Pony of Shadows

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Stygian (Darkness • Pony of Shadows) • Mirror-Universe
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Pony of Shadows
Friendship is Magic character
Biographical information
SpeciesPony  • Unicorn
GenderMale
AgeAdult
NationalityEquestrian

The Pony of Shadows is a being created when the Unicorn Stygian merged with the monstrous Darkness, which he met in the Well of Shade.

History

After being cast out by the Pillars of Old Equestria, Stygian encountered the Darkness and accepted its promises of power, allowing it to merge with him and resolving to extinguish all light. He then traveled to the Castle of Two Sisters, where he revealed his new form to his former teammates, who engaged him in battle. The Pony of Shadows proved too powerful for the Pillars to defeat, and Starswirl the Bearded thus hit upon a plan to prevent him from spreading darkness over Equestria. On his instructions, the Pillars gathered at Ponhenge with their signature magical artifacts, and Starswirl cast a spell to summon the Pony of Shadows.

His power enhanced by the proximity of Ponhenge, the Pony of Shadows attacked by the Pillars, but Starswirl repulsed his dark magic. Starswirl then enacted his plan, which involved casting a spell to send the Pony of Shadows to limbo...and the Pillars with him. Over time, the Pillars and their foe were largely forgotten, though the myth of the Pony of Shadows lived on, though it became distorted as it was passed down. By the time of Twilight Sparkle, the Pony of Shadows was thought to be a phantom created from Nightmare Moon's residual magic after she was banished to the moon.

Granny Smith told this tale to Applejack, who later recounted it to Rainbow Dash when they were about to enter a ruined Castle of Two Sisters. Despite this, Applejack was taken aback when Sunburst discovered Starswirl's journal, which indicated the existence of a true Pony of Shadows. This discovery ultimately led to the Mane Six reversing Starswirl's spell, only to bring the Pony of Shadows back to Equestria. Determined to prevent his banishment, the Pony of Shadows destroyed the journal and Ponhenge, before setting his sights on Starswirl.

The Pony of Shadows' assault was repulsed by Twilight and her former student Starlight Glimmer, due in part to their power and his own weakness from his captivity in limbo. The Pony of Shadows thus fled, intending to regain his power and complete the mission he had set out on over a thousand years previously. He retreated to the Hollow Shades and the Well of Shade beneath it, only to be found when the Cutie Map revealed his location to the Mane Six, Pillars, and their allies. Determined to engulf the world in darkness and repay the Pillars' actions against him, the Pony of Shadows attacked, only for the two groups to open a portal to limbo using the Elements of Harmony.

Adamant that he would not be trapped again, the Pony of Shadows struggled against the portal's force and his enemies' attacks. In the process, Twilight and Starlight discovered that Stygian was still himself within the Darkness, and after speaking with him learned the truth behind his rift with the Pillars. Their words of encouragement moved Stygian to regret and a desire to part from the darkness, which refused to relinquish its hold on him. However, the combined power of the fourteen assembled ponies, their artifacts, and the Elements allowed them to pull Stygian free, bringing an end to the Pony of Shadows. Stygian was then reunited with his old friends, while the Darkness was banished to limbo.

Stygian later wrote a series of books about his experiences, the third-Me and My Shadow-depicting himself and the Pony of Shadows on the cover. Rarity later mentioned the Pony of Shadows as one of the many threats Twilight and her friends had managed to defeat together.

Personality

As a composite of Stygian and the Darkness, the Pony of Shadows seemed to reflect both their desires, which for a time were in sync. Bitter and lost after his expulsion from the Pillars, Stygian sought to bring his misery upon all of Equestria, which the Darkness was all to eager to facilitate. Motivated by resentment and malice, he enjoyed mocking Starswirl, and seemed to center in on him as prime perpetrator of his sad fate.

Appearances

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