"I threw off the cloak I was wearing and immediately dropped my saddlebags to the floor. Quickly, I emptied the contents of the bags out; food, medicine, bandages - everything clattered to the stone slabs and scattered. I retrieved my Element when it fell out and put it around my neck, and picked up the scroll that had started rolling away with my mouth.
"Barely able to control my nerves, I collected together the other Elements and arranged them on the ground around me, forming a ring. I passed a glance over to the two crowns of the Royal Sisters, still laying on the shrine I had spent countless months assembling. Whether this plan worked or not, I was glad I had so many witnesses with me, even if they were inanimate objects.
"My preparations complete, I sat down on my haunches, placed the scroll on the floor, and timidly edged my hoof towards it.
"I stopped, choosing to give myself a moment to take a breath. I stared at the rolled up parchment for a while, reflecting on the trouble I had gone through for this one chance, this one possibility that I could fix everything. It carried its risks, especially since I had never cast a spell before, let alone attempted a spell this dangerous and potentially life-altering. I had to be sure of this, be willing and prepared for whatever this spell could inadvertently do to me.
"The scroll contained a spell that broke all known laws of magic, allowing me to not only cast it, but also activate the Elements of Harmony alone, in spite of being a Pegasus. But while a Unicorn or Alicorn had a horn to handle magical currents, I did not. So once I had activated the spell, and passed the point of no return, I was going to be resisting the current until it overpowered me, and what happened next was down to luck and luck only.
"I took a deep breath and closed my eyes for a moment. I was the only pony left, and this could very well change that - for better or worse. I let out a sigh and reminded myself of the promise I made to myself: "Everything is going to be okay." The words comforted me, like they always seemed to be able to do, and the feeling of dread in my stomach disappeared. With nothing more left to think about, I unrolled the scroll with my hoof.
"The writing was in a language that didn't actually exist (as far as I knew), translated into phonetics. I could barely read it and understand the correct pronunciation, I knew the full translation, but the spell could only work when spoken with these words. After reading it silently a few times to become familiar with it, I cleared my throat and began to read out loud.
"'Ce tay charr lo cyin-largg tow habi ni sa palpo, shree o dewn col meelodi col ul.'
"The scroll began to glow and raise itself off the ground. I stood up to keep reading as I carried on.
"'Sy pos ner tay ig, Sy pos ling weetay Elmkeeli, urd way Sy im der fin ehkeeni, tay habvem lo tay chahawlod ri jot kree siib tow ehkeeni.'
"The Elements themselves began to glow, including mine. A golden aura was starting to become more and more apparent around all of them.
"'Fi zul konrurr ad sa crosuul, tayne zul naal colja siib.'
"The Elements in the ring all started floating, their energies becoming unstable. So far, the spell was working, and I only had one more line to read. I mentally readied myself, and delivered the last line without a shadow of doubt in my mind.
"'Tay Empawuul lo Sirt, Stry, urd Syche; cylovarr, ni Meelodi!'
"For a moment, everything went dark, and for a split second, I thought I had done something wrong. Suddenly, a loud crash and bright flash of teal light filled the room. Magical energies buzzed and flew and jolted around me, connecting with the Elements and then sending it all through my Element, straight into my chest.
"I was lifted off of the floor, I couldn't yell or scream as I felt my chest get tight, making me struggle to breathe. I kicked, flailed, flapped and wriggled uncontrollably as I panicked. I could hear my heartbeat in my ears, thumping loudly and at an alarming pace. My chest was burning, my vision becoming nothing but white, and I was getting dizzier and dizzier as I spun and convulsed blindly in the air.
"Suddenly, as the energies took complete control of me, I was relaxed into a state of paralysis and numbness, and my hearing became extremely sensitive. I felt an alien feeling of being transformed, rearranged and altered by the combined power of the six Elements of Harmony. I could hear whispers, but they were too faint for me to hear even with my heightened sense of hearing. Meanwhile, the cacophony of arcing magical bolts and six artifacts humming and almost singing came to a massive crescendo. I began to pass out as I ran out of air, and my vision, once white, now faded into black. I felt the Elements lower me down to the stone floor, which suddenly felt incredibly cold, and allowed me to let go and fall unconscious.
"When I came to, I could feel a hoof nudging me, and a voice gently calling for me.
Note (31st May, 2.30pm): Replaced the 1080p file with a 720p file to improve frame-rate on computers not built for my insanity. The original 1080p file is now available from Sta.sh here: [link]
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.
*End of FAQ*
After over a week and a half of work, and more hours than I am willing to count, the latest instalment of Survivor Shy is complete!
This is not the last scene I'm drawing, I have several new scenes in mind. But, like this scene, and all the other completed scenes, none of them are in chronological order.
Please do me a massive favour by giving your feedback! I would really appreciate it!
Fun Fact: The phonetic language actually has meaning, I wrote the 'spell' out in English, and then bastardised it as much as possible to create the phonetic spell. Cookies to the first pony who can correctly guess the strange words in the deviation title!
I will probably include the English translation in a future scene, as I have an idea in that shall call for such exposition.