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Coyote de La Mancha


YouTuber, with a tip jar and a Patreon!

More Blog Posts228

  • Today
    Clawmarks in the Blade of Chronos' Scythe

    The latest poem in my Story Thyme video series is now available. :pinkiehappy:

    I’m rather proud of this one; please leave comments below the video. :twilightsmile:

    In other news, thanks to the generous support of a dear friend we should have a laptop we can use to make Coyote Learns videos again soon. :trollestia:

    Read More

    0 comments · 1 views
  • Saturday
    New Poem!

    This coming Sunday, at 10am CST, the latest Story Thyme will be made available to the world.

    It’s one that I am especially proud of, and I hope you will all check it out.

    Because poetry is what happens when an author makes love to a language.

    2 comments · 13 views
  • 1 week
    And now...

    The laptop we have been using to create and post video content seems to have finally died the final death.


    More content will be posted as availability presents itself.


    Until then, thank you all for your continued support. 🎩🦊:moustache:

    0 comments · 9 views
  • 3 weeks
    SIGNAL BOOST

    New Orleans is in trouble in general, and a few fine people are in particular.

    If you can, please help. If you can’t, please signal boost.

    0 comments · 12 views
  • 3 weeks
    Crosstime Bakery Story!

    The second chapter / story of my AU anthology Mr. And Mrs. Cake's Crosstime Bakery is now available. :trollestia:

    I should also probably warn you that there might be a few F-bombs in this one. :moustache:

    So, now you’re warned. :pinkiesmile:

    Enjoy. :twilightsmile:

    0 comments · 10 views
Mar
14th
2021

The Eras of Equus. · 4:16am March 14th

Recently, there have been a few questions regarding the eras into which my main two timelines on Equus (Equuses? Equssi?) are divided. The following information applies to both “sister” timelines, Elsequestria and Sunset Rising. I haven’t decided if they apply anywhere else yet.


The Age of Chaos (The Age of Discord).

There is no rational way to measure this age, because it was not a rational time. Time and space themselves were variables, and living creatures often rose fully formed – sometimes as children, sometimes as adults – from water, earth, fire, or storms through the process of abiogenesis. Suns and moons came and went without rhyme or reason, and occasionally tried to eat the creatures beneath them. And while areas of pattern did appear, offering some modicum of temporary stability when they did, they inevitably and randomly gave way back to flux, that state in which everything and everyone was subject to the best and worst that chaos might offer.

It was during this age that the Two Sisters, Luna and Celestia, were born. Their friendship was one of the only constants in a completely chaotic world, a magic that even flux could not unravel, and their story is told in Exiles.

There have been some writings about the events of this age from a scholarly perspective, with the understanding that chronological references were relative at best. Such references are generally marked as BC (Before Civilization) or, more recently, BCE (Before Civilization Existed). Most references align with Celestia’s best guess as to her age or its equivalent. So, for example, the destruction of her family’s village is referred to as an event during 4 BCE, and the first defeat of Discord (and the end of this age) is described as happening during 17 BCE. However, even this estimation is by definition unreliable at best.

When the miracle of writing was later developed, the Sisters insisted that every surviving family tale and legend be recorded. Stories passed down by oral record from this age have therefore been assigned “years” in a vain attempt to show relationship with one another. Those stories which have no such reference point are simply dated as “0 BCE.” While largely forgotten by the pony populace, these tales survive in the Royal Archives.

BC is also a symbol used in the study of higher mathematics to represent a variable that is by its nature impossible to quantify, but is necessary to include for the calculations at hoof. This is not a coincidence.

The Graven Age (the Age of Masters).

This era begins with the defeat of Discord through use of the Elements of Harmony, and the formation of the lone mountain upon and within which modern Canterlot Palace rests. It is also during this age that what would eventually become the palace began construction. However, it was not initially intended as a palace, but as a vast temple.

Celestia and Luna, seeing (and being completely freaked out by) the reverence of their fellow ponies, had removed themselves from their own kind. Meanwhile, a relatively small group of ponies from all tribes had declared themselves representatives of these new goddesses’ wills, and began establishing the beginnings of a theocratic civilization.

But even as other aspects of the planet Equus sorted themselves out in the way that Celestia and Luna had hoped, the various suns and moons of the previous age did not. Mercifully, there was a sun left over when Discord’s chaos dissolved away, and so they did not have to worry about their world and its peoples freezing to death. But it did not move of its own volition, which presented whole new dangers. With great difficulty, the two of them were able to combine their efforts and move it below and above the horizon again, eventually establishing a regular day and night cycle.

Over time this became far easier for them both, with Luna leaving Celestia to worry about the day’s massive ball of fire, quietly creating and celebrating at last the beauty of her beloved night.

The duration of this age is not really knowable, and there was not yet a calendar. Time was still in the process of stabilizing, and the continuity of flow varied widely from month to month, and from place to place. Most estimates maintain the age as having lasted between two and ten years, possibly much longer outside of what would eventually become Equestria.

That being said, many magicians through the ages have posited that in establishing a diurnal schedule (and, later, seasons) Celestia and Luna had also helped their world to establish the new structure of time itself. This theory of consensual time is, of course, untestable with magic currently available.

It was also during this period of upheaval, when new natural orders were establishing themselves and being established, that cutie marks first began to appear. The priests proclaimed this as a blessing from the Two Sisters, assigning every pony their appointed lifelong task based upon their mark. In their defense, it is entirely possible that they believed it themselves.

The Graven Age ended when the Sisters realized that not only were they being worshipped, and that worship used as a means of ruling other ponies, but that there were also preparations being made to force other speaking folk to worship them as well. The word “war” did not yet exist, but the concept was one both sisters found to be both horrific and obscene. They re-established contact with their fellow ponies, dissolved the priesthood, and reluctantly accepted rulership over their own kind.

Associated events within this period are referred to as 1 GA through 10 GA, to establish not so much an objective chronology as a best estimate as to their relationship with one another. However, all scholars agree that by the end of this age time had become, for all intents and purposes, as stable as it is today.

The First Realm (the Age of Bondage).

The age of the First Realm is marked by, among other things, construction of the temple on Mount Canterlot being abandoned, the Castle of the Two Sisters being built, the first Equestrian calendar being established (a complex combination of both solar and lunar calculations), the invention of writing, the creation of specialized tasks for ponies outside of priesthood, the construction of stone-walled towns and cities, and (perhaps above all), the acceptance by the Two Sisters of their roles as benevolent dictators.

It was also the age in which those pony families who had styled themselves as priests established themselves, instead, as the first nobility of Equestria.

From this point on, yearly and monthly records are very reliable. Until recent times, records from this time forward were designated as AD (After Discord), starting with the Two Sisters taking praxis during the year 1 AD. In recent years, however, this has been updated to CE (Civilization Exists). This is completely because of a desire to recognize Discord’s reformation and welcome him into pony society, and has nothing to do with his ability to turn academic ponies into singing rutabagas.

The First Realm was a period of difficult adjustment for ponykind for a variety of reasons. With their efforts to maintain day and night becoming better understood, it was difficult for the Two Sisters to continually defuse the awe of other ponies. Luna’s name became associated with the moon, while Celestia’s became associated with the daytime sky. And, while they were no longer in self-imposed exile from their fellow ponies, social structures quickly arose that kept them isolated from all but a select few.

The Two Sisters were reluctant to use their newly-claimed political power any more than absolutely necessary, and were still quite young and naïve. Moreover, they (like everypony else) had essentially no history or lore to learn from in the modern sense. Thus, it was far too easy for them to fall into a kind of information bubble where the rest of ponykind was concerned, and the nobleponies took full advantage of that.

During the First Realm, all ponies, everywhere, were considered the rightful subjects of the princesses… and therefore, of the nobility who ruled in their names. This perceived “right” was enforced with an iron hoof. Thus, while this was the age in which the Two Sisters worked tirelessly to establish their new rulership as one of peace, prosperity, and happiness for all… it was also the age of magistrate law, indentured servitude, slavery, and public executions.

The First Realm lasted just under a hundred years. It ended when Princess Luna, who had also been developing her role as a guardian of dreams, encountered a foal named Steadymane. This young colt’s father had recently been arrested, tortured into a confession, and ultimately enslaved as punishment. Steadymane was not only somewhat lucid in his dreams, but also unafraid enough of “the Dark One” to explain the nature of his nightmares to her directly – a rare combination in those days.

Princess Luna had never used her powers to gather information from multiple ponies before, but she did now. And, a few days later, she exploded into Royal Court with terrifying rage and fury at the nobility gathered there.

If the nobleponies were hoping for aid from Luna’s sister, they were sorely mistaken. The sisters’ trust for one another was absolute, and Celestia needed no explanation from her sister to know beyond any doubt that the other ponies were in the wrong regarding whatever it was that she was roaring about.

By the end of the day, fully half the noble houses had been stripped of all lands and titles; execution, slavery, and torture had been outlawed; the post of magistrate had been dissolved; and both princesses had begun work on reforming the entire Equestrian legal code.

Up until that point, both sisters had ruled from twin thrones, Celestia in the morning and Luna in the eve, with the two of them giving joint decisions during the afternoon. But with these new revelations, the Two Sisters resolved to be as involved in not just the well-beings of their subjects, but their lives, as well.

The end of the First Realm therefore marks the beginning of the Court of Day, with Luna devoting herself entirely to her role as a guardian of dreams instead of making rare excursions into the dream realm, even as Celestia handled matters of bureaucracy and politics, and (shortly thereafter) recognizing that she desperately needed personal assistants.

When discussing this era with a young Twilight Sparkle, Celestia noted with a chuckle that it also may have marked the end of any real sleep for either of them.

The First Enlightened Age (The Age of Diarchy).

The First Enlightened Age lasted for over a thousand years of growing happiness and prosperity for Equestria. The first century or so was quite a learning curve for both rulers, and fortunately, they had one another to rely upon. Unfortunately, as the centuries went on, their relationship changed in ways neither of them could predict, understand, or control.

It is during this time that Star Swirl the Bearded lived, and that the Pillars of Harmony had their legendary adventures. This period also marks the establishment of relations between Equestria and other nations in the modern sense, the defeat of several of Luna’s and Celestia’s greatest enemies (thanks in large part to the Elements of Harmony), and the Crystal War.

The ending of the First Realm had also marked the ending of the claim of Sovereign Right – the inherent right of the Two Sisters to rule over all ponies, everywhere, by dint of birth and power – a “right” that the sisters had never wanted nor claimed anyway.

During the First Enlightened Age, this lack of desire began to be cautiously tested by other ponies. Tentatively at first, states began gradually breaking away from Equestrian rule, with treaties of friendship and alliance always the result.

The words “cautiously” and “gradually” cannot be overstated, however. For example: for the first two hundred years of the Crystal Empire’s independence, civil servants were still required by imperial law to swear their allegiance to both their own monarchy and the rulers of Equestria. And even today, rulers of Saddle Arabia will ceremonially toast the health of the Equestrian princesses at every breakfast (this last having evolved over the centuries from an oath of allegiance into a simple gesture of friendship). Also to this day, Equestria stands ready to defend its friends and allies with all its power.

The First Enlightened Age came to an end with the exile of Princess Luna (burning out of the Elements of Harmony in the process), and the abandonment of the Castle of the Two Sisters, leaving it to be re-engulfed by the Everfree Forest.

The Second Enlightened Age (the Age of Monarchy)

The Second Enlightened Age was an aeon of dark and bitter irony for Princess Celestia. It was during this time that what had begun as a massive temple over a thousand years before was constructed into Canterlot Palace, with much of the mountain being hollowed out to yield both the structure’s outer stonework and its labyrinthine lower levels.

Many things were left behind by the heartbroken princess, though in some cases entire halls and library wings were transferred by powerful dimensional magics to her new abode. But in the end, the Castle of the Two Sisters was abandoned, along with the charred husks that remained of the Elements.

But the moon remained, every night.

At first glance, Celestia’s beloved subjects’ lives continued to improve by leaps and bounds. Medicine and living care made amazing strides forward, and magical research she had never dreamed possible flourished. Ponies were happier and healthier than ever before.

But there was an exception to this prosperity. For those who might have benefitted from Luna’s counsel in their dreams, there was no succor and no insight. There was also no nocturnal guide to aid them against the terrors that hunted them in their dreams. Thus, many ponies simply suffered in silence, sometimes even fading and dying at young ages, their numbers impossible to guess.

Why accessing dreams as her sister had done should be such an impossibility for unicorn sorcery, Celestia could not guess. But it remained impossible, just the same. And every night, she raised the moon, retired, and sang to her sister in her dreams. And every morning, she lowered her sister’s moon, and faced another day of the same as before: her friends dead from old age, her sister imprisoned by her own hoof. Herself, numb from loss.

With effort, Celestia was able to stop the yearly burning of her sister in effigy, and the outright demonization of her in stories. But Nightmare Night remained, proving to be one of the most enduring vestiges of Luna’s legacy (much to Celestia’s shame). The calendar was simplified to a purely solar one, and Celestia was simply too emotionally exhausted to prevent it. Tales of Princess Luna and the Mare of the Moon faded into legend, and ultimately into myth.

And as for the remaining princess, looking forward to centuries of indescribable loneliness… it would have been far easier, and less painful, to have surrendered herself to the numbness that true despair offered. To just let it go.

But through it all, despite it all, she remained Celestia.

The Second Enlightened Age was a relatively uneventful period, at least compared to those ages before it and following. Relations with other nations continued much as they had, without much change. Celestia continued to be respected among her fellow leaders, often referred to in foreign tales and songs as “the Sad Queen.”

But it also was the period in which (towards the end) Princess Celestia encountered and mentored Sunset Shimmer, and, much later, Cadence, Twilight Sparkle and, vicariously, Spike. And, on its last day, the Elements of Harmony found new bearers.

The Second Enlightened Age officially came to an end, not when Nightmare Moon returned, but when she was purified and healed, again becoming Princess Luna.

The Third Enlightened Age (the Age of Alicorns)

This is the age which begins when the series pilot ends: Princess Luna, newly-healed and forgiven of her crimes, again re-joins her sister and begins acclimating herself to the world as it has become. There was talk of going back to the old, more complicated calendar, or even starting the numbering of years over again with 1 LR (Luna’s Return) in celebration. However, Princess Luna asked that such a fuss not be made.

Thus far during this age, several ancient foes have returned; including Discord, who ultimately became a friend (prompting the years’ designations to be changed from AD to CE, as discussed earlier). The Crystal Empire and Sombra also returned, the former being saved at last from the latter. Twilight Sparkle became a princess in her own right, raising the number of alicorns in the world (thus far) to four, and Sunset Shimmer’s schemes came to light and were defeated. New advances in magic previously undreamed-of were discovered. New adventures unheard-of were had.

And through it all, friendship and hope have continued to be the ultimate magic.

Report Coyote de La Mancha · 221 views · Story: Exiles ·
Comments ( 2 )

A BC(E) system that counts up rather than down. Huh. That's a bit of a mindbender. But "Year 0" is still roughly when a divine figure whose name starts with C was born.

However, all scholars agree that by the end of this age time had become, for all intents and purposes, as stable as it is today.

There is some speculation that that isn't as stable as it could be, but without another universe for reference, the point is moot. Strangely, Princess Twilight always seems to develop a cough whenever the topic is raised where she can hear it.

This is completely because of a desire to recognize Discord’s reformation and welcome him into pony society, and has nothing to do with his ability to turn academic ponies into singing rutabagas.

Of course.

An excellent chronology, especially given the mess you had to derive from. Nice touch with the vague phrasing around Sunset to make it compatible with both timelines.

This was a great read. I am educated.

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