FimFiction Link - Short ID: 54946/a-song-of-storms-of-skies-long-forgotten
Published: Oct '12 — Jul '14
Song of Storms: skies long forgotten is the first of the song of storms series roughly 107k words. Put simply its a biography of Commander hurricane of Hearth's Warming Eve fame. Its setting is a continent to the west of Equestria called Dioda where a massive empire of Pegasi live and are in almost constant conflict with the griffins. Raised on a farm with a martial heritage Hurricane gets dragged into a war with the griffins, and to make a long story short, the story is about why the Sun tribe/Cirran Empire/Pegasus Race abandoned Dioda as a result of the "Red Cloud War"
Hurricane is a down to earth, headstrong individual that has quite a temper when it comes up, his ascent to Commander and his maudlin about his responsibilities fit even if at this point the reluctant hero trope I'm getting a little sick of.
Silver Sword. Hurricane's best friend and surrogate brother. He plays off of him really well, they grew up together and are thick as thieves. Silver contrasts as a light-hearted fun loving colt that regularly makes jokes and serves as comic relief, the story goes through a great deal in making him and silver close friends without any hints of faggotry which is exceedingly rare in fics.
Swift Spear. Daughter of the right hoof of the emperor, and is another one of those "I dont want responsibility, but ill take it if i have to types" She's the love interest of Hurricane and is partially responsible for some conflict. She is largely the most competent of the lot too.
The main events of the war are fairly grimderp. Cirra has been around for 400 years and for the last 30 or so they've been oppressing the griffin people, a failed assassination attempt later and then theres outright war as a griffon army comes out of nowhere. Cirra Retaliates and we get a good lesson of why genocide is a bad military stategy as a main goal. The much larger 200k soldier army marches into gryphus and decides to burn a city down and kill everyone inside, they spread out across the countryside with very little resistance as the legata's bloodlust for extinguishing the griffon menace once and for all takes over and they systematically go out of their way to wipe out every griffon settlement. Its mentioned once that there's not a whole lot of resistance which is strange, but they only give that any thought when the cirran armies are spread thin over the massive countryside suddenly get smashed by the Griffon Hammer as their entire army is committed. Half the legions die off and the cirrans greatest fortress falls in the first 20k words. The rest of the story follows the griffons ruthlessly battering cirra for the tactical mistake, with a genocide of their own. The final nail in the coffin is when a volcanic eruption takes out all but 2 of the 20 cirran legions while theres a coup, and hurricane becomes emperor.
This fic has some really interesting worldbuilding choices, from how pegasus magic and culture works, to Hurricane's character, and the cirran empire in broad strokes. However, the cirran empire is too dumb to live, morally bankrupt and gets exactly what it deserves. Logistically I'm having a hard time imagining 200k soldiers for the time period, and if youre not one of the three main characters your either not in the military, killed off 300 words after introduction, or comically evil/incompetent or both. The entire fic only works because Cirra couldnt commit to a genocide in the first place and gave them 30 years of oppression so that they could do what germany did to the romans, and then they pulled a hitler in going after civvies and overextending ripping apart their armies and effectively removing any chance for peace. There being a national draft was interesting, though didnt amount to much and of the griffons the only time we see actual characters is with their god emperorWho dies at the end because he was fucking stalin and got himself caught on fire and none of his soldiers were willing to put him out. Why he didnt just use his special wind powers to put it out i have no fucking clue. or when theyre doing peasant things and we need a scene where the cirran army has to murder a bunch of children by trapping them in their homes and then setting it on fire.
The strengths are in its main cast. Hurricane does a lot to carry this fucking story and carry it he does. While the premise is interesting and the charachter drama as Hurricane comes into his own, and we are treated to multiple moments where it managed to make me feel things, is excellent, the specifics of how the story comes together makes it really hard to root for the "Good GuysTM" and paints them as flat out retarded, much like the silly mustache man now that i think about it. YMMV but for me it was a solid 6/10 if you ignore the worldbuilding when it does something retarded its easily a 7/10