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This story is a sequel to To Serve and Protect

Twilight Sparkle finds herself dealing with the aftermath of Tirek’s attack on Equestria. Among the problems before her is the broken artifact: Shadow’s Armor. Damaged in a battle with Tirek, Twilight is given the opportunity to help repair the ancestral armor, but when she suggests possibly making improvements she finds that not everypony agrees with the idea. For many ponies have very different ideas on what should be done with Shadow’s Armor, and it will be Twilight’s job to find a successful compromise between them.

Chapters (2)
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Comments ( 72 )

“Do not worry thyself too much, my descendant.”

Was Twilight aware that she had Kicker ancestry?

Adding to Read Later I am now Following but the fact that Shadow is face-hoofing at all this is simply top kek.

Really great cover art, has got me intrigued as to how all those fights happen. I can see the Storm and Cloud one easily, but the fact that Luna seems to get into it with Celestia despite not having anything to do with the armor makes me wonder. I'm always really excited to see more Celestia/Shadow interaction, so the end of this chapter had me grinning even if it was off-screen hanging out. I'm surprised to see that Twilight is also a direct (?) descendant of Shadow's as well. I thought maybe the line had become too diluted over time or something.

Edit: Resolved the resolution issue. Still don't know why it happened.

“Do not worry thyself too much, my descendant.”

Um, did I miss something? Isn't Twilight descended from Magus Midnight?
Why, then, would she have any blood ties to Shadow?

that last line was that just a mess up or was that a reference

8262406 Dun Dun dun. :rainbowdetermined2:

Or else, you know. It's been 1000 years, and by this point everypony is descended from everypony.

OTOH in the previous story Storm said she was taking the armor to Twilight for Twilight to use it, which should have required Twilight to be a descendant.


The Sparkles and Kickers have distant relations through marriage, and it's heavily implied that at some point during the last nine centuries the paternal line of the Kickers either married or bred with the Sparkle line.

Plus, given the relationship between Gale and Midnight I wouldn't be surprised if their love ended up fathering a child.

Honestly, with nine centuries and a traditional political alignment it would be more surprising if the two families hadn't intermarried at some point.

Enjoying it so far!

While I know that the armor is an important part of Kickerverse lore, I am left wondering why Twilight doesn't enchant up a new set of armor for Storm if she's capable of doing all that spellwork on the existing one. Not that I want the armor to be tossed back in a vault against it's wishes, but still... seems like it'd be a lot easier than getting everyone on the same page with a relic.

And here I am thinking that you already knew.

That's always a possibility, but my guess is that it's easier to start with a completed product than to start from scratch. Especially when dealing with power on the magnitude of Shadow's Armor.

interesting so far, find storms treatment of spike to be overstepping her bounds with what was essentially a veiled threat. but this looks interesting none the less.

The title of this story has been brought to you by the redundancy department of redundancy.

There's no redundancy in the title, but there is a crap-ton of alliteration...

So should we instead say that this title was brought to us by the Authoritative Association of Authentic And Accurate Alliteration?

Using the standard of 3 generations per century, that means we are talking over 20 generations back and that means that Twilight possibly has millions of ancestors in Shadow's generation. Even allowing for all the overlap that's going to be happening, pretty much anyone whose family can be said to be from Canterlot has a good chance of being descended from Shadow.

Now, combine that with how the main lines of the Sparkles and the Kickers would have been in similar social circles and you have Twilight probably not simply being a descendant of Shadow but a descendant through multiple lines.

8262366 8262396 8262406 8262427

After 900 years, it isn't hard to imagine that two highly influential families within Canterlot might have intermingled at some point, if not multiple times.


While Twilight could enchant some pretty darn good armor if she wanted, and while it wouldn't be the easiest of tasks, she would probably do so if asked, if not do it on her own at some point, Shadow's Armor is pretty culturally significant to a lot of ponies. It's a bit like saying "Why don't you just print out another copy of the United States Constitution instead of just preserving this centuries old original copy that's on the verge of falling apart?" The reason ponies are going through all this trouble for the Armor is because it's important to them culturally, in addition to some practical concerns.

At the center was Rightly directing everypony to set up a replica of Shadow’s Armor

Wow, Rightly Do is still alive after all these years? :)

Why do I get the feeling that if the armor existed when the original Shadow Kicker was still alive she herself wouldn't have been able to use it?

Sunbeam and Shadow already banged. I wouldn't be in the least surprised their descendants did also.

FINALLY! Someone addressing the Armor's rules. Sorry i think a changeling invasion the original Shadow would have been in the fight and thus so would this version but the rules prevented it. no one's heart is pure but intent of the potential wearer should be a factor.

Smells like good plotweaving. Will follow.

“One of the upgrades I was looking into will probably help it communicate,” I explained. “I think I can give it the capability to let the spirit in the Armor project itself and thus allow to communicate with more ponies than just whomever is in direct contact with it and is a blood relative to Shadow. Right now it's fairly restricted in being able to talk with ponies, to say the least.”

This is my favorite idea, not least because of all the potential opportunity for 'old mare yells at Cloud' jokes.

8263804 8264036
The current "Pure of Heart" restrictions came about well after Shadow and Sunbeam were gone. For the LR Era and immediately afterwards the Armor was restricted to Shadow herself, then her designated heirs/successors. The morals tests were put in place well after that, when they decided to open up the armor to being used by other ponies in extremis—the problem with only having a small number of authorized users is that in an emergency they might not be able to get to the Vault in time. Not that multiple rounds of tightening up the morals test and closing potential loopholes left the Armor in much better shape.

In the LR era Sunbeam would think testing morality was ridiculous. If she and Shadow worked in any test for using the Armor, it would probably be far more about the user's loyalty to Celestia and Equestria than purity of heart.

That makes sense. leave it to the cult to be that stupid.

it could also be the material that was used while making it is not readily available. I believe that Celestia had to call in a favor from an ancient dragon that specialized in rune magic in order pace the enhance the metal before Sunbeam, Celestia and the rest paced the enchantments use to preserve and protect Shadow.

actually if you multiply it out by 220 power then Twilight has 1048576 member alive in Shadow's generation alone that could have married into the kicker clan at that time. So if you add all the previous all the generations together before Twilight the total number of ponies that are, in an unbroken line,related to Twilight is 2,097,150 ponies just going from parents to grandparents to great-grandparents etc. and anyone of these with the obvious exception of Night Light and Twilight Velvet could have married one of Shadows descendants.

Generations Back:
0) Twilight
1)Twilight Velvet/ Night light 2
2) Grandparents 4
3)Great-Grandparents 8
4) 16
5) 32
6) 64
7) 128
8) 256
9) 512
10) 1,024
11) 2,048
12) 4,096
13) 8,192
14) 16,384
15) 32,768
16) 65,536
17) 131,072
18) 262,144
19) 524,288
20) 1,048,576

And we don't know how many children were in each generation after Shadow's children. We know that Shadow adopted Gale and had two other children later in her life, I'm assuming that Gale would count towards this blood line as she was both Shadows successor and by Pegasopolis Law Gale was her daughter.

So you can flip this generational chart for each of Shadows children and add them together assuming that they each only had two children each then the total number of descendants would be 6,291,450 ponies each would have had a chance to marry into the Sparkle Family.

And that is just a conservative estimate, judging by by how much Cloud Kicker bangs other ponies that number may be even higher if her pension for sex is a characteristic that's shared by many of her blood line.

Well that's enough math for me, next time I'll leave it to Twilight to properly inform you of these things, because my brain hurt after all those numbers.

Yeah, that would be the veneration that the Armor was displeased with, and the fact that Celestia didn't stop it. Since Celestia didn't stop it, the Kicker's made it near useless, despite the Armor wanting to be used. There's one of the (likely many) reasons for the facehoof in the cover art.

Um, any particular reason you framed that agreement in the form of a long-winded correction?

The reason it is "possibly" millions for being over 20 generations, (the standard generational estimate has that as ~670 years, so it would be more like 24 or so), is that lines will merge. For instance, Queen Victoria is Prince Charles's great great great grandmother on both his mother's side, (Victoria>Edward VII>George V>George VI>Elizabeth II), and his father's, (Victoria>Alice of the UK>Victoria of Hesse>Alice of Battenberg>Philip).

You could have also saved yourself some effort on the math: 2¹⁰ = ~1000 and that's more than good enough if you are only interested in a result that's a bit better than an order of magnitude.

Sorry about that. After reading your comment I got interested and couldn't get it out of my head until I worked it all out and wrote it down. Didn't mean to make it sound like a correction. Again sorry.

now its 600 in the morning im tired and running on caffeine but i have a theory twilight is a direct descent from midnight but shadow said she was her descent to and yes i know it s been 900 years since but its ant climatic to have it be a random pony down the line so we see how close middy and gale are that seems like more than just a friendship to me however gale is married but they ve been trying to have kids for the past few years with no luck three theory's midnight and gale have a love child or dusk gets middy pregnant or hell maybe he gets them both preggers like i said just a theory
anyway ya that's to two pence of a sleep deprived caffeine pop drinking 16 year old

wait i thought shadow only had one kid after she adopted gale were did it mention 2 ive read all the lunar rebellion era fics and ive only heard of 1 unless im forgetting something

That last sentence will probably leave Twilight unhinged at least for a little bit :rainbowlaugh:
Definitely can't wait to read up more about this!
Will certainly be interesting to see how the rest of the clan will react when they realize that Shadow's soul within the armor doesn't want to be unused. That will certainly stir some feathers.

For some reason, I suspect Shadow is wishing she stayed broken and uncommunicative.

Should've known what you were getting into, Shadow.

loved this story sooooooooooooooooooooooooo new middy story either end of this month or early september whitch will be awsome cause my birthday is the 9 17 here i come

Poor Shadow. Though I wonder now that she con project will Pinkie insist Twilight figure out how to make "astral cake" so she can throw Shadow a "you can communicate with the living" party?

This was a fun little story. Though I noticed Twilight said the astral projection was one of TWO major changes to the Armor. I wonder what the second is....

Aww. Hope we see more. And is it my inner shipper or did she almost ask Twilight out?

Minor error celestia got auto corrected a few times to celestial.

Needs an editing pass. Some cases of Celestia being Celestial. Missing word at one point. "Don't worried Lieutenant" was in there.

Still, great chapter!

I should be posting another Midnight's Shadow story here before too long. I still need to get a cover art for the story and get the first chapter through the editing process, but it's all a matter of time by this point.

Well there should be more stories on the way, and I'm currently mulling over a couple of Winningverse stories that I think have some potential and will try and get on top of once I finish a couple of other stories.

Thanks for catching that, I've fixed that.

Something always seems to get through the editing process... But that issue is fixed now.

I've noticed the grammar slipped a bit more towards the end - while minor typos, they were still there. Like "Celestial" instead of "Celestia", and so on.

Still, good chapter! The armor is fixed and improved, and Storm got to keep it! Well, at least it seems like it. Some drama avoided, to say the least :rainbowlaugh:

Shadow certainly has a lot to look forward to, especially being questioned. Joy! :rainbowlaugh:

“She could do a lot worse,” Dad added. “An officer in the Guard, next in line to be the materfamilias of the Kicker Clan, and a mare dedicated to her princess. It certainly wouldn't hurt to patch relations with the Kicker Clan.”

Certainly a better pick than Cloud.

Woah, so Luna has enough of a connection to what the Avatar got up to during the rebellion that she has memories of it? For some reason I was thinking that was more the Nightmare than Luna herself. I can see her point about the armor, though.

Astral projection Shadow is a go! I look forward to her yelling at everyone who needs to be yelled at.

“And now you can do things like make friends with ponies,” I told her. “Isn't that great?”

Oh Twilight.

“We loosened the standards a bit, but Shadow's still going to decide based on what's best for Equestria,” I told her.

Decent compromise.

Shadow stiffened as her eyes flicked between me and Star. “And precisely how many questions will you ask?”

“Oh, lots and lots. I wrote up a whole list.” I cast a summoning spell to retrieve the large scroll I put all my questions on. “There’s so much we could learn from you.”

Star nodded enthusiastically. “And I would love to discuss the finer points of Cult doctrine when you have a moment.”

For whatever reason, Shadow sighed again.

No kidding.

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