Luna's Story 3: Long Live the Night

by Aegis Shield

Chapter 1: Burn to Ash

Load Full Story Next Chapter

Luna’s Story 3: Long Live the Night
Part 1: Burned to Ash

If anypony had told Aegis Shield he was going to be bathing with another stallion, he would’ve made himself quite scarce that morning. His lover and heart, Princess Luna, had invited him to share a bath at the end of the night and he’d accepted. What she’d failed to mention was that Celestia and another stallion would be there. Ponies had no concept of nudity, but a community bath just felt awkward to him. He’d almost picked up some flowers to eat and a bottle of wine to share in the bath, now he was glad he hadn’t. He’d not expected the other royal sister and her… who was he anyway?

Aegis Shield tried to size up the stallion across from him in the springs. He was a huge, barrel-chested thing with a not-too-intelligent look on his face. He was scarlet in color and orange in mane, a green apple on his flank. Had the lunar stallion stood in front of him, he would’ve had to look up to see his face. He also noticed, when the stranger reached to push his mane out of his eyes, that his fetlocks were unshorn. He cocked his head a little. Who would’ve thought Princess Celestia would be into country bumpkins like that? Hmm. He was trying hard not to pass judgment. The poor guy hadn’t said a word yet.

Luna settled into the hot waters, finding a sitting slab. Laying on her belly, she moaned in happiness while the heat soaked into her fur. Celestia found one as well, and the sisters relaxed while they made idle conversation. The Princess of the night had playfully called it a double date, but had failed to mention the double part until her sister and her stallion had shown up. Aegis wasn’t sure he was comfortable with it.

Both stallions looked at each other, standing at the shoulder of their respective Princesses. Aegis didn’t think the scarlet stallion particularly aggressive, in fact he almost looked a little bored. Maybe that was why Celestia liked him? He didn’t fall all over himself to impress her? Yeah. Princesses needed real friends like that now and then. “Er… hi.” Aegis tried, sloshing in the waters a little. He opened his wings to let the steaming bath soak his feathers. “I’m Aegis Shield. Captain of the Lunar Stallions.” He offered.

Celestia looked over when she saw them making contact. “Oh, forgive me, Aegis Shield.” She smiled. “This is Big Macintosh, from Ponyville.” She introduced him. “Big Mac, this is Aegis Shield. My sister’s… er…” the princess of the sun let the sentence hang. ‘Lover’ was probably not the word for polite company. Then again, bathing together wasn’t for polite company either. She struggled for a good way to put it.

Companion.” Luna put in. The word seemed to please Aegis, for he smiled.

“Companion.” Celestia agreed with a bemused smile, nodding at Big Macintosh.

Big Mac sloshed forward and offered his hoof. Aegis was shocked when they shook, for the stallion’s grip was enormous. Easily as big as an alicorn’s. The pony’s hoof dwarfed his own. Stallions in Canterlot just didn’t come this big. Maybe it was his Earth pony genes or something. “Nice to meet you.” Aegis said.

“Eeyup.” said Big Mac with a genuine smile. Well. Wasn't her friendly? Stallion of few words. Aegis found he liked this Macintosh fellow. Being a soldier himself, he could respect a stallion who's actions spoke louder than his words.

“Come sit with me, Big Mac.” Celestia said with a playful wink. “Your mane is untidy.”

“You too, Aegis.” Luna said, smirking. She and her sister locked eyes, and a pair of soap stones floated over to them via magic. Both stallions moved to their respective… 'companions', and sat on their haunches in the water. It was just deep enough to come up to Aegis’ chin, and Big Mac’s upper chest. Feeling playful, the royal sisters started to scrub them down.

Aegis sighed in embarrassment. He’d not signed up for this. From now on he’d need to make sure any shared baths with Luna were just him and Luna. Her tinkling giggle made him turn his head while the suds were working. Her horn was aglow, as was Celestia’s. ‘Hey. Hey Lulu.’ Celestia said privately in thought-speak. Luna looked up from where she’d been scrubbing Aegis’ mane, grinning. ‘Mine’s bigger.’ She gestured to Big Macintosh. Luna looked at the stallion, then at her sister, then burst into wild laughter. Both stallions jumped a little. Celestia nickered, bobbing her head a couple of times.

Big Mac regarded Aegis Shield, cocking his head. He seemed like a nice fella. The circular shield on his flank was sure neat to look at. Though he did wonder how a pony could end up with the name shield-shield. That was a little silly, wasn’t it? He smiled gingerly at the stallion, adjusting himself while Celestia scrubbed at his mane.

The four ponies shared the springs for a long time, relaxing quietly and not much else. It was a nice day of rest. “So, any plans for Nightmare Night this year, Luna?” Celestia asked with a slight purr. Princess of the sun though she was, she melted like any other mare in a hot bath. “It’s in just a few days, isn’t it?”

“Yes.” Luna said with a wide smile. “I am going back to Ponyville again. Their festival means the most to me.” The Princess of the Night splashed her wings a bit. “Ever since my first Nightmare Night, there’s been no better place. Will you join me this year, sister?”

“Oh no,” Celestia said mildly, shaking her head. “That holiday is specifically for you. My presence would draw attention and rob you of some of the glory.” The white alicorn wasn’t being mean when she said it, she merely wanted her sister to soak up the adoration of her people. It was her special night, after all. Perhaps it would aid her in her slow integration back into normal modern society.

“Very well.” Luna said. “Perhaps you can relax for the evening while everypony is out in costume.” Aegis Shield nodded his encouragement as well. He’d been looking forward to Nightmare Night himself. Spending it with the Princess was going to be amazing and he knew it.


It was finally Nightmare Night. Luna squealed with delight as the chariot arrived on the pad. Aegis Shield and Stalwart Hide had hitched themselves to the spike-covered, terrifying vehicle and they were ready to make their way to Ponyville. Cantering up to it and throwing on her travelling cloak, she leaned and spoke to a nearby pony. “Is everypony ready, Hammershot?”

“Yes your majesty. Everything is in place.” Hammershot bobbed his head, very careful to keep his wings very, very closed and pressed to his sides. “They’ll be receiving you on schedule, and Ponyville is all set as well.”

“Very good.” Luna nodded her approval, dismissing him. “Aegis Shield! Stalwart Hide! Suite up!” she mounted the chariot, giggling with filly-like excitement.

Both stallions smiled at their giddy Princess. Then again, if they had a holiday created just for them they’d probably be just as excited. Aegis looked at Stalwart, who nodded. Reaching as one, they tapped their medallions and spoke the oath together. “In the dark, we tear and rend. To end all evils, with spines to bend. Lust and power, hunger and might! By Luna’s will, and dark of night!” Their medallions whistled as the magic took hold. Rearing up with wild whinnies, they opened their wings as armor flooded over both of them like quicksilver. Encased until they looked like ponies made of liquid metal, they stomped their hooves down so the excess would explode away from them like droplets of water. Lunar armor clanked into place, platelets thick enough to stop a knife. Their wings lost all their feathers, melting into a bat-like membranes. They roared out ferally as their teeth vanished and were replaced by terrible, jagged fangs. Fur stained grey, eyes flashed to gold and turned serpentine in the pupils. Lunar Stallions!

Princess Luna smiled and pulled her hood up. “Let us away, my stallions! Nightmare Night in Ponyville awaits!” she thrust a hoof forward, and their wings started flapping. The chariot jerked forward, and they launched skyward. The Princess of the Night covered the full moon and stars with clouds for her grand entrance. This was going to be the best Nightmare Night ever.


Celestia tip-hoof’d along down a hallway, trying not to be seen. She’d cast an invisibility spell on herself, but it didn’t hurt to be stealthy. Smiling and giving a tinkling giggle, she found herself in front of Luna’s bedroom door. Flicking the lock with magic and checking the hallway both ways, she slipped inside. Closing the door behind her, she smiled around the room. Nightmare Night was the best night of the year for pranks, and even if she was the princess of the day, she didn’t want to be left out.

For the longest time Princess Celestia had been above such pranks, but really what was the harm? She wanted to play with her sister like they did, all those centuries ago. She’d decided if she was going to play a prank it would need to be harmless and easy to fix. Just something playful. She didn’t want to be seen as a horrible troll like Luna had thought of her in the olden days. Their prank wars were the stuff of legend, and both alicorns had had to work very hard to destroy any record of some of their older pranks. Ponies didn’t find it very funny when a volcano emerged downtown, or when a flood of banana cream pudding flooded the city. Because of their powers, alicorns could be vicious in their pranks.

Calming herself, Celestia peered around the room, wondering what to do. The last place Luna would expect a prank would be at the end of the night in her own room. It was the perfect place to set something silly up. Rubbing her chin for a moment, she suddenly smiled. Ah, that would be harmless, and rather funny. Tilting her head and making sure the door was shut behind her, the princess ignited her horn. Concentrating, she lifted Luna’s bed and stuck it to the ceiling upside down. Then she did the same for a locked chest, her mirror, and all her other furniture. When Luna came home her entire room would be upside down. “Happy Nightmare Night, sister…” Celestia chuckled, surveying her work. She looked around. “Oh, almost forgot you.” She turned and lifted the vanity upside down, making sure the drawers didn’t spill. She stuck it to the ceiling, but in the process a secret panel popped open and dropped something to the floor. “Whoops.” The white alicorn finished fastening the vanity to the ceiling, upside down, and went to fetch the object. It was a jewelry box.

Curious, Celestia opened it. Inside was a smattering of jewelry. Old hoof rings, earrings, a necklace or two, and a black medallion. All of them looked quite old, and the dust inside said Luna was not a fan of the contents either. Perhaps they were no longer in style? Both princesses were known to favor royal trappings, though lately regalias and crowns were their style. Celestia couldn’t remember the last time she’d worn earrings or a necklace. The white alicorn gave pause, for the black medallion called to her. She’d not seen black gold in ages. Ponies thought it clashed with her white coat, so she was never given any for her own. She did like it though, it was a handsome precious metal. Smiling slowly, she lifted the medallion out of the jewelry box and set the rest aside. She peered at it. The hanging ornament in the middle was the size of a large, black marble. She thought it was glass for a moment, for there was smoke curling inside. She squinted, but could see nothing within. Her sister certainly had the strangest baubles. Smiling and unable to help herself, Celestia opened her wings and flew up to the full length mirror where she’d fastened it on the ceiling. Chuckling at the cleverness or her rather harmless prank, she held the necklace in front of herself. “Huh.” She said, smiling bemusedly. “I wonder when Luna wore this last…” she froze, for she could hear approaching hoofsteps.

The Princess of the Day landed as daintily as she could, casting a new invisibility spell on herself. A lunar stallion opened the door, no doubt on his rounds for the evening. “What the HAY?!” he shouted, looking around the room in shock. It was all Celestia could do not to burst into laughter. “Pen Maker! PEN MAKER!” he shouted down the hall. “Come quick! Her majesty’s room! It’s upside down!” he jabbed a hoof into the oddity. Celestia had to think fast. She didn’t want to be caught. Turning quickly, she rushed to the balcony and opened her wings. Just as the stallions rushed into the room with a shout of confusion, the invisible alicorn lifted off and quickly left the scene of her prank. She giggled despite herself. Even Princesses could play pranks. “How the hay did all this happe--” their voices faded with distance, and Celestia swooped to one of the other palace towers. Her own room. Landing quickly, she went inside and cancelled her invisibility spell. Snickering and feeling rather proud of herself for pranking her sister, she cast herself onto her massive bed. Now then! She could spend the rest of the evening with a wonderful book and wait for Luna to return. The concussive blast of the Royal Canterlot Voice would be enough for her to know when she arrived home and saw her room. It would be the bes—Celestia looked down into her hoof. She was still holding the black medallion.

“Oh dear.” She said a little guiltily. She’d stolen it without realizing. Frowning, she put it on her vanity next to her regalia and golden horse shoes. She would need to return it as soon as she could, perhaps without Luna realizing. For now she couldn’t for the Lunar Stallions would no doubt spend the entire night trying to dislodge her furniture from the ceiling. Going back to her bed, she opened a random book from her shelf. It was the diary of Starswirl the Bearded. He’d left it to her in his will. Such a brilliant pony. She’d been more than honored to keep it in her private collection, and make sure his vast knowledge made it out into the world of ponies in his era.

After a time, however, she found herself frowning at the black medallion. Shifting a little, she tried to return to her book. It was no use. She sighed, getting up. She would need to return it now, set Luna’s furniture right, and put it all back how she’d found it. The guilt was just eating away at her. Closing the tome and going back to the vanity, she lifted the medallion and opened her wings to leave. She stopped a moment, looking at herself in the mirror. It was rather handsome. Maybe she could just try it on? Just for a minute? Smiling and swearing she would return it right after she saw how it looked on her, Celestia used her magic to open the clasp.

The chain tinkled, and a hard wind suddenly gusted through her room from her balcony. She squeezed her eyes shut as her mane flapped wildly. “…Huh.” She said. Luna must’ve had the Cloudsdale weather patrol working on extra phantom breezes this night. Now that she’d learned to enjoy her own holiday, she was sparing no expense. Celestia’s eyes were drawn back down to the large black marble on the necklace. It seemed to call to her like a tuning fork, tingling the edges of her brain. Smiling, she bowed her head a little so she could affix the bauble around her neck and under her mane. She felt the cold weight of the thing pressing to her chest. Looking into the mirror, she pushed her chest out to admire herself. “Pretty.” She said to herself, smiling bemusedly. She'd expected it to glitter or maybe change colors when somepony wore it, but no, it was still a shiny black marble. Hm. “Alright now, Tia, go put it back. It’s not yours.” She scolded herself with the same tinkling chuckle. “Luna would be upset if sh--!”

The alicorn was suddenly driven to her knees and her entire room burst into wild yellow flame! Celestia cried out as the necklace suddenly tightened itself into a choker, sprouting spikes to attach itself to her neck. Her doors instantly burst open and a pair of solar guards rushed to her aide. “Princess!” One stallion shouted as she staggered about clutching at her neck. “The room is burning, get a team in here!” he roared at the other guard. He roughly grabbed the white alicorn and started dragging her out of the room. The furniture burned brightly and she gagged at the smoke plumed like liquid night. When they emerged into the hall and were a safe distance away the Princess thrust him aside and clutched at her neck desperately. “What is it?! Are you choking?!” he shouted, rushing back when he saw the black line collar around her neck. Rearing up her tried to rip it from her with his hooves. Golden, shimmering blood was starting to drip from her poor body, and suddenly her wings flared open. He was horrified, for he’d never seen his Princess bleed. The stallion was tossed, bodily, into a table and vase. He hit the ground hard, staggered, and rushed back to his Princess.

Lines of black were starting to sprout from the black bauble around Celestia’s neck. It began to envelope her chest, working violently under her skin and staining her blood vessels with its magical poison. The solar guard heaved against the tendrils with all his might, but they slapped him away like they were alive! He bounced off the ceiling and landed hard with a crunching of bones. He whinnied in agony, one of his legs broken. “It’s hurts!” Celestia shouted in more than one voice. “It hurrrrts!” she flailed about, clutching and ripping at her chest. Powerful solar magic ignited and she ripped off great strands of the living blackness as it rushed over her shoulders and front legs. They were like tree roots, powerful and rubbery. Even the ones she ripped off flailed about like they were alive. She blasted herself painfully over and over, bashing slender body against the wall and spider-webbing cracks over the stone. The hall shook while the alicorn fought for her life.

A thundering of many hooves heralded the fire brigade and a dozen solar guards. They screeched to a halt in horror when they came upon the scene, for Celestia was already half-consumed in the inky, living blackness. “Dear Faust!” shouted one of them. “C’mon! Let’s go!” the group rushed into battle, the fire brigade squeezing past with their buckets and lit horns. The solar squad tackled Celestia to the ground, biting and ripping and hoof-stomping the otherworldly force trying to eat her alive. It only seemed to get bigger, the more pieces they ripped away from it. Black blood spilled upon them, became new tentacles of madness, and coiled around them like snakes. Shouts of battle became shouts of terror and agony as the battle raged on. It consumed them all, pulling them into darkness.

“No! NO! My Little Ponies!” Celestia cried out as the tendrils of demonic force clutched at her spine and undercarriage. “Run away! You can’t—you can’t--- AHHH’HHH!” Her screams were cut short, for it had suddenly forced itself over her flanks and face. Celestia was pulled into darkness, forced to the floor and set ablaze! The flames consumed the Princess of the Sun and she cried out into the merciless night. The fire brigade rushed to douse her with smothering spells and water, but soon they were pulled in too.

More and more ponies started pouring into the corridor, armed with buckets of water and powerful magics. The teeming, swirling mess of darkness retreated into the flames, and they were fought down for over an hour. All the steam and swirling ash choked the gathered ponies, but they would not let the palace burn down. Word traveled like wildfire, and soon dozens of ponies were rushing water to the scene. Even the Lunar Stallions that could be found rushed back and forth with buckets. They made a long line, passing buckets of water to throw over the fires while unicorns did their very best to contain the disaster with force fields and other spells. They even resorted to blasting out parts of walls to smother to stubborn fire with debris. Repairs could be made, but the palace had to be saved.

When it was over, it was snowing ash and the fog of steam made it hard to see more than a few feet. Ponies were laying everywhere, panting and sweating and covered in grime. What a terrible night it was. Solar guards rushed forward when it was clear, ruffling wildly through the debris. “Princess Celestia! Princess Celestia!” they called back and forth, shifting boulders and beams to find her. “Say something! Where are you?!”

One stallion thought he saw a small orange light under a mound of debris. Rushing over, he started shoving rocks and mortar aside. “Princess! Princess is that you?!” he said. A golden, armored head with a horn and a mane of pure flame burst from the debris. A slathering, feral maw opened to reveal rows and rows of jagged fangs. The monster roared, and it was like putting your face into a furnace. The poor stallion whinnied and tumbled backward, holding his burned face. He pulled wildly at his helm, for it had started to melt onto his head. He tossed the steaming helm aside, back-peddling as fast as he could to get away from the beast.

A massive figure started to emerge from the snow of ash and the fog of steam. She was on fire, both in tail and in mane. Her eyes were bright pink, serpentine and feral. Her gaze darted back and forth, animalistic. Hungry. The triangles that were her teeth dripped with molten metal, hissing a dripping path across the marble floor as she took slow steps. She peered about, looking at the gathering of terrified ponies. She sucked in a breath of ash and steam-- then roared like a wild beast, concussing the air with heat and unbearable light! Every single pony in the corridor violently burst into ash. None of them had time to scream.

End of Part 1

Next Chapter: Melt to Tar Estimated time remaining: 2 Hours, 15 Minutes
Return to Story Description


Login with