• Member Since 26th Jan, 2013
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Lapis-Lazuli and Stitch


Profile of Retired Writer, Lapis-Lazuli, and his editor, Stitch / Inky. Thanks for the memories, FiMFiction.

T
Source

An Inky Jay Story

Twilight is selected as Ponyville's ambassador after a massive flying capital ship descends over the settlement. She finds herself attempting come to an agreement with the ship's creator, a mysterious allicorn named Aurora Streak, while simultaneously trying to uncover the secrets of the mare's past along with the motives for her scientific endeavors.

Meanwhile, the rest of the Mane 6 resort to their own methods to decode the intentions of Aurora.

All will come to a head with the arrival of Equestria's rulers, as Aurora enacts her final plan.
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Credit to the wondrous Lapis-Lazuli for the chapter names.

Chapters (21)
Comments ( 166 )

Original plot? Check. Descriptive imagery? Check. Characters staying in character? Check. I really like what you've done here. I will most certainly be tracking this.

@Mysterious Stranger: I do my best. Thank you very much good sir. :twilightsmile:

Interesting :derpyderp2:
I really wanna ready on:pinkiehappy:

Sorry to those reading the first chapter that the gdocs version probably didn't work. :derpyderp2: This link should allow you to read the second one with the original formatting (Italic words for thought and such). Enjoy! :scootangel:

Yaaaaay update!:yay: (yet I didn't receive a notification for it for some reason:trixieshiftright:) Well, no matter, I enjoyed this chapter, especially this line:

It was certainly not the prettiest thing in the Equestrian skies (obviously that was Rainbow herself), but it more than got the job done.

This is good. Like really good. Like how does this not have more likes good.

@ProfCharles: I'm kind of unknown I guess.:applejackunsure: Keep on spreadin' the word though and thanks for the commet! :raritywink:

1670311
Protip- use the pair of speech bubbles in the top right corner of the message box to alert them to you response.

And as for being an unknown, that shouldn't affect your chances, especially with the cover pic and synopsis you have. Still, I noticed your story hasn't been added to any groups, so I took the liberty of doing that for you.

Everypony, I've made some changes to the third chapter for continuity's sake. Basically I just removed Spike from the departure scene. You can re-read it if you want, but I don't think it's incredibly necessary.
Just a heads-up.

Wow. It is really hard to read a fic for fun after proofreading one...
It's only the second sentence, and I've come up with three suggestions... =__=

:facehoof: I currently hate the town and the main six more than Aurora and can barely stand Twilight at the moment. The lavender mare should be able to adapt to the situation and should also have an insatiable appetite for knowledge. Really she should be nicer than that and be able to notice a magic dampening field when she notices one.:facehoof:

Aurora those fools don't even deserve you're technology they are too primitive and stupid to understand or accept it. just leave and find those that are more accepting of you're ideas and Ideals.:ajbemused:

1740927

I'm not sure if you're complementing or criticizing the story, but okay. As for why Twilight would resist her desire for knowledge, she's been in a few situations now where her over-eager approach landed her in a spot she almost wasn't able to escape. She's putting experience to use and taking it slow unless something drastic happens or seems to be happening. Still not sure whether or not you complementing or critcizing.

1740961 neither it's just the fact that I see things about the characters that are out of touch like when twi got on the ship for a few minutes their I honestly thought she was rarity until you announced her from the way she acted. social graces are nothing but useless to intellectuals; however she seemed to have those ingrained deep down like rarity :facehoof: I know she's Celestia's student and all but even without magic she should realize that she should be able to carry her gifts on her own and that social garbage isn't required. not to mention even if she was all about that she should have been able to pick up the social cues from aurora that she was serious and straight to the point rather than a character to beat around the bush when teaching like Trollestia; she Is more direct and informative. Twilight didn't even go in with an open mind instead she closed herself off from Aurora and just felt slighted for the lack of the alicorns social graces.:facehoof:

And don't even get me started on the rest of Ponyville lets just say until you know for a fact that the object is dangerous don't try and attack it. instead observe and examine it until it proves otherwise. the vessel didn't attack first is all i'm saying.

Am I getting Aurora's characterization right?

1741032

For the most part. But aside from that, she will tactfully beat around the bush as necessary to instigate curiosity and high hopes that she can then please.

As for Twilight acting a little out of character, I imagined how she would act differently if she felt she was basically representing Celestia. Hope it doesn't turn you off.

1741093 well even for a representative she should have been following her own ideals since they are the self same as Celestia's as far as she knows. Be true to both yourself and those around you and you will find who is your friend and ally and who is your enemy. she should know this already. As for rainbow dash you were spot on she's generically rude, direct, and stupid, she may be loyal but damn I would prefer to fight the enemy alone without her help; but that's mostly because i use sniper and cloak methods to take out my opponents. i'd rather snipe my opponent from a distance without notice; than foolishly charge in like some berserker with a near infinite health bare that drops to ten one my rage dies out. :facehoof:

you wont have to worry about this story turning me off as long as you plan on explaining how the magitech works. my only problem is the characters personality issues. and I do hope that chry-chry is planning to apologies and make good with the pony's. however rainbow has to pay fir killing one of her children.

cheers:twilightsmile:

And Chrysalis does have a heart. I knew it!

1752832

That she does. She and Celestia are a lot more alike than either would rather admit.

1753071 Ok maybe Chrysalis can team up with Twilight after receiving reparation in the form of Rainbow dash on a silver platter to be put in a changeling cocoon for the next few years for killing one of her children.

I'm liking it so far.

cheers:twilightsmile:

Yay, my hope for not making Chrysalis soo one way dumb villain is pleased.

Part Five has been modified slightly to fill a minor plot hole. It's in the beginning of the section immediately after the Celestia/Luna scene, so take a look if ya want.

1753071 I actually rewatched part of Canterlot Wedding and noticed the line "A queen must care for her subjects' or something along that line. Keep up the good work!

1851764
Glad to know that Chrysalis is staying in-character in the fic. It's not so hard when the situation isn't as wacky as it's about to get, so I hope I'm able to take my ability to write her well in 'normal' situations and that transposing that into more original scenes isn't too difficult.

Yes, things are going to get wacky. :moustache:

Check out this pic of Aurora a friend of mine did! It's totally awesome!
Aurora

This review is brought to you on behalf of the group: Authors Helping Authors

Name of Story: Marks of Harmony

Grammar score: 8.5

Pros: The Idea is original, and the story has a good pace to it. Description is good.

Cons: can't offer much in grammar or sentence structure, but there were a few points i noticed that seemed a bit choppy, example (with rusty creaking from her mouth.) needs something in between rusty and creaking,

Notes: I like the Idea, going to keep reading. only thing I might suggest is putting a little more space between your paragraphs. makes it read a little smoother but that's just me. I'll try and comment on your other chapters though not like this.

This review is brought to you by Authors Helping Authors
Marks of Harmony
Grammar Score: 9
Pros: Alicorn OC story and Author Self-insert, done successfully and done excellently.
New magic technology and angle into possible Equestrian racism/segregation of power, is insightful and interesting
Grammar is very good.
The suspense buildup is also very well done
Have I mentioned the mane cast were in character?
Cons: Occassionally very wordy. However, since much is needed to be explained this can be overlooked.
Quite a bit of telling background information, but this can be overlooked
Notes: The greatest problem with this fic is it's length and wordiness. This can be off putting, but I think it is also a strong point as it shows your development of character. However, some sentences can be simplified and some things can be shown as opposed to told. Other than that, the OC alicorn Aurora Streak makes everything seem... just awesome.
Story I would like you to read: Remembering the Fallen, a much shorter story on how the Mane 6 discover the body of a pony soldier. Barbican and White Tower pop up a little bit in it.

You added your self into the story, I like that not many can pull that off and make it work. good job

1881036

Thanks much! Though, I'm sure you can tell that the Inky from MoH is a whole lot different from me in terms of social ability.

This review is brought to you on behalf of the group: Authors Helping Authors

Name of Story: Marks of Harmony (Chapter 1 only)

Grammar score: 7

Pros: The plot certainly sparks interest. The descriptions are good and it's clear that you put a good bit of thought into writing the scenes out.

Cons: The grammar and structure for this chapter shows a couple of errors here and there (you forget to indent and such sometimes). The characterization does seem a little off as well, and while this chapter suggests that the mane six are being affected by something, there's no indicator for the reader to pick up on that - we either take Twilight at her word that something is making them feel off, or she's over reacting and the readers are missing something. Her saying that a plan is not needed and that they she go in to purposefully get captured left me confused.

Notes: There's not a lot of information to go on in this first chapter, and no real attention getter. There should have been a little more from Aurora in this chapter, just so the reader could have a better idea of the kind of character the story would focus around. Part of me is worried about reading an OC alicorn at all, but I know that's just a silly bias on my part. I'm going to read the next two chapters and see where this idea goes. The chapter raises a lot of questions, which ideally would get a reader to move on to the next chapter.

1887658

Your review is nicely insightful, so thank you. I do have a question though. What about the arrival of the ship was not attention grabbing?

1887681
The ship as it arrives in Ponyville didn't feel like the focus of that whole scene - that was mostly dominated by Twilight and her friends trying to understand what was happening and how to respond. When you opened the chapter with Rainbow Dash finding the ship the focus of the story was tight, but once it arrives in Ponyville, it's a little hard to grasp what is really happening. Just as Twilight and the others have questions, I found myself wondering just what was happening too, why no other pony was responding to this earthquake and huge ship hovering over the town, and why they were treating it like an alien attack of some sort. Finding Ponyville to be a ghost town afterwords was really odd, because then Twilight, Rarity, and Spike arrive at Town Hall to find everypony there with this new alicorn speaking like Luna when the town was suppose to be dead quiet. I was still trying to understand why Twilight felt they were acting different and that maybe Discord was the reason.

Name of Story: Marks of Harmony (Chapter 2-4 only)

Grammar score: 8

Pros: Having read half ways through your story now, the plot gets steadier and more interesting. Aurora is turning out to be a very interesting OC. All her scenes so far have been very interesting.

Cons: Sometimes the mane 6 slip out of character, though I have a feeling that varies given the reader and what they expect to find. There are some scenes in this story through out the chapters that contribute just a little to the progression of the story, actually slowing it down. This happens mostly when the mane 6 are the focus.

Notes: This story definitely picks up steam after chapter 2. The scenes with Aurora and Twilight are very interesting, but the scenes with the mane 6 feel clunky. They don't feel as important, until the end of this chapter where Rainbow Dash finally gets into the ship. Despite that, you've been doing a good job of adding elements that keep the reader interested in what happens next. I wouldn't say these are cliff hangers - more like they're well thought out plot points to look forward to later. Aside from a slow moving narrative, this story has proven to be very interesting. I'll most likely finish it later.

1889582

Glad you were able to get more into it with the later chapters! As the plot picks up and things start shifting, I hope you find the Mane 6 sections more intriguing.

chrysalis is not going to be happy.

Gak

Things are getting intense.

This review brought to you by the group Authors Helping Authors

Name: Marks of Harmony (Chapters 1-3 only, oh good grief words!)

Grammar Score: 7

Pros: I'm enjoying the idea of a foreign entity, i.e. giant ship which reminds me of Howl's Castle, in Ponyville and how the Mane 6, among others, react to the situation.
Characterization seems to be spot on at the moment; from Rainbow's adventurous attitude to Twilight's "not impressed" demeanor, each pony carries their quirk appropriately.
Describing the scenes prevalent in the story is a good idea in concept, which you are employing well, but can have some drawbacks that I elaborate upon below. Doing so does help me picture what is going on at the moment, but, once again, I elaborate upon the potential cons of that below.
Did I mention I enjoy the characterization of Inky and Aurora? They are very unique indeed.

Cons: The temporary spacing issue, which seems to have sorted itself out by the second chapter. To elaborate and tie into my next point, sometimes paragraphs seem to run on as a result of wordiness. If wordiness is necessary to create a proper environment, I could understand that standpoint. However, if a plot point can be conveyed with a short phrase instead of a drawn out statement, I'd go with the former choice.
Some punctuation could be amended, such as the usage of the em-dash. Such a punctuation is generally used in the pretext that the character is interrupted or jumping from one major subject to another, not so much for run on thoughts and other ideas that entail the same thing. Speaking of punctuation, there are a couple of punctuation errors here and there, but not extremely detrimental to the flow.
With flow comes practice, and with practice comes wonderful writing... right? Sometimes the paragraphs seem to drag on, either in the instance of describing a scene or thoughts of a character. This is a personal opinion, as some might accept longer paragraphs with a warm embrace while others will throw bricks at it.

Notes: Overall, this story is shaping up to be enjoyable so far. There are the potential issues of wordiness and punctuation, which may interrupt the flow and flow of the story. Sometimes the wordiness is fine, others it is not. Once again, personal opinion that you may disregard. Actually, that statement is too vague. With wordiness comes appropriation, said appropriation has to deal with the time and place of the event. If it is a character's thoughts, physical gestures aren't as necessary as conveying the character's thoughts. The pacing is great so far; nothing seems to rushed, but the characters aren't going in guns a blazin' at the moment. I'll be out with the other two? reviews after some sleep and thought (I'm up at 3:30 in the morning doing this, blame caffine and tea).

This review is brought to you on behalf of the group: Authors Helping Authors

Name of Story: Marks of Harmony (Chapters 1-3 Due to my short attention span)

Grammar score: 8

Pros: Great Characterization, plus separately I like the reactions of the characters and you show Pinkies personalty we know and love. Plus the idea is original.

Cons: Needs spacing, the story seems to have a slight run on problem, a few slight punctuation errors, but nothing serious. A few character discrepancys here and there.

Notes Section: I personally am enjoying the story, and shall watch with interest. Although I am slightly confused at how, Twilight arrived at the conclusion of Discord's involvement. Although... destroy the wall of text. I shall comment on your other chapters. :pinkiehappy:

Enjoy your review!

Hello! This is a review from Authors helping Authors.
Name: Marks of Harmony
Grammar score: 9
Pro: The development of characters and plot is wonderful. Expect for a few grammar mistake here and there the flow of the story is great. You're OC's personalities are fascinating and thought provoking.
Con: Except for a few grammar mistakes that does little to hamper the story I can't think of any cons.
Note Selection: From the beginning the story catch my attention. As I continue the read I can surely say that this is a wonderfully written story. I can't wait for the next installment of it. With that said I hope you have a good day.

Hope you enjoy the review and that it is helpful. Please do me a favor and review my story A Choice.

Hello, this is a review brought to you by Authors Helping Authors

Name: Marks of Harmony (Chapters 1-4)
Grammar Score: 8 (It is convention to italicize thoughts, and I question why you spell it "allicorn", as I have only ever seen it spelled "alicorn" before, like the stuff unicorn horns are traditionally said to be made of.)
Pros: Your characterization is strong and accurate, although at times I feel you exaggerate certain personality quirks like Rainbow Dash's aggressiveness. The premise of the story is certainly interesting and I expect there will be a great deal of revelations to come.
Cons: The biggest problem I found in these four chapters was the massive mood swings. You contrast light-hearted humor, like bathing Spike or shooting ponies out of cannons, with extremely serious scenes. As a reader, this is confusing, and it is difficult to gauge the tone of the story and make an accurate judgement. I understand you are trying to imitate the tone of the show, but the show would never deal with a premise like this, so I would suggest picking one or the other, and not both.

Other things: I get no strong sense of scale for the ship here. You call it a massive capital ship in the description, but if it were truly that big I would expect more reactions of shock and amazement from the ponies. There are also a fair number of scenes that slow down the story, but I see other reviewers have already mentioned this so I won't go into detail about it.

One tiny little thing: "Discord-be-darned"? :derpyderp1: It's a pretty terrible "srsbsns" curse, and I can't see it ever being used in the show either, so it feels really out of place.

Sorry I couldn't review more chapters, good luck, and thanks for reviewing my fic Fragment.

1939499

I can see where you felt contradicted by the humor or more light-hearted scenes. The primary reason I did this in the beginning, was because I wanted to give a sense of all the characters trying to hold onto a sense of normalcy for as long as possible. Sorry if that didn't execute that as elegantly as I'd hoped.

That being said, I can assure you that much of the light-heartedness fades away as the situation becomes more real and pertinent. I do try to interject it in every now and again just to keep it rooted in the show, but not nearly as much as in the beginning.

Thanks for th review. Hope you continue reading.

1939536

I did much the same thing with the first MLP fic I wrote (actually the beginning is hauntingly similar to yours--a giant capital ship appearing out of nowhere bearing an alicorn OC, and I even had an earthquake scene with Pinkie's voice doing what you had hers do). I submitted it to EQD and it got rejected with pretty much the same feedback, so I feel happy to pass the advice on to you.

1939723

Funny, I submitted the first three chaps to EQD before publishing it here and was rejected because RD's flying was knocked out in the very beginning. Never could figure out why. The feedback was vague and along the lines of it 'invalidating' my alicorn OC. :rainbowhuh:

1939972 1939723 That's strange, my pre-reader was quite specific in my feedback (i mean in highlighting the key issues, he didn't point them all out, just mentioned them). Though he or she (i think it was a he) made a crapload of grammar/spellling mistakes in his email.

I'm reading Chapter 6, and although I like how the story's going (the reveal of Aurora's original form and of the Changeling's origin are quite intriguing), but I really have to mention one minor thing: Why in the world are Granes more valuable than bits? You mention that they have amethysts in them, but this is ridiculous. Equestria is a nation where precious gems are so plentiful and worthless that they feed them to baby dragons, and even Pinkie Pie has no trouble getting a big bowlful of gems that would be worth at least tens of thousands of dollars in reality. I find it hard to imagine any gemstone-based currency would be of much value in Equestria.

1950430
Funny you should mention that because you're completely right. But Inky is coming from the perspective that gems are rare in his homeland. To him, the fact that his money has gems in it makes it more valuable. The clerk is fooled not by the gems, but by the size of the Grane itself.
Hope that clears it up.

1950463

Maybe I'm just being dumb then, but I don't see any of that mention in the story. It'd be nice for you to explain that, as otherwise I haven't encountered any realism problems like this, and it was rather disconcerting for me to find that. Although a part of me just wants to see that clerk shut down Inky's attitude, no offense to you :twilightsheepish:

1950473
lol, none taken. Myself and the Inky of Marks are only loosely similar.
As for the discrepency you found, I'm positive the scene would allow me to insert something smoothly. Thanks for pointing it out.

Edit: Yes, I was able to add a little something in there with Inky referencing the fact that gems are not common in deserts.

One thing I picked up in Chapter 10:

- "“I know even less than that annoying scribe of a peasant,” Chrysalis berated Inky". Berate should only be used when the person being criticized is present and when the scolding is lengthy and extensive.

Other than that, good plot development. The seeds of Aurora's downfall have been planted! :raritywink:

1961203

Duly noted and modified accordingly. I think you and everybody else reading will enjoy Part 11, which begins the third (and thus final) act of MoH.

Okay. At first I was going to just write simple AHA review, but then I realised that this story is too awesome for this.

Tommorow you will receive a PM or ultra-big comment with dat review.

Stay Awesome

Verlax

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