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Fanfic / The Elements of Friendship

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Cover art for Book I: Harmony drawn by the author. Can be found on DeviantArt here.

The Elements of Friendship is a My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic fanfic series, written by Amras Felagund on

Beginning with the same set-up as the pilot for the television series, the series's first installment, Book I: Harmony only truly begins when Twilight Sparkle fails to stop NightMare Moon's eternal night. With the shattered Elements on hoof, Twilight reluctantly enlists the aid of five other mares (if you've seen the television series, you should know them) to travel the world, defeat NightMare Moon, and bring back the sun and Queen Celestia.

...yes, you read that right. Several What Could Have Been elements from the series have been reincorporated into a grander High Fantasy rendition of the world of Equestria. Mythological beasts from various different cultures help to fill out the roster of beasts depicted in the television series. And since it was inspired by Friendship is Dragons (according to Word of God, specifically this page), a surprising number of Dungeons & Dragons monsters appear or are alluded to as well.

Each successive Book in the series is, according to Word of God, due to follow a major threat that appeared as a threat in the series, though there are hints towards a greater threat who may or may not be from Friendship Is Magic.

Entries in the series are:

  • Book I: Harmony — After Queen Celestia is banished by NightMare Moon, Twilight Sparkle, her assistant Spike, and the rest of the Mane Six set off to search for a means to restore the Elements of Harmony. Has a live read here
  • Book IS [interlude one-point-five]: Bonds — Trixie Lulamoon returns on the day of NightMare Night and kidnaps the still-freshly-rescued Queen of the Night, using the power of the Alicorn Amulet.
  • Book II: Chaoskampf — Discord arises from his stone prison and disposes of the Elements of Harmony, forcing Twilight Sparkle and her friends to go on another adventure. (Still a work-in-progress.)
  • Book IIS [interlude two-point-five]
  • Book III
  • Book IIIS [interlude three-point-five]
  • Book IIII

This series provides examples of:

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    Series-Wide Tropes 
  • Adaptation Expansion: Each Book in the series is shaping up to be this to each two-parter in the series, with the exception of Book 1.5, which is an example of this trope to the episode Magic Duel.
  • Adaptation Name Change:
    • A relatively minor one, but Nightmare Moon is consistently written as NightMare Moon.
    • Princess Luna becomes Queen Selena.
  • Adaptational Badass: Nearly every villain, as they go from threats dealt with in one or two episodes to powerful threats that need whole doorstoppers to stop.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • Trixie flat out cons the town as opposed to simply being a traveling showmare as in canon.
    • Moondancer is part of an organization working for the Greater-Scope Villain. Justified, as she had not even made an appearance on the show when the series started.
  • Alternative Number System: The Equestrians use base-12, complete with neologisms for the new names for numbers of years. The author even wrote a blog post explaining the system.
    • Discord notably doesn't use this system, and offhandedly derides the ponies for not using the decimal system.
  • Ascended Extra: Moondancer, who had not yet appeared on the show proper, is onscreen and even travels with the Mane Six a bit in Book I. She's secretly evil.
  • Ambiguously Human: Whatever Pinkie Pie is, she's not a pony. Not anymore, at least. It doesn't bother her much.
  • Covered in Scars:
    • Applejack has several scars along her back, thanks to the beasts in the Everfree Forest.
    • Fluttershy has scars earned from caring for the animals of Everfree.
  • Dirty Communists: The griffon nation of Orlalvov, an expy of the Soviet Union.
  • The End... Or Is It?: Each Book ends with a definitive closing scene, followed by a meeting of The Omniscient Council of Vagueness, explaining how the Book's events influence their plans.
  • Expy: Moondancer and her council are basically written as such for Organization XIII.
  • Fictional United Nations: The Cosmic Council, which has representatives from every major species and country.
  • Fix Fic: A minor example, but the author swapped Applejack and Rainbow Dash's Elements, as he felt that this way they better reflected their characterizations than in canon.
  • Forced Transformation: Twilight's parents are permanently transformed into plants at Twilight's exam. Due to the nature of transformations, only Twilight can undo it... which she's not powerful enough to do yet.
  • Foreshadowing: Shining Armor's limited cameos and mentions throughout the series suggest that he and Twilight are estranged. Why, however, hasn't been stated yet.
  • Greater-Scope Villain:
  • Happily Adopted:
    • Spike really wants to be this to Twilight, even calling her "Mom", but she doesn't share the sentiment. She does care for Spike, she just doesn't care about him that way. At least, not at first.
    • Twilight herself is pretty much adopted by Celestia while her birth parents are trapped in plant form.
    • Pinkie is revealed to have been adopted by the Pies.
    • Scootaloo by Rarity's parents during Book II.
  • Medium Awareness: Pinkie Pie seems at least mildly aware that she is in a novel. As does Discord when he appears, even helping the reader with the cipher code for the cryptogram at the end of his debut chapter.
  • Omniglot: Twilight is versed in many languages.
  • The Omniscient Council of Vagueness: One appears at the end of each Book in the series thus far, ostensibly working for a Greater-Scope Villain. Moondancer is a member.
  • Social Climber: Moondancer in one in this canon, making Twilight blowing her off a lot more understandable. Twilight also believes Rarity to be one of the negative variety when they first meet.
  • Unicorn: The Unicorns in this series are modeled after Medieval heraldry (rather than the horse-with-horns depiction from the original show): they have lion tails, cloven hooves, long fetlocks, and beards.
  • Worldbuilding: Moreso than the television series. References are made to creatures and nations that simply do not exist in the show's canon, as well as a Cold War between Equestria and the Griffon nation of Orlalvov.

    Book I: Harmony 
  • Abdicate the Throne: At the end of the Book, Zecora, having become Queen of Pundamilia after her mother Malkia's death, stands down in favor of a democracy she helps set up, and then emigrates to Equestria.
  • Altar the Speed: It's implied that Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy were seeing each other romantically before NightMare Moon's return, but they accelerated to becoming engaged within a day of NightMare Moon proclaiming nighttime eternal.
  • Big Bad: NightMare Moon.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The Wonderbolts pull this off repeatedly.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Much of Twilight's German exclamations are this. Before the writer enlisted a German speaker, though, it was Gratuitous German.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: NightMare Moon pulls this on a large percentage of the Royal Guard.
  • Compressed Adaptation: Despite being based primarily on the two-part pilot, it also contains elements of Boast Busters, Call of the Cutie, Sonic Rainboom, Feeling Pinkie Keen, and Party of One during different parts of the story.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: A Unicorn named Tinfoil Hat takes over Octavia and Vinyl's rebel radio broadcast, and starts telling everyone that Celestia and NightMare Moon are the same pony, Twilight is her chief enforcer, and that the quest to gather the Elements of Harmony is actually a scheme to take over the rest of the world.
  • Day of the Jackboot: NightMare Moon takes over Equestria, declaring martial law and placing Nightmare Guard garrisons in every city, while transforming Canterlot into her citadel, Endymion.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Twilight, even more so than in canon.
  • Door Stopper: Just shy of 250,000 words long.
  • The Dragon: Nightingale, the captain of the Shadowbolts.
  • Eldritch Abomination: One was responsible for Queen Selena becoming NightMare Moon. Specifically, she was possessed by the Miasma, a member of a race of alien Puppeteer Parasites that possess people whose wills are weakened by anger and sorrow, and use them as hosts while slowly feeding on their life force.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Shining Armor is among the Canterlot guard ponies who resist NightMare Moon's mind control. (Twilight's reaction, upon learning that Shining is imprisoned, suggests that they're estranged.) Flash Sentry is one of the guards at the vault in the Crystal Mountain. The mane six travel to a city built inside an abandoned Changeling hive. Discord's statue appears in the final chapter. Princess Cadance and the Crystal Empire are referenced.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: As in canon, the mane six (and Spike) become strong friends by overcoming the trials to reach the Elements of Harmony and defeat NightMare Moon—in fact, becoming friends is precisely how they defeat NMM. Unlike canon, this takes place over the course of two months, rather than a single day.
  • Girls with Moustaches: All adult unicorns grow beards, including the mares. Rarity hates her beard and prefers to shave it. She proves herself as the Element of Generosity by sacrificing her razor for one of Twilight's plans.
  • Happily Adopted: Butter-And-Eggs, an Earth Pony colt adopted by the Stag Cobnut—who thinks he is a deer himself. He shrugs off being told the truth pretty quickly, and telling him is how Rainbow Dash unlocks the Element of Honesty.
  • Heroic BSoD: Pinkie, when Twilight reacts poorly to her reality-breaking abilities. She gets better.
  • Hero of Another Story: The Wonderbolts. Aside from occasionally popping in to save the Mane Six's butts, they spend the story using pegasus magic to spread heat and light across Equestria—counteracting the Long Night and buying the mane six more time to unlock the Elements of Harmony.
  • Hidden Elf Village: The deer of Harthind have kept themselves isolated from the rest of the world for a long time, turning away all outsiders. When the Mane Six stumble on the village, they're almost turned away as well, before the extreme circumstances convince the village elders to let them stay.
  • Hybrid Power:
    • After seeing Fluttershy's Stare in action, Twilight speculates that Flutters has Earth Pony magic (due to her mixed ancestry) which she's channeling through her eyes.
    • Some of Pinkie's odd abilities—hovering, bouncing, and standing on other ponies without actually putting any weight on them—Twilight attributes to Pinkie's Pegasus blood. But the true source of Pinkie's abilities is something stranger.
  • Honorary Uncle: Twilight refers to King Leo of Aquastria, Celestia's cousin, as "Uncle Leo".
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: How Madam Oleander outs herself as a mole for NightMare Moon — she knows far more about the Mane Six's quest than they've shared with the deer.
  • Killed Off for Real: Crescent Rose, as well as Queen Malkia of the Zebras.
  • Kneel Before Frodo: When Queen Celestia shows up, Twilight and her friends bow to her. Celestia says they don't bow to her, and instead, she bows to them. The Canterlot nobles follow suit, though many of them are simply hoping to get Celestia's favor.
  • Kraken and Leviathan: A Kraken once threatened Aquastria, before being driven off.
  • Made of Iron: The Headless Horse simply does not give up.
  • Meaningful Name: The country of Zebras is called Pundamilia, the Swahili word for... 'zebra'. Similarly, the Zebra Queen, Malkia, bears the Swahili word for 'queen' as a name.
  • New Parent Nomenclature Problem: Inverted from the usual form. Spike is eager to call Twilight his mom; it's Twilight who insists that they aren't really mother and son, because they aren't biologically related.
  • The Night That Never Ends: Portrayed realistically. Bringing about the endless night causes temperatures to drop, and a lack of food as crops die from a combination of that and lack of sunlight. Meanwhile, the other half of the planet is suffering from Endless Daytime, everything burning and the boiling oceans resulting in megastorms. All told, only a narrow strip of the planet at the day/night border, the Twilight Zone, is habitable, and that quickly starts to be overwhelmed by refugees.
  • Oblivious Adoption: Butter-And-Eggs is an Earth Pony raised by a Stag named Cobnut, who comes complete with a set of sticks he wears as antlers. Turns out he put them on himself at a young age and forgot they were fake. He gets over being told pretty quickly.
  • Oh, Crap!: The reaction of Twilight and her band when they realize that the Headless Horse is Real After All.
  • Original Character: Crescent Rose, Malkia the Zebra Queen, Inkunzi the Minotaur, Butter-And-Eggs and the whole of the Deer village of Harthind...
  • Portal Network: The Mane Six (and Spike) use two different ones during the quest — the Narbaculus portals used by Equestria and Aquastria, and the enchanted mazes that connect the Minotaur city-states.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Madam Oleander sells out Harthind and the Mane Six to NightMare Moon, in exchange for the restoration of her youth. Instead, NightMare Moon kills her.
  • Rule of Funny: Seems to literally apply to Pinkie Pie. When Twilight asks how Pinkie's Hammerspace Hair works, Pinkie says she can't explain because then her hair wouldn't be funny anymore.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: As soon as the Headless Horse shows up, Moondancer teleports away and abandons the group.
    • The Headless Horse pulls this twice — first when Twilight scares it off with a miniature sun, and later when she gives her speech against NightMare Moon during the Final Battle, showing her full power.
  • Shout-Out
    • Applejack's Earth Pony magic includes the power to Stand Firm, though she puts it to rather more versatile uses in this story.
    • Crescent Rose is a reference to the scythe weapon of Ruby Rose. Strengthening the connection is her apparent penchant for cookies.
    • A whale named Cap'n Nemo is Lyonesse's defender against the squid-like Kraken.
    • The Narbaculus portal system is a reference to Portal (and to Narbacular Drop, the student project that Portal grew out of).
    • Pegasus cloud chariots are constructed partly from Cavorite.
    • NightMare Moon's chant as she casts a forest of thorns around Canterlot is spoken to the same cadence as Maleficent's as she does the same to King Stefan's castle in Sleeping Beauty. Fitting, since NightMare Moon was effectively an Expy of Maleficent in the pilot.
    • The last chapter shows a brief bit of Angel bunny's internal monologue, and he uses Lapine terms from Watership Down.
  • To the Pain: Nightingale at one point describes what NightMare Moon has in store for the Mane Six — decapitation, but with their heads enchanted to never die. They will then have their mouths sown shut, with their manes and horns cut off, and kept on public display.
  • Underwater City: Lyonesse, the capital of Aquastria.
  • The Voiceless: Pinkamena, by virtue of being a mime in this fiction.
  • Voice of the Resistance: Octavia and Vinyl set up a radio station, operating from a series of safehouses, to broadcast news to the masses and keep up hope and morale.
  • Who's on First?: Rainbow Dash falls into this joke with Owlowiscious. Spike almost does as well later, but catches himself.
  • Your Mime Makes It Real: When Twilight approaches, Pinkamena mimes being trapped in a box. No matter how she tries, Twilight can't push past the invisible box.

    Book IS [one-point-five]: Bonds
Cover art for Book IS [interlude one-point-five]: Bonds drawn by the author. Can be found on Deviantart here
  • And I Must Scream: Trixie's soul is half devoured by the Alicorn Amulet, leaving it trapped inside her comatose body, begging for death.
  • Artifact of Doom: The Alicorn Amulet, as in canon, with the added bonus of ripping its wearer's soul in two. And it seems that Trixie was not the first victim of its horrors.
  • Big Bad: Trixie (under the influence of the Alicorn Amulet).
  • Compressed Adaptation: While primarily based on Magic Duel, it also has elements of Luna Eclipsed, One Bad Apple, and The Best Night Ever at different points.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Shining Armor appears briefly. He isn't mentioned by name and has a brief, awkward conversation with Twilight, hinting that they're estranged.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Trixie is convinced that Twilight must have spread word of her being fraud to all of Equestria, because that's what she would have done. Later, when Sunflower takes the spell meant for Babs, Trixie is utterly baffled, as it's something she would never do herself.
  • It's All About Me: Par for the course for Trixie Lulamoon... though it devolves into blatant solipsistic behavior by the end of the book.
  • I Have Many Names: Trixie has used many aliases over the years; during the height of her Amulet-induced madness, she starts referring to herself by all of them, something that's commented on. Twilight figures that on top of everything else, she has identity issues.
  • Just Friends: Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy call off their engagement, after realizing that they rushed into the relationship out of the fear they felt during the NightMare Moon situation.
  • Never My Fault: Trixie blames everything wrong in her life on Twilight, despite it all being the result of her own paranoia and egotistical delusions.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Trixie's actions force Queen Selena into regaining her full power.
  • No-Sell: The Elements of Harmony don't work on Trixie, because the Amulet's domination of her mind is too similar a concept to the order and harmony created by the Elements.
  • Samus Is a Girl: Celestia's prospective new bodyguard, Paper Mache, is mistaken at first for an effeminate stallion.
  • Sizeshifter: Babs's ability as a Burgeoning Earth Pony.
  • Taking the Bullet: Twice, ponies intercept spells Trixie sends at someone else — Filthy Rich and Silver Spoon do it for Diamond Tiara (who doesn't care) and turn into statues, while Sunflower does it for Babs, and gets shrunk down.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Even moreso than canon, this is the Alicorn Amulet's effect on Trixie.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: Turns out that all the spells Trixie casts are her normal illusions, heightened by the Amulet into this level.

    Book II: Chaoskampf
Cover art for Book II: Chaoskampf drawn by the author. Can be found on Deviantart here
  • Abusive Parents: Fluttershy's were of the emotional variety.
  • A Day in the Limelight: "Sweet Chapter", effectively Chapter #9, focuses on what's happening to everyone in Ponyville while the Mane Six are off questing.
  • Alternative Calendar: The Cult of Pi, who worshipped Discord, also used their own system of telling time — their weeks were composed of only five days (Sweetmorn, Boomtime, Pungenday, Prickle-Prickle, and Setting Orange), and their years only had five months (Chaos, Discord, Confusion, Bureaucracy, and The Aftermath), each 73 days long. And the calendar's starting point was at Discord's arrival in Equestria, which was listed as YOLD (Year of Our Lord Discord).
  • Anachronic Order: The chapters were originally posted in random order. However, this has since been changed to standard order, albeit with Unusual Chapter Numbers at play.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Discord claims to have lost one of his arms when imprisoned. Twilight later finds evidence that this part of his story, at least, is true.
  • Bad Powers, Good People: Celestia's Power of the Sun comes along with all the deathly radiation of said star.
  • Big Bad: Discord, who may or may not be the Greater-Scope Villain for the entire series.
  • Blatant Lies: After being brainwashed by Discord, Rainbow Dash speaks exclusive in these, not even caring when they immediately contradict.
  • Body Horror: When Discord first shows up, he's lacking skin, claiming it's a result of his imprisonment. Though given that he soon after restores himself, he was probably just messing with Celestia and the others.
    • On a whim, Discord turns a canary inside out during his initial rampage in Ponyville, to the horror of the group.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • Discord regularly argues with the author in the chapter closing notes. At one point, he directly addresses the readers.
    • Pinkie does this as well, responding to the narrator's comments and reflecting on how many chapters there are between certain events
  • Complete Immortality: Celestia disintegrates Discord, only for him to reform from the mana in the air.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Tinfoil Hat makes a return, hacking into the radio broadcast to tell everyone that Discord is really Celestia's ex-boyfriend, and that Selena is her child by Discord's bat-pony half brother. And then goes on a rant about how he knows he's right in his beliefs, and he's not going to let all the facts that contradict him stop him from spreading the "truth".
  • Cult: The Pie family is descended from the Cult of Pi, which worshipped Discord during his original reign. After his petrification, they started preaching his return and how his enemies would be turned to stone themselves. Over time, this evolved so that they stopped worshipping Discord, and switched entirely to rocks.
  • Darker and Edgier: Discord's chaotic rampage is most definitely not played for laughs here.
  • Dude, She's Like in a Coma: When Twilight is using an out of body spell to explore the books of the Cult of Pi from within, Applejack is inspecting her unconscious body and nearly kisses her on instinct, before she's stopped. She's extremely embarrassed by it.
  • Eldritch Location: The Descort Fields, the site of Discord's original defeat and a place of a lot of Wild Magic. Not coincidentally, the rock farm where Pinkie grew up is nearby.
    • The region of the Everfree bordering the Fields is stated to be even worse than the main section near Ponyville, being where it first grew.
    • And right next door to both are the High Eyries mountain ranges where Commander Hurricane was buried. Her spirit appears to haunt the place, and any non-pegasi who go there die, while the pegasi themselves are instead absorbed into her spirit army.
    • The Edelholz Forest in Germaney, where the paths seem to change on their own, and a Guardian Entity supposedly dwells, devouring any intruders who get lost within it.
  • First-Name Basis: Spike goes back to doing this with Twilight (instead of calling her "mom") in anger after her well-meaning attempts to help him realize that Rarity doesn't return his feelings.
  • Forced Transformation: At the end of chapter 4, Discord suddenly switches the group's tribal traits amongst each other, turning the Unicorns into Pegasi, the Pegasi into Earth Ponies, and the Earth Ponies into Unicorns.
  • Foreign-Language Tirade: Twilight, frustrated by the riddle Discord left leading to the stolen Elements, starts cursing in German, much to Rainbow Dash's amusement.
  • Foreign Language Title: Chaoskampf is German for "struggle against chaos", the mythical motif of a heroic battle against an incarnation of Chaos, often appearing in the shape of a dragon.
  • For the Evulz: Discord makes it clear that he does what he does for his own amusement, and nothing else.
  • Freudian Excuse: Diamond Tiara's mother had a nervous breakdown and had to be institutionalized. Diamond's bullying is cover for this, so that she doesn't get bullied for it herself.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Twilight seems on the verge of a breakdown when she learns that Discord is Celestia and Selena's father.
  • Hate Plague: The group appears to succumb to one just before entering the High Eyries, but fortunately Pinkie (who wasn't affected) snaps them out of it.
    • Happens again when it's Rarity's turn to be Discorded, as her "diamonds" seem to cause everyone to get uncontrollably angry with each other until Pinkie somehow cures them all.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: Applejack shoots down the idea that Twilight could ever be romantically involved in a lowly farmer like herself.
  • Holy Hand Grenade: Through means even she doesn't understand, Pinkie somehow unleashes an energy wave that removes the Hate Plagues, and in the second case, manages to reverse Discord's messing around with their physical forms and Rainbow Dash's mind.
  • Home Base: The group decides to use the Pie family farm as one for this quest.
  • Incompatible Orientation: Applejack confronts Twilight on the kiss she gave her, Twilight explains it was chaste and she's aromantic. Applejack admits she's kind of disappointed.
  • Lost Technology: Equestria lost a lot of it during the Age of Discord.
  • Mind over Manners: There are apparently strict rules in place for using mind-reading spells.
  • Moses in the Bulrushes: The Pie family found Pinkie wandering on the Descourt Fields as a foal and adopted her.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: Discord keeps spinning different versions of his past, which seem to be based on fan theories.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: Variation 3: In chapter 2, Celestia and Selena infodump a lot of information on Discord to the Main 6, Spike, and Paper Mache. Then Discord suddenly speaks up, running a claw across Celestia's cheek. It turns out he's been floating in plain sight the whole time and nopony noticed him.
  • Power Limiters: Celestia's regalia turns out to be this, as otherwise her powers would kill everything around her.
  • Rescue Romance: After Spike saves the Crusaders and Diamond Tiara's posse from some of Discord's spiders, Sweetie Belle develops a crush on him, to his discomfort.
  • Samus Is a Girl: When the group first meets Maud Pie, due to her size, most of them mistake her for a stallion.
  • Shout-Out: The scene where Selena finds Tiberius and makes him her familiar is an almost word-for-word remake of a similar scene in The Nuptialverse.
    • Discord turns a canary inside-out, undoubtedly a reference to Magic Man.
  • Shipper on Deck: Mr. and Mrs. Pie support the idea of Pinkie being in a herd marriage with Rainbow and Fluttershy.
  • Split Personality: Fluttershy has a fairly realistic one, born as a defensive reaction to her parents' emotional abuse. This "other Fluttershy" is much more highly aggressive.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Discord pulls this in his first appearance, and then claims that he'd actually been there since the start of the chapter.
  • Terms of Endangerment: Discord calls Celestia things like "Sunshine" or "Sunbeams".
  • Tragic Villain: Discord tries to paint himself as one; no one buys it, especially since he keeps changing his story.
  • Unusual Chapter Numbers: As Discord's reign progresses, the chapter numbers have progressed from Roman numerals to formulas to... something not even resembling numbers.
  • Wham Line: Twilight at the end of Chapter 8, after exploring the last of the Cult of Pi's books:
    "ItísÖ too insane. Itís too crazy. I donít want to believe it. I donít want to believe that Discord is the father of Queens Celestia and Selena!"
  • Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: Celestia slips into this in her rage over Discord's actions.