• 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 Hours After Nightmare Night

The diary of Glory of House Galaxy

Gardenia Glow is taking my dictation, Diary, so you must excuse the change in penmareship.

After what transpired today, my eyes are still too teary and dazzled to focus on a page. All I can see are the flickering after-images of what happened. It’s getting better, as is the ringing in my ears. Better than the sorry state of our pathetic plans, anyway.

Diary, I didn’t know!

None of us knew! How could we? We acted based upon what we had seen — the efforts the Princesses had publicly undertaken. From that, I’d guessed Princess Celestia had the magic of perhaps a dozen Unicorns. A match for a Council.

I was such an arrogant, witless foal to think that the stage-play was about me.

I had come to the Sisters’ woodland castle with a cadre of nobles, intent on expressing our lack of confidence in their rule. Instead, we bore witness to the battle.

The way Celestia wielded the Elements of Harmony, the magical scourging she endured from her mad Sister, the way she effortlessly cast aside night and summoned day, and the howl — the howl, Diary. Like the most terrible Demon in Tartarus!

Celestia does not carry the power of a dozen Unicorns. Neigh, not on her weakest day. She has unfathomable, incalculable, terrifying power. Power that struck me half-blind and half-deaf from a quarter-league away. All of the whispers are true. She really is an ageless titan. She truly does have magic greater than any other. At last I see why she didn’t make any real counter-moves to our politicking. We were not opposing players, but mere pieces on the board. Chips of painted wood she could brush aside with a casual sweep of her tail. Our conspiracy to claim her crown hasn’t failed, Diary.

It never began in the first place.

I don’t know what will become of us all. Of me. With Luna gone, Celestia will no doubt take stewardship over both night and day. My Mark’s desire is in the grip of an invincible immortal. My Uncle is nowhere to be found.

Perhaps I will study the heavens? Become an astrologer and oracle like Great Aunt Starflower?

It hardly matters. From this day forth, every House of Unicornkind knows that we sit in the shadow of a giant. Our grandest workings are but tapers before a bonfire.

On the morrow, if I am mended enough, I will speak to Princess Platinum. The word will have spread by then. It stings me deeply to speak these words, but things have to change and we need to accept it. The time of Unicorn rule is passed.

This is the dawning of a new age.

• • • • •

A testament by Brome Twice-Born

I have seen the light.

Through the darkness of my days, through the crucible of suffering, through doubt and shame and terror and grief, I have kept the faith and cleaved to the Old Ways. And now, the Thrice-Blessed Mare has rewarded my piety with revelation.

I reviled the Alicorns because I felt their power and beauty and perfection sought to vainly replicate the divinity of the Mare. No worldly creature could so blasphemously dare aspire to such perfection, I thought. Only now, in the light of revelation, do I understand:

Celestia IS the Thrice-Blessed Mare!

She came before us as a filly full of promise, and She cast aside foalish ways in earning her Mark and then defeating the profane and twisted games of the Demon, Discord.

She grew to be a strong and leaderly mare, and faced the challenges of ruling a nation like a single vast household while doing the labour of many without complaint. As a foal does not question the endless endurance of her mother, I did not question the apparent ease of Her travails.

And now, this sacred day, She knew wisdom and pain as a nag does, proving Herself worthy of the fruit of the sacred tree and seeing one She loved snatched away by the darkness of eternity.

She is the three-as-one, in life and in tribe, young and grown and old, winged and horned and puissant. Perfect and eternal.

I knew Her, then, when She purged the Dark Sister and became pure. I knew Her, when She shrieked Her grief to the brightening skies. That sound shook me to my very soul. It was the same wail I felt my heart issue when I saw what the Demon had made me do to my precious Sweetgrass. I found meaning in my agony in that moment, for it showed me that Celestia felt as deeply for Luna as I felt for my foal, yet She sacrificed Her Sister to protect us all. I knew Celestia then, and I loved Her, as I know and love the Mare.

Celestia has walked the Threefold Path in the ancient way. She has banished all darkness and impurity from Her soul with the sacrifice of Her own kin. She is a mother to all three tribes, heir to our strength and Pegasus swiftness and Unicorn magic. She is the Thrice-Blessed Mare made flesh.

I will spend the rest of my days preaching this revelation. I will hold sacred the longest night of the harvest season and the brightest day of high summer, to honour the immortal Princess. I will gather and teach my herd and cast them to the winds like maple seeds, to spread the gospel further. To the farthest reaches of Equestria and beyond, we will spread the faith. From the highest clouds to the lowest valley, She will be praised.

In Celestia’s name, so mote it be.

• • • • •

Praetor Northwind’s memoirs

Life is like a storm, my mother used to say. Sometimes you push with all your might, but the clouds don’t have a drop of rain to give. And sometimes you give a gentle flick of your wing, and there’s a downpour. You can never truly be sure, even of the most seemingly obvious things.

A few years ago I’d felt the weight of my winters like a coat of Earth Pony barding. I had felt like my good years were behind me, my battles fought, my legacy complete.

And yet, a few wing-flicks later, here I hover, and everything is different. Everything.

I have a good mare in my life, wingless though she be. I have hope for what lies ahead. And my fear — my accursed, shameful fear — is gone.

Our nation is secure, I know that now. It always was. We have lost a Princess to the thunder of civil war, and the loss of such a mighty creature is regrettable. But in that same conflict Celestia proved herself willing to do what must be done, and able to bring forth the power to do so.

She has defeated her own kind to safeguard the Three Tribes. Both Princesses faced the Demon Discord, but in a world gone mad it was hard to understand their prowess and courage. This was different. Celestia’s battle cry shattered glass for half a mile and shook rain from watchers’ clouds high above. She has been deemed worthy by an ancient weapon of awesome power. For the first time, I am willing to bow my head to a horned ruler. She is not like the soft King and Queen of the Unicorns. Everypony who bore witness could see it. She is like us.

She is blooded. She is mighty. She is glorious.

She is our Princess.