• Member Since 23rd Jan, 2012
  • offline last seen May 17th

NorsePony


I am not a person, but I play one on TV.

T
Source

The earth had belonged to the People since time immemorial, until the ponies came to push them out. For centuries, they have hidden in the forest and the hills, slowly losing ground to their enemies.

But now the gods have chosen two young warriors.

Chapters (7)
Comments ( 89 )

> Four fours of herdsfolk lay around a fire, built small but hot in the People’s way.

This. This is how you start a story.

Two words in, and you've established a sensation of someplace far removed from the world we know. By the end of the sentence, it's whispering the sussurus of the primal, and you've told us two important facts about the protagonists.

This story had my upvote in four fours of words. (Was that intentional? If so, triple bravo. Mind blown either way.) Tracked by chapter's end. Curious to see where you take it, and will keep reading, but I had to stop and speak up about the opening line.

2659862 Thanks a bunch! : )

Crude firearms aside, what hope do the deer folk have against a nation lead by beings which can control the Sun and the Moon?

The odds are not good.

Superb storytelling, let's see how far this rabbit hole goes.

2660443 Aw, thanks. : ) I shall try not to disappoint.

2659958
What can they do against pony cunning when faced head-on? They can't possibly fight all their battles from behind cover. The title's kind of a giveaway -- there is going to be a proper war -- but I'm still interested to see how it plays out.

Woah. Grim, primal and very, very well-written.

Ghost and Ember are terrifying, each in their own way. Yet they are also sympathetic, because you show us the reasons for their anger and hatred of the Others. And now they are inventing firearms!

2665419 2665426 Thanks! I'm happy you're enjoying it. : )

Can't wait for the Princesses to come. Bullets vs. waves of Solar and Lunar magic. You can't wipe out a village without payback.

I can't wait to hear their version of history. Whose will be closer to the truth?

Really liking the worldbuilding and different point of view.

Isolated villages are one thing, but a city is another kettle of fish. The People seem to be having it all go there way so far and we yet to see any sort of real retaliation from the Ponies. No magic shields, no nothing.

2687571 That's true, it has gone all their way so far.

2685203 Thanks a bunch! I'm a big nerd for worldbuilding, so it's great to hear that. : )

I'm curious, what timeline is this set in? Is it before or after Luna's banishment or return?
I assume it's before both.

2687983 It should become clear later in the story (assuming I've done my job as an author, anyway).

26875712687878 Indeed. And they've already had trouble. Pressing on before solidifying there power is going to make things FAR more difficult for them. I also notice that the ponies in this story seem a lot less durable than I see them as, but fair enough.

2687880 Me too.

26879832688194 Seems to be in-between the founding of Equestria and the rise of Discord based on the tales the deer tell each other. Since the time of their "grandsires' grandsires" suggests roughly five generations which is even more roughly a century assuming that deer age and reproduce at a similar speed to humans.

Hmm.. so some time after unification but before the Princesses. Hmm... Well they've rattled the hornet nest now. Doubt the Equestrians will be content to let the People get away.

2694211 I thought of you when I pushed the Publish button on this chapter. I knew you'd be pleased. : D

Ouch, that was devastating. Guess they have to further develop their tactics.
I wonder how things will go from here.

Ooh, I like this. The writing style is a lot more fairytale-ish. It's an odd style, but it fits with the the genre of historical fiction.

Ten thousand to one thousand? They're not going to recover from that, methinks.
The rains weep o'er their halls...

Well, it seems as though my guess for how long it had been was way too small. I guess i was taking the legend too litterally.

Quite a devstating blow there. About time the ponies got organised, but I didn't expect such a quick turn around without aid from the princesses. Still, well done.

2698899 It was not fully clear in the story, I think, but the princesses don't exist yet at that time. The ponies had only been in Equestria for a few hundred years, and they had expanded and pushed the deer out under their own power.

The deers' initial push through the hills was fast enough that they largely stayed ahead of the news, and when the ponies finally organized against them in the hills, they were still insufficiently prepared for the deers' tactics. But by the time the deer got to the city, the ponies had ample warning, which had given them enough time to bring in the unicorn council (who were powerful enough to raise the sun) to defeat the deer magic-to-magic. The army of the People consisted of nearly every warrior the deer had to offer, so the comprehensive defeat of that army kneecapped the deers' ability to make war, or even defend themselves.

Of course, that was the gods' plan all along.

Well, that wa beautiful. And an appropriate story of the origin of the Everfree.

I don't remember deer every being in the Everfree but whatever. Would really want to see what happened to the Deer folk after the Princesses came to power.

This is interesting, and kinda disappointing that its over. You really made the deer captivating to read.
I want more of them :twilightsmile:

2699189 Thanks, I'm glad you liked it. :twilightsmile:

2699661 Thanks for the kind words. :heart: There may be a prequel coming, provided I can finish up my current project in a timely fashion.

Well, that certainly speaks of a very interesting story to be told. Let it begin.

Damn. I originally thought the word for this would be beautiful, but I was wrong. No, this is haunting. Every step of the way this had me enchanted with the dismal, mystical nature of it all, and the ending did not disappoint. You managed to bring the People back from their darkest day, and leave them with a happy ending, all while explaining one of the more interesting phenomena of the series. All being totally organic and without breaking the flow of the story, effectively using a natural feature as a denouement.

I am awed equally by the story itself and the talent inherent in the writing. In short, damn.

2703772 :heart: Thanks a bunch, that's extremely flattering. : )

For a quick second, I looked at the cover image and thought this was a Samurai Jack crossover.
I am so, SO sorry

2708666 Haha. At least that puts me in good company. Samurai Jack was awesome.

Ha....Ha... Wow. Is it hot in here or is that just my broken air conditioning?
Why was I mentioned in the same blog post at this? I mean I know that he said they were different but jeez different tiers entirely.
You have an excellent grasp of voice. The people are both strange and familiar. They are fierce and angry and wild and in pain and yet hearing them act the way they are is just right.
The only false note in the entire thing was that "She" had antlers. It was confusing and went without comment. I assume you are aware that all female woods-dwelling deer are antler-less (reindeer are the only exception and they live in tundra.) and have taken out an artistic license. This is fine, but it pulled me out of the story.
This story has a lot of potential. I can't wait to see where it goes.

2714744 Yup. My biologist friend has poked at me a number of times for giving the female deer antlers. I did research, but reindeer does have small antlers, which would not have served the story. So, they're Equestrian deer, and Equestrian does have antlers. *handwave, handwave* (Also I knew that most readers wouldn't be up on their deer biology, so yanno.)

And thanks very much for the kind words. I'm at that phase of post-publishing where every couple days I think of something that should have been different in the story, and it's a struggle to not spend all my time nitpicking it after it's released, haha. So hearing that people like it is most welcome.

I was not horrendously impressed by the last chapter. It was rather blah. It lost the energy that that you had in the first. I've been thinking about it and your style has a sort of classical epic feel to it or a mythic vibe, but chapter 2 sort of looses that because the way they discover the cannon isn't really very 'mythic'. You lost that feel and you didn't replace it with say, really interesting characters. Your characters remained Odysseus or Dido or Thisbe: they are legendary and fun but not particularly deep. Archetypal is I believe the word. Anyway, point is that the last chapter felt rather Blah. But THIS chapter pulled back in the legend of it and worked well. It was more about the events rather than the characters and that worked excellently. You have made me excited again.

First blood! Let's get this going!

It's still really weird when you use the words "doe" and "antlers" together.

You write good battles. I feel sorry for Ember, but I feel more sorry for Ghost. I wonder if she'll fade away when her unfinished business is done. (Metaphorically?) That being said, it's not real war yet, there have been only slaughters. We'll see what happens if they hit real resistance.

Not much to say otherwise.

I almost feel like once they've taken the hills they should winter over. Like, they are over extending themselves AND heading into battle on the cusp of winter. This can only end badly.

Uh huh. Yup. This is about the level of carnage I expected. Jeez guys, if you'd waited and repopulated the hills--maybe worked on that magic problem.

Eh, who am I kidding? More of them would have died because civilians would have been with them. Because you can bet that they'd be pressed all the way back to the forest come spring not matter what. Genocide is not exactly a good way to start a war. Because if/when the tables turn, mercy tends not to be on the table anymore. That can be said for both sides at this point.

Hm... not bad. I assume the forest became Everfree, so hostile to ponies?

A good read. I definitely liked it. But somehow the ending didn't quite wow me. I guess ultimately it's that you never quite "dealt" with Ghost in a way I think her character deserved. She was a deeply flawed character, and that worked really well for this story, but having read the end of the story her character flaws were neither addressed really.

It's not that she didn't change over the course of the story, but her largest flaws--her genocidal hatred of ponies and her inability to confront the world on anything other than a warring and revengeful basis are not really dealt with...nor do they seem to persist beyond the limit of the story. She is never required to confront ponies on a "Human" level, and yet at the end of the story she no longer seems to want them all killed. She's totally fine with just escaping into the forest EVEN THOUGH her stated purpose throughout the story was to kill every pony in Equestria, and she at no point ever had a change of heart. At the beginning she is motivated pretty much entirely by revenge, She remains destruction minded throughout the war, even while learning to think of "after" she thought of it on a tactics level. The death of Ember seems like it should have caused her more cause for vengeance, not less. Made her more violent towards her enemy who, let's face it, had actually killed Ember. But instead her anger slips from herself, not to the group she has hated for the whole story but to the GODS. She turns her fierceness and pain on the God to try and bring Ember back to life...which would have worked if you had acknowledged the growth this showed. Because ultimately this action was the catalyst for her change into looking "After". To a warlike Ghost, she had now lost everything and the only thing left was to cause as much pain to the Others as possible. The people would die anyway there were not enough of them to defend the forests, she would cause as much pain as possible on her way out. But this is not enough for new Ghost. She doesn't want to cause as much pain as possible, she just wants Ember back. She wishes the People had never gone to war so that she wouldn't have lost her. She decides that the Life of her friends is worth more than the death of her enemies. This change obviously happens in the story. But I couldn't tell you where. Is the catalytic moment when she is bested by the unicorns? Is it when Ember dies? Is it when the Gods inform her that their defeat was predestined and so was Ember's death? Some combination of all three?

I don't know. Her character change was never really dealt with even though really that feel like the crux of this story. It's symbolically represented, it's built up to. It's not like a tragedy where Ghost is unable to change her ways and suffers for it. But it didn't turn out like piece where a flawed character learns from their experiences and changes for the better either. It seems like it should be. Ghost does change, but this change never comes out in the narrative text leaving the climax emotional but somehow muddled, which sapped its power. In the end it was a wimper, not a bang.

I really liked this story. It had a lot of potential and with the exception of chapter two, every single part of it had me hooked. It was exciting, it was interesting, it had a strong and complex character. It just didn't end electrically, and that's pretty much the only thing that kept it from being the truly great.

Sorry for the block of text I was sort of working out what bothered me.

2717544 Good points, and looking back on it through that lens, I agree completely. If I'd had more time to let the story sit and stew before I edited it, it might have come out differently—or it might not have, perhaps you've shown me a blindness of mine. Either way, writing is about learning to be a better writer, so I've profited from this story. Thanks very much for the read. :twilightsmile:

Dang. This was a fun read. I love stories involving the deer, adding some interesting inter-species conflict (unlike pretty much every other deer story I've read) makes it that much more exciting.

The setting of the story is vivid. Your writing style and types of word choice really helped in this department. It wasn't difficult to get a sense of how the People saw the world. The feeling of mystery also helped reinforce the fact that these events occurred far before present day Equestria.

I like Ghost and Ember. One is the embodiment of passion, the other the voice of reason. Together they build upon each other quite well. However, they don't seem to be the strongest of characters. There simply wasn't as much development as I'd have liked to see. Without the character growth, they appear to be weak in depth.

The action was exciting. I think that sums it up pretty well.

This story is definitely one of my top favourite stories in terms of world building, especially on regards to its length. Well done.

I'll be happy to see how you add to this world.

2720402 Thanks for the kind words. : ) I agree, character development is one of my weaknesses. It's something I'm working on with each story, because that's a particularly bad weakness for a writer to have. : D

Wow, excellent work. This is such a change from the usual fics I read. It's not only well written but engaging, one of those stories you just can't put down. I really enjoyed reading about the world and characters you built, a great story! I liked the ending, it was bittersweet. Ghost can't have her resolution just like Ember can't have her after. Anyway, great work.

Greenthumbed!!

a3V

I got here through the announcement of the World Building Alliance's winner prompt. (I still have yet to participate, unfortunately).

Also, it would appear I have nothing to say, because I am not a very good critic. Maybe one day I will say something worthwhile. Regardless, it was an interesting read.

2831399 Haha. Thanks, I'm glad you liked it. :pinkiesmile:

Was Ember supposed to be claiming to be able to throw a spear across the forest twice? There's a repeated segment in here.

2926454 Oop, you're right. That's what I get for editing while I was distracted. Thanks for catching that. : )

Wow.

Now that is how a story should be done.

I will be reading with interest.

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