• Member Since 3rd Jan, 2013
  • offline last seen Yesterday

Goldenwing


The product of a highly improbable reaction between a rubber band, a liquid lunch, and a particle accelerator. Support me on Patreon!

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The surface isn't safe anymore.

In the ruined depths of Canterlot, a team of brave salvagers discover six mares, long forgotten but miraculously preserved. Though these mares cannot remember what happened to their world, they possess powerful magic that hasn't been seen for centuries.

Now the Elements of Harmony are thrust headlong into a world beyond recognition. Twilight and her friends must dive into the sunken remains of history to determine what happened, but Equestria isn't the harmonious land it once was. Before they can focus wholly on the past, they may first have to survive the present.

It isn't going to be easy.


Special thanks to Doccular42 for the original concept, and M1ntf4n for editing!

Join the Empty Horizons Discord!


Big thanks to dA artist fantazyme and reader jeffh4 for making this fantastic rendition of Rarity at Mr. Rich's party!

On the fence of whether to read? Check out the Rage Review!

Chapters (27)
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Comments ( 793 )

From what I've read, I like it. The fight is good, and you gave the fic a pretty good creep factor.

Dude, this is quite the fantastic concept.

I love that opening rush. This introduction is the kind of intro that really pulls me into the story.

Fav, and Highest of honors to you sir. Into my best of the best folder you go.

Okay, that's a good introduction if I've ever seen one . Too early to really say much of anything else, but I'm definitely looking forward to more.

Something that does bother me slightly. Based on the description, cutie marks are incredibly rare. If that's the case, why didn't we see more of a reaction to the mane six all having cutie marks from Sea Sabre and Flint? Unless of course I'm massively overestimating their relative rarity. Granted, this is only the first chapter and it probably will be addressed in future chapters, but it's a question that popped into my head as I read through.

Still, this has definitely caught my attention, and I eagerly look forward to more.

Hmmm, this is an interesting concept. I shall be following this story with a great deal of interest.

Keep up the great work, and have a Follow,a Favorite, a Track, and an Upvote.

Can't wait to see what the next chapter has in store for us.

Blue Gender meets Waterworld with ponies?

I'll buy a ticket for that train, :moustache:
s6.postimg.org/5ul2jmext/continue_Monkey.jpg

It's like xmass morning for me! A world building story with a Fallen civilisation and that with ponies!

Doc knew what to recommend.

6966543
That Doc fella sure does know his stuff!

6965523
Well I dunno what Blue Gender is, but this fic does indeed have water, worlds, and ponies so that's good!

I really want a Guns of Icarus style airship battle against some monsters, please?

Barely started, and it's rich with details making up the new state of the world.

I am intrigued. I shall be watching for more.

Before I start reading, how gorey is the gore? Is it just the occasional mention of blood, or Saw levels of blood?

6967394
Well, the gore isn't the center or focus of the piece, but I'm not the type of author to shy away from a realistic wound when someone gets shot. It's gore as necessary, but nothing more.

This seems legit. Tracking with high hopes.

6966851 U bet, br0.

You aware you know Doccular already?

Interrresting. I've toyed with pretty much the same subject but abandoned it in order to keep a semblance of mystery to another fic.

Okay yea whoooh this looks like a really really promising one. Oh boiii...

We're getting Wind Waker up in here.
So this diverged during A Canterlot Wedding?

im actuallt looking forward to seeing this grow

6987763
Hey, so am I!
6987235
That's correct. You'll have to keep reading to find details on precisely when. :pinkiesmile:

6987053
You know there are perfectly legitimate reasons to have swearing, violence, and sex, right? They may be sources of cheap "dark and edgy", but they don't have to be. And the swearing by Celestia stuff is pretty tame, honestly. Although it's a bit hard to believe that the other (not the mane six) would even reference her at all given the context.

Not sure why they're going underwater, when it's implied that sky islands are the home of choice.

6987053
Well I always appreciate feedback! However, I actually did have reasons for doing many of these things.

Example: "the thick layer of dark purple algae which covered it in intermittent splotches". It can either be a thick layer, or be in intermittent splotches, but it can't be both because that'd be impossible.

It is possible for a thick layer to be in intermittent splotches. The entire surface isn't coated in a single layer of algae, rather there are intermittent splotches of algae, which are all thickly layered.

Another one (shortly after my previous example) is "She was pulled from her reverie by Rainbow dashing up to her side".

Well I'll give you that. Personally I thought "dash" was the best word to describe what I imagined, and I nor any of my pre-readers saw it that way, but I'll change it to "rushed" just in case.

For example, in the previous quote, you use 'reverie', which is something you might use to describe Twilight's attitude when she's lost in her books.

I'm afraid that's just a difference of opinion there. Personally I don't think that reverie requires a pleasant or calm situation. I use it for any time of being lost in thought, and I felt it was the best word for the situations.

Speaking of strong language: is swearing really necessary? It turns a lot of readers off (myself included). As does excessive violence and unnecessary sexuality. You can create a story with a dark and foreboding tone without needing to resort to these three pinnacles of cheap 'dark and edgy' storytelling.

Is it strictly, absolutely necessary? No. However, I feel that my characters would swear in the situations they were in, and so they did. I even toned the swearing back compared to my usual writing in this one. And I assure you that violence and sexuality won't be appearing in this story in any attempt to cash in on darkness points of some sort; violence, sexuality, and swearing exist in my stories because they tell the story I want to tell and set the tone I want to set. This story will be more mature than the show, and these characters have and will go through many trials within it. If you don't like that in a story then I'm afraid this one isn't for you. Violence and swearing are just part of life when you're exploring the drowned apocalyptic ruins of an old world.

Lastly: draw out the emotions more. You rush from feeling to feeling very quickly.

I can see where you're coming from here. My style tends towards a quicker pace and I don't like to spend time lingering on the same thing over and over in a character's mind. In this chapter especially I had to prioritize the fast pace I wanted over Twilight's thoughts, but future chapters won't be troubled by such things so often.

"sudden screech" a screech is sudden. Perhaps you meant "suddenly, there was a screech".

There's no reason that a screech needs to be sudden. Any loud, harsh, or piercing cry can be qualified as a screech, regardless of its abruptness.

'ichor' is not interchangeable with 'blood'. Maybe you know that, maybe you don't. Just in case.

Ichor by definition can be any blood-like fluid, and I feel it's perfectly fine here.

'razor-sharp flechettes'. This is from Twilight's perspective. You even describe a gun as 'a strange pipe'. How would Twilight know what a flechette is?

The term 'flechette' did not originate with shotguns or any gunpowder weapons.

"Welcome to the future". Great, but for Sea Sabre and the others, this is the present. Equestria is in the past.

Yes, and Sea Sabre was smart enough to infer that Twilight was from the past based on what she'd seen.

Thanks for the feedback though! I'll be sure to take it into account on future chapters, as I do like to make my stories the best they can possibly be! :pinkiehappy:

6988008

Not sure why they're going underwater, when it's implied that sky islands are the home of choice.

Never fear! All shall be explained in time. :raritywink:

Well, I came over here from a recommendation from Doccular42, and I must say that you have me intrigued. I'll be tracking this to see where you take us.

6966851
And just as an FYI, Blue Gender is an anime with a simular start. Guy wakes up from cryo sleep, due to a search team in powered armor, to a devastated world overrun by monsters, and may be the best hope they have to ensuring humanities survival and triumph. Decent story over all.

So... something REALLY MAJORLY BAD happens to their society... plenty of survivors survived, obviously... and no one thought maybe someone should write down what happened?

That only works for me when the leaders are the conspirators or their ancestors caused the whole mess... but then that makes identifying the baddies pretty obvious so there's no point in even hiding it in the narrative.

Anyway, the islands are clearly held up by Unobtanium. Cue the big blue Smurf people with the creepy tentacle sex tails. :trollestia:

6989776
Uh, I'm sorry but where are you getting these details about population size and historical records (or lack thereof)?
Don't you think you're jumping to conclusions here?

6990052

It's Alondro. He likes to ASSume things. If you catch my cleverly hidden meaning, you earn a moustache.

~Doc

6990052 There are pegasi, unicorns, and Earth ponies... I'm guessing they had enough of each to keep breeding.

Not to mention, this past catastrophe is a MAJOR EVENT... like the event or series of events which were retold into the Great Flood story for thousands of years of purely oral history before finally being recorded textually in numerous civilizations. Major stuff like that tends to be the sort of things that get passed down in both history and legend. Even when the original truth is lost and mixed with myth, something of it survives so long as any survivors live to tell the tale. And, given the sophistication of pony society before this event, it is even more likely that the event would be recorded for posterity by the survivors.

I simply know enough of ancient history to know what sorts of stories tend to survive the test of time.

6990136 As opposed to those who lack the wit to be anything beyond the butt of jokes. (DEFLECTION!!)

6990441
"Enough to keep breeding" could be practically any number above six.

And I was asking more about why you thought they had no historical records of what happened. It's not like Twilight stopped at some library in the middle of ruined Canterlot while running for her life and verified that she couldn't find any records.

6990504

It's up to the Elements of Harmony to discover what happened to their world,

I took that to mean it's going to be more difficult than just sitting somepony down and asking them for the answers. Otherwise, there's really no point in having that detail in the synopsis when the answers would be swiftly forthcoming.

6990577
I like to think there's a nice middle ground between "nobody knows anything" and "everybody knows everything."

Huh, I thought I'd already left a comment. :rainbowhuh:

Anyhoo, you've grabbed my attention by the collar and shaken it vigorously against a brick wall. :pinkiehappy:

this is all l can think about with the final paragraphs

This definitely looks promising. I can't wait to read it!

This is exactly the kind of fic I hoped would come out of all that, Golden. I'm gonna look forward to following this :twilightsmile:

Magic is slipping away from ponykind, with most born completely lacking in cutie marks.

Um, all ponies are born without cutie marks. They only earn their cutie marks later when they discover their special talent. A better phrasing might be something along the lines of:

Magic was slipping away from ponykind, rendering many unable to gain cutie marks.

Drat. Just enough to get a good taste, introduce a character and plot thread...then it ends.

Still, while I finished it in about fifteen minutes, give or take, what is here is...definitely a promising followup to the first chapter, although I'm still waiting on the conversation where they find out six gifted-ponies with fabled cutie marks-all have abilities that their society probably considers somewhat useful to useless (barring Twilight, who will probably give whoever's in charge an orgasm on the spot). I mean, unless I've vastly been misinterpreting things, a society focused more on survival would likely have "practical" ponies whose special gifts and cutie marks would probably revolve around "useful" things-like arms making, fighting, maybe creation like engineering or a few with magic.

They'd probably consider Pinkie's gift for parties minimally useful at best (and only then if you have a leader who recognizes the need for morale: the average pony will probably be dumbstruck at first and consider her useless). Fluttershy's affinity with animals would likely be considered outright useless (assuming they don't keep animals or have minimal use for them), but even then, considering they're not in control of the land anymore and everything's feral, she still wouldn't be considered that useful. Finally, a fashionista with a gift for creating beautiful things would be, to be blunt, completely useless in a society more focused on not dying than looking beautiful..

Still, that's not to say all of the mane six don't have "practical" abilities. Rainbow Dash's ability as an insanely fast flier who can create sonic rainbooms that can rattle the landscape would definitely pique some interest, Applejack's gift for growing-you guessed it-apples would be useful if they have any farm-able areas although they might be a bit disappointed that her gift is farming of all things, and Twilight whose special gift is magic itself will probably be awe inspiring, if the lack of magic in the past couple of chapters is anything to go by.

This is not even mentioning that, due to being temporally displaced, they probably don't have hardly any of the usual skills necessary to survive in this modern screwed up world.

Of course, their abilities are anything but useless and they're still the bloody bearers of the Elements of Harmony which I really doubt were destroyed (I've always considered them more fundamental concepts of existence, and if existence had been rewritten to that point well they're screwed anyway), but someone would have to look a bit deeper to see their true values.

Of course, I'm making a bunch of assumptions here and could be completely wrong, but I like to believe my assessment is likely.

6999538
Well shucks, you're right! Thanks, I went ahead and fixed it!

Dat 129:0 ratio tho.

6999637
Right? Honestly the further it goes the more and more scared I become for the inevitable moment that my first downvote comes!

I read the first chapter, and the L:D ratio was 124:0. I finished the second chapter, and the ratio was 130:0. I'm making it 131:0.

6999689
Well I read your comment, and it's 133:0. Who knows where it'll end!?

6999545
Ohhh, don't you worry. I have big plans for the formal introduction of the M6 into the new Equestrian society! To be honest I almost put some of it into this chapter, but I felt it was dragging on and so, in the interest of not having a 10k word chapter and having semi-frequent updates, I brought it to a close here. But hey, Heighton is coming up!

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