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Fanfic / Stroll

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Octavia doesn't like adventure. She just wants to go home.

Stroll is a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic written by re- Yamsmos.

One day, Octavia decided to go for a walk around town.

A few weeks—then months—later, she became friends with a Griffonian Warlord, had tea with the ambassador of Zebrica, played music for a Draconic god, hoof-bumped a Sea Serpent, stopped a Diamond Dog raid, traveled across an arid desert, joined a pack of Gypsies on a pilgrimage, and found herself in the middle of a bloody race war with nothing but a box of wool socks.

Gods did those things smell.

Inspired by The Descendant's story Zenith, Stroll shows an alternate version of the "character goes on a walk" theme set by the former. In this story, the main character Octavia never wanted adventure, attempting to take an actual walk around town; the main conflict is her attempting to get back to Ponyville after being kidnapped, and the story details the events that lead up to her finally returning home.


This fanfic provides examples of:

  • Added Alliterative Appeal:
    • This line from Out provides an example:
      Things like being a forest-fleeing-feathered-fuddled-fugitive definitely sounded like one of the elder griffon's stories, but she guessed that he had decided to find ample time to make up something else while one of his band members retold a story of their own.
    • The "G" theme naming from The Lost Treasure of Griffonstone is referenced and lampshaded in Severance:
      "Gruff, Greta, Gabby, Gilda, Gordon, Gonzo, Gabe, Garza, Grundle..."
      "You griffons are really fond of your G's," Sesame noted, voicing Octavia's wonderment for her.
  • Anti-Hero: Most of the main characters are less-than-ideal heroes, although they vary in terms of how Anti-heroic they are.
    • Sesame Seed's Establishing Character Moment is a Red Herring as to his temperament; he's actually the least likely of the main group to resort to violence, attempting to defuse the situation in his apartment by trying to get Octavia to let a diamond dog and minotaur beat him up, knowing they would leave afterward.
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    • Octavia resorts to manipulation and lying more often than the other main characters, but she's not afraid of getting her hooves dirty if she has to.
    • W acts as a middle ground between Octavia and V; while he isn't as prone to violence as the latter, he doesn't shy away from it as the former does at times.
    • V acts as the Token Evil Teammate; she is the most unscrupulous of the main cast, and is the one most likely to incite and/or resort to violence.
  • Becoming the Mask: Prior to the story, Octavia spent long enough acting like a Canterlot noble that she had adopted some of their mannerisms by the start of the story.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The griffons' leader, W, pulls this off multiple times.
    • In Worst, he saves Octavia from a bandit who had her at his mercy.
    • Downplayed in Rolling, where he arrives after Octavia has taken out most of the bandits, but still takes out the much more competent - and dangerous - leader.
  • Blatant Lies: Octavia tells the two police officers she runs across that she is hiking, in the Everfree Forest, at night. They believe her.
  • Buffy Speak: Octavia provides an example in Away.
    It was at that moment in her life when she noticed something very peculiar. And Octavia was a very peculiar-something-noticer when it came down to it.
  • Character Development: As the protagonist, Octavia has gone through the most. At the beginning of the story, she is bitter, reclusive, and cynical due to fame and the general disposition of her audience. By Disruption, she is much more trusting of and nice to others, and is slowly coming out of her shell.
  • Caught in a Snare: Octavia for most of Worst.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: Played with.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Downplayed. Officer Hail and Octavia effortlessly take out the three drug smugglers they face off against.
  • Darker and Edgier: Swearing, violence, implied death, "Magicarms", and occasional crass humor make it so that this story has an overall darker tone than the base show.
  • Deadly Dodging: As Octavia is fighting off bandits in Rolling, she bends over to make sure one is still alive, conveniently dodging another who was trying to tackle her.
  • Defiant Captive: Octavia is not pleased with her captors in Ducking, haggling their leader as he taunts her, as well as eventually escaping and causing havoc. See Nice Job Fixing It, Villain! below.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Over the course of the story, Octavia slowly comes out of the shell she built around herself. While she still acts icy at times, it is nowhere near as strong as when she first met W and his group.
  • Determinator: Octavia will not give up on trying to get home. Best shown by this line in the second chapter:
    She would. No matter if it took hours. Or days. Or weeks. Or even months. She'd find her way back home.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The early chapters had very fast pacing and shorter monologues. As the story progressed, the pacing slowed down to a more reasonable level, while the monologues became longer and gave more details about Octavia's past.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Sesame Seed dumping hot oil onto his boss. This is ultimately subverted, however; how he acts in the following chapters is nothing like it, and he is even disgusted by what he did.
  • Evil Debt Collector: Boxer and Bully in Circles are implied to be this; they come to collect Sesame Seed's final paycheck after he dumps a grease fryer full of oil on his boss.
  • Failed a Spot Check: The bandits who originally kidnapped Octavia don't seem to notice when the cargo they stole - and the pony who came with it - have fallen out of the back of their wagon.
  • Faux Affably Evil: The bandit who captures Octavia in Worst puts on a facade of pleasantness as he threatens Octavia and talks about holding her for ransom.
  • Flashback: Many of Octavia's monologues delve deeper into her past, revealing who she was as a filly.
  • Idiosyncratic Chapter Naming: Each chapter name has some sort of connection to the previous one.
  • Inner Monologue: An integral part of the story, every chapter starts with one from Octavia. These give a deeper insight into her personality, and show just how much of a Broken Bird she is.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: While V is abrasive and constantly talking back to everyone, she has shown a somewhat lighter side multiple times.
  • Kidnapped by the Call: The basis of the story.
  • Kill It with Fire: After being yelled at one too many times, Sesame Seed pours a grease fryer full of oil onto his boss. It's implied the boss survived, however.
  • Meaningful Name: V's full name, Valkyrie, means "Chooser of the Dead". This is fitting, as out of all the characters in the main cast, she is the one most likely to resort to violence.
  • Mythology Gag:
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: While fighting off the minotaur in Spheres, Octavia hits the knob to one of the burners on the stove, setting Sesame Seed's apartment on fire.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: In Ducking, the bandit leader "accidentally" drops his keys on the floor, just out of the reach of a captive Octavia, but doesn't realize there is a broom in the corner of her cell. This allows her to escape and wreak havoc around the bandits' base of operations in the following chapter.
  • No Antagonist: While the story is kicked off by Octavia being kidnapped, the conflict of the story revolves around her attempting to return to Ponyville.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: In Spheres, while Octavia is fighting off the minotaur, the four griffons are taking care of his diamond dog friend offscreen.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: At the beginning of the story, Octavia speaks with a Canterlot accent, befitting the orchestra she plays in as well as her most common audience. As the story progresses, this gradually slips away as she spends more and more time away from the Canterlot nobility.
  • "Open!" Says Me: A villainous example occurs in Circles, when Bully knocks down Sesame Seed's door due to the latter refusing to pay them.
  • Pun: There are many instances of puns based around switching names to be more in line with Equestrian naming conventions.
    • Away: Caberneigh Sauvignon - Cabetnet Sauvignon
    • Gone: Calamity Mane - Calamity Jane
    • Stupidity: Cigare Brûlé (Burnt Cigar) - Bon Iver
    • Severance: A camel named Silent Signs - Camille Saint-Saëns
  • Punny Name: Boxer the diamond dog and Bully the minotaur.
  • The Quiet One: T very rarely talks.
  • Reclusive Artist: invoked Octavia is this at the beginning of the story.
  • Running Gag: Octavia reflecting about how she left her oven on started in the first chapter and has appeared multiple times since.
  • Saying Too Much: This happens three times - twice intentionally and once on accident - and each time an important name is revealed:
    • Crying, where W angers V by saying her full name in front of Octavia: Valkyrie. He then mentions she could have denied it and kept Octavia in the dark.
    • Barter, where V purposely says L's name in front of Octavia:
      "Screw you, Lavi."
    • Devastation, where Lavi accidentally gives away the name of the group (although no one notices except Octavia):
      "Score one for the Birds' Eyes!"
  • Shout-Out: There are many scattered throughout the story.
    • Wallaby Way is mentioned multiple times.
    • One of the snacks the burglars stole is called Dixie Biscuits.
    • Octavia eats snacks from the brand Host and hopes they go out of business.
    • Octavia narrowly avoids comparing a sheriff's hat to Calamity Mane's.
    • The name of the deputy who helps Octavia out is Deputy Beagle.
    • The fake name Octavia gives to the two police officers is Chell.
    • Cigare Brûlé (Burnt Cigar in French) is a subtle reference to Bon Iver.
    • In Devastation, the griffons mention Trainspying.
    • The captain of the pirate ship (who appears in Intelligence, Stupidity, and Disappointment) is named Andy Trout. In addition, his ship is called the Scuttlebug and he calls to the main group with "Avast, ye scuttlebutts!"
    • Three successive chapter names are Town, Barter, and Run.
    • Silent Signs, a camel mentioned in Severance, is both a ponification of Camille Saint-Saëns, who composed a suite called The Carnival Of The Animals, and a reference to a DeYarmond Edison song.
    • Much of the banter between the griffons is taken from the HBO miniseries adaptation of Generation Kill.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Of the main characters, V swears the most often.
  • Stepford Smiler: Based on her monologues, Octavia is this. See Used to Be a Sweet Kid below.
  • This Is Reality: During Octavia's monologue in Severance, she mentions how the two-faced coloration of her house reminds her of a children's cartoon, rather than "the actual, living world."
  • Took a Level in Badass: At the start of the story, Octavia is easily overpowered by one bandit. By Spheres, however, she takes down a minotaur by herself with only minimal luck, and continues to hold her own in future fights.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: After being saved by the group's leader, Octavia acts like a Canterlot noblemare toward the griffons. This fades over time.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Octavia is a non-villainous example. From what is seen in her monologues, she used to be much more outgoing as a child, but her fame slowly made her more reclusive and cynical of the world around her.
  • Used to Be More Social: According to multiple monologues, Octavia was very social and outgoing as a filly. Due to fame and the general disposition of the ponies her musical group was playing for, however, she became more reclusive, ending up where she is at the beginning of the story.
  • Walking the Earth: Octavia does this unintentionally while trying to get back home.
  • Your Mom: L provides an example in Severance:
    "Dunno," T began, taking another sip, "I'd ask your mom."

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