XXXCLASSIFIED ABOVE TOP SECRETXXXDIRECTORS EYES
Agent X Field Report 01
Fourth Week of Expedition
I arrived without incident at the target location four weeks ago, and my disguise appears to have been accepted by the local community. As such, please excuse the moniker above. My chosen cover is a delicate one, and I must take great pains to preserve it.
In my relatively short time here, I have already learned much. The seemingly benign appearance of this culture belies its true nature. There is something far more sinister at work here, and more still of interest to us: An ancient prophecy foretelling the downfall of Equestria's greatest, secret foe, the Princess Celestia.
This is but an excerpt of the entire text:
"And at the Twilight Hour, when Heaven's Bane is brightest, the
Orbs shall align and the Great Deliverer shall recover that which was
taken. Thus shall come the End of Heaven's Blight, and Dawn of Pony
-- Missing Page from "Predictions and Prophecies" detailing the "Prophecy of Harmony", and continuing the legend of Nightmare Moon. (A full transcription of the text will be sent after I have completely translated it.)
This ancient legend tells of several individuals that will
band together in the coming battle, and I believe that, after examining a large part of the manuscript, I have discerned several of their identities. I will attempt to profile each of them in this report (and those following).
Also, as so much of my time here is left to considerably more dangerous activities, I will write these dossiers with what I hope will be an entertaining narrative.
The magical studies of the pony known as Twilight Sparkle under the tutelage of Princess Celestia are far from the innocent passing of knowledge from one to another. One day, Celestia will have to leave her throne to another, far younger pony. After all, the Princess is not immortal... Yet.
In her early studies of the Elements of Harmony, Celestia happened
upon an old passage detailing how one pony, talented in the magical arts, could inhabit the body of another, leaving their own aged shell behind.
And so, the Princess keeps an ever-watchful eye on her "pupil" from afar, biding her time until the young pony is ready to receive her destiny.
But Twilight's tenaciousness in researching the Ancient Prophecies
seems to trouble Celestia. She had never intended for her student to
learn of the Elements of Harmony (The one force that could vanquish
her), or the legend foretelling the return of the second princess, Luna, even if the story had been altered. Once Celestia received Twilight's letter about the legend of Nightmare Moon, the Princess knew she would have to distance Twilight from her books as quickly as possible, and so she ordered the young mare to oversee the celebrations at Ponyville, under the false pretense of "making friends".
Celestia thought she had been thorough when she destroyed and
rewrote the passages describing the Elements and the Mare in the Moon, but it appeared that the former Royal Chronicler had been more
crafty before her "conversion" than the Princess had given her credit
for, and must have preserved a select number of the original volumes.
For how else could Twilight have still learned about the Element's
location while in Ponyville?
The Princess was terrified to think that Twilight might have discovered her changes in the unaltered volume, and harness the Elements to defeat Celestia herself! Fortunately, her cover had been maintained, and the small group of ponies instead used the Elements to strip Luna of her new-found power. In her glee, the Princess "congratulated" her vessel-in-training on a job well done, saying that the suggestion to make friends of Ponyville's citizens was intended to lead Twilight to the Elements in the first place!
Though the Elements are once-again active, Celestia appears
unconcerned. None seem to suspect her plans, and her agents are hard
at work seeking the remaining unaltered books. The Princess needs only to watch and wait as her student prepares herself for her new life.
Snips and Snails
Despite Celestia's apparent efforts to eradicate magical talent in
Equestria's male population through selective breeding (And, in some
cases, murder), Snips and Snails are the first male ponies in a
near-millenia to possess the great power usually enjoyed only by the
mares of their race.
Seeking to correct this error, Celestia erased their minds, and sent them to live the rest of their pathetic lives at her secret "convert" camp, known to most as Ponyville. However, their magic was strong, and protected their subconscious minds from harm. Though they appear to be naught but harmless buffoons, one day their minds shall return, and the full might of their power restored.
More to be added as my research continues.
- Agent X
XXXCLASSIFIED ABOVE TOP SECRETXXXDIRECTORS EYES
Agent X Field Report 02
Chrestota 31st, 1001 R.C. (Reign of Celestia)
Site Three (Ponyville)
Sixth Week of Expedition
As you can see, I have deduced the Ponies' manner of tracking the
passage of time. I will mark all further entries in their manner and cease using our own system, lest any of my reports be discovered and reveal my location of origin to the ponies. I fear infiltrating Site Three would not be so easy a second time...
My studies of the Ponies and their affairs are progressing slower than I might have hoped. The information contained in these reports was hard-earned and I can only pray that my sources have not been discovered and given untimely ends due to our need to satisfy our own curiosity.
However, I have learned much since my last entry and submit it for your evaluation.
Despite my greatest efforts, this pony defies my analysis. All that I have been able to gather is that she once held high authority in Celestia's inner circle (but of what kind, I cannot deduce) before she was violently stripped of her memories by the princess, leaving her eyes permanently transfixed in opposite direction of each other. She now seems to enjoy a fairly light-hearted existence as Site Three's resident postal carrier, and is surprisingly adept at her profession, despite her handicap.
I have been unsuccessful in determining why the memory-eradication
spell affected Derpy so much more adversely than Celestia's other
victims, but I am confident that in time, the answer will reveal itself.
Princesses Luna and Celestia
The story of the two chief monarchs of Equestria is one of greed,
deceit and the relentless pursuit of power. As I have already mentioned in my analysis of the one called Twilight Sparkle, most records concerning the sisters are falsified, twisted versions of actual events, perpetuated by Princess Celestia and her sinister agents. I shall do my best to piece together a legible account of what I believe is the true story.
Over a thousand years ago, the two royal sisters Celestia and
Luna were commanded by their dying mother, Queen Astra,
to assume her royal responsibilities: Ruling justly and fairly over the ponies of Equestria and, perhaps more importantly, the raising of the Sun during the day, and the Moon at night. To Celestia, the eldest, she gave the Sun, beacon of light and prosperity to all of Equestria and lands beyond. To Luna, she gave the Moon, and the solitary, quiet tranquility of night. Being the youngest, Luna thought herself cheated, doomed to forever stand lonely vigil as all of her fellow ponies slept. In fact, her mother thought Luna the wisest of the two sisters and gave Celestia the Sun only to appease her and to keep the sisters from quarreling.
And so, for 100 years, the Princesses carried out their solemn duties. Celestia grew into a stunning reflection of her mother, regal and elegant, while Luna blossomed into a rare, magnificent mare of dark blue, befitting the nightly station she held. Though both were beautiful, Celestia's heart grew dark as her ever-present lust for power nurtured itself.
While Luna wanted only to oversee her subjects with kind and
benevolent eyes, Celestia sought absolute control and dominance in her rule, studying dark magic in order to bend Equestria's population to her will. Before long, the two grew suspicious of each other, and Luna made her own studies of the Ancient magic, becoming adept at transmogrification and the creation of constructs. In an effort to undermine her sister, Celestia "convinced" several ponies that Luna had grown irritated with her nighttime vigil, and would soon seek to usurp Celestia from her throne. It was only a matter of time until the two would face each other in battle.
Every day, Luna saw Celestia's grip on the populace becoming
stronger, and she pored over the old tomes searching for an answer,
until finally, she found it: The Sun itself gave Celestia her power! If Luna refused to lower the Moon, her sister would no longer be able to brainwash the ponies of Equestria! However, before she could execute her plan, Celestia used the Elements of Harmony to imprison Luna and her two most trusted guardians in the moon, leaving Celestia as sole
monarch of Equestria. Before the incantation was complete,
Luna added a single part to the spell, allowing her return in a thousand year's time.
And so, Luna became the Mare in the Moon, passing from memory to
legend, from legend to myth. The years drove her mad, twisting her
thoughts from that of using the Moon to stop Celestia to plunging
Equestria into eternal darkness.
Last month, Luna finally returned, but was transformed into a
mere shadow of her former self by the Elements of Harmony, subservient and loyal to Celestia. If my research of the Prophecy is any indication, this spell shall eventually be broken and Luna shall defeat her sister and finally bring peace to all of Equestria.
That is all I have learned for now. I shall update you on my progress in two weeks time.
- Agent X
XXXCLASSIFIED ABOVE TOP SECRETXXXDIRECTORS EYES
Agent X Field Report 03
Chrestota 46th, 1001 R.C.
Site 3 (Ponyville)
Ninth Week of Expedition
Director XXXXX, thank you for your personal message included in last week's data burst. Despite my training regarding cultural immersion, it is always comforting to hear a friendly voice in my native tongue while on assignment.
I am pleased to hear that you are so fascinated by the
Elements of Harmony, as they are a most interesting subject of study
here for me as well. So, as a reprieve from my usual dispatches, I will instead send all of my notes regarding the Elements thus far. I am confident that you will find this research enjoyable, and in return I humbly ask that you tell my husband that I miss him terribly and that I love him very much.
The Elements of Harmony
As far as I've been able to discern, the Elements have existed since before the dawn of time on this world. Cave drawings by various cultures
from around the globe have depicted a great source of power
(represented by six symbols) in nearly all of their creation myths.
However, the elements are depicted as belonging to many different
masters in these drawings, rather than only the goddess Andromeda of
What follows is as accurate an account as I can make of the Element's history; A tale of greed, war and the lust for power.
The Tale of Two Brothers
The earliest, most likely record of ownership that I've been able to find (and a sketchy one at that) is an old folk tale about Thorntail, the ancient Dragon king, who had (allegedly) forged the Elements from the same fire he had spurt forth to create the Heavens. Thorntail's younger brother Prince Savage was selfish and very jealous of Thorntail's power, and wanted to take the Element's power for his own.
The story goes, "One day, Thorntail invited Savage to go flying with him. It wasn't long until the pair came across Mother Duck and her ducklings next to a raging river, their eyes red with tears. 'Why do you cry, Mother Duck?', Thorntail asked. 'My ducklings and I wish to cross this river, but it is too strong, and we would be washed away', she said.
Savage scoffed at Mother Duck's plight. 'We are much too busy and kingly to help the likes of you!' But the Dragon King had Kindness and Loyalty in his heart, so he used the power of these Elements to calm the rushing waters, allowing Mother Duck and her children to cross. Mother Duck thanked Thorntail for his help, and the brothers flew away.
"The two brothers went on flying, until they happened upon Squirrel and Chipmunk fighting down below them. 'Why do you quarrel, Chipmunk and Squirrel?', Thorntail asked. 'We are both collecting food for winter, but SquirreI tricked me so that he could have it all for himself!', Chipmunk said. 'Now I have no food, and Squirrel will not give me any of his, so I will starve!'
'Squirrel was clever and got to the food first', Savage said, 'so he should be allowed to keep it. That is the Law of Nature.' But the Dragon King had Generosity and Honesty in his heart, so he used these Elements to conjure enough food for Chipmunk to last the whole winter. Chipmunk thanked Thorntail, and the brothers flew away.
"Both Thorntail and Savage continued flying for a while before they saw Badger shouting at the pony children laughing and playing in front of his house. 'Why do you shout, Badger?', Thorntail asked. 'These ponies are so young and happy', Badger said, 'and spend their time playing before my house and making me feel old! I only want to laugh and play with them, but I cannot, and that is why I shout.'
Savage scoffed again, saying 'You ARE old, Badger, and should go back into your house to spend the rest of your days alone.' But the Dragon King had Laughter and Magic in his heart, and used these Elements to make Badger young again so that he could play with the young ponies. Badger thanked Thorntail, and the brothers flew away.
"Finally, Savage confronted Thorntail. 'Give me the Elements, brother, so that I can control the water, make the old young, and conjure food out of the air.' But Thorntail would not, because he knew Savage would only use the Element's great power for himself, and not to help others. This angered Savage, and he vowed to one day take the Elements for himself.
One night, while Thorntail was sleeping, Savage stole the Elements from his brother's heart and flew off to far away lands. But no matter how hard he tried, Savage could not use the Element's power because of the greed in his own heart, so he hid them in a secret place for his children to one day find and take their places as the true Kings of the land.
And that is how the kingdoms of Dragon and Wyvern were born."
The Wyvern War
No other mention of the Elements of Harmony appeared for the next 600 years, and several cultures from all over the world seemed to have relentlessly searched for them throughout the centuries. Despite their efforts, the Elements appeared lost for all time, until a Pony-led archaeological expedition uncovered them in 6290 B.C. (Before Celestia), and returned them to the Dragon King Talon (A descendant of Thorntail himself, and great friend to Queen Cosmosia of Equestria), believing the Dragon Kingdom to be their rightful owner. However, the descendants of Savage (Led by the tyrant-king Savage the XII) said that the Elements were their birthright, and demanded that they be delivered safely to Wyvern territory under threat of war. Talon would not concede, and soon after, the Wyvern War began.
The conflict waged on for several years, with heavy casualties; Talon pleaded with Cosmosia to commit troops to his side, but she would not, convinced that a diplomatic solution could be found to avoid more bloodshed. It wasn't until a Wyvern attack on an Equestrian aid hospital that Cosmosia reluctantly entered the war, and after several joint efforts, the ponies helped the dragons claim a decisive victory.
As a show of gratitude, Talon entrusted Cosmosia herself with protecting the Elements of Harmony, in the hope that the Wyverns would not dare challenge her authority. The Queen accepted, and locked the Elements away deep inside her Royal Vault, never to be seen again.
The Rise of Celestia
Several thousand years passed, with guardianship of the Elements
passing in secret to each Queen in the royal Pony line (Mares seem to
have traditionally held positions of authority in Equestria, with males delegated to more, shall we say "earthen" tasks... More on that later), from Queen Cosmosia to Elia, then to Mandala and Soleil, and finally to Queen Astra, mother to Luna and Celestia. No Queen had ever seen fit to use the Elements, and so this great power faded from memory into nothing but mere myth.
But fortune favored the curious, it seemed, and following Astra's death, the not-yet wicked Princess Celestia spent much time researching the Elements while sharing the throne with her sister. It wasn't long until she was able to uncover the ancient Royal Vault and absorb the Elements into her body, despite her mother's warnings. Eventually, Celestia's new-found power gave her feelings of superiority and dominance over Luna, and as the kindness, laughter, generosity, honesty and loyalty began to fade from her heart, thus did her grip on the Power begin to weaken.
It wasn't until that fateful confrontation with Luna 1000 years ago
that the Elements rested once again. In a great battle that badly damaged the Castle of Queens in Everfree, Celestia showed her true colors and used the Elements to banish her sister to the moon. In this final act of greed and malice, the Elements expunged themselves from Celestia's body in a great explosion that destroyed the rest of the castle. As Celestia's soul clearly no longer served the goal of the Elements themselves, she could no longer touch them, and so she left them to rest in the castle ruins as she built her new capitol of Canterlot, altering all records of the Element's existence that she could find, completely obsessed with finding a way of reclaiming this great power for herself once again.
So it was for a thousand years, until the Elements were awakened once again by the most unlikely collection of bearers...
The Guardians of Harmony
This information is relatively new and something I have already covered once before; Over a month ago, the Elements were absorbed by several bearers rather than by a single being. Six ponies, led by the one called Twilight Sparkle, each gained control over a single Element, and from what I have seen of their devotion to their respective qualities, I surmise that it will be extremely difficult to seperate them from their new-found powers.
Also, I believe that this group may be referenced in an early part of the "Prophecy of Harmony":
"The Six will come to embody that which Evil cannot know, many parts of the whole, together as One. So shall the Sword of Harmony be Forged, and the War of the Elements begun."
It is my belief that this land grows ever-closer to the conflict described in this prophecy, and I must admit that I am beginning to fear for my safety.
However, "Knowledge is Power" as we always say, and if I were to pass up an opportunity of this magnitude simply to keep myself out of harm's way, I would never forgive myself.
So, I shall remain and complete my mission. However, I do not have nearly enough material for my next transmission and am unable to predict when, exactly, I will next be able to make contact. However, you should expect my next dispatch before the next month is out.
I can only hope that what I have uncovered so far has been of interest to the Academy and that I may return home soon.
- Agent X
XXXCLASSIFIED ABOVE TOP SECRETXXXDIRECTORS EYES
Agent X Field Report 04
Geloto 15th, 1001 R.C.
Site 3 (Ponyville)
13th Week of Expedition
I apologize for the delay in getting this report to you. My cover had nearly been blown after my last transmission, and I did not feel it was safe to try again until now.
The findings contained in this Report concern the founding of Equestria's many outlying communities, a subject that has proved to be far more interesting than originally suspected.
The Second Wyvern War
As mentioned in my previous dispatch, Equestria had been at war with the Wyverns several thousand years ago, allied with the Dragons to safeguard the Elements of Harmony. Under Celestia's leadership, however, this second conflict would have far more sinister a goal.
For all of recorded history, Equestria and it's neighbors had kept to the same borders. Dragons, Wyverns and Ponies alike had more than enough land to satisfy them, and so it would remain... Until Celestia's rise to power.
The Princess' lust had not been quenched after merely banishing her sister to her lunar prison. She desired MORE, and wanted her influence spread to all known corners of the planet.
Celestia's first goal after assuming the throne was to expand her Western border into the nearby lands of the Wyverns. By this time, King Savage the 28th had taken the throne, who was much more peaceful in nature than his ancestor had been during the First Wyvern War. When news first reached him of the Equestrian Army's march into his territory in 2 R.C., he pursued a peaceful resolution with Celestia. Unfortunately, she would have none of it, and left a trail of blood and fire in her wake as the hopelessly outnumbered Wyverns tried to defend their home.
After two whole years of fighting and massive casualties, the Equestrian Army finally stopped their march, having claimed nearly 700 miles of new territory. Celestia looked in satisfaction at her new conquest, with the great lands of the West now stretching before her.
The Equestrian Trail
What others saw as earth left scorched and barren by war, the Princess saw as lands ripe for colonization. She sold vast quantities of the new land to the more opportunistic of her subjects at a fraction of their worth, as an incentive to found new settlements, and to make New Equestria fertile once again.
The Emigrants left everything of their old lives behind, and eagerly
travelled forth into their new home. However, great dangers soon revealed themselves, as dangerous new animals like Manticores and Serpents proved troublesome to the pony-settlers. Also, several small
tribes of Wyvern had sneaked back into their old lands, routinely destroying the new towns as quickly as they were built. But the emigrants were persistent, and soon were able to defend their homes. Towns like Fillydelphia and others became prosperous, and the lands around them became green and lush.
At the tail-end of the Great Emigration was the founding of Ponyville, settled by a tenacious young pony named Bonnie Best and her family, all ancestors of the Apple Clan. Bonnie dreamed of growing and selling the best apples in the entire kingdom, but as racial tensions against Earth ponies in Old Equestria grew to dangerous levels, she knew she would have to go elsewhere to achieve her dream. And so, she gathered all of her meager savings and bought the only land that the bigoted local land merchant would sell her: The bleakest, sorriest, most barren patch of land in New Equestria.
The Apple Clan and the leftover Earth ponies packed their few belongings and made for the purchase, encountering several dangers along the way. No one had heard the fate of the Apple Party for several years, and thought them dead until, against all odds, Ponyville had become the most beautiful, lush, fertile land in the West, delicious Apple Family apples growing as far as the eye could see.
As a "reward" for their tenacity, Princess Celestia laid the foundations for her new capital of Canterlot on a nearby mountain, and Ponyville was allowed to keep its Earth pony traditions through the centuries.
Unfortunately, as certain thorns appeared in Celestia's side in the last few hundred years, she had found Ponyville's serene tranquility to be a perfect location for shielding her "converts" from suspicious eyes, secretly inserting them into the local populace, sometimes into the now-widespread and prosperous Apple Family.
I still endeavor to uncover these victim's identities, as I feel they each have an important part to play in the coming events.
By now, the Academy's other operatives may have returned home from
their respective assignments, and I am aware that my task here is now
complete. However, I can't shake the feeling that I have only begun to scratch the surface of this place, and so I beg the Academy to allow an extension to my original mission. If there is more to be learned here, I want to be the one to learn it.
Also, despite my false pretenses, I have made friends here, and feel some responsibility for their safety. If there is any small thing that I can do to help them, it would be worth staying longer.
Please consider my proposal, and if granted, tell my husband that this is what I want. Trust me, he'll understand.
I await your response.
- Agent X