• Member Since 2nd Mar, 2018
  • offline last seen 55 minutes ago

Venerable Ro

Have you tried setting it on fire?


In the magical land of Equestria the borders are kept by the watchful eyes of the fourth tribe. Evergreen Hold, one village among many, guards the endless forests along Equestria's southwest border. But lately something new has crept into the forest, it seems there is a change in the air...

Many thanks to Destiny Chaser and Comma Typer for their encouragement, and to ClockworkMage for his gracious help in editing this. Any errors that remain exist by my own efforts.

Cover art generously provided by Comma Typer.

A translation into Spanish Generously provided by SPANIARD KIWI.
Halvard y la reina amable

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 47 )

I helped pre-red this. It's genuinely one of the better stories I have read, not just on FiMFic, but at any point in my life. That's not a small thing. I have a Masters Degree, minored in Creative Writing. I have read so many stories they blur together at times. This is good. So good I don't want to spoil a damn thing for anyone, but please do read it.

This is the kind of life I'd like to have mine look like in slice form.

Like, day to day reality in a world fundamentally not our own.
But with ponies!
Well, changebugs...

For a first submission, this is pretty damn good. Keep 'em coming, Ro.

Amazing, human in Equestria with an almost Tolkien - Lord of the rings vibe, old Equestria rise of Nightmare Moon timeline, with a younger less bitter Queen Chrysalis. I love it thumbs up and favorite for me.

Sadly I am unfamiliar with the word "Aiet" and several attempts to look it up have proven unsuccessful. What does it even mean?

This is one of those stories that I will come back to to read and reread, such charm and wit and beauty of soul. Magnifique.
So glad that you decide to publish this my friend, God bless!

From the Dune series. A declaration of grief and anguish of tragedy that simply is, though one wish it not.

Thanks for your help Meep!

High praise indeed coming from you, I'm very glad you liked it!

Thanks again for the editing, it was a pleasure to work with you. Hope to have another story in the works soon.

I'll try to!

Yup, that's the one. It tends to come up a lot in my writing, one of the benefits of being well-read is that you'll pick up all sorts of nifty little terms. Glad you both liked the story!

Oh my god... That was so BUT so beautiful!

For a first properly finished/published fic this get's a 9/10 for excellence. It would be higher, but then, just as I told a featured story today, there'd need to be more.

Reads like a fairy tale. I like it.

Amazing piece, Ro. It had me reading rapt; you'd be hard pressed to find someone who'd put this down.

I'm glad you liked it!

High marks indeed! I'd thought about making it longer, but the plot of this particular story wound up being pretty compact. And once I got to the ending, well, the ending's the ending, you know?

That was the goal, glad that came through!

Just what any author wants to hear, thank you!

Needed more hiding things in barrels. <__<

This was great; the changelings as playful fae is just a lovely idea. :pinkiehappy:

Well, that was both nice and interesting, I thought! Thank you for writing. :)

(A question I'm wondering about, though; I hope you don't mind me asking:
How did the rangers get to far-off Everfree what seemed to be so quickly? By whatever method the word too travelled fast, some sort of magic?)


Glad you liked it! Changeling faeries were a natural progression from the original thought, which was passive love-collection aided by deliberate "cultivation" or lightening the mood. Once I had that thought the next idea was pranks and trickery, and from there the whole theme of faery was just a breath away. It all goes much smoother when "mom" isn't an embittered old nag...

This world's thick with what you might call "reasonably applied magic", which is a very powerful thing indeed. Emergency use of bottled dragon-fire sent the messages out, the muster converged on various pre-arranged gathering points, and liberal use of cloud-walking spells ferried groups the rest of the way on specially-managed cloud constructs. Excellent time made in exchange for outrageous expenditure of resources.

Everyone had to walk back though...

Ah, thanks. :)

Nice sense of world building, and good pacing. Overall, the story feels like a unique twist on the Changeling's abilities and desires. It would make sense for them to eat to essentially farm love i a community away from ponies, and making the citizens feel comfortable with them first with gifts and misunderstood attempts to help were both really well written and cute.

A charming little story and a great pace. I'm surprised this is your first story on the site. This is a testament to the potential you have for other stories if you ever decide to publish another one.

A Ro story at last! And a lovely one as well. Excellent fable, and a far happier one than many that deal with mysterious forest folk and broken promises thereunto. Thank you for it. Here's to many more!


Thanks for the read! I'm glad you enjoyed it, and I certainly hope to write more things in the future. Yes, Changelings are doing their best, but they don't always get "helpful" on the first pass.

Well the devil's in the details when it comes to promises, certainly Halvard had a better excuse than Psyche, and Chrysalis was more than willing to forgive him when all was said and done.

Huh, great first story. This world begs to be explored further.

At least the lings are trying tu help! Even if they clearly know next to nothing about how to do that.

Well this was quite unexpected. I've never checked admittedly but I somehow got the impression that you'd never posted a story, not on this site anyway. I figured you were the type content to simply read.

It's a nice surprise though, and the story was interesting. I'm not sure if it's what you were going for but it almost reads like a classic fairytale.

It's a new development, and I really was trying for that classic fairytale. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Seeing as how it was your story that inspired me to make an account in the first place for the purposes of commentary, we've rather come full circle, no? Funny that...

This was lovely! Everything felt like it fit in naturally, you introduced things very well. Definitely hit the fairytale feel. If you ever decided to release more bits in the future they would sure be welcomed!

A really enjoyable read, certainly feels like something you'd find in a book of fairy tales. It seems to hit just the spot where it's good enough to leave me wanting more, yet I have a feeling any direct sequels or continuations would likely detract from the folk legend feeling that runs so strong in the story, and the whole thing might end up being worse off for it. Though if you ever come up with any other fairy tales like this, I certainly wouldn't mind giving that a read.

Gah, I regret not reading this story sooner. The plot sets itself up to be about loss of innocence, but instead its about innocence prolonged. We know it won't last, of course. But in a way that makes this glimpse into the early life of "Lady" all the more meaningful.

Wonderful tone and prose that evokes the feel of a parent telling this story to their child before bed. Can't think of any one to one comparisons because your style is so unique, but it spiritually matches the delicate bardlike voice of Kate DiCamillo, author of my favorite children's book The Tale of Desperaux. Humans befriending sapient animals, unflappable characters learning to show vulnerability, bonds of friendship and fear of loss... it's all there. Superbly done.


Glad to hear you liked the story! So you picked up on that narrative subtlety eh? The original seed of the story was the old myth of Eros and Psyche, with a goodly dash of Shakespearean tragedy thrown in, because poor Chrysalis can't have nice things. Then, at the very literal last minute Chrysalis decided that by thunder she would have nice things, and she wasn't going to lose her friend to something as stupid as a mossy rock. The rest, as they say, is history.

Quite invigorating really, and it forces me to re-evaluate any number of things in regards to the world at large. Something that I am by no means upset about.

Yes as I've said before I was hoping to manage that bardic voice, telling a story rather than writing one if that makes any sense. But my goodness me, that is high praise, I'm flattered that you think so highly of my story. The theme I usually go for would be more or less along the lines of this song here, thoughts?

Ah, I really was trying to hit that oral folk-tale note, like something told over a campfire or while sitting by a hearth. Of course, a part of that is a certain brevity, got to be able to tell the whole thing in one sitting, no? In the end I followed that sage advice; "start at the beginning, and when you come to the end, stop."


I'm glad you liked it!

Ah, you appeal to my Irish ancestry with your choice of music. A bonny twee ballad, that one.

My short stories are in plain language, relying on fresh subject matter and slowly revealed character depth to engage readers. I work like an electrician who needs every subsequent filament to string neatly from the previous or the whole endeavor will fizzle. You though, are able to use short, efficient turns of phrase to achieve quippier gravitas. The paragraphs in this story are like worker ants; pull one out of the mix and it'd still have function and flavor. But allow it to cooperate in the intended network of descriptions and dialogue, and an airtight gestalt effort of an end product emerges.

I write more fics than I read, and I read more fics than I follow their authors. But you've absolutely earned a follow. You have a lot of integrity when it comes to producing content, so I definitely want to be around to provide encouragement.

As for the comparison of your work to Kate DiCamillo's, I really appreciate authors who can nail the voice of a bard. It takes surgical precision to wield descriptive melodrama like an expert film maker wields shaky cam.


If the rat had not looked back over his shoulder, his heart would not have broken. And it is possible I would not have a story to tell.

But reader, he did look.

”A rat,” he said. “There is no light for rats. No light for me.”

The king’s men were still bent over the queen shouting “save her, save her!” And the queen was still dead of course when Roscuro encountered her royal soup spoon lying on the floor.

”I will have something beautiful,” Roscuro said aloud. “I am a rat, but I will have something beautiful. I will have a crown of my own.” He picked up the spoon. He put it on his head.

”Yes, I will have something beautiful and I will have revenge. Both things. Somehow.”

There are hearts, reader, that never mend once they are broken. Or if they do mend they heal themselves in a crooked and lopsided way as if sewn together by a careless craftsman. Such was the fate of Chia Roscuro. Placing the spoon on his head, speaking of revenge, these things helped him put his heart together again. But it was, alas, put together wrong.

-The Tale of Desperaux

Anyway, I've cluttered your comment section with enough dithering. Good night to you, and good luck catching any future plot bunnies with pelts worth weaving into publishable fics.

10878891 Ah yes, I do love that story. The movie version was... lacking. It watered-down the poetic nature to a mere by-the-numbers kiddie hero story.

Adapting such literary works to film requires a subtle touch few can achieve. You must know how to turn the meter of words into imagery, maintain the tone with color and form.

It was how I felt when I first saw "The Last Unicorn" and then read the book. They were clearly kindred, for they FELT the same. It was no surprise to me to learn that book and screenplay both came from Beagle himself.

10854621 If one were to create a TRULY 'adult' version of Pony (and by that, I do not mean PORN, obviously... I find it frustrating that 'mature' and 'adult' these days mean nothing more than rutting like beasts in heat.) then this story is a perfect example of how to do it.

Since mature and adult are now poisoned terms, for works like this we must pick a new term; and I choose 'splendiferous'!


What's this? A wild Alondro appears, liking my humble story? I'm honored good sir.

I do my best to imagine sensible people and the decisions such folk would make in their day-to-day, good characterization makes or breaks a story I always say. Halvard is pretty much "capable woodsman in a fantasy setting who makes reasonable choices based on all available information", a figure of staggering myth and rarity to be sure. Splendiferous indeed I'd say!


I owe my prose to Estee, who I've read quite a bit of lately, and C. S. Lewis, who I read quite a bit of a while ago. That in-the-moment energy, with a hopeful eye to lush descriptions and some hearty positive energy. I'm flattered and thankful for the follow, and certainly hope to live up to your expectations. I've another tale in mind to tell, a bit longer to see if I can't manage more than one chapter in a story.

Ah, haunting prose that fragment of story, quite haunting. I don't believe I've ever read that author, but I certainly see the resemblance. Thought-provoking, as all beautiful things are. A tragic beauty.

Good night to you as well, good luck with whatever you're about.

Love this story, and would love to see more

A good friend recommended this to me. In real life, I often have trouble speaking, for a number of reasons that love to buddy up and annoy me greatly. In text and writing, I often try to use a professional, flowery prose. At times it has the unfortunate side effect of making me look like a snide jackass, but stories like this are what I strive for with that tone. I've even written a similar concept myself, but even a glance at this story shows me the distinction i need to keep in mind in the future; each of your paragraphs are full, healthy with detail that isn't needed, much like Tolkien's tree descriptions, but add all the same to capture the romanticism of a period piece writer.

And I do love stories where changelings show their Fae roots.


I'm glad you liked it! An important thing in writing is evocative description, it's not enough to have "stage direction descriptions" of what's going on, you need to be able to sell the mood and you need to paint a picture in the reader's mind. C. S. Lewis is a wonderful example of this sort of descriptive writing, a few sentences brings an entire concept to mind clear as day.

“The worst of sleeping out of doors is that you wake up so dreadfully early. And when you wake up you have to get up because the ground is so hard you are uncomfortable. And it makes matters worse if there is nothing but apples for breakfast and you have had nothing but apples for supper the night before.”
― C.S. Lewis, Prince Caspian

although I have a feeling that I have already seen a story with a similar concept, but I liked this cute story.

:twilightsmile: Quite a fun story this was. Changelings being (mostly) light-hearted tricksters is an idea I would love to see more of.

I'm afraid I'm a bit late to providing feedback on this, so most others have already hit many of the points which I really liked. Nonetheless, I'd like to reiterate a few things which really made this fic shine:

  • The sense of the world. I am a huge sucker for stories which depict the setting of FiM as a more raw, dangerous place - a fantasy world in all its wondrous and dangerous glory. The show itself did this to some degree in the early seasons, and here I see that spirit excellently embodied as well. There's lots of little references to things happening outside the scope of the story: Clear enough for us to understand their impact on the course of the story, yet not so overtly detailed as to be distracting. We don't need to know exactly what went down in Everfree City, just that it did.
  • On that note, the depiction of the Changelings as something vaguely fae - not exactly hostile, not automatically friendly, something mostly harmless yet annoyed at your own risk - is a great one. Something ultimately a little alien. There's not nearly enough fae-changeling fics on this site, so whenever I see one it's a great thing.
  • I'll also echo what some others said, that the fairy-tale style to the writing itself made the whole a great read as well. It's relatively smooth-flowing, sets the proper tone for what's to come, and gives us

If there's one bit of critique or suggestion I would give, it's to watch out for run-on sentences tied together by lots of commas. They can become a little awkward to read, although the actual text within these is good. Just break them up a bit more with proper stops and new sentence, and it'll be great.

All in all, a good read! I'd love to see more in this setting.

I found this via the review of PaulAsaran who seems to have a pretty good head on his shoulders where reviewing pony words are concerned.

A few minor typos sprinkled throughout this story but only in the blink and miss variety. Otherwise as everyone else has said, you did a very good job here. The only thing that could have made it more Medieval was if you inserted a bardic ballad at some point :twilightsheepish:

So I can! Thankee kindly.


Glad you enjoyed it, I had a fun time writing it.

Comment posted by Bad Horse deleted January 31st

This was great. You sure have a way with so-called "25 cent words", but it gave the story its own unique style. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

It kind of reminded me of the Greek myth about Psyche and Eros, what with the many interactions without seeing the other person, though obviously without any of the romance.

Very interesting to see a setting with humans naturally existing in Equestria as well.

The prior comments answered my questions about Aiet.

Nice to see Chrysalis being friendlier for once.

"I see you have successfully ambushed the stream, truly the water stood no chance against your cunning."


one-upped each other with feats of daring or cleverness



This was great. You sure have a way with so-called "25 cent words", but it gave the story its own unique style. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I'm glad you had fun, I was definitely going for an older style of writing, more "fireside tale" if you take my meaning.

It kind of reminded me of the Greek myth about Psyche and Eros, what with the many interactions without seeing the other person, though obviously without any of the romance.

Perceptive indeed, that was the very inspiration! Along with a bit of the pattern from Romeo and Juliet, though Chrysalis decided to nix that portion at the end. In hindsight I'm honestly surprised to be the first writer (that I know of) to use Chrysalis in conjunction with the old myth, you'd think she'd be a natural choice!

Very interesting to see a setting with humans naturally existing in Equestria as well.

It's a whole thing.

Chrysalis is a very adaptable character, no? I'm always thrilled and happy to present alternative perspectives on characters.

It doesn't feel like canon of course, but it isn't intended to. It was already said, but I'll go through the trouble and reiterate: good vibes. Do more.

Login or register to comment