• Published 1st May 2012
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A Brief History of Equestria - K9Thefirst1

A look at how Equestria formed from the Tribal States to the Unitary Diarchy State of today.

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Court Mage Clover the Clever

Clover the Clever

“As we have no dungeon, I have a strong feeling that the Princess was using the passive-aggressive format of communication known as ‘sarcasm.’”

Looking at her station of birth, nopony could have guessed just how far little Clover would go for ponykind. Born the youngest of seven foals to a minor noble of the gentry class in 16 BW in the aftermath of the Lake Trot Crisis, the best Clover could realistically hope to achieve in her life would be to marry well and produce at least one strong male heir for her husband, even If she were to have large reserves of magic, which she didn’t. In fact, it is speculated by historians and scholars that Clover was in fact underpowered for a unicorn. However, what quickly separated her from others of her age group, and first set the stage for her future would be her intelligence. As the anecdotes go, Clover would sit in on her elder brothers’ tutoring session. At first she was shooed away, but her persistence eventually paid off in that both her brothers and their tutors would eventually give up, continuing the lessons and ignoring the filly in their midst. Then one day, when she was around five years old, Clover not only corrected the tutor, but pointed out the book and proper page that the correct information could be found. Clover was punished with bed without dinner for her troubles, but the filly had made her intellect and knowledge known, and eventually it would pay off.

In 10 BW, Star-Swirl the Bearded made it known that he was looking for an apprentice. Clover’s father, as with every other noble in the Kingdom, held high hopes that one of his sons would claim that title, and the family prestige it would bring in.

From all across the realm, unicorns flocked to the capital, all hoping that one of their family would claim the title. As Star-Swirl asked for all unicorns of a family to come, regardless of sex or power, Clover was brought along as well, even though nopony expected her to even test.

At noon, the entire throne room and the courtyard beyond was packed wall to wall with ponies, all eager to see the famed Court Mage and to see just who he would choose.

Among the hopefuls were the most promising and powerful unicorns of the generation, each one a fine stallion in form and magic, all of noble blood. Each one ready to perform any test Star-Swirl could put them through.

Except for the test he gave each and every one of them.

Star-Swirl went into his chambers, calling for the next unicorn in line. When said unicorn walked in, he closed the door and simply asked three questions: 1) his name, 2) his dream for the future, and 3) a miscellaneous question that seemed to have come out of nowhere.

Certainly, more than a few in the last category were made up on the spot. They had to be, considering how Star-Swirl possibly knew a large portion of those that came before him, by reputation if not in person, so he would know which pony would not fit his standards of worth. However, for the rest the question was, in some form or fashion, either ‘what is it that matters most in life,’ or ‘what is the opposite of Love.’

One by one a unicorn came in, and almost as soon as he entered he was sent out, confused, angry or simply resigned. And so this pattern continued for hour after hour on end for over two days. Clover’s brothers, from the eldest to the youngest, had each gone in and come out. In a moment of desperation, Clover’s father dressed her up as a colt and kicked her into Star-Swirl’s desperation. Even if Clover wasn’t confused by the sudden change of events, Star-Swirl saw through the ruse anyway. According to Clover’s diary, Star-Swirl looked at her as she sat on the floor, stroking his beard for a moment before going into the quiz. According to Clover, when asked the second question, she honestly answered ‘I don’t know.’

‘From what I remember, Star-Swirl looked surprised, but pleased, at my answer. Finally, he asked me what the opposite of Love is. My first instinct was to say Hatred, but something, I know not what, stopped me. Something about that answer did not sound right. So, I thought about it. Seeing from the corner of my eye that Star-Swirl looked even more pleased, I thought harder.’

Clover’s answer stated that Nothing was the opposite of Love, just as Nothing was the opposite of Hatred. As to have an opinion on somepony and their condition was an admittance of caring, however little or warped, about that somepony on an inherent level. But to have no feeling at all, total Apathy, was to have no heart. The court mage paused, and then asked Clover the final question: ‘what is it that matters most in live?’

Clover’s answer was ‘to feel loved, and to love in return.’

Without a second’s hesitation, Star-Swirl scooped up the filly, marched out into the courtyard and announced to all present that he found his apprentice in this small, clever filly.

The nobility were stunned that not only a magically weak unicorn would be chosen over literally hundreds of others to be apprentice to the most powerful stallion in known history, not only one from one of the lowest families in the hierarchy, but a filly at that.

‘After Star-Swirl held me aloft, I must admit that much of the remainder of that day is a blur. I remember Mother being happy for me, and Father, for once in my whole life, actually seemed to look right at me, acknowledging my existence as a pony, more than an extra mouth to feed, or some foal-maker to be married off. As for my brothers, Willard seemed happy for me. But then, as the eldest he would win either way. My other brother’s seemed rather miffed that their baby sister would show them all up like this. That evening, mother stayed with me for the night to make sure I was settled in properly before starting my training. As she was arranging my bed, the Princess entered to welcome me to the castle on behalf of her father. I followed mother’s example and prostrated myself before her. After a moment she beckoned us to stand, and then walked to me and began to actually speak with me. While I have always felt a connection with the Princess as a friend and perhaps as a sister, I still could not bring myself to follow her first and only real command to me and call her by her name.’

For the next seven years Clover, now called Clover the Clever by Star-Swirl and later by Platinum in public settings, trained with her mentor. However, Clover’s magical power never developed very far beyond that of her fillyhood levels, it would almost seem as though she compensated by channeling those energies into retaining knowledge and practically memorizing whole tomes in a matter of hours. It has been speculated by historians and scholars that Clover’s special talent was in fact her photographic memory, and being able to connect the separate pieces of information into a coherent thought as needed. It was her ability to both catch small details and remember them that made her indispensible to Platinum after Star-Swirl’s disappearance, landing her the position of Head Royal Advisor.

However, because of her sex, Clover and her advice was often ignored by the court and Regency Council. However, as her advice and predictions always turned out to be right, eventually a few of the more prominent members would at least listen to her by the time of the Winter War. In fact, it was Clover’s suggestion to find shelter in a nearby cave that lead to the leaders of the three tribes being in Friendship Cavern.

After the Great Warming, Clover worked with Smart Cookie and Hurricane, with support from Platinum and Pansy, on convincing the Pegasi and Unicorns to accept a democratic form of government for the new Equestria. It was during these long hours of talks that Clover and Hurricane first spent considerable amounts of time together. Clover’s distaste for violence at first put Hurricane off of his well known game, and his shameless mareanizing disgusted Clover, this lead to a multitude of arguments between the two. However, rather than springing from genuine dislike and widening the rift between them, the banter they shared at every probable opportunity, from the viewpoints of those around them, seemed to have become something of a private game between the two. It is Smart Cookie who is believed to have made the first noteworthy and public commentary on the matter. The famous play The Commander and the Advisor staged the scene the best, and is the influence of every adaptation that is even remotely historically accurate.

“Am… Am I watching foreplay? Or am I just a big perv?”

According to the anecdotes, Private Pansy first broached the subject with her father while visiting him after giving birth with her second foal with Trencher. The response is different depending on the source, but all agree that Hurricane, by 3 AW was consciously enraptured with the mare, who was now 19 at the time.

Clover herself, however, is another matter entirely. Time and again in her diary, Clover expresses her dislike of Hurricane in such a manner. However, as she repeats the same grievances over and over again, often word for word, when she is normally much more articulate, and her confessions of dreaming of the Commander on more than one occasion, there is more than a shadow of doubt about just how objective and honest she is being with herself.

This all changes, however, one night in 7 AW, as the next excerpt details.

‘I was kidnapped accosted abducted this evening. I was just settling down for the evening to sleep as my last candle had burned out. And then my breathing was obstructed by two strong forelegs wrapping around my torso. I tried my best to resist my assailant and sound alarm for assistance, but the event was simply too swift for any meaningful resistance. And so, I struggled fiercely against my abductor, and almost succeeded when I noticed that we were already an appreciable height above the castle and climbing. It was then that I recognized the scent of my thief, even before his chiding laugh came into my ears, his voice being instantly recognizable even in my dreams, as you would already know diary. I cannot fathom the reasoning inside that insipid head of his that made the concept of abducting the Royal Advisor from her chambers in the middle of the night seem like a sound course of action, but that is precisely what Hurricane did not seven hours ago.

‘When I demanded an explanation as to what he wanted with me, Hurricane simply tossed me into the air, and then maneuvered so that I would land on his back. I instinctively secured my hold around his thick neck. I belatedly feared that in my panic I might choke him, but it would appear that any concern would be unfounded, as Hurricane made no sign that his breathing was obstructed. At his laughter at my blatant concern, I momentarily, and irrationally, feared for my maidenhood. On one hoof the Commander’s reputation is well known. On the other his honor is equally well known. But at last Hurricane answered my inquiry. A tour of Equestria he said. A tour! At my undoubtedly ill-humored countenance, Hurricane pointed to the ground, now a good two miles below us.

‘Diary, to say I was speechless would be a gross understatement. I am already well versed in the details of our land thanks to the multitude of well-wrought maps in the library. But tonight… It just seemed different. There was not a single cloud in the sky above or below us, and the moon was full, filling the whole length and breadth of the land in a gentle daylightesque glow, highlighting every field and stream, every village and hamlet, every tree and hill. It was… Beautiful. The sort of beauty I scarce can conceive of an equal. I only now wish I had my paper, ink and quill with me so that I could have made more accurate maps.

‘I am embarrassed to say that I did not realize that Hurricane was speaking again until after he was already half-way through his first sentence. Evidently, it was Hurricane’s intent to show me the world as he did. We soared above the land, with Hurricane pointing out features I was familiar with either by personal experience or by reputation. After almost an hour of this, I noticed a cloudbank ahead, which Hurricane did not deviate from. When I made vocal my note of this, Hurricane gave a laugh and stated that it was not just any cloudbank, but Celestine itself.

‘Once again I was rendered dumb. I was familiar with Celestine’s shape from below, but I never even dreamed that I would have the fair fortune of actually seeing it from above, but there I was, weaving with Hurricane around towers, markets, the Coltiseum and barracks. Hurricane told me everything he knew about everything we saw, and was patient to deal with my curiosity. All my life, I had thought Celestine as a barren, spartan and cheerless place, with neither ornamentation nor life. I was wrong. While true, the city has a clearly militaristic and function first bend to the architecture, every building, every plaza and meeting place, each had its own character, its own place in the whole without being lost amongst it. And then there is the sheer scale of the city. Yes, the pegasi have always boasted about the size of their city, but all the talk about how it covers whole square miles always seemed like talk. In short diary: It is no empty talk.

‘Hurricane alighted atop a tall guard tower towards the middle of the city, one of several that surrounded a portal in the clouds that looked down to the ground below. On a low table was a dinner for two, consisting of cheese and bread with a bowl of fruit, two lit candles sat in the middle. Without warning, Hurricane rolled over, though he took care to ensure that I remained above him, so that I would lie on his stomach and chest, which only this evening I have noted as being still handsomely cut, even for a pony of his years. Confused at his intent, Hurricane waved a hoof over to the vista below us, showing both the expanse of Celestine, and the window down to Equestria below us. With a hind hoof, he dragged the table over to us and removed a pear from the bowl, saying that he also wished to share a private meal with me. Normally I would scoff at such an invitation but for some reason, I could not bring myself to find fault with spending time with him. For hours we munched on the food he had provided, admiring the view below us, talking about… a multitude of topics, that seemed to follow no logical path or lead to no destination.

‘As I have mentioned many times before diary, I have always found Hurricane’s company irksome on its own. However… for some reason, this past evening seemed pleasant. More than pleasant really, and soon I actually found myself curling up on Hurricane’s chest as though it were the most natural thing in the world. I even fought down more than a few yawns in the hopes of making the time together last longer, but alas one did managed to escape, leading to Hurricane wordlessly rolling back over, placing me on his back and flying straight for the castle. He even tucked me into my bed! He apologized for keeping me up so late, and then flew out of the window. I wanted to go to sleep, I was more than sufficiently relaxed. But for some reason I just could not, my mind being so active.

‘Well, I apologize. That was a lie. I did sleep, but not for long, because Hurricane appeared in my dreams. Doing… things to me. And what is more confusing is that I thoroughly enjoyed it! That was three hours ago diary, and I had evidently missed or ignored the call to raise the sun, as dawn’s light is clearly visible in the sky as I write. However, if I were to explain the events of last night to the Princess, I am certain she would understand and forgive me.

‘I am very, very, confused right now diary. What is wrong with me? Why do I get this fluttering of my heart? What is this warmth I have in my cheeks? What is it about these musings on Hurricane that brings these reactions to my body?’

This night proved to be the turning point for Hurricane and Clover’s relationship, for three years later they were married after a surprisingly quickly tossed together ceremony, and early the next year their first foal Twinkle was born. It is unknown what Pansy's reaction or thoughts were to having a step-mother who was half her age. Or if that fact even registered in her mind, given her Father's past. But all contemporary sources agree that the two mares were the best of friends until the end.

As an addendum, one document from around the same time as the above entry, is this copy of Princess Platinum’s order to her Captain of the Guard to relax the night watch for a single night:

‘Captain, feel free to let a few of your guards have the night off tonight. Furthermore, I have a feeling that a certain pegasus will be visiting a lady friend. Please do be a gem and pass the word amongst your stallions to let him through would you?’

It is commonly suggested that this order was given the day of the above diary entry, thus explaining how Hurricane could pull off such a stunt without getting caught. Also, it is suggested, that since Platinum and Hurricane were such good friends, the two of them might have even conspired to arrange the meeting. However, there is little correlating evidence to support this view.

After Hurricane’s death in 50 AW, and with her children grown and starting their own lives, Clover was alone, the last of the Founders still alive, and so once against stepped into the political spotlight at the age of 66 as an advisor to the Premier of the Republic, and Archmage. Using her wealth of knowledge, Clover opened a magic school for every filly and colt in walking distance, free of charge to the students and their families. This would lay down precedent for Celestia’s school, as well as the public school system of modern Equestria.

One final contribution Clover would make to the nation her husband and friends had built, would be to finish the Mentor-Student cycle, as the personal teacher to Mimic, arguably the most powerful unicorn in all of history. Only Star-Swirl the Bearded and Twilight Sparkle have equally credible claims to being the most powerful, but as none of them were alive in the same time periods, we cannot say for sure which was truly the most powerful.

Clover would live to see the Centennial of the Equestrian Republic, which, ironically, was celebrated with the Talonhoof Assault, the only major invasion of the nation, and the closest Equestria as a national identity came to being extinguished. Though blind and 116 years old, Clover would live to see her student triumph over the invasion, and secure Equestria’s survival. Sadly, the strain of the attack proved to be too much for her heart, and by the end of the second day of celebrations, Clover the Clever, youngest daughter of a poor family, student to Star-Swirl the Bearded, wife of Commander Hurricane, died warm in her bed, in the hooves of her student and surrounded by her surviving children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren in 100 AW.