Stories in Stone.
Luna's Royal Guard
Prologue, Stories in the Stones
Twilight fell back, eyes wide as she stared in horror. The garden grew quiet again, the echo of the scream fading into the hedgerows. Even at the full light of noon the Canterlot Royal Gardens had suddenly a very sinister look to her. She lifts her gaze, watching as the last of the pony's flesh was consumed once more, by stone. Twilight's eyes had yet to leave the cold gray statue. The mares screams, begging Celestia for forgiveness,and her pleas to Twilight for help, still sounding in her ears. The surprise had cost her the control of her spell, the effect reversing itself, sealing the mare back in her cold petrified state.
The purple pony lay there on the grass, her mind galloping millions of miles an hour. Her head slowly turned as she looked over the hundreds of other statues decorating the garden, and these were just the ones she could see. The gardens covered acres of land, magically folded back in on itself. The spell was a marvel, giving more room, but taking up less space, a feat only a Goddess could have mustered the power for. There was no telling how many statues there truly were. Was Discord correct? Did the Princesses really turn ponies to stone? The little pony in her head screamed a definitive, YES, along with an order to run.
Discord's comment had nagged at her for months, adding in no small part to her breakdown a few weeks ago. She decided to take a small vacation after Nightmare Night to visit her family in Canterlot. After the usual greetings and conversations of how she was doing, coupled with her moms questions on if she had found a stallion yet, she came to the Garden to find out for her self. She left Spike with her parents telling them she would be back later and hurried to the palace grounds.
After the cockatrice had turned her to stone, she put a great deal of effort into finding a cure that would not require the bird to be agreeable. She had managed to learn a spell to revert stone to flesh, and had come here expecting nothing more than one of Discord's lies. To find he was truthful, was a shock that she was still trying to recover from. She slowly pushed herself to her hooves not even sure what she was to do next. Could she tell some one? Was it even possible to confront Celestia over this? Could anything really be done if she did indeed turn any pony she wished into a statue? She barely noticed the shadow looming over her until its owner spoke.
"You should not have done that Twilight Sparkle. Some things exist that you should not seek to learn."
Twilight's eyes widen as she turns to look behind her, yelping and back scrambling backwards away from the grim visage of Princess Celestia. She smacks into the pedestal of the pony she nearly freed dropping forward into a half bow, half grovel with her hooves over her face.
The Goddess offered a small sigh at her antics.
" I should have guessed you of all ponies would be curious about the words Discord let slip. Likely the only one who would have noticed as well. Come Twilight Sparkle. Walk with me."
The Princess turns moving a few paces down the path pausing to glance back at her student. She frown seeing Twilight remained cowering having yet to move from where she was.
"That was not a request Twilight."
The purple mare jumped to her hooves with a start at the command and followed slowly after the Princess. She wondered briefly if she was being taken some where to join the Garden's inhabitants. Would any pony ever figure out what happened to her if she was? Rumors had abounded for a long time about swings in the Sun Goddess' temperament. It was said she had a cruel streak that was not unlike that of a troll and it had even earned her a nickname. Trollestia. Twilight shudders, hooves plodding lightly on the grass as she followed her teacher.
The Princess strode to a small dais in a clearing of the hedges. Several larger statues rested here as well as a pillar that rose into the air and seemed to have several more statues at the top of it. The Princess steps onto the dais, her hooves clicking lightly on the stone before she turned facing the cowering pony siting down on the stone.
" Faithful student, do you know what the Canterlot Gardens are for? Why Luna and myself put so much effort into them?"
Twilight swallowed hard thinking on the question. She was hesitant to answer rapidly, so she could be sure of the answer, but she did not wish to make the clearly annoyed Goddess any angrier.
"It.. it is supposed to be a place of quiet tranquility. A monument to ages past and the great heroes and villains of Equestria's history. A way not to forget the reasons for the past even if the history is lost."
As she rattled off the words, some calm came back to her. Her mind finding the familiar comfort of the words from the text she had read. The Princess did not seem upset further by her response, which eased the tension a bit further.
"Well spoken Twilight, nearly a perfect recitation of the pamphlets for tour groups. But that is only the partial truth, the Canterlot Gardens are a prison. Nothing more, nothing less, regardless of what they look like, and what ponies have chosen to believe they are. "
Twilight lifted her head, a bit confused by the term prison. From her reading she knew it was supposedly a larger jail. One meant to hold ponies for far longer than to sleep off a night of Sonic Rain Boom shots, or sticky hooves that were waiting a trial.
The Princess raises a hoof pointing to a statue of a dragon taking up most of the clearing. The amount of stone that would have gone into forming the beast alone would have made a road from Ponyville to Canterlot six stallions wide. That is, if it was stone.
"Do you know what that statue is supposed to be?"
She lifted her head, examining the dragon statue. She quickly recognized it as a statue of Forge Scale the Terrible. A beast that ravaged the countryside thousands of years ago. His very actions starting the First Dragon War. Eventually he simply vanished, bringing the war to a close. She explained all this to her teacher who simply nodded.
"Use your spell on that statue Twilight."
She swallowed a bit, her horn glowing as her gaze locked on the statue. A small patch on the great dragons side starting to glow with a lavender hue. The stone peeled back bearing a bright crimson scaled flank. A wash of heat scorched the grass around the bared flesh, and set one of the bushes nearby ablaze. The exposed scales burned hotly, molten fire dripped from the spaces between them. Twilight cried out as the searing heat washed over her, She once more lost control of the spell, the flesh changing back to stone before she got more than singed.
"Wha... what was that ? "
"The statue is not of Forge Scale student. It IS Forge Scale. "
The Princess lifts her head looking some what wistful as Twilight's eyes widened further seeming to threaten to pop from her skull as she looked between the statue and the Princess.
"I have never in all my years been able to take the life of another creature Twilight. It is a rule I made for myself long ago. My sister has no such rule guiding her, if the situation called for it she had no issue with ending a life. She was... is, the aspect of war and I am the aspect of peace. The pair of us have many titles, but those are two many have forgotten in this peaceful time. The Garden had been here long before Discord was defeated, but it was his addition that brought about the Garden as it is now. Luna lended me her power to craft this place as it is now, practically endless, yet both of us can find our way around with little trouble. The idea was that even if I would not kill, I could remove those who threatened Equestria."
The Princess Shifts a little her expression softening a little more as she spoke.
"That pony you woke, was the creator of a abomination. A monstrosity that wiped out thousands. One she released to take vengeance on a unfaithful lover. One that killed to grow, one that devoured any living thing to make itself bigger. The creature killed my sisters first love. He and many others gave their lives to slow it down so that we could find a way to stop it. The hoof prints cracking the base of the pedestal she stands on are all Luna's, my sisters rage was such that I had to intervene personally to stop her from shattering the statue. Her grief was such that she cried for a hundred years, her tears forming the great inland sea. That mare will never again be free, my sister would surely kill her outright rather than ever let her trot the land again.
Twilight had shifted into student mode, listening intently as Celestia spoke. Her teacher never spoke of the past like this. She straightened up a little watching the Princess closely, waiting for her to continue, hoping she would. The tale of the mare was shocking to say the least, although no less of a surprise that grief was what created The Hooper Sea in southern Equestria. Twilight's initial panic was all but gone, if her Teacher wished to turn her to stone there was no reason to explain things first.
She turned her head back looking at the patch of scorched grass and the charred remains of the bush. She could see now why her teacher had been upset, she could have accidentally released something far worse than a screaming pony.
"The ones placed here are ponies and beasts that have caused untold destruction and death. They are all sealed here, most with no chance of ever being freed, let alone forgiven. Of course only my sister and I were supposed to be able to awaken them. Your power has grown again my student, that spell should not have been enough to break the enchantment."
Twilight could not help but smile at the compliment, an action that brought the same sort of smile from the Princess.
"I know that all I have done is peak your interest in this place. So rather than sending you away with just a few answers I will give you a new task. One that may help you to understand how things were a thousand years ago. And perhaps the knowledge will prepare you for things in the future. Not all that are imprisoned here are enemies of pony-kind. Some are here for other reasons. The monument over there what do you know of it ?"
Twilight looked up the outline of five forms atop the monolith, she could not make out much more than the outlines from this distance. She had seen this monument quite often from outside of the garden, but had never thought much of what it was past the information provided in the tour, which was little more than a name and deed.
"I think that's the monument to the five heroes that served to help you end the reign of Nightmare Moon with the elements of harmony. "
"Yes. That is what is told now, though it is correct, it is also wrong. They were, and still are, Luna's personal honor guard. She hoof picked each of them before she became Nightmare Moon. They followed only her then, and they followed her even after she became Nightmare Moon. Come Twilight let me introduce you to The Beasts of The Moon."
Twilight followed her teacher as she moved again, the name she uttered sending a small shiver along her spine. The Five Beasts of the moon were another well known old mares tale. The true meaning of the name was lost, much as Nightmare Moon's name had become little more than a holiday boogie stallion, used to frighten foals. The only thing she had found about them was from a few references in the book, The Elements of Harmony. The Beasts were Nightmare Moons Generals in the time of the Lunar Republic. They had caused nearly as much destruction and terror to the lands as Nightmare Moon herself had done. Though that was all that was mentioned of them.
The Princess approached the short tower, a thin path, invisible from afar, spiraled up the side of the structure to the forms on top. The Princesses' hooves clacked against the marble as she walked up the ramp, Twilight following behind. Even with the Princess telling her nearly every creature here was a threat to Equestria, the concept bothered her greatly. Reaching the top the Princess moved towards the figures, letting Twilight have a clear view of them.
The first surprised her, a zebra of all things, clad in what seemed to be light armor that looked as if it was based off the armor of the Royal Guard. Her mane reminded her of Pinkie Pie's curls, even her tail was poofy. She had never seen a zebra with that sort of hair style. This zebra also wore no jewelry save a small necklace with what looked like a bit of metal or stone hanging from it. Her armor was adorned with countless pouches, all marked with the symbols of zebra, dragon, and pony medical services, as well as many others sewn on that Twilight had never seen before. Twilight guessed the patches must be the medic symbol for other races, that seemed to fit with the ones she knew. The zebra mare was half bowed, her head lowered but eyes open and cast upward, as if she was not willing to take her eyes off of whatever stood before her in case it became hostile. Her stance also reminded Twilight of Rarity's cat when it was about to attack something.
The second figure stood behind the Zebra. A pony sized Dragon, a wide grin on her fanged maw reminded Twilight eerily of Discords grin, though the dragons smile seemed less sinister. The figure was reared up, wings spread wide, one arm across her chest as if she was preparing to bow, the other clawed hand outstretched gesturing to the zebra. Twilight blinked a moment noticing what looked like a stick of charcoal in the outstretched claw. Moving around them as Celestia snickered lightly, she nearly fell off the raised platform seeing the phrase, " Lick Me !", written on the flank covering portion of the zebras armor. The dragon too had a small necklace with a bit of metal hanging from it.
Shaking her head at the frozen joke, she moved to the unicorn in the middle. This one simply looked despondent. The stallion was standing upright, but his head was lowered to the ground enough that his horn touched the marble surface. His eyes were shut tight and moisture had collected around his muzzle and closed eyes giving the impression of tears. He wore slightly heavier armor that reminded Twilight of the Guard armor worn by Princess Luna's chariot pullers. It was a much fancier version of that armor seeming to be fitting of an officer, though where badges would be the stone looked like it had been torn and something removed from the armor. His tail hung between his legs and where his flesh was not covered it was easy to see the discoloration of scars crossing the petrified flesh. His position and the clear wounds made it seem to Twilight that he might have been beaten into supplication like this. The ground at his hooves was covered with what Twilight thought was jagged bits of stone,though looking closer they seemed to be medals and rank insignia. It was likely this was what was torn from the armor.
She glanced to the Princess, her expression unchanged, before moving to the stallion. This one was engaged in a deep formal bow to the central ponies right. He was a rather large earth pony perhaps even larger than Big Mac. He wore a sly smirk that, even in stone form, seemed to say he knew things that you did not. His gaze however was just at the right angle to make Twilight feel uneasy, as if the statue was staring at her rump. She could not help but compare him to Apple Jack's brother, his coat and mane were much better cared for than the farm ponies, as if he spent as much time in front of a mirror as Rarity did. His clothing seemed to be more of a suit for a ancient formal party than any sort of uniform, It also seemed designed to show as much of his form as possible. The over all effect was that he simply expected any mare who saw him to simply fall into his hooves without a word.
The final figure was a stern looking pegasus mare. Her wings were folded tight at her sides, though her mane and tail were stretched out. The effect made her look like she was being blown by a strong wind before she was frozen in stone. She wore armor much like that of Rainbow Dash's Shadowbolt costume though she did not wear a mask. Her gaze rested between the Earth pony and the unicorn a expression of worry etched onto her features. Twilight thought it looked as if she was considering whether she should be there or not.
"These are the five heroes of Princess Luna's Honor guard. These are the five Beasts of the Moon that rampaged the land at the head of the Lunar Republic. Based on their actions Luna selected these ponies to be at her side. They were her guards, her Generals, and her friends. Individually these five accomplished great acts. With Luna at their lead this team brought down many great threats to Equestria. With Nightmare Moon at their lead, they committed atrocities untold. And finally, with me at their lead, we sealed Nightmare Moon for a thousand years."
Twilight glanced back at her teacher, the alicorn having moved to a spot at the front of the obelisk where four hoof prints had been seared into the marbles surface. Each one looking more like a crescent moon than a pony hoof mark.
"This is where Nightmare Moon was sealed. Sealed by the Elements of Harmony used for the first time in centuries by some one other than my sister and I. Used against her by family and those she trusted and loved the most."
Twilight walked up to her teacher the tone of the alicorn's voice worrying her a little. The memories evidently being painfully brought back to the Sun Goddess. She lifts a hoof touching the Princesses shoulder lightly. Celestia lifts her head blinking lightly turning to her student and smiling before starting again.
"Thank you Twilight, I often choose to try and forget painful memories, and details tend to be lost in time, even to me. I do not recall the true why of my sisters turning into Nightmare Moon. Suffice to say it was enough for her to raise armies against the rest of Equestria. I can say, it had nothing to do with that fabled beautiful night nonsense she was spouting when she returned. Her magic and evident sanity had not quite remained as strong as when she was first sealed. The Lunar Republic was a group of dissidents she brought together along with evils left from Discords rule along with any one else with a grudge against Equestria. Which in those days was nearly everyone. Her honor guard became her Generals, guiding the troops to sweeping victories over Equestria's forces. Had events not turned out like they had she would have likely ruled alone with me imprisoned or banished."
At that moment Twilight could have sworn her teacher aged to all her years with the weariness she displayed. She slowly moved from the hoof prints to the leering pony statue. The image of her age was fleeting, but terrible to think of as well.
"Rhede Pelt, bearer of the element of Generosity. To be honest, at the time I was the reason my sister chose him. I believed it rather funny. He was an agreeable stallion and a smooth talker who likely could converse his way out of anything, but he showed no other qualities that would have made him fit for Luna's inner circle. Perhaps his ability to negotiate was what she was after. Perhaps it was simply due to his being friends with the others. It might have actually been something to do with me as well. I do remember he played a important role at some point. He was a mare's stallion, pure and simple. It would not surprise me in the slightest to find that nearly every pony in Equestria could trace their linage back to him some where. He claimed on more than one occasion his sole purpose of joining the Guard was, as he put it; "Mares love a stallion in uniform."
She moved to the pegasus mare behind Rhede, looking the mare in the eyes with a faint sigh.
"Starfall Silvertail, bearer of the Element of Honesty. The first known pegasus to preform a Sonic Rain Boom and likely the fastest pegasus that ever lived. Baring perhaps her direct descendant, your friend Rainbow Dash. Starfall was married to a Guard and took with foal while about your age. When her husband was killed in a land clash with the griffons, she refused the financial aid that was offered in recompense for his death. She preferred to work honestly for her money. She joined the Guard leaving her daughter in the care of her sister, sending back everything she earned to help the foal. She saved the life of my sister and was the primary cause of the surrender of the Diamond Dogs attacking our western border.
The Princess Moved past the unicorn to the dragon, glancing at the note and the charcoal, smirking slightly even though she likely had seen it countless times before.
"Bleu Scale the dragoness. Bearer of the element of Laughter, obviously. She was not even considered to be a Guard, she was a entertainer for the E.S.O., a group sent out to bolster troop moral. I am told that during one performance the base she was at was attacked. She joining the Guard immediately repelling the attacking troll forces, the whole time not missing a beat or a pun of her act. A song she preformed drove the defenders to great heights. The smaller force of Guard was able to repel the attackers because of her. Without her at the battle the attackers would have claimed the base and many more lives would have been lost. Luna asked her to join her Guard not long after. Bleu agreed on the condition that she would not be required to wear the lame uniforms."
She glanced at the note on the zebra mare as she passed looking to Twilight.
"Velkorn the Zebra. First Queen the Zebras, bearer of the Element of Compassion. The Zebra lands at that point were ruled by warlords, bandits and military groups, all clinging to power. Equestria had moved to deal with one of the larger warlords whose actions were causing issue along the border as well as suffering among the zebras. Velkron was a combat medic in the conflict on the warlords side. In the battle she crossed the lines countless times, braving spells, arrows, and explosions to tend any wounded she found be they zebra or pony. Many times it was thought she was killed, only to show up later crossing the field, dragging some pony else to safety. She had no regard for her own life as she worked to save others. She became some what of a legend on the field of battle earning the nickname of the Specter of Life. The warlord however was not happy that his best field medic was treating everyone and sent down some of his personal guard to kill all the ponies found in Velkorn's medical tent. They had barely lifted a blade to kill one of her patients before she made all of them into patients.
Velkorn was a master of a zebra weaponless combat style that focused on subduing opponents. Not always painlessly, or with out damage, but they lived. She had put her years of medical knowledge to work as well, honing the talent. Princess Luna met her personally, bringing several cartloads of supplies for her medical unit after the battle. She asked the Zebra if she would join her Guard unit and Velkorn agreed, knowing that where ever the Goddess of War went, it would be at the forefront of battle that would require her skills.
The Princess moved back to the unicorn in the center of the rise glaring down at him as if in both pity and anger at the same time. Twilight sat in rapt attention through every description, her mind making notes of what battles her teacher spoke of and pairing them in the nearly blank time line of history of a thousand years ago.
"Jer'rahd Kaisur, bearer of the element of loyalty. He was the first to join my sister's inner Guard having nearly sacrificed himself on several occasions on her behalf. He knew all the others as well. He was a child hood friend of Rhede. They both signed up in the guard at the same time and were paired with Starfall for training. His life was saved by Velkorn on the battlefield, and he aided Bleu in keeping her show going while the trolls attacked. He was in the thick of nearly every major battle that happened at that time as well. His suggestions were likely the reason Luna choose the others for her guard, and likely the reason they made him their leader. He was skilled with his chosen weapon, a true terror on the battle field. He was also violent, his temper easily getting the best of him, he seemed to have rather poor luck as well if that could be considered a personal flaw. His spells were quite limited, but the few he could cast he did better than any other unicorn before him. He survived things that no other pony could have, he was a rather clever strategist as well. He seemed to always have some sort of plan ready. He would do anything for those he considered his friends and was a relentless foe to any who were his enemies. However to say he held a candle for my sister would be a fallacy. It was more like a lighthouse. His affections seemed clear to everyone but Luna. He never admitted his feelings as far as I knew, he simply acted as he was supposed to as a guard. Perhaps if things had remained as they were Luna might have returned his attentions. When she became Nightmare Moon, his loyalty to her was such that he followed her still without question, and the others followed him. He trailed after her like a small yet very dangerous puppy. He would not hesitate to attack any who spoke ill of her, and the level of savagery he displayed against any wishing her harm was the stuff of nightmares. He displayed this same devotion to the others as well. He gave my sister his life, and in return she gave him her absolute trust.
The Princess approached Twilight settling down next to her leaning against the smaller mare for a bit of support. Her tail swishing lightly as she spoke brushing across Twilight's back and rump as it moved. The lavender unicorn blushed lightly trying to ignore the feeling of her teachers touch and focus on the tale. Celestia continued on, not seeming to notice her students unease.
"They became Generals of the Lunar Republic, their armies did things that would make even the most violent among us now a days cringe. They were called The Beasts of the Moon. On their order cities fell, creatures were slaughtered, fields were burned and salted. Nightmare Moon used all of Discords creations and some she made herself against Equestria, as well as any pony or monster willing to fight under the banner of the Lunar Republic. It was a dark time indeed for the lands, ponies are not meant for war. We prefer peace to conflict, but once riled or directed we are formidable. But the forces that Nightmare Moon gathered, war was all they knew, peace had never weakened them. We had no chance against them, Equestria would have been lost if not for Jer'rahd, for all five of them."
"These five along with my sister were chosen by the Elements of Harmony. That power helped bring about the end of Second Dragon War. They came to me with a plan, the Elements had sealed Discord in the past and had brought the end of The Second Dragon War. Jer'rahd and Bleu believed that the Elements could be used to turn Nightmare Moon back into Princess Luna. They had taken the Elements from Luna's Castle in the Everfree forest and brought them to me. They wished my aid in returning Luna to herself."
"The plan should have worked, it did work when you and your friends preformed it properly. When my sister came to this dais, she expected to be greeted by her loyal Guard and her sister as a prisoner. What she received was a trap. I used the power of magic drawing on the other Elements and it was not enough. The five were Princess Luna's friends, not mine, at best I could only banish her, not cure her. I was little more than a stand in, as they tried to help their true friend, my sister. "
Princess Celestia sighed looking up at the last rays of sunlight as the sun sank into the west.
"None of them were happy with this, particularly Jer'rahd. They understood perfectly, but they were not happy. Jer'rahd looked up to see Luna's silhouette on the moon and simply dropped into a heap on the surface here weeping openly. This was a pony that had his limbs cut off, survived explosions, magic attacks, and had broken nearly every bone in his body at least once. And yet he lay there crying like a colt over the failure. His friends could do nothing to comfort him and I was in no shape to do much of anything, having spent my magic sealing my sister in the moon. He refused to move from that spot and he refused to eat, he simply remained collapsed on the marble surface fighting off any attempts to move him. The others accepted my invitation to join me in the castle at least, he did not. The loss of their leader and Generals had all but broken the Lunar Republic's back sending the lot of them against each other for control or fleeing into the night in fear of their lives. When I recovered enough to raise the moon for my sister for the first time, I came back to this spot along with the others to check on Jer'rahd. We found him standing here, starring at the sky It was then he asked me for something his voice calm and even without even the hint of the sobbing wreck he had been before."
"I want you to turn me to stone, as you have done the others here in the garden."
"I refused of course, but he was adamant about it. He claimed he could not live with himself knowing he had betrayed the trust my sister had placed in him, the trust the people of the land put in him. He was not worthy of remaining free while his princess was sealed away. I still refused ordering him directly to leave this place and live his life, a direct order to a Royal Guardsman. It was then he tore off the medals and awards that had been given to him for his service. His hoof slammed down shattering them under him as he glared at me."
"You are not my Princess, Celestia, and you never will be. You use this place to keep those who have committed crimes against Equestria. How many more of your subjects need I murder before you seal me here. I do not want your pity or forgiveness. There is only one pony who I want to forgive me and I am willing to wait as long as it takes for Luna to do that."
"It was at this point Bleu laughed and figured that I should do it. Better my spell than Jer'rahd running off into the Everfree to find a basilisk or something. She also agreed with him and was willing to join him in stone, so at least while he waited, he would not be lonely. Rhede agreed soon after with Velkorn nodding. Only Starfall seemed torn. Jer'rahd's demands and orders they do no such thing were completely ignored by the others. I gave them all three days and a disguise spell to hide who they were. There was little reason for them to be seen as The Beasts of the Moon while out finding a reason to live. If they still wished to be petrified they should return here in three days. Starfall nodded and flew off, the others slowly dispersing as well, save Jer'rahd who remained where he was. I managed at least to get him to eat something, but he refused to depart the pillar. He slept during the days bowing his head and not meeting the sight of the moon at night.
Celestia glanced up as the sun had finally set, her sister soon to show up to raise the moon.
"All of them returned three days later. Velkorn had taken the time and all the money she had saved from the adventures and donated it to every medical center she could find in Equestria. Her massive contributions sped forward non magical medicine in the lands by leaps and bounds.
Bleu showed up not long after, not really having had much to do any way considering this group was her family. She had simply gone out drinking and was looking forward to what new jokes might be around when she awoke.
Rhede claimed he was going to enjoy this break, before any more mares showed up with colts they claimed were his. I almost refused to turn him then and there, but he had shown up and I did promise. I found out later he had been keeping track of very single foal he had sired. Nearly every bit he had earned went into a fund to pay for his children's schooling so they might better their lives. I was impressed enough by this act that when the money ran out from his accounts I paid for the ones who had not managed to receive money to go to school. Eventually, it turned into a grant program, available to anyone who wished to apply for it. I left his name attached however, calling it The Pelt Grant.
Starfall was the last to arrive. We had all hoped she would not come and would go home to raise her child. She returned red eyed and seeming on the verge of tears. Her daughter was terrified of her when she arrived. Her own daughter would not approach her for the entire three days and her own sister was frightened of her as well. We all told her to go back and keep trying, but it was clear with the acts tied to their names even if she had wanted to stay she would have had to stay on the run with her daughter. Starfall finally claimed it was likely better this way. If Luna returned and sought vengeance, then she would be able to slake the thirst on her and not any of her descendents.
Jer'rahd sunk down as he is now, with the intent to not watch another moonrise until he was forgiven. The others bowed and stood as they are now as well. I cast the spell, though I still do not know how Bleu managed to put that note on Velkorn. I am also quite sure Rhede only bowed that low to get a look under my tail. Even in this somethings did not change. After the spell was cast, the Elements returned to where they were stored in Princess Luna's castle in the Everfree forest. The Elements themselves turning to stone as well. "
The faint hoof falls of some one approaching roused Celestia to glance back towards the gardens entrance. Twilight looked back as well to see the dark form of Princess Luna heading into the garden.
"Teacher, it has been a year, does she know about all of this? Why hasn't your sister done anything? These five were loyal to her even past when they should have been ."
"She knows, but betrayal is a hard thing to handle, and for all their good intentions, that is what her closest friends did to her. They betrayed her, and had her sealed in the moon for a thousand years. It is not something one can easily forgive. I believe at times she only forgives me because we are family, and she remembers what she had planned for me as Nightmare Moon. She comes here nearly every night to raise the moon and I think, she may talk to them, but I do not listen in. Perhaps she is at least considering forgiveness.
Celestia rises to her hooves as Princess Luna walks up the path to the monuments top. She pauses a bit surprised to see the two of them up there. Luna opens her mouth as Twilight rises as if trying to think of what to say, or ask, before giving up and moving aside for them to depart.
"Good Night Sister."
"Good Night Tia. Twilight Sparkle. "
"Good night Princess Luna."
Twilight glanced back at the obelisk watching as Luna settled down where they had been before. The moon slowly rose into the night sky, shining its pale light down on the statues of the Garden.