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Redback Spino
Redback Spino fimfiction
The author's OC
Other names fimoman
Active since September 2011
Known as Author
Artist
Redback Spino, publishing as fimoman on deviantArt, is an artist and fan fiction writer. Many of his short stories are inspired by and strongly resemble specific works of H.P. Lovecraft, though several of his more recent works are more high-fantasy themed.

The Statement of Twilight Sparkle

The Statement of Twilight Sparkle
The Statement of Twilight Sparkle cover

The story's cover art


Date published September 16, 2011
Words 2,489
Status Complete
Type/genre Tragedy
Dark
Based on The Statement of Randolph Carter
Story link(s)
|FIMFiction logo square.png| |DeviantArt logo square.png|

Twilight Sparkle is found unconscious in front of a cave entrance on the outskirts of the Everfree Forest. She can't remember what happened, and every time her friends try to find out, she gets extremely agitated and shouts something about Rainbow Dash and how she doesn't know what happened to her. Weeks go by and Rainbow Dash never turns up. Her friends eventually get Zecora to make a potion that is supposed to make Twilight remember. It does.

She recounts how she found the location of a cave on an old map which. Her curiosity was piqued when she noticed that the cave had not been mapped out, unlike all other locations. Rainbow Dash agreed to help her take a look and convinced Twilight to explore the cave first, on her own, outfitted only with a makeshift walkie-talkie.

After a while, Rainbow told her that she has found something wondrous and strange. Her tone then grew more frantic as she begged Twilight to cause an avalanche and seal off the mouth of the cave. Twilight had no intention of leaving her friend behind, but Rainbow implored her to close up the cave and run away, before it was too late. Her tone frightened Twilight to the core, and she finally did as asked.

Fluttershy interrupts, remarking on an inconsistency: she was the one who found Twilight, and at that point, the cave was not sealed up. That prompts Twilight to stammer in shock, and finish her tale. The last thing she heard before she passed out was a voice coming from her headset. It was not Rainbow Dash's voice, or any voice fitting for a pony. The voice called out to her: "You fool! Rainbow Dash is DEAD!"

The Strange Music of Octavia

The Strange Music of Octavia
The Strange Music of Octavia cover

The story's cover art


Date published October 19, 2011
Words 3,293
Status complete
Type/genre Dark
Crossover
Based on The Music of Erich Zann
Story link(s)
|FIMFiction logo square.png| |DeviantArt logo square.png|

This story based on a tale by H.P. Lovecraft is narrated in the first person and presented as the recollection of the narrator some time after these events take place: A university student of few means has found a new apartment in a run-down part of Canterlot: Rue d'Lune (a grammatically incorrect rendition of "Moon Street" in French, matching a similar error in Lovecraft's original). Every night, he hears strange music emanating from the apartment on the floor above, and eventually he meets his musically-inclined neighbor: Octavia, a former opera singer who one day suddenly stopped singing and now makes her money playing the cello at the occasional function. After some trepidation, Octavia is willing to let the narrator listen in while she rehearses, but the music she plays when he is present is never as unusual as the music she plays at night.

Octavia grows agitated whenever the narrator tries to get her to explain, and eventually stops allowing him in. The narrator can't help himself, however, and keeps standing guard in front of her door every night, listening to the strange sounds she produces. One night, the performance grows particularly frantic, and the narrator knocks on the door, afraid that Octavia might have had a seizure. To his surprise, she opens the door and lets him in. An indescribable sound emanates from an open window usually covered by heavy drapes. Taking no note of the narrator, Octavia resumes playing her discordant melody, as if responding to - or countering - the music from outside.

A strange wind starts to course through the apartment, picking up in strength until it tears the drapes from their fasteners. The window turns out to be no ordinary window at all, overlooking a strange, otherworldly blackness instead of the Canterlot skyline. Far off within the void, the narrator can see a shape approaching. He tries to get Octavia to leave, but she is gripped by madness and refuses to stop playing. So the narrator flees without her, down the stairs, past his apartment, out the door and away from Rue d'Lune. As soon as he clears a small canal separating that street from another, his house, and with it the entire street, vanishes. When he turns around, it has been replaced by a perfectly normal-looking and comparatively busy Canterlot street. The narrator informs the reader that he never saw the house, or Octavia, again.

Scaling the Tower

Scaling the Tower
Writer(s) Redback Spino
Date published January 14, 2012 (original)
February 18, 2012 (edited)
Words ~3,800
Status complete
Type/genre horror
Based on The Outsider (short story)
Story link(s)
|FIMFiction logo square.png| |DeviantArt logo square.png|

For as long as it can remember, a creature has been living in a gloomy castle. It feels no hunger or thirst and has no concept of its race, sex or general appearance. It spends its time reading books since there is nothing else to do. The castle is surrounded by seemingly endless woods, offering no escape.

One day, the creature decides to leave anyway, by the only means possible: scaling a tower on the castle grounds, a tower so tall its top is not visible from the ground. The creature reaches the top, and through a door inside the tower suddenly finds itself in Equestria, close to Canterlot. It sneaks into the castle, where many ponies, including the Mane 6 and the Princesses, are having a party. After observing the ponies for a while, it decides to join their festivities and enters via a window.

Upon seeing it, the ponies panic and run away, without exception. Celestia looks at the creature as if she recognizes it, but she, too, leaves. In a mirror, the creature sees a terrifying sight, a dirty, furless thing with nails and hands instead of hooves. It understands suddenly why the ponies ran, and it remembers what it is and was: an outsider who does not belong.

The summary reflects an edited version available on both FIMFiction and deviantArt. FIMFiction also hosts an earlier draft of the story which follows largely the same plot but does not make the creature's human form as explicit.

The Tears of Gaia

In a prologue, we are told a legend about nine godlike beings known as the Others, who formed the world where Equestria is found, and created life in the world. Six of them took on the forms of Alicorns (Celestia and Luna among them), and the other three were Draconequi (Including Discord, who in those days was known as Eris). However, one day something simply referred to as 'The Blight' was freed from deep underground, corrupting anything it touched into hideous monsters (Among its first victims was Discord himself, who was driven insane by it). But the Alicorns created the Elements of Harmony and defeated them in battle which claimed the life of the alicorn Gaia. To preserve her memory, the remaining five Alicorns poured some of their magic into a jewel, which became known as the titular Tears of Gaia.

In the present day, Twilight reads a passing mention of the Tears of Gaia in a new book she orders. Curious, she travels to the Canterlot Archives to research it. She finds hidden amongs all the books a tiny notebook, written by Starswirl the Bearded himself, detailing the legend of the Others and the forming of the Tears. They hint that the jewel is hidden somewhere in the Crystal Mountains north of Equestria, so Twilight and her friends decide to journey out there and try to find them. However, after they depart Celestia discovers their intent and his very worried, since she has heard accounts from the Deer nation of Cervidas, of violent monsters very much resembling the description of creatures infected by the Blight. So she and Luna decide to send somepony to aid the Mane Six in their journey.

Meanwhile, the Mane Six have made good progress, hiking far into the North of Equestria. However, they are confronted by a band of strange cloaked creatures who attack them, who we later learn are servants of the Blight, known as Blightlings. The ponies escape (Though Twilight drops her bags, containing all her plans, maps and supplies for the journey), reaching a protected haven at the base of Neighagra Falls, where a mysterious old mare named Rowanoak lives. The magical nature of the Falls fascinates Twilight Sparkle, as well as Rowanoak's apparent clairvoyance, despite being an earth pony. Rowanoak gives them directions to the Tears in the form of a poem and they leave the next morning, but not before the leader of the Blightling gang (Named Maugoth), stops by to return Twilight's bag. Maugoth's plan is to have the ponies lead them to the Tears of Gaia, let them do the hard work of obtaining it, and then steal it for their own use.

Following the poem, the ponies find themselves at the Crystal Mountains, where they are attacked by a pack of timberwolves. However, they are saved by another mysterious figure. It is the pony the Princesses sent to aid them, none other than Starswirl the Bearded himself, resurrected from the dead. With their new companion, they travel to the top of a mountain where they are confronted by an enormous dragon. After a fight, Fluttershy of all ponies manages to subdue it, but find the Tears are not in the dragon's cave. When they try to leave, the dragon, named Tharos, reveals that he was under a spell; He would have to fight anypony who came looking for the Tears until he confronted one who would defeat him, but not kill him. Released of his spell, Tharos agrees to fly the ponies to the location of the Tears. This is revealed to be some sort of pocket dimension accessed by an incantation Tharos was taught.

They find themselves in a strange dimension of oddly-coloured ground, abnormally skinny mountains and an enormous moon in the sky the ponies find another mountain cave where the Tears indeed lie. But when they take it, the whole place begins shaking and the moon in the sky moves, revealing it was not a moon, but the eyeball of some colossal monster. The ponies and Tharos escape, triumphant that they have the Tears, but their victory is short lived as they are ambushed by Maugoth and his Blightlings again. In the ensuing battle, Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash and Applejack are captured, and Tharos is killed.

As they try to rest, Twilight has a dream, where Rowanoak tells her three things: 'The Mountains in the North hold feathered friends', 'The prodigal son will be found', an 'the artisan will defeat the warrior thrice'. Rowanoak say sthat when these three things have come true, only then will she and her friends find the others. So she, Starswirl, Rarity and Pinkie Pie head North to a mountain range, where they find the griffon city of Fjaereir. At first the locals are anxious about strangers (Especially the local commander, the racist, belligerent Gellert), but they warm up to them when they see that they mean no harm. When they make an appeal to the high council, they are refused until they show them the Tears of Gaia, describing how they are trying to get them back to Equestria without the Blight getting them. Gellert makes a deal, that they will help them find their friends if she lets them use the Tears for their own armoury of magically-infused weapons. They refuse, but agree to at least help the griffons a bit. Rarity finds herself repeatedly insulted by Gellert, and learn of a contest, where if they can beat Gellert in three challenges (The Flyt, where they hurl insults at eachother until one surrenders; the Feast, an eating contest, and the Fight, where they fight until one contestant is floored). Having enough of Gellert's rudeness, Rarity snaps and challenges him to the contest. The other ponies at first are against the idea, but Twilight remembers Rowanoaks words and defends Rarity's decision. The Flyt takes place that evening and Rarity, concentrating more on turning Gellert's insults against himself, ends up winning.

Meanwhile, Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash and Applejack are now Maugoth's prisoners. Maugoth is at first furious that none of the three have the Tears with them, but then decide instead to use them to find out where the others have gone, and if not, then they can at least 'have a little fun' with them. The platoon travels to an outpost caled Maudhul, which lies on the outskirts of the forested Deer nation of Cervidas. There, they meet another prisoner, a griffon named Gordon, who claims to be a prince of a nearby griffon settlement. When the three of them refuse to give any information, Maugoth has Fluttershy taken down to somewhere ominously referred to as 'The Pits' (Which are strongly hinted, though never outright described, as being some sort of sex dungeons where the Blightlings can have their way with prisoners). But suddenly the outpost is attacked by a small group of deer, who rescue the four prisoners and take them safely into Cervidas, which is a magical, almost ethereal forest of enormous silvery trees (A rather obvious analogy of Lothlorien from The Lord of the Rings). There they meet its ruler, a mysterious white-furred stag called the White Hart. He tells them of how the Deer are at war with the Blight at the outpost, and insists that the four stay in Cervidas for their own safety, which they agree to.


The story is notable for being one of Redback Spino's first stories without a leaning towards Lovecraftian horror, following a more high-fantasy adventure theme, similar to JRR Tolkein's Lord of the Rings saga, or Brian Jaques' Tales of Redwall. The story seems to be heavily inspired by both authors. It is also notable for its use of artificial languages (With the Griffons using many old Norse words, the Deer speaking Tolkien's Elvish language of Quenya, and Tharos the dragon's incantation being in Dovah, from the Elder Scrolls videogames), and many songs.


Kingdom Come

A darker fantasy story. A strange magical explosion, resulting in the death of Amethyst 'Sparkler' Hooves, Derpy Hooves' teenage daughter, causes unrest and shock in Ponyville. While investigating, Twilight Sparkle discovers that Amethyst had been studying a mysterious ruby pendant she had found that seemed to speak to her, and compelled her to wear it. But it seemed that when she put it on, it caused an enormous magical surge that killed her and damaged the entire street. However, while Twilight and her friends investigate, the ruby comes to Prince Blueblood in Canterlot and speaks to him. It offers him untold power and glory in return for his cooperation. Agreeing, Blueblood puts on the ruby, which reveals itself as the Alicorn Amulet. The Amulet instructs him in the creation of four other jewels, known as the Elements of Dissonance, which are magical jewels even more powerful than the Elements of Harmony (The ALicorn Amulet iself is the Element of Greed, as well as containing the soul of its creator, who was killed by the Princesses for meddling with such magic). Three of the jewels, the Elements of Cruelty, Treachery and Deception find their hosts; King Sombra, who is resurrected by the Element, Gilda the griffon and Queen Chrysalis respectively. However, the fourth element, the Element of Despair, does not find a host, and therefor they plan to force a pony to feel despair and then bond the Element with them. This turns out to be Scootaloo, who they drive to despair and madness by murdering Applebloom in front of her, convincing her that she might have done it. With all the Elements bonded, they resurrect the Sixth Element, the Element of Death, and its power raises from the dead an enigmatic, twisted unicorn, known as the Fallen King, the pony who had hidden his soul in the Alicorn Amulet. Together, they plan a rebellion against the Princesses, who the Fallen King claims usurped the throne unjustly from him thousands of years ago. When they confront the Princesses in canterlot, the Fallen King throws back his hood, revealing himself to be King Starswirl the Bearded.


Currently unfinished, Redback Spino claims that the story is the main storyline of an upcoming collaborative project, known as the 'Kingdom Come Project', which would tell the entire story through multiple sidestories, short origin-story oneshots, and prequels detailing the war between the Princesses and Starswirl, referred to as the '1st War'. However, as of this writing, Redback's story is the only published story in the project. Invitations have been sent out for authors who would be interested in writing for the project.

Other stories

  • Discord on Insanity and Reality Engineering (Complete): A short essay presented as being told by Discord to a pony who finds his statue in the Canterlot Sculpture garden. Discord describes to him how he considers his own label of 'insane' as a release, since it gives him an excuse to do whatever he wants. He then goes on to describe his belief that reality itself exists purely in the perceptions of those who observe it, and that by observing, they can actively change reality to meet their perceptions. He described how the Princesses have created the many traditions and celebrations based around Equestrian history as a form of indoctrination; regardless of whether the stories are true, by remembering them and celebrating them, the ponies make them true, and how the Princesses use such ideas to control the populus. it is an adaptation of the works of steampunk musician and wannabe-World Emperor Doctor Phineas Waldolf Steel, who postulated a similar theory in his video, entitled 'Reality Engineering'
  • DownFall (complete): Ponified adaptation of The Fall. Was briefly accepted by Equestria Daily, but then pulled for being a 'copy-paste' adaptation.
  • The Tales That Never Ends (Discontinued and deleted): Ponified adaptation of The Neverending Story. Three chapters were written before they were deleted from FIMFiction and the story was discontinued.
  • Hearths-Warming Traditions (Complete): Rainbow Dash is depressed since she has nopony to celebrate Hearths Warming with, since she and her parents apparently do not get along well, and most of her friends are either busy with their own families, or are out of town for the holiday. It does not help that Hearths Warming is a holiday that never made much sense to her; in particular, all the little rituals and customs that go with it. But Fluttershy, she reasons, is bound to be alone, so she decides to go visit. When she arrives, she finds that Fluttershy has a guest already by name of Uncle Butterball, who happens to be an estranged uncle of Fluttershy's. Despite this, Rainbow Dash is welcomed into Fluttershy's house to join the festivities. She endures many of the holiday customs, such as singing carols, pulling crackers, and sitting down for a huge meal together. But after dinner, Fluttershy becomes unusually solemn, and leads Rainbow Dash and Butterball to a hillside out of town, where two gravestones stand: Fluttershy's parents. After spending some time there the trio return to Fluttershy's cottage. There, Rainbow finally admits how she does not understand Hearths Warming, and in particular the customs and rituals. But Fluttershy explains that she does not believe in many of the customs herself, but she does them anyway because of the memories and emotions that she associates with Hearths Warming and its traditions. With things becoming a little clearer, Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy return inside to continue the festivities.


Trivia

  • As well as being a fanfiction author, Redback Spino is also an artist, having drawn the cover images for many of his stories, including The Statement of Twilight Sparkle, Ever Watching, The Tears of Gaia and Downfall.
  • He currently resides in London, England, and can be found frequently at meetups in the area, and has attended both BUCK conventions in Manchester.

External links

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