• Published 22nd Nov 2022
  • 289 Views, 30 Comments

Of Moon and Stars - Isuvyw

Nightmare Moon is coming back, and it's up to a griffon to stop her.

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Chapter 5: Moon. Stars. Mirror. Blast.

Night molested the halls of the castle with perverse, ominous shadows. Celestia ambled at a solemn pace through the marble corridor. Her golden hoof-shoes tinkled icily against the cold floor, like the haunted knell of a church bewailing a pony’s passing.

The council’s final decision strained her conscience with the force of a mountain, like the deadly rock weighed upon a criminal’s back – an ancient form of torture. Perhaps this was heaven’s way to punish her for bowing to the council’s unanimous will.

Minister Armilary’s suggestion – no, insistence – of an inside pony helping the Erudítí had won the majority. After all, his evidence was compelling, and Celestia’s every objection to his points had been answered with eloquence and confidence. The rest of the council easily accepted his proposal. All they needed then was her approval.

“Remember, princess…” echoed Armilary’s words. “The fate of the entire nation rests greatly upon you.”

She shut her eyes.

“Ponykind looks up to you. Please, do not fail them.”

Hot tears slowly escaped from a guilty heart.

“After all, this is for the good of Equestria.”

She had signed their motion with a heavy stamp on the hot wax. It was law. To reverse a decision approved by herself would make her the fool and hypocrite, right?

“For the good of Equestria…” she repeated in a hollow whisper.

Tarla Sparklefeather was to be arrested, tried, and, if judged guilty, executed at the third hour the day after. Her charges: treason, conspiracy with malicious groups, and obstruction of justice. The chosen method: axe and chopping block.

She’d just ordered innocent blood to be spilt.

Screaming, she swiped her hoof and sent a nearby flower table crashing into the floor. Precious Neighponese vases shattered into million pieces, scattering hydrangeas and lavenders across the slippery tiles. Celestia dropped to the floor, powerless against her conscience. She screamed, despaired.

A few guards had rushed to her aid. “Begone! Leave me!” she bellowed. They instantly obeyed, fearing the sun’s wrath, and scurried out of the corridor. Now by herself, she sobbed freely, uninhibited by protocol or demands. She simply wept for yet another soul lost to her foolishness.

Something pinched her hoof, and she stared down, alarmed, to see that she’d pricked it against the thorn of a fallen rose. A twisted, sanguine little thing. She gazed with wide, tightened eyes the small stream of blood spurting from the little wound.

It would never compare to the blood soon to spurt from the griffon’s neck.

She gasped at that thought. The corridor suddenly felt so small. Walls closed in as her ministers’ voices echoed within the marble prison. Trapped… she felt trapped. Distressed, she snapped her head this way and that, trying to find a way to escape this condemnation. There ahead, on the other side, was the wooden door. It would lead to her private wing.

She begged heaven that it was unlocked.

She quickly arose. The candlelight shined hotly; it reminded her of this afternoon’s discussion. She arrested that memory and bade it shut up. She couldn’t – nay, she wouldn’t – let another soul perish because of her.

Mustering a fragile, determined breath, she marched towards the inviting door and crossed into her private wing, shutting that door with a slam. Celestia sped towards her own library. She wouldn’t be getting any sleep tonight.

“There has to be a way…”


It was a glorious morning. Armillary Amberstone walked the halls of the castle – head held high, wig puffed right, and portly lips twisted in a fat smirk. His silver horseshoes chinked loudly, an acoustic servant that demanded all who heard it gave way to its master. Naturally, they did. Pages, deputies, valets, secretaries – all greeted him with good mornings and polite smiles.

He crossed into the grand rotunda. The sun shone gloriously through the skylight above. Soldiers stood at attention at every corner. Servants crossed from one end to another, carrying papers, ink, and other amenities. Ministers Axle and Point were standing at the East side, gossiping about Secretary Pots’ new coat, while Minister Bloom trudged sulkily across the chamber, ears pulled back and eyes dimmed with rage. Whatever had happened, Armillary wouldn’t bother with; it wasn’t his interest and business to ask.

He arrived at his office – first corridor, twelfth room. Head of Royal Sciences, the lacquered plaque read. He sighed contentedly as he gazed at it. Father had always wanted him to be high-brass. He’d proudly fulfilled that dream. Just… not in the way Father had expected.

Armillary’s heart tightened at that thought. His pride faltered, as he relived the day Father rejected him and ousted him from his place in the family – the very same day he had been sworn in as a member of court. Yes, Father should’ve been proud of his achievement. But he wasn’t.

Armillary growled. Father’s approval be damned. He didn’t care – at least, no longer. He gazed at that plaque – Head of Royal Sciences – and relished in that title. Military or not, he had achieved the high brass, and Father should have at least been grateful for that.

Nodding to himself, he entered through its rich, ornate spruce doors.

The day’s papers sat neatly, waiting for him. He grinned – Daisy always did a great job for him. Coughing, he stroked his wig and sat at his desk, seeking a very important piece of paper.

He found it stored nicely within a folded letter. It was rather thick, gilded with bronze leaf at its corners, a sign of its official status. Pressed in ink and blackletter was the title,


An ominous word, but one befitting the solemnity of the case.

He chuckled. In no time, that griffoness would be gone. He had made sure of that – she’d meddled with enough of his secrets, and it was time to pull the thorn out of his flesh. The Erudítí could finally continue their activities in peace – after all, as their head, it was his utmost duty and responsibility to protect their goals. He could spare a few to take the fall, for the sake of the others’ survival within the stormy seas of politics.

And the griffoness was simply the unexpected scapegoat, with the right background and qualities needed to shoulder the blame – a saviour who would die for him and his group. Perfect. He reminded himself to plant a rose at her unmarked grave as a token of his gratitude.

Armillary coughed again, ignoring a familiar knot within his heart. Guilt or conscience mattered little to him now. He had to accomplish this. The truth of the war, the griffons they’d enslaved, and now their meddling with the stars – all would die… with her.

Ah, a satisfying relief.

Armillary arose, warrant in hoof. Musing was over. It was time to perform the final act. He and his griffoness would stand in the spotlight – one would take it all, the other would fall. With a stroke of his puffed wig and brush of his coat, he strode out of the office and made for the Royal Impression. By day’s end, every newspaper, advertisement, signboard, and stone wall would demand the arrest, trial, and execution of Tarla Sparklefeather.


“Armillary is making his move,” stated the batpony solemnly. The diamond dog and his griffon comrade lowered their gazes. The batpony turned to his left and gazed at that jar of glass and cork, shining brightly even beneath the two suppressing tarps. He sighed, then stood up.

“What are you going to do, Vicious?” growled the diamond dog.

We, Turin, not I,” corrected Vicious. He walked up towards the tarps and slowly, almost ceremoniously, pulled it back. Shining like ten thousand crystal angels, the Elements of Harmony sparkled and fizzed as a white liquid reflecting many colours. “Marvellous job by the way, Turin,” he commented with a slight chuckle.

The dog smirked. “Courtesy of my people’s science.”

The griffon grumbled. “Well, are we going to just sit on our rumps and watch Armillary play his games? And lose our chance of making a change?”

Vicious frowned. “Do not even think for a second that we’ve lost our goals, Stormtalon.” He scoffed. “He’s played his hoof in this game. Now, it’s our turn to answer, and we’d better make the right move.”

“Sure, easy for you to say, Vicious,” mocked Stormtalon, clicking his beak with an arrogant glare. Vicious ignored the griffon and carried the jar back to the table. He exhaled.

“I had wished that time would be our ally, but alas,” he commented wistfully. He was visibly reluctant to say what he had to say, that much the table could tell.

“We have to do it tonight,” declared the batpony.

A glass mug shattered into ten thousand pieces – Stormtalon had hurled Vicious’ coffee into the stone wall. It was nothing more than brown liquid; its rich, golden flavour had vapourized long ago.

“Pity, it was my favourite brand,” whined Vicious. “Old Pony Joe, Abyssinian Roa–”

“Save your crap, fruit-lover!” bellowed Stormtalon. “Tonight? Tonight?!

“We have no choice, bird,” countered the batpony.

‘No choice.’ No choice my rump!” he berated. “One of us against their hundred, three of us against their thousand. What does that say to you, bat?”

“That it’s now or never, bird,” hissed Vicious, baring his fangs. “We have the power of the Elements. The Elements. Ancient gems of divine power, melted into liquid, sitting in a glass jar so white one could drink it as milk” – Turin’s face twisted in disgust – “What is a hundred, and what is a thousand? Huh?

Stormtalon puffed his chest and fired up his wings, vitriol boiling from a slighted pride.

“He’s right, griffon,” wised Turin as Vicious collapsed back into his chair, spent. “We don’t have much time. We can’t wait till every guard in the ranks is bent to our will. While we have the chance” – his mouth peeled into a sharp and wicked grin – “we better take that chance.”

Stormtalon huffed, short of breath. His tightened eyes darted between the other two, before loosening into two miserable orbs. His chest contracted back, wings drooping flaccidly. No doubt Vicious’ and Turin’s voices had worked their way into his brain.

Fine,” he spat. “Take my vote. I have no choice anyways.” He spurned his seat and marched out of the room, the door’s slam echoing like a musket shot.

Vicious and Turin eyed each other. A sad heaviness seemed to rest upon them. All their months of careful planning were now swept away by a rash course of action.

“Sometimes…” mumbled Vicious. “Sometimes, I believe it was better to have died back there.”

“I admit, it was a suicide charge,” snorted Turin. “But then, perhaps you survived for a purpose,” he offered. The faux optimism extracted a cringed scowl from the batpony. The dog decided to switch gears. “Now, what’s the actual plan?” he inquired.

Vicious exhaled a tired breath and cleared his throat. “I have weaved together a formula based on info I extracted out of my people, and a few others–”

“Let me guess, you threatened them?” deadpanned Turin. Vicious’ fangs shone as he grinned. The dog groaned.

“The end justifies the means,” justified the batpony with a smug, before continuing. “The formula works in three phases.” Turin leaned in, eager to absorb whatever Vicious had in store.

The batpony smirked. “Phase one. Place the jar in an open space and concentrate white light onto it. The liquid should simmer – preferably audibly – and release thaumic waves.”

“We should be able to sense them?” inquired the dog.

“I have a thaumic current metre, capable of up to 12,000 spheres,” confirmed the batpony, and continued.

“Phase two. Position a few mirrors around the space, with at least one facing skywards. Fix all with transmutation crystals set to the Phoenix code – which I have already settled, thank me later – and allow the wavelengths to increase in magnitude.”

“I like this…” grinned Turin. Vicious answered with a fanged chuckle. He breathed in.

“Phase three, final phase. Once the waves have reached a minimum of 80,000 spheres, smash the jar. The built-up energy should be released in one, single beam. Explosive. And deadly.”

Vicious imitated a kaboom with his furry limbs. Turin ignored the dramatics with lowered eyes. “A 12,000-sphere metre measuring a force of 80,000. How effective.”

“That has little relevance. My metre is only there for reference. We have to feel it, my friend,” leered Vicious, almost sensually.

Turin sulked. “Fine, even if we somehow reach the right amount, what should we expect for results?”

The batpony snickered. “The resulting blast should be powerful enough to shatter the elemental magic holding our dear princess captive – after all, enchantments weaken with time. Even though powered by the Elements of Harmony, such can only hold up for exactly a thousand years.” Vicious took a moment to chuckle. “An explosive beam reflected into the Moon should be strong enough to destroy the intricacies holding the enchantment together.”

“But how will Nightmare Moon… er, materialise, so to speak?” awkwardly questioned Turin. And it was a good question, for one who denied spirits.

“When she was banished, her body was destroyed. Her spirit, however, took residence within the Moon. At least” – he paused to observe Turin’s doubting face – “that’s what we believed. You, of course, have little to do with religion.”

“None, ever since I was born,” confirmed Turin, a little proudly. “I find the science of my people, shall I say… safer, compared to the rigour of faith.”

“That matters little,” brushed off Vicious. “The Phoenix code faithfully embedded within the mirrors should convert elemental magic into so-called resurrective magic. That should do the trick of giving our princess a body capable enough to do her job here.”

“Well, at least that settles her arrival. Even then” – Turin coughed – “that’s an awfully lengthy process. And we don’t have time.”.

“Which is why we are doing it today,” emphasised Vicious, rising from the table. “Meet me at the Tower Observatory at the fifth hour of night. Come discreetly, take the alleys. The guards will receive you with a code.”

Turin arose, eyes narrowed. “And shall that be?”

Vicious’ slitted eyes gleamed in the dim room.

“Moon. Stars. Mirror. Blast.”

Author's Note:

I have nothing to comment. Enjoy the chapter, and the story.

Oh, and blessed Easter -- it's that time of the year where we remember Jesus died, got buried, and resurrected again for human beings and ponies. God bless.

Comments ( 10 )

“After all, this is for the good of Equestria.”

Liar. You want this for the good of you and not much else.

There's not even any evidence for it, at least none that isn't more than circumstantial at best and easy to disprove if someone would actually lift a hoof to do it.

Heck, if there's really any conspirators present here, my first choice of suspect would be Minister Armilary.

Of course, we seem to have more than one conspiracy at play here...

It was a glorious morning. Armillary Amberstone walked the halls of the castle

Speaking of... *makes several angry swats in the direction of his stupid wig*

At this point, every pony who sports a wig is immediately sus. Wigs are sus, after all. Especially powdered ones.

Decent chapter, only held back by being all plans of the future...I suppose that's because of focusing on making the next chapter have a fun twist I think is coming, but still, just a bit of meaningful character interaction would go a long way when there's all this borderline exposition involved.

What do you suggest I could do to improve it?

Hmm, specifics are hard, but I'll try:

  1. Armillary Amberstone scene: This could be better with him joking about the situation with another character (perhaps one of the conspirators pretending to be on his side?), since we already had a long inner thoughts scene with Celestia, and it seems rather redundant to switch to this gloating guy to get information we already have.
  2. The conspirators scene: Conflict seems to be missing, there's a mild discussion, but it's a very foregone conclusion. It could perhaps do with one of them being insistent on not acting now, and getting slapped.
  3. The 3-phase formula description: This is very technical and could really be replaced with some kind of interaction with outside characters (maybe having to distract such, with a casual chat that also helps drive the plot).

Thanks, I'll try to see what I can do. Writing has been a bit slow as of now due to school.

Any change in things?

I've abandoned this story.

But I'll still keep it here as a little memorial, and perhaps some history, for me to look upon. My writing style has somewhat undergone a change, and this fic is probably a remnant of what my writing used to be.

Oh, that's rather sad to hear. As much as it has problems with pacing and lack of focus, it still was pretty interesting to see where it was headed. Would there be any chance of a rewrite?

Also, you may want to at least change the status to On Hiatus or Canceled.

At the moment, I'm don't think so. I have a busy schedule, so it's kind of hard to decide what project I should focus on with my limited time and energy.

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