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Fanfic / The Borderworld

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Loki on his throne.

The Borderworld is a shared setting of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfiction stories created by DannyJ, based on the first six seasons of the show, the official IDW comics, and many other elements of MLP:FiM's early expanded universe. In the vein of the Triptych Continuum and similar settings, the Borderworld was originally intended to be canon compliant, filling in the gaps between episodes, but the author abandoned this by the later seasons as canon went in its own direction.

The setting is named for sitting on the border between various other realms and universes, with Equestria's world being the Midgard of its own Nine Realms, and saturated with interdimensional portals and gateways, all of which had a profound effect on Equestria's history and development.

Borderworld stories generally focus on adventure and the larger cosmology of the world, particularly the Eternal War that Discord and several other gods fight in, but they can vary greatly in tone, genre, and scope. The Borderworld also contains stories taking place in alternate timelines and universes, and in the distant future and past.


While mostly taking place in the same setting, the vast majority of Borderworld stories can be read as stand-alones.

A complete list of stories in chronological order can be found here, and the author's essays on the background of the world can be found here.

The Borderworld contains examples of:

  • Adaptational Villainy: King Aspen and the deer in canon take some questionable actions, but are treated as being at least somewhat friendly with Equestria. A Word With You, My Friend? retcons this, painting Aspen's actions in canon in a much darker light, and putting him on a different side than Celestia in the cosmic Order Versus Chaos conflict.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Arguably the Fates' ultimate end in The Devil's Dues, if you can even call them villains.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Poor, poor Silver Vein...
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  • All There in the Manual: All of the information about the mythology of the world can be found on its FimFiction group, with worldbuilding essays by the author giving the rundown of the Borderworld's history, culture, gods, etc.
  • Bad Future: The "World on Fire" timeline, which is the setting of the story To Keep the Fire Burning.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Devil's Dues.
  • Cool Key: The Key to Time, a device that unlocks access to the Time Void (or what's left of it). It was created by the Timewyrm Moment and the Tree of Harmony, then broken apart and spread across the universe, so that no one would ever be able to come back to it, particularly the chaotic and orderly Timewyrms.
  • Broad Strokes: Discord: End of Empires is referenced by later stories and said to have largely happened as shown, but the dragons never rebuilding their civilization is ignored due to being Outdated by Canon by Gauntlet of Fire.
  • Canon Discontinuity: Decomposition.
  • Crossover: A few stories do have crossover elements. To Keep the Fire Burning is a Dark Souls crossover set in a future Post Apocalyptic Equestria, and Doing Good or Doing Well? is a parody of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice starring Captain Goodguy and Mare-Do-Well.
  • Divine Conflict: The Eternal War is a conflict between the three Greater Gods named the Eternals. The Eternals fought for filling the universe with their brand of magic.
  • Dream Land: The Dreamscape (aka: Vanaheim or the Collective Unconscious) is where the projected minds of Earth/Midgard's people go in their sleep. Vanaheim also has a physical world underneath the dream, but it is generally a barren wasteland.
    • Some of the known dreamlands in the Dreamscape include the Fields of Chaos (Discord's dreamspace during his stone imprisonment), Midnight Castle (Luna's dreamspace open to all dreamerwalkers), the Hivenmind (channgelings dreamspace that they are all linked to), and the Afterlife (a shared dreamspace for deceased minds who some how ended up in the Dreamscape. No one seems to own this place, and indeed, it is a mystery so far as to how and who created this dreamspace.)
  • Dream Walker: Luna, of course. To Keep the Fire Burning also has Sir Black Iron.
  • Earth Is the Center of the Universe: And how!
  • Eldritch Abomination: Orsim Desmenee from Part of a Pantheon is a slimy, one-eyed Planet Eater that even Discord is reluctant to fight.
  • Eldritch Location: Muspelheim, where Discord makes his home, is a hellish realm full of demons that is so chaotic that its actual physical landscape changes as often as if it were a dream.
  • Kill the God: Gods have been killed by various means. The Eternals have immortal souls, though their bodies can die.
  • Forever War: The Eternal War has going on literally since the Eternals were born. Though ever since their discovery of the Borderworld, that might change soon...
  • The "Fun" in "Funeral": Rest in Chaos is the will of Discord. This is the same character who canonically made cotten candy clouds rain chocolate as the introduction to his attempted takeover, defines himself as the Spirit of Chaos, and regularly warps reality for the sake of a gag. While the fic isn't technically a funeral fic, it does very deliberately set up the Fun in Funeral situation:
    Discord: Specifically, you should remove my heart and throw that into the volcano. Be warned that my heart doesn't look like a heart and is also not located where you'd think it should be. It moves around a lot. You'll know it when you see it, because it'll be giving out an ominous red glow, and gazing upon it causes auditory hallucinations. Then I want the rest of my body preserved. I want it stuffed in a pose that makes it look like I'm pointing and laughing at the rest of you, and I want it mounted on the wall above Celestia's throne.
    • That's only the FOURTH paragraph.
  • I Have Many Names: Discord and Order, AKA Loki and Svaðilfari, have a hilariously long list of names that they go by. This is justified as their souls are immortal, and have been different beings across time and space.
    • All Nine Realms of the Borderworld's 'verse have gone by different names.
  • Killed Off for Real:
    • The Three Sisters of Fate at the end of The Devil's Dues.
    • The Nameless One. Due to him lacking a soul of his own, when he was defeated, he apparently could not come back.
    • Well-To-Do definitely did not survive the digestion of the creature that swallowed him if A Word With You, My Friend? is anything to go by.
  • Lovecraft Lite: The universe is filled with different gods (whether Outer Gods, Elder Gods, or even local gods) and spirits that can destroy entire worlds, souls, and even possibly the universe itself. But they can be beaten, even without the lost of your insanity.
  • Multiverse: Just as the show and My Little Pony: Equestria Girls showed, the Borderworld is just one universe among many. An essay breaks down some of its neighbouring universes in detail.
  • Norse Mythology: This series takes heavy cues from Norse mythology compared to the shows Greek analogues. The draconequui, in particular, seem to be very Norse based, as they are the ones who gave many of the Nine Realms their Norse names.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: In Rest in Chaos, Discord states in his will that there are letters to be given to his friends... and Rainbow Dash. It's implied earlier that they're not on that good terms (considering he singled her out when discussing ponies who may not follow his last wishes).
  • No OSHA Compliance: Absolutely nothing in the city of Dragonfall is built to code.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: The unseen monsters in The Winter, which the protagonist spends most of his waking hours either dreading or actively defending himself against.
  • Our Demons Are Different: According to the Borderworld snippets, demons are spiritual parasites that corrupt the soul and bring a physical change on the body. They can be either pre-existing entities possessing others, or can be born from the host's soul.
    • As well, a chaos demon is a demon born from chaos magic, which usually has zero traces of their previous selves left, and are basically mindless monsters.
  • Our Souls Are Different: Souls are the subject of an essay, which describes them as being partly a magical power source, and partly a kind of data storage for one's memories and personality. Souls normally reincarnate, with the soul's new host being a technically different person but similar to their old self, but souls can also become ghosts, be taken somewhere else, or be destroyed. In the Fire Burning timeline, losing one's soul also triggers the undead curse, rendering the soulless person immortal, but fated to one day go mad.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Vampires in Van Helsing fought for Nightmare Moon, have a powerful Healing Factor, are hurt by sunlight magic, reproduce by infecting others with their own blood, and supposedly lose their morality and sense of restraint after becoming infected. They also have some kind of shadow entity inside them which escapes if their vampirism is cured. Nobody knows what they are.
  • Shadowland: Svartalfheim, the Great Abyss, to the rest of the Nine Realms.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Nifelheim is one, and mountainous one at that. It was originally a Realm of Chaos filled with more windigoes than Jotunheim. When it was claimed by Order, he kept the snow, as it was a good defense against invaders, and made the place look better. The only inhabitants are the Fates, three alicorn sisters who live on a brick island in the middle of an icy lake, the Isle of Destiny, where they maintain the Loom.
    • Helheim used to be an icy world, but when Discord gave the realm to his son, Sleipnir, his preference leaned towards Order, and he had all the windigoes killed and melted the ice. Now it's a harsh, rocky landscape dotted with civilizations.
  • Split at Birth: In the beginning of the universe, there was once was a being called the Fundament of Magic. When the Big Bang occurred, the being was split into three Fundaments, Order, Chaos, and Harmony. These three would eventually stablize into the greater gods the universe knows today: the Eternals.
  • Stealth Sequel: The world as a whole to Human, one of the author's previous works. The Universe is Doughnut-Shaped is about Borderworld versions of the main pony characters from that story having a card game while they complain about stuff.
  • Time Master: The Great Wyrms of Time (or Timewyrms) are gods of time born in the Time Void. After the Eternal War came to their home and eventually ravaged it when they all took sides, each side's respective leader made their Eternal a Time Guardian, and shared their own secrets for manipulating time.
    • Order was named the Black Guardian of Time by Certainty (who now calls himself Agamarath).
    • Discord was named White Guardian of Time by Flux (who now calls himself Paradox).
    • The Tree of Harmony was named the Crystal Guardian of Time by Moment.
  • Tome of Eldritch Lore: In Rest in Chaos, Discord mentions a book in Chaosville called Biblia Discordia. This gray-green tome is a comprehensive guide to all things chaos, written by one of his cultists from long ago. It's also cursed. For some reason. It's also what he ends up leaving to Twilight in his will (along with his personal diary to Fluttershy).
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Lieutenant Agony of Dragonfall is a war criminal who goes berserk over nothing, abuses everyone around him, and desires to bring back feudalism.
  • Vampire Hunter: Van Helsing, unsurprisingly.
  • World of Chaos: The Realms of Chaos are very chaotic worlds. These are the realms listed in order of most dangerous to the least dangerous.
    • Eye of Chaos/Muspelheim
    • Dreamscape/Vanaheim
    • Free Lands/Jotunheim
  • Wretched Hive: Dragonfall. The whole city is filthy and dilapidated, the murder rate is through the roof, the mayor's office is corrupt, and the whole reason the protagonist is there is because the city has to hire mercenaries to protect it after their original city guard is completely wiped out.
    Princess Celestia once famously said, "Everything in this world, no matter how dark, has a spark of light and goodness in it that makes it worth saving. Except for Dragonfall, which is irredeemable."