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Nightmare Moon's escape from the Moon could not have gone better for her. Celestia herself was unable to face her, and Celestia's trainee was woefully underprepared for the assault. It did not take long to shake out the remaining pockets of resistance, and then she took the throne for herself.

Ten years of darkness have passed, and Celestia has finally managed to break Nightmare Moon's spell and return to Equestria. The exile and the difficulty of the escape took a serious toll on the solar Princess, and she returns to a land very different from the Equestria she loved.

Weak and very nearly alone, she needs to rebuild her strength, and put things right again. But can she even be sure what right is, anymore?

Google Docs link: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1I1UxgjF5VdpCmAJ85ir84lWTk2BKGCainy_VICPo6yM/edit?usp=sharing

Chapters (42)
Comments ( 289 )

You have my interest. Proceed.

Interesting. Very interesting. But ten years without sun? Isn't it little too much?

5970094 Ten years dungeon for speaking against the night! :pinkiecrazy:

eeeeehh yay! another great ch!:pinkiehappy:

6060913 thank you for reading! :coolphoto:

Interesting,I was working on a similar fic revolving around the idea of RD never making that first sonic rainboom,I'm glad to see that somebody else noticed that the sonic rainboom was basically the event that put all the others in motion,really looking forward to where you will go with this story

6077781 Thanks! I sort of worked backwards to that point - I wanted a world where the Mane Six were not relevant, and as you say, that's the event that tied everything together. It worked nicely moving forwards again, too, although I took some liberties with Sunset Shimmer's backstory in order to keep her in place. (Specifically, I intended to imply that Twilight's rise at Celestia's school led to Sunset abandoning her studies in the story we know, which is not strictly supported by canon. With Twilight not rising, Sunset stayed with Celestia.) Anyway, I'm having fun with it! Thanks for reading!

Nightmare Moon frowned, and let her gaze drift off towards the horizon. "Unless it is the calm before the storm."

Prophetic words, those.

As Nightmare Moon her cutie mark is the same color as her eyes, why does that get messed up?

6170314 Colorblind author? ;) Where do I say what color her eyes are? What should it say?
(edit) Ah, I see what you're talking about, shouldn't have said white, apparently, for the moon. Still, I'll take suggestions for the shade to use. Using an online color matching tool gave me "anakiwa" for the color, which I'm not using. ;)

6177985 Interesting. Just going on RGB values, turquoise has a lot more green than NMM's cutie mark, but according to Wikipedia, there's a bluer variant (ironically named "Celeste") that seems pretty close. Turquoise has a nice sound to it, though, I'll update it to use that. Thanks for the feedback. :)

I rewrote this chapter because I agreed with the anonymous thumbs down ;) It's not too different but it takes a slightly different bent and actually does something at the end. ;)

6077781 well at least it want trixie gods that braggart if you want to read one of these fics have a look at 'hoofed by your own petard' basicly rainboom no happen only 1 charecter gets the proper cutimark 2 are blankflannks at 21 and twilight is a stripper to get through college

Added two chapters today, more due to working out the sequencing than anything else. Before I could get back to Celestia I had to finish setting up Nightmare Moon, that meant inserting another Stratosphere chapter. I'm not sure if the varying viewpoints is working for anyone else, but I have to say it's kind of fun to write! ;)

But, I've been waiting a long time to finally get the Celestia chapter down, and now it is. I hope you like it! We finally move on to Act 2 with the next chapter. ;)

yay celestia and sunset reunited!

Oh, they had better not fly there. Even if they evade Nightmare, Sterling has orders to kill any fliers that enter Canterlot's airspace.

Bucking idiot, had to use the amulet... HE better get removed to private for this infraction.

woooo the amulet!! :derpyderp2: he better not cause trouble thehehe.

Why do people keep thinking the EoH were used against Sombra? All evidence says they weren't. No Rainbow light and the EoH would have prevented the spell from taking the EMpire with his fall.

6446959 Well, the only thing that is canon is Celestia's description during the introduction of the Empire at the start of S3. All she says about it is "he was ultimately overthrown", but in the video flashback he is enveloped by a rainbow colored beam that comes from Luna and Celestia in silhouette. That, plus Celestia's reliance on the Elements to solve problems in other episodes, is probably where it comes from for most people. :)

6446972 that wasn't really a rainbow and the magic came from the horns not the EoH

I really wish sombra arc was 3 ep to focus on one as a background flash back to luna and celetia battle of sombra. Poor luna and tia!

6446959 The more I thought about this, the more I liked the idea of them not using the Elements on Sombra. By making it Celestia's idea, I can play on that later. So I've updated this chapter as such. That they used the Elements wasn't meant to be a crucial point anyway, it was the interplay between the Princesses that was meant to matter.

Ulfrid is my only real concern in all of this. He feels Op and with no reference no idea of his plans.

Gahhh, how does this have only 35 likes? This is wonderful!

great chapter! interesting how amulet works.

Might I suggest posting this in this group? We've got to get you some eyes, this is good stuff!

6653518 Thank you! As far as I know it's already in that group... it's listed as featured there anyway. Princess Mercury was good enough to help me get listed in a few of the groups! I'll keep plugging away at it, anyway. :pinkiehappy:

Very excited every time his comes in up in my tracking folder. Thanks for the good reads, tursi.

6688734 Thank you! More to come! :)

Sunset's original alias was "Sunny Delight", but turns out that's an orange drink. ;)

Scary how almost accurate this is with the Mane 6's reactions in the Season 5 finale.

I saw this in the feature box and decided to give it a read.
And I loved it!:heart:

6745368 Thank you! I made it into the feature box? Cool!

6744874 Thanks! I really loved that they went that way and animated all the scenes! For my standpoint, I decided that their talents wouldn't have been any different, they just would have discovered them later in life, which would of course reduce the impact that they had. I don't explicitly intend to include the mane six, but Pinkie's cameo was too convenient to pass up, and so I played her off as more subdued (due to extra years on the rock farm). For the most part I expect they all ended up more or less in the same places (perhaps less successfully), the main difference being Twilight Sparkle who was never pushed out of Canterlot by Celestia and so stayed there. (I figure she runs the library, but I'm not sure if we'll see her in this.) If not for alternate universe, I wouldn't have needed to explain away the mane six at all, but writing the diary entries really was a lot of fun. :pinkiehappy:

Love the ch a lot. i cant wait to see wht the diary contains. Poor celestia!

Oh dear God...
This won't end well...

“Pegasii will be at a disadvantage in these trees. You will lead a team of pegasii to close the skies over Canterlot - no pony is to take flight without my personal authorization. Anything flying towards the castle is to be treated as hostile. Now go. Tell the Captain I will join him shortly.”

Pegasi is spelled with one "i" not two.

Celestia didn't think that perhaps she should have figured out what she did after she banished her sister? I mean like, a week after or a month after? No? 1010 years later? Sounds good. Now is the time to learn what i did wrong, now that she has been back for 10 years and practically ruined the world already. Well, better late than never I guess?

// Sphex

6778134 Hehe... I did actually think of that. It's a weak excuse, but, "it's complicated". :) The way I see it, after Luna was banished Celestia was first distracted by grief over the loss of her sister, then focused on understanding the nature of the exile spell. With the castle destroyed, she was also overseeing the construction of Canterlot and later founding the School for Talented Unicorns. She more or less focused on recovering her sister more than understanding what had caused the problem in the first place.

In addition, public sentiment was that she had certainly done the right thing (since it couldn't be fully swept under the rug), and the formation of the EUP made it difficult for her to get alone time. She was reluctant to admit what she wanted to search for (let alone let other ponies know if she found it, just in case it was further embarrassment). Guilt drove a lot of the bad decision to let herself be distracted by other things, and over the years it got easier to have a reason not to go look, even though she did occasionally wonder.

Finally, there was a naive hope that Luna would come back apologetic. Luna would apologize, Celestia would apologize, they would have a moment and then pick up where they left off. That mattered more to her than the past.

Until she found herself back in the old palace with nothing else to do...

Does that belong in the story, though? Maybe it does...

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