• Member Since 14th Feb, 2012
  • offline last seen July 31st


Not a changeling.


Long, long ago, the Age of Dragons ended in fire and ruin. The greatest of the dragons challenged the races of Equestria to prove themselves worthy to rule the next age.

The fast, the strong, and the clever all journeyed to answer his call … but sometimes true wisdom is found in the most unlikely of places.

★★★★★ rating from Louder Yay! "To create such a rich and evocative setting in barely a thousand words is deeply impressive. ... Clever, enjoyable and very well written."

Very Highly Recommended by MLPmatthewl419! "horizon accomplished the impossible to get this much world-building, feeling, and such wonderful characters with only 1k words … a deep and evocative story."

Third place in the Writeoff Association's "Just Over The Horizon" minific competition! Now revised and expanded for FIMFiction.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 80 )

Extended author's notes (from the original version of this story) are here. I think it stands alone now, though.

Very interesting.

Very Good!

I don't know why I remember this, but two years ago, in reply to a comment of mine, you said:

(But seriously, headcanon: There was an entire dragon civilization before the Celestial War, wise and peaceful. The War shattered their race -- essentially nuked all of their cities -- and the few scattered survivors descended into a barbarism from which they haven't recovered. Possibly due to magical curse, or to all the best and brightest having fought and died in the War. ... and yes, I'm writing a story about this why do you ask.)

It was good and all, but I kind of expected it to be longer. :trollestia:

5177839 Oh, hey! I don't remember that comment but I do remember the story it referred to. "Finding Solus" is still half-written in my to-do file. This one borrowed heavily from that premise, but turned the war into a civil war and moved it much further back in time.

I like how this turned out but I doubt it will be the last we see of this idea. :twilightsmile:

Lovely piece

You'd think that, you know, the gryphons, minotaurs, and diamond dogs would object to their rulers being brutally murdered for little reason.

Or at least one of them might recognize the pattern and send someone else in their stead.


You don't argue with the mightiest of the dragons. If he decides to off your boss, you keep waaay over there in the back and try not to look appetizing. Then run away as soon as he's not looking.

And the dragon said that whoever answered the riddle got to rule the next age. If you send, say, your janitor to answer the riddle, and he answers correctly, then your janitor now rules the next age. Even if it was originally your idea. Now if you just want to secure the prize for team griffin, or minotaur, or diamond dog, that's fine, but, y'know, politicians.

Nice work, as always. You've got just dozens of excellent fics written for writeoffs and such lying around, don't you? I might actually give you that editing feedback on "Cowled Changelings" you asked for sometime this decade, in the interests of seeing more of these.

This was nice, short, sweet, and to the point. Well done!

Ah, Horizon.

This is one of those stories where I go "This is really elegant in its simplicity". I then smile contentedly at the page, knowing literature has just happened and the world is better for its presence.

Then a single tear rolls down my cheek as I rattle the monitor back and forth, screaming at it in a falsetto, "SO WHY COULDN'T I THINK OF THAT?"

Interesting.... the origins of Cutie Marks?

Wow...I don't even know how to begin. This read like a Greek myth or fable. It had an amazing message and story, and it's probably one of the best things I've read on here. I usually only give one mustache, but I believe you deserve three :moustache::moustache::moustache:

This got a hugely high score when I voted in the writeoff, and glad to see it here!

Pretty much what 5179922 said.

Cowled Changelings is about ready to come out of hiding! Just a few more tarnished spots to polish out, hopefully this weekend. Plus I need some cover art. :derpytongue2:

Or at least a headcanon'd version thereof. :twilightsmile:

I am reliably informed that, if you are looking for a magnificent dragon by that name, you don't have to go too far to find one. :twilightsmile: That having been said, I changed the name pretty much entirely on PP's say-so, and now I'm just ripping off Tolkien instead, so if I get a lot of pushback I'm not opposed to the original version.


Another one on the read later list! Scrolling through the comments, I see some RCL BIG NAMES! Will we be seeing that story say, around more often?

And the name's all good. However, I didn't like the change to "in a voice that echoed throughout the land" from "in a voice that echoed around the world" - the original had me envisioning sound waves crashing from earth to sky over and over around the globe. I don't know why, but that what I seen when I read it, and it worked. "Throughout the land" just doesn't invoke the same image to me, but who knows :applejackconfused: it's probably just me.

Side thought: You should totally name the dragon Horizon :p

Object? To Ancalagon the Black?
To this guy?

Majin Syeekoh

Wow... just, wow.

This is truly impressive. You've introduced so much while saying so little, and you did it effectively.

My hat goes off to you, you whom are not a changeling.

That was awesome. The stuff on this site in general is astounding, I almost never leave a story unsatisfied, and leave impressed more often than not. Where regular commercial literature sits stagnate, fanfiction is exploring everything and anything, no to stories the same. I applaud everyone here, and I applaud the author of this for contributing another great and unique work to this huge symphony of words.

This feels like one of those short famous stories we all learn. It's short, ever so sweet and says exactly as much as it needs, no more, no less. I love it.

Good catch on the echo — I changed that to vary the wording in that paragraph a little bit, but "world" is absolutely more evocative. I went back and tidied that paragraph up a bit.

Are you saying Horizon is a dragon? That's silly! I'm already not a changeling, I can't not be other things too! :ajsmug:

There is nothing about that art which is not epic. I'm kinda glad I changed the dragon's name now. :twilightsmile:

5184647 5190202 5191501 5191520

This really feels like a Bible Story...

5193944 sounds more like Greek mythology is you ask me.

I would've so been roasted by that dragon. My guess was going to be hope.

...by any chance was that pony celestial?

You mighta been alright! As a number of people commented in the writeoff thread, Eats-The-Grass' answer wasn't the only "right" one. As Bachiavellian put it:

I'm not exactly sure if "mercy" is the best literal answer to the riddle, but I think the point the author is trying to make is that it's a reflection of what the pony needs. I'm guessing that this demonstrates to Ragnarok that the humble pony (significance of names?) had an understanding of what the world needs.

I'd add two subtle points to that. One is that the riddle is explicitly phrased as "What am I?", and that's an integral part of what Ragnarok was looking for (and what was behind his responses to the first answers). The others' answers were all intellectually correct, in the sense that they fit the enumerated parameters of the problem (at least as closely as any answer was going to), but they weren't contextually correct. Why was the dragon asking a riddle for rulership of the world? The most powerful race in the world had just ended their empire in a civil war, and he wanted someone who wouldn't repeat their mistakes. How did they view him, which is to say, the personification of power?

In that light, "hope" ain't bad.

Mmmmmmmmmaybe. :ajsmug:

PLZ I NEED TO KNOW!!! :pinkiecrazy:

I should elaborate. That's not an "I'm not telling" maybe, that's a "I don't have the One True Answer to that question" maybe. If your headcanon wants to run wild in a setting where that's true, go with it! It certainly would explain a lot …

This gave me grin.

5177455 I thought for damb it was sun

Author Interviewer

>tfw I hadn't read the full version

Get ready to take my first high recommendation of 2015! :V spoilers

This sounds like a creation story but I can greatly enjoy it. I like the idea that Ancalagon, a being of nothing but death and destruction beyond imagining, decides to help those smaller than he and casts aside those that lack the ability to see what is in front of them. Quite beautiful ^.^

I suppose in Ponyworld, something like "the sun" or "the sunset" actually literally could be "just within reach" ...

(5211529 is the canonical reasoning for what the dragon was looking for, though.)

When the plain pony arives play this song

This was fantastic. In particular the world-building and the wordplay. I really should have got the "just" thing in advance, but I can't say I did. Not entirely keen on the dragon's name, but it didn't harm my actual enjoyment of the fic at all. Very, very nice.

5996169 Can I ask you something that involves with this story?

Hi there -- sorry, the Writeoffs just started, and I'm juggling my fimfiction time.

Asking questions is one of the things the comment section is here for. :twistnerd: What's up?

Hah! I guessed 'Justice'. I was in the ballpark!

Probably still toast, though. :pinkiecrazy:

Awesome piece.

Now sure how much I like the riddle, but I got chills near the end anyway, so well done!.

We dragons, though we may be noble in thought, are invariably at odds with our own contentious and covetous hearts. Ancalagon, to me, reads somewhat like a blend of Paarthurnax, Paladine-(Bahamut), and the lion of the Aesop 'the Lion and the Mouse'. He is one who understands the failings of his people, and in seeing the same traits displayed by others, dismisses them "with extreme prejudice!" However; on seeing one who truly wants a better, more peaceful, and less deadly existence; not merely for themselves, but for others; he is willing to grant his blessing, and further, to warn them against the mistakes of his own kind. Truly, a noble and most tragic figure!

Also, I love the middle-earth reference of his name. Not even his fire can purify the taint of the Great Doom of the Third Age!
Ash nazg durbatulûk ash nazg gimbatul ash nazg thrakatulûk agh burzum-ishi krimpatul!

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