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The Assassination of Twilight Sparkle is a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Death Fic by Rated PonyStar.

A year after Twilight’s coronation, she’s murdered by a jealous Blueblood and his conspirators, believing her to be trying to usurp Celestia. The fic picks up four months later, as Celestia comes out of mourning to visit her student’s grave one last time. The story is currently complete, and can be read here.

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A sequel, titled Aftermath of a Fallen Star, is now available to be read. It features everypony's reactions to Twilight's death, and how it affected ponies, sometimes in ways you wouldn't expect. It is also complete.

Part 2.5 consists of two stories which is (currently) titled under Path Of The Dragon and Path Of The Tyrant. Both are currently in progress.

This series contains examples of:

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     The Assassination of Twilight Sparkle 

  • 10-Minute Retirement: Celestia threatens to give up her throne after it cost her so much. Luna talks her out of it.
  • 100% Adoration Rating: Twilight, by her friends, family, and her supporters, heck even some who aren't considered friends to her, such as Discord and Trixie, all who mourn Twilight after her death. However in Aftermath of a Fallen Star, it's revealed to be a subversion as this only applies to the duration of her death and state funeral. After the country went out of mourning, Twilight's detractors resumed spewing insults at her and her policies.
  • Antagonist in Mourning: While he and Twilight never fully became friends, Discord does end up feeling sorrow for her loss, mostly out of respect as a Worthy Opponent.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Celestia, full stop. She’s not so kind and motherly when you've killed her child.
  • Big Bad: Prince Blueblood, as the one responsible for Twilight's death. His father in the sequel, once he's revealed to be The Man Behind the Man.
  • Big "SHUT UP!": Blueblood gives one (as well as a short speech about how he deserved to be an alicorn and not Twilight) in response to Celestia's "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
  • Birth/Death Juxtaposition: Twilight's mom became pregnant about a month after Twilight died. Twilight Velvet figures she gained this life in exchange for the one lost.
  • Body Horror: The pegasus conspirators had their wings amputated before the sentencing. Similarly, the unicorns had their horns removed.
  • Bodyguard Betrayal: Five royal guards conspired in the plot to kill Twilight.
  • Dead Guy on Display: Twilight is preserved in a glass coffin.
  • Death by Adaptation: Twilight, and Prince Blueblood when he is executed.
  • Declaration of Protection: Princess Celestia promised Twilight that she'd keep her safe if things got worse. Her failure to do so led to her four-month Heroic BSoD.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: Twilight's life went downhill immediately after her coronation, bordering on Sudden Downer Ending.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Twilight Velvet, in her anger, strikes Celestia across the face so hard she actually knocks her to the ground.
  • Dirty Coward: By the time Blueblood is brought before Celestia, he's begging for mercy and someone to help him.
  • Divine Parentage: Blueblood is descended from the first Blueblood, a knight, and Celestia herself.
  • Freudian Excuse: Blueblood used to be a good pony, but his parents' 'lessons' turned him into what he was.
  • Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: See 10-Minute Retirement.
  • Happy Flashback: The final chapter ends with one, Celestia having a dream of Twilight as a filly and them reading a book together as a bedtime story.
  • Happily Adopted: One of Twilight's first actions as princess was to officially adopt Spike. This makes her death all the more heartbreaking.
  • Heroic BSoD: Celestia spends four months in one.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Averted, when Celestia tries to heal Twilight after finding her body, she doesn't care if it leaves her powerless. Sadly, it doesn't work as it can only heal the ones who are still alive. Twilight was already gone by this point.
  • It's All About Me: Blueblood's entire motivation for the assassination was out of the feeling that he should have been an alicorn instead of Twilight.
  • It's All My Fault: Celestia blames herself for Twilight’s death.
  • Jaw Drop: This happens twice during the trial. Once, when Blueblood gives his speech about how he deserved to be an alicorn and not Twilight, and again when this makes Celestia cry in public.
  • Killed Off for Real:
    • Twilight Sparkle...but that should be obvious.
    • After their plot was uncovered, Blueblood and his nine conspirators (four nobles and five soldiers of the Royal Guard) were executed by burning at the stake.
  • Kill It with Fire: Celestia orders Blueblood and his conspirators to be burned at the stake. Because that’s as painful a punishment as she can legally give.
  • Like a Daughter to Me:
    • Twilight to Celestia, Luna admits she thought of Twilight as a sister.
    • Cadance, too, thought of Twilight as a sister.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: At the sentencing, Princess Celestia informs the conspirators and everyone present that she will personally ensure each and every last one of the reforms Twilight was planning to make will become law. In other words, the very thing they were trying to prevent will still come to pass. Subverted once it's revealed in the sequel that driving Celestia to such extreme action, thus escalating things to civil war, was the plan all along.
  • Offing the Offspring: Not a direct son, but Blueblood is descended from Celestia’s children. That doesn’t save him.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: Twilight’s parents, natch. Celestia, too, has outlived at least three.
  • Parental Substitute: Spike saw Twilight as his mother. No points for guessing he takes it as hard as Celestia.
  • Personality Powers: Celestia controls the sun, so naturally her power generates intense heat.
  • Physical Goddess: The way Princess Celestia gets described when really angry makes her come off as this.
  • Pietà Plagiarism: Celestia to Twilight.
  • The Promise: Twilight Velvet makes Celestia swear to her that she will never try to claim Velvet's new child as an apprentice, even if they grow up to have the same sort of magical potential as Twilight did.
  • Recursive Fanfiction: Has inspired a few.
    • Worth Her Time stars Sweetie Belle.
    • Hateful Mirror - a new story by yours truly stars Original Character Breaking Dawn.note 
    • A third story has surfaced titled Vengeance of the Star where Spike is killed and Twilight is forced to watch. It doesn't end well for Spike... let alone for the assassins.
    • There's also Equestrian Civil War, an alternate universe where Twilight survives the assassination attempt thanks to Celestia's spell. Her survival only delays the civil war, and her friends and family are surprised by her being alive, though Spike still runs away.
    • As well as The Unknown Story of Mystic Sparkle where Mystic goes back in time to save her older sister Twilight (i.e. X-Men: Days of Future Past-style).
    • Additionally, there's Assassinverse: Inferno where Spike Sparkle leaves Equestria for the Dragon Badlands to learn combat techniques, as well as dragon magic, in order to adopt the persona Inferno, who's something of a fusion between the Batman and Red Hood. Spike also begins to date Rainbow Dash.
    • In Assassinverse: The Sentinel, Twilight is saved from being assassinated by a spiritual guardian known only as the Sentinel in her own castle. To make matters more interesting, Majesty Blueblood foresees a warning by the voices of the Tree of Harmony that if Twilight dies, everything in Equestria will die along with her and that she'll be forced to live in a desolated, lifeless, war-torn wasteland. She abandons her father in order to seek some answers to determine where will her loyalties lie.
    • In Assassinverse: Under The Red Hood Jason Todd aka the Red Hood goes on a hunting spree, killing Traditionalists in his wake.
  • Reformed, but Not Tamed: Discord still seems to hold some resentment over his defeat, even after all this time.
  • Sketchy Successor: Blueblood’s lineage went from noble and good knights and Celestia herself to... Blueblood.
  • Slain in Their Sleep: This is how Twilight was killed.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: During the trial, the savagely beaten state of the murderers made some of the observers have pity for them. In addition, some of their family members wept for them or at least held sorrow in their eyes.
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: Discord mentioned that he first used his powers to make ponies laugh. However, everypony called him a monster based on his appearance... So he decided to become one.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Blueblood and his conspirators, for not realizing that Celestia would come down on them like a ton of bricks for killing Twilight.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Star Swirl the Bearded’s Guide to the Arcane Arts, the first book Celestia gave Twilight.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Luna gives one to Celestia about her 10-Minute Retirement.
    • Velvet calls Celestia out for not protecting her daughter better, accusing her of allowing the assassination to happen through her neglect.
  • You Should Have Died Instead: Twilight Velvet accuses Celestia of this in her grief. Once she calms down, she apologizes.

     Aftermath of a Fallen Star 
  • 0% Approval Rating: After killing Twilight, Prince Blueblood has become the most hated pony in Equestria.
  • Abusive Parents: Prince Blueblood's father Amadeus Blueblood. He never loved Prince Blueblood, he never even liked him. He saw him as nothing more than a means to an end.
  • Alcohol-Induced Idiocy: Part of Blueblood's plan involved seducing Marble Pie and getting her drunk enough to let the location of the Pie family's orichalcum mine slip, information which was crucial to killing Twilight.
  • All Deaths Final: Word of God has proclaimed this the case for all characters who've died in-story.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Poor Applejack...
  • Ambiguous Disorder: The Pie Curse, which affects one Pie family member a generation, gives them their abilities, but the family member starts Hearing Voices, and most experience Sanity Slippage until they either go crazy and are Driven to Suicide or do something that gets them killed. Apparently doctors have compared it to schizophrenia, but Pinkie feels like it's a bit different, like each voice is a different soul, waiting to take over.
  • Antagonist in Mourning:
    • Trixie. Her chapter in the sequel is titled Farewell, My Rival.
    • Sunset Shimmer. She is devastated when she finds out that Twilight is dead, breaking down and crying for hours.
    • Apple Bloom's chapter has Diamond Tiara clocking Silver Spoon in the face for saying that Twilight's death was deserved. Yes, really.
  • Apathetic Citizens: See Ignored Epiphany below for more details.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Not across the board, but Blueblood and his conspirators certainly fit.
  • Asshole Victim: The slavers who Spike accidentally kills while rescuing their victims. Their assholishness is a cold comfort for their killer.
  • Batman Gambit: It's later revealed that Amadeus Blueblood orchestrated Twilight's death so Celestia would push for all of Twilight's reforms, although far more aggressively than before. This would force a civil war between the Progressives and the Traditionalists, leading them to eventually destroy each other so the Blueblood family would be free to take over.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Why did Blueblood start to have second thoughts? Because he knew it would hurt Celestia and Cadence, who were literally the only ponies who ever showed him any form of kindness. Indeed, in the Recursive Fanfiction Rise From Betrayal, where he falsely believes that his plot succeeded, he feels regret over his actions and even wonders if what he did was really worth it.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Shining Armor is this, bordering on Knight Templar Big Brother. During the trial, he looks at the murderers and plotters like he wants to kill them. When two ponies crack a mean joke about Twilight in front of him, he beats them up. And last but not least, it's implied that the, as Flash Sentry put it, "well deserved justice" he and the guards gave to Blueblood was his idea. In his chapter Shining says that he enjoyed beating him to an inch of his life.
  • Black Comedy: Stag indulges in this often, mentioning that in his line of work it's necessary in order to avoid insanity, alcoholism, or both.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Two ponies think it's a good idea to crack a sick joke about Twilight and Flash to Shining Armor. Needless to say, they suffer.
  • Character Death:
    • Regal, a nephew of one of the conspirators who suffered endless bullying for his uncle's actions to the point of shooting himself in the head in front of his entire class.
    • Flash Sentry, who was in a relationship with Twilight and shortly after her assassination committed suicide to be with her.
    • Queen Chrysalis died a week after the invasion of Canterlot.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Flim and Flam have started a legitimate company that's revolutionizing technology in Equestria, which is another thing upsetting a lot of traditionalists.
  • Dark Messiah: Amadeus Blueblood is planning on making his newborn daughter, Majesty Blueblood, this.
  • Declaration of Protection: Flash Sentry promised this too. His failure to do so pushed him over the Despair Event Horizon, and drove him to suicide.
  • Determinator: Deconstructed with Fastlane's father, a pegasus cloud worker. When equality laws were enacted allowing non-pegasi to work at the Cloudsdale weather factory, he and some other pegasi decided to go on strike until they were repealed. When replacements were hired, the other strikers gave up and returned to work, but he held out, even refusing to get another job. But with no income, his family fell into poverty. Disheartened, he turned to drinking and eventually hung himself. He essentially sacrificed his family's well-being because he couldn't let go of his own pride.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • Twilight's new position apparently sparked a wave of backlash amongst the people with the more tolerant ones not as vocal. A little like how the fandom reacted to this event, eh? According to Word of God, this was intentional.
    • Sunset Shimmer being called "Sunset Satan" by her classmates after the Equestria Girls climax brings to mind the fandom's reaction to her demonic form.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: The fate of Queen Chrysalis.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Rainbow has begun drinking in the wake of Twilight's death due to her Parting Words Regret.
  • Driven to Suicide:
    • Poor Regal is bullied relentlessly for being related to one of Twilight's assassins, and ultimately blows his own brains out in front of his classmates.
    • Flash Sentry decides to do this in order to be with Twilight again.
    • Sunset Shimmer, unable to deal with with feeling all the pain she'd caused due to being hit by the power of the Elements and the hatred of the entire school (which got so bad that she occasionally had to go to the nurse), tried to walk off a bridge, and was only stopped by Human!Twilight.
    • This happened with Granny Pie, but the exact circumstances of this are still unclear. It's later revealed that Hearing Voices affects whichever Pie family member has Pinkie's abilities each generation, and many end up taking their own lives.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: In-Universe, Stag mentions that in payment for identifying Twilight's killers, he'll be pardoned for all crimes he's committed in the past. He then mentions that he might use this to become a librarian, seeing as how Ponyville has an open spot. Thankfully, he's quick to apologize, saying how he has to make jokes like that in order to avoid insanity.
  • Due to the Dead:
    • Because of his crimes, Prince Blueblood was not given a funeral after his execution. But Princess Cadence, as a token of their former friendship, buried him in a plain coffin and gave him a small headstone in the mountains, engraved with his childhood nickname, "Bluey".
    • Pegasi are traditionally cremated when they die, and being buried in the ground is considered a disgrace for a dead pegasus. When Fastlane's father killed himself, he couldn't afford to have him cremated and had to bury him, something that makes him even angrier at Twilight's ideology since he blames it for his father's death.
  • Dying Dream: Rainbow's drinking eventually ends up giving her alcohol poisoning causing her to have one of these where she sees all of Ponyville mourning her death. This is enough to put an end to her alcoholism.
  • Dying as Yourself: If Cadence is to be believed, Blueblood died not as the monster he became, but rather the good pony he used to be.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Stag may be a torturer, but he does not like the idea of hurting an innocent child. This is because when Chrysalis was still alive she ordered the deaths of many changeling children in order to eliminate any threats, including one of Stag's relatives.
    • In Amadeus' chapter, it's revealed he and his true allies hold the traditionalists in scorn, seeing them as being threats to the strength of Equestria as a whole themselves. They're simply a convenient pawn for Amadeus and allies to eventually seize the throne for themselves, and he plans on destroying them all afterwards.
  • The Evil Prince: Between rallying Equestria to try and force Twilight to step down from royalty and masterminding her death, Blueblood's actions graduate him from Prince Charmless to this. He also got Marble pregnant after seducing her in order to find the location of the mine.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Evening Glory, the new captain, is horrified to learn of Gallant Heart's identity as a conspirator.
    "I can't believe it, Gallant Heart... the Gallant Heart. He’s always been loyal, his family has been in the royal guard since it was founded. Shining Armor picked him as one of his best stallions at his wedding! His brother is even in the academy! How could... this is...”
  • Evil Former Friend: Blueblood and Cadence were friends before his fathers "lessons" turned him into the pony he is today.
  • Evil Reactionary: The traditionalists are this mixed with Evil Luddite due to them being unable to accept change. They want Equestria back to the "good old days" before Twilight Sparkle's reforms. Even if said "good old days" has Equestria trapped in a Medieval Stasis while practically every other nation is undergoing technological and societal advancements.
  • Exact Words: Gallant Heart died believing he saved Celestia from an usurper. He never said that the usurper was Twilight.
  • Expy: According to Word of God, Amadeus Blueblood is based on Tywin Lannister and Gendo Ikari, abusive fathers who manipulated their children to achieve their own ends.
  • Fantastic Caste System: Equestria has one in all but name. A pony's cutie mark determines not only what their special talent is, but what job they'll do for the rest of their lives, whether they like the job or not. Performing a job that doesn't pertain to one's special talent will get them arrested like Diamond Tiara's nanny Strawberry Star.
  • Fantastic Racism: It’s mentioned that Twilight’s planned reformations included more toleration of other races. The nobles didn't like that. They didn't even like Twilight adopting Spike.
  • Fantastic Slur: Traditionalists have come up with words like "Moderates" or "Sparkheads" to demonize Twilights supporters.
  • Friend to All Children: Implied with Stag. His biggest Berserk Button that anyone can push is claiming that you have harmed children or had an intention of harming one. This is due to Queen Chrysalis killing Changeling children to protect herself from future threats, one of which was a member of Stag's family.
  • Happily Failed Suicide: Sunset Shimmer tried to take her own life by walking off of a bridge, only to be saved by Human Twilight.
  • Happily Married: Gladius Stride is married and has two sons.
  • Hearing Voices: Pinkie. This is revealed to be a hereditary problem that accompanies Pinkie's abilities (which has been compared to schizophrenia, though Pinkie says that it feels different), though she's lucky enough to have a family that can afford to buy the medication she takes to help the problem through their contracts with minotaurs.
  • Heel Realization: Except not really. Three years after Twilight's death and most ponies still refuse to accept her as a princess. They still insult her behind her back, make mean-spirited jokes about her relationship with Flash Sentry, and some even went to her funeral just to spread more venom and propaganda.
  • Hidden Depths: Diamond Tiara hates her cutie mark and is jealous of the Crusaders. She even punches out Silver Spoon for badmouthing Twilight.
  • Hypocrite:
    • The ponies who tried to disparage Twilight went into a state of mourning... and promptly went back to disparaging her.
    • During the the trial, Celestia says that she loves each and every one of her subjects. This becomes a little hard to believe when it's revealed that she has torturers working for her.
    • Amadeus' chapter shows some stunning displays of hypocrisy as he contemplates his plans and convinces himself he's "just" a Well-Intentioned Extremist. He talks about how his family and his allies have forcibly prevented inter-tribal breeding among their ranks, to the extent of not only exiling unicorns who fell in love with pegasi/earth ponies but forcibly aborting mixed-tribe foals... and then insists that they don't hate pegasi or earth ponies, and that the latter species do have their roles in the empire, it's just that unicorn blood "needs" to be kept pure in order to preserve the strength of their magic to protect ponies against other races. He also talks about how Celestia's focus on Harmony makes their race weak, and how they should instead be focusing on "Unity".
    • Igneous Rock has always been firmly against abortion, but when he finds out that his daughter Marble is now pregnant with Blueblood's foal, he is adamant that she needs to get rid of it, because if the public found out who its father was, it would destroy their family. His wife Cloudy Quartz calls him out for this.
  • Inferred Survival: This is Trixie's initial reaction when she first hears about the assassination. It's not until she sees Spike mourning Twilight at her funeral that she's forced to acknowledge the truth.
  • Informed Flaw: It's stated twice that Blueblood is a bigot, but we never see any proof. Granted, he's only had two appearances so far, but still.
  • Ignored Epiphany: Twilight's death had little (if any) effect on the ponies who didn't like her. If anything, she's accumulated more hatred since her plans to modernize Equestria are happening no matter what.
  • I Have No Son!: Gallant Heart’s parents disown him for his part in killing Twilight, burning all his pictures except one his brother manages to save.
  • In the Blood: It turns out that Pinkie's abilities are hereditary, appearing once in every generation of her family. Unfortunately, Those with the power also start Hearing Voices.
  • Incompatible Orientation: Applejack was in love with Twilight.
  • Jaw Drop: Everypony after Diamond Tiara punches Silver Spoon for badmouthing Twilight.
  • Jerkass: Say what you will about Stag, but he isn't exactly the nicest changeling around.
  • Karma Houdini: Blueblood's father, Amadeus Blueblood. Yes, he does get his title, power, and money stripped... ...But he has a successful backup plan, go to the far off kingdom of Unicornia, where... Well, let's just say Fancy Pants thinks (without a trace of sarcasm or "he'll get what he deserves") he'll fit right in. At least Luna sics the Tantabus on his sorry hide just before he escapes Equestria.
  • Knight Templar: Equestrian's First believes itself to be restoring Equestria to it's "former glory". In reality however, they're just a bunch of firebrand zealots who destroy anything and everything they believe is Unequestrian.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Twilight's assassins and the nobles behind the plot suffer this by being burned at the stake. Boulder Brawler and Flare and their families after Regal's suicide in front of the entire class are driven out of Manehattan out of disgust and anger by everypony else. The school will also apparently suffer this, as Cheerilee sends a copy of her resignation letter to the Manehattan newspaper and expresses pleasure that Equestria's Education Council will most likely conduct an investigation into the circumstances leading up to the incident.
  • Like a Daughter to Me:
    • It's eventually revealed that Celestia still loves Sunset as a daughter, in spite of everything. She is saddened by Sunset's revelation that she wanted to kill herself.
      Celestia: How... how could you think such a thing...? Did you ever stop to think that maybe I would miss you?!” Celestia hugs her while she continues: “Did you never once think that I missed you all those years you were gone? That I didn’t sit by that mirror day and night when it was open, hoping you would come back to me? Twilight wasn’t the only daughter figure I had in my life, you were one as well! I love you, Sunset Shimmer, no matter what! I lost one daughter, I don’t want to lose another!
    • Shining Armor after learning about Flash Sentry's relationship with Twilight and how he kept Twilight sane through her princesshood sees him as a brother-in-law.
  • Long Game: The Bluebloods have spent the last several centuries plotting to take the throne of Equestria for themselves, with the recent birth of Amadeus' daughter Majesty being just what they need to finally bring their plans to fruition.
  • Magitek: One of the new innovations is the development of devices that combine magic and technology.
  • Manipulative Bastard:
    • Blueblood, who manages to seduce Marble Pie into giving her the orichalcum used to kill Twilight. Who knew Blueblood had that in him?
    • Compared to Amadeus Blueblood, Prince Blueblood is just a talented amateur. Amadeus was the the real mastermind behind Twilight's death after all.
  • Medieval Stasis: The reason for Equestria's is that there are a lot of traditionalists that insist that things should be done magically or by hoof, even though other nations are developing their technology to the point that Equestria is falling behind. These traditionalists are part of the reason Twilight met such opposition with her reforms, though things are changing in that regard now. Pinkie's chapter reveals that this also applies to medicine, with many ponies with mental problems simply declared lost causes because there's no magical cures for their conditions or arcane treatments in the works, with many simply locked up in sanitariums. Pinkie is lucky enough to have a family that can afford to import the medicine she takes, allowing her to be herself and use her talents while maintaining her sanity, but others aren't as lucky, which is part of the reason Pinkie supported Twilight's attempts to advance Equestria's medicinal knowledge.
  • Meaningful Name: Chapters 9 and 10 are focused on a changeling OC named Stag, as in a stag beetle.
  • The Mole: Gallant Heart tried to infiltrate the conspiracy and save Twilight, but Amadeus Blueblood found him out and forced him to go through with it.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: It's implied that Blueblood regretted his actions in the end. But by the time he did, it was too little, too late.
  • Never Got to Say Goodbye: Flash Sentry was going to propose to Twilight before she died. This becomes the catalyst for his suicide.
  • Never My Fault: Fastlane and his father blame Twilight for ruining their lives. In truth, his father refused to work with non-pegasi at the weather factory and went on strike, only for others to come in and do the work just as well if not better. He died poor and alone due to his racism, and Fastlane ends up the same way.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Blueblood gets one from the guards before he dies. It is so brutal that when Cadence sees him she actually feels pity for him, saying that he "barely looked like a pony."
  • Oh My Gods!: The various races of Equus invoke the name of their respective Race God every now and then.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
  • Outlaw Town: The Erebus Islands, an anarchic land of outlaws and criminals that is ironically less racist than Equestria.
  • Painting the Medium: Each one of the voices Pinkie hears is represented by a different color of text. Including the one that may or may not be Twilight.
  • Parting Words Regret:
    • The day before Twilight's death, she and Rainbow Dash got into an argument over her recommending that Rainbow not be immediately put on the Wonderbolts due to her Hair-Trigger Temper. The last words the pegasus ever said to Twilight was that she hated her.
    • Blueblood's last words to Cadence is a sincere apology.
  • Posthumous Character: Blueblood and Twilight. They appear only in flashbacks or ponies remembering them.
  • Power at a Price: Pinkie's abilities are revealed to be In the Blood, and whichever Pie family member has them once a generation also starts Hearing Voices, with most either killing themselves or doing something that gets them killed. Pinkie's lucky enough to have parents with the connections and money to import medication that helps quiet Pinkie's voices.
  • Produce Pelting: It's mentioned briefly that Twilight would often be victim to this by the population.
  • Ray of Hope Ending: In just fifteen years after Twilight's death, Equestria will be wrought with terror attacks by traditionalists who want everything to go back to way things were before and plunge the country into civil war. Tirek escapes, gets caught and then gets set free by other factions who hate Equestria which includes Queen Cicada's changelings and Unicornia in exchange for his help and knowledge on his mana drain spell, which he agrees to thanks to a very tempting offer to restore him to his prime and aid him in conquering his homeland to pit the Centaurs against the ponies once more. Twilight's family and friends are running themselves ragged trying to prevent Equestria from falling apart altogether. Spike runs away to Erebus Islands and disappears from their lives altogether. But this whole mess actually cemented Discord's Heel–Face Turn and the fact that Spike now has a goal to get stronger in Erebus Islands so that he can come back and actually help make his mother's dream a reality.
  • Reality Ensues: Fastlane's father, a pegasus, was enraged by the work laws that would allow non-pegasi, including unicorns and griffons, to work at the Cloudsdale weather factory. He and some of the other pegasi went on strike, but the factory just hired replacement workers. He continued to hold out, to the point of refusing to get another job. His efforts ultimately amounted to nothing and his family became so poor that they couldn't afford his wife's medical expenses. Having pride doesn't put food on the table or pay the bills, and if you don't swallow it when you have to, you'll end up with nothing.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • Celestia gives one to Blueblood and his fellow conspirators.
    • Fancy Pants gives one to Lord Hex, a noble who refuses to accept the changes happening to Equestria.
      “Hex I know you never approved of Twilight’s reformations, even if you never went public about them. You still were part of the side that favored tradition and wanted nothing to change. And now you look around you and see change happening, regardless of what you and those brave enough to still hold on to their argument can see. You’re not just upset you’re losing money or that Equestria is moving on, you’re upset because your side lost when Twilight died. All of Equestria is looking to reform itself and you have no choice but to follow, kicking and screaming like a foal having a temper tantrum because he didn’t get his way.”
  • Replacement Goldfish: Mystic Sparkle, to her older sister Twilight. It gets to the point where Mystic has enough of living in her shadow, abandons the name Sparkle, and runs away from home.
  • Rescue Romance:
    • After Human!Twilight stops her attempt to walk off a bridge, she and Sunset became lovers.
    • Fancy Pants met Fleur half starved to death at his summer house. The fact that she was undisguised as her changeling self didn't matter to him.
  • Retcon: In The Assassination of Twilight Sparkle, Twilight Velvet says that Mystic can attend Celestia's School for Gifted Unicorns as long as she is not Celestia's personal apprentice like Twilight was. Here, according to Mystic Sparkle, even the former is not an option. Word of God says that it is intentional.
  • The Reveal:
    • Fancy Pants was very supportive of Twilight's plans, especially the one allowing interracial marriages. This is because Fleur-de-lis, his wife, is actually a changeling in disguise, meaning they won't have to hide their love anymore.
    • Shining Armor's chapter reveals that Prince Blueblood's father, Amadeus, was the true mastermind behind Twilight's assassination. Why? Because the Bluebloods have been secretly plotting to take over Equestria for centuries; Twilight's death, Celestia enforcing her reforms and the resulting civil war were all part of their plan.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Before Blueblood is executed, the Royal Guard (and the Prince of the Crystal Empire) engage in a little free-lance torture just to express their contempt for him.
  • Secret Relationship: Twilight had one with Flash Sentry, although it's implied that Celestia knew about them.
  • Secretly Wealthy: Due to their orichalcum mine, the Pies are very wealthy, though they don't live a rich lifestyle.
  • Shout-Out: "You see... there is one thing you never want to be when you face me either in public or when I’m having you tied to a chair ready to put a cage of hungry rats over your head and release them if you don’t tell me what I want to hear."
  • Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: This is the real reason that Amadeus and his allies have been conspiring against Celestia for centuries. They think she's too idealistic, and that an Equestria ruled under principles of harmony, tolerance and friendship is one doomed to fail. They see Celestia's efforts to make peace with other races, instead of leading the Equestrians to crush them and take dominance over the world, as causing Equestria to get steadily weaker.
  • Sins of Our Fathers:
    • Gladius Stride, a Solar Guard, is continually harassed for being the brother of one of Twilight’s assassins. Even Celestia is guilty of hating him until the end, when she makes him her personal guard.
    • Regal, the nephew of one of the conspirators, is constantly harassed and bullied at his Manehattan high school for his connection to the assassination, despite the best efforts of Cheerilee, who transferred to the school to get away from the grief surrounding Ponyville following Twilight's death. What makes it worse is that the father of one of his two main tormentors actually encourages the bullying on the grounds that "the brat needs to learn his kind can't get away with murdering just because somepony doesn't like what they do." He eventually crosses the Despair Event Horizon after the bullying goes too far and shoots himself in the classroom right in front of his classmates and a horrified Cheerilee, who resigns from the school to return to Ponyville soon after.
    • This will likely happen to Shale, Marble and Blueblood's child, should the truth of his parentage come out. Luckily, Applejack's chapter implies that so far only the Pie's know who Shale's father is.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: When Cheerliee writes her letter of resignation, she leaves the headmaster this gem:
    "Thank you for the experience, sir. May you rot in Tartarus. Signed, Cheerilee."
  • Split-Personality Takeover: Pinkie says that the voices in her head feel like different souls waiting for their chance to do this to her, citing the "Party of One" incident at a time when it did happen.
  • Tears of Remorse: Gallant Heart's stoic expression finally cracks when he confesses to Shining Armor that he tried to stop the assassination but was forced to or else Amadeus Blueblood would kill his brother Gladius Stride.
  • These Hands Have Killed: When Spike accidentally kills a ship full of slavers with the backfire from a teleportation, this is his reaction.
  • Together in Death: Flash Sentry commits suicide for this trope.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • The two ponies who crack a sick joke about Twilight... Right in front of Shining Armor.
    • Fastlane gives the location of the anti-Twilight "Equestrians First" terrorist organization to a pony who helps him break out of prison. Said "prisoner" actually turns out to be Stag, who uses that information on Luna's orders to lead an attack on the organization's headquarters, killing their leader, and most of its members.
    • The princesses, for never once, in all the years they've been ruling Equestria, thinking to keep a close eye on something that can kill an alicorn.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Cadence remembers not the vicious, self-centered and arrogant monster Blueblood became but the friendly, happy, good-natured pony he was before his father 'fixed' him.
  • Vagueness Is Coming: Peewee's chapter reveals that a "Black Star" has been spotted, and that the most evil entities have been born from said star. The only clue Peewee received was to "beware of the one whose name goes with royalty." And that Spike and two others, Shale Pie and Mystic Sparkle, are the only ones that can stop it. Amadeus' chapter reveals that the "Black Star" may very well be his newborn daughter Majesty, an alicorn.
  • Villainous Legacy: Those involved in Twilight's assassination are dead and/or gone by the time the story takes place, but the lasting damage is still enough to drive the story forward.
  • Villain Teamup: Averted between Tirek and Discord. Unlike in canon Discord stays loyal to Equestria and helps a group of guards successfully capture Tirek while he is still weak. Played straight later when Tirek is saved by a group of Changelings under Queen Cicada, and a knight from Unicornia named Sir Morning Blade. Tirek agrees to join them in their coming war against Equestria under the condition they can study his magic absorbing powers, which he knows they cannot replicate, and in exchange they will help him conquer his homeland for him to rule.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Some of the conspirators honestly believe they were saving Celestia from a potential usurper. The biggest example would be Gallant Heart, who turns out to be a tragically horrifying subversion. He was trying to stop Twilight's murder, but Prince Blueblood's father found him out and threatened to kill his brother Gladius Stride if he didn't go through with it.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Maud Pie's chapter reveals that the weapons used to kill Twilight were made out of orichalcum, the only metal that can kill an Alicorn. There are only two places to get orichalcum: the Minotaur islands or the Pie Family rock farm.
    • The first part of Pinkie's chapter reveals that Pinkie's sister Marble was the one who sold the metal that became the blades that slew Twilight to Twilight's killers.
    • The second part of Pinkie's chapter reveals that Marble is pregnant with Blueblood's child, after he seduced her in order to find the location of the mine. (According to Word Of God, it was not rape.)
    • Shining Armor's chapter. He finds out Gallant Heart was trying to stop the assassination, only to be forced to chose between his little brother or Twilight when Amadeus found out he was a mole.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Celestia gives one to Sunset Shimmer for almost committing suicide.
  • Would Hurt a Child:
    • One of the conspirators mentions that if Spike was with Twilight when she died, they would have killed him first and made Twilight watch. Since Stag is the one who this is told to, it...doesn't go well for the other conspirators.
    • Fastlane mentions that Equestrians First successfully bombed Celestia's School for Gifted Unicorns. It's not until Gladius Stride's chapter that it's revealed that some of the victims were as young as seven to eight years old.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: In Luna's chapter, Luna has a golden opportunity to assassinate Majesty Blueblood in her dreams and completely wreck Amadeus's plans, but she cannot bring herself to murder an innocent child. Apparently, years later, she would regret that decision.
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     Path Of The Dragon 
  • Abhorrent Admirer: Windward is one to his crush Azura. He constantly flirts with her and tries to win her heart, only to be shot down each time. Though he never gives up.
  • Aloof Ally: Yasahiro, the third best fighter in the Red Lightning guild, despite being perfectly capable of completing jobs by himself, suddenly started joining Spike and his friends on missions without any explanation. Nobody minds him joining due to his skills, though he doesn't stick around once they arrive back to base either.
  • Break the Badass: When the heroes see just how brutally Mistress Loveshot treats her slaves, stoic badass Yasahiro is the first to crack and nearly break their cover.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: Spike and his guild-mates do this in the first chapter while slaughtering a group of bandits, like making dinner plans and counting kills for a bet. Also serves as the Establishing Series Moment for this story.
  • The Commandments: Erebus Islands is a hive of scum and villainy, but ALL guilds have to follow these rules. Aside from the "Don't be a dick" rule in the Red Lightnings...
    • One: Never quit a contract or betray your contractor.
    • Two: No payment until the contract is complete.
    • Three: Always accept a contract if your Guild Master gives one to you.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: The Red Lightnings' real base of operations is this. The rundown shack you read about in Aftermath? It was just the entrance much to Spike's surprise and Aquilina's glee as she was more than happy to get a photo of it for blackmail. It spans the entire town they live above.
  • Insult Backfire: After Azura tricks Windward into kissing a fish, he has a few choice words for her after he finishes vomiting, not that she minds.
    Windward: You... May be... a hot pony... Azura. But you are one cold bitch.
    Azura: Thank you.
  • It Only Works Once: Phoenix tears have healing properties that rival or even exceed the most potent of healing spells. The downside is that you can only get healed once per phoenix, so decide carefully.
  • Large Ham Radio: Razzdog the Diamond Dog DJ. He serves as the only source of news on both in and out of Erebus Islands.
  • Not So Stoic: Yasahiro, the silent member of the group, loses his cool after watching one griffon slave kill another under orders, and the victim do nothing to resist his death when told. Yasahiro almost blows their cover when he knocks the knife out of the first slave's claws after he is ordered to commit suicide.
  • Running Gag: Windward being constantly obsessed over the pay of the job to afford his rent.
  • Saved by Canon: Spike will definitely live through the events of this story as he is one of the key players in Ragnarock. In a darker example, the Equestrian's First terrorist movement will still continue for at least 5 more years as their bombing of Celestia's School of Gifted Unicorns will not happen until 15 years after Twilight's death as stated in Fastlane's chapter in Aftermath and therefore his act of stupidity won't happen and get them all killed.
  • Smooch of Victory: Windward makes a bet with Azura that if he kills more bandits than her she give him one. Averted as he loses the bet and instead gives her 10% of his cut.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Yasahiro manages to pull this off constantly. When he and the rest of Spike's group arrive back to the guild after a mission he is gone before anyone notices. The next day when the group is about to head out on a mission Windward says they need to find Yasahiro first, only for him to suddenly tap Windward on the shoulder from behind, much to his surprise.
  • Stress Vomit: After seeing the true depths of the treatment of the slaves at Mistress Loveshot, Spike makes for the restroom to empty his stomach. One of Loveshot's minions actually informs him that there are breath mints available because this reaction is so common.
  • "Take That!" Kiss: Played for Laughs; while on the boat ride to their mission, Azura seems to finally give in to Windward's flirting and agrees to his suggestion they practice "mouth to mouse" much to everyone's shock, including his. But when he closes his eyes and puckers up, she uses her magic to levitate a fish out of the sea and press it against his lips. Windward doesn't even realize he is kissing a fish until Azura finally speaks up. Windward immediately runs to the side of the boat and proceeds to vomit into the sea, while everyone else laughing at his humiliation. Even Yasahiro gives a small chuckle before returning to his meditation.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Spike has been with the Red Lightning guild for 10 years and is now one of its best members. He has more control over his fire and can easily fight off bandits while speaking to his guild-mates.
  • Time Skip: 10 years have passed since Spike joined the Red Lightning guild and the death of Twilight.
  • The Voiceless: Yasahiro, a member of the Red Lightning guild, remains so quiet that there are actually rumors around the guild that he can talk. However, very few have heard so much as a whisper from him.

     Path Of The Tyrant 
  • Alpha Bitch: Dia Waterblaze is a bully who targets Majesty due to her Equestrian origins. Majesty gets her off her back by blackmailing her with the knowledge that she still follows a toy line meant for babies.
  • Blackmail: The rivalry between Majesty and Dia Waterblaze comes to an end when Majesty finds out Dia is a fan of a toy line meant for babies, and gets a photo of Dia wearing underwear themed after the toy line. Majesty threatens to make the photo public unless Dia remembers her place and is nothing but kind to her and her other friends. The chapter that this happens in is even titled Blackmail.
  • Crapsaccharine World: Unicornia's a pretty sweet place to live, what with the advanced technology, healthcare, food, fashion and bright smiling children. Just as long as you can stand the culturally ingrained racism, the politicians dragging their children into their power plays, and the casually institutionalized slavery. Path Of The Dragon even reveals that there's inequality even among the Unicorns themselves, with the nobility being the only ones holding majority if not, all of the power aside from the Royal Family. To put this into perspective, if an average Unicornian can get by without getting screwed over by the nobility, it's considered a lucky break.
  • Driven to Suicide: Amadeus committed suicide due to mental health issues caused by the Tantabus.
  • Establishing Series Moment: The first chapter starts with a playful alicorn filly preparing for her first day of school while showing that her family and Unicornia have groomed her to be the next messiah and it has all gone to her head. Sure enough, upon a tearful visit to her father's grave, she shocks a Flutter Pony slave for having the gall to feed the flowers she planted on the grave for her.
  • First Day of School Episode: The first few chapters are these for Majesty who just finished home-schooling. Even this is a plan by her family to bolster her influence among the next generation of nobility.
  • Mood Whiplash: The fic can switch from young foals making friends with each other to casually noting the slave camps their families run in a blink of an eye.
  • Perfectly Arranged Marriage: Majesty is engaged to marry prince Silversteel when they both turn eighteen. The two of them have always gotten along and Majesty is perfectly fine with the thought of him being her future husband and king.
  • Protagonist Journey to Villain: This story is about Majesty's descent into becoming the Black Star in Ragnarock. Not that she was a nice filly to begin with thanks to her father and Unicornia's teachings...
  • Revenge: One of Majesty's goals is to make Luna suffer for driving her father to suicide.
  • Saved by Canon: Since she is the Black Star as prophesized by the Deer, Majesty Blueblood will live through the events of the story to play her part in Ragnarock.
  • Slave Race: The Flutter Ponies are this to the unicorns thanks to being conquered by them. Mesmoria only gave the ability to shapeshift to the ones that were turned into Changelings as it was initially a means to cope with their sudden hideousness.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Amadeus Blueblood. The Tantabus gave him insanity caused by sleep deprivation which drove him to suicide.
  • Time Skip: Since she was an infant at the end of Aftermath, it means that a decade has passed since Twilight's death as she is 10 years old at the beginning of the story.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Majesty presents a skewed version of the events leading up to this point. According to her, Twilight was evil, Celestia and Luna are corrupt, Prince Blueblood was a noble martyr, and Luna infected Amadeus with the Tantabus out of sheer malevolent cruelty.

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