Blood Moon Rising

by Swift Ebony

First published

Luna does not know that it is, but that doesn't stop her from saving everyone she can. Nothing will stand in her way.

While visiting "Seneighca", a settlement isolated for centuries within the deep forests of the northeast and only recently discovered by Equestrians, Luna finds herself swept up in a dire situation. Instead of playing politics, she finds herself face to face with a foul beast that threatens the lives of her new friends, but that is not all what troubles her.

After returning to Canterlot, grim occurrences seem to follow the princess wherever she goes and ponies begin accusing her as the culprit. She does her best to investigate what is happening with the help of Twilight Sparkle, but one night she stumbles upon something that changes everything.

The story takes places sometime between Season 4 and Season 5.

Chapter 1 - The Princess of the Night

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Limping through the ancient riverbed, Luna hugged the wall of the deep earthen rut, as the shrill cries of frantic ponies echoed about. They fled in desperation throughout the town, frantically trying to escape them. At a disheartening pace, the princess trudged down the barren river where water once flowed freely. Now, it was nothing more than a memory, a hollow ditch that snaked about the town.

The distressed sounds of ponies created a tight knot deep in her stomach, sickening Luna. Her mouth twisted and grimaced at their pain. Frankly, she did not understand what was happening. Which is precisely the reason why I am here, she thought, stating her doubts. These ponies need my help.

Continuing her trek through the narrow trench, she squinted, narrowing her turquoise eyes against the sun’s rays. The harsh sunlight filtered past the wispy clouds in the sky above and struck her face, aggravating her headache. However, the rays soon faded into hues of violet and crimson, indicating dusk was on its way. She sighed in relief for the small comfort.

“How did this even start?” Luna asked herself quietly. “More importantly, what were those monsters?” She thought back to when she wandered the woods, enjoying the stillness of the enchanting forest. She reveled in the smell of maple leaves and evergreens, their earthy aroma relaxing, but her stroll amidst the trees was cut short. Four beasts jumped from the shadows, charging out from under the trees, their ferocious claws and teeth bared. They roared ferociously, lunging after the Princess like she was prey.

Startled, she had only thought of escaping, daring not to challenge such large creatures alone. Luna ran as fast as she could, weaving in and out of trees, flying through the underbrush. She tried to catch a glimpse of her pursuers, looking back into the thicket behind, but in that moment she injured her leg. Her hoof caught uneven ground sending her stumbling forward. The princess recovered from her slip, rising once more to evade her pursuers.

After what had seemed like an eternity of mindless running, Luna found the edge of the forest, coming across a grassy plain, her mind unnerved. Using the small reprieve to rest, she breathed in slowly and exhaled with a cough. Scanning the landscape, she spotted smoke rising from a village in the distance. The princess took flight, assuming the worst had befallen the town.

A resonant, deep howling pulled Luna back to the present. She rounded a bend in the riverbed, happening upon a section of partially collapsed bank that she thought was climbable. Peering over the edge, she scanned for potential dangers. Instead, three buildings, seemingly unharmed from the destruction, lay before her. “Perfect,” she thought aloud as she glanced about, double checking that no monster was eyeing her.

With a mighty flap of her wings, she lifted herself out of the riverbed and into the open, rushing to the nearest of the houses. Luna quickly opened the back door, which was surprisingly unlocked, and crossed carefully over the threshold into the lifeless room. Inside, she spotted sacks of flour slumped lazily on the floor and dinnerware laid out on the table, silent and untouched.

She scanned the kitchen for any clues that would indicate where the residents had run off to. “There is no sign of a struggle.” she whispered aloud, warily strolling across the wooden floors. “Perhaps they were able to escape and ran out the back ...”

Finding the stairs, she slowly made her way up. At the crook, she noticed the framed pictures that hung along the wall. They were photographs of three earth ponies, a tall chestnut colored stallion with a colt and a younger filly, each smiling enthusiastically back at Luna. Continuing up to the second floor, she found herself in a bright hallway.

Lit by the dazzling light of the fires, a skylight window poured a spectrum of eventide colors into the corridor. Luna turned the brass knob of the first door, but it was locked. “Hello?” she asked in a hushed tone, but there was no answer. She tried an identical door across the hall which opened with a small unexpected click.

She found herself in a bedroom fit for a filly. The lovely mellow pastel colors inviting her to enter the cozy little room. Lined with shelves of neatly placed stuffed animals of various sizes, it reminded her of her sister’s room when she was little. For a moment, Luna felt calm, even relaxed, as the pain of her headache finally subsided.

Exhaling deeply, she quietly strode over the carpeted floor and around the bed to the window. She parted the cotton curtains, and peered out. In silence, Luna watched as the chaos unfold below like a dramatic play.

One by one beasts chased ponies down like a predator would prey, forcefully herding them into the town square. Expressions of fright strew across every face as they gripped each other tightly, refusing to let go. Some pegasi dashed for the sky, but before they could even realize it, the monsters tackled them from the rooftops. “What in the name of Star Swirl’s beard is going on?” she gasped in a muffled voice, backing away from the window slowly.

Luna proceeded to sit on the bed to process what she just saw, and it responded with a squeak. She jumped quickly from the bed in surprise. Cautiously, the princess lifted up the frilly sheets revealing two ponies cowering in terror. The little sister wore a face of absolute terror, screaming loudly upon seeing the dark mare. Her older brother cried just as loud, sticking his hoof out as if to defend himself.

The mare quickly made a sign with her hooves to hush the children, but the sister continued to sob uncomfortably loud. Shaking her head vigorously, she put her hoof over the child’s mouth, muffling her screams, but the colt pulled his sister away into his grip.

“Go away!” the colt screamed, his voice raw and dry. He gripped his sister tighter and tried to shuffle away from the tall dark mare. Luna reached her hoof out toward the colt. “Shush! They will hear us!” Luna hissed, making the sister cry convulsively. Alarmed, she lowered her voice and urged them to come out of hiding. “Please, you have nothing to fear little one. I only wish to help you.”

“No!” He burst out “You’re evil! You’re the Mare in the Moon!” The words were laced with terror and accusation. Luna felt insulted, and there was no doubt they were attracting unwanted attention.

“You little foal!” She whispered angrily. “They will find us! Do you not understand? Your screams will only-” The sound of shattering glass erupted down stairs, their heads jerking towards the sound. The little filly let out a wild shriek, loud enough to make the blood run cold in Luna veins.

They’re inside! She thought as she reached for the door handle, fumbling in her haste to lock it. Luna backed away and dug her hooves into the thick carpeting, pointing her horn at the door. Her pulse rising, she braced herself.

There came a mad rush of roars from below, the same unholy hollering she experienced in the woods. Reaching the top of the stairs, they tumbled into the hall and barged through the door, splintering it into a thousand pieces. Crimson eyes stared hungrily at Luna who was ready to launch a barrage of magic.

But nothing came out. Before she even had the chance to register what just happened, one of them tackled her, knocking her to the floor with a loud thud. They are too strong! She thought, struggling against the sheer weight of the beast. Luna thrashed her hooves about trying to hit the creature, but its massive physique easily overpowered her. She could not break free much less move. The beast grinned slyly into her face, its drool dripping down onto her muzzle.

Disgusted, feeling the spittle run down her mouth, she shook her head about vigorously, ramming the beast in the eye with her horn. It howled in rage, giving her the chance to buck it off her. The filly screamed once more in response. In her brief moment of freedom, Luna was seized once more as a pair of the creatures grabbed her legs out from beneath her.

Violently yanked out out the door, Luna tried to grab something, anything to keep from being pulled, but her efforts were in vain. She barely had a moment, much to her horror, to see the wailing filly taken from her brother. The colt managed to strike out at the beast in retaliation, but he too was scooped up the monster. “Curse you! Leave them be!” Luna shrieked in desperation just before they dragged her madly through the hall and down the stairs. With a sickening crack, her head bashed against the steps, effectively blackening her out.


Luna's eyes slowly fluttered open. Nose in the dirt, she lied on her stomach in the middle of the village, herded along with its residents. She had only enough energy to lazily roll over on her back, her heavy laden legs flipping with her. She tried to stretch them out and move them, but only succeeded with meager results. Glancing to her side to investigate her grievous surroundings, she listened to the lamentation of others. It was heartbreaking and moreover to her disappointment, the siblings were nowhere in sight.

Her head pounded and throbbed in a nauseating rage. She ran a hoof along her forehead finding a large bump, wincing with pain as she gingerly poked at it. Much to her dismay, she also saw that her wings were in no condition to fly. They were a disheveled mess, and judging from the pain she experienced in her right wing, it was undoubtedly broken.

But what can I do? She closed her eyes, hoping that would help her in some way, but then she heard hoofsteps approaching her. Looking about, the princess located a tall and dark figure, stalking ever so closer.

Luna made no mistake in identifying this wretched creature. Dark battle armor, a coat as black as the shadow of twilight, and a sinister smile that made her skin crawl… It was Nightmare Moon. “B-But I don't understand. I’m Nightmare Moon! Or rather, I was.” The princess of the night stammered, her mouth barely getting the words out.

“There can only be one princess in Equestria!” the wicked mare howled. A resounding roar of stamping and beastly howls erupted from the creatures. “And that princess shall be me!”

Nightmare Moon brought her gaze down and glared maliciously into her other half’s eyes. “And you!” The wretched Mare snarled. “Did you really think I would sit idly by and watch you grow into the weak foal you have become?” she asked as a devilish grin widened across her face. “This time, the night will last forever and neither you nor Celestia cannot do anything about it!” With a roar of laughter, the Dark Mare’s hooves rose and fell, pounding away at Luna’s breast, knocking the air from her lungs. She screamed out in agony as blow after blow bruised her body and knocked her about like trash.

The wicked Mare of darkness laughed maniacally at the physically harassed princess. Luna lay gasping, sweat dripping down her face. The cowering villagers scuffled away, leaving her without help. She attempted to cast a spell to teleport away, but the magic in her remained dormant. Nothing happened, not even a fizzle. But why? Now of all times! she thought angrily, her hope quickly fading.

“Luna!” A familiar voice cried out in the distance, compelling Nightmare Moon to pause her cackling. Turning her head quickly, she spotted Celestia galloping hard towards her. Golden bursts of magic cleared a path for the Princess of the sun, blasting through creatures of darkness foolish enough to get in her way..

“Celes-tia?” Luna wheezed, the words barely leaving her mouth as she panted. She drew in sharp breaths as blood ran down her face, her beaten and bruised body too sore to respond with much else.. “No ...”

“Lunaaa!” Celestia cried again, desperation in her voice, tears of rage and sorrow flickering in her eyes. A beast jumped from the thatched roof of one of the houses, its body posed to pounce on the white mare. Without a second glance the Princess of the sun rounded on the beast, blasting it with a bolt of magic. Its limp body flying yards away in the opposite direction.

Even as every beast stupid enough to charge directly at the white mare fell, Nightmare Moon could only laugh. Brimming with dark magic, she charged her horn. The dark clouds that covered the starry night overhead broke, and the wicked mare smiled gleefully, much to Luna’s horror.

Nightmare Moon brought down the heavens and the sky fell about her. Bright balls of light came crashing down, shaking the earth with near-deafening explosions, rattling the ground below. The closest one, a burning ball of immense energy, hurtled straight for Celestia.

The Princess of the night clenched her jaws. Luna felt the tears welling up in her eyes. “No!” she gasped, her ability to speak returning. “Save yourself Tia!” Unyielding, Celestia continued her foolhardy charged, unafraid of the death from above. Please…

Luna was close enough to see the tears roll down her sister’s face as she mouthed just two words. “I’m sorry.” And in an instant, the white mare disappeared with a great flash. The princess of the night could not believe it.

“No!” Luna screamed, her eyes bursting wide open, bloodshot and sore. Tears streamed down her face as she searched frantically around the room, only to find a royal guard, his mouth agape. He held his spear in an aura of white light as if posed to attack.

Looking about the room to find no intruder, he holstered his weapon and walked over to the princess’s bed side. “Are you alright your highness?” the guard asked, genuine worry in his voice. “I heard screaming, so I assumed the worse and entered the room…”

Luna blinked as she sat up, her rapid breathing subsiding. “Yes… Yes, tis fine.” mumbled Luna, her voice low. Clutching her head, she glanced away from the light shining through the room. “No need to explain yourself captain.” She responded, still trying to calm herself down. “It was nothing. It was, just... a dream.”

Shimmering Might stood in the awkward silence between them, fighting the urge to fidget in his suit of armor. Iron wheels thumped heavily against the steel tracks, shaking the carriage as he waited earnestly for the princess to speak again. Luna just sat where she was, her body covered in a cold sweat, seemingly paralyzed and numb. By her bedside, a candlestick still laid smoking next to a vial of bitter liquid.

“Princess,” he started, clearing the lump out of his throat as he recalled his orders. “I was instructed to inform you that we will soon be arriving at the Seneighca settlement. The royal adviser, Kibitz, also ordered me to wake you from your nap."

“Thank you,” Luna said nodding slightly, still sitting motionless and still. “Tell Kibitz I won’t be long. You may return to your post now.” The pony saluted stiffly as he made his way back to the door, glad that he was finally excused.

“Oh and captain …” Luna called, looking down at her covers. The captain turned around, saluting stiffly. “Yes your highness?” he replied. Beneath the comforter, her hooves trembled. She desperately wished for them to stop, but they continued to shake uncontrollably. She shut her eyes tightly. “Tell not a soul what happened.” Luna muttered.

“Yes Ma’am.” Executing a perfect about face, he exited the room swiftly and Luna found herself alone once again. Lying back down on her soft feather pillow, she wanted nothing more than to huddle underneath her sheets. Frankly, she felt exhausted. “It feels like I haven't slept for days,” Luna thought aloud as she slowly rubbed the sand out of her eyes. “And that dream ...No, that nightmare seemed extraordinarily vivid.” Thinking about the ordeal made Luna cringe.

Rolling over on her stomach, she buried her face into the soft feather pillow and wrapped her arms around her shaking body. But it was just a dream ...right? The thought crossed Luna’s mind as she faded back into a calm slumber, letting reality slip away.


Lazily resting her head on her hoof, Luna stared listlessly out the window, as shaggy trees rushed by in a blur of tangerine oranges and vermillion. The sun shone high above the scenery, bathing her in a warm glow. Vast woodlands momentarily broke into a wide open field of wild grasses and various flowers whose earthy scents filled the cabin.

Their smell was intoxicatingly sweet to the senses, bringing a small grin to the princess's face. The train then reentered the endless mass of trees, refilling the room with the pleasant smell of sweet maples and white pines. Sighing, Luna shut her eyes, but a shudder from the train quickly shocked her back into the moment.

Striding over to the large burgundy chair in the center of the room, the Princess of the Night calmly took her seat. “Let us review who I will be meeting and why we are here Kibitz,” she instructed. The old bespectacled unicorn stood in the middle of the room donning his usual posh red jacket and gray undershirt.

“Very well your highness.” Clearing his throat, he began. “We are currently enroute the small settlement of ‘Seneighca’ near the north eastern border of our nation. The ponies there have invited you to their celebration of the harvest moon. This particular herd has long been isolated from the rest of Equestria, discovered only recently by an avid explorer. Since first contact they have been quite open with our nation, allowing us to introduce our technology, send a variety of advisers, and even allowing us to establish a school to teach Equestrian. From what I understand, a fair number, including the chief, have already skillfully mastered our language.” Calmly, he pressed his glasses back onto his muzzle.

“Quite impressive,” Luna added as she stroked her chin thoughtfully. “He is certainly dedicated, but what of their economy?” she asked, leaning back into the chair.

Moving down his ridiculously long piece of vellum, he found the appropriate section.“Their village specializes largely in lumber, subsistence farming, and miscellaneous small crafts. With the recent expansion of a railway to their village, they hope to receive tourists to grow their small economy. It seems that they are very open to the idea of modernizing, as it were, but Chief Askuwheteau has made it clear to our previous ambassadors that he is intent on preserving their traditional way of life.”

“Quite understandable.” Luna remarked, her eyes staring sternly at the elderly pony. “I want to make it clear to our delegates that we will not force any foreign ideas these ponies do not want. This shall be our policy. Is that clear Kibitz?” His head bobbed affirmatively, shaking his bifocals loose from his face. “Good.” she intoned, her voice firm and adamant. “And what of his family?”

“His only surviving family member is his daughter.” he continued, shifting his eyeglasses back into place. “I am happy to note that she will be marrying one of the young stallions on this auspicious celebration of the moon. And if I may Princess, I feel it is essential to inform you that many of these ponies, the chief included, think very highly of you and feel deeply honored to know that you are the one who raises the moon.” Kibitz mused, his eyebrows gleefully rising. “According to my sources, they think of you as some sort of … higher power.

Her eyes lit up. “Oh?” Luna chimed, a look of amusement grew on her face. “I do appreciate the sentiment,” Luna nodded. “But I am a mere pony tasked with looking over our nation. My magic is a simple gift that aids me in my royal duties.”

“I agree your highness,” Kibitz agreed, happily grinning. He then casually took out his pocket watch, wrinkles of surprise appearing on his forehead. “Princess!” he blurted, hastily jabbing the watch into her face. “We have to cut this briefing short!”

With a long whistling hiss and bursts of steam, the train pulled into the small station. Luna, Kibitz, and two royal guards stepped out onto the platform, finding themselves face to face with a middle-aged, sinewy pony adorning a colorful headband.

“Princess Luna!” the Chief boomed, the feathers and beads of his headdress shifting with his words. “Your presence honors us!” Greeted the chief with a deep bow. “We humbly extend a warm welcome to you and your companions! Please accept this small offering.” Ponies bearing small gifts and wild flowers approached the princess as they laid their respective presents at her hooves.

Luna accepted all of them with a polite smile, thanking them for their generosity. In a whisper, she politely asked Captain Shimmering Might and Sergeant Silver Aegis to carry the numerous items to her room. “Thank you very much for the gifts, but they were certainly not necessary.”

“Not at all your highness.” explained the giant pony, shaking his head. “I am Chief Askuwheteau and it is a pleasure to finally meet you your highness. I apologize for not having a bigger welcoming ceremony for a princess of Equestria.” The chief let out a sigh, his tone dropping with a hint of uncertainty in his voice. “But our villagers are very busy with the preparations for the evening and we could fall behind schedule.”

“Tis perfectly fine,” she responded curtly. “I do not wish to detract ponies from their business, but I am also looking forward to the festivities and feast later this evening.” A glint of excitement appeared in her eyes as she thought of all the exotic sweets she heard about. “It is a rare chance for me to take a break from my duties and indulge in such activities, but I thought it necessary that I finally meet with you in person.”

“I am very glad to finally meet you as well Princess Luna. I hope that both our parties may benefit mutually from your visit. You are welcome of course to stay for my daughter’s wedding as well. I know this will put a strain on your valuable time, but attending such a special occasion would be most appreciated,” encouraged the Chief. He motioned toward the young stallion waiting patiently at his side.

“Come! I want you to meet Matunaagd! He will be showing you around the village because, I am sorry to say, I am needed elsewhere. Please excuse me Princess Luna.” Nodding, she watched as the chief bowed once more before departing, his entourage following closely after him.

“Welcome to our village your highness,” the pony began with a curt bow. “I have observed that our native language is very foreign to your mouths, so I will be your translator for the day.” A slight expression of surprise appeared on Luna’s face. How convenient, she thought as she studied the chestnut colored pony. “You may just call me Mat Princess Luna.”

“I appreciate such thoughtfulness, and you can just call me Luna young Mat.” She told him, pointing to her chest. “I may be a princess, but I am a pony just like yourself.” He wore a puzzled expression and his brows furrowed trying to understand it. “Really Mat, it is quite alright.” She reassured him, and with an unconvinced nod, he quietly conceded.

The Equestrian diplomats followed Mat around the village, touring several of the sites found around Seneighca. From the buildings to the ponies, the stallion explained each of their respective functions and roles with great detail and pride. Much to the amusement of Luna, Kibitz fervently took note of all the information on sheets of parchments, reminding her of a young Twilight.

Walking around the village, Luna could not help but admire the beautifully constructed wooden houses and workshops decorated with intricate pictograms and symbols. But less than the buildings, she admired the ponies. “How many ponies live in this village Mat?” Luna asked casually as she stared at the many ponies busy in their open-air kitchens and shops. He hummed, thinking carefully. “There are exactly 286 ponies living in Seneighca Prin… L-Luna.” Mat stuttered, stumbling over his words. “Most of them are preparing or setting out food on that long table over there.”

A distance aways, several ponies were laying out all the prepared dishes… and desserts! “How wonderful!” she exclaimed enthusiastically. Mat jumped, startled by the sudden outburst, but Kibitz just shook his head and sighed. He knew full well what she was thinking about. “I mean wonderful it is to have such a bountiful feast!” She said sheepishly.

Quickly forgetting her moment of embarrassment, Luna let Mat continue with the tour. Taking in the sights, she observed a detail about their clothing culture, or rather, their lack there of. Naturally this is quite normal for ponies, but Mat explained that headbands they wore are a symbol of community rank. Craftsponies and other work leaders sported a headband of only a couple feathers, but ponies like himself and Chief Askuwheteau adorned many, making for a beautiful display of fashion and authority.

Trotting along, the royal advisor asked a question. “Mister Mat, I noticed something.” Kibitz began, an expression of surprise on his face. “Your village has quite a lot of earth ponies. How do you cope?” Mat tried to form the words in his mouth. “K-Kope?” he asked. The elderly pony looked up from his notes. “I am asking, is this a problem?”

Mat’s response was immediate. “Oh no! Of course not. We cope fine. Our tasks do not need unicorn or pegasus magic because we have no use for it. Most of the time we just produce food and build things out of trees.” he answered happily. “Our life here is quite simple.”

Luna had made the same observation as well. Their life was indeed simple and peaceful. The ponies had a cheerful air about them and those that did pause from their work greeted her with kindness. The children were also quite playful. Mat was explaining how they are excused from work when suddenly a group of them approached Luna much to her delight.

“Wow ...” a little filly gawked, staring at the large pony. “She has wings and a horn! That’s so cool!” Luna was taken aback by the child’s fluency. Two other colts accompanied the filly who also stared at the foreigner. “She’s black like a chìgàwesì!” one shouted. “And she has a moon on her butt!” the other exclaimed. The children all broke out laughing, pointing at her backside. The princess flushed red in embarrassment.

Mat gasped. “Luna! I am so sorry!” he apologized immediately. The stallion glared at the filly and two colts. “You children! That is no way to speak to a princess! Where are your mothers? I will-” Luna cut in. “No Mat. It is quite alright. Let me handle this.”

Lowering her head to the ground, she grinned at the foals who were still recovering from their laughter. “He is right you know. It is not right to laugh at other’s Cutie Marks. Do you know why?” They shook their heads in reply. “It’s because …” Luna flashed a wicked smile bearing sharp teeth. “They might be the Mare in the Moon!” She jumped up and laughed maniacally, making the children shriek in amusement and horror. Soon, Luna was laughing and giggling with them, leaving Mat befuddled. After Luna seemingly laughed herself out, he sternly suggested that they play somewhere else. Just before running off, the children waved goodbye to the Equestrian princess.

Minutes later, Mat’s tour group passed by a group of basket weavers who sat on the grass, casually chatting in their language as they worked. “We had no knowledge of the stone you call ceramic before Equestrian contact” he explained. “The fibers in that special kind of reed they are using are really firm. It is strong enough for us to carry items or to use it as a bowl.” Kibitz quickly dipped his quill in an ink bottle, scribbling away, copying down the information in his notes.

Some of the younger mares in the circle stole shy glances at Luna’s guard as they walked by, and their childish giggles brought the attention of the young Sergeant Aegis. He winked their way making them blush, but Captain Shimmering Might rewarded him with a slap to the head. Much to his embarrassment, the mares laughed. “Sorry Cap’n.” he mumbled, massaging his head.

According to Mat, their tour was soon coming to an end and that he saved the best part for last. “It has certainly been interesting so far Mat,” Luna commented and he simply smiled in reply. She truly enjoyed the feel of the grass beneath her feet and fresh air in her lungs as she followed him. Maybe I had that nightmare because I was stuck inside that cramped train too long.

For the final part of the tour, the group drew near what seemed to be a small makeshift arena. Inside, a few stallions fashioning dangerous and exotic looking weapons of wood and iron. “What are they doing?” Luna gasped, her eyes widening.

“Please do not worry princess, this is merely a dance,” explained Mat, calmly walking over to the stallions. “These ponies have taken a break to perform for you.” Luna could not find the words to describe her mild surprise, but Kibitz quickly spoke up. “Could you please explain further Mister Mat?”

Mat took a breath and began. “Like Ponykind, we are not violent by nature. According to my elders, in the past, we had to fight off many wild beasts of the forest with weapons in order to keep our families safe. We never had any skilled unicorns born into our tribe so we had to make use of what was available to us.” Luna’s eyebrows rose. “Oh, that’s quite interesting” she mentioned. “So you actually fought to defend yourselves?”

“Yes, we had fought strictly in defense, but now that the beasts have since disappeared. We now keep our fighting tradition alive through dance! We are very careful not to hurt others, and it is a great honor for any stallion to participate.” He stated, pointing to the performers who simply nodded their head. “As its current overseer, I take great pride in teaching and participating in the dances.”

“Interesting …” Kibitz replied as he quickly scribbled a note down. “May we see a demonstration?” Mat signaled them to start. “Of course.”

Luna stared at the red-painted stallions brandishing their intimidating weapons, exaggerating every movement they made fighting each other. Accompanied by the beat of drums, they danced to its rhythm, moving rapidly as the song progressed. She felt herself slowly lean forward, letting the music entrance her.

The drums started to beat faster and faster, and the stallions moved in surprising synchronicity with the relentless thundering. Every swing of their weapon and kick of their hooves expertly matched the fierce beat of the percussion, culminating into an almost constant roar. The ponies moved in a blur of motion, but with a final bang of the war drums, the performers suddenly froze in their poses, panting heavily. The tour group was speechless, their mouths on the floor.

The young colts who sat in the stands clapped their hooves enthusiastically and so did Luna. Even Kibitz and the two guard ponies stomped their hooves with zeal. “That was incredible!” the princess proclaimed, bringing a hoof up to whistle. “Yes! It was most pleasing!”

The stallions all bowed as Mat congratulated them on a good performance. “I am quite impressed to see that your community managed to keep such traditional performances alive.” Luna mused, still clapping her hooves. “I dare say that much of our old culture in Equestria has been lost through time.”

Mat only smiled at the princess. “Come, let us take a break.” he said, leading the group away from the arena. “I am sure you all are a bit winded from the walking and excitement.”

The small group of ponies spent the next half hour chatting and enjoying a smooth, comforting local tea only found only around Seneighca. Kibitz was the most talkative of the bunch, asking Mat to clarify the many observations he made. “How does one become a chief? Do you vote? Oh! And what are your views on sexuality?” he questioned. Mat, however, sat their dumbstruck, and Luna just frowned. “Kibitz!” She scolded, sticking a hoof out to stop him. “Please! Such questions can be asked later! Have you no respect?”

Kibitz sulked, “Fine,” he responded, rolling up the long stretch of parchment he had written on. “If that is what you really wish you highness, but I am simply doing my royal duty.” The princess rolled her eyes. “Please ignore him Mat.” She insisted. “Kibitz is quite reliable, but he has a habit of going … overboard sometimes.” The stallion just nodded. “It is fine Luna. I understand.” he replied.

“Now tell me,” she began, scooting closer to Mat. “Who is this mare you are marrying?” The chestnut colored stallion turned slightly red, his face heating up. “Oh, well you see…” he explained, lightly itching his cheek as he spoke. “Her name is Aloomse and we have been together for many moons ...” The princess of the night urged him to go on, a wide grin on her face. “Well, I’ve known her for a long time, ever since we were just foals actually. She’s really beautiful and I love her so much. She is just really dear to me.”

Luna sighed, tilting her said to the side. How romantic ...I wonder if a stallion would ever feel the same way toward me one day. She giggled. Perhaps I am just too old.

“So, where is she now,” she asked the pony who was still red as a beet. “You have yet to introduce her to us, and why are you two not preparing for the wedding? ” Catching himself before he fell into a daydream, Mat explained. “She’s with the food gathering team and the reason why we are not getting ready is because there is nothing to prepare apart from the food. It is just a simple ceremony Luna, and I have not introduced you to her yet because it is considered bad luck if I see her the day of the wedding.”

“I see,” Luna nodded understandingly. “I look forward to the moment I finally meet her. I am sure she is just the type of mare you described. To be honest, I am a bit envious of you.” She twiddled her hooves together, blushing pink. “Do no worry Luna!” Mat spoke up, putting his hoof on her shoulder. “You are a princess. How can no one like you?”

Luna’s small grin turned into a frown. “Oh, it is just I have done some things I regret Mat.” He looked upon her with concern as she let out a deep sigh. “It is like some ponies cannot look past what had happened, and I am sorry to say that I cannot blame them. The old me was truly horrible …” She looked down, thinking about her grievous nightmare, and even Kibitz sour attitude was swayed into sympathy. Sometimes he forgot who he worked with.

“Luna, look at me.” Mat pleaded. She looked up at him with sullen eyes. “Do not let such things sadden you. In time, ponies will understand and learn who you really are, just as we are slowly learning what Equestria is to us. I do not believe you are a bad pony Luna. I just know it.” She grinned a little. “Thanks Mat.” she breathed. The chestnut stallion rose. “Now please Luna, let us go to the stage. It is just about time for the celebration to begin!”

Villagers from around the town flocked hastily to the small makeshift stage, brimming with excitement. Accordingly, Luna and her group made their way to the stairs off to the side of the wooden platform, where they stood waiting for the chief begin. After judging that the village had finally amassed in full, he began.

“Gather round, gather round everypony!” boomed the chief in his native tongue, spreading his forelegs wide. Interpreting his words as best he could, Mat translated. “We are gathered here today, to celebrate the harvest moon that our herd has so long regarded as the most important of the full moons!” The ponies stamped and howled with excitement. Some even banged on drums and other instruments with elation. Raising just his hoof, he hushed the crowd.

“Today, we have an important guest whom I am sure many of you have seen wandering around the village with young Matunaagd. She has come all the way from Canterlot! A large and rich city far to the southeast. Please welcome, Princess Luna!” Beckoning her to come on stage and with the audience cheering her on, the princess of the night stepped onto the platform bowing and smiling.

Miles away in Canterlot Castle, Princess Celestia drove the sun underneath the horizon, hiding the sun away so that the stars may shine bright. Walking up to the front of the stage, Luna gracefully rose in the air as the audience oohed and aahed as she spread her wings. Alright! You can do this!

She felt the funny spark of magic light up inside her body. Luna felt it grow into an incredible sensation, manifesting itself through her horn in a dark purple aura. Carefully she guided the moon high into the starry sky. Its warm light shone as bright as a ruby flame across the land, bringing light to the cold darkness and showering the audience with a rosy glow.

The villagers erupted in cheer and glee as they bathed in the light tint of cerise pink, bringing a warm smile to Luna’s face. She glanced at the chief who mouthed a “wow” at her and she simply grinned his way. Softly landing back down on the stage, she bowed deeply, and another round of enthusiastic hoof stomping erupted to applaud her magical performance. “Thank you very much!” the Equestrian princess yelled, waving back at the sea of ponies. “Thank you Chief Askuwheteau and thank you Seneighca!” The hurrahs slowly died down as she walked off the stage and as the Chief tried to calm his tribe.

“Thank you Princess Luna!” the chief bellowed, himself still stamping his hooves. “Thank you very much for raising the moon this night and for every other night! I also would like to thank every family for their hard work these past few months! Very soon we will enjoy the fruit that all your efforts have bore. You all should be proud!” Another clanging of instruments and cheer burst from the audience, and just as they quieted down, the chief brought his voice low into a deep reverberating bass.

“As many of you know, the harvest has special meaning to us. It marks the time when we must stockpile our food to get us through the cold winters that our pegasi bring to our village. Yet, it is also a time where we must think of our family and loved ones. On this glorious night, we will also be celebrat-”

“CHIEF! Chief Askuwheteau!” screamed a mare running frantically onto the stage almost tripping up the steps. “Your daughter…” Mat stopped translating. His eyes grew wide with worry, and Luna felt a knot forming her stomach.

“What about my daughter? Where is Alsoomse?” the chief demanded.

“I don’t know! These ...these monsters took her! Both of us were making our final trip to the river for water when she …” the mare sobbed, choking on her words. “She’s gone! I don’t know where! I just don’t-” A sharp scream pierced the air, echoing in the wind.


Chapter 2 - By the Light of the Moon

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The traumatized and twisted faces of the crowd listened in stunned silence as the wind carried Mat’s echoing cry through the village and beyond the the eerie ebony of the woods. A chilling breath of air sent a spine tingling shiver down Luna’s back, piercing her skin all the way to her bones. The Princess of the Night tried to steel herself against it as the wind continued to nip at her face, quickly bringing an icy burn to her nose, but she was not going to let the bitter weather get the best of her. Quickly shrugging it off, the princess reached a steady hoof out toward the stallion’s shoulders. “Mat…” she began, staring at the wary stallion. “Are you okay?”

Mat’s body flinched at the sudden touch of the princess. “Y-Yes,” he stuttered abruptly. He swung his head down in confusion, quietly trying to piece together some sort of explanation to the scream. “Of course…Of course I’m okay Princess Luna. It’s just that...That voice...that… that scream was hers! Oh gods...”

Looking hard at the stallion, the princess pursed her lips in a frown. His posture was uncharacteristically stooped over, wrecked with confusion. Then in a moment of realization, he quickly raised his head and ran toward the stage to seek answers from the mare. She was the one with the answers he wanted, but then Mat stopped dead in his tracks when a large stamp came from the stage. His head snapped to a heavy voice that boomed from above.

“Elan! Where is my daughter?” the Chief demanded. He narrowed his face as he stared down the mare whose eyes were still red with tears. But as impassionately angry as he was, Luna detected quavering disbelief as he shouted his words. They were not truly angry and indignant, but rather desperate and distressed as they came sputtering out of his mouth. “What happened to Aloomse? You said you were going to the river and what then? What then!?”

Sniffling uncontrollably and on the verge of hyperventilation, the mare sat there in mild shock with mucus still running out her snout. Her eyes glistened with tears as she gazed up to the immense body that towered over her. She wiped her face and gave a hoarse sputtering of a cough, trying to compose herself.

“W-Well, we were n-nearing the river, Chief Askuwheteau…” Elan paused to catch her breath and rub the lingering tears out of her eyes. “B-But out of nowhere a big creature, ... wait! No, two! Two big creatures appeared out of nowhere and plucked her from the ground! I galloped after them, b-but then I realized… I...”

She clutched her mouth as more tears welled up in her eyes, threatening to break free and spill down her face. “But then I realized I couldn’t catch up with them!” She broke out, throwing the whole of her body down before the Chief. “Before I knew it, Aloomse was just ...gone. I-I sprinted my absolute hardest back to the village, and then the moon rose, and the ceremony already begun! A-And… and…”

Looking up, Elan searched for words in the sullen eyes of a father, but they were listless and empty. All she could do was hang her mouth open. The mare turned to search the crowd, hoping for an explanation, but she only found hundreds of wide eyes staring back at her. Salty tears ran down her face and falling onto the cold floor, creating tiny pools upon their surface. “Oh Chief! I am so so sorry!” She bit her lip as she fell to pieces in front of the crowd of ponies. “I-I didn’t k-know what to do! I just don’t know Chief ...”

A calm hoof touched the mare gently on her cheek as if to reassure her “I do not blame you Elan,” but she turned her face away, drowning out her crying until they became cold whimpers. The spectators merely watched the two lone figures on the stage as if it were a dramatic play. They stared in stark silence, waiting for the action to continue, waiting for the next scene. The Chief walked purposefully around the mare, turning to address the crowd in the largest thundering voice that he could muster. “Aloomse is missing!” he cried loudly. “But I will search for her! I will find her! And may the gods forgive me for I will punish those who have done this! Will no pony join me?”

An uneasy murmur went through the crowd as the villagers whispered in hushed tones, muttering amongst themselves. The raucous sound of a screaming foal erupted from amidst the sea of disturbed faces as its mother desperately tried to hush the foal. “I have no time for this idle whispering!” he thundered angrily, bringing his hoof crashing down on the stage. “The time to act is now!”

“Chief!” a voice cried out hoarsely. Luna glanced over at Mat, rearing up on his hind legs as he called out once more. “Chief, I will join you! My bride is missing. I am not worthy of marrying such a mare if I do not feel it in my heart to rescue her. I will find her... I will be at your side!” He dropped to his knees, bowing before the Chief.

“And you can expect me to join you as well!” Luna interrupted, smiling confidently as she walked onto the stage. “As a princess of Equestria, I will not be idle in your time of need. If help is what you seek Chief Askuwheteau, I offer mine.”

“Your help is very welcome Princess Luna,” he nodded to the princess. “And yours as well Mat. Gather up two of your best stallions and be quick about it! We’re leaving the east gate as soon as possible!”

Whirling back to the crowd of wide eyes staring at him, the Chief called out, “I am postponing the celebration until we find my daughter! Save the food and return to your homes. We will be back before midnight!” More murmuring spread throughout the crowd as they slowly shuffled away. Creeping dishearteningly back into their cozy dwellings, they pondered the safety of the missing mare.

As the villagers dispersed, the search party prepared quickly for their mission. Mat found two of his most trusted “warriors” and they equipped themselves with weapons from the arena, making sure that they were especially sharp. The ponies were not going to take their chances with this unknown foe. As for Luna and her guards however, preparations were not needed.

P-Princess Luna, a-are you sure about this?” Kibitz anxiously asked. “We do not even know who or what abducted that mare! We came here on a diplomatic mission, but now the situation’s degraded into a hostage situation!”

“Calm yourself Kibitz, I shall be alright.” Luna told the elderly pony, trying to appease his protests. “The captain and sergeant will be accompanying me. There is no need to worry.”

“Yeah! You don’t have to worry about us Kibitz!” Luna swung her head around and raised an eyebrow at the guard behind her. She was met with a wink from… Sergeant Silver Aegis, she thought exhaustedly. This pony. By Star Swirl’s beard I swear-.

“Don’t you worry princess!” he saluted proudly, a stupid grin on his face. “By the light of day or by the moon’s night, I vow to protect thee with all my might-OW!” Without warning, he received a hard smack on the back side of his head.

“Sorry Captain...” he apologized. He reached behind his head, tenderly rubbing a small lump with a gentle hoof.

“You can apologize later.” the superior officer growled. Luna just rolled her eyes as she turned back to face Kibitz.

The bespectacled pony let out a long weary sigh and looked up at the princess with tired eyes. “Who am I to stop a princess?” he muttered. Luna merely stared back at his exhausted features, his silent gaze unyielding. “You be sure to bring that pony back Luna. I do not wish to report a tragedy to Princess Celestia.”

“Worry not Kibitz.” She assured him with a nudge. “We’ll be back soon. You have my word…” Luna motioned urgently to her guards. “Now let’s go! Let us not waste more time than we already have!”

Her party hurriedly ran toward the gate that opened up to the deep forest that waited patiently for them, ready to swallow them up in its darkness. The village ponies also ran up and joined them with perfect timing. Chief Askuwheteau quickly took point, confidently leading the ponies down the dark path toward the river.

As the light from the village faded, Luna, Captain Shimmering Might, and one of the warriors lit the way through the murky darkness with their horns. Thin strands of moonlight pierced the thick shroud of pines looming over the group as they ran underneath their towering limbs. That is, until the party skidded to a stop.

“Halt!” the chief hollered as the rest of the group slipped through the mud, nearly colliding with each other in a pony pile up. He paused to sniff the damp forest air veiled by a cool mist and decaying plant life. “I smell something... a scent that I do not know.”

“Huh?” Sergeant Aegis made a loud and nasally sound as he sniffed the air, turning his head about erratically. “I don’t smell nothin’.”

Luna looked questioningly at the Chief as he slowly closed his eyes and tilted his head up to the sky. She mimicked him and did the same, but she could only make out the smell of autumnal woodland and the hooting of owls in the distance.

Suddenly, the Chief’s eyes burst open in a moment of realization. His nose lead him straight to the dirt. “There! But why…? ”

“Excuse me Chief Askuwheteau,” Luna started, lowering her head to the spot the Chief was staring at. “Could you please explain to us what is it that you are doing?”

“He is searching for Aloomse,” Mat chimed. He stared at the burly pony roaming the ground exploring the prints on the ground. “The Chief is the best tracker in the whole village with years of experience in these woods. He may be a little slow, but he is not without great skill.”

The Chief looked up. “Are you calling me old, young Mat?” the Chief asked, poking at the dirt with his hoof. Mat shook his head quickly and Askuwheteau smirked in response. “Princess Luna, there is an odd scent in this area. It is like a bird, but at the same time it is not. It is hard to explain ….And Mat, look! I have found her hoof prints!”

Mat rushed over as the others gathered to inspect what honestly seemed to Luna like a random assortment of pony tracks, running off in aimless directions. “Do you see? It matches her weight and gait, and she was indeed going to fetch water while carrying something. Perhaps a bucket, but then…. her tracks suddenly disappear. It appears that Elan’s story was true.” As the Chief’s voice trailed off, the princess peeked over at the warrior ponies who nodded affirmatively. The burly pony continued the investigation, expertly scanning the area for clues as the group stepped back to watch him. It was not long before he came across a dark feather.

“Wait, a feather?” asked the captain, his eyebrows rising high on his forehead. Leaning forward and with the whitish light emanating from his horn, he examined it closely.

“Chief, may I take a look?” Luna requested. The Chief held out the large silver quill to Luna and it was shorty enveloped in a blue hue. Bringing it closer, it only took her only a moment for her to confidently conclude that this was not of a bird or pegasus. “It’s a griffon feather.” she said plainly.

“A ...guriphon?” asked the Chief, furrowing his brow. “What is this creature?”

Checking the tip of his speak casually, Captain Shimmering Might began his explanation: “The griffons are a hybrid race that can be found in equestria and beyond, half-eagle and half-lion. They are talented flyers and their physical strength is quite great, but the ones in Equestria are not generally troublesome ...We can’t be too careful if they’re somehow involved.”

The group went silent for a moment, processing the information, but Mat was the first to raise his voice. “Well, that must be it then! These griffons must have taken Aloomse! Now come on, let’s go!” With a grunt, he thrusted his spear up in the air and then pointed down the trail, urging the group to continue.

The Seneighcan ponies nodded quickly and continued ahead, but Luna tried to stop them. “Wait Mat! We need to think this through!” she exclaimed, but her voice fell on deaf ears as it echoed down the trail. The group of ponies sprinted further and further into the darkness, until the princess could barely make out the light of their unicorn. She let out a quick sigh and began to run. “Come. Let us follow our compatriots...”

Shortly after catching up with the group and whilst trying to navigate sharp rocks, ancient roots, and the slick mud that littered the trail, Luna’s thoughts lingered upon the feather. Griffons? But why? she thought anxiously, trying to keep up with the stallions. And here of all places? What grudge do they have with these ponies?

After almost running into a tree, she concluded that there was no point in trying to think too hard on the subject. Right now she had to focus on not tripping on nubs of rough dirt or slipping through mud. There would be time for contemplation and thought later.

Soon after crossing the nearby river, Luna found it slightly easier to avoid whatever obstacles that the “trail” could throw at her. Harnessing the adrenaline pumping through her veins gave the alicorn the ability to safely maneuver the broken terrain. But before long, she found herself winded. The princess fought through the twisting pain of a cramp in her side as she panted heavily, billowing hot air like steam from a train. She was also disappointed to find that she was lagging behind the stallions as well.

Okay. Less sweets and more physical exercises Luna, she thought critically, trying to hide the fact that she was now sucking in as much air as she could. Captain Shimmering Might looked over at her questioningly, but she responded with a large grin. I shall have Kibitz prepare me a daily exercise regimen from now on. This is absolutely unacceptable as an Equestrian princess!

However, it was not long until the pace of the group gradually slowed down to a brisk trot as they followed the Chief up one of the large foothills that lay before the Crystal Mountains. Hoof after hoof, they slowly creeped up the precarious slope until they approached a break in the woods where the land leveled off into a small plateau. At the opposite side of the small grass clearing lay a cliff and the silhouette of a tied up mare.

“Aloomse?” Mat yelled out, rushing forward past the tree line. The figure looked up. “My love, I am here!”

“Iquq!” the Chief swore, running after him. “Mat, stop!”

“Matunaagd!” Aloomse yelled. She squirmed against the ropes that bound her tightly against the pole crudely staked into the ground. “Stay away!”

“Aloom-” Mat cut his words short and skidded to a stop a few meters past the tree line. The stallion found himself stared down by four griffons, their weapons drawn and bodies poised for a fight. The mischievous grins strewn across their faces told him that they were not the friendly type either.

Without hesitation, the Chief picked up Mat’s body with one massive foreleg and yanked him back into the woods just as a dart made a near miss at Mat’s neck. His blood ran cold as he heard the sharp object cut the wind, narrowly missing him by a few centimeters.

Before the griffon in the air could take another shot, the search party quickly dove behind the trees. Luna pressed her body against rough bark, peering behind its edges trying to spot the armed kidnappers. The princess was careful not to stick more than length of her nose.

Safely under cover, the Chief pinned Mat against a large oak with his enormous strength and threw his face in front of his. “Are you mad?” the Chief sputtered, spittle flying out his mouth and his eyes bulging with rage. “What do you gain by charging in alone? I do not tolerate stupid behavior, especially if it threatens the lives of others! We all want her alive Matunaagd, but you better buckin’ well focus if you want to save her!” Mat nodded soberly in response, his mouth agape as he stared wide eyed at the furious face. “I-I’m sorry Chief,” he croaked.

“And that goes for you two as well!” Luna turned to call out to her guards. “We are not losing anypony tonight. Is that clear?”

“Yes Princess!” They recited out loud. “No pony dies. I’ll make sure of that,” the captain added. “And like I said Princess, I’ll be there to protect you.” Silver Aegis avowed with a stern face. He was a part-time joker, but being a royal guard was his full-time job.

Peering behind the tree, Luna took note of the four griffons in a defensive “half-circle” protecting Aloomse. One of them hovered in the air carrying a long tube-like weapon ready in its claws while the others wielded weathered shields and rusted blades. The final griffon wore a helm of steel and boasted a halberd, standing next to a dark haired monster which guarded the mare bound in ropes.

“It is so nice for you to have finally arrived, Chief!” a griffon hollered out toward the trees. He wore a decorative style helmet with a red feathered plume coming out from the top. “And it’s even nicer that you brought friends! Especially Princess Luna, just the pony I wanted to talk to.” The griffon’s face made a half smirk. Luna merely furrowed her brows and quickly glanced at the others with a confused face.

“Whoever you are, release the Chief’s daughter immediately!” Luna replied, letting a slight breeze carry her voice. “I only ask of you to let her go. No pony has to get hurt.”

“Ha! You are in no position to be making demands princess!” he smiled crookedly as he spoke. “The name’s Ebonquill, and I was thinking we could do an exchange!”

An exchange? The alicorn princess half-closed her eyes as she quickly tried to think of a proper course of action. Luna growled in frustration when nothing came to mind. “And what kind of exchange would that be, Mr. Ebonquill?”

“A simple one really.” He stretched his arms wide as he began. “We just want gold. Lots and lots of it! About ten million bits to be exact, just enough for all six of us. Equestria is a rich kingdom. It’s a small price to pay just for this village cutie, don’t you think?”

Mat swore under his breath and the Chief gritted his teeth loud enough for the princess to hear. Luna tried to calm them down. “We can pay that amount Chief,” she whispered quietly to the burly pony. “But I didn’t come here to negotiate.”

“Good, because neither did I Princess.” The Chief rubbed his temples and peeked out at the griffons from behind his cover. “We need a plan to rescue my daughter safely. I’m not negotiating with these savages.”

A sly grin grew on Sergeant Silver Aegis’s face. “I think I have something.” This was the kind of action he lived and fed off of. “That griffon with the blow dart… if I take him out, you guys could safely charge out from the trees. He won’t know what hit him. We then just overwhelm their first line and then we can surround Ebonquill and that wolf-like creature. We use our numbers to our advantage.”

“Sounds fine to me,” Shimmering Might grunted, nodding toward the sergeant. “No pony has to get hurt if we rush out at and then stun them when they’re distracted.”

Ebonquill cupped his talons around his mouth “Well, Princess Luna?” he hollered. “What will it be? You better not be planning something. It’d be a pity to have to hurt this pretty little mare...” Looking out, Luna saw him gently rub his face against Aloomse’s cheek as she screamed and squirmed in protest. A poisonous smile of satisfaction creeped up on his face. “We haven’t even gotten to know each other quite yet.”

“Damn that bastard.” Mat cursed through clenched teeth. “The plan’s good enough for me! We gotta do it quick though!”

Turning to Silver Aegis, Luna ordered, “Go quickly Sergeant. Time is not on our side.” With a stern nod and without hesitation, he pushed off his tree and ran into the woods towards the griffon’s flank under the cover of the thick forest.

The wind started to pick up, and a gust chilled Luna to the bone as she posed to jump out from behind her cover. Her comrades readied their weapons and magic, waiting for just the right moment. A moment of silence fell around them.

Then with a spirited war cry, a streak of white blazed through the celestial sphere. The griffon holding the blow dart turned, but he could not turn fast enough. Aegis tackled him right out of the night sky before he could get a shot off. “What are you doing just standing there?” Ebonquill barked, snapping his attention to the sudden attack. “Help him you lazy feather brains!”

“Go go go!” the Chief yelled, leading the charge from out of the bushes. The captain fired off beams of magic toward one of the griffons, but she deflected it easily with her enchanted shield. However, Mat and two others overwhelmed her before she had a chance to strike out with her sword.

Luna darted up above and shot a bolt of purple energy straight into the chest of a very confused griffon. He took the full brunt of the stun spell, and it took only moments before he staggered and dropped unconscious into the dirt. Another griffon, deciding that he had no chance, made a run for it.

“Oh no you don’t!” the Captain grunted, sending an arc of magic his way. The grey feathered griffon immediately dropped his shield and weapon and fell face first on the ground. By now, even the sergeant had secured the first feathered foe after wrestling it into submission until he passed out unconsciousness. Now only he was left.

“It’s over Mr. Ebonquill,” Luna began, approaching him slowly from the air. The other ponies in the group also began closing in at a steady pace. “Let Aloomse go. Surrender peacefully so that we can end this now.”

The griffon looked at the princess, then at the wolf beside him, and finally back to Aloomse. “Gee, let me think about it Princess Luna.” He cocked his head to the side and held it in his hands. “Nah.”

Ebonquill drew a knife and cut the ropes that bound Aloomse to the pole. He grabbed and lugged her over his shoulder and flapped his wings. “Until next time Princess!” he called as he took off, but it was not long before he was stopped shot him down with a bolt from her horn.

Well, that was easy, the princess frowned while hovering mid-air. Now for the wolf.

It growled at her and all the ponies, bending down, ready to move at a moment’s notice. Mat rushed toward Aloomse who lay on the ground. “Matunaagd!” she breathed, struggling against her bindings. He was halted by the wolf who did not hesitate to headbutt him as far as the tree line. All the ponies stopped in their tracks.

“Let’s not overestimate this one…” the princess commented, staring at the beast. Luna launched a purple beam streaking toward the wolf, but it simply jumped to the side to avoid the spell. It glared and growled at Luna as she stared back into its dirty yellow eyes. She felt its cold stare look deep into her, giving her an unpleasant fear in her stomach.

For a moment, she was entranced by the creature’s glare. She was wholly in control of her body, but looking at it was very unsettling. But she shook away such foolish feelings and sent more spells streaking toward the creature, but they all missed to her dismay. Tch...Need to get closer. Luna lowered her altitude, grimacing at the snarling creature. It circled slowly around her, sizing her up. It wants to play, she realized.

As her hooves touched the ground, she was taken aback by the features of the boorish creature. Coarse fur covered its body and it was much more muscular and sinewy that any wolf that she has ever seen. It was unnaturally large in size, tall enough to match her height. But less than that, its long black claws worried her the most.

Without hesitation, bolts of magic shot out of Luna’s horn and the captain joined in as well, but none of them connected, instead they flew right past it and into the distance as the creature bolted and zigzagged past them. “If you’re going to dodge then how about this!” Luna screamed at it as she let out more bolts rapidly, and this time many of them connected with the beast. It howled in agony as the magic collided with its body with large WHUMPS. Gotcha!

But to her surprise, it merely shrugged off her stun spells after a moment and immediately lunged at her. Luna’s horn flared in a purplish aura to cast a magic bubble shield, but it was too late. The creature jumped on her with its teeth bared and claws out. The princess had only enough time to raise her fore legs out to blunt the attack. She fell hard on her back and ended up on the ground as the creature tried to claw at her. The feral stench of its vile breath was nauseating as she tried to keep it it at bay. The wolf’s weight was slowly crushing her and it was too much to handle much longer. Then, Luna let out a cry of utter agony as large claws raked across her soft chest and drew blood.

“Princess!” The ponies called out who momentarily frozen in shock of the creature’s speed. “J-Just hang on Luna!” The sergeant dashed at the creature, but it saw him out the corner of his eye and kicked out at the sergeant, nailing him right in the face at such an angle that made him spin like a dancer before finally hitting the ground.

Gritting her teeth, Luna screamed into the creatures face and in a fit of rage, she struck at the beast’s head, nailing it right in the jaw before it could continue its clawing. It howled and reared up on its hind legs in pain, giving Luna enough time to wheel around and dart for the sky. Gotta...get away, the princess thought anxiously as she clutched the wound on her chest. Blood oozed out from her fresh wounds. It can’t catch me up in the air.

With two flaps she was already a few meters off the ground and leaking crimson onto the grass. She wanted to put as much distance between her and the wolf as she could, but then a sharp pain struck her hind legs when all its claws dug themselves deep into her skin. Luna felt herself get dragged down near the edge of the cliff. A split second later, she landed with a dull thud on her chest, sending a jolt of pain through her body.

For a moment, the creature let go, dodging magic let out by the captain. With a heavy grunt, Luna flipped on her back, ready to defend herself, but the beast quickly pinned her back on the ground. With its massive jaws, it sank its canine teeth into her neck and the princess led out a blood curdling yell as she felt the fangs cut through her soft, sensitive skin.

“Get off her!” the captain screamed. With his hooves planted firmly into the ground, Shimmering Might sent a whole barrage of magic at the creature. “Eat this!” The wolf staggered, almost falling on its side after the shots connected. But like before, it easily shook off the effects and sprang into a maddening charge. In a split second, Shimmering Might felt an intense pain as he was rammed in the chest by the enormous creature, sending him flying several meters in the opposite direction.

The wolf howled in rage, drunk on its own bloodlust and fury. That was when the Chief and one of the warriors jumped on it, trying to strangle and pin the beast. Having partially recovered from his injuries, Mat also ran in to help. For a moment, they were getting the best of it. Together, they were bringing the beast to its knees and even a Seneighcan unicorn tried to help by encapsulating it in his magic. But once her aura formed around the creature’s body, the beast shook violently like a bucking bronco. For a few seconds, the Chief and the others were able to hang on, but their grip weakened as it thrashed its legs and neck around in a furious spasm, viciously throwing the ponies off its back and breaking through the magical spell. The Chief flew through the air and landed on his back while Mat fell instantly to the ground and was trampled on. The other other pony was unfortunate enough to be flung into a nearby tree, colliding with the trunk with a sickening sound of cracked ribs.

Even in the aftershock of being bitten, bruised, and slashed at, Luna could not stand seeing her new friends so helpless. “I’m ending this….” she wheezed, her breath erratic and rough. The blood still dribbled out her chest and neck, but she slowed it down the best she could with her magic. “H-Hey! You! Over here!” she croaked, sending a spell in its direction and striking it in its back.

The beast let out a high pitched yip. It wheeled about and dashed at blinding speed toward Luna who still lay on her back at the end of the cliff. That’s right...come here. She sneered at the beast as she prepared herself.

The beast stretched its claws and pounced, and as it dove at her from above, Luna bucked her hind legs into the beast with all her might, sending it flying over her and spinning off the cliff. But as it fell, the wolf took grabbed onto Luna’s mane and with a sharp scream, she too was dragged head first down the dark abyss. The princess rolled down the steep face of the cliff injuring her back and wings before tumbling through the air in a mindless spin. Her flailing movements struck out at the beast, causing it to let go, but then her head swam with dizzying motion as images flew past her in a mad flurry. Stars. River. Pain. Ground. Impact. Moon. Ground. Close.

In her seemingly last moments, Luna recalled random memories in an instant. There was the time she was still a filly playing with Celly and the time she learned a lesson of friendship from Twilight Sparkle. All of these among others flashed through her mind.

This is it. She thought morbidly with no energy nor magic left to spend. The magic within her flickered and her body grew cold as death approached her.

All of a sudden, she felt something warm catch her. Luna did her best to fight through nausea as the world continued its spinning. Focusing, the princess tried to straighten her eyes and when she did, she gazed up to find two blue eyes staring back at her. “Told you I’d be there for you.” A warm smile appeared across the sergeant’s face. Luna snorted, and a small grin grew on her face as she softly closed her eyes.

As they drew closer to the ground, she ordered the guard to let her stand. “At least let me try,” she ordered, but Aegis was not too sure. After taking a few shaky steps, Luna began shuddering under her own weight, but Silver Aegis quickly moved in to help support her. “Thanks Sergeant.”

After being cut free by Mat, the mare who had been tied up jumped into her fiance’s arms and cried soft tears. The stallion caught Aloomse in a big embrace and rubbed his face gently against hers, swinging her quietly around in his grasp.

“I knew you’d come…” she squeaked past her tears. Chief Askuwheteau also approached and picked both of them up in a large bear hug. “... even you Papa.”

After being freed from her father’s enormous grasp, Aloomse walked over to Luna who was still leaning against the guard. “And thank you Luna…” Taking a deep bow, she sniffled. “Thank you and your comrades for saving me from those creatures.”

A gentle smile appeared on the princess’s face. “Anything for a friend.”


The moon still shone brightly in the starry sky when the search party returned to the village. Ponies ran out of their homes to welcome back the ponies from their successful search. The Seneighcans clapped and cheered when they saw the heroes and Aloomse guiding her through the village. Many others also gawked at the strange and battered griffons whom the group was escorting.

The newly dubbed heroes of Seneighca were allowed to rest and clean themselves for the celebration which was allowed to continue. Luna was especially sought after with all her injuries. The sergeant kept her company throughout the night, and with the luxury of a bit of medicine and magic, she started to feel healthy again albeit a little sore. “You’re looking much better now Princess Luna.” Looking into her eyes he said softly, “You were hurt really bad back there; maybe you should rest the remainder of the night, get away from everyone and just have some peace and quiet all to yourself. I can look after you while you sleep.”

Sitting up in a small bed prepared especially for her, she smirked. “No, I have to go out there. It’s my duty sergeant.” But Silver Aegis gave her an exasperated look. “I’m fine. Honest! You don’t believe a princess?”

“Alright alright.” He sighed, shaking his head. “Well, take it easy for now Princess Luna. I’m going to check on Captain Shimmering Might.”

The princess watched Sergeant Aegis as he he left the room. He unexpectedly paused at the doorway and looked back at her for a moment, but then turned his head away. The door shut softly behind him. He walked the distance to the train without so much a pony noticing him and opened the door. Unkindly sounds emerged, and the stench of sweat and anger flooded out from within the car. “What did you do to Aloomse? And for what? Gold!? No, there’s more to it than that!” the stallion shouted, his face beet red with anger.

“Captain?” Silver Aegis interrupted, peeking his head through the doorway. “The wedding is about to start...”

The captain wheeled his head about. “Shut the door,” he ordered. Obediently, the sergeant bolted the door behind him and walked over.

“Who do you work for!?” Shouting in the face of the half conscious bodies tied up in the cell, the Captain sputtered. “That animal….that beast was not a normal creature was it?! Where’d you get it, huh? Out with it already!”

But still, the griffons remained silent and sore to their bones. Their dirty, almost unconscious expressions were blank and unresponsive. The captain swore under his breath. “Let’s go. I’m not getting through to them.”


After the joyous wedding of the bride and groom came the celebration of the harvest moon and a certain princess was ready to do her part in the celebration. “Thy princess is ready to indulge in merriment and consumption of your sweets!” Luna exclaimed as she started to mingle and party with locals as much as her sore body would allow. Walking along she caught sight of something glorious. Out of the corner of her eye, she spotted the…

...Desserts! she thought giddily. “Let the fun begin! Which is thy sweetest pastry Mat?” She looked hungrily at the assortment of confectionaries placed throughout the table. Mat walked up to her while holding Aloomse close to his side. Both of them pointed toward a large, decorated almond colored cake in the middle of the table.

“Oh no you don’t!” Kibitz warned, wagging his hoof at the alicorn. “Princess Luna, you very well know what sugar does to you.”

“Indeed I do Kibitz.” She responded with a sly smile. “It will make me most happy!”

“Hmphh!” Scowling fiercely, he responded, “Fine by me Princess Luna! But you can be the one to explain to your sister all that weight you shall be gaining!”

Luna rolled her eyes and gave her most sarcastically head nod. Like she cares about how much cake she eats either…

Luna dove into the layers of crispy creamy goodness, eating slice after slice of cake. Although it was no longer freshly baked, it was still quite delicious. Bite after bite, she indulged herself in its luscious flavor and texture, delighting herself in its sweetness. Slowly, the memory of the bite mark and her injuries faded to the back of her mind as if it were all a bad dream.

Chapter 3 - A Calling

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The cheery cacophony of notes spilled in through the window, breaking the still serenity of the room. It was morning. The unbroken melody of tweeting birds unmercifully dragged Luna out of her fantasies. Groaning, she buried her head deeper into the covers, trying to escape back into the her fantastic dreams, but it was no use. Luna blinked her crusted eyes open. She opened the day with a deep yawn and a scratch of her chest. Surprised she had the strength to even crawl out of bed, the princess of the night somehow dragged herself to the sink.

She turned on the faucet and splashed her face with a hoof-ful of water, shocking life back into her existence. Luna peered into the mirror. It was not all that dreadful, but what concerned her more was her injuries from last night. Luna gingerly ran her hoof along the stretch of skin where the wolf had bitten her, and her jaw dropped. I-It’s almost healed! I don’t recall ever completely healing it. I just ….what happened!? Her eyes widened as she poked at the now small scar. She moved closer to the mirror, hoping to get a better view.

“And I am quite certain I did not drink any alcoholic beverages the previous night,” Luna whispered under her breath, examining it further. The skin was no longer red nor raw, and the deep purple color of her fur was already returning. Stretching her neck, Luna eagerly squinted at it and continued her inspection, hoping for anything unusual to happen. Still, nothing. That is when Luna ears picked up to the sound of a rapping against her door. Without so much as a chance to answer the door, a panicked Kibitz burst through, causing Luna to jump in surprise.

“Princess Luna! You should have been awake 15 minutes ago! We have to meet with the Chief in 10 minutes! And we have to-,” he looked up at Luna’s scrunched face. “May I ask, what are you doing princess?”

“I was in the middle of inspecting my injuries... They look a bit-”

“Pish posh! It looks quite alright to me!” the elderly adviser replied. Luna rolled her eyes. She made sure to scowl at his meager response that contained not even a hint of concern for her.

“Now wait just a moment!” Luna said defensively. She wasn’t going to contend with Kibitz’s antics this early in the morning. “You don’t understand-”

“No, it is you who does not understand!” he interjected, adjusting his glasses back to their proper place after his outburst. He grabbed a handkerchief out of his breast pocket and quickly dabbed out the sweat running down his face “We have a schedule to keep, Princess Celestia expects us to be back in Canterlot before your supper time and we have yet to even meet with the Chief! Do you even know what time it is? I certainly do not want to be blamed for being tardy Princess Luna!”

Luna opened her mouth to respond, but she clenched her teeth instead. Calm yourself Luna. She knew knew full well that she cannot get through to him this time. Kibitz was giving her his I know what’s best for you tone, and both frustration and determination was painted all over his face.

“Now go on and clean yourself up!” Kibitz demanded, ushering her closer to the mirror. He quickly dashed water on the princess’s face and mane before sending a toothbrush flying into her mouth.


“But nothing! I will be expecting you out this door to discuss the schedule for today in exactly three minutes, don’t keep me waiting.” In a flash, he dashed out and slammed the door shut behind him.

Luna groaned as loud as she could, hoping that the pony could hear him. “One of these days Kibitz! One of these days and you might just find yourself out of a job! I’ll...I’LL-” She shut her eyes and sighed deeply. Adding toothpaste to the brush, she looked into the mirror and began brushing her pearly whites squeaky clean. “I’ll end up doing nothing, that’s what… Kibitz can be quite helpful, I will admit that.” She opened the faucet and rinsed her mouth clean. She stared at her reflection in the mirror and picked up a brush with with her magic. “And perhaps I can receive some amount of joy by meeting with everypony again today.”


A set of lengthy discussions specifying trade, goals, regulations, and conduct between both political parties among other things soon followed and went on until the late afternoon. Needless to say, it was lengthy. To fit in every discussion as scheduled, the two leaders cut their lunch break severely short. Luna was just glad that the talks went as smoothly as they did and with minimal problems. However, the time to say goodbyes soon came to be. Many of the villagers bowed when they saw the alicorn striding across the village back to the train. The fillies from before waved enthusiastically when they caught sight of her and in return, she gave a curt smile. Matunaagd, Aloomse, Chief Askuwheteau, and a handful of elderly aides were the only ponies to personally see her off.

“It was a pleasure meeting you Princess Luna.” Aloomse stated in her elegantly gentle voice. Luna quietly recalled the events of last night in her mind. It was hard to believe that the sweet mare before her now could have ever incurred such misfortune. Aloomse closed her eyes softly and bowed deeply to the great alicorn. “And of course, I can never thank you enough for your help. I am eternally grateful. It was just unfortunate for you to sustain so many injuries… but surprisingly, you seemed well today your highness.”

“Ah, yes.” Luna responded, a little surprised to see how observant the mare was. “Yes, I am quite alright today. Your medicines seem to have done wonders for me, and a touch of magic always helps as well.”

The small mare nodded. “This is good to hear.” she answered, but then her eyes opened up in mild surprise as she continued. “Oh, but from what I have learned from your royal adviser Kibitz that your sister Princess Celestia seems a little...well, strict! Are you not worried she will say something?”

“Oh? Kibitz is just being Kibitz,” she giggled, covering her mouth with a hoof. “My dear Aloomse, he makes criticizing people an art. It’s from all the stress he puts on himself.”

Kibitz just snorted. “Time princess… we are quickly running out of it,” he impatiently hissed through his smile, but Luna ignored the pony.

“My sister can be quite the charmer. Perhaps you can visit us in Canterlot some time. It would be a delight to show you all our capital!” Luna exclaimed, a large grin plastered on her face.

“That sounds like a wonderful idea doesn’t it darling?”

“Of course it does,” Mat replied, holding his bride closer. “There is still much to be done to improve our life here. We will eventually have to follow up on today’s negotiations sometime in the future so why not have it in Canterlot? What do you think Chief Askuwheteau?.”

“I am fine with it, but what are your thoughts, Princess Luna?” the chief asked. “Our negotiations went well. I see no reason to not visit your kingdom. I would also like to see your lives, a large society beyond the endless trees that surround our humble village.”

“We can certainly hold our next meeting in Canterlot! This is wonderful, absolutely wonderful! I now have something to to look forward too! Oh, but I will have to consult my sister, but it should not be a problem.” Luna noted happily. For a moment they all just stood there smiling at each other, but Luna had to break the silence.
“Goodbye my friends. Until we meet again,” she whispered. The princess turned around and stepped onto the train, but spared a moment to look back at them. A hint of sadness gleamed in her eye. With a final wave, she, Kibitz, and the Captain boarded the train.

“ would you like to come along with me cutie?” Sergeant Aegis casually asked the young mare. He spotted the gorgeous, long maned beauty just as they were leaving for the train. He propped his hoof up against a post. “I am lonely stallion. I just wished I could have some companionship to warm me up on those cold nights, you know? So what do you say? Why don’t you come along? We just need to get on that train that’s leaving right now-ow ow ow ow!” The sergeant did a double take. He gaped at the train steaming out of the station. Inside the cab of the locomotive, Shimmering Might frantically urged the conductor to speed things up.

“H-Hey! W-Wait! Captain!” He yelled after the steaming locomotive. The sergeant barely took a few steps before he slipped and fell. As he struggled to get up, the mare he had been talking to covered her mouth and giggled, making the sergeant turn beet red with embarrassment. He opened his wings wide and dashed for the sky. “Hey Captain, wait up! I know you’re in there, darn it! CAPTAIN!!!”


Exactly one month has passed since my trip to Seneighca. It has not even been half a year and yet I still feel eagerness to reacquaint with my friends. And to my delight, sister accepted my proposal to hold our next set of negotiations concerning their sustainable development. In other words, more boring economic stuff. I shall let Kibitz handle these things. He has been getting on my nerves more than usual lately. Perhaps the new task will keep him from being more Kibitz-y.

*sigh* It is sunset now. As much as I love the night, I actually do enjoy Cely’s sunset. If she has time, she can make the most beautiful of colors with her sensitive touch. Still, I do not dare tell her that. That would only further add to her mild egotism that I have observed from her. *teehee*

It is getting to that time now isn’t it? The light is fading and I can barely see the words I’m scribbling down. I suppose today’s entry will just be a short one. It’s time to perform my favorite of all duties, the nightwatch on a full moon! It will certainly be a night to remember!

Luna lay down her quill on top the small desk and closed her diary shut, locking it with a special key. She took a moment to look at her workplace. It had become quite the mess, but nothing a little magic cannot fix. Pamphlets, scrolls, manuscripts and other miscellaneous flew in a fantastic flurry of white and black, swiftly soaring through the air and quickly returning to their proper places. Before leaving, Luna made sure to check her room just in case she was forgetting something. She scanned the elegantly, but simply decorated room.

There was nothing particularly valuable inside. A simple shelf kept her favorite novels and texts well organized and her small wooden desk was the only workspace she ever knew. In contrast, her bed was adorned in layers of the finest silk and cloth from the far reaches of Saddle Arabia. Truthfully however, she could care less what it was made of. Luna only cared that she had a bed. After a thousand years on the moon without a proper place to rest her head, any kind of bedding was a blessing.

The princess took a moment to cross the room to her nightstand and ignited her horn which immediately brightened the room substantially. She encased a small picture frame in a fine purple aura and gently lifted the picture up to look at. A small smile appeared on her face. The sun shone high above the horizon and cast a warm glow over the opulent flowers of the garden, bathing the two royal sisters in a sea of dazzling color. The day that picture was taken, Luna remained cooped up in her room and remained secluded from the world, refusing to meet anyone. Many tried to persuade the princess to come out, but they always ended up running away from her violent refusals to leave. She actually hated yelling. Everytime she did, she would hide under her sheets and cry. She no longer wanted to hurt ponies, but Celestia was was the only pony she would talk to without getting upset. She always wanted to say sorry to her, but many a time she couldn’t bring herself to even look directly into her deep lavender eyes.

It took some time, but Luna finally agreed to finally accompany her sister for sweets and tea that day. She was nervous and fearful at first, constantly twitching her head in different directions expecting to find somepony spying on them, but Celly assured her that they were alone in the garden. It was not until the end of the picnic when she finally calmed down. Luna forgot how wonderful it felt just spending time with her sister without a door separating them. It was also then Celly suggested they take the picture. Luna clutched her sister tight and then smiled awkwardly into the lens. “Thank you sister…”

Her sister never responded. But just before pressing the shutter with her magic, Celestia rubbed her cheek against against Luna’s, and that was all the answer she needed.

The princess placed the wooden frame back down by her bedside and grinned. I was such a nervous wreck back then wasn’t I? she thought to herself. She managed to let out a giggle as she shook her head while walking out toward the balcony. She stepped out onto the edge and then took off into the sky, flapping her large alicorn wings. If only my younger self could see me now.

As she soared over canterlot, the lights of the city began lighting up. Everywhere from the posh shopping districts to the different towers of the castle, ponies began illuminating the city. On one of the guard towers, a figure waved enthusiastically and Luna veered left to get a close look.

“Ohhh, Princess Luna!” the guard yelled as he jumped up. “You’re lookin’ gorgeous as always!”

The princess flew closer and then rolled her eyes Of course…, she sighed. No pony else would greet me in such a way besides the sergeant…

She forced a smile and waved back before quickly swooping down and between the taller buildings and towers, enjoying the thrill of passing nearby the hard and unforgiving objects. Luna would be lying if she told anyone she didn’t enjoy the thrill and rush of flying. If she hadn’t been born an alicorn, she would have been very disappointed to have been born just as a unicorn. Not that unicorn magic wasn’t useful, but having wings was real freedom. The wind in your face and euphoric sensation of just soaring through the air was utterly amazing.

Soon she cleared the last of the large walls that protected Canterlot. This is it, she grinned confidently. Time for a little fun!

The alicorn quickly dipped down and spiraled into a nose dive, narrowly escaping the jagged rocky side of the mountain and plunged down to the valley below at blinding speed. The wind rushed past her in a violent current and for a few moments she was deaf. The constant spinning was making her a little sick, but she wasn’t going to give up. No! Not yet… a few more seconds!

The ground drew nearer. Moments passed and she could no longer spot the horizon in her peripheral vision, only forest and hard unforgiving earth. Her eyes ran wet with tears and it hurt just keeping them open at the rate she was going, but it was too much for her.. She closed her eyes at the last second and pulled up hard 90 degrees. When open her eyes she was ecstatic beyond her belief.

“Ha….AHA! I did it!” she yelled gleefully as she skipped over the tops of the sea of evergreens. The small forest quickly turned into a large open field where a quiet homestead lay silent, chimney smoke rising to the heavens. A large grinned appeared on Luna’s face. “It has been far too long since I’ve done that, but it still looks like I’ve got it!” she laughed out loud as she flew gayly through the air.

Luna brought her speed down and gently lifted flight angle upwards up to the sky. She rose higher and higher, aiming for the stars above. It was a clear night, a lovely night with no pony else but her. The princess sighed. She was finally alone with it.

“Hello my friend…” she whispered, greeting the large object casually as if they knew each other all their life. Though, that statement was actually accurate. The moon had been her friend for as long as she can remember. Through both time of righteousness and evil, it had been there to listen to her. With it, she was never truly alone.

As the princess soared through the night, she gazed longingly at the large object as it threw a shimmering light over Equestria and all of the land, but something was wrong. She paused a moment to look at it. She cocked her head changed her course, flying toward it.

Luna, it called. Luna…

“A-are you speaking to me?” Luna whispered out loud, her breath drawing out puffs of smoke. She sailed high into the sky where the temperature started to decrease even further.

Stop, the voice commanded and Luna willingly obeyed.

To her, the Moon grew large, much larger than normal. The princess stared wide eyed at it, letting the image consume her, entrance her. Her heart longed for it, and felt her pulse rising. Sweat started to run down her brows and sides and her body started to ache. Luna wanted to move, but she couldn’t, she was stiff in her tracks. Her wings were the only thing keeping her afloat midair, but she was no longer in control of them.

The process was quickening and Luna began panicking. Her mind started to race and she didn’t know what to think. Her eyes darted left and right, but saw nothing save for the moon and its light. Her heart beat faster and deep inside she felt a sick feeling within as if a monster was wrestling with her stomach. And still, she could not move a muscle.

It happened suddenly. The monster within her burst and her body erupted in absolute agony as she started to fall to the ground. There are no words to describe the utter pain that Luna endured. Her body spasmed, twisting and breaking in impossible ways. The bones within her grew rapidly, much faster than any spell could have conjured up, swelling to ridiculous sizes. They grew rapidly and even tore through the skin, but flesh and muscle appeared out of nowhere and quickly surrounded it. Sinews wrapped and pulled tightly around her skeleton, rapidly multiplying in size. Her body grew threefold and her pain increased twice at least that. The wings on her back tore through away at her old skin and expanded into an incredible length, automatically generating new feathers and tough skin. Fangs and sharp teeth appeared out of her old teeth, razor sharp and shining in the moonlight. The next moment, her eyes burst open, but they were not hers. They shone an unnatural yellow and black. Her neck was the last to transform into monstrous size, enlarging to the size of a tree trunk. From it a long and deep howl erupted, echoing ominously over the land.

The creature crash landed with a loud thud on its atrociously large hooves. When the large dust cloud settled, it found itself surrounded by unfamiliar and misshapen trees. It glared at its surroundings. All eyes that had been on it disappeared quickly back into the safety of the darkness. Wereluna snarled, its blood hurtling through its veins, filled with bloodlust. She sniffed the air and gazed over the trees. Smoke rose up from a distance. THERE, GO THERE, it screamed to itself.

The creature broke into a swift run, and Celestia help any creature that crossed its path.