• Member Since 8th Oct, 2011
  • offline last seen February 25th


Former author and proofreader/editor/fanfic troubleshooter.


In the capital city of Griffalia, Gilda leads a luxurious life of royalty—even if she doesn't care or know how good she's got it.

When she's suddenly thrust into an arranged marriage with the leader of another kingdom, she's going to have to learn some of the harder lessons of life, about family, and about herself.

This story was written as a commission for yamgoth, as part of the Las Pegasus Unicon Relief League Auctions. Tagged "Alternate Universe" because Sombra got nuked at the end of Season 3, Episode 2.

Chapters (4)
Comments ( 79 )

And BAM, Favorited and Thumbed, sir. Of course, I may be a bit biased. :twilightblush:

Christ, the word Griffalia still sounds so silly to me :twilightblush:

2481780 You are ogrereacting!

Any chance of a continuation?

I don't want to say "definitely not," but I don't have any plans for it in the near or distant future.

2519002 Your puns are way ogre the top

2519158 Like an onion, you too have layers.

Congrats on making it onto Equestria Daily.

NOoooo... over!? Unacceptable! Continuation, I demand it!



Because there are so many things hinted at which would make for a grand tale. What will Gilda's life in the Empire be like?
Does she actually change Sombra?
The political ramifications with Equestria.
What is Rainbow's reaction to hearing her former friend is now the wife of a tyrant and enemy of Equestria?
So many threads to be picked at.

True, but I don't really want to go all Game of Pones on this. I invented an alternate universe for this, but really, the main focus of the story was Gilda coping with something while tied to the four classic elements (Earth, Air, Water, Fire).

It was a one-shot commission, the commissioner is happy with it, I'm pleased with how it came out, but I didn't really build this story with expansion in mind (hence Gilda's in-character "political ignorance").

Nice to see that I'm not the only who's made Gilda a princess is one of their fics. She's one in my head-canon for a couple of my fics, too.:ajsmug:

Why in the world are there nocomments here?

Regardless, I really like your description of the capital city. It seems like just the place Gilda would grow up, plenty of space to push people (ahem, griffons I mean) around in. The writing is solid, if a bit to-the-point, but I guess it is by Gilda so that is to be expected. I kinda wish we would have started with something a bit more personal, maybe showing more of this city we are about to leave and Gilda'a place in it. I haven't read the next chapter yet, but I feel like there isn't much reason for me to sympathize with Gilda. Don't take me too seriously, it's an excellent piece of work. Then there is always the fact to consider that

Ann lies.

Please ignore everything I said in that first comment. This chapter definitely makes me sympathize with Gilda more, and really fits in some smooth world-building. Very natural and effortless.

Ann lies.

DEAR LORD SOMEONE WROTE THIS!:pinkiehappy::pinkiehappy::pinkiehappy::pinkiehappy:


I feel like there isn't much reason for me to sympathize with Gilda.

Yeah, that was a bit of a gamble on my part—basically, I weighed "showing her at position 0" with "making her sympathetic / likeable." In the end, I decided to go with what worked best for the story. Is she a likable, empathetic character in the first chapter of this? No. But this story is about her growing, as a griffin, and I figured that the only people who read this are "people who like Gilda already," so there wasn't much risk in alienating an audience by having her be show-accurate.

And heh, the gamble pays off for someone who continues on past chapter one. :rainbowwild:

While I certainly enjoy the story (I'd complain about 'Griffalia,' but the show does worse), I think my favorite part was Sombra; I've never seen him characterized much, and while you don't spend much time on him as a character what little there is seems quite intriguing. All in all a sequel would be cool, but as you've said you never intended it, so I'll just enjoy your story and thank you for writing it.
Also, Gilda is best pony.


I consider it less a gamble and more of a common courtesy. I hope you didn't misinterpret my comment as indicating that I disliked the story, anything but! I try to only critique things I like and appreciate, the stage you have set up here was well made, I honestly hope you continue this. For once, a Sombra who isn't a homicidal elder god. Or if he is, he can at least dance well.

Well done, I wish you success.

Ann lies.

Oh, no. I took the whole of your comment as positive. My main point was part of my whole "theory of writing Gilda."

Note: The fact that I have this theory makes me wonder about some aspects about my life.

But basically, when you write Gilda (or any derivative work that focuses around a villain, really), you've got two main options: play it straight, or subvert. Subverting show-Gilda (who was a clingy, desperate bully) usually entails making her sad and/or neglected as a child. I did that once, in the early days of the fandom, to mixed amounts of literary and critical success. Now that I've posted what is technically "Heart of Gold Version 4.0," I'm as happy with it as I'll ever be, but I definitely stuck to the trope of "give her a tragic backstory to justify, in her eyes, her own actions."

In Dusk-Lit Waltz, I tried to play her character from the show a lot straighter. I made her the center of her own universe, and I filled her head with ego instead of introspection. So she is sad, she is mildly neglected, but the main difference in Waltz is that she mostly brings a lot of her own failures down upon herself because of how spoiled and easy her life is.

Now, I absolutely agree that "making your characters likable" is... well, you put it great: it's courtesy to one's audience. However, I have to look at my potential audience when I'm writing Gilda: in my opinion, there are two types of Gilda fans. The first group is the one who's built the "she's sad and Pinkie Pie was being obnoxious / rude" fanon around her, or they do it because they're endeared by her faux "coolness" from the episode.

So, really, I wrote this story for that latter group. They'd ideally be endeared by and enjoy her whole "queen bitch of the universe" act. However, this makes it a gamble, in my eyes, for almost every other reader: by starting with bitchy Gilda, will I alienate them? Or will they keep reading to see what happens once she gets a well-needed call from reality?

I then put a lot of focus into making the story pay off for any "casual" reader who read on past chapter one; I get her alone with her brother, who cuts through her pissing and moaning like a knife. :rainbowderp: I give her a chance to actually talk to her mom and admit to herself that she's not only selfish, but she's scared about the whole thing.

So really, this story is my attempt at growing a shallow bitch into a likable entity in a manner that is organic and has natural results. There's the people who'll be put off with where I start her off, sure, but then I have to ask why they're looking at a Gilda story to begin with.

Anyway, thank you for reading, and for your comments on the story. :)

Cool story, thanks

it was over, he stood on top of me, victorious. There wasn’t anything I could do about it except be thankful we weren’t that kind of siblings.


I like how quickly Gilda goes from tough and untouchable to vulnerable and scared from the announcement.
Very realistic.

Wow and I was totally expecting Gilda's mom to be a bitch.

This damn good so far.

This needs a sequel.

Seriously. It would be a crime if you didn!0't make a sequel.

Am I the only one who hears Gilda's mom as Dr. Chackwas from Mass Effect?

I uh, was expecting more romance coming in.
Like, a lot more. I didn't have an idea exactly what would happen beyond maybe some traded growlings between Sombra and Gilda that somehow turn to romance.
Though what Gilda's mom said about high conscription rates and the soldiers being in barracks, WOULD explain why we see very few stallions in the streets.
I'm not saying that I was disappointed, it was a good fic, but.... It wasn't what I was expecting either.

The fic pic made me think some comedy would be involved.

The romance tag implies someone, somewhere, is in love with someone else. This is not the case. You might wanna remove it.

This is an awesome set-up for a really epic story and I hope you get around to writing more of it someday. But finish Evening Flames first.

To say that i was skeptical at first would be an understatement. but after reading this... it's not that i fully support the couple, oh no.
It's more like, i want you to prove me wrong.
I want this couple to work, as much as i don't think it can.
If you can do that, you are a true master of your craft.

Interesting to say the least, I'm anxious to see a sequel to this. I hope dearly that you continue the story but I understand why if you don't

Love the way you wrote Sombra, good job :twilightsmile:

Actually I picture her sounding more like Dr. Crusher...

Well done. I really liked your presentation of Gilda and Sombra (Gilda especially). I don't want you to write more if you have to force yourself to do it, but I'd definitely read anything else in this AU. :raritywink:

Nicknack, you've got to be the only author on here who's portrayals of griffins i like. everybody else seems to write them as 'grumpy pegasi with claws'

Ya've still got it. Been a pleasure reading your work the past couple of years.

Keep it up.

I can hear it:duck:...
Funny that we both heard her as a starship's doctor

sure is nice to get some reasoning finally. how long has it been since the announcement?
'yo Gilda we are just going to marry you off to this creepy pony dude who is an enemy to our allies, okay? Okay.':facehoof:

They might end up in genuine love with each other.

2519919 Huh ive always thought she came off as still being from a different culture and with different mannerisms, You can only really think of how squishy and soft most pony's really are. Think about it zecora looks like more of a fighter than most of the main six. :twilightoops: To say this ive always enjoyed storys about gilda and her brashness, keep it up im looking forward to where you take this.
Also i have a few questions mind you as I have time before work.
Have you made any ideas on how to go about her eating meat without going the boring way with fish?
Also I know this is more of a guess but if sombra practices slavery gilda is going to flip.


Have you made any ideas on how to go about her eating meat without going the boring way with fish?

In another story, I have her and griffins at large just straight-up hunting land animals from a nearby forest. For my convenience, I also call the species "mild omnivores," in that they can supplement meat with other (vegetarian) foods, if they so choose. That's probably one of my few points of headcanon biology that I just chalk up to "magic" as opposed to "let's take the best aspects of both avians and felines."

That being said, I would think they wouldn't mind fish. Eagles eat fish, and cats eat fish, so I wouldn't see it as that much of a problem for griffins that live near the coast (e.g., my chili-spiced shrimp "joke" in the first chapter of this story).

Also I know this is more of a guess but if sombra practices slavery gilda is going to flip.

Possibly. I haven't really thought out the whole "Equestria / Crystal Empire history" that I invented for this AU. All that bad stuff that Cenric talks about, though, was largely done in the past and around the time of their secession, though.

Y'know, even if this is an alternate universe, there do seem to be ties of some sort between griffons and crystal ponies, considering the griffon statues outside of the Crystal Empire's library... I'd already wondered about that, but now I'm even more curious about possible canon connections between the two groups.

Also, when I found out that Gilda was getting married on a platform over a giant magma pit, I found a tiny part of myself expecting Gilda to knock Sombra into the lava. Sure, such an action would obviously have massive political ramifications, but at least the crystal ponies themselves would likely hail Gilda as a hero, right?


2519144 2519136
I like to see a continuation of this. Similar to this story here

And still not done.

But, honestly, if you ever find yourself wanting to write a lot for whatever reason, this thing is a great set up for

Game of Pones

. Like, woah.

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