Twilight of the Gods

by PrincessoftheNight

Prologue: Dawn of the End

As the great black wolf raced toward her, Celestia knew she was going to die.

She was ready for it- she'd known this day would come for thousands of years, known her life would end in the jaws of this massive wolf. She'd lived a long life and had no regrets- save one.

Why couldn't I have saved my kingdom? she asked herself as she lifted her head to scan the battlefield, her eyes taking in the butchered corpses, the sharp tang of gore hitting her nostrils. My little ponies.... your princess has failed you.

Celestia shook her head. No time for regret. You have to face your destiny.

She struggled to her feet, ready to face the ravenous wolf. The Princess of the Sun was a sorry sight. Numerous gashes covered her flanks and back where her blood-splattered armor had failed. Her left front leg was a crumpled mass of flesh, twisted almost beyond recognition. Blood streamed from what little remained of her left wing.

Yet despite the terrible pain she was in, Celestia stood proudly as the wolf rushed toward her, a statue celebrating heroic last stands. The wolf was almost upon her, jaws agape, ready to swallow Princess Celestia, who towered over mortal ponies, whole. The doomed princess began a spell, her horn glowing white-gold.

"TIA!!!" Luna screamed, her voice echoing about the burned-out battlefield.

Celestia didn't respond, instead she closed her eyes, her horn glowing brighter by the second.

A heartbeat later, her foe was upon her.

She fought back a shriek of agony as the wolf's jaws closed on her, biting through armor, flesh and bone. With her last breath, she cast her spell.

The wolf howled in triumph.

A second later, a massive explosion ripped through its body, a flash of light as bright as the sun tearing it apart from within. The wolf's last meal had had her revenge.

When the light died, the Princess of the Sun was nowhere to be found.

* * * * * * * * *

Celestia's eyes snapped open, her short white fur drenched with sweat. It was just a dream.... oh, thank Odin, it was just a dream. But she knew it wouldn't remain a dream for long. If the ancient calculations were correct, she had exactly three years left. The end is coming.... have I done enough? Will- no, can my ponies survive? Can I?

Still reeling from the horror of her dream, she rose from her bed, her expression turning to horror once more as she glanced at the clock I overslept! The sun was supposed to rise half an hour ago! And it's the spring equinox... of all the days to oversleep, why did it have to be today?

She turned and galloped as fast as she could to the eastern tower, after which Equestria was treated to the hastiest sunrise it had ever seen.

As her sun rose above the horizon, painting a watercolor of pink and gold, Celestia allowed her mind to wander to her subjects below. Some ponies would be undoubtedly worried at the late sunrise, but most would be anticipating a perfectly ordinary Winter Wrap Up. Celestia envied those ponies. They were never troubled by nightmares of their own fated, gory death. They were not Princesses trying desperately to save their doomed kingdoms. They didn't know what was coming.

Three years... She shivered, but not from the cold.

With her sun now secured in the sky, Celestia trotted back down the tower steps, the urgency of her hoofbeats betraying her worry. Is this my fault? Did I fail to end winter?

She shook her head. That's silly, Celestia. This was fated for eons. Of course it isn't your fault.

One thing's for certain, though; I should have told Twilight about this long ago.

The princess returned to her chambers, found a quill and began to write. Dear Princess Twilight Sparkle....