• Published 17th Dec 2012
  • 1,604 Views, 24 Comments

Defender of the Night - DayDrifter75



Princess Luna becomes Mare-Do-Well in order to protect Canterlot.

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Watcher of the Night

”Luna!”

Deep cyan eyes turned to look up at the princess of the sun. Tears began to well up in her eyes, fear taking over. Wind twisted around, her celestial cobalt mane flowing in sync with the ashen whirlwind. A shadow loomed over her as her older sister trotted closer and closer, the world seemingly cracking around her with each step taken. Lightning flashed everywhere, the proceeding thunder not subtracting from the fear that was currently grasping at her with its icy tendrils.

“You have proven to me that your actions as Nightmare Moon are unforgivable,” declared Princess Celestia. Her eyes glowered with a deep seething anger. “There is only one punishment befitting of your deeds.”

A gold aura wound its way around her sharp as a blade horn. As gold energy continued to build up in the monarch’s horn the unrelenting winds blew even harder and howled far more furiously, the earth becoming torn and scorched with each bolt of lightning that struck. Celestia spread her wings wide and rose up into the air to make her final statement.

“Death.”


With a gasp, the alicorn princess shot up from her bed, sweat dripping from her forehead. She looked around the room. Though large, it was relatively smaller than she’d liked it to be. It was created after she had reverted from Nightmare Moon, and the room itself was an improvised addition to Canterlot Castle. Each of her walls along with the ceiling and floor were painted a deep shade of blue, similar to that of her mane, and of the night sky. Extravagant decor lined the walls and fancy pieces of furniture lay scattered around the room. Her bed itself was twice the size of that of the average pony’s, wooden columns reaching up towards the high ceiling of the bedroom. Sapphire curtains were draped between them and matching silk sheets covered Luna’s sleek and slender body.

She blinked. She had a nightmare. The nightmare. The nightmare that plagued her rest every night since she had been released from her imprisonment. Not only did it contain a fear that took over her entire soul, but it was one that she knew in her heart to be true. She could not run away from this, it was inevitable. Her crimes against Equestria were unforgivable. No matter how many times her sister told her that she was forgiven, or how many times she’d been told it was okay, the absolute truth of the matter was that she was guilty, and she would always be.

Her breathing began to slow. It was still early. Sun shone through her covered windows, brightening up the nearly pitch-black room ever so slightly. It was too late to return to her slumber. And she didn't want to. After all, who would want to return to that? If sleeping was her illness, then staying awake was her medicine.

The next hour of the sleepless mare’s time was spent pacing back and forth, reflecting on her recurring nightmare. She had to find some way to atone for her sins, no matter how impossible it seemed. Even now she still had very little political influence, and very rarely did she get the chance to raise the moon as she normally did before her exile. She knew Celestia was limiting her on purpose.

Ringringringringri-!

An alabaster hoof came slamming down upon the wretched device. The remorse she previously felt momentarily left her body and replaced itself with anger. The moon princess could never get used to a lot of this new technology she had been introduced to. Maybe this was part of a cruel and unusual punishment. Either way, regardless of the reasoning behind the act, one of her royal guards would slip in at some point during the day while she slept, and replace her destroyed alarm clock, as would happen every day.

A knock came at the bedroom door. Did Celestia send for somepony to wake her up? It was not a normal part of her evening wake-up routine. Maybe this was another small ‘punishment’ that her older sister would be implementing. She pondered this as she opened the door. Standing outside was Celestia herself, her multi-hued mane flowing and glittering as beautifully as the sun itself. This came as a surprise to the younger sister, as Celestia was normally either very busy, or was preparing for her rest and lowering the sun to make way for the moon.

“Luna,” was all she stated, glaring down upon her sibling.

“Yes, my sister?” the younger one responded.

“Follow me.”

Luna exited her room and followed her sister as instructed. Through open arches the sun could be seen to have already set, the moon no doubt risen by Celestia tonight. The two trotted down the dull, purple halls of the castle in utter silence. Fewer of Celestia’s royal guard roamed the hall at this hour, slowly being replaced by Luna’s night guards. A few gold-plated ponies passed by, each kneeling to the royal siblings when they passed by. Luna was surprised that Celestia did not respond to any of them and kept walking. Bags could be seen forming under her eyes. The fatigue of running a nation took its toll.

They reached a winding staircase, and then stopped. Celestia gestured with her wing for Luna to climb the stairs first. It was one flight, but it went a long way, and straight up to the highest point of the castle. Time seemed to stretch as they trotted higher and higher, towards whatever it was that Celestia had in store for her younger sister. Large, oak doors appeared at regular intervals, each with a specific marking or design, and as the pair ascended, it could be seen that each door they passed appeared to be newer than the last.

Finally, their destination had been reached. The door was a brand new one, one made from a different material than most of the others. The intricate designs that lined the marble door were reminiscent of the shining night sky that Luna controlled, surrounding a center symbol. It was a crescent moon that wrapped around a single jewelled eye.

The white alicorn stepped aside. “Place your hoof here,” she instructed, gesturing at the centerpiece.

“Why?” Luna asked.

Celestia smiled, chuckling softly to herself. “Only you can open this door, Luna. This is a gift for you, and for you only.”

A gift? “For what reason do you have to give me a gift?”

“Luna, there are plenty of reasons I would want to give you a gift,” Celestia explained to her sister. “It is a simple gesture and a nice thing to do for somepony you love. But mostly, it’s a gift for your birthday.”

Luna had completely forgotten about her birthday. The days passed with such little significance that Luna stopped bothering to count the days and let them simply pass by, like a river that bore no fish to catch. Each day was just another in a long, monotonous year. To be told that it was her birthday came as such a surprise that she nearly cried. Nearly.

With a hollow look on her face, she responded, “What is it, Sister?”

She smiled. “Why don’t you take a look and find out?”

The moon princess hesitantly lifted her right hoof up to the marble door and placed it on top of the jeweled eye. The symbol glowed from underneath her hoof. Stars etched in the entry began to take on an ambiance of their own, each lighting up one by one under the entire image matched the night to a tee. A strip formed down the center and wrapped around her hoof in a spiral formation. The two now separated halves of the door began sliding apart slowly to reveal only darkness behind them. The two alicorns stood in silence for a moment after the process had finished. Then Celestia stepped into the blackness of the room. While still in sight, she beckoned for Luna to follow her in. Since she enjoyed the darkness, she did as she was told. The door closed.

A faint golden glow appeared in front of her. The glow became brighter, revealing Celestia’s horn. The sun princess cast her spell. A large circular object that separated the two sisters lit up. The entire room filled with the blue light that emanated from the center. It was a pool. A large vat sat in the middle of the also circular room, the water it was filled with was still, motionless. The rest of the room had no windows and no door other than the one from which they entered and was completely empty, the blue, glowing pool aside. The walls and ceiling themselves were made of a blue marble coloured like Luna’s own crystal horseshoes while the floor consisted of checkered shades of grey.

“What is this, Sister? A pond?” she asked. A dark room with a simple pool did not seem like any kind of gift that would normally be given on a pony’s birthday.

“This,” she began, “Is a special kind of pond. This is a Night Pool. I believe that the time has come for you to take back full control over the night.” The white princess smiled. “You shall now raise the moon every single night, as you did a thousand years ago.”

“But what does this Night Pool have to do with this?”

“The Night Pool allows you to watch over the ponies of Equestria during the night. You can enter the dreams of ponies to keep their minds at peace. Any place touched by the silver light of the moon, you'll be able to go, and anypony, you'll be able to speak with."

"So—"

She nodded. "You have full responsibility over the night, without my interference."

A single tear squeezed itself out of the moon princesses eye and dripped down into the magical pool. The blue water rippled, no longer still. "Thank you, my sister," Luna said.

"I'll leave you to begin with your duties. Goodnight, Luna."

"Goodnight."

Celestia trotted through the sliding door and left Luna alone in her own fortress of solitude. She gladly accepted the darkness that enveloped her when the door closed, smiling ever so slightly. She wiped away her tears and returned to her emotionless face. Standing over the edge of the pool, she looked in. The water's movement slowed, leaving her own reflection in its still and unmoving wake. Luna leaned forward, her horn touching that of her reflections. The blue glow of the pool grew until the whole room was lit with not a shadow to be seen, and then, it stopped. The waters shifted and changed, forming an image: Equestria. The entire country could be seen from inside that room as if she herself was flying above the earth and looking down upon it with her own eyes.

It was beautiful.

But the beauty was not what needed to be focused on. This gift was given to her so she could take responsibility over her night sky and watch over Equestria during the night. Where to begin, she thought, looking over the country. I suppose Canterlot is a good a place to start as any.

Focusing on the regal city, she activated her horn, casting a spell that would magnify her overhead view so that she could see only Canterlot. It did not take very much effort to do so; in fact, the simplicity of working the Night Pool could be compared to levitating small objects. The center of the pond rippled outwards, the now fleeting image of Equestria becoming blurry before settling to reveal the city of Canterlot. Though normally filled to the brim with bustling city life, most of the high society ponies now locked themselves away in wait for Celestia's sunny day.

The peacefulness of the night, the softer shades revealed by the light of the stars and moon, the general perfection of this hour is what made the night the time when all the world was at its very best. But ponies wasted it away hiding out inside their homes. No longer was this so enraging for Luna, as she understood that ponies needed their rest. The peacefulness of the night made way for an excellent sleeping period; but she was still peeved that nopony seemed to appreciate her as much as she'd like.

Her cobalt eyes scanned the vast city, keeping watch, making sure all the ponies stayed safe either in the streets or in their homes. It seemed that she would be spending countless nights searching for dangers that didn't exist. Maybe this wasn't what Celestia intended when she gave the Night Pool to Luna, but still, it was how Luna decided she would use it.

Wait, what was that?