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The Pieces Lie Where They Fell by Evilhumour and his beta-reader/co-author Anon eMouse Jr. is a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic, and the first in the Pieces-verse. Originally posted December 18, 2016, it was completed August 6, 2017, but with a promise of a sequel. Said sequel, Picking Up the Pieces, was subsequently published on August 7, 2017.

During the events of A Canterlot Wedding, the Changeling invasion took an unexpected and tragic turn when Queen Chrysalis and Celestia's exchange of spells resulted in a massive explosion that destroyed Canterlot Castle and killed everypony within, including all three Princesses and the six Element-Bearers. In the aftermath of this tragedy, Prince Blueblood assumed the throne of Equestria and led his nation into a war against Chrysalis and her army.

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A thousand years later, Equestria has changed vastly. Some of these changes are for the better, some for the worse. But one thing is certain: a new generation of Element-Bearers is needed to defeat a dangerous enemy and restore balance to the world.

Picking Up the Pieces begins immediately after the conclusion of the first story. While the new Bearers have won the day, the war is not over. Now, even as they and others deal with the aftermath of their victory and complications old and new in their respective lives, a dangerous new threat to Equestria lurks, awaiting for the right moment to strike.

The Pieces Lie Where They Fell can be found on Spacebattles Forums, FIMFiction Dot Net and Fanfiction Dot Net.

Picking Up the Pieces can be found on Spacebattles (in the same thread as the original story), on FIMFiction Dot Net and Fanfiction Dot Net.

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The Pieces Lie Where They Fell contains examples of:

  • Action Girl: All three of the females in the new Bearers, who wind up brawling against their enemies more than once. So do the four female Captains of the various Guard divisions.
  • Adults Are Useless:
    • Played with in much of the story - the protagonists themselves are young adults, but most of the adults in Canterlot who are older than them are unaware of the situation with the Nightmare and, though skilled at their actual jobs, are led to believe the protagonists are the villains. They drop this entirely when Memorizing Gaze finds out the identity of the Nightmare's host and informs Captain General Gentle Step of the truth, at which point the Guards do all they can to help the heroes.
    • Utterly averted by the Equestria Girls arc, as Principal Celestia and Vice-Principal Luna are, unlike their canon counterparts, absolutely not oblivious to Sunset's behavior; they just can't act against her without physical proof or personally catching her in the act of breaking the rules (and she's very good at not being seen doing so), and go out of their way to help the Bearers. Also unlike their canon counterparts, they are present during the final battle and, though they aren't very effective, are still part of the group that tries to get the Element of Magic from Sunset.
  • Aerial Canyon Chase: There’s one during the escape from the Lower East-South Quarter, and it is epic.
  • The Alcoholic:
    • Wind Breaker drinks a lot (but only enough to get buzzed, no more), and Night Blade, noticing this, fires him from a job for it during the former's Establishing Character Moment due to the laws against public intoxication. There's a legitimate reason for his drinking habit though - when he was a child, he couldn't stop from telling the truth and got into fights because of it, so his caretakers decided to give him alcohol to try and restrain his truth-telling. This happened when he was nine, and he hasn't been able to stop drinking since, though after earning his Element, he promises Applejack that he'll try and sober up and finally admits to himself and the others that he has a problem.
    • An unnamed Earth Pony was this in Wind Breaker's background. It's explained that he drank enough that one day, he forgot he wasn't a pegasus and tried to fly, only to fall almost eighty feet straight down, shattering all four legs on impact and only surviving because of a combination of his natural durability and one of the unicorns below managing to cast a cushioning spell on the ground at the last minute - if not for both of these factors, he would have died on impact. Instead, he's alive and has been completely wheel bound ever since, the experience resulting in him sobering up for good.
  • And I Must Scream: The final fate of the soul that had been the Nightmare - dropped into a pit of monsters that were sealed away before time began and would remain there until time ended without any power and unable to die or defend itself.
  • And Show It to You: Sunset Shimmer threatens to do this to Princess Celestia's killer once she returns to Equestria, unaware (until Page informs her) that Chrysalis has been dead for a thousand years.
  • A Rare Sentence: After turning into a human, Vix-Lei thinks to herself at one point that she's not supposed to be able to see her kneecaps, then adds that she never would have imagined anytaur ever thinking that before.
  • Arc Number: Six, or multiples thereof, appears a great deal. Word of God is that ponies have come to view it as a sacred number.
  • Attempted Rape: Not outright said, but it's pretty clear this is what Sharp Point planned to do to Page in chapter 30.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: The guard captains have all earned their positions, being highly skilled in combat and other related areas.
  • Badass Bookworm: Page Turner might be a librarian, but you don't want to mess with her in a fight.
  • Badass Longcoat: Vix-Lei chooses a long black duster as part of her Fall Formal outfit.
  • Bad Dreams: All six of the characters are said to have had unsettling dreams during their night in the inn, though they don’t remember the details. This is a clue towards the identity of their Big Bad.
  • Bad Habits: "Father" Evergreen Road, who poses as a preacher but is really a con artist heavily involved in the black market.
  • Balance Between Good and Evil: The spirit of Balance is bound by this. The more information they give the new generation of Bearers, the more they also have to share with the villain.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Mentioned as an effect of one artifact the group finds in the Questioning Order's vault. Also a side-effect of the Crystal Mirror, which transforms those who pass through it into a form suitable for the world on the other side. In this case, it turns all of the group into humans when they arrive in the world of Canterlot High.
  • Barrier Warrior: During battle, Page demonstrates that she's capable of using magical shields both to defend against and physically attack enemies.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Rex does not like it when people think he's stupid due to just being a Diamond Dog.
    • Page gets very mad when it's implied that their hidden enemy is responsible for everything that's happened to her species, including the Fantastic Racism aimed at Changelings.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Sweet Surprise, the Full Moon of the Luna Guard, may seem like a ditz, but she holds her rank for a reason.
  • Beyond the Impossible:
    • Killing a dragon with fire, which Blazen Sun did.
    • The Nightmare's spirit body - not the host, but the Nightmare's very self - bleeds when Night Blade nearly cuts off one of its wings.
    • Dragon glass steel is among the most unbreakable materials in the world. Vix-Lei was able to crack it with a squeaky rubber hammer.
  • Big Bad: There is one, and it's the reason a new generation of Bearers are needed. It turns out to be the Power known as the Nightmare, which had once possessed Princess Luna and was now controlling the King of Equestria.
  • Big Blackout: Wind Breaker unintentionally caused one when he shot a capacitor during the battle in Blas Bridge, causing a chain reaction that destroyed the power station and cut power to the entire city of Canterlot.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Wind Breaker gets this in his debut, saving Page Turner from falling construction material. Later, Page herself is this when she steps in to protect a Changeling from a group of bigots, and all five of her future teammates fill the role when they come to her aid.
    • Night Blade comes to the rescue during the climax of chapter 30, saving Xvital in the nick of time.
    • The Questioning Order also comes to the rescue when they're found by Page and see she's one of the Elements.
    • Xvital, her fully restored Element on her head, arrives at the last second to save her friends from the Nightmare.
  • Big Eater: Vix-Lei, naturally.
  • Big, Friendly Dog: Xolo, Tizoc's pet timberwolf.
  • Big Good: The spirit of Balance acts this way, though its ability to support the heroes is limited due to being forced to give the Big Bad equal aid. Ultimately subverted when it turns out Balance was just as big of a monster as the Nightmare, playing with others' lives to achieve its goals and sentencing the Nightmare to a Fate Worse than Death.
  • The Big Guy: Vix-Lei the minotaur is the biggest and muscliest of the new Bearers, relying on raw physical might. Wind Breaker starts as a second one, but gradually becomes more of a Long-Range Fighter.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Multiple characters have a tendency to slip into their native language - Spanish/Burroñeso, Greek, and on one occasion, German/Hosstrian. Translations are provided on the subpage.
  • Black Cloak: The members of the Questioning Order wear these as part of their usual outfit, along with a blank white mask.
  • Blazing Inferno Hellfire Sauce: Page Turner likes her food spicy. She's mentioned as freaking other ponies out by snacking on jalapeños, has eaten and enjoyed red habaneros, and is looking forward to trying hotter peppers like Phantom Peppers (AKA Bhut jolokia, the Ghost peppers) and Dragon's Breath (at the time of writing, the hottest pepper on record). It is later revealed that to Changelings, anger has a “spicy” flavor to it. And since she feeds off Night Blade’s anger mixed with love, Page has developed a taste for that spicy flavor.
  • Blue and Orange Morality:
    • Balance itself is this, being neither good nor evil, just made for a goal: to defeat the Nightmare and punish its soul, no matter the cost.
    • The Nightmare itself also qualifies, admitting it gave nightmares to both Celestia and Chrysalis as a means to warn them. Celestia interpreted them correctly and caused Sunset to go away so she wouldn't unwittingly cause Equestria's destruction. Chrysalis did not and invaded Canterlot as a result.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Vix-Lei is loud, very, very strong and friendly.
  • Break Them by Talking:
    • The Nightmare tries to do this to the Bearers. Page is the closest to being affected due to what it reveals, but the others aren't buying it and she recovers soon as well.
    • The Nightmare tries again by taunting Page about how her family line came about. This time, she doesn't buy it at all.
  • But Now I Must Go: Variant at the end of the fourth arc, in which it's the main characters effectively saying this to the characters from Canterlot High before returning to their native dimension, and the story continuing their adventures from there.
  • Call-Back:
    • After getting his Element, Wind Breaker regrets not getting the name of Applejack's brother, whom she'd been mistaken for. During Rex's meeting with Rarity, he asks for the name on Wind Breaker's behalf, but doesn't get it. The human Applejack finally gives him the name after he meets the human Big McIntosh in the flesh.
    • Chapter 39 is loaded with these, both to in-story events and to canon, including:
      • Vix-Lei mentions the time she talked about how she was looking forward to meeting any of Pinkie's relatives, since they'd probably be a real hoot. She then says, after meeting Maud Pie, that she was right.
      • Night Blade mentions Vix-Lei's crazy driving, and considers pony Rainbow Dash's flying to be even worse.
      • Page learns that Angel Bunny was real, and that he wasn't a demon, just a normal, bad-tempered rabbit... very similarly to Anon e Mouse Jr.'s first non-canon omake chapter, except for the fact that it's the Equestrian Fluttershy who explains it to her this time.
      • References are made to their time in Fluttershy's old cottage.
      • Night Blade and the human Rainbow Dash's previous visit to Elysium, when she slapped him repeatedly, is referenced.
      • The entire group's conversation references multiple past events, wherein the group learns the true identities of several of the Virtues' old "enemies", explaining the misunderstandings that came about in part because of Blueblood not understanding things quite right (as Rainbow Dash mentioned in chapter 31). The reveal on Trixie also references her human counterpart's scene at the vending machine.
      • Pony!Rarity makes a passing reference to her personal history with Blueblood, and later to the Diamond Dog incident in A Dog and Pony Show and the events of Sonic Rainboom.
      • The incident at the library from chapter 36 is mentioned, revealing that the three boys involved were the human counterparts of the Diamond Dog trio Fido, Spot and Rover.
      • The five older Bearers present reminisce on how they got their Cutie Marks, as they did in The Cutie Mark Chronicles.
      • Night Blade and Page both remember how they got their Talent Emblem/Cutie Mark, as mentioned in chapter 3 (for Page) and 28 (for Night Blade).
      • Page mentions the Magi of Stars being referred to as the patron saint of knowledge, something established in chapter 1 of the story.
      • Vix-Lei mentions her previous suspicions that Bulk Biceps was a minotaur in Equestria, along with what Pinkie told her about his actual Equestrian self.
    • In chapter 42, Page references the warning Balance gave her in her first meeting with the spirit.
    • Page's illusion sequence in chapter 45 is rather reminiscent of her introduction back in chapter 3.
    • Chapter 46 has Vix-Lei's rubber lizard make a second appearance, when she throws it at the Nightmare for a distraction.
    • In chapter 27, Rex seems happy at the idea of setting Vix-Lei on fire. In chapter 46, he actually does get to set her on fire, or at least her weapons.
  • The Cameo: A human version of Fluffle Puff makes an appearance in chapter 41, albeit not named, wanting a trio dance with Night Blade and Page Turner, who accept.
  • Can't Believe I Said That: Night Blade's reaction to his reaction to Rainbow Dash's crazy flying.
  • Carnivore Confusion: Vix-Lei, despite being a minotaur, sees nothing wrong with eating beef. She explains that since the cows in the world of Canterlot High are non-sapient and different enough from her own species, it doesn’t matter.
  • The Chessmaster: Balance, who's been manipulating the situation for years - among other things, he guided events to make sure all six of the new Bearers would be in Canterlot at the right time, even if it meant disrupting their relationships with their families or other loved ones, and ensured Sharp Point and his gang would find the Bearers to give Night Blade his final chance at earning his Element.
  • The Chick: Page Turner, the most feminine of the group and peacekeeper of the team (though she's no slouch in a fight).
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Night Blade peppers his Screw This, I'm Out of Here! speech to Xvital with enough F-bombs to qualify.
  • Con Man:
    • Xvital is one, plotting to steal and sell valuable scrolls from the Canterlot Library.
    • Evergreen Road is also one, impersonating a priest of Luna and intending to sell the scrolls Xvital was supposed to steal for him.
  • Covered in Gunge: Sweet Surprise when she accidentally falls into sewage during the Chase Scene.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: Vix-Lei's plan during the late stages of the battle with the Nightmare. It involves setting her hammers on fire and using them to pound their enemy.
  • Crazy-Prepared:
    • Vix-Lei carries various things around in case of "emergencies". Including a large rubber lizard that was in her coin bag. (And a pony-sized eyepatch.)
    • The human Pinkie Pie just happens to have had mango juice on hand for Night Blade for a few days already, despite not knowing him until the day before she needed it.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Sharp Point’s gang is on the receiving end of one when the Questioning Order gets involved in their fight. While not shown, it is implied to have been very brutal.
  • Cuteness Proximity: Human Applejack has a toned-down version of this when she sees Wind Breaker and promptly starts treating him like a big housecat. Human Fluttershy, on the other hand, can't help but gush when she sees Page's pony form.
  • Dark Secret: Page has been keeping one from the griffon who raised her for her entire life, and from Night Blade for fourteen years, at the time the story starts. The spirit of Balance indicates that the longer she keeps it, the worse off things will be. He's right, as after it's revealed she's a Changeling/unicorn hybrid, Night Blade sees her in her true form and freaks out, mistaking her for an impostor and nearly beating her to death before he comes to his senses.
  • Dawn of an Era: The Nightmare claimed that an Age was coming to an end, believing Harmony's time was done. Its own defeat signals it to be this trope instead, and Word of God states that this new Age will be a mixture of Science and Magic.
  • Death by Adaptation: The Mane Six, all three Princesses, Shining Armor and Spike were all killed in the destruction of Canterlot Castle that kicks off the plot, and Chrysalis was killed in the war that followed. Garble, the dragon who bullied Spike in the episode Dragon Quest, died about a hundred years before the present day when Blazen Sun set him on fire and caused him to explode.
  • Debut Queue: After the prologue, Chapters 1-6 introduce the main characters, each meeting the next. Chapter 7 finally brings them all together.
  • De-Power: The soul that was the Nightmare is stripped of its position and abilities by Balance before being cast into its permanent prison.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Vix-Lei managed to hit the Nightmare so hard that she broke through its shield and almost crushed its skull. Followed by Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu, as she hit it hard enough both to shatter her normal hammer and break one of her own arm bones, enough that it was sticking out through the skin.
  • Distant Prologue: Chapter Zero starts a thousand years before the main events of the story — i.e., during the show's timeline.
  • Distant Sequel: The Pieces Lie Where They Fell is set a thousand years after the events of "A Canterlot Wedding" end in disaster, and follows a new generation of Element Bearers. The show's characters are still remembered, but often in highly distorted and mythologized ways, and a a Flim-Flam Corporation has apparently grown out of the Flim-Flam brothers' snake-oil businesses.
  • Diving Save: How Wind Breaker and Page Turner meet, when he knocks her out of the way of some falling construction material.
  • Dogs Are Dumb: Utterly averted by Rex the Diamond Dog. This stereotype is one of his Berserk Buttons. Played straight by some of his packmates though.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": Page Turner was given one name at birth ( Lamella Armor the Tenth), and later given a new, pony-style name by Hush Tone. As far as she's concerned, she is Page Turner, and not Lamella.
  • Don't Fear the Reaper: Death takes the form of a kindly old stallion when he comes for Twilight, allowing her to pass on peacefully.
  • Dope Slap: Jeb the Diamond Dog uses these to keep his pack in line.
  • Double Take: Essentially the group's reaction when a student mentions the names "Principal Celestia" and "Vice-Principal Luna" to them.
  • The Dreaded: All of the captains from the various branches of the Royal Guard and their Captain-General (who are all Dum Soluti):
    • Standing Wall, an Earth Pony and Captain of the Cadenza Guards, and the strongest Earth pony mage known to have ever lived;
    • Violet Lulamoon, a unicorn and Magi Supreme of the Magi-of-Stars Guards, and an expert thaumatic artificer who revolutionized the Guard’s armor protection spells;
    • Blazen Sun, a unicorn and the Holy Corona of the Celestia Guards; especially feared by the dragons after what he did to one of them.
    • Sweet Surprise, a unicorn and the Full Moon of the Luna Guards, who held back a demon incursion on her own, is a master tactician and so adept at approved transformation magic that she can fly better than most naturally-winged ponies;
    • Gentle Step, a unicorn and Captain-General of the Royal Guards, who's stronger than any of them and got her position after ten days in the Guard - five days as a normal guard and five fighting her way into and out of Tartarus to rescue some of her fellows, with her only wounds being a scar on her face and a broken snout.
    • Chapter 28 reveals there's a sixth captain: Captain Memorizing Gaze, Secret Protector of the Hidden Guards, who are Changelings working directly for Gentle Step and are descended from a group that betrayed Queen Chrysalis to the ponies after her invasion of Canterlot.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Vix-Lei, full stop, as demonstrated during the escape from the Lower East-South Quarter. It’s explained afterward that she grew up around a shipyard, and learned how to drive from her father’s employees, most of whom had worked as her country’s equivalent of cab drivers. She also admits to joyriding in the past.
  • Dual Wielding: During the battle in chapter 44, Night Blade begins using both his sword and sheath as weapons.
  • Dynamic Entry: Four of the group come to help Page Turner by jumping (or flying) out an upstairs window when she's protecting a Changeling nymph from a group of bigots.
  • Elective Mute: The Questioning Order is noted to rarely say anything due to their desire to prevent any changeling infiltrations. This was proven during their founding, when they allowed many of their order to be killed without making a sound in response. They can and do speak behind soundproof barriers, but in the presence of others, they use only sign language (and react angrily when anyone outside their group can translate it).
  • 11th-Hour Ranger: Tizoc, the Prince-King of the Cuanmiztl Kingdom and Xvital's love interest, who joins the group and does his best to aid them after they've gained all their Elements shortly before the final battle.
  • Embarrassing Nickname:
    • Fluttershy does not like her time-given title of "Stern Warden", because it makes her seem scarier than she really was.
    • Pinkie doesn't seem too pleased with her title of "Wise Oracle" either.
    • Applejack is annoyed at being referred to as a "Stallion" of Dedication, explaining she got stuck with the name due to ponies mixing her up with her brother.
    • Rarity doesn't care for her identity being more used to inspire elitism, but is somewhat appeased by the fact that at least there's still some effort towards honoring the values of her element.
    • Rainbow Dash doesn't like her title as the Warrior because she doesn't feel she earned it in life.
    • Averted by Twilight, who hasn't really had the opportunity to consider her title of "Magi of Stars".
  • Embodiment of Virtue: Like their predecessors, each of the six represents a social virtue.
    • Page Turner is the Element of Kindness, who acts as the moral guidance to the others.
    • Vix-Lei is the Element of Laughter, who keeps the others' spirits up even when things seem bad. However, she also needs to know when to be serious so her comrades know they can always count on her and not dismiss her for being useless or insensitive.
    • Wind Breaker is the Element of Honesty, who keeps the others honest by staying honest themselves.
    • Rex is the Element of Generosity, who understands others and inspires them with his selflessness.
    • Night Blade is the Element of Loyalty, who defends and protects the others even at cost to themselves.
    • Xvital is the Element of Magic, who is the balance that acts as a bridge between the other five.
  • Eye Scream:
    • One of Sharp Point's gang has an eye ripped out and eaten by Wind Breaker during their fight (he coughs it up when he realizes what he's done).
    • When his sword breaks, some of the metal fragments strike Night Blade in one eye, blinding it. Fortunately, it heals up thanks to the intervention of the Questioning Order.
  • Failed a Spot Check: While exploring the Questioning Order’s vault, Rex finds the Crystal Heart hidden in a small hidden area of the wall. Thinking it’s only a replica, he puts it back, unaware it was the real thing, or that (per Word Of God) Sombra was the one who hid it there, with the Questioning Order having never found it.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: The battle between the new Bearers and Sharp Point's gang is full of these, including multiple cases of Slashed Throat (via a sword), Gutted Like a Fish (also via a sword) and one Impromptu Tracheotomy when Night Blade rips out a pony's throat with his teeth.
  • Fantastic Racism:
    • Changelings, despite being referred to as the "Fourth Tribe", are treated extremely poorly by most upper-class ponies due to Chrysalis' role in the tragedy of a thousand years ago. Griffons raised in Canterlot are also on the receiving end of this, though they're not nearly as bad off.
    • In an inversion, aside from matters involving Changelings, tribalism between the other five races (unicorns, pegasi and bat/nox ponies, earth ponies, crystal ponies and seaponies) has all but vanished, as they all live in peace together.
    • Rex mentions once applying to the Academy for a place as their alchemy professor, but was turned down due to his species, claiming that only a “true Equestrian” could have a proper understanding of the subject and thus the ability to teach it to others.
  • Fire-Breathing Diner: The human Pinkie Pie does this all over Vix-Lei after eating a cupcake with a tabasco sauce filling. She loves it.
  • Five-Token Band: All six of the new Bearers are different species: Xvital is an Ahuizotl visiting from the Cuanmiztl Kingdom, Night Blade is a batpony/nox pony (essentially a pegasus with tufted ears, bat-like webbed wings, non-hairy tails and a crest on their heads) from a noble family, Page Turner is a unicorn (supposedly; she's later revealed to be actually a unicorn/Changeling hybrid), Wind Breaker is a griffon, Vix-Lei is a minotaur visiting from the Minos Islands, and Rex is a doberman pinscher-like Diamond Dog originally from the Under, but who moved to Middle Canterlot.
  • Flat-Earth Atheist: Some believe Celestia and Luna are still responsible for the sun and moon rotating around the world, even a thousand years after their deaths, while others, including Rex, believe gravity is responsible.
  • Forceful Kiss: Diamond Back plants one of these on Wind Breaker as his way of revealing he's secretly been in love with the other griffon, admitting that he'd wanted to do that for a long time and would never forgive himself if he let the chance pass by again.
  • Friend in the Black Market: "Father" Evergreen Road, who poses as a priest of Luna, is really a fraud using his position as a cover for receiving and selling stolen goods. He's also robbed the temple where he works, selling off its physical assets and using the money to fund his habits of drinking, women and gambling.
  • Fun with Homophones: When Rex meets his old packmates, he mentions that "the fate of all Equestria is at stake." One of the others promptly shouts "Steak? Where?" and gets a Dope Slap from his leader.
  • Furry Reminder:
    • Xvital, being a feline species, tends to curl up like a cat and make mewing sounds.
    • Night Blade, as a batpony, hisses like a bat when things get too bright or too loud.
    • Wind Breaker, as a griffon, sometimes stretches his neck out and chirps like a bird.
    • Rex, being a canine species, has been heard barking and seen with his tail wagging, and during the escape from Canterlot, he had his head sticking over the side of their skimmer, his tongue hanging out like a real dog's would, though he denies it.
  • Given Name Reveal: Chapter 28 reveals that "Page Turner" is a pony-style alias. When speaking to Captain Memorizing Gaze, she gives her name as Lamella. Then, in chapter 30, it's revealed her full name is Lamella Armor the Tenth.
  • The Good King: Prince Blueblood of all people wound up this after taking the throne (though he always claimed to be merely acting as regent for the Princesses, and thus below them, until they returned), and is known as Blueblood the Great.
  • Grand Theft Me: When Page first meets Fluttershy, the spirit of Balance has temporarily taken over the pegasi’s body to speak to her, in part because Fluttershy herself is too shy to speak on her own behalf. Later on, during Wind Breaker's chat with Applejack's spirit, Balance suddenly takes control of her body before she can give away too much information, and says as much to Wind Breaker. When Night Blade and Rainbow Dash are talking, Balance tries to hijack Rainbow Dash's body so it can apologize to Night Blade for some of its earlier actions, but she No Sells the hijacking and tells Balance to come in and speak as itself, which it does.
  • Gratuitous Greek: Unusually for this trope, it’s used in much the same way as Xvital’s Gratuitous Spanish - Vix-Lei breaks into her native language while under stress.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: Xvital occasionally slips into Burroñeso (read: Spanish) when exasperated.
  • Great Offscreen War:
    • The war between Equestria and the Changelings, which began after the destruction of Canterlot Castle and the deaths of everyone within, and ended when Blueblood slew Queen Chrysalis. Its ramifications are still being felt a thousand years later, including the treatment of the Changelings.
    • When Sombra returned, he started the Crystal World War, which lasted ten years and took the entire world working together to drive him back to his empire's capital and kill him.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: During the battle with Sharp Point and his gang, Vix-Lei grabs one of them and starts using them like a flail.
  • The Grim Reaper: Death appears late in the story to collect the soul of Twilight Sparkle, appearing as a kindly figure and allowing her to finally enter Elysium peacefully. The epilogue, however, shows that they are highly annoyed at the Nightmare for keeping them from collecting her for so long, and angered by Harmony/Balance for their actions involving the soul that had been the Lord/Lady of Nightmares.
  • Grumpy Bear: Night Blade is pretty grouchy a lot of the time, and given his history, who can blame him? About the only time he's happy is when Page Turner is around him.
  • He's Back: Twilight Sparkle finally acknowledges her true self and breaks out of the Smarty Pants identity she's withdrawn into during her thousand years of imprisonment, an act which forces Reality itself, and all of the Powers, to take notice of the event.
  • Headdesk: The mare Rainbow Dash repeatedly smacks her head against a wall at one point.
  • The Heart: As Kindness, Page Turner acts as the moral guidance of the team.
  • Heaven: The Bearers and many others have each gone on to Elysium, able to rest peacefully in a setting that makes them happy. Twilight, when she's finally freed and able to rest in peace, happily reunites with her friends and family when she arrives there.
  • Heroic BSoD: Page suffers from one of these when the Nightmare admits to being behind the bad dreams that led to Queen Chrysalis invading Canterlot and, by extension, being responsible for all the hatred her species has suffered in the past thousand years.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: Night Blade's self-hatred is tremendous, and it takes a lot to ultimately convince him that he is not a bad pony.
  • Hidden Depths: On top of being Magi Supreme, Violet Lulamoon is revealed as being the published author of a non-fiction work on amulets.
  • Hoist by Their Own Petard: If Sunset Shimmer had waited for the dance, she could have gotten the crown easily. Instead, she has Snips and Snails steal it early, is caught in the act, and banned from the dance.
  • I Ate WHAT?!: Having ripped out and eaten somepony's eye in the heat of battle, Wind Breaker starts retching when he has a moment to think and it finally hits him what he'd done.
  • I Call It "Vera": Both Night Blade and Vix-Lei have named their weapons - Night Blade's sword is Determined Point, and Vix-Lei's hammers are Lady Kabonk (her "fun" hammer) and Señor Hardhead (her hammer hammer). Wind Breaker contemplates naming his crossbow as well. Averted by Xvital's knife and knuckle dusters, since she admits she's not good with naming things.
  • I Have Many Names: Death itself has more names than can be counted. The Pale Pony, the Grim Reaper, the Collector of Souls, the Final Answer, the Great Equalizer, the Unbarginable Griffon, the Reclaimer of Final Breaths, the Stealer of Souls, the Defeater of Empires, the Swallower of Oceans, the Thief of Years, the Ultimate Reality, the Harvester of Souls, the Keeper of the Keys at the End of the Universe, one of the Four Harbingers of Apocalypse, the Terror of the Grave, the Proclaimed First and Final Soul of Creation, and many more that have been forgotten.
  • Improbably Quick Coma Recovery: Xvital comes out of a two-week coma with little more than a slight case of claustrophobia, and it wears off soon enough.
  • Incendiary Exponent: Vix-Lei winds up lighting her hammers on fire during the final stages of the battle with the Nightmare, thanks to one of the potions - which is essentially napalm - Rex got from Jeb.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Vix-Lei's humor tends to be this way, as she doesn't realize her jokes might be offensive to others. At least, at first — she does recognize that the others don't necessarily find them funny, but jokes are the best way she knows to break the ice.
  • Insistent Terminology: Evergreen Road is not a corrupt priest, he is a fraud priest. Night Blade is sometimes like this too, preferring the term "Nox pony" over "bat pony".
  • It Gets Easier: Night Blade, following his These Hands Have Killed moment, is even more disturbed by the fact that he wasn't as disturbed by it as he should have been. Xvital feels the same way as the battle with Sharp Point's hench-ponies goes on.
  • Kill It with Fire:
    • Blazen Sun's specialty. He once killed a dragon with fire via his sun-based magic.
    • Rex mentions one of his old packmates believed in this - apparently, Rufus was known to have said "There is no problem that cannot be solved with copious amounts of fire."
  • Ladies and Germs: Vix-Lei's illusion sequence in chapter 45 has her announcer welcoming the crowd with "Fillies and gentlecolts, griffons and griffettes, dogs, dragons, my lords and lady minotaurs, and every other species represented here,".
  • The Lancer: Night Blade is this for the new Bearers, as he tends to butt heads with Xvital and is the polished noble to her rough-and-tumble, streetwise upbringing.
  • The Leader: Xvital finds herself falling into this position for the new Bearers, even before all of the others get their Elements.
  • Legendary in the Sequel:
    • Overlapping with Legend Fades to Myth, the heroes of Equestria's past are this in the present day. The Mane Six have even become revered as the Virtues or Virtuous Six, and they, the Princesses and even Prince Blueblood all have statues of themselves around Canterlot. However, their true names (and in one case, even the gender) have been forgotten, and some of their deeds have been expanded to far beyond what they started as in the retelling.
    • The same chapter mentions a Flim-Flam Corporation, in reference to the Flim-Flam brothers.
    • Scootaloo is still remembered for her troubles with flying, her name being part of the colloquial term for the Thaumatic Moratis ("magic bereft") disorder, in which ponies don’t develop their magic until into their adulthood.
    • Chapter 23 mentions a "Windy Whistles" line of shampoo from the Cloudsdale Mountains, named for Rainbow Dash's mother.
    • Ponyville itself has also been remembered only as the "lost city of the Virtues".
  • Legend Fades to Myth: While most of the show's characters and events are still remembered a thousand years on, this is often in... a rather distorted fashion. The Bearers eventually tell the main characters the correct versions as the story goes on.
    • The Blue Sorceress (Trixie) is said to have commanded an army of star-creatures against the Magi of Stars.
    • Angel Bunny of all beings is still remembered, but most of the present-day characters believe him to be a demon trapped in the body of bunny by the Stern Warden. All except Page, who considers the idea of a "demon bunny named Angel" to be ridiculous and doesn't believe any such rabbit, demon or no, ever existed.
    • Chapter 20 reveals another handful of "enemies" of the Virtues: the Griffon Scourge, the All Seeing Pegasus of Thunder, the Trio Wood Nymphs and their fearless followers. The author identified them as Gilda, Derpy, the Cutie Mark Crusaders and the Flower Trio, all misidentified (of them, Gilda is the only one who was ever legitimately hostile to the Mane Six, but even she was just a grouchy jerk and not a true villain) due to "Time running up behind Truth, shanking it, stealing its money and taking a selfie". A past conflict between the Magi of Stars and the dragons is also mentioned, possibly meaning the events of "Dragonshy".
    • It's gotten to the point that people have forgotten the strength of the Bearers' bonds, believing they were elite warriors who were only brought together in times of crisis. Chapter 31 reveals Blueblood is at least partially responsible for these misunderstandings, having "got [their] info all messed up", as Rainbow Dash put it.
  • Literal-Minded: A Diamond Dog demonstrates this when they appear late in the story. When Jeb recognizes Rex's scent, saying he knows it "Like the back of his hand", his packmate Snarl asks, "You Jeb smelling yourself?" Cue Dope Slap.
  • A Load of Bull: Vix-Lei, being a minotaur.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: The Nightmare traps five of the six Bearers in a mental illusion of happiness. Night Blade, however, No Sells it because he feels that he doesn't deserve happiness - he believes he deserves Tartarus for his nearly killing Page earlier. The others also break out due to other key mistakes the Nightmare made in their own illusions.
  • Loud of War: In chapter 27, Rex gives Wind Breaker a special alarm he can use to wake everyone up in case of emergencies and startle and disorient those attacking them. A demonstration is eventually made in chapter 44, in which it is revealed as an extremely loud foghorn... and that was the lowest setting. According to Rex, had it actually been set off while they were in the forest, it would have been heard all the way back in Canterlot.
    BWAAAAAAAAAH!!!
  • Love Confession: Diamond Back does this by planting a big kiss on Wind Breaker.
  • Loving Bully: Diamond Back, as Wind Breaker finds out late in the story.
  • The Magic Comes Back: With Twilight finally passing on and passing the torch off to Xvital, coupled with the power of the Rainbow of Harmony being released against the Nightmare, the magic of the land is finally allowed to return, helping to undo a thousand years of damage.
  • The Magic Goes Away: Equestria's magic has been slowly fading since the events of a thousand years ago. Effects of this include some ponies being born without magic ("hollow ponies", those suffering from Thaumatic Vidatus), those who burn out (the Brevis Soluti, or "short burst" ponies) and Cloudsdale's magic decaying, forcing them to move the city to a more secure location. Word of God is that more ponies are being born with these disorders than those who are not. It's also noted that the Starbeasts have begun to lose their signature starcoats with the lights dimming and a lot of them are simply dying off due to this.
  • Magic Skirt: Discussed and averted - at one point Vix-Lei thinks to herself about how she has to be careful to avoid exposing herself when she sits down, and vows to invest in some actual pants the next chance she gets. She's thrilled when she gets some as a human, but they don't stay when the six return to Equestria.
  • Man-Made House Flood: In chapter 24, Night Blade meets psychiatrist Sound Mind, who mentions an incident where she noticed her wife was acting normal, but she could tell something was "off", and soon found out her wife had caused a minor flood in her study and was trying to replace all the damaged books without her noticing.
  • Massive Numbered Siblings: Vix-Lei is the oldest of eight.
  • Mismatched Eyes: Wind Breaker has one blue eye and one gold eye.
  • Mistaken for Racist: Rex, when he hears some of Vix-Lei's jokes, assumes she's bigoted towards Diamond Dogs. She's not - she just doesn't know she's offending him.
  • Mobile Maze: Page Turner mentions having read about these (and mazes that use other magic to trick and trap people) in chapter 24, leading to a discussion on ways to get out of one and wondering which version of the story is the original.
  • Multinational Team: Three of the Bearers were born (and grew up) in the Equestrian continent; Night Blade in Canterlot, Rex in the Under before moving to Middle Canterlot as an adult, and Page Turner in an unknown location before going to Canterlot when very young, while Xvital is an Ahuizotl visiting from the Cuanmiztl Kingdom, Vix-Lei is a minotaur visiting from the Minos Islands, and the griffon Wind Breaker grew up in Canterlot (but, as revealed in the sequel Picking Up the Pieces, was born in and kidnapped from the Griffish Isles and taken back to Canterlot when he was too young to remember).
  • Must Have Caffeine: The human Pinkie is essentially a zombie before that first cup.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Night Blade's reaction when he realizes that was the real Page he was just beating up, having mistaken her true form for a Changeling impostor.
    • Xvital's reaction when she realizes she's been projecting her feelings toward a certain Ahuizotl noble onto Night Blade.
  • Neck Snap: Night Blade's illusion sequence in chapter 45 ends when he does this to the fake Page, having figured out she wasn't real.
  • Never Heard That One Before: When introducing himself to some of his fellow future Bearers, Wind Breaker adds "And yes, I’ve heard all the jokes, so please don’t start." Vix-Lei is noticeably disappointed at being preemptively cut off. Later subverted by the human Applejack when she hears his name and asks “Your folks named you after a coat?” Wind Breaker has never heard that version and, as he admits to himself, had never heard of a type of coat called that before, so he wasn't expecting it.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Night Blade delivers one to Page when he mistakes her true form for a Changeling impostor.
  • Noodle Implements: Vix-Lei's large rubber lizard, which she carries around for "emergencies", and isn't willing to admit to exactly what sort of emergency would require it. She eventually winds up using the lizard as a distraction in the fight with the Nightmare, but when she finds it again, admits that's not the real reason she was carrying it. She also has an eyepatch for emergencies, but isn't willing to explain why it's pony-sized.
  • Noodle Incident: Night Blade’s talentmitzvah. It is not stated exactly what happened but it apparently was the breaking point for Night, who gave up on having any meaningful relationship with his parents afterward. Ceases to be one in Picking Up the Pieces, which explains exactly what happened: his parents wound up turning it into a "stuffy, adult party" and grounded him for wanting his special day to focus on him. They're later horrified when they realize what this ultimately led to.
  • Not Distracted by the Sexy: When Night Blade and the human Rainbow Dash are transported into the mare Rainbow Dash's personal Paradise, the human Rainbow Dash is completely naked and starts freaking out, but Night Blade’s only reaction is annoyance at her for hitting him over it. After her pony counterpart shows up and calms her down somewhat, Dash is still convinced that Night Blade is a pervert for looking at her. Night Blade promptly informs her that she does nothing for him, since he's only attracted to one pony who is not her.
  • Not So Above It All: Rex tries to stay calm and dignified most of the time, but he's not above having a little fun every now and then, like teasing Vix-Lei with his reaction to the idea of setting her on fire.
  • Oblivious to Love: For a very long time, Wind Breaker had no idea that Diamond Back secretly had a crush on him.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Rex's reaction when he finds out Sharp Point's group has a Manechurian Dragon - something he'd earlier asked Xvital if her black market dealt in - with them. His reaction is understandable when it turns out a Manechurian Dragon isn't a creature - it's a gun.
    • Xvital's reaction when she learns they've gone to her homeland, where she's a wanted criminal... and, as it turns out, has a former fiancé whom she ran out on.
    • Night Blade's reaction when he realizes they're talking to the Prince-King of the Cuanmiztl Kingdom.
  • Old-School Chivalry: Blazen Sun is a firm believer in this, and once gave all his Guards a royal chewing-out for not helping a couple of old mares when it was raining. It’s become a trait of the entire Celestia Guard since then.
  • Old Soldier: Blazen Sun, the Holy Corona of the Celestia Guard, is 130 years old and still sharp as a tack - he killed a dragon once and could do it again if needed.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: The true names of the original Mane Six have long since been forgotten, and they're now known by the nicknames they earned after their deaths: the Stallion of Dedication (yes, even the gender of one has been forgotten - she's later revealed as Applejack, who explains the "stallion" part is because ponies mixed up she and her brother), the Lady (Rarity Belle), the Wise Oracle (Pinkie Pie), the Warrior (Rainbow Dash), the Stern Warden (Fluttershy) and the Magi of Stars (Twilight Sparkle). Another character whose real name has been forgotten is the Blue Sorceress (actually Trixie Lulamoon), an enemy of the Magi of Stars.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • Rex normally speaks in a polite, scholarly manner. When he starts dropping F-bombs and talking in a typical gruff diamond dog voice, Wind Breaker knows the situation is serious.
    • When Page starts flipping out at the reveal that their enemy is responsible for the disaster a thousand years ago and her hive was framed, the others know something is majorly wrong.
  • The Order: The Questioning Order, a group dedicated to the persecution, usually with bloody violence, of Changelings. Even non-Changelings don’t like them because of how creepy they look and act.
  • Original Character: Everyone in present day Equestria and the rest of their world. Averted with the cast on the Canterlot High side of things, who are nearly all from canon or based on characters from the canon series... except for Fluffle Puff, a fan-made character who makes a cameo appearance.
  • Our Gryphons Are Different: Wind Breaker is a classic griffon with the front of a bird of prey (though he's colored more like a falcon than an eagle) and the back of a lion. Griffons are also described as having two different subspecies, mountain griffons and the smaller valley griffons, Wind Breaker being the latter type.
  • Outnumbered Sibling: Vix-Lei is the only girl in the family, outnumbered by her seven younger brothers.
  • The Pardon: The entire Changeling Race gets pardoned for the crimes of Queen Chrysalis and her hive after it comes out that a Changeling was part of the group of six that defeated their enemy and saved Equestria in the climax.
  • Parental Marriage Veto: Chantico, the dowager empress of the Cuanmiztl Kingdom and mother of its prince-king Tizoc, had no legal right to veto her son's marriage... so she instead just convinced his intended bride - Xvital - to run away just hours before the wedding.
  • Parental Neglect: Night Blade's parents really did a number on him, since he was born so late in their lives and they no longer knew how to relate to a young child.
  • Parental Substitute: Page Turner is a ward of the Great Library and was raised by its matron, the griffon Hush Tone, whom she says is like a mother to her.
  • Passing the Torch: The new generation of Element-Bearers each meet their predecessor's spirit and learn their true identities when they earn their respective Element.
  • Pervert Revenge Mode: The human Rainbow Dash enters this when she and Night Blade are transported into the mare Rainbow Dash's personal Paradise and she realizes she's missing her clothes, slapping him repeatedly for looking at her, even if it's an accident.
  • Playing with Fire: One of the Nightmare's powers; it is shown throwing a fireball during the final battle. Xvital also gains this when she gains magic; in the days after, it's noted that she has trouble with accidentally creating fire in her sleep.
  • The Power of the Sun: Blazen Sun can create a miniature sun, bright enough to turn night into day.
  • Powers That Be:
    • The Powers are a set of entities with a Purpose, Role and Duties in this world; the eldest are Death, Time, War and Life, who (along with some others who have since passed on) were directly made by the creators, while the younger Powers (who are former mortals who gave over their souls to a Purpose in order to become a Power) include Harmony (and its alter-ego Balance), Disharmony and the Nightmare, among others.
    • Each of the Powers has a counterpart to keep things balanced, some working together in harmony (such as the Lady of Day and her counterpart, the Lady of Night) while others (such as Harmony and Disharmony) are more violently opposed to one another.
    • Powers can belong to one of two factions, Order and Chaos, but the Rules in place forbid a Power under one faction from acting directly against any Power under the other faction; they can only act through proxies, such as a Power under Chaos targeting the student of a Power under Order.
  • Psychopomp: When Twilight breaks free of her prison a thousand years after she was trapped by the Nightmare, Death is finally able to come for her, allowing her to make her journey to Elysium so she can rest in peace.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Sunset Shimmer's thoughts, in which she states she will "Make. Them. Pay." (The "them" being Princess Celestia's murderer.)
  • A Pupil of Mine, Until He Turned to Evil: Unusually for this trope, it’s the student herself who explains this rather than the teacher - Sunset Shimmer reveals she was once Princess Celestia’s personal student, until the Princess felt she wasn’t “worthy” and “forced her out”.
  • Purple Is Powerful: Right after awakening her Element of Magic, Xvital's new magic is violet-colored.
  • Putting the Band Back Together: As with canon, the new Mane Six manage to get the Humane Five to realize they were deliberately targeted and split up by Sunset Shimmer, repairing their bonds.
  • Rage Against the Heavens: Night Blade does this not long after Balance appears to him to give him his last chance at earning his Element.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The new generation of Element-Bearers, which consists of a female Ahuizotl (the same species as the Daring Do villain), a batpony noble, a unicorn and librarian with a handful of secrets (including the fact that she's actually a unicorn/changeling hybrid), a griffon with a massive debt and a drinking problem, a jovial female minotaur, and a Diamond Dog with a talent for alchemy.
  • Really Royalty Reveal: Ruby Shell inadvertently blurts out, via a Changeling hive-mind that the heroes have been brought into, that Page Turner is the Changeling Queen. The other Bearers aren't that surprised though.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Principal Celestia, who is not only willing to give the group information, but employment at the school while they try to figure things out.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Wind Breaker, Night Blade and Xvital are all on the receiving end of these over the course of chapter 30.
  • Red Baron:
    • Of the guard Captains, Standing Wall is the Bane of Minotaurs and Blazen Sun is the Bane of Dragons. Their superior, Captain General Step, is known as the Bane of Tartarus (doubling as Names to Run Away from Really Fast).
    • Night Blade earns one after his brutal slaughter of Sharp Point’s mercenary allies - the "Butcher of the Everfree Forest". He is less than thrilled by it.
  • The Reveal:
    • Chapter 28 officially reveals, both in-universe and to the reader, that Page Turner is and always has been a Changeling/unicorn hybrid named Lamella.
    • Chapter 31 further reveals that Page isn’t just any Changeling - she’s the Changeling Queen and the eight-times-great-granddaughter of the late Queen Chrysalis.
    • Chapter 39 reveals that Balance is actually an alternate identity of another spirit, Harmony, who assumed a new form suited for an as-yet-unidentified mission.
    • Chapter 42, when Xvital puts on her Element, has her visit with the Magi of Stars... and learn that she's alive, but not well, being held captive by their enemy.
    • Chapter 43 reveals Xvital's past as having been engaged to the prince-king of the Cuanmiztl Kingdom until his mother found out about her being a thief and manipulated her into running away before the wedding.
    • Chapter 44 reveals their enemy's host: King Well Banded, the ruler of Equestria. And he knows they're there.
    • Chapter 45 - the Big Bad's true identity is finally given: It's the Nightmare, a Power whose Role and Purpose is to scare those who stray back onto the right path.
  • Revenge: Sharp Point seeks out the group both because of this after their first encounter with him and how they later framed him for the fire at the old Museum of Victory, and for the money on their heads.
  • Rugged Scar: Night Blade has one across his eye after his fight with Sharp Point.
  • Runaway Bride: Xvital, thanks to her disapproving would-be mother-in-law discovering her past as a thief and thinking her intended would hate her for it, fled just hours before the wedding.
  • Sadistic Choice: The Nightmare’s plans for Sunset involved this, forcing Princess Celestia to choose between banishing her student away or risk her future student and everyone in Canterlot with a demonic powered Sunset.
  • Scare 'em Straight: This is the Nightmare's whole Purpose, to terrify others away from evil and back onto the straight and narrow path of righteousness.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!:
    • Vix-Lei's reaction, shared by the rest of the group, when she realizes that Sweet Surprise, the Full Moon of the Luna Guard, has shown up to arrest them.
    Vix-Lei: "CHEESE IT!" (She promptly grabs Rex and runs, with the others right behind them.)
    • Night Blade does this when he thinks Xvital is siding with Wind Breaker in their fight, abandoning the group and the quest. He changes his mind and comes back in the nick of time.
  • Secret Secret-Keeper: Xvital admits that she left her intended husband because his mother had discovered she was a thief, and persuaded her into running off and leaving him before the wedding because he'd hate her if he found out. When Xvital and Tizoc reunite, Tizoc reveals he'd known about her being a thief practically from the beginning and didn't care, he still loved her and wanted to marry her. Then he proposes again, and she says yes.
  • Shout-Out: Beta-reader and co-writer AnonEMouseJr is quite fond of these, and is responsible for the majority of the ones in this fic (though Evilhumour has some too). See the subpage for specifics.
  • Shown Their Work: The author and his beta/co-writer don't just rely on online translations for the Bilingual Bonuses. They find people who actually know the language they're using.
  • The Smart Guy: Rex is this for the new Bearers, proving to be highly intelligent and wiser than most, much to the surprise of people who expect less of him due to his being a Diamond Dog. He's a skilled alchemist who developed and supplied the formulae for the spell that created the items he and his business partners are selling, and easily translates Xvital's comments when she slips into her native language.
  • Someone Has to Do It: When a soul is stripped of its position as a Power, a new soul must be found to take up that position, as happened when the Nightmare was defeated and its soul imprisoned while the Power itself returned to Death until a new Lord or Lady of Nightmares could be chosen.
  • Spin-Offspring: A handful of families from the time period of the original show have been confirmed as having descendants in the present day - the current King is descended from Prince Blueblood, and members of the Apple, Belle (as in Sweetie Belle) and Pants (as in Fancy Pants) families have been mentioned. Trixie's descendent, Violet Lulamoon, is the Magi Supreme of the Magi-Of-Stars Guard, though she doesn't know her ancestor is the legendary "Blue Sorceress".
  • Stock Animal Name: "Rex", the Diamond Dog.
  • Suddenly SHOUTING!:
    • Page starts yelling when she learns what Xvital did during her experience with her Element, realizing the implications it has for her people.
    • Tizoc does this in his conversation with Xvital, as he starts asking why she ran off.
  • Switching P.O.V.: On a regular basis, as the first six chapters are told from the point of view of one of the main characters (Xvital, Night Blade, Page Turner, Wind Breaker, Vix-Lei and Rex, in that order), and then switch up over the course of the rest of the story as the situation calls for it, with occasional P.O.V. segments by various other characters. Incidentally, over the course of chapters 1-48 (and not counting omakes), each of the new Bearers gets exactly eighteen segments each... and all the other characters, put together, also get a total of eighteen segments. The authors swear this last part was completely unintentional.
  • These Hands Have Killed: Night Blade is horrified to realize he killed a guard during the battle in Blas Bridge. Wind Breaker isn't much happier when he later finds out that he unwittingly killed some guards with the explosion he caused.
  • Time Abyss: the Nightmare is old enough that it cannot even remember if it was male or female.
  • To Hell and Back: Captain General Gentle Step went into Tartarus, spent five days fighting there, and came back out with two of her Guards with just a scar on her face and a broken snout. After being a Guard for only five days at the time.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Night Blade loves his mangos.
  • The Un-Smile: At one point, Vix-Lei sees Night Blade smiling, and asks him to do another. What he gives is "an all too wide smile on his face, showing off his fangs and sharper teeth in a frightening way". Vix-Lei is amused, but asks him to stop; when he only grins even wider at her, Page has to step in (at Vix-Lei's request) and make him stop by using a spell to make her nose cold, then pokes him in the ear with it.
  • Unusual Euphemism:
    • Diamond Dogs apparently use minerals and gemstones as swear words.
    • Xvital occasionally uses Mictlan, the Aztec underworld, as a curse.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: While there aren't any visual cues to go with it, Maud Pie barely reacts to her sister and the others' talk about magic and another world and instantly believes Pinkie about it.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: The Nightmare reveals it and other Champions of Chaos intended Sunset Shimmer to be this, placing a trigger within her to turn her into a demon the instant she put the Element of Magic on her head.
  • The Usurper: Sunset considers herself to be Princess Celestia's rightful heir, and once she finds out her former mentor is dead, she decides to use the crown she stole to become more powerful and usurp the current ruler.
  • Villainous Breakdown: The Nightmare, when it realizes it just accidentally revealed the key to its defeat to the Bearers, flips out and tries to kill five of them before Xvital can get there.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Full Moon Sweet Surprise, a unicorn, is adept enough at transformation magic to fully change into different pony types.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: Wind Breaker starts retching once he realizes he just ate someone's eyeball, but the focus is on Rex for the next few lines.
  • Weapon of Choice:
    • Drop the Hammer: Vix-Lei carries two, a warhammer she calls "Señor Hardhead" and a squeaky one called "Lady Kabonk".
    • Deflector Shields: Page prefers using these in battle. It's something she inherited from her great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather Shining Armor.
    • Heroes Prefer Swords: Sword usage is Night Blade's special talent, and his personal weapon, a gift from his brother Deep Blade, is named Determined Point. After it breaks, he gets a replacement from the Questioning Order's vault, made by the legendary swordsmith Masamane.
    • Knife Nut: One of Xvital's weapons, which she wields with her tail hand.
    • Natural Weapon: Being a griffon, Wind Breaker primarily relies on his beak and talons in battle, at least initially. Page Turner's inherent magic also counts.
    • Power Fist: Xvital's other preferred weapon, as she wears a pair of knuckle dusters on her main hands.
    • The Straight and Arrow Path: Wind Breaker picks up a crossbow, which becomes his signature weapon, partway through the story.
    • Throw Down the Bomblet: Rex is skilled at creating and using explosive potions.
  • Wham Line:
    • Chapter 31 has this little gem...
    Page Turner: "My pony name is Page Turner. But I was born Lamella Armor the Tenth,” ... “And I am the heir to the throne of the Badlands Changeling Hive as of fifteen years ago, its Queen and sole remaining Pillar of my hive."
    • Gentle Step, upon seeing their enemy’s aura in chapter 44:
    “It’s not demonic,” she said in a hushed, awed tone. “It’s divine.”
  • White Mask of Doom: The members of the Questioning Order wear these as part of their usual outfit, along with their cloaks.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Xvital really doesn't like flying. Not so much from fear, but because it makes her nauseous.
  • Wrecked Weapon:
    • Once Wind Breaker gets the Manechurian Dragon away from its owner, Rex breaks it in half. Later during the same fight, when facing Sharp Point, Night Blade's sword Determined Point breaks as well.
    • Both of Vix-Lei's hammers are destroyed in the battle with the Nightmare. Unlike the former examples, they're later restored by the Rainbow of Harmony.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: During the battle for the Element of Magic, Snips and Snails perform a simultaneous clothesline to knock Rainbow Dash down.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Despite an attempt to learn the Magi of Stars’ true identity while in the world of Canterlot High, the group only gets a small hint in the form of Pinkie Pie remembering seeing a girl with a dog and a similar mark once, but that’s literally all she knows.
  • You Monster!: Page calls the Nightmare “horrid” for what it’s done. It roars back that its whole Purpose is to terrify others away from evil and back onto the straight and narrow path of righteousness.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: If you're in Paradise, you can affect your surroundings just by thinking, though the more complex the thing, the harder you have to focus on it.

    Omake chapters (#1) 

The omake chapters from The Pieces Lie Where They Fell contain examples of:

  • All Your Powers Combined: The fifth omake shows off Reel's strongest form as Kamen Rider Skull the Second, which allows him to tap all fifty-two of his powers at once. Word of God is that it's actually an upgraded version of his original Super Mode, which tapped twenty-six powers all at once and later added more until he gained his fifty-second, which pushed him over the edge to unlock his final form.
  • Can't Believe I Said That: In the fifth omake, this is Reel's reaction when he realizes he used a certain horse-based saying - "If wishes were horses, beggars would ride" - while in Equestria. Even if nobody else was within hearing range at the time.
  • Golden Super Mode: Reel's strongest form as Kamen Rider Skull the Second, shown in the fifth omake chapter, is this.
  • Master of Unlocking: Reel, as Kamen Rider Skull the Second, uses this power to defeat the Nightmare in the fifth omake - the attack he uses permanently unbinds every atom in its intangible body, banishing it to the next realm to be judged by the other Powers.
  • Multiform Balance: Reel, as Kamen Rider Skull the Second, has multiple Rider forms he can change between, but the omakes only show two: his default form, and his strongest. Word of God states that his fifth form is his Super Mode, Kamen Rider Skull Xtreme, and the form used for battle in the final omake is his sixth and final form, Kamen Rider Skull Gold Xtreme.

    Picking Up the Pieces 

Picking Up the Pieces contains examples of:

  • Addiction Displacement: Chief Gordon mentions that he switched to gum to get off cigarettes, and Wind decides to try it to help with his alcohol problem.
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: Salmon-flavored vodka, mentioned in chapter 16, actually exists in real life - it's brewed in Alaska.
  • Anger Born of Worry: Vix-Lei knows Page would invoke this and get ticked if she found out Night tried to keep his health issues (his wing and heart checkup) from her. In order to avoid it, she informs Night that she'll be letting Page know the full results (with Night Blade's reluctant agreement) as soon as she can.
  • Answers to the Name of God: Non-religious variant - in chapter 5, Xvital has just entered the kitchen of their hotel penthouse suite and sees a mare working on a cake. From the smell, she deduces what kind it is, and asks "Mango cake?" The chef, who is still frosting the cake and knows exactly what she means, jokingly but truthfully responds with "That's my cousin's name, actually."
  • The Baby Trap: Some of Deep Blade’s past lovers have tried to do this via Fake Pregnancy in order to have an excuse to marry into his family. When Sergeant Summer Nights finds out, she notes that such actions are a crime.
  • Body Horror: The Hivemind Body is the fusion of several infant changelings into one biological structure.
  • Book Burning: A rare positive example (at least, it starts that way), as the former Hatchery griffons, upon being freed and getting their personal information, start a massive bonfire of their Ledgers (the books that kept track of how much they owed the Hatchery), which they no longer need. Unfortunately, it starts getting out of hand, which prompts Wind Breaker and Night Blade to leave the scene as quickly as possible.
  • Call-Back:
    • Wind Breaker has a run-in with Page's coworker Polished Apple, and gives her the message from Applejack about their ancestors not being happy about the way their family is doing things nowadays.
    • He also tells Page about his meeting with Diamond Back in the lead-up to the final battle, and Page recalls how Wind had saved her from the other griffon's carelessness.
    • Page's garden, where she and her fellow librarians grow their produce, is brought up for the first time since her first POV chapter in The Pieces Lie Where They Fell.
    • References are made to the events of the final battle with the Nightmare.
    • Chapter 5 contains brief references to Xvital's family background, which she previously told Wind Breaker about in the first story's chapter 13. Later, in chapter 9, Xvital herself tells Night Blade about some of it.
    • Chapter 9 contains further references to Xvital's past, as she explains to Night Blade about her poor experiences with nobility and how she'd inadvertently taken it out on him, something she'd realized (with Page's help) in story 1's chapter 30 and is finally apologizing for.
    • In chapter 15, Blazen Sun makes mention of the note Memorizing gave to Violet in chapter 2.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Night Blade, upon meeting his parents for the first time since before their adventure began, absolutely flips out at them, feeling that they've only developed an interest after his role in helping to save Equestria.
  • Carnivore Confusion: Despite being a pony (a nominally herbivore species), Gentle Step has developed a taste for meat.
  • The Casanova: Deep Blade has a reputation as a playstallion. However, he always makes it clear to his partners from the start that it’s casual, with no strings attached. Not all of them believe him, or try to make more out of it than Deep intended.
  • Celebrity Endorsement: Gentle Step had, at one point, given her endorsement to a bar - The Old Terminal Bar. When it refuses to serve one of her captains because he's a Changeling, she revokes her endorsement and gives it to another bar, The Blue Mountain, which has no problem with serving Changelings.
  • Code Name: The Hidden Guard have these for each of the Bearers. Those used in-story, as of chapter 10, are "Bad Driver" (for Vix-Lei) and Drunk (Wind Breaker). The other four are revealed in chapter 15: Grumpy (for Night Blade), The Librarian (Page), Doggy (Rex) and Thief (Xvital). Memorizing Gaze notes that they had to come up with them in a hurry and that they'll probably have to change all of them at some point (except for Page's, since hers is the only one that won't annoy the designee) if they can come up with better ones. He also mentions that one of his Guards suggested "Voofer" for Rex's codename but was overruled due to Memorizing himself thinking it sounded absurd.
  • Cool Old Guy: Blazen Sun, the oldest of the captains (who, in chapter 11, mentions having needed to stop and help one of his great-granddaughters that morning), and Mist Flight, a grizzled stallion who was lieutenant when Gentle Step began guard training, both are this.
  • *Cough* Snark *Cough*: When Night says they'll need to make it to the Griffish Isles without anyone getting airsick, he coughs Xvital's name, doubling as a Call-Back to her airsickness in the first story.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: A relatively mild example - Sweet Surprise, who's been worried about her reputation affecting that of her husband and wife unless she works very hard to improve it (by doing a lot of overtime work in her office), realizes (after some supporting words from her husband) that she could have avoided quite a bit of drama with them if she'd just spoken to them about her worries, and Sound Mind’s additional support when she arrives on the scene helps as well. Fortunately, they're both very understanding about the whole thing.
  • Declining Promotion: In Chapter 11, Lieutenant Mist Flight is mentioned as having been offered a Captain's position before, but always declining because he liked where he was. He winds up becoming Acting Captain General as a result of Internal Affairs' actions against Gentle Step, who decides to use a sick day and leave Mist in charge.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Not so much as icy as stoic, Captain General Gentle Step starts to show a lot more emotion when she is around Memorizing Gaze.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: Standing Wall is capable of a very strong degree of earth manipulation, including a sort of teleportation through it, moving from one spot to another incredibly fast.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Sweet Surprise feels that every single Guard has been laughing at her and questioning her competence since the skimmer incident (when the new Bearers managed to escape Canterlot, leading her on a wild chase in the process) and has been working overtime to try and prove herself ever since... on top of that, she fears that others, once they found out about her husband and wife, would treat them with the same lack of respect as they're treating Sweet, and doesn't want that to happen.
  • Embarrassing Nickname:
    • According to Gentle Step, her lieutenant, a stallion named Mist Flight, hates being called "Misty".
    • Vix-Lei's "embarrassing codename" of Bad Driver also qualifies.
  • Escaped from Hell:
    • Mentioned as having happened in the past, when a Bugbear escaped from Tartarus prior to the events of the Changeling attack on Canterlot, and resurfaced during the Crystal World War. It was consequently caught and re-imprisoned.
    • Averted by Tirek, who was intercepted by a Guard troop during his escape attempt from Tartarus and personally re-imprisoned by Princess Celestia. Centuries later, during her rescue mission into Tartarus that resulted in her promotion to Captain General, Gentle Step personally confirmed that he was still there.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Deep Blade may flirt and sleep around, but not with women who are already in committed relationships.
  • Evil Poacher: They exist and target the star beasts, whose numbers have greatly decreased with magic’s failing (though its return has helped them a great deal). Preventing this is one thing that Tizoc and King Well Banded can agree on.
  • Fake Pregnancy: According to Deep Blade, some of his past lovers have tried this in order to get him to marry them via The Baby Trap. After finding out, Sergeant Summer Nights says she’ll be looking into these claims, since attempted line theft is a crime.
  • Gold Digger: Deep Blade’s had to deal with a few who wanted to marry into his family, and tried to manipulate him into making a relationship permanent. This is a big part of why he has a personal lawyer, to deal with ponies like that.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: The new security guard at Night's gym is ostensibly there to keep further pranksters out after somepony dumped purple dye in their swimming pool, but he's too busy reading his newspaper to look up at any visitors, like Night, when he says the pool’s closed and explains why it’s closed.
  • Happily Married: Sweet Surprise is married to a firepony stallion named Hot Rod and a psychiatrist mare named Sound Mind, much to the surprise of her fellow Captains when they find out.
  • Internal Affairs:
    • A group of them show up to arrest Memorizing Gaze for being a Changeling holding down a job, which is illegal. Gentle Step points out that there has always been an exception, by decree of King Blueblood the Great, for Changelings who serve in the Hidden Guard, but they’re still required to take him in until he tells them he’s already resigned and has a meeting with the King to discuss his new role.
    • They come to cause trouble again, this time for Gentle Step, in chapter 11 after she and Memorizing Gaze are photographed kissing during their date, violating anti-fraternization rules.
  • Internal Reveal:
    • During her meeting with Night's older brother Crooked Blade, Xvital inadvertently tells him about Night's relationship with Page, which they'd previously kept secret from the rest of the Blade family for thirteen years.
    • And then Night Blade himself inadvertently reveals it to his parents the next time they meet. Fortunately, neither he nor Page are upset when he and Xvital admit their little slip-ups to the group soon after.
    • It happens again in chapter 13, when Wind Breaker inadvertently reveals it to Night's nephew Striking Blade while Striking is getting his Hatchery file, though this time he doesn't give Page's name. Night just shakes it off when Wind Breaker confesses to him afterward, saying that since his parents and oldest brother already knew, it was only a matter of time before his whole family found out.
    • In chapter three, Wind Breaker admits to Page about his previous meeting with Diamond Back and the other griffon's love confession. Diamond Back himself reappears in chapter 13 and inadvertently reveals the same thing to Night Blade, resulting in some lighthearted but non-malicious teasing (aimed at Wind Breaker) from him.
  • Just Friends: Violet Lulamoon insists (truthfully) that she and her lieutenant Lunar Light are this. Sweet Surprise isn't convinced.
  • Legend Fades to Myth: As in the first story, there are some details from canon that are no longer remembered correctly. King Well Banded recounts of how the Bugbear escaped from Tartarus, later resurfacing during the Crystal World War, and is under the impression that it broke out while Cerberus was away in It's About Time. Going by canon, it actually broke out years before (and is why Bon Bon/Sweetie Drops was living in Ponyville in the first place, in a form of Witness Protection).
  • Made a Slave: When Wind Breaker reads his Hatchery file, it's revealed that while many of the Hatchery griffons were essentially Born into Slavery (due to their eggs being sold by their parents, previous Hatchery griffons who did so in order to reduce their debt), Wind Breaker is among the many who were kidnapped from free griffons as infants or eggs and essentially sold to the Hatcheries.
  • Manly Tears: Night breaks down and lets loose with these when his parents finally show him affection for the first time in years.
  • Meaningful Name: Clean Canvas, who works as Dean of Art at the Academy in Canterlot.
  • Miles to Go Before I Sleep: Blazen Sun, at 130 years old, is the last of his generation, and his comments to Memorizing Gaze indicate that, while not suicidal, he is tired and looking forward to the day when he can retire and pass his position on to his lieutenant, but he can't bring himself to do so just yet, feeling there is still more for him to do.
  • The Mole: Part of the Hidden Guard's duties include finding these and removing them. In chapter 15, Memorizing Gaze mentions that a few centuries before, when one of his ancestors was in charge, they had discovered a few Moles in the Guard who were working for an organized crime ring in order to make it easier for their associates to get away with their actions; the entire ring was swept up and arrested as a result.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: This is pretty much the entirety of the Blade family's reaction when they realize just how badly they've all messed up with Night, be it his siblings' distance or how his parents acted at his talentmitzvah. Lethal Blade and Sweet Dagger get another dose when they realize they never once showed up for any of their youngest's tournaments.
  • My Own Private "I Do": Sweet Surprise explains that she and her marefriend and coltfriend had a private wedding in Las Pegasus so they wouldn't be swarmed by the press and media.
  • Narrative Profanity Filter: At one point, on finding out about Wind Breaker's forced alcoholism from his childhood, Doctor Gregory is said to have "uttered something so harsh that every set of ears in the room flattened at it" to refer to the ones responsible.
  • Never Heard That One Before: Wind Breaker comments on this regarding his name again in Picking Up the Pieces when the pony he's given his name to starts snickering, only to be told they were laughing about something else. He has to explain it again a few times to natives of the Griffish Isles during their trip there.
  • Not a Date: Gentle Step and Memorizing Gaze go on what Memorizing calls a "get-to-know-your-new-employee meeting" in chapter 8. Needless to say, nobody else is buying it when they insist that they're not a couple.
  • Not a Morning Person: Night Blade admits to it, and that it's one major difference between he and Page.
  • Not Staying for Breakfast: Subverted - Gentle Step wakes up with a hangover and finds Memorizing is not in bed with her. She considers, for just a moment, that he was only using her... and that's when he walks in with a tray of breakfast and something for her headache, asking if she's okay, which makes her very happy.
  • Not What It Looks Like:
    • Or sounds like, in this case - Hot Rod arrives at the Luna Guards' headquarters and asks to see their captain, saying that the other night he was sleeping with his wife Sound Mind but missed having Sweet in bed. The Luna Guards' lieutenant assumes he's having an affair with her as a result. When the truth comes out that all three (Hot Rod, Sweet Surprise and Sound Mind) are actually married, Lieutenant Even Hoof and the rest of the guards are utterly stunned.
    • A non-romantic version in chapter 15 - when Memorizing mentions that he knows how far his fellow Captain Violet Lulamoon is into writing her next book, Blazen Sun gives him a disapproving look, and Memorizing hastily explains that no, he's not going through their personal affairs; he knows about this piece of information because one of his Guards had fetched and delivered the folder holding the draft in question to Captain Lulamoon on her way out of the office the other day, at her request, and had been told what it was; the Guard had then, per standard protocol, included the information in his end-of-day report.
  • Number Two: The lieutenants of the six Guard divisions are introduced in this story - as of chapter 8, Mist Flight of the Royal Guard, Lunar Light (nicknamed "Weird Beard" by his captain) of the Magi of Stars Guard, and Even Hoof of the Luna Guard have all appeared or been mentioned. Chapter 10 then reveals that Ruby Shell, introduced in the first story, is the lieutenant of the Hidden Guard. Chapter 11 identifies the final two lieutenants, Steady Lance of the Celestia Guard and Dazzling Aura of the Cadenza Guard. When Mist Flight temporarily takes over as Captain General, Artisan Shine becomes his second.
  • Oblivious to Love: Gentle Step is clearly attracted to Memorizing Gaze, but doesn’t seem to realize her own feelings for him.
  • Old Soldier: Blazen Sun, who's over 130 years old and is one, if not the very last, of his generation still in the Guard. Also Mist Flight, lieutenant of the Royal Guard who's held the post longer than his captain Gentle Step.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: The Hivemind Body is created by fusing twelve Changeling infants into a single being, with their individual minds erased by the process. While they're so young that they had almost no conscious minds yet, the whole creation process and effect still horrifies Page, to the point where she mourns those who were sacrificed for it.
  • Present Company Excluded: At one point, Doctor Gregory says "Damn Equestrians", then realizes Night is right there. Night isn't offended though, since he feels the same way about the specific Equestrians being referred to.
  • Really Royalty Reveal: Once again, Page’s status as the Changeling Queen is unintentionally revealed to somepony not in the know… but this time it’s Page herself who does so, to Gentle Step.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Cerberus, the same individual from canon, is still alive and well even a thousand years after the wedding disaster. So is Tirek - Gentle Step saw him in his cage during her trip to Tartarus prior to her promotion to Captain General.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Deputy Commissioner Iron Gates is far more reasonable about a comparatively minor violation of rules than her superior; she's more interested in taking down any actual corrupt Guards who were abusing their position.
  • The Reveal:
    • Chapter 3 officially confirms what was heavily implied before - when Page confesses her full origins to Matron Hush Tone, she states that not only is she the current Changeling Queen (something only her friends, including Tizoc, and fellow Changelings knew before), she's descended from Queen Chrysalis and Shining Armor. She gives the same information to the rest of her friends in chapter 10.
    • In chapter 39 of the original story, Fluttershy whispered something to Page. In chapter 10 of this story, Page shares what she said with the rest: That the original Bearers know her ancestry, and don't blame her in the slightest for what Chrysalis did.
    • A minor reveal comes in chapter 15, the contents of the note Memorizing gave to Violet Lulamoon in chapter 2 - he was informing Violet that Page is a fan of the book on amulets that she wrote and they'd probably enjoy talking about it together at some point.
  • Romantic Rain: Gentle and Memorizing share their first kiss in the rain, leading to Gentle teleporting them back to her house.
  • Running Gag: Nobody is quite sure of the proper name for the Library of Canterlot, which is alternatively referred to as both the Great Library and Grand Library.
  • Self-Deprecation:
    • At one point, the female Vix-Lei comments to Rex that "You simply do not say those kind of things to a lady! Or me either, for that matter.”
    • Wind Breaker isn't surprised when he loses to Night Blade at poker, admitting freely that he has no poker face. (Fortunately, they were just playing for candy.)
  • Shipper on Deck: Sweet Surprise recognizes that Gentle Step has feelings for Memorizing Gaze that run deeper than friendship, and is in favor of the relationship. Page and Memorizing's brothers also give their support when they find out.
  • Shipping Torpedo: Internal Affairs agents are bound to make sure the Guards uphold the rules, including not having romantic relationships between two or more Guards. When Gentle Step and Memorizing Gaze start a relationship, a handful of IA agents show up in their office the next day to warn Gentle Step that she needs to break it off because of that rule, and inform her that it would be best if she gave a public statement reminding the other Guards of it. Surprisingly averted by their Deputy Commissioner Iron Gates, who has no problem with the relationship as long as they keep it professional while on duty.
  • Shout-Out: As in the original, there are many - see the subpage for specifics.
  • Spin-Offspring:
    • In chapter 3, Page confirms that she's descended from Queen Chrysalis and Shining Armor.
    • Chapter 4 names the male announcer in the parliament forum as Record Melody, who is confirmed by Word Of God to be a direct descendent of Vinyl Scratch and Octavia Melody. Somehow.
    • Sacher Torte, head dessert chef at the hotel the Bearers are at, is (per Word of God) descended from the Cake family, something further hinted at by her saying she comes "from a long line of bakers and pastry chefs”. By extension, so is her mentioned cousin Mango Cake.
  • The Spymaster: Memorizing Gaze, Secret Protector of the Hidden Guards, is officially identified as one of these - the Hidden Guards are Equestria's secret intelligence division, who investigate potential threats to the nation. He even keeps Guards in his fellow Captains' headquarters to keep an eye out for other potential infiltrators.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Gentle's claim at the second bar that they're eating together but not dating. Their waitress isn't convinced, but plays along.
  • Switching P.O.V.: As with the original story, this happens on a regular basis, though characters outside the new Bearers are getting more segments of their own this time around.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: all of the Blade family has their own favorite fruit or vegetable. While Night's love of mangos is well established in The Pieces Lie Where They Fell, the rest of his family's are first mentioned in the second story and are, respectively:
    • Lethal Blade (father): peach
    • Sweet Dagger (mother): apple
    • Crooked Blade (first son): Pumpkins.
    • Hidden Dagger (first daughter; Crooked's twin): strawberry
    • Serrated Dagger (second daughter): orange
    • Deep Blade (second son): cherry
  • Tunnel King: As part of her earth-related powers, Captain Standing Wall can phase through the ground without leaving a trace.
  • Walk This Way: In chapter 18, a doctor instructs them to follow him to another room with the phrase. Vix-Lei takes it to heart (but in a way that makes it clear she’s deliberately joking) and walks with her head at the same angle his is.
  • You Didn't Ask: Beyond not wearing her wedding ring at work (as it didn’t fit on her helmet), Sweet Surprise never mentioned the fact she's married because it never came up.

    Omake chapters (#2) 

The omake chapters from Picking Up the Pieces contain examples of:

  • Call-Back: Reel informs the Captains of the Bearers having met humans before, and some of the information they found out about Violet's ancestor during the Equestria Girls arc.
  • Shipper on Deck: Reel fully supports Gentle Step/Memorizing Gaze as a couple.
  • Shout-Out: Per the norm in Anon e Mouse Jr.'s writing - see the subpage for specifics.

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