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Fanfic / Through the Well of Pirene

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"Yeah?" Kiln took a step forward. "What makes you think that just because you were chosen, that makes you special?" Her lip curled. "Prophecies ain't set in stone. They're instructions, guidelines. And you know what? Maybe we do need a new Chosen One."

Through the Well of Pirene, written by Ether Echoes and published on FIMFiction, is the story of one Daphne Ocean, her little sister Amelia Ocean, and Daphne's long lost childhood friend Leit Motif. The story begins late October, 2011 in an unnamed town in Massachusetts, outside of the fictional Everfree State Park. In a bid to entertain her sister while their parents are out of the house for the night, Daphne takes Amelia into Everfree State Park, the very place she met her childhood friend, Leit Motif, a young unicorn filly from the land of Equestria. Daphne and Amelia are separated, and both traverse the magical pathways between Everfree State Park and the Everfree Forest of Equestria-Amelia to run away, and Daphne to come after her. The two sisters are swiftly entangled in an ancient prophecy and a twisted plot spanning multiple worlds.

Through the Well of Pirene is written as a first person narrative following the perspectives of Daphne herself, Amelia, and later Leit Motif upon Daphne's arrival in Equestria, switching perspectives approximately every chapter to keep the story rolling upon the two girls' divergent paths. It has many inspirations, including Labyrinth, The Chronicles of Narnia, and The Lord of the Rings, as well as taking inspiration and borrowing elements from Norse, Indian, and other mythologies.

Now has a complete audiobook adaptation available for listening on Youtube.

Through the Well of Pirene contains examples of the following tropes:

  • A Lesson Learned Too Well: Type two. Twig's teachings of goblin magic to Amelia is one of the primary reasons it's so difficult for the Wand goblins to catch her upon her escape.
  • Animalistic Abomination: The Morgwyn, who is apparently some kind of harbinger of doom from the beginning of time that knows when you think about it.
  • Anti-Hero: Amelia. She is manipulative, calculating, far too smart for her own good, uncaring of those around her, and often times entirely hypocritical in her actions.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Daphne can accept being turned into a unicorn, travelling through a mazelike enchanted forest and having her sister kidnapped by monsters, but she refuses to accept a fern native to New Zealand being present in Equestria. Lampshaded in-universe as a sign of her going into shock.
  • Arc Symbol: WATER, and also the color green.
  • Big Bad: The Wand King, Nessus. However, the Morgwyn could also fit this, and Amelia certainly does.
  • Big Brother Instinct: On three counts, no less. Daphne towards Amelia, and later Rarity and Applejack toward Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom.
  • invokedBig-Lipped Alligator Moment: Quite literally, in fact. Apparently the sewers of Mag Mell are populated by singing, soprano-toned alligators.
  • The Chosen One: Subverted and played like a fiddle. Daphne is actually the Big Bad's titular child of prophecy, but he ends up snagging Amelia instead, who turns out to be all sorts of headaches for the Wand goblins. Short term and long term. Of course, Daphne is running straight toward the object of her destiny, the Well of Pirene, in her quest to rescue Amelia. Amelia herself is capable of standing in Daphne's place in the prophecy, and proceeds to do so, Much to nearly everyone's chagrin.
  • City of Adventure: Mag Mell.
  • Collector of the Strange: Leit Motif likes to collect unusual artifacts, leading to her home being full of strange memorabilia, from zebra tribal masks to minotaur swords to a glass figuring of Princess Twilight. Daphne compares it to a horror film.
  • Colour Coded Eyes: Both Daphne and Leit Motif have striking green eyes, suggesting something of their cosmic connection with one another.
  • Coming of Age: For Amelia, Daphne, AND Leit Motif, all in very different ways.
  • Cultured Badass: Lyra. She's a classically trained musician who can summon fiery pegasi, encase herself in magically summoned armor, and take being tossed a good thirty or forty feet into a pile of crates and barrels. Not listed as Lady of War because of Equestria's reversed gender roles, and, well... because it's Lyra.
  • Enchanted Forest: The Everfree is this to an even greater degree than in canon: besides its usual population of monsters and its treacherous, swampy terrain, it is riddled with Ways, leading it to teem with Misplaced Wildlife that gives a downright surreal air, it's home to a hidden goblin town, and if you get lost you may end up in another universe entirely.
  • Exact Words: The Morgwyn had promised to take Amelia to a land of song and magic. As it points out, Phoneyville has both in plenty, it being a staged fake notwithstanding.
  • False Friend: Amelia and her initial relationship with Wire and the CMC. The moment they become a burden rather than a boon, Amelia writes them off.
  • Food Chains: Eating of goblin cuisine or other food grown and produced within the Ways makes you a goblin, and often bound to an Arcana, to boot!
  • Heel Realization: Amelia. "Sorry is never good enough."
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: Amelia spends a long time doing questionable things under even more questionable motivations, with very little in the way of consequences. Eventually, her actions do catch up with her. Does she learn from her mistakes? Of course not.
  • Living Labyrinth: First of all is the Everfree Forest itself, which is littered with Ways that zigzag and interweave themselves between worlds, making it a labyrinth which is quite literally alive. As a more literal example, there's both the mines of the Wand castle and the halls of the Cup Palace, both of which use goblin shapeshifters to alter the layout of the corridors and tunnels.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: The favorite trick of the Court of Cups — they will tempt you with irresistible food, drink and music, with the catch that partaking of their feast will turn you into a goblin if you aren't already one, make you forget your previous life, and make you want to do nothing bust feast, dance, and do what the Cup nobles tell you to. Even if you escape, the Cup King will simply tempt you back by playing off of your wants and desires.
  • Magic Wand: The Arcana — one of four powerful artifacts representing ideas and concepts — of the Wand Court of the goblins. It can be used to cast spells to transform objects into almost any other object, and represents fire, change and bridging gaps. Only one exists, split into four for each noble of the Court: the King, Queen, Knight and Page.
  • Merchant City: Mag Mell, a goblin city located between the worlds of Ygdrassil. Goblin merchants come here to sell wares gathered on multiple worlds, and its centerpiece is a huge, crowded market covering three stories of shops and streets.
  • The Man Behind the Man: The Morgwyn.
  • Our Centaurs Are Different: The Wand King resembles a huge centaur, with a normal human upper half on the torso of a great black horse.
  • Painting the Frost on Windows: Besides the pony-controlled nature from the show, the goblins in the Everfree do weather work of their own, making rainbows out of crushed gemstones and manticore oil, clouds with water and huge fans and lightning with jars of static and electrically charged thunderstones.
  • Photographic Memory: Daphne has this. In fact, it's what makes her so important.
  • Riddling Sphinx: Amelia, Wire and the CMC meet one in the Cup palace, who offers them the typical three riddles or death trial. Amelia answers the first two through a combination of clichedness on the sphinx's part and genre savvyness on hers, but the third proves much trickier. They don't answer it — Sweetie Belle has an emotional breakdown and starts crying and begging the sphinx not to kill them, which guilts her into just letting them go.
  • Shapeshifting: Both types, voluntary (see the goblins) and involuntary (see the protagonists).
  • Ship Tease: Everywhere. @#$%ing everywhere. Daphne/Marcus, Naomi/Marcus, Marcus/Leit, Daphne/Leit, Lyra/Hector, Twig/Rainbow Dash, Daphne/Flash, Twig/Flash.
  • Shout-Out: Quite a few. Some notable ones include:
    • Amelia's ride into Mag Mell? Tom Nook, from the Animal Crossing series.
    • That lamppost between the Everfrees? Narnian.
    • Daphne hiding in Naomi's closet? E.T.
  • Sibling Rivalry: There's a fair bit of animosity between Amelia and Daphne, mostly from Amelia toward Daphne, but Daphne has her own share of teenage angst toward her baby sister. The fact that one of the climaxes of the story has the two of them both racing toward the Well of Pirene for very different reasons doesn't help the issue.
  • Take Our Word for It: Amelia refuses to talk about a sequence of events in chapter thirteen either because of how utterly disgusting or completely bizarre it was. Probably both. Amelia even holds true to her word, omitting the scene in the telling of her share of the narrative.
    Amelia: Never again. I don't care-if anyone ever asks, I'm skipping over that whole mess. Eugh, I feel like I'll never be clean again.
  • Tarot Motifs: The goblins largely belong to one of four major factions; the Wands (or the Baton), the Cups, the Swords, or the Rings (or the Coin), each being a lesser Arcana of the Tarot deck. High ranking goblins are named for the court cards; the King, Queen, Knight, and Page (or Jack).
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: Amelia. She understands that she's well past her Moral Event Horizon, but decides that a new world of peace is worth it.
  • Tsundere: In Leit Motif's case, it's the traditional kind-where the character starts off pensive and withdrawn and slowly grows out of it.
  • Trauma-Induced Amnesia: After being subjected to her parents' disapproval, the mockery of her classmates, and the clinical expertise of a therapist convincing her that she couldn't have possibly met a unicorn, Daphne's only recourse is to suppress those memories and pretend none of it ever happened.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: The Wand goblins on kidnapping Amelia. Later, Amelia herself, once she's in posession of the Golden Bridle, the Four Arcana, and the Elements of Harmony.
  • Violent Glaswegian: The Morgwyn in the audiobook.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Amelia, at the end. She's trying to do a little bit of good, even though she knows how tainted it would be by her evil.
  • When Trees Attack: While traveling through the Everfree, Daphne, Naomi and Marcus are attacked by a copse of mobile, aggressive trees and vines.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: Daphne and Amelia. Oh, they both plan to go back for a while, but they both agree it's temporary. Daphne is the immortal chosen one of the new Age, and has other things she needs to put her powers to work on than living life as a normal person. Amelia, meanwhile, has become the King of Wands, isn't a little girl anymore; apart from her many, many losses of innocence, she only looks like a little girl by transfiguring her new body with the Wand.