1,000 years ago…
“This better be good, Planner,” the large, charcoal-grey stallion growled under his breath as he rubbed his eyes blearily against the harsh morning light.
“It is, sire,” the prissy little unicorn barely managed to get out in a tone he hoped conveyed confidence. From the King’s eye-rolling he realized he hadn’t quite succeeded, but that hardly mattered now. “The southern guard garrison just flew in. The Two Sisters have been spotted flying this way from Equestria!”
The larger unicorn snorted. Another eyeroll. “Figures. That sun wench hasn’t raised the sun less than - “ he looked at the sundial on the observatory balcony across from his palace bed chambers. “ - two hours ago? What did she do? Stop in transit to play celestial tag with her sister?” he complained.
Ah, her sister, he smiled not so inwardly. Now there was a prize worth a hundred slaves…
The king sighed. “Yes, Planner?”
“The Sisters,” he reminded him. “They’re coming.”
“Not yet, Planner,” a wicked grin bared sharp teeth.
“His border guards are far from the Empire, sister,” Princess Celestia observed as they flew past high above. “They have spotted us. The element of surprise will not be on our side!”
Luna sighed. “This is just an appeal for him to release the slaves, ‘tia,” she reminded the white alicorn. “We don’t always have to go in horns blazing.”
Celestia flipped her head, wanting to push her bangs out of her eyes, then remembered she was wearing the cumbersome armor of battle that plastered her sweat-soaked locks down to her hide. “True,” she admitted. “But we must be prepared!” she shouted, practicing her newly perfected Canterlot voice.
“Sheesh, can you warn me before you do that!” she growled, rubbing her ear tenderly on the side facing her sister.
“It would not be as loud had you your armor on, little sister,” the Sun Princess chided, slightly out of breath.
At this Luna smiled wickedly, pulling slightly ahead of her sibling with ease. “True, but I am much less winded from the journey,” she couldn’t help getting in the jab, patting the saddlebag containing the dimensional crystal her miniaturized suit of armor was safely tucked away in. “Do you think he’ll like it? I just got it back from the armorer - “
“He will cower in terror before it by the time we are through with him!” Celestia assured her in a no-nonsense tone.
“That’s not exactly the effect I was going for,” the smaller alicorn muttered under her breath.
Celestia thought about this. “Then we shall write in the history books that he bravely ran away!”
Luna frowned. “He’s never run from anypony and you know it, Celly!”
She struck a pose, flattening her body to make it more aerodynamic, her right foreleg in front of her straight with her body. She looked ridiculous. “Then after this battle we shall say - “
The Night Princess sighed again. “It’s not a battle, ‘tia.”
“We shall recount the battle of his defeat as you standing over his prone form, whimpering and squirming, like the coward he is!” she said with a bit too much enthusiasm.
Luna briefly rolled her eyes.
“At least consider the description, my sister,” Celestia urged. “I have thought long and hard about it. Is quite good, is it not?”
It was considered. And on second thought it did sound better… “Yes,” Luna agreed, the wicked smile returning. ‘Standing over my prone form - “
“ - his prone form, Luna,” she corrected. “The distinction is important!”
“...whimpering, squirming,” she had lost her little sister’s attention. “...yes,” her voice took on a new confidence. “Yes, I think that will do.”
“Of course it will!” Celestia enthused. “I hath decreed it!”
“Whatever,” Luna sighed.
“Their Highnesses, Princess Celestia, Ruler of Equestria, Bringing of the Sun and its life-giving light, Upholder of - “
“Just get on with it, Planner,” the king growled from his crystal throne, bored.
“And Princess Luna, Ruler-in-Training of Equestria - “
Luna snarled at the pathetic little worm, her eyes flaring in teal-slitted fury. The king saw this and “tsk’d” in disapproval at Tight Planner, winking at the Dark Princess at the same time. Luna shot him a coy smile and proceeded to preen down a stray strand of mane on her shoulder, making sure their host saw the nubile versatility of her tongue.
He licked his lips. They were getting this meeting over in record time if he had to impale Tight Planner with crystals to do it!
“ - Bringer of the Moon,” Planner droned on. “Slayer of the Demons of the Night - “
“I have a ‘demon’ for thee to slay, my Princess,” the king grinned at her.
“Your highnesses,” the majordomo switched introductions. “his Grand Eminence, King Sombra, Master of Fear - “
“I don’t fear you,” Celestia said under her breath.
Sombra graciously ignored the nearly-inaudible barb. Nearly. Have you ever had a crystal enema, mi’dear? he thought, grinning evilly.
“ - King of Shadows, Beneficent Ruler of the Crystal Ponies of the Empire,” Planner barked out proudly. Finished at last, he stepped back.
Sombra had stood while his admin announced his titles, stalking down from his crystal throne, approaching them, giving Luna a nice look at the armored, muscled king. He could tell from her rapt appraisal of his magnificence as he swirled around her, his tail flicking playfully across her buttocks where her sister couldn’t see, that the Lunar Princess was pleased. It was obvious in the way a small smile played across her features, the toss of her head, the way she held back whinnying in approval. He grinned, allowing her to see his fangs again. This close, his musk teasing her senses, it was more than she could take, the tension making her trot in place in excitement.
Celestia broke the mood as Sombra nipped at Luna’s hide, unseen by the Sun Sister. “Yes Luna,” she barked out, oblivious. “I agree. His title of - “
Here it comes, Sombra sighed to himself. She’s going to kill the mood mocking my dominion over fear -
“ - benevolence is ridiculous!” she blowed out a sputtered snort of disgust, surprising both him and Princess Luna.
For her trouble, she got the blank, uncomprehending stare from her sister of a deer in the torchlight of an oncoming chariot.
This mockery irritated King Sombra, threatening to kill his amorous mood. “Eh?” he replied, turning to her, growling through gritted teeth.
The Sun Princess motioned to one of his slaves, moving over to the pony. “Look at this poor, poor creature!” she exclaimed. “Her beautiful, crystal visage forever hidden by this HIDEOUS leather, mind-controlling device upon her head!”
This time it was Sombra who rolled his eyes. Extending a hoof towards his subject, he smiled. “Amber Leaf, why don't you explain to our Royal guest the purposes of your device?”
She bowed and approached them. “Of course, my beloved King,” she obeyed, turning to the Sisters. With a polite bow, she rose and addressed them. “Esteemed guests, these headpieces protect those who labor in the mines, acting as light-enhancers to facilitate our movement within its near darkness.”
As Luna gaped at her well-explained argument, Celestial snorted rudely. “Oh please! Torches work just as well - ”
“Begging your pardon, most illuminated ruler,” Amber continued politely. “Torches produce soot, which is detrimental to our health and well-being. Also,” she gestured to the mouthpiece. “They filter out harmful crystal dust particles.”
As Luna smiled in approval at Amber and the King, her sister continued to search for fault in the strange headwear. “And yet you are not in the mines presently, my dear. Do you work there?” she almost sneered.
“Nay, you Eminence,” Amber replied. “I facilitate food distribution throughout the Crystal Kingdom to our subjects.” She gestured to Sombra. They couldn't see her smile underneath the mask, but it was quite evident in the tone of her voice. “None go hungry, thanks to His Highnesses’s skill at locating new veins of rare and precious crystal to ensure our importance along the Northern Trade Routes. Without King Sombra we would all starve to dea - “
“Yes, yes,” Celestia interrupted, annoying Sombra, Luna and probably the crystal pony in the process. She laid a sympathetic hoof on the masked mare. “You poor thing, I be certain thee would nay say this babbling nonsense were it not for this tyrant’s infernal mind-controlling device upon thy head!”
“More like mind-enhancing,” Sombra muttered, knowing it would do no good.
Luna’s eyes widened at Celestia’s shocking breach of diplomacy. “Sister!” she yelped. “Thy tongue!”
King Sombra seemed nonplussed by the direct insult. “Amber,” he said pleasantly. “Would thee please explain to the Princess why you and the other crystal ponies require this apparatus in our presence?”
“Of course your majesty,” Amber turned back to Celestia and Luna. “We are not, ah, how shall it be put? The brightest of specie.”
This time both sisters expressed surprise. Amber, seeing their expressions through Sombra’s magically enhanced visor, nodded. “‘tis true, my Leiges. We are as dumb as crystals.” There was no sadness in her voice, nor strain as if being forced to state such a stunning admission of her people’s mental capacity. It was a fact she simply stated.
Celestia stomped her hoof on the ground in defiance. “I refuse to believe such lies!” she shouted. Luna and Sombra both covered their ears at the same time. “To be forced to say such a vile, racist thing about your own people!” she ranted.
Once their hearing was recovered, Sombra went back up to his throne, mostly to put distance between the loud, unstable Equestrian Princess. “Very well. Amber, remove your headgear,” he waved a hoof. “If the Sun Witch requires proof, we shall provide it.”
Amber bowed. “As you wish, your - “ the crystal pony began to say as she removed the leathery helmet. She never finished the sentence for as soon as the apparatus lost contact with her head, she promptly stopped speaking. Dropping the device to the floor, she stared at Celestia with a vacant look as if it were the first time she had laid eyes upon her.
Luna turned towards Sombra, snickering. He joined her in the jest. It was a truly amusing sight - a once bright and eloquent pony turned before their eyes into a creature with the IQ of crystal dust, thus embarrassing the ruler of the sun in the process.
“Amber?” the Sun Princess addressed the formerly smart equine.
Amber blinked. She turned around, wondering where the sound of Celestia’s voice was coming from, even though the ruler was directly in front of her.
“No dear - dear, over here!” Celestia struggled to get her attention, moving again in front of her. It wasn’t working, the two circling around each other for a full minute before the hapless crystal pony slipped on a puddle of her own drool. Luna and Sombra broke out in hysterical laughter.
“Your infernal device has rendered her brain no better than a sparrow’s!” Celestia declared, turning to the shadow king.
He waved at the balcony off the throne room. “Go, see for yourself then. Look down into the streets below. You will see the truth of what I say.”
While the Princess stomped off to see for herself, Sombra gestured for Luna to come to him. Suppressing a giggle, Luna trotted over to him, her tail flagging up and down in excitement.
The Supreme Ruler of Equestria strode out onto the balcony, gazing down into the streets of the Crystal Empire. There was a mix of crystal ponies, some wearing masks, some not, going about their business.
The masked ponies strode with confidence along the streets, conversed with each other, carried goods back and forth and spoke with a few of Sombra’s guards as they were passed by.
The unmasked ponies, as beautiful as their coats shone in Celestia’s sun, were almost painful to watch. Some took several steps, then fell over their own feet. Some tried to eat nearby carts or buildings, still others, as Amber had, stood and created impressive puddles of drool underneath themselves. Others did - other unsanitary things underneath themselves that the masked Sanitation Department ponies who came by had to clean up after.
“This is no proof,” she declared, unconvinced. As she turned around, Sombra withdrew his tongue quickly from from Luna’s mouth, leaving her wanting and pouting for its continued presence. The Night Princess shot her elder sister a hateful glare which Celestia missed completely - along with the display of oral foreplay being performed upon her very willing sister by her hated enemy. “You have affected them all with your dark magic!” the white alicorn finished, coming back to face King Sombra.
Luna facehoofed herself so hard she nearly saw stars. “Celly, for Tartarus’s sake!”
“Dear mares,” the King came down from his crystal throne, Luna in hoof, then raising the armored appendage to placate the Sun Princess. “I am certain Celestia needs further proof and I am more than willing to provide it.” He stomped his hoof, bringing Tight Planner to his side. “Planner, arrange a tour of the mines. If the Princess of the Sun wishes to free the crystal ponies working there and feels them ‘tainted’ by dark magic, certainly she has the power to purify them with her august presence.” Celestia nodded, but Sombra wasn’t through with his announcement just yet. “If she can convince them to cooperate with her after their helmets are removed, she may take all who agree with her back to Equestria.”
“Agreed.” Celestia said immediately, though she then blinked, lowering the tone of her voice, surprised that Sombra was being so amiable about this. “Fine, lead the way, Tight Planner!” she loudly demanded, eager to rescue as many of Sombra’s slaves from his mines as possible. She looked over her shoulder at Luna. “Come sister.”
The Night Princess looked back at Sombra. He winked at her. “I think it prudent that I - keep an eye on King Sombra,” she told Celestia. “In case he tries to - get away.”
“Yes,” the Dark King nodded. “There are many, many rooms to the castle. It would not be prudent to leave me unescorted. I might seek refuge in one of the royal bath chambers, for example,” his red crystal eyes catching Luna’s with his meaning.
“Yes, yes I know,” Luna said seriously. “I find myself rather - in need of freshening up after such a hot - “
“ - sweaty,” Sombra offered.
“ - sweaty, vigorous - “
He smiled. “Oh it will be - “ he purred in a low, sexy voice.
“JOURNEY!” Luna interrupted, her face flushing hotly. To her relief, her sister was too busy calculating how many ponies she could carry on her back on the way home once they were rescued from the mines.
“Very well, Luna,” the elder mare said calmly once she’d finished counting. “Keep an eye on this ‘beast’ and I will return with those who I can free from this dark accursed ‘king’.”
“Take your time,” Luna bowed, replying seriously. “Several - hours if needed. I can take him.” She turned and took a stance as if to face him in battle.
“Don’t forget your armor,” Celestia advised.
Luna brightened. “Oh yes!” she lit her horn, the magical crystal floating out of her saddle bag. With a nudge of her power, it opened and her lunar armor appeared upon her body.
Sombra, intrigued by both the crystal and the armor, looked on approvingly. If anything, it made the Moon Princess almost unbearably more sexy to him. Grabbing Tight Planner, he hissed in his ear. “Take three hours, Planner - “
“Four,” Luna coughed.
Sombra nodded, agreeing. “Four.”
As his majordomo escorted Celestia to a side exit of the throne room, he raised his voice, conducting a tour, drowning out Sombra’s husky voice as he addressed Luna.
“You must teach me that dimensional pocket spell, my dear.”
“You like it? Starswirl taught it to me before we left for the Empire.”
“Really? Though you will not need to invoke it before the baths. We can always speak of it later.”
Luna giggled. “I will not bathe with thine armor on, my king.”
“There is no need to shed it in haste,” he almost purred. “Have you ever played ‘Rout & Ravishment’? It is quite a popular past time of my troops when conquering new lands. You see, it is never a wise idea to shed thine protection when partaking of the local - delicacies.”
Princess Luna did indeed find she got much dirtier from hers and King Sombra’s game of “R & R” before her bath.
When her sister returned after six hours of unsuccessfully enticing even one unmasked crystal pony to accompany them back to Equestria, she was puzzled at Luna’s peculiar, limping gait. All Luna would tell her is that Sombra had tried to tackle her and she was “sore” after the battle, but otherwise unharmed.
Deciding that the Tyrant King needed to be vanquished in order to bring the dimwitted crystal pony populace back to their senses, Celestia discovered that her sister had ‘accidentally’ only packed half the Elements of Harmony required to finish him off. Refusing to allow Luna out of her sight again, they both returned to Equestria to retrieve the magical artifacts and come back to finish the job.
It is said that Luna, disgusted with her sister’s treatment of her, had a small argument with Celestia before they left and decided to take an extended vacation on the moon to ‘give them some space’ away from each other.
The Solar Princess, deciding King Sombra was to blame for her sister’s new, bad attitude, took all the elements herself to the Frozen North and tried to take out Sombra solo. Without the balance of both day and night’s magical powers, the best she could do was strip away his physical form and throw him in a freezer for a thousand years.
No pony indeed knows the exact truth since of course, history is written by the winners - and the Princesses hold the keys to the moon and the icebox.