The Palaververse is a series of comedy/fantasy My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic fanfics written by Carabas, centering around a core of stories depicting how the leaders of the major powers of the world react to the events of the shows season openers and finales, a process that involves less guarded politics than one might expect and more in the way of verbal snipes, back-and-forth insults, disorganized arguments and similar goings-on.
The currently released core stories are:
- Moonlight Palaver, set during the show's pilot
- The Tempest, set during "The Return of Harmony"
- Wedding March, set during "A Canterlot Wedding".
Numerous side stories exist in the setting, at various points in the timeline and levels of canonicity:
- The White Horse
- The Motion of the Stars
- The End of the Day
- Thunderstorm and the Four Winds
- Terra Incognita
- The Strangest of These
- The Commanders' Shilling
- Mr Stripes Versus A Cthonic Horror
- The First Stitch
- Once Upon A Winter
- Foals and Mortals
In addition, a great deal of worldbuilding takes place in blog posts on the authors account, listed on the author's user page.
The Palaververse contains examples of:
- Cool Crown: The Capricious Crown of Capra, an ornate, enchanted crown that just so happens to also be alive and the supreme ruler of the nation of Capra. It speaks in a metallic voice and shows emotion by flashing its gems in different colours.
- Cool Sword: The Sun Blade, a golden sword without a hilt meant to be wielded with magic alone. It was originally an Antlertean artifact used by the Mage-Lords to control the Suns motion, and is currently in Celestias possession.
- Deadpan Snarker: Burro Delver has his moments.
- From Moonlight Palaver:Bullwalda Greenhorn: "Republicanism. A barbarous debacle." (To the democratically elected PM Burro) "No offense."
Burro Delver: "Some taken."
- From Moonlight Palaver:
- Flashy Teleportation: As is standard in the show, unicorns and alicorns teleport as a matter of course when needing to cross long distances or pass obstacles. There are also repeated mentions in Moonlight Palaver of the "long teleports" it takes to get to the Circle Chamber. Items can also be teleported with a flash, as Celestia tries with the Sun Blade in the third chapter of ''The Tempest'', but got hit by Discord's Teleport Interdiction.
- Doorstopper: The series as a whole, has 296,293 words, as of 2019.
- Flight: Basically everything with wings and some things without can fly, such as, pegasi, griffons, windigos, corvids, pyrefalcons and phoenixes.
- Foregone Conclusion: Whatever the world leaders do it winds up having little to no impact on the problem at hand, which will inevitably resolve in the manner it does in the show. Lampshaded in Wedding March where after they are all taken hostage the leaders come to the conclusion that even if Equestrian crises have a habit of resolving themselves, they can't just sit around doing nothing.Gellert: Be fair, Fairy. The last times weve been staring down the business end of an Equestrian crisis, miraculous unknown factors beyond our control have saved us all.
Fairy Floss: Acknowledged, dear, but the day we start relying on miraculous unknown factors to carry the day for us is the same day were all likely to end up in the Hereafter, looking down on the smoking remains of the world. And wont we all be embarrassed then.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Multiple ones:
- For the main series, every chapter title is a phrase that can be spoken:
- Moonlight Palaver: A one-shot: The Sun's One of These Vital Things, You Know.
- Wedding March, which are all things to do at a wedding:
- Deciding What You'll Give to the Bride and Groom is Always Important, of Course
Be Sure to Arrive in Good Time, so You Miss None of the Excitement
Make a Good First Impression, and Endeavour Not to Cause a Ruckus
No Matter What Arises, Just Try to Have a Good Day
If in Doubt, Improvise
And in Extremis, Just Plunge in Flailing and Hope For the Best
Lastly, Prepare for Next Time
- Mr Stripes Versus A Cthonic Horror has One-Word Title that starts with "B" as the pattern for its chapter titles — "Bridleway", "Boutique" and "Brouhaha".
- Treasures's chapters all start with "Wherein Our Heroine".
- For the main series, every chapter title is a phrase that can be spoken:
- Named Weapons: The Cool Sword known as the "Sun Blade", a golden sword without a hilt meant to be wielded with magic alone. It was originally an Antlertean artifact used by the Mage-Lords to control the Suns motion, and is currently in Celestias possession.
- Never Mess with Granny: Tyrant Fairy Floss of Ovarn is a diminutive, elderly ewe that fits every outward sign of the Granny Classic down to the serene expression and pince-nez glasses. She's also survived a lifetime of Ovarn's cutthroat politics, can make hardened Archons quake in fear. In Wedding March, she manages to fight capably in at least a limited capacity, taking out the fake Silears.Don't get cruel with an old lady who could assassinate you in seven different ways before the week was out, dear.
- Shout-Out: Multiple:
- Skaven are mentioned as one of the (fictional) possible dangers of underground exploration in Treasures.
- Some of the creatures stated to live in Theia's oceans are titanic avancs and packs of grindylow straight out of the Bas-Lag Cycle.
- The blog post on Pachydermia and its elephants mentions rumors that some brush elephant calves can use their large ears to fly.
- Democracy Is Flawed: Bullwalda (read: "King") Greenhorn of Bovaland is has a very low opinion of democracy. It doesn't win him much popularity with Prime Minister Burro of Asinia:Bullwalda Greenhorn: Republicanism. A barbarous debacle. (To the democratically elected PM Burro) No offense.
Burro Delver: Some taken.
- Combat Tentacles: As said in the first chapter, its one of the things Discord gave the Fear Nowt when animating it.Sections of the hull near the waters surface split then, and long lengths curved off to splay from the Fear Nowts side. They rose into the air, and Burro saw sailors on the ships deck pointing and yelling.
...Combat tentacles? Clever donkeys, our shipwrights, said Amiatina.
- Compound Title:
- Grumpy Old Man: As shown in the first chapter, Canterlot Castle is turned into an architectural version of this by Discord:"AND IF YOU GAVE CHEEK TO ANY OLD MOTTE-AND-BAILEY, THAT'D EARN YOU A BRICK-TANNING, SURE AS SUNFIRE!"
"AND NONE OF THIS WINTER RESIDENCE OR SUMMER RESIDENCE NONSENSE! WE HELD PONIES ALL THROUGH THE YEAR! AND IT MADE FORTRESSES OF US!"
"GET OFF MY LAWNS!"
- King in the Mountain: The Bullwaldas of Bovaland and their most trusted housecarls are interred after death in an enchanted cairn, so that on Bovalands hour of greatest need the current monarch could awaken their remains to defend the nation.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: A literal example: when Discord brought the parliament of the multi-species nation of Gazellen to the cage where hes keeping the other sovereigns, he swapped around the various members body parts, with results like a hornless antelope with the legs of a warthog and the wings of a griffon, or a giraffe finding her head and neck swaying atop the body of a diamond jackal.
- Naïve Newcomer: Bullwalda Greenhorn, having just recently ascended to the throne, has very little experience in the way the council works or in dealing with any sort of government outside of a traditional monarchy, and it shows. Viceroy Simoom of Saddle Arabia brings the naiveté to a whole new level. Finally, theres Shahanshah Sailears of Pachydermia, whos still a child and doesnt yet fully grasp the finer points of politics and national rivalry.
- Oh My Gods!: Throughout the stories, Gellert swears by the Simurgh (a mythical bird from east and central Asian folklore, and a griffon folk heroine in-universe), Fire Queen Talon by Stygia and Alpha Rex of the diamond dogs by Vánagandr (an alternate name for Fenris).
- OOC Is Serious Business:
- When faced with Discord's return, Burro Delver only realizes how serious the matter is when he realizes that Celestia is visibly worried.Celestia was worried.
They were all going to die.
Probably while screaming and on fire.
- Later in the same story, Celestia snaps and angrily chews out the other world leaders for their pettiness and power hunger, stating that she seriously considered taking over the world on past occasions when it seemed like the only way to get everyone to act civilly to each other. Everyone is rightly freaked out.
- When faced with Discord's return, Burro Delver only realizes how serious the matter is when he realizes that Celestia is visibly worried.
- Rent-a-Zilla: The Fire Queen of the dragons is enormous, the largest dragon alive, to the point that she cant physically leave her cave without breaking its mountain open.
- Shoulder-Sized Dragon: The normally titanic Fire Queen is turned into this by Discord in order to fit in the magical cage along with all the other world leaders.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Delivered by Celestia to the other world leaders when they keep pursuing their petty rivalries and squabbles above anything else, even when powerless in a Discord-constructed cage high in the sky. For Burro Delver and the Zebrican Pharoahs, at least, it seems to stick.
- "Yes"/"No" Answer Interpretation: In "Really, You're Just Better Off Waiting For It All To Blow Over.", when Gellert asks if things are "about to get unreasonable" and the rhinoceros emperor brushes him condescendingly, Gellert takes that as a "yes".
- Abduction Is Love: It is custom among the mammoth tribes for brides to kidnap their husbands. This has over time developed into a very formalized process, where after proper approval and vetting by the clan chieftains of the bride- and groom-to-be alike, as well as consulting with the groom-to-be and his family, the mammoth cow in questions beans the subject of her affections upside the head with a suitably decorated sap, throws him over her withers and rushes back home. This is usually followed by an equally scripted counter-raid, and is generally treated in the same manner as more sedate wedding customs are among other societies. This leads to some... confusion... when Lyuba tries to give relationship advice to Tundra based on her own romantic experiences.
- Badass Boast: From Chapter 4:
- Lyuba gives a long and impressive one to Goldtorc when the latter implies that she can look after herself better than the former, describing the monsters she's faced, the battles she fought in, the countless duels she won and how she amply earned her status as the greatest warrior in Pachydermia.
- Goldtorc answers with a boast of her own, describing in great detail how she entered the tourney to select the consort for the new monarch of Bovaland as the daughter of nobodies, facing off against scores well-armed and well-trained noblecows in tilted charges and a chaotic melee alike, with nothing more than "a rusty blade, a twisted old bow, and ill-fitting barding", all while fighting immense exhaustion, strain and injury, and won anyway.
- Bait-and-Switch: From the second chapter, the expectation that Simoom is talking about a vibrator or similar object, since this was preceded by a mention of "marital aids" and he made extensive mentions of things like knobs, tapering shapes and magical "extra boosts", but subverted to the extent that although he was talking about drink mixers, it loops back to talking of sexual subjects, of a sort, when he bluntly suggests getting the married couple an aphrodisiac.
- Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: From Chapter 2, when Burro's asking Asinara to leave him be, and explore Canterlot:Appreciate some culture. Appreciate some drinks. Appreciate some cultured drinks.
- The Cavalry: Towards the end, a rather ragtag group of the international guests to the wedding — Burro Delver and his aides, Chieftain Gellert and his nephew, Bullwalda Greenhorn, his wife Goldtorc and their guard, and a collection of Black Company sheep — manages to fight off the changelings in the castle grounds and mounts a unified charge towards the throne room, bent on taking down Chrysalis or die trying. As per canon, though, they don't get the chance, as Shining Armor and Cadance's love explosion takes care of the changelings before they can do it.
- Compensating for Something: Invoked with the names of the three new enormous, top-of-the-line and very heavily armed dreadnaughts of the Asinial navy: the Fear Nowt, the Actually, Fear Lots and the No, You're Compensating.
- Grievous Bottley Harm: In Chapter 6, Fairy Floss takes out a changeling by smashing a bottle against a wall and planting the jagged end into its sternum,
- Groin Attack: In Chapter 3, a changeling uses the threat of groin-aimed kicks to discourage escape attempts from the captured delegates.
- Interspecies Friendship: Over the later half of the story, one develops between the aurochs cow Goldtorc and the mammoth Lyuba.
- Interspecies Romance: Throughout the story, a mutual attraction develops between the mule Alloy and the ibex doe Tundra. At the end, Tundra musters the courage to ask Alloy on a date, and he accepts.
- Line-of-Sight Alias: When Thorax, in disguise as a member of the Royal Guard, is confronted by the CMC, Spike and Sailears and asked his name, he panics and names himself after the first thing he sees, thus introducing himself as Sir Wall of the Royal Guard. Given the nature of pony names in canon, this provides him with a much more suitable alias than it would have in other settings.
- Not What It Looks Like: A changeling in the shape of Shahanshah Sailears tries to kill Burro, but Fairy Floss stabs it in the back with Grievous Bottley Harm and saves him. Then Dame Lyuba, the Shahanshah's bodyguard, bursts in seeing what looks to be the body of her charge/rightful liege on the floor and Fairy Floss standing over it with a broken bottle...
- Odd Friendship: Between Goldtorc, the queen of the cattle, and the mammoth Barbarian Hero Lyuba. The two initially come to respect each other after an initial clash of personalities and Badass Boasts on first meeting, and further bond during their attempt to fight their way through a changeling-occupied Canterlot Castle and over sharing some of their own private troubles with each other.
- Adult Fear: In Treasures, Gallivant is on a routine exploration of a new Antlertean ruin, navigating the various deadly traps and guardians found there... and then discovers that his eight-year-old daughter snuck in before him, and is now likely deep in the ruin alongside who knows what deadly traps the ruins old master filled his home with.
- After the End: The Motion of the Stars is set after a war between Equestria and Capra devastated the world, blasting the landscape with destructive magic and killing the Sisters, freezing the sun and moon in place.
- Amusing Injuries: Apparently, Starswirls apprentice Meadowbrook came upon these quite often as a result of following Starswirl around, enough so that his mentor adopted onwards, Meadbrook, and stop bleeding so much! as a sort of battlecry.
- Bittersweet Ending: In The Motion of the Stars, the day-night cycle is restarted and the world is on its way to healing, but millions are still dead, the ecosystems devastated, and Rarity sacrificed herself to restart the Suns motion.
- Break the Cutie: In Treasures, young Daring Do sets out on to explore an Antlertean ruin with childlike enthusiasm and naiveté to prove to everyone that shes grown-up and responsible. This leads to her seeing her father (apparently) get killed in front of her, losing her hat (her last memento of her deceased mother) and ending up stuck at the bottom of a deep pit, curled up in despair. She gets better.
- Elemental Embodiment: The Four Winds and the High King in Thunderstorm and the Four Winds, enormous, powerful air elementals that ruled the winds and sky before the pegasi did.
- The Fair Folk: What the Mage-Lords were perceived as by the ancient inhabitants of the Equestria Girls universe when they crossed worlds — otherworldly beings who seemed to wear human appearance like ill-fitting clothing, striking from deep forests to steal people away, never to be seen again.
- Fantastic Nuke: The megaspells used in the Equestria-Capra war in The Motion of the Stars, which included fire, ice, razor wind, chocking darkness and storms of crystals.
- Fictional Counterpart: From Treasures' first chapter: Equid Brayton books, a ponified version of Enid Blyton's books, specially naming the "Superb Six", a ponification of The Famous Five.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Meadowbrook, Starswirl's apprentice, whose special talent laid in magical engineering and crafting complex enchanted objects.
- Graceful Loser: Parodied in Saplings when a wandering pine that Rainbow Dash and Sweetie Belle had been pursuing for decoratory purposes is backed against a wall with no escape from a tinsel-covered fate and turns to face its lot, standing tall and dignified in its defeat.
- Horsemen of the Apocalypse: The main theme underlying "The White Horse". Corn Rose is Red and their goal is War, Sombra is Black, Iridium is White and their goal is Conquest, Mercy is Pale and their goal is Death.
- Heroic Bastard: Celestia herself, having been born as the result of an extramarital relationship between a pegasus noble and an earth pony farmer mare. Luna, technically Celestias half-sister, was born later after said pegasus noble returned home and married.
- Heroic Sacrifice:
- In The Motion of the Stars, Rarity sacrifices herself and binds her soul to the Sun to restart and guide its motion, like the ancient unicorn monarchs did before the time of the Sisters.
- In Thunderstorm and the Four Winds, Thunderstorm sacrifices herself to destroy the High King and free the pegasi from the scourge of wild, uncontrolled weather.
- "Just So" Story: The In-Universe legend of Thunderstorm and the Four Winds explains how pegasi came to control the weather.
- Kraken and Leviathan: Cirein-cròin in Parlous, a sea-monster vast enough to be capable of reaching as high as the clouds when rearing out of the sea. Luna notes that his fangs alone are the size of redwood trees.
- Last of His Kind: The windigo in Winterheart is the last living member of its species.I, the last. The least. The one born in starvation after that time, hearing only the songs, sustained by what my kin could spare. Nursed and sung to even as they withered and went, one by one.
- Missing Mom: Daring Dos mother died exploring a ruin when Daring was still young.
- The Old North Wind: Thunderstorm and the Four Winds tells the story of how the pegasus Thunderstorm faced the personifications of the North, East, South and West winds to give pegasi the ability to control the weather. The Winds are all depicted as powerful and feared entities who batter and scour the land with storms, gales and harsh weather, and the North Wind in particular — in contrast to the spoiled and indolent West Wind, the largely neutral and overworked South Wind and the genuinely helpful East Wind — is a harsh, cruel bully who lives in the frozen north, constantly sending forth harsh winds and terrible storms and caring nothing about the people caught in its gales."Yo, North Wind," said Thunderstorm. "I want to know how the pegasi can master the weather, so that we don't have to suffer under it any longer."
"WANT ALL YOU WISH," growled the North Wind, its voice echoing across the ice plains. "I CARE NOTHING FOR ANY EARTH-DWELLER'S PLIGHT. ALL THAT MATTERS ARE THE STORMS I MUST SEND FORTH. LEAVE BEFORE I BREAK YOU."
- One-Word Title:
- Treasures: About adventurous archeology.
- Nobelesse: About Princess Platinum.
- Winterheart: About friendship and caring, in winter.
- Pet the Dog: In Second Sun, Celestia is split into two personas: the in-control face she presents to the world, and her repressed desires and drives. The second persona has no reservations on acting with absolute candidness on the drives and opinions that Celestia normally has to hide, which mostly boils down to insulting insufferable nobles and foreign dignitaries and getting drunk — until she comes across Twilight, and her face breaks into a radiant smile of genuine pleasure at the sight of her beloved student.
- Portmantitle: Winter + heart.
- Reforged into a Minion: Soulforging, a process where an Antlertean mage would wipe the mind and soul of another being clean and completely rewrite their identity, turning them into an undying, loyal servant, sometimes transferring their soul into another vessel or turning them into a spectral being. In Treasures, the Antlertean Lord Fallows fortress is home to a great number of reforged minions, ranging from criminals to a fraud to a servant that was going senile.
- Rock Theme Naming: Metals fall under this trope too. "The White Horse" has the Unicorn brothers Palladium and Iridium, which are both medals, and it seems to be a tradition with old Unicorn nobility, like with Princess Platinum.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: The plot of Parlous is about Cirein-cròin, an evil and destructive sea monster, escaping from the can where Luna bound him a thousand years in the past and needing to be shoved back in.
- Sea Serpents: Cirein-cròin, in Parlous, is a sea serpent of utterly mind-boggling proportions, with a vast, twisting body covered in silver scales, fins taller than warships and a serpentine neck that can rise to the level of the clouds.
- Time Travel: It happens in The First Stitch. As the short summary says:One winter's day, before Hearth's Warming Eve, Rarity falls backwards in time. To before all the Hearth's Warming Eves to come.
- Trash of the Titans: Rainbow Dash's supply closet in the School of Friendship is described in this manner in Saplings. In Sweetie Belle's somewhat melodramatic narration, in its disorganized mass of Daring Do books, stationery and paperwork cobwebs are compressed into diamond, ecosystems form and flourish, and Order goes to die, and even Discord takes notes from its chaos. When Sweetie attempts to extract a box from its depths and causes the whole thing to come crashing down, the collapse exposes colonies of spiders to light and fresh air they had only known from myth, alongside a severely annoyed book-wyrm.In its depths, she swore she could hear something growl.
- Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: Parodied in Thunderstorm and the Four Winds, where Rainbow Dash tries to use old-fashioned language while narrating Thunderstorm's story despite not having a good grasp of it.Rainbow Dash (narrating): "Prithee, O Wind of the North," Thunderstorm, um, declaimed. "I do beseech thee for thine most ... something-or-other aid, on behalf of ... wait, should that have been 'thy'? I can never remember the "note
...Y'know, maybe making it all Shakelancy doesn't add that much to the experience.
"Yo, North Wind," said Thunderstorm.
- Abusive Precursors: The Antlertean Mage-Lords were tyrants who saw the rest of the worlds sapient species as nothing more than thralls or test subjects. Theyre also responsible, directly or indirectly, for a great deal of the horrors that plagued the world over the ages, including Tirek, Discord, the Sirens, Ahuizotl and the horror in the Pachidermian south.
- The Ageless: Seems to be the case for alicorns — they are quite immune to aging, although theyre not completely invulnerable. Emotion Eaters such as Windigos do not seem to age as long as they get enough food, and neither do Phoenixes with access to the Suns energies.
- The Archmage: Starswirl, of course, and also the Mage-Lords of ancient Antlertis, who were a decidedly more villainous take on this trope.
- Atlantis: Antlertis, a civilization of deer based on an island on the other side of the world from the main continents, whose Mage-Lords used to rule the world with great power and cruelty in ancient times. It was destroyed when the Mage-Lords tried to summon something... from deep space that utterly destroyed their homeland, sinking it and causing perpetual magical storms over it, although numerous creatures and artifacts of Antlertean origin are still around.
- Atlantis Is Boring: Downplayed. While the seas are far from lacking in wild magic or strange monsters, there are very few sapient marine species, and none with true nations. The oceans were summed up in one blog post, which normally suffices for one surface nation.
- Barbarian Tribe: The Corvids, based on the real life Scottish highland clans.
- Beneath the Earth: An extensive underworld of caverns exists beneath Theias surface, permeating its entire volume supposedly going all the way to a sea of lava at the planets core. The Diamond Dogs live in the uppermost layers, while the deeps are home to a great variety of horrors.
- Breath Weapon: Most dragons breathe fire, while certain blind and flightless specimens found deep Beneath the Earth breathe clouds of mind-clouding fumes and poison gas.
- Cactus Person: Saddle Arabia is home to nomadic herds of ambulatory cacti, which drain other creatures' blood through their hollow spines to supplement their internal stores of water.
- Complete Immortality: Discord. He simply cant be killed, only forced into dormancy.
- Corporate Dragon: While most dragons are reclusive loners more interested in hoarding treasure in the wilderness than in joining civilization, one forward-thinking drake named Glint is noted to have started his own bank with his hoard as an asset base, overcoming traditional draconic aversion at letting others have your valuables through the promise of future profits.
- Death World: The island-nation of Saddle Arabia. Its a barren desert wasteland battered by horrifying magical storms that regularly sow the land with chaotic magic, with the sun burning away any moisture they leave behind. The chaos magic and harsh climate have worked together to populate it with a parade of horrors — packs of mobile vampiric cacti, mountain-sized roc birds made of stone, enormous wind scorpions that surprise prey and evade pursuit by turning into wind, parasitic life-eating flecks that inhabit eyeballs and spread by eye contact...
- Eldritch Abomination: A number. Theres the Dwellers Below, chtonic, Lovecraftian beings spawned from the worlds primal, chaotic magics, and their possible relative the Night Serpent of Zebrica. There are also numerous entities of Antlertean origin, including the nameless horror to the south of Pachydermia. Finally, there are the unknown entities that stir in the deepest reaches of space, brief glimpses of which tend to drive astronomers insane.
- Elephants Never Forget: Elephants (and mammoths) develop perfect memory in adolescence — once adult elephants experience something, they can recall in perfect detail for the rest of their lives. Their culture is as a consequence highly focused on hoarding memorized lore and keeping one's knowledge away from others. This perfect memory is not always advantageous, since it preserves terrible experiences just as sharply and unfailingly as pleasant ones, and elephants in stressful professions tend to experience psychological issues as they age — and there's something terrible lurking in Pachydermia's far south, which some elephants have to burden themselves with knowing about in full and awful detail to keep contained, often courting madness as a result.
- The Empire: The cruel and slave-driving Capric Empire of the past, which conquered and ruled many of Ungula's species before the rise of Equestria. The Capricious Crown is seeking to turn modern Capra back into this trope, and is having some measure of success.
- Enemy Within: All alicorns carry within them a Nightmare that constantly tempts, harangues and harasses them to try to get them to give in to their basest urges and impulses. Lunas was purged by the Elements of Harmony, and Cadence and Twilight are too young for theirs to have fully developed yet, but Celestia has been constantly withstanding the influence of hers for the past one thousand years.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Besides those already present in the show, Asinia is Spain at the height of the colonial age, Capra shares quite a bit with the various Persian empires, Ovarn is a more united version of the Greek city-states, Bovaland is feudal Europe, the Corvids are the Scottish highland clans, Zebrica is Pharaonic Egypt, the continent of Dactylia in general stands in for Africa, the mammoth clans of the southern Dactylian steppes have a distinctly Mongolian flavor, and Ceratos is a cross between imperial China and Japan.
- Fantasy World Map: There's one◊ in the Changeling post showing the two main continents of Ungula (where Equestria and most of the plot-central nations are) and Dactylia, the island-continents of Ceratos and Saddle Arabia and the archipelagos of the Burning Mountains and the Asinial Main.
- Giant Flyer: Rocs, enormous birds made of stone. Some tribes of Diamond Jackals hollow them out into living, flying fortresses.
- Grim Up North: The Utmost North beyond the Greycairn mountains. Its horrendously cold, theres no civilization, and few expeditions that go there ever return.
- The Horde: The great and savage Corvid armies that overran much of Ungula at various points in the past, driven from their homelands by overpopulation and lack of food in much the same way as real life hordes often were.
- Immortal Ruler:
- As in canon, Princess Celestia has been Equestria's ruler for the past thousand years, and her sister and co-ruler Luna is likewise immortal.
- The Capricious Crown, being a living, magical artifact, also doesn't age. It has been ruling Capra for about three centuries, and it has the potential to go on ruling it for many more.
- King Incognito: It's implied that Zecora is the younger sister of the rival Pharoahs Punda and Milia, who fled her country to avoid getting sucked into her brothers' war of succession.
- Kraken and Leviathan: Theia's oceans are home to numerous colossal sea monsters, including actual krakens, larger and sedentary relatives of the same living in the deepest abysses, and island-sized avancs.
- A Load of Bull: Minotaurs are one of the subraces of cattle alongside shorthorns, Aurochs, longhorns, bison and yaks. They are thought to have first arisen due to the chaotic magic that filled the word after the Fall of Antlertis, which would explain their great degree of physical divergence from other cattle. They dont have any magic active or latent, but their hands and bipedalism (and more specifically the resulting advantages in tool usage) have historically more than made up for this.
- Dragons are not truly immortal, but even the shortest-lived breeds will still see centuries go by before old age claims them, and some have lifespans extending well into the millennia.
- The Capricious Crown of Capra is this as well, since as a living piece of metal it's fairly resistant to aging. While entropy will eventually claim it, it won't be for centuries yet.
- Maker of Monsters: The Mage-Lords of ancient Antlertis often dipped into this, especially in the later days of their civilization as their cultural sense of ethics started to fall by the wayside in favor of performing increasingly complex experiments upon magic and living things. They shaped terrible monsters in their laboratories to use weapons against one another or simply for the sake of seeing if they could, and many of these things endured imprisoned or in stasis long after Antlertis' fall to threaten future civilizations — Tirek, Scorpan and Discord, powerful chimeric villains from the show's canon, are all identified as Antlertean creations.
- The Migration: A number have taken place in the settings history, including the pony migration from Hearts Warming Eve, which here took them from one end of the continent of Ungula to the other, the migration of the diamond dogs (and of the diamond jackals and fennecs) from the ruin of the deep empires through an underworld full of horrors and towards the surface of the world, the exodus of the dragons to the Burning Mountains, and the migration of the yaks and the buffalo from the bovine homelands in Bovaland to their current homes.
- More Predators Than Prey: One of the numerous unusual things about the extremely hostile environment of Saddle Arabia is that seemingly every creature there is predatory or parasitic, and typically highly aggressive in the bargain.
- Nothing Is Scarier: Its never actually revealed just what horror lurks south of Pachydermia, just that its absolutely horrifying and that every elephant that ever learned of it was left traumatized to some degree, as well as glimpses of images of skulls crowned in writhing antlers, thunder from beneath black glaciers and walking, frozen corpses...
- Our Dragons Are Different: They used to rule most of the world in the past, but their power began to slip as civilization grew, and was lost in a series of disastrous wars against the Diamond Dogs, the Capric Empire and Equestria, forcing most of them out of Ungula and to the archipelago of the Burning Mountains. They also have their own unique but poorly understood form of magic, hoard treasure as both a way to store food and as a mating display of sorts, and though mostly loners they have a loose society, ruled by the Fire Queen through Dragon Lords acting as intermediaries and viceroys.
- An interesting note is that, although most dragons dismiss religion as something for more mortal beings to bother with, particularly old and powerful dragons almost invariably develop beliefs centering on the size of ones hoard determining the value and brightness of ones soul, and of a Last Dark to be met with as bright a soul as possible, refusing to elaborate on this even to their younger kin.
- The caverns of the underworld are known to be home to blind, flightless dragons that breathe mind-clouding fumes and poison instead of fire.
- Our Ghouls Are Different: Ghūls are bipedal creatures native to the deserts of Saddle Arabia, where they emerge during the night and hunt prey in packs.
- Our Gryphons Are Different:
- The griffons live in a large number of proudly independent tribes and clans scattered in the Greycairns and the Hyperborean Mountains throughout most of the Ungulan continent, with many living in Equestria. Historically, they have never answered to any single ruler, although in the past a chieftain named Grover managed to unite many tribes around his home in Griffonstone and make himself king, giving the griffons unity until Griffonstone fell into ruin. In the modern day, another chieftain named Gellert has managed to unite the majority of the griffon tribes, becoming their de facto ruler.
- There are also the axex, a subspecies of sorts, who are part of the federation of Gazellen.
- Outnumbered Sibling: It's implied that Zecora is the younger sister of the two brothers, rival Pharoahs Punda and Milia, who fled her country to avoid getting sucked into her brothers' war of succession.
- The Phoenix: Phoenixes are native to the sun, in whose depths they're born again and again and again, eternally sustained by its fires. Immense flocks of phoenixes erupt from the sun during solar flares, typically either settling among the stars or heading out into the unknown cosmos beyond the bounds the setting's geocentric system, but a few land on the world below instead. The question of how undying creatures can reproduce without developing immense overpopulation issues is addressed — the periodic solar eruptions keep the sun's population at a sustainable level, while ones without access to the sun's fires do not live forever. A single phoenix can only carry so much of the sun's fire in itself, and must pass it on to its offspring as they age. Philomena is a special case, as her bond with Princess Celestia gives her a direct link to the sun's magic.
- Photographic Memory: Elephants, true to the classic stereotype, have near-perfect eidetic memory, which they develop during adolescence.
- Roc Birds: Rocs, in the tradition of the show's pun-based creatures, are literally made of living rock. Some tribes of Diamond Jackals hollow them out into living, flying fortresses.
- Sapient Cetaceans: Both whales and dolphins are sapient beings with their own nomadic civilizations, although they generally avoid contact with land-dwellers.
- The Savage South: The Dactylian Interior, separated from the Dactylian nations by a mountain range and left exposed to wyld storms from the Black Ocean, is covered in thick jungles full of exotic beasts and terrors (and barely sapient hairless apes obsessed with advanced mathematics), visited only by explorers looking for Antlertean ruins and artifacts.
- Sea Monster: Numerous sea monsters are known to lurk in Theia's oceans, including carnivorous whale sharks, angel sharks capable of temporary flight, and schools of skeletal bonefish. The deepest, most chaotic abysses beneath the Burning Mountains and the Black Ocean host even stranger things, from colonies of literal spider crabs that spin webs across ocean trenches to Lovecraftian horrors to wild metal-eating Smoozes.
- Sea Serpents: Sea serpents are among the setting's sapient marine races, and the most likely to have dealings with surface-dwellers; this typically involves the serpents hiring themselves out as guides and guards during long sea voyages in return for surface commodities, but sometimes they'll go after these goods by directly attacking the ships carrying them. They're usually solitary, gathering only to mate and raise their elvers or when competition with other sea creatures forces them to gather into small shivers, and otherwise lead largely nomadic lives.
- Scary Scorpions: The aggressively predatory wind scorpions of Saddle Arabia, which have the added bonus of being able to turn into wind to elude both prey and pursuit.
- Series Continuity Error: The fics are supposed to be able to happen in canon, so "The White Horse" has this, because Sombra should not be around after Luna's banishment.
- Space Is Magic: Theia lies in a classical geocentric system: it is orbited by a life-bearing moon with literal lunar seas and a moon-sized sun home to phoenixes that periodically emigrate from its depths in massive solar flares, and is surrounded by a shell of stars composed in good part of pure magic. Beyond that, rather than any sort of actual galaxy, pony astronomers can barely glimpse vast, dark gulfs of space home to enormous beasts that swim through it like whales in a sea, distant systems both geocentric and heliocentric, vast clouds of primal cosmic matter and eldritch abominations.
- Space Whale: Among the things half-seen in outer space are colossal beasts shaped like world-sized whales or turtles.
- Unwanted False Faith: Downplayed. Celestia has no real issues with being held as an example to look up to or as a source of inspiration, but she has made efforts to discourage actual worship of herself.
- Was Once a Man: Tirek and Scorpan used to be a pair of pony brothers, warped beyond recognition by Antlertean magic.
- Weather Manipulation: In the same vein as the ponies, most of the Palaververses sapient species are divided into a number of subspecies with particular magical gifts, with the ability to craft clouds and control the weather manifesting in pegasi, markhors (who seem to specialize in storms) and magpies.
- Witch Species: Most, although not all, of the intelligent races have a subspecies capable of harnessing magic in a more direct, spellcasting fashion than the rest of their kin — the ponies have unicorns, the caprids ibexes, the sheep black sheep, the cattle longhorns, the corvids ravens and the elephants forest elephants. There are also subspecies that can use less "flashy" forms of magic: takin goats can use runic magic and enchant objects, while rooks posses oracular abilities.
- Your Normal Is Our Taboo: Corvids eat their dead, something they see as very honorable and respectful treatment of the deceased and as good use of resources (their homeland has persistent food shortage issues). The other (mostly herbivorous) species dont exactly share this view.