Deceitful Royalty is an alternate-universe adventure drama story by Thunderblast. It is the fourth and final installment in The Veins Run Deep series, and the second side story of the series. It is a direct sequel to The Veins Run Deeper.
On a lunch break from work, Night Shadow plays chess with his unicorn guard friend, Sharpblade, whom embarrassingly beats him while other guards observe. At the end of their break, the guards return to their duties, and Night heads back to the Canterlot Palace, where he comes across two of his subordinates, Lodestar and Skye Racer, packing up the Zodiacs' meeting hall ahead of already-ongoing renovations of Princess Luna's wing of the castle. Stellar Star arrives late with a cart, much to the dismay of Lode and Skye.
The next day, Night Shadow orders Stellar to a private meeting in his quarters, where he tells him that he is going to temporarily demote him and let him work his way back up to earn his rank due to recent incidents. Stellar reluctantly agrees to training sessions with First Sergeant Stormfire, supervised by Night himself. Their talk is interrupted by a guard who informs Night of an incident involving Lodestar, whom dislocated his shoulder through "yoga", and is painfully shoved back into place by Rescue Sunstreak, now a medic for the Zodiacs. Night returns to his quarters, finding work to have been piling up all day, and starts sorting through mail when Scarlet Iris bursts in. After annoying him enough, Night agrees to spend the night with her.
While they sleep, he encounters a nightmare flashback from the ambush that killed his former subordinate, Shieldhunter, preceding the Battle of Hollow Shades. Night wakes up in a panic and Scarlet attempts to calm him. After managing to settle down, Night gets up in preparation for work, which so happens to be "double shift day". Later that morning, Night attends a royal meeting between Princesses Celestia and Luna, recently-appointed Royal Guard Commander Goldstead, Lunar Guard Captain Fallen Star, and Lieutenant Silent Knight. They discuss a recent string of robberies around Canterlot, which involves a break-in attempt in the palace that sparks concerns as to how the suspect is able to get in undetected. Later on, after the meeting, Night comes across broken glass being cleaned up by Zipline in the break room, where Halfmoon launched his reheated lunch out the window due to her intense fear of spaghetti.
- Night Shadow: Night is a bat pony-pegasus hybrid, who was born and raised in a family of full-blooded bat ponies. He became Captain of the Lunar Zodiacs, one of Princess Luna's personal guard wings, and is presumably the last of his kind.
- Scarlet Iris: Scarlet is a bat pony mare and a corporal in the Lunar Guard. She is a flirtatious, bubbly mare who takes great enjoyment in karaoke, especially while drunk, and annoying Night Shadow. During the events of The Veins Run Deeper, she reveals her feelings for Night, and after the story, the two develop their friendship further, and the two have yet to have a "second date".
- Lodestar: Lodestar is a dark cyan earth pony stallion and a sergeant in the Lunar Guard and is the third highest-ranking member of the platoon behind Stormfire. He is Night's second-in-command, he has a strong sense of justice and the ingenuity of building up a modern Equestria.
- Zipline: Zipline is a white pegasus and a corporal in the Lunar Guard. He is a prankster sometimes around co-workers, and is a highly trained individual with a likeness for ranged weapons, specifically crossbows. Despite being a pegasus, he has a fear of heights.
- Skye Racer: Skye is a pegasus and a lance corporal in the Lunar Guard, assigned to Princess Luna's observatory.
- Stormfire: Stormfire is a pegasus and a first sergeant in the Lunar Guard, replacing Lodestar as the second highest-ranked member of the Zodiacs. He is brought to the team as an archery instructor.
- Rescue Sunstreak: Rescue is a brown draft stallion and former firefighter from Ponyville, having transferred to the Lunar Guard as a medic specialist. After the Battle of Hollow Shades, Rescue is adopted into the Zodiacs as the platoon's first medic.
- Midnight Blade: Midnight is a bat pony mare from Night's home of Batsburg, and is the friend of Stellar Star and Eventide, whom also enlisted directly into the Zodiacs. She is a lance corporal in the Lunar Guard.
- Stellar Star: Stellar is a bat pony stallion from Night's home of Batsburg, and is the friend of Midnight Blade and Eventide, whom also enlisted directly into the Zodiacs. He is a private in the Lunar Guard, demoted from a specialist.
- Eventide: Eventide is a bat pony mare from Night's home of Batsburg, and is the friend of Stellar Star and Midnight Blade. She is a private first class in the Lunar Guard.
- Halfmoon: Halfmoon is a bat pony mare from Hollow Shades, ranking at specialist in the Lunar Guard. She has an intense fear of spaghetti.
- Duskbloom: Duskbloom is a bat pony stallion from Hollow Shades and Halfmoon's love interest. He ranks at lance corporal in the Lunar Guard.
- Thunderblast: Thunderblast is a grey pegasus stallion, as well as Night's good friend and former mentor at the start of Night's guard career. Some time after the Battle of Hollow Shades, he jumped the ranks to Captain of the Shadow Sentinel Regiment, a confidential task force unit combined of members from the Royal and Lunar Guard.
- Crescent Sword: Crescent Sword is Thunderblast's lieutenant.
- Thunderbird: Thunderbird is Thunderblast's first sergeant and former Lunar Marine.
- Overwatch: Overwatch is Thunderblast's sergeant with a high knowledge of magic and spells.
- Shuriken: Shuriken is Thunderblast's corporal and a long-time friend from the Royal Guard, whom he recruited into Shadow Company.
- Aeris Moonshield: Aeris is Thunderblast's lance corporal, the lowest ranking member of Shadow Company.
- Princess Celestia
- Princess Luna
- Twilight Sparkle (has a small role in chapter 5)
- Sharpblade: Night's unicorn guard friend and a first sergeant in the Royal Guard.
- Skywatcher: Skywatcher is Night's father, formerly a major in Fang Legion and the current Governor of Batsburg.
- Midnight Dusk: Midnight is Night's mother, a gentle, loving bat pony mare and a former stay-at-home parent.
- Dawn Blossom: Dawn is Night's younger sister, an energetic, spunky mare, who once had a crush on Night's friend and former mentor, Thunderblast.
- Silent Knight: Silent Knight is a lieutenant in the Lunar Guard, and the pony in charge of Luna's House Guard. He is the main character of Memoirs, Secrets, and Trials of a Royal Guard, written by Anzel.
- Gear: Gear is a feline-pony hybrid, nicknamed the 'Cat-Burglar' due to his sneaky nature in which he uses to steal.
- Working Mechanism: ???
Deceitful Royalty has had a successful start, currently sitting with 11 likes and 0 dislikes, and has 530 views, as well as over 1,500 total views. The story itself so far has received critical acclaim and is praised for its world-building, timeline continuation, and portrayal of characters submitted by other FIMFiction users before The Veins Run Deeper was published. However, it is criticized for a slow introduction compared to previous installations in the series, and long waits between the completion of new chapters.
In December 2018, three months after the story's latest update (which came almost a year after the release of chapter 3), Deceitful Royalty was confirmed to be put on an indefinite hiatus once more. Thunderblast stated, "I've lost almost all motivation for this story, and I feel like it is holding me back from other amazing project ideas I have planned. I still want to finish this story eventually because I have a great ending in mind, it just won't work out right now."
As of February 2019, it has been reported that the writing of chapter 5 has resumed and gained some ground from where it was. However, it is still unknown if the story will come out of hiatus any time soon.
- Deceitful Royalty is inspired partially by Captain America: Civil War.
- Due to the cancellation of Rise of Shadow Force, which was a part of the Thunderblast Chronicles, Deceitful Royalty is the first story to feature the character Thunderblast in his high-ranking position, as well as his squad mates.
- Chapter 3 of Deceitful Royalty features a reference to Millennia: Beginning, another story by Thunderblast which occurs in roughly the same time period as this story's prequel, The Veins Run Deeper.
- Later chapters are set to include references to Millennia: Eye of the Storm as well.