• Member Since 25th Feb, 2013
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Blue Cultist

“The soul becomes dyed with the colour of its thoughts.” -Marcus Aurelius, Meditations


Hollow Shades is a small farming and lumberjacking community, a tiny bubble of Equestria smack in the middle of the Everfree Forest. Things have been hard-going since the lumber mill was closed down by its aristocratic owner, and the town is slowly dying. The fate of the town weighs heavily even on the town's youth, with young filly Corn Crib of the Harvests being intimately aware of the fact things aren't going well for her family and friends. And then, a ray of hope comes into her life when she encounters a most unusual figure on the road nearby; a talking scarecrow, one that claims to be Lord Barleycorn, the King of Autumn, who promises to help her however he can. Can the two of them succeed in breathing life back into Hollow Shades?

This is a lighthearted story that contains lots of OCs and an original setting. The mane six will appear, but not until later chapters.

First time featured was May 23, 2014! I can't believe it! Thank you everyone! =3
Now with its own TVTropes page!
Picture was made by my friend Escopeto. He did a fantastic job of representing my story.

Chapters (48)
Comments ( 2051 )

It wasn't bad I honestly like it so far :D

Oh wow, that was better than I expected.

Bad game but awesome music kinda fitting with the title.

2466578 Wow, that is fitting! I actually got the name Barleycorn from a AD&D PDF called 'Original Petty Gods' which range from the bizarre to the outright silly (a god that can kill you with hiccups?). I'm definitely putting his music into my YT writing music playlist! :pinkiehappy:

This seemed relevant: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Barleycorn

As for the story so far: Good atmosphere and scene setting now just need to see how it plays out.

2469245 this makes me feel ashamed, I love mythology and folk stories and yet I've never heard of this before today. But I am glad that I have your interest. Chapter 2's on its way :3

Don't sweat it I only learned about it because the title of your fic made me wonder if it was based on some sort of folklore so I did some research.

Looks good, gona track and see where this is going.

'To be continued'
At the end makes me want more
So author I advise you to make more

In other words
Cool story bro
I await the chapters to come

2499028 yeesh, cool down man. XD
Second chapter's in need of a beta read, and it'll be up.

A summarized version of what I said would be a simple
Also if you didn't notice I gave your story a

Ya need a pre-reader?
I could do it.

2510131 I'd be incredibly grateful. But chapter 3 hasn't even been started as I write this reply. In that time I should be able to figure out how to use the doc sharing service on this site, so count on seeing chapter 3 sometime in the coming weeks.

Oh my yes,

I was a bit skeptical about favoring this at first but now I'm glad I did. I LOVE the trickster archetype and all the elements surrounding it and you've set up Barleycorn as an excellent trickster indeed. I honestly did not expect this twist AT ALL (going by the picture, I was predicting some sort of dark fairy tale or horror story) and now am fully on board with whatever you're up to next.

Keep at it good sir or madame and have a mustache or three for your troubles :moustache::moustache::moustache:

So interesting. I like it thus far.

2510177 so how often do you intend to update? I ask because your fic is being considered for our group.

2539461 I intend on finishing this story, if that's what you mean. My aim is every 2-3 weeks although I wish I could get them out faster =/

This is the most interesting approach to introducing a human into Equestria that I have seen.

Also, I love the humans attitude. I love the way he seems so confident and assured even when in doubt, but especially while making things up and the speed with which he dose it. I was ready to believe that he believed his story.

I also like the perspective you have spun on the Apple family.

Please, continue.

I am really enjoying this story. It is very well done. Please keep up the good work.

I love it! The scarecrow idea is really awesome! I impatiently await your next update!

2577242 Thanks. I really wanted to get away from normal HiE tropes. Hearing comments like this proves I'm doing the right thing. :twilightsmile:

Yeah this is one of the most interesting and original takes on HiE I've ever read. Hopefully you won't resolve and change things up too quick, like it seems that Corn Crib might already be able to accidentally discover something incriminating about Barleycorn next chapter if she spies on him. :rainbowderp: I'd really enjoy reading the current situation with them explored a lot more, maybe having him steadily help here and there and converse with her in his fun manner for a couple days. :twilightsmile: I guess Carrot Top's arrival is a sort of time limit that can't allow the status quo as it is now to remain for too long, but I can't take her seriously anyhow, to me she'll always be that one pony that said "We couldn't fit it all in!" and also tried coloring her mane green only to be shat on by a distressed Rarity (headcanon :trollestia: ).
But yeah great story, very enjoyable, just don't let it be done in like a couple chapters! :twilightsheepish:

This is far more interesting than I first thought. Very enjoyable and original, as others have said. I am eagerly awaiting the next chapter!:twilightsmile:

What is this doing in "The Good Hie List"? The rules say each story has to be at least 100 upvotes to get into it

2647009 It surprised me too. Although, it did make me commit to bringing you guys a good story. chapter 4's going through a rewrite, but I want this chapter to be memorable. :pinkiehappy:

2689495 Good, after having to make so many changes to it, I was worried it wouldn't meet anyone's standards. :twilightblush:

It's frikkin great! :ajsmug: Can't wait to read more, although my previous sentiment still stands (that this story's plot will probably move way quicker than I'd like it to, but I'll just have to wait and see, it's very interesting and engaging already).

"Corn Crib tired..." should be 'tried'.

Other than that, lked t. Also, don't know why keep gettng random italcs gong on. t s annoyng.

2690613 Fixed the spelling error, but I don't know why the italics would be doing that. :applejackunsure:

2690891 They pop up every now and then when I type, usually whenever I type the letter 'i'.

In my mind he sounds like a fancy English nobleman with a monocle, tailcoat, and cane.

First of all Kudos on avoiding the manticore cliche. Secondly I'd say this was worth the rewrites it's looking good.

As far as I'm concerned those changes and rewrites were more than worth it. The whole setting and execution bring something fresh and new to the table. You can probably tell but I love what I'm reading so far. That you are set on avoiding overdone tropes and easy routes promises great things yet to come.

Ooh, this is getting more exciting!:pinkiehappy:
I thought hey were going to be attacked when stepped in the forest, but thank Celestia you didn't go with it. Most of the humans in Equestria I've read starts off with that and is getting really boring reading the same setup over and over.

A delight to read, as always. I especially loved Leadfoot's reactions and observations of the scarecrow in the room.
It's such a nice change of pace to see a human in Equestria being this sensible and approach problems with such a level of common sense. I do wonder if we will see more of Cherry Nova in future chapters. Seems to me you are setting something up here.

I did find this one typo here. Guess you were running low on coffee at that point.
"Climbing onto one of the one comfortable cot"

2800760 Fixed. :pinkiehappy:
You'll see more of him, and why he's acting so bitter.

Dang, from the ponies' perspective Barleycorn might be scary as heck. I just imagined it: some hairless, sharp-toothed demon hiding in a scarecrow. Adjusted for a human's perspective, that would need to be some skinless dude with jagged-ass teeth like a shark's, and probably incredibly skinny. Wearing a hoodie that conceals everything but his mouth. I don't think I'd trust such a creature even if he acted innocently and politely. :raritydespair:

This was fun to read. I'm finding myself liking Barleycorn more and more. He's just so different from stereotypical humans in Equestria.

I'm just waiting for the day Barleycorn keeps getting interrupted in a conversation by that one crow who doesn't give a damn. To the point where Barleycorn grabs a piece of corn and uses it as a throwing knife getting a nice headshot.

Alas, only in my bored imagination can this happen

2801094 I have to agree. Thankfully, Leadfoot and Corn Crib aren't us, right? :twilightsmile:

2803699 Yeah they are apparently either really brave, or horrific demon-like creatures are nothing new in their corner of the world... :pinkiecrazy:

2804468 Don't know what that is but the mouth is pretty close to what I imagined. Now if the eyes and practically all of the showing skin were covered, it'd be just exactly it. Imagine a mindset which should have to trust such a being. :rainbowderp:

2806144 What you brought to mind for me was more... Lovecraftian.

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