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Reese


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May
12th
2020

Well, Cold Spike said I should write something... · 12:50pm May 12th

...and then part of the way through reading this post, I got a bit of inspiration on an idea I'd had a while ago, and decided to actually apply fingers to keyboard on it. So, not much, and not editing beyond what I did as I write (I've other things to do at the moment, and only did this now because I thought I'd better strike while the iron was hot), but for what it is, here it is:


It was the earth ponies who carried the second most. Unicorn magic, in theory, could have bested them, but through the snow and bitter winds, all the way to the new land, unicorn stamina could not. Attempts would – and for some of the more initially ambitious, did – end with a trail of discarded belongings marking their path. Only the most powerful could have brought more than the simplest earth pony farm family's wagon, and their power was spent helping their fellows instead.

Unicorn magic had, however, allowed them to set off first, when the reports came back. Their packing was done quickly and, mostly, efficiently, and there was plenty of power at first to get them started. Indeed, it is not entirely fair to say that it was simply unicorn weakness that allowed the earth ponies to carry more, for the unicorn refugees were first after the scouts, leaving clearer trails for the earth ponies following, and many a piece of old Unicornian furniture, treasured but not as much as life, met a last purpose in an earth pony cooking fire.

Still, though the earth ponies could carry more, they had more to carry, as far as essentials went. The knowledge in a book of magic, history, or other important topics could be carried whole in just a few copies, with many more to be made from them later, and not urgently. The truly indispensable artifacts artifacts were few in number, the conveniences could be remade later without an immediate danger to survival, and many other items could simply be left to survive the cold and ice until, it was hoped, later expeditions could retrieve them. And the great works of magical architecture could not be brought at all, now or at any time in the foreseeable future, if ever, and so there was no use considering them.

The earth ponies likewise had their stores of knowledge, their own histories and important stories, the particulars of their crafts, and they likewise had their tools. Likewise, too, they could not bring their buildings and fields along, however much they may have tried or wished. But it was no use saying that a single bag of seed could, after several years, produce enough to plant enough for all the ponies, when those ponies would by then have starved. There must be enough, from the precious remaining stores, to give the refugees the best chance of living, in a land few earth ponies had ever seen or tried to work. They did not know what would be good to plant where, or when; the reports said the land was bountiful, the soil good, but those first expeditions could only explore so much in the time they had available. The earth ponies who would feed the land could, and would, learn, but they did not know how long it would take – and so, they brought everything. Every last seed, and every last bit of food they could find that would keep for the trip.

In later centuries, some who knew this, but not more, would think unkindly of the pegasi, for not carrying more of this load, for not freeing up earth pony carts for earth pony and unicorn possessions.

For the pegasi, by far, brought the most, and though they left last, arrived first.

And Cloudsdale with them.

If this had been the modern Cloudsdale, those who criticized the pegasi for not bearing more of the burden would be right. The modern Cloudsdale, shaped by hundreds of years of Equestria harmony and prosperity, has many solid surfaces where great loads could be piled, and among the unicorns, there are many who could add yet more capacity with new spells. Cloudsdale, too, moves with great engines, triumphs of pegasus-unicorn cooperation; had the refugees had modern Cloudsdale, not just great loads of cargo but great masses of people could have been carried, and to do otherwise while the ground-bound ponies struggled below would have been a great and selfish unfairness.

It is admittedly the case that many pegasi in those days would have argued for it anyway – but there was enough empathy, even then, and beyond that enough simple enlightened self interest, that the load would have been shared.

Not an option was this, however. In those days, very few were the places in Cloudsdale that could support a ground pony or their baggage, and few were the pegasi or unicorns who could use their magic to make more. Why should there be? The pegasi had no interest in giving their enemies a place to stand, and the unicorns preferred to avoid fighting in the pegasi's natural environment. Ground travelers in the clouds were rare indeed, and trade was kept to a minimum; far from being seen as a weakness, the preponderance of pegasus-produced products was a source of pride. Cloudsdale had its granaries, its food stores, of course – but these were needed for the city's own populace, and, indeed, more than that, since while the greatest and largest of Pegasopolis's cities was being brought, it was with every pegasus from far and wide, as other dwellings were abandoned.

Nor were the pegasi idly relaxing in their city as it cut through the weather. While many of the best weatherworkers and warriors flew ahead and behind to cover the refugees below, the bulk of the populace, in shifts, were by and large either sleeping, eating their rations of food, and either supporting the other pegasi, or doing their civic duty in the age before engines.

Over the refugee columns passed the city, its buildings bound together in an elongated aerodynamic shape and the thunderclaps of the storm drums echoing down. In time with their steady beat, all along the city's sides, beat together the wings of thousands of pegasi in their ordered ranks, all who were not far too young or old or busy with other tasks. At strategic positions were more specialized groups, those with more training, given in varying degrees of haste, in the particular techniques needed for maneuvering the great sky-city-ship, listening out for coded blows of the wind horns and secondary drumbeats and ready to change their wingstrokes accordingly so the city would turn, climb, or descend without breaking apart. At the city's highest point was another team of specialists, guiding the whole movement of the city, and coordinating with those managing the flappers, the stores, the terrain ahead, the other details of the city, and the entire effort of Pegasopolis as a whole.

Criticism can be leveled that the effort of moving the city could have been spent otherwise, that the time and food could have been put into bringing only the most vital parts and aiding the other refugees. This is not baseless, and there are also those who suggest that Commander Hurricane wanted to make sure that in the event the new ideals of Harmony didn't work out, the pegasi would be in the best position to win the ensuing new struggled. This is also at least plausible, though there is further debate over whether this was in fact a good policy for the promotion of Harmony, both as a deterrent and to increase the chances that, in the worst case scenario, the conflict would be ended swiftly before the new land could meet the same fate as the old.

What cannot be argued, however, is that, within mere days and weeks of arriving in the new land, Cloudsdale was fully operational again as the center of pegasus weather control and military forces. Every weapon and tool -- not just from the city itself but from all the old pegasus settlements, for the city did have ample room for that which could already rest on a cloud – every workshop and training ground had been brought intact, and the city's inhabitants had their own old homes and the other pegasi plenty of space to share. Those on the ground, though some may have envied what the pegasi had not lost, had no fear of poor weather in this new land as they tried desperate to clear and plant enough new farmland, or dangerous beasts as they sought new places of natural resources or magical power.

In time, new great cities and towns, tracts of farmland and palaces and castles, would take shape on the surface of Equestria, and new pegasus settlements in its skies. In time, the city would itself be lost, like so much else, to Discord and his reshaping of the world, and more thoroughly erased was the old city than many of its newer and older fellows both, since even chaos-warped stone ruins last longer than clouds once unattended and Discord had little interest in faraway ruins locked in ice and lifeless long before his arrival. Nevertheless, its legacy, like the new city rebuilt with its name, lasts as a vital part of modern Equestria.


Not the first time I've put up a little bit of writing in a blog post... I don't know, maybe I should tag them with something relevant? Or maybe even put up an anthology of bits and fragments; I should have enough to clear the minimum length now. Hm... Well, don't have time for that right now, at least, but I may indeed let the idea percolate.
(Also, while I'm posting a blog anyway, semi-random interesting YouTube channel and video people reading this might be interested in, the thought sparked by that last remark.)

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Comments ( 30 )

Interesting!

Hm, very interesting. Is this a preview of something bigger? Or is it head-canon lore? I am curious.

Reese #4 · June 18th · · ·

5287614
Oh, thanks!

"Is this a preview of something bigger?"
Nah, not really, at least at the moment.

"Or is it head-canon lore?"
Well, I don't know if I'd count it as general headcanon, especially since some stories might have their own explicit alternatives. But it did seem an interesting idea I had.

5287617
I like it, I haven't read many fics that go back that far in the mlp: FIM time line, focus is mainly on moonbutt's and sunbutt's past, which always takes place after the great journey.

Reese #6 · June 18th · · ·

5287622
Yeah, ones touching on that period are rarer, aren't they?
Well, I'm glad you enjoyed this little bit of writing; I don't think I've seen the particular concept I used for the moving of Cloudsdale used anywhere else, but it does, I think, fit with the Greco-Roman styling as well as making sense given the requirements of and resources for the process (at least with a few assumptions).

5287626
I've had a concept floating around that utilizes the past but takes place thousands of years after the mane 6 and Twilight's coronation.

5287633
Oh? Flashbacks, just the results and/or remains of past things...?

5287639
Remains. Earth Shattering remains, literally. I can Dm the summary if you want.

5287643
Ah, unsolved or put-off problems resurfacing?

How long is the summary? Sorry, I'm interested, but also pretty busy at the moment.

5287654
It isn't too long, it's pretty short and covers general lore and history.

5287980
Eh, sure, then, if you like. :)

I only just found this post. :applejackconfused:

I like it. I also get the impression I've read this already. Dunno.

5319436
Oh. Sorry. :D
...I vaguely recall linking it to you, maybe? I don't know; it's been a while. Oh well. You got here eventually, at least. :D

5319452
"I like it."
Thanks!

"I also get the impression I've read this already. Dunno."
Hm. Interesting. This actual blog post, that you happened to find earlier, or the concept? For the latter, I'm pretty sure I didn't get this somewhere else, but even if that's right, it's possible someone else came up with the idea independently.

5319693
I got here because of theRedBrony lol. Anyway, we had met at Bronycon, right?

5319693 No I meant this story, specifically. If it'd been the blog post, I probably would've commented. Who knows? Might just be some weird deja vu, I've been having a bit of that lately, hmm.

Also, second on ColdSpike's comment. Did we meet at BronyCon? And yeah, I saw you mention him so I let him know about this.

5319725
Ah. Well, still worked. :D

And as I recall, aye, though I don't remember interacting with you much; I think we were both at Trick Question's party, at least.

5320447
Curious. Well, if you figure out that it's not deja vu (and I think I've had that sort of thing too from time to time) and you actually did see this done elsewhere, please let me know? :)

"Also, second on ColdSpike's comment. Did we meet at BronyCon?"
You, I'm not sure one way or the other, I'm afraid.

"And yeah, I saw you mention him so I let him know about this."
Thanks. :)

5320495
Would make sense, I usually go to them with theRedBrony.

5320674
Perhaps I did meet them in person too after all, then; it's quite possible I just happened to not interact much with them at the time and not recall it. The room did get rather loud and crowded after a bit.
(Though as I don't drink and didn't make an exception then, I can eliminate at least one potential reason for not remembering it. :))

5321116
It was super crowded and I tend only to remember a few details from it, but usually not because I drink. I do know that someone, that I wont name, almost threw up on my books lol.

5321280
I can confidently state that that wasn't me, at least. :D
But yeah, same on only remembering some details; I think you only stick in my head as particularly being there because of those books.

5321330
:rainbowdetermined2: I only wish we get more Bronycons so I can show off more books.

5321457
Alas. And for me in particular, it actually wasn't just Bronycon, with all that means, but probably the easiest pony con for me to get to (and steel on steel the whole way that wasn't on foot... except when Baltimore's light rail broke down and I had to take the bus).

That said, though, on the other hoof, I'm actually glad they did quit last year. Sure, it'd be nice to have it, even if (as seems likely) I'd not have been able to make it this year... but, well, we know what's been happening to conventions this year, don't we? And the future is uncertain; I hope the cons rescheduled to next year will happen then (and hope that I might be able to make EFNW, though, again, a negative-leaning no idea at this point), but a lot of things are in flux. Bronycon, at least, safely already had its grand, and good, finale.

And with the difficulties the con was already facing, and if they hadn't had all the people who showed up to the last one because it was the last one? I suspect if it'd run into the current pandemic in that state, it might not have come out the other side, and fallen with a whimper.

So while I'd like to have us all able to happily attend more Bronycons together, compared to what's available in the reality that's been developing... I'm pretty happy with what we got.

5321478
I just want things back to normal. :applejackconfused:

5321481
Sorry. I don't really know what to say there.

5322604
Um. I'd rather not, sorry? Or are you just joking?

5322617
I was joking, yes. :trollestia:

5322637
Ah, thanks. :)

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