• Member Since 20th Jun, 2014
  • offline last seen 4 hours ago


Just an adventure/mystery fanfiction-writing brony from the state of Vermont who hopes that you enjoy his work.


Equestria is not the paradise that most of its citizens believe it to be. Dark secrets hide behind facades of innocence. Hungry monsters stalk the shadows and walk among the people. Cultists practice forbidden magic in the name of cruel gods, and an ancient evil is stirring from below.

Daring Do, Professor of Archaeology at Golden Oaks University, has known the impossible exists since she was a foal, and it has held a dark hold over her ever since, guiding a search for answers. A search that leads her to ally herself with private detective Phillip Finder as he investigates a deadly web of intrigue with a dark figure at its center. As she and her allies face an ever-deadlier array of cultists, lunatics, assassins, and monsters, she finds herself in a battle to protect the world while confronting her own demons and risking her own sanity.

A reboot of sorts of my former series Ponyville Noire, Daring Do: Shadows Over Equestria is an adventure-mystery story with heavy influence from the Cthulhu Mythos and related spinoffs, particularly the Arkham Horror franchise. It features many of the same characters but under different designs and inspirations.

Cover art by Redahfurerking!

Proofreading by Jade Dawn, Eagle--Paladin of Shadows, and TheLegendaryBillCipher !

Chapters (12)
Comments ( 51 )

The professor chuckled and smiled indulgently. “Nice answer, Dewey Decimal, but no. Real life isn’t like the Compass Rose series. You want to dodge mercenaries through booby-trapped temples and risk life and limb to save the world, Professor Quill’s Intro to Creative Writing class is two floors up.”

Hahahaha just you wait... :rainbowlaugh:

So good to see Daring and Phil again. :)

Looking forward to seeing how this new adventure unfolds! :twilightsmile:

It's so nice to see you back (and Phillip and Daring too).

Let's see where this leads.

First chapter, and you have my attention. I'll be checking out the second one soon. :raritywink:

Interesting... I wonder what has become of the missing mare. Perhaps she isn't as crazy as everyone assumes... :trixieshiftright:

Isn´t that how it kinda works in Lovecraft histories anyway? The guys who know stuff are crazy, but they are rigth, or at least have some sort of comprehension of what is going on

So the Breezies speak Gaelic? Irish, Scots, or Manx?

I always thought that Breezy in the episode had some sort of Scandinavian accent.

Scottish, as Gaelic alone wasn't an option on Google Translate.

Their voices in the show are a mixture of Swedish and Scottish, but TV Tropes insisted that Seabreeze (was that his name?) had a Scottish accent, so I decided to go with that.

Swedish and Scottish? (I thought it was more Norwegian, though I have absolutely no idea why I thought this.)

Must be something like Norn (now extinct) or Shetlandic (assuming they're not the same).

You know, for Irish Gaelic you just put in "Irish."

Interesting… very interesting indeed…

Oh yeah, but that's also how we Minnisotans tend ta talk, don'cha know.

What you call a "bullroarer" is what we call a "bullbat." The sound it makes is supposed to be like the sound made by a nighthawk's wings when it dives. I have never heard this sound in my life, even though I've seen nighthawks innumerable times.

So you just type something through Google translate and it winds up in Scots Gaelic? Just how does one use this program/app?

Bullbat? Interesting. I read that in some Aboriginal mythology, the sound of the bullroarer is supposed to represent Wagyl, the Rainbow Serpent, and that women aren't supposed to hear it. But we at PonyJosiah13 are past those old sexist superstitions.

Go to Google Translate, set the languages for the original language and what you want the phrase translated into, and type in what you want. It's not 100% accurate, because it ignores things like context, but it's helpful for single words and short phrases.

Except for Aborigineigh. I use an online Lexicon for English into the Alyawaar language.


Bullbat? Interesting. I read that in some Aboriginal mythology, the sound of the bullroarer is supposed to represent Wagyl, the Rainbow Serpent, and that women aren't supposed to hear it.

In the classic 1931 movie Trader Horn, Horn and his safari are captured by a conjunction of tribes during a "ju-ju," and in one scene the witchman comes out of a hut whirling a huge one of those things. I assume it was supposed to be some sort of exorcism rite to frighten away evil spirits (this is also why the Scots make so much noise at midnight on New Year's Eve).

Just read and love it! Added to my read list. :twilightsmile:

Glad to hear that! I hope you enjoy the rest of the story!

“What’s the biggest danger in archeology?”
“The biggest danger of archeology, or indeed, of ancient history, is mistaking myths for facts,”

Of course, this being Equestria, the biggest archaeological danger is also the easiest to correct what with numerous primary sources who were contemporaries, witnesses, or instigators of said historical events who are still living.

For the price of a stamped invitation letter and some good quality tea and biscuits (or mead), historians could spend a comfortable afternoon reminiscing with Celestia, Luna, and the Pillars, clearing up any points of confusion or uncertainty regarding Equestria's history.

This was, after all, how historians discovered that Emperor Derecho, great-great grandsire of Commander Hurricane, nearly choked to death as a colt trying to swallow a frog; an event so traumatizing that it influenced a young, teen-aged Commander Derecho and his sacking of the great city-state of Ib...

The second and third biggest dangers for Equestrian archaeologists were "uncovering a devastatingly powerful historical artefact" and "releasing a devastatingly powerful malignant intelligence" respectively. Celestia and Luna admitted to their embarrassment, that the artefacts were all their fault; "cute foal macaroni art stories" takes on a more dangerous aspect when it is made from raw thaumic manna in Old Enochian by a pair of immortal celestial fillies...

Ha! That's great stuff. Thanks for the comment.

Also, props for name-dropping Ib. That's a pretty obscure reference.

Daring Do took out the photograph of Eastern Cartographer and studied the stole. The first hieroglyph was a djed, which resembled a pillar with several crossbeams on the top.

“Let’s see, that was…” Daring walked around a shelf and found the hieroglyph etched into the wall in the corner. She rapped against the stone once sharply.

“And next…akhet,” Daring said to herself, locating another glyph that resembled a sun held between two slopes. She rapped sharply at this one three times.

Shades of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

The glow flared into a blinding light, the whining tone rising into a scream. Daring cried out and stumbled, raising a hoof to shield her dazzled eyes.

Something crashed into her, knocking the sword from her grasp. Gunshots clapped in her ears, muted by the echoes of the screaming stone; through blurred vision, she caught a glimpse of the faceless thief running back up the stairs, their outline shimmering and fading away into transparency.

It took a few moments more for the light and sound to fade away, leaving a silence behind.

Well if the congregation did not know they were there before, they certainly do now... I have this barmy image in my mind of the fight interrupting Good Word's sermon as he reads from the Twilight Friendship Epistles as he pauses to announce an offering collection drive for the physical repair and thaumic cleansing of the church after the latest extradimensional incursion and battle (again).

This was a fun start to the rebooted and reimagined series with Do and Phillip. I read through all of this in one sitting to chapter 6 (last chapter at time of writing) and really enjoyed it. Part of me felt that the story felt a bit too compressed and bare, but it looks like you have more to tell for this story and overall it covered the main plot points of Haunter of the Dark pretty well. I am interested in seeing how you blend the genres of detective noir, pulp action adventure, and cosmic horror and cannot wait for more.

Though this being Equestria, "Cosmic Horror" could very well be simply "Tuesday morning" or something rather unexpected all together...

You were not supposed to destroy the Prism of Darkness.
Please meet me at Sugarcube Corner

- Celestia, Princess (Ret.) 

Daring slid the note across the booth table to Celestia who was polishing off a little plate of Pinkie's fresh baked cherry chimmychanga macarons. "Care to explain this?"

Celestia swallowed and looked up at Daring, "Did Cartographer ever say what the Prism actually was?"

"He seemed to think it was some sort of device for communicating across planes of existence," Daring tapped her chin thoughtfully. "Or maybe even a window to other realities."

"Or a door!" piped in Phillip, remembering what the strange assassin cultist they fought the other day said.

Celestia nodded sagely. "Those are all more or less true, though the first example may be closer to the truth. The reality is that the Dark Prism was put in Equestria for my sister and I."

"WHAT?!" Both Phillip and Daring looked at Celestia in shock. "What do you mean by that?"

"What I mean is..." Celestia trailed off in consternation. "Daring, Phillip, how old do you thing my sister and I are?"

Daring was taken back by Celestia's bizarre non sequitur. "Every schoolfilly and colt knows you are at least 1000 years old from Nightmare Moon. Stories from the Pillars adds another 500 or so years. The dragons have some stele bearing your cutie mark dating back over 3000 years. An ancient cuneiform tablet dating back 5500 years ago describing a certain somepony complaining about the quality of the honey cakes she purchased as been found recently in a Dream Valley dig... I would say you are at least 5500 years old."

Celestia smirked at the memory. "Yes, that is my age, but how old do you think we are?"

"Sorry princ—Celestia." Daring cocked her head to the side in puzzlement. "I am afraid I do not quite follow the distinction."

"What if I told you Equestria is a... crèche... for my sister and I?"

Daring cocked her head to the other side. "Nope. Still not following."

Celestia looked around and spotted Pinkie Pie who waved back. "Pinkie? Can you come here for a moment please? I have two questions to ask you."

"Yeppers!" Pinkie *zwip'd* from the counter to the table almost instantly.

"Can I have our cheque please? And what is that in your mane?"

"Okie-dokie! Here is your check." Pinkie peeled a large green 'Q' off the back before placing the bill on the table in front of Celestia. "There are no q's in Ponyville like in Trottingham because we don't need to queue to wait..."

Pinkie ignored the baffled looks on Daring and Phillip's faces and reached up into her mane and pulled a blue and white box off the top of her head. "...And this is a foal monitor from Barnyard Bargains. Mr. and Mrs. Cake and I use it to keep an ear on Pound and Pumpkin upstairs throughout the day while we work."

From a large speaker grille on the front of the box came Mr. Cake's voice reading the twins a bedtime story. Apparently Officer Friendly was helping Quackers cross an intersection so Quackers could get home for his bedtime bath.

"Thank you Pinkie. I believe this should be enough to cover all the costs." Celestia set a small pile of coins on the table.

Pinkie pointed to the pile of coins. "But not-Princessness Celestia, those are too much. The macarons, chocolate cruffin, and coffe are only 7 bits. That is 3 Sols and a Lune."

"Those are to pay for a new set of monitors from Barnyard."


"An object lesson if you will." And with that, Celestia smashed her hoof down on the monitor, shattering it with an acrid wisp of thaumic quibbs and a shriek of feedback.

Celestia stared mutely at the wreckage under her hoof as Mrs. Cake galloped down the stairs to their upstairs living quarters.

"Pinkie!" Mrs. Cake Shouted, "What was that? What happened? Is everything OK?"

As Pinkie turned to mollify Mrs. Cake, Phillip looked at the shattered ruins of the baby monitor on the table by Celestia's hoof, then at Mrs. Cake, and then back at the baby monitor, eyes widening and ears pulling back.


"Oh?!" exclaimed Daring, gesticulating in frustration. "What do you mean 'Oh'? What in the brown winds is going on?!"

Celestia swallowed grimly. "Mommy is coming and she is very upset."

this cover give me uncharted vibes thus i already know this is going to be good B)

For now, that's the end of this arc. I hope that you enjoyed it and you're looking forward to more!

Yes. Yes I am!

Some call them the Pony in the Gray Suit or the Shadow

I know you have set him up as an antagonist, but I cannot help but hear Frank Readick's ominous laughter and iconic "Who knows what evil lurks in the heart of ponies?"

I am really curious and excited to see where you will take this. The story so far really scratches a Lovecraftian + pulp adventure itch in quite a satisfying manner

As others have said, this has been a fantastic lovecraftian pulp adventure and I very much as looking forward to more!

“All we found were some bronze tools, some bleached buffalo bones, and a bigass camel spider that chased me across half the desert.”

“Ay, por el amor de Luna…you know that camel spiders are not actually spiders, nor are they venomous,” the driver sighed. “And it wasn’t after you, it wanted to rest in your shadow.”

“They’re big and hairy and have eight legs and I don’t like them,” the pegasus groused.

Hehehe, nice to see a nod to her fear of spiders in the Friends Forever comics.

Yeah, I swapped her ophidiophobia in Noire for her canon arachnophobia here. I'm just waiting for an opportunity for a "WAUGH!"

I considered using a gibberish Black Tongue language, but it occurred to me that since Ahuizotl is based on Aztec myth, I could probably use Nahuatl as his cult's language. Found an online dictionary and substituted that.

Dead Ahuizotl waits dreaming,

So Ahui is pulling a Cthulhu this time around?:twilightoops: That's not worrisome at all. Nope, no siree, nothing to see here, move along now. :twilightblush:

If it hadn’t been for Lord Trelawneigh, Cart Driver might never have found Trotankhamun’s tomb. And if it hadn’t been for Schliemare, we wouldn’t still be excavating what might just be the real city of Trot.

So curiosity question. Schlieman to Schiliemare for Troy and Carter to Cart Driver for King Tutankhamun are fairly obvious, but how is the Carnarvon to Trelawneigh supposed to work? I'm just not seeing the normal pun connection/conversion play, so I figure there's something deeper going on?

I have no idea, to be honest. I think my brain misfired while I was writing this and I mixed up Carnavoron with Trelawney, which I must have picked up from somewhere else. Thanks for pointing that out, I shall correct this.

You seem to know quite a bit about history!

A decent amount. Enough to recognize Troy and Tut through the descriptions and puns. As for remembering the actual archeologists names, Google is my friend. :twilightsheepish:

So I take it this is an alternate universe? With Tirek and Discord being lost knowledge, and Twilight being a unicorn and still working on the golden oaks library, in which season would this take place in?

This doesn't correspond to a season. It's a completely original universe with a different history, characters, and sets of rules.

So, is Equestria at 50's level tech, or are they more advanced due to magic?

Also: is the AIU based on the UIU?

Ah, I see, thank you, this series is VERY interesting, I like it.

The aesthetic is 1950s, but there's some tech that's more advanced.

And yes, the UIU was a big inspiration for the Anomalous Investigations Unit--heck, it's only one word off.

Well, guess it was to much to hope that Phil was following up with the parents and just happened to be outside to hear the gunshot. That'd just be too convenient.:twilightsmile:


“Your timidity and superstitions are merely influencing us. That’s all it is. Children fear the dark and imaginary monsters but grow out of it soon. This is little different.”

Dorado, it is a fine line between being brave and being suicidal. They say that bravery is acting despite being afraid, but it becomes suicidal when you dismiss that fear when it has a very valid reason to exist. Everyone's ancestors survived by listening to their instincts, so learn to listen to yours. :facehoof:

In his defense, he's a pony of adventure science and believes in more tangible facts, what he can see and touch and stick in a museum display with his name on it for a hefty price.

It's a fine line, introducing cosmic horror into a setting where magic is not only real and accepted, but commonplace. Much like how in the show, Twilight scoffed at curses, ghosts, and Pinkie Sense (at least initially for the latter), I'm trying to display that there are limits of sorts to how much legendary stuff is actually real in this setting. After all, it occurred to me that in such a setting, Clarke's Third Law applies and magic is more or less understood, which means what is and is not can be defined...or so they think.

I've been trying to figure out how to say this, so here's my attempt.

To start, Real World Voice: what you're doing with Caballeron is fine and being executed wonderfully. He has a very valid, real, and relatable flaw, and you are writing it in a very clear and believable way. So please don't take this as an attack on your writing or on the story.

Now, character fictional voice: my issue with the good doctor is the all to familiar trope of having Outgrown Such Silly Superstitions. He's noticed the skittish nature of the 'locals', he's heard the strange behavior of the local wildlife, and he's even admitted his own feelings of nervousness, but refuses to acknowledge that anything could even be remotely wrong. Like I said, he needs to start listening to his own instincts or he'll end up with a bad end eventually.

Potential real world example could be: the locals describe a valley that is guarded by EVIL SPIRITS that strike down all who enter; the intrepid explorer discounts such tales as the useless drivel it obviously is and sets out to disprove it; they arrive at the valley and there are bones of various animals littered around, but he's not afraid, he's a man/pony of SCIENCE and will show that there is nothing to fear!; so he walks boldly into the valley believing in his faith of science as hard as any religious zealot: right up until the sulfuric acid vapor in the air melts his lungs from the inside.

Sorry for the mini rant, and to reiterate this is not a dig on you or your writing, it just irks me when the enlightened discount their own intuition because they know of an explanation. I also happen to really agree with what Fertile Ground said and just wish Caballeron would at least stop and consider her words.

I appreciate the comment, that really did brighten my night. And I'm glad that you think that what I'm doing with Caballeron is well-written!

There's no real point in pretending: Caballeron is going to turn on Daring eventually, and this obsession of his is going to be a big part of why. It's been interesting to me to contrast her with this version of Daring: both are obsessed ponies with a deep interest in the unknown and discovery, but their motivations and methods differ wildly.

“It started with discovering the creature’s name,” Caballeron stated, taking another photograph of the statuette. “It is called an ahuizotl.”

A gust of wind buffeted against the laboratory window; the temperature in the room seemed to plunge for a moment, sending shivers down the spines of the four ponies.

“Ahuizotl,” Blotting Paper repeated quietly, taking a step back from the tiny idol.

Another gust of wind, slightly stronger, rattled the window, and the temperature dropped again, even colder.

"...an Ahuizotl." Daring repeated. On cue, a blow of wind as though from a storm shook the window, and the room felt as though it had turned to ice–

"Oh for Celestia's sake!" Caballeron groaned, stomping over to the window and drawing the curtains shut with a huff. "Now, Señorita Paper, you were saying about the...the thing there?"

Login or register to comment