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Scarlet Frost has had more than enough death and violence in her life and has spent the last several years living quietly as a librarian and scholar in the New Equestrian city of Swanrun. Sadly, it seems that death and violence are not yet done with her, as she is about to discover.

After a chance encounter, Scarlet is forced to leave her home and flee for her life alongside a mysterious orphan filly named Primrose. Now being hunted across the land she once went to war for, Scarlet will have to use every resource at her disposal just to stay alive. And if she is going to make it through this, she must confront the ghosts of not only her own past, but those of this long-broken world as well.


A special thank you goes out to my editors, Mister Hypothetical and Chromio!

Now with a reading over on YouTube!

The sex tag is for occasional blunt discussions on the subject matter and implied sexual behaviors between consenting adults.

Chapters (60)
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Comments ( 549 )

First

So from what we know, the Equestria of old had pretty much been wiped out by the Changelings, leading to some kind of war...

And now a new Equestria has taken its place... One, it seems, we have much to learn....

Tracking beacon activated.

9722455
Indeed, and if you look at the map, you will notice that 'New Equestria' is far to the west of what used to be the Equestria we know from the show.

No, Old Equestria fell into ruin because of a race known as the Changelings.

So in this universe, Changelings are a race of ponies? Interesting...

9722584
Er, no, they're still just changelings.

JMP

Hmm...wonder what Scarlet's connection to the Changelings is. From the teasers, we know they're still around, but it seems the war that Scarlet fought in was against the Griffins?

9723213

From the teasers, we know they're still around, but it seems the war that Scarlet fought in was against the Griffins?

That is correct. This is explored more in future chapters.

9722601
But then why did you call them a race, and not a species?

9723305
I dunno. Why does D&D refer to elves and dwarves as races when they're totally different species? Why does the Elder Scrolls series refer to Khajiit and Argonians as races when they are completely different species?

In the context of high fantasy, which this story is, 'race' and 'species' have a tendency of being synonymous when it comes to civilized creatures.

9723308
Yeah, but that's word corruption. Science Fiction has "sentient", Fantasy has "race". A better question would be; If you know that it's erronous, why did you still use it?

9723339
Because in the context of the genre it's not a problem. Not to me, at any rate.

9723339
Do you regularly try to interpret words in ways that ignore the context around them, or only when you're in the mood to pedantically misunderstand terms that literally everybody else has no trouble with?

JMP

Primrose was a runaway if I remember the previews right. Wonder if she has a specific goal in mind.

I wonder if "the Five" are the alicorns of Old Equestria. The bust of Twilight described her as a goddess, so I think it's fair to guess at a connection with the others.

9723937

I wonder if "the Five" are the alicorns of Old Equestria. The bust of Twilight described her as a goddess, so I think it's fair to guess at a connection with the others.

knowyourphrase.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/hammer-hitting-nail.png

9723381
No, but I am a stickler for proper, universal word usage. Why do you ask?

Looking forward to seeing where this goes. Feels like Fallout Equestria which makes me curious what happened with the Mane 6 and what about Thorax

9725156
Heh, I have typically pitched it to others as 'It's kinda like Fallout: Equestria, except its High Fantasy / D&D."

9725160
i love fallout and i'm hoping we will get to see a good changeling i like it when there good thou i wish they didn't do the hole every changeling is good i like it when there is only a select few that are against the bad i like it when the odds are against the good yet they prev-ale. (i dont know when to use my punctuation. lol :facehoof:)

Huh, I had a feeling Scarlet used to be a soldier, but I didn't know she had actually participated in the last major war...

And just what is it about Primrose and that lamp that's gotten the higher ups so damn scared they'd send an assassin to murder a filly?!

9728399

And just what is it about Primrose and that lamp that's gotten the higher ups so damn scared they'd send an assassin to murder a filly?!

Well, that is the whole mystery of the story. :raritywink:

JMP

Well, whatever Silent and the other Nightblades want with Primrose can't be good. I liked the little modern history lesson from Scarlet's book. How long has it been since she went back to civilian life?

9728399
Out of curiosity, did you read the blog posts that served as previews? They started with one aptly named, "The Veteran".

9728586

How long has it been since she went back to civilian life?

Look no further than this exchange for your answer.

“Yes, you have the right of it, Frost. I am here on business, but it can wait for a time. I haven’t seen you in… how long has it been? Seven years?”

“Eight,” Scarlet clarified with a wince. “It’s eight years as of two weeks ago.”

JMP

9728591
That long? From the first chapter I'd assumed Scarlet had only recently became a civilian again since it sounded like this was her first job back. The war was 8 years ago? I guess it'd have to be some time for textbooks to talk about it...

9728599

From the first chapter I'd assumed Scarlet had only recently became a civilian again since it sounded like this was her first job back.

She had taken some time off for reasons as of yet undisclosed.

Well now, just what did little Primrose do? I look forward to finding out.

Oh ho, she prefers dual blades? Good choice of weaponry on her part, makes her fighting style more versatile.

But just what is it about that lamp that's so important? There has to be some sort of piece to this puzzle....

JMP

I wonder if these Nightblades were actually that. I remember from the previews that there was at least one Changeling around and hunting Primrose. The lamp is very curious, I must say.

9729681

there was at least one Changeling around and hunting Primrose

Wot. I don't remember writing anything like that, and if I did, then that was a mistake as that is not a thing.

JMP

9729698
...nevermind then. I was remembering things wrong, clearly.

I really enjoy this, reminds of an idea I hade about A criminal who found an orphaned foal and decided to raise him so he could try to atone for his crime. By helping preserve a life. After he took one away.

I don't have much to say other than compliments, so, Yeah. I like the world you're setting up here. can't wait to learn more about it, and see what happens with Scarlet, and Primrose.

So now we know that the lamp has something to do with Old Equestria...

Question is, what?

So many questions about that lamp. Eh, as long as Will Smith doesn't pop out of the thing and start singing…

9731676

as long as Will Smith doesn't pop out of the thing and start singing…

That will not happen, I assure you.

JMP

So that lamp is clearly very old. Is there a rough time frame between Old and New Equestria? Wonder what purpose that lamp could have served. I thought Primrose might have been fibbing a little bit about it being a family heirloom (I thought maybe she stole it or something), but maybe not. I don't think she'd have a reason to lie when Scarlet destroyed her life saving her.

JMP

Some more names. More fellow soldiers Scarlet fought alongside? Other friends? Wonder if she even remembers that journal entry

“Twilight Sparkle, The Princess of Friendship, Goddess of Knowledge, Patron of Students, Teachers, and Mages.”

I'm sure she'll be 'thrilled' to learn the Goddess part...

Scarlet could not maintain her glare. Her eyes flew wide open, and her jaw dropped at the sight of an earth pony filly,

Yes. 'Pony.'.

It was getting to be just a little creepy

Kids are good at that. :rainbowlaugh:

The rain never stopped.

I know that feeling.

His wings unfolded just slightly, allowing Scarlet to see the blades he kept hidden within.

How 'friendly' for someone she apparently knows quite well.

But he didn’t come alone. He had brought a whole team of Nightblades,

Less an errand boy, more a hit squad.

Yea, these two have a rough road ahead of them, don't they. And not just from the travel.

JMP

Loving the little bits of history and world building we get with each chapter. War is hell, no matter what form it takes, it seems.

9742097

Loving the little bits of history and world building we get with each chapter.

Indeed, and now you've got that frame of reference for how long ago the Fall took place.

Silent rolled his eyes before taking another threatening step forward. He lowered his head closer to the ground, like a predator stalking its small, pathetic prey. “Ah, well, I never said you had a choice in the matter.”

It's a cold mother fucker who can murder a cowering, terrified child without so much as a blink.

...But why had she?

Aside from the fact that Silent can go to hell?

and Scarlet, one of the only ponies he had ever deemed fit to call a friend, was now actively opposing him.

That happens when you try to murder stab them.

. “...Well, first of all, there’s our lack of money. The trains of New Equestria are very different from the ones they were modeled after. Maintaining the tracks and the trains, and ensuring that there are enough crystals to power them has made it borderline impossible for a common civilian to afford a trip on one.

Could they not figure out how to recreate steam power?

9754843
Without the old schematics or wreckage to work with, they were more or less shooting in the dark for the most part.

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