All was darkness.
Night eternal reigned, far crueler than even Nightmare Moon could have devised. There was no sun, no moon, not even any stars to light the sky, to guide the lost. The inky blackness smothered all light, all happiness. Silence was all the unfortunate ponies who lived in this lightless world ever knew. Silence and stillness and a great crushing burden.
But then- light!
A speck, a glimmer, nothing more. But it was a speck unquenched by the darkness. A tiny spark that hung on in the great black tide.
And with that speck was a figure, a tiny filly. She curled around the speck, nourished by the brightness. It gave her warmth and comfort in a world devoid of such emotions. It shielded her from the dark maelstrom that raged around her. And so, the little filly became a child of light in a world of dark. She slumbered, protected and safe.
A flash- the filly awoke. The world was dark around her. She trembled; what was this horrible place, filled with pain and horror? Where was her safe, warm haven? The filly was frightened.
But then, she remembered the light. It hovered next to her, illuminating a circle. It promised never to leave her, to protect her at all times. It told the filly that with the light, no creature of darkness could harm her. It called to her, spoke to her of a journey which they must embark on. They must banish the darkness from the land.
And so, the little filly set off. Soon, a dark forest closed in around her. Branches lunged out to pull at her, to drag her away to a fate better left unspoken. Glowing eyes of horrors unknown glared out at her from the deepest underbrush. And yet, the little filly was unafraid. Her light was with her; those monsters were powerless. They cowered away from the brightness, afraid to go near it lest they be burned. The little filly marched on, watchful for anything that might ensnare her, whether root or predator. Nothing evil came her way. The monsters trembled at this overpowering speck of light and the tiny pony who walked with it.
The little filly came to a village in the middle of the woods. The ponies of the town were afraid to leave the safety of their houses, for the terrifying creatures of the forest would certainly eat them up! The little filly was unafraid, and was determined to show the fearful townsponies that the monsters couldn't even scratch them. She called out to the biggest, baddest monster himself, the dreaded Chimera. And come he did! With a roar and a snarl, the scariest monster in all of the forest leaped right in front of the filly. The townsponies cried out, certain that she would be gone in a gulp. But no, the filly refused to be the Chimera's dinner. Her light glowed brighter and brighter, until it was to dazzling to look at. The Chimera gave one last, echoing bellow and then he vanished. In his place was a tiny kitten with a snake head, a goat head, and an itty-bitty lion's head.
The filly carried on in her journey, now assured the townsponies were safe. She soon reached another obstacle: a tall mountain that pushed straight through the clouds. The only way up was by an incredibly steep staircase, one so steep that even the mountain goats refused to climb it. The little filly didn't know this, however. Her little light only showed the step directly above her. For every step she climbed, it only showed the next. She took each ledge as bravely as the one before it, and before she knew it, she had reached the top.
A gaping chasm now separated her from her goal. It was much too wide to jump across, and to try to climb down was sheer madness. The little filly faltered, unsure as how to go on. Then she closed her eyes and wished and wished with all her heart, with every part of her being. With a tinkling chime of bells, two beautiful wings appeared upon her back. They were silver like moonlight and they floated unconnected next to her body, shimmering softly. The little filly tensed her tiny legs and LEAPED! They silver wings sprang open and carried her gently over the chasm, soft as cats' paws. The little filly landed nimbly at the ledge on the far side, and her moonlight wings evaporated, the gift returning to the light it came from.
The little filly came to another town, this one much different from the first. Instead of fear, these ponies held sorrow in their hearts. Even getting up was a struggle for them, as they were so burdened with pain. The filly's ears pinned back as the grief she felt washed over her. The world wasn't black here; it was gray.
A plan was whispered to her by her light, the closest friend she had. It whispered to her a secret, a way to dispel the fog that rolled in waves across the empty streets. The little filly closed her eyes again. She felt warmth like she could never had imagined trickle into her. And then, the warmth spread to the others. The golden warmth pulsed out from the filly's tiny body, and the fog could not hope to stand against it. As the fog retreated, so did the grip of sadness upon the hearts of the ponies that inhabited the gray town. For the first time, they felt as though the weight of grief was gone, rolled off their shoulders. The little filly continued on, knowing her work in this town was done.
An even greater opponent faced her now as she descended into the realm of death himself: the underworld. The walls of the tunnel to this lifeless realm were decorated with the bones of the slain. They were cold and slimy, pushing in on her from all sides, but she did not waver. She stepped into the underworld itself. Death watched from a throne of bones; it was not his place to interfere.
A spark! A spark from the filly's light!
A single spark fell upon the cold dead ground, and the ground knew the touch of life. Suddenly, the dark cavern was alight with tiny sparks, like fireflies in the night. Wherever they touched, life flourished: plants grew at astounding rates, animals breathed their first breaths, and light glimmered and glittered, thousands of enchanted droplets suspended in the air.
Death watched from his throne, satisfied. Light had finally come.
The tunnel out of the underworld was one filled with moss and vines and all sorts of flowering plants. Sweet scents filled the air and the gentle leaves caressed the filly's back.
A bleak cliff now towered in front of the filly. It rose up high, solid and unwavering. There was no way around it and no way over it. The filly stared at it, unsure of what to do.
The light came to her aid once more. It pulsed brighter for an instant, and a gentle melody began to play. The cliff itself was silent as it listened. It trembled, as if remembering a time of kindness and love instead of the cold hardness that it had known for an eternity. As the final quavering notes died away, the cliff spit in two with the softest of rumbles, giving the filly a gentle slope to climb up, making her path an easy one.
A frozen plane awaited the filly as she climbed the gentle incline. Bitter winds howled and moaned around pillars and masses of solid ice. It was snowing, but not with soft white flakes. There were hard and biting, stinging the filly's flank as she struggled onwards. The little filly shivered in the horrible cold. She felt tired and weak, almost unable to go on. She was in dire peril of freezing where she stood.
Finally, she collapsed, overwhelmed. However, her closest and dearest friend would not let the frost take her. A tiny pulse of light, barely noticeable in the swirling whiteness, bounced of of a jagged point of ice. It split into two, small little bolts flashing from ice mound to ice mound. Finally, there was a burst more brilliant than dawn. The sky began to clear of its vicious gray clouds, chased away by a greater power.
A tongue of fire rippled across the sky, colored like a rainbow. And then, another appeared, and another. Soon great shifting sheets shone in the black sky, illuminating the ice planes with the first aurora. The light bobbed on and the little filly followed, determined once more.
An oily sea stood between the filly and her final goal. It rushed around her as she sought to wade through it. It whispered to her words of discouragement, it pushed down cruelly upon her. The filly gasped as she was pulled under the dark current. The sea whispered give up, you cannot do it...
Her light was there to save her. It flashed and shone, and the waves retreated, fearful of the great light that went before the filly. In truth, it was terrified to touch something as luminous as the little light. It became afraid to go near the bearer of the light, the little filly with no fear.
At long last, the filly reached the obsidian castle where her greatest foe lurked: not the dark, but Darkness Itself. The Darkness kept the land shrouded in despair and fear, cast coldness and cruelty as a blight. The Darkness had no heart and felt no remorse. The Darkness awaited the Light-Bringer.
The little filly, the Light-Bringer, stood before the Darkness with not a single shed of fear in her eyes. She knew she must destroy It, or the Light could never win.
The Darkness laughed cruelly. The Light-Bringer? A filly? Ha! Such a small creature could not stand before Its mighty power, power that enslaved a world.
Nevertheless, the little filly stood tall, stood strong. Without hesitation, she charged the Darkness, a monstrosity with an indescribable form. The Darkness receded, not wishing for the tiny light to scald It. For in truth, darkness cannot stand before light. The Darkness lashed out at the little filly with great claws, but she just leaped aside. The Darkness swung again, and the little filly toppled back into a wall.
The Darkness chucked. This insignificant creature could not stand before It! It launched a huge, ravenous bolt of shadow at the filly, planning to extinguish the light and devour her. It swirled around her malignantly, encompassing her in its vile folds.
All was darkness...
The Darkness laughed and roared triumphantly. This filly had been foalish to try and face It! Now the light had been lost forever. The Darkness taunted the filly about her weakness, laughing at her feeble attempt.
But then, the filly looked into the Darkness, and It was afraid. It saw a spark in her eyes, the Spark which could never be put out. The filly and her light had become one.
And then the filly began to glow. She was lifted off the floor and surrounded in a brilliant aura. The Darkness cried out in pain, even as the filly began to change. She grew tall and strong, with a great, spiraling horn and massive feathered wings. Her mane and tail became hundreds, thousands, millions of stars all swirling around her. Her countenance began to shine with the presence of the spark. Beautiful jewelry, more lovely than any pony could ever think to create, shimmered into existence, glowing with a power beyond mortal comprehension. The little filly had been transformed into the Light-Bringer.
And then the Darkness felt fear. Raising her graceful horn aloft, the Light-Bringer summoned the power of light itself. The Darkness gave one last desperate attempt to stop her, but it was far too late. With a final baleful howl, the Darkness was banished forever. The Light-Bringer had brought the first dawn.
The Light-Bringer was no more than a little filly, but she was the greatest of us all for destroying the plague upon our land, for reversing the evil done to ponykind.
The little filly's name is Hope, and she is the spark in all of our hearts.