One thousand years before the fateful Summer Sun Celebration that changed everything, before Equestria was saved twice by the deeds of six mighty heroes. Things in the land were different. The famous tale of Discord's defeat at the hands of the Alicorn princesses and the banishment of Princess Luna were passed down by centuries through the mouth of Princess Celestia.
However, despite the peace that was ensured, all was not was what it seemed.
The books, the tales, the origins of the Elements of Harmony, they were all lies weaved by the Princess when the newer generations came forward, when the ones who knew the truth died out. She even lied to her own student, Twilight Sparkle, hiding the origins of her power from her.
But why did she lie to her people? Was she lying to manipulate them, to control them? Or was it to protect, or to protect herself? And if the latter was true, than what was the almighty Celestia afraid of? The past, where her friends became enemies and her enemies were her friends? Or the future, where she knew that a foe strong enough to match her was approaching. One who, like her, knew the secret art of constructing Elements?
Only time would tell, and time was something an Alicorn seemed to have very much of…
"C'mon, father! Let's sit over here!"
The four Alicorns walked through Whitetail Wood
that lied under a deep blue sky, and a bright sun that made everything in Equestria shine for the entire day. Most of the days in the land were like this, but there was something about this one that made it special.
The two Alicorn fillies, Celestia and Luna, were no larger than an average filly. One had a light carnation-colored mane and an equally pink coat to match, her eyes shone like amethysts and her smile was as bright as the sun above her. This was the older sister, Celestia.
Her sister had an azure mane that glittered like a galaxy, her coat was that of a dark blue and her eyes were deep like the sea, she seemed to be more timid than Celestia, but enjoyed her sister's company. This was the younger sister, Luna. The two of them were beautiful, and a majestic sight to see. Neither of them had their cutie-marks yet, but neither of them seemed to mind. Not now at least.
"Careful, 'Tia. Stay close or else you'll get lost."
"Calm down, Lu-lu. Mother and Father are right behind us!"
Celestia and Luna turned to see their parents, Prince Solstice and Princess Equinox, following behind them. A picnic basket floated between them by Solstice's magic. Solstice had a multi-colored mane, it was a mixture of red, orange and, grey, and it flowed freely in the cooling wind. He had a small, red, beard, matching his mane. Solstice wore a golden helmet with a dark-violet gemstone embedded into the front of the helmet, and he wore golden hoof guards to match. His eyes, while having the color of an icy cyan, had a kind of kindness that was capable of warming the hearts of almost anybody. Celestia would later find a similar kindness in Fluttershy. His cutie mark, a red, rising sun, was extremely visible against the white color of his coat.
Equinox, Celestia and Luna's mother, was different. She did not seem as flamboyant looking as her mate, having a simple, long, brown mane that descended straightly from her head. Her coat, too, was white, which would make some wonder if Luna truly was their child, but she was. Equinox wore a silver diadem upon which a small, opal gem was embedded into it. Her eyes were warm as her mate's, but seemed worn and tired due to royal duties. She was married into the regal family, as she descended from a noble family of writers and poets. Her cutie mark, which was a quill pen with an ink well under it, helped to confirm her heritage.
Celestia, seeing the presence of her parents as a sign to move further, giggled as she skipped ahead, her sister following behind.
"TIAAA!" Luna whined. "Stay with the family!"
When the royal family finally placed the basket on the ground, it only took a few seconds for Solstice to use his magic to open the basket and lay the red and white blanket on the ground, followed by the plates, and finally the food. There were four cucumber sandwiches, four flasks of wheatgrass juice, four carrots, and finally, six cupcakes with green icing.
As the Alicorns lied on the blanket and began to eat, Celestia smiled at her father. "So daddy," Celestia said to Solstice as she bit into her sandwich. "I trust the kingdom of Equestria is going well?" Solstice chuckled in response. "Of course, 'Princess Celestia'." He said, "We've haven't been in any wars ever since I signed that 'peace treaty', and my people are very happy." Celestia stood proudly. "Then let it be known that 'The Empire of Celestia' will gladly assist Equestria in all of its…" Celestia paused for a moment, feeling the words form in her mouth. "Gov… Gova… 'Govamenial' pursuits!" Solstice chuckled as Luna simply rolled her eyes and groaned. "I'll appreciate that, my lady." Solstice said laughingly.
He reached over, took two of the cupcakes, and handed one to Celestia and another to Luna. "Here, a peace offering, my liege." The fillies cheered and snatched the cupcakes up. "Just be sure to finish your sandwiches first." Equinox said to the fillies. The fillies, eager to enjoy their cupcakes, quickly wolfed down their sandwiches. The then consumed their cupcakes eagerly; Celestia ate the icing first, then the cupcake, while Luna simply ate the entire thing. Then then went off to play, running into the woods to play their favorite game, "The Princess vs. the Nightmare."
"ARGH! I'LL DEFEAT YOU PRINCESS CELESTIA!" Luna chased her older sister in circles around a small open area in the forest, which aside from being surrounded by trees, had a few small rocks and a large hollow log underneath. Celestia flew up in the air. "You'll never catch me, Nightmare!" The Alicorn bellowed as she flew down and tackled Luna to the ground, the filly yelling out in enjoyment. The two wrestled on the ground for a few minutes as Solstice and Equinox approached from the trees.
"There you two are." Equinox spoke to her children. "It's time to go, my little ponies. Before it gets dark." The two fillies got up and groaned. "But I wanna play here some more…" Luna protested with a deflating whine. Celestia ran up onto one of the rocks. "Yeah, this place is wonderful!" She jumped off the rock and began to crawl into the hollowed log. She pushed herself in until only her flank was visable, stopped and remained there for a few minutes.
"Celestia?" Solstice called out to her, smirking slightly. "Are you okay, are you stuck?"
Celestia pulled herself out of the log and looked to her parents. "There's a pony stuck in there." She said bluntly, pointing her hoof to the log. Solstice gave Celestia a curious look. "A pony?" He said, approaching the log. He lowered his head and pretended to look into the log, playing along with his Alicorn daughter.
It was then that he heard a slight whimper come from the inside of the log. Solstice's eyes widened as he realized that somepony ACTUALLY WAS in the log. He turned to Celestia. "Go by your mother." He said. "I'll handle this."
As Celestia walked over to Equinox and Luna, Solstice began focusing his magic on the log. Splitting it open down the middle. It wasn't really that hard to do with magic, and the pony trapped inside was revealed.
The only problem was that it wasn't really a pony.
Celestia had never seen such a peculiar creature in her life. It was very young, almost the same size as Celestia, if not a bit bigger. Its head resembled a pony, but it had two odd-looking horns sprouting from its head, two fangs protruding from its mouth, and a pair of black eyebrows that matched it short mane. Its body resembled a pony, but had a much thicker coat. Its "hooves" were actually different too, resembling that of animals Celestia had seen at the Canterlot zoo, its limbs were that of a bird, a lion, a goat, and a lizard. It had the tail of a snake, and two different wings, one wing resembled that of a Pegasus. As the Alicorn family approached the creature. Luna looked up at her father. "Daddy, what is it?" She asked.
Solstice blinked. "I cannot believe it… a draconequus…" Luna tilted her head, confused. "A what, daddy?" Equinox pulled Luna closer to her. "A draconequus. It is a creature that has the head of a pony and a body of all sorts of other things."
Solstice brought his head closer to the draconequus. "Yes, a male, actually. Very young too, almost as young as you, Celestia, give or take a year." Equinox looked at her mate with concern. "Solstice, what is a draconequus doing here? I thought they lived in the Northern territories…"
Solstice gave a large sigh. "They do, in the country of "Chimer". I've been trying to contact them for years. But they're a nomadic species. They're all a bunch of different tribes. No unified leader." He shook his head and looked down at the pathetic creature at his feet. "This one must've got lost and traveled all the way down here by mistake." Solstice looked up at the sun above him. "This heat cannot be good for him. I heard Chimer is a very cold province, it snows all year. He must've been trying to keep himself cool in this log."
Equinox took a step forward. "Well, is he still…"
"Alive?" Solstice responded. "Yes, but barely. We'll have to hurry if we're going to be able to save him." The draconequus shuddered and curled up in his feverish slumber. His slim, frail body showed signs of malnourishment and exhaustion.
"Solstice!" Equinox protested. "You can't possibly take this creature in…"
"Equinox, I made a vow when I became ruler of Equestria that I would care for all the creatures that resided in the land." The draconequus floated unto Solstice's back. "This draconequus is no exception. Besides, what example would that leave the children, who we will eventually leave to rule Equestria someday?"
Equinox opened her mouth to say something else, but stopped, switching her words to, "Come on, Luna, Celestia it's time to go home.", as most mothers do. As the four Alicorns, plus one draconequus, left through Whitetail wood, completely oblivious to the future that their newest companion would provide them.
The royal palace in Canterlot was in a chaotic bustle the moment the regal family walked into the front door. Solstice immediately called upon the family's physician, Nurse Goldheart, who called the servants to bring buckets of cold water, several rags, and pair of scissors. Goldheart took the draconequus and brought him into one of the guest bedrooms, which usually consisted of a dresser, a single bed, and a nightstand with a lamp on it. Goldheart began trimming the excess hair of the draconequus' coat, until only an inch's length remained. She then began soaking the rags in the cold water and applying them to the draconequus, who occasionally cried out from the pain of his fever.
Hours passed, and Celestia waited outside the door of the room the entire time, nervous about if the mysterious creature was going to be okay or not.
It was about 8:00 P.M. when Goldheart finally walked out of the door. She immediately Noticed Celestia sitting there, asleep due to boredom, and she gently shook her awake.
"I thought that it would be nice to let you know," Goldheart said to Celestia, smiling. "That your friend has made a full recovery, your highness."
Celestia beamed at the sound of that. "So can I see him?" The young Alicorn asked, beginning to head towards the door behind Goldheart. However, the nurse pony stopped her.
"Not right now, your majesty. Our friend has had a troublesome journey, and needs some rest. I believe tomorrow would be a better time to talk to him, okay?" Celestia gave a disappointed look, but nodded in compliance. "Okay, how about I get you a nice glass of milk before you go to bed, would that be alright." Celestia yawned and politely refused, heading straight for her bedroom instead, which was a rose-colored room with a twin-sized bed, a pink desk with a mirror on it and a brush, and wall with pictures Celestia drew of her friends and family.
The Alicorn quickly dove into her bed and shut her eyes tight, because the sooner she fell asleep; the closer was the chance to meet that mysterious creature.
"A draconequus… Perhaps we'll be friends…" Was Celestia's last thought as she drifted softly to sleep.
Celestia made no hesitation when she woke up the next morning to race downstairs in order to see that draconequus. As she approached the door she stopped to see her father was already inside the room, his massive body preventing Celestia from seeing what he was doing.
"You're a very lucky draconequus. If we didn't find you, I don't think you would've survived the heat."
Celestia could hear a faint voice mumble in response and her excitement rose higher. Solstice was talking to the draconequus! Now she didn't have to wait for him to wake up, like she had to do when other quests visited the castle. Celestia approached her father and lightly tugged on his tail. The adult Alicorn flinched and turned to see his daughter standing there. "Oh, Celestia." He said warmly. "I was just about to call you. I would like you to meet somepony." He moved out of the way and Celestia walked into the room, ready for her first encounter with the draconequus, who was lying on the bed.
Celestia first noticed that he was awake, but still seemed tired. This was most likely from his long journey. His coat was now trimmed to be a thin as her own, and his mouth was agape as he saw her. He was staring at her as if she was a firework, an angel brought down to earth. His eyes as wide as dinner plates, and remained unblinking, as if he was afraid that she would vanish if he did.
However, the most interesting this about him were the color of his eye, which Celestia found to be the most beautiful shade of blue she had ever seen.
"This is my oldest daughter, Celestia." Solstice said. "She was the one that found you in Whitetail Wood, and she's been wanting to meet you ever since." Celestia suddenly walked up and placed her front whooves on the bed, surprising both the draconequuis and Solstice. "Tia!" Solstice whispered. "Tia!" However Celestia ignored her father, and smiled at the dracoequuis, who in return nervously smiled back.
"Hello good sir." Celestia asked politely. "My name is Celestia, what is your name?"
The draconequus hesitated for a moment before speaking. "H-Hello, princess Celestia."
"You don't need to call me 'princess', we're friends now."
The draconequus' eyes widened at the sound of those words, and his smile became warmer. "Hello Celestia, my name is Discord."
Celestia tilted her head, a confused expression on her face. "Why do you have a name like that?" She asked with sincerity.
Discord looked down at his claw and paw. "I'm called that because I always seemed to cause trouble in my tribe. So I am called Discord because I bring 'discord'." He spoke with a slightly sober tone. "I was shunned by the other members of my tribe, so I left in shame." Celestia realized that he was not just speaking to her, but her father as well. The regal prince nodded in acknowledgement. Discord hesitated before speaking, his face bore a saddened look. "I-I should go. I most likely overstayed my welcome, thank you, your maj-"
Discord and Celestia looked up at Solstice, his eyes radiating the warm kindness he was famous for. He approached Discord and grinned. "I can't let you leave now. Where would you go?"
Celestia was only a filly. But she knew her father long enough to know when he was planning something. As kind as he was, he was also known to be very clever and cunning, able to find a solution to almost anything. However, what Celestia didn't know was that Solstice was going to concoct his greatest, of not controversial, plan yet.
"I think I can manage for you to stay in Canterlot for now. Perhaps even in our own family…"
Discord rose out of bed, shocked at what the prince was imposing. "Your majesty, I couldn't…"
Solstice rose a hoof, still smiling. "You can and you will. I do believe you have potential to do great things, Discord. I can see in your eyes that you're a kind, loyal, generous, person. In fact, I haven't seen such passion in a person since I met the founders of Equestria themselves."
Celestia didn't know if what her father was saying was true or not, but remained silent.
"Also," He continued. "My daughter here seems to have taking a liking to you. I would love if she had a friend other than her sister Luna for once."
Discord couldn't believe it; he left Chimer for the chance of a better life, and now was going to be adopted by the regal family of Equestria. It seemed too good to be true, and he considered turning Solstice's offer down in fear that is might be a trap of some sorts.
However, as Discord looked at Celestia again, his uncertainties melted away. He felt calm and serene, almost as if he was dreaming.
Discord turned to Solstice, his face beaming.
"I would love to."
All was not peaceful at Starswirl the Bearded's palace located deep within the Everfree Forest, but that didn't mean that it meant bad news.
The palace, which originally resided as the capitol of Equestria, had long been since abandoned when the ecosystem of the forest became independent and violent through unknown means. However, the royal wizard pony Starswirl remained. And with the help of his faithful student, Starswirl had managed to turn the castle into a study for Starswirl to safely experiment with various types of magic, filling the palace with various apparatus and books on magic. However, he had just made a breakthrough, and was rushing off to his student's quarters to tell him the news.
Starswirl was an old pony; he had spent over 50 years in service to Equestria. He was there when his first student, Clover the Clever, helped create Equestria, and he was there when the Alicorns took the throne. He even brought it on himself to take an Alicorn, who was named Oblivion, as his second student. Starswirl had a light purple coat and a long, indigo mane with two differently colored streaks of purple in it. Of course, the color of his mane had long since lost its vibrant color as Starswirl grew old, but it never seemed to bother the unicorn. He also had a rather long, grey beard, which resulted in his unusual name. His cutie mark, which was usually hidden under a beautiful blue coat, was a white crescent moon with a bright purple star in front of it. He usually wore a large, blue wizard's hat with a hole in the front for his horn.
He quickly opened the door to Oblivion's quarters, startling the Alicorn from his slumber. "Huh?" Oblivion mumbled, his mind recovering from being jarred awake so suddenly. Starswirl was so excited; he began tugging on his beard in anticipation. "Oblivion, come quickly! You have to see this…"
Fearing that his master would rip off his own beard, Oblivion quickly hopped out of bed and followed Starswirl to the heart of the palace. Oblivion was a white Alicorn with grey blotches adorning his flank. His mane was short, well groomed, and blonde with a single cyan streak running in it. His cutie mark was a large X. He also wore two bracelets on each of his legs, one silver and one gold.
As the duo entered the center of the castle, which consisted of only a simple bookshelf, a few empty tables and a pedistal, Oblivion instantly noticed the green gemstone, perfectly cut, floating in the middle of the room. As the duo approached it, Oblivion reached out to touch the gem, only to be stopped by Starswirl.
"W-what is it?" Oblivion asked.
"This," Starswirl said proudly. "This is my greatest discovery, the pinnacle of my research. I finally found a way to take various varieties of magic that exist in the natural world and turn them into individual power sources ." Starswirl carefully took the glowing emerald and placed in on a pedestal along with seven other gems that matched the shape of the green one.
"I call them 'Elements'." Starswirl continued, describing each one in great detail. He went on to describe that each Element represented a different quality that contributed with the harmony of nature. "The orange one's Honesty, the pink one's Compassion, the blue one's Joy, the purple one's generosity, the red one's loyalty, the violet one's Leadership, the opal one's Tolerance and the green one…" Starswirl paused for a moment, trying to remember what the green one meant. "Ah, yes! The green one is Might. That's right, it's Might… Hihihi."
Oblivion gazed at the eight Elements of Harmony, he could feel their power pressing on to him like the rays of a warm sun. "What do you plan on doing with them?" Oblivion asked.
Starswirl used his magic to levitate two of the Elements, Leadership and Tolerance, and brought them to a nearby table, which had only a white box on it. "At the moment, nothing really. I won't be able to do much with them until I have tested their capabilities. However, I do believe that the Elements of Leadership and Tolerance would be most fitting for Prince Solstice and Princess Equinox, so I'm planning to present the Elements to them at this year's Grand Galloping Gala. Hopefully by then I will have understood the potential of the Elements." He placed the two Elements inside the box and began to walk out of the room.
Starswirl turned to his fateful student. "Yes, Oblivion?"
Oblivion hesitated before asking. "Are these the only possible Elements you could make, figuratively speaking? Is it possible for you to make more Elements based on the other qualities of nature."
Starswirl pondered for a moment. "I believe anypony with the power could make an Element for any emotional quality, such as Pride, Jealousy, Love, Avarice, and so forth. If one was able to gather enough power of that quality, then they could quite possibility make almost any element they wanted, so to speak."
Oblivion nodded. "I understand. Thank you, master."
Starswirl smiled in response. "Rest well, faithful student." And with that, he left the room, Leaving Oblivion alone, with only the six Elements of Harmony keeping him company.
It was only a day since Discord had been adopted by the royal family of Equestria. He had spent the entire day talking to important looking ponies, mostly Unicorns and Alicorns, who discussed with both Solstice and Discord about the little draconequus' future.
"Because you are not officially of the royal bloodline, you cannot take the Equestrian throne if anything should happen to Celestia and Luna, Equestria forbid, unless it was under the direst of situations." Solstice explained to Discord. "However, because you are now adopted by me, the regal Prince of Equestria, you will inherit the title of Duke when you become of age. Until then, you will be given the same education as Celestia and Luna…" Solstice patted Discord on the head, a proud smile etched on his face. "But until then, why don't you find Celestia and Luna? I'm sure you don't want your day spoiled by all this jibber jabber. Enjoy yourself!" Discord bowed politely and ran off as Equinox approached Solstice, a look of distain on her face.
"I still do not get why you are doing this." She hissed quietly. "I mean, spontaneously adopting a random creature you found in a log, and giving him the title of DUKE? Think what the other provinces will think!"
"EXACTLY!" Solstice responded loudly, a confident grin creeping across his face, as if he was winning a game. "With a draconequus as a member of the Royal Court of Equestria, the province of Chimer will be able to see that both ponies and dracoequus' can coexist peacefully, and we hopefully won't have to go into a war with them. Then, if luck should be with us, the other provinces will see that we are a benevolent and accepting nation, and won't feel as threatened by our constant growth."
Equinox gave Solstice a skeptical look, raising an eyebrow. "So then Discord is basically an opportunity for you to earn the favor of the other provinces and expand Equestria's power?" She asked.
"Not entirely…" Solstice admitted, his nose scrunching up. "There's also the fact that I've always wanted a son."
Celestia and Luna watched from their small, four seat table in the royal garden as Discord approached them. The two Alicorns were drawing pictures with a set of crayons, but stopped when they noticed the dracoequus. Discord approached cautiously, fearing of how the duo would react should he'd something offensive. He stopped approaching them, and simply rose his eagle claw, his talons moving in a gesture of introduction.
The fillies remained silent for a few moments before a smile slowly spread across Celestia's face. "Oh, hello Discord!" He spoke cheerfully, in an almost song-like tone that sent what felt like sparks down Discord's spine. He lowered his head down and looked away, his newfound shyness overcoming him. Celestia continued to smile at the bashful dracoequus, seeming to take a liking in his timid behavior. But Luna had resumed her doodling, not taking much interest in Discord. However, she did notice when Celestia got off her chair and approached Discord, and began to protest.
"Tia, what are you doing? This is OUR playing time! GET BACK HERE!" Luna shouted to her sister, who seemingly ignored her. She bent down and looked upward at Discord, who flinched at the sight of Celestia staring at her. "What's wrong?" Celestia asked in an airy, slightly joking voice. "Do I have something on my face? Am I ugly to you?"
Discord suddenly raised his head up, eyes widened with surprise. "Of course not, your majesty! In fact, you're actually essentially the opposite!" Discord glanced at Luna, who was now staring at him with her eyes narrowed and her nose scrunched, for a second before glancing at the ground. "I-It's just that you're a princess and I'm just a… a…"
Celestia tilted her head, a look of confusion on her face. "But didn't my father say that you are now a member of my family?" Discord gulped for a second before nodding, and immediately felt two hooves touch his cheeks and raise his head, his face now leveled to Celestia's. "Then there's no need to feel nervous around your family right? I'm not your ruler, Discord, I'm now your sister! You'll never need to be formal around me, okay?"
Discord simply had to look into Celestia's blue eyes and he felt his anxiety melt away, replaced with another emotion he wouldn't fully understand until he was much, much older. Celestia let go of Discord's face and began to walk back to the table, where Luna was now scribbling furiously. The pink Alicorn then stopped and turned back to Discord, smiling. "You want to color with us?" She asked.
Discord immediately followed Celestia back to the table and took a seat, oblivious to Luna's spiteful look at him.