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Fanfic / The Phoenix of the Wasteland

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Take My Little Pony. Now, put it in a desert. After that, put in a hearty blend of several different civilizations and mythologies. Then dump fifty truckloads of grimdark into it, and make one of the series' main villains (Starlight Glimmer) the protagonist.

If you did all that, you probably have something like The Phoenix of the Wasteland. Here, you'll find an abundance of unapologetic rapists, slavers, mass-murderers, child-killers, backstabbers, and cheapskates. The latter four are the heroes; the villains are even worse. Prepare your Brain Bleach.


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The Phoenix of the Wasteland contains examples of:

  • A Lighter Shade of Black: The protagonist is a megalomaniacal sadist whose ultimate goal is to stamp out free will the world over by establishing a totalitarian regime in the Wasteland, then the world. Standing in her way is the Holy Empire of Styx, a decadent and rotting empire owned by a race of eugenics-enhanced social Darwinist unicorn super-soldiers, the Imperials, who keep their underclasses of second-class citizens and lobotomized slaves under an iron hoof under constant threat of torture and death; non-slaves are put constant surveillance under the Imperial Secret Service, and are subject to be un-personed if they prove too disloyal.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: The Imperials believe in eugenics and their own racial superiority over all others.
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  • All Myths Are True: Subverted. The myth of the Gem of Mount Athon, the obtaining of which is the driving motivator for much of the story, turns out to be untrue.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: None of the Imperials are presented sympathetically. Not even the one who's in the main cast. Justified, as being at all kind or compassionate in the Empire is a surefire way to die an early death.
  • And I Must Scream: In her duel against Legate Snakefang Gelder, Starlight breaks his horn in two, inflicting a permanent epileptic seizure on him. She then removes his cutie mark and uses it to open a rift into empty Tartaran space, where he is doomed to drift for all eternity as he suffers said seizure.
  • Bodyguard Betrayal: The Kaiser's Praetorian Guard is fond of this. Inverted, then defied, when Starlight initiates Operation Midnight Longsword, where the Praetorians are all killed and replaced with magi-tech battle droids, who become the new Praetorians.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The Staff of Comets and Imperial seal in Lesbos.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Shattered Bones shows up in Chapter Five, and is only mentioned twice in passing afterwards. That is, until Chapter Twenty-Four, when it turns out that she is the head of the Imperial Secret Service and the one behind Benn's defection to Starlight's side.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: The Empire has the Dark Arts, a school of magic dedicated specifically to this. The Wanderer is proficient in it, and uses it often and without a shred of remorse.
  • Culture Chop Suey: The Empire is a bizarre blend of the Kaiserreich, Nazi Germany, ancient Sparta, the Roman Empire, and medieval Vikings.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Princess Luna wears a suit of jet-black armor. She's also one of the few characters who are unambiguously heroic.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: After Starlight defeats Legate Snakefang Gelder in a duel to the death, the Second Legion defects to Starlight's side, having been told before that they would be treated mercifully if they did so.
  • Defector from Decadence: The Wanderer becomes this after seeing the Empire's sorry state. Most of the other Imperials become this after Starlight defeats Snakefang in their duel to the death.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: invokedParodied with an in-universe example, Ebony Darkness, who heads a fan club in Equestria dedicated to the Empire.
  • Nominal Hero: The only claim Starlight has to heroism is the fact that the villains are even worse. She is not a nice mare. Not by a long shot.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Wolfram, the Empire's patron deity, was behind Starlight's arrival to the Wasteland the whole time. He gave her the centaur army that the Gem otherwise would have if it were real. The reason: He got bored with the Empire. He also has the vernacular and mannerisms of a thirteen year old boy.
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