• T All The Way Back

    Princess Luna is no longer Nightmare Moon. But she is still very weak, and very alone. Can she come all the way back?  · Jordan179
    18,961 words · 1,093 views  ·  94  ·  2  · 
  • T An Extended Performance

    The Great and Powerful Trixie gives the performance of her life during the Longest Night in Eqeustrian history. Start of Season 1.  · Jordan179
    26,641 words · 1,014 views  ·  54  ·  2  · 
  • T Pinkie Sense and Sensibility

    When a young mare happens to be both her own pony and the Pink Daughter of Paradise, love and life can get complex and strange  · Jordan179
    10,311 words · 515 views  ·  24  ·  2  · 
  • T Dragonshyness

    Fluttershy endures one of the most frightening experiences of her life. (It is a testament to the utter terror that can be Fluttershy's life that confronting a full-grown Dragon counts as only "one" of the most terrifying days of her  · Jordan179
    38,857 words · 568 views  ·  40  ·  3  · 
  • T His Mark On History

    Across the Stormy Seas to the east of Equestria, on the continent of Taura, the ponies of the Running Water are oppressed by their Griffon overlords. Can young First Strong Messenger strike a blow for independence and change history?  · Jordan179
    4,405 words · 79 views  ·  11  ·  1 · gore  · 

Featured In51

More Stories24

  • T Fluttershy Is Free

    Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy go to see a butterfly migration. Mid-Season 1, immediately after "Call of the Cutie."
    10,460 words · 893 views  ·  80  ·  1
  • T Feeling Adrift

    After her emotional revelations to Twilight Sparkle, Princess Luna returns to Canterlot uncertain of her feelings, her place in the world, and even her identity. Her big sister tries to help her feel a bit less adrift.
    4,938 words · 894 views  ·  97  ·  2
  • T All The Way Back

    Princess Luna is no longer Nightmare Moon. But she is still very weak, and very alone. Can she come all the way back?
    18,961 words · 1,093 views  ·  94  ·  2
  • T A Meeting by Moonlight

    Princess Luna tells Twilight Sparkle a tale of the world's ancient past, before the Alicorn pony Princess of the Night was even born.
    2,932 words · 1,409 views  ·  130  ·  4
  • T An Extended Performance

    The Great and Powerful Trixie gives the performance of her life during the Longest Night in Eqeustrian history. Start of Season 1.
    26,641 words · 1,014 views  ·  54  ·  2
  • E Sun Atoms

    Foals Sundreamer and Moondreamer debate astrophysics, positional location, and the implications of hoof-sucking. Their mother, Dr. Sweetie Finemare, has to drive them.
    1,099 words · 331 views  ·  34  ·  1
  • E Royal Business

    When Spike is called away to Canterlot on Royal Business, he expects to have to do something for Princess Celestia. Instead, he winds up being interviewed by Princess Luna and fed a lot of gems. Life can be tough for a young Dragon!
    2,986 words · 538 views  ·  32  ·  1
  • T A Robust Solution

    Fluttershy comes to terms with a mistake from her past, and learns how to handle herself in the future, with the help of her good friend Rarity.
    11,859 words · 493 views  ·  52  ·  4 · sex

Blog Posts118

  • Friday
    Spike the DRAGON

    A surprising number of fanfic writers seem to regard Spike as fairly helpless -- as a harmless little creature whom some enemy might easily overpower and employ as a hostage against the Mane Six, or simply abuse for nefarious and sadistic purposes.  They see him as being no more dangerous than a colt his size, and do not seem to grasp that he is physically quite formidable in his own right.

    What I think they are misisng is that Spike is not, biologically, a Pony at all.  He is instead a Dragon -- a member of a species which is considerably tougher than the Ponies, even the Earth Ponies.  To quote a Dragon from another fictional universe (but the one which most directly inspired the MLP Dragons):

    "My armor is like tenfold shields, my teeth are swords, my claws spears, the shock of my tail a thunderbolt, my wings a hurricane, and my breath death!"

    (Smaug, The Hobbit, by J. R. R. Tolkien)

    Now at this point, one may cry "foul."  Smaug was the greatest Dragon of his day, a kaiju who destroyed at least three cities before going down.  Spike is only a "baby" dragon, only around the size of a Pony colt.  Spike is far, far weaker than a full-sized Dragon.

    Indeed he is.  But he's a lot tougher, pound-for-pound, than even an Earth Pony.

    I. Tenfold Shields

    To begin with, he's armored.  This includes both thicker and structurally stronger bones than possessed by a pony (absolutely necessary or his muscles would tear apart his own skeleton at maximum effort).  His diet includes far more minerals than those eaten by Ponies (remember all the crystals?) and a lot of this probably goes to reinforce bones, ligaments and exterior scales.  His scales are partially metallic and attached to a mesoderm which I would expect incorporates silica and polymer webbing.  

    He's essentially clad in a composite of light chainmail and Kevlar, with a subtle microstructure such that it feels soft and flexible to the touch (as Rarity knows) yet sheds most light Pony-portable weapons (*).  I'm guessing one would need something like a longsword, lance or heavy crossbow to reliably penetrate his hide -- and this is possibly only because he is still a young dragon.  A bit older, and he'll be able to stand up to Princess Luna's sparring games.

    Could a bucket to the head knock him out?  Maybe!  One thing that armor resists poorly is crushing weapons, because even if the shock is spread out evenly by the armor the inertial shock can cause damage.  A blow to the head is effective even if the skull is unfractured, because it rocks the brain inside its casing, beating it against the interior of the skull.

    But one should consider that Spike belongs to a species which has evolved to be able to take tremendous crushing impacts, such as Dragons would routinely deal one another even in play-fighting, let alone serious combat.  The chances are that the brain is also better-cushioned than that of a Human or Pony.  Why not?  Mundane Earthly rams (male sheep) and other horned ungulates have such an anatomy, such that they engage in mating combat displays by literally smacking their heads together with all their might.

    A really powerful Pony such as Applejack or Big Mac might be able to knock out or kill Spike by bucking him to the head.  I don't think that an early-adolescent filly could do it with a blow from a bucket delivered with the forehooves.  

    II. Teeth Like Swords

    Spike has jaws of immense strength, equipped with teeth sharp as hard or harder than diamonds.  He has been shown, in canon, as being able to crunch crystals or bite right through solid rock.  The significance of this is that he could do an enemy a lot of damage if he or she was stupid enough to put any part of his body within reach of his mouth (he actually attempts to do this to Discord in Twilight's Kingdom), and that anyone attempting to keep him bound by ropes or chains would be wise not to bind him in such a way that he could bring these bonds up to his mouth.

    Spike has the anatomy one would expect of a creature with such capabilities, too.  Aside from his greater strength (pound-for-pound, I would estimate, greater by at least an order of magnitude than a chimpanzee), he has a pronounced sagittal crest (the ridge along the top of one's head -- we humans have a much reduced version of that sructure) to which the appropriate jaw muscles might attach.  

    III. His Claws Spears

    Unlike Smaug (or Red Haze), Spike's claws are far too small to literally impale Ponies.  However, they are sharp and strong enough to tear through stone or score armored steel.  What they could do to Pony flesh and bone would be pretty gruesome, and the implied strength is such that if he instead chose to merely grasp a foe, this grip would be unbreakable by normal Pony muscles.  

    What this means is that any enemy would also want to stay out of Spike's grasp; and any bonds would have to be organized so that Spike couldn't get hold of them.  Even steel chains would not last long against the sort of force Spike can concentrate on the tips of those obdurate, sharp claws.

    IV. My Breath Death

    It is odd how many writers don't get that Spike can breathe fire -- and not only the mage-fire (which he uses to teleport small objects) but also hot fire.  In canon he can use it as an area effect blast capable of turning a good-sized mass of foamed ice to steam, as a thermal lance capable of making armored steel run molten, or as a precise jet which can light a row of fireworks without detonating their pyrotechnic heads.  In-show we've never seen him breathe fire on a living being, probably because the effects would be too horrific.

    What this means is that Spike has a ranged weapon with which to fight foes, and one which is flexible and precise enough that he could use it to drive back or put down a whole group of foes with a cone of flame, destroy a single focus that an enemy was using, or anywhere in between.  He could also use it to free himself from captivity by burning or melting through most likely bonds.  Oh, and since one of the magic effects he can do with his mage flame is to send a letter to the Ruling Princesses, he could call for some pretty heavy-duty help with his breath weapon.

    V.  Overall Might

    Spike is extremely strong.

    I don't know how anyone can miss this, because it's used as part of a running gag.  Both Twilight and Rarity have been known to travel with absurd amounts of luggage -- books and magical paraphernalia for Twilight; clothing and fabrics for Rarity.  When they do this, Spike is the one they call upon to carry the luggage.  Spike often winds up under what must be literally hundreds of pounds, sometimes apparently almost a ton of supplies.

    Now understand, he's not pulling this on a wagon.  He's carrying this on his head or in his arms.  He doesn't like doing this, and he is not exactly graceful doing this, but he can do it, and does do it, willingly, for anypony he loves.

    Spike is only around the size of a Pony colt, yet he is as strong as a full grown Earth Pony.  Clearly, Spike's muscles and ligaments develop much more power and have much more tensile stength than do those of a Pony.

    This not only explains how he has the strength to crush rocks in his jaws and score steel with his talons, but also means that ordinary ropes would probably not hold him.  Spike could exert himself, stretch and eventually snap most bonds.  He might be able to deform and snap chains of soft steel, and almost certainly could break thin-steel chains such as those of ordinary leg-cuffs.


    Spike is a tough little creature, whose toughness is de-emphasized in the show because (a) Twilight is protective of Spike and tries to avoid letting him get into dangerous situations, (b) enemies are rarely dealt with by brute physical force, and (c) Spike is a very nice creature and would never casually bully others with his superior might.  But writers should be aware that he is tough:  neither easy to overcome nor to hold, and very hard to kill.

    Spike is, put simply, a Dragon.


    (*)  Possible because it is essentially a "ballistic" material -- it reacts differently to a gentle caress delivered by a mare's hoof or muzzle than it does to a hard-driven kick or a crossbow bolt, stiffening when struck with great momentum.

    18 comments · 111 views
  • 1w, 1d
    Reorganization of "Divine Jealousy and the Voice of Reason"

    I finished reorganizing my chapters.  Don't worry -- nothing's actually been lost, but some of the parts of the original overly-long Chapter 13 "Waiting for the Princesses" have been moved up beyond my publication horizon.  I think you'll find that the character development of the Mane Five Minus Twilight Plus Spike don't clog the story as badly now.

    The tentative new chapter structure of this section will be as follows -- published chapters in blue and unpublished in red.  I'm leaving "Pinkie, Dancing" back in unpublished status until I write the intervening three chapters, but I haven't dropped it from the story -- it's structurally essential!

    Chapter 13. "Rainbow's Boast and Fluttershy's Plan

    Chapter 14. "A Bad Little Filly"

    Chapter 15. "Applejack's Regret"

    Chapter 16. "A Trip To The Library

    Chapter 17. "Rarity's Reverie"

    Chapter 18. "The Sun Mare and the Twister"

    Chapter 19. "Pinkie, Dancing"

    Chapter 20. "Sweet Years of Maidenhood"

    Chapter 21. "Discord, Deciding"

    Chapter 22. "Luna's Betrayal"

    Chapter 22 isn't the end, but is the last chapter before the climax and denouement, so it will be most of the way to the end.

    I also need to move the Notes around so that they pertain to the right chapters.  If you spot misplaced Notes, don't be shy to comment or message me on it.

    0 comments · 71 views
  • 1w, 1d
    Reorganizing Divine Jealousy and the Voice of Reason

    I am going to reorganize Divine Jealousy and the Voice of Reason.  Chapter 13, "Waiting for the Princesses," which is at present a huge flow clog at over 12,000 worlds of in-action, is going to be split up and put between the chapters of Luna's Tale.  This will also keep the two story threads more or less synchronized in time.  This is going to mean that a lot of false New Chapters posted will be generated.  Sorry about that.

    2 comments · 39 views
  • 2w, 1d
    Physical Appearance of the Mane Six in the Shadow Wars


    As you all probably know, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic uses a computer-based Flash animation system which makes it extremely easy to have a lot of different Ponies with a wide repertoire of physical motions and facial expressions relatively cheaply.  The disadvantage is that there are a limited number of basic physical models, which leads to a situation in which the same models get reused for numerous characters.

    In consequence, most Ponies look much more similar in height and build than they would "really" be.  So I thought I should here post my concept of how the Mane Six differ in appearance, and how they look to Pony eyes and noses.

    Fluttershy is ectomorphic; she's very tall and slim, the tallest of the Mane Six before Twilight's Ascension.  This is part of why she is considered the most beautiful of them by other Ponies; she has an aristocratic, fashion-model build which reminds the viewer of Princess Celestia.  She is however the lightest member of the Mane Six because of her slimness and hollow bones.  She's physically the weakest and least tough member of the group, though she gets stronger and harder to injure as she masters micro-Shfiting.

    She normally smells a lot like her animals, including smells Ponies wouldn't like such as traces of carnivore waste products.  Fortunately for Fluttershy, her aristocratic origins have given her an almost instinctive personal fastidiousness; she bathes frequently and uses perfumes when she's going to any social event.  The need to eliminate these odors is one reason she really appreciates going to the spa with Rarity.  

    Her natural marescent is rather delicate to Pony nostrils, and quite attractive; she prefers to smell a bit flowery, and applies perfume delicately, as required to achieve the intended effect.

    She doesn't bother to apply cosmetics when tending to her animals, but always does so when intending to go out among Ponies.  She has a light and discerning touch in this manner; one of the skills Sweetwing Wind taught her daughter was to look pretty.  Indeed, Fluttershy's skill in this regard is one of the "tells" that she's of high birth.

    Rainbow Dash is an endomorph by Pegasus standards.  She's short and extremely muscular, which is why she can match Applejack (a strong Earth Pony) in ground-based athletics.  She is by Pony standards the least beautiful of the Mane Six, though most Ponies find her mane lovely.  She weighs more than Fluttershy, and almost none of that is fat.

    Dashie scorns paying too much attention to her appearance most of the time.  She combs and brushes her hair so it doesn't get tangled, and takes her suppressors on time, and that's about it.  Rainbow Dash generally smells a little bit sweaty, with just a hint of cloud vapor and rainbows.  She has good hygiene, but doesn't really like perfumes; the sweat comes from a combination of athletic exercise and energetic mid-day napping.

    Twilight Sparkle was before her Ascension fairly tall, the second tallest of the Mane Six.  She had a somewhat ectomorphic build, with a fairly long neck and slim limbs, but she's not in absolutely top physical condition because her focus is on her mind rather than her body.  She was pretty by Pony standards; and would have counted as the fourth most beautiful of the group.

    Twilight has the normal habits of a young lady of the gentry, and as a matter of course maintains excellent personal hygiene and grooming except (very notably) when in the grip of an intellectual obsession).  She bathes regularly, combs and brushes her hair, applies light cosmetics and a dab of scent, and in general does her minimum to make sure that one knows that she is female.  She finds anything more rather boring, and only really makes an effort for a public appearance -- and for that, she will make a very serious effort -- it's a matter of her duty and the honor of the Lights to do no less.

    After her Ascension, of course, she's started growing toward her eventual full Alicorn size.  She's still very young by Alicorn standards; when she's finished growing (fifty or so years from now) she'll be around Luna's size -- perhaps a little shorter and chubbier than Luna, because she's not as powerful and she still focuses more on her mind than her body.  

    All Alicorns are incredibly beautiful by Pony standards (*), and their scent has a psychic component that makes them literally indescribable in normal olfactory terms, and even more alluring.  Twilight is starting to smell like the most fascinating book one has ever found, just purchased and not yet opened or read. Twilight is, however, the least beautiful of the current four Alicorns, which is kind of like being the least beautiful of the top four Hollywood A-list stars.  

    Rarity is a bit shorter and naturally chubbier than Twilight Sparkle was before Ascending (which is to say she's a bit taller than average and naturally has a rather average build).  She would run to fat if she didn't engage in a constant regimen of diet and exercise, part of which is martial arts training.  (She is an extremely capable martial artist).  As it is she has an athletic muculature. under a slight padding of fat which tends to make her more attractive.

    She's canonically the third most beautiful of the Ponies by some standards, though whether one prefers her or Applejack is largely a matter of personal tastes.  Unlike Fluttershy or Applejack, though, she manages to be this beautiful only by engaging in an hour-or-longer ritual of beauty care every day, augmented by visiting the spa several times a week.

    Rarity elaborately styles her mane and tail, and applies elaborate cosmetics.  She has the skill to make this look good instead of overdone.  She also without fail uses a mixture of perfumes calculated to make herself very desirable.  She has recently begun choosing perfumes calculated to complement Spike's scent, because it seems like the right thing to do given how often Spike's scent is all over her hide; what she doesn't realize is that in doing so she is mimicking what a Dragoness would naturally do when life-bonding.  This is an example of her subconscious desires working in conjunction with her Talent for social manipulation.

    The Little Purple Dude would disagree with my rankings here:  he's convinced Rarity's the most beautiful, and Twilight the second most beautiful, of the Mane Six.  He is very much biased in this matter, of course, in favor of his beloved and his sister.

    Applejack is of above average height and extremely powerful build, with muscles visibly rippling under her hide with every motion.  She is stronger than most stallions and even stronger than many Earth Pony stallions; and she is extremely athletic, agile and sure-footed.  She's physically tough and shrugs off injuries that would lay out a lesser mare.  Her beautiful blonde mane (combing, brushing and braiding it being among her few concessions to normal feminity), candid face and healthy body, make her the second or third most beautiful mare, depending on whether you prefer the Amazon or the more feminine appearance:  AJ is an Amazon, Rarity more traditionally-feminine.

    Applejack generally scorns cosmetics or perfumes, though she knows very well how to apply them, and will do so for social events.  Her natural odor is very obviously female, and stallions find it very attractive even out of cycle.  She takes some pride in this, even though it's mostly an annoyance to her because she is waiting for the return of one particular stallion.

    Pinkie Pie is shorter than average (though her wild mane makes her look taller than average at first glance).  She is chubby and lushly curvaceous.  What is not entirely apparent unless one knows her is that she is well-muscled under the fat:  she works and plays extremely hard and has the sort of strength you'd expect from somepony who used to move boulders for a living and now delivers cakes all around town.  She's not as naturally tough as Applejack, but her ability to twist worldlines makes her extremely hard to severely injure.  If you look under her coat you would discern lots and lots of little scars from what would have been fatal or crippling injuries diverted by her psychic abilities into mere ouchies, often spread over wide portions of her body.  Most Ponies don't find her particularly beautiful, but she's extremely charismatic anyway because of her friendly disposition.

    Pinkie Pie smells like mare and candy.  When she tries perfumes, she generally winds up smelling even more like candy.  This is true even when the perfumes shouldn't logically make her smell like candy.  Pinkie bathes semi-regularly and brushes her hair, but her mane mostly styles itself.  Sometimes in defiance of hairpieces and minor implications of physical law.  Pinkie will sometimes apply cosmetics for social events, though they don't actually have much effect on her appearance (**), and it almost looks as if she's just shooting the "getting ready for the big party" scene for an unknown audience.  The fact that she will often sing such songs at moments like this only increases the strength of this impression.


    Ponies can vary a lot in terms of appearance from what the show directly presents.  This should also be a guide to describing original characters.

    What do you think?


    (*)  Celestia designed the genotype to be hypercharismatic and hyperdominant, presenting super-stimuli to normal Ponies which convey, both subtly and otherwise, "This is the most amazing, beautiful and dominant mare you will ever meet."  She is after all a master manipulator, who plays a very long game.

    In consequence, an Alicorn can always get a date to the prom.  Or two competing ones, as Cadance found out in her fillyhood.

    (**)  Including in secondary ways such as whether or not she leaves lipstick marks on objects her mouth touches.  If it's dramatic or funny, such as when she was kissing Cheese Sandwich's picture at Twilight's Council, she will leave clear and obvious lipstick marks.  If not so, very little.  It's almost as if her body generates her own cosmetics upon demand.

    21 comments · 218 views
  • 2w, 4d
    Very Bestest Friends With Super-Best Benefits

    Inspired by this discussion.

    SCENE:  A road leading out of Ponyville; CHEESE SANDWICH and PINKIE PIE sit on the shoulder, leaning against one another in what is at least a very-friendly fashion.

    CHEESE SANDWICH:  Pinkie, I love you.  Will you be my special somepony?

    PINKIE PIE:  Naah!  We're too much alike!

    CHESE SANDWICH (confused):  Uh, that's part of why I love you -- we're kindred spirits and ...

    PINKIE PIE:  Yeah, that's the problem!  We wouldn't fight enough.  Just hug and kiss and cuddle and throw lots of super duper fun parties!

    CHEESE SANDWICH:  I see absolutely no problem with that ...

    PINKIE PIE:  Not for us, silly.  For the Shadows Who Watch!  (points at the reader)

    CHEESE SANDWICH:  Eh?  Oh!  They want us to fight with each other?

    PINKIE PIE (mock-happy, there's some bitterness showing underneath):  Yeppers!  Because it makes a better story.

    CHEESE SANDWICH (frowning):  Oh.  I see.  I'm sorry Pinkie -- I think we would have been really happy together.

    PINKIE PIE (now obviously sad, mane hanging straight):  Yeah.  Me too.  Instead they'll prolly write me into a clopfic with somepony I don't even love and I'll have to pretend to like it because, upvotes.

    CHEESE SANDWICH:  That really sucks, Pinkie.  You're ... you're wonderful.  My muse.  My inspiration.  You shouldn't have to do that.

    PINKIE PIE (lightbulb appearing behind her head, mane fluffing back out):  We can still be friends!

    CHEESE SANDWICH (still unhappy):  Well, yeah -- it wasn't like I was going to stop knowing you, even if I can't ...

    PINKIE PIE:  With benefits!

    CHEESE SANDWICH:  Eh?  Ohhh.  He gets it.

    PINKIE PIE:  Yeah, we can hug and kiss and cuddle and throw really great parties only we'll say we aren't very special someponies.

    CHEESE SANDWICH (confused):  Wait, won't we still be happy?

    PINKIE PIE:  Well, mostly.  See, because we aren't very special someponies, we can see other Ponies!

    CHEESE SANDWICH:  But I don't really want to ...

    PINKIE PIE (looks at the audience, then at CHEESE):  Ssshhh!!!  You're always on the road, going from town to town, meeting all these floozies and I'm just dying on the inside with jealousy knowing that you're sleeping with somepony else and -- angst, reader interest!

    CHEESE SANDWICH:  Oh, yeah.  And you're friends with everypony in Ponyville and they probably all really want you and I know you can't contain yourself on those long winter nights ... Grrr! I'm so enraged!  (snarls and snorts very unconvincingly)

    PINKIE PIE:  Yep!  So we're like loving each other and hating each other and there's lots and lots of room for conflict to keep things interesting!

    CHEESE SANDWICH:  Hmm.  But wouldn't it be interesting if we just faced the problems of life together, as a couple?

    PINKIE PIE:  I wish.  But most of our target audience live really soft lives with lots and lots of bits handed them by their mommies and never have to work hard to bake or plan parties ...

    CHEESE SANDWICH: ... or go from town to town sometimes in country with storms and bandits or monsters ...

    PINKIE PIE: ... so they figure that if we aren't fighting each other our lives would just be super duper easy.

    (They tenderly KISS)

    CHEESE SANDWICH:  Best friends with benefits, then?

    PINKIE PIE (with total bedroom eyes):  Absolute bestest best friends with super best benefits, okey-dokey-lokey!

    (We draw a curtain over the rest of the scene.  Even party ponies need their privacy at times)  


    Seriously, people mostly fall in love with one another because they admire each other and think that they will be happier with each other than they will be alone, not (if they be sane) because they think that "interesting" things (in the form of mutual conflict) will occur.  People mostly avoid having love affairs with people with whom they think they will fight.

    This is about the difference between out-of-universe motivation for an event ("Pinkie Pie and Gilda the Griffon should become lovers because it's so hot and they will fight a lot") and in-universe motivation for an event ("Pinkie Pie and Gilda the Griffon become lovers because Pinkie thinks ___?___ and Gilda thinks ___?___").  The writer has something happen because he thinks it will be fun to read about (which is why there are few stories about Pinkie trimming her hooves); the characters do things because they are internally-motivated to do them (Pinkie trims her hooves because they are getting uncomfortably long).

    The point is that in a good story both motivations match up.  Someone writes a story about Gilda fighting off a horde of zombies to save Griffon hatchlings because it's a cool image.  Gilda fights off the horde of zombies to save the hatchlings because she sees herself as cool and heroic and anyway she's too decent to let zombies devour hatchlings.  This works better than Gilda falling in love with Pinkie because Gilda has absolutely no motivation to fall in love with Pinkie.  (In fact, she canonically hates Pinkie).

    Characters should not be restrained from doing what is in their nature, nor forced to do what is not in their nature, simply to serve the purposes of the plot.  When the writers does this, the plot becomes implausible.

    47 comments · 238 views
  • ...

Nightmare Moon spends a thousand years banished to the Moon, fighting herself and the Shadows both within and without.  She watches civilization rise and spread, a quarter-million miles away.

Can she reclaim her power?  Can she overcome the six champions her sister has sent to defeat her?

Why do three of the champions look terribly familiar to the renegade Moon Princess?  Why does the sight of one, in particular, break her heart?

And why, as the battle continues, does she increasingly hope that she does not win?

This is an expanded version of the two-part Series Opener.  From Nightmare Moon's point of view.

Now with its own TVTropes page!

If you want to find out what the Great and Powerful Trixie was doing in Manehattan, and what happened in some other parts of Equestria during the Longest Night, read An Extended Performance. The direct sequel, however, is All the Way Back.

First Published
7th Dec 2013
Last Modified
30th Dec 2013

I really hate it when someone down-votes a story without giving a reason.  This first chapter is a good start to a story that has a lot of potential.  I will fave and watch this closely. :twilightsmile:

oh and, FIRST!!

yes I'm petty but I don't care.

I'm enjoying your work so far.  Your world and stories have great potential.  I rather enjoy your brand of mythology surrounding the Sisters and continue to look forwards towards its development.

Good work, keep it up.  :twilightsheepish:

awesome possum :rainbowkiss:


Thank you for saying that.  I was a little surprised when I got three down-votes out of nowhere as soon as I posted the first chapter.  I think it was because some people like to see Nightmare Moon as a cool villainess -- which of course she is, or I wouldn't be writing this -- but miss the point that she was herself (as Princess Luna) a victim, whether of something From Beyond (as my story clearly states) or of her own growing madness.  And so, maybe, they don't like my portrayal of her as internally-conflicted -- torn between Princess Luna's saner feelings and the maelstrom of hatred and vengeance that is Nightmare Moon.

Or perhaps it's the science-fantasy aspects of the backstory?  The (highly-technological) lost Age of Wonders, Luna's prior mortal incarnation as Dr. Moondreamer Finemare, a literal "rocket scientist?"  But to me, even the canon My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has always seemed to be very much in the science-fantasy genre, as in the works of Lin Carter or Andre Norton (or for that matter, H. P. Lovecraft, though the tone is much lighter).  The steam trains (and in one case a steam road-engine / mechanical cider press), the balloons, the airships -- the weird machinery Twilight Sparkle works on in her basement -- it seems very much to me like Gaslight (Steampunk to you kids!) era science fiction.  There's also magic and goddesses and monsters and demons, so it's obviously also fantasy, but that didn't stop H. P. Lovecraft or Clark Ashton Smith from writing science fantasy, so why should it have stopped Lauren Faust or Meghan McCarthy?  Or me?

I can't imagine it's the TwiLuna shipping (subtle in this story, because Luna hasn't recognized who Twilight used to be so far, just that there's a strange affinity between them; more obvious in "A Meeting by Moonlight" and "Feeling Adrift.")  Is it because I'm characterizing them as straight mares who feel a growing passion from their past lives that overrides their normal orientation?  Is everyone supposed to be gay, or at least bi, even if there's no evidence of this in canon?

Or is it because I'm developing it slowly, instead of having them come together "in an insensate explosion of lust," as Celestia jokingly puts it in "Feeling Adrift"?  Sorry, I see Luna as very reserved until she comes to like you, and even then more innocently merry than blatantly sexual, until she comes to really like you.  And Twilight is, well, Twilight.  Shy in matters of the heart, and prefers to do everything by the book, preferably with checklists.  Not that she'd necessarily do that in such a fashion, but for her it's pretty unexplored territory.  

[I don't know how Nightmare Moon would approach sex.  Probably as a form of conquest, followed by raping the vanquished.  She's basically a combination of Things From Beyond Space and Time with Princess Luna's darkest desires, so I suspect it wouldn't be at all pretty.  I don't think that "love" in any sane sense of the word would even figure into the equation].

I don't know, because whoever disliked the story never gave any reasons why they disliked it.

So I appreciated your statement of support all the more :twilightsmile:

#6 · 45w, 2d ago · 1 · · Chapter 3: Ranking the Pieces ·

Honestly, I doubt the downvoters read the story, because this is really good.  You really thought this out, and it comes through as a fresh look at the situation.  Looking forward to more!  :pinkiehappy:

#7 · 45w, 1d ago · 1 · · Chapter 4: Falling for the Foe ·

Seeing Nightmare Moon's perspective from this has been interesting but I find your explanation for how ponies can hold things even more so. I've enjoyed the insights and how Nightmare Moon/Luna sees the situations and it should interesting of seeing why she tried the other traps.

#8 · 45w, 1d ago · 1 · · Chapter 4: Falling for the Foe ·


To narrate the action sequences in particular, I had to pay very close attention to the in-canon choreography.  There are things that are inobvious on a casual viewing which can be seen as important when one watches in detail, such as the fact that Twilight rolled onto her belly before reaching the edge of the cliff (something which saved her life, as it let her get a firm grasp on the cliff).  IIRC, she doesn't actually do this on-camera, but it's obvious she's done this from her position from one scene to the next.  Putting oneself in her place, it becomes obvious why she did it, too!

Watching the scene where Applejack saves Twilight impressed me greatly with (1) Applejack's utter awesomeness as an action heroine (remember, she can neither fly nor telekinese, and she's from a species not as used to climbing as humanity), (2) the fact that she can only apply a fraction of her strength to grasping, compared to the capabilities of a human in her place.  This cemented in my mind that Ponies have to be grasping by gecko-grip, rather than (non-animated) additional fingers (a real horse has only one functional digit on each limb).

Thus, my little essay.  I'm glad you liked it.:twilightsmile:


How ponies actually hold things in their hooves is not something I've given much thought about nor have I usually seen an explanation, it just is. So thanks for a reason of the how.

Seeing the other side of the first episode has been great so far, I've been enjoying how Nightmare considers each of her plans though I think I'm more interested in why she considered the next trap a good idea especially since it does not seem as life threateningly dangerous at least compared to the cliff and manticore.

#11 · 44w, 3d ago · 1 · · Chapter 3: Ranking the Pieces ·

[I don't know how Nightmare Moon would approach sex.  Probably as a form of conquest, followed by raping the vanquished.  She's basically a combination of Things From Beyond Space and Time with Princess Luna's darkest desires, so I suspect it wouldn't be at all pretty.  I don't think that "love" in any sane sense of the word would even figure into the equation].

I am imagining someone trying Byron's lines on her as a distraction (I.e., 'She walks in beauty, like the night/of cloudless climes and sunless skies...'), trying to sneak out, only for Nighty to drag them back with a smile and, "Tell me more about my eyes."

But yeah, I rather doubt that the original Nightmare Moon could love anyone or thing besides herself.

And I do like your own take on what NMM was thinking back in episode one. It's very well done; and I am amused to see her be so frightened of the harmless (?) Pinkie Pie, and wondering what kind of weapons or talents the ponies must have. Especially Fluttershy and Rarity. It'll be entertaining to see just how wrongheaded NMM gets before she realizes what's actually going on.

I love how you handled the thought processes of both NMM and the manticore, and Fluttershy's bravery and gentleness. And the bit with Rarity -- it's easy to forget, but she has displayed some fine hand to hand (hoof to hoof?) combat skills through the series. One does wonder where she got them, and why. Surely not to handle overly lecherous stallions? It seems her wits would be more than enough in those circumstances.


I was really happy when I watched the episode in detail and realized that the fact that Nightmare Moon was embedded in the manticore (and probably linked to it) during the whole of the fight meant that I could legitimately show the manticore's thoughts without abandoning third person limited POV.

While I've of course seen all the season openers and finales several times, I have to look at them much more closely -- motion by motion, word by word, expression by expression -- to redo it well as written narrative without changing what happened.  The transcripts alone aren't enough, since they don't show choreography and intonations.  So I wind up seeing a lot of details that I missed when merely watching it for pleasure.

Heh, well Nightmare Moon wouldn't be the first person to underestimate Fluttershy.  Of course, she is essentially a slightly-immature immortal warrior princess suffering demonic possession, and not in the world's most friendly mood for that reason.  Fluttershy's powers are subtle, until you become their target.  Nightmare Moon got to actually see them work while in telepathic contact with the target.  What's more, they actually hurt the Nightmare Shadow within her.

The great part about Rarity's part of the scene is that she actually in-canon does everything I wrote down -- I didn't have to make her an Adaptational Badass.  Complete with not fully paying attention to the dangerousness of her situation until she is shocked out of it by being sprayed by its spittle.

This isn't the only time Rarity does something like this, either.  For instance, she chews out Giant Greedy Spike -- before she realizes who he is -- while he's holding her most of the way up a mountainside.  Understand, she's just been kidnapped by a kaiju-sized dragon, as far as she knows he means to do something terrible to her -- and her reaction is to confront him.  It's scenes like that which make me love Rarity.

Hmm, lecherous stallions?  Somehow I don't think that the Pony stallions are that pushy.  Though between Rarity's concept of her own beauty and its reality, I could see her worrying enough about precisely that point to justify to herself spending a lot of time learning how to fight.

The best explanation I've heard is that Rarity's dad is really into sports and tried to raise her as the son he never had, which led to her becoming really good at a variety of athletic activities -- including the Pony equivalent of marital arts -- before she finally rebelled and desided to become uncompromisingly feminine.  Rarity's concept of "feminine" is a very strong-willed one anyway:  she's right up there with Applejack and Rainbow Dash in terms of being extroverted.


Well, Pinkie Pie's harmlessness is a matter of whether or not she's your enemy.  It's not Pinkie's way to flat-out kill you, or even directly harm you (*), but she is a Reality Warper and she can do things to foil your plans without having to do either.

Nightmare Moon is worried because Pinkie Pie can do something that is totally beyond NMM's own capabilities, and she's extrapolating Pinkie's possible actions from NMM's own malignity if it were married to Pinke Pie's own powers.  NMM with Pinkie's powers would be something like Freddie Krueger (remember, NMM can dreamwalk).  Pinkie can't actually do all that and isn't interested in killing anyone, but NMM doesn't know that.

Nightmare Moon would be more worried if she knew from whence Pinkamena's Pinkie-ness originated, since Pinkie Pie might have a particular grudge against Luna.  If she remembered and wouldn't take an apology, that is.

NMM is also worried about Fluttershy because Fluttershy has just demonstrated the ability not only to block the Nightmare's control of victims but -- in close enough contact -- to actually hurt the Nightmare Shadow within her.  Also, Fluttershy has just shown herself to be a serious badass, which is worrisome considering just how delicate she seemed.  Yamato Nadeshiko, anyone?  Or at least Silk Hiding Steel.

Well, NMM's main false assumption is that Celestia explicitly trained the Mane Six together as some sort of elite warrior team.  She's actually quite right that they are Celestia's elite champions; and that each of them has powerful capabilities -- they've spent the whole canon series demonstrating precisely this.  What she has wrong is how Celestia did this, since the irony about Celestia and Luna is that while Celestia has the showier powers and style, while Luna has illusion and dreamwalking; Luna is actually the more direct personality.  Celestia is enormously subtle.

If Luna (any version) wanted to recruit a force of elite champions, she'd outright tell them that this is what she was doing.  Celestia has accomplished the same end by throwing them all together in full understanding of how their personalities would mesh in a crisis.

Celly plays a long game.

Oh, and the funny thing?

Nightmare Moon still hasn't realized either of the deeper threats they pose to her.  One of which -- their link to the Elements -- she's starting to get.  The second one -- just who some of them are to her, she doesn't even yet consciously suspect, though she's getting feelings about it.


(*)  No, nor Pinkamena's.  That was a rock farm, not the home of Leatherface's clan from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.


Hate to disappoint you, but while I'll mention it in the next chapter, Steven Magnet is pretty much just a delaying tactic -- short of stupidly leaping upon the gigantic but otherwise unaggressive creature, which NMM assumes that Twilight is too smart to do, all his presence means is that they can't cross the section of the river where he is located (which includes the ford directly on their road).  The enchanted wood and the cut bridge are much more serious obstacles (the more so because of the mechanics of crossing or fixing the cut bridge with NMM on the other side).


Is Steven Magnet next or were the trees next, I always get those two mixed up order wise.


Ooh, now I should check to make sure I didn't get it mixed up (*looks*)  Oh yes, you're right, I'm wrong.

I would have paced it the other way, though -- put Steven Magnet in for comedy relief before the buildup through the forest and then the gorge to the big climactic confrontation with Nightmare Moon.  That explains why my offhand memory got it wrong.


Ah, regardless I'm still interested in finding out why the trees are labelled as such a threat.


Well, the enchanted forest is at a minimum under the effects of an illusion and probably also fear spell.  Plus given the illusion part of it, one might easily get lost, even if the fear spell didn't lead to them all scattering like foals through the Forest.  Which is, mind you, the Everfree Forest, with plenty of other nasties if they stumble into the wrong part of it.


Nightmare Moon is in part Princess Luna driven by resentment at being slighted for her more charismatic sister, so wooing her might actually work for a time.  Of course if it works, you've just won the highly-selfish and destructive love of a Mad Goddess who is probably one of the worst Yanderes in that world.  And whose revenge will be terrible if she thinks you're just trying to manipulate her.  Oh, and did I mention that she's smart?

See, Luna has some tendencies that way, but the difference is that Luna really cares about ponies.  Nightmare Moon doesn't.

>>3639441 That explanation for why Rarity is both very athletic and so very ladylike works quite well. I may use it myself in a story sometime.

And heh, now I wonder what Rarity must think about Applejack and especially Rainbow Dash disdaining 'frou-frou girly stuff' so they can focus on athletic. Rarity may have something to say to them on that score.

>>3639555 RE: Pinkamena -- Agreed. Pinkamena is Pinkie's sadder and somewhat depressed side (as was shown so well in Alex Warlorn's long-ago chapter on Pinkie's healing of her fractured personalities), not a serial killer! And I very much doubt that her family were any of the usual horrid stereotypes shown in the meaner-spirited fanon.


In her flashback from "Cutie Mark Chronicles," Pinkie's family appears to be incredibly dour (but remember that this is from Pinkie's perspective) but otherwise decent -- they aren't actually abusing each other, unless one considers being boring a form of abuse.  From a mainstream MLP point of view Pinkie is a Blithe Spirit born into a clan of Fantasy Counterpart Culture "Amish," who left because of the obvious incompatibilities.  

From the PonyPOV fanon POV, Pinkie Pie is of course operating according to a wholly different logic:  her soul's from a destroyed timeline in which the very laws of physics were subtly different, and she's taken some of that otherness with her.  Pinkamena is depressed because the new timeline isn't as much fun and demands compromises with the way she'd really rather be; Pinkie's insanely cheerful in part to compensate and in part how her Reality Warping talent works:  namely by Rule of Funny.

It's not surprising that her family didn't understand her.  Who does?  The fact that so many ponies, who don't understand her all that much better, love her, demonstrates that she's a good pony, albeit a very strange one.

Did I spy both a Kingdom Hearts and Mythbusters reference? Or do I read too much into this?

Anyways! Really nice to see more about some of the Mane 6's past lives, except maybe not because the wording here makes me think Pinkie is more akin to a cosmic horror, like  Yog Shogoth or any other lovecraftian abberation.

That last part of her counterspell... I've never seen someone make Pinkie's normal, pleasant behavior feel so threatening, even if it was towards a villain. Really awesome, but also just as scary (if not more so) than the things Nightmare Moon has been doing.

Seeing Pinkie from Nightmare's prespective really makes her more awesome yet also something that is to be feared.

Also grammar error a doubled word, "There had been farms, and inns, shops and and noble villas, warmth and life and happiness.", the AND between shops and noble was doubled.


The Mythbusters part was intentional, as I realized that Adam's famous quote perfectly described Pinkie Pie's powers.  I've never actually played Kingdom Hearts, though it's the sort of game I'd like to play someday.

... Pinkie is more akin to a cosmic horror, like  Yog Shogoth or any other Lovecraftian abberation.

Well -- ever seen G3 My Little Ponies?  Which is by far the silliest and least logical version of My Little Pony ever done as a cartoon?

If you want to read an epic and tragic version of how that series should have ended, check out Alex Warlorn's Generation Transitions and Origins, and -- regarding the Pink One Herself, here is a good place to start.  Though I warn you, you'll wind up following this at least to the end of the Pinkie section.

Cosmic Horror?  Well, she would be if she were hostile.  She can -- when in the right mood (which is very important) warp reality itself to her will, including most particularly the demonstrated in-canon abilities to teleport (in a manner utterly different than any other being in the show save possibly for Discord), to disrupt hostile magics by an effort of will (despite the fact that she knows nothing of explicit magic use), have precognitive glimpses (which express themselves in body twitches) and sometimes startlingly-accurate "hunches" about the nature of events she hasn't personally witnessed (as in Equestria Girls, where both versions of Pinkie Pie know about the other Universe).

She was, in the PonyPOV fanon, created by a wish as someone's imaginary friend.  When her own timeline -- here called "The World Which Was Lost" -- had to be erased from reality lest it crash the continuum like a buggy application crashing an operating system, hers was one of the few souls to escape its destruction, and perhaps the only one to escape it intact and with at least some of her memories of the vanished timeline.  This seems to have been due to the fact that she was one of the only Ponies of her timeline with the willpower to resist.  And -- frighteningly from Nightmare Moon's point of view -- Pinkie seems to have brought some of the acausality of the Great Wish which created that timeline in the first place with her, as if she were somehow an Avatar of the World Which Was Lost.

It's not just that Pinkie Pie is Nightmare Moon's foe here.  It's that Cosmic Luna was one of the entities who destroyed Pinkie's original world.  It has occurred to the Moon Princess that, if Pinkie Pie remembers this, the fight may be VERY personal on Pinkie's side.

Pinkie has gone toe-to-toe with an avatar of Cosmic Luna about as strong as Nightmare Moon before.  And put up a good fight, despite the fact that Pinkie Pie came from the softest and sweetest imaginable world, a world by comparison of which Equestria might as well be Hell.

This time, it's a Pinkie Pie who grew up doing hard physical labor.  And apparently is more powerful than she ever was before -- has somehow become the Avatar and Avenger of her whole lost timeline.

If you're her enemy, this is a scary thought.


Well, we think of Pinkie Pie as harmless because she wouldn't hurt anypony without a very good reason.  And she's generally a very kind and forgiving pony, even by Equestrian standards, so usually the problem she poses to other ponies come from her dubious grasp on normal social realities.

But imagine being her enemy.  Imagine if your strongest magics were torn apart like tissue paper by a song (not even a proper spell).

Want to know what's worse?

Each of the Mane Six has, in canon, a talent roughly equal to each other's.  Nightmare Moon has sampled Applejack's strength and agility, Fluttershy's mind control, and Pinkie Pie's reality warping.  She's so far only seen hints of what Twilight (the only one whose name she hasn't yet heard spoken), Rarity and Rainbow Dash can do.  But she knows that these six were probably selected as a team specifically to defeat her, and she's starting to get quite rationally worried.

She doesn't fancy her prospects of beating all six of them, together, in an open fight.  And she's got a good point there.

Which is why she's been trying to pick them off one or two at a time.

And so far it hasn't worked.

And it's only going to get worse for her.


I'm glad I got across how terrifying Pinkie Pie is to an enemy.  She's such a sweet and loveable pony that it's easy to lose sight of this :pinkiehappy:

>>3650108 So was cosmic Celestia involved in the destruction too or not? Kinda doubtful since she's never implicitly mentioned as a entity of destruction; in fact given her and Luna's juxtaposition on most everything she's probably a creation entity right?


Celestia had incarnated herself in the G3 world -- she fought to defend it.  Which is one reason why Pinkie has absolutely nothing against Celestia.

BTW, Alex Warlorn's speculations make even more sense if you look at "Luna Eclipsed."  Tell me that Pinkie doesn't deliberately make things worse for Luna in that episode.  And remember, in "Luna Eclipsed" we're not talking about Nightmare Moon any more, but the Adorkable Fish Out of Temporal Water we all know and love.

Heck, Pinkie's being positively cruel to Luna in that episode.  It's almost as if that was payback for something.:pinkiecrazy:

If that "something" was the annihilation of Pinkie's whole world with all her friends, that was pretty mild revenge.  But then again, Pinkie is a very nice pony.:pinkiehappy:

>>3650118 I'm aware of all of that, but while the Mane 6 are pretty capable in a fight, they clearly aren't out to hurt anyone even if they are enemies. Here, Nightmare Moon makes it sound like Pinkie tried to destroy her soul. Even if she were upset by what Nightmare tried to do, that's pretty freaking malicious.


Well now -- Pinkie Pie was certainly trying to destroy someone or something.  You maybe should be asking yourself just who or what was her true target. :pinkiesmile:

And Pinkie will cheerfully prank people she loves.  What makes you think she's particularly inhibited from scaring the crap out of someone she has absolutely no reason to like?  She's a very nice pony, but she's not perfectly good.  :pinkiehappy:

>>3650141 But wasn't it something Luna had to do? You implicitly said

[the world] had to be erased from reality lest it crash the continuum like a buggy application crashing an operating system

And I'm trying to decide how to best word this without sounding like Eichman or whoever is cited as originally saying this but, she was "doing her job", so Pinkie has no reason to be angered? I mean, yeah she can't know that there is (reportedly) a reason for it, but if she did I doubt she'd be as vindictive. Well, vindictive is the wrong word, she just goes out of her way to troll Luna but yannow.

Also why would Celestia side with the G3 ponies if she's a cosmic entity and probably knew the world was slated for termination? Do their incarnations selectively not have memory of their real forms? Or is she just totally opposed to the idea of destroying entire worlds?


A fun pony she might be but she is one of the two main characters who literally scare me in the if they ever go crazy and decide you are the enemy way, now there's more reason to fear her as if her in Pony POV in general is not enough.


But wasn't it something Luna had to do?

Yes, it was.

She could have been nicer about it, though, which is a point that Cosmic Cadence makes in the original Warlorn fanfics.  And just because it was something that Cosmic Luna had to do doesn't mean that Pinkie Pie was entirely happy about it, even later when she understood why it had to be done.

... she was "doing her job", so Pinkie has no reason to be angered?

She's actually far less angry about it all than you or I would be in her situation.  I said that Pinkie Pie's not perfectly good, but by human standards -- indeed by most pony standards -- she's more or less a saint.  A very SILLY saint, to be true, but saintly nevertheless.

I mean, yeah she can't know that there is (reportedly) a reason for it, but if she did I doubt she'd be as vindictive. Well, vindictive is the wrong word, she just goes out of her way to troll Luna but yannow.

Well see -- trolling Luna (in "Luna Eclipsed") is exactly what Pinkie does in canon.  With no justification given except that it was "more fun to play along" with everyone's misperceptions of Luna.  This is just taken in the episode as Pinkie being Pinkie.

Pinkie Pie is actually being nicer in PonyPOV fanon, since she actually has the kind of grudge against Luna that would lead many sapient beings to want to hunt Luna down in every future incarnation and make her life miserable in each one of them -- but all she does is prank her, and then in a later story actually forgives Luna to her face.  If most humans thought like Pinkie Pie in this regard, our history would be utterly bereft of wars.

Also why would Celestia side with the G3 ponies if she's a cosmic entity and probably knew the world was slated for termination? Do their incarnations selectively not have memory of their real forms? Or is she just totally opposed to the idea of destroying entire worlds?

In order:  because she was incarnate as Star-Catcher (one of the more powerful and mystical ponies of the G3 world); yes, a non-Cosmic Avatar does not always have complete access to its Cosmic self's memories (using my terminology, not Warlorn's); and yes, in general Celestia doesn't like destroying entire worlds -- though if she'd understood what was at stake here, she might have reluctantly stepped aside and let it happen anyway.

And, in case it isn't obvious, it is not Princess Luna who Pinkie Pie is trying to destroy.  Does that make it too obvious?


Oh, you want something scarier than that?  What if the author of "Cupcakes" had realized how powerful Pinkie Pie really is even in canon?

>>3650171 Well, it would certainly be a different matter if she was aiming at the Shadows possessing Luna and not Luna herself. Most of what freaked me out was the idea of Pinkie deliberately trying to cause real harm to someone else - making ponies happy is what she lives for, so seeing her try to make someone hurt or miserable feels wrong, even if she doesn't like them.

Also, while Pinkie is capable of getting extremely angry, such as when Applejack broke a Pinkie Promise, she also forgives easily. Although I can see her not forgiving Luna for what happened in the past, and deliberately scaring her here, actually holding a grudge still feels out of character for her, since all a grudge really accomplishes is making things difficult for someone else.

You mentioned earlier that how Pinkie acted in Luna Eclipsed seems cruel, and it certainly does from our perspective. We see how much trouble Luna has relating to Ponyville, but Pinkie is both caught up in her own excitement and only spends a few moments near Luna each meeting until Twilight holds her down. She may never have realized that Luna didn't quite "get" Nightmare Night, or even paid enough attention to gauge her mood. Of course, aside from when Discord first broke out that was the most selfish I'd seen her. "Time is candy" and all that.

Horay! I can't wait for memory lane!


Well, it would certainly be a different matter if she was aiming at the Shadows possessing Luna and not Luna herself.

That's exactly what she's doing.  Keep in mind that the counterspell she used was very precisely tuned (literally, as she was singing and dancing it) as we know that her five friends were right at Ground Zero and were utterly unharmed by it.  (I took some serious artistic license by depicting it in the terms one would normally use for a tactical nuclear weapon, but -- watch "Giggle With the Ghosties" sometime -- Pinkie's final strike dispels every single remaining illusion at ONCE -- I don't think I exaggerated too much!).

Pinkie -- because she is Pinkie and has strange knowledge from outside all sane space and time -- essentially attempted a one-Element area-effect version of the Rainbow of Harmony, which is very potent against illusions and minor transformations (*).  Basically, she's laughing them out of existence, which is possible for her because she's a Reality Warper.  And she did it in such a way as to also protect her friends.  And even worse, from Nightmare Moon's point of view, she did it IN FRONT OF TWILIGHT, which means that Twilight can now work a lesser version of such a dispellation herself (NMM suspects this from what she saw of Twilight's technique).

Why is Nightmare Moon terrified?  Because it might have dispelled or at least severely weakened Nightmare Moon's own control over Princess Luna.  Generally, when I write about Nightmare Moon / Princess Luna, note just to which I refer.  Sometimes, the Princess is having an internal mental conflict and she isn't even aware of it, because the parasitic Shadow works by using Luna's own skills and knowledge, while enhancing Luna's power with its own.  Luna is kept under control by a focus on domination, hatred and vindictiveness, which are the emotions the Nightshadows share with our kind of life, and through which they can communicate and understand us.

Notice the phrasing "The Moon Princess thought [positive affect about situation].  No, the Nightmare reminded herself, [negative affect about situation]."  That's very intentional on my part.  That's Luna's core personality emerging and the Nightmare seducing, and in some cases beating, it back into enthrallment.  Luna's not even aware of what's happening most of the time, because the Nightmare convinces her that the thoughts are her own.

In Champions, this would be bought as the Power "Mind Control" with the Adavantage "Invisible Power Effects."  It's a horrendously powerful combination.

Strong positive affect, such as love or friendship, actually hurts the Nightshadow.  That's why Luna could break free of it, temporarily, when she saw something on the Earth that made her happy.  Or, really, feel anything other than hatred and the desire for revenge on Celestia and all Ponykind.  The Nightshadows have infested this world's Moon, though, and so there it would not be long until they overpowered her and regained control.

Pinkie's grudge against Luna is far weaker than ours would be for far less serious offenses.  Or, really, even than most Ponies' would be.  And the revenge she takes is also rather trivial -- she embarrasses her socially.  As I maintain, by most standards, including Pony ones, Pinkie is essentially a very silly Saint.

Now, something which Nightmare Moon does not know is that Pinkie Pie can't do something this powerful very often, nor does Pinkie have complete conscious control over this kind of large-scale effect.  


(*)  Thank you, J. K. Rowling, for this concept.  And no, I didn't mean "A.K." Rowling.


Oh ... one more thing ...

Luna ... any incarnation of Luna save perhaps a fully-mortal one like Moondreamer (and even her to some extent) is very hard to actually kill (especially by magic).  This is true for all the Cosmic Alicorns.

Which is something of which Pinkie Pie is very much aware, since she fought Luna once before, in the lost timeline.

In the actual episode, Luna is purged of the Nightmare by, essentially, the same thing that blew Tirek to teeny weeny bits in the very first MLP movie:  the Rainbow of Harmony.  The same power imprisons Discord in stone.

I think it's safe to say that a normal mortal Pony wouldn't survive such an attack.

>>3650321 There's only one thing left to say here, and that is bravo. You've clearly put a lot of thought into all of this. Sorry if I annoyed you, but this is all really interesting. I'm definitely looking forward to the rest of it.


Annoy me?  Do you know how happy I am when something I write triggers a ton of comments, especially thoughtful ones?

It means someone intelligent is reading it! :twilightsmile:

I do love this view of Pinkie Pie from the Nightmare and Luna's viewpoint. Yeah, it never struck me just how scary she could be to someone she honestly disliked. Then again, poor Pinkie's 'giggle at the ghostly' idea sadly didn't work so well in my story 'My Little Balladeer'. Of course it could have helped that a part of Luna wants to be beaten, while the Sunny Towners didn't have that weakness.

I also really enjoyed the early section commenting on Luna's sense of the passage of time and the passing of that village she once knew. Celestia must feel it too, but it's so much the worse for Luna since she's been gone for 1000 years. To her, it's rather like she took a day trip and came back to find so many ponies she knew gone forever. It has a real 'Poul Anderson' feel to it if that makes any sense.

For that matter your treatment of the Nightmare spirit reminds me a lot of Anderson's treatment of Hell's demons in 'Operation Chaos'. How one cannot ever deal fairly with them, because they'll always betray you. Why? Because they can't comprehend not betraying someone as soon as they no longer need to deal fairly with them. In a way the Nightmare displays 'the stupidity of evil' here; with only a little false kindness or even just patience it probably could get whatever it wants using Luna's powers. But even that is beyond it.

I do wonder about this line though: so many proud towns had been abandoned during the Time of Discord, never to be reponied 'Reponied'? Wouldn't 'repopulated' have worked just as well?

I am looking forward to the chapters where the Nightmare tries her tricks with Rarity and Rainbow Dash. We're both big Rarity fans, and I DO want to see  what it thinks of the little fashionista after it sees her real personality in action.

>>3650351 so you see nightmare moon/luna as a parasitic/demonic possession relationship, right?


In part.  The start of the Nightmare was Princess Luna's growing resentment and madness, but this attracted the Nightshadows to her.  The Nightshadows can most easily parasitize damaged souls, and they are most drawn to powerful souls.  Princess Luna's pain was to them a beacon.

>>3651677 I see, the reason I ask is that I think that alex warlorn sees it as more of a super powered evil side to quote tv tropes. the reason I mentioned that is that most fan fictions based off of his work tend to follow that formula. of course its your story and your right. I was just confused. It is a great story none the less. :coolphoto:


Then again, poor Pinkie's 'giggle at the ghostly' idea sadly didn't work so well in my story 'My Little Balladeer'.

The only illusion about Sunny Town is the cheerful guise it can wrap around itself and its denizens, to lure ponies in.  The mad ponicidal revenants, alas, are all too real.  Pinkie can do all sorts of other things, of course, some of which would have worked (I can think of a couple off-hand), but she picked the wrong attack there.

"You use 'Giggle at the Ghosties' ...

"... it's not very effective."

Which is ok.  Pinkie's powers are not unlimited, nor is her tactical sense unerring.  I think she's more awesome than some fans give her credit for being, but she's not Pinkamena God Mode Mary Sue Pie, either.  Just Pinkie.

And Chapter 6 of my tale was her moment to shine.  :pinkiesmile:

Of course it could have helped that a part of Luna wants to be beaten, while the Sunny Towners didn't have that weakness.

There are all sorts of things the Moon Princess could be doing to win these fights, mostly consisting of striking directly to kill, and doing it while her enemies are otherwise-occupied with her indirect attacks.  She's not even thinking of this, because Princess Luna actually has nothing against these ponies and is in fact rather impressed with them as honorable and skilled opponents.  The Nightmare keeps urging her to kill, but Luna pleads strategic reasons to hold back, and the Nightmare is drawing on Luna's sense of tactics because it doesn't actually understand our kind of life very well.

The same thing happened a thousand years ago, when Nightmare Moon could have struck Celestia down by complete surprise, and didn't.  Nightmare Moon also could have finished off her sister when she had the chance, and instead refrained long enough for Celestia to get the Elements and deploy them against her.  That's the problem with its parasitizing a fundamentally-good and strong-willed pony:  it's harder for the Nightmare to stay in control.

Every pony Luna knew back then, save for Celestia, is gone.  What's worse, they're so long gone that most aren't even remembered in history books.  And most of the surviving entities who would remember her personally -- like Discord and Sombra -- are enemies.  And the culture she knew has also mutated, to the point where there are only some very old traditions (like Heart's Warming Eve) in common, and in many cases the context and associations even of those has changed.

I consider it a very high compliment that you are comparing me to Poul Anderson in such a fashion.  He was one of the greatest writers of science fiction and fantasy who ever lived.  

For that matter your treatment of the Nightmare spirit reminds me a lot of Anderson's treatment of Hell's demons in 'Operation Chaos'. How one cannot ever deal fairly with them, because they'll always betray you. Why? Because they can't comprehend not betraying someone as soon as they no longer need to deal fairly with them. In a way the Nightmare displays 'the stupidity of evil' here; with only a little false kindness or even just patience it probably could get whatever it wants using Luna's powers. But even that is beyond it.

They doesn't understand commensalist symbiosis.  The most they can grasp is temporary co-operation, and they are constantly tempted to betray since they consider any mutual relationship as being disguised domination, with the important question being who wins in the end.  From their point of view, any attempt to answer this with "both win" would mean that the sitaution remained unreseolved, and hence still in conflict.  Their mode of communication -- even among each other -- is mind control.

(*sigh*)  "Repopulated," "reponied," "repeopled" -- I don't know ... I'll have to think about it.  ::twilightsheepish:

I wish I was going to show Rarity's encounter with Steven Magnet in greater detail.  She actually is one of my favorite ponies, the more so because she represents virtues underappreciated by most of the mainstream media.  She's a hard-working, self-defining creative artist and businessmare who completely grasps the concept of generous and enlightened self-interest.  She's a skilled social manipulator who nevertheless has very real love and loyalty, honor and integrity (there are principles she won't sacrifice to get what she wants), and she instinctively understands what the Nightshadows totally miss -- namely, that life and success are about long-term mutually-beneficial relationships.

And she very much defeats the Nightmare's trap there by Choosing a Third Option.  She neither tries to fight Steven nor accepts that she must go around him.  She instead gives Steven a good reason to like her, whereupon Steven is converted from obstacle to bridge.  (Literally:  the Mane Six wind up crossing that river on Steven!).

Unfortunately, that's the one encounter at which I can't find any evidence that Nightmare Moon was directly present.  Based on what Steven himself said, the "tacky purple cloud" flew by, cut off one of his moustaches, and was gone.  I never understood why she didn't stick around, but now that I've analyzed the encounter with Pinkie Pie, I got it -- Nightmare Moon just wanted to delay them and give herself time to rethink her tactics before the final battle.  (The same reason why she cut the bridge, which was an even more passive form of defense than ticking-off a gigantic river monster).

So Nightmare Moon will be watching Rarity's actions from a distance.  Of course, she has incredibly-good distance vision, which means I still get to describe it.

On the other hand, her encounter with Rainbow Dash is going to be very up-close and personal.  So this won't be all remote description.


Can't it be both?

If the Nightmare Shadows are real, why can't they flock to those Alicorns in a Nightmare state, as their perfect hosts?

Flus are caused by viruses, but once you catch them, bacterial respiratory infections often ride in through the hole in your defenses the influenza viruses have torn.


Oh, and -- heh-heh -- who says that the Nightshadows' list of good hosts has to be limited to Nightmared Alicorns?  Or, for that matter, ponies ...?

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