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To the average pony, Equestria is an idyllic country, a place of peace and serenity. Not all is as it seems, however. Beneath the surface, dark secrets run rampant — secrets that are forcibly kept out of the public eye, secrets that divided the nation over a thousand years ago, and secrets that were never meant to see the light of day.

Sometimes, it's best to leave things in the dark.

Rated Teen for language and mild gore. Additional background info about the fic's universe may be found here.

First Published
8th Oct 2012
Last Modified
16th May 2013

Hey, the followup to What Must Be Done is finally here! More Ferous and Noctis shenanigans! Hooray! Reading that definitely isn't required or anything, as I'm trying to cram as much of that info into this fic as possible, but you should read it anyways. Because batponies.

Chapter 1 is also prone to some editing, because hey I did most of that in one day.

Oooooh, I do like this. Favorited and thumbed up :pinkiehappy:

"this definitely hadn't been what he signed up for when he had first join the Royal Guard"

"After all, they had been nothing more than scape goats" - "scapegoats"

"and their meeting had been mostly due to his own curiosity than anything else." - more due to?

But, y'know... Awesome, otherwise. Thumbs up, moar, all that stuff.

>>1404016

Quiet you, I did most of this in one day.

But thanks for pointing them out.

Oh, also, wicked cover art. Nicely done.

And heeeeere we GO.

Yyyyeeeessss. :ajsmug:

I wonder how Luna (and Celestia) would have reacted if no one had stopped the Captain from killing poor Ferous.  

PPS

within the shadows, there is no light

Dammit, I'm not going to be able to take this seriously. Sorry.

>>1404315

Dammit, I'm not going to be able to take this seriously. Sorry.

So because of a single line within the synopsis, you won't be able to take the entire fic seriously, despite it being tagged as dark/adventure?

I'm really not sure if you're joking.

In before featured, as chiche as that expression is.

This story is really interesting. I'll read more of it when it's not midnight.

PPS

>>1404328

Not joking. If I try to read this, I'm just going to be thinking about that line the whole time. It's just too tautological.

>>1404348

Not joking. If I try to read this, I'm just going to be thinking about that line the whole time. It's just too tautological.

That's a rather silly reason to not read it, but alright. I'm just hoping that one downvote isn't yours, because if so, that's a rather poor reason to downvote something.

PPS

>>1404355

That's not mine - one line in the intro blurb isn't enough to base a vote on - but seriously. Read that line out loud a few times. Think about what it actually says. Doesn't it seem at least a bit silly?

That's not mine - one line in the intro blurb isn't enough to base a vote on - but seriously. Read that line out loud a few times. Think about what it actually says. Doesn't it seem at least a bit silly?

I'm aware of what it sounds like. I'm aware that there is no light within shadows because they wouldn't be shadows otherwise.

I'm not changing it. There's additional meanings beyond the literal version you're seeing, hence why I wrote it like that. If you would actually read it, you might get that.

:applejackconfused: What? This... what?

This is some good stuff, man. I don't really read the 'dark adventure' stories, but the quality of writing alone is doing it for me. And that, in turn, is making this story come alive. I was feeling the transportation, man--you done good.

I truly enjoyed the representation of Luna in the prologue, and the cell scene here was quite nice. I could see that happening, hear the clang on the bars. The blood was visible, too.

I thought I'd just discovered another gem of a competent writer. Wondering why I hadn't read you before, but recognized your name, I checked your profile... and saw who you REALLY are! :pinkiegasp: It all makes sense, now.

Honestly, though--thanks for the submission. I enjoyed this and will be enjoying the updates. Please, submit this to EQD where it may get the recognition it deserves. And, as >>1404331 said, totally inb4 featured.

You've won an Inky Award. Successive awards may follow, depending. Keep writing, brony man.

PPS

>>1404509

I wouldn't expect the literal meaning to be the only one. The line screams metaphor. I'm just saying that the literal meaning stands out to me strongly enough that if I try to read this story, I'm going to be constantly thinking about the literal meaning of that line.

Yay! A follow-up to one of my favorite bat-pony/opliptera-based stories!

Dark-adventure sounds fun! I look forward to more.

Ooh, this looks like it's building up to something fun. Can't wait for more! :twilightsmile:

Well, I'm looking forward to this.

I'm... a little creeped out. By it's interesting, so let's see what happens.

>>1406134

I'm... a little creeped out. By it's interesting, so let's see what happens.

That's the idea.

Alright, you got me hooked. I figured you would, but it's official now. I like the interactions here with Noctis: cool-headed, yet not above sarcasm and throwing out a few quips here and there. Though, I guess we only got so much of a look at her as a character in the prequel to this.

Well, I'm looking forward to reading more of this, as if that wasn't already obvious. So, Ferous is now in a sort of indebted servitude with Noctis. I'm not going to jump to jump to any conclusions on this action of hers, aside from the obvious one of wanting to save a pony that she knows and possibly cares for as a friend of sorts. Maybe she's going to have him fight some demons with her? Do some spring cleaning for her quarters? Who knows.

Anyway, I can't wait to see what comes next. Keep at it, Varg.

Tea has always seemed so perfect for settings like this. It is more sedate and eloquent than other beverages, and it lends weight to conversations somehow.

So I saved your ass, you're now a Grey Ward... I mean Night Guard.

Not a fan of dark, but you're keeping me so far, though I find resisting the urge to manifest and strangle Meridith, I mean Procella.

Little nitpick, I think "Who is she?" fits better than the contraction, the flow just works better, being formal rather than very informal.

New update? New update.

Ooooooo

Mysteeeeerious.

Awww..... Lepus died? :fluttercry:

(Oops. I got him mixed up with Ferous. But still, aww.)

Ooooooooooooooooooh. I'm detecting awesome emanating from this fic.

So it appears the Vigil and King Sombra have a love for the stairs...I wonder if they also have a love of Slinkies...

"Venerated as as goddesses"

And you're rapidly supplanting my headcanon about the batpones, dammit.

Yay, an update! :twilightsmile:

Hmm... mostly just a refresher of the first story, but still some new developments. I look forward to seeing what happens next.

>>1641557

Hmm... mostly just a refresher of the first story, but still some new developments.

More or less the point of this chapter.

I really like your take on the bat ponies, looking forward to when Ferrous swears an oath in front of Luna!

I really need to make a habit of reading your updates sooner.

Well, I was expecting something like this, but I still must admit that I enjoyed it. I love your world building (I'm a sucker for that stuff, so I may be biased on that end). The Opliptera in this story are definitely an interesting bunch, what with all the secrecy and mystery shrouding them. Looking forward to what else will be revealed about them.

As for Ferous and Noctis, I believe I already expressed that they're my OTOCP. Even if this isn't a romance story in any way, shape, or form, I can dream. Love the interaction between the two. Their personalities compliment each other in several ways, what with Noctis's calm and cool-headed behavior mixed with a bit of playfulness, and Ferous's curious nature and love for solving and understanding things. The friendship here doesn't feel forced or unbelievable at all. Sure, they may not be best of friends, but I can definitely sense that there's a degree of trust between the two that extends beyond just comrades in arms. It feels like Ferous may be more on the receiving side of this friendship, since you know...Noctis saved him and all, but Noctis seems to genuinely care about him.

On a final note, I am definitely looking forward to how you go about Ferous and his dealings as a part of the Vigil. I can only imagine that it won't be an entirely positive reception. I haven't read much of how you portray Luna, but I'm guessing she's going to be rather intrigued by Noctis's recruitment of Ferous. He's still a greenhorn, at least in behavior, so promoting him right to one of Equestria's elite demon hunters is definitely a change of pace for him.

Now, if only there was another chapter to read here, heh. Keep up the great work, Vargras. I'm eagerly awaiting your next update, whenever that may be. The wait always seems to be worth it.

>>1670601

As for Ferous and Noctis, I believe I already expressed that they're my OTOCP. Even if this isn't a romance story in any way, shape, or form, I can dream.

Ehehehehe. The things I have planned.

Also, time for another new chapter. More worldbuilding this time, sorry -- it didn't really fit with the previous chapter, so I had to give it some space of its own. For those of you wondering when the adventure tag will kick in, that won't happen until the start of act II.

Again, darn you. You're steadily influencing my Nightguard with yours :rainbowwild:

>>1700970

Again, darn you. You're steadily influencing my Nightguard with yours :rainbowwild:

YOU CANNOT ESCAPE IT.

>>1700986 Well, mine aren't true batponies (well, most of them aren't, anyway), but they have their own tragic history to them...

Man, I'm so used to secret societies in pony fics being completely random plot devices I forgot how satisfying it is to learn about their necessary infrastructure. I am unreasonably happy to find out where their families buy groceries.

>>1701166

Man, I'm so used to secret societies in pony fics being completely random plot devices I forgot how satisfying it is to learn about their unnecessary infrastructure. I am unreasonably happy to find out where their families buy groceries.

I laughed.

Little known fact: Until they expacked the opliptera in, Old Canterlot was only accessible by clipping through a wall in Celestia's throne room with either a poly or blink glitch.

>>1701426

Little known fact: Until they expacked the opliptera in, Old Canterlot was only accessible by clipping through a wall in Celestia's throne room with either a poly or blink glitch.

PFFT.

Goddammit. I'm in love with your batponies, and yet it feels like we've only seen a glimpse of them. Write more, you fool!

Underground cities are best cities. I think that's why I like dwarves so much in fantasy. There needs to be fanart of this city.

Noctis lives in a library. Huh. She reminds me more and more of a cynical Twilight Sparkle. :twilightoops:

At the very top of the enclosure, far in the distance, was an opening, just wide enough for the light of a dying day to leak in...

I'm curious. Unless there is some kind of periscope system going on here, you'd think that somepony would've probably rediscovered the place by now.

Anyway, interesting chapter, love the world-building and very much looking forward to more.

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