“There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls.” George Carlin
It's been four years since the events that changed 3 nations and their future together under the light of the stars. On Equestria Princess Celestia was about to make a difficult decision, one that could affect the land of Equestria, even the world. She needed to choose one of her students to take the elements of harmony and save Equestria, if possible even her sister from the corruption and darkness of Nightmare Moon. Both her young filly students have turn into powerful and successful mares, their name and achievements were well known across the land of Equestria and beyond the southern lands. The Warrior Princess and the Daylight Sorceress those were their unofficial titles. Sunset Shimmer became one of the greatest unicorns sorcerer to ever live on Equestria and probably the world, her magic power was only rivaled by her little sister Twilight Sparkle that officially was one of the smartest scholars and researchers in Equestria, although her unofficial job was to make sure no harm ever came to Equestria and her Abyssinian nickname began to spread.
Twilight that had grow as tall as her now personal guard Tempest Shadow, became an overwhelming and beautiful mare. She was always accompanied by her also powerful friends. She got be known as she traveled all over Equestria and the lands beyond, doing her little missions of peace. Her team had become an also great asset to the Equestrian military, Moonflower strategies helped to get results with the minimum loses, with Zipzee specialty on undercover missions no crime syndicate was safe in Canterlot and the now Commander Tempest Shadow of the Royal Guard was one of Princess Celestia greatest soldiers, just behind the now Captain of the Royal Guard Shining Armor, although her loyalty was to another princess she always produced the best results.
If Princess Celestia were to make her choose of who to send for the mission at the moment it would be Sunset her best option, but the fact that Twilight’s cutie mark was the Element of Magic make it hard to be certain. Twilight successfully united Hippogriffia and Abyssinia with Equestria on a peace treaty that helped all three nations to grow stronger keeping other potential threats at bay. She was an excellent example of friendship and harmony, but only with that she was not necessary the one chosen by Magic. Princess Celestia had little time, just a few weeks and her time would run out.
Princess Cadance was aware of the situation, she and just very few others knew Nightmare Moon was soon to return. She hoped for her aunt to get a happy conclusion to what seems to be a thousand years of grief, planning and hoping for getting Luna back. Princess Celestia just needed to find the Element of Magic bearer, she had found the others elements bearers long ago when searching for the responsible of the sonic rainboom that almost killed Twilight and open a new path for Sunset, all five mares coincidentally lived on the same town, fate really was playing a big role on Celestia favor.
On Hippogriffia things couldn't be better for Queen Novo, her old friend Princess Celestia visited her a few times after Twilight helped her nation, she apologized for no knowing of the situation and unable to send real Equestrian support, for that matter she was able to send her daughter to Equestria were she would learn and grow as a ruler. Princess Skystar did grew, she got taller and her beauty was the pride of the hippogriffs. Being together with Twilight she learned many things, also become a powerful warrior and princess for her nation. Stratus Skyranger that was her personal guard and acting Ambassador of Hippogriffia helped her in learning the arts of combat, she soon become a symbol of beauty and power for Hippogriffia making her mother proud.
As for Abyssinia, they were able to recover quickly from the situation the Storm King let them, the Queen was able to establish a new trade line with not only her friend’s nations but others as well. The use of the ships they collected from the former storm realm, now a hippogriffs’ shipyard and trading post. Ambassador Catrina became good friends with Twilight, her ideas helped her nation and her queen achieve great deals for trade and with the contacts Twilight presented her with, that Twilight met during her missions, she became a strong political influence on Equestria.
Things were going really good for Equestria and her allies, but for Twilight Sparkle they were not as she wanted to be. She was stressed, after years she finally found some lead regarding Celestia's sister, all thanks to Moonflower’s family. She was heading together with her friends to Hollow Shades, after so many times of traveling and doing missions for Equestria or their allies, she disappearing from Canterlot for a few days or weeks was not longer an issue. Traveling at night as they usually did flying through the star sky as Zipzee transformed into a big wyvern helped with the transportation.
No creature say anything during their fly, they knew Twilight was not on a good mood, she had expended years searching for the artifacts of harmony but nothing came out, she was running out of ideas and time, she knew something would happen soon, she could feel the distress on her mentor and friend Princess Celestia, she needed to learn the true about the past and she needed information about what those artifacts could do besides turning some creature on stone.
Normally Spike, Twilight’s little baby dragon would accompany them on their trip, but ever since the little issues they encountered on the dragon lands he preferred to stay in Canterlot helping his aunt Sunset and training with his uncle Shining Armor. He wanted to proof the Dragon Lord’s daughter that he was as powerful as his mom. Twilight gave him all the support he needed and moved some pieces to make sure he was well train.
After not more than a few hours they made it to Hollow Shades, they were greeted by a beautiful field of moon flowers and many thestrals. They came across really important information during a casual conversation between Moonflower and her mom, apparently many thestrals from Hollow Shapes were descendants of the Princess Luna’s old Night Guard. They even had records of they time under the missing princess rule. Twilight couldn't believe that after years of searching it never came to her mind checking the children of the night for information about the former princess. She even asked the stars but many couldn't really tell much about Princess Luna and they lost connection with her before her banishment, so no information of what happen during that time was present.
The ponies of the time really did a good job erasing information about the Princess of the Night, she knew after years of investigation that Celestia was not the one guilty about the missing records. Soon after her banishment everything related to Luna was destroyed or lost during the centuries after. They really hated her, Twilight couldn't help felt mad, if she could she would exterminated those insolent foals and teach those ponies how to love the night and respect their goddess.
After a few greetings they were guided to the mayor’s office where all the books, records, scrolls and everything each thestral family was able to find about the night guard and Princess Luna was compiled. Moonflower made sure to request her family to let others know that they needed that information. Most of the documents were a combination of old battle tales, journals from some guards and some old flutter pony tales, every single one mentioned the Night Goddess Luna. Many journals commented the bravery of Princess Luna on battle, how she commanded the armies to defend and defeat their enemies with ease protecting Equestria from great threats. But most ended with the same dark stories of persecution for their kin, how Princess Luna started to show signs of depression and loneliness. How she started to spend most time with her night, her stars and moon, trying her best to make it as beautiful as she could imagine for those ponies that ignored her and her work. Soon she started to behave different, she was rude and merciless to her enemies, she would lose her temper easily and show signs of physical change when so. Just before her banishment on must journals the lovely and innocent Princess of the Night was not more as a cruel ruler of the night she became, sending nightmares to those ponies that ignore her. Then it happen she was tired of her sister ignorance, about her sister enjoying the worship she got from the ponies and how her day was praised, while her hard work on the night was ignore, she created a solar eclipse and tried to take the throne for herself.
One of the journals ended with the mention of a rainbow beam shot from the castle to the moon just before Princess Luna was banished to it, and after many years of research and studies Twilight finally found a clue of the artifacts she was looking for, she couldn't be more happy. They spent two weeks as they went through all of documents and journals, most of then ended with the same rainbow beam event and the shadow figure appearing on the moon, but the most important clue was found by Starsky on one of the flutter tails she was reading, A tale of two regal sisters.
“Once upon a time, in the magical land of Equestria, there were two regal sisters who ruled together and created harmony for all the land. To do this, the eldest used her unicorn powers to raise the sun at dawn. The younger brought out the moon to begin the night. Thus, the two sisters maintained balance for their kingdom and their subjects: all the different types of ponies. But as time went on, the younger sister became resentful.
The ponies relished and played in the day her elder sister brought forth, but shunned and slept in her beautiful night. One fateful day, the younger unicorn refused to lower the moon to make way for the dawn. The elder sister tried to reason with her, but the bitterness in the young one's heart had transformed her into the wicked mare of darkness: Nightmare Moon. She vowed she would shroud the land in eternal night. Reluctantly, the elder sister harnessed the most powerful magic known to ponydom: The Elements Of Harmony.
Using the magic of the elements of harmony, she defeated her younger sister and banished her permanently in the moon. The elder sister took on responsibility for both sun and moon and harmony has been maintained in Equestria for generations since.”
“No way!” reacted Skystar after she read the story. “But Celestia is so kind, how can she do that to her own sister?”
“I knew she was hidden something from our queen,” said Zipzee as she slam her hoof at the floor in anger.
“How would know that Princess Celestia had such dark past,” said Tempest as she looked at Twilight that was rereading the story looking for hidden clues.
“Well, we know that she was kind of young and blind of her status with the ponies of the time,” responded Moonflower, “maybe she was unaware of her wrongs.”
“We agree with Moony,” responded Twilight looking away from the book, “she was young and a foal, but at that same time she was guilty of her own ignorance.”
“So, now what we do?” asked Moonflower as Twilight went back to the book.
“Mmm, this confirm our suspicions. Celestia is preparing for something,” Twilight said, as she closed her eyes trying to look a the big picture,” We need to find this castle, there must be some kind of clue of the artifacts there.”
Twilight went to one of the old thestrals of town and asked if anypony knew the location of the old castle or any information that could leave them there. Luckily for them the castle location was well known, the Castle of the Two Sister was called and its location was the now Everfree Forest. They divided their team in two, Moonflower and Skystar would continue the research while Twilight and the others would go to the Everfree Forest to find the castle and explore. They knew the forest was dangerous and they needed to continue searching for clues about Princess Luna, besides they were running out of time Twilight knew something was coming, something big.
It was late a night Twilight, Tempest and Zipzee were getting close to the small town next to the forest, they parted ways early the night before with the others but needed to stop to take some rest along the way. Working two weeks straight was to much even for them, Tempest insisted the Twilight rested a few hours during the day. Twilight didn't want too but agreed with her, she knew Tempest would not back down and Zipzee would support Tempest on getting her to rest.
Since was late at night nopony was out when the got to the town, making their way through it the made it to the skirts of town where the forest begins. Creepy was the word Zipzee used to describe the forest, it was well known that the Everfree Forest was full of dangerous creatures and plants. Many would get lost and never get out, it was full of mysteries, as not even pegasi would be able to control its weather making it hard to know what would happen.
As they made their way through the woods they came across a big river, using her magic Twilight levitated her friends. As she flew over it something big came out of the water, as soon they crossed an inhabitant of the forest a big giant purple sea serpent showed itself. The creature for everypony surprise didn't attack them but greeted them as he asked for some help on finding a good brush for his mustache, he even handle Twilight a bag of bits to buy it for him since he can’t enter the town without causing a commotion. After finally being able to process what happened Twilight agreed in exchange of information of the location of the Castle of the Two Sisters. The serpent that introduced himself as Steve Magnet was more than happy to show them the way for the brush, which Twilight handled her own brush that Tempest was caring on her saddlebag for free. He told them that some meters following the road they were taking was a cave with a crystal tree on top of the cave was a wooden bridge that would take them to the ruined castle.
After giving their thanks they continued their way as Tempest and Zipzee defeated a couple of timberwolf that attacked then along the way, using their full abilities they were no trouble. Everything was like a simple walk through the park until they got near the cave Steven mentioned. Twilight felt a powerful magic coming from the cave, some kind of magic she never felt before but was aware it must be harmony magic as she felt warm and at peace at the same time. Making her way through the cave they arrive to a big crystal tree, on its trunk there were Celestia cutie mark and most likely Luna’s too but on the center of the tree was Twilight own cutie mark. Astonished by the discovery she walked closer to the tree but as she got near she felt like the tree was pulling her closer and rejecting her at the same time, this most had been the destiny Asteria mentioned long ago to the filly Twilight. Getting a better look at the tree they saw some missing spots on the branches of the tree, those were most likely where the artifacts should be, Twilight knew she just found the origin of the artifacts of harmony that Discord never found, the mysterious backup plan from the disappeared pillars of old he mention.
If the artifact were not in the tree they may be on Celestia possession or in the castle if we are lucky, Twilight thought as they left the cave. They flew over the hill until the collapsed walls of the castle came to view. They entered the old castle, time was not friendly to it as everything was mostly destroyed or in debris, some old banners were hanging on the walls with the symbols of the sun and the moon, most likely the princesses’ cutie marks. In the throne room or what is left of it were two thrones and the old evidence of battle.
‘’This must be the place were the coup d'etat started,” said Tempest as she checked the place.
“Yeah, They most likely flew through the ceiling during their fight,” responded Twilight as she looked at the big hole on the roof on top of then were the moon was shining next to her stars, “Let's keep looking through the castle, try to find anything that looks like a fight was held there.”
After a few hours of searching they came across an strange sculpture with some stone spheres on it. With a closer look at the stone spheres Twilight could felt just barely a response of magic similar to the tree. She couldn't believe it, but she was certain, she found the artifacts that turned Chaos into stone and banished a goddess to the moon. But there was a problem, they were useless now, probably Celestia most have misused them against Luna and used all their power on her, Twilight thought.
Now she was without options again, she was able to get the artifacts but she wasn't able to use them, probably nopony could. She thought that maybe Celestia had a way to reactivate them or knew how to use them even like that. She could take them to the tree and try to see if they react to it but she didn't liked the way the tree reacted to her. Leaving the stone spheres in their place they decided to return to Hollow Shades were the others were and compare notes. Maybe their friends found something new that could help them finally tight the pieces together.
“Glad you make it back safely!” said Skystar hugging Twilight tightly.
“Thanks but there was not need to worry” responded Twilight with a smile.
“Yeah I was protecting our queen the whole time,” said Zipzee with a smug face.
“You mean we were protecting her highness the whole time,” said Tempest giving a serious look at Zipzee which only responded sticking out her tongue.
“How was the exploration Twily? Did you find anything useful?” asked Moonflower ignoring her friends silly fight.
“Yes and no,” responded Twilight sighing, “is complicated.” Twilight told her two friends what happened at the forest and what they found, how the artifacts were useless now and the location of the tree were they came from. Their options were limited now and probably she would have to confront her mentor and friend Princess Celestia for answers she must likely will not get. She felt depressed after years of searching she was again without a clue, and she hated been behind the curtains. Her friends got closer and shared a hug they knew feeling their presence next to her would always cheer her up on when she was down.
“Well we have news the will make you feel better,” said Moonflower with a sweet smile.
“Did you now?” asked Twilight smiling at her, “What you girls found out?”
“Oh oh, let me tell her please!” said Skystar raising her arm flying high on the room.
“Sure, go for it,” responded Moonflower rolling her eyes.
“We found a prophecy about Princess Luna!” said Skystar with a flip on the air after getting confirmation from Moonflower.
“Oh now that’s good news,” said Twilight smiling brightly, “We are happy something came out on our favor this time, please enlighten us with your finding.” Using her magic Twilight started to help fixing the books that were all over the floor, as Moonflower pulled her notes and started reading to them what they found out.
"A powerful pony who wanted to rule Equestria, defeated by the Elements of Harmony and imprisoned in the moon. Legend has it that on the longest day of the thousandth year, the stars will aid in her escape, and she will bring about nighttime eternal!" Moonflower finished reading the notes on the book and looked at Twilight that stopped walking.
All the books the were flowing with magic suddenly fell on the floor as Twilight froze for a moment, “Oh really~” said Twilight, as she grinned and her eyes shined.
Up in the star sky four stars turned purple for a moment as they got closer to the moon for a brief moment. On her balcony Princess Celestia saw the movement from the stars, she knew the time has come and she needed to make her decision. Entering her run after sighing deeply she took hold of a scroll and a quill, starting to write a letter she hope she chose correctly for the good of her sister and Equestria.