• Published 19th Dec 2012
  • 1,639 Views, 35 Comments

Sun and Shadow - Celestias Paladin

Over a thousand years ago a the Dark King conqured the Crystal Empire. But what happened before that event? What connection does Sombra have with Celestia?

  • ...

Sun and Shadow

Sun and Shadow
A My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic tale by Celestia’s Paladin

Disclaimer: I do not own the rights to MLP:FiM or the characters. Hasbro owns the series, the ponies own themselves. Equestria takes a very low view on slavery.

Warning: Changes have been made to the events of the Season 3 Premier to allow better flow of events. Also some of the contents might be disturbing.

With the Assembly out of session the work load on Princess Celestia lessen considerably. Of course she still holds court in the afternoon, but the number of petitioners can vary between the days. Today happens to be a very light day, but Celestia will not even consider closing early, even if she is bored out of her mind and is currently playing eye-spy against herself.

The doors to the audience chamber burst open and a gold-clad Helios Guardpony gallops into the room. He stops just ahead the steps leading up to Celestia's throne and pants to catch his breath.

"Your Majesty, message from White Haven," he pants out.

Celestia's eyebrow rises at the news, and the Guard pulls out an envelope from his armor. Celestia grasps it with her magic and pulls it over to herself. With a subtle flick she opens the envelope and pulls out the telegram. With each letter she reads her eyes grow wider and wider.



Your Majesty,

I have the duty to inform you that as of 1400, Greenleaf 12, 3 Post Exilium, the pony nation known as the Crystal Empire has reappeared just north of the city of White Haven, Haven Province. I have compared what my scouts have found to what have found in the archives of White Haven. Without a doubt it is the Crystal Empire.

By the time you have received this dispatch I will have arrived in Adámaspolis to secure the city and Empire. I am requesting reinforcements for I believe that something or somepony is lurking outside the city that bring ill will to the citizens. I await your reply.

Your faithful friend,
LoCapt. Shining Armor Sparkle, Gaea Company

She rereads the letter many times before look to her side at one of her personal guard.

"Inform Princess Cadence that I need to speak to her as soon as possible."

The guard salutes and canters out of the chamber. Celestia steps down from her thrown and walks over the large windows overlooking the north western part of Equestria. She can't believe it after 1005 years the Crystal Empire has returned. What happen, and how did they return are two questions running through her head. So many questions but one eats at her, did he return as well, has the Dark King Sombra return?

Celestia walks through the halls of the Xenophon City Orphanage. She heard stories that there is a unicorn colt with some talent into the magical arts. Knowing that such talents are best taught by professionals, she took it upon herself to find out herself,

"Right here Your Majesty," the orphanage direct said, "he is right here."

Celestia nods and knocks on a small worn door. The door opens to show a small black unicorn colt with green eyes.

"Hello Sombra, I am here to offer you a chance to become my student."

Engrossed in her memories Celestia fails to hear hoofsteps from behind her.

"Auntie," she hears a mare ask, "you asked for me?"

The elder mare turns to see her niece Cadence and two blued-steel clad personal Guardponies.

"Yes I did Cadenza," Celestia replies wearily. "Come over here." The younger Alicorn does as asked. "Tell me what do you know about the Crystal Empire?"

Cadence ponders the question, "not much I'm afraid. I do remember my birth mother telling me that is where my father is from and my adopted family telling me of a lost tribe of ponies to the north with their own type of magics."

Celestia nods, "you know more than most, but still not enough. But your parents are correct."

Cadence glances at her aunt; she knows that Celestia isn't telling the whole story at the moment.

"Auntie, what is this about, why are you asking me this?"

"I got a message from White Haven, from your husband," she answers.

Cadence's eyes go wide and a happy smile crosses her lips, "Shiny?"

A nearly similar grin appears on Celestia's face, "yes Shining Armor. According to him the Crystal Empire has reappeared and he set out to secure it. I want you to head up to the Empire and help him."

"With the shield spell correct?"

Celestia nods, "mostly but there is more, one of your talents maybe needed. If I am correct you could be what will stand between the shadows and the fall of a nation."

"I see... very well, when do I leave?"

"As soon as you and your personal guard are able," she answers. "I'll have your orders cut within the hour so you shouldn't get any grief from Skywishes or Storm Runner, First Sergeant."

With emphasis on the rank clues Cadence in that this is beyond a possible political crisis to being a military one. After her coronation shortly after the Discord Crisis, Cadence rarely used her earned military rank, not out of choice though.

"Of course, by your leave, Your Majesty," Cadence said with a salute. She turns to leave but halts and faces her aunt once more. "Since I have to travel as fast as I can, do I have permission to commandeer the Simoom?"

Celestia lifts an eyebrow at the question. The Simoom is the newest AirWarship built by the Royal Navy, and supposedly one of the fastest airship ever built. While the Airfrigate is not as well armed as say... the Airships-of-the-Line, she is still very fast and maneuverable.

"Alright I'll let Rear Admiral Seaspray know."

Cadence smiles, "thank you."

She turns on her heel and walks out of the chamber with her guards following closely behind. Celestia lets out the breath she didn't know she was holding; this is going to be one long day.

"Corporal, inform the petitioners and claimants that I will not be holding court for the rest of the week," Celestia informs one of her own Guardponies.

The gold clad guard salutes before running off to carry out the order.

A vase ghosts from one side of the room to the other through disjointed shadows. A young stallion with gray coat and deep black cutie mark, smiles as the vase reappears without breaking.

"Well done Sombra," Celestia states, "I don't even think I or my sister could handle such delicate work."

The unicorn smiles, his magic alignment isn't to any of the four traditional elements of Fire, Earth, Wind, and Water but to shadows, or Umbra. Luna can use Umbra and Celestia to an extent, but neither have the raw skill that Sombra possesses. It has been a hard road to teach him, but he took to it as a duck to water.

"Thank you Teacher," he replies.

Celestia picks up the vase with her magic and inspects it. With a nod she sets it back down.

"Sombra you passed this test, there is no more I can teach you."

The young stallion looks surprised, "you can't mean that Teacher, there is still..."

She places a hoof on his shoulder, "yes there is still much to learn, but you have progressed so much beyond what I and my sister can teach you."

"I see," he looks down at the ground. "Then are you no longer my teacher?"

"Yes Sombra, I am no longer your teacher."

He looks up at her, "then may I ask you a question."

Celestia smiles, "of course my friend, you need not to ask."

"What is it like to be immortal?"

The smile leaves Celestia's face, "it is a curse, a curse that no pony should ever bear. To look for it is to walk the path of madness."


Celestia looks up from the large map of the Crystal Empire to see Luna walk into her private study.

"Hello chaewr, I take it you heard the news?"

Luna nods, "the Crystal Empire returning... do you think he will return as well?"

"Sombra?" Luna nods, "I hope not, but knowing the way our luck runs, he might."

The dark Alicorn frowns, "shouldn't we send somepony out there just in case?"

"Low Captain Armor and Princess Cadence are out there, and I am planning on sending the Bearers to the Empire as well."

Luna looks at her sister with a flat look.

"You don't think I am making the right decision."

Luna shakes her head, "no I don't. This isn't the other being that they have fought. This isn't Discord, Chrysalis or Nightmare Moon. This isn't a follower of Tirek or simply a misguided pony; this is somepony who is truly corrupted by darkness."

"I know, I know. We cannot afford to underestimate him, but this is not our fight Luna."

Luna sighs, "We cannot afford to have the Empire fall again."

The doors open to the study and Twilight Sparkle walks into to the study encumbered by heavy saddled bags. The young unicorn coughs to get their attention.

Celestia smiles slightly, "please trust me chaewr."

Luna frowns but nods before walking out of the study, only giving Twilight a brief glare.

For the past couple weeks there have been a rash of disappearances in the city. Lord Stone Vines, Commander of the Xenophon City Watch has been unable to find the pony responsible. Even with the Royal Guards helping, there have been no leads. For Celestia the disappearances bring back unpleasant memories of the Discordant Era when ponies vanish only to reappear in the slave auctions.

The white Alicorn sits on her simple seat in the court room when the doors open. Stone Vines trots in at the head of a long procession of Watchponies.

"Your Highness," he states as he kneels before her, "we have found the pony responsible for the disappearances."

Celestia's eyes widen, "do you have them?"

Vines nods, "we do," he looks over his withers, "bring him in!"

Chains clink as a dark gray unicorn is brought into the room. Green and crimson eyes glance around the room, and a sharped tooth mouth grins.

"Hello Teacher," the stallion said.

Celestia's eyes widen as she takes in the sight of her former student.

"Lord Vines why is my student is chains?"

Vines expression sours, "Your Highness, he is charged with the foalnapping and murder of forty two ponies... and cannibalism of the same ponies."

The Alicorn's eyes widen at the charges. "Does Sombra of Xenophon have anything to say to these... charges?"

Sombra's grin widens, "a shame that I got caught, so close."

Celestia's eyes narrow, "to what?"

"Immortality Teacher..."

"Do not call me that! You have no right; you are no longer my student! You failed heed my advice, and you broke not just the laws of the Concordiat but of Epona herself!"

He laughs, an evil laugh echoes throughout the stone hall, "the laws of mortals mean nothing to me!" Violet clouds starts billow out of his eyes, "and even the Great Goddess doesn't mean anything to me!"

Something in Celestia snaps, this is not the kind colt she helped teach. "GUARDS! Place him in cold iron! Sombra under the laws of the Second Concordiat and as you committed these crimes on the lands of the Everfree you are charged with the crimes of foalnapping, murder and cannibalism, by your own admission these charges are true. As Princess and Chieftain I hereby deem you guilty of these crimes and to be executed in two days!" She glares at him, "take him away!"

Sombra is dragged out of the court room by the Watch and Guard, leaving Celestia alone. Her mouth tightens and she closes her eyes tight, but tears leak out. She feels strong arms and wings pull her into a hug. Celestia weeps into her sister's mane, shedding tears for the colt she once knew.

Two days later Sombra is hung until dead and his body buried at the crossroads Vanner and Capital Roads. His last words were that he will return.

Celestia groans as she sets the letter she just received from her student. Twilight and her friends made it to Adámaspolis by the skin of their teeth. Something was out in the tundra and chased them all the way to the city, and Shining Armor somehow got his magic blocked by that thing. To top it all off, Cadence is weakened from trying to shield the city form that thing.

The Princess knew that the worst has happened, the Dark King Sombra has broken out of his ice prison and trying to reconquer the Empire.

"Epona dammit," she curses, "he's back."

Somepony knocks at the door to her apartment.

"Come in!"

Luna steps into the living area and closes the doors behind her.

"Hello sister, I heard from the guards that you got a letter from Twilight Sparkle."

Celestia nods and motions for Luna to take a seat next to her. Using her magic she floats the letter over to her sister. Luna takes it into her magic and reads it over.

"It seems you may have been right Luna," Celestia admits. "Perhaps we should have..."

Luna cuts her off, "Tia please don't go doubting yourself."

"I know! It's just... it's Sombra, what if they fail?"

"Weren't you telling me to trust your student and friends?"

"But that was before..."

"But nothing," Luna snaps, "you told me to trust them and you. It's obvious that Sombra is at least halted if he hasn't taken the city yet."

Celestia looks down, her sister is right. If Sombra has already taken the city then they would already know. The darkness would be palatable, and they would receive word from White Haven that something was wrong on the other side of the mountains.

"I'm sorry Luna," Celestia apologizes. "We must trust her."

Luna nods and smiles, "of course."

A knock is heard at the door, and a Guard sticks her head into the room.

"I am sorry to disturb you, Your Majesties, but Ambassador Báistí which to speak to you."

Celestia nods, Báistí is a Griffin and the Kingdoms are right next to the Crystal Empire. The situation in the Empire concerns the Griffins just as much as the ponies.

The elder Alicorn tries to stand up but is kept down by a cloud of indigo magic.

"I'll handle this sister," Luna says, "you need your rest."

Celestia nods, "thank you Luna."

Celestia raises a goblet of ale to her lips as she listens to the debate going on amongst the Senate of Equestria. For nearly five hundred years the Senate has exercised control over the nation, and while she and her sister do exercise veto power they are still first among equals in the Senate. While this does prevent any one pony from being more powerful than their fellow Senators, it does have some issues.

Like very little getting done.

"ENOUGH," Luna shouts, "It was decided a century ago that a system of paved roads will link all corners of the Concordiat! This task is nearly complete, now is not the time to cease their construction!"

"But they are bankrupting the treasury, that and the expansion of the Gaea Guard and Militias!"

Celestia closes her eyes and sighs, she remembers have this same conversation many times in the past. It has always been the same thing, it's too expensive, why should I pay for it, it invites invaders.

"The road construction will keep going forward as planned," Celestia interjects. "The increase in trade and tolls on the bridges will more than pay for the roads. Furthermore..."

The massive doors of the Senate Chambers swing open and a single pale colored Earth Pony canters in. Under the torch light a pearly luster can be seen from the pony's coat marking them as a crystal pony.

The pony halts one they are in the middle of the chamber. Their breath is heavy and their hexagonal pupils are wide in their lilac eyes.

"Your Highnesses," he said after making a hasty bow. "I am Muscovite, I bring you gave news from the Crystal Empire."

One of the Senators snorts, "and what news is so important to interrupt a session of the Senate?"

Celestia silences the Senator with a glare before turning her attention back to Muscovite.

"While the honorable Senator from the Duchy of Manehatten was being rude, he does have a point. What is this grave news?"

The Crystal Pony looks down, "an army of rouge ponies and Changeling mercenaries has seized Adámaspolis, the Crystal Empire has fallen."

The entire chamber falls silent, not even Discord was able to take the Empire. Not that he wanted to, at least not completely.

"And the King," Luna asks after a moment.

Muscovite gulps, "King Smaragdos and the Royal Family have been killed."

More silence.

"Who did this," Celestia asks quietly, "who killed my friend?"

"It was a black coated unicorn stallion with red and green eyes. He calls himself... Sombra."

"I recognize the honorable senior Senator of Manehatten," the President of the Senate said.

Celestia leans back in her seat; as usual she takes her seat in the Senate during the mornings. She called a special session of the Assembly, made up of the elected Senate and the appointed/hereditary Rohirrim, in regards to reappearance of the Crystal Empire. Her nephew is currently overseeing the Rohirrim, while Luna is sleeping.

"Thank you Madam President," the overly handsome Pegasus stallion said. "As you should know, a few days ago the mythical Crystal Empire reappeared in the tundra north of the Provence of Haven. There is very little that can be found about them, how do we know they are not a threat? Equestria has been invaded three times these past two years by creatures of myths, how do we know this Empire won't try to same?"

"Because they are not like that," Celestia said interrupting him.

The Senate goes eerily quiet, and for good reason. Celestia rarely speaks during the sessions, and only when she stands and is called upon. For the first time anypony can remember, Celesta has broken one of the Standing Rules of the Senate.

"The Crystal Ponies have been out allies and partners since the first colony was established at White Haven. Yes we know little about them, as they are very isolationist, but they are never a threat to Equestria." Celestia glances down from her seat, right into the Senator's eyes. "Yes there could be a threat that may arise from the Empire, one that my sister and I beat back before the Long Night. The Guard and Navy are there, along with Princess Cadenza and the Bearers of the Elements of Harmony."

Just then everypony stands up with wide eyes as a wave of magic blast through the chambers like a tsunami. Colored lights dance outside the windows.

"An aurora," somepony asks.

Celestia looks out the window and shakes her head, "no, that is not natural, that is... Great Epona, that's pure magic." She walks off the rostrum, "Madam President I am afraid I must leave, something has come up."

The younger mare nods, "of course Your Majesty, you are excused."

Celestia trots out of the chambers without a sound, once outside her personal guards take up position alongside her.

"Sergeant," she said, "send a message to the Palace, if she isn't already have my sister waken and have the Green Haven read to launch."


Over a month has passed since they had received word that the Empire had fallen to Sombra. In that time Celestia and Luna marshaled their army and marched northward to the Empire. But Sombra wasn't content to sit still, he sent his mercenary army south to siege White Haven. The fortress mountain city waited him out, and the invaders were soon forced the retreat once the Equestrian army showed up. They chased them to the Haven Pass, and were joined by Griffin Kingdoms' own army. Sombra's army was crushed while Celestia and Luna entered Adámaspolis and confront Sombra himself.

They land in the heart of the city and are sickened by what they saw. The once gleaming city is blackened and broken. The hoofful of times Celestia has visited the city she has always been impressed by the pureness and order of the city with its perfectly laid out streets and building in crystalline pattern.

"SOMBRA," the two Alicorns shout together.

Their rage is evident in their voices. Crystal Ponies that are chained together to form a barrier around the Crystal Palace. This is an anathema in the Alicorn's eyes; Slavery is one of the few things that rank above Discord in their list of dislikes.

A dark laugh comes from above them causing them to look up. Up on the balcony Sombra smiles a fanged smile. Clad in spiked black armor any last vestiges of the young colt they knew are gone.

"Welcome to my Empire, have you come to discuss you're surrender?"

Both Celestia and Luna snort.

"Your Empire? I thought this was the Crystal Ponies' Empire," Luna retorts.

"And surrender? Equestria has never surrendered, not to Tirek, not to Discord, and certainly not to a unicorn with delusions of godhood," Celestia adds.

"Humph... they are not delusions Teacher, obviously I've returned from the dead."

Luna leans over to Celestia, "Sister we can't do anything with the ponies surrounding him."

"Understood," Celestia whispers back and summons her magic.

The chains connecting stat to glow but does not melt. Celestia frowns and forces more magic into the chain, only to stop when the ponies yelp in pain.

"Shit! Luna the chains are Wolfram, I can't melt them!"

"Let me then," Luna replies before concentrating on her magic.

Out of the air she summons hundreds of blades of water. The blades harden to ice, the blade compress as they grew denser and the colder. With a flick of her horn the blades slice through the chains, freeing the ponies.

"Run," the sisters order before they take to the air.

Sombra was ready for them and summoned shadow beasts. The beasts charge the Alicorns, but they were ready. Celestia forms a ball of plasma high above the city, a second sun. The beasts become weakened by the bright light; Luna shatters them with ice needles. The plasma ball slams into the castle, shattering the crystal and flinging Sombra to the ground.

Sombra growls and lashes out with his shadow.

"I will not be beaten! I will feast on your flesh, I will become a god!"

The Alicorns leap away from his shadow and attack again. Time after time they dodge and parry the blows, no pony able to gain the upper hoof. Hours passed until it changed, Sombra catches Luna with his shadow and teleports to her side.

He sinks his fangs into her neck. Luna screams as she feels not just blood being drained but mana as well. Celestia hears the scream and blasts Sombra with a plasma bolt. The Dark King is flung a furlong away, Celestia lands next to her sister.

"Luna are you alright?"

"No sister, I feel weaken," Luna winces. "It's time to take off the foal's gloves."

Celestia glances over at Sombra as he starts to stand back up. She knows what that means, Sombra is to die again, despite giving the execution order months ago this time she will kill him with her own hooves.

"Agreed Luna," Celestia replies.

The two take back to the air, as they fly they began to chant a long incantation. Magic builds up in their bodies and horns. Sombra attempts to attack them but a shield of light magic blocks his shadow. Suddenly the incantation ceases and twin beams of magic lance out from the sisters. Blasts of water and fire twist together and encircle the Dark King. Strangely enough Sombra doesn't scream as magic claws at his body; in fact he smiles as his mortal form is vaporized.

Luna's eyes widen, "Tia his soul! He's a wraith!"

Celestia's eyes widen as well, wraiths are earthbound souls that can possess the living. Truly Sombra's evil knows no bound. It is now even more difficult to stop him, not even the power of a fully realized Alicorn can destroy a soul.

"Sejr's Light! Luna, inscribe a banishment circle. I'll power it!"


Luna concentrates and water condenses out of the air and a circle of ice form around Sombra's fallen form. Intricate lines lace throughout the circle and just as the lines finished connecting Celestia pushes her magic into to it. The circle flashes into life and the wraith of Sombra is banished far away to the north, and sealed beneath the permafrost of the Shoulders of Atlas.

"Is he gone," Luna asks.

"You tell me, you're the one that can sense souls."

Luna smiles sheepishly, "he's gone."

The city starts to shed the corruption and slowly reverts to its original state. But the castle starts to glow, magic pulses out. It was warm and clean, but the two sisters feel that the magic doesn't want them there. They are suddenly flung out of the city and crash land into the snow. They lift up to heads just in time to see the city vanish.

"What happen," Luna asks.

"I... I don't know, was it a curse or something else?"

"At least we won."

Celestia shakes her head, "no, we didn't Luna, we came to free the Empire and the Empire is gone. No sister, we may have won but it was Pyrrhic victory." She stands up, "let join up with the others and head home."

Princess Mi Amora Cadenza stretches her wings out in the afternoon light, her strength returning after so long powering the city wards. Many days have passed since the wraith of Sombra was defeated and the Krýstallo Kardiá, the Crystal Heart returned to its home. The Heart reestablished the city and ponies returned to their former glory. But only Adámaspolis, the outer provinces remain frozen tundra.

She spots something is clear skies coming from the south. She narrows her eyes but can't focus on the object. With a frown she retreats into her apartment and returns with a small tube held in the magic. While not as good as an astronomical telescope, the telescopic sight of an ERG sharprife will work quite well.

Holding the sight to her eye and adjusts the sight to zoom on the object. No, objects pleural. Airships, a whole squadron of them, mostly frigates but at least two Airships-of-the-line. A flash of color catches her eye and sees the midnight-blue Naval Ensign of the Royal Navy flying from the stern of the airships. This confuses her slightly for the Royal Navy only has two airships-of-the-line in commission, the Commander Leonidas Hurricane and the Queen Eir Ianuaria. This means that something big is going to happen.

Then she sees her, a sloop sized airship painted in green and gold as opposed to sky blue. Long pennants fly alongside the ensign, one gold and white and the other silver and midnight-blue. That ship has to be the Green Haven, the personal yacht of Princesses Celestia and Luna.

Cadence smiles as she lowers the 'scope. She canters into her apartment and calls for the guards and servants to ready to the audience chambers for their guests.

The Green Haven sets down just within the outer ward. Celestia trots softly on the ground and approaches a crystal obelisk sitting out by its lonesome by the gates. Unlike transparent or translucent crystals of the city, this crystal is black opal.

Yet for the foreignness of the crystal it seems to be perfect.

"Do you sense anything," she asks Luna.

Luna shakes her head "no, there are only traces of dark magic but it is evaporating quickly. It seems the Crystal Heart works just as effectively at cleansing as the Elements."

"I think we knew that, after all the Crystal Heart was able to repel Discord for five hundred years."

"True," Luna said with a small half smile. "Come it's time to go, Cadence is expecting us."

Celestia nods, "of course chwaer."

She steps away and trots towards the airship.

"Te...teach... teacher," somepony said on the wind.

Celestia and Luna stop and turn around to face who ever spoke. It's a ghost of a pony, a unicorn colt.


The black coated unicorn smiles and nods, "Teacher it has been so long."

Celestia moves closer, Luna stays back ready to take action.

"Teacher I'm s...sss..sorry for everything, for the deaths, the war, everything!" He falls to the ground, tears flowing freely. "I'm sorry teacher... I'm sorry... ma...mother."

"Sombra... I..."

"M-mother... please forgive me mother...” he sobbed.

"I... I..." tears start to flow down the princess' cheeks. "I forgive you, my son."

"Mom..." he wailed "I want my m-mother…"

"I'm here my son," she pulls him towards her.

Sombra held the Alicorn tight to him, and strangely she could feel his tears. "Momma... momma…" he sobbed.

"I'm here, I'm here."

"Momma... momma... don't leave me..." he sobbed, his mannerism clearly regressing to that of a foal.

"I can't do that Sombra,” Celestia said.

Sombra's body slowly starts to dissipate and he could feel this, "MOMMA! MOMMA!" he yelled.

"Sombra," she yells, seeing him start to vanish as he crosses over. "SOMBRA!"


"It's time to go colt," a soft yet hard voice states." A shadowy Alicorn flickers into existence.

"NO! I WANT MY MOMMA!" He wails, trying to hold onto the white Alicorn.

"I'm sorry Sombra but Elysium waits," the Alicorn states. "Your time has come, but your mother will see you someday," she said with a smile.

This does little calm him as he continues to reach out for the white Alicorn.

"Momma... momma…" he cried uncontrollably.

"Shush, my son," Celestia whispers into his mane, "I will always remember you."

The colt's crying soon comes to an end. "I love you momma...

"I love you too my son."

Sombra's body was soon completely gone as he floated back, his hoof held out. "Bye momma..." he says in a somber tone.

"Good bye me son," she whispers. Once he vanished the spirit Alicorn takes a look at Celestia and nods to her.

"Elysium waits for him, his sins have been cleansed." The shadowy Alicorn vanishes.

Luna trots closer to her sister. "Tia..."


"Yes Tia?"

"He's gone."

"He will live on in your memories dear sister..."

"I know, and he has for over a thousand years."

Luna wraps her hooves around her sister. "I know what he meant to you..."

"My student, my son." She stands up. "Head back to the Green Haven; I have one last thing to do."

Luna nods and turns around. "See you soon sister..."

Once Luna boarded the airship Celestia turns her attention to the black opal crystal

She summons up her magic and carves letters into the stone. Marking it as the grave stone for Sombra.

One more time a colt's voice rings in her head. "I love you mom."

"I love you too," Celestia turns away with a smile and heads back to the airship.

Sombra Everfree
Beloved Son and Student

“There are no shadows in darkness. Shadows are created by light, and only exist in the presence of light. Refusing to acknowledge our shadow leads us to deny the presence of light in us.”

Author's Note:

Paladin's Notes: So while this is not my first piece of fanfiction, this is my first Pony fic. I've strived to do my best on this, and I do hope that you enjoyed read this as much as I enjoyed writing it. I do wish to thank Manuccia for helping me wrap this story up. Questions, Comments, Concerns, just let me know with a Comment or PM, I'll get back to you ASAP. Issues with grammar and what not, point it out and tell me what the issue is and I will fix it.


chaewr: Sister (Old Low Equinc/Welsh)
Adámaspolis: Unbreakable City (Greek)
Exilium: Exile/Banishment (Latin)

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Comments ( 32 )

:twilightsheepish: Nice story! (Darkrai is the Guardian Counterpart of King Sombra.) Xenophon... what is that?:ajsleepy:

Point them out, I know grammar check in Word doesn't catch them all. And thanks.
Thank you, though I am confused about the Darkrai comment. Xenophon is also known as the Ancient Castle of the Royal Pony Sisters, well... the city the castle was found in.
Sorry about that. But can you tell me what you thought of the story?

I really enjoyed this story. Keep up the good work.


Ok here we go:

reeinforments -> reinforcements

There are others but cant remember/didnt copy them tight away. Still a nice "little" story, :pinkiehappy:

Thank you Doc, and if I remember correctly that was less of my fault and more of Word goofing on me. Let me look for it and fix it. Thanks again.


It's right at the start, letter from Shining Armor to Celestia.

Got it ann.....dddd fixed.

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Name of Story: Sun and Shadow
Grammar score out of 10 (1 is grammar that needs to be worked upon as basic principles such as capitalization and spelling is an issue, and 10 is impeccable): 5
Pros (list three pros)
Celestia's portrayal was very good, touching and one that can be easily sympathized with the audience.
I really liked how you made Sombra her son and student.
I liked your depiction of the use of airships as warships.
Cons (list three cons)
Some grammar/formatting issues are present. You might want to take a detailed look through your fic to go through them.
As with one shot stories that flash back and forth, yours appears to have some unanswered questions and holes within.
You might want to be a little more wordy in your descriptions. They were rather brief.
Notes Section: As I said, a good thorough proofread is required to get rid of some of the issues. You may want to elaborate on some of the incidents in which Celestia was teaching Sombra, just to make us sympathize with him more and understand Celestia's feelings more. Another good thing is that your canon characters were quite in character. As for the descriptions, simple is good, but sometimes I want to know how Celestia looked like when she was facing Sombra, her former student (anguish, rage, or pain). Still, I liked it so have a like and a fav!
Enjoy your review! Please help me out by looking at my story: Rembering the Fallen

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Name of Story: Sun and Shadow

Grammar score out of 10: 5. In places it was fine, in others not so much.


The concept was great.
I like the idea of Celestia being Sombra’s student.
You fleshed out the pony world well

Cons (list three cons)

The flashbacks were not delineated well enough
The scenes set in the present felt unnecessary
Way, way, WAY too much telling and not enough showing


I was really excited to read this because I also want to write a story based on Sombra, and the idea of him being Celestia’s student was a great one. Unfortunately, your execution of this idea leaves a lot to be desired.

This is a story about Celestia’s relationship with Sombra, yes? Currently we see nothing of it. We see one scene where they interact, and it is when Celestia is telling Sombra he is ready to head out on his own. In every other scene, Sombra is the enemy. This robs the ending of any and all impact, because as a reader I have no reason to believe they were ever close or that Celestia ever cared for him. This is a major, major issue. You get so bogged down with details of the world and with retelling the Crystal Empire story that your story-the story of Sombra-is lost.

One thing that plagues this story and contributes to this problem is the idea of telling and showing. You tell your entire story. You tell us that Celestia cares for Sombra, but we never see it. We are never shown Sombra’s flip from good to evil if there was one. We are told minor details about the world, but none of them matter to the actual story.

If I can offer some suggestions, I would retool this fic. Get rid of every scene that takes place in the present except for the final one and focus on the past. Show us that Sombra sees Celestia as his mother. Show us that Sombra is powerful and talented, don’t just tell us that he is a shadow mage. Give us scenes of him learning, and show us his steady descent toward madness. Then you can show us that last scene, and it will have much more of an impact.

Grammar wise, you have quite a few issues. Like Vren said, a good proofread will help, as some of them appear to be typos or dropped words or suffixes. Work on showing scenes instead of telling them, which will help set your readers into your world and understand your story.

This story needs a lot of work, but the concept is good and with some heavy editing I think it can be made a winner.

Enjoy your review! Please help me out by looking at my story: Journey to Equestria


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Name of Story: Sun and Shadow

Grammar score out of 10: 4. It became a bit difficult for me to read at places, whether from the lack of commas, or other conventions. Even through flashbacks it is possible to stick with the same tense, or make the transition smoother.


The concept is interesting.
The characters didn't seem out of character
Clear to picture scenes with detail


The flashback transitions were a little jarring
The present scenes had unnecessary information
Lack of commas had me rereading sentences to understand them


This is an interesting original concept. I haven't scene anyone place Sombra as a student. Celestia and Sombra need more interaction. The first scene, before Celestia reads the letter, drags on and seems to have a bit of unnecessary information. I think this idea could do very well if edited with proper grammar, along with streamlining some scenes. Also, if you'd like help, I can edit for you. Copy and paste your story into google docs and send me a message with the link. If you want to, I can help with the grammar.

Enjoy your review! Please help me out by looking at my story: Iron Vein

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Name of Story: Canterlot: Sun and Shadow

Grammar score out of 10: 6.3

- The characterisation was fairly decent
- The description was pretty good
- The overall concept was nice

- Tenses. You often neglect to use the past tense of a verb. For instance, you may write 'King Sombra has return', when you mean to write 'King Sombra has returned'.
- Lack of commas. There are many places where commas are either needed or suitable for use there, but you have't used them. An example would be 'She can't believe it after 1005 years the Crystal Empire has returned', when it should be 'She can't believe it, after 1005 years, the Crystal Empire has returned.'
- Show vs. Tell. This is something that many authors have trouble with understanding, and that not many people care to explain. Basically, you almost always just state what is happening and what it means. However, it makes it a lot more engaging to the reader if write it so that they make their own conclusions. For instance, instead of, say: 'Jim looked at Bob angrily.', you could make this a lot better by writing it like, 'Jim looked at Bob, a vein pulsing noticeably in his forehead.'. They both tell the reader that Jim is angry, but the second one does it in such a way that the reader gets that idea without you explicitly stating it to be so, this is a lot more interesting and engaging to a reader.

Notes Section:
The concept was pretty decent, and you've written the characters well. My only qualms are with the cons stated above. I would recommend going back through the story and altering a few of the scenes to make them both more descriptive, and more engaging. You should also make sure that you work on those tenses, as they were fairly distracting. If you feel yourself in need of a proofreader, I would recommend checking out the Proofreaders and people willing to proof-read group. Overall though, I believed this to be worthy of another like.

I hope this review has been somewhat useful to you, and I would really appreciate it if you could check out my story: Oldnew Luna

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Grammar score : 6. Actually, i didn't find many mistakes but punctation, using Big letters is kinda bad.

# Characters had good personalities, really fitting.
# Idea of Celestia being teacher to Sombra is not so much original, but well executed.
# Last scene was really good, even if rest of story didn't bring emotion to force tears in this one moment.

It's incredibly confusing story. You throw a lot of names, cities, flashbacks without major descriptions, fast action, really fast time running. Hard to follow.
Descriptions are poor, mostly with emotions, not with landscape.
It's extremely rushed story, Last Scene probably was this one to bring tears, but rest of story just didn't build any emotion to make it happen.

Notes Section :
Instead of summarum, I just say what you should make better. First ( And Only ) point, make story longer. Descriptions, more stuff related with Celestia -> <- Sombra feelings, some more world-building but do not bring so many names and stuff. This story have potencial, just expand this idea and do some epic stuff.

So yea, that's all. Please help me out by looking at my story: Equestria in Flames

This review is brought to you on behalf of the group: Authors Helping Authors
Grammar score: 7/10
While grammar is not an intense issue there are times when punctuation is missing. The overall structure is a bit confusing but not at all hard to follow. A little more attention to proofreading in the future.
A very original idea executed in a way that makes the characters dynamic and real.
Elegant prose.
Artistic liberty taken to build upon an established world that improves upon rather than detracts from the MLP universe.
The structure, while original, seems disjointed and occasionally throws off built-up flow.
An odd mixture of flowery vocabulary and messy grammar gives it a rushed feel.
Some descriptions, while very informative and picturesque, make it feel forced at times.
My first impression was not entirely a positive one and after the letter I was worried that you would get carried away with making it feel all too true to many military-based works. Fortunately, my fears were assayed but the longer I read the more I felt that characters might have been too far removed from what we’re used to. Change is good, but keep in mind that things are better in moderation. Otherwise, it was a solid piece of work that could have been better.
Enjoy your review! Please help me out by looking at my story/ this story:

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Sun and Shadow

Grammar score: 7/10

Pros: First, your story is an original take on Sombra (a villain I do not particularly like from the show). I am very fond of stories that are about the things the show does not elaborate upon. Next, the final scene between Celestia and Sombra was pretty touching, particularly because of the shock reveal. Finally, you have some interesting worldbuilding going on with the Concordiat, Sombra's attempt to gain immortality, and the shadowy alicorn at the end.

Cons: I would have liked to see a little more information given about some of the elements you added to the mythology, which sounded interesting. Also, and this is a pet peeve of mine, but underlined text in stories annoys me. Italics are great. Bold words are okay. But underlines just aren't usually found in short stories and novels.

Notes: An interesting premise. I really love Celestia as a character, so I found the whole idea of Sombra as her son a fascinating one. (I'd read a story where he was her father before, but not the other way around.) It just says so much about the burden of immortality to watch one's children die. But being the son of an immortal gave Sombra motivation to want to attain immortality himself.

Enjoy your review! Please help me out by looking at my story, Celestia in Excelsis. (Or the first few chapters, since it's longer than this one.) It's all about Celestia, so I hope you like it. Thank you.:twilightsmile:

I found this story a refreshing take on King Sombra, the final scene brought tears to my eyes a very tough thing to do. Bravo my hat is off to you.

First of all, lots of potential. Very good story, seems to have a strong structure built up to it. :scootangel:
Sadly, I was very confused with the flashbacks at first, really seemed to disturb me. (You could have at LEAST titled it 'Flashback') :ajsleepy:
Wow...present tense and past tense? V-e-r-y confusing. Pretty annoying too, I couldn't guess if it was a flashback or not.

Overall score?
Grammar and tenses need work. Still a very stable story.

I acknowledge that this is not my best work.

For you first Pro... :pinkiehappy: it just so happens that Stone Vines has a descendant in the current era named Sandy Vines, Sand to his friends, that is Commander of the Canterlot City Watch.

Alright, added to Twilight's Library,

has the Dark King Sombra return?

Past tense, I should think.

And... I can't help but think, when doing lines in two different time periods, particularly when a character is remembering an interaction, the older of the two actions should ALWAYS be presented in past tense... well, unless you're doing a vission-of-the-future dealy, in which case, present tense and future tense should be fine. But either way, you need to make it clear which time period you're speaking in- you want SOME difference between the two, whether it be comentary(celestia opining for a simpler time, wishing she'd made different choices, etc.), or a different tense. Heck, just putting it in italics works- it clearly marks that section of text off as different.

I've always had trouble with tense, and I would think the line breaks would be enough a hint that the POV has changed or I shifted 1000 years to the past. But did you like it?


It was an interesting tale, I'll give it that, but the tense kept throwing me off.

And it's good, yes, but it feels off to discuss past events in present tense, and line breaks are often used to simply mean that there is a break between point point A and Point B, such as implying, say, that multiple hours have past between two events, or that we're focus in a different area. When working so intensly with two seperate time periods, and with so many jumps, it's important to make it easy to, at a first glace, identify if a section takes place in the past or the present. Imagine if I read half of this, stepped away for a moment, and came back, having forgotten if I'd finished the last section I was reading, or when it took place, or whatever? Several pasages(Particularly those focused upon similiar topics to previous ones) could make this incredibly confusing.

Basically, when you put in a line break, assume that your reader will take that as a sign to make some tea, and ensure that, if they do so, there will be no confusion, no matter how brief, when they return. *le shrug*. It's why most fics with multiple primary characters either visually show who is being switched to or begin with a line that clearly identifies who the new subject is- even a moment of confusion can detract from the fic as a whole.

On an otherwise unrelated note, you don't use enough comas in conversation. Just because a sentance is only three words long doesn't mean people won't pause, and very few people follow gramatical rules while speaking, especially not confusing ones. Also, you don't always need to have characters clarify things- Cadance responding to 'your husband' with 'shiny?' feels awkward and unreal, because of course she knows who her husband is. Having her respond with something like 'is shining/shiny alright?' would feel more natural, and be a normal reaction for any mare whose husband was in the miltary.

Comment posted by StormLuna deleted Jul 24th, 2013

Ok... let me try to answer those concerns.
1) TENSE: I've always had a problem with it, but yes I did write the flash backs in present tense. For those sense Celestia is reliving the past, so form her prospective they are the present.

2) MILITARY: If you mean the military after Luna's return, yes they are modern by the standards of fantasy, compared to us they are still over a century behind. Equestria has airship and it stands to reason that the Royal Navy would have them as well.

3) GOVERNMENT: I'm figuring it has to do with both the past and present governments. I will try to explain both.
A) PAST: The Sister may technically lead Equestria but they are considered First Among Equals to the Senators. So yes the Senate does have a lot power since they the heart of the Concordiat's political power.
B) PRESENT: Think like the US government, three separate branches that check each other but the Executive can still do their job even if the Assembly is deadlocked. Yes I removed power from the Princesses but I wanted to avoid accusations of Tyrantlestia

4) CITY NAMES: White Haven (or just Haven) fits, Adamaspolis is Greek and is a stealth pun for the Empire (Adamas is the root word for Diamond) and is also not in Equestria proper, and Xenophon is a stealth horse pun (Xenophon is RL is considered the Father of Western Horsemanship). I try not to use the obvious puns with names.

5) SOMBRA: Ok you will have to explain to me what's illogical about that. Thought I understand the last bit about him reappearing before Celestia when she returns to the Empire, that part was tacked on and I know I could have done better.

With fanfiction I try my damnedest to work within canon lest I render the universe I am working in completely destroyed. Go to far and it's no longer the universe of the series. All I do is fill in the gaps left in canon, and stick as close as I can to canon characterization as Celestia will always be the kind and just ruler that is willing to defend her ponies and her nation.

Comment posted by StormLuna deleted Jul 24th, 2013

I know that the US doesn't have the perfect government, no nation does. I use them as my basis as it is the government I am most familiar with, though I had to make some changes to make it fit which includes borrowing the House of Lords from the UK. The history of Equestria is different from ours so it stands to reason that the influences on the government would be different as well, and them being ponies instead of humans then society would be different as well.

I am a World Builder even as I use canon as the foundation of my 'verse. I expand up what is said, and not said. I gave the Concordiat not just a government but also a history 2000 years in the making. Canon doesn't say how long Nightmare Moon reign lasted, I gave them a year and half of endless night, canon doesn't say how long Discord's rule lasted so I made it 500 years of disorder and tyranny. Canon shows that Equestria has steam powered locomotives on steel rails 100 miles long, skyscrapers, airships, motion pictures, and possibly a petrol powered automobile. So I see where that would equate to other technologies including the military. Supplemental canon, the Hasbro Map, shows Equestria on a single continent with the other nations across the sea, that mean their is ocean going trade, when there is ocean going trade then their is someone who want to take the trade (ie pirates), and where is pirates then there is a navy to protect those ships. I use logic and canon to build my universe. It is not perfect but it works.

You are throwing around the title of Tyrant willy-nilly, but it makes me wonder one thing. And I know by saying this you will hate more than you already have, but why would Princess Luna want to form a Republic which by definition is not lead by a monarch of any kind. To me she would be worse than Tyranlestia and the Solar Empire for she is not being up front about her dictatorship and is willing to tear about Equestria for over slights that may or may not even exist.

Think about what I said very carefully before responding, but let it be know I do not support the Republic or the Empire. My allegiance is the United Equestria and the Twin Thrones of the Sun and Moon.

What's this? I never asked for this feel. Also

Commander Leonidas Hurricane


So I take it that you liked it?

And techincally I just based him off a piece of fanart... that happens to pull the 300 reference.

Celestia steps down from her thrown

Some other grammar mistakes. i can send you a proofread if you like.:twilightsmile:
Excellent writing, and so fast-paced! It was surprisingly touching as well! I love your idea for this story, it's very unusual and engrossing.:twilightsmile:
Some of your ideas have actually struck me before, and I like the mother-son relationship of Celestia and Sombra, and how he was corrupted by going to the "dark side" after her teachings. I like how you've expanded on the personality he was never really given in the show.
In my own fic Celestia as a young mare shares a close friendship and then intense love with Discord before he suffers a similar class of character downfall, this time with the absent sage teacher being a cross-dimensional enigmatic being without a name who has taught him to use force-like energies without thew usual aid of a horn that allows unicorns to do it. I've been wondering for a while whether to work in Sombra as the tragic and powerful child of their union, who would be corrupted maybe some time after the rise and fall of Discord. I've been mulling over that she would probably send such a child to an orphanage (after ridiculously long alicorn gestation) to avoid a repetition of its heritage.
I think this fic settles it for me. I want to try to make it work.
So thanks!:twilightsmile:

Have you ever considered submitting this story to Equestria Daily? You can find out how to do so here.

Yes I have, but I know it's not good enough to be accepted

Hm, nice story. I especially like the scene with Sombra and Celestia, with the whole question of immortality. Keep up the good work! :twilightsmile:

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