Hey! It looks like you're new here. You might want to check out the introduction.

In Over Your Head · FiM Minific ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 400–750
Show rules for this event
Bygone Griffons of Greatness, Appendix A: King Grizzle
While this book is primarily concerned with the lineage of the Great Kings of Griffonstone, beginning with King Grover and culminating in the current reign of His Majesty, King Guto, this author would be remiss if she did not devote at least a few words to the ill-fated (and still disputed*) rule of King Grizzle, the Fallen King, First and Last of His Name. Indeed, in order to fully comprehend the scope of King Grover’s accomplishments, it will be important to understand the origin of the Feuding Warlords era his reign served to bookend, and recent developments may well shed light on that subject in the near future.

Most of what was once known concerning King Grizzle’s rule has been lost to time, as is true of so much from the civilizations that existed in griffon lands prior to the Feuding Warlords era of griffon history. Still, multiple texts penned during the twilight years of King Grover’s reign** refer to Lonely Peak as the location of the Ebon Aerie, the central hub of King Grizzle’s territory. With His Majesty’s permission, a joint team of griffon and pony archaeologists was dispatched to a promising site beneath a sundered cliffside on the southerly face of the mountain. A summary of their current findings follows.

Less than a day into the dig, the team unearthed a layer of blasted basalt and obsidian that was geologically inconsistent with the surrounding layers of rock, a promising start to the excavation. Digging further, they soon discovered circular black stone foundations (Fig. i), a hallmark of the architecture associated with the Fallen King’s reign.

Within these ruined buildings were found the charred bones of dozens of griffons, adults and fledglings alike. Many lay barely a hoofstep from their weapons and armor (Fig. ii, iii), a testament to the swiftness and fury of the attack that devastated the Ebon Aerie. The nature and locations of the artifacts recovered thus far indicate that King Grizzle and the troops under his command were woefully under-prepared for the doom that fell upon them.

Digging further into the rubble at the base of the cliff, the archaeologists uncovered the half-melted walls of a keep, sizeable even by modern pony standards. The state of the walls and the comparative lack of artifacts, combined with a thick layer of fine ash present throughout the complex, are horrifying indicators of the heat of the fires that burned within.

At the time of the team’s most recent report, the most exciting find has been the ongoing excavation of a large vault buried within the center of the keep. The presence of thin sheets of gold fused to the stones themselves, as well as a pair of hoof-sized gemstones half-sunk within a brick a pony’s height from the floor (Fig. iv), are promising signs that this could be the fabled treasure room that was the locus of King Grizzle’s power. The only artifact recovered from this room, found between a pair of deep trenches gouged into the stone floor, is a single shard of obsidian, crudely carved into a spike (Fig. v). Speculation abounds as to whether the shard is a fragment of the legendary Black Crown of Grom the Golden, but hopes remain high that more shards will be found. If so, further artifacts (and, perhaps, relics) of the Fallen King may yet be recovered.

* There are many scholars who purport the story of King Grizzle is merely a myth that griffons use as justification for their former wanton greed and constant infighting, retold to smooth over ruffled feathers over their noble race’s prior misdeeds. However, this author feels there is now sufficient evidence present within the ruins at Lonely Peak to indicate it is indeed the site of the lost Ebon Aerie, as well as the location of King Grizzle’s final resting place.

** For a transcription of the most complete text of the Legend of King Grizzle (embellishments of the original author included and annotated), see Appendix B.
« Prev   20   Next »
#1 · 2
· · >>Icenrose
All throughout this I was kind of hoping something would click with me; I still genuinely don't know whether I've just missed the point here completely, but the message and purpose of the story (in-keeping with the prompt) lacked clarity/presence. I was left feeling that something was hidden in there, but always out of my reach. Perhaps the sun today has just addled my brain.

At any rate, the history geek in me quite enjoyed the textbook-style approach to exploring griffin myths and legends, but that was all this felt like at the end of the day. A history lesson.

As always, though, thanks for sharing your work with the community!
#2 · 1
· · >>Icenrose
Genre: Encyclopedia entry

Thoughts: This is a beautifully-written encyclopedia entry. I don't feel it quite works as a story, though; there are hints of past conflicts, and a soupçon of intrigue, but that never manages to translate into a sufficient mix of plot, action, or characters, to get into my upper tier.

That's not to say I wouldn't be interested in reading more, though. And some of this could be my own personal bias about what I find satisfying in a Writeoff story.

Tier: Almost there
#3 · 2
· · >>Icenrose
This was a amazingly well-written Lost Cities entry, but I wasn't sure what its purpose was. There was only one character, and not much of a story—I think I would rather see information about how the griffons lived and who they were, than speculation about aggregate statistics.

Because I wasn't seeing the griffinpological elements I'd have associated with a story, I was under the impression that the narrative was supposed to be funny and I was missing the joke. I'm still not entirely certain that's not the case. As is, it was a very interesting read, but I don't think you can rely on information this holey when you only have 750 birdwords to work with.

Also, it's very strange that the narrator would discuss the process of ponies getting access to the dig site, the things found factually, and supposition, all together in the same short space in a book. This feels like a TV show, not an encyclopedia entry.
#4 · 1
· · >>Icenrose
Interesting. This is sort of Lost Cities by way of a historical text. There’s a lot kept unsaid and left for the reader to figure out. Possibly too much as is. I’d love to get further information on Grizzle’s reign. Heck, I’d love it if you wrote Appendix B. Still, even what’s here is quite fascinating.
#5 · 1
· · >>Icenrose
The writing's good and I like the unusual method of presenting the story, but the problem is that there's not much actual story here that I can pick out. All I got from it was that there was some ancient griffon king whose rule has mostly been lost to time. And I think a dragon attack was probably involved somewhere along the way.
#6 · 1
· · >>Icenrose
This story is too academic. I mean, it's not bad, and the style used is spot on, but it really reads the way you wanted to squash it in: a scientific report. That takes all the cheer out of it. Besides, it relies heavily on a single episode of the show, meaning that if you've not seen it, you're lost in the setup.

Not a bad attempt, but I think it'd be way better if you gave it an upheaval and rewrote it as one of the archaeologist’s diary, for example.
#7 · 5
Congrats to our finalists, especially the first-timers! Well done, indeed!

Bygone Griffons of Greatness, Appendix A: King Grizzle - A Retrospective

First, thank you so much to >>Ceffyl_Dwr, >>CoffeeMinion, >>Trick_Question, >>FanOfMostEverything, >>The_Letter_J, and >>Monokeras for taking the time to review my story. I'm not terribly surprised this didn't make it into the finals - it's never a good sign to be sitting in front of your screen hollow and slack-jawed at 2am (four hours left on the submission window), knowing that you need to do something more for the story and being thoroughly unable to conjure the words. Time management, as is usually the case for me, was my undoing.

As for the story itself, I'm very pleased that the format seemed to work so well for so many of you - I, too, love studying history, and I thought this would be a neat framing device for the narrative (though I agree, >>Monokeras, it does make things feel a bit stodgy - I think the lack of actual story bits weaved through the text left little else but the format to look at). Thanks to >>Trick_Question for pointing out that supposition has no place in an academic text, I'll be sure to re-frame the last section by more direct comparisons to other sources.

For most of the writing process, I was worried that I might beat readers over the head with what I was trying to imply through the dig site. That's part of the reason why I only wound up telling the ending of a story, rather than a fully fledged tale. Still, I have some ideas on how to go about expanding it so that there will be more of a point and purpose.

Thanks again for all of your feedback, everypony. Keep an eye out for the finished product down the road, though!