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Firesight


I'm an IT Brony who writes stories based on a show for 8-year old girls whose content is meant for anything but 8-year old girls.

T
Source

Four years after unhappily departing Equestria, Grizelda Behertz—known to her few friends as Gilda—has at long last begun to turn her life around, returning to the Griffon Kingdom to begin a new career as an Auxiliary Guard soldier. But even as she finally finds purpose and begins her slow rise through the ranks, her life—and that of the entire Griffon Kingdom—will shortly be turned upside-down again.

For the race known as humans, whom Equestria opened a portal to but three years earlier, is finally visiting, sending an Ambassador along with a military escort. Bordered by enemies and in need of new allies, can the Kingdom find common cause with a bipedal race of primates that is somehow both completely backwards yet incredibly advanced? Can Gilda learn to like their oddly interesting yet infuriatingly ignorant civilians who come from a culture completely unlike her own?

And what will become of all of them when an ancient enemy called the Cloven of The Sun emerges, invading and intending to wipe out the entire Griffon Kingdom?


Set in the Gentlemanverse, this is both a chronicle and continuation of the original Feathered Heart by the great and sorely missed Fimfiction author Demon Eyes Laharl, containing all-new chapters that fill in gaps in the old story, and eventually continue it from where it left off. The continuation will be written so it will work with either the old or new version of the story. If you have questions or concerns, please read the introductory blog.

By site rules, the original story chapters cannot be reposted to a different account, but for those interested, they have been heavily edited and expanded with new scenes and lore here:

Feathered Heart v2.0 - For Readers


Original Story Author: Demon Eyes Laharl
Continuation Story Author: Firesight
Prereaders: AJ_Aficionado, Silentwoodfire, and Silverblade5


Cover art by Dvorgaz on Deviantart, cropped from the original.

Chapters (3)
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Comments ( 82 )

Feathered heart was such a good story, probably one of my favorites on this site and when i read that title i just knew i had to see what was up, this continuation idea is making me so happy and i cant wait to see what you write

It is great to see this story get a revival and continuation. For anyone who read the original years ago, I would strongly recommend doing your refresher with the updated, edited, and all around improved version that Firesight linked to. I read the gdocs chapters as they were posted and thought to myself, "Oh yeah, this is the story I read years ago."

I was wrong. I had the idea to read the original-original and see if I could spot the differences. Yeah... The new one is in actuality what my nostalgia glasses thought the old Feathered Heart was.

PS If you like this check out Firesight's Firefly stories. We're in a bit of a loop situation here as Feathered Heart got me to Before the Storm: The Rise of Firefly which has now gotten here to Feathered Hearts so I can recommend Before the Storm: The Rise of Firefly, and sequel.

Excellent Chatter 1 keep up the good work.
And I give this story a 10 out of 89 mark

10731276
10 out of 89 sounds dreadful. Good to know you're liking it anyway.

10731254

Very cool. Welcome and enjoy! You can check out this introductory blog for some background on the new story if you like: https://www.fimfiction.net/blog/941586/feathered-hearts-continuation-chronicles-introductory-blog

10731262

It is great to see this story get a revival and continuation. For anyone who read the original years ago, I would strongly recommend doing your refresher with the updated, edited, and all around improved version that Firesight linked to. I read the gdocs chapters as they were posted and thought to myself, "Oh yeah, this is the story I read years ago."

What he said! Thanks, Posted.

I was wrong. I had the idea to read the original-original and see if I could spot the differences. Yeah... The new one is in actuality what my nostalgia glasses thought the old Feathered Heart was.

Funny how that works. I'm very glad you think the updated version is an improvement!

PS If you like this check out Firesight's Firefly stories. We're in a bit of a loop situation here as Feathered Heart got me to Before the Storm: The Rise of Firefly which has now gotten here to Feathered Hearts so I can recommend Before the Storm: The Rise of Firefly, and sequel.

I very much appreciate the shout out for Firefly! :pinkiehappy: It's come full circle for me, too. Like I said in the blog, Feathered Heart inspired Firefly, and now Firefly inspires Feathered Hearts.

10731276

Excellent Chatter 1 keep up the good work. And I give this story a 10 out of 89 mark

Thank you, but I'm a little confused. 10 out of 89? Do you mean 8.9 out of 10? Or am I just not understanding your meaning?

10731318
I will mark your work hiyer as you make more Chatters .
Ps I have some fanfic ideas you mite like to write in the future

Which one of your stories this the previous one?

10731396

Which one of your stories this the previous one?

Not one of mine. The original story is this:

TFeathered Heart
The exploration of the Gryphon Kingdom and the love between a human and a griffin. While securing trade routes, Gilda reminisces how the humans arrive, the trials they face together, and the one who stole her heart. Set in the Gentlemanverse.
Demon Eyes Laharl · 139k words  ·  1,556  50 · 17k views

It was one of my all-time favorite stories on site. But the author, unfortunately, appears to have abandoned his account. It's a crossover war epic, so I thought I'd flesh it out and finish it.

Been a long time since I've done a commentary post. Honestly, no one reads them anymore but you, Firesight. Back in 2018 is the last time I've seen one of my commentary posts get to like +3 upvotes. People just don't have the patience for my long-windedness anymore, it seems.

But why the heck not? I had plenty to say in prereading this thing. Let's do this! And as this is an E-rated story, I suppose this will have to read like AJ Aficionado for Kids so let's get the mood established...

I love that song so much. Best episode of season 3, fight me!

Gilda was starting to wonder if becoming an officer had already irrevocably changed her, or if her new command chain was somehow enchanted to make her less impulsive and more mature.

There's magic for making others think a little more than usual, I'm sure. Remember the green energy from The Tommyknockers?

So she gently brushed aside all of Goldberg’s probes and thinly veiled suggestions that she recommend Marco be shipped back through the portal, on the grounds that he was “endangering the amicability of their ongoing trade negotiations” through his “unfortunate habit of regrettable incidents with civilian and soldier populations alike.”

You're such a jerk Goldbrick, er, Goldberg. :twilightangry2:

She looked up at the taller human officer. “Whatever issues I may have with Marco Lakan, they do not affect the performance of my duty. And regardless of my feelings for him, I’m not about to let him be punished for defending a friend,” she said emphatically, but then blinked hard and had to stifle a grimace—she’d meant to say feelings towards him, not for him!

Subtle! I was just about to say how the narration used the wrong word and I must have missed that but Gilda has just played herself.

“Thank you, but no. Armed or not, the Paladins would not appreciate it,” she informed him, referring to the Queen’s green-armored and well-trained protectors that were at least roughly analogous to Equestria’s Royal Guardsponies in function, but far more competent at their jobs.

Gilda is throwing some shade that could put the Bat Pony's homeland to shame.

“It wasn’t just that, but yes. He tried, but very poorly,” she confirmed with a wince. “His accent and inflections were all wrong. I offered to help teach him, but after his… experience, I’m not sure he’d be willing to try speaking Aeric again for fear of making a griffon angry.”

Attacking people for butchering your language is refreshing candor, to be honest. Politeness far too often means taking the other guy's side and I really hate doing that.

She blinked hard and looked up at him in surprise. “Non perfecta, sed multo melius,” she replied, and meant it—he’d even gotten the squawk on the leading Ts and the slight trill on the vowels passable, if not perfect. “Not bad at all, Lieutenant. You still need some work on the proper amount of hiss for the S sounds and selecting which syllables to stress. You’re also missing the beak clacks on the Qs and Cs,

This is a great detail for those people reading this who studied Latin in college.

“I took it at the U.S. Naval Academy as my foreign language requirement,” he replied with a grin. “It became much more popular to take once we learned there was a large nation on Tellus that still spoke it. You don’t speak it the same way we did since you’ve got all these additional sounds involved, but Merlina Marcus, the Inn’s owner, has been helping me in the evenings with the intonations.”

And flapping his arms like a pair of wings. Ca-caw! Ca-caw!

Wait—did that mean they had a Navy? But how, if they didn’t have military airships?

The idea of using airships to move supplies is so cool and has been a fascination of people forever. Moving things over water is actually very crippling to getting anywhere quickly. This video explains why:

So the idea of simply flying to move stuff is really awesome, even avoiding the close-air support usage an airship could offer in a military application. Given airships don't really work the way they do in fantasy, it's worth speculating why they do work in this fictional world. Not something that needs to be addressed now but worth some worldbuilding meditation for later.

Lunch consisted of fruit and thin slices of sausage they piled between pieces of bakery bread they’d bought the previous day. Sausage was sold in the markets as it was considered something of a starter food for weaning cubs or restoring strength after a serious injury or illness, and it amused her at least mildly that humans considered it valid fare for healthy adults as well.

Don't get her started on Pony diets that consist of hay and chocolate cake.

When Fortrakt asked what it was, he was told it was Buffalo Whiskey, a drink that was even rarer to gryphons than the heavily tariffed thestral wines.

Ahh, it looks like you changed this line to reflect my gdoc comment. While I do think the thestrals wouldn't want to export their wine given the intense costs and need to transport freight on airships (lacking a port and all), the benefits of trade are simply too great for a cash-starved and relatively unproductive arboreal nation to the more built-up and urban nations of the world. Note to self: Have the Thestrals buy North Carolina so they can have access to Atlantic shipping.

“It’s both a museum and a monument. They contain the statues and stories of those griffons—and non-griffons—we revere, so we ask that you accord them due respect by not appearing slovenly,” she explained with a pointed look at Marco. She’d gotten some sense of the range of human attire from formal to informal by then, and he certainly fell hard on the latter end of the spectrum.

What I mean to say Marco is you look a right plonker.

“You know perfectly well what it means, cub,” she said as she smirked at him. “Like it isn’t as obvious as a crow against the snow that you’re interested in her.”

Crow against the snow sounds very nice.

“Yeah, and I still say that while you’re trying to impress Tara with your spit-shined plates, I’ll be sitting behind a desk, ordering you to get me a drink.”

And ordering you to put your head through a table while you say "thank you, sir, may I have another?"

“Yep, just like any old griffon. Sit behind the table and—” he blinked hard as he caught up with her statement mentally, his wits a half-second slow. “Wait—Tara?” He instantly went flustered. “What is that supposed to mean?”

Here begins my favorite part of the chapter: Fortrakt being completely adorable while crushing on a gal. Alas, it's getting late and I'm going to have to cut this comment short here. I'll finish it tomorrow, Sensei.

Just wondering before I start, is it supposed to start out with 6?

So all the anti-feminism and anti-"cancel culture" digs in this chapter are your personal additions, huh?

10731842

Just wondering before I start, is it supposed to start out with 6?

Yes, because chapters 1-5 are out on Google Docs. You will find the links to them in the Author's Notes of chapter 6. The story's introductory blog explains why they have to be kept off-site:

https://www.fimfiction.net/blog/941586/feathered-hearts-continuation-chronicles-introductory-blog

10731929

If "all" means two or three fleeting references in a brand-new ~9500 word chapter that don't even equal 200 words of text, then damn straight. :twilightsmile: I'm funny that I don't like seeing my nation's history, heroes and monuments toppled by historically ignorant mobs with no pushback, egged on by individuals and ideologies who either seek selfish political advantage or are far less about building themselves up than tearing others down.

The Griffons revere their history and society, understanding that the inevitable flaws of their nation and heroes don't negate their enormous accomplishments--that historical figures and actions have to be judged in the context of the times they lived. That's the point I make in passing, and if you don't like it, tough. I'm not apologizing for it, and quite frankly, if that's all you're taking out of this chapter, then you're completely missing the forest for the trees.

10731474

Been a long time since I've done a commentary post. Honestly, no one reads them anymore but you, Firesight. Back in 2018 is the last time I've seen one of my commentary posts get to like +3 upvotes. People just don't have the patience for my long-windedness anymore, it seems.

Well, you're at +5 here, so maybe Feathered Heart brings back the old-school readers! :eeyup:

But why the heck not? I had plenty to say in prereading this thing. Let's do this! And as this is an E-rated story, I suppose this will have to read like AJ Aficionado for Kids so let's get the mood established...

img.youtube.com/vi/whl91kKmu5w/mqdefault.jpg

I love that song so much. Best episode of season 3, fight me!

Fight you? I'll join you! And yes, you were in fine form on the Google Docs. You were genuinely enjoying yourself, and it showed. You made some nice edits and additions, too.

Gilda was starting to wonder if becoming an officer had already irrevocably changed her, or if her new command chain was somehow enchanted to make her less impulsive and more mature.

There's magic for making others think a little more than usual, I'm sure. Remember the green energy from The Tommyknockers?

Never saw that, sadly. Stephen King's just not my thing.

So she gently brushed aside all of Goldberg’s probes and thinly veiled suggestions that she recommend Marco be shipped back through the portal, on the grounds that he was “endangering the amicability of their ongoing trade negotiations” through his “unfortunate habit of regrettable incidents with civilian and soldier populations alike.”

You're such a jerk Goldbrick, er, Goldberg. :twilightangry2:

Don't be a goldbrick, folks!

She looked up at the taller human officer. “Whatever issues I may have with Marco Lakan, they do not affect the performance of my duty. And regardless of my feelings for him, I’m not about to let him be punished for defending a friend,” she said emphatically, but then blinked hard and had to stifle a grimace—she’d meant to say feelings towards him, not for him!

Subtle! I was just about to say how the narration used the wrong word and I must have missed that but Gilda has just played herself.

The narration didn't use the wrong word, only Gilda did! Or is it the wrong word...? Ah, Gilda, you're already smitten without even realizing it. And it's going to be so much fun getting you to where you do!

“Thank you, but no. Armed or not, the Paladins would not appreciate it,” she informed him, referring to the Queen’s green-armored and well-trained protectors that were at least roughly analogous to Equestria’s Royal Guardsponies in function, but far more competent at their jobs.

Gilda is throwing some shade that could put the Bat Pony's homeland to shame.

Well, in fairness, she's going by what she remembers Guardsponies to be, pre-Changeling invasion. The ponies and Celly actually have some good sense in this verse, so they're now rebuilding their military including the Guardsponies almost from scratch, back towards the way things were in Firefly. And yes, that will be seen later, when... oops! Nope, not even as a spoiler. :twilightsmile:

“It wasn’t just that, but yes. He tried, but very poorly,” she confirmed with a wince. “His accent and inflections were all wrong. I offered to help teach him, but after his… experience, I’m not sure he’d be willing to try speaking Aeric again for fear of making a griffon angry.”

Attacking people for butchering your language is refreshing candor, to be honest. Politeness far too often means taking the other guy's side and I really hate doing that.

On the one hand, it's good that you're trying to meet the natives on their terms by speaking their language, but on the other, if you don't make an effort to learn it properly, you're just making things worse. Understand, I respect--immensely--people who know multiple languages, but there are certain people who only learn them to a certain point and don't try to get any better, coming across as proverbial ugly Americans or whatever other label you care to apply.

She blinked hard and looked up at him in surprise. “Non perfecta, sed multo melius,” she replied, and meant it—he’d even gotten the squawk on the leading Ts and the slight trill on the vowels passable, if not perfect. “Not bad at all, Lieutenant. You still need some work on the proper amount of hiss for the S sounds and selecting which syllables to stress. You’re also missing the beak clacks on the Qs and Cs,

This is a great detail for those people reading this who studied Latin in college.

I didn't, so I'm limited to online translation engines. I honestly don't know good the translations are, but I figured they'd at least add some avian sounds to it, like the beak clacks and squawks.

“I took it at the U.S. Naval Academy as my foreign language requirement,” he replied with a grin. “It became much more popular to take once we learned there was a large nation on Tellus that still spoke it. You don’t speak it the same way we did since you’ve got all these additional sounds involved, but Merlina Marcus, the Inn’s owner, has been helping me in the evenings with the intonations.”

And flapping his arms like a pair of wings. Ca-caw! Ca-caw!

She told him to do that once, as a joke. :rainbowlaugh: He was a good sport about it, at least.

Wait—did that mean they had a Navy? But how, if they didn’t have military airships?

The idea of using airships to move supplies is so cool and has been a fascination of people forever. Moving things over water is actually very crippling to getting anywhere quickly. This video explains why:

img.youtube.com/vi/YPQY70z5uKE/mqdefault.jpg

I think the problem with airships was that their cargo capacity was simply too small for their size and they were too slow to really make it practical. But steampunk-type airships might be different. Actually, I think our most efficient method of transporting supplies by land remains by train, in terms of sheer speed and tonnage.

So the idea of simply flying to move stuff is really awesome, even avoiding the close-air support usage an airship could offer in a military application. Given airships don't really work the way they do in fantasy, it's worth speculating why they do work in this fictional world. Not something that needs to be addressed now but worth some worldbuilding meditation for later.

I can have it discussed in the story later. Airships weren't in the original story, but as they were in Firefly, it seemed fitting to include them. I have some scenes in mind for them later I'll discuss with you privately.

Lunch consisted of fruit and thin slices of sausage they piled between pieces of bakery bread they’d bought the previous day. Sausage was sold in the markets as it was considered something of a starter food for weaning cubs or restoring strength after a serious injury or illness, and it amused her at least mildly that humans considered it valid fare for healthy adults as well.

Don't get her started on Pony diets that consist of hay and chocolate cake.

She *really* hated it when pony waiters automatically served her selection with sides of hay, as if they couldn't tell she wasn't an herbivore and couldn't digest it. I think I used that over in the bonus chapter of Midnight Rising.

When Fortrakt asked what it was, he was told it was Buffalo Whiskey, a drink that was even rarer to gryphons than the heavily tariffed thestral wines.

Ahh, it looks like you changed this line to reflect my gdoc comment. While I do think the thestrals wouldn't want to export their wine given the intense costs and need to transport freight on airships (lacking a port and all), the benefits of trade are simply too great for a cash-starved and relatively unproductive arboreal nation to the more built-up and urban nations of the world. Note to self: Have the Thestrals buy North Carolina so they can have access to Atlantic shipping.

I did indeed. :twilightsmile: Maybe we can make it a more tempting proposition when it turns out humans like their wines too, and offer to help them both make and ship it, both overseas and through the portal.

“It’s both a museum and a monument. They contain the statues and stories of those griffons—and non-griffons—we revere, so we ask that you accord them due respect by not appearing slovenly,” she explained with a pointed look at Marco. She’d gotten some sense of the range of human attire from formal to informal by then, and he certainly fell hard on the latter end of the spectrum.

What I mean to say Marco is you look a right plonker.

"So stop looking like some dressed-down dweeb and a clan reunion and be presentable!"

“You know perfectly well what it means, cub,” she said as she smirked at him. “Like it isn’t as obvious as a crow against the snow that you’re interested in her.”

Crow against the snow sounds very nice.

Thanks! I like the image, and alliteration.

“Yeah, and I still say that while you’re trying to impress Tara with your spit-shined plates, I’ll be sitting behind a desk, ordering you to get me a drink.”

And ordering you to put your head through a table while you say "thank you, sir, may I have another?"

And all right in front of Tara! You're so cruel, Gilda... :rainbowlaugh:

“Yep, just like any old griffon. Sit behind the table and—” he blinked hard as he caught up with her statement mentally, his wits a half-second slow. “Wait—Tara?” He instantly went flustered. “What is that supposed to mean?”

Here begins my favorite part of the chapter: Fortrakt being completely adorable while crushing on a gal. Alas, it's getting late and I'm going to have to cut this comment short here. I'll finish it tomorrow, Sensei.

No problem. Thanks for the old-school longpost!

Well this is a pleasant surprise. Feathered heart was definitely one of my favs as well. That combo of HFY style first encounter / from the eyes of a alien and the MLP universe is just so good.

Just for clarification, did you edit the original story up until chapter 6, and that's why chapter 6 is here? I'm not sure if I missed a blog or something about how to consume this rewrite/continuation.
Sorry, I'm just about to binge this and want to do it all in the correct order... :twilightblush:
(Also it's my day off and I'm a bit buzzed lol)

10732285

Check the author’s notes of the published chapter. :twilightsmile: Parts 1-5 are posted to Google Docs for reasons explained both there, and in my introductory blog to the story:

https://www.fimfiction.net/blog/941586/feathered-hearts-continuation-chronicles-introductory-blog

And if you’re buzzed, it sounds like a good day off to me! :heart:

10732053
You seem rather politically driven. Hope that doesn't interfere with your story telling too much. Hope to read this soon.

This is great, thanks for reviving the story! You should also post it on fanfiction.net, so you can have the chapters you edited more publicly visible.

10731929
This whole chapter is his personal addition and it's not like Demon Eyes Laharl was some champion of feminism and having people fired from their jobs for crimethink. Admit it, if this story agreed with your personal set of opinions, you wouldn't be this upset.

Edit: I like being red and green.

derpicdn.net/img/2016/6/6/1171836/large.png

10732323
We're all driven by something.

Edit: Only one downvote? Where's my second?

Edit: Keep it salty!

derpicdn.net/img/2016/6/6/1171836/large.png

10732323

I could answer, but I'll ask instead that you read the chapter--and the edited ones--before deciding that. :eeyup:

10732323
Unfortunately, from what I've read of Firesight's work real world politics do seem to be an underlying driver for things that definitely disrupt the story in favor of some kind of power fantasy. I say this having read the entirety of Five Star Service, which would have been better served by, perhaps, refraining from being as preachy as it was.

That said, I do actually agree with Firesight's political assertions so if that is any indication as to how obnoxious it can become then, yes, his politics will definitely influence the story in a way that is not wholly positive. I will say, however, that from what I've read in this chapter this story will definitely be an overall improvement over Five Star Service despite the political undertones.

Fantastic. Usually when someone rewrites a story there’s a quality drop, but if the first chapter is anything to go by that isn’t the case here. I’m glad you picked up this story the original of which enjoyed greatly.

Chapter 6: why you should totally read my other stories. Lol.

It’s been pretty great so far. Keep up the good work.

Comment posted by Firesight deleted March 22nd

10733431
You replied to me by mistake, friend.

10733039

Fantastic. Usually when someone rewrites a story there’s a quality drop, but if the first chapter is anything to go by that isn’t the case here. I’m glad you picked up this story the original of which enjoyed greatly.

I'm gathering by your second post you mean the first edited chapter. Thanks, and you're welcome! :coolphoto:

Chapter 6: why you should totally read my other stories. Lol.

Well, partly that, and partly "hey, readers of my other stories, you should totally come check this out!" Yep, I'm shameless. :ajsmug:

It’s been pretty great so far. Keep up the good work.

I appreciate that very much! And will do.

10733935

Oops! :twilightoops: Sorry about that. Thanks for letting me know. I deleted and reposted the comment to the correct recipient.

10733299
you tryna make whole-cow jerky or somethin'?

10733953
You want to know the difference between you and Arthur C. Clarke? ACC finishes his stories.

Stay salty.

10734177
I wasn't trying to be salty in the first place, but if that's the way you want to interpret it then sure, go ahead. If you'd like to finish my fics for me, though, just feel free to send me a PM anytime.

10734192 10734177

Okay, enough. :ajbemused:

First of all, the only salt in this comment section has come from the readsponies side of things; I replied once to his initial comment criticizing me going after cancel culture even mildly, and that was it. I did not reply to Xzeron's initial comment, nor will I, simply because there's no point and I'd much prefer the comments be about story content instead of descending into these ratio wars over what amounts to ego-driven dick-measuring contests.

I will write as I see fit. You, in turn, are free to read my stuff or not, upvote or downvote as you see fit. You may even comment, as long as it's relevant to the content of the posted chapter. But I'm shutting this conversation down. I'm not accepting any more of these back-and-forth comments that have nothing to do with the story; if I see them, they will be deleted. And if they persist, I'll block the offender.

In short, this thread is done, and I have the final word on it. Good day.

10734204
im finna read it 'cause I like it bro

particularly because even though we're in the first few chapters it's already expanding and improving on DEL's work

I do apologize if my original comment was aggressive, but I was trying to answer Kek lel's question specifically. Personally, if that's the worst thing about this fic then like I said above I can live with it. Wouldn't mind a guest star room temperature challenge featuring Ibram X. Kendi and Robin DiAngelo, though.

10734281

First of all, thank you very much for the apology, and for the like and fave. It's all very much appreciated. :yay: And for it, you earn what I hope will be a thoughtful reply.

Your original comment wasn't so much aggressive to me as very backhanded, and unfortunately, I picked up a downvote on Five Star Service after you posted it. You'll understand that doesn't exactly endear a commenter to me. I know you didn't mean that, but that's what can happen when someone reading the comment decides to dislike the author along with the chapter. So please keep that in mind in the future.

I'm sorry if you think that Five Star Service was too topical or political, but I wouldn't change it, even if it earned me some dislikes. Looking back, the only real regret I have about that story is that I completely flubbed my first attempt at writing The Attorney chapters at the end. Blew them badly, and left a bad taste in many readers' mouths. But I came back and fixed that later by completely rewriting them, and the current versions of those ending chapters are very good. The other thing I'd say is that if Five Star Service is the only other story you've read from me, it gave you a mistaken impression of how often I incorporate personal beliefs or political statements into my writing. No other story I've written comes even remotely close to that.

As for this story, I honestly thought I was quite measured with it in this latest chapter, but clearly one or two readers disagree. It was even called 'anti-feminist', which I find ironic given I love writing smart, powerful and sensual females. When all is said and done, Tara is going to be one of them, and Fortrakt... well. You'll see. :twilightsmile:

I will follow with great interest.:heart:

10734357
I thank you for the opportunity for civil discourse in light of my lack of tact. It was never my particular intention to encourage anyone to dislike you as an author, but as you may know and understand people often have their own minds and can be particularly judgmental and vindictive of their own accord. I, personally, prefer to know something before I develop a unique opinion on it, though the opinions of others do sometimes factor in to that judgement. That's why, if I were you, I wouldn't necessarily put much stock in someone who might've read my comment and given everything you've written a downvote on principle.

I'm sure you're familiar with the whole cancel culture/ internet outrage beat in which something is lied about and/or mischaracterized by a mainstream publication, then dragged through the mud by a raving mob of sheeple with no opinion of their own. That, in and of itself, engenders curiosity in me: I like to look into things that have been visited by the mob to suss out whether there might be a grain of truth to the mud-flinging (which there usually isn't).

Tl;dr: Someone who makes a snap judgement based on some rando's comment is probably not voting in good faith. Therefore, their vote is essentially moot.

Now, on to Five Star Service. I've read it all the way through and it is in my favorites. I found that there was class A nut material, plus some neat worldbuilding. Yes, the political bent brought it down for me but it was more believable in the context of the story and it turned out to be something I could gloss over. For whatever irritation I might have developed, I still dropped the hammer on the like button. Nothing is above criticism, however, even things that I've enjoyed and/or that are objectively good. Martin Luther King can be criticized for his extramarital affairs, but that doesn't make him an overall bad person. I'm not sure if Stalin really had anything going for him, though.

Purely strong women are fundamentally anti-feminist. Now, feminism itself has been mutated into a semantically loaded term that can be used to beat people over the head for not conforming to whatever the flavor of the day is. It's the same as saying that something is ___-phobic or racist. Those terms are used when someone refuses to understand something because of an ideological bent more often than they're used in good faith. Thus, I tend to discount such assertions until such time as an explanation can be delivered, and usually that explanation (or lack thereof) gives me an idea as to, in context, how much good faith the person is acting in. Once that determination is made, you can pretty safely throw out any bad faith assertions. I'm sure if you watch enough Ben Shapiro you know I'm basically just quoting him at this point.

tl;dr: Buzzwords turn into any shape of club on a whim but turn to smoke when scrutiny is applied, usually.

I am, overall, interested in the direction you're taking Demon Eyes Laharl's work, and look forward to seeing Tara and Fortrakt produce the beast with way too many appendages. The Keeper of Secrets will be pleased, no doubt.

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Reasonableness in the comments? On my FiM Fiction? It’s more likely than you think.

edit: As for the whole “I can’t repost other people’s chapters, so here’s a gDoc instead” schtick… you could always try temporarily uploading them here, exporting it via FiM Fiction’s native functionality, and then hosting that ePub on Google Drive.

edit edit: Y’know, for the two whole readers anal‐retentive enough to want it formatted the same between chapters. :trixieshiftleft: :trixieshiftright: Why, no sir, that’s not a reason I came up with just now to cover up the fact that I forgot gDocs could save as an epub.

So like all the hot button topics my stance on destruction of statues pisses both sides off.
There are some that deserve to be torn down, for example Beau had a good video on one deserving of removal just the other day. However people need to understand that people are often a product of their times and should not be blindly torn down just because they endorsed an idea that was common place at the time.

The first grand wizard of the KKK and a man who ordered his troops to fire on surrendering soldiers. I'm not sure he deserves a statue, but there are some far more worthy statues that have been removed or torn down.

Man, I didn't realize how much I missed this fic and setting. Still quite a ways back from where the original left off but the rewrite/update's been great stuff so far.

Yay for interspecies relations!:rainbowwild:

Ten minutes later, they were exiting the Inn to some snickers from the Marines at the front, who seemed especially amused at the sight of Chris in a business suit and Marco dressed at least somewhat up.

They were mean to laugh at Marco about his suit but at least they had the courtesy of giving him Snickers. Lord knows, Marco ain't Marco when he's hungry.

For his part, Fortrakt was awestruck at her altered appearance, and the sheer confidence she radiated. “You know, maybe I will cancel that date…”

I wonder if Fortrakt is going to morph into a breast man or an ass man? Hell, maybe he'll think to this moment later on and remember the sight of those lovely calves and creamy skin exposed to the light of day and swear his eternal appreciation for a pair of great gams.

“Kinda like General Lafayette, then…” Chris mused as they explored the first few life-sized statues, and the exhibits that accompanied them. When possible, their actual tools, clothes, armor and weapons were displayed, encased in crystal to preserve them for, if not eternity, at least as close as griffons could manage. Some even had one or more of their primary pinions preserved, rotating at eye level in a magical stasis field.

“General who?” Fortrakt asked.

“A foreign military leader who assisted my nation in our War of Independence,” he explained. “He has an entire plaza named after him in our capital city.”

He joined on the American side because of his shared Masonic heritage with many of the founding fathers. And no one where I live seems to be able to say his name correctly. Still, the gesture was appreciated, even if it was assuredly more hatred of the British than ideology that saw France assist us in throwing off the yoke of our oppressors.

“I hear ya.” Marco then raised a hand to touch his statue at the shoulders, causing Paladin heads to turn and their eyes to narrow. “Onyx, huh? It’s beautiful! And he looks so perfectly rendered…”

Before he could reach it, Gilda seized his foreleg and held it in an iron grip, digging in her talons slightly to emphasize her next words. “Don’t… touch…” she warned him in no uncertain terms, reflecting that was the first time she’d touched him since his hand had been on her flight muscles. “Especially not there!”

Marco... Now is not the time to channel your inner bisexual!

“You could say that. It says here she ended up saving them more than once from Ibexan and dragon attacks. She stayed even after the colony was secured and ended up founding a separate colony of pegasi there called the… Sevastoponians?” he stumbled slightly over the pronunciation.

It has to call the Ibix to no end, they weren't even able to round off Ukraine in this timeline. Will they never get that warm-water port they've sought after for hundreds of years?

“This is Ardanius of the West”, her junior partner said reverently as they stared up at the pedestal-mounted tiercel. “One of our earliest heroes. A millennia and a half ago, he thwarted King Sombra when he tried to expand the Crystal Empire overseas, attempting to invade The Isles of Eagleland as a prelude to conquering the whole of Aresia. But Ardanius rallied the gryphon clans living there and repulsed him quite bloodily, sacrificing his life to throw the evil King’s armies back into the sea.”

Sombra learned as the Spanish had before them that invading Ireland is a great idea on paper but in practice, you just end up dead either way.

“Not bad,” Chris granted. “Have to say, I like a nation that reveres their history and heroes, instead of just tears them all down for reasons both ignorant and stupid.”

*Angry Antifa noises*

“Who does that?” Fortrakt asked in confusion.

Cucks.

“Unquestionably, he was. This is Prelate Salvio Gaius,” Gilda detailed. “He was arguably the greatest griffon military mind of all time. Said to be a strategic genius on par with the pony Sun Master himself, he completely reversed the course of a war we were losing to the Elder Rams, and he was later the commander of all Imperial forces during the war with Equestria. He was so brilliant he even came up with a plan that successfully caged Celestia herself and very nearly overthrew her—not once, but twice.”

“But he didn’t,” Marco pointed out needlessly. “And from what we know, the Empire wasn’t exactly the good guys back then. Even the earlier exhibits we saw seem to admit that. So why is he here?”

He was effective and that means he has something to teach all of us, whether one cares to admit it or not.

Though giving her an odd look, he did so. “Oh, it’s true that he had some issues. By some reports, he went slowly insane over the years of war from the enormous pressure he was under, to the point that he had to be… removed,” Fortrakt said carefully with a glance at Gilda.

derpicdn.net/img/2015/3/14/848964/large.png

Serbia exists in my Thestral headcanon for the record. It's called "Stirrupska" (Srpska is Serbian for Serbia).

“I don’t know. It says here that his forces committed atrocities against pony civilians, including hostage taking of stallions and summary execution of resistance fighters?” Chris summarized the Aeric text on one of the displays. “He doesn’t sound like a very nice guy, or a genius if his final campaign ended in defeat.”

The Gryphons weren't wrong to execute guerillas, at least in the short-term. Any long-term occupation of a hostile population ends up becoming a battle of wills against the population. Arguably it could be said the lands they occupied would never accept their legitimacy for being birdcats that dropped off of boats from lands thousands of miles away. Isn't the most direct way to deal with a relentless enemy to remove them from the board?

It made sense at the time, I'm sure but long-term, brutally suppressing the ponies and thestrals under their occupation resulted in escalation they could not deal with, a fate that has doomed many would-be sneering imperialists. I'd say more but I dare not spoil anything.

“No buts, Chris.” Gilda shook her head. “If you want a paragon of virtue, I promise you’re not going to find it in the military, or even in this room. Take it from me—if you demand perfection of all your friends and idols, then you won’t have any friends or idols left,”

"You either die a hero or live to become the villain" is a dreadfully cliched line but it's true so often, I doubt this line will ever stop being used.

“Well-read, Chris. That was a perfect translation! He was also instrumental in both defeating Diabla and cementing our alliance with the ponies after, as he left the military following her defeat and served as Ambassador to Equestria for the next thirty years. Hey, did you know my clan traces our bloodline back to him?” he asked them all wistfully.

“Oh, please.” Gilda rolled her eyes. “Seriously, Fortrakt? Half the Kingdom claims lineage to him! Even though he only had three cubs.”

Ugh! It's like White People claiming to be Cherokee. We get it, you're special!

Chris did so, though it took him a minute to translate and absorb it all. “Holy shit…” he used the human invective again, which Gilda found confusing—what in the crows was holy about excrement?

Well, some excrement is pretty useful. You can Fertilize your crops and build a bomb with it. That's pretty holy.

“I know, right? He later wrote that the ponies let him know friendship and family for the first time, and he loved them all because of it. Then when war came, he openly sided with Equestria and fought against the Empire using a hybrid combat style he’d invented with the help of the ponies. He fought at his adoptive mother’s side in many early battles, later helping to train pony troops and liaise with Imperial dissidents—at one point, he even induced an entire Auxiliary Guard unit to defect!

The Corporal York of his time.

“I’ve seen this twenty times, and it never gets old! You’re going to love this! So just stand back and watch what some say is the greatest duel victory in all of gryphon history…”

It also turns out to be extremely messy and bloody. And vulgar. It's like being there when Fallout Equestria happens. Oof!

Alright, I'm caught up now. Looking forward to commenting on the new chapter in an hour or so. Good stuff!

“As your order bore the weight of your diplomatic command chain, it meant that the Paladins would not surrender them to us without a direct order from the Queen or her Chief Legatus, neither of whom could be reached in enough time.”

Shouldn't the ambassador also have the ability to override, given that it's a diplomatic chain and he's the chief diplomat involved? It's occurred to me that chains could become pretty OP and abusable otherwise.

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Actually, he *does* have the ability to override it, but they knew full well he wouldn't--he said as much later in the section--so they tried to preempt him by going over his head. I see I'm going to have to explain these things in more detail somewhere, maybe in an appendix to Firefly like you suggested.

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It's not that much of a problem. I was able to acurately make a prediction on who else would have that authority, which you just confirmed. That means the underlying principles were explained clearly. You're doing your job right, :eeyup:

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