Fan Fic: The Powers Of Harmony
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.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.
The following are examples of tropes from this story:
- Abstract Apotheosis: 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.
- All There in the Manual: 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.
- Alternate Universe Fic: 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.
- An Ax To Grind: Granny Smith wields an enchanted hoofaxe called Aconitum.
- An Ice Person/Making a Splash: 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.
- And I Must Scream: Played with. 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.
- Ancient Tradition: 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.
- Artifact of Doom: 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 Evil Overlord, but like Nightmare Moon herself.
- Artificial Pony: Echoes are magical copies of living beings with all their memories up until the moment of creation. The Guards are Echoes of the Order of the Zodiac, while Cetus is one of Nightmare Moon.
- Art Shift: Ophiuchus' speech is always printed in prismatic effect, meant to imitate his Kaleidoscope Eyes.
- Also, whenever anyone communicates by telepathy, their dialogue is usually written in the color of their coats or manes.
- The Atoner: Libra, grandmaster of the Order of the Zodiac, became one after the War of the Sun and Moon for his use of Lifeforce magic. Blair is still carrying that burden.
- Author Avatar: The steampunk-cyborg ship captain that Granny talks to in Gallopfrey appears to be one.
- Bad Powers, Good People: Libra and Blair.
- Balance Between Good and Evil: Used and justified with Harmony and Discord. They were meant to work in unison, but when they didn't, they both started to suffer Sanity Slippage. And when Harmony was sealed, Discord went completely insane.
- Bar Brawl: How Ras and Blair met. Actually Aquarius and Libra, but same thing.
- Bargain With Heaven: Rarity's and Celestia's respective deals with Harmony.
- Big Bad: Cetus Nightmare Moon's Echo.
- Big Brother Instinct: 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 (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.
- Big Creepy Crawlies: 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.
- Big Damn Heroes: Luna saves the Mane Six and their allies from Cetus and Eclipse with a Death from Above attack (they survive), followed by 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 a giant dragon.
- Big "WHAT?!": There's a joint one from the other girls when Twilight tells them about the Guards being assigned.
- Blessed with Suck: Rarity's insomnia inspires some of her best work, but leaves her very weak. Turns out, Harmony engineered this as part of her master plan.
- Twilight's Power Copying 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.
- Breaking the Fellowship: See Darkest Hour.
- Bulungi/Darkest Africa: 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.
- Chekhov's Gun: 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 the group is scattered.
- Twilight's thesis spell turns out to be the only thing strong enough to permanently destroy Cetus. Harmony naturally influenced this.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Vigil at first just seems to be a Sixth Ranger 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.
- The Chessmaster: Celestia, of course. Piro resents her for it.
- 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.
- Childhood Friends: 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.
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: 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.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Each Element has a specific color to go with it:
- Generosity: Silver
- Laughter: Blue
- Magic: White
- Loyalty: Red
- Kindness: Pink
- Honesty: Green
- Cool Big Sis: 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.
- Creating Life: 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 the author's forum notes, Harmony made the Dragon Turtles, and Discord made the Changelings, for example.
- Cryptic Conversation: 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.
- Cultured Badass: 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. Or their predecessors were, anyway. Both are top notch fighters.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Cancer spent a chunk of his life as a slave in a Griffon arena, until Celestia rescued him during a diplomatic mission.
- Darkest Hour: Starting in Chapter 21, gets worse in Chapter 22, and cemented in Chapter 23. 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.
- Dead Man Switch: Ophiuchus has one of these. 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.
- Deadpan Snarker: Piro, Piro, Piro.
- Deceased Parents Are The Best: Applejack's parents, and her grandfather, died in an accident the day Apple Bloom was born.
- Demonic Possession: Cetus has been hiding in Rarity's magic font ever since the Elements of Harmony were used against Nightmare Moon.
- She later upgrades to Grand Theft Me by sealing Celestia's essence in the sun and taking her body. Meanwhile, Eclipse takes her place in Rarity.
- Deity of Pony Origin: The Princesses were born normal unicorns, until the Elements made them alicorns and Discord cursed them with immortality. The former is happening to the Mane Six as well.
- Demolitions Expert: Capricorn and Norric.
- Die or Fly: Invoked when Blair, on Ophiuchus' insistence, forces Twilight to get over the mental block on using her powers by tossing her over Neighagra Falls. To say that she's not happy afterwards is an understatement.
- The Dragon: Eclipse, 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 Astral Guard.
- Dreaming of Things to Come: The Foresight ability of the Element of Generosity.
- Driven to Suicide: Celestia tried to kill herself after banishing Nightmare Moon. Harmony engineered it in order to communicate with her in Limbo.
- Dual Wielding: Tendoncutter both past and present with the Cardinal Blades, although it's technically quad-wielding.
- Luna/Nightmare Moon with Perigee and Apogee.
- Eldritch Location: The Hollow Shades, due to having been corrupted by Nightmare Moon during the War of the Sun and Moon.
- Elemental Powers: Each Element of Harmony has been attributed to an element:
- Embarrassing Nickname: Pinkie insists on calling Vigil "Viggy", even when he asks her not to.
- Emergency Transformation: 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.
- The Empath: 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.
- Energy Beings: Ophiuchus has become one, as a result of Horizon's body being destroyed by Zemblani.
- Enemy Mine: 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.
- Equineoid Abomination: What Nightmare Moon's corruption of the Undying Loyalty ability turned her army into — only vaguely pony-like creatures, completely mindless and with Resurrective Immortality.
- Cetus and Eclipse also qualify.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Zemblani was willing to kill a foal for her goals, but even she finds Blair's Lifeforce-stealing abhorrent.
- Evil Tower of Ominousness: 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.
- Exact Words: Technically, everything the Guards say about their lives is true. They just leave out that it happened a thousand years ago to their predecessors.
- The Exile: 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.
- 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 Dark Secret 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.
- Fusion Dance: The pegasus Pilgrim and the Changeling Pupa were fused together by Pupa's sister Cocoon to save both of them.
- Gale Force Sound: The Big "WHAT?!" listed above is strong enough to send Twilight flying into a wall.
- When Ras is delivering Ophiuchus' "What the Hell, Hero?" speech to Vigil, it blows back his mane and tail.
- Giant Mook: Behemoth-type Changelings.
- Godzilla Threshold: The use of Lifeforce magic, due to it inherently rendering the user a nigh-uncontrollable addict, is an absolute last resort.
- Gratuitous Equestrian: Shuru, one of the Zebra herbalists Pinkie's group meets, speaks broken Equestrian. Pinkie offers to give her lessons.
- Great Offscreen War: 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.
- Guile Heroine: 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.
- Healing Hooves: One of the abilities of the Element of Laughter is the ability to heal any wound on anyone.
- Heel Realization: Trixie eventually realizes that the Alicorn Amulet is turning her into a monster and fights off its possession.
"TRIXIE SERVES NOPONY!"
- Heroic RROD: 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.
- Hidden Agenda Villain: When Cetus is first mentioned, neither the audience or the characters know what she wants. It's only later that we find out that she's Nightmare Moon's Echo and wants to complete her plot to bring about eternal night.
- Humble Pie: 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 Training from Hell 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.
- I Did What I Had to Do: Libra and Blair's justification for breaking the Lifeforce taboo. It was the only way to immobilize Nightmare Moon's army during the War of the Sun and Moon.
- Info Dump: Rarity's conversation with 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.
- The Insomniac: Rarity is a Type C.
- I Have Many Names: Blair casually mentions at one point that Celestia (and presumably Luna as well) is known by other names and titles by other cultures.
- Both Harmony and Discord also have multiple names.
- I Shall Taunt You: 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.
- In Vino Veritas: 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.
- Jaw Drop: Several throughout the story. It seems to be the author's favorite way of having characters express shock and surprise.
- Jerkass Façade: 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.
- Justified Criminal: Aquarius and Ras. 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.
- Kaleidoscope Eyes: Ophiuchus' eyes constantly change color.
- Knight of Cerebus: 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.
- Living Lie Detector: One of the abilities of the Element of Honesty.
- Living MacGuffin: 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 Psychic Link).
- Long Game: 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. 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.
- Magic Music: Hinted to be part of Pinkie's third Element power.
- Male Gaze: When Esra and Tastar first see Fluttershy, they can't stop staring at her wings.
- Master Swordsman: Ace, Grovi, and Elo as were their predecessors.
- Meaningful Name: 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 Prophetic Name.
- Mercy Kill: After Eclipse irreversibly poisons Strauss, condemning him to a slow death, he requests Granny Smith put him out of his misery. She complies.
- Million to One Chance: 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.
- Molotov Cocktail: Norric uses some against the Changelings in Gallopfrey.
- Mook Lieutenant: 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.
- Mythology Gag: 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, Spike is the new Rainbow Dash.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Applejack nearly slips into a Heroic BSOD the first time she kills, and Granny has to talk her down.
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Pupa believes that Changelings and ponies can live in peace.
- Named Weapons: 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.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Nightmare Moon's second-in-command during the War of the Sun and Moon was a pony named Mephis the Flayer.
- Neck Snap: Eclipse breaks 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.
- Never Mess with Granny: Granny Smith is pretty damn good in a fight especially once Pinkie heals her.
- Nigh Invulnerability: Celestia, Luna, and Nightmare Moon have this. And, by extension, Cetus, Eclipse, and the Army of Tartarus.
- Applejack more or less becomes this when her Strength power is active.
- No, Mr. Bond, I Expect You to Dine: Played with. Eclipse pulls this on Rarity when 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.
- Number Two: Scorpio to Libra. Piro to Blair.
- The Obi-Wan: Zecora to Pinkie.
- Oh My Gods!: The residents of the Zhevra Flatlands tend to swear by their patron saint, Hakumbele.
- One Degree of Separation: 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.
- Orwellian Retcon: Seems Celestia has altered details of the War of the Sun and Moon in order to make it sound less brutal than it was. 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.
- Photographic Memory: Aquarius and Ras.
- Physical God: What the Mane Six have the potential to become once they fully manifest the powers granted by the Elements of Harmony. Which includes becoming alicorns.
- 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.
- Pocket Dimension: Tartarus is a separate plane created by Celestia as a prison for Nightmare Moon's army.
- Powered by a Forsaken Child: 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...
- Power Copying: 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.
- The Power of Creation: One of the Element of Generosity's abilities to create anything from thought.
- Precursor Heroes: The Order of the Zodiac, a group of knights who served Celestia during the War of the Sun and Moon. 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 Heroic Sacrifice to defeat his foe, became the Flatlands' patron saint.
- Predecessor Villain: Zemblani, a mage who tried to unleash Nightmare Moon's army twenty years prior to the story. In actuality, she was serving Cetus.
- And of course, there's also Discord.
- Race Against the Clock: 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 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.
- Red Baron: Cancer was known as "Tendoncutter" due to his particular fighting style. Ace has inherited it by extension.
- Reset Button: 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. Applejack uses this to save Granny Smith from Eclipse.
- Time Master: Applejack eventually realizes that she can also use it to slow down or even temporarily stop time.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Twilight gives one to Trixie when she tries to invoke Sympathy for the Devil, 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!"
- Religion of Evil: How much so is debatable, but the Changelings worship Discord (who they call The Shaper), because 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.
- Rhymes on a Dime: Zecora, of course. And according to her, this is standard practice for all Zhevran shamans.
- Rousing Speech: 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.
- Sacrificial Lion: Elo and Grovi are both killed and absorbed by Cetus, while Eclipse fatally poisons Strauss, leading to the Mercy Kill above. This shows just how dangerous the two of them are.
- Sanity Slippage: 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.
- Scars Are Forever: Except for 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 less fortunate.
- Vigil has a scar along the length of his barrel from Zemblani's ritual, which not even Pinkie's Healing power can fix.
- Celestia still bears the scars from when she tried to kill herself. Her breast plate hides them.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: 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. Turns out, Harmony is trying to arrange his release simultaneously to her own, in order to purify them both.
- Sealed Good in a Can: 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.
- Celestia's essence is sealed inside the sun by Cetus, who takes her body.
- Shoot the Dog: When Cetus first reveals herself, Luna and Shining Armor try to kill her, despite the fact that she's possessing Rarity. Shining actually points out that everyone else will be upset with them, but Luna views it as a necessary evil.
- Shout Out: When Blair enters Luna's room at the beginning of the story, he sees she has an abacus.
- Rarity's morning activities in Chapter 7 include a reference to Lyra's endeavors in Background Pony.
"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 The Immortal Game. Also a bit of a Take That 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 The Flight Of The Alicorn 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 Libra's actions in Chapter 25 with a line similar to one uttered by Gordon in The Dark Knight Rises:
"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 Gildesdale.
- Zemblani and Elo's pre-duel banter in Chapter 19 references the famous exchange between Peter Pan and Captain Hook:
“I suppose we can do this your way, little clone,” Zemblani said. "Prepare to meet 'thy' doom!"
“Dark and sinister mare,” Elo answered. “Have at thee.”
- Applejack's group visits the town of 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.)
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: Applejack cuts off Eclipse in the middle of a speech by bucking her so hard she literally makes her head explode.
- Significant Anagram: The full names of each of the Guards is one for their Order of the Zodiac predecessors.
- Sixth Ranger: Vigil, another Royal Guard, is assigned to Blair's company to give them enough members to monitor all the Mane Six equally. Then it turns out he's Horizon's brother.
- So Proud of You: 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.
- Speaks Fluent Animal: Fluttershy, of course. Then Master gives the ability to Spesci and Megnii as well.
- Spit Take: 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.
- The Spymaster: 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.
- The Starscream: Eclipse again, as she chafes under Cetus' command and seeks to supplant her. Harmony tells Rarity to take advantage of this.
- Super Strength: One of the abilities of the Element of Honesty.
- The Medic: Scorpio and Piro.
- Telepath: One of the abilities granted by the Element of Kindness. Fluttershy is naturally initially scared of it.
- Theme Naming: Chrysalis' sisters are named Cocoon and Pupa.
- The Night That Never Ends: Nightmare Moon's goal during the War of the Sun and Moon. Also the goal of Cetus.
- Top God: Harmony and Discord once shared the spot before they turned on each other.
- Undying Loyalty: 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. 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.
- Villain with Good Publicity: Cetus and Eclipse, after Cetus steals Celestia's body and implants Eclipse in Rarity's body.
- Visionary Villain: Cetus — she seems to have honestly convinced herself that her plans for eternal night are what's best for the world.
- Eclipse naturally shares this with her, she just sees herself as the one in charge.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Blair and Piro.
- War Is Hell: Universally agreed upon by the members of the Order.
- Wham Episode: See Darkest Hour.
- And those chapters were immediately preceded by Chapter 20, in which we first find out that Cetus is possessing Rarity.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Vigil gets a couple (most of all from Ophiuchus via Ras) for keeping his own Dark Secret.
- Wizard Duel: 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.
- The Worf Effect: First time we see Cetus in action, she defeats Celestia, and kills Grovi.
- Likewise, Eclipse's first fight has her curbstomping Applejack, Granny Smith, Big Macintosh, and their Guards even killing Strauss.
- And the two of them working together easily defeat all of the remaining Mane Six and all their Guards including killing Elo.
- World Building: There's a lot of discussion about other parts of Equestria and the world they live in. Turns out to be important when 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.
- World-Healing Wave: Pinkie gives off a miniature one when she uses her Healing powers to heal a whole hospital.
- "World of Cardboard" Speech: Twilight gives one of these in Chapter 20 after Blair throws her off the edge of Neighagra Falls in an attempt to make her use her powers.
- Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: 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.
- The Echoes slip into this occasionally, due to their predecessors being from that period.