• Published 7th Aug 2013
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The Equestrian Saga - Smash Fortune

The apprentices of Star Swirl the Bearded face the dangers of the world in the founding days of Equestria, teaching their mentor something along the way.

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Chapter One: The Summons

The Equestiran Saga
Chapter One: The Summons
By Old Toby

The sky slowly brightened, easing from a dusky violet found only in the last moments of evening to the first azure touches that came with the dawn. Clover did not notice any of the majesty of the rising sun and for several years the beauty of the first moments of morning were lost to her. Her ivory horn was beacon of magical energy, radiating a warm pink light that flickered as she strained in concentration.

Beside her stood two other unicorns, Dawn Star and Autumn Sky, who were also locked in the throws of magical incantation. Together their combined efforts slowly but surely brought more and more light up from the horizon and after what seemed like forever, the sun rose out of the night and cast the warm glow of summer on the new-found realm of Equestria.

With their task complete the three unicorns exchanged weary smiles and made their way back towards the new capitol of Equestria, the royal city of Canterlot. It was a grand name and an equally grand endeavor, but with only a few years of construction there were still decades of hard work ahead for the city could truly be a reflection of the newly unified tribes of all ponykind. Still, Clover had to smile when she came down from the eastern mountainside. She could see the future glory of the city in shadow and the bright days to come for all citizens of Equestria. Ever since that famous winter night almost ten years ago, things really had changed.

With her silvery mane shining, Princess Platinum came cantering up to the sun-raising trio. Offer them a polite smile, she waved a polite hoof at them. “Oh, darling! You do such a fine job helping to raise the sun in the morning. If I didn't know better, I'd think you were a princess yourself. You really are quite clever.”

Princess Platinum's voice was one of haughty formality and Clover offer polite dismissals in return as was expected. Dawn Star and Autumn Sky rolled their eyes. Quickly changing the subject, Clover looked to the skies. “What about the weather, your majesty? How's it looking today?”

The princess followed Clover's eyes to the northern skies where a collection of pegasi were diligently clearing the sky. The four unicorns paused and watched them work for a moment before Princess Platinum spoke up. “Oh, I suspect it will be quite a fine day. Ever since Captain Hurricane received her promotion and became the weather herald she's been pushing the other pegasi to higher and higher standards. She's even got your sister training with today's squad.”

“Lily?” Clover said in shock. “But she's so young!”

“Never too early for greatness. Or so the Captain says. I'm sure she'll do fine.” Princess Platinum gave the other unicorns one last glance before turning and heading back towards the half-completed yet still quite beautiful castle at the center of the city. “Now if you'll pardon me darling, I have quite the social affair to attend to this evening. You do understand, of course.”

Without waiting for their understanding, the princess turned and left the weary unicorns. Clover said her good-byes to Dawn Star and Autumn Breeze before making her way down the stone walkways of the city to her own quarters. As assistant to the princess, she had one of the finest homes in the city. It was a small tower of white marble, three stories high with fine glass windows that had been thrown open to let the morning breeze into the large chambers.

In spite of the opulence, the tower never felt like home. Clover had moved here with her family a few months after the great winter before the founding of Equestria and what was supposed to be a day of joy was tainted with sadness. Clover's father had died that winter from exposure to the terrible endless cold. A decade of time had not quite healed the wounds even if it seemed like her mother, Gossamer, had moved on. Within a few years of her father's death, Gossamer had found a new special somepony.

The marriage of Gossamer the unicorn and her pegasi husband Sky Beam had been seen as a sign of the new union between all ponykind. Princess Platinum had insisted a grand wedding be thrown with all the citizens of Equestria in attendance and even grandeur and love of the ceremony had not erased the sense of loss in Clover's heart. Sky Beam had done everything he knew to show Clover compassion, but he was still not her father. It wasn't until a year later when her pegasi sister Lily was born that the feelings of loneliness began to recede. Clover had felt so alone that she put all the love in her heart into being a sister.

As she gazed out the window and watched the pegasi work to dispel the last clouds of the morning she thought long on her sister. Lily was so different from Clover. Clover was logical, confident and reasonable. Lily was passionate, idealistic and emotional. She was a unicorn while her sister was a pegasus. Even their coats were mirrored; Clover's was pure white while Lily's was the dusky hew of the sky just after sunset.

But they also shared so much. Both had a deep love for their mother and both wanted very much to see Equestria become the idyllic utopia that was dreamed of that Heart's Warming Eve a decade ago. Clover's dark eyes reflected Lily's coat and Lily's bright blue eyes seemed to blaze with an inner light. In spite of all their differences, they truly were sisters.

As if called by Clover's memories, there came the sound of hooves on stone and Clover turned towards the far window to see her young sister perched on the sill. She offered the unicorn a timid smile and there was a hint of the foal only a few years gone still lingering in her mannerisms. Lily hopped down and ran to nuzzle her sister's neck.

Clover gladly returned the affection before pulling away and smiling down at her sister. Lily looked exhausted and her shoulders were slumping. “Are you alright, Lily?”

Lily nodded, trying to stand a bit taller but only looking more worse for wear. “Captain Hurricane put me on dawn cloud patrol. I told her I wasn't ready, but she insisted.” Her voice was weak and unsure. “It's a real honor.”

Concern furrowed on Clover's brow, “Are you sure you're up to the challenge, Lily”

The young pegasus gave her sister a dark look, “Of course I am, Clover! Why do you always second guess me? If Captain Hurricane thinks I'm good enough, shouldn't that be enough for you?”

Offering an awkward apologetic smile, Clover nodded reluctantly, “I suppose so, I'm only trying to look out for-”

“I know, I know! You're always 'looking out for me' or 'trying to protect me. I know you're just trying to be a good sister, but when are you going to let me stand on my own four hoo-”

Lily's indignation was inerrupted by a sudden heavy knock at the tower door. Clover rushed down the stairs and Lily fell in behind her. Pulling the door open, the sisters saw a member of the Canterlot Royal Guard in full ceremonial armor standing before them with a scroll hovering before him. He bowed to the sisters, who returned the formality.

“Clover,” he said. She nodded and he passed the floating scroll to her control, speaking as she unfurled it. “Princess Platinum has requested your presence in the royal audience chamber. You are summoned before her at the bidding of-”

Clover was only half listening to the guard as she read. Her final words echoed that of the royal guardsman. “Star Swirl the Bearded.”

She felt her heart begin to race and informed the guard that she'd be there momentarily. A few moments later with the door closed she turned to Lily, who had been trying to read the letter over Clover's shoulder.

“But Clover,” Lily said softly. “This can't be. No one has heard from Star Swirl the Bearded in over fifty years. I thought he was just a myth.”

“So did I, Lily. So did I.”

Without another word, Clover set her hooves to the stone streets of Canterlot and Lily fell into step beside her.

Author's Note:

Certain liberties are taken with elements presented in this chapter. While in the episode "Heart's Warming Eve" Clover the Clever specificially states that Star Swirl the Bearded is her mentor, in The Equestrian Chronicles Clover has not yet been apprenticed to the famous wizard. In my own head-canon the events depicted in "Heart's Warming Eve" are a dramatization of historic (or perhaps even mythic) stories of old where certain elements of the past are combined, amalgomized or condensed to tell the tight narrative necessary in a staged dramatic performance. Hence why the play version of Clover claims Star Swirl as her mentor even though the events of The Equestrian Chronicles contradict this.

In addition, Clover is described as having a white coat while in the episode she is played by Twilight Sparkle, who has a purple coat. My logic was that Twilight is an actress depicting a character and that there would certainly be physical differences between a historic figure from over 1000 years ago and a modern peformer taking on that role.

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