• Member Since 25th Jun, 2014
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The Hand of Pony


If I ever write things with Zecora I WILL make her rhyme even if it kills me.

Sequels1

Comments ( 387 )

Hey, just a general tip for writing things like this, try to keep the big exposition down to a minimum. It creates suspense for the reader, as they learning more about how a nation works is interesting for the reader in a similar way to finding out which of the potential side characters a main character will date in a romance, or who will win in an intense fight in an action. But you have to make the reader care first. Why does a reader care if Joe ends up with Sally or Jill if he knows nothing about any of the characters? You should reveal small amounts of information in the beginning, making the reader care about the world you're building, before revealing everything. Because the way you did it, not only was it not something the reader's curious about, it's actually boring. Also, it makes things easier to change if 50 000 words in you decide it'd be useful to actually have the pegasi be military slaves or something which they couldn't be according to what you've already revealed.

Is the title a play off of Freeman?

Sorry, it's what caught my eye.

Across from her was Octavia who looked miserable and kept making small motions with her hooves that looked like she was playing a tiny cello.

How does is that even possible? A cello is played standing up, which makes it rather hard to make look tiny. Unless if she was playing it in an entirely different fashion, in which case it'd look like a violin and Twilight wouldn't describe it as a tiny cello. It's a nitpick, I know, but if one of your main characters is going to be a cello player you should probably at least browse wikipedia quickly to learn a bit about it.

Taking another breath, Twilight explained the mission. It didn't take long.

Was she explaining some secret the reader isn't supposed to know yet, or just saying 'we kill the rulers and leave'? If the former, good job that's excellent suspense building. If it's the latter, it goes completely against Twilight's personality. She's the type of pony to make a very detailed yet efficient plan at the least, or a horribly overcomplicated plan that is filled to the brim with wachy shenanigans at the worst. The latter is more like what Applejack or Rainbow Dash would do.

"Yes, but that was the most guaranteed way. I don't know about you, but me and my backside are quite grateful she did it. She certainly didn't deserve you yelling at her for trying to help her friends."
Twilight said nothing for a bit, thinking about what Octavia said about friends. "I guess you're right. I doubt she'll listen to me now, but yes, I'll apologise when I can."

Would have been nicer if you kept the whole 'ethicnicity vs neccesity' sub arc going on a bit longer, having it run parallel to the 'good vs evil' arc. In future stories, since I doubt it's repairable at this point, try to have an explanation for how come there hasn't been a unicorn/pegasi rebellion to overthrow the earth ponies and why Equestria hasn't taken military action yet.

5530374 Ok, first point, yes I realise it was a whole bunch of exposition, but at the same time I doubt Celestia and Luna would say "Go to this place we know nothing about and do a thing.

second point: I know you need to stand up to play a cello, but that is largely due to the size. Would you really need to stand to mimic playing one that's four inches tall. And yes it was a cello, violins are held differently.

third: they are to create a plan based on what they learn could be the best way to do it. It could end up happening any number of ways.

fourth: explanations coming (sort of) at some point soon.

I do realise I could make a lot of mistakes in this due to being a bit of an amateur. I'm doing my best

5532603
2 and 4 don't really need a response, so I'll only reply to 1 and 3.

1. That's the tricky thing about writing, though. Avoiding lots of exposition where in real life any reasonable person would provide exposition. It's difficult to make it make sense, but that's part of what makes it so nice when an author can do it.
3. That's not Twilight's personality though. Her personality is to make a plan as early on as possible, and account for any detail possible. You could have Trixie cut her off midway and veto her on the idea of making a plan when they don't have enough information, then have Twilight go "Sigh... I suppose you're right," but the problem is not with the protagonists making crap plans, it's with them acting out of character. Just Twilight really, since none of your other characters have enough canon personality for me to call foul on them, but the problem still exists.

5532904 Could be right or wrong. Think about the season 3 premier, Celestia basically said to go to the crystal empire and find a way to protect it, and was sadistic enough to add a extra layer of pressure by making it a test. Twilight didn't have a plan until she got there and found enough out to make a plan and reacted accordingly when the plan went a bit wrong with the absence of the crystal heart. I think Twilight is perfectly ok with working without a plan. Besides this is fact finding, fact finding is totally a legit plan.

Kinda drunk while I add this bit but equestria girls also had a supreme lack of plan going on.

Trixie really needs to smack twilight. I mean she basically drowned her in dye without her consent and with out even trying to explain it to her and trixie forgives her enough to not be hostile after like one day but twilights still mocking her like it wasn't a huge deal to trixie.

5631774 Guess I might have been a tad tired when I wrote that since it didn't come across as mocking at the time, but now you mention it I can see what you mean (assuming you mean the bit right at the end). Guess I better alter that a little since that wasn't my intention.

Well the dark tag seriously is well deserved being put it here. It's interesting to see a society based on fear. I think this more of a Gothic story now. Where everything is grim and dark. I wonder if you even plan to make this into a happy end or not.

I know there is going to be a butcher bill going to be paid. And with the uncertain outcome makes this story really excited for me to read. Continue the good work. :twilightsmile:

5781971 Random people on the internet say the nicest things :twilightsmile: I would post another chapter in honour of your nice comments but I'm going to go play Mass Effect 3 instead since it's entirely unedited and I can't be bothered right now. Maybe sunday. Possibly. :trixieshiftright:

Hmm! Reminds me of an old episode of Startrek, the crew were investigating a crashed ship.
All of the crew of the crashed ship seemed to have survived, including the engineer and his daughter.
Also an episode of DS9, The population of a village "disappear" when they move beyond a certain distance.

Ah, I think I've got it. It's a ruse by the Duke. The rebels think they are mining stuff to pass to other rebel groups, but there are no other groups! It's the Duke! The Duke takes these resources and lets the rebels steal supplies in return.
The Duke could squash the rebels at any time but chooses to keep them alive to show how dangerous outsiders are.

I actually loved this chapter, though I can already predict where the next few chapters are heading. Still good chapter I can't wait what will happen next. :twilightsmile:

"I'm so proud of you Twilight." Celestia sounded off when she said that, like she was crying when she said it but was trying to sound like she wasn't. "I still feel that I owe you an apology though, for leaving you to clean up a mess that I should have cleaned up centuries ago."
"Its fine Celestia, I mean you're a very busy mare."

img2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20141214203128/fossils-archeology/images/f/f6/640px-Annoyed-facepalm-picard-l.png

After being multilated in a doomed venture she was sent by celestia with 3 mares and no military experience Twilight doesn't say anything at all.
(I hope she will explodes like a vulcano at some point later :D)

If it would not grow back i think this operation should have been canceled because an amputation causes stress to the body and simply standing up and walking after waking up after getting a limb chopped off seems a bit weird.

And they clearly have the power to send help since Discord can simply teleport to them or get twilight home.
(The amputation could also be done in a hospital in Canterlot)

After word gets out what happened to Twilight I am not sure if her friends or Shining/Cadence would ever speak a word with Celestia again.

I really like this Szenario but sending a Princess of Equestria to start a revolution in a land before making contact with the resistance and sending so little help seems a bit off........ or like cartoon Celestia thrown into real life.

But lets see what happens next.

If there is shipping with the main characters I am going to stop reading this story instantly and downvote it.There are already too many stories on this site like that.Please,I want to read this story.

6613537 I wouldn't worry. That has more to do with Summer and how messed up she is rather than actual shipping. I honestly have no idea how to do a proper ship so I won't. Bit spoilerish but meh.

6612998 I don't really want Discord to be a solution to everything because I don't want him to be a big Mary Sue button to push when I'm desperate. Twilight's already enough of a Mary Sue without Discord being one as well.

Twilight, you came here to force a regime change. How did you think that was going to happen? Asking really nicely? Yes ponies died, but this is what is going to happen. The only thing you can do is minimize the casualties and try to push for peace sooner. You should be leading this, Princess, you can help keep these ponies safe but instead you're running because it insults your sensibilities. Grow up and step up.
Rant at Twilight done, still have quite a few chapters to go to catch up. I'm probably more mad since I just finished reading Frantz Fanon's essay On Violence, which directly applied to uprisings against abusive colonial governments.
I hope Princess-horse shapes up, she's an alicorn now and that means helping and saving ponies. Letting an angry mob do whatever it wants is going to lead to more deaths. I am disapointed in her.
Don't consider this an insult to the author, the fact that you incited strong emotions is a good thing.

6620628 If I were some kind of hack author, which I am, I would probably say that Twilight's going on a journey of self discovery. Or something.
http://i1.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/facebook/000/253/242/a11.jpg

Twilight inhaled and exhaled a few times, though it was a bit shaky. "Okay, right, if we are going to fight a war we're going to need numbers, supplies, and a base of operations. How many members does Pierre have?"

Now we're getting somewhere Twi. Take charge, minimize the suffering where you can, but this is an insurgency. It's going to be rough.

Now that Twilight seems to be taking into account how they will have to run this insurgency I'm a lot more confident in her. At least until she decided to spend the next couple days recovering and marinating in booze, but baby steps. Need to relax a bit and get her head right. I'm behind the idea that Mareianians are taking leadership roles in this, for it to work the ponies need to see it us local and not foreign led.

Also, she shouldn't worry about weapons, the local guards have plenty.

I love this movie as an example of insurgent warfare, it was produced by the Algerian government after they kicked France out and they didn't shy away from how they did it.

6662301 Thanks for sharing that, quite the interesting watch. Not exactly what I'm doing but it's given me some ideas further down the line.

"Milf? Really?" Trixie burst out laughing and Twilight groaned, "I was really hoping you would take this seriously Trixie..."

::Snerk:: It's funny because that's actually a name of a group.
http://www.cnn.com/2015/01/26/world/philippines-maguindanao-milf-battle/

I like the focus on the good things happening, too many fics turn grimdark and forget that plenty of nice things also happen, even in crummy places. I also love how Twi's freedom fighters are aping things like reports without having any idea how they are supposed to work, hilarious from a professional distance but frustrating if your trying to use them. Twi needs to teach them the importance of form writing and bureaucracy. I bet she'd like that. Nothing like a pile of perfectly formatted short-form analytic reports (SFARs). Armies run on paperwork!

6699566 Wow I did not know that... Totally inappropes (but I ain't gonna change it.)

6699586
Definitely not, life has those funny coincidences, just enjoy them when you can.
Way back when I was a kid I made a pirate D&D adventure aboard a ship called The Black Pearl. Then these movies you may have heard of came out and stole it, those bastards!

Don't worry Twilight, after the bloody business you get to administrate an entire city! Think of the bureaucracy and paperwork you can do! You can show them how to run a city, it'll be fun.

Wow, is every member of the Duke's government horrible? Looks like you'll have to start from the ground up rebuilding if nothing can be saved for the new free Mareitania.

6730011 Abuse of power is the name of the game!

Hmmm I'm intrigued. I wonder if the group finally start to succeed in freeing the country or are thing going downhill from now on. Anyway the story so far is great. Maybe a bit too grim here and there for my personal taste. But I can understand why it has too be and I actually appreciate the writer to make me feel a bit horrified how ponies treated and how in RL us humans have done so in past or in some countries still are doing such acts of evil. It's really like watching a mirror world populated with equines instead of humanoids. :pinkiesmile:

Working with a disenfranchised ethnic group is usually rough Twi, it may not go perfectly but good start. I'm also happy you didn't self medicate with booze after taking the city.:twilightsmile:

Since you don't know how to set up a weather system, maybe ask Sunbutt to send an expert to help out in organizing and teaching. I'm sure a certain rainbow maned pony would drop whatever she was doing to come here with the first shipments of supplies. :rainbowdetermined2:

Also, Dreamhorse? What are you doing? Was that some kind of bad attempt at flirting or ... something else?

Finally, for your editing pleasure, try going to hemingwayapp.com. I've never really used it since my school gives free copies of Office, but some friends of mine swear by it

"Pegasi live side by side with horn heads and mud ponies, as you call them, which I will thank you to not do or did you forget?" Twilight sat down and tapped her horn. "Tribal slurs won't be tolerated."

Twilight, you're a hornhead, yes. But also a mudpony and buzzard (I don't remember what you call pegasi) now, Alicorn. You get to experience all the tribalism here, lucky you.

Come to think of it, I can't wait until Equestria starts obviously supporting MLF. To be a fly on the wall when Celestia reveals she is considering the government in Neigh Orleans to be the official one to the noble sent to talk to her about what is going on. I'm frankly surprised this hasn't been seen as an act of war now that they know Princess Twilight is there. Twilight needs to share all the disparaging comments she overheard on the riverboat to Celestia so if they send the Duke's son again she can give him a lesson in tact.

6735165 I do sometimes suspect I'm overdoing the nastiness of these ponies. Still though, ain't gonna stop now!

6735189 You throw all these big words at me, which is fine if not a little awesome, but I'm just writing stuff with relatively little thought towards that beyond what I come up with at the moment.

The point is I'm doing all that stuff you say totally by accident. Not sure if good or bad thing

The main point I was here to make though is that the Duke has known that Twilight is there since at least the caverns and that she is in all likelihood supported by Celestia since purplesmart is her prized pupil and would hardly be there by accident. Previously he went crying to Celestia to fix the problems he couldn't fix himself, but what does he do when Celestia is the problem so to speak? I might eventually get around to giving you an answer.

6735704
I do love me some big words. Mitigating, attribution, racial schema, ooh! Asymmetric insurgency operations.

I blame the army, they love big important sounding words. I can't help but think of things like this story in a "work" way. It's an interesting mental exercise, applying nationbuilding principles to a fantasy setting. I'm weird.

6736155 Great, now I have someone to tell me when I've made grievous errors concerning my civil warring pastel ponies and what they're up to when it comes to forming new governments. (My solution is to make things happen in the background and just assume they happened.)

Yeah, nation building doesn't make good fiction.
::looks down nose:: "The peasants like simple stories and not the complex interplay of great minds playing kingmaker. Now keep writing while I enjoy my hommus and tea."

Yeah, all that stuff is happening, but off screen as it's immaterial to the story you're telling.
Or magic, that will answer any complaints.

I swear, with the littlest excuse people start looting. Usually lower income and mistreated urban populations, the middle class doesn't go looting when public services cease. Surprised it wasn't a bigger problem in the city, Trixie couldn't be everywhere. Also, I certainly hope revenge killings don't catch on, revolutions have a habit of causing massive brain drain as those in positions of power or knowledge based skills have the ability to flee elsewhere. Or end up dead by angry mob.

And a surprise from Equestria too? Can't wait til the ships start coming in.

It could be a set up,.....
Load a ship with civilians, send it towards your foes, blow it up as they get within range....
Tomorrows newspaper headlines:
Unprovoked attack on civilian refugees in stolen ship! "They were just hoping for a better life!.. Now they have none!"

Hmmm! Perhaps Twilight discovers it's a slave galley? blowing up the ship would doom all the oar ponies.

It's looking lile the Duke and his government aren't taking this threat seriously. Or nepotism has led to no capable military leaders. Either is a possibilty. Twilight, you just got three pegasi, all combat trained. Why not take some of them along? I bet they migjt be mad to miss out on the action.

im sorry but this is the most ass backwards thing i have ever seen let me explain:


Celestia in all her infinite glory sends 4 untrained mares one of which can be easily traced to equestria to destabilise the government and bring freedom to the country instead of say a highly trained crack team of special forces soldiers( DONT LIE TO ME I KNOW SHE HAS THEM!!!) who can blend in with the populace and sow discontent stir up a bit of revolution and assasinate if needed

oh dear god i think i know why mamas blind be-careful twilight that gutrot will blind you

6622131 plz tell me i get to see twilight in that swanky armour leading the charge

6699605 you would be suprised by how much that happens to me like a week ago i came up with the idea for a story were luna recruited twilight to become a knight of the dream realm to fight nightmares, a week later bam a story were luna recruits apple jack to do just that

Yeah... The Duke's being very foolish. Once the guerrilla campaign gets going, it could last for years. In fact if the rebellion plans it right, the may never have to engage the Duke's army in pitch battle until they are sure to win. Still even a least the small victory is going to be better for moral.

dafuq is fleurs problem im with twilight id want to drown my self in booze if i just had my leg cut off and its not like she is inebriated all the time

I wonder what will happen once Twilight puts the armour on?

I kinda expect it to shine like a star, and maybe counteract the hunters' armour, but that's just me... Good chapter by the way.

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