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Ice Star


i eat kids

T
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Aria will protect her cousin from anything, even if she is a burden, especially when it comes to the newcomer to their duo, a siren filly named Adagio Dazzle with plans of her own. Soon Aria finds her words falling on deaf ears now that Sonata is entranced by the charismatic Adagio, who takes Aria's role as leader and guides the two the far north.

But Aria can't leave, even if her cousin is a burden because Sonata's all Aria has left, even if it means putting up with a wolf bearing the likeness of a sheep and all the heartbreak that comes with it.


Major unmarked spoilers are in the comments! The cover art is by namygaga and has been edited by me. Contribute to the TVTropes page!

Chapters (15)
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Comments ( 34 )

I really do like this, but I must say, brevity kind of does it no good for me. It is a wonderful exposition, don't get me wrong, I am fairly curious to read on, but it feels a bit too short. Maybe that's just on me... :twistnerd:

7330411 There's more coming soon. It would be a crime to end this here. :derpytongue2:

Nata: Just keep swimming, swimming swimming... lalalalala

Nata's giggling in the background draws my attention and I see hat she's got the crudely made spear I made a while back clumsily gripped in her forehooves even though she's seen that I wield the thing in my mouth.

They are magical creatures. They hold items with hooves. You could say they have telekinetic hooves. How would they even fight with spear in mouth? It would hinder them more than it would help. Spear even isn't made to be hold with mouth.

7368864 I'm not saying holding the spear in her hooves is impossible, just that Nata isn't holding it right since she isn't exactly an aggressive character. As for Aria holding it in her mouth? Well let's hope they don't have to fight much. That detail aside, I hope you're enjoying the story.

It's a nice story. I like it.

I like the concept, the writing style of it being Aria's thoughts is refreshing, and it was a good little teaser for the rest of the story. You have a follow.

There's too mug fog to

Ah yes, I love a good mug of fog in the morning.
But not too much, you know?

7950508 *inhales calmly*
goddamnit
fixed

Aunt Cantata

Wait, what?

Cantata Dusk

Oh.

Never mind, then.

8490244
Oh no no no, I was expecting another character from a different series.

8491308
Ever read Seven Days In Sunny June by Shinzakura?

8492027
Well, I was expecting The Dragon of the latter two books.

8492198
I chose the name because of the musical connection and similar sound to 'Sonata'. It helped give a nice connection, and was better then something generic like 'Melody'.
8492206
It'll be, yah.

8492224
What I meant is, if one were up to speed, would they know the name of Sonata's father?

If not, then fine. If so, which chapter, so I can watch for it?

8493052
The next chapter, if I recall correctly. It's been a while since I've looked at this one, but it's in there.

An interesting tale, for sure. Lots of tension and anxiety leading up to the climax and beyond; I was super into this the whole way.

Great read, interesting portrayal of the characters, and lovely world-building.

9062709
Bless you and thanks for reading 🙏

And thanks for the updoot

I’m not quite sure how I feel about this story as a whole. Parts of it, I quite liked. There’re some lovely worldbuilding tidbits scattered throughout and I liked what you did with Adagio, who was the highlight of the story for me--it was wonderful to see her being both obviously malevolent and yet also so entrancing that Aria couldn’t help but go along with her, and I liked how Sonata was so enraptured she seemed to forget all about what she originally set out to do. And I really liked how you described things from Aria’s perspective as she encountered all these unfamiliar sights, from Adagio herself to the surface world and eventually a new body.

That being said, other parts didn’t quite do it for me. Sonata was a bit more dim than I usually like, and while it wasn’t as bad here as it is in other stories, Adagio being a prostitute really didn’t sit right with me. Those aren’t really criticisms, I guess, just admissions that I didn’t always like what you did with the characters.

And, sadly, bits of it fell a bit flat for me. Part of that may have been clunky grammar and stuff like that--this story could badly use another editing pass to clean up typos and run-on sentences and the like. The rest, I think was due to the structure of it more than anything else. Perhaps I would have liked it more had it been more in-depth and fleshed out. Mainly with regards to Aria, I think the ending felt more cruel than deserved--it felt like her only real faults were being too complacent to even try and distance herself from Adagio, and I’m not quite sure that warranted the kind of misery it seems like she’d be feeling at the ending.

So, in general, I really liked what you were going for, and there were lots of nice details and the like to make this an enjoyable read, but also some things that just didn’t quite sit right with me that stopped it from leaving more of an impact. Thanks for writing it, though! It had a nice villainous Adagio, and that’s always wonderful to see.

9074468
Wow, long comment! Let it not be said that I don't reply to long comments, so here's a probably long reply.

I’m not quite sure how I feel about this story as a whole. Parts of it, I quite liked. There’re some lovely worldbuilding tidbits scattered throughout and I liked what you did with Adagio, who was the highlight of the story for me--it was wonderful to see her being both obviously malevolent and yet also so entrancing that Aria couldn’t help but go along with her, and I liked how Sonata was so enraptured she seemed to forget all about what she originally set out to do. And I really liked how you described things from Aria’s perspective as she encountered all these unfamiliar sights, from Adagio herself to the surface world and eventually a new body.

Thank you! One thing I always love doing with character-centered story is getting into the new perspective of a character. Apathetic, tries-to-be-tough young Aria was really neat to write, as well as how much she sees... and how much she misses, sometimes of her own choice. Getting to build the ocean side of things for my usual 'verse is something I was excited to do, because of the culture and perspective of the inhabitants, and the fact that I've only done it in... two or three other stories, I think?

That being said, other parts didn’t quite do it for me. Sonata was a bit more dim than I usually like, and while it wasn’t as bad here as it is in other stories, Adagio being a prostitute really didn’t sit right with me. Those aren’t really criticisms, I guess, just admissions that I didn’t always like what you did with the characters.

That's fair! Though, on the part of Sonata, it wasn't that she was dim but that her father being a god meant she matured very slow mentally, so others thought she had a learning disorder or was intellectually impaired, when she wasn't. I wasn't quite able to say this outright because most of the story is Aria's POV and Aria is, well, Aria. The flashbacks had a bit more room to do so, thankfully, but there was also Sonata's behavior, which spoke for itself, I would hope. At the start of the story, she has the maturity of someone who is very infant-like or toddler like, but throughout the course of the story, she does mature, but really only up to a young schoolchild's level (like a third grader, probably). In Rainbow Rocks, she's certainly a bit airheaded, but not nearly as bad as she would be here. Hence a lot of why she forgets things. I played around with an Adagio prequel/side story too, of what she did before she met the rest of the gang, but it never came to light.

Mainly with regards to Aria, I think the ending felt more cruel than deserved--it felt like her only real faults were being too complacent to even try and distance herself from Adagio, and I’m not quite sure that warranted the kind of misery it seems like she’d be feeling at the ending.

She's hardly a truly malicious character here, that is true. Everything she does is because she wants to survive, and she's a child. A very cynical, apathetic, and not a particularly clever child (she very deliberately ignores details and charges into things, but hey not everybody's a genius) and she absolutely didn't deserve anything in her history, with losing her very homeworld and Sonata's affections. It just didn't stop it from happening. She did give up trying.

So, in general, I really liked what you were going for, and there were lots of nice details and the like to make this an enjoyable read, but also some things that just didn’t quite sit right with me that stopped it from leaving more of an impact. Thanks for writing it, though! It had a nice villainous Adagio, and that’s always wonderful to see.

Thank you for still enjoying my story! I don't have any more Siren stories, sadly, but if you like horse-horses as much as water-horses, then I've got a ton of other stories set in this world (and some that aren't) if that's to your liking, including poetry, different styles, more worldbuilding, and all that fun stuff. I must admit that while it's certainly not my strongest piece, there's a lot more stories I have to offer if that's up your alley.

This was a very interesting story! I thought you handled all three main characters ever so well. Watching Sonata and Aria grow more distant was rather devastating, and I particularly appreciated Aria’s ignorant mind trying to piece together Adagio’s more sophisticated insincere smiles. Star Swirl’s characterisation was the thing I liked most, with him not being some shining hero working for the good of Equestria, but actually the lowest of stallions. I was amazed to look back at the word count upon reaching the end - normally a chapter of only a thousand words feels so brief, but here they didn’t feel at all lacking, so having fifteen of them made the story seem a lot longer than it was. You also did better than I’ve ever seen at making the world seem huge. Their journey really did feel like something of several years, where Equestria tends to be something ponies can cross in a day or two in the show.

I felt there were some details with the plot, though, that didn’t quite hang together, and some of the world building left more questions than not. The implication that there’s something special about Sonata didn’t really seem to go anywhere? We never see her do anything Aria doesn’t in Rainbow Rocks, so we don’t really know what Adagio is expecting of her. Or, in fact, why Adagio keeps either of them around at all. Pimping Sonata out seems to be about the one benefit she gets, but when Adagio is already doing that to herself, then having a second warm body available seems a bit pointless for the price of two extra mouths to feed. I wasn’t quite sure why they were still working in that manner even once they had the whole town under their control, or why they hadn’t moved onto grander pastures after building up their strength. It also didn’t offer much explanation of how Adagio had come from the surface, made it all the way out to sea to live in a ship and be attacked by a shark, and promptly returned to the surface (but presumably a much more run-down part of it than where she originally came from).

I wasn’t quite sure what the final picture was regarding their parentage - I got that Sonata was Neptune’s daughter, but was Aria supposed to be his too? Or was it really a unicorn nobleman of the same name, as she thought? And, if the former, why wasn’t she also slower to mature? That was an excellent idea for Sonata’s childishness, by the way :raritystarry: I liked just how dim she was, but wouldn’t want to read her that way in every story, as I think it would be limiting elsewhere. Then there was the line about two other siren daughters of Neptune; was Adagio implied to be the third? And, again, why isn’t she slow too if that’s the case?

The ending I would perhaps describe as unfairly bleak, ending on a sad note and with the promise of more misery to come, especially as so little of it really seems something they’re responsible for. One wonders what the characters ‘should’ have done; what choices would have spared them such a fate. I was thinking, given the time skip structure, that we’d see more of them in the EG world, and get a closer picture of how they got from who they were when they arrived to who they were in Rainbow Rocks.

Overall, I can’t remember the last time a story left me with this much to say. Especially one so short. I think that’s a testament to the strength of the worldbuilding here, with how solid it all felt. I’m definitely glad I read it,

9074659
It seemed a bit of a shame for you to have plopped 20 kilowords down and gotten only fairly short comments, so I thought I’d try and compensate :twilightsheepish:

Also, sorry, forgot to mention this the first time around, but I loved that Star Swirl was kind of a dick here :raritystarry:

Apathetic, tries-to-be-tough young Aria was really neat to write

Aria is such a joy to both write and read when she’s done well! I thought it was nice to see how her outlook and thoughts and stuff crept into the narration.

Though, on the part of Sonata, it wasn't that she was dim

I should perhaps have clarified more there, sorry :twilightblush: Yes, one of the flashbacks did clarify that her ditziness is a result of her heritage and unusually slow development, not more conventional intellectual impairment. And that was a nice idea and actually, I think, added something to the story, since it’s easy to see especially this Sonata being affected by Adagio’s charisma.

So, to be clear, my remark there was more along the lines of “I didn’t like this” than “this was bad.” Between lots of people doing stupid Sonata really badly and my favorite depictions of her being more cunning, her being infantesque and forgetful wasn’t exactly to my liking, even though it was justified and made sense and handled fairly well.

I played around with an Adagio prequel/side story too, of what she did before she met the rest of the gang, but it never came to light.

Ah, fair enough. I think anyone who writes as much as you do ends up with quite a few unfinished stories. May I ask what you had in mind for her, though? In some sense, I think she almost works better without much backstory, as when you’re looking at her from the outside you’re never quite sure what she wants or how many steps ahead she’s thinking and explaining her more peels that air of mystery back. But with all the worldbuilding stuff going on here, I’d be curious to find out how she fits into it.

and she absolutely didn't deserve anything in her history, with losing her very homeworld and Sonata's affections. It just didn't stop it from happening. She did give up trying.

That’s very true, and I think it’s exactly what brings the story down for me. Whether I’m being objective there is hard to say, but the way things were set up here, it’s less like Aria’s eventual miserable fate is something she brought on herself and more something that was thrust upon her. The latter isn’t necessarily bad, I think--indeed, the idea of Aria’s life having been shaped by her getting screwed over like this could make for a wonderful way to characterize her in a story set in her future. But here, the Tragedy tag made me suspect that Aria’s bad ending would come about from her own actions, whereas it turned out to be more a case of her inaction bringing it about, which I don’t think makes for quite as satisfying an ending.

I must admit that while it's certainly not my strongest piece, there's a lot more stories I have to offer if that's up your alley.

I’m intrigued! Do you have any you’d recommend?

9074706
Holy moly, another long comment, so be prepared for a long reply. :twilightsheepish:

Watching Sonata and Aria grow more distant was rather devastating, and I particularly appreciated Aria’s ignorant mind trying to piece together Adagio’s more sophisticated insincere smiles.

This was a highlight for me, getting to write another closely bonded pair in Sonata and Aria (something I do with Tirek and Scorpan, Celestia and Luna, and others) and then getting to sever that, and highlight them a bit more. I certainly don't hate Adagio, but the lovely cheeto puff Siren leader gets so many stories of her own that I felt these two needed a spotlight.

tar Swirl’s characterisation was the thing I liked most, with him not being some shining hero working for the good of Equestria, but actually the lowest of stallions.

I'm glad you felt intrigued by him! This version of him is actually in a lot of my other stories, and he's involved with the history of many other characters, so I hope you like those if you decide to check them out as well.

I was amazed to look back at the word count upon reaching the end - normally a chapter of only a thousand words feels so brief, but here they didn’t feel at all lacking, so having fifteen of them made the story seem a lot longer than it was.

This, I'm told, is a bit of a talent of mine. (I consider villain shipping to be a bit up there as well.) Compared to a lot of my other works of the length, the worldbuilding here might just be a touch on on the sparse side for my writing, but it was fun and I'm glad you found it so as well. If you like a lot said in a little words, most of my writing should appeal to you, even though I can be equally verbose. My poetry tends to be the least verbose I can possibly be, if that interests you as well.

You also did better than I’ve ever seen at making the world seem huge. Their journey really did feel like something of several years, where Equestria tends to be something ponies can cross in a day or two in the show.

This is such a huge compliment! So, thank you! Making characters that live in a world as rich as they are is something I strive to do, and if you enjoy this world, it's one I write in frequently. Very frequently.

The implication that there’s something special about Sonata didn’t really seem to go anywhere? We never see her do anything Aria doesn’t in Rainbow Rocks, so we don’t really know what Adagio is expecting of her.

Ah, it kinda stayed in implications, partly because Aria POV? Hmm. Because her father is a god, Sonata is a demigod. Obviously her lack of maturity is something that decreases any real awareness of this, but as she matures, she would have the chance to be more powerful than Adagio and Aria, but obviously she would not be able to use that power as well on her own. Adagio essentially being Sonata's twisted example of a carer means that she controls Sonata's power, even in her present state where she's dim, because Sonata won't know what she's doing. Since Sonata is a huge wellspring, she's basically worth any price to Adagio because why on earth would anyone throw away a demigod?

Or, in fact, why Adagio keeps either of them around at all.

They are more powerful together. The three of them together can keep greater numbers of ponies under their control. Adagio has the luxury of being able to live better (at least in what conditions and restrictions were like at the time) by not having to do all the survival work herself. Sonata has power and Aria is an extra set of hooves and force, all Adagio has to do is teach them to sing well and properly use some of their power, because other than singing, being the face of the trio, and leading, she really doesn't have to do much. She does, however, recognize Sonata as powerful, even if she would not know that it's because of her parentage.

Pimping Sonata out seems to be about the one benefit she gets, but when Adagio is already doing that to herself, then having a second warm body available seems a bit pointless for the price of two extra mouths to feed.

1) It is certainly a benefit to her because it garners (a limited amount of) money, favor, and information. Though, the implication with Adagio herself is that she enjoys what she does, 2) while exploiting Sonata is what's for profit. The accidental curse on the sirens via Adagio's song in the mountains means that they know eternal hunger (why the feed on negative energy so much instead of just magical songs and voices) but that nothing they eat (other than the energy) will every really satisfy them. Thus, they technically do not need to eat.

I wasn’t quite sure why they were still working in that manner even once they had the whole town under their control, or why they hadn’t moved onto grander pastures after building up their strength.

Again, the slight implication (as much that can be gathered through Aria's POV, of course) that Adagio enjoys her manner of work, and that Adagio is still an imperfect planner. If they had been planning to gradually assume more control, things like constant war, societal divisions, and bad weather/lack of resources needed for such travel hindered them at that point. For their conditions, what they had was the best they could afford, and that was something that really speaks of the poverty of the Tribal Era ponies.

It also didn’t offer much explanation of how Adagio had come from the surface, made it all the way out to sea to live in a ship and be attacked by a shark, and promptly returned to the surface (but presumably a much more run-down part of it than where she originally came from).

Adagio would have come from what wouldn't be much more than a family seaside cottage of so on the surface, so she was raised with greater knowledge and awareness of ponies, but also was from much farther south. She did indeed swim/run off when she was young, found a boat, and get attacked by a shark, but that's when her story with the others obviously starts. Aria, being the mentally competent one, choosing not to interrogate her more thoroughly about where she's from is a bad choice. They're also children.

I wasn’t quite sure what the final picture was regarding their parentage - I got that Sonata was Neptune’s daughter, but was Aria supposed to be his too? Or was it really a unicorn nobleman of the same name, as she thought? And, if the former, why wasn’t she also slower to mature? That was an excellent idea for Sonata’s childishness, by the way :raritystarry: I liked just how dim she was, but wouldn’t want to read her that way in every story, as I think it would be limiting elsewhere. Then there was the line about two other siren daughters of Neptune; was Adagio implied to be the third? And, again, why isn’t she slow too if that’s the case?

First, thank you for the compliments with this! I love mysteries in my stories, and this was a fun one to do for this particular story. Sonata is indeed Neptune's daughter, and Aria is seeking out Neptune because she thinks that he is a pony named after the god, and not the god himself, and because he will take care of Sonata, in Aria's mind. Aria and Sonata are not siblings but cousins, because yes, that would make Aria slow too, and the story would not have happened. Aria's father is given in the story as a unicorn, while Sonata's is an Alicorn. Adagio has no relation as all to the other two, and is like Aria in parentage - a unicorn father and a seapony mother - but they do not share any parents or family. The other siren foals are back in the undersea kingdom, and just bastards from other lovers, as the midwife said.

The ending I would perhaps describe as unfairly bleak, ending on a sad note and with the promise of more misery to come, especially as so little of it really seems something they’re responsible for. One wonders what the characters ‘should’ have done; what choices would have spared them such a fate.

While I do write hopeful and optimistic, and sometimes even downright fluffy stories, that's exactly what I was going for with this one, and where plenty of the tragedy stems from. Nothing I write with that tag will have really any hope, as is expected, though there are two that do, but only if you have context of Sombra from my other stories that lends the context of his better fate in different stories that can offer different contexts to what are otherwise standalone works.

I was thinking, given the time skip structure, that we’d see more of them in the EG world, and get a closer picture of how they got from who they were when they arrived to who they were in Rainbow Rocks.

There originally were some sequels planned, but things happened and they never came to be. They did deal with Aria/Adagio conflict, a more matured Sonata (she'd have the maturity of a 10-12 year old, most likely), and Aria's realization at what 'Neptune' really meant in a post-Rainbow Rocks setting (likely AU by canon now) and struggling to try and get Sonata of the three of them home, while Adagio would refuse to relinquish her at every chance she had, etc.

Overall, I can’t remember the last time a story left me with this much to say. Especially one so short. I think that’s a testament to the strength of the worldbuilding here, with how solid it all felt. I’m definitely glad I read it,

Thank you, and I hope you check out some of my other stories too. :twilightsmile:

9074777

It seemed a bit of a shame for you to have plopped 20 kilowords down and gotten only fairly short comments, so I thought I’d try and compensate :twilightsheepish:

Aww, this is very sweet. I usually don't get this kind of treatment, so I was so happy to get nice comments today.

Also, sorry, forgot to mention this the first time around, but I loved that Star Swirl was kind of a dick here :raritystarry:

If you think he's 'kind of' a dick, then maybe my other stories with him will be next on your list? You did ask for suggestions! :raritywink:

Aria is such a joy to both write and read when she’s done well! I thought it was nice to see how her outlook and thoughts and stuff crept into the narration.

Thank you! Any character I write in first person has that happen to them in spades, and it's always great when readers can laugh and cry and be awed along with them.

So, to be clear, my remark there was more along the lines of “I didn’t like this” than “this was bad.” Between lots of people doing stupid Sonata really badly and my favorite depictions of her being more cunning, her being infantesque and forgetful wasn’t exactly to my liking, even though it was justified and made sense and handled fairly well.

I don't mind if my ideas aren't someone's cup of tea, since I'm quite used to it by now.

Ah, fair enough. I think anyone who writes as much as you do ends up with quite a few unfinished stories. May I ask what you had in mind for her, though? In some sense, I think she almost works better without much backstory, as when you’re looking at her from the outside you’re never quite sure what she wants or how many steps ahead she’s thinking and explaining her more peels that air of mystery back. But with all the worldbuilding stuff going on here, I’d be curious to find out how she fits into it.

It's been a few years, but I PM'd you what I recall.

That’s very true, and I think it’s exactly what brings the story down for me. Whether I’m being objective there is hard to say, but the way things were set up here, it’s less like Aria’s eventual miserable fate is something she brought on herself and more something that was thrust upon her. The latter isn’t necessarily bad, I think--indeed, the idea of Aria’s life having been shaped by her getting screwed over like this could make for a wonderful way to characterize her in a story set in her future. But here, the Tragedy tag made me suspect that Aria’s bad ending would come about from her own actions, whereas it turned out to be more a case of her inaction bringing it about, which I don’t think makes for quite as satisfying an ending.

Sorry again it if's not your cup of tea. The things Aria does to bring about her fate are indeed more indirect, when she has a hand in it, so I can understand why you might have had different expectations.

I’m intrigued! Do you have any you’d recommend?

Of course! There's a list of great starting places to my work on my front page, of which I'd highly suggest 'Crystalline: Her Destiny' and 'Autophobia'. 'All That Lingers' could be for you as well, but it's not on that particular box. My stories with Sombra are by far my best and my most beloved, but you might enjoy ones like 'Right/Wrong' and its series of sad/hopeful pieces, 'On Deaf Ears', 'Mercy, Celestia', and this ol' thing with a heart in the title.

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