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Eigengrau Zwei: Die Welt ist Grau Geworden is a sequel to Eigengrau by Kudzuhaiku, and part of The Weedverse.

At the end of Eigengrau , Dim Dark, believing himself lost, has a voice in his head tell him to help a half-hippogriff, Blackbird Coffyn, because it might heal him. This is the story of what happened as they try and find Blackbird's lost mother, Starling, after she left on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge to avenge the murder of her husband, Stinkberry Coffyn.

After chasing the trail through several different settlements, they are picked up by Captain Melvin of Istanbull, as the current management (after a recent coup) wishes to help them, though the help is not without price, as they also want Dim's help in stabilising the region under their own rule, undoubtedly better than the current assortment of slaver-kings, but still hardly perfect. And Dim just keeps getting greyer.

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And of course, Grogar and his minions are unwilling to let Dim escape their clutches, and will do a great deal to get him on their side, or failing that, dead.


This story contains examples of:

  • Abnormal Ammo: Captain Jolie Rouge's take from a Menagerie ship is mostly this, with it being noted to be a particular specialty of the organisation. Later on, Dim, following some pottering around in an alchemy lab for a bit, provides Blackbird with some, giving only the instructions to not get them wet and to fire into a crowd for best results. This is because they are made of sodiumnote .
  • Above Good and Evil: A position claimed by the Spider Queen, who describes both the Alicorns and Grogar as tyrants, imposing their own worldview on others. The contradiction that any who deal with her do so on her terms and under her worldview, or get eaten, doesn't appear to quite click for her.
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  • Agony Beam: The unfortunate prisoner has been subjected to this by several people in Grogar's employ.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: Repairing a broken pipe requires this, unfortunately, both Manfrit and Blackbird are too big, so they stuff Dim in instead.
  • The Alcoholic: Bombay and Bard.
  • The Alleged Car: Blackbird's airship, her having put it together herself. It started as a gypsy vardo, with the wheels removed and a too-small lift nacelle added. It's also powered entirely by her. The science behind it works, much to Dim's displeasure, but only just.
  • The Alliance: Istanbull is attempting to build one to challenge the dominance of Menagerie and the Black Hand.
  • All Trolls Are Different: According to Dim, Trolls are carnivorous plants, and deadly in sunlight.
  • Almighty Mom: "The Scold" lets you tell anyone off. Anyone. Even if you're not technically capable of being a mom. Blackbird has a touch of it, inherited off her father. It saved his life when he met Starling.
  • Alternate Animal Affection: The problems of kissing with a beak are Discussed.
  • And Show It to You: Blackbird finishes off a false-alicorn by tearing out its heart. It might have survived even that, but she replaced it with a grenade.
  • Anger Born of Worry: Blackbird is prone to this. In one instance, after Dim has done a blind teleport in less-than-ideal circumstances:
    Blackbird: Bastard! I’m going to claw his good for nothing balls off and fry them with his eggs!
  • Anti-Magic: A basic property of Summoned demons, fell creatures, riftlings and shadowlings is an ability to resist magic. The summon used by the Jaguar Witch also prevents Dim's teleportation.
  • Apparently Powerless Puppetmaster: The Reveal in chapter 66, one could think that Celestia, being ruler of Equestria, would have relatively little power in Zebrabwe, but the zebras have a habit of consulting Jua, a great Sun Spirit in the Astral, for advice. No prizes for guessing who that is.
  • Armour-Piercing Slap: Blackbird inflicts one when somepony suggests that Dim Mercy Kill them.
  • Artificial Limbs: Captain Melvin has a steam-powered leg. His engineer, Manfrit has a similar arm, and takes a potion daily to avoid the hot metal burning the stump to which it's attached. It's later mentioned (while telling us that Princes Modesto and Mars also have prosthetics) that minotaurs often remove a limb from defeated foes or criminals.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: The Star Maiden claims this of Dim, following his injury fighting the false-alicorn. The pain of living grew too great, so he cast off his mortality and rose to the stars, and she encourages Blackbird to let him go. Blackbird refuses.
  • Astral Projection: Chantico is capable of helping other people to do this, literally smacking them out of their bodies, which she uses to help Blackbird gain access to the New Dream Realm and find Dim.
  • The Atoner: Eerie Dark desperately wants Dim to be redeemable, because then she too might be redeemed.
  • Attraction to Outliers: Part of Dim's attraction to Blackbird is the fact she's unique.
  • Badass Boast: Princess Mi Amore Cadenza gets her turn:
    Princess Cadance: I am that which burns eternal. I am the driving force for wars and the reason for peace. My essence fills hearts with music and minds with poetry. What I am brings light to the darkest sense of despair. I am the compulsion to create new life and fill vast emptiness. From life comes purpose, from purpose, harmony, and from harmony, order. Through the force of my will, entropy is pushed back and this universe persists in defiance of those who would destroy it on a whim.
    • Dim also gets one:
    Eerie Dark: Dim! Die Welt ist nicht dein, sie zu verbrennen!note 
    Dim Dark: Wenn ich es verbrennen kann, gehört es mir.note 
  • Badass Longcoat: Blackbird makes herself and Dim new overcoats on the way to Istanbull.
  • Bad Dreams: Blackbird has guilty dreams about her father scolding her for killing.
  • Bag of Holding: Dim's hat has become one at some point, with him able to produce the Spear of Chantico from it.
  • Balkanise Me: Averted, but only just, Fancy is barely holding together as a collection of city-states due to the necessity of maintaining the treaties with Equestria. If Fancy falls apart, the treaties, signed with Fancy as a whole, do as well.
  • Barred from the Afterlife: Downplayed, but Pale refuses to take Dim after he kills himself using a Dangerous Forbidden Technique, returning him to his body, because he doesn't like Dim and won't end his suffering prematurely, but this probably doesn't have any long-term effects on their afterlife prospects.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: The bushwoolies were an exploited underclass in Istanbull, until Eerie Dark took over and protected them, and now they're fiercely loyal to her.
  • Berserk Button: Bombay, due to her own past, gets violent fast when it looks like someone might be gearing up for rape.
  • Batman Gambit: The team sent to Fancy end up in the middle of everything falling apart, not helped by their being a massive target for other groups. Exactly as planned by Eerie, who intends for them to break everything as much as possible so something better can be rebuilt.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Blackbird is generally the nicer of the pair, and is certainly the less used to violence, but when she discovers Commander Starhammer considered poisoning her and Dim to hand over to Grogar, her response is enough to seriously scare the hardened mercenary. As the story progresses and her ideals begin to fail, and her confidence grows, she become a terrifying juggernaut when angered.
  • BFG: Jolie gives one to Blackbird. Made by dragons, anyone else trying to fire it runs a serious risk of injury. It fires quarter-pound shells.
  • Big Brother Bully: If the prisoner taken after killing the monster in Baumhaus is to be believed, his brother was abusive long before he joined Grogar.
  • Big Entrance: Dim gets one made for him on his arrival into Istanbull, much to his stupefied confusion, as he's introduced with a Large Ham Title and the Imperial March.
  • Big NO:
    • The Sisters Equus Alicornae, when Blackbird suggests giving her the power of Void so she can balance Dim. It doesn't stop Void from granting her the power anyway.
    • Dim, upon being told a foe is unkillable. He keeps trying and manages to contain it by teleporting it inside a rock he then liquefies, making the parts too small and too far apart to displace the rock and regenerate.
  • Bi the Way: Although currently in a relationship with Gratin, Jolie has previously shared a bed with Eerie Dark, and Bard's comments suggest she's much closer to Extreme Omnisexual.
    Bard: She doesn’t care about the plumbing she encounters, no… she will find a way to make a connection.
  • Bizarrchitecture: The Palace Of The White Hand is shaped like, well, a hand.
  • Black and Grey Morality: Dim Dark, and his allies, particularly Eerie Dark are not unambiguously good, engaging in multiple unpleasant acts, but ultimately, they're better than the Black Hand or Grogar.
  • Blade on a Stick: Dim ends up wielding the spear Chantico is bound to after being killed by it and pledging to become her champion. He reckons it's close enough to a Magic Staff.
  • Blanket Fort: Dim's refuge in the New Dream Realm takes this form, he's done with hard violence, and so makes himself a defense of softness.
  • Bleed 'em and Weep: Melvin sincerely regrets those he's had to kill, and part of the reason he's now a captain of a cargo ship is regret for having to kill. He's somewhat disgusted by Dim's lack of care, suggesting he and the griffon pirates are Not So Different.
  • Blood Magic: To collect the bounty on Dim, sprinkle the notice with blood and burn it.
  • Blowing Smoke Rings: Dim uses a trick to form question marks in his smoke. Interestingly, not a unicorn trick.
  • Bodyguard Crush: Dim gets one on Blackbird very rapidly. Apparently several of her previous hired guards also attempted to sleep with her, but she dumped them into the sea when they got too insistent. Later on, Dim fairly quickly clocks that there's some of this between Jolie Rouge and her bodyguard, and it's all but confirmed. Bombay later Exploits the trope to get Blackbird out of the awkward position of explaining her relationship with Dim to Istanbull's Royal Guard, as what goes on between a prince and his bodyguard is entirely their own business.
  • Bond One-Liner: After setting a minotaur on fire and him falling into the sea:
    Dim Dark: I hope you haven’t eaten recently, to suddenly have cramps while swimming would be a cruel fate indeed.
  • Born Lucky: Downplayed, but things tend to go Blackbird's way, and her character sheet gives her Luck Stat as 10. Word of God is that it's a Pie trait.
  • Boys Have Cooties: Blackbird dials down her age to enter Dim's blanket fort in the dream realm. Unfortunately, she also gets a dose of this, which makes the necessity of True Love's Kiss problematic.
  • Brain Bleach: Blackbird is most displeased when Dim makes a nursery rhyme dirty.
  • Brainwashed: Bombay's assassin training is tied to a mindwipe, as those training her didn't want her turning against them. She struggles to access it most of the time, and has an aversion to killing, but according to Eerie she's recovering.
  • Breath Weapon: Dim has the ability to breathe fire that doesn't derive from unicorn magic. Word of God is that it's a result of Alicorn DNA he's inherited off Luna, his distant ancestor. The alicorns were intended to be diplomats, able to speak any language, and speaking Dragon requires firebreathing.
  • Brick Joke: Blackbird's experiences with a guy who thinks The Weedverse is an RPG-Mechanics Verse come up again after Dim suddenly becomes able to learn new spells, with Blackbird describing him as levelling up.
  • The Brigadier: Commodore Guillemot, an Officer and a Gentleman sent to establish trade relations between Liverypool and Istanbull. When a Grittish crew-turned-slavers are brought in, he provides the legalities necessary for Istanbull to try them, and (silently) pleads Dim for mercy for a press-ganged slaver.
  • Bring Me My Brown Pants: Dim has this effect on people, a notable example being when he threatens a racist pony with his own guards.
  • Byronic Hero: The Spider Queen. She tries to pull a Not So Different on Dim, who is developing into one.
  • Call-Forward:
    • While considering the properties of salt, Dim briefly desires living amongst the crystal ponies to study their interactions with magic. As later stories show, he does ultimately settle in Cadance' court.
    • In the dream realm, Quiet Dark and Lurking Dark, the Children of the Void, make a cameo, despite not yet existing in the real world.
    • While convalescing, Dim keeps shouting "Pyrotheosis"note , calling forwards to the Entirely Optional Epilogue of A Knight To Remember.
    • Dim refers to himself as "The Unfathomable Djinn of Istanbull", a name later used for him in A Knight To Remember.
  • Came Back Strong: After his near-death in Fancy, Dim is far more powerful.
  • Cannot Keep a Secret: Dim has developed a habit of blurting stuff out without really meaning too, particularly around Blackbird.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: Dim favours this.
  • Cat Folk: The Jaguar Witch, somewhat obviously.
  • Captain Obvious: Captain Jolie Rouge annoys her superior by doing this, which results in a "suggestion" that Jolie eat some cake.
  • Celestial Body: The Celestial inhabitants of the Forge of Fate are constellations. Or at least, that's how Blackbird contextualises them.
  • Chocolate Baby: Argentée Sonnet is an earth pony, something that is used against her mother's political rivals.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: The Spider Queen. She tries for Manipulative Bastard, but given that she's currently a Sealed Evil in a Can after doublecrossing some Precursors, and the Big Bad wants her enslaved after having been similarly doublecrossed a few times, she comes across more as a Smug Snake.
  • Colony Drop: The Black Star's fall is relevant, as it corrupted the entire world, tainting the magic and breaking down the natural order.
  • Colourful Theme Naming: The Weavers. There's seven of them, and the first we meet are Weaver Indigo and Weaver Violet. Take a guess what the others are called.
  • The Conscience: A "pink voice", a shard of Princess Cadance, acts as one for Dim.
  • Contemplate Our Navels: Following on from his concerns in Chapter 60, Dim spends most of chapter 61 musing on the nature of freedom while high. He comes to the conclusions that Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil and Slavery Is a Special Kind of Evil because it damages the ability of the victim to refuse further offers of work or sex, however they might actually feel or the intentions of the person making the offers. He also infects Blackbird with the trope, and while his contemplations improve his moral compass, Blackbird's damages hers.
  • Cool Airship: The Solar Stinger, recovered from a Centaur vault, it uses tech that Istanbull's best can just barely replicate, and are still trying to understand, including Magitek solar panels. Istanbull in general is good at this, having developed the first Dreadnoughts in setting.
  • Court Mage: The current rulers of Istanbull keep a Zebra soothsayer on staff. This is apparently standard procedure for "smart, capable" rulers, including Celestia. The Astral Projection comes in handy for communication.
  • Crazy-Prepared: As is common for wizards in fantasy, Dim is far more dangerous given prep time.
  • Creator Couple: In-Universe, Bard inspires Bombay's music. A shame he can't create himself anymore.
  • Crippling Castration: Standard procedure for prisoners in Fancy.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Dim is rather good at these, as well as the classic Man on Fire:
    • Blackbird assumes Dim inflicted one on Snowbird during his Roaring Rampage of Revenge, an impression that is reinforced when Dim says that he inflicted on Snowbird what Snowbird threatened on Blackbird. Then Dim explains that he stopped the resultant bleeding by dipping him in tar, and Snowbird probably wishes he was dead, as they're still peeling it off him. Snowbird later dies of his injuries.
    • He inflicts a slaver captain with a far-more-than-lethal case of the bends. After he suffers for a while, (including his horn exploding) Eerie orders Munro to deal a Mercy Kill.
    • Blackbird herself is prone to accidentally causing this, rarely managing a centre-mass hit, but inflicting gory headshots or blowing off limbs.
  • Cruel Mercy: Jolie fears Eerie's wrath because she knows that she will survive it.
  • Cunning Linguist: The reason the griffon cub brought before the Council of Nine was press-ganged, rather than enslaved, Captain Hoarfrost needed his linguistic expertise.
  • Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: Grenadine is threatened with being boiled in his own semen. When it actually comes down to it, though, Dim just sets him ablaze.
  • The Cycle of Empires: The Grittish Empire was in stage three, but the Shepherd's Shore massacre has kicked it into a rapid stage four, with it disintegrating rapidly into multiple fighting factions, with no sign of recovery (later Weedverse stories show that it ultimately requires direct Equestrian intervention to stabilise the region again).
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: Certain magics can only be used while dying. The death need not be permanent, but for obvious reasons it's not a technique any sane mage uses much. Dim is actually killed by it, experiencing Near Death Clairvoyance before getting kicked back by Pale, and afterwards, he decides to not do that again.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: As well as Dim Dark himself (though he varies somewhat on the morality), the zebra death-cultists, who provide hospice care to the dying and support the good Lord Chanson against his enemies.
  • Deadly Gas: Dim and his companions are only too willing to use whatever weapons they can get hold of, including violent-madness inducing gas bombs.
  • Deity of Human Origin: Dim describes one means of doing this, assuming you are utterly lacking in morals, when his belief that his mother intended him to ascend is questioned. Basically, become immortal and latch onto primordial chaos. Keep causing mayhem (feeding upon it to grow stronger) and eventually you'll attract attention from those who went before you, who'll offer power, in exchange for more chaos, setting up a feedback loop of horror and power that will eventually consume the whole universe and make you more powerful than you can imagine.
  • Defrosting Ice King: Part of Dim's story is getting to accept that he does need friends, and Blackbird's romance with him plays out much like this.
  • Demonic Possession: The pink voice is able to seize control of Dim and his magic long enough to write a message (that's also an encoded Spell Book), temporarily exhausting both itself and Dim.
  • Depraved Homosexual: Grimy Rich is a slaver, and has no compunction about asking to spend some alone time with an attractive "manservant" (though he doesn't push too hard), and when rebuffed comments that he needs to make a shopping trip to Windia note .
  • Diary: Chapter 71 opens with an entry from the Bard's, in which he concludes that he and his companions are not the good guys, despite the opinion of those they shelter with.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: Dim calls Palenote  a "disgusting primitive", much to Pale's shock.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: The Roving Eye spell moves at the speed of thought, but inputs information into the brain as if a normal eye, making it easy to accidentally go mad while using it. While using it, Dim ends up puking a lot.
  • Dirty Business: Modesto is completely clear on how he feels about his peer's dealings with Dim Dark. Blackbird reckons that some of it's jealousy that Dim may actually make as good a leader as him.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: Motte and Bailey have the ability to manipulate earth to create fortifications or smooth out a road for the cart.
  • Distinction Without a Difference: When they capture someone and take him to ask some questions, Blackbird asks if they're going to torture him, as she's unsure about torture.
    Dim Dark: No, Blackbird… we’re going to extract vital information using the creative application of coercive techniques.
    To be absolutely fair, he doesn't use pain. Just amplifies his guilt to completely eliminate his will to resist.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: While working on a flame enchantment, Dim becomes irritated with Blackbird's distraction.
  • The Dividual: Motte and Bailey aren't just close siblings, they're the same pony, and are never seen apart.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Dim realising that Blackbird sees him as "cute", an adjective he would distinctly oppose, is used to unsubtlynote  and viciouslynote  deconstruct sexual objectification.
  • Don't Ask, Just Run: After an experiment with a magical explosive goes wrong in chapter 40, Dim instructs Melvin to depart fast. No, faster than that.
  • Don't Fear the Reaper: Void, the end of things that should not be, is not evil, but a necessary part of the balance, and stands opposed to the Necromancer Grogar, who keeps wrong things alive.
  • Don't Tell Mama: Modesto has been forbidden by his adoptive mother from taking lessons with Dim, but, with a cry of this, he takes up Dim's offer anyway.
  • Double Entendre: Blackbird has several riddles with an obvious and sexual answer, but also an innocent one.
  • Dramatic Wind: Dim manages to freak out the crew of a ship by being utterly immune to the wind from its travel, with the exception of his hat.
  • The Dreaded Dreadnought: Istanbull's Dreadnoughts stand head and shoulders above existing airships.
  • Dream Land: Several are relevant. There's the Dream Realm used by Princess Luna, which is tainted by Nightmare Moon and slowly fading as Luna heals. Grogar, Dark Desire and Catrina forge another using the taint in the Ink and Dim's aborted destiny to claim the Essence of Night to create a Realm of Nightmares, an Evil Counterpart to Luna's realm. And there's a new Dream Realm, being built by the Essence Of Night and the Essence Of Night Who Might Be, which is stronger than the old one and untainted by Luna's fall, and is empowered by Luna's regrowing trust in her sister allowing the Sun to bring light to it.
  • Dream Weaver: Catrina and Dark Desire break into Dim's dreams to tempt him into joining them, even if it's in death. The Nameless One also steps in. Notably, they didn't do this by invading Luna's dream realm, but by exploiting Grogar's partial control of the Inknote  to take Dim's abortive destiny as Luna's heir (which would have resulted in a new Dream Realm) and corrupt it to create a new Realm of Nightmares, and drag Dim into it. Later, it's revealed they had another agenda, working a magic over him using the dream realm so that when he starts doing morally grey things, it has an effect, making him, well, dimnote .
  • Driven to Suicide: In one version of Blackbird's dreams, Dim kills himself shortly after the war.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Starling did this after Stinkberry's death, before going on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • Druid: Gesundheit. He's primarily skilled in plant shaping.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Dim is rather androgynous, due to Dark inbreeding. Bard comments (once he's had a bath that he might well have caused a few creatures to question their sexuality.
  • Ear Notch: Fancy Chancy has one, a sign of having been Made a Slavenote .
  • Eating the Eye Candy: Dim finds Blackbird attractive, and doesn't bother to hide it. Grimy Rich also finds Dim attractive, and when Blackbird "won't lend" himnote  has no objection to Dim joining them for tea, after all, if he can't play, he can at least look.
  • Elemental Embodiment: A conjured lamassu made of fire protects the Jaguar Witch's tower. He deals with it by summoning an inferno devil (a dust devil that is on fire).
  • Emotional Powers: Dim uses his anger at heckling Powers That Be to remove Grogar's mark from Swift Swirl.
  • Emotion Eater: The Spider Queen comments on how a particular pony's arrogace will taste deliciously fatty. Of course, she's planning to eat the rest of him too.
  • The Empire: Menagerie is poised to become the next Equestria, only without morals or restraint. Masoud of the Black Hand has similar ambitions, intending to take over Menagerie. In either case, it means the only thing between them and the rest of the world is Istanbull, something that Istanbull's rulers do not want, hence their building of an army to take the Black Gate and bring down Menagerie.
  • Erotic Eating: Blackbird watches Dim's consumption of cheese with great interest.
  • Evil Feels Good: Briefly losing herself in her rage and physically dominating a group of weaker ponies causes a significant Power High in Blackbird, helping her understand her mother.
  • Evilutionary Biologist: Thrennog, the demon, is apparently one. Dim is more than a little linked to Thrennog, due to his arts being the basis of Dark Desire's experiments on Dim.
  • Evil Weapon: The spear used by the Jaguar Witch and later stolen by her summoned demon was originally used by Ahuizotl to kill Chantico, a previous Enshrined, bind her soul and then slaughter her followers in an attempt to actually kill her. May actually be a Subversion, the weapon itself doesn't appear inherently corruptive, as Dim later wields it.
  • Extended Disarming: While waiting at the cultist compound, Motte instructs Blackbird and Bombay to disarm to check for rust on their weapons. With Bombay, it's a single pistol. Blackbird, less so, resulting in a wide array of weapons being stacked onto the table, finishing with a pair of pliers. In case someone smiles at her in a way she doesn't like.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Dragons. When two caged dragons are no longer magically restrained, they (having been starved) proceed to eat their way out of the cage.
  • Eye of Newt: A potion to repair damaged teeth requires liquefied dragon organs, much to the drinker's disgust. This isn't unusual for potions.
  • Eye Scream: At one point Blackbird is subdued by (amongst other things) blinding her with pepper dust.
  • Face Death with Dignity: During Dim's (failing) experiment in Stuff Blowing Up, Captain Melvin is the only minotaur to not run around in panic and takes the opportunity to tell Dim he's a creepy bastard. Dim, for his part, takes it as a compliment and wonders what Blackbird is doing. Fortunately, neither actually die in the resulting detonation.
  • Fantastic Caste System: Fancy works like this as a simple matter of survival, with earth ponies being an exploited underclass generally exiled beyond the city walls.
  • Fantastic Drug: Aurora is a particularly nasty one for unicorns. Instantly and completely chemically addictive, stopping taking it results in a long, agonising death as magic receptors turn into pain receptors. It's used by slavers to control their slaves.
  • Fantastic Nuke: Dim begins trying to make a near-literal one, mucking around with salt and fire to try and overcome Grogar's minions' corruption-based Anti-Magic.
  • Fantastic Racism: Hippogryphs aren't accepted easily by either ponies or griffons. A Fancy noble manages to earn Dim's ire by suggesting that Bombay and Blackbird should be leashed as pets. Dim uses his own guards to inflict a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown. It's just symptomatic of a deeper problem, the rebellion has been gathered and aggravated by racial tension.
  • Favors for the Sexy: Blackbird has got a few white knights rescuing her by Exploiting this, though prior to Dim, they all either died or needed replacing due to not getting that "no" means "no".
  • Fictional Geneva Conventions: It comes up that Equestria would not permit Dim's weaponised alchemynote . Dim doesn't particularly care, and neither does the Istanbull official he's speaking with.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Discussed, the Paper Alicorn predicts that before Dim will get home, he will have many friends of this type.
  • Fire Purifies: The Hearthfire cleanses impurities, heals wounds and can revive the dead, if doing so prevents a transformation into something evil, whether windigoes or liches, a notable exception to the usual Balancing Death's Booksnote .
  • First Kiss: Blackbird and Dim's occurs on impulse from Blackbird after Dim waxes philosophical. She's terrified and feels very vulnerable while doing it, but persists anyway, even slipping in a second kiss while she's at it. It doesn't go terribly well, as might be expected from Blackbird, who has very little experience, but she still reckons it was the right thing to do.
  • Fixed Forward-Facing Weapon: Istanbull's new dreadnoughts are built around a massive cannon, the longest-ranged and largest weapon affixed to ships in setting. Commodore Guillemote is initially sceptical that they can even exist, yet exist they do.
  • Foil: Eerie Dark, to Dim.
  • Food as Bribe: Blackbird's ability to cook eggs lets her manipulate Dim.
  • Forced to Watch: Commander Snowbird threatens to do all manner horrible things to Blackbird if Dim attempts anything, after, of course, Dim is subdued and made to watch. Dim forces Snowbird's men to watch Snowbird's brutal torture.
  • Foreshadowing: The alchemical compound north of Gasconeigh produces a great deal of anti-canine material, including whitewash that's thickly applied everywhere nearby, and the region has many warnings not to go out at night. Of course there's werewolves around.
  • Funny Background Event: During the drama of Dim's introduction to Eerie Dark, a definitely not drunk Blackbird is playing in a nearby fountain.
  • Gay Best Friend: According to Grimy, he and Starling had something of this dynamic, with her opening up to him once she realised he was flamingly gay.
  • Geas: One has been used on Jolie Rouge and her crew to keep them from revealing the identity of their employer or harming Dim. It's a standard procedure for Eerie Dark.
  • Gentle Giant: Blackbird is very strong, able to fire large guns one-handed, but actively downplays her strength around ponies.
  • Geometric Magic: The Jaguar Witch used a circle of salt to bind a summoned creature, but the circle is done imperfectly, meaning the summon she intended to use on Dim attacked her instead. It kills her by decapitation.
  • Giant Spider: Dim finds himself in an audience with the Spider Queen, who spins webs of meat. It's not exactly a normal spider, closer to a Sealed Evil in a Can that was uncovered because miners Dug Too Deep.
  • Gilded Cage: Grimy Rich has a talent that makes him extremely useful to the company he works for, but it doesn't work if he's coerced, so his situation is this. He's under no delusions as to his fate should he attempt to leave.
  • Glass Cannon: Although always a Squishy Wizard, Dim realises defense is useless against Ascendancy false-alicorns, as they'll just brute-force past any wards he casts, so shifts to this sort of tactic.
  • Gods Need Prayer Badly: The slumbering Chantico can be revived by gaining a follower. Such as by a deathbed conversion. At which point it ceases to be a deathbed conversion.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Celestia's use of the House of Dark as a reserve for when this has been crossed is referenced. Eerie comes across as a little bitter about being "exploited" like that.
  • Going Cold Turkey: Dim suffers some fairly serious withdrawal symptoms as part of his attempt to rid himself of all weaknesses.
  • Golem: Dim suspects one destroyed Schwarze Wasserüberquerung, due to the large and perfectly round footprints and level of destruction. From his thoughts, he doesn't mean one like Helianthus, Mellonella Moth and Dove are revealed to be in Venenum Iocus, much bigger and stompier.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Averted, Pale asks why Dim isn't going mad from using drugs and nearly killing himself to access certain magics, allowing Dim to see Pale and Lima Bean as a side effect. Lima points out that Dim's already mad.
  • The Good Captain: Inverted with the contrast between Captain Hoarfrost, who responds to the collapse of the Grittish Empire (and the source of his pay) by turning slaver, and Commodore Guillemot, who instead works with the Istanbull leadership to continue his duties as best he can, and is considered, at least by Dimnote  to be a decent stallion.
  • The Good Chancellor: Eerie Dark is Wazir to Prince Modesto of Istanbull, as well as his Spymaster.
  • Good People Have Good Sex: Apparently, when both Blackbird's parents were still alive, there was a lot of "lust satisfying".
  • Good Vs Good: Eerienote  spends a significant amount of time blocking Cadance out of Dim's head, fearing that Dim is being manipulated to his (and her) ruin by one of the beings that destroyed the Dark Tower. When she gets Dim in place, she accidentally causes problems by trying to tell Dim Cadance's name, which would allow her to be removed, and triggers Celestia's animancynote  designed to prevent thatnote . This nearly kills Dim, but gives Cadance a chance to plead her case to Eerie, which allows them to reconcile somewhat, with Cadance promising that she means no harm to Eerie, and offering to help heal Bard's damaged soul.
  • Grey and Gray Morality: Dim's worldview is blurring into this at the beginning of the story, although the story itself is not written on the trope, instead using Black and Grey Morality.
  • The Grim Reaper: Pale feels a strange attraction to Dim's Near Death Experiences. It's because Dim is an abortive Celestial, but tainted beyond repair by Dark Desire's magic and with the destiny that would require his ascension unneeded.
  • Groin Attack: Apparently a favoured tactic of Bombay is to shoot people in the dick, including King Majid.
  • Guns Akimbo: One of Blackbird's tricks.
  • The Gunslinger: Blackbird starts out pretty good, but grows ever more into the role.
  • Hand Cannon: The Foalsitter, Blackbird's revolver.
  • Happily Adopted: Mars and Modesto consider Eerie Dark their mother, a feeling she reciprocates, despite their differing species. Marlownote  got at this a strange way, purchased by a widow after her husband's death, she treated him with great kindness, rather than as a pet or slave. This later saved her, as when Istanbull's new management sentenced her for slave-keeping, she was sentenced to be his mother, rather than the fates reserved for the cruel.
  • Hates Being Touched: Dim has his moments, which means that when Eerie, his aunt gets into a snuggly mood, a lot of snarking results, although he does eventually get into it.
  • Harmless Freezing: It's revealed that the version of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic S2 E13 "Hearth's Warming Eve" in the Weedverse Averted the trope, the frozen leaders were killed, but resurrected by the Hearthfire because they were turning into windigoes.
  • Healing Factor: The Ascendancy false-alicorns. Also, werewolves, pushing up to From a Single Cell and, much to Dim's dismay, the usual anti-regeneration standby of fire fails to halt it.
  • Healing Hands: Chantico grants this power to Short Stitchnote . Apparently, all the creatures capable of granting healing were killed, making it very rare.
  • Hearing Voices: Dim gets a dirge from Darling Dark while hunting trolls. It tries to get him to kill himself.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: Something of a specialisation of Dim's, using weak and mundane spells for his purposes, such as a spell to puppet toys used to sack a fortress.
  • He Cleans Up Nicely: Blackbird expresses the sentiment after Dim's had a bath. More than once.
  • The Hero's Journey: Blackbird goes through one to rescue Dim from the New Dream Realm. Chantico is the Threshold Guardian. The Dream Realm's traps are the Road of Trials, as is her expulsion into the space between realities. At the end of that, she faces the Spiritual Death And Rebirth by uniting with Void. Her infiltration of the Blanket Fort is the Night Sea Voyage, and she finally Returns to the real world with Dim in tow.
  • Heroic Neutral: A position offered to Dim, after he begins transforming into a Lich. While Celestia's sun would burn him, he doesn't have to serve Grogar, leaving the fight and remaining neutral.
  • Heroic RRoD: Dim suffers one after (semi-successfully) casting a Fantastic Nuke. It's not as bad as it could be though, he remains standing for several seconds afterwards, and doesn't suffer a Psychic Nosebleed, an acknowledged risk, and potentially a fatal one for the haemophiliac Dim. More seriously, Weavers Violet and Green die in the casting to repair the weather spells on their compound (the harsh winter would otherwise have killed many more), Violet being old and Green injured.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Weaver Indigo willingly takes a kill-shot from a false-alicorn, which results in a swarm of spectral spiders being summoned and breaking the alicorn's shield.
  • Higher Understanding Through Drugs: Dim continues to use LSD to heighten his magic sense.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The Jaguar Witch gets her head ripped off by her own summon before Dim even reaches her. On the heroic side, Bard, Blackbird and Bombay throw barrels of black-powder at a false-alicorn from a rooftop. The alicorn detonates the barrels early, flattening the compound, seriously wounding Bombay and killing Bard, though also wounding itself.
  • Hormone-Addled Teenager: Blackbird is still very young, and sudden surges of lust aren't unknown.
  • Hurricane of Puns: Dim looting a griffon ship of its alcohol is used to make several puns on German drinks.
  • Hypocrite: Many of the "good" characters have their moments, but Dim's musings on the potential hypocrisy of Istanbull's extreme anti-slavery stance, yet being willing to use the freed slaves as labournote , helps him to regain some brightness (At this point in the story he's subject to a spell that means that his moral descent is matched by his slowly turning into a shadow creature).
  • I Call It "Vera": Blackbird's weapons are named, starting with Foalsitter, the Hand Cannon she starts with, and including Mercy's Reachnote 
  • I Choose to Stay: Swift Swirl remains in Baumhaus, due to not wanting to return to Equestria, and being able to help Gesundheit, but despite also receiving an offer, Dim does not.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: How Cadance feels about the destruction of the Dark Tower.
  • I Die Free: Weaver Indigo will not die until he is a free zebra. His choice to die to save others means his is at last, truly free.
  • If I Wanted You Dead...: Mentioned by Eerie Dark as part of why Dim should not just kill her out of hand.
  • I Gave My Word: Dim finds his word becoming increasingly binding as his noble ideals settle into place.
  • I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: While Blackbird is holding Foalsitter on one of Grogar's emissaries, it accidentally goes off.
  • I Know Your True Name: Dim, oddly, doesn't know the name of Princess Cadance, the "Pink Voice" in his head. It's probably a good thing that he doesn't, as then he could remove her, increasing his vulnerability to the enemy's manipulations, including a suspected magical poison. There's a reason he suspects Princess Celestia's interference.
  • I Love the Dead: After Dim claims that he wants to sleep with Blackbird, and another character uses this to encourage him to stay alive, because he can't do that if he's dead. Yet another begs to differ.
  • Immortality Seeker: Dim becomes one, as his desire to atone and to purge evil will not be satisfied with one lifetime and passing on his strength to a successor. He is told that there are many routes, and he chooses Pyrotheosis, ascension through flame, despite the Essence of Night Who Might Be counselling against it, as the fire is insane and rapacious, with no desires beyond consumption, although Dim has a slightly more optimistic view, seeing fire's potential as a beacon. As seen in later stories, Dim succeeds.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Dim first encounters Chantico's spear when it's used to (nearly) kill him. Later on, the same spear is used in a sneak attack to impale Dreadful Dark, his uncle. While the Hearthfire in the spear restores Dim, reverting his lich transformation, in the case of Dreadful, the now Void-infused fire consumes him, feeding power to Dim, such is the nature of Void.
  • Imperiled in Pregnancy: Darling's voice in Dim's head Invokes the trope, claiming she was pregant with his foal when he killed her, in an attempt to get him to kill himself by troll. Also, Giselle is pregnant. Unfortunately, she chooses to pick a fight with Dim Dark and Blackbird.
  • Indy Ploy: Discussed, Gesundheit mentions Tarnish's predilection for this trope. Dim Dark, being rather squishy, prefers planning.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Dim, after coming face to face with exactly what is required to obtain alchemical reagents, a freezer's worth of butchered dragon, and other things, in contrast to the neat powders and extracts he's used to working with.
  • In Love with Your Carnage: After goading Blackbird, Dim is quite excited by her literally murderous expression. He resolves shortly afterwards to provoke her more often.
  • In Medias Res: In-Universe, when Blackbird goes into the New Dream Realm to rescue Dim, she's dropped into the middle of their "happy ending" and it takes a little while for the "memories" to kick in. This actually happens several times as she drops through layers of dreams. The reason this doesn't immediately clue her in to the Lotus-Eater Machine is that within the narrative, she has amnesiac episodes (hinted to be Trauma-Induced Amnesia).
  • Innocence Lost: Munro being made valet to Dim Dark exposes him to a lot of horror, starting with the execution of a slaver captain, an execution that Munro himself is ordered to finish. It's also the main thrust of Blackbird's arc. She begins a relatively idealistic hero, but a few kills later and hanging around Dim doesn't help anything.
  • Insistent Terminology: Blackbird doesn't rob the dead slavers, she repurposes their property. Also, Dim is a Vizard, not a Wizard.
    Commander Starhammer: Ah, so the eccentric explody kind that throws spells around like confetti.
  • In the Blood: Luna's sins have inflicted a curse on many of her bloodline, including Dim Dark, Trixie Lulamoon and Twilight Sparkle, forcing them to face "madness, heartache and great isolation" before they can achieve their potential, in an echo of Luna's descent into madness as Nightmare Moon.
  • Iron Chef: We hear of Ol' Blimey, a chef that the narrator of the tale reckons has been responsible for more deaths than could be counted, in the particular case described with a sneeze spell thrown into an opposing firing line, with chaotic results.
  • It's Quiet... Too Quiet: Schwarze Wasserüberquerung is eerily quiet, no birds or flies trying to feast on corpses. No rats in the destruction. Nothing. It's because every pony in the town has been placed into the vault in the center and melted into corpse-goo. Anything trying to feed on the remains suffers the same fate, inflicted by Catrina because they wouldn't serve Grogar.
  • Jerkass: Both Dim and the Essence of Night. It's because of what they are as Celestials, they're meant to provoke emotional reactions.
  • Just Following Orders: A diamond dog brought before the Council of Ninenote  for the crime of slavery attempts this defence, and doesn't drop it when informed that he should have disobeyed. It gets him a verdict of Guiltynote . A somewhat more successful attempt is made by a griffon cub, who was press-ganged. It doesn't get him off, as while his other options were bad, he had them, but he escapes execution.
  • Kangaroo Court: The Istanbull court (the Council of Nine) Dim sits as judge in. The only votes the Councilnote  can make are all shades of guilty, determining only the nature of the defendant's deathnote . Justified by the defendants' guilt not being in doubt (they were taken prisoner as the crew of a slaver ship captured by the Solar Stinger), and it being the legal system of the area. This causes some problems, though, with a griffon cub who was press-gangednote . Initially, one of the Council withholds their vote, but when they are informed of another verdict they can give, Guilty; lenient, which carries a sentence of indentured servitude, they do so, along with the rest of the Council (though not without dissent, there are two votes for Guilty; merciful). Dim orders his service be to Commodore Guillemot, and at least five years, the harshness of which surprises at least one member of the Council, but Dim himself worries he was too lenient.
  • Kill 'Em All: While musing on the possibility of harm coming to Blackbird, Dim decides that this is the only reasonable solution. After all, small piles of ash are not a threat to anyone.
  • Kill It with Fire: Dim retains his predilection for the trope. And even in dreams, some rules must be obeyed. Of course, it's not always a good solution, as while effective against besieging trolls, it becomes dangerous when the townsfolk need the forest they're camped in.
  • Kill One, Others Get Stronger: The Ascendancy false-alicorns, as they share access to a unique frequency, a limited pool of magic. For more information, see Amplitude Adjustment.
  • Klaatu Barada Nikto: One of Dim's spellsnote  contains the phrase.
  • Klatchian Coffee: While in Istanbull, Dim and Blackbird are served some of this.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Due to being dead at the time, Dim cannot remember his pledge to Chantico.
  • Leave No Survivors: Commodore Guillemote is given this order as regards the pirates and slavers that have taken over Fancy's colonies. This is in keeping with what else we've seen of Istanbull's policies towards such beings. Also, the heroes leave no survivors in the bandit fort in Fancy. Munro is tasked with dealing with any that dig their way out of being buried alive.
  • "Leave Your Quest" Test: Blackbird faces two while ascending to the New Dream Realm to find Dim. She is offered a happy-ever-after with him, and when that fails, one with her (dead) father. Immediately after that, she faces a third, as the Star Maiden tries to convince her to turn back, Dim has ascended where she cannot go.
  • Legacy Character: Played in an unsual way. The Lord of Shades was originally a nickname given to the unknown perpetrator of the Shepherd's Shore Massacrenote , but the identity has been taken up by one or more other creatures using the fearsome reputation to stage further attacks and collapse the Grittish Empire.
  • Legion of Lost Souls: Commandant Graham is part of the Fancy Foreign Legion, what's left of it.
  • Liquid Courage: Dim needs a stiff drink to even consider getting onto Blackbird's ship.
  • Literally Shattered Lives: The crew of Solar Stinger kill a false-alicorn by shooting her with the ship's cannons a lot, harpooning her, dragging it to the edge of space until she froze solid and then shot her again until there was nothing left but fragments.
  • Living Hat: Dim fakes his hat being one to stay out of the line of fire while eliminating a bandit camp.
  • Lock-and-Load Montage: The beginning of Chapter 94, with Blackbird cleaning her weapons, Motte and Bailey prepping the mortar, and Dim quietly smoking a pipe.
  • Loophole Abuse: How the Celestials manage to keep Dim from turning into a lich. They can't break the rules by interfering directly, and certainly can't reverse his transformation into a lich, but they can give him an option, revive the slumbering deity inside the spear he's been stabbed with and use her power to summon Hearthfire to revive himself before the transformation completes.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: When Blackbird enters The New Dream Realm to rescue Dim, she's dropped into one with her living Happily Ever After with him. It quickly turns erotic, although the feeling of wrongness this induces in Blackbird (as in the real world they hadn't had sex yet), clues her in that not all is well, unfortunately, "Dim" doesn't listen to her, coming damn close to raping her before she tears him in half. She then "wakes" to her father, who explains how Dim killed himself after the Great War, but everything and everyone else she wants is there, and she should stay. Blackbird instead decides to leave, seeking Eerie to help recover her "lost"note  memories, but nearly fails to actually do so, fearing her father's scolding, fortunately, a little spider offers the encouragement she needs to get out, falling out of the world entirely. It's actually a Subversion, the intent was to hit the intruder with their worst fear, but that's the best the Dream Realm could come up with, Dim betraying her, and loss, in the form of both Dim and her father.
  • Love Hurts: Part of the Paper Alicorn's predictions are that Dim will suffer for his friendships. She's not wrong.
  • Love Is a Weakness: Dim holds this opinion, and a significant portion of his character arc is getting over it so he can be with Blackbird. He has some real problems with opening up, due to the manipulative abuse of his family. Even his encounters with Eerie, who similarly needs true love to heal from her past, and manages to find it in a familial connection to Dim initially don't help his constant paranoia. We see where he gets it from when Dark Desire comments on his friends as a weakness. In that case though, Dim, through Character Development, realises that loss can motivate you and harden you, rather than breaking you.
  • Magical Eye: Gesundheit mentions meeting a druid with mismatched eyes. Her druidic initiation turned her into something of a Seer.
  • Magic Feather: Examined by the presence of Marlow, who doesn't have his Cutie Mark, but is planning his life and working towards not unambitious dreams, sharply revealing that the Equestrian dependence on the Marks' presence and guidance before even considering such things is (at least partially) an example of this trope, and even an Inversion of sorts, as being told that their mark will define them narrows what their horizons.
  • Magic Map: Istanbull has a globe of Terra Prime that turns, has moving cloud and real water in its oceans, and it did have a moon, now lost or destroyed. It's a beautiful work of craftsmanship and magic. The current management doesn't know what it does.
  • Magic Mirror: Dim creates a malevolent one by binding the demon he rips out of Swift Swirl to it.
  • Magnetic Hero: Blackbird's ability to make friends anywhere mystifies and mildly annoys Dim.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Dreadful Dark is remarkably nonchalant about the fact he's been Impaled with Extreme Prejudice. Of course, he's turning into a lich, so doesn't think he's in any real danger. Once the void-laced Hearthfire kicks in, he's a lot less nonchalant in the seconds it takes him to be devoured.
  • Make an Example of Them: When instructed to kill a slaver captain, Dim decides this, so uses a spell to inflict the poor unicorn with a lethal case of the bends. It was a little more than the one giving the order anticipated.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: The Olden Canterlot Voice has sufficient power to nearly bowl over Blackbird.
  • Manchild: Zig-Zagged, Dim never really emotionally developed beyond being a young foal, something that manifests in the dream where he is forced to face it, with him appearing as a small foal in his old room in the Dark Tower. On the other hand, he doesn't really act like a child most of the time, what with being a battlemage-for-hire.
  • Man on Fire: A favoured technique of Dim, as an unfortunate Grenadine discovers while trying to collect a debt from Blackbird. Blackbird is less used to this, and proceeds to freak out. It does backfire somewhat, Grenadine's Hand Cannon goes off, blowing off his leg, and he falls into the polluted harbour, setting most of Tortoise-Tuga on fire, necessitating a hasty exitnote .
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": The appropriate response to Dim being challenged to show what he can do.
  • Meaningful Funeral: The funeral for Bard, the first major loss of the story, with the assembled characters eulogising on their fallen friend.
  • Mentor Archetype: According to Gesundheit, Druids "strive for an ideal".
  • Mercy Kill: Dim tries convincing himself that killing Grimy Rich is this, as he was a slave lacking the strength to escape.
  • Mind Rape: One of Dim's spells, War Maiden's Emotional Ravager, creates a small spirit that leaps into the victims' minds, drags up all the dirty secrets and guilt, heightens the emotional reaction, then jumps to a new pony, doing the same thing and taking the secrets with it. Those subjected to it are usually driven insane with fear of their comrades and their own guiltnote . Most of the Darks dismissed the spell as pointless, as it deals no physical harm. Dim uses it to keep his outnumbering enemies occupied.
  • Minovsky Physics: Thaumatons, and their effects on chemistry, come up, with Celestiumnote  being referenced, as well as Solestiumnote , which is more directly relevant, being part of Dim's experiments in constructing a Fantastic Nuke.
  • Missing Mom: Starling, Blackbird's mom, disappeared to go on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge after her husband, Stinkberry, is killed. The goal of Dim's party is to go and find her.
  • Modest Royalty: Lord Argentée's apartment is almost oppressively spartan, aside from his daughter's paintings. It gives a good impression to Dim.
  • Monster Progenitor: Why Dim was transformed into an Umbrum, to be the first of a new lineage loyal to Grogar.
  • Muggles Do It Better: Dim sincerely espouses the Inverse, with the narration frequently parroting his thoughts on the superiority of sorcery and alchemy. Doesn't stop him keeping a (loaded) derringer in his hat.
  • Mundane Utility: Dim uses a spell that sets him on fire in order to safely enter a hot bath.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: When exposed to the consequences of his drug-addled rampage at the end of Eigengrau, Dim becomes very guilty and afraid and begins dropping into a flashback of that day.
  • My Sensors Indicate You Want to Tap That: As you might expect for an abortive Love God, Bard can tell that Dim fancies Blackbird, but his broken heart could take some time to heal.
  • The Muse: Bard was this to himself and others, as appropriate for a backup Alicorn of Love, but can no longer inspire himself after he lost some of his soul, although the passive effects of his talent on others still apply.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Captain Jolie Rouge, Raptor of the Northern Expanses.
  • Near-Death Clairvoyance: Dim has a brief out-of-body experience while using the Dangerous Forbidden Technique.
  • The Necromancer: As is usual for The Weedverse, Grogar and his minions make good use of necromancy. Less usually, Dim Dark uses necromancy by accident (see Willing Channeller, below), intending good, but somewhat torn afterwards as to the morality of using Black Magic, coming the conclusion that it was a wrong act, but still, the insight gained by it was valuable.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Given his upbringing, it'd be rather surprising if Dim wasn't one. His choice of pipe rather exemplifies this, given it's carved into a skeletal arm and hand holding a glass eyeball that glows when the pipe is lit. It creeps out everyone except him.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: A griffon airship exploits this, holding off for a while to freak out their targets.
  • Not So Different: The Spider Queen tries this with Dim, being a Byronic Hero, and Dim having definite tendencies in that direction, claiming they are both Above Good and Evil.
  • Officer and a Gentleman: The impression we get of Commodore Guillemot is this, being a Grittish officer, displaying a Stiff Upper Lip over the collapse of the isles and speaking at least one non-native language note  and graciously takes authority over a griffon cub sentenced to indentured servitude for slavery.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: The Solar Stinger's first encounter with a false-alicorn, that ends with them dragging it to the edge of space and shattering it just so that it'll stay dead.
  • Oh, Crap!: Dim's response to encountering a lamassu made of fire. And later, when being pursued by a demon and discovering he can't teleport away. And when an Ascendancy false-alicorn tanks War Maiden's Seeking Skull.
  • One Riot, One Ranger: Played With. Dim is sent to Fancy by the Istanbull leadership in order to forcibly unify the region, and while its expected that he will be doing most of the work, he does have a support crew in the form of Jolie Rouge's ship and a pair of advisors, and Blackbird to counter his diplomatic failings, plus Commodore Guillemote's armada is running a distraction for the pirates, but Jolie cannot use her ship's weaponry, any fighting must be done by Dim. Fortunately, Dim is a Dark.
  • One True Love: According to the Paper Alicornnote , the definition of soul mate is when two stories are so deeply entwined, they become one book.
  • Only in It for the Money: Commander Starhammer only trusts Dim as as far as she does because she's counting on this trope. Starhammer herself is generally this (she literally had her husband purchase her services to prove his interest), but has at least a little honour, fortunately for Dim and Blackbird. Unfortunately, some of the other mercenaries in town are far more aligned to this trope. Dim's use of this trope is expanded upon a little when he's questioned about his loyalties by Jolie Rouge, as the Istanbull leadership gave him only token payment for the dangerous mission they've both been sent on. He actually does care about the cause, but insists upon being paid because that's the difference between a slave and a free pony.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: A sign of Dim's Character Development is when he tells a mourning friend it's OK to continue snuggling him without any interference from the Pink Voice. He's as confused as anyone else, and it takes some serious rationalisation to sort his mental dissonance.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: A steamer dragon with six legs is part of Eerie Dark's council.
  • Our Liches Are Different:
    • After being Impaled with Extreme Prejudice Dim begins transforming into a lich, fortunately the Celestials reverse it with Loophole Abuse.
    • Eerie suspects that Grogar's forces intend to transform the Ascendancy's false Alicorns undead to try and fix some of the many problems with them and make them actually effective weapons.
    • Of course, it's still standard procedure for the Darks.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: In this case, killable only by boiling in moonlight-refined silver. (And we mean "only", Dim gives it several of his best shots, and even after they think they've trapped it, come morning, it's out and recovered).
  • Outrun the Fireball: When a bandit fortress's gunpowder stocks are set ablaze, Blackbird flees at high speed, it's just barely enough, leaving her burned and wounded from the concussive blast.
  • Pædo Hunt: Dreadful Dark seems to honestly believe the greatest possible use for young colts is as his sex toys, and is annoyed that Dark Desire didn't let him use Dim.
  • Parental Incest: As is usual for the House of Dark, Dark Desire had sex with her father. She got her own back in the end.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Dim gets cramps when circumstances finally cause him to begin smiling, much to his annoyance.
  • Pink Mist: Blackbird is prone to causing these, much to her horror.
  • Playing with Fire: Dim favours fire for his attack spells, but he's not the only one; at least one Ascendancy false-alicorn uses it.
  • Playing with Syringes: We get a little more detail on Dim's transformation into an Umbrum, as Eerie Dark helped his mother with the experiments, something she now regrets. She herself was subject to similar experiments, being injected with eye-tyrant serum in a failednote  attempt to awaken Psychic Powers.
  • Plot-Triggering Death: Stinkberry Coffyn's murder causes Blackbird's presence in this story, and her reason for hiring Dim.
  • Poison-and-Cure Gambit: Dim poisoned Grimy's tea with the intent of doing this if he wouldn't cooperate. He then kills Grimy anyway.
  • Powered Armor: Melvin's crew make use of powered suits to help move cargo.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: Several artifacts used by Grogar's minions are powered by trapped souls.
  • Power Nullifier: Dim uses a concoction to damage magical defenses, combining it with a potion to make a target Weak to Fire, even in face of a normal resistance. After all, he's very good at fire magic, and doesn't want to get stymied by pesky immunities.
  • Power of the Void: Dim and Blackbird end up sharing portions of The Void's power after it dies. In Dim's case, it means that by destroying unclean things he can consume their might..
  • The Power of Trust: Blackbird grew up with tales of the importance of trust, because of her parent's relationship, which means she's very willing to trust people, even after what she's seen. She's not stupid, though, and while explaining this to Dim suggests that if he betrays that trust, she'll drop him in the sea, having already done so to at least one prior companion.
  • Privateer: The Merchant's Guild of Istanbull is using them to try and break up the slave trade, as the privateers have to leave the ship floating, unless it's a slaver transport.
  • Prophecy Twist: The zebra compound in Fancy knew that Dim was the shadow of death, and death would follow him, but in this case, "death" is not Dim's wrath or a powerful enemy, as readers might suspect, but Blackbird, Death On Black Wings, who slays the false-alicorn.
  • Protagonist Centred Morality: The story doesn't work on this, (it's clearly Black and Grey Morality), but it comes up in the narration occasionally, with Dim dismissing crimesnote  when he does them, but considering them much worse when used against him.
    It was funny when Dim did it, but the idea of such a thing being used against him...unpleasant.
  • Protective Charm: Dim casts an array of them on himself before going into battle.
  • Rape as Drama: One of the things that Blackbird does is help Dim to realise that he was raped, regularly, when young. Despite him being technically willing, he was forced into the act by his mother's manipulations.
  • Reed Snorkel: A variant, Dim uses his cigarette holder as a snorkel to sneak through a river.
  • Reluctant Ruler: Dim does not appreciate his position as judge for the Council of Nine, and when actually called upon to make a decision, is rather displeased.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: The spectral spiders summoned/released by Weaver Indigo's sacrifice inflict on on his killer.
    Spiders: We are the vengeful souls of tens of thousands of slaves who cried out to Anansi for deliverance! You destroyed our Weaver, the one who carried all of our memories and kept our dreams alive through the Weave that binds us all together! Through him we had life! We knew free air! Death comes for you, forked-tongue Slave Driver, Death comes for you on black wings!
  • The Reveal: One with significant implications for the wider Weedverse, Chantico learns that Celestia, through her connections to the Astral, is the de facto ruler of Zebrabwe, as zebra occultists seek the counsel of Jua, the great Sun Spirit of the Astral, Celestia in another guise. The zebras' love of mystery and faith in the unknown means that this method of ruling is far better for inspiring them than the direct authority of her Equestrian rule.
  • Riddling Sphinx: Not seen, but Blackbird is frequently mistaken for one in Fancy, to Dim's annoyance. That and the fact everyone keeps running away, sphinxes are quite good conversationalists if you're learned enough to avoid getting eaten.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Starling went on one after her husband was murdered. Blackbird is now attempting to find her. Later, inflicted by Dim this time, the fate of the town ruled by Commander Snowbird, after Blackbird is brutally subdued.
  • Robbing the Dead: Taking the resources from defeated enemies is standard procedure for just about everyone, it's just a matter of survival. Notably, though, Captain Melvin refuses to take the contents of the alchemist's butchery, despite the value of it, and has no dissenters.
  • RPG-Mechanics Verse: The Weedverse isn't one, but one of Blackbird's previous companions seemed to think it was. She dumped him in the sea after he didn't get that "no" meant "no", regardless of your Charisma check.
  • The Sacred Darkness: Dim meets the Essence Of Night and the Essence Of Night Who Might Be, the Anthropomorphic Personifications of thisnote . They offer him sanctuary in the new Dream Realm, and a different path to that of Grogar or his own self-destruction.
  • Sacrificial Lion: Bard dies when a false-alicorn accidentally causes an explosion.
  • Sand In My Eyes: Dim seems incapable of recognising, even to himself, when he is crying.
  • The Scapegoat: The zebra cultists are being blamed for the ills befalling Gasconeigh.
  • Screw Destiny: Dim's actual destiny was unneeded, but he realises that this trope is possible, and resolves to make his own, reminding evil people why Equestrian nobles should be feared.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: The reason Dim gives for being quite as mercenary to Commander Starhammer as he is is so that he can Invoke this later, should a later target prove resistant to his magic.
  • Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: Grenadine attempts to buy Dim's indifference by paying him twice what Blackbird offered. As she hasn't paid him anything yet, and he's not here for the money, this is ineffective. Later, Commander Starhammer doesn't poison Dim and Blackbird for their bounty because she has at least some honour and liked Dim. Later on, it turns out that Istanbull has taken this stance with regard to slavery, hiring Privateers specifically to target slaver ships.
  • Scully Box: Used In-Universe. Dim sitting as judge in a courtroom designed for minotaurs requires an extra-large chair to make Dim, small for a pony, let alone when compared to a minotaur, able to see over the table.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Dim defeats a werewolf by encasing the broken bits in molten rock and spreading them out enough that the creature cannot feasibly displace the matter needed to regenerate. It's not enough. The Spider Queen is rather more securely trapped, sealed in a dimensional prison. Duc Truffe intends to release her, believing, incorrectly, she will serve him.
  • Self-Destruct Mechanism: The reason that Dim's capture of a Black Hand engine is such a big deal for Istanbull's Merchant Guild, all previous attempts ended with the destruction of the engine, facilitated by the unique fuel (explosive methane, rather than coal).
  • Sky Pirate: Captain Jolie Rouge is a Privateer.
  • Security Blanket: According to Dim, the literal trope, wrapping up in a blanket, is an instinctive attempt to use the protective power of salt to protect themselves from malign forces. It's also why washing it causes such distress, the salt is removed. Later on, in the Dream Realm, Void gives him a stuffed Tarrasque he ends up using while there.
  • Seers: Eerie Dark, probably as a result of the experiments performed in her youth. She has a lot less control than most of the other examples in The Weedverse, occasionally dropping into a vision trance without warning.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Dark Desire claims to have cast her parents into "the dark spaces between the walls".
  • Set a Mook to Kill a Mook: Dim retains his use for this, using a racist's own guards to inflict a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown, and turning Garroulous against his friends.
  • Sex Slave: A diamond dog attempts to buy Blackbird off Dim for this, misunderstanding their relationship. Dim and Blackbird play along long enough to get the dog to lead them to his colleagues.
  • Shoot the Messenger: When a messenger of Grogar suggests Dim Dark not do this, Dim comments that he quite enjoys doing so, the surprised look on their face being amusing. Said messenger does get shot, but accidentally and by Blackbird.
  • Shout-Out: Several.
  • Shower of Awkward: The shower Dim and Blackbird share in Fancy, although this is more due to the highly insufficient facilities than embarrassment on either part.
  • Shrink Ray: By using one on alchemically-treated metal slivers, Dim can get a foe to fill their lungs with sharp, poisoned weapons.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Blackbird grew up in a place where swearing was not only common, but expected, and where your level of education is judged on how vulgar you can be. After explaining this to Dim, he asks "So you went to school?"
  • Slave Liberation: One of the first things that Istanbull's new management did after ousting King Majid. They've now turned their sights to eliminating slavery in the neighbouring kingdoms
  • Slavery Is a Special Kind of Evil: Dim believes so, and is bothered when in places like Tortoise-Tuga and Cloppenburg, where such things are practiced openly.
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: Dim Dark vs. Dark Desire. You could drown in the venom. Dim arguably wins, infuriating his mother while remaining unfazed himself.
  • Soul Jar: Much like Terra, Chantico has begun leaving shards of herself in her followers to make her harder to kill.
  • Soul Power: The Ascendancy's experiments with Animancy have met with some success, spawning the false-alicorns.
  • Spell Book: Dim, as suits a vizard, gathers a few.
    • On the way to Fancy, the pink voice writes a letter that encodes spells into the script for Dim to study.
    • He also picks up one in a centaur vault, left by the Moochick, made from brass (it lasts longer than paper).
  • Spell Construction: The Jaguar Witch's spellcasting uses Magical Gestures and Magical Incantations, in contrast to unicorns, who mostly will spells into existence.
  • Spikes of Villainy: The Black Hand finger ships are designed to resemble grasping claws to intimidate victims.
  • Squishy Wizard: Dim remains exceptionally Squishy due to being haemophiliac, having to cast spells to protect his frogs on potentially sharp surfaces.
  • The Storyteller: Bard cannot do this any more, to his regret.
  • Super Strength: Blackbird is able to dismember a false-alicorn with brute strength. One of the reasons it takes so long for this strength to become apparent is that she's strongest with her hooves on the ground, but spends most of her time aloft.
  • Super Toughness: False-alicorns retain the toughness of the true type, combining this with Healing Factor. The first we meet is left with a missing wing, a destroyed eye and visible ribs after two close-range explosions, and it's recovering. It manages to keep going for an unpleasant amount of time even after Blackbird lands on its back and begins shredding anything she can reach.
  • Summon Magic: A conjured lamassu is taken care of by Dim summoning an inferno devil.
  • Supernatural Fear Inducer: A demon is encountered with this property and fear was one thing Dim didn't ward against.
  • Supreme Chef: Bard can make pies, including his namesake dishnote  to a great qualitynote , one thing that survived the soul theft, despite it being an odd choice for a pony. He firmly believes that it's the best possible meal for romance.
  • Talking in Bed: Jolie gladly Exploits this when indulging her Warrior Therapist tendencies, fucking the inhibitions away before letting them lay their souls bare.
  • Talking in Your Dreams: Dim gets messages from a paper alicorn. So does Bard.
  • Tears of Joy: The reaction of Eerie Dark to Dim's forgiveness.
  • Teleport Spam: Dim, while fighting the tentacular monster in the lake.
  • That Came Out Wrong: Blackbird's attempts to get Dim to come out of the cold before he freezes to death.
  • There Is Only One Bed: Dim and Blackbird have to share a bunk on the trip to Fancy, everyone else on the ship having to share with someone. It's not much of a problem, particularly as the ship will be travelling through the high atmosphere and therefore rather chilly. Jolie Rouge is fully aware of the consequences of this, and gives some specific instructions to prevent the entire ship stinking of stale sex due to the closed environment.
  • These Hands Have Killed: After being ordered to carry out a Mercy Kill on a slaver, Munro loses controlnote , and throws up.
  • Things That Go "Bump" in the Night: They're real, repelled by salt and generally kind of weak. Dim tried to keep some as a pet when he was younger, but kept accidentally killing them. Dim, of course, is relatively powerful, Gasconeigh is infested and unable to do anything about it, and the fear and discord they spread is holding the city back.
  • This Cannot Be!: Heroic (and German) version uttered by Dim when faced with a creature benefitting from From a Single Cell.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: Dim believes he has gone beyond redemption, and will not forgive himself for his actions, but Blackbird disagrees.
  • Time Crash: Bailey's home dimension was destroyed when a powerful entity took advantage of Starlight Glimmer fracturing the timeline by preventing Moondancer from saving Supernova and forced the seperate timelines to merge, driving an entire generation insane and ultimately collapsing society.
  • Time Master: Chronos pauses time so the Celestials have time come up with a loophole to abuse.
  • To Be Lawful or Good: Apparently a frequent source of dispute between Modesto, Mars and their mother, though they usually manage to achieve a sensible resolution, acccording to Bard.
  • Token Good Teammate: Blackbird comes across as this amongst Dim's allies, who tend towards the more ruthless end of things.
  • To the Pain: Dim's use of this trope on one of Grogar's minions results in the unfortunate Fainting.
  • Translation: "Yes": Dim tries this on Blackbird, claiming his longwinded German answer to a question was a simple "Yes". Blackbird is rightly scepticalnote , particularly as Dim continues complimenting her in German, but she fails to extract an accurate translation before giving up in frustration.
  • Trademark Favourite Food: Dim really likes Blackbird's scrambled eggs, and she uses them to revive him on occasion.
  • Tree Top Town: Baumhaus, Gesundheit's village, made possible by his Druidic magic.
  • True Love's Kiss: How Blackbird is meant to rescue Dim from his sleep in the Dream Realm (it will reunite the portions of Void's power). Given she's suffering from Boys Have Cooties at the time, it's hardly a simple matter.
  • Truth Serum: Princess Cadance uses her link to Dim to force him to open up to Blackbird when it'll be helpful for their relationship or to help him heal.
  • Uneven Hybrid: Blackbird Coffyn is the daughter of a hippogriffnote  and a pony.
  • Unfortunate Names: 'Gesundheit', a pegasus allergic to clouds.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Duc Truffe has bargained with the Spider Queen, as she claims that if he frees her, she will be bound to obey him. She is lying.
  • Vampires Are Sex Gods: Dim has a brief Imagine Spot after the concept of a vamped Blackbird comes up.
  • Vampiric Draining: Zig-Zagged, although Dim states no Unicorn magic can produce the effectnote , certain other creatures can, notably demons.
  • Visual Pun: The dragon-made BFG has boars etched around the barrel. Lampshaded by Dim.
  • Vocal Dissonance: The first false-alicorn we meet has a disturbingly foal-like voice for a soul-mutilated abomination on a violent rampage.
  • Void Between the Worlds: Blackbird ends up here after escaping the traps at the entrance to the New Dream Realm (see Lotus Eater Machine, above), the Forge of Fate, realm of abstract divinities. Blackbird contextualises it as a place of living constellations to avoid having her mind snap under the strain.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Blackbird reacts violently after she accidentally Shoots The Messenger when he makes a sudden move.
  • Walking Wasteland: The ponies who come looking for Dim in Baumhaus after the lake monster is killed are this, a result of Grogar's Mark corrupting their magic.
  • Wall Crawl: Dim uses a similar spell to stick himself to his bunk during a storm.
  • Warrior Therapist: Jolie has a talent for "unfucking" people like Gratin and Eerie, also giving some advice to Dim on how to conduct himself with his relationship with Blackbird so that it unfucks him without fucking her.
  • Water Source Tampering: Averted, but Dim was worried about doing this as a side-effect of killing a very large lake monster, but Baumhaus has access to other water sources.
  • Weakened by the Light: A significant portion of Dim's plan to take down the tentacle beast in the lake. He pins it in place with floating barrels, weakens it with fire and waits for the Sun to do the rest.
  • Weapon for Intimidation: When Catrina and Dark Desire show reluctance to obey Dim's command for them to leave his dream, The Nameless One threatens to give Dim the power to burn them from there. Doing so will kill her, something they both know. When called on it, The Nameless One claims to be willing to do it as Taking Them With Her, but even that's a bluff, as she plans to use her one remaining major rewritenote  for a purpose noted in Ink.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Weaver Indigo commits a Heroic Sacrifice a chapter after his introduction.
  • White Magic: The Hearthfire can purge impurities and heal wounds, meaning it can even raise the dead, if the death is part of the process of becoming something disharmonious, such as a lich or windigo.
  • Willing Channeler: After smashing a tormented-soul powered artifact, Dim Dark, moved by compassion for the victims, allows them to possess him so that they could express themselves one last time, venting their agony and rage and allowing them to find peace. Somehow, the channeler survives the shock and gains power from their gratitude.
  • Won the War, Lost the Peace: One version of Blackbird's dreams has this happen to Dim, who kills himself after the war because the pain of living is too great.
  • The Worf Barrage: War Maiden's Seeking Skull, Dim's opener against the first Ascendancy false-alicorn he meets. Although it breaks the alicorn's shield, the alicorn recreates it immediately.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Starling, while on her Roaring Rampage of Revenge. The first bandit she caught was a diamond dog names Gris Gris, running a protection racket. She Kneecapped him and fed him his own pups before killing him. Also, Dark Desire is almost gleeful about the fate of "Doomed Dark", her half-demon spawn that was sacrificed for power. After being severely provoked, Dim later secures the services of a healer for Blackbird by threatening to burn her foals in front of her, and we have no reason to disbelieve him. It's probably not necessary, but he did kill her husband and is feeling short of trust at the time.
  • Wreathed in Flames: Dim, of course. While ill, he begins doing it accidentally while in his sickbed, much to Blackbird's exasperation. Munro just makes toast.
  • Wrench Wench: Blackbird has her moments.
  • Wrong Context Magic: Eerie Dark has managed to teach her adopted sons, both minotaurs, to use magic directly rather than just passively like is normal for their kind.
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside: Time inside the new Dream Realm is rather amorphous, allowing it to be used for training and research, and it's implied Luna uses her Dream Realm the same way.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Because fate is a Crazy-Prepared master of the Xanatos Gambit, creating backups and alternates wherever possible. At least, according to Dark Desire, who claims all she did was because Dim's fate was unnecessary because of Twilight Sparkle's success, so she was trying to give him another, equally great, one. She's (at least partially) lying.
  • You're Cute When You're Angry: Dim and the pink voice concur on this with regards to Blackbird. Later on, Blackbird claims this of Dim, due it being the only time his dimples show.
  • You're Insane!: The Pink Voice voices this opinion when Dim is experimenting with purifying raw Aetherfire.
  • Your Soul Is Mine: Bard has suffered for the theft of a portion of his soul.

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