• Published 13th Nov 2013
  • 1,899 Views, 15 Comments

A Nocturian Tale - Corvus Eclipse



A King woke up from a coma and realizes that the legacy of his ancestors is threaten. To protect his subjects, and their nation he send a messanger to Equestria... hoping that his pride did not mean the end of Nocturia.

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Chapter 1

The night’s spell was already befalling the land and its inhabitants. Doors were being closed and the lights within the buildings allowed the dark to take its place. Lullabies could be heard through slightly open windows filling the air with their sensitive and calm tone. A few ponies were still on the streets, the sound of their hooves echoing in the distance upon the paved ground of Ponyville. Some were still on their way home, others were lighting the many lanterns which were doting the entire city, while the night active ponies headed towards pubs, or the open fields where they could watch the night sky.

< Everything seems to be just fine...> Thought Twilight Sparkle who was one of the few ponies, which were still outside despite the late hour. But things tend to be deceiving from time to time. Following the main street, she was heading towards the center of Ponyville where she intended to leave a message in the Mayor’s mailbox. Lately Twilight and her friends noticed that the citizens of Ponyville were polluting the hills, fields, parks, forests and even the city itself in an outrageous way. According to Spike, her small assistant who was snoring upon her back right now, the problem started two weeks ago. To be exact it was a financial problem.

The city was not able to pay the local waste treatment facility due the lack of money. Since then the ponies, who were making sure that this beautiful place remained clean, declared, that they would continue their work only after their company would receive their late payment. First the scale of pollution was on a regular basis, but once piles of thrash started to fill the gardens things became only worse. Twilight herself did not hear anything about this problem because she was visiting her brother Shining Armor in the mystical Crystal Empire. Right away she has contacted the Princess and asked for aid.

Being the faithful student of one of the almighty rulers of Equestria does have its benefits. Princess Celestia send her the required amount of money plus a additional sum of bits for the company. Happy about this result Twilight was happily trotting towards the mayor’s house. Besides the sound of her hooves, and the surprisingly loud snores of the small baby dragon, the night itself was quiet and peaceful. Once more Princess Luna has gifted them with a glorious night. The colors were working together in perfect harmony wrapping the night in beauty only few things could match. For a moment Twilight stopped to move and lifted her head so she could enjoy the gift given to them by the Princess.

She spotted four star constellations nearly right away. The Ursa Major alongside with Ursa Minor, Virgo and the so called Taurus. If it would be her desire, the mare could simply walk out of the city to have a better view. Not far away from Ponyville there was a perfect spot she kept using for her studies. From there Twilight could have easily counted eighty seven known star constellations.

< Oh my what am I thinking? There are actually eighty eight constellations, since the Serpens is split in two different sections. First the Serpens Caput the so called snake’s head spread towards west, while Serpens Cauda, the snake’s tail, is in the east. >

The Alicorn rolled her eyes after realizing that once more, and surely not for the last time she got lost in her own thoughts. Yet the night sky was still filled with mysteries she has not discovered yet. Not to mention the fact that there were many things she still had to learn. Sadly she did not have the luxury of focusing only on one subject. A few falling starts caught the mares attention until a strange sounding squirm made her look at Spike. It seemed like he had a nightmare. Oddly enough nearly right away Twilight noticed that Spike felt suddenly warmer.

This worried her a little bit which is why she casted a spell upon him. The spell’s nature was simple: the affected individual would calm down and pain of any art would be soothed. While reading the book called “The Underestimated Side of Magic”, she found this particular spell, which was affecting the nerves in a very delicate way. It seemed like it was working on Spike for he has stopped to talk through his sleep. Twilight smiled happily and decided to not let him sleep longer outside his warm bed. The house of the Mayor was gladly not far away.

In the center of Ponyville the pollution was simply overwhelming. The smell of decaying food and other stuff she wished to not think about filled her nostrils. Quickly, she literally threw the message with the rather big bag of bits into the mailbox, desperately fighting against the urge of simply running away.

Sadly she would probably wake up her small companion… which is why she decided to endure the smell that made her eyes teary. It took a while until the mare left the highly polluted area. With great happiness she embraced a chill wind blow coming from the east. Quickly the happiness was replaced by the freezing feeling that went through her bones. Autumn was about to start soon, yet it seemed very unfamiliar to her that winds as cold as this would visit Ponyville at this time of the year. Maybe it was only a small and unintentional mistake from the weather factory in Cloudsdale? Nopony is perfect after all!

Twilight continued her was back home passing the marketplace of Ponyville. The most recognizable building, that was not so far away from this area was the confectionary shop called Sugar Cube Corners. The nearby lanterns slight lit up the various forms of this delicious looking building. Even if only small parts of the shop were jutting out from the darkness, everypony could and surely would recognize that its design was bakery-themed. Slightly licking her lips Twilight quickly passed Sugar Cube Corners hoping that her empty belly would not wake up the poor Spike.

After taking some shortcuts and enduring more of the unpleasant smells the Alicorn finally could recognize the forms of a great old tree. During the night it looked like a simple tree, but if one would get a closer look at it everypony would realize that this was not merely a tree. One of the greatest and most fascinating ways of using magic was to maintain life in a tree, while using it as a building. This discovery allowed the ponies to keep the balance between nature, and the growing pony civilization without threatening the ecosystem. A warm feeling spread through her heart once she has gazed upon her private sanctuary.

Surprisingly she realized that the lights were lit within her home. This could not be! Twilight made sure that every candle, everything connected with fire was out while she was outside.

< I am sorry Spike… > She thought and started to run as fast as she could. But the sprint did not last long after she realized that ponies were standing at her door. Two stallions to be exact. She recognized them right away for both were guards. The strange thing was that one of them was a Night Guard while the other was a Day Guard. Her mind initialized only one possible and mostly logical conclusion. The Princesses were at her house! This could not be! She could not remember that she had any meetings planed with them! Or could it be that Spike, or ever worse Twilight herself have somehow neglect her duties!?

< No, no, no, NO! >

Panic took control of her better judgment like fire that started to spread upon dried grass.

< Relax Twilight! You have checked everything twice! There was no planned meeting with the two most important ponies in this land! They can come over whenever they wish after all! Maybe they want me to go through a trial? Maybe I have failed at my tasks!?>

Her own thoughts did not make this current situation better at all. This is why she did the only thing that seemed to be rational at this crucial moment. She took a few deep breaths and performed a trick Princess Cadance has taught her months ago. It took more breaths than usual, but gladly she managed to calm herself and the thoughts that seemed to not have an end. Gathering all the remaining courage, she decided to walk in a formal way. During the state in the Crystal Empire, she has taken lessons from many female advisors and of course Cadance herself; only if her duties allowed it.

Twilight read many books about royalty and its formal behaviors, traditions and etiquette. Sadly every word, every phrase, every chapter and every new book she has invested time into could have prepared the freshly baked Alicorn for the teachings. She tried not to giggle at the memory of her trying to balance three books on the top of her. Quickly the thoughts have been pushed aside for only a few steps were separating the mare from the library. Long before the light has lain upon the lavender fur she was spotted by Luna’s Guard. The sharp eyes of the Night Guards were praised all over Equestira maybe even beyond who knows?

“Princess Twilight Sparkle.” Spoke the grayish Unicorn guard whose chest filled with pride. “Finally you have returned.”

“Please forgive us this intrusion at this late hour, but very important matters require your attention.” The guard of the day looked tired, very tired, but he maintained his posture which laid good light upon the entire Royal Guard.
“The Princesses are expecting you. I highly recommend to not letting them wait.” What the guard truly meant with ‘them’ was uncertain, but he had all the rights to put himself into this matter.

“Absolutely.” It may have sounded better if not for Spike’s loud snore and mumbles for crystals. With the typical awkward giggle Twilight quickly entered the library, feeling the eyes of both guards on her back. Once the door closed behind her the unintentional bash woke up the grumpy sleeping dragon.

“Is it morning already?” Spike muttered through his clenched teeth and scratched his scaly belly. The sound of his claws scratching upon them easily let a shiver run down the spine.

“I am happy to say that the morning is still far away Spike. You can rest as long as you wish.” A melodically voice went through the air. Beautiful and wise was its sound, but the undeniable was the tone of authority and power behind it. Princess Celestia was sitting on a pillow as anypony else would do, yet somehow she always managed to make the most normal things look graceful. Bright and warm colors seemed to be embroidered in her long floating mane that was fascinating Twilight since her youth.

The crown upon her head was delicately reflecting the shine of the fire that was dancing in the nearby chimney. Right in front of her levitated a filled cup of tea, which was being enveloped by her magic.

“Please forgive us that we made ourselves comfortable like that Twilight.”

“Oh goodness no! There is nothing to be sorry about Princess. May I offer you something to eat?” Happy as Twilight was right now the nervousness was still following her like a shadow. If not for the wings that kept disobeying her commands Celestia might have not noticed it.

“Well you could bring me a gemstone if you would not…” Spike has been interrupted by a very loud puff. It made Celestia smile before she took a sip of the common tea. At least she did not react like Prince Blueblood if it came to such things.

“Maybe next time my dear.” The cup levitated through the air to the nearby table. A silver plate was waiting for the cup to land upon it already. “Right now we have to talk about a very important and crucial matter.”

“I agree with my dearest sister.” It was Princess Luna’s voice coming from the kitchen. Both sisters had the same aspects connected to their voices, yet on the other hand Luna’s voice tended to sound softer and rougher depending on the situation. Before the creamy blue silhouette stepped into the door, her long and floating mane, which resembled the beautiful night sky, announced her arrival. Surprisingly she was wearing a cooking skirt Twilight received as a gift from Apple Bloom.

The faintly message on it spread all over the Alicorn’s ample chest.

<Kiss the chef! >

Right in front of her two cups of tea were floating in the air waiting to be picked up. The turquoise color was enveloping them with its slightly noticeable shine of the Princess’s magic.

“It is good to see you again Twilight.” The eyes of the Alicorn looked upon Spike who was fighting against his closing eyes. “I hope you are feeling better little Spike?”

Recently Spike went through an illness which was befalling Dragons at his age. Not dangerous for his health, but it did exhaust him so much that he remained in his bed for good two weeks. Gladly it was already over and Spike was full of energy… at least during the day.

“I am tired. Fine. But Tired…” He simply jumped off his friends back, and moved towards his bed leaving the ponies alone.

The Princess of the Night moved towards them followed by the two cups. On the way she quickly took off the skirt and it teleport back where it belonged. One of the cups landed next to Celestia’s, but surprisingly the second one remained in the air. Thinking that it was for her Twilight was about to thank the Princess for the trouble.

“I am sorry Twilight… I did not expect you to come back so fast. This one is for our honored guest.“ It did take her by surprise to hear that somepony else was in the library. The uncontrolled blink only proofed it.

“A honored guest?”

“Yes Twilight a honored guest. I think he lost himself in one of your many books. Come with me I shall present you to the delegate.”

The pure white Alicorn took her cup and continued to sip on her tea, watching how both her sister and faithful student moved towards the west wing of the library. Though they could not see it now uncertainty disturbed the beauty of her eyes. Twilight kept following her own honored guest and friend, but the curiosity that has caught her with its nets was simply overwhelming.

“Where does this delegate come from?”

“I would suggest to ask him this question personally Twilight.” A sweet smile of the Princess seemed to bright up the darkness that surrounded the world. ”As I suspected! The delegate did lose himself in a book.”

The lavender pony took her place next to Luna and right away her eyes gazed upon the individual who called himself a delegate. A batwinged Pegasi was sitting on one of her better pillows, holding a book with his sharp looking hooks. The sound of Luna’s shoes managed to separate him from the piece of literature called “The other side of the Coin”. A interesting choice that was showing that he had some good taste this she had to agree, but the fear of the sharp hooks destroying the delicate pages made her gulp in her thoughts.

The Batwing was inspecting them with his yellow cat like eyes. He seemed to be focusing on Twilight though what only made her feel unconformable. It seemed like the stallion somehow noticed the affection of his eyes upon her. For a moment he seemed to be sad, but the warm smile on his face made it melt away. Carefully the book was closed, and was placed in the right spot and even in the correct alphabetic order.

< Oh if only everypony would do that…” Twilight thought still worrying if the delegate’s hooks have damaged any books they held during her absent. Princess Luna brought the honored guest the tea she has brewed for him. By its smell it had to be raspberry flavor… her favorite one.

“Thank you very much Princess Luna.” Gently he took the cup using the hooks of the wings. It was an interesting sight for a sore eye to see somepony hold objects like that. “But you really did not have to bother about a simple messenger like me.” His voice was deep, but it had a strangely warm touch that reminded Twilight of her father.

“For me every intelligent being is an equal despite the existence of monarchy, and its influence upon our world. Besides that it was not a bothersome task. It was a nice change in fact. The life of a Princess does not give me, or my sister, enough room for hobbies… or, as you pointed it out yourself dear Delegate, time for “simple” things.”

Nearly right away the stallion smiled brightly at Luna’s respond and laughed with her about it. Twilight managed to take a quick look at his teeth. Driven by an old mythos most ponies believed, that the Princesses Night Guards were vampires who drank blood by using sharp and long fangs. The Delegate’s teeth showed no signs of fangs; in fact they were not different at all. The feeling of shame went through Twilight for letting gossip affect her better judgment.

“Where are my manners…” Quickly the stallion placed the cup at the nearest furniture (far away from any bookshelves) and moved towards Twilight. His saddle made sounds that were mixing up with the sound of his hooves that were not being hidden by the grayish fur. Only a few inches away he stopped to move and knelt right in front of the fourth Princess of Equestria.

“My name is Borealis. I am the Delegate and representative of King Eridanus, the first of his name, guardian of the Underground, and the rightful ruler of Nocturia.”

Borealis was surprisingly big for a pony or better said a Pegasi. Right now he was as big as Big Mac maybe even bigger. He was very broad and muscular as the most stallions of his age, but it seemed that the stallion in front of her was simply bigger than any others.

“Nocturia… this sounds familiar.”

“I am not surprised by it Twilight.” It was Celestia who was standing behind her. How the co ruler of Equestria managed to move silently remained a mystery. “Though we do not know much about it, Nocturia is a vast and great Kingdom that spreads beneath the surface. It is the homeland of the Batwings. I am sure you have seen some of them before.”

“Yes I did. During Nightmare Night I have seen them for the first time.”

“Long before Discord and long before Nightmare Moon…” Luna started to talk with a sad voice.”The first Nocturians visited Equestria. As you can probably imagine the sudden appearance of the strangers did cause a panic among our subjects. It turned out, that they did not intend to cause any trouble. They wished us peace and granted us a letter from the King under the Mountain. With this message the King has revealed the existence of his subjects, and with it the existence of the Kingdom he called Nocturia. Till this day I do not know why they showed signs of their existence, but the King offered us his soldiers as a sign of friendship and peace. Since then they were a part of the Night Guard, serving us and our subjects honorably. “

“I am happy to hear that my brothers and sisters represented our Kingdom properly. In the great depths and caverns of the Underground we have learned, that without Friendship nopony could survive in the foreign environment. For generations we were hiding our existence… for we had our reasons to do so.”

“You insisted to wait for Princess Twilight Sparkle Borealis. As much as I appreciated to welcome your kind among my guards… I still find it strange that your King suddenly revealed the existence of his Kingdom.” Said Luna and took her place among the other Princesses.

“Yes I have to agree that this is suspicious… but I assure you that we the Nocturians do not intend to harm anybody. The life beneath the earth is not an easy one. Open hostilities would not help us at all… it would only make things worse than they are already.”

“Mr. Borealis please tell us why you have been sent her then.” Twilight spoke these words with certain authority without any tone of demanding, but with honesty she intended to follow.

“As you wish Princess.” It seemed that he was looking for the right words, but nopony could possibly not understand in what shoes he was in now. Standing in front of the co rulers of Equestria and the ponyfication of Magic itself was surely not an easy task… especially while representing an entire Kingdom and its subjects. “For many centuries my kind was living peacefully among the local races, which have helped us to adapt to the life that was not suited for ponies. Together with the Diamond Dogs, and the many tribes of Minotaurs we have created the great Kingdom called Nocturia. It was named like that by the very first Alicorn, who has emerged from our society.”

“An Alicorn is ruling under the earth?” Asked Celestia who was not hiding her surprise. For Twilight it seemed logical that only an Alicorn could be capable of ruling. Yet thinking about it… maybe even a subject could rule who knows?

“Yes. The Nocturians saw the wisdom and strength that was given to our nation. Our allies also saw the same aspects and joined our society. Since then the blood line of the first was watching over the subjects. Great prosperity and wealth were always on our side. Our nation grew and with it the borders of the Kingdom. We were happy and lived in peace… until the day our beloved King suffered from a terrible fall.” He lost his voice and a single tear was about to run down his cheek. Quickly the delegate wiped it away with his hook. “The King fell into a very long coma… and with it the times of happiness left our society. Somebody had to take the place during the absent of the king, which is why all tribes have been summoned. The representatives of each tribe were potential, and experienced individuals who would take the Stalagmite Throne and rule over Nocturia. First of all the children of the King had the right to take their father’s place, but they were young and inexperienced. For many months the great caverns were filled with the sound of arguments, until the very day when finally the son of the King has been chosen to watch over the subjects.” Borealis closed his eyes for a moment and let out a long sigh. “Enraged by it more than the half of the representative declared openly, that they would never bow to a whelp, and threaten to separate from Nocturia. Since then our King tried to do his best to maintain order and peace. For many years the Kingdom managed to remain peaceful and more importantly whole… until unpredictable events lead to a great separation.”
His tufted ears went down as did his eyes, which seemed to no longer manage to look at the Princesses. Borealis’s hooks were holding each other with a mighty grip, while the stallion remained silent. A few times he blinked with his eyes and returned to reality.

“I am very sorry… it is not easy to speak of it.”

“Please continue. What did you mean with those events?” Asked Luna who was obviously worried about the fate of the Nocturians. Both Celestia and Twilight were sharing her feelings in that very moment, but her connection to this nation was stronger than theirs.

“My kind has forgotten the real meaning of Friendship. More than ever we need kindness, honesty, loyalty…” He placed one of his hooks on his face. “I still cannot believe that the very foundations, that have created our nation have been forgotten. Though we never showed ourselves to others we were watching. We saw that Friendship was strong among your subjects.”

“Is this the reason why you have been sent here? To ask us to help your kind to remember the true meaning of Friendship?”
Asked Twilight and came closer to the stallion. He did take a few steps back what made her ears go down.

“It was Friendship that allowed us to exist in this world… though it was a hidden existence. Without it everything we have ever accomplished will be devoured by hatred and greed. Eridanus did not waste any time after he finally woke up, and decided that we desperately required help. If not even the Magic of Friendship can protect us from open civil war… then I do not know what can protect us from it.”

The world became strangely silent. Only the sound of the fire was disturbing it with its loud cracks. Twilight was the one who was inspecting the stallion now. He was breathing very fast, and it was obvious that he was hoping that he has not used the wrong words. Personally she was not able to imagine the life without Friendship. If Borealis’s story was true, she shuddered to imagine what would happen to Equestria if one day the subjects would also forget Friendship. Celestia and Luna also were inspecting the Nocturian. It was not possible for her to see what they were thinking, for the mask they were wearing now did its purpose on a master’s level. The stallion slowly showed the signs of fear for the silence seemed not to find any end. This could not continue like that…

Twilight took a deep breath and once more she came closer to the stallion.

“Since the very day I have found Friendship myself I was thankful to Princess Celestia that she made me take out my muzzle from my books. I have found friends and with them I managed to overcome everything.”

Borealis knelt in front of her, but as much as he tried to hide it, she could see that he was shaking. The Princess placed her wing under his chin and carefully lifted it so he could look her directly in the eyes.

“Your King understands and knows what Friendship stands for. I believe that long before the first contact with your allies you all were bound to it, even if you have never seen eachother before.” She could hear how the Princesses came at her side. Both sisters were smiling at him, while they placed their wings on his shoulder.
“The Wisdom of your king and the love for his subjects is undeniable.” Said Princess Celestia. “And even if I never have met him before… I could see it in his message that beyond everything, he cares and worries for his subjects more than for anything. The bounds of Friendship do not die out so easily Borealis. I am sure that they still exist, but they are shrouded by anger that has befallen your kind.”

“It was Friendship that helped me to return on the right path… despite my deeds.” Luna’s eyes were a bit teary while she spoke these words. “I have learned that it is never too late to find Friendship. No matter if in good or bad times…”

“And I have learned that Friendship is not always easy. But there is no doubt that it is worth fighting for. If I will somehow be able to help your nation, I will do my best in the name of Friendship.”

<We will help the Nocturians with all our Heart. > Spoke the three Princesses at the same time. Beneath them Borealis’s shoulders were going up and down, both hooks hiding his face and the tears that were running down his cheek. Words would not properly express how thankful the Delegate was at this moment, but this expression was enough for the Princesses.

Since that very night Twilight learned that gossip’s nature tended to twist the truth in the most unbelievable ways. The Nocturian Delegate was the living proof that beings should not be judged by their appearance. Even if sometimes it was not an easy thing to do.

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