• Member Since 2nd Jul, 2013
  • offline last seen 6 hours ago

River Road


Writing Comedy, Adventure and Slice Of Life. Desperately trying to keep up with all the crazy stories my brain comes up with.

E

Alphabittle grew up on stories of Bridlewood before the loss of magic. Against an overwhelming atmosphere of dark and dreary depression, there's only so much a single pony can do. But you can still do it and hope that one day it will be enough.

Written for FanOfMostEverything's Imposing Sovereigns III contest for the Perseverance prompt.

Art by Sursiq

Chapters (2)
Comments ( 18 )

Interesting way of fleshing Aplhabittle out. I like it. :eeyup:

Dan

"By the way, Mom. I'm dating a queen."

That's a hillcanon I'll die on.
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Wow, this was great. Alphabittle really is a deep character, and I appreciate someone finally writing his story.


11035590
Well said.

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Glad to hear you liked it, this is a story that needed to be told.

11035590
The funniest part of combining these two headcanons imo is that the most laid-back and supportive mother in the setting has her son marrying into royalty while the literal child beauty pageant mom ends up with the guy who combined running a teahouse with being the town's only basement-dwelling geek.

(If anyone thinks I used 'literal' wrong in that sentence, tell me to my face that Queen Haven didn't organize at least one child beauty pageant just so Pipp could end up winning it and that it wasn't entirely justified and deserved)

“We have these three kinds of tea. If you know any other flavor of tea, do enlighten me. Otherwise take what we have or shut up.”

That one... that line hurt. Just watching Alphabittle slowly lose so much joy over the course of the story...

And then watching Izzy bring some of it back. Absolutely perfect.

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I think that line came out a little harsher than intended. There was a scrapped bit of context in another part of the story about how most tea was imported to Bridlewood and that's why they didn't have any variety anymore, but it didn't fit in anywhere.
You're not wrong, though, and I'm glad if it added that extra bit of punch to the story for you.

Now this is what I’m talking about! I was really hoping someone would do an Alphabittle entry for the Imposing Sovereigns III contest. I even wanted to myself, but couldn’t get an actual story out of my vague “I want this to happen” notes for him. Thankfully I got much inspiration, to my utter surprise, for Phyllis instead. And with two other people having done Queen Haven fics for the contest, that means all three leaders/figureheads of the pony tribes in the film are represented. Can’t judge my own, but I really like all the other three, and that includes this one. Joy!

The funny thing is, even though I find the late-game revisions to the Alphabittle sequence in the film painfully obvious (he was originally blind, a unicorn sage, and more of a wild, kooky, zen-type character, and the Mane 5 visited him in a cave connected to the Tea Room - it’s hard to be certain of the rest from the colour script), leaving scars over that chunk of the film, and that the dance game scene is a tonal misfire, far too late for a light breezy thing like that and causing tonal whiplash when things escalate moments later… I still quite like Alphabittle as a character. Part of that is his design and voice acting/energy (you can’t go wrong with a voice acting legend like Phil LaMarr - I wonder if them getting a non-commercial VA is because the late revisions to his character meant they didn’t have time to go through the audition process for someone more famous). But part of it is certainly that, as you note, if one wants to, one can easily infer quite a bit of depth with him.

Now, I wouldn’t say I agree personally with every observation you made, but even where I didn’t, you made your take work for this story. The elements already in my personal headcanon (primarily Alphabittle having a soft spot for Izzy and looking out for her throughout the years - I even had a scrapped fic idea of him dissuading her from setting off to Bridlewood when she first found the message too!), it was so great to see your personal take on them. Being a gamer with a soft side for trying to improve the moods of other unicorns was a neat master stroke - I even bought into him throwing a game occasionally for the benefit of his opponent.

Possibly the most impressive element of this story is the face pace achieved by the time lapse, and how that colours the change in his mood back and forth as the story progresses. It reads like a memory piece, with minimal scene descriptions that are not essential, and the quick scene changes, especially during the montages, meant I felt the 7.3K word count. But, I WANTED to feel it - this is a dense, rich story, making the most out of just about every word. Even the non-essential asides (“It’s Alright” being an old record from just before the unicorns got all depressed, the Beatnik Unicorn being basically Maud Reincarnated, etc.) ultimately DO matter - they give a sense of other events that we don’t see, adding some progression. It is the kind of story that I read at a slower rate then normal, savouring every scene, and that’s very rare on a first read.

As far as quiet little prequel character pieces from the film go (which is the kind of G5 fic I’m finding is producing the best quality thus far - at least, I’ve found a good few gems), this one’s got the goods, buddy. Well done!

“Novelty cereal boxes, duh!”

GRINDED PONY HOOVES

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The background is pony music montage magic. The box is all Izzy.

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Wow, thank you for that long feedback. :twilightblush:
I'm glad you enjoyed the story and really glad that the format worked out so well. I'll definitely have to read your entry as well when I have some time on the weekend.

11035590
We need more Havenbittle!

Dan

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It seems https://derpibooru.org/search?q=alphahaven has become the accepted shipmanteau.

11037887
Would you please tell me what Block's comment was all about?

Oh, this is outstanding. Great work in fleshing out Alphabittle in an eminently logical way. I don't know what I love more, crystal berries making it south from the Empire before it was lost again, Maud's poetry style surviving to the next generation, the implications of "card pegasus..." There are so many wonderful little details slipped into the overarching tale of a family maintaining the light of hope through a disenchanted dark age. And that tale is itself delightful in its own right. Thank you for this, and best of luck in the judging.

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My personal favorite song in the movie has a solo from Hitch (starts at 1:08) that includes a line about grinding up hooves into midnight snacks, complete with Izzy's adorable visual demonstration in the background.

Very nice; thanks. :)

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Thank you for this, and best of luck in the judging.

Well, it's certainly a good sign when the one leading the contest calls your story outstanding. :scootangel:

I'm glad that you had as much fun with my take on Alphabittle as I had with writing it. And that I can as always count on you to spot all those little references and pieces of worldbuilding between the lines. Considering they went from the polar North to the Southern coast, those berries might technically be the most far-spread species on the Equorum Continent.

That was a great piece of Alphabittle lore/backstory! I don't have much to say that hasn't already been said, but it's great how you show off Alphabittle's subtle fall from joyful grace... only to come back up again once in a while (save for the epilogue).

Thanks for it!

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