• Published 8th Nov 2020
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Great Battles in Equestrian History - Naughty_Ranko

A look at the most important battles in the history of Equestria ... and some of the less important ones, too.

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12 BCE - The First Battle of Canterlot

(for the more recent Changeling invasion of 1002 AD, see 37th Battle of Canterlot)

Part of the Teen Wars

Date: 12 BCE
Location: Canterlot Castle Kitchen

· Old Solar Empire / Servant Auxiliary
· Old Lunar Republic / Kitchen Staff in Exile

Commanders and Leaders:
· Princess Celestia Solaris / Chief Maid Head Band
· Princess Luna Selene / Head Chef Cream Puff

Strategic Background

Solar and Lunar forces had been in an uneasy détente after the cold war had nearly turned hot during the Library Crisis a month earlier. After the Solar Empire had added its collection of romance novels to the shelves unilaterally, the Lunar Republic demanded the right to also add their Neighponese collection which the Solar Empire refused on the grounds of “manga not being real literature” which the Lunar Republic countered by saying that they are “culturally significant and visual storytelling being underrepresented in the Library territory.”

Solar forces had dug in at a quickly constructed book fort, and Lunar forces were gearing up for an attack. However, Starswirlian intervention had come in the nick of time as the opposing sides agreed to arbitration. As a result of the Conference at Aisle 3, the Library territory became a demilitarized zone as the 1st Swirlian Protectorate, mandating that all books there were to be exclusively dedicated to study and any and all entertainment literature was to be kept in the private chambers of the princesses. While both sides accepted the Swirlian verdict, neither was very happy with it, causing Starswirl the Bearded to remark: “When everyone is equally unhappy, that’s the hallmark of a good compromise.”


Relations between the Solar Empire and Lunar Republic had actually been showing improvement prior to the battle, with both sides agreeing to work together and bake a birthday cake for Starswirl the Bearded under the supervision of Head Chef Cream Puff, then leader of the neutral Kitchen Kingdom.

However, Starswirl had been called away and was thus away on campaign during his birthday. (We suspect the reader is familiar with the First Pillar Campaign against the Sirens, so we won’t go into details here.)

Due to this circumstance, the Teen Wars turned hot over breakfast two days after Starswirl’s birthday. Princess Celestia, pushing her oatmeal cereal aside, declared that they “ought to eat the cake before it goes stale.” Princess Luna immediately disagreed, saying that the cake was their mentor’s and would be waiting for him upon his return. The Solar Empire changed tracks, claiming alternately that they “just wanted to try a slice to see if it was still good” or “we can just make a new one when the time comes.” Neither argument moved the Lunar Republic, and diplomatic relations broke down when the Republic issued a declaration guaranteeing the sovereignty of the Kitchen Kingdom and that any encroachment by Solar forces on the sovereign territory constituted an act of war. All neutral observers to the conference later unanimously declared that “Celestia just wanted to eat cake.”

What followed has been hotly debated by historians friendly to either side as Philomena the Phoenix invaded Kitchen airspace undetected, settling near a frying pan and causing a small grease fire which prompted the kitchen staff to evacuate the area. While the Solar Empire maintains that the First Phoenix Scouting Squadron was never given an order to attack and that “Philomena simply has a head of her own,” the Lunar Republic has always seen it as a “blatant false flag operation.” Whatever the truth may be, Solar Forces certainly didn’t waste the opportunity as Princess Celestia marched into the neutral territory at the head of a Servant Militia under the pretense of disaster relief. (The fire was put out quickly.)

The Solar Empire annexed the kitchen minutes later and set to work building fortifications. What caused the notoriously fickle Servant Auxiliary to side with the Empire during the conflict remains a mystery. However, it has been speculated that Princess Luna’s propensity for nightly excursions which resulted in muddy hoofprints in the halls that needed cleaning up each morning and her habit of snarling at maids who wanted to clean her room as she slept during the day may have played a part.

The dining area became a refugee camp as the Lunar Republic took in the Kitchen citizens. The Kitchen Staff in Exile declared their support for the Republic and Princess Luna addressed the nation with the words: “This atrocity will not stand!” Thankfully, the birthday cake remained securely in a locked cabinet of the kitchen, the only key to which was being held by the leader of the Free Kitchen Forces, Head Chef Cream Puff, who added: “We shall go on to the end, we shall fight on the counters, we shall fight over the stoves, we shall fight in front of the ovens; We shall never surrender!”

The stage was set, and the Lunar Army marched to liberate the kitchen.


During the initial phase of the battle, Solar Forces held the distinct advantage. They were better supplied, having much more ammunition to expend as the rows of cupcakes to be thrown never seemed to end while Lunar artillery had to make do with the leftovers from breakfast. They were dug in in their fortifications behind the counters while the Lunar infantry had only one vector of entry. And most importantly, the Solar Empire had air superiority, at least for now. The initial skirmish saw the Lunar advance soundly turned back as the cooks were peppered with frosting shells that blinded them, and what little artillery support of mango and avocadoes was lopped at the Solar fortifications was intercepted by Philomena who dropped the ordnance back onto the attackers.

But victory remained elusive for Princess Celestia as the servants had to split their attention between defensive fire, mopping the floor of fruit shrapnel (a task to which they were uniquely suited and which gave them an advantage in mobility) to prevent slipping and trying to pry open the locked cabinet doors.

During a lull in the initial exchange, Princess Luna asked for volunteers in a bold strategy she had devised. A special task force was dispatched in a daring raid to the Solar Empire’s undefended home base. The Special Forces lost one pony on their way back as the youngest apprentice chef got turned around in the maze of castle corridors, but the rest made it back to the frontlines successfully, having retrieved a bag of Philomena’s favorite treats from Celestia’s room.

The First Phoenix Scouting Squadron was persona non grata for months at the Solar court after that, pending desertion charges. (The charges were later dropped and Philomena welcomed home.) But for the moment, the Lunar Republic had wrested air superiority from its opponent. The balance of power shifted significantly almost immediately.

Grimly pressing on against horrendous losses, the Kitchen Staff in Exile, having the homefield advantage, managed to capture the door to the pantry, allowing them to finally restock on ammunition. Celestia’s inability to recognize the pantry as a location of strategic importance and subsequent failure to fortify it has been seen as one of the main factors for the eventual outcome of the battle.

Luna ordered her troops to take up the lids of pots and lock them together as the line advanced in good order, leading to the first recorded use of a shield wall in battle since the phalanx had fallen out of favor in Ancient Pegasopolis.

At this point, Princess Celestia had lost all ability to command effectively as she shouted the words “traitor” at the Phoenix Squadron now hovering over the Lunar line in defiance and her cupcakes bouncing off pot lids. Chief Maid Head Band of the Servant Militia did what she could as the effort to open the cabinet with the cake was abandoned and a feather duster smoke screen was thrown up in a desperate attempt to hold the line. But at this point, victory seemed all but assured for the Lunar Republic.

It was then that the shout “Look to the East” could be heard. (History is unsure which side raised the alarm.) From the Eastern door and with a frown on his lined face, Starswirl the Bearded wandered onto the battlefield with the words: “What is going on here?” In the heat of battle, neither side checked their fire. Caught in the unexpected crossfire, tired and weary from his travels, the great sorcerer did not manage to conjure up a magic shield in time. Eyewitnesses later said that everything seemed to happen in slow motion as a cupcake projectile knocked off Starswirl’s hat, a cream pie hit him square in the face, blinding him and setting him stumbling, only to slip on a puddle of mango juice. The great wizard fell.

Both Celestia Solaris and Luna Selene immediately ordered their troops to cease fire as a shocked silence engulfed the battlefield. The First Battle of Canterlot was over.


After an emergency bath for Starswirl, both sides agreed to a ceasefire and an exchange of POWs under the condition that both sides helped equally in cleaning up the mess. When this was done, both armies were disbanded and the princesses sent to their rooms without dessert.

The very next day, Starswirl the Bearded laid down the law in what came to be known as the Treaty of Study Hall. The kitchen was returned to its citizens, but reformed as a semi-autonomous entity as the 2nd Swirlian Protectorate which would guarantee its independence on the condition of strict neutrality. The corridor between the kitchen and dining area was declared a demilitarized zone. However, both Cream Puff and Head Band were sharply reprimanded for pouring oil onto the fire and escalating the conflict. To their credit, both took full blame for the actions of their subordinates.

As far as the Princesses were concerned, both heads of state agreed to return to the status quo ante readily and war reparations were dictated as two essays to be written on the subject of “Why you shouldn’t waste food when there are foals starving in the world,” to which both sides also agreed, albeit with a bit more chagrin.

After both essays had been turned in, Starswirl finally thought to raise the question: “Now, what was all this about, anyway?” To that, both sides looked at each other sheepishly and remembered the locked cabinet which had completely been forgotten at that point.

Starswirl’s birthday cake was brought out by Head Band and Cream Puff working together side by side again and enjoyed by all. (It hadn’t gone stale.)

Result: Tactical Lunar Victory / Strategic Starswirlian Victory
Territorial Changes: Castle Kitchens declared a demilitarized zone under Starswirlian control as the 2nd Swirlian Protectorate

Casualties and losses:

· 1 inkwell
· 2 scrolls
· 100+ cupcakes, fruit and other food items expended as ammunition
· About two inches of Starswirl’s beard which had to be cut off due to the frosting not coming out (the whiskers have been laid to rest under a memorial plaque in the Canterlot Statue Garden)


BCE – Before Chaos Emerges

AD – After Discord

Détente – the relaxation of strained relations, especially political, by verbal communication

Unilateral – undertaken or done by or on behalf of one side, party, or faction only; not mutual

False Flag Operation – an act committed with the intent of disguising the actual source of responsibility and pinning blame on a second party

POW – short for Prisoner of War

Status Quo Ante – the state of affairs existing prior to a given event

Author's Note:

Full disclosure, I've tagged this as an anthology, but I have no idea if this will ever get more chapters. We'll see how it goes.