• Member Since 10th Jul, 2011
  • offline last seen Apr 23rd, 2014

Sagebrush


Assume that I've placed some meaningful quote here that will make you reevaluate your perspective on life in twenty-five words or less.

Sequels1



E
Source

Storm Stunner is a pegasus with aspirations to join the Royal Guard: the noble ponies responsible for maintaining the peace and prosperity of Equestria. At least, that's what it says on the cover.

Follow his journey as he joins their gilded ranks, and learns just what life is really like as one of Equestria's finest.

Chapters (6)
Comments ( 171 )

You seem to be very fond of the word "scintillate."

Very good story! The characters are likable and believeable.

Alright, let's see here...

Wonderful story. Great and believable characters, a good plot, and a truly entertaining writing style.

One of my favorite stories on the site. Here's hoping you come up with another great one!

Ah, I wish there was more of this story. Very good read!

2523

Thank you! I don't think this is the last of these characters, just the end of their first story.

2557 In response to this, I will use an emoticon. Because this post just makes me that happy.

:pinkiehappy:

hi Sage, just paying a little visit ^_^ already read the story a while ago and I can say it's worth the reading! Two Thumbs up!

So that's how they're all the same colour.
This is amazing and I am enjoying it immensely.

Oh, my god. The ending.

That was brilliant. :rainbowkiss:

8650

Thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed it!

This might just be my favorite pony fic. Brilliant from start to finish

:pinkiehappy: :raritystarry: :twilightsmile:
This is best.
I am unable to put into words how well-written this is.

You characterize everyone incredibly well! To me, Check Mate's speech does not once even near the ridiculous level of paltrily pretentious purple prose. (Am I alliterating well?) His choice of wording is FRIGGIN' BRILLIANT. Hay, the entire friggin' story's wording is FRIGGIN'. BRILLIANT. I love you, okay? #gush #gush #gush
But you know that time when Check Mate was like "eschew" and Crack Shot was like "Gesundheit."? I think Crack Shot should've had a few more of those moments; his intelligence seemed a little too on-par with that of Storm at times, though you usually described the marksman expertly.

And, man, Storm Stunner! He is excellently written! His personality is vividly evident in the manner in which he narrates and reacts to everypony around him! I mean, the writer eloquently and descriptively portrays him! He is a pretty intellectual and admirable guy.
>Truth be told, Storm wasn’t certain he’d grasp the material given Nomde’s explanation of it. Still he’d probably learn at least something from it.
>He found that the scholar’s observations were much more approachable than he had feared, and he was happy to be able to discuss them in some depth with the ivory writer during his days off. However, he still found a dictionary invaluable in comprehending the wordy journals.
>Also aiding in Storm’s understanding of the academic topics was Check Mate, who eagerly dived into the scientific writings, although the pegasus felt that the dictionary garnered more usage in interpreting what his fellow recruit called his ‘sesquipedalian idiom’, than the pages the unicorn attempted to explain.
Aaaaaaaa THIS IS GOOD WRITING. #gush I can imagine Check Mate and Storm enjoying analyzing the texts in-depth, and thinking about it just elates me, you know what I'm saying?

I feel a little bit silly for thinking this, but I do think that this story could've had more . . . like, philosophical undertones. Introspection, you know? Like, like, like some search for that eudemonia Celestia was talking about? That's the stuff I want in a story I read. I think that's the stuff Check Mate would like in a story, too.
I mean, like, in the final chapter, right, y'know, there's -- there's this:
>"What do you guys think we should do about Gray Mane?"
>Check Mate explained, "Inadvertent as they may have been, his actions placed the city in peril. And there is the matter of his possession of those materials.”
>"But in the end, if he hadn’t-a helped, none of us woulda been able to fix this mess, right?” Crack Shot looked at the others with uncertain eyes. He didn’t like where the conversation was going.
>"Be that as it may, it was by a stroke of luck that he found us,” Storm rationalized, as much for his fellow pegasus as for himself, “Who’s to say something like this won’t happen again?”
>Crack Shot was outnumbered two-to-one, but he felt he needed to come to the defense of the cantankerous old buzzard. Everypony made mistakes at some point in their lives (the pegasus knew he had made more than his fair share), it was just that some of them were bigger than others.
>“That’s just a what-if though, isn’t it?” Crack Shot argued, “Why do we need to go and bug that old fossil now that everything’s said and done?”
>Storm let out a long, solemn breath.
>“Because it’s our job.”
Look at this. You see Crack Shot's "Everypony made mistakes" paragraph? You see this moral conflict, this debate? You see this, this virtue ethics? That's what I like.
So, that "Because it's our job." line . . . that line is supposed to hit the reader hard. It's meant to be solemn. The author wants it to be pithy. It was written to illustrate a memorable, significant, character-defining moment of judgment and rationality for the story's protagonist. It's supposed to say, "This is MEANINGFUL. This is a life lesson, the moral of the story, a literary theme," and, and . . . it's the tiniest bit lackluster. It doesn't hit me, personally, emotionally hard enough.
I mean, there are a number of points in the story where I saw those introspective, philosophical parts, exploring morality and judgment, that "It's our job" literary theme, and I think you were going for that, but there weren't enough of them.
I feel incredibly silly for typing this sentence, but I do: The story could benefit from being less silly and more serious.
So . . . what were you aiming for with the solemn "It's our job."?
. . . And, um, what does that "if he hadn't-a helped" phrase mean? I don't understand that hyphenation.

>“I was just wondering: who would want to read it?”
Also, when I finished, I spent about two seconds thinking, "Argh, that ending was painful," but then I was thinking, "OHMIGOSH THIS IS FRIGGIN' SCINTILLATINGLY BRILLIANT."
So, this story was technically third-person, right? I mean, from a grammatical standpoint, it was third-person. But, basically, if you look at it from the narrator's knowledge, it was from Storm Stunner's first-person perspective, right? I mean, it wasn't very omniscient, and the narration was clearly infuenced the protagonist's mindset -- and I friggin' applaud that! From page one, the reader can feel his character, his mindset, his worldview. I love this.
So, the reader sees that ending, right, and they're like, "wat. Nomde wrote this story?" and they look back at previous scenes, right? And they realize that, when the narration leans toward the omniscient side of things, it tends to do that more often in the scenes with interaction between the two romantic leads.
>At this Storm harumphed and once more clenched his bindle stick between his teeth, effectively ending the conversation. Nomde openly giggled at that; although it might've been a bit cruel, she couldn't resist shooting off the quip. Besides, she could tell by the twinkle in the pegasus' eyes that he found it at least a little bit funny.
>Storm didn’t catch it, but Nomde’s eyebrow arched in surprise. She didn’t think any other pony took their coffee that strong.
And the reader's rereading, and they're like "-- wait wat. Storm didn't catch it! The narrator is telling us what Nomde is thinking!" and they revelate that Nomde was writing this all along and that she has some fetish with the word scintillating.

So yeah. You have my respect, Sagebrush. Your writing and style are brilliant! :heart: :heart: Brilliant, brilliant brilliant. #gush

P.S. Hey, have you ever heard of Cromartie High School or Discworld? I'm probably being silly and just projecting the style of my personal favorites onto your work, but your humor seems a bit inspired by them at points.

P.P.S. If this fic was a movie, whom would you cast as Corporal Kickstart?

>"I wonder what Check Mate and the others are doing right now?" Storm inquired as he shifted the yoke of the chariot into a more comfortable position.
>"Probably some sick combat spells, something cooler than this," Crack Shot suggested as he finagled the yoke out of the awkward position Storm had put it in.
>"THIS IS MY TRUMPET. THERE ARE MANY LIKE IT, BUT THIS ONE IS MINE!"
:rainbowlaugh: Hahahahaaa! This is beautifully classic humor, here! One spectacularly executed ironic echo cut, that is.

>"Oh wow," Nomde levitated the rose beneath her nose and breathed in its sweet scent, then took a delicate bite out of one of its petals, "Thank you! It's delicious."
>Storm felt that with the price he had paid for the flower he should have also gotten a salad to go along with it.
:rainbowlaugh: That was hilarious.
But those should have been "Oh wow." and "petals." with periods, not commas.

>The multi-tiered stadium was surrounded by a score of flags from each of the different cities in Equestria; for every one that Crack Shot recognized, there were nine that were completely new to him. Of course, that meant that he only recognized two of the flags, that of Canterlot itself and his native Manehattan, but nopony would claim that he was the best at geography.
:rainbowlaugh::rainbowlaugh::rainbowlaugh: :rainbowkiss: SO FUNNY.
But, unless Equestria has only twenty cities, the phrase "a score of flags from different cities in Equestria" would've worked better without the phrase "each of the".
Additionally, the phrase "that of Canterlot itself and his native Manehattan" uses the singular noun "that" when it should use the plural "those".

>Richoof Wagneigher's Ride of the Hrosskyries
>Mare Force One
>Mare Force One. Really? Mare Force friggin' One. Mare. Force. One. :applecry:
These puns are painful. But they're painful in a good way, you know what I'm saying?

>“Err, yes, new parlance...”
SAGEBRUSH CONFIRMED FOR PSYCHIC.

At Check Mate's introduction, I was thinking, "This dude is going to climb up the ladder quite speedily."
>“My sister and I intend to dedicate ourselves to researching a solution to this matter, and I have requested the assistance of the brightest ponies in Equestria."
>That is why we leave it to you, the brave ponies of the Royal Guard, to make sure no harm befalls anypony under your aegis. I have no doubt that you will succeed in this task.”
Look, you know how there's that line break there? When you interrupt a speech with a line break, you begin every paragraph of the speech with a quotation mark.
>At that, the two princesses turned and departed from the courtyard.
>“You’re wrong, you know,” Luna spoke, “About requesting the brightest ponies. One of the unicorns in Guard, Check Mate? He has a keen wit about him, a natural strategist.”
I'm going to have comical dreams of a promoted Check Mate being the boss of Storm and Crack Shot.

So yeah. This is a five-star, wonderful piece of fiction. You, Sagebrush, are an exemplar.
My thanks to this MaximillianVeers chap for allowing me to read this on my Kindle, enabling me to read it in bed, finishing it at three A.M. in fewer than 24 hours because it is such a remarkably appealing page-turner.

30575

Wow, I cannot be emphatic enough in thanking you for such thoughtful comments! Great catches on some of those punctuation and grammar flubs; I'll patch them up once I have a free moment and a good night's sleep. As for the tone of the story, comedy was my primary aim, so I tried not to let the more dramatic elements dominate; unfortunately, that may have taken away from their impact, and I'll chock that up to inexperience as a writer. Nevertheless, such scenes, like the one you noted where Storm so laconically lays out to Crack Shot the responsibilities that must be borne on their golden crinieres, were crucial to me. My hope was for these characters to be funny, but more importantly to be relatable. To disregard the latter point would cause the former to suffer, I feel.

In answer to some of your other questions, I enjoy both Cromartie and Pratchett's work; Good Omens, a novel co-written by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, is one of my all-time favorites.

As to who would play the role of Kickstart, that's a very good question. I must confess to being terrible with celebrity names, so I'll have to leave that one to the reader =).

Thank you so much for reading my story, it means the world to me to receive feedback like yours.

O.k......I am embarrassed to admit this, but...I will admit...I had to read this with a dictionary beside me folks. It has been a while before I encountered a story like that.

And, it took me a while to get some of the puns because of my (apparently?) poor vocabulary. Cacopony....Cacopony, where have I? ohdearlordcacophonyiamaretard. Nomde Plume? Why does that sound so familia--ohjesuschristnotagain.

That said.

This is not a good fanfic.

This is good _literature_.

Best fanfic in the fandom. Loved every moment. Both hilarious and thought provoking. 5 stars.
:rainbowkiss:

Ain't that a kick in the head?
And Celestia texting all night?
I lol'd so hard....

I'm very familiar with a trumpet, but I can't say that the business end of it is very pleasant.
So another instrument that only unicorns get to play? Me so sad...

OMG the Twilight series, that is hilarious.

liking this so far. dont know what else to say

a solar eclipse something i have yet to see with my own eyes

42222 Google was my friend for this fic

Excellent story. Love to see that Male friendship the main show is missing and done with such a honest and simple approach. This could easly pass a side-story and dont fell out of touch with canon setting of the show. Kudos to you, good sir!

Should I be embarrassed for having to google at least 40% of the words that came out of Check Mates Mouth?
Yes.
Am I?
Yes.
Are you forgiven for making me feel like an idiot?
Hell yes.
Why?
You are forgiven because you wrote this incredible story, demonstrating perfectly, not only how a great fanfic should be written, but how a great piece of art should be written.
In fact, I feel like I owe you something...
Why aren't you getting paid for this? You should get paid for this.
Pretty much what I'm saying, is thanks for an incredible read.

240807

Thank you for the kind words :twilightsmile:! Check Mate's dialogue is particularly enjoyable for me to write; he uses many words that have made me pull out the dictionary in the past, and it's a great opportunity to refresh my memory.

Din

237795
It gets very dark, and it gets cold too. Its almost frightening, but very beautiful.

Din

240807
I don't know why you would be ashamed of learning something new though passively reading a good story? But to each their own. I found bolstering my rather paltry grasp on words, compared to Check Mate, was enjoyable.

As for you Sagebrush, I really did enjoy the tale you wrote. I rather liked the simplicity I found in the concept of it. All the ponies that spoke or appeared in any notable roll had a definite personality (ponynality?) that felt right, plus your ponies had color. I have seen far to many OC's that just don't feel equestrian with all that dark tones favored. But wonderful overall with all you put into it. I hope to see this intrepid trio again sometime, bringing their scintillating mirth to me once more!

Thank you for the read.
DIn

Definately a great story, and I bit different from the ones I normally read. you know that "Uber powerful hero saving the world at a great savrifice of his own etc."

“W-well what’s in a cutie mark, anyways?

Shake spear refrence?

Its good so far

257655

I've got a few little things sprinkled here and there within the chapters :twilightsmile:.

Falling...with style!

Well that was genuinely a joy to read. Most fics I've read about the Royal Gaurd have been more on the serious, doom-and-gloom, epic-responsibility-of-the-job side (which is fine and dandy in its own right) but it was good to see something more lighthearted while still retaining some of the 'reality' of the scenes (as real as a story about multicolored magical ponies can be at least). I'm seriously glad I found this.

"P.S. Always have confidence in yourself when things get hard. ... That’s what she said!"

LOL WUT?!?! :rainbowhuh: :pinkiegasp: :twilightblush:

Aww, I can already tell that this is going to be too short. :applecry: I only feel like I'm a 1/4 to a 1/3 the way through the story's potential! :flutterrage: *sigh* Although, perhaps the next couple chapters and the sequel will change my mind? :applejackunsure: Here's hoping. :twilightsmile:

237795 Don't look directly at it. Somehow it's worse than looking at the sun during the day and can blind you.

I don't have any inspiring or insightful comments this time, but I just want to say that this is a great story. Thank you for taking the time to write it.

Fin

:twilightsmile:

336954 Anyone reading this and wondering if they should continue to, keep reading. I was not disappointed. :yay:

The end killed me. xD

Good story. Nice behind-the-scenes look at the royal guard.

This one was here? And I never noticed it!?! Wow, and I'm following its sequel l:facehoof:

Anyway, I loved this fic back in the days of google docs, I'm so glad to see it here! :pinkiehappy:

I recognize that leash's base intent ... Ah! Fenris the Wolf! Norse myth! Loved the story!:heart:

528043

Thank you =). It pleases me to no end when folks catch things such as that.

528459 I love mythology! wait, that doesn't mean... Fenris is in Equestria?! The giant wolf that is said to have jaws that can stretch from the earth to the roof of the sky (or something like that?) Because that would be CRAZY!

Great stuff, I hope we see more from you and I certainly wouldn't complain of more with these characters.

Still think Crack Shot should have said "Boom. Headshot."
But that's just me. :twilightsheepish:

--TwilitLightning

'Mare Force One'?
DAYUMM! Didn't see that one coming, and i grinned for the rest of the story after it. Not that I wasn't already smiling! :pinkiehappy:

--TwilitLightning

I stayed up until 3:15 in the morning to finish reading this.
you want to know what I think?
Absolutely.
Undeniably.
Frickin' Awesome.

Well written, I thank EqD for bringing me here.
Have a cookie, on the house.

--TwilitLightning

Alright, that was really good! You managed to blow my fairly high level (I thought) vocabulary out of the water, though XD I just kept dictionary.com open in another tab eventually =P Really good read though! =)

"You guys go on ahead, I’ve got some stuff I want to do,” Storm contradicted the author.
As far as fourth wall breaches go, that was pretty clean. Be careful, Pinkie's watching you now :pinkiecrazy:

628572
I might hazard that that particular line was the most controversial in this story. Folks seemed to either love it or hate it =).

Awesome ending :D
1) I'm pretty sure you're a human dictionary/thesaurus.
and 2) I loved that little troll line at the end xD

I read the story and had a decent time reading it. Good job.
Some passages I found to be a bit flawed, but for the most part this was an interesting read. I applaude you.
How long did it take you to write each part, and how much time was spent in edit? That's all I really have to ask at this point.

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