• Published 4th Apr 2017
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Their Very Own Suns - Blank Page

Desperate to overthrow Nightmare Moon, Twilight Sparkle searches through the ruins of Canterlot in hopes of finding a spell to bring the rightful princess back to power. Although this fabled "Warrior of Sunlight" is not what she expected.

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Chapter 01 - Moonlit Miracles

The Mare in the Moon watched over Equestria in her unwavering throne. In the land where the sun never rises, her eye illuminated the ruins of Canterlot just enough for a lone unicorn to navigate through the once grand capitol of Equestria. Most of the buildings had been reduced to nothing more than rubble, one of the first acts of Nightmare Moon after she overthrew her sister. It stood as a testament of the past, she decreed, one that she would not allow. Although, rumors said it was destroyed just to spite the former princess.

Nopony was allowed into the ruins. Twilight Sparkle knew that full well, but the possibility of being locked in a dungeon for the rest of her life did not deter her. This was once her home. This was once many ponies’ home. They were all evacuated so quickly; many of them left behind old trinkets and heirlooms. She simply wanted a chance to salvage whatever was left from her home. At least, that was her alibi. It would be harder to believe once she was inside Canterlot Castle.

Or what’s left of it, she thought darkly.

As she carefully trotted down the remains of Celestial Avenue, Twilight couldn’t help but feel the Mare in the Moon’s never closing eye boring into her back like a disapproving mother. Beads of sweat crawled down her brow, and she paused under the shelter of what was once a popular cafe. She reached out with her magic and summoned a book from her saddlebags.

She had studied it dozens of times over the years; one passage in particular, the myth of the Mare in the Moon. Although it was now clear to all of Equestria that it was no longer a mere myth. There were few original copies left. Most books today spread the revised version, edited by Her Majesty Nightmare Moon herself. Old texts hinted towards a powerful magic once used to defeat the Princess of the Night and imprison her in the moon in the first place.

Rumors whispered that some wings of the royal Canterlot archive were still mostly intact, and that the powerful magic could still be found underneath all the rubble. If she could find it, Twilight was sure she could use it to restore Equestria to its rightful state, with the Princess of the Sun back on her throne. She jumped as part of the overhang she was taking refuge under collapsed, revealing the Mare in the Moon, and Twilight winced as she glared down upon her. Or maybe she could pass the spell on to somepony more capable, she thought to herself.

Twilight peeked out of the cafe and studied the stars. They were slowly fading from the east; clouds were forming and heading this way. She couldn’t tell if there would be a storm, but either way it would only make it harder to see once the overcast covered the moon. She needed to move.

Stowing the book back in its rightful place, she broke into a gallop down the street. The castle wasn’t far away, only a few more streets before she found the grand entrance.

She had always dreamed of entering the castle ever since she was a filly. Twilight adored the princess. She was the reason she threw herself into studying magic in the first place. After failing the entrance exam to the princess’ school, though, she realized that her dreams were meant only to be that. And now, as she stood at its entrance, its doors shattered on their hinges and broken statues littering the lawn, she felt like this couldn’t be anything short of a dream.

She hesitated halfway up the marble stairs. Even now with the castle in ruins and Mare in the Moon staring down upon her, she still didn’t feel worthy to enter. With a sigh of defeat, she reached out and summoned an old tourist map from a time that felt like ages ago. There was a public entrance to the archives not far from here. If she was lucky, it was still intact.

Twilight supposed she was lucky, if only to an extent. The once-beautiful garden surrounding the archive had been torched. Remnants of bushes and trees reached into the night sky as if in desperation. Statues of ponies stood disfigured with faces or hooves missing. The main entrance to the public archive had collapsed. Starswirl the Bearded’s wing was all but decimated, the sole tower it boasted torn asunder. A glint of hope sparked in Twilight’s eyes as she noticed that the iron gate that barred if from public access had been torn away. If ever there was a place to look for powerful spells, Twilight knew that was the place to start.

Her hopes quickly faded as she stepped hoof into the wing. She completely forgot to take inclement weather into consideration. With the bulk of the tower gone and five years of changing seasons, the bottom and only floor had nearly become a swamp. The stench of mildew clung to the air, threatening to suffocate her the moment she entered. A thin layer of water coated the floor, announcing Twilight’s presence to anypony listening with each step. And the books…

“Oh, no,” Twilight breathed. She raced between the rows upon rows of bookshelves, ripping away scrolls and books alike and holding them to the moonlight. “Oh no, oh no, oh no,” she panicked. Ruined. All of them. Ruined. Many of them were charred, likely form the same fire that claimed the garden. Scrolls were torn beneath the weight of debris. Nearly everything had some form of water damage, making whatever pages she could dissect from the books illegible.

“No, no, no no no… No!” She threw one last book away, flinching at the splash it created as it landed. She scanned the shelves for any sign of hope. “All these books, all this knowledge,” she said to herself in disbelief. “All of the most powerful spells in Equestrian history. Gone. How could anypony let this happen? What sort of monster would allow this?”

A roll of thunder cut her off. She looked up in time to find the Mare in the Moon give her one last sorrowful gaze before hiding away behind incoming storm clouds. The archive was blanketed in a thick darkness. Twilight fished a flashlight out of her saddlebags. A small, cloth hoof clung to it as it departed before hanging loosely outside, and Twilight embarrassedly stuffed it back inside.

With a soft click, the flashlight came to life, illuminating the world before her. She wouldn’t have much time before the storm hit, and there was no telling how heavy it would be. Twilight sighed in defeat. She would have to find shelter soon and start again when it passed. She cast the light over the rows of ruined books, trying to imagine how beautiful it must have looked years ago, and a glint caught her eye.

She hesitated, waving the flashlight back and forth over a large pile of rubble. There was definitely something buried beneath, reflecting the light from deep within. She cautiously stalked closer.

It appeared as if part of the tower had collapsed inward, crushing some of the bookshelves. Twilight’s heart sank. There was no use hoping she would find anything useful beneath the shattered wall, but something about the golden light drew her in.

Twilight set the flashlight down on a nearby table, careful to line it up just right with the hole in the rubble. She noticed how exact the light had to be. Any further to the left or right, and whatever was reflecting it wouldn’t have been noticeable.

She closed her eyes, focused on the first boulder, and reached out with her magic. Another roll of thunder threatened to break her concentration, but she managed to carefully lift it out of the way. The faint sound of rain filled the room before the first drops hit. Twilight worked diligently nonetheless. After a few minutes of digging, she had found her prize.

Equestrian Myths and Mysteries?” Twilight read aloud. It sounded like a bunch of mumbo-jumbo to her, but nevertheless, she came this far. Much to her surprise, and her excitement, the book was mostly whole! After moving underneath what was left of the roof for cover from the rain, she opened the cover and poured into its contents.

It was amazing. It had been so long since Twilight had a new book in her hooves. It was packed to the brim with legends and myths, everything from artifacts to magical locations to legends of ponies of old. She paused at a familiar sight.

Mare in the Moon: Myth from olden pony times. A powerful pony who wanted to rule Equestria, defeated by the Elements of Harmony and imprisoned in the moon. Legend has it that on the longest day of the thousandth year, the Stars will aid in her escape, and She will bring about Nighttime Eternal.

“If only she could have stayed a myth,” Twilight sighed. She glanced down and found what had reflected her light.

It was the most unique bookmark she had ever seen, to say in the least. A long, white stone swung lazily like a pendulum. A single, golden string wrapped around it, tethering it to the book. Curious, she turned to the page last marked.

Twilight hadn’t seen anything like it before. It stood on two legs and was clad in armor, making it impossible to tell what species it might have been. A white tunic was draped over its torso. With its two arms, it boasted a sword and a spectacular shield decorated with a brilliant sun. Most peculiar of all was its name. Or, she could only assume that was its name. It was written in a script that she had never seen before, and it glowed a faint gold, almost as if it was alive. Curious for answers, she looked down at the text beneath the figure.

Warrior of Sunlight: Foal’s Fable from olden pony times. A powerful ally summoned by the Princess in her time of need. Little is known of this Warrior, although Its power is said to be rivaled by few. According to legend, the Warrior will answer the summons of anypony that calls upon Its written name for help.

Twilight read the text over and over, unsure of what to think. This “Warrior of Sunlight” sounded so strange, so… impossible. But she thought back to the text of the Mare in the Moon. Everypony believed it was just an old pony’s tale, and just as the text said, she returned with eternal night. If Nightmare Moon wasn't just a myth in this book as everypony, perhaps it wasn’t too farfetched to believe this “Warrior” wasn’t simply a foal’s fable after all.

“… will answer the summons of anypony that calls upon its written name…” Twilight mused. She didn’t know much about summoning rituals, only that it usually required a ritual and usually fed off dark magic. It didn’t deter her, though. Surely this “Warrior of Sunlight” would be able to overthrow the wicked tyrant and restore the true Princess of Equestria to her rightful throne.

She realized that she didn’t pack any quills, or ink for that matter. How would she be able to summon the warrior without being able to write its name? Her eyes fell upon the bookmark, and she examined it closely. It was a soapstone, she quickly noticed. One end of it was rugged, as if it had been used for carving, and an idea sparked in her mind. Twilight simply hoped that the warrior wouldn’t mind its name being carved in rock.

Wasting no more time, she levitated a stone chunk out of the tower debris towards her and began carving. She studied the warrior’s name closely, not wanting to create any error in duplicating it. She stood back to admire her handiwork after finishing the last symbol. It was a perfect copy. All she needed now was a way to activate it.

As if on cue, the rune ignited in a golden aura. Twilight stood mesmerized by it. The brilliant aura danced as if it was alive and shined so brightly. It looked so warm and inviting, as if the sun itself was peeking through the symbols. Cautiously, she raised a hoof to stroke it. The rune flared brightly, and Twilight flinched back from the blinding light.

When she opened her eyes, she noticed the rune had disappeared entirely.

“Wh-What?” Twilight asked, dumbfounded. There was no sign that she had even carved into the stone to begin with. What went wrong? Did she mess up the ritual by touching the rune?

She was at a loss. The book didn't go into detail about the summoning ritual. She could be trying to summon the warrior for months and get nowhere. With a defeated sigh, Twilight hung her head low. Maybe this was her destiny after all, chasing false hope.

Still, this book could be valuable to her. It recalled Nightmare Moon’s defeat and banishment, albeit vaguely. Right now, she needed to keep it safe. Twilight stowed it away in her saddlebag to keep it from the rain. The next order of business was to find some shelter; the collapsed wing of an archive didn’t exactly spell “safe” during a thunderstorm. She gathered her flashlight and was preparing to leave when an odd ringing filled the air.

A brilliant light erupted from the stone where she carved the rune. In panic, Twilight scampered deeper in the shadows behind one of the few bookshelves still standing. A figure rose out of the stone, its arms outstretched above its head. Its body was engulfed in golden light.

As the lights faded, the figure lowered its arms and observed its surroundings curiously. It was bipedal and clad in iron armor, making it impossible to identify. Two fleshy hands were all that was exposed of it. Tufts of green fur sprouted out of its shoulders. Its helmet reminded Twilight of a bucket, two slits were cut out for its eyes, and a single red feather sprouted from the top. A sheathed straight sword was belted around its waist over a large white tunic that covered its torso. Twilight could just barely see the edges of a design across its chest, but she couldn’t make out what it was.

“Ah, what a strange world I’ve been summoned to this time,” the figure said with a gentle voice. Its head swiveled left and right, searching for the cause of its summoning. “It appears as if my host has run off in a hurry,” it commented, laughing in disarming tone. “Oh, I do hope I didn’t take too long. I would hate if some horrible misfortune befell upon him.”

The figure stepped off the stone slab and into the rain in the middle of the room, drawing its sword and removing the round shield from its back. There was the same design on its shield; Twilight was sure of it, but it was still too dark to tell. A bolt of lightning tore across the sky, illuminating the room for a split second, and in that split second, Twilight was shown exactly what she needed.

A brilliant sun painted across the shield. Just like the shield in the tome.

He was walking away. Twilight had to do something.

“E-Excuse me,” Twilight called out. The warrior paused, turning to the sound of her voice. His sword was still drawn, and he stared into the shadows. Twilight gulped, trying to swallow her fears and build up her courage. She cautiously stepped out of the hiding place, moving slowly and deliberately as to not alarm the warrior. Her mane was quickly becoming drenched as she stepped out into the open, and she looked to the stranger with hope and desperation. “Are you the Warrior of Sunlight?” she asked timidly.

A second ticked by, and then another. And the warrior laughed.

It was a jolly laugh, Twilight was relieved to hear. It was almost contagious, and she caught herself smiling slightly. The warrior sheathed his sword and hung his shield across his back.

“Pardon me, I do hope I didn’t frighten you earlier,” he apologized. “Allow me to introduce myself.” He stepped forward and bowed to Twilight.

“I am Solaire of Astora, an adherent of the Lord of Sunlight, and Warrior of the Sun.”