• Member Since 26th Sep, 2011
  • offline last seen 29 minutes ago


Forget not that I am a derp.


On the longest day of the thousandth year, only Twilight Sparkle really knew what she was getting into. That didn't stop five mares she'd met less than a day before from insisting on tagging along. They'd all go on to be heroes, but it's not like they knew that at the time. What went through their minds on that dark summer morning?

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 51 )

This was a marvelous character study. I absolutely adore when a good author gets to just let loose and show off how well they understand the voicing and mindset of each of the Mane 6, and this delivered in spades. The framing device was also a neat way to tie it all together, and make a series of interesting snippets into something more cohesive.

'Twas an engaging read, and the ending was a pleasant surprise. Have a thumbs up!

excellent story

This was absolutely brilliant. The inner thoughts of the Mane Six were amazingly well-written. I could swear I almost heard them saying their thoughts out loud as I read.



Agreed! :pinkiehappy:


Wow, Pinkie being Meta!


Oh hey, we've got a name for Starlight's dad!


Oh hey, we've got a name for Starlight's dad!

Did we not have one before? I thought we did, but I could be wrong...

Yeah, I thought so.

Ah, so this is what you were up too :pinkiehappy: I really like the internal monologues, all kinds of in-character and seeing Luster with her 'Mom' is so adorably-awkward, I agree that Luster is StarBurst's daughter :3 Though there's still the rumor that she's Sunset's going around... "shrugs" To each their own :raritywink:

I wasn't expecting the ending to tie this all together, but I love it when stories do that! It reminds me of Thanqol's look at the Mane 6's stories of Princess Celestia, and how the end re-contextualized it all. But this ending doesn't re-contextualize it, but rather binds it all together, like the events following do.

I love how you characterized everyone, especially Pinke Pie. I chuckled as I read her part. I think ending it on Twilight's thoughts was a smart move. The characterization from the inner thoughts was a-MAZ-ing. This was very fun to read!



*Wiki* ... Oh, season 8: "The Parent Map"... Right.

I really should watch the later seasons...

Brilliant take on the past meets controversial take on the future. I hope more readers focus on the first one.

Despite what certain hat-hoarding, apple-farming mares who shall remain nameless may claim, my literary tastes branch out beyond bridle rippers. I've read enough epic fantasies to recognize which quests call for the lone, determined hero and which call for a plucky band of unlikely misfits. And this? This is a band-of-misfits situation or I'm a mule.

No offense :raritystarry:

Awkward silence stretched out for a brief time. Luster never did now (know) how to react to those... She wasn't even sure if they qualified as jokes. Finally, she said, "Still. I just don't get how then led to now. Or even to them attuning to the Elements."

Contrasting Fluttershy's behavior in the pilot with her behavior in Dragonshy (for instance)
I have often thought it's the most OOC behavior in the whole series

Too much to compliment in the characterization. My favorites were Fluttershy's recognizing Twilight's (and Nightmare Moon's) woundedness and:

Epic quest first, Rarity, networking later...

Luster Dawn as the daughter of Starlight Glimmer and Sunburst was the one good thing to come out of that story I'm Rage Reviewing.

Was he the first one to characterize Luster Dawn as their daughter? I find it hard to imagine, but it makes perfect sense, both in terms of appearance and personality. I mean her real implied personality, not the barely-sapient, hero-worshiping horny prude she's made out to be in Resist and Bite I like to think of Luster as being highly-intelligent and strong-willed, if a bit sheltered for the same reasons Twilight Sparkle was.

All your takes on their thoughts and personalities make sense. I'm especially-impressed by how you handled their motivations. Mare in the Moon didn't really have much time to do that, as it had to introduce them all fast and point them at the problem. As it was, the original Season One Opener managed an amazing amount of characterization, all things considered.

Applejack sees things from her own mixture of practicality and idealism. I like how you showed her to be more of an intellectual than she lets on; and her brother as well. Fundamentally, she's protecting her farm, and the naive young city mare she's just met whom she fears is getting in over her head.

Fluttershy realizes what Eternal Night will mean to the animals. I liked the early reference to Zecora, and the indirect nature of their earlier encounters. Fluttershy knows the Everfree is dangerous, and Nightmare Moon more so, but she overcomes her fears because she cares for others. She even manages to have some sympathy for Nightmare Moon in all this.

Pinkie's fourth-wall-breaking motivation rant is hilarious. I liked the references to Limestone, and to The Empire Strikes Back. "Our standard tactics are useless!" indeed.

Rarity's combination of naive imaginings taken right out of adventure novels and calculating hopes that she can later befriend Nightmare Moon and pitch a wardrobe to her are perfect for her.

Even Rainbow Dash is more frightened by this all than she lets on -- but she's more worried about what will happen to the others if she's not there to protect them. Which is pure Dashie.

Twilight Sparkle, of course, doesn't realize the extent to which she's going to need them.

Nor does Luster Dawn get that she's going to need friends of her own, someday.


Spike is not only a child. He's nice, from the POV of a Pony, because he was raised as Canterlot gentry by very good Ponies indeed.

What frightens Fluttershy about Dragons isn't just that they're big and dangerous (Fluttershy often likes big and dangerous creatures), it's that they are smart and cruel; smart and cruel enough that a simple approach based on species communication referents and Kindness doesn't generally work on them. Also, in my story verse, she's been specifically warned against them by close kin.

Spike gets totally under her defenses.

Weather 101: Every second of lost daylight is another huge amount of heat not going into the atmosphere. That's gonna pile up real quick.

I do enjoy a capable Rainbow, interesting how she's the one with the clearest grasp of why this is such a bad situation.


It reminds me of Thanqol's look at the Mane 6's stories of Princess Celestia...

That's, a writer, yeah? I didn't miss a fic somewhere where the grey seer completely misinterprets friendship lessons through the cracked lens of relentlessly incompetent Skaven ambition?

10174792 10174794
Thanks! I'm glad to hear that the ending worked well. That was an eleventh-hour bit of inspiration. I was worried the sudden transition from the first portion to a more traditional narrative might be off-putting, but I could tell it needed something to tie it together. And I'm always a sucker for bookends.

I can't ask for a much higher compliment than "I can hear the characters." :twilightsmile:

Luster's parentage is, like many things about her, a matter of intriguing ambiguity. She's basically the last background pony. We know just enough about her to form a foundation for any number of different potential characters. One of the more interesting takes I've seen is that her mother is actually a reformed Cozy Glow.

I knew I had to close it out with Twilight. You can't just slip the "Leave me alone" in the middle of five "I can't leave her alone"s. But there's actually another reason behind the specific order in the story. See if you can guess before mousing over the spoiler.
I wrote them in the order they demonstrate their Elements en route to the castle, with Twilight at the end bringing them all together. And then, of course, comes the bright and glorious future they create together... admittedly skipping a few steps.

I mean, no one seems to have any issues with the ending as far as I can see.

Lucky, then. I do recall that theory being quite controversial back when Luster debuted - perhaps it's cooled off now.

No, I wasn't talking about her behavior w Spike
I get it that Spike isn't scary.
(He complains about it in Dragon Quest)

I meant the whole "Take off into the scary woods without even being asked" behavior


No offense :raritystarry:

Rarity doesn't feel the need to apologize when she says it in her internal monologue. Of course, I'm sure she's changed her attitude since that first quest.

I wasn't sure about that Rarity line, but this is early in the group's adventuring career. She hasn't quite gotten the hang of time and place yet.
And it was an interesting exercise to think about how much sympathy each character had for Nightmare Moon. Twilight, AJ, and Dash, definitely not. Pinkie maybe, but crashing a party made Queen Meanie lose a lot of points with her. But Fluttershy? She's dealt with hurt creatures for years; she'll recognize the signs in both Twilight and Luna. And if Rarity knows the legend—and if she considers Mistmane her favorite legend, that implies she knows at least a few others—she'll definitely empathize with somepony who made beauty nopony cared to look at. Plus, you know, Kindness and Generosity are more inclined to give anyone a chance.

I won't lie, the ongoing review probably had a hand in inspiring the end scene. If we're going to write about Luster Dawn, we may as well pay her character some respect.

Was he the first one to characterize Luster Dawn as their daughter?

Definitely not. People were asking Big Jim if she was their daughter the day the finale aired.

I like how you showed her to be more of an intellectual than she lets on; and her brother as well.

I see Applejack retaining more from her time in Manehattan than she likes to admit. As for Big Mac, he definitely shows a more intellectual side at times. I've grown to appreciate Estee's take of an aspiring philosophy major who had to stay home and tend the farm after his parents' deaths. Not going to go one-for-one with that interpretation, but it's definitely a useful template.

I liked the early reference to Zecora, and the indirect nature of their earlier encounters.

Logic dictates that they'd at least see one another during Zecora's early attempts to go into town. Of course, this is Season 1 Fluttershy and a mysterious, menacing-looking pony, so it also dictates that they'd be nothing more than passing acquaintances at absolute best.

Glad you enjoyed it all. :twilightsmile:

Pegasi often have an appreciation for the big picture thanks to a higher vantage point. Even Fluttershy is worried about the broad ecological consequences. Plus, Dash is good at weather work when she can be bothered to do it.

I didn't miss a fic somewhere where the grey seer completely misinterprets friendship lessons through the cracked lens of relentlessly incompetent Skaven ambition?

Delightful a mental image as that would be, Learn for Life is referring to The Old Stories.

IDK, I remember her comments in Dog and Pony Show
Of course, that wasn't too long after the pilot.
From S4 onward, she was a LOT more mature

Running for you life (& possibly your soul) w Sombra
on your ass & gaining, being Discorded, publicly ruined,
& falling to your (probable) death on several occasions
(among other catastrophes) will do that

As was already mentioned by other reviewers (and better at that), the showing of each of the Mane Six's inner thoughts on the start of their first adventure together was beautifully detailed and completely in character for ALL of them. And, as was ALSO already mentioned better by the other reviewers, tying this in to the series finale (courtesy of the scene with Luster and Starlight with the former confused on how something that started out like that could develop into such a strong friendship) was a really good touch.

Anyway, the characterizations and exchange (between Luster and Starlight), as well as the general wrap-up were all quite well done in all the right places.

“Aunt,” Trixie? I could have sworn you were a Star-Trix-Burst poly shipper. :duck:

Yes, that is an author. And this is the story I was talking about.

Congrats on a well-deserved top feature!

Yeah, I think you nailed the dynamic of how much sympathy each would have. That insight about Rarity knowing legends isn't one I would have considered, but it is an interesting one that makes a lot of sense. Kindness and Generosity temper the group, which in many ways reflects a broader truth about virtue - true virtues work in harmony with each other so that justice is not without mercy, compassion is not without firmness, wisdom is not without love, and so on. They act to be more than the sum of the parts. Seeing that dynamic at this early, raw, and unrefined stage was a fun character study.

This was a great story and all the ponies were completely in character.

Lovely work! Like others have said, the characterization is just about perfect; I think I liked Rarity's mix of romantic idealism and barely tempered ambition for clients the best, but then again, she is the Best Pony. :raritystarry:

I really liked your use of the memory crystals to make this an in-story look at that first adventure, too! And yes, Luster Dawn makes so much sense as Starlight & Sunburst's daughter. (Starlight going overboard with protective & embarrassing mom was a hilarious little touch, though at least she recovers quickly when it's pointed out to her!

Well sure, but this is one of those weird corner cases where "Aunt" makes at least as much sense, provided she actually knows which of them was pregnant with her.

Luster being related to Starlight and that Sunset Shimmer rip off makes about as much sense as Pinkie and Discord combined does.

None whatsoever. I did read one where Luster is Cozy's daughter (after Cozy reformed of course), and that made 1000% more sense than this.

I like the story. But still.

How does it not make sense? Her name (between starlight and the sun[burst] comes the dawn), her cutie mark (which you can see if you look close enough looks quite similar to Sunburst's), the fact that she becomes Twilight's student (talk about inside connections with royalty)... personally I think it makes perfect sense. As do a number of other people, it seems.

You know the characterization is good when you can tell exactly who is narrating in just one paragraph.

The last time I re-watched the first episode, I thought, "Why would Fluttershy go into the 'unnatural' forest to help a pony she's only known for a day, when she was so shy she could barely talk to her?" But this story gives her a more clear motivation. The creatures in the Everfree may be able to look after themselves, but they still act similar to the animals she knows. And all of nature would be thrown out of balance if there was eternal night. Even in season 1, Fluttershy would do anything to protect animals.

I think it makes okay sense character-wise, but it does cheapen the final song in canon. Suddenly, it's not a heartwarming "Princess Twilight sends Luster to the mythic friendship crucible that is Ponyville so the cycle can continue" but instead "here, let's dump you back in your hometown where your mom lives and works."

Lovely character voice work, though!

Sorry about the Read Later blip, had to look after a late dinner. And, ah, now here I am unsure what to say that other people haven't rightfully pointed out! I like how each segment is kinda stream of consciousness but also focused enough to wind into a nice, in character final line. Good balance!

Three being more cautiously optimistic and ready to give Luna a chance while three are very definitely not is a nice touch too. I think my favourite might be Twilight's. Pilot "I like being alone in my room, thank you!" Twilight is an interesting viewpoint.

I get where Fluttershy's coming from with the wounded creature comparison even though I think it's better if Twi's just naturally like that at the start instead of any big past thing, but she managed to make a good impression on all these people in spite of herself (and Pinkie noticing her storming off and not quite being able to process it is another nice touch) and the glory of a POV piece is that not everyone's assumptions will be correct and it's fun to speculate. Weee!

Really like the ending, and it might be because an introspective piece like this didn't need a reason to happen but this is a solid one. Dawn knowing it probably should be weird she identifies with the grumpy introverted know it all feels right for someone raised in a society centred around feelings and connections and isn't really into those. Kid's at least trying to be honest with herself! The pity angle is also neat because I didn't get that from the paragraphs at all, so maybe somebody's projecting a little. Hmm.

Solid stuff all around! I miiiight ask to steal Momlight for something if I ever get around to writing it.

Okay, I was not expecting the end part with Luster Dawn. And I especially wasn't expecting her to be Starlight's daughter. I really don't know if I subscribe to that theory, though. If only because I feel like such a connection would've been brought up in "The Last Problem" or been mentioned by the show staff if that was something they intended.

Oh, another thing -- I like the pony swears we see in AJ's memory. "Peeve it" and "Banish it to moon"... our favorite farmpony needs to temper her language around the Crusaders! :applejackconfused:

...why not both? "Let her study where it all happened" coupled with "and at least she'll have family to stay with while she's there".

10175607 10176010
Deliberately left ambiguous. And no matter what her relationship with Starlight and Sunburst, Trixie probably wouldn't accept any level of parental responsibility beyond "fun, irresponsible aunt" when dealing with Luster.


Starlight going overboard with protective & embarrassing mom was a hilarious little touch, though at least she recovers quickly when it's pointed out to her!

Even years later, Starlight still needs the occasional nudge for her self-awareness to kick in. Plus, I do love the idea of her having the same parenting impulses as her father. (Sunburst, on the other hand, I see as being a lot more hooves-off than Stellar Flare. Though his mostly leaving Luster to her own devices probably led to the "friendship is a waste of time" atittude we see in the finale.)


In all seriousness, there are certainly arguments to be made both for and against this particular take on Luster's parentage. Glad you enjoyed the story in spite of this one rubbing you the wrong way. :twilightsmile:

Yup. Fluttershy's always been more active in the defense of others than for her own sake. And in a global crisis like this, she couldn't help but step up to the plate.

You do have a point. Though at the risk of being that guy, there's already the question of "How does Twilight's personal student not know about her inner council?" Granted, I wouldn't expect Twilight to have an encyclopedic knowledge of every layer of Celestia's bureaucracy in her pre-Ponyville days, but I'd also expect Queen Starbutt to introduce her newest faithful student to her friends before banishing her to the friendship gulag setting her on the path to enlightenment.

This is why I usually lean towards Luster being Sunset's daughter—she's unfamiliar with the Council of Friendship because she's trying to juggle the history and knowledge of two worlds—but I liked the way the Luster-Starlight dynamic worked in the conclusion.

Suffice to say, glad you enjoyed most of it. :twilightsmile:


Three being more cautiously optimistic and ready to give Luna a chance while three are very definitely not is a nice touch too.

It was especially interesting to take into account who we saw in the Nightmare Triumphant timeline. Rarity already empathized with Nightmare Moon, setting her up to serve as a majordomo. Dash, upon seeing that the insurmountable alicorn was the only reason the planet wasn't a snowball, would dedicate her life to preserving the being keeping everything alive. Most of the others are ideologically opposed to her... though that does leave Fluttershy in a precarious position. I can't say I see her attempts to appeal to NMM's better nature going well in that timeline. :fluttershyouch:

... and the glory of a POV piece is that not everyone's assumptions will be correct and it's fun to speculate.

Indeed! Assumptions and projection are bound to color a person's perception of the world. Applejack, Rarity, and Rainbow Dash all judge Twilight's physique differently because they're each using different knowledge, expectations, and even senses. It was fun to play with the same input filtering through each character's experiences and personality.

I miiiight ask to steal Momlight for something if I ever get around to writing it.

You're welcome to. I love inspiring people. :twilightsmile:

Apparently there was some debate among the show staff on that particular point. In the end, it's ambiguous, which means there are a number of directions to take it.

It's her internal monologue. She doesn't feel the need to self-censor in her own head. Certainly not when she's about to throw down with the Mare in the Moon.

I mean, have you even met Twilight, hypothetical entity I'm addressing this to?

Other than Pinkie Pie. I'm not entirely sure she's even a pony, but I might as well face it, I could use all the help I can get right now. Even from eldritch madcreatures who defy all reason, logic, and decorum.


Namepending Castle

:rainbowlaugh: Like the subtle jokes here and there.

Pinkie's POV was the silliest yet surprisingly most insightful.

I would be honest here. The ending kinda ruins the fic for me. Not because of the controversial topic about whether Luster is the daughter of Starlight and Sunburst's though, I have no problem with that, even find it plausible. The problem with the ending is that it doesn't fit in with the tone and flow of the story, or even the name of the fic itself at all.

Your idea for the first part of the story is great, and your take on each of the mane 6's monologues is brilliant. They show a wonderful transition for the characters from strangers to companions and explain well their morals, motivations and struggles in their decisions to participate in the quest. I especially like Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie parts, they capture very well the characters' personalities and moral codes.

I had hoped that you would do one or two more verses for each character during their ordeals and their final triumph, to elaborate further on their sacrifices, their internal conflicts (for example having Rarity lament about the lost of her tail, having Apple Jack worry about whether she would die and not return home to her family, etc.), how they stood by their moral code to continue on with the quest, and their transition from companions to friends (especially that of Twilight, as I think her part is quite incomplete for her character development).

But instead, the story suddenly jumps into a typical, somewhat meaningless conversation between Starlight and Luster. Part of it is cute, I admit, but because of that it contrasts even more to the rest of the story, which bears quite a somber tone. The topic of the conversation between Starlight and Luster also doesn't really relate to anything in the first part. I had the hard time trying to figure out why you changed the subject to the difference among the mane 6 and whether their friendship were based on pity, while the focus of the first part is about each character's motivation coming from their thought about their family, the nature and even the sympathy with Nightmare Moon herself. There isn't much mentioning about them pitying Twilight or how they were so different from each other. The two parts just feel like two different stories altogether.

She doesn't hide when she's afraid; she lashes out like a mistreated dog. I think she's been hurt before, or she's so afraid of getting hurt that she's never let anyone close.

Wow. That phrase just opens up a whole can of "WTF did Twilight go through to get to that state"? Sure, I've read countless stories of Twilight living in the castle having a horrible time where others only wanted to know her to use her, but that phrasing just puts it on a whole new level of pain. Definitely caught my attention.

Judging from the title... they're all vampires! Am I right? I'm right, aren't I?


This is such a sweet little heartfelt story, and a wonderful spin on the S1 debut! I love how emotionally intimate it is with each of the M6, and the window it opens up onto their lives and worldview. Very well done!

ETA: Excellent job with the character voices, too! They were seperate and distinct, and everyone sounded like their in-show appearances--even Starlight and Luster Dawn. Again, excellent work!

Login or register to comment