Luna's Story: Rise of the Lunar Stallions

by Aegis Shield

First published

Luna falls comatose and is revived by the love-sick kiss of one of Celestia's guards.

Princess Luna falls comatose and is revived by the love-sick kiss of one of Celestia's guards. As a reward, she leads him to the ancient hidden barracks of her long forgotten guardian force. Their slowly blossoming romance gives birth to a breed of royal guard not seen in 1,000 years. The Lunar Stallions!

Kiss Thy Princess

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Luna's Story: Rise of the Lunar Stallions
Part 1: Kiss Thy Princess

Some called it an assassination attempt. Others a tragic slip in the kitchen, food poisoning that is. Others still thought it supernatural exhaustion from heaving at her bonds on the moon for a thousand years. Even more others than THAT thought that the extraction of Nightmare Moon’s evil had left her frail and then comatose. Though rumor in the castle was rampant, few could fathom a very good reason for why Princess Luna had suddenly collapsed upon her throne one night.

It was her first time holding the Night Court in a thousand years, and though she received no visitors she was determined to resume her duties as a royal princess of the night. She was surrounded by sleepy solar stallions, gifted to her by the royal guard, and a few officials that were normally night owls anyway. One can only imagine their surprise when the poor alicorn suddenly pitched over as though struck dead, tumbled down the high dais and knocked one of the guards down with her sheer weight.

The castle had been sent into a frenzy of activity. Not the least of which was that Princess Celestia was disturbed from her slumber, something that had never happened before in recent memory. Guards suited up, closed ranks, and loaded ballistae that were covered with cobwebs. Within minutes, the palace had turned into a fortress and only the most trusted of servants were allowed in. High alert was not pleasant, not quiet, and not certainly an activity that one wanted to participate in at three in the morning.


Princess Celestia was surrounded by the best doctors in Canterlot, her sister’s body splayed out on display for examination. They’d taken her temperature, blood pressure, weighed her hooves and checked her wings. They’d even dared to pluck one of her feathers to examine the roots for any signs of deeper infection. They’d interrogated the kitchen about what had been in that evening’s meal. Everything they could think of. None could find anything out of the ordinary. She was not sweaty, or slick with fever. She didn’t tremble as though cold, and her breathing sounded fine. Her nostrils were not blocked with mucus and the sheen of her feathers and mane were as radiant as ever. Other than being comatose, she was perfectly healthy!

Celestia’s horn was alight with deeper solar magicks, and the princess of the day was slowly moving her head back and forth over her sister. The light was beautiful, glittering and powerful. Moving her head from one side to the other many times with a frown of concentration, she finally cut out the magic and lifted her head. All those gathered looked at her hopefully. “I do not know what’s wrong with her.” Celestia finally sighed. “See to her bruises, and keep her comfortable.” She told the head surgeon. Her bowed deep, swearing it would be so. As she exited the room, she spoke to the captain of the guard. “Captain Grey.” She said with an air of royal authority.

“Yes your majesty?” He and a V-formation of six more guards stood in the hallway waiting for orders. All stood stalwart in their golden regalia, eager to do her bidding.

“Tell the palace guard to let down from high alert, it seems there has been no discernible foul play or attack. Have my sister moved to her chambers and have an attachment close ranks about her corridor.” The princess commanded softly. “Seal off any balconies, and secure the general area. None may pass to see her unless I am there to escort them.” Captain Grey snapped a salute, and it was so. A litter was put together and, after securing an empty path from the examination room to Luna’s private chambers, she was discreetly moved. Though it only took two stallions to carry the litter, they used four to redouble their speed and risk less exposure. An ailing alicorn could only bring misery and low morale to the palace.

When they arrived, the pushed the great doors open. Luna’s room was messy at best, tornado-worthy at worst. The four guards moving her could barely see the walls of the place, so covered were they with pinned notes and star charts. Her desks, all three of them, were weighed down with inkwells, quill, protractors, and a number of mathematical devices. A jeweled telescope pointed at the horizon on the balcony, and the massive circular bed was an island in the middle of the madness. Working with careful hooves, they brought the limp form of their dark princess to her bed. Using their teeth they pulled the sheets and then the curtains. Surrounded on three sides with thick velvet curtains, the day would not disturb her rest if she needed it. The guards worked quickly and feverishly to bar the balcony doors after bringing in her telescope and putting it in a corner. They parted papers, moved things about until things were in a proper sort of order for protecting their princess.

Captain Grey addressed the squad he’d gathered for the occasion. “Listen up. I’m posting you all at the end of this corridor when we’ve secured the whole thing. I want one of you in this room every five minutes from now until this crisis is over.” He bade them. “You come down here, you check on her, you come back. No lingering.” He looked from one guard to the next. They were all respectable ponies, he knew he could count on them. Four stallions, two mares, all excellent guardsponies with a few seasons under their saddles. One was staring at Luna a little sadly, “Aegis Shield! Eyes on me!” the captain snapped. The white stallion’s cheeks colored a little and he snapped back to the rigid look of the stalwart guard again. “The princess hasn’t been back for very long. Now is the time for the royal guard to really put the bits down and show that we’re just as good at our jobs now as we were a thousand years ago.” He pep-talked them. “Our ancestors were always there for the princesses, even during the great pony wars of old. Now it’s our turn.” He gestured with his muzzle at their fallen princess. “She needs our protection, and that’s what she’s gonna get. Understood?”

“Yessir!” chorused the six guards in one voice, snapping salute.


It had been over a week with no changes. Everyone was secretly thankful Princess Luna was an alicorn. Though their rulers were just as mortal as their subjects, the castle staff knew there were certain things about the sisters that were unusual (i.e. their incredible longetivity). Eating and sleeping were really just for show for the two, for one thing. It was a lucky thing too. Had Luna been any other pony she would’ve wasted away in her comatose state from lack of food.

Celestia visited often after she’d raised the moon herself, spending long evenings at her sister’s bedside and brushing her starry mane. She did not weep o’er her sister’s body, but those that had been around the princess of the day long enough could read the subtle twitches in her face. Celestia kept on a positive outlook and a bemused half-smile, but she may as well have been sobbing to those that knew her well enough. She almost didn’t look up when one of the six guards opened the door to poke his head in. Under his princess’ direct gaze he folded his wings bashfully as he entered. “Come in.” she said softly. “I know you’re just doing your job. I won’t bite.” She chuckled just a little, but he detected the hint of bitterness in her voice. She was so very worried for Luna, and knew not what to do with herself.

The white stallion crossed the room slowly, sure to close the door behind him. He approached the alicorn-sized bed reverently, peering over Luna’s sleeping form. She looked so peaceful, curled up like that. Her expression was that of quiet, restful slumber. He found himself staring dumbly at her, and then felt royal eyes staring at him as well. He looked up at Celestia with a twitch, swallowing. “Sh-she looks… peaceful.” He offered a little lamely.

“Have you any insights into her condition, stallion?” Celestia asked softly. Even though her tone was sweet, the guard could sense a scathing sort of stern-ness beneath the surface. Do you know what the buck is going on? I thought not. You’re just a guard. Buck off. He winced shamefully at the inner monologue as he mentally put words in his princess’ mouth. Shivering without meaning to, he looked back to Luna with a quiet gaze. “Her condition has not worsened, so perhaps that is good news.” Celestia said, turning her great head about to worry over her sister some more. She stuck her muzzle into Luna’s starry mane, nuzzling up and down slowly. It was a tender, heart-quivering moment and he almost couldn’t bear to look upon it.

“Y-your majesty.” The white stallion bowed low, turning and leaving the chamber. As he shut the door behind himself, he sighed quietly. There was a hundred feet between himself and the barrier of other guards that he’d been staying with for the past week. Aegis Shield cursed himself quietly, wishing he were clever enough to come up with something more comforting to say than ‘she looks peaceful’. Stupid, stupid! Gritting his teeth then retreating behind the shield of his armored uniform, he returned to his post at the end of the hall.

“Any changes?” one of the mares on duty asked him. He shook his head silently. “Ah don’t like it.” She mumbled, turning around to face forward again. “Nothin’ just strikes an alicorn down like that. And ah don’t think its exhaustion either.” Her Appeloosian accent was poking through, something that only really happened when she was upset of excited.

“None of us like it.” Stalwart Hide said with a toss of his head. “But this is all we’ve got to do for now.” Aegis Shield studied Stalwart Hide for a moment, nodding his head. Returning to his place among the three pairs of guards, there was silence for a long time. “Know what this reminds me of?” Stalwart Hide said when he was sure there were no commanders or anything of the sort nearby. “Sleeping Mare.” There was a collective rolling of eyes and a groan or two. “You know, the one with the seven mini-stallions, and the prince and all that st--?”

“That’s Snow Mare, stupid.” One of the other guards rolled her eyes.

“And I suppose you’ll be the one delivering love’s first kiss to my sister then, dear stallion?” Princess Celestia had appeared nearby, startling whinnies out of half of the guards. Stalwart Hide’s entire body seized up, blue in the face, with his wings out. The Princess loomed, if she were capable of such a thing with such a pleasant face, over the gossipy stallion. His own weight tumped him over and the rigidity of his body and wings brought him to rest at a very impressive forty-five degree angle. He was like a statue, frozen with a terrified expression on his face. Celestia gave a mild chuckle. “I think you’re dismissed for the evening…” she leaned to find his name etched in his armor, “Stalwart Hide.”

All five of the other guards stared in open-mouthed shock. The shame! The humiliation! The eternal black mark on his record! Dismissed from his post by Celestia herself! “Y-yes, your majesty.” Stalwart Hide managed to gather his wits about him and march, stiffly, down the hall. Those that knew him well knew that as soon as he rounded the corner…. Yep, his hooves thundered away down the next hall. Poor stallion. He would never live this down. Ever.

“Fetch for a replacement for me… Aegis Shield?” Celestia said mildly, dipping her head to flick her eyes across his armor-etched name as well. Though she maintained the outer expression of the ever-patient ruler, her jump to such a punishment had spoken volumes. Even as Aegis Shield snapped his salute, he knew that his princess had probably just ruined the other stallion’s life. Any hope of promotion, command, even pay-raises for the next few years… gone. Shuddering once he’d rounded the corner, Aegis Shield reported to the barracks to pluck a guard at random. Ordained by the princess herself, he had his pick and shoes a burly-looking stallion with a scar over one eye and a scowl on his face. His name was Mountain Hoof, and boy was he big.


The days went by in relative quiet, Celestia ever-vigilant to spend evenings with her sister when the moon was raised. Aegis Shield and the others stood stoic against anypony that tried to go down the hall that led to Luna’s chambers. They’d not had much trouble, other than the occasional squawking maid or little foal that just didn’t understand ‘off limits’.

But there was something quietly stirring within Aegis Shield over the days. Each time he went to check on Princess Luna (one of the six guards doing so, on his shift), he felt it. He certainly knew it wasn’t lust, for he was gelding. That is… un-stallion’d, so he would suffer no distractions from his duties for the rest of his life. It was something that made him lighter on his hooves when he was in Luna’s room, though he just couldn’t put his hoof on it.
A certain sort of giddiness that went with looking at her star charts, her splayed notes and instruments. It filled him with a certain curiosity that made him want to snatch a hoof-full and sneak them to the barracks to read. Though he was no good at fancy mathematics, the intricate drawings and complex equations made it all look so magical. The white stallion sometimes found himself staring at the papers more than Luna, some days, and often looked at the night sky to locate some of the constellations therein.

One day, while peering over the edge of the bed at her, he was struck with something. The way her mane was bannered, it looked a lot like the night sky. Knowing the strict stretch of time between check-ins, he went quickly to her desk and peered at the shapes. Returning to the sleeping princess, he peered over her mane intently. Sure enough. She held the constellations in the vaporous flow of her ethereal mane! “Beautiful…” he found himself whispering. He jolted, startled by his own voice. Turning, he was halfway across the room when Celestia entered for the evening. He bowed low as she went past, and he was relieved when he closed the door behind him.

A few days after that, Aegis Shield found himself studying Princess Luna’s mane once more. His shift was always at night, so he didn’t get to see the stars as much anymore. The guards idled by lamp-light in the corridors, and of course there were no windows or openings right now with Luna being vulnerable. But there in Luna’s mane was all the heavens. The white stallion looked upon her quite differently. Not so much as an untouchable, godly royal pony, but as a perfect piece of architecture. A paragon of her species, and of all ponykind. She held boundless beauty in her mane, lying there as still as a statue. He was entranced by it, his mouth slightly open sometimes. Beautiful. The white stallion smiled a little shyly despite himself, turning and returning to his post.

By the end of the fourth week, Aegis Shield looked forward to his job more than he did rest or food. He liked counting down the time until it was his turn to check on the princess. Night by night he gazed upon her, his heart ever eager to behold her beauty. The poor stallion had fallen in love with his sleeping princess.


“Someone’s cheerful this evening.” said the guard Aegis Shield had come to replace on his shift. It wasn’t everyday that a royal guard could be seen within a huge smile plastered across his face like that. Aegis coughed a little, excusing himself and taking up his post with the traditional blank expression.

When at last it was his turn to check on Princess Luna, he turned with the usual snap in his step. He marched down the hall until he was the proper distance, and made it to the proper door. He held his breath when he reached for the doorknob, as though teasing himself before pushing the door open. There she lay, radiant as the night. “I found the waterfall last night.” He whispered to her of a constellation hidden on the edge of the northern sky. “I got a telescope just so I could see it.” He said a little coyly, crossing the room to lean over the bed to peer at her. Rearing up for a proper look, he leaned to see if there had been any change. As per usual, the princess of the night wore a quiet and peaceful expression. “It’s beautiful.” He mumbled his praises, not wanting anyone down the corridor to hear him. Turning his ears back, he finally sighed in resignation. “I wish you would wake up, princess.” He whispered to her softly, pleading. “Please, please wake up.”

Princess Luna gave no response other than her quiet breathing. Without thinking, Aegis Shield leaned down and pressed his face into her ethereal mane. Magic caressed him back and forth, and the scent of rain-pregnant wind overtook him. A certain crisp scent that would go completely unnoticed if one were not looking for it. He found himself flushed and a little heady, lingering there for a long few moments before quickly pulling away. He didn’t want to be caught sniffing the princess’ mane. The scandal! The demotions! The shame!

Aegis Shield decided to look at her face one more time and then be off, before somepony caught him. Getting down, he went to the other side of Luna’s bed where he could look at her face more directly. She was beautiful, he couldn’t help but smile quietly and feel the chipper in his heart. Though he was gelding, it did not keep him from certain feelings. Her face looked so soft… he leaned down. So quiet and beautiful… his shadow cast itself upon the princess. Her lips looked so moist and plush… he just wanted to… to

Celestia entered the room for her normal evening visit to find one of her guards with his lips pressed over her sister’s. Her mouth fell open and she froze on place. There was a long silence, ice flowing down the back of her neck before she started quivering. Her wings snapped open with aggression and she called out over her shoulder. “Guards! Guards!” There was a stampede of thundering hooves coming down the hall, armor clanking as they went.

Aegis Shield snapped himself away from Luna’s face, panting a little headily. Though he was a white stallion with all of his solar armor on, he could still turn pale. What had he done?! How deprived was he?! What was he thinking?! Suddenly the five other guards piled into the room in a semi-circle about Celestia. “Aegis! What did you do?!” one of the mares demanded. All of the guards looked up at their daytime princess, waiting for her to give the word to tackle the poor bastard.

“Seize him.” Celestia said quietly, her royal mask hardening over into its normal bemused expression. Anyone that knew her well enough could still see the subtle twitches. The way her wings folded down. The way her head cocked when she spoke. She was ready to tear his head right off of his shoulders and drop-kick it to the moon.

There was a rush of bodies that the poor stallion gave no resistance to, and he was forced to the ground under the crushing weight of the other five guards. They wrenched his helmet off. The solar magic covering his body sputtered, held, then crackled out. His white fur darkened into a chocolate brown, his mane exploding with the radiant blonde that was natural to him. The cutie mark hidden under the spell was exposed, a golden shield with a star on it. An aegis. His helm tumbled across the floor, stopping at the foot of Luna’s bed where it spun for a bit before coming to rest. They flailed back and forth with rope and bonds, chain and padlocks to bind him up like a pig at a rodeo. He could barely breathe it was all so tight. Aegis gave a slight whimper as he was tossed at his sun princess’ hooves like an offering.

“What should we do with him, princess?” Mountain Hoof’s deep bass voice wanted to know. The barrel-chested stallion puffed himself up. “Nearest dungeon? Nearest chopping block?” This was such a serious offense there really wasn’t even a law for any of the guards to refer to for punishment. Of COURSE you didn’t put your hooves on the princesses like that! “Exile?” he offered.

Celestia wasn’t looked at Mountain Hoof. Or Aegis Shield. Or any of the others. Her eyes had become little pinpricks of shock, her royal mask shattered entirely. All five guards turned to follow her expression.

Princess Luna was sitting up, staring at the large gathering in her room rather sleepily. “If thou art here to escort me to the midnight court, we hardly think six guards art necessary inside the royal palace.” She was rubbing a hoof over one of her eyes, then the other. Blink-blinking a little more awake, she stared at the gathering some more. “…What?” she said. “Thou stare as though thou hast seen a ghost.”

“Nearest dungeon.” Celestia whispered a little breathlessly, shooing all of the guards out with a snap of her wings. When the door shut she threw herself upon her confused sister in a tight embrace.

Luna’s wings blimped out in surprise, but she returned the hug carefully. “Er… good evening, sister?” it came out like a question as she stroked Celestia’s mane out of habit. “Dost thou want to tell us why we awoke to a room full of guards? Our room is usually off limits to all but thyself.”

End of Part 1

Honor Thy Ancestors

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Luna's Story: Rise of the Lunar Stallions
Part 2: Honor Thy Ancestors

Aegis Shield grunted as he was thrown into the dungeon. It was a surprisingly clean place, though still of dark grey hewn stone. His bonds were removed and he was pushed back into a nest of old straw so the guards could lock his cage. He lay on his belly, a little overwhelmed at all that had happened. All that he’d done.

“Be nice to him. He’s just had a stressful day at work.” The Appleoosian guard mare said to the jailor. The stallion cocked his head. The others weren’t stupid, Aegis Shield knew. They hadn’t seen it happen, but they knew something he’d done had awakened the princess. After a month of her slumber, the word would spread like wildfire. All of Canterlot would know his name, maybe even further out than that! He shuddered, for he knew the rumors would fly as well. “Hey, Aegis.” The mare said, drawing his gaze. “I don’t think you’ll be in here long, just take a rest, eh?” she smiled sympathetically at him, and he gave a slow nod.

Aegis Shield had the whole night ahead of him. Being a pony that worked during the night shift, his day had only just begun. The chocolate brown stallion settled in as best he could. He had a barred window, some nice blank walls, some nice blank ceiling, some nice blank floor, and a little nest of hay to either lay on or eat. Having only had breakfast an hour ago, he wasn’t hungry. Slowly reaching, he removed his armor bit by bit. Gently placing each piece in a long row along the far wall, he stared at them in the moonlight. Solar stallion indeed. Couldn’t keep his hooves off a helpless princess. He winced, trying to console himself. He’d helped! She was awake now! Surely though would excuse him? At least partly? He didn’t know what princess Celestia had in mind for him, but it was better than ‘the nearest chopping block’, as Mountain Hoof had so eloquently put it. Maybe if he stared at the ceiling long enough he would find sleep? Doubtful. The stallion laid on his back, his hooves bunched up under his chin. He sighed and stared out the window at the moon instead.

It was nearly dawn when movement jerked Aegis out of his stupor/doze. He twitched awake, rolling until he was upright. Straw struck to his mane and fur, sticking out in odd directions. Tossing his mane quickly so he could see better, he rushed to the bars and held them with his front hooves, craning his neck to see who was coming. “This is him down here. Yes, your highness.” The jailor had returned, keys jangling on his saddle. Bowing, he made way for a tall and slender figure. Princess Luna.

Aegis’ breath caught in his throat. She stared at him carefully after coming to a stop in front of the cell. He very suddenly felt like a bright-colored bug in a jar and blushed. Averting his gaze from her highness’ for a moment, he saw her eyes drawn to the bits of his armor lining the wall. If he’d known she was coming he would’ve donned them again, blast it! Now he was all but naked in front of her, such a shameful thing for a solar stallion! His hooves slid down the bars a little and he pressed his forehead to them, waiting for her to speak. “Our sibling tells us we slept for a month.” She said with a certain air of speaking downward. “And that thy affections apparently roused us when noise, doctors, and medicines could not.” She was eyeing him up and down, sizing him up with a very critical eye. He swallowed, then nodded silently. “Yet we find you locked in a cage for thy actions.” She scowled a little, then stepped back with her horn alight. The stallion panicked briefly, jumping back just in time. The bars shrieked bloody murder to bend out of the way, making a wide and open exit by pressing themselves east and west. She could’ve just opened the cell, or better yet called for the key. But no, this made a better statement. “Emerge, stallion, and tell us thy name.” she commanded, stepping back with the same scowling expression.

The pony came out of the cage slowly, as though the floor might be hot or the bars about to spring back into place and crush him in twine. “I’m… I’m Aegis Shield.” He said, bowing low and onto his belly for her. “I kissed you.” He blurted a little, miserable now that he was in her sight.

“Thy name is shield-shield?” Princess Luna pondered a moment, rewiring her thoughts. “Oh no, no… an aegis is a shield affiliated with a religious figure. Such as ourselves.” She chuckled a little, then snapped back to the moment. Leaning, she checked his cutie mark curiously. A golden shield with a star upon it. “Interesting.” She said, before returning her gaze to his. “How didst thou know we would wake from your kissing?” she leaned forward with one hoof lifted. “Tell us now, please.” Her tone was completely mismatched to her words, and he took it as aggression.
“I… didn’t.” he said lamely, ears turning back in a shameful way.

“Thou thought to take advantage of us in our comatose state?” Luna said, sounding shocked. “Perhaps thou does belong in a cage!” she lifted him by magic, bodily, back into the sail.

“I can’t do that, I’m gelding!” he blurted, flailing about and red in the cheeks.

Princess Luna dropped him neatly on his hooves, cocking her head. “Thou art what?” she didn’t have the word in her archaic vocabulary. “What does this word mean: gelding?” she leaned forward like it meant there was something wrong with his face. He leaned backward submissively, intimidated by her voice and stature.

“Er well… it… it means…” he blushed deeper, turning his head to one side.

“It means there’s no pleasin’ the mares for him. He’s married to his job.” The jailor butted in a little nastily. Luna cocked an eyebrow, then looked startled. Tilting her head until it was upside down, she leaned and rather unceremoniously checked. Aegis Shield could do not but stand there and wish there was a convenient way to hang himself somewhere in the cell. Or blow himself up. Or simply drop dead. That would’ve been fine too. The cross-etchings of where the stitches had been still left nasty scars on his lower pelvis. The princess stared at it all for awhile with interest.

“Ohhh, thou art castrated.” Luna said, righting herself and nodding like she hadn’t just blatant checked out a stallion’s joy department. “Well, that makes us feel a little better.” She nodded officially, then finally returned her attention to his face. “Forgive our bluntness, we did not know this was still practiced. It seems even after a thousand years, my sister still insists on some of the old ways.” Her eyes wandered briefly to the pile of armor, then back to him. “Why hast thou shed thy armor?”

“I didn’t feel like a solar stallion since I… well…” Aegis Shield gestured vaguely at her. Luna, surprisingly, gave a little chuckle.

“Since you embraced the night?” she said in a playful, sultry way. It was Aegis’ turn to smile wryly, and he nodded. Luna was pleased to see the rise of color in his cheeks. “Come then, stallion. We shall see that thou art grandly rewarded for thy courage, accidental though it may have been.” She teased him a little, and he relaxed at last. The princess nodded to the jailor and they were away. Aegis had no idea where they were going, but he wasn’t about to turn down a demigoddess and sit in a cell, thank you very much. The stallion was fascinated by her. The way she walked with such long, slender legs. Not like a giraffe, but less motion than a regular pony. He had to trot to keep up with her great strides. Wherever they went ponies moved out of the way, bowed, and let them by. Aegis didn’t pass any guards he knew, but they were certainly shocked to see the princess up and about. Word would spread like wildfire. “Tell us, Aegis Shield, did thou always have the nighttime shift for thy guard duties?”

“Not always, no, but I preferred them.” He admitted.

“Why?” Luna turned a corner with him.

“Er-well… it’s quieter, cooler outside, and there are more bad ponies to stop.” He said with a guilty smile. “It's more interesting. Most crime takes place at night.”

“So does most lovemaking, but we do not blame lovers for their preferences.” Princess Luna snorted, tossing her mane as they went through a massive set of double doors to the armory near the barracks. “But we understand thy meaning. Thy vocation is more likely to apprehend evil at night.” She stopped before a pair of double doors.

Aegis Shield stopped. Those hadn’t been there before. He was in and out of the royal barracks a dozen times a day, every day. Those had never been there in the past. He frowned, leaning as Luna placed her hoof on them and traced the dust. She tittered a little, shaking her head. “It seems in our absence thy fellows let this place go uncared-for.” She said a little sourly. “Come in with us.” She commanded over her shoulder. The nervous stallion took his place at her side.

“I’ve never seen these doors before.” He admitted to her a little pitifully.

“They’ve always been here, in the corner of thy eye.” The princess of the night smiled bemusedly, an expression usually only seen on Celestia’s face. “Where most ponies are afraid to look.” She leaned and lifted the latch, pulling at the heavy bronze hoop. Stale air hissed at them, then finally the door gave and swung open on screaming hinges. The stallion was reminded of a horror movie very suddenly, for the stairs beyond them led down into blackness. Luna looked around, as though to check that nopony was following them. Aegis Shield was shocked when two guards walked right by, talking animatedly, and didn’t even seem to notice them. Was it the door itself? Something beyond it? Why didn't they see them? Why could he suddenly see the doors? Was it Luna, letting him see them? “See? They do not notice us. The magic is still strong here.” She started down the stairs, then poked her head out. “Well? Come along.”

“Where is here?” he found himself asking as they descended into darkness. The stairs spiraled down, down, down. Torches burst to life as they passed them, illuminating the passage in a flickering blue light. The stone and brick was cold and ageless, the two of them stirring inches of dust everywhere they went.

“Our sister has her shining, blinding solar guard to look after Equestria, Aegis Shield.” Luna came to a blank wall after the stairs emptied out into an open area. Torches flicked on all around them, brightening the ancient room. “But, during the times of old before I was banished, the night hosted a different sort of guard.” Leaning, she pushed aside thick cobwebs and blew at the dusty surface. “Look upon them.” She gestured, motioning for him to come close. The stallion clip-clopped slowly until he stood almost shoulder to shoulder with his princess. There, upon the intricately designed slab was a battle scene. A war. There were spears and arrows, muzzle-swords and even cannons. A terrible, bloody era of the ancient world. Shuddering, Aegis Shield looked at his princess with questions in his eyes. “The peace that thou enjoys in this era was not earned with idle chatter and treaties, but by the blood of thy ancestors and their companions. A peace that lasts even today.” She ran a hoof over more and more of the stone tapestry, revealing more colors and swiping away more cobwebs. “But in no small part thanks to my own personal guarding forces.” With a flourish, she revealed the sky in the picture by pushing aside a massive cobweb. It was swarming with angry-looking, bat-winged ponies with sharp teeth. All of them bore swords and arrows, raining down death to the battlefield below. The picture even showed they flew above the bow range of their enemies, shooting down. Untouchable to non-flyers.

“What are they? They look like monsters!” Turning sideways to use his wing, Aegis Shield tried to revive some of the colors of the ancient picture. The more of the picture he revealed, though, the bigger the battle scene became. It was all one big picture, outlined with etchings of crescent moons and pony skulls. Dark indeed.

Luna smiled quietly, lifting her head and uncovering a section that showed herself in the battle. “I was there to lead them.” She said. “I called them— lunar stallions. No mares were allowed in the military back then, just stallions.” She chuckled a little. “So you can imagine their delight when their princess decided to go into battle with them.”

“You fought in the great wars?” Aegis Shield whispered, looking up at her in awe.

“Until we destroyed our enemies so badly that even history has forgotten their names.” Luna smiled rather wickedly, and an icy chill went over his spine. “But worry not, that dark time is long past.” She consoled him, turning. “Now is the present.”

“Princess… what are we doing here?” Aegis Shield ventured.

“Thy reward awaits beyond this barrier.” She told him, smiling in a peculiar way. “However, this place has become a ruin of dust and spiders and disuse. It shames those that it was built to honor.” She gestured to the ponies depicted in the sky of the battle scene. “This displeases us.” She told him. “Since thou hast all but been discharged from the solar guard, perhaps thou shalt do us a favor and cleanse this shrine for us?” Princess Luna gestured all the way across the room. It was big, it would need a lot of love to even see the pictures again, much less be presentable for any sort of habitation. “And in return, the reward we promised you initially. Neigh, more than that.” She tap-tapped the barrier with a large hoof. It made a hollow sound. He leaned, perking his ear. She tap-tapped again. There was a passage beyond it, perhaps?

Looking around slowly, he finally met her eyes and bowed. “Yes, your majesty.” He was no cleaning pony, but she did have a point. No solar guard lived to see rank after being thrown in the dungeon by princess Celestia herself. If Princess Luna was giving him a task, who was he to turn down royalty. “I’ll have it done—”

She raised a hoof to silence him. “Do not constrict thyself to a time limit. Work slowly, carefully, and meditate amongst thy ancestors’ glory.” She gestured with her silver-shoe’d hoof. He slowly looked up at the grand scene, then back to her. He nodded. Luna inclined her head a bit. “If thou shalt excuse us, the dawn is coming. We must lower the moon for our sister.” With that she turned and was away, leaving the stallion alone in the half-light. He peered around, wondering what he’d just gotten himself into.


It was four days later when Aegis Shield realized that the last thing he should’ve done was clean the floor first. Everything he got off the ceiling, the walls, everywhere, would float around until it landed on the floor. Taking a page out of his grandmare’s book, he spent an afternoon shopping for cleaning implements. Broom, mop, cleaner, water, filters, polish, sponges, scrubbers, and so on. Coming back to the secret place, he made four trips with two buckets of water each. Making sure he had as much light as he could get, he started into it. He cleaned the floor, then made a mess bringing down cobwebs and dust, regretting it. Ah well, he’d have to do it again at the end.

If the lunar stallions had been forgotten since the time of Luna’s banishment, there was no telling how old this place was. Having been sealed, it had thankfully not crumbled into a ruin or succumbed to flood or mud. How the spiders and other things got in was anypony’s guess. The stallion tied a bandanna around his muzzle so that he wouldn’t inhale all the dust, and set to seriously work at it.

He spent time simply running a broom over the ceiling, knocking down spider webs and dust pouches. He shrieked when he found a little colony of them, spraying cleaner at them like mad. The moisture made them stick to things, and they soon fell and died on the floor. Huffing with relief, he took a towel to the columns to get their first layers of dust and grime off as well. Splashing water over the solid stone walls, he at first worried about breaking off bits of the old pictures and carvings. But no, they were solid as they were the day they were made. He suspected magic was involved. Scrubbing furiously until he could see colors ‘neath the dust and grime, he watched his ancestors slowly come to life before him. There were captions and boxes of ancient Equestrian to be read, but he sadly didn’t know the language.

He made a game of skating about on the floor, using thick sponges on all four of his hooves to help scrub it. So even walking around the room was helping. As time went by, and it did so rather quickly, the room began to come back to life. He uncovered massive, egg-sized gems inlaid in the wall that shone in the torch-light. Everything around the room was made to reflect the silvery-blue light of the torches on the walls. By the time he’d revived it halfway, he even considered taking down a torch or two. By the time he was almost done, he understood how the lights worked. There were curved mirrors laid in the walls that could be tilted and adjusted. The columns were placed just so, so they wouldn’t interrupt the beams of light. Beautiful.

Aegis Shield splashed buckets and buckets of water on the floor, scrubbing in fierce circles and later sopping things up with the mop. The floor was a slick marble stone, which would probably need polishing if it were to ever shine again. But it didn’t make it any less impressive, for even the tiles were covered with symbols and stories in ancient Equestrian. The longer he went on, the more the stallion wished he knew the elder language. Perhaps he’d visit the library another time, and poke at learning a little.

It was late twilight of the seventh day by the time the stallion had finished, splaying himself out on his back next to his mountain of cleaning junk to rest. Thankfully he’d chosen scentless products, otherwise he would’ve drown in the fumes by then. Aegis Shield looked around. He’d revealed a massive, door-shaped entryway that was sealed with a decorated slab of stone on one wall. The other wall was the battle scene, and the wall on the other side was covered with symbols and etchings. The columns looked beautiful again, sweeping and tall (he was thankful he had wings so he could clean the entire thing). It looked pretty good! Flopping down with a panting gasp, the stallion closed his eyes for a few moments.

“Thou art not sleeping on the job, we hope?” Luna’s voice made him jump, tumble over his own hooves, then finally snap up to salute without thinking. “Peace, stallion, lest thy automatic responses bloody your forehead.” She reached and pulled his hoof down, chuckling. He didn’t want to admit she’d seen him hit himself in the face to salute her. Stepping down from the stairs, she peered about to room. “Glorious.” She told him, nodding with approval. “Thy work is commendable.” The alicorn turned towards the stone slab that blocked the path onward. “I am sure thy ancestors appreciate thy efforts.” She went to the battle scene wall, rearing up to get a closer look. “Thou even shined the gems in their eyes. Excellent.” She gestured to the yellow gems inlaid in the eyes of each lunar stallion in the picture. Viewed from the right angle, their eyes seemed to glow like stars.

“Thank you, your majesty.” Aegis Shield said, smiling carefully.

“Now then, we have tried thy patience and given thou menial tasks. Thy suffering is over now.” She chuckled, coming down to all fours again. “We merely wished to have this part cleaned before thou saw anything else. Think of it as a right of passage.” She nickered a little, gesturing for him to follow. The princess stood before the mighty stone slab at the end of the chamber and opposite to the stairs. “This antechamber serves as a reminder to all of where the lunar stallions come from, and what they mean.” Going to incline in the designs, she pressed her horn into a deep circular hole that barely fit her. She concentrated, then jarred her head to the side a little. Aegis Shield felt a buzzing in his ears as magicks worked in the air. Gems lit up like there were fireflies trapped inside, two by two, up and down the doorway. The slab began to lift upward, trailing dust and sand onto the floor. The passage beyond was deep.

“What do the lunar stallions mean, princess Luna?” Aegis found himself asking.

“Victory. Judgment. Willingness to do what it takes to succeed, no matter what It may be.” Luna listed off a few with a toss of her mane, walking regally down the passage. He followed closely, trying very hard not to stare at her ethereal tail and flanks directly ahead of himself. “The darker side of the Equestrian military.” She smirked over her shoulder at him, and he gulped. They emerged into a greatroom that was filled with covered furniture. “Do not worry, we shan’t make you clean all of this. Thou suffered enough in the antechamber. The complex is quite deep.” She consoled him, flipping the sheet off of a wooden couch that had certainly seen better days. “If we are to restore this place, it will take many ponies.”

“Restore it?” Aegis Shield echoed.

“Yes. Thou hast demonstrated the skills necessary to become a lunar stallion.” She told him, smiling wryly. “Didst thou think I was leading thou to treasure? Bits perhaps? What sort of reward would that be for saving our life?” she snorted, tossing her mane again as she came to what could only be described as a vault. “A silly one, we tell thou.” She turned her nose up briefly at him, then went back to paying attention to the vault. There were many passages going off in different directions, but the vault was right here, attached to the great-room. “This,” She gestured grandly. “is the armory. It is opened by voice.”

“It is? How? Like a password?” he leaned curiously, putting his hoof on it. The metal was cold and still shiny. “It feels thick, there’s no way anypony could break into this. What’s in there?” he turned to her, feeling a little overwhelmed. Luna cleared her throat and, in the Royal Canterlot Voice, spoke a long line of ancient Equestrian. He covered his ears as she proclaimed... well... something, in the old tongue, loud and demanding. Dust and sand fell from teh ceiling, spilling over the room. When she was done the vault suddenly moaned in response, like grand sheets of metal were bending. Aegis backed up a bit as the door hissed, unsealing, and then finally swinging open.

Princess Luna cleared her throat to part the dust, and ignited her horn. The torches inside exploded into light. There, upon a set of pony-shaped statues, were two sets of armor. Midnight blue and deep purple, they were dark. They were jagged and handsome things, the very opposite of the shining armor of the solar stallions. They had dorsal fins atop their heads, not Spartan feathers. They had a serpentine eyes on their breasts, flowing natural shapes along the flanks. A quartet of matching, sharp-edged horseshoes lay under each one. The display was beautiful, and he instantly ached to put one on. “Only two sets left.” Luna said, sounding disappointed. “Well, we suppose the lunar stallions that remained at the time of our exile would’ve gone into hiding, perhaps passed down their regalia’s like heirlooms. There are probably not many left that stood the test of time… perhaps a museum or two might host one.” She shook her head. “These, however, are in good condition.” She helped him notice the sharpness of the spikes, the sheen of the serpentine eye, and the handsomeness that came with the breastplate. “Well?” she asked him, looking at the rather overwhelmed stallion that stood in the vault’s archway. A rather dark smile rose to her face as he stared drunkenly at the strange regalia’s. “Art thou ready for thy reward, Aegis Shield?”

A slow smile crept across the stallion’s face. “S-suit me up, your majesty.”

End of Part 2

Don Thy Armor

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Luna’s Story: Rise of the Lunar Stallions
Part 3: Don Thy Armor

Aegis Shield stood in front of a dusty looking glass in the small vault armory room. Princess Luna had used magic to help him don and adjust the armor. “It’s very— light.” He said, surprised. “It’s like its bending and… a part of me.” He moved his haunches one way, then the other. The armor whined, but didn’t clank like solar stallion armor did.

“It is designed to streamline for a winged pony, to be light and impenetrable.” Luna told him, turning her nose up indignantly as she described the masterpiece he was wearing. “It is impervious to heat, magnetism, and most bladed weaponry.”

“You mean—”

“We mean that this armor will stop a knife at pointblank.” She chuckled. “Now then,” She magicked the dorsal-finned helm to rest on his head, then stepped back to have a look at him. “Not a bad fit, but thou hast some filling in to do in the chest and belly area.” Luna tap-tapped his chest with her hoof. “Now then, about the magical form that comes with it.”

“Will it change my fur and eyes like the solar stallion armors do?” Aegis asked, cocking his head and pushing the helmet back a little so he can see.

“That, and a bit more.” She smiled bemusedly, walking away a few steps until she was beyond the threshold of the vault. He watched her, and a bad feeling began to prickle on the back of his neck. “You see, the lunar stallions were a bit more than their usual selves when their regalia’s were activated.” She explained. “Thou shalt be as well, though we must confess the first transformation is a bit painful.”

“Painful?” Aegis Shield echoed, lifting a hoof worriedly. “I thought this was supposed to be a reward?” his ears turned back and he frowned at her a bit.

“Just the first, while the armor measures thou. Then after that thou wilt always be thyself.” She promised, smiling rather darkly. “Which is another reason we have the vault installed here. Even a transformed lunar stallion cannot get through three feet of solid steel. Do not worry, it will not last long.”

“What? You’re locking me in here?!” He made to rush for the door but he was slapped in the chest by an invisible force. Luna’s magic. She frowned at him sternly, then the vault closed by her will. The clang of heavy metal was damning, and he shouted her name for mercy. He called out to her, kept in the dark in an airtight space. Whimpering and hyperventilating a bit, the stallion staggered about blindly for a long time. With no light at all, his eyes could not adjust. It was total blackness. He found the surface of what he hoped was the vault’s door. Banging on it for what felt like ages, he finally gave up and slid to the floor. How much air was there in the vault? How much time would he have before he suffocated?

Meanwhile outside, Princess Luna found an abandoned couch and regally lay on her belly upon it. She watched the vault door carefully, giving an idle smile while she waited for the magic to happen. She’d done it countless times before, it had merely been a thousand or so years since the last lunar stallion had been created. She only hoped that the modern-day stallion could measure up to his ancestors. It would be a shame if he suffocated before making his epiphany. Running a hoof through her ethereal mane, she waited with baited breath. If the poor stallion was willing to give up his penis to serve her sister, wait till he saw what the vault had in store for him. She grinned wryly.

Within the vault, the supreme quiet began to play tricks on Aegis Shield’s mind. He crawled carefully around the room, but couldn’t seem to find either of the display statues to get his bearings. It was all just cold metal and stone. He panicked a little, had he just been thrown in his tomb? Was this actually his punishment for laying his lips on her highness? To be sealed in darkness forever? He hacked and coughed at suffocation that wasn’t there. “Help! Somepony help me!” he shouted, and the vault shuddered his words briefly back at him. He banged hard on the walls, bucking and grunting against them. The air heated with all of his work and extra body heat. Soon the vault was sweltering and he fell on his side, panting and panicked. “Help me, somepony…” he mumbled, shuddering in the strange armor. “Somepony…”
A prickle of amber-gold appeared in the darkness. Then another. Then another. They started appearing in pairs, and with an icy realization the stallion saw they were eyes. Glowing eyes staring at him from the blackness. They lit the room mildly, and he seized up in fear at what he saw. Spirits. Armored spirits with burning eyes and shorn fetlocks! Who were they? What did they want? Aegis shuffled to a corner, terrified. He was no pushover stallion, having been a royal guard, but he didn’t know how to deal with spirits. Whimpering, he pressed himself into the corner and they all turned to watch him. Their wings were odd, membrane’d like bats. Their teeth were terrifying, sharpened like shark teeth in jagged triangles. And their eyes, ohhh… they all had the same amber-gold serpent-like eyes. The spirits stared at him, ghosts of the past.

“What do you want from me?!” he shouted at them, terrified by what he saw. “Go ‘way! Go ‘way!” he waved a hoof about, and suddenly they parted to make a path for him. There, on the back of the vault door, was a short poem. It hadn’t been there when he’d entered with the princess, he was sure of it. He expected it to be in ancient Equestrian, but no, the letters wiggled across the smooth metal surface until they were quite readable:

In the dark, we tear and rend
To end all evils, with spines to bend.
Lust and power, hunger and might
By Luna’s will, and dark of night!

Aegis Shield stared at the words, and saw all the spirits moving their mouths as though speaking the words. They didn’t take their golden, burning eyes off of him. He was the dead-center of attention. Rising slowly, he righted himself. Walking on shaking hooves, he walked among them. They gave him hardened expressions and he was barely able to read their whole faces under their helms. The otherworldly glow of the room was just too much. He stopped before the vault door, staring up at the words. “Some kind of oath?” he whispered to himself. There was a surge in the spiritual glow of the place and he yelped a little, looking back at the crowd of ghosts like they might pounce on him. Suddenly he understood. To walk out with the armor on, he would need to recite the oath taken by his predecessors. It sounded so violent, though. Lust and power? Wow! Gulping a little and wanting very much to just be out of the vault at that point, he came close to the cold metal surface. The spirits looked on eagerly, shifting on their ethereal hooves. Licking his lips a little, he took a few deep breaths. “In the dark, we tear and rend,” he whispered, and could suddenly hear a hundred other pony voices in his head. “To end all evils, with spines to bend,” he felt a little heavy, suddenly, leaning against the vault. Something magical was happening. “Lust and power, hunger and might,” he let his voice grow a little louder. The spirits in the room were audible, their mouths moving as one. “By Luna’s will, and dark of night!

Aegis Shield’s eyes became pinpricks of fear, and his heart stutter-stopped for a moment. His wings blimped out as pain suddenly wracked his body. He cried out, his back arching as though he were being electrocuted. Rearing up, he screamed again at the pain. His mouth exploded with the coppery taste of blood. His armor felt heavy, so heavy. He fell to his knees with a guttural sound of exhaustion, and his wings melted into something alien to him. Membrane’d wings banished his feathers, spreading darkly to beyond their normal span. He curled with another roar of pain, his body igniting into fiery pain. He could feel himself swelling up, filling the cracks of the armor until it was nice and tight on his body like it was meant to be. He writhed about in torturous agony, his hooves bicycling about wildly. Flailing one way, then the other, he bashed his head over and over against the vault door to relieve himself of the agony. Lesser pain felt like pleasure compared to the transformation! Bashing his head over and over, red splashed across his vision until he staggered backward, clutching himself and roaring again. “It hurts! It hurts!” he roared in a deep voice that was not his own. It sounded like several voices. He staggered about, smearing blood on the walls until he bumped into a corner and fell backward. Clutching at his poor heart, he could only lay there and breath, his mouth agape. Tingling feelings filled his mouth and he moaned, turning to one side and finally flopping over. Then the feelings came.

Oh sweet Luna, it was everything all at once. The stallion felt violently pregnant with raw emotions. He felt angry. He was lusty. He wanted food right then, lots of it. And ohhh, what he wouldn’t give for another stallion to kick the ever-loving shit out of right then! All at once! Lots of food and a fertile mare and a stallion to beat the stuffing out of. That sounded great! That sounded perfect! Slathering and roaring like a beast, he thrashed about like a caged dog. Inhaling deeply, he arched his back like a savage timberwolf and howwwwled like an animal. Rushing to the vault door he bucked. The door gave a resounding clang. He bucked again. Once more, loud but no give. It was too thick, to sturdy for even the frenzied stallion.

Sensing the change was done, Luna ignited her horn. The vault hummed a little, and she barked at it in ancient Equestrian. The Royal Canterlot Voice spoke the forgotten password, and at last the massive door groaned open. The alicorn stood, peering into the blackness. The torches had given out at some point, and some of the smoke emerged from the upper edges of the archway. She leaned forward, lifting a hoof and waiting for him to emerge. And emerge he did. “Magnificant…” Luna marveled, her mouth a little agape.

Aegis Shield emerged with grey fur and golden eyes, the pupils having turned to slits. His tail had turned purple and his armor fit him perfectly now. His lips were drawn back into a piranha’s scowl, jagged teeth that looked like they could saw through a two by four. His massive, powerful barrel-chest heaved up and down, speckled with blood from his mouth where the teeth and re-formed. The eye on the chest of his armor was open and veering around as though looking at the world. With no words in his mind for the moment, Aegis Shield reared up and whinny-screamed, bashing his hooves down and shaking the floor with his strength. Luna found herself smiling grandly. “Uwhr-arw-w-w-wgh!” he roared gutturally, heaving for breath and dribbling with saliva and blood from the mouth. He was like an animal. The power! It felt good!

“So handsome.” Luna chuckled, approaching him casually with a towel hovering with her. His eyes snapped towards her, took her in from hooves to mane. The towel reddened while she wiped his mouth and face, and she had to fold it this way and that to make sure not to simply slather him with his own blood. “This is called the ‘frienzied’ state.” She told the now feral stallion. She made sure her movements were slow and easy to see so he didn’t strike her down or something of the sort. “While the armor adjusts, though shalt be like this for a few minutes. Sadly, there wasn’t enough air in the vault to leave thou in there until the frenzy was ove-eep!” she gave a feminine chirp of panic when he rudely shoved his muzzle into her mane and sniffed deeply. Growwwwl. She froze a moment, feeling the snuffle-snort of hot air from the stallion’s nostrils. The purr of approval brought color to her face. She could not blame him, she silently reminded herself. Everything he was feeling was turned over at least three fold. If he found her attractive, he wouldn’t be able to help himself. Her mind flashed back to the news about the kiss, as well as the gelding comment. Growwwwwl. He stood closer to her, then rested his head on her shoulder with his muzzle in her mane. “W-well, that’s one way to tame the beast, we suppose.” She mumbled, a little more warmth in her face. Different stallions reacted in vastly different ways while frenzied by the lunar armaments. Why, she ever recalled one poor pony that ran himself to exhaustion and was uncatchable until he’d pitched down a flight of stairs and broken three legs. If Aegis Shield was standing still, all the better. Growwwwl. The princess stood still for him, waiting for his mind to rewire itself into the new shape he’d acquired. His jagged teeth found her ear suddenly, and she gave a giggling sort of shriek when he pulled at it a little. He was being playful...? “Thou shalt not nibble upon me, scoundrel!” she laughed a little, pawing at his massive chest with a hoof. “We hath not even shared a meal!” she was mostly talking to herself, since the stallion would remember nothing of his feral state until much later.

Aegis Shield suddenly blinked back to consciousness, the princess’ ear in his mouth and her shrieking giggling piercing his hearing. He let go of her, staggering back like he’d molested her. “Princess! Uph!” his hoof rushed to his mouth. His voice was so deep! His brows rose and she snickered a little at him. “My voice! My voice is so… so deep!” If it were possible for a colt to hit puberty and get his stallion voice, then hit puberty again and go down another few steps, that was what it was like. It was a deep bass, like a bronze bell of syrupy blackness. Nopony’s voice was naturally that deep. “I feel funny!” he said, looking himself over.

“Thine armor has accepted thou, Aegis Shield.” The princess made a show of surveying him up and down, which made him stop to look at himself as well. He was bigger! And… and… grey! “Thou wear it as handsomely as thy ancestors did before you.” She gestured to the looking glass on the far wall. He rushed to it and beheld himself. His wings were bat-like, his eyes yellow and his frame a size bigger. He looked incredible! He felt incredible, too. Leaning back and forth he puffed up his chest a little, drawing chuckles from her majesty. He deflated, blushing and looking at her with embarrassment. “Thou art the first lunar stallion in a thousand years. Congratulations.” Luna told him, patting his armor animatedly.

Aegis Shield looked at her, smiling handsomely. He liked the look. He liked the feeling. It was different. He felt different. Different was good. Cocking his head until his neck popped audibly, he turned and bowed before his princess. Celestia may have—

“Our sister may have caged thou for thy wrecklessness, but we cannot argue with results, so thank you.” Luna practically read his mind and for an icy second he thought perhaps she had. “Thy reward is to be the first stallion in my direct service in millennia.” Leaning, she cupped one of his cheeks with her hoof and tenderly kissed the other with affection. He blushed, and that pleased her. “Now then… we want to show thou off.” She suddenly grinned like a filly, snickering and turning on her hooves.

“Show me off?” he asked, still startled by the thundering deep of his own voice. He held his throat for a moment. That was going to take some getting used to, over everything else. At least he could only see the rest when looking in a mirror.

“Yes. Thy new vocation will draw an eye or two, we guarantee it.” She was still chuckling, her ears facing forward and a bounce in her step. Aegis Shield, for some reason, suddenly compared her to Celestia. Luna was more animated, more giggly, and at least partially seemed to have a sense of humor. He found himself happy he’d devoted himself to the princess of the night. She was more… there. More exciting. He felt the smile crossing his face as he walked behind her out of the narrow passage as well. It didn’t hurt that she was damn beautiful, either.


Luna walked in her usual regal manner down the great halls of the royal palace. Her wings were up and open, and her massive hooves made the usual clack-clack-clack-clack sounds. “The midnight court shall start soon, we should make haste.” She said absently. Aegis Shield followed at her five o’clock, peered around. Something was a little off. It seemed rather bright for the middle of the night. He squinted at the lighter-than-normal torches. He rubbed his eyes a little, then peered again. Very bright. “Do not fidget, thy eyes are more powerful than before. Thy transformation grants a good degree of night-vision, better than the average pony.” She smirked over her shoulder at them, and they turned a corner to run into a blood-curdling scream!

A mare with a feather duster for a cutie mark crashed herself into a vase, flinching away from Aegis Shield. “M-m-m-monster!” she pointed with a hoof, her tray and other things strewn about her. In white-faced terror she could only shake like a leaf under his golden-eyed gaze.

A thundering of many hooves brought at least a dozen night-shift solar regalia guards to the scene. They took in the scene with gaping mouths. Princess Luna, a maid, a big mess, and a new… stallion in armor? What was he? They’d never seen anything like him before. “Remain calm!” one of the armored stallions demanded. “We’re here to help.”

“Thy help is not required.” Luna snapped. “Disperse.” She made a sweeping gesture. The three seconds of hesitation only made her angrier, and she stamped a hoof. “Dis-PERSE!” the Royal Canterlot Voice peeked through and the guards backed off. The maid, splayed out on the floor, whimpered and shook. The princess turned her gaze on the blubbering mare, and made a gesture with her eyes for Aegis Shield to see. First impression time, it seemed. Moving quickly and folding his wings so he didn’t look as intimidating, he knelt on all four knees and helped her up. She yipped a little at his touch, but finally looked upon him in earnest when she was set squarely on her hooves again. He brushed her off a bit, then nodded once, offering a small smile. She stared at him breathily for a few moments, looking from him to Luna. Soon the connection was made via colors and demeanor, and she busily began to gather her things and apologize for the mess she’d made wrecking the vase. “Go in peace, little mare.” Luna commanded, turning and nodding once to make the lunar stallion follow. He obeyed.

Scenes much like that one occurred three more times as they went through the halls of the palace. They thought Aegis Shield to be an armored monster, found out he was with Luna, then gave him a cautious and wide berth. He was the object of fearful curiosity (much like Luna, come to think of it), but none dared approach him. He’d had no idea his new appearance would cause such a stir, but Luna was enjoying every moment of it. Turning, he cocked his head when he saw a solar stallion trying to measure him in hands by holding up his hoof and squinting at his shoulder. Sizing him up with a frown, it seemed. Finally, they arrived at the throne room.

Celestia’s bright and shining throne had been draped with the colors of night, the banners turned over to display crescent moons and stars. Dark and fitting for the princess of the night. Princess Luna bade her stallion to stand at the foot of the dais to one side so she could conduct business properly. He nodded, obeying. Standing stalwart, he wiped his face of all expression and resumed his normal ‘guard’ demeanor. A decoration for the room unless called upon.

Princess Luna sat on her royal haunches, calling for the first pony who had any appointment. There were none. Her face fell a little, then she turned her nose up like it meant nothing to her. There was a long silence of her sitting regally on the throne. No appointments. There rarely were during the midnight court. Luna was often lucky to get ten ponies in an entire evening. An hour and a half passed in relative silence. Her face brightened when a dumpy-looking mare suddenly poked her head into the throne room. “Enter, visitor! Speak thy peace!” Luna gestured grandly, snapping out of her quiet doze.

The mare was mint-green and looked a little skittish. Gulping and cocking her head at the massive room, she cantered forward. The scent of fresh breads and spices followed her. She bowed low, upon her belly. “Your majesty!” she called out in a squeaky voice. “Word spread to the kitchens that you might be starting up your own team of royal guards? Night time guards?” it came out like a question.

“They are called lunar stallions!” Luna trumpeted, her voice far louder than necessary. Aegis Shield tried not to react, but could see many ponies paying apt attention. Officials and such got their information by listening, after all.

“Y-yes! Lunar stallions!” the little mare agreed, smiling nervously. “W-well, Celestia’s solar guards have strict eating regiments and such, and… and well… we down in the kitchens were wondering what to do about the lunar stallions?”

The question seemed to catch Luna off guard, for she was silent for a few moments. She mulled it over in her head a few times. “Let him eat when he approaches you for food, I have no reason to enforce when and what he eats. At least none so far.” She finally said, nodding to make it official. The mare bowed and was away. Princess Luna favored Aegis Shield with an encouraging smile. He liked that. He liked it when she smiled at him.

End of Part 3

Defend Thy Honor

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Luna’s Story: Rise of the Lunar Stallions
Part 4: Defend Thy Honor

It was an awkward scene at the royal breakfast table indeed when Princess Celestia entered. It was the only time of day in which the royal sisters ritualistically met every day. They saw each other during other times, but Celestia’s breakfast time was Luna’s dinner time, so they made the effort to be together. The fact that prince Blueblood had joined them that evening was no small mystery. Word had spread like wild fire about the strange monster that followed princess Luna around, and he wanted to take a look for himself at the ruffian.

Luna and Celestia were serenely seated across from each other, and the prince at Celestia’s side. As soon as the servants put the plates down, the prince was bursting to ask, “Auntie Luna, I was told you have a new… employee, this morning?” he feigned ignorance, but he already knew a lot. A pony with fangs and dark armor and bat wings could not travel far without being gossiped about like crazy.

“Ah yes, he is right there behind thou.” Luna said, sipping her tea idly. She was amused at the audible snap of Blueblood’s neck when he whirled about like he were about to be pounced on. Standing in the slowly growing light, in the shadow of a column, was the stallion in question. “His name is Aegis Shield.” At the sound of his name, the stallion inclined his head respectfully. The motion flashed light over the sharp dorsal fin on his helm, and the shine of his jagged teeth.

“He looks like a monster!” Blueblood blurted, then rushed a hoof to his mouth and turned to sit properly again. “F-forgive me Luna, I didn’t mean—!”

“Thy reaction is only natural. He is supposed to be terrifying.” Luna’s lip curled a little at her nephew. She caught Celestia’s eye for a moment, then coughed a little, returning to her food.

“The same stallion that I threw in the dungeon recently?” Celestia asked. “He’s come a long way, it seems.” It was awkward indeed for Aegis Shield to stand in the background while the entire royal family made table conversation about him while he was no more than fifteen feet away. It made him blush. Instead, he decided to focus on Luna’s ethereal mane for comfort. The night sky was in her hair, swirling back and forth. There was the waterfall constellation, the ursa minor, the ursa major— it soothed him for some reason, finding each one as her mane blew with the breeze that wasn’t there.

“Wait wait, his name is Aegis Shield?” Blue Blood wondered into his hay rice with sugar. “What sort of name is shield-shield?” he pondered. The stallion rolled his eyes a little. Even royalty wondered about that it seemed. He’d heard the same thing his entire life.

“An aegis is a circular shield, nephew.” Celestia said gently, turning to butter a bit of cornbread by magic and take a bite. “The markings on the face are associated with a religious figure, like Luna or myself.”

“Oh.” Blueblood said, his cheeks turning a decent shade of pink. “I see.” He was quiet for most of the rest of the meal. The pampered stallion meant well, he just didn’t know any better.

“There hath not been any lunar stallions for over a thousand years.” Luna said, since her nephew seemed interested in her new guard. “Aegis shalt serve as an example of their might, reborn.”

“Sounds exciting.” Celestia said with a light chuckle, turning her gaze to look at the lunar stallion. His eyes were fixed on Luna. She tried to follow his line of sight elsewhere, but no, it was right on her sister. She bit into her cornbread again, enjoying the taste of the butter. “I’m sure things will go well for him.” She offered up her confidence. There was a certain awkwardness in the air between Celestia and Aegis Shield. She didn’t like it. Heaving a mild sigh, she tapped her hooves on the table a little. All the guards and servants were at attention very suddenly, intent for orders. “Aegis Shield. Come sit with us.”

Aegis Shield’s brow rose in mild shock. “Er, yes your majesty.” His deep voice startled a few ponies in the room, including Blueblood. Nopony’s voice was that deep. He sounded like a demon! He approached the royal dining table, sweeping his gaze back and forth. There was one chair remaining, across from prince Blueblood. Gulping mildly, he took a seat with a clank of armor. Blueblood was staring at him curiously, and when Aegis offered a smile it was all fangs. The prince went pale and leaned back a little. “Er… hi.” The lunar stallion offered lamely, casting his eyes downward.

“I never stopped to thank you, stallion.” Celestia said mildly from behind her teacup. She sipped idly for a moment, then the cup levitated down to the table again. “Though your methods were… odd, I can’t argue with results. You did what doctors, medicines, and even I could not.” Aegis felt color filling his face at the praise. Luna was smiling bemusedly, chewing her food. “Perhaps there is something special about you.” The princess of the sun made a show of eyeing him up and down before returning to her food. “Please, dine with us. Help yourself.” She offered him food from the royal table, and he nodded politely.

It only then occurred to him that there was seven forks and five spoons in front of him. His ears turned back. Luna cleared her throat a little, and when his eyes flicked over she made a mild gesture. You were supposed to start with the outside utensils, and work your way inward. Blueblood chuckled good-naturedly, levitating a slice of cornbread and a little syrup his way. They ate in relative silence. The lunar stallion felt a little awkward, being the only one at the table without magic. He had to lean down into his food while the royals could levitate theirs upward to their mouths. There was something symbolic there, he just couldn’t put his hoof on it.

“So… how did you manage to awaken my aunt Luna from her coma?” Blueblood asked curiously. Celestia suddenly sprayed tea from her mouth! Time seemed to stop for a moment, for all the servants had frozen at the spectacle. It wasn’t often something ruffled Celestia’s feathers like that. “Auntie are you okay?” Blueblood gaped at the sun princess, who leaned a little to wipe her mouth with as much dignity as possible.

“We think we are done for the evening, we are tired!” Luna suddenly rose with enough force to knock her chair over, clearing her throat. Blueblood turned curiously, looking back and forth between the royal sisters. “Good morning, sister! Nephew!” she strode away quickly.

“Good morning, Luna!” Celestia called weakly, shooing off a servant that was trying to help pat tea out of her fur. She coughed a little, trying to recover her dignity. “Well! I must go and finish coaxing the sun skyward, good day nephew!” she quickly strode out of the room the other way.

“Was… it something I said?” Blueblood asked Aegis Shield, looking confused. The lunar stallion shrugged, a little red in the face. The royal nephew leaned suddenly, whispering, “I think your charge just left.” He nodded towards the door Luna had exited through. The stallion rose with a jolt, wolfing down the remainder of his cornbread with terrifying jagged teeth. Running with a full mouth, he almost knocked a servant down to get out of the room. Blueblood sat back in his chair, very suddenly alone at the breakfast table. What the hay had just happened?


Aegis Shield, still in full regalia, had a few hours to himself now that Luna was safe in her chambers. Though it was the early hours of the morning, it was still Canterlot. The city that never truly slept. There were all sorts of activities to do in the early morning, especially for guards with the late shift like himself. Deciding rather easily on a tavern, the Hook and Barrel, he strode in to find a light drink and some relaxation. What he found instead was a group of curious solar guards.

The lunar stallion found the stool on the end of the bar, asking for something light to wet his lips. Having just supped with the royal family he wasn’t especially hungry, but the entire ordeal had been a little nerve-wracking. Something light would calm his nerves. “One please.” His voice was deep and dark, enough to draw the eyes of half the room. And since most of the room was outfitted in solar guard armor, it was more than a little awkward for the lunar stallion. He pushed the bits across the bar, and brooded over his drink to get away from the staring.

Finally, one friendly face appeared out of the crowd and sat next to him. “Aegis? Aegis Shield is that you under there?” it was the Appleoosian guard mare from before. What was her name again? Apple Fritter? The one that had helped guard princess Luna with him. Yeah that was her. He looked at her, and she winced at his yellow serpentine eyes. “Wow, ah gotta say that’s a new look for ya.” Her accent was poking through in her excitement.

He smiled mildly, sipping his drink, “It does turn a few heads.” He said deeply. Suddenly he was aware of a stallion standing next to him. It was Mountain Hoof, also from before.

“Aww, he don’t look so tough.” The color in his cheeks said he was more than a little wine-touched. “It’s still the same Aegis, right? Right?” he leaned heavily on the stallion, the scent of cider on his breath. Aegis felt his nose wrinkle. “Still pinin’ away at the princess, right? Right?”

“Aw, c’mon Mountain Hoof. There’s no denyin’ the princess is a nice-lookin’ mare.” Apple Fritter smiled awkwardly. “Be nice, now. He’s still settlin’ into his new job.”

“I think we all know why he took it, eheh!” he slapped Aegis Shield hard on the back. “C’monnnn, you spend a month starin’ at her there in her bed, a stallion can get a few ideas here and there. You know what I—!” Aegis Shield broke his glass over Mountain Hoof’s head. His helm protected him, but the shower of glass and drink had blinded him. Apple Fritter took a step back in the explosion of glass, and the room went dead quiet. Mountain Hoof shook his head a few times to clear his vision. “Hey! Hey what gives?!” he roared, slamming Aegis into the bar with both hooves. His sheer size gave him the advantage, but the frown on the lunar stallion’s face was dark and stoic.

There was a long, tense silence. Was this it?! Were they gonna see the lunar stallion go at it with one of Celestia’s stallions? Bits were changing hooves like crazy in the back of the room, furious whispering as bets flew back and forth. “Rule number one at any job, Mountain Hoof.” The voice was deep and dark, for the lunar stallion spoke. He gave a hard shove, enough to almost put the guard on his back. “Never date your boss.” There was a chuckle or two from the opposite ends of the tavern. Turning his back on his heckler, Aegis put a few more bits on the bar. “Sorry about the glass.” He mumbled to the bartender, turning to leave.

Mountain Hoof stopped him, a great hoof on his chest. “You think you can just break a drink over my head and walk out? That’s assault, you know. I could arrest you, freak.” The massive stallion was still out to win the argument, even if it meant using his powers as a guard.

Furious, boiling anger rose up inside Aegis Shield. He’d hoof-picked the stallion to help protect the princess in her hour of need and this was how he was repaid? Heckling and dragging him along like the town freak? The armor reacted. The ancestor’s reacted. His amber-gold eyes ignited with a powerful glow. Shoving the hoof aside, the lunar stallion seized the solar one by the frame of his armor and lifted him bodily in a godly feat of strength. Frightened hush fell over the tavern again as his jowls rose. The triangle-shaped piranha teeth made their debut and he let out a wordless, carnal roar of fury! Hydra’s would quiver and dragons would look twice had they been there. Shoving his face right into Mountain Hoof’s he roared with all the anger that had pressurized inside him. The guard’s mane flapped wildly in the phantom wind it created, even inside his helm. The dark guard then dropped him back on his hooves like nothing had happened. Mountain Hoof stood there, stunned, looking and feeling like a used piece of chewing gum.

The crowd parted quickly as Aegis rushed for the door. There was a long silence before the tavern slowly tittered back to life. The lunar stallion rushed for the nearest dark alley. His golden eyes steamed a strange golden mist and he rubbed at them furiously. Why had he been so angry? It was just words, just words! And where had that untapped strength come from? No stallion was strong enough to simply lift another one up like that, much less on two hooves!

Lust and power, hunger and might.

The memory of the words struck him like a physical blow. He looked down at the armor he was wearing, running a hoof slowly over it again and again. “It’s alive.” He mumbled quietly. Suddenly he itched furiously. Scratching wildly he leaned against the brick wall and rubbed his body against it. The armor shrieked and groaned. “How do I get this thing off?” he pulled at the helm forcefully, but the helm was attacked to the platelets of the back, and those were attached to the chest piece, and those to the eye in the center of his chest, and… and… it was all one piece, looking at it this way and that. Rushing to a rain puddle from a recent storm, he peered at himself from different angles. There weren’t any buckles or anything, it was just on his body. How had he gotten it on in the first place? Oh right, Princess Luna had magicked it onto him. Did that mean it was permanent?! Would it not come off?! Panic rose in his chest and he thrashed about amongst the alleyway dumpsters, trying to force the armor off of himself. But no, the transformation had made it a perfect fit with no give on any of the straps or platelets. It fit him like a sock.

There was a crack of parting air, and a new figure appeared in the alleyway. “Art thou already tired of thy new vocation?” It was Princess Luna, wearing only two horseshoes and missing her chest regalia. Half-dressed. “We could feel the frenzy rising from across the city.”

Aegis Shield stared at her. She looked so pony when she wasn’t dolled up in her armor and shining things of office. He stopped trying to peel his armor off and went to her. “Something in the armor, it makes me angry. And strong. And gives me night vision. What am I, Batpony?”

Luna stared at him, for the modern reference had sailed right over her head. “Thou art… augmented.” She said gently, reaching to pat him in a soothing way. “But we are proud of thou, if it means anything.” The princess saw questions in his eyes. “Thou could’ve taken whomever it was apart. The armor thou wears gives thee the strength to do so. Thou could’ve ripped thy enemy in twine. Literally.” She saw him looking a little pale, and quickly kept talking. “But thou didn’t. Self-restraint and mercy is good to temper justice.”

“Justice?” Aegis said, feeling a little overwhelmed. “He was just talking. He was drunk. They were just words.”

The princess chuckled at him. “Well, whatever it may have been, it got a rise out of you and thy armor reacted. What did thy heckler say?” she was curious, eyeing him up and down.

He turned his ears back, a little embarrassed. The sun was slowly rising, casting more and more light into the alleyway. He mumbled for a moment, but could not deny the princess her question. “He said that I took this job so I could be near you.”

The princess smiled awkwardly, cocking her head and looking down at herself. Suddenly very much aware that she was only half-dressed, she felt warmth in her cheeks. “And… and what didst thou say to him?” she asked in a rather small voice.

“I broke a bottle over his head.” Aegis mumbled, scuffing his hoof on the ground a few times.

Princess Luna threw her head back and laughed a deep, throaty laugh. She leaned on him with one hoof, her mane flapping back and forth in a joyous way. It was like a glorious banner, and it held the faint scent of the summer night after a storm. “W-we had no idea thou would wade into taverns to defend our honor!” she saw him turn a lovely crimson, and she pushed her mane out of the way finally. “Commendable! I would not order thou to start violence with drunken ponies, but commendable!” she burst into peals of laughter again, leaning helplessly on him. Her scent filled his nose. He ver suddenly wanted her. Wanted those lips. The armor reacted. The ancestors joined in his song. “What shalt thou do with the rest of thy morning?” she asked him when she’d finally come down from her giggling. “What does the average guard do with the end of their day, so to speak?” she calmed, then saw the glazed over expression in his eyes. His jowls lifted, the piranha smile working its way across his muzzle. A new feeling began to overtake him.

“We get kisses from the more attractive mares. They love stallions in uniform.” He told her, leaning and mashing his muzzle furiously against hers. Princess Luna gave a filly-like squeak, pressed back against the wall. She flailed a little, red-faced and furious. How dare he?! How DARE he?! How d—oohhh… his deep and purring growls pressed her against the dark brick, her ethereal mane bannering wildly under his domination. Her hoof rushed up around his neck, pulling him powerfully to her eye-level so the kiss could deepen. How many centuries had it been since her last kiss? She was like a parched pony in a desert, suddenly thrown a canteen of ice water. When the kiss broke, they were panting. She looked at him a heady expression, rubbing a stray line of spittle from her mouth. When he went in for the second kiss she struck the open eye on his chest plate. With a sound of drawing swords the lunar stallion’s armor sank into what looked like a medallion, folding into an impossibly small space until it was gone. His fur flashed back to brown, his mane exploding into gold. His cutie mark reappeared on his flank, a golden shield with a star on it. The magic left him, the ancestors silencing themselves. The eye of the medallion closed as though sleeping, and he staggered off of her. He fell to all four knees, his cheek pressed against her bare breast as his wings flapped awkwardly out of tune with one another.

Princess Luna panted a little, coughing awkwardly. “We shalt see you tonight, Aegis Shield. Report for duty.” With a crack of parted air, she teleported away by magic.

The stallion leaned against the wall, breathing hard, mysterious medallion hanging around his neck. The lusty feeling of desire had passed as soon as she’d removed the armor from him. Was it making him crazy? What was the matter with him, doing that to her like a stallion in season?! He didn’t get seasons, he was gelding! The armor was evil. He would have to throw it away. Grasping at the medallion with his teeth he made for the nearest storm drain and stopped. “You’re augmented.” He repeated his princess’ words. “Augmented.” He chanted softly, looking at the bizarre device. One couldn’t augment something that wasn’t there to begin with. He gulped a little at the realization. The cider-touched Mountain Hoof had been right from the very start. He wanted to be around Luna for more than just guard duties.

Lust and power, hunger and might.


Princess Luna could still feel his lips on hers, the little voice in her head was eager to revel in the feeling. She scrubbed at her lips a little, trying to deny it. He did not shrink from her, he did not fear her, he did not slip and call her Nightmare Moon like others sometimes did. It struck her to wonder what really had made him want to kiss her. While she was comatose, that is. Not just now. She looked in the mirror and herself, cocking her head. She was not unattractive.

Her doors suddenly burst open and she turned with a startled yelp, mane bannering to one side. “Who is that? Who dares burst into our chambers?!” she demanded. A golden-eyed shadow stared at her from the doorway. “Aegis Shield!” she snapped, heat gathering in her face. “We told thou to retire for the night and report tomorrow!” he was walking toward her quickly, a hungry gaze in his eyes. The alicorn meeped as he pressed up against her, hot and naked fur making a sinful friction between them. He extended his neck to rub up against her neck and mane, even with their height difference. Wait, how had he maintained his golden eyes without his lunar stallion regalia on?

“Your majesty.” His voice was a black, hungry chuckle that belonged in the dark. Brown mixed with midnight fur as he walked her backward into her own bed, his piranha teeth flashing into view as he loomed above her. She yipped as she fell onto her back, splayed out. He clambered up onto the alicorn-sized bed, his muscled chest working itself as he did so. She couldn’t help but stare at the rippling bits, honed and toned from seasons of training as a royal guard. Standing over her, his head dipped in what she thought was a bow for a moment. But no. His hot, searching muzzle scrubbed at her bare chest and she panted feverishly. She should stop him. She should STOP him. But ohh… no no, her body said it felt nice Wanted more. More big powerful stallion, yes please. His sharp teeth sank into her ear, and her shoulder, and even scraped across the soft of her belly. He gave deep syrupy purr like a great mountain cat, ever the dominant animal.

“Aegis!” she shrieked when his head had dipped lower. The sin! The scandal! Yes! YES! She clutched at him. Her wings snapped all the way open with rabid, heated desire. “Oh AEGIS!” She cried out into the sweltering night.

Princess Luna fell out of bed with a yelp, sweating and disheveled. She lay there panting for a long time, flushed crimson. “S-such visions!” she scolded herself, swallowing several times and untangling herself from the sheets. She looked out onto the balcony, where the sun was starting to touch the horizon. It was almost twilight, in which she would need to begin raising the moon. Luna made to get up, then stopped. That felt like—! She lowered herself slowly, crossing her back legs in a meek way. “Oh dear…” she mumbled shyly.

End of Part 4

Stuff Thy Belly

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Luna’s Story: Rise of the Lunar Stallions
Part 5: Stuff Thy Belly

It was a scene of terror at the Hook and Barrel tavern. Aegis Shield was seated at a table near the middle of the dining room. Across the table from him, Apple Fritter and a couple of other friendly solar guards were gathered. The lunar stallion was polishing off a plate of hay rice and soy sauce mixed with vegetables like corn and carrots. Reaching mid-bite, he poured more salt into his bowl. Then he devoured the rest of it and set the bowl on the stack. “Bah’kee’! *gulp* Barkeep! Another bowl!” he called over his shoulder. The stallion behind the bar nodded slowly, looking shocked at the sheer consumption. He warily leaned into the kitchen, calling out to his cooking staff. Aegis Shield saw Apple Fritter staring at him. His eyes trailed down her front to her half-eaten cheese nachos. “Are you gonna eat that?” he said hungrily, staring at her plate. Mouth still agape, the only thing that moved was her hoof to push the nacho plate his way.

The three ponies stared in horror as he vanished the nachos as well. He was like a machine! “Are— are you okay, Aegis? You’re eating like a teenager.” Apple Fritter gestured to the pile of four bowls and two plates next to him. “More than that. How are you not sick from eating all this?” she said worriedly.

“I dunno.” Aegis Shield said between bites, eager to find more to stuff in his mouth. “Just woke up starving.” He shoved his face into the last nacho and the poor thing vanished in an instant, down into his hungry belly. “Been hungry all—!” he heard the chiming of the great clock of Canterlot, quickly standing. “Make that to go!” he called aloud to the bartender. His medallion bounced on his chest as he reached across the bar to get his sealed to-go bowl. “Thanks!” he dropped a few more bits. The bowl was unsealed instantly, and during the slow walk towards the door he murdered that food as well. Apple Fritter and company watched him go, then looked at the table.

“There is something wrong with that stallion.” Apple Fritter mumbled, poking at the leaning tower of empty bowls she’d stacked up.

“What do you expect? He’s a lunar stallion now.” Said one of the guards. “He’s different than you and me.” The mare gave him a dirty look, but he didn’t waver. “What? Even my wife didn’t eat like that when she was pregnant with our son, and she was ravenous.”

“I thought you were—? Like all the other solar stallions?”

“Hey we were smart. We conceived before I joined the guard.” The stallion said snappishly.



Luna emerged from her room fresh as a night-flower and ready to greet the evening. Her regalia shone. Her crown glittered. Her personal guard was eating a potted plant. She— wait. “What art thou doing?” she stared at him, stopping half-emerged from her room. Aegis was nibbling hungrily on an unfortunate flowery sapling that was sitting in the corner of the corridor.

“Urf?!” He turned, snapping to attention. “Princess! Good night!” he saluted her with a clop of his hoof. She eyed him up and down. He wasn’t in his armor. “I… couldn’t figure out how to make the armor work again.” He said, turning his ears back embarassedly. “I know it has something to do with the amulet, but I couldn’t make it work.”

Princess Luna herded him back into her bedroom when she was sure the coast was clear. Shutting the door, she spoke. “Thou must merely recite thy oath. We thought that part was obvious.” She cocked her head, eyeing at him up and down. He looked down at his amulet, pawing at it a little. “Well?” she asked after a long silence.

“H-how did it go again?” he smiled embarassedly.

“Thou disappoints us, merely reading the oath and not memorizing it!” She leaned forward, scolding him with a shout. He hunched a little, like a dog that knew it had pooped on the rug. She sighed a little, then her expression softened. “Well, we did not command it of thou, and being the first in so long, we can forgive for now.” She offered a small smile. “Listen, and we shalt teach thou our oath again.”

“Yes.” Aegis Shield knelt on all four knees. He didn’t know why, it just seemed like the proper thing to do when giving an oath to one’s princess. He bowed his head, studying her hooves intently.

“In the dark, we tear and rend.”

“In the dark, I tear and rend.” He repeated after her. The necklace stirred.

“To end all evils, with spines to bend.”

“To end all evils, with spines to bend.” The eye of the medallion snapped open, golden.

“Lust and power, hunger and might.”

“Lust and power, hunger and might.” The stallion’s eyes were flickering with an inner glow.


“By Luna’s will, and dark of night!” His deep lunar voice exploded from his throat in a joyous rush of the thrill of power. The necklace ignited with a golden glow, and plates of armor rushed over his body. He arched his back, crying out as his teeth sharpened into fangs and his coat faded to an ashen grey. Dust on the floor rushed away from him in a ring. His eyes turned golden, the pupils into slits. His wings folded into themselves and then exploded with length, membrane’d like a bat’s wings. A lunar stallion!

Princess Luna smiled with approval, touching his shoulder while he panted at the rush. Leaning, she kissed the warmth of his forehead, blessing him silently. “Very good, my stallion, very good. Now remember thy oath.” He’d already taken steps forward, growling quietly and rubbing his cheek on her chest. He was like a massive dog that had taken a liking to a foal, rubbing up against her like that. His lifted jowls showed off rows of fangs, such a terrifying smile. “Give it a momennnnt...” Luna smiled bemusedly, until his brain rewired and Aegis Shield snapped back to himself again. He threw himself back, flushed and heady.

“F-forgive me.” He said, flexing back and forth in the armor to make sure it was all okay again.

“Thy frenzied state should become shorter and shorter as time goes on.” Princess Luna consoled the stallion’s deep embarrassment. “Before long thou wilt not lose thy mind from the transformation at all. Eventually only great stress will activate it, and that will be the armor protecting thou.” She smiled encouragingly.

Aegis Shield nodded, still looking a little rattled. “I… I didn’t mean to—!”

“Oh, thou did.” Luna chuckled, turning and opening the double doors of her room. “Just as thou meant to kiss me during the dawn.” She said over her shoulder without looking at him. Aegis Shield went crimson, and he stuttered until she spoke again. “Thy armor will augment everything about you, stallion. That includes desire. It is even in thy oath. Now come along, we’ve much to do this night.” Feeling completely out of his league, the lunar stallion followed his princess obediently. While they walked, she turned her head only slightly to ask him again. “Why were thou eating one of the palace potted plants?”

Aegis blushed a little, “I’ve been starving all day, your majesty.” He said. “I killed half a dozen dishes at a local tavern, and a to-go bowl, and I’m still hungry.”

“Oh.” Luna said, sounding relieved. “That is, again, thy armor talking. It takes a lot of energy to augment your strength, speed, and body as it does. Where dost thou think the energy comes from?” she smirked over her shoulder at him.

“Me?” he asked. The princess nodded. The stallion wasn’t sure he liked the idea that the magic armor he was wearing was sucking energy out of him like a sponge to power itself. It sounded dangerous. But, if it only happened when he was upset or in a dangerous situation, he supposed that was okay. Only when it really counted, right?

After a quiet dinner/breakfast, Luna reported directly to the Night Court and sat upon her throne. “Let anypony with intent to speak with us forth.” She called down from the dais. The guards posted at the double doors thrust them open, but there was no one there. The antechamber for appointments was empty, as usual. The solar stallions looked at her apologetically, as though it were their fault nopony had come in the middle of the night. The alicorn sighed quietly, then reached between the cushions of her seat for a tome to read. A quill and protractor with inkwell hovered about her. Aegis Shield silently wondered what she was doing for over an hour. When she started flipping pages of her notebook back and forth, he caught glimpses of her scratching. Fancy mathematics, angular drawings, and tiny-lettered notes. Occasionally, the princess of the night would crane her neck to look behind herself. The open air of the balcony at her back gave an excellent view of the starry night. There were few clouds obstructing the view tonight, a crisp summer evening.

Aegis Shield was the first to notice a foal enter the throne room and he straightened, looking down at him with a curious gaze. The solar stallions peered down curiously, but did not stop him. He was a raggity, curious-looking thing. Blank-flanked and butter-yellow, his bright green eyes darted around animatedly. The little colt stopped and gaped up at Princess Luna, awestruck by her majesty. “What’s your name, son?” Aegis Shield leaned down into his face, very careful to keep his lips down. He didn’t want his shark-teeth to frighten the poor lad away.

“I’m Mint Leaf.” He said meekly, shrinking away from the strange grey monster.

“Your majesty!” Aegis Shield straightened, raising his voice to draw the princess’ attention. “A citizen to see you! The colt, Mint Leaf!” Luna’s head snapped up and a genuine smile leapt to her features. The lunar stallion stood aside and the little colt skittered forward on his little legs. The princess of the night blink-blinked, seeing the foal approach her and then stop at the foot of her dais. Aegis took his place again so the pony could speak.

There was a bit of silence, the colt staring up at the princess with a starstruck expression. “Speak, little one!” Luna trumpeted. “Should thou not be in thy bed, or nestled ‘tween thy parents at this hour?” The little one shook his head dumbly, still unable to take his eyes off of her. “Then what is thy issue to bring to thy princess?”

“My little sister is sick!” he piped, his voice still high with youth. “I came to ask for help!”

Luna cocked her head a little. He was so small himself, yet insisted he was the elder sibling. “We are not a doctor, little one.” Her face fell into a frown. “Nor could we directly aid thee if we were. Royalty may not show favor amongst our citizens’ wishes individually.”

“But you’re a princess!” he whined at her, soft-eyed. “You can do anything you want!”

“Tiz the law, we are afraid.”

“You should change the law!” the colt insisted, tearing up.

Stubborn in her cause but unable to stand a crying child, Luna sighed. “If we were to offer thou money for medical treatment, others would flood in for the same hoof-out. My coffers would empty in weeks.” She tried to explain to the little one. He stuck out a pouting lip, adjusting the adorable bandanna around his neck as he tried to strengthen his resolve.

“I don’t want money!” the little colt insisted. “I came to get help for my little sissie!”

“Child, explain thyself!” Luna was growing impatient now.

“I promised sissie that if she was good and went through with her surgery, that she would see shooting stars when she woke up.” Mint Leaf told her. “She made me do it. Made me promise.” He looked at her desperately. Luna’s expression softened. Such a big heart, for such a tiny thing. Waltzing right into the palace in the dead of night to ask the princess of the dark for something like that. There was a long silence between them. “Please!” he finally shrieked in a child’s almost-crying broken voice. He threw himself on his belly to bow before her. Luna rose from her throne, setting aside her notes and scrolls. Everypony watched her glide serenely down the stairs and lower herself down so she could be closer to his height. Mint Leaf thrust out a pair of rusty bits as his final begging trump card. “I have two whole bits! Is that enough to get a shooting star tomorrow night? For sissie?” he had no idea what he was asking or doing, only that he must do it because he’d promised his little sister.

Luna reached slowly and pushed the bits back to the tiny colt. Her wings opened slowly, coming forward to rest on either side of him. “Child, a shooting star is well within our power.” She said quietly. Solar guards and the singular lunar stallion had to strain their ears to hear. “And we would not be one to make a liar out of thou. If you will keep your trip here secret, you shalt have your shooting star on the morrow.” She smiled gently. Aegis Shield smiled, deeply touched. Leaning, the princess kissed the brave little colt on the forehead. “Now scurry home, lest thy… sissie, miss thee.” She stood and shoo’d the child away.

Mint Leaf ran as fast as his little hooves could carry him. There were no other visitors that night in the Night Court, but the morale was certainly high. Even Luna could not miss the beaming looks from the staff and guards posted about the throne room. Aegis Shield smiled easily for the rest of that night as well.


“I had no idea you were so good with foals, your majesty.” Aegis complimented when they were alone in one of the long hallways. “That was very touching.” He said, smiling his piranha smile at her.

Luna’s lips rose into a lopsided smile. “Tiz children who ask for the simplest things, sometimes. They have the blind conviction that things will happen because they want them to.” She folded her wings down for comfort, looking down at Aegis Shield. “Though we must admit, it was brave of the child to come all the way to the palace on his own. Night only knows where he was from or where he lives.” The lunar stallion nodded in agreement, chuckling way down in his barrel chest. “Now then, to feed you, my dear guard.”

“Uh?” Aegis said, almost stutter-stepping as they walked.

“Thy belly growled for the entire Night Court. Do not think we did not notice.” She chuckled, hiding her grin behind a hoof. “We shalt invade the kitchens.”

“Uhrf, won’t they panic if a member of the royal family just comes waltzing in unannounced?” the lunar stallion asked, cocking his head. Luna thought this over for a moment, then nodded glumly that it was true. “But er, maybe I can get something in the kitchen and we could meet somewhere?”

“My dear charge art thou asking me on a dinner date?” Luna chirped, smiling wickedly at him.

“Mayhap.” He said, catching her subtle sense of humor after having spent so much time with her. “If it means the two of us eating in the same place at the same time, I suppose so.” He turned his nose up at her, making a show of how much of a gentlecolt he could be when occasion called. So uptight and formal! She snorted.

“The lunar barracks, then.” Luna turned sharply down a different hall, peeling away from him. Aegis went onward towards the palace kitchens. The dark alicorn walked quickly and discreetly towards the guard barracks. She was bowed to, spoke when spoken to, but otherwise made a bee-line for the hidden doors. Looking about, she saw that nopony seemed to see her anymore. She smiled. Putting that ‘unnoticeable’ spell on these doors had been a marvelous idea. In the olden times it was to keep the solar and lunar guards apart, they tended to scuffle in that era over the silliest things. But now it was certainly nice too. She descended into darkness, the torches exploding into light as she went.
Emerging into the antechamber, she went down the long hall and found herself in the great room. The vault was closed as she’d left it, but the ancient furniture was moved around. She blink-blinked. The sheets were gone, and the hearth scrubbed. Had somepony been cleaning? She frowned a little, sticking her head into the fireplace. Not a speck of ash. Looking at the nearest sofa, she inspected its plush cushions and new-looking stitches. Had Aegis been down here tidying the place? She’d told him he didn’t have to do that. She could certainly assemble a team of palace cleaning staff to see to this place! Wondering what else he’d been up to, she wandered to the different passages. There were hoof prints in the dust in each one.

Finally she came to the housing hall. Dozens of empty rooms in a singular, long hallway, each with a thick door and a number to separate their same-ness. One had been forced open. She peered inside. “Oh this shall not do.” She scowled. Inside was a ratty sleeping roll, a stack of books, some candles, and a few other personal effects on the floor. The lamps lay in carefully laid out pieces, parts of them scrubbed clean and oiled, other parts still awaiting treatment. “We truly have forgotten how much help this place needs to reawaken to its former glory.” She mumbled, shaking her head. Leaning, she pawed through Aegis Shield’s books. Ancient Equestrian for Beginners. The Sun and Stars: Guide to Celestial Bodies. Mixed Unit Tactics. Sewing Without Magic. The Mare’s Tickle. She cocked her head at the odd spread of subjects. Language, Science, Military, Practical, and… what was the last one? She picked it up with her magic, flipping it open to a random page. What's this? A haiku?

Teats are very nice
Creamy mounds beneath her dress.
Smile, it’s cold today.

Princess Luna slammed the book closed, eyebrows high. Bawdy poetry. She tried to put it back exactly as she’d found it, and backed out of the room again. Carefully leaving the door cracked as it had been, she cocked her head. Well, he was only pony. One couldn’t be the dark and shining example of law and militaristic strength all the time. Now and then something foalish or dirty was bound to pop up. Even her sister’s favorite student, Twilight Sparkle, had a few rather hot novels in her library history file. She chuckled to herself, returning to the great room. She fiddled about for awhile until finally Aegis Shield emerged into the barracks, a covered basket in his mouth. “Ah, finally.” Luna said, smiling at him.

He lowered the basket to the ground. “Sorry, it took a moment to convince them I wasn’t going to eat them.” The stallion looked a little hurt at the fact. “They were eager to give me anything I asked for, though.” He grinned sabers at her. Luna smirked a little. She knew what it was like to be accused of cannibalism. Why, during the last Nightmare Night— eh, that was a different story. Instead, she leaned and focused on the basket of delights he’d brought to share. The stallion looked around awkwardly for a table, “Er, sorry your majesty, there doesn’t seem to be— uh…” he trailed off with a frown.
Luna alleviated the situation by flopping, very un-princess-like, onto the nearest couch. “This isn’t the royal table, Aegis. Let us at least feign casual dining!” she chirped good-naturedly. He smiled, nodding and getting the hoop of the basket back in his teeth. Taking the steaming thing with him, he clambered up onto the couch with her. Setting it between them, he flung the little towel off of it. Fresh hot cornbread greeted them, along with a little bowl of butter. There were also blobs of mashed potatoes, three corns on the cob, beans, rice, spiced chowder, crackers, a cheese wedge, and then a little cider bottle. Cramped into the corner were a salt and pepper shaker.

“Looks good!” Aegis shoved his whole head into the basket to grab something, which made Luna shriek with laughter for some reason. He looked up at her, confused, a corn cob sticking out of his muzzle like a giant comical cigar. “Oh shorry, wradies firsh.” He said, leaning and putting the corn cob back like it hadn’t just been shoved in his mouth. Luna only laughed harder, shaking her head.

“H’oh no! Help thyself!” she giggled, ushering him to take the corn cob back. “Thy company is what matters most to us.” Her face colored as soon as she said it. He looked up at her, blink-blinking. Forgetting her magic for a moment, she dipped downward to snatch a piece of cornbread with her teeth. Coughing slightly, she sliced it up by magic and slathered it with butter. Eating daintily, she offered him a kind smile.

There on the couch, they shared the meal. The crackers made excellent mini-plates for mashed potatoes, cheese, and other things. The corn cobs were the first thing to go, both ponies liked laying the butter on thickly. The husks were put back in the basket, but not much else made it out safely. The stallion was insatiable for the longest time, recharging his calories, internal batteries, whatever one wanted to call them. He was slowing down, though, by the time the last blob of mashed potatoes was being licked up. That left only a small wedge of cornbread and a bit of butter left. Aegis leaned down to get it, and Luna did too. Their heads clonked together, both of them pulling back with a hiss of pain. “Sorry, sorry. Go ahead.”

“No-no, tiz thy bread.” They both leaned again, bashing their heads once more. “H’oh blast it!” Luna said, his helm not very kind to her forehead at all. He held his face in embarrassment more than pain. They both leaned a THIRD time, cracking skulls again. The alicorn yipped in pain, gritting her teeth. “Oh for goodness sake!” Luna’s massive hoof came up and held Aegis Shield back, her magic levitating the cornbread up out of the basket. “There!” she said, rubbing at her forehead a little.

Both of them leaned greedily over the final morsel, their teeth connecting with it less than an inch apart. They stared at each other, blink-blinking. “Rrrr.” said Aegis Shield, giving a slight tug. The princess cocked her eyebrow at him. Dare he fight her for mere bread? So be it! Blimping her wings out playfully, they mouth-wrestled over the cornbread. Lips not quite touching, they mouthed wordless threats at each other, quietly clambering back and forth to find a dominant position to take it. Pulling too hard would break it into pieces, mayhap not in the aggressor’s favor. Not pulling hard enough would surrender it to the other pony. Aegis peeled back his lips to threaten her with his piranha teeth. “Rrr?” he warned.

“Rrr.” She said back to him, their heads tilting one way, then the other.

“Rrrr—” He warned with narrowed golden eyes.

“Rrrrrr!” She interjected, not letting him finish his threat.

“Rrrrwgle!” The lunar stallion demanded dominantly.

“RRRRR!” The princess was snappish.

“RRRRR!” her charge lowered his brow in a determined way. They leannnned one way, then the other, knocking the basket aside trying for the corn bread morsal. Rearing up a little and using his weight, Aegis soon had her on her back. They suddenly both oomph’d together by a shift of weight, and the cornbread fell to the floor. It broke into pieces, mixing with the dust and grime. Inedible. Both ponies wilted, their playful contest over. Then they looked at each other.

Luna lay on her back on the couch, wings spread to either side of her and her ethereal mane spilling over the arm of the couch. Splayed out thus, her front hooves were pressed to his chest and her back ones quite spread apart. Aegis Shield was atop her, one hoof under both her wings and the other two stretched out behind him. The pair stared at each other. There were questions in both of their eyes. The princess slid her hoof across his chest plate, poking the moving eye. With the sound of drawing swords the armor collapsed into itself. The medallion hung between them after a moment, the eye pressed closed. The stallion was brown again, his blonde mane hanging down over her.

The transformation had winded him, and he fell down upon her. Her arms slowly came to wrap around him, and he pressed his muzzle into her mane to catch his breath. After a long time, he dared to look at her face. She was smiling quietly. Nickering something in ancient Equestrian, she flicked out half of the torches lighting the room. They were cast into eerie blue shadows. “Princess—”

“When we art alone, thus,” she interrupted him with a harsh whisper. “Thou should call us… Luna.” Her hooves wrapped around his neck, pulling him slowly down upon her. “Understand? Call us Luna.”

“Oh Luna…” Aegis said breathily, hovering over her face. His armor may have been deactivated, but the ancestors certainly sang their joy for him. Brown and midnight fur mixed fiercely, and her legs locked around his middle. Her crown tumbled off and across the floor as his teeth made off with it. Kissing her furiously, hungrily, the stallion pressed himself down to dominate. A more feral mental coding was taking over, and he whinnied despite himself. Luna welcomed him, drinking him in like a parched pony. Their kisses turned deep, sloppy, steaming. The great room grew warmer and warmer with their frolicking.

Luna moaned audibly. She wanted him. She didn’t care, she had to have him. She was a forbidden fruit amongst stallions, finally there was one strong enough to put his lips to hers! Yes! YES! “H’ohhh, Aegis!” she called out, one of her ceremonial shoes flying right off of her hoof and across the room. It tinkled to the ground somewhere, shimmering in the dark. Her stallion nibbled at her furiously, almost biting. Hungry. Lusty. Powerful. She wanted it. All of it. Forcing the hungry beast back for a moment, she finally turned herself over onto her belly. Her massive wings flared wide open, pulsing with desire. Finally, the hormones and kissing made her lose her head entirely. Un-princess-like, unashamed, she thrust her hips up at him and flicked her ethereal tail aside. “Take us! Ravage us, thy beast!” she cried, flushed and aching for the stallion to mount her.

Aegis Shield clambered atop her, pushing her shoulders down. He reveled in her heady shrieking as he got into the dominant position. He just— needed to— oh. The stallion looked down at himself. “I… I can’t.” he mumbled, suddenly ashamed. His ears turned back. How on Equestria could he have forgotten?

“Yes thou can! Mount us!” Luna whinnied like a mare in season, pressing her rump against him eagerly. A thousand years or more of nothing at all, she would have him this night! “Mount us!”

“I’m gelding.” He said miserably. A long, icy silence passed over the pair. The mood was suddenly quite gone. Both fell to awkward, crimson-faced breathing. Luna lowered her tail, then the rest of herself. He collapsed atop her. They lay there quietly, unsure what to make of each other. It was the stallion who spoke first. “Oh Luna, I’m so sor—”

“We think it needless to say,” Luna sniffed, interrupting him suddenly. “We shalt never look at buttered cornbread the same way ever, ever again.” There was another silence. The mood, for some reason, began to lift. It was so stupid, so awkward and so embarrassing it went full-circle back to funny. She started giggling. He joined her, face-hoofing before he threw his head back for a full-throated laugh. He fell upon her again after she’d turned over, embracing her with the laughter. Whoops! Forgot my stallionhood! Sorry! It was a terrible thing to laugh about, but they both found it too Faust-damn hilarious not to.

End of Part 5

Crush Thy Foes

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Luna’s Story: Rise of the Lunar Stallions
Part 6: Crush Thy Foes

Aegis Shield was leaning over a tome by moonlight, studying the contents. The night-vision that the armor granted him would’ve helped, but he wasn’t on duty so he didn’t think it right to wear it. He was lying on his belly in a little grove on the edge of Canterlot. Though the city was bright, the park was kept dark for all the little woodland creatures to enjoy. And young lovers smooching under some of the trees. And stargazing ponies like himself, of course. Finding a place with no animals or smooching ponies had taken a little work, but finally he’d found some peace.

On his night off, it only seemed right to study something having to do with his vocation. To better himself as a lunar stallion was to better himself as a tool for the crown, after all. The Sun and Stars: Guide to Celestial Bodies lay open in front of him. He pawed through it, back and forth, trying to find something of interest. Shrugging a little, he opened his saddlebag and produced a telescope. Setting it on a little tripod, he used the mounted compass to find north and set it up properly. “Due… north. There we are.” He lined up the legs just so and made sure it wasn’t tilted in any particular way. Turning the tuning dial a little, he looked for a random star. Finding one, he stared at it for awhile until he could see it clearly. It… looked like a speck to him. Frowning, he looked harder. Maybe his telescope just wasn’t very good. He zoomed out a bit until his lens encompassed a group of stars instead. That was prettier to look at. Leaning to one side he checked the direction, angle, and time of year to a chart in the back of his book. “The spreading star.” He read aloud. “A cluster made up of nine stars forming a starburst pattern, with one star serving as the focal point. Huh.” He leaned to peer through his telescope again, and drew imaginary lines in the sky so he could see the pattern. “Neat.” He smirked after a moment. He did this with a few more clusters. It seemed a good thing to do, getting used to the positions and constellations of the sky. Luna’s Horn. Ursa Major. Ursa Minor. The Gryphon’s Claw. And more. And more. Aegis Shield was a little surprised there weren’t any constellations in homage to Celestia, princess of the day.

Flipping through the tome he checked the index. Celestia, see the sun. He flipped to the middle of the thick book, and found the section on the sun. Apparently, the sun was a star itself. Huh! Odd! The reason it was so much bigger and brighter was its nearness to Equestria. Aegis suddenly understood how Celestia could produce the day and the night while Luna had been banished. All the points of light in the sky, even the sun, were stars. The sun princess was merely moving the closest one. Wait, didn’t that by implication mean that Luna was far more powerful than her sister? Moving one star, versus manipulating thousands into intricate patterns and weavings? It boggled his poor mortal mind.
He shut his book with a snap, not sure he wanted to compare the princesses in terms of power. As though they would ever fight each other. Well, there was that one time a thousand years ago, Celestia had needed to don the Elements of Harmony to stop her sister since she couldn’t do it alo— No no no. No thoughts like that. He was loyal to both princesses. Just… devoted to the princess of the night. There was nothing wrong with that. Rrrf.

Stuffing the book in his bag and deciding he’d had quite enough stargazing for one night, Aegis Shield rose and dismantled his telescope. Weaving his way down the moonlit path, he made for the lunar barracks. He didn’t make it far, though, for there was trouble afoot in the park.


Peppermint flushed, pressed idly against the tree behind her. Her wonderful stallion was nose-nuzzling with her romantically. Giggling softly, she hooked a leg around his neck to pull him closer. He was such a handsome thing, his cinnamon scent always so lovely to her nose. She extended her neck and he nuzzled up and down it lovingly. They’d been dating for a few weeks now, maybe she could work up her courage and get him to kiss h—!

SPLAT! Apple pie to the back of the head. The stallion looked shocked, his mouth a little agape. Time seemed to stop and sound seemed to end. Then—Splat-splat! One to the side and flank. He slowly fell to all four knees then onto his side, down. His face was frozen in a terrible look of fear. Peppermint screamed shortly, for a shadowy figure had emerged from the darkness to shove his hoof in her mouth. She squirmed back and forth but he pressed hard with a snarl. It was another stallion. Two of his friends quickly emerged, pies in hoof, peering back and forth. “We got him, hurry up let’s go!” one whispered in a reedy voice.

“Dun rush meh.” The other spoke with a deep southern accent, keeping the squirming mare quiet. “You’ll be quiet iff’n you know what’s good for you, missy.” They made a grab for her purse, ripping it open and snatching her bits bag. There had to be a good sixty bits or so in there! “That’s a good girl.” He snickered darkly while his partners threw the purse down to one side next to the fallen stallion. She whimpered loudly, tears streaming down her cheeks as she looked down at her love. “Now how’s about a kiss and we’ll be on our way?” He said huskily, his lips rising into a black smirk. She shook her head, whimpering loudly and pressing herself back against the tree. Both of the smaller stallions snickered, gathering around.

“No, please-! Please!” she whimpered as the shadows pressed in around her.

“Hey.” A new voice called out to them, making all three stallions snap their heads around to glare. The mare squirmed hard, craning her neck. Silhouetted at the apex of a small hill was a brown stallion with a golden mane. “Hooves off.” His eyes flicked down over the thrice-pie’d stallion, and his brow rose. “Oh, that’s how it is then.”

“You buzz off!” said the largest of the three, thrusting the trembling Peppermint into the hooves of his comrades. “You don’t want none’a this!” reaching into his saddlebag, he drew out a steaming apple pie. Tossing it up and down on his hoof a few times, he leaned forward threateningly.

The mysterious brown stallion didn’t move, only frowned at the scene and cocked his head. “Don’t make me make you, you’ll lose.” He said testily. “This is my night off, but I can certainly kick all three of your flanks into the royal Canterlot jailhouse under the palace. They’re extra mean to prisoners there, especially if you get brought in by a royal guard.” He lifted a hoof, leaning forward threateningly.

“Pffft, royal guards are white and armored. You ain’t nothin’.” The big stallion certainly liked to talk. “Nyah!” he threw not one but two apple pies! In mid-stride he’d drawn another from his saddlebag. The stallion bobbed, but then weaved the wrong way and took a pie to his back left leg. He whinnied in pain, thrown off guard and limping to right himself. The weaponized sugar started to sink into his skin, numbing him. “See?! He ain’t nothin’!” he trumpeted back to his two friends who were holding Peppermint hostage.

Righting himself finally, the brown stallion scowled with a deep hatred for the evil before him. “Fine then. I warned you.” Cocking his head, he tapped his medallion with his hoof. Raising his voice he spoke quickly and officially. “In the dark we tear and rend, to end all evils, with spines to bend! Lust and power, hunger and might! By Luna’s will! And dark of night!” The eye of the medallion sprang open, a demonic serpentine eye. The ancestors raised their deep voices in song, joining their new brethren once again. The armor exploded across his body, deep purples and blacks. His wings disintegrated, bat-like ones replacing the old and much bigger than before. His eyes glowed golden, pupils turning to slits as his teeth exploded with jagged edges. His fur twinged down to ashen grey as he embraced the night. Lunar stallion!

Peppermint, the poor mare, fainted at the sight of him.

One of the two smaller stallions responded by soiling himself and fleeing.

The other henchpony stood stock still, frozen in fear.

The larger stallion, leader of the bandits, could almost feel his pupils shrinking in fear.

Aegis Shield charged into battle with a whinny of exhilaration, bat wings wide!


Luna frowned suddenly, looking down at her tea. It tasted like pain and fear. Such a saturation, too. She cocked her head. She’d been trying to relax before she took her leave to begin the Midnight Court. The sudden surge of negative emotion had struck her drink on an ethereal level. “Hrmm…” she said with a slight groan. If it was strong enough to illicit such a reaction that she could taste it, it warranted investigation. Sighing, she spread he wings and used magic to make herself invisible.

The glided over the city of Canterlot, silent as the ever-present moon. Flicking her eyes back and forth, she saw little beyond the usual night time ponies going about their business. Where was it coming from? She could almost smell it. She followed her instincts until she found herself gliding in circles over the park. Then below her she spotted it. Her brow rose in surprise. Aegis Shield, in full regalia, beating the stuffing out of somepony! She landed hard, at a distance, trying very hard not to jump to conclusions.

The lunar stallion was straddle-punching a stallion far larger than himself, one hoof after the other. To one side lay another stallion struck down by pies, a motionless mare, a pile of poo, and another stallion with a pie tin crushed dangerously over his face. The princess gaped in awed silence. There had to be a story here. Whap. Stomp. Whap. Stomp. The larger stallion was still receiving his punishment in spades. What had illicited Aegis to don his armor? She peered around, not really minding the beating sounds in the background. Still invisible, she leaned over the fallen trio still present.

The mare seemed unharmed. Perhaps she’d been knocked out? Or fainted? The pie-slain stallion was frozen in horror, perhaps burned by the sweet flakey goodness of what had hit him. That would be a nasty sugar coma, at the very least. Aegis Shield did not carry such messy, primitive weapons. She flicked her eyes over the poo. That was definitely poo. Yep. The other stallion was whimpering softly, a pie tin crushed over his face. His legs were weakly bicycling. His mouth was furiously working itself, trying to eat his way to air, but he wasn’t going to make it. Having mercy on the poor fool, Luna magicked the metal tin off of his face. He lay there just trying to breathe, comatose.

Aegis Shield finally rose from the big stallion’s chest, unpinning him and panting. The bandit lay there, bruised in the eye and bleeding from the muzzle. The lunar stallion’s hooves were stained red. The ancestor’s sang for him: a thousand deep and haunting voices, raised in the song of battle and victory. The thrill! The adrenaline! The power! It felt great! Moaning audibly the lunar stallion streeetched his back and wings, shaking from side to side like a dog shedding water.

A black shadow approached him from behind. Luna looked over from her silent investigation. Eyes widening, she dropped her invisibility spell. “Behind you!” she roared, pointing. Her stallion stared at her in shock, where had she come from? Jerking around, he was just in time to get blasted off his hooves by a flying pie to the face. He fell with a grunt, a mess of hooves and gooey pie filling. “Aegis!” Luna shrieked. Furious, boiling anger rose up inside the princess. Reaching with a mighty hoof she snatched the assassin from the darkness (the third stallion who’d soiled himself and fled had returned for a sneak attack.) with her magic. He flew through the air with a cry, tumbling flank-over-teakettle at her roughness. He stopped inches from Luna’s muzzle, where she glared into his face with all the fury of a thousand icy moons. Merciless in her anger, she broke his mind in half with a flick of a night goddess’ magic. He went glassy-eyed, then limpened. She dropped him like a rag-doll, panting feverishly. Her breast heaving, she surveyed the scene. So many injured ponies, for what?! What had happened here?!

Thunderclouds gathered in a swirling vortex of rage, blotting out all but the moon. Icy vapors rushed back and forth. She planted her royal backside and thrust a hoof into the air as the Royal Canterlot Voice concussed the night. “TO— ME’HHHHH!” Dust and twigs rushed away from her in a ring while lightning split the sky in a fantastic display of raw power. Every guardspony for blocks and blocks would come rushing at the sound of the summons.


Aegis Shield slowly opened his eyes. He was warm and clean, his armor gone. He was lying in a bed somewhere. He turned his head slowly and moaned. His neck was bruised at the base of his skull. Princess Luna herself sat opposite to him, five books levitating around her while she scribbled with a quill and parchment. She looked up, looking startled. “Aegis! Art thou alright?” she demanded, books flying in all directions. He finally put together that he was in the sick bay of the solar barracks. The sterile environment and solar sigils over the door told him so.

“Princess.” He rasped. “What’re you doing here?”

“We had desk work to do. It is a small task to do it without the actual desk present.” The alicorn said dismissively. Rising to her hooves, she went to him and leaned forward to inspect him. “The doctors did well, removing the pie from thy face and mane. We feared thou would enter a sugar coma.” She said worriedly. “Thou should not be so reckless to charge into battle alone.” The stallion blushed a little.

“They were mugging that couple. Maybe worse.” He protested weakly, turning on his side so he could look at her more closely. She knelt down on all four knees to be near his face. “The stallion was already down when I arrived.” He whispered seriously. She nodded her understanding.

“Thy magic armor dost not make thou invincible.” The princess of the night said softly, putting a massive hoof on his chest. He held it between two of his. “Just be more careful. Thou art one of a kind, my lunar stallion.” She soothed quietly. He smiled shyly, and she leaned down to nuzzle him. Cocking her head to one side, she turned it into a kiss instead. He murred quietly, still holding her hoof at his breast.

The doorknob turned and they ended the kiss quickly. The doctor entered, all smiles at the chart that he had hovering in front of him. By the time he looked up at his patient Luna was on her hooves again, staring at him. He flinched involuntarily, then bowed deeply before her. “Your majesty.” He said, before straightening. “Looks like you got Aegis Shield and the others here just in time. Those pies had extra sugar in them, they could’ve been comatose for months. Whoever thought to weaponize pies all those years ago was a real sick-o, I tell you.” He said with a shudder. “The other stallion you brought in took three pies, he’ll be out for a week or so. We’ve got him on a feeding tube until the sugar coma wears off. The mare was fine, she told us everything that happened.”

“And Aegis Shield?” the princess raised a brow, more interested in her private guard.

“He’ll be fine. I’m surprised he woke up as fast as he did.” The doctor said with a wary chuckle. “As much pie filling as we scraped off of him, I’m surprised he wasn’t out for a few days or so. You’ve got a serious healing factor there, son.” He turned the chart over to show him, but Aegis couldn’t make heads or tails of it so he smiled politely instead. “You can leave whenever you feel strong enough to walk out on your own hooves.” He signed his name on the clipboard with a flourish to make it official, nodding and smiling.

“Thank you, doctor.” Aegis rasped from his bed. The medical pony nodded, putting the chart on the hook on the door and excusing himself. “Whew.” He began to sit up, then suddenly felt dizzy. “Oomph.” He fell again.

“Thou shalt be resting for a bit, we think.” Princess Luna said acidly. “Surely thou art tired from crushing thy enemies?” she smirked playfully. “The armor is working to knit your wounds.”

“It does that too?” Aegis moaned, face-hoofing a little, looking down at the amulet around his neck. When he squinted, he saw that it was giving off a soft purple glow. So soft was the glow one wouldn’t notice without really looking for it. “Is there anything it can’t do?” it sounded like a complaint, and Luna wrinkled her nose at him. “Sorry. It’s just… a little overwhelming. I’m basically wearing the most magical thing I’ve ever heard of, and it’s so in-tune with my body that it’s starting to creep me out a little.” He looked up at her tiredly. “Tell me how it works?” the stallion asked.

Luna sighed a little, but would not deny her injured soldier. “Much like solar armor works, actually.” She saw his look and went on. “Well you see, guard armor works much like uh… hrm…” she thought for a long time, trying to come up with a good explanation. She looked over and saw the water jug on the end table. “Suppose this water here was all the magical power my sister ever ordained to her guards.” She peeled a couple of paper cups from the waiting stack by magic, levitating the jug and pouring a little water into each. “They each get an equal amount. You were once a solar stallion. The power turned your fur white and your eyes blue. It made you a little bit stronger, atop your guard training.” She paused to make sure he was following. He nodded once. “And there are hundreds and hundreds of solar guards, are there not?” she gestured vaguely to the window. He nodded again. She showed him the jug of water again and swept the cups aside. “Suppose this was all the power that we ever allotted to the lunar stallions.” She pulled a new cup and set it on the end table. “And this is you.” She poured water out of the jug. And poured. And poured. The water spilled over the sides of the cup, onto the end table and then to the floor in a growing puddle. She held his eyes as it slowly dawned on him.

“I’m the only one. I don’t have to share the water. I’m the only cup.” He whispered. She nodded with a rather cruel smile. “It’s not just the armor. It’s you, isn’t it?” Aegis Shield asked softly. She nodded again. “Wow…” he turned to lay on his back again, not sure how to feel. Flattered? Overwhelmed? Powerful?

“Thou art the only lunar stallion, so thou share-est a thicker bond with us.” Luna said, setting the jug aside at last. “If there were more, they would share the bond with us also.”

“Will there be more?” he asked.

“That remains to be seen.” Princess Luna shook her head. “For now, we are content with thee.” She smiled, poking his chest with a hoof. He smiled, flattered at her. Making sure the door was closed, she leaned and kissed his forehead. “Rest for now, we shalt expect thee at tomorrow night’s Midnight Court.” She told him. After sharing a smile with him, she made her way to the door to leave. “Oh, and Aegis?” she said, turning.

“Yes, your majesty?” he asked, settling back to relax at last.

“If thou art to study my stars, at least use a telescope not meant for foals.” She levitated his bag to him as his face turned red. The telescope floated out. Turning the long tube over she showed him the seal on the underside, near the tripod’s base connector. It had come from a toy store. Aegis Shield squirmed miserably. No wonder he hadn’t been able to see the stars very well. He’d bought it used at a pawn shop, not wondering about its origins. Now he felt like he’d insulted his princess, viewing her work with a cheap toy.

“Yes, your majesty.” He said meekly, pulling the sheets up to his nose. She chuckled merrily, putting the telescope away and leaving his saddlebag by the bed. Only after Luna was gone did he dare reach into it to pluck out The Sun and Stars: Guide to Celestial Bodies. Pawing through it, he began to read the section on how telescopes worked and what sort was best to view the stars with.


Luna sat on her balcony, overlooking Canterlot. Her thoughts were of Aegis Shield. Not in the professional guard-princess way, either. Cocking her head, she frowned as she sipped her tea. She stared at the stars, deep in thought. Thinking of the moment she first saw him in the cell until the present, she suddenly scowled at herself. "Art we in love with him? Or in lust with him?" Princess Luna asked her sky very suddenly. The stars silently twinkled back.

They'd practically jumped on each other several times since all of this had started. The armor influenced him, even as a medallion around his neck (though far less). The virile ancestors sang their praises when he flew into battle just as loudly as when he put his lips to hers, no doubt. They were the paragon of the male fighting spirit, egging him on to be at 120% at all times in all things. A flick of anger became a battle. A spark of lust became a mounting.

Princess Luna looked at herself on the other hoof. Was she overwhelming him with her own want? Why had she not stopped to learn the stallion, before the lunar armor was donned? Was she that excited to have a lunar stallion, that anypony would do? She felt herself flush in a humiliated way, tucking her wings and tail embarrassedly. "Tiz true, then. Tiz possibly lust." She cradled her temple in one hoof, flushed and angry at herself. "We must test the theory." she summoned ink, quill, and parchment to herself, mouthing the words as she wrote. "We shalt create another."

End of Part 6

Witness Thy Comrade

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Luna’s Story: Rise of the Lunar Stallions
Part 7: Witness Thy Comrade

It was a strange thing indeed when a royal proclamation with the lunar cutie mark appeared on the general boards around Canterlot. There were easily over twenty of the posters hanging up, each proclaiming the same message: Princess Luna was looking for a strong stallion to become to second of her lunar guards, and would be touring the city as well as holding contests to determine who was worthy. This sent just about every young stallion in Canterlot into a frenzy. Just imagine, the chance to be a royal guard merely by impressing her majesty! No years of academy training? No back-breaking boot camp or classes on armor polishing? It was like a dream come true, and every hot-headed stallion from Canterlot and beyond were going to vie for the prize.

“Is this wise, Luna, just putting up wanted posters?” Aegis Shield was a little doubtful, walking the halls of the palace with the princess of the night. “Surely you could pick another solar stallion, or find somepony about to graduate from the academy?” He was already drawing up a list of names of ponies who could certainly fit the bill.

Luna cut him off before he began to cite names, “We art accustomed to letting our gut instinct define the worthy, Aegis Shield, do not fret.” She said officially, turning her muzzle up a little. “Did we not pluck thou from a prison cell?” she prodded. He hung his head. It was true. If the princess could make a powerful lunar stallion out of the pony that had kissed her in her coma, she could certainly find a second who was equally worthy. “We merely need to trim the numbers.” Both of them could already hear the crowd gathered outside. The dark-pelted alicorn was going to address those gathered, as per the posters’ instructions.

“Ready?” Aegis Shield asked her, putting his hoof on the curtain that obscured the balcony. Luna looked herself over briefly, then her lunar stallion. Satisfied, she nodded and he thrust the curtain aside with a flourish. Tilting her head back and closing her eyes, the princess of the night emerged onto the balcony overlooking the royal gardens.
There was a massive crowd of ponies waiting below, talking and chattering amongst themselves, comparing hoof-sizes and generally showing off to one another. Luna waited patiently. The courtyard served as an excellent place for parties and other gatherings, but the gardeners would probably have a field day after this. With so many gathered ponies, there was no telling how many plants would be tromped or nibbled on. Finally, a few of them noticed her and there was a growing wave of shushing going back and forth. After a minute or so, the gardens were as quiet as the grave. Many, many faces were looking up at Luna expectantly with bated breath.

Princess Luna lowered her face and opened her eyes. Looking down, she favored the crowd with a confident smile. Lots of ears lifted and turned forward. The cloak she was wearing burst into bats, which swooped over the crowd and made a few ponies dive for cover. Her wings snapped open powerfully, showing off their full span and making the crowd flinch. “CITIZENS OF CANTERLOT!” The Royal Canterlot Voice concussed the night, imploding across the gardens and reverperating off of the stone walls. Normally it would blow the eardrums of anypony, but with the massive crowd it was actually appropriate this time. “YOU HAVE DONE WELL TO GATHER THIS NIGHT! WE ARE HONORED BY THE TURN-OUT OF SUCH EXCELLENT SPECIMENS OF PONIES!” she made a sweeping gesture across the crowd. There were murmurs of appreciation and lots of smiling. “UNFORTUNATELY, MERELY ONE OF YOU WILL BECOME THE SECOND LUNAR STALLION!” she mega-phoned. Aegis Shield looked around the crowd without turning his neck. There were a lot of goobers down there. This would be interesting to see his princess widdle the crowd down. “FIRST! WE MUST THIN THE NUMBERS BEFORE WE EXAMINE THOSE EVEN MILDLY WORTHY!” Luna trumpeted. “WHEN WE ASK YOU TO LEAVE, WE EXPECT THOU NOT TO TARRY! THIS IS NOT AN OPTION BUT A ROYAL ORDER! IS THAT UNDERSTOOD?!” There was murmuring from the crowd, some scattered applause and general positive response. Luna turned to Aegis Shield, nodding to him with a smile.

The entire crowd locked their eyes onto the lunar stallion. Everypony there was comparing him or herself to Aegis, and he knew it. Coughing a little, he unrolled a bit of parchment on the railing in front of him. He saw the flick of Luna’s magic make it stick so he could read gracefully in front of the crowd. “Listen closely!” his deep bass voice was like a syrupy bronze bell, far too deep for any normal pony. Was that something that came with being a lunar st—oh wait, he was talking now. “Firstly! Stallions only! The lunar stallions are called thus because it is for males only, no exceptions!” There was a giant feminine groan from the crowd while the hoof-fulls of mares made for the exits. How unfair! How sexist! Stupid lunar stallions! “Second! You may not be married or have children! The princess requires your complete devotion!” There was more groaning, and plenty of the stallions left for that. So findin’ love or makin’ foals was against the rules of the lunar stallions, huh? Well pffft, they didn’t wanna be a part of that anyway! No matter how frickin’ cool the armor looked, or the night hours, or hanging around the princess! “Thirdly! Pegasi only! All lunar stallions must have the ability to fly, because of their fighting styles in times of war and battle!” Aegis Shield read down a list of a dozen carefully chosen characteristics, all mandated by Luna herself. She wanted her second guard to fit a certain way in her employment, and though she had plenty of mostly-unfair rules, it would prevent plenty of un-prepared stallions from stepping forward. By the time Aegis had finished reading the parchment, there were maybe a dozen stallions left.

“Well, our rules certainly narrow it down.” Luna mumbled out of the corner of her mouth. Aegis Chuckled behind his hoof as he made a show of putting away the scroll and bowing to the princess. Luna stepped forward with her full wingspan still on powerful display, and leapt off the balcony. Curving her wings gracefully, she touched the ground with a dainty clop on the stone path. Aegis Shield followed, landing behind her and to her right. “Congratulations, thou have all made the first cut.” She favored them with a second smile, which inflated more than a few egos. The gathering of pegasi looked energetic, virile, and certainly ready to prove themselves. She scanned their cutie marks. Quill, bottle rocket, lilypad with flower, etc. Nothing particularly impressive on any of them.

“C’mon princess!” one of them reared up a bit, flailing his front hooves excitedly. “What’s the next challenge? Lay it on us!” Aegis felt his anger inflating a bit at his casual disrespect for royalty. The ancestors murmured in the back of his head, conferring about taking the upstart’s head off or not. But no no, this was Luna’s show. She was in charge of choosing prospects. Breathing deeply and settling on a neutral glower, Aegis waited for the princess to lay down the next challenge.

“I wish for my second guard to be as clever as my first.” Luna announced the next challenge by praising Aegis Shield. His cheeks colored just a little, but his face remained neutral. They all looked at her expectantly. “Therefore, a seemingly impossible task shall be set forth for all of you.” They cocked their heads, blink-blinking. Looking up into the starry sky, she thrust a hoof at the moon. “Capture… the moon!” she declared. Their heads tilted back and all of their mouths gaped open. What?! What was that supposed to mean?! She was crazy! Only alicorns could affect celestial bodies like that! The group stared at Luna, as though she might say more. “Thou all have three days to accomplish this task. If thou cannot, do not bother returning. Now, away with you!” she said with a flourish, raising a mighty hoof and flapping her wings once. Aegis smirked.

Eleven of the twelve pegasi stallions took wing, one of the poor things shooting straight up towards the moon (hours later he would be hospitalized for passing out in the thin air of high altitude, and only barely saved by a passing guard). Aegis Shield stared at the one stallion who had not moved. Luna cocked her head at him, frowning. He peered about the royal gardens, and spotted a spicket sticking up out of the ground with a bucket under it. Trotting over quickly, he lifted the handle and pumped it a few times. Water gushed out until the bucket was full. The alicorn and the lunar stallion watched him curiously. Going to an open area with no trees over it, he set the bucket down and let the water settle. Cocking his head, he did several circles around the bucket. Finally, he stopped and smiled.

Coming back, he bowed before Luna. “Done.” He said. Aegis narrowed his eyes. He knew that voice. Luna cocked her head, going over to the bucket and peering into it. She saw nothing. The Pegasus, smiled, indicating where she should stand. The alicorn did so, then leaned down to get the proper angle. Sure enough, the reflection of the moon appeared in the bucket. He smiled and threw his chest out impressively. “Moon in the bucket.” He said to make it official. Aegis frowned, his eyes racing back and forth in thought. The ancestors were unsure of him, not sure of the newcomer. They didn’t like new things. Hmm…

Luna nodded, smiling a little. “Impressive. What is thy name, stallion?”

“My name is Stalwart Hide.” He said, throwing his chest our impressively, wings on display. Aegis Shield barely contained his moan. No wonder he recognized him. It was the pony Celestia herself had dismissed from duty during Luna’s coma.


The remainder of the three days Luna set down came and went. None of the other stallions returned. Now Princess Luna, Aegis Shield, and Stalwart Hide stood at the entrance of the lunar stallion barracks. “I don’t remember this ever being here.” He said, cocking his head in amazement. “Are they invisible or something, if you’re not a lunar stallion?” he asked Luna.

“Somewhat.” Luna chuckled, throwing the doors open with magic and starting downward. The three of them went down, down, down the spiraling staircase and into the antechamber. The massive battle scene was to one side, and the scripture on the other. The princess stopped, gesturing. “Thy ancestors before thou.” She introduced the carvings. He approached with awe, staring at them silently for a long time. Aegis Shield stood to one side, smiling gently. It was a lot to take in. Luna stood next to him and told the story, the same one Aegis had heard. How the lunar stallions were the army and guardian forces of the night long ago, how they’d vanished into the darkness after Luna’s exile, and how there were only two armor sets left now.

Stalwart Hide mumbled a little, going to the other wall to study the scripture. “These are-- these are names.” He said after a time, lifting a hoof and squinting at a line of ancient Equestrian. Luna cocked her head, once more impressed. “I took a little ancient Equestrian in college before I joined the solar guard. Before Princess Celestia…” he trailed off a little, wilting under Luna’s critical gaze.

“Thou art an outcast? And dare approach me for such a coveted position?” Her voice was gathering aggression and her wings slowly starting to flip open.

“I was there, your majesty.” Aegis stepped in to interrupt before she went off on him. “Princess Celestia was so worried about you while you were in your coma she dismissed Stalwart Hide in a moment of anger.” He went through the story quickly, about the conversation they’d been having and how Celestia had wandered by at just the wrong moment to can him. Luna’s eyes narrowed, as though she weren’t sure if she believed the two of them. But, it did make sense. If nothing else, the times over the millenia that Luna had ever been injured had all made Celestia especially testy. Call it sister’s protective instinct.

“Very well.” Luna amended after a moment. “Come, it is time for thy transformation.” She turned and, wings folded, started for the great room.

“Er, I’m already gelded if that’s what you mean. No need.” Stalwart Hide scrubbed his black mane with a shy expression.

“Don’t tell her tha—!” Aegis Shield tried to warn him, but Luna had already turned around and peered under his undercarriage curiously. The lunar stallion fought down a groan, face-hoofing a little bit in embarrassment for the other stallion. Stalwart Hide’s brow went up and he stared at the princess staring at him. It was the same deal under there. Ugly scars hidden under thick fur, all from the stitches of the procedure.

Luna shook her head, grumbling softly for herself. “Our sister insists on un-stallion-ing all of her male soldiers, we swear we don’t understand.” Stalwart tried to back up a bit, but no she wasn’t done yet. His face turned a dark crimson while her eyes raced back and forth. “Does this not affect their growth, their strength, their virility in battle?” she bit her lip and shook her head with disapproval. Aegis stood there with his face in his hoof until Luna righted herself again. “We apologize for our sister’s barbaric old ways. But come, we have thy armor ready in the vault.” She turned and went down the tunnel. The new stallion looked at the other, who shook his head and gestured that he go on.

Gulping a little, Stalwart Hide followed Luna. They emerged into a freshly-cleaned great room. “Looks like the princess allowed some of the palace staff down here at last.” Aegis smiled around the room, eyeing the new furniture and the plush ornamental carpets and tapestries. The fireplace and strategically placed torches with mirrors lit the room nicely. It was clean, it looked great!

“Is that the vault?” Stalwart Hide asked, eyeing the massive polished door of steel. Luna nodded and, with a commanding line of ancient Equestrian, forced the seal open and swung the great portal open. “Wow…” he peered inside and stared at the two pedestals. One was empty, and the other held a pristine-looking set of armor. “Wow…” he whispered again, stepping beyond the threshold. Luna looked over her shoulder at Aegis Shield, silencing him with a look. He nodded, quietly going to sit by the fireplace and admiring the carvings on the walls that were now clean.

“Wow indeed, stallion. This is your point of safe return. After this there is no turning back. Your transformation will take place here, and it shall be painful.” Luna declared, pointing at his chest with a massive hoof. “Art thou ready?” she said with a dangerous smile.

“Painful?” Stalwart Hide asked, lifting a hoof and leaning back. “What more can you do to me, making me into a lunar stallion? I’m already gelding.” He said a little awkwardly as the princess backed him into the vault with stomping hooves. “Hey now. Hey now! HEY!” There was a rolling crashing sound inside, the sounds of armor clanking and pressing on flesh as rivets were dug in and for some reason the sound of power tools. The stallion begged for mercy. All the while Aegis Shield studied the fireplace in a bored way. Luna emerged from the vault with a proud look on her face. “Wait wait wait waiiiiii-!” the vault slammed shut behind her, and she locked it with magic. Aegis looked over at her, cocking his head. There was loud banging on the vault door for a few moments, then it went dead silent.

“You didn’t wait for his permission.” Aegis Shield told her in a low, growly voice.

“He has come this far. If the ancestors of the armor do not think him worthy, he shan’t have to worry for long.” Luna snickered a little, going to a velvet couch and regally laying down. “I would not worry, my stallion.” She perked her ears as the blood-curdling screams suddenly started up. There was muted, rapid banging on the vault door. “The first time is always dramatic and painful.” Aegis frowned at her, but he knew from experience and said nothing. Whatever was going on in there was testing the limits of pain, sanity, and awareness. “If the armor does not accept him, we shall find another candidate.”

“What will the armor do if it doesn’t like him?” Aegis suddenly asked, moving over to her couch and sitting with her. Now that they were alone it didn’t feel so alien to act friendlier.

“Thou… worries too much.” Luna said after a long silence. There was another round of wild screaming as she leaned slowly and kissed his forehead. It sounded like the poor stallion in the vault was being butchered by the legendary Cupcake Murderer. Aegis shuddered. The door of the vault rang as he either threw himself against it or bucked against it. His screaming was muted, but there were sounds of begging and roars of agony. “Thou were just as vocal.” She soothed Aegis by stroking his back with one hoof, along the folds of his armor. “Worry not.” Suddenly the screaming stopped. Luna cocked her head with interest. Her lunar stallion looked at her eagerly for answers. There was a long silence, and both ponies perked their ears forward. Then the shrieking of bloody murder started up again and Luna sighed. Making idle conversation over the noise, she turned to look at Aegis Shield. “Has the kitchen staff been feeding thou well? We commanded thy new diet be wide and healthy since thy armor feeds from your own energy.”

Aegis winced when the screaming halted for what was no doubt head-banging on the vault door. It sounded wet and painful. “Oh, Uh— Yes. Yes. They’ve been taking good care of me.” Aegis offered, trying not to be sick at the terrible sounds coming out of the vault. “Can’t you help him?!” he finally burst out, running and putting his hoof on the vault. “He sounds like he’s dying in there! Help him!”

“Thou were tested in the same way, do not fret.” Luna said in a slightly more commanding tone. Aegis winced at her scolding, looking glumly at the floor. Suddenly the screaming stopped again, and there was a shuffling sound inside the vault. Low humming. Then, more banging on the vault. But this was much more powerful bucking. Aegis Shield felt his ears ring a little, and he slowly backed away from the vault door. Luna finally stood from the couch. “It is done.” she smiled in a slightly cruel way. “He has succeeded. He is frenzied.” Aegis turned his ears back, a little bit wary about opening the vault at this point. “Stand back, Aegis Shield. Let thy new brother pounce upon only me if that is his reaction. Do not interfere.” She commanded him, pointing to a corner. He went there quickly, mouth agape in tense, bated breath. Licking her lips to wet them, princess Luna spoke the ancient password. The vault hissed, spilling smoke and pressurized air out into the room. There was only darkness beyond the threshold.

A deep, resonating growl rolled out of the blackness. Twin amber-gold eyes shone in the shadows, fast approaching the threshold. A lunar stallion with bloodied muzzle and head burst onto the scene, growling around the room like a wild animal. Whinnying and rearing up with flailing hooves, he roared and growled and bucked ferally. His wings opened and shiver-shiver-shivered at Luna, trying to look threatening and powerful. Luna stood stoic, looking upon him with a gentle expression. He came closer, like a rising cobra, threatening and baring his fangs at her. Aegis Shield winced. No wonder so many ponies were always staring at his teeth. They looked like a mouth full of triangle-shaped piranha teeth, able to rip flesh from bone! The newborn lunar stallion drooled and bled all over the place. His forehead was bleeding freely, not to mention his mouth where all the new teeth had just grown in. He was a mess of sweat and fur and blood. Aegis was struck by the serious symbology of being reborn in the vault. How violent and testing it was., emerging into the new world like a brand new foal, covered in blood and roaring like a beast. He’d been the same way, Luna had told him.

Luna conjured a towel to wipe some of the blood away. Stalwart Hide bit at the towel possessively, took it, shook it until he was sure it was dead, then threw it across the room in his teeth. Then he pounced wildly on Luna with a growl! “Do NOT interfere!” Luna roared at the already rushing Aegis Shield. “Do NOT!”

Straddled atop her the massive stallion inspected the alicorn with angry glowing eyes. Was she mother? Was she sister? Was she food? The ancestors were not sure. They were gathering back and forth in rows like a choir, in the back of his head. Not organized enough to form an opinion to aid him. He sniffed her quickly, ferally, trying to make sense of her massive wings and long legs. The newborn lunar stallion surveyed her back and forth with hungry eyes, a golden mist floating out of his eye sockets. Slathering back and forth he tried to chew on her chest regalia instead. The pain soothed the ache in his new teeth. She let him. Slowly, she put her front hooves around him in a quiet embrace. He panicked, biting her in warning, both legs. Luna yipped a little, but did not resist him. “Aw-w-w-w-wgh!” he roared into her face, bits of blood and saliva flying and spattering her cheek.

“Shhhh-sh-sh-shhhh…” Luna said soothingly. “Thou art mine now, your mind is not your own while the armor embraces you. Be calm, shhhh-sh-shhh…” she stroked his head a few times. The stallion garruff’d at her, taking her hoof into his teeth and snarling wildly. His nostrils were flaring hot steam, trying to get her scent, trying to understand what the alicorn was. Was she friend? Was she foe? Did she need to be destroyed? He cocked his head, releasing her hoof from all his jagged teeth and studying her mane more. Her mane was not normal. He tried to dig his teeth into it, but it didn’t work. It was ethereal and un-graspable. He growled in frustration, and instead surmised to check the rest of her for things of interest. Luna lay on her back submissively, letting the frenzied stallion do as he pleased. As soon as his mind was rewired, he would be back to normal and all would be forgiven.

He trailed down, sticking his nose under her chest regalia. The chains tinkled a little, which made him flinch. Then her wings were interesting, how big! Big hooves too, ohhh. He smeared the blood from his mouth here and there as he sniffed and nipped at her like a curious wild dog. Luna’s fur would stain at that rate. Then he went a bit lower, poking at the soft of her belly. The princess’ legs kicked a little and she whimpered. Then a little lower than her belly, down to her—! Luna squeaked, but said nothing, squirming a bit. (If only she had more lunar stallions, she would not have to be the proctor for every frienzed birth like this. In the olden times, half a dozen lunar stallions would aid when a fresh one emerged from the vault.)

The newborn lunar stallion never saw the full-sized COUCH that broke over his head. Shards of wood and metal went everywhere, exploding in a fantastic display of force. He roared in pain and confusion, whirling about. A stallion! Another stallion, right there! “No you fool!” Luna shrieked, flailing in the debris to right herself. “He is still frenzied! He is not responsible for his actions!”

The ancestors roared and whinnied and flailed about, demanding a righteous beating. No stallion touched the princess but Aegis Shield, they roared. Hundreds of ancient voices attached to the jealousy that had been slowly building up inside him since Stalwart Hide had burst from the vault. They fanned the flame. They augmented it, flaring it up into a wild and savage jealous anger. Clenching his teeth, the first of the two lunar stallions stomped his hooves wildly. No touching! Mine! MINE! The bloodlust boiled up inside him like a volcano. The frenzied lunar stallion charged wildly at the challenger, whinnying like a madpony!

End of Part 7

Study Thy Skies

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Luna’s Story: Rise of the Lunar Stallions
Part 8: Study Thy Skies

Aegis Shield met the charging Stalwart Hide head on and their helmets crashed together with a wince-inducing smash of metal. Both of them reeled in odd directions while Luna stood by and swore in ancient Equestrian. “Aegis Shield! We command thee to stop! Thy new brother in arms knows not what he does!” Her words came out a little higher-pitched than normal. Her mouth went a little agape when both stallions ignored her and charged each other again, rearing up and flailing at one another with their front hooves. Hooves scraped and clanked against armor and bare fur alike.

Aegis skidded backward almost into Luna after getting a harsh buck to the chest. Locking eyes with the frenzied stallion, he turned sideways as though to shield princess Luna from him. The ancestors sang, a hundred bass voices raised in a throaty red song of violence. He side-stepped into her and made a show of rubbing his muzzle up the front of her neck. His, the body language said. Luna blushed despite herself.

Stalwart Hide reared up and whinnied, spreading his bat-like wings. They were in such an enclosed space, how would they fly anywhere? Stepping quickly away from Luna, Aegis returned the gesture and they charged at one another. Leaping into the air they crashed into each other, pin-wheeling wildly with horse-like screams. A cloud of violence and flailing hooves surrounded them, obscuring the terrible violence as they thrashed about the room. They bit and flailed and bucked and stomped and head-butted and everything they could think of! They smashed into a table, one tackling the other into it, blasting it into pieces with their sheer weight. The arranged flowers on it exploded into a rainbow of fluttering petals.

Luna looked on in horror, very suddenly unsure what to do. Let them fight? The fight couldn’t last long, for when Stalwart Hide’s mind returned to him he would forget why and stop, surely? No. No she couldn’t let them hurt each other. Stepping up with authority, the princess waded into the fray with gritted teeth. “Be still! Both of you! Stop this fighting!” Both stallions were ignoring her completely, it was infuriating. Nopnony ignored a princess! She tried to follow them around the room and get between them, but they were just moving too quickly. There was too much debris scattered around the floor, and the bits of broken furniture were still flying. She ducked suddenly, for a chair had become a sudden projectile that violently exploded against the wall. Turning her ears back she squinted into the fray, trying to find an opening.

Aegis and Stalwart had locked arms, holding each other by the shoulders. Piranha teeth were snapping wildly back and forth, both of them trying to make a grab for the other’s neck. One good bite was all it would take. Losing balance the stallions separated briefly, then pumped their wings and fell in a mess of hooves and teeth and fur. Wrestling like beasts, their armors clanked and shrieked against each other, neither giving in. Aegis Shield pumped his wings over and over to gain the momentum of the upper hand, pushing Stalwart Hide onto his back at last. Holding him by his shoulders, Aegis head-butted him ferally, snarling and bludgeoning his foe with his own face. Stalwart flailed, yipping ferally at each merciless blow. Finally gaining his hooves he kicked Aegis in the soft underbelly and switched them about! He dug his teeth into the other stallion’s chest armor, spraying sparks back and forth and then howling in pain. Rolling back and forth, Aegis snatched at Stalwart’s tail and tugged him off his hooves. The first of the lunar stallions stomped wildly on the second, gaining more than a mild upper hoof. This fight was more than over, for the feral yaps of pain were growing too torturous for the alicorn to bear. Finally Luna found her opportunity.

BE--- STILL’HHH!” Prince Luna unleashed the Royal Canterlot voice, concussing both stallions and stunning them. They pin-wheeled through the air at the sheer power of her cry, slamming into the far wall. Their ears rang. They couldn’t see straight. Their wings refused to obey them. It was as though their very bodies had been destabilized! Luna huffed and puffed, not used to using the voice in its weaponized form. Tossing her mane angrily, she watched them both slide down the wall and comically land in two heaps of hooves and armor. They squirmed weakly for a long time, neither stallion able to rise. Aegis Shield flopped onto his side finally, panting softly. A certain sentience returned to his eyes, and Luna knew the ancestors had quieted for now. The princess of the night approached him slowly, leaning over him with a frown. “Thou hast disappointed me, Aegis Shield. Your interference may have injured thy brother in arms.” She scolded. His ears turned back and he gave a quiet whimper. Still weak and rattled, he took one of her massive hooves in his, pressing his forehead to it in deep, wordless apology. She could see him shaking from the after-effects of the royal shout, but did not pull away from him. Let him be sorry, it was only proper. Turning her great head towards Stalwart Hide, Luna saw he had gone unusually still.

The newborn lunar stallion slowly lifted his head, intelligence dancing in his noble golden eyes at last. The alicorn relaxed a hair. Finally his mind had rewired to give him control again. The ancestor’s hummed quietly in the back of his skull, ever-present but quiet for the moment. Slowly turning over onto his belly with a moan, Stalwart Hide spread his aching wings and looked around. “My head…” he said, painfully trying to rise. “My back… my back!” his back gave a few comedic crackling sounds when he tried to rise.

“Clearly thy frenzy was a fruitful one.” Luna said a little acidly, but shrugged. Magicking the towel from across the room, she leaned down like a mother and cleaned his face. The stallion gave no resistance, for he saw his own blood upon the towel and there were ropes of warm drool as well. “Thy armor has embraced thee.” The princess of the night smiled at him, tossing the towel when she was done. “Welcome to the lunar stallions, Stalwart Hide.”

“A-At your service, your majesty.” He said, clutching his throat when he realized how very deep his voice was. He looked down at himself. Ashy grey fur, bat-like wings, it was all so different. “Wow… wow…” he said, looking himself over. He looked up at his princess in awe, then lowered his head to bow. Following Aegis Shield’s example, he took her other front hoof in both of his and pressed his forehead to it. Luna was suddenly reminded of a time long-since passed, when the lunar stallions could gather by the hundreds. All of them knelt at her hooves thus, her dark and handsome subjects. Though they were just two, she was very pleased with both of them. She shared a long silence of their quiet reverence, smiling despite herself. It was nice to have soldiers all her own, and not just solar guards that happened to have the night shift each night. These two were truly hers.

“We are glad you’re both of sound mind again.” Princess Luna pulled from them and they rose shakily to their hooves. She stepped back a bit to survey them both, nodding to herself. “Now then, our first royal orders for the pair of thee…” she trailed off, making her way towards the threshold of the exit. They perked their ears at her, ever-vigilant. “Clean up thy mess.” She snickered, then turned and left.

Both stallions looked around the room, blushing a little. A good third of the furniture in the great room had been destroyed in their battle. Stalwart would never remember said battle, and Aegis was too embarrassed to detail it. The ancestors were sure an uppity and active bunch. The two of them looked at each other, smiling embarrassedly. Some of the furniture would make good kindling for the hearth, at least. They spent a good hour of silent clean-up getting all the larger pieces into a big pile, then skulked about the darker corners looking for bits of debris.

It was Stalwart Hide who spoke first, “The armor doesn’t make you crazy forever, does it?” he was a blunt one, to be sure. “I didn’t know it would do that to me, honest.” He was looking at the vicious bite marks on his comrade’s back leg.

“The first few times you’ll be like that, yeah. But after awhile it gets better and then stops happening altogether.” Aegis Shield assured him as gently as he could. “Don’t worry, the princess will make sure you’re safe.” He winced a little at the ache in his shoulder blades, rolling his back gently. “Though I gotta say, even though we’re both augmented this way you’re pretty strong.” Aegis smirked at Stalwart, who smiled coyly.

“Augmented?” Stalwart cocked his head. While they cleaned up the rest of the great room, Aegis told him everything he knew about the living armor they were wearing. About how it connected them with the ancestors. About how it augmented their emotions and natural drives. Also, about how it drained them of their energy to super-charge them for short periods of time. He told the stallion about the mugging, and about how he’d basically ignored a pie splattered on his back leg altogether. No easy feat. “Wow…” he said as they were running brooms back and forth. “That’s a lot to take in.”

“Well, you’re wearing it so you’ll experience it for yourself as you go.” Aegis Shield said, smiling a bit. Both stallions could tell they were going to be good friends. They’d done a guarding shift or two together, yes, but had never really had the chance to interact much before. Being the only two lunar stallions, though, that was sure to change.

They were rearranging the remaining furniture to better suit the room when Stalwart Hide asked, “So, I’ve gotta ask since we’re alone and stuff…” he checked the exit to make sure the princess wasn’t right behind him when he spoke. “How did you wake the princess from her coma?”

Aegis Shield’s face turned scarlet, and he coughed a little. Well, if he was going to tell anypony, surely the only other lunar stallion was a worthy secret-keeper. “Swear you won’t tell?” he said in a hushed way, coming closer as though somepony might be listening. “Only Celestia was there when it happened, you see.” He whispered.

Stalwart Hide nodded, his eyes wide with interest. He folded his wings down, leaning forward conspiratorially. “Uh huh? What’d you do? Magic potion? Chest pumps? Smack her face?” he thought of all the most scandalous things he could.

“I kissed her.” Aegis said, turning his head to one side with ruby cheeks.

Stalwart Hide stared at him, mouth open like he was about to call him a liar. But no, no stallion blushed like that over a lie. “You wha…?” he said, just trying to take the information in.

“Don’t tell anypony. Ever. Don’t even mention it to princess Luna.” Aegis said quickly, poking his chest with a hoof. “The only reason I tell you is because you’re a lunar stallion now and… and you deserve to know.” He nodded quickly, then walked past his comrade to busily stoke the fire in the hearth. “Oh by the way, don’t let the fire die down here. We’re pretty far underground, and it gets cold even though its summer.” He lurched the conversation in a different direction with all the grace of a drunken dragon pile-driving a hydra. Stalwart Hide recognized the embarrassment, and nodded silently.


Some hours later princess Luna was giddy inside, prancing happily into her private chambers and shutting the door. After encountering the second lunar stallion and magically listening to them interact for a bit, she’d gotten a good handle on their real attitudes towards one another. They seemed to get along perfectly, if a little cautious with each other. That was all she could think to ask for now.

On a different topic, she was very pleased with Stalwart Hide. He’d taken his frenzy rather well, all things considered, and didn’t hold a grudge for the serious beating he’d received from (and given to) Aegis Shield. The two stallions understood the potent magicks that coursed through the armor they wore, and it overjoyed her to know that they bore no grudges against each other.

While she sat brushing her mane, she nudged the moon towards the horizon with a few moments of hard concentration. By the time Celestia rose it would be nearly gone, giving a smooth transition to daytime.

Taking off her crown, chest regalia, and shoes she arranged them all on their proper pillows. Tomorrow or the next day they were due for their weekly cleaning, she wasn’t sure which. She’d made a habit of leaving them in the same spot so the servants could find them when needed. She studied herself in the mirror and, with a little effort, offered up a beaming smile. Chuckling at the goofy expression she shook her head and turned away. Stretching, she went to her balcony and looked out over Canterlot. The night had only a few more hours, but still there were ponies prancing to and fro in the streets, going about their business. She sat on her haunches, watching the city with a content look on her face for a long time.

Suddenly there was a knock at her door. Sighing that her time to relax had been disturbed, the princess of the night barked, “Enter!” She turned, lifting her muzzle and closing her eyes for a moment. It was her patented ‘snooty’ expression, the one royalty often used to inspire guilt or to shorten meetings that made them uncomfortable. “Speak, this is our time to relax.”

“Luna.” It was Aegis Shield, and her smile grew before he crossed the room and mashed his lips to hers. She let out a startled squeak, her face blazing with heat. Her wings blimped shamelessly open. There came another knock at the door.

A LOUDER knock at her door awoke Luna from her dozing dream. “Uh-whuh?!” she squeaked a little ferally. “Who is it?!” she called aloud, jerking herself upright and out of her fever-dream.

Aegis Shield slowly opened the door of the room, slipping inside and shutting it behind him. He was normal and brown, the medallion of the lunar stallions bouncing on his chest. He fixed her with a smile. “Luna.” He said. The princess’ brow rose, and she wondered if her dream was suddenly repeating itself. “I came like you asked.” He told her, turning to shuffle his nose into his saddlebags to search for something.

“Asked? We asked thou no such thing to invade our bedroom in the dead of night!” Luna said, flushed and a little panicked. She hadn’t summoned him in her sleep or something, had she?! Could she do that?! She didn’t know.
Aegis turned back to her, a brand new telescope on his mouth, and wilted at her words. He set it down on the carpeted floor. “Oh, sorry. I thought tonight was the night we’d arranged to study the stars properly.” He looked glum, his eyes to the floor. “Maybe some other time—”

“Oh. Oh yes! We remember now!” Luna said, relief flooding her face. She’d promised to help Aegis study the stars when he’d acquired a proper telescope. She coughed a little, cocking her head. “Yes, of course. Let us see thy telescope.” She lifted it with magic, turning it back and forth. She squinted through it with a frown, testing its furthest extensions. He looked up at her hopefully. “Adequate.” She awarded, setting it down. He smiled at her. “Come, we may set up on our balcony. There are a few hours of night left.” She gestured. The stallion cantered past her with a big smile on his face, then worked diligently to set the telescope up properly. Using the tripod’s compass he pointed it north, tightened all the fittings, and made sure the turning bits were smooth and didn’t catch. Luna, meanwhile, brought a pair of sitting pillows. Sitting regally while he worked, she eyed him. “So, how have thou been while off the job? Enjoying thyself we hope?”

Aegis Shield smiled at her, nodding. “Oh yes. I think the solar guard is finally adjusting to me. They don’t seem as scared anymore.” He grinned at her wryly. Luna smiled back, knowing what that felt like. “They’re friendlier now.” He made the final adjustment. “There we go!” he said.

“Ah, well done. Now then, we’ll start with the Ursa Major, the Ursa Minor, the Waterfall, and Luna’s Horn.” Luna went and squinted into the telescope, adjusting it with a careful hoof. Aegis chuckled at her. “What?”

“You named a constellation after yourself.” He confided, laughing a bit.

“Don’t tell us thou would not do the same.” She said hotly, and he snorted. “We constructed all the night time heavens and everything that moves about them!” she said, anger rising and temper starting to flare. Her wings began to rise into her aggressive body language. “If we desire some small homage to ourselves for all of our hard work then we surely deser--!” He’d put a hoof unceremoniously over her mouth to silence her.

“I was teasing.” Aegis said, snickering a little. Luna’s ears turned back in embarrassment. “Show me Ursa Major.” He said, gesturing to the telescope. The princess nodded, bashfully leaning into the instrument and adjusting it just so. Dipper. Baten Kaitos. Ursa Major. The Manticore. Ah, there it was. She gestured that he look. He ooh’d appreciatively, and she smiled a bit. Calling up all the ancient memories and stories, she launched into a long lesson about the special meanings behind constellations. Why explorers insisted that she make them to make the sky seem friendlier at night, and to help them find their way. “I bet your sister doesn’t make nearly as good of a night sky as you.” Aegis said absently, looking up at a different shape through the telescope.

Luna opened her mouth to scold him harshly, but stopped. The fact that he’d used the phrase ‘your sister’ said he was at ease around her, speaking casually and not thinking of her like a princess at the moment. She seized the opportunity to connect with him socially. “My sister’s night sky had many pony explorers so very lost that she had to send out search teams for months to recover them properly.” She whispered, giggling at Celestia’s secret shame. “Her angles and constellations were so far off she had to hire a council of fifty ponies who knew the night sky better than she, and had to learn it all from scratch.”

Aegis put a hoof to his mouth and laughed at the gossip. “Oh my gosh! Hahaha!” he rolled, leaning into her with a guffaw. “That’s terrible! Search teams! That’s terrible!” he held his ribs with one hoof and had the other front hoof around her. Luna smiled grandly, nodding that it was true. They returned to the instrument, and he insistently returned to the Waterfall constellation, wanting to know all about it. Luna had placed it at the edge of the sky near the horizon so that it would look like it was washing over the edge of the world (even though the world wasn’t flat). Aegis wanted to know all about it. The edge of the world (in the early times) usually meant an ocean so there was plenty of symbology and forethought when it came to placing it in the sky. The stories fascinated Aegis, and he listened to everything she had to say with large and intent eyes.

Princess Luna couldn’t remember being happier. A casual setting with a pony that did not fear here, talking about a modern topic she knew much of, and it was just so… so relaxing! She loved it. She looked at his arm flung casually around her shoulder. He was straining to sit up high enough to do it. Finally able to fully relax, she slouched and leaned into him a bit. She heaved a slow, content sigh.

“So tell me about Luna’s Horn.” Aegis Shield said, pointing up at it without using the telescope. The stallion tossed his black mane to one side so he could see her better. “What’s the story there?” Luna broke into a filly-like giggle, grinning and shaking her head back and forth. “What? C’mon, you’ve gotta tell me. We went through all of those other constellations.”

The princess snickered, opening her wings happily and putting a hoof around his shoulder to pull him closer. “It is a great and ancient secret, Aegis Shield. Dost thou promise to keep it to thyself?” She whispered, almost all her teeth showing in the cheesy grin. He nodded dumbly, wanting to know what was so funny. She gestured to it, tracing the shape with her hoof towards the sky. “One may notice that it points north? Many explorers use it as a compass during the right times of year.” She was getting to the punch line, he could tell. “But, truthfully…”

“Truthfully?” he asked, studying her face.

“When I was a filly I put it in the sky and told my sister it was a penis. She believed me!” She burst out laughing. Aegis stared at her in shock, mouth falling open. “Just look at the shape! It’s so clearly a unicorn’s horn, but back then she’d never seen--- I mean she’d just never looked at a stallion’s--- back then she was so innocent!” she’d lost herself to laughing, throaty and stomping a hoof on the balcony. Aegis fought the laughter for a long time, he really and truly did. But then the creeping image of an innocent young Celestia and a mischievous young Luna made its way into his mind. It was just too much. He burst into rolling laughter, flopping back onto his back and kicking all four of his hooves.

After that point the studying was basically over. Luna had an amusing story for all the older constellations and their secret little jokes, extra meanings, and secret bits. The night sky was a tapestry of secrets one could simply never find in a book, and all of them were in the dark alicorn’s head. Aegis had the feeling that if he knew enough, he could see the greater tapestry of Luna’s life in the night sky. Some of the origins of the shapes and objects in the sky were on a whim, for a joke, for beauty, all different reasons. They told of an artist’s evolution, and told much about Luna herself. Both of them lay on their backs on the sitting pillows, commenting on the shapes and twinkling beauty. The princess even wiped a star from the sky to impress the stallion, only to put it back moments later so there was no harm done to the grand design.

Aegis slowly turned and leaned over Luna, studying her face. “It’s all so beautiful.” He said, looking into her eyes and smiling quietly. She tucked her hooves across her naked chest. She very suddenly realized that she was just as naked at he, and had been all night. No princess ever wandered about without her regalia. Then again they were technically in the privacy of her bedroom, so maybe it didn’t count. Her eyes lidded slowly when one of his hooves came down to caress her cheek. Blushing lightly, she tilted her head to rest the weight of it on his hoof. He held it gently. “You’re beautiful.” He whispered. They looked into each other’s eyes for a long time, and gravity seemed to inch his face down until the tips of their muzzle’s touched. Nodding up and down slowly, they nuzzled each other. It was a slow, shy sort of affection.

The memory of their fighting, lusty rushing suddenly reared its ugly head in Luna’s mind. “K… kiss us?” she whispered softly. “We promise not to pounce upon thee.” She amended, looking at him guiltily. He chuckled softly, nuzzling her cheek and nose with his. Slowly, her front hooves hooked around his neck and gingerly pulled him down. She stared at the stars while he explored her mane like a shy coltfriend might.

When at last he’d taken in her rain-pregnant night scent, Aegis Shield whispered to her quietly. “Oh Luna…” despite being flat on her back, the alicorn’s massive and powerful wings rose to the occasion, spreading to their full span and gently wrapping about the stallion in an odd sort of hug. His warm breath was upon her face, a curious series of sniffing sounds. The ancestors were silent, the medallion dormant. It was all Aegis, and nopony else. He kissed her, slowly lowering his mouth over hers. The warm plush of his mouth greeted her in a shy, gentle way. Luna suddenly knew what sort of kiss had roused her from her coma. Cocking her head after a few long moments, she gave a quiet moan to deepen the kiss. Her hooves touched his back in feather-light touches, stroking between his wings.

Can… can thou stay?” she whispered quietly, blushing and looking away when the kiss ended. “Thou would be safe in our chambers from prying eyes.” She promised. Luna watched the stallion consider, his eyes racing back and forth. She nuzzled his cheek, her touch warm but light. After having spent so much time with him, the spikes of lust were starting to vanish and she only wanted to be around him. Creating a second lunar stallion had not drawn her eye from him. The heady rush was over now, and had given way to a warm and lush sort of heady affection.

“Y-yeah. I’ll stay.” The stallion whispered. “Just for tonight. Er... today.” Both ponies chuckled, for they habitually slept the day away to favor the night. They rose and went to bed together after closing the balcony doors. They shared an innocent bed that night, both enjoying the warmth of another body next to them. Luna had never slept so soundly, quietly wrapped in a stallion's hooves.

End of Part 8

Embrace Thy Lover

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Luna’s Story: Rise of the Lunar Stallions
Part 9: Embrace Thy Lover

Luna awoke with a quiet purr, feeling warm and rubbery like a pony who had slept in. Was the sun on her? Could she sleep more? No, the happy warmth pressed to her was another pony. She blink-blinked stupidly, studying him for a moment. He was a handsome thing with brown fur and golden mane. The medallion pressed cooly on his chest reminded her, and all of her normal memories came rushing back. Snuffling a little, she took a deep breath of waking. It didn’t take the alicorn long to notice she was in the submissive position of the embrace. His head was tucked firmly atop hers, careful of her horn while his front hooves hung around her neck. She spent a long time looking at him quietly, her ethereal mane blowing with a breeze that wasn’t there. She didn’t want to wake him.

The dark alicorn pressed herself into the stallion for another long moment, moaning quietly. Careful not to gouge him with her long horn, she nuzzled quietly and enjoyed his sandy scent. She did not want to rise from bed, but she would miss dinner with her sister if she didn’t. Luna stirred softly, then leaned over him. One of her massive hooves stroked his mane absently. He looked so peaceful and handsome when he slept. Fighting down darker thoughts, she pushed the sheets back and rubbed his belly in wide circles. He nickered a little, smiling and turning over. “Oh ticklish, art thou?” she mused, leaning over him with a wider grin. She rub-rub-rubbed at his belly again, snickering. He curled up, giggling some, all four legs retreating and folding in to cover his soft undercarriage. She scrubbed at him harder, and he fell out of the bed with a bump. He whinnied a little, and she leaned over the side worriedly. “Aegis! Art thou alright?!”

Aegis Shield sat up, blink-blinking at the bump on his head and the naked princess leaning over him. His eyes traveled down to admire her fur for a long moment, for she had no regalia covering her chest and it was quite velvety. The few long moments of last night rushing back to him were interesting, for he stared at her like a stranger. Neither pony, apparently, were excellent risers. “Uh?” he managed, then shook his mane. “Oh, I’m okay.”

Luna relaxed a bit, smiling at him bashfully. “It is time to rise, my stallion.” She whispered more soothingly. He smiled at her in a private way, leaning forward to nuzzle her cheek softly. “Mrrrr… do not distract us, our sister will expect us at the dinner table.” She made a show of giving a lot of effort to pull from him, going to put on her regalia, shoes and crown.

Feeling mischievous, Aegis rose and leaned against her while she was still in front of her vanity mirror. Until the moment the princess stepped outside this room, they were out of the public eye and a little more than just princess and guard. “Distract you? How? Like thiiiiis?” he snickered, running a hoof from the base of her neck to the print of her cutie mark. The single lewd and easy stroke of her fur made her body shiver in excitement. She swatted at him animatedly.

“Yes, like that!” she said hotly, perching her crown upon her head. Turning her head back and forth to make sure it was perfect, she brushed at her mane a few times. Her stallion had other plans. He took the end of her long and starry mane in his teeth. “Ouch!” she said, tugging back. “Well! When thou wants attention!” she giggle-snorted a little, a hoof rushing to her nose to hide it. The stallion chuckled, letting go of her mane. What had him so frisky morning? Er… twilight? Still slow and lazy, he rather comically rested his chin on her back while she put her shoes one. She gave her rump a toss to dislodge him, giggling the entire time.

A knock at the door jolted them both. Mumbling his oath, Aegis Shield imploded into his lunar stallion form. Shaking his head a few times to clear his eyes, he approached the door with a haughty expression and opened it. Golden steam was floating around his eyes, giving him an otherworldly look. “Her majesty is dressing, how can I help you?” he said to the solar stallion in the hall.

“Her majesty sent me to check on Princess Luna. Dinner is waiting.” He said, snapping a salute to the lunar stallion in truly formal fashion. Aegis couldn’t help but notice the guard’s eyes flicking all over his armor and teeth like so many others before him. Some ponies still thought the lunar stallions looked like monsters.

“I’ll make sure she gets the message.” Aegis returned the salute and shut the door quietly. Tapping his chest plate’s world-searching eye, he returned to his normal form with a gasp of magic. When he at last turned to Luna he found her staring. “What?” he asked. “You were half-dressed.” He said a little nervously.

“Thy transformation.” She said, lifting a hoof to point at him. “It was so natural. Thou did not miss a step!” The princess looked him up and down, shocked and awed. He smiled a little bashfully. Aegis had transformed and untransformed so many times over the six weeks or so since becoming a lunar stallion, it didn’t hurt or make him lose his mind anymore. It was like growing a second skin. “Do it again.” She commanded, smiling widely.

Aegis threw out his chest impressively as a stallion could, for there a watching mare waiting for him to do something impressive. He recited the oath for her. “In the dark, we tear and rend. To end all evils, with spines to bend. Lust and power, hunger and might. By Luna’s will, and dark of night!” The eye of the medallion opened, and the lunar stallion armor unfolded over his body with many clanks of metal. His fur flashed to grey and his eyes brightened to gold. His wings opened, membranes and not feathers. He’d hardly batted an eye!

“Impressive!” she praised, rearing on her back legs briefly. He smiled at her coyly. “Thou art in full sync with thy armor now!” she grinned at him, cheeks lifting with a squeaky toy sound. He tilted his muzzle up and closed his eyes, on display for his princess. She chuckled, sending him out into the hall so she could finish getting ready for dinner.


“And then I received a mare in the day court today, you’ll not believe what she asked, dear sister.” Celestia said, smiling rather grandly. Luna cocked her head, for it took something pretty special to elicit a genuine grin from her solar sister. “She asked me to bless her upcoming marriage! Nopony has asked me to do that in decades!” she chuckled with glee, practically glowing with pride. Luna smirked. That had always been one of Tia’s little vice’s, being able to hoof out blessings. It was a rare tradition to have a joining blessed anymore, for it was on older custom. But, it had made Celestia’s day.

Luna leaned over her plate while prince Blueblood tried very, very hard to eat his spaghetti without dripping sauce on his freshly-trimmed pelt. He sighed when a few speckles of red appeared on his chest. The dark alicorn chuckled a little. “So how have you and your lunar stallions been doing, aunt Luna?” he asked conversationally, setting his fork down in defeat to reach for the fruit bowl in the middle of the table. “I was told you made a second recently.”

“Word certainly travels fast.” Luna said with a mildly arched brow. “Twas less than two days ago.” She turned a wary eye to her sister Celestia to gauge her reaction. The only expression on the sun princess’ face seemed to be mild amusement. Luna saw Blueblood looking at her intently, and then remembered he’d asked a question. “They’re doing very well indeed. I think two is enough for the time being, however. With such old magic at work, anymore than that may do more harm than good.”

“What makes you say that, auntie?” Blueblood asked.

“If the palace had but one room, you would not assign a hundred guards to guard it.” Celestia said wisely, turning her fork and lifting noodles by magic. Luna nodded. It was true, she’d only had her guards follow her about really. She hadn’t stationed them anywhere to guard anything. With one pony to guard, two was certainly enough.

The meal progressed, and Blueblood spoke again. “Excuse me, I’ve a fencing lesson to attend before the evening is out.” He regally wiped his mouth with a napkin, rose and was away with farewells from his aunts at his back. Aegis Shield and Stalwart Hide were favored with a smile as he passed, and the royal pony was soon gone.

“He’s going to be ill, doing an activity like that right after eating.” Celestia tinkled with quiet laughter. “But, I didn’t have the heart to stop him. He needs to learn.” She sighed sympathetically, shaking her head. Luna gave her a look, and the sun princess quickly returned to her food. The sisters ate in relative silence, both content for different reasons. ‘So? Want to tell me why you’re in such spirits, Luna?’ Celestia thought quietly. Luna jerked at the thought-speak, for it wasn’t often the sisters shared it.

What dost thou mean?’ Luna thought back, locking eyes with her sister. If Celestia was thought-speaking, the conversation was meant to be truly private. Neither solar nor lunar guards were meant to hear, in other words. ‘We feel fine.

I didn’t ask if you were sick.’ Celestia teased with a bouncing eyebrow. She lifted the noodles twirled on her fork and chewed on them quietly while they spoke. ‘You have a certain… radiance about you, don’t think I did not notice.’

Luna cocked her head, staring at her solar sister. Aegis Shield noticed the shift in body language, and furrowed his brow. Careful not to move too much from his at-attention posture, he feigned stretching his wings and flicked Stalwart Hide. Gesturing with his eyes, he got the other stallion to pay closer attention too. Luna was leaning and moving about like there was a conversation going on. Stalwart cocked his head as though he’d gone deaf then locked eyes with Aegis, who shrugged. It must’ve been a private conversation or something. Both princess’ horns were glowing faintly.

I… don’t know what you mean.’ Luna finally said, but even her thought-speak was unsure.

No no, sister. I’ve seen that look before.’ Celestia said silently. She wiped her slender muzzle before levitating the nearby glass to sip. ‘In fact, I believe I saw that look on that mare’s face this afternoon. You are in love, little one--’

That’s NONE of thy business!’ Both lunar stallions watched in amazement as the princess of the night turned a lovely shade of scarlet. ‘None at all, Tia!’ she fussed with her noodles, attacking them violently and cutting them up a few times. Even the solar guards on the opposite side of the table were paying attention now. They couldn’t hear the conversation either, but something was certainly making Luna clak-clank-clak the silverware harder than normal. Her flushed expression was a dead give-away.

Celestia allowed a small, sympathetic smile. ‘We’ve talked about this, Luna.’ She whispered warily in her thoughts. The light and milky glow of her horn lifted another mouthful of spaghetti to her mouth. ‘You know we live so much longer than other ponies.’

We do not care!’ snapped Luna.

It would only end in heartache.’ Celestia said quietly, her eyebrows lifting even though they weren’t looking at each other directly. It was a sympathetic gaze. ‘Can you truly afford an eternity of heartache for a few decades of passion?

Tiz better to have loved and lost, than to never have loved at all, sister.’ The dark alicorn tried, whispering her thoughts.

Try it.’ Celestia said, something ancient and just a little bit bitter betrayed itself in her tone. A scowl went across Luna’s features and she chewed rather aggressively, clanking her fork on the plate. Aegis Shield and Stalwart Hide exchanged glances with the nameless solar guards across the way. Something was happening, and it wasn’t pretty. All four of them were on edge.

Something savage rose up in Luna just then. Something nasty. How dare her sister say such things when she was so happy and uplifted in her adoration for Aegis Shield? She was a princess, she could do whatever she Faust-well pleased! ‘Do not serve thyself up for pity when my own stallion comes along. Perhaps thou has painted thy virginal image a little too thickly, and thou has forgotten our old harems?’ One of the plates on the table cracked into two halves all by itself. The tension in the room was palpable. One of the solar stallions licked his lips a little, eyes darting back and forth between the royal sisters.

That was thousands of years ago, Luna.’ Celestia said a little defensively. Luna knew she’d struck home, for the pleasant half-smile had vanished from her sister’s face. ‘I’ve not kept a harem, ever, since we decided to disperse the original one before the great war.

If we remember correctly, there was that one stallion you favored even after the harem was disbanded.’ Luna cocked her head and both sisters put their forks down. There was no illusion of a meal anymore, for they’d fixed each other with rather intense gazes.

Don’t talk about him.’ Celestia said, a very old wound suddenly rising up in her heart. To distract herself, the white alicorn lifted a glass to her lips with magic, busily gulping water from it. There was a certain quiver in her wings.

You loved him very much, sister.’ Luna whispered in her mind, and she saw Celestia visibly shudder. ‘You kept him around, he lived in the palace, do not think we did not see thee frolicking.

Alright, that’s enough, sister.’ Celestia said tersely. Her thought-speaks were turning darker, rippling with quiet and tense power. The guards in the room shifted uncomfortably. Was the air in the room getting hotter?

What was his name…?’ Luna cocked her head, trying to call up the old memory. ‘To see thou as flushed as a spring-time filly over him was a joy I must say I never—‘

Celestia’s glass exploded violently, sending water and glass in all directions! She rose so hard from her chair it toppled backward. Luna did the same, thinking her sister about to attack. The solar guards nearly fell over themselves to rush to her aid, thinking it an assassination attempt. They flanked the white alicorn on both sides, trying to shuttle her out of the dining hall and away from the invisible attacker. “I only try to shield you from the inevitable, Luna.” the princess of the day’s voice was cracked with an oncoming weeping. All four guards gave a start at the sudden sentence. She started to rush away, but paused at the threshold of the dining hall. ‘We outlive them all, sister. All of our loves end in heartache.

“Tia?” Luna said softly, reaching towards her sister.

“Mountain Hide.” Celestia said aloud. “His name was Mountain Hide, b-because of his big firm ch-chest you see...” With that she exploded into a shower of golden sparks, teleporting away. Luna’s magical senses found her again in her private chambers. No doubt the door would be locked and a hundred shields cocooning the room. Soon, Luna couldn’t even sense her anymore, so thick were the wards. The solar guards rushed away to find her.

Princess Luna sat down hard, a little stunned. Both lunar stallions rushed forth to either side of her, demanding to know if she was alright. “J-just a royal tiff, my stallions.” She said a little shakily. “It happens now and again. S-sisters do that.”


It was several days later when Luna approached Celestia again. She’d avoided sharing meals with her, and a serious silence was starting to make the servants nervously gossip. Deciding it best to actually approach her sister and not sulk like she had in the past, Luna went to her bedroom. It was the middle of the night, Celestia’s relaxation time. The white alicorn had not been hiding away, but rather doing her duties and then returning to her sanctuary with no social activities. This was her form of sulking, though to the public view it was little more than the princess taking time for herself for once. They thought it healthy. Only Luna saw otherwise.

Tapping lightly on the door, Luna opened it and slipped inside. Celestia looked up, startled. She was on her belly on the floor, a massive painting in front of her. The frame was of deepest oak, and the painting truly ancient. A rolled up series of sheets lay on the floor next to her. Faust only knew what dark corner she’d pulled it out of. The dark alicorn leaned without meaning to, spying a handsome face and a huge barrel chest. Celestia seized a sheet and threw it over the image. “Tia--” Luna said softly.

“Forgive me.” Celestia interrupted quietly, her head hanging. “You opened an old wound and I snapped. I’m so sorry, sister.” The princess of the day had tears wetting her poor cheeks.

Luna went to her sister quickly, laying on her belly and extending a wing soothingly over her. Leaning and kissing away her tears quietly, she crooned over Celestia. The dark alicorn clacked her horn gently against her sister’s, a gesture of affection they’d been doing since the dawn of creation. The sun princess looked up slowly into her eyes, soft and large-pupil’d. “Oh Tia…” Luna whispered, leaning to nuzzle and comfort her sister. They shared quiet crooning sounds, little chirps of twin-speak nopony else could understand. Celestia had given her heart to that stallion thousands of years ago, so completely and fully, even today she’d not recovered. Or perhaps, not allowed herself to. Her knee-jerk reaction was to keep Luna from making the same mistake. “Thou cannot keep us from loving, sister.” Luna said gently.

“I know.” Celestia said, ashamed of her negative reaction. “I just wasn’t expecting… and so soon after your return…” Luna nuzzled her quietly, but suddenly the solar princess paused. She leaned around Luna and pricked her teeth into her fur. Pulling away she produced a single golden hair. The princess of the night flushed at her sister’s cock-eyebrow’d look. “You’re already sleeping with him?” Celestia asked, a lopsided grin suddenly appearing on her face. She’d shifted from somber over to ‘older sister’ again. Luna was happy for the shift, but suddenly she was in the spotlight again. She tried to snatch the golden hair, but Celestia wouldn’t let her.

“No, of course not!”

“Then how did this get in your pelt, sister?” Celestia began to smirk at her, rather un-princess-like. Luna’s response was to turn a deeper shade of red. “Uh huh, I see.” There was something younger, more radiant in Celestia’s eyes now. A sister drilling her sibling about the new stallion she was dating, it was a universal look.

“We swear upon all things sacred, we are not… We mean, we can’t…” Luna winced when she dropped the hint without meaning to. Celestia’s brow rose. “Well it’s not as though we may hit the dating scene in lower Canterlot, Tia!” Luna said defensively. “Of course it would be one of the palace staff!” Celestia smirked. It was amazing how much Luna would give away when she was embarrassed or angry.

The twin sisters soon broke into giggles. They spent the evening together until it was time for the night court to begin and Luna was needed. Celestia even allowed her sister to look upon Mountain Hide’s ancient portrait. Time and light had faded the picture into a pitiful state, but magic had preserved it for centuries. He was a handsome thing, Luna could not fault her sister for taste. It wasn’t often to see a stallion so big, stocky, and big in the chest. Males that size and stature only came along once in a generation, paragons of their breed. Luna even helped her sister lovingly put the portrait away and hide it under her bed.


Aegis Shield was quite surprised when Luna basically followed him home at the end of his shift. Going into the barracks with him, she came to his private bunk room. She saw Stalwart Hide had gone out, probably to eat and entertain himself for a few hours. “Princess?” the stallion asked when she leaned on his doorframe. “Did you need me for a few more hours tonight?” he asked, reaching up to activate his armor. She stopped him, silently shaking her head. “What is it?” he asked softly.

Leaning over, Luna put out his second lamp and plunged them into a romantic half-light. Quietly, she told him everything that had happened since the odd dinner. The lovers suddenly saw eternity stretched out before them. A normal soldier and an alicorn, starkly separated by longetivity. “Even thy armor has its limits. It will not make thou immortal as we are.” She whispered quietly. There was a long and rather sad silence between them.

“What are you saying, Luna?” Aegis Shield asked quietly. “You don’t want to be with me anymore?” he looked into her eyes and her heart quivered. Oh no no dear stallion, she wanted to beg his forgiveness. It’s nothing like that. She shook her head mutely. “I don’t want this--” he paused to gesture between the two of them, then tried again, “I don’t want us to be bittersweet about all this. It’s like a foal suddenly realizing what death is. Yeah it’s a big deal and it’s a little terrifying but… doesn’t it matter more what we do with the time?” Luna nodded slowly, eyes going soft. Of course he was right. How selfish of her to think of herself only like that. That had been her sister’s mistake, to worry and then mourn for eternity without forgiving herself for loving so deeply. Luna would not be the same. “Then don’t worry about it, Luna.” He smiled at her in that charming way he always did when they were alone. He tossed his golden mane, and her heart melted.

Luna’s horn ignited with magic and the door slammed behind her. She threw herself into his embrace, nuzzling him strongly. “Love us.” she begged quietly, rubbing her cheek in his wonderful mane. The stallion nickered, blushing and rubbing up against her as well. “Please, please just love us.”

“I love you, Luna.” Neither pony remembered how they got to Aegis Shield’s bed, or how they managed to fit a fully grown-alicorn upon it. The ancient stone room was surprisingly welcoming both in warmth and softness of atmosphere. Aegis could hear the ancestors in the back of his head, quietly conferring with one another. As a gelding he couldn’t just mount her as much as they would all like it (stallion, mare, and ancestors alike). Nuzzling her quietly, he searched his mind for the perfect thing to say. Something romantic, something that would really let her know how he felt. Gathering the happily whimpering pony in his hooves, he pulled her head to his chest and stroked her. She murred quietly, closing her eyes to just enjoy the feeling of a stallion’s hooves on her. Finally he had it. Leaning to one of her ears, he whispered to her and bore his soul. “If you were meant to live forever— and I to die tomorrow— I would still love you just as much.” Luna kissed him happily, fighting the emotional tears, her wings spreading and her cheeks warming.

End of Part 9

Muster Thy Brothers

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Luna’s Story: Rise of the Lunar Stallions
Part 10: Muster Thy Brothers

Princess Luna had a certain bounce in her step that day. Everywhere she went she favored her servants with smiles, patience, and a non-Royal Canterlot Voice. She even startled her language teacher by using the word “I” when referring to herself several times. The palace gossip ran wild with why their princess was so happy, but the morale was certainly rising because of it. They were less afraid to approach her in the midnight court, and the nights were more dazzling than ever. One night she even blessed the Canterlot Astronomy Society with a brilliant meteor shower to coincide with their lectures about meteors. Their younger students were astounded. The dark alicorn felt on top of the world, and it certainly showed.

“Aegis Shield. Stalwart Hide. I would like to tour part of Canterlot.” She put a lot of accent onto the ‘I’, for she was trying her hardest to still learn the modern Equestrian tongue. Both lunar stallions smiled and accompanied her. They exited the palace, saluted to left and right by other guards posted in various places. Walking down the street, to the princess, was a big deal. Everywhere she went she was bowed to and called after. She smiled to her subjects, glancing skyward at the stars and admiring the shops and stands. Even in the middle of the night, Canterlot was a bustling burg.

“Heh.” Stalwart Hide managed before he could stop himself, looking into the window of a shop. This drew Luna’s attention, and she peered in as well. It was a toy store. She gaped at what she saw. In the window display were a series of plastic and plushie pony figurines. Smartie Pants, of course, was a popular seller. But that’s not what drew the princess’ gaze. In the middle of the display was an doll of herself and a lunar stallion.

“Faust alive.” Luna chuckled, pointing so both her guards would look. They pressed their noses to the window display. The Luna figurine was proportioned exactly right and looked just like her, aside from the mane which was normal hair. “It seems thou art more popular than me, my stallions.” She teased. The store owner came to take the lunar stallion from the display to sell it. The mare happened to glance up and see the genuine articles with their muzzles pressed to the glass. They couldn’t hear her squeak of shock, nor did they hear her hit the floor. “Oh dear…” Luna said, smiling apologetically. “Come.” She told her guards, turning and entering the store.

The store, Toys and Trumpets, was a brightly-colored foal’s wonderland. It had aisles of all sorts of toys and fun things, and the other half was devoted to trumpets and similar horns. (It wasn’t unusual for a store to embrace two types of products, such as Couches and Quills in Ponyville.) They found a strawberry-colored unicorn mare with a hat and apron on the floor clutching her heart. Aegis Shield volunteered to help her up. “Oh, so sorry. You startled me, princess.” She glanced warily at Aegis’ teeth, but otherwise seemed okay. She bowed low for a moment. “My legs just give out when I’m startled, you see.” She blushed a little, rushing to be behind the counter. Using her horn, she levitated the lunar stallion toy into a bag and took a hoof-full of bits from a stallion that was buying it. She nodded, and he was away.

“Thou sells the image of our guards here, and ourself.” Luna said, leaning over a kiosk display that had solar and lunar guards on it. Smiling with interest, she held one up to Aegis Shield and Stalwart Hide. Both stallions could not help but smile a little. “Hmm, they’re quite good.” She admired the amount of detail in the plastic armor and the perfectly colored eyes.

“W-well, when foals started hearing about the lunar stallions, they wanted toys of them like they have of the solar guard.” The shop owner smiled bashfully. “I make custom pony toys, so it didn’t take long to make the designs.” Aegis Leaned over the display, wondering if he could see himself in any of the toys. It was flattering, really. “Little colts love them especially, since it’s a stallions-only sort of thing.” The mare snickered a little, nodding at the stallions as she spoke with Luna. The alicorn nodded with a bemused smile. The princess was pleased that the lunar stallions had become accepted enough to be made into foal play-things. It meant the general public didn’t fear them, and accepted them as legitimate forms of authority. “So, what brings you to my shop, princess?” the unicorn wanted to know.

Luna thought for a moment, then smiled. The deep-seeded alicorn desire to play pranks was itching her. “Mischief, of course.” The store owner blink-blinked, and the princess’s horn ignited. “Aegis Shield. Stalwart Hide. To me.” She gestured, pulling them into a sort of huddle. The lopsided grin on the princess’ face made them afraid.

A few minutes later, the window display table had been moved and Luna placed her guards in the stead of the action figures. A still as they could stand, they stood at attention in the silent display of pretending to be mannequins. The princess of the night spread her wings all the way out, standing between them and fixing a scowl on her muzzle. The store owner watched in amazement from behind the counter as they stayed that way for several minutes.

Before long a trio of foals rushed up to the window with big excited eyes. “Wowie-zowie! They look so real! Momma! Momma, come see!” one of them called over his shoulder. A mare came from out of the crowd, peering at the toy shop display. She cocked her head, peering closely at the lunar stallions. Even the armor looked real, wow… “I wonder if they’re selling life-size princess Luna’s!” one of the colts said, peering up at the princess of the night. Luna had to work very, very hard not to laugh. “Can we go in Momma, can we can we?” all three colts turned to give their mother big soft eyes.

The mare smirked a little. “Just to look, but alright.” She chuckled at their chorus of cheers and watched them charge the door. The clumsier of her sons smacked right into it before they managed to get it open. Aegis Shield’s eyes flicked at the princess, and she nodded once. While the children were struggling to get through the doorway and being greeted by the shop owner, Luna and her two guards turned about and froze again. When the colts piled into the toy shop area, they found the display was facing into the store, not out. “Huh… weren’t they facing out the window?” Their mother wondered softly. One of the three colts came up to Stalwart Hide, mimicking his posture and making faces.

“I’mma lunar stallion, grrrrr!” he said, backing up next to Luna and fixing his face into a super-serious scowl. “I’mma guard princess Luna from all the bad guys!” his voice squeaked and cracked back and forth. His brothers laughed, prancing about in the toy displays while their mother watched from afar. Sometimes you just needed to let the colts run wild in a toy store. The foal looked up at Luna with a big smile. “Don’t worry princess! Nothing bad will happen so long as I’m here! I’mma lunar stallion!” he squeaked, his voice briefly propelling him into the air.

“Thou sets my mind at ease.” Luna said, dropping her statue act and smiling kindly.

“Eeep!” the foal fell over himself into Aegis Shield, who snickered and opened his bat-like wings. “Eeep!” he staggered the other way and ran for his mother. “Momma! Momma!”

The mare jolted from her restful doze while leaning on the counter, ears perking at the panicked squeaks of her young. “What? What’s wrong?” she almost knelt but he went rushing under her undercarriage in fright. She saw the princess and her guards smiling bemusedly in the display, stepping down. “Oh my!” she said, ears turning back. “Princess Luna!” she bent forward to bow.

Luna was laughing a bit, but tried to come down from it. “Forgive us, we didn’t mean to frighten him.” She came down to her belly, peering under the mare. “We are sorry little one, please come out?” The little colt poked his head out, eyes big and soft at the sight of her. “Oh-ho, he is brave.” She told her lunar stallions, who nodded encouragingly. The little one smiled, coming out from under his mother at last. “Perhaps someday you may be a real lunar stallion.” She leaned and kissed his little forehead, blessing him with alicorn magic. Good luck would follow the little one around for a few days.

“Really? Wow, thanks princess!” he squeaked and ran to find his brothers who were lost in the aisles of toys. Luna and the mother shared a smile as the princess rose to her full height again.

“Thy sons are young and strong, thou must be very proud.” Luna said conversationally. The mare seemed to relax a little and nodded, flattered.

“If I may ask, princess?” the mare said softly, gesturing to Aegis Shield. “How many lunar stallions are there? Princess Celestia has hundred of solar guards, but this is the first time I’ve ever seen a lunar stallion. I thought they were a rumor for the longest time.” She looked between the two, then up at her again.

“Well there are only two of them.” Luna smiled. “Thou would not see them on the streets, they are my personal guard.” She gestured to the two of them, and the stallions inflated their chests with pride, smiling and closing their eyes for a moment. The mare was suddenly looking past Luna, who folded her wings a little apprehensively.

“Only two? Then who’s that?” she gestured.

Luna turned her head, looking out the store window. Outside on the other side of the street, walking quite casually, was a lunar stallion! He was just walking down the street like he owned the place, parting the passersby as he went. He got stares, but didn’t seem to care. Grey fur, bat wings, and golden eyes, he looked like the real thing! Luna’s mouth went agape and she wheeled around. “Aegis! Stalwart!” she thrust out a hoof at the pony on the street. “Seize that imposter!” she snapped angrily. Both lunar stallions rushed out the door. How dare somepony walk around impersonating one of them?! They charged wildly across the street, pumping their wings to launch them into the air and tackle the surprised pony to the ground. There was furious wrestling until both of them managed to force the imposter to the pavement, and the princess stormed out of the toy store with glowing white eyes. “Imposter! Thou must have firm virility indeed if thou thinks to get away with impersonating one of my personal guards!” The stallion gagged, shifting back and forth under the heavy hooves of Aegis Shield and Stalwart Hide. They were barely letting him breathe, so Luna made a mild gesture so he could.

“I am a lunar stallion!” he gagged out in a strained voice.

“There are only two lunar stallions, NO MORE!” Luna snapped, the Royal Canterlot Voice threatening the last two words. The stranger shuddered, but clenched his triangle teeth to stand against the concussive blast of her voice. The street was rapidly emptying, ponies trying to get away from the violent scene. “Thou art an imposter!”

“I am real!” he said while Aegis made sure he wasn’t about to squirm away. “Please, augh!” he yelped when one of his limbs bent in a painful way. “My legs don’t bend that way, AHH!” he groaned and squirmed under the two of them. No normal pony could strain and overpower two stallions.

“Aegis Shield! Stalwart Hide! Take him to the lowest dungeon of the castle. We shalt have him interrogated for his motives of impersonating one of you there.” The alicorn snorted hot air from her muzzle, her mane flapping with a strong breeze that wasn’t there. Her emotions stirred her ethereal mane, and her deep scowl with glowing eyes made her look terrifying. “Away with thou!” she dismissed them all, and spread her wings to fly back to the castle.

Vivas Noctus!” The stallion belted from under the pile of armor and harsh hooves. “Vivas Noctus! Vivas Noctus!” he coughed heavily while the two lunar stallions struggled to silence the bawling pony. Luna dropped, just by gravity, over ten feet. Her massive hooves struck stone, startling all three of them. The pinned stallion panted heavily, limpening and looking up into Luna’s glowing white eyes. “Vivas Noctus...” He whispered, reaching at her with a quivering hoof of pleading.

There was a long silence. Both of her guards looked at Luna. She considered something for a long time. “Release him.” She whispered. They did so, and she approached the stallion who was still spilled out over the sidewalk. Groveling before her, when she was near enough he seized one of her hooves in his. The lunar stallions bristled, but she stilled them with a look. The white glow faded from her eyes. “I have not heard that phrase in a thousand years.” Luna said slowly, frowning a little. “That is ancient Equestrian, stallion. Dost thou even know what it means?” she asked, allowing him to press his forehead reverently to her hoof. A devotional gesture that both Aegis and Stalwart had done before.
The stallion worked his lips a little, wetting them and speaking quietly. “Vivas Noctus.” He whispered. “Long live the night.” Aegis Shield furrowed his brow. What a beautiful phrase. He glanced at Stalwart Hide, who knew some ancient Equestrian. His partner nodded in confirmation.

“Stand.” Luna said slowly. The frazzled stallion came to his hooves, his eyes lowered and his bow deep. “Rise.” She told him. He stood erect, throwing out his chest and lifting his muzzle. She walked a slow circle around him, inspecting him silently. “Shorn fetlocks. Trimmed tail. Grey fur. Concealed cutie mark.” She mumbled down the list. She stood before him, then looked down at his chest plate. An ever-searching eye flicked back and forth as though alive. She tapped it with her hoof. The stallion gasped, rearing up a little as his armor collapsed into itself. Yellow exploded across his grey body, and orange through his mane. His golden eyes turned green, and he shrank just a little as feathers replaced the bat-like membranes.

“He’s real.” Aegis Shield whispered in awe, staring at the medallion now around the stranger’s neck. “The armor is real.”
“Where did you get this?” Luna said in a low voice, tapping the medallion. “Only two lunar stallion regalia’s were accounted for in the palace. Where did you find this one?”

“It was passed down in my family, from father to son, through the generations.” The stallion whispered reverently. “Waiting for the day when the lunar stallions would rise again.” He gave her a cautious smile. “When word reached me that Canterlot had two lunar stallions, I came as fast as I could.”

“And where art thou from?” Luna said, slowly taking in the information.

“Los Pegasus.” He said. “I used to own a gym there.”

“Used to?” the princess frowned.

“I sold it before I left.” He shook his head.

“Thou gave up thy livelihood to come here?!” Luna gaped at him.

“My family has been waiting for a thousand years for this.” He whispered softly, looking down at the sidewalk. Luna cocked her head quietly, a little taken aback. Such devotion. He gestured to the necklace. “It wasn’t easy. I had to make my family lock me in a cellar while I did the first few transformations.” The alicorn winced in pity. With no proper proctor for a lunar stallion’s birth, it could’ve easily destroyed him. If the ancestors had turned their backs on this stallion, it could have killed him outright. “But, now I’m here.” He said, smiling at her more genuinely now. “Ready to serve, your majesty.” He snapped a salute that needed practice, but the respect was genuine.

Luna stared. This changed everything. If the lunar stallions of the past had passed their armor down from father to son… if there were more out there, awaiting the return of the lunar stallions… she felt a little dizzy suddenly. Aegis Shield and Stalwart hide looked a little pale as well. They looked to their princess for direction. “It seems—” Luna whispered, taking a breath to right herself. “It seems there are far more than two of you.” She cocked her head. “What is thy name?” she asked the newcomer, finally gathering herself into a more regal posture. She glanced at his flank, where what appeared to be a rubber hammer was pictured.

“My name is Hammer Shot.” He said, bowing before his princess and spreading his wings upon the ground. Luna winced at the very, very old gesture. It was an ancient Equestrian bow that invited her to stomp on his wings if he displeased her. Another tradition passed down through the ages, it seemed. She hadn’t much liked it when it was new, but the lunar stallions had insisted on adopting it. “It’s an honor to serve you, Princess Luna. You have no idea how long my family and I have been waiting for this.” He beamed at her.

Luna looked over at Aegis Shield, swallowing for a moment before speaking. “Aegis Shield, send word to the castle staff that they will assemble a cleaning team for me immediately. We must prepare the ancient lunar barracks. Not just the great room. All of it.” The guard nodded, spreading his wings and hovering for a moment as she spoke again. “With the appearance of Hammer Shot, I have the feeling that more may soon follow.” She said. Aegis saluted, then pumped his wings hard. He rocketed skyward, circled once, and then jetted off towards the palace.


And so it was over the next few months or so that a sprinkling of lunar stallions appeared from all over Equestria. They hailed from Manehatten. From Los Pegasus. From Appleoosia. All sorts of places. Most of them were from old families with old money, business owners or athletes or even guards themselves. They came from all walks of life and all corners of the land. Each had heard of the lunar stallions from their fathers and grandfathers, and sold their businesses to fulfill their destinies. Coming quickly by air, land, and sea to Canterlot each bore the ancient phrase of worship, Vivas Noctus. Long live the night.

The lunar barracks was quickly scrubbed down and restocked to its former glory. Furniture was brought in, bunks occupied and jobs given out. Lunar stallions began to appear during the night shifts of guard duty in Canterlot. The public was frightened at first, but soon saw they weren’t too different from their solar counterparts. Just scarier-looking. Celestia was a little miffed at having to shuffle her own guards around to make room, but it wasn’t as though she could deny the reemergence of the ancient order. It was a miracle. The sun princess thought the order all but vanished but no, here they were, rising from the ashes as soon as they got word of a lunar stallion or two in Canterlot. It was like drawing bees with honey. None could resist the call and their families sent forth their strongest sons to join. Before long, there were over seventy lunar stallions in all. And not just pegasi, either. Some of them were unicorns, and there were several earth ponies among them as well. Luna turned none of them away. To do so would be to shame them and dash their family’s sacred honor.

The princess herself was understandably a little overwhelmed by it all. Two had been more than enough, she’d thought. But now there were over seventy of them, all of which looked to her for orders and worship. They treated her like a goddess, revered her words and saluted her whenever she entered a room. They adored her just for being herself. She was a princess, but it was hard not to feel very flattered by it all. Celestia was used to such things, but it had been more than a thousand years since Luna had been truly in charge of anypony. Soon, both Aegis Shield and Stalwart Hide were promoted to captains of the guard, the leaders of the lunar stallions. Their ponies were fiercely loyal, and did anything they asked with striking efficiency.

Luna’s nights with Aegis Shield slowly turned more romantic. They studied the stars together, often slept in the same bed, and grew closer and closer. She loved her stallion very much, and he her, with all his heart. It was all coming together, at last. Her true return as the princess of the night. She felt very much at ease from then on, and in her dreams she could often hear the cheering of her new lunar stallions. “Vivas Noc! Noc! Noctus! Vivas Noc! Noc! Noctus!”.

Long live the night.


Lay Thy Mare

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Luna’s Story: Rise of the Solar Stallions
Epilogue: Lay Thy Mare

Aegis Shield lay on his back, gasping as his lifeblood pooled heavily around him on the throne room tile. Nopony had seen the griffon assassin coming but he. There was no time to react, he’d only leapt into the way. The spear had buried itself in his throat, under the flap of the armor. He fell gagging and clutching at himself, red fountaining from his neck.

Stalwart Hide leapt to protect the princess, but the enraged alicorn had other ideas. Rising from her throne on all fours, she lifted her horn mightily and grabbed the fleeing attacker by magic. Heaving the treacherous bird-lion bodily to the ground, she gritted her teeth in effort as he squawked and fought back and forth. “Princess! We’ve got him!” Stalwart offered.

“Send for aid, Aegis needs you more than we!” Luna roared, sending the stallion running for help. As his hoof-falls faded and the midnight court grew more still, ponies peered out from behind columns and under tables. The alicorn quivered with rage, eyes flicking down at her fallen stallion, then up to the assassin. “Throw spears at us, will you?” she gave a cruel twist of magic, gesturing with her horn. “Will you?!” The griffon flew, screaming, skyward. Tumbling end over end until he was a dot in the sky, ensnared in the princess’ will, soon nopony could see him. She made a harsh gesture. The dot in the sky popped like a zit. No feathers, or even drops of blood, came back down. The ponies all around the room stared in horror. Luna panted a bit, a bead of sweat going down her temple. Whirling around she rushed down the dais to the dying Aegis Shield.

“Prin--- *gargle*--“ The stallion said through the blood gushing out of his neck.

“Do not speak.” She said, shushing him. She lifted her head, looking towards the open double doors. Stalwart Hide would not be quick enough. He would bleed out on the floor. She squinted, eyeing the aura of the armor he wore. It gave him some healing ability, yes, but this was a mortal wound. “Aegis! Aegis!” she flung herself o’er his chest, his blood soaking into her ethereal mane and turning the starry night in it red. Blots of his lifeblood floated in it.

A spray of golden sparks and a crack of parted air announced Celestia’s presence. “Sister! I sensed violent magicks! What’s—?!” she stopped with a gasp, taking in the scene. “Dear Faust!” she ran quickly with her wings all the way open, propelling herself across the room.

“He is dying, Tia!” Luna whimpered, pressing her hoof to his gushing neck. The stallion shuddered wildly, staring at the ceiling with tears rushing out of his eyes. “I don’t know what to do! I’m not a doctor!” she whimpered and shook, trying to comfort her dying love as his eyes began to glaze over. “His armor will not save him!”

“His armor?”

“The power we embued in his armor has some healing effects, but even if he were the ONLY Lunar stallion, he wouldn’t have enough magic!” Luna said, still crying.

Celestia peered over the stallion’s regalia, squinting at it on the plane of magic. It glowed like a bright star. “Then perhaps he needs a super-charge.” The alicorn said. There was a clopping of many hooves when a gaggle of medical ponies, a handful of lunar stallions, and Stalwart Hide came stampeding into the room. “Everypony stand clear!” she said, horn igniting.

“T-Tia what if it doesn’t work?!” Luna said, pulling his head into the crook of her arm. His heart was slowing. His whole body was shaking. The blood was quietly spreading.

“The same power that struck me down at the royal wedding can save him, Luna.” Celestia said, gritting her teeth as greater layers of magic cocooned around her horn. “Aide me.” She said, wings spreading like antenna. “Its lunar magic, I cannot do it alone.”

Sniffling quickly, Luna ignited her horn as her sister’s way. “I can be the conduit, please, give me everything you can.” She begged her sister. They locked eyes for just a moment. Celestia knew. This was the stallion her sister had fallen in love with. The white alicorn studied his sweating, terrified face. Panting with effort, Luna leaned down over the fallen Aegis Shield’s breast plate. Closing her eyes, she set her jaw and concentrated on the armor itself. She’d helped create it, she knew exactly how it all worked. The nature of the beast was complex, but not unconquerable. She moaned in effort, and the wild sparks of magic between the sisters sent arcing bolts of blue magic between the two of them.

The ancestors in the back of Aegis’ head lifted their muzzles. Somepony was talking directly to them. Standing in their usual organized rows, they perked their ears back and forth. The voice was female, desperate and pleading. The princess! They’d served her in life and now she spoke to them in death! They raised their voices in song, a deep and vibrating brass bell of power. No words, just emotion. A hundred upon a hundred stallions, joining in one long and answering note. Heal him, she willed. Yes, yes princess, they obeyed. Ignited by the powerhouse of two alicorns giving them extra nourishment, they spread their wings and took off into oblivion, exploding into countless dark blue sparks. The space between spaces, inside the armor, was alive with magic and furious activity.

Celestia peeked with one eye through her concentration. Aegis Shield’s neck was closing up slowly, the muscle filling in. The puddle of blood was slowly retreating, like somepony had turned a video on reverse. Reverse-waterfalling up around his neck, it flooded back into him until the spear-wound was gone altogether. Not even a scar. Luna continued to linger over the stallion, though. “Luna, he is safe now.” Celestia said gently, putting a hoof on her shoulder. “Luna? Luna!”

The dark alicorn kept going, kept pushing, not wanting to let up until everything was more than okay. She would not lose her beloved stallion. She would give everything she had. She would not lose him. Dark sparkles of magic and the aura of lunar magic continued to rush back and forth over him. Every cut, bruise, and mark he’d ever gotten would vanish before she was done with him. Very suddenly she ran over her limit and passed out, flopping over like a limp ragdoll. Celestia gave a short shriek, and the lunar stallions rushed to aid her.


Luna lay on her back in her bed, sleeping soundly. Celestia was on her belly, a book hovering in front of her while she waited for her sister to awaken. The dark alicorn moaned, turning on her side and slitting her eyes open. “Tia?” she whispered.

“You pushed yourself a bit too hard there, dear sister.” Celestia smiled a little, putting the book down. Opening her wings and getting up onto the bed with her, she settled to nuzzle her sister. “I’m glad you’re alright.”

“Aegis Shield—?!”

“--Is fine. He woke up before you did. He’s outside right now, no doubt with his ear pressed to the door.” Celestia snickered softly when both sisters heard a loud shuffling outside. Luna swooned a little with dizziness, but managed to right herself and stand. Even after exhausting herself like that, she could still get up and move normally. She was an alicorn after all. Rushing to the door on foal-like shaky legs, she threw it open to find her stallion. Aegis Shield beamed at her, and she threw her hooves around his neck, her whole mane flopping over him in the rush. “Well then.” Celestia smiled emusedly. “I can see I’m the third wheel here.” She teased, rising gracefully. Neither pony noticed that the white alicorn just happened to take the other two guards stationed at the door with her. That left Luna and Aegis alone.

She practically dragged him into her room, slamming the door shut behind them. He chuckled ticklishly while she examined his neck with her muzzle, nodding up and down to get under the fur. He wasn’t even spattered with blood, or marked with a scar. She smiled widely, kissing him. “Thou art okay!” she crushed him to herself and he smiled, hugging her back. “Thou took a spear for me! In the neck!”

“S’my job.” Aegis Shield said, smiling weakly. “It’s been, what, a couple of hundred years since the last assassination attempt in Equestria?” he couldn’t recall the last one, but it had been ages ago. “I’m gonna be in the history books!” the stallion threw his chest out and she chuckled, leaning into him and nuzzling.

“Ah yes, all glory to you my stallion.” Luna chuckled playfully. She peered at the tinted windows of the balcony. It was early evening, technically their sleeping time. “Come to bed, Aegis.” She whispered, nosing his cheek a little. He nodded, tapping the eyeball on his armor. It retracted with the sound of drawing swords. Her brown, blonde stallion followed her to the alicorn sized bed and she threw herself upon it. She reached for him needily, and he clambered in after her. Smiling, she took off his medallion and set it on the bed stand. “This night thou art merely Aegis Shield, my stallion.” She whispered in a sultry way. Her hooves hooked around him and they lay next to each other, nuzzling affectionately. “Not a lunar stallion, just my stallion.” Reaching, she pulled the tiny knotted rope to close the curtains of her bed. They fell like liquid velvet, enclosing them in darkness.

Aegis smiled at her softly, but finally worked up the courage to speak. “Something changed while you were out, Luna.” He said softly, his eyes shifting to one side. “I dunno how to say it…” he whispered, face turning a little pink.

“Merely say it then, and end thy misery.” She said, cupping his cheek with concern.

“My bits grew back.” He blurted. Her brow rose and her eyebrows vanished into her bangs as her jaw dropped a little. She stared at him, stunned. What a thing to say! He curled a little, pulling his hooves in towards his under carriage. Without word or warning she seized one of his back legs and lifted, peering at him. “What is it with you and doing that?!” he laughed, red-faced. She looked embarrassed and quickly released him. Sure enough, the ugly stitching scars were gone and all the… equipment, was there. Like it had never been taken from him.

“But how…?” she whispered softly, trying to keep her eyes on his face now. “Thy stallionhood is restored!” she gulped a little, looking back and forth with a little heat in her face.

“I asked Celestia.” He said in a low murmur, scratching his mane a little. “She said that since the lunar stallion armor is designed to treat injuries on its own through magic… well, missing something like that would probably make it think I was injured. When both of you super-charged the armor, it used a chunk of that energy to… well… make me whole again.” He blushed, barely able to say such things out loud.

“How didst thou pee without one?” Luna suddenly blurted, for the question had been bothering her for months. “Squat like a mare?” he threw his head back and laughed aloud, hooking his hooves around her neck. He nodded in earnest. “But now… whole again.” She mumbled, flicking her gaze down at his belly.

“Why princess!” he said, pulling away to look miffed at her. “Thou art not thinking to make me a harem slave, art thou?” He mimicked her old tongue and she shoved his shoulder with a snort.

“Do not tease us!” she laughed as he leaned over her. Slowly, slowly, their smiles faded. The quiet question passed between them. Aegis Shield returned to lean over her and, before his eyes, he saw her wings quietly rise to display themselves. Despite her laying on her back, her powerful span pushed pillows and rumpled blankets away. The ancient gesture of open courtship was heady and erotic, something that only pegasi really understood. Sure, the other pony races knew what it was, but truly it mattered most to other winged ponies. Luna hadn’t seemed to notice she’d made it, for she was looking deeply into his eyes. Breathing in her scent, the stallion let himself down and kissed her quietly. For almost an hour they shared the bed quietly, neither daring to go beyond their usual fare. Heady kisses and quiet nuzzling was all they could ever do before. A stray nip of the teeth or giggle were highlights.

“Luna…” Aegis Shield whispered while she nibbled strongly on his ear. The heady musk of desire was starting to be more and more prevalent in their bed. Luna shuffled just a little, pulling her stallion atop her. He went for her neck with quiet teeth and she would yelp now and then, a bead of sweat crossing her forehead as her mouth made a perfect o-shape. There in the darkness he finally said it, “I want you.” She shivered as he returned to kiss her again, a certain something growing between them and pressing at her belly.

“Oh my stallion…” she whispered, giving a shy chuckle as his arousal showed off his masculine wingspan for her. It was preened and very, very attractive. Basic instincts were rising in both of them, and the stallion’s scent was growing stronger. He’d not had it before. It was like… salt, and sweat. The ache of earth and the spice of fire. A heady, stinging scent that made her moan quietly. Shifting her weight awkwardly, she gave a little yip of effort until finally he held himself up so she could shift properly. She hugged a pillow to her chest and meekly looked over her shoulder at him. Be gentle my love, her eyes said. Her haunches lifted for him, meekly.

Aegis leaned over her as a stallion should his mare, rearing up to mount her. She gave a quiet cry, setting her back legs rigidly. Leaning slowly, romantically, he kissed her rump and then laid more kisses forward along her spine. She shuddered softly. His hooves hooked slowly around her as his weight and masculinity came forward.

They made quiet, flushed, yipping love. He clung to her, panting her name in his efforts of passion. It was all she could do but whimper his name and set her teeth so she didn’t scream and fill the room with guards. Luna was no virgin, but ohhh… her stallion… mmm… He moved within her, sweat slowly dripping from his flanks and hot gasps wetting her wings as he worked at her furiously. All of the tension of not-so-secret sexual desire melted away between them. The sweating, gallant stallion grunted with each forward motion, rolling himself into her larger, slender body.


On the other side of the palace, Celestia recoiled when her tea suddenly turned bright pink in her cup. The taste had gone off the deep end of sweetness, tang’d with something like… oranges? It was hard to tell. Somepony had just gotten REALLY happy, she saw in her tea. Blink-blinking, realization swept o’er her face and her nearby butler asked if she was alright, for her face was flushed. She dismissed him and put her head under a pillow, trying NOT to think about her sister getting furiously rutted.

There was a knock at her door, “Your majesty, a stallion from Ponyville is here to see you. He said he had an appointment with Princess Luna about restocking the palace’s fruit supply, but she is nowhere to be found for the moment…” he trailed off, hoping Celestia could help. The solar princess rose with a pleasant nod, wiping the embarrassed expression off of her face.

She emerged out into the hall and followed the butler to a small meeting room. None other than Big Macintosh Apple sat awkwardly in a chair, waiting for his audience. Celestia’s brow rose. He was a large pony, almost as big as her. And such a great big barrel chest… The princess felt a certain warmth in her cheeks and she stood there in the doorway, staring at him for a long time. Well wasn’t he a handsome thing? “Welcome to Canterlot, Big Macintosh.” She smiled quietly.

He turned, smiled, and bowed with a slow bob of his head. “Yer Majesty.” He said. Ohhh, his voice was like a twangy bell of masculinity. She liked it. A lot.

“YEEEEEEAAAAAAS!” A female voice exploded across the sky like an apocalyptic crack of unholy thunder. Flying ponies fell out of the air for miles, struggling to right themselves. Glass panes cracked here and there. Windowsills shuddered. All of Canterlot vibrated on its foundations. Never had there been such a booming cry of ecstasy in the history of the city.

Celestia stood there slack-jawed. A few curls of hair sticking in odd directions, her eyes had turned into tiny prick-pupils. Big Macintosh looked around in confusion. “What in your name was that…?” he mumbled to the princess, looking at the coffee table in front of him. The tea set, kettle and all, had melted into a sheet of gooey porcelain and then re-hardened into a blank sheet. Tea dribbled this way and that, bright pink.

Nothing. Nothing at all to be concerned about.” Celestia said a little robotically, mentally shutting down all of her magical radars. She didn’t even want to know what her sister might or might not be during at this point. Big Mac wasn’t sure he believed her.


Luna lay on her side, flushed and purring. Aegis Shield smiled softly, pulling her head to rest on his chest. She shifted a little, her long legs bicycling a little as she huddled up to her lover. “Mhhh, how do you feel?” he whispered softly, kissing the top of her head lovingly.

“Mmm… sticky.” She said softly, then giggled a bit. He snickered softly, flopping down at last to rest. “We promise not to do that each time. We do.” She smiled embarrassedly as he looked around the room in shock. The balcony windows had all blown out, the furniture collapsed into itself, and the vanity had mirror exploded into oblivion. Her crown was hanging from the ceiling, somehow pressed into the stone by one of its little spikes. The curtains that had hidden them were long gone, and a poor homeless pony in Manehatten suddenly found himself with some nice blankets. Where they’d come from and why they were so fancy, he’d never know. “H'ohhh, my stallion…” Luna purred, leaning into his petting. Aegis Shield smiled wider, nuzzling his lover.



A/N: Be sure to read the sequel, "Wrath of the Moon Champion"!