• Member Since 14th Mar, 2012
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Ether Echoes

A star drifting through the cosmos.


This story is a sequel to Through the Well of Pirene

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NOTE: I wrote this before the 2020 BLM protests and my learning more about policing. I would have written it differently after, but I won't be changing it. Just keep in mind that the depiction here is of another world and another species from a different perspective.

In the City of Dreams, the City That Never Sleeps, a wistful heart walks the lonely streets, searching for answers to questions no one else is willing to ask. A reluctant pilgrim arrives from a long journey, weary but determined to make his mark. An old warhorse, his soul cracked and bleeding, saddles up for his last battle.

A noir tale set in Manehattan, fifteen years after the events of Through the Well of Pirene. Three people over the course of three nights weave and unravel a tale of anxiety, pain, and hope under the lights of the greatest city in Equestria, and the watchful gaze of a green star.

Chapters (12)
Comments ( 303 )

Ooooh! Really neat writing you have here. I hungrily await more! :pinkiehappy:

kek. I still haven't finished the first chapter of Pirene.

Oh geeze I have to read this when I have time!

nice! putting this on my read later.

6340340 Eh, I don't recall it being that compelling...

Sequel to Pirene!

I'm liking the noir setting, and it's really pretty fitting for a city dealing with such massive changes and an uptick in crime.

Pretty cool to see how they're getting on with integrating new technology and goblins into society. Neat touch as well to point out the contribution of the goblins has been mostly positive, even as it seems likely a detective is mostly going to be seeing the negative effects up-close.

I wonder did Tony need to learn goblin shapechanging magic to become a pegasus, or was the Wand involved? And what made Naomi interested enough in him to offer him the position in the first place?

Sounds like your comment belongs there, then. Maybe you could post there and explain your criticism.

Obviously, I think it's plenty compelling, so I'd like to know why you disagree.

Just the fact that this exists compelled me t put it on my read later/ I haven't even started the first chapter as of yet and I'm already hooked. Lol.

Marble Stone works at the Boston office of the Hippocrene and provides transformation services, aye.
Learning goblin transformation is only for the dedicated - or those like Marcus and Naomi who need to keep going back and forth - since it can take weeks or months to pick up if you can at all.

Frank explains that he had extensive logistics experience, and they wanted an experienced human to help with the transition to new technologies and techniques.


Obviously, I think it's plenty compelling, so I'd like to know why you disagree.

Certainly. I'll give it another chance whenever I find the time.

Spoiler Alert: It's gonna be awesome.

I appreciate the effort and the consideration, thanks. :pinkiehappy:


Good to see you back here drawing me into your wonderful written world. Can't wait for the next chapter!

Well the age is run by a mentally 1000 year old brat who is trying to redeem herself. Hopefully that's going to trickle down to the beings living in it.

Hah! And after I thought I had seen the last of your writing on this site. I'm looking forward to this. :pinkiehappy:

Small error in the first paragraph:

watching as the neighborhoods, the little cells they live in, move and warp, but still somehow it’s still the same old city you grew up in. Parts may die and new ones may arise in their places, but the animal lives on.

This sentence might be better with one of the 'stills' were deleted. Other than that, it looks great! You do a great job of portraying the atmosphere.

I also look forward to seeing what you come up with as original fiction. Depending on my budget and when you release it, (My college budget may not include much money for extracurricular books :applejackunsure:), I'd love to support it. :yay:

Anyway, you have my attention. And uh...

Feel free to make it longer than three chapters. I don't mind.:pinkiehappy:

Daphne took over properly, albeit not as she should have. Amelia is just the King of the Wand Goblins now.

Oh honey, this is going to be a lot more than 3 chapters. :pinkiehappy:

Well. Of all the things I expected a Pirene sequel to be, noir wasn't among them.

Looking forward to it though. Great start!

Wow! That was quick!

It's good to see a familiar face, and I greatly enjoy Marcus's character. The tortoise as well, for that matter. I wonder about that little filly. What's her part in all of this? I guess only Daphne knows. :twilightsmile: I eagerly await what's in store. :yay:

6341429 YES!! :yay:

sigh. Fluttershy's yay is not excited enough for the current situation.

Badass transdimensional ranger Marcus is best Marcus. Good to hear he finally hooked up with Leit, even if it surprised absolutely nopony. Also Rarity is a princess for some reason, and I see her character tag prominently displayed.

I'm loving this already. Pirene was one of my favorite stories on the site, and coming back to the setting is like a big hug from an old friend. :twilightsmile: If the friend was heavily armed and balls-deep in an organized crime ring. :twilightoops:

It's funny how Marcus was so unquestionably a natural fit for me in this. I of course knew what he was generally up to - he's a troubleshooter for Naomi's Hippocrene Society, there to swoop in at her command to deal with issues. He's also gone on voyages outside the known worlds - the ones he could reach anyway.
Over the course of all that, he's grown from a boy to a man, and now he's on the cusp of discovering what's next.
If that isn't a story worth telling, I apparently don't know what is.

I'll probably at least mention it, but all of the Bearers took a step to being an alicorn. Mild spoilers follow:
Pirene suggests that alicorn-hood comes in stages. Third order is when you're not visibly changed - a low level demigod, barely above average. Second order is when you gain your second race, which also comes with a large boost in ichor (the greek word for Alicorn magic in this context, genericized for all species) - Twilight, Rarity, and Pinkie gained Pegasus, Applejack and Rainbow Dash gained unicorn, and Fluttershy gained Earth Pony. Pinkie Pie, Applejack, and Fluttershy are all able to "pass" as normal ponies if not recognized, and often do, but of course Rarity and Rainbow Dash exult in their visible status. Cadance is also a second order alicorn. First order alicorns have the full circuit of races, and gain the majestic manes~
Marcus likes to refer to RD as "Princess Rainbowbutt the First," but in fact RD coined it herself.

That filly is coming up soon, you bet'cha!

I look up at the sky, where a curious green star glimmers faintly on the horizon above a glitzy hotel. “What? Don’t look at me that way. I’ll be fine.”

That's such a neat little touch, that he'd seemingly talk to thin air on the basis that Daphne can see him from anywhere.

Really good banter between Marcus and Rarity, and it's interesting to see Marcus noting her becoming more pegasus-like in temperament.

Hints at his past adventures and the goblin magic he has picked up are very well done as well. Really works to fill us in on the passage of years very quickly.


My understanding is less that she can hear him from anywhere, and more that she's doing her eye of Sauron thing. She could hear him in this moment because her metaphorical gaze is fixed upon him.

But if something bad were to happen, and he called out to her when she wasn't paying attention, then she wouldn't hear.

Which you know, is incentive to be always watching, even to the detriment of your own health.

A sequel to Pirene. It's the thing I've always wanted without realizing I wanted it.

Solana has the way of it.

Daphne tries to be there for her friends and loved ones, even when it puts her under strain. The green star is the least of her signs, and it helps her keep tabs and guide people.

She learned to do that when the Morgwyn yanked her away - funny, in a way it helped make her what she needed to be.

Rarity's taken to her glorious wings like - well, a Pegasus to air :rainbowlaugh:

it's been too long for me to remember. Is there a cheat sheet somewhere that can remind me who the characters are who's names keep getting dropped in here?


A quick one:
Daphne was a protagonist of the original novel and arguably the main one. She has the gift of channeling visions.
Amelia was the second protagonist and Daphne's little sister. She was also the villain, and redeemed herself at the end. Since then she has become King of the Wand goblins.
Leit Motif is a unicorn (technically all of them are but who's counting) and the third protagonist. She and Daphne are close as sisters.

Naomi is a friend of Daphne and Marcus who joined her on her quest. Today she's in charge of a company (the Hippocrene Society) that manages Equestrian/Human contact.

6343363 The facts are beginning to emerge from the mental fog now, thanks!


He was my favorite character for most of that series. Giles, too.

Will Morg show up? I do want to see what has become of (her?) and I think a bit of participation in something that can better the world would surely earn her some brownie points.

To be entirely honest, I haven't decided. She might or might not appear in Marcus' dreams.

Currently, Night 2 and Night 3 are a skeleton and a sketch respectively.

Ohh, that Rarity exchange left me feeling nostalgic.

Is a shadow for every vice something you came up with? It is quite an evocative phrase.

Yeah, it just kind of popped out as I thought about the situation. With different light sources in the dark, Gerry would have been casting different shadows, and since Tracy is a detective with a strong noir streak in her, of course she'd attach symbolic meaning to something so mundane. It tells you stuff about the guy's character in an unusual way.

I really liked the worldbuilding in this chapter. Especially bits like Marcus's story of the island, and the Tortoise who finds even a scrap of information about it to be so valuable. It feels like it's still a vast world, not fully explored and anything could be out there... I love that in a fantasy setting. :raritystarry:

The 1st chapter felt like a rough start, but after the 2nd I can see it made an interesting contrast (at least how I'm interpreting them). Trace Prints lives in a claustrophobic little world, but she forces herself to stay optimistic. and Marcus is the opposite, needing reminders from those around him to keep his feet planted on the ground, so to speak. now I can't wait for these two to meet.

so is Marcus going to become the next page of the wand? i loved your other stories.

Wire's daughter will be Page of the Wand, but that's a story that hasn't been told here :scootangel:

Yeah, I hope to have Marcus bring up his travels a bit more. Alfheim is of particular value to the goblins (as will come up in later chapters, this was no idle conversation!) and the Ring goblins are massively into knowledge.

And you are right in that I intend a contrast here. Marcus is still happy and free, but inside he's kind of wondering what he's going to do with himself. Trace holds a core of romance that bears her through all of the hard times, one that lurks beneath her scaly demeanor.

:pinkiegasp: "GAAAAASSSP" You don't know how happy you made me when I saw a TTWOP sequel was being written!
Thank you Ether! *Manly Tears* .... however I am not going to be able to start on it immediately...
First things first.. I have to go back and Re-Read the first one :-)

It's funny in that I can read this, and enjoy it on one level, yet anything in the entire universe still gives me the heebie jeebies because of how much I hate the Bridle and everything about it. Months and months later and it still sticks with me as just loathsome and horrible and hated.

I don't know if that's good or bad. I do know that you may say Amelia redeemed herself, yet in my eyes she's still gotten off too easy.

Ask Celestia, not me. :raritywink:
It is well that you hate the Bridle, for it is without question the most evil thing in that universe, besides the being that made it.

Ahahaha. That's going to take you a while.

Pst in case you missed it there's two chapters now~

where the hell is the third chapter... there were three when I started to read this... Or am I going crazy? I am confused

Considering I'm writing it now, you are. :coolphoto:

At least I have an excuse... At the moment of writing this comment, I have 31 tabs opened on my mobile browser, 1 of those is this one, and the second is fimfiction feed. The rest is chapter of different story each, and I am reading them all one after another. Add to it three printed books, 5 tv series, and 3 Anime series. And I am additionally quite busy with some work for my father and looking for an actual job. I think I am quite sane, all things considered.

As I am at it, would it be possible to get a quick reminder/summary of what happened in your story? it has beeen hundreds of stories (and likely over thousands of chapters, if not tens of thousands) since I finished reading your story. I loved it's completness, with mythology, legends and mysterious past, this whole discovering, piecing together all the clues and stories, it was one of the few stories who has done it right, and finding it all was a great pleasure. Still I managed to ferget quite a bit of it. I caught myself not remembering anything about briddles origin. I was planning on rereading The Pirene at some point, it was good enough to do it. But I might have to rearange my reading plans to do it sooner, and some good stories tend to pop up, forcing me to switch focus on them for some time.

I'll get around that, but in the meanwhile I would appreciate some summary of the most important parts of the main story.

Trace is pretty interesting, she really seems to be doing the noir thing at least semi-intentionally. That locker room description was great, as well as her disappointment at the precinct looking modern instead of like it was from an old film.

Between her obsession with Paris and the thing about not chasing dreams, I wonder if she has heard of Paris Syndrome - a psychological disorder caused by visiting Paris and not having it live up to your expectations.

For some reason, I'm wondering if the ideal stallion she described is how she imagines one of the human actors from the films she watches looking like as a pony.

“Great. Why is it they’re always immune to standard ammunition?” He groans. “Please tell me I won’t need tungsten rounds.”

I think I'm going to choose to believe that Nessus wasn't the last villain Marcus attempted to shoot while he was monologuing.

You did it. You made me write in this setting again, you horrible fiends!

I wish I could say I was sorry, but this is far too good for that to be true. :rainbowkiss:

I do like how you've slightly subverted the noir genre here by having Trace semi-consciously affect it. As for the story - well I'm already hooked. All the little threads are leading somewhere interesting, and I've fallen in love with the world of Pirene all over again. :pinkiehappy:


I wonder if she has heard of Paris Syndrome - a psychological disorder caused by visiting Paris and not having it live up to your expectations.

She doesn't need to know the exact phrase for it to know that's what she fears :raritydespair:

For some reason, I'm wondering if the ideal stallion she described is how she imagines one of the human actors from the films she watches looking like as a pony.

I'd like to think he's a pastiche~
Ideals are hard to live up to, be they cities or people.

I think I'm going to choose to believe that Nessus wasn't the last villain Marcus attempted to shoot while he was monologuing.

Oh you bet your rear he wasn't the last.
To be fair, Marcus has successfully shot at least a few!

Yeah, she's totally aware. :pinkiehappy: In a way, it's her method of coping with all the harshness of her life - she's telling a romantic story, even if it's a depressing one, about her life, one that makes her feel better.

Violet Rose is adorable :rainbowkiss: :heart:

oh yeah, i guess there were some other characters in this chapter too. they were okay.

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