• Story: Heart of Gold, Feathers of Steel (Update Story 4!!)


    [Sad]


    Author: Nicknack
    Description:  Friendship lasts forever.

    Right?

    Three years ago, Gilda and Rainbow Dash became fast friends at Junior Speedsters' Flight Camp. Time took its toll, though, and the pair drifted apart.

    When Gilda tries to reconnect with her not-so-long lost friend, she'll discover that things can change a pony after three years: a new home, new job, and new friends.
    Heart of Gold, Feathers of Steel
    Summer Days
    Evening Flames
    August Fifteenth (New!)

    540 comments:

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Looking forward to the rest. Well, sort of. For the sake of reading a good story, yes. For seeing what is likely a rather heartbreaking experience for our friendly neighborhood griffon, not as much.

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    3. *Glares*
      *Snaps fingers menacingly*
      I'm watching you...

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    4. It's well-written, and I know I'll be in tears by the end of it...

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    5. "I hated this pony almost instantly. Her voice was grating. From what she was wearing, I could only guess that she thought she was funny, and that she didn’t take herself seriously at all. I wanted nothing more to do with her. I hoped that Dash also wanted to avoid this pony; I couldn’t imagine what it would be like having to spend the whole day someone like that..."

      Well Gilda, I've got some bad news...

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    6. @Anonymous

      Well, now... if I've got the time right, I'd say that they're meeting at around 11:00AM, and that the party takes place around 1:00PM. Therefore, it's not the whole day...

      I kid, I kid. I debated whether or not to even put in the foreshadowing because everyone knows what's about to happen...

      Thank you everyone so far for the positive comments; this was very fun to write, so I'm glad that it's also fun to read. I'm a bit busy this upcoming weekend, but I'll try and be done with Chapter 3 by Monday. :)

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    7. Why isn't anypony reading this? It's been up for like an hour now, you'd think it'd get some more attention!

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    8. LOL, I love this pic of Gilda...she's got such a disinterested Garfield look.

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    9. @Nick

      Even known foreshadowing is good. It makes the story feel realer, if that makes sense. Gilda has no idea whats in store for her afterall so her general feeling about Pinkie ought to have some mention.

      Good job, I feel like I'm in a total minority when it comes to actually liking the Gilda character (everyone else seems to despise her...something about making Fluttershy cry) enough to want to see her again. Look forward to the next installment.

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    10. I can actually see Gilda hating mondays.

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    11. Psht, griffags.

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    12. @Anonymous
      I did loathe Gilda for a while for making Fluttershy cry, but she's made up for it since. Still, that's one of the unspoken rules: nobody makes Fluttershy cry and gets away with it.

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    13. @Nick

      So, Pinkie Pie goes from meeting Gilda, to suspecting that she's a jerk, to talking to Twilight about her suspicions, to seeing evidence of Gilda's jerkiness, to setting up and throwing an entire party for her...

      In under two hours.

      Pinkie is FAST.

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    15. Understanding breeds empathy. The more of these Gilda fics I read the more and more I like her.

      but i will NEVER forgive her for making Fluttershy cry. EVER.

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    16. I hope to see Gilda again, but until then, I guess this'll have to do. :D

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    17. Hmph. Considering the events of this story I can empathize with Gilda, but she's still a jerk. I look forward to seeing what happens from her point of view.

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    18. Everyone hates Gilda for making Fluttershy cry, but does anyone know how easy that is? You could make her well up almost accidentally .

      I honestly feel pretty bad for Gilda. Few people are jerk-asses just for the sake of being a jerk-ass.

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    19. Gilda is an interesting character.
      Yes, we can call her jerk.
      But even being jerk have it`s own reasons. And Gilda surely have her reasons for jerkness. Because at least in Equestria (or how I should call world, where Equestria is) sentient being must be initially good
      I have some versions of Gilda`s motivation, but don`t have time to develop them

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    20. No one knows what it's like
      To be the bad griffin
      To be the sad griffin
      Behind gold eyes

      No one knows what it's like
      To be hated
      To be fated
      To bully Fluttershy

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    21. @AnonymousHmm... maybe it was a bit longer after all. It shouldn't matter in the end; I'm not sticking to a schedule of times, but events.

      Then again, Pinkie Pie is basically the god of partying... but like I said, I probably won't bring much of "this paragraph takes place between the hours of 2:00 and 3:00" into this.

      @<a href="#c6572543481963942022>Anonymous</a>That was short, but sweet. :)

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    22. Sorry I'm late

      I'm always happy when there is a Gilda story, and I was starting to think I would never see the day when there will be another one!

      Can't wait for the rest

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    23. Gilda fic! There can never be enough Gilda fic. This is shaping up to be beautiful, in the painful and sad way. (And honestly, her reaction to Pinkie makes sense in context- she's trying to reunite with a friend, and there's this very annoying pony that keeps trying to butt in and won't give them time. Pinkie was honestly inconsiderate in the episode.)

      Besides, I'll take Gilda over the lame and snotty Trixie any day. ;)

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    24. This is really great. Makes me really appreciate Gilda. I can't wait to see where this goes.

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    25. I didn't like Gilda when I first watched her episode, but, after reading a few Gilda fics, especially this one, I now feel empathy for her. This is very well-written and I hope you can update it ASAP. <3 Gilda... I know I'd try to befriend her and heal whatever hurts her... The poor, poor gryphon...

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    26. Yeah... The first two chapters were good enough. And I like that you take time to explain why Gilda hates Pinkie right away in chapter 3. But now you are just trying a bit to hard to make her likeable in my opinion.

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    27. @BareeThat's a bit concerning... I'm not going for straight-up likability; I'm more aiming for sympathetic. Can you give some specific examples of what you're talking about? I'm not going to try to refute them or anything; it's just this chapter is the halfway point of the fic, so if I need to start fixing something, there's still time.

      If it seems I'm trying too hard to make her into a sad character, I agree that there's a lot more my version of Gilda than what was shown in Griffon the Brush Off, especially vis a vis her psychological condition.

      At any rate, thank you for reading it, and I'm glad you enjoyed the first two chapters. However, chapter 3 was sort of a turn towards how I imagine the climax of this story is going to occur; as a personal warning, I'm not going to be giving less of Gilda's inner justifications for her actions in the upcoming chapters.

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    28. @Nick

      She's hardly straight-up likable like this. What, with her fantasizing about slashing Pinkie Pie's throat and all....

      I think you did a good job justifying her instantaneous hatred of Pinkie. She's my favorite pony, but I can see why Gilda's so frustrated with her. All Gilda wanted was alone time with her friend, but she can't drop her tough-girl act and just ask for it. Especially since there's no telling how Dash will react.

      When you say you'll be justifying Gilda's actions less, I'm hoping you won't end up following the episode too much. We already saw Rainbow and Pinkie's perspective, after all.

      Also, I'm all set to read the inevitable, utterly heartbreaking conclusion where Gilda ends up alone and without anypony to comfort her. Not to mention blaming that devious, manipulative Pinkie Pie for everything (she's the one who convinced Dash to prank her!). I demand heartbreak D:

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    29. @AnonymousI'll assuage a bit of your concern; I said I wouldn' be justifying them any less... if anything, the opposite is true. In chapter 4, I spend a whole three pages dealing with the events surrounding Fluttershy. So far, it's my favorite dramatic scene that I've written; I'm really happy how it turned out (but not at the cost... FLUTTERSHY! ;~;)

      Stay tuned; I've got to revise and edit chapter 4 so that it's legible to, you know, people; depending on what the cutoff time, it should be up with the rest of the updates tomorrow.

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    30. @Anonymous right above me because the Reply thing is eating my comments today:
      I'll assuage a bit of your concern; I said I wouldn' be justifying them any less... if anything, the opposite is true. In chapter 4, I spend a whole three pages dealing with the events surrounding Fluttershy. So far, it's my favorite dramatic scene that I've written; I'm really happy how it turned out (but not at the cost... FLUTTERSHY! ;~;)

      Stay tuned; I've got to revise and edit chapter 4 so that it's legible to, you know, people; depending on what the cutoff time, it should be up with the rest of the updates tomorrow.

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    31. I certainly won't stop reading this story, but when Gilda explicitly has no regret for permanently crippling a pony in revenge for a cruel prank, I can't have any real sympathy for her any more. Moral event horizon. Whatever her background and motivations, I can't manage any better than a slightly ill sense of pity for her and the fact that she's so utterly broken.

      Maybe that line affected me more than most, I don't know. To me, that reads about the same as "This guy punched me in the face, so I followed him home and cut off his legs." The fact that she has no remorse makes it seem like she intended that to be the result.

      The insta-hate for Pinkie seems to support that idea. I mean instant dislike I can buy, but immediate seething hatred is an incredibly strong reaction for somebody you just met.

      I would really suggest making the injury temporary or have gilda feel bad that she did more damage than she had meant to.

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    32. @Escher

      I read it more as a cultural difference--we also establish in the chapter that griffon pranks "usually ended with one or both members as a bloody mess." I figured that Gilda was responding in what, from her society's perspective, was a perfectly reasonable manner. That might or might not make a difference to you, but I can't hate her for it any more than I can, say, hate people who owned slaves or who ordered mass crucifixions at times when those acts were considered justifiable. I may not condone those acts, but I try not to pass moral judgement in such cases.

      In any case, I'm looking forward to future chapters. Keep writing, Nick!

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    33. @Chris You pretty much hit it on the nose. Well, considering the topic at hand, perhaps that's a poor word choice. I'd only add that Gilda is a bit emotionally retarded, in that her emotional age seems to lag behind what would be "normal" for a griffin, or even a pegasus, of the same age.

      I have a MUCH more verbose backstory than I'm going to be able to put into this story effectively: this is about Gilda's visit to Ponyville, not Gilda's five hour flashback to just HOW bad her life has been up to this point. If it helps my case at all, just know that that wasn't the first time that that particular pegasus pulled a prank on Gilda or Dash. I'll completely admit that Gilda was wrong; however, at the time, she didn't know enough about friendship or life in general to know just how drastic the consequences were.

      Chapter 4 is coming up tonight, but I'm not giving too much away by bringing up something that comes from it: Gilda learns firsthand what it's like to be beaten within an inch of her life. She didn't lose her ability to fly, though, because griffins are better built for flying than pegasus ponies are.

      I'm toying with the idea of just ripping off Junior Speedsters Forever (a great fic if you haven't read it), but I'm not sure how well I'd be able to build a summer camp. Also, I'm worried that it'll just end up as "I'm happy! I'm sad! I'm happy again!," which is difficult to write without it becoming over-the-top and cheesy. I hated having to keep the flashback to Junior Speedster's short; however, I felt that the three seconds that Gilda stood there staring at Pinkie Pie was running a bit long as it is.

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    34. @Chris
      I don't think that makes any real difference. Like I said, it doesn't matter what her background or motivations are at this point -- horrible father, ultraviolent culture, whatever. This is not about moral relativism. At the point where the main character happily cripples another character, I can't muster sympathy for them any more.

      Writing about culture with extremely diffent values from the reader always runs a serious risk of alienating the audience. The culture is a reason but not an excuse, and even if they intellectually understand, you have at that point lost the emotional investment.

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    35. ^ Note that this is the reason movies with pirate protagonists will loot, pillage, and occasionally burn, but never rape. It might be historically accurate that pirates did that, but you can't have the heroes involved in it or you lose the audience.

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    36. @Escher

      Y'all are just mad that gilda took that filly to school.

      Actually... she sent her out of school...
      with crippled wings...
      but you get the idea.

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    37. @Escher Would it help you if she felt bad about it now? I'm not changing how she reacted when she was younger, however, this discussion has made me think of a particular spot in the story where it would fit for her to think a bit more deeply on the matter.

      I'm going to do it either way; I'm just interested in your opinion on the matter.

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    38. @Escher

      I would argue that the fact that movies with pirate protagonists, save those aimed at the youngest of audiences, are perfectly willing to show cold-blooded murder but draw the line at rape indicates that the problem is not cultural dissonance, but America's (and to a lesser extent, the rest of the world's) profound discomfort addressing all things sexual. That's neither here nor there, however.

      I don't disagree with your main point; that some people are unwilling or unable to emotionally invest in a character with a worldview which differs significantly from theirs. However, I believe there are many of us who are equally offended by the opposite, when modern values are inexplicably imposed on historical characters. I cannot tell you how many times I've cringed at the introduction of the plucky female lead in a film set during medieval times. You know the type I'm referring to, the one who refuses to wear a corset and wants to marry the man she loves, not whomever her father tells her to (but who invariably becomes the docile and submissive hanger-on to the lead by the end of the movie, ironically). The situation in the story isn't really analogous to any of our examples, in any case; questions of historical accuracy don't really apply to MLP fanfics.

      Regardless, I understand that you don't feel that you can relate on an emotional level to someone who willfully and deliberately acts in an immoral manner (as immorality is collectively understood today). Although I fear that my posts will be construed as attacking that position, let me assure you that I do not consider that an unreasonable or unenlightened attitude to have. I, however, find that the use of cultural dissonance actually creates a more complete, fulfilling character. It forces the reader to stop and examine implicit assumptions about the character, their motivations, and their ethos.

      To site one example that particularly resonated with me, I read Graves's 'I, Claudius' and 'Claudius the God' at a fairly young age. As the story is told from Claudius's point of view, he naturally comes across as very sympathetic. Then he begins ordering mass executions and invading provinces for no better reason that to keep the people of Rome complacent. The fact that he does so without any hand-wringing, without even bothering to justify his actions (why WOULD he have to justify them, if he didn't consider them wrong?) made the story much more powerful, and gave me a far better understanding of the character both intellectually and emotionally, than had those sections been excised.

      tl;dr: I understand what you're saying, and agree that some audience members are turned off by unaddressed displays of non-contemporary values, but other readers find well-handled cultural dissonance to give strength and interest to a story.

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    39. You know, from what I've seen insofar, it seems like Gilda is a textbook Sociopath. Sociopaths aren't inherently evil, the condition is to be cut off from one's conscience by past events. I.e. Exactly what we're seeing here. I wouldn't put it past anyone to instantly hate someone like pinkie pie, especially with the whole painted-pink-"dyke" thing.

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    40. @Nick
      I'm not sure how it would work to try to recover from that later; for me at least, I hit that line and it was like "Oh, /god/!" and had an instant mental recoil away from the character. Softening that reaction would require some kind of fix at that moment in the story.

      Let me see.

      This is kind of subtle, but it might be a problem of the tense; if the "no regret" line were more clearly in the past perfect tense, I think it could help.

      That is to say: "The only regret that I felt was over Dash being grilled over something she hadn’t done..."

      Changing that to: "At the time, the only regret that I felt was over Dash being grilled over something she hadn’t done..."

      ...suggests that her feelings have changed in the meantime. As written, it suggests she had no remorse at the time, and still doesn't.

      @Chris
      It's not sex that's the issue at hand; James Bond can tumble every girl he comes across and it won't throw the audience out of the movie. Let him drag a girl into the bedroom while she's shrieking for help, and nobody is going to cheer for him no matter what he does after that.

      You'll get exactly the same result if you have the "hero" walk up and shoot a guy in the face for no reason. Again, this is definitely a "your mileage may vary" issue; I just went for the most harsh one for the purpose of example.

      An yes, a well handled example of dissonance can be a powerful tool. It's a double edged sword, but okay. This example, I don't think is well handled by that standard.

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    41. @Chris
      Rape isn't so much America's discomfort with sexuality as much as it's FUCKING RAPE. It's not quite like murder where the victim is dead afterwards, or a theft where it's not as personal to the victim. The victim is brutalized, left alive, and has something stolen from them that may never be recovered. That kind of shit isn't a cultural thing, it's pretty much universal. Rape is one of the most heinous crimes in any given legal system.

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    42. Sweet Celestia, I don't want to read Chapter 5. I know what's coming next, and I don't want it to happen. I'm just going to pretend they talked it all out and went to get ice cream. Lalalalalalalala—

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    43. Ok... yesterday, it took 25 hours for my update to post; today, it took less than 12. I'm not complaining about either time at all; I'm just a bit mad at myself because I thought I had extra time to throw an extra few lines into chapter 4. As it stands, I had to do a "hotfix," while there were about 8 people in the document. I apologize for that; in the future, I'll do updates to unposted drafts as soon as I realize I need to do them, instead of putting it off for later and doing it too late.

      Again, it's no one's fault but my own.

      Anyway, a large part of this fic stems from the fact that Gilda is basically an immature person, and she needs to grow a little. Without giving away too much about the upcoming conclusion, I'll say that I'm not going to write something as sappy as Gilda and Pinkie Pie becoming gal pals, and then it's going to be the mane seven. However, at chapter 4's time, I'm trying to set up a character that has the potential, eventually, come to terms with the consequences of her actions and seek forgiveness. However; Gilda didn't get the way she is overnight, so I think it would be folly to suggest that she can become a fully redeemed character by the end of this day.

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    44. !Spoilers Ahead!



      I really had to force myself to read past the first half of chapter four, because the way you construct the story is so very incongruent with your stated goal.

      You said you aimed for sympathic rather than likeable, yet pretty much every rotten behaviour she had done either turns out to be a false impression, or fueled by previous personal injury and instantly regretted. I can deal with the tragic background, but what is it with the one-eighty of the episode?

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    45. @Anonymous At first, when I saw the episode, I took everything at face value. When I started to think about Gilda as being more than a giant bitch, though, I rewatched the episode with a bit of skepticism. The market scene is interesting, because it is definitely more open to interpretation in my opinion. Pinkie Pie gives what I'd guess that 90% of the fanbase considers to be accurate commentary on the events; however, if you just watch the scene without paying any heed to Pinkie Pie, you get this:

      1) Gilda looks over at the produce cart and Granny Smith with a bit of a grin.
      2) Gilda's tail scares off Granny Smith, and she surfaces with a bit of a weird smile.
      3) Gilda pokes a tomato and comments on its freshness.
      4) *CUT TO PINKIE PIE*
      5) *CUT TO GILDA PICKING UP AN APPLE AND EATING IT*
      6) *CUT TO PINKIE PIE*
      7) Gilda walks down the street, staring at Fluttershy. Fluttershy is walking backwards, paying attention to her family of ducks.
      8) They collide, and... yeah, I had to write it once already.

      Basically, I chose an interpretation that fits in, I think, with the character of Gilda that I've established, especially in chapters 1 and 2. Pony society is always kind of awkward for her to interface with, and this is no exception.

      I'm sorry if it comes off as me trying to make her likable, but at the same time, I sincerely doubt that Rainbow Dash would be good friends with someone who did those things in the market just for the fun of doing them. And honestly, if I think that Gilda did those things out of malice, I probably wouldn't have written this fanfic in the first place.

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    46. Poor Gilda. Chapter 5 is going to hurt...

      I think you're doing a pretty good job in making us sympathize with her, and explaining why she acts the way she does, without making her too likable. Gilda, as seen here, is a really messed up griffin.

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    47. Hmm. This is really stretching it now. I don't dislike Gilda. I hope she returns in season 2 (though I am not holding my breath). But to me, this is really starting to look like desperately looking for any kind of explanation for her actions. I can't even be annoyed about it anymore, its so blatant. At least that means I'll be able to finish the story, but I just don't feel anything for the Gilda you created at this point.

      But I see others do enjoy your story, which is always something to take into account. People have different opinions, and thus they look at things differently.

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    48. Gawd, this is well-written! (Apparently someone on Google Docs told me upon making this comment that Gawd is actually a gryphon from Fallout, so lulz.) I have no criticism that's not just repetition of the above posts. Definitely worth 5-stars. Still, can you guys cool it with the meaningful discussion? It's getting in the way of my pony.[/facetious]

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    49. I've found myself having to defend my writing and the logic behind my actions too much for comfort lately. It's not that I'm terribly offended by critiques or anything; on the contrary, I prefer them. I'd prefer 5 well-thought out, logically sound arguments against my writing to 100 people praising what a good job I've done, especially if/when it's obvious that I haven't.

      The first two chapters, everyone seemed to like, including myself. However, there hasn't been much said about chapters 3 and 4 other than, "I'm just going to keep reading this because I started, but I don't really like your characterization of Gilda." The whole thing is about characterization of Gilda, though; if that part is failing, I need to do something about it.

      The last part of chapter 5 and all of chapter 6 are going to be grand in scope. They are going to give a fitting end the story that I started in chapters 1 and 2. I'm very excited to be able to end the story, and I want to do it as soon as possible, however, I don't want people to like the ending in spite of how poor the middle of the story was written; I want them to like it because the well-written middle of the story led into it appropriately.

      So, after a great deal of thought on the matter, I decided to "take down" chapters 3 and 4 right now. I'm going to work diligently to bring them up to the level of quality, as well as fixing the emotional / characterization continuity.

      I apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause; however, chapters 5 and 6 are going to be too good to be weighed down with an improper lead-in.

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    50. A brave decision. I'll be sure to re-read said chapters once you give the ok.

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    51. All right. I've got a much more consistent mood and character for Gilda now. Meaning, that her character is both consistent with what I've established and the episode.

      Chapters 3 and 4 are back online; I doubt anyone missed them, but I apologize if you did.

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    52. Digging your rewrites so far. Chapter 3 saw a lot of improvement, chapter 4 flows much better and you've obviously improved its diction.

      My main concern with chapter 4 is that Gilda just seems too smart and too empathic. It kind of kills my suspension of disbelief when Gilda uses words like "cunning psychopath" to describe her father, when those words are obviously not in her speaking vocabulary. I'm sure she knows what they mean, but she'd probably phrase something like that much more bluntly, to match her blunt understanding of the world.

      I prefer it when she's more of a bully, stealing apples and making ponies cry for her amusement. It fits with the troubled background and evil father you wrote for her. Many bullies come from similar situations in real life. They give in to the corrupting influence of their surroundings inorder to avoid having to think the kind of painful thoughts that you gave Gilda in this chapter. The Gilda I see here wouldn't remain headstrong after Dash stands up for Pinkie Pie at her party, she'd break down and collapse because she knows its the truth.

      A more sadistic and misguided Gilda would also improve the way Fluttershy fits in this story, in my opinion. We know that 'Shy is extremely kind and courageous when it comes to helping others (think of the manticore from the pilot episode). So if she really hurt Gilda by accident then I think she would notice and probably kidnap the gryphon, with great risk to her own safety, so she could heal and care for her. Maybe give her a much needed psychiatric evaluation as her alter ego, Dr. Fluttershy.

      I don't believe it would kill our ability to relate to Gilda. She may have crippled that one pegasus, but I don't think I would have acted differently if I was filled with as much rage and loneliness as G is. Would you have let it slide?

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    54. Wow. Now I feel bad for my comment; I didn't mean for you to feel like you had to do a grand overhaul of your story (which is first and foremost exactly that; YOUR story).

      I think your alterations work really well; Giving us the impression of someone who's, among other things, spiteful and insecure, but not yet true villain material. To me, she's much more consistent now, and somewhat relatable, but I still feel the need to ask: Are YOU happy with your changes as well? After all, it is your story...

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    55. @Anonymous I was happy that I removed a lot of needless violence and anger, and instead replaced it with a lot of more Gilda-like emotions. Insecurity is a large part of her character, at least for something that is coming up in chapter 5...

      I'm definitely glad, though, that other people notice that she's more consistent as a character, though.

      As for feeling bad about causing a grand overhaul, I was already somewhat unhappy with chapters 3 and 4. I somewhat regret that it took a lot of people bringing it up, and that I hadn't listened to my pre-reader in the first place, but in the end, I much prefer fixing a broken story to leaving it broken.

      All in all, this is a learning process for me. I've never written anything this grand in scope before; of course, I'm not going to be perfect my first run through. However, I'm learning, so mistakes and fixes like this are necessary. In the end, I'll be a better writer because of it.

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    56. And wow, Chapter 5 is a long one. At almost 6500 words long, it is definitely a contender for the longest chapter in the series (it really depends on how long Chapter 6 ends up being).

      Part of this length surprises me, because I didn't realize how much time actually transpired at the party; there were two fairly large "cuts" that needed some filling. I hope I did it well; I especially had fun when I added some dialog to the party. :)

      Here's hoping it goes live soon, and that you all enjoy it!

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    57. [SPOILERS]

      Ok. I belief in being honest. So I'll be blunt: the way you write just isn't really for me I think.

      However, I find the changes you made helped the story quite a bit, especially the Granny Smith encounter. I also think the hoof buzzer idea was rather clever. I am no expert on electricity, but it seems like it could very well be true. The party wasn't handled to badly and it addresses some issues I have been wondering about since the episode.

      The ending of chapter 5 I do appreciate. As I said before, it bugs me how you sorta make excuses for everything Gilda did, but I like me that after the canon content is handled and you go into pure fanon territory you still maintain the double personality for Gilda you have created. And for the first time since the end of chapter 2 I am actually finding myself looking somewhat forward to the final chapter.

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    58. I'll be blunt.
      I cried.

      Oh, by the way autor... do you speak german? Many terms Gryphons use in this story are german, or at least a language related to german.

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    59. Well, I was wrong about the ice cream. I cried after reading Chapter 5.

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    60. I actually think Chapter 5 has done a really good job of reigning in some of the fanon that explains what happened in the episode (because I found several sections of Chapter 4 to stretch my suspension of disbelief quite a bit too far).


      I've found myself agreeing with Baree in a lot of his criticisms, but I'm going to diverge from him in saying that I think that the backstory you wrote really helps this chapter flow.
      Before it occasionally came off as a way to excuse whatever Gilda was doing as being because of her poor upbringing, but the interactions in this one mesh very well with the content that actually happened in the episode.


      I think it is partially because the humiliation conga that happened to Gilda during the party always rubbed me the wrong way (Gilda had spent the episode being a jerk, but what happened at the party seemed like excessive retribution, and Pinkie Pie's actions throughout the ordeal didn't help matters), but I also think it is because you are taking greater care to tie your backstory in to what we actually saw happen.

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    62. @Putuk
      I'm not German, and ironically, it was but a happy mistake (in that, I'm happy how things turned out, despite my intentions being wrong) that Gilda's ex-tribe uses German diction.

      The whole thing started because I thought "Gilda" was a German name (it's Old English). BUT, after I realized my mistake, I liked it too much to go back and change it. I added in another English-named griffin (her cousin in Chapter 5), so that it ends up like this: Gilda's mom is originally from outside of the tribe (which is part of the reason her dad doesn't respect her), which is a more English-themed tribe. Therefore, Gilda is named after one of her mom's relatives instead of her dad's naming convention (although she fits in, I suppose).

      Another fun fact that I'm not going to get to address in the story: the coastal griffins that Gilda's cousin goes to live with? Greek. I'm going to go a bit more into the state of griffin affairs in chapter 6, though, but I'm not going to refer to them by their real-world counterparts: Gilda wouldn't know what "German" or "Greek" means.

      @Baree Well, I'm glad you liked the parts you did, and that you are somewhat looking forward to the next chapter.

      @ToonNinja
      Ice cream, no, but for the most part, a good deal of the sad part of the story is out of the way. Now, it's time for Dash and Gilda to pick up the pieces of their friendship and see what comes of it.

      @TenchiFreak Just out of curiosity, was this the old or the new version of chapter 4? I definitely took out a lot of the Johnny Cochran interpretation from it in a recent revision. If it's still the case, though, then I'm glad that chapter 5 came across as genuine; I don't think I can "revise" chapter 4 any more without rewriting the whole thing from scratch.

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    63. What a sad story, I cried. I hope they show more Gilda in season 2.

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    64. @Stephen Cawking
      I envision griffin schools as being better than pony schools, if just for the fact that there's smaller class size. I also envision Gilda as sort of the polar opposite of Twilight Sparkle: both were studious in a vicious cycle (study hard -> less social skills -> less friends -> study harder). The difference is that Twilight's world is more supportive of someone that learns things in school, so her classmates try to reach out. Twilight is socially stunted, whereas Gilda is basically full-on socially retarded.

      As for her speaking in shorter, dumber sentences than the narrative (which is also her speaking), two things. One, she's smarter than Dash, and knows enough to keep it under wraps. So, she's mostly emulating her speaking style when around her, and ponies in general. The irony is that she doesn't realize how abrasive Dash really is, or that she has the inner kindness towards others to counteract this (it's not like Gilda got to observe Dash being nice to people all that often at Junior Speedsters'). Secondly, this is written in the past tense, so Gilda's already done everything here, and so she's writing it with a clarity that doesn't quite match up with the events. She also follows her own thought processes fairly closely, so she can better explain her actions (it sounds better when she doesn't know Dash did the pranks than to say "Yeah, Dash set these pranks up, but I didn't know it, so I almost ripped someone's arm off").

      The Gilda I see here wouldn't remain headstrong after Dash stands up for Pinkie Pie at her party, she'd break down and collapse because she knows its the truth.

      Spooky, because I put in basically the same thing into chapter 5 without being able to see your comment. I see Gilda's stuttering out the lame line about a flip-flop as, straight up, her trying not to cry. She holds it together long enough to slam the door, but... you know, this part is in what I've written, I'll let you read it.

      As for Dr. Fluttershy, I think that she was more concerned with her ducks, honestly. I'm not saying that Fluttershy's a worse pony or anything for it, but that she got scared off before she could properly apologize to Gilda (by Gilda, so it's not really Fluttershy's fault at all).

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    65. @Sun Ray I'm glad you enjoyed it (I think... sad was what I was going for), however, now I've got mixed feelings about Gilda in season 2. I want her to get some sort of resolution, however, I don't want to be that fanfic artist who ends up being, "My version was better."

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    66. It's amazing how a story can make me feel sympathetic for Gilda by the end of the chapter when she was this close to murdering Dash moments before.

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    67. Ok, Panel 11 made me burst out laughing, even though I don't usually like shipping. On that note...

      @Anonymous I'm amazed at how I often these two end up vertical in this story, yet nothing happens. Joking aside, I'm glad you liked it.

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    68. @Nick

      I'm not sure. I read it relatively soon after it went up, so perhaps it was the original draft. I'll reread it sometime today to check.

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    69. The end of chapter 5 really hit home for me. Excellent writing.

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    70. Just an update: Chapter 6 and the epilogue (which is like 2 pages long) are in beta reading right now, so I hope to get everything wrapped up and sent off to Sethisto tonight.

      At any rate, look for the conclusion of this story to be posted sometime tomorrow! I'm really happy with how things turned out, and I hope you, the readers, will be too!

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    71. I haven't read the last two chapters but i already know they are going to be SO AWESOME!

      You make me cry and i love that about you and your stories.

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    72. you are seriously talented and that was an incredible ending to an incredible series! great job!

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    73. Absolutely brilliant! I'm actually sad to see this tale of Gilda come to an end... But it was fun, sweet and heart-wrenchingly touching. This certainly is my favorite Gilda story out of all the ones I have read. Bravo, Nick! Bravo! I hope to see more fan fiction from you in the future!

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    74. What an emotional story, I cried reading the last 2 chapters. This is my favorite fic on the site by far.

      I hope they bring Gilda back in 2nd season. I just know she isn't the jerk she appears to be in the show.

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    75. did... fluttershy and gilda just get pre-shipped?

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    76. @Lost_Luna
      @Thesyn
      @Anonymous
      @Sun Ray
      Thank you all for your kind words. I really enjoyed writing this, and I'm glad you all enjoyed it. It really makes it worth the effort to see that others enjoy something that I've worked on. :)

      That being said, I don't think I'm going to rest on my laurels, either. Although I've got some issues to deal with, like work, I'm probably going to get right back into writing as soon as I can do so.

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    77. Awesome end to the story. Just bittersweet enough to leave me tearing up in the manliest way possible and with a huge grin on my face.

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    78. I was impressed with how you concluded the story (though I had trouble keeping track of how much time had passed).

      Dash forgiving Gilda enough to stay friends but not enough to allow her to come back to Ponyville (at least not until Gilda apologized) is something that seems well in character for Dash, and I imagine that it took some effort to write the ending in such a bittersweet way.


      And the Epilogue works well to try to paint Gilda as an eventual atoner, implying that everything will probably work out in the end.

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    79. That was awsomely written. The the background of Gilda and the gyphons was believable and touching, not to mention sad.

      Thanks for ending it on a happy note. :)

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    80. HEY! It´s all been so great. You can´t drop the story now! Wat happens next?! Wat´s up between dash and gilda? Come ooon...

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    81. @ToonNinja
      I'm glad you liked it.

      @TenchiFreak5
      Alas! That fell out during editing... anyway, she got the job the day after she left Ponyville, and started the next day. Two weeks after that, she got paid. The part after that was a bit longer than two months (trying to avoid spoilers in my comments), and then, the last part happened a month after that. Total length: almost four months.

      I added in a subtle indicator that I think clarifies this even more.

      @Anonymous
      You're welcome. I definitely like this ending the best out of all of the other alternatives, especially the last sentence (of chapter 6).

      @Anonymous
      Whatever you want to happen. :)

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    82. Well, I should probably at least acknowledge I read that last chapter and the epilogue. They weren't bad. I don't think I liked them as much as some of the other bronies, judging by the comments, but they wrap things up ok.

      The things that annoyed me before are still there, though not as much and not as blatant. I also struggle a bit with the letter. When all is said and done though, I was entertained enough to read all chapters. And in the end, as I've said before, people have different tastes and therefore different opinions. You can't make everyone 100% happy with anything :) There were definitely parts of the story I enjoyed, even if I wasn't always full of praise ^^

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    83. What's this coming out of my eyes? And why can't I see right?

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    84. @Baree
      I'll agree that the letter is a bit verbose, but that's intentional. All in all, I'm glad you were at least entertained; I can't begrudge you for having your own preferences.

      @Anonymous
      D:

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    85. I cried, not afraid to admit it.
      It's only once in a while when you get to read a story with that much emotion.

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    86. By Celestia's crown! This story is by far one of the best on this site! Every part of it puts you through an emotional ride! You FEEL everything Gilda feels, at parts I even cried with her. I'm definitely going to have trouble not seeing the official Gilda as THIS Gilda.

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    87. I'd like to see a chapter sometime detailing what happens during Gilda's visit to her homeland.

      Also stories written from a first-person perspective like that usually tend to irk me a little and I admit I almost passed this one up because of it, but I'm glad I didn't now. It really works for this particular story.

      Overall a really good fic, will definitely be reading it again sometime.

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    88. Well, that was a turn up for the books!

      I'm amazed you managed to craft a story to make Gilda quite so sympathetic, without rewriting her actions wholesale! The descriptions were fantastic, the dialogue was natural and never felt out of place, and your attention to detail, especially in regard to griffin culture was downright fantastic!

      If I HAD to give a criticism, it would have to be the last chapter, wherein it felt... rushed maybe? I know you had to cover a long period of time, but after the build up of such good detail the events felt a little abrupt.

      Anyway, five stars, no question.

      ...Moar?

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    89. As I said before, after Chapter 5... I cried.
      But after Chapter 6 and the Epilog... I smiled.

      Loved it! Great work!

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    90. @Sir Ginger
      If I HAD to give a criticism, it would have to be the last chapter, wherein it felt... rushed maybe? I know you had to cover a long period of time, but after the build up of such good detail the events felt a little abrupt.

      Fair enough. I think the problem here is that I wanted to get done with the story and get it resolved. I could've done a whole chapter on Gilda's relationship, and think it would be an interesting thing to explore. As it is, I'm going to invoke artistic license here to say that this is told from a future-Gilda's point of view, and that the news she gets in the last half of the chapter was more striking than her fling with the captain of the guards.

      @Everyone else:
      Sorry to not be able to address you individually, but I've only got 10 minutes before a 5-hour car drive, and still haven't packed my overnight bag.

      Thank you for enjoying this story. As someone who's always somewhat doubted my writing ability, hearing all of your kind words (and valid criticisms) has definitely been an inspiration to me, and has motivated me to not only continue writing, but to begin work on a sequel of sorts to this. I know it goes back on 'me liking to let you interpret the ending,' but at the same time, I've just had too much fun with this story (at one mail clerk's expense) to quit. I've still got quite a bit of story in my head that needs to be explained.

      This time, I'm going to do things a bit more carefully. Instead of jumping in feet-first, I'm going to write up character sheets and a basic outline of the plot. It should help keep things coherent and avoid some of my issues of pacing and having to retcon things (such as the number of Gilda's siblings; at one point, I had the number set at 9, which would have made Gilda only 7 years old at Junior Speedsters and 10 during this story).

      Look for the first part of Vermächtnis Suche to be coming out in... let's say two weeks.

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    91. I don't know if anyone else did this, but I just forgot the Gilda episode while I was reading this. I don't really care if its going out of the way to excuse Gilda (I don't think it does personally). It helped me read the story much better that way.
      This has to be the best Freindship is Magic fics that I've ever read. I really did feel bad for Gilda and I'm very happy with how it ended. Compared to the rest of the story the last chapter is a little rushed and there's a lot left there to explore further but for this story it felt right.
      I liked the end where it gave scope for Gilda to redeem herself in the eyes of Ponyville's inhabitants, although I imagine it would take a long time for her to do it.
      I'll certainly keep an eye out for any of your future works.

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    92. I just finished.... In school. My friends didn't understand why I was crying so much, they thought someone died. I love this story so much, very well written and good conection to episode 5!

      Please write more sad

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    93. Hey Nick. Scribe (L) from the forums.

      I've read the entire story and I'm really impressed. I can see my trust in you wasn't misplaced. Great work and I eagerly await more!

      Who's awesome? You're awesome! :3

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    94. @Anonymous I'm glad that that allowed you to better enjoy the story, but I spent at least three hours watching clips of the ten minutes that those three chapters actually cover, trying to get emotional nuances and inner thoughts working (as well as making sure the dialog I have is correct; I ran into a few discrepancies with the MLP.wikia.org transcript I used as a skeleton).

      Part of me wishes I had just done an alternate universe type deal, because that would've granted me a lot more freedom... however, I think it would almost go against the Gilda I was trying to create. I'm glad, though, that you didn't think it went out of its way to excuse her (unlike... previous drafts...); that shows a success on the counts of both me following the episode and giving an explanation, if not excuse of her actions.

      Take a long time to redeem herself? Probably. In order for the plot of the sequel to progress, I'm going to have to make her apologize to everyone (not sure how I'm going to handle that to be honest), though, and THAT process is going to be fairly quick.

      @D3ADKi113R As always, I'm not sure how to respond when someone says they reacted to the sad emotion I put into this. I'm glad, on one level, that it touched you and that I succeeded that way; on the other, I made someone sad. :/

      I'm glad you like it, and though I may return to the [Sad] genre tag sometime soon, my next work is predominantly [Adventure]-driven, with a dash of [Grimdark] because I like detail too much to mince words during combat. There's also a bit of [Shipping] thrown in during chapter one, because one of the main complaints that I agree with was the rushed pacing of chapter six. Basically, I go into more detail (but still not like a full date or anything) into Iron and Gilda's dating life, especially their breakup. I suppose their relationship is a source of conflict later on in the story, but that's more like referencing an event; saying, "that fire that burned down the town" is a lot less tragic than actually writing how it starts, progresses, and the people deal with it.

      Still, the sequel won't be happy by any means. It'll have its moments of happiness, granted, as will it have sadness, anger, fear, and every other emotion that I need to make it believable. This time, though, it's less of a depressing story that leads to someone getting better and more of a somber adventure undertaken by friends.

      @Anonymous Thank you, Scribe. I eagerly await being done with the first few chapters to the point where I feel good about submitting them to Equestria Daily. This time, I doubt any of the chapters are going to be any less than 7000 words each, which makes them quite painful to proofread / edit.

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    95. "Woman, control your child! I thought angrily."
      Oh man, that is pure gold.

      I just finish reading all your chapters and loved every bit of it. That is not to say that there are not a few miniscule flaws, but the story still flows seamlessly with so much emotion. I wholeheartedly sympathize with Gilda because she reminds me of my own social ineptitude, but on a deeper note, she closely resembles my older troubled brother. The emotions run deep in this story, and it stirs my heart a key moments. If someone ever asked me what my favorite pony was in MLP, I would probably say Rarity. But, with fan fictions like this, I would also add that my favorite character in MLP would be Gilda.
      Bravo.

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    96. It seems my comment from earlier got deleted. This is somewhat disconcerting, but oh well.

      @Anonymous
      Thank you.

      @Tricky Step
      Gilda's such an unreliable narrator at times that it amuses me. :)

      I'm glad you enjoyed it despite the flaws. I've been working somewhat diligently as of late to put together a better, more correct version. Other than general grammar / spelling errors, I fixed the pacing a bit, made this fit into my own canon a bit better, and tightened up the emotional continuity.

      All in all, I'm still putting the finishing touches on this version; however, it'll definitely be ready to be posted alongside the romantic sequel that I'm planning (it shares the tone of this story enough to be contained to the same Blogger post, so it'll be one huge update).

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    97. Wow, this story is actually making me...like Gilda? I always thought she was a bit misunderstood but still thought she was being kind of a jerk. The story is definitely believable in a sense, and I think I like the sympathetic side of Gilda. It probably won't happen but I hope we see her again in the new season...

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    98. I see this has now hit the fabled 4.9 stars. I find it ironic that I spent a good two weeks polishing and refining this story in a completely separate environment from the links that are hosted here, and during that time, I've achieved basically the highest ranking possible on this site.

      Oh, well, the improved version is still improved, regardless of the numerical quantities assigned to it.

      @KanaKana
      It's always good to hear that I've given Gilda a persona that can actually be empathized with. Even though it'll invalidate the plausible canonity of my work, I agree that I'd like to see Gilda return in a later season. Even though I've grown a bit attached to my version, it'd be nice to see the canon version of Gilda get better closure than "Fuck you, I'm out."

      On a related note, I'm somewhat glad that the writers of the show aren't allowed to read fanfics. I know that if they had to gather source from one fanfic, it'd be Junior Speedsters Forever; still, it's a bit freeing to know that the "My father beat me because our race is slowly going extinct" Gilda ends, more or less, with my own works.

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    99. Hmm. Looks like you changed the ending of chapter 6. A lot.

      Anyway, whatever. First chapter (prologue) of the second story. This should be interesting. Now that you don't have to make excuses for scenes from the show (or so I will assume), I'm sure I will enjoy this more. I have no complaints about the prologue. I'll just see where you go with it :)

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    100. Oh-hohoho! A midquel? Color me intrigued.

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    101. She's pretty xenophobic...

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    102. The new story's good; I look forward to reading the next chapter.

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    103. Sequel story, eh? And a rewritten Chapter 6? Cool.

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    104. @Baree
      Rewriting the show, scene for scene, was tedious work. I lost track of some other aspects of writing during it, but I think I managed to go back and fix them (I hope).

      Thanks for coming back for more; I'll try to live up to the quality level of my other extra-episode writings.

      @ToonNinja
      That color isn't in my box of sixty-four, but thank you nonetheless. It's good to see familiar faces coming back for more. :)

      @Anonymous
      Who, Maxie? Yeah. She's not evil at heart, just... childish, really. She's a few months older than Gilda, so she gets to act as a foil of sorts.

      @Anonymous
      Thank you; I'm working on it right now (well, in another tab on Chrome). :)

      @TenchiFreak5
      The whole original got a 'remastering,' but yeah. Chapter 6 got it the hardest, with chapters 2-3 getting parts changed around and 1 and 5 getting little bits of flavor added in. All chapters had some emotional balancing and grammar fixing.

      Either way, I'm glad that you're stoked; I'm stoked for the new story, too.

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    105. Took me until about a third of the way through the story for what was going on to "click," but once everything came rushing back I was golden (though I'm going to end up rereading everything anyways so I can be sure I know what is going on, and so I can see what was done to the earlier chapters).


      Anyways, what you have so far is pretty good. My memory is a bit shaky (has it really been nearly two months?), but the things that I was able to pick up on do a good job tying in some backstory for the behavior of the OC Ponies from Chapter 6.

      ReplyDelete
    106. One of my favorite fics? Getting a rewrite and a semi-sequel? This is what we call a "hallelujah" moment. Off to the reading!

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    107. Read the prologue, can't wait to see what happens next!

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    108. Great work on this. I really appreciated the German bits, being half German myself.

      Looking forward to seeing this relationship with the captain everyone's talking about, though I don't blame you for changing the story around. In fact, I think it works very well in its current form.

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    109. Finish reading fanfic, feel happy and satisfied.

      A few months later, the story continues.

      My reaction: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3ALwKeSEYs

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    110. Heh, nice Julian Smith reference in the sequel.

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    111. banjo2E

      German bit? when was that?

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    112. @Anonymous
      The main story, methinks. Gilda isn't really coherent in the prequel to be dwelling on her past.

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    113. Huh. I never thought I'd like Gilda. Then I read this.

      Bravo!

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    114. @Anonymous Good, I wasn't the only one to catch that. XD

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    115. I dunno there's...something about it. Something it needs...very badly, but what could it b-

      Oh I know!

      !!!MOAR!!!

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    116. Uh hello-same as moar up there.

      Hoping for an answer ta serious question now-ok so the window to a characters soul is through the eyes. Action is an afront to truth. Ok-

      Gilda, Watch here. Then listen to here. There a shifting there. but...if she's suppose to be faking happy some of the time according to canon-then no she isn't She's just as torn up inside as you make her.

      I want to know though, did you notice the eyes. She's happy and ready to spend tons of time with Dash. Here and there are a few flashes of sadness-honestly after re-lreading her, there ought to be more. She's Hot and Cold by Dash's voice, appearance, and moreso attention-but it's drawn genuine.

      You end up reasoning it out. Something has to be a lie. Either she didnt actually like dash at all (so why are they hanging out and why is she fighting for alone time?) or she's lying when she attacks- Oh crap...She's lion half the time....please hit me for that. I deserve it.

      Back to the question-
      Did you read the eyes or more just the emotion?
      Your thoughts on my extrapolation?

      Also, would there not be other problems would there not be social problems with a gryphon dating a pony? Taboo to say the least. Hmmm-i realise it might be part of the next journey (story 2) but I never noticed a passing word about it in 6-aside from Maxie getting a...peek-leaving any issues (fun or otherwise) of that nature out of it for now.The topic never seemed to come up. ???

      Well that's enough verbosity for one day, hope they were good questions.

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    117. @TenchiFreak5
      Thanks, and I agree, it was a long time. In the end, the writing process led to something I'm a lot more confident in.

      @Anonymous
      Heh, thank you. I'm just glad to have something to show for my prolonged absence ('two weeks' my ass, me from two months ago).

      @Skay
      Thank you, and I'm glad you're excited. :)

      @banjo2E
      Danke, and that one I know without having to Google Translate it. I'm glad that, at the very least, I'm not annoying all of my bilingual readers by my ham-handed attempts at creating vocabulary words in order to demonstrate cultural diversity between griffins and ponies.

      As for the relationship, it's going to be the single most difficult thing I've ever written. That doesn't excuse me from failure; in fact, it's the opposite: I need to make sure that I work as hard as I can in order to pull it off.

      @Anonymous
      I'm so glad that that wasn't Micheal Scott from the Office. "NO GOD PLEASE NO."

      Thank you for your response, though. :)

      @Anonymous
      @supervanman64
      I made this for you

      I like that short clip because of how 'real' their relationship feels to me. When I realized that I was doing something similar (adventurous brother cooking for a picky sibling) and that it wouldn't detract anything from the scene, I knew that I had to put SOMETHING in there.

      @Anonymous
      I said this to a friend at one point: "I like how they gave her no likable traits or redeeming qualities. She's like a pure bitch."
      It's not verbatim, but yeah. I've basically come 180 on the character; I'm glad to have shared some of that sentiment with someone. :)

      @Anonymous
      Hear, hear. I'm taking a bit of a break to respond to comments (because that's only polite, I think); after I'm done here, it's back to the grindstone.

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    118. These next few paragraphs contain spoilers. You have been warned
      @Anonymous
      To answer your first question, yes, I did. I also looked at body language. I'm not saying that your points are invalidated by the latter; I'm just detailing my process of writing. I watched most of the scenes at half-speed and I STILL had to rewatch a lot of them because I missed subtle nuances. The animators did an incredible job with a lot of details, and she's really a realistic character because of it.

      I'm a bit flustered at your criticism, and would love to hear more from you on the matter. When you say that Gilda's 'hot and cold' by Dash's presence, I have that. I might have missed a scene or two, but I definitely picked up on the fact that she's almost unhealthily attached to Dash.

      More importantly, you call the climax of the story into question which, frankly, scares the hell out of me. I'm definitely dealing with serious tones here, so I don't want them to come off as unfounded and illogical. My reasoning for most of Gilda's problems is that she's unable to cope with a broken home. Growing up, her older sister was her best friend, followed by an antiquities vendor. Now, fair, I don't explain this in the story at all, but I couldn't: she doesn't know the real source of her own problems. She blames everything on her father, which is fair, given how little information she knows about the situation. She has a sort of 'Duh!' moment one day, and sets out to meet her only friend.

      The day is a total disaster. There's a message here about how things don't always live up to your expectations, but it's especially true for Gilda. She's extremely cynical and distrustful of everyone around her (chapter two, "I knew that it was dangerous to get my hopes up."), so when she opens up to Dash, it's a huge risk. That's really why she's putting off telling Dash about her problems; she's procrastinating out of fear of Dash not accepting all of her problems.

      The main breaking point for Gilda's psyche isn't her explosion, but when she realizes that she's turned Dash against her. The little 'Huh?' is so simple, yet it's the sound of Gilda's entire world falling apart around her. Dash is mad at this point, but she's used to being able to get mad at people that can take it. I think Dash was expecting an apology at that point, but Gilda is not healthy enough to do that. When Dash says, "Find a new friend," that's the part of the sentence that Gilda focuses on because it's one of her greatest fears, and she thinks that Dash is calling off the friendship.

      When Dash comes for 'round two' of the fight, Dash throws out some hurtful things: some she knows are true, others are just her venting her anger. Gilda has been systematically worn down to her breaking point; she snaps for a split-second, but given her speed and reflexes, that's enough to attack Dash. The rest of the story speaks for itself.

      So, I'm not sure how 'she didn't actually like dash all or she's lying when she attacks [her].' I hope it's just a misunderstanding, based on the second part of that sentence, but still, I'd prefer to err on the side of caution with critiques.

      As for the pony and griffin dating, yeah, there are several hurdles they're going to have to face. I mean no offense, but if I sat around pointing out all the things that I didn't do right the first time I tried telling this story, well... I'm hurting for characters on this post to begin with.

      There can never be enough verbosity. They were good questions.

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    119. @Nick Nack
      well now i'm a little confused...

      read the entire original story a while ago but now, just as i re-read chapter 6 to catch up on what happend before story 2 i noticed the whole thing was changed, story is still great but now i kinda need to know how much you changed the other chapters aswell so basiclly i'm wondering if there are any other major edits in the story, or was chapter 6 the only one?

      great story otherwise! original, edit and story 2 :)

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    120. @Nick Nack

      Sorry if I was a bit confusing earlier. I don't tend to communicate very wellwhen I'm doing some of my research the same time I'm creating the response.


      I think a major point I attempted to convey but failed was that after re-watching Gilda, she seems fake in some aspect. the character is false. It's a non entity among psyches. Her attitudes toward dash and pinkie are so far out of proportion that in order for either to be true, the other must be false.

      On the one hoof you have the story you have just written-absolutely splendid.
      On the other you end up with a villain of such violent and spiteful origins that she and Miss Dash would never have become friends in the first place.

      While Option #1 makes the Episode functional if at times slightly flawed, Option #2 turns the entire events into a logical fallacy. In which case, "I CALL SHENANIGANS!"

      Now I will agree with you on one thing, Gilda turning on Dash seems ALMOST sudden. I had to choose to believe it but it was an easy choice. The regret afterward is proportional but the emotional biuldup just befor seems lacking. BARELY, but I feel it needs another intense moment. The flashback feels out of place-off tempo if you will. Maybe it's because it's written, maybe it's because we've been hearing about it for a while. Either way...Iget the feeling you were trying to show she was grasping at straws.
      It feels like you need one of two more sentences giving a thought to going home- like at least she wont be alone anymore, I just don't know how to write it. I hate tragedies where everyone dies but it feels like she should kill Dash almost. I don't want that.

      The level of emotion present is honestly a little more violent than one normally sees with friends. They'd be more like sisters (as you portrayed them) or else lovers.

      We keep coming back to two difficult problems any author faces:
      How much CAN I tell? and
      How much SHOULD I tell?
      Tell too much and you end up with no secrets an far too many words for anyone to bother reading in the first place.
      Tell too little and everyone goes "WTF? WHY?" and nopony believes-fuck I just typed nopony-believes the characters.

      The basic author/backstory conflict.

      On another note, I'm glad to know you do your research (you kinda had to when you adapted the screenplay) but I look at her body language-and it lies. As Pinkamina might say,"Big mean fake faker liar pants!"
      Which more's the point, she couldn't be who the Episode made her out to be. You fixed a Plot hole. Well done.

      I've just noticed the lack of the dating(as per the epilogue I think)
      FRUSTRATIING, It becomes so difficult to kee track of stories you've read when the author updates them and you don't have the original copy-my fault though, should have thought ahead.

      Thankfully you're planning on the continuation so less harm done than could be. I guess I'll be rereading the lot of them tonight to assure I'm up to snuff.

      Please do keep writing- I will be reading, and I will be thinking.

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    121. @Anonymous
      I changed Gilda's Jr. Speedsters story, too; it's in chapter two now and the story is slightly different. It's the same basic outcome, though; it just fit better and I made Gilda a bit 'cleverer' about the whole thing.

      @Anonymous
      I'll agree that her attitudes towards Dash and Pinkie are almost opposite. However, look at the context in which she meets both of them: Dash approached her at Junior Speedsters' after she had basically been dumped off by her family; Pinkie interrupts an otherwise good time, and is pretty annoying to her. Gilda's spent three years in exile at this point, so she's in a worse-off state than she met Dash in, even (and Dash was... mature about approaching her, for their age).

      I'll agree again that if Dash and Gilda were meeting for the first time in my story, they probably wouldn't befriend one another. However, she met Dash three years ago, so they've got the sort of 'friends until proven otherwise' thing in common.

      Hmm... if the full-reveal of her flashback is out of place, I'll look into it. Perhaps I'll shorten it, even.

      I can't give her logical reasons for wanting to attack Dash, though; she's basically crazed at that point. When she SEES logic, she realizes exactly what she's doing; cue realizing that Dash was mad, implying still friends, and then, regret.

      They were very close friends at Junior Speedsters'; their friendship was forged through adversity. I was trying for 'good friends even though some things are different.' Could you clarify what you mean 'more violent [emotions] than one normally sees with friends?'

      Hear hear about the too much/too little conflict.

      I believe that I've got the original epilogue and chapter six somewhere; however, they're deprecated remnants of when I thought this was the only story here. It seems folly, now, to think that I could end the story as it was, but that was my original mindset.

      Anyway, for you, I drag these from the cutting-room block:
      Chapter Six Original Ending
      Epilogue

      However, my current story encapsulates the original ending of chapter six; really, the original ending serves as sort of a basic outline of what I plan to do.

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    122. how do griffons get along with zebras?

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    123. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    124. >Grosfeders
      Großfeders D:

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    125. I have never once cried because of a work of fiction, but DANG this made me come close! I was totally prepared to start bawling. I gotta read sad fics more often!

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    126. @fishsticks
      I... haven't really thought about it.

      The Large Feathers (Grosfeders) would probably be okay with them as they are with Ponies (not 'bestest buddies ever'; think 'trade partners'). The Large Feathers are really the smartest tribe, in terms of how they're dealing with the situation of a dying race: they interface with the rest of the world instead of closing themselves off and they have an economy and specialization to the point where not everyone needs to hunt (but at the same time, you don't work, you don't eat; there's not enough prosperity for social welfare).

      The Strong Spirit (Sterkergeist) griffins are really, really secluded. They wouldn't kill zebras on sight, but at the same time, they wouldn't go out searching for them, and I doubt they'd come across one another. They're basically up in the far north, with very little around them other than mountains. It's no accident that the Sterkergeists have the hardest time just getting by. Their settlement is less of a 'community' and more of a 'let's not kill each other over shelter and just share it' type deal. There's a reason that Wallace got out while he did.

      The Sharp Talon (Sharfkral) would probably hate them on principal. Gilda's probably the more progressive of the Sharptalons, in that she looks at the GOOD points of their history as an example instead of pointing to the BAD points as an excuse for how to act. The Sharptalons are nested above a section of the Everfree Forest (that place is frigging huge in my mind), so there's enough food that everyone can hunt. There's a sort of barter system that goes on in that one griffin prepares firewood bundles instead of hunting; she trades furs for firewood, basically, and goes on a quarterly trip to get oil from the Largefeathers (who either extract it or trade for it... at that point, I don't want to commit to one thing or another because that's TOO specific). There's also her sort of female life partner who makes things with the furs and trades them for food through I.O.U.s and such. There's a bit less demand for her goods, so she usually ends up hunting as well.

      @Anonymous
      I don't have a 'beta' key. Also, just right there, that looks as if it's capitalized in the middle of the word to me. If I were writing full-on German, I'd include it, but as I'm making anglicized portmanteaus (and therefore altering things), I'll go with the one that looks a bit more English.

      @Click Clack
      Our names rhyme, and I like that.

      As much as I don't know how to react when someone cries reading something sad I wrote (happy? guilty?), I'll admit that I know even less about reacting to someone almost crying (did I fail as a writer, or was the sadness I was going for not enough for your constitution?).

      At the end of the day, I'm glad you enjoyed it.

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    127. @Nick Nack
      thanks for the info, i just see it being harder for griffons who hunt terrestrial animals, exclusively, to find substantially sized animals that don't have the same level of sentience as ponies and zebras and the like. i do like the idea of griffons hunting aquatic animals though, because fish aren't sentient.

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    128. @fishsticks
      You're very welcome. My answer about the food issue comes in three parts: one, the Everfree forest is huge and full of normal deer and rabbits and stuff. Two, the Great Feather tribe is coastal, so they fish; they're also the only griffin tribe that cultivates crops. Three, Celestia only protects ponies. Zebras and dragons fall out of her jurisdiction, so the griffins only have to deal with retaliation from the respective sentient non-pony races that they kill.

      They stay the hell away from dragons, though, for obvious reasons.

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    129. Anon Imus here again.

      First of all THANKYOU. I'm glad I got to read them again. Second I noticed in ...chapter 2 was it? that Gilda is still enjoying the eggs at that cafe as of my last read in gonflict with the new chapter six-might want to check that whole chapter over for typos-seems like its ready for one final fresh rewrite.
      Third-ok violent emotions...how shall I say this? Controlling. More all-encompassing.Though honestly having said it and re-evaluating this 1st person psychological narrative...I'm just not sure. As far as what I meant...deeper...more powerful. Almost primal? Needs. These races: Ponies, Gryphons, Dragons to a lesser extent (when young at any rate) need friends. They need the magic. It's what keeps you going. It'l like Pinkie Pie and the Rainboom. Suddenly there's a reason to go on and you can't afford to lose that. Lose it and anything goes...

      *hem*

      So! Why German?

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    130. @Anonymous
      Er... yes, the entirety of the original ending of chapter six is being rewritten. That's what Summer Days and Evening Flames is about. The eggs bit is going to be addressed, for better or worse.

      Fair enough on the emotions; the friendship was weakened over time and tested throughout the day.

      As for German, I thought 'Gilda' was a German name. It was a mistake, but I ran with it; now, all of the tribes are loosely tied to a European culture.

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    131. Sorry what I meant was the chapter wherein she is enjoying the eggs needs a bit of spell checking.

      Aside from nitpicking and splitting hairs about grammar and spelling, I think I'm finally out of questions for now. I can only await your next chapter-which I shall, EAGERLY! Peace.

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    132. I've reread all the chapters and noticed some slight changes, but the biggest was obviously chapter 6. 1 through 5 had was a bit more concise, yet I do miss a few of the descriptions.

      I am wondering if the second story is going to follow the old chapter plot line or change, it's great to see it continue either way.

      Will Gilda's family be explored in depth? Will Gilda make a proper reintroduction to Ponyville? Can a griffon and a pony effectively date one another? I'm waiting to find out!

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    133. @Tricky Step
      More or less, it's going to follow the original ending. Obviously, as it's going to be longer than Heart of Gold, Feathers of Steel (looking at 9 chapters so far), it's going to have a bit more detail to say the least. I'm not going to follow it verbatim or anything, though, so things might change here and there.

      To answer your questions, eventually, probably, and maybe. I'm still planning on penning Vermächtnis Suche after I finish with Summer Days and Evening Flames, and the first few chapters of that deal with Gilda learning, basically, 'you can't go home again.' I'm still struggling with what Rainbow Dash's role is going to be in the actual 'adventure' part of the story, but yeah, I think I'm going to have to have her do a 'flyover apology' of Ponyville. Not that it's insincere, she's just going to be in a hurry.

      As for effectively dating each other... love knows no bounds. I'm sure that it's possible for a griffin and a pony to love one another in spite of their different bodies. As for Gilda and Iron Bulwark... there's a tad bit more difficulties they face other than the cultural barrier.

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    134. AWESOME AS TITS.

      I'd like some justice dealt to this FATHER person.

      The only thing I can think concerning him is "CLEANSE PURGE KILL CLEANSE PURGE KILL"

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    135. Read the new chapter. Don't really have much of a like or dislike at the moment, it's mostly necessary exposition.

      That being said, I'm hoping the coming chapters have more than just pony prejudice. I mean, a few of them have really good reasons to fear Gilda, but it's ponies. They're really good at making friends, and most of them havent really been effected by gryphons as far as the last story explained.

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    136. Love the story!
      Even thou ther german words you use are pretty far off. The Large Feathers would actually be "Großfedern" or "Grossfedern" if you don´t have the "Esszett"-letter on your keyboard. The Strong Spirits translates as "Starker Geist" and Sharp Talons is actually "Scharfe Krallen" or Scharfe Klauen" (personally I like "Scharfe Klauen" better since it sounds a bit more poetic). There are a few more things off, for example "Verbannungs Suche", the words are translated right but they don´t make any sense in German together like that. I am German, and I would gladly help you with translations.

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    137. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    138. Now that I actually sat down and reread the main story, I suppose I got my answer. Probably should have done that before asking stupid questions.

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    139. @Anonymous
      Thank you. As for "Cleanse Purge Kill," the Space Marines would only function as a squadron of Marty Sues in this universe. D:

      I've got a few things planned for Garrick III in future works, though. It's probably not as grandiose as anything from 40k's arsenal of 'justice,' because, you know, I would like for there to still be the mountain for the rest of the Sharfkral to live in, but he doesn't get out of his actions scot-free, either.

      @Anonymous
      Fair enough on the 'nothing really happens' part, but yeah, it's the first chapter and I'm not starting in medias res.

      As for prejudice, I see your 'good at making friends' and raise you 'Zecora.' Ponies are good at making friends with other ponies, but there seems to be a bit of a cultural barrier between non-ponies. Now, am I saying that all ponies are racist? Absolutely not, and this will get explored in upcoming chapters. However, remember this is from Gilda's perspective and narration. What's she going to remember more: the 20 ponies she passes without incident or the one who throws a rotten apple at her for being a 'foal-eating bitch?'

      @wolfman-al
      See, I'm torn on this. At the end of the day, I don't want to do a disservice to German culture. I like how the language sounds, and it fits what the Sharfkral used to be: proud and powerful. At the same time, there's been some degradation of their culture throughout the language, so I don't want to have a 1:1 translation of the language. At the same time, I feel like I am doing the language a disservice... but at this point, I'd have to gut part of the creative process I've built in order to fix it.

      Why did I have to take French in high school? I nuked those griffins.

      @TenchiFreak5
      Perhaps redundant, but not really 'stupid.' Plus, I don't mind, I love talking about my story with people. :)

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    140. I must have gotten thrown off by the gap in which I read the first story then the second, but it seems like the timeline is all screwy at the beginning. It says Gilda was pink from a prank at Junior Speedsters, and that it took two years to wash off, but then the guards said she was pink at the gates. And Gilda is back at Farrington only two days after her near fatal encounter with Dash? I could be wrong, but I remembered in the epilogue there was a huge time gap, I think a year or something, I'll have to go back and read it to be sure.

      I'm confused

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    141. @Kisuke
      I rewrote chapter 6's ending to be something different so that I could give the original events the attention that they deserve.

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    142. @Nick Nack

      I did forget about Zecora, you have me there. I'm just hoping for a setting where Gilda learns a little bit of tolerance even as the ponies do.

      I like your writing style, but 5 more chapters of every incident someone snubs Gilda and her ensuing rage.. Well it would definitely paint everyone in more of a grim light. And if you're looking for that, cool.

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    143. @Anonymous
      Fair enough; I'll agree that eight more chapters focusing on prejudice would also be grating. Still, it's part of the 'new job troubles' that takes up most of the first act, so... it's part of the story that one way or another ends up getting 'resolved.'

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    144. Wonderful, absolutely worth a read, very interesting, lovely ending. I'll give it a five out of five.

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    145. I like it, but "she's the sergeant with the fewest officers"? What does that mean?

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    146. @Anonymous
      Thank you very much. :)

      @Anonymous
      My intention isn't to come off as a sarcastic douche, but: her rank is that of sergeant, there are multiple sergeants in the Farrington guards, and out of all of these sergeants, she has the fewest number of subordinate officers directly under her.

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    147. I love the scene where Gilda nearly murders Dash as a means of lifting her 'verbannung,' but then they end up reconciling in a pool of blood and tears instead. It was very emotional, believable and well done.

      However, I have to admit that I am starting to see this version of Gilda as more of an OC than an FiM character.

      Mainly due to the absolutely gratuitous amounts of fanon you've come up with. It's grown to the point where this isn't so much a story about Gilda anymore as it is about your interpretation of the griffon species. You should really ask to have the cutesy Gilda image up there replaced with this:
      http://ponibooru.413chan.net/post/view/33348

      I mean, you've come up with
      -griffon tribes
      -griffon school systems
      -godly griffon genocide (I believe Celestia killed most of their males?)
      -griffon armor
      -griffon inter-species relations
      -anti-griffon net launchers

      It's crazy.

      Also, you're missing a lot of golden opportunities to use the word 'dweeb.' For example, when Gilda gets in a bar fight, she taunts her opponents with a story about her family. I didn't mind it hugely, however I just couldn't bring myself to read it in her voice. Surely in a tense moment like that, she'd put up her old act again and be like "Any of you dweebs want to make a move? I'm right here."

      With all the revisions that are constantly being made, I hope the Fluttershy epilogue gets put back up at some point, I really liked it.

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    148. AUTHOR Y U NO PUT CHAPTER HEADERS.

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    149. @Stephen Cawking
      I agree entirely about the OC Gilda point. I mean, I in no way invented the 'sad Gilda with a troubled past' thing (and if anything, watching her actions and emotions in the show makes me think that it was a subtle point made up by the show's producers in the first place), but yeah; my griffin society and Farrington are definitely my own ideas (refined with help of my editing/proofreading friends, of course).

      As for 'missing opportunities to use the word 'dweeb',' fair enough, but I don't think she says it that often when she's "neutral."

      As for the dialogue in the bar scene, she's pretty loopy from the ale at that point. She's had next-to-nothing to eat for the past 48 hours, and it's not like she has a tolerance built up, either.

      The Fluttershy epilogue is gone from this story for now. Basically, it has no place here due to the timeline of the works I'm planning; that was a leftover from when I wanted to say, "things ended up okay for Gilda" without wanting to commit to actually writing something. The jury's still a bit out on how that's coming back (probably, it's going to end up virtually the same, give or take some refinement), but it now takes place 6 or so chapters into the story that's coming after Summer Days and Evening Flames.

      @Anonymous
      I... didn't think to, really. Like, the chapter number is in the title of the actual file; I figured anything else would be obtrusive when all the files are separated like this.

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    150. @Stephen Cawking
      As for the image, I like the cutesy Gilda that Sethisto picked out. It... works, really, for what I'm going for. She's got a somewhat sad, disinterested look (if one is to analyze it on that level), but at the same time, she looks... uninspired but hopeful. It works for the combination of the two stories, at the very least.

      This picture is what I use if posting Heart of Gold, Feathers of Steel on its own. I love it. First of all, the pose happens twice in the story and under two very different circumstances. That was my doing, to show that friendship is more than being happy together. Anyway, the first time I saw this picture, I thought they were hugging on the verge of tears. It wasn't until I showed it to my friend that I learned "that's Dash's mouth and she's smiling." I can see it both ways, now: they're either very happy or very sad. That's nothing short of genius on the artist's part (accidental genius still counts). My only critique of this is that the perspective is quite off; Gilda is barely larger than Dash (in terms of body size; her wingspan is huge).

      I figure it's cheating (using official art from the show when doing a shot-for-shot retelling of the episode), but this picture is also one of my favorites. I added it in at the beginning of Chapter 4 (more cheating!), but man, I love it so much.

      As for Summer Days and Evening Flames, I don't really have an image in mind (nor do I have any friends in the artist community). Based on the amount of OC locations and characters, a "general picture" would have to be a single-shot of Gilda. The one scene where she's alone and it's big enough to be the titular image, she's wearing the damn Farrington armor. So yeah, I'd have to get a custom image if I wanted something to sum up Summer Flames, and if THAT were a possibility, then the amount of options becomes overwhelming. So, the single-subject Gilda that's the current title is really the best I'm going to get.

      As for that Moe image, I kid you not, that's almost a perfect rendition of the opening scene of Vermächtnis Suche. I had a minor freak-out at first glance, because very few people have read the first chapter. Luckily for my humility, I realized there were several key differences between the scene I wrote and the scene Moe painted: the main one being the number of griffins; the secondary being that, if I could write like he paints, I would be a much better writer than I currently am. Moreover, all three of those griffins are 'bald eagle' style, which isn't how I envision griffins: I envision males as being sort of 'great eagle' style, and in the opening scene of Vermächtnis Suche, it's Gilda flying to the same destination as her older brother.

      So, I'm stuck between my artistic integrity and my hatred of cognitive dissonance: in order to make my scene match the painting, I'd have to compromise my own vision. However, to say that the picture is an accurate representation of my scene is also false; it's a great picture, but it was done independently of my work (sort of like how Italians invented pasta and Japanese people invented Teriyaki; both are good and came from the same basic source [hunger], but they're unrelated).

      And that is my rant about pictures.

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    151. I love SadGilda and am extremely glad that you responded so well to all the concrit when updating your story. I'm especially happy that you decided to work with a lot of it as well, and kept updating with all those suggestions in mind, even going back to fix earlier chapters. I've seen a lot of writers flame their reviewers after receiving any sort of criticism, or worse stop writing their stories.

      Knowing that sorta thing, I didn't want to comment on very minor errors because I didn't want to make you stop writing. Now that I've looked through the comments I know you're very good with constructive criticism and that I can safely point out a particular grammatical pet peeve of mine without fearing you'll take it the wrong way.

      Here are the couple of times I spotted it:

      Chapter 2:
      "At the same time, though, she was a hateful little pony and had deserved some form of retribution for how she treated Dash and I for the first six weeks of camp."

      Chapter 5:

      "Even during a fight she just couldn't stop getting between Dash and I."'

      ----
      When you're using the nominative pronoun "I" it must be as a subject of a sentence or clause. The usage here is incorrect because you are using "I" as an object. In these cases you should use the objective pronoun "me" instead.

      I realise that's kinda complicated, but an easy way to figure out if you're doing it right is just to mentally remove the "(noun) and" part of the sentence.

      "Sure, Dash and I had been good friends during that summer three years ago [...]"
      Turns into:
      "Sure, I had been good friends during that summer three years ago [...]"

      Which is correct.

      "Even during a fight she just couldn't stop getting between Dash and I."

      Turns into

      "Even during a fight she just couldn't stop getting between I."

      Which makes no sense, nor does:

      "At the same time, though, she was a hateful little pony and had deserved some form of retribution for how she treated I for the first six weeks of camp."

      I understand that this is Gilda's internal monologue and not a third person narrative, so it might be your intention for her to sound a little uneducated (Equestrian/Pony/English/Whatever the heck they're supposed to be speaking on the show is probably not her first language after all). However, even so it's just something you might want to keep in mind/fix in the future if it does turn out to be a mistake.
      ----

      Other than the grammar nitpicking I'd read this story before and loved it. I went for a re-read before getting into the sequel and found that a lot of it had been changed, and then went through the comments and also found that the old chapter 6 and epilogue are still kicking around somewhere, which is great. It's good to have both versions to compare as well as to get caught up on what's going to happen/what's supposed to happen.

      I found the show's Gilda to be a pretty flat character when I watched it, although it was necessary to have a straight up bitchy character just to hate for the duration of the episode. I love all the dimensions you give to her, and it's quite interesting to see your take on what it would be like to be a griffon rather than a pony and what kind of difficulties that might present when trying to integrate yourself into pony society. Even basic physiology presents an issue and I'm impressed that you took the care to incorporate that. I've read a lot of stories where the writers forget that ponies have hooves, not hands and that ponies walk on all four legs. A lot of writers will write about them just as if they were humans.

      Keep up the great work and I can't wait to see what happens in the sequel. I bet it'll be even better than the first. :D

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    152. @Anonymous
      Gilda's inner monologue is supposed to be intelligent enough, if unreliable. Some examples would be "granny smith apples" and the whole "Spike is Twilight's what" episode.

      So yeah, those grammar screw-ups are all me. Thank you, and I'll try to remember that in the future (though it's probably going to be "Iron and me" for the near-future combined objects of sentences >.>). I went ahead and fixed those two instances, and will go over the other four chapters looking for that.

      Thank you for your words of encouragement, and I'm glad you appreciated the finer details of everything. :)

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    153. Next chapter, please! (entitled reader ahoy! =P )

      This story is ridiculously good, and is all the more impressive considering the difficulty of the task you set yourself with the first selection. Your prose is a joy to read, your characterization of Gilda works better than any others I've read (and is downright compelling, too), and the entire thing is very grounded in realism. I almost want to suggest a Grim/Dark tag, but too many readers seem to associate that with over-brutalized (hell, nearly fetishized) violence and overwrought torture scenes... Both of which can be fun times, to be sure, but are not everyone's cup of tea.

      Anyways! Superlative job here, mate. This one's officially on my head's anticipation list.

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    154. I wake up a bit past five in the morning. I plan to just check a few things, then go back to sleep without having anything to really occupy my mind. And then I see an update on one of the best fics on this site.

      My only regret is that the earliness of this update may cause some people to accidentally miss it.

      This chapter is just as excellent as it's predecessors and sets the scene for more and more tension... I'm just glad Gilda is Gilda. She'll be a lot more capable at handling it all than I would. The perspective swap was a nice touch. Thinking of the intro, is this a device you plan to use often?

      Anyway, in summary, great job.

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    155. I had heard of this fic before, and for good reason. I couldn't bring any justification to Gilda's actions in that episode, treating her like a normal griffin. I hadn't even thought about how messed up she had to be socially to act like that. Great job on Story 1, and now to read 2.

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    156. @Anonymous
      Thank you. I was working on another work at the time you posted this, so it didn't feel right responding 'it's coming soon!' back then.

      I thought about a grimdark tag for this, or even a 'dark' tag (because there's new tags now), but... that's not the tone I'm going for. I am writing realistically, I hope, but I'm not really doing an excessively dark, violent, or bloody tone. I try to keep those at or below a PG-13 level for these two stories, which is why I want Vermächnis Suche to have its own post. It's going to be bleak, violent, and amazing.

      @Party Favors
      Heh, the queue was quite short today. No matter; people came and found this when it was on the second page before.

      I wouldn't quite call her well-adjusted yet, but yeah. She got lucky to find support growing up, so she didn't end up completely broken. Probably her biggest problem is a lack of self-confidence, which sort of makes her the 'victim of everything' in her eyes. She doesn't wallow in it or anything, but I will point out that the morning of chapter 2 wasn't the first time that her unreliability as a narrator shines through. Iron Bulwark is something of a celebrity wearing huge, golden armor. If anything, he was downplaying his role in drawing attention that morning, but she still has this 'Gilda-centric' worldview that made her thing, 'oh, woe is me.'

      As for the perspective shifts, yes. I've got two more planned in the next few chapters, at least (Rainbow Dash and Iron Bulwark, chronologically).

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    157. I pretty much teared up during "Heart of Gold, Feathers of Steel," so I can't help but carry that fantastic emotional connection over to "Summer Days and Evening Flames".

      Thus, I really, REALLY want to see this story's completion.

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    159. First thing.

      I think something to have is Gilda make herself a tool for walking around on her talons. Something like... a device that covers her claws and makes it so the outside looks like a hoof but on the inside would be a handle, like the things people have for birds to sit on, that she could grip with her talons and thus not have to lay them flat.

      Second. I get the feeling Sherry was saying Gilda's name wrong on purpose so she could give incentive for calling herself by her name instead of Ma'am.

      Third. I hope the situation with Dash isn't just going to be completely removed from the story from here on out, I'd like to see them at least be sending letters again eventually... it'd be a shame to just leave such an issue like that in the state it is.

      But anyway, all in all the story is doing great. You write things very well, I look forward to whatever confrontation Gilda and Starfall have further down the line.

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    160. @musicssound
      Thank you, and I hope you enjoy what's here of part two so far.

      I'm curious as to where you heard of this, though. Just personally, I'm interested to see how far out of 'my circles' this work is going.

      @Anonymous
      Thank you, but I must warn you: Summer Days and Evening Flames isn't intended to be as... bleak as Heart of Gold, Feathers of Steel was.

      @Specter Von Baren
      First: she's not going to be uncomfortable for very long into the summer... :)
      Second: I didn't really think too far into Shared Justice's motives for that, but that's as good an explanation as any.
      Third: Dash has her own part in this story yet.
      Confrontation between Gilda and Starfall: Their resolution scene is going to be an interesting one, to say the least, but I won't commit to calling it something as violent as a 'confrontation.'

      Thank you for your kind words, I'm glad you're enjoying what I wrote. :)

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    161. Long comment time. Saddle up. Also potential spoilers if you waste a bunch of time pouring over the previous chapters like I did before typing this.



      I'll admit. I was initially rather... apprehensive about this story. To an extent I was more interested at first at reading the changes to the earlier chapters than I was the sequel (which you could say is hypocritical, because I didn't actually sit down and read them until after I read the first two chapters of the sequel).

      And when it became clear after Chapter One that Evening Flames was sorta an expanded version of the truncated events from the original version of Heart of Gold that happened after Dash and Gilda reconciled (hence the stupid question I asked above before rereading Heart of Gold), I was kinda iffy.

      I'd been kind of indifferent to those scenes in Heart of Gold, because I didn't feel they had any real weight. The care put into the rest of the story, particularly the huge amounts of world-building you did for Gilda's past and the griffin culture, wasn't really present in it; and the Fluttershy thing in particular just seemed to kinda exist to tie loose ends. It didn't help that it went from a powerful scene like Gilda attacking Dash and basically BSoD-ing when she realized what she had done (and in the process cutting her last ties to her father) to "Gilda plays city guard."

      And yes, I recognize the irony of feeling this way when I initially said that I thought Heart of Gold ended well back in the day, and the irony being put off by an expanded version of a story that I didn't originally like because it wasn't expanded enough; but that's what I felt.


      So Chapter Two comes around, and I read it. And then story clicked. The dialog started popping. The story just started being just plain fun to read, in a "why isn't this chapter longer" fashion. The journey is as fun as the destination, or whatever. Pick your cliche. In all honesty Chapter One was the same way, but it wasn't as dialog heavy so I didn't catch it at the time.


      You've also got me guessing, which means you write well enough that I'm looking for little hints and clues (including, admittedly, ones that aren't actually there) for where the story is going from here and what you are trying to do with it.
      And there are few honors that I can bestow upon a story that are higher than that, and I can honestly say that there are maybe 5 others out of the... hell, probably 100+ stories I've read on this site that I can say the same of. I love stories that get me thinking, get me active in reading them; and other than TNTNE this is the only story that has had me scouring previous chapters to try to find out why something stuck out to me.

      For example, a throwaway line in Chapter Two got me thinking about the Prologue. Since most, if not all (my memory is shaky), of the backstory for Gilda and the griffin race in general is still present in Heart of Gold, I was particularly curious how that will tie into this story, particularly Starfall's conflict. This led me to a throwaway line in Chapter Five of Heart of Gold, a throwaway line in Chapter One of Evening Flames, some deductive reasoning and Google Translate. Half-an-hour of thinking cap work later I *think* I have a pretty damn good idea exactly what happened to Comet Tail in the Prologue, so now I just have to wait to see if my idea is vindicated. If I'm right, oh boy is shit gonna hit the fan. Can't wait.

      I also can't wait to see how Dash slots into this. My only real worry is that stray memories from what originally happened during Gilda's saga as a guard will screw me up.



      So, tl;dr, you've finally got my undivided attention, and I'm now eagerly anticipating where this is going. Which probably doesn't mean much, considering I was obviously following this anyways, but you know. You got me thinking. Bravo.

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    162. @Nick Nack

      Emotional Anon here; while I'm actually very glad that non-bleakness is your intention in this arc, I'd still do everything in my power to finish the story, no matter what conclusion you'd write.

      That connection I mentioned earlier compels me to stick around and see whether everything turns out all right for Gilda, because her well-presented troubles are plausible and, therefore, relatable.

      I can't help but notice thematic similarities between her and Holden from "Catcher in the Rye"; I didn't enjoy that book very much, but I still read it to the very last page because of that literary magic behind his character.

      No matter how you choose to end the overall story, you've hit the artistic bulls-eye of making me care, so you've pretty much guaranteed my readership for the rest of the series.

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    163. Overlong Analysis AnonAugust 17, 2011 at 12:57 AM

      Can I just say how much I love that you're not basing Iron's character on Cmdr. Vimes from Discworld? That would have been so easy to do, but you went ahead and made your own character out of him. (Don't get me wrong, Vimes is one of my favorite characters of all time, but still... nicely done, good sir!)

      Anyways, like another guy here I'm 90-100% sure I basically know what happened to Comet; can't wait for that revelation.

      Um, other than that? Loving the story, still. It's pretty much flawless so far - the ending conversation of Ch 2 perfectly captures the essence of being good friends with someone who's got prejudices you don't approve of. And doing it from Starfall's perspective could have been so gimmicky, but you managed it, you snatched one of the holy grails of writing: you made us feel sympathy for an antagonist. (Well, I say antagonist, but only inasmuch as he's currently arrayed against the protagonist - I doubt he's the main "villain" of the story, if there even is one)

      Ahem. Well done, mate. Well done, indeed.

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    164. @TenchiFreak5
      Thank you kindly. Based on the chapters you pointed to specifically, I'll agree that you probably have a pretty damn good idea what happened, too. I haven't quite decided how that's going to play out between everyone involved, but rest assured that I'm not going to forget about this certain subplot.

      As for your undivided attention, it means more than you think. There's a difference between someone reading your work because it's there and someone reading your work because they're interested in it.

      *bow*

      @Anonymous
      Thematic similarities between my take on Gilda and Holden Caulfield... yeah, I can see that. It wasn't my intention to channel someone with PTSD for Gilda's character, but fair enough. They're both individuals who mean well but separate themselves from society, they're both a bit angsty about their childhood... Gilda's got this sort of latent motherhood thing going on, but that's probably a more selfish desire than Holden's projected love for his younger sister's idealized innocence.

      I guess the main difference is that, in their worldviews, Holden rejects his society while Gilda feels that her society (Farrington, not Sharfkral-Grat) is rejecting her.

      @Overlong Analysis Anon
      I... actually haven't read Discworld. I don't try to overtly base my OC characters on other works (except for Lieutenant Horatio, but he's got a very small role for being Gilda's superior), though, so I probably would have only thrown in a line or something anyway.

      As for Starfall and Iron... I felt like the prologue did a bad example of showing how deep their friendship was, even back then. Of course, Starfall would freak out around a griffin, which was the main cause of concern; by the time that passed, Iron was becoming a loopy narrator from shock. It's fun to write a deep-seeded friendship between two individuals, at any rate.

      All in all, he's a very interesting character to me. He's zealous about protecting the ponies in his life (something that, mind you, cost him the captaincy from a more level-headed Iron), which I find noble, if misguided. Which is really what I'm going for with Starfall: good intentions, bad results.

      I'm glad you're enjoying the story. :)

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    165. New chapter only a few days after the last update?!

      THIS IS THE BEST DAY EVER

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    166. @Anonymous
      I know, right? I literally made a ":D" face.

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    167. Hang on, is that a CSI Miami reference I spy?

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    168. @Sir Ginger
      YEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! /The Who

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    169. I can't believe you put the CSI guy in there. Complete with sunglasses. Got a good laugh out of me.

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    170. I really like the story, but the german words... not so much. I see how you like the sound of the words, but it would be so much better if they would actually make sense.

      I had to look up the word "wedel" for example. The plant is called "Farn". Or Jagers question "Was ist sie?" would mean "What is she?".

      Sure, not a problem if you don't speak German, but it would have been nice.

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    171. @Nick Nack
      Ok, there is only a few things i felt i need to say regarding this:

      The episode related part, or chapters 1-6 are awesome, i relly enjoyed that scene between gilda and dash and it really helped me aleviate the feel of dislike i had towards the main chars when watching that episode.

      The original staff is good but leaves me confused about a few things:
      1. Weapon use, the way it sounds to me its almost like the swords and other stuff are magnetically or magically stuck to a pony's hoof, tho id always asume that theyd hold such weapons in their teeth.

      2. Combat style, if they do have hoof conected weapons im fearing that the combat style available is going to have to be some hind of two legged thing, which doesnt make much sense for ponies considering thayre quadrupeds

      3. I hate to point this out but you need to work on making the spech style more...ponified atleast when ponies speak, by that i mean they shoud say "everypony" instead of "everyone" or you should i guess use the word "trotting" instead of "walking" as walking makes me think of us humans :P also when using stuff like chairs, try to somehow accentuate theyre chairs made for ponies, specifically making it clear that a pony chair isnt just a simple chair, and i know that in the show thats not quite made clear, but i think such obvious modifications would help the story.

      Mostly i think you should try atleast now and then to give objects that are beeing used a kind of a more logical and practical explanation as to clarify how a pony uses an object that a human might use with hands.

      For example, when Iron Bulwark was questioning gilda, and was writing that down, i asumed he was holding the pencil in his teeth, still that fact should somehow be subtly accentuated i think as it and any other such small accentuated things will give the whole story a more realistic, ponified feel making the image we, the readers form in our mind more clearer about these matters

      P.S. i hope this was usefull, and i apologise if i wrote in a confusing manner, i sometimes do that unfortuanately so i hope you get the gist of what i was trying to say

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    172. oh and sorry for the spelling mistakes here and there xD

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    173. oh and if someone else allready pointed all this out earlier in the comments and im just repeating stuff then i do apologise for any inconvenience caused

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    174. Lieutenant Horatio....
      *puts on sunglasses*
      "insert shitty pun here"

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    175. @Anonymous
      @Anonymous
      Heh, thank you. Let's hope that my newfound speed can sustain itself for a few more chapters, at least.


      @Anonymous
      I couldn't think of a good name for a Lieutenant, so I decided, 'Eh, go with a famous one from TV.' It was either him or Lieutenant Randy Disher from Monk (I don't really know the lieutenants' names in Law and Order), and I decided to go with Lieutenant Horatio.

      @Anypony
      Lebenwedel is a portmanteau of "life" and "fern." And... yeah, I completely screwed up the English side of the question; I intended it to be 'what are you.' Then, I learned that Sie and sie mean two different things by capitalization, you and she, yet they sound the same, so I got to play with that a bit (having a god yell in all caps has its advantages, I suppose).

      @Saval
      I think your first two points can be addressed by the fact that I imagine the ends of their legs to be slightly dexterous. Like, nothing enough to use a keyboard or something, but enough to grip things like pencils and swords. Yes, they hold things in their mouth in the show, but that's a ridiculously impractical way to write something down if you can use your limbs (which, I'm guessing if they can grip tennis racquets and shovels, 'big pencils' (to us, having smaller ones to compare them to) wouldn't be out of the question.

      Combat style, then, becomes a three-legged running deal where they move with three legs and hold their weapon with one. Gilda gets around this limitation because griffins have this sort of traditional bipedal charge they use on the ground. If, say, she were bound by the terms of a duel to stay on all... threes, she'd probably be at somewhat of a disadvantage. Her gliekampf only deals with weapons, not manners of wielding them; it's a now-defunct remnant of griffin history that was mainly used between griffins and therefore, doesn't translate perfectly to pony fights.

      As for the chair point... they don't have chairs in the show. Huh. I could've sworn they sat on chairs at cafes and restaurants. I guess I'll have to go back and fix that.

      As for 'everypony,' it makes my skin crawl every time they say it in the show. It's really one of the few things I actively dislike about the show. I can explain that away as being a Ponyville dialect thing (Farrington is at least a 16 hours' trip on hoof from there, so there's enough distance to have different slang terms).

      And finally, as for 'walking,' horses walk. Like, that's the term for when they're moving slowly. Trotting is more akin to jogging. Galloping is sprinting.

      @Desert Rose
      Yeah, he wrote himself out of the story for a reason (it being that I don't want to keep pulling that meme).

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    176. The main thing that stuck out to me in this chapter is how it delved into Starfall's character.

      You kinda get the sense that, yeah, he's kind of a dick; and yeah, when he's around Gilda you can practically feel him trying to restrain himself (though he appears to have defrosted a bit); but at the end of the day its as if he doesn't like that he acts that way.
      And considering what happened to make him that way, that makes a lot of sense; particularly when (if Bulwark's comments in the Prologue are any indication) Starfall seems to feel it necessary to carry the anger for him and Comet Tail, who seems to have moved on with her life in a more accepting fashion.


      I think the dream Gilda had and how it tied into Griffin mythology was a pretty nice way of getting her to choose her fate, and I thought it was pretty clever how you used the two meanings thing to make the dream somewhat ambiguous even to her. Reminded me of Cyrillic N/Latin H thing from Murder on the Orient Express.








      And I'll also chime in and say that I hate Ponyfied words. I put up with it most of the time, but it doesn't even make sense to throw them around with abandon in this story considering Gilda isn't a pony and almost the entire thing is told from her perspective.

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    177. The German wordplay just doesn't work that way. The first part ist right now, "Was ist sie?" would be "what is she?". "Was ist Sie?" would actually mean "what is you?". "Was sind Sie?" would be the right translation, but still nothing a god would say. You say "Sie" to persons you don't know or are older than you. Or in a higher position.

      Sauerkraut und Lederhosen nochmal.

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    178. @TenchiFreak5
      Mother douchebag, I crossed the Bloggers. Would you mind deleting that post so I can remake it? I figure the damage has been done, but... eh, might as well mitigate it.

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    179. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    180. @TenchiFreak5
      That's pretty much Starfall to a 't'.

      I also liked the German wordplay; I just wished I had not been stupid when it came time to write the English translation (I specifically looked up 'what,' not 'who').

      Gilda definitely doesn't say 'everypony.' I'll probably sprinkle it into Dash and/or Applejack's upcoming dialogue (whoops, how did that slip?) or anyone else in Ponyville, but I'm invoking my full artistic rights to call it 'part of a dialogue that hasn't reached Farrington.'




      Also, I took a slight break from writing to make a sort of "Dramatis personæ", or at least the five main characters in this Summer Days and Evening Flames.

      Here it is.

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    181. The comedic relief in the 5th chapter of Story 1 was a bit out of place. The Derpy Hooves cameo completely spoiled the moment, and the joke about Spike being Twilight's son was a little TOO funny.

      Comedic relief is important to stop things from getting too depressing but you can't go willy nilly when you're writing a sad story.

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    182. I love how the Griffins speak German

      Bruder Klaue!

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    183. @Matrilwood
      I did that less for 'chuckles' and more for the 'there's no dignity in running away from your problems.' If Gilda had just escaped scot-free (not easy to do, because she's half Welsh), I felt that things would have gone too much 'her way.'

      I didn't want her to even get a clean break before Dash showed up. Plus, she's flying blind (like, her eyes are shut) in a town that's basically 1/3 pegasus ponies, so it was either have a collision or... something to point out that that's pretty much dangerous. I figured that Ditsy's a champ, she'll be able to rebound the easiest.

      So, yes, it's funny, but I try at least not to dwell on it.

      And the 'Spike as Twilight's biological son' isn't the first time that Gilda's being an unreliable narrator based on her own assumptions. I want to establish Gilda's ability to be wrong about things.

      @Matrilwood
      I'd like to reiterate that, while I use German as a basis, they have their own dialect that is different than modern-day Germany's. Mostly, it comes in the naming of 'proper nouns'.

      That's author-speak for 'Yes, I know I'm not getting the language right. I apologize. I'm literally going by what sounds best to me.' I mean, to me, Suche nach der verbotenen sounds a lot less like an ancient, revered thing, compared to a Verbannung Suche. Same with the tribe names: I could do a pure portmanteau of the words, but that would be sort of garish and would sound strange. I mean, sharf-krall-eh versus sharf-krall; the early Sharfkral griffins were pretty blunt in their naming of things, I don't think they'd go for an extemporaneous syllable.

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    184. @Nick Nack:
      If you like – you don't have to, I enjoyed the story nevertheless – I can help you with the german words or sentences.

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    185. ...
      Dang it, I need my update! Why must you torment me so, Nick Nack?

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    186. @DaB.
      Thanks, but I'm just going to tone them down from here on out. It's tricky to invent terms that are both meaningful and don't sound like complete crap. I'll focus on getting one language right before I try moving onto another, at any given rate.

      @Party Favors
      Heh, chapter 4 is frigging huge. It's made of three separate scenes, basically, that can't stand on their own to be individual chapters, but they end up being like 10 pages for the first two and 10 pages for the second one.

      Yeah, 20 pages, it doesn't seem that big, but I'm in a habit now of error-checking before I post things, so it's taking the reviewers a long time to get through this one (because of the size and real-life business).

      If it's any consolation, the rest of the story is all planned out, and barring another writer's block, I should be able to finish it in fairly short order. For example, chapter 5 is almost done being written as I take a break to respond to Blogger.

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    187. Huh, so the postmare is actually Bulwark's sister, interesting.

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    188. Well, I spent a while waiting for this update. And man, was it worth it. I already knew that this story was going to spiral off onto even greater heights than the original, and this is evidence of that.

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    189. This story is one of my favorite Gilda fics and they already stand at the top. That is to pretty much say that this is best of the best in my opinion. Great job making the characters flawed yet still somewhat relatable.

      I always check on this one to see if you've written anymore and it will be a little saddening when it is complete.

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    190. @Specter Von Baren
      That she is. It's kind of a moot revelation now, because she doesn't play as big a role in this story as she originally did, but at the same time, it'll be an interesting dynamic that I eventually get to handle.

      @Party Favors
      Heh. Part of me regrets going past my usual '15 or so' pages so much; it really seemed to be hellish on the people who help me with the plot details and grammar. Still, though, there was no way to neatly cut this chapter, so I ended up doing a huge one instead.

      I'm glad you're liking the original direction that I'm taking this (in that I'm no longer rewriting an episode from scratch).

      @a07b268e-ceab-11e0-bd0d-000bcdcb5194
      Thank you kindly. After Summer Days and Evening Flames is done, I'm probably going to take a good, long break to collect my thoughts and start planning the next story in this timeline; however, that story's going to be longer than both of these completed stories combined (6 for Heart of Gold, 12 (1+11) for Summer Days).

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    191. Hello.

      I just wanted to say that, after reading quite a few "Gila is just mis-understood" fics, I quite admire this one.

      Even when it feels like you are 'trying too hard' to make Gilda sympathetic, you seem to excel.

      Take the problems she has with her father for one. Instead of just randomly slapping in "OH GILDA HAS DADDY PROBLEMS ISN'T THIS SAD?", you go on to elaborate how the Griffin race itself fell upon hard times gender-wise, leading to a race that simply favors males to females. Couple this with her problems in hunting as well as her befriending of Rainbow Dash, and you have a reason to care for Gilda instead of what seems like a random-made-up story. A 'method to the madness', if you will.

      Overall, I would say your writing style actually isn't as.... 'Magical'? Wondrous? (excuse these bullshit terms) as other writers that take residence in this fandom.

      What you lack in those (obviously horribly undescriptive) terms, you make up for by being an extremely clever and blunt writer. Pinkie's hoof shock was an excellent way to make me feel sympathy for Gilda AND explain her sudden anger ALL THE WHILE not taking me out of the story.

      You have charm sir, and I look forward to reading more from you. I'm actually not even done with this whole story, and I see you havn't even finished the second part!

      Thank you for the read. A well deserved 6 stars.

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    192. Oh and....

      “No problems, sir. I actually prefer to eat while stuck in a tube like this.”

      Just the kind of humor and sarcasm I would imagine the character to have.

      Excellent work.

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    193. Lots of nice little character building in this chapter. I got a great read about what makes Sherry the way she is in particular.
      I also liked Gilda trying to reach out to Dash, hoping to still keep in touch with her this time even though she still can't bring herself to apologize for what she did that day (because she can't forgive herself for what she did, I'm beginning to suspect).



      Now, I promised myself I wouldn't spam up this page with another massive comment (and considering I had to cut this one down to make it fit, it looks like I did a terrible job. Again.), but I will just say that everything after the POV switch in this chapter was fantastic.
      Not to say that the rest of the chapter wasn't great. But I personally really enjoy seeing things through Bulwark's eyes. 2 reasons:

      1. It gives a much better feel for Starfall's true nature, because he obviously isn't going to show it off around Gilda, cooled off a bit or not.
      2. Bulwark has always struck me as a hell of a lot more conflicted about everything than he lets on. Both the obvious thing when he's around Gilda, but there seemed to be something more to it than that.

      And the POV switch in this chapter showed both. It was nice to get a bit of the background behind Sherry's actions earlier in the chapter; as well as some more insight in what Starfall is dealing with. The stuff with Starfall was implied earlier on, and this chapter did a good job furthering that implication without confirming anything.

      I also liked how it made it clear just how deep Bulwark and Starfall's friendship runs, but without being obnoxious about how it did it. They both know where the limits are and the best way to approach them, and even in heated discussion they both take great care making sure to not overstep them.
      Best of all, they generally just talk and act around each other like two guys who have legitimately known each other for a good many years rather than the story saying that they do and having them act like they've never met. Their dialog flows well and works naturally, and their actions show how much they care for each other (for lack of a better phrase) rather than the story just telling the reader it.



      Now for something important:

      While it seemed to me like an unbelievably bad idea from the start for Bulwark to go to Starfall of all ponies about his possible feelings for Gilda, it was still a perfectly believable and understandable decision for him to make.

      Why is this important?

      Because this chapter, more than any others I think, marks the definitive point at which the OC characters you've created in the story begin to show their character flaws. They can make bad decisions, act impulsively, let emotions get away from them; but it never seems like there is any variety of the Idiot Ball in place driving those bad decisions. The things they are doing are driven by their personalities and the feelings that they have at the time. Basically, it means that I think this chapter is the point at which the characters you've created have become as multifaceted as Gilda has been since Heart of Gold. As complex as the characters on the show proper are.
      Bravo.




      Now, I have a question about something. One that I almost don't want to ask because of how loaded it is (so if you don't want to answer it, no problem), but I almost feel as if I have to:
      Maxie is still the postmaster. Maxie has still been reacting and interacting with Gilda as she was back in the original Heart of Gold. So, in an attempt to keep this as spoiler free as possible, will she play the same role that she ultimately ended up playing back in the original Heart of Gold ending in Summer Flames?
      You mentioned above that she doesn't play as big of a role this time, so I assume it won't have the same effect that it originally had, but I must admit that I'm still quite curious.

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    194. @TenchiFreak5
      Heh, I figure that if I respond to every comment (more or less; I didn't start it, and the comments near the top are too long ago for me to start), you're allowed to hit the character limit and not be 'spam'. Just don't try selling me anything and it's fine. :)

      As for your praise about the depth and believability of my characters, thank you. Part of what took this chapter so long was that I was having trouble balancing their friendly nature with an honest-to-goodness fight. Hearing that it turned out well makes me relieved that I didn't pull a Duke Nukem Forever (long production time, underwhelming results).

      As for Maxie's role in this story... she's really been downgraded to 'background character' for now. She is going to get development, but that might not be until the next story. Or something, I'm not entirely sure. Still, the 'She walks in on us and then starts a huge damn fight in the living room' is WAY too melodramatic for what I'm going for. And when you read chapter 7, the "Starfall resolution" chapter, you'll see just how big of an issue I have with the 'original ending' now.

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    195. Hey. I rather enjoyed this. There's always a bit of sympathy in my heart for her. You did a good job of showing how she may not be able to understand mercy thanks to her upbringing. What I found most interesting, though, was her family. Her father's clearly a bigot and a bastard of the highest order, but even bigoted bastards think they're in the right. I think it'd be interesting if he had something to feel that he has to live up to - you know, some legendary ancestor whom the whole family fears letting down. In this context his actions toward Gilda make sense. The key, though, is that they're still bastardous and cruel, but at least now there's a certain logic to him being so. Still, this was well written, and it deserves to have that said about it.

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    196. Clarification: "Her" is Gilda.

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