• Member Since 12th Aug, 2012
  • offline last seen 47 minutes ago

Brony2893


T
Source

Being in a position of power is never easy, especially if you are the only ruler. Queen Chrysalis discovers this as the broken remnants her subjects begin to wither away without any love to properly sustain them, grieving over their fellow changelings who did not survive the trip home. Their population continues to plummet, and she is left with only one option.




Noblesse Oblige: The duties of those in power to uphold their responsibilities and forsake personal feelings and needs.






Edited by Darastrix.
Pre-read by Azu.
All image credit goes to yula568. Cover was used with permission.

Chapters (2)
Comments ( 195 )

=====Author's notes are spoiler free=====

First off I'd like to point out this was an experimental story for me, so it may or may not meet your previous expectations.



This was made as a 3-way special to celebrate a few milestones, but mostly for my 20th birthday.
It may be my birthday, but you all deserve a little something for sticking with me:raritywink:
I've had this one in developmental-limbo for ages. I decided it was time to be freed from the dark abyss known as my notes.


Why did I choose such a strange, obscure title? Well, I heard it early in life (oh Celestia that makes me sound old) and I've always loved it. Plus, it's quite appropriate in the situation.
In case you were wondering, it's pronounced *No-Bless Oh-Bleej.*
It's French.



My eternal gratitude to my long-time friends and editing team, Azu and Darastrix.
I wouldn't be anywhere without these guys.
Head on over to their profiles and tell them how great they are, Celestia-knows I can't say it enough:heart:

Very nice. Different than what I'm used to with your works, but I enjoyed it. Hope there will be a sequel. I'm curious as to what will happen after Chrysalis sends her letter off. Happy Birthday! :pinkiehappy:

2238591
Happy birthday, man! :pinkiehappy: Hope you have a awesome 20th birthday!

Third! I'll get moving on the read and review right away.

I'm going to take a guess that the letter is to Celestia and Luna, if so I think a sequel is needed to see the reply.

This is pretty good. The ending reminds me of another certain story I wrote, except from Celestia's view.:rainbowkiss:

Poor Changelings. *puts a warm hand on their cold chitin*

why do you make us have to do the end where cadance agrees to help them in our minds? because that is what would happen and no one can change that. NO ONE!!!

2335498

because that is what would happen

Please, I'm anything but predictable:trollestia:

Awesome story man, I would love it if you were to make a sequel :heart:!

Really nice and well written story.
I have only one fault.
Ending felt like running into brick wall or suddenly finding a cliff you just passed.
I can't decide.
It fells for me that something is missing here some conclusion or explanation.
Exposition, Rising action and climax are here but I can't spot Falling Action and Denouement.

Maybe a chapter of X time later?

BTW: Happy Birthday :pinkiehappy: keep on writing.
You're now one year closer to perishing and reincarnating in Equestria.No SRSLY that's what's gonna happen :)

Definitely liked this. Similar conceptually to one I wrote a while back, but more fleshed out.

2335519 SHUT.UP!

THAT HAPPENED NEXT AND THAT IS FINAL.

A crystal heart relinquished from a far away land? Now that just screams crystal empire.

Really liked the story :twilightsmile: and the ending leaves many doors open to what could happen next.

...they ‘relinquished’ it from a far away land.

You do realise that relinquished means to give something up, right?
If so, the senence should probably be "they ‘relinquished’ it to a far away land."

Consider this my birthday present to you. Happy 20'th birthday, you ingrate!
__________________________________________
Review for To Save A Species: Noblesse Oblige

This is a damn fine story. It is very different from everything else you have ever written, so you delivered there. Now let me get moving on the review.

Criticism sledgehammer inbound!

I have to be honest with you. Somber is not your talent. I know you can do it well. You did an excellent job at somber with "The One That Would Never Come". I know you can do it. The issue lies in the execution. More accurately, this story is overkill on the heavy and the contemplative. The result is somewhat boring. Despite your great efforts at making me sympathize with Chrysalis, I never really managed anything much more than a generic 'that's sad' feeling.

The characterization in this story was functional but not up to your usual merits. The problem is that there is far too much telling and nowhere near enough showing. It just occurred to me that this is exactly one of the same problems you had with "Too Love A Mortal". You're relying far too much on inner monologue and thoughts to flesh out the character. I want to say that it works here, but it just doesn't. I know that the story is all about her inner conflict, but it really just doesn't cut it. One of the biggest reasons for that is because Chrysalis is not a well-developed character in either the show or your story. We don't really know much of her other than that she tried to take over Equestria. Therefore, she still feels like a villain. There's no remorse for the invasion- just self-pity over having screwed herself royally. Wallowing isn't sympathetic; it's annoying. The character arc would have been much better suited to an active queen who went out with the subjects and involved herself in daily public affairs. I didn't get the feeling that she genuinely cared about her subjects. Her concern seemed to indicate that she didn't really care so long as she still had an empire and subjects to rule. Because we scarcely see the changelings, and therefore why Chrysalis loves them, concern for them still comes across as selfish in origin. In one paragraph, she's worrying about her subjects, but in the next one, she's commanding Skeer to go grab some poor sod and make them write out a letter for her. That feels hypocritical coming after her waxing endlessly over their plight. She ought to have personally written the letters. And given her courses of action, I find it hard to believe that this is the same Chrysalis who took down the Alicorn diarchs. That one was subtle and plotting. Yes, she was undeniably malevolent and sociopathic, but she was certainly believable as a leader. There isn't anything at all inspiring or clever about this one. She just feels too defeated and too down. I also wish that you did more characterization work with Skeer. He could have provided an interesting foil or partner for Chrysalis. Instead, he is a plot device. It feels like a massive wasted opportunity to have placed an original character along side one of the least-explored villains in the whole series and then not hardly even bother with developing him or using him to develop her.

The next thing I must criticize about this story is the plotline. While it works as a story of increasing desperation and hopelessness, it is simply flat throughout. There are no highs or lows or drama or tension. I don't feel any excitement. It's all just constant doom and gloom with such a confidence about itself that it just makes the reader numb. Why should we care or be invested when we know the outcome already? There's no tension or anything. Alright, that's a bit harsh. There was a bit of tension when Chrysalis considered and then resolved to write the letters. However, that lot went to waste when you handled all of that offscreen and just jumped between her decision and the rejections. While I understand how you want to do that to humble Chrysalis, it lacks the same impact for the readers because they just come across as a plot point. She was pinning all her hopes for the future on them and they didn't even get 500 words' focus! There is too much summarization and narration in this story. That's why I couldn't engage; there's nothing to grab ahold of! There's no tension because we never have any reason to hope to salvation, nor does the story relent from its funeral march. Now, I also must mention that you ought to have foreshadowed more stuff. And one last thing: if changelings can imitate others, then what's stopping them from just blending into other societies and going about their business in a less centralized way?

This is okay!

Your dialogue was functional. While it certainly wasn't brilliant or anything, it got the job done while staying within character. There really ought to have been a lot more of it. Showing Chrysalis interacting more with her subjects would have certainly solved this among other issues. It's just fine. It's okay. I do wish that you had shown the letters she sent out as well as the responses she received. That would have given us another chance to see Chrysalis from a more objective viewpoint. This fic just needed more character interactions. The ones you had were done alright, but the paucity of these exchanges combined with their formality meant that they lacked impact.

The story is memorable. While it certainly is not going to be one that I will go back to read over and over again, I will not forget it too soon. If anything makes it standout from everything else on the site, then it must be your treatment of Chrysalis as a character. While it wasn't a particularly great show, it still demonstrated plenty of nuance and thought. That alone makes it worthy of remembering.

The pacing is fine. It's not bad. It's not good. It's just alright. You spent too much time on similar and recurring scenes and themes. It got boring. The story also felt rushed as your reached the end, but it dragged on far too much at the beginning. The rather frequent breaks murdered the flow. In a story only 3100 words long, you can't afford all that many full stops. The number of section breaks shattered immersion and killed the flow. They also made the story seem artificially shorter than it really was. Your pacing is normally damn near perfect.

I love it!

I give you props for the world building! It appears as if perhaps you've been reading my works and throwing in world building whenever suitable opportunities arise. I like how you gave a sort of history of the changelings. Another good thing was that you remembered to include the races other than just the ponies in addition to how they felt about the changelings. I felt as if you had built a fairly complete world here, or at least laid down a satisfactory story of one. This sort of world building would make for a much better milieu story or perhaps one about the changeling race told from the perspective of an external narrator instead of using their queen as a viewpoint character. The rivalry between changelings and dragons was a nice touch. It added an element separate from the ponies and the princesses. The work you did when talking about the changeling race was definitely my favorite part of the story. In fact, I would like to see more of this world building type of story in the future. Many authors neglect to elaborate on changeling customs, traditions, and biology. I liked the bit about why they need to steal love from other races. It certainly made their plight seem more dire and tangible, as well as turned them from beasts into beings. Admittedly, this world building did make me care about the changelings on the whole. Their biology added a highly element of This story should've been about the decline of their civilization in the fallout from the Canterlot fiasco. Perhaps they shouldn't have been so quickly and easily driven to the brink of extinction. I also like how you talked about there being a southern arctic. It rams home the idea that Equestria is set on a planet quickly and elegantly, as well as giving the reader the idea that it really is a big place. After all, if the ponies have a frozen North, then it must be a very long way to the frozen South.

The ending was brilliant. While it makes me want to beg for a sequel or a continuation, I think that your story accomplished its objective and therefore should be left as a oneshot. Leaving it up for the reader to interpret the ending and decide for themselves is a risky gambit, but it worked here. You continue your tradition of having brilliant endings. And even though it felt somewhat awkwardly cut short, it made sense and stopped at a key juncture in the narrative.

As always, your mechanics earn full marks. That's all I really have to say about that.

This story was damn good. However, it had a number of what struck me as being flaws. While none of them were really painful or horrible in their own right, they aren't up to what I know you can do and taken together, they really hurt your story. In spite of this, the amount of things you did well was enough to still make it a very good story overall. It's definitely not your best work, but the effort you put in is apparent and I enjoyed it a lot. You receive 8/10 flutteryays.
:yay::yay::yay::yay::yay::yay::yay::yay:

CURSE YOU FOR ENDING THE STORY BEFORE IT EVEN STARTED!!! :twilightangry2::twilightangry2::twilightangry2::twilightangry2::twilightangry2::twilightangry2:

please tell me theres gonna be another chapter, WE NEED TO KNOW HOW IT ENDS!!

That's a heartwrenching picture there. Now I want to give Crysalis a hug... Damn you for stealing hugs meant for Celestia!

And because I very much prefer happy endings I'll be patiently awaiting the response letter. Even if you never write it. And in that case my imagination will eventually pick it up and insert my own desired ending for me - something I invariably do for most stories I like.

Well? Where's the rest of it?

2336339
That's what she said

It's somewhere:moustache:

2336440

Tell you what. I'll fave this story on the off chance you write a followup chapter. How about that?

Commence read, proofread, and review.
Let me tell you something: I respect few as much as you. As a result, this is a birthday present, and so, consider this as my gift to you: My complete review of the story, your view of changelings in the story, your view of the powers they have, their strengths and weaknesses, plot direction, editing, and of course, any errors I noticed.
I shall give you no quarter, when it comes to my Proofread and Review. EN GARDE!!! :flutterrage:



... “My father once called it ‘one of the many weaknesses of our strange species’.” – She’s literally quoting her father, so you should be using quotation marks.
… “Do you remember when I said a changeling could not feed off the love of another?” – The problem here is literally how this is speaking directly to the viewer. This never happened before, and it never happens again, so the line should be changed to reflect this. One example of a possible revision would be, “Regarding the aforementioned fact that a changeling could not feed off the love of another…” for instance.
… “Skeer titled his head” – ‘titled’ should be ‘tilted’.
… “promptly thrown-out and” – I do not believe the hyphen is necessary for interjection between ‘thrown’ and ‘out’; a simple space is required between the two words.
… “I—I, yes, Your highness” – ‘highness’ should be capitalized, as a ‘title’.
… “Many times I contemplated suicide to escape what I had done.” – While I normally place errors in this section, this was just a sentence that was misused in terms of its placement: This is a statement that can hold tremendous impact for a story, and you just casually tossed it in. What’s worse is that you don’t bother to go deeper into, what is at this point, her inner turmoil. This should have gone into much more detail.
… “along with the only other changeling that could have qualified as my mate” – See above for my lecture of the wasted potential of a critical statement, for it applies here, as well.
… “He was late. He was never later,” – Why ‘later’ instead of ‘late’? It doesn’t even make much sense with the rest of the sentence, which describes her feelings of discomfort.
… ““ My sincerest” – There’s an unnecessary space between the quotation mark and ‘My’.
… ““ However, there were” – See above.
… “more peaceful and understanding species” (referring to dragons) – Erm… Dragons are painted as being prone to selfishness and greed in the series. In fact, they’re even shown as hostile. With this in mind, perhaps you should consider other words to describe their species. :twilightsheepish:
… “one species you have not asked for aid yet” – There should be ‘from’ inserted between ‘aid’ and ‘yet’.



… That is all. Now it’s time to address the story itself.

The pacing was well-placed, though you failed to truly strengthen certain moments that had critical impact on Chrysalis. As a result, the story honestly came across as, for lack of a better word in my immediate vocabulary, ‘a draft’. Put simply, you had several moments that could have served to be given descriptions, insight, pure depth! Instead, these points, oddly enough, seem to be a means of ending several different paragraphs. They could have been more. They should have been more.

Next, I want to address your lack of environmental descriptions. In your ‘To Love’ series, you always had a fondness for describing just enough to keep me immersed in the scenes, but honestly, half the time I was reading this I just went “So where the *yay* are they? A cavern with a castle inside? How does she have windows or doors in a cavern when they couldn’t possibly find such convenient building materials in a tundra?” You described beds, blankets, stone flooring, and several other aspects that depict a ‘home’, yet then describe the cavernous feel of where they are.

Yes, I know that caverns can have homes built into it, but for a species that’s on the precipice of extinction, that’s hardly a luxury they can afford the time to address: Homes inside of a mountain cavern. If you’re going to address their species as being too weak to keep everyone working, then you need to remember that they have to be treated as such in order to immerse the reader into their world. Just because you have the visualization in your mind’s eye, doesn’t mean you can expect your readers to as well. If that’s the case, you should do your best to address this so we’re as informed as possible.

Now for Chrysalis… :facehoof: … This emoticon isn’t for you, but for the MLP:FiM developmental team’s depiction of her. This is why she’s so interesting in fanfiction: They wrote her as a villain, but her ‘plans’ were so badly explained in the episodes, that the changeling race was never given true insight: “Do they NEED to feed off the love of others to survive? How do they do it? Why are they seen as hostile when they’re clearly a DEPENDENT species?”

Now look at their depiction. Now back to yours. Now back at their depiction. NOW BACK TO YOURS!

… Yours is awesome. :rainbowdetermined2: I won’t lie, I’m somewhat envious of it, actually, considering how it paints them as being much less of ‘an assaulting army’ and more of a ‘self-sacrificing species’. Certain words you used were rather crass, however, such as Skeer’s words. I’ll quote them:

long-standing reputation as stubborn loners who refuse aid

From a member of your OWN species to say such words: that’s… fairly harsh. :applejackconfused: “time-honored tradition of being a species who thrives off of manipulation and deception in order to remain self-sufficient” would’ve been much more likely of a description, solely given Cadance’s description of what a Changeling is, in the show itself.

The depiction of changelings was awesome, but you needed to really bring the reader into their world by making us ‘feel’ for Chrysalis. The problem is, she’s in a state of blaming herself, so to make the reader sympathize with positive results, you should have had her go into detail with recollections of the events she had been responsible for.

- What was her original ‘suitable mate’ like? Did she have any sort of attachment to them, emotionally?
- She contemplated suicide, but HOW? If it was ‘to try hunting for love, herself’, that qualifies, and paints her as being much more selfless, giving her ‘suicide attempt’ meaning, in the form of sacrificing her well-being to help her hive. Or did she just consider the selfish idea of letting herself sleep without covers so she wakes up with her chitin frozen and cracked, ready to be destroyed with the slightest movement? Suicide MEANS something, but how much, depends on what the author chooses.
- What were the days like directly after she had lost to the ‘Power of Love’? You explained her feeling of superiority, her confidence leading up to the invasion, even her complete faith in the plan working, but then it ends so abruptly that it sounds more like something from a Saturday morning cartoon… like failing at an invasion and losing an insurmountable number of subjects isn’t worth mentioning. :unsuresweetie:
- Chrysalis’s connection with her parents. This doesn’t need to be deep, but for goodness sake, give them discernible character. Were they power-hungry? Were they self-sacrificing? She never really explains it aside from a single outburst before throwing her crystal heart necklace. “You were wrong!”? There could have been so much more here…

I guess that at the end of the day, a lot of this story could have been written better: The STORY itself is great, but it’s the ignorance of the details and impact that certain statements or plot points that drags this down from being one of the best fics I’ve ever read (I’m positive it could be that! :raritystarry:) to being… something that I go beyond getting ‘not immersed’ into:

It literally makes me think that you can’t write emotion into a scene… and I know the way you write: You’re great at emotionally connecting us with your characters, whether they're original (Artemis), or your view of an existing character (Celestia).

When someone like me thinks “This author isn’t good”, and KNOWS they’re good, I don’t question their ability as an author. I question my credibility as a critic of their work. Maybe I don’t see it. Maybe I can’t see the quality that’s there, or maybe it really isn’t there. Honestly, it comes down to who I put more faith in: Your skill or mine.

… This better continue, because I’m desperate for an answer to that question. I’m pretty sure I’m ‘in the wrong’, though, because I’ve read your ‘To Love’ series… so I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt.

… Oh, and Happy Birthday. :ajsleepy:

Azu

2335791

I find myself laughing at your post, because of the things you listed are the same things I said to him as his pre-reader.

The problem is that there is far too much telling and nowhere near enough showing.

Next, I want to address your lack of environmental descriptions.

^ Did we not go over these Ed? :facehoof: I think a "I told you so" is in order, hm? :ajsmug:

Also that I really like your attitude and how you reviewed it. It's a very positive review, while still pointing out the flaws. :twilightsmile:

happy b day and dam :rainbowderp: 2336667 honestly the longest comment I've ever read

Put it in my read later. But I'm curious, is the title a nod to "Eden of the East"? The moment I read it that's what jumped in my mind.

2336859 I've made longer. :coolphoto: You should see me when the stories consist of well over five-thousand words; I actually cut my "review" and "proofreading" sections into separate comments to make them seem shorter. :raritywink: But hey, if you have plenty of respect for an author, why give them any less than your all as a reader, right? :twilightsmile:

2335791 You know, if I didn't take so much pride in writing my comment-based reviews, I would've just posted a reply to yours, with size 24 font saying "READ THIS! THIS GUY! THIS GUY RIGHT HERE! HE'S AWESOME, LISTEN TO HIM!" :rainbowlaugh:

That's it?
What happens next?!

2336835
@ Azu
Thank you. I've been reviewing his work for a while. I find it interesting that I'm not the only one to spot those issues. I do try my best to write good reviews.

2336919
@ ShimmeringStallion
Thanks! I aim to please. You write damn good reviews, too. You should see the one I dropped for To Love A Goddess. That was pretty damn long as well. Even though I always imagine the Zero Punctuation opening theme playing whenever I start giving criticism.

2337157 I can tell that we both want the author to improve because we know they're capable of improving. :eeyup: Let's face it: When you reach the "over 1000 words" limit in your comment, and you still feel comfortable posting it, you want to do what you can to help them improve, by providing as much insight as possible. :twilightsmile:

There's a difference between a thousand-word rambling and a thousand-word review, and it's the meaning behind what we type. :rainbowdetermined2:

I always imagine the Zero Punctuation opening theme playing whenever I start giving criticism.

Honestly, sometimes I play Street Fighter music when I type my reviews to get me in the mood for posting heavy criticism... like Juri's theme, for example: Booming and 'Screaming' in the music. :twilightsheepish: ZP, huh? I've got that theme on my MP3 player... Heh... It's a good song, but I'm not quiiiite at the point where I feel like I'm bashing the author... at least not yet. :applejackconfused:

2238591 I already knew how to pronounce "Noblesse Oblige" thanks to the Armored Core games. Indeed, t'is a title that is awesome. I will be sure to give this a read when time allows me.

2337361
YES!
Another Armored Core fan:moustache:

Wow! Great stuff there.

Azu

2337157>>2337187

Yes, as an author I agree that it is good to get reader feedback on the level you two gave, it is insightful and helps you think about what to do next time. :raritywink:

Oh and I hear this in my head when I review something in depth.

twilight.ponychan.net/chan/arch/src/132829081577.png

The dislike bar is like a ninja. You can't see it, but you know it's there somewhere:ajsmug:

2337739 As someone whose avatar is literally a sprite edit of Phoenix Wright and Lamiroir from the "Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney" game, I am legally obligated to say the following:

YOU ARE BUCKING AWESOME!!!

... With that in mind, please accept the following song, for when you want to really immerse yourself into a sad moment in a story.

... It's actually fairly good for when Chrysalis throws the necklace, and the immediate scenes after. :moustache:

You... You... This is the most amazing piece of fanfiction I've ever read.
Period. The best.
The first fanfic that made me feel sorry for Chrysalis and the Changelings. My hatred for the is so strong, so your fic just changed my opinion completely. NO other fic has done that! YOU ARE AN AMAZING WRITER.
I love the title. Thank god my first language is french so I could know it's meaning.
Happy Birthday :pinkiehappy:

You know what I hate most about this fic? That this is all there is. :raritydespair:

I like that type of fics, they always show same thing from different perspective. Sadly it was sooo short :<

Why is this marked as complete!? :raritydespair:

Happy 20th Birthday! :pinkiehappy:
Great story once again. Also 300 reference

“Mother, Father, you were wrong!”

:pinkiesmile:

Don't you hate it when u upload a story and it cuts off the ending? Yeah. Well what was there was fantastic and the flow was perfect. Did notice an error or two like u have "later" instead of "late" at one point, but that's good compared to some other stories. I hope there is a sequel and happy birthday.

Permission to write a sequill?

2339678
Sorry, I can't grant your request.

2339678 Perhaps if you spell the word 'sequel' correctly, an author would be more likely to allow you to write one. I'm sure he's quite flattered that you want to write a sequel for one of his stories, but maybe your attempts would be more fruitful with the use of proper grammar. No offense intended, it's just a suggestion. First impressions are key.

If good stories can be compared to full length movies, then this is like a very well done trailer for a movie that's been cancelled. It's short informative, and it tells you everything you could need to know while hinting at what's ahead; a short glimpse at something that could be truly amazing if it was more. Alas though it is just a trailer and so we will be forced to attempt to finish the story with our sad imaginations, and this is something that this site needs more of!:twilightsmile:

DO YOU WATCH EDEN OF THE EAST?!

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