• Member Since 14th Jul, 2012
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Nothing special here, move along, nothing to see, just ignore the lump under the sheet and the red stuff...



When Gaberdine is awarded a noble title by Princess Celestia, he soon finds out that his new lands contain several surprises. For starters, there is no land in his new barony. Secondly, his new castle turns out to be a broken-down riverboat. And third is… seaponies.

Baron Gaberdine has a lot to learn about his new barony. And himself.

Fortunately, he has a very young teacher.

Now with a sea-quill (sorry) Drifting Down the Lazy River

Cover photo by PhoenixSwift
Editing/Pre-Reading assistance by Tek, Shaleclaw, Peter, Seether00, Monsieur Connoisseur, GhostOfHeraclitus, The Masked Ferret, Blue Paladin42 and Admiral Biscuit

Note: Unlike The Traveling Tutor and the Librarian, this is a single POV love story, like Changelings, Love and Lollipops. Only with fewer cannons and fountains.
Now Featured on Equestria Daily
With a YouTube Reading of the first chapter by BigAsh
And with a dramatic reading by Neighrator Pony and company Full playlist here.
Thanks for a wonderful review by Paul Asaran
Available in paperback through Lulu.com at cost.

Chapters (8)
Comments ( 550 )

New romance story from Georg? And seaponies, too! Yes, please!

Well, didn't get first comment, but did get first like. Pre-read this. Fun and sentimental.

Hopefully looking forward to the Steampunk sequel. :pinkiecrazy:

Author comment: Welcome! Pull up a chair and stay awhile. The story is complete and was published one chapter per day (had to do two at first in order to get it in the FimFiction queue) and a bonus chapter from some of the comments that happened during the editing process (which sometimes can be more fun than the writing process).

A sequel, Drifting Down the Lazy River has just been published, following Turpentine, a young colt with a talent for painting who decides to run away from his orphanage on an exciting journey downriver to Baltimare, where he will find happiness by fulfilling his destiny to become a famous painter.

There's just one small snag in his way...


Also, Neighrator Pony and company have put together a *wonderful* dramatic reading for this story, starting here:

Featuring the vocal talents of:

Dr. Wolf, Gina M, Illya Leonov, ShadowOfCygnus, itsannachloem, Shellah, Scribbler

Also with an 11 out of 10 star rating by Arcanum on Youtube.

And if you enjoy this, you may also enjoy two of my changeling romances:
Changelings, Love and Lollipops
Buggy and the Beast

Or the original romance story that started me writing these:
The Traveling Tutor and the Librarian, which eventually turned into four linked stories and fame. Well, a little.

From KatysCornerTX at DeviantArt, a wonderful representation of Green Grass and his hat.
(Thank you, Katy. It’s beautiful. And Green Grass looks pretty darned good too :) Also, check out the Sunflower she did for Project: Sunflower. Awesome.

I can confirm that the plot smells fishy.

6369251 Looks spooper cwet :rainbowkiss: continue plz

Interesting so far, the mobile castle is interesting and judging by the romance tab the owner of those green eyes might be 'Shoo be do'ing into Gaberdine's heart, well unless his relationship with Sen takes a sharp turn.

Author Interviewer


But what about the Duchy of Grand Fenwick?

Not going to be that easy Baron.
Looking forward to this.

Blast, didn't quite make the deadline. Did make it to the last chapter. Overtime... :raritydespair:

At least I know that good times are coming. :yay:

Booby prize? Booby prize.

Another romantic riproarer from Georg? Excellent!

But you can just call me Sen of Fen.


Oh wow, so the entire river. Spin that right and it could be pretty powerful as far as trade goes. Well, assuming it's a usefully positioned river for that sort of thing.

Well, good luck actually finding your citizens for the census, Gabe, and I bet that first draft isn't going to be what Celestia was looking for.

I'm currently guessing that the previous baron didn't die without an heir (give the mentioned foal’s literature), but it was with a seapony, and somehow that complicated the inheritance question. Second guess, the actual heir is the owner of those green eyes.

He had nearly burst with pride when the older ponies in his department had nominated him to make the presentation to Princess Celestia.

Eenope. You just got thrown under the cart, son. Welcome to the wonderful world of bureaucracy.

Diligence such as this deserves a reward comparable to the benefit you are providing to our beloved country.

:facehoof: That odd *thump-squish* you just heard was the cart's front wheels going over your soft little body.

I hereby bequeath you the Barony of Fen

And there go the back wheels too. Take a moment to enjoy the oddly pain-free sensation of having just been run over by Trollestia's cart. Moment won't last though, enjoy it while you can.

You are to prepare a precise enumeration of every intelligent creature who lives in your new Barony by the end of this week

:rainbowlaugh: Oh, look at that. The cart was carrying anvils and one just fell off and landed on you as the cart bumped over your body...

Hello, Ripple.

His first census is already wrong. Celestia stated 'every intelligent creature'. He forgot himself. :rainbowlaugh:

Well he's prompt with his census, that's for sure.

I like your writing style a lot.

Sea ponies! I like the reference to Quackers and I like your Sen of Fen. He seems like a down to earth guy.

I don't think he's too unhappy with the situation and Gaberdine seems to take a very realistic approach to his new station, plus a river that goes out to the sea can be good for trade. Wouldn't it be something if he got the last laugh?

I've been looking forward to this story.

Ripple is now a unicorn sea pony? 0-0 Or one of your OCs? Or can she shape shift?

Ooh i cant wait to see where this goes!

I feel the aura of Sir Hat here. Is this story going to describe it's characters? Is it going to introduce them properly with the fundamental rules of writing on it's side? Questions, before I dive in.

The Answer: No. I still have no idea who Gaberdine is aside from him being a third son. I have no idea what he looks like, or even the description of the other characters so far. It's a blank what any of the characters look like and unless you already knew the characters in question, you have no premise on them. Going in, the first chapter does explain the location, which is good, and several of the explanations of the 'whys' of the characters...but that's it. It's a very grey field so far, and though my immediate interest is peaked, I have no idea whether or not it should remain so.


The second chapter immediately mentions various technologies which it seems to have no rush in explaining. It's rather vexing, when the author could have just said, "I travel by boat", or thereabouts in at least one paragraph. The second paragraph is a needless flavor one that could be simplified to where the information could be told without going into eccentrics, it's so needlessly specific. I got heavily distracted by the punchline, which I have to say I enjoyed, but it's not nearly enough so far...maybe a little more.


The third chapter finally reveals the difficulty of the protagonist's plight, however, it was spoiled for at least a chapter ahead of time. It does do a good job of arranging a disbelieving-of-a-fishwife's-tale sense of the protagonist...but it's lacking in something, that being direct notice of such. As such, it creates a rather callous seeming person. The third chapter highlights a noble's attitude, disinterested in everything but themselves, while the first two were seemingly more of a scribes.

It's all fine, but the whiplash is concerning. It's no bad per se, but it's not going to win awards, either.


Good luck with your story, Georg. It's pretty decent. I'll only be tracking it, however.


This looks interesting and I will definatly read this.
Good work on this so far, loving the style so far.

Ahhh poor Gabby...
Seapponies, I don't think I've ever read a story with them in it as a main thing.

Nice job!

Seaponies, I am curious, really curious, I want to see more of them.
Nicely done, and ohhhh man XD He was trolled big time... or perhaps... this is a test from ol Celly~

Nice job.

Awwww, I'm liking Ripple, she's adorableness wrapped up in pone fur.
Awesome job once more, you get a fave and I can't wait to see more of this soon.

Dem Sea Pone though~

I flinched at reading "Cover art by PhoenixSwift"
Anyways... AWESOME!

I've wanted to try my hand at making a steam engine for years.

Shouldn't Ripple's mom be included in the census? Otherwise interesting story so far.

I do hope this is one of those stories where the unwitting buffoon stumbles onto a happy ending handed to him in the guise of misfortune.

Lovely :o) We are looking forward to the rest of it.

nice story so far you haz get like and track

I like what I see so far! Keep up the good word, Georg!

...Also, Ripple is adorable. XD


Awwww, I'm liking Ripple, she's adorableness wrapped up in pone fur.

I also second the notion of Ripple's extreme Dawww inducing adorableness.


Shouldn't Ripple's mom be included in the census?

I do not think Gaberdine realises Ripple's mum is a seapony. He probably thinks that she was calling from East/West Fen on the riverbank. Come to think of it, Gaberdine never got a look at Ripple's aft half, so he probably thinks she is a regular filly (albeit highly aquatic and bloody way too ebullient in the morning).

“Mostly missing apostrophes and improper capitalization,” she added.

Pffhah. A language purist put on a budget document :rainbowlaugh:

“Yes, a census. You are to prepare a precise enumeration of every intelligent creature who lives in your new Barony by the end of this week, or the lands — such as they are — revert back to the Crown.”

I'm getting a somewhat Vetinari vibe from Celestia here. This sounds far too much like the setup of 'Going Postal' :trixieshiftright:

“You see, when the old Barony of Fenwick was broken up, one son claimed all of the lands west of the River Fen, and the other all of the lands east of the river.”

Sooo... his "barony" is "just the river" :rainbowlaugh:

Welp. Something tells me he's going to get explicit instructions to investigate his underwater denizens :rainbowwild:

One (1) young unicorn filly named Ripple who swims in the lagoon.

...he should really take these rumours about seaponies more seriously :trixieshiftright:

No.. he thinks she's a filly who comes and swims in 'his' river occasionally, hence why she's listed as "Transient" resident. As long as he doesn't see her mom swim in the river as well, she's not counted.

Sometimes Cupid has a bow. Sometimes Cupid uses a fifteen-pound sledgehammer of love.

Sometimes Cupid rides the clouds. Sometimes Cupid just blows a superheated cloud in your face and says solemnly, "Love is blind.".

And sometimes it's a laser-guided bunker-buster bomb.

6374793 and sometimes he just slaps you right in the face.

On a side note OUCH!!!! Steam burns hurt.. and near his eyes.... makes me shudder and want to throw up a little. WAY to easy to go blind from something like that. Thank goodness for Ripple.

And he still doesn't realize... :facehoof: When Gabby's not being just plain oblivious, then random happenstance literally blinds him! And this is the stallion who found a fraction of a percent of error in the country budget.

On an other note, I love how the tone of his census reports changes with each revision, just as his mood lightens as well. I'm sure Celestia had something like this in mind when sending him to Fen. :trollestia:

Awwwhahahahawww, Ripple, there must be fan art of her like right now :yay:

Awesome chapter, loving the mother, she seems sweet. And i like how his census changes with each chapter, that's coolio.
Nicely done!

“In fact, in appreciation for her assistance, I would like to invite Ripple and her family to dine with me tomorrow…

...and that a quiet candlelit dinner for just the three of them would be a much more appropriate approach.

Heh, seeing as this is a story from Georg, I have a distinct feeling that Gabby REALLY should've asked if there were just Pearl and Ripple before extending that invitation for dinner. :raritywink: On a plus note, I think the census numbers for his barony is gonna see an uptick on a hilarious scale.

6374398 She's all kinds of cuteness! :yay:

Loving this story already. I know I enjoyed several of your other stories, and can't wait to read more of this one. :twilightsmile:

EDIT: I did notice a possible typo:

Reassembling the balky condenser took his mind

Seems like you intended to write bulky instead.

6375369 balk·y ˈbôkē/Submit adjectiveUS
reluctant; uncooperative.
"he was trying to get his balky horse to move"
6375175 We'll see. We had a discussion about this in the document comments. Parapharsed, in short, upper crust invitations will say "Ripple and family" so that the parents can send (for example) Aunt Alice along instead of a parent if scheduling prevents their appearance. Lower crust invitations seldom say this for fear of having thirty or so relatives all show up on the front yard with knife and fork. (Although for Equestrians, that *is* the buffet, I suppose...)
6375042 He's going to find out soon enough.

6372629 No, I only have... Um... Letters From a Little Princess Monster (ongoing), The Traveling Tutor and the Royal Exam (coming up on the end), This one (which is complete), and a couple of Whenever I Darned Well Feel Like Publishing A Chapter stories. I'm really behind, because I want to get Royal Exam finished up (Griffons and Discord and Weddings, Oh My) and still have some real-world time :pinkiehappy:
6374723 They're very shy. Like Bigfoot. And Tax Rebates.
6372664 If sufficiently paranoid and built with enough engineering overkill, steam engines are fairly safe. The efficiency of them scales with size, though, much like diesel.
6371014 She can sure peel oranges. It is an odd cutie mark for a seapony, though. It would be as if an earth pony got a cutie mark in teaching young unicorns their first magic.

6375445 I knew the word, It just felt strange where it was, and so I wasn't sure if it was intentional. Sorry about that, I meant no offense.

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