• Published 15th Apr 2021
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The Fall of the Anoian - bookhorse125

Equestria is not the only land full of magical creatures. Welcome to Anoia.

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Chapter Ten - Twilight

Twilight was getting antsy, and for a very good reason.

Her latest reports from Rainbow Dash and the Wonderbolts had confirmed that there was, indeed, a whole nother continent out past the farthest reaches of Equestria and the surrounding kingdoms. It was also, as described from Twilight’s sources, full of ponies. There didn’t seem to be that many pegacorns, though, although Red had said that all the pegacorns were working for the emperor, which was probably why they didn’t see any of them. Twilight had sent Rainbow to scout out this new kingdom from the air, and she chose several of the Wonderbolts to go with her. Twilight had a feeling that this was just an excuse to be with Soarian. Rainbow tried to deny it, but everypony knew she had a huge crush on him.

Red’s most recent reports weren’t the happiest. Much to Twilight’s disappointment, the Anoians didn’t try to sue for peace, or give Equestria more time to prepare for war. She was most appalled that they had brainwashed Flurry Heart, for Celestia’s sake, and were planning to attack in no less than a month. Twilight had all the other kingdoms notified of the upcoming war and was pleased that they would help Equestria fight it.

Which was how Twilight got stuck in a meeting with the other rulers about battle strategy.

“They’re gonna have to come by sea,” Dragon Lord Ember insisted, pointing to the battle map that Red had sent Twilight via teleportation. “So we’re going to have to cut them off. Maybe the hippogriffs…?” She looked hopefully at Queen Novo, who snorted.

“We can’t hold them off forever. The most we could do is sink some of their ships, but there’s no way we can avoid the whole war that way. This country has more ponies and larger forces than all ours combined. The only way we’re going to win this war is with brains and strategy.”

“I could ask Sunset Shimmer if she could give me some knowledge about wars that have happened in her world for advice,” Twilight said slowly, “but we need a good strategy now. Hmm, I wonder…” Twilight leaned forward and studied the map. “It’s very possible that they could have two armies come in, pushing in on both sides. Or maybe they want us to focus on a decoy, while the real army comes around the other side and launches a surprise attack on Canterlot, and boom, we lose.” Twilight was quiet for a minute. “I’ve got it.”

“You have a plan?” Ember asked excitedly.

“Will it work?” King Thorax spoke up in his quiet voice.

“I’m not sure. But here’s the gist of it.” Twilight pointed to the different places on the map as she spoke. “The yaks and the Crystal ponies will protect the northern side. If nopony attacks from there, and we’re certain that they won’t, we’ll move them to other places where we’re struggling. The griffons and the dragons will protect the eastern side, between Griffonstone and Equestria. My guards will protect the western side. The changelings and the hippogriffs will slow down the other armies, sinking ships and stealing supplies and things like that. They shouldn’t come from the south; it’s only desert. But, remember, do this with as few casualties as possible. The Anoians can restock their armies. We can’t. If you have to retreat, do that. But, whatever you do, don’t let them get to Ponyville. All of us will be hiding there. Hopefully, nopony will think to look for the rulers of all these kingdoms in a ragtag little town in the middle of nowhere.”

“Woah, woah, wait.” Ember held up her claws. “You expect us to hide while our subjects are out there, sacrificing their lives and fighting?”

“It’s for the best. What all of your subjects need is for us to be alive so we can rebuild what this war has torn down. If we have to get involved, we will. But for now, it’s best to lay low.” Twilight looked around at the other rulers. Mixed emotions of fear and anger and shock were on every face.

“H-how will we communicate with our generals and commanders?” Shining Armor asked shakily. Cadance was back at the Empire. She was in no state to do anything once she heard what had happened to her daughter. Twilight sighed.

“I don’t know. But we’ll figure it out,” she promised. The door creaked open and Spike poked his head into the room.

“Uh, Twilight?” Spike pulled out a scroll and waved it at Twilight. “There’s something you should see.” Twilight took the scroll with her magic and opened it, scanning it quickly.

“Tree of Harmony under the school… magical chamber still there… tunnels?” Twilight looked up at the rest of the room. “This meeting is adjourned. Meet back here in three days. If you want to stay in the castle, Spike will hook you up.” Twilight rolled up the scroll with her magic.

“I will?” Spike asked nervously. “Twilight, where are you going?”

“Starlight needs me in Ponyville. Some strange tunnels appeared under the school. Be back soon.” And with that, Twilight teleported away in a flash of magenta. The other rulers stared at Spike expectantly.

“Right. Um.” Spike swallowed, sweat trickling down his neck. “Who wants a room?”

Three days later, Spike was sitting in his room, snacking on a bowl of gems when Twilight appeared. Normally, Spike would have been so startled he would have thrown his bowl in the air and flapped his wings in alarm. But since Twilight had become ruler of Equestria, she’d been teleporting and appearing all over the place as a faster way of travel.

“Back already?” Spike asked, bored, popping a ruby in his mouth. “That was quick.” Twilight gave him a sharp look, unable to tell if he was being sarcastic or not.

“What was the emergency?” Spike lifted the bowl and dumped the rest of the gems into his mouth and smacked his lips.

“Some strange tunnels appeared under the School of Friendship, where the Tree of Harmony made a chamber. They lead to all kinds of random places all over Equestria, like a system. In fact, the places they lead are the ideal kinds of places where an enemy would attack, or where we would have to stand our ground. Spike, do you know what this means?”

“Um… no?” Spike set the now-empty bowl on a bedside table and brushed shards off his scales. Twilight rolled her eyes.

“This means that we have a way to communicate between the rulers and the armies! They just need to send a messenger through the tunnels to give us the message! Or they could just write it. But the tunnels could also be useful for a retreat. They could come back to Ponyville and rest up while we plan a new and better strategy. Don’t you see? This is just the right thing we need! Spike, I think the Tree of Harmony is on our side!”

“Hasn’t it always been?” Spike yawned.

“Oh, Spike. Anyways, I need to have another meeting. We need to get the armies trained up properly, and get them into position. If the Anoians want to fight us, they’re going to get a kick in the face. Or, if it comes to it, a magic rainbow.” Twilight trotted over to the door and opened it, trotting out. She stuck her head back in and grinned. “After all, a magic rainbow always works. It’s a solid backup plan.” Twilight yanked her head out of the room and ran off towards the conference room. Spike watched her go.

“But what if we could find a way to win this war without any fighting?” Spike wondered aloud.

Halfway across the world, Red was lying in bed, thinking the exact same thing.

Marylyn had given Red a beautiful room. A whole wall was glass, with a balcony that overlooked the garden. The bed was a double, with plush pillows and comforters. The other walls had painted pictures of flowers and fruit and waterfalls. The furniture was made of mahogany, and there was a small desk tucked into the corner with a comfy stool. The bedside table was polished and had a china lamp on it with a single, empty drawer. Red had gone to her old house and gotten a single bag of her most prized possessions, which sat in the corner, untouched. The room was beautiful, and Red loved it, but the looming threat of war was the only thing constantly on her mind.

Red hung out with the emperor’s generals and commanders, squeezing all the information out of them as she could without them noticing. She eavesdropped on the emperor whenever possible and listened to his plots. All of this she reported to Twilight the first chance she got. From what Twilight told her, the Equestrians had a solid plan for the war and were prepared for whatever the emperor would throw at them.

The emperor’s plan was actually pretty close to what Twilight had guessed. He was going to attack the eastern coast with a smaller army, hopefully getting the attention of Twilight Sparkle and the whole Equestrian army. Then, while they were distracted fighting to the east, the bigger army would split into three and come from the north, west, and south, closing in on Canterlot and forcing them to surrender. In response to this, Twilight ordered a team of pegasi to scout the southern border. If they saw any armies, they were to come through the tunnels to Ponyville so Twilight could order some armies down that way. She was hoping the awful conditions would discourage the Anoians, so they would try some different approach.

Red and Twilight had a secret plan between the two of them and Twilight’s friends. Twilight and her friends would come to Anoia secretly, and, while the emperor was busy with the war, they would liberate the captured ponies and creatures and bring them back home. With the initial mission accomplished, Twilight would discuss terms for surrender with Emperor Lupines, and that would be that. All done. Nothing to worry about anymore. At least, that’s what Red desperately hoped.

“Miss Red?” Marylyn opened the door a crack and stuck her head into the room. “The emperor would like to see you.”

“Really? What - what for?” Red asked nervously as she stood up and trotted over to Marylyn.

“I don’t know, but you should hurry. He’s in a hurry to get the armies on their way to Equestria to begin the war.” Was it just Red’s imagination, or did a flicker of fear enter Marylyn’s eyes when she said “war”? “Come on, you don’t want to be late.”

Red followed Marylyn to the throne room. Marylyn pushed the door open and gestured for Red to enter, but stayed outside the room.

“Aren’t you coming?” Red said in a hushed voice, hesitating. Marylyn shook her head.

“This is top secret. Nopony else is allowed.” Marylyn jerked her head at the door, and Red reluctantly entered the room.

Emperor Lupines’s eyes followed Red as she approached the throne. His other generals were surrounding him, staring uncertainty at this new pony.

“Ah, good, finally,” The emperor smiled coldly at the red pegacorn. “Now we can finally begin.”

Author's Note:

Constructive criticism is appreciated.