• Member Since 16th Mar, 2017
  • offline last seen Yesterday

Novelle Tale

just another golden hour cryptid getting through life one crunchy-witch-hippie story at a time


Verspertine has always longed to touch the stars--and luckily enough, she was born a thestral, so it's (maybe) theoretically possible.

She's been training her whole life to become a Wonderbolt and finally, thank Celestia, she's a cadet at the Academy.

First place in the of the Quills and Sofas Speedwriting 'Batpony/Thestral' contest. The prompt was "stereotypes". Cover art by the lovely Scarlett Sketches--thank you to the folks who found the artist for me.

UPDATE: Now with a voice reading done by StraightToThePointStudio! Thank you so much, I really appreciate the love. :)

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 46 )

The artist is scarlet-spectrum. I look forward to reading it!

This is a very cool concept, which would be great to expand on. You capture the characters' feelings well -- just enough conversation, just enough introspection.

The only thing I'd add here, if anything, is a stronger statement of why Vespertine can't be a Wonderbolt -- why her physiology prevents Wonderbolt-style aerobatics. Is it heights / low pressure (which you hint at with nosebleeds, but don't clearly say), is it excessive sunlight, is it the aerobatic maneuvers? Assuming the Thestrals were used by Nightmare Moon to fight for her, and are related to bats, which are natural aeronauts when chasing insects at night, there'd have to be a pretty strong reason for Rainbow to want to kill her dreams like that, which is important to settle in a story like this. Otherwise it feels like you're deliberately leaving it open to interpretation, which is always a little unsatisfying to the reader, like you're pulling your punches and not making as strong a statement as you could.

But that's only a suggestion -- otherwise I liked this! Great job!

Heck! This was great. Although "thestral" makes me grind my teeth, everything else about this story was pitch-perfect. Good job!

Poor Vesper, born too early to hitch a rocket ride into space.

What do you mean by 'thestral makes me grind my teeth'?

“I see,” I offered levelly.

You racist. Jumping to what you expect.


As near as I can tell, "thestral" was either coined or brought of of obscurity by JK Rowling. I don't like the term "thestral" unless it's the invisible carriage horses in Harry Potter. Bat pony ≠ thestral.

Regardless, I still love this story.

It is a horrible name that looks and feels out of place.

I'm looking for a part two where she learns to fly with the help of an oxygen mask and demonstrates the usefulness of echolocation in foggy conditions. It's one thing to have limitations. It's how we overcome them that matters. Ironically, this isn't a story about racism, but ableism.

This is pretty ok. If there's a sequel, I'm in!


this isn't a story about racism, but ableism

I think it's kind of both in this situation

My god this is beautiful in all ways imaginable. Like, holy JESUS this takes breaths away with the emotion put into it and then conveyed outwards to the reader! Excellent stuff and my goodness, there are no regrets with reading this beauty! Hope ya didn't mind, but I just couldn't resist making a reading of this batty fic of yours!

Audio Linkyloo!: https://youtu.be/OVn4BejCwUA

(I don't mean to offend anyone with this comment in any way!)

The only thing I can criticise in this story is that I can't imagine Rainbow Dash using the word "diurnal". xD


I think I prefer calling them thestrals because bat-pony sounds a bit too simple. Like calling pegasi as wing ponies. We all have our preferences though.

You can add "bat pony" as a character in the edit story screen. Just letting you know so you can bring in more eyeballs to your fic.

Well, we accept alicorn as a term for winged unicorns even though that word originated in old alchemy texts as a name for the horn of a unicorn.
Thestral doesn't seem that big a stretch with that being considered.

Me again. A great story! I've never considered thestrals as having an altitude problem - I like that little detail. Hopefully it goes better for Vesper than it did with Lightning Dust and the Washouts. Nice job. 🦇

I love this. It's earned a special place in my heart. Now please write a sequel, because I need more of this.

What a great read. I think you did a great job of portraying Vesperitne's determination. Seeing her push herself despite the biological limitations, and then trying a different solution when joining the Wonderbolts doesn't pan out, really sells just how much this means to her. I really hope there is a continuation planned, because leaving us with that sequel bait at the end and then not delivering is just cruel.


Another term I've seen when people don't want to... borrow from JK Rowling is "Nocturne." I kind of like it myself for much the same reason: it's not "bat pony," and it's not JK Rowling's.

Neither. Ableism would be discrimination, this is pure, harsh reality. It is not ableism to deny an guy without arms, a spot in a deadlift competition. It's simple reality that he is not physically equipped to perform the necessary exercises. It is the same thing here: Vespertine's body is not built for high altitude flying, which is required for the Wonderbolts. She's not being discriminated against, she is just not physically capable of doing what is necessary.

The choice to let her go, is to protect her and others from injury and death, because if she keeps trying to make these high altitude flights, she's going to keep crashing. Rainbow Dash isn't being unfair, she's just looking at the facts and drawing the obvious conclusion. Vespertine can't follow the Wonderbolt's standards. But like the ending suggests, that doesn't mean she can't do something else, like become a Shadowbolt?

You know, that's fair, hahaha.

I'm not sure what else she WOULD say though. 🤔

Exactly. You got it in one. :)

I personally have sad lungs, and high altitudes (like the 5,000 ft mountain I semi-regularly go to) really mess with me.

Bats fly differently than bird: they require a much higher respiration rate during flight than any bird does, and they are utterly incapable of flying at higher altitudes. I'm already plotting a sequel, so here's some of my behind-the-scenes thoughts: it makes sense (to me) for pegasi and batponies/thestrals to be morphologically distinct, because one has avian wings and the other has bat wings. This story (series?) will explore those differences, and the ways that Vesper's dream/goals change as she comes to realize what's attainable for a pegasus just isn't for her. It's not ableism, just reality.

Would be interesting to see what this turns out to be. I'd like to think that the Shadowbolts would gain their own fame, by doing their own thing, and in doing so earn the respect and admiration of the likes of Rainbow Dash.

Depending on how you choose to proceed with it, I could imagine a story where people accuse them of being cheap copycats, "Wonderbolt Dropouts Create Wonderbolt Rip-off!" and they have to fight public opinion to reach whatever goal they have set for themselves.

I loved it it's going into favorite and you gaind a follower I cant wait for whats next

Such a shame you dont know the source.
Google reverse image spat out a few very neat ones but nothing close :<

Do you have the picture WITHOUT THE TEXT?
Cutting off the text helped to narrow it down i think. Its confusing google which tries to read it Oo

I for one will look forward to seeing the sequel.

As to the Thestral argument, I personally don't care one way or the other. There's this neat story where Twilight interviews a bat-pony and the sequels (no spoilers:twilightsmile:) The one thing that I will say is that the bat-ponies find the term thestral to be very condescending and rude, as, in their native tongue, it roughly translates to "cave-dweller" with similar implications of calling someone a neanderthal.

TheLegendaryBillCipher mentioned that the artist to this particular depiction of Dawn Aurora was scarlet-spectrum a bit further down the comments section.

Good job! I’ve never thought about the different altitude limits thestrals had in comparison to the pegasi though, nice thinking. Vespertine being denied her dreams of being a wonderbolt really hurt. :applecry:

It what can a thestral do that a Pegasus can’t?

Its an ok story, but surprised that the idea of forming a thestral wing wasn't ever thought of.

Did I hear the word "sequel"?! :yay:

This is one of those less common stories that shows that, no matter how hard you try, you might not be able to live your dreams due to situations beyond your control, but isn't yours or even anyone else's fault. It sucks when it happens.

But it doesn't mean you can't find something else to push for that you can do.

hahaha, you may have ;)


I use thestral to refer to bat ponies in all of my fics.

While it is nice theres irony in one of the "Chosen ones" that can be part of putting the entire nation at risk and picked and chose when to apply the law to their personal friends doing it.

Great story but after how the show ended it makes Rainbow come off as nothing more then a hypocrite considering how many times rules and regs were bent for her and the rest, while not even attempting to find a way to compensate or adapt.

Greetings there! I dont normally spend much time on Fimfiction but I just so happened to be poking around and found this a interesting read. I actually own the OC used in the cover art and It is nice to see how it all came together. really well done here my friend, interested to see more :)

Thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou!! :pinkiehappy:

See in the dark. Usually has ecolocation. Ponyfinder (a tabletop) has them with greater carry capability; simply because one tribe has a penalty to strength and i think the other is boosted. They come armed with those teeth. In the tabletop they are more maneuverable in tight places but the show has that nonexistent.

Altitude was overlooked in development and both have the same flight ceiling in the tabletop.

I feel like if it wasn't for the 'eggheads' telling Rainbow Dash that it was physiologically impossible for Vesper to pull off certain maneuvers the Wonderbolts do, she would still be doing everything she could to make Vesper's dream a reality. But since doing so would potentially harm her and the other fliers, RD had to face the truth before bringing this truth to Vesper. I do hope that Vesper doesn't give up though. I'm wondering if maybe she'll discover certain things she could do as a bat pony that pegasi aren't able to do, and then form a group that showcases those unique abilities.

Technically, the show has them effectively nonexistent. For all intents and purposes, their appearance on Nightmare Night could easily have been costumes, or stylistic illusions for the Night Guard. :fluttershysad: Poor batbats.

I’m not talking about that. Beyond Flutterbat I specified what I was talking about.

A sequel? When it's ready, would you mind announcing it in a chapter in this story so readers who tracked this can know?

This was very well done. Realistically, too, if the flight surgeon says no, a commander overruling that decision is committing career suicide.

Incidentally, according to both Lauren Faust and Mitch Larson, the bat pones were intended to be their own species, not a costume, but were just never utilized beyond what we saw in Luna’s visit to Ponyville. One of those ideas that kind of slipped through the cracks.

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