After the Doctor drops the girls off in Ponyville, it looks like things are finally getting back to normal. But then Rarity's latest client, a Diamond Dog mining magnate by the name of Zeitgeist Stardust, shows up to announce that he'll have to cancel his order for a new ensemble for the Grand Galloping Gala... but as compensation, he's offering Rarity and her friends a trip to the fabulous Dragon Valley Resort!
There's no such thing as a free lunch, though, as there's trouble brewing in the mines beneath Dragon Mountain. A race of creatures known as "Grundels" are sowing disaster and trying to sabotage Stardust's operation, for fear that the digging will awaken an ancient evil. Are the Grundels' fears justified, and can the Doctor and his new companions put a stop to this?
The fic can be found here.
Now has a sequel titled The Nightmare Engine.
Tropes contained in Mines of Dragon Mountain
- A Father to His Men:
- Zeitgeist to his employees. He pays very well, has good health care and can be even a fun boss to have but don't you dare to hurt or kill them or he will end you.
- Celestia, if the story that Zeitgeist told is accurate.
- And I Must Scream:
- Tirac's soul was meant to slowly deteriorate over thousands of years as the mountain was mined.
- Gabbro, once he becomes aware that Tirac has been possessing him his entire life - and finds himself forced to kill Granodiorite.
- Apocalypse How: Level 3 around 500,000 years ago during The Gods war against Tirac, destroying Empires, exterminating entire species and leveling continents.
- Airship Luxurious: The Brünhild is aptly compared to a floating palace.
- Badass Adorable: Spike.
- Berserk Button:
- Zeitgeist is very annoyed but still diplomatic to the Grundels when they keep sabotaging his equipment, but when two of his employees are murdered he decides that the gloves are off and slaughters an entire raiding party but one prisoner.
- It's stated that over two hundred miners have been killed over the course of six months, so it's not just the two miners prompting this reaction.
- Do anything to harm Spike and Twilight will destroy you.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Pinkie Pie as expected can bend the Universe to her will, and nobody, not even the Doctor, can hope to explain how she can do this. This is also done by Tirac, a god, while mocking Spike's defiance:Ooh kid! Post that one on Equestria Daily, Im sure itll get six stars!.
- Casual Time Travel: Like the original series, this is done offscreen, having to fight very hard in the actual "present" to change or allow thing to happen as they should. It is also implied twice that the Doctor traveled and met not only Celestia and Luna before the S'Müz, but also orchestrated the Downfall of Tirac 500,000 years in the past.
- Cannot Tell a Lie: Worker Grundels.
- Crapsack World: The Doctor Universe compared to the Equestria one. Where his leans toward monstrosities, war, and destruction; Equestria is hell bent on goodness, love, and the Magic of Friendship. It's starting to freak the Doctor out a little.
- Cool Airship:
- Zeitgeist Stardust has one.
- A large blindingly white airship called the Brünhild.
- Comically Missing the Point: After Fire Dazzler is confronted by two thugs to help them dragon-nap Spike he wallows in self-pity before being motivated by the TARDIS.TARDIS: You know what you must do.Fire Dazzler: Who...who said that?TARDIS: You know what you must do...to ease your soul.Fire Dazzler: Are you my conscience?TARDIS: What.Fire Dazzler: Ease my soul, eh? You're right. I need a drink!TARDIS: ...p'tagh...
- The Corruption: Tirac's true power is implied to be this.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Once again, played by the verse. While Zeitgeist is this for the Pony verse, he still comes across as incredibly nice and generous, barely above a pale shade of grey despite being more...audacious and immoral in his business tactics while he was exiled and broke.
- Curb-Stomp Battle:
- Thy name is Twilight Sparkle.
- Tirac has had literally billions of years more combat experience than the Mane Cast, and it shows.
- Crazy-Prepared: Despite the best efforts of The Doctor and the Grundels, Tirac is never less than one step away from achieving his goals throughout the story. In fact, it's only through incredible luck and seat-of-the-pants maneuvers that his plan even fails at all.The Doctor: I hate it when they're clever...
- Darker and Edgier: From the original series. We have wars, murder, thugs (and a mafia), death threats, evil organizations, evil gods, Tyrannical Intergalactic Empires and mild sexual themes.
- Deadpan Snarker:
Tirac: And what if I just bled you dry and snapped your neck like the twig it is? Would that be sinister and menacing enough?!
- The Doctor, obviously. But the award goes to Spike, whose snarkiness is such an ingrained habit that he can't keep himself from mocking Tirac for his Snidely Whiplash/Captain Planet Villain mien.
Spike: More like spiteful and stupid In case you forgot, we dragons turn to gems when we die! Blood and all! So unless you were just diddling around with all that spell-breaking garbage a minute ago, you need me alive to forward this whole plan of yours!
Tirac: Once Im truly free, you and your friends will beg for death!
Spike: Uh-huh, till then.
Rainbow Dash: You're doing all this for a suit?
- Also, after Zeitgeist Stardust decides to land his private airship in the middle of Ponyville on a whim or so we think:
Zeitgeist: Yes. It's going to be a nice suit.
Rainbow Dash: Rich people are weird...
- Dishing Out Neutron-Degenerate Matter: Terra, Equine Goddess Of Matter, mother of the Goddess princesses and former Goddess of Ponykind. Also around a kilometer long.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Zeitgeist campaign of genocide with high caliber weapons could be considered this for the actions in the intro.
Fire Dazzler: Isnt an eternity of torture a little much for a measly half-a-million years of imprisonment? Youre a god, thats like a dime for you!
- Zeitgeist seems to be attempting to start a diplomatic solution through his prisoner so genocide probably isn't on his agenda.
- And then there's Tirac who shows ponies and Diamond Dogs alike what real vengefullness is.
Tirac: What can I say, Im petty.
- Brony, He's like... In A Coma: Applejack kept looking for excuses to give the Doctor CPR after he was knocked out. Rainbow Dash didn't let her.
- Emotion Eater: Tirac, or rather The Source of Darkness, feeds off of negative emotions such as fear, hate, misery, and pain. 500,000 years ago he had plunged Equestria into a horrible global war in order to feed off of resulting the suffering and misery to strengthen the Source of Darkness. The reason he's trying to destroy the diamond dog city is in order to consume the fear and pain of an entire city burning to death, restarting the Source and freeing him from his prison.
- Evil Is Petty: But at least Tirac admits it.
- Fate Worse than Death:
- Thousands of years ago, a powerful and brutal society one day decided to enslave the ponies, probably for the lulz. Celestia banished them to the sun... where they still live. Needless to say, no other race had dared to wage war with the ponies ever since.
- The result of Tirac's corruption is shown very graphically to be this.
- Faux Affably Evil: When he's not roaring with inexpressible rage Tirac certainly seems to be a jolly individual; giggling manically, Chewing the Scenery, capering about like a vaudeville villain, plotting to torture the entire universe to death, forcing someone to peel off their own face, butchering dozens of innocent Unwitting Pawns, etc...
- Flat "What": One from Tirac while talking to Spike, and another from the TARDIS while talking to Fire Dazzler.
- Foe-Tossing Charge: Twilight to Gabbro/Tirac through a meter thick wall of reinforced granite and into another wall hard enough to bring down the cave.
- Genius Ditz: Pinkie Pie with sweets and cakes. As of now she is trying to replicate alien cuisine with... mixed results. She succeeds in the end and the results...aren't pretty.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar:There was a stale taste in [Mr Cake's] mouth; the taste of whatever had been on his tongue the previous night, in this case strawberry wine and Mrs. Cake.
- Girl Friday: Litigia Statute to Zeitgeist.
- God of Evil: A pretty nasty one, too.
- Gratuitous German: Zeitgeist and his diamond dog employees seem to have a German theme rolling, with names like Zeitgeist or 'spirit of ages', Feist 'a mean little dog', Hahnenkamm or 'Comb', and Aufwuchs or 'algae' (or Algy?).
- Heroic Bastard: Zeitgeist.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Gabbro manages to break free of Tirac's control long enough to throw himself into a lava pool, robbing Tirac of his only vessel and preventing him from escaping.
- Have We Met Yet?: This is practically a routine with the Doctor, not only because of Casual Time Travel, but also thanks to his ability to unerringly piss off extremely powerful beings left and right wherever/whenever he goes. Tirac was not amused.
- Hyper-Awareness: As explained in Time Lords and Terror, the reason for Fluttershy's shyness is that she is so good at reading people that she gets overrun with information. Apparently during the Time Skip she had managed to use this ability to such extent that she had become the guide horse for the group.
- Hypocrite: Rainbow Dash with how she acted in her first meeting with Zeitgeist, exactly in the same way that she detests being treated. For bonus points, it's almost the same way the Doctor treated her in their first meeting, if a little more rude.
- Heart Is an Awesome Power: Unicorn Telekinesis. Really, you wouldn't believe how utterly badass it is until you see Twilight Sparkle furious. See below.
- Idiot Savant: A milder case of this trope can be found in Fire Dazzler, one of the resort's more talented pyrotechnicians. Like all ponies he has the one area of expertise in which he absolutely excels, unlike all ponies he knowingly gets indebted to a pony mafia in order to purchase extremely unsafe/illegal chemicals for his light shows. His idiocy and irresponsibility are integral to the plot.
- If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: In Chapter 2, when Fire Dazzler tells the Doctor he has gotten a crush on Twilight Sparkle, the Doctor decides to allow it, although he does give him this little warning.The Doctor: If you are indeed going to try and pursue a relationship with my good dear friend Twilight, do take her feelings into consideration. She's a little... awkward socially. If you in some way... distress her, I will make you very, very sorry... forever. Compris?
- Implacable Man: Tirac/Gabbro not only slaughtered an entire group of Worker Grundels in seconds but also laid low the entire mane cast, the Doctor and a group of Elite Grenadiers armed to the teeth with contemptuous ease that's it until he faced an enraged Twilight Sparkle.
- Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Worker Grundels. They are massive, absurdly strong, incredibly tough, and quite intelligent creatures. They are also the nicest, most innocent beings you could ever hope to find in Equestria. This is by design as their God created them to be the only creatures incapable of being corrupted by Tirac and act as Tirac's jailers.
- Interspecies Romance: "Equestrianism", which its somewhat accepted, since several Diamond dogs would not mind riding Rarity or Fluttershy and there seems to be a small cup of this between Zeitgeist and Litigia. When two of Zeitgeist's dogs coarsely joke about it in front of an already distraught Twilight in chapter 5, she does not appreciate it.
- Kill It with Fire: Gabbro's plan is pretty much this. By utilizing a volcano's magma chamber he plans to wipe a city from the face of the earth in a sea of fire and ash.
- Ironically enough, in the end this is how Gabbro kills himself and Tirac.
- Knight Templar: Gabbro. He wants to wipe out one of the Diamond Dogs' major cities so they'll never be a threat again. This turns out to be because of Tirac's influence.
- Large and in Charge: In the Grim Dark past of Equestria, gods as large as mountains and as powerful as stars roam the earth.
- Tirac is 1-km long by 700+ meters tall while the Equine Elementals are of similar proportions, but the cake goes to Calcipher who lives up to his title by being over a mile (1.6km) tall. Oh, and they're all Made of Indestructium .
- Large Ham: David Tennant's No Indoor Voice would synch up perfectly with much of the dialogue. However, the introduction of Tirac in a speaking role quickly and deftly establishes who is the hammiest of them all. Tirac's old school villain hamminess is even lampshaded by Spike who saysSpike: Yknow, when I heard that The Demon God Tirac was loose I was kinda expecting something more, I dunno, sinister and menacing! I really wasnt expecting some mugging chucklehead crooning clichés like a Saturday morning cartoon villain!
- Light Is Good: Radian, the Equine God of Energy and father of the Goddess princesses and former God of Ponykind.
- Mama Bear: Never stand between Twilight and Spike. Or you will regret it FOREEEEEVEEEER.Twilight: Coming between me and Spike is... unwise.
- Magitek: Equestria puts Eberron to shame. Many of this inventions come from the Diamond Dogs apparently.
- Manipulative Bastard: Tirac. He corrupted Gabbro from a young age and made him think he was stopping the Diamond Dogs from freeing the demon, when if anything the Diamond Dog's efforts were harming Tirac, and Gabbro was being molded into a vessel for Tirac's tyrannical will..
- More Hero Than Thou: When it appears that the Doctor is going to perform a Heroic Sacrifice, Zeigeist knocks him out and takes his place. Subverted when Twilight saves him at the last moment, which the Doctor had factored into his own plan anyway.
- Mr. Smith: Averted. As "John Smith" is most definitely not an Equestrian name, The Doctor has changed his chosen pseudonym to "Time Line".
- Mushroom Samba: Chapter 2 opens with Sweetie Belle and Applebloom relating their sisters' stories to Scootaloo. Scoots asks if they had been eating mushrooms... again...
- My Greatest Failure: Zeigeist accidentally killing his older half brother during an endurance contest for the title of heir.
- Noodle Incident: The antics the girls have gotten into over the last month (of relative time) are only vaguely alluded to.
- Also, the part with Mr. Cake alludes to a time when Pinkie Pie dipped into the drink. It is referred to only as 'the incident'.
- Oh, Crap!: Tirac/Gabbro gets an epic one when he realized that Twilight could disrupt his deadliest killing-curse with ease right before she used his body to pulverize a reinforced granite wall, smash him into another wall and cause a cave-in.
- Only Sane Employee: Litigia Statute's job seems to consist entirely of keep Zeitgeist out of trouble.
- Our Dragons Are Different: Dragons are intelligent and magical reptilians who consume jewels like candy and don't seem to have a very close-knit society. 500,000 years ago they where godlike beings (or at least perceived like this by other creatures) hell bent on saving the world, to the point that Calcipher, the dragon god, sacrificed his life to seal Tirac's soul in his body.
- Papa Wolf: Nothing will make Gabbro hurt Cheppu not even a Demon God possessing his body.
- Physical God: Calcipher, the God of Dragons ad Terra and Radian, the Equine gods of respectively Matter and Energy (who are the parents of current goddesses Luna and Celestia).
- Precision F-Strike: A very PG-13 one but it still counts nonetheless. Just after Twilight finished a monologue about how much fun she had with the Doctor and expresses a desire to continue their Adventures for a long time to come, the Doctor drops the bomb that he must leave them so he can stop a Minponi Crusade from exterminating all life on Equestria. Twilight and her friends, having 'eaten' several Minponi officials, cannot come with him lest they risk execution. Twilight's response after The Doctor takes his leave:Twilight: Crap.
Litigia: ck you, sir
- Litigia almost got one in chapter 2:
- Poor Communication Kills: Seriously, the entire plot could be avoided if the Grundels only said that the Mountain gems were a God level prison for Tirac, an Eldritch Abomination hell bent on the slaughter all life on the planet.
- Turns out this was due to the Grundels thinking that the diamond dogs weren't intellectually capable of diplomacy.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: Diamond Dogs.
- Proud Scholar Race Guy: This is what the Ponies are, according to Zeitgeist. Each pony is a genius in their chosen path and fairly competent in many other areas. One pony is able to equal the output of an entire team of diamond dog scientists in regards to discovery and application if properly channeled. The Doctor agrees.
- Puppeteer Parasite: What Tirac has done to Gabbro.
- Redemption Equals Death: Gabbro
- Rules Lawyer: Litigia Statute.
- Say My Name: A rather chilling example from Tirac to Gabbro at the end of chapter five.
- Schedule Slip: The updates have not been as frequent as they were with Time Lords and Terror.
- Sherlock Scan: Fluttershy is so good at reading people that nothing can slip by her. Not even the corruption of an Eldritch Abomination with a perception filter.
- Schizo Tech: that frequently overlaps with Magitek.
- Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: It goes with accessible Time Travel. If Tirac hadn't gloated to the Doctor, he would have never known that he was the Beast from his original Universe in the first place, known the source of his power, that he traveled 500,000 years in the past in the future to arrange his downfall and wouldn't have met him in the future again to tell him all of this... again.
- Sequel Hook: The epilogue.
Spike: Id explode twice?! I thought that couldnt happen!
- The Grundels from the G1 series make a return, and there's reference made to another G1 villain: Tirac, from the G1 special "Rescue at Midnight Castle".
- There's also reference to the Minponi, a race of aliens with an accountant-monk mien who take themselves far too seriously and are prone to genocidal overreaction (much like the Minbari). There's also a Centauri Republic, although the Ponyverse's version is populated by actual Centaurs.
- Zeitgeist Stardust himself is a shout-out to David Bowie, if it weren't already obvious.
- According to Chapter 6, Tirac is The Beast from "The Impossible Planet" and "The Satan Pit", who got shunted into Equestria's distant past after falling into the black hole.
- You magnificent bastard. Litigia said in awe. You should write a book.
- Twilight got annoyed with Feist, so she sent him to... hurt, to learn some manners there.
- To My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
Applejack: Neither did ah!
Gabbro: Promise me power.
- The dialogue during Gabbro's Heroic Sacrifice resembles the dialogue between Inigo Montoya and Count Rugen]] near the end of The Princess Bride.
Tirac: A million worlds will bow at your feet! Cheppus too!
Gabbro: Fame. Promise me fame too.
Tirac: Yes! Yes! Your names will be on the tongues of countless worlds! There wont be a sentient alive who wont know of you and Cheppu!
Gabbro: Beg. Beg for your life like the foul wretched vermin that you are.
Tirac: I- I- I beg I beg you to spare me! I beg! I BEG!!
Gabbro: Now fly.
- Zecora refers using to using a 'Phoenix Feather to make even the dead feel better.'
- Spike mentions he expected Tirac to be more like Freezer from Serpent Spheres X
- Pinkie mentions to Mr. Cake that she met The Cutie-Marx Brothers.Pinkie: Harpo's my favorite!
Mr. Cake: They've been dead for forty years, Pinkie...
- "Liberate... tutemet... ex inferis..."
- Straight Man: Straight Mare: This seems to be Litigia Statute's job, who acts as a buffer for when Zeitgeist's excitement gets the better of him.
- Sugar Bowl: Applies not only to Equestria, but to the entire MLP Universe. The Doctor had discovered that this Universe is far more benevolent than his original oneAmazingly the big empires in this universe were surprisingly mellow, even the Minponi to an extent. Where there had been genocides in his universe, here there had been somewhat unpleasant occupations; where there had been wars in his universe, here there had been skirmishes; where there had been hate in his universe, here there was love. Its like this universe had consciously dialed back the horrific extremes aggression could bring out in all its occupants, a decision he was in full support of.
- Word of God is that the pony universe is so much less Crapsacky then The Doctors because Terra and Radian have spent the millennia since the war against Tirac striving to reduce the evilness of all sentient races so as to make it harder for Tirac to find willing followers should he ever get free.
- There Was a Door: Played straight and Subverted. When Twilight lost her temper she decided to take the direct route, leveling everything in her path, be it walls, doors, ceilings or an entire squadron of Elite Grenadiers. When she finally got to her destination:Zeitgeist and Litigia spun around the door, to the door, waiting for it to shatter into a thousand splinters.
There was a knock. Steady, polite, and firm.
- Took a Level in Badass: Twilight Sparkle, from the one month with the Doctor, went from being a incredibly powerful but nice pony to and incredibly powerful but nice pony who knows how to use her power for... active diplomacy, much the dismay of the diamond dogs and Tirac.
- Also, Spike, without any influence from the Doctor whatsoever, mixed with a level-up in genre savvy.
- Tongue Trauma: A captured Grundel delivers an ominous warning to Zeitgeist Stardust before biting off his own tongue and choking on it.
- Uncle Pennybags: Zeitgeist really is a genial businessman and a very Benevolent Boss. He is extremely curious, pays great salaries, protects his employees, and cares a lot about them. Its only that Diamond Dogs have... lets say, more savage politics than ponies. As he stated: He is a businessman to the rest of the world but he is a Duke to the Diamond Dogs and he has to show it.
- Undignified Death: Seems to be a theme in Hephestus' works that truly vile villains die begging for their lives. First it was The SMüz pleading for its life, now it's Tirac begging Gabbro not to kill them both!
- Utility Magic: This is the only use of Magic in Equestria. From the natural magic of the Ponies to the technological marvels of the Diamond Dogs; if it doesn't have a use, it's useless showboating.
- Villainous Breakdown: Tirac flips out when he realizes he's losing control of Gabbro's body, allowing Gabbro to sacrifice himself to ensure Tirac remains entombed for good.
- Luckily for Tirac, Discord's familiar Screwball springs him.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Type 2 between Litigia and Zeitgeist with a little of Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other. They insult, belittle and sometimes downright abuse the Boss/Secretary/Nanny relationship they share, but at the end of the day they are for each other through and through no matter what. Or as explained by Zeitgeist:Zeitgeist: Thanks Lit, where would I be without you?
Litigia: In jail. Awaiting execution with fire.
Zeitgeist: Sounds about right.
- There's a flavor of this between Discord and Tirac in the epilogue.
- Well Done Companion Pony: This is one of the main motivators for a number of main cast members regarding the Doctor, especially Rainbow Dash. They need to be not only his friends, but people he respects. Otherwise, they fear he would end up doing something he would regret. Going by Canon Who, they are completely right.
- World of Pun: Equestria entire Universe. From the Centauri Republic being populated by actual centaurs to the Diamond Dogs being commanded by Zeitgeist Stardust, and it cracks the good Doctor up to no end.