Trouble. It follows me around like an unwanted pet. The kind of pet liable to maul my friends' faces.
— Dusky Down, from the description of From Dusk to Night
- The Necromancer's Ambition: Dusky Down makes an unexpected detour to Pasture, a small town supposedly menaced by a Necromancer in the nearby forest. Dusky soon finds that the Necromancer is real—her name is Ivory, and she's far kinder than expected. Ivory is also at war with a gang of bandits; Dusky tries to stay uninvolved, but when a young aspiring guardsmare throws a spanner into the ongoing conflict, Dusky can't help but leap into the fray herself. (Complete.)
- Evil's Twilight: (A side story, with Dusky just appearing as a supporting character.) A freak winter storm traps Twilight Sparkle alone in a cave system, where a mysterious voice offers the help she needs to escape. But afterwards, Twilight is troubled by strange outbursts of anger and disturbing visions of the past. Too late, the Princesses realize that a millennia-old force of evil has returned, and Twilight is its latest target. (Complete.)
- From Dusk to Night and Mending Light: Years later, Dusky bides her time in Ponyville, waiting for the chance to rejoin Ivory and free Pasture from the grip of evil. In the meantime, she reconnects with her Ponyville friends, and makes a few new ones: a pair of exiled knights from the distant country of Ostfriesen, and Night Flurry, a nervous weatherpony with a lot of emotional baggage and an obvious crush on Dusky. But figures from the past—dysfunctional family members, criminals with a grudge against Dusky, and a warrior from ancient Ostfriesen—break the peace and draw all the ponies into further conflicts. Fortunately, Dusky's friends are made of sterner stuff than she realizes. (Currently ongoing—From Dusk to Night tells the story from Dusky's perspective, and Mending Light tells it from Night's perspective.)
Provides examples of:
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The whole series
- Action Girl: Dusky is not quite a professional warrior (though she was trained by one), but she's tough enough to mess up anyone who takes her for a pushover.
- Alliterative Name: Dusky Down, Prideful Policy, Windy Ward, Splendid Speech, Ruby Result.
- Alternate Universe Fic: Initially meant to be a Pseudocanonical Fic, but canon has Jossed certain elements since these were published. This series complies with the original episodes through most of season three, excluding "Magical Mystery Cure" and everything after. So Twilight is still a unicorn here, and the backstories for Nightmare Moon and the Elements of Harmony differ from the flashbacks in "Princess Twilight Sparkle".
- Black Magic: Ironically, necromancers aren't inherently evil in this 'verse. But on the other hand, you have to be evil (or at least power-hungry and a little crazy) to become a Shadow Walker—one who gives up part of their soul in exchange for magic powers. Gaelle, the bandit leader, from The Necromancer's Ambition and Lord Firetail in From Dusk to Night are both Shadow Walkers.
- Combat Pragmatist: Pretty much everyone fights dirty, especially Dusky. (The only exceptions are the few magic-users who are so powerful they don't really need to fight smart. Even so, they tend to die anyway.) A notable example is in The Necromancer's Ambition when Dusky fights a griffon and deliberately breaks one of her claws.Funny thing about griffon claws: theyre a lot easier to stomp on than hooves.
My forehoof came down hard with a sickening crack, though Gaelles agonized screech quickly overtook it.
- The Cynic: Dusky used to be an idealist, until she learned the hard way that the good guys don't always win, and they aren't always that good. As she notes in The Necromancer's Ambition:Even though I was relieved that she finally got the hint, I also felt kind of bad. The conviction to act, to do what she thinks is right, isnt the most common quality around. But a pony has to know her limits and thats something she needed to figure out before she learned it the hard way. Or worse, became the lesson for somepony else.
- Hold Your Hippogriffs: Played with. Dusky refrains from certain Equestrian-isms associated with the original canon—she says "people" instead of "ponies", "anyone" instead of "anypony", etc. This signifies that she travels and interacts with other species more than the average pony does.
- Know When to Fold 'Em: Dusky is alive because she knows how to run the hell away when faced with a fight she can't win.
- My Greatest Failure:
- Dusky is haunted by the outcome of her first "adventure". She found evidence incriminating the Leaf Cartel and turned it over to the Guard, but she wasn't careful enough at covering her tracks. The Cartel attacked the Guard's safehouse, and several Guard ponies died protecting Dusky.
- Her role in the events of Evil's Twilight weighs on her as well. She was with Twilight during the blizzard, so she blames herself for Twilight getting lost and entering the cave, and for everything that followed.
- Properly Paranoid: Dusky is constantly on-guard, as though any stranger might attack her without warning—owing to the self-defense training drilled into her by her mother. An organized crime family has been hunting her for years, so that paranoia has saved Dusky's life several times.Some ponies might balk at the idea of keeping a wingblade so close at hoof, but a lone mare on the road needs to be prepared.
- Scarf Of Asskicking: Dusky wears a blue scarf and hides her wingblade inside it.
- A World Half Full: This series uses the idea that, far from the eyes of the Princesses and the mane six, Equestria has more violence and corruption than we see on the show. But there is still hope and the potential to make things better. As Dusky explains in The Necromancer's Ambition:Sometimes bad things happen. Sometimes bad people win. Sometimes something beautiful is lost beneath the sands of time, like a forgotten rainbow. But sooner or later, someone will dig it up and remember that the world does have nice things.
The Necromancer's Ambition
- Bad Powers, Good People: Ivory the necromancer is firmly in Creepy Good territory.
- Bittersweet Ending: Dusky and her friends score a significant victory (Gaelle dies and her bandits scatter), but lose their best hope of taking down the Big Bad and have no choice but to flee Pasture.
- Bleed 'em and Weep: When Blaze kills an enemy for the first time, she starts to go into shock, mechanically stabbing the body over and over. Dusky has to talk her back to reality.
- Body Surf: The original legend of the Necromancer stated that, every time he started to get too old, he would transfer his mind into a new body. Dusky suspects that this is the reason the Necromancer legend persists—so the residents of Pasture would have a readymade excuse to drive anyone out of town, simply by claiming the unwanted pony is the Necromancer's latest incarnation.
- Came Back Wrong: Ivory can revive dead animals with no side effects. But when she tries to bring a pony back from the dead:I dont know what I missed, but it was bad. The spell brought Prideful's grandma back, but it wasn't right. She was saying weird things and didn't even recognize Prideful. They tried to talk for five minutes, but nothing was getting through.
- Creepy Good: Ivory is a necromancer—but she uses her power mostly to help others or defend herself. In fact, by the time Dusky arrives in Pasture, Ivory has already been defending the town from bandits for years.
- Crying Wolf: Pasture's Mayor has sent a lot of hunting parties in search of the Necromancer, to absolutely no effect. Earnest Care notes that it's happened so many times, the Equestrian Guard no longer responds to the mayor's requests for aid.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Ivory tried to bring Prideful's grandmother back from the dead, but it didn't go right. Prideful blamed Ivory for what happened. In response, he accused Ivory of being the "evil Necromancer" from the legend, and used his family connections to drive her family out of town, as well as her only friend and his family. And when he realized Ivory hadn't died in the woods, he hired bandits to hunt and kill her. And he kept up that hunt for years.
- Death of a Thousand Cuts: Gaelle is taken down by zombie birds Zerg Rushing her, pecking and scratching until she's too weak to stand. Then a mob of angry ponies finishes her off.
- The Drifter: Dusky's just passing through Pasture, and doesn't want to get involved in the local problems with the Necromancer. But she winds up in the thick of things anyway.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Ivory, the Creepy Good necromancer, has an ivory coat and black mane.
- Fire-Forged Friends: Dusky and Ivory.They say that friendship forged in the trials of fire is among the strongest things in the world. On that day, I felt no statement could be truer.
- Foil: Dusky notes that both of the other major protagonists are foils for her:
- She and Ivory are both outsiders who were wronged by corrupt authority figures.
- Blaze is a Wide-Eyed Idealist, eagerly looking for an adventure—just like Dusky used to be.
- Healing Hooves: Ivory has healing powers, closely tied to her necromantic abilities. She doesn't just bring the dead back to life, but she fully restores them (bodily, at least). She can heal the living just as effectively.
- Hoist by Her Own Petard: Dusky carries a wingblade for self-protection—and it almost gets her killed. One of Ivory's zombie sentries notices Dusky's blade, mistakes her for a bandit, and attacks her.
- It Gets Easier / It Never Gets Any Easier: Dusky notes that how you deal with the stress, after the fact, is what determines if killing gets easier or not.Different people have different ways of coping. But thats just it. Its coping, learning to move on, but never completely leaving the pain behind. It doesnt simply vanish into thin air. Its not easy and I dont think it ever should be. [...] Don't let yourself reach a point where killing is easy, because that's when you lose yourself.
- Necromancer: Ivory—she even has a cutie mark for reviving the dead.
- Put Down Your Gun and Step Away: The fake necromancer takes Blaze hostage, then threatens to kill her if the real Necromancer doesn't call off her real zombies—and he thinks Dusky is the Necromancer. She's smart enough to know not to comply with his request:[Dusky said,] If I disarm, youll kill us both. But if you kill her, youll be dead in an instant. How about you surrender and Ill think about sparing your life?
- A Rare Sentence:Can can your zombies cover me?
Had the situation been any less dire, I might have laughed. Never in a thousand years did I think Id utter those words.
- The Real Remington Steele: Back when Ivory was just a filly, there was already a legend of an "evil Necromancer" living in the woods. When Ivory developed her powers, Prideful drove her out of town by claiming that she was the Necromancer's latest incarnation. By the present day, the legend has grown to the extent that the bandits exploit it by posing as a Necromancer (and an army of zombie ponies) themselves.
- Refusal of the Call: Early on, Blaze tries to recruit Dusky into the fight against the Necromancer. Dusky declines—she's seen enough adventure to know that she wants nothing to do with this one. Then she gets attacked by a zombie bird and spends a few days recovering in Ivory's cabin, but she still doesn't want to get involved in Ivory's war against the bandits. What finally convinces Dusky to intervene is seeing Blaze on the verge of getting herself killed by marching into a trap.
- Shaped Like Itself:True to its name, Pasture was a small village sitting in the middle of a plain.
- Raising the Steaks: Many of Ivory's zombies are forest animals, rather than ponies.
- Talk to the Fist:With a flourish, he continued. No, I felt it and knew. Knew that you didnt bear the touch of dark m
I lunged, deciding that if he was going to make death threats and then go on to showboat, he was going to pay for his ego.
- Teleport Spam: In his second fight, the fake necromancer teleports to disorient his enemies. It's not enough, because he's outnumbered. Blaze gives the killing blow while he's focused on Dusky.
- That Was the Last Entry: Dusky reads Ivory's journal. She gets just enough information about Ivory's childhood to call into doubt her earlier assumption that Ivory is evil—then the journal ends. However, when Dusky asks to hear the rest of the story, Ivory is right there and happy enough to explain.
- Town with a Dark Secret: Pasture, with its rumors of a Necromancer. The real dirty secret is that the Mayor is corrupt and vindictive. He's perpetuating the legends of the evil Necromancer while cozying up with organized crime, purely to get personal revenge against Ivory.
- Voodoo Zombie: The animals and ponies that Ivory brings back to life are completely under her thrall.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: Blaze, who's gung-ho about leaping into battle against the forces of evil, and says she's willing to die for a good cause, but doesn't seem to grasp the possibility of losing.
- Xanatos Gambit: When Ivory and the bandit leader openly fight in the middle of Pasture, the Mayor's timely speech turns the onlooking crowd against both of them. This leaves Ivory in a bind: if she fights back, she'll kill at least some of the mob and forever cement her reputation as a dangerous monster. But if she doesn't fight back, the mob will kill her now. Ivory takes her chances fleeing. She escapes thanks to timely intervention from Earnest Care.
- Ambition Is Evil: Played with. The Big Bad of this story claims that he's merely helping mortal ponies realize their ambitions, by making them throw off any concerns that might hold them back. Luna argues in response that his interpretation of ambition is off-base:If you ask me, the real negative emotions are those that get in the way of my ponys ambitions. Those sentiments that hold them back, those are the ones that put them truly off course.
[Luna said,] You make a good point. Those emotions can be troublesome at times. [...] But a ponys own ambitions arent everything. They are not as simple as you make them out to be. Many genuinely desire to see their friends and family happy, to see them succeed. And those desires are not any less worthwhile than their own dreams.
Hmph, seems I spoke too soon. You do not truly understand. I wonder how long until you do, though.
- Battle in the Center of the Mind: While her friends fight Nameless outside, Twilight fights Nameless inside, for control of her own body. It takes the form of a magical Reality Warper brawl.
- Black Magic: Destruction magic, spells designed specifically to kill, are regarded as this. Princess Celestia made Twilight promise not to study that field until Celestia felt she was ready. When Misty pressures Twilight to learn one such spell anyway, it's the readers' first clue that she's not to be trusted.
- Body Surf: When its current host dies, the Nameless will leap into a new one—usually the same pony who just killed its host.
- The Cavalry: Pinkie and Rainbow Dash are surrounded and outnumbered by dog-worms. They prepare to make their Last Stand—until Dusky and Ditzy swoop in with firebombs to rescue them.
- The Corrupter: The Nameless starts off as this, amplifying and exploiting the host pony's negative emotions—until it progresses to outright Demonic Possession.
- Curse Cut Short: The Nameless's last words are cut off by the rainbow attack from the Elements of Harmony.YOU BI-
The rainbow finished closing in, its deafening roar overpowering even her thoughts.
- Deal with the Devil: Misty offers Twilight the necessary magic spells to survive and escape the cave. In exchange, Twilight just needs to smash a burial urn and cast a particular spell to free Misty from the mortal plane. That isn't actually Misty, and she's lying. What the spell really does is bind Nameless to Twilight, enabling the spirit to hijack her body.
- Demonic Possession: After enough time in a pony host, Nameless will eventually take complete control over the body and trap the pony inside their own brain—and use the body to go on a killing rampage. And Twilight Sparkle is its latest victim.
- Died Happily Ever After: After the Big Bad's final demise, the grateful ghost of the real Misty appears briefly to Twilight.
- Dreaming of Times Gone By: After escaping from the cave, Twilight starts having vivid dreams of events from thousands of years ago.
- The Dog Bites Back: During the Battle in the Center of the Mind, the minds of Nameless's prior victims rebel against it at a crucial moment, allowing Twilight to overpower Nameless and regain control of her body.
- Early Installment Weirdness: This was the first-written story in the series, so Dusky only shows up as a supporting character. This is also the only story to use third-person narration and multiple viewpoint characters.
- Hallucinations: As Twilight's dreams of the ancient past persist, she starts seeing these visions while she's awake as well.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: At the beginning, Nameless tricks Twilight into binding herself to it. At the end, when Nameless tries to flee, Twilight uses that same spell to trap Nameless, ensuring it gets the full brunt of the Elements of Harmony and winds up Deader Than Dead.
- Hostile Weather: A blizzard during Winter Wrap-Up kicks off the plot. Twilight gets lost and injured in the whiteout; she's forced to take shelter in a cave, and then she gets snowed in.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: After teleporting back to Ponyville, Twilight's memory of her ordeal in the cave gets foggy. She can still remember the spells she learned, but no other details—particularly not the name of the pony who helped her in the cave.
- Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: The effects of possession by the Nameless, as observed by an outsider. The pony starts off doing morally dubious acts in pursuit of a goal that's in-character for them (such as a Guard, trying to defend his hometown from Diamond Dogs, who assassinated the Diamond Emperor). Then the Nameless takes over, and the pony suddenly becomes a genocidal maniac (such as the aforementioned Guard, who then attempted to kill Celestia and Luna).
- Mix-and-Match Critters: "Dog-worms" lurk inside the cave—four-legged worm creatures that growl like dogs.
- Priceless Paperweight: Nameless gathers a number of ancient artifacts, each filled with arcane magicks. It finds one of them in Mayor Mare's office, being used as a flower vase.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: One with a very nasty tendency to break out of the can, no less. Celestia and Luna can seal the Nameless away, but it keeps tempting ponies to free it, and sometimes breaking out all by itself. Even banishing it to the Moon isn't enough.
- Shoot the Dog: Luna is willing to kill Twilight if that's what it takes to defeat the Nameless, even temporarily. She only holds back out of respect for Celestia's affection for Twilight, and later, the mane six's insistence that they can still save Twilight.
- Somebody Named Nobody: As far as anypony knows, the evil spirit simply doesn't have a name. Celestia and Luna dubbed him "Nameless" for lack of anything better to call him.
- Upgrade Artifact: Nameless gathers the ancient, magical artifacts in order to siphon their power into Twilight, intending to boost the unicorn until she's more magically power than even Celestia.
From Dusk to Night / Mending Light
- Action Mom: Windy Ward, Dusky's mom and a professional bodyguard. Everything about fighting that Dusky knows, she learned from Windy.
- Adorkable: Night is so much in love with Dusky, so nervous around her... that he can barely get out a full sentence when speaking to her, and Dusky just feels sorry for him. But as he gains more confidence, his awkwardness shrinks to a level that's actually endearing:There was something oddly charming about him being so nervous about proposing a date that wasnt a date as a follow-up to us already agreeing to go on a date.
- Asleep for Days: In the aftermath of a nasty fight, Dusky gets healing magic to recover, and the spell knocks her unconscious while she heals. From Dusk to Night devotes nearly two whole chapters to this period, including some odd dreams and a few times she partially regained consciousness.
- Beach Episode: The cast spend several chapters in Myrtail Beach—but it's not a relaxing vacation. They're hiding from the Cartel, after Dusky was attacked in Ponyville.
- Bi the Way: Dusky mentions in passing that she's turned on by a well-toned body, mare or stallion. Merri mainly ogles stallions, but sometimes mares as well. And Terra, who's normally interested in stallions, flirts with Star at one point—Dusky isn't sure if Terra's genuinely attracted, or it's just the alcohol talking.
- Chekhov's Gun: Merri gives a bracer to Night as a gift; the narrative just presents it as an heirloom whose history Merri doesn't care much about. Later, it's revealed the bracer has a magic hoofblade, which proves very useful to Night. And then we find out that the soul of the original owner, Bellerophon, is inside the bracer, and he winds up possessing Night's body. Which also raises the question of why Merri had a piece of Bellerophon's armor in the first place...
- Chekhov's Gunman:
- Well before Bellerophon gets truly introduced to the readers, he shows up as a voice in Night's head who knows things Night couldn't know.
- Night's sister, Mint Creme, first shows up spying on Dusky's meeting with Noble Light.
- Converse with the Unconscious: While Dusky recovers from her injuries, Night stays at her side and talks.
- Crashing Dreams: While Dusky is unconscious and recovering from her fight, she occasionally hears bits and pieces of conversations around her and incorporates them into her fever dreams. For example, when Night talks to her in the waking world, Dusky hears it and dreams that they're having a conversation in the back room of the tavern.
- Cringe Comedy: A brief scene of it. Terra encourages Night to practice asking Dusky out, before doing it for real. Night closes his eyes and starts to speak—and then Dusky walks in and hears his entire love confession.
- Doomed Fellow Prisoner: Dusky gets captured and imprisoned by the Leaf Cartel crime family. The next cell over has a stallion named Diligent Duster, who shares his sad story about how he ended up there and what the Cartel's already done to him. He mysteriously disappears just before Dusky can make her escape. Then he attacks Dusky, revealing that he's actually a Cartel member with a personal vendetta against her. He was just pretending to be a fellow prisoner as an overly complicated plan to mess with her psychologically before killing her.
- Don't Sneak Up On Me Like That: Night surprises Dusky by popping a hat onto her head from behind (when, unknown to him, she's paranoid about ponies tracking her). She reacts on instinct and barely stops herself from punching Night.
- Eating the Eye Candy: Merri openly leers at good-looking stallions (and sometimes mares). At one point, when eating at a restaurant, she specifically chooses the table that will give the best angle for watching the waiters walk back to the kitchen.
- Edible Theme Naming: Seems to be the rule for the royalty of Ostfriesen. Their first Queen was Tapioca, and their current Queen is Papaya.
- Embarrassing Last Name: Night Flurry was originally known as Night Light. He thinks the name paints him as a child afraid of the dark, so he hates it. He makes peace with the name later, once he realizes it can symbolize being someone else's light in the dark.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The owner of the Lusty Sea Pony tavern in Ponyville specifically asks everyone to call him Barkeep. Given Equestrian naming conventions, that might actually be his name.
- The Exile: Merriweather did something to sully her honor, and was banished from Ostfriesen as a result. Her sister, Starshadow, willingly left with her, hoping to help Merri regain her honor and eventually return.
- Fantastic Drug: Ghost Leaf: "a powerful hallucinogen. A favorite among the rave crowd." And it's the source of a lot of money for the Leaf Cartel.
- Fauxtivational Poster: Apparently Equestria also has their own version of the poster of a cat hanging from a tree branch, with the caption Hang in there, baby. Which makes Dusky think of something else entirely:I always found myself distracted from the motivational part by the fact that in order to get their precious photo, someone had to be cruel enough to dangle their poor kitty from a tree.
- Fortune Teller: When Night wanders into the Everfree on a poorly thought-out quest to prove himself, Zecora appears to guide him back to safety. Then, sensing something that Night hasn't yet admitted to anyone, she offers him some prescient advice."And if you seek love for yourself and this mare, then with your choices, you must take care. Trod not upon the path of the Knight, for the path that suits you is one of light."
- Friend or Foe: At the Fetlock Falls Winter Festival, Dusky gets on-edge after noticing a shifty stallion watching her. So when another pony approaches, in a face-concealing hood, Dusky attacks first—and finds Merri under the hood.
- Freak Out!: When Terra gets her libido inhibited by Star's spell, long-suppressed parts of her personality come to the forefront to fill the void—particularly her motherly instincts. This triggers an existential crisis, crying fits, and worse binge-drinking than usual. Fortunately, Terra comes out the other side with these disparate parts of her personality in a healthier balance, and starts dating a single dad.
- Functional Addict: Terra and Mahogany both have have successful careers, but at nights, they regularly binge-drink themselves into oblivion at the Lusty Sea Pony.
- Gambit Pileup: The climax of the Ostfriesen arc. Lord Firetail wants to usurp Queen Papaya and become King himself. The Descendants of the Justicar are solely loyal to the memory of Bellerophon—they follow Firetail because he has an imposter posing as Bell's reincarnation. And Broken Tooth just wants to kill everyone—he's helping Firetail fool the Descendants in hopes that their revolution will destabilize the country enough for him to swoop in and burn everything down.
- Geo Effects: Why Dusky survives the warehouse fight. She takes up a position where she can attack her opponents by surprise, and where they can only attack her one-at-a-time—initially.
- Good Cop/Bad Cop: Played with—Mint and the other Guards will act extra-nice to reassure witnesses who are cooperative but nervous. They call this "good cop, good cop".
- Honor Before Reason: Night starts off with a bad case of this. It causes him to walk into the Everfree Forest with intentions to slay some monsters (and no actual plan for how to do it), and then to injure himself by "protecting" Dusky (when she isn't even in danger). Dusky has to give him a stern talk just to drill basic self-preservation into his head.[Dusky said,] "Promise me you won't try to be a hero."
- Implausible Deniability: Dusky knocks on Terra's door. Terra is inside, but she's drunk and wants to be left alone, so she answers:Im not home! Go away!
- When Night attempts to protect Dusky from Merri's misfired magic, he injures his wing. When the Cartel attacks Dusky and Night a few days later at Fetlock Falls, Dusky would prefer to just fly away—but can't because of Night's injury. So, by trying to protect Dusky, Night puts her in more danger in the long run.
- Night fantasizes about rescuing Dusky, or otherwise proving his bravery through combat. But instead, the first time he actually helps Dusky and starts to earn her respect, it's by braving social awkwardness and reconnecting with his family.
- It's All My Fault: Night has a bad tendency to misinterpret events to blame himself as much as possible. Two of his sisters were borderline abusive to him, but Night somehow thinks that made him the bad brother. And he cuts himself off from his family, because he's convinced they're better off without him.
- It's Not You, It's My Enemies: Dusky notes that she hasn't pursued romance in years, because:Anyone who got close to me like that could become a target and that wouldnt be fair.
- Ultimately, when Night remains interested in Dusky, even after learning about her enemies, Dusky doesn't try to push him away at all.
- Knowledge Broker: Lockbox, a former Guard who has the inside scoop on underworld goings-on. Dusky consults him when she needs to know what the Leaf Cartel are up to.
- Let's Just Be Friends: Inverted. Dusky is open to the possibility of a romantic relationship with Night, but she insists they take things slowly and try being friends first. Night agrees. Many chapters later, they do start dating.
- Locked Up and Left Behind: In Ostfriesen, Star interrogates an enemy scout, then considers killing her when she's done. Dusky and Night balk at this, and convince Star to just tie the scout up instead, and come back to free her afterwards. Of course, this gives the scout more incentive to tell the truth about the layout of the enemy base.
- Love at First Sight: Night is hopelessly smitten with Dusky the very first time he sees her. Dusky takes quite a bit longer to warm up to Night.
- Meaningful Rename: Night Light hated his old name, so he renamed himself Night Flurry to reflect his talent for winter weather work. It works the other way, too: when he opens up to Dusky about his old name, it's a sign that he's making peace with his past.
- Not Right in the Bed: After feeling much less amorous than usual for a few days, Terra accuses Star of casting a spell to "steal my sexy". And Star casually admits that she really did cast a libido-inhibiting spell on Terra. Then Merri tries to dispel it, but something goes wrong, and the spell lingers for a few weeks.
- Pensieve Flashback: Night sees a vision of ancient Ostfriesen, and the falling-out between Lord Bellerophon and Queen Tapioca, as if he were physically there. Just before the vision ends, the memory of Bell seems to directly address Night.
- Possessing a Dead Body: The subplot with Bellerophon possessing Night Flurry's body eventually gets resolved when Bellerophon possesses the recently deceased Lord Firetail instead.
- P.O.V. Sequel: Though neither story is quite a sequel, since they're both publishing simultaneously. From Dusk to Night covers events from Dusky's perspective, while Mending Light shows (mostly) the same events from Night's perspective.
- The Professor: Ruby, a university science teacher in Canterlot who confirms the presence of Ghost Flower via lab analysis.
- Railing Kill: Dusky fights with some Cartel thugs on the upper loft of an abandoned warehouse. She bucks one of them into the railing, which breaks and sends him falling to his death.
- Rescue Romance: Night is convinced that "an act of supreme heroism" is the only way to win Dusky over. He fantasizes about rescuing her from thugs, and her falling in love with him as a result. It's quite ironic: he doesn't realize, but Dusky is a much better fighter than he is, and she doesn't care at all for his idealized view of heroism.
- Revealing Cover-Up: Someone destroys all the ice sculptures at the Fetlock Falls Winter Festival. It's a coverup, of course: The Leaf Cartel is smuggling Ghost Flower inside surplus ice blocks. When they collect their contraband, they distract everyone from the missing ice blocks by smashing all the leftover ice and the sculptures. They probably would have gotten away with it, if they hadn't alerted Dusky to their presence by attacking her in Fetlock Falls.
- Sequel Escalation: This one juggles a larger cast than The Necromancer's Ambition and is already four times longer—and it isn't even half-finished yet. While Necromancer had Dusky and her friends fighting bandits over the fate of a small town, this one pits them against a wide-reaching criminal empire, a foreign army, and a dragon. And they've already saved an entire country from a bloody revolution.
- Shipper on Deck:
- Terra has a history of pointing out hot stallions and insisting they'd be a great match for Dusky. When she realizes Night has a thing for Dusky, Terra encourages them with absolutely zero subtlety.
- Blizzard gives Night the initial kick in the rump to ask Dusky out in the first place.
- Spanner in the Works: As noted under Gambit Pileup, the three factions in Ostfriesen are united because of Lord Firetail's imposter Bellerophon. The arrival of the real Bellerophon exposes Firetail's deception, and the three sides almost immediately turn on each other.
- Speech Impediment: Night stutters whenever he's nervous or self-conscious—which is almost always. Over the course of the story, as he grows more confident and more comfortable around Dusky, he stutters less and less.
- Stalker with a Crush: From Dusky's perspective, Night starts off as this—he follows her around Ponyville for about a month before finally speaking to her. Night's perspective reveals that he was trying to introduce himself, but kept chickening out each time.
- Stupid Sacrifice: When one of Merri's spells goes wrong, Night jumps between Dusky and the magic blast—not noticing that Dusky had already taken cover and wasn't really in danger. So he badly injures his wing for no good reason.
- Super Window Jump: Dusky escapes a fight (barely) by leaping out the window. There's no Soft Glass, though: she throws a sandbag through to break the glass beforehand, and she still gets nasty cuts from the shards remaining in the frame.
- Symbiotic Possession: Bellerophon's soul was trapped within his old bracer, and when Night puts on that bracer, Bellerophon winds up inside his mind. They soon come to an understanding, and Belle only takes control of the body with Night's permission.
- The Un-Reveal: Blaze wonders why a landlocked town like Ponyville has a tavern named the Lusty Sea Pony. Dusky starts to explain—then the chapter ends, and the audience never hears the rest of the story.
- Watching the Sunset: In part because of his name, Night feels an affinity for the night sky and loves to watch the sunset and moonrise. When he and Dusky try to watch the sunset together in Ponyville, Dusky's mom interrupts with a "pop quiz" for Dusky. And when Night's dad needs to speak to him in Canterlot, he finds Night by looking in high spots that offer a good view of the moonrise.
- You All Meet in an Inn: Starshadow and Merriweather meet the rest of the heroes by chance at the Ponyville tavern. Although Dusky and Night both knew of each other, they don't get properly introduced until meeting at the tavern as well.
- You Just Told Me: Terra suspects Night has a crush on Dusky, so she tricks him into admitting it by pretending she already knows:Terrabona grinned, glancing at Mahogany who raised his glass to her in salute. We need to talk about you and a certain mare. I know it all, so just fess up.
My jaw dropped as I followed Terrabonas look towards my friend. M-Mahogany... you told her? Y-you told her about my confession?
Mahogany raised his free hoof to his face and sighed. Nope. I didn't. I promised I wouldn't. But you did. Just now. Smoooooooth.
- Zerg Rush: The Cartel's enforcer's aren't very good fighters, and their preferred strategy is just to attack in overwhelming numbers. When only three of them square off against Dusky and Night, Dusky knows it was just an attack of opportunity—if it were planned, the Cartel would have sent at least six thugs.