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Horseword maintenance and installation specialist. Mareschizo extraordinaire.


Celestia discovers a lingering trace of Nightmare Moon's soul still lodged in Twilight's mind—a survivor of the lingering effects of the Element's magic.

Faced with the threat of gradually losing her friend to Nightmare Moon's evil influence, Celestia realizes the only way to save Twilight is to let the storm of dark magic take its course all at once.

And yet, as Nightmare Moon's corrupting magic tears away at Twilight's forgiveness and understanding, and Twilight begins dredging up unexpressed doubts once kept controlled, Celestia must face a lifetime of confrontation her student has kept covered.

It is going to be a long night for both alicorns.

(First Place winner of the 10th Bi-Monthly Twilestia is Bestia contest)

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 68 )

OH my Celestia! This has to be one of the most interesting concepts I've ever stumbled upon! Oh please please please allow me to do a reading of this! Be warned I am barely starting out. But Please! Let me do it! I am begging you! I would love to do this story justice and bring it to life


7274415 Oh, of course! I would be honored!

Be sure to post a link if you decide to do so!

Carbon #3 · Jun 4th, 2016 · · 1 ·

Yea,i want more Twilsestia from Norris!

Damn this was good, Norris. Like, even though it wasn't so much action, the words said and meanings behind them had me on the edge of my seat.

This is a fantastic story with a lot of issues with spelling and mechanics. Pretty sure "tearing" is used where tearful was needed a few times, for instance.

Regardless of this, fantastic. Utterly fantastic.

Even if it was rushed at the end, I'm really, really glad I pushed as hard as I did to get you to finish. This contest might be fairly light on the romance, but damn if it isn't showing a lot of different sides of their relationship.

Impressive work, my friend.

7275255 One of these days, I'll just write a non-gimmicky, straight-up Twilestia romance, I swear!

Thanks :twilightsheepish:

You best not.
Twilestia is the only pairing where miscommunication and misinterpretation improve the experience.

There is a way twilight may become a mare of darkness. Seems impossible doesn't it?

Starswirl is the main villain.

Since twilight fangirls over everything he has done finding out he is the real bad pony would crush her soul. She would be a mare of darkness.

This is a really great story, but I think the reasons Twilight's become corrupted by NMM and the reason why she has to undergo it at once or whatever are a bit half-assed. Maybe it's just me, but I think those "magical mechanics" could use a bit of polishing. Otherwise, I like it.

7275846 I getcha, dude.

I guess I just figured excessive focus on the backstory would just be a bit of an unnecessarily slow beginning. Starting off with lengthy explanations towards the specifics of the Elements seemed lame to me. I tried my best to imply that this is something Celestia and Twilight have already been looking into for a long while, but I guess 'half-assed' is an understandable opinion towards the set-up.

Glad you enjoyed anyways.

It's nice to see a fully fleshed-out look into Twilight's thoughts and fears. I had expected something hateful and violent at their core, but I hadn't anticipated her having such dark intents. It's interesting. Makes me a little afraid of Twilight, though, knowing that somewhere deep down inside, there's a part of her that has more of a...violent intent toward Celestia. It's a good story, filled me with dread as it kept going on, which is good in the context of this story lol. I was a bit afraid Twilight would escape and destroy everything. Glad it ended on a happier note.

The only thing that threw me through a loop was the very end segment. I understand that it was supposed to end on a lighter note, which I'm a fan of, but it felt just a little bit...too lighthearted. Hardly detracted from the story, though. 10/10 Twilight is best murderer.

Also, w0000t, Tim Hecker gettin' some love! I was afraid I was the only one who'd heard of him in this entire fandom. I have a good friend I went to school with who's kind of obsessed with his album Virgins. He introduced me, and I've listened to his stuff ever since.

Besides, they had only just began.


pattering on the princesses back


For a few motionless moment

Missing a pluralization on moment.

straight ahead at the moon glinting of a tall spire


it had costed her Luna.

shouldn't that be simply 'cost her Luna'? Is costed even a word?

Tell me if it’s honestly probable that I did it just to make ponies afraid of you.

I think you mean provable, and the underlined word is one that I've added in.

Also, as a more general criticism, your action scenes could use a little work. You have a very tell-heavy style of writing, and while that's great for philosophical ramblings and slow stories like Bottled Sunlight, it's not so good for fight scenes when it (roughly speaking) takes a three-line paragraph to say 'Celestia did a mid-air suplex'. Action is generally difficult in written media to begin with, but it's very hard to generate tension and a sense of movement and risk when you take your time explaining everything the way you do. Again, your style has its merits, but it's not particularly well-suited to a fast-paced battle between alicorns.

Very nice.

My only complaint was that the subtle corruption of Twilight and the back and forth between her and Celestia ended a bit too early.

Their conversation had a creeping about it that was really something else.

Celestia must confront a lifetime of confrontation her student has kept uncovered.

So... everypony knows about the lifetime of confrontation?

7276648 Aaaaaaand I'm once more reminded of how rubbish I am at action sequences :ajsleepy:

Aaaand how rushed the editing process of this thing was. I literally slid it under the contest submission door five minutes before it closed.

Thanks for these fixes. Will revise as soon as I have a moment.

7276964 Good catch. I'm an idiot.

7276584 Virgins is freaking amazing yo. Dat Stab Variation.

Thankfully, the pony most disturbed by Twilight's inner darkness is Twilight herself. As Celestia says, it's probably a pretty abrupt and sombering jolt of reality for her. And if Celestia would have basically reacted with "Oh goodness Twilight, you need to be locked away!" then it would be both terribly hypocrticial and a rather poor method of helping her. Simply assuring her she's still loved even after her actions seems miles more effective, to be honest.

And yet, in her long life, Celestia had come to appreciate the value of a pony’s core less and less. For if a pony is only as valuable as they were without compassion, forgiveness, or understanding… if it took dark magic to dilute a pony's mind so that such things were forgotten, how could she truly tell herself ponies were a species of friendship at all?

This right here is what really sold me.

Good job!

7277165 Thank you!

Also, you're Purple now? You're a banana of many hues, Pickleless.

I really like this story. The pace is faster than I would've expected, given it's a dialogue driven story, but its consistent and still works.
Twilight's devolution was interesting and engaging, but somehow I ended up focusing more attention to Celestia's changing manner despite - or perhaps - because it's more subtle. There's no real surprises from Twilight, as Celestia handholds us for the narrative by taking Twilight's every word and analysing it - even when she's drawing the wrong conclusions, it's fairly obvious to the reader that she is, ie (about Twilight's chances of lashing out )

Celestia puts no such observation on herself. A few interesting choice of words come out without being held up to the light the same way, and I got a definite vibe that each 'stage' was as much at work in Celestia as Twilight. She comes across rather...impersonal and unpalatable, what with her "you have an emotion? take it to the debate team!" carry on, but it is nonetheless an interesting look at this character interpretation.

So, yeah - good story, interesting angle, glad I read it.

P.S. - is Celestia using creak-oil on those door hinges justfor tonight, or are they always creaking, all the time? I can't fathom Celestia of all ponies being a creaky-hinge sort of pony, is all. I mean, that sort of thing starts with the hinges, then cobwebs, yellow eyed cats and before you know it there's jars with eyes and maligned reptiles in.
P.P.S - Moonbutt is of course afk/mia again. It's sadly become her most canonically distinguished trait. It was a nice touch that she came in for the assist, at least.


I would not have complained if this were longer. Even so, one hell of a good read.

A pretty decent read, helped pass the time and had an interesting theory to it.

Congratulations on making it to the top of the sites trending stories!

The mare you will become tonight will be the mare you are without any restrictions of compassion, love, or friendship.

This is the night we learn just how much of a dork Twilight really is. Her short lectures are because of compassion, her blends of tea that everypony likes are from love, and worst of all, her lack of too much sarcasm is from a need to retain friends.

Without them to break the corrupting magic racking through Twilight’s brain apart

I feel words got added here from another thought.

And if you think she cannot hear me right now, and is not still fighting to keep you at bay, then you understand very little about what willpower truly means.

So, did Celestia lie when she said all of Twilight's actions would be her own? Or is she lying now for herself by thinking NMM is using Twilight's body?

I would have liked more accusations at Celestia showing how much Twilight is unsure of herself, almost to the point of hating herself for what she has become. I like the idea that becoming an alicorn is great for Twilight but also incredibly painful for her. It is a whole new set of responsibilities she feels she must do perfectly or else Celestia will be disappointed in her.

7277494 Glad someone caught Celestia's gradual shift in attitude. I was more or less going for an "impatient parent" vibe with her, to go along with the concept of Twilight basically having an incredibly destructive and sad version of a temper tantrum.

Funnily enough, I actually considered doing this same story but playing it entirely for comedy.

7278457 And it only took me two years!

Thanks :twilightsmile:

7278549 Celestia lies to herself. She sees how twisted Twilight is becoming and tries to pin it entirely on NMM, something which Twilight instantly disproves with her "Dear Princess Celestia" snark-remark.

Basically, Celly would prefer to project the negative actions of her family and friends onto a concrete thing (Nightmare Moon) instead of admitting to herself that her family and friends are capable of terrible things.

The EoH in fanfics work more inconsistently than they do in the show.

This is not a good thing.

7278578 Up to eleven. Honestly, I was feeling in sympathised with Twilight's emotional state over Celestia's. Noticing that is what put me on watching the Big Cee's thoughts and words closer. It didn't seem so much as temper tantrum from Twilight to me as it did legitimate concerns festered too long and sharpened with extra dark-magic edge, but fundamentally still legitmate. Celestia is a Fool (she's white enough for it, like) and Twilight is the pebble she places in the rut of the world. Twi's right to be mad.

Someone pleeease get this reference.

I see it as a good thing since it allows writers to attribute different qualities to the Elements are allows more creative freedom. All I care about is that the story remains internally consistent.

7278751 Yeah... internally consistent... funny thing about that. :trollestia:

Anyway, yet more fanfic evidence to demonstrate that Twilight is far too emotionally unstable to be given power.

She's weak-minded... unlike meeeeeeeee... *Alondro is given all the powers and rules like a bloody tyrant... but at least he was honest and open about it from the beginning!* :trollestia:

The sad thing is, Nightmare/Twilight does raise a good point or two. Celestia does seem to throw untrained, innocent little mares into the firing line quite a lot.

Not saying she doesn't have cause, just saying the accusation isn't baseless.

Good story, though Luna's concern about whether or not Twilight can be trusted after she has been purged is odd.

I really enjoyed that story! I'm definitely putting this on my favorites.
But first,

We’ve been through worst.

Unless you mean this.

7279664 Well, Twilight has been purged of a demon who basically removed any inhibitons towards her negative thoughts. She hasn't been purged from her negative thoughts themselves, so Luna still has just reason to be afraid, even if it's a little hypocritical of her to do so.




Oh my word. I've been meaning to read this, and now I'm nigh tears.
Bravo good sir/madam

I reviewed this story as part of Read It Now #81.

My review can be found here.

Here's his review:

This story has an interesting premise, but unfortunately, I didn’t feel like it really paid off that well on it – for all of that emphasis on things, only a tiny number of things really come up, and they felt like they took forever to be explained and weren’t gone through very well.

On top of that, Celestia ends up coming off as a little bit too pure and uncomprehending of some things, instead of showing the same pragmatism that she was accused of.

And this is really kind of the central weakness of the story – in the end, it is a bunch of action stapled onto a few arguments, and I never really felt like it paid off very strongly on Twilight calling out Celestia for some things. It was a good idea, but it didn’t really go the distance with it.

Recommendation: Not Recommended.

7280997 All seems valid to me. Can't hope to please everybody, after all.

Truth be told, I was expecting this story to do terribly anyways.

Goodfic is good. About the only thign missing, is that there was a counter to "Why Twilight was elevated."

"I don't know. Some millenia-old scheme designed specifically to stop an ancient threat! Oh, like TIREK..."


And then same.

Well, I really liked this. I can't quite put a finger on exactly why, probably Twilight showing all of her fears and reservations.
I also liked Celestia's thoughts about the core of a pony. Really, there is the potential for any person at their core to be truly, tremendously evil but it's all the fluff around it, like compassion, hope and love which means that most people aren't monsters.

I wrote a critique/review of this story; it can be found over here.

I don't understand some other people's views on this, this is one of the best stories I've ever read! I used to think my writing was good until I stumbled upon this site... I have now realized just how many talented authors are out there. You use an extensive vocabulary to convey meanings to a degree of completeness I have never seen before. I have never felt so enthralled in a fanfiction before. In my opinion, you are a lot better than many of the famous published authors out there. I may be new to writing, but I know amazing stories when I read them!

Not bad and an interesting take. I was kind of hoping Twilight would give Celestia some lasting and potentially permanent injuries though. From your depiction, she needs a bit more reminding about her own flaws. My only real complaint is that they didn't seem to get very deep in the conversation before it was over despite what was presumably at least 6-8 hours of that.

I wouldn't call it removal of inhibitions so much as amplification of negative emotions which are, as a consequence, brought to the forefront. Sort of like being constantly angry.

The only complaint I have on this story is the fact that time seems to pass quickly. The dark tone feels like it could be dragged a bit more, but however I cannot say I disliked it. Quite the opposite in fact. Perhaps it's just me wanting more...I usually do :scootangel:

The ending feels somewhat too cheerful, but I would be when all that is past, I suppose.


7278799 Huh. The Elements were inconsistent in this story? Mind telling me why? I'm currently revising this story extensively, and I'd really appreciate feedback so I can fix issues like that. :twilightsheepish:

7282481 Ah yes, because the BEST response to someone who makes errors is to give them permanent injury.

Now, if you'd agree to cut the arms off of all murderers, rapists, kidnappers and child molesters; THEN you have a consistent point and are not a complete hypocrite.

Otherwise, please call 1-800-YOU-FAIL or get in touch with us on the Web at YouFail@lyfe.com.

And even then, it's hardly Celestia's fault that Twilight's an emo in this story... and somehow has NMM in her head... which makes very little sense in the first place unless this is going the comic route in which the Nightmare is its own entity and escapes complete erasure because plots were needed and no one ever thought, "Say, what if there's more than one Nightmare entity? Then we could have a Nightmare thing show up without having to rely on the one that shouldn't exist anymore AND it gives us a whole group of potential baddies down the line with different personalities and methodologies!" Which the comic could have done with Sombra's 'race', instead of making them ill-defined villains who just looked weird.


[...] unless this is going the comic route[...]

Fuck that noise.

In this story, I see Nightmare Moon as being a creation of Luna's. Basically, Luna's all "woe is me cause I'm not as appreciated as my sister", and in trying to elevate her power, she begins experimenting with dark magic in an effort to remove all those pesky little hindrances that are keeping her from being Celestia's equal.

It goes horribly wrong and she starts turning borderline violent, but by then she's so frustrated and isolated that she doesn't care, and 'Nightmare Moon' happens.

The 'Nightmare Moon' in this story is an echo of the original bits of dark magic Luna used on herself to try and elevate her own power. The side effect is it does so by turning her into an emotionless husk without remorse.

I've seen it before, and I really like this idea personally, because it (i) Maintains a bit of sympathy for Luna so that her being forgiven for her crimes is somewhat justified. If it was all Luna, then it looks pretty bad on Celestia for being like 'oh you did unspeakable evil but I'm not gonna punish you cause we're sisters!' That'd be like forgiving Oskar Dirlewanger cause he was rewwy sahry. (ii) Doesn't make Luna completely blameless (which the comics do, hence my disdain for them). In this case, Luna's not guilty of trying to kill Celestia but she is guilty of standing back and letting it happen for her own selfish desires. It makes her actions ones of emotion instead of premeditation. (iii) Means that Luna's personal guilt is both understandable (whereas the comic route removes it entirely and makes her look overly emotional) and forgivable (she's genuinely changed and is actively trying to be a better pony, which we've seen actual evidence for).

The catch is, this story isn't told from the perspective of Luna. It's told from the perspective of Celestia, who has some guilt of her own. She'd prefer to tell herself that the line between Nightmare Moon and Luna is as clear as day, one is one and the other is the other. It's not entirely true, but Celestia would prefer to believe so instead of admitting the alternative: her sister who she loves is perfectly capable of murder and genocide.

7292277 That really doesn't provide a mechanism for this Luna-created Nightmare to infest Twilight's mind... given that she was directly bearing the EoH. Where did this fragment come from? Why did it choose to enter Twilight, of all ponies? HOW did it manage to enter her?

In fact, how does this thing gain independence at all? If it was Luna's own mental construct... that would tend to make it far more susceptible to the Elements since it lacks its own substance.

7292294 It kinda relies on the explanation given here for how the Elements work. Admittedly, I glazed over that; I've already been criticized for being too text-booky with this story, and circlejerking my EoH headcanon wasn't the point of writing, anyways. That stuff is better saved for blog posts.

(I seem to notice a trend with your... uh, 'reviews'. That is, you disparage an entire story by disregarding what is logical for storytelling/character development purposes in order to instead focus on some petty little flaw that logically would drag a story down for focusing upon. You're like the fanfic version of YMS)

Anyways, Twilight says two things in this story that contradict your statements:

"Dark Magic’s corrupting effects are enhanced and not diminished by healing influence of magical nature, including enchantments"

"They’re…like a filter. They use the goodness of their bearers to help expose the goodness of those they are being used against.[...] Since they are a filter, they need to dilute the badness of their target through the magic flow of the central bearer.[...] The Element of Magic used me as a dark-magic filter"

In this case, Twilight says nothing about the Elements of Harmony purging darkness. Rather, she says that they divert the darkness someplace else so that the target can experience their good emotions more centrally. It makes the Elements of Harmony kinda shitty, which to be honest, I prefer over them simply being deus ex machina problem solvers.

You can object to my explanations all you wish, but it doesn't mean this story is "internally inconsistent" just because you disagree with the consistent reasoning.

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