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This story is a sequel to Midnight's Shadow

Midnight Sparkle's career has seen her though terrors nopony should have to endure: warlocks, hags, and worst of all, dirt. Her newest assignment promises to be no less challenging; when the Count of Honeyfield dies without a clear heir, Midnight is tasked by none other than Princess Celestia herself to oversee the transition of his estate to the count’s lawful heir. The question of why a magus of her talents and status would be given such a routine task quickly becomes moot; as the estate’s residents maneuver and plot for the late count’s estate, it’s clear that he might not be the only one laid to rest before it’s over.

Chapters (8)
Comments ( 328 )


Ooh. Plentiful intrigue and everyone's favorite creepy little cryomancer. This is going to be all kinds of fun. Eagerly looking forward to future installments.

Definitely some interesting developments. This is a very difficult situation indeed. I must say, I'm most curious to meet this Snowfall and hear what she wants, and how old she is. It's possible that we may yet have another claimant....

Oh man, I've really missed your writing

Yay for more Midnight!

The good news is that I've got all but the last scene typed out for this story, and I've already given the second chapter to my editors, so this story should get updated in a timely fashion until it's done.

That's odd, I just went into the text and didn't find any of the spaces you outlined. Maybe it's some sort of weird coding issue that came up when you copied and pasted?

Two issues I found.

My practice duels with Mother readily showed my limits too readily,

Seems off, two 'readily' is unnecessary here, and feels awkward. Was it intended? If not, the first one being excluded would clear this up.

“I remember High Roller well, but you look a fair bit older than than he should.”

Two thans.


Next Midnight sequel! Here we go, folks! Political intrigue, probably a murder or two, a natural manipulator and a bunch of groomed-to-be ones! We're down for this, friendfolk.

I'm betting on High Roller really being the count's son, based on equestrian naming conventions alone :-P

It might not hurt to do so.

Thanks for catching those, I'll fix them right up.


High Roller being the count's son wasn't in question. The question is if the scruffy scrufflord here is actually High Roller or not.

The question going forward is: How much of this is all a pageant? Who is in alliance and following a script? If a manipulator sets three choices out in front of you, assume all three are the same choice with a different hat on it.

I've sent in a report for it.

alright i have to ask i have this thing don't know if its ocd or what but anyway should i bookmark the great snowball war the thing i do with the freeport venture fics is i read all of them but i only bookmark the ones that say there direct sequels to others i want to bookmark the great snowball war but this actually has the title of the first story in the title so what the fuck do i do

When I saw this story in my feed, I unconsciously said "Oh hell yes." out loud. So yes, so happy to see a new story featuring Midnight Sparkle! :pinkiehappy: It's off to a great start so far, a great set up. looking forward to seeing where this will take me!

The Great Snowball War is a Midnight's Shadow story, even if it's more of a comedy one-off.

You write political intrigue so well, it'll be very exciting to see this unfold.

Well this looks like a fun romp in olden politics. :trollestia:

Really interesting how you spent so much time developing Shining and Coin's backstory and motives just to kill her off at the end. I suppose it makes the mystery deeper since now we have this information but not a clear reason for it.

I love Snowfall, she's adorable. I think she would make a good leader actually, especially with her mother teaching her Pegasopolian heritage and keeping her from falling into the self-centered traps a lot of nobles can fall into.

I do love how the qualities that Twilight will inherit so shine through in Midnight's thoughts and actions.

...especially when one wasted no time for the journey than was absolutely necessary to keep my very soul from being shattered to a thousand independent shards that would go on to scream in unending agony as an eternity passed by and each fragment slowly went mad.

Whereupon mine apprentice would voyage from world to world to gather them into herself whilst believing she was rebuilding me, braving the—
Wait, wrong story.

In any case, the plot has thickened to the point where one could cut it with a knofe. Definitely looking forward to more.

Get a Clue, Magus Midnight.

Colonel Mustard in the drawing room with a wrench.

I really enjoyed this chapter, it's nice to get a deeper look into everyone's personalities and motivations. Snowfall seems like a real sweetheart, I feel bad that she lost her father. I feel rather bad for Shining Quest too, though she was out to scam someone out of their inheritance, I can't help but feel she was more or less promised big dreams for little risk by her friend and paid the ultimate price for believing him. Coin us going to be devastated, I'm sure. He got his best friend killed due to his greed. I could be way off here, but I have a feeling Émeraude offed her after somehow figuring out their less than honorable intentions. She knew that killing Shining would punish Coin far more than simply killing him, the mastermind behind the scheme. In any case, that's pure speculation on my part!

Nice work!

I think I'm most suspicious of the fey in all this. That connection to serve the county and house Honeyfield could easily be interpreted in ways that are not particularly pleasant for the 'bad' claimants to the title.

Aww, I liked her too...

A truly rare occurrence: there's a scene where Midnight isn't the creepiest one in the room! XD

Now, who would want an old, nearly heir less, powerful Count dead I wonder? My bet is on Freezy.

Émeraude nodded. “And for another example, was it just to destroy the earth ponies’ government? Near as I can tell, half of the earth ponies voted for and then fought for Celestia, and yet she disbanded their government at the end of the war. Was that justice?”

“‘Tis not so simple as justice or injustice,” I countered. “The earth ponies’ government was in shambles by the end of the war. The countryside was aflame as neighbor slew neighbor. It needed to be halted ere we had nothing but corpses to feed upon.”

“New elections could have been held,” Émeraude countered. “A friendly government established. ‘Twould have been more fair to the earth ponies than merely absorbing them into Unicornia, especially when so many had bled and died for Celestia’s cause.”

I shook my head. “That would have taken time, and had no guarantee of success. With madness that had infected the land ‘twas likely that another election would have been just as corrupted by fraud as the one that had started the war.”

“So you argue that the harmony of the state was more important than doing what was just?”

I frowned deeply. “Aye, at least in this case. Nopony was served by chaos, and only famine would have followed if the earth ponies’ internal war had continued.”

Émeraude’s eyes flash and a cool smile spread across her lips. “Then what of the dissolution of Pegasopolis?”

I felt myself stiffen despite myself. “That was a necessity if Equestria was ever to have peace.”

One of Émeraude’s eyebrows rose. “Is that so? A nation with thousands of years of proud history was destroyed for the indiscretion of a select few? All those centuries spent defending Equestria meant nothing after one war?”

I scowled at the fey, for I enjoyed not the subject of Pegasopolis. “Aye, for ‘tis a matter of survival for Equestria. If Pegasopolis had not been destroyed and the clans disbanded, there would have been another war within a generation. That I guarantee. Defeat at the hooves of shopkeepers, nobles, magi, and farmers would have wounded pegasi pride, and ‘twould be a wound they would never forgive. ‘Twould have been the height of foolishness to continue to depend on the clans for our defence. Another war could easily have lead to Unicornia’s defeat, and from there we would have been inflicted with a Pegasopolian hegemony that would have resulted in yet more civil war.”

“And what of the common pegasi?” Émeraude asked. “Many of them have been reduced to poverty in both body and spirit. Instead of being proud warriors they now push clouds under royal supervision, (1) work as messengers, or as mercenaries and house guards for lordlings. And those are often the fortunate ones.”

This got a slow clap from me. The Fey is spot on. How these governments were ended was a grave mistake on Celestia's part and likely strengthened the freeports. This mistake should haunt Celestia.

Also it's insteresting that considering who her mother is and how Sunbeams Treats sex that Midnight would be so squeamish. Sunbean would be cautious but would likely see use in a union with a Fey


I can't agree. The reasoning is sound, and it was intended to create a better future in the long-term. Which it most certainly did. Long-term rewards means, most often, that there will be short-term severe issues. Today we call these things growing pains, or adjustment periods, overlooking the death and poverty and rage and depression of those affected. But in the end, something greater than they managed to survive, and heal, because of it.

To be fair, in Celestia's position at that point, any move concerning the pegasi and the earth ponies would probably turn out a mistake at some point and in some way. Ruling usually entails lots of choices where the only winning move is not to play.

Well, I now feel fairly convinced that Émeraude is on the level, but that just opens up the question of who else. Semi-random prediction, Shining died to prodigal son kid who unfortunately returned as a lycanthrope, and the poisoner is someone else entirely.

On a side note, Émeraude's dad seems to have done an excellent job of drawing up her compact.

Granted, a corner of my mind wondered if Mother would not place greater weight on her ambitions if Equestria were not ruled by a benevolent and capable immortal ruler, but I quickly squashed the notion before it led in unfortunate directions.

Don't worry, Midnight. That's a different timeline entirely.

Sadly, the late count’s skull was aesthetically unimpressive, and would sit poorly upon my shelf of skulls if I opted to claim it.

Clearly the greatest tragedy here.

In any case, the parallels between the sad story of the three siblings and the current situation are too clear to seem coincidental. The question is, what purpose did Émeraude have in telling Midnight? Was it just to lay Ruby to rest, an effort to guide Midnight's thoughts towards the poisoner... or a convoluted confession?

Whatever she meant, there's some manner of horrific predator to deal with first. Then we can all worry about the house-elf.


The final part sure but how much more unnessecary pain happen between the rebellion and modern time. If they did coded on their own from the intern time from rebellion to modern, I would not have a problem but again here not only did she dissolve all the clans but kickers but the earth pony government as well. Sorry Celestia us being a tyrant.

Some of her descendants and magi have attempted to put her to rest, but thus far none have been unsuccessful.”

Wait, what?
You sure about that?


Also it's insteresting that considering who her mother is and how Sunbeams Treats sex that Midnight would be so squeamish. Sunbean would be cautious but would likely see use in a union with a Fey

Midnight's unease with with the idea of sex is multifaceted. For one, Midnight has only started to gradually build up her confidence to engage in social situations with ponies in general, much less something as intimate as sex. Then her views of sex are heavily colored by her mother, who primarily sees sex as a means to manipulate others, pleasures, and if need be, to produce heirs. Her other principle female role models are Princess Celestia, the virgin princess. Shadow Kicker, who Middy had a fillyhood crush on, had relations with her mother, and before that had short term relationships here and there over time. Morning Star, who was happily married to a stallion she had an arranged marriage with before Copper Spark was sacrificed by warlocks. And finally Gale Kick, who is married to the stallion who nearly got her scarified to a dark god, and whom Gale constantly says she despises, and Middy has an unusual relationship with in general. So it's a bit of a complicated smattering of different types of relationships.

Though I was planning on making such issues be more in the forefront during the next Midnight's Shadow story, since there Middy needs to make some decisions, like who to select as a patron for her career, and who to perhaps pick up as a romantic liaison. House Sparkle isn't going to continue on itself, after all.


In any case, the parallels between the sad story of the three siblings and the current situation are too clear to seem coincidental. The question is, what purpose did Émeraude have in telling Midnight? Was it just to lay Ruby to rest, an effort to guide Midnight's thoughts towards the poisoner... or a convoluted confession?

Yes, and more.

That would be a typo. It should read as "successful." I've fixed that now, so thanks for pointing that out!


You can't make everyone happy. It's not possible. From a position of leadership, let alone rulership, you know this better than anyone else possibly could. Especially for Celestia who actually loves all her ponies, and seeing them suffer for the greater good likely kills her inside.

No sense trying to make people happy who probably aren't going to be happy anyway, at the cost of the whole damn future, y'know? Let's also not forget she's got that future-potential-path sense thing, too. In essence, we can judge Celestia for what we assume to be failures all day, if we're thinking of things from the perspective of the bereaved. But that's just the small thinking of selfish individuals who only live an eyeblink in the face of Equestria and Celestia's history - but she knows the one who actually knows better than them, and better than the reading audience. A teenager-to-forty something can't judge someone who's lived for centuries or millennia - who has gained true wisdom from their past mistakes - and attempts to do so are the very definition of hubris. If you have to sacrifice tomorrow so that from next year on you have wonderful days for you and everyone else... it would be evil NOT to do so.

Sort of like the thought exercise about being sent to the past to kill an evil dictator, and you arrive when he's a child, or an infant. Some people will gripe that killing a child is wrong no matter what, that a kid has infinite possibilities and might not grow up into one of history's monsters. Completely forgetting that they already KNOW the future of this particular one, and that if they let him live they're dooming everyone to have to deal with his future actions.

A long-term thinker will note that killing the little time bomb is the right thing to do. An even more long-term thinker will try to understand what necessary good comes from the period of evil this person brings with them and weigh the pros and cons. And someone who can see the potential paths of the future knows both and gets to choose the one that seems more right.

Given her greater wisdom, we understand her to still be fallible, but she has already made mistake after mistake for longer than we can comprehend. The mistakes she learned from give her that wisdom that is beyond the mortal ken. Add on her alicorn mantle future-sense ability to her naturally-gained wisdom and comprehension, and whichever path she chooses is more than likely going to be the right one for the future, even if it's rocky and nasty and bloody in the meantime.

can't appease everybody sure. but this route would make things harder then need be.

Why am I getting the impression the "long lost son" is some kind of werewolf? Er, wait, what's the equine version? I know people use Werepony, but the were prefix refers to the humanoid part. Pony-wolf? Equi-wolf? Hippo-wolf? I guess Lycanthrope is the safe bet.

Slight problem with this line of logic. Equestria today is peaceful and thriving. The clans never rose again and the Earth Pony blood feuds largely ended, as far as large scale conflict is concerned. Yes, the Doo's and Strikers went to Freeport and probably made it stronger, but not nearly enough to challenge Equestria. As far as I can tell, the destruction of Pegasopalis and the Earth Pony government only resulted in a few years of relatively contained conflict followed by years of internal peace. It even resulted in a unified Equestrian military that was able to stand up to multiple foreign invasions and massively reduce internal threats such as warlocks and monsters. Overall, I can't think of a better way to have handled the situation. The Earth Ponies were in the middle of a full fledged civil war and, like Midnight said, the Pegasai would have revolted as soon as their numbers recovered, which would have resulted in years of even more bloody conflict. War benefits no one. Sure, she let the Kickers and Stalkers remain, but they both played vital roles in winning the war, while the others continued to fight, far past it was decided if the talk of pegasai bandit gangs is true.

by sheer luck. the feuds minus the Apple/Danver were not about the election. THe elect had major fraud but that could be fixed. How the governments were dissolved is my issue. not that they were just the means by which it happened.

Fun and interesting as always, great chapter!

And who to perhaps pick up as a romantic liaison. House Sparkle isn't going to continue on itself, after all.

I can think of at least three humorous subplots for this, can’t wait to see what you do with it.

I don't think the blood feuds not escalating to large scale conflict I was luck. By annexing their territory, Celestia's new government was able to reestablish rule of law and prevent the Earth Ponies from falling into an endless cycle of retaliation, in whichfamily members of those who fought on either side would seek vengeance against the families of those whom fought on the other. This in turn allowed the Earth Ponies to return to their farms and prevent a massive famine that likely would have killed millions. As for the clans, Steel Striker basically said that they would continue to fight, which would have meant years of not generations of further war. Eliminating their clan identities prevented them from reforming and seeking revenge for their defeat. Like Midnight said, losing to farmers, nobles and shopkeepers would have been a wound to to Pegasus pride they wouldn't have allowed to go unanswered.

only one feed had to deal with the election. none others do. And half or so of the Earth Ponies SIDED WITH CELESTIA. And Steel may have been willign who's to say others would. we know there was alot of Defections when Bright became the Avatar. All Celestia does here is validate the very reason the clans went to war to begin with. Becoming a tyrant, perhaps a benlevolent one but a tyrant none the less. This was a mistake, one she didn't fully pay for.

There were some defections when Bright became the Avatar, but at the point of the story The Lunar Rebellion is at right now, the clans are actually still fighting. Rightly is currently leading the bulk of the rebels air power against the loyalist earth pony forces. And I find it unlikely that the conflict between the Earth Ponies was not related to the election, considering that the the election is ultimately what led to the civil war they are currently engaged in. Regardless of whether or not a significant number of blood feuds came about because of the war, the fact is they were still fighting one that allowed fields to go untended and far too many farmers to die. Yes, the pegasai suffered. Yes the Earth Ponies suffered. But the only alternative to breaking the clans and annexing the Earth Ponies would be to allow themselves to rebuild and start the war anew. The nature of the conflict prohibited it from ending through diplomacy. By the wars end, a united Equestria was needed in order to undo the damage caused by the bloodshed. And, I say again, it worked.

It was the wastefulness of Swift that aused the feilds to be untended. again half the Earth ponies were on Celestia's side. and note Fair Deal was willing to have peace with Celestia. so add that up and the Earth Pony government was very salvagable. Steel was part of the leadership that outstead Celestia so he is going to be stubborn. but what of others. Note the clans may have not been pure anti Celestia but loyal to their clan leaders. But many Pegasi formed new clans after defecting. No we made have peaceful Equestria now BUT only because Celestia became what her opponets claim she was back then. ENd does not justified means.

It wasn't just Swift's actions that almost caused a famine. As long as their was a war to fight, no one was farming or harvesting food. And regards to Fair Deal, Swift had him and the entire Earth Pony government killed in a fire. So elections weren't a realistic option since the government would have to have been rebuilt from the ground up, and that could have resulted in decisions that could prevent a disaster not being made because not enough government positions were filled. It's true that half of the Earth Ponies sided with Celestia, but I think since their countryside was in ruins, entire generations had been wiped out and their previous government was in shambles, I can understand why they would probably accept the change in governing styles. Also I don't remember anywhere saying new clans formed in the wake of the Rebellion. I think you're referring to the bandit gangs that cropped up later. And in regards to saying the other pegasai shouldn't have to lose their clan identities because the Ephors voted out Celestia, they still killed a lot of ponies, and would have felt honor bound to continue fighting. Shadow herself said the clans wouldn't accept the idea of being conquered, so dissolving them was the only way to ensure that they didn't start a new war. I feel it bears mentioning, that none of the other clans, as far as we know, willingly surrendered. They had to be defeated and broken first. To finish a war, you need to ensure your enemy won't ever threaten you again. The Kickers and Stalkers sided with the Loyalists, so they got to be spared, but the others chose to continue the carnage, and so needed to be broken to ensure peace. As has been previously stated, there wasn't much widespread conflict immediately following the war because all the ponies who would have kept fighting didn't have the morale, men, or supplies to do so. And since the Rebels knowingly and willfully commited multiple major war crimes, conspired with warlocks, nearly sacrificed a child to an evil mad god, and killed two helpless prisoners of war to perform the necromatic blood ritual to possess the corpse of Bright Charger with said mad gods spirit, it's unrealistic and unreasonable to expect any member of their leadership to be allowed to hold any authority again.

there is still Celestia's side of the Earth Pony Government and many city governments were intact. Only the Fair Deal side was gone and even then not full. Swift kept some. And it was stated that pegasi that went to Celestia after Bright becomign avatar did form new clans during the war. Again should they eventually dissolve? Sure, but a force dissolved. NO

Most of Celestia's government was dissolved following the Rebels taking of Manehatten. Fair Deals government was the Earth Pony federal government, so they were a bit more important than local mayors or city governments. I believe these new clans you refer to is actually Clan Cumulus, which was actually just a loose amalgamation of the pegasai that sided with Celestia but lost their individual clan identities because they were all excommunicated from their previous clans. Also I believe it was said that the Earth Pony government set up after Swift's coup was just puppet government meant to unquestioningly support the Rebel's cause, so it wasn't really a legitimate government. And if I may ask, if the clans should be dissolved, but not by force, how should they go about dissolving militant, aggressive, well-trained warrior clans with questionable morals who have probably lost friends and family to the Loyalists?

Simple. whose to say hey were all militant. Midnight's feelings on the clans are scewed. How I imagined it is that many clans survive the war like leaders punished, especially the original Euphorate members that started the war. I think most of the clans went to war because their leaders. I think even the Kickers may not have fully agreed with Shadow but trusted her enough to follow her. In the time between the end of the Rebellion and where Twilight is the clans on their own dissolve as they were and just be a large family. The Earth ponies more merged with Celestia's government. still electing their members because in truth the EPG was victimized by the other sides. Again should the groups dissolved, sure. but by force? No causes more harm then good. How much conflict did they have to deal with that they didn't need to.

The entire idea of the clans being dissolved was completely unacceptable to the pegasai, that's why they needed to be broken up. They didn't execute every member, just prevented them from organizing or reforming an aggressive warrior culture inside Equestrian borders. And given the actions of Pegasopolis's leaders, and the fact that the clans followed them no matter how morally offensive (such as trying to sacrifice a child in a black magic ritual to resurrect a genocidal god), there was no way any former rebel could be trusted to lead any of the clans. This in turn meant that the clans couldn't exist, since they are reliant on the presence of a strong leader.

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