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"The Power of the Equinox" is a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Fanfic written by Shaded Blood, set during "A Canterlot Wedding".

After Queen Chrysalis imprisons Twilight Sparkle in the crystal caverns, she drives her into exhaustion with her taunts before leaving her to suffer alone. In her frustration and desperation, Twilight strikes a black crystal, releasing from it a malevolent and destructive creature known as the Entity. Resonating with the hatred growing within Twilight, the Entity enters her body and transforms her into a monstrous and carnivorous mare with a new variety of powers. No longer considering herself Twilight Sparkle, she finds the real Princess Cadance and proceeds to stop Queen Chrysalis' plans, renaming herself as Dimmed Star.

Being in the constant danger of being completely possessed by the Entity, Dimmed Star tries to come to terms with her new essence and violent tendencies, while her family and friends as well as Princess Celestia try to find a way to return her back to Twilight Sparkle. Will Dimmed Star even want that?

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This fanfic provides examples of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Prince Blueblood towards Cadance who can't stand his shallow attitude and advances to the point of having once put a restraining order on him. He even tries to talk Celestia out of letting her marry Shining Armor as the wedding ceremony is about to begin.
  • Abusive Parents: Scootaloo is constantly hit by her alcoholic adoptive father Brutus Meadows. After he kills his wife, he plans to find and kill Scootaloo as well once he has silenced Cheerilee for good.
  • Accidental Hand Hold: When they first met at school, Brutus accidentally grasped ahold of Vibrant Glow's hoof while moving his seat. They both blushed, and more so when their teacher told them to focus.
  • Accusation Fic: Though it's not the main plot point, the fic does criticize Twilight's peers for their behaviour in the second season finale. (Shining Armor is given slack since he was brainwashed by Chrysalis so utterly that he has virtually no memory of what he did during that time.)
  • Advertisement:
  • Action Girl: In addition to the canon examples, there's Lieutenant Steel Blitz who leads her own squad in the Royal Guard.
  • Actually Pretty Funny:
    • When Applejack responds to Hasty Vote's insult with an insult of her own, her friends and Celestia hold back laughter.
    • When Dimmed Star falls asleep during Hasty Vote's speech (while heavily chained and standing, no less), Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie can't help letting out guffaws of laughter. Celestia herself has to stop herself from snickering, admitting to herself that she might indulge in this humorous turn if the situation were less severe.
  • Adaptational Early Appearance: Wind Rider, who only appeared in the 5th season's episode "Rarity Investigates!", appears in this fic as one of the members of the governing council who're opposed to Dimmed Star.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Unlike her canon counterpart who ultimately only cares about her control over the other Changelings, the Queen Chrysalis of this fic seems to actually care for her subjects. She struck with the Queen a Deal with the Devil in order to save them from extinction, tries to evacuate the hive to spare them from the Queen's wrath, and pleads for her not to punish them for her failure.
  • Adorkable: Apple Bloom whenever she blushes in Spike's proximity.
  • Adult Fear: For Night Light and Twilight Velvet; their son ends up in a coma when their daughter nearly kills him, and she's put on trial for that as well as killing many others.
  • Affectionate Nickname: On Dimmed Star's permission, Pinkie Pie calls her "Dimmy".
  • Alas, Poor Villain: As Brutus lies dying in the 28th chapter, he has flashbacks of the kinder stallion he used to be and how he turned into the abusive foster father and uxoricide we've come to know him as, causing him to seriously regret what he has become. He then hallucinates meeting Scootaloo for whom he tries to apologise, only to be tortured by the decayed filly and his similarly grotesque wife. In the next chapter, he's dead.
  • Alcoholic Parent: Brutus Meadows is Scootaloo's alcoholic and abusive adoptive father. It's after he became an alcoholic that he became abusive. Before that, Scootaloo was Happily Adopted.
  • Alternate Identity Amnesia: After the Elements put a stop to the Entity's control over Dimmed Star, she remembers very little about what happened after she was crying in her brother's hooves and before she woke up in the dungeons.
  • Amputation Stops Spread: Zecora must remove the necrotic top portion of Scootaloo's torn right ear to prevent infection from spreading.
  • Animal Motifs: Dimmed Star has bit of a snake thing going on. When she becomes angry, she forms snakes from her Ink, her tongue becomes long, and she tends to hiss as well.
  • Anti-Hero: Dimmed Star is so bloodthirsty and intimidating that she's not that far from being a Villain Protagonist, but she still cares for her loved ones to varying extend.
  • Apology Gift: After returning to Ponyville, Rarity spends much of her time making a new dress for Dimmed Star, hoping that she'll earn the latter's forgiveness with that piece of hard work.
  • Armor-Piercing Question:
    • When Wind Rider probes Dimmed Star about what happened at the wedding, he asks if she remembers what she did to Shining Armor. Learning that she did something to her brother fills the unconcerned mare with dread.
    • When Rarity asks from Dimmed Star if she's angry at Spike as well over the wedding rehearsal, Dimmed Star stops her walking as she starts analyzing her feelings and decides that no, she's not angry at the baby dragon.
    • When first speaking with Pinkie Pie since returning to Ponyville, Dimmed Star bombards the party pony — who insists that she just wants to spend time with one of her best friends — with questions about if they're really still friends. Pinkie becomes depressed and confesses that she and the others have wanted to spend time with Dimmed Star, but are unsure how to break the ice.
      Dimmed Star: We're friends, are we?
      Pinkie Pie: [becomes worried] We… we are still friends… right Dimmy?
      Dimmed Star: I'm not sure, Pinkie. How many times have you and the girls come to visit me at my home this week, compared to the week before? Or perhaps the week before that? Or even before that?
      [Pinkie deflates with each question until her head and ears droop while her mane loses some of its fluff]
  • Armor-Piercing Response: When Rainbow Dash calls out Dimmed Star for not appreciating the Mane Five's efforts to make amends to her, Dimmed Star tells her to take a good look at her new appearance before saying that again. The Mane Five do so, and their confidence falters.
    Rainbow Dash: So we made a mistake, a BIG mistake yeah, but we're trying to make up for it! Doesn't that mean anything to you?
    Dimmed Star: I want you to take a good, long look at me, Rainbow Dash. I want you to see exactly what your MISTAKE has wrought, and then I want you to ask me that again. [the Mane Five do as they're told, losing confidence with each passing second] Your betrayal did more than just leave me crying in the darkness. Everytime I look in the mirror now, I'll be reminded of the pain that you all caused me. [the girls bow their heads in shame]
  • Asshole Victim: Brutus Meadows abuses his adoptive daughter Scootaloo, kills his wife Vibrant Glow, and tries to kill Cheerilee just to get away with it all. He's then excessively mangled by Dimmed Star, resulting in him bleeding to death. Though he gets to express remorse before dying, he never gets a chance to make up for his bad deeds.
  • Ax-Crazy: Dimmed Star doesn't need much to resort to violence when crossed. However, when the Entity takes control over her mind, she's truly unhinged.
  • Badass Boast: When Wind Wider protests to Dimmed Star leaving Canterlot as a free mare, she gives in a singsong voice a reply that sounds like a threat before she phases through the courtroom's door.
    Wind Rider: You can't just leave! You're a criminal who killed dozens and cost thousands of bits in government property damage!
    Dimmed Star: Then stop me.
  • Badass Teacher: As Brutus is about to kill Cheerilee and he mockingly calls her Miss Teacher, her mind drifts to her students. The thought of never seeing them grow up or preventing one of them from becoming like Brutus gives her enough willpower to fight him off and give him a beating of her own until Dimmed Star appears.
  • Bad Boss: The Queen manhandles Chrysalis for failing to bring her Princess Celestia and kills one of the Changelings in a cruelsome manner.
  • Bandage Wince: Rainbow Dash when she's bandaged in the seventh chapter.
  • Berserk Button: When Celestia learns that Dimmed Star was heavily restrained without any resistance from her part, she becomes so angry that the courtroom's temperature rises. It becomes worse when Business Savvy calls Dimmed Star a monster.
  • Big Bad: The Entity is responsible for Twilight's transformation into Dimmed Star and her worst rampages.
  • Big Brother Instinct:
    • As Dimmed Star breaks down screaming and crying out her anguish in the wedding hall, Shining Armor rushes to hug and comfort his little sister without caring about her new form, his own exhausted state, or the fact that her foul Ink stains him.
    • In a flashback from Twilight's fillyhood, Shining Armor is badly beaten up by a couple of thugs, but he still finds enough strength to prevent them from leaving with the book he had just bought for his little sister.
    • After Pinkie Pie asks from the rest of the Mane Five what they would do if somepony killed the Cutie Mark Crusaders or Angel Bunny, Applejack and Rarity become so scared from the thought of losing their little sisters that they fuss over them for the rest of the day.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Just as Scootaloo is about to fall into Ghastly Gorge under the fae's influence, Zecora drives the stalking Timberwolves away before she grabs Scootaloo, destroys the fae, and proceeds to take the injured filly to her hut.
  • The Big Guy: Maple Branch, a large earth pony, is the quiet and stoical brawn of the squad led by Lieutenant Steel Blitz.
  • Big "NO!":
    • When Dimmed Star is about to offer to walk the shaken Pinkie Pie home in the 26th chapter, Pinkie cuts her short with this reply.
    • Brutus is in the process of saying this when Dimmed Star takes his upper half in her mouth.
  • Big "WHAT?!": Spike when Apple Bloom tells him that Twilight is on trial that morning.
  • Black Comedy: In the Author's Notes at the end of each chapter, Shaded is repeatedly put through torture, killing, resurrection, and other kind of abuse by Twilight and Dimmed Star for the sake of humor.
  • Black Eyes of Crazy: Dimmed Star has black sclera, and her pupils are both formed out of three glowing, teal dots that form a triangular pattern.
  • Blessed with Suck: Sure, Twilight gets an arsenal of cool (if creepy) powers as Dimmed Star, but she loses her ability to eat plants and has to live by eating meat. Plus, due to her new scary appearance and less friendly personality, she can't interact with most ponies as easily as before.
  • Blood from the Mouth: After forcefully taking Steel Blitz away from the fight against Dimmed Star, Maple Branch is revealed to have a deep wound in his chest, causing blood to pour from his mouth.
  • Blood Knight: Dimmed Star gets a kick out of bloodshed. She turns down Fluttershy's offer to get meat from the vendor she knows in exchange for stopping hunting animals at the Everfree Forest because she has grown to enjoy hunting that much.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: In the seventh chapter, Pinkie Pie promises to her friends that she and Rarity will be back before the end of the chapter.
  • Bullying a Dragon:
    • Business Savvy dares to insult Princess Celestia in her face even as the room's temperature grows in reaction to him calling Dimmed Star a monster. After Dimmed Star has unshackled herself, he calls her a thing, so she grabs him in her tendril with the intention of throwing him out of the room, stopping only when Celestia pleads with her to release him.
    • After Dimmed Star asks her restraints to be removed, Hasty Vote goes in front of her to condescendingly remind her of her place as a prisoner. Fed up with the intolerable mare, Dimmed Star frees herself and takes Hasty Vote as her captive.
  • Burning with Anger: Implied to happen with Celestia in the tenth chapter; the courtroom's temperature literally rises with her growing anger.
  • Butt-Monkey: Dusty Joy, a maid working at the castle. She has to work overtime (as a Thestral, she isn't normally awake at daytime) to clean the castle's longest hallway all by herselfnote , gets reprimanded when she kicks in the face a stallion who smacks her flank, almost loses her job when her superior assumes she abandoned her post out of laziness, tries in vain to clean the stains Dimmed Star's Ink left in the hallway, and once she's relieved of that impossible duty, she has to do even more cleaning in the wedding hall that's a total mess from the Entity-possessed Dimmed Star's rampage.
  • Call-Back:
    • Dimmed Star puts her Ink-snakes to say the friendship lesson from "Lesson Zero" with her friends' voices to empathize how badly they failed her.
    • Dimmed Star kills in the Everfree Forest a manticore which she recognizes as the one Fluttershy healed from the scar on his paw.
    • When the collapse of Scootaloo's home causes trembling in the Carousel Boutique, Rarity wonders if Spike is on a greedy rampage again.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: When Apple Bloom tries to tell Spike about her crush on him during lunchbreak, she's so nervous that by the time she's about to say it, the schoolhouse bell signals the end of the break, so she leaves it at that.
  • Cathartic Scream: When Scootaloo loses more of her candy in a card game against Sweetie Belle, she yells out her frustration into a cushion.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Brutus Meadows and Vibrant Glow first met at school were they became seatmates. Sadly, while they happily got married in adulthood, they failed to have a foal together before adopting Scootaloo, and after Vibrant started gambling, things went as downhill as they're shown to be in the present. And then Brutus kills Vibrant in a moment of bottled up frustration.
  • Cliffhanger:
    • Death of an Innocent — The silence in the empty cave were Twilight melted is broken by a heartbeat.
    • A Beautiful Day for a Wedding — The enraged Dimmed Star is about to kill Princess Cadance, unaware that she's not her imprisoner.
    • Sunshine Sunshine, Lady Bugs Awake — Dimmed Star parts ways with Cadance at a gorge, planning to go to the wedding by using her phasing abilities for the first time.
    • Solar Flare — Cadance shocks everypony by telling them that the monster Celestia just blasted was actually Twilight.
    • The Dam Breaks — The crying Dimmed Star is embraced by the remorseful Shining Armor as Chrysalis and her Changelings flee.
    • Hatred Personified — Celestia, Steel Blitz and Maple Branch continue fighting against the Entity-possessed Dimmed Star after Cadance calls for reinforcements.
    • Shackles of the Mind and Body — A guard asks Celestia to stand aside so that he can put shackles and a magic suppression ring onto the unconscious Dimmed Star.
    • The Council — Dimmed Star's trial begins.
    • Possibilities — Dimmed Star enters the hospital room where her comatose brother is while the Mane Five decide to wait outside.
    • The School Yard — As Apple Bloom steps in view from behind a tree, Spike becomes awestruck.
    • When the Bell Tolls — Spike, filled with confusion and worry, leaves the disappointed Apple Bloom to clean up after the school bell ruins their private moment she prepared for with great effort.
    • An Educator's Solemn Duty — Celestia exits her room, failing to notice that a crack has formed onto the surface of the Element of Magic as the result of Dimmed Star nearly killing Pinkie Pie under the Entity's influence.
    • Will-o'-the-WispThe heavily injured Scootaloo follows the floating light ball through the Everfree as the Timberwolves tail her.
    • Shattered Restraint — Pinkie Pie and Cheerilee see from a distance the dust cloud born out of Dimmed Star collapsing Brutus' house.
    • Thunderstruck — The Mane Five (sans Pinkie Pie) and Big Macintosh find Brutus and start resuscitating him as the ground begins to tremble.
    • A Rainbow's Grief — Spike is held at Zecora's doorstep by the shaman who looks threateningly at Dimmed Star who's been stopped by Zecora's magic barrier.
  • Clothing-Concealed Injury: Scootaloo is actually covered in the bruises and scars her adoptive father has caused her. She covers them up every day by using the makeup kit she gained from Sweetie Belle as a Hearth's Warming Eve present.
  • Combat Tentacles: Dimmed Star forms from her Ink tendrils to use in combat.
  • Comical Nap Drool:
    • When Luna wakes up Cadance at the library, the latter has emitted a small saliva pool onto the desk.
    • When Spike sleeps in the classroom in the 27th chapter, he has some drool leaking from the side of his mouth. Apple Bloom finds this amusing.
  • Cooldown Hug:
    • Learning that she rendered her brother comatose leaves Dimmed Star on the verge of a panic attack which the Entity attempts to take advantage of. However, Celestia pulling Dimmed Star into a comforting hug puts a stop to the Entity's intentions.
    • When the Entity drives Dimmed Star into a frenzy in the 24th chapter, Pinkie Pie manages to snap her out of it by pulling her into a tight hug.
  • Cry into Chest:
    • Twilight Velvet cries against Night Light's chest as they're waiting for their daughter's trial to commence.
    • When he was younger, Shining Armor got beaten up by two stallions when he stopped them from robbing a mare. Twilight, a filly at the time, afterwards cried against his chest while calling him stupid for risking his life like that.
    • When Spike finally accepts that Dimmed Star is Twilight, he cries against her chest.
    • After Pinkie Pie manages to snap Dimmed Star out of the Entity's influence with a Cooldown Hug, the former breaks down crying against the latter's chest.
    • Rainbow Dash ends up crying into Fluttershy's chest when she thinks Scootaloo is dead.
  • Dark Is Evil:
  • Dark Is Not Evil: As scary and violent as Dimmed Star is, she's still on some level Twilight Sparkle and still cares for her family and friends.
  • Deal with the Devil: Chrysalis apparently made one with the Queen in order to save her race from extinction. In return, the Queen wanted her to bring Princess Celestia beaten to her. She's furious when Chrysalis returns to the hive emptyhooved.
  • Death Glare: When Hasty Vote is about to reprimand the sobbing Twilight Velvet, she loses all her bravado for a significant while when the awakened Dimmed Star glares at her over her mother's shoulder.
  • Decadent Court: As Celestia puts it, only half of the governing council is composed of decent ponies.
  • Defeat Equals Explosion: The charm Zecora casts upon the Will-o'-the-Wisp causes it to explode in colorful flames.
  • Demonic Possession:
    • The Entity aims to consume Dimmed Star completely, but it's kept at bay by the light that represents her positive emotions. However, when Dimmed Star is on the verge of reconciling with her loved ones in the wedding hall, the Entity forcefully pushes her painful memories from the rehearsal at the forefront of her mind, driving her into attacking everypony left and right. It takes the Element of Magic to force the Entity to relinquish its control over Dimmed Star's mind.
    • The Entity manages to briefly take control of Dimmed Star again by enraging her with the mental image of Celestia taking Spike away from her. Pinkie Pie puts a stop to it by embracing Dimmed Star.
  • Dog Pile of Doom: When the guards discover that Dimmed Star has broken free of her restraints, they dogpile her before placing new restraints on her. Of course, the only reason they're able to do any of this is because she allows them to.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": Even before Dimmed Star comes up with her new name, she won't let anyone call her Twilight Sparkle.
  • Doorstop Baby: Scootaloo was left as an infant at the doorstep of the orphanage she lived her first years in before Brutus and Vibrant Glow adopted her.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: After the council fails to convict Dimmed Star, Business Savvy goes to drink in a tavern, with a picture of his deceased son resting on the chair next to him.
  • Dying Race: The Changelings were apparently on the verge of extinction until the mysterious Queen revitalised them by abducting for them ponies and other creatures from the surrounding nations. Despite this, the Queen claims that they're still on the verge of dying out.
  • Ear Ache: In the 23th chapter, Brutus bites Scootaloo's ear and drags her from it so hard that its top half becomes torn. Zecora has to (painfully) remove the top half since it has become necrotic.
  • Enemy Within: The Entity takes refuge at the back of Dimmed Star's mind, trying to take control of her body.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: When Dimmed Star is brought to her trial, she becomes amused by everypony's bewilderment over how heavily chained she is, but that dies down when she sees her parents' distress over her new form and current situation. When she wakes up to find herself embraced by her weeping mother, she's touched.
  • Everyone Has Standards: While Vibrant Glow doesn't stop the licking Scootaloo gains from Brutus in the 23rd chapter, she's visibly thinking it's going too far this time. After Scootaloo runs away, she calls Brutus out of it, leading him to kill her.
  • Eviler Than Thou: In her first appearance, the mysterious Queen whom Chrysalis serves is quickly proven to be much more ruthless and threatening than the Changeling queen who cowers before her.
  • Evil Gloating: When Brutus is choking Cheerilee to death, he boasts that he'll start a new life in another town once he has burned his house (and the evidence of his uxoricide) to the ground as well as killed Scootaloo and "Miss Teacher". This backfires as Cheerilee remembers her students and as the result, gains enough strength to turn the tables on Brutus.
  • Evil Laugh: When the Entity drives Dimmed Star into attacking Pinkie Pie in the 24th chapter, it laughs grotesquely within her subconscious.
  • Exhausted Eye Bags:
    • Dusty Joy has these in her first appearance due to having worked past her normal sleeping time. The bags have darkened even more by the time of her interlude.
    • Cadance has these as well as bloodshot eyes when she's in the middle of the night doing research in the library.
    • In the morning of Dimmed Star's trial, only light bags under her eyes show that Celestia hasn't slept last night. Business Savvy in turn has to show for his lack of sleep these as well as the stubble on his chin and a mane that's threatening to become messy.
    • Scootaloo has bags beneath her eyes when going to school in the 20th chapter. Turns out she couldn't sleep due to Brutus lashing out at her.
    • When Cheerilee meets Brutus in the 25th chapter, he has these due to trying to clean up the mess he caused by killing his wife last night.
  • Exorcist Head: When Pinkie Pie startles Dimmed Star at Sugarcube Corner, the latter rotates her head a full 180 degrees to look at the pink mare who's directly behind her. She then turns the rest of her body around.
  • Expy: Hasty Vote is basically a pony version of Dolores Umbridge.
  • Extra Eyes:
    • The Entity appears to have three red eyes that form a triangular pattern. When it possesses Dimmed Star, she grows a third red eye right below her horn.
    • One of the few things that's shown from the Queen's appearance is that she has four red eyes.
  • Facepalm:
    • Apple Bloom when she remembers that Spike was asleep when Celestia told the Mane Five about Twilight's upcoming trial.
    • Rarity face-hoofs in the 20th chapter when bringing up Dimmed Star's carnivore diet puts everypony on edge, despite the fact that they've all had plenty of time to come to terms with it.
    • Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle both face-hoof when Spike doesn't get on board with the private picnic they've set up for Apple Bloom and him.
    • Angel Bunny slaps a paw to his face when Fluttershy fails to understand that he's trying to show her the dusk cloud in Ponyville.
  • Fantastic Racism: Diamond Tiara calls Spike a lizard and Dimmed Star's pet.
  • Fell Asleep Standing Up:
    • While dusting a bust in the East Wing hallway, the heavily tired Dusty Joy decides to take a nap and falls asleep while standing and holding a feather duster in her mouth. Almost immediately afterwards, Dimmed Star passes through the hallway.
    • The speech Hasty Vote holds during Dimmed Star's trial bores the latter so much that she falls asleep, managing to doze soundly even though she's standing heavily covered in chains.
  • Flatline: Maple Branch, who got stabbed in the chest by one of Dimmed Star's tentacles, goes through this four times before the doctors are able to stabilize his condition.
  • Flirtatious Smack on the Ass: One of things Dusty Joy has already endured on her bad day is having her flank smacked by a stallion when she was leaning over during her cleaning duties. She retaliated by kicking his face, which her boss reprimanded her for before having the guards escort the stallion away.
  • Fog of Doom: The Entity comes out of its crystal prison as a thick miasma that goes inside Twilight through her respiratory tract.
  • Forced Sleep: Rarity knows a sleep spell which her mother used on her in her fillyhood and taught her in case she needed to put Sweetie Belle to sleep, and she uses it on Spike in the eight chapter. However, she explains that instead of forcing the target to sleep, the spell suggests them to sleep, working only on an already tired mind.
  • Foreshadowing: The 13th chapter gives the first indication of Apple Bloom's crush on Spike when his compliment causes her to blush even more than she already does. Sweetie Belle also happens to notice under Scootaloo's outstretched wing a fading dark spot which the latter quickly hides and brushes off as nothing.
  • For the Evulz: The Will-o'-the-Wisp puts whatever creatures it can under its spell and leads them to their deaths. Right before they die, it lifts off the spell so that it can see its victims despairing in their last moments. It does all of this just for the fun of it.
  • For Want of a Nail:
    • Chrysalis doesn't cause Twilight to find Cadance in a fit of blasting crystals. Instead, she drives her into exhaustion before leaving her to wallow in her misery, which in turn leads her into accidentally releasing the Entity that transforms her into Dimmed Star.
    • Applejack and Rainbow Dash help Princess Celestia to fight against the exposed Queen Chrysalis, so the Changeling queen doesn't take Celestia down like she did canonically. Also, Shining Armor is released from Chrysalis' spell when a buck from Applejack sends Chrysalis colliding with him.
    • Due to Dimmed Star coming close to taking her life, Chrysalis orders her Changelings to retreat before they can break through Shining Armor's magic barrier, preventing the invasion from occurring.
    • Apple Bloom learns her parents' love story much earlier than canonically when she asks Granny Smith to tell her about it. Apparently Granny Smith obliges because she's correctly guessing that Apple Bloom is asking because she's having a crush on somepony.
  • Freudian Slip: Spike has one in the ninth chapter.
    Spike: I'll always recognize Twilight! No matter what she looks like now, I'll always know it's her! Sh-she's my mo… my… my friend!
  • Furry Reminder: Dusty Joy and Dimmed Star fall asleep while remaining in a standing position. Real-life horses can nap while standing up.
  • The Gambling Addict: Scootaloo's adoptive mother Vibrant Glow is this. It has left the family mired in debts as well as led to the degeneration of their homelife.
  • Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: When the Cutie Mark Crusaders are preventing Spike from trying to go to Twilight's trial and he yells that he must prove that he's not a bad friend, Apple Bloom strikes him before retorting that he's nothing of the sort.
  • Giggling Villain: The Will-o'-the-Wisp giggles as it takes the enchanted Scootaloo to Ghastly Gorge in order to make her fall to her death.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: The mysterious evil creature who bosses Queen Chrysalis around sits on the Changeling queen's throne and is called a queen by Chrysalis.
  • Good Hurts Evil: When the Element of Magic gives a power-boost to the light inside Dimmed Star, the Entity is put through burning pain that eventually forces it to retreat within Dimmed Star's subconscious.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Celestia's reaction to first seeing Dimmed Star and sensing the twistedness emanating from her is to try to destroy her with a powerful magic blast. It's only after she learns that she blasted none other than Twilight that she starts feeling bad about this.
  • Go Out with a Smile: As Cadance is about to be killed by Dimmed Star (who doesn't know yet that the Cadance she's been interacting with is an impostor), she decides to spend her last living moment smiling and with her fondest memories in her mind. Fortunately, choosing to recite the little song she used to sing with Twilight prevents Dimmed Star from killing her.
  • Growling Gut:
    • When their train has nearly reached Ponyville, Spike's stomach rumbles out of hunger. Just a moment later, the same thing happens with all of the Mane Five and Cutie Mark Crusaders. All eight of them at the same time.
    • Happens with Dimmed Star several times. The first time is caused by the aftertaste of pony blood in her mouth, the second time is when she becomes hungry from experimenting the capabilities of her Ink, and the third one happens from watching the baked goods of Sugarcube Corner.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: One of the guards Dimmed Star kills gets sliced in half from the barrel. He spends his last seconds crawling his severed upper body out of the wedding hall, much to Cadance's horror.
  • Handshake Refusal: After the Mane Six have lunch together for the first time since their return to Ponyville, Applejack offers her hoof to shake it with Dimmed Star. Dimmed Star doesn't take it, however, stating that the lunch hasn't washed away the tensions between them.
  • Happily Adopted:
  • Hate Sink: Hasty Vote is written to be nothing but despicable. Given who she's inspired by, that's hardly a surprise.
  • Healing Factor: Dimmed Star can regrow her limbs and eyes. She can even regenerate herself after Celestia blasts her to pieces. However, while testing out this ability, she discovers that her regeneration ability does slow down when overloaded, leaving her vulnerable.
  • Healing Hands: Downplayed. Dimmed Star can't magically heal other creatures' wounds, but she can stop their bleeding, as she does with the wounds she inflicted on Cadance.
  • The Heartless: The Entity was born out of hatred long ago, and hatred is the only emotion it was familiar with until it latched itself on Twilight.
  • He Knows Too Much: When Cheerilee sees the blood inside Brutus' house and runs off for help, he chases after her and tries to silence her forever.
  • Hellish Horse:
    • Dimmed Star with her creepy new appearance, demonic powers, and being an obligate carnivore. Good thing she's an Anti-Hero (except when the Entity gains control over her mind).
    • The Queen who rules over Chrysalis seems to be an alicorn with four red eyes.
  • Heroic BSoD: After Spike has had a breakdown and passed out from learning about what has happened to Twilight, he sits in a Troubled Fetal Position and repeats over and over that he's a bad friend until Rarity puts him to sleep.
  • Heroic Second Wind: When Brutus is choking Cheerilee to death, she gains enough resolve to fight him off when she remembers her students and decides that she wants to see them grow up and possibly prevent them from walking the same path in life as Brutus.
  • Horrifying the Horror: Queen Chrysalis is terrified by Dimmed Star and the mysterious Queen who rules over her.
  • How Dare You Die on Me!: When Maple Branch is being defibrillated, Steel Blitz orders him not to die, with the nurses having to restrain the wounded mare in her cot.
  • Hulking Out: Zig-zagged. When Dimmed Star becomes enraged, she grows taller, but also so lanky that her ribs are visible.
  • Hypocrite: When Fancy Pants suggests that they could consent to Dimmed Star's demand and remove some of her restraints, Hasty Vote accuses him of acting without the consent of the rest of the council. Just moments ago, she herself put Twilight Velvet to awaken Dimmed Star instead of letting a guard do it without consulting the idea with the rest of them.
  • I Can Still Fight!: Lieutenant Steel Blitz refuses to abandon the fight against Dimmed Star even after she receives an incessantly bleeding gash on her side. Maple Branch has to forcefully carry her away and help the medics strap her onto a gurney.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Celestia tries this against the Entity-possessed Dimmed Star. It doesn't work at all.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Dimmed Star very nearly eats Princess Cadance and actually eats some pony flesh when she rampages under the Entity's influence, earning her charges of cannibalism. Dimmed Star herself doesn't consider it was cannibalism due to the fact that she's no longer a pony in the same sense as before.
  • I'm Cold... So Cold...: Brutus before his My Life Flashed Before My Eyes moment begins in the 28th chapter. He's dead in the next chapter.
  • I'm Melting!: When the Entity enters Twilight's body, her flesh melts, after which her skeleton follows suit. She's too busy laughing madly to notice this. Her heart remains intact in the buddle, and her new body forms around the heart from that buddle.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: When Dimmed Star drags Brutus back to his house, a tendril of Ink pierces through his gut and forms out of itself a spear that nails him to a wall.
  • Implacable Man: Thanks to her new powers (and not in the least her healing factor and phasing abilities) and less scrupulous personality, Dimmed Star is a mare who's not easily stopped or contained.
  • Innate Night Vision: Dimmed Star and the Changelings can see in the dark.
  • Innocently Insensitive: When Luna voices her intention to later enter Celestia's dream to see what transpired in regards to Twilight, Celestia can barely contain her dread over having to relieve it all. Luna immediately apologizes when she sees how close to a breakdown her sister is.
  • Insult Backfire: When Hasty Vote mocks Applejack's upbringing, the rest of the Mane Five gasp. Applejack, however, remains impassive as she fires a better working insult of her own.
  • Ironic Echo: Hasty Vote says to the chained Dimmed Star "as a quick reminder" not to speak out of turn and that she must raise her hoof if she wishes to have a say. She then smugly adds that it would a problem to her. After Dimmed Star frees herself immediately after this, she throws these same words back to Hasty Vote whose hooves she traps with her Ink. After she shuts the councillor's mouth with a tentacle, she goes on to say something similar to what Hasty Vote told Rainbow Dash in the previous chapter when Dimmed Star wasn't even present.
    Rainbow Dash: What do you mean she's already been found guilty! We haven't even had the trial yet!
    Hasty Vote: Now now, none of that or we'll have to have you escorted out of the court room dearie. You wouldn't want to miss being here for the sentencing now, would you?
    […]
    Dimmed Star: [after shutting Hasty Vote's mouth with a tentacle] Tsk, tsk, tsk. Already trying to break the rules? Keep this up and you'll have to be removed from the court room. This Hearing is only just getting started, and believe me, you don't want miss it.
  • Is That a Threat?:
    • When Celestia states that somepony else will take Business Savvy's seat at Dimmed Star's trial if he refuses to calm down, Business Savvy asks this from her.
    • Hasty Vote makes this question to Applejack when the latter warns her to tread carefully if she intends to gloat to her and the others about sentencing Twilight.
  • It's All About Me: As a result of losing most of his money due to his wife's gambling and his own drinking, Brutus no longer wants nothing more than to have his own happy life. After he kills his wife in anger, he plans to find and kill Scootaloo before starting over in another town, and he tries to kill Cheerilee simply for threatening those plans.
  • It's All My Fault:
    • In his distress over Twilight's transformation and imprisonment, Spike feels like this due to abandoning her at the rehearsal, only to be told by everypony that he of all of them is not to be blamed for what has happened.
    • The Mane Five discuss this while following Dimmed Star in the 13th chapter. When Applejack says that they sort of are to blame for what happened to their friend, Rainbow Dash questions how it's their fault. She concedes Rarity's answer that their act of leaving Twilight alone at the rehearsal played a part in her transformation, but she asks if they can really take all the blame. Fluttershy concludes the discussion by answering that while they don't hold all of the blame, they still hold enough of it for Dimmed Star to be angry with them.
  • Jerkass:
    • Hasty Vote is so snooty and inconsiderate that she's one of the few ponies whom Princess Celestia genuinely despises.
    • Business Savvy has the excuse of losing his son, but he still acts in a needlessly brusque manner about it. He doesn't show any consideration when Twilight Velvet breaks down while hugging her daughter whom he's about to convict, calling it a pity show.
    • Brutus Meadows is a drunkard who has been lashing out at his adoptive daughter since his gambler wife started eating up his money. In the 23rd chapter, he gives Scootaloo a particularly bad licking for leaving a booze bottle in a different place than he wanted.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: When Celestia demands Business Savvy to pull himself together if he's to attend to Dimmed Star's trial (which is extremely personal business to him), she admits he's right when he claims that she's herself too biased in what conviction is to befall her transformed student.
  • Jerkass Realization: After the Cutie Mark Crusaders ask to be allowed to come to play with Spike after school and Dimmed Star notices how happy he's with this idea, she realizes that she has been treating Spike like her caretaker instead of letting him be a kid. To make it right, she decides to do more chores herself in the future and gives Spike a chance to enroll in Ponyville's school for the sake of making friends of his own age.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Dimmed Star is ruthless, murderous and irascible as well as less forgiving than she was as Twilight Sparkle. However, she still does care about her family and friends to varying extend, especially Spike and Scootaloo.
  • Kangaroo Court: Following Dimmed Star's rampage in the wedding hall, she's put on trial immediately in the following morning. A conventional grace period of three weeks is skipped, though that's explained by the severity of the charges. However, there's no defence arranged, and Hasty Vote even dares to say to the Mane Five (who've been brought in as character witnesses) that their friend has already been found guilty. The trial hasn't even started at that point! Also, the father of one of Dimmed Star's victims is allowed to act as one of the judges (though Fancy Pants, aware that Business Savvy is too close to the case to give an informed and reasonable vote, tries to convince him to sit it out, while Celestia threatens to find a stand-in if Business Savvy refuses to keep his cool and give a fair and concise ruling). However, once Dimmed Star is done with playing prisoner, she says her piece to the council before departing for Ponyville.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em:
    • After Dimmed Star nearly kills Chrysalis who's saved only by Celestia's interference, the Changeling queen decides not to try her luck against the monstrous mare and orders her troops to withdraw.
    • When the Element of Magic threatens to expel the Entity from Dimmed Star's body, it gives up on its control over her mind and withdraws into her subconscious to try and consume Dimmed Star another day.
    • When Dimmed Star comes to visit her comatose brother at the medical bay, one of the guards stationed at the door to his room looks at all the guards she injured yesterday and lets her pass, much to the dismay of the other guard who nonetheless listens to reason and backs off as well.
  • Lack of Empathy: Hasty Vote is unconcerned if her sweet tone upsets other ponies. After all but forcing the emotionally upset Twilight Velvet to wake her daughter up, she becomes annoyed when Velvet breaks down crying while hugging her daughter, and she afterwards gives Velvet an inappropriate congratulation.
  • Laughing Mad: As the Entity enters Twilight's body, she starts laughing madly as her thoughts about the revenge she'll exact upon the false Cadance grow increasingly morbid. She doesn't even notice the dissolving of her body, and her laughter subsides only when her throat has melted away.
  • Lethal Chef: Dimmed Star finds herself to be a terrible cook when she decides to be a responsible parent and not have Spike cook for them anymore. She manages to get the stove broken.
    Dimmed Star: I can recite the names and properties of every element known to pony kind on the periodic table, but for the life of me I can't cook a simple vegetable stew!?
  • Light Is Good: Dimmed Star's positive emotions take the form of a glowing light that prevents the Entity from completely possessing her.
  • Lightning Reveal: When Cheerilee is about to enter Brutus' home, a momentary flash of lightning reveals in the dark hallway and stairs blood as well as feathers, so she runs for help, with Brutus pursuing her.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Spike, Pinkie Pie and Scootaloo help Dimmed Star rein in her violent urges that grow harder to contain each day.
  • Madness Mantra: After Spike has a breakdown from learning that Twilight is locked up, he secludes himself. When the Mane Five check on him, he repeats over and over that he's a bad friend.
    Spike: It's all my fault, I never should have left her. I'm a bad friend, I'm a bad friend, I'm a bad friend…
  • Magic Mirror: Cadance uses one to keep an eye on the comatose Shining Armor.
  • Mama Bear: Dimmed Star is not at all pleased to learn that somepony called Spike a pet. Her furious reaction makes Spike unwilling to tell her about the confrontation he had with Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon, for he fears that she'll kill them for taunting him. Later the Entity manages to make Dimmed Star to attack Pinkie Pie in bestial rage by conjuring in her mind an image of Celestia taking Spike away from her.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Chrysalis followed her Queen's instructions and placed spies in Canterlot months ago to prepare for the invasion.
  • Manipulative Bitch: Hasty Vote convinces Business Savvy to help her and Wind Rider in dealing with Dimmed Star by playing on his desire to avenge his deceased son.
  • Meaningful Rename: After Twilight first regains consciousness in her new form, she decides that she's no longer the same mare as before and tells ponies not to call her by her old name anymore. She comes up with the name Dimmed Star after she ends up in Canterlot's dungeons.
  • Morality Pet: Spike is one of the few individuals Dimmed Star shows affection towards. Scootaloo becomes another one to her as the neglected filly starts spending more time in the Golden Oak Library.
  • Mundane Utility:
    • When the train to Ponyville arrives, Dimmed Star summons from her Ink two tendrils… to carry her bags.
    • After Pinkie fails to scrub Dimmed Star's Ink stain away from the latter's bedroom floor, she gets the idea for Dimmed Star to stain the entire floor with her Ink while remaining calm to avoid unleashing the caustic properties. It works… until the Entity causes Dimmed Star to attack Pinkie.
  • Must Make Amends: The Mane Five, Princess Celestia, and Spike are determined to earn Dimmed Star's forgiveness and possibly restore Twilight back to her former self to atone for how they abandoned her at the wedding rehearsal.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Princess Celestia, the Mane Five and Spike when they realize that they contributed to Twilight's transformation into Dimmed Star by abandoning her at the wedding rehearsal.
      • Celestia has another one even earlier: when Cadance reveals that the monster she just "destroyed" was Twilight, Celestia stares at the embers left by her magic blast as tears fall from her eyes.
    • Shining Armor when he's told what he did to his sister at the rehearsal.
    • Dimmed Star when she's told that she nearly killed her brother.
    • Dimmed Star again after the Entity causes her to attack and nearly kill Pinkie Pie, leading the shaken baker to decide to take some break from Dimmed Star. It's a bit downplayed, however; while Dimmed Star does feel bad about scaring Pinkie away, her regret stems not so much from nearly eating her, but from losing control over herself.
    • Cheerilee says this word-for-word when Dimmed Star drags the half-dead Brutus with her to his home, just replacing the "my god" part with "oh Celestia".
    • The My Life Flashed Before My Eyes moment Brutus has in the 28th chapter leads him to finally regret his abuse of Scootaloo and the murder of his wife.
  • My Life Flashed Before My Eyes: As Brutus lies dying next to his collapsed house, he relieves several instances of his life; how he met his future wife, looked forward to marrying her, went through a grief of losing their foal, adopted Scootaloo, started abusing the filly, and killed his wife in bottled up rage.
  • My Significance Sense Is Tingling: When the Entity has dissolved Twilight's body, Celestia senses it in the wedding hall as a hard chill.
  • The Nameless: Scootaloo didn't have a name before Brutus and Vibrant Glow adopted her because she refused to go by any name that wasn't given to her by her parents.
  • Never My Fault: Brutus blames his abuse of Scootaloo and the other things that have gone wrong in his life on her as well as Vibrant Glow's wasting of money in gambling. After he kills his wife, he thinks it's her fault because she wouldn't stop calling him out for driving Scootaloo away. As he's about to kill Cheerilee, he claims it's her own fault. However, when he sees flashes of his life while he's at death's door, he starts owning up to his bad deeds.
  • The Nose Knows: As a dragon, Spike has a superb sense of smell. It's used in the 29th chapter to find Scottaloo from the Everfree Forest.
  • Notorious Killers: Brutus Meadows is an alcoholic Jerkass and Scootaloo's abusive foster father. He kills his wife for annoying him one too many times and tries to kill Cheerilee to prevent anyone from finding it out.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Queen Chrysalis when she realizes that she must face the wrath of her superior over her failure to fulfill her end of their bargain.
      • And again when Chrysalis tries to take her subjects away from the hive before the Queen finds her, only to be caught in the act by her.
    • Hasty Vote when she finds herself face-to-face with Dimmed Star who has just broken loose from her chains.
    • When Dimmed Star enters the medical wing to see her brother, all the guards she injured yesterday become terrified at seeing her.
    • Cheerilee when she sees the blood inside Brutus' house.
  • Out, Damned Spot!: After Pinkie Pie's idea to use Dimmed Star's Ink in a non-destructive way leads to the latter becoming possessed and nearly killing her, Pinkie secludes herself in the bathroom to wash herself of the Ink she was covered in. The trauma causes her to vigorously wash herself over again, and she later does it again by using rainwater.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: Business Savvy whose son Dream Gavel is among the guards Dimmed Star kills.
  • Papa Wolf: Business Savvy is dead-set on seeing to it that his son's killer will be locked up for life.
  • Parental Substitute: Spike regards Twilight/Dimmed Star as his mother on some level. In fact, his first spoken word to her was "M-momma!"
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Dimmed Star doesn't hold a grudge towards Shining Armor and Spike over the wedding rehearsal because the former was mind-controlled and the latter is a child. She also adopts a less volatile demeanor towards Pinkie Pie in comparison to her other friends, due to her going farther out of her way to get on good terms with Dimmed Star.
    • Queen Chrysalis begs the Queen not to exact her wrath upon the former's subjects.
  • Play-Along Prisoner: When the guards find Dimmed Star free of her restraints inside her cell, she allows them to put her in new chains and place two magic suppression rings on her horn before she's taken to her trial. However, once she's had enough of Hasty Vote's arrogance, she removes the restraints and proceeds to command the courtroom.
  • Police are Useless: Ponyville's town guard has grown soft since the Mane Six started taking care of threats. When Cheerilee needs a guard to accompany her to Scootaloo's home, there's nopony at the guard house. Given what she discovers and what nearly happens to herself, she really would have needed a guard to protect her.
  • Power Nullifier:
    • When Dimmed Star is imprisoned, a magic suppression ring is placed on her horn. After she frees herself from it, she gets two new ones when she's brought to her trial. She effortlessly removes them as well once she's done with playing prisoner.
    • As part of her house arrest, Princess Luna must wear on her horn a silvery ring unless she's performing her nightly duties. The reason she didn't have it during the Nightmare Night is because Celestia managed to talk the council into easing off just this once.
  • Promoted to Love Interest: Apple Bloom has a crush on Spike in this fic.
  • Pummeling the Corpse: Rainbow Dash, desperate to find Scootaloo, suddenly attacks the already dead Brutus in an effort to wake him up and make him tell her where the filly is. Applejack and Big Macintosh need to pull her off and pin her to the ground.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!:
    • When the exposed Queen Chrysalis is about to explain her intentions in the wedding hall, Cadance, desperate to make her leave before Dimmed Star can get to her, interrupts her.
      Cadance: I don't care! I just don't. Fucking. Care!
    • Spike when the Cutie Mark Crusaders are preventing him from going to Twilight's trial.
      Spike: Let. Me. Go!
    • Celestia when Wind Rider wants her to detain Dimmed Star.
      Princess Celestia: Sit. Down.
    • Dimmed Star does this two times when she demands Spike to tell her who called him a pet.
      Dimmed Star: Who. Said. That? […] You have never once questioned anything of the sort, never once brought up the fact that you were different. You were raised to believe that you were equal, and you are equal. Somepony has infected your thoughts, and I. Will. Not. Have It!!
    • Brutus when Cheerilee comes to meet him at his house.
      Brutus: What. Do. You. Want.
    • Dimmed Star when she's demanding from Cheerilee an explanation to why she and Brutus were fighting at her doorstep.
      Dimmed Star: Allow me to repeat the question. What. The fuck. Is going on out here?
    • When Big Macintosh questions Applejack if Winona is trained well enough to sniff out ponies, she answers "Yes. Ah. Am."
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes: In the 19th chapter, Scootaloo tries this tactic in order to convince Dimmed Star to let her stay at the library longer. It only makes Dimmed Star curious about why the filly insists on staying until the sunset.
  • Rage Against the Reflection: When Dimmed Star, angry with herself for nearly killing Pinkie Pie and traumatizing her, sees her own reflection in shattered mirror fragments, she destroys them completely.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Though Princess Luna was welcomed back by her sister right after she stopped being Nightmare Moon, the governing council insisted on having her answer for the crimes she committed after her release from the moon. After much struggle between Celestia and the council, Luna was sentenced to a house arrest of two years, obliged to being accompanied by armed guard at all times, and wearing a magic-sealing ring outside performing her nocturnal duties. The last Nightmare Night was the only time Celestia was able to get Luna out of these restrictions.
    • Cadance spends an entire night studying laws in order to act as Dimmed Star's defence attorney. She falls asleep and is woken up by Luna after Dimmed Star has left the courtroom.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Fancy Pants is the most level-headed named member of the governing council, and he's willing to consider Dimmed Star's side of things. There's also Princess Celestia.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning:
    • The Entity seems to have three triangularly patterned red eyes. When it possesses Dimmed Star for the first time, her black eyes turn red over time, while a third red eye grows beneath her horn.
    • Sometimes the snakes Dimmed Star forms from her Ink have glowing red eyes.
    • The mysterious superior of Chrysalis has four glowing red eyes.
  • Rejected Apology: After Dimmed Star walks away from her trial, the Mane Five follow her and try to apologize for abandoning her at the rehearsal. She turns it down, saying that while her heart would want to forgive them, she's still too angry and hurting to do that yet.
  • Revenge: Dimmed Star desires to horrendously kill Queen Chrysalis for what she did to her, Cadance and Shining Armor. After returning to Ponyville, she spends much of her time trying to discover the location of the Changelings' hive so that she can track down Chrysalis.
  • Save the Villain:
    • After being nearly eaten by Dimmed Star and seeing how vindictive she has become, Cadance tries to warn Chrysalis to leave Canterlot before Dimmed Star can reach her. When Chrysalis is about to be bitten to death by Dimmed Star, she's rescued when Celestia tries to destroy Dimmed Star with a magic blast.
    • When four of the Mane Five and Big Macintosh find Brutus dying, they try in vain to resuscitate him. Admitedly, they don't at the time know about the crimes he has committed.
  • Say My Name: As Dimmed Star is finishing the reformation of her body which Celestia blasted to pieces and her lips are half-formed, she starts saying her mentor's name quietly before it becomes a cry of pure outrage.
  • Scary Teeth: Seeing Dimmed Star's sharp teeth gives anypony the creeps even when she's doing nothing bad. It's sort of justified, for Dimmed Star is a carnivore, so it would make sense for herbivorous ponies to be instinctually on edge upon seeing her sharp teeth.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: When Dimmed Star passes through the East Wing hallway in her Ink and Dusty Joy wakes up to witness this, she decides to bolt in the opposite direction of the way the creepy stain is headed towards.
    Dusty Joy: …Nope… Nope, nope, no way, nu-huh, not in this lifetime. Somepony else can deal with this, I'm out.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The Entity is trapped inside a pitch-black crystal before Twilight cracks it in her anger, releasing the Entity.
  • Self-Mutilation Demonstration: While staying in her cell, Dimmed Star tests the limits of her regeneration abilities by mutilating herself.
  • Seriously Scruffy: Business Savvy, stressed out by his son's death and impatient to have the killer convicted, attends to Dimmed Star's trial with his suit ruffled, and his mane is on the verge of becoming a mess.
  • Sibling Murder: Dimmed Star comes very close to committing this crime, though not of her own accord. Driven enraged by the Entity, she puts her snake to send Shining Armor impacting against a wall, rendering him heavily bleeding and comatose. Learning afterwards what she did horrifies her.
  • Signature Scent: Spike associates each of the Mane Six with certain scents; Rarity with a certain expensive perfume, Rainbow Dash with rain, Applejack with apples and tree bark, Pinkie Pie with fresh pastries and baked goods, and Fluttershy with various animals. Dimmed Star smells to him like burnt fur, but he can faintly smell from her the ink and parchment he associates with Twilight Sparkle.
  • Single Tear: When Granny Smith tells Apple Bloom how the filly's parents got together, she gets so emotional from reminiscing about her deceased son and daughter-in-law that she sheds a single tear two times; first while looking at the wedding photo, and another while Apple Bloom is hugging her.
  • Sinister Scythe: Dimmed Star forms scythe-like blades on some of her tendrils.
  • Slasher Smile:
    • Thanks to her sharp teeth, Dimmed Star is apt at this. It also helps that she can stretch her mouth far wider than should be possible.
    • Brutus grins manically as he's trying to choke Cheerilee to death.
  • Smug Smiler: Hasty Vote constantly smiles sweetly as she belittles ponies.
  • Smug Snake: Hasty Vote is too confident over being in control of Dimmed Star's trial.
  • Some Kind of Force Field: When Spike and Dimmed Star reach Zecora's hut, the zebra is revealed to have put around it an invisible barrier which Dimmed Star cannot pass through. When she hits the barrier, it flashes in golden light.
  • Something Only They Would Say: Dimmed Star, still unaware that the Cadance who tormented her is an impostor, nearly eats the real Cadance. Luckily, Cadance starting to recite Twilight and her secret hoofshake song stops Dimmed Star in her tracks. Dimmed Star then continues the song and finishes it with Cadance, leading the latter to realize that the monster who almost ate her is actually Twilight.
  • So Proud of You: Business Savvy tells that he wished for his son to follow in his hoofsteps and go into the family business, but Dream Gavel followed his dream and joined the Royal Guard behind his father's back. Gavel's mother was openly happy for him, and while Business Savvy was furious, he was proud as well.
  • Super-Powered Evil Side: Dimmed Star is a lot more powerful and less fettered version of Twilight Sparkle. Rainbow Dash sums it up to Spike by saying that Twilight has "pulled a Nightmare Moon".
  • Super Senses:
    • As a dragon, Spike has a keen hearing and sense of smell.
    • Downplayed with Dimmed Star whose senses aren't much better than with ordinary ponies. She's able to locate Brutus' house by following the strong reek of alcohol and sweat Brutus left behind while chasing Cheerilee, but she needs Spike's help to follow Scootaloo's trail in the Everfree Forest.
  • Super Strength: The Entity-possessed Dimmed Star yanks one of the wedding hall's stone pillars from its place and throws it at Celestia "with all the fury of a Minotaur".
  • Sympathy for the Devil: Cadance becomes afraid of what Dimmed Star will do to Queen Chrysalis so much that she tries to tell her to flee from Canterlot, going so far as to say that she no longer cares about what Chrysalis did to Cadance herself.
  • Tainted Veins: When the Entity takes root in Twilight's body, her veins turn black before her body starts melting.
  • Tantrum Throwing: After her attempt to apologise to Pinkie Pie fails, Dimmed Star telekinetically sends the mug of cocoa she prepared for Pinkie to crash against a wall.
  • Tears of Blood: In the vision Brutus gains at the end of his My Life Flashed Before My Eyes moment, crimson nectar pours out of the empty eye sockets of Scootaloo.
  • Teeth Flying: When a bully took from Twilight the book her brother had just bought for her, Shining Armor stroke him with his hoof, sending a tooth flying.
  • That Liar Lies: When Dimmed Star is finished recounting her side of what has happened in regards to Cheerilee, Brutus and his collapsed house, Rainbow Dash accuses her of lying because she doesn't want to believe that Scootaloo isn't safe and sound at school. Applejack states that Dimmed Star hasn't lied at all, adding that they can still get from Cheerilee her side of things.
  • That Wasn't a Request: When Dimmed Star insists on her restraints being removed, Hasty Vote smugly tells her that she's in no position to make requests. After Dimmed Star breaks herself free, she states that she was making a demand rather than a request.
  • The X of Y: The Power of the Equinox.
  • They Have the Scent!: In the 29th chapter, Spike uses his sense of smell to track down Scootaloo in the Everfree Forest.
  • Three... Two... One...: When Big Macintosh notices Fluttershy flying towards Applejack who's trying to force the scared Winona to sniff around Brutus' crumbled home and ignores his attempts to warn her, he moves away and counts in his head from five to two before Fluttershy reaches Applejack and starts scolding her.
  • Throat-Slitting Gesture: Cheerilee makes this gesture when she asks Spike if Dimmed Star would really kill Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon should she learn that they taunted him.
  • Til Murder Do Us Part: After Brutus causes Scootaloo to run off into the Everfree Forest, Vibrant Glow yells at him for doing such a thing. Losing his temper with the wife whose gambling addiction has eaten up his savings, he kills her.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Twilight Sparkle was already a powerful unicorn, but after she transforms into Dimmed Star, she can create appendages and weapons from the black substance attached to her, has a powerful healing factor, is able to phase through doors and walls, and two magic suppression rings placed on her horn can't stop her from using her magic.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass:
    • Dimmed Star is more ill-tempered, violent and aloof than Twilight Sparkle was.
    • Apparently Brutus used to be a loving foster father towards Scootaloo until becoming an alcoholic turned him abusive. The flashbacks he has of his life while dying confirm this; he was a shy colt when he first met his future wife, was deeply sad when they were unable to have a foal together, and they adopted Scootaloo without hesitation. Reliving these memories before seeing the darker turn of the way he treated his wife and adoptive daughter finally makes Brutus regretful of what he has done before he dies.
  • Tragic Stillbirth: Before adopting Scootaloo, Brutus and Vibrant Glow are implied to have gone through this several times.
  • Transformation of the Possessed: While rampaging under the Entity's influence, Dimmed Star grows claws on her hooves, her eyes turn red, and a third red eye grows below her horn.
  • Twitchy Eye:
    • Both Peach Seed and Dusty Joy get an uncontrollably twitching left eye; the former when he sees the East Wing hallway in the condition Dimmed Star left it in, and the latter when she's ordered to clean up the mess to the best of her ability.
    • Cheerilee's left eye twitches when Spike has finished explaining why he hasn't told Dimmed Star about what happened between him, Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Even after they witness Dimmed Star breaking free of her restraints, using her Ink and phasing through the courtroom's door which starts to decay, Hasty Vote and Wind Rider still think that the Royal Guard can put her back in jail. Celestia calls them out for this unfounded confidence.
  • Undying Loyalty: Even after Dimmed Star kills over a dozen guards and almost kills Shining Armor as well, Cadance spends an entire night studying laws in order to defend Dimmed Star at her trial while trying to find clues behind her transformation at the same time, determined to return her back to Twilight Sparkle.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: The Entity doesn't feel any gratitude towards Twilight for giving it a way to escape imprisonment. It intends to kill her right there before it senses the hatred growing within her and changes its mind.
  • Unscrupulous Hero: Dimmed Star enjoys the thrill of hunting and fighting, desires to exact torturous vengeance on Queen Chrysalis, has no qualms about causing property damage, and is overall colder toward most ponies. However, she does care about the wellbeing of her family, Spike and Scootaloo, and despite her grievances with her friends and Celestia, she still cares about them to some extend.
  • Unstoppable Rage: When the Entity fills Dimmed Star's mind with her negative memories from the rehearsal, she nearly kills Shining Armor, tries to kill Celestia, and actually kills over a dozen royal guards in her fury. Celestia's words cannot calm her down, and it requires bringing the Elements of Harmony in the same room before the Entity's influence can be dispelled.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Upon seeing in a flashback the shy schoolcolt Brutus Meadows used to be, it's hard to believe he'd grow up into the rude drunkard and abusive foster father who kills his foalhood sweetheart and nearly kills Cherrilee as well we've come to know him as.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: While Chrysalis telepathically orders her Changelings to pull off the invasion and retreat, she's restrained by the reforming Dimmed Star's Ink. However, as Dimmed Star's anger starts abating in favor of grief, her Ink loses its hold on Chrysalis who uses her chance to flee while internally swearing to get Dimmed Star another day. The heroes are too busy making their bad conscience clear and trying to calm Dimmed Star down to notice or care about Chrysalis' escape.
  • Voice of the Legion: Dimmed Star's voice is described to be as if an older mare, a younger mare and a filly were speaking all at once, with their voices echoing around each other. The author imagines the voice's effect to be like with Amnesia Pinkie Pie in this video.
  • Waking Non Sequitur: When Dimmed Star wakes up in the dungeons, she whispers to herself "Ooooh, anypony get the number of that train?"
  • Walking Wasteland: When Dimmed Star phases or becomes enraged, her Ink causes surfaces, structures and fabrics to crack and decay. It also kills the vegetation and leaves in her wake a dark stain that's impossible to clean up.
  • Was Too Hard on Him: When Celestia learns that Shining Armor has actually marked Twilight off the wedding guest list, she thinks that was harsh from him, even though she and the others were upset by Twilight's actions at the rehearsal. Unable to go anywhere as the wedding ceremony begins, she plans to talk with Twilight afterwards and get everything sorted out.
  • Water Wake-up: After Dusty Joy flees the hallway and falls asleep in the gardens, her superior Peach Seed wakes her up by splashing her with water from the nearby pond.
  • What a Drag: When Dimmed Star sets out toward Scootaloo's home, she uses a clawed tendril to slam Brutus into the ground and drag him through mud and stone.
  • Will-o'-the-Wisp: Scootaloo becomes enchanted by a floating flame ball after she escapes Brutus' abuse to the Everfree Forest. It tries to make her fall into Ghastly Gorge until she's saved by Zecora who destroys the fiery fae.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Not only is Scootaloo abused by her foster father, but the Will-o'-the-Wisp that enchants her almost causes her to fall into Ghastly Gorge before Zecora interferes.
  • You Have Failed Me: The Queen is furious when Chrysalis returns to the hive without bringing Celestia to her as she was supposed to. She proceeds to do something horrible to the Changelings.
  • You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!: When Dusty Joy is assigned to do even more cleaning in the wedding hall, she stares ahead for a few moments before ending the chapter by yelling "OH COME ON!!"
  • You Killed My Father: The reason Business Savvy hates Dimmed Star so much is because one of the guards she kills is his only son, Dream Gavel.

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