Today’s story is a cold fable with a warm heart.
A Tale of a Mountain Clan
[Drama] • 2,472 words
This is a tale passed down for generations, a tale of an age before there was peace between the Griffons and the Equestrians.
FROM THE CURATORS: Our own exposure to this historical fable nearly started with a blast from the past — “[former curator] Chris contacted me wanting to get this one looked at,” Present Perfect said — but Soge beat him to the punch. “This type of mythological story telling is my weakness,” he said in his nomination. “It is a great origin story for Gryphon-Pony relations, featuring a strong allegory, clever writing, and the kind of world building that always makes this type of story special. After all, legends are not only about what is being said, but also about what it means for a culture that a specific story has lasted this long.”
The story quickly picked up broad support. “Right off the bat, the narrative voicing is strong and confident, and that holds for the entire piece,” RBDash47 said. “The setup of this little slice of the ancient world is perfect, no more or less than what the story needed, and we get just enough to tie it into show canon so we know it’s a look at how the windigoes affected other races.” And Present Perfect had similar praise: “The strengths of this story are the way it’s told — it’s quite clearly an ancient fable being relayed to us by a storyteller — and the twist at the end.”
Most of our discussion about it (as well as this week’s interview!) strayed into spoiler territory, but that ending was unanimously appreciated. “The prose felt rough, but the ending 100% redeems this,” Horizon said. “The author’s choice gives this a pony-via-Brothers-Grimm feel, aligning perfectly with its portrayal of both races while still feeling compatible with canon’s far gentler relationship.” Present Perfect said that “staying true to the griffon’s character makes for a far more memorable story than it otherwise could have been,” and RBDash47 agreed: “I was very impressed that the author didn’t try to fast-track the griffon’s character arc.”
And there was much to appreciate along the way. “It helps that the characters really pop, which feels like a breath of fresh air in a story like this,” Soge said, while Horizon added: “I’m definitely a fan of how this works in subtle and effective worldbuilding with small details.” All in all, AugieDog said, the tone and theme carried this far: “The story feels wonderfully ‘griffony’ from the opening paragraph all the way through to the end, and it’s got a definite sense of a story being told aloud in a place where shadows flicker across walls that aren’t quite protecting the listeners from the weather.”
Read on for our author interview, in which Beige Monkfish discusses lightning summoning, campfire gravitas, and classic telephones.