• Member Since 20th Jan, 2016
  • offline last seen 2 hours ago


Author of mostly cute/funny one-shots and a handful of heartwarming stories. I also make art! https://www.deviantart.com/pony-thunder


Summoned by the Cutie Map, the CMC find themselves on a journey to the Highlands, a land of Equestria home to a mysterious race of transforming creatures with a dark secret and a sinister past.

Artwork by Viwrastupr

Chapters (8)
Comments ( 48 )

Hey, this looks pretty neat. I love adventure shit like this. And it looks like you aren't wasting any time getting into it.

Excited to see where this goes.

Thanks, your support is appreciated! I've always wanted to write a proper adventure story, but most of what I do ends up being one-shots. I put a fair amount of planning into this one in hopes that it turns out right. Expect chapters coming out over the next week or so.

This seems like an intriguing concept. Let's see where it goes

A brief silence filled the air, until a random student gave an answer. "Uh, Canterlot?"

I can just imagine the camera cutting away to Cheerilee with Canterlot clearly visible out the window.

As for the rest, definitely looking like a fun read. I always like seeing what people think/hope lies beyond Equestria's borders.


If it were a gag in the show, that would definitely work :twilightsmile: Glad you enjoy it so far!


"It's a tragedy where a powerful pony receives a prophesy from three spell-casters that they'll be a great ruler, but is eventually consumed with paranoia and ends up as a tyrant and dies."

"Oh my," Rarity said, taking a slight step backward. "Ponies write plays like that?"

Sweetie Belle sighed internally. "It's an old classic. I was going to be one of the three spell-casters."

Exactly one year ago I was in a Macbeth play and I was one of the spell-casters.
I'm not kidding.:rainbowlaugh:

I thought the pacing was good up until this chapter, but the capture was very abrupt - I thought I had hit the page down button somehow. It could use a scene describing the creature sneaking up on the CMC.

That's fair, and a good idea. I just added a segment to do just that! :twilightsmile: Thanks! It means a lot to me to hear the pacing was good to that point though. Getting pacing right is my worst enemy when it comes to writing these stories.

So that's what Nirils do... I don't think Twilight knows how to reverse that.

I'm curious to see your plan for the barrier

So am I. I've got some ideas floating about how I want it to go but haven't decided yet. The main idea is that there are three tests in total, and it is impossible for any adult to pass all three. One obvious one is a test that requires a small physique, which only Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle could pass. Another is a test of innocence, which is fuzzy-ish but acceptable that Twilight, Rarity, and Rainbow Dash would fail (Applejack would maybe pass, because she is known for being honest). And the other test would be a test of...fun, or something. I don't know. I may just ditch the whole three tests thing and make it less complicated. But I really like the idea of having the adult ponies getting weeded out one by one in each of the tests, and with Apple Bloom passing all but the physical size one at the very end.

I do like the sound of the multiple tests

I am just hoping we get Apple Bloom young befor she cross. Can she still cross as a grany?


I'm still deciding on it (I'm a terrible writer!), but she'll probably get Benjamin-Buttoned pretty soon. Maybe.

I kinda have mixed thoughts on this chapter. On one hand, it makes sense to change Apple Bloom back, since the map clearly called her as well as the other 2 CMC's. On the other, it seems like it was handled too easily, like it was never a problem at all.

Well I believe that the aged up crusaders will have a more difficulty way of doing things in the future.

That's an interesting thought

I had reservations about it. My hope was/is to use it to have her character development occur retroactively, having essentially experienced what she was worried about in the start.

With that though, I realize it would help drive the point home better if I added more of her conflicts in the first few chapters.

I used to try to only release finished stories, but always lost motivation when things weren't perfect. So I'd say to fully expect a few changes to occur as the story progresses. You're all essentially part of the writing process with me as I go. But I am adhering to some sort of standard.

In addition, having her experience being old before entering the highlands is planned to be integral to plot


I updated Chapter 5 with an intro to flesh out Apple Bloom just a tad more. Hope you enjoy :twilightsmile:

I'm impressed with your response to my feedback. I think the addition you made works rather well. Mad respect for the work you're doing on this story. :twilightsmile:

You are doing great! Keep it up


Thank you, I really appreciate that :twilightblush:

I've waited a long time for this moment. Thank you author for a new Chapter. And a personal thank you for allowing me to translate this fanfiction.:derpytongue2:

Sounds like those "sources of joy" are a bit tainted with fear/mistrust. Or that part came from Sigil himself and not the sources he referred to.

You know those stories that seem like they’re going be be a great. Lots of build up, set up, and all that, and then everything is resolved in a single chapter. I really don’t like those kind of stories.

With the pacing of the first few chapters, I thought it would be at least 50k words, maybe even more, and then it just ended.

I don’t know if I’m the only person who feels this way, but I think you do need to work on more consistent pacing for your stories. Having a story you love suddenly end can be disheartening to the reader.


You're not wrong to feel that way, and I accept your criticism, but it can be considerably more disheartening to work on a story for months, only to have the first comment you receive upon completing it be "I really dislike what you've written". That's the kind of stuff that makes me just want to delete my own stories, because I know they're right. Something you might consider improving is considering the effort an author put into their stories, even if it's not up to your standards. It genuinely hurt to see that as the first review of my story upon completion.

I agree that my pacing could be improved. That's why I wanted to write a story that was longer than just a couple thousand words for a change. I'm sorry that my attempt wasn't good enough to warrant any more praise than that it would have been great. But I'll take that to heart and try my best to write 50,000 words next time.

Now I feel bad :fluttercry:
It’s just this exact same thing happened to another story I read a while back, and I guess it just left a bad taste in my mouth.

I’m not an author or reviewer myself, so don’t take everything I say as correct as I probably (certainly) have less idea as to writing a good story than you do. I was just saying my opinion.

It’s just that I thought since we were spending multiple chapters building up going to see the Lirin and Niril, that we would spend multiple chapters with them.

Your criticisms are definitely valid, there's just a certain level of tact that I think people lack who take it upon themselves to review stories. I didn't feel great about the pacing of this story near the end either, but there are ways to make valid critiques and still respect the author's effort and feelings about their work.

Your's wasn't nearly as bad as some reviews I've had that has zero good things to say and essentially just trashed what I've written. You had a valid criticism, but it's not too hard to express the good aspects amid the bad. I think many people treat authors on this site like it's their job. This is just my hobby. I don't necessarily write to have critics review my work.

If you really want to see bad pacing, check out my first few stories on this site. Nearly all of them have comments saying "your pacing is too fast". And then imagine my thoughts after taking those criticism to heart, over and over again, despite getting better and better at fixing the main crux of my writing ability, when I receive them yet again on my proudest / most complicated accomplishment so far.

I do appreciate your response though. I was worried I'd get one back that was unapologetic and mean spirited, but that's not what I received. Apologies for going off about it this much.

Comment posted by Rainbowsparkle20 deleted Feb 14th, 2019

Thanks. If you don't mind me asking, what did your deleted comment say?

I don't know how I missed this update for the past couple of days. Anyway, I like how this ending played out. The quote below has to be my favorite part of this story.

"Okay," he replied. He knelt before them and leaned his horn toward their center. Tendrils of white began to emanate from his horn and were lifted into the air above all of them, illuminating the dark forest around them with bright light. And as it descended downward, they felt an immense sense of peace and happiness, and a feeling of gratitude that came along with it. The feelings that had been bestowed upon them became their own, inextricably tangled between them in the best way possible. In the exchange, they felt the remorse of his past alongside the tranquility of his present, all the emotions wrapped up into one. And by the end of the exchange, they felt more understanding of his character as a whole, flaws and virtues included side by side.

That was fun. It was abrupt but I still think you did a really good job capturing the feeling and essence of an actual episode of the show.

Honestly not what I was expecting. I had this idea from how you were describing the false sense of joy/puffed-up pride mixed with what Miss Cheerilee was saying at the beginning, but whereas the kirin and nirik are one in the same, I got the feeling that the lirin had been separated from the niril, in a form similar to the cult classic story of The Dark Crystal.

This was a fun story, and as others have said, it did feel at times like an episode from the show.

So anyways, you had a fairly strong beginning but as the story progressed it seemed to snowball towards the conclusion, it got faster and faster and then stopped. I wonder if perhaps you got metaphorical ants in your pants regarding your pacing, that is to say that you didn't want to disappoint your readers (or perhaps your inner critic as my college English teacher called it) and worked to make sure that you didn't feel like you were taking too long between chapters. There is no shame in taking your time or taking breaks, what does matter is that you communicate with your audience if you do decide to put a story on hiatus.

That being said, I think you had a great premise, not very many stories that genuinely try and explore the "undiscovered west" most stories even AUs have been content with staying in Equestrian proper or places like Griffonstone/dragon lands. Also, there is the fact that you completed your story, which is more than I can say about 90% of the stories I have started. Perhaps you could someday return to the highlands see what other adventures await our intrepid trio of explorers. Once again, I enjoyed reading this story and I look forward to seeing what you come up with next.


Thanks, I appreciate what you've said. It was definitely a combo of not wanting to stop writing and lose interest (both my reader's and my own) and worrying about biting off more than I could chew. The story definitely lacked/deserved a third act, so to speak. But I would like to return to a more adventure/lore driven story at some point in the future, although it would likely be something new. My issue currently is getting the ball rolling for an idea I'd be passionate to write about. For this story, I liked the idea of an "opposite" to the Kirins, and it all kind of grew from there. Thanks for reading it!

Comment posted by PonyThunder deleted Feb 1st, 2020

The idea was that Kirin/Lirin are the normal forms of their respective races, but Niriks/Nirils are just the forms they take when they transform. Forgive me if some of this is already spelled out in the story because it's been a while (or worse, different than what I'm saying now lol), but the main takeaway is that those transformations aren't inherently bad, just different. There was a power imbalance with the Lirin & Nirils, where the Nirils were abandoned and uncared for. I was kind of caught up in a lot of thinking about empathy & society when I was writing this, if that's not apparent.

You are quite welcome.

I got the idea you were trying for, it's just that with the Kirin, the Nirik transformation was much more one and done. Whereas with the Lirin and Niril, based upon what you wrote including Cheerilee's notes, the whole kidnapping the CMC, and the whole banishment thing, it reminded me of the Jim Henson movie "The Dark Crystal" which if you are unfamiliar (and forgive me if you are) is the story of a race of beings who are split into two distinct parts on account of a magical accident, one side is good, calm, and wise the other is evil, rash, and cruel.

as to the issue of writers "inertia"
I totally understand I am not a prolific writer, and honestly, most of my stuff is based upon short-lived "lightbulb moments" once the bulb burns out, I am left with whatever it was that I got out in that time. That being said, I would be happy to act as a beta-reader or as a metaphorical wall to bounce ideas off of if you wanted some help.


I wasn't aware of The Dark Crystal when I was writing this, but I did watch the new adaptation on Netflix when it came out and really enjoyed it. I definitely see the similarities now.

Thanks for the offer! I'll keep that in mind if I get to the point where I've got some semblance of a real idea for a story. It's no secret I haven't been writing as much for a while now, but I would like to keep writing every now and then.

Haven’t read it yet, but it looks promising! Nice cover art too.:heart:


I hope you enjoy it! You should know it ends a little bit rushed, though.

How cute! I don’t read too many chapter stories because...Ihavecommitmentissuesandoneshotsaremyforte, but I really, really like this. It’s adventure with that easy going, slice of life vibe. I must say I'm really enjoying it so far!

(also loved Sweetie’s retelling of Macbeth:rainbowlaugh:)

Oooh, another great installment.:twilightsmile: you captured each pony’s character really well, and I must say, reading your descriptions of the mountains, of there feelings, just the descriptions in general are such a pleasure to read. That’s the only way I know how to put it. You really did a wonderful job on this!!


I hope you enjoy reading through the rest of it. In retrospect, I should have made it about twice as long, but it is what it is. I've got plenty of unfinished stories, unpublished and not, but at least this isn't one of them :twilightsmile:

Just realized I never reviewed this after I finished reading:twilightoops::facehoof:
I just wanted to say that this is absolutely worth the read to anyone who hasn’t read it yet. The visuals that PonyThunder creates with words are beautiful. The mystery is intriguing, the dialogue between characters is so charming, and I believe you’ll really like the adventure. :pinkiehappy:

Woah, really late reply, my apologies:twilightblush:
On the contrary, I thought this was a nice length! And I agree - a completed story is definitely something to be proud of.:twilightsmile: Well done on this one.

Thanks for the follow-up haha. Reviews like that help me feel more inspired to work on my newest projects. If you're interested in what I'm "currently" working on (and those quotation marks are doing quite the stretch), check out my latest blog post. It's intended to be a darker, more fleshed out story with some similar elements revolving around Chrysalis and changelings.

I suppose Twilight couldn't help them out in chartering an airship... :twilightsmile:

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