• Member Since 26th Jan, 2013
  • offline last seen 7 hours ago

Lapis-Lazuli and Stitch


Profile of Retired Writer, Lapis-Lazuli, and his editor, Stitch / Inky. Thanks for the memories, FiMFiction.

More Blog Posts167

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  • 21 weeks
    The Twilight Shadow - Basic Plot Outline Spoiler for Twilight War sequel.

    As long promised, below was the full outline - along with a couple of half-finished scenes and a big prologue blurb - for The Twilight Shadow, the Penultimate "Twilight Struggle" story, and sequel to The Twilight War. These are mostly short blurbs, along with chapter names, and a general outline of the final set of events. I have other notes, but they're extremely rambly, and not terribly well

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  • 114 weeks
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  • 247 weeks
    Another year passed.

    So if you're wondering where I've been, here's the short version.

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    15 comments · 1,802 views
Aug
24th
2021

The Twilight Shadow - Basic Plot Outline Spoiler for Twilight War sequel. · 8:04am Aug 24th, 2021

As long promised, below was the full outline - along with a couple of half-finished scenes and a big prologue blurb - for The Twilight Shadow, the Penultimate "Twilight Struggle" story, and sequel to The Twilight War. These are mostly short blurbs, along with chapter names, and a general outline of the final set of events. I have other notes, but they're extremely rambly, and not terribly well organized. They mostly pertain to character arcs and how fights would play out. If you want more details, I'll respond as best I can. Please also forgive, much of what is below was the settled outline, but could have evolved in some places, and none of this has been edited, so It's probably badly formatted.

This story is unlikely to ever be written, so for those of you who still want to know exactly how things shook out, scroll past the spoiler below.




The Twilight Shadow
Prologue - The Curtain Rises

It is almost time now.

The last act has begun. A tale that began countless millennia ago is coming to a close, one way or another. I have played my part, God forgive me, and done what I was meant to do.

Often I have asked myself if there is no greater tyrant than foreknowledge. No other state of being can compel a body to action the way knowledge of what will happen if one does not act can. Even Umbra cannot compel her followers to actions they would not otherwise do, regardless of what she might believe. No other force in existence can compel a person to completely abandon their own nature, near as I can surmise. 

Once upon a time, I caught Discord in a moment of unusual sobriety. He said to me that ‘inevitability’ was both the most boring force of nature and also the most terrifying. Had he known then what I would do? And if he did, why did he not try to stop me? He has no love for the Shadow, and yet the look in his eye when he said those words… Perhaps even he is bound by laws far greater than either of us can comprehend.

Perhaps in the end, even he must play the drama out to its conclusion.

But I suppose it no longer matters, does it? I have, as I said, played my part. As have Silent Moon and Moon Dancer, those wretched, glorious scoundrels. Together, we have given the world its last, best hopes for survival. We may yet break this world in twain, we may shatter all of civilization down to the bones as it was when Roam fell long ago. We can rebuild. I have long prepared for that eventuality. But we will repair it under the soaring sunrise…

Or a land blanketed in Eternal Night?

Time is growing short. Soon, Celestia, my most precious student, my dearest friend, will finally be forced to shed her hesitation. She will be left with no choice but to wholly embrace the terrible power she has restrained all of her life. She will finally cast aside her doubt, her fear of her own power, for nothing less than it will do.

But what world will it be like when she finally lets go? What will become of us all when she finally unshackles herself? Will she destroy this world, and remake it as the Creator did so many millennia ago?  She has that strength, though she knows it not. Not yet. But I can feel it, even from here. The unraveling of her control has begun, and soon what she was always meant to be, she will become.

The ultimate power of… 

Of…

I cannot even bring myself to write it.

Gods help me. What have we done?

Have we, in the end, created a demon far more terrible than Umbra could ever be?

After all, these three things all wise ponies fear:


The Shadow Within.

The Night Without End.

And the wrath of a gentle mare.

What I do know is that now that I am freed from my obligations, I may again move freely through the flow of time and space itself. No force could stop me if I wished to escape this plane of existence. Truthfully, it would be wise for me to take young Trixie, and any else who would come with me, and flee. To preserve ponykind in another plane, far from the terrible battle that is about to unfold. Then I could ensure that no matter what else came to pass, the Equestria I once dreamed of might yet live.

But I have never been terribly wise, now have I?

So I will gamble one last time, with the greatest of stakes. I will play dice with the universe itself, betting all I have ever worked to preserve and protect on the slim hope that I can avert the terrible reckoning that is about to take place. I shall hedge my bet on that which I have forged, and foolish wizard that I am, place all of my hopes and dreams on the shoulders of a young pegasus filly.


Poor Twilight Sparkle. If only I had thought to rouse myself sooner. If only I had foreseen your swift descent into madness. Perhaps I could have saved you, perhaps I could have averted all of this. From all Trixie and the rest have told me, we might have been the best of friends. But now…

Now the world teeters on a balance. 

Between immortal light, endless shadow, eternal darkness…

And the Flame that lives within the hearts of all mortal ponies.

Which one of you will prevail, I wonder?

Poor, foolish unicorn. You, too, will soon learn that some reckonings you cannot avoid. No matter how much you may try, just as I did so very long ago. 

We shall reach Cloudsdale tomorrow. From this moment forward, all prophecy now falls to ruin. We now face naught but uncertainty as the dice I have tossed begin to tumble down the board. But I believe in the Crusader. I believe in the flame that burns within her heart, and the spark she has lit in mine. This may be my final battle, but if it is to be so then I shall not waste it this time. I shall not cower or flee at the knowledge that death now hovers over my shoulder.

Instead, I shall make it wait. I shall make Death dote upon me for as long as my power holds. I shall cast my defiance into the teeth of the shadow, shall sear the memory of my power into Umbra’s diseased, damned mind. I shall show her at last what force she has trifled with, and remind the world of exactly who I am as I ought to have all those centuries ago.

I am Star Swirl. Star Swirl the Wizard of Canterlot. Star Swirl, the Archmage of the Ever-Free. Star Swirl the Shadowslayer. Starswirl the Stormbreaker and Herald of the Summerlands. Star Swirl, the unicorn boy who never knew when to give up. Star Swirl, first confidant to the Sun Princess.

Star Swirl, the Bearded.

And I have come with someone new. Another little pony who didn’t know when to give up. Who when faced with the ultimate horror of the Shadow did not flee, did not fear. She fought. She rallied others to her cause. And so here, for all posterity, I grant her a title I once held. One she now has far greater call to.

Crusader-Commander Scootaloo,
The Dawnbringer.

-From the recovered journals of Star Swirl, The Bearded
March the 14th, 1078 Of the Diarchal Calender.




Chapter 1 - The Battle of Cloudsdale  - Twilight, Umbra, Scipio, Scoots, Spitfire, Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy.  - Cloudsdale is attacked by Twilight Shadow, and the Flutterponies.
Chapter 2- The Legion Does Not Surrender - Scipio, Scoots, Twilight, Rainbow dash - Scipio and the Legion arrive just in time to buy time for The Cloudsdale Guard to tactically retreat. The Legion is decimated in the combat, but holds the line long enough for the Crusaders to arrive.
Chapter 3 - A Dash of Hope - Scootaloo, Rainbow Dash - Scootaloo confronts Rainbow Dash, and Dash’s hesitation fighting her ‘little sister’ leads to a mistake, and Scootaloo rips the Shadow out of Dash. 
Chapter 4 - Our Finest Hour - Scoots, Spitfire, Scipio, Rainbow Dash - With Rainbow Dash no longer controlled by Umbra, the tide begins to turn against Twilight’s forces. The Cloudsdale Guard, The Legion and The Crusaders buy enough time for most of the Pegasi to escape to Canterlot.
Chapter 5 - Winterlight’s Choice - Lots of characters - Winterlight sacrifices many thestrals and friends as part of a ritual designed to profoundly empower Umbra and Twilight. (This is a poison pill of a sacrifice, as this will ultimately lead to her doom.) 
Chapter 6 - Scorched Skies - Twilight, Umbra - Twilight, newly empowered, takes control of the Cloudsdale weather machinery and uses it to blanket all of Equestria under a sinister cloud of shadow magic that no sunlight can penetrate. The remaining freedom-fighters retreat.
Chapter 7 - Canterlot Calls for Aid - Cadence, Shining Armor, Luna, - Canterlot buckles down the hatches. Lots of emotional Battle for Helms Deep stuff.  Every fighting force that can be brought to bear holes up in Canterlot, and every civilian that can be evacuated tries to flee Equestria.
Chapter 8 - The Gates of Janus - Celestia - Celestia is beginning to cross the sea. Her seers inform her of the battle about to take place, and that Equestria is wracked in darkness. Celestia grimly decides that there can now be nothing but war. Her power begins to overwhelm her, as she watches helplessly through a glass seeing-mirror of coming events.
Chapter 9 - Sunshine and Ladybugs - Cadence, Twilight / Celestia - Twilight tries to convince Cadence to surrender Canterlot peacefully. Cadence tells Twilight to fuck off. More back and forth. Twilight begins her assault, using newly birthed Shadow Creatures from the power of the darkness over Equestria.
Chapter 10 The Siege of Canterlot (The Ultimatum, The Guard Assembles, Blue Blood,  - Holy shit lots of characters - Canterlot fighting. Basically a bunch of local battle scenes.
Chapter 11 - The Royal Guard - Shining Armor, Twilight - Twilight attempts to directly confront Shining Armor, whose shielding magic turns out to be just barely a match to hold her at bay, but has no way to actually attack her. Shiny cannot talk her out of the fight, and they withdraw as a draw.
Chapter 12 - Shadowrise - Twilight, Umbra - Twilight completely envelops the castle and the surrounding lands in Shadow. There is no more sunlight, just a dim red light that pervades everything, and what torch-light and magical light can be found. Shadow begins to totally envelop the land from above.
Chapter 13 - Dying of the Light - Cadence, Others - Cadence activates the power of the Crystal Heart, and the shield holds Twilight’s shadow magic at bay.  Characters contemplate the final fight. The walls and gates of Canterlot are falling to physical forces. Nightmare Moon has taken to the field, and with her own brand of dark magic, holds the line.
Chapter 14 - A Prince of Canterlot - Blueblood’s moment of awesome - Prince Blueblood, who spends most of the above 5-6 chapters barely holding back panic but trying to project leadership and courage, tries to flee Canterlot with a crowd of refugee kids and parents. A shadow swarm tries to corrupt them, but Blueblood fends them off in increasingly desperate ways. He dies a hero.
Chapter 15 - Backs to the Wall - Lots of people Last Stands of familiar characters. Many side characters die on both sides. Heroic sacrifices abound.
Chapter 16 - The Charge of the Crusade - Scoots, Scipio, Gentle Blade, Star Swirl - The Cutie Mark Crusade arrives at the battle, along with the remaining military forces of Equestria. They sweep, Rohirrim style, through the attacking Shadows, and buy Canterlot time. 
Chapter 17 - The Duel - Star Swirl, Twilight - Star Swirl confronts Twilight directly. She has more power, but he is an infinitely more skilled wizard. They fight one another to a complete standstill while The Crusade tries to drive her forces back.
Chapter 18 - Enough - Celestia, Star Swirl, Cadence, Shiny, Luna, Twiligth, Umbra - Celestia Arrives. She is now fully enraged by the deaths of her citizens, and her people and loved ones. Twilight is rendered unable to speak from terror at Celestias fully realized power. Umbra realizes that Star Swirl has been stalling her to keep her close enough for Celly to Smite. The uncorrupted forces rally, and the tide turns.

****

It had been a bloody day, but victory was surely within her grasp. The defenders, stalwart and courageous, were pulling back to the citadel. The walls of Canterlot would not hold for much longer, and once they had been breached, it was merely a matter of time before the issue became moot. Many gates were already being overwhelmed, save curiously for the Train Gate. But no matter, that too would fall soon enough. Then she could be done with this bloody business, and finally end the suffering of those she loved.

She raised her snout to the air, and a strange smell caught it. It was subtle at first, hard to pick out amongst the rank smell of battle. But it was there, and it tickled at her nose. Twilight sneezed in surprise and shook her head. What was wrong? 

 Soon the air was filled with the smell of burnt wood and scorched earth, a smell she had only ever experienced far to the south of here in the middle of the Badlands Desert. The thick, swirling cloud that hung above her beloved land pulsed and writhed like a living thing. The spell she had cast, the clouds she had stolen… there should be no force in the entire world capable of doing something like this. It should’ve taken every pegasi in all of Equestria to make the clouds move like that.


And yet they continued to move, and the smell grew stronger. The brisk chill of spring gave way to a wave of heat that sent goosebumps down her entire, perfect body. The air snapped into the hazy heat of midsummer. The clouds were no longer writhing, but seemed to be… boiling. It could not be Starswirl. It could not be a Windigo, not with that warmth. But who-

Of course.

Who else could it be?

She knew it for a single moment before it came: A column of pure golden-white light split the sky in twain and slammed into the earth with the force of a thunderbolt right in front of the walls of Canterlot. It held there, shimmering with an impossible light that banished every shadow away for a moment. All of her forces clamored to a halt, with most rearing away and scampering back away from the eldritch light with all speed.

The defenders of the city merely stared on in awe, the light glinting in reflection off the golden and silver armor of the Royal Guard, and the bronzed armor of the Praetorians. The crimson banner of the Crusade rippled, framed perfectly against the light, and glowed with a preternatural power not of this earth.

Then the column faded away, revealing a perfect hole in the blackened skies above, showing the deep blues of the midmorning sky through it, and casting a single gentle sunbeam down to the ground. There, where the column had struck the earth, a ray of sunshine shone down upon the world. For just a moment, the battle ceased, and all was silent.

Then it came.

Twilight was driven down to her knees by the force of it. Even her Mother was driven back and nearly toppled by the power of the word that spread from that single glint of light. Her shadow creatures, those who could still stand, clutched at their heads in horror. Those who could not were toppled by the magnitude of it. Even her foes were driven to their knees, though they seemed more to have done so out of awe of it than force or pain.

A single word that echoed out from the hole riven in the sky.

“Enough.”

Wings of blue and white fire flared out from a body made of equal parts pony and pure magical energy as the mare floated down into view, the jewels of Equestria glowing in sapphires and ruby reds, the gold itself seemingly molten and yet somehow holding its form. Two eyes of living golden flames stared down from on high upon her. There was no kind warmth in those eyes. No gentle humor or sly mischief. There was no pity there. No mercy. No hatred as she stared down upon Twilight Shadow.

There was only the flames of judgement.

All her hopes for a peaceful end vanished in a single instant.

The Dawn Had Come.


Chapter 19 - Celestia Sol Invictus - Celestia has embraced her true power - Celestia, The Unconquered Sun - And moves upon Twilight’s armies. It quickly becomes clear that her power has been perfectly manufactured to be Umbra’s hard-counter, and she basically lays Twilight out completely. It’s a curbstomp battle, as Celestia has now become the literal embodiment of the Sun Star, and no Shadow power can even touch her.


In an instant, the battlefield was shattered. Ravening columns of light split the darkened, boiling skies like lances hurled from the stars. Shadowy throngs of creatures evaporated in an instant, magical fire so powerful there was not even a moment to feel pain.Only a searing light, and then destruction. One by one, they slammed into the earth, leaving behind only blackened craters the size of dragons.

The creature of fire descended from the heavens, and did not so much land upon the earth as she did fall upon it with vengeance. The boiling power of shadow in the sky above was rent asunder with her every glance, and soon columns of brilliant sunlight brought their brilliant refulgence upon the land once more. Where she stepped, there was smoke, and ash. But in her wake, brilliant green grass and beautiful vibrant flowers blossomed into being with the spontaneity of children.

Where the gates of Canterlot hung wrecked by attacks and dark magicks, the columns fell with the speed and frequency of rainfall, until even the most ardent assaulters fell back from them with terror screaming in their hearts. Where the valiant defenders of the castle held last stands, vast rings of protective flames sprung up from the very earth and drove away their assailants.

The flaming creature - Celestia - Paused in her step when she encountered the shattered body of Prince Blueblood. Dead, at the train gate, surrounded by the corpses of his foes. A dozen shattered swords lay about him like glittering tombstones, marking the grave of a hero. Behind the doors of the Train Gatehouse, a hundred innocent foals looked out with equal parts awe and fear. Celestia bent her head to the fallen body of the Prince she had long despised for his power-hungry ways, and felt a sting of pride amongst the pain.

She had underestimated him. At the bitter end, he had been a true Prince of her blood.  She would honor that sacrifice, one day. But there was other business to attend to.



Chapter 20 - Discord’s Kindness - Discord directly confronts Fluttershy and The Flutterponies. A titanic emotional battle ensues, and then is cut short. Discord teleports Fluttershy and her children far away from the battle, not to be seen again till the end of the tale.
Chapter 21 - Winterlight’s Penance - Winterlight betrays Twilight, and Umbra, when Luna-as-Nightmare-Moon confronts her about her loyalties. Winterlight betrays the secret to Umbra’s magic to Nightmare Moon, before she is consumed by the shadow.
Chapter 22 - No More - Celestia and Starswirl obliterate the Army of Shadows. Many creatures are saved, but many more are killed. Celestia gathers the leaders of the world, and vows there will be no more war when this is done. 
Chapter 23 - The Old Palace - Twilight flees the wrath of Celestia, her armies broken entirely, and left with only a pitiable few followers, now must face the truth: She will be brought to the Justice of Celestia for what she had done. She returns to the old palace in Everfree, where things begin to unravel.
Chapter 24 - Endless Patterns - The pattern of history - Of the Rise, The Fall, and the Rise of the Shadow, and why it kept happening. Twilight realizes she has been the one who has nearly destroyed the world instead of saving it. 
Chapter 25 - Spike The Dragon - In which Spike finally confronts Twilight Shadow, and Umbra’s control over Twilight begins to break.
Chapter 26 - Honest Hearts - Applejack is set free from the Shadow, by Twilight’s rebellion, and fights off a physical manifestation of Umbra to give Twilight time.
Chapter 27 - Love Conquers All - Cadence arrives, and finally breaks Umbra’s control over Twilight completely.
Chapter 28 - The Return of Twilight Sparkle - Twilight is once again herself, and is wracked with Horror over her deeds. She confronts the Soul of Umbra.
Chapter 29 - Who we are in the dark -  With the aid of Luna and Nightmare Moon, Twilight absorbs all of Umbras power into herself, and obliterates the malignant mind of Umbra that sought to destroy the world. Luna is rendered unconscious by this action as Celestia arrives.
Chapter 30 - The Price of Victory - Twilight, now the embodiment of Shadow, pleads with Celestia to destroy her. Celestia, at the end, cannot bring herself to pull the trigger. Instead, she does as she has done before - And banishes Twilight to imprisonment amongst the Stars for a thousand years. A great constellation of her cutie mark appears in the sky, and the war is over.
Chapter 31 - The Flutterponies - Discord returns with a cured fluttershy. The Flutterponies magic - That of restoration of nature, and healing - is revealed to the Equestrians. There are almost no more Changelings in the world, and Chrysalis vanishes. There is distrust, at first, but they quickly prove to be invaluable in restoring the land. Fluttershy is traumatized by what’s happened, but resolves to fix what’s been broken.
Chapter 32 - The Equestrian Empire - All of the nations leaders come together - The world has been badly wrecked by Umbras magical flailings, and it will take time to heal them. Celestia, now functionally a god, is proposed as the Queen of all lands by the Qi-lin. Other races, though not happy about this, recognize that Celestia is the only one with the power to purify any remaining shadow creatures. To her dismay and displeasure, “The Equestrian Empire” is declared over the still surviving lands.
Chapter 33 - Lullabye for a Princess - Celestia, Luna, and Cadence are left in the castle, along with Pinkie Pie and the surviving Elements of Harmony. They reflect on what has happened. All of them wonder what will be done about Twilight when she returns, and if she will even be able to be kept sane now that Umbra is dead, and she will have to confront her crimes. Luna assures them she will help Twilight heal in the interim. There is a lot of sadness, but hope for a better future beyond. Celestia vows, that when Twilight returns, she will not abandon her ever again.


Epliogue - One Thousand Years Later - Twilight awakens in a world where nearly everyone she knows is dead. Her friends graves surround where she is released, in an ancient castle carefully caretaken by Flutterponies and Thestrals.  All of the graves contain final messages for her from her friends and some other ponies from Ponyville. Most of them are full of forgiveness, though Scootaloo’s adult one is angry but understanding. Star Swirl tells her to ‘come find him’ when she comes back.

Her pain and sorrow are interrupted by a small group of determined creatures, all bearing the Elements of Harmony, who ask by what name she calls herself.  When she responds with Twilight Sparkle, they relax, and tell her the Princesses wish to speak to her.

The world has changed completely, and has otherwise utterly forgotten her. Her friends, and those she lived with in the war, are now the stuff of myth. Twilight is now The Pony of Shadows, equal parts demon and temptress, but also keeper of secrets, knowledge, and much loved by the youth for being rebellious and ‘cool’. Twilight is shocked to see herself depicted like something out of a book of obvious fantasy, only to realize that is what she now is, a true Twilight Shadow, no longer a Sparkle, fully merged with the power of Shadow, and with no more Umbra to whisper in her ears of what is right and wrong.

The final scene is of her meeting Celestia, Luna and Cadence, all of them fully realized in their power, and asking them what she is to do. There is a lot of talking here.

Celestia’s final words are: “Grow. Heal. Learn. And honor the ones who loved you, and who fought for your soul to the bitter end.”

The story ends with Twilight sitting down to tell the New Elements of Harmony about her story, and The Twilight Wars.

Report Lapis-Lazuli and Stitch · 328 views · Story: The Twilight War ·
Comments ( 7 )

That would've been a good story :) thank you for closure

I really do appreciate the closure! Thanks for sharing!

Damn, now I'm really sad this won't get written. I like a story where Celestia is a badass and it sounds like this would have been Celestia at her finest. Still, I very much appreciate the closure.

Very nice, thanks for the ending, it was very nice to read.

Sounds good though i thought i would see more of pinkie pie. she seemed like a major character as I recall from before.

If I could like a blog post, I'd like this one. But I can't. Thank you for writing the actual story, I enjoyed reading it.

It's sad to think this might never get finished but I'm glad to know how it WOULD have been. I just want to say that I've enjoyed the stories you've put out and wish you nothing but the best. I'll be here if that ever gets finished but take care of yourself and yours first.

That last part goes for everyone. Nothing but the best and take care.

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