:

Due to an unfortunate lack of time and attention, this story has been placed on hiatus. I cannot currently devote the time required to rewrite it and continue it as it deserves. I will continue it, have no fear - but not now.


UPDATE UPDATE:

Due to being asked multiple times to update it and in the end flipping a coin, I have recommenced the continuation of the story. The end will be reached sooooonishly. (like about 100 000 words or so)

Chapters (17)
Comments ( 109 )

Well I finally read it, what better time to do it than on a Sunday?

The biggest glaring mistake I've found is the using of apostrophes in place of quotations. Quotations denote spoken word, apostrophes show internal thoughts. I had to read things over several times to realize the characters were talking and not thinking.

Twilight's surprise party seemed to be nothing but filler bridging the gap between Twilight's language studies and Shining Armor's exposition, especially with the amount of time dedicated to getting Twilight to accept the surprise party. Especially since Twilight has been interrupted from her studies before and dropped them to make time to deal with whatever problem the pastel horse folk have interrupted her with.

The best parts for me were from the Tempar's half of the story. Other than the misuse of apostrophes, I love it. Given your knowledge of the period I could read anything you've written about the period all day.

Whoa, just what a chapter. Definitely following this.

Interesting start, I can't wait to see how Shining Armor, Scootaloo, and the Templars get along.

Did Shining really need to get handed the idiot ball, like that? :ajbemused:

I like this, it's certainly well written and is an interesting spin on the whole humans in equestria. My favourite feature though is the communication problems, I haven't read a story before that introduced different languages. Keep this up, it sure has a lot of potential to it.

4667267

Yes, because anyone that can hold it against someone protecting a child from a clear and present threat is a idiot.

I see Chrysalis messing with his mind has robbed Shining of his common sense, Twilight was right about Chrysalis and he should listen to her now. I love how Scootaloo and the Templars have started exchanging words, very well done, especially the stomping of the Diamond Dog picture. I almost feel sorry for the DD tribe, they're about to get a vicious smack down!!!!:trollestia:

What sort of warrior would have no weapons?

a very good one...

or a Monk. Damn monks.

Truth in this case being Twilight Sparkle ripping through every law book she can get her hooves on and finding just what the Templars did wrong. I just hope her testimony combined with Shining Armor's report frees the Templars. But I can just see Twilight kicking down a courtroom door with a yell of "OBECTION!!!" to save her new friends' life.

The ponies and humans working together were awesome, hope to see more of that soon.

4724272
unfortunately, this story has a 'tragedy' tag... it isn't going to end nearly that nicely.

4724665 Well, given the diamond dogs were talking of soaking the land in pony blood I figured that. I would much prefer to see the Templars die fighting the Diamond Dogs alongside the Ponies instead of executed for a shoddy reason.:twilightangry2:

New chapter ahoy!

And with it, comes the closing of the first section of this story. Don't worry - it's not even near being over yet - but because I've got a new helper, an editor, it's possible that new chapters will be a bit slower to post up, but hopefully the quality will be even better.

Non nobis Domine.

...Exctly what will the diamond dogs do about the sun and moon if they kill the princesses?
Have they even thought that far ahead?

Curse my speed reading, I NEED MOAR!!!:raritycry:

:pinkiegasp:And that's why this story has a dark and tragedy tag everypony:pinkiesick: Yeah... very.... bloody... chapter:pinkiesick: Methinks Celestia needs to talk to somepony soon, otherwise she'll start to go crazy:twilightoops:

Do-do-do, style edit ahoy!

So eventually Twilight becomes Professor Twilight Sparkle... I bet she prefers that title over Princess any day of the week. And I bet her students go crazy from the amount of home work she assigns. :rainbowlaugh:

:rainbowderp: OH F**K!!! I think Shining has gone off the deep end a bit.... maybe all the mind whammy he got hit with before the wedding left a lasting mark on him?????:twilightoops:

It had been the most difficult strike to learn under his master, (insert name here).

Is that supposed to be like that?

A story, where the Templars actually get to be the good guys they (debatbly) were?! ABOUT FRICKEN TIME! :pinkiegasp:

Well, this story is really earning those grim and dark tags. But I think Twilight is missing the symbolism of communion.:facehoof: She needs to read a Bible to start getting facts.

Twilight had the same misconceptions as the Romans did. This is a great story keep it up

Hi there! This is Hopeless Appraisal with a review of your story courtesy of WRITE.
This story is incomplete, but since it is already well over 30,000K words then I will be assessing it based mostly on the overall layout rather than blow-by-blow.

Starting out with grammar and mechanics:
The punctuation and grammar are really pretty good! The one truly consistent problem throughout the story was a frequent unnecessary comma where a single article or simple omission will do:

Why were they fighting, back there?

have escaped, with the help of the five mystery warriors

No comma needed.

Velvet sulkily pouted at him, again. And, again, he sighed in annoyance.

"Velvet sulkily pouted at him again... and again. He sighed in annoyance."

come back soon, and rid him of this troublesome mare

she groaned, and stood up

He stood up, and watched as the last two things that faced him fled,

Put another pronoun following the article 'and' to make these sentences appropriate. Or just remove the comma. Examples

You sometimes have the opposite problem as well:

But he held firm and he made ready to receive them

Here the comma is needed before the article and pronoun, or just remove the pronoun.

There are also several consistent misspellings:
"Pegasoi" should be "Pegasi"
"Armour" should be "Armor"
"Artefact" should be "Artifact"

While I didn't find much consistent stuff to critique in your grammar, your characters and descriptions were often very long winded, especially in the first chapters when Twilight is studying and preparing for the planned party and her parents' visit. Much of what goes on in these descriptions and dialogue does nothing to progress the story and instead brings on some very sluggish phases.

Twilight's book definitely agreed with her, but it highlighted important reasons for this to be the case, as well as what that meant for modern ponies. It was a new topic for Twilight, but she had already (as she saw fit) corrected several errors that she saw in the text. The author had talked about a ‘danger’ being present in having a single language, which Twilight disagreed with. While she was happy to learn new languages, and had learned a smattering of the zebra tongues with Zecora's help, she also felt that a unified language helped the process of civilisation as a whole. Without one tongue, people would not be able to talk with each other on a common basis. With a single tongue, they could explain difficulties and understand each other. Moreover, new words would be easy to create. Rather than there being multiple-

While these experiences in languages could be interesting, it does not end up progressing the story in any way, as Twilight later establishes communication with the Templars through a single spell. Though it does it again right before she finds that spell:

Spike nodded. "Of course, Twilight. I'm on it," he said as he hurried off to check the shelves. It had been fruitless to organise them following the Canterlot Library, as Twilight would pick up books that interested her and leave them lying around, eventually slotting them where they made sense (to her, at least), and the townspeople didn't have much other interest (in general) in the library other than to take the same book out and to return it later. There was the occasional exception (Fluttershy, and Rainbow Dash surprisingly), but largely, many books were never even looked at.
Therefore, instead of heading down to the Languages section, Spike had to go and find the Other Magic section, and start digging through the different books talking about obscure water-breathing spells, or complex mane-altering spells. Then, after finding the books on languages and magic, he had to eliminate the outliers. Out went The Draconic Tongue and Unicorn Magic, and then out went The Magic of Speaking - How to Keep Friends and Influence Ponies.

These are just several of the more obvious examples, and many bits like this turn out feeling like simple off-the-bat thoughts and contemplation by the author. Similar things also happened when Twilight brings up the subject of religion with the Templars, which I will talk more on later.

Your tone of voice for characters sometimes changes mid-dialogue (usually it is the ponies when speaking to the Templars) like you just wanted everyone to suddenly speak like the Templars do. Several times the Templars are speaking to Twilight and she suddenly changes her speech patterns to match their own. I resolved that this change is not intentional as Shining Armor's tone also abruptly changes in the middle of his little introspective scene on the balcony talking to his wife. The change often follows their use of the word 'nevertheless'.


Next is the story plot:
The concept of the story is HiE, and the description implies a strong perspective from the Templars. You use the word "Imagine" to begin all three paragraphs in the story description (a little redundant), drawing readers in by placing them strongly in the Templar's shoes.
While we're talking about the story description: Having more than three tags in the description diminishes their effectiveness for browsing readers. I would choose two of either the tragedy, dark, or adventure tag to remove. It looks like tragedy fits best if it really will end tragically, as the content does not earn a dark tag for me (some gore but not a dark story in its concept), and the adventure tag doesn't fit as the focus keeps getting drawn away from the Templar group, who show little-to-no development as characters compared to the Equestrian ponies with whom they interact.

As the story progresses, the promise of Templar perspective in the description increasingly falls short.
Chapter two begins with the Templars fleeing their enemies. The portrayal of their dynamic in their homeland, as well as their religious nature, feels authentic and very enjoyable, and it generates a lot of interest for how such staunchly religious individuals will react to Equestria. But during their first and following encounters with ponies, their reactions are and remain unfulfilling.
Their initial reaction to Scootaloo is too mild to be believable. Yes, they could recognize a Pegasus from myths, but they take the wonder of it all far too easily. There is none of the marveling that you would expect from religious individuals who believe in myths, only a few thoughts and simple acceptance. They also too quickly realize, without any solid thought for the miraculous, that Scootaloo is intelligent and can speak.
It is believable that the Templars are very disciplined and well exercised mentally, but that is why we want to see more of a reaction out of them. The readers have been built up on the Templar’s religious mindset, but they are let down when there is little reaction or relation to that background at all. There is little point putting them in Equestria if they do not act very differently than they do in their homeland, and leaving them so unfazed only disappoints most readers who expect the details.

There are also some visualization problems early on: HiE crosses cartoon with reality, so the initial physical descriptions of the characters need to be thorough. We have no problem with the Templars, but several scenes with the ponies and horses raise visual questions that are never answered:
In their first encounter with Scootaloo she runs to their horses, implying that they are familiar enough to her that she feels comfortable around them, but you offer very little description of their appearance compared to the ponies. Johann’s unfazed behavior around Scootaloo right from the start also raises a lot of questions about how different, or similar, they look. You had another opportunity to resolve their appearance when they met Twilight, but there was none.


And last for story structure:
This is where I see the largest error in this story's conception and execution. The first chapters of a story, especially of the adventure variety, are very important to establishing reader expectations and setting up the overall story you want to tell.
The story begins (not the preface) with the Templars themselves fleeing betrayal and persecution in Old Europe. There is some excellent establishment for their honorable and deeply religious nature as well as their skill in fighting. This intro is active and engaging, and it would make a drawing start for the story if you were to decide the preface wasn't necessary.
Now we turn to Twilight in her library, and arguably everything that happens up until the Templars arrive at her house is just filler, serving no long-term purpose besides getting Twilight from point A to point B (right back at the Library where she began). Her interactions with everyone besides Shining Armor make no difference come later chapters when the Templars are imprisoned and all of the betrayal starts up. This story is not complete yet, but I can confidently say that I don't think much of that long-winded interaction with Twilight's parents and friends will go anywhere. Shining Armor does a little bit to set up conflict with the Diamond Dogs, but there is still very very little for us to go on before those dogs are being (righteously?) slaughtered by the Templars.
Chapter 3 begins with Celestia reading a prophecy that better establishes some things to come. This scene would better serve right before (or earlier) the Templar's arrival in Equestria.

I look at a story as I would a play or a structured essay. When you are planning it, you should know the main points you want to cover and establish some draw for them in the thesis. You get the readers in a mindset before throwing them into the main body, then you address and wrap up all of your points in the conclusion. You did this very well with the Zebra scene and in Celestia's prophecy scene, but it all comes too late in the story. You have told us all in the description that this story will be based on the experience of the Templars and will follow them, not even mentioning what the Equestrians might think. Then, as we come around to chapter five, the story you really seem to want to tell starts coming out. A story about Celestia and her siblings, and her reaction to a prophecy and a war that sends waves through the royal family and all of Equestria.

Lastly, the structure of this story suffers with the focus being turned farther away from the Templars as the story progresses, and the individual Templars themselves having little-to-no character development in comparison to the ponies around them. The description and introduction get the readers in the mindset of the Templars, but once your story starts developing, the characters who are branching out and developing are the ponies. The Templars fight and are thrown in jail, only to remain staunch and unaffected in their own little world while all of the intrigue, betrayal, and politics go on around them. The reader is expecting to follow their minds and reactions. With them being strong religious idealists, it fits somewhat that they deal with everything around them through prayers and other observances that are familiar to them, but there is no change as they progress. Johann and the priest are the only ones who even seem to do any thinking among them.
There are also those long monologues between the Templars and Twilight about their religion when they are at the library, and the doctrine of souls (12 paragraphs of pure concepts) in prison. Both are unnecessary and very long detours as neither Twilight nor the Templars experience a very dramatic change as a result.

The author almost seems more interested and preoccupied with spouting about Templar lore and beliefs than focusing on them as people. They are a depiction of an ideal, and I can only recommend this story as it is to people who are interested in seeing them walk in their mental circles while the ponies tear themselves apart in their wake. The real character story you are trying to tell seems to be about Celestia's paranoia over a prophesy and a war that causes waves across the Equestiran royal family. And that doesn't fit the description and doesn't appear until later chapters.

Conclusion:
This HiE story has an excellent and consistent depiction of the Templars and their culture, but the promise of following them as developing characters falls flat as they do not develop or change at all. The story contradicts its description and focuses largely on Celestia and Luna as driving forces (who are not even listed in the character tags) while the Templars remain stale and go in circles with their observances.
The descriptions and dialogue are consistently long-winded, and the author takes many detours to explore religious concepts that do little to progress the story's plot. A lot of the wording and expression is also very confusing in later chapters when important things are being said.
The thorough and knowledgeable depiction of the Templars' religious culture is what really makes this fic interesting so far, and if it were to build them as developing characters instead of idealistic slap-ons then readers could more easily relate to them and their struggles.

Well, that is most of what I felt to cover while the story is incomplete. I hope you got the feedback you were looking for, and if not then feel free to ask me any questions you have.

Until next time,
~Hopeless Appraisal, WRITE’s Secluded Romantic Theorist

Luna ask for the humans and celestia talk about a lost brother?:ajbemused: she ask for the humans!

4971814 actually in Britain armor is spelled armour and artifact is spelled artefact taken from the old arte factum which roughly translates to something along the lines of "made with skill"

Actually magic is surprisingly tolerable in the church. Since I can't type well on my iPhone I will quote a post just to give you all the idea on 'magic'.

Going to be putting in my two cents because not enough people know the truth of the Church's attitude to 'magic' as it was understood in the middle ages.
For centuries magic was regarded with suspicion and fear by everyone. This is nothing new and was the case before Christianity came onto the scene. Hell, once upon a time the ability to forge metalworks made people think blacksmiths were wizards, and for the longest time in many societies, blacksmiths had to live beyond the village limits. Ancient pagans especially disliked magic, contrary to what many think, it was treated especially with disdain and fear, (the pagans, like Christians and other religions, differentiated between 'divine' acts and 'magical' acts, they were not one and the same. Gods could do whatever the hell they wanted ebcause they were higher beinga and operated on different rules to mortals, wizards were assholes using cheat codes. Just to give you guys a very simplified interpretation) One of the attractive things about Christianity to many pagans during the conversion of Europe was its offer of divine protection against magic, which was very tempting to alot of pagans. Also to give you guys an example of a pagan society that accepted magic as a fact of life but still disdained it, the norse vikings largely considered the practice of magic a cowardly art, fit only for women to use.
Here's where things get interesting.
The so called 'dark ages' did not exist. The period between the fall of Rome and the Renaisence (which is more accurately called the second renaisence, the Carolingian renaisence was the first and both events did not affect the whole of europe at the same time when they were in full swing, the Carolingian renaisence happening at the same time as the monastic 'Golden Age' of Ireland for example) The entire period was one, long, slog of development, advancement, learning and enlightenment, carefully fostered by the Church in Europe who was trying to rebuild things since the fall of the western empire. People malign feudal europe as being backwards and wracked in superstition in comparison to the supposedly enlightenment of the muslim near east or the slowly ossifying glory that was Byzantium which is unfair when comparing an entire continent of kingdoms struggling to climb out of the pit they were born into since the fall to two large and flourishing empires. If things really were as dark as all that, the renaisence would never have come about in the first place.
The Church had a rather interesting approach to things during this period: if it didn't 'know' a thing was false or not, it usually deferred judgement till a time when it did. This is not the time of the reformation or the wars of religion, this was the time of councils and deliberation, this was the age of the albigensian crusade against the cathars which only happened after a decade of hard but peaceful negotiations between the Church, the kings of France, the nobility of Acquitaine and the Cathar heretics which only broke down after the murder of an Inquisitior who was traveling to initiate another round of negotiations to try to reconcile the heretics with the Church. This is a time when the Church was careful and cautious, which defined the two millenia old institution's slow approach to everything that we're familiar with today.
How does this relate to magic? Well interestingly enough the church did not automatically condemn magic, but this is because it didn't automatically associate magic with devilry (the cries of 'witchcraft' didn't really become all that common until the reformation and then only really in Germany and England), this is because the definition of 'magic' was nebulous at best. The Church simply did not 'know' enough about the topic to rule one way or the other because nobody did. During the middle ages there were largely two 'kinds' of magic, natural magic and necromancy.
Allow me to explain. Natural magic is that magic which merely affects the natural world, say casting a spell that turns a boulder into a carved statue would be natural magic. Or an alchemist transmuting base materials into gold. The Church saw nothing wrong with this so long as the source of one's magic did not come from the aid of the devil or wicked spirits. Necromancy is not what you think, it was magic that had spiritual effects. This could mean making pacts with spirits to obtain magic or affecting another person with magic 'spiritually'. A witch's hex or a curse for example would be considered necromancy and thus sinful.
With these attitudes in mind, the Church's attitude to the ponies and other races use of magic would be surprisingly tolerable, but there would definitely be a Synod or two on the topic. Much like how Pope Pius (I forget which numeral) decreed that Chinese traditional veneration of their ancestors in the Chinese Rites controversy was compatible with Catholic doctrine, the Church can be tolerent of traditional beliefs, pieties and practices so long as they do not conflict with doctrine nor dogma rather than forcing converted populations to utterly abandon their entire cultures upon conversion (generally an unwise practice when converting peoples) which is why Folk Catholicism is a thing which exists and is wrongly labelled syncretism when it is not.
the ponies and other races are born with the ability to use magic as a trait inherent to their species and do not rely on spirits or anything else for their powers, therefore their ability to use magic would, rightfully, be interpreted as God's will. The question would then be what magic would be considered sinful to use?
The majority of magic would be acceptable, Earth Pony agrimancy, pegasi flight and weather manipulation (you know, after the humans stop freaking out about that) Unicorns, being born mages, would hardly be blamed for their telekinises and most spellcasting and potion making would be considered fine since the magic is coming from the unicorn and the unicorn was born with said magic. A Catholic Unicorn would only find him or herself morally barred from the practice of such things like dark magic, or mind control magic or other such hexes as being inherently sinful. But would have no problem casting fireballs or shooting lightning from his horn.
At this juncture, the sinfulness of magic would be akin to the sinfulness of any other tool; what is it being used for? What is its purpose? What are its effects? Why is it being used? Etc, etc.
There will be a long settling in period, humans will not trust magic nor its users easily, but the Church's conversion and accession of legitimate magic use and its users will go along way to placate people. The only real problem, I foresee, is the arrival of Equestria somehow giving humans the ability to use magic or rather, learn how to use it. Which will just be a ball of fun.

Regarding the story I am enjoying it very much.

Twilight made a face. "You eat meat? You mean you kill other beings for your food?" The thought was almost enough to make her sick.

derpicdn.net/img/2012/9/20/102892/medium.jpg
This is a bit of a pet peeve for me since it is apparent that they have carnivores in the show.

The readers have called, and the author has responded. A new chapter has been added.

I really really hate self fulfilling prophecies. I hope the Templars can make a dent in the Diamond Dog forces and rescue some ponies.

Just found this story. I must say I am seriously loving it, though I wish someone would explain the Eucharist to Twi properly.

HA! In your face you xenophobic Bitch! I think I heard Celestias world view shatter from here. To see magic disspelled by pure faith is a refreshing change of pace.
Now, let us hope the Knights will be able to show Celestia that they are halfway decent before the Dog Leader eviscerates her with her own horn.

was writing an in-depth review of the story so far

near the end, accidentally closed my browser

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story is good, like lots of things, some other things annoy me a bit, please write more soon if you can

there

fff

I almost mistaken this with a crossover with Assassin's Creed...Almost.

The symbolism completely went over Twilight's head...I question the intelligence of this Twilight Sparkle.

It's annoying how blind Celestia and Twilight are...I will start tracking and see if they can get over this conundrum soon enough...

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