Story: Heart of Gold, Feathers of Steel (Update Story 2 Part 10!)

[Sad]

Author: Nicknack

Description: There are two sides to every conflict. Nothing is ever black-and-white; there are only many shades of gray. When viewed from another angle, even the worst actions have justification, even if that doesn’t absolve the person performing them.

Heart of Gold, Feathers of Steel Chapter (Links below)

| 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 |

Additional Tags: Alternate Point of View, Backstory, Inner Turmoil


[Shipping] Story 2!

Description: Many things flourish under the sun. While adapting to a new lifestyle, Gilda learns more about herself than she does the intricacies of being a city guard.

Summer Days and Evening Flames (New Part 10)

| 0 | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | IN | 8 | 9 | 10 |

Additional Tags: New Job Troubles, Summer Romance, Gilda and an OC pony


This entry was posted in Author: Nicknack, Complete, Gilda, Rainbow Dash, Sad, Shipping, Star-6, Story. Bookmark the permalink.

151 Responses to Story: Heart of Gold, Feathers of Steel (Update Story 2 Part 10!)

  1. ToonNinja says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. ToonNinja says:

    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.

  3. Pacce says:

    *Glares**Snaps fingers menacingly*I'm watching you…

  4. Ostrich says:

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

  5. Anonymous says:

    "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…

  6. Nick says:

    @AnonymousWell, 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. 🙂

  7. Anonymous says:

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

  8. BlitzWing00 says:

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

  9. Anonymous says:

    @NickEven 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.

  10. Ron says:

    I can actually see Gilda hating mondays.

  11. Anonymous says:

    @AnonymousI 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.

  12. Anonymous says:

    @NickSo, 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.

  13. Muppetz says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  14. Muppetz says:

    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.

  15. Anonymous says:

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

  16. Anonymous says:

    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.

  17. Anonymous says:

    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.

  18. Endor says:

    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

  19. Anonymous says:

    No one knows what it's likeTo be the bad griffinTo be the sad griffinBehind gold eyesNo one knows what it's likeTo be hatedTo be fatedTo bully Fluttershy

  20. Nick says:

    @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. 🙂

  21. Sorry I'm lateI'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

  22. Anonymous says:

    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. 😉

  23. Anonymous says:

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

  24. Anonymous says:

    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. ❤ Gilda… I know I'd try to befriend her and heal whatever hurts her… The poor, poor gryphon…

  25. Baree says:

    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.

  26. Nick says:

    @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.

  27. Anonymous says:

    @NickShe'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:

  28. Nick says:

    @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.

  29. Nick says:

    @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.

  30. Escher says:

    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.

  31. Chris says:

    @EscherI 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!

  32. Nick says:

    @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.

  33. Escher says:

    @ChrisI 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.

  34. Escher says:

    ^ 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.

  35. Anonymous says:

    @EscherY'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.

  36. Nick says:

    @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.

  37. Chris says:

    @EscherI 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.

  38. Kjh242 says:

    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.

  39. Escher says:

    @NickI'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.@ChrisIt'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.

  40. Anonymous says:

    @ChrisRape 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.

  41. ToonNinja says:

    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—

  42. Nick says:

    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.

  43. Anonymous says:

    !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?

  44. Nick says:

    @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.

  45. 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.

  46. Baree says:

    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.

  47. Yomandude says:

    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]

  48. Nick says:

    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.

  49. Baree says:

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

  50. Nick says:

    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.

  51. 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?

  52. This comment has been removed by the author.

  53. Anonymous says:

    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…

  54. Nick says:

    @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.

  55. Nick says:

    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!

  56. Baree says:

    [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.

  57. Putuk says:

    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.

  58. ToonNinja says:

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

  59. TenchiFreak5 says:

    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.

  60. ikothe03 says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  61. Nick says:

    @PutukI'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.@ToonNinjaIce 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.

  62. Sun Ray says:

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

  63. Nick says:

    @Stephen CawkingI 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).

  64. Nick says:

    @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."

  65. Anonymous says:

    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.

  66. Nick says:

    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.

  67. TenchiFreak5 says:

    @NickI'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.

  68. Anonymous says:

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

  69. Nick says:

    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!

  70. Lost_Luna says:

    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.

  71. Thesyn says:

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

  72. Anonymous says:

    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!

  73. Sun Ray says:

    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.

  74. Anonymous says:

    did… fluttershy and gilda just get pre-shipped?

  75. Nick says:

    @Lost_Luna@Thesyn@Anonymous@Sun RayThank 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.

  76. ToonNinja says:

    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.

  77. TenchiFreak5 says:

    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.

  78. Anonymous says:

    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. 🙂

  79. Anonymous says:

    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…

  80. Nick says:

    @ToonNinjaI'm glad you liked it.@TenchiFreak5Alas! 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.@AnonymousYou're welcome. I definitely like this ending the best out of all of the other alternatives, especially the last sentence (of chapter 6).@AnonymousWhatever you want to happen. 🙂

  81. Baree says:

    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 ^^

  82. Anonymous says:

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

  83. Nick says:

    @BareeI'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.@AnonymousD:

  84. Anonymous says:

    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.

  85. Kisuke says:

    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.

  86. Jester- says:

    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.

  87. Sir Ginger says:

    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?

  88. Putuk says:

    As I said before, after Chapter 5… I cried.But after Chapter 6 and the Epilog… I smiled.Loved it! Great work!

  89. Nick says:

    @Sir GingerIf 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.

  90. Anonymous says:

    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.

  91. D3ADKi113R says:

    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

  92. Anonymous says:

    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

  93. Anonymous says:

    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

  94. NickNack says:

    @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.

  95. NickNack says:

    @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.

  96. Tricky Step says:

    "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.

  97. Tricky Step says:

    "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.

  98. Nick Nack says:

    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.@KanaKanaIt'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.

  99. Baree says:

    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 🙂

  100. ToonNinja says:

    Oh-hohoho! A midquel? Color me intrigued.

  101. Anonymous says:

    She's pretty xenophobic…

  102. Anonymous says:

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

  103. TenchiFreak5 says:

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

  104. Nick Nack says:

    @BareeRewriting 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.@ToonNinjaThat color isn't in my box of sixty-four, but thank you nonetheless. It's good to see familiar faces coming back for more. :)@AnonymousWho, 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.@AnonymousThank you; I'm working on it right now (well, in another tab on Chrome). :)@TenchiFreak5The 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.

  105. TenchiFreak5 says:

    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.

  106. Anonymous says:

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

  107. Skay says:

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

  108. banjo2E says:

    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.

  109. Anonymous says:

    Finish reading fanfic, feel happy and satisfied.A few months later, the story continues.My reaction: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3ALwKeSEYs

  110. Anonymous says:

    Heh, nice Julian Smith reference in the sequel.

  111. Anonymous says:

    banjo2EGerman bit? when was that?

  112. Nick Nack says:

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

  113. Anonymous says:

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

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

  115. Anonymous says:

    I dunno there's…something about it. Something it needs…very badly, but what could it b-Oh I know!!!!MOAR!!!

  116. Anonymous says:

    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.

  117. Nick Nack says:

    @TenchiFreak5Thanks, and I agree, it was a long time. In the end, the writing process led to something I'm a lot more confident in.@AnonymousHeh, thank you. I'm just glad to have something to show for my prolonged absence ('two weeks' my ass, me from two months ago).@SkayThank you, and I'm glad you're excited. :)@banjo2EDanke, 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.@AnonymousI'm so glad that that wasn't Micheal Scott from the Office. "NO GOD PLEASE NO."Thank you for your response, though. :)@Anonymous@supervanman64I made this for youI 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.@AnonymousI 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. :)@AnonymousHear, 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.

  118. Nick Nack says:

    These next few paragraphs contain spoilers. You have been warned@AnonymousTo 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.

  119. Anonymous says:

    @Nick Nackwell 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 🙂

  120. Anonymous says:

    @Nick NackSorry 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? andHow 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.

  121. Nick Nack says:

    @AnonymousI 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.@AnonymousI'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 EndingEpilogueHowever, 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.

  122. fishsticks says:

    how do griffons get along with zebras?

  123. Nick Nack says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  124. Anonymous says:

    >GrosfedersGroßfeders D:

  125. Nick Nack says:

    @fishsticksI… 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.@AnonymousI 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 ClackOur 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.

  126. fishsticks says:

    @Nick Nackthanks 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.

  127. Nick Nack says:

    @fishsticksYou'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.

  128. Anonymous says:

    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?

  129. Nick Nack says:

    @AnonymousEr… 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.

  130. Anonymous says:

    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.

  131. Tricky Step says:

    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!

  132. Nick Nack says:

    @Tricky StepMore 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.

  133. Anonymous says:

    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"

  134. Anonymous says:

    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.

  135. wolfman-al says:

    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.

  136. TenchiFreak5 says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  137. TenchiFreak5 says:

    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.

  138. Nick Nack says:

    @AnonymousThank 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.@AnonymousFair 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-alSee, 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.@TenchiFreak5Perhaps redundant, but not really 'stupid.' Plus, I don't mind, I love talking about my story with people. 🙂

  139. Kisuke says:

    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

  140. Nick Nack says:

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

  141. Anonymous says:

    @Nick NackI 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.

  142. Nick Nack says:

    @AnonymousFair 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.'

  143. Anonymous says:

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

  144. Anonymous says:

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

  145. Nick Nack says:

    @AnonymousThank you very much. :)@AnonymousMy 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.

  146. 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/33348I 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 launchersIt'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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