• Story: One Last Quest (Update Complete!)

    [Adventure] Cheerilee! The best earth pony.

    Author: Vanner
    Description: Princess Celestia sends four adults ponies out into the world. They find that just because it's not your destiny to save the world, doesn't mean a goddess won't ask you to do just that.
    One Last Quest Part 1
    One Last Quest Part 2
    One Last Quest Part 3
    One Last Quest Part 4
    One Last Quest Part 5
    One Last Quest Part 6
    One Last Quest Part 7
    One Last Quest Part 8
    One Last Quest Part 9
    One Last Quest Part 10
    One Last Quest Part 11
    One Last Quest Part 12
    One Last Quest Part 13
    One Last Quest Part 14
    One Last Quest Part 15 (New!)
    One Last Quest Epilogue (New!)

    Epub
    Mobi
    PDF


    Additional Tags: Adventure, Destiny, Understanding, Persistence, Bravery

    165 comments:

    1. @"Cheerilee! The best earth pony."
      Now that's just asking for trouble.

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    2. Epic Adventure Quest Time? Wha?

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    3. Hooray! A Cheerilee story!

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    4. That's certainly an odd set of Ponies there. Looking forward to this one.

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    5. Woow everyone reads the luna story, but ignores poor cheerilee! I'm saddened by this. The pre-readers really liked this one too.

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    6. Cheerilee story?
      yay~

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    7. It's a great story, but I have one gripe:

      Cheerilee is roughly the same age as the Mane 6-she was in Rarity's class back when they were fillies.

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    8. I have no idea who Medley is. But this is a nice story.

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    9. Fun stuff with nice gentle humor, I like where it's going! Please Celestia, make ponies use spell checkers though.

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    10. Correction: 80's Cheerilee is best earth pony.

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    11. Cheerilee story! AND a Medley story! (Somepony besides me knows who Medley is, hooray!) Today is a good day.

      It's an interesting little collection of background ponies, for once it's a group of fairly unpopular ones in the spotlight and that alone had my attention.
      I like the quieter tone in this story, as well as the gentle humor. It seems laid back, and suits a collection of older ponies very well.
      It's a little rusty in a few areas, but nothing game-breaking, and I think they'll iron out once the author gets his sea legs.

      (No, but seriously. We need more Medley in this fandom. Seems like the poor filly only gets seen in my avatar and nowhere else :c)

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    12. So... Pierce-I-mean-Pokey is an arcane warrior, Redheart is a cleric, and Cherilee is a bard. Medley should be a rogue I guess?

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    13. Dang you! I'm in the middle of writing a Cheerilee shipfic. I was hoping to be the first in a long time to do a Cheerilee story.
      DANG
      But she is definitely the best earth pony.

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    14. Cheerilee is to me as Trixie is to Seth.

      Best pony in the show entirely.

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    15. I always laugh at the scene where the male pony at the party is popping all of the balloons. I'm so glad he's getting some story time. Cheerilee too!

      It's always fun to read about background ponies and see how others characterize and interpret them. Looking forward to seeing how this quest goes!

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    16. Correction:Cherrilee! The best earth pony. (that isn't one of the mane 6)

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    17. My curiosity is piqued! I'll look forward to the next chapter.

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    18. Well this was rather interesting.

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    19. This is off to a promising start. It would be cool if you explore their backgrounds a bit in upcoming chapters, possibly relating to challenges they have to overcome on this adventure.

      Needs a tad more proofreading though. Should be dragged instead of drug and there was one problem where something was refered to as a plural but there was only one thing. I don't normally pick on things like this, I'm not massively into my technical english but those stuck out really badly.

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    20. Bit of a shaky start, but I liked it :)
      Interested to see where it goes.

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    21. If anyone's willing to proof read, it means you get advance chapters.

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    22. I really read it for the Cheerilee and while I don't know about the characters a great deal (I didn't even know about Medley until a brony above pointed it out as their avatar. I like her now!). There were some rusty spots, but it kept my attention and I am curious to what's going on.

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    23. I really want to like this, but with the slight lack of explanation and out of character for Celestia and Spike, I'm just not sure.

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    24. This story is fantastic. What a neat collection of ponies! Plus, it's nice to see that they're approaching things in a very 'adult' way, starting with their extreme reluctance to go on the adventure in the first place. Their dialogue is first-rate, too.

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    25. this is great! i can't wait to read the next installment!

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    26. So "Medley" is a colleague of Derpy?

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    27. This looks amazing so far, I look forwards to more. Nice to see a more level headed group of characters compared to the relatively insane and compulsive mane cast.

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    28. Less humor more action that time, but still well put. I definitely like the way these characters are coming out. Zecora's rhyming always makes me chuckle. On the down side, Celestia spelled "Celesita" in both chapters so far. One more, and it's the Moon for you Vanner! ;-)

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    29. I liked the first chapters, looking forward to the rest

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    30. I hope we hear a story from Cheerilee :)

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    31. Good job on the action scenes; they read well and were easy to follow. I just have one little nitpick about size discrepancies in the sentence: "Two massive boars, each the size of a pegasus..." I don't know if I'd consider an average pegasus massive, but that is more a matter of opinion than anything.

      Other than that, I shall eagerly anticipate seeing how this journey unfolds!

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    32. Cheerilee is the best earth pony? Silly, ED, that's not how you spell Pinkie Pie. :3

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    33. @Sagebrush

      I think he meant that for a boar, they were massive. are boars usually smaller than ponies?

      they weigh more, that's for sure.

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    34. Chapter 2 was much better. I don't really have much more to say than that.

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    35. Interesting start and I nice little mystery for the end of chapter 2.
      I liked how essentially they were literally the only ones on hand Spike could use for this little quest for Celestia.
      Looking forward to what pops up next.

      "when the super-friends are out of town."

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    36. I really liked the character development in this chapter for Medley. Her worry about Applejack running off with her husband does raise my eyebrow, but not in a bad way. It makes me wonder what in her prompted such a fear.

      It was also nice to get a sense of the scope of the quest. I look forward to your treatment of Appleoosa and Canterlot; you depicted the Hamite village very neatly, and the Diamond Dogs' territory was also well-described.

      Where you really excel, though, is the dialogue between the ponies. Character interaction is one of the things I love in any good story, and yours are great. Each of the four is distinct, and they play off of each other to great effect. If I would advise you on anything, I would say to give them more to talk about. It's not Pokey's style to be chatty, I can tell that, but even so, more interaction between the characters will only bring good things.

      Keep up the good work!

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    37. Fantastic. Keep them coming :)

      They are getting better as you go. I did spot one error in the third part... "Hamite's" shouldn't have an apostrophe.

      No others jumped out at me.

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    38. I feel bad because Cheerilee doesn't do a whole lot in the story until the later chapters. I gotta get a custom image for this post.

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    39. OMG, Cheerilee is

      *SPOILERS*
















      Sterile?... did I get that right?

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    40. @Anonymous It's what I read as well. Totally threw me off balance, I had to re-read that to be sure. Amazing story overall can't wait for the next chapter!

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    41. Woah. Pokey is hardcore. Didn't expect him to be written like that. Gotta admit, having a spell to turn your horn vorpal. That's... that's pretty damn bad ass.

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    42. Part 4 link don't work...

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    43. Link 4 doesn't seem to be working correctly.

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    44. What they said.

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    45. Salvation! When I saw this had been updated I was about to kiss goodbye to the couple of remaining hours I have to sleep before I have to be up for work. Now I have an excuse to go to bed!

      I'm very aware that I never needed an excuse to allow certain vital physiological processes before poni came along... I'm not sure how I should feel about that.

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    46. So, the first three chapters were neat, but after reading 4 and 5 I can't say if I'll read the rest. This seems to rapidly deteriorating into a grimdark-war and tyrant-celestia fic.

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    47. There's no grim-dark here, I promise. This is as dark as it gets.

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    48. @Vanner

      Then I await the next chapter with curiosity as to how you will bounce the mood back from some pretty extreme violence and death and some rather hardcore fantasy racism.

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    49. Finally someone who likes Cheerilee as much as i do ^-^

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    50. Erm, why was "Rarity" in ch5? It looked like a typo, but it completely threw me off for the rest of the story.

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    51. Yikes. This looks like it's tempting a [Sad] tag... but I can think of a way to recover, and it involves finding a Stone of Brilliance.

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    52. @Anonymous

      Read it again. Rarity's on the front cover of a magazine, she isn't actually there. Easy mistake to make I guess; I too was thrown for the briefest instant.

      Now, if this is as grimdark as it gets I can take that as a pretty strong indicator that Medley's gonna make it. I swear, you authors. Making me care about background ponies and them making them suffer.

      Still, I would have liked to see the kind of work a righteously enraged Pokey could put in on Celestia if Medley had bought it and he got close enough to use his horn on her.

      Wait... the last part of that last sentence just went somewhere horrible.

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    53. And things get better, and then livelier. Oh, this should be good...

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    54. I dunno. I'm still interested, but the deus-ex-machina kinda hurts. While I can understand it, after all these are gods whom walk amongst their people, it kinda leaves a bad taste. If the goddesses can do this basically at will, why do they not all the time? Why not take risks in the names of Cele/Luna if they can appear and heal you instantly from otherwise most likely fatal wounds. What kind of harsh, uncaring dieties are they if they do not do such things? By giving the pair such infinite power beyond their celestial domains it raises a lot of issues.

      That said, you do do plenty of things right, I like Medley's newfound boldness and sense of purpose, being saved buy a goddess would do that. I like all your central characters.

      I'm just affraid of the bucket of worms you opened with the deus ex machina.

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    55. She's cute for teacher =)

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    56. I agree... it was a Deus Ex Machina, and they always hurt... but it was one of the best well done DEM that I've ever seen. It felt right into place too, with very adequate amounts of foreshadowing, and true significance to the characters' evolution. If there's a right way to pull it, that is it.

      I feel the story missed a moment between Medley being told she was being put into a bus, uh, I mean, train, and her actually being there. The evolution of her decisions and whatnot. That part of the story really surprised me in a good way, but I felt that between her waking up and fleeing from the train it was too quick.

      Other than that, I love the new chapters. All the characters are being great. I feel Cherilee is getting a little less attention than the others, but she did have her spotlight previously.

      Great story! Keep it up! :)

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    57. Pokey is a BAMF

      best male pony ever... Doctor Whoo?

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    58. @Ekevoo
      Cheerilee gets to shine for the last six chapters or so, so don't worry!

      Oh, yeah, I'm done writing it. Did I mention that?

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    59. Is there a reason that Cheerilee is referred to by half the color spectrum in the fourth and fifth parts? I know she was called both red and white at different times and never by her true color in those parts. It just struck me as odd is all.

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    60. Medley is like a little pegasus Chuck Norris ... that is all.

      Threaten kids? ROUNDHOUSE KICK TO THE FACE!

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    61. Still enjoying this a lot, but "drug" really isn't the past tense of "drag"! A few other spello/typos too. Give your proof reader a stern hoof up the hindquarters ;-)

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    62. I'm noticing a repetitive error where you mix up character names, and the actual mix-up is so terrible that it's not even an understandable typo. You have replaced Redheart's name with Medley's while Medley is split off from the group, or one of those donkey characters is briefly said to be Rarity. It just doesn't make sense to me how prereaders couldn't catch those.

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    63. This story has stayed relatively under the radar, and I find that a bit sad. It's a very interesting take, and a reminder that the mane 6 are not the only ponies in Equestria who can make a difference. In their own little ways these ordinary citizens are changing the world for the better, a kind reminder that everypony can be capable of greatness, even if they're not the "heroes" we typically expect.

      On a side note: I figured that red stuff was going become relevant, sooner or later.


      -Moonlight Ballad, Bard of Equestria

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    64. @Anonymous

      I've noticed a considerable amount of errors myself, and I've since switched my method of proofing that is more time consuming, but produces a better product.

      That said, I don't have a proofreader, and once a story is posted, it no longer goes through prereading. The errors are all my own, and I apologize.

      Now that I've got the story finished, I'll go back and do the long form proofreading method I've been taught this week. Future chapters should be error proof, I hope.

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    65. @Anonymous

      Actually, that Rarity thing tripped me up at first, too. But if you read it more carefully, it says that Rarity is on the cover of the magazine the Donkey character is reading.

      This is a great story overall, it is quite well-written, and I like where it's going.

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    66. Rule #1 of dealing with women: Do not piss off the maternal instincts.
      Rule #2 of dealing with women: DO NOT PISS OFF THE MATERNAL INSTINCTS.

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    67. @Vanner
      You sound pretty relieved to have already finished the story. :) How many chapters at the end?

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    68. Pokey...

      http://cdn1.knowyourmeme.com/i/000/107/432/original/i_hug_that_feel.png?1300595876

      I know it all too well. :(

      I never really liked any of the male ponies before, but the way you've written Pokey. He seems like a real bro.

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    69. I'm really enjoying how the characters of the four adventuring ponies are being developed, that the author is looking into, and using, parts of their pasts to further the story. As it's turning out, no other ponies would have been able to do the things that these four have, precisely because of their talents, and their pasts.

      Thanks for an interesting and engaging story, Vanner! I'm always pleased to see the next chapter posted, and looking forward to future ones.

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    70. 'Prancing Crimps'. I lawled. XD Was that intentional?

      Been enjoying this story so far. I'm really liking the development you've given them all. Medley's one of the lesser-known background ponies, and it's interesting to see her given such attention to detail.

      Am looking forward to reading the rest!

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    71. Fantastic read, I hope there is more Cheerilee in future chapters :)

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    72. @Conner Cogwork
      I was thinking the same thing. It's nice to see that Fanfiction writers not only make slight nods to specific episodes to the show, but maybe even slight nods to other fanfics. Helps me figure out what I should believe, since I read so many fanfics that usually have different theories about similar characters

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    73. Well, I liked it. Very well done, indeed; emotional without being trite or sappy, violent without reveling unnecessarily in gore, and filled with interesting characters. Take my 5s.

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    74. @Conner Cogwork

      Yup, Fully intentional. Crimps and Prance is one of my favorite fan fics.

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    75. Yippee! I was just about to explode (possibly twice) and there came the next episode just in time! Great stuff Vanner.

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    76. Well dear author, since you has given us this awesome story, i will give you five stars in return :)

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    77. Happy to see this updated, and I love the new cover art.

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    78. I have continued to read this story, and it continues to impress me. You've built some very interesting characters in these four ponies. They are, as their age suggests, grown-up. They are complicated and frustrating at times, they do stupid things, they're jealous and occasionally petty, along with being sarcastic. Yet they are also brave, determined, and kind. They are simultaneously the best and the worst. If you'll pardon the expression, they are human.

      I'll be sad to see Redheart leave. I feel like she was the mediating influence on the group. Cheerilee has a similar effect, but she's also somewhat excitable and prone to overreaction. Medley is inexperienced, though she's grown quite a bit, and Pokey is ferocious. Redheart was the one who kept them all in check, and I'll be interested to see how their personalities flare without her. I am very glad to see Medley back. I really like the idea of a mother being a badass, and Medley is almost as badass as Pokey at this point.

      Bravo and encore.

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    79. Dear lord this is awesome.

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    80. I have to admit, every time I saw this story I avoided it, didn't think it was worth it, but oh boy if i was wrong! I simply love the whole setup of it, the characters you use, that being background ponies for the most part you actually made them into quite the competent ones, and their whole adventure, its been simply amazing!
      Congratulations for such an amazing work, and for now on I will be looking forward to new chapters!

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    81. Cheerilee's face = awesome.

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    82. There are so many tags this story deserves.
      I'm kind of disappointed Spike didn't go with them.
      I've only read up to Chapter 5, but my bed beckons. I shall read more in le morning, mayhapsing.

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    83. I like the pic for Cheerilee wearing the awesome face :D

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    84. @Ekevoo
      Sixteen plus an epilogue. So, really, only 4 more updates!

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    85. I'm very sorry, but every time I read "kin of Luna" I can't help but cringe.

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    86. once again a great chapter. though, there was one scene that was a little jarring. at the end of this chapter (Ch12) when they were riding the elevator down there was no descriptor of them ever getting off the elevator so when Cheerilee started going though index cabinet it seemed like an odd jump to me. other then that, great story so far :)

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    87. I skipped this when it started, but gave a go yesterday and I'm loving every moment. Eagerly awaiting more chapters.

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    88. Oh dear, Pokey, what are you planning?

      I have a very bad feeling about what will happen when this burned-out samurai with an insanely sharp "sword" and nothing left to lose meets back up with a goddess he hates, and who, as of chapter 12 seems to have trolled them yet again.

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    89. Only 91 comments? Really? I think this story is AMAZING! It definitely deserves more credit and publicity than it gets currently. At least, in my opinion it does. It's been written well, as it's easy to get attached to the characters. (That, and the humor is great too! XD)

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    90. Wow, this is definitely updating quickly (which is appreciated!!)

      Thoroughly enjoying it, keep up the great work :D

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    91. Blueblood takes a gauntlet to the face! Classic cartoon move. I laughed so loudly at that, I almost woke up my kid.


      -Moonlight Ballad, Bard of Equestria

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    92. Hhm... It's good. Very good. But it's not the best it could be which is why I can't give it a full five stars. You do good with giving all the characters a history and back story but some of it feels rushed or incomplete or pointless. The last three chapters in particular felt like the scenes were going too fast and that they should have settled more than they did, some of the additional details feel a little pointless like Pokey being Trixie's brother, it just doesn't seem to add anything, and things like the situation between Redheart and Pokey had no foreshadowing that I could see, I'd have figured they would have acted more familiar with each other than they did. It also seems weird that Redheart just abandoned their quest, because she already learned that if the quest fails then it could mean everyone dieing, it makes more sense for her to go with them and come back once the world is saved.

      But that's the thing, don't think I hate this, the fact that you've got me interested in this so much that I wish you put even more into it is something to be proud of after all. Hope you keep it up!

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    93. Finally took the plunge and read this. It's pretty darn good. A few missteps like not telegraphing the relationship between Redheart and Pokey early enough, ad having Redheart leave the group before the quest was resolved. You also overplayed the "Running into someone from their past life" card just a bit. It may have a different feel if you're reading a chapter at a time as it gets updated, but reading through 13 chapters all in one go kind of emphasizes the fact that they're constantly running into old friends no matter which way they turn.

      But setting those minor quibbles aside, it's a strong story with a good structure. I like all the characters and look forward to reading the climax of the tale.

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    94. A certain pony (after trying to deal with a certain Cheat) is going to try something very stupid agains a very powerful pony.

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    95. showmetheblueprintsAugust 5, 2011 at 9:29 PM

      Love the Cheerilee awesome face.

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    96. Damnit! Every Fic I'm reading now updates....ALL OF THEM!!!! *I can count to books!*

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    97. Make Blueblood die. Now.

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    98. @dustykat
      On the bright side, F:E hasn't updated today.
      I might get some tiny amount of work done, maybe!

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    99. The poor grammar ensured that I didn't get past chapter 1.

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    100. I second the notion about a certain cheat getting what's coming to him. Revenge I say!

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    101. @Sotha

      Oh yes, indeed.

      Dance my puppets for the final two chapters are coming, hopefully tonight. Thanks all for reading, and I hope I spent your time well.

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    102. absolutely loved this, the ending put me off but any other way wouldn't feel right. Bravo!

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    103. Well done, Vanner! I loved the casual humor you fit into chapter 15, so befitting of an adventuring group, and the ending was just enough to mist the eyes a bit. I'll miss this tale, but it was one I will not soon forget. Thank you!


      -Moonlight Ballad, Bard of Equestria

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    104. Over? say it isn't so.......I quite enjoyed this, I loved seeing blueblood get his from a true warrior who practices and studies true fighting.

      I loved reading Cheerlie's depth, I loved reading Readheart's back story and Melody's bravery in the face of what she knew to be the most dangerous thing she has ever done.

      Very well done, I only caught some miss spelled words here and there and I'm no English major for I will leave grammar to those others.

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    105. I also really liked the ending and the story as a whole. My only complaint is that there are a good few spelling and grammar mistakes in the last two chapters, though those are easily fixable. Five stars from me

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    106. Woohoo! First comment on the completedness! I liked it! It could have ended a little happier IMO, but an okay end, I guess... I mean, Princess Celestia can't cure barrenness? That was just a let down of what I thought of her... Decent story overall though! Great job!

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    107. Wow did my iPod mess up... Not first comment... XD

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    108. It's ok Nightsong. Twilight was perfectly happy coming in 5th. :)


      -Moonlight Ballad, Bard of Equestria

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    109. A cracking yarn, well written dialogue between characters, and Pokey being more than just that guy who pops balloons. I do like kickass samurai Pokey, he could use a spinoff!

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    110. I loved the ending, it was bittersweet. Happy, yet slightly sad.

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    111. @Anonymous

      I think I'm done writing pony fic for a while, but thanks.

      If I do write a sequel, it'd be titled "Dr. Cheerilee and the Secret of the Unicorns." It would be an adventure comedy featuring Dr. Cheerilee as an archeologist.

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    112. Gah bitter-sweet endings always seem to get me the most! Oh well, really well done and great story.

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    113. @Vanner

      Just got done reading the ending, and I gotta say.. Nicely done!

      Really, folks should point to this fanfic when they need examples of how to do it right. Thank you for a grand story.

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    114. I don't know If I'm thrilled by a great conclusion or sad that its over!

      I'll never look at that pin pony with the power for popping the same again!

      only disappointment came when Melady failed to get a lightning bolt shaped scar on her flank from the diamond dog duel, matching her cutie mark to the prophetic mural ...

      Still great story and easily worth each of its 5 stars!

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    115. Well done Vanner! Pokey's redemption made me cry.

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    116. That was an excellent story with a surprizing characterisation of ponies we barely know. I had my doubts at first, but I was quickly hooked. Who could have guessed that a nameless background pony like Pokey could be turned into such a deep character? The only thing missing about him is his guilty pleasure of popping off balloons.

      Anyway, thanks for the story. It was great!

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    117. That was a great story Vanner, thanks for all your hard work in making it reality. The act of bringing together a concept like this into a coherent piece with good characterisation and an engaging story is alot harder to do than it might seem and I fully appreciate the effort.

      I'm kind of sad its over, but i guess the adventure never really ends eh? ;)

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    118. In the end I can still only give this four stars out of five. It was a great and epic story with action and emotion and growth... but it also felt like it lacked heart somewhere. I don't know what I mean by that, it just feels like the story doesn't have a certain something that makes me really love a piece of writing.

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    119. Spoilers

      Ok... Might be just me, but that ending really came out of nowhere for me. Somehow I was under the impression they only found three of the stones anyway, so I guess I have to re-read to see where they picked up the fourth.

      Redheart suddenly being written out of the story was strange. She does come back in the end, but still... Odd. Chapter 15... Again, odd. Them ending up in jail... I don't know. Pokey's fight with Celestia... Again, just odd. Not the fight itself, it was obvious that it was coming, but Celestia seems to get through to Pokey, he seems to calm down... And then suddenly his rage is back without any explanation. Just a bit strange.

      Cheerilee not being able to have foals is never explained, let alone solved in anyway. Also, nothing is said about South and her other then that they don't see each other a lot anymore. Nothing is said about Blueblood. Pokey doesn't get a lot of reprieve... So he's back with the Kin and that is supposed to make it all ok?

      I liked the story I guess, but there are so many unanswered questions... This isn't open ended, this is... I don't even know what word to use. The last 2 or 3 chapters... They're just odd. I can't necessarily say they are bad, but... I don't know, they just leave me somewhat unsatisfied and overall just kind of wondering what the point of the whole thing was I guess.

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    120. very nice! I love the characterization in this story (especially pokey) though I was bothered by how you introduced plot points (pokey being related to trixie or Cheerilee not being able to have foals) that never seem to follow through. Your writing is excellent though and if you just stop adding pointless details that lead to now where, your writing would improve (also, could we have more fluff for the kin of luna? the history behind the group would be interesting....)

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    121. I wish this would also get posted to FiMFIC or FF or DA. Then I could finish the story on the go, Google docs doesn't like to work on certain portable devices.

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    122. I dunno, I liked it, but in the end I felt the grandeur faltered. The omnipotence of the goddesses, as demonstrated by your Luna Ex Machina earlier, is decidedly lacking later, as Celestia was intimidated by Pokey. Pokey still though at least seems to get his happy ending, as does everypony but Cheerilee and South. You spend a bunch of time setting them up, only to discard it at the end. Then the entire instantly curing mortal wounds but can't cure infertility thing hurts too.

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    123. That was probably the best peice of fanfiction i have ever read, and the ending gives that wierd juxtaposition you only get from finishing top quality manga and books. 5/5 for you

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    124. I had the pleasure of reading this amazing piece of work from Day 1.
      This was the greatest story about background characters I think I have read so far.
      It was interesting to see how quickly you gave each of the background ponies their own personality, it really helped make the story a worthwhile read.

      I do hope you make another story soon, cause you are a GOOD writer.

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    125. Finished this piece to Hans Zimmer's Score for the Last Samurai, and what a good read it was!

      Sadly, I can't help but agree with some of the plot points presented throughout the story (i.e. Cheerilee's infertility) being a tad unresolved.

      Or, at the very least, unanswered. I had hoped for the story to give meaning to that, but it didn't, so I felt somewhat unsatisfied in that respect.

      Despite such minor discrepancies, I really liked your story. Pokey's redemption really sunk in, and gave closure to his character.

      All in all, a congratulatory Bravo and a round of drinks is in order. I'm buying!

      Good Job!

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    126. This is one of the best fics I've read so far. Enough of a happy ending to leave off on a relatively good note, but with that twist of lemon keeping it grounded. A bittersweet ending doesn't always feel the best, but it always works.

      Though I'm outraged that Cheerilee and South Pole were seperated. Now who's going to enjoy that school filly outfit!?!?!

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    127. This was a good read, I laughed, I got sad, I laughed some more, I felt that if not for the fact he was surrounded by friends, Pokey may have well have killed Blueblood. This wouldn't have helped in the long run of course, so it's best things turned out like they had.

      I still felt sad for Cheerilee. Being accepted by your peers for years of hard work you put in shouldn't be a -reward-. Part of me wonders if Cheerilee and South broke up/are on the rocks because she had her first cycle in forever, and he didn't have time to be a family pony.


      Will there be a single .pdf or such to download it all now that it's complete?

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    128. Pokey reminds me so much of Roronoa Zoro.

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    129. ARRRRRRGGGG I HATE IT WHEN PEOPLE SHOVE DOWNER ENDINGS INTO A FANFIC JUST BECAUSE THEY CAN

      Seriously guys, can't this fandom finish a long fanfic without SOMEPONY not getting the same happy ending as everypony else? Pokey deserves better than to lose literally EVERYTHING of his life since leaving the Kin. I'm pretty sure that if nothing else he cares about those guys he was adventuring with.

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    130. I like the story one of the best I've read so far, I think it couldn't have been done like this with the mane 6 this quest was really more suited for a more experienced group.
      It will probably join ranks with tales and past sins in my favorites

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    131. @Corwyn
      Yes, indeed. Once I correct all the grammar and spelling mistakes in the early chapters, I'll release a.pdf/.epub for everyone to enjoy.

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    132. You know, I never read this, but I do have to say: That short synopsis you gave is amazing.

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    133. @Vanner

      Ah outstanding then, can't wait. I'll keep this bookmarked for now and check in once and awhile unless you're going to host it off of DA or FA or such.

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    134. I'm afraid I don't have a lot to add to everyone else's comments, but let me just parrot that this was an excellent read. It's the stories about background characters that hold the most interest for me--the flexibility to freely define the characters one writes about seems to bring out the best in many authors. Here, you've given us fascinating and convincing insights into four ponies who we would otherwise know next to nothing about (plus countless other minor characters and OCs along the way).

      Wonderful work, Vanner. Thank you for writing this.

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    135. This.. needs to be a book :|

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    136. An excellent read, I hope to see more from you!

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    137. Okay, very good read, I've been reading diligently all the way through, it was a fun ride and I'm sorry it's over. Now that it is, however, I've gotta say: Celestia got off waaaaaay too easily for what she did. Barring the fact she sent an untrained, pregnant, financially struggling mother of two (I refuse to believe she didn't know Medley was pregnant, but the other points still stand on their own) on a perilous quest that would have been challenging if not impossible for the bearers of the Elements, she knowingly sends a burnt-out wreck of a pony with precious little left to lose, knowing full well he'll lose everything by the end of it. Regardless of the necessity of the quest, she's in effect wilfully sacrificing a pony here, and it should have come back to bite her in the ass.

      The part about her knowing Pokey would bring the others home was horseapples because Medley would have died were it not for Luna's direct intervention. When she tried to justify her actions in the scene at the end, all I heard was "I expected you to die first."

      Boy howdy, did Cheerilee get shafted with her "reward". Medley got a regular, generous stipend (though that might be from Celestia's guilt over damn near getting her killed) such that she never has to worry about money again but Cheerilee gets her doctorate that she should have gotten anyway?

      "What's that, Cheerilee? Want kids? Oh, you can't? Well, Luna brought Medley back from death's door, so naturally It would be a simple matter to... psyche! Ha! But seriously, screw you; I ain't fixin' your tubes. Here's the piece of paper you already earned and would have gotten if somepony didn't have an axe to grind or whatever. Now get outta my face, I got plebs to troll."

      I really could have seen Pokey severing Celestia's horn at the end. Abusing one's power is a pretty sure-fire way to lose it if only temporarily in Celestia's case. I can't help imagining that little lesson on consequences wouldn't have gone amiss on a certain sun goddess.

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    138. This.. needs to be a book :|

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    139. ARRRRRRGGGG I HATE IT WHEN PEOPLE SHOVE DOWNER ENDINGS INTO A FANFIC JUST BECAUSE THEY CAN

      Seriously guys, can't this fandom finish a long fanfic without SOMEPONY not getting the same happy ending as everypony else? Pokey deserves better than to lose literally EVERYTHING of his life since leaving the Kin. I'm pretty sure that if nothing else he cares about those guys he was adventuring with.

      ReplyDelete
    140. Finished this piece to Hans Zimmer's Score for the Last Samurai, and what a good read it was!

      Sadly, I can't help but agree with some of the plot points presented throughout the story (i.e. Cheerilee's infertility) being a tad unresolved.

      Or, at the very least, unanswered. I had hoped for the story to give meaning to that, but it didn't, so I felt somewhat unsatisfied in that respect.

      Despite such minor discrepancies, I really liked your story. Pokey's redemption really sunk in, and gave closure to his character.

      All in all, a congratulatory Bravo and a round of drinks is in order. I'm buying!

      Good Job!

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    141. @Bronode

      I'm debating releasing the alternate ending, which veers from redemption straight into grim dark territory. But, for what it's worth, I think there's just been too much dark pony-fic lately, and I'm hoping to lighten the tone a bit with a bittersweet ending.

      That said, since most people apparently liked this enough to read it to the end. Your criticisms haven't gone unheard, and you've all inspired me to continue writing.

      Expect a new story starting next month, starring Cheerilee, Pokey, South Pole, and the Great and Powerful Trixie.

      Thank you all for reading. I'm glad you've enjoyed what I've had to write, and I hope my next story is even better.

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    142. @banjo2E

      There are plenty of happy, everything is hunky-dory in the end stories here.

      This just wasn't ment to be one of them.

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    143. That was crazy good. I have more important things to do like sleeping or eating. Despite that, I finished the story in about 5 hours. It had the same "Grand Adventure" vibe as It's a Dangerous Business, but with more interesting characters and a slight touch of humor. Please keep up the good work!

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    144. That was a fantastic story, and I loved nearly every second of it. However, I agree with some of the posters here that Cheerilee got the shaft, I mean, they couldn't have fixed her fertility problem? She helped save the fucking world and they couldn't fix her up? Really?
      Also, I totally agree with Celestia's actions (aside from her holding out on Cheerilee), what are the lives of four weighed against a nation? Not much that's what. She had to make sacrifices for the greater good, and in this case, Pokey and Medley were it.

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    145. That was a fantastic story, and I loved nearly every second of it. However, I agree with some of the posters here that Cheerilee got the shaft, I mean, they couldn't have fixed her fertility problem? She helped save the fucking world and they couldn't fix her up? Really?
      Also, I totally agree with Celestia's actions (aside from her holding out on Cheerilee), what are the lives of four weighed against a nation? Not much that's what. She had to make sacrifices for the greater good, and in this case, Pokey and Medley were it.

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    146. @Vanner
      If you do write an alternate ending that veers off into grim-dark, I hope your new story takes off from the original ending instead, as there is too many dark stories going about.

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    147. Superlatively done. Not much more to say than that.

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    148. Heh, great job. This is actually just what I was looking for in a fanfic, the reason behind it all. I was wanting to write a fanfic, but I couldn't bring myself to, because I couldn't see a point in living out characters with pre-existing lives. This reminded me not only of the greatness of the background ponies, but why to write at all. I hadn't been reminded of that in a long time. Thanks, and good luck.

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    149. I...I have nothing to say....

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    150. I'm ponychan's resident Medley poster and what is this?
      *several hours of reading later*
      I love it.

      @Vanner
      That next fic sounds great but it'll be missing a pair of wings~

      Oh I want more Medley badly. So very badly. It felt like you were setting her up for so much more in the future but then she ends up at the end with her motherly instincts and no reason to leave home except for her newfound sense of adventure in the end. It all felt oddly contradictory. You also never resolved the curious bit with the mismatched cutie marks in the prophesy and Medley's own confusion.

      I eagerly await Medley in the future. Your writing is excellent and I will be terribly disappointed if you leave that unresolved mess around her character.
      The only serious thing I have to add to Medley's fanon is the comic I've linked to.

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    151. Well, reading this story and related comments has brought up some really meta issues for me. I wish I'd kept notes on the editing mistakes I saw as I was reading through. The only ones I can remember offhand are a couple places in the last chapter that read "blah blah blah Pokey" when they probably ought to read "blah blah blah, Pokey" with a comma. There was also one homophone replacement and an improper apostrophe use in a pluralization somewhere in earlier chapters. Which brings up the related point that I'm seriously considering abandoning my current policy of reading only completed fics and offering my services as an editor of sorts, if not trying to form a small mob of volunteers who will help with the job. I'm not sure exactly what the pre-readers do, but it obviously isn't watching every update to make sure they have immaculate grammar.

      ...I'm not actually sure that the fact that your story has caused me to think this way is a good thing. Your editing certainly wasn't bad, there were just a few mistakes that ended up being another straw on the way to breaking this camel's back. Don't take this as saying it was bad. Okay, it's late and I'm going to stop rambling now.

      So, comments about the actual story. I'm not going to lie, I started reading it for the Cheerilee. I don't think I'd have started it if I'd realized how Pokey-centric it was, since he didn't really interest me as a character. Yes, that's past tense. He really was an intriguing character, and I really enjoyed the story as a whole. I don't think it ever quite crossed the line into Grimdark or Shipping, but the story certainly had elements of both. They were well-done, though. Nothing too cliched or absurd, apart from your story's mantra of "ponies keep promises", which seemed to be repeated with a lot of force behind it for something that, as far as I can tell, is your own unique contribution to the world. Not that it's bad, it's just a little bit odd hearing something said with such universal conviction, because it makes me stop and think "If it's really that big a deal, wouldn't it have shown up in canon?" Regardless, just an idle comment, and a little quirk of your writing, not a problem.

      ...Wow, I have written an absolute monster wall of text. I should stop trying to read/critique/discuss things when it's this late. Regardless, 5 stars for a good story, excellent exploration of background characters, and keeping me up way too dang late.

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    152. @A Terrible Person

      I wish you had too. I'm trying to revise this for a PDF and I keep catching mistakes. It'd be nice to have something to compare it too.

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    153. I finally sat down and read it. This is a truly great story. I knew it would be, but I wasn't prepared for how good it really was.
      The only thing keeping it from being an absolutely must-read for everyone is of being about a bunch of background Ponies (which would obviously make some people pause before reading). Which is a truly tragic irony, because that is the only way that the story could work. A real shame, because over the course of this story you really got me to care for these characters. I didn't even know who Medley was before this story, and you still had me worried for her.

      For instance, turning Pokey Pierce from "balloon popping douchebag" to "the Pony equivalent of the guy Steven Seagal played in Under Siege" (who happens to be Trixie's brother, no less) and managing to make it completely work. No snickering. No silliness. It sells it, and it works.

      Plus, he basically beats the crap out of Prince Douche twice.



      The ending is something that I imagined would be pretty controversial even before I completely finished it (and based on the comments page I seemed to have guessed accurately) but it works really well, I think.
      Cheerilee may have gotten the shaft, but on the other hand it seems like she had moved on with her life at that point anyways, so childbirth was no longer her greatest concern. Medley basically got exactly what she wanted out of it, and seems much wiser from the experience. Redheart obviously got what she wanted. Even Pokey, who basically lost everything, seemed to be better off in the end with his impromptu childhood "family" than he seemed to be before the story kicked off, living a lie and pretending it was for the best.

      My only problem with the ending is that Celly didn't really seem as bothered by her manipulation as I feel she should have been, particularly when it came to Medley's involvement with it. It worked out in the end, but the costs seemed too great even though they were victorious considering the alternatives that were available to her.






      Its not perfect, and occasionally there are some screw-ups that were quite distracting (keep in mind that I read the current PDF version hosted by MaximilianVeers), but it seemed like every time something came up that I noticed, something awesome would happen to make me forget.

      On a more major note, there were somewhat frequent occasions where the story would insert the wrong name of the group. For example, referring to Medley as the one speaking or doing an action when Medley was not with the rest of the group at that point in the story. It was jarring each time it happened, and each time I had to reread the previous few sentences to make sure I hadn't missed something.

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    154. Hay there Vanner! I know I'm late to this party, but I had been saving your story for some time I had plenty of opportunity to really enjoy it. I was glad I did!

      Perhaps it was because I read this story all in one day. Perhaps it was because it was build around background ponies I already knew and was excited to get to "meet" rather than about OCs. I know that it was about the character development, and the interweaving of tragedy and triumph. Whatever went into it, I have never felt so moved by a fanfic before. In fact, although I feel silly saying this, I can think of only two other books that I have read in my entire life that were equally moving.

      I want to detail everything I loved about this story, but it would be impossible for me to do that without starting a Google doc of my own to contain it all.

      Yes, it was rife with errors. The worst, I'll point out, were when you accidentally used the name of one of the characters when you meant another. Yet nothing so small could take away from the power of this story. The tale was truly inspiring. Thank you for sharing this, and thanks for being a brony.

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    155. Well don't worry. There's a revised PDF coming out shortly. All the errors are corrected, and some of the minor plot holes are hammered out.

      All in all, it's more of a "Director's Cut" than a full revision. I haven't added anything but a prologue, and it's not necessary to reread the whole story. I just want to have as good an edition as possible for those who enjoyed the story.

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    156. @Vanner

      Has the update been released yet?

      And thank you for giving it a touch-up even though it was largely finished.

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    157. @Corwyn

      Eyup. All the google docs have been updated, and the Maximilian is working on one of the e-reader formats for his archives.

      That's all she wrote! Thanks for enjoying the stories.

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    158. Just finished reading and I gotta say thanks! I was a little uncertain when I started, probably due to Spike and so it was a little rocky at first, but once it got going I didn't put it down but for sleep.

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    159. I read this story while it was still updating, all the way to the end, and although I felt in the first chapters that it was trying to copy "its dangerous business...", I stayed long enough to see that it was quite different, more mature and dark.

      So, I enjoyed it, a lot, your characters, basically OCs because we knew nothing about them (Cheerilee too, since all we know is that shes a teacher, and dressed in that crazy style), were quite complete and develop, the setting were great too, and all those crazy adventures were simply amazing. Sure the ending was bittersweet, but I guess that was the only way for Pokeys story to end.

      So, I gladly give this story 5 out of 5, sure, it has its flaws, but they are so far in between that I really cant name them right know (well, except the whole "rain dance" thing, I found it to be a little much...).

      So, I truly hope to read that story you are planing to do, and please, dont do an alternative grimdark ending, because, as you said, there are enough of those...

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    160. @BronodeTeh way I see it, the only thing Pokey really lost on his quest was something that was never really his to begin with, and I think realistically, the only way a fight with Princess Celestia would have ended was with Pokey dead.
      I kinda agree about Cheerilee though.

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    161. I've only read two chapters yet, but I'd like to mention that I love the cover image for this.

      Fear... uncertainty...concern...and UNBRIDLED CHEERFULNESS. Thank you Cheerilee. =p

      Anyhow, good so far. It's got me hooked, though there's a few notable typos here and there that break the rhythm somewhat jarringly.

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    162. I've just finished reading this, and I must say, this deserves more attention. There's a couple of typos here and there, and I think that's all that's standing between this and six stars.

      I'd be honoured to work with you to that end.

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