The Rise of a Nation

by TwilightTheAlicorn

Chapter 2: Rise of the Crystal Empire

My Dearest Twilight,
This was a day in history when things went wrong. This day convinced Princess Lune that her way was right. This day was a terrible day in history, not only for her or I, but for all of ponykind. On this day, the very spirit of Harmony was torn apart. This was the day the Crystal Empire vanished.
Today Lune and I went for our visit to Queen Crystal Heart. She has recently had a filly. She named her little filly Cadance. She was extremely happy to see us, welcoming us much as a citizen proper of Equestria would. She literally rolled out the red carpet for us. The young queen had no clue that we were not as powerful as her, or at least she didn't tell us.
"Princesses! How kind of you to join us! Meet Princess Cadance, my little bundle of joy. Say hi, Cadance!" She greeted us enthusiastically.
"Hello, Crystal. We missed you very sorely. Thank you for inviting us." I replied.
"And I you. Is there anything you wish to discuss, or shall we get to business?"
"Well, there is a young-" The young queen was interrupted by a guard running into the room.
"Your Highnesses! One of the guards has started a coup against the royal family! You must get to safety immediately!" The guard yelled.
"Do you know who?" The queen asked.
"The captain of the guard, Sombra." He yelled.
"It can't be! He has been on my guard for ten moons! He is the most trusted pony in the kingdom!" The queen lamented.
"That matters not now. Now, we must find safety. Sombra is loose in the palace, and nopony is safe with that. Come, Crystal. You will be safe." I calmly ordered.
"Yes, Princess Celeste. I know a place." The queen demurred.
"Does Sombra know of this place?" Lune asked.
"He should not. Follow me, Princesses."
We ran through chamber after chamber, Lune and I quickly taking the little filly named Cadance in our magic as we rushed out of the room. I could tell the little filly was destined for greatness as my magic explored her spirit. We eventually ran into the throne room, in which her predecessor, Amethyst Shard, was crowned. Crystal Heart briefly lit up her horn with the tint of magic. A hole opened up in the crystal floor, leading down to a door to a safe room. The alicorn galloped down the stairs as if a flame was on her tail.
"Here we are, Princesses. The safe room. Oh, no! Cadance!" Crystal Heart screamed.
"Be still, Crystal. We have your daughter. Know that everypony is safe with us. We will always care for anypony." Lune soothed the flailing queen as the queen quickly paced across the floor.
"Oh, thank you, Princesses! I was so afraid!" The queen stopped pacing and almost hugged us as she thanked us profusely.
"You have no need. She is safe now." I replied calmly.
"Sister," Lune remarked, for that is what ponies considered us to be. They are, in a way, correct. The Sun and the Moon are kindred spirits, but not definable by mortal terms. Mortals come and go, but eternity lasts forever. "The Crystal Princess may be safe, but Miss Heart is not. That is our first priority, is it not? We have wasted critical minutes thanking each other, yet we have not ran while we were talking. That is a major error on the part of us." Lune interjected my thoughts.
"Yes, sister. You raise a good point. Crystal, may you please close the hole in the ceiling?" Only the queen's crystal magic was strong enough to close it. My sister and I are the strongest powers in Equestria, but we have no power over the crystal palace, as that was the creation of Harmony itself.
"Yes, Princess." Crystal said, her voice strained because of the magic streaming from her horn to envelop the ceiling above us. The queen's father was a natural pegasus, only becoming an alicorn when marrying Crystal Heart's mother. Crystal Heart did not have as much of an affinity for magic as a normal alicorn, or even a normal unicorn.
"Your Highnesses, Sombra is coming! You must hurry to the safe room!" A guard called down as another guard's voice could be heard from above.
"Crystal Heart, your so-called leadership has gone on far too long, tyrant! You shall no longer control every aspect of the Crystal Kingdom! I will lead the Crystal Kingdom to greatness!" The guard, presumably Sombra, yelled as the ceiling caught his muzzle in the floor. Dark magic then covered his muzzle, and it popped out. "I will find you! I know where you are, Queen Crystal! I will find you and your foal!" He yelled as the ground and ceiling shook.
"Sombra? Have you really thought that of me? All this time? And I did trust you. Oh, Sombra, what have you done?" Crystal Heart collapsed. Faced with the mutiny of her Captain of the Royal Guard, she could not take it. She screamed.
"He shall be stopped. This I promise. Thou and little Cadance will be safe." Lune soothed the queen as Cadance wailed. The little pegasus filly could sense her mother's anguish.
"Dost thou really believe so?" The queen, who was only a young one, in need of a parent figure, asked with a pleading face. Her parents had died in a similar coup years before.
"Yes. I believe it to be so, and so it shall be. You will be safe until this is over." I issued a vague decree. I suddenly had a vision of a purple unicorn running down this very chamber, but it was encased in dark magic. The young unicorn opened the door and stopped, staring at it. Only after the young pony shed several tears did the vision end.
"Art thou sure?" The queen asked, her tears dropping onto the floor and crystallizing into small droplets. They grew up quickly, forming a bright blue heart. I smiled.
"With the tears thou hast just shed, you have sealed the fate of the Crystal Kingdom for all time. Be assured, it is a good one, though riddled with darkness, you shall rise again." I decreed, my gaze shifting to the little filly. She stared at me, confused.
"Is mommy going to be alright?" She asked.
"Yes, your mommy will be fine. Thou are alright." Lune comforted the scared child.
"Why do we have to be in here? It's so dark." She asked.
"It's a safe place, little filly." I responded.
"Oh…" She said, still scared and confused.
"Do not worry, my Cadance. I need you here by my side. You must hold on, my Cadance."
"I love you, mommy!" The little filly hugged her mother. I could sense the amazing love the filly had for her, even at such a young age. It made me smile.
"Crystal, Celeste, Sombra is coming! We must hide!" Lune whispered frantically.
"There is a door here. Come!" The young queen whispered as we ran toward a door that blended in with the walls. As we ran through, Lune slammed the door just as Sombra's guards poured through the opening in the ceiling. I had the feeling it was a trap.
"Crystal, do you know where we must go?" Lune asked, her concern evident.
"That is… was… the only safe place in the castle. We must find Amber Wheat. She is a good friend of mine. She will know where to go." Crystal said as we took flight over the Crystal Kingdom.
"Stop! This is territory of King Sombra! Crystal Heart, you are hereby under arrest for treason! Princess Celeste, Princess Lune, you are under arrest for being her accomplices! Do you accept these charges?" A guard yelled from below us.
"Sombra will never be king! He is not your monarch! Do not obey him! I am your queen!" Crystal yelled back.
"You never were the queen! You have as much right to the throne as they do, imposter!"
"Dost thou wish to be banished?" I asked severely.
"Banished to where? Thou hast no right to banish a citizen of the Crystal Kingdom, Princess!" He shouted.
"If thou thinks that, thou dost not know who we really are!" Lune shouted back.
"Lune, no. You'll alienate them from us!" I whispered.
"And who do you think you are?" The guard retorted.
"We are Princesses of Equestria!" I cut in.
"Oh, almighty princesses, please forgive me! I have been mean to imposters in order to expose them for the sham they are!" He said sarcastically.
"I will not be spoken to that way! Thou art banished! Get the hence!" Lune yelled harshly as a beam of light erupted from her horn. The guard disappeared from sight as the beam enveloped him.
"Where did thou send him, sister?" I asked, concerned for the well-being of my sister's mind. I am still not sure of her mind, though it has been many hours since this event transpired.
"I banished him as I have said." Lune replied.
"Sister, this was an unwise thing to do. Sombra will know that one of his guards are missing, and he will know from where. He will be able to locate us from anywhere using traces of our magic! We must conceal it!" I cried as my mind turned inward to erase the traces of our magic buried within the city. My mind went to place it barely visited anymore, a place that I had buried long ago, a place that, if used, could bring harm or good to my little ponies: my power to burn, destroy, and grow. I was the sun. I could use my own power for good or evil. This, I believe, was too much for my sweet sister; I believe this is what broke her spirit. I gently burned up any traces of our magic. I felt Lune reach for the same place in her spirit, but I stopped her. "It is done." I said simply.
"Sombra!" Crystal screamed as a looming shape on the horizon came into focus. It hurts me to write this, but I must. The guard we had known so well and for so long was gone, in his place a shadowy figure made of mist, with burning coals for eyes and a spirit as black as space.
"Evil spirit, what have you done with Sombra?!" Lune yelled.
"I have done nothing with him, for I am him!" yelled the figure.
"You are not the Sombra who was once here! You are an imposter!" I shouted as I probed his spirit and found the spirit of a black hole in its place. It was disconcerting.
"True as that may be, I am a better Sombra than the wimp was!"
"You are worse, tyrant!" Crystal yelled, her fierce determination showing.
"Call me what thou wishes, nothing shall change the fact that thou and your descendants shall be cursed! I shall put a curse upon this land like no other! If the land of Equestria is filled with hope and light, you shall never see the Empire again! If all is as it should be, the Empire will return, as glorious as it was in this day!" the spirit shouted as it turned into mist and rose into space, creating a black hole somewhere in the vast reaches of space. I quickly sent a beam of light after it, but even magic cannot penetrate infinite darkness.
"Oh, Crystal, we are… Crystal? Crystal!" Lune screamed as we turned to face the young queen. She was encased in light blue crystals that were quickly turning black. Her face was streaming tears as she realized that she would never see her little filly, or anything, again.
"Keep her safe for me. Please. Please!" Those were her last words. Tears streamed down our face as we carried her crystalline body to the castle in the Everfree forest.
"In memory of Queen Crystal Heart. Here stands the Crystal Kingdom's true queen, forever encased in stone by the evil Sombra." A pedestal was erected for her body to be put on. "Oh no. Lune, where is Cadance?" I asked my sister, searching frantically around the castle with my magic. "I cannot sense her anywhere!"
"Sister, we have a bit of a problem. Come look." Lune sighed as I trotted over.
"Oh, no. We have failed her! Cadance has not escaped Sombra! How has this happened?" I yelled as I saw the young princess encased in the same blue crystals the queen was in.
"No, sister. It is not as you say. She has her own crystal magic, and I fear this is what has encased her. My magic cannot penetrate it, however. We must hide her away where nopony can find her until she gains the strength to break out on her own. Even then, we will not tell her of her past, only let her believe that she is normal. I feel this is the best plan for her. Do you agree, sister?" Lune explained.
"Yes, sister. I agree. Let us hide her away now." I said as I encased the filly in my magic and carried her to my room.
Twilight, this was an important day in history, not only because of the coup, but because it set the stage for future events to occur. I believe Sombra created the Changeling species out of hate for Cadance. She encouraged you when you were a little filly, and I believe that was the first step for you in becoming who you are today. There is no doubt in my mind that your destiny, the greatest destiny of all, was put into motion when the Crystal Empire was created by Harmony. Sombra, Crystal Heart, Cadance, were all created so you could have your destiny. My dearest Twilight, do not lose faith. There is hope in this story yet. It is, after all, your story.[\i]