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Webcomic / The Shadow Shard

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Cover drawn by emositecc of

The Shadow Shard is a Fan Webcomic drawn and written by dSana on DeviantArt, based off My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic

The bond between Twilight and Spike cannot be broken.

Not without help.

When visiting the Crystal Empire, Spike is forced to rethink his place in Twilight’s life, while ponies struggle to deal with the awakened darkness that feeds on the worst fears.

The Shadow Shard provides examples of:

  • Absurdly Youthful Mother: Twilight. Even if she doesn't think herself a mother at first.
  • Accentuate the Negative: Inspired by The Snow Queen, the umbrum shard in Spike's eye makes him see only twisted and bad memories.
  • Almost Kiss: While speaking alone Starlight and Sunburst slowly lean in and nearly kiss until Spike interrupts them. Subverted when their second attempt is successful.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: When Starlight says how much it hurt her when Sunburst left for magic school and never wrote her, she shouts that she loved him and did all her evil acts afterwards because of him.
  • Another Dimension: Luna fights Sombra to protect the dreams in the dream dimension.
  • Arc Symbol: Dripping water represents Sombra eroding everyone's heart and mind with his magic.
    • "Drop by drop even the strongest heart will erode."
  • Artifact of Doom: It is feared that Sombra's horn is one of these, which is why Twilight is asked to help destroy it. It is, but not for the reasons they think.
  • Batman Gambit: Sombra manipulates Spike into succumbing to greed and going after the Crystal Heart.
  • Big Bad: King Sombra
  • The Big Damn Kiss: After Sunburst and Starlight confess their love for each other, they embrace in another kiss before combining their magic against Sombra.
  • Black Magic: Umbrum, Sombra's magic fuelled by fear, hatred and despair.
  • The Bully: Young Spike is bullied by Canterlot colts for being a dragon.
  • Bullying a Dragon: What the Canterlot colts and indeed the upper crust ponies' behavior towards Spike can be seen as. Even as a baby, Spike is much stronger and more resilient than ponies twice his size, can absentmindedly shred solid rock with his claws, and breathes fire. It's only his gentle personality that keeps him from punishing his tormentors.
  • The Corruptor: How Sombra is exerting his influence on Spike.
  • Darker and Edgier: Compared to the TV show, the comic gets pretty dark at some points. The nightmares are pretty disturbing and the violence is much more intense, including Spike scratching Twilight, which leaves a visible mark on her left cheek.
  • Deflector Shields: Just like in the series, Flurry Heart puts a bubble shield around herself when she's scared.
  • Dispel Magic: Starlight removes her own cutie mark to prevent Sombra from casting spells while he stays in her body
  • Dream Walker: Luna watches Twilight's real dream.
  • Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: Spike and to a lesser degree, Starlight
  • Environmental Symbolism: The cold blizzard that threatens the Empire.
  • Evil Makeover: Spike's eyes look decidedly more lizard-like and less gentle when Sombra is more actively affecting his mind.
    • When Sombra fully possesses Starlight's body, her cutie mark becomes overall darker and the purple star of her cutie mark becomes red.
  • Evil Is Deathly Cold: Sombra's magic weakens the Crystal Heart, causing the blizzard to rage over the Empire.
  • Fantastic Racism: The Canterlot elite are very rude to Young Spike simply because he is a dragon. Their treatment gets worse after he calls Twilight his mommy.
  • Good Colors, Evil Colors: As with the show, the good ponies tend to be lighter, more gentle colors, while Sombra and his magic have a decidedly sharper, darker color scheme. This becomes more obvious as Spike is further infected by Sombra's power, his brighter colors darkening.
  • Grand Theft Me: Revealed to be Sombra's ultimate goal with infecting Spike with his darkness. The plan is detailed when Spike's mind is so subsumed by beastial rage Sombra can't control it. Not that he doesn't use that to hurt Twilight Sparkle. And then he instead uses Starlight's love for Sunburst to do this to her instead.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Starlight seems jealous of Sunburst and Twilight when Sunburst says they are writing a book together and talks about how much he has in common with her, until she finds out Twilight asked for his help simply because he lives close to the Crystal Empire's library.
  • Hostage Situation: A benign example with Spike's egg. It seems the Princesses took it to ensure the peaceful behavior of the original guardian of the Crystal Heart. Whether or not this is the whole of the situation or just what Sombra is showing remains to be seen.
  • I Want My Mommy!: After Twilight suddenly vanishes from his Mental World, Spike tears up and calls after her "mommy"
  • Interrupted Declaration of Love: Sunburst tells Starlight that he wrote her a letter when he went to school but didn't send it because he was embarrassed and knew she was mad at him. Starlight asks what was in it and Sunburst almost tells her he wrote that he loves her, but is interrupted by Twilight rushing in.
  • Kiss of Death: One of Starlight's nightmares is her visiting Sunburst while he sleeps and kissing him, then begins to slowly kill him with dark magic as he struggles, while saying he was right to be afraid of her. She wakes up before anything happens to Sunburst though.
  • Love Confession: Sunburst finally confesses his love to Starlight before the final battle with Sombra.
  • Love Makes You Evil: Starlight blames Sunburst abandoning for her decent into becoming a villain, shouting that she loved him and he never even wrote to her. Sunburst responds that that kind of attitude is why he never wrote, since she was always a bit unstable and dangerous.
    • Sombra eventually uses this to gain control of Starlight's body, using his magic to trick her into believing Sunburst was telling her he was in love with Twilight.
  • Mama Bear: Twilight when Sombra tries to possess an awakening Spike.
  • Mental World: Twilight teleports inside Spike's mind and finds it to be corrupted by Umbrum
  • Moment Killer: Happens a bit to Starlight and Sunburst.
    • Spike accidentally interrupts them when they are leaning in for a kiss.
    • They end up doing it to themselves when Starlight makes Sunburst tell her why he never wrote to her after he went to magic school immediately after finally sharing a passionate kiss with him and trying to get him to invite her to his room.
    • Sunburst encourages Starlight she can successfully cast a dangerous spell and apologizes for what he said the previous night by kissing her on her forehead. They slowly start leaning in towards each other again and Sunburst almost tells her what he once wrote to her in a letter, but they are once again interrupted when Twilight runs into the room screaming for Starlight.
  • Motivational Kiss: Sunburst kisses Starlight on the forehead when telling her he believes she can successfully cast a dangerous spell, and as an apology for her overhearing his doubts about her the previous night and how he argued with her.
  • Mysterious Parent: Dragoness who laid Spike's egg whose heart was turned into the Crystal Heart
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Played with. Sombra's horn is already leaking dark magic into the Crystal Empire, hence why Twilight had been called to deal with it, so it had to be dealt with. Unfortunately Twilight's first attempt resulted in the horn breaking instead of being destroyed, with a piece lodging itself into Spike, starting the current problem.
    • Twilight telling Spike that she's breaking her promise to him and sending him away is what fully causes Spike to lose control of himself.
  • Nightmare Sequence: Present throughout the comic due to Sombra haunting everyone's dreams and manipulating their memories via the magic from his horn.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten: Starlight Glimmer wonders if her stint as a villain is why it seems Twilight is holding her at arm's length. This may have something to do with the nightmares sent by Sombra.
  • Orwellian Retcon: The comic was initially set in the same universe as the artist's previous webcomic, "Left Behind," which depicted Starlight as having an abusive father. After the season 8 episode "The Parent Map" aired, showing that Starlight's father was NOT abusive, however, the artist rewrote parts of this comic to remove references to "Left Behind." On the other hand, this is downplayed a bit, as none of the pages that were rewritten had been drawn and published yet before they were rewritten.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Twilight ignores Spike's first attempts at discussing his dreams and later it is Spike who refuses to talk to her.
  • Physical Scars, Psychological Scars: Twilight when Spike slashes her cheek in anger.
  • Purple Is Powerful: Sombra's umbrum magic is purple.
  • "Shut Up" Kiss: Starlight tells Sunburst to shut up before planting a deep kiss on him.
  • Soul Jar: With shades of Leaking Can of Evil. Sombra's horn is his connection to Equestria, and the Crystal Empire specifically, and the conduit through which he's working his magic.
  • Telepathy: Twilight casts Star Swirl's telepathy spell to access Spike's Mental World.
  • Tragic Keepsake: The Crystal Heart is this for its orignal guardian. So is Spike's egg. They're both remnants of his mother.
  • Tragic Monster: Spike becomes a literal one after Sombra's magic corrupts him.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: Sombra adjusts his plans when he can't control Spike, and instead tries to corrupt Twilight - and finally successfully gets hold of Starlight's body.