Fanfic: The Rise Of Darth Vulcan

The Rise of Darth Vulcan is a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fan fiction written by RealityCheck on Fimfiction.Net.

Ted is just your regular brony-hater: He's heard a LOT about the show, even the basic plot, but he hates both the show and its fandom with a passion.

One fateful Halloween night, he decided to go to a party dressed as a medieval Darth Vader. To complete the outfit, he bought a strange trinket from a shop. He decided it looked kickass.

Problem? It turned out to be a replica of the Alicorn Amulet from the show. Even bigger problem? It actually WAS the Alicorn Amulet from the show. Ted gets sucked up in a portal and sent to Equestria after everyone accuses him of being a closet brony.

And because he's dressed up as evil as he is, Rainbow Dash immediately attacks him. This leads him to discover that he's gained dark powers from the amulet.

Thus, with nothing but magical powers, common sense and a cunning mind, so began the legend of Darth Vulcan...

A fic based on a premise of another, the story explores the consequences of power, as well as pointing out a LOT of problems with the show.


Tropes:

  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Vulcan forges one during the battle at the old castle.
  • Accentuate the Negative: This fic all but runs on this.
  • Accusation Fic: Can come off as this at times: Vulcan's speeches towards the Princesses give VERY good points about the problematic mistakes EVERYONE in the show has done.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: Discord's bothering of Rainbow Dash while impersonating the "Cragodile Hunter" gets a laugh from rest of the mane 6.
  • Adults Are Useless: During Vulcan's first spying on Ponyville, he takes much notice of how utterly oblivious Cheerilee is to the bad/lazy behaviour of students.
  • A Father to His Men: Being a Noble Demon, Vulcan takes good care of his dogs, and even joins them in mourning the deaths of their comrades under his command.
  • All for Nothing: Ted spent years pretending to be a cool kid, which required giving up things he actually enjoyed. All of that effort went down the drain after he wore the Alicorn Amulet to a Halloween party and everyone accused him of being a closet brony.
  • All Men Are Perverts/All Women Are Lustful: Discussed by Ted. People might think that all teenagers are boiling pressure cookers full of hormones, but they are generally much smarter and mellower than others give them credit for. Also Defied (along with A Man Is Not a Virgin) because, in Ted's opinion, any animal can say they chased tail/satisfied their carnal desires whenever they could, but it takes a real man to keep it in his pants when it's smart to do so. The one pony that got frisky with Eiderdown got covered with illusion spiders by a rather miffed Dodger.
  • Alternate Universe Fic: Vulcan arrives in Equestria at some point between Seasons 3 and 4, and his involvement ends up derailing the major events of the latter.
  • Always a Bigger Fish: Vulcan and Chrysalis are bigger fished by Sombra. Then all three are bigger fished by Celestia and Luna.
    • You would expect Discord to bigger-fish Vulcan with ease. You'd be not so right. He does, but has no desire to find what would be the (implied disproportionately high) cost.
  • An Offer You Can't Refuse: Dodger gives one to Flim and Flam to get them to come to Vulcan.
  • Anti-Villain: "How will you understand my deeper motivations and make me a sympathetic character?"
  • Artifact of Doom: The Alicorn Amulet, naturally. Even before we find out it's sentient.
  • The Artful Dodger: It's in the name. Artful Dodger grew up on the roughest streets of Canterlot... and the reader is advised to take a moment to stop giggling.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: How Vulcan takes control of the Diamond Dogs, which is standard practice for their society.
    • This is also at play in Changeling society, even playing a part in how Queens select mates.
  • Badass Boast: Vulcan takes to introducing himself with these.
  • Bad Boss: Big Boss a powerful dragon who enslaved the Diamond Dogs, forcing them to dig for gems with little food or breaks, and eating anyone for complaining.
  • Batman Gambit: When the Mane Six and the Royal Guard show up to free Diamond Tiara from Vulcan, he leads them into the middle of nowhere, leaving Ponyville vulnerable to a raid by his forces.
    • Luna knows that Vulcan will see through her attempt to have members of the Night Guard infiltrate his forces, so sends them along with a group of escaped prisoners, one of whom sells them out in order to earn Vulcan's trust.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: The reason the Dogs are so loyal to Ted. A lot of things below detailing their relationship can be distilled into this one trope.
  • Becoming the Mask: Darth Vulcan has indicated that he has, or had, many nerdy interests in his past, particularly cosplaying... which he shucked aside to avoid being relegated to bottom-feeder status in his local high school. Word of God is that he literally chose to cosplay being a cool kid, and did it so well that the entire school, himself included, all but forgot his old self. Now, he's tumbled into a world of magical ponies while garbed in a stereotypical villain's outfit...
  • Beneath Notice: Vulcan takes to recruiting commoner ponies dissatisfied with the rule of Celestia and Luna as his spies within Canterlot, figuring that no one will ever suspect such low-rung individuals as being suspect.
  • Benevolent Boss: Although benevolent is not the right word to describe Darth Vulcan, the Diamond Dogs certainly think so. Keeping them well fed certainly played a role, as did killing the dragon that was enslaving them. The fact that they dug under Canterlot castle for a week trying to find him cements this.
  • Berserk Button: Ted hates slavery and racism, all connected to his absolute belief in free will. So when the ponies blast him with the Elements and bring in mind-altering spells to try and help him, he refuses their help. Considering his first experience with the Elements, one can't blame him.
    • Don't insinuate to Princess Luna that she is second banana to Princess Celestia. Darth Vulcan, of course mashes on that button, leading to another trope.
    • Artful Dodger is pissed when he discovers that Luna has been using his mind to spy on Vulcan.
  • BFS: Ted's sword is "the size of an ironing board".
  • Big "NO!": Filthy Rich, when, after all of the worrying he has done, is lead to believe Diamond Tiara is dead. Fortunately, she's returned unhurt - unfortunately, her mental state and loss of faith breaks his heart.
  • Black and Grey Morality: Darth Vulcan is a Jerkass and a thief, but some of his opponents Big Boss, Chrysalis, and Sombra make him look like a hero. Averted with his battles with the Mane 6.
  • Blood Magic: Thestrel magic is tied to how much blood they drink.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: Chapter 18
  • Bookcase Passage: Encountered in the castle in the Everfree.
  • Boom, Headshot: How Vulcan handles Tirek after he drains him of his magic.
  • Brainwashing for the Greater Good: Vulcan accuses Celestia of this and being a dictator under her sugar-coated smile, but she denies it every time, saying that there is no need to Brainwash ponies to make them happy. Actually, she scolds Twilight, saying that she does not approve of the use of mind magic by non-professionals. However, Luna hints at Celestia herself using them anyways. Hypocritically, the only confirmed example of someone doing this is Ted maintaining the geas on the Changelings. That may be understandable though, as they reacted violently when they weren't under any geas. It also doesn't occur to him that if Celestia really was brainwashing ponies for the greater good, there would probably be fewer problems with Equestria.
  • Breaking Out the Boss: Chapter 20. Vulcan's forces break into Canterlot to rescue him, resulting in a fighting retreat.
  • Break the Haughty: Diamond Tiara. BIG TIME. Kidnapped by a warlock, told repeatedly by that warlock no one cares for her, only for it to be confirmed before her eyes by the illusions created as an anti-spy measure against Vulcan, faced with the realization that her daddy can't save her, abused by the Diamond Dogs, and in a final act of humiliation, is put on a dog leash, given a doggy bowl, and is found by ponies she repeatedly humiliated.
    • Filthy Rich undergoes this too. He attempted to cheat Vulcan out of his money and sell him out to the authorities. His actions led to his daughter being kidnapped, forcing him to spend sleepless nights worrying about her, Ponyville being looted by Vulcan's army, and then Vulcan calling him out on this in front of the entire town, destroying his reputation. He is misled into thinking Diamond Tiara is dead, and when he finds her, he breaks down realizing he couldn't save her.
      • Both of them, however, get better later on.
  • Breaking Them By Talking: Vulcan is good at this. He even admits that it's his one real talent. He does this to Princess Luna (twice, one of them unintentionally), with a curious Royal Guard soldier, Chrysalis, and even left scratches on Celestia's self-confidence. Yeah, he's good.
  • Broken Aesop: The aesop that it's wrong to impose potentially risky dietary changes on others falls a little flat when the main character did just that when it came to the Changelings and so far has suffered no consequences for it. Then again, unlike the former cases, there's no proof that the changeling's case is actually harmful to their health. Not yet, anyway. Some time passed before the problems with the Thestrals' blood substitute became obvious too.
  • Bully Hunter: Vulcan greatly enjoys breaking Diamond Tiara, something the Princesses and Mane Six take note of.
    • The irony that he himself is considered a bully seems lost on him. Of course, a bully is generally someone who torments others who did nothing to deserve it, and his usual class of victims start at Diamond Tiara and go downhill from there.
  • Bunnies for Cuteness: The changelings need love to survive, but the dogs don't really care much about them, the solution?
    Darth Vulcan: "This is a bunny rabbit." (holds up Angel Bunny for all to see) "It is a device for turning carrots into love."
  • The Cavalry: Celestia, Luna, the Royal Guard, and the Mane Six.
  • Captain Ersatz: Ted's persona of Darth Vulcan started out as "Darth Vader if he came from a Standard Fantasy Setting". He ends up as the Overlord, complete with kobold Mooks.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Dodger acts like a cocky, suave, over-the-top lady's man around Eiderdown, but actually has zero experience with mares. As such, he suffers a panic attack the first time they're alone together, due to having no idea what he's supposed to be doing.
  • Cavalry Betrayal: The Changeling!Main Six. Fortunately, they're Vulcan's.
  • Cerebus Retcon: Luna being purified by the Elements of Harmony is subjected to this, when we find out how painful an experience being exposed to the Elements is. In fact much of the material from the show is portrayed a lot more negatively than it is in canon.
  • Character Development: Vulcan grows from an irascible macho jerk to a crafty, manipulative warlord.
  • Clingy Macguffin: While Trixie's mind was being manipulated by the Amulet, she was still able to remove it. Ted has the opposite problem: the Amulet seems to be leaving his mind alone at first anyway, but he can't take it off.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Vulcan, as befitting his Genre Savvy-ness. He goes for collateral targets, distracts, fights dirty, forces a Sadistic Choice or two, and exploits any possible advantage and/or Loophole.
    • His main resource for a battle, magic, did not work on Big Boss? Magic-up his own hoard and kill him with it.
    • He is fireproof, but his enemy isn't? He fireballed a shield from the inside, catching himself in the process. Shining Armor is now sporting a rather unflattering haircut.
    • Facing the Royal Guard and the princesses? Toss the ground-bound troops off the mountain, knowing that the good guys will do anything to save them, even if it means letting him escape.
    • He's started having his blacksmiths forge crude but effective guns, and isn't above using them in battle. As Tirek found out the hard way.
  • Crapsaccharine World: How Vulcan feels about Equestria. As the Princesses explain, he's so jaded by experiences on Earth that he's convinced this is all a sugar coated lie.
    • Proven right to some extents after life of regular diamond dogs was described.
    • At least this version of it is. When the author fills in information blanks in the shows canon (such as details on Diamond Dog society), he tends to do so in a way that will make Vulcan seem as cool and sympathetic as possible.
      • Most of the crapsaccharine nature relegated to Equestria is mostly from Ted's point of view, and he, as stated above, is an INCREDIBLY cynical individual that can't accept that sometimes things are really as good as they seem and is always waiting for the other shoe to drop, over-emphasizing the bad things he's found or the corruption he's unearthed, thinking them the norm rather than the exception.
    • None of the ponies, however, have ever denied there are problems in their society.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Vulcan vs. Runt, Mange, and Skank. They were lucky he was so forgiving.
    • Vulcan's fight with Tirek lasts about a minute. Tirek immediately begins draining his magic, only to get his head shot off by Vulcan's gun.
  • Cuteness Proximity: The Dreaded Dark Sorcerer Darth Vulcan allowed a diamond dog to adopt a foal by getting double-teamed by their Puppy-Dog Eyes.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Zigzagged when Vulcan recruits the Flim Flam brothers — he goes into one of his trademarked "Reason You Suck" speeches on how they've been wasting their innovations on cons instead of revolutionizing Equestrian society, only for them to reveal that they tried that, but were stymied by Equestria's dedication to Medieval Stasis. Half the reason they join Vulcan is because he offers them a chance to cause social upheaval with their inventions (the other half being money).
  • Dangerously Genre Savvy: Vulcan has read the Evil Overlord List, the 48 Laws of Power, and various other guides to Genre Savvyness, and puts them all to good work.
  • Darth Vader Clone: Justified. Ted was wearing an actual Darth Vader costume gone medieval, and admired his character.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Vulcan has his moments, like when he refers to Diamond Tiara's attitude as "Princess-like".
    Celestia: I'm appalled on behalf of your world, if that is what you think Princesses are like.
    Vulcan: Oh no. My opinion of them has improved vastly since a couple of them chained me to a wall.
  • Deal with the Devil: Vulcan recruits commoner ponies to his cause by promising to give them everything they want that Celestia's regime has denied them in exchange for their service.
  • Deconstructor Fleet: Vulcan tears into everything about the show, from the ways ponies live, Diamond Tiara's continued behavior as a bully and the many, many stupid decisions by the Princesses. And he's not afraid to tell the Princesses about his observations.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: There's a couple of examples between Diamond Dogs and ponies. Dogs have no problem with slavery, don't quite seem to grasp ponies are herbivores, and see burying the dead as weird and disgusting (they burn their dead). That last one is mostly pragmatism, however — as Runt explains to Vulcan, graves take up room that could be used to dig for gems.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: Vulcan is not afraid to tell the Princesses exactly what he thinks of them.
    • He does this literally to Sombra at one point.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: As it turns out, Discord's own Lovecraftian nature makes him magic - as in, literally made of magic. This makes anything capable of inflicting Mana Drain or Mana Burn on him highly dangerous, possibly even fatal. Guess what happens when Discord and the powers of the Amulet clash? A tactical retreat was a sensible choice.
    • Darth shoots Tirek dead when he tries to steal Vulcan's magic.
  • Did Not See That Coming: Ted expected to have the ponies eating out of his hand by acting menacing to make them do what he wanted. Needless to say, it didn't work out that way.
  • Disney Death: Sombra.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: In-Universe, it's lampshaded and subverted with the Changelings, who are stated not to be forgotten creatures, but predators who feed off of the emotions of others.
  • The Dragon: Artful Dodger, after being made Vulcan's apprentice and taking a few levels in badass, takes on this role.
  • The Dreaded: Vulcan becomes this in Equestria.
  • Dream Spying: Luna spies on Vulcan's forces via a psychic backdoor in Dodger's mind. Vulcan and Dodger are pissed when they discover this, but Vulcan figures out a way to reverse it and use it to his advantage.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: The changelings, naturally.
  • Durable Deathtrap: The Everfree Castle. Justified, as there were many enchantments placed on it. Ted questions why the hell everything inside was left behind.
  • Due to the Dead: The first half of Chapter 24 covers the Diamond Dogs mourning the lost. Though half died under Big Boss, the others died under Vulcan. Wracked with guilt, Ted lets the dogs howl and drink the night away to mourn them, and even joins in.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: What could have been the result of Discord and Vulcan's magic coming into contact, rather than just cancelling each other out.
  • Elite Mooks: The Changelings who Vulcan recruits from Chrysalis, whom he dubs the Crimson Guard.
  • Enemy Mine: The towns that get rekt? The princesses won't lift a hoof to fix anything Darth Vulcan did. They agree wholeheartedly with having the place burnt to the ground.
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: Darth Vulcan started out with diamond dogs. He soon expanded to include Changelings, escaped pony convicts, minotaurs, and a tribe of Tooth Breezies.
  • Establishing Character Moment: The second chapter is one for Ted. His love of things dark and black, and his demeaning behavior toward a brony is explained.
  • Everyone Has Standards: As shown in Noble Demon below, Vulcan, while enjoying being an Evil Overlord, still has a code of ethics.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Dodger and Chrysalis were both disgusted by what was done to Eiderdown and her classmates in the remedial class. Dodger cripples the crooked Pegasus supervisor who helped ruin their lives, and Chrysalis thinks that not rebuilding the town was very wise.
    • Chrysalis also was angry at Vulcan for kidnapping the town's foals.
  • Evil Is Not Well Lit: Vulcan admits this about his cavern lairs, and considers doing something about it.
  • Evil Sorcerer: Darth Vulcan. Gaining the Alicorn Amulet certainly helped.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Vulcan, thanks to a voice changer in his helmet. Though he eventually learns how to do it without aid.
  • The Fair Folk: In chapter 38, Dodger runs into ( and recruits) a tribe of Breezies who got run out of fairyland because they use Tooth Magic rather than Flower Magic-basically Lighter and Softer Unseelie Fey. They also go by the "we call them 'fair' to mean 'pretty'; not 'just'" model of pixie.
  • Feed the Mole: Vulcan does this to flush out a mole in his forces. It technically works, though he discovers that said mole wasn't voluntary.
  • Fight Magnet: Vulcan/Ted
  • Friendless Background: Considering he spent his high school years pretending to be someone he wasn't to fit in and avoid being labeled a geek, Ted arguably didn't have a single real friend. He didn't seem to have anyone coming to his defense at the Halloween party.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: was just a Jerkass who inadvertently discovered the Alicorn Amulet and wore it. He's become the ruler of the Diamond Dogs and a band of changelings, and the self-proclaimed lord of the Everfree, who can battle the Princesses and the Elements of Harmony equally.
  • Genre Blind: While normally genre savvy, Ted seems oblivious to the fact that relying on an Artifact of Doom for power doesn't end well in most stories.
  • Genre Savvy: Dodger knows that for all of Vulcan's power and wit, there's still a chance he'll go down like every Big Bad before him, and knows that if that happens then he is pretty much screwed. So, he starts putting together his own crew (starting with the tooth breezies) as an insurance policy in case things go south. Vulcan commends him on the foresight.
  • Goggles Do Something Unusual: All of Vulcan's helmet, really.
  • Good Cop/Bad Cop: Celestia and Luna do this with the captive Vulcan, which he calls them out on.
  • Grail in the Garbage: Ted finds the Alicorn Amulet in a pawnshop. Thinking it was a fake gem, he added to his costume.
  • The Great Wall: In chapter 39 we see that a fifteen foot high steel chain-link fence has been built around the Everfree, with runes protecting it against rust, wear and tear, and chewing, as well as being magically electrified, with lookout towers and armored guards patrolling the perimeter, and an alarm system that will set off if anything flies over, digs under or tries to squeezes through the fence. Twilight admits that it is more to give Equestria a last minute warning than to keep Vulcan and his horde in.
  • Groin Attack: Vulcan nails Mange right in the nads in their first meeting.
  • Ham-to-Ham Combat: Chrysalis vs. Sombra starts like this, and devolves into Volleying Insults. Vulcan snaps them out of it with his own salvo of Incoming Ham.
  • Handicapped Badass: The remedial class pegasi had serious deformities, but that didn't stop them from destroying a rogue tornado when their town's weather team wasn't present, even if it did bite them HARD. This is why Vulcan grants them safe haven in his forces, so he can put them to work.
  • Hannibal Lecture: When Princess Luna comes to rough up Vulcan in his jail cell, Vulcan's response is telling her that all Celestia does it treat her like a minion, that she wouldn't have anything without Celestia's permission, and wouldn't even be beating him if Celestia forbade it, and that her control of the moon isn't important since Celestia was able to move it for 1000 years. Luna's response is to hide in her room. Vulcan lampshades how much he is like Hannibal Lecter, and has to restrain himself from calling Celestia "Clarice".
    • Ted himself says that this is the only thing he'd say is his special talent: To look at a person, find their weakness, and tell it to their faces. Notably, since all of his deconstructions come straight from show canon, none of the main cast rebut his arguments. Perhaps even more pitifully, they don't seem particularly willing to listen.
    • Given the way he acts and the fact that he is never telling them such things out of kindness, it is hardly surprising. It doesn't help that he himself isn't particularly inclined to listen to others about his own flaws or do anything to improve them.
  • Hellish Pupils: As part of his badass upgrade package, Vulcan and Chrysalis enhance Artful Dodger's eyes to give him enhanced sight and night vision, with a side effect being his eyes are now slit and glow.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard. Big Boss, a dragon who obtained a massive hoard of gems by enslaving the Diamond Dogs, is defeated when Vulcan uses his magic to form talons from the gems and metals of that very hoard and smashes him around repeatedly with them. And then, Vulcan seals his mouth and nostrils shut with that treasure, causing the backfire that blows Big Boss' head off.
  • Horror Hunger: Thestrals are obligate omnivores, because they have a mix of various bats; they need meat and blood, and crave it. One of the conditions for their return to Equestria, however, was that they were to be absolutely prohibited from having any, and they were told that they should be ashamed of it, and giving in would make them monsters. Of course, medical experts that actually have morals (and don't fear the nobles, that is) agree that it's just harming them, leaving them at one-fifth capacity from starvation. Luna can't do anything, because Celestia doesn't let let for fear of a negative reaction from the public and the nobles. Vulcan, however, sees a golden opportunity...Disturbingly, this hunger is indeed an unnatural one. Luna created them to be this way because she wanted a Super Soldier race loyal to her.
  • A House Divided: Vulcan's Breaking Lectures seem to have successfully driven a bit of a wedge between Celestia and Luna. And it's slowly but steadily growing due to the pressure of trying to deal with all the problems being caused by Vulcan's presence in Equestria.
    • Vulcan has trouble keeping the various groups under his command working together peacefully.
    • As of Chapter 36, Luna no longer trusts Celestia's word or actions. At all. She only stays her hoof from acting because Twilight Sparkle asked her to.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: The Alicorn Amulet doesn't come with an instruction manual...or does it?
  • How We Got Here: The story opens with Vulcan imprisoned in Canterlot and interrogated by the Princesses, with him telling them his story. It takes about twenty chapters for the narrative to catch up.
  • Humans Are Cthulhu: Vulcan's natural appearance horrifies the Diamond Dogs, and tales of the darker side of human history traumatize a Royal Guard.
    • Chapter 20 points out that since Ted comes from a Crapsack World, all the quote-unquote "evil" he does in Equestria (Saturday morning nyaah-curse-you-He-Man shennanigans) is small potatoes compared to what people on Earth do on a daily basis.
  • Humiliation Conga: Good golly gosh does Diamond Tiara get one. Diamond Dog parenting is hilarious.
  • Hypocrite: Despite believing very strongly in free will, Ted still maintains the geas on the Changelings, effectively depriving them of free will. He probably isn't too bothered because of how they reacted without any control at all. In retrospect, his claims that Celestia was wrong to impose dietary changes on the Thestrals are also rather hypocritical, since he earlier did something similar by making the Changelings take care of pets to get their love fix instead of draining the love of sentient beings. The Changelings don't seem to be suffering any problems yet, but not much time has passed in the fic. The problems with the Thestrals' blood substitute weren't immediately obvious either.
    • Yeah, no. The Changelings were having seizure attacks when their geas were separated from Chrysalis. So it was less of him being a controlling hivemind, to a stable link to ensure they don't fizzle out. Also, the love drain magic that the changelings can do can and will physically, magically and emotionally drain another living being and is thus a danger to all. Ted remedies this by using animal replacements that could potentially give them more due to animals being more emotionally attached to their 'owners', so to speak. Compare that to Celestia who is deliberately starving AND shaming the threstals not because of safety, it was because the nobles were too scared to think of another thing eating blood and meat. Her response was not to give the proper diet under a well-crafted lie, instead she made them eat the blood substitute that made it very VERY obvious it was harming them.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Vulcan gets completely smashed at the Diamond Dog wake, when it hits home that people have been dying for him.
  • Interspecies Adoption: A diamond dog adopts an earth pony foal as her own. Curiously enough, the foal even barks like a dog to get Ted to allow it on sheer cuteness value.
  • Interspecies Romance: Averted. Vulcan is not interested in Chrysalis' offer whatsoever. She does, however, develop a working relationship with Vulcan that evolves into great admiration.
  • It's All About Me: Vulcan doesn't seem to have much time for any view of the world besides his own.
  • Jerkass: Whatever else can be said about him, Ted's one of the least pleasant characters in the story.
  • Jerkass Has a Point/Villain Has a Point: Ted/Darth Vulcan. He kidnaps, he plunders, and he spits on everything in Equestria. But he's critical of many of the things that many who watch to show find fault with, and even the Princesses can't contest these points. Luna herself agrees that getting blasted by the Elements of Harmony is far from a pleasant experience, for example.
  • Jerkass Realization: Diamond Tiara's Break the Haughty experience does this to her, which was Vulcan's point.
    • By the time Luna realized that she was dealing with a teenager with trust, authority, and anger issues instead of a bloodthirsty warlock she could beat up, it was too late to make amends or explain their actions. She got a brutal retort in turn.
  • Just Desserts: After Big Boss is defeated, the Diamond Dogs eat the remains. Princess Celestia was horrified when Vulcan told her, and couldn't seem to get it into her head that the Diamond Dogs were in a precarious situation... or that Big Boss had a habit of eating them.
  • Just Shoot Him: Vulcan doesn't do any faffing about when Tirek tries to steal his magic. He whips out a double-barreled shotgun and blows his head off midway through.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: How Darth sees his kidnapping and treatment of Diamond Tiara, and how Diamond Tiara ends up seeing it due to an illusion cast by Twilight making her think no one loved her. It's actually averted. Filthy Rich and Silver Spoon spent weeks worrying about what happened to her, and the Crusaders themselves are the ones who help Diamond Tiara recover in the end. Rather than rejoice, the school was closed for weeks since ponies feared another kidnapping.
    • DV's reaction to everything, actually.
    • The destruction of Cirrus and Hilltop. The communities were both run by crooked and incompetent officials. And they also allowed the horrible injustice that was done to the remedial class pegasi just to cover it up even after having saved their lives. After learning of how immoral and racist these communities were, not only will Twilight indict the terrible community leaders, but she will recommend against sending money to rebuild the towns.
      • As for Sundae Sprinkles, the corrupt corrections official put in charge of the remedial class' punishment, and who ruined their lives for no reason, Artful Dodger stops just short of killing him, leaving him crippled in addition to having to face his own criminal charges.
  • Killer Rabbit: Tooth breezies look as harmless as the pollen ones, but can easily overpower a full grown stallion and remove their teeth, with whether or not their victim feels pain entirely dependent on them.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Vulcan, of course.
    This guy isn't like you think. He's not clowny like Discord or loud and noisy like Nightmare Moon or wacky crazy like the Mane-iac or Ahuizotl. He's smart. and cold. and hard. He's always thinking, always making plans. And he's scarier than anything I've ever seen.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Ubiquitous. Vulcan likes to point out all the strange, illogical things that happen in the show. Many of them have no real answer, or it is a really stupid answer... however, handles on things and non-hoof-friendly tools are explained as being minotaur-made, given that most species do have hands or claws - that makes it a near-literal Hand Wave. Vulcan is simultaneously amazed and underwhelmed, somehow.
    Darth Vulcan: "That's both surprisingly sensible and vaguely disappointing."
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Big Boss enslaved the Diamond Dogs and ate any that disobeyed. After Vulcan kills him, the dogs eat his corpse.
    • Eiderdown and the Remidials hometowns get torn to shreds, complete with a "You must have been wicked indeed" speech from Vulcan because the group got screwed by government corruption.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Rainbow Dash's first reaction to Darth entering Ponyville was to clock him on the head. Darth did start a riot by entering Ponyville, and had all the makings of an evil villain, but Rainbow Dash caused a lot more problems with her actions.
  • Medieval Stasis: Vulcan lampshades this as being in effect in Equestria, and ultimately realizes that it's a side effect of being ruled by immortal near-goddesses — Celestia and Luna would be hesitant to change things from what they remember when they were young, and due to their (intentional and unintentional) influence on society, all it takes is the slightest hint of dissatisfaction or boredom with an idea for the general populace to discard or outright ignore it.
  • Mle Trois: The battle in the Everfree Castle is fought between Vulcan's forces, Chrysalis' changelings, and Sombra's mind controlled minions. And that's before the Princesses and Royal Guard show up.
  • Mind Rape: What Darth Vulcan believes is the way the Princesses maintain peace. Getting hit with the Elements of Harmony, Luna's dream-walking, and learning about Twilight's mind changing spells only confirm this to him, and prevent the Mane 6 from earning his trust. However, it is later stated that magic can't actually alter a mind permanently.
    • After Luna's coversation with Vulcan, she's left doubting whether the Elements only purged her demonic influence or altered her personality as well.
    • Vulcan pulls this on a guard. He describes human atrocities, starting with the Holocaust and gets to a description of an abortive surgery before the guard is a screaming wreck.
  • Miscarriage of Justice: A group of handicapped pegasi endured a terrible one: a rogue tornado from the Everfree forest was about to destroy an Earth pony town so they flew into the storm and destroyed it. They did do some minor damage to an upper class Pegasus town, but the town's officials, rather than thank them, threw charges at them to cover up for their own incompetence, gave them no legal representation or help from their families, and forced them into 5 years of community service in exchange for dropping the fallacious charges, when the maximum time should have been 1 year. Their supervisor was a Social Darwinist pegasus who constantly abused them and lorded over their lives, and any complaints against him were ignored. And after the sentence was fulfilled, the supervisor revealed their criminal charges at their graduation, blacklisting them from any decent career, and causing one of the pegasi to have their filly taken away by the courts.
  • Monumental Battle : In-universe, the Everfree Castle.
  • Monumental Damage: Canterlot Castle is undermined due to the damage done by Vulcan's escape in the old caves, and falls off the mountain into the lake below.
  • Mook Lieutenant: Runt, Mange, and Skank become leaders of Vulcan's Diamond Dog Mooks.
    • Black Fang is the commander of the Changelings who change loyalties to Vulcan.
    • Artful Dodger is recruited from Vulcan's new con pony minions to serve as his Number Two. Following a few magical upgrades, he's now arguably The Dragon.
  • Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: Averted with Doctor Sawbones. Yeah, he works for Vulcan and helps the Diamond Dogs, but only because of his dedication in treating any sick or wounded creature, and is disgusted with how superstition has prevented thestrals from being adequately nourished with the blood they need to survive.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: When Ted realizes that Diamond Dogs have died under his watch, he finally realizes just how serious things have gotten for him. He then joins them in mourning the dead.
  • Nerd in Evil's Helmet: Ted, though he spent years pretending that side of him didn't exist.
  • Never Found the Body: Vulcan lampshades this when the Princesses reveal that they didn't find Chrysalis, Sombra or his chief minions after the battle in the old castle. Two out of three so far, he's been proven right.
    • Not that it was ever stated in universe that either was gone forever.
    • When he first learns of the changelings and their defeat, he asks if Chrysalis died; since the response was this trope, he assumes she was still at large and prepared for the worst. Then the battle at the Everfree Castle happened, proving him right.
  • Never My Fault: Luna suffers from this to some degree. While Celestia might have dropped the ball in regards to how the thestrals were treated by the rest of the populace and the prohibition to them drinking blood under any circumstances, it was Luna's decision to insert vampire bat DNA into the Thestral Genome for the sake of "Robustness" that that led to them craving blood in the first place, which gave an excuse for others to reject them and led to them being ostracized like they were.
    • Considering that Ponies have been seen fishing, ostentibly to feed their carnivorous pets, the possibility exists that no one would have batted an eye if their craving was for fish if Luna had stuck to Fishing Bats instead of adding Vampire Bats to the mix, as the blood drinking aspect of the thestrals in this continuity is the biggest reason for their ostracization.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Twilight throwing the Alicorn Amulet into the Void is how it found its way to Ted, leading it to bringing him to Equestria and him becoming Darth Vulcan.
    • The Mane Six and the Princesses act less than cordially to Vulcan on their first meetings, leading to him viewing them as Mind Raping monsters.
    • Filthy Rich's betrayal of Darth Vulcan when he wanted to purchase supplies resulted in Diamond Tiara being kidnapped, and Ponyville being looted.
    • Luna attacks Vulcan in a frenzy while he escapes from Canterlot. She ends up collapsing some of the tunnels the Diamond Dogs dug to get Vulcan out, and the loss of foundation causes Canterlot Castle to fall from the mountain.
    • Vulcan is quick to point out all the times that the heroes have made mistakes.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: The Breezies we see in the show are this to the Tooth Breezies. They found the use of teeth for their magic distastful and left the tribe, choosing to use pollen magic instead. The result is they are far weaker than the tooth using tribe. The Tooth Breezies consider them to be 'wussies' and weak, even spitting in disgust when being compared to them.
  • Noble Demon: Darth Vulcan. He orders his dogs not to kill when they plunder Ponyville, returns a hostage unharmed, order the dogs not to enslave ponies, and believes strongly in keeping one's word.
    • When he finds the Tree of Harmony, his first reaction is not to take control of it but run away and try to find a way to keep it secure from Chrysalis and Sombra.
    • When the Diamond Dogs mourn their dead, he is horrified by the deaths under his command, and joins them in mourning.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Eiderdown and her friends suffered greatly for an act of heroism. See Miscarriage of Justice
  • "No. Just... No" Reaction: Vulcan's reaction to Chrysalis propositioning him.
  • Noodle Incident: Ponies being irresponsible with portals to the Void is something that has happened before, much to Luna's annoyance. Apparently, somepony used the Void as garbage disposal because supposedly the odds of anything hitting something are infinitesimal. Either the Void plays by other rules, or the unicorn was just unlucky enough for his garbage to piss off a Shoggoth.
  • No Sell: The Elements of Harmony have no effect on Vulcan, because as Luna points out, he's not corrupted.
    • Vulcan and Discord's powers cancel each other out.
    • Tirek absorbs any magic attack thrown at him. Firearms, however, work very well against him.
  • Not Brainwashed: The Mane 6 blast Darth Vulcan with the Elements of Harmony, believing him to be corrupted by the Alicorn Amulet. Not only is he not corrupted, he believes the Mane 6 were trying to brainwash him. Later chapters hint that the Amulet is starting to corrupt him. Unfortunately for him, he already dealt with the Elements.
  • Not So Weak: Tooth Breezies might appear as frail and puny to their pollen gathering counterparts, but are about ten to twenty times stronger than they are.
  • Oh, Crap: Tirek gets one when he sees a two barrel shotgun pressed on his face.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Zecora in this story turns out to be from West Fillydelphia. She played to the mystic shaman stereotype to be taken seriously as a herbalist/healer in spite of being the bona fide thing. She stops her rhyming completely and returns to her natural accent after the first accidental encounter with Ted.
  • Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Averted. The Alicorn Amulet comes back and bites everyone in Equestria back a big way.
    • Likewise with the Changelings. As Twilight notes, ponies pretty much forgot about them after the Canterlot Wedding, and now they're working for Vulcan.
    • Vulcan points out how this is a terrible idea (in his usual way) while asking if he's going to get the same treatment.
  • Palette Swap: To tell his own Changelings apart from Chysalis', Vulcan changes their appearance to shades of red.
  • Parental Substitute: Chrysalis, at least, jokingly sees Vulcan as becoming this to Artful Dodger.
  • Pass the Popcorn: When Vulcan assigns Eiderdown to serve Dodger, as her way of paying off her debt to Vulcan, he and Chrysalis decide to enjoy some nachos while watching Dodger's attempts at dealing with his crush on her.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Darth Vulcan fully believes in doing this. Case in point: destroying the towns of Cirrus and Hilltop for ruining the lives of the pegasi who stopped a tornado from blowing them all away.
  • Pet the Dog: Literally, whenever Vulcan acts kindly to the Diamond Dogs.
    • He suggests that the changelings under his command learn to pet rabbits and other creatures to get the affection they need to survive.
  • Pity the Kidnapper: Attempted by Diamond Tiara while she's held hostage by Vulcan. The typical result of this trope is averted brutally when Vulcan's response is to escalate D.T.'s humiliation and mistreatment until she couldn't take it anymore. Vulcan later says that this trope doesn't really work in real life, for the reasons he had just demonstrated.
  • Playing with Fire: Vulcan likes to resort to Kill It with Fire several times (even if it didn't pan out against Big Boss), he also fireproofed himself; Shining Armor's shield is a confined space, Shining Armor is not fireproof. Do the math. Shining only survived because Vulcan is a Genre Savvy Noble Demon.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Vulcan is scared of the Tree of Harmony's power, and not only avoids messing with it, but is quick to take steps to stop anyone else from doing so. He also avoids murder to not motivate his opponents to play hardball with him.
  • Precocious Crush: All the fillies in Ponyville have a crush on Shining Armor. When Spike points out that he's married, they reply that they know, they just like to look.
  • Primal Fear: Being eaten alive. Chrysalis was on the verge of being eaten, and her scream of utter terror, along with Vulcan acknowledging the horror of the situation, manages to get him to interfere - despite freely admitting that he would be the first one in line to cause that to happen if the circumstances were different. Discussed later when he's recounting the event to Celestia; he remembers it's one of the most frequent nightmares on Earth, and Luna confirms the same for Equestria.
  • Punch Clock Villain: Discussed. When the heroes discuss how Darth Vulcan has the loyalty of his dogs, Rarity points out it's only because he keeps them well fed. However, Shining rightly points out that only taking care of a pack that size is no no small feat, and that nobody had ever cared about them before.
  • Punctuated Pounding: Vulcan does this to the Everfree Castle's traps.
    Vulcan: All this—" explosion "—crap I have to deal with—" detonation— " 'I say, Princess Sparkle Mc Fluffypoo, we have a small mountain of weapons and magic tomes and super-special ancient artifacts—-" disintegrate "— perhaps we should lock them up in a vault someplace safe?" fireball "Why no, don't be ridiculous! Let's take them and—" bigger explosion "—- stick them in a collapsing condemned building—" eruption "— out in the middle of a wilderness—" defenestration "— and fill it full of booby traps!
  • Rape, Pillage, and Burn: Done to Ponyville (except the first one)
    • He later does this to an upper class Pegasus town and an Earth pony village, to avenge a group of pegasi who saved these towns from a rogue tornado and in return lost everything. He was much more thorough, too - the enchantments holding the cloud town fell apart, and the earth village fell in a sink hole after mining teams destroyed its foundations.
  • Red Shirt Army: The tribe of Diamond Dogs Ted takes over.
  • Reality Ensues: Vulcan convinced himself that because of the "TV-Y7" nature of Equestria, there wouldn't be any death as a result of the wanton destruction resulting from his actions. He's horrified when he realizes that people, specifically HIS people, really have been dying.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Vulcan delivers these to Celestia and the Mane Six like nobody's business.
    • He also gives one to Chrysalis, explaining just how flawed her invasion plan was.
  • Rescue Romance: Mixed with Asskicking Equals Authority and played for laughs — as per changeling society, since Vulcan not only dominated Chrysalis in battle but saved her from some plunder vines conjured by Sombra, she's now fixated on him as a potential mate.
  • Revenge: While Eiderdown goes to Vulcan mostly for help for everything she and her friends went through, she's goaded into admitting that this is what she really wants. And when Vulcan delivers, she admits that while she feels bad for any of the innocents who got caught in the crossfire, she mostly just feels vindicated.
  • Reverse Mole: Artful Dodger is an unwilling one, as Luna plants a psychic backdoor in his mind before he escapes prison and uses that to spy on Vulcan's forces. Dodger is horrified and anger when he realizes this.
  • Rhymes on a Dime: Subverted. Turns out Zecora actually speaks in a West Fillydelphia accent; the rhyming and Darkest Africa routine are just an act designed so that ponies take her seriously.
  • Right-Hand Attack Dog: Deadwood, Vulcan's timberwarg mount.
  • Right Under Their Noses: Chrysalis tries this with Vulcan.
    • Vulcan gets the Elements of Harmony by sending Changelings that look like the Mane Six to Ponyville to take them.
  • Sanity Slippage: The Alicorn Amulet should be doing this to Ted. The fact that it seemingly isn't is a cause for concern in-universe.
  • Scary Impractical Armor: Ted's outfit. The official artwork makes him look more like a Chaos Space Marine rather than a Darth Vader Clone.
  • Schizo Tech: Vulcan is rather confused by the varying levels of technology in Equestria.
  • Screams Like A Filly: Apparently, Shining Armor - or so Vulcan said - after getting caught inside a fireball inside his own shield.
    • Vulcan admits he screamed when he saw a changeling for the first time.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: When Discord realizes that his powers don't work on Vulcan, he runs away.
  • Series Continuity Error: A small one, but when Cadence is listing all the reasons why teenagers like Ted are so full of anger, she mentions the loss of innocence, including finding out that Santa Hooves and the Tooth Breezy aren't real. Flashforward about twenty chapters or so, and we find out that tooth breezies are an entire subspecies of the breezy race.
    • Averted Trope: The Tooth Breezies pretty much state that they were left for dead and forgotten, and Cadence not thinking the Tooth Breezies were real means that they were relegated to nothing but myth after several centuries due to their survival being unknown.
  • Shout-Out: Vulcan's apprentice from the criminals he recruits is named Artful Dodger. Vulcan lampshades this, but doesn't explain the joke.
    Celestia: In all of your actions thus far, I am yet to discern any sort of plan.
    • One of the villains Celestia and Luna took out in Ages Past was Count Dragon Son of The Land Beyond The Forest, who enjoyed impaling dissenters on his horn.
    • Vulcan shouts "Fus Ro DAH!" and tosses a unit of Royal Guards off a cliff.
    • Vulcan comments that Wolftooth, the leader of the tooth breezies, sounds like the Swedish Chef.
    • At one point, Vulcan negotiates with a group of pony gangsters led by a guy named Boss Hoss.
    • The leader of the Diamond Dogs is Big Boss.
  • Sinister Surveillance: Vulcan creates a spell (in the form of floating eyes) that allows him to spy on events in and around his territory.
  • Snake Oil Salesman: Flim and Flam, of course; however, what's interesting is that they deliberately invoke this. They started out with honest intentions of revolutionizing Equestria with their amazing inventions, but became so frustrated by everypony treating their marvelous works like junk, they decided to just peddle junk.
  • Sorcerous Overlord: Ted/Vulcan
  • Spider Swarm: Artful Dodger punishes a stallion for molesting Eiderdown with a dose of Nightmare Mist. The stallion's worst fear is a horde of spiders crawling all over him.
    • Dodger later saves the tooth breezies from a real spider swarm, earning their loyalty.
  • Story-Breaker Power: Discord has the power to solve any problem. Making Vulcan immune to Discord's power makes the story go on longer.
  • Straw Vegetarian: Vulcan tells stories about an overly-righteous vegetarian as a parallel for the problems of carnivores like Thestrals trying to live as herbivores. The first had the vegetarian's cat die because she only fed it vegetables and ignored the vet's advice that it needed meat. Then second had the same girl switching out the sugar water in a hummingbird feeder for a calorie-free substitute, and since the birds weren't getting the calories they needed to live, they ended up starving with full stomachs. Vulcan then reveals that this vegetarian was in fact his cousin.
    • Subverted by the fact that these are real life stories. The hummingbird incident only happened once, but cases of cats and kittens dying of malnutrition on vegan diets are a regular occurrence.
  • Supernatural Is Purple: Vulcan is shown to constantly weep purple and green fire, not unlike Sombra.
  • Super Soldier: Luna created the Thestrals for this purpose. Well-fed Thestrals are far more robust than the average pony.
  • Survival Mantra: Diamond Tiara develops one while being kept as Darth's hostage.
    Diamond Tiara: "My Daddy's coming to get me..."
  • Surrounded by Idiots: How Vulcan clearly felt with the Diamond Dogs.
    Vulcan: "Skank, I swear, one of these days you're going to pick your nose and your head's gonna cave in."
  • Sword Fight: Vulcan has one with Sombra in the ruins of the Castle of the Royal Pony Sisters. However, it's somewhat played for laughs, given that Vulcan has no skill or experience with swordplay and his blade is far too heavy to wield properly, while Sombra is a miniature horse with little experience in physical combat who has to wield his sword in his mouth. Vulcan even lampshades that the fight must look more ridiculous than epic.
    We ran around waving our pointy sticks at each other like two men trying to kill a snake in a phone booth.
  • Sympathetic P.O.V.: Ted's mostly sympathetic because he's the POV character in a good number of chapters. Without that look into his mind, he's basically a city-wrecking, kidnapping, filly-drowning, house-burning jerk wielding a dangerous Artifact of Doom who keeps insulting everyone not on his side. The company he keeps isn't helping matters: the Diamond Dogs (slavers), the Changelings (emotion eaters who recently attacked the capital), and the outcasts and criminals of Equestrian society.
  • Take Over the World: Subverted. Vulcan has no desire to rule Equestria's world, and he knows that while his magic might give him a temporary edge on Earth if he ever got back, human military technology would ultimately overwhelm him.
  • Take That: Everything about Cirrus/Hilltop and the Remedial pegasi is a massive one to Fluttershy's alternate origin in A Minor Variation.
  • Tastes Like Friendship: On a national scale. One of the reasons the Diamond Dogs are loyal to Ted/Vulcan is that he provides for them when they've been going to bed hungry for as long as they can remember.
    • Vulcans plan to recruit thestrals is to feed them well too - specifically, the blood they need to live, but everypony else tells them is a mental illness to want. It's likened to telling someone they're addicted to vitamin c and they're a monster for eating an orange.
  • Teens Are Monsters: Ted was a pretty troubled teenager even before he ended up in Equestria. Being trapped in a setting he already hated, getting on the wrong side of just about everypony and the Alicorn Amulet's own increasingly strong influence on him aren't improving matters.
  • Tom the Dark Lord: Lampshaded by Vulcan, who upon revealing his true name to Celestia, tells her that he used an alias because no one would be scared of "the Dread Sorcerer Ted".
  • Took a Level in Badass: Vulcan, with some help from Chrysalis enables one of these for his undersized and underpowered apprentice Artful Dodger, equipping him with various charms, artifacts, and spells in order to make himself, if not a powerhouse, a more formidable opponent.
  • Truth in Television: Darth Vulcan describes an incident where a vegan killed her cat feeding it a vegan diet, and another where she killed a flock of hummingbirds feeding them Nutrasweet. These are based on real life events. The vegan cat food incident has actually occurred multiple times IRL.
  • Uncanny Valley: In-Universe, Vulcan discusses this trope and how it's at play for him in Equestria in general.
    • More specifically, this is also his reaction to Chrysalis' attempt at taking on human form.
  • Undying Loyalty: Vulcan's Diamond Dog troops, due to him freeing them from Big Boss and treating them better than any leader they've ever had.
    • Dodger later gains this from the tooth breezies, after saving them from a Spider Swarm.
  • Vegetarian Vampire: Subverted. Thestrals need to drink blood but the House of Lords forced them to subsist on an alchemic substitute that just barely keeps them alive. Ted offers real blood to recruit Thestrals, comparing their treatment to a vegan feeding a kitten tofu. Twilight responds by replacing the Night Guards' fake blood ration with a "new formula" that's secretly real blood and food coloring. Luna takes her personal guard down to the royal chicken coop and tells them to chow down.
    • Ironically, he suggests that the Changelings become this by suggesting that they pet bunnies to satiate their appetite for love.
  • Villain Protagonist: Darth Vulcan/Ted
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Vulcan hands these out alongside his "The Reason You Suck" Speeches.
  • White and Grey Morality: The Princesses and the Mane 6 vs an empowered Jerkass teenager who, while undoubtedly a criminal, is a Noble Demon with a code of ethics who consciously avoids lines like murder and mind control.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: Sadly subverted: The Diamond Dogs mourn the loss of their comrades who were killed either by Big Boss, or in many of Darth Vulcan's activities with a massive ceremony. Darth himself feels guilty about not recognizing how many dogs died under his command, and joins the dogs in their mourning.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Cute?: Subverted. While Vulcan does admit that the changelings look like monsters, upon closer inspection he finds it to be in an infantile, goofy sort of way right at home in a childrens' show; he also Lampshades humanity's tendency to throw affection at anything. Anything (So long as you can reach the right audience). He also suspects that a quivering lip, a sad plea, and "big dewy foal eyes" would have been enough to win the Equestrians over, making them love (and thus feed and help) the changelings, even without using Voluntary Shapeshifting.
  • What the Hell, Townspeople?: The remedial class pegasi save Hilltop/Cirrus from a rogue tornado by using a makeshift bomb to disperse it. The town thanks them by making their lives absolute hell for it because it caused minor damages throughout town.
    • The whole town was like this well before the remedials incident—the town's primary source of income was funds from various crown relief projects; they moved Cirrus over Hilltop in the first place to get special dual-city status; their remedial program was a dumping ground for even slightly bad students because the crown funds for it depended on how full it was; and the whole reason the tornado happened at all was because the weather patrol in the area was barely even a skeleton crew, which again was so they could get a generous relief fund from the crown, much of which was placed in politicians' pockets. When Vulcan's raid on the town reveals all this, not only are all of the town's politicians indicted, but Twilight cuts off crown funding to the towns altogether.
  • The Wild Hunt: A thestral custom rather than a Fey one. The entire tribe plus Luna chase down a large creature and vampirize it. They once mummified a Hydra doing so. The custom was stopped when Luna was sent to the moon and the thestrals exiled.
  • Wish Fulfillment: In a weird way, being sent to Equestria is this for Ted. On Earth, he spent years suppressing his real interests and faked being "cool" just to fit in at high school. On Equestria, he gets to live out all of his D&D geeky interests and has awesome magical powers to boot. "Darth Vulcan" is arguably a lot closer to his true self than the persona he adopted in high school. Tellingly, he doesn't spare much thought to the life he left behind on Earth.
  • A Wizard Did It: Vulcan ultimately comes to the conclusion that if he doesn't understand anything in Equestria, it's because of magic.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Averted. Darth Vulcan references the Evil Overlord Rule "Shooting is not too good for my enemies", and uses it to kill Tirek.
  • Worthless Yellow Rocks: One of the tooth breezies that pulled out a gangsters teeth is disgusted to find itself holding a gold tooth, rather than a real one it can use as a power source.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Despite the White and Gray Morality of the fic and the good job it does of making Vulcan sympathetic, it also shows how he's STILL a villain by making him nearly DROWN Diamond Tiara.
  • Worthy Opponent: Shining Armor begrudgingly admits that Darth Vulcan earned the loyalty of the Diamond Dogs.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: When Darth Vulcan first enters Ponyville, Rainbow Dush immediately goes on the offensive and attacks him. She presumed with his hostile nature and malevolent-looking dark outfit that he was like other villains. She was right, but attacking him without letting him get a word in resulted in him hating the ponies.
    • Ted himself started as this. He expected the ponies to be such wussies that they'd think an ineffective villain like Gargamel from The Smurfs was an epic level villain, and so would fold if he scared them. Among the Epic Level Villains in the world where Equestria is are a Made of Evil Dark Unicorn Overlord that enslaved his own people, an Avatar of Chaos, and a possibly Omnicidal Maniac Mad Moon Goddess. What an Idiot comes to mind...
    • He does it AGAIN when he tries to buy supplies from Filthy Rich's store. Instead of the bare essentials, he padded his order with things he didn't need or even know what they were for in order to make the offer more attractive. Turned out he ordered unicorn horn shavings, a common use magical reagent. The ponies thought he was up to no good because of that instead of trying to get some food, toilet paper, and other necessities.
      • He's still suffering from this in regards to Equestrian Society as a whole. Because of his cynicism and the bad first impressions going all around, he believes Equestria is secretly a cesspit of corruption hidden behind a veneer of niceness, instead of a society where things are fine for the most part except for a few things and rough spots that passed under Celestia's notice. It doesn't help that he's convinced himself that because he found ONE township where corruption was the order of the day, and the Princesses didn't notice anything wrong until Ted brought the issues to light, that things are as horrible as he thinks they are.
  • Yin-Yang Clash: The power of the Alicorn Amulet is an opposite to Discord's. They (thankfully) neatly cancel each other out without much more consequence than draining both. Discord's nature means that he wouldn't survive it either way, however, and thus retreats.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Ted, of all people, reassures Dodger when the latter has a small crisis after Eiderdown's discomfort with his advances reminds him of his own mother and the sleazeballs she had to put up with. Ted tells him that any animal can say they claimed a female whenever the opportunity presented itself, but it takes a real man to treat a lady with respect. It does help.
  • You Are What You Hate: For all the contempt he has on bronies and cosplayers who go to conventions, Ted/Darth Vulcan is very much a closet geek who is into real time strategy games and plays old school NES (even if not quite by choice due to his allegedly cheapskate parents) games and admits to being a cosplayer himself in his own mind/first person narrative, with the weak justification that he only dresses in costume for Halloween because it's "socially acceptable". The monniker of Darth Vulcan was inspired by the in the original Back to the Future's where Marty freaks out the 1955 version of his dad by putting on his radiation suit and claims to be "Darth Vader from the Planet Vulcan" in his attempt to set history straight again and get his parents together to secure his future. It goes well into hypocrite levels when some of his narrative hints at being at a Dungeons and Dragons player, a geekdom sub-group who have suffered from even worse criticism, prejudice AND persecution than bronies due to lies perpetrated by Moral Guardians about players of the game being devil worshipers years ago IRL.
  • You Called Me X, It Must Be Serious: Chrysalis usually calls Vulcan "my lord". However, she refers him as Ted to snap him out of his Unstoppable Rage when she realizes that Dodger isn't a traitor.
  • You Monster!: Cadence calls Vulcan one when he refuses to help them keep Canterlot form falling off the mountain. He disagrees.
  • Your Head Asplode: Big Boss, upon trying to incinerate Vulcan with his fire breath, only for Vulcan to seal his mouth and nostrils, causing a backfire.
  • Your Worst Nightmare: Thanks to a book Twilight wrote on Sombra's reign, Vulcan is able to teach Dodger how to create "Nightmare Mists" that take on the form of the worst fears of whoever is exposed to them, which he keeps stored in his top hat (which Vulcan nicknames the Hat Full of Nightmare).