• Member Since 2nd Mar, 2018
  • online

Venerable Ro


A grumpy curmudgeon who enjoys quiet solitude, entangled meta-fiction, and deep character development.

More Blog Posts6

  • 10 weeks
    On the Sisters


    Source

    Read More

    7 comments · 63 views
  • 12 weeks
    On Timelines (unabridged)

    Well people seemed to enjoy my last offering, so let's see if I can't keep this going. My plan with this blog is to establish the basic series of events in this world I'm writing/creating/dreaming/imagining. the overall goal is to fit the major canon events in while maintaining believability and avoiding "crowding". Thus, not everything happened over a single hectic year a millennium ago. So,

    Read More

    8 comments · 56 views
  • 12 weeks
    On timelines(abridged)

    Well people seemed to enjoy my last offering, so let's see if I can't keep this going. My plan with this blog is to establish the basic series of events in this world I'm writing/creating/dreaming/imagining. the overall goal is to fit the major canon events in while maintaining believability and avoiding "crowding". Thus, not everything happened over a single hectic year a millennium ago. So,

    Read More

    0 comments · 28 views
  • 12 weeks
    Let's try something new.

    I've decided to write a blog, it seems like something people do these days, might be amusing. As to something to talk about, well, let's talk about world-building. World-building is thinking, when you get right down to it, thinking about the hows and the whys and the wherefores and all of an entire world or anything else you care to contemplate. I do enjoy thinking, more or less constantly

    Read More

    8 comments · 65 views
  • 105 weeks
    Literary problem solving for fun and entertainment

    I've come to a decision, namely, that writing is fun. Astonishing surprise, I know, and that I enjoy doing it. lamentably, I seem to be utterly lacking in any ability to write characters other than my own inimitable self. Troublesome that, as my prose seems fairly competent otherwise, if I do say so myself.

    Read More

    3 comments · 252 views
May
11th
2020

On Timelines (unabridged) · 10:50pm May 11th

Well people seemed to enjoy my last offering, so let's see if I can't keep this going. My plan with this blog is to establish the basic series of events in this world I'm writing/creating/dreaming/imagining. the overall goal is to fit the major canon events in while maintaining believability and avoiding "crowding". Thus, not everything happened over a single hectic year a millennium ago. So, let's get started.

To begin with, Equestrian history is divided up into three major eras or "Ages". For the sake of symmetry and convenience I've made the assumption that each of them lasted a thousand years, but that'll probably change at some point. Each Age is separated by a particular disaster that significantly disrupted the previous status quo, the resolution of which leads to the founding of the next Age. In a way, this is an account of three separate Equestrias existing one after another.

To begin with, there was the windigo-winter, and pony-kind's exodus from the Old Country.


The windigo-winter was not a blight of a single season, but a gradually worsening scourge that slowly worsened over the course of nearly a decade. Nopony ever knew the original cause, if they were some alien threat, a curse, or perhaps a manifestation of ponydom's caustic disharmony, but whatever the cause, as hatred flourished, the land withered.

'twas deceptively subtle in the early days, a bit of chill in the air, tempers ran a little sharper, magical gifts came with an imperceptible extra bit of effort. All easy to ignore, to miss, to blame on others. And indeed, blame was happily thrown about as crops grew lean, clouds grew obdurate, and the very sun and moon hung leaden in the sky. Everything got harder and harder to do, magic that had once taken a single mare a few minutes to accomplish eventually took an hour, then a group, until even simple cloud-busting was a day's labor for a flight of trained masters.

In time harsh rhetoric turned to genuine violence, and the first true windigos appeared with that first blood.

Regrettably, we know effectively nothing about the time betwixt then and the decision to abandon the "Old Country", as it is now known, as the Hearth's Warming survivors deliberately avoided burdening their descendants with any memories of that time. What few records remain make only scattered mentions of famine, vicious cycles of raids and counter-raids, and an ever-worsening soul-deep chill. Even the Sisters, eye-witnesses to the time, refuse to discuss it under any circumstances.

"Friendship is magic", yes? No friendship, no magic. I don't really have any idea what ponydom's homeland might have been called, and it's rather pointless anyway, beyond historical curiosity. So, "the old country". As to its location, just "north".

After the exodus there was of course Hearth's warming, which went on as canon describes. I mainly take those plays as essentially correct, but aimed for light-hearted entertainment and a few thousand years distant from the original disaster.

Carrying on from here is the founding of Equestria's first proper settlement. Contrary to a lot of assumptions, I don't put Canterlot in this position, the place is quite centrally placed in Equestrian territory, not where a large group of refugees would have first made camp. On a related note, I'm largely ignoring the official maps, as they're just to stylized for me to get any use out of them.


Spring had crept up while no one was looking, a gradual rise in green grass on the ground and fresh buds on the trees. At last they came around the bend of the last hill and saw the site of their new home. Stretching out before them was a wide green valley, long and broad, grassy plains shimmering with a rainbow of newly budded spring wildflowers. The river they'd been following bounded ahead, leaping and splashing down the slope to meet it's sedate sister gliding along the valley floor. They met at the valley center and journeyed on together, passing on out of sight into far-off woods. After long seasons of bitter snow it was nothing less than paradise, and so that is what they called it.

Paradise Valley.

Yes, I'm taking inspiration from Gen 1, it was too good to pass up. I noted that unicorns and pegasai enjoy cultural centers in Canterlot and Cloudsdale, so I wanted something similar for the earth ponies. Enter Paradise Valley, a verdant river valley that has been the subject of the full extent of earth pony agricultural magic for as long as Equestria has existed. It is the breadbasket of Equestria, and is famous in particular for the quality of its grain crops.


The founding of Paradise Valley and Equestria as a unified nation marked the beginning of the Age of Exploration, as the tribes spread out from that first settlement. Further towns were founded up and down the river, with the seaport of Manehatten getting its start as the other end of a prosperous river trade route.

During this time Equestria was loosely administrated by the tribal council, consisting of a leader from each tribe and representatives from the major settlements. Most issues were handled locally by community-level leaders, while the council largely concerned itself with organizing trade and exploratory efforts.

Speaking of exploratory efforts, over the course of the Age of Exploration Equestria made first contact with other races such as the tribal griffons, the minotaur city-states, and the dragons. But the most notable were two hitherto unknown pony civilizations. The crystal ponies living far to the north in their isolated holdings, and the thestrals in their canyon city of Hollow Shades.

While they declined to formally join the greater Equestrian nation, they enjoyed good relations with their ponish cousins for centuries to come.

The end of the Age of Exploration was sudden and traumatic, as Discord arrived on the scene.


The enraged spirit of chaos came out of the west like a storm, and reason fled before him.

To put it simply, mistakes were made. Somepony did something unthinkably foolish, and the chaos god took it poorly. Whether he would have otherwise been a threat is a question for the historians, as after Greenwood Hall he was bent on wreaking havoc. As canon records, the sisters met him on the open plains west of Canterlot, and defeated him using the Elements of Harmony. While Discord never physically reached the Equestrian heartland, his influence ravaged the entire nation in the form of catastrophic fluctuations in the magical field, causing rampant wild magic surges.

By the time the last of the elementals and other assorted chaotic phenomena were put down Equestrian government had collapsed, leaving the sisters as the only real point of stability in a world run amuck. At the insistence of the general populace and the nascent noble class, Celestia and Luna accepted the dual crowns of Equestria. They established the seat of their rule at the very site of Discord's defeat, founding the city of Everfree as a symbol of their commitment to the defense of Equestria.

This began the gilded Age of Unity.


Midnight mare and blood-red roan,
Fight to Keep this Land Your Own.
Sound the horn and call the cry,
How Many of Them Can We Make Die!
-Instigator unknown
Fragment of the heartsong invoked at the battle of Red Hill.

The Age of Unity was in many ways a slow decline. After Discord, Equestria's exploratory spirit was sharply curtailed, if one monster had been lurking beyond the borders, who knew what else might be watching? During this time the newly-crowned princesses continued to establish themselves as they rebuilt Equestria, generously aided by their faithful noble court.

The first of several crises struck several decades in as the Griffonian Empire attempted to take advantage of a weakened Equestria and invade. Careful griffish planning and subterfuge laid a trap for the royal army at Red Hill, where they were sabotaged by previously-concealed griffish totems. These totems disrupted the weave of magic around the hill top and allowed the Imperial army to advance unopposed. Disaster was only averted at the last moment as an unnatural berserk-heartsong was invoked to inspire bloodlust throughout the whole of the Equestrian army; such that the Griffish army was forced back and finally routed as Celestia crushed the Emperor's skull underhoof.

While the battle was a technical victory for Equestria, its specter haunted the princesses. after the battle the survivors were plagued with night terrors inspired by their actions under the influence of the cursed heartsong, so much so that Luna felt compelled to switch entirely to a nocturnal life to soothe their dreams. of all the titles Celestia has accumulated over her life, there are none she hates so much as "The Roan", a bloody horror story that still haunts the Griffish imagination.

Another generation on the second crisis reared it's head, an invasion of brigands led by a great red centaur. They took several small villages and hamlets before being discovered, and by that point Tirek, for it was indeed he, had stolen enough magic that the Equestrian army could not face him head-on. While Luna advocated for a direct intervention, Celestia, privately fearing her own skill in bloodshed, chose to look to Equestria's allies.

The Iron War is notable for being the only war in Equestrian history to be fought entirely without magic, and only by foreign citizens. Equestria hired companies of Griffish and Minotaur mercenaries to exterminate Tirek's army of raiders and bring him down. The war was a success, the centaur was brought before the princesses hobbled and bound in adamantine chains, and was hence sentenced to eternity in Tartarus.

The victory celebrations were marred at the last moment however, when the nobles responsible for the pay-chests attempted to hold back a portion of the promised wages citing excuses of damages and misfiled contracts. Disaster was averted when a shamefaced Luna made up the difference out of her own purse, but the stain on Equestria's reputation remained.

Disaster would strike for a third time when reports came of a sudden coup in the Crystal Empire, a mad unicorn named Sombra having sized control of Equestria's closest ally. Again the princesses deliberated on what to do, Luna successfully arguing that time was of the essence. while they arrived in time to stop an invasion, Sombra was already well on his way to fully enslaving the populace. The princesses and the shadow-lich warred across the city, and for a time the tides of battle waxed and waned. But before they could strike the final blow Sombra enacted his final curse, casting himself and the entire empire into shadowy limbo.

This was the last time Luna and her sister would work alongside each other. Soon afterwards a millennia of slow-burning resentment and unanswered slights came to a head, as one night Luna abandoned Harmony for vengeance.


"I was Loyal! Unto death and beyond! And what came of it? What ever came of it beyond disgrace and abandonment? No, I did not betray my sister, she and hers betrayed me, a thousand times over, in a thousand different ways."

Luna's fall was a disaster, the maddened alicorn flooded the city of Everfree with shadows and nightmares dredged up from her centuries of watchful protection. the inhabitants fled the city in terror as the sisters clashed in the night sky, terrible magic twisting and cursing the land for leagues in every direction. The Long Night finally ended as Celestia was forced to banish her sister, but the tragedy was far from over.

Wile Nightmare Moon was banished, her curses were as active as ever. The city of Everfree was lost, a blighted forest rapidly spreading out from the castle to engulf the entire region. In addition, hosts of shadowy monsters had been sent out in every direction, ready to torment the ponies Nightmare Moon had come to hate. Weary and heartbroken, Celestia ordered her subordinates to "deal with the monsters" before finally collapsing.

And general Zealous Dawn knew just where to find those monsters.

The thestrals of Hollow Shades had long been viewed with a certain degree of trepidation by most Equestrians. Insular and taciturn, the nocturnal bat ponies were a rare sight in Equestria proper. this standoffish behavior, combined with their tribal mastery of shadow magic and dream-walking, inspired endless speculation. Speculation that slowly turned first sour, then venomous, as the decades turned into centuries. By the time of Luna's fall, in the halls of the solar nobility it was considered an all-but-established-fact that the denizens of Hollow Shades were utterly treacherous.

The sacking of Hollow Shades and apparent extermination of the Thestral nation by order of Zealous Dawn is considered to be the darkest moment in Equestrian history, and a shame held by Celestia only second to Luna's abandonment. Afterwards, every thestral in Equestia vanished overnight, stealing away to parts unknown. A distraught Celestia tried and then incinerated Zealous Dawn, and banished every other pony who had taken part in the assault. For a thousand years since, nopony has ever seen another thestral.

Thus ended the Long Night, and began the Solar Age.


The past accuses me, I shall answer.
The present dismays me, I shall answer.
The future beckons me, I shall answer.

For the memory of what has passed, I shall stand guard.
For the concerns of the moment, I shall bring peace.
For the hope of what is to come, I shall build.

By my life I swear.
By my Name I swear.
By my magic I swear.
May Harmony bear witness and come to my aid.

-Coronation oath of Princess Celestia.

After the incessant disasters that had so wracked her world, a distraught Celestia retreated into seclusion, shutting out everything else in her mourning. When she eventually returned to her senses, she discovered that the solar nobility had set up an unasked-for regency in her name. This in place they were at present busily engaged in raising taxes for self-aggrandizing public works, and attempting to systemically erase her traitorous sister from history. When questioned they were quite proud to inform her that she didn't need to worry about Equestria, as they had it all well in hoof. Aside from that bit of trouble with Nightmare Moon showing her true colors everything was business as usual.

"Business as usual" was almost instantly put on indefinite hold, as an apoplectic Celestia summarily ejected her "regents" from the castle at speed. This was followed by a series of near-draconian reforms as she removed the entirety of the Equestrian civil service from the management of the nobility and brought it under her personal authority.

Having finally put her house in order, Celestia had a moment to consider the future. Someday, in the far-off future, Luna would return to her. Celestia knew this, a final promise from the Elements before her connection broke. But, a thousand years is a long time, and after failing so completely the first time Celestia did not trust herself to succeed this time. What if she made a mistake, what if her pride or ignorance endangered Equestria a second time?

So, Celestia chose to make it a sure thing.

She enchanted her crown and throne, so that they would only accept a worthy ruler. Only one who placed the wellbeing of Equestria above their own could sit on the throne, only one who desired to serve Equestria could wear the crown. If Celestia should stray, there would be, consequences.

The Solar Age was a peaceful and prosperous time. Celestia ruled with skill and diplomacy, carefully working to rebuild the ties that had decayed during the previous era. While many ponies were still skittish around foreigners, trade slowly flourished. in addition to commercial interests, Celestia sponsored academia and the arts, revitalizing the moribund mage's collegium and instituting the competitive tributes to push the limits of Equestrian magical skill.

In time, the thousand years of the Solar Age drew to a close, and Celestia awaited her sister's return with both anticipation and trepidation. The rest, as they say, is history.


Yeah, that was probably too long, but it's my blog and I'll be verbose if I want to! Questions and commentary always welcome!

Report Venerable Ro · 56 views ·
Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!
Comments ( 8 )

This is awesome, you either gave it much tought or have quite the skill.

I agree with the "everything divided by a thousand years", Nightmare Moon's case was, I belive, due to the profecy and the movements of the moon.

Yes, I'm taking inspiration from Gen 1, it was too good to pass up. I noted that unicorns and pegasai enjoy cultural centers in Canterlot and Cloudsdale, so I wanted something similar for the earth ponies.

I completly agree. Earth ponies tend to have less representation on the show, so more of them is always welcomed in my book.

I do have a question thou;

Did you leave Scorpan and the Pillars out of the story? since they are not mentioned.

5260913

Ah, so I did manage to forget something. No, the pillars are there, somewhere in the Age of Exploration, that whole business happened like it did in canon. Scorpan, Scorpan's probably getting left out here, I don't think I see him fitting into all this.

5261076
Happens to everyone.

Another thing is that the threstals part of the story reminded me of the Equestria at war HoI4 timeline, has it been inspired by that?

5261105

I'm afraid I've never heard of that.

5261141
Still, I like it, since gives a response to why they suddenly appear in the series.

5261142

Indeed. I felt that I simply had to have bat ponies, but at the same time just lumping them in didn't feel right. Hopefully I managed to evoke that sense of historical tragedy without overdoing it on the pathos. As you surmise, they came back, some of them anyway, soon after Luna did.

Almost as much of a relief for Celestia as Luna's own salvation. We don't often get a second chance...

5261146
That's true.

I am thinking on my own version of Equestrian history for various stories and something that I want to put to the table are old races that have changed or gone extinct over the years.

For example, a race of mammoths that lived in what now is yakyakistan, or, like you presented in the previous blog, a more ancient and powerful version of dragons

Interesting; thanks. :)

(Also, it formed part of the inspiration for one of my own rare bouts or writing, which I thought you might like to hear. :))

Login or register to comment
Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!