• Member Since 13th Oct, 2013
  • offline last seen Apr 20th, 2021


I'm a long time science fiction and animation fan who stumbled into My Little Pony fandom and got caught -- I guess I'm a Brony Forever now.



April, YOH 1505 (almost 5 years after Luna's Return): Twilight Sparkle and her Companions defeated Starlight Glimmer at Our Town, and return to Ponyville. But though they are victorious, they bear battle-scars on their souls -- and they know that the mad mage is still out there, doubtless lusting for revenge. Sometimes, mere victory is not enough.

Takes place between S501-02 The Cutie Map and S5E03 "Castle, Sweet Castle."

Chapters (14)
Comments ( 352 )

this is an excellent story and I look forward to more.

Is your Fluttershy part changeling or something? Of is her abilities with love tied to being the Element of Kindness?


The Shadow Wars Story Verse Fluttershy is half-Changeling. As I decided to make her half-Changeling to begin with because of her unusual vanilla-canon powers, this makes remarkably little difference to her behavior.

Well, given that they were just put through the wringer by a soul-mutilation cult, it makes sense that the girls will have some lingering psychological damage. This overcompensation is the start of the healing process... by which I mean the wound still bleeding freely. It should be very interesting to see where you go with this.

Also, Twilight has some love eating abilities? It makes sense since your alicorns have aspects of all of the Kinds, but it's still interesting to note. And I can only imagine the confusion that comes from trying to remember one's thoughts when one's neurocircuitry and brain chemistry were markedly different from usual.

6443153 so, this story is part of a bigger universe? will I be able to read it as a standalone?


Yeah, it works okay as a standalone. It's mostly based directly on canon, anyway.

Ah, so she isn't a full changeling. I always wondered if Changelings were still close enough to the three tribes ponies to not hybridize (only born be as one of the 3 tribes/5 kinds based on parentage) or like zonys, hippogriffs and mules. Guess that answers that.

I'm not the biggest fan of the idea, I had been thinking of changelings as the 'lost' kind of pony, changed by the curse and subsequent hybridizing with other beings, but still classified as a pony race. A changeling / pegasus would be either one or the other, not a weakened form of both. Considering the direction I think the series is going, where Fluts is going to be a queen I think it lessens the return of the changelings, they couldn't be saved by their own kind, they needed a hybrid to come back to Harmony. From what I've read of your changelings they are hardly so bad.

Also, in Ceymi's story, she had children with a pegasus and their was no mention of them being hybrids. Though that did bring up what happened to the foals born as pegasi ... ::shiver::

Are seapony / 3 tribes pairings similarly affected? Or are they still close enough to pony?

Oh well, fanon adjusted, still love your work.


Fluttershy is Fluttershy, a very unusual and perhaps unique entity. She's not actually a "weak" Changeling, she has very strong manifestations of the Changeling powers. Thing is, she's never been trained in them, because she was raised as an (eccentric) Pegasus. She is a naturally weak flier for a Pegasus, though. (She can make herself a stronger flier through micro-Shifting, which is something most Changelings can't do.

Well this is a cool idea! I can't wait to see where you take it!


Yes. It's interesting to write them this way -- I have to make them a little bit out of character, but in a manner consistent with their characters. For instance, Applejack exaggerating her own rustic accent and use of humorous metaphors (her "countryisms," as she put it in The Cutie Map) or Rarity going overboard on the public display of affection for Spike and then overreacting to her own faux pas. They are in some ways acting like parodies of their normal selves, in part out of relief at having those normal selves back again. And they are all to some extent frightened that they'll have their selves taken away from them again.

Starlight Glimmer, "Bucking traitors. If I'd had another way to free them from their cutie marks I would have. How can they throw away everything we had, everything we worked for, how could they have been so weak?! Backstabbers. After everything I gave them. 'Liberation'?! TRY REENSLAVEMENT! I'd liberated them from the tyranny of their cutie marks constricting on what to do with themselves, and then they rush back to made robots with programmed functions."

What she told Double Diamond implies she was REALLY thinking of "See? Even a Princess wants to join our community!"

They have GOT to beef up security on the Insanely Dangerous Spells section at the archives. Also, somepony is now Public Enemy Number One and thus a target for any sort of collection of off-the-books removers of irritants.


A fascinating story. You got a good balance between showing their new found desire to be as much themselves as possible without going so far as to flanderise them. I hope you will post Twilight's full report; I want to read it. Are you going to wait for the season finale to proceed with this fic?

I'll be interested in seeing where future chapters go as the Mane Six recuperate from what Glimmer did to them. It could be almost as bad as some versions of their recovery from Discord's attack, given that in both cases the most important elements of their personalities were damaged.

But we have faith in them. The Mane Six already proved how physically and mentally tough they are again and again.

And I especially want to see what you do with poor Rarity. I like how her sudden romantic display towards Spike delighted him a little, and scared him a lot.


And I especially want to see what you do with poor Rarity. I like how her sudden romantic display towards Spike delighted him a little, and scared him a lot.

(*nods*) It delighted him at first, because he loves that sort of attention from Rarity. It scared him when she started acting like she wanted to make out with him right in front of everypony else. They haven't yet gotten to the point of acknowledging that they have mutual feelings that strong (though, really, they're not fooling any of their close friends), and Spike noticed that she was acting a bit maniacally. He would love to have Rarity make love to him, but not as an act of neurotic breakdown. He was both a bit frightened of Rarity's actions, and for Rarity -- he knows her really well, and could tell that something was wrong with her.

When Rarity didn't get the normal happy reaction to her display of affection toward Spike, she realized that she was acting a bit insanely. At that point, she felt bad because she was making a fool of herself in public, she was acting insanely toward Spike, he was rejecting her by his affect (which she's very sensitive to, it's part of her Talent), and with good reason. She felt stupid and dirty, so much so that she fled the situation rather than trying to repair it.

Everyone, including Spike, noticed that her actions were irrational and not like her normal self. (To be precise, she was acting like a parody of her normal self, because she had been unbalanced by the experience of suddently losing and regaining her Talent).

It's rather perceptive of you to make the analogy with Discording. That's essentially what Starlight Glimmer did, though that wasn't her intent -- she meant to keep them as weak, Talentless thralls (and possibly do something with their captured magical power). What she did was in some ways worse than Discording -- DIscording wears off unless renewed, while Starlight's Spell of Sameness is permanent unless the Cutie Mark is liberated.


"He checked out The Deplorable Word For Dummies. Hmm, maybe we should really not leave that out on the shelves for everypony to read ...?" :rainbowlaugh:

Is there a preceding story where I can learn about your version of the ponies? I know the story works as a stand-alone, but I'd prefer to see where they are introduced to the reader.


Well, my Fluttershy's personality and powers are explored in Dragonshyness, A Robust Solution and Fluttershy Is Free. The story Divine Jealousy and the Voice of Reason is incomplete (though mostly finished, and at novel length) and includes chapters exploring each of the personalities and relationships. The reasons why Twilight Sparkle and Luna like one another is in Nightmares Are Tragic and "A Meeting by Moonlight."

Good stuff. please continue.

6445509 "He checked out The Deplorable Word For Dummies. Hmm, maybe we should really not leave that out on the shelves for everypony to read ...?" :rainbowlaugh:

Hopefully they keep their copies of the Neigh-cronomicon and Letters of Cold Fire in the 'Restricted' files!

6445509 The only ending for this season that makes sense is to have somepony tell Twilight that top ponies are taking care of Starlight. TOP PONIES....who're busy shoving her crate into a warehouse.

After all it had before, three times in her life, and twice in the last half year, Twilight thought. She'd shared in the experience each time save for the first, and being left out of that had only been marginally less upsetting than actually being Discorded.

I mentioned this to someone, and they pointed out that it could be considered four times. Though Twilight could be forgiven for not including the events of Magical Mystery Cure.

Intriguing fic though. May go read the long one you mentioned this as being connected to.

Edit: And they also pointed out the events of "Bats!" might also qualify after I posted.

It figures that Rarity got hit the hardest and feels the worst. She might look like the pony she thinks she is but when you get right down to it, Starlight is more a shadow archetype of her than she is Twilight's. She wants to make the world better by enhancing who ponies are, not by taking it away 'for their own good.'

From what Twilight understood of Fluttershy's amatovoric powers

Fluttershy's what?


"Amatovoric" = "love eating." Fluttershy can gain psychic power by consuming Love.

I'm not sure I understand what Pinkie means by "doing" Filli-Second. Imitating? Imagining herself in her place once more? Just singing fan songs?

In any case, Rarity's definitely going to need to confront this more directly. She's slapped a bandage on a sucking chest wound; this is something that needs friends to take care of it. One specific friend in her case, though I'm not sure if she'll be able to work up the courage to face him on her own. I find myself hoping he can take the initiative.

And Fluttershy... Starlight has made a very powerful enemy this day. Well, several powerful enemies, but Fluttershy really stands out. On a lighter note, it amuses me how blurry the line is between Disney princess and changeling queen.

And Twilight is conspicuous in her absence. What's she up to? And does it play into her imminent discomfort with her castle?


I'm not sure I understand what Pinkie means by "doing" Filli-Second. Imitating? Imagining herself in her place once more? Just singing fan songs?

Manifesting her power set. Which should be impossible, as Applejack points out.

In any case, Rarity's definitely going to need to confront this more directly. She's slapped a bandage on a sucking chest wound; this is something that needs friends to take care of it. One specific friend in her case, though I'm not sure if she'll be able to work up the courage to face him on her own. I find myself hoping he can take the initiative.

There is a part of Rarity that loathes herself. One of the reasons she loves Spike's company so much is that Spike reassures her that she's a good Pony. That's why she feels so bad about having hurt Spike. She fears that Spike now despises her. And she despises herself for having given him cause.

Yes, she overdramatizes things. But then, this is Rarity. To some extent, being melodramatic goes all the way down to her core.

I probably shouldn't tell you Spike's opinion, as it's technically a spoiler. But I think you can guess it.

And Fluttershy... Starlight has made a very powerful enemy this day. Well, several powerful enemies, but Fluttershy really stands out.

Remember, Fluttershy started out by liking Our Town. And, by extension, Starlight Glimmer. I actually think that if Starlight Glimmer hadn't gone mad years before they met each other, they might have become friends.

On a lighter note, it amuses me how blurry the line is between Disney princess and changeling queen.

The Changelings used to be the Flutter Ponies, defenders and managers of the Earth's ecosystems. They are eusocial and require the inspiration of positive affect to survive. Their own fear is what forces them to live in the shadows; the obvious alternative of symbiosis exists, and impels them to help rather than harm their hosts.

Chrysalis is brilliant, an extremist and innovator. In the main worldine she has become insanely aggressive, evil and predatory. In another world, we have this Changeling Queen


who is a lot more like Fluttershy, and who is that world's Element of Love, a benevolent and honorable being who acts for the benefit of all life on Earth. In that case, Chryssie's brilliance and extreme innovations have brought the Changelings out of the shadows, into an earlier Reconciliation with Ponykind, much as Fluttershy will do in the Shadow Wars Story Verse.

"Heh, you don't have a Cutie Mark for her to steal."

I still imagine foals raised by Glimmer would end up with NATURAL Equal marks.


... and bizarre psychological problems.

Oh, poor Rarity. She's been emotionally devastated by what Glimmer did to her, and she's going to need a LOT of support to get through this, if she can bring herself to accept it. Thankfully she's got her friends and Spike and little Sweetie. At least she has someone.

I do wonder though what may happen with the other Our Town ponies. Depending on how much damage was done, they may end up going back to Glimmer so she can remove their Cutie Marks again.

And yeah, it takes work to make Fluttershy angry at you, but once you've done it you've made an unforgiving enemy.

From what Twilight understood of Fluttershy's amatovoric powers

Her what now? When did that happen?


At birth. But the reason why is explained in Fluttershy Is Free. Which you don't need to read either Dragonshyness or A Robust Solution to understand, as I actually wrote those stories in inverse chronological order.

Apparently I'll need to read something at least to understand what's even going on in this story... Sorry, it was nothing personal, it's just one of situations that always end up throwing me for a loop. It's the reason I really hate author canon. I always end up reading a story that's otherwise written perfectly well, but where I don't get what half of what it is actually about because it's chock-full of callbacks and constantly referring to other stories that I also haven't read yet. It makes for a really frustrating reading experience, you know?


I don't know what to say, except that while that particular piece of my fanon is probably not what the writers of the show mean to be the case, it's well-supported in Fluttershy's actual abilities and personality as shown in canon -- especially if one considers that the most famous representative of her paternal Kind is very atypically aggressive for that Kind.

Sorry, I wasn't really expecting anything, just venting a bit. This is like the third story I've stumbled over this week that apparently has God knows how much background to it that I'd need to read first to actually get any of the references. I wasn't really commenting on the backstory, by itself that makes as much sense as anything, I suppose.


I will point out that every single story I've written on this site takes place either in the same background, or in alternate universes which have the same background. World of Illusions takes place in my main EG universe, and Substitute Mentor partly in the main EG universe and partly in an alternate EG universe. Getting Stuck and An Epistolary Legal Consultation Between Princesses in an alternate of my main verse where the one POD is the appearance of the Human Charlie Yu (a fool). Some stories take place in the future, notably Love Amongst Monsters (a few years in the future), Love Starved and The Fall of Hive Hunger-Prime (about ten years in the future) and Twelfth Equestriad Interview (about forty-three years in the future). Some take place in the past, notably Corruption At Midnight (about about a millennium and a half before Luna's Return) and Collateral Damage (nineteen years before Luna's Return). They mostly make reference to one another.

I'll be sure to remember. And thanks for that list, by the way. This would all be a lot more convenient and less bothersome if more big story collections at least had a decent index or glossary like that.


Thank you. Well, the main list is actually on my page -- but I need to update it -- I don't have some of my newest work (including Post-Traumatic itself) on that list.

Well, that's helpful anyway. I'll admit, looking at your user page wouldn't have occurred to me. In my defense, most authors don't actually ever seem to put much there, nevermind a decent list of which of their stuff goes where. :derpytongue2:

"Spike," she said, looking at him with dismay. "How do I ask Princess Celestia why she keeps driving her special students mad?"
Spike gasped at the thought.
To that question, he had no answer.

:trollestia: "I hated having foals foisted upon me and the first one to break down and ask me " why" gets to rule Equestria" (cackles madly lightning materializing out of nowhere)

I believe Glimmer sees it as "pony with garbage can cutie mark is supposed to be equal to pony with power of the sun cutie mark?"

Yes, her 'forbidden to do anything but the bare minimum' would have caused civilization to be halted, and likely would have resulted in MUCH worse things as the standard of living dropped like a stone.

But I imagine she'd see the events of magic mystery cure (and the cutie pox) as PROOF that she's the hero here freeing ponies from evil mind controlling magical butt tattoos.

She had a messiah-complex to be sure, but she truly wanted a world without masters or servants.

And I imagine the outlawing of mind magic is going to make it EXTREMELY awkward for changelings to reintegrate into pony civilization, since mind magic is part of how they maximize feeding. https://www.fimfiction.net/story/217188/2/pony-pov-series-the-last-temptation-of-silver-spoon/omake---cadences-letters-to-the-changelings-

I enjoy the fandom theory for why (I haven't seen friendship games) the reason Sunset doesn't seem to have a counterpart is that she's Celestia's CLONE (which also explains why she's actually in a one on one comparison actually more powerful than Twilight).

You've got it backwards, kiddo. It's not Celestia driving you mad, it's Celestia selecting ponies with a tendency to go bonkers with power. Something is wrong with Twilight's extended family and it results in ponies that fixate on some bizarre phantasm: Sunset on unearned power, Twilight on knowledge without insight, Starlight on uniformity and so on and so forth.

Twilight response to trauma? Think it into submission. And thus she's found evidence of Wisedreamer's warning. You can't just whip up Concepts in an Easy-Bake Oven; making something so significant is a process of trial and a whole lot of error. There may be hope for Starlight, but first Celestia has some awkward questions to answer.

"Sorry twilight to make an immortal cosmic law you have to break a few eggs... or... minds as it is in this case!"

Also, since I don't think its been addressed, is there any reason Celestia fails so hard at making concepts? Is she just betting on losing ponies too often or is it just such a narrow path that mistakes are common and hard to mitigate?

Blah, "mind magic is illegal". I hate that. Even the comics' "using magic on cows is illegal" is better.

6469537 All she needed was a spell that gave ponies a '*' instead of an '=' and let them use each others' cutie marks while they were in the vault.


Mind control magic is (under most circumstances) illegal. This is because one can do really horrible things with it. Do I really need to list the possibilities?

Basically, using mind control magic on someone is considered "attacking" them, only it's an especially insidious sort of attack.


Starlight Glimmer has a point, especially from an American, Anglospheric or Western European perspective. Equestria is an absolute monarchy (sometimes diarchy) in which (theoretically) the Ruling Princesses or their agents could legally do whatever the Ruling Princesses wanted to or wanted them to do. It's also an aristocratic society in which the only reason that the aristocrats don't have more actual privileges is that Celestia deliberately arrogated them all to herself (and her agents) over many centuries. Plus, it's an Industrial Age free market society, meaning considerable inequities of wealth along with some genuine poverty. And, on top of this, there are clear inequalities of capability among the Equestrians, which are made obvious by one look at one's flanks.

Having said that, Equestria is a truly enlightened despotism where Celestia is pretty good about actually protecting the rights of her subjects. Arrogating aristocratic privileges to the Realm has massively reduced injustice, as Celestia is both benevolent and competent, far more so than the great houses who previously had these privileges. The Equestrian economy, aided by the existence of Cutie Marks which make Talent easy to notice and prove, is highly-efficient and a rising tide which is lifting all boats save for the most hopelessly-waterlogged. And Ponies are not at all happy when deprived of their Cutie Marks and Talents; the more talented a Pony is, the less happy in such a situation.

Starlight Glimmer's egalitarian socialism would be even more disastrous if put into practice than that of our world's Soviet Union or Red China. This is because instead of reducing social access to individual competence by reducing the permissible rewards for the use of such competence, it actually reduces the competence, and to a fairly low level if Sugar Belle's muffins are to be taken as an example of the effect. The result would be mass poverty, probably to the point of famines (because farmers and transport workers woudl be less efficient) and plagues (because doctors and nurses would be less capable). At least hundreds of thousands to millions of Equestrians would die, and that assumes that Starlight Glimmer wouldn't go crazy at her own failure and start looking for "wreckers" and "saboteurs" to toss into death camps. And Starlight Glimmer is already crazy.

It's also important to note here that Starlight Glimmer did not, as far as I can see from the canon evidence, intend any sort of democratic regime. She was running Our Town as a personal dictatorship, with herself as autocrat and a tiny elite (comprised of Double Diamond and maybe some others not referred to in the episode) as her administrators / secret police. (On a larger scale, she would of course have to set up formal bureaucracies, but then Equestria already knows how to run bureaucracies). So her victory would mean the replacement of a benevolent and competent despotism by a malevolent and incompetent despotism -- scarcely an improvement on the situation!

Yes, greater social egalitarianism might well be a good thing for Equestria. The Realm by its nature has historical baggage. It was welded together by two superpowerful Avatars of Cosmic beings who used their super-powers first to defeat a third superpowerful Avatar and then leveraged their powers to, basically, subvert the rule of the city-states and nobles and warlords who gained local power after the fall of Discord, over centuries arrogating their power to themselves. It's possible that Celestia was planning to evolve it more towards a republican or democratic form (lightbulb advantages, dontcha know!), but that (like many of her plans) had to be put on hold when she found herself having to run the whole thing herself after Luna went mad. Part of the deals by which Celestia took over involved letting the aristocrats keep all sorts of special privileges, hence the society you see today.

Celestia and Luna could, of course, have simply blown things up until the survivors surrendered to them. The problem then is that they would have been perceived as Evil Overlords, with all that this would imply in terms of resistance movements. Plus, they probably would have detuned themselves from the Elements, and the Elements might have found new Bearers. Discord would have been very amused when two new statues eventually got planted next to his own in the Canterlot People's Commemoration of Glorious Liberation Palace Gardens. I can just imagine the psychic conversations. Actually, that would make a pretty darkly funny Alternate Universe.

DISCORD: Now, Celly, I'm not going to say 'I told you so,' but ... Aww, who am I kidding. I TOLD YOU SO!!! Bwah-hah-hah-hah-hah!

CELESTIA: Shut up, Discord.

DISCORD: Oh yeah? Make me! That's right, you can't! You're a statue too! And may I add ... Bwah-hah-hah-hah-hah!

LUNA: I wish you'd both shut up.

Twilight said that "mind control magic" was illegal. And she was speaking in haste, not delivering a legal dissertation. It is legal when cast with the consent of all parties involved in most circumstances. (Why would one do this? Well, for one thing, as part of psychotherapy). Yes, what the Cutie Mark Crusaders did in "Hearts and Hooves Day" was extremely illegal. They weren't prosecuted for it in part because the two principal victims didn't want to prosecute. The Ponies are fairly forgiving when it comes to actual innocent errors.

The issue of why Cadance is allowed to go about repairing damaged love is not entirely unrelated to the issue of why Starlight Glimmer has a point. Equestria is a thaumocracy and Alicorn Princesses are the ultimate elite. On the other hand, Cadance did that when she was younger (under the age of majority), nopony wanted to prosecute (but then, she has Invisible Power Effects when she wants to) and she actually did improve the situation. I am perfectly willing to believe that she screwed up more than once when she was still learning her powers, though.

Under the Reconciliation, the Changelings can only feed with the consent of those upon whom they feed. There are numerous ways this consent can be obtained. I described one in Twelfth Equestriad Interview. Basically, they all boil down to the Changelings providing one some service which causes one to really like them, after one has put oneself in the position to have this service performed upon oneself and with the understanding that one will endeavor to project one's liking at them. There are many such services possible. Yes, the obvious one is one of them. Remember what I've said about Changeling morals and what else is legal in Equestria? No, that's not the only one, nor even the principal one, that Reconciled Changeling Hives provide.

Though that is one of the services that Sky Hive Aphroditis provides to the Venus colonists. Which is rather amusing, given that Queen Aphroditis herself is an amazing prude by Changeling Royal standards (she was very strongly influenced by the Apples and Carrots of Ponyville when she was growing up in Hive Carrot). I really have to write that story sometime -- there are intentional layers of irony upon irony in the planned plot ranging from Aphroditis to the Big Bad, and no one will get to see it if I don't write it!

You're correct that they are not allowed to pretend to be your friend or lover without your consent in order to facilitate feeding. The numerous reasons why that has to be illegal shouldn't require explanation, but I'm prepared to explain it if you wish. (Fundementally, for the same reasons that any fraud is illegal, squared). Yes, this is only enforceable because the Changelings are almost incredibly law-abiding in terms of obeying their Queens.


You're all sort of right.

Celestia deliberately brought about a situation in which it would be likely that numerous very talented Ponies would be born, ones so talented that they might be Aspects of new Cosmic Concepts (the causality here looks shaky from a mortal POV, but works given the way that the Cosmics experience Time). Wisedreamer warned her that forcing this process was dangerous for a number of reasons, of which the most dangerous was that she could create Paradox in doing so and one of the relatively minor dangers was that she could cause a lot of Ponies to go mad. Celestia is not trying to drive anypony mad, but even if one is linked to a Cosmic Concept, attuning with it is an inherently psychologically-stressful experience, because it's a being utterly beyond direct mortal comprehension.

Celestia could have done this more safely and slowly, but she was under a time limit. She had to get all this ready before Nightmare Moon came back and before Discord and Sombra broke free. She was not, when she started this project, aware of exactly what was behind Sombra -- but if she had been, she would have considered the work all the more urgent.

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