• Member Since 17th Mar, 2013
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Mr Stripes is a stallion with a problem. It's Plaid's birthday, and he's nearly out of time and ideas for a gift.

That, and an eldritch horror from the depths of the earth has wandered into Manehattan.

Cover art from the gallery of 90Sigma. Proofread by Themaskedferret.

Chapters (3)
Comments ( 53 )

Congratulations on the first Mr. Stripes story on the site! You've set a high bar to clear.

And that poor mass of sepulchral polyps. Manehattan's going to chew it up, spit it out, and complain about the aftertaste. At least the same attitude that makes alicorns nothing worth commenting on has some positive uses as well.

When the history textbooks speak of me, I want at least a full page dedicated to this.

I'm sure Manehattan and the Dweller Below will get along like a house on fire, with all the screaming and destruction that phrase entails. :twilightsmile:

This is something else, and quite a sight unexpected. Good luck on the rest of this, because this sets a rather nice high bar to the gates of madness.

I don’t know what a polyp is, but that’s what it looks like the way it sounds

Oh my god, it does. All sort of droopy with a rounded blobby bit dangling at the end.

God to know the average Manehattanite is as practical, mercenary and unimpressed by things wot dwell beyond the kenning of mortal minds as your average actual New Yorker.

I look forward to the battle between The Squamous Blasphemy From Beyond The Stars vs. The Unsinkable Landlord. Hopefully with Rarity providing drama from the sidelines.

A high bar? Jings, I hope not. Madness is always best enjoyed in company, and the more, the merrier. :rainbowwild:

It's a rare word that can be so marvellously evocative.

Clothes Horse should have appearances to make and drama to contribute in forthcoming chapters. :raritywink:

A Forgotten Beast with agoraphobia makes so much lovely sense!


I'd happily take the landlord with the high bar, than the low one. You wouldnt believe the crazy types that wont clean up after all the darnedest rituals if you don't. And finding a good landlord that has innsmouth insurance in the city?

Yeah, standards and practices, and any landlord willing to offer a 6 month bit in a nice mood, holy shoots of bamboo panda batman. Thats a bar above even high.

sausage-inna-bun seller

I'm naming this guy Clip-Me-Own-Wings Giblet.

“Pitchforks!” yelled the griffon, spotting a demand when the market presented one and whipping out spare toasting forks from a drawer in his cart. The crowd surged around him, charging after the fleeing Dweller Below. “Get your miniature pitchforks here! Freshly-made, they’re lovely!”

It seems I was not wrong. :rainbowlaugh:

Good to see that Manehattan is having a mostly realistic reaction to an eldritch horror, and that the poor horror is sufficiently horrified.

Manehattan seems to be channeling more than a bit of Ankh-Morpork's spirit. I halfway expect Dibbler-griffon to start selling souvenirs commemorating the whole event by the time it's all over.

"An eldritch being of unspeakable horror almost leveled the city and consumed our souls, and all I got was this lousy t-shirt!"

We all knew ponies are crazy. and Manehattan is crazier then most. See this is how Ponyville should learn to react to the world. It's the only real response.

He look back up at Patches


lay around it it,


In other news... this is a thing.

Spend your whole life in twisty wee passage at the heart of the earth, and it seems inevitable, really.

Lovecraft-accomodating and rent-forgiving landlords are such a rare breed, and are to be cherished.


I'm naming this guy Clip-Me-Own-Wings Giblet.

Cheerfully stolen, if he makes a re-appearance ever. :raritywink: They're not an awfully fazeable bunch, the Manehattanites.

Expect the horrifying cuddly toys to come out the factories any day now.

Some communities probably reckon it's healthy to stay on your hooves whenever that week's calamity comes along. Others just get blasé about the whole thing.

Fixed, and thank you! And yep, this is a thing. Some would undoubtedly wish it wasn't, but its thinginess persists.

Clearly, I'm not the first to say so, but the spirit of the Ankh-Morpork moveable street crowd lives on in this one, and I am nothing if not a sucker for Pratchett-esque cliché-bending. Overall, I really enjoyed the absurd comedy in this one, most of all the role-reversal in which the eldritch abomination is the one intimidated by the normal world while the normal world treats it like a cute curiosity.

As for Mr Stripes… there are potentially funny specifications, yes, but I think I'd like to see them given a test drive first before investing much in the product. I'm not saying he's bad – his weird reasoning over the gifts fits, and his lack of interest in the diamond dogs really fits with the general apathetic nature of Manehattanites – but so far he's easily overshadowed by the loony, weird comedy around him. I shall, of course, wait to see how the other two character tags are played. All in all, a good teaser at least.

Also re: first Mr Stripes tag... Damn you I wanted to be first you underhanded glory-seeking spotlight-stealing sneaky little [word redacted by censor]!

Glad to be of service. :twilightsmile:

Ankh-Morpork and nigh-everything Pratchett produced is a definite inspiration, which I have no intention of ceasing ripping off paying respectful homage to anytime soon.

Mr Stripes' idiosyncrasies should have a wee bit more of a chance to shine later on, though surrounding lunacy overshadowing him's a very real concern. Keep me held to account on this. He deserves a decent first outing. No regrets about poaching him first, though. :rainbowwild: You'll have to join the back of the queue behind KingMoriarty if you're hankering for revenge there.

Great Alligator Infestation

My first thought was Gummy found the Mirror Pool before Pinkie. There are no timeline problems at all with that thought.

common-or-garden Saddle Arabian tentacled ‘gator

Of course Saddle Arabia would have that. Where else would it be?

“Does it look like a threat to Equestria and/or the world at large, you reckon? We’ve not had one of those in weeks.”

Weeks? Doesn't it happen every week?

Excellent setup! Judging from the title, however, Mr. Stripes will be facing the Dweller in some sort of contest. I'm not exactly sure how that would work, but I am intrigued to see where you will take this.


Weeks? Doesn't it happen every week?

You get quiet spells from time to time. Sometimes you might even avoid skirting the End-Times for months.

Glad you like it so far! Mr Stripe's escapades should resume soon. :raritywink:

It updated! Protagonist has changed! Or there is now more than one, and it is AWESOME!

To a pony with sufficient imagination


The donkeys who are not smugglers. Presumably. Also hilarious!

And lastly, Plaid making armor makes soo much sense! 'Cause she's a metalworker! And historically inspired by armor, and kitchen tools are possible weapons, etc...

Has she ever met Sweetie Belle? Hmm...

Huh. Attending to Manehattan before Canterlot? A curious itinerary, assuming Rarity started in Ponyville.

I quite like how "the savior thing" is something one does to things.

...the pegasus stallion let out a brief shriek until Mr Stripes turned out to not be a underworld monstrosity.

I imagine that took a fair length of shrieking to determine.

I love how both father and daughter are so passionate about their respective collections. All they need is a set of doll furniture kitchen counters with working drawers.

Oh dear. I hope Rarity has horror insurance. I'm sure the Carousel Boutique does, Ponyville being Ponyville, but Rarity For You may not be so lucky. Goodness only knows how the party palace is holding up... assuming any of the patrons noticed.

I'm imagining Mr. Stripes in his daughter's armor. It's quite the mental image. I'm sure his upcoming actions will make that image pale in comparison.

I have never seen any sapient being love a word in the way or to the degree Conquista seems to love "perforate." I'm sure they'll be very happy together.

I'm guessing Al-Antalus is Saddle Arabian. Walking trees seem like something to expect from that region.

And poor, poor Patches. A wise dog does not mock the Unpleasable Demon-Mare of a Thousand Demands.

Fantastic chapter. Eagerly looking forward to more.

When in doubt, shovel in more protagonists! Bound to never fail. :rainbowwild:

Plaid diversifying into kitchen-themed iron-mongery seemed like an entirely sensible step, for a given definition of 'sensible'. And I'm sure any meeting between her and Sweetie Belle would be entirely innocuous and not at all threatening to Equestria as a whole. Honest.

Glad you approve! Hope whatever follows satisfies ... though it will indeed feature Mr Stripes putting that armour to good use. :twilightsmile:

I'm guessing Al-Antalus is Saddle Arabian. Walking trees seem like something to expect from that region.

Al-Antalus is Gazellen, though the trees themselves originate in Ungula. Any flora from Saddle Arabia would be justly fled from and exterminated with fire from as far away as possible before it exterminated you, never mind allowed to trundle around on deck.

Did General Bucephalus have an ox-head cutie mark?

Hehehe, that finale. Oh my... You fiend rarity!

Yep! Made for one heck of a conversation piece with any Bovish dignitaries he crossed paths with.

Fiendish, vengeful Rarity is best Rarity. :raritywink:

First the whining, then the winning...

This chapter felt like it took a while to get going. Plaid's talk with Rarity fits with the overall madhouse antics, but its actual execution seemed unusually straight-laced compared with everything that went down once the pegasus stallion came in. Perhaps it's just me, but "Plaid uses kitchen utensils as clothes" just isn't that brilliantly absurd when it's basically what we've already seen in the episode with minimal development on the joke, especially when it's described in a surprisingly serious way here. She seems less "crazy could-be genius" and more "normal pony with an odd quirk".

Also, I'm not really a fan of the place names and neologisms, but I confess wholeheartedly that's a personal idiosyncrasy on my part. That said, "Fancé" sucks the fun out of the proceedings. Quite apart from the fact that "French" is totally a thing in Equestria, it always struck me as a hugely misguided attempt to rob "The Cutie Pox" of one of its most inordinately hilarious lines.

Lastly, as much as I'm guilty of the crime myself, there seem to be too many high-falutin' words about. I'm not saying never use them, but with paragraphs like Rarity's description of her line and the narrator's description of the horror, I think one or two would have gotten the point just fine. A light seasoning rather than a heavy helping.

OK, griping over. This was a blast to read. I particularly liked the variety of absurdity available, from the the pegasus stallion's Only Sane Pony act, through Mr Stripes' obsession with not having his father-daughter time interrupted, to the Diamond Dogs instantly recognizing Rarity as "oh thod" levels of Bad News. Special mention must go to the initial reaction to the horror showing up outside: any stallion whose response to that is basically "shoo" is a stallion with a good debut comedy fic.

While pacing seemed a bit on the slow side - I could see this being closer to 5000 words, to be frank - it never felt inordinately so. Events built up quite logically and flowed naturally, with no sudden jarring transitions that I could pinpoint. Overdone jargon and loquaciousness aside, the language use seemed breezy and casual, about right for the freewheeling craziness of the story, though the long-winded description of the monster represented a good break from that, and it set up the "but not Mr Stripes" punchline nicely. Again, give or take the excessively complicated diction.

Lastly, while I think Plaid comes across as a little too sane in the way she speaks (needs more hyperactive bubbliness, I think), the characters hit their targets. Rarity is obviously Rarity, but what really impressed me was how you took an easily unlikeable character like Mr Stripes, and made him a pretty cool guy to root for without ever sacrificing what makes him a gruff, nepotistic, and intimidating jerk. I think the keystone of his characterization here is the emphasis on being nice to his daughter, both for pathos (when he's angry at the creature for taking his daughter's tickets for something she's clearly enthusiastic for) and for comedy (repeatedly blowing off the pegasus stallion's pleas for "priorities"). Well played, Carabas.

All in all, a net gain of hilarity with good story structure. I wish I could like individual chapters, because this chapter has earned one. A clear win. :twilightsmile:

Now keep up the standard or I'll whine at you some more! :twilightangry2:

Glad you had such a blast with the chapter, and I hope to keep standards at a high-level to maintain equilibrium or diminishment in the levels of whining! :twilightsmile: Good to hear that the absurdity remains satisfying, and that Mr Stripes' characterisation comes off well. Making him a semi-sympathetic lead was always going to be a bit tricky, but he does have his good qualities to play up, and when these good qualities can be used to reduce sane bystanders to yowling frustration, all the better!

Whining-wise, I'll cop guilty to a couple of your points. Pacing problems and inappropriate love for unnecessarily fancy diction will likely remain bugbears of mine until the heat death of the universe. 'Fancé' is an bit of madness with some method behind it, though.

The way it's said, and all other things considered, taking Applejack's description as above as the literal name of the language was a bit of daftness I just couldn't deny myself.

I never said my method was good, mind. :rainbowwild:

I love Plaid, she really reminds me of Applejack when she was wearing Rarity's cutie mark. And I'm excited to see Mr. Stripes take on the Dweller Below. It's like if Cloverfield lane had had a scene where the monster was mugged by the mafia.

Here's hoping the promised-for scene in the story title doesn't disappoint! :twilightsmile:

Lol! How it ended! Totally unexpected, but Mr. Stripes is awesome! And that stinger! LOL!

... Plaid's mother... Very strange info we get from this... Mysterious.

Wait, who is Mr. Stripes?

Mr. Stripes remains a horrendous evil in pony form.
Not surprised he could tame a cthonic horror.
You cannot lie to something that has no ears, you cannot rebel against something that has no will.

Bravo, Carabas!!!

"reasonably presume this; it was distracted"
"reasonably presume this: it was distracted"?

"with cthonic mulch was those parts inside him"
"with cthonic mulch were those parts inside him"?

Excellent, indeed. :D


Just lovely work. Thank you for sharing. Mr. Stripes has the best terms of endearment.

If I had a tiny little note for this, I think I would have picked a different verbal oddity than the lisp for Patches, since the lisp is one of Plaid's canon traits (not to Patches's degree, but it can be hard to tell especially in a farce what's being exaggerated for comic effect). But that's really a minor thing. Fave confirmed.

I have to wonder how deep into the negatives the Avenues go. How much devastation did they expect when the cobbles were first set?

The gnome-spears may be my favorite among the dogs' armaments. I'd be surprised they found some in Manehattan, but I assume somepony had some for ironic purposes.

"Chirping with bloodlust" may be the best thing I'll read all week.

Ride, Destructotron! :pinkiecrazy:

Huh. Somepony recognizing one of the Bearers in Manehattan. This is a strange day.

There rose from it a deep, confused, doleful sound, like a bassoon discovering its spouse in bed with a flute.

Never mind, that's the best thing I've read all week.

I'm surprised that going up took the Dweller out of canary range. I suppose the dogs wouldn't breed them for maximum altitude.

Not what I was expecting for Mrs. Stripes, but I definitely like it. Is she part of a donkey privateer's crew or does she captain her own vessel? Does Celestia give letters of marque? Does Luna?

Ah yes, the "have the paladin turn around while we loot the bodies" school of ethics.

Those officers' reports are going to have to deal with the very clear evidence of an eldritch rampage unless Manehattan has one heck of a cleanup crew.

In all, perhaps the best possible inaugural story for the greatest landlord of Manehattan. Thank you for it.

Rarity's landlord from "The Saddle Row Review."

Poor Rarity. Best not think about the ethics, and instead just have a wee glass of the good stuff to recover instead.

I long for a fic where Rainbow Dash meets Plaid Stripes' mother. Any pony who can squash Mr Stripes effectively is a pony who must have a good few stories to tell.

Also, I should have guessed where this story was heading the instant the skyscraper was mentioned. It just isn't a good monster story until the abominable thing is scaling a very high building with a beautiful starlet angry landlord clutched in its' unspeakable hand.

I'm glad it had a happy ending though. At least, sort of happy. Best Landlord gets exercise, Fluffles seems reasonably happy, and no ones' rents are increased. That we know of.

Glad you liked the ending! Mrs Stripes, Plaid's mother, is indeed terrifying and mysterious.

Like FanOfMostEverything said, the landlord for Rarity's boutique in "The Saddle Row Review." Big lad. Tracksuit. Questionable accent. Questionabler approach to ethical landlording.

Thank you! :pinkiehappy:

Fixed, and thank you! :twilightsmile:

Very possibly! Best kept away from any and all sticky eldritch horrors, mind.

Glad you approve! Suitably daft terms of endearment require some brain-wracking, let me tell you.

Fair point about lisps and the like - possibly Plaid's was more pronounced than I remember it being. Some other verbal idiosyncrasy for Patches could have made for other perfectly good barely-concealed blasphemy, I don't doubt.

Glad to have provided a inauguration fic that didn't disappoint! Some of these quotes were far too much fun to devise.

I imagine Mrs Stripes captains her own ship, and didn't bother with anything so formal or boring as obtaining a formal letter of marque. Time spent obtaining that would be time not spent being an ungodly terror to all that floats or lies within stabbing distance of the sea, after all.

Good stuff and ample glasses thereof smooth over all these sorts of quandaries marvellously. :raritywink: Glad you liked it, with (sort of) happy endings coming to one and all.

King Kong homages are a joy I don't get to indulge nearly often enough, bless them.

You're welcome. :)

Of all the many fun details given in this chapter, I am left wondering at the bizarre fate of -2nd Avenue.

Some things even the bravest historians dare not dig too deeply into.

This was beautiful. Especially all of the chatter going on in the semi-background.

A shame that Fluffles must live out their days a captive of unknowably alien beings in an eldritch plane of unthinkable geometries.

Glad you approve! A peanut gallery's always good to have on hand for any dramatic occasion, I find.

A strange situation for Fluffles indeed, though at least this particular set of eldritch creatures are less 'Pitiless indifference to the affairs of infinitely-lesser things' and more 'He'd really suit this pink collar with the rhinestones, wouldn't he?' That's a mercy, probably.


All Quorn foods contain mycoprotein as an ingredient, which is derived from the Fusarium venenatum fungus and is grown by fermentation using a process that its manufacturer has described as similar to the production of beer or yogurt.

Okay. That's interesting.

On other matters, kudos on the proto-mob that forms the populace of Manehatten.

I'm kind of hoping Fluttershy'll eventually get a chance to talk to Fluffles.

She's got space in her heart for all the woodland folk. 'Woodland' and 'folk' can be such wonderfully broad terms.

Gloriously amusing stories like this get far too little attention. But it had mine.

Glad to have gotten it! :twilightsmile:

There is a beauty when iron will meets the law, and bends the law over backward to the unnatural order.

This one broke space and time, and delighted in doing so. Bravo!

Against Mr Stripes' determination to make Plaid happy, even the most iron-bound laws contend in vain. Glad you approve! :twilightsmile:

This is so mean! I can't even pick a favorite part because you make it all good! Nicely done.

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