• Published 18th Oct 2020
  • 290 Views, 23 Comments

The Lost Fledgling of Griffonstone - Nitro Indigo

A griffon raised by ponies goes on a journey to find where she belongs.

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Chapter 3: Gabby Goes Home

“Ow…” Gabby groaned as she landed on a ledge with a THUD. She looked up to see a towering wall of grey stone between her and the distant sky; she must’ve fallen dozens of metres! She flapped her wings desperately, but the strong winds in the abyss battered her into the cliff face and back down to the ledge

So she looked around for something to climb onto instead. She saw a small, pale, bent tree growing out of the side of the cliff, and best of all, it was within leaping distance! She jumped onto it, and looked around for a higher perch…

And then the tree creaked. Startled, she reflexively leaped back to the ledge. The weak part of its trunk splintered before falling into the abyss; no matter how long she waited, she couldn’t hear it land.

One of her paws hurt. She winced as she pulled a huge splinter out of her pad, but the dull ache didn't go away. She rubbed her sore ankle; she must’ve twisted it!

There was only one thing she could do: yell for “HELLLLLLLP!”

Gallus froze. For several moments, all he could do was stare into the barren, desolate hole that had swallowed the first friend he’d ever made. He should’ve just left the library as soon as Glenda gave him the tax report, like he always did. It was his idea to lead an innocent citizen to the most dangerous place in Griffonstone like a lamb to the slaughter because it was his stupid idea of fun, and now she was gone.


Were his ears deceiving him, or did he just hear the faintest trace of Gabby’s voice? It was as quiet as a whisper, drowned out by the echoing, howling wind, but it was there.

His suspicions were proven correct when he looked down the abyss. Her greyish feathers blended into the rocks, but he definitely saw Gabby’s white chest down there. He waved, hoping she’d notice him.

How was he going to reach her? There was a shop that sold ropes for mountaineers nearby. Griffons bigger and stronger and more athletic than him could abseil down its cliffs, but that would be a one-way trip for his scrawny, sheltered self. But if he were to throw the rope down…

“I’LL BE BACK!” he shouted, hoping Gabby would hear him.

He hurried towards the shop as fast as his legs could carry him, bursting through the door without even pausing to knock.

The tawny shopkeeper, who was slouched on the desk, perked up as soon as they made eye contact. “Can I have your autograph?” she asked.

“There’s no time!” Gallus exclaimed, panting. “Give me the longest rope you have!”

“Got any bits?” the shopkeeper asked emotionlessly. “You may be the prince, but you still gotta pay.”

“It’s an emergency! I’ll pay you back later, promise!”

“Fine,” she groaned. She tossed a coil of rope at Gallus, who jumped to catch it.

His heart pounded like a drum as he hurried to the far side of the Abysmal Abyss; each beat was one more moment that Gabby had to wait for him. His strides were as wide and fast as a cheetah’s, and he was overheating like one, too. Once he reached the edge, he threw it down and anticipated Gabby’s tug…

But it didn’t come. Fearing the worst, he peered down. It dangled metres above her head, taunting her like a cat toy. Gabby jumped up, talons stretched out and ready to grasp. Her claws grazed the frayed end of the rope, just barely out of reach, and she weakly landed on the ledge. It was too short!

Gallus looked around. The abyss was surrounded by nothing but rocks and pine trees, but there must be something he could attach to the rope! Then, he noticed the dark purple fabric in the corner of his eye.

He pulled the rope up and tied it to a nearby rock, then took his scarf off and held it in both of his talons. It was a family heirloom, passed down since the times of Grover the Great, and the last link he had with his parents… Could he really give it up?

His eyes darted back to the abyss. Gabby was clutching her back leg in pain.

Yes. Yes he could.

Gallus unfolded the scarf completely and quickly tied it to the end of the rope, then tossed it down towards Gabby again. As soon as he felt her tug on the rope, he pulled her up with every last ounce of his strength.

Maybe he wasn’t great enough to save all of Griffonstone, but he could save one griffon.

“So… do you wanna stay in Griffonstone?” Gallus asked. The horizon was fringed with pinkish-orange, and he and Gabby were once again perched on top of the library. “I can fill in some papers for you.”

“No thanks,” replied Gabby, the gentle breeze rustling her feathers. “You’re nice and all, but I already have a home.”

Gallus tilted his head. “You mean Ponyville?”

Gabby nodded. “Nogriff missed me or even knew who I was, but I know dozens of ponies who must be missing me right now.”

“Then good luck on the way back,” he said flatly, but Gabby heard the tiniest disappointed sigh.

“Don’t worry. I’ll come back to visit sometime!” she exclaimed. “OR, since I know the princesses, I could ask them if YOU could visit Equestria!”

“I’ll think about it,” mumbled Gallus. “By the way… how are you gonna get back?”

The next morning, Gabby was practicing flying again, this time on top of the Golden Oaks Library. She challenged herself to glide between branches for as long as possible before she needed to flap her wings. The branches were slippery — she’d arrived just as the pegasi were clearing away rain clouds last night — but that was part of the fun!

Gabby heard a long, loud yawn, followed by the comfortingly familiar sound of Tavi trotting out of the library. She lay down on her branch, grasping it with both of her talons — she didn’t want to put too much pressure on her bad leg — and looked towards the door.

“I didn’t think you would be back so soon,” said Tavi, looking up with a half-confused, half-surprised expression.

“Gallus covered my travel expenses!”

“Who’s Gallus?”

Gabby lifted a foreleg up to facepalm… and then slipped off the branch. Fortunately, she caught herself and landed on all fours, but her bad paw slammed into the ground in the process. “Oh — He’s the prince of Griffonstone! I met him at the library. Did you know — and you’ll hate to hear this, but — nogriff uses—”

“That… doesn’t answer my question,” said Octavia, trotting towards Gabby. She winced when she noticed her ankle. “Did you find your family?”

Gabby looked down. “Unfortunately, no.” She shrugged. “But I realised it doesn’t matter where I came from. You're my real family, and this is my real home.”

Before Tavi had a chance to respond, Gabby hugged her tightly.

Author's Note:


If this fanfic has gotten you interested in this AU — which I like to call the Runeverse — I’d recommend reading Runic Notation. I hope I’ve inspired at least one of you to come up with your own side-story; if so, tell me about it in the group!

Stay tuned for a blog post about what fanfics I’ll be writing next year!

Comments ( 4 )

Well this was a pretty nice and short story sort of short but it was good so Gabby fell into the abyss and she can't get out of there with all the high winds blowing but gallus came to the rescue find a couple of ropes and Gabby out of the Abyss so what that Gabby decided to stay at Ponyville it's fine she didn't find any information about her parents but to her she has a family with Octavia and her friends and that's so sweet this was a pretty good story keep the good work

“Got any Bits?” the shopkeeper asked emotionlessly. “You may be the prince, but you still gotta pay.”

A very nice simulacrum of how blasé Griffon mannerisms are compared to our more Pony-ish protagonists. The action scene gives Gallus a chsnce for heroism and reminds us how lucky Gabby was to be raised in safe, caring Equestria. All in service to the aesop about the present mattering more than the past.

And hey, the seamless scene transition from the Griffonstone library to the Ponyville one is some good parallelism. Different places with different characters living in them, but Gabby herself is the same.

Overall, this was a nice medium-weight fic that succeeds in its purpose of hooking the reader’s interest in the Runeverse. It dropped enough hints about the differing continuity while keeping its plot focused and easy to follow. Predictably, the next fic on my reading list is Runic Notation, which I promise I’ll get through much quicker than I did this one. Keep up the good work, and I’ll see you around the site/subreddit!

(P.S., I’m still on board if you plan to go ahead with that Farasian contest idea of yours.)


All in service to the aesop about the present mattering more than the past.

And hey, the seamless scene transition from the Griffonstone library to the Ponyville one is some good parallelism.

I didn't even notice those! The present mattering more than the past seems to be a recurring theme in my works; one of my upcoming fics will be about the everyone trying to make the most of a world-changing event (which I've tried to explore several times before), while another will have a protagonist whose whole philosophy is that she can do whatever she wants because she lives in the moment.

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