• Published 4th Sep 2015
  • 714 Views, 32 Comments

Remember the Moonflower - Blade Star

On the run from the Royal Guard following Nightmare Moon's defeat, a group of thestrals make their final stand.

  • ...

Epilogue - A United Peace

At this point, the story reaches something of a crossroads. And, to quote a notable Equestrian author; ‘Two roads diverged in Whitetail Wood. And sorry I could not travel both.’ There are two versions of what happened next, depending on who a pony talks to.

If you ask the few remaining die hard supports of Celestia’s monarchical regime, you will hear how, in a final bitter act of pointless defiance, the thestrals chose to commit mass suicide, taking as many brave Royal Guards with them as they could. The temple was demolished in a catastrophic blast, which took the lives of almost a hundred and fifty ponies, and wounded a hundred more. When the dust settled, not a single Lunar guardsman was left alive. And the few thestrals that had retreated earlier, disappeared into the network of caves in the Badlands, where they would remain for a thousand years in exile.

Conversely, if one were to talk to a thestral, they would hear how, facing impossible odds, the gallant thestral soldiers chose to fall on their swords, sacrificing their own lives in a blaze of glory to ensure the survival of the fleeing civilian column. At least one arguable war criminal, a Royal Guard officer who took part in the burning of Atcanter, perished on that day as well, although his name has been lost to the pages of history. The thestral officers however, went down in legend. In the intervening thousand years when the thestral ponies lived in a self-imposed exile, the exploits of ponies like Star Dusk, Flintlock, and Swift Sentry, would be passed down from generation to generation. To them, the Moonflower served as a reminder of where they had come from, and the homeland they would one day return to.

What is known for certain is this. The temple, and most of the mission, was entirely demolished when the explosives detonated, killing everypony within the Moonflower’s walls, and injuring many beyond them. The sudden turn of events, heavy loss of life, and the effective decapitation of the non-commissioned officer corps, forced the Royal Guard to halt their campaign in the region.

As a result, the civilian column of Lunar loyalists successfully reached the border and crossed over into the Badlands. They were soon met by elements of the re-organised Lunar Defence Force, the military and police force of the newly established thestral colony. The supplies they brought with them greatly aided the thestrals in the first few months whilst methods for growing crops within the caves were perfected.

They had all heard the distant rumble and seen a bright light on the horizon. A scouting flight by a small squad quickly brought back news of the Moonflower’s destruction, and the loss of the Lunar garrison there.

The action was noted by the thestral Government of National Emergency, and cited as one of the greatest acts of heroism in modern times, with the garrison’s commander, Colonel Star Dusk, along with several others, being posthumously awarded the Silver Crescent for gallantry in action. The refusal of the Lunar garrison to either surrender or retreat ensured that the civilian column was able to evacuate to safety, and also greatly checked the Royal Guard. Not three years later, Princess Celestia would finally bring the Royal Guard to heel, imprisoning those who aided the attempted thestral genocide, and reorganising the Royal Guard into a much smaller police style outfit compared to its wartime existence. Peace then finally returned to Equestria.

A thousand years later, both sides would once again meet, though this time as friends. At first, when the shadow of the ‘Mare in the Moon’ vanished, the thestrals returned to Equestria expecting another war. It was here that thestral soldiers were first encouraged by their commanders to ‘remember the Moonflower’. Having witnessed first hoof, the corruption of their princess by Nightmare Moon though, the thestral government quickly put itself into contact with the Equestrian government in Canterlot. Not six months later, the thestrals would finally return to their homeland and be reunited with their princess.

Of course, the path to reunification was not a smooth one. There were extremists on both sides; Solar supporters who still viewed thestrals as pawns of Nightmare Moon, and thestrals who viewed Celestia as a vicious tyrant that had forced their own princess from power, and viewed Luna’s corruption as a grand conspiracy. In time though, such issues began to fade.

In the end, it was Princess Luna herself who devised a means of bringing the tribes together again. She suggested a joint commemoration of the lives lost out in the deserts of Appleloosa Territory, now part of Equestria proper.

1,000 Years Later…

It had taken a great deal of effort on the part of many historians and archaeologists from Canterlot to Baltimare, but the ancient site had finally been found. There was little to be seen in the dusty plains, no walls, no crumbling ramparts, nothing. A thousand years was a long time, and what little had been left of the old mission had simply been swallowed up by the desert.

Still, the site had ultimately been found, thanks to diligent work by pegasi flyers, who had managed to spot the vague outline of the foundations in the desert floor. And after many an academic had had their fair share at examining the historical site, it was opened for a special service.

With the thestral state having effectively dissolved itself, and its population returning to Equestria, there was a need to foster solidarity between the two former sides. To that end, Princess Luna had suggested a joined special service of remembrance to be held at the site of the Moonflower. It would bring together the existing Royal Guard, and the newly returned and reactivated Lunar Guard, which was soon to integrate with them.

And so, the two princesses now stood out in the desert, around ten feet from where the northern wall had once stood, on either side of a covered statue. Lined up before them were ponies selected from both halves of the Royal Guard, all in their best dress uniforms. It was a solemn meeting, with the decorum of a funeral. After all, this mission was the final resting place of many a guardsman, from both sides. Princess Celestia spoke first.

“My little ponies,” she began. “This spot, to my mind, represents the epicentre of my greatest failure, as both a ruler, and as a pony. I failed my sister, letting her fall into darkness. I failed my own ponies, watching them become misguided in their pursuit of retribution. And, I failed my sister’s loyal disciples, who never once doubted her. I ask that you consider this, my apology.”

With a brief flash of her horn, Celestia removed the sheet that was covering the statue that lay between her and Princess Luna. The statue was that of a lone guardsman, though which side he came from could not be determined. He was sitting down, his spear leaning next to him, his face haggard and his eyes tired. Yet despite that, something about him still appeared defiant and noble. Beneath the figure, was a gold plaque which read as follows:

‘Beneath this stone rests the body of an Equestrian Warrior.
Unknown by name, rank, or loyalty.
Brought from the remains of the Moonflower to rest here in reward for his loyal service.
Buried here on the anniversary of the reunification of the Royal Pony Sisters, in the presence of Her Grand Royal Highness Princess Celestia, and Her Grand Royal Highness Princess Luna of Equestria, their ministers of state, the commanders of their armed forces, and an assembly of the new Royal Guard of Equestria.
Thus are commemorated all those who during, the Second Civil War of 2CR-5CR, gave all a pony may give; life itself.’

It was an unusual method of dedication, but nonetheless effective. The body had been selected jointly by both princesses, and was naturally, no more than a skeleton, with no identifying marks. It had been buried with full military honours, and been dedicated by both divisions of the Guard.

Nopony knew who exactly rested beneath that stone, though naturally, everypony believed it was one of their own, and honoured it accordingly, including the princesses themselves. Thus the service favoured neither party. There were no questions of who was right or wrong, just quiet remembrance of the folly of such a war. A moment later, Princess Luna spoke up.

“I feel that I too must share some of my sister’s guilt. Had I not fallen to darkness so long ago, this battle would have not needed to take place. At the same time though, I take pride in the way my guards acted in my absence, defending civilians at the cost of their own lives. By the same token, I respect many a guardsman, who fought gallantly, but was led astray by the propaganda of the times. Both sides fought for what they at the time, believed to be the truth, and it would be wrong of anypony to decry one side or the other as a villain.” She turned to her sister.

“Now, we shall turn proceedings over to the officers of the Royal Guard for the next part of the service.” At this, the two princesses stepped to one side, allowing two guardsmen, one solar, one lunar, to haul down from the nearby flagpole, the Equestria flag, and bring it to half-mast in salute.

As one, the assembled ponies snapped to attention.

Through a thousand years of separation, the ceremony for the remembrance of fallen comrades had not changed on either side. It was an excerpt of an old campfire song from the First Griffon War that ponies had sung around the campfires out on the cold tundra. It served as both a form of remembrance, and also as a way to boost the soldiers flagging morale at the time. The entire assembly of guards sang.

So when you feel that shiver boys,
Go running up your spine,
It’s just the guards who’ve gone before,
Standing by your side.
So now we’re all together,
Proudly raise your head.
For the wind that blows around us,
Tis the battalion of the dead.

Ironically, at this particular moment, a stiff breeze did indeed blow through the assembled ponies, even ruffling the magical manes of the two princesses. Most, of course, passed it off as a freak gust. One guard, a young earth pony, however, could have sworn that he heard something faintly on the breeze, something about not locking his knees, which he had been inadvertently doing. He then felt something brush against his shoulder. After a minute of silence, the guards relaxed, the reveille was sounded, and the flag was raised back to its proper position. A little while later, the assembly broke up.

A little ways off from proceedings stood an ageing thestral. He was by no means elderly, but he was definitely past his prime. Here and there, a few lines of grey appeared in his otherwise deep purple mane. Still, his amber eyes shone brightly, and his leathery wings looked to be in good condition. He wore the armour of an officer in the Lunar Guard, with the markings of a full colonel. The only thing missing was his helmet, which sat next to him atop the small hill he stood on.

He watched the proceedings closely, smiling as the guards were all dismissed. The two sections quickly merged into one as they departed back towards San Maretonio; a key artery that led to Equestria’s frontier towns. He assumed that they would probably be heading for the nearest watering hole; as guards are want to do. It was pleasant to see them all getting along together, acting as if it had never been otherwise.

His eyes were drawn though to Princess Luna. She had moved away from the newly unveiled statue, and was talking with her sister. Suddenly though, much to the thestral’s surprise, she paused the conversation she had been having and turned to face him. Initially, she looked somewhat worried, but a moment later, her expression was replaced with a kind smile and she nodded ever so slightly at him. She soon turned back to her sister, resuming whatever conversation she had been having.

Apparently satisfied, the thestral also elected to take his leave. Picking up his helmet with a hoof, he placed it back on his head, taking a moment to properly adjust it. He then turned and walked away from the site of the Moonflower. As he went, his body slowly seemed to fade, growing transparent and eventually vanishing altogether.

Back at the statue, Princess Luna looked up, in the late evening sky, the first few stars were beginning to come out, in spite of the fact that Celestia’s sun still remained firmly in the sky. As she examined the darkening eastern horizon, she noticed another spot of light steadily appearing as the sun continued to set; a star. She smiled to herself.

Author's Note:

Proofread by The Batmane of equestria.

And so, we reach the end of the story. I figured after the death of all our protagonists (and antagonists) last chapter, the readers would want something to cheer them up a bit.

I'm particularly proud of Pike's fate if I'm honest; to be forgotten is far worse than to simply be dishonoured.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed 'Remember the Moonflower'. I know that not too many have read it; it certainly doesn't have the numbers of my first story, but it's the story I wanted to write. For those of you who did read this from end to end, thank you. And a special thanks to The Batmane of equestria and ThatPonyWithASword for proofreading.

If you have any thoughts on the story as a whole, please leave a comment below.

Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!
Comments ( 7 )

This was an amazing story. I'm suprised how it hasn't gotten as much attention as it should.

7085025 I've added it on all the relevant groups I could think of. Feel free to put it in any group you think it fits in. FiMfiction is a fickle beast though, sometimes brilliant stories get ignored and mindless drivel makes it to the feature box. And, as they say, it is better to write for one's self and have no public, than to write for your public and have no self. :twilightsmile:

Great ending, honestly the genocide should not have happened and hopefully those that contributed were punished as they deserved in the next life.

A well done story, and a great ending.

Thank you :ajsmug:

One thing Whatever happened to Governor Diamond? Did he ever get punished? Or did he retire, unmourned, unmissed -and unhung?

8118141 After being placed under house arrest, Diamond doesn't really have much of a role to play in the story. He's simply the catalyst that sets events in motion. I know I hinted at a couple of ideas, but I leave his ultimate fate up to the reader.

I'm impressed. Good war story.

Login or register to comment
Join our Patreon to remove these adverts!