Showcase Presents: The Secret Origins of the Crusaders of Shazam!

by VunderGuy

A Surprise in the Everfree

Showcase Presents: The Secret Origins of the Crusaders of Shazam!

Once upon a 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 Alicorn 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...

For the ponies relished and played in the day her elder sister brought forth, but shunned and slept through her beautiful night...

One fateful day, the younger Alicorn 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 a whicked mare of darkness, Night Mare Moon!

She vowed that she would shroud the land in eternal night!

A massive battle ensued in which both sisters fought each other using much of their awesome power that devastated much of the land. However, because of the elder sister's love for her sibling, she held back through much of the fight and was defeated by the evil pony her sister had become. One who held no qualms with unleashing her new and unbridled fury upon the other Alicorn.

Luckily, the elder sister managed to flee and rally the various forces still loyal to her against the armies of Night Mare Moon. During their final battle atop the peak of the largest mountain in all Equestria, the eldest, reluctantly, harnessed the most powerful magic known to ponydom. The elements of harmony!

Using the magics of the elements of harmony, she defeated her younger sister, and banished her permanently in the moon...

...However, all was not well. For while the citizens of Equestria rejoiced in the defeat of the monster the younger Princess had become, the eldest...was dying.

The fighting between her and Night Mare Moon was strenuous and had left her with many wounds, physical, magical, and mental. This, coupled with the taxation using the elements demanded, meant that she, had unfortunately, mere hours of life left.

When her subjects discovered this, the previously jovial mood was halted and replaced by one of somberness. Now, both of their beloved rulers would be gone and without them, who would rule Equestria? Who would defend it from all who would see it wiped from the map? Who would raise the sun and the moon?

Before her untimely demise however, the remaining pony sister did her best to ensure the future of her little ponies. With her remaining power, augmented by the elements, she made the sun and the moon rise and set naturally and predictably over the lands of Equestria and the rest of Equis. She decreed that a counsel of ponies comprised of equal parts Earth ponies, Pegasi, and Unicorns would be established to rule ver Equestria in her absence with one head that that would share equal power in important decisions made for the country.

And, she decreed that a total of five military branches should be established and maintained to protect Equestria's borders and hopefully, prevent the devastation caused by Night Mare Moon and Discord's reign from ever happening again in future conflicts with future enemies.

And so, with a final farewell to her subjects, the Alicorn of the sun was no more.

In memory of her, the ponies of the land built a Castle around the spot where she had fallen, a mausoleum of sorts that would stand as a reminder of the Eldest sister and all she had done as well as the seat of those that would govern the nation. Soon, a city that would serve as Equestria's capital blossomed around this palace, and the ponies of the land set about the final tasks their sovereign had asked of them.

The Triumvirate of the Tribes, as the pony counsel came to be known, took on responsibility and harmony has been maintained in Equestria for generations since...


It was a hot, sunny day in Ponyville as three fillies roamed through the Everfree Forest. One was a yellow earth pony with a red mane and a large hot pink bow on her head. The other was a white unicorn with a grayish mulberry mane and green eyes. The final member of the trio was an orange Pegasus with a purple mane and eyes. They, were the Cutie Mark Crusaders!

"Scootaloo! Why are we out here again?" The unicorn filly whined to the pegasus.

"Yeah! Ya'll dragged us out here without even tellin' us what fer!" The yellow filly asked in an annoyed tone.

Scootaloo leaped up on an old stump and said, "Applebloom, Sweetie Belle, last night I came up with the best idea ever! We're going to get our cutie marks in adventuring!"

At this the other two Crusaders' eyes widened before yelling, "YEAH! CUTIE MARK CRUSADER ADVENTURERS!"

Scootaloo hopped off the stump she was standing on and high-hoofed with her friends.

"Yep! This is gonna be so easy! We'll be just like The Flash!" The Pegasus filly said as she took out a comic book from her bag that possessed a cover with a mare with a tan coat and monochromatic grey mane wearing a metal helmet with golden wings and a red shirt with a lightning bolt going down the front.

"Where'd ya get that?" Applebloom asked as Scootaloo put the comic back into her bag.

"Borrowed it from Rainbow Dash." The Pegasus said as she then started walking deeper into the forest. "Come on Crusaders! ADVENTURE HO!"

With that she, Applebloom, and Sweetie Belle started running. After about an hour of this however, the trio's enthusiasm had begun to wane.

"Um, how does walking around a forest get us our cutie marks again?" Sweetie Belle asked in a tired tone, the heat sapping her energy.

"Yeah Scoots. How 'bout we try somethin' else?" Applebloom suggested, ready to turn back as well.

"Try something else?!" Scootaloo asked in shock. She leaped up onto a rock that was sitting in a nearby pond.

"We've only been out here an hour! Would The Flash give up trying to stop the evil Shade?" The Pegasus asked, receiving confused looks from her friends. "The answer is: hay no she wouldn't!"

Scootaloo then stomped the rock she was standing on for emphasis. However, said rock began to move, causing her to fall to the ground. It rose up, as did several others, revealing that it was, in fact, a Hydra.

"AAAAAAAAAH!" The Crusaders screamed as the beast roared and began to chase them through the forest.

"IS IT TOO LATE TO TURN BACK NOW?!" Scootaloo yelled in terror.

"YES!" Applebloom and Sweetie Belle yelled in unison. Soon, the trio reached an old cave and ran into it. The Hydra was unable to follow or stick its head in, but waited outside for them to come out.

"Okay, so maybe this wasn't the best idea." Scootaloo said breathlessly.

"YA THINK?!" Applebloom snapped at the Pegasus. Before anymore could be said, the faint sound of a train horn could be heard echoing throughout the cave. Soon, at the back, a massive train with many ancient symbols carved into it appeared. A door opened wide on it, revealing a bright white light coming from its interior.

"Let's go in!" Scootaloo exclaimed.

"ARE YOU CRAZY?!" Sweetie Belle shouted at her friend, her voice slightly squeaking.

"I'm with Sweetie Belle. You just want to get on a weird train that came out of nowhere?" The earth pony said only to be ignored as Scootaloo ran into the train.

"Hey! Get back here!" Applebloom called, running after her friend to stop her, Sweetie Belle moving along side. However, they crashed into the orange Pegasus, causing them to tumble into the train. Suddenly, the door slammed shut and the locomotive took off at incredible speeds, slamming the three fillies to the back wall as they screamed out in terror.

Soon, the train stopped and the door opened, leaving the Crusaders dazed and confused as they tumbled out of the door. After a brief period of silence, they finally noticed their surroundings and slowly looked around before cautiously standing to their feet. They then saw an old pony, a unicorn Stallion, sitting on a throne before them, looking off into the distance as though reliving an old and powerful memory.

After some minutes of anticipatory silence, Applebloom decided to make the first move.

"Howdy there! I'm Applebloom. This here is Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo." The young earth pony said, smiling as she pointed to each of her friends respectively. The old stallion sat there, craning his head to stare at the young fillies for several long moments.

"I know who you are, young ones." Spoke the old pony in a surprisingly powerful voice. "I have been looking for you for...some time now."

"You have?" Sweetie Belle asked, an eyebrow arching more in confusion than surprise.

The old stallion nodded his head gravely before sitting straighter in his stone chair and staring a little closer at the fillies.

"Yes, I have. I am known as the Wizard, Shazam. I have been the guardian and keeper of the power of magic since before time had officially begun. I hold residence here, at the Rock of Eternity, to watch vigil over the world and to keep the Seven Deadly Sins from running amok and ravaging it. I have seen ponies rise to dizzying heights, only to be struck down. I have seen ages of heroes come and go, until only legends remain of their deeds. I am extremely powerful and even the gods themselves respect my name and mingle their power with mine, just as mine is mingled with theirs. I am simultaneously the world's greatest mortal practioner of the arcane arts and its oldest resident." He told the Crusaders, earning looks of amazement from all of them as they sat in silent wonder.

"For reasons you shall soon come to understand, I must ask that when you address me, not to call me by my name. Though it may seem rude for the moment, I would ask that you simply call me 'Wizard' for now."

"Uhhh…all right Mister Shaza--Wizard, sir." Applebloom hesitantly replied. The Wizard just chuckled.

"Now, I trust you have some questions for me? Let's hear them then, if you please." The three fillies stepped a little closer to the old wizard.

"Um, why are we here?" Scootaloo asked.

"Where are we?" Applebloom questioned.

"What do you need us for Mr. Wizard?" Sweetie Belle queried.

"As I mentioned, this is the Rock of Eternity. Suffice it to say, it does not exist on Equis, but rather outside of space and time altogether. It serves as a refuge for magic and a prison for the Seven Deadly Sins as well as my home.”

He looked at the ground and let out a short and exasperated sigh.

“Now we come to the very difficult question of why you are here." Shazam said as he shifted in his seat before taking in a deep breath. "I am old, little ones. Older than I look, which should tell you something right there. While appearances are not everything, I am so far past my prime, am running on so much borrowed time, that I am quite literally…on my death seat here.”

The three crusaders widened their eyes in surprise and sadness.

“However, I hold a position of power and authority in the Grand Design and my position must be filled. There must always be a Supreme Wizard. It is the nature of things and maintains the Balance."

The Crusaders may not have been the brightest bulbs of the bunch, or gotten straight A's in school, but they could take a hint and were most certainly not stupid.

"Whoa! Wait a minute! I think you have the wrong ponies here, sir!" Said Scootoloo, waving her forhooves about frantically in unison with her friends.

"You don't understand little ones.” The Wizard Shazam whispered, before chuckling darkly. “After all, how could you? There wasn't enough time, never enough time to do things the right way. That's the one thing everyone, pony or not, always regrets you know. Being tardy, neglecting what should not be put off, not finishing things before it's too late to do anything. So much left unfinished...

“I did not wish to place this burden on you young ones, but things are progressing faster than expected, and we are out of time. Great darkness is on the horizon. I have faced such darkness before, but I can no longer defeat it. I am too weak and my time is nearly here. Unopposed, it will lay waste to the entire world, magical and mundane alike, with only a care given for power and not the innocents that will stand in its path, giving neither quarter nor mercy. Only you can stop successors."

The Cutie Mark Crusaders looked to each other with various looks ranging from incredulity to amazement, all pondering the same thing.

"Why us?" They asked in unison.

"It has always been you, Applebloom, Sweetie Belle, Scootaloo. Together, you all possess the qualities needed to bear my power. I...wanted to wait until you were older, more prepared…more ready…” The wizard said, seeming to shrink in on himself as the fillies watched on. “But there is no time. Never enough time."

"Sir?" Applebloom asked before the wizard began to fade from existence, speaking his final words.

"When the moment comes, say my name." Came Shazam’s final words, the trio of fillies suddenly becoming teleported out of the Rock of Eternity.


The Crusaders found themselves outside the cave they were just in, only with the entrance gone. However, the hydra was still very much there and it roared once more as it towered over the fillies. The words of the wizard echoed in their minds and they shouted, "SHAZAM!"

Three bolts of lightning came down and struck them. The hydra stopped in surprise as three fully-grown ponies, each one of them Alicorns, now stood in the places of the three fillies that were just eclipsed by its shadow. The former earth pony of the trio wore a red costume, a white cape with gold trim, and had a lightning bolt symbol on her flank in place of a cutie mark. The Pegasus wore a blue version of the earth pony’s get-up and the former unicorn wore a white version whose single other difference was the addition of a moderate length skirt.

"Wow! That felt cool!" The Pegasus said in a much deeper voice.

"Hey Scootaloo! You're all grown up!" The unicorn also said in a much deeper voice before gasping. “And you have a horn!”

Scootaloo gasped much like her friend and exclaimed, “So does Appleboom!”

"We all do!" The adult Applebloom said as she rocketed into the air. She didn't come down however and instead, remained stationary in the sky, flapping a new pair of large and powerful appendages. “And we all got ourselves some wings too!”

"You can fly?! So not fair!" Scootaloo complained.

Applebloom looked down and said, "Maybe ya'll can do it too?"

The Pegasus attempted to lift off the ground with her now fully developed wings and found she could indeed fly. Sweetie Belle soon joined them in the air. However, the hydra had finally gotten over its shock and attempted to swallow her in one bite.

"This is great!" the flying unicorn exclaimed, unaware of the imminent danger.

Before her friends could warn her, she threw her forelegs out to her sides, accidentally striking all four of the hydra’s heads. The beast then went sailing backward from the force of the hit, landing back in the pond it came from.

"What was that?" The unicorn asked, craning her head backwards as her friends just floated, mouths agape at her.

"APPLEBLOOM!" The yellow alicorn's grandmother called.

"SWEETIE BELLE!" The light grey alicorn's sister called as well.

"Uh oh!" The alicorn Applebloom and Sweetie said as they and their friend flew down to the ground.

Thinking quickly, the former earth pony shouted, "SHAZAM!" Instantly, she was transformed back into her filly self.

Following their friend's cue, Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo did the same and just in time too; for it was at that moment that Rarity and Granny Smith came through the bushes.

"There ya'll are! Me an' Miss Rarity been lookin' fer you three everywhere!" The elderly pony said, her eyes narrowed in aggravation.

"Indeed! Don't you girls know it's dangerous to go gallivanting around the Everfree Forest by yourselves!" Rarity scolded the three fillies as the two older ponies took them back to Ponyville. “I mean, here I am, coming down all the way from Star City to watch my little sister and spend some quality time with her only to find out that she decided not to wait for me by the school house and instead, waltzed off into the most dangerous place in town without anyone to look after her at all save for two of her friends that are as small as she is!”

For the rest of the trip, Rarity and Granny Smith took turns scolding the crusaders for their recklessness. At some point, while the two of them were both talking furiously, Scootaloo managed to duck behind a tree and ran off elsewhere, much to the chagrin of her friends. The two remaining crusaders were then taken to their individual homes with their individual guardians. At the door, they were both told that, for doing something so foulish, they would be grounded and forbidden from going outside for an entire day. Any protests they would have been quickly died in their throats when the glares from Rarity and Granny Smith came at them at full force, being replaced instead by whimpering acknowledgements as they both looked at the ground.

As the rest of the afternoon passed into night and all three of the Crusaders went to sleep in their individual beds though, they did so with smiles on their faces. Indeed, for although they had witnessed the passing of one of the greatest ponies ever seen on the face of Equestria and were yelled at by their authority figures, how could they not? For now, theirs was power that they had never dreamed of before. Power to help anypony in need. Power to change the course of not just pony history, but that of all races living under Celestia’s sun. The power of ancient and long dead gods, the POWER OF SHAZAM!