• Member Since 27th Nov, 2013
  • offline last seen 22 minutes ago

Jack of a Few Trades

beak enthusiast


Gallus doesn't want to go home for summer. With a little gentle persuasion, he gets his friends on board to keep him out of Griffonstone, though none of them are quite sure how to do it; that is, until Silverstream hatches a scheme.

All he has to do is join the Hippogriff Navy. It's not the relaxing summer away from school that he hoped for, but hey, it promises to be interesting! Who knows what three months as a sailor could bring?

Adventure? Certainly.

Self-discovery? For sure.

A sea battle with a band of renegade pirates? Anything's possible.


Pssh. Yeah, right.

Edited by a crew of scallywags who mean the world to me. In no particular order: MissyTheAngle, Freglz, Muggonny, Semillon, FamousLastWords

Special thanks to Pascoite for his assistance.

Cover art commissioned from the incomparable Marenlicious!

Curious about how the next chapter is coming along? Check my user page for regularly updated progress reports!

Chapters (17)
Comments ( 423 )

The only thing gayer then your dad is your second dad, who is overruled by yourself.

(Can't wait for the birbs to touch beaks. Swell work!)

Good stuff, man! Can't wait to see more, your stuff is always wonderful :)

I rise from the dead to support my homie.

Hope they don't run into Jack Sparrow now!

Oh man I could picture something like that. Gallus and a pirate standing on top of the main sail, sword fighting.

This looks promising. FIrst chapter was fun too.

Will he be on actual boats, or will their navy be more the underwater sort, since they can become seaponies?

The picture looks cute and I hope they will have cute moments later in too.


Off to a great start! :twilightsmile:

This man's obsession with birbs is unsettling. If I didn't know any better, I'd say he'd be gay for Gallus.

Not that there's anything wrong with that. Birbs are pretty gay.

But yeah, this is some pretty fine work.

Wanderer D

I saw this. The picture drew my eyes to it. The description lit a spark within me... I can't wait to read this. :raritystarry:

This is Epic! Really Epic!

Very intriguing setup. I'll be keeping an eye on this story...

Amusing (especially Yona's offer of teaching Gallus the proper art of smashing things). I will be watching this.

Sweet look forward to more

This is showing every sign of being the genuine article. Nothing rushed, nothing forced, every character on point, real motivations, real life repercussions and obstacles...I will be watching this with interest.

“If my dad says no, I can just ask my aunt. She’s the queen, so she’ll be able to make something happen.”

So Queen Novo doesn't strike me as the sort of gal where asking her would work every time...but it does get me wondering just how often Silverstream's tried this tactic and how spoiled it may or may not have gotten her at times. :rainbowlaugh:

Personally, I think Gallus is exaggerating the size of his supposed "manipulation" of his friends just a bit. Granted, he downplays the reality of his feelings on the subject a fair bit and isn't coming forward about all of the details either, and there may be other details still to the whole situation that the story hasn't yet revealed that could always add new variables to consider...but it's not like Gallus is exactly lying to them either. He doesn't have anything promising for him waiting in Griffonstone and he's not satisfied with that, and his friends, being good friends, are trying to help out by finding him alternatives, and he's cooperating with that. It would've still come that no matter how he broached the subject, and we all know it.

But anyway...this is a promising start, and it's definitely catching my interest, promising plenty of fun to be had ahead, me thinks. Been awhile since I read a fic with first-person perspective too, so there's that also. :twilightsmile:

I was actually wondering about that myself. We've seen in the show that the hippogriffs actually do have a fleet of sailing ships, but I assume that since they have the seapony option too, it won't always be above water in every operation undertaken, so it does make me wonder how they plan to fit Gallus into that, if at all. Will they give him a magic necklace of his own, like Silverstream's, so to address that problem, or just work around it? I suppose it depends on how they deem Gallus is most useful to them.

Wanderer D

Okay! This is an awesome start! Here's hoping to see more soon!

This looks super great! Can't wait for the next chapt.

That's chapter for people in a hurry.

Edited by a crew of scallywags who mean the world to me. In order from THE BEST to the absolute lamest: MissytheAngle, Freglz, Muggonny, FamousLastWords

I thought I'd fixed that up for you, you're welcome (get rekt, Famous)

But anyway, YES! I'm so glad it's up! I know everyone's going to enjoy what's in store. Excellent work, as usual,from our fantastic buddy, Jack. :pinkiehappy:


Pssh. Yeah, right.

You messed up the tags.

Question is will Gallus's Captain be in the mold of "Lucky" Jack Aubrey, an able commander who knows how to train those under them as both sailors and officers, not afraid to punish but reasonable (by the standards of the day) or will Gallus get a real rake of a captain...

I can accept being second lamest.

Better than being absolute lamest, right? :D

Roses are red
Violets are blue
I came because of the cover art
And so did you

with the green outfit and red boat I thought Gallus was dressed as the Hero of Winds.

Lovely character voice work here, you've nailed a very credible tone of sarcasm and self-deprecation due to deep insecurity. Looking forward to more.

Surprised that lamp didn’t break.

Very interesting start! Looking forward to this! Great work! :twilightsmile:

Well. This is off to a promising start! Let's hope he doesn't get assigned to the Antelope...

This update was pretty bomb.

Update when?

A promising start, will be interested to see where things go from here.

Kinda interesting though, how come the commander of the navy is a general and not an admiral; unless here the marines are senior to the sailors (which would be a little unothodox)?

I'm interested to see where this is going, its good so far.

Ever here of Sarcasm. Gallus is scoffing at the idea
I'm also worried about that. I read fantasy and pirate vs navy stories and I hate the ignorant prideful leader. Like in the Inheritance Cycle, Roran's commander, when Roran finds that the plan will get them killed, so he orders his men into a different plan, and the leader has him floged for isabordination even though he himself would have ended up dead.

I'm gonna wait and see where this goes from here.


Actually in Star Trek Klingon's called their Admiral equivalents general as well, so it's a cultural thing I suspect.

In any case I saw many elements that I could see in Patrick O'Brian's works, evne if it's not the same prose or atmosphere by a long shot but the elements remain however altered.

And Gallus should consider himself lucky he got dock work as opposed to shipboard life, if he thinks his space is tight and food bland... yeah then he'd be in for a shock on actual life at sea. Even officers who generally paid into a fund for additional better provisions had to accept weevils being in their biscuits...

OF course given the magic in the setting rations might be somewhat improved but it will have its limits most likely.

I'd go into more detail but I don't have the time currently...

Wanderer D

Pretty solid follow up!

“Oh, yeah. I guess our buildings do look a little different. We used to make them like ponies do with more wood and stuff, but we had to build differently when we went underwater. Now that we’re back on the surface, we decided we liked how open the buildings underwater felt, so that’s how we build them now!”

This is a nice bit of world building and all, and I kinda hate having to point this out, but...in the movie, when we see the abandoned Mount Aris city, the buildings were built in the same style then as they were built in all appearances afterwards. That suggests to me that the hippogriffs were already building their buildings in that style well before they went underwater.

I can't help but associate the voice of Launchpad McQuack for Ty. It just seems like too perfect a fit to me. :rainbowlaugh:

Not the smoothest of starts for Gallus, but it's a start nonetheless, so onward we go!

It's actually not unheard of historically; for example, Cromwell's England called naval commanders "generals" too, while the People's Liberation Army Navy and Republic of China Navy both call their senior naval commanders by the same title as their senior army or Air Force commanders, just with the equivalent of the term "naval" attached. The same was true of the Roman navy, where fleets were led by people who used a title equivalent to "commander" or "boss" that was used for many other civilian and military positions with the term "fleet" attached.

In fact, it really seems like having a dedicated title for just naval commanders is the weird thing, with the term "admiral" itself being particularly weird. It comes by-and-by from Arabic amir, which just means "commander" without any particular implication of being a naval commander. The reason the meaning changed in its transmission into English is essentially because of medieval and early modern conditions in the Mediterranean, where Arabs played an important role particularly in naval matters. So it really makes more sense for Seaspray to be a General rather than an Admiral considering that presumably none of that happened in Equestria.

I thought about it a little more overnight.
It would be a cultural thing but it depends how long they've been living on the mountain.

The Klingons in your example were a warrior race on a planet that's mostly land and the weather is described as 'chaotic' which wouldn't lend itself well to primitive nautical endeavours, so their culture would have formed around ground forces with little emphasis on sea travel. Then they take this into space with them.

Here though, the hippogryphs live on an island and appear to be pretty nautically inclined. If this is where their civilisation matured, it would make sense that the navy would be most prominent, kinda mirroring island nations on Earth.

I agree it's a good choice to have Gallus work at the docks. Requires less trainingand less likely to cause scheduling conflicts given his short tenure. From a narrative perspective it also allows Gallus to spend a lot of time at Mount Eris, which lends to also spending a lot of time with Silverstream to develop the romance aspect.
Of course they could end up on a ship together because reasons too, I'm not going to complain!

I don't think their conditions on ship would be terrible, since it's been established within this story that air conditioning and refrigeration both exist so the hippogryphs would have to be extremely masochistic to have the same kind of food stores as a Napoleonic vessel.

It'll be interesting to see what the ships are like here, especially given engines and modern looking watercraft (in manehattan) were demonstrated in the movie and show. Will they be true age of sail ships with some modern conveniences, early hybrid sail/engine craft like Duke of Wellington or more modern craft.

It is worth noting that "broadside messes" where crew lived at their action stations where appropriate in hammocks carried on into the 1950's in some cases so you do have room for a mix of classical nautical tropes and more modern features. Also it's a pure fantasy setting so who cares!

I like this story already, one gripe though. Why is Gallup’s meeting with. General for a position in the navy? Wouldn’t he meet with an Admiral?

Unless this is something in the show. I haven’t watched since season 5

Well, Freglz is still in the lead, but we can throw hands for the top spot.

Let's reply to some comments! lord help me

9732947 I feel like this is partially answered already by the story, but the Hippogriff Navy is a regular navy with boats. Glad you're enjoying the story so far!

9732781 No, just his less famous cousin, Jack Parrot.

9733097 A griffon capable of yak smashing would be a powerful griffon indeed.

9733510 I gotta admit, this comment right here got me a little emotional. I've put a lot of effort forth in creating this story, a lot of work toward detailing characters, world, everything. The fact that you noticed it validates that effort in some way. Thank you so much for the kind words, I hope you'll enjoy what's to come!

9733528 It's a complex crock of emotion. His friends likely would have helped him, but he consciously played it up to urge them to action, and he feels extremely guilty for it. These are the first true friends he's ever really had, abusing that friendship makes him feel dirty, regardless of how bad his actions actually were.

9735446 And for your second comment, that is forbidden knowledge and I'm afraid I can't let you leave now. Looks like you have to read the whole thing. Tough luck, man. :ajsmug:

And holy crap, that is exactly the voice I had in mind but didn't have a concrete example. This is now canon. Yes.

9733570 Or did I???

9733807 Let's be real, I think even I came here for the art. Maren did me right, he did.

9733867 Nope, that's just the hippogriff navy uniform from the show!

9734921 I had a little trouble getting over this while writing. The show named him General Seaspray, and so the rank system for the navy is gonna have to be a blend of the two systems. Gotta love it when you get smacked by incorrect canon :twilightoops:

9734139 It's a very tough lamp. Very robust.

9734091 I spent a lot of time trying to perfect my character voices, especially since this is first person. Glad to know I did it justice!

9735525 I'm just going to accept the fact that you guys are FAR more knowledgeable about sailing and such than I am. I'm just going to apologize in advance for screwing up details related to that, because it is sure to happen. I'll try my best, though!

9735650 This relates back to the general-vs-admiral issue other people have discussed. Seaspray is a General in show canon, so that's what I'm going with.

9733564 I actually wrote your names in a totally random order, but yeah, this checks out.

And a great, big, fat blanket thank you to everyone else who commented and read! This has been an incredible experience so far, and we're only just getting started. I hope you'll like what's in store!

Ughh! I already have so many stories in my Reads it Laterz :raritydespair: But... I... must... READ IT


And for your second comment, that is forbidden knowledge and I'm afraid I can't let you leave now. Looks like you have to read the whole thing. Tough luck, man. :ajsmug:

*mulls that over for a moment* Meh, I can live with that. :rainbowlaugh:

My Gallstream radar picked up something...and it led me here! :D

They want you here on Saturday to meet with the General and get a few things worked out. I can’t wait to see you!

Shouldn´t it be Admiral who Gallus will be meeting, since he is going to be in the navy. Also I like the way you write. Always interesting when someone writes in 1st person.


Like in the Inheritance Cycle, Roran's commander, when Roran finds that the plan will get them killed, so he orders his men into a different plan, and the leader has him flogged for insobordination even though he himself would have ended up dead.

That's pretty much what happens in real life. I don't know why Paolini chose this of all things to be realistic about in his light-hearted dragon-riding-destiny-wish-fulfillment story, but whatever.

Soldiers are just resources expended to accomplish a goal. Sometimes it makes more sense to sacrifice some men in one place so that more men don't have to be sacrificed someplace else. But such plans cannot be carried out if subordinates ignore their orders willy-nilly. Discipline must be exerted so that orders are obeyed exactly so that in turn men may die usefully instead of wastefully. Few soldiers are lucky enough to die knowing in to which category their deaths fall.

Most fantasy fiction avoid dealing with this (again, Paolini could've just had Roran's idiot commander curse and stamp away impotently and almost nobody would've noticed how wrong that would was) but that's the cold hard reality of military service.

It good so far can't wait for the next chapter.

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