The Rejuvenationverse 33 members · 20 stories
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Purple Patch
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The Regency is one of the least known yet crucial points in history, occurring straight after the departure of Laurelore from Equestria. Celestia had become sullen and melancholic while Luna was frightened of the world outside. Star-Swirl and Gusty had gone missing on his last journey, the Bearers were dead, Midnight Blade was still under supervision after his transformation to a batpony and the court was still suffering from the shock of Laurelore’s attempted assassination.
The regency started with seven individual regents and one Chronicler, the latter was the only one who served during the entire regency. From Bonce Noghorn of Greymatterly, Professor of History and Social Studies at the Grand Academy and one of Canterlot’s longest-serving academes, we can discover more about this controversial period of history.
It should be mentioned however that, one of the key reasons for such controversy was that around the same time Chronicler Bonce’s works were published, another book detailing the Regency much more scandalously and sensationally was also published.
‘Princesses Behaving Badly: The Testimony of Pester the Jester’. Written by the court fool at the time who we have since discovered was, in fact, the Draconequus Discord in disguise, the book is filled with tales of plots, murders, affairs, debaucheries and chaotic phenomena. Very little of it can be assumed to be true although what is interesting to remember is that Pester the Jester was regarded as a complete imbecile and this caused the nobility, gentry and servants to speak freely around him with no fear of any dark secret emerging. Pester could have heard all manner of things. How true those things were and were remembered, however, is a mystery.
<Oh but when has that ever been an issue? What is history but the lucky bastards at the end of the whole fiasco remembering things the way they’d prefer? Really, this guy’s a quote-unquote historian? So far all that entails is stating the friggin’ obvious. Listen and learn, my little ponies, and you’ll find that the glittery, gleaming springtime-fresh Equestria you’re told about hides some seriously stinking stains. He-he-he-ha-ha-ha! ...Sigh...an evil laugh just isn’t the same when you have to write it...>
[Note: Um...I did not write that...And I don’t quite know who did but I have a nasty suspicion. I’m not going to say his name because...I don’t want to think about what might happen if I do but for those of you who are set on actually learning something the way it is, please disregard the...oddly worded comments. I think you know how to tell credible history from baseless hypothesis.]
<Oh they know alright, Patchy-poo...They know reeeeaaaaaal well...>


Before her departure, Laurelore left instructions with several ponies she trusted chiefly.
One of them was Knickerbocker of Briefly Manor, the Lord Steward of Canterlot. Rendered crippled and widowed after the attempted assassination of Laurelore, he was a much less-happier stallion than he had once been but still every bit as loyal and wise.
<Sure. He only lost the leg and his wife...I remember him losing quite a bit more than that. We’re all told he was one of many cut down in the Warmonger/Overcompensator-Savant’s attempt on Laurie’s little life and happened to survive his wounds but does that sound like something old Cassie-kins would do? He had to have gotten into the palace somehow. Mark my words...he owed Knickerbocker, that’s why he left him alive. Tut-tut-tut, treachery in the office of the Steward himself. Whatever is Equestria coming to?>
Another was Thornwood of Berrymuch, the Lord Marshal. To ensure military matters were met by one who was highly proficient and experienced in them yet would avoid settling matters through force of arms, there were none better than the eccentric but ultimately highly discerning strategist.
<’Bout time you talked about this guy! He was one of the only ponies in that big stupid hole I actually liked...sorta’. Yes, this guy knew how to party, how to plot, how to play the fool...If only he stuck around long enough to get to know me better. We could have had so much fun together...>
And the third was Ardour of Elance, a recent but very capable member of Laurelore’s higher ministry. A popular and distinguished mare if not a little too serious for everypony’s fancy, Ardour was a student of the mighty Lord Atlas and thereby an old friend of Vorpal Blade. While she wasn’t an all-rounded high-performer, she had one of the finest distinctions in Insight Studies and Friendship Theory anypony had seen in many years. She was famously witty and lived by the rule of ‘stern but fair’.
<I.e. More boring than should realistically exist. Honestly, does Patchy-poo know nothing? Does the title ‘Ardour the Hardener; Grand Rodguzzler of Canterlot’ not speak volumes?!
Read my book!>
[Note: Don’t. Don’t read his book.]
She’d hit the ground running on her political career and had fast gained friends and influenced the administrative structure.
<In other words; ‘Sluuuuuurrrp-slurp-slurp-slurp-slurp!>
She was given the position of Lady Secretary.
<Hot!>
Three of the key positions of royal affairs were allotted. Legislative, military and executive, respectively.
With the secretariat examining merits, Ardour was tasked to find ponies adept for the job. She didn’t know the ponies personally <That's not what I heard!> but with her attention to detail and information available to her knew who was right for the job in the fields of Justice, Finance, Foreign and Internal Affairs.
Grand Commander Dragonfly of Dropwing was appointed Lady Justice. A prodigy among pegasi, her appointment was met which much support from Cloudsdale and its suburbs who, for a significant time, had felt neglected by Canterlot and its goings-on. Dragonfly was a war-hero who’d served on several leading positions in the aerial wars the pegasi fought against various foes such as griffons, gargoyles and sky-pirates and was known for her sense of honour and loyalty.
<And farting like a cannon whenever we had pumpkin fritters>
Mr Sloe of Plumston was appointed Lord Treasurer. An aged noble of great wisdom and temperance and had made his money in grain and seed storage and trading, safeguarding the means to grow fruits, vegetables and crops in times of hardships, establishing the Grand Pantry, Equestria’s largest food storage enterprise that, while fairly trivial today was a major part in Equestria’s struggles in the past. Ardour spoke particularly well of him, her key point being that ‘He knows much about money and how to make it yet is not driven by it. He sees his work as duty, not desire’.
<No, his desire was something else entirely. Something less shiny and a lot more chicken-shaped.>
Count Diaphanous Glass of Invitro was appointed Lord Ambassador. One of the kindest and most cultural stallions who had served as the artist behind the stained glass portraits of the princesses that now still stand in the Canterlot Royal Palace. While it was widely known that his wife, Lady Hour, possessed twice the brains he did, he could be counted on to make friends and reach suitable solutions and compromises with any visitor that came to him.
<He and Ardour shared a similar style of diplomacy. An Open-Leg-I mean Door Policy makes everypony happy...and itchy.>
Colonel Hystrix of Hogspine was appointed Lady Constable. An earth pony from the Malouse River, Hystrix was a veteran of the Bayou Night Hunts against the inbred cannibal clans. Knowing she’d brushed with such creatures and survived was enough to let many know that she was not to be lightly. Hystrix was a grim mare and few can recall a friendly conversation anypony had with her but there was none better to take charge of the city’s civil defence at such a turbulent time. Though she was antisocial among ponies, she had gotten on famously well with the buffalo tribes of the south and had worked with Ardour in teaching others of their unique culture and history.
<I caught her in bed with six buffalo cows once. No big words were needed, just a daringly, witty retort that would echo throughout the pages of history...
Got milk?!>
And in the absence of a pony as old, learned and wise as Star-Swirl, a Chronicler was chosen in old master Bonce, a former Professor of History at the Grand Academy and a personal friend of the old wizard. It was he that took to teaching the Princesses the finer points of the land they would one day rule as well as keep the Regents informed of the disposition of the growing alicorns.
<Snooooooooooooooore...>
That left one position left open; the Archmage, administrating magic and mystery (For lack of a better term). It technically didn’t have to be a unicorn as one simply had to be very well-versed in magic, both in utilising it and controlling it for the betterment of society.
<Good evening. You’re listening to your hourly dose of ‘betterment of society’; HAIL CELESTIA. FRIENDSHIP IS MANDATORY.>
The list was wide-ranged and Ardour was hard-pressed to find the right choice. There were many excellent magic-users and experts but none that really stood-out as far as the generation went. Were any of them to be chosen they would have a safe and suitable Archmage but not one that pushed any boundaries which was always something the previous Archmage, Star-Swirl was very set on.
That year however, would prove the event of a most startling return to Equestria.
At Canterbury Port, below the cityscapes, a lone boat rode in from the Seadragon River, carrying a colourful but haggard-looking mare with bright green coat and a tropical-tinted mane, wearing a thick garb of white and yellow fabric beneath her shimmering coat of violet and silver and feathered calks.
Mimic, the first of the Canterlot-born great wizards and and the finest student of Star-Swirl, had returned.
<Quick, hide the booze! ...and the sock-puppets.>


Canterlot saw its first celebration in months to welcome the magnificent Mimic back home.
She was introduced to Celestia and Luna and, while she showed wonder and adoration, she would not touch them. In fact, she would touch anyone. As soon as the festivities paused, she would go up to Star-Swirl’s study and not come out for some time.
When invited to assume the position of Archmage, she felt disinclined. After some counselling from her fellow regents, she accepted but she would often not attend meetings, instead documenting new and vital information on magical theory to be sent to the Royal Libraries as soon as possible.
<A note for Equestrian scholars; Pleasure-tentacle spells and conjured pineapples DO NOT MIX!>
Ardour would try and speak to her but Mimic would rarely ever say anything. After a while, Ardour consulted servants who confided in her that they often heard violent coughing in the Archmage’s study and sometimes even groans of pain and despair.
One day, she ordered one of them to leave her the study key and intruded on Mimic who was in the middle of documenting more information. Mimic had discarded her garb and what Ardour saw shocked and terrified her.
Her friend had gone bald; hairless. Not even her coat had fur. She’d hung up what had passed for the mane she’d always had on a hook and her furry coat had been applied like makeup with paint and brush, only enough to cover her face and neck.
All across Mimic’s body were hideous burns and scars the like of which Ardour had not seen, heard or even dreamt of. Out of their calks, Mimic’s hooves were cracked apart in fragments, held together with string, the fleshy pulp underneath visible and oozing black like rotted fruit inside a cracked eggshell. Her teeth looked similar and her eyes, ears, nose and other orifices wept what looked like tar with an abominable stench emanating from the fluid. She described it in her memoirs as if her friend’s body wasn’t so much ‘rotting’ as ‘smouldering from within’.
Ardour moved to help her but Mimic fled across the chamber and begged her friend not to come near her.
“Don’t touch it!” she pleaded “Don’t even look at it! It moves! It feeds! It’s always hungry!”
Ardour calmed her friend, from a distance, and asked that she be privy to the details of what this hellish disease was so that it may be cured.
Mimic refused. She said simply “I stopped it leaving. I contained it. In a thousand years, maybe two, it will have burned out as all fires do. I have done all anypony can to stop it. And once it comes for my heart, I shall head back to die with it.”
Mimic had just finished the last of her great treatises, the most infamous and the most frightening.
‘The Invisible Fire; Seek Not Its Mastery’
This ‘invisible fire’ was something Mimic found on her travels across Equestria. The land she discovered it on is named ‘Minthas’ but it’s position on the map is not disclosed, by Mimic’s insistence.
The word ‘Minthas’ is Hippomorphian, loosely translated means ‘Do Not Touch’.
According to notes, Mimic theorised many different possibilities and reasons as to why is was such an impassable place but she could confirm none. What madness had possessed her to venture into the zone was a mystery to Ardour and another thing Mimic couldn’t give away.
Her garb and calks were nulled and sterilised. She was terrified of any trace of her remaining with anything in Equestria. She was living like an Earth Pony in order to keep this forbidden magic from harming any other.
But the underlying knowledge was hard enough for Ardour, and Canterlot, to take in.
Mimic was dying.
Ardour managed to convince her dear friend to give Equestria the ill news, though Mimic was still adamant that the details go undivulged. The city was in tears, each pony of influence volunteering to do whatever they could but Mimic would not hear of it. She did not want anypony she knew and loved passing on the horror she’d brought upon herself.
After a month, she announced she was leaving for Minthas, to die among the Invisible Fire she’d contained. No trace of her could stay in Equestria if she was to keep the danger at bay.
She left no body behind in Equestria, sailing alone in the boat she came in on, never to return. All that remained was the work she’d spent a month comprising and finishing. Ardour had these works, along with any Mimic had written, placed in a restricted section of the Library and opened for VIPs, naming it the Mimic Memorial Library Section.
So departed Mimic, magical savant of Canterlot perhaps the finest of Star-Swirl’s students. Equestria never saw her like again.
<I had a bunch of jokes to make here...but they’re all incredibly tasteless.>


The position of Archmage was open as quickly as it had been taken.
<Just like Ardour!!>
Ardour searched far and wide for a mage as proficient and adept as Mimic across Equestria but she felt there was no chance of making the next appointment appear inadequate.
<Inadequacy never bothered her before.>
She had no wish to turn any skilled and serving wizard into a laughing-stock and asked for council from her fellows.
The proposition from Lord Thornwood was a simple but unprecedented one.
<Unicorn-Genocide...don’t knock it ‘til ya’ tried it.>
To pick somepony who would not be compared to Mimic at all. Somepony whose way of doing things was so unlike Mimic or Star-Swirl that none would see it as a second-place appointment but a tug in a new direction. A breath of fresh air.
With this suggestion in mind, Ardour found a studier of magical practices suitable for the task.
Lord Silverback of Mt. Simian.
An Earth Pony with enormous muscles and a greying mane, Silverback wasn’t a pony one would assume to be a scholar. But regardless, he had committed his life to studying the higher mysteries of magic from a non-unicorn point of view, Silverback was a pioneer of Unicorn-Earth Pony relations, teaching his kind to no longer fear magic and its users as well as revitalising ancient earth pony arts and studies classed as magic in their day such as alchemy, astrology, inscription, archaeology and crystal-craft.
<And sex without climaxing...no really, this is not a joke. That’s an old Earth Pony custom. It’s said to prolong the lifespan. Look it up!>
Ardour spent around two weeks at Mt. Simian getting to know the stallion and his studies and concluded upon her return that Silverback would be very able for the task of Archmage. The first Earth Pony to take the position and the second non-unicorn to hold the title after Wind Whistler, the great second-age halomancer of the Pegasi.
<Yeah. Halomancy. The study of manipulating fat nerds addicted to first-person shooters.>
Silverback assumed the position to divided reactions from the public. Many unicorns felt it insulting how a position that was, in their eyes, meant for unicorns and magic-users, was now being given to an Earth Pony who they feared sought to give his kind some secret advantage over magic while many earth ponies regarded placing one of their most foremost scholars in the magic-schools of Canterlot was a secret unicorn plot to undermine Earth Pony knowledge and censor their deeper meanings.
<In other words; ‘Dey took our joooobs!>
Silverback, alongside Ardour and Thornwood, who spoke to unicorn and earth pony community leaders respectively, assured the public that would not be the case and sure enough, many once-forgotten esoteric fields were reintroduced into the Grand Academy and its branches thanks to the new Archmage’s treatises released into mainstream literature. Unlike Mimic, he chose to stand at the Council of Regents and make propositions for reforms.
<Mandatory bondage gear for everypony>
Silverback was a fairly conservative politician with a self-sacrificing attitude and a public-centred political viewpoint that some claimed bordered on anti-monarchist. He protested against the construction of memorial statues after the war, instead insisting the funds and labour should go to citizen relief. He advocated lowering taxes and harsher sentences for criminals. While he was listened to in court, he wasn’t often given sufficient support to put these reforms in motion. But his position of Archmage allowed him to write his propositions and send them to political academies where he inspired quite a bit of movement that has, on certain occasions, gained significant influence at certain periods of Equestrian history.
To this end, many unicorns still consider him a propagandist and a brainwasher who used his ill-gotten position to orchestrate anti-unicorn sentiment but this is unlikely. Silverback has never been confirmed to have any prejudice against unicorns and in her memoirs, Ardour praises his good temper and wise words.
<And being hung like a gorilla never hurt...well, actually it did but in all the good ways.>
While not a very genial stallion, he was always frank but courteous and always made lengths to treat any political opposition with consideration and understanding and in court could go from a silent, steely-eyed observer to an eloquent powerhouse in moments.
<I seem to recall a certain amount of bashing his opposition’s head into the wall hooting obscenities and urinating on their unconscious bodies...Or was that Hystrix?>
But soon, it became apparent that Silverback would have to use his skills for the defence of the realm for, while the Warmonger’s War was over, it was a huge mistake to say that Laurelore’s departure had brought peace to Equestria.
<Nothing was quite the same after Taco Tuesday...>
In the North-West of Equestria, the Second Raptor Regime, though not yet control of griffon society, was intruding once more to pony territory. Under Aptornis Adzebill, a fearsome Raptor claiming to be the last-living grandson of the old griffon war leader Gyps the Great, the Raptors captured the city of Waiver and put Alas City to siege. Lady Darter, the younger sister of Dragonfly was in charge of the city defence. In the wake of such a peril, Dragonfly took a leave of absence, unwilling to leave her sister and fellow pegasi without her aid. The Princesses and the regents gave their leave.
<Ooh I Feel Like Chicken Tonight! Like Chicken Tonight! Alright!>
Assembling the Army of the Meadowhawk from a good portion of Canterlot’s finest pegasi warriors and sky-chariots and taking with her the Montane Relict Artillery Battery, she departed in a plain but well-received military parade out of Canterlot.
Around a fortnight afterwards, there was news of more trouble, this time in the East. A branch of the Whitetail Deer, led by the deranged King Huorn who’s mind had been withered by Ahuizotl who’d bound him in service, the deer had become savage and feral, raiding settlements near the Hayseed Swamps, killing at will. Rumours claimed they fought beside the wretched Ungul and strange cross-breeds of hoofed beast and big cats of the jungles.
To counter this threat, whatever the truth of it, Hystrix volunteered to lead the defensive effort. Taking with her a sizable force of Equestrian marines, she promised to fight off the enemy if it took all winter.
It appeared the Laurelore wasn’t the only pony who had to leave in a hurry.
<Wow! And he says I have bad taste!>
[Note: Okay, I’ll write about what your own record says but will you please stop commenting on my histories? Please?]
<Sigh...fine...But don’t skip the good bits. I’ll know if you do>


That left Knickerbocker the oldest of the Regents in charge of state affairs and the one Celestia and Luna trusted the most. He’d been part of Canterlot society when they’d first emerged into Equestria and Laurelore had always spoken of his noble, chivalrous and every faithful heart to her two daughters.
So the bitterest blow came during the winter when the Dimples of Death took hold.
Despite its odd name, like most Equestrian epidemics, the Dimples of Death was a terrible disease that took hold in the first winter of the Regency. The first sign was a sudden rosiness of the cheeks then a red flush of the face which did not appear unusual on a frosty winter’s day. But fever would follow, slight at first then rising and rising until one couldn’t rise from whence they’d slept. They would constantly complain of the cold and yet be hot to the touch and would sometimes sweat blood and bleed from the eyes. Some would survive after five days, back in the peak of health, but many fell to the illness. Silverback and Ardour busied themselves finding a cure but none seemed close. The disease appeared set in the cold air itself and rich and poor were at risk equally.
Tragically, one of the first of its victims was Lord Knickerbocker. He’d spent the day productively as well. In regards to the crisis of flooding relief in Tailahossee he spoke justly and well for a good twenty minutes, endured a well-earned applause, had the bill approved, stood and thanked his fellows and then quite suddenly stumbled and fell, shaking like a leaf, unable to move himself off the ground, his coat as hot as a stove.
It is some consolation he did not die there. He was taken to his chambers at Briefly Manor and was able to say goodbye to his son, daughter, their respective spouses, his grandchildren, his friends among the court and the Princesses. He told them it was finest honour to see them grow and wished them the very best of fortune in their reigns to come, promising them that what Laurelore had told them of friendship and harmony rang true no matter how dire the days became.
So passed Knickerbocker of Briefly Manor, soldier, sailor, speaker, statespony, dear friend of Princesses and loving husband and father. His kin have closely served the Princesses of Equestria ever since.
[Note: According to Pester the Jester, what actually transpired was that Knickerbocker confessed to letting the Warmonger in to kill Laurelore. Right afterwards he claimed he was feeling a lot better whereupon Celestia smothered him with a pillow. But this is nonsense. The Pants family would not have enjoyed such royal favour for so many years were there any possibility of their founder’s part in Laurelore’s attempted assassination.]
It was not only Knickerbocker who had suffered however. Mr Sloe of Plumston has suffered the illness and, while he’d survived to recover, he was always weak afterwards, having to be supported by the forelegs on by his butler and doctor. On the insistence of his physicians and his friends, he resigned as Lord Treasurer and spent the next three months of his remaining life at home in the plum-tree gardens of his estate. He left the Grand Pantry in the hooves of the state for which his family was well-compensated and Equestria was saved from possible famine that could well have taken place after the plague subsided.
Many other respected members of Equestria’s court and armies had passed on.
Captain-General Stoker passed on. A veteran of some dozen wars and conflicts, he was finished in four days by a winter sickness.
Lady Bantam, sister of the late Captain-General Bold, had died. Her son, Bold II, named in honour of her departed brother, was taken in by Chronicler Bonce and, while the open position of Captain-General of the Royal Guard could not be guaranteed for him, he was given an honorary position as one of the five Gilded Capital Commandants which would be official once he graduated.
And the parents of Lady Hour Glass had since died and she was beginning to feel the effects as well. In his fear and grief, Diaphanous requested a leave of absence which was permitted.
The Regency Council had been left almost bare. Of the ten, only Ardour, Thornwood, Bonce and Silverback remained.
Some say that the Dimples of Death, the winter plague, was in fact the dark magic of Windigoes, a herald of an age of misery and disdain. The first great obstacle of the movement of harmony.
And so it would be.


In the wake of Knickerbocker’s death, Celestia showed an escalating amount of maturity. For the first time in years, at age thirteen, she gave orders to the Regents to make new appointments to the Regency. Remembering her time observing court under Laurelore and what her mother had told her of her courtiers (For Laurelore was an astute and perceptive monarch to have lasted so long), she recommended Knickerbocker’s nephew, Bikini-Bottom ‘B.B’ Trunks, to Lord Admiral.
A courageous, hardy and apparently gorgeous unicorn seafarer, B.B Trunks had fast earned a name for himself in the Equestrian Navy. Despite only being a babe in forehooves when his father, Boxer Briefs, was killed, he’d risen fast at the top of his class at the Maritime Canterbury branch of the Grand Academy. At fifteen, he was already the captain of his own ship, the HMS Maillot Splendid after his mother. In spite his age, he was a father to those under his command and had never lost a battle in his life, fighting with a superbly fluctuating fusion of vigilant strategy and mad valour. He was greeted with cheers by the populace at large whenever he departed for the blue and tears ran from every maiden’s eye if ever his safe return seemed uncertain.
<Er...do you and the centuries-old, long-dead Lord Admiral need some time alone?>
[Note: Out!]
But that wasn’t the end of Celestia’s proposals. She also stressed the need for a Regent to oversee commerce and education and a deputy for each regent if ever the leading member was indisposed.
The position of Lord Bursar was opened and granted to Miss Plenty Uplift, a pegasus explorer and trader who was credited with pushing the Equestrian Contrail, the biggest aerial trade network across Equestria and outside of it, now making a large amount of money from publishing her journal, Ponopoly. The positions of Lord Diligent and Lord Sustainer were established as twin deputies to oversee home industry and safe and sustainable trade and working conditions.
To take Mr Sloe’s place as Lord Treasurer was Lady Pitterpatter of Raindance, a personal friend and work-colleague of Ardour whose skill for figures and economic planning was second to none.
And for Royal Tutor, Luna was allowed to put forward a suggestion. A student of Chronicler Bonce from the tropical island of Ohana; a mindful and ever-pleasant mentor of the common folk with a soft voice that was always able to calm the little princess among many others. Her name was Oia’i’o (Pronounced ‘Why-O’...I think).
While Princess Celestia chose to attend the Regency Council meetings, she stood in for the position of Palace Steward. It would be a lie to say she contributed a lot to these meetings but she learned a great deal and when she spoke, she could be counted on to understand the situation well and suggest the most amicable solution if not the most sensible.
[Note: Pester the Jester’s records claim that she was constantly throwing tantrums and depanding the royal diaper changed in the middle of councils but this is nonsense. Celestia was thirteen at this point, courteous, sensible, calm and most certainly toilet-trained. And that is all I intend to say on the matter.]
Then at last, Thornwood was called away. The shores of Trottingham were being plagued by a siren going by the name of Nimueh. As sirens are famously powerful and unpredictable, Thornwood volunteered to negotiate with it if possible, an expert in Sireni as well as how to combat such creatures.
[Note: According to Pester the Jester's notes, Thornwood had made it his goal to seduce the siren, Nimueh. He wished to bed a siren or die in the attempt, his tombstone inscribed with the words 'Worth It' if he did so. This seems unlikely but all histories point to Thornwood being something of a famous eccentric and the likelihood of him undergoing this task is not impossible...nor succeeding at it.]
Unfortunately, he may well have said the wrong thing as Nimueh, according to observers, went berserk and attacked a large section of the Trottingham shore. Thornhoof was wounded but managed to null the siren’s magic, forcing her to depend on brute force which could be better countered by the guard. He was pulled off the shore to be tended to but when the doctors came to check on him the day after, they found his tent empty.
B.B. Trunks was sent to investigate the disappearance.
With the sudden disappearance of the Lord Marshal, a deputy was chosen to take his place. But the position of Lord Warden, the deputy of the war ministry who oversaw border defence and non-Equestrian activities, was still open, Celestia and Ardour still surveying the charts. Not long afterwards, they were met with a petition to appoint a very special pony to this position. This petition carried just under a two-thousand signatures.
The pony in question that two-thousand and sixty ponies wished appointed to Lord Warden; thus filling in the position of Lord Marshal and in such as this scenario controlling a great deal of what went on in Equestria...was named Hardhoof of Grye.
And his name would go down in infamy.


“The first thing I remember about Hardhoof...” Ardour writes in her memoirs “...is how awfully cross he looked. It wouldn’t matter if the sun was shining or the rain was beating down, whether he was met with a friendly smile or a pitying frown, he would never find a reason to treat anything with any emotion other than bitterness and contempt. There beat no warm heart in that rigid iron chest of his. There was something...wrong...with this stallion.”
Many in Equestria would come to agree with her.
Hardhoof of Grye (Or to address him by his full title; Crudle Astorgi Hardhoof af Grye Jr. Lord Warden of Royal Equestria, Regent of Canterlot, Rawgrave Lord of Most Pure and Fervent Castle Grye, Lieutenant-General of the 4th Outskirts Militia Corps, Liege Marcher Lord of Wormenberg, Brownbowl and the Rustings. High Sheriff of Phlegm, Sentinel of the White Verge, Grand Reaper of the Borders, Arch-Lector of the Church of Furbode, Herald Anointed of our Lord Fat, Doom of the Inequine, Scourge of Savages, Savant of the Order of Six-And-Two-Hundred, Blood of House af Erden, Master of the Worshipful Company of Leach-Farmers, Punisher of Vanity, Gaoler of Magical Menaces, Author and Publisher of ‘Cleanse With Fire: A Treatise In Saving Equestria From Wickedness’, Liberator of Ciphers, Champion of the Unchained and The Inextinguishable Flame From The Throat Of The First Father) was difficult to put to paper.
All who ever looked upon him claimed there was something ‘not quite right’ about this strange Earth Pony. He had the appearance of both a strong and weak stallion, tall with a massive chest and powerful shoulders but weak in the legs and with hindquarters that appeared compressed, coupled with the tightest neck anypony had ever seen. His face was crooked and upturned with a sloping muzzle and an enormous forehead. His eyes were large but sunken under a heavy brow with tiny irises slightly apart from each other, giving him the appearance of some perpetually-angry fish. With a scraggly slate-grey mane and beard and bristly eyebrows that met in the middle, Hardhoof was not a particularly charismatic sight in Canterlot.
He never ever dressed in bright colours. Though sometimes appearing richly garbed, he would only wear whites, blacks, greys and browns with the occasional pendant in his jacket or bonnet described not so much silver-looking as ‘murky-white’. He always carried a shiny black cane topped with a figurine of a snarling hound’s head, also fashioned out of this murky-white jewel.
He was a powerful pony where he lived but where he lived had very little power to give him.
While he was the owner, and founder, of Castle Grye, he was born in the town of Phlegm.
Hystrix once summed up the town and its namesake.
“You ever had phlegm? Like a really bad cold that got stuck in your throat so much that something horrid welled up when you spoke a consonant and every so often you had to spit out a mouthful of thick, pale gunk in a sink? Picture if civilisation itself did that. Spat something out during a very bad time in its life and forgot to wash it away. A picture of social and civil sickness and uncleanliness, festering away. That’s this town. That’s Phlegm.”
The name of the town is meant to come from the word for ‘breathing cleansing fire’ in old Equestrian and apparently the locals of the town weren’t aware that was just a loosely-translated phrase for coughing up mucus.
Phlegm was a faraway town on the Outskirts where anti-alicorn, earth pony-supremacist sentiment was rife amid the resurgence of an old and ancient religion.
The Church of Furbode, also known as the worship of the Fat.
While a deity known as ‘Fat’ has provoked amused responses in the modern day, it was no laughing matter. The word comes from an old Earth Pony word for ‘Father’, a fiercely patriarchal, puritanical and above all violent religion that permitted nothing that did not predate the religion itself to exist in society, banning art, music and any manner of public jubilation, encouraging scourging oneself and others to relieve sin and punishing any transgression to their faith with torture, mutilation or death.
He came to Canterlot more as a preacher than a politician, declaring to all who would hear him that the city had fallen to vice and their coupling with base magic and un-equine ideals had brought about the calamities that plagued them, only a ‘cleansing fire’ able to save them from further destruction.
Ardour witnessed this and confesses to feeling a lot less positive about his appointment.
Feeling she should have done this from the start, she looked over the petition to appoint him to court and, with Pitterpatter’s help, traced the signatures. Every name on the list were members of a certain social circle on the borders of Equestria claiming to be descendants of the ‘Six-and-Two-Hundred Unchained’.
The ‘Unchained’ are ancient pony bloodlines who rejected Laurelore’s ascension and refused to take the Oath of Harmony, swearing their line and the kingdoms they’d once claimed to rule in service to the alicorns. Their exact number varies between records but around ninety-six are unicorn, two-hundred-and-six are Earth Pony and a mere two are pegasi (Understandable as during the ascension, the cataclysm that the alicorns prevented struck first in the sky. Pegasi who wilfully refused the alicorn’s protection died quickly. Only the Altostrati of Nephele and the Ignorami of Acephalos remain)
A good number of the two-hundred and six earth pony families supported Hardhoof near to worship and, while it is not clear if every member of them backed him, there were enough to make a significant difference and the number of names on the petition could well have been meant as symbolic.
It was then that the Regents knew they’d made a terrible mistake and began trying to make plans to ensure Hardhoof would not overreach himself. Easier said than done.


Hardhoof arrived in brusque and derision. Unsmiling, he paid no heed to those set to welcome him and, according to a guard, when foals had come out to wave hello to the new member of the Regency as was their custom, Hardhoof had beat them bloody with his cane and sent them running home in tears.
When Ardour was the first to speak to him, he declared he would not bandy words with a mare who dared sit upon the seat of a stallion, barging past her to take Thornwood’s seat. He ordered his fellow Regents to address him by his full title but would not bother to call them anything other than ‘mare’ or ‘sir’.
He began preaching in a similar fashion in court as he had on the street and demanded the age of magical study and exploration at an end, the demolition of the Grand Academy, a purge of all ‘vanities’ in Equestria (Read anything cultural or colourful) the immediate ban of homosexuality, the condemnation of mareist and matriarchal philosophy and the beginning of ferocious aggression against non-Equine communities.
According to minutes, he had been talking for a full twenty minutes before Ardour interrupted, pointing out that the Regents had no authority to put into action even one of his propositions without presenting it to the court and to the princesses.
Apparently this was the first time in many years Hardhoof had been refused anything and apparently he ‘growled audibly in a canine manner, his eyes bulging in his sockets, spittle foaming between his bared grey teeth.’
It was clear he and Ardour were not going to get along. In the absence of many of the Regents, Ardour was the only official and original member of the Regency with the highest authority and it was challenged at every turn by Hardhoof.
For the next few days, whenever she stood to speak, Hardhoof would interrupt with exerts from Outskirts literature such as ‘Be Not At Ease: The Perils of Mares In Crowns’ and ‘How The Good Father Teaches His Fillies To Love And Fear Him’ which, he felt, would negate anything Ardour suggested. Few of the council paid him any mind and this, it was clear, filled him with fury. Whenever any of the Regents interrupted him, he would erratically smack his metal cane upon the table half-a-dozen times or so with enough force to split the wood before his seat, breathing heavily and fixing whoever butted in with a withering glare. Of the Regents, Ardour was the one he hated most but Silverback also incurred his ire, likely because he’d assumed the fellow Earth Pony could be counted on to support him and he regarded Silverback’s loyalty to Celestia and magical study as a betrayal.
But it was when Celestia began attending council meetings again that trouble really started to brew.


On the first month of spring, Celestia was greeted with good tidings by the castle staff.
Aptornis Adzebill was dead and Huorn’s horde was routed. Dragonfly and Hystrix were returning to Canterlot with victory in tow. Celestia arrived at the council with a happy air...which vanished swiftly as she was struck by Hardhoof’s gaze.
She describes it in confidence as ‘Like being in a room with a big scary dog. He just stood there with his angry eyes and bared teeth and that cane of his and you never knew if he was going to sit there scowling or rush up and bite something.’
Hardhoof demanded that Celestia relate to him (Specifically him in his own words, not the Regent’s council.) what she had been told. When Celestia, forgoing telling him that he had no right to demand anything from his princess, told him that Dragonfly and Hystrix were returning to the Regent’s Council.
Here, words were said that shocked the council.
“They shall do no such thing.” Hardhoof barked “They have left the court in its hour of need and pursued lofty ambitions beyond their station as wicked mares are wont to do. They shall no longer sit at this council. And you, filly, shall remember that your word is not wanted nor needed here. As senior member of this Regency, I set aside all regency appointments made by this foal after the death of the former Palace Steward. No filly of thirteen has the judgement to decide such weighty matters by herself.”
Celestia was taken aback and Ardour, Silverback and Bonce stood up and registered their disapproval loudly. Bonce demanded that the stallion remember his own place before speaking so disdainfully of that of his fellow regents. Ardour declared him out of order on all factors. Silverback went so far as saying Hardhoof should hand in his badge of office and leave Canterlot on pain of ‘getting that cane of his so far up his flank-hole he’ll be using it to give his disgusting grey teeth the first brush they’ve had in years’. Eventually, fluttering her wings in frustration, Celestia ordered silence in the room and spoke in a calm and dignified manner she’d learned from Laurelore.
“Lord Warden Hardhoof. Your appointment was chosen after the death of Palace Steward Lord Minister Knickerbocker who told me in his final moments that he had utter faith in the judgement you presume to condemn. You do not speak for him. I do. And I say you shall not demand of me anything. My appointments stand. Dragonfly, Hystrix and anypony else I have chosen, with the good counsel of Ardour, Bonce and Silverback, will remain among the Regency. Sit down and remain quiet now and I shall choose to ignore this severe lapse in your own judgement, the very same judgement you seek to place over my own.”
There was a pause as the Regents took a moment to appreciate the courage and maturity of the Princess before them.
And then Hardhoof raised his cane.
There is no telling what could have transpired if Ardour had not seen what was happening and cast a spell to hold Hardhoof’s cane and forehoof still.
Locked still, Hardhoof’s expression was ballistic. Celestia confirms he saw him bite his lip open.
“Release me, wretched mare!” Hardhoof demanded in a raving bellow.
“That’s Lady Secretary to you, sir.” Ardour replied in a quiet but curt tone “And you shall not raise a hoof to harm your Princess under any circumstances.”
“You have allowed her to grow spoiled and corrupt!” Hardhoof shrieked “She should know never to speak in such a manner before her elders and betters!”
At this, Silverback spoke in a gruff retort.
“She is your elder in experience and your better in just about everything else. But the cane down before I put it somewhere you will not find pleasant.”
And here, Bonce spoke.
“If you wish to continue having any say in the affairs of the realm, Lord Hardhoof, you shall kneel and beg your highness for forgiveness and swear on your life and honour, in the name of any god or gods you may worship, never again to raise your hoof or whatever you may hold in it, against your Princess.”
There was a lengthy pause. Celestia swears that one or both of Hardhoof’s eyes went red where there should be white, blood-vessels bursting in rage.
Yet at last, he knelt and begged in a dull, deadened tone.
Celestia accepted his apology and he sat down quietly, the same caustic glare on his face upon all those present but he said nothing and simply brooded in silence.
When the meeting was concluded, Ardour, Bonce and Silverback congratulated Celestia for showing such bravery, temperance, wisdom and resolve.
Alas, it would seem she showed too much.

Retiring for her bedchambers, she found unfamiliar ponies on guard in the palace. Earth ponies in colourless garb with mean glares and meaner weaponry.
She asked to enter her chambers. They grabbed her by the wings and led her in.
Hardhoof was sitting on her bed. Between them, little Princess Luna, just eight years old, had her forelegs and wings tied together and propped over a desk, crying out for her big sister for help.
Celestia protested, demanding her guards release her sister and arrest Hardhoof for breaking into her chambers and harming her sibling.
The guard did not respond. Hardhoof informed her they were his guard. And to illustrate, he took his cane and struck Luna hard enough to draw a small amount of blood and no small amount of tears.
The guard did nothing but hold Celestia still.
Many consider it confusing how Celestia was not able to pull off a spell to free her sister and strike down her captors but one must take into consideration that she was thirteen, older than Luna but still a foal, had always been taught to keep her otherworldly powers in check as much as possible to the point where she simply may have forgotten how to use them and, of course, was utterly terrified. Even if she pulled off a spell to save her sister or strike Hardhoof, she now knew every guard around her chambers and perhaps in the palace was not loyal to her and she had no guarantee they’d be safe if she resisted. She remembered all too well what the Warmonger had done barely a year ago. The nightmare was happening again.
When Luna’s wails of pain had subsided somewhat, Hardhoof asked if Celestia was going to do as he’d told her and let him have sole authority over the Regency.
Celestia protested, claiming he’d sworn just that day that he would not harm her.
Hardhoof, with the closest thing to a smile anypony had ever seen from him, retorted that he’d said nothing about Luna.
Celestia then said his demands weren’t possible but that the position of Lord Marshal would be his if it would appease him.
Hardhoof replied with a cruel glare that it would not and began striking Luna again and again. Celestia ordered him to stop, reasoned, lied, threatened and finally begged him for his forgiveness and for him to take sovereign authority over the Regency. Apparently Hardhoof did not respond to his Princess’s words until he had struck Luna two-hundred-and-five times, leaving a crimson puddle before the little alicorn’s beds.
There is a particularly unpleasant tale by Pester the Jester that insists Hardhoof pleasured himself with his other forehoof while doing this. How he did this when one forehoof was holding his cane is uncertain. He may have been sitting on the bed but it’s doubtful he would have struck Luna hard enough to draw blood in that case. This tale is therefore very doubtful but other, somewhat more credible records insist that Hardhoof was indeed a sexual sadist who could not achieve satisfaction until they had genuinely and sincerely begged him to stop hurting them.
Celestia rushed to her little sister but was grabbed and the two alicorns were kept apart.
The young Princess of the Sun then begged that if ever she offended Hardhoof that she be the one to receive punishment and the innocent Luna be spared. Hardhoof refused, saying this way was a better learning experience for both of them.
Once he was certain he had made his point clear, he ordered Luna taken to a different tower to make her bedroom and had many guards placed there with weapons and equipment he claimed were anti-magical. He left Celestia with the knowledge that if ever he went unsatisfied, it would Luna who suffered.
Then he departed and the two little alicorns spent their first night apart from each other crying themselves to sleep.


Hardhoof felt proud. And many ponies like him in the Outskirts shared that pride. His demand to have the Regents and Deputy Regents step down was rooted in another ploy of his. He had not come alone to Canterlot. Many Outskirts dwellers, or Dreary Ones as they were known to the Canterlot city-folk, had come to give Hardhoof support and help him reign in the new era of the old ways (Contradiction in terms, I realise). To this end, when Thornwood, Dragonfly, Diaphonous Glass, Hystrix, Pitterpatter, Plenty Uplift and the Deputies were removed from office (The first four in-absentia) they were replaced by these Dreary Ones, almost all of whom were members of Hardhoof’s family or close associates.
The day after Celestia’s ‘lesson’, he arrived at court with the signed royal order to clear almost all the Regency and appoint new members.
His illegitimate brother, Glutt af Grye, and his nephew, Ridgebone af Grye, were named Commandants of the Celestia and Luna’s bodyguard respectively. His brother-in-law, Measel Murking, was named Lord Ambassador and his distant cousin, Shale Slymestone was named Lord Justice. His uncle, Quease af Grye was named Lord Admiral (B.B Thrust demoted to Vice Admiral) and the positions of Lord Treasurer and Lord Bursar were combined and given to himself. The head of the church where Hardhoof was a leading member was Incendor Clagg Illweather, who was named Royal Tutor and was also placed as Grand Cleansor of the Canterlot Church of Furbode. Rules were charted up and placed nailed to the walls of the Royal Palace.
To keep order in the city that was not yet his, Hardhood appointed his own militia as a police force, disbanding most of the Royal Guard. His personal bodyguard were particularly feared. By their own word, they were known as the Victorious Armoury for their practice of wearing their enemies. Out of their hearing, others called them the Peltpushers. Many of them wore buffalo, griffon or deer skins as cloaks under hard leather and bone plate. But their commanding officers wore the black-and-white stripes of zebra hide. Their leader, Colonel Scraper, was a ferocious stallion who began overseeing the palace in a manner of which made nopony safe. Servants, cooks and maids could simply be singled out and sent to torture chambers simply because Scraper didn’t like the look of them. Shale Slymestone would always hear their supposed confessions of treachery to sow blame upon Hardhoof’s political rivals. Before long, Bonce was seized and imprisoned but was spared in order to write up the royal decrees, ensuring not even Celestia knew what went on in the palace.
Hardhoof must have assumed his takeover of the city was complete and in bare months, the spring would bring about his rise to power and a clensing flame across Equestria to remake the land by his preferences.
But while Celestia may have been defeated, Canterlot was not.

Bronycommander
Group Contributor

7108356
Very interesting as always. Seriously, it's impressive you think up so much lore just for fanfiction and what if thoughts, like that with blue and her son if he's gone mentally due to drugs or something.

Luna and Celestia here, gives me a thought... [

b]Luna: MIDNIGHT!
Hardhoof: Cry all you want, he's gone.
Midnight: (appears behind him, now as batpony) Are you sure about that? (meme intended)

Celestia though, a more dark thought about Gusty...

Hardhoof:: She won't help you, even in Death.
(ground shakes and a now undead Gusty raises from the grave)
Hardhoof:: Uh-oh...

Purple Patch
Group Admin

7108361
Well, some of it is based off this and that.
Hardhoof though, I actually took from a personal fear of mine.

I've always been really afraid of large dogs, ever since I was a child.
And so I basically projected all the problems I have with them, the scariest things I can think of about a dog, and put them in a person.
The imposing but gaunt physique, the vicious glare, the bared teeth and blank eyes, the unpredictable mood of whether it's going to rush up to bite you or just stand there staring you down, the combination of ferocious animal instinct and the calculating cruelties man is capable of, all upon a total lack of reason or self-control in the face of a ravenous hunger and a need to savage anything it sees into subjugation.
I put all that in a pony and tried to make it as unnerving for the audience as it is for me.

I have no real prejudice against dogs or dog-lovers, I'm just uncomfortable around them is all.

I don't quite get what you mean about Blue and Tungsten. What were you referring to from here?

Well, that's for later.
Right now, Midnight's still absent and Gusty's disappeared with Star-Swirl. It's dark days.
That's the rule of narrative-building. You've got to give a villains a period where they are in control and all the heroes and the audience can do is scowl in anger.
But then they get what they deserve and it's oh-so-satisfying. The more drawn-out the villain's advantage, the better their downfall will be.

WhitewolfStormrunner
Group Contributor

And the harder it will be.

Bronycommander
Group Contributor

7108630
Of course. I feel unease around them too, as one threw me to the ground as Child.

Blue and tungsten, i meant that she would not kill him, even if driven Insane/drugged like those Angel Guys From far Cry 5, Remember?

Sure but you get the meme, Don't you?

And gusty, just popped in but her Coming back of the Grave to Protect celestia would be terriying.

Purple Patch
Group Admin

7108802
Yeah. I suppose we can add Hardhoof to the 'Make Them Pay' list.
At least this is one nasty piece of work who's already long-dead by the time of the series. :pinkiecrazy:

Purple Patch
Group Admin

7108965
Right.

I see.
Course not why did you bring it up?

Yeah.

Well, of course.

Still, the issue is that the build-up is wasted if it's resolved immediately. It needs time to settle.

WhitewolfStormrunner
Group Contributor

7109595 Yup.

And good.
I hope he suffered before he died.

Guess we'll all find out for sure in Part 2 of this, huh?

Lookin' forward to it!

Bronycommander
Group Contributor

7109603
Why, because of you Thinking so far for your lore as you did here.

Of course.

Fun fact though. A Friend of my Family has a Dog that is that race that looks simliar to a Lion and carries his leash in his Mouth. And whenever his owner isn't looking, he gives my Mother his leash.

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