• Member Since 23rd Jun, 2012
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Steady Hoof is a skilled thief who has been driven out from his home in the Heartland to seek refuge in the City of Gardens and Cages. When his life is saved by a pegasus named Scootaloo, he is instantly smitten. But her life has been hard, and she has forsaken love. To win her over, Steady must brave the dark heart of the city and do the impossible: steal the Tyrant's heart.

Set in the same world as The Archer and The Smith

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 78 )

That's a really impressive world you've crafted. Frightening and dark, but intriguing for all its mysteries.

Great writing, as always.

It's going to be a little bit before I actually get to read this, but I just wanted to say right now that I can't wait.

Yes! I cannot wait to read this!

Plus University Days updated on the same day too? My day just got sooooo much better.

CDRW is advertising this, meaning that my reading is going to be a result of Luna getting drunk, embarrassing her sister, and breaking Twilight.


you're not the only one....

Oh shit....dat fucking ending man... that fucking ending.

I knew the Tyrant had to be Fluttershy... and I was wondering just how it would work. Oh, gods... she may be one of the scariest things of all. And Steady went right into her trap, never suspecting. Talk about scary.

I see Scootaloo never did learn how to fly, or maybe something's wrong with her wings. I noticed there's no mention of her cutie mark, though. Very sneaky.

Fluttershy has absolute dominion over animals, it seems... and is both cruel and kind. Applejack has dominion over plants (or maybe just apples?) and what she says may be truth or lies. I'm guessing Pinkie Pie (aka the Madmare) is both laughter and despair, with Dash (Tempest) being loyalty and betrayal? Best guess is that Rarity is the Sorceress - which is generosity and selfishness? The dragon, a natural hoarder, would fit into that, I would think.

Definitely still a lot of questions.... like what the heck happened. I'm guessing Ponyville was destroyed, given that most ponies there were killed. What happened to Twilight, though? Not to mention the Princesses? So many questions...

I hope there'll be another story in this world. I'm fascinated and want to know more.

My god, that was downright horrifying

Oof, gets captured, AND dumped in the same day. Sucks man {shivers}. But then again, being dumped is the least of his worries. Crap, now I can't stare at that Fluttershy Fimfic banner without getting chills.

Wow, just wow. A well written story, but dark.

Eeehh... :unsuresweetie: I'm a fan of a lot of your work and I really liked certain parts of this story however, when it comes down to it I just couldn't get engaged in the story. It was the main plot point. Steady's continued pursuit of Scootaloo. After a while I just didn't buy it. I really felt like Steady was an idiot and tool going off to steal something to try and get Scoot to love him. Trying to use something physical to get the girl to give him a chance... sometimes that can work in stories but in this case, when the love interest has been emotionally hurt and torn going for a physical object doesn't make sense to me. Also just the way it was written I felt like Steady just couldn't take a hint. Sometimes you have to learn to be subtle. Yes I've been in Love before and so I do have an idea of where he's coming from but even so I felt like he was foolish continually pushing for her. After several rejections that's only going to get her annoyed with you and make her start thinking of sending you on your way. I just couldn't buy the whole "Ah! I'm so in love with Scootaloo! I must do this and then she'll love me!"

I really like the world you've been developing and I was torn for a little while if Fluttershy was or wasn't the Tyrant. At least until the "two sides to every coin" and I was pretty sure you were hinting there that she was the Tyrant. I loved the idea of how she entrapped Steady and how despite himself he felt like he was coming to love her. I'm also interested in learning more about the world you've got. It's a pretty interesting world set up you've got and I want to see more of it. You also write really well and I love your descriptions of things. Your dialogue is solid and good, and Steady seems like an interesting character... which I think only makes the fact that I don't buy the whole romance bit all the more frustrating for me. I'm holding off on the down vote (can't really bring myself to click it and the story isn't bad it's just that one part that I don't believe) so you don't have to worry about that from me... but I did have to think about it. :applejackunsure:

2171315 Your reading of the story is pretty spot-on. Steady really doesn't take the hint, and while he might think he has a chance with Scootaloo, I tried to make it clear that he never did. This isn't a romance story, it's a tale of how one stallion's blind pursuit of his own desires leads to his downfall.

2171946 Well you certainly got that part right. Spot on in fact. But still... I just had a hard time believing how certain and unquestioning he was after everything up to when he was trying to get something physical to open an emotional lock.

i'm wondering if the elements of harmony split because of twilight's ascension to princess...there's no mention of celestia or luna, and no hints at twilight being one of the rulers. if these stories keep going, i wonder if the next one will feature sweetie.

Once again, an excellent story that leaves me wanting to hear more about this world you created and how it ended up like this. We've seen the heartland and now the east. Posibilities of seeing the other lands?

Nice to see that we actually saw one of the rulers this time and that she is still recognisably fluttershy despite having fallen.

And this one really drives the grimdarkness home much more tyhan the previous story did.

Looking forward to more.

paul #16 · Mar 2nd, 2013 · · 3 ·

It it really well written. But while this this story/series has amazing worldbuilding, this story is in the same time too cruel and too hopeless for me.
I think I will stop following this world/series.
I hope that you do not plan something like that for heroes of your Harmony theory.

Now that was just wonderfully dark. This is such an excellent series of stories.

Despite the fact that most of the blame deservedly lands on Steady, I find Scootaloo just a bit at fault as well for how it turned out for her gang. Considering her historical connection to the Tyrant, sending a pony who was specifically doing a task for her into the palace was a terrible idea.

Holy #Ick! That was scary!

I saw that the Tyrant ought to be Fluttershy, and then I was disappointed when it seemed she wasn't Fluttershy, and then... it's powerful, but you've left me in a place where I'm horrified at and repulsed by the story, and have no reason to fight against my strong aversion to being reminded of the events of chapter 1 to read the next chapter. The only character I cared about (though he was kind of a tool) is worse off than dead. It's all stick and no carrot.

Poor Steady, Jesus, that's unimaginable.

Will there be more fics set in this world? Because the potential here is unparalleled. This is an awesome story, Author. Dark, depressing and sorrowful, but beautiful .

I'm sorry to say it took me this long to finally read this. Basically real life happened and I could never find the time to sit down and read a new story. Boy am I glad I found that time though, because it was as good as I hoped and better. I absolutely love this universe you've created and the fact that you re-visited it is incredibly awesome. Here's hoping you do so again, because I'm wondering what happened to Sweetie Belle now. I still haven't figured out for sure if The Smith was Applebloom or not.

I don't get shaken easily.

This horrified me.

And THAT'S why I won't read this :moustache:

Grats on making EqD!

I got shaken in dissbelieve, I teared up more than once over the sheer cruelty of the whole plot...
After all a really well written story! Thanks for that...
But I figured out, who Fluttershy really is too quickly :derpytongue2:

2250218 The Smith has been confirmed to be Applebloom. She's even in the character tags now.

2236832 The fic has ended. Steady's story is finished. But there are other stories this world has to tell. If it helps, The Archer and the Smith is far less dark despite being set in the same world.

Until the end, I was convinced that it was going to be a split-personality, Fluttershy and Fluttercruel.

Then the ending. The scariest thing is that it's COMPLETELY in character for her. All it'd take is one little snap in her mind.

Also the body horror of being unable to move....and unable to scream. :fluttercry:

2289829 Huh. For some reason I thought it wasn't complete. I see the tag now.

That was seriously disturbing. I mean that in a good way, of course. This is grimdark at its best. Thanks for writing!

god that was fantastic

I never was a fan of tradgedies, to be honest. Endings like this never appealed to me; I feel unsatisfied. That doesn't mean that this isn't a good story, though. The world you've created with this one and the previous is very interesting and intriguing, and I absolutely hope you continue with it.

I love your approach of storytelling, as well. The way that these are individual stories in themselves, while also having a very grand background lore to it all. What awes me is your way of telling it through subtly; don't fall for these people wanting more answers. The whole point of lore is to put the pieces together yourself, and you've done an absolutely fantastic job of that.

This is the kind of story there is not enough of out there, not simply because it is good but because you have the fortitude to go against most of the fandom and write an ending like that.

Like most other folks have said it was very easy to determine the identity of "The Tyrant" but because of that it made me think harder about how the other regions are described and knowing what we know now I can't wait to hear about some other poor plucky adventurer in those places. And see if I guessed their rulers correctly as well.

That being said you already addressed that you intend to do a sequel(s) and I was wondering if you know if they are going to be posted as separate stories or as additional chapters to this one.

Anyway, thanks again and I look forward to more!

Dear sweet mother of pearl that was awful and yet amazing at the same time. I went from "Fluttershy?" to "Fluttershy," to "Fluttershy?!?"
The creepy thing is, this actually makes sense in some weird way. Fluttershy...
Oh, yeah. And Scootaloo. Just... daaang.
That's about it; I'm sure I'll find some coherency later.

This was an extremely powerful and intriguing horror story, one of the best I have read, pony or not. Most importantly, it is one of those things that can only be born through fanfiction, with the knowledge of Scootaloo, Fluttershy and Equestria as they appear on the show magnifying the situation you put the characters in.

You kept me guessing at every turn, never being obtuse or too open, giving us just enough information to keep the story mysterious and clear at the same time. I had to reread it after the conclusion, and with that knowledge in mind, the twists and turns are so much more painful, and you get a very interesting new take on Scootaloo's actions through these lenses.

I am very pleased also that you returned to this world you started building on The Archer and the Smith, another story that I adored. It is a very interesting AU for the show, and I sincerely wish that you will do more with it, since it has great potential.

Thank you very much for the great read!

I'm really looking forward to seeing what Pinkie's like, and Sweetie Belle, if she's still here. From what I've seen in The Archer and the Smith, I think I can already assume that Applejack is going to be awesome. This is the kind of alternate universe that should be made into a movie with realistic 3D animation or something like that.

A well-crafted tragedy. Maybe even a horror story.

That's a brilliant execution of a Hurt/Comfort fic. It was an Idiot Plot, but that was acceptable. And FS makes for an amazing Yandere, perhaps the best I've ever known.

For some reason, I feel like this could easily fit into the Adventure Time universe.

my soul died :pinkiesick: well done

This deserves a lot more views than it has. Seriously.
I got chills from just reading this. The execution of the fractured personalities was brilliant - you can see the ending coming, but the suspense keeps you reading.
I definitely need to go read the other story in this 'verse.

The connections to the 'old world' were reasonably easy to pick up on. I do like the names you gave them!
The Sorceress = Twilight
The Tyrant = Fluttershy
The Tempest = Dash
The Druid - Applejack
But the others were mostly unmentioned...

Given that the Sorceress's magic is blue, it seems pretty likely that she is Rarity, not Twilight. Twilight doesn't seem to be one of the five rulers.

Ah, I might have skipped over that detail being mentioned.
Do you have a reference/quote to support that? So I can see how it fits in context.

Comment posted by fortressofballitude deleted May 28th, 2013


First, in the comments on "The Archer and the Smith" the author says

There are two clues to the identity of the Sorceress in the story, but they're near the end and pretty easy to miss.

Near the end of that story Lyra and Applebloom are wondering if the Sorceress noticed that they killed her Red Dragon, and they look up toward her castle to see

Blue light was shining from its windows, a dark cloud gathering above it as the Sorceress vented her anger.

Given that Rarity's magic is blue and Twilight's is not, it seems like Rarity is probably the sorceress. Not 100% conclusive, but pretty likely. The fact that Rarity was always very enamored of Canterlot and is good at finding gems (which attract dragons) would also seem to indicate that it's Rarity.

Ok, thanks for helping clarify on that! Makes a lot more sense now.

horrifyingly good man, emphasis on the horrifying
i wonder what the rest of the world is like... i actually didn't think Fluttershy would have been one of them... until i found out the name of her city
sort of expecting pinkie's land to be full of superstitious ponies who laugh but despair... a land full of superstitious clowns maybe? :pinkiegasp: so much sense!

So now I guess the $64,000 question is, "What the heck happened to Twilight Sparkle?"


I think that Scoot's description "No mad-prophet jump-at-every-shadow gleam in your eyes so you're not from the North either" is probably Pinkie's domain. We know Sorceress(Rarity) is the "Heartland" so most likely the center, Druid(AJ) is the South, Tempest(RD) is the West, and the Tyrant(now obviously Fluttershy) is the East, so that leaves Pinkie for the North. I imagine her title is possibly Prophet(Pinkie Sense)?

2652100 it was mentioned in the first one i think... yeah, pinkie is the madmare, i was saying that maybe they all smile on the outside only in the north... wouldnt put it past them if pinkie IS laughter and despair (like fluttershy is kindness and cruelty and AJ is honesty and deceit)

2656322 Oooh Sorry, I misunderstood what you were saying there haha. My only excuse is that I was super tired XD

2656604 dont worry, we all stay up too late once in our lives... i regret that my first time was with mlp XD

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