The Diaries of Star Swirl

by Preda

First published

Recently recovered ancient manuscripts, detailing the later years of the old unicorn's life.

What follows is a compilation manuscripts, recovered from the archives of what is today Stalliongrad. By every indication, these are in fact the diaries of famous magic innovator and scholar Star Swirl (the Bearded). They detail a part of the day-to-day activities of the stallion's later years, and include significant references with important historical context, making them an invaluable source of information on early Equestrian history.

Many of the encounters detailed have been confirmed to have happened by the Princesses of Equestria themselves, thus verifying the diaries' authenticity.

Author's note: Experimental work. May or may not update faster than my other fic.

Section 1

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27-2-5 AU

Journey ended today, and here I am in “Equestria”, after two weeks of travel. This wretch of a settlement doesn’t look like much, certainly, but compared to what I’ve left behind, it’s paradise. Even after the blizzards ended, the old castle is in such a sorry shape that only a mad pony would remain inside.

Look at me, writing this thing instead of unpacking my things. It’s not really my trashy broken wooden hut until I set up the bookcases.

1-3-5 AU

The noise NEVER ENDS! I understand that the settlement is still very much under construction, but don’t these ponies ever rest? I waited patiently today for them to take a break, suspending my writing of the finalized index in hopes of getting at least one hour of peace and quiet in this supposed rural paradise. No such luck.

It befuddles me how somepony can perform physical labour from dusk till dawn and not die of exhaustion. It must be an Earth Pony thing. I’ll have to check that. A finished index would be helpful…

5-3-5 AU

Unpacking finally finished. One week here already and not a single day to myself. Somehow the neighbors found out precisely who I am. I was hoping to remain anonymous for a while longer, and have some spare time for study before they found me out all the way out here.

Somepony's at the door. Skies! This is how it begins…

14-3-5 AU

It would seem that I am the only capable unicorn within at least 250 miles in any direction. I don’t know why Dallas the baker, or Ivan the carpenter can’t be bothered with Sun duty every once in a while. I mean, surely they know how to do it, right, it’s something they teach in magic seminar for Pete’s sake! I’ve seen both of them read, so they are literate. How is it that they cannot help the rest of the unicorns across the country raise the Sun every few days, and reduce the pressure placed upon a feeble old stallion like me.

Sunrise duty is different here. The coutry significantly bigger, and instead of a large unicorn city doing all the work you’ve got isolated enclaves spread out throughout the entire land. You can almost feel everyone individually, each tugging at the star in their own little way. I think Clover is about 800 miles nort of here, in the mountains. I felt that peculiar sort of bit-by-bit work last night. Along with something else…

18-3-5 AU

They don’t know how! Apparently, the only other two unicorns in this blasted cesspit both dropped out during the first semester of seminar, and never got past basic kinesis with their magic. It’s actually sad, when you think about it. All that talk the royals had about unicorns being noble and majestic, yet there are still those who don’t – neigh, CAN’T even fulfill their place in the natural order.

I might just offer to train them in some basic manipulation, if it’s not too late. Charity be damned, but it would be a wise investment; spare some time now, and in exchange I’ll be left alone in the future.

21-3-5 AU

Oh, the incessant whinnying! “Please, Star Swirl this”, “We beg you, Star Swirl, that”, “Thank you Star Swirl, but could you also these”. It’s as if I’m the universally accepted solution to every problem ever encountered by ponykind. That’s precisely why I wanted to remain unknown. It’s just like it was at the castle; they know you’re the oldest pony around and that you know better, so they pester you with lowly queries and requests EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

It’s amazing that they managed to set up the town as much as they did without my help. Sometimes I just wish I could say no to these ponies.

22-3-5 AU

Helped them put up a town hall of sorts today (a barn, really, but since the crops aren’t up yet, it’s used for town meetings). The “Mayor” invited me to join his little citizen council to help run the town... I like to think the little chuckle that I gave him when he used the word “town” was answer enough.
Also, I feel like I’m forgetting something important.

24-3-5 AU

I swear that if I’m going to have to make another dowsing run for this anthill community my horn will crack. Maybe it’ll be for the better. At least then they’ll leave me alone in matters of magic.

25-3-5 AU

‘Tis worthy of note that there is one pony that doesn’t seem intent on driving me nutty. Merriweather is her name. A young pegasus, no more than 12 I would think.
She came to my house last week. Brought me a pile of firewood. Said she’d never seen smoke coming out of my chimney and figured the “old pony” who lived here was in need of some help. I think it’s the first time one of them came here with anything other than a request. I remain suspicious.

Also, I felt something rather peculiar last night when I was on sunset duty. If I didn’t know better, I’d almost liken it to… resistance. I’m writing nonsense. Must have been just tired.

28-3-5 AU

There’s something strange about this filly. There she was again this morning, with a jug of milk. I think she wants something, but I can never really get a straight answer on the matter. Today she helped me with patching up my potion pot. Helped funnel the flames as I fed some spare iron into the fire, then helped cool the metal when we were done.

I asked her how it was that a pegasus knows as much about metalworking as she did. Turns out she works for the blacksmith, among other ponies. I fail to see how a “sun-and-clouds” cutie mark relates to that.

1-4-5 AU

Woke up with zebra stripes this morning. Har-har. Apparently there were some Poison Joke traces in my tea last night. I threw the whole box into the trash and remained indoors for the rest of the day, making a cure (thank the Skies I fixed that pot). I’m going to have a long talk with Rosebud, the herbalist, later today. Will bring the lodestone, for persuasion.
Nopony pranks Star Swirl!

12-4-5 AU

Large cloud formation spotted over the horizon today; I say “large”, but what I mean is that it’s a mountain floating over the land. I got up early and caught a good look at it during sunrise, when the clouds were thinner; I swear I’ve never seen a cloud as massive.

It’s got Merriweather all excited, but she won’t tell me what it is for some reason. She says I’ll be finding out soon enough. The shortage of pegasi in the area has led to a bit of an imbalance in the weather; winter winds are returning, and there hasn’t been a single drop of rain since I got here. The Mayor told me that the State Council has been aware of the matter since last week. Maybe they’re finally doing something about it…

13-4-5 AU

Merriweather is on fire with excitement, but still won’t tell me why. The cloud-mountain is getting closer. I’ve concluded that it must be one of the new pegasus cities they’re building to keep the weather in balance across the country. I suppose I’ll find out soon enough.

Again, I feel like I’m forgetting something about last night. Skies damn it, why don’t I write these things down, my memory’s going after so many years.

14-4-5 AU

I don’t believe it! Today, Cloudstantinople came to a halt not two miles outside our dismal little village, and as such we’re now satellite to this gigantic metropolis. I always thought that the entire city had been destroyed during the blizzard five years ago. Apparently, those Pegasi build them to last (not surprising given the fact that it was originally meant as a battle-fortress to keep the dragons at bay), and the city has been recently renovated and relocated to Equestria, lending its massive sky forges to weather control.This must make it the single most ancient establishment in the land, and the most massive by far, until the capital finishes construction. A “gesture of goodwill” from Pegasus High Command, they call it. More like a bargaining chip if you ask me, but I really should stop thinking like that. Our new union is about peace and willful cooperation, right?

Ha! I hope I live to see the day.

18-4-5 AU

Today the Pegasi of Cloudstantinople finally decided to pay us a visit; ‘tis a mystery to me why they had to wait this log, it’s not like there’s anywhere else they can get their food. In any case, their garrison commander, Captain Cheval (what kind of name is that, anyway?) met the Mayor and town council to establish some formal relations. I was in attendance for a few minutes, before using the “old horse” excuse to let myself out.

It’s so strange seeing a Pegasus be anything other than aggressive. It’s almost like they don’t have it in them to play nice, but I do appreciate his effort.

Cloudstantinople will remain within ten miles of out town, changing course and position as required in the performance of their duties. A serious dose of rainfall is scheduled for tomorrow. That’ll get the crops going.

19-4-5 AU

Downpour is nothing short of diluvian. If I didn't know better I'd say the pegasi are trying to drown us. The truth, however, is that it's sorely needed if we're to avert a drought. It still amazes me just how quickly those featherbrains set this up. One moment it's clear skies and scorching heat, the next moment the skies fill with enough clouds to block out the light of the Sun.

I can't take a single step outside. If I open the windows or door the house'll get flooded. Merriweather got caught in here by the rain, so she's staying here. Making tea at the moment. I haven't had any in two weeks; too busy (and cautious).
She continues to puzzle me. Perhaps the simple truth is that she has nopony to talk to, and makes do with a tired old crone like me. It's unlikely, though. There are plenty of ponies closer to her age around town, and she seems sociable enough. Her help is welcome, but she really needs to get out more.


After a short break last night, which allowed Meri to run along home, the deluge continues. We spent most of yesterday talking or working around the house. I read her a few things from some of my older books; she can read alright herself, but doesn’t understand Gryphone. She insisted on watching me bring the Sun down, acting like it's the most amazing thing on Earth. Then she made me tell her about the mechanics of the matter. I never actually realized it, but she's rather smart, moreso than the average pony anyway. Reminds me of Clover.
Somepony's at the door. What is it that couldn’t wait until morning?