• Member Since 30th Mar, 2014
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The Author Who Cannot Read. ((profile art by @Emma_The_Ward on Twitter))


Traveling the world can be a strange and dangerous ordeal, especially when you're all but on your own.

And after one adventure ends in almost complete disaster, Twilight Sparkle has decided to take a much-needed vacation for both herself and her sole companion. Some time to themselves, some time to catch up on their reading, and some time to not almost be eaten by dragons. And fortunately, she's managed to come across a nice quiet little country town to settle her roots into for the foreseeable future.

Unfortunately, it's never quite that easy. Especially when your name is Twilight Sparkle, a pony with a knack for getting mixed up in all sorts of trouble. And the quiet little town she has found might not be so quiet after all...

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Cover art commissioned by me, from one Hoodwinked MCShelster.
Audio-version over on YouTube.
If you can't see the cover art, it's because I currently can't upload it to FimFiction. So for the time being, you can see it by clicking This Link.

Tags are subject to change depending on viewer response. For the sake of ease, here are my "subtags," placed down here instead of up there because there isn't room for them.
An alternate universe story based on some G5 rumors, this really odd dream I had once, and a few other things. Expect references/shoutouts to all sorts of MLP media, such as the movie or comics, and various other fantasy works like D&D. But also expect some major instances of me changing things to further distinguish this from canon. Spike is a pretty good example. You'll figure out why soon enough.
This story is written exclusively for entertainment purposes.

Story has been canceled. For more information on that front, see here: https://www.fimfiction.net/blog/1004535/finding-friendship-cancelation-announcement

Chapters (55)
Comments ( 868 )

I have to admit, you did a pretty good job on the prologue to this story. The exchanges and characterizations between Twilight and Spike were well done and I loved the alterations to the starting situations.

I am most definitely going to be looking forward to more, but will also more than respect the fact that real world situations might need to take top priority.

And Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours in advance.

Thank you for the comment! I spent a lot of time working on the exact dynamic between Spike and Twilight, so I'm glad

I will do my absolute best to get chapters out as soon as possible, though. I'm already working on chapter 1 proper.

Off to a good start :)

Excellent work on this latest chapter. The run-in with the adult dragon was quite well done (both as far as showing how intense the situation was AND the emotional aftermath) as was Twilight and Spike's first encounter with Pinkie. Well, at least Twilight and Spike get to have A SLIGHT breather before the REAL adventure begins.

Anyway, the exchanges, action, characterizations and future chapter set-up are all well done in all the right places. I am DEFINITELY going to be looking forward to more.

I thank you for the compliments. They mean quite a bit.
And I hope you enjoy that emotional aftermath. Because I plan on ripping the readers' hearts out with feels.

How big is spike compared to twilight?

Not that big, I'd say a slightly bigger than a common cat, but also longer. He's big/small enough to curl up inside of a saddlebag.

I actually have commissioned art of these two on the way. And I told the artist to use these snakes compared to Twilight as a size reference for Spike. So you can see for yourself when that gets done (it'll be the cover art for the story when it's done). If that helps.

Also, if it helps, this is the best image I can find to describe his body type.

Can’t wait for next chapter wonder when spike will reveal himself knowing pinkie she already knows

Spoiler Alert:
That's not how it works.

So the Pie family runs an Inn? Nice divergence from canon. I am really liking things so far. Wasn't expecting Twilight's pony tribe, though. Nice touch.

This chapter may have taken a while, but was VERY well worth the wait. Twilight and Spike's arrive in Ponyville and comparing and contrasting it to other small towns they visited in the past was a very good touch. And, yeah, I also loved the reaction to the fruit basket, the precautionary spells Twilight cast so she and Spike can speak in private, the fact that Twilight is ALREADY an alicorn in this universe (and the fact she wears the cloak and armor to hide her wings) as well as Twilight reflecting on the usual arrangement she and Spike have for bedding and the reasoning to switch it up this time.

Anyway, once again, the exchanges, characterizations and future chapter set-up are all quite well done. I'll VERY certainly be looking forward to more of this.

Thank you so much for the feedback! Seeing reactions like this makes it all worthwhile.

But one thing: The armor doesn't do anything to hide Twilight's wings. That's what the cloak is for. You'll see what I mean when the cover art gets finished and added.

Maybe he does. :facehoof:
Maybe he doesn't. :twilightsmile:
Maybe he grows a mustache and moves to Manehatten. :moustache:
Who knows?
Gotta read and find out.

Thanks very much for the correction.

No problem.
I could have probably explained it better, though.

Any idea on the percent done of the cover art?

The cover art will consist of both Twilight and Spike.
As of right now, Twilight has been finished.
So about 50%

Gosh then we would have been waiting a super long time then

Great job on the characterization, exchange and action shown in this half-nightmare, half-flashback. Once more, it is a good depiction of how Twilight was affected on the INSIDE even if she and Spike came out of that misadventure without any PHYSICAL injuries.

Also, a good set-up for the upcoming REAL adventure by alluding to the stare from the Mare in the Moon.

I'm very certainly going to be looking forward to more of this.

Some early impressions,

Interesting AU, you've done a good job of drip feeding details without to much exposition dumping.

Your dialouge is quite good, after several stories that feel like the characters are just narrating to move the plot along it's nice to see more casual and believable interactions.

Descriptions are fine overall although on a few cases you've fallen into repetition with the same verb used multiple times in a row, not frequent enough to be worth redoing but it has been an occasional distraction.

Thank you for writing and looking forward to more.

Repetitive writing is something I'm trying to work on, but at the same time, I'm not losing sleep over it. I'm more concerned with conveying the story I want to tell and the dialogue that moves the story along. But I appreciate your feedback despite this! Thank you for reading!

Good characterization of Pinkie Pie. A lot of the time Pinkie comes off as an eldritch being incapable of self-preservation and emotion other than humor.

There's a time and a place for that kind of Pinkie.
That place is not here.
I've always preferred a more down to earth version of the pink pony, which is what I'm going for here.

Excellent job on this latest chapter. Loved the detail of Twi checking on Spike every time she woke from her nightmares as well as looking over her cash reserves. The look for temporary work (and lack of luck concerning the aforementioned look) is understandable in her position. Also loved how Pinkie introduced Twi to that - sarosian (as well as the reaction to the fact that Twi actually KNEW that word). And, yeah, that "bigger on the inside than on the outside" spell that allowed her to carry so many books she could sell was also a great detail (as was her taking the opportunity to try to find a book on pegasi - presumably so she can try to teach herself to use her wings).

Anyway, the exchanges. characterizations and future chapter set-up are all well done in all the right places and I will definitely be looking forward to more of this.

>Stare from the moon
>Nightmares all night
Stop being a jerk, Miss Moon

Really liking the story! In particular, I'm enjoying how we're slowly learning more about the world and characters—like in this chapter, Pinkie and Knox's reactions to Twilight's bags tells us this ;eve; of magic isn't especially commonplace, while also giving us a funny little character bit. It's really nice.

Also, I think I figured out what the deal with Spike is. But then, I've been wrong before.

Well? Care to share? I can't tell you if you're right or wrong because spoilers, but I'd love to hear your guess/theory.

Alright then!

One big thing about Spike in your AU is that he's longer, and more serpentine, and he seems to have a starkly different temperament than the only other dragon we've seen. Meanwhile, the eastern style of dragon is much more serpentine, and is often wiser and are treated more like gods than threats—though, given the nature of mythology and folklore, it would be generalizing things quite a bit to say that's universal.

Anyways, I think it's plausible he comes from a breed of dragon more inspired by eastern stories than western.

Now, here's where I'm going to get kinda silly. This is... considerably less plausible, for several reasons, but I thought it was funny.

Another common thing with eastern dragons is that they're often associated with water, the most powerful often being the gods of important rivers. And we've got a scaly friend who lives in a (plot-important) river.


I will give you that you're right on the inspiration of Chinese/Eastern Dragon bits. Visually, that's what I was going for with him.

It's funny that you were originally going to call the Sarosian 'Nox'. Bat ponies/thestrali/sarosians are commonly depicted fanonically as screeching in a manner not unlike a bat, whether for bat-like echolocation or in place of a 'squee' being determined by the fan in question. Where am I going with this? Nox is a latin word for sound/noise.

Again, you did an excellent job on this latest chapter. The exchange and characterizations were really well done. I especially liked how Twilight, upon self-reflection, got mixed feelings about Ponyville (i.e. liking it more than most of the small towns she and Spike visited but also feeling like she needed to leave because of some as yet unspecified issues concerning her hometown, which Ponyville was a little too close to). And, yeah, the stuff with the timberwolves makes for a great cliffhanger.

Something tells me that this is probably where Twilight and Spike are going to end up meeting Applejack, but I will freely admit that I could be wrong on that.

I'll very certainly be looking forward to more of this.

"yet unspecified issues"
Oh, like you wouldn't believe.

On an actual cliff!
Damn, I'm clever.
No I'm not, anyone with a third of a brain could have come up with that...

REALLY good "flashback chapter". Love the reflection on Twilight's part concerning her first (official) meeting with Spike just one week after her entrance exam/her becoming an alicorn (probably having to do with how much power it TAKES to hatch a dragon egg). VERY good detail concerning how much effort it takes to learn to control those types of abilities. And, yeah, makes sense that Twilight would start bonding with Spike when she found out how intelligent for a one week old he was.

Nuggets are nice. Like gold.

Also, I like how Twilight is using Celestia's and Nightmare Moon's titles, rather than their names. It's a nice touch.

It's not really a flashback chapter in the sense that Twilight is currently recalling any of this.
This is just a way of informing the reader of some details on her past that have yet to be explored. Basically the reasons as to why things are the way they are in the present day.
But I'm glad you enjoyed regardless.

I feel like this would have been more appropriate their right after the last chapter, You know?

I was considering that. But I felt like being a massive troll and having a cliffhanger followed up by a flashback.


Yeah your author notes did a pretty good job a convening the the purpose of it I am just putting my two bits into this.

And that's 100% fine. In all honesty, I've been waiting for some kind of criticism on this. Aside from the two dislikes, feedback has been astonishingly positive so far. Which is great, I love that people are liking my little tale so far, but I wasn't expecting it.

It's an attempt on my part to create an air of mystery around the two. Obviously, everyone who's reading this knows who they are. But I'm the only one who knows who they are in the context of this universe.

Also, this is me being nit-picky, but the story isn't being narrated by Twilight. It's just that the narration heavily goes into her own thoughts because in a lot of scenes there isn't much else to describe. Obviously, you can interpret it however you want, but I just wanted to give my two cents.

The suffering of others gives me life.

I tend to be the same way.

Give me your hate comments! They nourish me!

This is how Twilight and Spike's relationship should have been in the show.

I'm still waiting to see how the other changes you made in the AU play out, but if nothing else, you should be very proud in how you captured the essence of Spike and Twilight's relationship. Kudos.

Do you intend to take this story beyond the episodes about Nightmare Moon's return and further into the "series"? If so, I congratulate you, but you also have a long journey ahead since you're already thirty-six-thousand words in, and haven't even introduced any of the other Mane Six aside from Pinkie. But I like this pace, honestly, especially with the hints of backstory and, again, the emphasis it gives of the relationship between characters, and particularly, Spike and Twilight.

Spike and Twilight's relationship has always been something that I loved in the show when they do it right (Father Knows Beast is the most recent example of this, kind of), but it isn't done right enough. Which is why I put such an emphasis on it here. In this continuity especially, Twilight is the only "family" that Spike has ever really known. And these interlude chapters have been tailor-made to explain that (I've already written most of them, actually), along with a few other bits of Twilight's past.

To answer your questions: I've already come up with ideas surrounding at least one sequel. Maybe two if some of my ideas don't end up meshing with the tone I want to go for with Number 2. Though as for going more into the storylines of FiM? Inspiration will be taken for sure, but not much. The original concept for this was going to be more focused on developing Twilight's relationship with the other members of the iconic group of ponies in what was effectively meant to just be a lengthened version of the series premiere. And while that'll still happen, the story has changed into something that I think is far more complicated then "Twilight needs to make friends." I could write an entire story alone on her backstory here, or the backstory of just about any of these altered characters. One in particular, but I'll say no more on that front.

At the risk of spoiling things: a big recurring theme in this story is coping with the past, to make it sound pretty. I may not be able to fully convey that theme, but I seem to be doing good so far. And I can't wait for all of you to see some of the twists and turns I have in store for this crazy ride.

An interesting start :twilightsmile:

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