• Member Since 17th Aug, 2015
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Watched the show. Joined the herd. Ponies on the mind. Veteran fanfic writer. ProfileArt provided by CoutnessMRose: https://www.deviantart.com/countessmrose/art/The-Well-859294420

Comments ( 83 )

I suppose I'll ignore the impossibility of creating a society like that for longer than a single generation.
You can't create more food than you have with reproduction, and the efficiency of eating to produce energy is abysmally low in real terms. This legitimately wouldn't have worked at all for any length of time.

Well written, though.

Very interesting concept hope there will be a sequel to this. :twilightsmile:


This. I like the concept, but unless there's some kind of magic at play here, they'd still die of starvation without further nutrients.

Hooves are head as the screen backs away.

change "head" to "heard" :)

“He said nothin’. The wimp flew off once he saw me pull out these babies.” Two hooves, one black and the other white, rose to within view. “Ebony and Ivory. These ladies always got my back.”

I've always liked this image. Two different colored hooves with their own names :)

The pony whimpered. “Oh, shit.”
Something scraped against the wall. Something sharp. The pony screamed as the rope suddenly gave and he plummeted into the darkness below.

“Skin eaters,” Silver Weave said.

I like the transition here from one sequence of horror to the name of these creatures.

Pegasi, unicorns, and earth ponies fell screaming, pulled into the grasping teeth of the skin eaters. At the very center of copious circle of horror were the heads of all the victims they’d eaten, their mouths twisted in pain and in horror.

Silver Weave said, “The skin eaters are smiling red.”

I really do like this horrific image you've developed here. And actually these are the final lines I helped edit, so the segments beyond this were totally new to me and pretty horrific. I had thought it ended a little too soon here, but you ended it in a really great way.

Sunburst said, “I believe they turned their mares into food production lines. They produced children, some of which they raised as food. It’s likely they chose the strongest ones to serve in other capacities, perhaps acolytes, while the rest were raised as food stock. That way, they always had enough meat.”

WHOA. That's crazy! But this digs that horror even deeper.

The shadows stopped just short of Sunburst. Pausing in his crazed spasms, the crystaller regarded the faces around him…and smiled. “Xiba, Cliffhanger, Green Steps,” his voice had slowed…void of any hope. “You’re here. Good.” Slowly, he looked right at Silver Weave and said, “We can all go home now.”

This actually leads me to believe that either he's hallucinating or those who are killed somehow become the creatures themselves. Or the faces are taken off of the bodies and worn. It's so sad this moment. I think Sunburst's acceptance of death is what makes this so tragic.


What I really like about the story is when you realize as a reader that you've put yourself in the situation, trying to think about how you'd do things. I know this happened at least once in the story for me, which means I was throroughly invested in it.

Thank you for letting me edit the work and I'm happy to see the refined result is wonderful! :D

The caves are sealed, and will remain so. It will be a long time before anyone dares risk releasing the flesh-eating Parasprites Starlight Glimmer filled them with. :pinkiecrazy:


He's wrong: they found another Mirror Pool.

The Skinless Ones have literally been eating themselves for millennia. :raritydespair:

That was pretty damn creepy - nice work. I'm a big fan of 'found footage' horror, and something lurking in deep, dark caverns always freaks me the hell out. Doesn't stop me from reading and watching and jumping at every noise my cat makes afterwards :twilightsheepish:

Truly a horrific masterpiece. I'd say this was one of your finer works, but with how good all of your stories have been I don't really know anymore.

Despite being based on a tale from GOT, this story reminds me of two movies I've watched, and a few tales I have read instead.

The films are:
The Cave, explorers search a sealed cavern beneath an ancient cathedral, where there dwells a cannibal creature and mutated parasite that seeks to escape.

The Descent has a similar premise, and was the first thing that came to mind. It too has found footage elements, as well as the ancient underground cannibal species. Complete with cave drawings and relics from the past (and victims). It also has a sequel, which ends similarly to how your tale ends.

The first two tales are both by Micheal Crichton (a good thing to be compared to).

Eaters of the Dead, again very similar premise though it's left open to interpretation as to whether the beings are real, fantasy, or supernatural.
They are effectively super cannibals, though it's hinted they are really the last neanderthals.

And Congo, ancient civilization and long lost species, plus intelligent super gorillas that may have interbred with humans and are cannibals.

Finally this also reminds me of many other stories I can't recall this early in the morning. Overall I loved this little tale, truly frightful and well done. A few typos here and there but overall very good story with a very disturbing, yet plausible premise. Most importantly, it made my brain read the words as if they were a script, and I was watching a film. This means once more your stories immersed my mind fully, a thumbs up for you my friend.

Glen Gorewood

Except there is one..on planet earth. They are a holdover tribe that lives on an island that has been "erased/excluded" from maps. They attack all people who try to contact then, kill them, and possibly eat them. There an estimated 50-400 of them living on North Sentinel Island.

But it's forbidden to go there, because they will probably off you.

There are other such tribes still in existence, all things considered of any concept set either on Earth or Equestria, this one makes the most terrifying sense. It could happen, probably has happened, and with cavers dying with no bodies recovered (including underwater cavers/divers) how do we know they don't exist?

As for it not working in Equestria, I am presuming ponies are fertile all year round. With enough females and "rationing" the food, such a thing is certainly possible. Not only that, the story even states they also went after the ancient pony tribes, and prior to devouring their own ate the food in the caves. Presuming they survived a few generations that way, certain adaptations (because magic) would have occurred. By the time they needed to eat each other, there were enough of them to feed off of and of course grandpa and grandma went first. So if they off the very old, and raise their "cattle", and ration, while supplementing with food still in the [/spoiler]cave they would be fine. Then they went out and attacked ponies of the other tribes, by which point they no longer resembled them. I would wager they didn't merely killed them, but kidnapped mares for "breeding and restocking." Since they lived underground for so long, and may be related in some way to the crystal ponies, it's possible they developed a sort of hibernation adaptation similar to certain known species. Overall such a thing is completely and utterly possible.

And that is why it is so gloriously terrifying.

Glen Gorewood

You use "leer", "leering", "leared", etc several times. I think you mean "peer", "peering", peered", etc

Awe. Afwaid of the dark?”

That should be "Aww", not "Awe".

7625714 Yeah. I know the concept is far-fetched. Keep in mind that Sunburst was only speculating at this point in the story. There is no hard evidence that the ponies in the caves survived solely on the flesh of their kin.

Thanks for reviewing. :pinkiesmile:

7625719 It's pretty much stand alone. But thanks anyway.

7625784 See my first reply to Dark Shade 75.

7625820 As always you give the best reviews BRB.

Ugh. I thought I caught all spelling errors. Just goes to show you can never have too much editing. I'm currently reading the Game of Thrones Books and you wouldn't believe how many errors there are in that series.

Anyway...this story was gestating in my hard drive for a good month until I finally got around to posting it. There were a few sections I had wanted to get rid of to make it shorter, but after seeing the comments you and yours left regarding those segments, I decided they were good and well. Besides, with so many OCs, they needed as much screen time as possible. Otherwise this story would just be Sunburst recounting the deaths of so many OC ponies that no one would really empathize with them.

Speaking of, I liked Silver Weave the best. Her motivation to discover the background behind her people's exile from Dream Valley really made me relate to her. I love a good mystery and am a student of history. Separating fact from fiction is one of the draws of mythology for me. The poem she recites in the story was her people's attempt at recounting an obscure part of their past. As in all ancient cultures, history was passed down through word of mouth, and like whispering a secret in the room, the message eventually gets garbled the further along the line it goes. Eventually, no one can remember what really happened at all.

I left Sunburst's final moment to the readers imagination because I enjoy those so much. It's fun watching readers draw their own conclusions. I know I do it all the time. :twilightblush:

7626044 Two conclusions. Two possibilities. :pinkie crazy:

7626087 Glad you liked it.

7626200 Thanks Frost. Really like it when others enjoy my work. You guys are the reason I write. Well, half the reason. Those damn voices won't stop whispering! :derpyderp2:

7626267 Thanks. I made those changes. Don't know why I like "leer" so much. It's just one of those words, you know?

7626205 Thanks a milllion bits Glen! :twilightsmile:

Your interpretation, including Dark Shade's and B Munro's are exactly what I wanted to evoke at the end of this story. As I stated in my reply to BoardGameBrony, I like leaving things open to interpretation. Is it a mirror pool? Was there some other source of sustenance? Was there dark magic involved? Did they drag ponies from other tribes down with them? I want the reader to draw their own assumptions about how something so terrible could have happened?

Sunburst's initial explanation as to how the skin eaters survived was my own speculation. Keep in mind the conversation Silver Weave had with Starling. what sort of scavenger devours the skin only to leave the head part of its prey intact?" This stems from the stories her grandmother told her when she was a filly. Stories are re-interpretated so many times that their original meaning is lost forever. I'm eager to see what other conclusions readers draw as to this conclusion.

... Holy hell... I haven't been spooked this well in ages!
Click Click Click
Very well done
Click Click Click
Though I'm honestly curious about 1 thing... the very beginning of this story, it starts off with an already crazy unicorn spouting nonsense(Which eventually starts to make sense what he/she's talking about). Though with the last transmissions, it makes it seem like Green, Xihba, and Cliffhanger are dead and Starburst and Weave are trying to escape (No sign of Starling and Meatlug oddly enough).
Click Click Click
So my question is... who was the pony at the very beginning? Cause how you made the last transmission, makes it seem like everypony got eaten...(Not to mention only Weaver knew that rhyme) :twilightoops: Click Click

This was fun. Will there be a sequel to this?

That is a fucking terrifying cover image!

This fic is great! I really hope this gets continued in some way. Maybe some huge fight for their lives or something.

The Pegasi would most likely all survive, since there is (so far) no evidence of the skin eaters being able to fly... they probably ate their own wings anyways.

7626595 That unicorn at the beginning was an unnamed member of the expedition. The segments do not take place in chronological order, so the timeline of events bounces around. The only exception is the very end where Shining Armor is reviewing the recordings. That happens when it's supposed to. Thanks for reviewing.

7626615 I'm afraid it's just stand alone. Glad you liked it.

7626623 Isn't it? :scoot angel:

7626665 Knowing the eldritch forces, no place is safe. Flying cannibals anyone? :pinkiecrazy:

Comment posted by BlueColton deleted Oct 9th, 2016

Out of respect for the younger and more sensitive readers, how about a less gorey pic on your story's header huh?

7627275 Hmm...well I've seen cover arts that are just as dark or worse on this site. Sorry if it disturbed you.

7627275 Dude, it's a HORROR story, more than likely the viewers are going to be old enough to know what gore is. You've done the same stuff on my stories before. Seriously, if you find this stuff offensive, then STAY AWAY FROM IT. The tags signify that it's a disturbing story, so what do you expect? Seriously dude, grow up, you have to be of a certain age to be on this site anyways.

Except that you clearly didn't understand my comment. I didn't say "cannibalism" is impossible. Or even a society that utilizes it.

A society that survives on NOTHING BUT cannibalism is impossible.

I would bet that your little "island" (cite sources btw) has vegetation and wildlife.


>Pegasus flies up and laughs because skin eater can't get him
>skin eaters laughs and says (for the sake of this they can now talk): "I was just a distraction."
>five other skin eaters were in the background building a catapult
>Pegasus notices this but when he tries to get away they launch a barrage of skin eaters at him.

They've evolved to become missiles.
We're all fucked

“Pressing his ear to the floor, the unicorn’s lower lip is trembling. He continues to smile though.”

I adore this description. It’s very quick but also really paints his face.

“When the screen returns to life, the dark cave has been replaced by the image of a large, well-lit cavern that is bustling with activity. In the background, ponies are moving supplies, crates, and materials. Almost all of them wear some sort of climbing gear; harnesses, hammers, headlamps, pads, helmets, ropes, pulleys, the works.”

I would have added a little more detail to the fact that they’re underground in a cavern. I don’t know why, but that fact slipped out of my head after a few sentences, and I thought they were on the surface about to go into a cave.

“The mare was kind enough to comply and this time her face was mere inches from the unicorn. “Listen here, Sunburst, I’m the one with twenty-plus years of experience exploring caves, sunken cities, submerged lakes and every sort of underground setting you can think of. If any pony’s leading this little soirée, it’s me. Got it?”

The fact that you have Sunburst but he’s not the most experienced character here, is an awesome touch. Instead of making him the most knowledgeable, he’s here which makes sense, but he’s being slightly outshined by somepony else.

“ Possibly the predecessors to the crystal ponies themselves”

DUDE! I LOVE stories that dive into small details in the show that were never brought up.

“The screen blurs to life.”

The idea that most of this story is a series of recordings is...fascinating. I didn’t think it would work but...well you did it hehe.

“When the screen returns, a very peculiar scene is unfolding.”

Oh shit...is like Cadence watching all the stored recordings back at the palace? I mean you did mention they’re not in chronological order…I mean yes I already read the story but it was a while ago and I’ve been preoccupied with my own stuff so it’s like I get to re-read this all over again. Forgot how much I enjoyed it.

“But where we came from, and why we broke off from the rest of pony kind, is a mystery.”

I love this stuff, just adds so much mystery and interest!

“There was darkness. Nothing but darkness.
Someone was breathing raggedly. Teeth were chattering.
“I-Is any pony out there?” The voice, small and weak, made it difficult to discern whether it was male or female. “C-Can any pony hear me?”
There was a clicking sound.
“Hello? The voice inhaled sharply.

Short, but powerful and creepy. You’re really good at these short little scenes!

““The teeth,” Sunburst began, “They’ve been sharpened.”

DUDE! I’m loving these little details!

“By Luna’s ink-soaked ass, why in Tartarus did I volunteer for this?”

“Strange. There are no children’s bones.” He looked some more. “They no doubt would have had foals with them when they entered the caves. Yet, all these bones are from adult ponies.”

Wow...that’s an amazing observation! It also gives a lot of insight to the Skineater’s “culture”

“Oh, and as for the poem "Three Little Fillies" that was my personal creation. “
Seriously?! That was so good I thought it was from something!

Bravo! That was an amazing story! There’s a few typos but nothing major. I would have liked to see a bit more middle though. It feels like Green Steps died, then everything just went downhill. Like it could have taken a tad longer to build to the climax. Like more stuff keeps happening. Anyways, awesome story, glad to have read it a second time, very creepy and suspenseful, with lots of excellent archaeological clues.

7625714 Well you gotta keep in mind that it's just Sunbursts theory. It could also be that they kept their numbers low for the sake of resources when they needed to. Like if they survived off bats and cave fungus, they may have needed to dial back their numbers to give both the fungus and bats a chance to repopulate.

7628278 You know the forces of darkness will always find a way. There ain't no escaping them, especially not on Nightmare Night. :pinkie crazy:

7628494 Love the music. Glad you could enjoy reading it again. An author has expressed interest in doing a youtube reading on this so I'll keep you posted. Thanks again Dark Chocolate :twilightsmile:

No they don't survive solely on cannibalism, I linked the island because your first statement wasn't clear, and I misunderstood it as meaning "An isolated society that attacks others on sight, and possibly eats victims, can't exist." Such things do exist, and have existed in the past. You would know this if you clicked the linked sources I included, or you know just google it. After all I named it for you, North Sentinel Island, so copy paste that part and pop it into your search engine browser, it's just like magic. :pinkiecrazy:
Yes you are right, I misunderstood your comment.

However It is never stated in the story that they (the lost tribe), survive solely on cannibalism. It is stated they turned to it when their food supplies got low. There are fungus and other sources of food in the cave. In cave systems insects are, like across the world, the most populous inhabitants, and good protein sources. There are water sources noted, within them there are likely other creatures that could be used for food. However that wouldn't be enough to sustain a large population, which is why cannibalism combined with these sources is possible. Over time with those resources depleting faster than they could be renewed, cannibalism became a primary part of the diet. And they actively hunted other ponies, there is that to consider.

If you are talking about supply and demand (of ponies when they are not hunting) well, and I admit this will sound horrible, they could get ample supply by breeding every mare constantly. Including kidnapped mares, or descendants of them as soon as they are at reproductive age. It is also hinted they have a mutation of some sort and have diverged evolutionary, which is never fully explained and could have altered them at a fundamental level biologically and magically. This would make the able to exist, depending on the mutations which are not explained. Now if the issue is the form of a society as we, or ponies know it, that wouldn't exist. They would have evolved a different culture ad society, which is actually explained in the story to a degree.

In extreme circumstances people have and will resort to eating each other. This includes many instances involving sailors and lost exploratory parties. There is an unwritten rule of the sea that involves "drawing straws" when there is no more food and none can be caught. The one with the short (or long) straw gets killed (and eaten), or tossed overboard to try to attract something..Or the most infirm is just offed and eaten. It seems like being trapped caused something similar to happen to the lost pony tribe, which probably caused mutations (including magical ones), which resulted in them being able to exist on mostly flesh. For all we know one of those mutations was a faster rate of maturation, and younger age where females can breed "food". It's even possible that the females can birth more than one foal as a norm. It's completely possible for such a society and species to exist, especially where magic is involved.

Glen Gorewood

Comment posted by Dark Shade 75 deleted Oct 10th, 2016

Researching an island that is irrelevant to my argument is not something I care deeply about.

Don't get all upset just because you didn't understand a comment fully.

I never said cannibalism is impossible.

Well I was exhausted, no excuse but true, you would think I would of learned not to post when tired by now. :twilightsheepish:

I'm not upset, honestly I just love dispersing information when it can be relevant. Not sure how typing a two or three longer than a few sentences response explaining how such a thing could happen shows I'm upset? I just thought it showed I put quite a bit of thought into how this could work.

Not taking five seconds to research something you asked me to link sources to, that is your choice. It could be relevant, as could cases of cannibalism that are recorded related to ship wrecks, life boats lost at sea, expeditions, and the like. However you not researching it, like not clicking links, is up to you. Personally I love researching things whether or not they relate to one very narrow topic. It's quite fun, and you can find many interesting things along the way.

Regardless of any of the above, the story is wonderfully done in my opinion.
Good day.

Glen Gorewood

Maybe you should take a nap then. You still sound upset. "Not taking five seconds..."
Random records of cannibalism will never be relevant to my argument, and if you truly think they would be you clearly still don't understand my comment.

But yes, as I said in my first comment, the story is very well done.

If for some reason you wish to continue this, I suggest you do so in a PM so as not to further detract the comments from relevance to the story.


Glen and Dark Shade, you guys make some very good points. I'm glad you both agree the story is well done and I'm equally pleased that it sparked a discussion between you two--it could lead to a beautiful friendship (:pinkie crazy:)

Horror, like all the fictionalized genres, does ask that we suspend our belief so that the story may have some impact. Granted I am no xenobiologist, archeologist, or experienced spelunker, so most of what I drew when describing the development of the skin eaters and their society within a subterranean setting was drawn from what I knew off hand. Keep in mind that this was inspired by that segment in GOT that I mentioned. How exactly they survived is open to interpretation. When you're trapped, scared, and your friends are being eaten around you, the last thing on your mind is "hey, let's keep exploring the possibilities. I want my face on National Geographic Magazine." I'd me more like, "We have to get the :twilightoops: out of here!"

If either of you'd like to further explore this issue of how their society evolved, you're more than welcome to. :scootangel:

I agree, I sent a PM since I am still unsure on whether my interpretation of your comment is correct or not.
And I got some sleep as well.

You mean create a potential backstory? Maybe at some point this month I will, and send it to you to see what you think.
The story is really well don, I hope some pony or some one does a reading of it.

Glen Gorewood

Sunburst fixed his glasses, having come undone when her tail hit him in the face. “Indeed, Miss Xibalba.”

I already don't trust her. "Place of fear", who names their kid that?

“By Luna’s ink-soaked ass, why in Tartarus did I volunteer for this?”

Tis a beautiful ink-soaked ass.

My grandmother’s grandmother used to tell her of the olden times.

That is stupid old. Though I guess if the Crystal Ponies were locked in time, it is like 1500 years previous to the show at most.

Good story, creepy. Has the usual stupid idiot going off alone after a sound and no one pays attention to anything. Archeologists should be paying attention to the ground since many artifacts are left there. Poor Starlight, lost her friend again. Wonder how she will fall into the pits of insanity this time around.

7676955 Vindictive parents, I guess? :rainbowderp:

It is a nice rump, isn't it? :twilightsheepish:

You know, I hadn't given much thought to time-lapse spell that Sombra had placed over the Crystal Empire. It would explain why only so many generations have passed since the current period. Suffice it to say that Silver Weave's lineage goes back a long way.

Thanks for the review.

Not sure if I would really call it a review, is a little short for that and not very critical. Grammar and spelling were good, only a few typos here and there. The pacing fit the story format as far as I could tell. The premise was interesting even if the execution wasn't overly scary; there wasn't enough length to become emotionally invested in the characters for that.

I am too tired to be typing.

7677828 Review or not, I'm still grateful you took the time to say something, critical or otherwise.

As for it being scary, I leave that to the reader. I've seen movies and read stories that frightened and slept well that night. Fear's like wine, it depends on taste.

Using so many OCs is a great risk, especially for a one shot. It's difficult to empathize with characters you hardly know, and as Sunburst is relatively new to the series, he's not exactly the best focal point for readers. But as a crystal native, so to speak, and one who would willingly explore for nothing more than truth's sake, I felt he would be familiar enough to draw readers in. And with so little information on him it made it easier for me to develop his character (i.e. his expertise on ancient pony cultures and civilizations).

Sorry about the grammatical errors.

Hope you get some rest.

Somebody should do a Radio Play of this, its awesome :pinkiehappy:

7756961 Some brony did show interest in doing a reading on this. It's on the works.

Thanks for the review!

7626379 "I left Sunburst's final moment to the readers imagination because I enjoy those so much."

Maybe a blue Police Box will materialize and a certain tan coated pony with a brown mane and an hourglass cutie mark will save him and the other pony with him.^_^

7887567 It could happen. :rainbowderp:

To be honest, though? Unless there was more to it, or the TARDIS malfunctioned (again), the doctor would've shown up somewhere at the beginning.

This story reminds me of Ghouls by Tomsketchit, if you haven't read this I highly suggest you do because I get the feeling that you like this kind of story.

7948140 Thanks for the recommendation. I'll check it out.




This was a rather depressing read, with the ending leaving catastrophic implications...........................

..............Thumbs up for a well written narrattive. Alhough jarring at first, the film making and non-chronological order they were shown was pretty good. Still...............

...................*Sigh* I hate these types of endings.

7949989 I'm happy to have depressed and entertained you.

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