• Member Since 18th Oct, 2021
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"My brush is finer than my sword." | Christian, artist, writer...above all, crazy.


Originally an entry for the Choices: A Species Change Contest.

Tarla Sparklefeather. Griffon, ex-traitor, and an astronomer in Celestia's court. Her job is to observe and measure the stars, and prepare star-maps for all seasons of the year. Despised? Yeah. Loved? Perhaps - well, she hopes to be loved and more.

One night, she witnesses the sky changing. Stars of great importance move across the heavens, shattering great constellations and scrambling navigation. She searches for the answer to this unprecedented event, and finds it in an old, dusty, long-forgotten prophecy.

Nightmare Moon is coming back. And the stars shall aid in her escape.

Edited by TheAncientPolitzanian.

Chapters (5)
Comments ( 30 )

Ooh, cliffhanger o.o
I like how Celestia seemed quite assertive, it was rather fun.
Aidan seems interesting!

An entry for the Species Change Contest.

FYI, at the time of this comment, this fic doesn't seem to be submitted to the contest's group page, which I believe it would need to be if it's to be counted as an entry. :twilightsmile:

Unless there's a different species change contest happening that I don't know about, of course. :derpytongue2:

I assume Tarla will be this story's version of Twilight, then?

Haha, fixed. Thanks for messing with me :rainbowlaugh:

I assume Tarla will be this story's version of Twilight, then?

Yup. Hopefully she's in character.

Certainly a dramatic start, with the stars being spotted moving. Perhaps I'm biased for astronomy, but it really feels like a good way to kick off a scary mystery.
I hope the rest of the fic can deliver. Relatedly, I'd hope that Teen rating is a sign that Nightmare Moon isn't just gonna be knocking ponies over and causing mild inconveniences when she appears!

Yes, quite intriguing. I wonder if Rarity being mentioned is as significant as I think it is...

Celestia eyed the minister with skepticism, while Tarla turned her gaze to a marvelous painting of a dragon roasting a bunch of ponies alive. Scary.

Wait, why do they have that? Is that from the war?

“What does a mere astronomer know?” chided a deep, slightly coarse voice. Tarla and Celestia snapped towards a white stallion trotting over to them in a grand stride, with matching suit and puffed wig over his head.

And already I want to knock that puffed wig right off of his head. He seems like the sort that ought to have his wig knocked from his head...among other things. :trixieshiftleft:

Yup. Beware of stallions in fine clothes and puffed wigs :rainbowlaugh:

No. It's a mural painting on the ceiling.

Tarla raised an eyebrow. “That’s… ok, that’s fine, but, why are you like– wait, are they bad creatures?” she questioned.

Well, they're at least jilted creatures, if the ongoing conspiracy we the readers have been made privy to has anything to say about it...or at least they think they're jilted...

Hmm, pacing is definitely on the slow side so far; there's a lot of talk from the characters, setting up prejudice and distrust themes, and it is very much feeling like it'll build to a bloody affair, but not much is really happening. I would've expected things to kick off by chapter 3 for sure.
And...at this point, I'm rather worried this won't be completed in time for the contest deadline.

Well, I figured it as much. I guess I'll just have to let it be disqualified :fluttershbad:

Hopefully next time I can make it.

Hmmm. Interesting stuff. Non-pony Elements? I'll read it. Hopefully it will be completed.

It's a real shame this wasn't finished in time for the contest, but I am certainly intrigued by the premise so far, and would love to see it finished. There's so many questions about this world setting and characters you've raised in the first few chapters that I'm interested to see how they pan out.

Well, are you going to finish it at least? Nice start, would be a shame if it just DIED now.


I really wanted to give up on this story, but... seeing you guys wanting more is now making me reconsider. Part of the reason I didn't want to continue is because it was written in a rush. I had little time to properly think the structure and all, since the contest deadline was approaching fast.

Well, I guess I'll give it a go.

Celestia sighed quietly, for they looked quite pitiful, especially Minister Armillary – that haughty stallion had rather be baked in his wig and suit than slip into something more modern and cooling.

I can always still knock that wig off his head--that offer's still on the table. :trollestia:

Apologies for the long wait (3 months!). Many things happened and I came to a huge adjustment in life, so, of course, the story had to wait. I'm very busy because of school currently but I'll try to find time to pick this fic and move it on.

Understood--we get it, real life gets in the way sometime. Happy to see further progress nonetheless! :twilightsmile:

Is Tarla still going to transform into something else?

ooh! exciting to see more :pinkiehappy:

One general note on your writing that could use a little attention though, in the scene with Tarla and Aidan you swapped between their perspectives quite a lot, which can be a little jarring for the reader. It's usually best to stick to one character's perspective at a time, only switching between a scene or chapter where the separation can be done cleanly, otherwise it can get a little confusing who's story it's supposed to be telling.

As an example:

“It’s called The Snake’s Pit,” whispered Aidan, consciously keeping his voice low. Tarla shuddered at the name. “It’s a den of bong smokers and drug dealers. Not to mention” – he shakily gestured to the mares behind – “the p-prostitutes.”

Tarla gasped, shivering as a cold wind whipped her plume up. Was that..?

“Tarla, Tarla!” called Aidan, shaking her. She choked, whispering, “I’m s-sorry, I’m sorry…”

“It’s okay,” soothed Aidan, hugging her again. The warmth of his body slowly calmed the griffon, and she sighed.

“I don’t want to be here. Please, let’s just go in,” she whispered. Aidan nodded, and they continued forth.

“State your business!” barked one of the guards. They both clacked their spears against the dusty road, slitted eyes focusing in on the two visitors.

“W-we’ve come to visit the local loremaster. We just want to ask a few things,” stated Aidan, a bit timidly.

“What, you from the court?” spat the other guard.

The first one chuckled darkly. “Heh, the griffon looks like one from the Snake.”

“Hey!” roared Tarla. “I’ll have you know that I am an astr– mmff!”

Aidan shut Tarla’s beak with a hoof and chuckled at the guards. “I-I apologise, sirs. She’s a little… loud sometimes,” he offered. Tarla shot the pony a death glare and mumbled some curses, but Aidan ignored her. Instead, he cleared his throat and continued, “He’s my friend, the loremaster” – Well, sort of, he thought – “He said to say this if I wanted to meet him. It’s… uh, it’s…”

In this section, we're experiencing the story from Tarla's perspective, as she's being introduced to the new area along with the audience, and we get her reactions, but by the end of the section I cut out, we're now inside Aidan's head and even getting his inner thoughts, without any clear point where the perspective changed.

It's not bad per say, but it's enough for a reader to be caught off guard by the unexpected shift in perspective and can take them out of the immersion for a moment.

Another general rule to keep in mind, is that when you have multiple characters speaking, whenever someone else speaks, it should be on a new line

“Uh, yeah, sh–” he began, but before he could finish, the thestral cut in with a wicked grin. “Ah, haha, why didn’t you tell me you brought your marefriend! ” he jeered.

for example, this should be two lines, instead of just one.

Still, I love the visuals of the Thestral community here, and interested to see more of this fun old Thestral Nisha. Keep up the good work!

“After all, this is for the good of Equestria.”

Liar. You want this for the good of you and not much else.

There's not even any evidence for it, at least none that isn't more than circumstantial at best and easy to disprove if someone would actually lift a hoof to do it.

Heck, if there's really any conspirators present here, my first choice of suspect would be Minister Armilary.

Of course, we seem to have more than one conspiracy at play here...

It was a glorious morning. Armillary Amberstone walked the halls of the castle

Speaking of... *makes several angry swats in the direction of his stupid wig*

At this point, every pony who sports a wig is immediately sus. Wigs are sus, after all. Especially powdered ones.

Decent chapter, only held back by being all plans of the future...I suppose that's because of focusing on making the next chapter have a fun twist I think is coming, but still, just a bit of meaningful character interaction would go a long way when there's all this borderline exposition involved.

What do you suggest I could do to improve it?

Hmm, specifics are hard, but I'll try:

  1. Armillary Amberstone scene: This could be better with him joking about the situation with another character (perhaps one of the conspirators pretending to be on his side?), since we already had a long inner thoughts scene with Celestia, and it seems rather redundant to switch to this gloating guy to get information we already have.
  2. The conspirators scene: Conflict seems to be missing, there's a mild discussion, but it's a very foregone conclusion. It could perhaps do with one of them being insistent on not acting now, and getting slapped.
  3. The 3-phase formula description: This is very technical and could really be replaced with some kind of interaction with outside characters (maybe having to distract such, with a casual chat that also helps drive the plot).

Thanks, I'll try to see what I can do. Writing has been a bit slow as of now due to school.

I've abandoned this story.

But I'll still keep it here as a little memorial, and perhaps some history, for me to look upon. My writing style has somewhat undergone a change, and this fic is probably a remnant of what my writing used to be.

Oh, that's rather sad to hear. As much as it has problems with pacing and lack of focus, it still was pretty interesting to see where it was headed. Would there be any chance of a rewrite?

Also, you may want to at least change the status to On Hiatus or Canceled.

At the moment, I'm don't think so. I have a busy schedule, so it's kind of hard to decide what project I should focus on with my limited time and energy.

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