The storm is breaking on the Horizon.

It's been two months since the battle against Nightmare Moon. Luna is recovering, Celestia is busy turning the government back into a diarchy, and the Mane Six have returned to their lives. All seems well, but when Celestia discovers that half of the power of the Elements of Hamony have been transferred to each of the Bearers, she decides to send thirteen mysterious members of the Royal Guard to monitor them as they manifest and develop their new abilities.

The sins of a forgotten war still linger, and an ancient evil lurks in the shadows, just waiting for the right time to strike. The Mane Six suddenly find themselves once again at the heart of a conspiracy to bring about Eternal Night, and only by awakening their powers and realizing their full potential can they do anything to stop it. Friends both old and new will help them along the way, and an unseen force will guide them as it seeks to right a wrong made thousands of years ago. The Bearer's journeys will take them outside the borders of Equestria and into the world beyond, and when they return, they'll have the power and experience necessary to save the world, and bring about balance in all things.

''[[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/24125/The-Powers-of-Harmony The Powers of Harmony]]'' is a My Little Pony fan-fiction written by [=CyborgSamurai=]. The story explores the potential of the Mane Six if the Elements of Harmony bestowed them with superpowers, as well as expanding on the world beyond Equestria and events of the timeline as shown in the canon.

Sadly, due to the author's desire to focus on college, the story has been put on hiatus until further notice.
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!!The following are examples of tropes from this story:

* AbstractApotheosis: [[spoiler: With members of the Mane Six starting to get wings and horns, it is implied that their growing connections to their respective Elements are leading to this.]]
* AllThereInTheManual: The author has created a series of forums where he lists information on characters and locations that doesn't necessarily come up in the story.
* AlternateUniverseFic: The story diverges from canon events fairly early on; it still takes elements from canon, but has set up its own world and timeline. For example, the group has already met and befriended Zecora, but Applebuck Season hasn't happened yet.
** Also, an alternate take on "Magic Duel" occurs in chapter 25.
** The Crystal Empire's timeline has also been somewhat tweaked, in that it returned from Sombra's curse about a year before the story started, and Cadence took control without fighting Sombra ([[spoiler:who doesn't get out of his can until Chrysalis releases him]]).
* AnAxToGrind: Granny Smith wields an enchanted hoofaxe called ''Aconitum''.
* AnIcePerson[=/=]MakingASplash: Blair specializes in water magic, particularly turning his body into water to avoid attacks/hide and using ice as a weapon. Twilight later copies both from him.
* AndIMustScream: Played with. [[spoiler: Horizon's conscious mind was destroyed when he was sacrificed. His subconscious, however, is still very much aware, in constant agony and forced to experience life only through the eyes of the Echoes. It's basically a separate entity by now.]]
* AncientTradition: Of a sort. After the War of the Sun and Moon, Aries wanted to use his boon from the Princess to acquire the Symbol of Loyalty as his clan's crest. Celestia refused on the grounds of wanting the Symbols of the Elements to be lost to history, but Aries still memorized the Symbol, and his descendants have passed it down in secret ever since. One of them, after some debate, gives it to Twilight for her thesis spell.
* ArtifactOfDoom: The Alicorn Amulet, like in canon, though it's expanded on here as having been created by Nightmare Moon during the War of the Sun and Moon. It also seems to eventually corrupt the user to not just thinking like an EvilOverlord, but like Nightmare Moon herself.
* [[ArtificialHuman Artificial Pony]]: Echoes are magical copies of living beings with all their memories up until the moment of creation. [[spoiler: The Guards are Echoes of the Order of the Zodiac, while Cetus is one of Nightmare Moon.]]
* ArtShift: Ophiuchus' speech is always printed in prismatic effect, meant to imitate his KaleidoscopeEyes.
** Also, whenever anyone communicates by telepathy, their dialogue is usually written in the color of their coats or manes.
* TheAtoner: Libra, grandmaster of the Order of the Zodiac, became one after the War of the Sun and Moon for his use of Lifeforce magic. [[spoiler: Blair is still carrying that burden.]]
* AuthorAvatar: The steampunk-cyborg ship captain that Granny talks to in Gallopfrey appears to be one.
* BadPowersGoodPeople: Libra and Blair.
** The Fearsense ability of the Element of Kindness is pretty much MindRape, forcing those on the receiving end to experience their worst fears.
* BalanceBetweenGoodAndEvil: Used and justified [[spoiler: with Harmony and Discord. They were meant to work in unison, but when they didn't, they both started to suffer SanitySlippage. And when Harmony was sealed, Discord went completely insane.]]
* BarBrawl: How Ras and Blair met. [[spoiler: Actually Aquarius and Libra, but same thing.]]
* BargainWithHeaven: [[spoiler: Rarity's and Celestia's respective deals with Harmony.]]
* BewareTheNiceOnes[=/=]BewareTheQuietOnes: When Fluttershy taps into the full power of the Element of Kindness, she scares ''[[spoiler:Sombra]]'' and nearly curbstomps [[spoiler:Chrysalis]], until the former uses Spike as a hostage to distract her.
* BigBad: Cetus ([[spoiler: Nightmare Moon's Echo]]).
* BigBrotherInstinct: When Shining Armor first sees Twilight dueling Trixie, he remembers his training about not charging into a situation without proper information, but does so anyway to protect her.
-->"No one picks on my little sister."
** Megnii [[spoiler: (actually Gemini)]] had this for his brother Cyclone, due to Cyclone being a sickly and weak foal. Then Cyclone had a growth spurt and bulked up in their teenage years, and eventually convinced Megnii he didn't need his protection anymore; Megnii then entered the military to redirect his protective desires to the country as a whole.
* BigCreepyCrawlies: Rust Beetles, insects a head bigger than Applejack who eat metal. They're treated as an annoyance more than anything else.
** And then of course, there's the Changelings.
-->'''Applejack''': If this keeps up, I’m gonna hafta invest in a giant-sized flyswatter.
* BigDamnHeroes: Luna saves the Mane Six and their allies from Cetus and Eclipse with a DeathFromAbove attack (they survive), followed by [[spoiler: teleporting them away and scattering them]].
** Rainbow Dash pulling off the Sonic Rainboom (in this continuity, for the first time since she got her cutie mark) in order to save Esra and Tastar from [[spoiler: a giant dragon]].
* BigGood: The Princesses, of course. [[spoiler: But beyond even them is Harmony.]]
* BigWhat: There's a joint one from the other girls when Twilight tells them about the Guards being assigned.
* BlessedWithSuck: Rarity's insomnia inspires some of her best work, but leaves her very weak. [[spoiler: Turns out, Harmony engineered this as part of her master plan.]]
** Twilight's PowerCopying ability works by making her more sensitive to magic, which makes it easier to understand how spells work. However, this also makes her more vulnerable to corruptive magic, making her weak and sick.
** Discord made the Princesses immortal and linked them to the Sun and Moon because he knew that eventually they'd snap from the pressure of maintaining the world and succumb to the Chaos magic inside them. This is what led to Luna becoming Nightmare Moon.
* BreakingTheFellowship: See DarkestHour.
* {{Bulungi}}[=/=]DarkestAfrica: Zecora's homeland, the Zhevra Flatlands, is a mixture of both; the outer portion of the country is modernized, while the interior grasslands are still tribal.
* ChekhovsGun: More like Chekhov's Location, but Dragon Turtle Lake -- which Fluttershy and her Guards visit fairly early in the story -- ends up being chosen as a meeting place by Luna after [[spoiler: the group is scattered]].
** Twilight's thesis spell turns out to be [[spoiler: the only thing strong enough to permanently destroy Cetus. Harmony naturally influenced this.]]
* ChekhovsGunman: [[spoiler: Vigil at first just seems to be a SixthRanger there for no reason other than giving the group enough members. Then it turns out he's Horizon's brother (last seen, unnamed, in the flashback Blair and Piro show Twilight) and linked to him the same way as the Echoes.]]
* TheChessmaster: Celestia, of course. Piro resents her for it.
** [[spoiler: And even she's just another piece to Harmony, who's been manipulating literally ''every living thing'' since she was sealed away to try and ensure her and Discord's freedom and purifications.]]
* ChildhoodFriends: Many members of the Order of the Zodiac knew each other as foals before eventually being recruited to the Order.
** Pinkie and Applejack have known each other since foalhood, due to their grandmothers having ''also'' been friends since foalhood.
** Likewise, Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash, as the former was raised by the latter's family (their fathers being friends themselves) in Cloudsdale when her own family wasn't in position to.
* ChronicHeroSyndrome: Once Pinkie finds out about her Healing ability, she puts it to good use helping anyone who needs healing in any way, at any time.
** Heck, the only reason she became Zecora's apprentice in the first place was to learn how to help the sick.
* ColorCodedForYourConvenience: Each Element has a specific color to go with it:
** Generosity: Silver
** Laughter: Blue
** Magic: White
** Loyalty: Red
** Kindness: Pink
** Honesty: Green
* CoolBigSis: In addition to Applejack and Rarity to Applebloom and Sweetie Belle, Rainbow Dash acts like this to Fluttershy (them having been raised together). Her one real interaction with Spike also has her kind of acting the same way with him.
* [[spoiler: CreatingLife: Harmony and Discord created Equestria and the rest of the world from a lifeless rock, and worked together to create the ponies and most of the other forms of life on the planet. That said, it appears they created some by themselves -- according to [[AllThereInTheManual the author's forum notes]], Harmony made the Dragon Turtles, and Discord made the Changelings, for example.]]
* CrypticConversation: Prior to the various Reveals, most if not all private conversations between the Guards and/or the Princesses played out like this, if only due to the fact that the audience has no idea what they're talking about.
* CulturedBadass: Elo and Grovi. One's a noble who gave up the decadent lifestyle, while the other was trained to be able to pass as a noble. [[spoiler: Or their predecessors were, anyway.]] Both are top notch fighters.
** Norric can [[ShoutOut/ToShakespeare quote Shakesmare]] from memory.
* DarkAndTroubledPast: Cancer spent a chunk of his life as a slave in a Griffon arena, until Celestia rescued him during a diplomatic mission.
* DarkestHour: Starting in Chapter 21, gets worse in Chapter 22, and cemented in Chapter 23. [[spoiler: Cetus defeats Celestia, seals her essence in the sun, and takes her body, while Nightmare Moon/Eclipse is extracted from Luna and placed into Rarity. Between the two of them, they kill Elo, Grovi, and Strauss, while curbstomping the other Echoes and Mane Six. Then Luna has to scatter them and their few other allies across the world to keep them safe until the time is right.]]
* DeadFic: Came close, but wound up being narrowly subverted under the condition that we still continue to show support for the author while it's on Hiatus.
* DeadManSwitch: Ophiuchus has one of these. [[spoiler: As the subconscious of Horizon, he can break the barrier over the Gate of Tartarus whenever he wants. Such a thing will obviously kill him, but he uses it as an ultimatum to control Blair and the other Echoes.]]
* DeadpanSnarker: Piro, Piro, Piro.
* DeceasedParentsAreTheBest: Applejack's parents, and her grandfather, died in an accident the day Apple Bloom was born.
* DemonicPossession: [[spoiler: Cetus has been hiding in Rarity's magic font ever since the Elements of Harmony were used against Nightmare Moon.]]
** [[spoiler: She later upgrades to GrandTheftMe by sealing Celestia's essence in the sun and taking her body. Meanwhile, Eclipse takes her place in Rarity.]]
* [[DeityOfHumanOrigin Deity of Pony Origin]]: The Princesses were born normal unicorns, until the Elements made them alicorns and Discord cursed them with immortality. [[spoiler: The former is happening to the Mane Six as well.]]
* DemolitionsExpert: Capricorn and Norric.
* DieOrFly: Invoked when Blair, on Ophiuchus' insistence, forces Twilight to get over the mental block on using her powers by [[spoiler: tossing her over Neighagra Falls]]. To say that she's [[TranquilFury not happy]] afterwards is an understatement.
* TheDragon: Eclipse, [[spoiler: Nightmare Moon's essence transplanted into Rarity's body.]]
** During the War of the Sun and Moon, Nightmare Moon's second-in-command was a pony named Mephis the Flayer, who commanded the [[EliteMooks Astral Guard]].
* DreamingOfThingsToCome: The Foresight ability of the Element of Generosity.
* DrivenToSuicide: [[spoiler: Celestia tried to kill herself after banishing Nightmare Moon. Harmony engineered it in order to communicate with her in Limbo.]]
* DualWielding: Tendoncutter [[spoiler: both past and present]] with the Cardinal Blades, although it's technically quad-wielding.
** Luna/Nightmare Moon with ''Perigee'' and ''Apogee.''
* EldritchLocation: The Hollow Shades, due to having been corrupted by Nightmare Moon during the War of the Sun and Moon.
* ElementalPowers: Each Element of Harmony has been attributed to an element:
** Generosity: [[MakingASplash Water]]
** Laughter: [[BlowYouAway Wind]]
** Magic: [[PureEnergy Magic]]
** Loyalty: [[PlayingWithFire Fire]]
** Kindness: [[LightemUp Light]]
** Honesty: [[DishingOutDirt Earth]]
* EmbarrassingNickname: Pinkie insists on calling Vigil "Viggy", even when he asks her not to.
* EmergencyTransformation: [[spoiler: When Discord mortally wounded her, Harmony fused herself with the planet to stop him from killing her. Unfortunately, that's left her trapped ever since.]]
** When Cocoon, Pupa, and Pilgrim were all mortally wounded in a cave-in, Cocoon's last act was to fuse Pupa and Pilgrim together in order to save them.
* TheEmpath: Inverted with Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy -- some of the abilities granted by their Elements bring out emotions in others. That said, they can't force out what isn't already there.
* TheEmpire: The Crystal Empire originally lived up to the name, dominating Tarandus and subjugating the other races there. This lasted until Celestia and Luna defeated Discord and convinced the Crystal Ponies to give up their territory and live in peace. Then Sombra eventually showed up and tried to revive the empire, but he was eventually defeated before he could expand the borders.
* EnergyBeings: Ophiuchus has become one, as a result of [[spoiler: Horizon's body being destroyed by Zemblani]].
* EnemyMine: Eclipse and Rarity against Cetus, with plans to bring Twilight into it as well. Or at least, that's what Rarity wants Eclipse to think.
** Played straight with Pupa. She allies with Applejack's group to stop Chrysalis' invasion of Gildesdale, with the promise of then allying against Cetus.
* [[HumanoidAbomination Equineoid Abomination]]: What Nightmare Moon's corruption of the UndyingLoyalty ability turned her army into -- only vaguely pony-like creatures, completely mindless and with ResurrectiveImmortality.
** Cetus and Eclipse also qualify.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: Zemblani was willing to [[spoiler: kill a foal]] for her goals, but even she finds Blair's Lifeforce-stealing abhorrent.
* EvilMentor: Sombra ''tried'' to be one to Cadance back in the day, but she was too pure to corrupt.
* EvilTowerOfOminousness: The Tower of Lunacy, a refuge built by Luna in the Hollow Shades and turned into a fortress by Nightmare Moon, which has been sealed off ever since her defeat.
* ExactWords: Technically, everything the Guards say about their lives is true. [[spoiler: They just leave out that it happened a thousand years ago to their predecessors.]]
* TheExile: Happened to Libra after the War of the Sun and Moon was over, due to his breaking of the Lifeforce taboo. He was last seen traveling to the Zhevra Flatlands, after which all record of him stops.
* FalseFlagOperation: Discord started the Blood War between Metallic and Chromatic dragons by killing the dragon leader/progenitor Io and planting evidence that made each side think the other was responsible. Celestia and Luna eventually exposed the truth, but the war has left deep distrust between the two types of dragons ever since.
* FantasticCasteSystem: Changelings are split into six types: Drones (basic {{Mooks}}), Workers, Scouts, Behemoths ([[GiantMook Giant]] {{Mook Lieutenant}}s), Wardens (priests who guard Discord's shrine), and Royals (the Queen and Princesses).
* FantasticDrug: Changelings produce an enzyme called Phora that reduces their victims to a euphoric, near-catatonic state that allows the Changelings to easily contain them and feed on their emotions. It's stated that Phora is highly addictive, and rescued victims have been known to go through intense withdrawal symptons and even sometimes actively seek out Changeling Hives so they can be recaptured.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: Quite a bit, thanks to Rarity's Foresight ability.
** Thanks to various conversations between the Guards and their thoughts when the story's from their POV, by the time their true nature and DarkSecret is revealed early on in Act 2, the more attentive readers are probably capable to piecing it all together already.
** The retroactive editing throws a bit into Fluttershy's trip to Dragon Turtle Lake in Act 1; when Master is listing recent affairs in Equestria's neighbors, he offhandedly mentions Chrysalis having recently become Queen, and how she might prove dangerous in the future. Cut ahead to Act 2, where we find out that the Changelings have begun invading Gildesdale as a prelude to invading Equestria.
* FusionDance: The pegasus Pilgrim and the Changeling Pupa were fused together by Pupa's sister Cocoon to save both of them.
* GaleForceSound: The BigWhat listed above is strong enough to send Twilight flying into a wall.
** When Ras is delivering Ophiuchus' "WhatTheHellHero" speech to Vigil, it blows back his mane and tail.
* GiantMook: Behemoth-type Changelings.
* GodzillaThreshold: The use of Lifeforce magic, due to it inherently rendering the user a nigh-uncontrollable addict, is an absolute ''last'' resort.
* GoodHurtsEvil: Since Sombra runs on ThePowerOfHate, when the Element of Kindness is active, its aura hurts him.
* [[GratuitousEnglish Gratuitous Equestrian]]: Shuru, one of the Zebra herbalists Pinkie's group meets, speaks broken Equestrian. Pinkie offers to give her lessons.
* GreatOffscreenWar: The War of the Sun and Moon, the conflict between Celestia and Luna a thousand years ago. We see glimpses of it in flashbacks, but for the most part it's this.
** The Blood War between the Metallic and Chromatic dragons, triggered by Discord [[FalseFlagOperation making each side think the other killed their leader/progenitor Io]]. This war lasted for the entire Era of Discord (''centuries'', if not longer), and it was only after his defeat that Celestia and Luna were able to reveal the truth and end the war.
** Discord ''also'' started the war between the Crystal Ponies and the other races of Tarandus that led to the formation of the Crystal Empire.
* {{Guile Hero}}ine: Twilight of course, thanks to her intellect combined with the combat training she receives from her Guards.
** Rarity as well, at least in her dealings with Eclipse.
** Most of the Guards qualify as well, to varying degrees.
* [[HealingHands Healing Hooves]]: One of the abilities of the Element of Laughter is the ability to heal any wound on anyone.
* HeelRealization: Trixie eventually realizes that the Alicorn Amulet is turning her into a monster and fights off its possession.
-->"TRIXIE SERVES NOPONY!"
* HeroicRROD: Any unicorn who uses up too much of their font without giving it time to regenerate risks Magical Exhaustion, which could potentially lead to death.
** Overusing their Element powers wears the Mane Six out.
* HiddenAgendaVillain: When Cetus is first mentioned, neither the audience or the characters know what she wants. It's only later that we find out [[spoiler: that she's Nightmare Moon's Echo and wants to complete her plot to bring about eternal night.]]
* HumblePie: Rainbow Dash is convinced for a time that her Guards can't protect her if they can't keep up with her, so puts them through TrainingFromHell to improve their speed. Esra finally gets fed up with this and challenges her to a combat match, which he wins, proving that in an actual fight, he ''can'' protect her. This knocks Dash down a few pegs.
* {{Hypocrite}}: During their duel, Trixie calls Twilight a fraud who relies on ancient artifacts instead of her own talent. She says this while using the Alicorn Amulet.
* IDidWhatIHadToDo: Libra and Blair's justification for breaking the Lifeforce taboo. [[spoiler: It was the only way to immobilize Nightmare Moon's army during the War of the Sun and Moon.]]
* InfoDump: Rarity's conversation with [[spoiler: Harmony in Limbo]]. To the point that the author split it up, with the latter half being shown in a flashback later on, for the sake of not boring the audience.
* TheInsomniac: Rarity is a Type C.
* IHaveManyNames: Blair casually mentions at one point that Celestia (and presumably Luna as well) is known by other names and titles by other cultures.
** Both [[spoiler: Harmony and Discord]] also have multiple names.
* IShallTauntYou: During their duel, Twilight gets Trixie to come out of hiding by saying she's afraid to see that the Alicorn Amulet is inefficient against the Element of Magic.
* InSpiteOfANail: Chrysalis still impersonates Cadence, though the main plot derails her plan to stage a wedding as a way of infiltrating Equestria.
* InVinoVeritas: Blair accidentally has alcoholic cider at Granny Smith's birthday party, gets drunk (with help from Ras), and ends up much more blunt and to the point than usual.
* JawDrop: Several throughout the story. It seems to be the author's favorite way of having characters express shock and surprise.
* JerkassFacade: Twilight comes to this conclusion about Scorpio and Piro -- they act like bitter cynics to hide how hurt they are by everything they've been through.
* JustifiedCriminal: Aquarius and Ras. [[spoiler: Aquarius' father had a gambling problem, going to the point where he couldn't even buy food for his family. Aquarius was forced to learn how to steal in order to survive.]]
* {{Kaiju}}: Master, an island-sized Dragon Turtle who lives in the aptly-named Dragon Turtle Lake.
** The Star Beasts, like the Ursa Major, created by the lunar magic of the Hollow Shades.
* KaleidoscopeEyes: Ophiuchus' eyes constantly change color.
* KnightOfCerebus: There was always hints at a darker plot, right from the beginning, but for most of Act 1 it's hidden under the fairly light events of the story. Then, early on in Act 2, just as we find out the Guards' backstory and true purpose, Cetus shows up and things go to Hell.
* LivingLieDetector: One of the abilities of the Element of Honesty.
* LivingMacGuffin: [[spoiler: Technically, all of the Echoes and Horizon qualify. But this also applies to Vigil, who's linked to his brother in much the same way as the Echoes (without the PsychicLink).]]
* LongGame: Piro says that since she's an immortal, Celestia does this by default (even using the term), forcing her to be a {{Chessmaster}} and treat mortals like pawns. [[spoiler: Of course, she's just aiding Harmony's own Long Game to free herself and purify Discord, which has been going on for roughly ''nine thousand years''.]]
* MagicMusic: Hinted to be part of Pinkie's third Element power.
* MaleGaze: When Esra and Tastar first see Fluttershy, they can't stop staring at her wings.
* MasterSwordsman: Ace, Grovi, and Elo [[spoiler: as were their predecessors.]]
* MeaningfulName: Apparently, the "Mina" part of Pinkie's full name is a Zhevran word that means "bringer of joy", usually bestowed as an honorific on one said to be blessed by their patron saint Hakumbele. Zecora feels this is also a PropheticName.
** Granny Smith's axe ''Aconitum,'' also known as [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aconitum "wolf's bane"]], which she used in the slaughter of the Timber Wolves.
* MercyKill: [[spoiler: After Eclipse irreversibly poisons Strauss, condemning him to a slow death, he requests Granny Smith put him out of his misery. She complies.]]
* MillionToOneChance: One of the Element of Laughter powers is the ability to manipulate luck to your advantage or that of your allies. Inversely, you can also cause your enemies bad luck.
* MolotovCocktail: Norric uses some against the Changelings in Gallopfrey.
* MonsterProgenitor: Io, the first dragon, created by [[spoiler: Harmony and Discord]], who based the rest of the species on his design.
* MookLieutenant: Behemoth-type Changelings appear to be this, due to size and the fact that the one named Veraxi was apparently in charge of the attack on Gallopfrey.
* {{Mordor}}: The Changeling Wastes are a vast, parched wasteland, which constantly spew toxic gases into the air.
* MythologyGag: Blair refers to the Element of Magic as a "big crown thingy" at one point.
** When the group is scattered and the (physical) Elements jumbled amongst them, Spike ends up with the Element of Loyalty. Yes, [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E2TheReturnOfHarmonyPart2 Spike is the new Rainbow Dash]].
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: Applejack nearly slips into a HeroicBSOD the first time she kills, and Granny has to talk her down.
* MySpeciesDothProtestTooMuch: Pupa believes that Changelings and ponies can live in peace.
* NamedWeapons: Most of them have some kind of association with their respective owners.
** Celestia's ''Nova,'' Luna's ''Perigee'' and ''Apogee,'' Tendoncutter's ''Cardinal Blades,'' Granny's ''Aconitum.''
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: Nightmare Moon's second-in-command during the War of the Sun and Moon was a pony named Mephis ''the Flayer''.
* NeckSnap: Eclipse breaks [[spoiler: Granny Smith]]'s neck. Fortunately, Applejack is able to use her "Rejection of Fate" ability to rewind time and save her.
** How Applejack kills the Behemoth Changeling Veraxi.
* NeverMessWithGranny: Granny Smith is pretty damn good in a fight [[spoiler: especially once Pinkie heals her.]]
* NighInvulnerability: Celestia, Luna, and Nightmare Moon have this. [[spoiler: And, by extension, Cetus, Eclipse, and the Army of Tartarus.]]
** Applejack more or less becomes this when her Strength power is active.
* NoMrBondIExpectYouToDine: Played with. Eclipse pulls this on Rarity when [[spoiler: they're sharing a body]], so it's not like Rarity has any choice. Plus, it's not like Eclipse even needs the food herself.
* NumberTwo: Scorpio to Libra. Piro to Blair.
** TheLancer
** SarcasticDevotee
* TheObiWan: Zecora to Pinkie.
* OhMyGods: The residents of the Zhevra Flatlands tend to swear by their patron saint, Hakumbele.
** All dragons swear by Io, the first of their kind.
* OneDegreeOfSeparation: Rarity comments at one point how growing up in a small town like Ponyville means everyone pretty much knows everyone else through at least one other pony.
* OrwellianRetcon: Seems Celestia has altered details of the War of the Sun and Moon in order to make it sound less brutal than it was. [[spoiler: She also erased all references to the Lunar army being sealed in Tartarus.]]
** It also seems the founding of Ponyville wasn't quite as easy and clean as Granny Smith has made it sound -- apparently, the founders actually hunted down almost all of the Timber Wolves in order to eliminate the threat.
* PhotographicMemory: Aquarius and Ras.
* PhysicalGod: What the Mane Six have the potential to become once they fully manifest the powers granted by the Elements of Harmony. [[spoiler: Which includes becoming alicorns.]]
* [[PersonOfMassDestruction Pony of Mass Destruction]]: More than any of the others, Twilight has the potential to become one when her Element powers fully manifest. Hell, she was a borderline example already -- it's offhandedly commented early on that if she ever lost control of her font she'd blow up ''three-quarters'' of Ponyville.
* PocketDimension: Tartarus is a separate plane created by Celestia as a prison [[spoiler: for Nightmare Moon's army]].
* PoweredByAForsakenChild: [[spoiler: Zemblani sacrificed Horizon -- just a two-year-old foal -- to try and use his Lifeforce to force open the Gate of Tartarus. The Echoes were attached to his Lifeforce to keep him alive, now trapped at the center of the barrier in the Gate. And it turns out, part of him is still conscious...]]
* PowerCopying: One of the Element of Magic's abilities is to instantly learn how to do any spell just by seeing it done. According to Ace's calculations, Twilight's theoretically capable of learning ''every spell in existence'' within her lifetime.
* ThePowerOfCreation: One of the Element of Generosity's abilities to create anything from thought.
* PrecursorHeroes: The Order of the Zodiac, a group of knights who served Celestia during the War of the Sun and Moon. [[spoiler: Blair's company of Guards are their Echoes.]]
** According to the folklore of the Zhevra Flatlands, there's also Hakumbele, a great warrior who long ago descended from the mountains to save the Flatlands from evil, and after a HeroicSacrifice to defeat his foe, became the Flatlands' patron saint.
* PredecessorVillain: Zemblani, a mage who tried to [[spoiler: unleash Nightmare Moon's army]] twenty years prior to the story. In actuality, she was serving Cetus.
** And of course, there's also Discord.
* RaceAgainstTheClock: It's stated right at the beginning of the story that the Guards only have roughly three months to guide the Mane Six in gaining their new powers before ''something'' bad happens. It turns out to be how much time is left until [[spoiler: Horizon dies (taking the Echoes with him), at which point the seal on Tartarus will fail, releasing Nightmare Moon's army]]. The full power of the Elements of Harmony will be needed to prevent that from happening.
* RedBaron: Cancer was known as "Tendoncutter" due to his particular fighting style. [[spoiler: Ace has inherited it by extension.]]
* ResetButton: One of the abilities of the Element of Honesty is "Rejection of Fate", which means that if you don't accept something as having happened, you can rewind time to prevent it. [[spoiler: Applejack uses this to save Granny Smith from Eclipse.]]
** TimeMaster: Applejack eventually realizes that she can also use it to slow down or even temporarily stop time.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Twilight gives one to Trixie when she tries to invoke SympathyForTheDevil, saying she's been looked down on her whole life by nobles like Twilight.
-->"So a few ponies making fun of you... gives you the right to be mean and nasty... to everypony else?! That's quite possibly the stupidest thing... I've ever heard. I never wanted special treatment... I wanted to be left alone with my studies... and my friends. You've no right to judge me... any more than anypony else... has the right to judge you! Maybe... instead of projecting your problems onto others... you should practice what you preach!"
* ReligionOfEvil: How much so is debatable, but the Changelings worship Discord (who they call The Shaper), because [[AllThereInTheManual he created them]].
* {{Rewrite}}: A minor example. As the story's gone on, [=CyborgSamurai=] has gone back and edited previous chapters, usually altering dialogue or adding small scenes, in order to better reflect later developments.
* RhymesOnADime: Zecora, of course. And according to her, this is standard practice for all Zhevran shamans.
* RousingSpeech: Libra apparently gave one when the Order was founded in order to convince them all to put aside their differences and work together.
* {{Ruritania}}: The town of Transylmane, in the Hollow Shades region of Equestria.
* SacrificialLion: [[spoiler: Elo and Grovi]] are both killed [[spoiler: and absorbed]] by Cetus, while Eclipse fatally poisons [[spoiler: Strauss]], leading to the MercyKill above. This shows just how dangerous the two of them are.
* SanitySlippage: [[spoiler: According to Harmony, this happened to her and Discord when they stopped working in unison. Being sealed has temporarily cured them, but unless they're freed simultaneously, they'll relapse.]]
* ScarsAreForever: Except for [[LuckyBastard Aquarius]], all of the Order of the Zodiac ended up with permanent wounds during the War of the Sun and Moon. Some were just this; the other were [[AnArmAndALeg less]] [[EyeScream fortunate]].
** [[spoiler: Vigil]] has a scar along the length of his barrel from Zemblani's ritual, which not even Pinkie's Healing power can fix.
** [[spoiler: Celestia still bears the scars from when she tried to kill herself. Her breast plate hides them.]]
* SealedEvilInACan: [[spoiler: Nightmare Moon's corrupted army, which was sealed in Tartarus. Keeping them sealed, and then preventing Cetus from releasing them, is a driving part of the plot.]]
** Discord is also mentioned several times. [[spoiler: Turns out, Harmony is trying to arrange his release simultaneously to her own, in order to purify them both.]]
** Sombra was also sealed away, as per canon, though in this case, he doesn't get loose until [[spoiler:Chrysalis frees him]].
* SealedGoodInACan: [[spoiler: Harmony, Discord's counterpart, who was sealed inside the planet when he nearly killed her. She's been trying to engineer her escape ever since.]]
** [[spoiler: Celestia's essence is sealed inside the sun by Cetus, who takes her body.]]
* ShootTheDog: When Cetus first reveals herself, Luna and Shining Armor try to kill her, despite the fact that [[spoiler: she's possessing Rarity]]. Shining actually points out that everyone else will be upset with them, but Luna views it as a necessary evil.
* ShoutOut: When Blair enters Luna's room at the beginning of the story, he sees she has an [[Fanfic/{{Progress}} abacus]].
** Rarity's morning activities in Chapter 7 include a reference to Lyra's endeavors in ''FanFic/BackgroundPony''.
-->"Rarity worked all throughout the morning, only stopping briefly to enchant a soundstone for a mint-green unicorn wearing a gray hoodie. After finishing that, she continued to work on the necklace."
** Celestia's response to whether she'd taught Twilight any offensive magic in Chapter 17 is a nod to ''FanFic/TheImmortalGame.'' Also a bit of a TakeThat to the plot.
-->““If she does, she didn’t learn it from me.” Celestia adjusted one last feather and looked up at Luna. “We covered a few theories on why certain spells have been declared forbidden, but it’s not like I was prepping her for war. The next thing I’m going to hear you say is that I was secretly turning her into a brilliant military strategist so that she’d rise up and become the ultimate weapon.”
-->Luna rolled her eyes. “Now that’s just absurd.”
** "Rarity" asks Grovi about an artifact from ''FanFic/TheFlightOfTheAlicorn'' while they're walking into Canterlot Castle in Chapter 21, and an airship by the name of 'Fancy Free' is seen from a distance in Chapter 27.
--> "Is it true that Princess Celestia keeps the Heavenstone from the Pre-Discordian Era in the Royal Vaults?"
** Blair responds to Piro's needling about [[spoiler: Libra's actions]] in Chapter 25 with a line similar to one uttered by Gordon in ''Film/TheDarkKnightRises'':
-->"Celestia forbid you actually have to make a hard decision by yourself, Piro. Be grateful you've somepony to plunge their hooves into the filth for you."
** Norric grew up in [[FanFic/ItsADangerousBusinessGoingOutYourDoor Gildesdale]].
** Zemblani and Elo's pre-duel banter in Chapter 19 references the famous exchange between [[Literature/{{PeterPan}} Peter Pan and Captain Hook]]:
--->“I suppose we can do this your way, [[spoiler: little clone]],” Zemblani said. "Prepare to meet 'thy' doom!"
--->“Dark and sinister mare,” Elo answered. “Have at thee.”
*** Speaking of Elo, he was the result of an affair between members of rival families [[Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet Mont'hequ and Gallopulet]].
** Applejack's group visits the town of [[Series/DoctorWho Gallopfrey, whose ecology causes red grass and silver-leafed trees]].
*** That same chapter has a cameo by the title character of the MLP fic "Echo the Diamond Dog".
** Pilgrim/Pupa's story is based on the MLP fic "The Three Sisters", with some minor modifications. (And permission from the author.)
** The author used [[TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons D&D]] edition 3.5 rules in his design for the dragons.
* ShutUpHannibal: Applejack cuts off Eclipse in the middle of a speech [[spoiler: by bucking her so hard she literally makes her head explode.]]
* SignificantAnagram: The full names of each of the Guards is one for [[spoiler: their Order of the Zodiac predecessors.]]
* SixthRanger: Vigil, another Royal Guard, is assigned to Blair's company to give them enough members to monitor all the Mane Six equally. [[spoiler: Then it turns out he's Horizon's brother.]]
* SoProudOfYou: Shining Armor's reaction to seeing how good Twilight's gotten at combat magic in a short time, and learning just how powerful she can potentially become.
* SpeaksFluentAnimal: Fluttershy, of course. Then Master gives the ability to Spesci and Megnii as well.
* SpitTake: When Shining tells Twilight that Blair will be living with her rather than monitoring her (like the other Guards), she sprays her grape juice all over him.
** The first time Blair hears Pinkie call Vigil "Viggy", he inhales his juice.
* TheSpymaster: Master is a downplayed example; he has connections and lines of communication with other animals pretty much everywhere, which he uses to keep tabs on events both in Equestria itself and amongst its neighbor states.
* TheStarscream: Eclipse again, as she chafes under Cetus' command and seeks to supplant her. [[spoiler: Harmony tells Rarity to take advantage of this.]]
* SuperStrength: One of the abilities of the Element of Honesty.
* TheMedic: Scorpio and Piro.
* {{Telepath}}: One of the abilities granted by the Element of Kindness. Fluttershy is naturally initially scared of it.
* ThemeNaming: Chrysalis' sisters are named Cocoon and Pupa.
* TheNightThatNeverEnds: Nightmare Moon's goal during the War of the Sun and Moon. [[spoiler: Also the goal of Cetus.]]
* TopGod: [[spoiler: Harmony and Discord once shared the spot before they turned on each other.]]
* UndyingLoyalty: The actual name of one of the Element of Loyalty's abilities. The user can temporarily bind their Lifeforce with someone else's, which includes being able to revive them from fatal wounds. [[spoiler: Nightmare Moon corrupted this to permanently bind her army to her, rendering them immortal at the cost of turning them into mindless demonic beasts.]]
* {{Unobtainium}}: Lunarium, the magical metal of the moon itself. It's implied to be ''very'' strong.
* UnresolvedSexualTension: Between all the Guards and the Mane Six at one period of time or another arguably. They may [[spoiler: not be real]], but that doesn't stop the mares from half-jokingly seeing them as a potential boyfriend.
** Same is true vice-versa, albeit to a lesser extent.
* VillainWithGoodPublicity: Cetus and Eclipse, after Cetus [[spoiler: steals Celestia's body]] and implants Eclipse in [[spoiler: Rarity's body]].
* VillainTeamUp: [[spoiler:Chrysalis]] frees [[spoiler:Sombra]] from his imprisonment in order to help her take over the Crystal Empire (and by extension, all of Tarandus) as part of her larger plan for a full-scale invasion of Equestria. She keeps him on a short leash, however, which makes him plot against her even more than he probably already would be anyway.
* VisionaryVillain: Cetus -- she seems to have honestly convinced herself that her plans for [[spoiler: eternal night]] are what's best for the world.
** Eclipse naturally shares this with her, she just sees herself as the one in charge.
* VitriolicBestBuds: Blair and Piro.
* WarIsHell: Universally agreed upon by the members of the Order.
** Granny agrees.
* WhamEpisode: See DarkestHour.
** And those chapters were immediately preceded by Chapter 20, in which we first find out that Cetus is [[spoiler: possessing Rarity]].
* WhatTheHellHero: Vigil gets a couple (most of all from Ophiuchus via Ras) for keeping his own DarkSecret.
* WizardDuel: We see Twilight and Trixie beginning one at the end of Chapter 23, but we don't get to see the whole thing, or learn why it's happening, until Chapter 25.
* TheWorfEffect: First time we see Cetus in action, she [[spoiler: defeats Celestia, and kills Grovi]].
** Likewise, Eclipse's first fight has her curbstomping Applejack, Granny Smith, Big Macintosh, and their Guards [[spoiler: even killing Strauss]].
** And the two of them working together easily defeat ''all'' of the remaining Mane Six and all their Guards [[spoiler: including killing Elo]].
* WorldBuilding: There's a lot of discussion about other parts of Equestria and the world they live in. Turns out to be important when [[spoiler: Luna scatters the Mane Six and their Guards in order to keep them safe from Cetus]]. Which, of course, just leads to ''more'' world building.
* WorldHealingWave: Pinkie gives off a miniature one when she uses her Healing powers to heal a whole hospital.
* WorldOfCardboardSpeech: Twilight gives one of these in Chapter 20 [[spoiler: after Blair throws her off the edge of Neighagra Falls in an attempt to make her use her powers.]]
* YeOldeButcheredeEnglishe: Luna still speaks like this at the beginning of the story, though she's caught up later on. That said, she's apparently petitioned to have language changed back to the way it was a thousand years ago.
** [[spoiler: The Echoes slip into this occasionally, due to their predecessors being from that period.]]
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