• Member Since 22nd Jan, 2014
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Exspecto meus bellum cum morte. "Look inside my soul, and see the face of madness." -- St. Benedict


The nice thing about living in Appleloosa, Gilda has discovered, is that you don't have to share the skies with anyone else. There may not be many clouds in the sky for perching and napping, but a warm rock on a high pinnacle can work just as well.

The locals are at least tolerable. Earth ponies tend to be a simple, predictable bunch, prone to routine.

It's when you get out-of-towners coming through, though, that problems can erupt. Especially when too much hard cider is involved.

Part of Equestria Daily's Outside Insight Fanfic Contest.

Reviewed by InquisitorM (review one | review two) , PresentPerfect, Cerulean Voice, Seattle's Angels, and Ponyfic Roundup 231

Thanks to Stitchwolf for the beta read and edits.
Thanks to Wargame Brony for the beta read and edits.
A very special thanks to Chuck Finley for assistance with some of the slurs and insults bandied about during this piece.
Thumbnail is a cropped version of an image by Toki Reatle on deviant art.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 24 )

Very nicely told!

Decent story. You deserve a favorite, a follow, and a like.

If that's what decent gets me... I'll take decent. Thanx.


Better than Decent really. in truth it's an excellent Gilda story. I found it to be a good character piece for her. It certainly explored a good deal of her personality we saw in the show and expanded on it. I also felt that you made her more mature than she was presented in the show. It's shown that from the time she was in Ponyville until now she's grown up some.

It's a good story, and the one thing I could say that would be even close to a complaint is that I felt as if I wanted more. The story left me wanting to see some of what happened before she arrived. Seeing where she is now gives me a fair idea of where she's heading, but seeing what happened between Pinkie's party and her settling down drunken ponies would be fun.

Find the story to be swell. I liked it, as she thought to herself throughout the story about what her father would say, it was very well thought out.


I like the story. Your descriptions are vivid (especially for the flight), the dialogue is quite nice (I appreciate the dedication to less human insults), and the little worldbuilding details such as drunken pegasus behavior are highly entertaining. My only concern is that Gilda doesn't feel much like Gilda. I'm sure she's probably grown as an individual since Ponyville, but it feels like you could switch out every mention of her name with another random griffon and nothing would change. That doesn't so much detract from the narrative, which is still a highly polished and delightful read, but I was a little let down as a hardcore Gilda fan.

Thanks for writing.


This is a fabulous Gilda story. Even has a lot of her good charms she showed before she and Pinkie Pie began getting at each others throats. Because, hey, who needs to respect two friends who haven't seen each other in forever's privacy in wanting to catch up for a while? Reminds me of an overly attached friend who treated me like I somehow belonged to them and couldn't understand that despite how often we hung out, I still had others that I enjoyed hanging out with just as much.

But, back to Gilda. This is a great perspective of a Griffon living in a small town of earth ponies. How she came to Appleloosa is a story for another day, one I hope we get to see in the future, but I felt it was a bit too Griffon focused. Don't get me wrong, you certainly told us and showed a bit of what ponies of all three tribes can be like when drunk, and life in general in Appleloosa. But, aside from combat advice on how best to tackle a pony, also mind you Gilda is taller than your average mare, I can't say I was shown much of how the ponies live and thrive in such a wasteland where growing food can be a challenge with exactly how you described there being not many clouds which means not much rain.

Great story, I did love the insight Gilda had on dealing with ponies and the little nostalgia moments you can't really avoid bringing up due if someone was just that much a part of your life, you know? For a first story no less? This is quite the bar you setup for yourself. It only speaks volumes of what future stories you produce can be like, this is QUITE the bar you set for yourself and I for one feel you are one worth watching if I can expect more stories of this caliber.

One thing that I felt hurt the story was the long exposition on Gilda's flight routine. 1238'ish words with barely many mentions of ponies outside of the little quips. So, I worry many might overlook this gem due to how long it takes to really get into the heart of the story. At least far as the main theme as a contest entry. Because Gilda IS the heart of this story.

Something I'd love to see someday, is a story that takes up after Griffon the Brushoff. Something that shows her growing up during the seasons Rainbow Dash was forced to grow as well as a person. See how she came to Appleloosa. Certainly have a lot of potential for playing with her character here. She's certainly grown a bit here but without losing that edge to her character.

I have to leave pretty soon, but I wanted to make sure I posted this before I left because I honestly feel it deserves a mention of how well this story plays out. While the 1238'ish or so words before we get to Appleloosa feels a bit much as we want to see how a gryphon interacts and observes ponies, mind you I LOVED how you described how drunken pegasi can act and was certainly worth the wait for that adorable scene, I can see this being held against you in the runnings. Though I've yet to read the 40 some remaining stories left in that folders are like, I can say that this might be worthy of a top 10. It's a wonderful story but of the ones I've read it's going to be a tight finish for those 10 slots, or at the very least top 5.

I wish I wasn't being rushed but have a like, a fav, and a follow for hopes of seeing more quality writing like this. I loved how you played with her character here. Fanfiction could stand to see more of this with other characters.

This was a excellent Gilda story. Especially her view on pony society and what makes each tribe important but in the end griffons don't have to take a pony's crap.

Thank you for the comments there, greatly appreciated.

The drunken pegasus was a background idea that myself and the main author I collaborate with, Wargame Brony, had for a collaboration we'd been thinking about doing for the Outside Insight contest that never got off the ground. I decided to appropriate it for here as, well, the imagery is too funny.

I'm glad you and others are liking the insults. Their whole less-human nature is entirely their point, and as I say in the dedication up top, I owe Chuck a debt for some of them. If you want to know about a society, look at their insults. It teaches your what they value, what they look for as important. Chinese insults and curses are quite different from English North American ones. Québécois curses are different yet again. The insults that the ponies levy against her show what they value and as do the ones she gives in return that set them off.

Hey, glad you liked this one! Really appreciated.

As to your suggestion for a story that takes up after Griffon the Brushoff and shows leadup to this, yeah, that would be quite the project in and of itself. I'd have to put a lot of thought into it. Maybe when I'm done with the other ones on my plate.

Looking at the rest of the stories that were posted just here for that contest I'm under no illusions about where I'd finish. There is some stiff competition and if this makes top ten, no one will be more stunned than I. I finish... top third I'll be pleased, top quarter I'll be happy.

And if this is rushed, heh, I'd be amazed at what a full out, in depth review would look like!

Well done.

I am one hard motherfucker to please, but you have a wonderfully light and engaging touch with both your prose and your storytelling, and I was engrossed pretty quickly. It's a good, light story with a little bit of heart and some really sharp comic beats to keep the mood floated.

I'm doing a roundup of as many of the contest entries as I can get through before the deadline. In that respect, I am marking you as 7/10 with a strong use of the given prompt. Out of 17 stories so far (which is nothing, really), you're winning on tie-breaker with Cold in Gardez.

Good luck in the competition, but I still hope I beat you :)


Here via 4865417, and that was really quite good. Great take on gryphons in general and Gilda in particular, and on ponies as well. I especially enjoyed the bit about drunken pegasi.

Sent here by Inquisitor. Looking forward to reading this.

Looking forward to your opinion of it. (Hopefully)

This story does a bunch of little things I like to read. It worldbuilds really well; details like drunk pegasi getting all floaty, or the insults (scuff, pecker head), add a lot of extra depth to the setting with few words. It takes a one-off antagonist and keeps her recognisable but doesn't make her a carbon copy of her one appearance nor a wallowing ball of angst (this is more a thing with pre-S3 Trixie or Sunset Shimmer, but it covers Gilda too). It has long passages of physical description that are interesting to read and easy to visualise.

But the big thing that makes it worth reading is what it does with the theme of the contest, and how thoroughly and subtly it positions Gilda as an outsider. She has wings in a town full of earth ponies. She's a predator in a land full of grass-eaters. She's alone and self-sufficient in a world where friendship is quite literally magic. Even in the frontier, she's alone. The way she uses her status as the Other, both to terrify the rowdy pegasus and to stay on the good side of the law, speaks of someone who will forever be on the outside looking in. It's no wonder bucolic Ponyville wasn't exactly her speed.


Certainly a well-written story. I think it will do well in the contest.

Do you want a real, no-holds-barred critique? I can mail it to you -- I prefer not to post them in the comments.

Good story, but, personally, I can't imagine Gilda taking something like that (not as placidly as she did anyway)

Just curious - Is the title in any way inspired by the lyrics of Afire Love by Ed Sheeran?

Given that I've never heard that song until now, no. It was literally just the repetition of that line and its variants throughout the story. It fit the contemplative and reflective nature of the story better than the other titles I came up with at the time.

Nice song, though. Thanx for sharing.

Thanks for confirming! :pinkiehappy:

A very impressive story, you're a tartarus of a writer and very certainly know what you're doing, I'm honored to read such an awesome story from a great writer and look forward to more of your work. I just wish I could keep the creatures in character like you.

Decently written short story. Nice job.
Only bones I have to pick are the rather wordy beginning, and a few sentences that could really do with some commas.
Nice read though. Interdasting take on Gilda.

Not gonna lie, I almost did a spit take when I read this part:

I padded over to the bar and grabbed a stool next to this golden-colored pony with these very odd blue streaks


through his orange mane

Oh wow, okay.
Heh. It's an odd feeling to read an almost perfect description of one's own ponysona.

Embarrassingly late review notification coming up. Also, an upvote. Nice world-building here, and I appreciated that Gilda didn't see the world as a pony would. (I see this was an "Outside Insight" entry, which doesn't surprise me.)

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