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Survivor Shy - Everypony is Gone by Mattatatta Survivor Shy - Everypony is Gone by Mattatatta
Because of how long the story excerpt is, I'm gonna do the link drops and ramblings first:

Survivor Shy Gallery (All artwork including non-canon pieces): [link]

Survivor Shy on Fimfiction (Organised story plus illustrations): [link]

My Tumblr (Safe For Work, contains anything I draw and a few things I reblog): [link]

I've been sat on this finished picture for a few days now, waiting for the best time to sit down and write half of the new chapter. Because I've dropped one of the planned illustrations from the next chapter for being too time-consuming and depicting a scene that wasn't even worth drawing, I've had to spend some time reshuffling how I tell the chapter, and I've had to divide the chapter across two scenes for my deviantArt watchers (which reminds me, I have a part for "Inside My Head" that is missing from dA but is available on FimFiction, I'll fix that in about 30 mins). So I'm sorry it has taken me so long to get the piece out and pretty delaying the new chapter release by a week in lost time.

Now the picture itself, I'm very proud of it. I used a MASSIVE canvas (5k x 6k pixels) to start the sketch for this, and spent extra time building on the sketch and working on details. I took inspiration from :iconatryl: 's art and referenced a few pictures to learn to draw her brow, and I also borrowed his "jaggy-and-straight-lines" approach to drawing manes such as Fluttershy's. My muscle memory still likes drawing curves, so in the end I settled on a happy medium between the two. I dabbled some more in adding more fuzziness to her appearance, from the tip of her ear, to her brow, to the end of her jawline, right down to chest fluff, and I reckon those scattered and minor details make her head match the level of attention her mane did, without diving into extremely realistic styles that I'm not ready to study yet.

The lineart was done with the same tool I used to sketch; the Pen tool. The Lineart tool may be the cleanest way to do inking, and the results of using the Lineart tool can be perfect every time if one uses the other tools to adjust curves and thicknesses, but I have begun to feel like I spend more time fixing my lines with said tools than actually drawing them. Drawing something completely free-hand with as low a stability setting as possible (I use stability 4 in case you want to know) and only using the eraser to tidy my lines feels more satisfying. Especially since I can see how my drawing ability improves as I work on an image.

I'm a little ashamed to admit I spent almost no time colouring and shading her eyes. I just drew them how I wanted to, reached a point where I felt they were perfect, and did nothing more. I couldn't find any similar eye styles other artists use to borrow styles from for extra detail. I hardly think the eyes are bad or poor, they work perfectly how they are, but my inner-critic would rather I pushed myself with trying new details like I did everywhere else. That all being said, those lashes took some time for me feel happy with.

Probably the most fun, yet time-consuming part, was shading this picture. There were two sources of light to consider: The cool, soft lighting from the cloudy sky, and the bright, warm light from Fluttershy's Element of Kindness. I've read a few tutorials on multiple light sources, but this is the first I ever really applied the knowledge, and I have to say that I'm impressed with how it turned out and how much depth this picture appears to have because of it.

Anyway, with nothing more to say, I shall leave you to read the first half of the upcoming chapter! deviantArt viewers get the perk of reading content from upcoming chapters before they come out on FimFiction! However, FimFiction readers get the whole story in a much more organised manner - rather than a gallery with everything out of order.

=~=

The morning sky cracked open above my head. An endless void split the seam wide open, engulfing the deep, dawn-tinted blues and purples of the atmosphere with an endless collage of grey. My head refused to turn to look, my eyes ignored the destruction raining down from the heavens. I commanded my wings to dive. I didn’t change direction. I was no longer in control of my own body.

The world swiftly collapsed and fell to the void, and I watched it through eyes that I couldn’t move anymore. It’s surrounding me! The expanse of grey was filling my view. I need to get out of here! I tried again to take control of my wings, to force me into a dive – or stop flapping entirely. I couldn’t move - I was trapped inside my own body! I tried to scream as the grey swallowed me whole, but the scream never went further than being a thought.

I felt my restraints break free, and I was torn from the vision and dumped on the floor in a heap. I scrambled upright and whirled around, darting my horrified gaze from side to side. I was trapped inside the grey! Inside the void!

"Fluttershy!" a voiced bellowed.

I shrieked at the sound, springing upward in a flurry of frightened wing-beats and loose feathers. I twirled around in the air, searching for the owner of the voice.

"Fluttershy," it said, this time much softer, with very familiar warmth following it. "I saw what happened, it's okay - you're back in the trance." The gentle heat embraced me, pushing the recent horror from my mind. I lowered myself down onto my hooves again.

"Do... Do you remember, Fluttershy?” the voice asked, “That we're in your mind, trying to jog your memory?"

The thoughts clicked as I remembered the voice, and remembered that what I had saw was just a memory. But what happened at the end of it? What happened to the sky and the rest of Equestria? Why couldn’t I do anything to save myself? If it was only a memory, why did it feel like I was living through it the first time? Up until the end of it, everything felt natural – not pre-determined - could the memory spell really be that surreal?

“It must be quite an experience, to not only remember, but experience your memories as if they were being made for the first time." The mare's voice remarked.

I snapped out of my thoughts and glanced around in surprise, "H-how did you know...?" I stopped, remembering an important part of the memory spell. "I forgot you could read my thoughts."

The voice gave short burst of sweet laughter. "Oh no, Fluttershy! I didn't need to hear your thoughts to know that! All memory spells leave subjects a little puzzled at first."

I frowned into the nothingness. "What happened? Why did it seem like the world was falling in on me after I flew over the Everfree Forest?"

"You reached a point in your memory that still seems to be shrouded," she reasoned. "With nothing to support the visions you were having, they simply fell apart around you. I didn't expect something like that to happen so violently, though, I thought you would be eased out of the hallucination gradually when your thoughts couldn't carry you any further. It may have been made worse when you panicked, because you started to act in a way that clashed with how you really acted at the time the memory was made."

My gaze drifted down onto the featureless, grey floor I was stood on. My mane drooped in front of my eyes, framing my clean and unharmed forelegs. A memory collapsing should really be the least of my concerns. "So if that ever happens again, I should stay calm?" I asked.

"Preferably," the voice said. "Although, you may not have a choice sometimes; you can't control where your memories end and pick up again, after all."

"Okay..." I murmured. The comforting feeling had dispersed, and my legs started to shiver and uneasiness swirled around my stomach. I felt a little relieved to be that way, being so calm in a blurry world that seemed so tight yet so open at the same time wasn’t normal. And hearing a mare’s voice but not seeing anypony reminded me of ghost stories I never wanted to hear. So why was I so calm in spite of it?

It must be the mare doing it. Her voice was doing something to make me calm, make me cooperate. Doesn’t she trust me to cooperate without it? Would she be offended if I asked her to stop? I hope she won’t be upset. She’s probably hearing my thoughts right now, so she already knows what I’m thinking about. I should ask anyway, to be polite.

I blew a few strands of my mane away from my face and lifted my head up. "Excuse me," I spoke out loud. "Are you using some sort of magic to keep me calm? If you are, I would be very grateful if you stopped.” I stopped to gulp down a heavy ball of dread, and there was no reply from the mare. “Be honest with me, how do I know you?" Nothing but grey and morphing blotches of colour met my eyes, and my ears could hear nothing. I spoke up, trying to get an answer. "I'm telling you everything I can remember, and whether I want to or not, I'm sharing my deepest, most personal thoughts with you, too. So could you tell me who it is who is listening, please?"

I stared upward, as if speaking to the stars. For a few moments, I heard nothing but my heartbeat pounding in my chest. Oh no, she’s upset… I shrank down and curled myself into ball. I offended her.

A deep, sad sigh echoed through the plane of colours around me, followed by the mare's voice. "I'm sorry, Fluttershy. I really am. I shall stop manipulating your emotions from now on. I was afraid that you would become too frightened to listen to me while under the spell. I shouldn’t be doing it, either, for the same reason that I cannot tell you who I am. Outside information and interference in the spell can cloud your memory and influence your ability to remember the truth correctly."

Thank you for not being mad. I lowered my head down to think, and started to awkwardly dig little holes into the surface I was lying on. I watched the dents in the surface appear with each pass of my hoof, and quickly vanish as if it were sand being washed by a wave. I glanced up and spoke again. "So why can’t you end the memory spell and wake me up? Can I see you and then start this again?" I asked.

"No, it can't be done." she replied.

"But why not? I mean… Why can't you?"

The mare’s voice sounded remorseful. "Fluttershy... I was the last thing you saw before I put you under this spell, and you forgot who I was minutes later. This spell... It hides your recent memories in order to allow you to uncover your lost ones faster - without any risk of memories being interpreted wrong through what you did remember. In order to help you cure your amnesia this fast, the spell had to make it worse, first."

This didn’t sound very good. I started drawing circles and figure-eights into the floor. "So you're saying that..."

"...If we end this session and start another one," The voice followed, "Your mind will deteriorate, and the amnesia will get worse. If you don't even come close to curing your memory loss before coming back from under this spell, it may not just be the last three months you cannot remember when we start the spell again. You could even forget much older memories, such as when you were a filly." There was sorrow in her voice, but I couldn’t help but wonder if it was real. "You have to trust that I'm telling the truth, little one. If we uncover what you've already forgotten, or at least as much of it as possible, the rest shall come back on its own, and I'll know what I need to know."

I was quiet for a minute, letting myself think things over. It made sense, but there was still a prodding feeling in the back of my head. What my memories held was valuable to the voice. But I wasn’t even allowed to be told why, because it carried the risk of affecting how I remember things The spell was holding my entire mind to ransom, too. I shivered at the idea. Did I even agree to this? Or was I forced into this, like I was being forced to continue now?

I let out a sigh of my own, I knew I had a choice, but there was only one option that I felt brave enough to go through with. It was also the only option I had if I didn't want to risk forgetting more of my life. "I need to uncover my memories. How long can you maintain the spell?"

The voice's tone shifted to one that would fit a warm smile, but this time, there was no unnatural warmth dripping from her words. "Thank you for doing this, Fluttershy, I can maintain the spell for as long as necessary. When you’re ready, let your mind free and latch onto the first thing it finds. It doesn’t matter if the memory doesn’t pick up where you last left off, everything will come to you eventually. If sitting still doesn't help you relax, walking might help."

My ears perked up at the words 'free' and 'walking', and I stood up, staring into the distance. I concentrated on the word 'free'; what was its significance? Where had I heard it from that made it matter?
The endless plane of malleable ideas and possibilities twisted into a sparse and grassy plain. In the distance ahead of me, I could see hills and cliffs with off-white faces, and splashes of oranges, pinks, and green from forests that seemed to not know if they were in autumn or spring.

This isn’t Equestria. The air smells different. What is that smell? Charcoal?

It was a smell like charcoal, barely noticeable among the sweet scent of rainwater and plant life. I gazed at the unkempt and wild beauty of the landscape, and suddenly, the name came to me.

The Free Lands

A gentle breeze pushed my mane aside, and when it passed, my mane fell back in place, inexplicably short again. I ran my hoof through my mane, and recoiled slightly when it bumped into my headband. I took a deep breath. I needed to stay calm to make this work.

My saddlebags floated down over my flanks and settled in place, their contents filling them in not long after. My canteen sloshed around in one of the bags, the strap hanging out from being packed away in a hurry; and short shimmers of glowing strips twirled around my foreleg and formed into bandages, covering a nearly-healed cut. Finally, a weight wrapped itself around my neck with a click, and gently fell downwards and rested on my chest. I glanced down to see my Element of Harmony around my neck, the Element of Kindness. When did I get this? If I had mine, then that meant my friends must’ve had theirs, but why am I not in Equestria? Where are my friends?

I lifted the butterfly-shaped stone up, to make sure I wasn’t imagining it, and flinched when it flickered brightly and reflected thin beams of light in an impossibly specific direction. More memories came to me; I was being led by my necklace. But to where? And where from?

I turned myself around, allowing the memory to complete itself. I was leaving behind dark and bare mountains that seemed to be permanently stained a reddish-brown shade. There were creatures living beyond those mountains that sent icy chills down my spine to think of. Good thing I was leaving that place and not going to it.

But what about my friends?

Falling, chilly rain caught up to me, taking the last feelings of comfort and optimism I felt with it, molding me into the tired husk that I was.



I wanted to sleep (or was it wake up?) and escape this awful nightmare. After almost two weeks of endless travelling and coming across abandoned towns, split up with meetings from not-so friendly creatures and narrow escapes from them, I was beyond exhausted. The whole time, I tried and tried to find hope, convincing myself that rescue was just over the next hill, or that my friends were waiting for me, but now I knew I had nothing.

They were gone - everypony was gone.

Now I wandered hundreds of miles outside of Equestria, stopping often as I faded between dream and reality. I had only one real goal now: To reunite the Elements of Harmony, and try to bring myself some peace in knowing that I brought my friends back together one last time.

A Dragon roared across the mountains behind me. Normally, I would be startled by the sound, sometimes scared. But now the sound was only worrying enough to bring me out of my sleepless dreams. My eyes slid back into focus and stared off ahead, following the occasional beam of light flickering from my Element, its pattern erratic and desperate. The beam always shone in one direction, toward a place I somehow knew I needed to go. I didn't feel ready to move just yet. Instead, I brought my focus closer to where I was, and slowly examined the rolling hills and tall wild grass around me.

The Free Lands: A place that Dragons now claimed as part of their own territory. I had heard of this place a few times before in my life. Old stories about the Three Pony Tribes often mentioned how their old home became this place – after the Windigos moved on. It was also a setting Rainbow Dash chose for an adventure story she wanted to write. Nopony really knew the truth about the Free Lands, however, because of who had claimed it over the centuries.

I gazed at the natural, unmarked landscape. Maybe they only use the airspace above it. I pondered, because I can’t see any burnt trees or claw marks here.

Even the disaster that had swept through Equestria, and possibly beyond, had taken no effect here. But without any ponies here in the first place, not since the three Pony Tribes evacuated the land and founded Equestria thousands of years ago, there was nothing for that horrible spell to change. The Free Lands had been abandoned, leaving whatever cities and history to crumble away and meld with the ground and be overrun by the plant life or seized by the Dragons. Equestria surely faced the same fate, now; I didn't want to believe it, but it lingered in my mind all the time, and plagued my nightmares when I’d allow myself to sleep.

Still, this place was remarkably beautiful and peaceful. The rain carried a gentle and steady rhythm, helping to hide the sounds of nocturnal wildlife that I was lucky to notice. The Free Lands had grown to live up to its namesake. Damp, rich soil dirtied my hooves. Shades of green rose and dipped with the gentle hills. The cloud cover, while bleak and grey, had cracks all over it, allowing the dawn to peek through and turn some of the thinner clouds into beacons of golden light. The Free Lands had grown and built itself from the remains of a dead era, it was how nature worked - I of all ponies understood that. But... This couldn't the future for Equestria. This couldn't be the end of ponies. There had to still be hope.

I had been spared from that massive spell for a reason. I hadn't been taken away like the others. My Element seemed to be guiding me - pushing me to something it felt was important. I looked back down at my Element, watching the stone shine and send a string of light into the distance. It was a strange power that I had never seen the Elements do, but it wasn’t the only thing I had learnt about them recently. I was sure that the Element of Kindness had spoken to me, too. Whispers had tickled my ears during confusing visions, telling me to follow its directions. I wasn't sure if it was the truth, or if my mind had finally snapped, but ever since I left the mountains with my Element around my neck, I had been following the path it led me on.

If It turns out to be a lie, I thought, Then I’ll go back to Equestria and search for the other Elements.

I heard another Dragon roar in the distance, and I struggled onto my hooves. I wasn't sure if I could hear my joints creaking, or if I imagined it through lack of sleep. I stretched, and grunted at the aching caused by being cold and still for so long.

Even with everypony gone, I couldn't pass on a chance to have a hope again. I didn't want to imagine life without my friends, or think about what would happen next if I did bring the Elements back together. All I wanted to believe in was that I had a chance to make things right again, make everything okay.

And everything will be okay.

I unfurled my wings carefully, and shakily took off a few feet above the ground. I wanted to make up for lost time before I was too tired to keep moving. But with each sluggish wing beat, and how worn out I was already feeling, I doubted I would get much further than the tree line of a forest I could see in the dim light. If I could get under the trees, I’d be safe from being spotted by a Dragon flying overhead, and out of the rain.
Add a Comment:
 
:iconmizikutomachi:
MizikuTomachi Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2015  New member
poor shy :(
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:iconpinkamena347:
pinkamena347 Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2014  Student
:)
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:icondabear1234:
DaBear1234 Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2014  Hobbyist
Twilight stared at the remnants of the elements, all that she had left of her friends. What had their life ended so quickly? If only she had gotten there in time, then maybe things would've been different. Tears trickled down her guilt-filled face, "I did this. I learned about friendship, and what do I get in the end? Nothing but memories. This wouldn't have happened if I had returned to Canterlot," the purple unicorn cried. Then, she heard a familiar country accent, "Twilight, don't take the blame out on yourself, what has been done has been done, and that's the honest truth." "Cheer up Twilight! Turn that frown upside-down! You must pinkie promise to smile every day," Pinkie giggled. Rarity added, "Dear, memories are more than enough!" And a little murmur chimed in, "You're a really good friend, and I'm happy to die for you." "C'mon Egghead, don't be down like that! We're with you every step of the way!" The purple pony looked around, searching for her lost friends. It didn't have to be this way, her mind screamed. She let her head hang, the tears streaming down her face. The magic within the elements began to twinkle out, taking the memories with them. Twilight's memory began to fade, easing the pain. But friendship stayed in her broken soul, making her heart ache worse. "I used to wounder what friendship could be," she lulled subconsciously, "until you all shared it's magic with me..." The last word stuck on her tongue, a bitter memory fading away. A smile spread across her face. "I'll never forget," she whispered in the dusk.  (This pic and the description made me think of this.. what if twilight instead of fluttershy? But i do love your work its absolutely stunning i like the details on the hair, it gives it a look of wet rags or something like that, its cool.)
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:iconguille832:
GUILLE832 Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2014
Amazing job! The picture is great, really well detailed and succeeds in which corresponds to transmits the emotion, but what I enjoyed the most is the text. Such an wonderful piece :D 
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you, have you read the story on FimFiction, too? It's still a work in progress (and on a brief break while I complete some work elsewhere), but there is a lot of reading to be had!
Reply
:iconguille832:
GUILLE832 Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2014
Ill give it a look later, when I run out of lecture. I have still two books to finish :D Im a writer as well, and I know that being aware of that you have readers is really satisfying :)
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:iconmouseanderson:
mouseanderson Featured By Owner Jan 5, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
wow, dark but very involving!
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you!
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:iconmouseanderson:
mouseanderson Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Your welcome!
Reply
:iconxormak:
xormak Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I can't remember, what happened in September, when everything is gone, when t's dark and i'm alone [LINK]
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:iconiwuvwoona:
IwuvWoona Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
May I use this for a group icon?
Reply
:iconhusk55:
husk55 Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2013
Well; Fluttershy look at the bright side. There's the possibility that the Mules, Buffalo, and the Minotaur's in Equestria also survived the Cataclysm, so you at least have other friendly Hoofed Races to keep you company, so you won't become a total loner, like what happened in End of Ponies. Also take note that the Candance's Shield might have shielded the Crystal Empire from the Change.

I also wonder; do sapient Deer exist in the Survivor Shy-verse?
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The Crystal Empire also suffered the cataclysm; Fluttershy met Philomena at one point of her story, and learnt that the Royal Bird had been sent to the Empire carrying a message, only to find the place desolate.
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:iconhusk55:
husk55 Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2013
Oh boy; Fluttershy truly is alone. She still has better chance than Harmony/Scootaloo in End of Ponies. All said, I hope Fluttershy is open to interracial dating.
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
To be blunt, and a little dark humoured, at least "Survivor" Fluttershy's world has no clean-up required, since the ponies vanished rather than being vaporised.
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:iconhusk55:
husk55 Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2013
Not only that; but the other Civilization's didn't collapse into Warlordism or pure out-right Anarchy.
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Apr 9, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Debateable. The Dragons are invading for Equestria's land and riches, and the Diamond Dogs are scrambling to loot valuables before the Dragons lock them into a deadly war.

There are plenty of other talking creatures that were unharmed by the cataclysm, but it would be a spoiler to talk about any of them.
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:iconthejacoblb44:
TheJacobLB44 Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2013
Imagined not imagining
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:iconthejacoblb44:
TheJacobLB44 Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013
Hiyas:D I have read the story so far on fimfiction and seen the pictures and where u wanna go with it. When do you plan on giving us the story:D
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'll be adding a new chapter today or tomorrow. I've just got to proof-read it and make sure it reads well.

February shall have a lot more activity, too. So there should be a shorter wait between chapters.
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:iconthejacoblb44:
TheJacobLB44 Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013
Cool that's great to know
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:iconraenboow:
RaenBoow Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2013  Student Digital Artist
I haven't been able to follow this lately but this drawing I just like it so much. Really great job with this one :clap: I hope I can find time to get in on this again :aww:
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks. I hope you find the time to read the story, I like hearing feedback
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:icongiromcalica:
GiromCalica Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Reply
:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It must be pretty suckish
Reply
:icongiromcalica:
GiromCalica Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I imagine if Survivor Shy would've took place before and after an asteroid impact.

No worries, I'm already making my fanfic about it.
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:iconsecretlaser:
SecretLaser Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
USE TXT
Reply
:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
As in submit a text deviation? No can do. They don't support images the way I need them to.
Reply
:iconsecretlaser:
SecretLaser Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
TRY
Reply
:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I did a while ago, that's why I put the story onto FimFiction, too.
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:iconsecretlaser:
SecretLaser Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
ok. roleplay?
Reply
:icondarthwill3:
DarthWill3 Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Poor little Fluttershy can't remember what's happened. :cling:

Anyway, I think we all know who was behind this...
Reply
:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The Spanish Inquisition?
Reply
:icondarthwill3:
DarthWill3 Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
No. Celestia...
Reply
:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Dangit, it's never them until you stop expecting them!
Reply
:icondarthwill3:
DarthWill3 Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yeah.
Reply
:iconcynfinnegan:
CynFinnegan Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow... this just keeps getting better.
Reply
:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm doing my best to raise the quality of the project, I'm glad it's being noticed!
Thanks
Reply
:iconcynfinnegan:
CynFinnegan Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
You're very welcome! :D
Reply
:iconokaboka:
okaboka Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2013
maybe i shud read the fic...
Reply
:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I can't force you to, but I'd love it if you did!
Reply
:iconzaiali:
zaiali Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2013
keep going, this is nice.
Reply
:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Cheers!
Reply
:iconkarach0s:
Karach0s Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2013
That's right. Rub it in deep, reminding me that I should finally get my ass up and read the story over at fimfiction. :D I will do that sometime, I promise. For now, I will salvage what I can from the scraps thrown over here. ;)

First of all, that's a great pic of Fluttershy there. I'll to be honest with you--I care much more for the story than for the pics that accompany it, but even I can see the emotions you painted onto Fluttershy's face there. Not only emotion, but the fact that she has gone through a lot and her journey it's taking its toll on her. I'm no art expert (far from it :D), but I think the gentle glow of her Element in the pic is a very meaningful addition to the scene.

As for the story itself I will say this much: this is exactly how info-dumping should be done. :D Great work there. You reveal what is needed to be known leaving some mysteries behind (like the owner of the voice, even though we all know [spoiler]it's Celestia who razed Equestria with her Solar Flare spell when she'd gone crazy when Nightmare took control of her like of her sister before. And she's gonna coax Fluttershy into revealing what happened earlier either because she wants to stop any future attempts of her becoming evil (Paragon version), or because she's still evil and wants to strengthen her power and raze what's left of the world (Renegade version)[/spoiler].

Yes, khem... Silly conspiracy theories aside, I'm quite surprised to find that in her journey Fluttershy had traveled outside Equestria. Have you ever mentioned something like that in the chapters chronologically after this part of her story? I don't think so, but I may as well not remember it. Of course, the way you publish the chapters allows you to do nearly anything (heck, you could even send Fluttershy to the moon if you presented a viable reason for that :D), but it seems her journey to the Far Lands have been for naught. Because later she is forced to collect the Elements anyway. I say for naught, but of course it doesn't mean that Fluttershy hasn't learned something of grave importance or meet a powerful dragon friend there. ;)

I'm surprised to find the Far Lands to be as beautiful and lush as you describe them. It's definitely not the same place the dragons migrate to (Dragon Quest episode) and it's quite surprising that the fire-breathing beasts hadn't destroyed it during their fights for jewels. ;)

Anyway, that's quite an unexpected turn Fluttershy's journey has taken. I'm very curious to see what will happen (or had happened, after all she's still under hypnosis ;)) in the Far Lands.
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
>Far Lands
Suddenly, Minecraft.

The Free Lands is yet another uncreative name that exists in Survivor Shy. Hell, even the story's title lacks imagination, but it's so easy to say!

Yeah, you better read the FimFiction version! Only the cool kids follow both dA and FimFic xD It doesn't really matter. The only difference between the two is the level of organisation and amount of information available. The FimFic version has the story organised into a sort of coherent order (though this upcoming chapter marks the start of anachronic chapters), but doesn't have every scene available yet. DeviantArt has all of the illustrations, including the non-canon ones, available for viewing, but non of it is organised to tell the story clearly.

DeviantArt users do get the perk of reader upcoming chapters before they come out on FimFic, though!

When I started drawing this scene, it was originally just a complete remake of "In Trances", which is now non-canon. I wanted to show Fluttershy losing herself to the weight on her of knowing she's alone. When I was about done with the detailed sketch, I added her Element in to provide a light source that not only looks warm and casts some great shadows on her, but also symbolise a glimmer of hope. She wears her Element because it is offering her a chance, one way or another, to cope with what has happened. It was nice balancing two light sources, too. I'd never used two light sources before, so it was fun picturing how it worked, and making sure the shadows behaved right. I feel I've managed to do very well with it, and it adds so much depth to the image.

You should see the canvas-sized image, it's massive, but it allowed me to be this detailed and clean with the style :P

I'm glad you like the story excerpt. It took me a while to be happy with it, especially since it covered a lot more ground than the image does. The owner of the voice is going to remain a mystery for a long time, and it will obviously be a source for conflict as Fluttershy uncovers more of her adventure, and the voice probably slipping up long enough for Fluttershy to catch something important. For something I created to give an in-universe explanation for the anachronic storytelling, I've certainly got another layer of interesting story to tell :P

There's actually a lot of changes being made to Survivor Shy "under the hood" to make the story better. Some things have been dramatically altered to be less likely to have plot holes or eye-roll worthy cheesiness, and to give the future arcs a brand new perspective and conflict. You'll barely notice the changes, since almost none of it requires rewriting what is already here, but I'm hoping it'll be enjoyed when it comes to revealing it.

Spoiler tags don't work, by the way. And it's still fun to see theories popping up, sometime's crazy how close some people get to guessing the truth, but it's even funnier when they miss obvious things entirely that, if they realised it, would blow the whole story wide open. Oh well, I guess I'll have to wait for the inevitable mind screw when the time comes to reveal it.

Fluttershy does actually visit the Free Lands in older scenes, but I never really detailed what she did there, or why she went there in the first place. This scene rectifies some of that by explaining that her Element lead her into the Free Lands. However, because her memories of what happened between going to Canterlot and arriving in the Free Lands are still shrouded, she cannot explain how she got her Element, how she got so far from home, or where she is going. All she can go on is what's right there in the memory, and any thoughts that passed her mind at the time. We essentially learn through her behaviour and thoughts that she has learned a terrible truth about her friends, and that her actions in the memory are partly driven by that. We've got the effects, but we haven't got the cause(s).

Basically, if you're feeling heartbroken now, then you're gonna get a round two when the exact moment things got worse is visited.

As mentioned in the excerpt, the Dragons treat the Free Lands as just a passage to other locations. They may claim the land as part of their territory, but they only use the airspace for travelling, and very few actually touch the ground. Most of the region is forests and meadows, with large plains scattered among it. It is hardly the terrain a Dragon would find suitable to build a den in, what with the lack of decent-sized caves and the amount of topsoil they'd have to go through to reach gemstones.

Did you also catch that the Free Lands is where (I believe) the Three Pony Tribes used to live before Windigos forced them to relocate to modern-day Equestria?

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:iconkarach0s:
Karach0s Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2013
"Spoiler tags don't work, by the way."
I know! That's precisely the reason I'm using them - to add some humor to my overblown silly conspiracy theories. :D

"We've got the effects, but we haven't got the cause(s)."
Your skills in destroying the physics could rival Pinkie Pie's. :D That's only possible, though, with non-chronological chapters. ;)

Yes, I did catch you mentioning the Windigos. Coincidentally, I think this part of Equestria's backstory (the three tribes) is quite interesting. Now, if only it hadn't destroyed the alicorn-goddesses vision of Lauren... But we can't have everything I guess. ;)
Anyway, yeah, I noticed it, but didn't really see any great significance in the fact (other than a nice shout-out). My mind must have been clouded by a radioactive cloud or something then, because now I'm certain it must be the very reason Fluttershy's Element guiding her there. ;)

As for the dragons, yeah, that would explain why the Lands remained so lush and fruitful.

So, is Fluttershy going to meet some Endermen (or Enderponies) in the Far Lands? :D Are sky-high cliffs going to sprout from the ground suddenly? ;)
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Mattatatta Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
She might find a crazy guy with a dog called Wolfie, and he'll run right past her while talking as if somebody was there to listen to him.

I quite liked Hearth's Warming Eve and the world-building that episode provides. It establishes Equestria as a kingdom that can sustain itself without Alicorn Goddesses - should the need ever arise. While I'm not calling for revolution or a return to "the old ways" - which are at least 1000 years dead, anyway - I am saying that it says a lot about how the union of the Three Tribes did more than just help them survive, it made them thrive. It's a lesson in friendship that is more valuable than being told that life's problems can be solved because two powerful beings will take care of it.

Plus, by opening up the avenue to a time where Equestria wasn't ruled by one or two ponies, it gives any aspiring fanfic writer or headcanon nutter the freedom to re-imagine things, and make Equestria's history much more rich than what canon has confirmed. Using world-building to world-build, as it were.

Survivor Shy, quite honestly, does a lot of world-building and exploration. From Diamond Dog lairs to Equestrian town ruins, from lush landscapes to frozen wintry vistas. Fluttershy is going to do a bit of travelling throughout the story.

The next update will reveal where Fluttershy is being lead to, because that is what the next half of the chapter entails :D
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Karach0s Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2013
"From Diamond Dog lairs to Equestrian town ruins, from lush landscapes to frozen wintry vistas. Fluttershy is going to do a bit of travelling throughout the story."

Try reading this in a deep male voice: "From Diamond Dog lairs to Equestrian town ruins, from lush landscapes to frozen wintry vistas. Lead your chosen pony heroine on an epic quest to recover the Elements of Harmony, stop the untold evil, and restore Equestria to the world of happiness and magic it once was. Only in a new, one of a kind hack&slash game: Survivor [insert your pony here]." :D
Some "learn new skills and spells" would have to be there too, to announce character development. :P "Meet many different creatures, from mighty dragons to ordinary Diamond Dogs" - notice the social aspect of the game. :P

What an epic game it would be. :D

Ahem, yeah. The backstory is great in Hearth's Warming Eve, that's for sure, but it packs quite a dent into any fanon that tries to maintain the credibility of alicorn goddesses. Because it suddenly means ponies were able to handle sunrises and sunsets on their own. What does that make of Celestia and Luna? Some sort of alien (well, different species almost ;)) creatures who came (or were born - meaning immortal, or at least long lived, but definitely not eternal) at some point in time only to ease the duties of some of the old tribes (yes, lazy unicorns, I'm looking at you :P). I think I read a fanfic once, which held onto a theory that Luna and Celestia were ordinary pegasus and unicorn siblings, who found the Elements and sorta leveled up :D in order to defeat Discord. Quite an interesting idea, but not flawless, if I recall some canon facts correctly.

Either way, it's a huge over-analysis for a light-hearted show targeted at little girls. :D Then again, this is exactly something we fanfic writers and readers would do. ;)
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:iconmattatatta:
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I love over-analysis. And with the writers this show has, there is a good reason to do it.

I theorise that Celly and Luna were Unicorn sisters, as the Storybook Intro from the show's first episode says and that they became Bearers with four other ponies; and together, they rose to battle against Discord.

However, Discord won the first encounter, and made the other four Bearers go insane through his chaotic and unpredictable ways - severing their connection to their Elements.

Celestia and Luna took on the slack and split it between them, wielding three Elements each, and finally put a stop to Discord's games.

However, the sheer power that was sent through the two ponies caused them to be transformed into Alicorns. They could have been changed back if they got their other friends to re-establish their connection with the Elements again; but because Discord had screwed up the other four ponies' minds' so much, only he could "fix" them - and he was now encased in stone!

The end result is two Bearers wielding six Elements, the previous four Bearers now too out of their minds to be cured by anyone but the villain, and the villain now trapped in stone after a long and costly battle. Obviously, in my headcanon, Celestia and Luna chose not to free Discord in fear that they may not win next time, and later had to come to terms with being nigh-immortal, and the only two Bearers in existence. That is, until Twilight's generation came along.

This does mean, of course, that Celestia and Luna will not be on the best terms with Discord after his release. But since Celestia seemed certain in the recent episode that Discord could turn over a new leaf, I reckon she has also forgiven him for what happened over a thousand years ago, perhaps with Discord's new perspective of things, the transition from sworn enemy to acquaintance will be much easier.

Luna is a freaking wildcard. Sometimes she seems patient, other times she shows that she bears a grudge. Luna is not one to wear a facade all the time, and seems much more fueled by emotion than her older sister. Perhaps a thousand years of ruling a kingdom will do that to a pony, or perhaps the two sisters have always been that way since they were fillies. I don't know.

Also, I'd play a game like that, but I might be biased. Though it wouldn't be a very good hack'n'slash game if you played Fluttershy mode (Hardcore), because you wouldn't be allowed to perform lethal attacks, you wouldn't be allowed to enter combat unless it was an ally that was in danger, and usage of special powers such as the Stare would be unpredictable as to when they become available - usually after an emotionally damaging experience.

Basically, you wouldn't be able to level-grind to at least buff up your health stats when you level-up. Your enemies' levels would scale up based on progress in the game rather than your character level, and you would level very slowly due to only training Survival and Speechcraft skills, and occasionally dropping a point into Agility.
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:iconkarach0s:
Karach0s Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2013
That's quite an interesting head-canon, I admit. Seems quite well thought-out too as it covers all the angles. Why both unicorns, though? I'm just curious. One could be a pegasus (or even an earth pony if the Elements would cause some sort of strength assimilation).

Speaking of assimilation, this comes to mind for some reason: [link]

Well, I certainly have to agree with what you wrote about Luna. ;) Her character shifts with each friggin' episode she's in. Either she has some serious mood swings or the writers can't come to an agreement about her personality. :D

Aww, you took my game idea and over-analyzed it. :P Personally (well, not in disaster stricken Equestria) I would think of Fluttershy as a sort of Diablo II Necromancer (I don't play any of the modern MMO so there are probably some less outdated examples out there :D). She would summon animals and they would do all the grinding for her. Like, imagine a Diamond Hound overrun with a wave of squirrels. :P Or a timberwolf set against a beaver with sharp teeth. :D
I believe that's the general idea of how it works in Fighting is Magic too. Sprite-wise, it seems that it's Angel who does all the kicking and punching. ;) I have to admit that it fits the abusive bunny punk quite well. :D
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