• Published 22nd Feb 2015
  • 292 Views, 9 Comments

Pirates of Equus - Equin Tour Guide

Luna, finding a need for something other than dreary Canterlot life, is given an opportunity of excitement when offered her very own ship.

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Chapter 1: The Scarlet Helm

An ebony night pierced with twinkling stars lay like a blanket over the city of Canterlot. The last few drops of a marmalade sunset had long since drained into the western horizon as the sun made way for the moon.

The affairs that constantly plagued Canterlot Castle had long since been cured, if only till the next dawn. Magical torches had lit themselves, illuminating the corridors that the vigilant Night Guard patrolled. The Day Watch, now relieved from their duty, left their posts and headed homeward for the promise of sweeter things. The majority of the staff had also retired to their respective quarters until tomorrow, the castle growing quiet in the thick of night.

Among those whom had retired, Luna sat quietly in her room. Her royal duties had been short-lived that night. With Celestia now asleep and Twilight off in Ponyville, there was not a soul to spend time with in the castle. All of the guards that she knew personally were either resting or stationed somewhere else entirely. She sat behind the window on a throw pillow, scanning over the slumbering city, her eyes laden with boredom.

“Of all the years I have lived in my long life, I don’t think I have ever been in such a state of languor,” Luna said, though she had no audience. “Even during my time on the moon!” She exhaled sharply and closed her eyes, briefly reflecting on her life before her banishment. “If only I had something to do besides all my royal duties. Perhaps something fun and adventurous.”

She sighed again and made to look away, but something out of the corner of her eye caught her attention. It was a plot of buildings lit up and bustling with life; a little square of commotion and energy.

“What was it called?” she said to herself, tapping a hoof on her head and trying to remember. With a sharp intake of breath it suddenly came back to her. In the starting days of Canterlot, the area had been a popular place for the knights of royalty to rest and relax when they were not out on grand adventures. Because of this, the area had come to be known as…

The Knights’ Plaza, Luna remembered. Though its original purpose had long since become outdated. The plaza remained as a commons area for adventurers and travelers, as well as those that wish to hear the tales of such folk.

After a short moment of thought, Luna smiled and nodded her head in agreement. She could use some time away from the castle. She stood from the pillow and left her window with a gleeful trot.

< ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ >

The walk to the plaza was uneventful—few ponies were up at this hour—fewer still trotting about the lantern-lit streets. As she neared the plaza, the sounds of joy and commerce began to fill the air, bringing a smile to her lips. She froze and she looked back on herself. Whilst most ponies were used to her presence, her bearing as Princess Luna could be unnerving. She wasn't blind, she could see the hesitancy in her subject's eyes, the falter in their step whenever she made an appearance, however casual. With a brief debate, she closed her eyes, the illusion spell sweeping across her frame. She smiled recanting the younger days, when she had spent some time mastering them. It died away as she considered how the times had changed since then. She shook her head of the fugue. No! She had come here for fun, not more brooding. To banish boredom and sample some of the night life of Canterlot. She galloped forward to the Plaza, her eyes glittering.

Her coat was a dawn-blue, her mane black as the night she so loved. With eyes of shimmering moonlight she gazed upon the approaching Plaza with glee. An archaic style was present with the buildings in the area. The cobblestone and wood finishes brought back thoughts of the past. In the center was a stone well, atop it a bucket and rope hung ready to gather the refreshing substance below. The sounds of the hustle and bustle were cheerful ones, not a shred a negativity about. Everypony seemed to be enjoying themselves.

All around her was a wide variety of shops and vendors. Attractions ranging from small games to tests of strength and knowledge. Stalls pedaling baked goods or delectable treats were at every turn, the delicious smell of warm bread and sweet cream gently swirling about the area. There were small shops selling nic-nacs and fancy gadgets all about. The variety was breathtaking.

“Where to go first?” she wondered out loud, glancing about the busy area.

“Might I suggest the Scarlet Helm, milady?” said a voice from outside Luna’s range of vision. Startled, she wheeled around and was met with a young unicorn stallion. She breathed a sigh of relief as she realized she wasn't in any personal danger. He was taller than most stallions. His coat was as dark as a starless night, the only color being rings of blue near the base of his hooves. She found this curious but decided not to ask.

“What was that?” she asked politely. “You startled me so I wasn't really paying attention.” She clicked her hooves together nervously and avoided eye contact.

“Might I suggest The Scarlet Helm, milady,” he repeated in a slurred voice. It was obvious that he may have had a few ciders too many.

“O-oh? Where might that be?” she asked, a little flustered from the out-of-nowhere appearance.

With a smile on his face he simply replied with, “Just follow the yelling.” He then casually sauntered off into the crowd of exuberant ponies. Luna, with goal in mind, excitedly turn back to the plaza.

“The Scarlet Helm?” she repeated to herself, calming down after the sudden encounter. Her ears perked up, zeroing in on the yelling the Unicorn had mentioned. Following her ears, she came upon a sizable tavern, a helm etched on the sign above the door.

She made her way inside, the yelling voices becoming clearer as the door shut behind her, turning into a drunken chant by a group of stallions at the front of the bar.

There once was a ma-re! Who had such fine ha-ir!” they sang, a white earth pony appearing to lead them on, “Flowing from he-re to the-re!

Luna looked around curiously, the tavern had a medieval theme with cobblestone walls and long, wooden tables. Ancient swords and shields were mounted to the wall, each with its own unique coat of arms. Fires dancing in wall-mounted torches caused shadows to flicker about with reckless abandon while also lending a comforting warmth to the place.

“Almost reminds me of the old castle,” Luna mumbled to herself, as she looked upon the old-timey decorations and cobblestone walls. Luna’s hoofsteps were lost midst the clamor as she pressed further in.

The tavern air was thick and warm with the mass of bodies packed into it, a slight stench of horseflesh wrinkling Luna’s nose as it mixed and melded with the heavier smell of alcohol. As she looked for an empty table, getting bumped into a number of times by the more tipsy patrons, she was very much glad for her disguise. For someone of royalty to be spotted in such a den of inequity like this would make all the wrong kind of headlines in the paper.

“Welcome, milady, to ye old Scarlet Helm!” an employee passing by with a tray of mugs greeted her as he passed, “I bid thee find thyself a seat and I shalt be with thee shortly.”

“Gramercy, good sir, that I shall,” Luna replied, giggling lightly with a smile, “It hath been far too long since I used this tongue,” she added to herself, “Perchance I wilt enjoy this place.”

Her eyes lit suddenly to a solitary table, empty but for a few dark stains. Making her way over, she finally took a seat, looking about the room. Ponies drank and gambled and sang merry drinking tunes all about the place. In a way, Luna felt a sort of envy for them in their freedom. None of them needed worry about the rise and fall of the moon, nor the games of politics and keeping up appearances.

As if blown over by a gust of wind, another bout of singing flowed over from the drunks by the bar.

She winked at me we-ll!

Which I did find swe-ll!

Then into bed we fe-ll!

I mounted her tw-ice!

Which was quite n-ice!

So I did make it thr-ice!

Luna gave a derisive snort at the bawdy lyrics, ears swiveling towards a quiet card game one table over. The waiter from earlier, his tray now crowded with empty mugs, passed by.

“Good e’en milady,” he greeted in old-speak, “What shalt thou have this fine night?”

“Perchance a mug of hard cider, should ye have it stocked?” Luna replied, earning a smile from the waiter.

“Thou speaketh this tongue well, milady,” he said appreciatively, “And yea, we dost have such a drink stocked. I shalt bring it shortly.”

“Gramercy again, good sir,” Luna thanked as the waiter left. At the bar, the drunks finished up their rambling song.

When did come the mo-rn!

She did eye me with sco-rn!

And realized she’d a child unbo-rn!

She yelled like a shr-ew:

‘Ye dumb ol’ lout, y-ou!’

So I left her to rejoin me cr-ew!

The group of them burst into rancorous laughs, the bartender eyeing them with a weary frown and a twitchy moustache, polishing a mug with a rag.

“The lot of ye gonna head out now?” the bartender asked the merry band, though his tone made the question seem more like an order.

“Aye! Aye! Af’er bu’nother roun’!” the middlemost pony of the lot, the one that had been leading the song, slurred, wavering a bit. He wore a red polka-dotted bandanna and an eye-patch across one eye. Around his midsection was a belt with a gleaming cutlass. The glance that Luna got of his face was somewhat disturbing, as the thing was a mess of lopsided wrinkles through which a beady black eye shone through.

The rest of the group seemed to agree, all giving shouts of ‘Aye!’ or ‘Yea!’

The bartender gave a sigh, “One round more, then the lot of ye best be on thy ways.”

“A mug of hard cider for thee, milady,” the waiter, appearing at Luna’s table, said, setting a foaming mug at her table, “Doth thee require anything else, perchance?”

“Nay, though what, pray tell, doth we owe thee?” Luna asked, the majestic plural ‘we’ but a slip of the tongue, “Oh, pardon me: I. What doth I owe thee?”

“Two bits, milady,” the waiter replied with a kind smile, unfazed by the slip of the tongue.

Luna procured two coins, magicking them to the waiter, who left.

Luna took a sip of her drink, the powerful taste of it burning down her throat.

“Any ‘a ya bunch hear ‘bou’ tha’ ol’ ‘reasure ship wha’ wen’ missin off in’a Wes’wers?” the white pony slurred to his buddies, his words barely intelligible to Luna, “Say’s she was carryin un’mag’ible riches boun’a sell in S’alliongrad’re wha’so’s! Har har!”

“Yeah, we’ve all heard abou’ ‘er!” one of his buddies slurred back with a hiccup, “Dumb fool’s tryin’a go Wes’ward aroun’a whole wider world ‘stead of just shippin it Eas’ like normal.”

Luna’s ears perked up at the news. Life in Canterlot left little room for any form of outside news so hearing it was welcome and interesting. As the second pony had said, standard procedure for shipping to the lands East of Equestria; namely the griffons, zebras, and ponies from lands like Prance and Maretonia, was to head East across the sea.

The waters were known to be dangerous as many pirates infested them. The idea of going West instead was an interesting counter to this, though dangerous in their own way due to its unknown nature and rumors of various horrors. Luna may have been out of touch with most of the world outside the castle, but she knew that nopony had ever charted those waters, there was no need to with the Eastern trade routes working as they were.

“Aye!” the white one declared, louder than needed, “Bu’ now I hears they’ve no’ been replyin through magic fire! Los’a sea, they be, tha fools! All tha’ ‘reasure gone’a was’e in some beas’y’s belcher’r some such! Har har!”

Had they not been perked up with interest before, Luna’s ears certainly were now.

“Lost at sea?” she said to herself as she took another sip of her drink, “that sounds most unfortunate...though most intriguing as well. I wonder what befell them...”

“Firs’ thing ‘amarrow I plan on ship’n ou’a look fer her!” the white pony declared with a loud belch that startled the bartender, “Be’ me bones I’ll ge’ her and keep all tha ‘reasure fer meself! As per tha righ’ of fin’er’s keepers! Har har!

“Anyways, down’a ha’ch!” the white pony slurred, he and his buddies gulping down their drinks before slamming them on the booze-stained bar, “Aye, tha’ were good! P’raps another! Har har!”

“Hey! No! The lot of you’ve had your fill, now git!” the bartender snapped, dropping the older dialect in annoyance.

“Ah, alrigh’ ya s’inkin bloke-hole! Har har!” the white earth pony replied with a short laugh, swiveling about with his friends and stumbling like drunken zombies to the door.

If he and his friends have heard about a treasure ship gone missing here in Canterlot, others must have as well, Luna thought to herself, No doubt he won’t be the only one going after that ship…I wonder... Luna continued her trail of thought, face scrunching up in thought, No, I couldn't. As dull as it is I do still have duties as Princess of the Night, she gave a mental sigh, and even if I wasn't, I don’t even have a boat.

Luna took another swig from her mug. The hard cider, cranberry by the taste, was quite refreshing. Now that she thought about it, Luna couldn't remember the last time she’d had anything even slightly alcoholic to drink.

“Perhaps I should do this more oft—”

And then the white pony crashed into her table.

Luna gave a shout as she was knocked backwards, bumping her head on a support beam set behind her table. There was a flash of light and her disguise fell, revealing her dazed form to the patrons of the bar. All eyes fell on her, plenty of the owners of those eyes gasping in surprise.

“Whoops’ers!” the white pony exclaimed, “‘scuse me, lass, no’ har’ly see where’n me hooves be goin’! Har h...” he froze as he spotted the Princess, “Princess Luna!? Where’n tar’arus’d ya come from!?”

Even in her slightly dazed state she recognized her name was being said to her and immediately noticed her flowing mane and the regalia on her hooves. “I-I-I-”

“Princess!” yelled one of the patrons, dropping to a bow. Others followed suit, in the best manner they could.

Luna’s eyes darted back and forth from patron to patron, confused and embarrassed by the sudden attention. To be caught hiding behind a disguise at a local bar! She might as well be caught dying her mane.

Unsure of what else to do, she leapt to her hooves and made way for the door. She burst through and spread her wings, taking flight with a single thrust. The onlookers nearby stared in shared confusion and surprise as Luna flew out of the tavern. She flew as quickly as her wings could carry her, her mind racing too fast to realize that she could have teleported home. The moment that her hooves were on royal grounds she hastily made her way towards her room. On the way there multiple guards tried to stop or at least slow her down to make sure she was ok, only to get a gust of wind in their faces as she flew by. Immediately upon entering her room she closed the doors with a loud SLAM.

< ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ >

Hours later Luna awoke to the sound of her name being called by her sister. Shortly after the door to her room opened up with a slight creak.

“Luna? Luna are you alright?” Celestia spoke in a concerned tone as she slowly entered the dark room. Small beams of sunlight gave her sight as she trotted over to where she suspected Luna lay. Once she reached the bed she repeated in a whisper, “Luna, are you alright?”

Luna’s eyes shot open and she jolted out of bed, startling Celestia and causing her to nearly fall on her haunches. “WHAT IS THE TIME, SISTER?!” she cried, accidentally invoking the Royal Canterlot Voice.

“I-uh-it is a little past sunrise. Luna, is something wrong?!” Celestia said, still a mite startled from her sisters sudden yelling.

“I am sorry sister, I did not mean to be so loud. I was jus-,” she stopped in the middle of her talking, eyes widening from a sudden realization. “The Moon! I have forgotten to lower it!” With that she jumped out of bed and bolted for her door. However, a magic shield formed over it just before she reached it. She careened into it and bounced back, falling onto a well-placed pillow, courtesy of her sister. “Sister?! What is the meaning of this? I-,” and again, stopped mid speech, but this time by Celestia’s hoof raised inches from her face.

“Luna, be calm, I have already taken care of setting the Moon and raising the Sun, there is no need to worry yourself,” Celestia spoke with a warm motherly tone. “Now, come over here and have a seat,” she said as she motioned to the bed.

After a moment of pondering the current situation Luna slowly made her way to Celestia where she took her seat. “Sister, I am sorry. I did not mean to shout or act out in the manner that I did.” Luna found herself staring at the ground, feeling ashamed of her irrational behavior. After a few moments of silence she looked up to be met with the smiling face of her sister. Slowly but surely, Luna couldn’t hold that frown for long, a smile eventually found its way to her face and her mood was all the brighter.

“How about breakfast?” Celestia asked.

As if in reply, Luna’s stomach gave a low gurgle, “A bit of food would be most welcome,” she agreed.

< ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ >

The dining hall was a little over half the size of the throne room. The mirror-like tiled floor was accompanied by a collection of polished oak chairs surrounding a large ellipse table, longer than it was wide, covered by a simple, yet immaculate, tablecloth. To top the room off there was a fair sized chandelier made of shining metal and glittering emeralds, hanging from the ceiling above. Two of the four corners belonging to this room were occupied by royal guards.

As soon as the two sisters took their seats, one of the chef’s hands approached from a hidden alcove.

“What will it be this morning, your majesties?” He inquired with a pseudo-Prance accent, a pen and paper floating before him in his magic.

“I’ll have a pineapple salad with raspberry vinaigrette.” The waiter scribbled the item down on his notepad and nodded, then looked over to Luna for her answer.

“A hay sandwich with a fruit bowl on the side.” As the waiter opened his mouth to conclude their order Luna made a quick interjection. “And some whipped-cream, please.”

“Of course your majesty, I shall return shortly with your meals,” the waiter stated, turning and heading out through a set of double doors on the far end of the room. The moment the doors swung shut Luna looked to her sister with a single raised eyebrow.

“Did he always have that accent? I know I do not come here often, but it did seem different from what I can recall.”

Celestia chuckled lightly at the question. “He tends to change his accent every now and again, I believe he gets tired of one and moves to another. Last week it was Germane, ‘Frauline’ and whatnot.”

Luna gave her own little laugh as the waiter returned with a rolling cart.

“Your salad, Princess,” the waiter announced with some pride, serving Celestia’s meal with some aplomb.

“Thank you, sir,”Celestia replied with a graceful tilt of her head.

Then to Luna’s side. “And your sandwich and fruit. With whipped cream of course. Does everything look to your liking?” Both Celestia and Luna nodded and with that the waiter was off to the kitchen once more.

“So,” Celestia began, nibbling daintily at a fresh slice of pineapple and dabbing her chin with a napkin. “What troubles you, sister?”

Luna was quiet for a moment, thinking how best to turn thoughts into words as she poked around at the food on her plate.

“Now that others control the elements, I feel...how to put it…‘bored,’ shall we say,” Luna finally began, “Hardly anything interesting happens these days, Tia. At least concerning us.”

Celestia frowned as she chewed, she swallowed before she spoke. “What do you mean, ‘concerning us’?”

“When was the last time either of us played a major part in taking down a threat to Equestria?” Luna asked solemnly. “When King Sombra rose to power? When Discord enslaved Equestria? When the dragon king Saal’Mith’Raak challenged our rule? It seems that all we do these days is sit around looking royal! Where’s the fun in that?”

Celestia was quiet for a moment, dabbing at her chin with a napkin. Her sister spoke the truth; now that the Elements had been handed down to others, the Royal Sisters played little part in anything outside politics...but.

“And is that truly so bad?” Celestia inquired, “We may finally get some peace and quiet...finally retire, if you will. I will admit, I did feel somewhat left out after your...well...” Celestia made a vague gesture.

“My banishment, you mean?” Luna put it flatly.

“To be blunt, yes,” Celestia admitted, continuing, “But...after a while I just got used to the way everything was going.”

“Whereas I, being trapped on the moon, never did,” Luna put in, “You got over not being in the adventuring spotlight. I haven’t…” Luna hesitated, “...and nor do I wish to.”

“Hm,” Celestia commented, mulling that over before a small smile crept onto her face. Luna froze...she knew that smile, “Well, a quick change of subject…” the golden glow of her magic lifted up an opened newspaper Luna hadn't yet noticed, floating it over to the lunar alicorn, “...care to explain this?”

Frowning, Luna turned her eyes from her sister to the opened newspaper. They narrowed as she glanced over it, trying to spot whatever ‘this’ was.

They widened as she spotted it.

“However did they get a picture!?” Luna exclaimed, looking up from the newspaper with an expression that was both parts surprised and embarrassed.

Celestia gave a wing-shrug, “The paparazzi have lenses and shutters in every nook and cranny these days,” she continued to nibble daintily at her food.

“But...but…” Luna glanced back down.

Princess of the Night really Princess of the Drunk?, the headline read.

Below was a picture of Luna as she sat stunned where the white drunkard had knocked her, her magical disguise fallen. The picture was less than endearing.

“So,” Celestia began as she finished her food, again dabbing away her face with a napkin, “Care to explain?”

“I...well...I was just…” Luna stumbled over her words, halting herself with an annoyed groan as she clenched her eyes shut, calmed herself, and started again, “It was late, I had nopony to talk to, and I just so happened to remember the Knight’s Plaza,” she sighed, “A stallion pointed me towards the Scarlet Helm as a place of note,” looking up, she quickly added, “And it wasn't like I just decided to canter on down there in all my regalia, I cloaked myself in a magical disguise. It was disrupted when one of the drunks bumped into my table and knocked me back.”

At the mention of the ugly-faced drunkard, his words of the missing ship swam through her head. Desiring a change of subject, she voiced them.

“Tia, do you know anything about a treasure ship going missing off in the West? I overheard something about it.”

“Ah, yes, the World’s End,” Celestia said with a nod, a flash of a sparkle in her eye, “she set out some months ago with the idea of reaching the Eastern lands by travelling West instead of East, trying to make a short-cut of sorts.” She gave a sad sigh. “Of course, those waters and any lands there are uncharted and—as it now seems—quite dangerous. They've stopped sending letters via magical fire and all attempts to scry them have ended empty-hooved.”

“And nothing can be done for them?” Luna asked.

Celestia shook her head, “The Western seas are as far and wide as those of the East, and uncharted to boot. Trying to find a single ship would be like that old adage ‘trying to find a needle in a haystack.’ Not to mention the possibility that the ship was sunk in a storm...or worse.”

“I’d overheard that some others may try to find it, though…” Luna let the question hang in the air.

“The ship was alleged to hold a considerably wealthy cargo. It would not surprise me if common sailors and scavengers tried to seek it. It happens often, a ship with rumored treasures goes missing, the common folk are stirred up by the rumors, and many take to the seas to find fortune,” Celestia paused, “they rarely do.”

“I see,” said Luna.

“However, if it is adventure that you crave, then perhaps I have a fix for you,” Celestia said, keeping a neutral and mysterious expression.

Luna’s eyes brightened. “You have something that needs doing? Something the Elements can’t take care of? What? What is it?”

Celestia nodded, chewing her food. “That I do. Let us finish breakfast, then I will show you.”

< ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ >

One might imagine that navigating the hundreds of hallways that mazed through Canterlot Castle would be a doozy to do with any sort of accuracy. But then again, one can hardly imagine living for many thousands of years.

As such, Celestia had no problem as her hooves clipped and clopped over the polished tile floors.

“So tell me, sister, what sort of adventure did you have in mind?” Luna inquired.

“Hush and have patience, sister,” Celestia replied, “it’s not much further, and I’d rather you see it before I explain further.”

Luna paused mid step, a sudden suspicion crossing her, “Is it a problem here in the castle?” she asked, suddenly doubtful. “You aren't taking me to that toilet that always clogs up, are you?”

Celestia let out a mirthful laugh. “As tempting as that may be, no,” Celestia replied, stopping at a large door. Luna eyed it curiously, eyes darting back to Celestia with questions. “Just wait and see,” Celestia pushed open the door and a bright light radiated through the now open doorway. She stepped through without hesitation.

Luna squinted and followed her sister. She sensed what appeared to be teleportation magic as she stepped through the door. As her eyes adjusted her suspicions were quickly confirmed; they were no longer in Canterlot Castle. The room they now occupied seemed to be a large wooden warehouse with several skylights lighting the interior.

“Where are we, Sister?” Luna questioned, her eyes still not completely back in focus.

Luna blinked at the sudden change of light, eyes adjusting as a series of sounds berated her. Of loud hammers and saws over metal and wood, many hooves moving about as orders were shouted to and fro.

As her pupils finally acclimated, she gasped at the sight of what lay berthed within.

“A ship!”

It was a magnificent piece of work smelling freshly of tar and resin, with wood gleaming with deep oak stains. She was large and wide with gracious curves and magnificently shaped rails, three greats masts sticking up from her back. Bronze plates layered her belly, shimmering like gold in the light of the room. She seemed something conjured from a dream or ancient poem, something of strength and power, yet grace and beauty as well.

“This is The Eclipse, dear sister. She’s a new, state-of-the-art vessel,” she said with a smug grin.

Luna turned to Celestia, curiosity in her tone, “State-of-the-art?” she questioned, “How so?”

Celestia opened her mouth to reply, when she spotted a particular unicorn passing by, “Mister Limb!” she called out to the pony, then to Luna, “Luna, please allow this kind unicorn to explain, his name is Timber Limb.”

A male unicorn turned at the call, spotted Celestia and trotted over. His muscles seemed more well toned than the average unicorn—a testament to a laborious life—and he wore a tool-belt brimming with assorted carpentry tools.

He smiled politely and bowed quickly upon reaching the pair of princesses. As he lifted his eyes to the princesses, however, his chestnut orbs betrayed that the pleasantries were more for sake than legitimate care.

“Yes?” he inquired, his tone suggesting he had other more important places to be.

“Luna was just admiring her shi...I mean the Eclipse. I was hoping you could give her the run-down on some of its more specialized designs,” Celestia replied with a warm smile, seemingly ignorant of his dismissive tone.

“Certainly,” Timber Limb replied, smile fading into a frown, “She,” he stressed the word, “Not it,” he bit out, “will be the first Equestrian-built aerial-nautical hybrid vessel, capable of both sea and air travel,” he turned back to the ship, his terse tone suddenly fading into something akin to affection. “The latter of those was partially my design: a series of magically-inflating blimps tethered to her sides...”

“Really?” Luna inquired with wonder, trotting a few steps further towards the platform they were standing on, “Such a large vessel can fly? It seems impossible.”

Timber Limb flicked her a quick, annoyed, glance, “It nearly was, the ropes kept snapping or breaking from where they were tethered. It would've worked far better on a smaller vessel, but we finally got it after a few day’s troubleshooting.

“You can see as well that she’s fit with copper plates below waterline to fight against oceanic bio-fouling.,” he continued, gesturing with an autumn-orange hoof, “Those are enchanted to act as a backup propulsion system when fed magical energy,” his voice fell a tad as a scowl crossed his features, “though they’re so consuming I question whether or not they’ll prove very useful for everyday use.”

With that, he turned back to the Princesses, a flat expression crossing his face, “Other than that she’s normal for a galleon. A long beak, squared stern, deep hull with good stability, lateen rigging on the mizzen with square and gaff on the main and foremasts. She’s a little heavier than average at seven hundred and fifty tons with plenty of space for storage and supplies. She’ll do, Princess.”

“Thank you, Mister Limb,” Celestia said with her smile, “you are dismissed.”

The large unicorn flashed them another perfunctory smile and was gone with another quick bow, his oak-colored mane flopping atop his head.

“Hey!” Luna called out, eyeing the receding form of Timber Limb. He all but ignored her as he continued work on the ship.

“Never mind him,” Celestia chuckled. “He’s always been like that.” Luna subsided, returning her attention to the fantastical ship.

Celestia let out a small sigh. “But there is one problem.”

Luna, still transfixed on the vessel managed to get a reply out. “What would the problem be?”

“It needs a captain and a crew, but we have neither at the moment.” Celestia was looking at Luna for a response, and the moment Luna turned her head, Celestia averted her gaze immediately so as not to give away her intentions too soon.

“Oh. That should not be too hard to find should it? We just need to gather the best ponies we can and—” Luna was cut short by a sudden thought that came to her mind. “Do you intend for me to captain this ship?”

“Well, only if you’re up for it of course.”

“Sister, I couldn't. I still have responsibilities here and the Moon to raise and lower and other such duties to take care of and—” Celestia put her hoof to Luna’s mouth.

“It’s alright Luna, I can handle most of the work while you are away. Also, have you forgotten? We have another princess with us now. As for the moon, I can take care of it. I did do it for nigh one-thousand years, remember? You could even lower and raise the moon every now and then while you’re away. You can see it from many places in this world other than Equestria.”

“I...are you certain?” Luna inquired, throwing a longing glance at the ship, “I usually preside over the night court as well. You won’t need me for that?”

“Luna, I assure you I have all bases covered,” Celestia assured her with a small smile, “besides, you said you wanted a bit of adventure, no? Go ahead, take it. Makers above and below know you deserve it, after what I was forced to put you through a thousand years—”

Luna frowned, turning quickly with a huff, “Sister, you know I bear you no ill will over what you did when last you held the Elements. If this is some form of forgiveness, I assure you I don’t need it,” yet still her eyes were drawn back to the great vessel, her hull gleaming with untold promises of adventure, “Do you have a crew in mind?” she inquired.

“I've put together a small group of Royal Guards to accompany you, as well as some seasoned sailors to help sail her, Timber Limb among them. We still need a few select spots. One or two quartermasters, a master at arms, a master gunner, a purser, nothing that won’t be a problem to find,” Celestia replied readily.

Luna nodded, a look of uncertainty trying to turn her smile sour.

Celestia smiled that smile, suddenly, turning to trot slowly away, “I suppose you may have some time to choose. The Eclipse will sail within the week. In any case, I’m sure you’ll have your hooves full with that business at the Scarlet Helm...” she turned her head, grinning back over her withers, “My Princess of the Drunk.”

That did it.

“When does she sail?” Luna asked anxiously.

Celestia just laughed. “That’s for you to decide.”

Author's Note:

This story took longer than it should have to get out but finally it's here and ready for your eyes to view! We hope that you enjoyed reading it as we also hope that you will continue to read our later chapter!

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Comments ( 9 )


Hey, everyone has different opinions. I've heard others say it this way, but I say it the other way.

5656090 Actually, Pinkie refers to the planet as earth in the Hearths Warming episode.:pinkiehappy:


I liked this. :heart:

Shiver my timber
Shiver my hooves.
Yo ho heave ho.

A Lunar Princess with
A ship to prove.
Yo ho heave ho.

(I will hopefully add more each chapter. Make it a song.)

And now it's dead :ajsleepy:


the king and his men stole the queen from her bed.
and bound her in her bones, the sea’s be ours and by the powers,
where we will, we’ll roam.
Yo ho all hands, hoist the colors high,
heave ho thieves and beggars, never shall we die,
yo ho haul together, hoist the colors high,
heave ho thieves and beggars, NEVER SHALL WE DIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lord Nightflight! They've started to sing, sir.

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