• Member Since 2nd Mar, 2017
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Jean De Basse - Woolie


Never let schooling get in the way of your education!

T

In Pace Decus, In Bello Praesidium...In Peace a Glorious Asset, In War a Tower of Strength.

The Stonebridge Military Institute: a fortress of strict regimen, training, and education. Each of its cadets relying on each other to handle the rigors of its system: to survive their first year of brutal hazing, to endure the grueling training of their second and third years, and to embrace their roles as leaders as they take on their fourth and final year.

But something has changed, the corps has been torn away from their land and forced into another. An ancient Saddle Arabian spell-book, the Picatrix, has been stolen by a revolutionary stallion and his band of loyal mercenaries to activate an ancient summoning spell in hopes of gaining a tribe of mythical 'human thralls' to their army. Despite the efforts of a lone griffon-knight in her attempt to stop them, they've succeeded.

It was an old spell though, and the humans that it was bound to have long since passed. Living near the former home of the tribe the new inhabitants are called forth to arms in their place as the: The SBMI Cadets.

((Point of Divergence for AU is end of Season 3))
((Rated Teen for violence and language; republished after substantial editing))
(I'm looking for editors, I could really use the help! Any advice would be welcome too!)
(Credit to Lola Ditz for the coverart 'Aftermath')

Chapters (8)
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Comments ( 43 )

Hey folks! Don't be afraid to post a comment! I'm really looking forward to some feedback!

EDIT: Taken down to actually edit the first two chapters. Need to work gratuitous cursing and a more logical flow of limited third person perspectives.

EDIT 2: First Chapter is back up!

Really enjoying this so far.

8009929 Thanks! Will admit it's a lot better since I took it down for editing a few days ago. It's still pretty rough with the grammar, and I'm not sure if I want to keep with Zebra magic requiring rhyming! But thank you again!

Chapter 3 is live! First chapter with a non-latin title too, you'll find it fitting though.

I'll freely admit that I didn't think much of the story when it first appeared. Now that it's more developed....eh what the hell. I'll stay for the ride.

Shorter chapter for this update; gonna be gone for a week so I moved the schedule up a bit. Next chapter is gonna visit Byrd, DuPont, and Sardonyx before the adventure starts rolling!

Chapter 5 marks the end of arc one folks! The corps has arrived and made contact; what happens next? Who lives, who dies? Stay tuned for more...and yes, they're going to get off the mountain soon.

Not bad, not bad at all. Tracked and liked. Now if only you could update at an inhumanly fast pace so I could read the rest of it today.

8100258

I wish I could; hopefully I'll get the next chapter out there before the ever-looming hammer of finals smashes by heart into itty-biddy pieces.

I am quite enjoying your writing style thus far. I look forward to future chapters.

Leave none alive!

Who the fuck issues this order

8100834

A very excitable, albeit somewhat out of character RXO Jackson! Looking at the line now it doesn't fit what I'm trying to do with her...thanks for giving me the heads up there! No one is supposed to say 'Kill 'em all', you-know-who just gets that idea later on.

4/18/2017 Editing Update:
-Edited all chapters using Grammarly due to continued misadventures in finding an editor/pre-reader
* Not 100% effective, but makes the story at least 20% cooler. (AE: More legible)
-Added character names and identifiers to entries at the start of chapters. I was offered advice to do that, really liked what I saw when I did so I kept it.
-Explanation in Chapter One to 'how' they were teleported. If you don't want to go back and check...They were teleported during a parade field in the blink of an eye. They aren't dead and there wasn't a cataclysmic event that they know of.
-Added the translation of the story's title into its details: In War a Tower of Strength. This is a nod to the real-world equivalent of SBMI and foreshadows some of the cadets' eventual journeys.

Before I read this, what is the Dark tag for ?
And how bad does it get ?

8109049

Chapter 3 is a pretty good idea at the worst it'll be at least with the physical stuff. Cantwell's 'interactions' with Marshall bring the 'highlight'.

Chapter Six: 'The Soldier' (Ilia Militis) gets its name from a poem of the same name. DuPont quotes it towards the end of the chapter, after having spoken with Treptow earlier that day.

New characters, new interactions, OH YEAH! AND THEY FINALLY GET OFF THE MOUNTAIN, NEXT STOP CANTERLOT AND CHANGELING LANDDDDSSS

You really know how to bring the feels. Keep it up im faving this.

Don't know why, but this chapter had me shaking out of sheer excitement:pinkiecrazy:

Comment posted by ihatehaters1994 deleted May 2nd, 2017

1st

Damn just damn that hit me in the feels.

One word has been written wrong though in this fic...

Casualty has been written as causality which has a completely different meaning...

Definition of causality
plural causalities
1
: a causal quality or agency
2
: the relation between a cause and its effect or between regularly correlated events or phenomena

Definition of casualty
plural casualties
1
archaic : chance, fortune
losses that befall them by mere casualty — Sir Walter Raleigh
2
: serious or fatal accident : disaster
losses from fire, storm, or other casualty — J. S. Seidman
3
a : a military person lost through death, wounds, injury, sickness, internment, or capture or through being missing in action The army sustained heavy casualties.
b : a person or thing injured, lost, or destroyed : victim the ex-senator was a casualty of the last election

Just pointing this out now that i've read all that i can:twilightblush:

8134903

This is why I asked for some comments! Thank you! I'll fix that when I get the chance.

Update: Actually managed to fix causality and casualty confusion pretty quickly, the mistake was made once or twice across the whole story so far but in very prominent sections. Thank you again for giving me the heads up!

Okay, my impressions:

Usually intro quotes give flavor. This one feels like an info dump, telling us what's about to happen before we even see it happen. The story description told me, then the quote told me, then the story told me. Lots of over-telling going on here.

dyke straps

Oh boy, jargon in the first line. That I can't even google, I just get porn. WTF is a dyke strap? (Reason #1 why I tend to dislike military fics. When they're written by people who aren't involved with real militaries they tend to be absurdly unrealistic, but when they're written by people who are, they tend to be impenetrable .)

it wasn’t snowing when the parade had stepped off

"Wasn't" is present tense, "had" is past. This is the past, so "it hadn't been snowing" is what you want here.

One second they were standing on the parade field at the Institute, and in a blink of an eye they were standing...standing...

Here.

That bit is actually very good. It nicely captures the uncertainty of the moment.

Going forward, it's got further small grammatical errors, I won't stop to point them all out. It could use a really good editor, though I know those are hard to find. It has a lot of good points, but I just can't get into the military mindset here, everything going on is just soldier, soldier, soldier, there's nothing to make any of these characters feel like I can connect to them. Soldiers! They have guns! The use jargon! They party hard and barf! They're really just kids, probably from down on the farm, all afraid! It's all pretty shallow and stereotypical. There isn't anything (or anyone) I can latch onto as a reason to relate to or care about any of this. The gryphon is currently pretty shallow too. An agent! Captured! So badass! Lampshading it explicitly by mentioning that it's a cliche doesn't make it not a cliche.

I don't think this is bad at all, mind. The overall writing quality is fine, and actually the pacing is really good, other than the over-explained beginning. Stuff like the echoing "isn't right"/"wasn't how it was supposed to go" are nicely done too. But I'm not going to get invested in a military story when none of the characters have done anything to make me invested, so I probably won't be looking at the next chapter.

Sorry I don't have anything more useful to say.

8136721

Hey, what you said has been super helpful! Seriously, characterization has been an issue I'm worried about for the first chapter. I expand (or attempt to) on the characters in later chapters, but what's the point of running a race if you fall on your face during the start!

First off; I've had several people state in brief reviews and overviews of the first chapter. The intro-quote, at least for Chapter One, is too 'info-dumpy'...and as much as I don't want to part with it...nothing is sacred when trying to write a good story. I think I'll replace it with a folk-lore-ish intro connected to Cantwell's heritage.

Dyke straps:
They're the white, strap thingis on old uniforms but...yeah I'm not really too careful with that jargon. You make a good point about it, they could just be called 'straps' or even 'extra-decorative pieces'. I'm going to comb over the first chapter tonight and clean that up a bit, I can see how much of a turn off that can be right off the bat.

Glad I nailed the 'uncertainty' tone though! But the point about them only being kids (college aged kids, but still kids) is supposed to be an underlying theme. But they're really shallow, I see that...I think if I clean out a lot of the jargon and add a few lines that match the character's tones I hope I can make a more engaging first chapter.

Lastly, on my honor, by the grace of god, and by the ghost of Chesty Puller I'm going to get you invested!
Thank you again!

Very Respectfully,
Wooliewarrior

8147719

Ayye; Thanks man! Anything in particular? Or maybe things you didn't like?

8147908 I just like the Idea of large groups of... well whatever coming to equestrian. I guess it is the politics side.

8150080

Cantwell slowly stood up and offered DuPont a look of horror as Insert_Username came over the hill, a trio of small pink ponies following him in a small squad. His CO's voice whispered out in terror as he dropped his saber and grabbed him on the shoulder, "Fly you fool!"

8150246 Those were the best pair of sentences I have read today...

Personally I hope to see more interactions between the humans and the griffon government later along the lines, I wouldn't doubt they'd want a few guns to add to their own military. Maybe a few humans settle down in the Griffon Empire when everything is said and done?

8154325

[Locks you away in a dark, dark room]

How dare you foreshadow a future arc!

Amazing ending for the chapter:yay:

8193003

Thank you! I enjoyed writing the pomp and parade of it! Looking forward to what's coming in Chapter Eight! :rainbowdetermined2:

Excuse me for my lack of knowledge about military institutes but I have a question, are these cadets a type of emulation of the Virginia Military institute, since Shenandoah is one of there signature songs?

8238198

Hey you caught it! Been dropping hints about Virginia, the Shenandoah, and the uniforms for a bit! It's a pretty obvious homage to Citadel/VMI. Even the name 'Stonebridge' is a callout to where VMI is located in Virginia.
A lot of the cadets are named after famous VMI/Citadel cadets as well!

This review is brought to you by the group "A for Effort".

Name of Story: In Bello Praesidium

Scoring
Grammar: -1. The author looks to have put their story through a spell checker, and that’s where any semblance of having edited ends. Thoughts are not italicized. There are instances of awkward wording, misspelled or misused words, and mangled grammar. These occurrences are fortunately rare.
Originality: -0. The premise is sound and the foreshadowing is delightful. The idea had been done before, but the execution makes it work.
Characters: -1. Some of the characters are believable, but others, such as the minotaur and griffon, seem flat. The minotaur especially just acts stupid.
Pacing and Storytelling: -1. I’m not interested in what happens to any of the characters. They haven’t done anything to make me want to see what they do. They may be believable, but I harbor neither like nor dislike toward anyone in the story.
Total Score: 7/10.

Pros
Good execution, original idea, the foreshadowing was on-point, and the story had the right atmosphere. Worldbuilding looks thought-out and tension is portrayed.

Cons
I don’t really care where the story goes from here. The characters are uninteresting and the grammar could be a lot better.

Additional Notes
Anyone can read a great work of literature, no matter the genre, and at the very least agree that the author knew what they were doing. This is not a great work of literature. If you like the idea, you will like the story. If you don’t like the idea, this story is not for you. The story could do with a thorough editing pass, but it’s not unsalvageable.

I imagined that Band was playing Highland Cathedral during their March. A long, somber, yet beautiful song. It has some of the best bagpipes and drums I've ever heard.

Mori Quam Foedari my friend.

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