• Published 6th Dec 2012
  • 2,239 Views, 29 Comments

Starfall: Dominion of the Night, Part I - AuroraScribe



The course of time has been changed... and as the war of the sisters begins, will Star Swirl's involvement change things for the better, or has the mage doomed Equestria to an even more terrible fate?

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::: Complete Story Recap :::

This section contains major spoilers for Starfall: Dominion of the Night, Part I.

If you're looking to catch up on the story, or simply would prefer to skip ahead but want to have a good handle on what's happening, then you've come to the right place. However... just keep in mind this will heavily narrow down the events.

:derpytongue2: LAST WARNING --- SPOILERS AHEAD :derpytongue2:

Prologue: In Another Time

In an alternate timeline, Princess Luna worries over her choices but struggles with a need to be defiant toward her sister, Princess Celestia. To her surprise, her thoughts are disrupted by the beautiful singing of Celestia and an alicorn filly named Star Flare.

Though her time with the filly is brief, the respect and admiration she shows makes Luna leery about the things she's set in motion, strengthening a part of her already conflicted over doing such deeds. Even so, she can't help but feel proud that her most recent plan goes without a hitch leaving her as the center of attention and a hero, despite she was actually the cause of the tragedy.

Chapter 1: Fool's Gambit

Over a thousand years in the future beyond Twilight Sparkle's transformation into a princess of Equestria, Star Swirl has a showdown with an ancient enemy that has brought incredible destruction to the world. As the battle wears on, the archmage's foe controls Celestia in an effort to defeat him and nearly does. With his staff taken from him then twisted into a new weapon with evil magic, the archmage is badly wounded and narrowly escapes using his timejump spell.

He reappears in Canterlot but in a time somewhat foreign to him, a place still in his future but not like it had or should be. Through magic and a special device, he attempts to discover his actual location via the other timelines, but in the midst of the spell something intervenes causing the device to explode.

Chapter 2: Veiled Lineage

While on their way home with their mother, Berry Bliss and Fidget witness a small explosion near the Canterlot library. Frightened by the event, Berry Bliss runs away but Fidget stays behind to help a strange elder pony who seemed to have been caught in the blast.

On the other side of Canterlot, Star Flare, now grown up and in the royal guard, heads through the snow-covered markets on her way home. After a bit of fun playing with some of the orphans there, she's stopped by Fidget who tells her about his earlier encounter and that Captain Stormstrike was looking for her. Though she'd prefer not to, she apologizes and leaves the little pony behind, taking flight to the library.

In the midst of being questioned about the explosion by Captain Stormstrike and a pony named Calligraphy, Star Swirl gives the false name of Virtuoso the Bearded and denies having any involvement. As they move into the alley where Star Swirl's tools for seeing the timelines exploded, the archmage uses a spell on the Captain to learn more of what's happening in current time. His plan, however, takes a turn as he's caught in the act by Star Flare who was in flight and saw everything overhead.

The sudden arrival of the alicorn, along with her striking resemblance to Princess Celestia - and most importantly, one Star Swirl knows doesn't belong in this timeline - makes him question everything he knows up to this point.

Though she has no reason to, something unusual about the old mage has Star Flare lowering her defenses and even trusting him. With a promise that he'd explain more about his reasons for being there, she reluctantly agrees to take him to the castle to see the princesses.

Chapter 3: Revelations

After previously casting a simple spell to gauge Star Flare's magical talent, Star Swirl concludes to himself that she wouldn't have the ability to use the timejump spell. This only makes him more concerned as to her reasons for being here.

As the two work their way through the frigid city, Star Swirl learns more and more about his companion and worries about her place here with the war of the sisters looming. Because of this, he attempts to give her a magical locket but is shocked to find she already has an identical one.

This last piece of evidence combined with knowledge of her cutie mark confirms to him that Star Flare is actually Celestia's daughter, Princess Elysia, a pony that shouldn't be born for nearly two thousand years but is somehow stranded here in this timeline just like him. Star Flare begs him for any information he might know, and he opens up, but knows the information could also be catastrophic and casts a spell to seal away her memories.

Chapter 4: Dark Tidings

Hours earlier, Luna dream gazes and unknowingly enters the mind of the unconscious Star Swirl and sees a desolate future. Before she can piece together what she's seeing, she's confronted by the welling darkness within, a manifestation of the evil that has worked tirelessly to take control of her heart. Terrified, she awakens wrapped in her blankets gasping for air.

After bathing, she decides she can no longer pretend these things aren't happening to her, but rather than act upon the impulse to be defiant with her sister, she heads to the grand hall hoping to find a way to rekindle a friendship between them.

Though Luna had every intention of being on her best behavior, she's given a less than formal greeting by a visiting gryphon named Gwyneth and her mood immediately sours. After being told that the gryphons would no longer protect the northern passage, and furthermore, that for a short time they would do so but only in the day, she can barely contain her anger as Celestia deflects the issue.

Before Luna can make any more of the matter, and just as Zaira and the Gwyneth were leaving, a royal guard enters the great hall and nervously announces a visitor - Star Swirl the Bearded.

Chapter 5: Wayward Harbinger

With the solstice festival about to happen and with the large crowds already within Canterlot, Scarlet Blossom frets over her decision to allow a guard to announce a visitor for the princesses, all the while Star Flare does her best to make her not worry over the matter so much.

Meanwhile in the great hall, still in shock at the announcement of Star Swirl's arrival, the princesses argue over whether the announced visitor could truly be the archmage they know. Though Luna is certain it couldn't be him, she tells the royal guard to dismiss whoever it may be as a prankster, but after hearing a few more details Celestia at the last moment intervenes and instead asks the guard to welcome the visitor and to treat him with care.

Word is given to Scarlet Blossom and Star Swirl is welcomed in, but the spell put on Star Flare begins to take effect and her memories of the time spent with the archmage begin to fade away. Suddenly remembering she was supposed to spend time with Skystrider tonight and was already quite late, she bolts into the air and takes flight.

Star Swirl is escorted to the grand hall by Scarlet Blossom and as they continue through the castle, he struggles with the idea of actually being a part of pushing Luna's conflict with Celestia.

Chapter 6: Afflicted

After a surprised welcome from the princesses, Star Swirl, struggling with the pain of his wound and dealing his best with the guilt of being a catalyst for their coming conflict, stands before both Celestia and Luna and tells them he knows of a looming threat to Equestria.

Before he can say much, Celestia reminds him she knows about his ability to move through time and that he had long ago made her a promise to never tell her of the future. He clarifies that what he speaks of is something she is already aware of, so it should have no effect on the course of time. He follows it with a declaration that he is a guardian of Equestria, and he will do everything in his power to stop the cause of these problems - all the while focusing his attention on Luna.

While Celestia does her best to lighten the clearly growing tension between Star Swirl and her sister, she finally decides the best method would be to separate them for now and asks Star Swirl to join her outside while she lowers the sun. Luna intervenes, however, and asks Star Swirl to stay with her to talk a bit longer. Celestia, while apprehensive, agrees but before she leaves Star Swirl tells her he'll join her outside in the royal gardens soon.

After Celestia leaves the grand hall, Luna magically bolts the doors and seals the room in magic. Fearfully, she confronts Star Swirl to find out just how much the archmage knows and he doesn't hold back. Without saying so directly, he makes it clear he knows she's fully responsible for many of the horrible events across Equestria. Before she can ask more though, her magic on the great hall is dispelled and Celestia's assistant and head of the magic order, Zaira, opens the doors and enters.

Shocked at the abrupt intrusion, Luna demands an explanation. After a small apology, Zaira follows it with a request to escort Star Swirl outside, telling them that Celestia has requested his presence. Before Luna can say anything about the matter, Star Swirl agrees.

Chapter 7: Broken Promise

Luna, unable to cope with the confrontation by Star Swirl, struggles to make it back to her chambers. On her way, she nearly runs into Scarlet Blossom, whom, with a spell that controls others by their deepest desires, uses the pony as a personal guard to give her time.

Star Swirl, while being escorted by Zaira to the frozen royal gardens, is told his plan works by the zebra. She feeds him bits of information to make him believe that what he's done will in fact cause the sisters to have their conflict, just as he was hoping. Before he goes outside to meet with Celestia, Zaira asks the old mage to promise to never return to this time. Surprised at her knowledge of his endeavors, he reluctantly agrees but is now even more curious about his unusual escort.

Once in the gardens, Princess Celestia meets with Star Swirl and they reflect on times gone by. Star Swirl debates with himself over what would happen if he simply confided the entirety of what's about to happen but his thoughts are interrupted as he's hit in the head by a snowball.

Celestia doesn't hide her feelings and as she moves close, she uses her magic to dispel his illusion of old age. Star Swirl's beard reverts to a goatee and his gray mane and tail shift to blue and black. Being so near her, he doesn't realize that she's inadvertently dispelled the illusion hiding the wound on his side as well.

Curious about his tattered robes, Celestia touches them at an unusual split in the material along his side. Feeling like a spear had just been stabbed into his ribs, Star Swirl has to use his magic to prevent himself from collapsing in pain. The sudden motion and burst of magic causes his robes to shift, fully exposing his side. Unable to hide it, the princess sees where his corrupted staff had carved deeply into him, its edged tip leaving a gaping wound from his shoulder clear through the cutie mark on his hip.

Seeing her fear and knowing it was nothing Celestia should've ever seen, he apologizes for breaking his promise and explains that she now knows a bit of the future. Concerned for her now more than ever, and feeling his own future is very uncertain, he decides to give her his personal journal of magic and tells her to one day give it to her student.

Before she can talk him out of it, Star Swirl summons his power to leave, intentionally making a big display of his magic. After returning his illusion of old age, in a spiral of blue light the archmage vanishes, leaving only a silver locket laying upon the snow.

Chapter 8: Herald of the Ages

Luna returns to her chambers and, completely overwhelmed by her own fears and sadness, cries as she tries to sort out the mess caused by Star Swirl's arrival. A fleeting spark of hope wells inside her as she feels the magic of her sister lowering the sun, but she realizes it's unlikely Star Swirl has spoken with her yet.

Unsure of what to do, she views her reflection in the mirror. Seeing her bloodshot eyes and matted cheeks from tears, she admits to herself she's the cause but her anger takes control and she magically shatters the mirror upon the floor. Slowly the princess of the night treads over the shards of glass and crawls into bed. Before falling to sleep, she takes off her tiara and sets it on the pillow beside her.

Having quickly changed out of her enchanted royal guard armor into just a simple coat, Star Flare arrives nearly frozen at Skystrider's home, but just before she gets to its entrance she's surprised by an explosion of fireworks overhead. She watches the display briefly but as the lights fade away she notices a different streak of light in the sky. Nearby, she hears an elderly pony say it's a comet. Star Flare asks about it and the elderly pony explains it's one that only comes around once every hundred years and that it always portends something horrible. Unsure of what to make of it, before she can ask anything more the elderly pony abruptly closes the door.

Before she can think much of it, behind her she hears Fidget call out her name. She sees the little pony has made a path in the snow for her and together they head into Skystrider's home.

Chapter 9: Memories

In a flash of green energy, Zaira appears before the outer walls of the magic order. After taking a moment to look above at the streak of the bright blue comet in the night sky, atop her head an invisible horn flashes with green magic and the gates to the magic order open and she slips inside.

Before making it to the main building, she notices a bird had made it through the wards shielding the magic order from the frigid elements. She wonders for a moment if it was someone's familiar, but before she can use magic to check for herself it quickly flies through the wards and leaves.

Zaira moves within the magic order and seals herself within her study. Using powerful magic and through a strange glowing gemstone, she connects herself to a dark unicorn from the future and tells him everything went as planned. She makes it clear that she was the one actually responsible for destroying the tools for Star Swirl's ability to see the threads of time and even mocks the mage, calling him weak and naive.

Before she can continue, the dark unicorn frightens her and she responds that a shielding for this time period has been put into place. Before she can continue though, Star Swirl appears and with magic knocks the zebra clear across the floor on her back.

Zaira, in complete disbelief at Star Swirl being there is shocked further when he makes it clear he knows she's a changeling. Ready for a fight, she transforms but before she can even attempt an attack the archmage sends her colliding against the wall, keeping her pinned there with energy.

Star Swirl, reluctant to cause her further harm, asks Zaira to tell him exactly what she's planned. The changeling, barely able to breathe, states that she simply wants the princess to carry out her destiny.

Meanwhile, in another part of Canterlot, Star Flare, Fidget and Skystider hang out and talk about the strange things that happened over the course of the day. A baby phoenix Fidget had found, which he believed to be injured, flies around playfully and stays near the little pony.

Fidget brings up the things that happened earlier and how he was a bit upset he couldn't go with Star Flare when she went over to the library, but Star Flare's memory of that time is hazy and she can't remember meeting with him. She's reminded about an older pony that had been at the library and it sparks something within her, and as she closes her eyes she doesn't realize a tear cascades down her cheek.

When she's asked what's the matter, and though she feels awful for having to do so, she lies and tells them the story Skystrider's neighbor told must've upset her.

Chapter 10: Precipice

The pain of his wound begins to be a bit too much and Star Swirl feels his powers beginning to diminish. Unable to clearly understand why a changeling would want to bring about something so horrible as starfall, Star Swirl opens up about what the day would bring but he's shocked at the response. Zaira tells him her kind isn't limited to feeding on positive emotion, rather it's the intensity of the emotion itself - and the fear and horror caused by starfall will allow the changelings to feed endlessly.

Knowing it was an eventuality, his spell keeping Zaira under control weakens enough for her to break free. The changeling stands defiantly, clearly ready for a fight, but she toys with Star Swirl, as if under the impression he was easy prey.

Clearly confident in her abilities, Zaira unleashes flames across the walls, unveiling a hidden prison she had kept behind one of the large tapestries. Mixed with smoke, a terrible stench wafts from the cell and Star Swirl looks within in horror, spotting multiple ponies he knows. The changeling had clearly been feeding off of them for a long time, but had done little to keep them in good health.

After a threat that the archmage would soon join them, Star Swirl vows he'll do everything he can to bring an end to this nightmare.

Comments ( 2 )

some really dark moments

In that case, shouldn't this story have a dark tag?

5492939

Part 1 was already marked dark, though. :moustache:

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