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Submitted on
May 12, 2012
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Survivor Shy - Meditate by Mattatatta Survivor Shy - Meditate by Mattatatta

"I closed the doors behind me, their hinges protesting against being used after centuries of being left alone. Illuminating my path with my lantern, I started walking the familiar, cold, stone passageways, moving to the Throne Room - now my home and the place at which I was assembling my shrine.

"Despite the danger involved in travelling here - even by air - the ancient castle itself wasn't sanctuary to any dangerous creatures. I didn't know how or why, but they actively avoided coming near the ruins, as if trespassing on them was a crime that they could never commit. This made this castle the safest place I knew of in all of Equestria. Even my old cottage outside Ponyville was unsafe, as everything from Hounds to creatures from the Everfree Forest wandered in and around there. Of the few visits I made there to collect possessions and supplies, I found myself coming close to getting hurt - or worse - so I reluctantly stopped going home, and made a new 'home' here.

"I entered the repurposed Throne Room, and walked up to where the throne used to be. I had long since moved it from it's spot and left it gathering webs in a corner. In it's place were a couple of artifacts and several unlit candles. I set my lantern down, and set fire to the end of a twig with it, lit the candles one-by-one, and then extinguished both twig and lantern's flame. I sat down and drank in the warm, flickering lights of the candles, and then moved my eyes to the artifacts making up my shrine. So far, I had only placed two there; The crowns that belonged to Princess Celestia and Princess Luna. I had found them the last time I searched Canterlot Castle, and felt compelled to take them with me instead of leaving them to be buried in rubble. Though finding these crowns without their owners made my hopes bleak, having them somehow comforted me, the air around them was soothing and calming.

"I turned and used my wing to search through my saddlebags, a moment later, I pulled out the Element of Magic. With my wing, I carefully allowed the Tiara to slide onto one of the steps, right beside Princess Luna's crown. I admired the small collection for a moment, and then took off my saddlebags and sat down.

"Closing my eyes, I started to meditate. I thought about everything I had seen in my life, all the good and all the bad, and I thought about my actions, about the things that had happened to me. I thought about my friends, how much I missed them, how much I hoped that they were still alive somewhere, just as lost as I was. I began to wish to the Princesses that they could help me, that they could bring at least one of my friends to me, or at least show me the way to find one of them. I loved them all, and not having them there for me was a lot like having one Element of Harmony before me, neither us able accomplish anything alone, but all together, capable of defeating any obstacle.

"I thought more about my friends, and pictured myself sitting with them during one of many afternoon picnics we spent together. Rainbow Dash was relaxing in the sunlight, Applejack was napping against a tree, Pinkie was flying a kite with Twilight, and Rarity was sitting with Spike, eating sandwiches and talking to each other. I simply sat on my haunches, watching either the sky or the birds, or watched what the others were doing. Some days, I would join them in what they were doing, but on other days, I'd simply enjoy the peace around me while among my closest friends. Summer afternoons just seemed more harmonious with them.

"About half an hour later, I came out of my trance. I sat there for a few moments, watching the candles flicker in silence. Slowly, I rose up onto my hooves and lit my lantern again. I blew the candles out, picked up my lantern and trotted over to the makeshift bed I had made on one side of the room. I rested myself on the bedding, leaving the lantern burning to comfort me, and soon fell asleep. My dreams filled with happy memories."


I needed a change of pace, and Fluttershy needed to not be drawn in stressful or dangerous situations for once, so this scene came to mind.

I am fascinated with shadows, shading, and achieving a subtle bloom effect. I spent more time playing with filters and shading than actually drawing this, I wanted it to look nice. Still got a long way to go before I get good at it though.

Made with SAI and GIMP.
Survivor Shy Gallery: [link]


(q)What is this?
(a-short answer) Survivor Shy, an ongoing series following Fluttershy on a mission to survive being in an Equestria in ruins, and to restore Equestria and ponykind.
(a-long answer) A project I began after binging on Fallout 3 and Fluttershy episodes. It originally began as a couple of pictures that depicted Fluttershy in an ambigious, post-apocalyptic setting. But since then, Survivor Shy has evolved into an ongoing adventure/fantasy series following Shy's journey to restore Equestria and ponykind.

(q)Where do I start? In what order do these pictures go?
(a-short answer) Follow them in any order, none of them are in chronological order, and I've left it up to you to work out the correct order.
(a-long answer) I'm experimenting with an unusual way of storytelling. I focus on drawing dramatic scenes that fit the basic theme of Survivor Shy, and once I'm finished, I write a story excerpt based on the picture. As time goes by and I complete and upload new scenes, the chronological order of the story shall become clearer, and the story shall practically write itself. Once I finish the 'last' scene of Survivor Shy, I'll see about linking the scenes together into chronological order.

(q)Why are your animated pictures so big? They make me lag!
(a)I'm a silly pony who likes massive pictures, but I'll downscale the gifs so that they don't lag so much from now on.

(q)Is this going to be Grimdark/Mature?
(a) I have no intention of drawing anything that could be classed as Grimdark. We're talking Disney-levels of blood and overall darkness. As for the written parts, I will not write anything graphic, but the written parts do have less-strict rules.

(q)Will Fluttershy die?
(a)I can't say exactly, I will say that she could die, but I'll never draw her dead or write words to the effect of "Fluttershy died". If your imagination says that she died after a certain scene, then that's your interpretation.
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EarthyRainbowkitty Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
what happened to twilight and the other princesses end her friends?
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It's partially explained in a fanfic I'm writing (currently on hiatus/hold).

The gist is that a cataclysmic spell was unleashed upon Equestria - and perhaps beyond - causing everypony to vanish in thin air. All except for Fluttershy, who, on the night the millions disappeared, was spared from the spell's immense power by Twilight's last-moment choice to save her friend with a magical rune inscribed in a letter.

Fluttershy makes this realisation at around this point in the story, when she heads to Canterlot believing her friends to be waiting for her there. Instead, she discovers a city filled with looting Diamond Dogs and Dragons fighting for dominance.

The fic itself has halted just short of a major plot point due to personal issues and obligations. But I'm aiming to return to the fic and continue it very soon. It is illustrated with almost every Survivor Shy image in my gallery, and I hope to make it one of the most illustrated fanfics in the MLP:FiM fandom, if not the only illustrated fanfic.
bruiser128 Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2014
You have a BRILLIANT talent in artwork.
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for the compliment. This picture alone shows how far I've come since I drew it! But even now it's a picture I'm proud of.
bruiser128 Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2014
Well either way, would you consider this series to be depressing all the way to the end?
Mattatatta Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hard to answer that. The story is inherently sad, but whether it gets more sad than 'usual' is down to how Fluttershy chooses to deal with her troubles. Right now the story is following Fluttershy as she struggles to find a purpose to her survival and keep her growing list of demons at bay. Parts of the story are real gut punches according to some of the readers I've read comments from, while others bring about some hope to Fluttershy's entire journey.

I'm not interested in shocking readers with cheap cliches like gore and gratuitous sadism, I'm more interested in making them feel the same connection to the story that Fluttershy has and making them feel what she feels. It's a sad story, but Fluttershy is made of pretty tough stuff and only needs to tap into that to keep her hope alive. By the end of the story, I want the reader to have experienced a rollercoaster of emotions, not just sadness throughout.
bruiser128 Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2014
Well to be honest I can relate to Fluttershy's loneliness in this series
because I have spent most of my childhood like that as well.
FireworksBlaze Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2013
Will the series ever end?
RaenBoow Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Soothing :) Yeah to much action can be tiresome I guess. I enjoyed it. I can picture Fluttershy this way, needing to do this.
Liliththeottsel Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
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