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Fanfic / Equestria Divided

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Equestria Divided is an Alternate Universe Fic of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. Fifteen years ago Celestia and Luna vanished without a trace causing a civil war to engulf Equestria. Today five great houses (and one cult), led by characters you may know are fighting to conquer the kingdom.

So, basically My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic meets Game of Thrones or A Game of Ponies if you will. Can be found here and a gallery here

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This fanfic provides examples of:

  • Addiction-Powered: Some members of the Cult of Laughter use hallucinogens like a Drunken Master uses alcohol.
  • Alien Kudzu: Under Fluttershy's control, the Everfree Forest has begun to suddenly expand across Equestria.
  • Allohistorical Allusion: The House Earthborn siege unit is a giant wooden horse on wheels, but unlike the famous one the Headbutter uses a more direct method to get the city gates open.
  • Ambiguous Situation: The origin of the Laughing Mare and her relationship to Pinkie Pie both in and out of universe — is she Pinkie's vengeful spirit, an Eldritch Abomination pretending to be her, or one of those believing itself to be the other? If it is Pinkie, how did she come back from the afterlife? Did she make a Deal with the Devil that made her Come Back Wrong or did she want to come back that way? Only the Laughing Mare knows.
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  • Anti-Magical Faction: House Earthborn fights against unicorns and other magic users without using magic themselves.
  • Anti-True Sight: Applejack's True Sight doesn't work on Rarity, because she's just that good.
  • Army of Thieves and Whores:
    • Averted with the Whitegold Militia and the Sapphire Sirens, who are too well funded, equipped and groomed to qualify even if their actual jobs haven't changed much.
    • Played completely straight with the Cult of Laughter, who convert practically everyone.
  • Badass Biker: Cross this trope with a Monster Clown on a unicycle and you get a Cult of Laughter Cycle Gang unit.
  • Battering Ram: The House Earthborn Headbutter, a gigantic ram topped with a metallic pony head and moved by teams of earth ponies picked for their strength, is the House's primary way of dealing with stubborn gates and walls.
  • Beast of Battle:
    • House Everfree makes use of its home area's... unique fauna in battle, fielding timberwolves, gigantic hydras, giant wooden spiders and voracious swarms of parasprites on the battlefield.
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    • House Moon and Star fields firebirds, as well as magically bound Ursa Minors to tear through enemy formations and to serve as living siege engines.
    • House Stormwing uses rocs as aerial units of immense power.
  • Better Living Through Evil: The Whitegold Militia is recruited from the rabble of the Undercity, their main task: guarding The Wall, see Urban Segregation below.
  • BFG: The House Earthborn Behemoth Cannon, a gun big enough to take down house-sized monsters.
  • Biological Mashup: House Everfree has a few, including the Wildlings, Everfree Wraiths, Swamp Shamblers and Thorners, which are Orc Ponies, Lizardman Ponies with antlers, Swamp Thing Ponies and Plant Ponies. Also, their Spider Blossom unit is a fusion of the Wood Spider and Death Blossom Units.
  • Black Widow: Rarity is implied to have married and killed Blueblood for money.
  • Blackmail Backfire: Twilight tried to manipulate Pinkie Pie into taking part in her alicorn experiment. Pinkie died during the procedure and eventually came back as the Laughing Mare.
  • Blood Magic: Everfree Wraiths are created by infecting a pony with Fluttershy's blood.
  • Body to Jewel: Rarity has a disease that covers her body in crystal. Unlike the coats of crystal ponies, these are more haphazard and invasive, causing Rarity to bleed when she moves due to grinding against her insides. It's implied that in the terminal stages she will outright be trapped in a unmoving shell of crystal.
  • Boring, but Practical: In contrast to other factions, who rely on more exotic methods of combat like magic and golems, beast-like ponies and fantastic animals, and insane religious fanatics and eldritch beings, House Earthborn mostly relies on heavy infantry, war machines and really big guns.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: The Cult of Laughter has the Converted Townsfolk and the Revelers, which put emphasis on the "Brainwashed" and "Crazy" parts respectively; the former is more brainwashed and the latter is extra crazy.
  • Brown Note Being: Simply being in the presence of a Pillar of Joy will drive you insane.
  • Circus of Fear: This is the primary theme of the Cult of Laughter, with its units themed around clowns and jesters, with a heavy dose of Cosmic Horror Story to boot.
  • Corrupt Church: Rainbow Dash sees the actions of Twilight and House Moon and Star as those of usurpers.
  • The Coup: Rarity became the leader of House Whitegold by marrying and then killing Prince Blueblood.
  • Creepy Centipedes: One of the species the Laughing Mare brought with her from the astral plane are the Grinning Worms, creatures resembling fleshy centipedes with demonic clown faces set in perpetual Slasher Smiles.
  • Crush the Keepsake: Due to Spike being part of House Moon and Star, Rarity crushed the ruby he gave her as part of her Sanity Slippage.
  • Dark Lord on Life Support: Cranky Doodle Donkey, one of the council members of the Cult of Laughter, uses necromancy to extend his life and rides a mobility scooter with an oxygen tank, which makes Emperor Palpatine look like a picture of health by comparison.
  • Deal with the Devil: Some of the characters bargained with various creatures for power with varying results:
    • Applejack traded her eye to a truth spirit that the Thunderhoof shamans conjured up in exchange for True Sight.
    • Fluttershy receives visions from whatever made the Everfree Forest the way it is.
    • A possible explanation for the Laughing Mare is Pinkie's ghost asking something from the Astral Plane to bring her back to life, and getting screwed over hard.
  • Death Glare: The Mindbreakers: Six ponies (two of each race) and two zebras who were taught to use the Stare by Fluttershy herself.
  • Death Ray: House Moon and Star has the Sunray Cannon, which fires hyper-focused beams of sunlight across battlefields.
  • Death Seeker: Pegasi from House Stormwing who have their wings cut off become berserkers: Charging into enemy troops just so they can be relived of their burden.
  • Did We Just Have Tea with Cthulhu?: Another explanation of how Pinkie Pie's ghost became the Laughing Mare — a cosmic horror might drive you crazy even if it doesn't want to.
  • The Juggernaut: House Earthborn has the Equestrian and Buffalo Juggernaut units, both equipped with thick, spiky Space Marine-like armor that they use to trample and gore opponents.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: House Earthborn's Avalanche Rocket Launchers.
  • Mad God: The Laughing Mare is an undead Eldritch Abomination worshipped as a goddess by the Cult Of Laughter, and both she and her followers are completely insane.
  • Magical Native American: Buffalo Totem Carriages are used by House Earthborn's buffalo allies to carry a variety of mystical totem poles to help them influence the battle in their favor.
  • The Magocracy: House Moon and Star is ruled by unicorns, who look down on non-unicorns for their lack of magic. Their home base of Canterlot has a permanent magical shield surrounding it that only unicorns can pass through.
  • Mega-Corp: House Whitegold is basically House Lannister combined with the British East India Company, as though other Houses rule through sheer force of arms, the Whitegolds rule and take over via debt, sheer financial hegemony and Machiavellian political intrigue.
  • Monster Clown: Saying the Cult of Laughter has these is like saying the ocean is moist. The same goes for their undead and Lovecraftian monstrosities.
  • Monster from Beyond the Veil: The Laughing Mare could be Pinkie Pie's ghost.
  • Mummies at the Dinner Table: The Cult of Laughter is ruled by a council of high ranking members who vote on decisions, of which Pinkie's preserved body is also a member.
  • Nature Is Not Nice: House Everfree is based out of the Everfree Forest, with all that that implies. In fact, it has become even more dangerous than canon; "not nice" is putting it mildly.
  • Non-Indicative Name: The Manehattan Undercity is actually located at ground level around the Wall, but gets its name from the other districts being higher up inside the Wall.
  • Noodle Incident: The Amalthean Stampede's unit description says to never use it against a Pillar of Joy. Considering the former is a stampede of ghostly unicorns and the latter is an Eldritch Abomination from the afterlife, one can make an educated guess why.
  • Our Gryphons Are Different: In addition to regular griffons, House Stormwing uses keythongs, horned and wingless griffons with shoulders and upper backs bristling with long spikes and with a taste for pony meat.
  • Our Hydras Are Different: Swamp Hydras can actually be tamed, but it requires a lot of effort from multiple highly skilled beastmasters. Also, the reason these hydras are hard to kill is not because they can regrow their heads, but because their hides are too tough to be able to cut their heads off in the first place.
  • The Phoenix: House Moon and Star uses firebirds: Living magical constructs modeled after phoenixes and altered to be larger, more powerful and more aggressive; however, unlike true phoenixes, firebirds can only resurrect once.
  • Planimal: Animate masses of wood in the shape of animals are common in the Everfree Forest — in addition to the canon timberwolves, there are also the wood spiders and the humanoid ents.
  • Prehensile Tail: Apple Bloom replaced her tail with a robotic claw arm.
  • Private Military Contractor: Most of House Whitegold's army is actually made of pony, griffon and diamond dog mercenaries for hire.
  • Privately Owned Society: House Whitegold is one already, and if they have their way all of Equestria will be one too.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: After artificially aging him, Twilight made sure that Spike was this.
  • Punny Name: Nhorse Warriors and Harl-equines, continuing canon's tradition of using horse puns for everything possible.
  • Puppeteer Parasite: The Cult Of Laughter's Puppeteers.
  • Razor Wings: House Stormwing's Wind Riders have blades on their wings used to prevent challenges to their air superiority. The Cult of Laughter's Euphories also use these wing blades.
  • Red Right Hand: Each of the faction leaders has one that shows how they have fallen from their canon grace as heroes.
  • Reliably Unreliable Guns: House Whitegold's arquebus: Long range, very accurate, but still unreliable.
  • Religion of Evil: The Cult Of Laughter borders between this and Scary Amoral Religion. While they may not think that they’re being evil, they’re a horde of murderous psychopaths whose religious practices involve raising the dead as laughing zombies and worshipping a monstrous Undead Abomination that’s managed to claw her way back from the beyond and aims to cross over fully.
  • Roc Birds: House Stormwing uses rocs, huge predatory birds worshiped by griffons as the living embodiments of the skies' wrath, as heavy bombers.
  • Role-Playing Game Verse: In many respects, such as each faction having a distinct combat style and units that also have highly differentiated combat roles and special effects, the AU resembles a computer or tabletop strategy game.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: After Ponyville was flooded, Fluttershy cut her ties to the rest of the Mane Six to persue her own agenda.
  • Siege Engines: House Earthborn makes extensive use of these, including large cannons, enormous battering rams moved by teams of earth ponies, heavily armored bomber helicopters, and the Fortbusters/Beastbusters, powerful war machines designed to take down enemy fortifications, constructs and monsters.
  • Slave Mooks: Some units of various factions count in one for or another.
    • House Moon and Star explicitly uses enslaved non-unicorns as expendable soldiers, which are often forced into battle with poor weapons and minimal training to act as meat shields and cannon fodder.
    • The Everfree Wraiths are supposed to be completely loyal to Fluttershy, but some like Screwloose and Big Mac were botched.
  • Spirit Advisor: Summoned and shackled to the mortal realm, the ghost of Starswirl the Bearded serves this role for Twilight Sparkle.
  • Start of Darkness: Princess Celestia's and Luna's sudden disappearance caused this for Twilight, and her actions trying to either find them or replace them caused the Mane Six to succumb to this.
  • Sunk Cost Fallacy: Rarity convinces Twilight to stop looking for Celestia and Luna with this logic — if they come back, the Great Houses and all they created will be destroyed, and the Mane Six will probably end up in prison.
  • Sunken City: Twilight convinced Rainbow Dash to flood Ponyville to stop a rebellion.
  • Super Smoke: House Moon and Star's Nightmares can shift between corporeal and incorporeal states, and cannot hurt or be hurt while incorporeal.
  • Tank Goodness: The House Earthborn Fortbuster and Cult of Laughter Carnival Contraption.
  • The Theocracy: House Moon and Star dictates its rule with worship of Princesses Celestia and Luna.
  • Treants: Ents are colossal walking trees — and, notably, humanoids in a world of sapient ungulates — used by the Everfree forces as living siege engines and artillery units, as they can throw boulders quite far and accurately. They're sometimes summoned and directed by druids, but more often than not it's the will of the Everfree Forest itself that moves them.
  • Tunnel King: Diamond Dog tunnels can be found across Equestria.
  • Two-Faced:
  • Undying Loyalty: Rainbow Dash, even through it all, still remains loyal to the "old" Equestria before Celestia and Luna vanished, and sees it as House Stormwing's mission to win the war and return control to the Royal Sisters once they return. She sees everyone else, especially Twilight and Applejack, as usurpers to that old rule.
  • The Un-Smile: Everyone in the Cult of Laughter has either a Broken Smile or a Slasher Smile.
  • The Undead: There are plenty of zombies, ghosts, and the occasional Flesh Golem in the Cult of Laughter's forces.
  • Urban Segregation: Manehattan is surrounded by a wall, with the rich living inside and the poor in the slums on the outside, although you can buy admission for a high fee.
  • Vengeful Ghost: Another possible origin for the Laughing Mare is Pinkie's ghost seeking revenge on someone. Notice a pattern?
  • The Wall Around the World: The Manehattan Wall separates the Undercity around it from the other districts inside it, and is big enough that it doubles as the military district.
  • War Elephants: House Everfree can field both elephants and gigantic oliphaunts, mounting howdahs on their backs to carry warriors into battle.
  • Worthy Opponent: Rainbow Dash considers Applejack this, even hoping for a great war between Houses Stormwing and Earthborn.

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