TreadingWater

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  1. TreadingWater

    Dark A Ponyville Haunting Pt 1

    Trixie knew deep down that this was a terrible idea. The old house had stood abandoned for many years and nobody remembered the ponies that once lived there, only that they apparently just vanished without anyone noticing. The house itself was falling apart and the ceiling was close to caving in, it was kind of a miracle that the house was still standing at all. There had been plenty of times where the prospect of demolishing the building due to the risk of cave-ins had been brought up but so far nothing had actually been done about it. Nobody was willing to buy it and restore it either. The cause of that being that plenty of ponies believed that the building was haunted. Echoing clapper of hooves in empty corridors, terrifying howls in the middle of the night, items and furniture moving on its own and ghostly faces; this house had it all. The first and only time someone seriously tried to bring the house down it ended with disastrous consequences and even more haunted hijinx that could have easily killed several of the workers. Tools went missing, heavy objects were placed on precarious ledges where they could easily fall on an unsuspecting pony, the electricity in the wiring was suddenly going haywire without any explaination and one pony almost being pushed down the stairs by invisible hooves all occurred within the first week of the workers setting hoof on the porch. The project was canceled due to nobody wanting to work on it and the house was left alone ever since. Until now. As she stood there looking up at the large building in front of her that sure must have looked stunning at one point on time, Trixie shuddered as all sorts of horrible scenarios began to play out in her head. Nightmarish images of her broken body lying at the basement of the marble staircase or drowned in the fishpond outside were sending shivers down her spine but she mentally silenced the voice telling her to flee. She had an image to keep after all. She had been dared by Rainbow Dash to go into the haunted house and bring something back that proved that she had been inside. Her first response had been to refuse but Rainbow kept poking at her pride until she gave in. So here she was, standing in front of the most infamous house in all of Ponyville. She took a deep breath and opened the broken door, carefully stepping into the Main Hall. The smell inside was unlike anything she had ever felt before, heavy and nausiating with decay. The wallpaper was peeling off the walls and a thick layer of dust covered everything within sight. Nothing seemed to be out of the ordinary. So far so good. Trixie jumped slightly as the floorboards creaked beneath her weight, frantically looking around for something to bring back so that she could leave this wretched place. She stepped into the foalie and to her delight spotted a small statue on top of an old piano. It was still intact and more importantly small enough to easily carry. As she took a few more steps across the threshold, a cold breeze made her shiver and she could swear that she heard a sinister voice whisper in her ear. Not wanting to remain in the old wreck any longer, she reahed out for her magic and grabbed the statue. She had not been prepared for what came next. The piano suddenly came alive in a horrifying fashion. The lid flew up in a grotesque parody of a jaw and an unnarutal sound was coming from its hollow casket, like a funeral-choir played on broken keys. Its wooden legs bent and twisted in ways that should not be possible and a pale blue flame inside its gullet emitted a sinister glow. Paralyzed with fear, Trixie's mind was going blank and she couldn't look away from the monstrosity that was rapidly stumbling towards her. She tried to run away but suddenly screamed out in pain as the living instrument had unhooked the wires from within its chassi and had latched on to one of her legs. The steel was digging into her flesh as the piano pulled harder and harder to try and get her to let go off the lightfixture that she was clinging on to for dear life, having no desire to know what was awaiting her within the monster's belly. Suddenly the light in the room swayed and Trixie looked up to see a massive chandeleer hanging from the ceiling, right above her adversary. She spotted the chain and fired off a magical bolt, praying with all her heart that it would be enough. Thankfully, Trixie was in luck that everything in the house was a decrepid as it was. The rusted chain snapped, sending the heavy chandeleer smashing into the floor and smashing the piano into hundreds of pieces. The second the pressure on her leg vanished, Trixie limped out the front-door as fast as her legs could carry her without looking back even once. If she had, she might have seen the pale fire rise from the remains. As the frightened unicorn limped home with shaky nerves, she never noticed the second quartet of hoofprints that followed her home. Nor did she hear the sound of faint laughter above the howling of the autumn winds.
  2. TreadingWater

    How to build a dreaded antagonist

    Well, for me there are a few things that are important to think about. The biggest factor here is to ask yourself what kind of villain that you are trying to make. Are you trying to make a villain that you feel really sorry for? Or are you trying to make a villain that you are scared of? After that, the single most important part of any villain to get right is their backstory and motivation. We need to understand why a villain do the evil things that they do in order to get invested in them. Their backstory is what forms their motivation so I am putting both into the same category. If you are going for a legitimately intimidating/scary villain, I personally think that it is really important to not make them too sympathetic. Off course, a good villain needs some form of humanity (or whatever the pony-equivalent is) in order for us to relate to them. But it is kind of hard to be afraid of someone while also feeling sorry for them at the same time. A little bit of sympathy is always necessary but a tearjerking backstory distracts for the fear that you are supposed to feel from the villain. Also, remember that a villain does need some positive character-traits. If they are comprised of nothing but negativity then they stop being interesting to follow. I would also give the advice to let them be a challenge of both the physical plane and the psychological plane. Have them really get into the hero's brain and make them question what is truly right and wrong or if they even are a hero at all. Maybe it is just my fascination with psychology but I always thought that a villain who can get into your head without having to lift a finger is far more intimidating than any superpower, that is part of the reason why I like the Scarecrow so much. One of the hardest fights to win is a fight against your own psyche. Don't make them goofy or annoying, that not only sucks out all the intimidation that they could have had (Dolores Umbridge could have been incredibly intimidating if it wasn't for how annoying she was) but it makes it hard for us as readers to take them seriously. Happy writing!
  3. Hello everybody! So a while back, I was thinking about what I was going to do with my two alicorn-OCs and after a time of thinking I came up with the idea of creating an entirely new kingdom for them and all of my other OCs, not too far away from Equestria (and our lovely cast of ponies) and similar in some ways but different in others. The idea for this kingdom went as follows: I pictured a kingdom that had once been peaceful like Equestria but fell into disarray after the alicorn that once ruled them passed away. The two new alicorns destined to rule the kingdom didn't get along and their fighting resulted in the kingdom being split down the middle by a large mountain-range, one side a beautiful grove of aging trees while the other was a craggy extension of the mountain. At the very north, there is a place that is always covered in snow and ice. Because of the unrest created by the change in leadership, dark powers have begun to sink its claws into both the citizens and environment alike and horrifying monsters emerges from the shadows. So something similar to Cephiro from Magic Knight Rayearth. My first question, embarrassingly enough, is what I should name it. I was thinking Coltshire at first but it doesn't sound enchanting enough. So some help in this regard would be really appreciated. The second is what you guys think about this concept. I have always wanted to tackle some slightly darker themes (like what happens to the ponies who die) but didn't want it to feel too out of place in the MLP-universe. We have seen from examples like the Crystal Empire that the ruler dictates the state of their kingdom in more ways than just the obvious, so a peaceful kingdom with a good ruler (like Equestria) would result in peaceful and kind citizens for the most part. But when a kingdom is in chaos and unrest, that negative energy spreads to the citizens and surroundings as well. I have a huge chunk of my cast, both heroes and villains alike, planned out with backstory and everything and all I really need to do is finish up their portraits. Is it too dark for MLP? If so, what kind of changes would you recommend? I would be grateful for any kind of advice, I am still kind of new to writing within the MLP-universe. Have a nice day and stay creative!
  4. TreadingWater

    Hello! Nice to meet everyone!

    As a struggling artist, I can safely say that I have a ton of fun drawing ponies and coming up with new characters. It is something that continues to bring me joy even when the rest of my life is incredibly dull and monotone. Any kind of constructive criticism on my work is very appreciated since I am still learning in many areas. I also write plenty of stories, both MLP-related and otherwise (not a whole lot published though since I am still working on them). Currently, I am working on the creation of my own kingdom where pretty much all of my OCs live and the myths that surround it. I have plenty of ideas and I can't wait to show them to you!