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Pony POV Series
Shining Armor Arc
Chapter 15 Part 3 of 3
ouY slliK tahT llaF ehT toN-Not The Fall That Kills You
By LZ and Kendell2
Edited by Alex Warlorn and Louis.

We went onto the Invincible instead. Shepard and her officers were there to greet us.

"Princess, everypony is aboard, and we're heading out to sea..." Shepard began.

"Wait, what about everypony back at the embassy?!"

"...They're already aboard. We're leaving the country tonight," Bond said.

"What happened? Are we being expelled from the country?" Thunderchild asked.

"...Um, we did kind of just have a big fight..." Cadence muttered, perhaps letting all that had transpired (in short, a lot) sink in. On top of that, I think she was still recovering from that whole supercharge thing she did, so she probably had more to deal with than most of us. I couldn't help thinking she just seemed...afraid. Not of anything that was happening but...of something else...

"Not as such. After you left, that government official returned... he told us the Prime Minister had just lost a vote of no-confidence, and his newly appointed successor then passed a resolution condemning the actions of ‘terrorists and bandits' in the countryside and declaring a state of war. As a result, they were asking all non-essential foreign diplomats to leave... including us."

"...That was all democratic, legal, and keeps us safe, right?" I asked.

"Yes," Bond nodded.

"And everypony is back on the ships safely, all our stuff as well?"

"Everything is all back in the cabins where they belong but the civilians are waiting on Enterprise for us to meet back up with them.."

"And we haven't started a war with the Hooviets and neither have the Nambutuans?"

"Nope. They weren't legally identified as Hooviets, after all. Complex matter, but in short... Afraid we can't complain either. Makarov wasn't here, neither were we. And Makarov can't try to spin this back on us either, since he's already on thin ice internationally."

"Well, good to know the Columbians don't get an excuse to start a fight..." I noted.

"And the mission was an overall success. On top of that, we stopped Makarov from setting off the last mana surge, got most of the villagers to safety, and according to Mother Deer, destroyed one of his four cyborg alicorns," Audience interjected.


"Fake cyborg Alicorns...Or is that cyborg fake alicorns?" asked Gag.

"I think the latter, since they're actually cyborgs but not really Alicorns," Thunderchild replied.

"...And freed a poor pony from a fate worse than death," I added.

We took a moment of silence for the poor girl.

"...Elephant in the living room, sir, but may Ah ask what's stoppin' Makarov from makin' more of those fake cyborg-"

"Cyborg fake Alicorns."

"Fine, what's stoppin' him from making more cyborg fake Alicorns?"

"Probably the same thing that stopped him from making more than four in the first place," Bond replied.

In my opinion, that would be Makarov's gigantic ego wanting to give himself ‘elite' bodyguards.

"Captain Sparkle, can I ask you come with me? There's someone coming over from the other ship we've met who wishes speak with you..."

"Commander, he should really be heading for the sickbay, he overloaded on magic tonight," Garnet cut in.

"...Look, I'm..."

"Sickbay. Now. Your visitor can go meet you there, then you can get some rest, Shining! Lance-Corporal Gag, Private Chambers, make sure the Captain gets there safely," Cadence ordered.

"...Yes, Princess," I conceded. Garnet and Gag then began escorting me away. I was grateful I was so tired I could hardly stay standing...




I looked around the infirmary, which was thankfully empty of patients, in spite of the gigantic battle we'd just had...

"... MakE nO mistakE, I wilL finD yoU"

I snapped up, looking around the room.

".YoU shalL bE blankeD ouT .ExistencE shalL bE restoreD tO itS propeR statE"

Where was Cadence?! She sent me here! She had to know I'm here!

".I wilL finD yoU .entropY musT bE opposeD"

"C-Cadence knows I'm here! You can't get me!"

".NonE escapE thE wolF"




I jolted awake, panting.

"You alright sir?" asked Gag, looking down at me.

I was on a cot in the infirmary. It was just a dream...thank Celestia...

"Y-yeah...just drifted off...hard day..."

Garnet nodded. "I'm surprised you have any mana left, let alone that you're still conscious."

Nodding, I took a look around again. No Wolf...just the doctor on his way in, and an Air Naval Cavalrypony on the way out...

...I thought for a second something had been odd about him, like I'd seen him before or something was wrong with his barding but it must have just been fatigue on my part.

The ship's doctor wasn't somepony I'd actually met yet. The last time I'd needed a medic, the SAS supplied Watsun (nurses had given out the shots). I was actually a little surprised to discover this doctor was a Donkey, a fairly old one at that. But somehow he looked like he knew his stuff.

"Hello, Doctor Ulshade. The Captain's got a bit of magic overload, as well a few bruises...."

"...He didn't get kicked there again did he?"

"Uh, no, everywhere but there," I tried.

I don't want to know the excuse the cover up in Columbia gave for that one.

"No, Doctor, but our main concern is the mana-damage from the overloads. His nose has been bleeding quite a bit, though it's not bled for all that long so far, just off and on..."

Garnet began her medical-speak.

"...Gag? Can you translate?" I whispered.

"Sorry, Captain, it's like technobabble or unicorn magic speeches. I understand the words, just don't comprehend."

"Ah..."

"...Trying to learn though."

"Of course you are..." I nodded.

As I was being examined by the very enthusiastic donkey, though a different kind of enthusiasm from Minuette back in Columbia , a group of Air Naval Cavalry entered. Behind them, Mother Deer and Dima.

"Hello again," I said, not waving. I was having trouble keeping awake, honestly.

"Hello. May I ask everyone but the Captain and Dima to leave?"

"It's all right," I told the ponies and one donkey present.

When the coast was clear, Mother Deer spoke.

"Captain... We wanted to speak with you tonight for another reason but time to speak these words never really came amongst all the chaos. I'd hoped we would have more time before Makarov attacked... But he often dashes the hopes of Gods."

"His very existence seems to be proof of that," Dima noted.

"What is it you want to talk about?" I asked.

"You did a great service to both Equestria and the Roedina this evening, so I first want to thank you for that. But I also need to tell you... None of this should have happened."

"I... kind of know that. Makarov shouldn't be here, shouldn't be allowed to run rampant... But how is it I'm the only one who can stop him according to Reznov?"

"Viktor never had a chance to tell you, did he?" Dima noted.

"No, the.. Someone interrupted..."

"The Wolf. As Reznov told you, our name for it is the Stalker. Unfortunately, merely being associated with the Mother of All Deer means that... for our paradoxical existences, we have no scent to it."

I blinked, surprised he'd been so casual.

"Paradoxical..."

"Many of us should be dead, Captain. Only the Mother saved us from death. Solomon once gave me orders, told me I was an important part of his plans... but he wanted me dead, as an excuse to launch a war. I was warned, I evaded my death... by faking it."

"But the problem is, that was not Dima's death or true fate. Makarov has changed things."

"...What exactly is Makarov? Reznov said a lot of things, but...he never really got to explain in detail. Just that Makarov is some kind of imagination demon set loose from Pandora's Box, but that's still pretty vague."

Mother Deer sighed. "Demon isn't quite the correct term, but it is fitting enough. Makarov...the Shadow of Chernobull, was an experiment. Pandora is the Concept of Imagination, in the same way Cadenza is the Concept of Harmony and Music. So naturally, Pandora has innumerable ideas. As with any experiment...hers can go wrong. The Shadow was an attempt by her to create what amounted to a being of pure imagination, something that was her own, a being of stories that could function outside of fiction without losing its fantastic traits. A story in the mortal world...It went wrong.

"When she tried to let it loose in the Realm of Legends, a world she made as part of her realm where only things of story-telling dwell, it began hijacking the stories, twisting them to focus on IT. It didn't even have a name yet, it simply stole one from the bits and pieces around it. Pandora had no choice but to deem it a failed experiment and put it with all her failed experiments that were too dangerous to simply allow to dwell in her realm peacefully; in her Box."

"The Hooviets Imagination Engine...Even from my own prison, I heard the pain it caused Pandora. It tore into her realm, into her. Imagine being hooked up to a generator that tore away at your very being to make power, and you can imagine the agony it caused Pandora."

I shuddered. Even if I didn't know this Pandora, I felt sorry for her.

"This normally would have ended when the Engine and Chernobull exploded, and Pandora's Box should have remained closed...but there was a surge of some sort. Something changed. I can't be sure what it is, it may have been you, it may have been Cadence, but what's for certain is that this surge combined with this unintentional assault on the Realm of Imagination released the Shadow from its prison, and set it loose upon the world."

"...So now that it's free, it's trying to make this world into its story?"

I felt...something. I can't say sympathy, because by this point, Makarov had gone way past the point I could feel sorry for him. But the idea of something trying to finally have a story after it was denied it for so long...It may have been pity, it might have been fear. I don't know...

"Yes, many entities are that way. The Realm of Oblivion is full of such beings. But the difference is that unlike them, the entity released from Pandora's Box has the power to bend the universe to its whims. At present, Solomon is not powerful enough to influence a full fledged god. That's why Cadenza was capable of defeating him after briefly regaining her full strength. But if his plan succeeds, he will be."

"So Makarov is basically a storybook character who's taken over another story?"

Mother Deer nodded. "Yes, he has rewritten history, altered lives, and stolen the places in existence reserved for others... but not forever. There is going back. For all the horror he has caused, there is still a glimmer of hope that we can undo it."

"...You mean there's some kind of way to throw it all out?"

"Not so much. Think of it as... Think of it as a sketch, drawn in pencils. The artist has a vision in mind, but allows the drawing to guide his pencil as it's being created, let it decide what it is truly about. But the drawing shouldn't be able to change what's already been drawn, should it? When the ink is applied there can be no corrections made. If you want to introduce a new element, the only choice is to add it to a blank spot on the drawing, or make a second drawing with the new element included in it. But imagine if another artist, a less experienced one, not only took over, but sought to make himself the subject of the sketch. That is the Shadow of Chernobull.  Makarov has caused a new sketch to be drawn, over what should have been inked. He strives to ink in his new world, solidify this time and this place. This timeline, everything in the past twenty-five years is in flux... It shouldn't be."

That last part cut through how tired I was. I was struggling to follow, but that had me focused.

"...Reznov said the... He said the Wolf saw me as wrong. Am I something that shouldn't be? I'm twenty-five..."

"I don't truly know why The Stalker chases you, Captain. I fear only a Pony Goddess can be privy to that truth. I advise you ask one of them. But I am afraid you are the only thing that stands any chance of letting the sketch that is wrong be rubbed out and the correct one inked," Mother Deer said.

"How? Do I have to kill him? Because I'm in flux, I can break the timeline or something?"

"...No.  Ending his 'life' would not undo the evil he has wrought. Besides, the act of killing him would be a difficult feat, anyway. You saw what he did with Dima's coup de grace earlier. He's evaded mortal blows and assassination attempts many times with copies. It's as if he knows they're coming. He can be killed in theory, you have a better chance than most... But to undo his actions, he must be erased while his sketch is still in pencil."

I gasped at the implication.

"Reznov said Makarov would die by my hoof or I'd lead the Wolf to him. So I need to somehow lure the wolf to him and get it to see he's a threat?"

"Yes, basically..."

"How? It was thrown away by his dome!"

"...If Makarov is injured, his powers weaken. Things he doesn't expect weaken his strength. So if you can annoy him enough, make him angry enough, and hurt him.... Maybe the Stalker will pick up his scent."

"And if it picks up mine too? Can you protect me?"

Mother Deer sighed.

"My apologies, Shining... But there's nothing I can do. If I protect you and say I will, you become useless. You need to earn the protection of another Goddess once all this is done. I cannot even protect you when the timelines fix... for any protection I give would make you part of nature backwards and forwards, even into branching timelines that should not have happened. To put it simply: all the efforts would be undone, and Makarov's evil would return."

I sighed. Of course.

"If it gets me... What happens?"

"You cease. And all else you've done in your life will be undone."

I pondered this for a few moments. It was difficult to take in, but one thing came to my mind.

"...So it's maybe my existence... My life... that might be the price of stopping Makarov's plans?"

"That is, regrettably, the truth. While you could try to kill Makarov, and indeed have the best chance of succeeding, that would only end his evil now. If you lure the Stalker to him, and it destroys him, then his evil will come undone, the lights he has stole will be returned to those who rightly own them."

I looked to Dima. "...What happens to you?"

"I will have the life I would have had if Solomon never was."

"And you have no idea what that will be?"

"Correct. I could have a better life, or I could die in the years following the Hooviet Empire's collapse, which should have happened twenty years ago. All I know is that this life will have never been. I won't be this Dima, I may not even be."

"...And all the rebels feel the same way?"

"Yes. But do not decide based on our choices. It is yours to make."

"...So that's the purpose I have, is it. Reznov said I had to be here for a purpose..."

"I don't know, Shining. Only a Pony Goddess could tell. All I can tell you is... It looks like the purpose you will serve was a purpose planned by a pony goddess. One I don't seem to know of, possibly one that is yet to be. I know it's a lot to ask. But I am afraid you're the only one that can undo this. "

"...'I choose to place myself in harm's way so that those who cannot defend themselves are defended. Though service is a heavy cost, For Equestria, I pay it gladly.' I swore an oath to another Goddess already, Mother Deer. If I have to serve like this..."

...if I had to be utterly erased... To save thousands, maybe millions... to save the correct way things should have been going. I wouldn't be remembered. Twiley and my parents wouldn't mourn me. No place in the hall of heroes for me. I'd be forgotten, erased because the nature of the deed meant no one would ever know.

"...If I have to end like this..."

...Nopony else would suffer. Even my death, it wouldn't cause any suffering. Twiley would forget me right away. Nopony would shed tears, they'd never know I existed.

I'd wanted to be remembered. I told Reznov that.

"...Would anyone remember me?" I asked. Selfish maybe, but...

"I would. Princess Celestia would. And... Cadenza would. Some others out there may have sensitivity to changes..."

Somepony would still mourn me... I'd still hurt her if I was gone... But I would save others. Someone would remember my name, know I'd succeeded.

She wouldn't. You'd just be gone, and she'd think she was mad... She'd have no idea what you'd done...  But what choice was there?

Hurt somepony I cared for... or risk every single living being on the planet suffering in some hellish wrong-timeline reigned over by an insane power-hungry lunatic who defied all logic and reason in pursuit of yet more strength and power for himself?

...It was a paradox of a choice. Tough for me as a person to make. But for the Greater Good, the true greater good of all the world... It was almost easy.

"...I'll do what I have to do," I said.
Story Arc written by LZ0291 lz0291.deviantart.com/

Shining Armor is given a two year tour of the world to be the captain of Princess Cadence's body guard. Yeah. That's all. That's everything Yep. Nothing what so ever else. *AJ's Liar face*

Mother Deer spells out for Shining Armor what exactly "Makarov" is.

"Time is an ocean in a storm."

This storyline runs PARALLEL to the events in the Dark World storyline narrative wise.


And since the story is posted on my account and not his, he feels he's not being given credit for his hard work! So how about you tell him you like it? lz0291.deviantart.com/

Previous Chapter: alexwarlorn.deviantart.com/art…

Next Chapter: alexwarlorn.deviantart.com/art…

First Chapter: alexwarlorn.deviantart.com/art…

Bonus Chapter: alexwarlorn.deviantart.com/art…

MLP: FiM is copyright of Hasbro


Soundtrack Recommendations
Conversation in Sickbay
All That Is Good, Tyler Bates, Watchmen


Cover Image By Kendell2
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:iconitsfrompeople:
The chapter begins with everybody quickly evacuating onboard the Invincible before they leave this country. The remaining personal is already here as well since the country did declare a state of war because of internal instability. Every foreign diplomat who didn’t have to stay was asked to leave. This battle however was not the starting point of a war of the Hooviets with either Equestria or the local country. Twice the Hooviets did attack other countries without provocation which would have started a larger war under most normal circumstances. And it was definitely not averted because Makarov was subtle, quite the opposite.

The deer can be happy that another devastating war for them was averted. They had already lost so much in their futile battle against the dragons. But the heroes did definitely succeed in their mission and did defeat a small army, countless helicopters, two tanks, four earth pony cyborgs, one of Makarov’s personal Pseudocorn cyborgs, a robotic duplicate of Solomon and a few of his airships. It was another defeat for Makarov but so far he always seemed to recover from his breakdowns after his failures. They will need to end him permanently to stop him.

They openly wonder why he didn’t create more of these fake Alicorns but he may lack the resources to do so or his own ego makes him limit these cyborgs to being his personal bodyguards. On the other side by one of the rules of narrative, also known as Conservation of Ninjutsu, these cyborgs would end up being less effective if he had more of them. But for now Shining is in such a weakened state that he is instantly led to the infirmary. There he can hear the wolf telling him that he will be erased to restore existence to its correct state. Considering that it calls this act opposing entropy, the entire existence of this timeline might be at risk with Shining’s continued existence. It leads to the same question that the G3 world had faced. How many would you erase to allow an entire timeline, an entire universe to continue to exist? The loss of even one life is tragic but most would say in the end that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. As tragic and sad as it is, it might be the right thing to do.

Then Shining awakens in the infirmary and notices something strange about the Naval Cavalrypony that is leaving. Maybe someone had just protected his life without him even knowing it. At the same time a doctor (no, not that one) enters, a Donkey named Ulshade (likely after the character of the same name from Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger) and to his (and Shining’s) relief this time the unicorn doesn’t have the same rather embarrassing injury. The mana overload is likely the bigger problem and soon the medical terms become so complicated that not even Running Gag can translate them. He is also unable to understand technobabble and magicbabble but nobody really understands those. That is why it allows characters to do almost anything with it. Soon enough Mother Deer and Dima enter and wish to talk to Shining privately.

The Deer Goddess thanks him for his efforts but admits that none of these events should have ever happened. He already does know some bits about Makarov’s real nature but Reznov wasn’t able to tell him the full story. Dima reveals that the followers of Mother Deer are directly protected by their goddess. Many of them would already be dead without her. Then again IF Solomon never had existed many wouldn’t have been in this danger at all. For example Dima was meant to be Makarov’s expendable pawn but he ruined that plan by faking his death after being warned.

Afterwards Mother Deer explains that Solomon was an experiment of Pandora, an attempt to create a being of imagination, something that could actually exist in reality without losing its fantastic traits. There were however a few VERY dangerous flaws about this thing. It had no name or identity so it stole these from everybody around it. Soon it tried to force all stories to focus exclusively on it. It basically became a Black Hole Sue but with all the nightmarish consequences of others suffering under its whims. So Pandora did seal it in her box. It is not mentioned if she could have destroyed it at this point herself or if she chose to seal it away because she still didn’t want to kill it.

And there it stayed until the Hooviets foolishly used their Imagination Engine to literally tear into Pandora’s being and this combined with another surge did break the seal on this imagination monster. This surge is likely closely connected to Shining himself. At this point the unicorn wonders if even Makarov might have a reason and motivation for what he does. Something that goes beyond simply being a complete monster but it doesn’t need to contradict this title. Many complete monsters still have reasons and motivations. Not that it matters for Shining, since the imagination thing needs to be stopped from his continued mass murder. It had already two chances and two times it chose to be a monster instead of becoming part of these stories in a constructive way. It is not insane, it did everything of its own choice. Right now it gathers power to be able to even force its will onto the gods themselves. If it succeeds then this entire universe might be on its way to total oblivion. Entropy would love this excuse to erase everything from existence in this universe.

But there is still a way to restore reality to how it should be. Even Mother Deer can’t tell Shining why the stalker is chasing him but a Pony Goddess can tell him the truth. Now that is actually pretty easy to do, since he could just ask Princess Celestia, who is a fully powered Alicorn, by writing a letter to her. They just got one letter from her at the beginning of this chapter. Hopefully Shining realises that he is in contact with an Alicorn and could just ask her this important question. Besides that he might be the only one who is able to end all of Makarov’s evil. The way the Goddess suggests is the total erasure of Solomon from existence, basically by leading the stalker to it and let the wolf obliterate the imagination thing. She suggests hurting and annoying Makarov to weaken it enough so that the wolf can finally target it. Shining is the right unicorn for that job, annoying Solomon is his specialty.

The downside is of course that the stalker would likely erase the unicorn as well if he got that close to him. He could try to run but after fighting against Makarov, he will likely be unable to escape. Shining does consider sacrificing his life for the greater good but wonders what would happen to people like Dima. The deer knows that it would be a different life without this monster and that he might be already dead but he knows one thing for sure: he would be a completely different person. Shining quotes the oath he once swore to Equestria but he never thought he would ever have to make a choice like this.

His sacrifice would save so many, many lives but that would come at the cost of the only thing he ever wanted in return for a possible sacrifice. Shining wouldn’t be remembered, his sacrifice would be forgotten by the ponies he protected. Only a select few like the gods and maybe Twilight would even know that he existed. He knows it would hurt her more then anything to remember a brother that doesn’t even exist anymore. But in the end the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. So he agrees to this sacrifice plan.

Overall this was a good conclusion to the set-up of the earlier two parts. The possibility of Shining sacrificing himself was foreshadowed by the Reznov earlier and now it almost seems inevitable. Then again it doesn’t necessary need to happen since others might be able to save Shining afterwards. But considering what the Changeling Queen likely does to Shining IF he survives, he might be luckier to evade this horrible fate with an earlier sacrifice. Only time will tell how it will turn out for him in the end.
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:iconallanpike:
Allanpike Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
They really make sure that Shining go's to the med room when he needs to.

We finally learn the truth... and just how dedicated shining is.
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:iconkurseofkings:
KurseofKings Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2013
"It tore into her realm, into her. Imagine being hooked up to a generator that tore away at your very being to make power, and you can imagine the agony it caused Pandora." And she doesn't hold a grudge? Wow she's nice!
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:iconkurseofkings:
KurseofKings Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2013
"It tore into her realm, into her. Imagine being hooked up to a generator that tore away at your very being to make power, and you can imagine the agony it caused Pandora." And what did Havoc do when he found out about this?
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:iconkurseofkings:
KurseofKings Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2013
"As with any experiment...hers can go wrong." In her case, it's more like they do go wrong.
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:iconkurseofkings:
KurseofKings Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2013
".I wilL finD yoU .entropY musT bE opposeD" Does the person named Entropy know about this?
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2013
Entropy isn't a person.  And know what? 
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:iconkurseofkings:
KurseofKings Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2013
About entropy being opposed.
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:iconalexwarlorn:
alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2013
Since others have spoken of her in third person before when not in her presence . . . 
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:iconitsfrompeople:
ItsfromPeople Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2013
I found a few minor mistakes:

"Everything is all back in the cabins where they belong but the civilians are waiting on Enterprise for us to meet back up with them.." should be "Everything is all back in the cabins where they belong but the civilians are waiting on Enterprise for us to meet back up with them…"

"No, the.. Someone interrupted..." should be "No, the… Someone interrupted..."

“Unfortunately, merely being associated with the Mother of All Deer means that... for our paradoxical existences, we have no scent to it." Shouldn’t this be “Fortunately” since this means that the wolf can’t hunt them down?

“That is the Shadow of Chernobull.  Makarov has caused…” Here the space between the sentences is too big.
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:iconsherlock-holmes18:
Sherlock-Holmes18 Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2013
*I finally got around to reading this story. Compared to the first two parts, not a lot happens in this one but that doesn't stop it from being interesting. Mainly because it reveals a little more about Makarov and Shining's role in things.

*Just out of curiosity, is the Realm of Legends the same as that one place in the G1 cartoon that had all those story book characters?

*This is just kind of nitpicky but when Mother Deer tells Shining that only a pony goddess could know why the Wolf hunts Shining, doesn't that imply that she doesn't think it could have been one of the male alicorns? What makes her so sure of that?

*Maybe it's just me but I think the Wolf has some similarities to these guys, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Houn…. They're not exactly alike but I still think there are some similarities.
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