This foreword is being written after I am already a little way into writing the third chapter of this tale. I’ve stopped, gone back and added this little snippet before the intro. This is because of a thought I had while writing.
I cannot tell the future. I do not know what the world has in store, and for all I know tomorrow we might die. In fact that’s quite probable.
Because of this, I have decided some context as to the world, myths and legends should probably be explained. The world might be reduced to ash and the descendants that come after us -if any at all- may never know the tales and histories that drove Equine kind to the precipice of extinction. So maybe some context would help. If you know these details, then perhaps you could skip this part, and move onto the ‘Intro’.
Where to begin?
I suppose I should begin where the conflicts first started. Over a thousand years ago, with the Mare in the Moon.
Equestria was once a place of gorgeous colours, dancing and singing ponies and other species of every kind, loving and joyful in their serenity, honest and noble in their intents and full of hope for the future. There was harmony. We had not known war with any nation. Life was beyond beautiful, it was pure.
Alicorn princesses. Part of all forms of ponies, they had the strength of Earth Ponies, the magic of Unicorns, and the flight of Pegasus. Truly majestic beings.
Princess Celestia and Princess Luna ruled us side by side. Celestia, the Princess of the Sun’s great magic guided the sun around the planet, lifting night to day for all beings that were graced by her loving warmth.
Luna, the Princess of the Moon’s great magic guided the moon around the planet in the wake of night, shining silver rays that lit the way for any nocturnal folk, and opening the skies to the beauty of the stars beyond.
But something changed the Princess of the Moon. Something changed her into something new and dark. While before she and her sister had ruled together in harmony, now dark thoughts stirred in the younger sister’s mind. She became jealous of her sister’s day, how the ponies would play and frolic in the golden warmth of the sun, but sleep through the silver beauty of her night. Such jealousy began to taint the younger sister’s heart.
Princess Luna became Nightmare Moon.
A mare of dark power that sought to end the sun. She enacted her plan by blotting it out by her own moon forcing a perfect night-time that would last permanently throughout the world. Celestia opposed her, and thus War was brought to Equestria for the first time.
To defeat her sister, Princess Celestia used the most powerful objects in the kingdom. The Elements of Harmony. Unable to control all of their power without her sister by her side, she used what she could. Rather than being able to cure her sister of what afflicted her, and bring her back to the side of good, she instead could only banish her, locking her within the moon for a thousand years.
A thousand years later Nightmare Moon returned, but was stopped by six ponies who each stood for one of the Elements of Harmony.
Magic, Loyalty, Honesty, Laughter, Generosity, and Kindness.
True virtues that at their core are the foundations for the betterment of ponies and all species alike.
They cured Princess Luna, and she once again returned to her sister’s side, contrite, and ready to rule as equals.
Nopony knew why Luna had become Nightmare Moon. They thought it was a tantrum, but as a thousand years had passed pony kind hadn’t even remembered how bad such a war between sisters had truly been.
The Zebra’s had their own legends of Nightmare Moon. Legends that were fraught with darkness, piercing notes, and the shine of Stars from above. Whatever the true cause, Luna was safe now, and back where she belonged.
Celestia, having ruled for a thousand years in her sister’s absence, was considered the primary ruler of Equestria. Luna took her place behind her older sibling, and never again let jealousy take her heart.
Many years later, Equestria had evolved as all countries do. Textile and steel mills were born, industrial revolutions that were hidden away in cities such as Fillydelphia so the rural towns, for all their pastel colours and quaint joy, could reap the rewards of furthered technology.
But industry comes with price. Equestria so far could afford it.
A series of events occurred. I am privy to each one and have learned them in my travels. But this tale will serve to tell you them in more detail than I could fit in this foreword, so I shall simply state the more generic information that is known most commonly.
The Zebra’s needed gems. They needed gems desperately and Equestria had a supply. Our industries were growing but stable, and in the idea of expansion, we offered to give them gems for coal, of which they had abundance, and we did not.
A favourable trade.
This did not end well. As industries and desperations came from both sides, trade turned to arguments and disputes, and industrial strain and thus political intrigue. Eventually the politics of Equestria became corrupt, and War began between Equestria and the Zebras. A war that lasted ten years.
To save the world from war, the Ministries were created, and each headed by a bearer of an Element of harmony. The Ministry Mares.
Six mares who swore to serve the Princesses, and use whatever means they could, to end the War that had begun to ravage them.
It was a war that ended in Balefire.
A Balefire Megaspell was a bomb that could explode and destroy an entire city, and at the climax of the war Equestria was hit with many.
Equestria was gone.
Those that survived did so by hiding in Stables, reinforced underground shelters that would protect them from the harsh world outside that had become nothing more than a radioactive Wasteland.
When they emerged, they did so into the sands, the overcast sky, and the darkness that was the permanent shadow over the world they had once known. Two hundred years passed, and the Wasteland became something far different than what Equestria had once been.
Raiders, Slavers, Traders, Monsters, Ponies, Creatures of the old war, Robots and all manner of beings now struggled to survive.
The war had begun due to desperation. And now the Wasteland made everypony desperate.
Even after two hundred years, the war never truly stopped. The sky was cut off by the Pegasus, the ground in turmoil due to monsters, and the ponies that had likened themselves to monsters. The fighting never stopped, the pain never stopped.
Equestria had once enjoyed a thousand years of peace, so much so that it had forgotten the very word of ‘War’. But it remembered now. Like a permanent scar that had scoured itself into the hearts of all ponies that live and die in the depths of the Wastes.
War was like a curse, perpetuating within the hearts and minds of the descendants of those that had scorched the planet in their Balefire.
Such a curse could not be lifted easily. And while its fire still spread, the land of Equestria and all those affected could not possibly change for the better.
Because war, war never changes, and neither do ponies.