Blueblood: Hero of Equestria

by Raleigh

Night's Blood (Prologue)

Prince Blueblood and the Battle of Black Venom Pass

This next entry in the Blueblood Manuscript concerns his actions during the ill-fated Operation Enduring Harmony. If the incident at Fancy Pants’ benefit party was the genesis of his enduring fame, then it was the Battle of Black Venom Pass that solidified his reputation as a war hero.

Black Venom Pass and the apparent failure of Operation ‘Enduring Harmony’ has been the focus of much scholarly debate in recent years. In the wake of such a tragedy, many ponies seek somepony to blame; most notably the generals who commanded the armies, the politicians who gave the orders in the first place, and even themselves who cried out for vengeance in the wake of the Royal Wedding incident with apparent disregard for rationality and sense.

Likewise, ponies will always look towards somepony to deliver them from this dark menace; a figurehead who exemplifies the valour and sacrifice of the Royal Guard and who will always be there to save the day. This pony was Prince Blueblood, much to his irritation and horror.

This entry, therefore, is of particular interest as it shows that Blueblood most definitely does not see his actions on that fateful day as anything approaching heroic. Again, this is likely his insecurities and neurotic tendencies showing through, as even reading this spectacularly candid document should show that despite his insistence to the contrary, Blueblood did display a great deal of genuine courage.

Ultimately, this battle would have far reaching consequences for not only Blueblood, but for all of Equestria as well. To help set this particular entry in context and fill in any gaps left by Blueblood’s entirely self-centred account, I will continue to add annotations. For those ponies not familiar with Royal Guard battle drill I have prefaced this entry with an extract from von Pferdwitz’s seminal work ‘On War’ which will help provide the reader with a basic understanding as to contemporary Royal Guard battle tactics.

-H. R. H. Celestia


Extract from Von Pferdwitz’s ‘On War’ 6th Edition

[This work, first published in the wake of the Nightmare Heresy, is still required reading at the Royal Guard Academy. Its entries on battlefield tactics, strategy, and the political purpose of warfare are still highly relevant in modern warfare. Over the years the text has been amended to keep up with updates in weapons technology and developments in strategy. At the time of the Changeling War the Academy was using the sixth edition. The popularity of this work is, in part, due to its uncomplicated language, which avoids the florid tones and technical words of many other military texts, and is thus understandable for the lay-pony.]

As the principles of Harmony pervade Equestrian civilian life, so too do they work in our military affairs. In the civilian sphere each subspecies of pony provides certain skills that ensure there is plenty of food and goods for us all. The earth ponies grow, nurture, and harvest food; pegasi manage the weather to provide optimal growing conditions for crops; while unicorns employ magic to make all of our lives easier and more comfortable. So too on the battlefield does this harmonious interplay exist.

The most basic unit in the Royal Guard is the regiment. A regiment, in order to be effective, must contain earth ponies, pegasi, and unicorns in roughly equal proportions. Each subspecies is organised into separate companies, so the earth pony company will consist of nothing other than earth ponies, the pegasus company should only have pegasi, and likewise the unicorn company will only contain unicorns. Yet on the battlefield an army should still consist of roughly equal proportions of subspecies.

To continue the civilian analogy, each subspecies has its own particular place on the battlefield. To the earth ponies falls the most important and the most brutal of tasks. As in the civilian sphere they have the most important role of growing food, and all other ponies merely assist the earth ponies in their sacred duties, so too does this arrangement exist in war. They are the mainstay of the Royal Guard; they are the ponies who will do the bulk of the actual fighting. They shall use their superior strength and endurance in the brutal struggle of close quarters combat, and it is here that ultimately battles are won and lost.

However, a detachment of just earth ponies will find itself outflanked by the airborne pegasi or blasted apart from a distance by unicorns. Therefore earth ponies must operate in harmony with pegasi and unicorns in order to succeed.

Pegasi should use their ability of flight to guard the vulnerable flanks of the earth ponies. Their superior speed will allow them to be used as rapid response units, used to plug gaps in the frontlines or exploit breakthroughs and run down fleeing enemies. However, one must be wary as pegasi stamina is not the equal of earth ponies, and therefore they cannot dedicate themselves to the same sustained fighting expected of the earth ponies. Therefore it is often wise to employ earth ponies as the ‘anvil’ upon which the enemy will become mired in close combat, and use pegasi as the ‘hammer’ to strike at the pinned enemy’s rear.

Unicorns, by virtue of their abilities in magic, should be employed to cover the earth pony’s advance. Arrayed carefully by an intelligent commander, a unicorn company can unleash devastating fusillades of magic missiles at the enemy. Inflicting a sustained barrage upon an advancing foe will invariably damage their morale and inflict losses upon them, which will help when it comes to the earth ponies’ business of close combat. Commanders who are prone to take risks may even employ unicorns to shoot accurately into the mire of close combat, but this is unwise as it may result in friendly fire incidents. One should not over-estimate the strength of unicorns, though the ability to strike the enemy from afar is appealing to many, they are still very much vulnerable to attack. Many a company has been routed when a missile barrage did not result in the destruction or flight of the enemy, but instead they were able to weather the losses and charge in.

A good commander, therefore, will employ the use of all three pony subspecies effectively and harmoniously in battle. Use earth ponies as a blunt instrument to batter the foe into destruction, use pegasi as precision scalpels to target enemy weak points and guard the flanks, and use unicorns to provide long range fire support as the two armies close in for battle. If a commander can understand these precepts and use them well in battle, then he shall almost certainly prevail. Harmony is what has made Equestria so prosperous and it is what shall make Equestria undefeatable in war.