King Dainn of the Caribou arrives on the shores of Equestria a consummate exile, with nothing but a loyal crew, a cheap crown, and a grand vision for rebuilding the ruined empire he left behind. His timing is not opportune: a recent economic crisis has deeply shaken the nation's faith in its incumbent ruler, Princess Celestia, and left a large part of the population secretly yearning for a drastic change of leadership.
When Dainn launches his campaign to conquer Equestria and slowly begins to receive support from the disillusioned masses, he sows a seed of discord that grows into a cataclysmic civil war which threatens to strangle the entire nation. Now, it's up to Twilight and her friends to navigate an unfolding maze of political machinations, bloody battles, hidden conspiracies, magic rituals, and ancient prophecies to save their home before there's nothing left to save.
This fic provides examples of:
- Adapted Out: Gunne and Ginna are nowhere to be seen. Cardinal had planned to involve them at a later point, but canceled his story before he got to them.
- Affably Evil: Hrathr is a genuinely kind and gentle person who treats his charges well, but in the end he's still on Dainn's team.
- Alas, Poor Villain: Dainn is certainly no hero nor is he a good or moral person, but after seeing what King Svardagr put him through it's hard not to have sympathy for him.
- The Alcoholic: Frey. He apparently brings either a drink or a woman (or both) to every Council of Twelve meeting.
- The Ark: Dainn's fleet, which he uses to save his people from the Cycle.
- Broken Pedestal: Dainn claims that he admired Svardagr until his abuse began.
- Cool Ship: Dainn's ship The Astringent was Svardagr's flagship, and has appropriately large and opulent amenities.
- Evil Mentor: Svardagr to Dainn.
- End of an Age: The Cycle obliterates the Caribou's homeland and permanently ends their empire.
- Good Angel, Bad Angel: In this case, they're full sized. Twilight dreams of Dainn with a demon made of fire and smoke on his left, and an angel wearing a flower crown on his right.
- It's left unclear in the first chapter whether the entity with the flower crown really is a good angel though. She seems to scare Twilight even more than the demon, but Twilight can't really say why. Also, earlier in the chapter, that same entity gleefully watches Dainn's nightmare of being raped.
- Happiness in Slavery: Daena.
- High-Class Call Girl: Inverted with Frey's whore. She's as drunk and classless as he is.
- The High King: Svardagr.
- He was called High King, but he was far closer to an Evil Overlord.
- Horny Vikings: The Caribou primarily seem to be named after Nordic people and have a Nordic way of life- of course, theyre still ruthless conquerors who indulge in rape and slavery.
- In Name Only: The society that caribou present is far closer to sapient red deer than sapient caribou. Red deer have females who are almost entirely helpless and need a male (preferrably several) to protect the herd. Caribou are one of the only speceise of cervines to avert this trend. If the FoE caribou were anything like IRL caribou, they'd swap gender roles every six months.
- Lighter and Softer: Kinda. Dainn isn't carved from stone in this version, nor is he a raging sociopath (having a "girlfriend" slave girl whom he treats rather well). The council also rejects a proposal to do away with the less attractive does out of hand; treating the councilmember who suggested it as a Rich Idiot With No Day Job, wherein the older version they'd have done it without second thought. They also brought along their Slave Race, whom they left do die originally.
- Morality Pet: Daena, to Dainn.
- No Woman's Land: We can assume that this is what the Caribou want, similar to the regular Fall of Equestira universe. Mostly, it's because caribou does are, not to put too fine a point on it, dumber than fenceposts and deeply submissive. Stags, therefore, outright cannot comprehend female autonomy.
- Old Soldier: Dainn and Ivangir were soldiers in Svardagr's wars. They both have fond memories of them.
- Rich Idiot With No Day Job: Councilman Frey, who only has his seat because it was a condition of his father helping Dainn.
- Sex Slave: Daena, as well as every other female on Dainn's ship. Caribou females in general.
- The Sociopath: Anvari. Even though he isn't a doctor anymore, he still speaks to everyone like he's delivering cold, clinical diagnoses. In the first chapter he reports thirty deaths without a hint of concern, and even cracks a joke a few minutes later. His slaves are named "One," "Two," and "Three" because he sees them as completely interchangeable objects. They're described as the "meekest, most fearful, most painstakingly obedient does" Dainn has ever seen, one can only imagine what "special techniques" Anvari had to use to get them that way.
- Literally everyone in the Council shows traits of sociopathy or antisocial personality disorder, although it's more obvious with Anvari and Rashk (high-functioning) and Frey (low-functioning) than the others. Anvari specifically fits the Mad Doctor trope.
- Ye Goode Olde Days: Svardagr's reign was considered an unprecedented time of peace and prosperity because of his good leadership and strong Council, making the Fall of the Caribou immediately following it that much more devastating.
- One interesting thing about Svardagr's rule is that it's presented as a time of peace and prosperity for the caribou *and* a time of excessive warfare and successful conquest, even by their standards. It shows how different the caribou's understanding of "peace" is from our own.