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Nitro Indigo

I write about griffs. (♀ | Timezone: UTC | Discord)


Silverstream hadn’t always been deaf, but she’d always had a loving family who were willing to support her every step of the way. Gallus had always been deaf, and wasn’t so lucky.

An entry for GMBlackjack's Depth in Innocence contest. Pre-read by Jinzou, SockPuppet, and Sledge115. Cover by Little Tigress.

Chapters (4)
Comments ( 69 )

What do you like about it?

I like stories about disabilities and good things to come

This story is looking good so far, good writing and disability representation.

I wonder how sign language is going to work with the Ponies not having fingers.

Hey. This story seems interesting and you've done a great job so far. Can't wait to see what happens next!

I really hope Silverstream gets to go to the School of Friendship after all, her and Gallus have to meet!

I like the sensory deprivation minutae that’s used to build character. Especially the description of the falling book’s feel instead of its sound.

That frivolous lore tidbit about baking soda made me smile. Gallus getting stuck on it taps into a realistic feeling of youthful fascination. Everybody can remember one absolutely useless fact they looked up and memorized as a kid. When writing a handicapped character, moments like that are uber important to keep the reader feeling close to them.

Interesting choice to skip Silverstream’s attendance at the windsong. Perhaps that’ll be a plot point that pays off later. I’ll keep it in the back of my mind til then. Something else I’m aware of (but spoilering in case I’m correct) is that Silverstream isn’t necessarily mute. We know Gallus is of course, but with Silver I can imagine a future scene where she doesn’t have an interpreter and has to attempt to slur out some raspy speech to be understood. That could be a really raw moment of vulnerability there.

On another note...

It surprised Silverstream how quickly Terramar signed this. If he were speaking, he would’ve stuttered this out.

I like this line. A lot. Obvious eventual friendship with Gallus is obvious, but making Terramar a more confident signer than talker adds a natural reason for the two to gravitate towards one another. Wonderfully purposeful character building. Ten outta ten. Chef’s kiss.

I really liked writing this chapter because I could insert tidbits like that. I noticed you did the same in Zecoroota. It made me realise that dialogue is my weakness, and the textual equivalent of a montage is my strength.

Sorry to disappoint you, but the windsong part was about characterisation, not foreshadowing. Though I just realised, since "Surf and/or Turf" can't happen in this continuity, that they won't end up turning it into Glad to Be Together.

My review of the first 2 chapters has been posted on the "I Just Want A Comment" group here.

I would've preferred if you posted the review under the actual fanfic, but thanks.

Sorry, a specific location wasn't mentioned in the request on the thread I made so I defaulted to that group.

After reading the review, I've changed my mind. Reviews are more suited to forums than story comments.

There is one thing I thought of, it concerns Gallus in this time-line and the following video:

I remembered watching that video before when you posted it, but oddly enough, I misremembered its contents as being in a Wikipedia article. That situation reminds me of a Legends of Localization comment where someone said they could remember the details of a conversation without remembering what language it was in.

First of all, that's interesting. Second, did you get the point I was trying to make?

On an unrelated topic; I still really hope that Silverstream gets to go to the School of Friendship after all, I feel like she's being robbed of important friendships in not being allowed to go.

I understood what you were getting at. I was going to put in a line about how the world became less murky once Gallus learned Arisign, but I couldn’t think of a way to fit it in.

I can’t respond to your second point without spoiling the story.

I just hope Gallus learned Arisign early enough that learning problems won't persist for the rest of his life.

Your second point is fair enough.

Comment posted by BrakePads deleted May 25th, 2020

One thing this fic has caused me to think about how physiology, history, and culture would impact whether or not the other creatures of the FiM world have sign language at all, and whether they have their own sign language or a sign language from a different species.

Headcanon time!

  • There are other fanfics where Equestrian Sign Language is mostly stomps and tail-flicks.
  • Since dragons aren't a very organised society, I imagine they wouldn't have an agreed-upon sign language, but I can imagine that a group of deaf teenage dragons would band together and create a sign language to communicate amongst themselves.
  • It didn’t occur to the kirin to invent a sign language until one of them was born deaf post-series. Their vow of silence wasn't just about literal silence, but suppressing emotion.

My theories (keep in mind I am not a cultural or lingual expert):

  • Of course Ponies would have their own sign language, their culture would be very supportive of that and they've had somewhat limited interactions with other species until recently. You're probably right about Equestrian sign language involving stomps and tail flicks although it might also involve gestures. Equestrian sign language would definitely be different from Arisign due to the Ponies not having fingers or claws.
  • You're probably right about the Kirin, although they could easily adopt Equestrian sign language instead of making up their own.
  • The Yaks would definitely have their own sign language due to being isolationists for quite some time until recently and the fact that their culture values things made by Yaks. I can see Yak sign language looking almost like smashing or fighting invisible things given how important smashing is in Yak culture. That is a guess on my part, it could be something completely different.
  • Another thing about the Dragons is that their culture has traditionally not been kind to those it sees as weak and if deafness is seen as a weakness in Dragon culture then that adds to your theory on Dragons.
  • The Changelings are a complicated case to say the least, whether or not they have their own sign language depends on how tolerant of deaf Changelings their now former queen was. On the other hand some of them may have learned sign languages from other species for infiltration purposes, assuming infiltration was something they actually did on a regular basis, it might not have been, but if it was then they could theoretically learn and perform any sign language due to their shapeshifting capabilities. And then there's the fact that if they didn't have their own sign language and even if they hadn't previously learned other sign languages, the Changelings could've adopted Equestrian sign language after they reformed due to their alliance with the Ponies.

I see the Griffonstone library is a lot less destroyed here. Coincidence, or did Gallus's parents sacrifice his hearing in a datk pact to preserve it?

Most of this chapter takes place pre-series, and I honestly forgot about that.

Changelings "sign language" might use a lot if, well, changing. Almost any non-abstract noun could be represented - and if they can turn into things with writing on, then it might be even easier.

(Of course when you start thinking about all this, uou wonder about whether they all have the same spoken or written language too.)

Again whether or not they have their own sign language depends on how tolerant of deaf Changelings Chrysalis was when she was their queen. True they probably had other leaders before her, but even if some of them ordered the development and implementation of a sign language Chrysalis could just end that in favor of getting rid of deaf Changelings when she became queen.

Being able to comm6nicate silently has benefis even for the hearing, though. So even if the deaf were gone, the language might hang on in some form.

I really hope that you are working on a new chapter for this story. (I know this is irrelevant to the comment it's a reply to but I had to say this to the author.)

10267699 Don’t worry, it’s on its way. The reason why chapter 2 came out so quickly is because I wrote the first two chapters simultaneously. Also, this fanfic will only be four chapters long because the deadline for the contest is the 1st of July.

You can't continue the story after the contest is over, or make a sequel to it?


4) Story must be complete by the end of the contest. And no, “complete, but it has an unfinished sequel” doesn’t count. It must stand on its own.

Then I hope you can create a fleshed out story with just four chapters.

On a different note, have you seen Netflix's The Dragon Prince? I ask because there is a really cool character, who is deaf, on that show.

How's the progress on the next chapter?

Aww, that's sweet. I liked this chapter, can't wait to see what comes next!

So, effectively, there is no Young Six in this time-line, with them not being particularly close friends. It seems that they are all being robbed of important friendships. It's interesting how things like deafness can have such a large impact on a time-line.

[It’s to celebrate the defeat of the Storm King. Did you learn about him?]

Gallus shrugged. [Probably. I’ll check through my journal later.]

[Anyway, since you don’t have a family to go to, do you want to come with me?]

In an instant, Gallus sprung onto all fours and nodded enthusiastically.

I do like that, with Terramar, Gallus is actually more open with his feelings :twilightsmile:

I really hope that the next chapter looks into what happens after the first Three Days of Freedom at least a little bit.

What do you mean by "after"?

[Why don’t you ask a Changeling student?]

[I can’t.]


That exchange was smooth as butter. So much natural characterization on display. It was also clever to parallel Terramar’s signing/speaking modularity with his hippogriff/seapony one. Gotta love tight, internally consistent protagonist design. Smolder’s dry quips throughout also helped keep the tone light.

Things are progressing nicely. The festival plot seeds planted in chapter 2 seem ready to sprout in chapter 4. Looking forward to the long awaited meeting of Gallus and Silverstream.

Part of the reason why this chapter took so long was because I got distracted by ideas about Smolder. The main reasons were because it took me a while to decide how to begin this chapter, and a while to come up with the specifics of the conversation in the second scene.

Comment posted by Nothingo deleted Jun 21st, 2020

Maybe the immediate aftermath, particularly if Silverstream gets to go to the School after the Three Days of Freedom celebration (probably the most relevant idea). Maybe a glimpse of the time Luster Dawn goes to Ponyville with brief descriptions of events like Cozy Glow's attempted power grab or the Legion of Doom's attack (I would love it if Gallus were to become captain of the royal guard in this time-line). Something completely different? There are multiple ways you can have this story explore later events if only a little bit. Of course you don't have to do any of them if you don't want to or if you don't think later events are relevant.

This was such a great ending, I loved this

Very sweet end to a sweet story! Good luck in the contest.

I have mixed feelings about the ending. On one hand it's sweet but on the other hand it feels only moderately satisfying, of course maybe that's just me wanting to know more about this time-line.

How would responding to my second point have spoiled the story? Whether or not Silverstream gets to go to the School later is not addressed in the story at all.

I'm feeling quite warm and fuzzy already :twilightsmile: I only wish there was more, but as it is, it's been a lovely story.

The answer is no.

While I had this ending planned out from the start, this chapter was rushed because I needed to finish it before the contest's deadline.

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