The story's cover art on FIMFiction
|Date published||May 31, 2012|
The story is written in the third-person, present-tense following the thoughts of Anvil. At one point however it follows Summer Cloud, and another it follows Princess Luna. The bonus chapter is written from Hammer's point of view.
Princess Luna is heading for Celestia's throne room for another discussion involving Equestria's non-appreciation of her beloved night. She had been doing research n a specific spell that is supposed to help her win the argument this time around, but has not been getting much sleep. Her personal guards, Hammer and Anvil accompany her. Anvil expresses worry about the princesses' current state, so Princess Luna humors him with some conversation.
The friendly conversation with her guards helps ease her mood, and she tells the two that she considers them to be her closest friends. She also tells them that she wishes for them to be at her side during this next meeting, before entering through the oak doors. Anvil gives the guards a subtle greeting since they all recognized each other despite the fact that their armor made their hides white and hair sky blue when worn.
Celestia is sitting on her throne with her apprentice, Summer Cloud, next to her. Princess Luna immediately starts up the topic of her newfound proposal of extending the next a few days. She performs her spell, but requires some help form Summer Cloud, on a small potted plant. The spell turns the plants green leaves a dark shade of blue, allowing it to feed off of moonlight as a result. However, the spell was obviously very taking on both the two ponies.
Celestia has a moment of deep thought which is immediately taken as a bad sign by everyone in the room, and darkens her sister's mood greatly. Celestia refuses to let her sister cast her spell on all of Equestria, stating that there is no way that they have enough magic to perform the spell. A strange laughter echoes throughout the room which everypony seems to notices save for Princess Luna. In response, Luna rages at her sister, stating that she is always protecting her and keeping her weak, just as Discord had said oh so many years ago.
She then forcefully casts spells on herself to change her physical anatomy and transform into Nightmare Moon, vowing to bring about eternal night. Celestia orders Hammer and Anvil to take Summer Cloud to safety, but Princess Luna asks her guards whom they serve first. Hammer only has a moment of bewilderment before professionally stating that his loyalty is to the princess of the night. Anvil wavers for only a little longer before he also chooses Princess Luna over Celestia.
Princess Celestia makes a move to arrest her sister by summoning the few dozen guards outside, but Princess Luna just laughs and states that they are no match for her guards. Anvil is sure the Princess Luna is well over-estimating their abilities. Princess Luna then casts a spell on her guards which change their white coats blue, their hair dark blue, their wings into a dragon-like structure, and their armor purple. Princess Celestia then teleports after giving the order for the palace to set on high alert. Luna soon follows, after issuing orders to her two guards to attack the guards in this room before meeting her in the Tower of Harmony.
The guards, most of them knowing each other personally, simply stand around a few awkward moments before one named Hazel ask that the two surrender peacefully. However, he mentions Luna as a monster, something Anvil does not appreciate. Hazel then makes the first move and slams Anvil into a wall. However, because of Luna's transformation spell, she is unfazed. He still want to negotiate however, but Hammer promptly ends the all peace talks by slamming Hazel into a wall as well with just as much force, knocking her unconscious.
By the end of the battle, the two Night Guards successfully incapacitated every opposing force in the room, coming out with only a handful of bruises. Summer Cloud is still where she was at from the start however, and Anvil tells her to leave the palace since the battle is of no concern to her. Instead, she retorts with a quick insult and cast a spell on both guards which leave them with magical migraines as they throw up all over the floor. She then leaves for the Tower of Harmony.
The two ponies soon recover, and make their way to the tower as well. Ponies they pass by are horrified by their appearance, but nopony tries to stop them. When they reach the tower, they find Princess Luna has managed to tire Celestia quite a bit. The room is in shambles, and Summer Cloud sits dumbstruck watching the inferno of an alicorn grade battle of magic. The two Night Guards simply stand behind the mare, knowing full well that they are useless for this battle as well. Suddenly as Princess Celestia shows signs of being defeated, she calls upon the Elements of Harmony embedded in the roof to finish her sister off. However, Luna had switched them out with fakes beforehand, and Celestia is unable to finish the battle.
Princess Luna then decides to negotiate the terms of her sister's surrender which are that Celestia will not be banished from Equestria, and none of her subjects will be harmed. Celestia agrees to this, and disappears in Luna's mane. Luna then turns to Summer Cloud to see if she has any objections. When Summer Cloud runs away she declares she chose treason. She then commends her guards for being so loyal to her, and requests that they now address her as Nightmare Moon.
That "night" Anvil and Hammer were offered new sleeping quarters in the luxurious guest rooms, rather than the guards barracks, since they were recently promoted to Champions of the Night Guard. Hammer had declined the offer, but Anvil thought no harm could come of it. However he found that the comfort of the bed was making him lazy, and when he got up the next "morning" he decides to request Nightmare moon give him his old sleeping quarters back.
Now the "nighttime" is defined by the moon being a blue color while "daytime "it is silver. Anvil takes note once more of the fact that his appearance wrought upon him by Luna's enchantment is permanent, even with the armor off. After putting said armor on, he joins Hammer in the training yard. Hammer is attempting to train 40 fresh recruits into becoming Night Guards, which is happening to be a slow process. Usually, new recruits for the guard have to be pegasi. However, some of the guards are from the Everfree and other places, and are unicorns.
The new guards are the result of the old ones having fled of being banished to the dungeon for refusing to submit to Nightmare Moon's will. As a result there are only a dozen or so royal guards left. Nightmare Moon then appears and requests Anvil accompany her for a walk, she also tells Hammer she wants the recruits ready by the full moon. Hammer tells his Princess that he will not be able to train the recruits in the next few days. Nightmare Moon then realizing he is completely sure of this, asks that he at least make them presentable.
As it happens Nightmare Moon takes Anvil to the dungeons to interrogate a Celestian Loyalist for her. Anvil asks her why she had picked him, to which she replies that the prisoner is Summer Cloud and that she wanted Somepony who had been friends with her to interrogate her. Anvil then asks Nightmare Moon how she isn't worried that Summer Cloud may use this friendship to her advantage instead. So Nightmare Moon tells Anvil that he has already proven his loyalty to her, and that if he betrays her she will feed him to a Hydra. Anvil is a little nervous now so Nightmare Moon, noticing this, tells him that is he feels that he betrayed her in the slightest, he may always confess his crimes to her himself rather than let Somepony else do it first.
Anvil makes his way with Nightmare Moon down to the dungeons. Nightmare Moon tells the guard there Ripple Dew, that Anvil is to be given free reign her aside from visiting Celestia's cell which is off limits. Before Nightmare Moon leaves, Anvil asks her how much time he has to interrogate the prisoner, to which she replies that he may take as much time as is necessary. Anvil follows Ripple Dew to Summer Clouds cell, past the cells of many former royal guards that he used to call friends.
Once he gets there, he finds Summer Cloud asleep. After waking her up, he begins his interrogation, but is obviously not doing a very good job of one. He then asks her if she could explain the spell she cast on him and Hammer the earlier. She tells him that it is her special talent, and that it is a spell that allows other ponies to see and feel magic the way she does. However, when directed at non-magical beings (such as pegasi), it causes them to become disorientated. She demonstrates this by tricking Anvil into coming close to her cell, then casting it on him again.
Summer Cloud then asks him why he still serves Princess Luna, when she has done no good for her people so far. Anvil starts by saying that he still trusts her and, upon request from Summer Cloud, proceeds to tell a long story of the time he and Hammer had just gotten out of being recruits and were escorting Princess Luna to the "Cobbleville incident".
In a flashback featuring said incident, Hammer and Anvil are return to Princess Luna and both ponies tell her that the entire town has been stripped of all its items, and that all the townspeople are all missing. It looks as though the people have moved out, but their carts are still there and the road shows no signs of recent use. Princess Luna deduces that they must be inside the town's local mine. She and her two guards arrive there to find the mine tracks have been mangled, and claw marks on the walls. They follow the path of destruction until they arrive in an insanely large cavern in the heart of the mountain.
After Princess Luna illuminates it with large ball of light, they find a dragon sitting on a pile of the townspeople's junk, with the townspeople in a group behind him. He declares that the townspeople and all the items are his property, and refuses to let them go. Princess Luna then makes to fight the dragon, gives both her guards a small ball of light, and tells them to evacuate the townsfolk. They successful manage to get the ponies out of the cavern, but they find they have to carry two elderly ponies that cannot make the trip so easily.
Once out, they realize that the steep incline in the path requires for them to carry the ponies the whole way, that the pitch black of the cavern requires that at least one of them lead, and that the fact that Luna was losing the dragon battle would require one of them to go help her. Hammer decides that he will carry both ponies and lead the way while Anvil goes and helps the Princess. Anvil sets off and makes an attack on the dragon, giving it a static shock from the static accumulated in his wings. He hides in the clack clouds that are accumulating above the battle.
The dragon however notices him by the orb of light he forgot to discard before hiding, and shoot a column of flame his way. Anvil snaps his wings shut to try and prevent them from being consumed in fire, but fails completely stop himself from crashing into the ground as a result. The dragon then makes a move to squish him flat, but before he does so; Luna uses the black clouds she had been conjuring up to create a lightning storm, defeating the dragon. Anvil is somewhat injured, so Luna carries him on her back. He cracks a joke, which causes Luna to chuckle, and sends him laughing hysterically.
Summer Cloud is awed by the fact that Princess Luna killed a dragon. Anvil tells Summer Cloud that by her decision to have the townspeople evacuated first, as well as carrying him out when she could've forced him to walk, is proof that she will always put the people's safety first. Summer Cloud then asks him if he believes that Princess Luna and Nightmare Moon are one and the same, to which he replies he is not entirely sure but mostly thinks so. Summer Cloud then seems to sympathize a little more with Princess Luna.
Nightmare Moon summons her Champions of the Night Guard to the library where she is conducting experiments. She tells explains to the two ponies that her subjects are complaining about the lack of light, so she plans to make a species of tree that will create light by mixing its DNA with glowworms. However, it makes the tree look revolting, and her guards tell her so. She then decides to use firefly DNA instead. The resulting plant looks amazing, and Nightmare Moon happily soaks in the awed expressions on the faces of her two favorite guards. Anvil asks her if she would like some of the unicorn guards to assist her in casting the spell over Equestria. But Nightmare Moon tells him that she her new form allows her to cast such spells with far more ease, and that she only plans to give the tree to the Everfree province for now.
The full moon arrived with Nightmare Moon's first Night Festival. The celebration was hearty, and all the attendees were obviously enjoying themselves. However, Anvil noticed Nightmare Moon was not genuinely having fun. Later, some noble decided to come up to the Princess to discuss their troubles, to which Nightmare Moon decides to humor them for the night. Eventually that was over, and the celebration was still going just as strong as when it had started. However, all of a sudden, an old bearded earth pony in a brown cloak steps in, and loudly claims that in the outlying towns it is too cold for the crops to grow, and too cold to work the crops.
The old pony blames it on Nightmare Moon, stating that she has not bothered to visit the other provinces of Equestria. Since this is true, Nightmare Moon is about to let the old earth pony get away with his speech, and tells him that she will deal with the matter. However, Anvil recognizes him as Hazel Hock, a former royal guard, hiding his wings. He and other royal guards had stationed themselves inside the crowd and then decided to incite a riot. Nightmare Moon tells all her guards to arrest them, and the crowd scatters. However she tells Anvil and Hammer to stay by her side.
The veteran royal guards quickly dispatch the fumbling new recruits, and begin to taunt the Princess. Nightmare Moon want to teach them a lesson, but her guards advise her to stay out of this, so she tells her two champions to attack the guards that they had fought before. Anvil and Hammer both hesitate for a long moment first, for they are certain it is a trap. The royal guards are evacuating the crowd, so they are sure it is going to be something big. Hammer notices something in the sky and both ponies immediately abandon their position and fly up.
In the sky, there is a former royal guard who is flying at a breakneck speed and has accumulated tons of static energy; he seemingly plans to hurls himself at the Princess, and release all the electricity accumulated into her. Hammer tries to tackle him at an angle, but misses, and is blow away by the drift. Anvil on the other hand, decides to slam into the pegasus head to head.
Anvil collides with the pegasus and finds out it is a mare as he knocks her unconscious. As for himself, he is in immense pain, and is rapidly free-falling since is wings won't respond. The static energy was released above him and created an expanding yellow dist of electric energy in the sky, before he can hit the ground, Nightmare Moon saves him. She places him on the ground, castes a healing spell on him, and tells him to rest why she helps Hammer deal with the cultists, Anvil notices he is having back-outs, but also notices the pegasus he knocked out lying behind him.
Anvil then finds he woke up in a bog, Nightmare Moon orders him to get up and defend the lower levels of the palace, but he can't get out of the mud. He tries to by using his wings, but they have disappeared. Nightmare Moon then tells him that she can't have earth ponies in the royal guard, and discharges him. He then drowns in the mud.
Anvil then wakes up, realizing that he was just having a dream. He realizes that he in the bed of the guest room he once slept in. He finds Hammer is there, next to his bed. Hammer tells him that he has been out for a night and a half, and that Luna (since he calls her that), is out visiting the outlying towns. Anvil is surprised that he only was out for a night and a half, since he was expecting to need at least a few weeks to recover from his extensive injuries. Hammer then refuses to tell his fellow guard anything more, and tell him that his orders are to stay in bed, something Anvil agrees to do.
When the Princess returns, she is not happy in the slightest, she heads for the library and dismiss any other ponies and scheduled affairs. However, her guards manage to get her to converse with them on the matter of what happened. Apparently, it is freezing in the outlying towns of Equestria, so much so, that the night couldn't possibly be to blame. Also, the loyalists have been spreading many rumors about the Princess there, so when she arrived in every town everypony ran away screaming.
Hammer suggests that the Princess raise the sun for a little while, just to deal with the frost as well as make the people like her a little more. However, Nightmare Moon refuses, stating that she will not become her sister, and her whole reason for doing this was to make her subjects appreciate her night sky more. She tells her guards that she will busy in the library over the next few days, and that they are in charge of the countries affairs in her absence.
The next day Anvil and Hammer are dealing with the trivial matters of the nobles while a dozen advisors feed them advice. Anvil is bored, but Hammer seems to take it about as well as any of his other duties. All of a sudden a troubled royal guard blurts in and subtly asks for private audience with the two champions. Hammer and anvil follow him well outside the audience chamber where the guard tells them that Summer Cloud has declared she is willing to give information regarding the rebels, but only to Hammer and Anvil. Hammer is convinced that the recruit is holding back some information, but simply dismisses him. The two ponies then make their way to the dungeon.
In the dungeons the guard Ripple Dew is uncannily alert; and as they pass by the cells of the various prisoners, all of them are silent. Eventually they come to Summer Clouds cell, she happens to be right next to the cell of the pegasus who Anvil had crashed into during the Night Festival. After some chatter about Luna being delusional, Hammer asks Summer Cloud what she suggests that they do about Princess Luna.
Both Summer Cloud and Anvil are surprised he so easily is willing to listen, to which he replies that since nopony else has any suggestions he might as well hear hers. She tells the two that Luna is going through a form of magical mid-life crisis, and requires a blast from the Elements of Harmony to restore her original self. She also tells them to meet with Somepony who lives in the lower gardens, a muddy deserted area, who will have information as to where they can find the elements. However, before they can talk to him she will have to cast a spell on the.
Anvil convinces Hammer to go along with this, and the two ponies do so. Summer Cloud tells them they have about an hour before the spell wears off. She also tells them to bring the Elements back to her after they find them, since she should be able to get them to work. As they leave Anvil asks Ripple Dew why the prisoners are so quiet, to which he replies they got bored of making such a fuss.
The two guards make their way to the meeting point where they find a cave. Once inside, they find Discord's statue in its original position. Because of the spell Summer Cloud cast on them, they can interact with Discord's spirit. As such the draconequus playfully fools around with the two before getting down to business. He agrees to tell them where the Elements are, in exchange for idle conversation. They discuss the whole Nightmare Moon ordeal.
After said conversation, Discord gives them the location on the Elements, but says that they will need a spell that will allow them to get into the vicinity they are at. He tells the two that he can give them the enchantment, but that they bill need to buck him. They do so, and Discord gives them the enchantment, but also steals some of Luna's magic off their enchanted forms.
Before they leave, they ask Discord why he doesn't just deal with the whole issue himself, to which Discord then makes a grand show of attempting to do so. Discord then says "Oh, look at that – it didn't work. I'm a statue. An obscenely handsome one at that, but still a statue. Come back in the next thousand years or so."
As Hammer and Anvil make their way to the mountain that Discord directed them to, Anvil reflects on his role in the whole situation. He then notices that they are being followed by eight other pegasi. He and Hammer hide for a bit before rerouting their path towards their destination. When they get there, it is snowing like crazy. They make their way through the snow to a cave. Inside the cave, it snows even harder, even though there is no possible way for snow to get inside.
Eventually they come to a large wall of snow. Together they clear it up to reveal a large Obelisk. They follow Discord's instructions and manage to activate it, however they are ambushed by the former members of the royal guard, led by Hazel once more, who had followed them by a tracking spell Summer Cloud had placed on them. They fight, but it is a significantly harder battle since Discord had taken some of their magical strength. They realize the whole thing was a setup. Suddenly the Obelisk opens into a pitch black abyssal cavern, out of which flies three windigoes. Two of the windigoes fly past the ponies out of the cave, but the last one freezes them all in solid ice before leaving himself.
Anvil tries to break free of his ice prison, but only manages to make a few cracks in it. Suddenly however, he is saved by Hammer, who had successfully broken out. The two enter the room the windigoes came out of to find no Element of Harmony in sight; the room was a prison for the windigoes. Dismayed the two ponies leave and decide to free the royal guards as well. After freeing them, Hazel checks the room himself to find it empty.
Suddenly everypony makes to fight once again, but realize they have little reason to. Anvil convinces everypony to call a truce. Anvil then realizes that the rebels have no knowledge whatsoever about discord's involvement with Summer Cloud, but he does not enlighten them on the matter. They decide to race each other to the Everfree in order to stop the windigoes, for whichever side wins gets Princess Luna on their own terms.
Hammer makes his way to the Princess, while Anvil follows Hazel to the barracks. As it turns out, the barracks have already been overtaken by the loyalists, and Anvil barely escapes. He gets some of the Night Gaurs to summon the rest of them to the library, before heading there himself. He meets up with Hammer and together they enter the library. They find Nightmare Moon asleep, but are quick to wake her up and tell her about the windigoes.
The remaining Night Guards appear, 12 in all. However the rest apparently have betrayed them for the loyalists. Luna however is still not aware of the extent of the loyalist takeover, but she decides to deal with the windigoes problem first. She teleports to the highest tower with her two guards as well as four unicorn, and battles the windigoes with magic. She enchants the hooves of her champions so they may fight as well.
As the battle wears on, the Princess and her guards start to falter. She orders the unicorns to retreat. Eventually, the champions of the Night Guard slip up, and the Princess is encased in a massive boulder of ice which crashes into the great hall. The two remaining Night Guards follow, but are unable to do anything as they watch the windigoes make the boulder Nightmare Moon is encased in larger and larger.
Anvil, enraged by his princess's defeat attacks the windigoes, and after much fighting, is eventually beaten. However Nightmare Moon suddenly manages to break free of her icy prison. She summons the Elements of Harmony, which she had hidden as stars in the night sky, and uses their magic to serious hard the windigoes. She manages to cause one of them immense pain in particular, and Anvil get to witness its pitiful screams of agony. She then makes a move to kill it. However, Hammer advises her not to, since in the confusion, they were surrounded by the loyalists.
Nightmare Moon orders her remaining guards to ready themselves for a fight, but said remaining guards are only Hammer and Anvil. Suddenly Princess Celestia walks into the room, and asks her sister to stop. Princess Celestia had Summer Cloud cast a block on all teleportation spells in the palace. Princess Celestia then asks her sister to let her use the Element of Harmony to help restore her normal form. She states that her bitterness is clouding her judgment, and that her new form is only making it worse. Summer Cloud comes and joins Princess Celestia's side, and the two ponies look tentatively at the two Night Guards.
Realizing what they want, Hammer and Anvil beg Nightmare Moon to give up her cause. However, Nightmare Moon absolutely refuses to do so, and considers this as an act of betrayal on her guards' part. The whole conversation is interrupted by the prone windigo who had used Princess Luna's hate to regain his strength. It fires a bolt of ice at Nightmare Moon, but she simply catches it, annoyed. She then proceeds to kill the windigo, despite the pleas of her sister. Eventually, Celestia cannot stand to stand by and watch, so she fires the first bolt that would start another alicorn level magic battle with her sister.
Just as last time, Celestia loses the battle. But before her sister can finish her off, Summer Cloud intervenes. Nightmare Moon proceeds to simply swat aside the small mare. Anvil tries to go save her, but he cannot make the distance with his extensive injuries. Instead, it is Hammer who tackles Summer Cloud out of the way, taking the blow from the Princess instead. This gave Celestia all the time she needed to regain her composure, and reinstate her assault on her sister.
Nightmare Moon then decides to use the Elements of Harmony to her advantage, but Celestia takes advantage of this moment to wrest the Elements out of her control, cutting off her access to their power forever. Celestia then uses the Elements herself, and begins blasting away Nightmare Moon's enchanted self, revealing the original Princess Luna underneath. However, Princess Luna resists the power of the Elements of Harmony, and as the body of Nightmare Moon is ripped off of her person, she simply restores the enchantment on herself.
As it goes on, Nightmare Moon decides to turn the vegetation of the Everfree against its inhabitants, and roots and tendrils sweep across the floor attacking everypony. Her battle with the Elements of Harmony is going successfully, as the color in the large gems is starting to fade whereas as she puts it "I can do this… all night…" Celestia, desperate now, takes a look at the moon and decides to banish her sister there using what was left of the Element's power. She does so, and the moon turns back to its original color, aside from the fact that the shadow of a mare is plastered to its side.
After the deed is done, the Elements are seen as simple stone orbs each embedded with the symbol of harmony they represent. However soon after this, Celestia receives a report from one of the Royal Guards that the whole city is overrun with feral vegetation and monsters, some in the form of wolves. She tell the guards to evacuate the city, and to escort everypony to Canterville. She then tells him that Hammer and Anvil are to help, and the two are given their first orders from the princess of the sun in a long time.
Two days was all that was needed to evacuate Everfree city, and in that time Hammer and Anvil encountered many weird creatures and plants such as trees with electricity in their branches and brightly colored fruit and blue flowers that had transformed Hazel into a mare overnight. However, the two Night Guards were still hated by everypony, and everypony was expectantly waiting for the two to receive their punishment.
Celestia agrees that they cannot be let off the hook for acts of treason, and decides to make their punishment a public spectacle. As Celestia declares the sentence for the two traitors, the crowd cheers happily. Anvil realizes he forgot to do something, but can't remember what.
The story then jumps to Summer Cloud, who goes to see Discord's statue. When she gets there, she find out that he stole Luna's magic, cracked his statue a little, and is quite happy with himself. She is infuriated that the draconequus tricked her so easily, but Discord tells her not to worry about it, because none of the upcoming trouble will happen in her lifetime.
Discord also tells her that during his reign he had the windigoes imprisoned since they kept freezing his chocolate milk. She is rather stunned by the fact that he had made milk into chocolate whilst still keeping it milk at the same time, and he tells her that ponies will discover it themselves in due time. She then leaves, not planning to tell anypony about her involvement with him.
1000 years later, Princess Luna is studying in preparation for her visit to Ponyville's Nightmare Night festival. This would be her first visit. Celestia suddenly walks in and asks her sister to come follow her to the old armory, stating that she want to show her something. Said armory is so old that they have to break have the doors down since they no longer function. Celestia then happily shows her sister two statues of her old guards, Hammer and Anvil.
Princess Luna at first cannot believe that her sister would petrify her two guards in stone for over a thousand years, but then remember where she had been for the last thousand years, and realizes that she can believe it. Celestia frees the two guards from their stone prisons, and the two have a happy reunion with their old charge. Anvil suddenly remembers what he forgot: to tell Princess Luna that he gave Discord some of her magic.
Hammer and Anvil are then taken to some comfortable guest quarters where they spend much of the day conversing with Princess Luna and catching up on the times. She then orders the two to rest.
As Anvil and Hammer are getting ready for the upcoming Nightmare Night, Anvil and Hammer discuss how everything seems to have changed in the past thousand years. Later, Luna arrives at Ponyville in the same fashion as in the episode Luna Eclipsed. Her guards set off to park the chariot, and hear in the distance the Princess's less than ideal first impressions with the townsfolk. They do not interfere however, for Luna had told them she would like to socialize with the townspeople alone.
Hammer and Anvil place upon themselves some silver necklaces that allow them to look like normal ponies. Princess Luna had made them since nopony seemed to be able to reverse the enchantment she had placed on them a thousand years ago. Hammer and Anvil then make their way into town to mingle themselves, but realize they already stick out since they did not bring costumes. Under the guise as simple travelers, they come to meet Honey Doo, Ditzy Doo's brother. He takes the two stallions to a pub he was heading to.
There, they meet Berry Punch who challenges the two ponies to a drinking contest. Both Hammer and Anvil are very much reluctant at first, but give in when the ponies issue a formal challenge. Hammer thinks the contest will be a piece of cake, since in the past; few ponies could out drink him. Soon after however, he finds himself nauseated. Everypony has lost the contest save for himself, Anvil, and Berry Punch who shows no signs of intoxication at all. Hammer then notices his friend is showing his usual sign of getting drunk.
Instead of getting a looser tongue, Anvil gets quieter when he drinks. Anvil then bursts into tears. Hammer acknowledges this is due to the fact that Summer Cloud is dead, despite the fact that he has not brought up the topic with anypony. He then makes his way to leave, but runs back in almost immediately, claiming he saw a dragon. The citizens then tell him that the dragon is called Spike and is Twilight Sparkle's harmless assistant.
Everypony then overhears Princess Luna declare that this will be the last Nightmare Night ever, so Anvil decides to finish his drink. He says that everypony should probably make the most of this night, since it is the last Nightmare Night Festival after all. Everypony agrees, and they decide to start dancing. Anvil then throws up in the toilet in order to ease his drunkenness; this reminds Hammer of his old pals in the Royal Guard, and he reflects on some sad memories. Berry Punch dances with Anvil, while Hammer stays on the sidelines. However, when Ditzy Doo comes in, he decides to dance with her since she did not have a partner yet. By the end of the night, the two Night Guards had a very good time. They rendezvous with Princess Luna and together make their way back to Canterlot.
Hammer hides his emotions from others as much as possible. He takes great pride in his duty, so much so that (as Anvil puts it) he would eat it if he could. He is also characteristically buff, and shows great signs of physical strength and endurance to match his spiritual one.
Anvil is the more relaxed of the two guards. He is quick to make careless remarks even in the presence of his Princess, and he converses with her more fluidly than Hammer, simply because he talks too much at times. He and Hammer used to work as blacksmiths before they joined the Royal Guard. He has feelings for Summer Cloud, but they are only friends.
Summer Cloud is the Princess's student at the time of this story. She is a grey mare with a cutie mark featuring swirling stardust, signifying her magical ability to sense magic around her easily.