• Member Since 7th Apr, 2019
  • offline last seen 5 hours ago

ElbowDeepInAHorse


Shaking rust off her gears after an eleven year hiatus from writing.

T
Source

When the water is tainted, Stable 10 purifies it.
When the air grows stale, Stable 10 recycles it.
When a pony dies, Stable 10 plants them in the gardens.
When the talisman powering Stable 10's ancient generator begins to falter, Aurora Pinfeather learns that for her world to survive she must gamble her life on the thin chance that its salvation lies somewhere deep within a world that killed itself centuries ago.

With each passing generation, the lessons of a catastrophic war have slowly been forgotten. New factions have arisen to take up old banners, and in the midst of it all one pegasus pulls at a thread, unaware of the lost weapon on the other end that threatens to unravel everything.

Chapters (14)
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Comments ( 137 )

I really like this story so far! The characters are well written, and the content interesting. I look forward to more chapters.

9658487
Thank you, holmesiv! I'm excited to be writing this! I'm a bit new to the MLP fanfic community and I'm hoping that translates into a fresh take on Kkat's world and not the writer's equivalent of falling down a flight of stairs. Also, heck yeah, first comment on the story! Big Time, here I come! ;)

Well, welcome to the community! I know FoE was what introduced me to the show, and it's always nice to see more added to the fandom, especially when it is engaging in it's own right.

Okay, Elbo- I mean, Broody... I shall be looking at this tomorrow.

9659286
Broody. I like that! Let me know what you think about the pacing, I'm all ears for feedback.

Ho. Lee. SHIT. What an opening! I don't even know where to start! Where do I begin?!

The characterisation? Fucking brilliant. Everyone feels unique and separate, with their own stories. I especially loved the relationships you crafted around Aurora between her and Sledge, and her father.

You wanted a word on pacing, and I have to say that not since I read OG FO:E has 18k words drawn me in, held me and made 90 minutes fly by like that. You nailed the pace of events, leading one thing into the next smoothly and easily. The one and only hiccup I found was the small cutaway to Nimbus during the control room scene, other than that, it was sublime.

Your world building and descriptions are something else. Building up a mental picture as Aurora travelled through the Stable was supremely easy. Not once did I have to stop and think about layouts, nor how ponies would navigate their spaces. Everything presented itself mentally in an extremely natural way, and I could almost see certain places like the Stable door. I also liked the cheeky retcon you did for the CMC cutie-marks. Top job.

The prologue, while certainly lengthy, was a brilliant and engaging summary of the chain of events leading up to the setting, and the only thing it's really missing is the dulcet tones of Ron Perlman.

This story is only two chapters in and I'm already incredibly invested in seeing what Aurora does next, what happens to her, and if she succeeds in saving Stable 10 or if it all goes south in the end. This story already has all the hallmarks of being something amazing.

The only issues I can pick out are some grammatical errors here and there, some more glaring than others, and one time where a pony mysteriously switches gender for a line (I can point these out far easier in GDocs than here, so hit me up with a link via PM if you want).

Other than that...

i.imgur.com/sPOiOAF.gif

9660364
Thank you! Absolutely hit me up with those grammatical and pronoun errors, probably best on Imgur since I haven't a clue how to use Google Docs!

I'm glad you enjoyed it so far! It's so different while writing - I go over a scene so many times that it starts to lose its punch, so you guys and gals are going to have to be the folks to let me know where things sound good and which areas feel fuzzy. Thank you for the compliments!

9660723

Absolutely hit me up with those grammatical and pronoun errors, probably best on Imgur

Oh, god no, that'd be an even bigger pain than trying to list 'em here. I'll link you in PM's to a GDocs crash course. It's pretty easy to use, as it's really only an online word processor with a couple of extra features.

9662774
Sounds like a plan, I'll take a peek at it after I find a good place to save this current chapter. ^^

Nicely done! I am idly curious how many caps fresh produce would have to be worth. I look forward to the next chapter.

9669400
Thanks! It's looking like I'm settling into a pace of a chapter a week, so it shouldn't be terribly long. I'll keep those apples in mind!

Why do I have but one upvote to give? Interesting angle with introducing Ghoulbow Dash in the first act. Let's see where this goes.

Thank you for posting this! I enjoy having something nice to read before bed, especially as an end to a weekend. Another well written chapter!

I already left a comment on imgur, but like I said this was probably my favorite chapter so far. I’ve always loved reading interactions between multiple characters because it can really be a test for writers to try to juggle that many things at once. Ive read a lot of fanfic but I keep coming back to FO:E stuff. I can’t wait to see the dynamic that forms between Roach and Aurora.

Also, yours is the first story I’ve commented on I think. Profile so fresh I don’t even have a picture yet.

9687999
:) I appreciate you swinging over! This is my first MLP fan anything so I'm probably going to wind up committing several FIMFiction faux pas, but with any luck I'll keep those of you following Renewal entertained!

Good ol' Stable-Tec... :scootangel:

Stable-Tec HQ was several hundred miles east in the heart of Fillydelphia

...given this, I shall choose to believe that Stable 10 is in/near pony!Cleveland, which means it is obviously the best stable. :ajsmug:

Rainghoul Dash still angery at Spitfire. :rainbowdetermined2:

A promising story thus far. :moustache: Your descriptions are very sharp, and I'm liking the characterizations. Just hope Ginger hasn't put herself too far in harm's way vs that thug. :trixieshiftleft:

9690865
Hmmm... now to figure out how to ponify "Cleveland" ;)

9690976
Thank you, I'm glad you're enjoying it so far! I'm still beating my head against Chapter 5 right now, but with any luck the author won't botch it. ;)

Didn't get a chance yesterday to read this, so apologies for that.

Now that I'm here, though, I can safely say this was a damn good read. You described the world around Aurora fantastically once again, and I especially liked the moment you described her stepping around the sinkhole. Little details like that make environments even more believable.

The Flim-Flam Bros. (Fallout Edition) were a surprising, if ultimately threatening addition, and I look forward to seeing how that threat plays out in future chapters. Or if they'll even remain a threat in the long run.

Ginger (A.K.A Rarity 2.0, A.K.A Brown Rarity) is already pretty likeable and has demonstrated her capabilities quickly and early. I don't think you used it too much, but I'd personally beware of throwing out that "darling" too often, less is more with those sort of quirks/affectations most of the time. Better to insert it where it feels natural, than try and force it in too often (don't you dare take that low-hanging fruit). And with a name like Ginger Dressage, I expect to see some Agility 10 stuff outta her at some point. :rainbowlaugh:

tl;dr: In short, good shit once more.

9693536
Who said they were the Flim Flam Brothers? Maybe they're... buh... Frank & Furter and sell hot dogs, you don't know! ;)

The world-building is honestly part of why Chapter 5 will be a smidge late. One thing I don't like about the Fallout series is how ubiquitous its scenery ends up being over time, and to avoid falling into the trap of "ramshackle house with sheet metal covering holes in the walls" same-old same-old world I'm trying to avoid referencing the games for examples of scenery. You can only describe so many shades of brown before you just pull your hair out from boredom. I'll be trying to mix that up a little and it'll likely deviate from the Fallout and Fallout: Equestria worlds folks expect. We'll see if that's a good thing or not once it happens. :)

As for Ginger, she's definitely a "handle with care" character. You hit the nail on the head regarding her mannerism, and I've made a few passes this week over her dialogue for excessive darlings and dears. The goal with her isn't to be a Rarity clone, which she could easily become if I'm not careful. If her interaction with Cider is any indication, she has a ruthless streak to her.

Thanks again for the feedback! I hope to have Chapter 5 up by late evening tomorrow. Fingers crossed!

You can only describe so many shades of brown before you just pull your hair out from boredom. I'll be trying to mix that up a little and it'll likely deviate from the Fallout and Fallout: Equestria worlds folks expect.

Oh, so you're running Fellout for this run? :rainbowlaugh:

I hope to have Chapter 5 up by late evening tomorrow.

i.imgur.com/hzaJ4Hn.png

Something tells me Aurora isn’t fine. That’s gonna be a lot of psychological trauma. At least she’s among the closest thing she has to friends.

Well that was... that was something else. The good kind of something else. As always, the environments and descriptions are on point, characterisations are solid, just... yeah.

i.imgur.com/MNpGOg2.gif

This in particular I liked:

the solid designs bordering the walls while leaving a core of patterns in the center of the room.

You have a mastery over the skill of describing things that I can only ever hope to achieve. I'd be bogging myself down trying to describe the actual patterns, if I even thought to describe the damn floor in the first place.

Also:

Night Mares: Vol. 6

derpicdn.net/img/view/2013/3/23/277024.gif

So now Aurora's got her first combat XP, her first kill, and it's technically in the "unarmed" skill! I wonder what perk she'll get on levelling up? Oh, and there's the mystery of how she's gonna handle all that, too, I suppose. I also wonder how Ginger's going to react on finding out that Aurora's just killed somebody on her property. That's gonna be a fun conversation, I'm sure.

Anyway, in summary:

i.imgur.com/SJYNvnl.gif

Oof. I had a feeling that was coming, but at least it went fairly well. Get outhouse'd, Cider. Of course, this could go very bad in the future if F&F holds a grudge and is a heavy hitter in these parts. :unsuresweetie:

In other regards...

Her focus needed to be on fixing her world before it died the same death as this one.

Short-term maybe, long-term kinda a silly viewpoint. A highly closed system like a Stable can only survive for so long, and suffers the same issue that brought this discussion about: that they have no real manufacturing capacity. Eventually, if it hasn't happened already, things other than the reactor will break down and be irreparable, and quality of life will slowly fall until they're forced to leave or die anyway.

9707947
I actually like your perspective on the short term vs. long term view of how Aurora perceives Stable life. I'll be keeping that in mind when later events unfold. Fallout as a franchise has done so little with Vaults reaching the expected end of their usefulness (excluding Vault City and Vault 76) that I honestly didn't give it much thought on my end. I'll pick around my notes and see if there's a place to incorporate that somewhere into the story!

“Hide,” it said.

:rainbowderp:

Well, that wasn't entirely unexpected. Kinda nuts how powerful F&F is, but I guess that power is magnified by Ginger's business being smol. But hey, third party member and free armor!

once Cider’s sister hears about this

:raritydespair:

Was going to wonder why there weren't facilities in the Stable to exercise wings, but upon pondering further I suppose even if they had them or someone invented them, with nowhere interesting to go it might well be preferable to just try forget about one's wings as much as possible.

I keep looking for details that might hint at when this happens in the time line for FO:E.. or are you just doing your own thing and ditching it?

What a fantastic chapter, even though the subject matter is a bit dark. I enjoyed the world building with the house and the Outhouse. I swear I could smell that outhouse and feel the nastiness surrounding it, which made the ending all the more intense. The fight scene gives the feeling of Aurora being a scrapper. That makes a ton of sense for her character. I'm also super hyped that Aurora isn't a gun nut already. Too often do these characters come out of Vaults with crazy gun skills. Learning to use a gun as a driving objective really brings this story life. Even knowing where to point a gun does not come naturally. I look forward to the next chapter!

My only wish so far, I'd love to have more in the fight scene. I speed up reading sooo much while reading high action scenes. I really feel the addrenaline and having more detail would enhance that feeling, but maybe that's just me.

Anywho, as AJ would say to other readers... i.imgur.com/PgAP2Xk.png

9721271
I'm doing my own thing, in all honesty. The reasons for the war and a few notable details in Kkat's story remain, but I'm opting for a different history of events after the war. If Littlepip and her friends exist in this world I'm trying to create, they might not do so in the same capacity as the original FO:E.

9721287
Howdy! ;)

I'm glad you enjoyed it! This chapter was a challenge to write, mostly insofar as I didn't want Aurora's fight with Cider to feel unrealistic in how it resolved. I wanted to pit her against a unicorn right out of the gate because it would truly challenge her while she's inexperienced, which I'm happy you ended up enjoying! Aurora is absolutely a scrapper. And yes, I very much want to avoid her becoming a "bullet for every problem" character. ;)

Fingers crossed, I want to wrap up Ch. 7 by the weekend! If y'all want it faster, you're welcome to come to the house and help me dig up a 9ft lilac bush! :D

You know, we all have a very love/hate relationship with Bourbon. We can all agree that she's fun at parties, but only in small doses. However, when Bourbon get an electric personality, she can catch fire for days and....kill all the fish? Ya, current events!

Anywho, who is this F&F and what does it stand for!? :raritywink: I'll take some wild guesses.

https://i.imgur.com/avhPs3n.gifv

With Ginger being in business with Bourbon and Frocks&Fedoras, I don't know that Bourbon would have too much issue with a potentially serial rapist getting his just due. Rapes are certainly not good for business. Business folks are generally pretty good at keeping public perception to the positive. Just look at how some drug cartels treat their home countries. I also think that Fentanyl&Fermentation is into the drug and alcohol trade. With the sure demands for Jet, Mentals, and Psycho out there, and Raider civilizations, I wouldn't be surprised. I'm not saying Forms&Files would be ethical; the business pony is called "Filthy" Rich after all. And what about potentially repopulating Equestria! Fornication&Foaling?!?! ... I've gone too far... It's probably something that makes more sense like Sofas&Quills or something.

“I flew! I ate dirt but I flew! ”

I let out an audible laugh on this one. Another solid addition to the "I would totally do that" list. It goes back to the growth of the character. Thank you for not letting her be amazing at something she's never done before. I love seeing the fight that comes out when you eat "dirt" a few times. I've called it eating something else, but it's all the same. And interestingly enough, I could feel the wind. Jeez, it felt like a beautiful spring day. I wouldn't have taken it to be a wasteland or whatever season it is. Do Stable ponys have seasons and feel cold or hot? I'm looking too deep into it. :applejackconfused:

Anywho, I look forward to the next installment of Aurora's Adventures with the Feisty&Fighty Group, and who could be behind that Spritebot! I can't wait for the next one!

Now for some crazy musings:

Will RD and Aurora ever fly together!? Can she teach Aurora a Sonic Rainboom? Will Roach do a Sonic Radboom? If they do it together, will it be like crossing the streams? Can this changeling ever change (without killing everyone)!? Will Ginger's artistic talents ever be truly appreciated? How does Aurora feel about walking around naked after her incident? My mind is awash with questions. :ajsmug:

9727345
Holy crap, *I forgot to explain that F&F was a Flim & Flam abbreviation.* For the love of-- I'll have to retcon that in! It wasn't intended to be a mysterious reveal, just a harkening back to a prewar pair of scheisters who sold snake oil! I completely deserved that ribbing :) No comment on Bourbon, though! Spoilers!

I really enjoyed writing and rewriting Aurora's first flight, brief as it was. The scenery comes from an area I live near and I couldn't bring myself to write it as a barren mudflat like most of the Fallout 3 and 4 terrain tends to be. One thing that always bothered me about Fallout is that the radiation always mutated the fauna and killed the flora, which made no sense given how easy it was to grow food in a settlement. I'm using that gripe as an excuse to walk back the desolation and reimagine Equestria's ecosystem as heavily weakened, rather than dead. Especially with an herbivorous species being my main source of characters! ;)

Working on Chapter 7 this weekend! I hope to have it done with enough time to spare to go to war on my front lawn. I thought I was letting clover grow in the dead patches. Nope. **Creeping Charlie.**

9728162
Wait, Flim AND Flam!? Shut the front door! :raritywink: You know your way around a good joke, but sorry if I go too far. It's all meant in good fun.

I never thought about that flora bit. How in the world are there two headed cows and no ag or grass to feed them! Double down that sentiment with FoE. But if we're getting close to home, I think a race is in order. Fastest 2 minutes in Equestria! Sounds like fun and hats! :raritystarry:

Looks like you picked a good weekend to get some work done. I'm not afraid of a lilac bush, but that humidity is another story! I got some weeding in the garden to do, ribs to smoke, perhaps some pickling, and maybe a chapter to read :twilightsmile:. Good luck with CH 7!

9728589:duck: Jokes are what I do, darling!

The humidity is why my lawn is now 50% creeping charlie, blech. I dosed it with borax last night. Time to roll out of bed and see if I didn't kill the entire lawn!

Really digging this story, Ellie.

Mmm, meat. Spritebot still a mystery though. Did someone program it to just stay in front of the caravan and warn everybody, or is there actually someone following along with it and manually warning? Makes me think...probably another pegasus would be best at that?

DOWNLOADING UPDATES … 1 / 2,102

snrk. Oh no, her data bill's gonna be through the roof! :raritydespair:

Interesting though...I guess the Enclave is maintaining infrastructure that provides updates?

She took another swig.

I dunno, I think there's gotta be some sorta magic in Sparkle Cola for it to stay even marginally quaffable after all this time.

Also, now I'm wondering how long a jar of pickles can remain edible or even just recognizable. Alas, no luck googling it...

It's okay Aurora, I'd stare at nearby mare ass too.

9741746

More to come on the Spritebot, and I blame Whinnydows 8 for all the dang updates. ;)

I've hayed and hawed about whether or not I wanted to include some sort of magic property to the beverages in Renewal, but I ended up settling on them being normal everyday drinks. If I remember right, Nuka-Cola was still safe to drink due to some preservative property in the original drink, but the drink offered so minor of a benefit in-game that I didn't want to enhance Sparkle-Cola's positive properties. Otherwise I feared I would run the risk of writing myself into a situation where Aurora & Co would be shotgunning sodas for a temporary health boost during a fight, and oh boy that does sound silly. :)

As for the pickles... guh, writing that scene made me nauseous. Blech!

Holy shit! Watcher! :pinkiegasp:

Also: Is that song in public domain? If not, you're gonna want to remove it, since copyrighted lyrics of any sort are a massive no-no on FimFic. Just FYI. Not that anyone who uses the site cares a fig, but the site has to protect itself from any potential suits. You know how it is.

9743525
It's past copyright, yup! Also, Watcher? Hmmm...

Fantastic read again. You nailed some of the smaller details with the lighting, and the temperatures, and the feels that are in there. It really made it fully emersive. I want that cabin. I've been wanting one for years, but you put what I want into words. There's just something about a fire that helps you open up and lose a bit of your inhibitions. It was really a lovely scene although steeped in overcoming tragedy.

Aurora pressed her wings against the sides of her head and dug her face into the dirt to stifle the sickened noise rising in her throat. She saw Delphi laying on the floor behind her toppled chair, her blood trickling down the curves of mahogany molding.

Brindle got shot so hard that Delphi fell out of her chair! Maybe I'm reading it wrong, but I may have caught a name change. :twilightsheepish:

“Treat it like it’s always loaded,” she repeated, and not for the first time.

And then I proceeded to accidentally point it at all my friends, because I'm an idiot...sorry, self projecting. :derpyderp2: Gun/Trigger disciplines are so hard for a new person. Been there.

Brown liquid sloshed inside three glass bottles standing upside-down by their necks in the strange holes that burrowed through Roach’s leg. Ginger rested her forehead against the countertop with the face of a mother who just discovered her child drawing on the wall for the third time.

https://i.imgur.com/P9Z91Kj.png

Ah, tech and the updates to download. Don't worry, when you're done downloading, next come the restart and updating. That's only JUST AS AGRIVATING! :twilightangry2: And then what did you get? Oh, a slightly different background, but it's all essentially the same. Thanks for that!

Great details and a fun read again! I look forward to the next!

9745851
Brindelphi: Good catch on the Brindle/Delphi moment! That's slushy writing on my part. It was meant to convey her seeing Delphi's suicide in her head rather than Delphi being time-traveled in front of Brindle's bullet. ;)

Boomsticks: My sister of all people is the gun nut in the family. I'm honestly pretty green to them up until very recently. We went to an outdoor range with her Remington 700 which is what Aurora's rifle ended up being modeled after. I am a shit shot. I am also a liability with anything that goes boom. ;) Don't expect Aurora to start plinking bottles at 1,000m because I can't even put holes on paper 250m away. Guns are *hard!*

Bottlebug: I nearly nixed the entire scene with Roach using his leg-holes as horrifying bottleholders, but dammit if the mental imagery didn't stick hard enough for me to leave it in. :)

9746627
Magic Bullets....wait...Aurora was hiding in a grassy knoll!? Time for some conspiracies!

I'm a fan of some good hunting, but I'm sure not going to be feeding a village with my shooting skills. The run and gun is one of the silliest parts of these fallout games and stories. With a sight that stays pretty still in movement and running, all the characters must have bodies and arms of STEEL! Two legs are tough; how smooth they can be with four? With that question, does a dressage horse make a steadier run and gunner? Fabulous horses are truly more dangerous.

And now something I forgot to mention earlier...

Aurora squinted at the arcing loops and swirls of ink and wrinkled her nose. “What language is this in?”

i.imgur.com/iI5cYbg.jpg

Dammit, kids these days. Back in my day (which I guess would be around 200 years ago), we wrote in the Kings English and did math the RIGHT way. And what the hell is a YEET!? Get off my lawn!

I got a hell of a laugh from that exchange. A couple of lines and you're shown your age, Ellie! Maybe this is the reason why there isn't a whole lot of doctors and pharmacists in Post-Apocalyptic Equestria.

I'm obviously working on my linking. :derpytongue2: I'll get the hang of this thing one of these days. (Loved the holes gag, 5/7, would totally do that too if I had holes in my arms)

Just blasted through the whole thing in one sitting and mMMmm.... Good stuff, this. The tone of the characters is a bit different from the usual FO:E tendency to run with "Every character has ALL the edgy backstory/secrets/It'sBeen600kWordsAndWe'reStillLearningAboutOurMainCharacter'sBackstoryWTF."

You seem to be going with an "all cards on the table" approach; borders on telling rather than showing at times, but I'm chalking that up to rust. Different, and limits your characters a bit, but not necessarily a bad thing. The complicated relationships you've set up are fantastic, though you could have spent another chapter exploring everything in the Stable more fully for the sake of Show vs Tell. The brief period of relative peace at the start of every FO:E fic makes for a good place to establish characters at baseline, before we start putting them through the wringer that is the wasteland.

Essentially, I adored the complex relationships you established between Sledge, Aurora, and her father, but it would have been nice to spend more time showing those relationships and exploring them in a slower fashion. Leaving the stable is an inevitability, so the time spent in it is valuable exposition. The instant we open this fic, we know she's gonna be leaving the stable. Give us a couple of days to look at how the routine has shifted with Aurora's new knowledge that the generator is failing. Let her stew for a bit before going to her father, knowing that she's going to leave and HAS to tie up this loose end, or perhaps mull over Sledge's role as a second father/mentor figure that she chose over her own for her time in mourning/avoidance. Delicious, delicious character development and a chance to set up a few Chekhov's Guns for later (this is one of the things that FO:E Project Horizons executed masterfully; Chekhov ALL the things).

Getting more specific, you might consider touching up Aurora's decision-making process for leaving the stable. It makes sense, but it felt pretty rushed; like it was less generated by Aurora's thinking it through and coming to that conclusion, and more "Author/story demand I leave the stable so LET'S GO." Not a huge thing, but if she was thinking it through as early as learning about the issue with the generator and while saying goodbye to her father soon after, some more time spent reflecting on it and coming to that conclusion might help it feel a lil less rushed. Doesn't have to be Littlepip or Blackjack levels of introspective angst, just a paragraph or two of dawning horror and realizing that "It's the only way oh god, and no one else is gonna do it so it has to be me." Maybe a more drawn out scene talking it over, summat like that. Just a minor nitpick.

I think someone already pointed this out, but Rarity Ginger throwing out "Darlings" can be a bit much; there are a couple of FO:E fics with Rarity/fashionista ponies (looking at you, FO:E Infinite Potential and FO:E Heroes). Not your fault, but you might have a hard time giving Ginger more of her own voice given she's stuck in a Rarity!box at the moment (and accurate even down to the bad romance novels, no less).

There are some moments where deep instances of character development or backstory revelations seem to be coming on a bit too rapidly, such as learning Roach's story RE: Stable Stalking. It may be because I'm used to Character Arcs spanning hundreds of thousands of words courtesy of FO:E Project Horizons and Murky Number Seven, but that struck me as something that'd show up later on, when we had more of a grasp on who he is and how loyal/devoted he is to Stable 10 and the descendants of his family, or perhaps as a tie-in to one of the things that keeps him going/sane as a ghoul rather than falling feral (ie, Aurora gets injured/almost killed, he goes near-feral while believing her to be dead/etc, or struggling through the loss of the Stable or something like that).

Don't get me wrong! I think that a lot of the backstory and revelations that you've laid out are really neat and make for good motivating factors and pieces of your characters, but in the context of what I'm expecting to be a multi-hundred thousand word story they feel a bit rushed in comparison to the impact they could have in the future when we're more invested and attached to these characters.

It's like... It's the difference between starting a card game with a fantastic hand of cards versus working your way up through the course of the game into having a fantastic hand. In both cases, they're a good bunch of cards, but the impact is different. Playing your cards early makes for a short, quick victory, but if it's meant to be a long game it's not quite as rewarding/satisfying as playing your perfect hand at the climax of the game, when all the bets are in and it's time to find out who wins the pot. Does that make sense, or did the metaphor go too deep?

Put another way... If you've read FO:E Project Horizons, I want you to think about all the revelations we had about the main character over the course of the story, and then try to imagine those revelations happening at the very beginning.

I'm certain there's a TON and a half of character development and revelations in store for the future, I'm just wary about overplaying your hand too soon when you clearly have an EXCEPTIONAL grasp of what makes a powerful, gripping motivation.

(To be fair, I'm comparing your story to fics where the character development takes place over hundreds of thousands of words, in one case millions, so bear that in mind, grain of salt, all that. Please don't take ANY of this criticism as "You should write this XYZ way," because that's the last message I want to send. Write what you want and how, but I hope that some of this critique is useful to you and helps you to develop the story you want to tell and the skills necessary to craft it.)

Moving on... Some info seems a little out of place, like the Overmare knowing about the Vault experiments being a wider trend (strikes me as the opposite of the information security that Stable Tec was expert at), or the way Canterlot is used as a demarcation for Enclave activity, given they're cloud-based and Canterlot is a pink cloud wreck. Also pretty refreshing to see you're skipping over some of the FO:E Project Horizons canon; plenty of authors take that as written by god and engraved in stone.

Also unicorns OP pls nerf. Cider being able to near-totally incapacitate Aurora seems a lil over-buffed, but if you're running with OP unicorns that could make things pretty interesting, since our heroine is a pegasus and thus isn't going to be able to take advantage of that. Love a good Hardmode playthrough. I mention this because Cider/Ginger lifting/throwing around Aurora is a bit different from the usual unicorn shenanigans; in most other fics, unicorns aren't able to no-sell other ponies to the degree shown here. It's neat, and different, and I kind of hope you keep it that way, rather than chalking it up to Aurora being as under-leveled as a Bidoof facing down the Elite Four.

I'm liking the look of the update schedule, too. On that note, how do you value chapter length/flow versus update consistency? I'm not particularly concerned one way or the other, but numerous other FO:E fics have a tendency for chapters to balloon in length over time, which slows updates. Is there a particular method you favor, or are you still working that out? :)

Overall, nice addition to the FO:E library, looking forward to more. Characters are enjoyable, the conflicts believable and inching towards a larger adventure, and all the wonderful details with which you craft a scene make for vivid imagery.

EDIT EDIT: On the off chance you're still hungering for more FO:E, I'd Recommend:

FO:E Project Horizons (this one takes FO:E and cranks it up to eleven. It's a brutal, emotional roller coaster that manages to be darker and bleaker than the original, while keeping the themes that made KKat's story so powerful. Incredible uses of Chekhov's gun and long character arcs. Heavy, long, and highly recommended. Beware of archive panic.),

FO:E Murky Number Seven (also ridiculously long, but constrained in its scope in comparison to the sweeping journeys of most other FO:E fics; if you're a fan of main characters being out of their depth and outgunned, this is your meal. Beware of archive panic part 2),

FO:E Infinite Potential (This one is a bit hard to categorize; at times the main character comes off as a lil Mary Sue-ish, at other times it's attention-grabbing enough that it doesn't really matter. Healer in the Wasteland, with a twist),

FO:E Heroes (New Vegas, but FO:E. Pretty brutal at times, but has a wonderful array of well-written characters and some neat twists, also very guilty of slow-burn character development),

FO:E Pink Eyes (pure, sugarcoated poison that anyone with a heart will HNNNNGG to.),

FO:E The Chrysalis (Changelings! You might be interested in this one for the sake of ideas/seeing how others used them),

and of course Empalu's fantastic flash game, FO:E Remains (It's fun. Full-fledged RPG, pretty much; English localization is a bit clumsy in some sections, and some of the puzzles are difficult (There's a wiki, it helps), but overall I'd consider it a must-play for FO:E fans).

EDIT EDIT EDIT: Okay, okay, I'll shut up now. Hope the feedback helps!

9750503
Woo, holy wow that's a long one! :) Thank you so much for the critique, I'm writing this on a newfangled telephone so I'll try to respond to your main points from memory!

Character Dev: Holding out some details for later makes good sense, but in terms of Roach specifically I wanted to start putting his backstory cards on the table earlier to establish why he's invested in the quest rather than just altruism. I worry that witholding that information could muddle his motivations in future chapters and wanted to get it in readers' hands early. :)

Stable pacing: I completely agree, the Stable felt rushed even as I wrote it. I got hung up on how much time I was spending inside and wound up getting self-conscious about the chapter count, so Aurora got shot out the door like a blow dart. I hope to remedy that when I find a natural place to skip back and work on edits, but I honestly don't know if that'll be sooner or later.

Unicorns OP: I honestly prefer a stronger flavor of unicorn magic, especially when it puts Aurora at a distinct disadvantage. I'm a smaller gal and being overpowered is a reality I'm aware of. It's a huge risk for Aurora but she's clever. ;)

Schedule: Right now I'm pushing myself to stick to a chapter every 1-2 weeks, allowing for that 2nd week in case I risk burnout. I try not to watch the word count and instead chop up chapters based on the events that take place within. I'd rather not put out 20,000 word beasts and lean on that as a measure of success, nor do I want Renewal to become an unwieldy millions-long wordcount. I have the story's events mapped out from beginning to end and plan to stick to that. I'm guessing maybe 25-30 chapters tops.

Rarityisms: Yikes, Ginger is definitely a Rarity fan. I should have assumed that might be a popular trope. You'll see her dropping the frequency of "darlings" the longer she's away from her store. There is a why for that which I'll start to dive into soon. Ginger does have her own backstory, and it happily doesn't involve seeing a sonic rainboom in her Manehattan apartment ;p

Non-canon: I do plan on this being it's own standalone story, and not one that takes place in Littlepip's universe. I'm borrowing some tropes for flavor but regarding the events and characters of FO:E Classic, this won't be canonical. Trying to stitch a story to the hip of another work is far beyond my abilities, and keeping track of it all would drive me batty.

I've got to get my butt up for work, but than you so much for the notes and recommendations! Had I known the FO:E library was so huge, I would have done a bit more reading before I dove in!

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I know that it was a bit long, and full of criticism, but I also want to stress that your story is a fantastic first showing on fimfic!

FO:E Library: Those're only the ones that I've read so far, to be honest. There are numerous other fics with well over a half million words, and I think FO:E Commonwealth (FO4) is rapidly approaching 2 million, and plenty of smaller stories and series. That said, if you have to start somewhere I would highly recommend FO:E Project Horizons. It'll place a lot of what I said in the above review into context, and it's a damn good fic if you don't mind the length. :) I listened to it as an audiobook while pulling long hauls and it kept me busy for quite some time. In any case, they're not mandatory reading by any means, though I know plenty of authors use those and others as a basis on which they build their own canons. I think I noted this above, but FO:E PH is especially popular for that, in part because Somber went to great lengths to connect their story to FO:E's canon, and in part due to their fantastic world-building. Anyways, I'll shut up before spoilers happen.

Canonicity: Okay! I'm not really a huge stickler for sticking to source material (it's fanfiction of fanfiction, for god's sake), but knowing that clears up a lot of potential questions later on and definitely leaves you broad leeway for world-building. I'm honestly looking forward to seeing what you end up doing with all the freedom! If on the off-chance you decide you want to toss in FO:E references/cameos/etc. (a lot of FO:E authors do this, but please don't feel like you have to) there are a number of resources available, including a wiki and some fimfic groups that focus on FO:E. Obviously, spoilers galore, but better to have it and not need it, all that.

Rarity Ginger: Hey, it's not your fault if you haven't been following FO:E trends for the past X years! It sounds to me like you're pretty new to this particular area of the fandom, so I wouldn't treat a trope like some kind of sin that must be scoured away. My main concern was that it might stifle Ginger's ability to stand out as anything other than a Rarity!clone, but if you have plans for that issue I'm certain it'll be fine. You've definitely shown you know how to write a good character, so I'm not really concerned.

Schedule: Okay, thanks! Splitting by events can leave some chapter lengths a bit weird, but honestly the content is more important than the number. ...As long as you don't start consistently pulling cliffhangers, all is well.

Fair and BalancedTM Unicorns: I'm genuinely looking forward to the challenge this presents our merry band of heroes, especially when/if the Alicorns GODDESS shows up. Given that unicorns are already showing themselves to likely be one of the most difficult enemy classes for Aurora, the absolute levels of bullshit achievable by a hivemind of high level spellcasters boggles the mind. Good thing they have Ginger, though I hope she doesn't end up carrying the party like a Level 100 Wizard saddled with a bunch of scrubs thanks to the wonders of Public Matchmaking.

That does bring up an interesting question, though. In other fics, and indeed in FO:E Classic, separating characters from the party is a pretty common occurrence. I'm hoping we get to see how Aurora copes without her tentative support system, and how she improvises, adapts, and overcomes the challenges thrown at her. We saw a lil bit of this in the Cider fight, but that was a newbie scoring a lucky crit on a sealclubber by my reckoning.

ALSO!

Leveling system, perks, so on? (This is for FO:E Classic, but PH and Heroes make good use of this as well) This might be something you choose to ignore, but leveling up and perks are pretty popular in FO:E fics. Some use them to track their character's progress and growth, hint at potential plotpoints, and justify certain actions in the story. It's not a Must Have mechanic, but I've always enjoyed reaching the end of a chapter and seeing some event called back in the listed experience gains/perk choices as our hero goes from Lvl 1 Stable Peasant to Lvl 30 Legit Badass. Since you haven't been doing it up to this point, I'm not expecting it, but it's another tool available to you that I think you could have fun with/make use of. I'd encourage you to take the opportunity and make use of it, if only because it's not a tool available in most fic settings. FO:E PH, Heroes, Classic, and I thiiiiiiiink Ourouros (another good one, slow updates though) all used this to great effect, but it depends on how much you want to pull from the toobox.

Stable Relationships: I'm really glad that you already had this in mind; it's one of the most common issues I see in FO:E fiction, so the fact that you're planning on going back at some point for touch ups is heartening. Stable 10 clearly has some incredibly rich opportunities for exposition and getting a feel for who Aurora is as a person, so I'll look forward to seeing what you add. I missed the Prologue days, but the Stable 10 chapters might give you a chance to use some of the material there, or otherwise build on the world and potentially set up some extra differentiation from the source.

One Roachy Boi: Ah, okay. I can understand where you're coming from, with that. Working with a character who doesn't have clear motivations is difficult and sometimes confusing, especially in a world where "altruism" is a dirty word. It DOES make him much more understandable, but to some degree it goes back to showing versus telling. At this point, it feels a lil like this isn't Ginger's story to tell, and we haven't gotten an opportunity to see the incredible, Herculean amounts of Determination/Focus that Roach has likely dedicated to this end. I mean, there's the guarding and the tunnel, but... I dunno. I think it's one of the weaker areas of backstory exposition, though I understand why you went with it. Again, write it how you like, and don't get disheartened! All cards on the table is a much different approach compared to what I'm used to, so this might just be my biases coming into play. Still, I wonder if there exists a best of both worlds approach for this?

EDITS 4: THE RETURN OF THE REVENGE OF THE WRATH OF THE DAWN OF THE DAY OF MORE EDITS: Forgot to include FO:E Orobouros!
Another Edit: Fuckin' mispelled "Ouroboros."

Edit: Misspelled "misspelled."

Edit Edit the Eight: Crap, also wanted to at least mention that the environments you've been crafting have been well-handled. One of the things I believe we agree on is that the landscapes for Fallout tend to be too... uh, dead, for lack of a better word. The vegetation and attention to detail for the urban settings (mismatched wooden planks, an outhouse vs functional plumbing) has given it much more life, and things like the forest hints towards more potential wildlife encounters/role for that sort of thing. Also there's only so many ways you can describe a gray, barren landscape. :P

Extra CrEdit: Since you already have the story planned out, please disregard any of the thoughts/spitballing I toss out in these feedback posts! When you're writing, post-planning phase, do you usually leave room for whims and fancy, or do you tend to stick like glue to your initial plots?

9751274
Library: I think once I'm closer to having this story wrapped up, I'll take a look at Project Horizons. You're right, I'm not exactly well-traveled in this side of the fandom. I've been pretty solidly grounded in the fan comics, artwork and animation end of things. It wasn't until earlier this year that an Imgur user asked me if I'd read Fallout: Equestria and absolutely badgered me into doing it. I found that I very much enjoyed the story, but more for the darker after-the-end setting than anything else. When I play Fallout, I'm a sucker for reading the notes and getting deep into the lore instead of getting levels, which may be why I suck at Fallout games. ;)

Cameos: I thought about tinkering with a nod toward Littlepip & Co, but without getting spoilery, I don't plan on her actually existing in this universe. The most I'm planning to do is play a little bit with Watcher, albeit in a limited capacity. I'm a sucker for the Watcher mechanic because ED-E was a favorite character of mine. Tempting as having Aurora notice a pony in a Stable 2 jumpsuit, it would negate something I plan on adding in the later stage of the story.

Alicorns/Mane 6: ;) There are exactly two alicorns in this story, and they are presently dead. The deaths of the Mane 6 in FO:E Classic aren't the deaths of the Mane 6 in Renewal, so no goopy Twilight/Trixie alicorn-spawning monstrosities in this one. I'm still in the air about how detailed I'll get in detailing the where/when/how of their deaths. I really didn't like the idea of memory orbs in FO:E as exposition dumps, so I'll likely be utilizing holotapes and characters to tell those stories. We'll see!

Roachi-senpai: That was painful to write. :) But yes, Roach will be getting more dimension as the story progresses. There's still the story of his prewar life to tell, as well as other goals he might have had but I won't confirm because spoilers before Aurora rolled the door open and got her ass bit.

Environment: I definitely dislike the Fallout 3 style of environment. Great, visually. Awful, literally. I'm still trying to balance in an area between Fallout 76 and Fallout 3. Fun fact, the area they're currently in as of Chapter 7 is based off of Wisconsin's driftless region. If you've driven through here you might recognize the bluffs and valleys. ^_^ It won't all be grassy areas of recovery, but it's a bit of what I'd set as a baseline. Plants are still growing but they're not having a great time doing it.

Schedule: Right now I'm dipping into that 2 week stretch because work and weather have conspired to send me home exhausted. I'd like to have this next chapter completed by Sunday, but I'm admittedly only halfway to where I planned a natural endpoint. Gonna jump on that..... now.

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