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Loyalists

Clan Kicker

    Shadow Kicker 
The Famous Ancestor of the Kicker clans and a heroine of Equestria, Shadow was the only major clan leader to remain loyal to Celestia during the Lunar Rebellion.
  • Antagonistic Offspring: To her father, Cyclone Kicker, after he refuses to defect. The two remain bitterly at odds until his death.
  • Back from the Dead: In Chapter 1 of Ascendant Shadows, Celestia and Sunbeam manage to save her from the fatal injuries she has sustained by shunting her consciousness into her armor until her body has healed. Arguably a borderline case, since heart and lung activity ceased, but it's implied brain death was not reached.
  • Beyond the Impossible: The epilogue of The Lunar Rebellion reveals that nine months after the events of the story, she somehow manages to conceive a colt named Ash Kicker despite never actually having a sire. The only possible candidates were Righty Doo (unlikely as he was recently a widower and refuses to bang Shadow), Sunbeam Sparkle and Celestia herself. Note that this was 900 years ago where the magic needed to allow same-sex couples to properly conceive a foal hasn't been invented/refined yet and the only way for them to get a child at that time was via adoption.
  • Combat Pragmatist: While she isn't exactly fond of underhanded tactics, she knows that it's the only way to keep up with Lance Charger without being pounded to the ground due to being in her forties when the Lunar Rebellion started. This comes to bite her in the ass big time as her second duel with Lance Charger has her resort using a tanglehoof grenade on the latter's face. When Lance died a few days later from having her stomach raptured by grown tanglehoof, the blame was pinned on Shadow via circumstantial evidence. This destroys any chance of ending the war there and then as her mother, Bright Charger who was the Acting Commander due to Rightly Doo's capture is now too angry to see reason and only wants to burn Canterlot to the ground while having Shadow's head on a pike.
  • Clothes Make the Superman: Her armor as of Ascendant Shadows gives her the power to absorb magic into the armor itself and channel it like any magi. It's also her Soul Jar in the early months of her wearing it, meaning that her body can afford to take punishment that is usually fatal as long as the armor doesn't come off.
  • Disney Death: Having a lance ran through your chest is pretty much fatal... if it wasn't for the efforts of Celestia, Sunbeam and Morning Star.
  • Exact Words: Early in Gathering Shadows, she promises a griffon archduke that she won't castrate or flay him if he reveals where the remaining pony captives are, not that she won't have him hung on finding out he'd killed said pony captives and eaten from their corpses.
  • Freakiness Shame: She thinks that she is a suit of armor wearing a mare rather than the other way round in the early days of her recovery after being brought Back from the Dead. Subverted as she was able to gradually take off more and more pieces of her armor over time, confirming that her soul is indeed being transferred back to her body, rendering the statement invalid.
  • Has Two Mommies: Inverted. Shadow is the adoptive daughter of two stallions, Cyclone Kicker and Clay Striker.
  • Honor Before Reason: Like with many other pegasi, Shadow has a tendency to pick the honorable choice over less honorable but more efficient ones. A good example would be how, when seeking allies against Duke Polaris (a noble who had been given full command of the armed forces despite being highly unqualified for the role), she persistently refused to ally with Sunbeam, whom she saw as distasteful and dishonorable, despite it being her only realistic choice for gaining useful allies, with the avenues she pursued instead gaining her little beyond lost time that allowed Polaris to cement his position.
  • Hope Bringer: The reason of her Unwanted False Faith and being Legendary in the Sequel. Sunbeam and Midnight Sparkle hyped her as such during the Siege of Canterlot. In response to her Disney Death at the hooves of Lance Charger, Celestia, Sunbeam and Morning Star spent all their efforts crafting the best armor possible for her doubling as a temporary Soul Jar while restoring her body.
  • It Runs in the Family: She is the Famous Ancestor of Cloud Kicker. Who else do you think she got it from? By the end of The Lunar Rebellion, she made love with Sunbeam Sparkle and was implied to have did the same with Celestia.
  • Legendary in the Sequel: By the time of the Winningverse present, she even has a religion dedicated to her. See Unwanted False Faith for details when she was alive.
  • Oh, Crap!: In the 3-on-3 duel, the reveal that one of the rebel combatants being the Avatar of Nightmare Moon herself invoked this response from her.
  • Old Master: Downplayed, but still there; although in the main story she's still far from old, she is implied to be in her mid-forties or so. Despite being extremely experienced, skilled, and battle-hardened, it's noted more than once that she's not quite as fast, durable or strong as she used to be. When forced into a direct confrontation with the extraordinarily gifted and physically in her prime Lance Charger, she needs to use every dirty trick in the book to keep up.
  • Parting Words Regret: After the Battle of Avalon Vale, she finds out that Cyclone Kicker committed suicide to avoid capture or surrender. She laments that if she had known that negotiations before the battle would have been the last chance she could ever speak to him, she would have tried to make a more concise effort to bring him to his senses.
  • Patricide: Although Cyclone technically kills himself in shame after being defeated and humiliated in battle by his daughter, several characters — including Shadow herself — see Shadow Kicker as at least partly responsible for his death, as she would have known perfectly well what the consequences of her actions would have been.
  • Pre-Climax Climax: Before the events that would lead to the final showdown with the Avatar of Nightmare Moon, her latest interaction with Sunbeam has her pinning the latter to a wall in her room, implying that she had enough of the latter's nonsense and is going to beat the daylights out of her. Instead, she proceeds to forcibly strip Sunbeam, revealing that the first action was actually a Wall Pin of Love. Cue banging... twice in the same night! Subverted that they didn't know they were going to fight the Avatar of Nightmare Moon beforehand.
  • Sex for Solace: Implied with Celestia. After the incineration of the rebel army at Maresidian Fields, Celestia is understandably distraught that even more of her subjects are still dying needlessly in the thousands and she personally lit the match for the inferno responsible. The defeat of the Avatar and losing the Siege of Canterlot should have led to a surrender if it wasn't for the pride of the Ephors. When drowning her sorrows didn't work, Shadow Kicker offered to comfort her and well...
  • Soul Jar: Shadow's Armor, which contains an imprint of her mind into the present day and served as a much more literal example when Celestia temporarily stored Shadow’s soul in it when the latter died. Subverted over the span of her lifetime as she was able to eventually take off more and more parts of her armor, meaning that it was indeed temporary. Cloud Kicker sincerely hopes that the armor in question merely contained an echo of her soul instead of the real deal, as the latter would mean that she was trapped in a suit of armor for 800 years after the death of her physical body.
  • Unwanted False Faith: Shadow was never happy about being subject to regular hero worship, and even less happy about being subject to actual worship. Even in her modern day, her spirit clearly dislikes being referred to by her religious honorific of "Honored Shadow". She herself nearly stopped it's formation due to the unwanted attention and only endured it due to being a Hope Bringer during the Lunar Rebellion, especially during the later months of the Siege of Canterlot.
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: Almost word-for-word in Rising Shadows 7, when Sunbeam Sparkle congratulates her over defusing a very tense confrontation between Sunbeam and Rightly Doo.
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    Gale Kicker 
Shadow Kicker's adopted daughter.
  • Defiant Captive: She spends the first half of Ascendant Shadows a prisoner in the rebel camp as she was knocked out and taken prisoner when she saw Lance Charger run a lance through her Shadow Kicker's chest under a truce flag. While defiant, it's clear that her mother's Disney Death took some fight out of her.
  • Happily Adopted: She was adopted by Shadow as part of the Pegasopolian custom of adopting promising clanless youths into one's clan. By and large, the two have an extremely good mother-daughter relationship.
  • Odd Friendship: With Midnight Sparkle. One is a straight-faced Military Brat while the other is a Nightmare Fetishist.
  • Official Couple: With Dusk Charger.
  • Like Father, Unlike Son: Unlike her mother Shadow Kicker, she is more open to underhanded tactics. One example would be suggesting to Shadow Kicker that she should hold Midnight Sparkle hostage to reign Sunbeam in line if the loyalists high command are to have any sense of unity, which will be impossible if Shadow and Sunbeam are constantly bickering over every single tactic suggested.
  • The Spymaster: She serves this role within the Kicker clan: her special talent is in information gathering, and she's extremely skilled at gaining informants and setting up intelligence networks. It's noted that she hardly ever visits a new place without having gained at least a few new informants there by the time she leaves, most of them entirely unaware of this.

    Nimbus Kicker 
A young soldier in the Kicker clan.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Interlude 5. While the chapter is told from Radiant Day's point of view, it also features her, White Knight and Daylight Shimmer in prominent roles.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Shadow Kicker stationed her in Sunbeam's tower to due to her pregnancy, and it just happens to be her shift, much to Dusk Charger's dismay, when the plan to kidnap Midnight Sparkle is put into action.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: She has a spear run through her chest from behind by Flash Charger... while being pregnant with her unborn foal.
  • Four Is Death: Most likely a coincidence but she dies in Ascendant Interlude 4.
  • Hand on Womb: How she reveals herself to be pregnant shortly after receiving news that her husband's killer Dusk Charger defected to the loyalists.
  • Happily Married: To Sir Radiant Day in Ascendant Shadows 2.
  • Interspecies Romance: With Sir Radiant Day, a unicorn knight from the Order of Sol Invictus.
  • Pregnant Badass: Is pregnant with her foal during Ascendant Shadows. Didn't slow her down one bit.
  • Too Happy to Live: She married her husband in a besieged city and is pregnant with his foal. That's pretty much a Death Flag right there. Sure enough, she dies in Ascendant Interlude 4.
  • Relative Error: At one point, Nimbus thinks her lover Radiant Day is cheating on her with his squire White Knight. As it turns out, White Knight is his sister. And also his squire. But most importantly of all, his sister.
  • Vengeful Widow: After Radiant Day's death, she becomes this to his killer Dusk Charger. Deconstructed later on that, when Dusk Charger's Fake Defection is revealed, it blinds her to the larger battle going on while being too angry to think of her unborn foal and surrender when she is clearly outnumbered and outmatched and her opponent is more focused on getting her to stop fighting with no intent to harm her. Sure enough, when she is about to kill Dusk Charger, his brother Flash has to save him by impaling her chest from behind, killing her.

    Stalwart Kicker 
One of Shadow Kicker's drill sergeants. Acts as her Number Two.

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Canterlot

    Queen Celestia 
The ruler of Equestria.
  • Achilles in His Tent: Much to the frustration of both the readers and protagonists alike, she refuses to fight on the frontlines alongside her subjects due to her depression-fuelled withdrawal from having to banish her sister a century ago and doesn't want to needlessly raise the body count whenever she enters the field, on the grounds that it would snuff out all the possible good things the deceased could have done. She only enters the fray when the situation requires her specifically like the barrier around Canterlot which forced the rebels to fight in the tunnels instead of the air as they would have preferred, forging Shadow's Soul Jar armor, convincing Nightmare Moon to leave Bright Charger's body in its last moments and igniting the inferno at Maresidian Fields.
  • And Then What?: She uses this to deliver an intellectual beatdown on Apple Tree by asking how he means to implement his reforms and deal with their fallout and side effects, illustrating that his positions — while valid concerns — are also immensely complex problems without the easy solutions he advocates.
  • Barrier Warrior: Is responsible of casting and keeping up a shield 24/7 around Canterlot to prevent the rebels from simply flying into the city. Note that the Lunar Rebellion lasted at least 6 months.
  • Bait-and-Switch: A griffon diplomat demands that Equestria compensate their kingdom for the actions of the Ephorate despite the latter only acted in response to griffon reivers from that same nation which kidnapped and ate ponies. In response, she proceeds to rattle of a seemingly long list of compensations, which the diplomat is eagerly agrees to. After that, she pulls the rug under him by thanking him for agreeing to compensate Equestria with those reparations, much to his shock. This is because throughout the listing of the compensations, she never specified which nation is doing the compensating.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: She's just as much the benevolent, well-meaning ruler that she is in the show — minus nine centuries or so of experience, granted — and genuinely wants the best for her subjects, but her depression-fuelled withdrawal from public affairs following Luna's banishment led her to become very disconnected from her non-unicorn subjects, most of whom have seen little to nothing of her for the better part of a century. As a result of her prolonged absence, the decline in personal freedoms for the earth pony working class at the magnates' hooves and her admittedly clumsy attempts to reconnect with the pegasi, many of her subjects have come to view her as another useless noble at best and an uncaring, power-hungry tyrant at worst. One of Shadow Kicker's main worries after the war is Celestia's reputation taking a nosedive while Sunbeam spent a good portion of her time post-war making sure that Celestia is portrayed in history not as a worthless monarch who only spent all day sitting on her throne while her subjects died for her during the Lunar Rebellion.
  • Sink-or-Swim Mentor: In Gathering Shadows 7, she purposefully refrains from interfering in a fight between Shadow and Sunbeam, hoping they will learn to work things out themselves. It backfires disastrously, the argument escalating nearly to the point of violence rather than simmering down and continuing to erode their confidence in her leadership.
  • Story-Breaker Power: Just like in canon, she is so powerful that being actually active plot-wise would have incinerated any enemy with a mere thought and burn the narrative into a pile of ash, as the rebel army in Maresidian Fields can testify. So to make sure that she won't be inclined to help as much as she would have, the antagonists for The Lunar Rebellion are her own subjects instead while at the same time suffering from a depression-fuelled withdrawal from having to banish her sister a century ago which curbed her drive and plunged her into a state of melancholy.
  • The High Queen: Unlike present day and canon, she is proudly wearing the title of "Queen" instead of "Princess" during the Lunar Rebellion.

    Sunbeam Sparkle 
The Grand Vizier and Archmagus of Canterlot.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: She shows a lot of symptoms and personality quirks (such as a highly manipulative and amoral nature and trouble understanding morality and altruism, as well as that others could genuinely use these things to guide their actions without being hypocrites or liars) typical of high-functioning sociopaths, and it's noted in the story that many present-day Equestrian psychologists and historians diagnose her with a high-functioning form of Antisocial Personality Disorder.
  • The Archmage: She holds the title of Archmage of Canterlot, the most influential of the five archmages of Unicornia and the de-facto leader of its magic orders. She's also one of most powerful unicorn mages around, perhaps second only to Celestia herself.
  • Crazy-Prepared: In an attempt to prevent Midnight from having to be used as a vessel for Nightmare Moon in the future, after adopting her Sunbeam destroyed any shred of evidence that would reveal that fact along with summarily executing any cultist left alive before they were brought to trial. After that, she resorted to using both Blood Magic and even pieces of her soul on Midnight to attempt making the two of them as biologically related as possible to sever the connection Nightmare Moon has over her. Unfortunately, not even she can truly sever the link as the one pony she cannot silence is Nightmare Moon herself.
  • Dark Secret: Her daughter Midnight being actually adopted and a vessel for Nightmare Moon. Only Celestia and Shadow Kicker were confided in this fact.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: More a case of Amorality Cannot Comprehend Morality, but it is noted that the ruthlessly pragmatic, amoral and self-interest-driven Sunbeam finds it very easy to deal with and predict actions driven by greed, self-interest and ambition (as that is largely how she operates herself). However, she has trouble understanding (and thus predicting) people who act based on genuine moral standards, usually considering them to be simply self-righteous fools.
    Grandmaster Crossguard: [S]he finds her morally driven allies to be unpredictable—she can understand greed or lust for power easily enough, and e'en loyalty, but simple altruism and decency elude her.
  • Evil Chancellor: Subverted. The story appears to set her up as this at first, what with her ruthless pragmatism, love of Loophole Abuse and dislike for Princess Celestia's gentler touch. However, she remains loyal to Celestia throughout the story, making her more of a Token Evil Teammate.
  • Famous Ancestor: She is one to the entire Sparkle family, who are her direct descendants through her adoptive daughter Midnight Sparkle. Sunset Shimmer can also trace her ancestry to Sunbeam, by means of Sunbeam’s bastard son Daylight Shimmer.
  • Loophole Abuse: She employs this frequently, with others noting they have to phrase things carefully and deliberately when making terms with her. For example, when she enters an honor duel with a pegasus that she completely outclasses and Celestia orders her not to kill him, Sunbeam instead mutilates him so thoroughly that he takes his own life some time later.
  • Mama Bear: She is extremely protective of her daughter, and threatening Midnight is one of the few ways to make her visibly furious. When the rebels capture Midnight as a sacrifice, she drops her usual smooth façade and simply marches into their base and incinerates anypony in her way.
  • My Greatest Second Chance: The reason why she adopted an infant Midnight Sparkle instead of killing her despite the latter being born for the sole purpose of being a vessel for Nightmare Moon is because in her rise to power, she wound up having a Heroic Bastard despite her best efforts and such a public scandal in Canterlot politics would destroy her entire career in one stroke. She had to leave the baby in question to be raised in the Order of Sol Invictus as Daylight Shimmer while being a secret patron to the Order as her way of supporting him from afar.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Sunbeam tends to revert to her working-class accent when angry.
  • Peek-a-Bangs: Her mane covers her left eye.
  • Playing with Fire: Is the second most powerful pyromancer in Equestria, with the first being Celestia herself.
  • Rags to Riches: She started out as commoner from a family of glassmakers, and through her great magical skill and sheer ruthlessness she clawed her way up through the ranks of the magi until she was one of the most influential and powerful pony in Unicornia, second only to Celestia herself.
  • So Proud of You: A letter reveals that Sunbeam considers the day she handed the title of Archmagus of Canterlot to her daughter Midnight a prouder moment than when she claimed it for herself.
  • Tranquil Fury: When entering the rebel base in Canterlot to rescue her daughter, she doesn't show any visible signs of anger. She simply enters their base, asks for the whereabouts of Midnight, and brutally incinerates anyone in her way.
  • Would Hurt a Child: She's Flanderized in-universe for this after it's made public that she used a colt as an unwitting suicide bomber against his warlock father, earning her the unofficial title "Foal-slayer" amongst the nobility.

    Midnight Sparkle 
Sunbeam Sparkle's daughter.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: She shows a lot of behaviors (such as difficulty in reading and expressing emotions, a strong fascination with a specific subject, an unusual manner of speaking, a tendency for honesty and forthrightness even when not socially appropriate and difficulty in bearing unpleasant sensory input) consistent with autism spectrum disorders.
  • Animal Motifs: She's strongly associated with ravens.
  • The Archmage: She eventually becomes the Archmage of Canterlot after her mother's retirement, becoming the leader of the magic orders after the time of the Rebellion.
  • Artificial Human: She was created through dark magic by Lunar cultists for the purpose of being an ideal vessel for Nightmare Moon's essence.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: Midnight's reasons for wanting to be grown up, early in The Lunar Rebellion, start off as regular childish fantasies and take a rather abrupt turn into revenge fantasies.
    Midnight: I think I would like to be an adult more than a child. Then I could do as I pleased. Like stay up all night reading, eat ice cream when I wished, or call upon great magical forces to smite my foes and make them lament the day they crossed me.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: Voids herself when she sees that the Avatar of Nightmare Moon is right in her home... while being carried by Dusk Charger as noted by him feeling something go down his back.
  • Creepy Child: You know you are messed up in the head when you consider being a waterpony (A pony responsible for refilling water canteens) worse than undergoing a Cruel and Unusual Death. Being a Nightmare Fetishist doesn't help matters.
  • Famous Ancestor: She is the direct ancestor of Twilight Sparkle and her family.
  • Foreshadowing: The hints that she was actually a vessel for Nightmare Moon were shown throughout the story before the reveal.
    • She is a Creepy Child and Nightmare Fetishist that gives out The Un-Smile.
    • After the rise of the Avatar of Nightmare Moon, she receives nightmares with increasing intensity with each passing night. Further, whenever the Avatar strikes, she always has a vision of the her appearing before she actually appears. It's because she's born with the sole purpose of being Nightmare Moon's new body on Equestria. Her body is subconsciously reaching out for its original host.
  • An Ice Person: Her special talent is for ice-based magic (her cutie mark is a snowflake), which manifests in the form of a lot of her spells involving ice, drops in temperature and gales of cold air.
  • I Owe You My Life: After Shadow saves her from being sacrificed by Lunar forces to provide a new vessel for the Avatar, she feels indebted to her for this. Shadow initially dismisses it, saying she didn't do what she did just to be owed a favor, but half-jokingly says Midnight should feel welcome to repay her if the opportunity ever comes up. Cloud notes that Midnight did eventually repay her life debt, many years later.
  • Kneel Before Zod: In Midnight's Shadow: Tainted Legacies, after she accepts Corva's offer of power and utterly defeats Gleaming Topaz in a magic duel, she demands that the latter bow before her. Topaz, too battered to be defiant, bows, sealing Midnight's victory.
  • Morality Pet: To her mother. As selfish, amoral and manipulative as Sunbeam normally is, it's clear that she genuinely loves her daughter, and will go to great lengths to protect her and ensure her future success. Even her main specialty which is cyromancy reflects her role as the individual to cool down her Playing with Fire mother.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: She's creepily obsessed with death. Among other things, she has a personal collection of pony skulls, and her reaction to a unicorn lieutenant who made the mistake of trying to pick a fight with Shadow Kicker was to excitedly ask him if he's going to die.
  • Odd Friendship: With Gale Kicker. One is a straight-faced Military Brat while the other is a Nightmare Fetishist.
  • Parental Abandonment: Her real parents are Secret Word, a lunar cultist warlock, and Clear Sight, the apprentice to the Archmagus of the Eastern March. Both of them were killed by Sunbeam. Considering the fact that they only saw her as a body for Nightmare Moon to possess, Sunbeam's adoption of her is a step up.
  • The Un-Smile: Midnight, as part of her general awkwardness with typical social interactions, is noted to have a very unsettling smile, often showing far too many teeth and not reaching her eyes.
    Then she smiled. 'Tis a queer thing to see something so genuine and natural twisted, and e'en moreso when 'tis unintentional. Her lips curled upwards to bare her teeth, yet her eyes were untouched by the motion, her pupils shrinking until they were mere pinpricks in a sea of white. She held her gaze far too long for comfort, her uneven blinking sparse and veins readily apparent within her eyes the longer she failed to do so.
    Mine entire body twitched back from her in an instinctive reaction to the horror before mine eyes, but years of discipline held me firmly in place, and a polite smile on my face.

    Morning Star 
A magus who lost her husband Copper Spark in the Lunar Rebellion, Morning Star is an old ally of Midnight and her family. In Tainted Legacies, she becomes an alicorn to protect Midnight from cultists.
  • Mama Bear: She sees Midnight as a daughter, and is very protective of her. Knowledge that Midnight is in the power of warlocks seeking to turn her into a conduit for Nightmare Moon's power is enough to drive her to turn herself into an alicorn to destroy the cultists and come to Midnight's rescue.
  • Winged Unicorn: She's among the magi tasked with studying the ritual used to create the Avatar of Nightmare Moon. She uses this knowledge to become an alicorn in a desperate attempt to save Midnight from cultists and warlocks seeking to sacrifice her.
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    Copper Spark 
The Archmagus of the Eastern March.
  • Amicable Exes: He's this to Shadow Kicker; they had a brief fling while they worked together as warlock hunters, broke it off later on as they deiced to climb the ranks of their respective organizations and are now good friends.
  • Magnetism Manipulation: His speciality.
  • Mauve Shirt: We get to know him and his relationship with his wife Morning Star which also revealed Shadow Kicker being an old flame of his before respective duties called. He was also the one who briefed Shadow on Canterlot politics and the various factions that comprise it. In the epilogue of Rising Shadows, he gets sacrificed to create the Avatar of Nightmare Moon after his defeat at the hooves of Lance Charger due to being an Archmagus.
  • Fatal Family Photo: Having a wife waiting for you back home doesn't bode well for your chances of survival...
  • You Fool!: Calls Swift Blade as such when he is planning on releasing Hidden Facts, The Mole that is responsible for the loyalist's initial defeats and a Lunar cultist, in exchange for the aid of him and fellow cultists. He states that lunar cultists can make their offers seem minor and reasonable while luring their victims into dangerous webs of obligations that would benefit them in the long run. While being right, his warnings fell on deaf ears.

    Duke Polaris 
Head of the Canterlot nobility and leader of the loyalists forces until his capture.
  • Upper-Class Twit: Is every much the stereotypical stuck-up noble everyone perceives him as. Surprisingly, he is aware of that fact and surrounds himself with competent aides so that they can do all the work for him while claiming credit.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Was stated to be captured but was never sacrificed due to not being an Archmagus. His fate is still unknown.

    Greenwall 
The captain of the Canterlot earth pony militia. Acts the representative of the earth ponies who sided with Celestia.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: In the 3-on-3 duel, his chosen opponent was Swift Blade. The Ehpor spent most of the fight hiding from his attacks before running away despite the terms being "to the death".

Canterlot — Order of Sol Invictus

    Crossguard 
Grandmaster of the Order of Sol Invictus.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Holds the rank of Grandmaster in the Order of Sol Invictus which is makes him the organisation's leader, or at least it's Canterlot Branch.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: He challenged Steel Striker to a duel during the parley. In the aftermath of the Battle of the Southern Gates, the loyalists lost their entire first line of defence with the subsequent lines in disarray. He did this with the intent to buy time for the loyalists to fall back and regroup.
  • Mutual Kill: Subverted in his duel with Steel Striker which ended in a draw. While both are battle-hardened Old Masters, Steel Striker's scar-ridden body that was tempered with decades of combat allowed him to survive his injuries while Crossguard didn't.
  • Old Master: While not explicitly stated, his age is clearly over in the sixties. Not that it stops him from fighting as well as any other soldier.

    Daylight Shimmer 
A young Knight-Magus in Sunbeam's patronage, who becomes an archmagus in Tainted Legacies. Secretly, he's also Sunbeam's bastard son and Midnight's adoptive brother.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Interlude 5. While the chapter is told from Radiant Day's point of view, it also features him, Nimbus Kicker and White Knight in prominent roles.
  • Famous Ancestor: By his name and talent for fire magic, he's this to Sunset Shimmer.
  • Foreshadowing: His talent for pyromancy and the fact that Sunbeam willingly chose be Valiant Doo's opponent when he was the latter's designated opponent. It's because he is Sunbeam's bastard.
  • Heroic Bastard: He's common-born, and was left to the Order of the Sol Invictus to raise. He's Sunbeam's bastard, and they and Midnight know this, but choose not to make it public to avoid political complications and giving the appearance of Sunbeam placing her children in control of the magus orders.

    Radiant Day 
A Knight-Captain in the order. Had a posthumous promotion to Knight-Commander.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Interlude 5. While the chapter is told from his point of view, it also features Daylight Shimmer, Nimbus Kicker and White Knight in prominent roles.
  • The Captain: His rank is Knight-Captain. His death has him promoted to Knight-Commander.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Of all the unicorns that could have been grappled by Dusk Charger in the dark, he drew the short straw.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Had his skull bashed by a hammerhoof over and over until it caved in.
  • Happily Married: To Nimbus Kicker in Ascendant Shadows 2.
  • Mauve Shirt: Gets A Day in the Limelight and a wedding for someone that narrative-wise is a Bit Character. He dies in Ascendant Interlude 2.
  • Rank Up: Receives a posthumous promotion from Knight-Captain to Knight-Commander.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: His capture of Rightly Doo in the Battle of Avalon Vale prevented him from stopping Swift Blade's consortion with lunar cultists. If the rebels didn't involve them, the war would have turned out very differently.
  • Too Happy to Live: He married his wife in a besieged city. That's pretty much a Death Flag right there. Sure enough, he dies in Ascendant Interlude 2.

    White Knight 
Radiant Day's younger sister and squire. She becomes Shadow Kicker's squire upon his death.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Interlude 5. While the chapter is told from Radiant Day's point of view, it also features Daylight Shimmer, Nimbus Kicker and her in prominent roles.
  • The Squire: To her older brother Radiant Day. After his death, she's recommended by Sunbeam to be Shadow Kicker's squire to establish a power balance between the loyalists' high command.

Rebels

Pegasopolis — Ephorate

The ruling body of Pegasopolis. Each member is the paterfamilias (male head) or materfamilias (female head) of their respective clans.

    Rightly Doo 
The paterfamilias of the Doo clan.
  • Hero Antagonist: By and large. He's a genuinely honorable, good and heroic stallion, and one of the most principled leaders in the rebellion, despite directly opposing Shadow since the beginning of the war. Even knowing that she would be effectively giving back the rebels their best commander, Shadow Kicker knows that he will put a stop to the Lunar cultists in their ranks and dispose of Swift Blade. Sure enough, that is what he does... sort of.
  • Fatal Flaw: His pride and patriotism. While he certainly had his heroic qualities, he is too hung up in the Pegasopolis tradition of never surrendering to the enemy while seeking glory in last stands like any other pegasi. In the final battle for Cloudsdale, he refuses to surrender despite having no chance of victory. This gets the last rebel army decimated in a surprise attack that was figured out a mile away, leaving Cloudsdale with no defenders.
  • Never Found the Body: In the grisly aftermath of the battle of Cloudsdale, his body wasn't even found.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: With Shadow. They're greatly attracted to each other, but are kept apart by social norms requiring Rightly to remain celibate for a prescribed mourning period following his wife's death, and then by being on opposite sides of a civil war. Subverted near the end of The Lunar Rebellion, where Shadow gives up on him entirely.

    Bright Charger 
The materfamilias of the Charger clan. Among of the ephors of Pegasopolis, Bright Charger is the most fanatical of the Ephors in her opposition to Unicornia and Celestia.

For tropes pertaining to the Avatar of Nightmare Moon, see the appropriate folder.


  • Dying as Yourself: After the defeat of the Avatar of Nightmare Moon, Celestia convinces Nightmare Moon to leave her body. This leaves Bright Charger lucid enough to be herself when Shadow Kicker decapitates her and puts her out of misery.
  • It's Probably Nothing: Noticed a wound on her foreleg. Shrugged it off as a flesh wound. It was actually a cut in a vital artery and it would have killed her from blood loss if it wasn't for her deciding to be the Avatar of Nightmare Moon.
  • Off with Her Head!: How she dies — Shadow decapitates her after the Avatar's defeat.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Like her daughter Lance, she shrugged off seemingly minor wounds that turned out to be symptoms of a fatal injury.
  • Kick the Dog: In the epilogue of Rising Shadows, when Bright (who has already started becoming less and less sympathetic by this point) learns that one of her twins has died in battle against Sunbeam and that the other, realizing that he could only retreat or die a pointless death, fled. Her extremely cold-hearted response to this is especially notable because, earlier in the story, she had praised a soldier for doing the same thing and not pointlessly wasting his life.
    "[...] Is it not better that one of us survives?" "Would that the better of my sons had." Mother struck him full across the cheek. "Instead he died so that thou might live."
  • Revenge Before Reason: In chapter 12 of Rising Shadows, Bright Charger attempts to murder Shadow under a flag of truce for the latter's perceived murder of her daughter, never mind that a) she has nothing more than circumstantial evidence for this claim, and b) she willfully breaks a truce to do this, doing incredible damage to the rebels’ cause and credibility in the process.

    Steel Striker 
The paterfamilias of the Striker clan. A seasoned veteran and the oldest of the group.
  • Cool Old Guy: He's much older than the other ephors, and one of the few consistent voices for reason and moderation in the Ephorate.
  • Fatal Flaw: His pride and patriotism. He is too hung up in the Pegasopolis tradition of never surrendering to the enemy while seeking glory in last stands like any other pegasi. In the battle of Maresidian Fields, he refuses to surrender despite having no chance of victory, thinking that his Last Stand will be immortalised in history as an army that refused to bow down to an immortal tyrant. Instead, he gets immolated alongside his army with the little fanfare and the only historical reference to him is a lament and it is often used by Sunbeam Sparkle when she felt the need to make a point to her political opponents.
  • Karmic Death: He wants to die in a glorious Last Stand that would be remembered in history. Instead, he and his army get incinerated in the most anti-climatic way possible in an event recorded in history as a mere footnote that stands as a testament against glorifying such thinking.
  • The Quiet One: He's laconic enough to give Big Mac a run for his money. He never speaks more often than he has to, and almost never in full sentences. It's mentioned that at one point, Rightly challenged Bright Charger to get Steel to speak three words during an Ephorate meeting. Steel kept quiet for the entire session, until, at the end, he turned to Bright and said "You lose."

    Swift Blade 
The paterfamilias of the Blade clan. Rose to the ehporate due to his skill in logistics despite having poor fighting skills.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: After his exile, it's revealed that he's been lynched by earth ponies in Manehatten during an attempt to escape the country.
  • Hypocrite: As part of his motive for rebelling, he calls Celestia a tyrant who is only concerned with the well-being of one tribe (the unicorns) over the rest of Equestria and denounces Sunbeam as a monster for performing atrocities in the name of grim necessity. He later performs atrocities as bad as — if not worse than — Sunbeam's on much shakier grounds, and openly and knowingly promotes Pegasopolian interests and welfare over those of the unicorns and earth ponies.
  • I Did What I Had to Do:
    • In the second Manehattan Crisis chapter, his rationale for burning the Earth Pony governing body alive when they wouldn't side with Pegasopolis and replacing them with a puppet government.
    • In the event of his exile, he stated that his tactics were the only things that is keeping the rebel cause afloat and things like honor and glorious last stands are overrated and outdated.
  • Klingon Scientists Get No Respect: During the time of the Lunar Rebellion, pegasi are almost exclusively a warrior culture. Swift Blade is skilled in strategy and logistics and plays a vital role in ensuring the Pegasopolian armies are reliably supplied and fed, but the other pegasi still look down on him for not possessing their prowess in personal combat.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: While he is ultimately right in the end that Pegasopolian traditions are over-glorified and outdated, he came to this conclusion by consorting with Lunar cultists and warlocks, overthrowing and replacing governments that won't agree with his cause and using pony sacrifices for the sake of creating the Avatar of Nightmare Moon which made the rebel cause reek of hypocrisy.
  • The Scapegoat: It's revealed in a footnote that, to mend relations after the civil war, most of the blame for the atrocities that happened was pinned on him while absolving the other ephors of their own significant crimes. For example, Bright Charger was recorded in history as a brave mare that fell in battle when, in reality, she willingly became the Avatar of Nightmare Moon and gave Swift Blade permission to release the Lunar cultists for their cause just to install a puppet earth pony government, which was in turn responsible for most of the atrocities down the line.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: He's essentially one who got his facts wrong. He honestly believes that Celestia is a tyrant, that Nightmare Moon was banished unjustly and should be returned to power, and that Equestria would be genuinely better off as a pegasus-run military dictatorship. Even if he were right, that still doesn’t excuse allying with warlocks and Lunar cultists, violently overthrowing other governments, and using blood magic to turn a fellow ephor into the Avatar of Nightmare Moon.
  • Villain Has a Point: Calls Pegasopolian traditions are over-glorified and outdated. Sure enough after the Siege of Canterlot, their traditions are responsible for two battles that resulted in senseless loss of life numbering in the thousands and only served to delay the inevitable outcome.

    Cyclone Kicker 
Shadow's blind and aging father and a member of the Gerousia, a council of elders who advise the ephors, Cyclone refuses to abandon Pegasopolis in favor of Celestia. He parts from Shadow's faction after a bitter fight, leading a small fragment of the clan to fight on Pegasopolis's side, and the rift that forms between him and his daughter remains a persistent source of stress and grief for Shadow, himself and Gale alike. He is made an ephor in Shadow's absence, to maintain a pretense that the Kickers fights under Luna's banner and that the large majority Shadow leads is only composed of rogue agents.
  • Archnemesis Dad: To Shadow, as they compete for the loyalty of Clan Kicker. Although he is not a significant political force in any other respect, his feud with his daughter dominates a large part of her emotional involvement in the war.
  • Driven to Suicide: He eventually kills himself after an encounter between his forces and his daughter's ends in him being defeated, shamed and losing what little power and presence the Pegasopolian Kicker clan had managed to maintain.
  • Irony: He was attacked in public by random citizens, who were convinced that the Kickers as a whole are sympathisers to Celestia. This was the last straw for Shadow and convinced her to exodus the Kicker clan from Pegasopolis. When she was about to leave for Canterlot, he was the one who tried to convince her to stay and fight alongside them against Celestia. In short, he was responsible for the Kickers joining Celestia as much as he was making them turn against her.

Pegasopolis — Clan Charger

A Sibling Team who consists of Bright Charger's six children.
    Lance Charger 
  • The Ace: She's for all intents and purposes the ideal that all Pegasopolian warriors aspire to: she's brave in battle, unfailingly honorable and fiercely loyal to her cause and clan. She's made leader of the hetairoi, the elite bodyguards of the Commander of Pegasopolis, at the beginning of the war, and she's already slated for a spot on the Ephorate. She was even on the verge of becoming an alicorn before she died.
  • Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence: She's stated by Celestia to be on the way to become an alicorn, which is described as a highly transformative experience that Celestia is confident will make her see past political and mortal conflicts and work to end the war. A pity she dies before this can happen. In fact, the timing of her death implies that the rebel warlocks had also realized this, and killed her specifically to prevent this from happening, while also giving Bright a reason to accept the mantle of Nightmare Moon's Avatar herself.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Died from a raptured stomach caused by grown tanglehoof. How bad were her last moments? Just simply touching her stomach by the time she got to the chirurgeons is enough to make her scream from the pain.
  • It's Probably Nothing: She had this notion when suffering from minor stomach pains during breakfast, refusing medical aid over what was considered trivial when there are more serious cases for the chirurgeons to attend to. Turns out that it wasn't a mere upset stomach, but the tanglehoof in her stomach growing against it's confines. By the time she was rushed to the medical tent, it was too late to save her.
  • Parental Favoritism: Out of the six siblings, she is this in Bright Charger's eyes due to being The Ace.
  • Red Herring: Between her high status in the rebel forces and hints that she's becoming an alicorn, it's implied that she will become the Avatar of Nightmare Moon. Then she dies, and her mother becomes the Avatar instead.
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth: Was actually considering the offer of separate nationalism between the three tribes as a means to end the war if is wasn't for the unicorn assassin souring the talks and changing her mind. Even after the assassination attempt, she still looked at the larger picture and was considering a second peace negotiation attempt with Celestia herself. When she died, practically all notion of reason is replaced by vengeance among the rebel high command.

    Dusk Charger 
  • Double Agent: Towards the climax of Ascendant Shadows, he seems to defect to the loyalists cause, although it’s all a ruse to infiltrate Canterlot and kidnap Midnight Sparkle. He later defects for real when he realizes exactly what the Avatar plans to do with Midnight.
  • Fatal Flaw: My Country, Right or Wrong. His refusal to join the loyalists was due to his sheer loyalty to his family, clan and country. Even when said family, clan and country are committing atrocities left and right, he stayed firmly on their side acting as the Token Good Teammate. When it's thought that he finally came to his senses after the tunnel battle and defect to the loyalists, it's revealed to be a Fake Defection for the sake of kidnapping Midnight Sparkle.
  • For Want of a Nail: His actions caused the dissolution of the pegasus clans as it proved to the loyalists that they can't be trusted and keeping the clan system will just brew resentment and start the next conflict in 20 or so years. Before all this happened, Shadow Kicker had plans on restoring the Ephorate.
  • Out, Damned Spot!: Can never get Nimbus Kicker's blood out of his coat and armor after failing in convincing her to stand down in time.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: By the end of the story, he has joined the rebellion against Celestia, then defected to the loyalists, then been revealed to actually be a rebel mole, then defected to the loyalists for real out of disgust for the things the Avatar was doing.

    Dawn Charger 
  • And Then What?: Her response to the dissolution of the clans. She couldn't see herself taking part in anything that isn't related to war.
  • Heel–Face Turn: While she wasn't part of the ruse to kidnap Midnight Sparkle, she is still loyal to the rebel cause as a prisoner of war. Shortly after she was brought in the loop by her brother Dusk after his Fake Defection was revealed, she learned what was going to happen to Midnight and failed in trying to rescue her due to Flash stopping her from picking the locks to Midnight's cell. After informing Dusk what was going to happen to Midnight, both of them defected to the loyalists out of disgust.
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die: Her failure to save her sister Lance weighs heavily on her. To the extent that after the war, she pioneered several medical techniques, most notably a new and far safer method to safely extract a dangerous foreign object from a pony’s stomach.
  • The Medic: Unlike the rest of her family members, who are uniformly warriors, she's a chirurgeon, and her chosen role in wartime is to heal and tend to the injured. Like other chirurgeons at the time of the rebellion, she has sworn a vow towards protecting life, and as such heals the injured without considering what side they fight on, and refuses to raise arms against others.

    Other Charger siblings 
Aside from the three siblings above, Bright Charger also has three more children named Thunder, Flash and Shield.
  • Killed Off for Real: Thunder and Flash decided to pick a fight with Sunbeam. Thunder was incinerated while Flash had to run for his life. Flash himself would later die of bleeding out caused by Dawn when the latter tried to save Midnight, adamantly refusing to stop a bleeding caused by Dawn over attempting to inform his mother just to get back in her good graces. He died a short distance away, making his endeavour pointless.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Shield Charger was last seen ordered by Dusk to break their mother's lances after her attempted murder of Shadow Kicker. His fate is unknown as of the war's end. According to Word Of God, his lack of appearance is due to being the youngest of the six siblings who spent most of his time in the rebel camp.

Nightmare Cultists

    Nightmare Moon 
Princess Celestia's fallen sister, although trapped in the Moon, maintains influence in the world below.
  • Never My Fault: She blames Celestia for everything bad that happens to her, despite her own actions being the cause for most such things. Her disconnect from ponykind, for instance, is due as much to her own arrogance and aggressiveness as anything else, and it was her own treachery and selfishness that drove Midnight away from her. She refuses to admit this, blaming her loneliness on her sister instead of facing her faults.
  • The Resenter: She resents her sister for everything, from the love of their subjects to the power she wields.

    The Avatar of Nightmare Moon 
A mortal pony transformed into a conduit for Nightmare Moon's power, a terrifying power on the battlefield and a powerful symbol in the Lunar Rebellion.

For tropes pertaining to Bright Charger, see her folder above.


  • A God Am I: The Avatar's worldview in a nutshell, although "A God's Avatar Am I" might be a more accurate term.
    "I am an alicorn, a higher state of being. I am faster, stronger, smarter, and simply better in every conceivable way. I am Luna reborn, her will made flesh and Equestria’s liberation."
  • Bad Boss: It's implied that for a chance at killing Shadow Kicker in the 3-on-3 duel, she killed her own earth pony representative to take his place as being an alicorn meant that she fits the description of all three tribes.
  • Body Horror: The Avatar's state by the end of the battle within Canterlot. Half of her body was reduced to a charred ruin — so much of her side had been simply burned away that her organs were fully visible, still trying to keep her alive despite their own wasted state — her face was a mass of charred flesh and shattered bone and what flesh she still possessed was visibly and rapidly rotting.
  • Composite Character: Of Nightmare Moon and Bright Charger. How much of the latter resides in the Avatar is a mystery for both the characters and readers alike.
  • Faking the Dead: Secretly planned with Hidden Facts to "kill" him in public right in front of Rightly Doo, tricking him into thinking that he stamped out the Lunar cultists in the rebel cause.
  • Hoist by Her Own Petard: By killing her own earth pony representative, she would face Shadow Kicker. By doing so, she wound up being on the receiving end of Shadow's armor, resulting in her defeat and leaving wounds that cannot be healed. This results in her desperation for a new vessel in the form of Midnight Sparkle, which would end in her death and snuff out the last chance the rebels had at victory.
  • Loophole Abuse: In the terms of the 3-on-3 duel, both sides are to have a champion from each of the three tribes to represent them. The loyalists selected Shadow, Sunbeam and Greenwall. As for the rebels, she enters alongside Swift Blade and Hidden Facts, as being an alicorn makes her fit to take the earth pony spot for the rebels.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: You stated that your earth pony representative just happened to be killed in the earlier battle while you wipe fresh blood of your lance, leaving you the perfect choice to take his place in the 3-on-3 duel. Ok, I believe you.
  • Too Much for Man to Handle: The reason why she wants to possess Midnight Sparkle. Bright Charger didn't have the potential to became an alicorn like Lance Charger or wasn't a specially prepared vessel like Midnight Sparkle. Sunbeam stated that this is why using any random pony to become the host of Nightmare Moon will always fail, calling it the equivalent of "building a furnace out of wood".
  • Wedding Smashers: Interrupts the festivities of Nimbus Kicker and Radiant Day's wedding to announce the lashing of Gale Kicker, effectively squashing any festive mood the wedding guests had.
  • Wound That Will Not Heal: In the 3-on-3 duel, Shadow Kicker's armor evened the odds against her alicorn might, leaving wounds in her body that cannot heal. This would contribute to her Body Horror by the time of her death.

    Hidden Facts 
The Archmagus of the Northern March, and a secret Lunar cultist.
  • The Archmage: Besides being a former Archmagus, he fought Sunbeam, who's often noted and shown to be one of the most skilled and powerful battle magi in Equestria, to a standstill. That's pretty much a feather in your cap.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Despite being a Lunar cultist, he considers necromancers and mindflayers (warlocks that employ mass mind control) rampaging the land distasteful.
  • Faking the Dead: He secretly planned with the Avatar of Nightmare Moon to "kill" him in public right in front of Rightly Doo, tricking him into thinking that he stamped out the Lunar cultists in the rebel cause. His illusion magic is so powerful that scribes didn't even dare to write him of as dead for over 20 years after his multiple supposed deaths.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: Had a beam shot by the Avatar of Nightmare Moon right into his chest, which exploded his body, covering the entire tent interior in gore much to the disgust of Rightly Doo and Dusk Charger. Revealed to have been faked for the sake of fooling Rightly Doo.

    Moonwatch 
A foppish, arrogant warlock in Nightmare Moon's cult with a habit of not staying dead.
  • Cessation of Existence: At the end of Tainted Legacies, Morning Star snuffs out his soul, consigning him to oblivion.
  • Deal with the Devil: He sold his soul to no less than a half-dozen demons for power. This has resulted in a case of multiple ownership so convoluted that demons will no longer deal with him. This would also cause him indescribable agony in the afterlife as demons tear up his soul between them, which he intends to avoid by never dying.
  • Didn't Think This Through: His plan to turn Midnight into the next Avatar of Nightmare Moon is hampered by two inconvenient facts: first, the previous Avatar retained her original goals and enmities and pursued them past the point of sanity; secondly, Midnight loathes him with every fiber of her being and would gladly murder him the moment she could do so. Making her the Avatar would doom him to a horrible death, as Midnight herself points out to him.
  • No Kill Like Overkill: In the opening act of the tunnel battle in The Lunar Rebellion, he blows the rebels' cover and gets shot with over a dozen crossbow bolts before being set alight by his own fire gem. Not that it matters to him anyway.
  • The Magnificent: He tends to tack both the Allegiant and the Undying after his name.
  • Our Liches Are Different: The secret to his immortality — he's a skeletal lich cloaked in ectoplasmic flesh, and cannot be killed as long as his Soul Jar is intact.
  • Soul Jar: As a lich, he stores his soul in a phylactery — as long as that's intact, he cannot die. Morning Star gets around this by syphoning his soul into a special trap and snuffing it from existence.

Other characters

    Corva 
A mysterious spirit serving as Midnight's teacher, advisor and guide in the Midnight's Shadow stories, although her ultimate goals remain unclear. For tropes pertaining to her true identity, see Nightmare Moon, above.
  • Animal Motifs: Ravens. Her name is the feminine version of the Latin word for "crow", she usually appears in the form of a huge raven and she seems to have some connection to Midnight's own affinity for corvid birds.
  • Deal with the Devil: In Midnight's Shadow: Tainted Legacies, she offers to greatly increase Midnight's magical power in exchange for nothing more than an hour a day spent talking. Midnight herself is deeply uneasy about this, as she knows that dealing with spirits like Corva is very risky business precisely because they can make their offers seem minor and reasonable while luring mortals into dangerous webs of obligations. It later turns out that she is Nightmare Moon, making this a much more literal deal with a quasi-demonic figure that Midnight quickly comes to regret.
  • Mysterious Backer: For Midnight. Her aid has unambiguously benefited Midnight, as she has provided her with useful advice, guidance and a significant boost in power. It's not clear what her ultimate reasons are for doing this, however, and Midnight herself suspects that Corva has ulterior motives that she's not sharing. Turns out she's Nightmare Moon, and is trying to groom Midnight into her service.

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