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Nightmare Night Costume Contest


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Nightmare Night: a time for fright! And wearing costumes, because no other holiday encourages ponies to become somepony else for a few hours. While most satisfy themselves with strapping on a store-bought outfit and leave it at that, there are some ponies who put enormous creativity and love into making their own costumes by hoof, or maybe they put on an act so immersing that one can't help but think that pony IS that character. Perhaps it's a little of both?


Either way, it only makes sense that costumers who go above and beyond earn recognition for their efforts. And what better way to do that on Nightmare Night than the traditional Costume Contest? As always, the stage and seats are already arranged in the Ponyville Town Square for the event, while a large line of costumed ponies wait in line for the chance to show off in front of an adoring audience.

This will be a very special Costume Costume, for one of the princesses themselves is this year's guest presenter. No other than Princess Cadence in fact, wearing a royal blue cloak and holding a lyre! She looked like she was a bard plucked right out of O&O! Already, she's on the stage pumping up the crowd!




"Hello fillies and gentlecolts, and welcome to the Annual Nightmare Costume Contest!" She paused to let the audience cheer their hearts out. "I hope you're ready to see some fabulous costumes tonight, so let's give it up for everypony's who's participating!!!" Even louder cheers from the crowd than before. Those costumed ponies standing behind the stage, out-of-sight of the audience, were undoubtedly feeling anticipation (or nervousness) grow now that the event was officially underway.....







1. Players who wish to participate will first make a brief intro post as their costumed character waiting in line offstage.

  • Please indicate in your intro posts whether your character will be partnered up with others when going onstage.

2. Cadence will introduce participants one-by-one based on the sign-up order.

3. Once called up on stage, a player has one post to describe their pony’s costume in great detail, flash some poses, and/or even say a few lines as the character being cosplayed. This is the post of yours that’s going to be judged by us judges, so make it count!

  • The onstage post will be judged based on various factors, including creativity and post quality. Artwork used to depict the costumed character will be judged separately.
  • Please leave an OOC comment in your intro post whether your onstage presentation will require an additional post (ie. for a short skit). Participants cannot be granted more than one extra post.

4. After making comments, Cadence will thank the participant and then ask for the next pony to come on up.

5. Participants are free to post whenever they please, but keep in mind that only the onstage presentation will be assigned points.

6. At the end of Nightmare Night, winners will be announced and awarded a vast quantity of candy! Don't worry; each participant will get several candy pieces as well. ^_^

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It was a long, long time since he participated in Nightmare Night. Or at least it felt that way to the Swift Squall - even if he knew it was not the case. No, it was his life instead that was filled to the brim with so many events that made his last visit in Ponyville on this special day seem so distant.

And yet he remembered it as clear as yesterday. Oh yes he remembered it well. The day that was dedicated to playful fright was instead turned to one of genuine terror with the reveal of vile changelings presence.

Masked unicorn shook his head in disbelief. Now that he had a perspective, the events that followed could only be judged as bizarre. During time that passed between then and now Squall learned a lot about affection and hatred....especially for whom the later should really be reserved. But that didn't really answered the question that was bothering him right now.




Why was he here? In this time, this place.

Was it desire to unwind, to relax after a while?

Or maybe paranoia? Making sure that he will be able to lend a hoof in case that history will repeat itself.

No, he realized....it was neither of those. This time it was...to affirm something.




Last time when he was in Ponyville, Swift Squall found himself - both unplanned and unexpectedly - participating in a costume contest. And to his even greater surprise he found himself a victor in this competition!

His joy however was quickly shattered, when it was revealed that organizer and judge at the same time was not Miss Rarity as every-pony was thinking but a changeling Luxuria - servant of Chrysalis. And while in the end the day was saved, it all left a bitter aftertaste.



And so Swift Squall found himself in Ponyville once again, his heavily sounding hoofsteps leading him towards the Town Square. Clad in onyx armor, with dark cloak wrapped around his plated form, and with enchantment on his garb that made his breath sound wheezy and unnatural. All of this solely to prove that his last participation wasn't just a fluke.




Swift decided to dedicate his life to better others and his city.




But even the swordstallion needed to do something for himself once in a while. Even if others would judge it as silly. After all, he was just a pony.

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Sunrise walked down the road cheerfully, approaching the town square and the contest being held there. She had heard there was a costume contest being held there, and that was something she really couldn't pass up with all the work that had gone into her costume. Even if she didn't win, she would have advertised her design skills in a way, not to mention the enjoyment from modeling her own work like this.


In any case, the unicorn now found herself in line behind a pony in black armor with a cloak that all in all looked wonderful. She smiled to herself, looking around at all the ponies in their costumes, and she could see the effort that went into many of these outfits. Turning back to the pony in front of her, a stallion judging by the stature, she tapped his armored shoulder to get his attention.


"Greetings! I just wished to say that your costume looks wonderful! It certainly will be hard to beat it. I must ask though, is that breathing part of the costume or do you require some help?" Sunrise said, giving the stallion a smile that showed off her fangs as she spoke.

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Snails had been in Ponyville's barber shop many times, but not in the dark.  He stood near the door, looking down the row between the wrought iron chairs.  In the half light, the backs of the barber chairs almost looked like some kind of armored ponies, standing in formation.  "Snips, c'mon!" he called toward the back of the shop.  "We're goin' ta miss all the good candy!"  


The lanky unicorn colt wore a loose white tunic, stretching back over his flanks, bound with a darker belt.  Pouches and a metallic cylinder hung from the belt.  His rear hooves were bound in light tan wraps, down to hoof boots of the same color.  A pair of decals covered his snail cutie marks, showing what appeared to be a sword of light, surrounded by a pair of wings.


From the back of the shop, a muffled voice called out "I'm almost ready, for pony's sake!  One more minute!"  Then, the sound of a needle touching a record came from the back room.  An ominous march began to play, and Snips stepped out into the dim light.


The shorter colt was covered from horn to hoof in black armor.  The plates rattled a bit, giving off a tinny noise.  A box on the colt's chest flickered with lights.  He, too, had a belt, and a similar metallic cylinder hung from it.  In addition to the armor, a black cape hung down the colt's back.  But the most noticeable feature was the helmet.  Shiny and black, it covered Snips' entire head and face.  Even his ears were encased, though his horn was allowed to protrude.  The horn, however, was colored the same black as the helmet.  Two black lenses covered his eyes, and his muzzle was hidden by a triangular grill.


Snips began slowly marching toward the door, the music setting the mood.  The cape fluttered behind him as he walked.  The colt strode between the silent sentinels of the barber chairs toward his friend.  When Snips reached Snails, a heavy, rhythmic breathing could be heard from the helmet.  


Then, with a gasp, Snips raised a hoof to the mask, raising it up.  "It's hard to breathe in this thing!" he called out, gulping in air.


Snails was all smiles, however.  "Coooool..." he drawled.  


Seeing his friend's reaction, Snips, gave Snails a high hoof... or as high as he could considering their difference in height.  "This is going to be the best Nightmare Night ever!" Snips exclaimed.  He eyes his friend's costume before asking "You ready to go, 'Sky Walker'?"


"You bet, 'Dark Canter!'"


The two colts eagerly galloped out into the night.  Well, Snails galloped, Snips trudged along under the weight of his costume.  "So, where do ya' wanna got first?"  Snails asked.  "I'm thinkin'..."


"The Castle!" Snips answered, at the same time that Snails said "The costume contest!"


Snails stopped, turning back to his friend.  "Why the Castle?" he asked, a bit suspiciously.


"Well, Princess Twilight is going to be there!"


"Isn't Princess Twilight always in the castle?"


A little uncertainly, Snips answered "Well, yeah, but... well... Princess Luna's gonna be there too?"  Snails just stared at his friend, eyes half lidded.  

Drawing himself up, Snips asked, "Well, why do YOU want to go to the costume contest so bad?"


"Well, um, look at us!  We've got awesome costumes this year.  We could win!" Snails answered enthusiastically.  Then, in a quiet voice he mumbled, "AndPrincessCadancewillbethere..."  Snips just smirked knowingly up at his friend.


Frustrated, Snails burst out, "Aw come on!  You get to see Twlight all the time!  I only get to see Princess Cadance if she comes to Ponyville!"


With a huff, Snips conceded.  "Ok, fine, we'll go to the contest."  Then, more enthusiastically, he added, "And maybe you're right, we might win somethin'!"  


As the two colts arrived at the platform, Snails looked around rapidly, trying to catch a glimpse of a certain pink alicorn.  However, he spotted somepony else first.  "Uh oh...  Um Snips?"




Snails pointed to one of the other ponies in line for the contest.  One in a very familiar costume...


With a defeated slump, Snips groaned "Oh, ponyfeathers..."

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With the crowd sufficiently energized, it was time to really get things underway. A stagehoof brought a large note card for Princess Cadence, containing information on the first costumed contestant. One quick glance, and the alicorn bard was ready to go"Our first pony up is a familiar face in the costuming world! Before us tonight is no other than a previous winner of the Nightmare Night Costume Contest! Soooo, let's give it up for..... SWIFT SQUALLLLLLLL!!!" Aaaaaaaand... cue the audience's cheers!

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"WAITWAITWAIT!" Shouted out a voice coming down the street and towards the event. The voice sounded like it belonged to a youthful stallion, but the figure who accompanied it was covered in a cloak and the shadow profile underneath the hood gave a more canine like appearance. As the stranger got closer it was obviously some kind of canine themed type of mask. It seemed honestly a bit too large for the pony wearing it to be honest. Once he got to the line that was building he skidded to a halt and took a deep breath. "Sorry! I finally made it! I'm not too late am I?" He asked in a rather desperate sounding tone as he pointed the eyes of that mask towards the princess running the show. 


Officer boots had finally had some time off he was willing to take. Perhaps that last case he was on demanded a bit of a break... or maybe more of an insestance of him taking some time off by the chief. If he wasn't going to be on the streets for a while he figured he may go on a bit of a trip. In the middle of scheduling the whole thing, Boots realized he'd arrive in Ponyville on Nightmare Night... and usually they had a costume contest. Interesting... The train ride here was a smooth trip with not much to speak off but when boots arrived in town. Sweet Celestia, did this place look spooky! He'd already had his costume on and then some but the time he took trying to get the mask to stay on right cost him a bit of time getting here in time. At least he would be able to see what his possible competition was up close.


Oh! That Guy in the armor looked all kinds of awesome! It must be a bit heavy to walk in though from the sound it made. The pretty mare in line's costume he wasn't sure he recognized... and the two younger ponies in line he surely didn't know who they were. Despite Boots' inability to recognize the competitions costumes fully he smiled  underneath the mask in a fruitless effort to show his goodwill, at least until he spoke up. 

"Good luck, Everypony!"


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Squall remembered well the lessons from the previous Nightmare Night. One that served him well back there was to stick to the role even before going onto the stage. Not only it helped in the case somepony was peeping behind the scenes, it allowed one to get in the right mindset before going onto stage itself. Following this, Swift's response to the mare that tapped his shoulder was 100% in-character.

"You adulation will bring you neither avail nor leniency." he said, in the impossibly low voice - one that sounded like it was filtered through the machine of some kind.


Despite speaking, the ominous breathing continued uninterrupted, just as described in the books. Indeed, Dark Canter lungs was not his own, but rather an artificial replacements that made the breathing for him, and noblepony didn't forgot about this detail. He belived that this mare was sharp enough to answer her own question after hearing him speak. Squall just hoped that he will have enough time after his presentation to properly thank her for the compliment.


"...And you should be wary of what questions you make, mare. By using the right ones you can achieve the glory and mastery over the Dread Side...if you strong enough that is."



The sudden groan made the swordstallion turn away from the mare he was speaking to....and what he saw made him feel bad, with frown forming under the mask-helmet he was wearing.

So it turned out, that the two colts had the idea to draw from the very same franchise as Squall himself. Disproportionation  of resources for making costumes was one thing, but sharing ideas on top of that was just....just....

Swift Squall was not stupid, he knew how good his costume was. After all it was made months in advance, with very large amounts of effort and money going into it's completion. But it was insignificant compered to that, he felt as if he kicked a puppy - repeatedly. For he could also see how much effort those colts put into their own costumes. And seeing that they didn't had billions of bits on their accounts the result was simply astonishing. In this moment, right now,Squall was ready to withdraw from the competition on spot - from the sheer factor of how unfair was to go into competition with those two.




But alas, it was not to be. Cadence announcement of him, and the audience cheers meant that it was not his decision anymore. Who knew how many of his friends or dear ones could be sitting before the stage right now? How could he disappoint them and other spectators when they undoubtedly expected and anticipated the show as grand as the one  he made during previous Nightmare Night? He couldn't - it was simple as that. Of course he still felt like a douche. Which was appropriate. After all, he was masquerading as one.




So be it. If he is going to win, he will so in such a way that will make it clear that he deserves it beyond just the choice of costume or it's quality.


"I do not rely on the paltry whims of the fortune....for they are less then insignificant compared to the power of the Dread Side!"




And with those words Dread Lord Canter walked onto stage. Which was part of the presentation itself. 'Lord Canter' trot was as off and unnatural as his ever present, rasp breathing and equally intimidating, which the black cape billowing after him only emphasized.


Part of it was act of Squall himself, but most of it was actually enforced. While he could move himself quickly if he really needed, he ordered his leg-armor constructed in such a way that doing so meant that he will end a day with more a scrubs and grazes on his limbs. And yes. Despite what most would think, Swift Squall costume that covered him from head to hooftips was indeed fully functional armor - very much the same way as his garb from previous bout. Of course it's appearance was also top notch. The bucket looking helmet, 'panel' with blinking crystals on his chest that was the 'life support', and of course the dread inducing, expressionless black mask. Count Squallcoats didn't did things halfway if he could avoid it. Which also meant that the metallic cylinder that he now reached for with his magic was....




A fully functional spellsaber that's blade just ignited on unicorn command.  That shouldn't be surprising really. Equestria after all was a land of magic - impracticality of such weapon aside. The hard part was making sure the blade was the right color, which normally would be the same as his magical aura. But through some tweaks and smart enchantments a correct visual effect was achieved.

Squall initially held the blade low, intentionally leaving a long charred mark on the stage. The little smoke, as well as smell of ozone and burnt wood will be enough to convince the audience how real it was.




Now about the performance itself....

This time he was going first. That meant that he didn't had other participants to lean on for his act. There was however and fortunately other alicorn princess present this year.

'Lord Canter' raised his weapon higher, shifting into a combat stance while facing the 'bard' before speaking with his electronically filtered voice.

"I've been waiting for you O Pink One." he started , modifying the famous quote to better fit the situation. "The circle is now complete at last with this meeting. When our ways parted I was still a learner but now...now it is I being the master."



It didn't really mattered if Cadence played along or not. Actually Squall was not expecting her to, and it was insignificant. What was important, was to form a connection with an spectators. Make them feel that they don't see a performance but are the witnessing the part of much larger story.



"I can sense it. Your grasp on the Might has grown week. What would He say if he could see you now? You should've not come back." he said 'encircling' his foe in such a way that he brought himself closer to the audience.

"But perhaps there is something that would alleviate for the disappointment that this reunion brought. I sense something....elusive, in those that came with you." 'Dread Lord' said while turning his head towards the audience. What's a better way to make spectators entranced then to make them part of the show? Squall lowered his weapon and walked to the stage's edge before cruising along it.


"I see. The Might is with them. But they are not there yet." 'Canter' spoke calmly before taking a swing with his spellsaber. But neither that, nor the other violent strikes that followed reached the audience. Instead all of them fell onto the stage itself again, leaving more charred marks on it, end even cutting small piece. Good. Even after his performance will conclude, the black traces will remind everypony who brought the most impressive props.

Naturally part of the audience became scared by pony who was telekinetically swinging around a very real weapon. Some however, retained their composure and it was to them that Swift's next words were directed.

"Impressive. You were taught well, you already reined in your fear. Now, release your anger! Only by that you will attain the true potential that comes with the Might. Only then you will wield power of the Dread Side.! Behold..." unicorn said while slowly raising one his hooves...




Only to throw it before himself, and release the surge of crimson lightning over the heads of the audience from his black glove. This 'Might Lightning' was very much illusionary, but the smell of ionized air was very much real. This time thanks to small containers hidden inside his costume.

"This power...this unlimited power can be yours to command! Join me and with the use of it we could rule the galaxy! Ending this senseless conflict and bring order to it!" 'Canter' said much louder, and while his words were filtered through his mask, it was clear they contained much more emotion.




"Do not make me destroy you..."



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“Oh feathers.” Fire Walker quickly made her way towards Ponyville Town Square. She had to visit the little filly's room before the contest. And not only was she delayed by her little pit stop, her costume was rather delicate, so she needed to make sure not to rip the thin fabric. Thankfully the public bathroom had a full sized mirror, so the red mare's suit would be perfect for the showing.
And what sort of costume was the mare wearing? She was the dreaded ponygeist! A spooky specter from the darkest pits of the netherworld! A villainous vision of what lies behind the grave! A true phantom menace! Actually. She spied her reflection once more in the reflection of a store window. She looked pretty darn good. And while she lacked the epic sewing skills of her late Grandma Mimsy, her ghost costume turned out well. It was not as cute as the Princess Celestia costume her sister was currently ambling around in, but it was a close second. She just hoped it wouldn't offend Conjurer Bubble, the resident Phantom at her colt-friend's house.
The ghastly gal let out a gasp once she realized the little contest had only just started. And already her Swift was showing of what she believed was an spooky knight who had breathing issues costume. Ooh spooky! Behind him was a pretty mare who showed off some rather impressive sewing skills. This did not bode well for the red Pegasus pony. Two kids were behind her, one had a costume that looked rather similar to her beloved's Asthma Knight armor. Oh dear. Was this character from the movies? Last in line was a young stallion dressed  as a Diamond Dog? Was that correct? As she got in line, the friendly mare whispered, "Lovely costume.", which was quickly followed by a "Good luck". Now the contest has begun!
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Snow Dancer was having the time of her life! First she got to vanquish a herald of Nightmare Moon and now it was time for fun for the costume party! And what's this? It looked like there was a Princess running the event! She never saw this Princess before and was interested in getting to know her! But first she had to prove herself in this competition. 


For her first year at Nightmare Night, Snow Dancer decided to dress as Princess Elsa from a story she read called "The Snow Queen." Elsa was a Princess with the ability to create snow and ice, something that she did not have quite the control over. It was that the Princess's love of snow and ice that Snow felt a kinship with the Princess as was the character's spunky independent personality. 


The costume was very involved with it's icy blue dress and cape accented by shimmering snow patterns, especially as Snow never wore a dress before! The biggest addition was the blonde wig consisting of Elsa's signature long ponytail that draped below her body. Sure it was impossible to run it the dress and the wig was a little itchy, but the filly felt she wasn't just dressed as a Princess, She Was a Princess! 


"Alright, Snow, you can do this! You are Elsa, Princess of Arendale, the Snow Queen! You just have to remember the song and not forget about the surprise." 


The "surprise" was something that was an afterthought, but the more she thought about it, the more she realized how it would work! As she touched the hidden pocket on her dress, she was prepared to do the impossible: make it snow without the cold! With the final preparations in mind, the Pegasus waited while she noticed a mare dressed as a very spooky ghost! 


"Oooh! Creepy!" 



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"Finally, the moment has ariiiiived, for me, to win a costume priiiiize," Ice Storm sung to herself with a giggle as she started making her way from her Ponyville store into the market area where the Nightmare Night festival was being held. Her Mentore was going back to being her Nightmarish self, and scorn her for saying it, but she absolutely loved how Luna looked as Nightmare Moon. The coloration and the way everything melded together just made her the most amazing of sights. One that she would have no problem supporting on a nightly reign of the skies. Since she was part evil tonight for the fun Ice thought that she might as well play a part in the evil fun as well. And what better way to do that, than to be a changling queen! Of course anypony who was anypony could instantly tell that she wasn't a changling. Well, okay, maybe not anypony. Anypony that was good at reading and identifying magical auras would instantly see that she didn't have the right aura for a changling.


Another thing that might help with that was the fact that the carapace that she had was white instead of black. More of a wintry themed costume than anything else. OF course, one wouldn't expect anything less from the pony of ice. Unfortunately the carapace that she had came in multiple piece, but that was easy enough for her to cover up. The one thing that she did make sure though was to go through a professional costume designer for this. She wanted everything to look as close to the real thing as possible. The holes in the legs even had enchantments in them to make them look real and you could see through to the other side. All and all, this was a very expensive costume, but it was well worth it for this night of fun. The enchanted artificial wings alone cost her about twelve hundred bits and even then she couldn't do anything other than just moved them around, and even then, it used her magic to do so.


With a final test, she looked at herself in the mirror to make sure that her three thousand bit costume did not disappoint her. Truthfully, she didn't care about the contest, but she wanted the costume to look as amazing as she had paid for. True to the advertising of the costume designer everything held in place, and the multiple piece design actually helped Ice Storm in making the costume look even more realistic, as she enclosed all of the carapace in a solid white layer of ice making the body, and legs look almost like one solid piece. The thin layer of frost over the carapis that held the wings gave them a gentle frost blue sheen and her mane and tail had been done up and enchanted to look like a frosted version of Queen Chrysalis. The final touch was the contacts that she had ordered, a pure ice blue with a slitted pupil instead of her normal eyes. With a small bit of her magic, they were in and she checked them in the mirror as well to make sure that they were in correctly and weren't off at all. Once she was satisfied, she slipped the changeling horn over her own and began walking towards the market square.


"Blast... It looks like the costume contest is already starting. Hopefully I'm not too late, it doesn't look like there is anypony else there. Still, would be nice to get there sooner rather than...." She started talking to herself before remembering how she had refined her teleportation. perhaps she could draw the channel out a bit more to lessen even more of the cost on it, and in this instance, use it to give herself a spooky entrance. Oh, but she'll need a name! "A good name... a good name.... Queen something, Aha!!" she said to herself charging up her magic before channeling her teleportation spell by channeling the arrival point first as a shadowy figure of snow appeared at the back of the line right behind a filly that she recognized from a while back, but she was certain wouldn't recognize her at the moment. With a flash of light, she disappeared from her standing point and replaced the pile of snow that was forming behind the filly. "I do apologize for disturbing you, but Queen Freeza must know, is this the line for the costume contest?" Ice asked trying to make her voice sound deeper than normal.


(OOC: Image below is her Costume, it's a Chryssy recolor, but that's essentially what her costume is.)




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A chill descended upon the audience as the Dread Lord himself, Dark Canter, walked up onstage. Everything about the costume oozed of authenticity: the armor looked to be crafted out of authentic materials, the lights on his chest blinked on and off, and there were even the sounds of unnatural breathing to indicate the life support actually functioned. A top-notch cosplayer for sure thought Princess Cadence, but she pondered what Swift Squall had in store for the iconic magic sword-thingy that-




The crowd roared with applause when the spellsaber ignited with an actual beam of aether. Of course, such experiential magitech had already been invented a long time ago in a land far, far away (Neighpon to be precise), but it was said that it would take many decades more before a fully efficient design is produced. As such, spellsaber tech remained rare and expensive for the average pony, so to see a functional magic sword as part of a costumed act was nothing short of amazing for stallions and mares.


But geez, couldn't the Dread Lord show off his weapon without scorching the stage? The stagehooves weren't going to like that.....


Appropriately enough, Cadence the Bard's expression of discomfort looked very real as Dark Canter confronted her. The alicorn felt compelled to shoot back; "Y-you've mastered nothing more than wickedness, Dread Lord!" Cadence knew the line in and out; she only watched Shining Armor and his friends play out that scene, like, hundreds of times back in their adolescence. But even a princess like Cadence couldn't help but reveal a twinge of terror in her voice; something the Dread Lord mocked for maximum effect.


When all was said and done... one half of the audience shivered in terror from experiencing the might of a Dread Lord who might have been a bit too convincing at his act. The other half made up for the silence of the terror-stricken ponies with ear-deafening applause. Nopony could deny though that Swift Squall's immersive act would be tough to follow.


"W-well... I must say," Cadence tepidly walked next to Dark Canter, speaking up so that everypony could hear; "I wouldn't want to be on the same space cruiser as you, ha ha ha....." The bard herself had gotten spooked by the lightning display; seeing that brought up unpleasant memories of a Crystal Faire she'd rather forget. But the cloak-wearing bard put on a brave face; "Seriously though, I was convinced for a moment there that you were the real Lord Canter brought to life! Wouldn't you ponies agree?"


Loud cheering followed in affirmation. "Well then, thank for the wonderful performance Swift Squall, and may you be filled with Might... always!"

Once the Dread Lord cleared the stage, it was time for the audience to cheer for the next contestant. "Next up, we've got Sunrise Skies! Let's give her a warm welcome, shall we?"

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Nothing happened at first, Sunrise letting the crowd settle down some before she engaged in her act. There was a mood to be set, and applause, however much appreciated, was not part of it! Thankfully, her little helpers had gotten to work weaving their magic as soon as her name had been called. She would have to work overtime to repay them with her designs, but she was sure this was going to be well worth it. A small bit of fog seemed to roll across the stage and partially obscure what now looked like the floor of a castle, complete with a red rug. The rug ran up the stage to what appeared to be a throne that had definitely not been there before. 


Seated upon the the throne was the shadowy figure of a mare, a goblet of some liquid in one hoof. She swirled it around, inspecting it like one would a fine wine before she took a long, nearly silent drink. 


"Ah, that was refreshing indeed. I do prefer a bit more ageing though, foals just never taste quite right." She said, a soft hum escaping her lips as she swirled what remained of the liquid. Her horn lit up next, causing candles to flare up nearby and illuminate the scene better. The crowd could now clearly see her clothing, the fancy black suit and pants with the red shirt and the black cape, though her face remained hidden. The liquid in the golden goblet caught the light now too, shining a color that looked suspiciously like blood.


"Well, it would seem I have guests. Although, perhaps they are more than that..." Sunrise said, mostly to herself as if she had just realized they were there. She stood, transferring the goblet from her hoof to her magic as she walked from the throne towards the crowd. The walk towards the light revealed her very pale orange coat, piercing red eyes and red mane that hung down over one eye partly. She walked like some mix of a noble among commoners and a predator among prey, looking down her nose at them while also eyeing them almost hungrily. 


"Let us see here... yes, a strong specimen. Perhaps a guard, it would certainly be appropriate." She said, examining a stallion more closely, her eyes narrowing for a moment before she turned to the next pony. "And this one. Some sort of craftspony. Excellent." She adding, nodding to herself as she moved on. The next pony she looked to was the princess, and she fell silent, as if something had caught her eye. 


"An alicorn... surprising, but not unwelcome. And she is the entertainment, marvelous. That has been sorely lacking in these halls." Sunrise said, draining the rest of the blood-like liquid in another near silent drink before turning to the crowd as a whole. 


"You may have noticed the lack of ponies on the way in. I am in need of subjects, and willing volunteers shall receive certain... benefits. Those that resist? Well, you have heard of me, no?" She said, ending with a dark chuckle. After that, the candles flickered with an oncoming breeze, some going out and almost obscuring her in the shadows again. As it was, her eyes were still just as piercing as before, if not more. 


"Now then, any dissenters?" She asked, her mouth spreading into a smile that showed off her teeth and fangs while her eyes narrowed a bit to give her a very threatening look, especially as the things they could see most clearly would be her eyes and her smile. 

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Next to showcase themselves to the audience was a more subdued performance than the bombast of Dark Canter, but no less goosebump inducing. While the vampire outfit worn by Sunrise Skies may not have been as groundbreaking as the last costume, she was no slouch when it came to stage decoration. Red carpeting, a throne, and even fog; most ponies didn't think to invest heavily in props when it came to cosplay routines. But going that extra mile sure did set the eerie mood, alright.


Cadence the Bard stayed silent through this act, as there wasn't any obvious moment for her to interject. However, the pink alicorn was sufficiently uneased enough to reflexively recoil as the vampire inspected her. As for the audience, they too stayed silent; not a single soul dared to "dissent" when the fiendish mare bore her fangs for all to see.


It would be up to the royal presenter to break the spooky silence. "Tehehe," Cadence cracked a joke at Sunrise; "With a 'charming' smile like that, who would dare resist you?" She turned to the onlookers; "Why don't we show this vamp- I mean illustrious noblemare the respect that she deserves? I'm sure nopony wants to become her next MEAL, am I right?" In agreement with Cadence, the crowd paid their respects with hearty cheering.

Shorty after, the stage was cleared for the next act. "Interesting, it looks like the upcoming routine is a two-pony show. Snips and Snails; you two boys can come on up!" Snips and Snails... AKA two reasons why Princess Cadence had yet to completely block that disastrous Crystal Faire out of her mind. Thinking about that duo made the Crystal Princess wonder whether Snails, the lanky one, still had that innocent crush on her.....

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Snips and Snails both took in the stallion's very impressive Dark Canter armor.  Snails' eyes were wide with awe, while Snips just suddenly felt inadequate.  He looked backward at his own costume, noting in the cheaper materials, the little spots where he hadn't been able to get the details quite right, the non-functional lights and knobs...  "Man, my costume sucks...  why did I think we could win anything..." he said, dejectedly.  


Snails looked at the shorter colt in surprise.  "Hey, yer costume is awesome!" he said, enthusiastically.  He jerked his horn toward the stallion on stage.  "Just 'cause he's got more bits, doesn't mean his armor is better!"


Snips' brightened a bit at that. His lips spread in a small smile, thinking of the surprise they had in store.  "Heh, yeah, his armor is great, but I bet he doesn't have a spell..."  That's when the other Canter lit his spellsaber.  


  Both colts' eyes widened at that.  "Whoooa....." they both drawled.  The stallion started reciting lines from the comic, in a voice that was deep and frightening, personifying the character.  Even Princess Cadance seemed to be affected.  His entire performance was...  terrifying...  


The colts stared at the stallion ever after he'd left the stage.  Snails was the first to come back to himself, and his dropped jaw morphed into a wide smile.  "Snips!  Did you hear that?  The Princess knows the lines!"  


Snips shook his head to clear it.  He had noticed Cadance playing along and even he was... impressed.  Reluctantly, he conceded, "Ok, points to Cadance..."


Snails' smile grew a bit smug as they moved closer to the stage.  The next pony on the stage had a whole performance to show off her vampony attire.  Snips watched, hoping the some of the fog she had used stayed around.  Snails, on the other hoof, only had eyes for the alicorn sharing the stage.  In fact, Snips had to prod his orange  friend to move forward as they were called.


Snails came back to himself, and realized that he needed to try to impress the Princess!  "You ready?" he said, his horn starting to glow.


Snips moved a hoof up to close the mask on his helmet, and in a deep voice answered, "Ready!"


The two spellsabers on the colt's belts levitated into the air.  Each lit up, the blades showing the same colors of the colts' magic auras.  Unlike the previous Dark Canter, these blades made no sound, and wouldn't have been able to cut through bread, but they had one thing the other blade didn't:  a sparring partner.  


The colts began spinning the pretend blades around themselves as they began a mock dual on the stage.  When the blades met, the boys made 'Tssh!' noises with their mouths, and whirring sounds as they moved them around.  They traded blows for a few moments, before Snips pulled back.  Raising a hoof, several balls balls from the playground wizzed toward Snails.  Snails, using his buckball skills, deflected all of them with his saber.


Snips engaged again, driving his 'foe' toward the edge of the stage.  Snails fell back, eventually dropping to his rump.  A swipe from Snips' saber knocked Snails' weapon away, then hit the tall colt's foreleg.  


Snails shouted theatrically, holding the 'wounded' limb to his chest.  His armored opponent approached, saying in his deep voice, "Poni Wan never told you what happened to your sire, did he?"


"He told me enough!  He told me you killed him!"


"No, Sky Walker.  I am your sire!"


"Noooooo!  That can't be true!  That's impossible!"


With that, Snails dropped off the edge of the stage, out of the sight of the audience.  A moment later, the colt's head popped back up again, and he climbed back to the stage.  The two colts then turned to the audience and gave a bow.

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The universe was locked in an epic struggle of dualities: the Calm Side vs. the Dread Side, Good vs. Evil, Professionals vs. Greenhorns. That's what the great comic franchise that gave rise to the likes of Dark Canter wanted ponies to believe, anyway. So it was on Nightmare Night, two little colts with the barest sliver of a costuming budget against a cosplay champion with all the disposable cash in the world. On paper, this shouldn't be any contest whatsoever. And on a certain level, the crowd response was more muted compared to the first Dark Canter... although one could hear stirrings from many impressed by Sky Walker's deflection skills.


Strange as it may sound, Cadence the Bard enjoyed this skit the most so far. Maybe it was because of her affinity for children, or perhaps there was a certain pleasure of seeing a product of an entirely DIY nature. Wondrous as the first two contestants were, they both heavily relied on the assistance of others — whether it be for managing stage props or developing custom-made magic swords — to win over the crowd. All Snips and Snails had going for them was their drive to create and their playacting skills... and weren't those things worthy of celebration?


When the two boys ended their performance with a bow, the audience clapped in approval as Cadence walked up to the contestants. "How about it for our junior Dark Canter and Sky Walker?" The alicorn rested her forelegs on the backs of Snips and Snails, taking care not to damage their outfits. "I think Sky Walker here has a buckball career in his destiny," with a beaming smile, the pink mare winked down at the lanky snail-flanked boy beside her; "The Might was certainly flowing through you there!"


After Snips and Snails departed, Cadence brought out the next contestant; "Let's proudly welcome Bell Boots onto the stage!"

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He did good. Squall certainly feel that, although he felt a slight twinge of worry when he saw Sunrise stage decorations. Why he didn't thought about something similar? Squall smiled under his mask, this mare sure knew her stuff.


"Rock them, vampire." 'Canter' said as they walked past each other. Now it was up to other competitors and judges to decide who will come on top. And as much as he wanted to stay and watch others display of showmanship, there were other things that he had to take care of.

As he walked backstage, unicorn looked left and right. And lo, she was already here. Upon seeing the mare, he quickly approached her before taking that helmet o his.

"O jeez." Swift muttered in relief as he shook his head, letting his impressive mane spill onto his back and shoulders. "I thought about taking care of breathing, but I didn't took into consideration how hot it will get after stuffing all the hair inside." swordpony explained as he wiped the drops of sweat from his temple. "Should've cut them before the contest. What do you think, would shorter mane suit me?" Squall asked, temporarily sidetracked by his train of thought. However a second later his eyes rested at Fire with renewed focus. He gave a crimson mare a glance-over before smiling. "Sorry Love. Did it again. Lovely costume, it's really specteracular. Seeing you like this really rises my spirits. Seriously, I seen many of same vein on my way here, but yours don't leave them a ghost of a chance in comparison. It's just phantasmic like that." Swift said with a grin, as he bombarded his sweetheart with puns. "By the way, where is Wind? I scoured the audience while performing but she wasn't anywhere. Do you thing I should haunt for her and fetch her up?" he asked before following up. "....It was the last one. Promise."


Squall looked left and right in hopes that the filly would be nearby. Instead his eyes caught the sight of freaking Changeling Queen! His first reaction was to reach towards that spellbinder he brought and cleave the shape-shifter in half on spot. Swift however froze, realizing that something amiss. Starting with Chrysalis being icy blue. Why was she blue?!

It took a moment for him to recognize magical aura of his teammate from EPIC. Upon realizing who was hiding behind this frosty visage Squall breathed a sight of relief. Rerun of the last time, when this Cockroach and her cronies were in the town, was the last thing that noblepony - or anyone for that matter as he believed - wanted.

"Hello Storm. Ice to see you." he greeted the unicorn mare. "That's...very good costume. I almost..." he added carefully before glancing around. "Actually costumes of everyone around are top notch. But if I have to add something about yours...." Swordpony raised his hoof and opened his mouth to say something. After a moment he closed it before opening it again. It was clear that he was searching for the right words. A grimace appeared on his face, it was clear that Squall wasn't comfortable with what he was going to say one a bit.

"I-I sorry I really, really don't want to be obnoxious Storm. Celestia as my witness, I was behaving like an ass way too many times, but...." he explained before waving at her costume.

"...Ice, again I am sorry but...'Too soon'. "

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The previous acts were going to be tough to follow. Even in the stifling, slightly goofier looking over-costume Boots wore he couldn't help but feel a tad intimidated. He was here already though and backing down would be foolish after all the work her and his friends had done on the costume. All the stitching and sewing and details put into this, turning away now would be the height of foalishness! The stallion took a deep breath, filling his lungs with both air and confidence as his name was called... and having to stifle the urge to yell back at the presenter that it was -just- Boots. Was one word so difficult to remember? Rarity went by just a one word name. Then again: Rarity is Rarity. But that's enough distracting himself with random trains of thought.

A hoof stepped out on to the stage with a gentle clop. A stronger sounding voice came from the slightly awkward looking dog mask on the. A gruffer sounding, experienced voice like on might imagine belonging to the head of an R.E.A. Battalion preparing to ship out. "I see many promising cadets here today... and maybe even a couple would-be rangers." It was a noble,strict sounding tone of authority that matched perfectly with the gait he had: Movements were simple, and slightly restrained. "You've all great potential inside you... but it must be honed and that is why -I- am here." 


Soon the costume came into full view for the audience. A few of the younger faces may have remembered this one... "I am Commander Anubis Cruger of the Power Ponies SPD. In the not so far off future. The races of Equestria, beyond, and even Aliens live together in peace... but sometimes that peace is broken. When that happens, I answer the call!"  With a quick movement of his hoof the stallion held out a what at first glance seemed to be a trading card. Although this 'card' was thicker than normal, appeared to be made out of a plastic materials, and had the the abbreviated letters of S.P.D. emblazoned in bold letters vertically down the front. The 'dog' thrust the item forward as a pair of red lights on top of the device flashed.


"SPD, EMERGENCY!" Cried out holder of the device, Rearing up and removing his cloak in a swift, fluid motion as it fluttered off to his side. The commander's body glowing bright for a few seconds. He leapt up in the air, flung the canine mask off his head, and came back down with the flash fading from his body to reveal the true costume beneath it. 


The stallion was clad in body armor with a simple, but striking color scheme: A silvery blue, a vibrant orange, and a black shade that took up most of the outfit. Over his chest was a simple looking but stylized Chestplate. Over it was the number 100: with the one being particularly eye catching with the boldened font used for it and the two blue and orange stripes that shaped the symbol. The first number of that trio had a curious modification made to it, the straight line of the bottom extending downwards ,all the way down the barrel of the stallion's stomach and to his right hindleg and into the armored boots that covered his hooves. Speaking of said leg armoring, it had the same silvery blue color to them but had the addition of silver and orange metallic cuffs. The commander reared up and took up a two legged stance, holding it up in a daring pose: revealing a belt around his midsection with a buckle  again reading the recurring abbreviation. On his head was a shiny, well polished looking helmet with two fin like projections on the top reminiscent of canine ears and a black Visor in an 'H' formation. Above the eye line of the helmet rested a prominent looking police shield that glinted as if a stray ray of sunlight went over to hit it.


The costumed pony turned about to reveal his side to the audience, a sword in it's scabbard resting on his right foreleg. The hilt of the weapon looked to be shaped into the form of a fiercesome dog's head with golden chains wrapped around it's muzzle. A hoof came and in a display of the stallion's impressive energy swung it forward in a wide arc as he brought the blade before both his hooves and separated the sword from it's sheathe. He could imagine the growl coming from the sword like it did in the show when he watched the 'jaw' portion of the hilt upon and the chains disappear while a white flash ran through the blade of the instrument of justice. "With this." He raised up the blade to the sky, "The truest sword in the universe: The shadow Sabre! I shall right ALL wrongs! I used this very blade to defeat the dreaded emperor Gruumm of the Troobian empire and imprisoned him once again! Beware evil doers, of the Bloodhound of Tartarus!"




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Unlike the other costumes presented so far, Cadence the Bard was not overly familiar with the Power Ponies character the stallion was performing as. Whatever it was though, the outfit and its accessories looked expertly crafted like the first Dark Canter setup. It was also pretty impressive how Bell Boots managed to initially conceal the costume only to reveal it in such a dramatic fashion. The final bit where the sword lighted up even elicited cheers from the audience, although thankfully, it didn't cause any stage damage like the prior spellsaber.


"That's an impressive sword alright," Cadence commented as the routine ended; "Everypony remind me not to get on the Commander's bad side, tehehehe." A few ponies in the crowd also laughed at the alicorn's joke.


Now came an opportunity of cosplay glory for another pony; "Fire Walker; now's your time to shine!"

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“Thank you.”, Fire Walker kept her voice down low as not to disrupt the others, “Your costume is very lovely.” There was something familiar about this filly. The mare had not met her before, but there was something about her. When the Pegasus pony muttered a few things to herself, the filly mentioned her name, Snow and the character she was playing, who was the villainous Snow Queen, from the book of the same name. Maybe this was the girl Wind Walker had spoke about. The fillies joined her friend Zelda on a trip up Mount Everfrost. Her little sister rambled on for what seemed like forever when she returned. She spoke of giant dragon bones, being saved from near death by a horde of ‘fuzzies’, a strange old griffon who was actually the ghost of a griffon king and magical presents the ghost king had given them. Talk about an active imagination! When this contest was over, the mare would have to see if this girl was in fact 'Snow Dancer'.
A pony behind her probably should have waited a few more years before going as a changeling. The invasion of Ponyville during a previous Nightmare Night was still very fresh in the minds of many a pony attending the night's festivities. The officer had been in Ponyville during that dreadful night and stood beside her fellow ponies as they were able to drive away the massive force of evil beasties. Also, Princess Cadence was the judge of this little contest. Ouch. Hopefully the Princess of Love will judge the costume and not the creature it represents. So far, that's two cold based villains. Ho-boy. Soon, winter would be coming. The 'changeling' sounded like Ice Storm. Was that her?
The good princess seemed to be impressed with Swifty's Asthma Knight costume. Or was it 'Lord Canter'? Hokey Smokes! Zelda was right! Ponies really did love their little equine puns. While lost in thought, she nearly missed the next 'show'. A mare put on a rather impressive little vampony show that had very impressive special effects. The red mare's stomach sunk a little as the presentation went on. These were a million times better than what her little enchantments were capable of. The next showing had another Lord Canter. Maybe next year, they should have separate contests for the kids and the adults. The two colts had a fun little magic sword duel. Fire looked a little confused when Canter's referred to his opponent as 'Sky Walker' Why in the world would somepony dress up like her brother? Or was this  a movie...Maybe her parents named their son after a fictional character? If this was all based off a movie, she would need to see it. Hopefully knowing that the villain was the hero's father wasn't much of a spoiler.
When her beloved removed his helmet and mentioned just how hot he was, the mare wisely kept her mouth closed. There were children about. All over the place. And then came the puns. Oh, how she hated those. She wanted to call him a total sheet-head, but again, kids.  Thankfully, the next presentation started before a pun war broke out. This involved a rather handsome stallion who looked like he was ready to appear at an bachelorette party and declare the bride to be was being arrested for being too 'saucy'. Maybe she could get his card. There was somepony that she knew who was getting married soon. Hopefully. After his little showing, the mare managed to keep herself from stuffing bits down his pretend armor. Oh crumbs! It was her turn now!
"Lights please.", the mare waited for the assortment of lanterns to be dimmed. Once it was just about right. The Pegasus took to the sky. As she her wings extended, the light enchantment in her costume activated. Her good friend Docket who was among the crowd had managed to throw the spell on her 'spooky ghost fabric'. Hopefully this would work as planned. So far, so good. The spell was based off an old stage cantrip created by a Mister Peppers. This was an 'timed illusion' spell. Her body seemed to vanish behind the now glowing green fabric, making it appear that only her costume was there, floating in the darkness. Now just off stage a record could be heard being put on. Thus she began her song. As Fire Walker sung her verses, she would appear by an random pony and then appear to vanish before reappearing by another as she sung the next line. This was aided by her own natural speed and the 'Pepper' spell. She needed to time this just right, or the illusions would not line up with the song.
"The mare stood at the castle door,
Woo-oo-oo-oo, Woo-oo-oo"
As she sang her little song, her body appeared behind her 'ghastly cloak'.
"She had not been there before,
Woo-oo-oo-oo, Woo-oo-oo"
A new effect made it appear that six ghostly Fire Walkers were now present!
"Six ghoulish ghosties floated by,
Woo-oo-oo-oo, Woo-oo-oo"
"They scared the mare and made her cry,
Woo-oo-oo-oo, Woo-oo-oo"
"The mare to the ghosties said,
Woo-oo-oo-oo, Woo-oo-oo"
"Will I be like you when I am dead?
Woo-oo-oo-oo, Woo-oo-oo"
The final effect made the extra 'ghosts' go away, only to make it appear that only Fire's bones could be seen through her costume. This time she not appear by just any random pony, but her Swift Squall.
"The ghosties to the mare said,
"Yaaaaaaaaa!", she shrieked."
Just before she vanished once more, she gave her stallion a playful 'boop' on the snout.





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Of all the things able to enhance costumed acts, high-quality stage magic was usually dead last on cosplayers' lists. Unless somepony was a trained illusionist, more likely than not, they'd mess something up big time. Which was why it was extremely remarkable how Fire Walker was able to pull off an authentic ghostly appearance. Oh, and that tune was pretty catchy too, but that was besides the point! Cadence the Bard would have to inquire further on Fire Walker's methods later, assume she wasn't honoring some sort of magician vow of keeping techniques secret.


The act was a huge hit with the audience, who responded at the end with deafening roaring and clapping. Cadence herself had a mirth-filled smile as she walked on over to the ghostly contestant; "Wow!!!! If I didn't know any better, I'd say you are a true stage illusionist! Too bad we don't have time for an encore, tehehe!" That earned a second round of applause directed at Fire Walker, after which she left the stage.


"Looks like winter's coming early this year, because Snow Dancer's up next!"

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Upon hearing her name, Snow Dancer knew it was time. She stepped up on stage as regally as possibly and taking a bow began to sing: 

It's funny how some distance
Makes everything seem small
And the fears that once controlled me
Can't get to me at all

Snow Dancer then lifted herself off the ground with her wings as she sang the next part.

It's time to see what I can do
To test the limits and break through
No right, no wrong, no rules for me,
I'm free!

With that Snow Dancer reached into the secret pocket and pulled out her "snow." Actually it was soap flakes, but as she tossed a hoof-full into the air it looked like real snow! She then used her wings to continually blow the snow upwards to make it look like a blizzard as she added more hoof-fulls into the air, flying around to keep the snow aloft.

Let it go, let it go
I am one with the wind and sky
Let it go, let it go
You'll never see me cry
Here I stand
And here I'll stay
Let the storm rage on!

At that last part she threw the last of her "snow" into the air and gave one more gust with her wings, sending some of the snow at the crowd! 

The Cold never bothered me anyway!

She then let the last of the snow float around her as she gave a defiant and confident pose just like she pictured Elsa doing so after building her icy castle. 

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Some ponies might have gotten sick to death of listening to the tune sung by Snow Dancer (which in all fairness, had been oversung to an enormous degree back when it first performed in a Bridleway musical), but Cadence the Bard was one of those ponies who'd never get tired of listening to it. The trick with the snowflakes and how she was able to keep them blowing in the air was also pretty spiffy! Seriously, it seemed every contestant this Nightmare Night had a special weapon up their sleeve!


"You've got a beautiful singing voice," the princess complemented right as the onlookers applauded for Snow Dancer. "As somepony who once sang their heart out all the time," the pink alicorn didn't call herself Cadence for nothing; "My advice is to never let anything stop you."


With Snow Dancer finished, the contest was rapidly approaching the end. "If you weren't chilled enough already by our last participant, you will be once Ice Storm takes the stage." Kinda funny how two ponies with winter/snow-themed names got to perform back-to-back.....

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Ice Storm kinda gave the filly a small look when she didn't really respond to her, but she wasn't really upset. On a night like this, the attention span of a filly was narrower than that of a squirrel's. She was obviously excited about all of the acts that were going on in front of her. All of them were actually quite good. She managed to catch the tail end of a pony that was cosplaying as Lord Canter. It was a very, very good cosplay, and everypony here had really good costumes. She watched as another stallion took the stage, talking about being from a distant future where aliens and Equestrian's lived in balance. and that it would be his job to make sure that the balance was kepts. Then he said a catch phrase that she wasn't quite familiar with and his costume was revealed. It was also quite nice. A combination of many colors and quite tight fitting material made everything stand out, and a very interesting looking sword to boot.


After that it was Fire's turn, but before she took the stage she watched as the first participant made his way over to her and started talking. She could without a doubt place the speech as her squad mate Swift Squal. A costume very fitting for him honestly. When he approached her, he told her that it was nice to see her again and that her costume, like all of the other costumes was very top notch. he started to say that he almost something, and she could only imagine what that could have been. She knew Swift enough to understand what he meant, and she also heard him say that he was really wasn't trying to be obnoxious and that had he had been a pain before, but he simply finished with a too soon. She wasn't really sure what he could have meant about that. The changeling invasion in Canterlot was many years ago, unless there had been another one since that she hadn't heard of? That was always possible as last year she was in Hoofington on family business for Nightmare night.


"I wouldn't say it was too soon. It's been years since Chissy invaded. Besides, Luna's playing her part as Nightmare Moon, so I figured I could assist with the evil shenannigans tonight," she said with a giggle as a few more of the performances started taking place. Fire Walker's performance ended with her right next to Swift Squall. Icy gave a small nod and smiled as the filly sang a song that represented the character that she was portraying. A character that Ice Storm knew well, but of course she would know the Snow Queen. At the conclusion of her song though, Cadence announced that she was up next, and her tone when instantly from jovial to in character.


At the mention of her name, the ground began to freeze beneath her hooves, forming a small sheet of ice under her. With each step she took foward, Ice burst from her hooves, the path that she took from her location to the stage quite apparently. Thankfully, with the changling horn over her own, ponies couldn't see that she was using her own magic for the effects. perk of being an ice mage and having Ice based costumes. "Why thank you, princessssss," She spoke, her voice having a small rasp and the ever slight hint of an echo. It really isss such a shame, that we didn't get to meet sooner. Couldn't really let Chrysalis have all the fun now could we?" she laughed with a sinister tone. Each laugh another step that took her closer and closer to the center of the stage, and the closer her spell became fully charged.


"You see though princess, unlike Chrysalis, I'm not after love. My hive has supported itself for centuries, but I must admit that Ice is becoming a bit... sparcer than it was. Oh no, it's not love I'm after," she spoke as her spell went off in a very bright icy blue light. "I WANT EQUESTRIA TO FREEZE!!!" she exclaimed through the spell echoing through crowd making the stage turn into a small cavern of ice. A spell that took a lot more out of her than she was expecting, but she should at least have enough energy for the clean up... although not much else. "But, I am but one mere changling. I shall return with more, and plunge the land into an ETERNAL WINTER!!!! MWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! For now though, I bid Equestria adieu," she finished as she left the stage and another busrt of magic lit up the area before all the ice started fall as bits of snow. Ice could feel the hit from that last spell and could tell that it was going to be a couple of days of light duty for her after tonight.


(Picture for how the ice looks on the stage minus the water obv.)




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Pinstripes, grey and black. Horrible fashion choices, as was the oil-slicked, coal-black mane he was sporting. And the black moustache that looked like it was drawn on with eyeliner. The white shirt and cravat were en-vogue, however, and Honeywing was standing with a confidence that somehow made the rest of it all seem...normal. Suave, even.


He spent most of the evening getting ready after having Glitz dye his mane and tuck it for him, but the trickiest part was having to cover his wings. He mentally cursed at the decision to costume as an Earth Pony, but it was a spectacular duo. Simply put, one of the most devoted couples in recent media.


Now he was waiting near the stage for Glitzen. "Mi Corazon~!" he declared as Glitzen Glamour came into view, rushing over to their side and placing a series of kisses up their besleeved arm.

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Black, sable, ebony. The very darkest color owing to the absence of or complete absorption of light, by definition. It wasn't the most festive of colours in the world, nor was it one that Glitzen Glamour often chose to wear, at least not by itself. But tonight was an exception, for tonight was a night unlike any other! Tonight...was Nightmare Night! Normally the stallion spent more time fussing and fretting over what sort of costume to wear than actually putting the costume together, but this time her dear Honeywing seemed to be two steps ahead of him.

It was a strange sight to see as he looked into the mirror. Glitzen's usual orange and wavy locks – both mane and tail – hung straight, dyed a pitch-black. He did have to admit it wasn't a bad look, certainly not one he'd wear forever though! The dress on the other hand, as nice as it was with it's almost shimmery black silk and spiderweb lace near the bosom, it looked like something someone would wear to a funeral!...Which honestly was perfect given who he and Honey were going to enter the costume contest as. Good as it looked though, the hobble skirt of the formfitting dress certainly lived up to its name! Thankfully for all involved he had the time to practice in the thing and had it down to practically a smooth glide across the ground, but the number they had planned for the contest...well, he could only hope it would turn out well.

With a confident gait, Glitzen made his way from his shop to where Honeywing was waiting for him. That is to say, not far from the contest stage. He wasn't expecting to win the thing, but he knew that he and his Honeywing would have a wonderful time regardless. "Mon cher~" he whispered softly, nuzzling Honeywing as he whisked over to his side, kissing up his arm. It was hard to stifle the giggle that threatened to burst out, but he gently placed a hoof on his stallion's muzzle before kissing his cheek gently to appease him.

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