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I keep staring at that "Block RainbowDoubleDash" button, and I can't help but wonder what would happen if I clicked it...


In the aftermath of a terrible curse placed on Ponyville, the town is a complete wreck: windows smashed, possessions missing, crops ruined. The town's emergency fund isn't enough to cover the damages by a long shot - but for some reason, the nobles of Canterlot are refusing to send aid! Now, Trixie and her friends must descend into the dark heart of Canterlot during the Grand Galloping Gala, in order to put a stop once and for all to the machinations of the Night Court of Luna.

This is a Lunaverse story, Season 1, Episode 26 - the Season Finale! It follows directly on the heels of Foalish Misadventures, by GrassAndClouds2.

Chapters (15)
Comments ( 1382 )

Good opening; I love the continuity and consequences (This has always been my favorite aspect of the Lunaverse) and poor... well, everypony. :rainbowderp:

Dis gon b gud

Okay. I automatically hate Nightlight. He is willing to punish an entire town for something that is his daughter's fault.

And for the record, IMHO, Twilight gets the lion's share of blame for what happened in 'Boast Busted'. I just reread chapter two to verify it, and yeah. Twilight sticks her entire foreleg into her mouth with almost no prompting from Trixie.

Great start. I just hope Trixie gets some sort of due and recompense.

Gorram, that is a heck of a way to start a story!!!

Ah, vengeful bureaucracies heading by nobility with a grudge. Weren't they the reason the guillotine was invented? Of course, I get the feeling that the Viceroy may not just be angry at Trixie--I suspect that he does blame the town for their role in the affair, if only for the fact that the town was where it took place.

The ironic thing is? The set up reminds me a lot of Prince Blueblood in "My Little Alicorn" where he wants Celestia and then Luna to destroy Ponyville as payback for what they did to the Gala...or more specifically, what Rarity did to him.

I can not wait to see more of this.

RDD is #1

Hmmmphhhh.....Shining Armour is the only decent one in the lot so far. Nightlight is an arrogant fool who won't see that his insane imbecile daughter is mostly to blame for her own misery and wants to punish a town for it. No damned wonder that Fisher is able to contemplate the Viceroyalty in "The Duke Abides".....Luna gives the jackass what for.


That, about sums up my thoughts so far. I knew that getting addition relief funds to help cover the disaster was going to be among the concerns going into of the Gala, but this... this just seems like overkill. The town's own resources cover less than 6% of the damages; that leaves Ponyville as an independent town basically dead. Rebuilding without outside assistance is just about literally not an option.

I'm seriously uncomfortable with the fic going into such explicit details and would have much prefer to have skipped this chapter and left the severity of the crisis vague. As it stand this feels like it will hang like a shadow over the entire Gala destroying in pretense of the magic and wonder that such prestigious event should inspire. The L6 are no longer going to a party, but on a desperate last ditch mission to save their homes. I still expect you to pull it all through by the end, but I'm not feeling at all excited about the road it's going to take to get to that end.

Dunno quite what you were expecting; if all they needed was a little help then there wouldn't be much conflict at all and I might as well have waved the Status Quo wand over Ponyville. Similarly, skipping the chapter and leaving the severeity of the crisis vague means later scenes and the full importance of the situation are completely without context.

Try to imagine A New Hope without the Death Star blowing up Alderaan, or even discussing how it can destroy a planet or be anything other than very large with a lot of guns. Actually you don't even have to imagine; the rough draft of Star Wars is available online and in it that's all the Death Star was: very big and with a lot of guns. It...lacked the oomph.

The Gala in the Lunaverse was never supposed to be about the gala itself or the "magic and wonder" pretense. That's the TV show episode's idea, and if we were going for that then I might as well have just re-written "The Best Night Ever." Which is the reason why I asked GrassAndClouds2 to set "Foalish Misadventures" as Episode 25: we needed a disaster to have stricken Ponyville in order to set up a situation wherein the Night Court could become the front and center antagonists with no more room for pussyhoofing around or trying to play delicate games for overal small stakes.

Meh, I still actually intend to go back to "Boast Busted" and clean up the scene so that it's clear that Trixie was ultimately responsible for Twilight's actions, or at least goading her. So don't hold that belief too strongly 'cause it's going to change. Eventually.

I'd be lying if I said there wasn't some inspiration, though it's worth noting that the execution is actually going to be completely different. Suffice to say that you shouldn't judge Night Light too harshly until we've actually had a meaningful scene with him.

Not that I'm saying he isn't a dick - just that there may be outside influences. This is, after all, a story of the Night Court. Nothing is as it seems on the surface.

I was expecting there to be some serious stuff going on once the gala was underway, but nothing so huge it prevented the characters from at least starting out with the hopes of enjoying the party. As it stands this will be all work and no play, and that makes me a very dull boy. :unsuresweetie:

I get what your trying to do here, it's just far more dark and moody than I really care for. Just my opinion though really, so don't let my utter lack of enthusiasm for this fic spoil yours.

Ooh, I'm really enjoying this. This feels really moody and epic. The town council scene was especially great, and I love the whole feeling of impending doom when they find out that their enemy is Viceroy Night Light.

Random note: we seem to be short one pony on the Council. The two with guaranteed seats (Applejack and Rich), the one that's appointed (Trixie), and five elected (including the mayor). That leaves one out.

Feel free to PM me for any questions regarding the Greengrass/Fisher/Puissance trio and what I had in mind for them (although you're of course not bound by that; I'm interested to see as well what you come up with).

man, you started out with the heavy stuff.

And I sincerely hope Nightlight gets the ass kicking he so rightfully deserves for this.

1593927: Between the vindictive Night Light here and greedy Puissance from Greengrass's Night, I'm kind of hoping for a cameo of Wallflower just being a very nice pony in general. Just for contrast. :-)

Excellent start to the chapter, though it felt a little repetitive near the end of the introduction.
the council scene was well done loved Ditsy comforting Trixie and Raindrops anger.
Honestly with the new season 3 premier/Lesson Zero it's not like Twilight need much motivation to behave irrationally or to risk others to "get a good grade"
I'm fully expecting some cringe worth scenes in the near future, and frankly I'm not sure any of the L!^ besides maybe Lyra were expecting the Gala to be the excellent super affair the M!6 cast thought it would be.
Looking forward to the Night court members you bring in kinda hoping for Redwing/ETC who else can we expect, is there even a minor chance of seeing Calcite? :twilightblush:
heh sorry

Couple minor spelling issues, along with a pretty badly awkward beginning to this chapter. The "and look at" bits really didn't work. Once we got past that though this was a VERY interesting story. And it looks like it'll go really interesting places. But the first few paragraphs really could use a rewrite.

Incidentally, I hope that Dinky and the other foals aren't beating themselves up too badly over not solving the problem faster. They did a very good job, all things considered.

Well, this definitely ups the stakes on the frocks and broken day-dreams of the original. It still holds plenty of possibility for drama and self-discovery, though.

Do go on....

1593242 I get the feeling that Twilight gets her ability to jump to conclusions and her single mindedness from her dad. Meanwhile Shining Armor (who has three stars on his cutie mark like his mom) probably gets his stability from his mother.

He'll also get "Not having his flank handed to him by Luna" from her too.

Oh and minor quibble... on the stage there is nine ponies, removing Trixie that means the town counci would be eight ponies (including the mayor)... then we learn that the Rich and Apples get a seat there automatically, but you mention the 'other five, including the mayor' have to be elected... but that only accounts for seven pony. Who is number 8? The mayor's secretary?

Whoops, no, that's just me math failing.

RDD- This is really terrible. You remember that story where the Network was introduced, then edited out. If the nobility in Canterlot will pull stuff like this I think the Network actually wasn't enough. This to me really says that your claims that the Lunaverse isn't that dark isn't accurate. This shows massive government corruption and a disconnected ruler

And you'd think the head of the Apple Trust and possible the richest non-noble pony in Equestria would have significant pull


I'm guessing the head of the Weather Patrol

Calm down - we've only just started. Don't judge a story by its first chapter.

Heh. It will be the best night ever....for the Luna Six. For Greengrass and Nightlight.................not so much.

Read this last night and I'm anticipating wonderfully traumatic things for our Luna Six. I love how the gala is being used to unite the group for a common cause rather than separate them. What chaos will be unleashed when ponies with a cause march into the gala? I'm looking forward to finding out!

I also liked how Luna herself is not the solution. It would be easy to say the princess would send help due to her relationship with Trixie, but that's not the case.

Good setup! I'm jumping around with all these Lunaverse stories but darn it, I can't help it! I'll be watching. :trixieshiftright:

The Luna 6 should also have no problem approaching Thunderous Posey, considering they know Rainbow Dash and helped Fluttershy

Who's to say that Nightlight's even seen Trixie's requests? There are plenty of resourceful ponies on the Night Court that would love to see the guy take a dive so that they can have his position. What better way than to make it look like he's deliberately neglecting his duties over a personal vendetta? I'm fairly certain that it would be easy to intercept Trixie's missives and requests for aid (the ones she didn't send to Luna) and fabricate replies. For all we know, Nightlight might not actually be aware of the situation. It sounds exactly like the sort of ambitious plan a young up-and-comer eyeing a promotion for himself might come up with...:trixieshiftleft: I wonder who that could be. :trixieshiftright:

1593590 I am... not looking forward to that, to be honest. It makes Twilight out to be some innocent victim when she started it, and then brought a star bear to Ponyville!

Twilight started it by heckling and then accosting Trixie backstage. Trixie tried to drop it and leave, though not before saying some harsh things about Twilight's beliefs; Twilight then continued it when she teleported to Carrot Top's stall. Trixie here reacts by manipulating Twilight into looking like a bigot (that's the part I need ro re-write). Twilight then becomes convinced that she has to go get the Ursa Minor to either prove her worth or prove Trixie's lack of it, but she only does that at all because Trixie, when they were arguing backstage, belittled her belief in the awesomeness of spellcasting and essentially told her that she sucked at life for thinking that magic begins and ends with spells. Even if that's demonstratably wrong in FiM, there were much better ways to handle the situation than how Trixie did.

Point being that there will still be plenty of blame to land at Twilight's hooves, but it was never supposed to be the "Twilight sucks at life show."

(And even in the current version it isn't, it's just not disfavoring Trixie as much as I'd originally wanted)

If I recall correctly, Thunderous Posey isn't actually on the Night Court; that'd be Fragrant Posey, a Duchess. I forget whether we decided if she was Fluttershy's sister or cousin or aunt or whatnot, though; I think G&C2 kept it vauge, and I think I will as well if that's the case.

She is scheduled for an appearance, though.

1598235: Yes, Duchess Fragrant Posey is on the Court, and her relationship with Fluttershy was edited to be vague by request. Thunderous is just an industrialist.

1598071: It'd be hard for the Duke to prevent Trixie from actually visiting Night Light during Cadanza's party; as I recall, NIght Light ignored Trixie on his own there.
As for whether the Duke would actually do something like forcing Night Light to ignore Trixie, or intercepting his mail, I'm kind of torn. He knows that, to take over the nation, he'd need Luna to sign on, and he knows she won't do that if she has cause to think that he'd lay waste to the country. Letting a town die to further a short-term political gain would probably just ensure that Luna would never give him power, even if the Court wanted her to -- she'd know that he might well let Equestria and its ponies die. (This is another reason why his schemes usually only hurt either ponies who are working for him and betrayed him, or other politicians, who are 'in the Game.' The exception being F&F foalnapping Apple Bloom, but they went so far off the rails there that the Duke would never have supported that had he known. So he can argue to Luna that, yes, he'd be a good gardener to the ponies in his care -- see, he's never hurt an innocent, etc.) Besides, that's not good gardening, cannabalizing an entire plot of thousands of flowers for the sake of a few. (In contrast to someone like Fisher, who is a chess player and so is quite willing to sacrifice as many 'pieces' or as much 'material' as he needs to so that he can accomplish his objectives).
Blueblood, though... I could see him trying something like that, and being capable of pulling it off (blocking the mail).
Then again, it's probably academic -- RDD already said that Night Light is not part of Greengrass's coalition, and I don't see Greengrass having the clout to threaten NL.

1597476: That is a good point though. We know that the Trust has emergency funds for farms in distress (this was mentioned in CTS). However, it's reasonable to assume that Night Light could easily put political pressure on them not to release their funds.

except Applejack seems to be pretty important in the Trust hierarchy so how would that work?

1598400: "Resplendent Orange, if you bail out SAA, I assure you, the Apple Trust will do no business in Latigo for as long as I live. Also, I will see to it that your cushy government contracts end. In the span of a few years, you'll be no more than a loose collection of hardscrabble farms."
"But Applejack--"
"She can rise as high as she is able -- at another farm. Not SAA. Move her."

...Okay, I'm going to guess that Night Light isn't the one turning down her requests. Because if he is, he is officially the most vindictive asshole ever, the Night Court is the biggest scourge in history, and Luna is officially the worst ruler ever for allowing it to get this corrupt.

Seriously, way to kill any sort of hope and joy for this one. While detailing the fallout from the last story is fine, this is such a bleak and hopeless chapter that it honestly feels kind of draining. The next one had better not be as weak as this one.

Still doesn't work for me. Sweet Apple Acres would be the farm the Apple Trust was built out of. And from what's been written there's no farm that can compete with the Apple Trust.

Also Nightlight is one of the four most important ponies in Equestria. His son is the captain of the Royal Guard.

Would his daughter be allowed to travel alone around Equestria, no matter how big a magical protege she was? Especially when it was known that a tyrant more powerful than their ruler was around, still wanted to conquer Equestria and had access to modern ponies who could probably tell her who was who?

The Lunaverse has never worked perfectly to me. For one thing I think it paints Luna as a far inferior ruler to her sister, even if it's not a dystopia, which I'm sure wasn't the intent, but making Twilight's family this important when when Boast Busted was written Trixie's only comment about her identity was that Twilight had graduated a year early and personally been handed her diploma by Luna seems weird.

Does no one bring their foals to important events? In the real world the kids of important people are well known. Luna's apprentice not having met the family of one of the ponies Luna would have been spending an incredible amount of time with almost seems like a plothole to me.


Would his daughter be allowed to travel alone around Equestria, no matter how big a magical protege she was?

Magical prodigy. And now that I've played Teacher today...

For one thing I think it paints Luna as a far inferior ruler to her sister, even if it's not a dystopia, which I'm sure wasn't the intent,

And this is my problem with the Night Court. Not just the stories, but how the whole thing is structured, the ponies we've put into place there, and the way Luna runs things. Whenever the camera gets turned on the Court's politics and policies, the whole Lunaverse suffers for it. This story, unfortunately, shows no sign of bucking that trend.

1598586: There are other Trusts and mega-farms. There's no farm in Ponyville that can beat them, but that isn't the same thing. We saw a few such farms in CTS (Hay & Alfalfa Incorporated, Tuber Union, etc.). They just don't have Ponyville branches because Ponyville is in the middle of nowhere and has nothing important in it besides the L6.
I don't see why his daughter can't wander around Equestria. He's a high enough rank that there's not really anyone who can say 'no' to that anyway. And it would be hard for him to forcibly prevent Twilight from going; she can teleport and all.
I have to disagree with you on the Court and Luna. It doesn't seem to be a worse set-up than even the USA. (And actually, on this topic, I recall a thing from a year or two ago when a state - Texas, I think - cut their firefighting budget, then had wildfires start to wreck everything. When federal relief was't as fast as hoped for, or before it was approved or something, the governor began ranting about how Obama wanted Texas to burn. So even events like in this story happen IRL and such).
Also, for all we know other towns have actually tried this scam, blaming Corona for some major disaster that she had nothing to do with.
I figure that Trixie has met Night Light, but Twilight is such a recluse that she probably never went to the big events.
(As for Filthy, he's rich by Ponyville standards, but I believe we decided on the boards that he's probably not rich compared to the upper class of Manehattan and such. Not to mention Sterling Silver, who seems to have much more money than even Rich).

1598630: The Court also includes just and fair ponies like Posey, Wallflower, Fancy/Fleur, and Poker. The good ones just aren't as interesting to focus on.

Frankly if the chapter is "bleak" and "hopeless" then I wouldn't call it weak. While I'm not certain what other kind of situation y'all were expecting to begin with if the stated goal was a situation bad enough that the Night Court come front and center as antagonists, this kind of emotional responce is exactly what I was hoping for.

It's a sign of readership investment. :twilightsmile:


Does no one bring their foals to important events? In the real world the kids of important people are well known. Luna's apprentice not having met the family of one of the ponies Luna would have been spending an incredible amount of time with almost seems like a plothole to me.

She recognized Night Light, Twilight Velvet, and Shining Armor on sight in "An Early Reunion." The problem is that she was unable to connect Twilight Sparkle to Night Light, having never actually met the two of them before, and didn't make the mental connection of Twilight Sparkle and Twilight Velvet until that moment. Twilight herself is extremely apolitical and so probably didn't show up to any previous Galas or other get-togethers, instead staying home and reading, or even if she went she probably kept her nose buried in a book.

We don't always recall everything all the time, even if it's important. For example: Quick! Name Barrack Obama's mother and father! From memory, no Google cheating or the like. Now name his kids! Again, no Googling, do it from memory.

See? Obama is arguably the single most important person on the planet by dint of being the President of the most powerful and influential country on the planet, but damned if anyone except those who know him personally can answer that question, even though it'd seem kinda' important to be able to do so. Hell, I bet even most senators would have trouble answering those questions, and they work with the guy.

And on the Silver and Rich note, there's every possibility that they will foot the bill for Ponyville, and ditto the Apple Trust. Especially if the three split the cost somehow, this is probably, well, not small change, but not a signficant cut into their finances.

The point is that they should not have to, that it should be the duty of the REMM to foot the bill in this instance.

As to the Court including both good and bad ponies, I'm going to try and showcase that. As I've said, I think that Equestria goes through the same natural cycles as any other nation: rise to power, golden age, decline, reorganization or dissolution, then repeat. Luna simply controls the cycle in that she extends the golden age, makes sure the rise to power doesn't involve killing off the Lakota, and the decline is more of a social than financial or physical one, and ensures that dissolution doesn't happen and the reorganization is carried out swiftly, fairly, and without the need for Reigns of Terror.

Right now, Equestria is in the midst of that reorganization. We're seeing its social order at is nadir. Is it bad? Eh, I guess. But there's a notable lack of Maxamillian Robspierres or Lenins.


this kind of emotional responce is exactly what I was hoping for.

You mean the kind that makes me feel like walking away again? Because that's kind of what this chapter does.

Seriously, you couldn't at least end it with everypony realizing they have to go to the Gala to get answers? Just a little further and it wouldn't have felt like a complete drain. The first chapter of any story has to set the stakes and show our heroes preparing to counter them. You've done the former, but the ending does jack for the latter.


his kids names are Malia and Sasha. His father is also Barack. His mother's name is Ann, which I remembered but was so ordinary I checked to see if it was just her middle name. His dog is named Bo,

1598727: Yeah, but then Diamond Tiara, Silver Spoon, and possibly some of the Apples would become completely insufferable.

Dinky: "My Momma's the Element of Kindness!"
DT: "Well, my dad saved the entire town and stopped everypony from being homeless! Neener neener."


Also, it would seem to me that, if her Gala plans fail, Trixie could just wait until the Gala was over and then tell Luna what's going on, and she could knock some sense into Night Light.

So the story's moody, but I don't see it as being nearly as doom and gloom ish as some of the others here. Ponyville's going to be fine in the end. :-)

1598786: At this point, would they know that? Trixie seemed to imply they had another day to figure things out.

Besides, I think we need more time in Ponyville to make this more personal for Trixie. This Court thing isn't targeted at her, or her friends, who could maybe be considered legitimate political targets. It's at the whole town. We should see her going around, seeing the devastation, and feeling like it's all on her to make it right.


I was going to catch a train to Canterlot tomorrow, try and go and see her directly



Fine, whatever, I quit. Goodbye.


The set up reminds me a lot of Prince Blueblood in "My Little Alicorn" where he wants Celestia and then Luna to destroy Ponyville as payback for what they did to the Gala...or more specifically, what Rarity did to him.

Please don't remind me that this is partially my fault.

1598812: To be fair,that doesn't show Trixie realizing she has to attend the Gala, or her friends realizing they have to do anything besides mope in their destroyed homes. Now, I don't have a problem with it, but that's probably where IAH is coming from.

(Although I'm wondering how bad Ditzy's apartment is. She was completely absent from FM, mostly because Dinky was the viewpoint character and I couldn't find any way to make her seeing drunken Ditzy funny. That apartment could still have... I dunno, intact windows. :-) ).

I really hope that this is another one of those "I quit the argument, goodbye" goodbyes, and not a "I'm leaving the group again" goodbyes.

No, seriously. I have literally changed a signficant number of my long-term plans to keep you in (and because they were better, but getting you to stay was still a significant motivation). I have sent you a number of PMs outlining exactly how I planned this fic to go. I've stated the plan - several times - on the message boards that the idea was to get Ponyville in such a state. This was why I had GrassAndClouds2 set "Foalish Misadventures" when it was set, and you have had months of time to rasie problems with the story itself (You have not, you've only pointed out - legitimate - flaws with the Night Court itself).

You already know how the fic ends and you know how I plan to get there. And if you want to talk about a dark and bleak turn to a story, I have but one word you you - Kuchen. Actually most of the entirety of "My Little Alicorn" turned much darker and moodier than I had anticipated going in. I still trusted you to end everything well, and this was without any special insight into your plans or writing process.

So if it's a "I'm leaving the group again" goodbye...well, I'll still be sad to see you go. I still think you're one of the best authors on this site and I still want you as part of the group, and I still value every opinion you're given, and I appreciate especially the Lunaverse reviews that you did. But I'll be done with making special effort to get you to stay.


I really hope that this is another one of those "I quit the argument, goodbye" goodbyes, and not a "I'm leaving the group again" goodbyes.

The former, not the latter.

And I'm sorry I've wrecked so much of your planning because of my boundless stupidity. I know how the story ends; I just can't say I liked the first chapter, okay?

And if you want to talk about a dark and bleak turn to a story, I have but one word you you - Kuchen.

...One of these days, I should just delete that damn story. It would make my life so much easier.

The story is great! I love it! But it got very dark. I still trusted you to see us through to a happy ending and you did. Sometimes you have to put your characters through Hell and your readers tend to go through Hell with them if they're in any way invested. Ultimately it makes their successes that much more gratifying when they finally come.

And you didn't wreck the planning - I said the new plans were better, didn't I?

...hoo...okay this got a lot more emotional than I intended. Imma backing away for a few hours that I might DM a D&D campaign. Wish my players luck - they're probably fighting a dragolich today.


pre-existing laws usually are in place to restrain the actions of those in authority. Like for example the Obama kids. They have Secret Service wherever they go, like it or not.


So, Equestria is a declining land. Well that both explains the problem and why I have a problem with it. There is no reason to declare any sort of social decline to be inevitable, especially with an immortal leader at the top. Luna knows the mistakes previous generations have made and can pass laws where appropriate against them, and if the Night Court tried to get those changed to benefit themselves based on some argument they've learned better than the ponies in the past Luna can veto it.

1598906: Could I see the outline PM too, please? Since there's been some... acrimony on the boards about the Court and Courtiers recently (which culminated in Emeral asking me to leave the group), I'm kind of worried now if the plot's been substantially changed over that issue.

Like, I really like the group, but I"m worrying that I'm being forced out of it, if that makes sense.

1598975: With no decline, since continual ascent is impossible, that results in stagnation. Which would likely be unacceptable to an artist princess, and bad from a governing perspective as well.


so because she's an artiste she lets a generation or two of ponies suffer every few centuries.

Yeah, for me that pushes this into dystopia territory

1599033: Perfect government forever is not possible, especially since Luna does not want to be a Dictator. If she tries to make things perfect forever, things eventually fall apart (unless she seizes total control and becomes like her sister), and they fall a lot worse than if she guides the rise and fall of the Court.

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