• 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 Thirteen - Twilight

The first battle came exactly where Twilight expected it to be.

At the mouth of the canal between Griffonstone and the Dragon Lands, a patrol spotted a fleet of about a dozen ships sailing towards the canal. They brought back dragon and griffon reinforcements and soon sank a total of four ships and damaged the rest. The fleet quickly surrendered and retreated to back where they came from. The commander’s second-in-command jubilantly reported to Dragon Lord Ember that there were no casualties. Ember had believed that they would easily win this war, but Twilight wasn’t so sure.

“That was most likely just a decoy,” she reminded the other rulers for the thousandth time, “something to make us too confident and cocky. It will get much more difficult from here on out.”

Ember rolled her eyes and scoffed, but the others thought Twilight had a valid point. They gave orders to increase the number of patrols and to not engage in large battles. Simply sink ships and cut supply lines and slow them down. The real fighting will happen when they get onto Equestrian soil.

Twilight was very nervous. As her friends liked to say, she was “twilighting twice as much nowadays”, which Twilight continuously denied. Her reports from Red had come to an abrupt halt. She hadn’t heard anything from the pegacorn since she had confirmed Twilight’s suspicions about the emperor’s battle plans. After that, they had come to a stalemate. Twilight wanted to call Red using their pendants, but she had enchanted them so that only Red’s was able to make the calls. This was so Twilight wouldn’t accidentally call Red in the middle of a meeting with the emperor or in a place where a ton of ponies could see Red’s betrayal. All Twilight’s could do was make Red’s pendant glow so that Red would know Twilight wanted to talk. Twilight had been sending these glows twice a day at least, and still no answer. Twilight feared that Red had been discovered and possibly killed.

Obviously, Twilight and the other rulers were camping out in Twilight’s castle. The cutie map turned out to be very good for plotting battles. Twilight and Starlight Glimmer combined their magic so that the cutie map could now show live footage of what was happening anywhere in Equestria. They could see where the armies were heading and could anticipate their moves. Because of this, they sent out orders to get rid of all patrols and dispatch any creatures that were on patrol to report to the armies to strengthen their numbers.

Equestria had scored several small victories, but the Anoian armies pulled a surprise attack over to the east and had taken Griffonstone due to the lack of government or monarchies. So the enemy had a base easily within attacking distance of Equestria.

The Battle of the Canal was another failure. Somehow, the Anoians had snuck up between the Dragon Lands and the southern border of Equestria. A large fleet was slowly fighting their way up the canal between the Dragon Lands and Griffonstone with great casualties. They were halted by a large troop of griffons and dragons at the fork. The other army flanked the Equestrians and defeated them. The only thing that kept them from getting completely obliviated was the new tunnels the Tree of Harmony had created.

And so the Dragon Lands, the changeling kingdom, and Griffonstone all fell to the Anoians. This was very bad news for Twilight. She spent the day pacing in circles around the throne room, wearing a groove on the floor.

After a battle in sweltering heat one day, Mount Aris fell as well. The surviving hippogriff armies fled to Ponyville. The small town was now overflowing with wounded soldiers. Applejack and her family gave up a whole section of their apple orchard to have the perished soldiers that just couldn’t make it buried. A single soldier was soon buried under every single apple tree. Wiping tears from her face, Applejack shakily proclaimed that they gave her trees the best fertilizer ever. Then she burst into tears and ran away crying at the thought of so many innocent creatures killed. Rainbow Dash tried to tell her to toughen up, although that ended up with both ponies sitting on the ground, bawling their eyes out and creating a new lake in the center of Ponyville.

Soon, much to Twilight’s despair, Equestria was surrounded by enemy territory when winter set in. The cold and snow slowed everything down, and the Equestrians spent the season trying to bring their armies back up to scratch with mixed results. They had little to no success in the spring, while Manehatten and Fillydelphia fell, as well as many other smaller towns.

“We have to fight back!” Ember shouted when the rulers met one spring day to discuss what to do about the predicament.

“That’s what I’ve been trying to tell everypony!” Rainbow Dash screamed back.

Well you need to try harder!” bellowed Ember. “We’ve got to fight back or we’re toast!”

“We’re trying,” Thorax said wearily. “But they’re too strong. They aren’t fooled by my changelings trying to disguise themselves as Anoians who try to get inside information. Sooner or later, they get kicked out or revealed before we can get any good information.”

“Yaks not like getting pushed around by ponies!” Prince Rutherford cried. “Yaks smash ponies!”

“Oh, really?” Ember said scathingly. “Because you seem to be doing a fantastic job!”

“Every creature, stop!” Twilight cried. “This war is hard, but we have to have faith that we can win!”

“Twilight,” Shining Armor said slowly, Cadance at his side, “I think…”

“Don’t you get started!” Twilight’s voice was choked with the tears that were forming in her eyes. “I can’t think about what would happen if we lose. I can’t-” Twilight cut off, curling up in a ball and started crying, sobs shaking her shoulders. Princess Skystar came over and gently wrapped her wings around the princess.

“Twilight’s right,” Thorax said strongly.

“Are you kidding me?” Ember screamed. “We don’t need an ushy-gushy speech from a king who doesn’t even know how to lead a kingdom and knows nothing about fighting a war!”

Thorax winced; she’d struck a sore spot. But he lifted his head and continued.

“Maybe I don’t. But I do know this. If you don’t fight back, then there’s no point in fighting at all. You might as well just hand yourself over to the enemy. You have to beat them at their own game, turn them against their leader, which will make them lose their support and popularity. But none of that will happen unless you fight back.”

Ember opened and closed her mouth, speechless. The other leaders looked at each other. Twilight lifted her head, her eyes red and putty and still full of tears but determined.

“I agree with Thorax,” Queen Novo said abruptly. “We need to fight back with everything we’ve got.”

Slowly but surely, the other leaders nodded their heads in agreement. Twilight smiled faintly.

“So!” Ember said sharply. Everyone’s heads turned to her, expecting an argument. “What do we have to do to get our armies back off the ground?”

Hope exploded inside Twilight like fireworks. There was a chance they could do this after all. Things weren’t all lost. If they were with her…

Suddenly, an explosion shook the room, making the tree root chandelier rock dangerously, the gems hanging from it clatter against each other. All heads whipped around towards the door.

“What the…” Applejack said slowly.

Every creature hurried out of the room and ran to the front steps of the castle. Smoke was rising into the air above the Everfree Forest. From out of the forest ran Sandbar, Gallus, Smolder, Yonna, and Ocellus. Yonna was carrying some creature on her back.

“What’s going on?” Twilight asked.

“Something’s attacking!” Ocellus got out.

“We were in our treehouse,” Smolder explained, “when some kind of bomb came out of the sky and blasted the castle ruins. We just barely escaped with our lives.”

“What do you mean?” Celestia demanded. Luna and her sister’s eyes were watering at the thought of their old castle getting blasted.

“When they saw us running away, they seemed determined to make sure there were no survivors,” Ocellus explained shakily. “They tossed more bombs. The treehouse seemed to be protected, because, you know, it’s made from the Tree of Harmony, but we had to get out. So we ran, but…”

“A bomb was heading straight towards us,” Gallus said dully. His eyes were full of grief, but he couldn’t lift them from the ground. He was flapping his wings, but it seemed that just doing that was taking all his concentration. “Silverstream used the magic in her pearl shard to protect us.”

Twilight gasped. She looked at the unconscious body on Yonna’s back. For the first time, she realized it was Silverstream. The pink and blue hippogriff was dusted with ash and her feathers and fur were singed. She wore a necklace with a shard of Queen Novo’s pearl on it, allowing her to change between a hippogriff and seapony at will. The shard was gone. Shattered. Silverstream was breathing, but she had given up her magic to make sure her friends were safe.

“No…” Princess Skystar was so quiet she almost couldn’t be heard. She flung herself into her mother’s wings and sobbed.

“It was scary,” Sandbar whispered. “The bomb was heading for Gallus, and Silverstream pushed him away and - and she grabbed her necklace and…and this shield came up around us and deflected it and she…fainted.” He broke off, unable to continue.

“Is she…?” Pinkie Pie was quiet, very unlike her.

Yonna nodded silently. “She’s alive.”

It was the first sentence that Yonna had made that her grammar wasn’t broken or incorrect. Silverstream deserved it.

Another explosion rocked the sky, closer to Ponyville, smoke billowing into the sky and blotting out the sun.

“You five,” Twilight commanded, straightening and wiping tears out of her eyes, “get Silverstream inside the castle and get a doctor for her. If they won’t go with you, tell them that I sent you.” Gallus looked up, a fire burning in his eyes that hadn’t been there before. He nodded and he and his friends galloped up the stairs to the castle and disappeared into the doors. “Everyone else,” Twilight continued, “stay low. Keep yourselves protected. Me and my friends will deal with these guys.”

“WHAT?!” Prince Rutherford yelled.

“What about not getting involved in combat?” Ember demanded. “Won’t they be more than happy to take you prisoner or kill you or something?” Twilight glared at her.

“Excuse me, but me and my friends have defeated more villains than I can count. I think we can take on these guys. Besides, if things go wrong-” she shrugged, “-we can always do rainbow lasers and turn them all to stone or vaporize them or something.” Twilight spread her violet wings and lifted into the sky, Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, and Spike following. Rarity, Applejack, and Pinkie Pie ran on the ground as the six ponies and dragon hurried towards the Everfree Forest.

“We aren’t going to die, right?” Pinkie Pie asked.

“Try not to think about it, sugarcube,” Applejack responded.

“I hope not. I haven’t seen Hamilton yet!”

“What is that?” Rainbow Dash inquired, staring down at Pinkie as she flew overhead.

“I dunno, some kind of big musical.”

Author's Note:

Constructive criticism is appreciated.