• Member Since 26th Mar, 2015
  • offline last seen 1 hour ago

Novel-Idea


"Do it right and do it with style." - Author, Designer & Project Lead of the story-driven DLC Gardens of Equestria: This Coming Storm - (Patreon)


E

The last believer in an ancient prophecy leaves all she knows behind to fulfill her people’s role, even if they have all long forgotten the promise they had made.

All to save the soul of someone who many believe will herald the doom of us all.


Original version winner of the "Most Controversial" Award for the March 2017 WriteOff!


Cover Art by OverlordNeon
Cover Text by Novel Idea
Zecora Glyph Mark by BlackGryph0n


Beta Reader & Editor Credits
Ebon Quill: Audio Director & Quest Designer on The Manehattan Project
Captain Croissandwich: Honorary Zebra Weaver
Corejo: Professional Nitpicker
Little Tinker: Master of Systems at Poniverse & Scripting Engineer on The Manehattan Project
Beltorn: Commenter-at-Large on FimFiction
Cursori: Stolen Enchanted Library Editor


Word Count: 14,000
Version: 4.6

Chapters (5)
Comments ( 46 )
ChappedPenguinLips
Story Approver

A neat and enjoyable little story. And with the fun zebra of mystic ways.

8520029
Thank you kindly. Great words, especially considering your avatar. :twilightsmile:

8520050
Heh.. I always love a good zecora fic, and one that expands not as what she is seen as, but what she embodies as a concept, real and metaphorical..

8520065
Zecora definitely got a bit of a bum rap in terms of character and lore. She's a brilliant resource and a goldmine for character development (though I suspect a lot of show writers simply don't want to deal with writing her dialogue!)

I really enjoyed this. You expanded upon the lore in a very believable way. And Zecora was wonderfully written.

8520145
Thank you! It was great fun to explore such a complex character who we knew almost nothing about... though seriously, Zecora's dialogue was a pain in the flank. :pinkiecrazy:

Someone has watched Babylon 5 I see.:yay: Great story so far. Onto the next chapter!

8520858
You just earned about ten billion NerdCred points, considering that you remembered Vir's fantastic line from that awesome Season 5 episode. This makes me so happy! :heart:

(And yes, Babylon 5 is the greatest Science Fiction series ever to grace a television screen!)

8520995
I'm delighted you enjoyed it!

8520895
Haha.:yay:
grimoireassemblyforge.com/dudebro2/site/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/fistbump_large.png
I actually rewatched it somewhat recently with my brother. Vir was awesome. Though G'kar is my OG homie, son.

hmm, wondering if Zecora is a bad-ass overpowered zebra in this fanfiction. But from what I got from it doesn't seem so.
anyways dis is pretty gud, but a bit confusing. (Don't worry I'm an idiot, it probably makes sense and I just skipped a few lines that were important)

Huh Babylon 5, wuts dat?

A beautiful bit of side world building and possibilities. Taking the Deer from the appearence of them somewhat obscured on teh left hand side of the cover of the book of the movie prequal?

I like the ponyville radio playlist Zecoras Quest, but my GoogleFu is zero and cant find it :twilightoops:

Theres not just the stories of the other 3 Stars, but also each of their alternatives? :twilightsheepish:

If I may, instead of Hippogryphs, have you considered the Minotaurs?

8521069
G'Kar is a freaking god. Easily one of the best characters B5 has ever seen.

8521720
Actually, I've always been in love with the Deer as a sapient race when I first read It's a Dangerous Business Going Outside Your Door. Though now that I think of it, I can't remember off the top of my head if the comics (specifically the "Revenge of the Everfree" arc) came first or not.

8521780
Considering we've only ever seen Iron Will as a Minotaur, they're a race that never really spoke to me. (I also may have a tiny crush on Skystar). :twilightblush:

8521555
Well, I see her less as an action hero and more as a wise shaman. In this case, though, remember she's been traveling nonstop for weeks upon weeks. Zecora's at the very end of her incredibly long journey. Poor gal's tired!

A fantastic exploration of both the world and the character. (Though you did go awfully heavy on -end rhymes in the epilogue.) I eagerly look forward to any of the companion pieces you end up composing. Thank you for this.

8521956
Rhyming is evil. EVIL! :flutterrage: (Otherwise, thanks!)

Wonderful! Simply wonderful. I had never really considered the question of the stars that aided in her escape before, so thank you for exploring it. And also for exploring Zecora's character and Zebra culture! I gotta ask, though, where did you get the lines of her native tongue from?

8521956 8521969
Oops. :twilightoops:

I admittedly "translated" Novel's original lines for Zecora in the most expedient way I could to include her overall cadance of speech, while maintaining the same overall meaning of his original lines. This had the side-effect of my not going over the whole work and changing up the key words in separate lines so that they weren't as repetitive. :facehoof:

"Novel hired me on to imitate her. But rhyming well is hard.
...Refrigerator."

8522095
I cheated a bit and used Google Translate for Swahili, which is what Zecora's language is based on (though it isn't actually Swahili since they couldn't get a translator in at the time). However, I did take the time to translate it back and forth a few times to make sure the translation was at least semi-accurate and stayed around.

8522097
Rhyming = Evil. As previously stated. :pinkiecrazy:

8522116
Ahh, I figured it was something like that. Good to hear you at least made an effort to get around one of the shortfalls of google translate though.

8522121
Yeah, I know if any native speaker comes across it, it'll likely be gibberish, but I did definitely try. I don't have the resources to get a native speaker myself (and since Zecora doesn't actually speak Swahili, I could have just been a bit off, but I wanted to be close). However, most of the terms used are Swahili as well.

Absolutely stunning. Good Zecora writing is really hard to find, especially when it explores the zebra culture and doesn't just assume that all of them act like Zecora. Nicely done. Pat yourself on the back for this great story!

8522693
Thank you kindly! it was definitely a challenge to write and I'm glad you enjoyed it so much! :twilightsmile:

‘Prophecy is a guess that comes true. When it doesn't, it's a metaphor.’

I snorted in amusement.

Path that leads through moonlight… into starlight… and… ends in sunlight.

Suspiciously squints.

Since he had appeared, curiosity had gnawed at her. It had been a difficult thing to deny. She hadn’t ever been expressly forbidden to do it, yet it still seemed… if not disrespectful, at least somewhat awkward. Even she didn’t fully understand the nature of her new companion.

I'd feel pretty awkward asking how ghosts use the restroom as well. Are there like...pools of ectoplasm in the hidden corners of that watchtower?

Hmm. Those flashes of thought. Interesting. I have ideas. Still hung up on trying to picture "An angry rainbow", tho.

It was the same expression a Weaver might give to a surprising new form of fungus—one that could either destroy or save thousands.

I can't tell if she's comparing herself to a fungus in a good way or a bad way.

Six pairs of burning green eyes shone from the shadows to her left. The wind shifted from east to west. Instantly, she knew what she faced.

Kill it with fire!

wolfsap

wolfsap...
I like it.

"You horrid beast, get out of my way," she said. She tried to keep the panic from her voice, though she knew she failed. "Leave, or you shall face my wrath this day!"

Seemingly unimpressed, the first timberwolf stepped into fully into the moonlight. ...

...Then he swept up the mic and dropped some bars on this mare! "Dare come into my forest, I'll show you what's in store-it's, gonna tear you to pieces, by day's end you'll be feces..."

And thus did Zecora, the last of her line, defend the honor of her dad's defunct rapper group.

Also feces totally rhymes with pieces. Shut up.

The potion frothed and seethed at her rushed incantation. A long second passed.

The timberwolves looked from the distinctly unimpressive potion to the mare.
"This...This doesn't usually happen to me, I swear."

Zalatina

Welp. It's official. All zebras have Z-to-A names here.

The timberwolf alpha let out a hiss, a sound that told Zecora quite clearly what it thought of her threat.

Translation: "Oh my god, you killed Kenny and Marvin!"

But now I fear I must away, to prepare myself for the day. I may soon return to this tale, but until then, time to bail!

...No more rhyming. Makes me feel dirty.

To follow a path laid by a lunatic and a fool?

...Was that a pun?

I like Zecora's rhyming. At least when it is done well, and it is done well here.

Zuila

Wha-oh. Another Z-to-A zebra name. One more makes a pattern...

Every time I see "Path" capitalized I thought of the Egyptian god. And then I looked it up and it is apparently spelled Ptah... So nevermind.

After all, many considered her intentions foolish—perhaps even insane.

At least one would probably call it lunacy.

vial holsters

Immediate reaction of hands shooting into the air with joy. Waaiiit... Dammit. I really need to get a handle on the part of me that instantly associates Realmatic magic with everything. Still, vials of presumably weaponized potions sounds fun.

She idly wondered when Mlinzi would strike. Would they wait until she had neared her destination or attack early? Would she be strong enough to stop them, either through sheer might or knowledge of the Weavings?

Is this Mlinzi a group? Or a genderless single entity? Is it a prophesied eunuch?!?! No! Bad Ladrian!

Still, the Moon Lantern’s radiance helped guide her way.

Das a cool flower. Wonder what kind of potions you could make with it. Better eat it and find out.

she tapped into the stored magic of the anklet

Must...not...say it...

Hmmm. So these are the stars that aided in her escape? Brought about by Zecora herself. Maybe Ponyville had the right idea for the wrong reasons...

Of course the world probably would have ended or something, had Luna not been released and saved, so eh.

I am finally back home and can post this. Damn my inconsistent internet.

That fear has not left our people, even after a thousand years, Zecora! There are many who know the Old Tales. Many who would see you in chains, especially as the time approaches.

Glad I'm not the only one that thinks bringing back an ancient, insane goddess bent on literally stopping the sun from rising is a bad idea. But Zecora is a good cultist, y'know? Not like those guys that want the Old Ones back. They're evil. Those guys will end the world, like, immediately rather than freezing and burning the two halves of the planet to death.

But you do you, Zecora. We know it works out in the end, right? Unless this is one of the alternate timelines and there is no one to purify her, and you really do doom the world.

It would be a sad thing if restoring the Balance to this world began with blood, especially the blood of her kin. Yet she had made a vow. They had as well. Both vows were made to be followed to the dying breath.

Can't wait. :pinkiecrazy:

Nozebra fully understood the true power of the Moon Lanterns.

"Nozebra"
Also: EAT IT, ZECORA! Your Alchemy skill has got to be maxed! You'll know everything about it!

Zerrin  

The pattern has been broken! Clearly this zebra must be put to death for the heinous crime of his name.

Zelabra

Ah. Good. At least only one of them has to die.

“Do not dare speak to me, witch! I have no qualms about seeing you thrown into the deepest pit of the Capitol for the rest of your miserable life for what you are willing to unleash.” Her eyes flashed with something dark. “However, if I have my way, you won’t need to worry about that.”

Man, this hero looks and sounds so evil. Probably how my characters look while they are trying to kill the cultists.
...
Actually my last character talked it over with the Old One that was about to be released and tried to work out a deal. So...I guess not quite like either of these two.

Then, Zerrin slowly walked toward the three stones surrounding the Moon Lantern. With a deft flick of his hoof, he broke the circle and the magic field vanished. Instantly, power washed over her, the power that had been trapped by the circle.

Damn these cultist fanatics. Way too charismatic for their own good. Prodigies are always being convinced by their hopeful tales and honeyed words.

Also that Swiftstep Brew. That's some OP shit, right there. Steroids on steroids.

In answer, her anklet fell dark.

Zecora’s eyes went wide at the sudden darkness. Panic filled her. There was to be only one time the anklet would go dark: after she completed her quest!

Welp. Guess that's it. Better go home. See y'all in an Equestrian "thousand years" for round...3? Round 2? I guess it depends.

But when she followed the hoof to her vial sash across her chest, she caught sight of something.

The anklet had stopped glowing, but something new had begun to burn.

Stop it! Vials and anklets and now burning!?! It's too much!

Her essence stretched over the land within the Everlasting Balance, felt the ancient powers at play, the dreams and hopes of a billion lives and the prayers of three hopeful souls. Souls who bore the same mark as her.

Wait what? Celestia, Luna, and...?
Or other cultist? I mean Pathifists?
Three polywags? Or were the counterclockwise ones Polywhirl?

Demanding to be unleashed.

What would Zecora's Nightmare look like? What would its name be? Zenocide? Something about a Path or being a guide? Stygian Guide? Something that rhymes, because Zecora? Weavers...uh...Cleaver I can't think of anything good for that one. Zecora...um...Ikora (Well, there's a connection I never would have made if I wasn't being ridiculous all the time.)

The three other stars now slid toward the Moon. With delicate, practiced grace, Zecora brought hers into alignment with the three others.

Wait, hold up. The other three that had her mark were other ponies/zebras/whatever controlling their own stars? Simultaneously? In other places around the world? Or are these, like, past Pathifists that inhabit the stars or something?

“I do hope this spell keeps after so many centuries,” the stallion said after another cough, almost as if speaking to himself. “Bah, well… oh, well, it seems to be recording… and has been since I…”

He stopped abruptly brought a hoof to his face in a gesture Zecora never would have imagined the originator of the Path having used.

This is why you practice your "Thanks for saving/dooming the world" speeches before hitting the record button. Every good preceding hero/super villain knows these things.

Or maybe he had just wanted to be remembered as taller.

Hey, man, make a spell that lasts a thousand years while maintaining coherency of the message and you can make yourself look like a red and black Alicorn with a broken horn.

Okay, well, maybe that's a bit too far, but taller is well within acceptable posturing/self-aggrandizing limits.

“Though I am sure you are seeing this long after I have departed from this mortal coil, you know me. This spell would not have triggered unless you had fulfilled the ancient Pact I made with the… which one was this again? Oh yes, the Zebra Weavers.”

I already fucking love this scene, and he's barely said anything.

"...Unless she asks you otherwise, I would make one request: wear the anklet for the rest of your days and tell your story to those who follow you. They should know what you endured to save a single pony.”

I mean, it's nice that you have faith in Harmony and all that, but...On the off chance that the ancient insane goddess of war and nightmares actually does turn the world into a living hell, maaaaybe the pony you convinced to let her out ought not tell everyone that she was the one who brought about Armageddon.

Just saying.

I guess she'd probably be dead, being at ground zero and everything, but still.

Or maybe you could enchant the anklet to reveal the words "I saved the soul of the moon goddess and all I got was this lousy anklet" whenever it was exposed to sunlight.

and partially out of me just not wanting Zecora to talk too much because I didn't want to rhyme everything!

WEAK! Everything must rhyme, Novel! Or...uh...you'll be beaten with a shovel!

I rather liked this little story, so about that, you shouldn't worry. And although I joked about cultists allthroughout, (which I thought was a word, but google seems to doubt.) I had fun on this journey of dark-goddess-resurrection, and I suppose hope's pursuit is a valid protection, against my complaints of hurting all on the planet, for the sole sake of saving one who once ran it.

That's it. No more rhyming and this time I mean it!

This little chapter has certainly piqued my curiosity!

Now that wasn't very smart to use it on some low level ones. She SHOULD have used it on the Alpha. Now THAT would have given them MUCH more pause!

Hmmmm....I'm guessing that Zecora is there to help free Nightmare Moon? Though I am rather curious as to how, along with what her Campanion has to do with anything. I mean he hasn't really seemed to be of any use thus far

I was wondering if that would be old Starswirl! What a lovely ending.

Though I would LOVE to read more! It's rather unusual to find someone who can write Zecora so well, and even rarer to find someone who can do a very believable Zebrica

This was a very well done story and one that you should take serious pride in! <3

Greetings. This is a Comment. There, now all my usernames have commented on one of your stories! Good luck with your NaPoWriMo, Novel Idea-Senpai! :D

8527432
You know, it's interesting. I hadn't really considered the Path Vs. Others to its full extent (or I'm too tired to think of it). However, in this case, both parties are right.

This is my cause--Life! One life or a billion, it's all the same!

Zecora is risking everything on Faith. It's a massive gamble that could doom the world. All to save a single soul. Though considering what Starswirl said at the end... that soul could end up saving the world someday...

8532300
Thank you kindly!

8537934
...you're never going to stop, are you? :facehoof:

8537993
No...no I'm not....have a great day! :D

Login or register to comment