Consequences of Past Mistakes

by SoaringCoal

The Summit


"Huh?" Twilight looked up from her book in confusion. She was sitting on a bench in the middle of Ponyville, trying to relax in the sunlight with a book about physics. Towards her came a familiar baby dragon, running, with a rolled parchment in his hand. Spike stopped just in time so he didn't hit the bench. He was panting and breathing heavily. He must have run all the way from the castle. Twilight thought. "What is it, Spike?" She asked cheerfully.

"The *pant* p-pri *pant*" Spike tried to speak, but he was to out of breath. He could feel his lungs burning as he didn't do alot of excercise. "J-just give me a moment." He managed to get out before falling over, the parchment falling into the air.

Twilight grabbed it with her magic. It had the crest of princess Celestia. Twilight smiled widely. "It's from the princess." She said excited. "It's probably her response to my latest report on Harmony magic." She opened the letter.

Dear princess Twilight.

I request you and your friends presence here in Canterlot, as soon as you possibly can.

Luna and I have something very important to tell you all.

Your former mentor, Princess Celestia.

Twilight raised and eyebrow in confusion. It sounds important. I just hope that it's not another maniac trying to take over Equestria. She levitated the, still panting heavily, purple baby dragon onto her back. "Come, Spike. We have some friends to round up."

"Is everypony here?" Twilight asked the mares around her throne room. Most of her friends had arrived after her and Spike had gone around, inviting them over.

Rainbow shook her head. "Naa, were missing Fluttershy."

"It ain't like her ta be late. Maybe we should go look for her." Applejack said, looking to the rest of her friends for their response.

Rarity put her arm over Applejack's back. "Don't you worry, Applejack. She probably just got occupied with angel bunny wanting some ridiculous salad or something along those lines."

Applejack snickered, "Yea' yer' probably right."

The door to the throne room opened, revealing Fluttershy. She had bags under her eyes, wore an unusual frown on her lips, she was focusing on the ground and her mane looked slightly disheveled. She looked troubled to say the least.

"Hey Fluttershy!" Rainbow Dash greeted her. "What took ya?"

Rarity raised an eyebrow at her Fluttershy's appearance. Her observant eye taking in every bit of detail. "Fluttershy, darling, is something wrong?"

Applejack also cocked her head at Fluttershy. "Uhh, Fluttershy, ya there?"

Pinkie tried stepping in front of her and making silly faces to try and get her attention, but nothing seemed to work.

Much to everypony's surprise, Fluttershy barely reacted to them talking or them trying to interact with them. She didn't even seem to notice Rainbow Dash nor the rest of them for that matter. She kept her frown, walked over and sat down on her throne. "Hey girls..."

Concerned, all of Fluttershy's friends went over to her. Twilight was the first one to speak. "Fluttershy, what's wrong?"

"Well... There's something wrong with Discord."

Her friends stared at her in confusion, some exchanged looks. A couple of them had the urge to call out Discord trying to trick her or something, but Fluttershy's sad face kept them quiet. Twilight spoke. "What is wrong with him?"

"H-he's been having these headaches..." Fluttershy began. "And also nightmares. I've tried to get him to tell me about the nightmares, but he doesn't want to." She shook her head in sadness. "Yesterday I urged him too hard to tell me and he snarled at me. H-he's never done that before. There's something very wrong with him, girls."

The rest of them looked at Fluttershy in concern. Twilight put her hoof on Fluttershy's back and urged for the rest of her friends to come closer. They all gathered in a hug. "I'm sorry, Fluttershy, but as much as we all want to help Discord, something important has come up. I promise, we will find out what's happening to Discord after we get back from canterlot."

"Yeah, don't you worry Fluttershy." Rainbow Dash said. Fluttershy returned her words with a small smile. Rainbow realised something. "Wait, we're going to canterlot?"

Applejack rolled her eyes at Rainbow. "Didn't ya listen when ya was invited over?"

Rainbow had been in the middle of a new stunt when Spike had come over handing a letter and briefly telling her that Twilight was inviting her over. Rainbow had of course just skipped reading the letter and just flown over to Twilight. "Uhh, no?"

Applejack facehoofed. "Of course ya didn't" She muttered to herself. "Ah' just hope Discord ain't tryin ta pull another 'blue flu'." She regrettedly remembered the blue flu Discord had given her and Rarity and Applejack shivered. "I've never before sneezed so much in ma entire life."

"I concur." Rarity agreed. "It was a most dreadful experience."

"I liked the baloon he gave me." Pinkie looking dreamily in the air. "Soo shiny."

Twilight rolled her eyes and began telling her friends why she had gathered them up.

Twilight and her friends had just arrived in Canterlot train station. They got out and were met with a surprise.

"Twilight!" A familiar pink alicorn called as she trotted over to the mare she used to babysit.

"Cadence!" Twilight yelled happily back. She hadn't seen Cadence in what felt like forever, but it had only been two months.

"It is so good to see you all." Cadence said and gave Twilight a hug. "Im guessing you were also sent a letter from Celestia."

"Yep." Twilight answered. "Do you know what it is about?"

Cadence shook her head. "No, but it sounds serious."

"Yes, it does." Twilight had been thinking an awfull lot on the way there what it could be that the princess wanted to tell them. She had ruled out the possibility of another megalomaniac trying to take of Equestria since everything in Canterlot was so peaceful and there was no reports of anything unusual. "Anyways, how is it going, Cadence? How are you and my BBBFF?"

Cadence was about to answer, but Rainbow Dash interrupted her.

"EXCUSE me, but can you two play catchup AFTER we have had our meeting with the princesses?" She asked in a annoyed tone while rolling her eyes. "I have flying practice to get back to, and she did say we needed to get there ASAP so come on!" Rainbow flew as fast as she could towards the castle.

Applejack rolled her eyes after Rainbow and walked up to princess Cadence. "Don't mind her, princess, she's always like this when she learns about a new stunt."

Cadence merely chuckled in reply and they all walked towards the castle. Twilight shifted her attention to Fluttershy a couple of times during the walk towards the castle. Fluttershy hadn't talked since they left Ponyville. She looked worried. It was obvious who she was worried about. She must be serious about Discord. I have never seen her so worried. Perhaps they should have tried helping Discord before they left?

Pinkie Pie stopped as her nostrils picked up a familiar scent. Her eyes went wide and she started drooling. "I smell." She sniffed again and got her eyes on a conditory. "FROSTING!" she yelled and darted, in a speed that could easily rival Rainbow Dash, towards the conditory leaving pink smoke in her path.

Cadence stopped and looked confused at Pinkie who had just entered the conditory and seemed to be talking with the cashier. Twilight walked up next to her. "Is she always so..." Cadence struggled in finding the right word.

"Yeah." Twilight replied. "She has an obsession with frosting." Her words only seemed to confuse Cadence more as she gave Twilight the same look she had put in Pinkie's direction. "Don't ask. She will probably meet us at the castle." Cadence cast one last look towards Pinkie and then nodded in reply.

They were met with guards along the way that started to escort them to the castle. Everything seemed to be normal in Canterlot. Same stuck up nobles, same fancy stores and the same beautiful city, but something seemed off to Twilight. There were way more guards in the city than usual. Almost as if all of the guards had abandoned the castle.

The squad of guards stopped at the entrance to Canterlot castle. "This is as far as we go." The apparent leader of the guards said, urging for the mares to go inside.

Twilight's friends went inside. She herself stayed behind. She raised an eyebrow. "Last time we were here you escorted us all the way to the throne room, and now you won't enter the castle? What is going on?"

The guards shifted uneasy looks. "The princesses has ordered for all personnel to stay out of some parts of the castle, including the main corridor, basement and upper floors, until your visit is over.

"That doesn't explain why you aren't inside."

"We thought this as an opportunity to use the extra hoof power to train the rookies and do other tasks we normally are to undermanned to do."

"Oh, okay..." Twilight went after her friends. She didn't like this one bit. What could be so important that the princesses had ordered all personnel out of most of castle? When she finally caught up to her friends, they were already at the entrance to the throne room. Unsurprisingly Pinkie was also there, her snout covered in a beard of frosting.

"What took ya, Twi?" Applejack asked as she saw her alicorn friend walking up to the rest of them with a worried expression.

Rarity noticed the look on Twilight's face aswell. "Darling, is something wrong? You look troubled."

"Huh?" Twilight snapped out of her thoughts. "No it's nothing girls." She gave them a sheepish smile. "Come on, we shouldn't keep the princesses waiting."

The mares were greeted with a known sight. Princess Celestia and princess Luna sitting on their thrones looking regal as ever. It looked like they were arguing. They stopped the second they noticed their guests. Celestia smiled at her former student, niece and friends, but Luna kept an oddly serious, almost angry, frown.

At a closer look Twilight could see Celestia and Luna aswell was having bags under their eyes and Twilight could detect a hint of sadness in  their eyes. No, not only sadness, but also pity and remorse. In Luna's there were also anger.

"Princess Twilight and princess Mi Amore Cadenca." Luna greeted both princesses. "We are pleased to see that you all came this quickly." Luna also nodded at the former element bearers. "The faster we can finish this, the quicker we can get some closure."

"I speak for all of us when I say we are glad to see you two as well." Cadence gestured to the mares behind her and smiled at her aunts. "But we are a bit confused. Your letters didn't exactly tell us much." Twilight and her friends nodded behind Cadence.

Celestia nodded. "We are sorry to call all of you here without further details, but both Luna and I thought the matter to important to tell you in a letter."

"What is it you want to tell us, Princess?" Twilight asked. She was confused to say the least. The princesses rarely acted like this. They were normally calm and inviting, or Celestia was at least. Luna seemed to be on edge..  

Celestia looked shortly at Luna. "Something I think you all have the right to know. But be warned. The story we are about to tell must never leave these walls. If it did, it could cause mass panic and maybe start a civil war or it could do something..." Celestia's face became grim. "Far worse."

The former elements kept silent. This was important and the consequences were dire if the information were to slip. Even Pinkie forced herself to be still.

"Some of you may have wondered why there is no other alicorns than us four." Luna picked up from Celestia.

Twilight and Cadence nodded. They had been thinking about it. Twilight had searched almost every book there was on information about alicorns, but every time she researched, she came out with no more information than when she had started.

Celestia sighed. "Let's start at the beginning."

Meanwhile at Fluttershy's cottage.

Discord was lying on a couch with a pillow over his head. Fluttershy had urged him to stay there until she got back from canterlot and it wasn’t easy. The headaches are getting worse. He thought to himself as another flash of it surged through his head like a thousand needles. He growled in annoyance. "I need to get out of here!" He yelled and jumped up from the couch. The moment his feet touched the ground another burst of pain went through his head.

"They betrayed me..."

Discord's heart started pounding harder as he heard a voice whisper in his head. He shook his head and dismissed it as being his mind playing tricks. He walked towards the door and stopped as a white bunny blocked his path. It yelled some gibberish at Discord.

Discord groaned. "I know Fluttershy told me to stay here until she got back from Canterlot, but I can't take it any longer!"

Angel bunny yelled some more gibberish.

"What did you just call me? A cry baby? Why you little!" Discord tried to snatch Angel bunny but he avoided Discord barely. Discord turned his attention back to the front door and was about to open it when Angel bunny bit him in his goat leg. "DAARH!" Discord yelled as he felt Angel bunny's teeth sink into his leg. "Get off me you little--" Another surge of pain went through Discord's head.

"I will break them..."

Discord felt a shiver go down his spine as he heard the voice again. It sounded like his own voice ringing through his head. He suddenly felt very angry and swatted Angel bunny of his leg with his strong lion paw. Angel bunny landed with a painful thud on the couch Discord had been laying on. Discord's head was pounding with pain and he proceeded to walk out of the cottage without a second thought.

“The origin of the alicorns is one shrouded in mystery.” Celestia began. “Not even the alicorns knew where they came from, one day they were simply there as if they had always been and yet not. They were naturally intelligent and very gifted in the art of magic and flight. Eventually, they started to question their own existence and sought answers. Many died or simply vanished in this search, but they eventually came across a tree you are all very familiar with. The tree of Harmony. After that, it didn’t take long before they took it upon themselves to spread the word of the tree and spread order and harmony across the land and this is when our story begins.”

“It all started a little over 1700 years ago.” Celestia lit her horn, showing images of a time long past. The images showed green fields, beautiful sunsets and a enormous palace that covered most of Canterlot mountains side. It was made out of pure marble and crystal that radiated light. It kind of resembled Canterlot except for the fact that it was at least twice it's size and looked more linear in architecture. Twilight, Cadence and their friends could faintly see winged and horned ponies walking about in the streets. “This city was known as the Beacon. It was called this by anypony who laid its eyes upon it. To most, it was a beacon of hope and peace. It was also the citadel and only city of the alicorn race. What you see here is Equestria as it used to be before the three tribes united in friendship.”

“Ooh, colors!” Pinkie pies eyes became as big as plates.

“The nature is so pretty.” Fluttershy peeped as she looked in awe of the magnificent images.

“That castle is magnifique!” Rarity exclaimed as she saw the palace. “I have never seen a more gorgeous building.”

“A lot of hard work went into that.” Applejack nodded in approval.

Twilight looked confused at her former mentor. “But princess, this looks so… Peaceful? And this doesn’t explain why you and princess Luna are the only natural alicorns left?”

“We will get to it.” Luna explained. “Be patient with us, Twilight Sparkle. You must be able to have all the pieces to understand the puzzle.” She nodded at her sister to continue.

Celestia smiled and continued. “The alicorn race came to believe they were the living representations of order and harmony, which was partially true at the time. The alicorns who ruled the city were known as the council of order. It consisted of eight alicorns, each one from their own part of the city. Their decisions were always very one sided in a sense. One would bring up a topic for discussion amongst the group, they then would decide whether or not to partake in the outcome of the discussion after a vote. It had always been all or nothing to avoid conflict. If one declined, the topic would be dismissed and they would move on to the next.”

Celestia looked grimly into the floating picture as the image changed, revealing a tall female alicorn with a white as snow coat and a mane that looked like liquid gold. She wore a warm smile on the picture that could make any stallion melt on the spot. “This was our mother Harmonia. She were in the council and was responsible for the defence of the city.”

“Whoa?” Rainbow Dash started. “Where all of you alicorns born supermodels or were it just your family?”

“She’s… Gorgeous.” Cadence said, mouth wide as she stared at the image.

Twilight raised an eyebrow and snickered. “Easy there, Cadence, remember you have my brother to get home to.” Cadence’s cheeks became a tint redder and she rolled her eyes at Twilight’s words.

“Please, enough with the interruptions.” Luna said, looking down at her two nieces, unamused. “We will have plenty of time for questions and such when we are finished.”

“It’s okay, Luna.” Celestia said, putting a hoof on her shoulder from her own throne. “I know you want to get this over with as soon as possible but--”

“You have no idea, sister.” Luna interrupted her. “I never want to remember that time. So many horrible things happened and we should keep those things buried in the past!” She shied away from Celestia’s touch and teleported out of the throne room.

Celestia sighed and looked back at her guests. “She will be back, don’t worry. This is just very painful for her to remember.” She saw the questioning looks on her guests faces. “You will know why soon enough.”

She continued her story. “One day a discussion arose in the council. It was about the Tree of Harmony and it’s relation to us. An argument began between the council. An argument about our world’s history. You see, it was always believed by the alicorns that the Tree of Harmony had been the source of all life on our world and without it, our world would be a desolate wasteland. Many believed in this theory including most of the council members, but then one of the council members came with a question. The council member asked: If the tree has formed our world and it’s races, plants and oceans, then why are there races like the griffins, forests like the everfree and storms and tidalwaves in the ocean? It was a logical question and yet it quickly steered the argument out of control. They all agreed that they should find the reason as to why these things existed as it didn’t make sense that the tree of harmony would create such things. It went against everything the tree stood for.”

Celestia sighed and levitated a book she had been keeping out from behind her. The book was big with a dark blue leather cover. Gems in every color covering it. It wore the text: ‘Traveling journal of Starswirl the bearded’. Twilight’s eyes went wide as she read the words on the cover. Celestia continued.  “It was around this time that Starswirl the bearded, the first unicorn to be taught magic by alicorns, made a great discovery. A discovery that would cause many horrible actions in the future.” She opened the book on a specific page. “Before I read this out loud to you, you must all understand that around my races time of peace, trouble was stirring with so many others, including the draconequui. They were being hunted and skinned by minotaurs and griffins alike, and the alicorns did nothing to prevent it.”

“Wait, princess, did you just say draconequui as in plural?” Twilight asked before Celestia could continue.

“Yes, Twilight.” Celestia’s face became grim once more. “There were once many draconequui. They were a peaceful, if a little odd, race and they didn’t deserve what happened to them.”

“Why didn’t the alicorns or your mother help them?” Rainbow Dash asked as she had now started hovering in the air.

Celestia shrugged. “It will all be explained.”

“Uhh, princess.” Fluttershy began shyly. “Did you know Discord at the time?”

Celestia’s face became pained and she began to sweat as she remembered the last night’s horrible dream. “Y-yes, Fluttershy, I did. But I will get to that.” She shook her head clear of last night and looked down at the book and began to read out loud.