• Published 29th Mar 2016
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A New Age - SaddlesoapOpera



Long, long ago, the Royal Pony Sisters Celestia and Luna defeated Discord, and almost everypony was relieved. Almost everypony.

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Six Months Before Discord

Personal correspondence, from Glory of House Galaxy to Starbeam of House Galaxy

Dearest Mother,

I hope this letter finds you well, and I trust you will excuse my impertinence in delivering it via flame-sending, but this urgent matter can wait no longer.

Star Swirl, your brother, my uncle, persists in dragging our family name through the dirt again and again. As hard as I have tried to accept his decisions, this time he has gone too far. It makes no difference how respected and influential he is if he’s brushed us out of his life like tail-flicked flies!

I led every one of my classes in magical theory as a foal. Every private tutor you assigned me marvelled at my excellence, did they not? I am more than a match in beauty and grace, poise and polish, magical might and arcane education, for any half-blooded commoner, am I not?

Yet there strides your brother, my uncle, mightiest of our ancient and honourable House, using his personal share of our family fortune to endow a new wing of the library… and it is his plan to name it after Clover the Clever!

I know that construction has barely begun and it will be nigh on a year before the doors open, so it may come as a surprise that I possess such knowledge already. But I happen to have a copy of the plans, and the offending truth is right there in Star Swirl’s own hornwriting.

I shan’t befoul the dignity of our discussions with details about how I came to acquire a copy of the plans. Suffice it to say that it was done, and now the truth is revealed. Obviously you can see how untenable and impossible this situation is. He can’t do this to us! To his own House! Surely you can reason with him? You, and perhaps Aunt Starburst? He can’t sacrifice a huge measure of our wealth to her. He simply can’t! He can’t!

Mother, why does he hate me?


Glory

• • • • •

A missive from the Offices of Chancellor Puddinghead to Lady Brome of the Lowlands

Noble Lady Brome,

Please understand that the Chancellor and all who serve the Chancellor have the utmost respect for the Old Faith, and have no desire to see the ancient traditions of our tribe lie fallow. Your steadfast devotion is an inspiration.

Be that as it may, the Chancellor and all who serve the Chancellor, and every other Pony who calls Equestria home, owes fealty to the Crown — yourself included, Milady.

Your religious convictions do not rob you of the benefits of the Royal Sisters’ rule, nor do they excuse you from the accompanying obligations.

This is your final warning, Milady. Relinquish the taxes collected on your lands, and remit them forthwith to the Crown. If you continue to refuse to do so, the Chancellor will have no choice but to call for the Royal Guard to intervene in this matter and enforce said delivery.

Pay what you owe, and you will be free to continue to practice the Old Faith however you please.

• • • • •

Praetor Northwind’s memoirs

The winds above the Everfree Forest are willful tonight.

That ancient wood has always drawn the most temperamental gusts and stormy clouds. There is magic there as old as snow, and it is stirring these days.

Ponies are stirring as well.

We’ve been too long without a war. Too long offering our hooves to foes who know nothing of honour or justice. The weak grow soft, and the strong grow uneasy and tense.

It is a good death, the spear-sages say, to drag one’s foe down to the unforgiving ground at the moment of victory. To die knowing that a righteous cause has prevailed. They say that those who die of age or sickness have failed to hold out for the next red dawn. The next clash of blades.

I am not so sure, anymore — even with that growing tension.

My bones ache when I herd snow-clouds, and I tremble under the summer sun. My glories are behind me. My victories, hard-earned but mighty. I have built a legacy worthy of pride — have I not earned an easy and peaceful flight over the last horizon?

And yet, I fear I shall not die reclining on a cloud after all. The winds are willful. They whisper to themselves. Something comes. A dawn redder than any before.

I fear I’m no longer strong enough to overcome it alone, and I fear we’ve grown too weak for me to count any comrades among my kind.

For the first time in my long years, I fear.

• • • • •

Personal correspondence, from Star Swirl the Bearded to Starburst of House Galaxy

Dear Sister,

Upon my name and my works, great things have been accomplished. The House has grown in power and influence.

With the profits from my arcane research, Equestria is a better place, and the House has grown in wealth and prestige.

I count among my discoveries more applications of spells and enchantments, more unique developments, than any other Magus, living or dead. The myriad bells upon my vestments grow nigh on too heavy to carry.

The mysteries of time itself, and all their terrific costs and wonders, are laid bare to me. The essence of Harmony itself lies ahead, ready to be unveiled.

And so, with the utmost respect and cordiality…

I will keep my own thrice-damned counsel on what I do with my own money, and on whether or not I lower myself to tutoring spoiled, ill-tempered and unruly brats.

Warmest wishes to you, our sister, and our esteemed Mother.


Star Swirl

• • • • •

The Journal of the Two Sisters

Dear Diary —

Nopony came!

I’ve tried so hard to be better, I’ve been polite and nice as much as I can, I’ve used the Royal Canterlot Voice at every official function, I’ve stopped pranking … I did everything Celie suggested! Everypony’s still scared of me, and nopony wants to stay up to spend time with me.

I planned this stargazing party for SO long. I got the stars lined up just so, and I practised my comet throwing for a whole month. There was tea and biscuits and night-blooms.

Nopony came.

I waited and waited, and then I went looking. They were all in their rooms, asleep already. And when I took a little peek at their dreams, I found out why:

They were all tired after a ball in Celestia’s honour!

Is this because of the thing with the bats? Are you punishing me, Sister? It isn’t fair! That didn’t count as a prank. That diplomat was being rude to me. He DESERVED it! It was… justice!

This party was really important to me, Celie. I wrote about it in our journal so many times. How could you?

You complain and complain about all of your functions and your formalities. You’re soooo busy being the Princess of the Day. But you never cancel anything, do you? You never leave anything for your dark, spooky Sister. No, you’re fine with me staying in the shadows, as long as I don’t EMBARRASS you!

Sometimes, I just wish, I wish I could—

Never mind. I just hope you read this soon, Sister, so you’ll know how mad I am.

Because I’m not speaking to you.

• • • • •

The Journal of the Two Sisters

Dear D

Dear Luna,

I didn’t do it on purpose. I didn’t even arrange that ball, it was a surprise party and the minister of agriculture planned it. I’m sorry your star party didn’t work out, but it was NOT my fault!

You’re always doing this — haring off without thinking, acting rashly, stirring up trouble — and then blaming everypony but yourself.

You said you wouldn’t spy on Ponies’ dreams when they aren’t in trouble, but you did! You said you weren’t going to prank anypony anymore, but you did! We’re too powerful and important now to keep acting like little fillies. Ponies aren’t scared of you because you’re the Princess of the Night. They’re scared of you because you’re still too reckless and emotional!

Maybe if you spent less time feeling sorry for yourself and more time helping out with all this Royal business, you’d understand that.

When you’re ready to speak to me, I’ll be spending most of my time in the throneroom…

Fulfilling my responsibilities.

• • • • •

Personal correspondence, from a Secret Admirer to Princess Luna of Equestria

Your Beautiful and Powerful Majesty,

I apologize abjectly for my lateness to Your stargazing party last week.

By the time I arrived, it seemed everypony had already left, including Yourself. I deeply regret missing the opportunity to discuss the night and its mysteries with You — I have no fear of the shadows. Quite the opposite! Every night I await the artistry of Your starscapes, and You have yet to disappoint. With every glance upward, I feel like I am gazing into Your very heart, poured forth across the sky.

I am still staying in Canterlot for the next few days, negotiating official business with the Ponies who mine under the mountain. If You are willing, I would be eternally grateful if You gave me another chance to meet with You. Every night until my business is concluded, I shall await You in the statue garden. And if You cannot or deign not come, the silent beauty of Your night skies shall offer cold comfort to my longing heart.

Yours faithfully, ever hopeful to bask in Your presence,

A Kindred Spirit

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