• 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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Princess Platinum

Princess Platinum

“Then let it be known, that We do dub this land: Unicornia.”

The only child born to King Aurum and Queen Argentum in 21 BW, Platinum lived her early years in the shaky void as both the King’s only legitimate heir, and also a mare, and thus not allowed to inherit anything. Aurum and Argentum tried many times for another foal, however Argentum was haemophilic, a common ailment of the nobility due to the inbreeding that often occurred between and even inside some family lines. As one satirist wrote: “For the Nobility, the party line was ‘no pony is good enough for our family, but our family.’”

Due to her condition, the prospect of Argentum going through labor was risky at best, and certainly dangerous. But even so, the king and queen took those risks. Reason being that, over the centuries, the nobility of the Kingdom had managed to finagle their way into the nooks and crannies of the House of Æthelric’s power over them, testing the waters to see what they could and could not get away with. As the centuries passed, the Royal line produced the occasional weak-willed king, allowing the nobility to grab for more power under his reign. Therefore, by the time of King Aurum’s ascent to the throne in 48 BW, the Throne was approaching the status of Figurehead, and almost every day there would be rumors or thinly-veiled threats of overthrowing him if he could not meet their desires and produce an heir that would do the same. Furthermore, the nobility were well known to have had blood feuds amongst each other, often even within the same household, with sons trying to kill their older brothers in order to move up the line in the hopes that they might inherit their father’s wealth when he died, rather than being forced to look for work, most likely as a mercenary, due to the inheritance laws of the Kingdom.

In this cesspool of intrigue and chronic backstabbing, Aurum had only one unquestionable ally, that being his court mage: Star-Swirl the Bearded, who helped the King, his queen and what few servants were truly loyal work the court against itself, lest they try to manipulate the king to do their bidding, especially in regards to their food source, the Earth Ponies and their farms. Put more plainly, Star-Swirl and the King both wanted to avoid the nobility from overstressing their non-magical fellow ponies.

“Mark my words my friend, like a mouse cornered by a cat, when push comes to shove the Earth Ponies will push back, and push back hard. A society can only stand so long as it has food. What the nobles do not seem to comprehend is how food is not like the gems and metals of their mines. A crop of wheat or squash or potatoes takes time to grow and harvest. Furthermore, the ones growing it have a need for it as well if they are to keep going.”

-Star-Swirl, ca. 30 BW

Over the protests of the court, who never liked how he not only enjoyed socializing with peasants and non-unicorns, but also disagreed with their views on how the world worked, Aurum placed the education of the Princess in Star-Swirl’s hooves. Having been given control over the only heir of the realm, the mage wasted no time in teaching her in not only social strategies of the court, but in all the subjects an heir was expected to know, such as poetry, arithmetic, and philosophy.

In 18 BW, Queen Argentum was bit by the royal cat and bled out. Before her body was even cold, the court exploded with activity as each noble house put forth their daughters for the king to either wed or play mistress for and produce an ‘proper’ heir for the kingdom. According to the story, Aurum almost caved in to the pressure, but his allies supported him in his first choice to remain a widower, as him marrying any one of the houses could upset the precarious political balancing act they were playing. However, the court did not care, and so continued to pester the king to remarry for the rest of his life.

The rest of his life being until about 9 BW. The Ménages Quatre that was the Lake Trot Crisis and the disappointing results of the Shouting Congress proved especially difficult on the aging king, with his health falling in the months afterward. In the final hours before he lost consciousness (he would be in a coma for six weeks before finally dying), Aurum made a surprising move, even to Star-Swirl: He named Princess Platinum as his successor, and that she would be king, not her husband, and that Star-Swirl was to be her caretaker and the regent before she came of age. While the nobles naturally wanted to protest his choice of regent, Star-Swirl’s unprecedented power and unmatched wisdom silenced almost all protest. But it was his dictating that Platinum, a filly, would be King, a title that was supposed to be for a stallion, raised more than enough protest instead. As the story goes, Aurum gave as big a laugh as he could manage before saying his now famous last words…

“My ancestral father’s law says that the queen cannot rule. Doesn’t say the King cannot be a mare…”

And up until Aurum’s funeral the nobility raised objections and criticisms aplenty to Star-Swirl, but eventually they gave up when he ignored all of their arguments. Instead they focused on currying favor from the young princess, as well as working to influence her. However, in hind-sight, Aurum might have been considering this move for some time, as when he attended the Congress that was supposed to mean the three tribe’s cooperation, he brought Platinum, then eleven years old, along with him to watch. Therefore, it is speculated that Platinum may have received extra advice from her father on what to do, or perhaps more accurately what not to do, with the attentions of the nobles. From what few accounts remain from Platinum’s diaries, the mare was very resentful of the nobility and frustrated with what little power she actually had to control her own court, which would certainly explain her actions in the aftermath of the Warming.

Another major event that soaked up the nobility’s attentions would be the founding of what would be Unicornia. The expedition that her father sent off to find a new land returned to Platinum’s court in the spring of 8 BW with news of a vast land filled with more wealth than even the King’s personal mines, completely clear of the unnatural snowstorms that plagued the River Valley. For the first time in centuries, both the court and the throne were in total agreement as to the next course of action: Form a new nation in this land, and move the government their when the new capitol was finished.

As only the eldest son was expected to inherit anything from his father, the younger ones were thus left to find work, and perhaps earn a title of their own. Many found work as mercenaries, soldiers who sold their services to the highest bidder. The pony they worked for most often would be determined by who could afford to pay the highest salary. That would be the throne, this being the reason why King Æthelric was able to grab control of the other nobles in the first place: He could afford to pay for the most soldiers, and thus field the largest personal army. Even though she was only thirteen, Star-Swirl placed the settlement of Unicornia in Platinum’s hooves, who would use most of the throne’s own personal army as the settlement personnel, as well as offer a small subsidy to any pony of the gentry or lower nobility classes that would be willing to travel to this new land and settle.

While none of the nobles saw it as such at the time, most likely due to disregarding the idea of Platinum capable of subterfuge because of her age, her sex, and their own self-assurance of their own collective power over the throne, this would prove to be the foundation for Platinum’s own power grab and personal revenge in the aftermath of the warming.

For much of this time, Platinum was largely protected from the direct attentions of the court due to Star-Swirl’s position as Regent, and his well-known dislike for the court. But in 3 BW all of that changed, when Star-Swirl the Bearded vanished during one of his arcane experiments. At the age of eighteen, Platinum was the focus of the entire nobility and the court. Sensing weakness, the court quickly set up a Regency Council, which in reality was the final nail in the coffin for the throne’s hold over the nobility. It is commonly assumed that, had she not had Clover, whom she saw as the sister she never had, by her side, Platinum may not have had the strength to stand up to the court, allowing the throne to die a slow and meaningless death. At least, it would have been had the Warming not happened.

In 1 BW, the finishing touches on the new capitol were complete, and the court proceeded to move the seat of government to their new home. The journey should have only taken about a month, but it quickly stretched into three months, as most of the nobility were simply unused to doing actual labor, and their complaints and unreasonable demands on both Platinum and their own servants often consumed hours, if not days of time. The following excerpt comes from the diaries of Clover the Clever, concerning the crossing of a river. It should have only taken an hour, but soon took up twelve when one noblestallion was concerned about his fine clothes getting wet, and later on by a noblemare who lost a necklace, convinced that it fell into the water and demanded all movement stopped until it was found. It turned out to be right next to her in the bottom of the boat. This anecdote actually survives to the common version of the Hearth’s Warming Eve play, albeit in a much abridged and altered form.

‘Duchess Superfluous raised such an alarm this morning not three minutes after we began ferrying the nobles again, demanding the boat halted. She stated that her necklace was gone and that it must be found. I raised my objection, stating quite plainly that others could search for it, but the boats could not stop if we wanted to all be across and to the next checkpoint by nightfall. However, my voice was either ignored or drowned out by the concerned voices of the other nobles on both sides of the river and in the boat, who then began to look around, regardless of the lack of logic of them searching, especially the nobles on my side of the river, considering that there would be no way for the necklace to have already crossed. I was roused from my disgust at the sound of a hoof knocking on wood. Turning around, I perceived the Princess holding an ear to a tree trunk, then tapping a hoof to it.

When I inquired as to her intent, she simply said that she was looking for the densest tree in the forest. I inquired as to why she needed such a tree, but I was ignored. Finding a tree that evidently served her purposes to a sufficient amount, the Princess reared up onto the trunk and began to smite the tree with her cranium, and proceeded to do so repeatedly, and with such violence that leaves and ripened fruit fell from the branches. Seeing that the fruit was edible and perfectly in season, and that the Princess was not about to stop any time soon, I proceeded to add the fruit to our stores.’

Unicornia as a political entity lasted for about six months before the events of the Warming and the declaration that the three tribes were to unite into a new nation. While the peasantry and the soldiers were all for such a turn of events, the nobles would never stand for it. However, Platinum had elements in place to remove any objections that they might have.

Given how the throne had settled most of what would have been Unicornia either directly with its own soldiers, or indirectly by supporting those who wished to, the land was technically Platinum’s private domain, with soldiers by trade or by loyalty absolutely everywhere, waiting for word from the throne. Furthermore, at the age of twenty-one Platinum was now of age and thus entitled to everything her father left her, including the power to wage war or execute criminals in the name of the crown. And finally, as the Regency Council had no real legal authority over the lands, and in fact was a usurping power after the legal regent had left, making policy and declaring wars the throne never wanted, the entire court, their families, and most of the higher houses of the nobility, were declared enemies of the crown to be executed without trial or prejudice, with the justification (which given the above Platinum did not need, but it certainly helped calm the other tribes) that with their refusal to allow her to dismantle the Kigdom of Unicorns and Unicornia to form Equestria, they were a threat to everypony’s safety, in that they may cause the return of the Windigos.

According to her diary, Platinum was expecting the coming civil war to last years, with ghastly amounts of blood spilled on both sides. Small circles of distorted paper and blotched ink on these pages are interpreted by historians as Platinum crying as she wrote these entries, and some of the tears landing on the paper.

However, Platinum did not need to concern herself over the matter. In fact, the conflict only lasted a few days. The main reason being thus: the personal armies of the nobility were often paid less than advertised, and were treated little better than servants, which naturally irked most of their soldiers, being former nobles themselves. Many stories exist of the castles of nobles falling without a struggle, only for the invading royal army to find the noble and his family already dead, killed by their own soldiers, sometimes by a matter of days.

With the decadent and selfish member of the court either dead or largely rendered as irrelevant, Platinum was free to do with the realm as she wished, allowing her to merge Unicornia and the Kingdom of Unicorns with Pegasopolis and Celestine Junta and the holdings of the Hyracotherium Republic into Equestria.

As she wanted to avoid the political doe-see-doe that came with marriage amongst the Unicorns, even after ‘The Purge,’ Platinum would never marry, being more than content to act as godmother to Clover’s children. There is much speculation that Platinum herself may have played a part in the courtship of Clover and Hurricane. This largely coming from a single letter between Smart Cookie from Platinum, in response to the former suggesting something to that effect of the latter.

‘My dear Cookie, my formative years was spent among the scheming and conniving brutes of the court I inherited from my father. I would be more worried if I hadn’t developed a manipulative streak. But if all of my manipulations, assuming that there are any, lead to the lifelong happiness of my friends, is there really any harm being done?’

In spite of Platinum’s dismissal of playing any role in Clover and Hurricane’s courtship, there are several good reasons that would make her doing so advantageous to both herself and the fledgling Equestria.

One: Politically, it would be seen by the nobility of the unicorns that the union of Unicorns and the other tribes was a solid, long-term arrangement, something that all of them would have a vested interest in maintaining.

Two: As the former leader of the Junta, and the head advisor to the throne, Hurricane and Clover getting married and in love with each other would act as an example that the other pegasi and unicorns would follow. As Pegasi-Unicorn Relations were among the most strained of the three, such a union would add further incentive than simple survival against Windigos to remain amongst their fellow ponies.

Third: As she had mentioned several times in both private and in public that she saw Clover as a sister, Platinum, as the head of her family following her father’s death, had in effect adopted Clover as such. This means that any marriage of Clover’s could be used as a political loop-hole that Platinum could use to weasel out of any form of political marriage.

Platinum would serve as political advisors to the first seven Premiers of the Republic, assisting them along the winding road of political maneuvering in the new nation, which compared to the politics of the court of her youth, was much like ‘paddling a lake in a raft after riding said raft in a seastorm.’ Platinum would live to the ripe old age of sixty, dying in 39 AW after a spelunking accident. Sadly, the real Platinum is lost to most of modern Equestria. Instead of a strong-willed mare with a selfless character that was willing to do all that was needed to ensure a bright future, we instead see a caricature, formed as a mish-mash of the very same nobles she despised.