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  • TMidnight's Shadow: The Bog Witch
    Midnight Sparkle answers a summons as an evil spirit has taken residence deep within the Swampy Bottom Bog and is starting to corrupt the land. Midnight finds herself facing annoying haunts, monsters, irritating teenagers, and worst of all: mud.
    Ponibius · 24k words  ·  143  0 · 815 views

This story is a sequel to Midnight's Shadow: Succession Crisis

Midnight Sparkle is a rising star amongst the magi. She has proven herself time and again against threats as warlocks, hags, werewolves, and fey, but her recent successes yet leave her ambitions wanting.

An opportunity presents itself when the Archmagus of Eastmarch announces his retirement. The conclave to determine his successor—what should be a mundane thing—reveals a most tainted legacy as long-forgotten foes push Midnight to her very limits.

Chapters (17)
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Comments ( 418 )

yes i am happy to see this midnight is my favorite character in the winning verse

Oh man, I’ve been waiting for this for a long time! Looks like some of those big events that keep getting hinted at are finally starting to come together. Definitely interested to see what Daylights issue with Shield is. Assuming he is Dusks brother, he could still hold some loyalty to his former clan mates. I’m also very excited to see Sunbeam and Shadow being brought back in as major characters in these stories, they are so fun to read about. Can’t wait to see how this all plays out.

Comment posted by mikebroniepony deleted Mar 5th, 2018

8777429 don't read spoiler unless you have read all lunar rebellion
i think daylight is actually midnight's brother not biologically cause midnight was not born she was created

Big fan of the midnight series, already excited for this arc!

Sunbeam seriously!? Did you not learn from the Rebellion. You are making the same mistake that you did back then. By not acting against the reivers that caused the death of three innocent ponies and the trust of the Ephorate. You dare risk that again?

I'm noticing that the Morning Wars seem to be taking the place in this 'verse that the Lunar Rebellion did before, uh, The Lunar Rebellion -- a significant conflict in Equestria's past about which we only know some sparse details so far (I think -- I started reading after TLR was already up, so this is some interpretation on my part). Before the eponymous story came out, I believe, there was mostly just the knowledge that the Lunar Rebellion took place after Nightmare Moon's banishment, was about trying to free her from the moon and involved Clan Kicker's rise to fame. As for the Morning Wars, unless I've missed something, we just know from the Sunset Shimmer stories (Blood and Iron, I believe), that it was comparable in scale to the Rebellion and from the Midnight stories that it came within a lifetime or so of it, and now that it involved the conclave to elect the Archmagus of Eastmarch in some way.

Which in turn makes me wonder if these Morning Wars might be covered by another story sometime in the future. Bah. We'll see.

Midnight returns to grace our screens with her lovely presence, totally not unsettling with her growing raven cult following. Curious to see how the events play out from here.

One of good things about your stories are cover arts. You make ponies look really fluffy, like they really have a nice coat, yet without going overboard.

Oh I know about Daylight and Midnight being related. I was referring to how if Shield is actually in fact Dusk’s younger brother, Daylight might be worried that Shield could still harbor some loyalty to Clan Charger.

Very excited for this new entry in the Winningverse! The Lunar Rebellion Era/Adult Midnight Sparkle era stories are by far my favorites, and this promises to possibly be another war story? My excitement has tripled! I hope this is a nice, long story.

Excellent first chapter, I really like the premise. Thank you for writing it! :twilightsmile:

I think she’s more worried launching an incursion into Griffon territory might provoke them to war sooner than Equestria is ready, as well as increase the likelihood that the Griffons would unify to fight off the “invaders”.

8779030 Oh like those money-grubbing dang beakies could fight off the supremacy of the unicorn forces! I mean, sure, beakies like eating foals and making pacts with the devil, but they're actually really easy to go blitzkrieg on! :pinkiecrazy:

When are ponies going to realize Luna was nothing but an angsty tween who had a tantrum because she didn't get enough attention, which was half her fault for skulking around in the shadows and being anti-social?

Seriously, Luna's entire shtick consists of, "WAHHHH!! I want people to like me so imma murder my sister in cold blood and torture and kill all who won't bow down before me! Because clearly acting like a brutal despot will improve my image!"

You might as well feel sorry for Kim Jung Un if you're relating with that level of insanity!

guess what that was the same fear as before. and look what it caused.

Raven names continue to be amazing.

Reivers are murderhobos, aside from being much more willing to take prisoners They loot for the glory and enrichment of king, country, and themselves.

In any case, the stage is set for the drama to begin. I look forward to it. Oh, what interesting times Midnight shall bring to Fillydelphia...

I am aware that not responding more forcefully to the reiver raids prior to the Rebellion cost a great deal of trust from the Ephorate, and helped exacerbate the problems that led to the Rebellion. However, the circumstances have changed. Equestria is only just managing to stabilize itself after its civil war, and the Griffons have a much stronger king and are more politically unified than before. War is basically inevitable at this point, but trying to delay it to when Equestria is better prepared does make sense.

unless it turns ponies against the crown.

True but I find that unlikely. The government is responding to the attacks by redeploying the bulk of Equestria’s troops to the east coast, which should help prevent or guard against the bulk of reiver attacks. This should at the very least sooth the anxieties of the ponies living there while the government tries to resolve the issue. And fail, because if they resolved the issue peacefully, we wouldn’t have a story, would we? ;)

Yes but again it feels like Suneam didn't learn. Hell my main beef with this universes Celestia is that she doesn't really learn from these events

i though all of dusk family died wait o ya his little brother what ever his name is

also if ash is sunbeam and shadows kid dosent that mean middy is an older sister

Midnight was born naturally, she's not a construct.

well yes she was born naturally BUT she was basically made for a single purpose to be well force fed into nightmare moon or nightmare moon reincarnated cant remember but yes she was born naturally but for a single all consuming purpose basically a artificial pony if you will cause dark magic was part of her birth

Well we don’t know for certain that Ash Kicker is Sunbeam’s. Shadow never named a site and Sunbeam never claimed Ash was hers. As to the nature of Midnights existence, she was conceived and born naturally, but had magic done on her before she was born in order to make her a suitable vessel for Nightmare Moons spirit, sort of like how Bright became the Avatar, but able to withstand her power without dying.

and dint sunbeam later change that she uses spells to put her DNA and bits of her very soul into midnight's so biologically she really is sunbeams daughter than again it all depends on how you think about it

On assignment with the Long Patrol, neat.

The patrolponies and I had been sent forward to deal with the reivers’ lookout stations. My ravens had also spotted an additional group stationed on a cloud above the camp, but another team had been assigned to deal with them. If all went well, they should have been able to sneak up on the reivers while inside of an inconspicuous cloud. The Kicker Clan ponies assigned to the task had practice doing such things, and ‘twas as good a plan as any. If it did not work then we had all just gone through a lot of work for nothing.

Beep beep, I'm just an innocent cloud. As compared to the very much not innocent Cloud.

That was a pretty good plan. I'm curious about that pegasus in the tent, though.

“‘Twas the idea.” Daylight looked out to the river that bordered the path walked—a river that led out to the sea, and beyond that, Gryphonia. “‘Tis bad enough when the reivers attack coastal towns. Once they start penetrating inland the problem starts to become a real crisis. Reiver raids have not been this severe for a decade.”

Good job Pegasopolis.

Daylight chuckled and shook his head. “Do not fear, I will make sure to express how thou acted with wisdom and bravery in the face of a crisis. Though more seriously, there is at least one new development here that Her Highness should know about.” He gestured at a pegasus prisoner—the pegasus that had shot at me in the reiver camp. “It seems the reivers have contacts amongst the bandits, though I am not yet sure to what ends. Hopefully our interrogators will discover more in time, but this bodes ill.”

That would be a problem

I'm not remembering if it was said before what the Morning Wars were going to consist of, but it's starting to sound like it's going to be a griffon fight.

On one hand, that sort of lead up to a conversation makes me suspect the pony that wants to have it is going to die before they can get a chance to. On the other hand, if I'm remembering correctly this is the pony that is Archmage Sparkle's illegitimate son, and the suspected eventual ancestor of Sunset. Seems unlikely that he's going to die single and before having any children if that is the case. On the gripping hand, there's been fake outs in the rebellion era stories already.

Related, I wonder if Midnight knows that this is potentially her kinda sorta half-brother. Doesn't really seem so considering the dialogue so far. Requesting Sunbeam be present for the meeting makes me think that Sunbeam does, though.

Daylight stood still for a long moment. “I think the Lieutenant’s skills would be better served elsewhere than escorting thee. As I alluded to, I worry there might be more hidden reivers, and his patrolponies are best able to find them.”

Now that was suspicious.

Princess Celestia re-entered the conversation. “I prefer to give peace a chance if at all possible. As Midnight pointed out, we might be able to make an accord with High King Severus. We must remind ourselves that these reivers are probably acting on their own, or at most, at the behest of their lords. We should speak with Gryphonia’s ambassador and see what can be done before we take more extreme measures.”

Midnight's plan seems at least worth considering. I like her thinking on this, apply the carrot while keeping the stick visible but unused.

it might just be me but despite friends and family midnight feels like a pony who could be deeply alone and at her core wants respect and love

He was a well-toned unicorn, with lean muscles that his tall stature from a life in the Order of Sol Invictus .

I am confused by this sentence.

Other than that, good.

The moment I heard Shadow talk about Gale’s “condition”, I knew I was in for a good time!

I suppose Meadowbrook never shared her discovery with flashbee honey before the Limbo debacle... though now there's a ticking clock for that remedy in the present day. Drug resistance is a nasty thing.

This may have been said before, but given Midnight's aversion to dirt, I have to wonder about Rarity's lineage...

Midnight's hitting the point of diminishing returns, it seems. Maybe cross-discipline work will offer some fresh insight.

Huh. Am I just blanking on the lore of this universe, or do we not know who Ash's sire is?

Midnight has taken one of the key lessons of the Lunar Rebellion to heart: Never ask pegasi for cake. It will not end well.

A swirling cloud of various concerns hangs over poor Midnight's head. She'll be lucky to focus on any one of them during the conclave. No wonder she's going njts in the cover art. (Or just smiling. Never can tell with her...)


Wait, if Mossy discovered a cure for swamp fever, but the trees mutated since then, then why does Meadowbrook's cure still work?


Indeed, Ash's sire is unknown to us thusfar, and even to most characters from what we've seen in footnotes and such. It is debated whether he was a result of Sunbeam and Shadow or Shadow and Celestia - or perhaps someone entirely different. 'Tis why in Winning Pony, Cloud Kicker continually makes remarks about how she might or might not be descended from Celestia - and when Celestia points out that would mean if it was true that Cloud would be related to Luna also - causing a bit of 'oh god' reaction from Cloud, heh.

All in all, I'm rambling a little, but yeah, no certainty about Ash's sire.

Well, Mossy Bank’s cure only stopped working after multiple centuries of continuous use, while Meadow Brooke’s cure seemed to only have been used for a single outbreak and never saw widespread use. I mean, no one remembered it until Fluttershy found it again. Just a possibility.


Huh. Am I just blanking on the lore of this universe, or do we not know who Ash's sire is?

Ash's sire is indeed unknown.


Wait, if Mossy discovered a cure for swamp fever, but the trees mutated since then, then why does Meadowbrook's cure still work?

As suggested by Pithos, the issue is that Meadowbrook's cure is that it never hit widescale circulation. She belonged to an isolated bog community during an age when the printing press might not have been a thing, and she seemingly went off adventuring/dissapeared not long after finding her cure. It's not helped that bog ponies probably know to avoid those trees to start with, and the cure is somewhat difficult to procure if you don't know how to do so. Whereas Mossy Banks was an archmagus with the contacts to get knowledge of his cure widely distributed.

And further sinking of my beloved Midnight/Gale pairing. I confess I rather thought it would happen..

The bees would have had to evolve alongside the plants or they wouldn't be able to safely harvest the flowers?

Who is this filly Midnight hates. if it was Ash I would think it would confirm Celestiia as the sire. Tia does pranks and considering Midnight's connection to Luna it would fit. but sadly Ash is a colt. And given the name both Sunbeam and Celestia are likely. Interesting that Midnight notes how rare it is for Shadow to not have her armor on. :pinkiehappy:

And I have to agree if there is a blood connection between Midnight and Rarity

But I facepalm at Midnight, and more at Sunbeam. One of the key reason the Rebellion happened was Celestia lack of response to Reiver attacks. Honestly if Bright hadn't invoked the 4th Axiom how many more ponies would have died before Celestia acted?

Of course Morning would be for tough stance. the softer stance lead to a civil war that her husband was murdered in.


Why would lack of widespread circulation keep her cure from becoming obsolete?

I figure the bees would evolve alongside the bog fever trees, thus the cure would still be good. The cure not being circulated is another issue entirely. It not getting widely circulated was why the cure wasn't widely known, and fell out of use as memory of the cure became increasingly obscure with each passing generation, since it wasn't properly recorded. Considering Twilight and Fluttershy only managed to find the actual cure by combing over Meadowbrook's fragmentary journal entries. This is why scientists consider it so important to circulate findings, and make them widely known to at least the relevant scientific community, if not the wider public. The cure for bog fever doesn't help anypony if nopony puts it down on paper and then tells everyone about it.


Which kind of makes me wonder if Meadowbrook was really a good doctor/medical practitioner if she never told anyone. Unless she intentionally never wrote it down to guarantee that she'd have the monopoly on treatment, which...I really hope is not the case.

I think it has more to do with the times she lived in. When she was around medicine was done by local folk healers who largely made use of local resources to treat and heal the ponies around them. Literacy would have been uncommon at best, books rare and precious, and word of mouth and memory being the primary means by which ponies passed around and stored information. Thus knowledge passed from master to apprentice, over and over and over again as the centuries passed. If something were to happen to an apprentice (like say dissapear into a limbo pocket plane due to nemesis shenanigans) then generations of procured knowledge could easily be lost.

During this period of time there wasn't much in the way established medical institutions except for maybe in urban centers, and no certified board of medical professionals who passed along bodies of knowledge to other medical professionals so that they can know how to treat various ailments and injuries. Such things take time and foresight to set up, and a revolution in thinking, which didn't exist during the early days of Equestria.


Fair point.

The filly Midnight has a problem with is just a Kicker foal from The Great Snowball War. She basically sucker-punched Midnight with a snowball and evidently has been mildly harassing her ever since.

im not sure what the hell is going on now with the gale x midnight ship now that gale is pregnant i mean i guess something could still happen while she is pregnant or afterwords but at the moment this is one hell of a swerve and unless this is a double swerve i don't see at the moment how they could get together :raritycry: but there is still time :heart:

ah, sad it couldn't be a Tia, Shadow kid.

By the way, nice Churchill reference. It is appreciated. :)

i think midnight's crush on shadow never really went away

if gale gets flirty like cloud did there might still be a hope :raritywink:

I vote for Mossy Banks, I think a little more mud and dirt would be good for Midnight.

Poor Dusk. Pregnant Gale appears to be completely insane.

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