The rain poured down like tears form heaven as the small village far from the protection of the Celestial guard burned, set a flame by a shadow long forgotten by pony kind. That night the world changed, changed in a way that would cut deep into one Pegasus’s life and change it forever, and lost the rarest thing in the universe, and the most precious, Innocence.
“Mom” a young Pegasus filly shouted through the chaos of smoke and flame of her burning home “Mom where are you?” she shouted as she dodged some falling debris.
Can you hear heaven cry?
The filly ran and ran through the fiery debris towards her parent’s bed room the door blocked by a large burning timber and just beyond her parents and sister “Mom” the filly shouted and tried to get in but the heat of the flame pushing her back. Through the flashes of flame the filly could see her father pinned under a beam, her mother holding her sister tightly “Star” the filly’s mother shouted “you have to get out; it is too late for us”
Can you hear heaven cry the tears of an angel?
“No I won’t leave you mom!” Star shouted back as more debris fell around her, embers hitting against her.
Be strong every day on we’ll go, I’m here don’t you fear.
“Star please RUN I don’t want to lose you too” stars mother’s eyes filled with tears. Her husband and child in her arms already still. “RUN MY FILLY PLEASE RUN” she shouted, the last words star would hear form her mother as the room collapsed leaving only flame and smoke.
The sun cannot fall from the sky.
“MOM” star shouted as tears streaked down her cheeks, she jumped at the sound of shattering glass next to her. The hall window had shattered and left a large opening, just enough for the young Pegasus filly to jump through, the crashing of wood behind her gave her all the encouragement she need to do just that.
Tears of an angel.
Her small wings could barely hold her aloft for long and soon she fell against the cold muddy ground, the screams and cries of the other ponies of her village echoing, the army of shadow looting and pillaging. Two shadow creatures approached the winded star and looked at each other with evil grins, and just as one was about to attack one of Stars friends jumped in the way “don’t you dare hurt her” the familiar voice shouted, that voice swiftly silenced as the shadow struck the colt to the cold ground, his blood splashing against Stars mud soaked hoofs. She scream was loud, filled with terror and disbelief as her eyes watched the life leave her friend’s eyes, the shock too much for her and she blacked out.
Even in the darkest time can you hear heaven cry?
When she awoke she found herself in a medical tent surrounded by other ponies from her village, nurse ponies moving about making sure every pony was comfortable. “I am still alive?” she thought to herself “what happened?”
Star looked around and out the front of the tent, there standing bathed in sun light stud princess Celestia obvious sadness in her eyes as she talked with a doctor.
“How many survived?” Celestia asked.
The doctor looked down and knelt as he too fell to sadness “Out of the five hundred and twenty ponies that lived here, only fourteen remain, I am sorry my Princess there were just to many”
The river will flow to the sea.
“So many have died” Celestia mourned as she looked at the ponies in their beds “you did your best doctor that is all any pony could ask of you” Celestia noticing Star looking right at her. Slowly she approached her and nuzzled Star gently “I am sorry little one, if I had known” Star just looked away and closed her eyes as tears rolled down her cheek.
“Princess” a stallion of the celestial guard bowed “there is something you have to see”
Celestia turned and followed the guard out of the tent and through the charred remains of homes until she and other stud before Stars crumbled home. At her hoofs were the bloody remains of two shadow creatures, their bodies broken and laid about the area.
The Princess stepped back in disbelief “who could have done this?” Celestial’s eyes looked around seeing more shadow creatures slaughtered. In the stone of the road and in some of the crumbled walls were deep gouges, as if some powerful sword had cut through them, several shadow creatures laying cut in half lying between the cuts. “This goes beyond self-defense, this is revenge” Celestia looked around for a sign of who could have done this, up against a wall one shadow creature was barely alive.
Celestia stud no lorded over the creature her main dancing widely with anger not only at the suffering and chaos that this creature had caused but at the lengths some pony had to go to stop them. She looked down and calmly asked “why?”
The half dead creature coughed up blood as it laughed “you know why” it pulled itself up to lean against the wall blood pouring form its wounds “with her gown no pony can stop us, not even you and your entire solar empire” it laughed hard causing it to fall back down.
“Some pony stopped you” Celestia growled “you won’t be hurting any more of my subjects”
The creature grinned and laughed out “but you don’t even know who your sword and shield is and I take it to my grave” the creature reached inside its wound and ripped out its own guts, with a thump it hit the ground.
“NO, dam it” Celestia turned and looked to the guards “one of the survivors must have seen something, we need to find out who was the pony who slew all these creatures”
Meanwhile back in the tent star was silently sobbing, mourning the loss of her family and friends lying on her side facing away from the entrance of the tent as Celestia came in “please every pony if you saw who defended the town, please tell me”
Star pulled her blanket over her soot covered body and closed her eyes trying to shut out the world her heart filled only with sorrow, images of the night before flashing through her mind.
Can you hear heaven cry?
The other ponies in the tent also remained silent most still in shock of what had happened the night before “I know you are all in pain from the loss of your family’s but please I need to know”
Stars mind still flashing with events, her family, her friend, and the shadows ready to attack her just after they killed her friend; she curled up and started crying hard. “Make it stop, make the shadows go away” Star sobbed over and over.
Celestia realized she had pushed the issue too soon “I am sorry every pony” she walked over to star’s bed and tried to calm her “its ok little one, nothing will hurt you here” Celestia pulled the blanket over Stars flank brushing away some of the soot revealing a cutie mark. “It can’t be” Celestia thought to herself as she brushed away more of the soot.
“STOP THOUCHING ME” star cried out just as a flash filled the tent and between her and Celestia was a large shield baring the same mark as the one on stars new cutie mark. The shield lingered for a few moments and then faded as star fell to her bed panting “What... what was that?” Celestia sat bewildered the shield had pushed her back onto her flank.
The celestial guard had already taken the replace to protect their Princess, the captain helped Celestia to her hoofs “Are you alright princess?” he looked to the two guards “cease her”
Celestia didn’t have a chance to speak the two guards had aggressively approached Star, an action they would soon regret “wait no stay back” Star’s heart raced as she looked around the tent, a guard touched her shoulder “calm down little one”
Star screamed as another flash filled the tent and when it had gown the guard’s leg was as well, cleanly cut just above the elbow his blood dropping onto the floor making a puddle around the severed limb.
The captain took no chances and pushed Celestia out of the tent despite her attempts at calming the situation but it was too late Star was panicked and the guards were in full protect mode. Star ran out the back of the tent through the charred remains of her village, she did not stop till she found herself deep in the woods near old ruins.
Star went inside to find a place she could rest, some place safe away from anyone who would want to hurt her, in her hiding spot she curled up and sobbed herself to sleep.
Can you hear heaven cry the tears of an angel?
When the young filly woke it was still night, the moon bright and illuminating the ruins, old statues lined the walls each standing tall and proud and looking to an empty throne. A throne that the moonlight seem to bathe in its loving light, making it glow and shimmer.
Star pulled herself to her hoofs and looked around, for some reason she felt safe and comfortable despite the shadows that danced on the walls, her hoofs clacked against the stone floor as she approached the throne. For the first time in her life she bowed, she did not know why or to whom for that matter, she had seen Celestia a few times but never bowed to her.
Star looked up at the vacant throne and suddenly an old clock deep inside the ruins started to chime, Star’s ears fell back and she looked around till she found the old clock, she sighed in relief as the clock chime rang out for the twelfth time, she looked back to the throne to find it was no longer vacant
“Who is this that graces our midnight court?” a tall alicorn cloaked in a deep violet mist, her eyes flashed bright as the moon.
Star stepped back but she knelt and she did not know why “I am Star Dust, my lady” her eyes looked up at the alicorn “forgive me but I do not know who you are?”
The cloaked pony sighed and looked around the baron ruins “This does not surprise us, with the state of our kingdom” she pushed back her hood and went to step off her throne but was prevented by a magical shield “even on this day our sister prevents us from being free” the alicorn said with a huff.
“No matter” the alicorn sat tall and proud as she announced “We are Princess Luna, we are pleased Star Dust that thou are before us, but what has broth thou to us descendant of Llamrei” a tear rolled down Star’s cheek as she sat back and told Luna the events of the day and night before.
Luna fought back her emotions but a tear escaped her “We…I am sorry little one, for your loss” Luna looked to the old clock “we are short on time little one but we can answer to what this new power is, it is one this world has not seen since the days King Arthur Pendragon, Legend says he had no heir but that is untrue, he had but one daughter, Llamrei who held the same power you do now”
The old clock started to chime “Our time has ended Star Dust; we must go, remember us and our words for we fear we may never step foot in our beloved kingdom again” the clock chimed a second time.
“But how do I control it?” Star jumped up and ran to stand before fading Luna as the clock chimed a third time.
“Seek out our beautiful crypt, with luck there are still ponies there” Luna said hastily as the clock chimed a fifth time.
“Wait I have more questions?” star gave a longing look one met by Luna’s sad eyes, the clock chimed a sixth time as Luna fully vanished “Be brave little Star” Luna’s voice echoed as the sun began to rise over the horizon, dawn of a new day.
As the sunlight filled the ruins of the midnight castle Star began to cry again, she had no idea what or where the beautiful crypt was. Star wiped the tears from her eyes and saw a flicker of light coming from where Princess Luna’s sat, she slowly walked up the steps and looked down “How…this is imposable it’s my mother’s” she said aloud her voice filled with confusion, she reached out to pick it up but to her amassment it started to float and glow.
Star stepped back watching her mother’s heirloom slowly drift toward her a soft warm glow came from the jewel, then it spun around her and then stopped and its glow began to pulse. Star stepped closer “I think it’s trying to point me in the right direction… I hope” she thought to herself, she stepped closer again and the jewel flashed brightly making it imposable to see when she opened her eyes the jewel was missing but she felt something on her forehead. She looked around trying to find a mirror but all she could find was a dim shield to an old set of armor, in the reflection she could see the jewel firmly stuck to her forehead.
“And then that happened…” star sighed she turned and started heading out of the ruins and in the direction the jewel pointed. For days she walked, deeper and deeper into unknown and uncharted lands, every night before she slept she looked up at the moon going over in her mind her encounter with the alicorn every pony called nightmare moon.
The air was cool that one particular night as she slept below a large tree, out in the darkness however there was something prowling, the wind picked up making her shiver and wake “it’s getting cold I better find better shelter” she said to herself as she pulled herself to her hoofs and once again started to walk in the direction her jewel had pointed.
Not too far behind her the danger grew, where there was one now two and then four there movements making the brush rustle, Star stopped and looked around behind her but was not able to see anything she continued her journey but with more haste in her step . Once again noise came from behind her, she turned and took a defensive stance “who’s there?” she shouted.
Silence answered her as her eyes wondered through the dense forest barley catching the wind making the leaves moved and as she was about to turn the clouds broke and the moon shone brightly all around her revealing a pack of hungry wolves.
Star looked around her quickly trying to count how many of them there were but there moments were too fast to follow but it seemed they dare not step out into the light of the moon, star turned and looked up “Luna….” She whispered out and then jumped up into the air her wings extending out as far as she could get them, it had been days since she last flew but it felt good to be in the cool night air.
The wolves followed below but the light of the moon still surrounded Star giving her renewed strength and hope “LUNA” star shouted into the night “YOU ARE NO NIGHTMARE” her wings flapped hard as she climbed higher and higher getting far above the clouds where she hovered and looked to the moon and shouted “LUNA….can you hear me…. I do not believe what they say…. You are PRINCESS LUNA”
For every time you fall apart there’ll be a soul to guide your journey.
There was no reply from the bright moon, in her heart Star felt that Luna herd her somehow and continued to fly to where the jewel was guiding her, in the distance she could see a tall cloud formation “that is odd” she thought to herself “there shouldn’t be clouds at this height.”
The tower of clouds was directly in her path “maybe this is where I need to go?” she said “only one way to find out” she headed into the swirling mass, the wind picking up making it harder to fly “ok…bad idea” she yelled as the wind tossed her about but through the clouds she could see now and then an outcropping. She flapped her wings harder and harder gaining ground until she landed and ran inside a cave entrance.
Star could barely see inside as the wind outside the cave howled “hello?” she shouted “is any pony here?” she walked deeper into the cave and strangely it got brighter the stones that lay on the ground were glowing lighting a path “ok there is no way those are natural” she said in a whisper and continued deeper.
The glow became brighter as she entered a large room, the walls smooth as if they were carved and on the far wall a large door with carvings of ponies in strange armor, on side next to the door were two large statues similar to those in the ruins of the midnight castle. Star looked up over the door and noticed strange carvings that looked like letters.
“Ok so big spooky door with writing on it that I can’t make heads or tails of” she said aloud with a huff “at least its dry in here” Star sat and looked up at the door thinking of what to do next but seemed her presence there did not go unnoticed.
An hour passed as she tried to make sense of the markings “this is stupid” she said aloud and then got up walking right towards the door “buck it I am going in” she figured she would have to use all of her strength to open the door but as the got closer the eyes on the statues glowed and the door creaked open with a loud grinding noise “well if no one knew I was here they do now” she said as she covered her ears till the doors had finished.
“That we do little filly” a voice filled the room “I am Fanderay, who are you? Why are you here?”
Star opened her eyes to see a Canis Major standing at the door, to her sides where to Ponies clad in the same armor that the ones on the door had on “I…I am…” star stammered.
“Come now filly spit it out” Fanderay said calmly.
“I am Star Dust” she finally blurted out “and this thing” she pointed to the jewel on her forehead “this guided me here”
“It has been a very long time since a daughter of Llamrei has stud at the doors to the crypt” Fanderay bowed her head “and we guardians of the crypt will honor the ancient pact” the two ponies beside her also bowed.
To where it is that you’re headed for, given to a hope of so much more.
Star smiled “thank you, hopefully you can answer the questions I have.”
Fanderay nodded and turned “I will answer as much as I can, but first when was the last time you had a hot meal?” Star’s stomach growled loudly at the thought of food making Fanderay giggle “I will take that as it has been a while.”
The female Canis Major lead star down the hall, the guards just behind her “How many others are here?” star asked.
“There are about a thousand ponies and Canis here in the crypt” Fanderay said as she looked back.
Star went wide eyed “but how can so many fit in a crypt?”
“Come Star see for yourself” Fanderay smirked as she stopped at another set of doors, ones that were well maintained and polished.
These doors swung open effortlessly revealing a massive cavern, its floor littered with homes and even along the walls there were more, carved out of the stone. A grand castle towered over the city at the center of it.
“Welcome Star Dust to Affaraon, the city inside the beautiful crypt” Fanderay proudly stated and motioned for Star to follow her down a long winding stare case “Now let’s get you something to eat and then to Osserc.”
“Who is that?” Star asked as she kept pace with Fanderay, her hoofs clacking on the stone floor.
“Osserc is the pony that currently leads the counsel, shi is a wise and powerful Canis” Fanderay answered some hesitance in her voice.
“Is something wrong?” Star asked.
“There are those who would rather not see a decadent of Llamrei in this city” Fanderay sighed “you have to remember it’s been over a thousand years since we have even opened the outer doors”
“I don’t follow Fanderay?” Star said with confusion in her voice.
Fanderay stopped and looked at Star “You don’t even know do you? Was it not told to you by your parents?” she questioned and watched star shake her head. “Star… everyone here, every pony, every Canis has been trained to be an army, you appearing is a sign that the Midnight Princess will soon return. It is our responsibility to train you to be ready for war”
“Me?” Star stepped back and shook her head “no, no, no”
“You don’t have a choice Star” Fanderay said sternly “your your sake, our sake, for the sake of every living creature outside this crypt, you must take up the mantel of your linage” she stepped closer and lowered her head “for if you do not, and we do not rally, all will be lost”
Fanderay sighed “sorry, you are still young and all this has been placed on your shoulders” She stepped closer to star “but know this no matter what I will be there to help” Fanderay smiled and moved to stand beside Star “now I promised food and I will deliver” she started walking once again with star close to her side.
“Tell me why some won’t like me here?” Star looked up at Fanderay “I understand the isolation but still if there is some pact, one would think they would jump at the chance to see it through”
“A thousand years of peace” Fanderay started “even with all the discipline and training, there are those with family’s, businesses, farms, lives they built” Fanderay sighed “but they don’t get it, the crypt will not protect them from what is coming”
“Fanderay, you keep saying that, what is coming?” Star said with a harsh questioning tone.
“We are here” Fanderay stud outside a large hall “let’s get you some food and I will tell you” Star followed her in and sat, food arrived quickly and star dug in the first hot meal since she left home.
Other ponies were there as well and whispered to each other, some just gawking others rushing out as if they had some place to be.
Star finally looked up from her meal noticing a young filly sitting next to her “ummm…hello?” Star said and the filly took off and hid behind a large stallion clad in armor, his left eye baring a long scar.
“Forgive my daughter my lady” the stallion bowed “we learn from a young age what a Daughter of Llamrei would look like, not often you encounter a legend”
Star smiled “It’s ok, not often you learn you are one” she looked down at the filly and smiled, then back to Fanderay “so no hiding who I am I take it, now tell me what is it that I am supposed to rally every pony against?”
“Sadly no, we all know to look for that jewel on your forehead, and honestly you look almost identical to the paintings we have of Llamrei” Fanderay looked to a large painting on the wall, as did Star “She was a formidable pony, she welded her power with skill and grace, for years after the loss of her father she held things together eventually having children of her own, that line extends to you”
Fanderay sat next to the painting “There is a darkness that follows that line; it has crossed paths more times than any pony can tell, and they are creatures of shadow and flame filled with hatred not just for the daughters of Llamrei but for all life on this world”
“Shadow and flame” star said to herself “that sounds like the ones that attacked my home, who killed my family” she spoke up her wings razing and beside her a faint outline of a sword hovering in the air. All those in the hall, even those who had doubt in their hearts, knelt, some prayed while others stud tall.
“I am sorry to say Star but they were probably after you” Fanderay looked down with sadness on her muzzle she looked up to see Star filled with anger and the sword that was a silhouette was now solid and coursing with energy “Star….” Fanderay gasped in awe of the spectacle before her.
The sword hovered and shimmered giving off a low hum, ever so often it cracked with energy “me…because of me…..they will…ugh” star growled but as quickly as the sword appeared it faded and star collapsed to the ground the last thing she saw as she passed out was the image of Llamrei with Fanderay standing next to it, then darkness.
The morning sunlight was so worm and the air filled with the scent of morning breakfast and a tender song filled the air, a song only her mother would sing to gently wake her love ones from there slumber. Star shielded her blurry eyes from the morning light “Mom?” she looked to her bedroom door and standing there with a bright smile on her muzzle was her mother “wake up my little Star” she chirped.
“Mom?” Star’s voice trembled as her eyes filled with tears, pulling the covers form her and rushing to hug and hold her mother “Mom your alive, I had this horrible nightmare that you and every one was dead” star stammered as she held tightly onto her mother who stayed quiet “mom?” star looked into her face that now dawned a sad look “I am sorry my little Star, I love you and miss you so much” her mother’s voice shook “but you have to wake up they need you” the world around them slowly going black and her mother slowly slipping away “MOM!” star cried over and over, just before her mother vanished Star heard her shout back. “I love you my little star”
Star stud there in darkness calling out to her family but there was no answer, looking around she found herself in a dark and dismal version of her home town, there was no life, no movement, she wondered around for what seemed like hours finding nothing. She turned a corner and looked directly at her home, it was intact as if nothing happened but in the garden in front of the house was a stone and in that stone was a sword.
Star walked over to it and reached out to it but just as her hoof was about to the same creatures that attacked and killed her family appeared all around her hissing and growling, spewing flame. She grabbed the swords hilt and tried to pull it out as a huge creature appeared, it roared loudly ad readied itself to breathe flame down on Star; this was when the sword loused and came free of the stone.
All went still and from the sword a voice “Once more I am welded to defend what was and the dream of what could be” light exploded from the blade and every shadow exploded in flame and vanished. Star opened her eyes and saw her village filled with life once again; she could barely recognize any of them.
“Here you see what could be, before is what will be if you fail” a soft voice, a familiar voice said.
“Luna?” Star asked as she looked around looking for where the voice was coming from.
“Our lives slip away, moment by moment, lost in that vast terrible in-between. But there is still time to seize that one last fragile moment. To choose something better, to make a difference if not for ourselves but for our inhalators” Luna stud behind Star her main flowing in the wind, Star turned to her as she spoke again “you are my last chance for redemption to save this world, and all I hope for.” Luna then stepped forward as the world around them dimed “You must walk in the dark places where no others will enter. You must stand on the bridge and let no one pass, you must live for everyone, and you must be willing to die for everyone”
“Will you do this, Star Dust decadent of Llamrei welder of Clarent?” Luna’s voice echoed in the darkness.
Star looked at the sword now floating before her and closed her eyes “no more death, no more pain, I will do this”
In the darkness a voice echoed “You rudimentary creatures of blood and flesh in capable of understanding, in the end it is irrelevant. Your lives are measured in years and decades, we are eternal, and the panicle of evolution and existence before us you are nothing, your extinction is inevitable.” Two large glowing eyes appeared “the time of our return is coming our numbers will darken the sky, you cannot escape your doom, your words are as empty as your future” the creature opened its mouth spiting fire as it spoke.
“Who are you to say we are irrelevant?” star shouted and griped the sword holding it tightly.
The creature spoke again “I am the vanguard of your destruction; you exist because we allow it, and you will end because we demand it”
“We will not give in to you, and we do not serve you” Luna shouted in the darkness.
Star held her ground holding the sword best she could “I will not bow to you” she shouted.
“Irrelevant, you will be extinguished like all the others, you cannot escape your doom” the creature started to form in to a massive dragon, its eyes flaming and its claws glowing like lava.
“STRIKE NOW” Luna shouted.
Star acted and swung the sword hitting the creature across the eye digging deep making it scream out in pain “you may be eternal but you can still bleed” she struck again hard this time hitting with fury and rage “this is for my sister” she stabbed the point of the sword into the creature “This is for my Father” the swords edge cut down the cheek of the dragon “and this is for my mother” she lunge at the heart of the dragon but just as her sword was about to strike the dragon vanished.
“Come back here coward” star growled out as the world around her went a brilliant white.
Star opened her eyes and found herself in a bed with Fanderay siting at the side of the bed, along with three ponies dressed fully in white flowing gowns, trimmed in gold and accented with jewels that resembled hers.
“She wakes mistress” one said to another who sat on the other side across from them, her gown was more elegant and colored black with white trim.
The pony clad in black looked into the still blurry eyes of Star and spoke in an ethereal voice “the darkness has passed little one, open your eyes and be born anew in the home of your ancestors” she pulled the hood from her head and smiled down at Star as the three bowed their heads as did Fanderay.
“I give you all my hope and keep none for myself” Luna’s voice echoed in Stars ears “share that hope, make it grow”
Star sat up in the bed and looked around until she saw the pony dressed in black and white “umm good morning to you too?” she said wiping the sleepiness from her eyes.
The older mare giggled and smiled “good morning Star, I am Song Shadow, I will be overseeing your training” she then pointed to the three “This is Doe, Rei, and Mai” she turned back to Star “they will be your lady’s in waiting and will get anything you need”
“How long was I out?” Star asked as she leaned against the headboard of the bed.
“Two days” Fanderay finally spoke “you gave me and all the others at the inn an Impressive display with your sword”
“Clarent” Star interrupted.
“Who?” Fanderay tilted her head questioningly.
“Clarent” Star said again as she pulled the blankets off of her to get out of the bed “It is the name of my sword”
The Doe, Rei and Mai all looked at each other than to Song who said with astonishment “Clarent, are you sure?”
“That is what Princess Luna said” Star said as she slid out of the bed and stretched out her wings “you sure only two days, my body feels like I have been in that bed for a week”
Song moved quickly around the bed to Star “Luna are you sure, it was her?”
“Yes I am sure it was” Star looked around the room and then started explaining her dream, she told every part of it every word shared between her, Luna and the dragon shadow.
“I…..I…need to go meditate on this” Song said and put her hood back up and left the room in a rush.
The three did not know what to do they had never seen Song like this, they looked to Star who sat next to Fanderay “Is there anything we can get you my lady?” Rei asked and broke the silence.
“Food sounds good and I want to talk with Fanderay in private” Star said
The trio bowed and head out of the room and as they left Star turned to Fanderay “I left something out” star said as she sat “you took me here didn’t you?”
“I did?” Fanderay still going over Star’s dream in her head
“Thank you, was any one hurt?” Star asked.
Fanderay shook her head no “Thankfully you held back”
“Good” Star turned and moved to a nearby mirror “I will do what Luna asked, but will you stand with me? I can’t do this alone.”
Fanderay moved beside Star and nodded “yes I will, as will the midnight guard, we have been waiting and planning for this” she looked to the door as the trio returned with food and clothing.
“Thank you girls” Star said and moved to start eating, once she had finished her meal she took a hot bath finally washing away the soot that clung to her from the night of the attack, it was when she started drying herself that she noticed that she had gained her cutie mark “I wish mom and dad could have seen this” a tear streaking down her cheek.
“They would be proud” Song’s voice came from behind her “now please follow me there are a lot of ponies and Canis who wish to meet you”
Song lead Star and Fanderay down the hall towards a large set of doors “be careful Star some will try and use you to gain political power and when you need them they will turn on you” Fanderay whispered.
“Great” Star huffed.
“Fanderay is correct but she is a bit jaded, though I cannot blame her for that” Song said as she looked back seeing Fanderay look away with a scoff “thankfully you won’t have to deal with that”
The doors opened wide and a large group of uniformed ponies and Canis stud at attention, beyond them was mares in fancy dresses “I put a lot of thought into who to invite”
Fanderay went wide eyed looking down the group as they entered and then stopped bowing before a large Pegasus stallion “General Alex”
The General bowed “Captain Fanderay, well done on finding her, if you had not gown against Saran’s order and opened the door we would never had known”
“Thank you sir” Fanderay bowed as Star stud beside her.
The General bowed even lower “My lady welcome, I am General Alex Silvermane Imperial air force commander; I and my men are at your wing”
Star bowed “Thank you General I look forward to learning from you and your men” Song nudged the group forward down the line.
Alex turned to a Pegasus behind him “Inform the men, it is confirmed that she is the one” he looked down towards star that was now talking with another uniformed pony “she is so young, she will need every able wing” Song continued to introduce Star to a long list of Generals, nobles, Knights and ponies of influence all pledging to help with what was to come.
As the day drew on more and more were introduced to Star, ponies of every type and Canis of every size, the buzz of it getting to her and when she could she snuck off to get a few minutes to herself and let everything sink in. She sat looking out over the city from a balcony watching the citizens go about their life’s as memories of her home and family filled her mind.
As Star stared out into the city remembering her family, the soft sound of a flute filled the air; she looked to were the music was coming from. Below her down at street level she could see a young pony with a flute, Star watched as other ponies walked past now and then dropping meager bits.
“Ah there you are” Mai chirped “Mistress Song has been putting up quite a fuss as to where you were”
Star looked back at Mai “She can fuss all she wants” she looked back down at the young pony “I need some space”
“Yes mistress, of Corse” Mai bowed “I will let Mistress Song know you need some time” she then moved to turn when star stopped her.
“Mai” Star spoke “why is that young one begging for bits?” she leaned over the ledge looking down “why is no one looking after it?”
“I am sorry mistress, there are those ponies that are less fortunate than the rest so they do whatever they can to put food on the table” Mai explained. “And sadly some foals do not have parents”
“Then why are they not looked after by others?” Star tilted her head.
“You honestly don’t think other…” Mai started in a condescending tone
Star trotted quickly and stared Mai down “How dare you?” Star’s voice growled then she turned and extended her wings out and leapt into the air only to dive down to the street below.
With a thunderous crash Star hit the stone street her eyes glowing and Clarent unsheathed, she looked to a nearby street vender whose cart was full of food “any foal who comes to you and asks for food will get it” her voice thundered as loud as when she hit the stone street, the vender just nodding. Star turned to the foal who was cowering against the wall; she closed her glowing eyes and when she reopened them they were back to normal “I am sorry for scaring you little one, are you alright?”
Whispers came from around Star and the foal, some knew instantly and knelt others confused as to what was going on, another young foal moved in front of Star next to the other and went wide eyed “It is you” he said and looked to the filly who sat next to him “Sis its ok, she won’t hurt you, she is the one form dads story’s” he took her by the hoof and moved her closer “forgive her my lady, the shadows took her sight”
The sound of heavy hoofs against the stone street echoed as a contingent of guards lead by well-dressed lieutenant approached shouting “Make way, make way”
“Alright what is this commotion“ The stallion shouted and looked to see Clarent dug into the stone street “Who’s swords is this, you know it is against the law to have weapons down here” he moved his hoof to try and pull Clarent free.
Star looked back at him “I would not do that if I were you” Star said trying to worn the Stallion.
“I do not take orders from you” he growled and placed his hoof on Clarent, with a crack of lightning he was sent across the street hard against a stone wall, the others of the guard rushed to the fallen commander and took a defensive stance, two getting between Star and Clarent.
Clarent then lifted from the stone by itself and floated over the guards to float next to Star she turned and took hold of Clarent’s hilt, moving it over the blind filly. Star was not fully in control of her actions but in her heart she wanted to help the filly. Star’s eyes began to glow once more as her voice seemed to mingle with another’s and in a language unknown to even Star.
The filly closed her eyes as a tear went down her cheek “Sis?” the colt asked worriedly.
Stars wings were held high as her main and tail flicked as if tossed by some unknown wind as she spoke more of the ancient language, the tower that was Stars new home started to rumble and markings that were long since faded reappeared burning into the stone.
Clarent faded as both Star and the filly opened their eyes “Brother…you’re right she looks exactly like how daddy described her”
“Sis?” the colt questioned “you can see?” he looked at the panting Star. The filly nodded and hugged her brother tightly.
“Star come we must get you back inside” Songs familiar voice pierced the silence now enveloping the crowd.
“I…I...will go no ware…” Star panted “not until these two... have a….home”
Song looked at the two huddled children and then back to the exhausted Star and sighed “you’re not going to make this easy are you”
“To survive… we must…help... each other no matter the cost” Star started to wane.
The solders finally had pulled their leader form the ruble who growled “Kill the mare, arrest the rest”
“Sir that is Lady Song and that mare looks like Llamrei” the second in command of the group spoke.
“I gave you an order sergeant now follow it” the lieutenant coughed up some blood.
“Sir your injured and not thinking I suggest…” the sergeant tried to defuse the situation
The lieutenant was about to speak again when he went totally silent and looked up at a hovering star a faint glow around her and not only her sword but the shield out as well, Star spoke as she hovered “I shall not tolerate such treason” Star’s voice once again melded with another as the tip of Clarent pointed directly at the lieutenant “Lieutenant Soft wind, son of swift wind, descendant of Sir Cold wind you are striped of rank and title” Star turned to face song.
“You do not have the authority to..” his words cut short as Clarent flew right at him missing his head but the edge cutting into his cheek “I have spared your life do not force my hoof”
Star reached up and took hold of Clarent’s hilt and spoke again this time louder, so loud it echoed through the entire city, to the bright halls of the central spire to the dark depths of the gem mines “It is high time for you all to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonored by your contempt of virtue, your contempt of harmony. Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one?”
“That is not fair, we can’t be expected to….” A mare warring a shall spoke up, star turning to look at her with glowing green eyes but the mare stud her ground and spoke again “you can’t expect us to look after every living creature with the little resources we have”
“This place has made you numb and blind, you think you are safe and secure in this place?” Star floated before the mare that could not answer. “As I thought”
Clarent slid back and returned to Stars side as she looked back to Song “Lady Song Shadow, Daughter of Storm shadow, descendant of Sage, these two foals are now of your clan” Star’s voice echoed through the streets like thunder.
Song knelt and spoke with certainty “As you command Lady Star Dust” Song looked up just in time to move and catch Star as she fell to the ground her sword and shield vanishing. “Humbled is my soul as I have heard heaven cry and beheld the tears of an angel” Song held Star close to her and then looked to the foals. “Gather your things little ones, for tonight you have worm beds”
Fanderay finally arrived and picked up star putting her on her back whispering to her “I have my Honor, and I will stand with you no matter the cost” she then turned and started heading toward the entrance of Star’s new home.
Ponies that flew the Lieutenant Soft Wind started dropping his banner and tarring his crest from there armor and started to follow Fanderay towards the gates “wait where are you going I order you to come back” Soft wind shouted at the Ponies who just ignored him, even the sergeant turned his back on him “you? You’re following her too”
“Yes” the sergeant looked back at him “I am tired of these pompous games, I will no longer sit, I will stand and I will regain my virtue” he trotted toward the other ponies not giving Soft wind a chance to speak.
All around the defeated stallion shop ponies and Canis passersby moved now with purpose some taking in orphans and others helping the homeless with food or clothing right off their own backs, Star’s words had reached them.
The once proud stallion dragged himself to his hoofs and turned to the dark alley way and slowly walked towards it in despair when a voice echoed in his mind “Soft wind why do we fall?” he looked around but saw no one talking to him when the voice spoke again “we fall so we can learn to pick ourselves up, what is left if all of creation falls around us?” He did not know the answer but he turned from the darkness and limped his way home the words that echoed in his mind still with him.
Once again Star awoke in her bed her head pounding and her stomach growling, she looked around in the early morning light and found a pony sitting next to her looking sad and depressed.
“I am very sorry mistress I will understand if you don’t want me around anymore” Mai said not looking at Star with sad puppy dog eyes.
“Mai…. Make yourself useful and get me something to eat” Star said sternly “and be quick about it” she tried hard to sound grumpy which was not far from the truth, her head still pounded hard.
As Mai smiled and as she left to do as Star had asked Song entered with the young filly who she had taken in as family, Song bowed as did her new daughter “good morning Star, how are you feeling?”
“Feels like my head is going to explode and I am very weak holding that form for that long was draining” Star watched the young filly smile and almost bounce “I do remember everything but it is strange it felt like a dream, but I am glad I was able to clear the shadows from your eyes little one”
The filly bounced and giggled “In the darkness sometimes I saw scary things but now so many wonderful colors” she calmed and moved close bowing “thank you so much, for everything” she started to cry tears of joy.
Mai soon returned with a full tray of food for star and as she ate she spoke with Song finding out that the young filly’s name was Jade and her brother’s name Silver. Song had started training her new daughter in the ways of high persists and Silver was getting schooled to be a knight, dreams that both of the children always wanted to come true.
Star lay back she was still weak from the events of the day before, she thought back upon it, her powers came with a price one of vital energy, she knew that if she used to much or drew out both it could kill her but how did she survive having both sword and shield out for as long as she did, she needed to learn how to control her ability’s for her own and others sakes.
Song and the filly gave there leave and left the room leaving her along to rest, the first time she had been alone in her new room since she had got to the hidden city, she put everything out of her mind and rested something she needed for both mind and body.
Despite the sounds of ponies training outside her window she felt at ease as if this where the bed she went to sleep in all of her life “I won’t let that happen to any pony else” she said to herself as she remember the night of the attack “As soon as I get my strength back I am going out there and joining the others “
Star rolled over and faced away from the window her hoof sliding down her belly as her thoughts drifted to what fillies of her age often did, stallions. Her hoof continued down towards her mare-hood as her indignation ran wild as she started to please herself sending shivers of pleasure though her body “I guess now ah lots of stallions will take ah mmm notice of me” she panted to herself as her hoof moved faster, her wings slowly extending out and peeking out from under the blanket.
It was some time after lunch when Star awoke from her restful slumber, the noise of training ponies still outside her window and a plate of food siting on a nearby table.
Star slid out of her bed and stretched with a yawn the scent of her self pleasure lingering on her and the bed “think I need a bath” she thought to herself and peaked out of her room not sure where the bath was.
Quietly she snuck around trying not to attract attention and as she turned a corner she bummed into a rather large pony, Star rubbed her nose and looked up at a fire red unicorn mare who spoke “You should be watching where you are going my lady”
“Sorry am just trying to find a place to wash up” Star blushed as she got back on her hoofs.
“This way” the Mare said in a deep tone.
“O… ok” Star smiled and followed the mare down the hall into a large open room with a pool of milky white water, the air filled with the scent of lavender and lilacs “Wow this place is amazing” her eyes went wide.
Star sniffed at the water “Is it ok if I use this?” and then was suddenly shoved into the steaming pool by the unicorn Star flapped her wings but the moist air making her wings heavy and unable to fly, the room echoed with a splash.
The Red mare sighed to herself “this is the decadent of Llamrei?”
Star popped up out of the water and pushed her main out of her eyes and pouted “Why did you push me?”
“I am Red Rose starting tomorrow I will be training you how to fight” Red stepped close to the edge of the pool “as to why, I wanted to test your reaction, just because you’re a princess do not mean I am going to go easy on you and this is the last bit of pampering you will get for a while”
Star gave a annoyed look then here yes gave a quick glow before she grabbed Red by the hoofs and tossed her into the center of the pool “I am a Daughter of Llamrei” Star growled as she tossed the mare who was at least twice her size.
Red was wide eyed as she sat in the middle of the pool; star paddled around her with a smug look on her muzzle “as for pampered baths I will be taking them just because I am going to be a war pony does not mean I have to smell like one”
Red blushed “Your sent before was fine” her voice low as she sank down in the hot water, the mixture soothing her tight mussels and striping away dirt.
Star blushed and froze in spot “you could smell that?” she looked down at her reflection in the milky water.
“Yea” Red said quietly and made her way to the edge “I should leave you to your bath… princess”
Star watched her new teacher slip out of the water and quickly leave the room before Star could say anything, before long the room went silent letting her enjoy the warmth of the water and the scent of that it was giving off.
She looked around the room wondering why this was here, when she heard the sound of giggling and chatter of several mares approaching. Quickly she swam and hid behind a statue “so much for my relaxing bath” she thought to herself.
“And then he says he wants to be my husband and for me to leave the order so we could be together” the one mare’s voice echoed in the quiet room “One kiss on the cheek and he thinks I love him”
“Wow that pore colt” another giggled “he is so in for a shock if he finds out”
The pair giggled and slipped into the water both sighing in relaxing “So needed this bath, Song has had me polishing and blessing some old armor for the past few days, I have no idea why”
The other mare nodded “I know what you mean, if I see another prayer book or solace tomb I am going to lose it”
The two mares giggled and let out a moan that echoed in the room “wish we had more time together” one said.
Star peaked around the corner to get a better look, what she saw was unexpected the pair was cuddled together and had started kissing; Star blushed and hid behind the statue again.
“Wait” one mare said “did you hear that” the other shook her head “who else is here, come out” the mare said loudly.
Star peaked around the corner and slowly came out of hiding, bushing she said “hello” and as one mare was about to ask who she was Star moved her mane from her eyes reveling the star jewel on her forehead.
The pair looked at each other and blushed before slipping apart one moving close and bowing her head “I heard rumors but I did not expect them to be true, forgive me princess” the mare looked at the other “This is Fire Wind and I am Cold wind” both bowed.
Star bowed back and looked at them b=more closely there features identical, even the color of the fur and mane the only differences were the color of their yes and how there mane’s were styled. She tilted her head and blushed asking “Sisters?”
Both mares blushed and answered together “yes ma’am”
Star blushed brighter and swam towards the edge of the pool and pulled herself up shaking her wings and body of water “I…will let you two have some privacy” she blushed looking back seeing that both mares were looking up at her “I won’t say anything to Song” she said as she grabbed a towel to dry herself.
Star left the bath area her mane still somewhat wet as was her fur and wings, the events that she had encountered in such a short time ran though her mind, mares of her home town were never like this. She continued to trot through the hall toward her bedroom or what she hoped to be her bedroom, Song’s home was large and had a lot of twists and turns, it was lucky she found the bath.
“I am so lost” she sighed as she passed a set of large ornate doors with two guards dressed in white monk like robes “ok this has to be important” she stepped towards the door and the two stepped in front of her.
Calmly and softly one said “It is not time princess” Star could not see his eyes his hood covered, the edge of the hood lined with gold trim.
The other said in the same calm voice “Song would not be happy if you ruined her surprise” he walked past her “I will show you the way to your room princess, please follow me”
Star followed the hooded pony looking over his robe, more gold trim lined the edges and jewels at the corners that resembled the one on her forehead, “he must be of the order that mare talked about” she thought to herself.
The cloaked stallion stopped at a door and bowed “your room my lady”
“Thank you” she bowed in return and trotted inside to find the bed made and a few sets of clean cloths lying across it.
Star looked over each of the dresses, they were all very nice but very frilly “what is it with these ponies and cloths” she sighed
“I blame tradition” Fanderay spoke up from behind her and moved up beside her “Song has another banquet set for tonight it seems”
Star sighed as she tried on one of the dresses “another one, I need to be rested for when I start training tomorrow” her head popped out of the opening and she adjusted it and looked in a mirror and then frowned “when I was a young filly I dreamed of going to balls and dressing up like this, meeting some handsome stallion, falling in love, having foals of my own” Star looked at the Canis next to her “now seeing myself in this dress I can’t help but think how is this going to help me fight them?”
Fanderay helped Star adjust the dress so it was more conformable “It is politics Star, the more ponies and Canis you have in your pocket the more you can go to war with, Song knows this so she is trying her best to cover that, but it helps her by showing up to these events she plans”
“I just hope it is worth it” Star sighed as she looking into the mirror “look mom, I finally got a pretty dress, I wish you could see it”
Fanderay hugged Star “I am sure she can see it Star” she moved towards the door “As long as we keep those we love in our hearts they are never truly gown” Fanderay then wiped a tear from Star’s eye “and she wouldn’t want to see you crying in such a lovely dress, now let’s go fill your pockets” she chuckled.
The next morning Star awoke to the sound of Red barking orders at the maids to get all the frilly dresses away and to get ready training armor for her; Swiftly Red got Star into the armor and down to the kitchen where a large meal was waiting.
“Ear up princess you will need the energy” Red said with a stern voice.
Star did not argue and dived in eating as much as she could, once she had finished Red had her follow her out to the courtyard that was below her bedroom window, there standing in rows at attention were Ponies and Canis in training armor much like she had on.
Star looked them over seeing the mix of Pegasus, earth and unicorn ponies with Canis standing next to them. Standing tall and proud at the front of each group was more armored soldier each baring a rank insignia.
Red Rose stud at the lead and turned calling them to attention “I and Those who stand behind me have pledged their lives” she turned back to Star “to aid you in your training and to stand with you when the time comes”
From that point Star began her training, day after day she worked with the other ponies, gaining better control over Clarent and her shield. At the end of each day she went to the bath to clear her head and sooth her sore body, and as she made more mare friends they joined her sharing in laughter and all the things that friendship meant.
A month passed of this constant training, each day calling forth Clarent, each day it became easier and easier to do so. Her strength also grew and before long she bested the strongest soldiers, Fanderay also trained her mostly about honor, justice, and valor.
Fanderay also made sure Star understood the duties cant came with the powers that she now possessed, protect the weak and poor, protect the innocent, to be a champion of good against evil and be ready to lay one’s life for another no mater there station in life or there race.
To fight for the welfare of all.
To at all times to speak the truth.
To persevere to the end in any enterprise begun.
Never to refuse a challenge form an equal.
Never to turn back upon a foe.
Never to give quarter to those who serve the shadow.
Star took these teachings to heart and swore to herself to follow them; she felt doing this would aid her in keeping her promise to never let what happened to her family happen to any other. Star also passed these teachings to those around her, and over time they made a name for themselves, Knights of the star.