• Member Since 24th Mar, 2017
  • offline last seen 9 hours ago

Sparkle Cola


Teaming up with Tillie-TMB in a daddy-daughter-duo, bringing you all things pony...

T
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It's been nine years since Twilight's ascension, and her relationship with her friends has never been stronger. While many things have changed about their respective lives, Twilight and her friends remain very close.

Unfortunately, their heroism will need to be called upon again, but this time, they may not be enough. The Nightmare Moon Incident had one more complication, one final loose end. One pony, thought forever lost to the passage of time, returns. And she will have her mother free... or die trying.

Now featured on Equestria Daily! Eeyup :eeyup:

Chapters (13)
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Comments ( 250 )

Nice start to the story, I'm really liking this so far and I can't wait to see what else you have for us.

You have my attention

Okay I just found this an hour ago and I’m already hooked. If you can keep this level of quality through this story well then I can’t wait for more.

8802765
I appreciate it. This story was published last April before it was really prepared (and I finally pulled it down in the summer to completely re-tool)
There are six chapters done - just need some editing polish work. My editor has too much on his plate, and then he showed me and I was like "yep!" so he only got part A done last week.

8802599
I hope to not disappoint! It's going to be a fun ride. :twilightsmile:

8802547
Chapter one Part B comes out next week. It is *pretty* polished, but would still love an editor.
Thanks all for checking out my re-launch. Hope more find it. It also exists in comic form (though this chapter was made after the comic got into it so... you won't see this there) but here is the link ---->link :pinkiehappy:

Hmm. This looks interesting.

8802957
Part B of chapter one scheduled for next Saturday.
:twilightsmile:

8803021
A two-part opener eh? Hehe. Just like the closer for the first act of my own story. :pinkiecrazy:

Got me intrigued. I’m curious of Tempest’s development and what happens later.:moustache:

8811168
As far as later (a lot later) you can take a peak at the comic series ongoing. So far over 70 pages... (warning - spoilers!)
However, I have written way past where the comic currently is. Here is the link :coolphoto:

Is that Sunset in the cover art? Or is that Tempest? Because if that is Tempest, she looks suspiciosly like Sunset Shimmer.

And I guess that we will see more of the events that are depicted in the magic circles as the story progresses?

8811173
Thanks, but I’ll read this just fine., perhaps later.:twilightsmile:

I’ld like to see your version first.:moustache:

8817247
Heh. Well that is much appreciated, Lazydrill. You will get a much more detailed and complete version here in the story. You won't get near as much inside the heads of the characters in the comic version. And... I will try to always have Tillie make original art to put right here in the chapters, so there is that:raritystarry:
8817089
It's Tempest. She is supposed to have a coat closer to true yellow, whereas Sunsets's coat has a slightly more orange tint. And the manes are a bit different. (hopefully the color looks right up there in the cover art. Of course more art and examples are at my daughter's deviant art page... And yes, those images on the cover are all moments in the story...

Saw your post asking for critiques, so I thought I'd throw in my two bits.

The biggest thing I'm noticing is that it's a heavy read and it feels somewhat akin to a history textbook, looks like it too with that wall of text. The intro especially reads like a description of the Civil War written by a historian three-hundred years later. I think it might help if the paragraphs were shorter and it was penned from the perspective of one of Luna's aids, who was sworn to secrecy, writing in their journal about what he observed of the events. It needs character, perhaps more than real facts. "Our mistress became overly drunk and had a kid... somehow." Discord might have had a hand in it (wasn't he sealed by the time the pony sisters were crowned?) but that seems like something that would be sweeter if hinted at and reveled by a dramatic double cross. Maybe dear old Dis pulled a Zeus and IS her dad? :rainbowderp: Anyway, the line, Enter Discord, is pretty jarring. It makes me feel like I'm reading out of a playbook for The Taming of the Shrew again.

I'm finding a lot of things that I feel like could be trimmed down or consolidated. Like Sweet Potato, I get that she's important to Tempest and all but I doubt that we're ever going to actually see her in the story and Tempest already knows what she looks like. Unless she's remarking about how 'her mane smelled like fresh cut straw' I don't know if that character portrait is important to the story.

You're also laying your hand out pretty heavily. The bit about The Alicorn Amulet could be much more subtle. It might be the amulet but they might not call it that yet. That bit I'm unfortunately unable to properly judge because I don't know all that's going on.

One thing to be careful about with adding in Magi-tech here is that there's 1000 years between this scene and the next, so technology will advance, and if it's already augmenting soldiers to this extent then why are the royal guard of the modern era still using standard plate mail? Flexion Tendinitis also feels a bit too advanced for the setting. Doctors were still practicing bloodletting and exorcisms into the 1800's, so I don't think that complex medical diagnoses had seeped into the common dialect by that point. She would probably just know that her fetlock hurts and that wrapping makes it better. Slightly unrelated tangent: I'm no military man but I don't think that she would ever address a lower ranking soldier as "sir".

Why is she monolingual about the assassination attempt to a grunt? Sure, truth serum means that he's gonna tell the truth, but now there's a random grunt who knows when and where Tempest is getting attacked. That is valuable counterintelligence that could now be exposed. A simple "What do you know about the plot on Tempest's life?" would elicit the same information without exposing their own.

I know it's a nitpick but if she used her wrist wraps to tie him up then doesn't cutting them mean that she doesn't have it any more? if she's not going back to town anytime soon then she's shooting herself in the hoof. Now if she used his straps...

All in all, pretty good. I think it could use some trimming. The characters, when they're talking, are good but I feel like they lose some of their personality in the non speaking parts. I also have something of a pet peeve regarding repeated words so the constant proper nouns is kind of annoying. I've always found that people tend to truncate their speech whenever possible rather than say the whole thing. Strong finish, btw.

As always, that's just my two bits on what I've read. Spend them or drop them down a well as you like. It's your story and only you can decide how it should be written.

8822370
An excellent review. Many excellent points (where were you when I was about to press 'publish?')
I will address your points and/or agree with them 🙃
#1

it's a heavy read and it feels somewhat akin to a history textbook

Yeah, I was kind of afraid of that. I was going for epic story telling, and the narration there is... narrating, but it does come off as dry and stuffy, doesn't it? That's a shame, because as we get into part B and then later chapters it is so totally not. I like the idea of someone narrating... and I would use ol' Mavis to do it. Hmm.
#2

Discord might have had a hand in it (wasn't he sealed by the time the pony sisters were crowned?)

Fun idea. And I didn't really pin down the timeline on when he was running rampant - in this timeline, the sisters were in power for a while and Discord was at large doing his thing, but came into true power for a couple of years during Tempest's childhood (fillyhood?). He plays an important role later in the story, and we also get some origin story about him as well, but it remains that the Captain of the Lunar guard is Tempest's Daddy. I liked your comment about The Taming of the Shrew. Actually, my daughter named this character when she was studying Shakespeare's The Tempest.
#3

If it's already augmenting soldiers to this extent then why are the royal guard of the modern era still using standard plate mail?

Ah! But there is the mystery! Why are such developments NOT around in modern day? I'm not even going to spoiler-text that one, but Tillie's comic version of it here will give you a clue.
#4

Doctors were still practicing bloodletting and exorcisms into the 1800's, so I don't think that complex medical diagnoses had seeped into the common dialect by that point.

Heh. I'm letting my career show... (I'm a physical therapist). But with magical scanning ability (which Tempest uses in Part B) they know a bit more medically then, say, medieval Europe. Euch.

don't think that she would ever address a lower ranking soldier as "sir"

oops. Maybe she used it to show her contempt? eh... :facehoof:
#5

I feel like they lose some of their personality in the non speaking parts

I'll have to work on that then. Any pointers or examples you have would be very instructive for me.
All in all, I loved the commentary. I'm learning this as I go, and such information as that is golden. Thanks! :twilightsmile:
#6

I doubt that we're ever going to actually see her in the story and Tempest already knows what she looks like

Actually, we will in fact see her, because I will do several flashbacks that will feature very crucial moments in Tempest's childhood. These are things that at first were intended for a volume 2, but then I thought better of that and will use flashbacks. (hope they are excellent and not annoying)

8822446
#1
One of the reasons it comes off like that is because of the wall-o-text at the beginning. I can barely fit the intro section on one page- and that's only three paragraphs. I think this guy does a good job explaining why it's better to break that up. They go a bit far, in my opinion, but they ARE writing for a blog. VikingZX is a writer on this site who's also published traditionally so he's a better measuring stick.

#3
Technology suppression. Coo. But the technology going into making that suit is probably already developed and common knowledge. The american government may have suppressed info on how to make a stealth bomber, but we still know how jet engines work and the basic concept of how to minimize your radar signature. In the comic it would be relatively easy to suppress the amulet tech because it seemed Tempest was the one who developed it and it was a more standalone system.

To suppress a military super-suit that has a team of scientists working on it you need to keep them quiet and then set the materials, energy storage, control systems and integration (at that point the entire society) all back a couple of decades. A lot harder than covering up a single event and adding a law of magic (a pretty elegant solution actually). And if society was advanced enough to support the creation of a high tech suit like that then why hasn't it come further than that by now, even accounting for the fact that ponies are for the most part content and not chomping at the bit to make the next breakthrough discovery?

I think the reason this is bugging me so much is that my brain isn't finding any obvious ques to mark this as "Happening in the past". The Tech, Tactics, and Talk are all identical to what you'll find in the modern era. The comic has easy visual ques- cobblestone buildings, simple clothing, and archaic speech patterns that stand at opposition to other parts of the story and clearly mark what is past and what is present. The "thee's and thou's" page was very good at this.

Like, this era's just gotta, like, find a distinct style, man. Something gnarly that totally screams: This is me, dude!

#4

But with magical scanning ability (which Tempest uses in Part B) they know a bit more medically then, say, medieval Europe. Euch.

Ok, but Mavis is a soldier, not a Physical Therapist. Even if she's a medic she's more likely to "sprain her wrist" than "fracture a metacarpal". I would actually tend to stay away from the more technical words in any case unless you're using them as an aspect of character. Yes they may tell you exactly what's going on, but most people don't take A&P.

#5
This one's a bit trickier I think. For me it's about making the narrator a character in their own right (whether an extension of the character or not) then deciding if they're unreliable (link) and just getting them talking. My own narrators are often very hands off and almost entirely outside the character's head in describing what's happening BUT they also only see what the character sees and their word choice is influenced by the characters speech patterns. My characters are then left to ask the questions that clue in the reader to current or past events. (I try to keep in mind that a doctor knows what a heart looks like and isn't going to need someone to point out the ascending aorta. My readers probably don't know what that is so cluing them is some other way is the challenge.)

If a child in a book looks up at you and asks "Where's mommy?" they've told you they A. have a mom, B. are close to their mom, and C. are scared/worried. Someone complaining about their hip is probably old. The person whispering while looking back and fourth is paranoid.

I'm probably overcompensating but I tend to avoid the "And so our heroes set off to Mordor" narration like the plague. If I can have someone wheel themselves into your office after surgery then have you hiss in surprise after looking at their chart, unprofessional as that might be, I'm happy. I don't need to tell the audience about the compound femoral fracture, the six screws in their leg, or how it happened beyond "a dog ran across the road and I swerved". All they need to know is what you do and that this time isn't going to be easy.

8822839
Your last point there is spot on. As I have been racing to educate myself on just how writing works, in a fictional setting, I have uncovered some habits/problems I am trying to fix. (This is my first fiction... really). I tend to over-explain. I am horrible with that. Fortunately, I have noticed and have scaled it way, way back, but I tend to still do it. More and more I am trying to use story-telling elements and strategies to give you context, so I don't have to spell it out. It has been a learning process, and I am still learning, to be sure.

The story currently is at about 70K words strong and growing, and I have been revising as well to apply the lessons I am learning before I press publish. Hopefully the editor I have now, or any others I can acquire in the future if needed, help with that and steer me out of trouble if I fall into that trap.

Also, your point with era and tech is important too. I am planning to do two things to address that concern.

#1 I will soon explain just how amulet tech was covered up... it has something to do with the very particular way in how they are created.

#2 Equestria will be slightly AU here, in that it actually will consistently look more modern and have more modern conveniences than what you see in the show, with the exception of Ponyville. Ponyville is a quaint town that is rather rural and "holds on to the old ways" a bit - however, that has also rapidly changed since the advent of Twilight's School of Friendship. (yes, I am adapting to season 8, but I just want to say here that I had written that concept in before any knowledge of Season 8 came out, and yet I threw out that entire scene because it had nothing to do with where the plot wanted to go. Heh. I am overexplaining now. :pinkiecrazy:

TL;DR: 1) The reasons on the apparent tech discrepancy and missing amulets will become clear later on. 2) Equestria will be more modern. having said that, i need to communicate that well to my artist and co-creator of this story, (my 15 year old daughter) so that we minimize that discrepancy and don't give more discerning eyeballs that dissonance.
:rainbowdetermined2:

Onward to chapter two then, modern day... Spike and Twi will start us off, as they are destined to cross paths with our heroine, here.

Oh, wow! I saw the comic for The Amulet of Shades, but I didn't know there was a fanfic, too! :pinkiehappy:

8849941
Welcome! This was always intended, in order to fill out the background of Tempest Sabre, and to really delve into her psyche as she goes through with her quest... but it was nice to have those comic images to draw from to inject some art into the story :raritywink:

8849951
hi, imma call it. Even if her own mother tells her she was corrupted. She'll still deny it under pretense of mind control

8849985

Obviously. She seems like one of those self centered, arrogant and unreasonable individuals who think they are smarter than anyone else, have it all figured out and would rather see the world burn rather than being capable of even entertaining the idea that they might be wrong about something. I just hope she doesn't turn out to be a completely overpowered mary sue on top, which feels like a legit concern at this point, because otherwise this story has lots of potential.

8850345
Heh - in all honesty, most of us tend to get hard headed about a few things, and think we "have it all figured out." Hopefully none of us would rather see the world burn, though.

When my daughter told me about this character two years ago (she was 13) Tempest most decidedly was a Mary Sue - as characters can tend to be when they are made by a 13 year old. When I undertook to bring her story to life, we spent many hours fleshing out this character which grew and developed before our eyes. Now if you were reading the comic (that is currently ahead - in chapter six of this fanfiction, it was lauched in January of 2017) you would see that Tempest is most decidedly not a Mary Sue. This will at time produce comic results, at other times tragic results. Thanks for your thoughtful comment!
8849985
Heh. imma not spoilin' anythin' :trixieshiftleft:

8850551

Dang, didn't realize you were writing this story/character for your daughter - that's pretty cool!

And it's good to hear you have taken conscious effort to avoid the potential for Mary-Sueness. In my defense, I'm sure you realize how the story setup comes across as a recipe for just that - You have an edgy OC alicorn in possession/being the inventor of magic supertech that modern Equestria can't even begin to comprehend, who has been persumably refining it for a millenia and who is convinced that she is right and everyone else is wrong, coming to Equestria to lay some smackdown on anyone who gets in the way of her personal revenge.

I mean, that practically reads like "Here comes my superpowered OC, who reads like she could probably smack even Discord around and no one could even hope to inconvenience, to show the ponies what's what", and the cover art doesn't really instill the impression that this isn't the case. I would like to think my worry wasn't completely unfounded :derpytongue2:

I can’t wait for more of this story. I can fell that this story will more then like be one of my most favorite on this site.

I really like this. Keep up the good work.

8850829
8850700
Thank you, both!

8850673
Oh, man, you had me chuckling so hard. Yes, I can totally see your point, and how it does come off like that. I didn't realize it would look that Mary Sue-ish, only because I have been busy producing the comic with my daughter and things as they stand over there, Tempest most decidedly is not. One other thing. On a certain page of the comic (page 1.15) covering her flashback, you can plainly see that thar be no wings on that thar poneh!. So, rest assured, we are far away from M.S.-ville. It does bring up the question of why the hell she is still around...

Of course you could peek at the comic to put your fears to rest (spoilers!) or you could hang in there. I will try to publish every 1-2 weeks, as a busy father of four still at home, it is pushing me even to do that. But no worries, its coming. :pinkiecrazy:

I really liked that art of Luna laughing.

8851821
Ugh. That's the one I am least happy with... If only I could do that one over. :unsuresweetie:
I was kinda hoping more would comment on the art everywhere. Or some of Luna's puns :rainbowlaugh:

While I do like the included art there is far too much of it for my taste. I feel the only pictures that add to the story are the boarder check point establishing shot, Meadow pushing Tempest out the door and Tempest using the magic eyes.

Personally I liked the comic panels, excepting the ones without a lot of scenery, such as the one with only Tempest's and the shopkeep's face.

8874321
I think the amount of art is fine the way it is. It makes the story fell more like an episode of the show, and the pictures are very nicely done. I think all the pictures add a lot of detail to the story, but if it bothers anyone that much you can always just skim over it.

8874594
Thanks. I was actually going for an "episodic feel" just... a little more intelligent (hope that was conveyed, and not that I'm an idiot). And thanks for chiming in on the art. Based on comments made here, I will either adjust it or not. So everyone register to vote...
8874437
Thank you. In creating the comic, my daughter (in the interest of time) sometimes would digitally fill the background of a panel instead doing more detail. It is a long process after all for a gal that is busy doing other stuff. So, that was blank, but the corresponding panel in her comic was digitally filled. Couldn't use it though - speech bubbles in the way.

8874321
Appreciate your thoughts. I will tally the "vote" here in 48 hours and act accordingly.

8874611
It certainly does feel like a more intelligent version of an episode so far. Not sure where we're supposed to go to 'vote' but I think the story can work with more pictures, or any amount of pictures that you think is best.
Also, your daughter is very talented.

8874652
Thank you! And to give credit where it is due, it was my daughter that created most of the OC's you are seeing thus far, and the general story idea, with me (her Dad) providing depth, consistency, humor, and Meadow Lark. She was my creation.

But yes, Tillie has some frickin' talent

Your daughter is an extremely talented artist for her age, I hope you keep encouraging her to practice and to do her best but to also remind her that the worst critic of any artist is the artist themselves :)

8874709
This is Tillie here (Hijacking my Dad's profile page for a minute...) Thank you very much for the compliment! It means a lot!
And you are right, I am my worst critic lol. I can often be a little too hard on myself sometimes. (My Dad used some artwork that was from earlier in the comic, against my own better judgement. I am critical of earlier panels and pages... ech.)

Finally I got to read this new version! Oh, how much had it changed since the WIP I had the pleasure to edit. So far, I can say it changed for the better :raritywink: Getting to see more of Mavis was definitely great and Summer Wind was an interesting addition, albeit I’m a little concerned if it wasn’t just for a sake of prolonging the chapter. Though maybe it’s just my knowledge of the previous versions speaking... the next chapters will show.

Anyway, glad to see this back up on the site. I hope to read further soon!

8902410
Welcome back, and thanks for taking a look, Everfree! Your input was more valuable than you know in the maturing of this story, but at the same time soon after your help an advisor helped me to understand that I was lacking in the world-building department and so we went heavy into world-building for a while from October thru December last year. Summer Wind doesn't reappear in the story, but his presence is significant, because he helps illustrate the tensions and political turmoil that was going on at the time in the aftermath of Nightmare Moon and Luna's subsequent banishment. Was also a fun scene to write. You will see more of that world building evident when you read chapter one Part B.

Cupping a hoof under a the pendant hanging from a simple cord around her neck, a roughly hued stone that resembled an eye with a slit for a pupil, she held it up as crackling filaments of purple light begin to cascade over its surface.

roughly hued? Perhaps you mean hewn if you mean it look like a bit of rock carved out of a larger piece? As opposed to hue which has more the sense of color.

Also, looks like some weird editing result in 'a the'.

She knew Gryphus well from doing her continued research in orithnology for the avians of that land mass, but she had no interest in heading further east.

ornithology. landmass? (could be either apparently -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land#Land_mass)

Regarding the art inclusions in this chapter (15 total), I think it's a little bit much. It's almost one every couple paragraphs in spots. Unless you're aiming for something like a graphic novel, I'd say you could use fewer (especially with how big they are).

With Tempest and the librarian you could reduce it to three rather than six (e.g. the first one at the sort of "reference" desk, plus Tempest scrying and the bit at the end involving the purple magic and the pendant). The shop could easily do with just two (either entering/being in the shop and possibly something related to the strained conversation/hasty departure) One each at the start and end of the chapter does make nice a nice frame though and the front view of the library is very pretty. That would leave you with just 7 illustrations.

The cut to and from Twilight and Spike seems out of place though. It doesn't really add anything to this chapter besides cluing us (the readers) in that they may show up in this story in the near future. It might be in an extended form as it's own chapter or sharing a chapter with another such snippet.

P.S.
That's a very strange library entrance. :rainbowhuh:

8913903
oops on the Spike and Twi part. Those were all supposed to be removed and socked into my Pinkie's Apiecalypse story... Also, agreed on the art. I will tone it down. (Can't blame a dad for bragging on his daughter, right?)

8913976
The art is very nice. It's just that imho with so much of it, it was a tad bit distracting whilst trying to read.

8914067
Yes. I was actually worried about that. I toned it down a bit, (and hopefully enough)

Things are getting interesting

Oh my. Has the amulet had some sort of mentally debilitating effect? Poor Moonlight.

8922338
If only it were that simple...

8921942
s'alright. More interesting things to come! :trixieshiftright:

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