• Member Since 5th Jun, 2012
  • offline last seen November 19th


I am a mighty thesaurus. Rawr!



Two decades after the banishment of Nightmare Moon, her shadow still lingers. Princess Celestia has been left to tend the Twin Thrones alone and protect us all from those who would see Equestria crumble. Our enemies take many forms: some would tear the world down with their claws, others with their smiles. They are monsters all the same.

I have had many names, and I have been many things. Today I am Swift Sweep, and I work for the Equestrian Bureau for State Security.

Special thanks:
NCMares (DeviantArt) for the gorgeous cover art.
Octavia Harmony: primary beta reader and editor throughout the many months of production.
PaulAsaran: for great help with and feedback on plot development and initial story drafting.
Kleora, Cerulean Voice, Nonagon: for further help with editing and story development.

Chapters (14)
Comments ( 363 )

I guess I get to say it...

Jawjoe releases a story once in a blue moon. And it's so true that he actually didn't plan it that way. Literally the blue moon happened to meet the expected release date.

Twilit Grotto – the only unicorn for us three pegasi – sat closest to the cabin's back. With narrowed eyes, he poked an armoured hoof under the curtain separating us from the city outside. A little patch of dark purple hair protruded from a joint in his leg where one metal plate met another.

Ah, the Twilight analogue. How is his name pronounced differently? Is it "Tw-eye-lit", or just another spelling of "Tw-eye-l-eye-t"?

Flicking her hood off revealed a light-blue coated mare snarling madly at us under a head of scraggy, milk-white mane.

Hi Trixie analogue!

As she disappeared behind the wall, I caught a glimpse of her amulet glinting in the moonlight.

The first or at least an early appearance of the Alicorn Amulet, I'm guessing.

Love the description of the solar guard as the "White coats".


Is it "Tw-eye-lit", or just another spelling of "Tw-eye-l-eye-t"?

The first. Fun fact: the phrase "twilit grotto" is in fact taken from Lovecraft's "Rats in the Walls."
EDIT: now you've got me wondering about your name. Is it 'led' or 'leed'?

The first or at least an early appearance of the Alicorn Amulet, I'm guessing.

You'll just have to see. :trollestia:

I'm looking forward to seeing where this goes, to be sure.

For all the good they might do, these EBSS agents aren't great ponies. They talk about nobility being stuck up, yet they are plenty conceited themselves. They immediately think doen upon the new recruits just because "they weren't there". Also jerks to the Royal Guard because they do more than the guard. The ones shown here seem to operate off of grudges, and not a sense of justice, nor can they see their own faults. Doesn't help that they'd remove anyone who speaks against Celestia. That happens in dictatorships, not benevolent monarchies. Of course, the ones doing living sacrifices need to go, but not every single one of them can be members of the Children of the Night. These are, of course, just some my observations on the EBSS so far. I really like how this story has started, though, and it holds promising things to come. Good grammar, nice flow, and intriguing hooks. Onward!


EDIT: now you've got me wondering about your name. Is it 'led' or 'leed'?

Lead pronounced "leed", as a light that lights the way, but also written to evoke the homograph "led", as in luminous (glowing) lead (a.k.a. Uranium). Overall, I meant it to be an indication of an uncompromising criticism/review style that aids improvements, but can be poisonous in its heartlessness.

It's honestly a pretentious name and I rarely live up to it due to a lowered interest in the MLP fandom, but your second pronunciation is correct, yes.

Huh, interesting approach. But honestly amazingly solid action scenes. Good luck on this.

Oh, this has to be alt-universe.

NMM existed for all of 5 minutes in canon before being Element blasted to the Moon. Not exactly awe-inspiring.

And I note how those pesky horn inhibitors only ever seem to work when they're placed on the heroes. The villains always have a convenient trick to get out of them. Really, they're usually a misused plot device.

Maybe the next time they should just try cutting her horn off.

What's this, criticism? Quick, everyone downvote it!

Yeah, but the canon NMM scene was totally lame and you know it. I don't think ignoring that warrants an AU tag; it's just common sense as a writer.

Criticism? On my stories? Most unorthodox!

6271110 I dunno. Maybe those people actually disagreed with his statement and didn't downvote it regardless of its value?

Personally, I think he's judging the story a bit soon. Compared to the scope of the story, Ch. 1 is nothing at all.

As for the two that pulled our cart, they both had their heads hung and focused solely on their task, though I could see the glint of the stallion's gritted teeth. Their muscles rippled under their skin as they performed the workhorse's menial job – and good on them, I thought, for drawing all this weight on their own. Even though I never thought much of these two, I still appreciated them in their own way. I could never memorise their names, though I'd been meaning to.
They worked for the EBSS just like us, after all – and on paper, there was no distinction between our ranks.
The difference came with age. They – and all the new recruits like them – were little more than toddlers at the time of Princess Luna's banishment and joined the organisation only in recent years. The rest of us had been working with the EBSS since its establishment directly after that Longest Night. But twenty years is twenty years, and Celestia needed fresh meat for the grinder.
Lullaby had overheard this pair begrudgingly call us veterans the 'old dogs'. I took a quick liking to that term; it suited us, I found. Per Twilit Grotto's suggestion, we'd been calling the kids 'puppies' ever since. They did not like it, not the slightest bit.

Whoo grunting and slight hazing of the new pups. Brings back wonderful memories of my own grunting, best semester of my life.

I have a feeling this is going to be a very deep, heavy narrative. I'm not quite in the mood for reading something like this right now, but I'll track it so I can stay updated. This story seems very interesting.

6271127 Well, the problem is you're writing about an existing property and developed world. People will go into this initially thinking that it's in-universe and find themselves rather shocked that nothing fits what they expected.

I initially thought monsters from Tartarus or outlying areas would be attempting to take advantage of the disarray during the transition between capital locations.

Did I expect ANOTHER sadistic psychopathic Nightmare cult? Not in the least. And frankly, if this is supposed to be a morbid version of Equestria, I would expect Celestia to have equally changed and ordered cultists killed on sight. That's how monarchies usually deal with troublemakers, after all.

Ok wow this is dark, and I like it, especially how misleading is cover art (with crying NMM I though its gonna be some Celly bad NMM mary sue) but looking at score and comments I gave it chance and now even when you do something like NMM is not uter evil bastard lalala then I see you can clearly make it into good story.


Well, the problem is you're writing about an existing property and developed world.

The only thing that directly conflicts with canon is that here the Nightmare Moon incident lasted longer than two minutes. I'm sorry if that bothers you so much. If you can't let that slide for the purposes of telling a good story, you won't enjoy this fic. (How do you know that flashback was a perfect representation of what actually happened, anyway?)

ANOTHER sadistic psychopathic Nightmare cult?

That isn't at all what they are, but saying more would be pretty much spoiling the entire story.

cultists killed on sight. That's how monarchies usually deal with troublemakers, after all.

No. There was always an arrest and a trial... in more civilised places, anyway.

Very possible, but then they should at least leave a reply with what they think is wrong about it and why so that an intelligent conversation can be had.

:rainbowderp: I'm intrigued. Loved the ending to this chapter.

If I had to pick something to gripe about, it would be the attitude towards the Royal Guard. We get it, cops and FBI don't get along. Just felt a little cliche for cliche's sake. Still keeping an eye on this story.

Swift has a longstanding grudge against the Royal Guards -- you'll see why in a few chapters. :raritywink:

It's interesting how EBSS and those they hunt seems to be cut from the same cloth, so it is more or less a story about monsters that hunt monsters?

It's less "critisism" that's getting the down votes, and more the whole "it's Alondro" thing. He has a reputation.

6273447 I actually think he was right about the horn ring thing.

He's still a dick though.

Well, no, it is definitely a trial. I'm not saying it is just or right, but it's a trial. Certainly not "kill on sight" like he suggested, in any case.

I found my way here from one of Cold In Gardez's signal-boost blogs, and recently did a review of this story.

You can check it out here.

Love the prequel so far. Keep it up.

I have to admit, I never expected that particular turn of events. So much for those "Monsters"

Hm... Well this is getting a little more interesting. :duck:

So far we have extreme secret police who take down anyone considered a threat, and a sneak-thief historian working with night's children. When the two meet there will be much fireworks and possibly air clearing on both sides.

Why have I the feeling that the Children of the night will transform Page into a thestral against her will and then make her continue to steal books for a serum that keeps her normal.

6290707 Where did you even get that from? That's pretty far from what we've seen now.

6291803 Call it a creative prediction...

I'll read it later, but that cover art makes me incredibly angry every time I look at it.

Would it be better if I told you she deserves it?

6302784 There isn't much you could tell me she's done that would warrant that kind of torture, even torturing others. There comes a point at which someone has to say "no, I wont do that. It crosses 'the line'" and refuses to go any farther. For me, that's this pic. I don't care who it is, I wouldn't care if that was Hitler or any other monster throughout history, that kind of treatment angers me.

Part 2 coming later this week. :raritywink:

6307710 Thing is, we see Celestia literally a thousands years later give it take a few decades. You just have to wonder what she was like through different points in that time.


For a moment I thought is was a refual in another language... Nothing and No. Intresting symbolism.

6307834 "Nie" could also be German like "Nichts". In that case it would mean "never".

6308311 Nie isn't nein. Nie is polish. But with the prophet title sounds like egiptan a bit.

6309043 Well, "Nie" is "no" in Polish, but it's also "never" in German.
Both translations could be the intended.

6310077 I never heard any german saing this particular syllabe and I met some germans and austrians.


"He who fights monsters should see to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."
— Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil

I have to say that Celestia seems like an idiot. The basic logic makes sense, but it also poses problems since younger ponies (and people) often have less experience and understanding. Celestia herself fails to account for things beyond a pony's control. I'd almost guess she doesn't really want Nichts captured, which seems suspect. Perhaps she simply wants an excuse to keep these ponies and their like from any contact with the outside world. In any case, from the implications of her words and their thoughts, accepting and then just ditching Equestria all together seems like a sensible idea.

And with that, you've found one of the story's main themes.

Oh, this is beautiful.

Considering moving this to "Truly Greats". Awesome job, keep it up

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