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Episode Shadow Play - Part 2
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[Previously on My Little Pony]
Sunburst: That's the last entry. Star Swirl's final words before he vanished.
Applejack: All those legendary ponies were real, too? And then none of them were ever heard from again?
Twilight Sparkle: They used their magic to open a portal to limbo.
Pony of Shadows: [screams]
Twilight Sparkle: We need to find items that are connected to the Pillars in some way.
Twilight Sparkle: We brought you back!
Star Swirl the Bearded: You cannot bring only the Pillars back!
Pony of Shadows: [laughing evilly]
[theme song]
Pony of Shadows: [laughing evilly] Your pitiful attempt to imprison me has failed, Star Swirl!
[magic fizzles]
Star Swirl the Bearded: You must return us to limbo. It's the only way to stop him.
Twilight Sparkle: I only figured out how to bring you back.
Sunburst: Working on it! No table of contents!
Pony of Shadows: Allow me to assist. [grunts]
[vines lashing]
[rocks breaking]
Pony of Shadows: There! Without the power of Ponhenge, your banishing spell is useless!
Star Swirl the Bearded: You have studied my writings. Surely you have some other plan.
Twilight Sparkle: No. I just wanted to save you. I didn't think—
Pony of Shadows: Don't fret. When I extinguish the light and hope of this miserable world, you won't remember any of this.
Twilight Sparkle: No!
[magic zap]
Pony of Shadows: Argh! This one is almost as... strong as you, Star Swirl. But even in my weakened state, she cannot stop the might of shadows! [grunts]
[magic zap]
Twilight Sparkle: [straining]
[magic zap]
Starlight Glimmer: Lucky for her, she's not alone!
Pony of Shadows: [straining] Arrrrggghhhh!
Star Swirl the Bearded: Know this, fiend! We will not rest until we find a way to return you to limbo!
Pony of Shadows: [growls] Never! Your days of glory are through, Star Swirl. Now my dark power will reign, and you six will bow to me!
[whoosh]
Rainbow Dash: Um... where'd he go?
Somnambula: That is a riddle we must unravel. And quickly.
Mage Meadowbrook: How long have we been gone?
Fluttershy: Over a thousand years.
Star Swirl the Bearded: Then my spell worked – before it was meddled with – and the realm has been at peace for a millennia!
Pinkie Pie: Weeeeell... we did have to save everypony from Nightmare Moon and Discord and Chrysalis and King Sombra and Lord Tirek, and there was that one time when Starlight traveled through time and almost destroyed life as we know it! But that's all in the past.
Flash Magnus: If you are truly this accomplished, we will stop the Pony of Shadows twice as fast together.
Star Swirl the Bearded: We shall see. It is an easy thing to say you have saved the world. It is quite another to do it.
Rainbow Dash: Oh, we've saved the world, Beardo. And we can do it again.
Star Swirl the Bearded: Be that as it may, the problem of locating the Pony of Shadows remains, and this land is vast.
Rarity: It sounds like you need a map. Luckily, we have just the thing.
Star Swirl the Bearded: Something about this magic seems familiar...
[magic zap]
[ponies gasp]
Rarity: Did you know he can do that?
Twilight Sparkle: He's Star Swirl! He can do anything!
Star Swirl the Bearded: This map, and indeed this very castle, are grown from the seed we planted over a thousand years ago.
Rockhoof: Then it did work!
Sunburst: What worked?
Somnambula: Each of us infused a crystal seed with our magic in hopes that it would grow into a force for good.
Mistmane: We wanted to leave something to protect the realm in our absence, but we never dreamed our gift would become so powerful.
Applejack: Y'all mean the Elements came from you?
Pinkie Pie: You know, the sparkly crystal things that grow from the Tree of Harmony and represent each of us? Laughter, honesty, generosity, loyalty, kindness, and magic!
Somnambula: They are reflections of our own elements of hope, strength, beauty, bravery, healing, and sorcery.
Mage Meadowbrook: We had no idea our small seed would bloom into the living spirit of the land. I am glad our mantles have passed to such capable ponies.
Star Swirl the Bearded: More importantly, we no longer need Ponhenge to send our foe back to limbo. We can use the stored magic in this Tree of Harmony.
Twilight Sparkle: But doesn't a banishing spell take a lot of power? We'd have to sacrifice the Elements for that.
Star Swirl the Bearded: Mm-hmm.
Fluttershy: They'd be gone... forever?
Twilight Sparkle: Star Swirl, I don't think the Tree can survive without the Elements. If it dies, Equestria will suffer.
Star Swirl the Bearded: If the Pony of Shadows has his way, your land will not exist. So unless you have a better idea...
[magic zap]
Star Swirl the Bearded: Our foe will seek dark places from which to draw power. I will prepare my spell so that we may strike as soon as you find him.
Rainbow Dash: What are we waiting for?
Flash Magnus: I like your spirit!
[excited chatter]
Spike: What about this one?
Twilight Sparkle: Seapony etiquette isn't going to help right now, Spike.
Starlight Glimmer: Uh, Twilight? Are you okay?
Twilight Sparkle: I just unleashed ultimate evil and doomed Equestria because I was obsessed with meeting my idol! Why wouldn't I be okay?!
[thud]
Starlight Glimmer: [scoffs] You didn't know that was gonna happen.
Twilight Sparkle: But I should have listened to you and left things alone. Now the Elements of Harmony will be lost to fix my mistake!
Starlight Glimmer: Maybe there's another way.
Spike: If there is, Twilight will find it.
Twilight Sparkle: Portal gate... Portal keys... Portal spells... Yes! If the Pillars can hold open the gateway to limbo, a powerful pony can do the banishing spell herself! Do you know what this means?
Spike: [panting] I can stop carrying books?
Twilight Sparkle: The Pillars don't have to leave Equestria! Even though we'll lose the Elements, we'll have the ponies that created them. And the Pony of Shadows will be banished for good!
Starlight Glimmer: That's great. Heh. But I was thinking of another way that maybe doesn't involve banishing at all?
Twilight Sparkle: Star Swirl knew what he was doing when he cast that spell. If I can make it even better, maybe he'll see that I take magic as seriously as he does.
Rockhoof: It seems the dark places Star Swirl indicated on the map have changed.
Applejack: I bet the Pony of Shadows would've loved the Ghastly Caverns before a thousand years of erosion turned it into the Ghastly Gorge.
Fluttershy: The Appeloosian Wastes sure sounded dark and desolate.
Rarity: Who knew they would become such a popular square dancing destination?
Pinkie Pie: And I get how this part of Equestria used to be cast in eternal night where the Pony of Shadows could draw power and wreak havoc while ponies were powerless to stop him. But...
[clang]
Pinkie Pie: [echoing] ...it's kinda made a comeback! Did I mention it's really bright?!
Star Swirl the Bearded: It seems there are fewer dark corners in the realm these days.
Rainbow Dash: Isn't that a good thing?
Flash Magnus: True. The Pony of Shadows will have a hard time regaining power. When he rears his head, we'll be ready!
[thunk]
Fluttershy: Isn't there some way to banish him without losing all of you?
Mage Meadowbrook: Oh, I wish there were. But to save our home, we are willin' to leave it.
Twilight Sparkle: I don't think you'll have to! My spell isn't finished yet, but I think we can send the Pony of Shadows to limbo without all of you having to go as well!
Star Swirl the Bearded: While I appreciate your enthusiasm, Twilight, this is hardly the time to take risks on half-baked spells.
Twilight Sparkle: [sighs]
Applejack: Beggin' your pardon, Mr. the Bearded! But Twilight doesn't do anythin' halfway!
Pinkie Pie: Especially not magic!
Rainbow Dash: Seriously! She got her wings by finishing one of your spells!
Rarity: I think you'll find her work is worth reading before you dismiss it out of hoof!
Fluttershy: Mm-hmm!
Mage Meadowbrook: While it is an unconventional approach, I believe it could work.
Star Swirl the Bearded: Hmm. I suppose there is a chance.
Sunburst: But we still have no idea where to find the villain.
[cutie marks shimmering]
Spike: Maybe we should try there?
Applejack: The Hollow Shades. I think a branch of the Apple family lives there.
Sunburst: They'd have to be pretty distant. The Hollow Shades was abandoned eons ago.
Rarity: Hmm, that's odd. The only time the map's called all of us to one place was Starlight's village.
Rainbow Dash: So it's like a super-villain tracker! No offense.
Twilight Sparkle: Do you think the map could be trying to tell us where the Pony of Shadows is?
Star Swirl the Bearded: Hmm... The Tree of Harmony acting to protect the light of the realm... Yes. A good thought, Twilight.
Twilight Sparkle: [squeals]
Star Swirl the Bearded: I will make my notes on this spell. Ready yourselves for battle.
Starlight Glimmer: Uh, I know I'm not as experienced as all of you, but is banishment really the only option? I mean, it's been a long time. Maybe the Pony of Shadows is ready to talk?
Star Swirl the Bearded: I doubt we can save our homeland with a conversation.
Starlight Glimmer: But we could try.
Twilight Sparkle: Starlight, I'm sure Star Swirl and the others did try.
Star Swirl the Bearded: The Pony of Shadows was not interested in reconciliation. Once a villain, always a villain. Twilight, Sunburst, would you accompany me? I wish to refine this spell for our use.
Rockhoof: Come. We must prepare for the struggle ahead.
Starlight Glimmer: [sighs] I know Star Swirl is a great wizard, but this whole plan seems... wrong. The map's only ever sent us to solve friendship problems.
Spike: Maybe so, but the Pony of Shadows doesn't really seem like the "friendship" type.
Starlight Glimmer: Honestly? We don't know anything about him.
Spike: Well, nopony does.
Starlight Glimmer: That's not entirely true.
[squeaking]
[grinding]
Starlight Glimmer: You all knew the Pony of Shadows before he became what he is now. You must've been friends. So what happened?
Rockhoof: The tale of our rift is a sad one.
Sirens: [operatic singing]
[ponies arguing]
[clang!]
Rockhoof: [narrating] Stygian was a pony like the rest of us, though more scholar than hero. He recognized our emerging world would need champions to defend it.
Aria Blaze: [hisses, roars]
Sirens: [roaring]
[magic zap]
[ponies cheering]
Flash Magnus: [narrating] He may have gathered us together, but he himself was just an ordinary unicorn who soon grew jealous of our abilities.
Mistmane: [narrating] He stole objects from each of us. Artifacts to use in a spell.
Mage Meadowbrook: [narrating] And we cast him out for it.
Somnambula: [narrating] We always thought he'd return and seek forgiveness. But when we saw him again, his heart was bent on revenge. He dashed even my hope of saving him.
[magic zap]
Starlight Glimmer: But why did he steal the artifacts from you?
Mage Meadowbrook: No doubt it was an enchantment to take our powers for himself.
Starlight Glimmer: Hmm...
[door opens]
Starlight Glimmer: That looks like a lot of work.
Star Swirl the Bearded: It is what must be done, and it would be best if we were not disturbed.
Twilight Sparkle: I'm sorry, Starlight, but we can't stop to talk. The stakes are too high, and we have to—
Starlight Glimmer: Banish Stygian to limbo. I get it.
Sunburst: Uh, who?
Star Swirl the Bearded: Stygian was the name the Pony of Shadows gave up when he turned to darkness.
Starlight Glimmer: And I'm just trying to figure out why.
Star Swirl the Bearded: Envy. He wanted more power than he had, and that desire led him down a path from which there is no return!
Starlight Glimmer: I know from experience that's not always true. When the map called you six to my village, it was for a friendship problem. Are you sure this is different?
Twilight Sparkle: I...
Star Swirl the Bearded: Stygian wants to destroy all that is good in this world. There's no way to befriend a pony like that.
Starlight Glimmer: I guess I'm lucky your idol wasn't around when you decided to be my friend. I might've been banished to limbo, too.
[door closes]
Somnambula: I am glad we have the chance to see what has grown from our efforts so long ago.
Mistmane: It seems a shame to harm it.
Star Swirl the Bearded: A necessary sacrifice. With the Elements' power, we will bind the Pony of Shadows in limbo. And thanks to Twilight, we will remain to watch over the realm ourselves.
[magic humming]
Rockhoof: Um... how do we use them?
Rarity: Well, you... Oh. I'm not sure. They simply work for us.
Star Swirl the Bearded: The Elements are attuned to you. We must use their magic in pairs.
Rainbow Dash: No problem. We're used to banishing evil before breakfast.
[hoof-bump]
Applejack: And it'll be an honor to save Equestria with y'all.
Starlight Glimmer: I really hope Twilight knows what she's doing...
Sunburst: I don't remember reading anything that said the Hollow Shades was like this.
Mistmane: Ohhh. The Pony of Shadows must have twisted it to his purposes.
[evil chuckle echoing]
Star Swirl the Bearded: Prepare yourselves. He is here. Stygian! Show yourself and face us!
Pony of Shadows: [laughing evilly]
[rumbling]
[cracking]
[ponies scream]
Sunburst: [groans] I definitely would've remembered reading about this.
Pony of Shadows: [laughing maniacally] Welcome to the Well of Shade! When you turned your backs on me, I discovered this place. The darkness spoke to me of a power beyond any I could imagine, and I listened. The shadow and I became one. Soon, all of the realm will be the same. Then all ponies will feel the despair I did when you cast me out!
Star Swirl the Bearded: We did what we had to do. You tried to steal our powers for yourself.
Pony of Shadows: No! It was you who were selfish! And now you will pay!
[magic zap]
[cracking]
Starlight Glimmer: Are you still sure this isn't a friendship problem?
Star Swirl the Bearded: Ready? Open the portal...
[shatter!]
Star Swirl the Bearded: ...Now!
[magic shimmering]
[wind whistling]
[magic zap]
Pony of Shadows: No! You will not trap me again!
Star Swirl the Bearded: Twilight! Push him in!
Twilight Sparkle: Huh? There's... a pony in there.
Pony of Shadows: [roars]
[light humming]
Twilight Sparkle: Are you... Stygian?
Stygian: I was, once. Until my friends betrayed me.
Twilight Sparkle: But Star Swirl says you betrayed them. You wanted their magic...
Stygian: No! I wanted their respect. I brought them together. I planned strategy, and I read all I could about the beasts we faced. But I didn't have magic or strength, so nopony ever noticed me. I went to Ponhenge to make my own copies of the artifacts. With them, I thought I could be a Pillar, too, and stand by their side in battle. I never wanted to steal their power. But instead of sharing and letting me help, my friends threw me out. [voice deepening and growling] So I became stronger than any of them! The darkness welcomed me when no pony would, and I will do what I must to protect it!
Twilight Sparkle: This is all a misunderstanding! If the Pillars knew how you felt, I'm sure they wouldn't have turned their backs on you. The shadow isn't who you really are. Let me help you be Stygian again.
Stygian: Even if my friends did still care, what makes you think you have the power to help me?
Starlight Glimmer: Because it's what she does. I wasn't so different from you, and Twilight helped me change. If there's one pony in Equestria that can save a friendship, it's her.
Stygian: I... I want to believe you... [growls] But the darkness will not be stopped!
Twilight Sparkle: Aah! [grunts]
Pony of Shadows: Argh! [pained groans]
Twilight Sparkle: Fight the darkness, Stygian! You don't need it anymore! Revenge isn't what you want! Friendship is!
Pony of Shadows: [growls]
Starlight Glimmer: Twilight!
[magic zap]
Twilight Sparkle: [straining]
Pony of Shadows: [roars]
Twilight Sparkle: Ugh! The shadow won't let go of him. He wants to stop, but he can't do it alone.
Star Swirl the Bearded: Then we must help him!
[magic shimmering]
Pony of Shadows: [roars, screams]
[magic explodes]
[whoosh]
Twilight Sparkle: [grunts, sighs]
Rainbow Dash: Yeah! Oh, it felt sooooo good to do that again!
Pinkie Pie: Friendship power rush! Whoo!
Rarity: The Elements! They didn't disappear!
Fluttershy: Maybe because we used them for healing magic instead of banishing?
Applejack: Look!
Star Swirl the Bearded: Long ago, you needed our help, Stygian. But instead of listening, we turned our backs on you. Pride clouded my judgment. I owe you an apology. Thank you for helping us see the errors of our ways, Twilight. It seems I never accounted for the Magic of Friendship.
Twilight Sparkle: Thank you, Swirlstar! Uh, Star Swirl!
[cutie marks shimmering]
Starlight Glimmer: [clears throat] Soooo... apparently a conversation can save Equestria?
Star Swirl the Bearded: [chuckles] Something tells me I will be making a lot of apologies today.
Star Swirl the Bearded: I simply cannot believe how tall you've gotten!
Princess Celestia: Well, it has been over a thousand years. Will you stay here and teach magic once again? My sister and I have such fond memories of your lessons.
Princess Luna: As long as you don't ask for those essays we owed you before you disappeared.
Princess Celestia: [giggles]
Star Swirl the Bearded: [chuckles] I'm not certain Canterlot is where I belong. The realm has grown, and I believe I'll have a look around before I settle in any one place.
Mage Meadowbrook: And I long to see what has become of my home.
Mistmane: I believe we all do.
Princess Celestia: Then I hope you will return to Canterlot on occasion and share the wisdom of your great experience with the next generation of ponies.
Star Swirl the Bearded: We would be honored. But if it is wisdom you seek, look no further than your own pupil. She showed me that the power of friendship is a magical force indeed. And that in turning away from others, you hurt yourself as well.
Twilight Sparkle: It's funny. I thought meeting my idol would give me all the answers I ever wanted. But instead, I forgot what I already knew. Good thing I had a student of my own to remind me.
[credits]