• Published 17th Oct 2012
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Equestria from Dust - Soundslikeponies

On a desolate plane on a barren world, Celestia awakes for the first time.

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Part 1: Celestia


Equestria from Dust by soundslikeponies

On a desolate plane on a barren world, Celestia awakes for the first time.

Her eyes open to a white sea of cracked sandstone that spans the horizon—a murky gray sky blanketing it. The world falls under dim light that seems to come from everywhere at once. There is nothing around for miles. No life. No movement. Not even a breeze. There is only her, and every last bit of her is as white as the sandstone around her.

Celestia shakily stands on four legs, and looks around with curiosity.

There is so much room, and all of it empty. She takes a step. And her hoof makes a sound.

Ears flinching at the sharp noise, she presses them flat against her skull and looks down at her hooves, white hooves, eyes wide with astonishment.

She takes another anxious step. The noise comes as expected, but it’s no longer startling.

She walks.

Her hoofsteps make rhythmic sound on the white sandstone, a steady clip-clop that breathes life into her actions. She begins to notice the quieter sounds, like the sound of her legs rubbing against her sides, which are as white as her hooves and as white as the sandstone beneath them.

Once in a while, she stops to look over her shoulder at where she came from, but when she stops to look back, it’s impossible to tell she has moved at all. The plane is flat and featureless, the stone hard and trackless.

Nothing happens in the world unless she causes it.

As she walks, her steps become graceful and confident. She has no reason to walk, but she has no reason not to either. Time stretches ceaselessly as she travels, and soon she begins to forget how long she has been walking.

In the middle of a step, a white-hot spark shoots from the tip of her horn.

She stops for the first time in millions of hoofsteps.

The white spark is the most beautiful thing she has ever seen, but it’s only there for a second before it disappears, the plane becoming still and quiet once more in its absence.

She lays down on the sandstone. The sand chafes her coat, and warm stone scratches her underbelly. It is a new sensation, but one not as important as the spark. She puts the feel of the sandstone in the back of her mind and crosses her eyes, attempting to look up at her horn.

How did it happen? The spark was stunning. She wants to see it again, and she regrets not paying closer attention when it happened, the details already becoming a clouded memory.

She needs to make it happen again.

A second white-hot spark shoots from the tip of her horn. She has a startling conclusion: When she wills it, it comes to her.

Celestia closes her eyes and focuses—she focuses on the feeling she had when her horn shot the white spark, and wills it to happen.

She does not open her eyes for some time.

Like the landscape, she remains perfectly tranquil and still. She focuses on the spark until she stops thinking about the horizon, until all other thoughts are gone, and until the very feel of the ground beneath her disappears.

There is yet another new sensation in her eyes. The blackness of her closed eyelids bleeds dark red. The color is everywhere, and it stings her closed eyes.

She opens them and gasps. Her horn is glowing—light, she decides to call it. The pain from looking at it is overwhelming, and it causes her to quickly close her eyes again.

Squinting this time, she opens her eyes and peers at the light from behind the thin veil of her eyelashes. The light changes what things around it are, making colors brighter and sharper—and the light commands attention, its brilliance drawing her focus to it.

She wills it to die down. The light fades from her horn, and Celestia remembers the horizon and the warm sand beneath her belly. She takes a deep breath, and then lets it out; the act is relaxing.

Standing once more on four shaky legs, she spins and looks at the world around her.

It lacks.

Nothing ever moves and nothing ever changes. The faceless world is dark and dead. She glances up at her horn, and she wants to breathe light into it.

Laying down on her belly once more, she closes her eyes.

It will be a very long time until she opens them.

The world, her body, and her thoughts all disappear. Her eyes bleed red from the brightness, though she does not open them. There is only the light. She is in her own world crafting her creation, her love, and it grows under her care.

The light increases and makes her eyelids bleed again, this time from red to white. The color is blinding, and it is everywhere.

She lies under the light for a million hoofsteps.

She can feel the sphere of light, and it is under her will. The light warms her with its soft, intimate glow, her loving child. Her lips spread into a motherly smile.

It is her son. The sun.

It’s alive, and yet it’s not.

She opens her eyes and all she sees is white. The sun paints everything around it so brightly, that the ground beneath it disappears. It looks as though she is standing on the sky.

Her sun is too bright.

She looks at the ground beneath her that she can’t see, then glances back up at the sun, and knows what she must do.

She banishes the sun to the sky—and the sky changes.

It becomes rich, something between the gray it was before, and the white of the sandstone, yet completely different and new. It becomes sky-blue.

For some time she simply looks up at the sky with her mouth hanging slightly open. The color is majestic and all-encompassing. It’s calming and serene. It’s beauty and modesty.

So she adds a bit of it to her mane.

Closing her eyes and knitting her brow in concentration, a soft light emits from her horn. It’s quieter than when she made the sun, its task far simpler. A streak of her hair blushes from pale white to sky-blue, and when the glow from her horn fades, it remains that way.

Celestia allows herself a smile as she looks at the added color in her mane and tail.

Then she notices what has happened to the ground while she has been looking up.

The desolate plane that spans the horizon in every direction were being brought to life by the sun. The sandstone has changed. It has details she has never seen, and something new fills the cracks in the sandstone. It’s dark.

She decides to call it shadows.

She takes a step, but movement out of the corner of her eye makes her stop. Her breath hitches in her throat. She spins wildly around, and sees the same thing that fills the cracks in the sandstone.

She stares at her shadow, and her shadow stares back.

She tilts her head and the shadow tilts its own. Her mouth opens and breaks into a smile full of wonder. Jumping and running, Celestia watches her shadow chase her like an old friend.

She comes to a halt and stares down at it, a huge smile splitting her face. Her mouth settles into a small, comfortable smile, and she looks up at the horizon.

Her and her shadow walk for a long time.

And after a while, things stop moving again.

The sun hangs overhead, always in the same spot. It creates shadows, always in the same spot.

Her mouth hangs open as she realizes that nothing has changed.

The flat sandstone still spreads in every direction, and although its every intricate detail is lit, it still never changes.

There is so much room, and all of it empty. That hasn’t changed.

She looks at the sandstone and looks at the cracks where shadows are cast. She closes her eyes, her horn glows with the light of the sun, and a sound louder than she has ever heard cracks and resonates beneath her.

The sandstone she stands upon rises above the rest. It lifts her towards the blue expanse above. At the sides of where she stands, the sandstone falls off abruptly and jagged cliffs form on the sides of the elevated rock.

She decides to call it a mountain.

She looks out at the horizon. It feels like she can see further than she ever has before. She rushes to the edge of the mountain and looks down. The ground is so far below. She wonders what happens if she fell. She takes a step back from the edge.

And then she leaps.

She experiences a new sensation: the air rushing past her as she falls. It feels cool, like the opposite of the sandstone, but just as comforting in its own way. Her white hair whips in the air rushing by, and she looks back at the cliff face rushing past with frightening speed.

The ground is still far and she still has time to fall. She watches the cliff race by with an infectious and excited smile. She does something that comes naturally to her, that she can’t explain.

She laughs with joy.

She is falling so fast, moving so fast, that she can’t help but love it.

Closing her eyes, her horn glows the same white as the sandstone, her coat, and the sun.

And now her sides glow the same color.

The glow at her sides grows and takes the form of two clean, white wings filled with hundreds of feathers.

Instinct takes over.

She tilts them and pulls up from her free fall. Her wings are magnificent and wide, each twice as long as her body, and she is no longer falling. The air rushes past her in a different direction as she soars away from the cliff face. Her mane trails behind her and the wind tickles her ears.

She is flying.

She decides she likes it very much.

Letting out a joyous holler that brakes the eerie silence of the desolate plane, she plays with her new-found wings by tumbling, dipping, and swirling through the air.

She flies for a long time.

As she flies, she stops to create more mountains. She enjoys stopping atop them, and fairly soon the desolate plane isn’t as much of a plane anymore. Flat areas are broken up by mountain ranges, hills, and cliffs. She still keeps areas flat, as a reminder of how things have been for so long. She experiments by making pillars, valleys, canyons, and by creating trenches that dig deep into the ground, their bottoms hidden by shadow and their walls steep.

The horizon is broken. Razor sharp mountains give detail and feature to the distance, and one direction is no longer indistinguishable from another.

She looks out from the peak of her highest mountain, and knows that all that there is on the planet is because she willed it.

She allows herself a satisfied smile at a job well done.

The world is filled with places now. If she tires of mountains, she can head to the deserts, and if she tires of those, she can head to the valleys.

The world becomes a little less empty.

Only a little less.

Her eyes widen as she realizes she does not know what to do next. She has spent millions of hoofsteps creating the sun, and then millions of wingbeats creating the land. Both have left her spent, and she no longer knows which direction to fly, or even if she should fly at all.

Something falls from her cheek.

Celestia looks down at the stone. A small spot on the stone is off-white, something that she has never seen before. She reaches a hoof up to her cheek, and she feels something new. It feels damp, moist, and cool, like the wind. It clings to her hairs just as it clings to itself.

She decides to call it tears.

Tears come from sadness, she realizes. But the tears themselves make her happy. They are cool, like the wind, but she does not have to fly to feel it.

From the tears, she gets an idea for something new.

Her horn glows intensely with the color of the sun. A noise like wind, only deeper, rises from the ground at the base of the mountain, and the earth rumbles. Everywhere Celestia can see, geysers erupt, fountaining thousands of teardrops high into the air. The drops fall to the ground and make pools that fill the cracks and trenches in the white sandstone. The tears come together to form water, and the water collects in vast quantities to create seas. The sound of rushing water fills the world.

And then Celestia stops.

She stops when she realizes there is more water than there is land, and the geysers trickle to a halt.

The sea stretches past the horizon on one side of her mountain. The broken horizon was flat again, but it was no longer white.

It was sea-green.

Celestia looks at the color with pride. It is the second color she has created.

Her horn glows gently, and a streak of sea-green joins the sky-blue in her mane and tail. Now, half her mane is white, while the other half is colored.

The surface of the sea shakes from its creation, waves bouncing and coalescing with one another. Celestia watches entranced, the sound of waves pushing up the shore, only to retreat, repeat, once more.

The sea slowly calms as the waves lose their vigour. It takes great time, time enough for the water to gouge the sandstone.

Celestia flies to the water’s surface. It’s perfectly still. She peers down into it and there is someone looking at her from beneath the water. She gasps, and plunges a hoof into the water, trying to reach them, but the second her hoof touches the surface, the pony staring at her vanishes in ripples.

Celestia withdraws her hoof, and the pony in the water reforms, holding her hoof in the same position as she does.

Understanding dawns on her. The pony in the water is her shadow, yet unlike her shadow it has color, the streak of sky-blue and sea-green is present in the other pony’s mane. It’s her reflection, she decides. She smiles at it, and it smiles back.

The smile fades from her reflection’s face, and she realizes it has faded from hers too.

Things have become too quiet.

Looking at the sun directly overhead, she misses the dark. She can barely remember the time when it was dark anymore.

She wills the sun to leave. Just for a little while.

Darkness falls across the land, and the colors she created become dim and blurred, but the dark feels relaxing on her eyes. Looking around at the pitch-black landscape, Celestia walks to the water’s edge, its green color has changed to a deep, dark blue that she feels will swallow her if she stares into it too long.

She glances down at her side. Her shadow is gone from the sandstone, and so too is her reflection from the water’s surface. Looking up at the expansive sky, her eyes glisten with sadness.

She is alone.

She cries for the first time since she made the oceans, falling down and burying her muzzle in her hooves. The sandstone chills as she lays there, the sun no longer shining upon it. Her reflections are fake. They don’t move freely, breathe freely, and think freely like her.

Her head snaps up and her tears dry. She remembers the one and only rule of the desolate plane on the barren world.

Nothing happens unless she wills it.

Eyes still brimming with freshly shed tears, she takes a stand and walks away from the shore. She turns her walk into a trot, her trot into a gallop. Spreading her wings, she takes off, flying back to that one mountain, the first one she created.

She flies with urgency in her wings. The ground below passes by in a blur, and later, the ocean does too. She knows the world like the top of her own muzzle. Every crevice, cliff, and plateau is her creation, and she traces them all back to where she made them.

She flies to the top of the mountain to the perfectly flat and round stage at its peak. Landing at its center, she closes her eyes and takes a deep breath to steel herself. A bright ethereal light surrounds her, the power coursing through her filling her with energy and focus.

She snaps her eyes open. They glow like beacons with white, electrified magic. The aura surrounding her crackles with energy, the magic emitting a steadily growing hum as it increases in power. Ground buckles under her forming a crater, which fills with water that rises up from the cracks in the sandstone.

The water rises up to her knees, before cascading down one side of the mountain in a waterfall. The surface of the mountain top spring ripples with magic.

Not once during this does her concentration slip.

White sand floats up from beneath the water, and begins forming four pillars that float on the surface. Growing, the pillars of sand form a set of legs identical to hers. She directs the sand, making it from her memory of her shadow and her reflection. The body is lithe and supple, the tail long and flowing. A pair of wings stretch out far on either side of the body, the detail of each quill crafted with detail befitting a masterpiece.

She makes the face regal, and makes it hold potential for both unabashed enthusiasm, and calm reserve. The reflection of sand’s eyes stay closed as she wills it to be. Its mane flows down the sides of its neck, and a horn pokes out the top of it.

Her reflection is as white as her, and every last bit as white as the sandstone surrounding her.

She decides to color the reflection the shade of darkened ocean. The deep color crawls up the legs, hiding the sand, and turns it into a coat like hers. The mane and tail she decides to make sky-blue, so if the sky ever leaves she’ll have something to remember it by.

Stepping back, she looks at this other pony she has made, with wings and a horn as big as hers, and remains silent. As her magic fades, the other pony floats down into the water, no longer held up by her.

Celestia takes hesitant steps toward her, eyes searching. The other pony is the most strange thing she’s created since she first woke. Its coat glistens, even in the dark. Celestia lifts a hoof and reaches out hesitantly to touch it.

The darker pony’s eyes snap open, and her head jerks to look at Celestia. Jumping back, the dark pony looks around wildly. Celestia sees confusion in her eyes, but she also sees something she recognizes.


Celestia walks very slowly towards her. The darker pony tenses and goes rigid, but does not run.

Celestia continues to walk slowly.

As she nears, she can see the other pony trembling. Celestia stops just in front of her and looks at her with empathy. The darker pony stops trembling and looks at her, wide-eyed and confused. Carefully, Celestia walks up to her and rests her muzzle atop the darker pony’s head beside her horn. The darker pony’s mane is as soft as she imagined. She feels the darker pony tense up again from her touch. Instinctively, Celestia says her first word.


The darker pony moves beneath her muzzle, and then relaxes. A smile spreads across her face, and she repeats the word, “Luna.”