How Equestria Was Made
By: Orange Peel
Twilight Sparkle(TM), Rarity(TM), Princess Celestia(TM), Princess Luna(TM) [not explicitly named], Pinkie Pie(TM) [not explicitly named], Ponyville(TM) and Equestria(TM) are trademarks of Hasbro, Inc. and Lauren Faust. Much gratitude to the copyright and trademark holders for their generous support of the brony community.
How Equestria Was Made
Edited: Twilight Sparkle
Rarity and I went to explore a cave after a sleeping dragon who had recently moved there was persuaded to leave Equestria. Among the materials the dragon left behind was a manuscript. Its initial pages were scorched beyond my ability to read, including its title page, but I recopied and edited the remaining pages, taking care to do as little revision of the original text as possible. The original is kept in a dry spot in the archives in the Ponyville City Library, but is in delicate condition due to what appears to be centuries of smoke damage. Some reconstruction was made since parts of the first page were also illegible, and these are marked by brackets for clarity.
Royal Librarian of Ponyville
[Chapter 1 - The Age of Joy]
And [the author] spoke to her [saying], “I believe what you said [before] was a [riddle?], but I would ask that you speak more plainly.” And I pleaded with her to help me understand.
She said to me, “To tell you the story in full would take a while, are you sure you have the patience?” And I agreed. She told me this, which I have written that my own foals would know how our land was made.
Many years ago [she said], before even the Princesses, I [wandered] among the stars. And when I was still young, I beheld a star that died in a great explosion. As days passed thereafter, the place where the star had been began to light with a beautiful rainbow of colors, and I felt great joy in my heart. I called the others who were among the stars to share it with me, and we beheld it with awe.
But the brief sharing we had did not extinguish the happiness I felt, and I then took thought to make a home for the joy I felt, to share it forever. So I shepherded many great stones that they joined one with another by the love that binds all things to each other, into a greater and a lesser rock, but even the lesser was millions of paces wide. And I made great bags to collect that which lies throughout space and brought it together tightly, and it glowed fervently as our sun was first born.
And the earth and the moon were first seen in its brilliant light. As the years passed, life bloomed upon the earth, and many wonders grew therefrom. And the Dragons and the Griffons in their aeries, the Dogs and the Ursas, and also the Alligators walked upon the lands. But the creatures who were closest to my own heart were the Ponies: the Ponies of the earth, and of the sky and of the horns of power.
And so I fashioned myself a cloak of flesh, one that honored the Ponies who I love: for I had wings, like the Pegasi; I had a horn, like the Unicorns; and I dwelt upon the ground like the Ponies of earth. And I descended to the land of the Ponies, to teach them to sing and to dance, to share the joy in my own heart.
But they spoke to me saying, “We would love to dance with you and sing, but we are pressed from every side by creatures who would take our flesh as their food. Many of our colts and fillies have perished to them.” And I spread my power around the land, to protect the Ponies, and they gathered together in one place, to beat against the protection I gave. And there were dragons, and griffons and dogs and Ursas, and alligators, all pressed together to slay the Ponies.
(And I laughed and said to her, “The dragons and griffons and dogs and Ursas are all mighty and large and wise, but why would one fear alligators? For they are so small and frail and weak of mind.” But she said to me that it was not always so.)
And I spoke to them saying, “I am Oak-ki, who fashioned the sun and the moon and the earth. I have chosen to dwell among the Ponies and to give to them the protection of my own horn. Leave this place and seek food elsewhere on the earth.” And many of the creatures stepped back, for they did not know me, but knew my strength had begun to protect the Ponies and they held their tongues.
But the king of the alligators snorted and looked with disdain at the other predators round about him, and he walked toward me and said, “I do not believe in you nor in your horn. We will feast upon your flesh and the flesh of those who follow after you.” (In those days, alligators were three times as long as a pony, with terrible teeth in their mouths and scales like a dragon.) I spake unto him again, but he charged forward.
I held my horn toward the alligators, and power flowed from me. The great, sharp teeth of the alligators fell from their maws. Then I took from them their size. And at the last, their wisdom I also struck from their minds. And the other creatures watched and fear came upon them all.
The mighty Wyrm mother spake first and said, “The dragons will no longer seek the lives of the Ponies. As a sign of our word, of each of our clutches there shall be taken one egg and it will be given unto the Ponies as their servant for the life of one Pony.” And I said unto her, “I made the earth not just for the Ponies, and they shall honor you as well. For the hatchlings shall be raised as friends of the Ponies and not as their servants. And the unicorns will teach the dragons mighty secrets of fire magic.” I then lowered my horn to the earth and a rumbling came from within. I lifted my eyes once more and said, “The dragons sought first parley, and I give unto you a great gift. I have made jewels within the earth that will be as good food for you, and that gleam more even than the gold you have used in your nests. For I am Oak-ki.”
The lord of the griffons then spoke, saying, “We also fly as the dragons, but their days are very long, while ours are like the Ponies’. But we also agree not to hunt the Ponies. As a sign of our good faith, we will send one noble eaglet each year to dwell among the pegasi with whom we share the skies.” And I said to him, “I made the earth not just for the Ponies, and they shall honor you as well. And the pegasi will teach the griffons to shepherd the clouds, that the weather will do your will rather than its own.”
And the Ursa Major spoke and said, “We have nothing that the Ponies could use, nor do our friends the Dogs. We will not harm the Ponies in our generation, but our children are wild, and they may not listen to our counsel.” And I said to her, “I made the earth not just for the Ponies, and they will likewise not harm you in this generation. And I will make for you a land to hunt, that ever shall be free to the wild animals and your children.”
And the dragons and the griffons and the dogs and the Ursas went back to their own homes, and the alligators wandered away. In that night, the Ponies kept watch, for they feared the predators would not honor their word. But as the night went on, happiness came upon the Ponies, and I taught them how to sing and dance beneath the stars.
The celebration lasted through the day, from the rising to the setting of the sun. And this was the longest day of the year, and was the first celebration of the Summer sun, to mark the beginning of the Long Peace.
Many generations of Ponies passed, and we dwelt together in joy. In the thousandth year of my first summer among the Ponies, they came to me and said, “We would give you a gift, as you have given so many to us. But we would have it be a surprise to you, that you know it came from our hearts.” And I flew to a valley so the mountains round about would keep me from hearing them make my gift.
After some days passed, a pegasus colt flew into the valley to tell me the Ponies had become ready, and I returned. The Ponies had gathered together in great numbers, a multitude of ponies of earth, and of Pegasi and of Unicorns. I was led onto a high place and the hooves of the Ponies stamped in unison until a Pegasus on the other platform raised his wings. A unicorn standing beside him focused her horn, and an earth pony walked between them, whose voice echoed across the multitude.
He said to me before the Ponies, “What should we give to you, Oak-ki? No song nor a dance, for your own hooves showed that unto us. You also taught how to make many things, so a thing we would present to you is only returning what you have already given. But we perceive one thing we knew before you came among us, and we give you Words.” And they gave to me Words: Queen, and Goddess, and Royalty. And my heart was wondrously glad and I danced and sang with them, for the Ponies who I loved, loved me also. And this time I called Oak-ki’id, the age of Joy.
[Chapter 2: The Age of Departure]
I was filled with delight that the Ponies gave me such a gift, but as years passed the Words that were given in joy became a burden on the hearts of the Ponies, and indeed there were few generations that passed before they hid their foals from me. For they said that they would be a bother to me, though I loved to see the joy in their spirits. And in their minds, the Ponies thought they were not fit to dance with me, for I was named a Queen and a Goddess.
In those days, a pegasus mare gave birth to a foal. And she held her foal above the clouds during the night, and the dapples on the little filly were white upon her black feathers. And the mother said, “Behold, our Queen has given me a wondrous blessing, for the foal she has brought to me is a star from the heavens!” And the foal was called Celestial Wings.
The foal grew in both size and knowledge, and when she became a mare, she was one of my own councillors, for her wisdom was wonderful. When Celestial Wings grew old, I asked her why she thought the Ponies had begun to fear me, though I loved them with all my heart.
She said to me, “My Queen, your days are greater than those of a dragon, but our days are short. And though I am old among the Ponies, yet to you I should hardly be able to hold my wings open. So the Ponies cannot live forever, so we have fillies and colts who can live on in our stead. And they grow to take hold of what their sires and dams left for them, for their parents will surely die in their own time.”
I smiled to her and thanked her for her counsel. And on the next day, when the sun had risen into the sky over the land, I reached upward with my power. And from the rays of the sun, I wove a small filly, in form like myself but very small.
Celestial Wings did not foal in all the days of her life. But I said to her, “Your beautiful wisdom will not die with you. For I name my own daughter ‘Celestia,’ that your name will never be forgotten among the Ponies.”
And in those days the hearts of the Ponies were inclined to my daughter, and the young Ponies played in the clover with her, and their voices echoed laughter. My own heart was gladdened again, for I loved the sounds of their joy.
But though she grew slowly in power and wisdom and stature, in her two hundred sixteenth year, she stood alone at the horizon. She put forth her power and the sun listened to her and rose above the horizon at her command. And all the Ponies were delighted in her great power.
Soon, the Ponies began to call her Princess, and they began to fear her as they did me before. And a blanket fell onto the fire of her heart, and she cried out to me, “Why do they hide themselves from me? Why do they think I would not yet love to dance with the fillies and colts?” I gave her the counsel I was given, but her heart cooled toward the other Ponies and me.
I shared my authority with my daughter, but I saw she became melancholy. So I reached to the moon and with the same care I fashioned another foal. And once again the hearts of the Ponies loved the tiny Princess, and the sounds of joy were once again heard in the courts of my home, which brought me happiness once more.
But my elder daughter grew jealous of her sister, for she remembered when the little Ponies would play games with her and dance and sing. She received honor and worship and awe, but these did not warm the fires of her heart. I then knew that the days of joy from new children were all too brief, and that in time they would fear the younger as they did the elder.
So I began another great work, taking jewels from the earth and weaving them with magic of surpassing power. I did this in secret, for I did not want to make the jealousy of the elder even fiercer.
As time passed, the younger waxed in power as her sister did before her, and I began to give more authority to both of them, for I had grown weary of the court and wanted to once more walk freely among the Ponies who I love.
When I saw that the younger had gained wisdom in sufficient measure, I told the Ponies that I would give the government to my daughters, and I would hide my power and change my form, to be able to be with them as I had in times long past. And on the day I left, I showed to Celestia (for her sister slept) the Jewels of Friendship and said to her, “The Ponies grew to fear me and you, and now your sister as well. These should be given, two to ponies of earth, two to pegasi and two to unicorns, that they may know our hearts are inclined to them. For together they contain power even beyond that of you or your sister.” And I left, clothing myself in a new body, of an earth pony that none would know me. And I called this Oak-ki’il, the age of Departure.
[Chapter 3: The Era of the Princesses]
But the elder was very afraid and hid the Jewels, and did not tell her sister that they existed. In those days the moon sometimes shown in the sky during the morning and the evening. So as they ruled the orbs in the sky, the younger still heard the voices of Ponies before they wearied from labor and when they returned to their families, though the elder heard their voices through the whole day.
It then happened that the course of the moon in the sky crossed the path of the sun, and the younger’s moon darkened the face of Celestia’s sun. And the elder was full of fury and said, “How dare you to block my sun from the earth!” But the younger said,.”I follow faithfully the course our mother set in the sky, as I always have. It shall pass by, and your sun will shine as bright as always.” But Celestia raged and her sister was afraid. And in that day, Celestia ordered that the moon never again rise during the day.
The younger sister was then cut off from hearing the sounds of joy throughout the land, and a blanket began to quench the fire within her as well. For she heard the voices of the nightmares of the Ponies and the cries of sorrow from those who could not rest. But she did have a respite, for every year the Ponies still celebrated the Summer sun and remained awake all through her night dancing and singing.
But the Nightmare spoke to the younger sister during the long months between and began to poison her heart. But all the days of the celebration of the Summer sun strengthened her and she did not fall to the Nightmare, though it told her an oracle:
Songs you sang to the heavens still
resound from ev’ry star;
but soon no mortal Pony will
remember who you are.
The anger from the eclipse never left Celestia. After the warmth in her heart was snuffed out for many years, she made an order to go out to all of Equestria that they should rest the night before the celebration, for (as she said) it caused Ponies to be weary during their honor of the sun during the day.
That night, the Nightmare laughed to the younger and said to her, “Even the one day the moon princess might hear them, the sounds of the Ponies are silent.” But she was filled with dread and walked among the streets, for she feared a plague or famine or war had befallen the Ponies. And she found a pony who had a trumpet, to sound just before the dawn, and she asked him why the Ponies did not celebrate. She cried bitterly, for the respite she had from the soundless night was taken from her, and the Nightmare came upon her.
When the time came for the dawn, Celestia told her sister to let the moon set. But she said to Celestia, “Why should I let you steal my joy? For you took my moon from the daylight sky and now leave me bereft of my one night?” Celestia then raged at her sister and attacked her with her power. But the sister and the Nightmare fought back, and gained the advantage, driving Celestia back. The elder fled in the castle, then when she was against a corner, she took out the Jewels of Friendship and willed their magic to come to her aid. And I myself felt the magic, for it was part of my own, and I ran toward the castle.
And the Jewels struck both of the sisters; the Nightmare was driven into the moon itself but their power also rebounded onto Celestia as well, and they cleansed her heart of its anger. I appeared in the form I did of old as I walked to Celestia, who wept bitterly, for the bitterness in her heart was broken, and she understood what she had done.
I spoke to her saying, “I have no succor to give you, my daughter. The Jewels have judged between you and her, and she will sleep for a thousand years. You have sought to rule alone in Equestria, and no more bitter pain could the Jewels give you than to grant you this wish in full. For in the nights you must now tend, you will cry out to your sister, but she cannot hear you, and you will know what it is to be alone.
“And look at your mane and tail. Forever you will be marked with the rainbow light to remind you, even long after your sister awakens, what you have done.” I touched my horn to the amethyst stone, which vanished, and the other stones began to be encrusted in gray rock, “Now their power is hidden from you until the day your sister returns, for her heart must also be purified of the Nightmare within her.”
Celestia looked to me with tears in her eyes, “Then what shall I do, Mother?” And I said, “Remember the power in friendship; the days of the Ponies are short, but make them know you do love them for the few years they live. And upon the thousandth year:”
A Spark shall kindle Rainbow Light;
your hooves shall guide her path.
For that which lies twixt day and night
will heal your sister’s wrath.
And that was how Equestria was made!
And I said to her when she was finished, “And of your Sigil of Destiny?”
“Look up into the sky,” she said, raising her left forehoof. “What is the color of the sky? What is the color of the sun? I gathered the star vapor in great bags to kindle the sun. And that is the Gem of the heavens.”
After the dragon left, my friend Rarity of Carousel Boutique was reminded of a particular diamond that was among the dragon’s hoard. She suggested that the two of us go to look in the cave, and I agreed both for safety reasons -- I feel I could not have deterred her -- and because dragons have been known to collect books that they bury beneath their hoard. Upon reaching the cave, we looked at the indention on the floor that marked where the dragon had slept, and I unearthed a few tomes. Most of them were volumes I had already read or seen, but this one was completely unfamiliar.
The manuscript appears under magical scrutiny to be between six and eight hundred years old, and there is no obvious textual reason to suspect it was a forgery. However, even though the work would indicate that Princess Celestia has “reformed,” it might be considered propaganda against the bi-principality. Therefore, this will be kept in our restricted holdings, until and unless I receive permission from the Princess to put it among the main shelves.
N.B.: The original manuscript had no chapter breaks, but this seemed to make stylistic sense. -T.S.