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Fanfic / Quiververse

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The Sun Also Rises Cover Picture

The Quiververse is a series of fanfics based upon My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, conceived of and written by EchoWing. It's available on both his DeviantArt page and on In chronological order, it consists (thus far) of...

  1. The Sun Also Rises: Immediately after the events of Equestria Girls. After her defeat, Sunset Shimmer retreats to where she's hidden herself since arriving in the human world, a realm that links Canterlot High and Equestria. But she isn't the only one to know about this realm, on either side, and more than a few want to help her rise again.
  2. Six Nights (and a Day) with Sunset: Takes place immediately after the above. Sunset Shimmer spends a night with each of the Humane Five, getting to know them as she sorts out a new place for herself in the world. Meanwhile, Twilight's wrestling with some of the consequences of her visit to the human world, particularly involving Flash Sentry.
  3. An Act of Random Kindness: Post Equestria Girls, prior to Season 4. Quiver Quill is a lonesome stallion with a dream of being a writer, one that has been squashed by circumstance and all but smothered as he works a job that depresses him simply to make ends meet. Then he meets Princess Twilight Sparkle, and he finds himself a little more optimistic.
  4. Looking for Work in All the Right Places: Sunset Shimmer gets a job at a shop run by the human world's version of Zecora, who knows more about Equestria than she's letting on.
  5. Reflections: Quiververse Edition: An alternate take on IDW's Reflections story, written with Sombra's Fiendship Is Magic comic and the Season Four premiere in mind.
  6. The Last of the Elements: This universe's version of the events of Princess Twilight Sparkle.
  7. Wherever You Find Love: This universe's version of the events of the Equestria Girls Holiday Special.
  8. Nightmare's End: Celestia and Luna accompany the Mane Six to the Castle of the Two Sisters as part of Twilight's research into the Chest of Harmony, where Luna confronts her guilt over everything related to Nightmare Moon.
  9. A Shimmering New Year: Sunset Shimmer and her friends at Canterlot High are faced with nightmares as a new semester starts and new students join them at CHS. Meanwhile, Twilight continues to research the portals. Later edited into a Crossover with RQK's story Reflections.
  10. On a Wing and a Prayer: Becoming flag-bearers for Ponyville in the Equestria Games gives Scootaloo and her fellow Crusaders reason to cheer and Diamond Tiara reason to fear, while Twilight and Flash Sentry decide to take the next step in their relationship.
  11. New Horizon: Quiver Quill moves to Ponyville following Rarity's appearance at Manehattan Fashion Week, but finds some trouble settling in.
  12. A Light in the Dark: After the events of Rainbow Falls. Spitfire gets chewed out by a potential Wonderbolt recruit named Sunrunner for her past mistakes.
  13. Family: Pinkie Pie tries to help Quiver find if he has any relatives in Ponyville. Flashbacks (and Flash Forwards) are shown to visits from her own family, whose rock farm was in serious financial trouble.
  14. A Daring Day: Twilight Sparkle and Rainbow Dash are invited to join A.K. Yearling on a trip to Maretonia, and bring their friend Quiver Quill along for the ride. However, things are not what they seem...
  15. Scars of the Quill: Quiver Quill has scars, both mental and emotional. Now, one run-in with Diamond Tiara is about to bring them back to the forefront... and reveal some of her own in the process.
  16. Scars of the Sun: Sunrunner finds herself helping with a class reunion, in the process confronting her scars from that time, particularly involving a foalhood friend.
  17. Many Happy Reunions: picking up from the epilogues of Scars of the Quill and Scars of the Sun, Quiver Quill and Sunrunner meet for the first time in years, and another reunion — with Sunrunner's cousin Sunset Shimmer — is also in the works.
  18. A Mad Pony in a Box: Crossover with Doctor Who. The Last of the Time Lords has arrived in Equestria, and danger isn't too far behind him.
  19. Tales from a Double Date: Sunrunner and Flash Sentry entertain Quiver Quill and Twilight Sparkle with stories from the Royal Guard.
  20. Contemplating Chaosnote : Discord crosses paths with Quiver Quill, and trouble inevitably ensues.
  21. Legends of Magic: Twilight's research into the origins of the Tree of Harmony leads to revelations regarding figures of Equestrian legend as well as grave secrets.
  • Quiververse Bonus Reel hosts the blooper, Q&A, and vignette chapters, the latter being short scenes that retcon events from the series that took place before the storyline began or additional scenes related to the series.

More are currently in progress, with the series currently slated to feature a "first season" of 26 stories. The author has discussed the series having as many as four seasons of similar length, but whether these will be produced remains to be seen.

The series contains examples of:

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    The series as a whole 

  • Abusive Parents: Spoiled Rich, as in canon, is emotionally abusive to Diamond Tiara, and later shows herself capable of worse. Quiver Quill's father, Bitterhoof, is emotionally and verbally abusive as well towards his son.
  • Adaptation Personality Change: Compared to canon, the version of Sour Sweet that appears here is decidedly nicer and more even-tempered, and less inclined towards violent mood swings. Justified as this version, in addition to realizing how much being on the receiving end of this can hurt someone, has undergone psychiatric help.
  • Adaptational Sexuality: Played with in that while Lyra Heartstrings and Sweetie Drops/Bon-Bon are still a romantic couple, their sexualities are specified — Lyra is bisexual, while Bon-Bon is a confirmed lesbian.
  • Adapted Out: The author has revealed that particular elements from the series as well as the expanded universe won't be incorporated into this storyline. Thus far, examples include...
  • Adults Are Useless: Attempts are made at mitigating this compared to canon in regards to Principal Celestia and Vice Principal Luna.
    • Played straight in regards to the lack of reaction to Primrose Thorn bullying Quiver Quill and Sunrunner.
  • The Ageless: Changelings are established as having a version of this, provided they have enough love to sustain them and they don't procreate.
  • All There in the Manual: In addition to the Q&A installments, there's also a timeline that reorders canon episodes and slots in assorted bits of the expanded universe.
  • Alternate Universe: The storyline branches off from the official material after the events of Equestria Girls, and continues from there.
  • Anachronic Order: The list above puts the stories in chronological order. In publication order, it's An Act of Random Kindness->The Sun Also Rises->A Light in the Dark->Six Nights (and a Day) with Sunset->Reflections: Quiververse Edition->Looking for Work in All the Right Places->The Last of the Elements->New Horizon->Wherever You Find Love->On a Wing and a Prayer->Nightmare's End->A Shimmering New Year->Family->A Daring Day->A Mad Pony in a Box (prologue only; the first chapter was released after stories 15&16 were completed and after the first chapter of 17 was released, with the remainder following once 17 was done)->Scars of the Quill -> Scars of the Sun -> Many Happy Reunions-> Tales from a Double Date->Contemplating Chaos->Legends of Magic.
    • The Vignettes, unfortunately, fell victim to this as well. They're listed on FIMFiction and below in chronological order, but were released thus — Friendship is Magic->Sweet and Elite->A Bird in the Hoof->One Bad Apple->A Canterlot Wedding->The Mysterious Mare-Do-Well->Owl's Well That End's Well->Too Many Pinkie Pies->Luna Eclipsed->Hearts and Hooves Day->Spike at Your Service->The Day Shift->"Bats!"->How Rarity Got Her Groovy Back->Scars of the Quill->Three's A Crowd->Winter Wrap Up->Apple-Con.
    • And this ignores the fact that the events of the series are considered to have taken place in Anachronic Order by the writer, as well as several events that happened later in the series occurring much sooner than they did in canon.
  • Canon Immigrant: Of a sort; Sunset Shimmer's parents, the characters of Silver Bullet and Legalhawke, and some of Flash Sentry's background are all borrowed with permission from other authors.
  • Corrupt Politician: The Thorn family has a string of these who effectively have a stranglehold on the mayorship of the city of Indianapoloosa.
  • Door Stopper: All twenty-one complete published stories (not counting the Bloopers, Q&A, Vignettes or incomplete stories) put together total 553,633 words.
  • Driven to Suicide: Two instances, both ultimately averted.
    • Sunset comes close to this thanks to the Anon-A-Miss incident. Twilight, thankfully, stops her in time.
    • Quiver doesn't get quite that far, but does contemplate walking into the Everfree Forest and not looking back. Then he gets distracted by Derpy.
  • Expy: Quiver Quill's employer, Amazing Booksellers, is one for
    • The named crew of the Valiant are expies for military members of UNIT.
  • Fix Fic: Intended from the beginning to fix issues the author had with canon. Consequently, a lot of plot holes ended up being explained in one way or another.
  • Fourth-Wall Mail Slot: Has one in the form of question and answer sessions, alternating with a blooper reel and small scenes that are canon to the overall storyline, but don't really fit into other stories.
  • Great Offscreen War: Mention is made of an old war between Equestria and the Griffon nation. No details have been given beyond war crimes on the part of the griffons that involved violations perpetrated upon female prisoners of war.
  • Government Conspiracy: SMILE, an organization within the Equestrian government intended to protect it against threats from the shadows, has grown into this, manipulating things to suit their own agenda. When they are uncovered, the Mane Six are horrified.
  • Hidden Depths: In addition to what she's demonstrated in canon, Sunset Shimmer reveals she has eidetic memory, fair skills as a sketch artist, and certain lines that she didn't cross at her worst, particularly involving dead relatives. That last bit ultimately helps her to bond with both versions of Applejack, as all three are orphans.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Played with compared to canon, as there are various degrees of loops that characters at Canterlot High are either locked into or out of.
  • Mama Bear: Twilight Velvet is established as this in one of the Vignettes, to the point that she nearly slapped Princess Celestia and pulled Twilight Sparkle out of the School for Gifted Unicorns due to how poorly the former was handling her daughter's tutelage.
  • Masquerade: Principal Celestia and Vice Principal Luna knew about Equestria long before Sunset Shimmer came to Canterlot High, and were secretly looking after her until the events of the Fall Formal. They aren't the only ones aware of it, either. Afterwards, they started looking after her directly.
  • Militaries Are Useless: Played with, in that while some of their showings prior to the start of the storyline are acknowledged, it's shown that some members of the Equestrian Royal Guard are indeed reasonably competent at their jobs and help to take the weight off the backs of the Mane Six.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Rarity mentions off-handedly that Rainbow Dash and Applejack are often speculated to be a couple by gossip columns.
  • Mythology Gag: Rainbow Dash's mother is named for and designed after G1 Firefly, and mentions are made of Megan, the primary human character from the original TV specials.
    • The pony version of Sunny Flare is established to be a descendent of a G4 version of Majesty, a pony from G1.
  • Pocket Dimension: One exists that serves as an indirect link between the human and pony worlds; it can be entered from either end, but you can only return to the world that you entered it from.
  • Point of Divergence: Not one, but several. Thus did come to pass a number of changes from canon.
    • First, it was one Siren rather than three who attacked Equestria early in Celestia and Luna's reign, though this still prompted the assembly of the Pillars.
    • Second, rather than adding one stone to the Tree of Harmony, seven were added, which became the Elements of Harmony. Sunset Shimmer interacting with the Element of Magic caused the Seventh Element to become active.
    • Third, Star Swirl the Bearded, after creating the Crystal Mirror over a thousand years before the main events of the storyline, collaborated with someone in the human world to create the bridge mirrors.
  • Related in the Adaptation: Several examples, some based on fanon and some from the author's own imagination.
    • Whereas it's remained unconfirmed in the series proper, Applejack and Pinkie Pie are confirmed to be distant cousins thanks to research by Pinkie's mother, Cloudy Quartz.
    • Cadance is suggested as being the descendant of Princess Amore, the last legitimate ruler of the Crystal Empire before Sombra usurped the throne.
    • Bulk Biceps is Featherweight's maternal uncle in this storyline, whereas they've never so much as interacted in the series itself.
    • Twist is Bon-Bon's niece (doubling as a Shout-Out to RealityCheck's Nyxverse).
    • Flash Sentry is confirmed to be the elder brother to a background colt popularly called First Base but here named Pop Fly. A later story introduces a cousin named Hard Rock, though neither is aware of their familial connection.
    • Original Character Quiver Quill is established as a cousin to Sour Sweet.
    • Time Turner and Minuette are cousins in this continuity, as well as descendants of the renegade Time Lord Drax.
    • The pony version of Indigo Zap is established to be a grandchild of Wind Rider, and hints in the story suggest her to be a sister to Lightning Dust (which she confirms in Legends of Magic).
    • The pony version of Sugarcoat is hinted in story (and again, confirmed by Word of God) to be the daughter of Zesty Gourmand.
    • Princess Platinum is established as a sister-in-law of Celestia and Luna, and by extension Prince Blueblood's ancestor.
    • Flash Magnus is strongly implied to be a distant ancestor of Flash Sentry and Rainbow Dash.
    • Sunburst is established as a cousin to Sunset Shimmer.
  • Retcon: Short vignettes released serve to retcon events from the series that took place before the storyline began.
    • The first one changes Celestia and Luna's reconciliation, giving Celestia more apologetic dialogue and having her outright admit her role in Luna's descent into Nightmare Moon.
    • The second retcons events for "One Bad Apple" to reveal that Babs Seed was scolded and punished for her bullying of the Cutie Mark Crusaders, though still forgiven as in canon.
    • The third adds a scene to the events of "Sweet and Elite", where Rarity properly introduces her friends to Fancy Pants and Celestia, Spike and Twilight's parents join in the party.
    • The fourth changes the events of "A Bird in the Hoof" to eliminate the Poor Communication Kills moment, with Celestia directly asking Fluttershy to look after Philomena to boot.
    • The fifth changes the events of "The Mysterious Mare-Do-Well". Mare-Do-Well isn't Twilight, Applejack, Pinkie and Fluttershy at all. The secret government agency SMILE, when its leadership noticed that they weren't following "what we were told would be the normal progression of events", effectively hypnotized four of its own agents into filling the role instead in an attempt to salvage things. As a result of the actual Bearers not being responsible for it, they and Rainbow Dash have a much calmer and more reasonable talk when Rainbow Dash finally talks to them about recent events, though she's still not happy about some of it.
    • The sixth serves as an epilogue to "Owl's Well That Ends Well", with Twilight discussing that episode's events with her mother. Twilight Velvet reveals that she gave Princess Celestia a piece of her mind over effectively making Spike Twilight's problem and causing her no end of distress, regardless of her intentions.
    • The first version of the seventh changes the events of "Luna Eclipsed" so that Luna's talk with Fluttershy goes a lot more smoothly. The second version has her evening in Ponyville in general go better, while Twilight confronts Pinkie Pie regarding her behavior and convinces her to offer a proper apology for her actions.
    • The eighth changes the events of "Too Many Pinkie Pies" so that Twilight correctly identifies the original Pinkie Pie and separates her from her clones, thus averting that episode's demonstration of the Idiot Ball. It also clarifies that the clones aren't truly sapient beings, and that they would have broken down eventually on their own.
    • The ninth fixes up the events of "Spike at Your Service", with Applejack talking to Spike at the start and convincing him to drop the whole "debt" thing while still letting him help out because he's her friend and wants to, and thus causing things to go much more smoothly than the canon version.
    • The tenth changes the events of "A Canterlot Wedding" to show Celestia giving Twilight a proper apology over failing to heed her concerns over Cadance's behavior, and establishes that several hundred changelings were killed in the invasion.
    • The eleventh serves as an epilogue for the events of "Hearts and Hooves Day".
    • The twelfth changes events slightly for the Luna issue of the Micro Series, mostly to ease the Jerkass behaviour of several parties and help make Flash Sentry look like less of a fool.
    • The thirteenth serves as an epilogue for the events of "Winter Wrap Up", having Applejack and Twilight talk about the events of the day and Applejack explain why she reacted the way she did about certain things.
    • The fourteenth changed events slightly for the Rarity issue of the Micro Series, removing mention of the Flim Flam brothers and Filthy Rich and substituting an unnamed bank and Amazing Booksellers in their place.
    • The fifteenth alters the events of "Bats!" to have all the characters be much more reasonable about why they need to remove the bats and how to do so, along with an alternate explanation of why the spell affected Fluttershy like it did.
    • The sixteenth adds to the events of "Three's a Crowd", adding some foreshadowing for later events in the Quiververse to Twilight and Cadance's discussion and including a brief chat with a passing-by Quiver, both prior to Discord's arrival.
    • The seventeenth adds to the events of "Filli Vanilli" by having Quiver reign in Pinkie's exuberance somewhat by bluntly pointing out early on that she's upsetting Fluttershy with her predictions about what might go wrong.
    • The eighteenth is an extra scene that follows the events of the Scars Trilogy, and features Rainbow Dash visiting her parents and hashing out issues that were raised in canon.
    • The twentieth retells the events of the ninth issue of the Friends Forever series, removing Applejack and rehabilitating the Flim Flam Brothers while also implying the involvement of SMILE in their activities.
    • Edits in 2019 have changed the original character Gilded Lily's relationship with Scootaloo to line up with reveals in canon — originally Scootaloo's mother, she's now her maternal aunt.
  • Shout-Out: Many, from other fanfics to other series entirely.
    • The loft apartment that Sunset Shimmer moves into is directly inspired by the one owned by Richard Castle.
    • The name of the shop she works at is a Swahili translation of "Into the Mystic".
    • Doctor Who gets the lion's share thanks to Time Turner and his human counterpart, complete with a scene lifted from an episode. And that was before the crossover.
    • Scars of the Quill mentions the town of Promise not wanting Twilight to come there, claiming there's nothing of interest in its nearly forest. An author's note confirms that this is the same town from A Great and Powerful Heart.
    • The fight between Brick Wall and Silver Bullet in Many Happy Reunions is, by the author's own admission, inspired by the fight between the Hulk and Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War.
  • True Companions: By the time of Family, Quiver's come to think of the Mane Six as being closer to him than much of his own family. He's even put together a scrapbook to remind him of this. Signs are clear that they reciprocate.
  • Younger Mentor, Older Disciple: In this continuity, Sunset Shimmer is an official student to Twilight Sparkle in the Magic of Friendship, thus leading to this relationship. That being said, it's a very narrow age gap, with Sunset only being a few years older than Twilight, so little's made of it.

     #1: The Sun Also Rises 

  • Broken Pedestal: Princess Celestia admits to feeling like this, between everything that happened with Sunset Shimmer and how things went with Twilight. She rebuilds her relationship with the former, and opens up more with the latter, who saw her flaws but nonetheless loved and supported her.
  • Metaphorically True: Applejack brings up that Celestia mentioned her ignorance of the human world. Celestia quickly corrects her by mentioning that Twilight would know more than she did, which was true; Celestia had never visited it herself.
  • Never the Selves Shall Meet: Outright defied, as thanks to the bridge mirrors, the human and pony versions of Twilight's friends are able to meet and interact. Sunset, however, admits to having never met her counterpart, or even seeking her out. The story also reveals that the human and pony versions of Celestia and Luna have also met.

     #2: Six Nights (and a Day) with Sunset 

     #3: An Act of Random Kindness 

  • Early-Installment Weirdness: This installment was purposely written with minimal dialogue and a large amount of exposition rather than action. Later stories are written in more traditional ways.

     #4: Looking for Work in All the Right Places 

  • Hot Librarian: Sunset reflects that the outfit she wears to her job interview makes her resemble one of these. All she's missing are the glasses.
  • Wham Episode: The human world's versions of Zecora, Lyra and Bon-Bon are aware of Equestria and the Elements of Harmony.

     #5: Reflections: Quiververse Edition 

  • Adaptational Early Appearance: Twilight remembers the party she was invited to in canon's opener, and turned down... cue Spike reminding her of Minuette, Twinkleshine, Lemon Hearts and Moondancer, just as he did in Amending Fences. The timeline reveals the events of that episode took place shortly after this story, rather than waiting for season 5.
  • Adaptation Expansion: This version expands upon the original story from the comic, giving further details about how the other world came to be that way and expanding the roles of characters only hinted at in the original version.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Less so than the original version. The alternate Equestria is restored in a way that doesn't involve its Sombra turning evil but still turns Celestia and Luna back to good, and while the portal leading there is destroyed, Trixie finds herself with the means of recreating it on their side. The epilogue reveals that she's eventually successful, and Celestia and Sombra reunite.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Sir Quill, advisor to Good King Sombra and counterpart to the main universe's Quiver Quill.
  • Fantastic Racism: Star Swirl the Bearded, of all ponies, is given this towards dragons — he deliberately designed the Crystal Mirror so that it turned dragons into dogs and all other sapient creatures in Equestria into humans when visiting the human world. A later story has Twilight admit that this makes him into a Broken Pedestal for her.
  • Flawed Prototype: Star Swirl's first mirror portal is treated as one of these. Each successive mirror, including the Crystal Mirror, was made to address the flaws of the first one, and even those haven't quite ironed out the kinks.
  • Happily Adopted: The alternate version of Sombra, by Princess Amore.
  • Mirror Universe: Played with. This version of the storyline treats the parallel world where Sombra was good as more of an Alternate History than a straight mirror universe.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: In addition to the flashbacks adapted from the comic, the third chapter is one to Good King Sombra's youth in the Crystal Empire and elaborates on how the differences between the two worlds came to be.

     #6: The Last of the Elements 

  • Chainsaw Good: Royal Guardsponies Silver Bullet and Pixie Dust use a pair of chainsaws against the plundervines to great effect.
  • Continuity Nod: Mentions are made of the manticore and Steven Magnet, both of whom were encountered the first time the Mane Six ventured into the Everfree.
  • Cutting the Knot: Once the Mane Six and their Royal Guard escort reach the Castle of the Two Sisters, Silver Bullet starts putting together a plan for the group to get down to the bottom of the ravine a few at a time by having those with wings fly them down. This is put aside when Pinkie Pie notices the stairs.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Discord ends up attacked by his own plundervines after he's asked to deal with them.
  • In Spite of a Nail: Thanks to foreknowledge regarding the Tree of Harmony, Twilight figures out what's happening with the plundervines very quickly, and convinces Discord to help with the crisis. However, Discord is attacked by his own vines, and she's forced to return the Elements to the tree anyway.
  • More Expendable Than You: As in the series, the rest of the Mane Six use this to try and justify Twilight staying behind in Ponyville, but she quickly points out that all of them will be needed. Pixie Dust then mentions that she and fellow Guardspony Silver Bullet are more expendable, justifying them tagging along for the adventure.
  • Perky Goth: Pixie Dust, a thestral mare and a member of the Royal Guard.

     #7: Wherever You Find Love 

  • Could Say It, But...: Celestia had been subtly monitoring Sunset through a cloned cell phone, and informs her of such in this manner at the end as she gives Sunset a new phone that isn't being monitored. While illegal, this did give her some proof that Sunset wasn't responsible for the Anon-A-Miss incident.
  • Cuteness Proximity: The human world's Rarity falls victim to this when she encounters the pony version of Sweetie Belle.
  • Guilt-Induced Nightmare: Sunset experiences one of these as Anon-A-Miss gets underway, due to her emotional support net being torn away.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: The reaction Sweetie Belle and her fellow Crusaders, and to a lesser extent the Humane Five, have to Sunset almost taking her own life over the Anon-A-Miss incident and being abandoned.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: This version of the story is moved to between the events of the first two Equestria Girls films, rather than after the second one.

     #8: Nightmare's End 

  • Book Ends: The story begins and ends with Luna experiencing a dream.
  • For Want Of A Nail: Unlike canon, where the Mane Six and Spike went to the Castle of the Two Sisters separately and got engaged in assorted hijinks, they go together this time, with Celestia and Luna along for the ride. They avoid scaring themselves half to death, Celestia retrieves the Inspiration Manifestation spell before it can cause trouble, and Luna confronts and resolves her guilt related to Nightmare Moon, thus avoiding issues with the Tantabus. For herself, at least. Her actions will have consequences discovered in the following story.
  • Guilt-Induced Nightmare: As in canon, Luna is inducing these in herself with the Tantabus.
  • Sealed Evil in a Six Pack: Celestia mentions that the remnants of the Nightmare left behind after the Elements of Harmony were used to stop Nightmare Moon were collected and sealed away in vaults across Equestria. Unfortunately, they missed one.

     #9: A Shimmering New Year 

  • Awesome, yet Impractical: Sunset expresses this sentiment regarding guitars with more than one neck, given their added weight and difficulty of use.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: Sunset and her friends are pulled into a shared dream state by a fragment of the Nightmare that escaped being sealed away. With some help from Princesses Luna and Twilight, they fight their way out.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: A light example when Sunset confronts Principal Celestia over keeping secrets and not acting as directly as she could have with the Anon-A-Miss incident. It's far more civil than most examples of this trope, however, and very effective, with Celestia acting as The Atoner from there on.
  • Cool Teacher: Doctor Time Turner, the new substitute physics teacher at Canterlot High, quickly endears himself to his students with a short, verbal pop quiz and an offering of extra credit after they all pass.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: Both Sunset and Celestia admit that had the latter acted on her proof sooner, much of the drama related to Anon-A-Miss could have been avoided.
  • Demonic Possession: A fragment of the Nightmare, bonded to a piece of the Tantabus, attempts to pull this on Sunset Shimmer. It fails.
  • Guilt-Induced Nightmare: The rest of the Rainbooms are now confirmed to be experiencing these post-Anon-A-Miss, with the Crusaders hinted to be doing likewise.
  • Heel Realization: Most of Sunset's immediate circle of friends is forced to confront their actions during the Anon-A-Miss incident and realize just how much their betrayal hurt her.
    Fluttershy: You're not the monster here, Sunset. We are.
    • The pony version of Pinkie Pie feels a downplayed version of this over how she's treated Princess Luna following Nightmare Night and some occasions since; from her perspective, she was simply joking around, and she takes the first chance she can get to apologize.
  • Inspirationally Disadvantaged: Discussed by Derpy, who isn't this trope but doesn't like to be seen in such a manner. Given the extent of her condition is stabismus (a purely physical condition rather than a mental one), it's not hard to see why.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: The students who mobbed Sunset Shimmer while believing her to be Anon-A-Miss find out to their horror that they were Caught on Tape by another student. Each of them are punished, some even having pre-existing punishments for their role in the incident extended, while the one who took the video is punished themselves for failing to report it.
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right: A downplayed example mixed with Dramatic Irony, as Lyra speculates that Sunset Shimmer is from Equestria. She's right, but Bon-Bon politely dismisses it for the time being. It's not because she doesn't think it's possible, but more because there are other plausible theories available based on the information they have at hand.
  • The Shrink: The main plot revolves around Sunset and her friends talking with a therapist the human world's version of Radiant Hope over the Anon-A-Miss incident.
  • What Were You Thinking?: Cherry Crash doesn't ask this exact question of Leading Rose after it's revealed that he recorded her and several other students accosting Sunset in the midst of the Anon-A-Miss incident, but what she does ask certainly fits into this mold.

     #10: On a Wing and a Prayer 

  • Adaptation Name Change: Played with. The young colt who resembles Flash Sentry in the series, dubbed by fanon as "First Base" due to his baseball-themed cutie mark, is named "Pop Fly" here.
  • Big Brother Worship: Pop Fly treats Flash Sentry with nothing but love and admiration. Flash, in turn, gives him nothing but love.
  • Domestic Abuse: Smooth Rock beat his pregnant wife because he thought she'd had an affair. Their foal Flash Sentry was consequently born a month premature.
  • Full-Name Ultimatum: Diamond Tiara has a private moment where she recalls several of these from her mother. Combined with Embarrassing Middle Name for maximum effect.
    Spoiled Rich: Diamond Dazzle Tiara!
  • Relationship Upgrade: Twilight decides to go for this with Flash Sentry, and tells him about her experiences in the human world. He reciprocates, and reveals his Dark and Troubled Past.

     #11: New Horizon 

  • Bad Samaritan: Luster Drain takes Quiver Quill in as a housemate shortly after he arrives in Ponyville, only to manipulate and use him for her own benefit.
  • Commonality Connection: Quiver instantly strikes up a bond with Lyra Heartstrings after they realize they have a shared interest in Equestrian legends and lore.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Quiver Quill demonstrates some capacity for this. Once he exhausts his patience with Luster Drain, he provides crucial proof that she's committed fraud and is personally there to see her arrested.
  • I Ate WHAT?!: Quiver briefly has this reaction when he realizes the "tofu" spring rolls Luster served him were actually prepared with pork, but gets over it fairly quickly, in part because he hates to waste a meal.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Luster Drain's crimes catch up to her when the Mane Six, who are concerned about Quiver Quill and note his roommate's odd behavior, are able to figure out her schemes and get her arrested for it.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Luster Drain, who accepts Quiver as a roommate, is actually on welfare and does her best to take advantage of the system and any possible roommates she might get so she can get benefits for the least amount of work.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Pinkie's reaction when she realizes what kind of person Luster Drain really is, and how she set Quiver up as Luster's roommate, to the point where she thinks he must think she did it on purpose and hates her now. Luckily, on seeing how upset Pinkie is when she apologizes, Quiver is quick to see that she really didn't know the truth about Luster and forgives her.

     #12: A Light in the Dark 

  • Accusation Fic: Sunrunner gives Spitfire a serious chewing out over her actions as well as those of the Wonderbolts as a whole after tearing up her application to join them.
  • Always Someone Better: Played with; Sunrunner was the record holder before Rainbow Dash came along, but doesn't hold any ill towards her given her achievements. This doesn't stop her from seeking to be an equal, however.
  • Fiery Redhead: Sunrunner's mane is equal parts crimson and yellow, and she shows the temperament.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Sunrunner outright yells at Spitfire over what happened at Rainbow Falls, but later has a less heated conversation with her over her actions there and over the incident with Lightning Dust.

     #13: Family 

  • Crazy-Prepared: Quiver reveals that he's built up a small research library for himself in an effort to avoid factual errors with his works, having learned from experience that getting basic facts wrong can be a bad thing.
  • Distant Finale: The story ends with an adaptation of Maud's introductory scene from "Maud Pie", this time with Quiver Quill in attendance.
  • Good Parents: Pinkie Pie's father recognized before she received her cutie mark that she wasn't really cut out for rock farming, but couldn't really do anything about it. After she got her mark, he sent her off to live with a friend who could help her achieve her purpose in life — Carrot Cake — not because he didn't love her, but because he knew that she'd be happier elsewhere and that she could fulfill her talents to their fullest off the rock farm rather than on it.
  • Heel Realization: Limestone, after yelling at Pinkie and prompting a protest from Marble, gets a short, stern lecture from her father explaining how her assertions that Pinkie had abandoned them were wrong, and goes to make amends with her sister. Pinkie, being Pinkie, accepts her apology.
  • Must Make Amends: Pinkie's motivation for her actions in the present day, as she still holds herself partly responsible for everything that happened with Luster Drain.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: A downplayed example has happened with the rock farm, which has suffered some financial woe thanks to the return of the Crystal Empire taking away some of its business. While Limestone's eager to blame Pinkie and the Mane Six, Igneous is more reasonable about it, noting that they had no idea of this consequence and were acting to save lives and the whole of Equestria. It's also mentioned that the rock farm was facing competition elsewhere to begin with.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: With a dash of Character Rerailment for Pinkie Pie and the Rockin' Ponypalooza Party. The flashbacks are adapted from that story, but informed by the portrayal of the Pie Family as they appeared in "Hearthbreakers".
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Discussed. The Pie family comes to Ponyville in the hopes that Pinkie and her friends (Twilight in particular) can help them. Twilight explains that she's sympathetic, but can't just give them government aid as that would invite others to do exactly the same. She does help to solve the problem, but in an organizational capacity rather than as a princess.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Limestone Pie, who viciously yells at Pinkie's suggestions for saving their family's rock farm. Slightly justified due to her fear of losing the farm, and thankfully temporary.

     #14: A Daring Day 

  • A God Am I: Ahuizotl sees himself as this in the eyes of his followers, which is bolstered by his apparent ability to travel freely across Equestria and its neighboring nation Maretonia without incident.
  • Curse Escape Clause: The entombed Nahual can only be freed under very specific circumstances — an alicorn making physical contact with a golden seal upon its tomb, in direct sunlight, on a specific day of the year.
  • Didn't See That Coming: The Nahual turned out to be Dead All Along.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Ahuizotl, full stop.
  • Evil Plan: Ahuizotl's scheme is reasonably straightforward; he seeks to free and control the Nahual in order to eventually Take Over the World. The methods he uses to accomplish this goal are equally straightforward. Unfortunately, the heroes are able to easily gather enough information to tear his plan apart with little trouble. Even the brief Hope Spot on his part fails because of something that he didn't anticipate.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Ahuizotl. He puts up a front of being charming and friendly with Twilight Sparkle, but she doesn't buy into it for a moment. Given his current plot involves potentially killing her, her stance wasn't unfounded.
  • Improvised Weapon: Quiver briefly uses a metal canteen filled with water as an improvised flail against one of Ahuizotl's underlings.
  • I Should Write a Book About This: Averted; the consensus after the fact is that the experiences would make for a poor Daring Do book, though Quiver suggests a potential title that sounds reasonably catchy.
  • The Knights Who Say "Squee!": Quiver briefly slips into this after meeting A. K. Yearling, especially once he learns the truth about her being Daring Do.
  • The Man Behind the Man: A pony who provided Ahuizotl with the location of the tomb of the Nahual as well as the substance used to disable Twilight's magic appears at the end of the story and departs with part of the seal, hinting at plans yet to come.
  • More Expendable Than You: Quiver uses this justification, combined with not being a pegasus, to explain his part in the plan to rescue Twilight.
  • Not Me This Time: Rainbow Dash immediately assumes that Star Swirl the Bearded had something to do with the Nahual's defeat, only to be corrected — he'd long since disappeared by the time the Nahual was sealed away, and the deed was done by an unknown Earth pony mage.
  • Outside-Context Problem: Mentioned word for word by Quiver Quill as a means to defeat Ahuizotl's current plot. It proves to be very successful.
  • Pyramid Power: A pyramid serves as Ahuizotl's headquarters as well as the location for the tomb of the Nahual. While its exterior is keeping with Mayincatec design philosophy, its interior is more like an Egyptian pyramid. Ahuizotl and his followers, leaning towards the former more than the latter, aren't all that impressed, especially in light of how stifling the heat is inside.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Quiver attempts this once the full extent of Ahuizotl's plot becomes apparent, though less out of cowardice and more out of the conviction that if he comes along, he'd screw things up somehow, and is noticeably ashamed of himself as he does so. Rainbow, however, talks him out of it.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The Nahual, a shape-shifting creature who sought to rule Maretonia centuries in the past, only to be defeated and entombed. Ahuizotl's current plot is an attempt to free and control it.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Invoked by both sides, but Quiver figures out Ahuizotl's plot anyway.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Rainbow Dash gives Quiver Quill a talk along these lines when he's convinced that if he plays any part in Twilight's rescue, that he'll screw things up and make things worse. Quiver ends up being the one to come up with a simple but effective plan to stop Ahuizotl and save Twilight, proving Rainbow Dash right.

     #15: Scars of the Quill 

  • Adaptational Villainy: Spoiled Rich was hardly a pleasant mare to begin with, but here, in addition to being an emotionally Abusive Parent...
    • ...the first chapter has her display Fantastic Racism towards Spike.
    • ...the second chapter has her threaten to Blackmail Cheerilee into giving Diamond Tiara a good grade on an assignment, or risk losing her job.
    • ...the fourth chapter has her bully and berate the staff at her mansion over minor infractions.
    • ...the fifth chapter has her launch baseless accusations towards her staff and Quiver Quill, falsely accusing all of them of plotting to kidnap Diamond Tiara and specifically accusing Quiver of being a pedophile.
    • ...the sixth chapter sees her graduate to physical abuse towards her daughter, then launching a vicious tirade towards the Mane Six and Quiver despite them having successfully brought Diamond Tiara home safely. She almost gets killed by Quiver as a result.
  • A Degree in Useless: Quiver's degree in Modern Ponish is considered to be this by his father, who never approved of his son's talent for writing and wanted to send him to trade school.
  • Anger Born of Worry: Sour Sweet, after discovering her cousin Quiver Quill came close to attempting suicide several stories earlier, slaps him in the back of the head and yells at him before giving him a comforting hug.
  • Apathetic Teacher: Miss Persimmon, Quiver's teacher in grade school, is a classic example.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Played for Drama, as Quiver learned it the hard way. Fed up and frustrated with his low-functioning autistic younger sibling, he briefly wished that his brother was 'gone'. Said younger brother tragically died within days of this, and between his grandparents continuing to dote on said sibling and his father descending into emotional abuse, Quiver developed a terrible guilt complex over it.
  • Big Damn Reunion: Quiver Quill reunites with his foalhood sweetheart Sunrunner at the end of the story.
  • Bodyguarding a Badass: Twilight receives a one-pony security detail in the form of Sour Sweet, here a member of the Royal Guard Special Forces, as a result of her experiences in the previous story with Ahuizotl.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Sour Sweet dispatches a giant timberwolf by firing an explosive crossbow bolt into its mouth. The whole thing explodes as a result.
  • Cassandra Truth: Quiver managed to predict Nightmare Moon's return several years before it happened, even if he didn't take it seriously. Few listened to him, however.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Quiver's is laid out in the seventh chapter, after being teased for several stories beforehand.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Flash Sentry and Sour Sweet exchange theirs in greeting — "Hopper" and "Two-Face" respectively. Flash Sentry's nickname veers into Harsher in Hindsight territory once he reveals the reason behind his poor flying abilities.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Diamond Tiara may be a school bully, but she ends up attacking Quiver Quill after he briefly insults Filthy Rich's competency as a parent.
  • Family Theme Naming: Quiver reveals that there's a tradition on his father's side of the family to this effect — his grandmother, aunt and cousin are named, in order, Surely Sweet, Bitter Sweet, and Sour Sweet.
    • Additionally, his father and aunt are respectively named Bitterhoof and Bitter Sweet, while both his and Sour's names are alliterative.
    • Primrose Thorn's family has a similar theme, as the named members thus far all have a shade of red for their first name — Amaranth, Crimson, and so forth.
  • Fantastic Slur:
    • Sour Sweet briefly uses the term "roaches" to refer to changelings, though quickly admits that she shouldn't be using such terms. Given that she's a veteran of their attack on Canterlot and personally fought them, however, it's no surprise that she occasionally uses the term.
    • The term "Blank Flank" is made Harsher in Hindsight when it's revealed that ponies with severe mental handicaps from an early age never receive their cutie marks, and that the term was once interchangeable with the word "retard". Diamond Tiara learns this following her Heel–Face Turn and is horrified.
  • Heel Realization: Diamond Tiara undergoes one thanks to the events of this story, after she drags herself and Silver Spoon into the Everfree Forest for petty reasons and nearly gets the two of them killed. Her father, Filthy Rich, goes through something similar.
  • Hidden Depths: Silver Spoon, upon seeing the schematics that Twilight has made of the Chest of Harmony, is immediately able to recognize that it has special pick-proof locks. She explains that this is due to her father's influence.
  • I Wished You Were Dead: Quiver Quill, as a foal, wished that his autistic younger brother Regal Grace was "gone". Said brother dies less than a day later, and Quiver ends up feeling responsible for years afterwards.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: While she's totally off base with her accusations towards Quiver after he is attacked by Diamond Tiara, Spoiled Rich does raise a fair point that not just anyone should be allowed onto school grounds.
  • Laser-Guided Karma:
    • Spoiled Rich was verbally and physically abusive towards her daughter in front of her husband, and generally went out of her way to be a nuisance towards everyone whom she viewed as beneath her. Once the local authorities learn of her actions and corroborate it, Spoiled is subsequently arrested on domestic assault charges. Filthy Rich is so disgusted with her that not only does he refuse to pay for a lawyer, he opts to begin divorce proceedings. Given Spoiled's actions and behavior, it's unlikely that she'll end up with custody of Diamond Tiara.
    • Played with when Quiver expects to be arrested for assaulting Spoiled Rich after witnessing the above and being attacked himself. Spoiled Rich, however, finds herself in no position to press charges against him, and Filthy's account has Quiver acting in self-defense, and to defend Diamond Tiara against her abusive parent, which is true to what occurred. The local authorities find themselves under no obligation to pursue the matter, as most authorities would in real life.
  • More Insulting than Intended: During her rant, Spoiled Rich outright calls Quiver "retarded", completely unaware of his mentally handicapped younger sibling and the trauma Quiver associated with him. In doing so, she presses his Berserk Button, and he nearly strangles her to death.
  • Never Mess with Granny: Granny Smith, after Spoiled Rich's tirades and abusive attacks, makes it quite clear that the wealthy mare is no longer welcome on her property, complete with a threat of bodily harm if she doesn't leave under her own power.
  • No-Sell: Spoiled Rich shows no sign of being effected by Fluttershy's Stare, though how much of her resistance is due to a Lack of Empathy and how much is sheer anger and outrage is left unclear.
  • Not Now, Kiddo: Spoiled Rich attempts to invoke this against Apple Bloom. Applejack, however, has enough sense to hear her little sister out.
  • Parental Favoritism: Grandparental, in this case, as it's revealed that Quiver's grandmother devotes more of her attention towards his dead younger brother than she does her other two grandchildren, Quiver and his cousin Sour Sweet.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: As stated above, Spoiled Rich isn't above using slurs to describe Spike. And that's in addition to her classist tendencies as shown in canon.
  • Rage Breaking Point: Quiver reaches his in response to Spoiled Rich's actions throughout the story, and almost kills her in an act of Unstoppable Rage.
  • Relative Error: When Flash arrives in town, he's greeted by Twilight, Quiver and Sour Sweet, the latter of whom he went through guard training with. He promptly teases Quiver by saying "Now please tell me you and Sour aren't dating." Quiver quickly informs him that they're cousins.
  • Shipper on Deck: Granny Smith takes a little time to tease Cheerilee about her brief flings with Big McIntosh, and later jokingly threatens to try and pair Quiver Quill up with Applejack.

     #16: Scars of the Sun 

  • Adaptational Jerkass: A downplayed case, but while he's not seen on-page, Chancellor Neighsay is confirmed by the author to have been behind the segretation in schools that starts early in the flashback-portion of the story, rather than simply displaying open prejudice towards non-ponies.
  • Bully Brutality: Sunrunner was subjected to this by Primrose Thorn and her posse. Understandably, she's still holding a grudge over it.
  • Crocodile Tears: Primrose Thorn engages in them in flashback.
  • Fantastic Racism: It's revealed that during Sunrunner's youth (and possibly into the modern day), Equestria's public school system was at least partially segregated. Word of God has already confirmed this is due to the influence of Chancellor Neighsay.
  • Heel Realization: Bit Stream and Digit Count, two of Quiver Quill and Sunrunner's classmates, go through this after they get some perspective on everything that happened to the latter two in school.
  • Interspecies Friendship: As a filly, Sunrunner was good friends with a young jenny named Muriel. They kept in touch and happily reunite here.
  • Simultaneous Arcs: The second and third chapters, minus flashbacks, take place on the same day as the events of Scars of the Quill from its third chapter onwards. It ends with the Big Damn Reunion seen in that story, this time from Sunrunner's perspective.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Sunrunner delivers one of these to her and Quiver's gathered former classmates as a result of their longstanding apathy and amusement at the treatment the pair received during their time in school.

     #17: Many Happy Reunions 

  • Armor-Piercing Question: Quiver ends up asking two of these in regards to Princess Celestia and how she handled things with Sunset Shimmer, first in regard to how she handled things with the Crystal Mirror, and later with the Anon-A-Miss incident.
    "If she didn't think you were ready to know the full details about the mirror, then why show it to you in the first place?"
    "Did Celestia know anything about [Anon-A-Miss]?...Then why didn't she do anything about it?"
  • Big Damn Reunion: Sunrunner reunites with Sunset Shimmer in the fifth chapter, and the two mend their bond.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Primrose Thorn and her associates attempt to antagonize Quiver, and his friends come to his defense. Despite those friends including the Mane Six, said group of bullies decide to go on the offensive. It goes very badly for them.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Brick Wall, a bully who used to terrorize Quiver Quill, goes up against Royal Guardspony Silver Bullet. Silver Bullet lands him a whuppin'. Primrose Thorn attempts to pull one of these against most of the characters who rise up to Quiver's defense, and is successful... until Twilight Sparkle joins the fray.
  • Cuteness Proximity: Sunrunner squees and engages in babytalk when confronted with the Cake twins.
  • De-power: What ultimately happens to Primrose Thorn courtesy of Twilight Sparkle.
  • Establishing Character Moment: When Primrose Thorn and her associates arrive in Ponyville, they quickly endear themselves to the audience by going out of their way to insult Ponyville and its inhabitants. Hot Trail and Roxy drive it in further later on when they mock Derpy behind her back.
  • Fire-Breathing Diner: Hot Trail and Roxy are subjected to this thanks to a bite of Pinkie Pie's chocolate habanero cupcakes.
  • Get Out!: Rarity levels one of these at Primrose Thorn after the latter wastes her time and materials and gabs about her plans to trick Quiver into attending a reunion and humiliate him.
  • Internal Reveal: After they offer a proper apology and ask to be let in on the truth, Sunset Shimmer shares it with the human world's Photo Finish and her two friends, Pixel Pizazz and Violet Blurr.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: Primrose Thorn and her associates regularly bullied and terrorized Quiver Quill and Sunrunner for years, and never saw any consequences due to a corrupt school system and Primrose's father being the mayor of Indianapoloosa. That starts to end here.
    • Hot Trail and Hard "Roxy" Rock get their first taste after they cross paths with Pinkie Pie, who gives them chocolate habanero cupcakes, and Sour Sweet, who subjects the latter to a judo throw and tosses her out of Sugar Cube Corner. They later disrupt a party alongside Primrose, Brick and others being thrown in honor of Quiver, Sour and Sunrunner, and end up battered, bruised and arrested for various crimes on both the local and federal level.
    • Brick Wall gets the snot beaten out of him by Silver Bullet, and after he attempts to hurt Spike on Primrose's orders, gets his knee shattered by a very angry Twilight Sparkle. He's also arrested.
    • Primrose herself ends up depowered by Twilight Sparkle and exposed as the only mare to ever be refused admittance to the School for Gifted Unicorns by Princess Celestia herself, and caught in a magical choke-hold by Twilight. Like her cohorts, she's arrested. Subverted, however, as her great-grandmother is making attempts towards her freedom.
  • Missed Him by That Much: Pinkie Pie discovers that she was a hair's breadth away from seeing Sunrunner enter Sugar Cube Corner at the end of the previous story, and immediately rushes off to inform Twilight in order to avert this happening again.
    • Quiver realizes that there'd been an earlier instance of this between him and Sunrunner as well involving his father, much to his displeasure.
  • No-Sell: Primrose Thorn is not only totally unaffected by Fluttershy's Stare, she also slaps Fluttershy across the face. According to Word of God, this is due to Primrose being a sociopath.
  • Put on a Prison Bus: This turns out to be the fate of Primrose Thorn and all the ponies she brought for her attempt at brutalizing Quiver.
  • Relative Error: Very briefly — Sunrunner finds Sour Sweet, whom she knows from their time in the Guard together, in the same house as Quiver and, grimly, asks why she's there. Sour Sweet immediately replies that she lives there, and demands to know "why you took so damn long getting back in touch with my cousin". Sunrunner is quite visibly surprised to hear that they're family, but also clearly relieved by this reveal.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: Quiver and Sunrunner start acting like a low-key version of this, but the way Sour Sweet complains, they may as well be acting under a love potion.
  • Stating the Simple Solution: As Applejack elaborates on her methods for feeding the pigs, Sour Sweet simply dumps the bucket's contents into a trough and shouts "Soo-ie!"
  • Tempting Fate: Pinkie Pie's Pinkie Sense can apparently alert her to when someone else does this, as it alerts her to Roxy and Hot Trail making remarks to that effect.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Primrose proves to be this on behalf of Hot Trail and Roxy after Bon-Bon aids them in curing their Fire-Breathing Diner episode.

     #18: A Mad Pony In A Box 

  • Ancient Order of Protectors: The Order of Gallopfrey, the descendants of Time Lord refugees transformed into ponies ages ago, work to monitor the timestream, protect Equestria, and ensure that if a Stable Time Loop occurs, it does so safely.
  • Clone Degradation: The Master suffers a realistic version of this. It becomes a moot point after he's killed by agents of SMILE.
  • Continuity Nod: Quite a few to earlier Doctor Who stories.
  • Dumb Muscle: A pack of diamond dogs serves as this for the villains of the story.
  • Faux Affably Evil: One villain, the Master, is this, while the other, the Rani, doesn't even bother with social niceties.
  • Fantastically Indifferent: Multiple examples throughout the story, both played straight and played with.
    • A TARDIS crashes nearby, and what do Quiver Quill and Lyra Heartstrings do? Go and see if anyone was inside and if they need help!
    • Turned into a pony? The Doctor's ecstatic! Not so much Clara Oswald, but she gets used to it.
    • Turned into humans? Lyra's excited, but focuses on this to avoid panicking. Moondancer's annoyed more than anything, and Quiver Quill hardly bats an eye at it.
    • Applejack barely reacts to stepping inside of a TARDIS, or seeing the Doctor or Clara in their proper forms.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: Again, the Order of Gallopfrey. Thanks to a combination of unique circumstances, they possess a biological Perception Filter that obscures their cutie marks. This breaks down when when there's more than one of them present, however, as Time Turner and Minuette discover when they're in the presence of the Doctor.
  • Insufficiently Advanced Alien: Discussed in regards to the villain's scheme in a classic Doctor Who story. When Moondancer questions why the Rani simply didn't synthesize the necessary chemicals to restore her subjects' ability to sleep, Quiver Quill brings up the fact that she's likely insane, and was already content to experiment on sapient lifeforms, either due to apathy or sadism.
  • Internal Reveal: Twilight reveals the bridge portal to her school friends and reintroduces them to Sunset Shimmer.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: The diamond dogs in the employ of the villains opt for this once said villains' hold on them is broken.
  • Screw You, Elves!: Quiver takes this attitude towards the villains of the story.
  • The Right of a Superior Species: This is the justification used by the antagonists to achieve their aims despite the damage caused by their actions. Quiver Quill and the Doctor are more than happy to disagree.
  • Void Between the Worlds: Limbo is mentioned, and stated to be the same thing as the Void.
  • Wham Episode: Several revelations are made.
    • Gallifreyan refugees from the Last Great Time War made it to Equestria and interbred with the population, contributing to longer than normal lifespans and leading to the creation of the Order of Gallopfrey.
    • The sun and moon are artificial magical constructs, created by an unknown race millions of years previous. Before the unicorns controlled them, they were manipulated via technological means.
    • Lyra Heartstrings had her memories deliberately altered by SMILE after the changeling attack on Canterlot, and reveals this to Twilight.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: The Doctor, temporarily regressed to his Sixth incarnation, levels one of these at Rarity after she focuses her attention on his coat rather than the well-being of Twilight Sparkle, similarly regressed back to being a unicorn.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: In-universe, Quiver outright admits that he doesn't have a head for complex math equations.

     #19: Tales from a Double Date 

  • The Bad Guy Wins: Colonel Stormfront's scheme to stop the diplomatic talks between Equestria and Farasi is successful, though not entirely due to his efforts.
    • And that ignores The Man Behind the Man who was collaborating with Stormfront to achieve his goal for their own reasons.
  • Blue Blood: Sunny Flare is established as being this, being the heir to a noble title.
  • Boot Camp Episode: Chapter Three serves as the equivalent of this.
  • The Brigadier: An Expy of the original appears in the form of Colonel Stalwart Steel.
  • Cooldown Hug: Sunrunner delivers one of these to Gossamer after he's revealed to be a starving changeling, Clypeus. This not only helps to calm him, but nourishes him.
  • Defector from Decadence: Clypeus, a changeling who came to oppose Chrysalis after being abandoned and living hidden among ponies.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Master Sergeant Blood Stripe.
  • Everyone Went to School Together: Flash Sentry and Sunrunner were part of the same class of recruits at Wing Point alongside Pixie Dust, Silver Bullet and Sour Sweet. Pony versions of Indigo Zap, Sugarcoat, Sunny Flare and Lemon Zest are also in attendance.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Stormfront expected Silver Bullet to aid him in light of his past and early encounters with non-pony races. He didn't count on Silver Bullet's dedication to the ideals of the Royal Guard outweighing any sort of animosity towards non-pony races.
  • Flashback Episode: The plot revolves around Flash and Sunrunner telling Twilight and Quiver Quill about a certain major event from their shared past, shown via flashbacks.
  • Hero of Another Story: Chapters Four through Six detail what Flash Sentry and Sunrunner were up to during the events of Nightmare Moon's return (escorting a diplomatic party) and the changeling invasion of Canterlot (taking part in the city's defense).
  • Insane Admiral: Colonel Stormfront proves himself to be this, attempting to disrupt diplomatic talks between Equestria and Farasi simply out of racism more than anything else.
  • Jerk Jock: Indigo Zap shows elements of this, though she does show that Everyone Has Standards once she realizes she's gone too far.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Colonel Aziza proves herself to be this once everything is said and done.
  • Military Academy: Wing Point.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Brigadier General Flintlock, Commandant of Wing Point, shows himself to be this, as do Colonel Stalwart Steel, Prince Blueblood and Princess Horaia.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Princess Horaia delivers one of these with a side helping of What the Hell, Hero? to Princess Celestia once the two finally meet in Canterlot.

     #20: Contemplating Chaos 

  • Amazon Chaser: Leading Rose implies some attraction towards Sour Sweet, though not directly to her. When informed, she doesn't reciprocate.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: The events of the story prompt Fluttershy to ask Discord one of these.
    "Do you regret it?"
  • Berserk Button: Discord manages to press Quiver's after attempting to warp him into a state similar to that of his brother. Quiver physically attacks him as a result.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Diamond Tiara reveals that Spoiled Milk tried to do this to Discord during his initial visit to Ponyville. He turned her into the pony the fandom dubbed 'Screwball'.
  • Continuity Nod: Multiple to both past installments of the series and to canon and semi-canon stories.
    • The Vignettes for Bats! and Three's A Crowd are brought up by Fluttershy and Quiver Quill.
    • The story takes place in parallel to the events of the Manehattan Mysteries arc from the IDW comics, and the events of the second and sixth issues of the Friends Forever series are mentioned.
  • Good Costume Switch: Diamond Tiara has yet to replace her destroyed tiara, while Silver Spoon wears a bandanna in this story in place of her normal pearl necklace.
  • Hypocrite: Discord gives Diamond Tiara grief over bullying the Cutie Mark Crusaders, in spite of the fact that he had done far worse. Quiver rightfully calls him out on this.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Quiver starts delivering one of these to Discord, of all creatures, though he's stopped before we can find out how successful it would be.
  • No-Sell: Discord attempts to twist Quiver Quill like he did the Mane Six, only for it to not work.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Quiver delivers one of these to Discord just prior to the former pressing his Berserk Button.

     #21: Legends of Magic 

  • Adaptational Nice Guy: Downplayed, but despite also being an example of Adaptational Jerkass in Scars of the Sun, Chancellor Neighsay turns out to be this. While he expresses disapproval at the investigations made by Luna, Twilight and her friends, he does at least express his reasoning. As their investigations bear fruit and he begins to recognize the implications, he opts to join them rather than dismiss thier findings or use his positon to impede them. A discussion with Quiver Quill in Chapter Seven even encourages him to reconsider his policies regarding segregation.
  • The Bus Came Back: In the epilogue, Primrose Thorn makes her return after having been arrested at the end of Tales from a Double Date. She turns out to be the only one of her posse having that fortune.
  • Celibate Hero: Discussed in Chapter Three, where Twilight mentions that in Celestia's experience, Starswirl didn't have any romantic inclinations to the point where "He might well have been asexual."
  • Chekhov's Gun: The potion provided by Zecora in The Last of the Elements returns here, and is used by Twilight to see the Pillars strengthening the Tree of Harmony and creating the Elements.
  • Continuity Nod: Quite a few to earlier installments.
    • Silver Spoon returns to Golden Oak Library to ask about the diagrams for the Chest of Harmony, which she saw back in Scars of the Quill.
    • Lyra brings up the revelations from A Mad Pony in a Box, and Moondancer continues to sport her new look from that story.
    • The events of the fifth Vignette are brought up when Sweetie Drops reveals her role in SMILE's attempt to ensure its events occurred.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Ivory Tower wastes little time in being dismissive of the journals of Mage Meadowbrook, despite them being provided by a direct descendant (Cattail) and being in the presence of two of Equestria's princesses (Luna and Twilight). Even the journals passing muster with an accredited researcher fails to discourage her attitude.
  • Famous Ancestor: Evidence turns up suggesting that Flash Sentry as well as Rainbow Dash is a descendant of Flash Magnus.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: While the term 'friend' could be said to be an exaggeration, considering her personality and her general treatment of them, Primrose doesn't pay the slightest bit of mind to any of the ponies that was arrested alongside her, not even Brick Wall, her fiancé, to the point that she doesn't even notice they were not released alongside her, at least for the time being.
  • Internal Reveal: Lyra and Twilight reveal that the former had been the victim of memory alteration, first to Celestia and then to the rest of the Mane Six, Spike and Quiver Quill. Later, the Mane Six, Spike, Lyra, Quiver and Sour Sweet learn of the existence of SMILE, as well as their role in the Mare-Do-Well affair.
  • Manchurian Agent: Sweetie Drops, AKA Bon-Bon, is revealed to be one of these for SMILE once her conditioning is broken.
  • Meaningful Name: Ivory Tower, Deputy Chancellor of the Equestrian Education Association.
  • Oh, Crap!: When Rainbow Dash meets Indigo Zap, she realizes that Indigo looks very much like Lightning Dust, and her eyes go wide as she realizes it... fortunately, Indigo (who happens to be Lightning's sister) doesn't hold a grudge against Rainbow Dash for her role in Lightning getting kicked out of the Wonderbolts Academy, saying "And don't worry. Dusty had what happened to her coming."
  • Open Secret: By this point in the storyline, those closest to Twilight are well aware that Sour Sweet is her bodyguard.
  • Spotting the Thread: Quiver Quill rightly points out that when Celestia told Twilight and Lyra about the rogue agency within Equestria's government, she failed to mention said organization's name. He goes on to suggest that Celestia is either in cahoots with them, or somehow under their influence.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Played with, when Sunburst's history is brought up and compared to Quiver Quill's.
  • The Watson: The human world's Vinyl Scratch ends up serving as this in the second chapter to help bring the readers up to speed on the Pillars of Equestria.
  • Wham Episode: Several.
    • The existence of a seventh Element of Harmony is all but confirmed, with Sunset Shimmer strongly hinted to be its bearer.
    • SMILE's existence is revealed to Quiver, the Mane Six, Spike, Lyra, Sour Sweet and Sunset Shimmer.
    • Star Swirl the Bearded is revealed to be considered one of the leading members of SMILE, despite having been trapped in Limbo for a thousand years.