A Tale of the Sun, Moon, and Stars

Three divine sisters, The Sun, Moon, and Stars, have reigned over the heavens and earth since time immemorial. This is a tale of their greatest hardships and triumphs as challenges unforeseen seek to ruin the world they have created for their beloved ponies.

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1. A Tale of the Sun, Moon, and Stars

A Tale of the Sun, Moon, and Stars

 

By: Dal

Edited By: Bok

Cover Art By: NoOneBahtim

 

 

A unicorn filly galloped through the winding path that lead to the library, urgency building with every twist and turn. One of the most common sights in Equestria greeted her as she crashed through the open door. Twilight Sparkle was there, sitting comfortably on a rug. Placed in front of her was a large book, and to her side was a hearth keeping her warm.

Twilight grinned as she closed the book, placing it to the side. "I was afraid you were going to miss our little read along."

"Sorry, I rushed here as fast as I could! I wouldn’t miss this for the world!" The filly blushed in embarrassment; she knew Twilight's timekeeping abilities were impeccable. "What were you reading?" she asked with a quizzical glance.

"It’s an old tale that I'm very fond of. I doubt you would like it very much."

Filled with curiosity, she played her trump card. "Awww, can you read it to me? If you like it I will too! Come on. Please?”

Twilight noticed the glint in her guest's eyes; it was the very one she would get at that age, an insatiable desire to learn.

"Okay, make yourself comfortable as it is quite long," is all the resistance Twilight could muster after looking into those adorable eyes again.

Twilight motioned for the eager filly to sit down while she returned the book to its previous position.

"Long ago …”

 

 

Long ago, there were three sisters who ruled over the heavens and the earth. The eldest being the Sun: the Shepherd, the Light Bringer, the Herald of the New Day. There was the graceful Moon: the Muse, the Dreamweaver, the Ruler of the Night. Youngest among them was the Stars. She held no titles; not even the oldest and dustiest of books remembered her name, but to say she wasn't as important as her sisters would be folly.

For the Stars surrounded both the earth and the heavens; she was the conduit through which the world's magic flowed. Even if she was weak, she held the most crucial job of all; keeping harmony between her sisters and the beings of the earth.

Below the heavens laid the earth, and upon it lived three tribes of ponies. The sisters adored them with a love and affection in a way only a mother shows her children. For eons they watched them live and play amongst rolling hills, towering peaks, and billowing clouds of their homelands. And with great disappointment they watched on as the three tribes begin to quarrel and bicker between each other.

Years passed by, and mistrust mounted. One year, the spring never came. The Sun was in shock- her warmth could not penetrate the coldness that had enveloped the land. The Moon was reduced to tears- her night only brought misery upon their children. The Stars shivered, sensing only coldness in her ponies’ hearts.

Their ponies would not last much longer under the oppressive, all consuming winter. To save the long peace, the sisters created a plan: each would choose a champion to lead their tribe out of the darkness that had befallen them. The Sun chose an earth pony, wisest among her peers. The Moon chose a pegasus, her compassion unrivaled. The Stars chose a unicorn, the most powerful, and yet the most humble of her kind.

But they couldn’t just send their champions on their way without lessons. Their classroom was not found in a book or building, but came in trials that ranged from strange dreams to simple logs in the road. With each lesson their champions grew stronger, ready to restore the harmony that had been lost, and find those that had planted the seeds of strife. In the end, they all were lead to the same destination: Equestria.

Horrible monsters from the dark emerged from the whipping winds. Windigos. Terrifying apparitions that had crawled out the deepest crack of the coldest glacier; spreading over the warm world, feeding off the disharmony of the ponies. The three gathered and faced these horrible creatures, ready to send them back to their frozen home.

The spark of friendship between them ignited into a roaring flame, their very eyes glowing with the fire within them. They flew above the blizzard; filling the world with hope once more. Their power hit the windigos with something they had never known before … love. It destroyed them, and their wails became the winter winds.

The strength of their bonds did more than stop the windigos; it melted the icy chains around the heart of ponykind, and from that day forward a new era of peace and cooperation reigned. The sisters looked down on the warming world, and smiled with pride.

Pride though, has a horrible habit of preceding a fall.

 

 

Unfortunately for the sisters, windigos weren't the only terrible being birthed in that black winter. Harmony had been shattered and blown to the six corners of the land. Honesty, loyalty, laughter, generosity, kindness, and magic were only a faint glimmer during those dark years. It was in that vacuum chaos was made manifest; a creature with limbs of the many monsters who roamed the land, and the head of a disfigured pony slithered forth. Discord was unleashed upon the newly united land of Equestria.

The champions of the Sun, Moon, and Stars rode out to meet him, and failed. Their once mighty bonds shattered, the very life and color drained from them under Discord’s power. The sisters mourned their champions, fallen to a beast that was just as powerful as they were.

In the wake of defeat the Stars had found a solution, but it would have to come at an awful cost. So great was Discord's power, that two of the sisters would have to leave the heavens and join their beloved ponies on the earth below. Open battle, their only hope of besting such a powerful foe. One would make a great sacrifice; staying behind should they, like their champions, fail.

No debate was held over who would go; waves of chaos washed over the Sun and Moon. Discord had grown tired of the boring, orderly days and nights of old, and had decided to make them more "interesting” by raising and lowering the two celestial orbs at his whim.

The Sun and Moon were beyond anger, beyond fury; nothing in all of creation could stop them as their twin essences crashed down into the earth. For the first time, the Stars were alone. Yet no sadness came over her while she watched two new unicorn fillies enter the world, their sparkling eyes open wide with wonder.

One was a radiant pearl, graced with a pink mane that scintillated in the suns rays. The other was midnight blue, with a mane that sparkled under her sister's stars. The Stars watched over them, taught them, and hid them from the beast. So that they might bide their time until they could reclaim the part of themselves that they had left behind in the heavens. Watching her sisters grow in Discord’s twisted vision of paradise only steeled her resolve to see his end.

 

 

Years continued to pass, and Discord’s deranged reign lingered on. Until one fateful day, two familiar presences made themselves known in the heavens; instinctual needs driving the sisters to reach out to their old celestial charges. Over and over again they tried, finding the objects of their desire just out of reach. Once again they tried. Just as they were about to relent, a comforting embrace began lifting them to their domains.

Discord reeled as the orbs, that seconds before he had been toying with, left his clutch. With his composure almost regained; two colossal shockwaves of magic thundered across the kingdom, sending him flying. The rage that once burned so brightly in the sisters’ hearts reignited, the Sun and Moon had returned.

Discord's court was soon graced by two unfamiliar ponies. They had wings of a pegasus, but a horn of a unicorn. Both possessed hypnotic flowing manes. A radiant white alicorn approached him first, nearly blinding the beast with brilliance like that of the shining sun. Her mane resembled captured images of the first rays of dawn washing over the land. An elegant indigo alicorn soon followed; her mane a flowing expanse of stars spread across the void of space. Their eyes were aflame with brilliant white light, seething with righteous anger.

Mere parlor tricks, Discord thought; not impressed one bit by their display of bravado. That was until the twin alicorns’ horns began to glow. Awe inspiring power threatened to overtake him, now he knew the beings he was up against. With a flash of spell and crack of lightning, the three clashed.

Nothing prepared the sisters for Discord’s whimsical nature, their fight being just another sick game to him. With the snap of his fingers he would alter reality; strikes parried with conjured tubs of tapioca, spells countered by spontaneous funhouse mirrors. Even once or twice, he took time to offer the enraged Sun and Moon a chocolate milk of glass. For all their power, for all their might, and for all their effort, they could not best the beast.

The Stars watched on as they continued their monumental battle, wondering all the while how they could defeat a being that conformed to no laws or rules. Brilliant light cascaded over the white and purple checkered landscape, a supernova exploding in the heavens.

The Elements of Harmony!

They were the answer she was seeking. She scoured the earth for the scattered Elements, finding all but one … Magic. One by one she spirited the shards to her sisters, who were still locked in battle with their foe. The Sun and the Moon could sense their purpose. These shards would be their weapons.

The Stars hoped and prayed that five of the six would be enough, watching on with bated breath. Discord, on the other hand, knew nothing of these brightly colored stones that were orbiting the sisters. He only felt the aura of magic they emitted; magic that was anathema to his being, and pinning him in place.

The alicorns reared up, the earth buckling under their power as they unleashed their most devastating attack. Twin beams of energy streaked towards the misshapen beast, striking him squarely in the chest with an enormous explosion. A deafening silence filled battlefield; at last they had surely triumphed.

Dark laughter broke the din of the blasted earth. Discord fell upon the sisters, inflicting blow after the blow as rage consumed him. The Stars cried out to endless voids of space, helpless to stop the assault upon her siblings.

Above the scorched earth of the battlefield a star was falling, creating a magenta streak across the blue sky. Impacting near the celestial sisters, it sparked with power and a familiar magic. The fallen star began to levitate and fell into an orbit above the sisters’ heads; one by one the other elements followed suit.

Happiness filled the Stars' heart.

Of course it had been so simple! I’m Magic, I’m the guardian of harmony!

Most of all, she was united with her siblings once again.

Discord recoiled in horror, eyes fixed on the rainbow wall that approached him. In a fit of divine inspiration, he struck a pose for one last attack.

"Be wary in the land of mortals, my dear little Moon; for they will never accept you like your beloved sister." The twisted fiend sang even when facing his doom. "They will fear you, they will shun you, and they will never love you." Prismatic waves of light enveloped the beast, his form slowly solidifying into boring stone.

After so long, peace and harmony had returned to Equestria.

 

 

The ponies welcomed their saviors with immense praise and celebration. Parties were thrown across the nation, ponies came from near and far to meet their new rulers, and everypony collectively sighed in relief as the darkest moment in their history had drawn to a close. The Stars once again watched on as her sisters, the newly crowned Princess Celestia and Princess Luna, started to rebuild their nation.

At the site of their great victory an ornate palace was constructed, and soon afterwards a city had sprung up around it. Dubbed Everfree to commemorate casting off the yoke of oppression that was Discord's reign, it was from there that the princesses ruled for many peaceful and happy centuries. It seems that the sisters had finally had their happily ever after. Fate, on the other hand, had one last cruel trick up her sleeve. A seed had been planted in Luna's mind; a dark, terrible seed.

At first Luna thought nothing of it, just the spiteful last words of a beast with nothing left to lose. Yet as the years went by she noticed how her little ponies always slept during her beautiful night, never appreciating the effort she put into every evening. Luna was an artist at heart and always loved the ways she was able to make the Stars look so magnificent when set against her night sky. Resentment began to grow, nurturing the seed.

They will fear you, they will shun you, and they will never love you.

Those words kept repeating in her mind. Year after year, century after century; an eon had passed and those words never left her.This was her burden to bear, she kept telling herself; trying to hide the growing darkness within her. On the dawning of a new millennium, the seed planted so long ago did blossom. Her mind shattered like a pane of glass.

Familiar laughter echoed throughout the city.

 

 

Waves of agony washed over Celestia and the Stars, pain coursing through them as it tore out a piece of their souls. Screaming pierced the calm of the regal city; the sound so horrifying, so all encompassing, that if asked about it today Celestia would be reduced to tears.

Luna proudly entered her sister's dawn court. Before the sun princess was the familiar yet wholly unrecognizable form of her sister. An alicorn black as the blackest night stood defiantly, wicked silver armor covering her form, bat-like wings protruding from her back; a mane of millions of purple lights flowing across her.

The Nightmare gazed upon her sister, disgust welling up into her face, "For too long you fools have worshiped the pitiful sun and shunned my glorious moon. Enjoy your last moments of light, you ungrateful wretches."

Celestia's glare fixated upon the figure, a golden aura building around her. "What are you? Who are you? What have you doneWITH MY SISTER!

"Luna is dead, dearest Celestia. I, Nightmare Moon now rule the night!"

The sun set and the moon rose.

"No." The aura collapsed upon itself, taking her heart along with it.

A sinister grin crept across the corrupt alicorn’s face. Too easy.

With her wicked smile still gleaming, she charged the crestfallen Sun.

 

 

The Stars appeared in the newly formed night sky, convulsing from the catastrophic disruption of the heavens. Shrugging off the pain, she searched; trying to find the source of what was causing such terrible damage to her, and to the harmony every being had enjoyed for so many joyous years.

An ear-splitting cry echoed throughout creation.

My sister—my beautiful, loving sister—is the cause of all of this. How? How could I have missed this hate forming deep within her for so long?

For this question, there would be no answer. The Stars once again turned her gaze to her sisters, now locked in mortal combat.

Celestia made her stand in the rubble that used to be her throne room, the once gilded marble scorched and shattered by the ferocity of their fight. Days passed, then weeks; never once did she cease pleading with her sister to stop, to think, and to talk. Silence, her only answer.

The two continued their struggle, the force of their frighteningly powerful blows and spells reducing the magnificent palace to a heap of ruins. Celestia knew if the sun did not rise soon, it would spell certain doom for many a creature. She still hadn't reached her sister, hoping against hope she was still alive somewhere in that abomination.  

 

 

The Stars were not idle during this time. She had spent those days probing, searching, combing for any crack in the Nightmare's armor. At last she found one. Darkness. Utter darkness was all that greeted her when she reached into the Nightmare’s mind.

Just as she was about to succumb to despair, a little blue wisp glistened in the corner of her eye. There she was, sleeping and sealed away in the furthest reaches of what used to be her mind. Luna, for all her failures that lead to this point, was still a very clever pony.

Knowing she couldn't stop the coming darkness, she dove as far as she could into her fading consciousness and entombed herself with the most powerful wards she could create. She entered a dreamless sleep hoping her sisters would find a way to save her ... and forgive her.

The Stars teared up as she heard her sister's call.

"Does our sister still remain?”

"Yes!” the Stars repeated over and over.

Celestia was overcome with joy; that single word renewing her will to fight. She would save her sister even if it meant destroying the entire city in the process. Little did she know how right she was; already the first signs of corruption were making themselves known across the land.

If the sister's first war was to restore harmony; this was one to destroy it. So terrible was the magic wielded in what once was a majestic city, that the ground had been purged of order in any sense of the word. Sickly trees had sprouted up across the battered ruins, fueled by the excess magic tainting the air. From the ashes of the ruined city, the Everfree forest was born.

 

 

Fighting raged on for a few hours longer until Celestia finally realized there would be no end to it, she would not be able to save her sister like this; not now, not ever. Desperate, she once again called out to the Stars.

"The Elements, they are the only hope of ever regaining our precious Moon."

The Stars were silent, memories of Discord’s downfall playing through her mind.

No. My sister will not share that same terrible fate—but what other option remains? A glinting silver sphere passed into her view.

Once again a supernova cracked open the night sky, bringing light to the world for the first time since the Nightmare had risen.

I can seal the abomination in the moon! There I would have all the time in the world to peel away its grip over my sister!

Yet deep down she knew the elements would exact a toll on her for what she was about to force them to do. She finally answered the Sun's call and informed her of the plan she had laid out in her mind, failing to mention that one last detail.

 

 

Celestia rushed to the opulent shrine that contained the Elements of Harmony, and it was there she discovered the one fatal flaw to the Stars’ plan. The elements had turned to stone, rendered inert by the cataclysmic destruction of the sisters’ bonds of friendship. Only one element had remained unchanged: the purple fallen star of Magic.

Purple smoke filled into the room, coalescing into the Nightmare’s fearsome visage; her evil flowing mane now black as her soul. Her dark guffaw reverberated throughout the ruined landscape.

"HAH! You would think so lowly of me. Fear not, for I have already taken those bothersome little stones into consideration.”

A pained expression of shock was now etched upon Celestia's face. Their kingdom, their ponies, their sister; all lost to a ghost from their past.

No feelings of despair or defeat entered the Stars’ mind, only betrayal. She cursed them, asking why they had abandoned her when they were needed most. Was she not worthy? Were her feelings not enough? Tears streamed from her face as the loss of the Moon, her sister, became total. At that moment, her heart opened.

Nothing would be adequate to describe the feelings she had for her two sisters. Devotion, fellowship, affection, adoration, love—such words would be a mockery of what was unleashed upon the elements that day. Silence reigned as Celestia and the Nightmare felt the outpouring of emotion that had engulfed the rocks before them.

One by one the stones regained their luster, one by one they began to dance around the white alicorn, and one by one Nightmare Moon's fate was sealed. Sparks arced across the floating stones as Celestia began to rise, her eyes replaced with a blinding white light.

"Forgive me Luna. I have no other choice."

A weak and muffled voice greeted Celestia's ears as the Elements’ magic raced its way towards the moon.

"I love you, sister."

Their plan had worked right down to every tiny, horrible letter. The Elements came crashing back to earth, turned back into useless stone. Once again the fallen star was the only one that had remained whole.

"Now it is my time to beg for forgiveness my beloved sister. I will return and not alone. I promise you that," the Stars whispered, the magenta orb vanishing before the Sun’s eyes.

Celestia felt the entirety of the heavens press down upon her, the weight of her sisters now her sole burden to bear. Tears trickled down her face as the sun began to rise over the horizon, the light of dawn revealing the destruction the two alicorns had wrought.

 

 

From every point in Equestria one could see the multicolored streak climbing higher and higher through the heavens. Powerful magic worked its way over the dark alicorn, her essence bound and sealed inside her enormous lunar prison. She tried with all her terrible might to break free from the chains, her only success being the dark silhouette that covered the moon’s surface.

Exhausted, the Nightmare felt an oddly familiar presence picking at her mind.

"Welcome to MY realm, despicable creature. Leave my sister now and you will be spared. Refuse and oblivion is surely all that you will KNOW!"

"Hahahaha! I AM HER! I'm the embodiment of the Moon she should have always been! No, never again shall you see that pathetic excuse for a sister!"

So began a war of wills that lasted for nearly a millennium.

 

 

A better part of nine centuries passed with Celestia as the now monarch of the Kingdom of Equestria. A new capital was founded at the mountain that marked the center of the nation, and it was in that grand city of Canterlot she waited. Time had not healed all of the wounds opened on that fateful day. Two gaping holes had remained deep within her heart, constant reminders of what she had lost.

Despite the pain and loneliness she had carried on, her devotion to her ponies giving her the strength needed to meet the challenges that awaited in each new day. The thousandth year since her sister's banishment was rapidly approaching and yet the Stars had not returned; feelings of despair once again darkened her spirit.

A massive rainbow nova exploded in sky; the herald of the miraculous events of that day. Celestia marveled at the wondrous sight as she walked among the calming gardens of her palace.

The rainbow rippled across the countryside, awakening ancient magics as it spread. Laughter, Honesty, Generosity, Kindness, and Loyalty had all returned to Equestria; no longer the dull rocks Celestia knew before, but as humble ponies. Like the sisters, they too had chosen to live the rest of eternity as physical beings.  

Worry gripped Celestia as the last Element failed to appear, only to be washed away by the powerful wave of magic that flowed across the city. With an eardrum-shattering crack, the massive head of a dragon crashed through the roof of the city's magic academy. The Stars had kept her promise.

The sun princess quickly raced through the confines of the city; arriving at a lecture hall which was being used for testing of gifted unicorn colts and fillies. The sight of a tiny unicorn trapped in the center of a magical maelstrom greeted her. She reached out and touched the lavender filly's shoulder in an attempt to calm her; visions then began racing through her mind. Visions of a struggle that was long and terrible, visions of her two sisters and the Nightmare they battled, and visions of the future the Stars had crafted.

Celestia smiled when she saw the six pointed magenta star that had appeared on the flank of her younger sister. Like her sister long before had guided the young Sun and Moon, she too would take the young Stars under her wing. That night, feelings of peace and wholeness permeated the princess as she raised the moon.

"Sleep for just a bit longer, little Luna."

 

 

"The End." Twilight said as she closed the book.

"Awww, it's over all already? I wanna know what happens next! Pleeease Princess?" pleaded an excited voice next to the lavender alicorn.

Twilight draped a fluffy wing over the little filly.

"That’s a story for another time little one. Besides, it is my sister's favorite and I bet if you asked, she would be more than happy to tell it to you," she whispered, lifting up her other wing and pointing to Celestia's study. The unicorn got the hint as she rose to her hooves and scampered off, causing Twilight to emit a soft giggle.

The princess of the sun sat at her desk, working on stacks of the paperwork that had accumulated during court. The approaching sounds of little hooves colliding with marble floor awoke her from the tedium of tending to the day to day business of the kingdom.

"Hello there, my faithful student. What brings you here this lovely evening?" a soft motherly voiced greeted the eager unicorn.

"Princess Twilight just told me this incredible story about you and your sisters, but it ended so suddenly and I wanted to know the rest of the tale. Could you read it to me? I mean, if you don’t mind."

Celestia's magic surrounded a brown tome with an ornate unicorn head emblazoned on the front, levitating it to an open spot between her and the wide eyed student. She cleared her throat and began to read.

"Once upon a time, in the magical land of Equestria ..."

 

 

 

 

Author's Note:

Special thanks for the edits and tips by In West Fillydelphia, and the proofreading done by Westy543. Thanks again to NoOneBahtim for providing his stellar "Elemental" for my cover art.

Be sure to check out the sequels: Her Happily Ever After, and When Stars Dream!

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