• 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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The Three Tribes

The Three Tribes

Documentation is more and more difficult to find the further and further back in time one looks. This is due to the fact that the farther back, the less accessible education becomes, and thus the fewer literate ponies there are to even write down their experiences, let alone the histories of their homes. Also, any documents that are made may be destroyed any time between when they are created to the time they are finally recorded in a more durable form with enchantments. Fire, flood, invasion, simple forgetfulness. These can all lead to vital information being lost forever. And finally, there is time itself. Time is the great enemy of anything that wants to last forever. Paper rots, enchantments fade, and even stone fades away under the onslaught of the elements.

It is because of these factors that the exact nature of the circumstances surrounding the three pony races drifting apart into their own paths is not clearly understood. One commonly held theory among historians is that the three types of pony merely stuck together out of both habit and the shared need to survive, which required teamwork, and small numbers. Once settling in the river valley, suddenly the need to get along or else was gone. And with the thousands of square acres of space suddenly available without a predator in sight, ponies could afford to wonder off and do as they pleased. This is a very cynical viewpoint, but sadly, given the archeological evidence, it is the most likely.

That is not suggesting that Pegasi abandoned their land-bound comrades at once, or that the Unicorns ran off immediately however. Rather, the three races stayed around the same settlement (the kernel that would eventually become the Bucklyn borough of Manehattan) for a few generations, possibly as long as 500 years, before drifting apart. That said, it is still difficult to map out the actual sociological and cultural mentality that would lead to such a split, or even give a likely candidate of who suggested it, if anypony.

Furthermore, the transition period between separation and the three races forming their own tribes is a virtual blank, with only scattered references that grant only the vaguest of timelines for this period in history, and most of these are immersed in so much myth and legend that it is hard to separate the Lore from History.

Motto: Shield and Sword, Provider and Dictator

The Junta would be what we would today call a Military Dictatorship. However, the title is misleading. A Military Dictatorship brings to mind an illegal occupation of one’s own land, holding your own nation hostage while imposing your rule with an iron hoof without any legal authority or right to rule. Instead, it would be more accurate to call the Junta a Stratocracy: a legitimate government where the military and the government are one and the same. All holders of political positions are also ranked within the power structure of the military, backed by its own constitution of what powers it will and will not take.

The Founding Myth of Celestine states that they were founded by the pegasi mare twins Celest and Silus, and their story goes as follows:

After leaving the other tribes, the Pegasi were scattered amongst the sky, fighting each other over clouds and foraging territory in the forest and brush land below. Their mother was pregnant, but foraged for herself as she had no stallion to do so for her, and she took advantage of other pegasi fighting to get to the food before either of them could claim it for themselves. Then one day, Celest and Silus’ mother went into labor while on the ground, giving birth to the twins in a group of huckleberry bushes. While the mother was still recovering, a pack of Timber Wolves attacked. After a struggle of six hours (some versions claim six days, or six months, others as little as six seconds), the entire pack was driven off, with most of the members either dead or mortally wounded. The mother, meanwhile, still recovers, even as she nurses the twins. For the next three days, Celest and Silus’ mother rests, building her strength to return to the sky. Then on the dawn of the fourth day, a manticore attacks. The first blow is a sting to the mother’s chest. The venom of the beast weakens her, and eventually she dies (this is highly unusual, as the manticore never ventures outside of its territory of the forest).

After feasting on the mother, the manticore then smells the twins, and proceeds to stalk over to gobble them up.

However, the twins, both just under a week old, instead attack the manticore, with Silus biting the scorpion tail clean off at the base in one bite (ignoring that the base of a manticore tail is wider than a foal’s whole head at that age) while Celest grabs the head and turns it completely around. The twins then use the tail to open up the manticore’s belly, which the two climb in for shelter. The next day, the Spirits send a steer to the infants, who nurses the two until they are big enough to fly on their own and go home (which really ought to mean that it wasn’t a steer, but that’s what the translation says). The visual of a bovine suckling two fillies became the very essence of the Celestine Founding Myth.

After returning home, the twins become Cloud Shepherds, guiding rainclouds across the Earth Pony lands, dropping off water in exchange for food to bring back to the rest of the Pegasus Tribe. At the same time, Celest and Silus take note of how the scattered sky settlements of their tribe and the often vicious fighting over food weakens them, and how the other two tribes secretly laugh at them from below. Celest is much offended by the state of affairs and longs to do something to change it. Silus on the other hoof, ignores it, instead wishing to flirt with stallions and sleep, advising her sister to do the same.

But that changes when the Griffin Empire comes knocking on the valley’s door. At the threat of invasion, the three tribes begrudgingly unite. The Empire is driven back, and the pegasi suffered the most, having lost two out of three ponies in the battles. In the aftermath, Celest steps up into the spotlight, organizing the whole tribe into a cohesive whole. She forces everypony into drilling exercises, forging a military powerhouse in a few years, ensuring that such a crushing military defeat would be impossible. She also oversees the formation of all of the clouds in and around the valley into a veritable curtain of cloud, building a large city on it. Celest names it Silusopolis, after her sister.

Silus, however, is anything but impressed. In fact she is livid, saying that Celest should not have wasted so much time. The two get into an argument, and eventually Silus lets slip that she sold out to the Griffins in exchange for assurance of the safety of herself and Celest. Enraged, Celest attacks her sister, who fights back. Eventually, Celest manages to kill Silus. In part because of her wounds, and in part because of the realization of what she had just done, Celest dies. The city, and thus the nation, is renamed Celestine.

From the archeological record, the story is at best an exaggeration, an allegory at worst. Ignoring the story of their birth, there is no evidence whatsoever that the Griffin Empire, which was near its peak at this time, even knew that the region even existed, let alone mounted an invasion so far from their direct borders. That said, there is a spike in Pegasi graves around the estimated time of Celestine’s founding (ca. 3062 BW), most being dealt wounds from weapons, suggesting that something happened.

Motto: Scepter and Wand, Magic and Beauty

The Unicorn Kingdom was unique in that it, as the title suggests, was a Patriarchal society as opposed to a Matriarchal society like the Celestine Junta and the Hyracotherium Republic. In the Junta, their constitution specifically mentions that Mares are to hold positions of authority, especially in the uppermost ranks, and while the Republic had no condition, the academic consensus is that it was just assumed that a mare would run for and be elected into office.

As the story goes, when the Unicorns settled the mountains, a small number of the more able-bodied amongst them managed to make the largest claims. These individuals and their families quickly acquired copious amounts of wealth, to the point where they could afford to hire others to mine their claims for them in exchange for a small cut and protection. These families soon set up the areas surrounding their claims as their own little fiefdoms that they effectively ruled. Ancient miner’s terms for how large or small or how valuable the veins of wealth were underneath their hooves soon became titles that ranked each master of the household according to his or her peers. This was the origin of the nobility that now exists in a much changed form in modern Equestria.

Within a generation the unicorn lords and ladies were ready to tear into each other in the hunt for more wealth. However, the most powerful among them in terms of influence and wealth was one Grand Archduke Æthelric the Stern of Two Dozen Sons, declared himself High King over all unicorns in ca. 3293 BW. In order to keep the other unicorns in line, Æthelric allowed the other nobles to keep near total autonomy over their own lands, so long as they all pledged fealty to him and his successors, promising to donate soldiers and coin in times of war. As his wealth meant that he could fund much larger armies on his own than any one of the nobles, and none of the nobles would be willing to work together against him and they knew it, the other Lords and Ladies agreed; thus setting up the Feudalism system of the Kingdom that would last up until the Warming, which would eventually become the bane of the Kingdom as well.

Motto: Plow and Ax, Husbandry and Sustenance

As far as can be seen, The Hyracotherium Republic may have been founded as early as 3501 BW, and thus is probably the oldest of the three tribes. With their two greatest sources of protection gone, the Earth Ponies had to organize quickly in order to make sure everypony was safe and accounted for.

The Democratic form of government was the product of necessity. With no concrete power structure to work off of in place, the Earth Ponies quickly turned to a hoof-ful of individuals who they felt would best lead them. This method of choosing leadership would remain in some form or fashion all the way up to modern day Equestria. Sadly, as the Earth Ponies were the most oppressed of the three tribes, having to feed not just themselves, but the other two tribes as well, we have very few records concerning the founding of the Republic, and no two agree with each other in even the slightest bit.