• Published 7th Jul 2018
  • 1,521 Views, 49 Comments

Exiles - Coyote de La Mancha



Before recorded history, there was the terrible and primordial Age of Chaos. And in this age, there were two sisters. This is their story.

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Epilogue

It hadn’t been much of a battle. Really, it hadn’t been a battle at all. And that had suited the two sisters perfectly.

They had confronted Discord with every sign of anger and arrogance, keeping any strategy hidden from their expressions. Amidst floating islands in a purple sky and fragments of unknowable shapes along a checkered countryside, they had challenged him in the depths of his own domain. They’d kept no secrets from him, save for one detail.

Predictably, Discord had laughed at them both. “You should see yourselves right now!” he’d guffawed. “The expressions on your faces! So intense! So sure of yourselves!”

And, the plan had worked. Never suspecting that what they had was not a weapon of death but of transformation, Discord had not even bothered trying to defend himself. Thus, the immortal had himself been transformed. The self-proclaimed Lord of all Chaos was now but a stone semblance of his former self, caught in mid-laughter.

For an instant, they’d even dared to relax.

Then, pain had struck them down.

The rule of chaos had been broken. The dance had been interrupted, its master silenced. The waves of flux echoed out from his sudden stillness, then surged back along the lines of connection their magic had used, from static Discord, through static Elements, and ultimately into the living wielders of those self-same talismans. Luna screamed as she felt her living patterns pulse and flow; symbolism, intent and motion blurring and becoming one. Desperately, she fought against the changes being wrought against her. Yet even as she did, the flux reached deep within her, pulling in all directions. Memories. Imaginings. All she was and could have been, all she longed to be and all she might yet have become. Her own thoughts, and others’ thoughts of her, crushing against her mind.

There was too much vision to see, too much sound to hear, too much texture to touch. It was all. Everything, everywhere, drowning her in herself and the world. She was losing herself within the infinity of what might be, losing what it was to be Luna.

Then, somehow, she heard the voice. Even if her ears and mind could somehow forget that voice, her heart never would.

“Luna!” Tia gasped from an unfathomable distance. Luna managed to see, within her mind, her sister within the flux they had released. She saw Tia curled within it, even as she, herself was being crushed by it. It was like fighting a sky or an angry sea, save that the flux tore at her from within as well as without.

“Luna!” She cried again. “Luna, don’t fight it!”

“Tia?” Luna managed.

“Trust me!”

Reaching across the flux that united them both, Tia’s magic caressed Luna’s mind with her own. Luna recognized the memory that Tia shared with her, for all that it was never hers.

Tightness. Relief for a moment, then stress again. Crushing. Crushing. Again, again, worse every time. More, then even more, then finally… an explosive release. The sudden light, the sound. The cold. The vividness of every sense. The overwhelming newness. The first breath.

Life.

There was no time for hesitation. Luna focused her will on channeling and riding the flux’s currents rather than fighting them, allowing it to curl her into herself as Tia had. Rather than trying to keep the powerful magic out, she lovingly gathered it in. She guided it, not to change her into something else, but to become part of her, integrating it into herself.

They had always shared a bond of birth. But this time they were being born together, even as they gave birth to themselves.

A small eternity later, it was over. They lay on the ground beside one another, gasping. The terrible light was fading from their eyes and their minds. They opened their eyes to regard one another, each one somehow holding the other’s hoof. They smiled, and, unsteadily, helped each other up.

“Oh, sister of my heart and friend to my soul,” Luna shook her head with a rueful smile. “Where would we be without thy memory?”

“Why am I so unbalanced?” Tia wondered. “I feel as if I... what!?” she broke off, craning her neck to see her wings splaying out instinctively.

Luna reached out to steady her. “Easy. I don’t understand either, but give thyself time. And no need to illuminate us, the sky is yet light.”

Tia cocked an eyebrow. “’Tis not my magic which illumines thus, my fay.”

Luna glanced around.

“Do this,” Tia advised, sweeping her hoof upwards to her forehead.

Luna mimicked her, eyes growing wide as her hoof touched something new. “Is… is that…”

“Aye,” Tia smiled. “It seems we again have much to learn from one another.”

Suddenly, the ground quaked with rage. Luna quickly lifted Tia above the tremoring landscape. The small peak of land upon which Discord’s throne had rested jutted up violently, becoming a massive monolith of stone. Tia caught the statue in her magic as it was tossed into the air, keeping it from harm. Above them, clouds rolled back, some dissolving, others shifting into varying shades of white, black and grey. The sky faded, becoming a strange shade of pale blue. Beneath them, ripples of magical effect could be seen spreading out in all directions, the ground transforming into various shades of green, places of fierce activity now becoming still.

From many of these places, a variety of speaking folk began to cautiously emerge.

There was a sky-splitting crack! and the newly-born mountain fractured towards the top, water gushing downward from its cavernous wound, threatening to drown everything below it. There was no time to think. Tia fired out a long, continuous blast of arcing light from where Luna held her. Her magic etched along the ground for miles, fusing it, burning trenches into the earth for the water to run along. The trenches carried the cascading water to sea even as the tremors began to subside, the mountain ceased its growth, the lands and newly-born rivers subsided.

The sisters landed on a mountain ledge, looking out at the revealed landscape. Luna was exhilarated at being so high, though the clouds were yet higher. Tia was less ecstatic, though she was certainly glad to see the world’s new marvels. What they’d expected to take a generation or more had unfolded before them in a few minutes. Not to mention their own rebirth. And now, they had survived them both. The smile they shared was part victory, part relief.

Below them, both sisters could see speaking folk of all kinds. They were in the open now, stretched out over the land. Most were finding others of their own kind and fleeing in various directions, glad to get away from the epicentre of what must have seemed to be the most massive flux of all time. Some ran, some jumped into the water and swam, others flew.

Beside the massive finger of stone, a rainbow formed in the mist of its waterfall. And as it formed, ponies began to assemble. Earth ponies and unicorns came from forests and hills and plains. Pegasi, while a few flew along the land, mostly came circled from hidden places above the clouds. Luna glanced at them with quiet yearning, wondering what life had been like in the sky. Then she looked down again, brows furrowing. Never had she nor her sister imagined there were so many of their own kind, hiding and fighting across the world. And now, they were all gathering at the base of the mountain upon which the two sisters stood.

Then, Luna blinked, eyes widening. She glanced at Tia, saw her own confusion and anxiety mirrored in her sister’s expression. Each of them stared, puzzlement giving way to mild horror. They backed away from the ledge as one, both poised with one hoof raised, uncertain whether to flee.

“Are they...” Luna met her sister’s gaze again.

Tia finished her sister’s question. “…Bowing?”

Author's Note:

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(This chronology continues in Luna’s Gift.)
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My use of “fay” throughout this tale borrows a bit from the Middle English and Elizabethan terminologies. This term referred to one’s faith, yet from what I have read it also has its roots in the name of one of the Fates of Ancient Greece.

In pre-Equestria times, there were no dictionaries, no grammar schools, no Equestrian linguistic teachers. The speaking folk invented words and phrases all the time, much as Shakespeare and his contemporaries did. And, like many best sibs in our own world today, Celestia and Luna also made up their own words to fit their own needs. “Fay” was a term they used to describe their own relationship, and it (and other words they used often) seeped into Equestrian language once the Age of Chaos came to an end, and stabilized its semantic structure. Sociopolitical authority affects many customs through simple contact, including language.

Based upon the Sisters’ usage, therefore, the Olde Ponish “fay” was a person in whom one had absolute faith, one loved with all one’s heart, and one with whom one unconditionally entwined one’s own destiny and life. It was the most affectionate term that spoken language could express, one of utmost commitment, love, and respect. It was also rarely used among any but the young and naïve.

In Middle Ponish, which is very similar to Olde Ponish (having immortal monarchs does slow linguistic drift somewhat), “fay” became a form of address sometimes used between spouses, as well as a term used by philosophers referring to theoretical “higher powers.”

The word has mostly fallen out of use in Modern Ponish. Travel and trade also affect language, and Celestia was perfectly happy to seize upon any evolution in custom she could, including linguistics. The modern term “fay” is only used as part of the phrase, “by my fay” as a formal oath in ritual and court of law. This essentially refers to whatever the speaker holds sacred, as well as their own trustworthiness, as part of a vow given.

As of this writing, neither Luna nor Celestia have used this term in modern times.

Comments ( 22 )

A fantastic read, in multiple senses of the word. I especially love this presentation of Discord, and of the sisters understanding the need for balance. Thank you for this.

Fascinating. I really like your take on the Discordian world.

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Many thanks. I had hoped that writing a creation tale might add something, not only to my versions of Celestia and Luna, but also to the character of their world as whole. I’m really glad you enjoyed. :twilightsmile:

Why the hay did I put off reading this for so long? This is fantastic! I absolutely love your portrayal of both the Sisters and Discord, and I can't wait to read the sequels to this magnificent work of art.

Blast my tiny butt now.

Thank you so very much! One of the great tragedies of the world is our not having enough time for reading and writing. :twilightsmile:

And I would never blast your tiny butt. Probably. :scootangel:

Wow. This was incredible. In so few words, you created an incredible world, a powerful sibling bond, and an entire origin story.

Wow.

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Thank you so much!

Also, thank you for pointing out the typos. Titivilus is an inescapable foe some days. :raritywink:

Comment posted by Coyote de La Mancha deleted Mar 11th, 2019

This was a fantastic spin on the Sisters' origin story. Loved every minute of it.

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Also I was so focused on the pronoun in the previous chapter, I didn't realize it should be "Thou hast". <.<

And yes, this is great so far. :D

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I'm so pleased by that final note. :D I think I learned something from this that I shall put to use soon...

I love this story for many, many reasons! ("Tiny butts" being a not insignificant one.) The fluidity of the terms and language use, while still presenting an underlying grasp of Early Modern English is a joy to me. The cosmology is wonderful, too. Redeeming Discord by discarding the pointless trickster persona and making him an embodiment of primordial chaos was a masterstroke!

Greatly looking forward to the rest of the continuity!

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Muphry's Law strikes again! :twilightsheepish:

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Murphy and Titivilus, both old friends and writing companions. :raritywink:

What a triumph of characterization and world building. I must read more in this continuity.

That moment, going from 'oh yay, we saved the day!' to 'oh no, now we're considered gods!' when they realize that their work has only just begun. Priceless.:ajsmug:

Have to say I liked the thought of Discord. An anchor of Pattern in an ocean of Flux, who stabilizes it and sends it out again to create more. A being that is not evil, but has little concept of what others feel beyond the desire to experience new things. Much to the pain of everyone and everything else around him, and his tiny butt. :duck:

I'm jumpin' right into the next story!

this is now canon. I will accept no other.

man so good. I loved watching them grow and learn.
I loved watching them play.

Yes I'm using the word watch. because the writing is that good :pinkiehappy:

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Thank you! :twilightsheepish:

These are among the highest compliments I could ever hope for. I hope you continue to enjoy my other stories as much. :twilightsmile:

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