Thunderstorm and the Four Winds

by Carabas

First published

Once upon a time, one brave pegasus stole command over the weather itself from the heavens.

Once upon a time, one brave pegasus stole command over the weather itself from the heavens. Nowadays, Rainbow Dash tells Scootaloo the legend.

Cover art from the gallery of Jowybean.

Thunderstorm and the Four Winds

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Let me tell you a story, Scoots.

Nah, nothing like that, no ghost stories or nothing new. I’m talking about something my grandpa told me when I was a filly. Real old stuff. Bit of our folklore, in fact, so you pay attention now, squirt. Reckon you might appreciate it more than most.

Sitting comfortably? Alright. Get your marshmallow out the campfire as well. You don’t want it going up in smoke. Again.

The Tale of Thunderstorm and the Four Winds.

What? That’s the title. I’m storytelling, I’m allowed to say it all dramatic.

Squirt, if you keep interrupting with questions about how I tell it, then this is going to be a very long or very short storytelling session, alright?

Alright.

Long, long ago, before we had the princesses, before Equestria was founded, before the tribes ever united and before the windigos came down from the north, we pegasi lived in our flocks around the eastern mountains. All of us living together in our own flocks, hunting and scavenging and living as best we could.

And living was tough, ‘cause back then we couldn’t control the weather. All we could do was try and fly around it and avoid it as best we could, huddling in caves and under trees when the storms thundered all around us. The unicorns had the sun and moon under their control back then, so they were doing all right, and the earth ponies were farming and tilling and coaxing green stuff from the earth, so they were doing all right as well. But we were squeezed in the middle, unable to make our voices heard without the weather on our side. So we mostly starved, and we endured whatever movements of the sun and moon best suited the unicorns rather than ourselves, and all we could do was hang on and try to survive on what little we could find or steal.

Yeah, okay, I know we shouldn’t have wanted to steal things from the other tribes in the first place, but come on. Different times and all. Also, you’re interrupting.

Anyway, all we could do was survive, and in that part of the world … well, good luck with even that. Apart from all the evil magical beasts and rival tribes and the pony-eating corvids to the south and wild magic and suchlike, that was where all the four winds of the world blew to meet as one, battering the whole land with storms and gales and lightning. The earth ponies had their tough little cottages, and the unicorns could hide away in their castles. But we couldn’t make homes out of the clouds, and so we either hid away in the caves and waited for the storms to blow over when they came, or we got smashed off the mountains mid-flight.

Grim stuff. We had a Commander back then, ruling all the flocks like Hurricane did, but remember, this was thousands of years before her day, and the Commander then was a bit of a wimp. He didn’t pay much mind to the flocks, and they didn’t pay much mind to him in return, and each flock relied on their own chieftains and warriors and heroes to keep them protected.

And out of every tribe’s heroes back in those days, none were swifter and none were braver and none were smarter than Thunderstorm! She was the mare who’d flown to the Utmost North to find the Flowers of Youth to heal her flock’s chieftain. She was the mare who’d fought and driven off the corvid Cormaer single-hoovedly. And she’d … aw heck, all kinds of other stuff. You’ve heard those stories, right?

What? Aw, man, you’ve been missing out. Ask Twilight the next time you get a chance, and she’ll have a book with all the Thunderstorm legends. Bet you bits on that.

Heh. Or maybe I could just tell them to you myself, the next time we’re out camping. That might be better.

Anyway, Thunderstorm saw all the suffering going on around her. Pegasi getting broken by the storms or having to flee from them, unable to carve out a place in the world for themselves. And she was only noticing the whole problem now. Some problems you live your life with, and it never really seems like a problem unless you realise it all of a sudden, or you notice it for the first time or somepony else points it out to you.

Or something like that.

Jeez, I’m interrupting myself now. And I gotta find a better word to get back into the story with than ‘anyway’. Anyhow, Thunderstorm was famous across all the flocks by this time in her life. All of her great adventures were behind her, she was a sure-fire shoe-in to be her flock’s next chieftain, and she was as tough and fast as anypony was ever going to get. But the world was still a pretty nasty place and she wasn’t getting any younger, not after she’d found the last Flowers of Youth in all the north. She wanted a last great quest, one that would set the world to rights and keep all the pegasi flocks protected. And she decided she’d take the weather’s reins from the world and place it into the hooves of the pegasi. She knew we’d have to command the sky itself if we were ever to have a happily ever-after.

So she flew up and sat on top of their home mountain to think to herself. Who might already command the skies? Where did power over the weather rest? She didn’t know the answer, but she knew who might know. And she decided she’d have to ask the Winds themselves.

There were four different Winds blowing from their own distant parts of the world, North, South, West, and East. Each of them might know something, and Thunderstorm decided to meet them all. So she sprung off the mountain and set off. She flew over mile after mile of mountains and snow-covered plains and great white glaciers, she flew for day after day, she flew until the spit froze in her mouth and even her magical weightless barding shivered, until she met the North Wind.

The North Wind was among the grimmest and surliest of the winds out there. It blew down constantly and relentlessly, mixing its power with the other winds to flood the world in storms, and it cared nothing for the pegasi or the other pony tribes caught in its work. Thunderstorm saw its huge shape from across an ice field, preparing for its next onslaught. She flew closer, and it growled at her approach like an angry wolf.

“Prithee, O Wind of the North,” Thunderstorm, um, declaimed. “I do beseech thee for thine most … something-or-other aid, on behalf of … wait, should that have been ‘thy’? I can never remember the —”

...Y’know, maybe making it all Shakelancy doesn’t add that much to the experience.

“Yo, North Wind,” said Thunderstorm. “I want to know how the pegasi can master the weather, so that we don’t have to suffer under it any longer.”

“WANT ALL YOU WISH,” growled the North Wind, its voice echoing across the ice plains. “I CARE NOTHING FOR ANY EARTH-DWELLER’S PLIGHT. ALL THAT MATTERS ARE THE STORMS I MUST SEND FORTH. LEAVE BEFORE I BREAK YOU.”

Thunderstorm was no fool, and knew it would tell her nothing. So she sighed, turned around, and flew back the way she came. Towards the South Wind.

She flew back over the icefields and glaciers until she passed the mountain she’d started from, and she kept flying. She flew over mile after mile of wide glens and river-valleys snaking between the mountains, over tangled forests and heather-covered moorland. The corvids that lived here knew better than to tussle with her after she’d punched their Cormaer’s beak off in another of her adventures, and so she kept flying until she reached the coastline. Out there, from across the deep, dark waters, the South Wind came blowing, swift and grey like the tips of the waves.

But the South Wind wasn’t keen on talking either. It was tired and busy, ‘cause it was the Wind that had to blow the furthest across the world before it met its brothers, and it always spent its effort on the islands across the southern sea or on the corvid lands, becoming weak by the time it reached the pegasi flocks.

“Yo, South Wind,” said Thunderstorm as it approached. But it didn’t stop, and flew right by her. “Hey! Hey, bozo, I’m talking to you. Stop flying away!” It kept on flying, ignoring every word and curse Thunderstorm threw at its back, and she flew after it. “I want to know how to - oh, for pete’s sake, are you even listening?”

The South Wind just wanted to get the job done and get back home to its bed before the next day’s work, and though it was tired, it was still faster than Thunderstorm. Finally, as it flew past the horizon, Thunderstorm had to give it up as a lost cause.

So she groaned, muttered the worst curse she knew — no, I’m not telling you what, your folks will have my hide as a carpet — and flew west. That’s where she’d find the West Wind. Bit of a clue in the name there.

She flew for miles and miles and days and days, until the glens and moors and mountains began to flatten into orderly fields. These fields ran all the way to the horizon, kicking up dirt and dust from the labour of a million sweating slaves, and it all blew up into Thunderstorm’s eyes as she flew. Cities loomed over the fields as they ran up and over the mountains, and crowned their peaks with palaces. A mighty and cruel empire ruled in these parts, ruled by a spoiled Imperator, and Thunderstorm suspected she’d find the wind here. So she waited until nightfall and snuck into the greatest of the palaces. And there she found the West Wind.

But the West Wind had been seduced by the empire, bribed and pampered until it lived a life of luxury in one of their palaces, throwing its power out from a distance to keep the empire’s fields and skies clear. Its winds had become cold, dusty things, flung out randomly and thoughtlessly to catch the pegasi off guard each time. And when Thunderstorm entered its chambers, it sneered and turned its gaze away from her.

“Yo, West Wind. I want to know how the pegasi can gain mastery over the weather, so our flocks don’t have to suffer under the storms any more. How can that be done?” said Thunderstorm.

“Guards, why is this vagabond allowed to breathe on the premises?” hissed the West Wind, barely stirring from its chair. “Shoo her off, to either the outside or the Hereafter. I’m not fussy.”

Thunderstorm outflew the arrows and javelins the guards slung after her and escaped out the window, simmering like her namesake as she headed home.

The farms and mountain-cities passed under her and soon fell behind as Thunderstorm flew home. Familiar miles swept by, and she circled once around her starting mountain before making for her final point of call. If none of the other winds would so much as speak to her, maybe the East Wind would be a little more helpful.

Story aside, pattern-recognition, Scoots. It’s a handy skill. Legends can get by without it, we can’t.

Thunderstorm flew east, over the mountains of the other pegasi flocks and over the unicorn castles and over the fortified earth pony farmsteads. She flew until the dark mountains rose before her, their black peaks clawing up past the clouds. She flew over them, her wings creaking with the effort, until she finally cleared their summits and saw what waited on the other side.

The vast eastern ocean, black and pitiless as the night sky, spanning as far as the eye could see under a sky heavy with storm-clouds. For all her travels, Thunderstorm had never flown out here before, and had only ever heard stories of the terrors that waited beyond. She was brave, but she wasn’t stupid, and she’d stayed clear. But now she had no other choice, and so she took a deep breath and flew off the edge of the world.

For a month and a day she flew into the blackness, never ceasing or slowing down, even when she felt her wings would fall off and her eyelids demanded to fall shut. Half-seen things swam in the water beneath her hooves, and she knew if she fell into the depths, she’d never fly back out.

So she flew and flew and flew, and finally, as she drew near a small, rocky island jutting out of the waters, she saw the East Wind sitting and waiting.

The East Wind was old and powerful, and the pegasi had known and feared it since the dawn of time. It never tired, and the storms it threw westwards were even greater than those sent by its brother, the North Wind. But in its long life, it had always watched the pegasi and other pony tribes struggling to survive, and had come to see them as kin of the world they all shared. It had cajoled the earth into rising up and shielding the land’s eastern edge - y’know, back in the days when the earth still did that sort of thing — and most of the storms it sent battered harmlessly off the great dark mountains. It sat, and it waited, and it greeted Thunderstorm with a knowing smile.

“Yo, East Wind,” said Thunderstorm. “The pegasi are really suffering under the constant storms. I’ve flown a long way to find out how to master the weather. Any idea how?”

“Hmm,” said the East Wind. “Tricky. I think I might know how you can gain that power — or at least, who you could get it from. But it won’t be easy.”

“That doesn’t matter. Tell me,” said Thunderstorm.

“We Four Winds are great and powerful,” said the East Wind. “But there is one who is yet more powerful, for he holds mastery over us and all the skies. The High King. He is terrible, and wrathful, and jealous of his own power, and dwells past the highest clouds beyond the reach of all flight — even yours. He commands us winds with his own mastery, and orders us to blow unceasingly so that the world will always tremble under him. Stealing his power from him won’t be easy. But it could be done.”

“How, if he lives beyond even my flight?” said Thunderstorm

“You must bait him out. Sting him in his pride, and he will come forth to fight you,” said the East Wind. “And to sting his pride, you must defeat his servants below the clouds, we Four Winds, and see us fleeing back up to his stronghold. Then he will descend to have revenge. Then you will be able to steal his power and free us. Or die horribly. Whichever suits.”

Thunderstorm nodded. “Any tips for how I defeat you Winds?” she said.

“We shall each have our weaknesses you can exploit, and I leave finding those up to you,” said the East Wind. “I suggest leaving me until the end, though. I shall be compliant, and you’ll need your energy.”

Thunderstorm nodded once more, and after a moment’s stretching to breath life back into her tired wings, she set off back home across the black ocean, determined to finish this new task and to bring down the High King.

She arrived back home in only a week’s flight, flying as she did with the East Wind at her back. She circled around her home mountain once, twice, thrice, thinking as she did so, and then set off once more, intending to repeat her previous order. From North to South, from West to East, she’d conquer the Winds.

She flew north, then, following her old path over the familiar mountains and glaciers and ice-fields until she heard the great echoing growl of the North Wind. “YOU DARE RETURN TO ME IN DEFIANCE?” it boomed. “YOU WISH TO DIE THAT BADLY?”

Thunderstorm flew forth at the huge North Wind. Fear hammered in her heart, but she flew onwards regardless, because she was the bravest pegasus that ever lived, and that meant she fought in spite of her fear rather than not feeling it at all or giving into it. The North Wind descended on her just as she awesomely snapped out an upperhoof at —

...What do you mean, ‘inauthentic lingo’? Where did you hear ‘inauthentic’ from, anyway? Has Rarity been teaching you bad language again?

Anyhow, she slammed her hoof right up into its face, and Thunderstorm and the North Wind battled across the ice! She flitted around him, outstripping him for speed, and dove upon him, pounded him with her enchanted shoes, the same ones she’d stolen from a unicorn prince in another legend — I’ll tell you that one later — and dived out of the way of every lumbering swipe he sent her way. Past his bluster, he was nowhere as hard as he looked, and all she’d needed was to be brave enough to charge in. Before long, she was tired but victorious, and the North Wind was limping up into the sky. “OW!” he said. “HELP! I WANT MY MOMMY! NO-ONE TOLD ME THINGS ON THE SURFACE WOULD TRY TO PUNCH YOU!”

Thunderstorm smirked, caught her breath, and turned herself around and flew straight south. Ice and glaciers swept by, turned into the mountains of the pegasi, and these soon turned to glens and heathery moorland. She perched herself back on the southern coastline, where she’d met the South Wind the last time. And sure enough, there he came from the grey southern skies, as swift as any of his sea-gales.

Thunderstorm was the cleverest pegasus that ever lived, and she knew that though the South Wind may be swifter than his Northern brother — faster than her, even — he would be too tired from his long journey to want to put up much of a fight. He wouldn’t want to fight, while she had everything to fight for, and that would ensure she would win the battle if nothing else would.

She sprung out on the South Wind, taking him by surprise before he could leap out of the way, and whaled on him for several minutes while he struggled to break free. Eventually, when she was certain that he would only fly off with news of her rather than fight back, Thunderstorm let him go and watched the South Wind fly away. “I’ll complain to management about this!” he yelled as he went, and Thunderstorm knew she’d won.

After taking another moment to catch her breath, longer than she’d taken for the North Wind for some reason, Thunderstorm turned west, to where the West Wind lived in luxury as a guest of the empire, and set off. She left the coastline behind, and soon the farmlands and high cities came back into view. She set her gaze on the highest palace atop the highest mountain, where she found the West Wind the first time. And so she flew directly for it, hid on a roof until nightfall, and crept in to find the West Wind. They were found fast asleep on a great soft quilt, and snored until Thunderstorm shoved them awake.

“What the— you again?” the West Wind said.

“Me again,” replied Thunderstorm. “That imperial makeup looks awful on your complexion, by the way.”

The West Wind leapt up suddenly with a roar of fury, shattering all the mirrors in its room and bringing the palace’s countless guards charging on. But Thunderstorm was the swiftest pegasus who ever lived, and the arrows and javelins they hurled at her missed, each and every one. She sprung out the window and flew out across the farmland, and the West Wind followed her in its anger.

For long miles and longer leagues they flew, the West Wind and Thunderstorm, choking the skies with blown-up dust and flashes of lightning. Though it had seemed soft, the West Wind could be as swift as its Southern brother and as strong as the North when roused. But it was blinded by its anger, and the power it threw forth only ever buffeted Thunderstorm ever onwards, combining with her speed to make her uncatchable. They clashed in the skies for over a week until the West Wind finally collapsed, utterly spent. Thunderstorm pursued it and battered it while it was down, until the Wind finally staggered up into the sky.

“I’ll get the High King to blow down your house and burn the ruins!” it yelled. “And set the ashes on fire as well, for good measure!”

Thunderstorm laughed as it left, but as soon it was out of sight, she collapsed with coughing and attempts to regain her breath. The battle had choked her with dust, and she felt as tired as she’d ever felt. She was still a hero, but she was still getting older as well, and the long fight with the West Wind had drained her badly.

But her job wasn’t finished, and so she made herself recover, turned around, and flew east. To the last of the Winds.

Over farmland and cities, over the mountains of home, over the cruelest and highest mountains, over all of them she flew, and back across the black ocean as well. Several times, she nearly slipped beneath the water while half-asleep, and only caught herself at the last minute. She flew on regardless for a month and a day, until she finally reached the same island where she’d met the East Wind. The East Wind was there, watching and waiting.

She alighted on the island, and staggered up to the East Wind. It looked down at her. “Have you defeated my brothers? Sent them skywards?” it said.

Thunderstorm nodded, and the East Wind stretched itself for battle. “Let’s finish this, then,” it said, and mustered a great storm around its head. Thunderstorm leapt up, but was caught off guard by the force of the pelting winds, and only got one light kick in against the East Wind’s leg.

The East Wind instantly collapsed there and then, its storm overhead fading away. “Aaargh, oh no, I have been bested,” it said while dramatically flailing. “What can mere wind do in the face of such strength, aargh, etc. I must tell the High King at once about this terrifying foe. Only he can save us.”

Thunderstorm waited for the dramatics to finish, and then asked the wind, “When will you tell him?”

“I must go now. He will be suspicious if he has heard from the others and doesn’t hear from me,” the East Wind said. “I will give wind to your wings to head back to your land, but don’t tarry. If the High King doesn’t find you soon, he will take vengeance upon your flock. You must go there to protect them, come what may.”

Thunderstorm cursed and immediately launched herself into flight, speeding like ballista-shot back over the ocean with the East Wind’s power under her. The East Wind flew up into the skies, but not too quickly, in order to give Thunderstorm a head start.

Thunderstorm flew and flew, with both the East Wind’s power and her own determination and desperation giving her speed that split the sky with thunder in its wake...

Huh? Inspiration? Heh, I guess so. Heard this before I was even old enough to go to flight camp.

She was battered by the winds and by her own speed, and got tired past the point where any other pony would have collapsed, but she flew on regardless. Over the oceans and over the high peaks and over the mountains of home she flew, finishing the journey in a few days rather than a month or a week.

And no sooner had she alighted in a grassy field next to her home mountain, then the sky darkened all at once, growling with thunder and distant flashes of lightning, and the clouds thickened right above her home mountain. Vast black tendrils punched through the clouds to rip them asunder, and past them, there loomed the colossal head of the High King. He was a great cloud of black wind and crackling lightning, rising up into the sky further than Thunderstorm could see, and as she looked up at him, white eyes in the depths of his form blazed open.

“You have challenged and humiliated my servants,” boomed the High King, his voice like distant thunder. Thunderstorm saw the Winds slinking around him like whipped puppies. “Thus you have challenged me.”

“Give the pegasi the power to control the weather!” said the bravest pegasus who ever lived, looking right back up at the High King and meeting his gaze. “Do that, and this doesn’t have to go any further.”

“I think not,” said the High King. “Servants, take her. All of you.”

The Winds looked at one another, and then hesitantly back up at the High King. “I’VE STILL GOT A BRUISE FROM HER,” whined the North Wind.

“I’m behind on my schedule. Can’t I just get back to work?” said the South Wind.

“Have you seen what she did to my complexion?” said the West Wind.

“Aargh, alas, my poor ailing frame, aargh,” said the East Wind, and winked at Thunderstorm.

“No? Then I will deal with her myself,” said the High King. With one pass of his tendril, his power flared to life amidst his form like a glowing ember, catching Thunderstorm’s attention.

And in the next sentence, he brought the sky down upon her. Lightning bolt after lightning bolt screamed out from the depths of the dark clouds, and Thunderstorm desperately twisted from side to side to avoid them. She angled herself upwards towards the rent in the clouds, and hammered up from the ground to reach it and the High King. Thunder rolled across the sky and rain drove down in sheets as hard as iron, blinding Thunderstorm and forcing her back from the High King. Her magical weightless barding was overwhelmed and torn off her frame by the weight of water, and she struggled to so much as keep flying past the deluge.

She wheeled in mid-air and flew to to curve around the mountain’s side for shelter. More lightning chased her down, bolts smashing upon the mountainside at her back and sending a long path of molten rock sloughing off its face. Thunderstorm threw herself away from the spray of molten rock, forcing herself to stay upright in the air against the rain. Still she fought, flying up at the High King’s face again and again. Each time she flew up, rain battered her down, and once the High King had threatened the Winds into action, each gust they sent nearly sent her swerving into his lightning. But every time she was forced back, she flew back up, never surrendering.

But a moment came where she grew too tired, and she needed a moment to catch her breath and think. Thunderstorm threw her hoof up to shield her eyes from the rain as she tried to think, stopping in mid-air out of tiredness, and in that moment, the High King struck. Lightning lashed down and tore across her back, and Thunderstorm was struck senseless with pain. She fluttered down through the storm, and only woke when she crashed into the distant ground.

Scorched feathers fell around her, and a jarring weightlessness and hollow pain atop her back told Thunderstorm the worst news she could have received. The wings that had carried her across the world for so many years had been burned away.

From far above, the High King laughed. “We are done here,” he said. “Return to your posts, and visit storms upon this wretched land that will scour it down to the core. Hem them in and make sure they see their doom approach. Teach them the price of disobedience”

And as Thunderstorm lay broken upon the ground, past the roll of the thunder and the hammering of the rain and the howling of the wind, she heard distant cries from her flock, pinned within the mountain caves. They were still her flock, and she was still their hero. And so she rose to her hooves.

She looked up, and saw the rent in the sky slowly closing. The High King’s tendrils slowly wove it back together, his white eyes staring down at her in triumph. And to her side, the mountain lay partially sundered by the force of the High King’s lightning, a long and curving path slashed into it that still glowed with heat.

And Thunderstorm knew what she had to do.

She took off towards the mountain path, fighting past her pain and galloping swiftly up the trail of molten rock. Her enchanted shoes hissed as they struck the hot rock, but they kept her feet protected, and she kept her gaze straight ahead and let the rain nearly blind her. All she had to do was run straight towards the rift in the sky.

The High King growled with fury, and another volley of lightning crashed around her. But though he had taken Thunderstorm’s wings, he couldn’t take the wind from under her hooves. He may have taken the skies from her, but he couldn’t take the pegasus out of her, and so she galloped on. The rain and wind buffeted her, but she pressed on, filled with a fire that could never be quenched. Her hooves struck up sparks and molten spray from the ground like a drumbeat. And as she saw the rent narrow and narrow, she ran all the harder.

But the gap narrowed and narrowed, past the point where she could fit in it, and revealed only the cold gaze of the High King. For all she kept running, the embers of hope dimmed in Thunderstorm’s heart.

Then the wind howled anew and the rent flickered around the edges. Thunderstorm squinted to see what was happening. The East Wind rushed around the cloud rift, forcing it open and defying the angry High King. “Leap!” called the East Wind. “Leap now, while I have the strength!”

Thunderstorm needed no second telling as she reached the half-melted peak of the mountain. And as the High King brought all his strength to bear to crush the East Wind and force the gap closed, she drew upon everything she had. And with the last of her strength, she leapt out across the void and in the last second, in the absolute nick of time, flew up into the High King’s domain. The East Wind lifted her as she cleared its form in the gap, and she plunged up into the form of the High King himself.

He reared back in shock and drew upon his power to force Thunderstorm back, it flared in his grip, and she tore it from his hooves to hurl it back down towards the ground, glowing for a brief time like the sun itself.

The High King screamed, and Thunderstorm’s last tired laugh was drowned out by the roar of the winds as the gap in the clouds slid closed. The rain lightened, and then vanished; the thunder and lightning faded into nothing; the clouds shivered the darkness out of themselves with one final torrent of water, and paled. And the winds softened and went away back to their own corners of the world.

And for a few long moments, peace held in the world before the pegasi of Thunderstorm’s flock peered out into the world. There was nothing but molten rock cooling and settling around their mountain. There was nothing but a sky grey with with quiet and solid clouds. And amidst a grassy field, there was nothing but a glimmer of fading power, nearly hidden amongst the grass.

The pegasi ventured closer to the glimmer, and there they found the stolen power of the High King. They cautiously picked it up, and found to their delight that contained within was all his weathercrafting talent, allowing them to shape the winds and fashion the clouds and work with the weather as they pleased.

The instant it was in their grasp, they immediately used it to fly up and into the sky, carving the clouds apart to try and retrieve Thunderstorm from where she’d fallen, to let her know that her striving had brought them the greatest gift the pegasi could have ever known.

But past the cloud cover, there was only blank, rolling whiteness all around, with blue extending up forever, with nothing to suggest a pegasus, or a High King, or anything else at all had ever existed or fought there. And though they searched for a year, and mourned her after with songs that tried to reach up into the very heavens to call her home, Thunderstorm was never seen again.

Out of respect for her last deed, the flock took her gift and spread it equally across all the pegasus flocks, who she had all helped at one time or another. And soon, even pegasus foals were learning to direct gusts sent by the Winds, to clear and move clouds, and to not fear the storms that came rolling in overhead. For they were now more powerful than any storm and all the Winds combined when they worked together, and the skies now held no fear for them.

And … well, that’s how we took the weather into our own hooves. How we took it from the best using cunning and skill, and how we secured our place amongst the other pony tribes, and how we remain a pillar for all Equestria to this day. Why we call the wind from the east lucky, and why some older folks say you can hear it laugh in its freedom if you listen just right.

And it’s why sometimes, when the wind picks up and the clouds all shift around, you can can see ghost ponies galloping across the sky, galloping amongst the clouds. One of them’s Thunderstorm, keeping an eye on all her heirs below and making sure we’re alright and not in too much trouble. Or, well, not any trouble that we didn’t seek out for ourselves.

Cool, right?

Heh, well, uh, I’m sure my grandpa might’ve told it a little bit cooler. Couldn’t have ever told him that, though, or he’d just get a big head. Terrible thing to happen to a pony, trust me.

Bunch of baloney too. Maybe. But heck, they were telling it back in Hurricane’s day. Maybe they thought all we pegasi today could stand to keep on hearing it. All sorts of things we could learn from it.

The bit where she flew her fastest was always my favourite. Thought you might like some of the stuff near the end as well, when Thunderstorm got her w —

Alright. We don’t have to talk about it. Always best to turn the stories over in your own head, anyway.

It’s getting dark. Not that dark, though, and I reckon we’ve got enough logs to keep us going for a while yet. Hit me with your own best shot, squirt.

I’m sure you’ve got plenty stories of your own.