• Member Since 18th Oct, 2021
  • online

Isuvyw


"My brush is finer than my sword." | Christian, artist, writer...above all, crazy.

T

Matilda was one among many griffons sent as tribute after Equestria defeated Gryphonia in a great humiliating battle. There she is put to work the great boilers of Canterlot Palace from morning till evening, constantly providing hot steaming water for the day's use.

Making friends is difficult for Matilda, though she wants to try. Living life is harsh because she was a citizen of a disgraced nation, though she is proud of her heritage. Having ambitions is impossible because it would take a lifetime to earn her freedom, though she does not stop dreaming about it.

Until she begins to discover the power of Friendship and Harmony for herself.

Follow her as she writes about her thoughts, feelings, opinions, and wishes, in a simple journey of self-discovery, humor, and longing.


Cover art courtesy of RexySeven. Title added by me.

Featured on 18/2/2022! Thank you so much for your support!

Chapters (22)
Comments ( 194 )

It’s pretty good so far, keep it going.

I see a griffon. I smash the like button.
Simple.

Interesting premise, I look forward to seeing more. Nice job!

GASP! GRIFFON STORY!?!

YAY!!!!!!

Interesting start, I hope there's more.

That's one sad reality down in the boilers. Let's hope she can find happiness and being treated as a living, thinking being instead of some kind of flesh-made servant before the end :pinkiesad2:

Hmm... wasn't there a prologue which explained griffin months and such?

11155555
Yes there was, but I removed it so as not to bog down readers

Very enjoyable! Liking this birdy already! Can't wait for the next chapter!

An interesting start. Keep it up.

Victorian era treatment... Yes, after that too, still sasd though. And paints a very grim portrait of the princesses and a severe disregard for the pillars of harmony. Curious to see if that will be broached - likely not, given the POV, but still.

She's a good griffin, and he's likely a good colt too. Interesting story, nice job with the diary entries :twilightsmile:

11156099
I've been wondering if the existence of these creatures down in the boiler room is purely for political reasons, beyond even the control of the princesses. It's stated upfront in the summary that Matilda was a tribute following the Griffon Kingdom disastrously losing a battle, and I wonder if that was more the Griffon Kingdom's idea than Equestria's, but Equestria just chose to play along for the sake of promoting peace by pandering to a griffon tradition. Of course, Matilda, for all we know, might be the exception on that front, and doesn't necessarily explain the other workers, or if their stories for how they came to be here are even comparable. I imagine we'll eventually learn this through Sven, but until then, can't even be totally sure the other boiler workers aren't just standard employees by comparison.

In any case, it wouldn't surprise me at all if the princesses are unaware of the full extent of the working conditions in here. I suspect Hawkrose was just given free reign to manage the area as she saw fit, and it hasn't been closely monitored since, leaving Hawkrose to, potentially, get away with abuse that she might not have normally been able to do.

This is all speculation on my part, though.

You got the beginnings of a nice story here. Some thoughts and questions that came to me while reading:

Your style is quaint, it's fittingly causal considering the in-universe author's age and the descriptions are detailed enough that I can imagine mostly everything.

I find it a bit of a shame that you deleted that introductory chapter. Especially because I had no chance of reading it. I like the idea of a custom calendar and I think probably just prefacing the chapter with "You're free to skip this, if you're not interested" would have worked far better.
For instance, Goldenwing's 'Empty Horizons' has a bunch of supplementary chapters which are in-universe, but detached articles and diary pages fleshing out the world. All of these could be skipped and the narrative would still work perfectly and I think this same principle could easily work with this story as well.

She would have been happy that at least one pony like her moon.

I was glad she didn’t say anymore

Are these occasional small typos intentional to show that she's still grappling with the language?

I’m sure that more ponies love her moon now, and I’m one of them.

My name is Matilda, I am a griffoness.

I'm asking because I'm unsure, does she consider herself a pony or not? Later in the chapter she has no qualms about referring to herself as a griffon. I think it's a fun idea that due to her environment she began to see herself as one of the princesses' subjects, but that would require a bit more setup than this.

While I understand that, due to the diary format, it'd be extremely weird if she suddenly broke into a large diatribe about what the geopolitical situation is, it's something I still hope you'll touch on soon in one way or another. I see that your story has no AU tag, so (as other commenters also wondered) I'm curious how what could easily be described as slavery is tolerated in Canterlot.
Especially since, from what I could gather, this is post-NMM so what we would consider the "present" in the series's timeline. I do like the other commenter's idea that the royalty simply doesn't know, but I'm curious what you'll come up with.

I'm curious just what sort of ponies actually end up in the boiler room? Like this Sven hardly seems to be fit for a job like this, so what's he doing here? My immediate assumption is that he's probably an orphan due to his behavior and situation.

And to cap this comment off, I'm looking forward to what comes next. Your core concept is strong, but I hope some main conflict will appear soon, because as of now the story is a bit meandering.

Good luck!

11156661
I actually did some thinking and felt that this story would fit an AU much better. Thanks for reminding me! I actually forgot about it while going about my day :twilightblush:

Like this Sven hardly seems to be fit for a job like this, so what's he doing here? My immediate assumption is that he's probably an orphan due to his behavior and situation.

Your assumption is quite close! I will dive more into this aspect, but for now I won't reveal spoilers :ajsmug:

Thanks for reading!

I'm having a really hard time swallowing the premise that chattel slavery is practiced in modern Equestria, by the government, no less.

11156783
It is an AU after all, so history in this story progresses just a little differently.

Think of it as a Victorian era kind of mindset, with the Industrial Revolution and all that stuff. I hope to dive into this aspect more in later chapters.

That said, enjoy reading!

I still have a few major things to set up, but I have decided to base it off of Irish and Welsh

Oh, so that explains why it seemed vaguely Celtic-looking to me--it'd be because it is, in a way! :rainbowlaugh:

And I'm actually all for it, too. Partly because I have a soft spot for Ireland as a country, but also because it'd be something different from the norm--most writers assume the griffons are Germanic or something approaching Slavic, so this'll make for a nice little shake-up. :twilightsmile:

11156661

I find it a bit of a shame that you deleted that introductory chapter. Especially because I had no chance of reading it.

As I did get to read it myself (and I suppose played an inadvertent role in its later removal, though I just suggested moving it to the back of the story rather than the front), all it'd really covered was just a listing of the months and which represented what in our RL calendar. And as this was just using the Anglish version of calendar names that's not hard to look up if you know what to Google, I'd say you weren't really missing anything too vital.

Of course, there was always the chance it would've been updated with additional terms later on had it stayed, but that's talking hypothetically, and I don't know if that was the author's intent or not.

Huh... conflict isn't one of my strong points either. I thought that was a unique 'me' thing. For what it's worth, you seem to be doing better than I could, but then, I'm hardly the expert.

What I've been wondering since chapter one is how Celestia could allow such mistreatment of her workers right under her nose. If she doesn't know... well I'd love a chapter where she comes down to the boilers and corrects a few things. That might just suck whatever conflict you're trying to cultivate out of the situation tho, idk.

P.S. My first thought when anyone says a character likes cake is that they're celestia in disguise.

...and a delinquent – whatever that wrd mans word means.

Surprised she knew how to properly spell it then.

Conflict is not one of my strong points :twilightsheepish: So feel free to point out or give suggestions on how I can improve, especially when later chapters come.

Well, considering the medium it's being delivered as--an entry in a diary--I think you did pretty good. Matilda's sudden breakdown of usually pretty good and clean writing with lots of scratched out typos (and near-slipping into her native language perhaps?) really conveys the sense that she's furious about what happened and is heatedly venting it all out in such a rush that the usual caution and care with her writing has been thrown to the wind. So I think you did that pretty well. :twilightsmile:

That said, I'd advise being careful to not use the typo-gimmick too much, or it'll loose that edge and meaningfulness...plus it'll become distracting to the reader if it's too constant. So probably best left as a "only sometimes" thing, when situations really seem to call for it like in rants such as that.

Why exactly is Matilde nervous about showering? Does she normally have clothes on? Does the water just make her fur/feathers stick to her form more?

11160147
Male/female thing, I imagine. Like how boys and girls don't generally shower together(unless in a relationship.

Loving the story so far, reading these snippits! Very neat idea! Carry on!

But these colts – wasteponies and chimney-sweepers mostly – they don’t find me pretty. They find my parts pretty.

Way to live up to the stereotypes, boys. :ajbemused:

I heard from Miss Penny that we are separated according to our jobs, not gender. Don’t you find that GROSS?

Well actually, (and not to say I at all approve of the behavior of the creatures in question first of all--I want that particularly clear) considering that, in their culture, they don't normally wear clothes anyway, gender segregating things like bathrooms probably wouldn't be seen as so necessary. Given that, in OUR world, such gender segregation is done here so to both respect said gender in practices where they'd be exposing things to easy view that wouldn't normally be, and also to remove the temptation of "acting upon it" while its exposed for the other gender by keeping them separate.

Since in the MLP world they're "letting it show" in nearly all circumstances is the norm for them, then the above wouldn't apply (because reasonably "acting upon it" could be done just as easily anywhere else as it would in the showers, so it wouldn't stop it from happening). So Equestria (at least) not practicing gender segregation here actually doesn't surprise me all that much, at least from the intellectual point of view.

Granted, that still does nothing to solve Matilda's problem here, but then gender segregating probably wouldn't either, because there'd logically still be moments elsewhere where the same problems could and probably would arise. :applejackunsure:

Sven and Snjorjord is based off of Nordic stuff, if it wasn't obvious enough.

I was actually starting to surmise as such myself, so nice to see I was on the right track. :twilightsmile:

I'm sort of regretting we lost that glossary now--it probably could've been used to provide translations for whenever Matilda or Sven write something in their native languages...ah, but so much for regrets. :derpytongue2:

11160520
I see your point. But then, I was also thinking about how the absence of such segregation could lead to libertine activities. Colts, I guess, are more "free" to do as they please in the bath than anywhere else where miss Hawkrose would be watching.

because there'd logically still be moments elsewhere where the same problems could and probably would arise. :applejackunsure:

She even implies that it has happened to her before :pinkiegasp:

11160539

Colts, I guess, are more "free" to do as they please in the bath than anywhere else where miss Hawkrose would be watching.

...though, that would imply that Miss Hawkrose actually cares...

Honestly, I've gotten the impression that so long as the assigned work still gets done and she's not bothered, she otherwise wouldn't give a hoot. :ajbemused:

She even implies that it has happened to her before :pinkiegasp:

Yeah, I didn't miss catching that. :twilightoops:

11160546

...though, that would imply that Miss Hawkrose actually cares...

Lol, you're right. Miss Hawkrose probably has some sort of dignity, but I think she doesn't care about the dignity of creatures lower than her.

That said, you could say that Matilda is pointing out that she hates the way they look at her, not the fact that they do. You're quite right that, given they don't normally wear clothes, seperation wouldn't be too necessary. So I guess it's more fitting to say that Matilda hates the fact that they ogle, not look. That's the difference there, I guess

This fic certainly has my attention! I got it linked to me, and so far it's definitely been worth reading. A nice little mix of character development and worldbuilding-via-showing.

I thought this was exactly my sort of story I’d write, but it’s turning out to be somewhat sad. I’m here for it though.

11161183
Hope you enjoy reading it!

The most important word Matilda will ever learn is "strike."

As far as the conflict goes, it was alright. However, it can have the depersonalized quality to it, as it’s not happening now, but rather being written about in a diary. However, there was a lot of interesting stuff in here.

The conveyance of anger was done really well, with Matilda becoming very incomprehensible and scratching out all her typos, though I would advise against doing it too much, even after the first entry, it still felt a little annoying.

Another interesting point to notice here is Penny. It’s mentioned that she takes care of all the stores attached to the company. So, does this mean that these boiler managers run a similar thing to the old coal mines? Everyone works intensely for hours on end in awful conditions with awful higher-ups, and at the end of the day, they get a piddly allowance in ‘company script’ which could be sold only at designated ‘company stores’. If the boiler workers have to face a similar thing, that’s a very interesting thing I want to learn more about.

And when we are pissing or crapping, we sing a song about pissing and crapping.

Little bit of TMI, Matilda.

It’s very cool how you can tell which character’s writing because of what they call Eva. It’s a nice touch, separating their languages.

11163400
Thanks for the tip!

Another interesting point to notice here is Penny. It’s mentioned that she takes care of all the stores attached to the company. So, does this mean that these boiler managers run a similar thing to the old coal mines? Everyone works intensely for hours on end in awful conditions with awful higher-ups, and at the end of the day, they get a piddly allowance in ‘company script’ which could be sold only at designated ‘company stores’.

Yup, more or less like the Victorian kind of treatment. It's not a boiler company though. This story is set in Canterlot Palace's underground, where workers manage the hot water, waste, and domestic duties. They are the ones that do the hard work.

Impressive job on the characterization, those two feel quite different in how they write.
I still hope it doesn't take years for their situation to improve, even though that's a pipe dream in this kind of society...

Comment posted by Ebony Gryphon deleted Feb 25th, 2022

I miss music, Eabha, really. I have not heard a proper tune for a long time.

11163302
Which will quickly be quelled by the phrase "Unicorn magic, sod off."

Oh no- was that orange pipe a gas pipe?

11166848
No, it's a hot water pipe for the kitchens.

11166866
Ah- I got confused because it was described as being empty, yet the gauges were still moving

11166947
Yup, implying that the water is flowing through some other way.

Maybe there might be some extra pipe that was used, but that is not possible. I may have to look at the pipe map that Miss Hawkrose keeps in her office.

Enjoy reading!

and ears

...wait, griffons have ears?

11168140
Huh. Learn something every day! I thought bird ears were entirely intracranial.

11168163
Birds have a special cheek feathers called auriculars that keep the funnel shapped outer ear safe. c.tenor.com/ZiLugTiVQNgAAAAM/the-more-you-know.gif

The pressure gauges on the boiler were not moving at all. But the pressure gauges on the pipes going into the wall were. If water is flowing through those pipes then the gauges on the boiler should be bopping up and down as well. But they didn’t. They kept perfectly still.

I'm no expert, but sounds to me like the castle might have a serious plumbing problem brewing somewhere, and the more it comes up, the more I can't help but wonder if it's potentially a catastrophic one.

When he wakes up from the potion, he sees Meagis’ bloody body and is struck with such horror and guilt that he chops off his limbs, wings, beak, and ears one by one, in order to punish himself for killing his beloved.

But not necessarily all in that order, as I'd imagine chopping off his wings, beak, and ears would be difficult if he's already chopped off all of his limbs first.

...actually, for that matter, how does one go about chopping off that last limb once you've chopped off all the others? :rainbowhuh:

One night, a white stallion with blonde mane visited her. He looked like a very rich pony.

Blueblood.


I do like how varied these diary entries can be. One time it can be something as serious as "oh no, someone hurt Sven" to something as silly as "yeah, I'm writing in you while taking a dump." :rainbowlaugh: Helps to keep it all interesting and from being too one-note, y'know? :twilightsmile:

Login or register to comment