• Member Since 29th Jan, 2012
  • offline last seen 5 hours ago

Chengar Qordath


I write lots and lots of horse words; everything from comedy to drama. If you like what I write, please support me on Patreon.

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It has been four hundred and fifty years since the clans of Old Pegasopolis went into exile. The island-nation of Freeport languishes under the rule of the Necrocrats; what began as an idealistic experiment has become a new form of corruption, the ideals of the past lost amid the greed and vain ambition of lesser men. Clan Charger has been all but destroyed, while the Strikers and Doos teeter upon the brink of collapse. There is no hope for the future.

However, when a down-on-his-luck mercenary captain crosses paths with Torch, the last survivor of Clan Charger, it sets in motion a chain of events that will redefine the very face of Freeport itself.

Chapters (4)
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Comments ( 50 )

I do have to appreciate how you and Ponibius have fleshed out this universe to the point where we have context for this sort of story. This promises to be a fascinating chapter of history, especially seeing the raw reality rather than whatever polished version made it to the Freeport museum. Looking forward to more.

the ideals of the past lost amid the greed and vain ambition of lesser men.

Because man always ruin everything :twistnerd:

Really excited to see this one unfold!

Super excited to see this finally! I get the feeling Torch isn’t being a hundred percent honest about his feelings on this job, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see. Learned a lot about what the Chargers got up to after the Rebellion, none of which sounds good. Whatever happened at the Battle of Two Magnus’s must of really ticked off the other clans. Can’t wait to see what happens next!

JMP

The "Charger Contract"? So there was a call to mercenary companies to wipe out the Charger clan. And these...Necrocrats. Necromancers in charge of the government of Freeport? Certainly a far cry from the modern Council and Archonate. Curious how the current state of Freeport happened, and why the Chargers specifically were targeted. All the way out here, and this long after the Rebellion, I wonder if it had anything to do with Bright and the Avatar. I'm also wondering if the sword Torch Charger has right now is Silver Ankh, or if he comes across that sword later. I doubt he calls it anything special, and if I remember "Lesser Lights" correctly, the name "Chainbreaker" came much later. And do we know for sure what Magnus' Folly was? I think it's been mentioned in the Freeport Venture stories as well, but can't remember if there were any details.

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It was mentioned briefly in the epilogue of The Lunar Rebellion that “The Battle of Two Magnus’s” (which is probably the same thing, just called something else by the Equestrians since they won) was an attempt by the remains of the rebel Pegasus clans to invade Equestria, and ended in their crushing defeat. The specifics of how it played out are unknown, but it is definitely considered a crushing defeat for the remaining Pegasus. Apparently it would have just been considered a particularly big pirate raid had not it been for the presence of some important figures, though we don’t know which ones.

JMP

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Gotcha. Appreciate the reminder.

Massive backlog is massive so adding to Read Later

Ah, this should be interesting. This should be what, about five hundred years even before the show's present day? That's not a time period you see explored too often in fanfiction. Seeing who the necrocrats actually were should also be something, after only hearing of them here and there. As for the Charger issue... hmm. That should be interesting to learn about. I wonder what happened to them to lead to them becoming necromancers and getting themselves wiped out.

"Mors Charger was one of Ushabti the Great’s closest friends," Torch answered, sounding just a bit defensive. "It’s only natural we would carry on his legacy."

Given what's been seen of it in the winningverse so far, the fact that large-scale use of necromancy would count as carrying on a legacy... doesn't seem to say very flattering things about Mors and Ushabti.

Also, I've been meaning to ask: is there a map of the winningverse around somewhere? I have what I think is a good general idea of the world's geography, but I'll admit I have trouble keeping track of where everything is sometimes.

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Story looks real interesting so far, can't wait for more! Also, is this the first time we're seeing a story set in an older time period that's not a part of somepony's memoirs?

This clarifies and corrects several details I had assumed were true about the exiles and the necrocrats. Until fairly recent stories I didn't realize that they were apparently one and the same, and that the war to overthrow them came so much later. Man, the Chargers fell so far from their lofty origins.

So, finally read it, will change from Read Later to Following when I post this.

Torch must then be Rainbow's ancestor. Wasn't it said she had Charger blood?

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Torch himself said he wasn't necessarily the only charger left alive, Rainbow (assuming her family legend is correct) doesn't have to be descended from him.

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Rainbow’s descended from the Equestrian branch of the family, not the Freeport one. Though that branch hasn’t had the Charger name for centuries.

i put this in the right folder right cause it technically is a freeport prequel

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I think the Chargers were only one of the necrocratic families, but yeah, they’ve fallen pretty far.

JMP

Ah, some nice backstory getting us caught up to speed with current events in this era. Belladon's observations about Torch's fighting style is definitely interesting, but only time will tell what the deal is.

I adore Cynics. So much more realistic than optimists. And less irritating than pessimists.

This was an interesting chapter. Learned a lot more about Magnus’s Folly, and about the fate of the Chargers. Definitely curious what Torch is hiding, but I’m sure we’ll find out soon enough. Can’t wait to see what you do next!

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My bet? His style includes the use of magic along with physical strikes--probably necromancy, given the previous chapter. Not surprising he might not want to drop that hammer on his CO in a friendly spar.

He started to make an odd sort of hoof gesture but froze halfway through, hesitating for a critical half-second.

Huh, looks like Torch is a spellsword or something similar.

Worse than the smell, there was something else about the whole ship that just put me on edge. I’d never been one for magic or superstition, but there was something about that ship that just felt ... wrong. Like ... like all the misery, pain, and despair of all the thousands of slaves it had hauled had somehow soaked into the very boards of the ship, contaminating the whole damned thing.

In a magical world, maybe.

Good job annoying the company commander and picking up more work, newbie.

Torch paused for a moment’s thought, then shrugged. “A spar? Certainly.” He drew his sword, letting me get a good look at it for the first time. The blade looked way too good for a normal merc; there wasn’t a single chip or spot of rust on it, and the ripple-pattern on the blade looked like something a lot more special than plain old steel. From the way he flourished the blade he clearly knew how to use it, and the long single-edged sword looked like it’d lop off a limb if he got a solid hit in. Good thing we both had plenty of practice padding.

Nice sword. Sounds like it'd be good for breaking some chains.

“Believing in things makes you stupid and gets you killed,” I groused. “There’s nothing like a good cause to bring out the worst in everyone. Just look at what happened to the old clans. Telling themselves they’re freeing Equestria, when they’re really just so determined to protect their old privileges they thought teaming up with Nightmare Feathering Moon was a good idea.”

Heeeey, some exile self honesty.

He caught my axe in another parry, this time hooking his blade under the curve of my axe to pull it a bit further out of position than I would’ve liked. Then he did something weird. He started to make an odd sort of hoof gesture but froze halfway through, hesitating for a critical half-second.

Oh, he's trained to combine magic with swordwork, but is trying to hide it.

I didn’t like that answer. It was too neat and simple. The truth is usually a lot uglier and way more complicated. Whatever, let him keep his secret if he cared that much about it. As long as he wasn’t planning to put that hidden dagger in my back, it made no difference to me. “Come on, we’re doing this until you get it right or I get tired of trying to teach you. Probably the latter, if I had to guess.”

It'd probably be good for the company commander to learn about this particular secret.

Interesting bits of additional backstory about what the exiles have gotten up to. Ushabti's dream? I'm curious.

Nice to get a look at another part of Freeport's history. I haven't read enough of Winningverse/Freeport stuff to remember or understand everything (especially Equestria and the various pegasi clans), but I have a vague idea of the beginning and ending of Freeport's history, so its interesting to hear some normal people's perspective from the middle of that history, as it were.

I wonder if Belladon will end up happy or regretful that he ever brought Torch along. Torch's name will go down in Freeport history, but how he got there, well, the journey is always the most interesting part. Looking forward to how this meeting will develop into something much bigger.

Yeah, I'm willing to bet that the slaver ship has absorbed more than its fair share of negative emotional energy. I just hope it doesn't manifest at the worst possible time.

Torch is clearly trained as... Well, in Pathfinder, he'd be a magus, but that term carries a very different meaning in this setting. He's dual-wielding sword and spell, is the point, and I'm guessing his repertoire is much more necromantic than he's willing to admit.

The review of Magnus's Folly gets a bit "as you know"-ish, but it's still nice to have more context for the event.

It makes you wonder if that’s the fate of all idealists. To see everything they built collapse into misery and ruin.

:trollestia: "It helps if you can stick around and make sure they're not wrecking everything."

Now to see how this routine little cruise gets disrupted...

A good story. Every single chapter reminds me of The Black Company, at least the early ones.

After Lunar Rebellion and the Midnight's Shadow series, it's nice to finally be moving onto a different setting and period of history. And after the Freeport Venture series, I personally am fascinated to be exploring this setting and period in particular, since we've heard so much about it. Hope it doesn't take four years to see to completion like Lunar Rebellion did, though... Not that another long-running epic in that vein would be at all unwelcome; it's just that I'm just an impatient bastard.

Having Belladon as the protagonist instead of Torch himself was an interesting choice. I guess it makes sense to have an external narrator tell his story, since if he is indeed the last Charger then I don't expect he'll be in any state to write his own memoirs by the end. Belladon's pretty interesting in his own right, as well. Definitely the greyest protagonist of any Winningverse story I've read so far, and I find his cynicism amusing. On the other hand, I don't have much of an impression of Torch yet. But then again, he is deliberately holding things back, not least of all this secret to his fighting style, which I'm guessing is one of Chainbreaker's magical abilities.

I liked getting more backstory on what happened to the clans, too. It's tragic how far they've fallen since the days of old Pegasopolis, not just in that they're reduced to mercenaries, merchants, and servants of necromancers in a pirate city, but also because through all of that, they couldn't even stick together. I guess that's what Magnus's Folly was intended to remedy, but it sounds like it just made it worse. Though, I do at least find it gratifying that after a few hundred years of exile, Striker mercenaries like Belladon can finally look back at their ancestors' actions and call them out for their bullshit. The Lunars really did turn to cartoonish levels of villainy in the final days of the rebellion, and they one hundred percent deserve to be scorned by history.

All that aside, it seems like the clans (and Belladon's mercenaries in particular) have way bigger problems in the present than worrying about ancient history, if those that betrayed Clan Charger are still alive and currently holding power. I look forward to seeing Torch finally get his revenge and lead that revolution we're always hearing about. It should be interesting to see the origin of the Council, too. If this is the story of how they came to power, I expect we're going to get to meet their founding members soon enough. If we haven't already...

Major question I have for the moment is what Ushabti's idealistic dream for Freeport was, and how it went wrong. My first guess would be that, like Hidden Facts, he wanted dark magic to be practiced freely without Equestria's magic laws stifling them, but if that was all it was, then the necrocrats ruling Freeport should be his dream come true. Maybe his dream was for dark magic to be practiced freely in order to benefit others in a non-evil way? But that strikes me as hopelessly naive for a necromancer. And given that he was briefly partnered with a Nightmare cultist who saw no problem with child sacrifice, I have trouble believing that Ushabti was that great a guy himself.

Curious about Magnus's Folly, too. In Equestria, they call it the Battle of Two Magnuses, so I kinda want to know who the other Magnus is. And who Freeport's Magnus was, for that matter. He sounds like he may have been the pater of Clan Charger, but I'm not sure.

So far, off to a good start. Looking forward to the rest.

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I will say that the main reason for the split between Ushabti and Hidden Facts was Ushabti finding out just how horrible Hidden could be and wanting nothing to do with it.

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That would make sense, recalling some lines from Lesser Lights. Has Ushabti ever actually appeared in person in any Winningverse story so far?

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Not yet, but there are plans in the pipeline.

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I look forward to seeing what comes of them.

...........Cool

JMP

So Torch can use magic. Interesting.

9306476

If I recall, in the Winningverse the two options for non horned magicians are runecasting and shamanism.

Awesome battle!

Torch is a badflank. Whereas Glory is a, well, gloryhole.

Hey, there's that Charger magic. Pretty dark looking magic too, for that matter.

9306567
Not to mention I’m pretty sure dark magic doesn’t have the same rules as regular magic.

Belladon's talk with Torch might get a little uncomfortable (although Torch did save him, so that should help).

What was the story with Third Company? An entire company of mercs (with necromancer support) just happens to come across a merchantman with an armed escort and just happens to decide to take up piracy? I'm not buying it. Especially since Glory knew Belladon was escorting a slave ship. Somebody sent Third Company after that ship, the question is, who?

I'm assuming that is Belladon and Talon along with Torch in the coverart. Talon kinda reminds me of Blossomforth, looking at her.

Bit of a necromantic twist on the last scion of the persecuted noble house, but he's already got the start of a decent army of righteousness. Now to see what Belladon makes of all of this, and how he reacts to one hell of a misrepresenting application.

Cat's out of the bag, now...

9315358 Blossomforth's mane with Cloud Kicker's coat ... maybe Talon's a distant relative to the two?

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That would be fitting, considering how everything and everypony ties in together into a complex tapestry within the Winningverse.

“An honor duel?” Glory scoffed. “You think I’m coming up on your ship to play at games?”

Now this is how you know the clans have fallen from grace; their fetish for honour duels was legendary. A pegasus who isn't Swift Blade turning down a chance for an honour duel was the most shocking twist of this chapter. Though, of course, they still end up fighting one-on-one anyway, because come on, this is still a Winningverse story.

In all seriousness, though, I keep finding myself surprisingly saddened by what the clans have become. They were the villains of Lunar Rebellion, of course, but they still had their own twisted kind of principles, but by now all pretence of nobility has dropped away, and even our protagonists are dabbling in necromancy and defending slavers in this very chapter. I can't help but wonder what the ephors of old Pegasopolis would think of their descendents now. Their descendents certainly don't think kindly of them.

Also, very interesting to hear that the Council already exist, and are known for running down slavers. I wonder how Torch and company go from this little situation to joining up with them?

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Speaking of ancestry and relations, what do you think the chances are that Belladon is a direct descendent of Steel Striker? The red coat does rather draw a parallel between the two.

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Both the Clans' current lacks of scruples and disdain for their own ancestors are understandable after centuries surviving as dispossessed as a consequence of the later ones' choices.
Their predicament is ironic, considering they chose to left Equestria refusing to bow to Celestia's judgement in order to keep their honor and traditions. Sunbeam must be laughing in the afterlife.

Okay, Belladon letting Torch's lies slide is one thing, but humoring him when he asks questions above his paygrade? When Torch, the raw recruit offers unsolicited advice about command decisions and phrases them like his opinion has weight in the matter? Sure, it seems like Belladon runs a fairly lenient company as far as discipline goes, but what the hey?

And if Torch is starting to influence Belladon's behavior, than he needs to dump his ass right quick. As Belladon has already pointed out, his responsibility is to the Company, not whatever moralistic ideals Torch may have.

Yes, I would be the leader of my clan if it still existed.

"Last of the clan, so that'd be true regardless, but still."

Not all black magic is dark magic. A fine distinction, and one that Torch may of may not be pulling out of his hindquarters, but still an important one. Assuming it's true.

In any case, time to see how many Strikers are willing to join with the family's black sheep. Though given Torch's influence, a lot of that might be soot...

"I'm not a necromancer, I'm a death mage." is one hell of a technically to the uninformed.

Torch scoffed and shook his head. “Hardly.” It still took a bit for him to actually make the proposal. “Your company is plainly understrength, and they are Strikers. Given their rather poor performance and how badly Glory failed in front of them, many would likely be eager to find greener pastures.”

Interesting suggestion. Gotta be careful about it, though.

“No,” Glory admitted. “You always were an asshole. Once you ran off with your company, changed the name, and stopped reporting in I knew you’d gone rogue. Nightshade just keeps your lot on the rolls to avoid admitting that he lost Tenth Company. Far as I and anyone else with a working brain is concerned, you’re not a Striker anymore. That’s what happens when you turn on your own kin.”

So there's still a bit of central organization even if it isn't taken entirely seriously. In light of that, I really have to wonder how the rest of the clan and this Nightshade character are going to react to Third Company more less being disassembled.

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