• 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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Three Days After Discord

A Confession, by Lady Brome of the Lowlands

O Dam of my Dam, I beseech You, watch over my foal as she is returned to You.

I dare not ask for Your forgiveness. That I was weak, and fell under the sway of a Demon of Chaos, cannot excuse my sin. The cold waters of ignorance cannot wash the stains from my hooves.

My precious filly, my flesh and blood, now lies cradled under the gentle roots of a memorial tree alongside the dear stallion who sired her. O Dam of my Dam, I beg You, look upon Sweetgrass kindly.

She died pure, untouched by the Demon’s taint. She died innocent, faithful to Your ways and unsullied by the empty blandishments of the wicked Princesses.

I know I can never be with Sweetgrass and Hawthorne now. I know there can be no redemption for me. The Demon, Discord, led me into damnation. I was weak, and my foal paid for my weakness with her life.

My shame is too great to bear. I can never return to Your embrace. No tree will mark the place where my bleached bones lie. I accept my fate.

I leave my lands and title behind. There is nothing for me here. The fertile fields are as barren wastes. The sweet waters are as bitter ash.

I will go into exile in the ancient way, as the worst blasphemers and criminals have. I will walk without pause, neither eating nor drinking, hobbled against galloping and blind to all danger, until my strength fails and the denizens of the dark places take me. I deserve no kinder fate after what I have done.

O Dam of my Dam, You know Sweetgrass’s heart. You know she did not mean the words I made her say in her final moments.

From the bottom of my defiled and unworthy soul, I beg You — mete out Your wrath upon me alone, and spare my precious foal.

• • • • •

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

Dear Sister,

I will not be attending the library wing’s opening. Nor the soiree afterward. This is not the time for empty pleasantries. Foalish distractions already slowed me enough that I failed to stop what transpired. If I’d had more time, perhaps I could have been more help in halting Discord’s reign of terror. Perhaps I could have—

Attending would only remind me of it, in the most painful of ways. I will brook no further interruptions, now or in the future.

The cost is more than I can bear.

If this event holds meaning for you, then by all means attend in my place. See to it that

Ensure

She would have

Please, Star. If our shared blood holds any sway, make sure it all goes well. I deserve that much, at least.

And so did she.


Star Swirl

• • • • •

Praetor Northwind’s memoirs

I came across a dying mare today.

I nearly missed her, with her grassy mane and earthen hide. She lay on the side of a lonely road, with hobbles biting her fetlocks and blinders crowning her tangled locks.

At first I took her for yet another of the Demon’s victims, so haggard and gaunt was she. But as I approached to pray and prepare a storm-pyre, she stirred slightly. Nopony ought to have survived in such a state. The vitality of the Earth Ponies blesses and curses them. They endure and suffer, where my kind or Unicorns would know a clean death.

Seeing that life still feebly clung to her bones, I gathered her up and took flight. She was as light and brittle as an icicle. I brought her closer to my estate and found an empty visitor-cave for her on the tallest peak below.

When offered a rain-cloud to suckle, she made feeble struggles. By and by she relented and drank deeply. I sent for salted honey and boiled hay, and the mare ate with the same reluctance.

She once more lay like a corpse as her wounds were washed and tended to. She offered no words of thanks, nor shared her name when I offered mine. But no matter. Her eyes told her tale well enough.

I have seen such eyes far too often, these past few days. They stare at nothing, as cold as raindrops. The mare had faced horrors beyond reckoning. She had suffered a thousand times the pain her injuries carry. I was quite sure of it then, but when slumber claimed her, I knew beyond doubt.

Her screams echoed all the way to the city above.

• • • • •

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

Dear Brother,

Please, don’t worry. After the tragedies that have befallen Ponykind in general and yourself in particular in the past while, some small levity and celebration will be a great comfort to the masses.

Rest. Mourn for your apprentice. And research as you see fit. When the time comes, I will see to the opening and the accompanying entanglements. It is no bother at all.

It was truly a miracle that the new wing survived the disasters unleashed by the Draconequus at all. It is now a fitting monument to the fortitude and the wisdom of all Ponies in the face of horror and chaos.

By all means, Swirl — rest. I will take care of everything.

I promise.


Starbeam

• • • • •

The private journal of Princess Celestia

I’m worried about Luna.

I feel guilty about writing these thoughts where she won’t see them, but I think telling her would only make things worse. We really made progress in the hunt for the Tree. Gathering the Elements of Harmony and passing their tests helped me understand her a little better.

It wasn’t all good, though, of course. We both saw things nopony ever should.

Discord hurt so many Ponies. I’ll never forget seeing the light just… just flicker out of Clover’s eyes when he snapped his claws, nor hearing Star Swirl cry when she fell. There are so many lost, and so many crippled by those losses. Every day when I raise the Sun, It’s like I’m fighting the gloom inside each and every Pony.

Am I selfish for focusing on my own Sister, when so many others are hurt? We beat Discord. Now the public looks to us to help them heal. They need us now, more than ever.

Is it selfish to be concerned that Luna has changed? Does it make me a bad ruler that my worries about her take up more of my thoughts than the reconstruction efforts?

We almost lost everything. Ponies are dead, and dying, and mourning. The survivors want answers, and I don’t know if I have them.


How can Luna be so happy?

• • • • •

Starbeam of House Galaxy's notes for the library wing opening address

Fillies and gentlecolts, it is with a heavy heart that I stand before you now on this grand occasion. After the tragedies and disasters we have endured, some may find it inappropriate to celebrate.

I must disagree.

Now, more than ever, we must concentrate of what has made our society great. On our most illustrious achievements. On the legacies we leave to generations yet to come. Now, in these sad times, we must cleave to all sources of solace and inspiration.

(Pause for emphasis)

In troubled days, when chaos threatens all we have built, the best among us rise to the occasion and display the virtue, ingenuity, courage, and dedication that are the true strength of Ponykind.

(Approach the archway, pick up scissors)

With that in mind, it is my profound honour to preside over the opening of the newest addition to the largest archive of magical lore in the known world, named for one of the most important figures in the study and practice of magic.

Please join me in celebrating the opening of... the Star Swirl the Bearded Wing!

(Cut ribbon, start round of applause)

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