• Published 6th Jul 2012
  • 2,966 Views, 46 Comments

Nightmare Year - Little_Draco

The year where lives are changed, friendships are tested, love is lost, and when the darkness rises

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Chapter 4: A history of Light in the Dark

“The Nightlands?” asked Luna. She stood bewildered if not surprised at what Star Shield had said or… in this case… asked.

“Yes my Princess. The Nightlands, the home of the entire Night Children race, ask that you come to rule us once again.”

Luna was surprised, not just by what he had asked but by why they are asking. A thousand years ago, the Night Children had scattered to the winds when she became Nightmare Moon. Celestia had banished them from Equestria after siding with Nightmare Moon. With Nightmare Moon imprisoned in the moon, the 'Children' forced out of Equestria, moved throughout the world.

She knew of that... but... did they want her back or Nightmare Moon?

“I... am sorry to seem so startled... but I just don't know what to say.” She paused before going on. “Shouldn't the Night Children hate me for getting them banished from Equestria?”

Ivory Scrolls, the blind white mare, arose from her seat, walked towards her mate and sat by him. Her eyes, as white as snow, somehow remained on Luna.

“Princess,” she spoke ever so softly, like a mother's lullaby to her foal. “Despite what has happened to us over a thousand years ago, it was the Night Children s' choice for joining you. Despite them being out-numbered and out-classed, they stood by their choices to side with you.

“Our ancestors joined you because they wanted to.” spoke her husband, Grey Star. He remained where he was at the desk. He brought up a saddlebag from under the table. From the bag, he pulled out a book.

“The Night Children had been exiled from Equestria but that didn't mean we of today or before have hated you, Princess Luna. Even now, with your return two years ago, we have hoped that you would come to rule the Night Children.”

Luna stared at them, not really sure what to do with this information.

Star Shield saw her inner turmoil and spoke again, this time he wanted her to have something to think on.

“When our ancestors finally found a place outside of Equestrian jurisdictions, which you know of lies west of Zebrica, they decided to help spread their beliefs on you and though many opposed, we had many that supported you. Earth ponies as well as pegasi and unicorn alike joined us, even some neighboring Zebras and other species.

Around 200 years prior to our arrival to the new lands, the Night Children had grown steadily, both population and influences. A lot zebra tribes came to the Night Children s' homelands and joined our culture. Gryphons also joined or at least helped us throughout the years.

“Along with that,” continued Ivory Scrolls. “Our technology and magic has advanced faster than Equestrians. We developed night lights, night vision lenses, and even a few electronic devices. With magic, we were able to make everypony or anybody who joined, able to see at nighttime, have wings better suited for night flights and shadow casting as well. ”

“And what of this technology,” finally spoke Luna. “Have you given or shared with Equestria?”

An uncomfortable silence fell upon them. Luna looked at them confusedly as to it. It was Aurora Green who spoke out.

“Um... sorry to seem rude, Princess Luna, but we Night Children haven't given or shared our technology with Equestria. The few technologies that are here is because of us. During the years, we did share our technologies with the Zebras, Gryphons, and so on but we never marketed to Equestria.”

“Uh... yes, that is quite correct, Princess.” Spoke Star Shield, who was rubbing his neck. “We had a few however stolen within the last century. Many included the Electric Light Bulbs, Electronic Music players, and concepts on how to turn Lunar light to energy. Though from what we have gathered, the stolen plans were altered and are now used as Solar Power.”

Luna was a bit angry that Equestrians had stolen from her kin.

“I am... sorry to hear that, however, it does bring out question on why you needed light if you can see in the day or night.” She added. “Though I can see that with what we have here in Equestria are to power machines, and so on.”

“The lights weren't for us, Princess.” Grey Star spoke. With the book he brought out, he began flipping pages, looking for something. “Some of the ponies joined still preferred to work in the day times. About 85% of the Night Children are nocturnal, so we do our work during the day. However the few that stay with the day, either work in dark areas like caves or come home late at night so they need to see.

Since we have a lot of our work or technology in the dark, the majority of the workforce is handled already. The day jobs require a little bit less work, however, it doesn’t mean they don't have plenty to do.”

“A lot of technology had grown, thanks to strong support from the Gryphon Empire.” Added Star Shield.

“I thought that the Gryphons didn't trust or even cared for the Children back then.” Commented Luna. “When I was around, they hated Equestrian's and didn't want to be evolved with us. Same with the Zebricans. Tell me, what changed that?”

“We had a rough start,” Continued Star Shield, “with Jurisdictions not reaching that far in the world, the Gryphons had begun capturing Zebricans and selling them as slaves.”

Luna winced and lowered her head, shaking it slightly.

“Yes... I err... we were aware of it at the time. Yet we couldn't stop the gryphons since it was outside of our rule.”

Star Shield nodded.

“Despite that, we saw that many of them were either taken by force or killed off. Since the gryphons captured so many, they moved them around by ship or by carts. Since the Zebras were our neighbors as well as helping us a few times with medicines and remedies, we began freeing many of the slaves. We aided the escapes of many slaves under the night. Though the gryphons eyes adjusted well enough into the dark, we still managed to free many zebras. We couldn’t stop the entire slave market, we did the best we could.”
He paused before rubbing his chin. “Though we never kept tabs on Equestria, we were aware that many were sold here as well.”

Luna gave a small nod. Oh yes... slavery was here in Equestria. Though few were in public, most of it remained under the table, so to speak. In the books Luna has read, one being Equestria history, she had learned that even though slavery was illegal, many ponies bought and sold slaves.

Celestia tried to intervene with them, making it slavery was illegal in here. However, for most ponies, Celestia’s law meant little to them and they kept their slaves hidden from the law.

It wasn't till prior two hundred years since Luna's return, that Celestia gave freedom to Zebras all over, including rights. Though this nearly caused Equestria to go into frenzy with half supporting and the other half opposing, Celestia made a law those any and all slave owners or those who harm Zebras, are to be treated as criminals and sentenced to jail.

It took a few decades but slowly Zebras became part of the public once more. With the zebras free, many returned home while a few stayed in Equestria and became citizens.

When the Gryphons heard news of slavery banned, the King also renounced the use of slaves, despite their potential use. Despite that, few gryphons actually wanted to make up for their sins and began working with the Night Children to help the, patch up things with the Zebras. Mostly because the zebras and their shamans had many remedies and potions that were crucial for gryphons.

“After a century,” Star Shield. “the alliance between us, the gryphons and zebras were maintained. Their technology grew with our alliance and with that, we discovered electricity that could be harassed, alloys that are stronger than steel as well as food that can make a pony or zebra or gryphon, stronger and healthier.”

Hearing this made Luna think about how Equestria has evolved on its on. Steam engines could take ponies from one side of Equestria to another. Magic allowed ponies ill or injured to be healed in a matter of hours, not weeks or more. Ponies have also become more accepting of other races... zebras, gryphons, mules and even dragons! Dragons like the one Twilight Sparkle cares for.

“We are aware of Electricity here in Equestria.” She paused. “Do you help produce it with Equestria companies?

Star Shield seemed hesitant to answer.

“We... have few things here in Equestria that we share. Prior to your release a few years ago, Celestia had made a bargain with the Night Children in helping with the advancements in technology. We were... a bit reluctant to share, despite the near millennium of isolation from them; she wanted us to forget the past and try to work for the future.”

Interesting, she heard Nightmare Moon, returning after some time. 'She bargained with Night Children before our release. It seems a bit of a coincidence that she would want to gain allies before our release but not after our imprisonment.'

Luna would have told her to shut up but she did have a point. Why would Celestia try to make years after almost a thousand years later, not before. And just as curious, that they only call her Celestia rather than Princess.

“And what did she offer in return?” she asked. Some thing, she didn't have time to read while in her return. A few of those might have been negotiations with the Night Children.

“She offered us a place here among Equestrians and well as trade overseas and air. Some new magic spells, access to archives in the library and marketed goods.”

Luna nodded. “Did you make note of the stolen plans or ideas from you?”

“We did, but the nobles made a case saying that we had no proof that is was stolen or that we even invented them ourselves. Celestia sided with them.” His last words were with disdain and the others nodded to his claim.

'Of course she would side with her own nobles. Celestia is blinded by them, allowing them to gain power and influence over her.'

Luna mentally growled. 'I am pretty sure that Tia will compensate for it.'

'Good Luck with that, little moon.'

“Don't worry, Star Shield. I am pretty sure that either Celestia or I will help make up for your loses. Maybe give you more magic spells or even more goods.'

Star Shield smiled. “Your grace is ever thankful Princess Luna.” He bowed. “When we return home, we will let them know that you truly are the best of us all.”

Luna couldn't help but blush at his statement and swelled a bit in pride.

'That is how it should be,' spoke Nightmare Moon. 'Letting them know that you care for them and they are to be rewarded for their loyalty.'
Despite that, Luna remained happy.

Over the next hour, Luna and her 'children', had spent talking with one another over the last thousand years, mostly about their changes. A lot of it had been for the best, seeing as how they remained closed off from Equestria. With the population of a mere hundreds the time of her exile, to having a whole continent, half the size of Equestria, filled with ponies, gryphons and zebras of the night.

The population count was at a close 10 million. It didn't seem like much but that was with all the deserts, mountains and so on, uninhabited. Same with Equestria.

Equestria, counting only ponies, had a population of 48.2 million. With added races such as gryphons, mules, cows and other sentient creatures, it barely made the 53 million. Much of the land was still untamed territory or inhabited because of places like the Everfree, Ghastly Gourge or other reasons.

From population to advancements in magic, Luna had noted that despite several set backs, the Night Children managed to change ponies into night time dwellers. In her past, Luna had her own personal guards she helped create. Since she was the one who always lead the fights rather than her sister, Luna choose the Pegasi as her first choice as her own guards.
The pegasi have often been the warriors of the ponies since ancient times, so it only made sense that she altered them first to be the Night guards. When they conflicted against one another, Luna had roughly more pegasi Night guards than anything else; though she did have a hoof full of unicorns and earth ponies.

With the pegasi, came the famous bat wings and fangs, though they came from the ‘Fruit Bats’. Everypony though they were the ‘hominus nocturna’ or ‘Vamponies’. Truth was, they were sort of the vamponies but different than what many expected them to be. They saw in the night, flew almost silently and had their eyes did carry that eerie yellow glow that gave many, chills down their spines.

The unicorns were more or less the same. Some, as she had been told, where either fully changed or not. The full changes were darkened horn colors, change in magic colors, night vision and dark magic.
Luna had casted her spell to her first two pegasi night guards, then later on, unicorns. Since Luna used a form of dark magic, (later on called ‘Lunar Magic’), it heavily weighed on a standard unicorn to cast it upon to others. However, unlike her original spell, the unicorns improvised it so it was less of her original spell and something less taxing.
The spell over the years, changed and became uttered so it was easier to cast and taught through schools. It also was a benefit from the spell, that if two parents were casted with the spell, than their children would inherit the spell, thereby becoming night ponies.
In extremely rare cases it wouldn’t work. Ivory Scrolls is one of them. In fact, from what she has told Luna, her magic is completely opposite of any Lunar magic. Her magic is white but some properties of Lunar magic remained. For one thing, she may not be able to see during the day but during the night time, her eyes worked.
She couldn’t see anything right now because of the lit room but once in darkness, she could see clearly. Though it helped that her magic let her use a type of echo to look around in a lit environment.
Yet that wasn’t the most intriguing thing about her. The others may have gotten used to her but Luna’s eyes tended to wonder to her and back. Either way, she couldn’t tell if they were looking directly at her or just staring blankly at space.

“… and we had actually placed a number of our own here in Equestria to keep tabs.” Finished Star Shield.
Luna blinked and looked at him.
“Agents? Here in Equestria?” The statement had surprised her a bit.
He nodded.
“We did so to keep tabs on Celestia or others parts to see if they planned anything for us. Mostly, we just had them there to warn us of any wars, invasions and so on.”
Luna thought about it. Celestia hasn’t really gone to war in the last four centuries and even then they were mild compared to when she and her sister fought almost 1200 year prior. Back then, it was between the gryphons, dragons, elk or even against Discord and the Lord of Tartarus himself. Never in which they had invaded.

Then again… Celestia had changed over the thousand years. She is no longer the mare who would stay up at night, expecting an enemy to attack or try to kill one of her ponies. In fact, she seemed more at peace, knowing that her ponies can either take care of themselves or that the Elements of Harmony could be used again.

“Hmm.” She rubbed her hoof over her head. “How many agents… currently reside here in Equestria?”

“Well, we only had them here within that last 20 to 30 years. Some have already started families here to blend in. I am informed that there are at least six agents here in Canterlot and more than 200 across Equestria and further.”
Luna blinked and focused on him.
“Here? So close?”
He gave a small nod.
“I know that it is troubling to hear, princess but we had to have them close to Celestia but as I said before, we want to be prepared incase of anything.
Her eyes narrowed a bit; not out of anger but out of trying to read him. Star Shield seemed to have more information.
“How close?” she dared ask.

He didn’t speak but turned his head to Grey Star, who had already pulled out some more files. Laying them out on the table, several files were shown of ponies out in the open. Luna approached the table and looked at the files.
“Some of our agents just blended in like any other normal agent.” Grey Star explained. He showed to pictures of a male and female unicorn. Both seem familiar to Luna. The male was a light blue with a dark navy blue mane and tail. His cutie mark was of a small crescent moon. The female was a light grey with purple and white mane and three stars Cutie mark.
“Twilight Velvet and Night Light are current residences in Canterlot.” Luna knew that those names from somewhere. She was biting her tongue just trying to remember who exactly they were. Twilight Velvet could be the mother of Twilight Sparkle but she was sure that there were a lot of Twilights in Equestria. Still... it couldn't hurt to know if they had any relations.
“Ms. Velvet is an author and works at the Canterlot library while her husband Nightlight works as a Night guard to the library.” Grey Star chuckled. “Never to far from each other, they are. After they settled in the first 5 years, they sent word that they got a position here and managed to have a little family of their own.”
Star Shield “They may have settled down but their work is unparalleled to other agents. They helped saved us not only for surprise invasions or plans from Equestria but also from other nations.”

Luna gave a small smile.

“Well… at least they did what they thought was best. Though I wonder if the children are aware of their parents activities.”
Grey Star shook his head.
“In any case that they were caught or found out, they removed themselves from their children and their missions.”
“Clever though sad.”
“Indeed.” He then moved the photos away. Somehow… Luna knew that they would pop back eventually. Her mind then focused on the other two agents and they were a bit shocking to see.
“Next we have…”
“Fleur De Lee? Mr. Fancy Pants?”
Grey Star nodded with a smile.

“Oh yes, the most perfect disguise is to be right in front of the views of many. The one of the most popular and stunning models in Equestria with one of the most richest stallions around.” He gave his own smirk. “Never saw that one coming, did you Princess?”
Her mouth was still open, or more like shocked open. Ivory came to her husband.
“Don’t tease the Princess, love.” She said in her oh so elegant voice, though she couldn’t hold back a smile herself.
Luna finally blinked and shocked her head.
“Well… I can most certainly say that I am surprised that they are… Night Children.”

Ivory gave a small giggle that sounded so childlike and yet so sweet and kind. “It’s fine princess. Believe it or not, they were the first to volunteer. Fancy Pants wanted to come because he felt like he had no real business in the Night Lands. So he came over here and tried to make something of himself here. And well you know the rest. As for Fleur De Lee, she honestly just wanted to be an agent. But after a year when we sent her, she became a model and well, with Fancy being so rich and Fleur modeling, it was bound to happen that they would cross each other.”
Luna smiled and looked at another photo, this time of the two at their wedding.
“So I am guessing that they are part of the agents that respond to you by… invasion of models or nobles?”
Grey Star gave a small nod.
“They respond to us if the nobles planned to do anything behind the back of Celestia, deal with illegal ties with other nations or parties or whether plotting against Celestia or us.”
This caused Luna to frown a bit.
“Her? Why against her? They should not have any grudge against Celestia?” She then paused. They all looked at her with uneasy eyes. “Do they?”

Star Shield spoke up, clearing his throat.
“I am sorry Princess but we figured that despite what Celestia had done to us, we would keep an eye out for her as well. What is to say that when you returned, they would assume you tried to take over her role, or get rid of Celestia by blaming you and the nobles would gain power?”

Luna now was truly worried. There were some ponies that really wanted to get rid of Celestia? For power?
“Worry not Princess!” Quickly added Star Shield. “None of the nobles, at least the high ups, want to or even plan to remove Celestia yet. Other than that awful unicorn Blueblood, who thinks he owns everything, we have no plans against the crown. ” Her frown had gone and she relaxed a bit, for only a little. “We just wanted to be safe.”
“Well… Star Shield, I can’t say that I am horrified to know that Blueblood or there are those out there who want to harm my sister or remove her but… I am glad to know that you are looking out for her.”
Star Shield nodded.
“Of course Princess. Now… we have two more agents, though they have gone their own ways. One of which… has difficulty dealing with her own limited abilities and ego. And the other one came because… well she knew that they stole her technology.”
“Hmm… Ego and limited abilities?” spoke Luna. “Sounds like one of my sister’s student’s friendship report.” She paused. “Who is she?”
“Beatrix Phantasm Lulamoon… or the way she says it to everypony else, The great and powerful Trixie.” Grey Star did a dramatic readout for the name.
Luna couldn’t help but giggle.
“Aww yes. I am aware of Ms. Trixie and her ego. I am also aware that her ‘ego’ lead to some trouble in Ponyville.”

Grey Star gave a disappointed look and the other gave either a small mischievous smile or frown.
"Yes, well dispute her 'incident,' she remained as an agent and continues to provide Intel on us. The last thing she reported was a powerful Unicorn in Ponyville. Supposedly, she managed to lift a Ursa Minor back to its cave."
Luna was about to comment, but she didn't want to get Twilight noticed anymore than she already is.

Continuing on, he then gave a final photo of a white unicorn mare with blue ecstatic hair.
“And lastly we have Vinyl Scratch also known as…” He paused looking up her file. “Uh… DJ Pony? Or is it DJ Pon 3?” The others gave confused looks. He shrugged. “Anyways, she is upset that Equestrians managed to get hold of some of her technology and decided to become an agent to get her stuff back. However, she was also in charge of letting us know if any new technology was created by Equestrians or stolen for them. After she found it, she stayed here in Equestria and pursued a career in music.”

He looked up and down the files once before looking at her.
“Other than the technology we have already told that has been stolen, there have been no other reports. And that my princesses are the agents here in Canterlot.”

Luna gave a small nod.
“Well I am glad you have informed me of your agents, but I hope that with me back in power, that they no longer need to gather information from us. Anything that happens in Canterlot, I will be eyes and ears for the Night Children.”
Star Shield was the one to speak out this time, in a bit of a rush.
“We are aware that you are back in control, Princess Luna, but… as we have told you, that there could be potential acts towards you or your sister. Shouldn’t we keep the agents going?”
Luna looked at them. Each of them had their own worries and even Ivory, despite her colorless eyes, could still show such emotion.
Luna sighed.
“Would you all feel safer knowing that they were around?”
“Very much so, Princess.” Answered Star Shield. The others nodded in agreement.
“Very well, the agents can stay but I at least expect that if anything, I mean anything does come up, I am to be notified immediately.”
“Of course Princess.”
Luna nodded and looked out to the window. Dawn was approaching and Luna began lowering the moon.
“It seems we have discussed all that we have for tonight. Tomorrow though, we will continue, but for now, we shall all retire. I will have my guards show you to the guest rooms.”
“Thank you princess.” Star Shield bowed. The other did as well. Her guards than came and took her guest to their rooms. Before they left, Ivory Scrolls turned to her.
“Pleasant dreams, Princess.”
Luna gave a smile, not sure if she could see it.
“And to you, Ivory Scroll.”
Ivory gave another bow and left. Luna was then left alone.

‘So little moon,' spoke Nightmare Moon. ‘What do you think of your… NightChildren after a thousand years? Hmm?”
Luna sighed and closed her eyes.
The darkness brought in a misty version of Nightmare Moon.
“What of them?” Her voice low. “They have done without me for a thousand years. They have… survived, expanded and even got back into Equestria without me.” Dropping her head, she didn’t look back at Nightmare.
Nightmare however, thought otherwise. 'Yes, Little Moon, they have gone by without us for a millennium but it still doesn’t mean that they no longer need us.'

Luna looked up at her.
Nightmare, still a bit misty, managed to give a smirk.
'Oh, Little Moon, let us not forget. The eclipse is still coming. Your powers will increase twice fold. You could use that to help your NightChildren even more.'
Luna blinked and a small frown came across her.
“I won’t use its power if it means many other will suffer for it.”

'Like we suffered?' It wasn’t a snarl like before. Instead it was more of a statement.
‘Little Moon, you must realize that even if you don’t use the Eclipses’ power, I will come out and use it myself. I care little for those who don’t benefit from it, just those who embrace.
We suffered a thousand years of silence, isolation and misery on our moon. We wouldn’t wish of that to any of our enemies, even Discord.' She paused. 'Well, maybe him, but that is not the point. We want retribution for our elongated imprisonment. Nothing more.'

Luna remained silent.
Nightmare stared back before continuing.
‘Celestia has had her rule for a millennium. I believe that it is our time to rule for a millennium.'
“If we rule,” retorted Luna loudly, “Millions would still suffer. Ponies, gryphons, dragons… many others will die without the sun. The chaos would re-release Discord and EQUESTRIA WILL FALL!”

Now it was Nightmare’s turn to remain silent. So Luna continued.

'I don’t care if I have to make Celestia use the Elements on us to send us back to the Moon! I won’t allow you to harm others!'

Nightmare remained stoic and calm; her pose no longer intimidating. With a small snort and a grin, she spoke. 'Fine… Little moon, have it your way. But understand this, the more you keep fighting me, the stronger I will get. Your hatred, anger, fear make me stronger. Not even Celestia nor your little love, Twilight, will stop me.' Her form began disappearing. 'You have a until the week’s end to change your mind before I decide to make personal visits to Twilight in her sleep.'
Nightmare’s mist blew at her and Luna’s world was blasted with light.
She then found herself back in the meeting room. The moon was still lowered. Already she can feel her sister’s magic on the sun to rise. Quickly using her magic, she called her moon down and the night to disappear.
The sun rose and Luna felt the weariness of the night come to her. With an ever saddened expression, she turned in for the day to try and sleep.

Author's Note:

Thanks to CyberSamurai for all the help in editing. Have quiet a long ways to go so it is still coming!

Oh and also, its the end of Season 4. What a great episode! Great way to end it and hope that we continue to watch this wonderful show over and over again.

Comments ( 14 )

4387910 shell be vital to the story later

4517042 im having trouble with finding work and my stories but ill try:pinkiesad2:

However, this leades to her falling in love with her sister's student.


I like the story hope to read more soon

The amount of mistakes in general, make this difficult to read at best. I'd suggest going back and making a few corrections.

Is this ever going to be continued?

4519603 so is this story dead...or what?

6010941 then maybe it would be a good idea to put the story as "hiatus" instead of incomplete

6011008 I have a chapter coming up soon.

6011913 hows the chapter coming?

6011913 any luck with the chapter?

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