• 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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1012 AD - The Long Trot

Part of the Clan Wars

Date: Early 1012 AD

Location: Germaneigh, Southern Yakyakistan, Crystal Empire, Manehattan, Central Equestria, Ponyville


· Apple Clan 1st Highland Regiment / Extended Apple & Pie Clans
· Time / Dramatic Irony / Sheep

Commanders and Leaders:

· Clan Commander Big Mac the Mac MacMcIntosh / Pinkamena Diane the Wallbreaker Pie
· Murphy

Strategic Background

When talking about great battles, the road to get to and from those battles sometimes gets overlooked. Only those who have commanded forces in the field themselves have a true understanding about the sort of organization, grit and determination it takes to move troops where they need to go in a timely manner.

The Apple Clan, historically good infantry due to the far flung nature of their enterprises and sub-clans, have always been considered masters of land and terrain. If ever there was a retreat epic enough to sing songs about, then this was it.

During the winter of 1011/12, the 1st Highland Regiment under Big McIntosh was being supplemented by a volunteer force from the Pie Clan for reasons which will become apparent soon enough. Legends say that the ancestral chiefs of the Apple and Pie Clans were related. While the myth may have been born out of political convenience to cement an alliance, the two clans in the early 1000s were so close, one may as well call it true, regardless of whether or not its members actually shared the same blood.

The winter campaigning season, which lasted from just before Hearth’s Warming to just before Winter Wrap-Up and was a major contributor to the Clan’s wealth, was nearing its end. When the regular baker for the regiment was finally forced to take a leave of absence for personal reasons, Pinkie the Wallbreaker Pie readily agreed to join Big McIntosh for the final Northern Supply Run of the year, hauling freshly baked apple pies and spiced apple cider up to their allies in Germaneigh while bringing back crockery and tools for the farmland back home in return.


As it so happened that year, winter had come late and thus had to stay even later in Northern Equestria to make up for it.

A fact by which Princess Twilight Sparkle, barely three years into her reign, was not amused and for which she ordered mandatory make-up lessons in triplicate schedule making for the entire upper echelon of the Cloudsdale Weather Department and Weather Factory. She also included the Leader of the Wonderbolts in those lessons for snickering just a little too loudly at her rant on the subject during the latest Council of Friendship meeting. More on that subject can be found in our ongoing series about the Bureaucracy Wars.

Getting back to the 1st Highland Regiment of the Apple Clan, however, the unexpected blizzard did not initially cause alarm. Although the unit was snowed in, it was well supplied and camped in friendly territory in the small hamlet of Trotsdam. A possible delay due to weather on the Northern Run was not unheard of, even accounted for in the planning stages.

What hadn’t been accounted for was the message that arrived by telegraph a full two weeks before it was expected and which was the reason for the normal regimental baker’s absence:

Sugar Belle experiencing false labor pains. Foal due any day! Get back home ASAP! -AJ


With the route south cut off, there was only one way to go, further north! Cutting across Yakyakistan along the impassable Crystal Mountains and into the Crystal Empire, hoping to then turn back south into Equestria proper via Manehattan and the Central Plains, a nigh-impossible proposition if you’re feeling generous, ludicrously insane if you’re not.

Just to get to Yakyakistan, the regiment would have to cross the Germane Alps in the dead of winter, a feat which hadn’t been attempted since the ancient Diamond Dog General Hannibal Bark during the 2nd Puppy War in 218 BCE. Far be it from an attempt at an unbiased treatise to suggest that either of its two primary historical figures were insane. But impending parenthood does strange things to a stallion’s mind and the Wallbreaker has often been called one cupcake short of a baker’s dozen even by those who knew her and especially those who knew her well.

Bound by Highland honor and familial bonds, Chieftain Apple Strudel of the Germaneigh Apples did little to dissuade the pair. Kissing his own wife goodbye with the words “I would have done the same for you” after calmly putting on his snow horseshoes, the experienced mountaineer led the 1st Highland Regiment out into the blinding snowstorm.

The ascent was a grueling, miserable and hungry affair. The supply cart having been abandoned halfway up the mountain in a snow drift, the fellowship’s only supplies were three cupcakes stashed in the Wallbreaker’s mane and a flagon of Obstler carried by Uncle Apple Strudel which kept the company warm. But against all odds, half-frozen and numb, they made it up onto the Yakyakistan Plateau thanks to the expert guidance of Apple Strudel.

Having passed the peak, Big Mac shook hooves with his kinsman and stared at him grimly for a while. Apple Strudel finally sighed. “I see. The rest of the road is long and hard, and this old stallion will only slow you down. I wish ye well the rest of the way, and I hope I’ve fulfilled my duty to the Clan.” Big Mac spoke: “Eyup.”

The company parted, Apple Strudel turning for home and promising to send word to the rest of the Clan of their progress while the 1st Highland Regiment pressed on. Along the way, they were caught in an avalanche which was caused by the ill-advised shot of a party cannon in response to crossing the Arctic Circle. A little sheepishly, Pinkie Pie is reported to have said, “Probably shouldn’t have done that, huh,” after they’d burrowed their way out of the snow back to fresh air. Big Mac spoke: “Nope.”

It takes a certain kind of military genius to get one’s own unit buried in an avalanche and then double down by taking out an incredibly loud instrument like the vovidofone in an attempt to make up for the mistake. The next avalanche came, but it was an avalanche of hooves as the South Yakyakistan Border Patrol cut off the path of the retreating Highland Regiment. What could have been an international incident turned instead into a reunion when it turned out that Prince Rutherford was currently inspecting that very unit. “Pink pony! Friend to Yaks! Pink pony need something?” Pinkie Pie spoke: “Yaks smash!”

And smash they did. The yak unit drew up around the Highland Regiment, sending out advance forces that stamped down the snow in order to clear a path to the steady drone of the vovidofone, escorting them all the way to the Crystal Empire border.

Entering the allied nation, the regiment was finally able to resupply and take a short rest after a brief audience with its rulers. Word of the regiment’s quest had by now spread across Equestria and its neighboring states. Princess Cadence the Loving arranged for safe passage across the Empire, although the late winter remained here as well, putting the train line out of commission. Prince Consort Shining Armor the Wise made a gift of a set of earplugs to Commander McIntosh. When asked for explanation, he simply said sagely: “Trust me, you’ll need them where you’re headed.”

The regiment continued on hoof down south, finally crossing into Equestria as the late snow slowly gave way and into Manehattan. The march picked up to double quick, then turned into a full-on charge through an army amassed at the Manehattan Central Station for the once-a-week express train. “Are we gonna make it on time?” Pinkie Pie questioned her superior. Big Mac grated between clenched teeth while checking the clock: “Nope.”

Yet they pressed on regardless and found the train still in station, held there by a valiant rear guard action fought by another clan member: “Give me oranges or give me death!” The shouting and ranting stallion standing on the tracks held off the iron carriage all by himself while the train conductor yelled back: “That doesn’t even make sense! Get out of the way, you lunatic!”

The Highlanders found themselves waved over by the Orange Family matriarch, two tickets pressed into their hooves and spirited onto a wagon. Then she gave her husband a sign, to which Uncle Orange adopted back his big city attitude, casually jumping off the tracks onto the platform and waving the conductor on: “Well, what are you waiting for, my good sir? You have a schedule to keep. Chop, chop!”

As the train pulled westward out of the station, the Highlanders saluted their kin, and soon the coast and mountains gave way to the arid Central Plains of Equestria. The Wallbreaker, ever the optimist, said: “Now we’re home free!” The carriage rocked, breaks squealed and the train stopped. “Shouldn’t have said that, should I?” Big Mac spoke: “Nope.”

After a quick scouting run, Pinkie Pie’s disgust could be summed up in six words: “Sheep! Why is it always sheep!?” It was then that the lone wanderer appeared, the shadow of his hat shading his eyes against the sun, a rubber chicken slung across his back, the accordion at his hooves playing polka music, entrancing the sheep that had blocked the track and leading them away. He winked at Pinkie Pie as he walked away into the sunset with the flock.

The mare stared after him for a while before realizing: “We’re still not moving.” Big Mac spoke: “Nope.” The attendant explained that the steam engine would need time to properly heat up again before the journey could go on. Big McIntosh was halfway to jumping out and continuing on hoof when the train inexplicably began to move to the shout: “Appleloosa! Hang tight, cuz! We’ll get ya there.”

The cavalry had arrived, under their leader Colonel Braeburn, and hitched themselves to the train. They ran for hours, even after the locomotive had picked up a full head of steam, giving it just a little more speed as much as their screaming muscles would allow. And then … the brakes squealed again. “Oh no,” Pinkie Pie moaned as she looked at the rockslide that blocked the one tunnel into town just outside Ponyville.

Big Mac stepped out of the train, and one could tell he was desperate by one simple fact: The one who has been called one of the most verbose commanders in Equestrian history, did not say a word. He remained silent and stone-faced as he passed by the exhausted Braeburn and his unit, giving up his own last flask of water in thanks for services rendered and stood before the huge boulders blocking his path. He stood there for a moment, then began the process of removing the blockage three ponies high and two ponies wide by hoof, one rock at a time.

Everypony else watched in awe at the sheer determination exhibited by the stallion. One by one, not only Braeburn’s exhausted cavalry but the passengers of the train as well joined in on the task, all except for Pinkie Pie, the Wallbreaker, who ironically realized the futility of the attempt. Instead, she placed her hooves on her temples, closed her eyes and concentrated.

After a while, booming noises could be heard from the opposite side. The ponies paused in their work, listening to the booms growing louder and louder, until at last the largest boulder split right down the middle, the forms of three ponies emerging from the settling dust and rubble.

The leader of the three, Rocktor Maud Pie of the Pie Corps of Engineers stepped forward, holding a small rock in front of her and looking at Pinkie with unblinking eyes. “Boulder says you called.” Big Mac galloped past them with barely a nod, racing on towards Ponyville. Pinkie Pie took a moment to sweep her sisters up in a hug. “Huggsies! Talk to you later.” Limestone grumbled, Marble blushed and Maud … was being Maud. Then the Wallbreaker chased after her commanding officer.

One obstacle that could have been expected at this point in the journey did not come to pass. The usually crowded streets of Ponyville on market day were wide open for the pair as an army of angry, hissing cats held the inhabitants of the befuddled town at bay on either side of the street, providing a clear run at the Ponyville General Hospital. They were waved on by the commander of the Tiger Division, Golden Delicious.

With their goal in sight, Pinkie Pie’s tail twitched, and in the split second she had to act, she shoved Big Mac to the side just before a potted plant fell down and broke on the floor in between them. The Highlander looked to the clear, blue sky and raised an eyebrow. Pinkie simply shrugged.

“About time ya got yer caboose in here,” the Apple Clan Chief Granny Smith and former-enemy-now-allied Pear Clan Chief Grand Pear shouted at their grandson in stereo when he arrived panting in the waiting room. A pained scream could be heard from beyond a door and Big Mac pressed on.

A nurse barred his way for a moment. “Only one family member, please.”

“S’alright, sugarcube,” Applejack said, having heard the commotion and coming out of the room, hoofing her face mask over to the tired stallion. “Ah was just holdin’ down the fort. Go on in, big brother. She’s been waitin’ for ya.”

Big Mac could barely hear the Wallbreaker’s comment: “Boy, have I got a story to tell all of you when we’re done here. One day, it might even make it into a parody anthology that pretends to tell great exploits in Equestrian military history.”

Sugar Belle’s eyes were clenched shut in pain until she felt a hoof slip onto hers. She smiled in the hospital bed, breathing heavily. “You’re here.”

Big Mac spoke softly: “Eyup.”


Not long after arrival at home base, a healthy baby colt by the name Big Sugar was born to loving parents Big Mac and Sugar Belle. Across Equestria, Yakyakistan and the Crystal Empire, clan members and allies from along the way waited with bated breath and celebrated as soon as the news was received.

At the next Apple Family Reunion, many thanks kept brief during the Long Trot were reiterated at length and much fuss was made about the newest clan member. In the more immediate aftermath, of course, Pinkie Pie threw a huge party that had been planned months earlier.

According to the Chronicles of Clan Apple, the harvest of pears and apples from the seeds planted by Bright Mac and Pear Butter was particularly bountiful that year.

Result: Family Victory

Territorial Changes: Granny’s knitting room converted into a nursery

Casualties and losses:

· Many nights of sleep by the young parents following the birth
· The earplugs given to Big Mac by Shining Armor which had been lost somewhere along the final stretch of the Trot, much to Big Mac’s regret
· About ten minutes by the Friendship Express when it pulled into its final stop
· Apple Bloom’s marbles over how cute her baby nephew was