• Member Since 2nd Aug, 2019
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Raven-Flight


I said I would never write fanfiction...and here I am.

T

Set immediately following the events of The Beginning of the End, Grogar resurrects Sombra again, and the Shadow King offers a plan that may doom the ponies once and for all: ponynap Fluttershy. In exchange for a promise of her survival, Discord vanishes, and the broken Mane 6 must face the fall of Equestria without either of them. Will friendship prevail? Will love?

A Fluttercord tale.

*Sex tag for certain allusions, though nothing is explicit.
**This story is completely written, and chapters will be uploaded regularly until all 28 are posted.

Chapters (25)
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Comments ( 74 )

Ah yes... This looks interesting. You have my interest.

Comment posted by Raven-Flight deleted August 3rd

9763928
Thank you! I hope you enjoy what is to come!

You better Have Discord tear Sombra apart and reform him ina mex up mess a dozen times screaming for mercy but getting none.

9764370
He sure does deserve that, doesn't he? But I'm afraid we've still got a long way to go before then...

This is really good so far! Count me in!

I can't wait for more chapters!

9765641
Me neither! I won't make you wait too long! :raritywink:

9765486
Of course! You know, though, they could make it even worse...

"Use your powers for us or we kill Fluttershy."

Sometimes I wonder if they'll do that in the finale. Like when Jafar became Genie's master in Aladdin.

9766127
Oh, yikes, I sure hope that doesn't happen in the show! I'm going to say the villains in my story don't go that route because it would be too much work to make sure Discord doesn't rescue Fluttershy and turn on them...

Damn it, Sombra! You're a bigger creep than I thought. I really want him to get his comeuppance. And poor Flutters, I'm sure Discord is concocting a plan to storm the Legion of Doom and rescue his dear friend.

9770019
Let me tell you, I hated writing this! I feel bad for making Fluttershy suffer, but I think Sombra's one day going to regret his behavior. Anyway, thanks for the read!

9770049 One day? I hope so. :flutterrage: I want to tear Sombra apart!!!

.....pretty sure Sombra would make a great speed bag.

This was enjoyable, so far. There are several things here I have to give you praise for. First, the overall presentation turned out very well. The way you describe scenes and the actions and movements of the characters makes this story feel a lot like the show. It can be seen that you studied its style quite well.
Second, you write all of them in-character. I am especially impressed by your portrayal of Grogar and your portrayal of Fluttershy. Grogar's wit when he chose Sombra to take care of Fluttershy so that she won't find out that there is an entire team of villains instead of just him (I was thinking that's what Grogar should do, in case Fluttershy somehow manages to flee, and just a few sentences later, he actually did this and I was astounded to see that!) and Fluttershy's quick switch from being fearful to using her abilities to prevent Sombra from raping her, these were both magnificently written.
Not all new pony authors do the characterization well right from the start. There are only two scenes where a character's behavior feels off, which I'll come to later. You have a knack for writing them all.
And third, you have all the villains do the exact right things. I already mentioned Grogar and his wit, but Sombra and his strategies to keep Discord at bay work just as well. I was wondering if Discord shouldn't be able to get ahold of the situation easier; since he could feel the magical disturbance in the throne room when the projection of Sombra and Fluttershy appeared, he should be able to trace Sombra's magic back, too, and then teleport there and free Fluttershy with a snap of his claws before Sombra can react. But finding a believable reason for it why Discord doesn't fight a villain isn't an easy thing for a MLP: FiM fanfic author to do and since you're a new author, this can be overlooked. And you still did your best and showed a great amount of effort to find such a reason, by having Sombra not being physically present.
You came up with a pretty good, flawless plan by the villains here and it's going to be very thrilling to watch how Twilight and her friends are going to deal with this.


There are a couple more things I noticed that I want to address. Since you're a new pony author, I will take the time and go through them thoroughly. I'll make a comment for each chapter, to make ít easier to go through it all.

“A most agreeable suggestion, O Grogar

This is one of the behaviors that feel a little out of character. Tirek did not appear like he would worship Grogar in the show. It was seen that he has a certain amount of respect for him, but especially considering that he has started to backstab him together with Chrysalis and Cozy, it is unlikely he would refer to Grogar with "O Grogar".
The second one is this reaction by Cozy:

“Aw, horsefeathers.”

The problem I see here is that Cozy gives up too quickly. Whatever she wanted from Tirek (which would be nice to know, there are dozens of possibilities, after all), if he says no, it would be far more in-character for Cozy to pester and annoy Tirek until he changes his mind. She gives up uncharacteristically quickly there.
But, since this story is an Alternate Universe story, this might have been your intention even, to characterize Tirek and Cozy slightly differently, in which case you will probably explain the different personalities at some point.

In the center of the shadow hovering at the foot of her bed, in the very darkest part

This should be "in the darkest part". The word "very" is not needed, since you already established that it's the darkest part and there is no way to enhance this anymore.
Alternatively, you also could have written "in the very dark part". This sounds less elegant, but would still be grammatically correct.

and they all trained on Fluttershy

I'm not sure what word you wanted to use here, but "trained" means something else, so this particular word choice does not fit to the situation.

Fluttershy awoke to that winded, leaving it to her fearful gaze to plead her attacker for mercy.

This should be "winding" instead. "Winded" means that the action of "winding in pain" has already happened, while you wanted to describe that it's happening right now in this very moment. The correct word to use if it happens right in this very moment is "winding".
And since it would sound awkward to have the words "winding" and "leaving" so close to each other, it would best sound like this "Fluttershy awoke to that, winding in pain. She left it to her fearful gaze to plead her attacker for mercy."
Generally speaking, it's never a good idea to have two words that sound almost identically stand so close to each other.

She’s gonnnnuuuuhhhhhh….

I can see what you wanted to do here, showing how Rainbow Dash transitioned seamlessly from talking to screaming. And this was a nice and atmospheric idea, just the execution doesn't work well this way. Or, actually, it works a little too well. It sounds like Rainbow Dash's scream is still a part of the word, like she was actually saying the word "gonnnnuuuuhhhhhh". Better: "She's gon–" AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!"
The dash I used here is used to signify it when a character suddenly interrupts a sentence or gets interrupted while saying it, in that case, Rainbow Dash gets interrupted by her scream. The better way to write down a scream is also "AH" rather than "UH". The latter is better used in situations when the character doubts something or is weirded out by something.

Rainbowdash’s mouth

Rainbow *Dash

After another hearty laugh

A "hearty" laugh is commonly associated with a happy, cheerful laugh, not a dark, menacing one. It's something to describe it when a character laughs for reasons like hearing a joke, out of joy or even out of relief. One of the words you can use to describe the way Sombra laughs there is "cackling", or, if you want to be more straightforward, "menacing". Which is a word you already used prior to that sentence, so I'm guessing the issue here is just knowing the meaning of certain words, which is rather easy to learn.

The projected Sombra stepped easily through the bars of the cage.

Why is Sombra doing this? I suppose you wanted to get it even more across how everything is a magical protection. Sombra, however, does not have a real reason to step out of the cage, he is not imprisoned by it, so there's no threat for him if he just keeps standing where he is.
In fact, the scene would probably be more effectful if Sombra would just keep standing there with a pitying or mocking smile on his lips, purposely demonstrating how useless the cage is. There is nothing scarier than an attack that has no effect on the enemy.

Sombra flinched and sneezed reflexively; one of the needles had struck him physically in the nose.

When reading that sentence, I thought to myself "How is that possible? He is just a projection." It felt like you just created a plothole.
You explained that right after and that explanation works. But this sentence would go better if you left out the second part of it. Reading how the needle struck Sombra "physically in the nose" before the explanation for how that is possible happens is a too sudden way to get it across, before the mind of the reader can properly switch to this reveal.
It feels overwhelming to read it like that, however, in a more subtle way, with only the first part of the sentence, it is a very effective way to hint at it that something has changed.

“Aw, Sugarcube...”

“This is totally not cool!”

These dialogues feel a little empty and would feel better if an action by Applejack and Rainbow Dash would accompany them. Not every line of dialogue needs the description of an action, especially not in a longer discussion where several characters alternate between each other, but if a line of dialogue happens very suddenly, like here, it is recommended.

Left and right, up and down, no, no light anywhere.

Remember what I said about two words that sound similar standing close to each other? The same goes if it's the same word. It sounds awkward, so you should avoid that. Additionally, here, you should mention that the eyes look around. Right now, it's impossible to tell if the eyes look around of if you wrote down where exactly several pairs of eyes opened. Better: "Left and right, up and down, the eyes looked around. It was futile. There was no light anywhere."

She could feel in the almost-echo of her voice

The almost-echo? What's that? There can actually only be an echo or no echo. What you probably meant was a quiet or low echo, but you should write it down like that. An "almost-echo" does not exist.

still fresh and painful even to touch.

That a bruise or wound is painful to touch is natural, it doesn't need an emphasis like "even" to get that point across. You mixed up the order here, too. It's nothing special or surprising that a touch of the bruise is painful, however, it would be something to get astounded by (in a bad sense) if it even hurts without touching it.
Pain without touching >>> Pain when touching

“Oh, and don’t even think about Discord. Our little display worked like a charm. Discord vanished without a trace after we left, and not the slightest peep or magical hiccup has been heard out of him in the days since. It seems you’ve been abandoned!” This time, Sombra crouched to bring his own face down to Fluttershy’s. “Maybe he never really loved you after all.”

It greatly increases the tension to have Sombra trying to get under Fluttershy's skin like that. However, he already said that Discord disappeared because he showed to him that he will kill Fluttershy, before suggesting that Discord maybe never really loved her. Since he was already implying in his first sentence that Discord only fled because he loves Fluttershy, he contradicted himself and this makes his manipulation not very effective.
You can cut the first sentence entirely and start the second sentence with "He" and you will achieve the effect you were aiming for.

“Tell me or don’t. I will personally see to it that you live whether you want to or not. But I don’t expect whatever necessities I decide to give you will be to your taste.”

Sombra seems to have a desire to take care of Fluttershy well. To not just keep her alive, but also to spoil her with the things she likes most. Why? For his plan, it would be enough to make sure Fluttershy doesn't die, so why is he doing the effort? That's a peculiar behavior for a villain.
I'm not saying it's wrong that he reacts like that. But it's something that needs some explaining to not feel odd. With the right justification, it wil work.

Except that hot, poison tongue

This should be "poisonous". The word "poison" can be a noun or a verb, but never an adjective. An alternative word you could use is "toxic", although it sounds less elegant since it starts with the same two letters as "tongue".



Before you publish more chapters, I recommend to go over each one and look for the occurences of flaws similar to those who I highlighted and to fix them in the same way I fixed them here.

Overall, this story is an impressive display for the fact that it's your first story. It just needs a little fixing and a few touch-ups here and there, but it's already a very good story. I look forward to more!

9770803
Hi there!

First of all, wow, thanks for all of the constructive criticism! I'm honored that my writing has so caught your attention. Second, I may be new to fanfiction, but I am by no means a new writer! I'm also a native English speaker who has spent a lot of time developing her written voice. Many of your critiques have to do with my word choices and sentence organization, but I assure you these decisions were made in accordance with my personal style, rather than out of inexperience with the medium.

That out of the way, I will take a little time to go through and address the comments you've left on each chapter. Thanks again for your meticulous eye!

9770678

A most agreeable suggestion, O Grogar

I was imagining how Tirek had bowed to Discord in the show when the former was first introduced. Tirek knows how to feign submission when he realizes he's in a weaker position, so I was trying to channel that a little in my story. The "O Grogar" bit is meant to be exaggerated, where Tirek is trying to establish a dichotomy between himself and the "delinquent", Sombra.

“Aw, horsefeathers.”

Having received the command from Grogar to basically sit tight, Cozy Glow was about to propose some sort of game or bonding activity to do with Tirek. He had sensed it coming and immediately denied her. I suppose an argument could be made for Cozy to pursue him, but since she didn't actually have anything pressing to say and since he was clearly not willing to play a game, I chose to have her stay put.

9770754

In the center of the shadow hovering at the foot of her bed, in the very darkest part

I know "very" is a grammatical redundancy in this sentence, but I used it anyway because I liked the rhythm it creates. The whole sentence is rife with prepositional phrases, which I did to convey the mounting tension and fear Fluttershy is experiencing, but without "very", the rhythm becomes constant and monotonous. The solutions you propose both avoid the monotony and the redundancy, but they lack the rising tension I wanted to express. I will therefore exercise my authorial prerogative and retain my original construction.

and they all trained on Fluttershy

The word "train" as a verb can mean either to teach or to point/aim. "Trained" is absolutely the word I wanted, and I meant it in the latter sense.

Fluttershy awoke to that winded, leaving it to her fearful gaze to plead her attacker for mercy.

I'm not sure how you were understanding this sentence, but "winded" is the correct word for the circumstance I was portraying. When Sombra kicked Fluttershy in the ribs, she had the wind knocked out of her—an idiom for a forced breathing interruption—hence, she was "winded".

She’s gonnnnuuuuhhhhhh….

Rainbow's not screaming. The very next sentence is "Rainbowdash’s mouth fell agape, as did everypony else’s around the table." I wrote Rainbow's dialogue the way I did to show how her mouth simply fell open in the middle of a word as her attention became fixed elsewhere.

Rainbow *Dash

Aw, geez. I wrote Rainbow Dash's name wrong through the entire story! Guess I'd better go fix that before I release more chapters...

After another hearty laugh

I had written a few sentences above the hearty laugh that Sombra "said nothing, but his eyes spoke amusement." I like to think Sombra finds their pitiful, futile efforts just utterly hilarious.

The projected Sombra stepped easily through the bars of the cage.

Sombra's reason for leaving the cage is pizzazz. He's bad and he's powerful, and he likes playing up that image. The mocking smile would also work, but I tend to think that he's not going to just sit in a cage, even a useless one, if he doesn't have to.

Sombra flinched and sneezed reflexively; one of the needles had struck him physically in the nose.

Hey, cool! You say the way I wrote this comes across as confusing and sudden. It's almost like I physically struck you in the nose! If my construction gave you the sensation of what Sombra would have been feeling, then my writing was successful.

“Aw, Sugarcube...”

“This is totally not cool!”

It's supposed to feel empty. Discord isn't really paying attention to their attempts to comfort him. He's so distraught, he probably hardly even perceives them, so neither do you as the reader.

9770803
Alright, here are my replies.

Left and right, up and down, no, no light anywhere.

As Picasso supposedly said, "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist." Following the rules of writing, the sentence I've written is not a sentence. There's no subject, and there's no verb. I think my non-sentence would be a problem if the point were to describe some external action or circumstance, but that was not my intent. Rather, I'm conveying a mental state, or perhaps a thought process, if you will. There was an implicit question: "Can I see?" Fluttershy looked in all directions and responded "No, I cannot see. There is no light anywhere." Since people tend not to think in complete, grammatically correct sentences, I wrote a non-sentence that condenses the explanation I just gave into a form more idiomatic to Fluttershy's stream-of-consciousness.

She could feel in the almost-echo of her voice

Classically-trained musician, here! I invented the phrase "almost-echo" to express a particular degree of resonance. In my experience, "almost-echos" certainly do exist! When I play my French horn in a small room, my sound does not echo, and when I play in a large room, it does. However, when I play in a room with hard walls, hard floors, and no furniture, my sound bounces around a lot. If that unfurnished room is large, the sound would certainly echo. If that room is small, there would be no echo, but I would distinctly hear the potential for the echo. Thus, when Fluttershy heard an "almost-echo", I was trying to express to readers exactly the nature of the room in which she found herself: small, but with lots of hard, sound-reflecting surfaces.

still fresh and painful even to touch.

I did not mix up the word order. I placed the word "even" exactly where I did in order to distinguish how fresh that bruise is. An older bruise might hurt only if you press on it, but Fluttershy's bruise is so fresh than even a mere touch will cause it pain.

“Oh, and don’t even think about Discord. Our little display worked like a charm. Discord vanished without a trace after we left, and not the slightest peep or magical hiccup has been heard out of him in the days since. It seems you’ve been abandoned!” This time, Sombra crouched to bring his own face down to Fluttershy’s. “Maybe he never really loved you after all.”

I'm just going to leave this one be. Sombra is supposed to be confusing and contradictory. Furthermore, he had induced his nightmare power on Fluttershy during the "display", so her memory of what transpired would have been tainted. If this explanation is unsatisfactory, bear with me; both of these elements come up again later in the story...

“Tell me or don’t. I will personally see to it that you live whether you want to or not. But I don’t expect whatever necessities I decide to give you will be to your taste.”

Again, I say: Hold your horses! This will come up later! It's ~foreshadowing~ :raritywink:

Except that hot, poison tongue

I'll go ahead an admit my decision on this one is tenuous. I didn't want to use "poisonous" because Sombra's tongue isn't actually poisonous (or venomous, for that matter). It's supposed to be more of a metaphor. For understanding's sake, let me convert it to simile form: The sensation of his tongue on her face felt like a poison.

Looks like that's all for now! I really appreciate all your comments and care in critiquing my writing. Going forward, note that I often suspend grammatical perfection in order to describe a character's state of mind, or to put my readers in a particular state of mind. I know the rules I'm breaking and generally do not need correction on these points.

Thanks for your diligence, and I hope you enjoy the story as it unfolds!

I LOVE this chapter. It was poetic but completely understandable, completely relatable. And the idea that in his realm he is able to strip his physical body and just be chaos... I love that too. There is some excellent imagery in here and you just worded everything so clearly and vividly and made his feelings so much more valid and real. I LOVE that.

This story is a favorite of mine now for sure! I'm excited for the rest!

I can't wait to read about Discord beating the tar out of Sombra. That is going to be immensely satisfying.

A great companion to the previous chapter on Fluttershy's side of things and her thoughts on Discord. But we all know she doesn't really doubt any of those things. She's just afraid.

Sombra must rot in misery forever. Death is too merciful for him.

Comment posted by Raven-Flight deleted August 11th

9775788
I don't know what to say except THANK YOU! It was a bit of a challenge to write a chapter with no dialogue and essentially no action, and one featuring Discord at that, so I'm relieved to learn I seem to have accomplished my aims. Thanks again for the encouragement!

Don't despair Discord! You'll figure something out.

GRRRR! I hate what Sombra is trying to do. Be strong Fluttershy, and I hope you make it out of this mess okay.

NO Fluttershy! This is exactly what Sombra wants! Discord, please do something soon, before it's too late.

9781373
I'm sorry for making Fluttershy (and maybe you) suffer! I promise things will get better eventually!

9781593
Thank you, I needed to hear that. But you've done a good job building up tension to what happens next. I look forward to your next update.

NO FLUTTERSHY! DON'T GIVE INTO THE SHADOWS!

DISCORD AND HER FRIENDS MUST DESTROY SOMBRA A-S-A-NOW!

9784045
Oh dear, I'm so sorry to say it, but you know it's got to get worse before it can get better! Hang in there!

I like how much you've thought all of this through on how friendship magic works. It sounds legitimate. But I enjoy that it isn't foolproof either. We KNOW they're all capable of kindness and loyalty and whatnot. But with this explanation, it's more about which one is most natural to them.

I love technical magical jargon, basically. You know, when it isn't TOO complicated, that is (anime is pretty good at confusing me with such things). But this is right at my level!

Nice to see the Legion making some progress. I'm worried about Flutters though, I hope she's staying strong.

9794963
Better steel yourself, then. The next chapter's a bit of a doozy...

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Curse you Sombra, Flutters is gonna need therapy after this.

9800277
sorrysorrysorrysorry :fluttershyouch:

9800567
It's okay, I trust that things will get better....somehow.

Yes! The girls are starting to see the bigger picture of Grogar's plan.

Can't wait for the rest of this story to be published.

Aww. I love how much you're emphasizing friendship despite the eventual romance tag and all the action and darkness. And it's all so in character! You are quite the impressive writer!

9805955
Thank you! Your compliment made me blush. :twilightblush: Even though this story is ultimately about Discord and Fluttershy, I love all these characters too much not to do them justice too!

9805108
Thanks for reading so far! We're about halfway to the end now. I hope you enjoy the rest of the journey!

I for one really loved that pun and knew what you were referring to right away.

I also googled pemmican and have learned something today.

And what I have learned is that I look forward to when that "really troubled dude" gets his body fat smushed into pieces and crammed in with some dried berries. Sommbrican. Discord can feed it to some chaos creatures.

Malicious grins are never good.

Unless it's on Discord's face as he forces Sommbrican down Grogar's, Chrysalis', and Tirek's throats.

Cozy gets a pass. She's too young. Honestly, I still don't get why they sent her immediately to Tartarus of all places with no chance of redemption, while an offer of redemption was the first thing that Starlight Glimmer, a full-grown, intelligent unicorn, got.

I was afraid this would happen. T_T

I'm wondering if we'll ever hear from Discord again. I wonder if he can sense something wrong with Flutters.

9812416
I'm sure it was obvious from a mile away this chapter was coming. Fortunately, this little situation is not the reason for this story's romance tag!

9811184
I definitely agree with you on the Cozy Glow thing. Maybe putting her in Tartarus instead of therapy was just an easy way to make Cozy available for the villains' team in this final season, but that move sure felt out of character for the show. I really hope they do a better job dealing with her in the end.

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