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The Elements of Harmony find themselves facing an old evil united with one from beyond their world entirely, bringing magic so alien that Equestrian magic cannot defend against it. Yet, long ago, when the Elements existed in a different form, they summoned aid from beyond the world to defeat a similar threat from beyond.

Out of desperation, today's Elements repeat that ancient summoning, and they get – a hillbilly with a silver-strung guitar?

MLP:FiM (c) Lauren Faust and Hasbro; John the Balladeer and Rowley Thorne (c) estate of Manly Wade Wellman

And due to the grace of several fans, primarily Jordan1179, this story now has its own Tropes page: Tv Tropes My Little Balladeer

Chapters (22)
Comments ( 200 )

Just for completeness' sake -- MLP:FiM copyright to Lauren Faust and Hasbro, and John the Balladeer and related characters copyright to the estate of Manly Wade Wellman.
I hope you enjoy it!

I'm wondering, would anyone mind if I deleted the comment that looks like someone's advertisement up there? I'll give it a day, and if I don't get anyone asking me to leave it, I'll remove it.

I like this. It seems to me like a fresh take in HiE.

Detective>>623656 Thanks, I hope you enjoy the other chapters as much when they get posted.

Ooh shit! Yeah, that is also out in Everfree...

630589 Yes, and we're not done with them yet either. Stay tuned!

And I hope you enjoy the story, ans thanks for commenting.

I'm interested! I'm following it.

631273 Thank you! I hope you enjoy the future chapters as much as these first six.

This is... bad!:applejackconfused::applejackunsure:

It will be very exciting to see what happens!:rainbowkiss:

Also nice to see somepony calling for Tirek and Grogan amidst the earthly devils.:trollestia:

643924 Thanks for liking it! And yeah, it is getting bad, and it's going to get worse before it gets better.
And with Tirek and Grogar, well, when you get right down to it, they kind of are devils to the ponies. It should make even more sense when the name of the creator of the Letters of Cold Fire is revealed.

Then we wait for the reveals.:twilightsmile:

I was very close to add Tirek - and Krastos (as in "the gluemaker") - to the prisoners of Tartarus in a fic of my own recently. I now regret not going with the idea (I just made up some monstrous primordials). Oh well.

Thorn is one scary and contemptuous motherbucker, ain't he?

Grrrr I can't wait to read the rest!

668038 That he is, but believe me, you ain't seen nothin' yet. Thorne has yet to show both the ponies and John just how utterly nasty he can get.

The next posting should be Friday, and then things will really start to happen. And thanks for being so eager to see more of the story!

Brrrr, I might need to cover my eyes then!:fluttercry:

And here's Chapter 13. Sorry this took as long as it did, there were unexpected troubles. I hope you enjoy it!

You're good at making us hate Thorne, you know that?:moustache:

This just gets happier and better!:ajbemused:

Ok, seriously? Only one person (plus author) commenting on this? I know I have never heard of the source material, but is it really THAT obscure?

Tracking, because Pen Stroke (The next best thing to Faust herself in the Fanfic Pantheon of Ponies) recommended it.

690276 Good, I wanted to make him a nasty (and capable) villain without going overboard. But if you think he's nasty here, you should see him in the original stories.

694767 Starcat5, thanks for commenting! It's always good to hear back from people. And yeah, I guess that Wellman is kind of obscure these days, though he used to be very big in fantasy/SF fandom for several decades.

And Pen Stroke recommended it? This is wonderful news, sir! May I please know where he did so, so I can read for myself?

Thanks again and I hope you're enjoying the story!

Having read 11 chapters I have to say this story is not bad, but nether is it particularly good. It is well written from a technical stand point it has few if any misspelled words, good grammar, good understanding of punctuation and and it has a consistent world (that is very had for some writers). Having said that it has some problems. First it suffers from bloat pretty badly, you could probably reduce the total length by a third with out removing any important plot points. The second and more important problem is that its boring, this is partly from the bloat, but mostly it is because it just doesn't do anything that wasn't done better somewhere else. :applejackunsure: (EG. http://www.fimfiction.net/story/8657/The-Dresden-Fillies%3A-Strange-Friends )

Should we REALLY be making that comparison? PsychicScubaDiver has been accused of being Jim Butcher under an assumed name. THIS is because his works hold characterization and pacing on par with the source material. The question one SHOULD be asking is how well this stands up to official Wellman releases.

697178 Thanks for the compliments, and I'm sorry about any unintentional 'bloating' in the story. All I can say is, I tried to keep this as close as I could to the original works by Wellman while also bringing in the ponies, which was a pretty big change. I felt I needed to explain some things that would be obvious to MLP fans in the hopes than when and if I got some fans of Wellman's work to read it, they'd understand the MLP elements.

Thank you for introducing me to Silver John. His stuff predated my... interest in speculative fiction that was more advanced than CS Lewis.

Now to find it elsewhere. :twilightsmile:

697770 If you want more Manly Wade Wellman at somewhat affordable prices, then over at http://www.paizo.com they're selling the entire series of the Silver John shorts as a collection under the title Who Fears the Devil?. It's a magnificent book if you're a fan of the character, and far better than my own work here. There's no My Little Ponies, but you'll find just about every reference I've made here explained in it.

They also have some heroic fantasy tales of his in the collection Battle in the Dawn, which is nothing like John but it's still very fine reading.

And thanks for liking the story enough to comment on it!

...this is getting tenser and tenser...:twilightoops:

705464 All I'm going to say is, this isn't going to end grimdark.

I don't know how this has so little of views and followers. While it may seem that to me the main cast is getting screwed harder then their able to dish back out for my taste it makes for some wonderfull character interactions with with John and the ponies. Getting to know John as well is easy enough to follow from what I can only guess is a close representation of the original material as I have never read them. (Though took some time to get used to his speach pattern :twilightsheepish:) Also the main cast work well with the experiences that they got from Thane that makes their slight character adjustments believable.

Take what you will from that but this is deffinitly something that will be added as part of my picks for some of the better Fics out there.

711594 Thank you for your kind words. Sorry about John's dialect, but I wanted to try and stick as close as I could to the way it's used in the original stories. And I am delighted to hear that you think I did a good job with the Mane Six. And yeah, they are having a hard time of it, but that's mostly due to Thorne's being FAR more ruthless than any villain they ever met (save perhaps Chrysalis), and him being clever enough to try and hit them when and where they don't expect it. He was this nasty in the original stories too, where he routinely killed people in brutal ways.

712593 If you've gone on to 18 you'll see that the girls and Spike come out of it okay (for the moment). Truth be told, I'm surprised it took this long for someone to show dismay over it; I kind of figured that the readers would want to throttle me for what I did to the CMC and Spike! To say nothing of poor Lyra.

The beginning of the end, again?

Whooohoooo! It is over! What a great tale it was, if grim at times!:pinkiehappy: MLP:FIM might be a relationship comedy, but it is also a fantasy series, and your story recognises that and expresses it wonderfully.

I'm sad that this gets so few upvotes, but it is a crossover with something that isn't a first person shooter from the last year, so that is only to be expected.:fluttercry:

Thanks a lot for sharing this, and I'll watch you in the future for more!:twilightsmile:

I right kindly did enjoy this here yarn, Ardashir, and that's no lie.

730160 Thanks for all the praise! I hope I'll have something worth reading here for everyone.

730857 And I do thank you, sir!

A great ending to a truely great work if fanfiction.

Like I said before John was a badass character to know and follow, the Mae 6 never really got out of tune with themselves, Thane was a great villian to hate and despise, and I feel that the story was well paced enough that it didn't get boring or leave me confused.

This is being added to my top 10 list for sure and I thank you for the time you spent to make this tale.

Also as Sieurin said it is a damn shame that this is not as high up on views and the such as this easly trumps more than half the stuff rated higher up.

735422 Thanks for all your kind words and for the praise for how I handled the characters; that was the part I wanted to get right more than any other.

And yeah, I'd be thrilled if it got more views, but I'm delighted with the comments and views it did get.

:twilightsmile: I've not read the source material, but it reads like it would be fascinating, even sans ponies :)

838487 Oh, it is, believe me! I'm beginning to wonder if I should provide an "author's notes" with links to more information on Wellman's work as well as where to get the latest copy of the collected John the Balladeer stories for those interested.


Sounds like a good idea to me :)

849116 Okay, I'll get going and see if I can't have it up in a day or so. Thanks for the response.

849116 Well, it took way longer than it should have, but I finally put up those links I was talking about! AAbnd there should be some extended work on the song in Chapter 19 that I hope people will enjoy.

730139 Hi again, Sieurin! This is rather late, but the person who helped me with John's song redid the lyrics a bit. Maybe you'll want to take a look and see if they're an improvement.

meh. i probably won't look through those links. i gatta say though, you do a damn well job at what your doing currently, love the story. Very informative btw.

Unexpected update was unexpected... but not unappreciated :twilightsmile:

Did look up some stuff on John after finishing your story and while I may not look at the original marital was glad to find what I did.

Much as I'm a fan of your exciting story, I have to say that I cannot remember the former lyrics. The ones you have now surely do sound like an improvised-on-the-spot folk ballad, and they are good, but since I cannot remember the original lyrics, I cannot exactly say they've improved. Sorry if I'm letting you down.:fluttershysad:

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