A fanfic by PonyholicsAnonymous.
In the years since her return, Luna has failed to reconnect with Equestrian society, and is once again becoming distant from her sister. Celestia takes advantage of a foreign crisis to leave Equestria, forcing Luna to rule alone for a time. She calls on Twilight Sparkle to advise Luna, hoping her protege can teach her a few lessons about friendship while she helps Luna rule.
However, all is not well in the city of Canterlot. The night after Celestia departs, the body of a pony is discovered in the city, sacrificed in an arcane ritual using knowledge that only the royal sisters should possess. Twilight and Luna race to stop the killer before he strikes again, while attempting to discover his ultimate nefarious purpose.
The completed story can be found here.
This fic provides examples of:
- A God Am I: Dawnbringer starts doing this near the end of the story.
- Action Girl: Twilight Sparkle, Luna, and Celestia all get in on the action.
- All Your Base Are Belong to Us: When Dawnbringer takes Canterlot. Subverted, in that Celestia and Luna allowed him to take it so they could wipe out his army and kill him in a single blow.
- Ambition Is Evil: Dawnbringer is driven by a desire for power for no other reason than satisfying his own ego.
- Apocalypse How: Discord's plan will lead to a universal class-5, although Dawnbringer is probably unaware of that fact.
- Badass Boast: Luna gives a serious one to Dawnbringer right before the final battle."Your life is the blink of an eye. I have slain more creatures than you could even imagine. I saved this world, and then brought it to its knees. Your power means nothing to me!"
- Big Damn Heroes: Celestia shows up to save the day leading a flight of dragons.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Midnight Dream, although he wasn't really that sane to start with.
- Colony Drop: Luna destroys the evacuated Canterlot by dropping stars on it after Dawnbringer occupies the city.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Luna and Celestia give one to Dawnbringer. Then Dawnbringer returns the favor a minute later when he figures out how to create a volcano. And then Twilight gives a final one to Dawnbringer immediately after her ascension.
- Dark Fic: The plot begins with a pony being sacrificed in a ritual. By the end of the story, Canterlot has been utterly destroyed.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Luna's attacks consist mostly of moonlight and shadows.
- Death from Above: Happens multiple times, usually when alicorns or dragons are involved.
- Deity of Human Origin: Luna and Celestia's origins. Also happens to Dawnbringer and Twilight.
- Eldritch Abomination: Dawnbringer summons a massive horde of them.
- Evil Counterpart: Dawnbringer is one to Twilight Sparkle.
- Final Battle: Fought outside the ruins of Canterlot.
- Godzilla Threshold: Luna obliterates the entire city of Canterlot with an orbital strike to kill Dawnbringer. It fails.
- It's All My Fault: Luna blames herself for not stopping Dawnbringer from opening the first rift, though Celestia is quick to tell her that she did the best she could in the circumstances.
- Kill It with Fire: When Celestia and the dragons show up.
- Mayfly–December Romance: The main holdup to Twilight and Luna's relationship is this fact, which Luna already suffered the pain of with a previous lover. Twilight convinces her to stop worrying about it... which becomes a moot point after her own ascension.
- Mind Rape: Dawnbringer is fond of doing this to ponies, although only the results are ever shown.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: When Luna attempts to kill Dawnbringer via Colony Drop, she accidentally gives him the desperation he needs to ascend and become an alicorn.
- Pre-Climax Climax: Twilight and Luna admit their feelings on the night before the final battle.
- Rousing Speech: Celestia gives one before the final battle.
- Royal Brat: Cadence and Blueblood both turn out to be this.
- Sexy Discretion Shot: This is still a teen-rated fic, after all.
- Shock and Awe: Luna unleashes this on a massive scale.
- Shoo Out the Clowns: Spike doesn't show up after the first rift is opened until the very end.
- Shout-Out: Multiple.
- Tempting Fate: As noted in the page quote, Celestia does this when she says there won't be any trouble while she's gone.
- Time Skip: There's a three month skip in the final chapter.
- Title Drop: In the final chapter, Celestia tells Twilight about her new ability to control the Aurora.
- Villain Override: Dawnbringer does this with Midnight Dream after the latter is captured in order to taunt Luna, with the process rendering Midnight Dream completely catatonic afterwards.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Trixie and the changeling prisoner.