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The war in Pundani is over, and Light has become, at long, long last, victorious over Dark. The continent may never recover from having lost two or every three beings living in it, but at least it will have the opportunity to try.

This victory comes at a cost, though, and a significant one at that. Many warriors died the name of protecting the Light, and their bodies and stories are to be shown and celebrated at this year's Grand Galloping Gala. Not least among them will be the memorial of Celestia, Sun Princess of Equestria and Gaia, who died in the final moments of the fight.

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Weather: Warm and sunny, but with a peculiar sort of silence to the air
Date: September Tenth, 5150
Current Events: The Grand Galloping Gala
Description: This biannual event was always intended to be one of celebration and delight, even if politics and stodginess did often get in the way. But this year, there is no doubt that the very nature of the Gala has been irrevocably altered. Begun by Princess Celestia after her Sister's banishment, now the Gala is being continued by Princess Luna after Celestia's death.
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 Posted on Jan 27 2013, 12:17 PM
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It had been twenty years since Luna had returned. Twenty long, hard years of redemption, but they were in the past. Indeed, compared to a thousand years of punishment, a mere two decades of fixing her mistakes had been trivial. And upon that joyous day, the princess would be hosting the Summer Sun Celebration alongside her sister, before having her own party that night to celebrate her return from the moon. Life was good for the Lunar sister.

Luna trotted through the halls of the castle, preparing to make the short flight down to Ponyville for the festivities. It was still rather early by her standards, but for anyone else getting up at noon would be far later than usual. Either way, princess want coffee now. She cantered up to the window at the staff lunchroom, drawing a few incredulous glances from the assembly having their noontime meal, and looked around for anyone in the kitchens.

"Your princess is in need of a drink to supply us with the energy she requires for the day. Fetch it at your earliest ability, please." A quick glance at those around her returned the staff to their food and conversation, while she settled down at the end of a nearby table next to one of the maids.

"Greetings! Are you having a satisfactory day, madam?" Normally conversing with one of the princesses like this was severely looked down on, but when the princess was the one to address you the opposite held quite true. Indeed, Luna could only chuckle slightly as the mare stammered and blushed.

"Worry not, my dear. Answer us when you feel capable of doing so, and no sooner."


Princess Luna gracefully made her way through the private gardens located behind Canterlot Castle one evening. Of course, the public gardens were much larger, and far more elegant. But this private garden was only open to a select few—the gardeners who up-kept it, and the guards who watched over it. But even the guards only watched the entry way, not even so much as entering the garden when either of the princesses did. The garden offered a place of quiet reflection, a time away from everypony else. Not many knew of the existence of the garden at all, so it was safe from intrusion from most of the castle staff, or any visitors.

The princess took in a deep breath, absorbing the sweets scents and clean air all around her. It was hard to believe that she'd been back in Equestria for twenty years now. The garden, and indeed even the castle, had not exist a thousand years ago. But now she knew the garden like the back of her hoof... Yes, she certainly had spent a lot of time here. She knew the name of every plant, every time a new flower began to bud, she was aware of it. Luna was even responsible for planting some of the night time plant life, after her return.

Walking in the garden reminded Luna of her imprisonment on the moon. Things were lonely, but not as quiet. It was a place to be alone without truly being alone. Celestia was nearby in the castle, and there were all sorts of animals in the garden. Animals were the only ones that could find their way here, either being small enough to dig under the wall, or those that flew came upon it by chance.

Yet, as Luna continued through the garden, she reached the back wall. The end of the garden. It reminded her of the first year or two she was back in Equestria. At first, everypony had avoided her, even the guards. She could easily leave her chambers and walk about the castle, without a single one acknowledging her existence. Had it been Celestia, there would have been no less than two guards in tow at all times.

But she was glad that times had changed. After her first Nightmare Night in Ponyville, the public began to warm up to her. Although she had to work to create a reputation for herself as the princess of the night, the ponies of Equestria were surprisingly quick to accept a second ruler.

It was amazing how many ponies Luna had met that had the word “moon”, or “night” or “star” or “dark”, or other such words relating to the nighttime sky, in their name. And the Cutie Marks were surprising as well. A thousand years ago, the night was a time for sleeping. There was no stargazing, or star mapping, no late night cafes or clubs. But that had all changed in her absence.

Luna was glad for the acceptance and forgiveness of her subjects. Since her return, she had spent much of the time reading countless historic tomes, as well as studying maps of the land. Readjusting to society was just one of the many trials Luna had had to overcome. But in the end, it had all been worth it.

The princess looked up, as something in the night made a sound. She smiled at one of her bat friends, who had probably just woken up to begin his nightly hunting regimen. Noticing the princess, however, he swooped down and landed clumsily on her shoulder. She nuzzled him lightly, and then continued her tour.

She was grateful for the company of the animals in this garden. After all, they had been some of her first friends—although all of the ones she had known upon her first reappearance back in Equestria had passed by now. Still, their kin lived on after them, and Luna had lived to see and care for many of their children, and their children's children. Yes, even if all of Equestria abandoned her, she would still have this place, and its comfort was enough to keep her going.


The sky was bright tonight, and the moon shone beautifully in the night sky, as Luna sat upon the royal throne, her eyes closed in deep concentration as she oversaw the safety of everypony's dreams – a task that certainly sounded daunting, but to the younger princess was as simple as observing the sky, as long as she kept her focus. Thankfully she didn't have to watch over every dream every little pony had, but for the most part she had to watch the boundaries of the dream world, to make sure the dream remained pure and safe for the fillies and foals who slumbered. If the pony was particularly scared, then she would step in and comfort the pony, to remind them that they were only in a dream, but with so many dreams to keep safe she knew she couldn't do this very often – she had to keep an eye out for other ponies, no matter how much she may or may not have wanted to stay in any one dream.

The princess opened her eyes, letting out a breath she had been holding for some time. She had just been helping a small orange pegasus filly who was scared of a nightmare, but she knew what really scared her wasn't something in a dream, but was a real problem, a fear of being considered weak, which Luna could recall from personal experience all too well. You're not weak, young Scootaloo. she thought, a grim smile coming to her face as she stepped down from the throne. Her time was nearly up for the night; her wings flared as she sprung into the air, her wings carrying her to the main doors. Her sister would be waking up soon, and Luna was heading up to the balcony. Between the eternally-conflicting schedules the two of them had, the only time the two of them really had to talk during normal, day-to-day life was during sunrise or during sunset, when they would meet each other on the castle balcony and appreciate the rising and passing of their respective celestial bodies before Luna retired to her personal chambers.

“How could it have come to this...?” the dark blue alicorn wondered as she paced about the small side-room that her sister had set aside for her in the castle. It had been a week since the Summer Sun Celebration, but her return had been met with... less than satisfactory results. “What has happened to you, sister dearest?”

No. She had to stay strong. She had to bring change to Equestria with her own hooves. “Our sister has reigned for long enough,” she assured herself, “and she is not as we remember her.” After this, she fell silent, hanging her head. “What she has done... We must stop her. We must make her see the error of her ways, make her realize how blind she truly is...”

As a multitude of ponies began to gather about the pavilion, Luna could see numerous guards stationed about. A means to prevent riots, Luna thought, but also a means for Celestia to spy on her. Only once everypony had gathered and sat down did Luna begin to speak.

“CITIZENS OF EQUESTRIA!” she shouted, her voice significantly louder than normal speaking but not quite with the volume and gusto of the Royal Canterlot Voice. “FOR THE LAST ONE THOUSAND YEARS, THE REIGN OF YOUR PRINCESS HAS GONE UNCONTESTED! PONIES EVERYWHERE BELIEVE IN HER AS A GODDESS, A SAINT, A BRINGER OF LIFE. BUT WE ARE HERE TO TELL THEE; 'TIS A LIE!” she spoke, eliciting hushed murmurs. “THIS INJUSTICE HAS GONE ON FOR FAR TOO LONG!”

At this point, a stallion stepped up, breaking the ranks of the crowd to see her directly. There was disbelief in his eyes, a scowl adorning his features. “And why should we believe you, 'Princess'? It's not like there's anything wrong with how Princess Celestia has ruled the land, and now we have some... some... pretender challenging her honor? What is the basis of your argument?” the stallion challenged.


“WE UNDERSTAND THAT IT IS NORMAL TO FEAR CHANGE. BUT CHANGE IS NOT ALL BAD.” the lunar alicorn assured the crowd. “CHANGE IS PROGRESS, A STEP FORWARD. AND IF NO GOOD COMES OF IT, THEN WE LEARN FROM OUR MISTAKES AND SEEK TO BETTER OURSELVES, DO WE NOT?” she asked the crowd, allowing herself a moment to gauge the crowd's reaction.


She is the moon. It is not merely some part of her, some aspect that she controls, anymore than Twilight Sparkle is can so simply control her mind, or Fluttershy her giving heart.

And so the moon controls her in exchange for her control over it, and she obeys because to do otherwise is to lie to herself. It is not as if the waxing and waning cause her any trouble. She is not the steady, piercing light of her sister, and has no need for her concrete predictability.

The moon goes dark, a black blankness in the sky behind which her beloved stars hide away, and she too becomes less than herself. A small thing, mundane as any unicorn, for all that she has strength and flight. And in these times, she is at rest in the waking world, though she moves about it with thoughtful eyes. For the substance of her has moved like moonlight into the surreality of dreams, which bend to her whims. Her own, those of others.

In the dark heart of the new moon, she could break sleeping minds and restful souls with ease, though she can hardly light her own candles. She could mold them into something else entirely, she could remake their very livelihoods.

It is a dark power, and she does not stray into it.

Not anymore.

But it is there, all the same. A taunting, teasing reminder that while Celestia is the elder, the first born light of day, there are battles that even she cannot win.

Once upon a time it was a torment to ignore, but now it soothes her. Some ponies still forget that she too is a Princess of Equestria, but the dark, rich dreamworlds of new moon's nights never forget her, and in those mindscapes, the little ponies of Equestria are hers, not her sisters.

It is more than enough to keep her peace.

But the new moon is only one drifting piece of her. She grows with the night sky glow, and the Princess that most know is her soul on the wax, the bright, romantic creature who perhaps does not always understand why ponies have the rules they have, but lives to please them nonetheless.

As the nights grow lighter, her body grows longer, and her mane begins to move with the winds of the empty space between moon and land. The glittering jewelight of the stars begins to glint within her, as her coat darkens towards the blue-black of the midnight void.

Then there is the height of her power. One day of twenty eight, when the waking world too trembles as the soulworlds had two weeks prior. When she stands as tall as her sister, her mane an emptiness on space itself which does not glow with starlight, so much as erase everything behind it to reveal the true star sky in the long distance.

This is the form that the nightmare has once upon a time given her the power to keep.

This is Luna of the Full Moon, and ever since those molded over centuries, though she wishes to leave her solitude, every twenty eighth day is spent in singular exile.

She cannot stand the horror. She wanted only their respect, not their fear. And until the memory drip drizzles away- or until little loved ones like her Pip beat the image into one of adoration and not submission- she hides away. Her reputation is not tenuous, and perhaps she is paranoid, but better safe than sorry. She cannot afford to slip down the path of hatred again, and fear breeds it so well.

After her night of silent sorrow is spent, and her body begins to wind itself down once more, she becomes something else a new once again. Where the waxing moon is a kindly trickster, longing only to bring light and joy, the waning quarter is a quicksilver blade, so sharp that her words don't prove themselves injurious until minutes or days later. After all, she is their kindly princess of safety in the dark. She would not be cruel, even as she cutcutcuts away at the things that must be removed.

Many of Equestria's longest standing laws have been written on the waning moon's darkening nights.

And then, of course, just as she begins to run out of things to turn her mind's rapier upon, there is the new moon once more, the rush of comfort and power and grounding respect.

And so she begins again, refreshed. The climb, the peak, the descent, the reprieve. On and on, in an endless cycle, a game that never grows old.

Because Luna is the Moon Princess, and she has no need of the stability of the sun.


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