Trixie Lulamoon, personal student of Princess Luna, travels by train from Canterlot to begin her new appointment as Princess Luna's official representative in the town of Ponyville. She's escorted by Lyra Heartstrings, an acquaintance who recently completed a music scholarship at Luna's school of magic.
Her first task is to oversee the town's preparations for the Longest Night festival tomorrow. In the course of doing so (and thoroughly aggravating pretty much everypony she talks to) she meets Carrot Top the farmer, Raindrops the weather pony, Cheerilee the teacher, and Ditzy Doo the mail pony, who delivers her some mail from Canterlot.
Returning to her new residency, she finds that Pinkie Pie has thrown a surprise party for her. Depressed at how badly the day has gone, she takes the opportunity to get drunk, eventually passing out in the middle of the party.
Trixie wakes up with a terrible hangover and no memory of the previous night. As she recovers, she gets around to reading the letters she received from Ditzy Doo, and is enraged to find a letter from Baron Blueblood, the previously appointed Representative in Ponyville, who informs her that the position is for all intents and purposes an exile, a punishment from Luna to ponies who have displeased her.
She becomes convinced that Luna has deliberately set her up to fail at organising the Longest Night festival, and begins to use underhanded methods to ensure that it will all go to plan, upsetting the townfolk of Ponyville even more in the process.
The celebration goes smoothly as she had planned, but Princess Luna is furious at the fact that she upset so many ponies to do it. The two argue, and Luna reveals that the appointment is no punishment, and that Trixie has been misled by her predecessor.
As the argument finishes, the sun begins to rise... at midnight. Terrified, Princess Luna tells the townfolk to run and hide, as the sun forces the moon from the sky - and Queen Corona, a power-crazed, twisted version of Celestia, returns from her thousand-year imprisonment in the sun.
Corona banishes Luna to the moon, then demands to speak to the leader of Ponyville. Trixie intervenes, using her authority as Luna's official representative, and, fearing death, forces herself to swear allegiance to Corona. Corona then captures all the foals from Ponyville, along with several of the townsfolk, using them as hostages to ensure her demands are met.
Raindrops helps Trixie to escape to Carrot Top's home, as the townsfolk of Ponyville now believe Trixie is a traitor and are out looking for her. There she meets Lyra, Cheerilee, and Ditzy Doo again. Trixie mentions that she knows where to find the Elements of Harmony, the only artifacts capable of stopping Corona, and the six ponies agree to go into the Everfree Forest to retrieve them.
After getting lost in the Everfree Forest, they encounter Zecora the zebra shaman, and Spike the baby dragon, her familiar. Zecora offers to guide them to the ruined palace where the Elements are located.
On the way, they encounter sirens - carnivorous sea ponies who lure ponies to their deaths with a hypnotic song. As a musician with a well-trained ear, Lyra is able to resist their disharmonious singing and fights them off with a magically enhanced song of her own, but the effort exhausts her to the point of collapse.
Carrot Top, Raindrops and Trixie go in search of a flower which can restore Lyra to health, but are forced to cross a field of Poison Joke flowers to do so. After Lyra regains her strength, they set off and eventually arrive at the ruined palace which contains the Elements.
In the meantime, Celestia has been attempting to retake Canterlot, but is thwarted by Shining Armor's forcefield spell. Unexpectedly, she receives a letter from Zecora, sent via Spike's dragonfire, which informs her of Trixie's plan to use the Elements of Harmony against her. She begins flying for the Everfree Forest.
Inside the ruined palace, Trixie finds the Elements, but she, Raindrops and Carrot Top begin to suffer the effects of Poison Joke: Trixie becomes invisible, intangible and inaudible; Raindrops becomes a giant pony, and Carrot Top's mane begins to grow voluminously.
Corona arrives, and begins her assault by turning Spike into a giant dragon and unleashing him on the ponies. Raindrops manages to fight him off, taking advantage of her increased size.
Corona then intervenes directly, seizing the six ponies and smashing the Elements to pieces. As all hope seems lost, Cheerilee taunts Corona about her archaic mode of speech, mocking and laughing at her. This causes the Element of Laughter to reform and attach itself to Cheerilee. The other five ponies quickly realise they they all embody the other five Elements of Harmony: Lyra, Element of Loyalty; Carrot Top, Element of Generosity; Raindrops, Element of Honesty; Ditzy Doo, Element of Kindness; and Trixie, Element of Magic. They then use the power of the Elements to strip Corona of her powers.
Princess Luna returns from the moon and attempts to reason with Corona, but Corona refuses to listen, and the intervention of Zecora allows her to escape, taking Zecora and Spike with her.
Luna reconciles with Trixie, and offers to remove her from Ponyville, but Trixie declines, wanting to remain with her new friends.
- Accent Relapse: Seeing as how her hometown is Neigh Orleans, Trixie hilariously reverts to a VERY thick Cajun accent when she's drunk.
- Anachronic Order: This story is chronologically the first story in the "Main" Lunaverse (with only a few stories taking place as prequels) and starts off season one of the 'verse. It was released after Boast Busted, which comes much later in season one.
- Barrier Warrior: Shining Armor, bolstered by several other ponies, is able to make a shield spell capable of keeping Corona at bay.
- Battle of the Bands: Lyra vs Sirens.
- Berserk Button: Granted, it doesn't take much to make Corona go berserk, but she really hates it when ponies call her Corona instead of her birth name, Celestia.
Trixie: Every school day when I was a filly I had to hear ponies singing that song whenever my name was mentioned and seriously I will turn you into a newt if you dont stop!
- Trixie hates it when ponies call her by her last name, Lulamoon, as it reminds her of when she was bullied as a filly.
- Bizarre Taste in Food: Much to Trixie's delight, she finds that Ditzy Doo shares her peculiar muffin preferences.
- Bullying a Dragon: Shining Armor decides it's a good idea to taunt and provoke the insane alicorn. Had Zecora not called in with a warning about the Elements, Corona would've turned Canterlot into a pile of slag.
- Doppelgänger Attack: Lyra creates a chorus of magical clones during her musical battle with the sirens.
- Despair Event Horizon: Occurs when Corona appears to destroy the Elements of Harmony, and the Luna Six realize they have no hope of stopping her.
- Didn't Think This Through: Trixie, Carrot Top and Raindrops walk through a patch of Poison Joke to get to the ether needed to help Lyra. Raindrops, we remind you, is a Pegasus. Afterward everyone points out that, yeah, this was pretty dumb of them.
- Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: Faced with death, Cheerilee takes the opportunity to let Corona know what she really thinks of her. This turns out to be the turning point of the battle.
- Dull Surprise: Luna is so shocked by control of the sun being wrested from her that she doesn't immediately know how to respond. Once she realises what's happening, the real panic begins.
- Enthralling Siren: one of the foes in the Everfree Forest.
- Exposition Cut: Occurs in Chapter 12 when Carrot Top is reiterating her cutie mark story to Raindrops, although it was already told to the other characters in the previous chapter.
- Evil Is Hammy: Corona's outdated, majestic proclamations make her appear like a Large Ham to ponies of the present.Corona: What? What black sorcery is this?
- Fallen Goddess: Corona.
- Heroic RRoD: The dangers of overchannelling. It's equated to running a marathon after having your blood drained. Comas can result.
- Hulk Speak: Spike talks like this after Corona turns him into a huge monstrous dragon.
- I Choose to Stay: Trixie's decision at the end of the story.
- Imagine Spot: Trixie thinking how everything will go wrong at the festival, with Luna banning outlaws before being destroyed by awful weather, only stopping to note how nice Rarity's decorations are before vanishing completely.
- I Need a Freaking Drink: Trixie's attitude after an awful first day in Ponyville, and the prospect of an even worse one tomorrow.
- Insistent Terminology: Trixie Lulamoon insists on being called by her first name, Trixie (unless drunk, in which case she insists the opposite).
- Corona insists that ponies call her Celestia, as she sees 'Corona' as being a persona invented by Luna to demonize her.
- Ironic Echo: in the first chapter, Trixie calls Lyra out on the fact that she's somehow gotten lost in the town she spent her childhood in. Later in the Everfree Forest, Lyra does exactly the same to Trixie in reverse, as Trixie claimed to know the way to the ruined palace.
- It Tastes Like Feet: Ether may fix being magically drained, but it doesn't change the fact it tastes like flank.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Trixie. Despite being selfish and manipulative, she genuinely cares for foals, and is even willing to risk her life for ponies she doesn't know.
- Kneel Before Zod: Corona demands Trixie kiss her hoof as a show of fealty. Hoping to save everypony else from fiery death, Trixie tries playing along. But then Corona figures she bent the knees too easily, and is just a craven opportunist.
- Lampshade Hanging: Hearing Cheerilee speak, Trixie's internal monologue describes "a magenta voice", before noting this doesn't make any sense at all.
- Last-Second Chance: Luna offers Celestia one, but unlike in the canon universe, she doesn't take it, and manages to escape instead.
- Light Is Not Good: An overarching theme for the entire Lunaverse. Ponies fear the sun, are superstitious about being out at midday, and occasionally use idioms involving the sun in negative contexts (for example, 'heading into the sun' means roughly the same thing as 'going to hell').
- Magic Music: Lyra's method of combat.
- Make My Monster Grow: Corona does this to Spike in order to attack the Luna Six.
- Mind-Control Music: Used by the sirens to attempt to lure the Luna Six to their deaths. It doesn't work on Lyra because she can tell they're out of harmony.
- Mistaken for Profound: Trixie believes that Luna's riddle "The sixth Element is right beside you" refers to her new friends, when in fact Luna simply meant her cutie mark, which represents Magic. What's funnier is that Cheerilee even figured this out earlier, and Trixie shot her idea down.
- Mood Dissonance: The mood turns surprisingly blue after Corona finally catches the Luna Six and it seems like all hope is lost.
- Never My Fault: Corona insists everything fell apart because of Luna's treachery. Definitely not because of her madness, or threatening to kill anyone and everyone who didn't do as she said. All Luna, clearly. But, she is mad.
- Noodle Incident: Apparently many ponies in Canterlot are angry at Trixie because of the 'ice palace incident'. Trixie implies that she caused it to melt somehow, but we don't get to hear any details.
- Obliviously Evil: Corona appears genuinely to believe that she's acting for the good of ponies everywhere. She's just a little insane.
- Oh, Crap!: The sun rises. Except Luna isn't doing it.
- Rage Against the Mentor: Trixie has this against Luna, believing that she sent her to Ponyville as a punishment.
- Reassigned to Antarctica: Thanks to a letter from the former occupant of the Ponyville residency, claiming Trixie has been sent there as punishment. And from the one before him, and the one before them, and so forth... eventually, Luna points out it wasn't punishment. Trixie wanted responsibility, and Luna gave it. Did she honestly expect a big fancy job for her first posting? Most of the ponies who wrote those letters went on to have distinguished careers. Fortunately, this attitude saves Trixie when Corona comes a'calling, and she thinks Trixie has been legitimately been sent to Antarctica, and assures Trixie that under her rule this wouldn't matter so long as she's loyal.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: Corona is sealed in the Sun, until Zecora manages to free her.
- Chapter 2 is called "Many Meetings", likely a reference to the first chapter of Book 2 of The Lord of the Rings, in which most of the main characters gather at Rivendell.
- A couple of humorous references are made to the infamous fanfic Cupcakes during Pinkie Pie's appearances.
- There are a few references to Babylon 5, particularly Trixie's drunken antics, which are almost a direct pastiche of Londo Mollari's actions in the episode "The Parliament of Dreams".
- Ether can be used to restore a unicorn's magical power - a reference to the item of the same name from the Final Fantasy games, which restores a Player Characters's Magic Points.
- Corona making Spike grow into a huge dragon to have him fight the Luna Six is very likely a reference to Power Rangers. Word of God is that Corona is partly based on Lord Zedd, a Power Rangers villain.
- Sirens Are Mermaids: Mer-ponies in this case.
- Theme Tune Cameo: Cleverly worked into the first chapter as part of Lyra's demonstration of her musical prowess, at exactly the point where the real show's opening sequence would be. It's very similar to the real show's theme song, but the changed lyrics clue the reader in to the fact that this is not quite the universe they're familiar with.
- Torches and Pitchforks: The ponies of Ponyville see Trixie apparently signing up with Corona, who just abducted a lot of their loved ones, and they take it... poorly. Trixie manages to evade the lynch mob, but her house isn't so fortunate.
- Welcome Episode: serves the same purpose as its real show counterpart.
- What Did I Do Last Night?: Trixie has no idea what she did while she was drunk at the end of part 1. She's not too pleased when she finds out.