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    C 
  • Canon Character All Along:
    • A Diamond Dog legend, his appearance, and some of his abilities imply that Mampfen is actually Crunch the Rock Dog from G1.
    • Queen Mzazi, the Mother of All Zebras and a 4-million-year-old goddess, is revealed part way through her entry to be G1 Zigzag, one of the Pony Friends. It's implied she may have been experiencing a lifetime living like a mortal to maintain perspective at the time.
    • It is heavily implied, though unconfirmed, that Empress Blackrose and Emperor Blackthorn are the Alicorn Princess and Earth pony Prince who both fell madly in love with each other in the Hearth's Warming Eve tale
    • Gleaming Shield is implied to be the young Earth pony who's spotted in Ponyville pulling a cart full of gems in the episode "Flutter Brutter". Fans called him "Quarter Hearts" because of his partially full heart for a Cutie Mark.
    • Several "Ponyfriends" from G1 were also incorporated into Codex Equus, though reimagined for the setting and under different names.
      • High King Kaldr, the leader of the Hoyklan Deer pantheon, was G1 Oakly the Moose, who was friends with Mzazi/Zigzag and Ascended to godhodd with her help.
      • It's implied, though unconfirmed in-universe, that Queen Tiara of the Sauropodian pantheon was once the original G1 Cutesaurus who Ascended, likely through Mzazi/Zigzag's help.
  • Central Theme:
    • Vicious cycles as a result of the flaws of mortals, spirits and gods as well as the very nature of the world/universe itself are referenced throughout Codex Equus, and how it affects everyone and everything trapped in them. Great beings and civilizations constantly rose to greatness, only to fall into decline and destruction, repeating itself endlessly for eons. The Equestrians' and other heroic characters' struggle to ensure friendship and harmony prevails over enmity and disharmony is framed within this context, portrayed as an epic struggle to overcome the moral and natural evils that resulted in such Vicious Cycles to occur for the future of Sapientkind. The efforts of Dazzleglow and others to break and escape the Cycle are also examined in detail. Yet the overarching question remains: Are we and those who would follow us destined to repeat the same mistakes?
    • Legacies - how we should come to terms with the burden, consequences and memory, good or ill, of those before us and what we ourselves leave behind. Can we live up to our predecessor's achievements and rise even greater? Should some legacies be left behind and forgotten?
    • Progress in all forms comes with its benefits and its prices, but it's still preferable to stagnation and regression as the world will change and force you to change no matter what. A notable example would be the creation of the Vortex Engine, which received severe vitriol from almost all kinds of reactionary winged species, especially pegasi and griffons, who believed that the Vortex Engine would make them "obsolete" and "rob" them of their rightful dominion of the skies, which had been divinely given to them by the gods. It got to the point where Fiery Flight received death threats, being nearly killed, and was made unwelcome in almost every country she fled to until arriving in Machina, where Crazy Ant took her in. The counter-response to the extreme prejudice and hatred, fortunately, was just as fierce, with even the famous Rainbow Dash condemning the Scions of Hurricane and is excited by the prospect of racing Vortex Engine-propelled vehicles one day.
    • The fundamental nature of Sapientkind; are Ponies and other races and sapients fundamentally good or evil? Or both/neither? Are all that is good and perfect always doomed by what is evil and flawed? Can one rise above their innate nature to be better? What can they do if they can't?
    • The 'Changeling/Dragon Trilogy' has "Hatred is like an infection, the longer it's allowed to fester, the more victims it leaves. And those that give into it are the first it claims."
      • Also from the trilogy: "Great and wonderful fates can be thrown aside in pursuit of obsession."
    • With entries like the ones with the Clovenists: Does the ends justifies the means in achieving a better world? Even if utopia can be achieved, is it worth the costs and the price? Is there a perfect world that can be reached for all, or is it fundamentally subjective to the self-interests of those reaching for them, like the Autorists, the Tribalists and other Evil/Fallen mortals and immortals whose dreams are a nightmare for others not them?
    • The self-destructive nature of Evil and how it'll ultimately ruined itself (with the exception of evil directed towards constructive purposes). Also Deconstructed as just because they're doomed to fail doesn't mean they shouldn't be stopped by the forces of good, especially when they will cause enormous amounts of damage even in short-term success and have a tendency of taking everyone down with them when evildoers fall.
    • Several natural elements of Equus require some sort of balance in order for Equus itself to work, such as Light and Dark, Nature and Progress, Life and Death, and Good and Evil.
      • As shown with the twin Deer gods, Belyolen and Temnobog, attempts to have one side triumph over the other will fail; Good Needs Evil in Equus because if Evil did not exist, then the heroic mortals will become complacent and weak, making them even more vulnerable to evil deities and supernatural monsters. When High King Irminsul tried to make Belyolen The Paragon of the Deer pantheon and shunned Temnobog for being born (and encouraged his wife and peers to do the same), it only resulted in Belyolen leaving to form his own pantheon so he could give Temnobog the love and respect he believed his brother deserved. Temnobog initially hated his brother and sought to usurp him, but when he discovered that he was born Belyolen's equal and that the latter always loved him, Temnobog finally found a purpose in using evil for the betterment of Equus. It also falls on him to punish the souls of sinful mortals while the other gods devote themselves to protecting and blessing Deerkind.
      • As shown with the Nature Giants and their opposition of the "smallfolk", it is good for nature to flourish on Equus, but not to the point of overrunning civilization. Progress is good, but not to the point where it irreparably ruins the environment. However, the Nature Giants view mortals so pessimistically that it blinds them to the good mortals can do.
      • The twin Dragon deities, Yin and Yang, also embody the balance of Equus. While they sometimes bicker as siblings are wont to, they never actively oppose each other, because like Belyolen and Temnobog, and Celestia and Luna, both Yin and Yang embody certain elements that keep Equus going. They also serve as mediators, quelling their parents' arguments whenever Tiamat and Bahamut start disagreeing with each other. As they stated themselves, "Shadow and Light, Destruction and Creation - ALL must balance!"
      • As in canon, the sun and moon are equally vital to Equus. When Luna grew jealous and bitter towards Celestia being worshiped by their subjects while Luna's night was shunned, she turned into Nightmare Moon and attempted to bring about Eternal Night, not thinking of the long-term consequences this would have. Presumably, this led to Celestia regretting her ignorance towards her sister, so when Luna was defeated and later redeemed, things were made so they could continue ruling together.
    • Common among deities and certain societies is the Holier Than Thou attitudes displayed towards others for being "weaker" or not advanced/enlightened like them.
      • Most Giants (literally) look down on the "Tinies" and even see it fit to eat or enslave them for their own amusement, and even some benevolent ones tend to be racist at worst; the Cyclopes look down on those lacking intelligence, while the Nature Giants believe that they are the proper caretakers of nature since mortals are so selfish and destructive.
      • For more martial-minded races, it borders on Appeal to Force, which is best embodied by Dragonkind who believe in strength while intelligence and skill is discouraged. This proves to be extremely detrimental, as Dr. Toxikon was able to easily defeat Dragon Lord Brutus, who followed the philosophy. Even Queen Tiamat is not above this, believing in Dragonkind's collective strength and ability to dominate most races. Dragon Lord Ember is one of few Dragons who do not embrace this; in fact, she got her position through intelligence and cunning as in canon.
      • This attitude is also prevalent among the Royal Changelings, most of who believe themselves to be entitled for the right to rule by virtue of being children of the Changeling Progenitors. Only they believe what's best for their subjects because they're stronger, bigger, smarter, and magically more powerful than Common Changelings. They do not tolerate dissension because they think those who reject their rule as being "ungrateful" for refusing their ruler's love and protection, and will do anything to assimilate them back into mainstream society. Even though the Spring Court doesn't partake in brutal methods like the Summer Court, who treats the incidents like mere conquests, the fact that the Changeling Queens are willing to use underhanded tactics to make their wayward subjects see their way shows what kind of people they are.
      • The Elternteil deities' superior and patronizing attitude was what largely caused their pantheon to splinter, and directly caused the birth of the Bogolenya pantheon. High King Irminsul tried purging his then-unborn child of his inner evil after his wife, High Queen Arvan, got pregnant with another son, which backfired when it resulted in Belyolen and Temnobog being born. Disgusted by Temnobog's presence and fearing he would "taint" their benevolence, everyone saw fit to emotionally abuse him and treat the dark fawn like Belyolen's evil cast-off, when he hadn't even done anything to warrant it. Belyolen was the only one who accepted Temnobog as kin at the time, but he was always prevented from even seeing his brother for fear his inner goodness will be corrupted. This left Temnobog with a multitude of issues that are still unresolved, a grudge against Belyolen that eventually cooled off, and an even deeper grudge against his father, Irminsul, who caused the entire situation to begin with. Both Belyolen and Luminiferous would also call out Irminsul on his abusive hypocrisy and enforcing his twisted ideas of perfection onto his children, respectively.
    • Another theme in Codex Equus is Potential.
      • While everyone has potential, it must be gained through hard work and effort, and there are no shortcuts to achieving it. This is exemplified in the stories of Crystal Prism and Midnight Bell: Midnight Bell wished she was a unicorn instead of an Earth pony so she could be special, but once her wish was granted, her horn gave her so much trouble and trauma that she ultimately decided she was better off without one. Crystal Prism wished he was an adult so he could take care of his sick mother, only to have his wish granted in the worst possible way, so while he ultimately came out of his experience a demigod, he still had a lot of growing up to do even in his new form. The downsides of shortcuts are also exemplified in the villainous unicorn trio Decepticolt, Zappityhoof, and Goldencap, who got themselves expelled from Celestia's School for Gifted Unicorns because of their laziness and willingness to cheat, and infamously tried using Rainbow Dash's wings to turn themselves into Alicorns. They are unsympathetic Hypocrites of the highest order, and blame Alicorns for being "entitled" people who want to keep the secrets of Ascension to themselves, when it is they who act entitled to the power and freedom they believe is rightfully theirs.
      • There is also consequences for those who dash and ruin someone else's potential, regardless of the reason for doing so. Sparkling Wing's childhood's kingdom rejected him as Queen Silver Clock's heir, despite his great potential as a beloved and powerful ruler, because they didn't want to break matriarchal traditions by accepting a stallion on the throne. They ended up being ruled by his sister, a racist, warmongering queen who ultimately died in the Pony-Griffon war, and whose actions likely cost the kingdom as well. Noble Grace and Bubbling Beaker are also examples of this - they tried pursuing a benevolent, yet extremely lofty goal of turning Ponykind into Alicorns by experimenting on foals and teenagers the moment they started showing exceptional talent. Ultimately, their work would unravel twice by the intervention of Scarlet Bell, one of their former students who opposed the harm done by their actions, and would get them arrested by calling the authorities as soon as she learned they're now in the same country as her. As the final kicker, Crystal Prism, their only "success" of their work, decided not to follow their intended role for him as herald of a "new age" because he was encouraged by several benevolent individuals to forge his own path.
    • Another theme is that while Equus is ultimately a hopeful and fantastical world, not even the gods can escape the natural and inevitable consequences of certain actions and events that are usually brought by their own doing, however people wishes it was not to be. And more often then not, the world would instantly or eventually catch up, with outcomes ranging from the hilarious and heartwarming to the tragic and horrific.
  • Charm Person: Propagare, the God of Propaganda and Top God of the Tyrannos Pantheon, has this ability, causing those hearing him speak to be more inclined to believe him and if they're gullible or weak willed enough fall under his control. However, in order for it to work, they have to believe what he's saying in some capacity and if they're convinced not to his spell will break. Unfortunately, he's very good at making others believe him.
  • Child Eater:
    • Dread, a mutated intelligent Dreadmare, was this. He actually had more reason than just being evil for doing it: the parents were more scared and thus the Boogeymares got more fear to feed on.
    • Giants, both mortal and divine, are this by implication as at their hungriest they can devour whole lands and everyone in them - including presumably children. The only one who averts this is the Jotunn love goddess, Elske, who only restricts herself to eating sinful individuals while adopting all the children to make up for eating their families and homes; her philosophy is inspiring other Giants to do the same.
  • The Chosen One: Various individuals have been chosen by divine forces, usually Luminiferous, to act as embodiments of heroism and benevolence because of their extraordinary potential and actions. However, given the changing morality of said individuals, whoever's chosen could change at any moment.
    • Thorax, formerly a lowly mutant Changeling drone of ex-Queen Chrysalis's hive, became a Royal Changeling after willingly sharing his love with Chrysalis while she was publicly executing him by forcibly draining him of his love. Because of this, he has garnered the attention of both Spring and Summer Courts, as well as Luminiferous, who would later state that his act of forgiveness during the Toxikon Crisis (among other things) resulted in Thorax having more innate potential and power to become a true Changeling deity should the time comes. This is compared to the other Royal Changeling children of Blackthorn and Blackrose, most of whom are at best hypocritical, arrogant, and racist.
    • Ember is likewise regarded as a receiver of great destiny because she, unlike her fellow Dragons, was open-minded enough to befriend Thorax, a Changeling, and valued mixing strength with intelligence. She is regarded as one of few individuals who could save Dragonkind from being hunted and wiped out for all the cruelties they had done to those "lesser" than them. And because she forgave the divine elders of Dragonkind as well as the Progenitors of Changelingkind for their role in the Toxikon Crisis, she has great potential to become a divine dragon that's even larger than Torch, her father.
    • Played with Crystal Prism. Noble Grace and Bubbling Beaker wanted to create an Alicorn who embodied Rebirth and Change so they could be the herald of a "new age" for Ponykind, though it's implied that the role could have been given to anyone they took and experimented on. Crystal ending up in a magical cocoon after becoming a magic-eating monster for a short time was proof to them that he had the potential and power to become a bonafide Alicorn god. Fortunately, Scarlet Bell intervened before they could do anything else to him, and several benevolent individuals encouraged Crystal to forge his own path instead of following the one his "creators" intended for him.
    • Princess Twilight Sparkle is regarded as the chief candidate to become 'She Who Will Unite Us All', one of three beings required to break the Cycle, according to the prophecy made by the Church of the Stars. In her case, it's notable since she was explicitly named by said prophecy, while the identity and gender of the other two were left vague.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Deconstructed. The Summer Court's inclination for complicated and treacherous plots started when one of Blackthorn's First-Spawn sons, Rhyniognatha, kick-started "The Fratricide" to kill off his brothers so he'll remain his father's favorite. This caused a standard to be set, in which all Changeling Kings should involve themselves in some kind of plot; whether Blackthorn allowed it out of disappointment towards his sons' incompetence, or to cull out the weak among them, it was clear that he plain didn't care. This has a tendency to backfire in the long run, especially when their plots run the risk of exposing the Changelings or making the Summer Courts a target for extermination for both inside and outside threats. Ultimately, what led to their massive loss of numbers is when King Heterometrus, who embodies this trope the most out of his brothers, betrayed a dragon who saved him from a dire situation by letting his brothers kill off the dragon's entire family, eventually leading to the birth of Dr. Toxikon.
  • Clipped-Wing Angel: Blood Fang sees his ability to turn into a powerful boar-like monster as this - while his strength is increased a thousandfold in this form, allowing him to rampage with little issue, it also makes him as dumb as a mere animal. Blood Fang would rather fight his Eternal Foes with a sane mind, even if he's put at a disadvantage for it, and would try to avoid shifting into boar form if he can help it.
  • Consummate Liar: Propagare, the God of Propaganda, is this. His ability to lie and twist truths is regarded as his most dangerous ability, even without his Charm Person abilities being taken into account. He's actually managed to convince the Clovenists and Autorists into believing he's on their side and manipulating the other to their benefit despite both having xenophobic tendencies. It's to the point even Xestobium, who was aware of his deceitful nature and one of the smarter Changeling Kings, ultimately fell for his lies and was played like a fiddle.
  • Cool Airship: The King's Ransom, Polistes' flagship/home. It's a flying battleship bristling with guns and a hangar for launching planes and natural flyers.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: Crazy Ant's plan to stop the main two Changeling Courts from destroying his country: blackmail them both (including their parent deities) to leave them alone with a Dead Man's Switch will give every world leader all their secrets. Blackmailing two entire races of demigods with their divine parents is naturally considered complete insane... which is exactly why it worked, to the point where even Emperor Blackthorn was impressed. As more is revealed about Crazy Ant, it becomes apparent he does literally everything with this mindset in mind or at least that's what he wants everyone to think.
  • Cosmic Horror Story: As more entries are published, Codex Equus is slowly revealed to be this at its core - a story that takes place in a world where sapient creatures live together, governed by (mostly) benevolent divines and semi-divines... largely unaware that their collective existence is set on a metaphorical timer, as the Void Sovereign, an extremely ancient Eldritch Abomination that wants to return everything to the Void, is sealed in a Pocket Dimension in space, waiting to be freed. However, as it is set in My Little Pony, Codex Equus is also Lovecraft Lite, as despite its depressing and even nightmarish moments, the story also has very optimistic undertones as various individuals, both divine and mortal, have been known to take down even the most dangerous of threats under the right circumstances, which the Church of the Stars hopes would work on the day the Void Sovereign is let loose upon the universe once again.
  • Create Your Own Hero:
    • If the old Orosian deities, Ematha and Machis, hadn't acted like spoiled, petty, arrogant children that constantly bickered with each other, they wouldn't have created the war that created the benevolent war god Bellamos.
    • King Brachion's attempt to turn a disobedient Changeling into a monster as punishment for the constant sabotage of his work resulted in the birth of Kick Hopper when a lone guard let his own conscience move him into freeing said Changeling and fleeing Hive Erlking with him.
    • If Noble Grace and Bubbling Beaker hadn't experimented on talented foals and teenagers in a well-meaning yet lofty attempt to create Alicorns, Crystal Prism wouldn't have existed.
  • Create Your Own Villain: King Xestobium, Princess Apterus, and Dr. Toxikon would go on a rampage against the Dragons and Changelings... and were born entirely as a result of the eons-old grudge between the two species. This would prompt Thorax and Ember to choose to forgive the divine leaders of Changelingkind and Dragonkind, as they rightly believed doing anything but that would only perpetuate the cycle of racism, violence and death, and at this point they were both sick of it.
  • Creepy Good: The Black Heron Corpse Investigation Team. All of its five members are pretty cynical individuals with a morbid sense of humor and perception of the world, and they hang around dead bodies a lot, but they're undeniably heroic and compassionate. People in-universe also regard them as such, since the group helped them out but some of their behavior are kind of off-putting. Fortunately, the Shinseina pantheon is working on curbing their nastier personality traits so they could become benevolent and proper deities post-Ascension.
  • Cryptic Background Reference: All over the place. The main author likes putting these in to foreshadow upcoming entries or events, or leave plot bunnies and hints for readers to speculate and write on.
  • Curbstomp Battle:
    • The Giants of Queen Colossos' Empire dished out many of these towards the Crystal Empire in the early days of their conflict. The Crystal Legions were quite literally crushed under-hoof as the Giants combined their size and power with numbers and tactical/strategic acumen that they didn't see coming.
    • Queen Colossos' War as a whole counted: By the time the first phase of the war end, 2/3 of the Crystal Empire's territories at the Terra Equus continent were under the Giants' control and the remnants of the once proud legions there were caught and destroyed in a continent-spanning pincer movement. The rest of the war got harder for the Giants as the Crystal Empire fought back with everything they have, but the fact that the Crystal Empire went into decline afterwards is a testament to how badly the latter got stomped despite surviving it.
    • A single Visitor has proven capable of dishing one out to an entire Clovenist base. Hive Brachion didn't fair much better until the Visitor faced Brachion himself and managed to stalemate him despite Brachion being one of the strongest Changeling Kings.
    • Fik’iri, after losing her status as a Top God along with a large portion of her power, attempted to steal Princess Cadence's to regain both. Due to having been hedonistic and lazy before her downfall, Fik’iri became rusty despite being a War God (which directly contributed to her losing the challenge for her position to her hated rival, Wibeti, in the first place), resulting in Cadence easily defeating her and sending her running home with her tail between her legs.
    • Terraton, the war god of the Gigantes giant race, once took on Bellamos the Divine Strategos and Luminiferous and was on the receiving end of one in both instances. As a Giant deity of Battle, however, he often dishes a lot more of those than took them.
    • Griffon Warlord Gilded Chalice attempted to invade Sauropoda. The resulting confrontation is not considered a battle or war because of how extremely one-sided it was, and ended with their Queen giving him and his war chariot a literal (and fatal) version of this trope.
    • Dr. Toxikon challenges Dragon Lord Brutus for his title. Brutus never stood a chance.
    • As a test to see how strong Thorax post-ascension was, the Summer Court had him fight Changeling King Zorpheus. An arcane blast blew Zorpheus across Avalon Valley, leaving him unconscious in a crater with a cracked carapace, which was by complete accident. It's noted that Thorax's attack would have killed many other Royal Changelings upon impact, showing just how much potential he has now. It was a Break the Haughty experience for Zorpheus, who came to realize that his defenses are not as invincible as he thought they were.
    • The 'Battle of Moroz Valley', prelude to the Giant Wars, was notable for being the biggest Curbstomp Battle between Giantkind and Tinies not seen since Queen Colossos' War 1,500 years earlier. The difference being that THIS time around, it is the Tinies of the Cloven Empire who did this to a Rampage of Giants (Numbering 50+ Giants and could wiped out a kingdom), utterly annihilating it via superior tactics and superior firepower. Needless to say, the Giantkinds of Equus were stunned beyond measure.
    • This trope happened to Golden Scepter a few times whenever he got attacked, due to being an extremely ancient Alicorn Emperor with vast power.
      • A group of Pony Autorists once attacked his Fourth-Age empire, bent on eradicating its non-Pony population. Golden Scepter got many of them to surrender by psychically showing them the harm they were causing his subjects, making them regret their actions and were thus allowed to leave with a gentle yet firm warning. However, the same couldn't be said about their leader, who got a most severe punishment when she decided to continue her hate-filled rampage.
      • A small army of fanatically loyal divine/mortal followers of Poena, led by Poena herself, tried attacking him after he publicly condemned them as tyrants and deluded extremists. Golden Scepter quickly defeated them... though to his bemusement, Katharsis would show up to take humiliating photos of the losers and send them to their victims.
  • Curse Escape Clause: Pakak always includes these in his curses, as they're meant to be karmic punishment rather than permanent ones.
    • In an incident involving Sunnytown, Pakak transformed its Cutie Pox-phoic inhabitants into zombies as part of a curse to punish them for murdering a young filly for earning her Cutie Mark. Since they were willing to let fear rule their hearts to the point of resorting to murder, they became as rotten as their ambitions were... unless they decided to accept responsibility and atone for their crimes.
    • One detailed in an entry sees him curse a trio of teenaged Deer who have been heartlessly tormenting young fawns with curses that reflect their vices: the vain Morning Light is tricked into stealing a cursed flower from a fawn and putting it in her hair that makes her stink as rotten as her heart, the gluttonous North Star is tricked into stealing and eating a cursed flower that makes any food he eats taste as vile as his soul, and the cruel and sadistic Cold Wind is tricked into stealing and crushing a third cursed flower that makes him feel as cold as his heart. As all three curses are merely causing something to reflect the nature of their hearts, changing their ways reverses the curse. Morning Light and North Star eventually did so, but Cold Wind did not.
  • Cycle of Revenge: Deconstructed. A deep grudge has been present for aeons between the Changelings and Dragons, including the destruction of the Changeling homeland and the Time of Broken Scales. Choice warns them both inevitably their choice to perpetuate this ancient grudge indefinitely will have consequences and reckoning, which has recently began to take hold with villains born from their grudge attempting devastating retribution against both sides. Thus far only Thorax, Ember, and Spike have managed to completely escape it unscathed. Thorax and Ember finally have enough after the end of the Toxikon Crisis and forgive the parental deities of the other's species for their kind's respective crimes, and apology for their own to the other, having come to see the cycle for what it was and wanting no part in it. Thorax also rightly points out that the meaning of survival is completely moot if one of Changelingkind's methods is to satisfy an old grudge that would get everyone killed, innocent or not.

    D 
  • Darker and Edgier: While still fundamentally optimistic, Codex Equus does not shy away from dark stories and themes not seen or explored in detail in the canon series, with entries explicitly detailing racism, wars, tyranny and genocide, as well as exploring themes of hatred, vengeance and trauma on individual and collective levels, with hefty doses of Reality Ensues and problems that have no easy solutions and cannot be fixed via The Power of Friendship.
  • Dark Is Evil: Zigzagged, as Codex Equus makes it clear that Darkness and Evil do have constructive roles in Equus despite their negative connotations.
    • Blood Fang, known as "The Dark Conqueror", is often depicted by various Hylian legends as a dark figure clad in dark armor, but the most popular depiction of him is that of a tall, muscular, and scarred dark Alicorn. It's played with; while he's an evil overlord and a feared villain who has sowed much evil in his attempts to conquer Hyrule, he has an honor code and refrains from things he never approves of, such as remaking Hyrule/Equus, gaining power in ways that render one an Almighty Idiot, and "careless/destructive" Evil in general. His sense of honor was what attracted Temnobog, who hired him as his agent to ensure Gleaming Shield and Radiant Primrose always remain strong enough to combat Evil.
    • Deconstructed with Temnobog. Despite being a God of Evil and Belyolen's dark twin, he was feared and expected by his family and peers to be wholly evil, and was emotionally abused for it, despite having never done anything evil at the time. This caused him to become deeply resentful of Belyolen, who was lavished with praise and love for being "good" and "pure", and he tried sabotaging and even usurping his twin brother out of sheer resentment, hatred, and spite. However, what prevented him from outright killing his brother is their unique bond - due to being two halves of a greater whole, Temnobog and Belyolen were divine equals that existed to balance each other out, and thus when one tried gaining an advantage, they would end up weakening while the other got stronger and vice-versa. Only did they work together in harmony did they both get stronger. Thus, after Temnobog and Belyolen reconcile, the trope gets Reconstructed as "Both Dark and Evil can co-exist with Light and Good if they serve constructive purposes" - Temnobog is still unapologetically evil due to what he represents, but he serves to test heroic mortals and empower sapient creatures to become strong enough to oppose evil to prevent stagnation.
    • Likewise, the Four Terrors are rightfully feared by both Deer and non-Deer due to their horrific acts and being children of Temnobog, to the point where a Deer kingdom can be motivated to change their sinful ways just by mentioning them. Since they follow their father's philosophy of "constructive" Evil, they sow evil as part of their job, and are totally fine with being feared.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Zigzagged, as Codex Equus makes it clear that Darkness and Evil do have constructive roles in Equus, despite their negative connotations.
    • Mourning Glories are plants that feed off feelings of sorrow, grief, and mourning...but are actually beneficial plants and seen as a sign that a deceased person was loved by others in life, as they only grow on graves of those who were loved and are missed and are commonly given to those who are grieving.
    • Grief, the Goddess of Grieving and Mourning, is this, as despite what she represents, her main goal and purpose is helping those who have lost someone cope, heal, and finally move on. Ponies just misunderstand her as being the Goddess of Depression and Loss, rather than what she truly is.
    • The Three Deaths are all benevolent and good despite being death gods. Of the three, Malus is the only one someone shouldn't be happy to see waiting for them, but that's because they're wicked and about to be given what they've sown, not because he's evil.
    • Played with in Temnobog, who is very much a literal God of Evil from the Bogolenya pantheon, but is a Token Evil Teammate among the gods of Equus, and works with his twin brother and God of Good, Belyolen. He represents evil as a testing force rather than a destructive one. Interestingly, while he was born the living embodiment of Belyolen's evil side, he personally never did anything evil, and only became genuinely evil for a time because of the emotional abuse he suffered while living with his disdainful family and peers.
    • Tikuri, the Abyssinian God of Bad Luck, is a Black Cat-inspired deity. Despite this, he's one of the most benevolent members of the Pantheon and actively protects their worshipers. He ultimately helps overthrow the Jerkass Gods ruling their Pantheon so more benevolent members can take their place, and he was Jegina's pick to be the new Top God, though he turned him down.
    • The Four Terrors, Temnobog's surviving children, are also evil deities, yet like their father, it's played with in that they're collectively the Token Evil Teammate in the Bogolenya pantheon. They use evil as a testing force, and drag wicked souls down to Temnobog's hell-realms so they'll be tormented for their crimes. They're totally fine with losing against a hero as they're just doing their jobs to make sure that mortals get strong enough to oppose them, and if a hero dies, they let their souls go to heaven as a reward. Their fellow deities also use them to destroy Deer realms that have utterly fallen into sin, though only so, since their actions are regarded as horrific. Their cousins, however, understand their roles and don't begrudge them for it.
    • The Black Heron Corpse Investigation Team. Their call-sign is a black heron, and it was noted that in their mortal lives, they would often wear black due to the nature of their work. While they're collectively and individually flawed, deep down they are all very compassionate and altruistic, and have trouble saying "no" to both dead and living people in need. It's noted in their group entry that pre-Ascension, they all wore black due to the morbid nature of their work.
  • Dead Man's Switch: Crazy Ant, a Mad Scientist Changeling who ran to the Autumn Court and managed to accidentally found a country, kept his country safe from both the Spring and Summer Courts via one of these. If he was killed or otherwise indisposed or willingly activated it, every world leader would instantly be given all the Changelings' secrets. It was even considered in-universe to be so brazenly insane that it actually works as a deterrent, which impressed even Emperor Blackthorn of the Summer Court. Since the fall of the Masquerade and a close shave with a Summer Court Hive that tried going after him, he has updated his failsafe with new sensitive materials that both formal Courts would not want fall into the hooves of outsiders.
  • Deal with the Devil:
    • Temnobog is known for being a patron of various types of villains, giving those who make deals with him a reputation of being "Touched by Temnobog". However, dealing with Temnobog in general is regarded as a bad idea as it essentially marks you for eternal damnation after death, since Temnobog works to weed out the wicked among Deerkind. The only exceptions to this rule would be Blood Fang, who was hired to keep Gleaming Shield and Radiant Primrose strong enough to oppose evil, and King Strazha, who impressed Temnobog so much that he made him his divine champion, interested in how the young Deer king would apply his harsh yet reasonable methods to ruling.
    • The Deer serial killer Night Terror, formerly "Innkeeper", made a deal with Temnobog's eldest son and child, Yarost, so he could continue his crime spree of murdering children. When he realized that he was being used as a pawn to test mortals, Night Terror secretly made another deal with Yarost's mother, the fallen goddess Ispita, so that his soul would end up in the dream world instead of one of Temnobog's hell-realms. This infuriated Yarost, as his Berserk Buttons include Ispita, who broke his family apart by Falling and betraying her own principles as a Constructively Evil goddess, and oathbreakers in general. When Princess Luna and Tenya, the Abyssinian goddess of Dreams, rendered Night Terror powerless by freeing the souls of those he devoured and threw him through a portal into the real world, Night Terror found that Yarost was waiting for him the entire time.
  • Death World: Equus. While there are still nice places to live in like Equestria, even it's not without problems, and there are races of creatures who are dangerous by nature, with even more dangerous pantheons backing them. And there are regions like the Parvata Mountain range, the Amorean jungles, and Meridia that are deadly and terrible environments even by the setting's standards.
  • Deity of Human Origin: A subclass of deity, referred to as "Ascendant" deities. They're considered the rarest deities because it requires specific conditions for a mortal to gain godhood.
    • As in canon, Twilight Sparkle, a unicorn, transformed into an immortal Alicorn thanks to finishing Starswirl's cutie mark spell.
    • Thorax is another one, as he ascended through sharing The Power of Love with Chrysalis and defeating her, purifying/transforming every Changeling in the process. Emperor Blackthorn theorizes that Throax's drive to share love was what actually caused the ascension. Either way, he is now a Changeling Progenitor, though a young one, and the nature of his ascension has become an important research topic for Changelingkind, as it provides a clue to breaking their Curse.
    • It's implied that Queen Dazzleglow of the Glimmering Isles is this, as Daring Do expressed surprise at seeing a Sparkle Pony Alicorn. Her profile classifies her as "Ethereal/Ascendant". This is later confirmed, as Luminiferous the Alicorn god of Potential was revealed to have nurtured her, until she grew into her own potential and Ascended.
    • It's implied that the Changeling Progenitors, Blackrose and Blackthorn, were once mortal. Specifically, Blackrose was the Alicorn Princess from the Hearts and Hooves Day story, while Blackthorn is the Earth pony prince who tried seducing her with a love potion from the same story.
    • King Aspen of the Alvslog Deer realms and the Elternteil pantheon is described as an "Ascendant Godling" in Zecora's profile, implying that he was once mortal.
    • Crystal Prism is a young, butterfly-like Alicorn demigod who was transformed at a young age. His "creators", Noble Grace and Bubbling Beaker, wanted to invoke this by mass-producing Alicorns for the greater good of Equus, so they kidnapped him and made him one of their test subjects, but this backfired in a horrible way. Only after he was killed by Luminiferous and the Equestrian Princesses did he revive himself and Ascend.
    • The enigmatic Medicine Seller's true form is that of a black-pelted Alicorn with gold markings and clothes. The fact that his "appearance" as a pale Neighponese unicorn is actually a magical disguise just raises more questions about his past, other than he was once mortal.
    • It's implied that Blood Fang, known as "The Dark Conqueror", is one, as his most popular depiction of him is that of a dark Alicorn with red hair and covered in scars. Notably, he was so powerful that Queen Onyx Flare couldn't stop him even while at the height of her power, resulting in her fight tragically turning into a Curb-Stomp Battle.
    • All five members of the Black Heron Corpse Investigation Team were "promoted" to godhood by the Shinseina pantheon as a reward for their good deeds. This turned them into Alicorn demigods, the equivalent of newborn infants according to divine standards, though both the Shinseina pantheon and Luminiferous believe that they have the potential to become powerful individuals once they get "older".
  • Determinator:
    • Nothing, not his hive being defeated, not himself being defeated, not his plan to blow up the 'Ring Of Fire' foiled, not even his own death, will stop Xestobium from having his goal of destroying all of Dragonkind (And his own family) in revenge for all the loss and horror they had inflicted upon him and others.
    • Ember during the Toxikkon Crisis is this. During the Final Battle, she's got five broken bones from a crash she took in the previous battle, and she's still willing to defeat Dr. Toxikkon.
    • Emperor Blackthorn theorizes that this trope is what caused Thorax to become a Royal Changeling, something that no Common Changeling has done before - Blackthorn's theory is that Thorax's drive to share love with others caused his love energy to have a purpose, creating a Dharma. When Chrysalis tried to drain him of love, Thorax used his Dharma to channel that love, which led to his Curse breaking and his body transforming him into the stag-like creature he is now.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: Crazy Ant blackmailed both Changeling Courts into leaving him and Machina alone, including the extremely ruthless Summer Court Changeling Kings and both Changeling Gods. It worked, and Blackthorn was actually impressed.
  • Disney Villain Death: Mistmane tricked Maul into destroying the ground underneath him, sending the Temper Troll chieftain plummeting to his death. Notable in that this was practically the only way to defeat him at that point.
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • In one story, Zinabi was awoken by his Abyssinian worshipers, who were throwing a party in their gods' honor. Instead of being pleased with their devotion or simply asking his worshipers to be quiet, he created a flash flood to punish their insolence, resulting in thousands of deaths.
    • The reason why Abyssinia was turned into a Wretched Hive full of criminals and thieves in the 2017 movie? It was because Fik'iri was jealous of the more benevolent gods being more popular than her, and persuaded Zinabi into letting the country be conquered by the Storm King as "punishment" for being poor worshipers.
  • Divine Ranks: The Cosmic Council has a ranking system for gods of Equus which ranks all gods in terms of their age, which while not always entirely accurate generally gives a reasonable view of the ranked gods' overall power and experience. The Tiers are as follows, and it is stated those after Titan have their own sub-categorizations:
    • 0) Demigod (Indefinite until death/ascension)
    • 1) Godling (1 - 100 Years)
    • 2) Lesser God (100 - 1,000 Years)
    • 3) Intermediate God (1000 - 10,000 Years)
    • 4) Greater God (10,000 - 100,000 Years)
    • 5) Titan (100,000 - 1 million Years)
    • 6) Antecedent (1 million - 10 million Years)
    • 7) Preeminent (10 million - 100 million Years)
    • 8) Primeval (100 million Years and Beyond)
  • Divine Right of Kings:
    • A literal case with the Changeling Courts where the Semi-Divine Royal Changelings are hybrid children sired with different members of mortal races by the Changeling Progenitors, Empress Blackrose and Emperor Blackthorn, giving them legitimate rulership by biological divine right. Unfortunately, this gives even the most benevolent of them a strong sense of entitlement that makes them patronizingly arrogant, causing them to hate dissension of any kind because they threaten their legitimacy with their very existence.
    • Thorax is the only aversion in that he was once a common drone of Chrysalis's hive, then became a Royal Changeling while confronting his ex-Queen through very unexpected circumstances. This made him a genuinely astounding and celebrated novelty among Changelingkind, as he (somehow) managed not only to Ascend, but also break the Changelings' racial Curse on himself and his hive peers, returning them to their original forms.
    • The kingdom of Mephitidia was founded when its first Queen united the Great Skunk clans into one and became their matriarch, with blessing from the Skunks' Top God, Moufette.
    • King Strazha and his younger sister, Queen Vesna were respectively blessed by the Bogolenya leaders, Temnobog and Belyolen, after inheriting the throne from their dead parents because their divine patrons were impressed with their actions, and to ensure Bitaniya's prosperity through the Balance of Good and Evil. Temnobog even states that while he usually blesses villains and other evildoers, he's willing to make an exception with Strazha because he's genuinely interested in how Strazha's harsh methods could be used positively when working in tandem with the benevolent Vesna.
  • Don't Fear the Reaper: The Three Deaths are Gods of Death, but all of them are rather nice. Gavisus Manes throws huge parties for those who died contently in the afterlife and helps people die happy, and Audens Manes aids valiant people in making heroic Last Stands and let's those who died heroically know how much good they've done. While Malus Manes is not someone you want to see waiting for you, that's because his job is to take the wicked to the punishment for evil deeds, but otherwise he's a nice guy and he will even give the genuinely repentant a second chance to earn a better fate.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Divine on Mortal: Deconstructed and played for drama with the Abyssinian deities Zinabi and his consort, Fik'iri. The two of them are extremely fickle and hedonistic - Fik'iri is very unfaithful to her husband and her compulsive lust would often make her go have multiple flings with mortals, whether they want it or not. Those who pray for her services make it a requirement to hide their faces with veils, as Fik'iri would immediately be overcome with lust and try have her way with a person if they reveal their attractiveness to them. Not to mention that Fik'iri treats her lovers like toys, and refusing her advances is even worse than being dumped like yesterday's trash since her wrath is great and terrible. It's because of these factors that people often side with the much nicer Wibeti, another love goddess, much to Fik'iri's jealousy. And while Zinabi's activities were on a lesser scale compared to his wife's, he also has cheated on her with various other mortals for no other reason than his own amusement, which makes his fury over Fik'iri's infidelity quite hypocritical. This trope is partially why the more benevolent Abyssian deities decided to launch a coup and overthrow their superiors, which they succeeded in.
  • Dragged Off to Hell:
    • As the God of the Deaths of the Wicked, Malus Manes' has doing this to those who were evil in life as part of his job description. Genuine repentance and atonement, however, can convince him to spare them this fate.
    • This is what happens when a sinful person runs afoul of the Deer god Temnobog. If they make a Deal with the Devil, then they personally get dragged down to his domain upon death. If he's too busy, however, then either his demonic servants, or his loyal surviving children, the Four Terrors, help him out.
    • Night Terror managed to avoid this fate the first time by secretly making a deal with Ispita, the mother of Yarost, so he ends up in the dream world upon death. However, Princess Luna and the Abyssinian goddess of Sleep, Tenya, confront and defeat them there, and once he's thrown into the real world, Yarost finds him and drags him off to give him a much worse punishment for his trickery.
  • The Dreaded:
    • Many members of the Summer Court of the Changelings are this, due to being far more dangerous and evil than their Spring counterparts.
    • Yamata no Orochi is this for Neighpon, due to his reign being their equal of Discord's rule over Equestria or Sombra's over the Empire. The possibility of his return is such a major threat the Neighponese government has an entire contingency devoted to the possibility of his return.
    • Temnobog and his children, the Four Terrors; justified in that while they're work with the good guys, they're still a family of evil gods that delights in causing suffering. The Bogolenya pantheon and the Erobreseg Deer herds are relatively the only people who tolerate and even respect him. Outside of that, he's seen and reviled as evil incarnate.
    • Luminiferous is this due to being both an extremely powerful god, as well as being the son and exact physical copy of a fallen Alicorn who was also the Anti-Christ. Those who know him, however, know he's the Anti-Antichrist and one of the world's Big Goods.
    • Amareros, due to being a Grand Primeval and one of the oldest gods in all existence, as well as one of the strongest. To note, Emperor Blackthorn is afraid of him. The other Grand Primevals are also this, and in general everyone tries their hardest to avoid angering them.
    • The Dyvaos, Expys of the Gyaos, are this to the point even more peaceful nations have a kill on sight order in place for them. This is because they're ancient bioweapons that could wipe out all life on Equus if allowed to reproduce (and nearly did) and are impossible to reason with.
    • Queen Mab I, an insane Fae goddess and ex-Queen, currently holds the honor of being one of few beings that can deeply unsettle even Blackthorn himself.
  • Dug Too Deep:
    • Apparently at one point the Diamond Dogs of Dimondia did this and disturbed Lava Demons. The Diamond Dog God of Mining, Mampfen, warns them against repeats.
    • A Diamond Dog named Deep Digger started an aggressive mining project in Dimondia to attempt and recover from an economic crisis. Mampfen warned him and others about this trope, and sure enough they accidentally cause so much ecological damage it awakens Battryu from his slumber who attacks the country.
    • Monsters from the mantle called Blaze Bats make deep mining run the risk of this. The Clovenists accidentally released one in a play on the Well to Hell hoax.
    • In another homage to the "Well to Hell" hoax, the Clovenists also managed to dig into one of the Hells ran by Deers' God of Evil Temnobog. The workers were horrified to hear the screams of the damned shades from the microphone lowered down to it, and tried to forget the traumatizing experience by denying what they found.
  • Dying Curse:
    • Yamata no Orochi's is a the driving force of many Neighpon entries. When he was killed, he cursed Neighpon that his severed heads would eventually grow into eight monstrous demonic Kaiju to menace the country. Worse yet, if all of them are killed, Orochi himself will be resurrected.
      "Though I am scattered, I do not die.

      Though my body is in pieces, my darkness will remain.

      From each head of mine a demon shall rise.

      And when all are vanquished, the Demon King will come again!"
    • And with the destruction of the Third Demon King, the Curse is now fully taking effect, and a countdown has begun. It won't be long before all the other demonic kaijus are slain and Orochi is resurrected...

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