• Member Since 7th Jun, 2012
  • offline last seen 11 hours ago

ocalhoun


I am not contained between my hat and my boots.

T

Twilight Sparkle faces the end of the world as she knows it. An epic three book series depicting the fall of Equestria and the rise of a new nation from the ashes.
I promise you intrepid explorers, bumbling changelings, lost civilizations, murderous trees, villainous nieces, flaming timberwolves, meddling time lords, graceful airships, monstrous bears, frozen dragons, mysterious cities, penitent farmers, stolen kisses, mythical gemstones, foreboding Pinkie twitches, missed parties, epic magical battles, unhelpful zebras, and perhaps even a phoenix or two.
I laughed, cried, and squeed while writing it; I hope you enjoy it too!
Features primarily Twilight Sparkle, Sunny Daze, and an OC, Apollo Dawn.

My thanks to:
Mailbox Bomber (formerly from bronyville.org) - Pre-reading and very helpful story outline advice
--This is a much better story because of your help!
Metaright (from friendshipismagic.org) - Extremely capable and detailed proofreading
--FAR better proofreading than I had any right to expect!
Jadeite (from bronyville.org) - Cover image
--Just what I needed! (Though I did modify it a bit ^.^)

Rated T for brief (where appropriate) gore. This was written before season 3: it's in a season 2 universe; there are already some conflicts with season 3's canon... please disregard them.

I will be posting one chapter every day. If you want to read the entire story right away, you can find it at http://www.bronyville.org/viewtopic.php?f=31&t=4020&p=135925#p135925

If anybody feels like contributing artwork, feel free; and I'll likely add it to the appropriate chapter of the story.
If anyone wants to do a spin-off with some of the same characters, feel free, and let me know! I, myself, will probably make future fics using Apollo and his crew. There are some characters there who I didn't get to play around with and develop as much as I'd like to.

Chapters (73)
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Comments ( 301 )

Doesn't deserve the downvote, so have an upvote.

Downrated already?

Feh. Tracking for now. Sleep comes first.

1779603
1779602

Thanks for the vote of confidence, guys.
I know this one's destined for some downvotes... I can only hope people take the time to say why.

1780257 It's fucked, truly. I like this fic.

1780273

T'sokay. I'm expecting rather... :trixieshiftright: ... mixed reactions to this one. Some will love it, some will hate it.
I view fanfic writing as practice though, so as long as I get feedback on it, I'm happy.

So many down votes already? Yikes. I'll and an upvote. And a maustached baby dragon:moustache:.

1780932
I know, right?
Thanks for giving it a chance! :twilightsmile:

Looking forwards to this. It promises to be an interesting and powerful adventure.

Write on. :twilightsmile:

Edit: Woo! My first first!

May whoever disliked this captivating story burn in Tartarus. It's fast-paced and wonderful.

Okay, I wanted to give you some feed back on why you have acquired some of your down votes, I read the first two paragraphs of your story. Your writing is not to bad but it contains problems that are going to turn people off - your first paragraph:

Apollo Dawn steadied himself with his wings as he brought the ice pick down yet again, breaking off a sizable chunk this time. The darkened shape was directly in front of him, just inches away now, really. It tantalized him with its mystery and with its proximity... they would be only moments away from finding out just what this was! As of yet, it was just a dark, indistinct shape in the ice... what could it be, embedded down here at the bottom of an ice cave? He was sure it would be a clue leading his crew closer to their eventual goal: the legendary largest blue diamond known to pony kind, Moonfeather's gem, stolen by an ice-dragon over eight hundred years ago!

Lets break this down

Apollo Dawn <- This name instantly caused a twinge. I would avoid the use of greek / roman names, and stick with something more along the lines you would hear in the actual show: Musical Dawn, Icy Dawn, Dawn Skies, whatever, but more along the lines of something you would here in an episode.

The rest of this paragraph feels awkardly constructed and goes over the same points to many times:

it was directly in front of him, just inches away, tantalized him with its proximity, they were just moments away <- you said the same thing 4 times.

legendary largest blue diamond <- to many adjectives "legendary blue diamond" or "largest blue diamond" is sufficient and flows better.

possible re-write:

Icy Dawn steadied himself with his wings as he brought the ice ax down again, a sizable piece of ice tumbling away from the surface. After months of research and weeks of back breaking work they were now only inches away from what they all hoped was there; definitive proof that they were on the trail to recover the largest blue diamond known to pony kind, Moonfeather's Gem, lost eight centuries ago when a dragon ransacked the northern town of winter's vale.

Food for thought.

Glad to see it turned around! :twilightsmile:

biggest areal search in Equestria's history

^
*aerial
Sorry, I'm an aviation junkie. This bugs me.

(Joke) Alt. Title: I Wasn't Prepared To Ascend For Eternity And The Sunset

1804543
:twilightsheepish: A little long... not bad. ^.^

1798776
Oops! I'll fix this one... proofread by four people including me, and still that got by...
(In my defense, that's a hard word to spell! ^.^)

1797977
:pinkiehappy: Me too!

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Now THAT is the kind of comment I post stories here to get! :raritystarry:
Even if you yourself are one of the downvotes, I give you my thanks!
That's the kind of advice I can use in the future to improve: watch out for repetition, avoid over-description and overuse of adjectives...
(Though the name was very carefully chosen. I know it deviates from show-quality, but I found it necessary because [minor spoiler] it HAD to give away a little, yet not be too obvious. The 'Apollo' part of the name doesn't come directly from greek/roman traditions... I pulled it (quite meaningfully) from much more recent history.) -- Of course, I can't expect you to know why I chose that name from the very first paragraph, and in retrospect, perhaps I should have avoided using his name altogether until book 2 when he reappears.
Oh well, live and learn. Learning to be a better writer is the reason I'm here at all, so thanks for the awesome feedback!

1794169
:twilightblush: Thanks for the compliment!
(Though, thanks to sopchoppy's comment, I now understand better why I'm getting so many down-votes.)
Still... 'fast paced and wonderful' *squee* :rainbowkiss: Thanks!

Sorry 'bout the gore... :fluttershysad: Had to be done.
Don't worry though; It's only like this for a few chapters, then there won't be any more.

It's a great story line and all, but I really hope they aren't actually dead. I mean that would be just too sad:raritydespair:, but it was still a really good chapter thanks for the quick updates.:twilightsmile:

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bronyville.org/emotes/liarjack.jpg
I'm sure they're totally fine.

...

Not really... Sorry.
And the worst part? ...
bronyville.org/emotes/horrified_applejack.jpg
There's more to come very soon.

Ah! I can't believe it's finally complete!

Really, folks. Don't underestimate how hard ocalhoun worked on this. Between writing, revising, and putting up with me, you should all be as proud as I am.

Comment posted by ocalhoun deleted Dec 17th, 2012

I hope everyone appreciates this chapter.
I had to trudge through the snow and scrape snow off the satellite dish in order to get my internet working so I could publish it.


No more gore after this, I promise!

1811833
There you are! ^.^

And he's right... a lot of work went into this. Been working on it since May. ... Glad to finally be done and move on to other things!

1814688
:rainbowlaugh:
Continue? Okay.
But no more gore. :twilightsmile:
From this point on, I promise to kill off characters nicely.

The main 6 were called out to Canterlot to use the Elements and they DID NOT carry the elements with them?!?!?!
Didn't they learn that lesson with Discord? and again with Chrysalis?
What made them leave home without bullets in their magic rainbow gun? :facehoof:

1815972
:twilightsmile:
I know, right?

Well, to answer the question:
1: As you point out, it's traditional. :twilightsmile: :facehoof:
... and
2: It gives Twilight another reason to think that the way things turned out was her fault. She was the one who rushed off without first stopping to get the elements. More fuel for the what-if's.

...Besides... If they defeated Pestilence with the elements of harmony and made everything better again at the end of book 1, it would make books 2 and 3 pretty boring. ^.^

Frankly, that initial fight scene last chapter seemed to be over... too quickly. Almost like Pestilence wasn't living up to her name, only assassinating quickly (and mercilessly) instead of slow painful deaths. It's given me a few ideas. I doubt they'll be relevant (just because of how i think), but still, ideas.
Edit - That and the absence of the tragedy tag helps build upon a few things too.

1815952
I don't mind gore, just the characters you've killed so far. Besides, it doesn't seem like it's that much in the way of gore. Just a little description here or there, more or less. And... i just realized how much a bastard i must be, because that sounds like i was criticizing you for that. I didn't mean for it to come across that way, but my point still applies, i've seen worse; much worse.

1816052
Frankly, that initial fight scene last chapter seemed to be over... too quickly. Almost like Pestilence wasn't living up to her name, only assassinating quickly (and mercilessly) instead of slow painful deaths.
Well, she was in a hurry. :derpytongue2: Lots to do.
...and even if the deaths were pretty fast, I tried to make them pretty painful and horrifying.
It's given me a few ideas. I doubt they'll be relevant (just because of how i think), but still, ideas.
Ideas about what? Your own fic? improving this one? Ideas about what will happen next?
Edit - That and the absence of the tragedy tag helps build upon a few things too.
Well, while the story may have some tragic elements, I don't consider it a tragedy as a whole.
...That's related to the overall theme I was trying to work into it.

I don't mind gore, just the characters you've killed so far.
:pinkiecrazy:
Besides, it doesn't seem like it's that much in the way of gore. Just a little description here or there, more or less. And... i just realized how much a bastard i must be, because that sounds like i was criticizing you for that. I didn't mean for it to come across that way, but my point still applies, i've seen worse; much worse.
Sure, there's worse out there... that's because I was writing gore for the sake of the story, not a story for the sake of gore.
At the request of my pre-readers, I actually increased the gore level a little.
A little subtlety and understatement, a little of keeping the gore as an element of the story, not the story itself... That's how (I think) gore should be written.

...I really only added the tag to warn people, so they wouldn't start reading the story, get to that part, and then be... well, shocked and disgusted.

I won't lie This story is Dark... and a bit sad so why no dark or sad tag?

ITS GOOD I LIKE ALOT!

1819330

Ideas about what? Your own fic? improving this one? Ideas about what will happen next?

Ah, i guess i forgot to elaborate there before i posted it, sorry about that. Ideas on how this story will progress.

Sure, there's worse out there... that's because I was writing gore for the sake of the story, not a story for the sake of gore.

Fair enough, i can see that.

At the request of my pre-readers, I actually increased the gore level a little.
A little subtlety and understatement, a little of keeping the gore as an element of the story, not the story itself... That's how (I think) gore should be written.

...I really only added the tag to warn people, so they wouldn't start reading the story, get to that part, and then be... well, shocked and disgusted.

Again, i was just speaking what i thought there, it seemed tame for the gore tag is all, not that it stopped me from reading the story, eh?

I feel like i'm missing something i want to say, but i can't remember it at this point. If i do remember i'll make sure to edit this comment with it.

1820219
Ah, well yep, you're probably right in your ideas of how the story will go from here.

1819977
Well, it may be a little dark/sad so far... but it gets better.
The story as a whole is not dark... and not that sad... just book 1 is a bit dark.

Alright thats what I wanted to make sure of. I like a good story and its not bad its just a bit hard to read with AJ just droping dead like that....

Hmm... Interesting little development here. I like it.

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bronyville.org/emotes/huh_applejack.jpg
I know, right?
^.^
That's the way things worked out though.

1833683
bronyville.org/emotes/i_dare_say.jpg
Might I inquire just what development you think interesting?
Is it Twilight's blame game?

Wow, that last scene made me tear up. Good job.

1848572
:twilightsmile: You have no idea how great it makes me feel to hear that!
*Rereads section to see which scene you're talking about*
:fluttercry: Darnit! Now you've got me tearing up,too! At my own work. :facehoof:

I feel like Santa Claus :rainbowwild:

Damn ocalhoun, you're gonna make me cry if you keep these sad chapters up! That's two in a row, now.

Things have got to turn around someday ... :fluttercry:

Sorry about the missed update, guys. :pinkiesad2:
Here, have a double update to make up for it. :twilightblush:

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Don't worry... only one more sad chapter, then things can change.
-- And there are about 50 more chapters still to come... most of them not sad. ^.^

There, Twilight gets some excitement, not more sadness. :twilightsmile: Enjoy.

I Guess that is nice... BUT PLEASE! Don't relase the chapters this short. I mean is there a point in making the chapters this short!?

1872161
Well... :derpytongue2: That's how I wrote 'em.
I find that short chapters are just my style.
... Sorry if you don't like it.

I read the entire thing, all of the whooping 112,000 or so words. Took me six hours or so...
At first I was frustrated and disgusted by your destruction of everything we know.
At one point I even gave the story a down-vote!
But then I saw the growth. Your style and this story have grown and changed as you've written it. It became something more, something better.
Even if it's not complete here and some people might not understand, I gave this story an up-vote and a favorite.

Even if I felt like some parts were rushed and somethings I didn't understand, it was worth to stick through the story.

To any readers that are struggling with understanding the first chapters - bear with it. It's totally worth it and almost everything that
was promised is delivered at one point (haven't seen the zebra!) and the pace of the story rises considerably at one point.


EDIT: I almost forgot! RANT TIME!
HOW DARE YOU KILL LUNA! :flutterrage::flutterrage::flutterrage::flutterrage::flutterrage:

I won't Lie I don't even know whats going on I have been stumped for some time now.

Apollo is the new RD I think ... He is too loyal to be honesty ...
Quartermaster ... Now THAT is a pony that could be the new honesty. :ajsmug:

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:trixieshiftright:
I'll decline to speculate on who the new elements of harmony are...
(Though -- between you and me -- you can expect to find out at the end of book 2.)

1885817
Hmm... the last several (and the next few) chapters have been alternating between two character groups.
Apollo and his team, headed back to civilization, and Twilight and Sunny looking for her friends.
Don't worry. Soon (spoiler -- though it should be obvious to anyone familiar with fiction) the two groups will meet, and there will be no more alternating chapters, and perhaps then the story will be easier to follow...
Or was it something else that was confusing?

1879298

I read the entire thing, all of the whooping 112,000 or so words. Took me six hours or so...

:twilightsheepish:
Must have done something right.

At first I was frustrated and disgusted by your destruction of everything we know.

If it enlightens anyone about it... at the very early stages of planning this, I had intended basically on writing only book 3, focusing on the rebuilding of Equestria... The first two books are, in a way, an afterthought, also giving the story of how it fell in the first place, and how our protagonists dealt with it.
(Of course, once I decided to write that, I made it part of an inseparable whole. The first two books are hardly an afterthought now, though their main functions are still to set the stage for book 3.)

At one point I even gave the story a down-vote!

But then I saw the growth. Your style and this story have grown and changed as you've written it. It became something more, something better.

:raritystarry:
Thanks! :twilightsheepish:
This is actually the first serious fiction of any kind I've written -- written before my other fic here, even though that one was posted first -- and though I always intended the story to change and grow as I went along, the development as an author was a side effect. And yes, despite my efforts to revise and improve early chapters, I can also clearly see the development as I went along. (Hopefully that's a good sign for future fics :twilightsmile: )

Even if it's not complete here and some people might not understand, I gave this story an up-vote and a favorite.

In due time, hopefully everyone will see it that way. ^.^

Even if I felt like some parts were rushed and somethings I didn't understand, it was worth to stick through the story.

To any readers that are struggling with understanding the first chapters - bear with it.

Although I suspect I already know some of them, which parts were rushed, and which things were hard to understand?
...Though I don't intend on revising this story any more, knowing things like that would be invaluable for helping me to write better fiction in the future.

It's totally worth it and almost everything that was promised is delivered at one point (haven't seen the zebra!) and the pace of the story rises considerably at one point.

The zebra is in the first few chapters of book 1. :trixieshiftleft: I keep my promises! :ajsmug:
...And I'd also be very interested to see which point you perceived as the pace of the story rising considerably... I have a couple ideas about which part you mean, but I'm not sure which.

And thanks for all the compliments! :twilightsmile:
And thanks even more for the detailed feedback! :pinkiehappy: Stuff like this is the reason I write and publish here!

EDIT: I almost forgot! RANT TIME!

HOW DARE YOU KILL LUNA! :flutterrage::flutterrage::flutterrage::flutterrage::flutterrage:

:rainbowderp:
...
...
Uh...
...
I'll just leave this here.

:pinkiecrazy:

I had a feeling the bear would be taking a little flight. Turns out i was right.

can I finally say FINALY. now the stories can meet up I take it?

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