• Member Since 18th Nov, 2012
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Self-taught writer from Las Vegas, Nevada. I have no idea what I'm doing, but it seems to be working out okay so far. (Enjoying my writing? How about a tip? https://ko-fi.com/type_writer )



Equestria is a barren land trapped in perpetual sunset.

Broken, alone, afraid, and recalling only faint memories of her former life, a Hollow Pony awakens from her dreamless slumber. Lost in the shattered ruins of a hauntingly familiar world, she shambles onward in a quest to find herself, before she loses herself.

(A Pony story, heavily inspired by and using elements from Dark Souls/Elden Ring. Will update weekly, one chapter every Sunday. Praise the Sun!)

Chapters (59)
Comments ( 335 )

Ho-ho, this sounds like a worthy crossover. Equestria has a lot of potential for things like this. The goddesses walking amongst the living, villains with the power to shatter the world if left unchecked and the notion of madness always creeping somewhere close behind those smiles.
I think this may work pretty decently, an excellent idea you've got there.

This sound interesting please continue it more

This seems interesting. Do go on.

Yes please more of this!

I knew it was Ponyville when I recognized a certain hat.

That pony needs a friendship flask.

Wow, this is going places I didn't expect. I really like this story so far!

Loving it so far. Can't wait for the next chapter.

Maud... wearing Havel’s armor!? Well, you don’t want to be on her bad side, that’s for sure.

Hollow Pony and Flight of Firefly on the same day? I am spoiled.

I have this suspicion that Holly is a hollowed Rainbow Dash.

So when are we finding a bonfire?

Holly sort of already did!

My eyes were drawn to the fire in front of me, still burning and crackling. It was a decent campfire, but seemed to be fueled by white wood that was easily turning to ashes. Even in the dim light of sunset, it lit up the area, brightening it with calming, flickering light. Oddly enough, a blade had been stabbed deep into the flames, the blade red hot from the heat.

Then a blue hoof grabbed the hilt and pulled it free. Rockhoof was sitting next to the fire, an anvil in front of him and a blacksmith’s hammer in his hoof. He brought the hot blade to his eyes, inspecting it, before placing it on the anvil and bringing the hammer down atop it. Sparks and embers of hot metal scattered off as he pounded a few loose lumps of detritus off the blade, then placed it in a tall bucket to his side. There was a hissing noise and a cloud of steam as the sword cooled, before he turned, picking up a pair of tongs with another red-hot length of metal held in their claws.

But in all seriousness, Bonfires are not going to have quite the same weight as they do in the games. They're not fast travel points, they're not area resets, they're not even really magical. They're basically just campfires laid where Ponies feel safe, that happen to have a sword/poker stabbed into them. New areas will have them, whenever ponies are resting, but, well, Holly has to venture outside Ponyville to see any others than the main "Fort Ponyville" Bonfire.

Ah. I'm guessing there's no estus flask either then?

Oh, no, we gotta have an Estus Flask. It just won't work quite the same, mechanically speaking, outside the context of a video game.

I wonder if Holly is better suited for lightning magic. I also hope that Holly remembers who she is.

Abomination. Ugly, twisted, carnivorous abomination of nature.

You're one to talk.

Taking a guess that the dog is Winona. Preview of Sif stand-in?

I don't mind the idea of guns being present in this setting, if anything it intrigues me because it raises the possibility of some Bloodborne influence in this too, though I did find the description of the gun to be rather difficult to grasp, I didn't quite understand what it was at first. Calling it a "rod" feels a bit odd to me, combined with "twin metal tubes, one atop the other" made me imagine something more like a staff with the tubes at either end, but maybe that's just me. I suppose shotguns can probably have the barrels aligned vertically rather than side by side? I feel like mentioning it has a handle or grip might help, with "strange levers" representing the trigger and hammer.

Also I know now from reading the later chapters how non-unicorns holding things works but I can't help but think back to a mock anatomical picture I saw a while ago that explained how ponies could do that (tl;dr gross alien claw-finger-things reaching out from the underside of the hoof).

Big part here that threw me: Pinkie Pie is mentioned as having a horn when she's carrying Holly? Made me think this was unicorn or even alicorn Pinkie, which seemed like it might make sense with how much force of personality she still has in this world of hollows (could've even been like Gwynevere parallel in a way), but if that was the case I would have thought there'd be more of a big deal made out of it, and yet it doesn't get brought up again. Not sure if purposeful and going to be important later or if it was just a mistake.

"What's that smell..."

Always good to see Maud, certainly makes sense to have her be in the role of Havel. Dropping all kinds of foreshadowing about the dragons too.

A subtler storytelling point I like is the casual mention of Pound Cake being the owner of Sugarcube Corner - no sign of the parents or even Pumpkin. That said though I can't help but think he's a bit too understated, he doesn't have much presence other than just...being there. Might be fine to not expand too much if you're not really planning on doing a lot with him, but I just find it odd that he doesn't even have any dialogue.

I feel it's a bit of a mistake to give a definite idea of how much passage of time there's been since the hollow business started by mentioning Dinky's age. I imagine it was done to give some sense of awe at imagining how much could have happened in such a long time, but if it's necessary to include that I think it would be better to say that she lost track around sixty years, rather than that's how old she is currently.

Also Diamond Tiara's fur is "naturally gray"? Isn't she pink? I'd guess it could be that it's grayed as a result of her hollowing or maybe that it's faded because of her wearing her armor too much, but then I don't understand why it's specifically stated as being "natural" (how would Holly even know it's natural anyway?).

This was a really fun chapter though, I liked seeing how varied the combat could be. In a way the crusade through the manor kind of felt like a Resident Evil scenario up until the Mimic.

Also, speaking of the Mimic, I appreciate all the ghoulish details, especially the hands made out of pony legs, but with the many legs underneath is there perhaps a bit of inspiration from the Luggage from Discworld? :p

So we've got an implication that Twilight Sparkle is still around in some capacity, if her orders can still have authority over the guards.

I'm confused what's going on when Holly accidentally cuts Zecora. She seems to have no problem making the swing down and in front of her to cut through one of the branches, but then it tumbles out of her grasp and falls...behind her, with enough force to cut to the bone? Seems like it should just be thrown down in front of herself. I feel like the idea is supposed to be that the impact jars the machete in such a way that it bounces back because of how weak her grip is, but in that case I'd expect she wouldn't be able to cut the branch and/or it'd be a lot more noticeable how it gets knocked away, rather than just suddenly slipping away from her. The bit about stamina was an amusing point to include, though; I imagine, in a way, Holly's capacity is so low because of her hollowing that it doesn't take long for her to recharge.

Regarding the demon in the cottage, I think you mean "lapine", not "lupine" (autocorrect probably?). There isn't really much description of it in the end of the encounter either, even just to the extent of "furry mass with teeth" or similar. I get that at first it's moving fast so Holly can't get a good glimpse at it, but then it's just discarded all too quickly. Maybe if it was said that Holly is so out of it because of the pain that she isn't fully paying attention to what's happening at that point before Zecora leaves and she stumbles over to sleep.

As for more general comments about the story as a whole, I am greatly enjoying seeing how this setting builds and looking forward to how things progress, I was dragging my feet for the first few chapters but now I'm all caught up and I'm eagerly awaiting every Sunday. We've still got a lot of characters unaccounted for (where'd Fluttershy run off to? what happened to Spike if ponies went to war with dragons? if Twilight IS still in Ponyville, what's she up to?) and the April Fools chapter makes me particularly curious how things might progress to get to that point. I do think you have the atmosphere down pretty well to convey this idea of a world slowly decaying, and I like all the descriptions of the hollows and the monsters and Holly's struggle with her own decrepit body.

In addition to the points I've already mentioned I have seen some spelling and grammar errors here and there, not too many to be distracting. A recurring thing I've noticed is with dialogue, there are several places where you end a line with a period and then start narration with a capitalized word where it might be more appropriate to have a comma and lowercase word.

Also have to give major props for putting Zecora into a prominent role and dealing with her rhyming dialogue, as much as I like her I could never bring myself to do anything with her because I always found that too daunting. I don't think it's too unreasonable to have her slip up on occasion, she is slowly hollowing as well after all.

Eeeee, yeah, no. Maybe with mechanical hands? in a Deus Ex-inspired story, that could work without being too weird. Or if it's Changelings, shapeshifters are fun that way.

As for the shotgun, what's being described is actually an Over/Under shotgun design. I've always been a fan of these conceptually, because they're just strange enough to stand out, and they make a little more sense, as having the weight distributed in such a way actually reduces the recoil felt when firing. Plus the Apple family having a classic side-by-side double barrel is a little cliched, I feel.

(I don't own one of these myself, though I wish I did. This is just a quick grab off google.)

Very definitely not a mistake, heh. Though I do appreciate the attention to detail!

Not much in the way of plans, no. Basically, he's just working as Pinkie's bodyguard. Some Hollows remember selling things, some Hollows remember traveling, and a lot of the ones remaining only remember how to fight; Pound got lucky in that his experience with kneading dough lent itself well to keeping Pinkie safe.

It is intended to be ambiguous, yeah. This is Dinky guessing at her age, without any real way to confirm it. I will say she is wrong about how much time has passed, at the very least. That being said, that seems like a good change, and I'll actually edit the chapter to phrase it as such.

This is actually the first big mistake I've made on the public release chapters. heh. She is indeed, meant to be pink. I think I conflated her appearance with Silver Spoon, actually. Another change I'll make to this chapter in a moment.

Haha, and there is definitely a bit of Discworld inspiration in the Mimic's design. Of course, what is the Luggage, if not a very friendly mimic? I do love the original design of them in Dark Souls, however; almost every point of the design reinforces the visual theme of greed fantastically.

Mmm, yeah, I can clean up that action a little bit. The idea is that it's more a diagonal slash that she overswings really badly on, and she loses her grip when the machete is being whipped around behind herself. But even now I can kind of see how tricky that is to visualize, so I'll tweak that to change the circumstances a bit.

Yeaaaaah, I relied too much on the "Lupine" description (And you're right, I do think autocorrect nabbed that when I wasn't looking.) I'll edit chapter with a proper description of the creature more clearly in a few minutes here, and hopefully better convey what (or rather, who) it is.

Awww, I appreciate it, and especially all of your comments so far! I've been eager to see what some people's thoughts regarding the story are, and this really is the most useful type of feedback for tone and setting. Comments like yours give me life, and I don't mean that lightly, heh. On that note, could you send a PM with the spelling and grammar errors? I absolutely believe they're there. I happen to have a particularly bad problem with capitalizing lone I's, plural possessives, and past/present tense, and I know I can never quite catch all of them on my own re-readings.

Your Zecora was written really well. This has been great to read so far

Whoops! Sorry apparently I sent that without any text. I was going to say; I'm liking this story so far, haven't seen a Dark Souls story on here that actually used ponies as the hollows. Most the others insert a hollow into Equestria. It's not a unwelcome surprise, and one I thoroughly enjoy.

Awwww, thankya! I'm glad to hear you're enjoying it! And yeah, I've never been much a fan of the "drop a character from one franchise into another" style of crossover. Even when it's done well, it's always a little awkward. Instead, I much prefer this sort of style, which I consider an "integrated crossover," and often use Fallout: Equestria as a prime example. Blending concepts, visuals, and characters together into a single setting takes a lot more work, because you have to know both franchises very well. But the result usually ends up being much more interesting because of it!

Wonderful chapter... although is that strange sword that was in Holly going to come in handy later?

Wow I'm really enjoying the story so far. Super curious as to how it's going to go from here. Would love to have read more when it comes out.

I'm still pretty sure that Holly is a hollowed Rainbow Dash. When ponies start talking about technical stuff she starts zoning out. Although she could be Fluttershy, but I don't have a strong argument for that.

Haha! Amazing surprise to wake up to. Also thanks for the post script, will try to stay safe.

Dahm shame but I don't quite have a clue who holly is yet. Cant be rainbow, flying was such a deL for her, and don't think it is fluttershy thought she could fit in here for sure. Will have to see if maybe a background character that I don't remember at the moment.

That was my first assumption as well, though I'm not entirely sure why. There's just something distinctly "Rainbow Dashy" about how she reacts and thinks.

You have to remember though that parts of her memories and personality are gone. The closest thing that I can remember that has to do with Rainbow's love of flying is when Holy was on the hill behind Meadowbrook's house. Holly was looking at the horizon and felt a slight connection.

She is up to chosen undead standard though. She just got cocky and chose to start as a Deprived.

Just finished shot-gunning all the chapters during my work breaks these last two weeks. I really love the story thus far (even though I know nothing about the Dark Souls' universe).

That's awesome! Glad to hear ya enjoyed it, and I really appreciate that you decided to read the story!


I'm still pretty sure that Holly is a hollowed Rainbow Dash.


That was my first assumption as well, though I'm not entirely sure why.

Count me possibly for a third. I was also getting some "Dash" vibes from Holly. I am not entirely clear as to the "rules" of this particular universe and how they relate to Hollowing, but I could see a case made that Dash's Loyalty is keeping her fire anchored.

On the other hand, you could make the case that Dash died on the front lines at the Fall of Cloudsdale and that this is actually Lightning Dust

I really do want to punch Applejack in the face. She is just as much of a Hollow as the rest of them.

When in doubt, blame the Apple family.

and so i have arrived at the most resent chapter and must say that i have been waiting for a crossover like the for a long time. many of the others end up mostly being power fantasy of someones endgame character. glad to have your story here the spice up the monotony.

Thank you! And yeah, I've gotten a little sick of the "displaced" style of Crossover as well, or ones where it's just a character from one franchise dropped into another for "unexplained reasons." It makes for cheap and easy drama and little need for world-building, and once the flash-in-the-pan of "Hey, this character is talking with this other character!" has worn off, the stories usually get left on incomplete/hiatus/cancelled.

I'll probably make a proper blog post about this soon, but Hollow Pony represent my favorite type of Crossover, and the most rare: the "integrated setting." Where one setting is given the rules or technology of another, but the original setting is maintained, and the world-building is all about how those two have meshed. It goes doubly so for characters, who tend towards filling certain narrative roles in the latter setting, but most first and foremost be their incarnation in the former.

The worst part is that i can name most of the well done crossovers and or self made universes on one hand, all that have not died on the first or second chapter that is.

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