• Published 22nd Jun 2013
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Luna's Last Guard - Akashic Brony



A tale of loyalty, love, and longing. The Lunar Rebellion is at its end. Her Last Guards fight desperately to forestall the inevitable. Meanwhile, secreted away, Luna devises a plan that might change history’s course.

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Chapter 1

My eyes beheld a sight of a mystery—a grace otherworldly—distant, yet so close. I was a humble soldier then, want for nothing, yet your vision became my dream. To that end, I fought to become your Captain, if only to be close to you. In the small hours of the night, I stood at your side, as you confessed to me your hopes and fears. I apologize that I only half-listened, for I was lost in the warmth of your body and the serenity of your gaze.

No touch could ease a thousand aches as yours does, no sun could shine so bright in my eyes as your flowing mane, and no mare could enchant me so sweetly and effortlessly as you. For all your strength and beauty I felt weak in your presence, yet you made me stronger for it. I hoped I could do the same for you.

I will never forget the night I pledged my allegiance to you, when I vowed that I would protect you from harm and never leave your side. Perhaps my love was too strong, to express my doubts when you challenged the sun. Your ambition had become my mission.

You are my life force, an ember among the ashes, truly a rose among thorns. I give you my soul, now, and for eternity.

-~ʆʗ~-

The sun set on Canterlot, signaling the start of festivities. Luna and Celestia smiled on us all, and each joined a hoof, raising them together. It was then that the conductor raised his baton, and the symphony played a joyous waltz. Ours was a celebration of life. So brief and fleeting were such moments, forgotten and rotten with the ages.

We danced. You held me tenderly. In that moment, the alluring smell of your mane and the smile on your face betrayed your single-minded legionnaire’s demeanor. You caressed the silk of my red dress as I looked longingly in your eyes. With your touch, I felt a calm which aroused in me thoughts of simpler days, before I had sworn my honor to the Guard and before obligation set us apart. In that moment I knew no pain, no struggle, and no fear. Only for you could I play pretend, with me as your filly, and you, my colt.

My knight, what is a rose but a fickle thing, destined to wither and decay? I know I cannot match in her ever glow. Even so, the shine of the stars is evanescent. There is only pain in chasing an ideal. Stay with me in the temporary, that which is real.

-~ʆʗ~-

These moments we hold dear are now but memories washed away by the tides of time and the flood of blood.

Luna’s Last Guard

Atop a tree-lined mountain, nestled in the forest, stood a castle of elegance, its spires rising above the clouds as a defiant challenge to the heavens. In the early days of Equestria, a thousand Earth ponies poured their blood and tears into the construction of this, the nation’s most-defensible fortress, a masterwork of stone which rivaled even the newly-built Canterlot. It was a monument of strength, and of hubris.

Never in all of history had the troops of the Solar Empire considered that they would be the first ones to attack its seemingly impenetrable walls. This of all strongholds the enemy held most dear. A bloodied trail had been carved to this point. It was the enemy commander’s keep, and its capture would herald the end of the war. The enemy would desperately defend it to the death.

Now, laying low, disguised in the foliage below the castle, a battalion of Celestia’s elite soldiers waited to lay siege. In the forward ranks stood the gold-armored Captain, a senior Unicorn magic-wielder. She surveyed the situation, waiting for the right moment to attack.

“Captain Sunbeam, is this going to work?” a lance-wielding Pegasus whispered to her Captain.

“Lieutenant, the Fortress of Everfree may look imposing,” said Sunbeam, “but fear not, Star Shine, for we have prophecy on our side.”

Star Shine replied, “And how is that? Is this another of your mysterious meanderings?”

“Starswirl the Bearded saw its creation. He foretold that the Fortress would fall if the forest rose up against it. And here we stand, under the cover of the very darkness we intend to dispel, ready to do just that.”

“Are not the prophecies usually more… cryptic? That makes it sound almost easy. Which, truth be told, worries me even more.”

Sunbeam grazed a hoof across her chin thoughtfully. “Well, the prophecy also says that on the night the Fortress falls, the one in red takes love to the grave. Is that cryptic enough for you?”

“Just as long as that one isn’t me,” Star Shine said, a bit skittishly.

“Worry yourself not,” said Sunbeam, placing her hoof on Star Shine’s shoulder. “These are the death throes of the Lunar Rebellion. Celestia willing, we shall prevail.”

“Victory may be had, but I worry about the cost. We will be the first ones into the breach.”

“On my honor, dear friend, once this over, we shall share a victory toast, and I shall buy the first round of cider. Our story will become legend. They will say that it was we that broke the backs of those Lunatics. This is a promise.” Sunbeam broke her icy façade to shoot Star Shine a reassuring smile.

Star Shine breathed deeply of the cold nighttime air, and gripped her lance. “There’s an ill chill in the wind. I sense something is amiss.”

-~ʆʗ~-

A cold draft swept through the halls of the castle. A sturdy Unicorn stallion paced outside a massive door. The heavy ebony plating of his Captain’s uniform mostly obscured his deep crimson coat.

An Earth pony maid bowed before him. “Captain Sanguine, Princess Luna has asked not to be disturbed.”

“Please, I must speak with her,” Sanguine urged. “I have news regarding the war,”

“I cannot stop you,” the maid relented, stepping aside.

Sanguine climbed the steps of the tower as he done so many times before. At the last door he knocked gently. “Luna?”

“Hold a moment.” Luna spoke tenderly. It was a rare privilege to private company—his company. “Please come in.”

Sanguine entered slowly. Luna sat on her bed. Her eminence and beauty never ceased to surprise him. The changes in her slightest demeanor when they were together were unnoticed by many, but to him they were as evident as the craters on the moon itself. He braced himself to speak. “Luna, our reinforcements from White Tail Woods have been intercepted. If this fortress is attacked, I do not know if we can defend it.”

“My Captain, I know,” said Luna softly. She spoke without the customary royal we. It was a sign of ultimate trust.

“We should relocate our capital.” Sanguine recommended.

“I have work here still to finish,” said Luna. “Even if this fort should come under assault, I trust you to hold it long enough so that I might be done.”

Sanguine relaxed slightly. “What is so important?”

Luna spoke cryptically. “The fortunes of war have not favored us. My sister’s armies are too numerous. Yet, I may have something to reverse that outcome.”

Sanguine hugged her enthusiastically. “This is good news indeed!”

Luna was lightly bemused. “You so eagerly believe my words, when the odds are stacked so against us?”

“If you say it, then it must be so.”

Luna did not share his joy. “There is something I must tell you.”

They heard hoofsteps from the stairway. Sanguine released Luna. A Bat pony soldier spoke, panting from exhaustion. “The scouts of the forest have gone silent. The trees move against us!”

-~ʆʗ~-

On the mountain-side the troops talked amongst themselves in hushed murmuring as the Solar Captain of the Guard turned and stomped her hooves on the ground. The soldiers scrambled to attention.

“Soldiers, ready the special munitions!” Sunbeam paced the brush, her brows furrowed in concentration.

Catapults were moved into position. The war machines were disguised with branches and leaves and appeared as trees in the distance. Following after were Earth pony engineers wheeling forth carts filled with red barrels. Star Shine brought a torch close to inspect the strange containers.

“Be careful!” Sunbeam chastised, pulling Star Shine’s torch away.

“What are those?” asked Star Shine.

“An invention of the East,” Sunbeam explained. “We live to see the dying of an age. Castles will soon become obsolete.”

“If castles cannot guard then where is safety?”

She waved a hoof dismissively. “Do not concern yourself with such matters. Do your duty and rally the troops.” She returned her attention to the engineers. “Ready the catapults!” she commanded.

Star Shine called the soldiers to attention. “Archers, to your posts. Hoof-soldiers, draw your weapons.”

Meanwhile, with delicate care, the special ordnance was loaded onto the catapults.

Sunbeam raised her sword. The arms of a hundred catapults swung into motion. The barrels crashed against the Fortress’s walls. Their explosions lit up the night.

All were shaken by the blasts. When the smoke cleared a massive hole was set in the castle battlements. The rocks that once made up the wall section still smoldered.

“Solar Guards, advance into the breach! ” shouted Sunbeam.

“For Celestia!” Star Shine added.

For Celestia!” the troops yelled in a fearsome battle-cry as they stormed the mountain-side.

-~ʆʗ~-

From the castle battlements, Sanguine commanded the defenses. Around him, corpses of defenders had been tossed about in the explosion. Were it not that he had seen such carnage before, he might have been induced to vomit. He shivered, not for fear, but at his own coldness. Still, he had a role: to protect her. For that he would be a conductor in the terrible symphony of war.

A bewildered Bat Pony was stunned. By his flanks hung a messenger’s satchel. “These walls are meant to withstand months of siege, yet they breached them in mere minutes.”

Sanquine was the first to recover. “We’re fighting blind; we need to light up the the night. Archers ready flame arrows. Set the forest afire!”

Unicorn archers notched their arrows, dipping them in basins of burning oil before lighting them.

“Let fly!” cried Sanquine, swinging his sword.

The tiny little flares allowed enough illumination for the true number of enemies to be seen. The trees that were set aflame acted as torches. Some of the trees revealed themselves to be disguised catapults. The writhing mass of infantry covered the ground.

“How could they get an army so close?” asked the Bat Pony messenger.

“More important is how we stop them,” said Sanguine. He snapped quickly: “Pull squads from the other walls. We need every able body!”

“Yes, Captain,” said the messenger, flying off.

The messenger’s flight was cut short as a Solar Guard Pegasus dove in from above, impaling him mid-flight.

Another Pegasus dashed for Sanguine’s side. Sanguine dodged the strike deftly and, with his sword, lobbed off the Pegasus’s right wing. The Pegasus’s inertia carried him a bit further over the battlements and he plummeted into the darkness. Meanwhile, the first attacker finished pulling her lance out of the Bat Pony messenger, then turned her attention on Sanguine. She slashed her lance, nicking him in the exposed part of his belly. His slash was more conclusive, and it beheaded her.

A squad of bat ponies flew to his side. “Captain, our apologies. A couple of their flyers got through.”

Sanguine sighed and repeated his order. “Pull squads from the other walls. Have all our ballistae batteries concentrate on the breach!”

-~ʆʗ~-

From the Fortress of Everfree came a volley of arrows, many of them burning in brilliant fire. Ahead, enemy hoof-soldiers trotted down the mountain, soon to converge with them. All was noise and light. Blinded and deafened, extreme disorientation overcame Star Shine as she pushed upward.

Sunbeam’s horn flickered as she cast a shield spell which enveloped her and the dozen or so troops in a small radius around her. Outside of the spell’s area of effect, Solar Guards dropped like flies as arrows penetrated their armor. The fires set trees ablaze. Ahead, the sound of clanging lances and spears mixed with the soldier’s cries as both parties met and engaged in one-on-one combat.

Star Shine held her lance at the ready, her hoof trembling. Out of the smoke several enemy soldiers came at her. She swung her lance at them, just as she had done countless times before, and just as she taught her troops in the combat exercises she’d developed herself in the best Equestrian tradition: a jab, then release; a turn, then another jab and release; then, a crash of the lance’s butt end against the armor of an enemy behind her, followed by a kick to knock him down.

A terrible, half-rehearsed choreography, war was.

Around her, the ranks thinned on both sides. In her brief moments of undistracted thought, while observing the carnage and smoke-filled sky around her, she couldn’t make out which side was winning.

Next to Star Shine, Sunbeam fought on. With the shield spell ineffective at close range, Sunbeam unleashed a ray of magic into the throng of enemies. Several collapsed with horrifying shrieks. Smoke dissipated from the soldier’s red-hot armor as they were cooked alive. Sunbeam glowed with all Celestia’s grace. She smiled confidently at Star Shine. From the blue, a ballista bolt impaled her side, its ebony tip emerging on the other side dripping with her blood. She exhaled and groaned, managing to lock her expressionless eyes with Star Shine’s before she collapsed.

At the fall of their Captain, it seemed their assault would waver and ebb, even so close to the castle breach. Star Shine looked to her soldiers and shouted fiercely: “Onwards! For vengeance! For victory!” She led them by example, charging ahead. The guards followed after.

The Solar Guards poured into the castle grounds. Blood splattered the ancient stonework as the castle was penetrated through a breach in her mighty walls. Virginity and innocence were lost to the ravages of war.

-~ʆʗ~-

Like the wax and wane of the moon, the defenders fought against the tide. The second wall fell only after fierce combat. Fighting for the last wall, the third, had become exceedingly desperate, but they held their ground—for now. In between the crashing waves of enemies there were small moments of rest tempered by fine tension. It was a stress born of their situation’s reality. The enemy troops were countless; the lives of the Lunar Guards were numbered.

Several dozen soldiers were assembled in the castle keep, the last line of defense against the coming onslaught—a collection of Pegasi, Unicorns, Bat Ponies and Earth ponies, all wearing armor of ebony emblazoned with the seal of Her Royal Highness, Princess Luna. They were a cobbled assembly of survivors and under the dying embers of torches they held a silent vigil for their fallen friends.

These were the soldiers hardened and molded by experience if not for battles past then this one had made them veterans. The dents in their armor told of countless conflicts narrowly survived. Some even wore the captured barding of the enemy, roughly repainted blue. Many scratches in the paint showed gold underneath as well as the armors’ original affiliation. Dwindling resources meant not everyone had a lance and some made do with their spare swords.

Sanguine’s red coat made barely visible the many deep gashes that he had sustained in combat. In spite of his pain, he stood tall, and addressed the troops, his troops. Having fought amongst them and led them, his words were unquestioned. Unfortunately like the spirit rousing anthems playing them a hundred times numbed their effect. This would be the last speech.

“Unicorns of the Shade,” he began, his voice reverberating through the frigid air, “who was it that saved you?”

Luna!” several gray-coated Unicorns cried in response.

“Pegasi of the Night Winds, who was it that accepted you?”

Luna!” yelled the assembled Pegasi.

“Earth Ponies of Ashai, who was it that liberated you?”

Luna!” the Earth ponies affirmed, stomping their hooves.

He stood in front of the largest section of troops. “Bat Ponies of the Hollow, who was it that uplifted you?”

Luna!” the Bat Ponies roared, several of whom reared up on their hind legs and fluttered their leathery wings.

The Captain drew his sword, pointing it out the nearest window at the full moon. “And whose grace shines upon us now? One and all, tell me!”

Luna!” everyone bellowed in unison.

“Then fight on, comrades,” the Captain urged. “You are the Night Princess’s finest. Prove to her your worth: let us show the enemy the merciless moon, and drive them back.”

From the door, a Bat Pony messenger limped in agony towards them. A half-dozen arrows were lodged in her armor, and through it flowed blood from several gaping wounds.

“My commander, the battle is lost,” she rasped. “Their Captain of the Guard is slain, yet still the enemy advances, soon to reach the Inner Keep.”

“What words come from Luna?” the Captain asked. “What is her commandment? Prithee, tell me.”

The messenger summoned her last remaining strength to utter the Princess’s decree: “Captain Sanguine Soul, you are to lay down weapons and surrender the troops.” With her last word, she collapsed into the pool of her own blood.

Sanguine stomped his fore-hooves on the ground in fury before pacing the hall even more urgently than before. He looked at the moon through the broken stained glass window, this time not for reassurance, but guidance. A gold band of glints shot through the sky.

“A hundred hells! They’ve gotten past our sky guard.” He realized there was no more sky guard to speak of; the enemy had already won the skies, and their ground troops were soon to swarm the castle.

From behind him, a Unicorn Lieutenant approached. “Your orders, Captain? Do we surrender?”

Sanguine remained silent for a few moments, gazing stolidly at the moon. Finally, he took a deep breath and turned around.

“There is no surrender, Lieutenant.”

The unicorn’s face twisted in apprehension briefly, only to curl up in a wry smile a moment later. “Then we are with you, Captain.”

“We must fall back, and defend Luna’s tower. Now!” Sanguine motioned them forward and proceeded toward the stairway leading up to the bridge to the small tower where they would help the Princess of the Night make her last stand.

-~ʆʗ~-

Gold-armored Pegasi landed on the gray-stoned bridge across from Sanguine and his troops, blocking their way to Luna’s tower. The soldiers on both sides stopped and stood silently as they awaited orders.

The senior officer among the Solar Guard walked slowly out from the ranks. Resolutely, she held her lance at her side and called out across the bridge.

“Sanguine Soul, the Red Rose Knight,” she said, her voice unwavering. “I implore you, no more. This battle is won for the Solar Empire. By the Order of Celestia, all surrendering soldiers will be granted clemency.”

Sanguine looked at his troops and shook his head from side to side, then stepped forward.

“Star Shine, the Lightning Lancer,” he said, a defiant smile on his face. “Your superior officer should be the one offering me terms. You insult me, my rank, my soldiers, and the conviction within our hearts.”

Star Shine stomped her lance against the stone at her hooves. “I am Captain now. If you do not surrender this night, there will be no tomorrow for you and your defenders.”

Sanguine snickered. “Are you blind? Tell me, if we did not surrender at Foal’s Valley, and if we did not give in at White Tail Woods, what makes you think we would now? We fight, even until death, for Luna!”

For Luna!” his troops affirmed in a determined roar.

“I see your opinion is un-swayed,” said Star Shine, lifting her lance. “Then, may Celestia have mercy upon your soul!”

“And Luna, on yours!” cried Sanguine.

With that, the skirmish began. Both sides charged at each other, the Solar Guards wielding lances, and the Lunar Guard countering with assorted swords, hammers, and spears of their own.

With his magic, Sanguine wielded his sword and beheaded several reckless Solar Guards before they knew what was coming. It was his signature tactic, for which he had earned the tenebrous moniker “The Red Rose:” with their suffering quickly nipped in the bud, blood “flowered” from his opponents’ necks, his small measure of mercy nonetheless gruesome to behold.

Meanwhile, the “Lightning Lancer” lived up to her name. Around her lay the carnage of her well-placed lance jabs. She pulled her lance out of the last victim of her swift handiwork, and faced Sanguine.

“San! Fight me. Or maybe you’d prefer to die a Red Rose too.”

“I won’t yield, Star Shine,” said Sanguine, using his magic to twirl his sword in a figure-eight pattern in front of him. “Have at you!” He lunged his sword at her.

Star Shine deflected his blow with her lance, sending her reeling back with a grunt.

“Yet again we dance?” cried Sanguine tauntingly, circling his opponent, who flared her wings and stood her ground.

“This will not be as it was at the Galloping Gala,” Star Shine said, with a caustic smirk that contained within it a hint of bitterness. She evaded Sanguine’s sword-lunges several more times.

Sanguine spun his sword in a rapid-fire motion, blocking any opportunity Star Shine had to strike.

“I remember you wore that lovely red dress,” Sanguine mused. “You’ll wear one again if you do not flee.”

“Bastard,” Star Shine snorted, her eyes locked on his, turning as he circled around her. “You should know that I loved you once.”

“I said I had eyes for another, did I not? Or are you not just blind, but also deaf?”

“You foal. What are we to the immortals but toys in their box? You love an idea—an abstraction.”

Sanguine leapt away from a swipe of her lance. “A distraction? You don’t know her like I do.”

“You cast a stick into an eternal fire!” Star Shine called out, swinging her lance.

Sanguine evaded once more. “I love her. That I know to be true.”

“She cannot love you back!” Star Shine couldn’t imagine she could grip her lance any tighter than she was at that moment. She imagined it was San’s neck. “Not in the way that I did.” She breathed the cool air and resigned herself to her feelings. “Or in the way that I still do.”

The confession gave Sanguine a moment’s pause.

Star Shine saw her opportunity and flung her lance at Sanguine. He ducked and sidestepped, the lance meant for his leg only grazing his shoulder.

The glow of Sanguine’s horn grew brighter and his eyes filled with confusion and rage as he levitated a second sword from a fallen Unicorn Lunar Guard and swirled both in equal but opposing fashion in front of her.

“Please, don’t do this,” pleaded Star Shine. “Come back to me.”

With his entire body tensed, Sanguine availed himself of his magic’s entire potential. His aura encircled Star Shine, lifting her from the ground, causing her to flail around. With what little agility she had left, she swiped at one of the swords with her lance, causing it to spin towards Sanguine, severing a chunk of his ear. Unflinching, Sanguine lifted the corners of his mouth in an unsettling smile.

“This is madness!” Star Shine shouted.

“No. It’s Lunacy!” Sanguine cried demonically. His magic clenched around her, immobilizing her completely. He brought her close to him and reflected upon the look of horror on her face as his remaining sword plunged between two of her armor plates and into her chest. Blood flowed onto Sanguine’s already-drenched armor as his rage subsided. He realized then that he had killed her, and in moments, she would be gone.

Sanguine released his magical hold on Star Shine, and let her fall into his fore-legs.

Star Shine’s face had relaxed, now filled with a calm acceptance. The Pegasus strained herself to lean her head forward. Sanguine raised a hoof to stop her, but restrained himself. She gave him a light kiss, and gazed into his eyes.

Star Shine recalled the night they danced. “Yes, I see it now. ‘The one in red takes love to the grave.’ ” Her eyes narrowed; she was drifting off. “No pain, no struggle, no fear. I love you… my colt.”

The life escaped her, and she fell limp, her body rested against Sanguine’s.

“I am sorry, Star Shine,” Sanguine whispered for none but himself to hear. He placed Star Shine’s body on the ground with her head facing the sky and fully closed her eyelids, completing her look of peace.

For the Lunar Guard, the skirmish was won, but at a terrible cost. Of his troops, only a half dozen remained, standing several meters ahead, at the doorway to Luna’s tower.

Sanguine walked toward them. “Defend—” He found his voice shaking, but forced himself into composure. “Defend this position. I must see to the Princess.”

“Very well, Captain,” a Bat Pony said, saluting. “Good luck.” The six weary troops lined themselves up in front of the door.

Sanguine saluted in return and, without another thought, trotted up the tower steps. Behind him, he heard the clanging of metal.

Alone, he struggled to fight back an overwhelming rush of tears.

-~ʆʗ~-

Sanguine reached the top of the spiral staircase and opened the door to Luna’s chamber. While had spent much time with the Princess, never had he found her in such an uncanny environment: the windows were covered by a swirling, dark and ethereal mist, and a few lanterns provided only minimal lighting. In the center of the room he found her with her eyes closed, the locks of her mane and tail wafting in an invisible wind. She stood enraptured by a black orb suspended in front of her. The orb appeared to absorb her magical aura and grow darker still as she fed it for purposes unknown.

“Sanguine Soul?” Luna spoke softly, her eyes still closed, and her horn extinguishing as her concentration broke. The orb continued to hover, the cloud of light within growing brighter.

Sanguine closed the door behind him and scanned the room in confusion. “Luna, my Princess, what is happening here?”

“This matter concernest thou not, Captain. Leave us! Or darest thou to disobey our wishes?”

“I cannot leave you, Princess.”

Luna stepped toward him, glaring at him with glowing eyes. “Thine orders are clear,” she boomed in her best Royal Voice. “Surrender the troops.”

Defiantly, he met her gaze. “Not until you make good your escape!”

“There shall be no escape,” she cried, her eyes flashing. She paced the room several times then approached him. Her demeanor softened and, with an earnest smile, she urged him quietly: “Sanguine, you and your troops have fought valiantly. I beseech you now to surrender. Claim that it was my cruelty that compelled you to fight for me, that you may be shown clemency by our enemy.”

“They have already offered the same. But how could I surrender, when I have sworn my life to you?” Sanguine lowered his head and shivered. He was weak. His old wounds ached, and from his new ones fresh blood trickled down his crimson fur, glistening from the light of her ethereal mane.

“You have done much for me, my Captain. You have my eternal gratitude. Now go. Be free of your burden.”

With every ounce of his strength, Sanguine stood tall. “I would sooner throw myself from this tower than abandon you,” he asserted. The pain in his legs caused him to quake. He struggled to maintain balance.

Luna placed her head on his neck and embraced him, her warmth becoming his. She caressed his blood-soaked side and closed her eyes.

“Your crimson fur hides much,” she said, “but I see.”

Sanguine breathed in the scent of her mane. “In your embrace, there is nothing I cannot face.”

“The sun’s wrath is most cruel,” Luna said, confiding in her steadfast Captain and friend. “My sister cannot kill me for fear of disturbing the balance, but she can take that which I hold dear. She has already taken so much. I cannot bear the thought that she would take you too.”

Sanguine rested his head against the fur of her soft neck in return. “All will be well m’lady. I am with you, now until eternity, just as I pledged.”

With a gentle sigh she nuzzled the side of her head against his then placed a hoof under his neck, drawing his attention to the orb. “I hold here the instrument of our final victory. Do you know what this is?”

Sanguine shook his head. He had spent more time with the Princess than most anyone in the Court, and had never seen such an object before.

“It is a shard of the Abyss,” she continued. “With this I can repel her armies. We shall yet be victorious.”

“Dearest Princess, if you have been in possession of the orb all this time, why wait until now?”

She nodded solemnly. “I had hoped never to use it, but with my downfall otherwise eminent, I am left with no choice. Its promise of perdition’s power comes at a price. You must understand that I will not be myself. I may not recognize even you.”

Sanguine turned his head back to her with an expression of utmost concern, shock, and confusion. “Then cast it away, m’lady. Leave it, leave this dread fort, and, if it must be so, leave me. I would rather lose you as you are than see you consumed mind and body and become something you are not.”

“With this power, I could save our troops.”

“We have no more troops.” Sanguine gritted his teeth in anguish.

“I could save you!”

“Not for my sake. You must leave me!”

“No!” Luna threw him back. He fell to the ground, his sword clanging against the cold stone floor beside him. He used what little energy he had to regain control of his sword should the enemy find them. Helplessly, he watched as Luna stepped toward the orb, again casting her magic at it, this time with unrelenting intensity.

At that moment the chamber door rattled and shattered, sending chips of wood flying in all directions. A unicorn officer of the Solar Guard led the assault, calling out to her troops: “Charge him! The Red Rose Knight is wounded. Use your numbers.”

The unicorn cast a wide arc of blinding light which filled the room. Sanguine could see nothing as the troops surrounded him all at once. He mustered his remaining magical energy to send his sword swirling around him, chopping at soldiers who reeled back like waves from a rock cast in a lake of blood. He grew faint; this could not be sustained. The room began to lose its color. Before long, he lost control of the sword, and then his own body. The Solar Guard troops delivered their death blows, yet he remained still standing.

The Solar Guard troops looked at him warily and backed away. What sort of demons had possessed him and given him immortality? But it was not so. The butt ends of a dozen lances were lodged in the grooves between the floor-stones, the tips piercing Sanguine’s flesh and keeping him momentarily upright. Some gave, sending him falling on his side with a labored grunt.

Sanguine looked up at his Princess as the Solar Guard surrounded her. He had not the breath to say it, but he mouthed the words: “I love you.”

Luna saw his mouth move and knew. Tears streamed down her cheeks as she started to say the same, but the life had already left his eyes.

From a distance the Solar Guard pointed their lances at the moon princess. Luna shrunk back against the far wall and lowered her head, her eyes hidden by her lustrous mane wafting in the phantom wind.

After a moment, her voice boomed, sending shockwaves through the room. The gilded knights of the Solar Guard recoiled. “Ye cursed curs! Thou hath taken from us everything we hold dear. Our nightmares ye have brought into the waking world. And so shall we bring ye yours!”

Luna brought the black orb smashing into the ground. Shadows enveloped the gentle blue of Luna’s coat. Her limbs lengthened and she towered over the now-cowering Solar Guards.

“Behold all before me death, fear and despair, for I am Nightmare Moon!”

-~ʆʗ~-

A millennium had come and gone, and with it, a thousand Summer Sun Celebrations. At long last there had come reconciliation between the two sisters, each understanding she had wrought great pain upon the other. The details of the Battle of Everfree were lost to nearly all save for the few immortals and a few perceptive scholars, the subject of a prophecy long since come to pass.

In the ruins of the Fortress of Everfree sat a dark blue Alicorn. Her tears fell to the ground in front of her as she regarded the faint lettering on a pillar that had been erected to commemorate the dead on both sides of the ancient battle. She ran her hoof along the many scattered indentations delicately as if they were themselves the soldiers that had fought here many years ago. Her fury for revenge had long since been calmed and purged. All that remained was longing.

“You live only in my dreams,” Luna said solemnly. “Time may erode all else, but you will remain in my heart until I join you once again in the stars.”

She found the particular markings for which she had been searching. In a high corner of the pillar, above dates of birth and death, were etched a few simple words:

Sanguine Soul

The one in red took love to the grave.

The hum of the airship’s engines signaled that her time was up. It was a reminder that her nation was at war. Her strength would be needed now, as much as ever. How many would lose lovers if she did not rise? How many would lose their family and friends? The moon was her burden alone to bear, but with it, she now bore a greater weight: that of the world.

With a flash, a purple Alicorn teleported next to Luna, speaking gently: “It’s time.”

Luna took a moment to breath in forest air, then nodded to her fellow princess. “Indeed, Twilight Sparkle. We go to war to end all wars.”

She stood up and looked under-hoof. A single flower stood among the grass and leaves, the droplets of moisture that were her tears caressing the petals like raindrops before soaking into the ground. It was a red rose.

Author's Note:

Luna's Last Guard is set in the same Universe as my other following stories. Pay a visit. Thanks for reading.

Lunacy of Love
Spike is grown up but yet Rarity spurns his affections. A chance meeting with Luna may change everything. Both beings struggling with their inner demons, can they together find peace? Spike x Luna craziness let’s go!

Hole Hearted. "click title to visit"
Den is a pegasus vice captain of the Equestrian Royal Guard. Echo is a high class infiltrator of the reviled changeling race. Can their love flourish in an Equestria under threat? Which bounds are stronger love or loyalty? What dark designs lurk in the backdrop? Romance, adventure, and the search for universal truth!

Zig Zag Love. "click title to visit"
The mighty Griffin Kingdoms with their new War Wing airships have ventured forth to conquer their neighbors. The Zebra Tribal Confederation faces complete defeat as War Wings cast shadows upon their sovereign soil. A desperate plan is born to change the winds. Meanwhile a Griffin meets a Zebra.

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Comments ( 21 )
Comment posted by Hyacintho Ignis deleted Jul 11th, 2013

Very touching.:fluttercry: Nice story!:pinkiehappy:

Name of Story: Luna's Last Guard

Grammar score out of 10: 10

Pros
You obviously have a very well developed vocabulary, and I enjoyed how you used it to set the tone of the piece
I liked how you used a little bit of cussing to make it realistic, but not so much that it becomes uncalled for.
I really enjoyed how in a short story, you got me attached to the characters before they died. It really made the story real for me.

Cons
Well, I can only think of that I don't think Twilight would be as mysterious as she is at the end. That seems slightly out of character, but that's just me.

Notes
Well, all in all, I really enjoyed this Fan fiction, and I will definitely read more of your work.

Wow really good fic. Approved for Twilight's Library :twilightsmile:

This reminds of that german film Der Utergang. Love it. :rainbowlaugh: I think my :heart: exploded though.

Comment posted by ABronyFromItaly deleted Jul 13th, 2013

The way they talked reminded me of Spartacus: Blood and Sand. Well done here.

Unbelievable. Simply unbelievable. This is the epitome of literary perfection, harnessing all of the effictive literary elements and effective use of implied pacing. This is the greatest example of character development that can possibly be presented, and done in such a short time is simply amazing. The history behind the characters, the relationships, the raw emotion. Done so well. The ideas presented are amazing, and the feeling was that of Lord of the Rings. I have read amazing stories in my day, but this...

This is a masterpiece. You have broken the scale, my friend. 12/10!

Wow man, that was a powerful story, and I can't say much more then that was fantastic. Just so much good emotional writing that it actually made me feel for these characters. Which not many people get me to do that, so congratulations man.

Truly amazing! this was just a perfect read. Great job bro :twilightsmile: the feels.... :fluttercry:

I have no words for this...
I will hand Luna control of the computer. Surely she remembers this.

We can only say this... Luna read, Luna approved.
HOW IS IT THAT THERE ARE NO EMOJIS OF US!!! I must go speak to the leader of this site about that... but until there are emojis of us, this will have to do.:heart:

um hay does anyone remember the name of the story that is basically celestia's version of this, from what I can remember its before some war, luna's building a castle in the everfree and celestia is challenge to see how much some stallion loves her so he waits for her to appear on a balcony but eventully dies of exposiere to the elements, so ya anyone remember that one. also I like this story though I havnt read it in a while I thought it was cool when I frist read it.

6180050
I was the author. It was called Tears in the Sun. I took it down since it received alot of hate. :fluttercry:

If you should like to read it again. I could give you a private audience if you message me. I'm happy that you remembered my earlier work. :twilightsmile:

6182494 i was going to stick it in my library and yes i loved that story too so how would you do that?

6182927
It would just for your private reading. I would give you a gdoc link to the document.

If you like my work. Check out my other stories as well. :raritywink:

6183657 sounds good I just need said link ty.

6183657 ya I know its private, prity sure I responded to this already but could be wrong. so just mail it I guess or whatever your going to do.

3446520
Agreed. May we bask in Her glory.

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