The Rejuvenationverse 33 members · 20 stories
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Purple Patch
Group Admin

I have on good authority that the original Eternal Knights comprised of five members.
Two of which have been missing since after the Civil War.
Midnight Blade cannot divulge any more information or speculation as to their disappearance but I have been permitted to draft their history and achievements.

Saracen

The pony that would become known as Saracen was born with the name (Deep Breath) Hafir, Aqarab al’ Humra, al’ Bahr-al’Ud ibn Anbar Kifar (Loosely translated, ‘Hafir, The Red Scorpion, of the family of Oaken Driftwood, son of Anbar Kifar’), he was the first son of Anbar Kifar, Emir of the great city of Nakila in modern-day New Saraj. The Unicorn Bahr-al’Uds (Shortened to al’Balut) descended from Belon Sindar, one of the first converts to the Unspoken Faith in the Old Kaylan Empire. Hafir’s mother was Tinara al’ Gemmayzah, whose family were the Sultans of Alfantas, capital of modern-day Labanun, centrepoint of the magnificent merchant empire of Lilacia. Needless to say, he grew up in immense wealth and grandeur alongside his brother, Qarnasan, and his sister, Surifa.

Hafir’s skill in the scholarly arts began at an early age when before he even earned his Cutie Mark, he had memorised the Holy Texts and the Thousand Histories by heart. He continued his studies by studying and translating Ancient Enigman hieroglyphs and Scuran ideograms. His father, intrigued to find out how this linguistic skill might be put to use in his magic, sent him to The Madrazim Alsir (Madrasa Azimat al’Sira), the grand Saraji College of Magic.

Saddle Arabian Magic is a spoken and written form of magical practice, spells and incantations cast from tomes, glyphs and inscriptions. So as one can imagine, Hafir’s powers in this field were incredible. His interests lay in defensive and protective spells. In one famous incident, a great magical disturbance was concocted by his great rival (Who goes unnamed in Saracen’s memoirs but is believed to be Qavir al’Yanid, a sorcerer mentioned prominently in the Masir al’ Hamaq, literally ‘Fate of the Foolish’, colloquially known as ‘How to Fail at Vocal Magic’) resulting in a rain of flaming meteors upon the college and some of the surrounding city. Using his skill in such fields, Hafir conjured a great shield, the largest anypony had ever seen conjured by a mere novice, that protected every populated area. The incomparable effort rendered him unconscious for six days and nights. When he woke, he beheld his Cutie Mark.
A red scorpion, symbolising protection from destruction.

His younger brother, Qarnasan, was something of a contrast. Though Hafir describes Qarnasan as a mind far greater than his own who achieved in weeks what Hafir could not do in months, Qarnasan was feckless with his interests. He’d find an interest and master it in days but swiftly get bored of it and move on the next.
And when those interests were mares, it caused quite a few problems. With his affairs, Qarnasan often landed the Al’ Baluts in great trouble. His Cutie Mark of a ‘Fahad al’ Safra’, the Gold Cheetah, symbolised his brilliant but reckless ways it is believed.
Qarnasan’s antics troubled Hafir greatly. Surifa meanwhile, confined herself to her private studies most of the time but there’s nothing to suggest either brother had a bad relationship with her. She kept her cutie mark hidden under her clothing as most mares do under conventional Saraji traditions (Though stallions also wear saddles to hide their Cutie Marks while travelling to regions outside their homeland)

But it was during his foalhood that their home of Saddle Arabia and many lands around it were harried by the onslaught of the Barren Empire, a former ally of Tirek, chiefly lead by the Anthraki.
Anthracotheres are a race of powerful hippo-like ungulates known in some areas as ‘Whale-Hogs’. Nowadays they are secluded, solitary creatures dwelling in the plains of Khuristan but in ages past, they were among the first (And only) empires in the Known World to master the use of coal and slag in machinery.
With gigantic vehicles and instruments of war, the Anthraki dominated Aswan in the wake of Tirek’s failed invasion. Polluting the air around their enemies, they made magic concentration and flight impossible and ruined the fields and rivers, creating a land only they could live safely within. Once conquered, ponies would be fitted with crude gas masks and forced to work for the ‘privilege’ of breathable air.
Joining with the seafaring Sirenotheri (An duumvirate originating in the Calm Blue Basin between Equestria and Neighpon chiefly led by an alliance of the Desmostyli ‘Walrus-Oxen’ and the Paleoparadoxias ‘Leech-Hippos’) and binding to their service the fearsome Ulanarchi ‘Weasel-Horses’ in the Yuqim Basin to serve chiefly as their guard, they formed he Barren Empire and ruled a large portion of Aswan with an iron hoof. It is said that their cruelty was the stuff of nightmares, with no regard for the lives of ponies or any sentient beast barring their own.
[Note: In truth, it wasn’t really an Empire, so to speak. It was utterly focussed on conquest and colonialism but it the Emperor himself had very little actual power, most authority in the hooves of the various government figures. Honestly, it was more of a Republic than anything else. I think the histories just call them an Empire because it sounds more threatening.]

While the full force of the invasion was halted by Rafiq al’ Rastaban and the League of Ali Saraj who had previously thwarted Tirek, Nakila were among the many areas that bore the brunt of the Barren onslaught, attacked on the sea by the Sirenotheri, the desert from the Ulanarchi and the plains by the Anthracotheri. The Al’Baluts vowed to fight to the death and while Anbar Kifar and Tinara al’ Gemmayzah died bravely in battle, their children were ensnared by the Anthraki war machines and taken prisoner. The three were taken as slaves by the leader of the invasion, Magister Buum’Baq um’ Zugol, second son of the Anthraki Supreme Governor, Mag’Thraq um’ Zugol.
[Note: The Supreme Governor of the Anthraki was, essentially, the true power behind the Empire. The Emperor at the start of the invasion, Shiv’Meriq hum’ Whuupi the Insatiable, was a junior grandee who’d recently graduated from Augury College, set up due to his late father being the high priest. Typically the Emperor would be surrounded by wealth and luxury and let the members of the various political bodies go about their own business. The Supreme Governor of the wealthiest and most technologically advanced race in the Barren Empire essentially gave one free reign over the Empire. After Shiv’Meriq cavorted with a concubine of Maq’Thraq, mistaking for her for one of his own harem slaves, the ‘Emperor’ was found carved to pieces in a privy, blame being placed on the Fargana tribes in modern-day Talaristan which the Barren Empire set about invading soon afterwards. The ‘Emperor’ was replaced by a semi-sentient dragon-like creature the Empire captured and tamed called the Yarbogha which was constantly fed with livestock and infirm slaves. The rumours purported that their great Emperor took the form of this great beast as a show of power. Nobeast asked questions.]

Hafir, Qarnasan and Surifa prepared for a life in chains. Buum’Baq repeatedly mocked the brothers at how he would enjoy taking their sister again and again.
The night she was taken to the Magister’s chambers however, there was little noise.
When the chamberlains woke him for the day’s affairs, they found Buum’Baq lying on the floor with his throat slashed open and Surifa vanished from sight.
To avoid the Anthraki hunting for her and certain death for any suspected of sheltering her, Hafir and Qarnasan claimed responsibility. Enraged, Supreme Governor Mag’Thraq ordered their deaths.
This however, would be their ticket to good fortune. Any criminal in the Barren Empire had a chance to live if they chose to die in the arena.
But Hafir and Qarnasan decided not to die.

Blood-sport was a common practice of the Barren Empire, inherited by their former Centaur Overlords. Much pleasure and profit were gained by the Barren Empire in the great Heptacodon Arena and its champions could earn fame, fortune and even freedom if they fought every challenger that presented themselves for three years. Using their combined talents, Hafir and Qarnasan took up the moniker of the Palm Spring Brothers, defeating every challenger and rising to combat the greatest pit fighters and monsters the Barrens had to offer. Eventually, Supreme Governor Mag’Thraq was convinced by his fellows to let them live to please the crowd. The brothers were allowed to live as underground celebrities, waited on by slaves bought by those who made money betting on their victories. Their highest investor, Pitmaster Dur’Hat lum’ Klagel of the Paleoparadoxia, who ran the arena, dined with them and treated them as guests on his estate connected to the arena, one of the few unpolluted zones above the surface as a ‘wallowing hole’ for the Sirenotheri nobility. It was there that they were waited on by a beautiful earth pony slave-mare; Varada Amurex. Her father, Chicoreus Amurex, was the Viceroy of Estalon, near modern-day Nesora, before its fall to Tirek and as a foal she had been traded on the slave auction to the Barren Empire’s foremost officials. Hafir talked with her about how her circumstances came to be and offered her deepest sympathy but Dur’Hat retorted that she needed no sympathy. She was living the privileged life of a harem mare and was there for the pleasure of others.

Qarnasan needed no persuading to begin seducing her to which Varada obliged. Qarnasan was pretty open about this liaison and claimed that Varada was more extraordinary than any mare he’d ever been with. Whenever he went into battle alongside Hafir, Qarnasan would call out to Varada, blowing her kisses and boasting that his newfound strength and vigour in battle was brought through her affections.
Later, however, Hafir returned to his own quarters and found Varada waiting in his bed. There and then, she embraced him and told him it was he that she loved. Hafir, reluctantly, refused to actually copulate with her, being an ardent follower of Saraji tradition that prescribes formal marriage in view of god and ponies before sex but they nonetheless spent nights in each other’s company, mainly just talking.
Dur’Hat and Maq’Thraq however, observed the entire scene and hatched a sordid scheme.

Through rumours spread about the other fighters, Qarnasan heard of Hafir’s affair with his most treasured lover. His relationship with both of them grew distant thereafter, dismissive and aloof. Yet they continued to fight and slay each challenger as they approached, albeit a bit less jointly than before.
Qarnasan knew that they had to work together to escape the arena and at last earn their freedom.
And at last, after three gruelling years, the two young stallions fought their final challenge, defeating a string of prized gladiators bought and financed by Dur’Hat and Maq’Thraq’s greatest financial rivals, until finally only they stood on the bloody sands, blades raised high in victory.
Then Maq’Thraq declared the final challenge.
Each other.

The rules were clear, he claimed. Only one fighter could leave alive. The brothers had to fight to the death and whoever won would go free, the blood of the other on their hooves for all time.
Hafir retorted there and then that they may as well kill them both as they would never contemplate slaying their own kin.
Dur’Hat then produced his barter; Varada Amurex, teetering on the edge of the arena with a rope around her neck.
They declared that either they fight and to the victor go the spoils or she would die and they would be forced to watch.
Hafir then began denouncing the Barren leaders, demanding they simply be allowed to die with dignity.
He was interrupted by his brother’s blade slicing at his shoulder.
It seemed Qarnasan was willing to take them up on their offer and attacked his brother like a wild-beast. The two clashed, Hafir constantly trying to reason with him. Qarnasan replied with biting insults that cut Hafir deep as any blade until finally he fought back, lost in rage, slashing Qarnasan against his weapon-hoof and above the eye, debilitating his magic.
Standing over his brother, Hafir raised his sabre but, coming to his senses, he hesitated.
On the ground, helpless, Qarnasan yelled at his brother to land the killing blow, mocking him, raging at him and finally pleading with him, his façade breaking. He assured Hafir that this was how it was meant to end, that he’d only end up breaking Varada’s heart and that she’d be happier with Hafir than she ever would be with Qarnasan.
Hafir weighed Qarnasan’s words.
Then threw his sword, cutting through the noose holding Varada and catching her as she fell.
Enraged, Maq’Thraq, Dur’Hat and the crowds declared they’d die the death of a thousand arrows as Barren archers lined up around the amphitheatre and took aim.
As Hafir brought both his brother and lover close, he pleaded their forgiveness for not being able to save them.
They replied they would not have had it any other way.
The pony would become known as Saracen would have died that day.
Were it not for the fact that Midnight Blade was paying the arena a visit on that day.

That very week, Equestrian Emissaries were visiting the Barren Empires on a diplomatic mission to investigate the remnants of Tirek’s former empire. Midnight Blade was there to track down a Dunholm fugitive, Lychnis Flycatcher, who’d been granted sanctuary by the Anthraki.
[Note: Midnight Blade recently granted me access to the ‘Sordid Stories’, a biographical dictionary and timeline of various fugitives the Eternal Knights brought to justice. Lychnis Flycatcher was a member of the Tinkers Guild of Dunholm Slayers before he was discharged for an undisclosed but very serious crime. He then began a wave of terror by abducting and trafficking foals by giving families gifts that dispensed a concentrated poisonous vapour that killed adult ponies but only knocked out foals. How he did this is classified lest anypony pick up the technique but tracking him down was a job Midnight ran with his grandfather on his mother’s side, Lord Carnelian of the Tinkers Guild. After the Fall of Dunholm, Carnelian disappeared but Midnight never gives up a hunt.]

There and then, the Lord Commander of the Night Guard flew down into the sands and demanded that the three ponies be spared, Hafir having shown the highest calibre of honour, friendship, loyalty and love. When Mag’Thraq demanded they fire anyway, Midnight demonstrated his skill with the sword, striking every arrow out of the air, protecting them from the hail of bolts. Taking to the wing, Midnight cut through the Ulanarchi Guard, roaring for Lychnis to show himself.
As the panicking Dur’Hat demanded every wild beast be released into the arena, the gates were opened and a horde of deadly animals flooded out of their cages...in fear.
They were followed by a cheering, knife-wielding young pegasus mare on her first mission as an Eternal Knight; White Wolf.
Side-by-side, Hafir, Qarnasan and Varada fought their way out of the Arena beside Midnight Blade and White Wolf.
Marshalling under Midnight, who’d been keeping watch on the Al’Balut Brothers since his arrival, the friends they’d made amongst the gladiators broke through their constraints and revolted, leading an army of freed slaves, freedom-fighters and Equestrian allies through the arena and into the palaces of the Barren Overlords. Mag’Thraq, Dur’Hat, Lychnis and all others who’d brought suffering to the Al’Baluts were slain.

Journeying to the ruins of Nakila where an Equestrian relief force (Led by a notable crystal pony general named Rubeus Pulver who converted to the Unspoken Faith during his time in Saraj, taking the name Rayal’Gari, a fairly notable figure in the history of the Unspoken Faith) had secured the city for the Al’Balut’s safe return, Midnight and Wolf congratulated Hafir on his clear demonstration of piety and virtue and promised that the Princesses and the court had heard from Aswani diplomats to help the Saraji regions recover and drive the Barren Empire from their domains.
Hafir personally swore he would find the Emperor of the Barrens and bring them to justice for the suffering inflicted on the ponies of Ashwar, one way or another. So began the Ashwari Reconquest. Hafir utilized keen strategy, using something ponies possessed but the Anthraki did not, stamina. Taking charge of formations of skirmishers, he set his forces constantly running, wearing out the Anthraki war machine and heavy armour. Qarnasan meanwhile led both land and sea attacks on the Sireni battle stations.

Their first concern was to free their mother’s great city of Alfantas, the vast resources and trade routes of the Labanun surely granting them a clear advantage at a stroke. But the Barrens had reinforced the city almost entirely. An army could march no closer than fifty feet towards the city walls before being blown to dust by the powerful siege engines.
So it was quite a surprise to the Ashwari and Saraji forces that the city fell from within the day after they made camp outside of it. From the walls, Hafir and Qarnasan were welcomed into the city by their long-lost sister Surifa who’d led an underground resistance to seize control of the city’s artillery and capture or kill their controllers.
Since Hafir considered his skills better put in the field and Qarnasan would not be tied down while he had the strength, Surifa was crowned Princess of Labanun, Sultana of New Saraj and Shabanbishnan of Khalya where most of the Reconquest took place, taking the old Khaylayan name, ‘Yascherazade’ meaning ‘Free and Exalted Pony’ and was among the few mares privileged enough to show their Cutie Mark publically, displaying the Melek al’ Zumurrud, the Emerald Peacock of everlasting glory.

Surifa definitely became more famous in the peace that followed where her works into developing Ashwari culture and learning gave rise to a second Golden Age not seen since the first Kalian Empire around a millennium before. But her skill in tactics was astounding. Following her orders, her brothers ran rings around the Barrens time and time again, their gallop neverending as Ashwar was made more and more free day by day.
At last, the Ashwari forces made their move on Fraku in modern-day Talaristan, the Anthraki Coal Beds where their main source of fuel resided. Here the fighting was at its fiercest as the ground literally caught flame about the warring beasts. While Qarnasan and Hafir fought side by side, Sufira assembled the finest minds of Ashwar and together formed a megaspell of alteration, astonishingly turning the coal and slag beds to marble, amber and bone.

This proved catastrophic for the Anthraki who knew now that without the fuel to work their war machine, they were lost.
In the climax of the battle itself, the Barrens loosed their Emperor and most powerful beast-of-war, the Yarbogha, a towering land wyrm who threatened to tear through the Ashwari ranks like parchment in a mighty feral rage. The beastmistress White Wolf fought the creature chiefly, having called upon an army of desert wolves, lynxes, foxes, leopards, badgers and bears, and distracted the creature from the air. Hafir, however, declared the beast was his to slay so as to finally free his ponies. The Yarbogha proved an overwhelming foe, breaking Hafir’s scimitar against his scales and wrapping his great tail around the stallion to choke the life out of him, Wolf’s strikes doing little against his hide. At this the Barren forces were spurred back into action and readied to charge, determined to take back their holdings.
Then it was said Hafir’s eyes glowed with crimson flame as he bellowed a long-forgotten language. His back-hooves found ground again as his horn lit up with all the colours of wind and night and dusk. With a colossal bout of strength, its origin yet unknown, he wrenched at the Yarbogha’s tail that constricted and tore out the beast’s entire spine!
Not yet finished, he cast the Yarbogha’s spine into a magical bond, coiling and cracking it like a whip that tore through the oncoming Barren army until, at last, they threw down their weapons and fled.

To say Midnight was impressed would be an understatement. The rest of the Reconquest went smoothly, the final Anthraki strongholds collapsing and throwing down their banners, those responsible for the suffering of the Ashwari ponies punished severely. Midnight Blade spoke with Hafir after the final battle of Khadmal and questioned him on what he intended to do in this age of peace, asking if he shared his brother’s wanderlust.
Hafir answered that he doubted it but nonetheless he wished to honour Equestria in the same way that they had honoured Ashwar and confessed an interest in their civilisation. He knew Qarnasan travelled in search of glory and adventure but he would resolve to travel for knowledge and reverence. So it was that two years afterward, the Al’Baluts bid farewell to each other as Qarnasan would roam the shores and bays of Stirrope, Zebrica and Uba while Hafir went with Midnight Blade and White Wolf to visit the deep and fantastic realm of Equestria.
When a Saddle Arabian (Particularly among the old, distinguished households) leaves their homeland as an unofficial expatriate, they are expected to take another name to live by in their new home, to remind them that they live as two ponies in two worlds, the first always calling them home with an older song, so it’s said. It is only through taking another name one can show their face and Cutie Mark to remind them they’re hiding from nopony but themselves.

He took the name Saracen from the word ‘Sarqiyyin’, meaning Easterner. It is believed he was the first official Saddle Arabian to visit Equestria just as Vorpal Blade had been the first Equestrian to visit Saddle Arabia some fifty years ago.
There he was introduced to the young Princess Luna, the first real Alicorn he’d ever seen. Practically bowled over by this creature who many outside of Equestria assumed were nothing more than myth, he developed a fascination with Equestrian history and culture as Vorpal Blade had been fascinated with Saraji.
His ascetic life was a source of puzzlement to most. Saracen never drank alcohol, rarely showed a great deal of exuberance and regularly and fondly wrote letters to his wife, Varada, back home.
[The Eternal Knights are rarely permitted to disclose whatever relationships they have or had but all three are in total conviction that Saracen never once saw another mare or stallion during his time travelling.]
During his time representing Luna in the Reinland Crisis and other events across Stirrope, he met the next Eternal Knight, Fletcher Fray, who owed his very life to Saracen’s brother, Qarnasan, who had challenged Fabelhart Fray in the archery tournament for the life of Fletcher’s mother (Though Saracen was among the few Saddle Arabian ambassadors to doubt the truth of Qarnasan ‘Letting his opponent win’)
Fletcher was famously apprehensive of first coming to Equestria and it was Saracen who was one of the driving forces behind his courage, two ponies from distant lands braving the new world.

Working together, the two ponies combined the practices of Equestrian, Stirropean and Ashwari magic to recreate the Crystal Empire’s Moss-Agate Aeropurifier which was shipped to Saracen’s homeland to cleanse it of the pollution the Anthraki had inflicted on it, steadily allowing many of the grey deserts and dust bowls to grow green once more.
In battle, Saracen was a one-pony army, his dragonbone whip the terror of every bandit clan or invading army. Countless tales are told of his proficiency, being the one to banish the Daemon Erlik during the Second Crystal Canine War, and when Equestria’s reaches were encroached upon by a pride of sphinxes, dozens strong, it is said that he challenged each and every one of them to a test of riddles and defeated them each time, turning away the attack bloodlessly.

His deeds during the Civil War are still disclosed but after its unofficial end, Saracen, alongside the other Eternal Knights, went in search of various war criminals and those who had profited amorally off the conflict.
During his time in self-imposed exile, his wife back home, Varada Amurex, performed an old Nesoran ritual to ensure she would not die while her husband was at war.
Using a much-forgotten magic, she and her attendants conjured a great clam shell from the sea where she rested down inside, closed it and was set out to sea where it was ensured that she would land on the shores of wherever Saracen finished his exile. The spell always works, so it is said.

It is confirmed by sources that Saracen went in search of the mercenary known as Downriver, chiefly responsible for the Slaughter of Olwen among others.
He hasn’t been seen since but Midnight Blade assures me that he isn’t dead.
He’d know if he was.

I hope he’s right.

Bronycommander
Group Contributor

6583867
Very interesting and fascinating. Well, as you know I make sure he's still alive

Has he and Domino still some relatives at the time of Lost Reflections?

Purple Patch
Group Admin

6583868
Thanks.
Well, the line of Al'Balut still rules Nakila, essentially as the Sultans of New Saraj (UAE equivalent)
As to Domino, still working on that.

Bronycommander
Group Contributor

6583871
Okay, just to keep that in mind for the Star Trek story.

Purple Patch
Group Admin

6583873
Also of note, the Anthraki, Sirenotheri and Ulanarchi are based off prehistoric animals, similar to Schnortel

Anthracotherium

By Dmitry Bogdanov - dmitrchel@mail.ru, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9591545

Desmostylus and Paleoparadoxia

And Ulanarchus is based off the Andrewsarchus of Mongolia

By Dmitry Bogdanov - Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=68637699

All of them are loosely related to modern-day hippos.

Bronycommander
Group Contributor

6587340
Good thought my Friend.

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