is a fanfic for My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
The story starts when Twilight Sparkle and her friends are sucked into a portal and warped to another dimension, where they quickly realize they're not in their own Equestria anymore. The new world is similar to ours at first glance, with a giant city populated by hundreds of thousands of ponies. They make new friends along the way - a police officer
, Flathoof; a civilian
, Lockwood; and a Chronomancer (an obvious reference to Time Lords
), Tick Tock - who are determined to help them get back home once they learn that the fact that they're in this new Equestria means that their own is threatened by Discord, whose seal is weakening due to their absence.
But, they make new enemies as well who will stop at nothing to keep Twilight and company from completing their journey, and the world itself from what they've seen is more dangerous than anything they faced back at home. Poverty, violence, corruption, and death are not rare here, and it is going to take all of their efforts to overcome these challenges to get back at home. Challenges range from just getting through New Pandemonium City's corrupt bureaucracy
, to dealing with outright hostile terrain
(most of it with rather unfortunate names
), to fighting against giant-sized monster insects
. And that's just the first dozen chapters!
There are also other ponies that don't exactly want to see them make it home and all go to great lengths to keep the Mane Six from their goal. Their primary opponents? A team of suspiciously similar Evil Counterparts
- Starlight Shadow
, Grayscale Force
, Red Velvet
, and Insipid
- their father Silvertongue
, and his personal assassin Shadowstep
Currently Incomplete and in its 37th Chapter as of October 21st, 2014; revisions are ongoing.
An audio play is currently in production by Bogyle Bronies
. The writers of this fic are heavily involved in production.
- A Round of Drinks for the House: After Twilight undergoes a little ritual to prove she is of legal drinking age, Briarthorn gleefully buys a round of drinks for the entire bar. Seeing as how he's legally entitled to free drinks courtesy of the Queen, this isn't exactly him being generous, but rather just his regular overly-celebratory self.
- Accidental Pervert: Lockwood, in Chapter 14, is busy talking with Fluttershy after she wakes up from what essentially amounts to a coma. Rarity, after hearing that she's woken up, rushes in to be with her immediately... right out of the shower. Since nudity in Equestria-V is treated similarly to how it is in our world (though what constitutes as appropriate clothing is confusing), Lockwood's reaction to a naked, wet Rarity is... understandable. Doesn't stop her from chasing him out of the room, as she has adapted to the new world's social understanding.
- Actually Pretty Funny: Even Red Velvet has to admit Pinkie Pie has a good sense of humor sometimes.
- Achievements in Ignorance: Insipid's lack of understanding of how the powers she steals work allows her to use them in ways that the original user either never thought of or thought impossible. Her use of Rarity's boosting magic is a prime example, as she uses it to boost herself, which Rarity either can't do or at least has yet to try.
- Adorkable: Obviously Twilight, and Lockwood on occasion, but the most startling example is Havocwing, post-Character Development. After Chapter 25, she goes from the Mean Six's Chew Toy to The Heart, and is quickly developing into a Jerk with a Heart of Gold from there. The best part about it all, though, is just how damn awkward she is while trying to be nice.
- Affably Evil: Silvertongue is exceedingly polite to absolutely everypony he speaks to, despite being a genocide-engineering, war-mongering, tyrannical liar. He tends to be less so when angry, but doesn't not really ever lose his cool.
- All There in the Manual: Rainbow Dash's ability to turn into Lightning changes her magical classification from "Meteomancer" to "Meteoambulus." Shadowstep is an Umbrioambulus. Insipid is a Vampirifactor, and Grayscale is a Physicaster. Needless to say, if there is a type of magic in the story that is not explicitly named, it's because the author doesn't want to turn the story into a custom tabletop RPG rulebook.
- Are We There Yet?: Pinkie Pie repeats this in Chapter 3 when the party has to climb over eighty floors to their new apartment, severely annoying Rainbow Dash. Thankfully, she does not do this at all during the party's trip across half the planet to Hope's Point. Rainbow Dash does tell Pinkie not to say it anymore, after all.
- Attack Animal: Ophanim, Fluttershy's spirit familiar, obeys her every command and can transform into the shape of any one animal (later, any animal period) she chooses. When not following her direct orders, he defaults to one behavior: Defend Fluttershy.
- Badass Boast: Pinkie delivers one to Red Velvet when explaining why she's so happy despite facing down Red Velvet of all ponies, and why she's isn't afraid of her anymore:
Pinkie Pie: Nothing in the world would make me happier right now than knowing my friends are safe from you. And that means? Kicking your butt!
- Badass Normal: Flathoof is the primary source of this in the story, as he lacks the same manner of powers that the Mane and Mean Six possess. His increased strength and endurance is enough to help him stand up to the Mean Six, certainly, but he has enough of it on his own and a decent combat sense to handle himself in situations that might have seriously injured the Mane Six.
- The Hope's Point crew seems to be filled with these. Queen Blackburn's bodyguards, Gadget and Crossfire, unflinchingly stand against A.M.P. Troopers that are using a full arsenal of deadly weapons. Gadget's lightning gun and Crossfire's mutli-weapon are extremely effective, and then there's Blackburn herself, equipped with a Power Fist. Blackburn even uses her weapon to go hoof-to-hoof with Grayscale Force for a short period.
- Then, there's Commander Pinpoint, Queen Blackburn's top-tiered sniper. By himself, he provides the first major threat that the Mean Six face and actually consider a threat. Just for a recap, the Mean Six possess a Gravity Master, an incredibly powerful spellcaster, an invisible martial artist, a blood-wielding psychopath, a Pyromancer, and a power leech. He makes them sweat.
- Bad Boss: Silvertongue pretty much kills his employees without remorse if they fail to live up to his standards. At least he gives them a chance to redeem themselves. Doctor Blutsauger, however, is not afforded that same treatment, and Jetstream is placed against obviously stacked odds, so he might not be a fair with handing out second chances as he'd like his subordinates to believe. He does, however, fairly reward success, as Shroud would attest to, if she could remember it happening.
- Bad Powers, Bad People: Red Velvet has powers that allow her to manipulate her own blood as a weapon, and to play off of another pony's fears to terrify them into submission. She's easily the most evil of the Mean Six.
- Balance Between Good and Evil: It is explicitly stated in-universe that this is how all of the Equestria's function (though the Chronomancers insist it's between Law and Chaos), and that that's what caused many of the events in Equestria-V to transpire as they have.
- The Beast Master: Fluttershy's powers, once unlocked, allow her to command animals to aid her in battle. As there are no animals in the north of Equestria-V, she is given a spirit familiar named Ophanim that can transform into an animal. He is able to change into any animal at will after Fluttershy realizes he can, despite being told he couldn't.
- Berserk Button: Applejack learns the hard way not to call Havocwing a chicken.
- Beware the Silly Ones: Do not deny Insipid something she wants. Shadowstep learns the hard way that he is not as immune to pain as he once thought.
- BFS: The zebra warriors in Equestria-V seem to be fond of them. Rarity even lampshades it, with the inevitable implications.
- Bi the Way: Briarthorn tells Flathoof, quite simply, that he's not picky about who he's with, he's just perky. It's hinted that he has no problems with the possibility of a three-way with Cookie Dough and her husband, and that he and Haute Couture have perhaps engaged in activities together in the past. Flathoof is extremely disturbed by this, but shakes it off.
- Big Damn Heroes: Averted and lampshaded in Chapter 24 when Rainbow Dash arrives just in time to accomplish absolutely nothing against Red Velvet. Played straight immediately after when Rainbow's presence inspires Pinkie Pie to new heights of happiness to break them all out of Velvet's fear aura.
- Big "NO!": Fluttershy gives one when Lockwood is injured in Chapter 20.
- Big "Shut Up!": Red Velvet delivers a particularly angry one to Pinkie Pie in Chapter 16, annoyed at Pinkie's antics. Starlight Shadow also demands that Red Velvet do the same in Chapter 24 when the latter is using her powers to tap into the former's fears.
- Bilingual Bonus: One of the Mean Six's names, Curaçao, is derived from the Portuguese word, coração, meaning "heart". She and Havocwing certainly take over as the heart of their team following the events of Chapter 25.
- Black Comedy: Red Velvet's sense of humor is delightfully dark. Most of the Equestria-V ponies have their fair share of moments, as does Pinkie Pie.
- Bling of War: Shining Armor's dress armor, which Princess Cadence insists he wears, is bright gold and decorated with medals and gems. In other words, Shining Armor is wearing a very fancy suit of... shining armor.
- Bloody Murder: One half of Red Velvet's powers, allowing her to manipulate her blood as a weapon or as tendrils and even giving her a pretty effective Healing Factor.
- Boisterous Bruiser: Havocwing is the villainous version of this, while Rainbow Dash fills the heroic role pretty well.
- Born Unlucky: Tick Tock seems to have the worst of luck, and gets very few breaks as the fic goes along. Unfortunately, this seems to rub off on those she travels with, leading the Mane Six, Flathoof, and Lockwood into multiple dangerous situations through no fault of her own.
- Break Them by Talking: The Mane Six as a whole use this tactic to try and talk down the Mean Six during their solo battles in the later chapters, as the Mean Six are out for blood. The Mean Six leave themselves open to it since they attempt to get their feelings about their Cloning Blues off their chests. Curaçao knew this would happen and not only accounted for it, but planned on it, hoping the situation would drive the evil from her sisters and make them happy.
- Brick Joke: Invoked by Pinkie, who promises her sword from Chapter 16 will appear again in Chapter 20. It does, and is "ninja'd" by her past self to bring back to Chapter 16 with her.
- As Pinkie herself states, chapter 19 was an especially long one—even by this fic's standards—at least partly so the Brick Joke would work.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Pinkie Pie, natch. It's how her superpower works, even. Red Velvet, whose fear-inducing power seems to run on the same idea, takes this to a new level, literally corrupting and breaking the document text in Chapter 24.
- Breather Chapters: According Word of God, Chapters 27 and 28 are meant entirely to be attempts to relieve the tension after the Mane Six have finally reached a safe haven, giving them a chance to relax, reflect, and prepare for the last leg of their journey. Both chapters are filled with comic relief, character development, and world-building, as well as fan-submitted original characters appearances to help lighten the tone.
- Buffy Speak: Tick Tock and Twilight often go into lengthy descriptions of how certain types of work; Gilderoy takes this even further, but does a reasonable job of putting it all in layman's terms. When these are referred to again in the future, Rarity is usually able to recite it word-for-word, often adding her own flair to it; Rainbow Dash and Applejack, on the other hand, fall into this. Insipid fills the role for her group.
- Butt Monkey: Jetstream's only apparently purpose is as target practice for the Mean Six's first test run, where is made a complete fool of against odds that were all-too obviously stacked against him; afterwards, he gets the honor of being Red Velvet's first kill (which, given what the Blood Mire is, might be a better fate). Within her own group, Havocwing is treated like this, a stark contrast to Fluttershy.
- Casual Danger Dialogue: A common occurrence throughout the fic, none more prominent than the one at the beginning of Chapter 12. Floating around in a pool of lava with nothing more than a weakening bubble of magic between you and certain fiery death? Sounds like a perfect time for jokes!
- Cat Fight: Averted in Chapter 21 with the Rarity/Curaçao duel. Curaçao shows that she is a mean fighter, using tackles, choke holds, and just generally making Rarity's life hell without any dress ripping or hair pulling involved. Rarity, to her credit, fights back by using her magic to throw Curaçao around (though Curaçao is a nimble mare) and eventually resorts to using rocks as weapons.
- Catch Phrase: Havocwing's got one:
"I'm the best damn fighter this side of Pandemonium!"
- Chain of Corrections: A variant appears when Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie argue over what, exactly, Tick Tock has just said about something called 'Gargantuans'. Gorgonzola > Gargleblasters > Garbanzos > Gobbledygook.
- Change the Uncomfortable Subject: Applejack always wants to move the conversation away from talking about her parents. While the reason has yet to be officially revealed, it's not hard to guess.
- Character Development: Believe it or not, Havocwing of all ponies gets this the most in Chapter 25 where, after the Mean Six are left broken by the knowledge of being clones, she not only talks the others out of their collective Villainous BSOD, but seems almost humbled when Starlight appoints her as a temporary co-leader with Curacao. If it weren't for the fact that she uses killing the Mane Six as the incentive to get the others to quit feeling sorry for themselves, one could almost make the argument that she's progressing into Jerk with a Heart of Gold territory.
- Curaçao gets a fair bit of this as well, as over the course of the fic she has gone from apparently having a rather one-sided relationship with Insipid, who she at one point admitted to using for her own amusement, to being legitimately heartbroken that Insipid doesn't want to talk to her anymore, and blaming herself for it.
- Tick Tock gets a lot as well, as she gradually goes from being an Insufferable Genius to a Jerk With A Heartof Gold, and is gradually becoming legitimately friendly and sociable.
- Chase Fight: Both of the fights between Rainbow Dash and Havocwing thus far have been these. The first one was by necessity, as Rainbow only had her speed to rely on and actually did a fairly decent job despite the cramped location. Their second fight ended up much more in her favor, as this time the fight was out in the open.
- The Chessmaster: Silvertongue, despite setbacks, always seems to have an alternate plan ready to go should his current plan get hampered in any way. He doesn't seem too bothered when things don't go his way, unless it's something he apparently had no foresight of.
- Chivalrous Pervert/Lovable Sex Maniac: Briarthorn is clearly motivated to great lengths at the prospect of bedding any or all of the Mane Six's group and is not at all shy about his desire to do so. However, it is quite clear that he is very quick to notice when somepony is off-limits, as despite first hitting on Fluttershy, he immediately stops doing so after the first thing she says being a sincere worry for Lockwood's well-being.
- Cliffhanger: Chapters 11, 16, 29, and 30 all end in one of these.
- Cloning Blues: In Chapter 25, the Mean Six find out they're clones of the Mane Six. Their decision on what to do with this information? Why, murder the originals of course.
- Combat Sadomasochist: Red Velvet enjoys dishing out pain and doesn't mind receiving it in the least. Unless it's her father punishing her, of course.
- Commander Contrarian: Rainbow Dash gets worse and worse about this as the fic continues, but it isn't too noticeable until after meeting Grayscale Force, who encourages the behavior as part of her method of corrupting Rainbow's Loyalty. She drops this trait pretty much entirely after Chapter 23, when she realizes what she's been doing and vows to fix things.
- Companion Cube: Red Velvet, like Pinkie in Party of One, loses her mind temporarily in Chapter 25 after learning she is Pinkie's clone. In her insanity she, again like Pinkie, pulls a bad ventriloquism act with an inanimate object that she moves and speaks for - her blood. And again, like Pinkie, she even gives it a name: Sir Visceral Clottington McKillicutty the Third, Esquire. She calls him "Clottles" because it's shorter.
- Contest Winner Cameo: The author asked fans and readers to submit characters that would appear in the story between chapters 27 and 29, which all revolve around the melting pot port city of Hope's Point. Chapter 27 brings us Cookie Dough and Haute Couture, Chapter 28 will bring Honey Buns, and Chapter 29 brings Gadget, Crossfire, Spark Plug, and Voltage Surge. Chapter 31 brought us Fireburst.
- Cookie Dough is a cook and owner and proprietor of Buns 'n' Stuff, the most popular restaurant in the city. Her special talent is turning the Dolor Company brands of foods into something not only edible, but delicious. She apparently knew Lockwood when she lived in New Pandemonium and considers him a friend, and he is responsible for helping her achieve her dream of owning a fancy restaurant.
- Haute Couture is a fashion designer who owns the shop Le Boutique Des Mircales, a shop that makes custom outfits that delights Rarity to no end. He looks very similar to Rarity as well, and his manner of speaking and acting is clearly based on actor George Takei.
- Honey Buns is a waitress at the Wyrm's Head pub that the party goes to to celebrate Lockwood's recovery, and works there with her two sisters, Cinnamon Buns and Saffron Buns. She has a southern accent like Applejack does, and a very pronounced backside that attracts all sorts of lookers.
- Gadget, an obvious Expy of Gadget Hackwrench, is one of Queen Blackburn's two bodyguards, and serves as her second-in-command. In line with the character she's based on, she is a Gadgeteer Genius, who has apparently perfected the first small-scale energy weapon in Equestria-V (the only small guns we see used are various projectile-based weaponry; energy weapons seem restricted to the massive airships the NPAF use).
- Crossfire, Queen Blackburn's other bodyguard, a big, burly, but extremely friendly stallion with a talent for utilizing firearms. He too has a southern accent, and according to Blackburn herself, has the same exact accent Applejack has.
- Spark Plug, the Chief Engineer of Hope's Point's Shield Generator. We don't see much of him, but his accent is perhaps Scottish. As Haute Couture (see above) is based on GeorgeTakei, Spark Plug has some similarities then to Montgomery "Scotty" Scott.
- Voltage *Volt" Surge is one of Spark Plug's most trusted technicians and Gadget's boyfriend. He is very skilled at engineering, and has a severe leech sediment that makes him mix up words. Sorry, speech impediment.
- Fireburst is a miner from the city of Deepgrove on the Utopian continent who talks like a southern belle and makes fast friends with Applejack.
- Convection Schmonvection: Magnificently averted with the Redblade Mountains, which are incredibly hot active volcanoes. Twilight must use a great deal of her magic to provide the party with a protective bubble that shields them from the heat, and even then it's still ridiculously hot. Rainbow gets scalded when she ventures out of the bubble for all of a couple of seconds, and when actually traveling through one of the volcanoes, Rarity has to assist Twilight and it is still too hot.
- Cool Sword: Pinkie's one-time weapon in Chapter 16 is described as incredibly pretty, and it's able to hold against Red Velvet's powerful blood blades, which we'd seen can rip through A.M.P. Troopers with ease.
- Counterpart Combat Coordination: Played straight and averted. The Mean Six seem to be purposefully trying to match up their members against the Mane Six according to skill and threat level. So far, Pinkie has been unanimously paired against Red Velvet, and Tick Tock has partnered with Rarity against Insipid, and Twilight against Starlight Shadow. Curaçao, Grayscale Force, and Havocwing have yet to face their counterparts, though Grayscale notes at the end of Chapter 21 that she was supposed to, until Havocwing insisted otherwise.
- Country Matters: Havocwing uses the c-word at the end of a long string of swears after Rainbow Dash knocks her tumbling along the ground at the end of their fight in Chapter 21. Of course, since all we see is, "-unt." she could have meant something else...
- Cowardly Lion: Fluttershy wants nothing to do with fighting, but like in the show, will stand her ground to protect her friends.
- Crapsack World: Well, at least the northern continent is. The south is played up as a much, much more pleasant place, but it's yet to be seen.
- Dangerously Genre Savvy: Shadowstep knows better than to fall prey to No One Could Survive That, and goes off to check for Tick Tock's body after dropping her from miles above the city. Unfortunately for him, Tick Tock knows the cloud-walking spell from Sonic Rainboom, and uses it to escape through the city's smog layers.
- Dark Reprise: Red Velvet is the master of this, taking everything from children's tunes to Pinkie's songs and making them sound utterly and deliciously evil. Her masterpiece thus far has been "Scream", her evil rendition of Pinkie's "Smile".
- Deadpan Snarker: Tick Tock tends to respond with disdain, annoyance, and sarcasm to almost anything she disagrees with, which considering her Insufferable Genius nature, is a lot. Grayscale Force is a more laid-back, stoic version.
- Death Is Cheap: Shadowstep won't let a little thing like death stop him. Of course, that seemed to have all been part of Silvertongue's plan.
- Deflector Shields: Twilight Sparkle's primary means of combat. She explains it as her family's natural aptitude for barrier magic, what with her brother being able to make a shield big enough to protect all of Canterlot.
- Determinator: Flathoof's power gives him surprising endurance and toughness. In Chapter 24, he joins in the fight and with it he manages to stand up against even Red Velvet's incredible power without being much the worse for wear. Applejack also gets a moment in Chapter 24, taking a major amount of abuse from Havocwing, still standing and asking for more.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?/ Kill the God: Silvertongue, with the help of the Mean Six and a gryphon-created spell, destroys Nihila in Chapter 25, and absorbs her power for himself. This was a centuries-old plan that was finally brought to fruition thanks to a very unique, convenient event - the mane Six arriving in Equestria-V.
- Dishing Out Dirt: Applejack's power. She can not only can turn her skin into any natural earthly material (including metals like gold), but can even control the earth around her to a degree.
- The Ditz: Insipid is pretty vapid, to absolutely astounding levels sometimes. That she can't remember anypony's name in Twilight's group except for Rarity (justified) is particularly amazing, especially since it actually starts making Fluttershy angry enough to want to shut her up.
- Double Jump: Pinkie Pie performs one to cross a burning chasm.
- The Dreaded: The other half of Red Velvet's powers is to Mind Rape and otherwise inspire nightmares in her victims, which she uses to power her other abilities.
- Drinking Contest: One of the two major focuses of Chapter 28 is a drinking contest, with Briarthorn taking up one side and Applejack, Rainbow Dash, and Tick Tock taking up the other. Tick Tock's participating, and in fact her very enjoyment of alcohol, comes as a shock to everypony but most especially Rarity, as until this point she'd been considered more of a classy girl.
- Drunk on the Dark Side: Red Velvet goes a little nuts in Chapter 16/17 after feasting on the fears of Pinkie Pie and friends. She does it again in Chapter 24, and cranks it up a notch while singing "Scream", her Dark Reprise of Pinkie's "Smile" in Chapter 24, becoming so engorged and confident that she stands up to Starlight Shadow. And wins.
- As if paying tribute to this trope, when we see Velvet for the first time in Chapter 25, she appears to be hungover thanks to all the fear she'd consumed in the previous chapter.
- Duck Season, Rabbit Season: Rainbow Dash pulls this routine on Rarity in Chapter 18, concerning Pinkie Pie's recovery from the fear she suffered at the hooves of Red Velvet. True to the trope, Rarity doesn't catch on until after the fact, but Rainbow seems to hint that Rarity knew what she was doing and played along. Apparently, it was Pinkie who taught Dash how to do it in the first place.
- Dystopia: New Pandemonium City fits this to a 'T'.
- Elevator Failure: The elevator that Twilight and friends take up a giant cliff to Hope's Point is slow at first, but otherwise perfectly safe. That is, until its supposedly indestructible cable is cut from far above and causes them to drop.
- Hope's Point seems to be prone to this. On their way down to the hangar bay, the elevator the protagonists are in loses powers three times due to saboteurs.
- Emotion Eater: Red Velvet feeds on the fear and terror of others to give her strength, and is actually weakened by it's opposite, joy. Pinkie is implied have shades of it as well, becoming more powerful when she's happy and less powerful when she's sad.
- Establishing Character Moment: All of the major OCs have had their introductions crafted to show off just the kind of character they are by the end of the scenes:
- Flathoof: Shows that he is a Reasonable Authority Figure within his first few scenes, helping the Mane Six get established in the city a lot faster than they would have otherwise.
- Lockwood: Shows that he is a caring individual with a terrible sense of humor, and is extremely polite to everypony, especially ladies.
- Tick Tock: Shows that she has a bit of an attitude in her first interaction with the Mane Six (a very brief scene in Chapter 1 where she bumps into the "nudists"), and also that she is very, very smart but perhaps a little full of herself.
- Silvertongue: The classy and sophisticated shadow-ruler of a city built and run specifically to generate chaos and evil in order to feed the goddess, Nihila, who he serves loyally ( Not really). He also speaks eloquently, but not over-the-top, and apparently really dislikes failure.
- Shadowstep: Shows himself to enjoy killing, and in his encounter with Tick Tock, is very efficient and loves to banter with his opponent, but is cocky.
- Briarthorn: His mouth moves a mile-a-minute, and he ''really'' likes the ladies, but treats them with respect and does not pursue mares he sees are "off-limits".
- The Mean Six all get in on this as well:
- Evil Counterpart: The Mean Six to the Mane Six, natch, seeing as they're clones.
- Evil Feels Good: Aside from Red Velvet using the fears of others as food, Silvertongue also relishes in the feeling of actually punishing one of his subordinates directly for the first time in a long while, having forgotten how good it felt.
- Evil Is One Big Happy Family: The Mean Six become extremely tightly bonded together after learning the truth about themselves.
- Expy: Flathoof is considered, in-universe at least, to be very similar to Big Macintosh, what with the same color scheme, similar family size and habits and attitude, and honest, hard-working personality. There are also a pair of guards/technicians working at Hope's Point that are very clearly darker, older expies of Snips and Snails.
- Eye Scream: Silvertongue loses his left eye in Chapter 7 during the process of creating the Mean Six, specifically during Starlight Shadow's birth. His normal eye becomes replaced by a void of magic that, over the course of the fic, seems to increase in power and become brighter and more pronounced.
- Lockwood's right eye becomes damaged due to his exposure to the Red Death curse in the Blood Mire. It's true appearance isn't described until Chapter 28, when the Hope's Point doctors tell the party they were unable to fix it.
- Fantastic Arousal: Wingboners make an appearance as the way pegasi display arousal, but it's implied by Rarity that it's also a sort of mating display like a peacock. Unicorns supposedly do something similar by performing grand displays of magic.
- Fantasy World Map: Tick Tock's magical, gryphon-made map is a frequent item of importance, and it's not just a simple piece of paper, either. It's actually a matter of plot importance that the first time the party wanders through an area the map has blank,, the Gryphon Ruins, they become utterly lost and confused because they've relied on the map too much. Interesting features of the map include:
- Self-updating: The map updates itself automatically to reflect natural changes in the environment such as lava flows breaking rock, and the layout of the Gryphon Ruins. That Tick Tock is confused in Chapter 21 that her map not only doesn't show the rock field they pass through and isn't updating to reflect it should be a sign that something is amiss.
- Malleable: The paper that the map is on is apparently very, very big, and can be unfolded to great size to display the map like a rug. It can also be rolled into a ball to form a globe, folded neatly into a three-dimensional image, etc.
- Finishing Each Other's Sentences: Lockwood and Queen Blackburn.
- Fashion-Shop Fashion Show: Chapter 27 gives the Mane Six and friends a chance to finally get out of their tattered clothing and into new sets, and the entire scene takes place in Le Boutique Des Miracles, a fashion shop owned by Haute Couture. It's a pretty quick fashion show though, as each mare's outfit is perfect on the first go.
- Fire-Forged Friends: Tick Tock and Twilight start getting along significantly better together starting around Chapter 20, to the point where they actively work together to fight of a zombie horde and deal with Starlight Shadow, essentially side-by-side. Tick Tock is shown later to be the one giving the most effort to help Twilight recover from her feedback accident. In Chapter 27, the two become official friends, and Twilight agrees to teach Tick Tock the one spell she's never had a knack for - Teleport.
- Fish out of Water: The Mane Six and their complete lack of understanding of how Equestria-V and specifically New Pandemonium City work makes things difficult for them right off the bat. They pretty much need to rely on Flathoof and Lockwood to get them out of trouble during their first two days there.
- Five-Bad Band/The Psycho Rangers: The Mean Six
- Five-Man Band: The Mane Six
- Flat "What.": Red Velvet delivers a few choice ones when she witnesses Pinkie's powers.
- The best one coming during the oft-mentioned bit where she breaks the document with her powers. Pinkie, using the exact same fic-breaking font as Velvet but pink, says "I can do this too? AWESOME!" The Flat "What." comes out in a font about half the size of normal.
- Foreshadowing: This story is chock-full of little foreshadowing bits, many of which are just a single line in a chapter that is a massive plot point in a later chapter:
- Rarity's boosting powers are hinted at very early when she shows better aptitude and ease at using the technique than either Twilight or Tick Tock.
- The Blood Mire makes its first appearance in Chapter 7, and at first seems to be just a place where Silvertongue's minions are sent to either prove themselves or die. Shadowstep fails to prove himself there, and we don't hear anything about the place again until Chapter 19, and the heroes travel through it in Chapter 20, meeting Shadowstep, now a zombie while passing through.
- Queen Blackburn's character and relationship with Lockwood are hinted at throughout the story, from the time frame that she and Lockwood met, to her status as badass who knows her way around the Wasteland (as proven by the Gargantuan skull in her throne room). Chapters 27 and 28 give a lot of information about her personality as well.
- Silvertongue also lampshades this in a way: while the advice is given to Shroud, the reader can take a lot from him saying that paying attention to details can often reveal a lot more than reading pages full of prose. Guess whose scenes are absolutely loaded with Purple Prose?
- One line in Chapter 7, during the Mean Six's creation, shows that Silvertongue imparts a piece of his own essence into creating the Mean Six, rather than only using Nihila's. Just this little bit is enough to make them fiercely loyal to him, enough that when Nihila is given physical form in Chapter 25, the Mean Six unquestioningly defend Silvertongue from her; Red Velvet even resists her attempt to get into her mind.
- In Chapter 17, Silvertongue is seen frantically searching for something at the expense of his grooming, eating, and sleeping. In Chapter 25, Shroud (who has also been skimping on grooming, eating, and sleeping) helps him find it. It's the summoning ritual to give Nihila physical form so that he can destroy her and absorb her powers.
- Friend to All Living Things: Invoked and subverted by Fluttershy, who attempts to tame a Gargantuan. It nearly gets her killed, and Tick Tock and Havocwing both later insist that Gargantuans are monsters, not animals.
- Gallows Humor: Lockwood's sense of humor is rather morbid at times, but he seems to do it out of a sincere attempt to lighten the mood. The Mane Six, who are not from this world and do not share the same social acceptance of murder and violence, are not amused.
- Genetic Engineering Is the New Nuke: The Mean Six are cloned from the Mane Six and empowered with evil magicks, and pretty much instantly become a serious threat.
- Ghost City: The Gryphons Ruins are, in a nutshell, a desolate city once inhabited by the advanced gryphon race (though they are woefully behind in their techno-magic compared to present day) that has been deserted for hundred of years after the entire gryphon race (save one) were wiped out in an act of genocide. Without any magic to power it, the city is dark, dirty, and dreary. But apparently everything still works, it all just needs a new power source.
- Golem: Silt threshers are essentially golems made of sand, powered by a small magical rock that functions as a 'heart'. Applejack's skills with Geomancy allows her to not only use this rock to control a thresher of her own, but to detect the rocks in other threshers and destroy them.
- Good Hurts Evil: The inherent evil magic used to create the Mean Six actively resists genuinely good thoughts and actions. Too much resistance apparently causes severe pain, among other things.
- Grand Theft Me: Insipid tried to do this to Rarity just so she can be perfect like her, however she stopped after learning that Rarity isn't as perfect as she thinks because of what she accidentally did to Fluttershy.
- Red Velvet falls victim to this for a brief period during her climactic battle with Pinkie Pie. As it turns out, Nihila wasn't completely destroyed.
- Gratuitous French: Curaçao speaks fluent "Romantique" and often inserts words into her normal speech. Considering her deceptive nature, it was assumed she had shades of Fauxreigner... until she got angry and starts speaking in it exclusively and drops her politeness entirely. Apparently Silvertongue is fluent in it as well, and says that Romantique is actually a language of magic used in incantations.
- Turns out that Romantique is (possibly) the language spoken by the Harmony Guard of Utopia, and Curaçao is mistaken for a member when the Mean Six arrive in Newhaven.
- Gratuitous Iambic Pentameter: While the common zebras just speak in rhyme, those with higher ranks speak in meter. Ambassador Zamindari speaks in iambic pentameter, while Sir Zircon speaks in iambic tetrameter, so perhaps within the ranks there is some sort of guideline to what meter one speaks in; the King, for example, using a far more complex rhyming scheme and meter than any other zebra. The zebras are even skilled enough to adjust their own meters to fit rhymes and hold conversations with others that have different meters.
- Gravity Master: Grayscale Force's power, which allows her to adjust the weight of objects within a certain range to be either lighter or heavier at a whim, even air. While other objects require her to use her wings to manipulate, she can adjust her own weight completely on her own.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Both Havocwing and Red Velvet have relatively short fuses compared to everypony else in their group, but it's hard not to notice it when one looks at who the other four are. Rainbow Dash tends to have a short fuse in her own group as well, but keeps it under control phenomenally well compared to the two of them.
- The Heart: Fluttershy fills the role well as-is fitting of her canonical self. Lockwood also likes to see himself this way, and most of the group agrees with him. Except Rainbow Dash, who doesn't trust him.
- As of Chapter 25, Havocwing has taken on this role for her group in an interesting take on the trope. She binds the group together, uniting them for a single cause: murdering the Mane Six. While Curaçao is technically the official leader, she, too, takes a fair share of the role of The Heart, even going so far as to scheme behind their backs to try and save them from their own evil.
- Heroic BSOD: Pinkie Pie goes through one when Red Velvet shows her visions of her friends being brutally killed, making her depressed and afraid of anything that could be dangerous. She comes out of it after the Mane 6 discovers their powers. Since they can now defend themselves, she isn't as afraid for their safety anymore.
- After the main generator and back-up generators for Hope's Point's shield goes down one after another, Queen Blackburn goes through one, devastated over the thought that the citizens will now die and it's all her fault. She comes out of it shortly afterwards when Lockwood reminds her that she had evacuated the city as a precaution.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Lockwood and Flathoof are best friends and have known each other since childhood, and clearly are a lot closer to one another than even any the best-friend pairs amongst the Mane Six, Pinkie and Rainbow excluded. Turns out, they're legally brothers, as Lockwood forged some adoption papers to make him a member of Flathoof's family in a bid to both get out of the foster care system he was in, and to legally help Flathoof's poverty-stricken family with their finances.
- Hidden Depths: Many, many characters show off that they are more than meets the eye:
- Tick Tock, who is considered an intelligent, educated individual, also is revealed to be well-versed in the matters of alcohol. Briarthorn, who is also a world-class drinker, is smitten with her more than ever after this.
- Lockwood, the eternally generous and kind pegasus who knows everypony worth knowing, hates being doted on like a foal and repeatedly asks Fluttershy not to do it. Flathoof barely gets away with it, since he's family. As to why he hates it? His mother apparently doted on him relentlessly in an attempt to replace his father, so he's apparently repressing that sort of emotional attachment. His fiancee, Queen Blackburn, is shown not to be very doting at all.
- Havocwing, who is a perpetually angry pony with a Hair-Trigger Temper of immense proportions, also shows that she is exceedingly dedicated to her sisters, more so than any of them in fact, which is probably a manifestation of pieces of Fluttershy's personality showing through, as Havocwing is her clone. Also, apparently she likes prettycolts and bunnies.
- Curaçao is not as dainty and fancy as she appears to be, but is an incredibly brutal, effective close-range fighter with an extensive knowledge of martial arts.
- Pinkie Pie, the eternal party animal, is apparently a light drinker who prefers to stay "sober-ish" at parties in order to enjoy the antics of others. So apparently she only acts wild and crazy at parties that don't involve alcohol, as everypony is more mellow.
- Starlight Shadow, after her Cloning Blues kicks in, is shown to be genuinely remorseful for how she treated her sisters while she was in command, and wants to make amends for it by helping Havocwing and Curaçao in any and all duties
- Hold Your Hippogriffs: The ponies of Equestria-V do not seem to invoke Harmonia or Nihila when utilizing the "Oh my God" phrase, but rather use "Oh my stars", with Insipid being the both prolific user. According to gryphon history, they extensively studied the stars and astral magicks to learn how to harness magic for themselves, so it can be assumed they created the phrase and ponykind merely adopted it for themselves. Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash have both used the "Oh my Celestia" phrase common in the fandom.
- It is shown, however, that the ponies of the southern continent do in fact treat Harmonia as a goddess and invoke a few religious phrases with Harmonia substituted in, such as "Harmonia bless you" (Curaçao says it in French) and "May Harmona watch over you".
- Grayscale Force's use of the phrase "Whatever floats your cloud" can be interpreted as there being a lack of boats in Equestria-V, but it might well be a pegasus saying since logically, a flying pony would likely have no need of a boat.
- Hurricane of Puns: Pinkie Pie lays down a thick barrage during her climactic fight against Red Velvet.
- Hybrid Monster: Gargantuans are, in a nutshell, a hybrid combination of various deadly insects and arachnids, all rolled into one horrible package; if you're Entomophobic, these things are easily your worse nightmare. Described as a mix between a tarantula (body-shape and fur) with a scorpion-like exoskeleton, tail, and stinger, posseing mantis-like claws, and a deadly venom not unlike a black widow spider. The young ones are easily twice or more the size of a pony. Then, there's the adults, with males being apparently a size large enough to crush a house (and are described as bigger than an Ursa Minor), and the females even bigger and equipped with thicker armor and more claws.
Tick Tock: "...they look like a spider shagged a mantis..."
- I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: The names of places in the north are all definitely not nice. Besides the Dystopia of New Pandemonium City, the Mane Six travel through the desert Wastelands, attempt the volcanic Redblade Mountains, into the deserted Gryphon Ruins, and most recently through the zombie-infested Blood Mire. Lampshaded by Rainbow and Pinkie who try to guess the next scary place they'll visit, only to have Tick Tock and Lockwood play along by telling them they're right - apparently the ocean they're heading for is the Sea of Endless Sorrow. Only two named places in the north don't have names like this - Goldridge Pass, and Hope's Point, the latter of which is rather gritty on the outside and just really hard to get into, but perfectly nice once you get in.
- I Know Kung-fu: Pinkie claims to be skilled in CQC and attempts to attack Curaçao using her technique. Curaçao is not impressed.
Curaçao: Ouah, kung-fu? Where did you learn your technique? A cereal box?
- I Shall Taunt You: Tick Tock pulls an absolutely ridiculous one on Starlight Shadow in Chapter 17, goading the hyper-powered unicorn into triggering the conditions for Tick Tock to use her mentor's Time Keeper to freeze time and allow her group to escape. Of course, she underestimates Starlight's anger being able to overpower the spell, but this trope pops up again in Chapter 21, where Twilight uses it to distract Starlight long enough to save Tick Tock's life.
- I Take Offense to That Last One: Of all the various names Briarthorn and Pinkie Pie come with to describe how Flathoof looks in his new outfit, the one he actually takes offense to is Buff Drinklots. The following chapter, he reveals why - he's a teetotaler.
- I Was Just Joking: Rainbow Dash in particular makes use of this quite a few times. One example comes when Rainbow and Pinkie try to guess the name of next scary place they'll visit, only to have Tick Tock and Lockwood agree with them and confirm one of the names they guessed, only saying that it had actually had its name changed.
Lockwood: And besides, the Sea of Torment got its name changed like thirty years ago anyway.
Twilight Sparkle: Oh? What’s it called now?
Tick Tock: The Sea of Endless Sorrow.
Rainbow Dash: Oh man, we were just joking.
- In Chapters 23 and 31, we get to see that the sea's name, thanks to the Belt of Tranquility mostly, was justly earned
- I'm A Ponytarian: Red Velvet's main quirk that she uses to frighten her victims is to remind them that she eats pony meat and blood like they were candy. This is not just her trying to be creepy, as she has killed and eaten two named characters (Jetstream and Pinpoint) and several unnamed soldiers
- Imagination-Based Superpower: Pinkie Pie's power basically allows her to do whatever she wants to do in a given situation, so long as it bring her or her perceived audience joy and laughter.
- Insane Troll Logic: At the end of Chapter 21, Havoc attempts to usurp the (temporary) void of leadership after Starlight is injured by the feedback accident with Twilight. Her argument essentially amounts to: "I had a stupid idea, and you all listened to me, therefore, none of you would make good leaders, but I would because I wouldn't listen to my stupid idea." Grayscale calls her on this:
Grayscale Force: What planet are you from that that makes any logical sense?
- Insistent Terminology: Time Turner does not go by Mister Turner except, apparently, to Tick Tock. Everypony else is supposed to be calling him 'Doctor' Turner, and he often has to correct them.
- Instant Costume Change: Pinkie Pie changes the kind of powers she wants to use in the given situation by changing her outfit to match her perceived Genre Shift. Nopony even sees her do it.
- Insufferable Genius: Tick Tock knows everything and doesn't like to be argued with. This gets on Twilight's and Rainbow Dash's nerves very fast and does little to endear her to the others either. She's become better about it in later chapters, however, as she's learned things about the world that even she didn't know.
- Insult Backfire: Rarity's attempt to insult Starlight Shadow's Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness by calling her a walking thesaurus fails miserably, as Starlight goes ahead and embraces it:
Starlight Shadow: Aforesaid frivolous ignominies emanating from a nugatory dotard congruent with yourself are infinitesimally picayune, analogous to an iota of terra firma malingering amidst the amaranthine macrocosm.
Rough Translation: Petty insults from morons like you are completely unimportant, like a speck of dust in the grand scheme of everything.
- It's All My Fault: Fluttershy blames herself for Lockwood's injury from Chapter 20, as he got hurt trying keep her from harm.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Tick Tock is a total jerk, but she is trying her best to help the Mane Six get back home and lately has been regretting her sour attitude towards them, especially seeing as they've saved her life multiple times now. She's toned down the jerkiness in recent chapters, though she's still got plenty of snark.
- Lady of War/Minored In Ass Kicking: Curaçao is initially regarded by the Mane Six's group as a non-combatant, nothing more than a traveling companion of Starlight Shadow's that serves as her lieutenant and navigator and is much too fancy to participate in any real fighting. In Chapter 21, she proves to Rarity that she is not only very nimble, but reveals only the weakest manifestation of her powers in order to keep Rarity distracted. In Chapter 24, she fights against Pinkie and apparently is highly-skilled in martial arts, which in combination with her ability to turn invisible, makes her extremely effective.
- Lame Comeback: Pinkie's attempts to insult Curaçao fall horribly flat, and Curaçao of course brings this to her attention. Pinkie's follow-up is even worse.
Curaçao: I... ouah. Zat... zat was terrible.
Pinkie Pie: Your face is terrible.
- Lampshade Hanging: The entire cast gets in on this quite often, Pinkie and Rainbow most of all.
- Lampshade Wearing: Briarthorn is apparently a world-class drunk, as is proudly displayed on several plaques on the wall of the Wyrm's Head pub. Each one contains a picture of him at the event in which he was declared "Drunk of the Year", and in each picture he is shown wearing a lampshade and enjoying himself immensely. The lampshade in question is treated as a trophy and is prominently displayed nearby with the signatures of everypony who has won the award.
- Large Ham: Starlight Shadow loves to make an entrance, and loves to hear herself talk. Her monologue while displaying her incredible magical powers to Twilight's group is particularly hammy, complete with declaring herself "a goddess amongst mares".
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: Silvertongue wipes the memory of his secretary Shroud after determining that he has no further need of her.
- Last Name Basis: Starlight Shadow never, ever refers to Twilight Sparkle by her first name, always calling her 'Sparkle', which given her personality comes off as rather condescending. Tick Tock does the same thing for multiple chapters, but after realizing how much of a Jerkass she's been, she starts calling her Twilight, like Twilight's other friends do. This is most apparent when the two of them are doing battle against Starlight together in Chapter 21, and becomes commonplace after that..
- Laughably Evil: Discord makes his first appearance in-fic in Chapter 23, where most of his lines consist of a combination of jokes and promising to conquer Equestria.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Probably the main reason this fic is written on Google Docs, rather than either fanfiction.net or Fimfiction.Net. Between the Youtube links to the music Pinkie Pie likes to play to Red Velvet's powers completely decimating the document at one point, the author has a bit of fun with this.
- Leeroy Jenkins: Havocwing's general solution to every problem is a combination of Kill It with Fire and More Dakka. While usually her strategy seems effective, it doesn't work very well on Rainbow Dash. Which is fitting, as Rainbow tends to be a bit of a Leeroy Jenkins herself.
- Left the Background Music On: Pinkie likes to play music while she's fighting, fully embracing the idea of Theme Music Power-Up is in play. Every time, the other characters can hear it, as can the reader, via Youtube links within the document.
- Light Is Not Good: Silvertongue used to be the Warden of Harmonia, thus logically he can be assumed to be empowered by Light magicks from then until present day. This same light-wielding individual committed genocide upon the gryphons, created the Blood Mire (a home to a zombie horde where he dumps the dead), and routinely murders his subordinates.
- Living Lie Detector: Insipid is a variation as she's complete worthless in this regard, but can tell almost instantly when somepony is really Curaçao in disguise. So really she's more of a Living Curaçao Detector.
- On the other hand, Curaçao herself plays this straight, to the point where she also notices half-truths and evasions.
- The Load: Fluttershy fears she's this for her friends, but proves otherwise.
- Load-Bearing Hero: Applejack and Rainbow Dash place themselves beneath a falling elevator and push with all their might to keep it from slamming into the ground, then together push it all the way back up the cliff.
- Loophole Abuse: A majority of the problems with New Pandemonium City's corrupt bureaucracy can be solved with a little knowledge of how the system works. Lockwood has thoroughly proven he's not above a little 'unscrupulous activity' to get around the system for the benefit of others. Snapshot seems to be quite well-versed in the practice as well. The fact that Flathoof is friends with both of them is a major boon for the Mane Six. Unfortunately, this practice inadvertently gets Snapshot killed and kicks off the plot, as it alerts Silvertongue to the Mane Six's existence far sooner than it would have had they gone through the paces like everypony else.
- Magitek: The main source of technology in New Pandemonium City is called techno-magic, originally developed by the gryphons. It rests in pony hands entirely thanks to Silvertongue's actions hundreds of years ago, and according to Gilderoy, they've improved upon it immensely, even making weapons with it while the gryphons were pacifists.
- Manipulative Bastard: Events in Chapter 19 reveal that Silvertongue is responsible for everything related to the world's current state, and he did so by manipulating the gryphons in fighting against evil and bringing balance to the world, then committing genocide against them. He later reveals in Chapter 25 that everything he did in those events and everything that followed was a ruse to fool Nihila into believing him loyal to her, so that when he had an opportunity, he could destroy her. Creating the Mean Six gave him that opportunity. In short, he manipulated an omnipotent goddess for centuries.
- The Mean Six are manipulative bitches at first, to varying degrees. The whole first phase of their plan was to corrupt the Mane Six away from their Element of Harmony via manipulation. Starlight, Curaçao, and Grayscale are probably the most effective in this regard, and Havoc, surprisingly, doesn't do too badly either. This plan is abandonned once the Mane Six decide they don't want to associate with the Mean Six anymore.
- If anyone was taking bets, Grayscale's technique succeeds first.
- Master Actor: Curaçao uses this in combination with her shapeshifting magic to perfectly imitate anypony, and has at the very least mimicked both Rarity and Applejack perfectly, from their manner of speaking to their accents on down.
- The Matchmaker: Rarity actively tries to get Fluttershy and Lockwood together, despite Fluttershy not wanting her help and Lockwood not even aware of it (as far as we know). Fluttershy tells her off for it after Rarity apparently changes her mind in Chapter 22, afraid that Fluttershy will be devastated if Lockwood dies due to his injury.
- Since the reveal of Lockwood's engagement, she seems to reconsider to never be one again.
- The Mean Brit: Given that Tick is both a Jerkass and a Deadpan Snarker, complete with a lovable British accent, it only makes sense for her to be considered this. She drops the Jerkass qualities later in the fic, and while that hardly stops her from continuing to snark at every opportunity it feels like she's doing it more out of love than anything else.
- Mecha-Mook: The A.M.P. Troopers are pony-shaped robots equipped with flechete rounds and electro-shock weaponry.
- Mister Exposition: Gilderoy invokes and lampshades this when he gives the Mane Six a rather long-winded run-down of gryphon history, their powers, and Silvertongue. Tick Tock and Flathoof do this quite often as well when explaining how their world works, though Tick Tock is probably the most talkative of the two. Briarthorn gets into the action as well in Chapter 27, as he is highly-knowledgeable about Hope's Point and its relationship with Pandemonium.
- Motor Mouth: Pinkie Pie, natch, as she is one in canon. Briarthorn, though, puts Pinkie Pie to shame.
- The Multiverse: The fic takes place in Equestria-V, one of many Equestrias in the multiverse. Presumably the Mane Six come from Equestria-IV
- My Friends... and Zoidberg: Flathoof gets a lot of this in Chapter 27, due to being the only stallion in a group of mares with said group being shown around by Briarthorn, who constantly forgets that he's not the only stallion present.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Rainbow Dash gives one of these in Chapter 23 after realizing that she's been an Unwitting Pawn in Grayscale Force's plan to turn her against her friends.
Rainbow Dash: "Oh Celestia, what have I done?"
- In Chapter 33, Insipid feels this after realizing that her own ditziness and her desire to be perfect may have alienated her sisters.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Insipid's lack of understanding of the powers she steals often leads to her helping the Mane Six with their fights. First, when using Rarity's boosts, she accidentally boosts everyone involved in the battle, friend and foe alike. But the particularly big moment comes when she uses Ophanim's shapeshifting powers to change into multiple animals, revealing to Fluttershy that Ophanim can do it to.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Haute Couture is very clearly modeled after George Takei.
- Non Indicative Name: Yes, Red Velvet isn't Red, and Grayscale Force isn't gray.
- Not the Fall That Kills You: Tick Tock falls prey to this technique twice, first by Shadowstep early on in the story, and again much later by Starlight Shadow. That Tick Tock doesn't have a fear of heights by now is astounding.
- As of Chapter 29, she does now.
- Offscreen Moment of Awesome: In Chapter 19, we only learn of a few details of the three trials the Mane Six go through, and only based on their dialogue and descriptions in the aftermath of each one. When they are actually going through the trials, the story is focused on the efforts of Flathoof, Tick Tock, and Lockwood instead.
- Oh, Crap: A few moments here and there, typically courtesy of Rainbow Dash or Tick Tock. Red Velvet gets a non-verbal one in Chapter 21 when Pinkie delivers a Pinkie Punch.
- Opposites Attract: Curaçao and Insipid work very well together and are extremely close, right down to Insipid's crush on Curaçao. The two are also about as opposite as possible: Curaçao is extremely intelligent and a subtle manipulator, and is regarded as very fancy and pretty by both groups; Insipid is The Ditz, and is describred as dirty and unkempt.
- Jossed in Chapter 25, when after finding out the truth about themselves, Insipid wants nothing to do with Curaçao, as the latter is no longer "perfect" and thus no longer worth imitating or devoting attention to.
- Our Zombies Are Different: The Blood Mire (or Red Death, take your pick) is a cursed region in the Wastelands, used apparently as a dumping ground for deceased ponies of New Pandemonium City for centuries, even before the city was built. The land itself is poisoned with evil magic that animates the dead, causing them to hunger for flesh. These zombie ponies are not very resilient, but they're still fast and strong, with sharpened teeth and hooves for weapons. And if Silvertongue's words and Lockwood's nightmare are accurate, the ponies inside are 100% aware of what they're doing and are horrified by their mere existence, unable to control their bodies. Oh, and to make matters worse? Shadowstep is back as one of these, with complete control of himself and equipped with a pair of magic-resistant metal wings. This could be Nihila's and Silvertongue's method of amassing an army and conquering Equestria-V via Zombie Apocalypse.
- Parental Abandonment: Lockwood's backstory shows that his father left his mother before he was even born, and that his mother died while he was young because she neglected her own health over his (though don't let that fool you into thinking she was a decent mother - he insists she wasn't, because she was obsessed with using him to replace his father in her life). This followed with him put into a foster care system that's just as corrupt as the rest of Pandemonium City is. Despite all this, he didn't fall into a Dark and Troubled Past, and actively seeks to better the city so that more ponies don't end up in the same situations as he did.
- Personality Powers: When the Mane Six first realize their powers, they are told in no uncertain terms by Gilderoy that their powers are connected to their Elements of Harmony:
- Twilight Sparkle - Magic: Her magic is fueled by her friendship, so the more she relies on her friends and believes in them the more powerful she is.
- Applejack - Honesty: Applejack's control over earth magic is explained, verbatim, that the earth itself is the most honest thing there is.
- Rainbow Dash - Loyalty: Rainbow's control over weather is explained, verbatim, that loyalty is like wind: When you have it at your back, you move forward; when you don't, you stagnate.
- Fluttershy - Kindness: Fluttershy's kindness towards all living things makes her a beacon of light for the animal spirits of the north, and her familiar Ophanim is able to serve as a link.
- Rarity - Generosity: Doesn't get more simple than it being generous to give one's own magic to benefit others.
- Pinkie Pie - Laughter: If it's funny, Pinkie can do basically anything she wants, within certain rules.
- The Mean Six, however, have their powers innately activated from the moment they're created, with opposing elements to the Mane Six granting them power. The official Elements of Discord have not been properly name as of yet.
- Starlight Shadow - Magic: Like Twilight, Starlight Shadow has amazing magical ability. Unlike Twilight, however, Starlight's magic is draws power from the void and Starlight's power seems to increase the more she believes in herself.
- Curaçao - Deceit: Curaçao is a master of deceit and manipulation, capable of using illusions to disguise herself as anyone, from appearance to voice and behavior.
- Grayscale Force - Apathy: Having zero interest in anything that does not directly benefit herself, Grayscale Force likes to end battles quickly and decisively by manipulating gravity against her opponents with cold efficiency.
- Havocwing - Fury: Havocwing is always angry. Always. Not one to beat around the bush, she channels this burning anger into literal fire.
- Insipid - Avarice: Vapid, yet scarily possessive, Rarity's counterpart has the ability to take other people's powers and temporarily claim them as her own. However, she gets bored with powers easily and apparently drops them at a whim, unless convinced they are actually useful.
- Red Velvet - Fear: Not only can Red Velvet turn her own blood into a deadly weapon, but she can also feed on the Fear of others and exacerbate it. Also, she is right behind you
- Pet the Dog: Silvertongue reward's Shroud's loyalty and service by letting her go. Not without a memory wipe first though.
- Playing with Fire: Havocwing's power lets her control and create fire. At first she requires an outside aid from her horseshoes, but lately she's been able to do it entirely naturally.
- Plucky Comic Relief: Pinkie Pie
- Pocket Dimension: Chronomancers like Tick Tock and Time Turner seem to have these as a base of operations; Tick Tock's is hidden inside her grandfather clock. The gryphons learned to make the same kind of magic and used it to create their Sanctuary of Knowledge.
- Prepare to Die: Starlight Shadow seems fond of this trope, as she's used it twice against Tick Tock so far. Shadowstep seems to have a bad habit of letting it get in the way of killing her too.
- Power Copying: Insipid's power is to steal and use the power of anypony else, and unfortunately for them it doesn't take her long to figure it out. Usually in her attempts though, she helps the heroes as much as the villains.
- Power Of The Storm: Rainbow Dash's power allows her to control and create weather by flying in a certain way. Spinning creates tornadoes, using static electricity creates lightning, and so on. We've yet to see anything besides though two, though.
- Power of the Void: The portals that Chronomancers work with and protect their worlds from are fueled with this kind of magic. Starlight Shadow's magic is also fueled by this power source, which is why she's as powerful as she is, but gives her a critical weakness to Tick Tock... if the latter had her Time Keeper.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: Zebras have shades of this, even so that Zircon's honor is seen to be tarnished after he was rescued by Rarity and Lockwood.
- Purple Prose: Silvertongue's sections tend to be a little more flowery than other parts of the story, which considering who he is, is oddly fitting.
- Really 700 Years Old: Silvertongue wiped out the gryphons some eight or nine hundred years before present day. Apparently being the Warden to an alicorn goddess grants you immortality.
- Rant Inducing Slight: Rainbow Dash has an amazing one in Chapter 22 when she learns that the group is, once again, taking a detour when they are all literally starving.
- Revenge Before Reason: Admiral Hotstreak, father of Commander Jetstream, orchestrates the attack on Hope's Point to capture the Mane Six, who he blames for the death of his son. When the protagonists have escaped into the Belt of Tranquility, he follows in after them without a Diffusion shield, determined to capture or end them before he goes down with his ship.
- Rhymes on a Dime: The Zebras of Equestria-V do this, just like Zecora. The higher-ranked members of their society also speak in poetic meters for good measure.
- Havocwing is also a highly gifted rhymer and uses this ability to give Fluttershy assertiveness lessons, just like Iron Will
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Queen Blackburn. Turns out, she's not only the best pilot in the entire city of Hope's Point, but is also well-read, well-versed in sociology, military, and magic, and isn't afraid to be on the front lines with her bodyguards.
- Running Gag: Lockwood's attempt to lighten the mood in any given situation is, quite simply, "It could be worse. It could be raining." It has yet to rain, averting expectations.
- Save Both Worlds: The basic gist of the plot.
- Scars Are Forever: The process of healing Lockwood unfortunately leaves him with some magical scars that are quite pronounced and disturbing.
- Secret Relationship: Lockwood and Queen Blackburn are engaged. The reason for keeping it a secret was to prevent Blackburn's enemies in New Pandemonium from using Lockwood to get to her. Now that he has permanently moved, its not necessary anymore.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Silvertongue has some shades to this (though his is more Spock Speak), but nopony takes the cake more than Starlight Shadow. The latter, of course, breaks form when she's angry, while the former does not in the slightest.
- Seventh Chapter Twist: In Chapter 7, the Mean Six are finally revealed to the audience, and rather than being just simple Evil Counterparts, it turns out that they are clones infused with evil magic to twist their minds and bodies. This is also the chapter where Shadowstep dies in the Blood Mire, where he later becomes zombified. Applies retroactively too, as in Chapter 25, Silvertongue reveals that since this event also weakened Nihila, it allowed him to finally put his centuries-long plan to destroy her into action.
- Shave And A Haircut: The secret knock Silvertongue's secretary uses to identify herself.
- Shipper on Deck: Rarity has been trying her best to hook Fluttershy and Lockwood up since they left the city and seems to be doing a fair job at it. Insipid, as her Evil Counterpart, seems to have this quality too, and ships Fluttershy/Rarity, which they both deny. Makes sense, since Insipd is Rarity's clone.
- Shout-Out: Quite a lot, actually.
- During the escape from New Pandemonium, Tick Tock attempts to hack the giant Gate in a fashion similar to Han Solo in Episode VI. She even quotes direct from the film when she messes up:
Tick Tock: "Got it! I think I got it!" *alarms sound and Gate starts closing* "Um... I don't got it. Oh bugger
- Pinkie Pie uses pop-culture game and movie references often, but most blatantly when in combat.
- Chapter 16 sees her whip out a sword and fight with Final Fantasy battle music in the background. And then she mimics Daffy Duck's School of Fencing.
- In Chapter 20, she dresses up as Jill Valentine, as it's appropriate attire for the Survival Horror sequence.
- In Chapter 21, she dresses up as Captain Falcon and uses all sorts of fighting game tropes, from Marvel vs. Capcom 3 to Dissidia: Final Fantasy.
- In Chapter 24, her costume evokes bits of both Metal Gear Solid and Splinter Cell. She even claims to know kung-fu.
- In Chapter 26, she dons Spartan-II armor, and utilizes various pieces of weaponry from that series of games.
- In Chapter 29, she arrives to help Rainbow defend The Thunder in an Iron Man suit,complete with appropriate (read: AC/DC) music.
- In Chapter 35 she steps it up to the ultimate force of good, donning the familiar martial arts uniform of the one and only Son Goku. Following that, in her attempt to save Red Velvet from Nihila, she flips the switch to "Cartoon Character", flooding the battle with assorted references to the Looney Tunes.
- The Snails Expy engages in a back-and-forth password guessing game with Rainbow Dash in Chapter 23, and the exchange is pretty much lifted straight from a similar situation by the Red vs. Blue crew in Halo 3.
- The main Foodstuff in New Pandemonium is from the Dolor Corporation. It's entirely artificial food, due to a massive food shortage, and it comes In various colours, which dictate it's quality and taste. Yes, there is a Dolor Green, and yes, there is a 'Dolor Green is ponies!' comment. It's just a rumour though. Probably...
- Pinkie opens Chapter 26 with a rendition of Rainbow Connection, which also happens to be her and Rainbow's song.
- Chpater 27 is loaded with assortedShout Outs, including: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Toy Story, Bill & Ted, and Mystery Science Theater 3000 (specifically, the Space Mutiny episode).
- Gadget is an engineer, technician, wears a purple jumpsuit, and says "Golly!" often.
- Insipid finds a pretty gemstone in Chapter 30. She names it Jerry. In canon, Rarity found a massive 'diamond' that she named Tom. Hmmm...
- In Chapter 31, Red Velvet drops lines from both Red vs. Blue and Silence of the Lambs.
- Shown Their Work: If one checks up on the science of certain things, it can be seen that the author took a good deal of time to make sure things were plausible, or that certain inaccuracies were avoided as much as possible. From avoiding Convection Schmonvection by utilizing party-wide protective shields, to making Grayscale Force's generation of a vacuum an accurate depiction of a vacuum, it's clear the author took the effort to do things as accurately as possible. Naturally some Rule of Cool, Rule of Drama, and Rule of Funny still applies here and there, but most things are kept cool and accurate.
- Sir Swearsalot: While a few of the characters native to Equestria V swear a little bit, Tick Tock and Havocwing take the cake. Tick Tock is this by virtue of a lot of her Britishisms being rather crude, but Havocwing is this all the time. If there was any clue that she's Fluttershy's anti-clone, this is probably on top of the heap.
- Smug Super: Starlight Shadow is incredibly arrogant, and with good reason - she is easily the most powerful unicorn amongst the cast, though she likes to claim Twilight Sparkle is almost (not quite, but almost) her equal.
- The Social Expert: Lockwood's special talent is, in a nutshell, social networking. His knowledge of the way ponies work both in society itself and in social interaction has allowed him to forge a comfortable life for himself and Flathoof's family, who is also his legally-adopted family. He admits to having a few contacts here and there in the shady criminal underworld, but assures Twilight that none of them are murderers or anything of that sort, and that all work together to undermine Pandemonium's corrupt and inept bureaucracy for the betterment of others. This understanding of social niceties even gives him an astounding ability to figure out how the Gryphon Ruins layout works, just based on where their entertainment venues are located.
- The Spock: Grayscale Force's Hidden Depths show that her apathetic nature does not mean she's dumb, applying a fierce logic to everything she does and having the nerve to willingly put her own life at risk to force her opponent into a no-win scenario.
- The Starscream: Silvertongue had been plotting to overthrow Nihila from before he even started working for her. In chapter 25, he succeeds.
- Status Buff: Rarity's power allows her to use her own magic to empower her friends', allowing them to bring their powers to new heights or to use their powers when normally they would barely be able to. Once they realize their power's potential, they can use it more regularly and don't require Rarity's aid, but she's still useful for making the powers stronger.
- The Strategist: Curaçao is apparently responsible for the majority of the Mean Six's attack strategy in Chapter 21, and has learned to tap into Starlight's semi-psychic connection between them in order to direct the battle while Rarity is busy trying to find her. She acknowledges that Grayscale has some part in the plans as well, but Curaçao is definitely the mastermind between the pair.
- Super Strength: Flathoof's power is pretty standard incredible strength, allowing him to pretty much perform the same tasks as any normal pony, but better. It seems to apply to his toughness and endurance as well, as he is able to take a lot of punishment from Red Velvet and seems to be the least affected by the team's week-long lack of food and rest.
- The Teetotaler: Flathoof, to everypony's surprise, outs himself as one in Chapter 28 when not partaking in the celebratory round of drinks in Lockwood's honor. Briarthorn and the other Hope's Point natives are all absolutely stunned, coming complete with the jukebox delivering a Record Needle Scratch and the bartender dropping a glass he was washing.
- Teleport Spam: Twilight and Starlight's battle in Chapter 21 utilizes this to its fullest, combined with a healthy dose of Doppelgänger Attack from Twilight just to take it a step further.
- Terse Talker: Queen Blackburn.
- That Came Out Wrong: Rarity manages to do this with an outfit. She designs an outfit for Flathoof that was meant to make him look tough. To be fair, to the rest of the more innocent mane six, he does. To the more "mature" Equestria v denizens (and the reader), he looks like a gay bear biker. Hilarity Ensues.
- This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: Havocwing decides to drop all pretense of Unusual Euphemism in her second fight against Rainbow Dash, and her first fight against Applejack.
- Took a Level in Badass: All the Mane Six get superpowers in Chapter 19 to help put them on even footing with the Mean Six, and their powers are easily just as deadly and powerful.
- Trapped in Another World
- Trauma Conga Line: Poor Flathoof. One of his closest friends is murdered, he's framed for it and is now a wanted criminal and likely can never go home again, his best friend and adopted brother is then seriously injured, he finds out that his dead friend may possibly be a zombie, and the one responsible for her death is a zombie. To make matters worse, the one pony that he felt a connection with amongst the Mane Six, Applejack, has lately been ignoring him for a reason he does not know about. Thankfully, he and Applejack were able to sort the latter out. And then Shadowstep arrives...
- Unobtanium: Obidium is an extremely rare, powerful metal renown across Equestria-V as one of the greatest inventions of the gryphons. It does not occur naturally, so only the gryphons can produce more... and they're extinct.
- Utopia: The capital city of ponykind on the southern continent. It's even named Utopia.
- Valley Girl: Insipid is, like, so totally this that it's not even, y'know, funny?
- Villainous Rescue: Havocwing, Grayscale Force, and Red Velvet show up in the nick of time to save Twilight's party from an adult Gargantuan and a swarm of young ones, with the express purpose of using the rescue to make good with the Mane Six ahead of time in order to earn friendship and corrupt them from within.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: Curaçao's power lets her transform into the form of any pony she wishes, and she can apparently use it as a form of Chameleon Camouflage; apparently, Rarity's boost (as it was still in Insipid's possession) upgrades it to full-on Invisibility. Ophanim, Fluttershy's spirit familiar, is also able to use this power to transform into various animals.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Pinkie Pie is explicitly given a critical weakness to her otherwise seemingly limitless power: If somepony convinces themselves that what she's doing is impossible, suddenly it is. Gilderoy explains this rule straight-up as the reason Pinkie can't just take them all home right then - the Chronomancers wrote the rules of space/time eons ago, and claimed it impossible to travel between dimensions in such a way. In Chapter 24, Curaçao figures the weakness out and uses it to easily handle Pinkie Pie in combat.
- Another limitation is that whatever Pinkie Pie does, it has to be entertaining to her or her "audience", as her power is tied to her Element of Laughter. For example, making food appear for only the sake of food is not possible for her, as it wouldn't make for a "good joke".
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Starlight Shadow seeks nothing more in her life than the love and adoration of her father, Silvertongue.
- Whatevermancy: Just about every single thing you can do has some sort of type of magic related to it, from handling herbs (Biomancy) or animals (Zoolomancy), to even talking (Sociomancy).
- Wham Episode: Oh, so many.
- Chapter 25: Silvertongue kills Nihila, absorbs her powers, and becomes an Alicorn. Then, he reveals to the Mean Six their true origins, sending them into a Villainous BSOD of epic proportions. Insipid rejects Curaçao, Grayscale goes from just lazy into a full-fledged nihilist, and Havocwing...starts on to the road to becoming a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, giving an inspiring speech to her sisters to motivate them in destroying their counterparts.
- Chapter 29: The attack on Hope's Point comes early, Lockwood is revealed to be engaged to Queen Blackburn, Fluttershy gets angry at everyone...
- Chapter 30: Shadowstep has stowed away aboard the Thunder and demolishes the engine power source. Gadget and Crossfire are killed in the crash after ensuring the safety of the others, and Applejack, Flathoof, and Briarthorn are missing, presumed dead.
- Chapter 36: Curaçao reveals that the events of the last two chapters, specifically her sisters fighting against the Mane Six in fair, one-on-one matches and being talked down, was her plan, in an attempt to rid them of the evil inside them that Nihila put there. It doesn't work out exactly as planned.
- Wham Line: A few choice ones here and there that change the way the entire fic seems to be running up until that point.
- Chapter 25: Silvertongue reveals his plan to betray Nihila and absorb her powers after centuries of "loyal" service.
Silvertongue: Why... tonight, my dearest daughter... we are going to kill a goddess.
- Chapter 35: Curaçao reveals to Applejack the initial basis of her and her sisters' original plans (to corrupt them to the side of evil), her sisters' current plans (to kill them), and last, her plan ( to save her sisters from a dark fate). In other words, the events of the previous two chapters were due to her scheming, but towards a totally different goal.
Curaçao: My plan is not to ambush tes amies to kill zem. My plan is for tes amies to do what we tried to do to you, but in reverse.
- What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: Lockwood's power seems to be the ability to manipulate pain in others, using himself as a focal point. He first demonstrates this by accidentally removing the last stages of Fluttershy's weakness, a side-effect of her treatment after being injured by a Garngantuan. He refuses to use his power to transmit pain away from him and to the others though, even at their asking, which is completely in-character for him.
- Wicked Cultured: Silvertongue always dresses in style, likes opera sung in a dead language, drinks wine at breakfast, etc.
- Wild Card Excuse: According to Gilderoy, there is an old gryphon saying that says, essentially, "It's magic, I don't have to explain shit". Naturally, magic and techno-magic are used throughout the fic as reasons why certain impossible things are possible. You just did something beyond comprehension, and somepony asks you how you did it? Magic.
- Wine Is Classy: Silvertongue really enjoys his magmaberry wine, so much so that he drinks the stuff at every meal, including breakfast.
- Rarity chooses to partake in some wine rather than in the beers the others do when they all go out for drinks after Lockwood is revealed to be okay. This is clearly her trying to invoke this trope.
- You Fight Like a Cow: Havocwing and Rainbow Dash frequently engage in rapid-fire insults while flying at near-supersonic speeds and firing projectiles at each other. It's mostly relegated to name-calling. Rainbow is unimpressed at being called Rainbow Crash, a name she's endured since fillyhood; Havoc, on the other hand, does not like it when you talk about her dad.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Silvertongue does this to anypony and anything he deems to not be any use to him any longer. He even quotes the line when he kills Doctor Blutsauger. He isn't worried about applying this on a massive scale, either, as when he's used every resource he can talk the gryphons into using, he committs genocide upon them, causing their race to become extinct, save for Gilderoy. He even avoids a pesky Genocide Backfire because Gilderoy is just a decrepit old gryphon, and a pacifist at that.
- Averted with Shroud, who Silvertongue simply allows to leave, after a mind wipe of course.
- Your Little Dismissive Diminutive: Starlight Shadow falls into this extremely often whenever she's talking down to somepony she feels beneath her. Which of course, is just about everypony.
- Your Universe or Mine?: Seems to be where the Fluttershy/Lockwood relationship is headed.
- Averted: With the realization of Lockwood being engaged to Queen Blackburn, that relationship has sailed. Poor Fluttershy...
- You Wanna Get Sued?: Pinkie and Briarthorn debate over this in chapter 28, when Briarthorn starts singing Yo Ho (A Pirate's Life For Me). Luckily, Briarthorn has a pirate lawyer on hoof to explain the Fair Use laws under parody.