• 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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24 BCE - The Last Stand of the Grand Pony Alliance

Part of the Unification War

Date: 24 BCE

Location: Castle of the Two Sisters


· Old Solar Empire / Old Lunar Republic / Equestrian Provisional Government

· Principality of Unicornia / Military Junta of Pegasopolis / Federal Republic of Earth

Commanders and Leaders:

· Princess-elect Celestia Solaris / Princess-elect Luna Selene / Acting Adult Clover the Clever

· Princess Platinum / Commander Hurricane / Chancellor Puddinghead

Strategic Background

When watching a Hearth's Warming Eve Pageant, it is easy to get swept up in the warm, fuzzy feelings of singing the Heart Carol and to actually believe that enemies who had been at odds with each other for generations could just sing a song, change the climate of a continent and found a new nation in an afternoon. Historical truth is often more prosaic and can seldom be wrapped up in a neat half hour with a song and a perfect story book ending.

In reality, the road to unification was neither short nor without significant road bumps. Ancient hostilities still lingered between the Three Tribes, and although the Battle of the Heart Cave had been a significant stepping stone in extended cooperation at least as far as the junior leadership was concerned, it started to dawn on the advance parties in Equestrian lands that the founding of a new nation would be a significant undertaking. The most obvious question facing the founding ponies was who would lead such a nation. Of course, Princess Platinum, Commander Hurricane and Chancellor Puddinghead all threw their hats into the ring, literally in Puddinghead's case. It fell to Smart Cookie to roll her eyes, pick it up when nopony followed suit and place it back on the head of her head of state.

The competing territorial claims of the three newly founded nations needed to be resolved, the old governments in the ancestral lands had to be consulted, and all the while refugees from the old countries were streaming in which had to be resettled and set up to earn a living. Being well-respected amongst all the Tribes, it fell once again to Starswirl the Bearded to become the great mediator, and his eventual proposal managed to settle a few things at once without ruffling too many feathers. The two alicorn sisters Celestia and Luna would be crowned the rulers of this new land. It was a hallmark Swirlian compromise, one everypony could complain about in equal measure. It was also decided to build a new castle for them, which created employment opportunities for the settlers. Being young and not even having their cutie marks yet, the sisters would be tutored by Starswirl himself and advised by Platinum, Hurricane and Puddinghead in equal measure during their early reign.

This plan, known to history as the Everfree Accords, was unanimously agreed to by all parties present. Puddinghead, being the only actual head of state from the Old World present, was able to sign on behalf of the Earth Pony Tribes and the Federal Republic of Earth outright. Platinum and Hurricane were signatories for Unicornia and Pegasopolis respectively. They also signed on behalf of the Unicorn Kingdom and the Pegasus Weather Brigade, though those signatures were still subject to be ratified by Unicorn King Bullion and the Pegasus High Command back home.

With the ink barely dry and the Accords being held together more by goodwill than law, it was decided to go ahead with the construction of the castle and the plans for the coronation, overseen by Starswirl himself in the initial stages. However, the old sorcerer was shrewd enough to recognize the need for expedience. History is often defined by a single individual recognizing and seizing the right opportunity when it presents itself. Speed was of the essence if a unified Equestria was to be more than just a dream. And so Starswirl prepared to set off for the Old World to get the Accords set in stone, a roundtrip that would likely take weeks, if not months.

Clover the Clever, who was the very definition of having greatness thrust upon him rather than being born with it, pleaded with his mentor to at least leave him Smart Cookie or Private Pansy as adjutants. But Starswirl had already made up his mind on who he was taking on the long journey. He himself could convince his old friend King Bullion. But he needed Smart Cookie to show the other tribes the sincerity of the Earth Ponies, and the Pegasus High Command was more likely to listen to the honest plea of a common soldier than one of their more brash commanders who was respected but not necessarily liked by his peers. His parting words to his student are recorded as follows: "Consider this your final exam. You are in charge, Clover. Try not to let this fledgling nation fly apart at the seams while I'm gone."

At this point, we invite our readers to reflect a moment on the high standards Starswirl the Bearded held his students to, putting perhaps into perspective the complaints they once leveled at their own teachers for assigning a simple 500 word essay as homework.


Clover the Clever did his level best to juggle a mammoth construction project, the ongoing education of two pre-teen demi-goddesses and the bruised egos of three leaders who had been competing for supremacy until finally being passed over in favor of two fillies. Maybe three or four Clovers, putting out fires in every corner of the castle, could have kept the peace. As it was, conflict was inevitable.

Princess Platinum had called her rulers-to-be "blank flanks" to their face in a momentary fit of pique at their unroyal conduct and lack of etiquette and been bowled over on her plot by Luna's resulting rant in the first recorded instance of the Royal Canterlot Voice being used as a sonic weapon for her trouble. Celestia had made a whispered-yet-deliberately-audible remark about Chancellor Puddinghead's mental capacity being "inversely matched in size only by his silly hat" during an economics lesson which resulted in extra homework. Both fillies resented the pre-dawn physical exercises Commander Hurricane put them through daily, and their loud complaints were resented in return by a career soldier who was intolerant to back-talk from raw recruits.

All the while, resentment grew, and Clover the Clever watched the skies in mounting terror as sporadic snowfalls blanketed the nearly complete castle grounds in a thin sheet of white. In desperation, Clover had ordered a rest day from all studies and construction work, giving the workers the day off and hoping against hope that having a simple tea party with everypony together in the castle garden would pacify all sides. It was a valiant effort, but not enough. The first shot was fired by the Lunar Republic, knocking off Chancellor Puddinghead's hat.

"That's it," the Pudding Chancellor declared, getting up and preparing his own snowball while staring down the two giggling alicorns. "Not through speeches and majority decisions will the great questions of the day be decided—that was the great mistake of the Old World—but by ice and snowballs!"

Incredibly, in a move that would have seemed impossible just a year earlier, Platinum and Hurricane got up as one pony and stood shoulder to shoulder with Puddinghead. Without even a word, the Grand Pony Alliance of Unicornia, Pegasopolis and Earth had been born. Caught in the middle, the construction workers had to choose their side, with about half remaining loyal to the new government and the rest joining their old leaders in open revolt. Members of all three tribes could be found on both sides in about equal measure, however, with no preference for the old or new regime along the tribal divisions that had kept them apart since time immemorial.

The fight for the future of Equestria had begun.


Being a battle that nopony had planned or prepared for, the initial exchange of fire was chaotic and brutal, snowballs flying every which way and in some instances snow being kicked up into the opponent’s face without time to form a full projectile in hoof-to-hoof combat.

It was Princess-elect Celestia Solaris who first managed to put some semblance of order to the Equestrian side. Princess Celestia has sometimes been accused of having a much too defensive sit-and-wait approach to leadership. In this case, her preferred option of digging in faster than the enemy paid off as she ordered the Equestrian troops to seize the patio, overturning benches and tables to use as ready-made barricades and thus setting up a formidable defensive line with plenty of crossfire opportunities.

Platinum was the first among the GPA leadership to recognize the dangerous position they were about to find themselves in if they continued to fight on open ground and thus ordered her troops to fall back. Chancellor Puddinghead commandeered a pioneer corps of earth ponies and pegasi to throw up their own defenses. Anchoring their left on a garden wall, the earth ponies threw up a snow barricade which was then compacted from above by the pegasi. The fact that all these troops had been a construction team before helped tremendously in getting the project done in record time, though the right flank of the GPA position was left dangerously exposed.

That vulnerability was not lost on the keen eye of Luna Selene who immediately set up a Lunar strike force to exploit the weakness and led it into battle herself. Commander Hurricane, hovering over the battlefield with a bird’s eye view, spotted the advance and acted accordingly without the slightest hesitation. Being the most experienced commander on the field, he worked quickly with what he had at hoof, gathering around twenty unicorns and ordering them to draw up in a line at a right angle to the wall, refusing the flank.

The hastily thrown together Lunar strike force was in for a rude awakening as they approached through the strawberry patch and found themselves immediately under rapid fire by small snowballs propelled by unicorn magic while Commander Hurricane could be heard shouting: “THIS IS PEGASOPOLIS!!! … And Unicornia and Earth too, I guess!”

For a moment, it looked as if fully half the Equestrian force might be wiped out right then and there. And then a shout was heard among the Lunar forces. “Ow! That one had a rock in it!” Commander Hurricane immediately ordered his troops to cease fire, flying towards the stricken Princess Luna who had raised the shout. “Hey, you okay, kid?”

Princess Luna raised her head out of the snow, grinned and bucked the large fir tree she’d lured her opponent to, burying him in snow momentarily as it came crashing down from the branches. “Retreat!” While the attack was ultimately a failure, Princess Luna’s quickly devised feint managed to extricate her forces from the bad position they found themselves in without incurring too many losses. Meanwhile, Commander Hurricane found himself picking pine needles from his mane for the next half hour or so. But he'd held the line.

With both sides firmly entrenched, the fire began to lull, only occasionally picking up and concentrating when a pony from either side was brave enough to step into No Pony’s Land before quickly being driven back to their respective side. Clover the Clever, having lived through the Battle of the Heart Cave, felt the icy chill gripping at his fur and fought down flashbacks. It’s probably due to this that he then did something some have called incredibly brave, and others incredibly stupid.

Under a flag of truce, he went up alone to the GPA fortification to parlay with his old friend Princess Platinum, pleading with her to stop this madness before the land would once again be swallowed up by Windigos. Princess Platinum pondered his words and replied: “I’m sorry, Clover. But those fillies need to learn some manners. If they do not want cake, let them eat snow!” She then raised her hoof.

Clover gaped at his old friend. “Platty?”

Platinum drew in her breath and held his gaze for a good, long while. Finally, she lowered her hoof slowly and shook her head. “I can’t do it.” Clover was barely able to breathe a sigh of relief when he could hear her add: “Chancellor Puddinghead. You give the order.”


For the next few minutes, Clover’s vision was filled with white as he was pelted relentlessly with snowballs first from one side and then, when the Equestrian side decided that he really was a traitor to their cause for what he did, joined in with glee. Incidentally, this is where the common phrase “Don’t shoot the Clover,” usually uttered by ponies who have bad news for their superiors, comes from.

When the stallion came to, he found himself in a camp he didn’t recognize, surrounded by shivering ponies from either side who were wrapped in blankets. When he inquired of the pony who gave him a hot cocoa of what had happened, he was told that he’d been dragged out of No Pony’s Land by a group of volunteers who had either refused to take a side or deserted along the way. Instead, they’d staked off a neutral corner of the garden where the injured could be treated.

No pony was refused under the strict rule of leaving the fight outside. The leader of this outfit was a filly with a brilliant white coat and a cutie mark of a red cross. Clover watched entranced as the filly worked her way around the area, organizing the supplies of blankets and cocoa as they rested from the cold. Incredibly, most eventually returned to the battlefield, though only after the filly had made sure they’d drunk their cocoa and they were warm enough. That filly was Flora Nightingale.

A whinny could be heard, and Clover panicked for a moment. “No, no, no, no, no! Not again!” But when he looked, he was stunned to find out that the whinny had not come from a Windigo, but from a laughing Celestia Solaris who was shouting “Betrayal! Betrayal!” as she was being pelted with snowballs. Her assailants, as it turned out, were Chancellor Puddinghead and Princess Luna Selene who were staging raids from the castle’s built-in Slip ‘n Slides, the former holding the filly steady between his front hooves as Luna laughed and attacked.

“Oh, come on! Not the hat again! Respect the hat!” Chancellor Puddinghead complained as his formal headwear was once again knocked off by a snowball.

“Oh, but it makes such a nice target, Chancellor,” Princess Platinum tittered from the battlements in a silvery voice. “Nice shot, Commander Hurricane!”

“Thank you,” the soldier replied with what was, as far as Clover could recall, the first genuine smile he’d ever seen on his lips. “You’re not such a bad shot yourself, Your Highness.”

Clover the Clever plopped down on his haunches, listening to the laughter now echoing across the battlefield and blinked his eyes, wondering if any of the combatants could see the burning heart of magic that was now hovering above No Pony’s Land.

“You alright there?” Clover was pulled out of his thoughts by the words of Flora Nightingale who had walked up to him silently like a ghost.

He was speechless for a moment, then sighed and smiled. “Yeah. I guess we will be.” Then, spotting the blankets she was carrying, he offered: “Here. Let me help you with those.”

The battle went on, eventually brought to an end by nightfall, upon which the leaders of the Grand Pony Alliance met the Equestrian Provisional Government in No Pony’s Land, bowed smiling and accepted their defeat.


Born from the resulting clean-up of the mess the next day, Winter Wrap-Up officially joined Hearth’s Warming Eve as the second national holiday in the Equestrian calendar.

Starswirl returned a week later with the ratified Everfree Accords in hoof. The Castle of the Two Sisters was completed shortly thereafter.

Before the coronation of Celestia and Luna, the three leaders of the Grand Pony Alliance approached Clover the Clever who was finally able to breathe normally again. Each donated a symbol of their office, Platinum her crown, Hurricane his helmet and Puddinghead his hat. These items were then used as the raw materials for a transmutation spell that created the crowns and regalia for the Two Sisters, (and which were worn by them all the way until their abdication in 1009 AD. Presently, they reside in the Canterlot Archives where they are displayed for public viewing.)

The Grand Pony Alliance was dissolved as quickly and quietly as it had been born. And yet, some might argue that it wasn’t dissolved at all, indeed that it hasn’t been dissolved to this very day. Certainly, there are still cultural differences between pegasus, unicorn and earth ponies. Some local traditions are defined by the majority of townsfolk being from one tribe or another. Sometimes, the bond between ponies has been strained, such as during the War of the Three Villains in 1009 AD, and yet the covenant established on the battlefield in 24 BCE would never truly be broken again, tested every now and again, but never shattered. Some scholars have even recently argued that the Grand Alliance between ponies, yaks, changelings, dragons, kirin, griffons, hippogriffs and many more speaking races that opposed Chrysalis, Tirek and Cozy Glow in the 42nd Battle of Canterlot is in essence the Grand Pony Alliance taken to its logical conclusion.

Many of the earth pony, unicorn and pegasus construction workers who had fought side by side for the very first time in their lives would later go on to be some of the founding members of the EUP Guard. Flora Nightingale and those few brave souls who had refused to take sides and instead chosen to bring warm blankets and hot cocoa to fallen combatants became the forebears of the Equestrian Red Cross.

Starswirl, Platinum, Hurricane and Puddinghead went on to continue and support Celestia Solaris and Luna Selene during their early reign. As far as Clover the Clever was concerned, he went on to fight his own campaigns in the future. In a rare display of pride, Starswirl thanked his disciple, acknowledged him as his equal and offered him the position of court tutor, which the Clever declined with the words:

“Oh, uhm, yeah! Thanks, master, but, erm, I’ve so many things on my to-do list, like … seven at least. All really important stuff. You could practically call them Trials! So, appreciate the offer, really. Not gonna be around that much. Good luck with the fillies, though! See ya!”

Result: Equestrian Victory resulting in Unification of the Three Tribes and the Coronation of the Alicorn Sisters

Territorial Changes:

· All territorial claims previously contested by Unicornia, Pegasopolis and Earth ceded to the new Equestrian government
· Three guest rooms in the Castle of the Two Sisters permanently set aside for the sole use of Platinum, Hurricane and Puddinghead to drop by whenever they wished

Casualties and losses:

· Clover's dignity
· Any chance of Starswirl pawning off babysitting duty on his disciple ever again
· The strawberry patch which had to be replanted the next spring
· Princess Platinum's Crown, Commander Hurricane's Helmet and Chancellor Puddinghead's Hat of Office


EUP – Earth Pony, Unicorn & Pegasus

GPA – Grand Pony Alliance