• Member Since 13th Jun, 2012
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I've been writing and selling stories for longer than a lot of folks reading this have been alive. Check Baal Bunny for more!


Three years ago, Gilda volunteered for a posting in the farthest reaches of griffon territory, a place she knew no pony had ever been and a place she hoped no pony would ever come. And then one morning...

The first chapter was written for the 2014 Summer Equestria Daily Pre-Reader "Secret Santa" Story Exchange--better known, I guess, as the EqD Pre-Reader Battle, but the story just kept on growing. The prompt was the single word "foreigner," and the cover image was commissioned from DarkerSounds.

Chapters (7)
Comments ( 256 )

"She was the only one who could keep was about to happen from spiraling completely out of control."

Gilda, you... never really got a chance to meet up with Twilight, did you?

Poor Gilda. Ponies never cease to ruin and fix and ruin everything.

Interesting idea though, that city sounds like it would be fascinating to visit.

I like this. It's an enjoyable fast-forward on Gilda's character, and a believable one too: people as intense and hot-tempered as her tend to scotch their early chances and have to start over in a new setting with the lessons they've learned. But when they do, they can do very well.

Beautiful and a bit frightening, but beautiful nevertheless.


Thanks, folks!

Except now I'm thinking I might hafta keep going with this just to figure out what actually happens when Twilight and Co. come breezing in. :twilightoops:


Finding the right level:

Can be a process. One that Gilda apparently thought she was done with... :pinkiehappy:



Except now I'm thinking I might hafta keep going with this just to figure out what actually happens when Twilight and Co. come breezing in.

Not complaining about that possibility in the slightest. Bring it on!

It's different, have an upvote.:rainbowkiss:


Ding-dang it!

Now I've gone and thought up an overall storyline that could grow from this and get pretty large-scale. But I've got this Rarity story I've been trying to write all year! :raritycry:



I'd never even thought about writing Gilda or Derpy before this, but the prompt I got made me ask myself, "What two characters in the show would be the most foreign to each other?" And this story is my answer to that question. :eeyup:


A lot of writers totally fail at Derpy. It's really hard to hit the right notes when writing about her, but I think you may have done one of the best jobs of it I've read so far. Very enjoyable story: Thumbs up! :twilightsmile:

I really want to see where the story goes from here. It's good, but I feel it needs a bit more to be a complete story. As it stands it is really more of a vignette, a glimpse into a larger tale, but the mystery set up here is fascinating.



I have to admit, I'm not really familiar with how she's usually portrayed in fan works--the only story featuring her that I think I've managed to read all the way through is Pascoite's wonderful "A Taxing Situation." Mostly, I thought about her biggest appearances in the show--dropping all that furniture on Twilight in "Feeling Pinkie Keen," her accidental destruction of City Hall in "Last Roundup," her cock-eyed, can-do attitude from "Rainbow Falls"--and extrapolated from there.


More is on the way! I've got some non-Pony writing that I need to finish--watch my blog here for more info on that--but then we'll be delving into the mysteries of Catlatl with Gilda and Derpy and the rest of the gang!



Interesting idea though, that city sounds like it would be fascinating to visit.


I really want to see where the story goes from here. It's good, but I feel it needs a bit more to be a complete story.

I certainly agree here. I would love to see this little vignette eventually expanded into a full story concerning Derpy and Gilda and the interactions between Griffon and Pony culture.

Except now I'm thinking I might hafta keep going with this just to figure out what actually happens when Twilight and Co. come breezing in.

Please do this. I created an account (a mighty feat, I know) just to ask you make more. :applecry:

This was a really well-written and enjoyable story. It managed to do a lot of cool world- and character-building in a small package. I also thought that drawing on the Roman terminologies (like Praetor and Aedile) was a nice touch. I'd love to see more of it.

I enjoyed this immensely. I especially liked the world building and how you realistically grew Gilda into a more mature character. I am sad that this is just a one shot as it has potential.


Thanks, folks!

I've already got a plot outline for a longer adventure starting from this story, so be on the lookout for the next chapter within the next couple weeks. Let's say on or before August 22nd just to give me a deadline to work with. :pinkiehappy:


I love it already. I'm a sucker for Gilda, and this is her done serious justice. But one character does not a story make. So it's a delight that the setting and premise are interesting too! Can't wait for more.:raritystarry:


Thanks, folks!

I'm having way too much fun building this whole, weird Roman/Aztec culture for the griffons. We'll see if I can pull it off!


Fascinating. Lovely bits of word building, a Derpy who doesn't harp on muffins, and a Gilda story all in one. You have my attention, sir.

The story is pretty good so far, not to mention a bit cute with derpy's personality "cooperating" with Gilda's, and the way you've written the chapter is easy on the eyes:pinkiesmile:

Good show, I look forward to its continuation.:moustache:

I loved this. Spot-on characterization for Gilda and Derpy, and I rather enjoyed G's unspoken struggle to live up to who she is now.

Also, for as much as we saw of him, I quite liked Godfrey as a foil for Gilda.

I think my only criticism was that Gilda KEPT talking about how much she detested ponies. Could've done with a bit more subtlety there.

Soooo last I saw, this was marked complete, but I just noticed it's been switched to incomplete? I am 100% a-ok with that! Looking forward to seeing where you go with this.

Seeing a sequel (or extra chapters) is on the way, I am excited to see where the story goes next.

The world building and characterizations are excellent, in particular I love the idea of how Gilda has grown past Griffon.


Thanks, folks!

Part of what I want to do with the expansion of this is play with the idea of a Gilda who has grown since her episode but who discovers that the universe expects even more of her. If anyone's familiar with the "Foreigner" books by C.J. Cherryh, there's some of that here, too: a character placed between two cultures who has to translate for them both. :scootangel:


Author Interviewer

poured over

tsk :/

Well, you got me hooked. :B


What's an extra:

Vowel between friends? Other approved response for such situations: "Yeah, I stutter when I type, too."

But OK, I've changed it. ETA for chapter two is still Aug. 22. :scootangel:



Let's give another two weeks for chapter 3, shall we? On or about Sept. 4th, then...


that point where every emotion and plans crumbles under its own weight and finding that what you want can no longer be, so you just resigned yourself to it. poor gilda.
does this mean derpy wont have such a high spot light position anymore?

I really, really like how you describe ponies from an outsider's view. So magical it's silly, and impossible to really hate, even if you want to. Did I see a hint of industrial griffon tech in there somewhere? Signal mirrors are suspiciously mundane.


Don't worry:

There'll be plenty for everypony to do before this thing is over. :twilightsmile:


Thanks! The whole question of magic--what it is and what it does--is going to be central to the goings-on here, so stand by for that! :scootangel:


Nice to that Gilda is still Hot Blooded under that rank. Too bad the ponies are playing Head Games.


I'm ashamed to admit:

That it took me four or five minutes of head-scratching till I got that, but then I tend to ignore most music that doesn't have at least one clarinet or banjo in it... :twilightblush:


Y'know, I'm a judge in the whole "Outsider Insight" contest that Equestria Daily's sponsoring, and it occurs to me that I'm writing the story here that I couldn't write for that. :eeyup:


Awesome story and chapter. Can't wait to see where you're going with it.

I wonder how many friends Dash ends up reuniting with via high speed impact. Seems like it could be quite a few of them. Or all of them. And yay for having all of the girls plus Spike on-screen, I can't wait to see how they and this more mature Gilda end up bouncing off of each other.

So what I'm getting from this is roughly Derpy = Pinkie - guile.

OMG! Derpy is adorable.

Whelp. So much for keeping things on the downlow.

Knowing Dash, she is going to say something stupid and mess everything up. Newsflash, Dash. Gilda's had a life before and after you. It's not all about you. And it's not all about you ponies.

"Praetor!" a voice shrieked as gratingly as claws on slate. "This is completely unacceptable!"

Could it be... Lemongriff?

"Cadet Gyre, Praetor!"

"Cadet Gimble, Praetor."

All mimsy were the borogoves, and the mome raths outgrabe.

Given the sort of mutual respect between Gilda and Godfrey, and the general formality between Gilda and everybird else, I'm guessing that Praetor is a commissioned rank, while everybird else are conscripts.

locally caught and grown poultry

See, I always thought that griffons would have problems eating, you know, other birds. But birds of prey eat smaller birds all the time, I guess. I just figured it would be like a weird social taboo, like humans eating monkeys. It happens, sure, but not in first-world countries.

And then the bombshell ending. Dis gon b gud.



More bouncing is definitely ahead! :twilightsmile:


Somewhere in my Daily Grind comics, I have one of the villains tell one of the heroes that he has a "studied guilelessness" about him. That's the way I like to write Pinkie: she does have a method to her madness, but most of the time she doesn't realize it herself. :pinkiehappy:


That's another thing I hope to get into in this story: just how much is the world of Equestria really all about the ponies? :scootangel:


Huhzah for another chapter! I eagerly awaited this day, and I eagerly await for the next chapter! :pinkiehappy:

Welp, there go everyone's plans.


As soon as I'd decided:

That all the griffons would have names beginning with "G", I knew that two of them had to be Gyre and Gimble. I've got plans for them, too. :trixieshiftright:

What it means to be a praetor--and specifically what it means to be Praetor of the Catlatl Garrison--is something we'll be getting into in chapters 3 and 4. If my current outline doesn't explode into shrapnel, something that happens a fair percentage of the time, actually.

There'll be more about the local bird life, too, now that I think about it... :scootangel:


One of my greatest pleasures, I've discovered, is forcing myself to come up with elaborate plans for my characters, then kicking those plans over sideways and seeing how the characters scramble out from the wreckage. :pinkiehappy:


Still, even she could tell that the spray of stones scattered across the street from the balloon's gondola was new: one the cadets' main jobs, after all, was keeping the walkways clear for any pilgrims who might want to wander the site.

A wicker gondola knocked down a stone wall...

Wow, those damned beakies suck at building! Ha! I knew we ponies were superior at everything!



I almost feel sorry for poor Gilda.

Almost. :trollestia:



The griffin's ancient city hasn't had anypony living in it for the past thousand years, so I'm guessing the maintenance crew has kinda fallen down on the job... :eeyup:



My motto:

In all things is "What could possibly go wrong?" :pinkiehappy:


4903364 Instead of rock, they discover the walls are actually constructed of syrofoam painted gray.


Can you say 'diplomatic incident'?:trollestia:


And we haven't:

Even gotten to the main storyline yet! :scootangel:


I love Gilda in this story. So much hinted at backstory, questions about her past before Cloudsdale, and believable character growth makes this one of my favorite stories featuring her.

I did always assume that Griffons have magic of their own to some extent, Gilda sits on a cloud in Griffon the brush off. Wouldn't that indicate that they share some traits with pegasi?

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